Just when you thought you were done with teething comes the breakthrough of your child's molars. While each kid is different, her front teeth will come in first, with molars following, and the process is finally done around your little one's third birthday. Teething gadgets, toys and tools promise to help your child feel more comfortable, but some of the best teethers might actually be the ones you make yourself. Test a few different options to find which one your toddler likes best.
Rattles, teething rings, key rings and other toys with rubber components can help ease teething pain by putting pressure on sore gums. Unfortunately, most teething toys are made for the front teeth only. The best teething toys for molars are ones that your baby can easily push to his molars to find relief. Of course, that also means that the best and safest teething toys are those that are attached to a larger toy or ring that could never be swallowed. You should also test toys for loose parts before you hand them over to your teething tot.
If toys don't seem to be doing the trick, the best teethers might be the ones you find in your fridge or freezer, especially for toddlers who love to snack. Bite-sized pieces of toast or bagel can help, suggests the "American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide," or you can offer soft pieces of cheese. You can also use a mesh feeder, which is a teething ring that features a mesh bag in which you can put ice cubes or frozen foods to help reduce pain.
You don't need to rush out and purchase teething toys to help reduce pain for your little one. You can make your own teethers with stuff you already have around your home. AskDrSears.com, for instance, suggests a frozen washcloth to help. Dip the corner of a wash cloth in water and then place it in a plastic sandwich bag. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then offer it to your little one. Since the cloth -- and the icy edge -- is still malleable, your baby can chew and mold the cloth into the shape that works best for molars.
Teethers to Avoid
Liquid-filled teethers are common on the market, but should be avoided, warns KidsHealth.org . Your baby could chomp on the teether so hard that it causes a leak and ingestion of the liquid inside. Never let your baby teethe on something that could be a choking hazard, particularly on the back molars, which could increase your little one's risk of choking.
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