When searching for natural, or non-toxic, teethers I always got results for a Natursutten Teether. I bought it early on before my son was teething. I still just felt weird about him chewing on plastic. Even though it was free from BPA, PVC, etc it still is plastic. I also always came across Sophie which he loves but it wasn’t as natural as I wanted it to be.
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Since finding other alternatives I no longer let my kids play with Sophie. I use to always let my son chew on my finger which he seemed to like a lot. As he has gotten more teeth I have started using other methods more often. Getting bit a couple of times make you a little gun-shy. Those teeth are sharp! This lead me on my search for some other options. I wanted wood, organic cotton, or something along those lines… something that wasn’t plastic, silicone or rubber for him to chew on. I found a couple of really great options that I LOVE!
This unfinished wood teether by Maple Landmark is great. It’s simple and my son does like chewing on it. I also have found some cute wood options on Etsy. I really like all the products from Smiling Tree Toys & Little Sapling Toys. I love the letter teether from Smiling Tree Toys and my youngest loves it too! Both have a great selection of wood tethers. For types of wood for teething, stick to maple. Cherry is fine too. Walnut is great for a toy but not good for a teething toy.
We also use the amber teething necklace which has become more popular lately (this is not the one I use, I bought mine locally). I think it works. It seems like when my son is fussy and pulling at his mouth he is less fussy once I put it on. I think it’s cute too and it definitely doesn’t hurt to have him wearing it. I always make sure to take it off when he is napping though.
Newer on the market is a natural rubber, non-toxic teether from CaaOcho. I still prefer wood or organic cotton, but this is a good option as well.
Another great option is a carrot, or frozen carrot. Obviously, you don’t want to leave your child unattended with a carrot but it’s great for teething. I just peel it and he chews away on it. He doesn’t have enough teeth where he can get very much off of the carrot. Once my kids had enough teeth, they loved frozen peas and fruit (like cherries or blueberries). I make sure they were cut down so they were safe. The cooling was great for them and they aren’t rock solid on the inside. Sometimes I think the simpler the better!
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Funny I was actually looking up teethers tonight before I came across your post. My son LOVES his Sophie toy and we also have one of the other rubber toys by Vulli. You didn’t specifically mention what you don’t like about Sophie. I would love to know what material used isn’t so great (although I hope it’s not too bad because I would hate to feel too guilty and have to toss one of his favorite toys!). Have you heard of/know anything about Hevea natural rubber teethers? What about the Nattersutten natural rubber teethers (not the plastic ones)?
My son loved his Sophie toy too. It’s funny you say that because I as I read your comment I just realized I haven’t seen Sophie in a really long time. She must have got lost somewhere! It is 100% natural rubber which is great. I continued to let my son play with it even after writing this post. I just wanted wood and organic cotton that didn’t have paint or other things on it. I felt that was the most natural teething option – more natural than Sophie. The same thing goes for Nattersutten and Hevea. We had a Nattersutten teether but I never tried Hevea. Without doing any research on it, it looks like the Hevea is a natural color and Nattesutten dyes their teethers. I would just want to know what the dye was. Ultimately, that is why I decided to go with unfinished wood and certified organic cotton. I knew exactly what it was made of.
Makes sense on forgoing paints etc. on the rubber toys. As far as I can tell Hevea doesn’t use dyes. They say “no colours” added.
Tiila Abbitt says
I have heard the beloved Sophie is actually toxic. What is our take on this:
That’s a really interesting article, thanks for sharing! See, you think something is safe but it isn’t. Unfinished wood is really the safest. My son had / has Sophie but he hasn’t played with her in a long time. When I started looking for non-toxic teethers I knew that Sophie was the end all like everyone else was saying. Thanks again for sharing. Sophie won’t be coming out any time soon at our house 🙂
I found this too:
What do you think of Finn + Emma teethers? They claim its made of uncoated Indian hardwood and is finished with just a little bit of beeswax, no harsh chemicals.