mmmmm....teething toys!

I got a great question from Susannah, mother of a little teether:
i do have question for you...whats your best recs for teething toys? is there a particular website or brand of toys i should look for?

Great question! If you haven't noticed, I love to give advice (as my close friends will attest to) and with a six month old myself, I hope I can give you some helpful insight. We have a pretty healthy selection of baby toys, and I've found over time that my kids have generally really liked toys with a bit of give, made out of things like wood, cloth, or rubber-y plastic (which I'm really wondering about now after my research about toys and plastics!). The few harder plastic toys (which I think may have been polycarbonate, a source of bisphenol-a) didn't seem to be that gummable to them, so I got rid of them anyhow. Our current favorites are the Sassy Earth Brights, particularly the dove and the cherry tree rattle. Adelaide seems to like the different textures, and particularly the crinkly-fabric parts, and I like both of these because they're easy for her to hold and find something to bite on. I've generally stayed away from the ones that are on a ring since they seem to be the hardest for a baby to get the part they want into their mouth while holding on to the ring since the pieces slide, but the Nuby Bug-a-Loop is an exception. I'm starting to worry since it's plastic, but the rubbery bugs have a nice bite and different textures. She also likes to chew on stuffed toys, and the Haba Little Dwarf has arms and a hat for good gumming, while having no chokable parts to pop off, and a nice little rattler sewn securely inside.
Haba makes a variety of rattles and wooden teethers available from Amazon and Oompa Toys. I haven't tried any of them, but they are so cute! Like the Bonita Clutching Toy up at the top!

The thing is that, realistically, your baby grows out of these by about 10-12 months, and they're always happy to rediscover the same toy so you probably only need 3-4 really good choices. Also, you want to be super-careful about giving your little one anything with loose parts that they might be able to pull off (obviously), or that they might poke themselves with (like a baby spoon, oops!). Also, my children seem to be magnetically attracted to my keys, but keys may have a high lead content and babies shouldn't be allowed to mouth them.

How about you? Do you have any ideas for Susannah about baby teethers? Places to look, things to watch for? Please share in the comments (right below the end of this post).
mmmmm....teething toys! SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend