How to Recognize Non-Toxic Baby Toys and Make a Safe Choice
What do you do when you see your child putting a toy or a piece of clothing in their mouth? Telling them not to do so or taking that item away is not always necessary. On the contrary, it might be a good thing. How come? Mouthing is how infants and toddlers strengthen their immune systems and develop good bacteria in their guts, creating resistance to local disease ecology. Moreover, this will reduce the risk of asthma and allergies later in their lives.
On top of that, that’s how babies explore and learn about the world around them. This might surprise you, but babies can better understand what they feel with their mouths than their fingers, and hands and toys are their primary biting targets. However, what they do chew on or come in contact with must be clear of chemicals and toxins.
The same goes for toddlers between one and two years of age. Even though they are less likely to put things in their mouths, they will still keep those toys close to their skin for hours at a time. How often do they ask to take their favorite toy to bed with them? Almost every other night. Spending so much time with a toy leaning against their heads, arms, and shoulders requires that the toy be made of safe materials. It's as important as choosing bed sheets.
Therefore, you shouldn’t worry too much but keep all these things in mind when purchasing both toys for babies and toys for toddlers. "Safety first" is the rule you should follow not only when buying for your own children but when you go gift shopping as well.
How to Choose Safe Baby Toys?
Small parts, choking hazards, and sharp edges are something to look out for in every toy. Truth be told, many toys meant for babies won’t contain any of these, but it’s always safer to check them yourself. Besides these obvious recommendations, here are some valuable tips for your next toy purchase.
5 Tips for Purchasing Non-Toxic Baby Toys
1. Search for brands that sell non-toxic baby toys made from sustainable resources. Those manufacturers produce them in a non-polluting way. They also use biodegradable materials to keep the environment intact. All those factors combined point to a safe toy design for your baby.
2. Pick natural materials. Wood and cloth (or similar fabrics) are the best choices. Cotton, wool, and bamboo are also popular options.
3. Try to find toys painted with water-based and plant-based dyes. That way, your kid’s skin will always get in contact only with safe materials. If the touch-point of the toy is toxic, it will negate the benefits of the excellent core toy material.
4. Look for trusted toy retailers with years of proven track records. If a shop has been selling non-toxic baby toys for years with no recalls, disputes, or lawsuits, it's usually a good sign.
Finally, remember that you can't prevent your kid from ever getting in contact with less safe toys. You can't decide what toy they'll get as a present or play with on their playdates or in preschool. You can minimize the exposure but can't reduce it by 100%. However, that’s not so bad, as that’s how kids build up their immune systems.
Things You Must Not Overlook When Purchasing Toys
There are other toy characteristics that should also be taken into consideration. Safe baby toys are toys of the appropriate size, features, quality control, material, and shape. At all costs, you want to avoid toys that are too small, as they are easily swallowed. If there are sharp edges on them, it can lead to cuts. Furthermore, they can also put splinters in those little hands if they are not correctly sanded off.
That's why wood has been the best toy material choice over the last few decades. Wooden toys are not only the safest option from a toxicity point of view but can also be sculpted to have a smooth surface and no sharp edges. They are much quieter than plastic toys and present less of a threat if they break. On top of that, they are 100% recyclable.
4 Wooden Toy Advantages
Unlike plastic toys that last 5-7 months on average, wooden toys get handed down from generation to generation, saving you money in the process. They can endure for decades and sometimes seem indestructible. Some will even survive your kid stepping over or throwing them against a wall.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Research shows that touching wood induces physiological relaxation, meaning it can calm people (kids included) down. Not only that, but wooden toys are also quiet and often have only a couple, if any, movable (noisy) parts, and they are not flashy or irritating.
Imaginative "Open-Ended" Play
Since they don't have specific features or mechanisms, wooden toys invite a child to create stories around them. They need to envision different scenarios and, in the process, develop their imagination.
Wooden toys are made from natural and sustainable materials. They are often made by hand and require little to no fuel for production. Their long-lasting trait means they won't end up in a dumpster quickly, but once they do, they are easily degradable. Here are some recycling symbols you may want to look for on the toy packaging.
Manufacturer supports recycling programs
Responsibly sourced wood
The Safest Baby Toys Design - Montessori Toys
Montessori toys are made according to the famous Montessori method. The Montessori approach focuses on learning, exploring, and growing confidence and independence in children. On the educational front, Montessori toys have no match. However, we want to focus on toy safety. That's where you need to dig deeper to find the perfect blend of developmental aid and safety.
Montessori Generation is one of those stores. We offer carefully designed toys categorized by age. You can look through different options in the categories for 1-year-olds and 2-year-olds. And if you don't have time to explore, here are a few that meet the criteria we set above.
Top 5 Best Non-Toxic Montessori Toys
One of the best examples of both imaginative play and coordination development toys. All those shapes, sizes, and colors have a tremendous stimulative effect on your young one's brain. They can envision sculptures, constructions, models, monuments, and so much more. These are merely tools to help them become future architects, engineers, sculptors, or designers.
From the day infants start to crawl, grasp, and comprehend the world around them, they try to find similarities and patterns. It helps them understand and learn. The two-sided puzzle is a toy that meets the unique needs of young children as they grow. Each two-way wooden piece belongs to one of the two 8-part puzzles. Fitting it into the correct place and the right picture is challenging but rewarding. It improves recognition abilities and problem-solving skills.
Natural, eco-friendly materials are at the heart of this toy. The finely polished surface is soft and non-intrusive on the skin while your kid leans it against their face, trying to take that perfect photo of you and your friends. The wooden structure makes it hard to break even if they throw it unsatisfied with their last shot.
A beehive is a system built from the ground up. Each segment is as important as the next. It's the same with children's cognitive development. Starting early and following the right steps will strengthen your kids' logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Introducing children to nature and organic food brings healthy habits for a lifetime. What better way to show them where the food comes from than by explaining it with their favorite toys? Fruits and vegetables grow on trees and in the soil, not on supermarket shelves. Teach them while they are young. Familiarizing them with the origin of food makes them appreciate it more.
The topic of toy safety is sometimes overlooked. That's why it's important to bring it up as often as possible. And not only warn but also provide safe and alternate solutions, such as non-toxic toys for babies and toddlers. So, when purchasing toys, always look for natural materials from trusted brands.
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