Babies are incredibly curious. They are constantly exploring with their hands and placing things into their mouths as a way to figure out this big, new world around them. Because of this, parents must be diligent in making sure that they are chosing non-toxic toy brands for their baby!
Parents must pay attention to where the toys are manufactured, what the toys are made of, and whether there have been any recalls on the toys that they are looking to purchase.
The 10 Best Non-Toxic Baby Toy Brands
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The Gentle Nursery sums up what makes up the perfect non-toxic toys in an article titled “Non-Toxic Baby Toys (How to Buy the Safest Toys for Your Baby” by Yasmine Moussa. In the article, Moussa states that “the safest toys are the ones that are made responsibly; the ones with little risk of heavy metal contaminations and the ones made without toxic materials such as PVC, BPA, flame retardants, or phthalates.”
With that said, we have found 10 wonderful non-toxic toy brands that you can purchase from to build a fantastic non-toxic toy collection for your baby.
PlanToys is an environmentally friendly company that focuses on the three pillars of their “Sustainable Way” – “sustainable material, sustainable manufacturing, and sustainable mind.” Their toys are made of reclaimed rubber woods and are designed to enhance the development of children’s minds. This company creates non-toxic and eco-friendly toys that encourage both creativity and knowledge in children.
Their Triangle Clutching Toy aids in the development of auditory, coordination, fine motor, and language skills and is made for babies that are 6 months and older. It was awarded a silver medal in the 2006 Practical Preschool Awards.
Founded as a factory for making fine wooden products in 1938, HABA has been around for a very long time. The German company’s philosophy is rooted in a single concept – “Children are the most important things in life.” HABA’s products aim to make the lives of children more joyful and stimulating. They achieve this goal by following extremely high quality standards in the production and design of their products while following extensive safety measures and using non-toxic materials.
Their Fun with Sounds Discovery Blocks includes 6 different cubed blocks with different sound effects to encourage perception and musicality. This toy bas been given the Baby Maternity Magazine Toy of the Year in 2014 and The Bump – Best of Baby 2012 awards.
3. TAG Toys
Founded in 1976 by Dr. Lawrence Mestyanek, who holds both a Masters degree in Psychotherapy and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, TAG toys was born out of a necessity to create materials that would help children with learning disabilities develop intellectually. TAG stands for “Think and Grow,” and all of the products the company makes are designed based on established and thoroughly researched learning theory.
Their Geo Form Boards encourage early learning, perception, and conceptual understanding while providing a tactile exploration of shapes. Additionally, they help to develop motor skills and recognition of basic shapes.
With a vision that aims “to be the most influential children’s products enterprise in the world” and a mission that focuses on “Love, Play, and Learn,” Hape is a wonderful company that produces creatively designed toys that are also eco-friendly and non-toxic. The company makes their products from sustainable materials and consistently meet (and exceed) rigorous safety standards.
Their Geometric Rattle is designed to assist in the development of hand-eye coordination for babies aged 0 months and older. It is made from non-toxic rice-based materials and will fit perfectly into your little one’s hands for a fun rattle experience.
5. Bears for Humanity
The Bears for Humanity mission statement is bold and straightforward: “to manufacture safe and eco-friendly organic products, protect our environment, create fair trade living jobs, and give back to causes for children, animals, and environment.” The company creates organic plush toys that are free from chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals. Bears for Humanity also practices a “Buy One, Give One” model that gives a plush toy to a child in need with every toy that is purchased.
Their Organic Panda 10” Plush Toy is an adorable panda friend for any baby to love without their parents having to worry about toxic materials harming their child. It is made following a strict Global Organic Textile Standard and is part of the “Buy One, Give One” program.
6. Finn + Emma
Finn + Emma is a company that produces both toys and clothing that are non-toxic and eco-friendly. They make their wooden toys from untreated Indian hardwood that has a vegetable seed wax finish with little beans placed inside. Additionally, they feature hand-knit toys that are made by Peruvian women with organic cotton and wool with phthalate-free rattles inside.
Their Play Gym is an absolutely wonderful product that features and 100% birch wood frame with non-toxic finishings, 2 wooden teething toys, and two hand-knit rattle toys. The best part is that you can remove the toys from the gym and use them as non-toxic carseat and stroller toys as well.
7. Hevea Planet
Hevea Planet was founded with a focus of taking better care of children and the planet. The company uses the natural rubber of the Hevea tree to make their products. The Hevea tree produces a natural rubber sap and the tree itself is biodegradable rubber wood – both of which are used to make eco-friendly, non-toxic products that help to combat climate change and cut back on the use of fossil fuels.
Their Panda Soothing Toy is an amazing teething tool made from 100% pure natural rubber. The soft rubber and lightly textured surface encourage natural gnawing action in babies while massaging their sore gums.
8. Green Toys
Green Toys is a U.S. based eco-friendly toy company that makes their toys from 100% recycled materials. They design their toys with the following in mind, “how [kids] play, what [kids] play with, and what the future holds.” With their sustainable and playful products, Green Toys hopes to inspire others to commit to environmental change.
Their Baby Toy Starter Set includes Green Toys’ First Keys, Stacking Cups, and Elephant-on-Wheels. All of the toys are made from 100% recycled plastic, free from BPA, phthalates, and PVC, and meet FDA food contact standards to offer a very enjoyable and safe experience for your baby.
