A good friend was pregnant with her first daughter and had heard of "feeding necklaces" to distract the baby while bottle- or breastfeeding. She wasn't happy with any of the designs she found, so asked me to make one especially for her.
It took a lot of research to find suitable beads. They had to be flexible non-toxic plastic, and definitely not glass or wood. They had to be large enough size, and in an eye-grabbing assortment of shapes, colors, and textures. In short, something the baby could grab, chew on, and generally abuse.
I decided the best course of action was to buy pre-made teething rings and disassemble them for the beads. I used a doubled-up nylon kite string to string the assortment, with plastic keys as a sort of centerpiece or focal point. There were plenty of beads left over, so I made a mini-ring (which is actually bigger than a bracelet) for when mother and baby are on the go.
See the set at Sun Sparkle Designs: mother and baby set.