Those of us with nursing babies know that they can sometimes like to fiddle and play with whatever they can get their free hand(s) on while they snack away. This can mean anything from an innocent twirling of mama’s hair to a fishhook to the lip; an idle exploration of a bra strap or an excavation of the contents of mama’s nose. (Not to mention what these fiddly babies like to do with the nipple not currently in use!)
To be plain: after a certain age, babies need something to do while they nurse. Just sitting around nursing is oh-so passé, don’t ya know? Boresville!
But there’s more! There are also plenty of times you’re holding your baby (between nursing sessions) when they just want to explore whatever is in reach. And if you have a pretty necklace on? Fair game. Right in the mouth. Sure, plenty of nursing necklaces exist on the market to provide babies with something to grab and yank and fiddle with, but they are mostly made of materials (e.g., chunky beads, possibly dyed or painted) that aren’t really meant to go in the baby’s mouth.
So… I made one that is!
This chewable nursing pendant is made from 100% food grade silicone rubber, which is exactly what all those chewy teething toys are made from. Essentially, this is a teether that the mama can wear and not feel like, well, she’s got a teether attached to her neck. The spiral design is meant to provide some texture for baby to explore, while also being aesthetically-pleasing.
These pendants are strung from a length of black nylon cording so that, when worn, they sit at about bust level. This gives the fiddly baby a good range to whip the pendant around (any shorter and the baby could yank pretty hard on your head and neck in the process). The nylon cord is also safe for babies to chew on and doesn’t dry out or become brittle over time. These necklaces are 100% washable and only need a bit of soap and water from time to time.
For those interested, I used EasyMold Silicone Putty to make these pendants. While this material is intended to create molds (rather than end-use products themselves), it worked extremely well. And with about a three minute window from mixing the components until it began to set, there wasn’t much time to work with it. I had fun trying to come up with a design that could be achieved at lightning speed! I won’t spill my secret process, but it may have involved a drinking straw and a jar of pine nuts (what?)…
Even more fun: these pendants will be up for sale on Abernathy Naturals very soon! (Though if you’re dying for one before that happens, please be in touch and I can easily route a sale through my Etsy shop if need be.)