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12 best teethers that provide relief (and fun) for tots

Help them grow into the next stage with these sensory playthings

Zoe Phillimore
Friday 18 February 2022 12:56
<p>Not just something to chew, many examples make noises and have interesting designs and textures for baby </p>

Not just something to chew, many examples make noises and have interesting designs and textures for baby

Babies tend to get their first teeth when they’re around six months old. It can be a challenging time, as it can be quite painful for your little one. But stock up on some teethers and things should be a lot easier for both them and you.

Typical signs your baby is teething may include increased crying, disrupted sleep, dribbling, a rash around their face and some unpleasant nappies. You might also notice their gums are a bit inflamed, or even be able to see the white tooth below the surface of their gum.

Teethers soothe your little one’s gums, and give them something to chew. They can also provide a lovely sensory experience for your baby. Many of these clever toys make noises, have interesting designs, and feature plenty of different textures.

The little bumps and grooves offer a gentle massage on their gums. Some are soft, some are hard. But you should give your baby something they can grasp themselves, and which is non-toxic, for obvious reasons. The item should also be large enough that they can’t fit the entire thing in their mouths.

How we tested

We tested a huge range of teethers over the course of two months with two different aged babies – a six-month-old, who was just beginning to teethe, and a two-year-old toddler who was suffering with their last molars coming in.

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We looked at how our babies interacted with the teether, whether they were able to grasp and play with it, how long it held their attention and if we think it helped with their teething. We gave a few extra points for cuteness too.

The best teethers for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Razberry teether: £5.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best character teether – The Very Hungry Caterpillar teether rattle: £9.99, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best rubber teether – Sophie La Giraffe 60th anniversary edition: £18.99, Johnlewis.com
  • Best small-brand teether – Etta Loves sycamore teething comforter: £18.50, Ettaloves.com
  • Best for the change bag – Nuby icy bite keys: £5.75, Nuby-uk.com
  • Best value – Munchkin twisty teether: £4.75, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best sensory teether – Cheeky Chompers handychew: £10.99, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for older babies – Mizzie the kangaroo: £14.99, Mizziethekangaroo.co.uk
  • Best for cute design – Bickiepegs Peggie the penguin: £8.99, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best gift set – Infantino baby’s 1st teethe and play music set: £14.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best teething mit – Nuby teething mit: £7.50, Nuby-uk.com
  • Best for play – Skip Hop bandana buddies activity monkey: £13.99, Toystreet.co.uk

Razberry teether

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

We found this teether was our six-month-old’s absolute favourite for when teething storms really descended. Our baby was able to grasp it right away, and was intrigued initially by all the textures. They chewed the bumpy raspberry and leaves, and it seemed to bring them huge relief. We also like that you can pop this in the fridge, or sling it in the steriliser.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar teether rattle

Best: Character teether

Rating: 8/10

Here’s a familiar friend for your teething bub. This multi-coloured Hungry Caterpillar is small enough to be grasped by little hands – although they can swing it about and thwack themselves in the face with it. There are bits to suck – such as our baby’s favourite, the antennae – and the hard-plastic handle is great for a chew. It’s also very tactile and crinkly, adding an extra sensory experience.

Sophie La Giraffe 60th anniversary edition

Best: Rubber teether

Rating: 9/10

A classic in the world of baby toys (yes, that is a thing), Sophie’s clever yet cute design has really stood the test of time – 60 years, in fact. Our little tester picked up Sophie with no trouble, as her legs are thin enough to fit little paws. Then they enjoyed gnawing her hooves mainly, but there are loads of nice textures. Perhaps your child might like the ears or nose instead. Sophie is made from soft natural rubber, which gives a nice grippy finish and means it’s free from nasties. Every time you give Sophie a squeeze, she lets out a non-annoying little squeak. Unless you put her in a steriliser… then she loses her voice. Sorry, Soph.

Etta Loves sycamore teething comforter

Best: Small-brand teether

Rating: 9/10

We love Mum-owned Etta Loves for fantastic, age-appropriate sensory toys. Originally it made muslins that would appeal to young babies thanks to their black-and-white (and frankly gorgeous) designs, but the brand has now branched out into other areas including teethers. The teething ring is thin and light enough for six-month-olds to hold and bring to their mouths, while the smooth and hard wood will feel nice against their gums. The muslin on the sycamore has a design with multi-coloured repeated patterns of sycamore seeds, and is made in colours and at a scale that supports babies’ cognitive and visual development from five months. Our baby loved to watch the shapes dance about in front of their eyes, and it is great for playing peek-a-boo with.

