There's no hard and fast rules with teething... just like everything baby related, but that doesn't make all the tears, drool and sleepless nights any easier when you are in the thick of it. Recognising your babes' needs can help you to pick out a teether that is just right for them. So even though you can't skip this necessary stage of your babies life, you can be more prepared for the pearly whites.... here's our buying guide for each teething stage.

STAGE 1: SORE GUMS

The front teeth usually appear around six months of age, but it can be as early at three months for some bubs. For these tiny teethers, there are a couple of options that are ideal for them to use. As soon as they get a hint of tooth you can get them into a toothy routine. Chewable brushes and teething wipes can all help in the quest to develop healthy tooth habits, and provide some relief for early teething too. Brushbaby chewy brushes can be used from 10 months and something like a comforting muslin teether set like these from Minene and Liewood make a sweet teething-focused gift for any babe.

STAGE 2: THE FRONTIES

Coordinating teethers can be hard for babies, so products that they don't need to hold themselves are perfect. For the incisors, teething mitts save the day, but they are great from three months. The Belo and Me Teething Mitts are super practical, with velcro straps to keep them on. For more prominent teeth (rather than gums) the glove also has a plastic teething heart - great for heavier chomping. To save their pacifiers from getting nibbled and for convenient teething on-the-go, a chewable dummy clip is a great choice. Silicone bead designs are safe, durable, easy-to-clean and are great for helping get those fronties through. This design by Nibbling is perfect.

STAGE 3: CANINES AND MOLARS

The canines and first molars seem to come through all around the same time, which means non-stop munching. Make life easier for yourself by putting teething within reach, so they go for those rather than getting their gums around other things. A piece of teething jewellery is fab for providing some relief whenever and wherever they need it and they look great on you, too. By this teething stage they'll be pros at holding things (and getting them in their mouths too!) The classic Sophie la girafe teether would be a no-brainer choice for now. Sophie’s been around for 50 years, so she obviously does the job!

STAGE 4: THE TWO YEAR MOLARS

Just when you are starting to forget about the pain of teething, the two year old molars start to make their way through... For these, they'll need a teether that they can get right to the back of their gums. Comotomo and Matchstick Monkey design ideal silicone teethers with shaped parts that are long enough to reach the back molars and great for getting soothing teething gel on the gums too. They'll be keen for some cold relief when it comes to these bigguns, so a teether that can go in the freezer is ideal. Skip Hop design a teether with a stainless steel disc that can be put in the chiller for ice-cold pain relief.