"They're teething." It's the universal, two-word explanation that can explain a parent's eye bags, persistent yawning, and general look of fatigue, as well as a baby's shrieks. The teething process is tough, and not just for your little one. That's where teething toys come in, and this hilarious and adorable kale-shaped teether by Oli & Carol is here to make everyone's life a little easier. Plus, your baby will look like the world's cutest little snacker.
One of the first signs that your baby is teething is that they're putting anything and everything straight into their little mouths. Yes, even more than usual. It's important to supply them with safe, non-toxic products that they can chew to their heart's content, with a texture that'll offer their aching gums some relief. The Kendall the Kale teething toy ($18, Nordstrom) fits the bill perfectly. Made from natural Hevea-tree rubber and hand painted with natural food-grade dyes, this teether can be in your child's mouth all day without you needing to give it a second thought. It's perfectly soft and chewy, making it much more enjoyable to chew on than, say, your iPhone or car keys. It's PVC-, BPA-, phthalates- and nitrosamines-free, and certified by Bureau Veritas, an international organization that tests the safety and quality of products. In other words... this teether is almost as healthy to munch on as the veggie it's designed to look like.
And don't worry about the excess drool that will inevitably coat this teether soon enough. The Oli & Carol website states, "There are no holes in any of our designs preventing the presence and growth of bacteria and mold." Just give it a quick wash when the baby's distracted or down for a nap, and it's good to go. This toy doubles as an excellent bath toy, too, so you can kill two birds with one stone and give it a good washing while your babe plays with it in the tub.
On that note, don't toss this toy once teething is finished. Along with being a great addition to the bath toy collection, this rubber kale toy has developmental benefits as well. In an article by Very Well Family, sensory play is described as "a child's way of examining, discovering, categorizing, and making sense of the world, and it's beneficial to provide them with opportunities for sensory play." This includes introducing them to stimuli for all their senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and, of course, touch. This soft rubber kale toy is easy for tiny hands to hold, according to the Oli & Carol website, and, "Its soft ramifications will help your baby develops its sense of touch." Who would've thought a piece of rubber kale would make such a great children's toy?
If you aren't sold yet, the principles of the company may sway you. All Oli & Carol are "eco-toys," meaning they are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Considering all of the waste I generate between plastic knick knacks and packaging – even with good intentions – it feels good to support a company with the bigger picture in mind. Additionally, a portion of proceeds from Oli & Carol toys go toward schooling for children in the Baba Jodh Sachiyar School in northern India.
Of course, if kale isn't your thing, Nordstrom sells a variety of other Oli & Carol teethers in the shape of your favorite produce including watermelon, broccoli, carrots, and avocado. You're bound to find something you love.