Best teething toys for babies to soothe sore gums

Soothe gums and provide some much-needed teething relief

The Evening Standard's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.VIEW COMMENTSByLucy Cotterill10 March 2022W

hen your baby’s first teeth start to appear, you’re almost certainly going to know about it. From drool and dribble to chewing on everything in sight, fractious crying or being generally ‘out of sorts’; teething can be a challenging time for babies and parents alike.

A baby’s gums can feel tender and sore as their teeth start to break through the surface and as such, a good quality teether can provide some much-needed relief and distraction. With a huge range of teether toys on the market, however, how do you know which one to choose?

One of the first signs that your baby is teething is when their behaviour starts to change. Toothache can be really painful for your baby, particularly as the tooth starts to breaks through the surface of the gum. They may be off their food, cry more than normal or seem particularly restless and irritable. You may also notice physical signs of teething such as red cheeks, an increased amount of dribble, red swollen gums and a desire to chew on everything in sight.

There are lots of teething toys and teethers available, so when choosing which is the right one for your baby, you’ll first want to check the suitability for their age. Some are suitable from birth, whilst others are aimed at age 2 months and above. Some teethers are more suitable for when your baby has more advanced fine motor skills and when their back teeth or molars start to develop.

When selecting the right teething toy for your baby, you may also want to consider how easy they are to hold, the materials used and how easy they are to clean.

From soft silicone to natural rubber, teething rings to teething toys and bibs, here’s the ES Best round up of the best teethers you can buy for your baby today.

Sophie la girafe Original Baby Teething Toy

Ask any parent to recommend a teething toy for babies and chances are, Sophie will be the first name you hear back in response. With a reputation spanning over 60 years, Sophie la girafe comes highly recommended by both parents and carers, gaining over 9000 five star reviews on Amazon alone.

Made entirely from natural rubber with a muted colour palette, not only does Sophie la girafe look adorable, but she also becomes the ideal friend for your baby to chew on from around 3 months of age.

Easy to grip onto, even for small hands, Sophie has plenty of areas that provide welcome teething relief - from her rounded ears to her curved face and long, finger-like legs.

She can also help stimulate all of your baby’s senses, with contrasting dark and light spots, a natural rubber scent and a super cute squeak when her tummy is pressed.


Matchstick Monkey

If you’ve ever tried to apply teething gel to a grumpy baby, you will know just how difficult it can be. A teether that comes with an ingenious solution to a common problem, Matchstick Monkey has clever textured bumps on the back of the head to help parents easily apply teething gel and massage those hard to reach gums.

Made from soft and lightweight, BPA-free silicone, this cute and engaging character is suitable for babies aged 3 months and above. Available in a wide range of colours, Matchstick Monkey has a unique ergonomic shape with two easy to grip ‘arms’ that help your baby navigate more easily from hand to mouth.

Safe to clean in both the dishwasher and steriliser, it can also be popped in the fridge for some additional cooling relief and hooked onto the straps of a car seat or pushchair to prevent it being accidentally dropped or discarded.


Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew Bib

Another common teething challenge is the sheer amount of dribble a teething baby can produce, which can not only soak through babygrows and vests but also cause skin irritation, leaving your baby’s chest feeling red, sticky and sore.

Ideal for babies 2 months and above, the Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew is an award-winning dribble bib and teether combined, made from a soft, triple absorbancy jersey cotton with silicone teether attached.

Available in a wide range of colours and fully reversible designs, the Neckerchew is a practical yet stylish addition to your baby’s wardrobe that protects their chest from dribble, whilst simultaneously soothing their sore gums.

Best teething toys for babies to soothe sore gums

The easily accessible triangle silicone teether is easy to hold and a more hygienic choice of teether, removing the need to continually wash dirty teething toys your baby has dropped on the floor.


Cheeky Chompers Handychew

Another option from the Cheeky Chompers brand is the Handychew, an innovative toy, teether and rattle in one. Suitable from birth, the Handychew offers not only a soothing textured teether for sore and painful gums but entertainment and sensory stimulation too - with a range of soft and tactile textures and sounds for your baby to explore.

Available as characters Darcie the Elephant or Bertie the Lion, the Handychew is a friendly source of comfort for your baby, with a loop for your dummy should you wish to use one.

