Organic Baby and Kids Clothes

Something that was very important to me when I was preparing for my daughter was buying organic baby clothes, produced with GMO-free, pesticide-free materials and free of chemical processing. I resisted the urge to buy every cute baby outfit I saw and stick to safer and more eco-friendly brands that I felt more comfortable with.

So why do I prefer organic clothing for my baby? Well for a start something I found with most organic brands is that they can tell you where the fabric is from, where the clothes are made and how they are processed. This transparency is something that you will not get from big department stores or many brands. They can’t tell you anything and will just repeat the same old line that it meets ‘Australian standards’. Unfortunately, these standards don’t cover harmful substances or meet standards covered under OEKO-TEX certification. Many of these organic brands are covered under Global Organic Textile Standard or  OEKO-TEX. If they are not I’d be asking a few more questions.

Babies skin is a lot thinner than ours and can easier absorb harmful chemicals. I feel better knowing that the clothes I am buying for her wouldn’t have anything harmful chemicals and dyes. Cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides and synthetic fabrics are made with petrochemicals, plastics and other substances. Then the fabrics need to manufactured into clothes, so finishing chemicals and flame retardants may be added. The Australian Standard states that Children’s nightwear and limited daywear (for sizes 00 to 14)  must have fire hazard information label. This means they have been chemically treated or are a snug fit. If not buying organic it’s always best to check that snug fit is the reason for low fire danger. For more information on this subject check out the links below.

Not all organic baby clothes are created equal so it’s always best to check out their website or ask a few more questions before you commit to purchasing. Below are some questions that I like to ask.

Tips for buying organic on a budget:

  • Sign up to baby boutique and favourite brand websites for sales and vip events
  • Take advantage of Instore sales and Outlet stores
  • Gift registry for stores or websites
  • Buy basics in bulk to take advantages or sales and free shipping
  • Web search favourite brands and style until you find sale/free shipping
  • David Jones Gift vouchers
  • Only buy what you need!

Below are some organic brands available to buy in Australia. Although there are heaps great brands, many you may only find online or in baby boutiques. You can find a few brands in David Jones, such as Purebaby, Huxbaby and Naturebaby. The only brand that I am aware of that has physical stores and outlets is Purebaby. H&M also have their Conscious range, which uses organic cotton. Target and Best & Less also have an organic baby range (note you get what you pay for). Although buying in-store can be easier sometimes, some of these other brands have quite unique prints and have quite good quality materials that continue to look new after many washes.

My favourites are Purebaby, Sapling Child and Joey Jelly Bean. All of which haven’t faded over time and stretch well for growing babies. H& M is good for basics and washes well. Best & Less was probably my least favourite in terms of fabric longevity and shape.

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Non-toxic Lunchbox Accessories

When I was growing up I can’t remember anyone talking about non-toxic containers for lunches and food storage. However, we now know how dangerous plastics can be for our hormones, especially when microwaved. BPA often comes to mind, but other toxins may still be present in plastic, which are just as dangerous to our health. Luckily there are many safer options available now. You can find containers made of stainless steel, glass and safer plastic that doesn’t contain BPA, Lead, Phthalates, and PVC. Although they often cost more they do last longer and can often be recycled. I think this is a better investment in our health and the planet.

One dilemma I did come across when researching containers and also lunchboxes is that most weren’t microwave safe. I don’t use a microwave at all. I actually have a small oven instead of a microwave at home. However, my partner does use the microwave at work, as much as I tell him not to. I try to prepare meals that don’t need to be microwaved or but sometimes he just doesn’t want to eat his meal cold. We use round Pyrex glass containers or Decor glass containers with BPA-free air vent lid. When possible he doesn’t use the lid. However it is a difficult situation when using a shared microwave, so I always make sure the food isn’t touching the top.

