As a concerned parent or parent-to-be, you may be considering everything in your home, and wondering if they’re baby and eco-safe.
It might surprise you how many common household items don’t make the cut when there’s a little one around. We’ve studied and reviewed cleaning products, sunscreens, chemicals, and even conventional diapers. Then, when shopping for a baby shower gift, we began thinking about other baby essentials and toys. How could we, and our friends and family members, choose the most eco friendly baby toys?
If you just began, or have been for months or years, panicking about every one of your baby shower, newborn or birthday gifts and the other items you’ve started collecting to help your little angel get off to a great start, please inhale and exhale deeply. We’ve got you covered. We’re going to dive into all you need to know about everything from binkies to toy trains. We’ll also share with you a few of our faves.
Eco friendly toy materials
We all know about the phases when everything, and I mean everything, goes into tiny peoples’ mouths. What recently sparked our curiosity is what’s in the toys they’re gnawing on.
In 2017, a sample taken in the EU found that nearly 20% of children’s toys failed the safe chemical makeup test. Phthalates, which you might remember from our chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, and BPA were the ones found most often. These undesirable ingredients are used to soften plastic for pacifiers and toys like dolls.
How to avoid toys containing chemicals
Avoid cheap, plastic toys. Check to see if the toy is made from bioplastics – if so, you’re probably good to go.
Look for water and vegetable-based, non toxic paints and dyes.
Look for wooden toys. You’ll need to check the paint used to color these toys, but the base material is natural and safe.
Buy cloth toys made from USDA organic, sustainable fabrics.
Skip the smelly toys. That usually signals unnatural ingredients like PVC.
Should I buy second hand or vintage toys?
We’re usually proponents of buying second hand when possible. It’s a great way to cut carbon emissions and reduce the waste headed to landfills. But, if you’re thinking about buying used toys, we recommend proceeding with extreme caution. Many current chemical regulations only came into being during the last two decades, so older toys contain undesirable ingredients. Two strategies for safe, second hand toy shopping: choose wood and cloth toys, and if there’s a tag, read it!
What are some eco friendly toys?
To soften the not so good news about baby toys, there’s also some great news! Specifically, there are many companies that have committed to making non toxic, eco friendly baby toys. Here are some companies and gifts that have resulted in smiles, !!!, and emojis from tiny ones and their parents:
- The orthodontic natural rubber pacifier. Your baby can chew their heart out on this bad boy.
- Natural rubber kale chip. Another teething toy, but this one might make your bundle of joy love kale even before they can eat it!
- An adorable toy hippo. BPA free, and sure to make bath time more fun.
- 8 color eco stars drawing toys. These might need to wait until after the teething phase, but they’re SO cute for big brother or big sister gifts.
- This entire site is a boon for new parents. It’s filled with nearly any toy you can imagine, made in wood, with only non toxic paints and finishes. Beyond that, they use biowaste to fuel their plant, and ensure their packaging is recycled and non toxic. The only possible downside is shipping emissions, which we’re unclear if they offset.