Nuby icy bite keys

Best: For the change bag

Rating: 8/10

Our six-month-old was a big fan of these keys. You can pop them in the fridge to chill them for extra relief for gums, and there’s the added bonus that you can thoroughly wash them, too. The squishy key part has lumps and bumps for extra interest, while the harder handle also has different textures. Plus, when you wave them around they make a satisfying clacking sound. We found they’re perfect for chucking in the change bag and whipping out at those moments when we really needed something to entertain our baby.

Munchkin twisty teether

Best: Value

Rating: 9/10

As with all good teethers, this isn’t just good for teething – it’s a great toy too. The ring twists in sections in different directions, with each section having a different colour and texture. Our six-month-old loved the sensory exploration of twisting and moving it before he even figured out it was a teether. Despite having plenty of teethers to choose from, this is one our baby goes back to time and again.

Cheeky Chompers handychew

Best: Sensory teether

Rating: 8/10

A teether that packs in loads of sensory experiences, the handychew has one ear that’s crinkly (and great for sucking, apparently), and one ear that’s made from food-grade silicone and has loads of lovely textures on it. It also has some pokey ribbon bits to flick around and a fleecy back. Told you it was packed. We liked that you could pop the loop around our baby’s wrist, so we could give it to them in the pram or car seat, and they wouldn’t instantly lose it. Plus it’s cute – we like the friendly lion face, and the colours are nice and calming. You can chuck it in the washing machine too.

Mizzie the kangaroo

Best: For older babies

Rating: 9/10

All our kids loved Mizzie, from our six-month-old to our four-year-old. The latter wasn’t using it as a teether (imagine four years of teething – yikes!), but was drawn to the tactile natural rubber texture and the squeak. Children are quite like dogs, aren’t they? Anyway, Mizzie is very fun and a great teether. It’s on the chunkier side, so our younger baby initially found it hard to grasp her, but now loves her. The different textures provided by the nose, ears and hair are perfect for teething bubs. Plus she’s so bright and colourful that she’s easy to find in a sea of baby toys.

Bickiepegs Peggie the penguin

Best: For cute design

Rating: 8/10

We loved that this penguin has been designed with such thought for children’s development. It is made to help with both front and back teething, and to encourage good development of teeth, gums and tongue control. We also think she’s pretty damn cute, too. Our baby could easily hold Peggie, and gnaw away at her beak to their heart’s delight. It also comes with a safety clip and ribbon, so you can attach it to clothing and not lose her while you’re out and about.

Infantino baby’s 1st teethe and play music set

Best: Gift set

Rating: 9/10

This lovely little gift set comes with four cheerful musical instruments. Our six-monther had no problems picking them up and loved investigating them. We liked that as well as teethers, they introduced some musical play into our lives, which can really aid a baby’s development. Our mini tester mainly liked chewing them though, especially the guitar as it has fun rings and plenty of surfaces to gnaw at.

Nuby teething mit

Best: Teething mit

Rating: 8/10

You strap this mit onto your baby’s hand, meaning they don’t have to worry about holding onto it. This is really handy if your baby’s grasp isn’t very strong yet, and it stops them scratching themselves too. Our mini tester loved chewing the textured silicone edges, and we think it really helped them with their teething. The red colour is great, as it’s one of the first colours babies can really see, which means our tester could pick this mit out of a bunch of toys. And the crinkly sound it makes is a nice sensory extra too.

Skip Hop bandana buddies activity monkey

Best: For play

Rating: 9/10

This cheeky chimp has loads of lovely experiences for your baby. It’s probably better for a slightly older child though, as our six-month-old tester found it slightly overwhelming – but, over time they have grown more and more interested in it. As well as rattles, crinkle areas and loads of different textured fabrics, there’s a detachable banana teether. You can attach this around your baby’s wrist too, so they don’t lose it. There’s even a hook so you can attach it to a pram or car seat, for fun on the go.

The verdict: Teethers

We think the Razberry is fab – simple but by far our tester’s favourite. It’s also wallet-friendly and easy to use. If you want something a bit jazzier, the Etta Love ring or the Skip Hop monkey would make lovely gifts.

Voucher codes

For the latest discount codes on baby clothes, tech and essentials, try the links below:

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