A panic spread throughout parenting circles across the internet this past week after Good Housekeeping reported that parents were finding mold in their child's Sophie the Giraffe teething toy. The giraffe is a very popular (and cute) teether, but this recent report might have some parents wanting to put Sophie back on the shelf. Luckily, there are alternatives to Sophie Giraffe which are just as cute and just as durable for teething, if you decide to give Sophie a break for a bit, while you search for her, er, twin.
It is understandable if some parents are concerned about mold potentially growing inside of their children's teething toys. But according to NBC News, Sophie the Giraffe's United States distributor, Callison Inc., has explained that "it is improbable (or in really rare cases) that saliva can transform into mold," meaning that any mold issues may simply stem from improper cleaning. Dr. Saul Hymes, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Stoneybrook Medicine, further explained this to NBC News, saying,
Mold is probably getting in from the environment, not your kids mouth. Where you live, where the toy goes, if there's any mold spores around [all are relevant factors]. It could be as simple as the toy being taken out more and exposed to mold outside.
Even more promising, according to Sophie the Giraffe's maker, the mold itself, though gross looking, probably isn't harmful, unless your kids have certain pre-existing conditions — one fewer thing to sweat over. "The main issue everyone gets worried about is black mold and toxic mold," Hymes told NBC. "But mold in this sense wouldn't be something to worry about unless the kid has a major immune issue such as leukemia, cancer, [is on] chemotherapy, has had an organ transplant, or has an allergy to mold."
Wherever that mold came from though, some parents might still be looking for suitable temporary or permanent alternatives to their current teether. Here are a few teething toys that will keep your child just as occupied as Sophie does.
Go GaGa Squeeze & Teethe Elephant
The elephant with a rattle inside — named Kiki — is made out of natural, BPA-free rubber, according to Target. The elephant sells for $12.99 and can be purchased in a super adorable pink color — for the moms who just love to coordinate.
Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush
Not only is the baby banana a super cute teether but its brush-like quality serves a purpose. The bristles on the teether help massage your child's sore gums and its peel provides easy handling. Pick it up at Target for $8.99.
Squeeze Teethe Cow
The very adorable and friendly looking cow could be a great alternative to other animal teething toys. You can purchase this one from Walmart for $7.98.
Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether
If animals and fruits aren't up your alley, then maybe this Comotomo teether will be. The teether is made out of 100 percent medical grade silicone and is meant to mimic the size and shape of children's fingers for teething time. It sells for $6.99 at Walmart.
This super cute giraffe is made out of food grade silicone is another great animal shaped teether. Purchase it on Amazon for $18.
Chicco NaturalFit Teether — Fruity Tooty Strawberry
This solid teether comes in a very eye-catching red color and has texture on it that provides relief to sore gums. Pick it up at Target for $5.99.
Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys
These teething keys can be placed in the refrigerator and have technology that allows them to stay cold so teething babies can soothe those sore gums while they play. Buy the keys at Babies R' Us for $4.99.
BEBE Cookie Teethers
The teether that looks good enough to eat. These teethers come in a pack of two — the black teether is made of a hard silicone while the red teether features a softer and chewier texture — the different textures provide soothing relief for teething babies. Purchase both on Amazon for the price of $14.97
Nixi By Bumkins Sasso Teething Necklace
The perfect teething toy for the child that loves being held by their mama. Moms can wear this teething necklace while their holding their child and remain stylish while doing so. Get it in black or turquoise for $24.99 at Target.
These teethers get the job done and are a huge help to toddler's teething woes. So for all your Sophie the Giraffe fans looking for an alternative while this mold mess blows over, fear not — you have plenty of options.