A product that was recommended to me by a store assistant at Biome is the Charles Viacin Lilypad lids. Unfortunately, I haven’t convinced him to take one of these to work. They are made of silicone and are microwave safe and BPA Free. From what I have read on this subject BPA free, food grade Silicone (often used in bakeware) has no definitive studies proving that it is unsafe. Plastics, on the otherhand has counterless studies proving that they are very dangerous to our health and the planet. I would love to know what you think?

I guess my conclusion to this research is to continue to use and purchase these safer non-toxic lunch box alternatives, use glass for reheating, thermal for warm foods (that will be eaten within the hour) or cool food and where possible prepare foods that don’t need reheating.

If your interested in some lunchbox meals that don’t need to be reheated here are some great ideas from 101 Cookbooks Oh She Glows and Buona Pappa (for the little ones).

In this article I have included non-toxic lunchbox accessories, that can purchased in Australia, such as:

For more lunch products  you can buy in Australia, check out my article Non-toxic Lunch Bags and Lunch Boxes.

If you have any thoughts or recommendations feel free to leave a comment!

 

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Pictures

If your an animal lover and not crazy about Disney princesses you’re going to love Animal Kingdom. This park is dedicated to natural environment and animal conservation. It showcases animals from Asia, Africa, the conservation efforts by Disney and the animals of the past. It was also probably the least busiest of the parks, although the day was so hot it was easy to see everything.

My favourite entertainment was the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo – The Musical. The Lion King showcased amazing African singers, beautiful costumes and high energy dance troupe. Finding Nemo was probably the best combination of puppetry and acting I have ever seen. The actors performed for both the puppet and themselves. The storyline followed the movie on point. Both were really enjoyable and I recommend the Fastpass for these shows, for better seats. The evening show, Rivers of Light was probably my least favourite of all the parks. Maybe we were just tired after 5 whole days of Disney, but I could of skip it for a nice dinner.

Our favourite attraction was definitely the Kilimanjaro Safaris. We did a couple of times, so we got to see different animals and as we were taken on different trails. It’s amazing how animals have created their own African habit by treating the land as they would back at home. The reserve that the animals live on is so extensive, so they have plenty of space between each other. I also enjoyed cooling down on the Kali River Rapids. I really didn’t enjoy Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. It was themed really nicely but the ride itself was too rough for me. Marco and Sally really enjoyed it, but the did get a sore neck after going on it again.

I also enjoyed the walk through exhibits. I was able to do the ones in Africa and Asia. The Discovery Island exhibit was closed on the day. Another attraction I would have loved to see was DINOSAUR, but unfortunately it was also closed for refurbishment.

For lunch we dined at Yak and Yeti Restaurant. We ordered the Asian dishes, which were really fresh and delicious. For dinner, we ate at the Flame Tree Barbeque, which was not as good as I expected. I would have preferred to go to a restaurant as the counter food was not that impressive. This park probably has the most snack and drink stops, which is really handy on a hot day. I wish I would have taken more time to relax and have a mocktail.

So here is our day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in pictures. You can click on the photos for a closer look. If you’re planning a trip to the park check out my Disney’s Animal Kingdom Guide and my Tips for Florida Disney Parks.

 

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Pictures

If you like live shows, old world Hollywood nostalgia and Disney franchises like Star Wars, the Muppets and Indiana Jones, this is the park for you. It is perhaps the least disneyesque park, but there are still a few live shows featuring Disney princesses. I really enjoyed it and was perhaps one of the more relaxing compared to the rushing, running and crowd sizes.

My favourite show was definitely Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage. It had dancing, singing, a large cast and was right on point with the movie. It didn’t feel rushed or leave out any of the important moments from the film. I also loved that it was in an open-air theatre, as the other dark theatres scared my toddler. Octavia thoroughly enjoyed it and was dancing and beaming the whole time. We also really enjoyed The Great Movie Ride for the film nostalgia and the Tower of Terror. The improv of the Citizens of Hollywood was also really entertaining to watch as your walking through.

