There's a reason babies cut their teeth while they're so small, and it isn't just to help them gobble up more mushy bananas. Since they're so young, they won't remember the itchy, irritating, painful process of little teeth pushing through their fresh gums. Thank goodness for that. And thank goodness for the products that help make this process a little more tolerable for little ones. But when your baby has a tooth coming in, she may want to keep a teether in her mouth whenever she's awake. Overall, this is fine as long as you know when to replace teethers, so it doesn't cause more harm than good.
Obviously, you want to make sure all things that come in contact with your little one are safe. But when it comes to an item she's putting in her mouth, you'll want to be extra cautious. Taking time to regularly inspect teethers for signs of wear and tear will let you know when it's time to toss it in the trash. As the website for What To Expect explained, a teether with holes, tears, or leaks needs to go out with tonight's garbage. Additionally, if the teether has a broken or loose part, it's time to say so long.
As the website for USA Today reported, some rubber teethers have been know to grow and hold mold. This is likely due to undrained water that collects inside the teether after cleaning. Since it is important and sanitary to regularly clean your baby's teethers, make sure to check that it is thoroughly dried and doesn't have a strange or off-putting smell before allowing your baby to use it again, as Real Simple magazine suggested.
Additionally, you should keep an eye out for a few other signs that it's time to replace a teether. According to Parents magazine, anything that is cracked or stained after cleaning is not suitable for your baby to use any longer. To avoid a teeting meltdown, make sure you have stocked your cabinets well with enough back-up teethers to replenish any that you may have to toss out. Being prepared will keep your little one comfortable even when she had to part ways with her favorite teeting ring.
Aside from the copious amounts of drool you will wipe up as your bambino's teeth start to come in, keeping a good watch over teethers comes with the territory. Knowing what to look for is super helpful, but use your instincts too. If something doesn't seem right, throw it away. Thankfully, buying a replacement teether is easy and affordable.