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Best Teething Toys

When choosing baby's comfort-buddies, we suggest getting a toy or two that can easily travel in your diaper bag, a couple of soft, engaging or otherwise lovable ones that can double as “regular” toys (and aren't just something to chew on), and at least one that can be refrigerated or frozen. As with most toys and gear, you may have to experiment to find out what works best for your baby's particular stage and style. Just be sure your choices are non-toxic, have good, chewable textures, and are -- above all -- easy to clean!

From little mesh bags to big hunks of rubber, these are our favorites:

Sophie the Giraffe by Vulli®
Maybe it's the texture of her “skin,” or the feel of her nubby horns on sore gums. Perhaps she's extra-alluring because she comes from the French Alps. Whatever the reason, babies loooove Sophie. And, since this giraffe teether is made of natural rubber, food paint and no toxic gunk whatsoever, we moms are pretty much nuts about her too. Plus, there are chewable appendages sticking out every which way, a squeaker in the body to keep baby amused, and she's just the right size for a baby's grip. Now, you won't find Sophie in the $0.99 (or $10) bins, but trust us, the moment of silence is worth the twenty bucks. $25, The Land of Nod

Organic Fruit Tote by Under the Nile
The great thing about the fruit tote from Under the Nile -- aside from being organic and super-safe -- is that it offers a whole, gummable game for baby. Smaller babies can practice grabbing and mouthing (the fruits are small enough for tiny hands), and toddlers can stuff and easily carry the soft “basket” around the house. Even better, it's all machine washable. And hey, it couldn't hurt to teach baby about healthy shopping, right? $23, Amazon.com


Rainbow Baby by Kathe Kruse
The Kathe Kruse Rainbow Baby dolls come in a choice of colors, the wooden ring and soft body are absolutely chewable, and the little face just makes you want to melt. This isn't only a teether -- it doubles as a “lovey,” and is appropriate for even the tiniest babies. $17, Oompa



Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder
If baby is on the way to solids, mesh feeders are awesome—they ease teething pains while teaching little one to chew and introduce him to new flavors. This great one from Munchkin comes in stimulating colors and has a textured handle that's easy for baby to hold while he gnaws on whatever treat you've put inside. Nearly anything works, but frozen fruits, veggies, and even an ice cube are especially great for teethers. It's top-rack dishwasher safe -- just beware that goey-ier items (like bananas) can be tough to get out of the mesh. $7, Amazon.com

Raz-Berry Teether by Razbaby
If baby likes a pacifier, this teether could be a winner. As the name implies, the Raz-Berry is designed to look like, well, a raspberry. Why? Raspberries have little bumps, and little bumps apparently feel really good on aching gums. It's made of flexible 100% medical-grade Silicone, and baby can gnaw away while both her hands remain free for other fun. $5, BuyBuyBaby.com


Massaging Action Teether by First Years

This Massaging Action teether from First Years may seem basic, but if you look closely, it's full of extras. Each of the three star tips has a different texture, the handle is designed to be held with two tiny hands, and a little spinning rattle at the bottom keeps baby entertained. The star vibrates when baby bites down, and though the sealed-up battery isn't replaceable, its eight hours of life should be plenty to make it through the teething days. $10, One Step Ahead

Organic Teething Bonbon by Dress Me Up
The Organic Teething Bonbon is about as simple as it gets -- a wad of cotton and wool – but man, does it work! You just soak the knots for a sec in cool water (preferably boiled first) and pop them in the freezer. Grab one when baby needs it for a super-soothing fix. You'd think it would be chilly to hold, but the wool stuffing in the center warms up fast to baby's touch. They are machine washable, but it's best to hang them to dry (remember to untie the knots). $16, Sweet Bottom's Baby



Freddie the Firefly by Lamaze
Freddie the Firefly is a busy little critter, meaning there's tons of stuff to keep baby engaged. It's all-around chewable, but the best bits are the dangling ladybug, the rings and the knotted legs. It comes with a big ring for attaching to car seats, strollers and high chairs, and the high-contrast colors and multiple noises (squeaking, crinkling and clacking) are extra entertaining when baby's not busy gumming. $15, Amazon.com



The Teethifier
We wouldn't call the Teethifier pretty, but it sure is a cool invention. As far as we know, this is the only teether designed to reach way back to baby's rear gums, without the risk of choking. The chewy bits are bumpy, so they provide some great massage action, and the pacifier shape keeps baby from shoving it in too far. Plus, some parents say it works well as a transition in the pacifier-weaning stage. $7, One Step Ahead


Natursutten Apple Teething Ring
Sweet and simple, the Natursutten Apple Teething Ring helps comfort baby and is easy to take anywhere. The shape is perfect for baby's grasp, and it's covered in little bumps for a good gum massage. If you're using it at home, stick it in the fridge for a while to chill the water inside for some extra soothing. $11, Organic Baby Gift Shop




-- Dara Pettinelli

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