We went to two restaurants in the park, which were less competitive to book then the other parks. For lunch we went to 50’s Prime Time Cafe. The 50’s kitch decor, family-like atmosphere service and comfort food really make you feel at home. The food was surprisingly really great, comfort food done really well. For dinner we went to Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. The dark atmosphere was really nice and I had the most amazing pasta dish. For desert I receive a ‘spaghetti and meatball’ cupcake as a gift for my birthday, which was a really nice surprise.

The evening show was Fantasmic!, which we had previously seen in Japan at Toyko Disney Sea. It wasn’t as speculatively but it was still really enjoyable to watch as it was done at a smaller scale. Due to limited seating and timing clash we weren’t able to go to the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular as well which was a shame.

So here is our day in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in pictures. You can click on the photos for a closer look. If you’re planning a trip to the park check out my Disney’s Hollywood Studios Guide and my Tips for Florida Disney Parks.

 

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Epcot in Pictures

Epcot was perhaps the Disney park I was least excited about visiting, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. After the Magic Kingdom, Epcot comes in second as my favourite park. I love the fusion of human achievement, technology, nature and unique world cultures. The Future World beautifully demonstrated how far we have come, yet instilled an appreciation for nature, plant foods and the sea. World Showcase on the other hand, beautifully depicts a host of cultures completely true to their form. The architecture, the food and the people all come together to give you an authentic experience, that you almost forget you are in an American Disney park.

My favourite attractions in the Future World was the informative boat ride, Living the Land and the spectacular journey on the ride, Soarin’. My favourite experiences in World Showcase was the delicious meals I had in Italy and Mexico and the window shopping I did in each ‘country’. I would go back just to wander around and sample all different cuisines. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a Fastpass for Frozen Ever After and the wait was just too long to do with a toddler. We did get to meet Anna and Elsa however, which was really nice. Elsa was a bit cold but Anna was really lovely, warm and friendly.

For morning tea we bought a few Swedish sweet treats from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. We tried the Lefse (Potato Flatbread rolled with a Sweet Cinnamon Butter) and Sweet Pretzel with Almonds. They were nice, but if I had more time I would have journeyed all the way to France for some pastries. Unfortunately, I had limited time to run there and back since we spent the morning in Future World.

For lunch, we went to Via Napoli. The food was so delicious and authentic. We just ordered a few simple dishes but they were executed perfectly. Later we had dinner in Mexico at La Hacienda de San Angel. Again the food was amazing and perfectly authentic. Both of these restaurants were highly recommended and I’m so happy we got to try them, rather than having counter food.

So here is our day in Epcot in pictures. You can click on the photos for a closer look. If you’re planning a trip to the park check out my Epcot Guide and my Tips for Florida Disney Parks.

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Non-toxic Lunch Bags and Lunch Boxes

These days cute and stylish lunch boxes and bags for kids and adults have become the norm. No more brown paper bags, when you can eat lunch in style. However many of these insulated lunch bags, plastic containers, and lunch boxes are full of harmful substances, such as BPA, Phthalate, Lead and PVC. Now with so many eco-friendly and non-toxic options, there’s no need to eat your lunch out of toxic vessel.

A study done by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ, La Weekly 2012) found that many vinyl lunchboxes and other back-to-school items had high levels of phthalates. They stated that children are most at risk, since “their developing brains and bodies, their metabolism and behaviors make them uniquely vulnerable to harm from toxic chemicals”. These chemicals have been linked to various problems such as ADHD, birth defects, asthma, diabetes. Other studies have also demonstrated that substances such as BPA, PVC, lead are also dangerous for our health, causing disruptions to hormones, behavioural problems and linked to cancer.

There are so many great brands making products that are eco-friendly and non-toxic. So here are some of the best ones I have found available to Australian consumers.

The products I have researched include:

I have previously written up a list of Non-Toxic Diaper Bags, Toddler and Grade School Backpacks that will complement your non-toxic lunch bags and boxes. Stay tuned for another post featuring more lunch box accessories, such as containers, water bottles and ice packs.