It also features an attachable strap to loop around your baby’s wrist, pushchair or car seat straps, providing a practical on-the-go teething aid that is far less likely to get dropped.


Mizzie the Kangaroo - Baby Teething Toy

A bright, bold and colourful teething toy that is certain to catch and hold your baby’s attention, Mizzie the Kangaroo is Australia’s top-selling teething toy which is now proving to be just as popular here in the UK.

Made from 100 per cent natural rubber, it’s an easy to grab, larger-sized teething toy, which comes with lots of chewable areas across her entire body, ears and feet, helping to soothe your baby’s sensitive gums and provide some much-needed distraction. Developed to stimulate across your baby’s five senses, Mizzie is not only soft to the touch and unique in scent but ‘laughs’ when she’s squeezed with an audible squeak.


Infantino Lil’ Nibble Pea Pod Teether

Small but perfectly formed, if you’re looking for a teething toy that is easy to pop into your changing bag without taking up valuable space, then the Infantino Lil’Nibble is an obvious choice.

A soft and compact, BPA-free teether, the Infantino Lil’ Nibble represents a cute row of peas in the pod and comes with two easy to grip handles, making it super simple for your baby to hold and use.

With textured bumps across the base and back, the teething toy can also be used to easily apply teething gels without fuss and wiped down and cleaned as required in an instant.


Nuby Ice Bite Keys Soothing Teether

Babies love getting their hands on things that they shouldn’t, including your house keys, so why not give them a set of their own whilst helping those new teeth break through the surface?

This brightly coloured, budget-friendly teething toy from Nuby represents a traditional set of keys on a key ring, featuring an easy to hold, rounded teething ring with three large textured gel-filled keys attached.

Unlike some water-filled teethers which can return to room temperature fairly quickly after cooling, these Nuby Ice Bites Keys are filled with a unique PureIce gel that stays cooler for longer, providing calming relief as your baby nibbles and chews against the ridges upon the surface.


Oli & Carol Brucy The Broccoli Teether

If you prefer a more natural-looking teether and are prepared to pay a little extra for the benefit, why not check out the sustainable and eco-friendly range of fruit and vegetable teethers from Oli & Carol?

Watching your baby contentedly gnaw on the florets of the super-realistic Brucy the Brocolli is sure to raise a smile from passersby!

Suitable from birth, this textured teething toy can be easily grabbed and chewed for immediate teething relief and is ideal for sensory and bath time play too. Made entirely from one piece of natural rubber with no holes or valves, the Oli & Carol teething range can also be fully submerged in water without needing to worry about bacteria.

There is a wide range of fruit and veg options available in the range too so you can help build your baby’s familiarity with food - making them far more open to eating their greens when you start the weaning journey.


Lilliputiens Louise Teething Rattle

At times, teething can leave your baby feeling sensitive and upset, so the comfort and reassurance of a familiar character teething toy could be worth its weight in gold.

New to the UK, this Lilliputiens Teething Rattle offers a soft and tactile unicorn character with a range of textures for your baby to explore. As well as a bell rattle, ribbon mane and crinkle paper sounds, this teething toy comes with a traditional style textured ring teether attached.

Whilst the character does move around freely on the ring, Louise offers some welcome sensory stimulation for babies aged 3 months and above.


Munchkin Twisty Teether Figure 8 Teething Toy

For older babies aged 6 months plus whose molars are causing unwelcome discomfort, this innovative fidget-style teething toy from Munchkin offers both entertainment and pain relief in one.

With five, multi-textured surfaces and subtle shake and rattle sounds, this brightly coloured figure of 8 teething toy can be chewed, twisted and rotated as they play, offering some great sensory distraction from their aching gums.

Ideal for curious minds, it can also help enhance and develop your baby’s fine motor skills as they learn about cause and effect.



Whilst there are some great teething toys to choose from, when it comes to crowning our winner of the best teething toy for babies, Sophie la girafe is the obvious choice.

Whilst not the cheapest teether on our list, Sophie is engaging and appealing to babies, offering sensory stimulation across all five, whilst soothing sore and painful gums. She is robust and hardwearing, withstanding even the most committed of chewing. The teething toy is also easy for small hands to grip and has a subtle and muted colour palette which is a real positive for parents too.