Plastic teethers are out
You’ll absolutely want to avoid any plastic teethers that contain PVC, phthalates, or BPA.
BPA or bisphenol-A is a plastics chemical that imitates estrogen and disrupts the body’s hormonal systems. It’s really harmful to babies, young kids, and pregnant women. Though most regulatory bodies, like the FDA, will tell you BPA is safe in the tiny quantities that are in plastic products, several companies have decided to produce and market BPA-free plastics.
Great! Except for one little detail: Numerous companies just replace BPA with BPS, bisphenol-S, which is just as toxic, if not more toxic, than BPA. The bottom line is just because a product is stated as BPA-free doesn’t mean it’s safe.
PVC or polyvinyl chloride is the third most common plastic in the world. It is also the most toxic. It’s bad stuff and you don’t want it in something your babies will put in their mouths.
Phthalates are chemicals put into plastics to make them supple and soft. PVC is brittle and hard so to make something like a squeezy toy necessitates adding phthalates. Phthalates don’t stick to plastic, though, so they leach out over time. Babies who suck on teethers with phthalates will be intaking a known carcinogen. Several online websites have great lists of phthalate names so you can check labels.
Wooden teethers and natural fabrics are in
If you’re truly concerned about plastics or your baby’s reactions to rubber, wood and fabric teething toys are the ones for you. There is a huge variety of healthy teethers to pick from.
Ringley is a Canadian company that makes teethers from organic cotton and maple wood.
Little Alouette teethers are made in Ohio from locally sourced hardwoods. A number of them are unfinished and some come with a finish of organic flaxseed oil. The teething toys come in an assortment of fun shapes, like a hippo and a fish.