 

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Magic Kingdom in Pictures

The Magic Kingdom was my favourite of all the Disney parks in Florida. It was really a dream come true. It pays homage to all the classic Disney characters and films, including my favourite 2D Disney princesses. There was just so much to see and do that we had to do it in two days.

My favourite rides were Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarves Mine Train, which were most difficult to get Fastpasses for. I also really enjoyed Enchanted Tales with Belle and having breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant. The 5 year old girl in me really felt like I was in her world. Octavia’s favourite ride was definitely riding the horses on Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel. She did enjoy sitting on our lap on most other rides. We got to go on most rides at least twice, which is a feat considering we had a toddler. 

Our best meals was at Liberty Tree Tavern.  My Pilgrims’ Feast tasted exactly like I imaged a true American thanksgiving meal would taste like. The Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake was also pretty great. The other restaurants we were choose weren’t bad, but not as memorable. We weren’t able to get better booking since we only had two weeks from purchasing the tickets. Next time we would definitely stay at Disney hotel to take advantage of early restaurant booking and Fastpasses.

So here is two day at the Magic Kingdom in pictures. You can click on the photos for a closer look. If you’re planning a trip to the park check out my Magic Kingdom Guide and my Tips for Florida Disney Parks.

 

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Tips for Florida Disney Parks

My love to Disney was invigorated with my recently trip to the Disney Parks in Florida. It truly is the happiest place on earth, well at least my happiest place. The characters, the rides, shopping, food, it was all amazing and went above and beyond my expectations.

I did a lot of planning before we visited the Disney parks. I’m so happy that I did take this time since I didn’t do this when I visited Disney Sea in Tokyo. Besides the language barrier, we were very confused seeing people go ahead of the line, didn’t get good positions for performances and waited so long for a table in a restaurant. We also lined up for 2.5 hours for a ride that we weren’t really sure was a ride.

So if you’re planning a trip here are some of my tips. Do as much research as you can to maximize your time and less stress on the day. If your budget allows I really recommend the Disney restaurants. Each is really unique and I enjoyed the food at most of the restaurants. Some of which were the best food memories from our entire trip. We also had some bonus Character time we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

For Guides to each Theme Park view links at bottom of this post

Before you get there:

  • Do you ride and restaurant research
    • Demand will be high for the best and you don’t want to be waiting all day
    • Age and Height requirements
    • Make a list for recommended and time permitting
  • Consider staying at a Disney Resort
    • Extra ‘magic time’ means arriving and leaving before crowds
    • Easier commute to hotel
    • May save you money in car hire and tipping hotel bus driver
    • Hotel’s that offer free trip to Park may do many stops before arriving
    • You receive a ‘MagicBand
  • Book-in everything as soon as you buy your tickets ei. FastPasses, Restaurants
  • Fastpass for busiest rides
    • Eg.The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had no FastPass available closer to visit and was 70 min+ wait times
    • Book in three FastPasses as early and close together as possible
    • You can’t book another until you have used all three passes first
  • Research most recommended rides and Average wait times
  • Restaurants are not a must, but nice to get away from crowds (aircon), experience themes, cuisines and try the best food Disney has to offer
    • Some Restaurants have 6-month wait ei. Cinderella’s Table
    • Booking times should be adequately spaced between meals times
    • Consider a meal plan, might save you money
    • Look at menus and consider your budget
    • Look up Restaurant ratings
    • Beware of cancellation policies for each restaurant
  • Keep checking your Disney account to alter FastPass and bookings as new times become available.
  • Bring a pram with shade cloth
    • Disney hire prams are made of plastic = hot
  • Allow two days for the Magic Kingdom and one day for each of other Parks
  • Get to know the map, long walk between areas
  • Factor in Live Shows, Parades and Night performance in your schedule
  • Download My Disney Experience app on your Smartphone
    • Easily view and alter Fast Passes and Restaurant bookings
    • View wait times

When you arrive:

