Which to try? So much blurb ... BPA free. Silicone free. PVC free. Painted with natural colouring from organic vegetables. No unethical plastic but tenderly sourced rubber from the happiest of trees!
Whatever next? Dipped in nectar from heaven, by celibate nuns and hand-delivered with love, on a recycled satin pillow by Jesus himself?
Good grief, I only wanted a teether. I didn't realise there was such choice or all these complex issues to consider.
So I did some research. Here are eight of the best - because ten is too many and five is too few! And they're all BPA free. Whatever that means.
Suitable from birth, this works wonders, even if it looks slightly weird. Made from 100 percent natural rubber, it's a soft sort of hard and helps soothe and massage gums. I love this and so did my daughter. It's flat and a golden syrup shade. The texture is groovy to gnaw on and there's a hole in, helping your little one to grip it. It is free from phthalates (WTF?), colours, PVC, EVA, silicone and BPA, if that interests you. It even arrives in recyclable biodegradable packaging, which is printed in soy ink. Personally I think that's taking it a bit far, but ... Gosh!
Nuby Wacky Teething Ring
I bought this the other day and my baby loved it straight away. So much so, that in under a week, we lost it and now another one is on its way! Cheap and cheerful, it can be used from three months. It includes soft and hard parts with a diversity of surface textures, for a more varied teething experience. It's a perfect size and they can hold it themselves without any problems. The fabric bit crinkles, which is a winner for my nine-month-old boy. Nuby is an American baby brand, which has recently come to the UK and for three quid, you can't go wrong.
It looks like a mint green dummy with a big bobbly nipple on the end. It's bumpy to stimulate your baby while soothing her gums. And it's apparently the first 'hands-free' all silicone pacifier. Made from non-toxic medical grade silicone, it can be frozen for extra comfort. It flexes and shapes to your baby's mouth, is suitable from birth and has ventilation holes to help protect delicate skin from irritation.
Green Toys Twist Teether
This is very cool. It's assembled with all-safe recycled plastic milk containers, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And you can put it in the dishwasher. It's uniquely shaped, three-dimensional and features charms, which stimulate visual and tactile senses. It rattles, is light and easy to grasp, and is safe from 0+. Which is another way of saying suitable from birth. Because I already said that too many times.
Sophie The Giraffe
The traditional French toy of choice since 1961, many mums will trek miles to pick up 'emergency' replacements. It is formed fully from natural rubber, derived from the sap of the Hevea tree, and is individually hand-painted in non-toxic food grade paint. My daughter had about four but this time, I have got one of those lovely leads. (For the giraffe, not the child) They come in tasteful designs. You saddle up your Sophie and attach her to the buggy in the hope that you won't have purchased a whole herd, by the time there are a full set of gnashers in your nipper's mouth! Manufacturer Vulli reckons Sophie's been a firm favourite with 50 million babies, globally. With her retro charm, stunning looks, flexible body and cheeky squeak, Sophie's soothing and smells nice, stimulating your cherub's senses.
Tommee Tippee Explora Puzzle Teether Toy
As much a toy, as a teether. This twists into different shapes, has rings and beads, it rattles and distracts babies from birth, from their teething troubles! It can safely be chewed to relieve hurting gums. Colourful, exciting, great value and from a proven international brand.
Dr Brown's Coolees Watermelon Teether
These are by the folk who do the anti-colic/reflux bottles, which is kind of reassuring. Designed by a paediatric dentist, this looks like a slice of watermelon, adding to the cute factor. You put it in the fridge or freezer and it soothes sore gums. It's triangular, meaning it works when front or back teeth are coming through - as it reaches all parts of the jaw without making them gag! It's solid but flexible, easy to hold and simple to clean. This is recommended for babies from three months onwards.
Frankie The Frog
Made with organic natural rubber, it boasts the same totally safe 'free-froms' that Sophie and the quirky panda do. It has a gentle smell, an endearing squeak, is bright green - soft to touch and light enough for a little one to clutch. From the day dot, your young baby can chomp away until his heart's content on this round ish handmade amphibian. Lanco, who created it, also does a similar teddy bear version, but like most toys crafted from natural materials, neither can be sterilised. No nitrosamines in it either. Just in case you were wondering!