Product Review: Mesh Feeder

Now that Frances is in full-on teething mode, she’s been using her Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders every day. I slip in a combination of frozen banana, mango and peach and she obsessively sucks at it until her face is cold and red and her fingers are frozen themselves. If it’s close to nap time, I add a cube of frozen chamomile tea to the mix to encourage sleep.

I’m very grateful that mesh feeders exist, but I have a few complaints about the Munchkin variety. For one, they can be hard to open. I had to use pliers once to get the darn thing open. My biggest grievance is that they are incredibly difficult to clean. Banana in particular doesn’t even come out with scrubbing. Even a toothbrush isn’t that great a cleaning tool, and sometimes I have to scrape it inside out with my fingernail. Where the mesh meets the plastic is an especially tricky spot. And you better clean it immediately after use or you’ll be tempted to just throw it in the trash!
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Soothing a Teething Baby

We’ve finally entered The Teething Zone. I’ve heard plenty of stories about this stage in infant development, but I guess it’s not something you can fully grasp until you’ve witnessed it first hand.

For months Frances has been drooling and rubbing her index finger obsessively over her lower gums. When someone pointed it out I’d shrug and say, “I guess she’s teething”. Ha! In the past week she’s gone from a quiet, happy baby who contentedly plays by herself for hours, to one who can’t be left alone for more than five minutes.

One thing I didn’t anticipate was the scream that accompanies the fussing. Movie scripts would write this as, “blood curdling”. It’s the kind of scream that sends you running towards her, only to find Frances grinning widely at the look of concern on your face.
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Simple homemade teething solutions

You can get lots of BPA free teethers these days, but if you want to skip teething toys altogether, try these:

  • A frozen wet washcloth. Baby will chew on the icy surface for some quick relief.
  • A chunky carrot. But watch baby carefully!  She can bite off a sizable chunk and choke on it.
  • A frozen banana. Then let her gnaw at it and quickly become covered in goo.
  • A teething biscuit. Baby has to be nine months old at least to enjoy this treat, but enjoy it he will.  Also, remember that he will create quite a mess with this too!
  • A large polished agate. Of course you’d need to supervise, but my son loved his agate and the smooth, cold surface was quite soothing to his gums.
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Natural Teething Solutions to Soothe Gnawing Worries

Our 16-month-old notifies me that he’s teething by forcefully biting my finger or clamping down while breastfeeding (SO painful!).  He also produces loads of saliva to be used for slimy kisses or casual drooling. On a late night trip to the local drug store in search of a teething solution, I found that the only teething items on the mainstream market are all different shapes, sizes and colors of plastic.

 

While I hated using plastic because of its impact on the planet, I didn’t initially know about the health concerns. If you haven’t yet heard the recent news reports, here’s the update in a nutshell: Certain plastics leach carcinogens and toxins that could affect your baby’s development and/or reproductive health.  Ack! You say, my baby is chewing on a large hunk of plastic as I read this!  Luckily, there is a wonderful website, www.tinyfootprint.com, that will send you a wallet-sized card to help you select safer plastic products for your child.  The site also has excellent information on green cleaning,  green baby showers, and many other topics.

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