  • Get up early to get in quicker and get on as many rides
  • Be aware once you arrive to drop off you will still need to take a Disney boat, tram or tourist road train to the Disney parks = Get up early
  • Bring a pen and get your map
  • Go directly to FastPass or best rides if wait times are minimal this early
  • Don’t get too caught up in taking photos when you arrive, you will have plenty of time
  • As you are using your FastPasses, see if you can alter for early times
  • As soon as all FastPasses are used book next pass
  • Visit Characters when wait times are low or you have space before next FastPass
    • May need to prioritise on a busy day
  • Restaurants may still require waiting even with your booking
  • Each shop will have items that aren’t anywhere else
    • Most character items available at World of Disney (Disney Springs)
    • Convenience stores near parks will have old Disney merchandise for much lower price eg. T-shirts, keyrings
  • You can’t see it all, but then you just might if you plan well!

Wow I didn’t realise I had so much to say. I will share some more posts of my photos.

For a more detailed information on each Theme park check out my guides:

Guide to the Magic Kingdom

Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guide to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guide to Epcot

Non-toxic Diaper Bags, Toddler and Grade School Backpacks

Choosing the right baby bag or backpack for your little ones can be so overwhelming. There are so many choices out there. In recent years many great non-toxic alternatives have become available.  These products are being produced without the use of nasty chemicals, such as BPA, PVC, Phthalates and Lead. These chemicals are detrimental to our health and the development of growing children. If you’re interested the information that informed my decision to buy a non-toxic alternative check out the links on the bottom of this post.

When I was still pregnant I began doing my own research for the safest non-toxic baby bag. I ended up going with the SoYoung Charlie Diaper Bag. The unisex style is great for both myself and my partner to use and it has many compartments for all those baby essentials you need to travel with.

Now as my little one is about to start daycare I have begun looking at the best non-toxic backpacks for her. So here is the result of my own research of products that are available to the Australian market. I hope it helps you find a safer alternative for you little family too. I have also begun researching lunch bags and boxes so stay tuned for a future post for more non-toxic alternatives.

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Non-toxic/Eco Toys for under 12 months

Hi there, if you have been following me for a while you would know that I had a beautiful baby girl named Octavia back in April 2015. She is now 21 months and over that time we have already accumulated a lot of toys. I shutter to think about the arrival of more toys when we celebrate her 2nd birthday in April.

Before I even had Octavia I was researching the best non-toxic, eco-friendly toys that I could buy. I know most people think I’m a little obsessed with buying everything non-toxic things for my daughter, but I think it’s really important. I rather buy products that are safe, sustainable and can be passed on. I also like to consider that the less plastic in her playroom and bedroom, the better the air quality and the less likely that she will inject toxic substances. Does this mean she doesn’t own any plastic toys? No, she has a few but I try to keep it to a minimal.

People also think that’s it’s not affordable, which I understand. However, I rather take a more minimalist approach and purchase a few higher quality items. We are also a one income family, but we make it work. I love using gift registry for birthdays so that our friends and family can put money towards things she may need. I also ask family members to put money towards more expensive purchases, so it’s not such a burden on one person or family. Most of these toys were purchased through Biome’s gift registry for our baby shower. Also, I’m always on the look out for sales. I subscribe to many online stores so I know when their sales are, I try to use gift cards for big department stores and take advantage of credit card cash back promotions.

So here are some of my picks of toys we bought or would also have liked to of bought instead. Just keep in mind that this info is based on my own personal research, my budget, and availability in Australia. The information below was provided by the brands themselves or retailers selling these items. I encourage you to do your own research before purchasing.

