First of all — thanks for all the well wishes, thoughts, prayers, and virtual hugs for this baby boy who will be here any time now. (If that makes no sense, haha….I’m referring to this post.) You guys are truly so kind. However, today might not be the day after all. I was bumped from my induction appointment this morning until late tonight….but it’s possible I’ll be bumped again. I know that’s how it goes (it has happened in almost all of my past induction dates), so it’s totally fine. This sweet baby boy will eventually make his grand appearance. No need to rush him, I suppose. :)
Anyway, I mentioned having a baby project that I’ve been wanting to share with you and was going to post it on Wednesday or Thursday. But I forgot that one of my sweet contributors had a project all scheduled to go…..so I decided to save mine until today! And since I’m not in the hospital yet, it worked out perfectly!
But this project came about a few months ago when I was browsing around a little baby boutique a few months ago, and was noticing all of the cute baby stuff that is always so tempting to buy. I noticed all of these wood and silicone teethers they had for sale…..but almost passed out at the price. I just couldn’t stomach paying $20 for one teether…..even if it was “all natural wood” and safe for baby gums. I just couldn’t do it. I’ve seen this style of teether for a couple years now but it wasn’t until I was tempted to buy one a few months ago while shopping in this little boutique, that I finally decided this newest baby needed a few of these to help with the long stages of baby chewing.
But wait, why wood??? I know, there is so much controversy surrounding plastic toys and BPA and all sorts of harmful products, etc. And to be honest, even though I’m careful about what goes in my baby’s mouth, I’m not overly paranoid. However, I do have a love for wooden things…….and it tends to come in such fun shapes and sizes and varieties. Also, it’s just so pretty and fun to work with and hey, wood has some give to it….so it makes sense that it would be soothing as a chew toy. So, I’m kind of loving that it’s “trendy” right now. Plus, those colorful silicone beads are not only pretty to look at, they will feel awesome on sore gums too. And if you’re 100% devoted to “all natural” products…..I love that you are! You do what’s best for YOU! We can all enjoy this type of project for different reasons, no matter our motivation!
And hey, now that you know that you can make Natural Wood & Silicone Baby Chew Toys for SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying them, maybe you’ll become obsessed with them like I have!
Okay, so I really, REALLY love idea of having a pacifier clip that also doubles as a chew toy…..a two for one type toy (like the one below on the left)! But if your baby doesn’t use a pacifier, you always just add rings to both ends of your silicone bead strand and just use it for chewing (like the one below on the right). And how adorable are those brightly colored silicone beads! Ahhhh….I love them!
But I also decided to make smaller Teething Rings….that included a variety of bead sizes and colors.
But how fun are these crocheted covered wooden beads! They are made with a cotton thread that is safe for baby (and can be washed and dried without any problems). Babies love texture and these are a fun way to add variety!
And because I couldn’t just stop at one, I kept making more and more. It’s a good thing I have so many pregnant friends right now (and friends who just had babies)….because how fun are these to pass out to all the babies you know! Such a fun and unique gift, that you made with your own 2 hands! (I would just include a little note that describes how to clean and care for the wood. But don’t worry….I explain how easy it is down below.)
Too cute, right?
Okay, let’s get started…
- Natural Wood Rings, 6.5 cm (I found mine HERE)
- Natural Wood Round Bead, 20mm (I found mine HERE)
- Natural Wood Round Bead, 12mm (I found mine HERE)
- Natural Wood Geometric Bead, 20mm (I found mine HERE)
- Silicone Teething Beads, 15mm (I found mine HERE)
- Crochet Covered Beads, 16mm (I found mine HERE)
- Natural Wood Toy Shapes (I found mine HERE)
- Satin Covered Nylon Cord, 1mm (I found mine HERE)
- Tapestry Needle
- Pacifier Metal Clips (I found mine HERE)
Here are all of my supplies gathered together. (Keep in mind —> most of the supplies come in large quantities. You will have plenty to make many, many baby chew toys for many baby gifts. Just remember though, you don’t need every single item to make some darling variations…..I just bought a big variety to test out several styles. But you could keep it to 2 or 3 items from this list and still make plenty of cute teething toys.)
Now, before you begin making anything…..here’s what I did to clean my wood, to make sure it was safe for baby. Because I’m paranoid, I washed all of my pieces with antibacterial soap and water, making sure to remove any type of the dust or germs from the surface. (Just make sure not to soak your wood, as you don’t want it to swell or crack.) Then let it air dry. However, if you’re worried about using soap, vinegar is a great disinfectant that is safe for eating and dries quickly. Once your wood is completely dry, you can use virgin coconut oil to moisturize your wood and keep it from splitting. Just rub an ample amount into the wood, and then wipe off any excess with a paper towel. (To clean wood toys after baby uses/soils them, repeat the process of disinfecting and then re-moisturizing with coconut oil.) The ring below on the left is before I rubbed in the oil, the one on the right has the oil. So much prettier, right?! :) Repeat with all of the wooden pieces.
Now, maybe these teether/baby toys don’t need a lot of explanation as to how to make them….but just in case you need a visual, here’s how I made mine…
Let’s get started on the pacifier clip first. First, I grabbed my cord and tied a knot at one end (that will later be used to attach to the pacifier) that is about 3 inches long…..and a several inch long tail.
Then, I started adding my beads. Thread the tail of the cord through one or more of the beads to help keep it hidden. (Using the tapestry needle may help.)
Slide the beads up, cut off any excess tail from your cord….and then continue adding more beads, whatever style or pattern you want to use.
At the other end, I attached a metal baby clip and knotted it several times. However, I couldn’t tuck the cord back in through the bead (the hole wasn’t big enough to fit the needle plus extra cord), so I ended up cutting of the end and then using the flame of a lighter to melt the end of the cord onto itself, to help hold it in place.
Then, you can slip the looped end through your pacifier and secure it in place. Now it’s ready to go!
I decided to make another similar long teether with handles at both ends, instead of for a pacifier. (This could be attached to a car seat handle or above a bouncer……or just played with as is.)
Then, I started making some teether rings, using some of the different supplies I purchased. String them onto the cord just like above and add rings or the toy shapes…..
….and then tie the ends of the cords together, nice and snug.
Use your tapestry needle to string the cord ends back through the beads to hide them.
If your holes are a little snug, using a pair of pliers can help pull the needle through. Then trim off the ends of the cord.
Now, make many, many MORE!!!!
And then package them up and add them to your baby gifts……or hand them over to your own little one, so they can start nibbling and chewing and discovering their new Baby Chew Toys!
Enjoy! And I’ll talk to you soon…..hopefully with a sweet baby boy in my arms! :)