The Non-Toxic Christmas Toy Guide
Christmas is almost here…wow! This year has sure sped by! It feels like yesterday that it was last Christmas and I had a 15 month old who was captivated by shape sorting, pulling things along behind her and wanting toys to cuddle. Now Isabella is just over 2 and loving playing in her kitchen making us cups of tea, shopping with a bag full of wooden fruits and salad ingredients as well as doing art and crafts and being on her balance bike. 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, toys still occasionally go in her mouth and she can 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 child, 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.
No BPA, phthalates, lead or PVC. These can be plastics 2, 4 and 5 and also ABS plastic.
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 or that I wish I had bought and would if I had my time again. Also on the list are the toys we currently use and some that are on the way for Christmas (shhh!) – as well as what is on the wish list from family!
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