Here are a few tips:

  • Ask for more information about the products
    • If retailers can’t help you then email the company who makes the product
    • If they don’t want to answer your question correctly, then they may be trying to hide something
  • Shop around
    • Sign up to a few websites to receive notification of sales
    • Ask friends and family for donation to your baby fund
    • Use gift cards for bigger retailers that you received as a gift or bought discounted
    • Make use of Credit card promotions e.i. Amex Shop Small cash back
  • Be aware of Green Washing
    • Just because its ‘eco-friendly’ doesn’t me it’s non-toxic and safe for your baby to put in their mouth
  • Window shop in your local eco store, baby boutique store or online stores
    • Look for products that you like
    • Educate yourself on eco options available in the product ranges
  • Educate yourself on the dangers of harmful substances in kids toys
    • You can then make an informed decision on what you will and won’t accept
  • Organise you gift registry with an eco or baby boutique store
    • yes it may be more expensive than finding the best price online but you can splurge a bit when it’s being gifted and you are also supported these smaller retailers
    • try to return unwanted gifts at big department stores and swap for eco alternatives

If you are interested in non-toxic products for babies and children but are very new to this topic I recommend you read this article, The Complete Guide to Non-Toxic Baby Products, by TotScoop. It is a more in depth discussion on why non-toxic is best for babies, chemicals of concern and some recommend safer products. It is an American perspective so you may not be able to find all these products in Australia. Another great article is Chemicals in Common Products: Risky Business for Children’s Health, by the Greenguard Environmental Institute.

If you have any feedback on toys your kids enjoyed let me know, in case there’s a baby no. two. Also just remember kids make their own fun. As I am writing this my daughter is sitting beside me taking my pencils in and out of my pencil case. As long as she’s safe and happy, I am happy.

Activity Gym

actvity-mat

We decided to go with the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym. Octavia really enjoyed this for a long time and was probably the only thing she really played with every day. It pushed her practice reaching and grasping and was great for tummy time. It can be easily washed and packed away for baby no. 2 or gifted to a friend. This is probably the only toy I think is a must for little babies. I bought mine from David Jones online, but many other retailers sell them and there are a few different styles available now.

1. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym

BPA-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free. Safety-tested to meet or exceed ASTM, CPSIA, EN71 and applicable safety standards.

2. Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Gym

BPA-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free. Safety-tested to meet or exceed ASTM, CPSIA, EN71 and applicable safety standards.

3. Skip Hop Camping Cubs Baby Activity Gym

BPA-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free. Safety-tested to meet or exceed ASTM, CPSIA, EN71 and applicable safety standards.

4. Wild Indiana Wooden Playgym 

Each piece is custom made, sanded and painted with non-toxic paint.

5. Hess Baby Gym Henry

Beech and maple wood from renewable resources. All paints and stains are water-based and 100% non-toxic and saliva-resistant. All other materials used such as strings, elastics and glues are also non-toxic and child-safe. Any metal parts such as clips and bells are nickel free. Fully comply with European and Australian Safety Standards for Toys.

 

Play Mat

Play mat.png

We have hardwood floors so I wanted to get a soft playmat for Octavia to do tummy time on.We bought the Deuz Organic Cotton Baby Play Mat from Sustainababy. This version is no longer available, but you can find their new version from a few Australian retailers. I use to put the activity gym on top of the play mat so that she wasn’t on such a hard surface. I would also take it with me to my pilates classes and to the park, as it’s easy to wash. I am very happy with this play mat and we are still using it.

1.Deuz Organic Cotton Playmat

Manufactured in India by workshops of solidarity trade, 100% organic cotton poplin . Non-toxic and environmentally safe inks and interior is polyester. Certified GOTS, CE tested and recommended from birth. 

2. Deuz Cozy mattress

Manufactured in India by workshops of solidarity trade, 100% organic cotton canvas, non-toxic inks, polyester interior; Certified GOTS.

3. Nook Lilypad Playmat

Cover materials is made of Eucalyptus and Organic Cotton. Core Materials is made of Good PETE, which is non-toxic and recycled. OEKO-Tex certified Polyester/Organic Cotton blended thread

4. Nature Baby Play Mat

Outer made of 100% organic cotton sweatshirt knit and filling made of organic cotton wadding.

