Christmas is almost here…wow! This year has sure sped by! It feels like yesterday that it was last Christmas and I had a 4 month old who had just started to hold, chew and play with toys. Now I have a 14 month old who is tearing about, shape sorting, pulling things along behind and wanting toys to cuddle. The exponential development in the initial years is just incredible! It seems Isabella learns to do a new thing every single day.
Toys have been a huge source of enjoyment for Isabella this year. At certain periods of time, some toys have been incredible and taught her so much and then as she learns new skills, she has moved onto new favourites. Luckily I can buy toys a bit ahead of where she is at, and she can enjoy them in whatever capacity she can now, and I know that as she gets older, she’ll still be able to play with them. But in the first year, I found that I definitely had to buy baby toys as well as toddler toys…which has meant that I’ve done my fair share of toy shopping!
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about what made a safe toy and what didn’t in Isabella’s first months. As I gained knowledge, I found myself playing reverse-Santa and taking all baby Isabella’s toys away as most had potentially harmful chemicals in them called endocrine disruptors! These chemicals are BPA and phthalates – BPA has been strongly linked to breast cancer and phthalates are linked to asthma, low sperm count and undescended testes amongst other disorders.
Having taken all of Isabella’s toys away once before, I’m very careful when it comes to new purchases. Even as Isabella gets older, still so much goes in her mouth and she could also breathe in fumes from paints/glues and flame retardants in foam. To be honest, now that I’m in the swing of it and have found where to shop, it’s become easy and enjoyable. By buying great products, not only is it better for my baby, but it’s better for the environment too.
When choosing safe toys for Isabella, I’m looking for them to be
made from the following:
I’m in love with natural rubber almost as much as Isabella is. I love how it doesn’t leach chemicals and she loves the soft, grippy, squeaky, rubbery feel. Such a winner.
Organic natural fibres:
Unfortunately we don’t know which textiles contain chemicals and which don’t unless we buy organic natural fibres. For dolls and teethers, organic cotton/hemp is a beautiful, safe option.
A great, safe material for teethers and toys.
Maple, walnut, poplar, ash, beech and birch can all create gorgeous, safe toys. Some woods naturally contain harmful toxins, so just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s always safe!
With bath toys, not only is material important, but it’s also crucial for safety that the toy doesn’t have any holes in it which squirt water or make the toy squeak. These create a hidden mould trap which is impossible to dry out.
Here are our favourite non-toxic toys at home which have been favourites when Isabella was a baby, as well as the ones we currently use and ones that are on the way for Christmas (shhh!) – as well as what is on the wish list from family!
I’ve linked to the website Eco Toys because it’s where I buy a lot of Isabella’s toys. They get my business because I know if I buy something from there it’ll be safe. Even this mama gets tired researching everything she wants to buy sometimes!
This amazing Australian family business has super stringent rules about what they’ll allow in their shop so you can browse and shop without worry!
Their toys are:
- Made from 100% natural materials such as wood, certified organic cotton or pure wool or 100% recycled materials.
- The paints and finishes are water based, 100% non-toxic and safe.
- Their baby soft toys are certified organic cotton and none of their soft toys have synthetic filling.
- Made from materials that are sourced from renewable and sustainable resources or recycled materials.
- 60% of their toys are either Australian made and/or designed in Australia and owned by Australian companies.
They also choose toys from manufacturers who care about the environment, run conservation projects and who pay workers a fair wage in order to help fight poverty in third world countries.
It’s pretty easy to see why I choose them to shop at now isn’t it?
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