This is a Guest Post.
Choosing eco-conscious toys for your baby allows you to not only help your own family, but help the planet as well. Evaluate a toy before you buy, and consider the material the toy is made from, the workmanship or design and basic safety compliance before you make the purchase. Buying from independent toy companies instead of huge foreign conglomerates will increase the likelihood that the toy you purchase is a good quality item.
Choose Organic Fabrics
Look for plush animals and other cloth toys that are made from organic fabric; organics like wool, cotton and bamboo are grown without harmful pesticides. Organic fabrics are also either naturally colored or dyed with natural materials instead of synthetics, so baby won’t be exposed to chemicals. Fabric toys of any type that are made with organic materials make ideal first toys for baby, and are also good choices for older babies and toddlers. Teething babies chew on everything, so offering organic options can set your mind at ease. Look for the certified organic tag to be sure you are purchasing true organic fabric items.
Wood vs. Plastic
Natural wood toys finished with beeswax are an ideal teething or manipulative toy for babies. Since no paint is used, there is no risk of lead contamination. Wood toys are usually crafted with a high level of workmanship, and their smooth contours offer a lot of interest for grasping and playing. Unlike plastic. Wood will not become brittle over time; injuries can occur when brittle plastic breaks or snaps during playtime. Wood toys are durable enough to last through several children, and can even become a family heirloom, making natural wood an ideal choice for the eco-conscious family.
Consider buying handmade or handcrafted toys from an independent artist. Handcrafted toys are made in small quantities and you may even have the opportunity to meet the artisan in person to learn more about their items. Members of the national Handmade Toy Alliance create toys that are designed to exceed the strict safety standards imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Administration, but since these toymakers are artists, their creations are appealing as well. Look for dolls, wood toys, felt food and other playthings designed by independent craftspeople when you look for non-toxic baby toys.
Keep safety in mind when you purchase any toy, even a wood or organic one. Toys that are perfectly safe for an 8 year old may not be ideal for a baby. Choosing age appropriate toys that are in top condition is the best way to keep your baby safe. Other safety factors to consider include:
- Toys and removable parts should be larger than a golf ball to avoid the risk of choking.
- Strings or ribbons should be less than 8 inches long if the toy will be played with by an infant or toddler.
- Toys designed to be mounted on a crib should be installed correctly and removed when the child can sit up or climb.
- Painted toys should be labeled “lead free” to prevent lead exposure.
- Check toys frequently for damage; broken parts can be dangerous to kids of any age.
Special Thanks to My Guest Writer.
Steven Elias is a freelance writer from Texas and currently runs a site on Dallas wedding photography and wedding photography contracts. Visit his website at www.thedallasweddingphotographers.net