9. Begin Again
Begin Again has a unique philosophy that focuses on making toys for little artists, writers, inventors, sportsters, and heroes in an effort to stimulate all different types of play for children. They create safe, non-toxic toys by using materials like rubberwood, natural rubber, corn starch rubber, Maine rock maple, and water based stains.
Their Balance Boat Shapes and Colors helps your toddler learn shapes, colors, sorting, and balance all in one non-toxic toy made from rubberwood and finished with water based stains for color.
10. Apple Park
Founded in San Francisco with a purpose to bring environmentally responsible toys to children. Apple Park reimagined children’s toys with an eco-friendly focus. Their mission “is to create unique, lovable, and stimulating toys from organic, sustainable, and recycled materials.” They promise is to create products that are safe, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.
Apple Park’s Woodland Pals Organic Soft Block Set includes three soft, plush blocks that provide multiple aspects of fun like stacking and exploring along with experiencing colors, shapes, and lots of sounds. They are made with 100% organic cotton, dyed with certified low impact fabric dye, filled with a hypoallergenic corn fiber, and free of BPA and phthalates.
Which Materials are Non-Toxic for Babies?
The amount of unsafe and toxic toys that are on the market is incredible. While these toys may be cheaper and more readily available, it is important to keep these dangerous toys away from babies because babies put things in their mouth and can be harmed very easily by the chemicals and toxins found in toys that do not adhere to strict safety regulations.
Do not get discouraged, though. There are many non-toxic materials that baby toys can be made from, so your little one can still have plenty of toys to play with.
When buying toys for your baby, look for the following non-toxic materials:
- Unfinished wood
- Wood with non-toxic or clear finishes made from beeswax or food grade oils
- Solid wood instead of engineered wood
- Products made from bamboo
- Sustainably produced hardwood
- Non-toxic glues (mainly non-formaldehyde-based)
- All-natural, untreated fibers
- 100% organic cloth – cotton, wool, felt
- Hemp-made products
- Solvent-free, lead-free, water-based paints
- 100% natural rubber
- Biodegradable ink and soy ink, non-toxic dyes, mineral and organic color pigments
- Recycled paper
Many parents that are worried about toxins and chemicals entering their babies’ bodies will steer clear of plastic toys entirely. However, there are some safe plastic options that you can purchase.
- Look for plastic that is labeled as PVC-free, phthalate-free, and BPA free.
- Toys made with plastics # 2, 4, and 5 are significantly safer than other plastics.
- Plastic #2 is high-density polyethylene.
- Plastic #4 is low-density polyethylene.
- Plastic #5 is polypropylene. This is a food-safe plastic.
What is Toxic in Toys?
By knowing which non-toxic materials to look for, this will help you buy the safest toys possible for your baby is important. However, knowing which materials in toys are toxic is equally as important. For instance, if your baby is gifted a toy, you should know exactly what to look for in order to tell if the toy is safe for your child. The following chart describes the common toxic materials found in toys.
Description and Dangers
Bisphenol A (BPA)
-This chemical is found in many plastics on the market, even toys.
-It mimics the hormone estrogen which can lead to an increase in estrogen, which causes issues with organ and brain development.
-It can cause early puberty, neurological issues, depression, obesity, and more.
-This is a chemical derived from phthalic acid that is used to increase the flexibility of plastics and vinyl.
-They disrupt the endocrine system, which can interrupt brain and nervous system development, the development and function of the reproductive system, metabolism, and blood sugar.
-They can cause early puberty, genital defects, behavioral issues, obesity, and more.
-Polyvinyl chloride, known as vinyl or PVC, contains a large amount of phthalate which makes it very dangerous.
-It can cause everything that phthalates can cause plus issues like asthma and is linked to cancer.
-It is incredibly bad for the environment.
-Older flame retardants were made of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – these are now banned, but older products will contain them.
-Chlorinated tris (TDCPP) and Firemaster 550 are used as flame retardants currently.
-Exposure to flame retardants at a young age can cause delayed development of motor skills, learning disabilities, and issues with memory and behavior.
-Polyurethane foam is a very soft and flexible material that is typically found in baby mattresses and changing pads.
-The danger of polyurethane foam is in its off-gasses, which include formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and more harmful chemicals.
-The material is almost always treated with flame retardants because it is very flammable, increasing its toxicity.
-It is linked to an increased chance of SIDS and cancer.
Formaldehyde and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
-Volatile organic compounds turn into harmful gases that can be breathed in at room temperature.
-Some common VOCs are formaldehyde, chlorine, bromine, sulfur, and nitrogen.
-They can cause respiratory issues, nausea, and asthma attacks.
Lead and other Heavy Metals
-Common heavy metals found in toys include lead, antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and selenium.
-Heavy metals can harm brain development, impact different organs, delay motor skills, and cause behavioral issues.
There are many hidden dangers found in children’s toys. Older children are not often harmed by these toxins and chemicals, but babies are different. They are constantly putting toys in their mouth. This allows the harmful materials to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the tongue, putting babies in much more danger.
It is important to know what your baby’s toys are made of. This will help to prevent any damage to their little bodies now or in the future. While it is tempting to go for cheaper toys, it is much wiser to buy a smaller number of safe, non-toxic toys even if they are pricier. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
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