Over the years of running Munching Monster, I have received numerous questions about our products and lots of comparisons with other local companies. I have done posts about this before but felt like it needed it’s own blog so that I can share with other parents.
Picture this…you are a new parent. Your child has been shoving their hand in their mouth for the last few days and they seem like they need to chew on something. You open social media and head to your trusty parent group and ask about teething products. When you come back to your post an hour later you have 30 different comments. Parents are recommending various different local businesses, Walmart, Amazon, as well as friends that make them. What is your next step?
Some parents will click links and choose the product that is the cutest, the cheapest, or the most local. Some will order from Amazon or Walmart and others will do more research.
I encourage you to do the research. I encourage you to ask questions about where the products are made, who made them, and so on.
As a parent, these are the questions I would ask to anyone that is selling or making teething products.
#1 - Who makes your products? There are 2 answers; either they made it or someone else did.
#1a - If they made it, ask what materials they used. They should be made with 100% food grade silicone. If wood, they should be made with maple. String should not be elastic, plastic or anything else that stretches.
#1b - If someone else makes their products, ask about the materials but also if the person who made it provided the seller with information about third party testing.
Okay now we are going to dive deeper…this is where other shops are not going to like me.
Canada, United States, Australia, and Europe all have different standards for teething products. In Canada you don’t need to have your products tested (Crazy right?) and you don’t have to carry insurance (you also don’t need to have renters insurance but it’s a good idea right?). But Health Canada does have a few rules in order to be compliant.
In the other countries you need tests completed on your products, you need safety certificates, and lastly you need to be insured.
So, a question you need to ask yourself is are you okay with giving something to your child that meets the bare minimum requirements? Are you okay with letting your baby chew something that has not been properly tested and inspected? Are you okay if something happens to your child from using this product and the business will try to take zero responsibility for any damage.
So what are other questions you can ask?
- Have your products been third party tested?
- How long are your pacifier clips?
- Do you carry liability insurance?
- What are features in your products that make them safe?
- How long have you been making teething products?
- Can you provide documentation on the testing and insurance?
Ask questions. Get the answers and make an educated decision for your purchase.
Questions I have received and their answers
- Why are your pacifier clips so short? Our pacifier clips fall within the proper length according to Health Canada and Australian standards for length. I can’t speak for other companies but these are the proper length for a clip. Longer clips might not be compliant.
- Why are your products more expensive than XX? We have priced our products based on the cost of materials, the cost to make the item, testing fees, and insurance. I am not sure how XX prices their products.
- Do you carry liability insurance? Yes I do! In my opinion, items for babies and children should not be sold unless there is insurance to hold the seller liable. This also protects me if anything should happen.
- What makes your products safe? We use a different knotting system; we weave cord through twice, we add some knots under beads, we loop the string through the last bead and anything that goes around someone's neck always has a breakaway clasp.
- Where do you get your beads from? All silicone is made in China. I purchase directly from the manufacturer so that I know what I am purchasing. Sometimes I purchase from a local wholesaler who also purchases their beads in China. There is no silicone that is manufactured in Canada yet.
- How long have you been making these? It will be 5 years in March!
- Will beads break off? Beads can break but they break under adult teeth, being chewed all the time, and with force. A baby cannot break the beads with their milk teeth or gums.
I will never tell you who you should purchase your teething products from but please use these questions when looking to purchase items for your baby and your home. Make an educated purchase! Please let us know if there are any questions that we didn’t answer.