As every new parent knows, trying to predict which toys your baby will love (and which they’ll throw behind the sofa, never to be seen again) is impossible to predict. Nine times out of ten, you’ll buy your little one a new toy – lauded as a multi-sensory sensation that’s loved by all babies that come into contact with it – only to be thoroughly disappointed when they completely reject it in favour of playing with the box or bag that you brought it home in. And as we’ve experienced, the same game of ‘baby roulette’ applies when it comes to teething toys.
While our Teddy of course loves all the classic teething accessories – like his Sophie La Girafe, the blue Matchstick Monkey and his Lara & Ollie teething necklace – even the most innovative products on the market cannot remain a firm favourite forever. Whether they’re surreptitiously flung from the pram (and end up in some department store’s Lost & Found) or rudely ditched in favour of something more shiny / closer to hand, it seems that for babies, as well as for adults, variety is still the spice of life.
But I’m pleased to report that the answer to this first world parenting problem is actually relatively simple. As we’ve found recently, teething babies will shove pretty much anything into their mouths, most of which, thankfully, do the job (almost) as well as a toy or teething accessory designed specifically for the job. And even better, so many of these alternatives are regular household items which you can find for free around your own home.
Now, completely flouting the rules (as I’m sure this post goes against years of painstaking research and about a thousand health & safety guidelines) I thought I’d share with you a countdown of Teddy’s all-time favourite household teething accessories that can fill the gap when Sophie La Girafe goes walkabout. So, keep scrolling to see who made it to Number One!
Because at the end of the day, when the only way to calm a teething baby is to give them something to munch on (and you just can’t find the bloody rice cakes anywhere), sometimes we, as parents, are forced to improvise…
A Countdown of Teddy’s Favourite Household Teething Toys
12. The Tasty Toothbrush
Both functional and educational to promote good dental hygiene from a young age. Two birds, yadah yadah…
11. Yummy Coasters
Perfect for both avoiding unsightly watermarks on your coffee table and for teething babies to nibble on.
10. Tempting Tins
Unopened, obvs, if you want to avoid a guaranteed blood bath…
9. Calorific Car Keys
Just make sure these don’t end up getting chucked behind the sofa or you’ll be walking to the supermarket from now on…
8. Titillating Toiletries
Basically any product with a solid lid that passes the ‘would this explode in my suitcase’ test…
7. Granny’s Savoury Silver Bracelet
Also available in other (less precious) metals…but avoid anything beaded or with small parts for obvious reasons.
6. Mouthwatering Food Pouches
A great little amuse bouchée before meals, while keeping idle fingers occupied and tantrums minuses once the pouch’s contents are “all gone”…
5. The Scrummy Spoon
Teddy here, bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘born with a silver spoon in his mouth’.
4. A book you can really sink your teeth into
I mean, I would rather he was actually reading the book (rather than eating it), but I suppose it’s a good place to start…
3. A Palatable Plastic Cup
Whether it’s a hardwearing plastic picnic cup or one of those cheapo disposable jobbies you find at all good water fountains, they’re a real winner with teething babas, while teaching them how to drink like a grown up at the same time.
2. An Enticing Calpol Syringe
I don’t know what it is about these mini medicine dispensers but Teddy can’t get enough of them (he cries if you dare take it off him after bath time).
1. The Delicious Whisk
The ultimate teething toy in our house…multi-sensory, old-school, gum-soothing and, ultimately, delicious!
So does your little one use any of these random household teething toys too? Or are there any random alternatives that are big in your house? As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please do share your experiences and recommendations in the comments section below!