 

Teether Toys

Teethers2.png

Teethers are also a must for babies and since it spends so much time in their little mouths you want to get the best quality. They are also inexpensive and you only really need one. I didn’t realise this at the time of our baby shower so I ended up with a few. I received the original Sophie and the Sophie Teething Ring, My Natural Elephant ring and Dog Dingaring through our gift registry. She only really liked to chew on the soft Sophie and hold the dog Dingaring. All babies have different preferences and some like to suck or chew teethers more than others.

1.Les Folies Sophie the Giraffe

Made from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree. Painted with non-toxic, food-grade paints. Free from phthalates, vinyl and PVC.

2. OB Designs Dingaring

Plush super soft body; Beechwood timber teething ring; Recycled stock swing tag & backer card. Designed in Byron Bay, Australia. Made responsibly in Indonesia. No plastic packaging.

3. My Natural Eco Teether

100% baby-safe and features a plant-based bio-resin material that is better for baby and the environment. Made safely and free from BPA, Phthalates, PVC and latex

4. Hevea Panda teether

100% natural rubber teether; Free from phthalates, colours, PVC & EVAtane, silicone & BPA. Complies with the EU safety standard EN71, US ASTM, AS/NZ ISO and Cananda Consumer Product Safety.

5. Natursutten  Natural Rubber Teether Toy

100% natural rubber teether; Free of BPA, phthalate, PVC, lead, nitrosamine, chemical softeners, parabens, and other harmful chemicals.

6. Dandelion Organic Squeaker

Made with organic cotton fibers and lightly stuffed with fluffy corn fiber filling.

7. Lifefactory multi-sensory silicone teether

Free of BPA, phthalate, PVC, and latex. Made of medical grade silicone.

 

Comforter/Blankie

Blankie.png

We received the Dandelion Bunny Comforter through our gift registry. Octavia never really took to it. But I have seen other babies that are really attached to them.

1. Dandelion Organic Bunny Comforter

Organic Cotton and filled with Corn Fibre Filling.

2. Natures Purest – Pure Love Comforter Bunny 

Organically Grown Cotton Velour. Naturally Coloured (no dyes).

3. My Natural Sleepytime Lovie Blanket

Hypoallergenic, Organic cotton velour; Low-impact eco dyes.

4. Apple Park Organic Blankie in a Box 

100% organic cotton body, silk nose and naturally hypoallergenic corn fibre filling.

5. Under the Nile Sleeping doll

100% Egyptian organic cotton, GOTS certified, made at fair trade farm in Egypt. Free of  Azo colorants, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, fragrance, PVC or lead.

 

Balls

balls.png

We received the rainbow Dingle Ball through our gift registry with Biome. Octavia did like looking at this colourful ball when she was really tiny. I later bought her the Caaocho and Oball. I bought them from the Sleepstore. They were costly, but now you can purchase them cheap from Australian retailers. I’ve seen the Oball at Kids Stuff and BigW. We still play with them now, but I probably didn’t need both.

1. Caaocho Rainbow Sensory Ball

100% pure natural rubber. Certified non-toxic: BPA, PVC, Phthalate, Nitrosamine free, food grade paint.

2. O.B. Designs Sensory Dingle Ball

Deluxe felt ball. Designed in Byron Bay, Australia. Made responsibly in Indonesia.

3. Apple Park Organic Farm Buddies Soft Balls

100% organic cotton fabric hypoallergenic sustainable corn fiber filler packaging.

4. Oball Classic Rattle/Ball

BPA Free, phthalate free and PVC free.

5. B Toys Ball-a-balloos (rubber)

Free of BPA, lead or phthalates.

 

Soft/Plush Toys

Soft Toys.png

In Octavia’s short lifespan we have received so many soft toys. Out of this list, we received the Barefoot Artisans Thorny Devil Lizard, which she loved when she was tiny. She also received a Maud n Lil Bunny, which she appreciated more when she was older. Both were purchased through our gift registry with Biome. There are plenty of lovely soft toys with non-toxic fill that are great to give or receive for baby showers.

1. Barefoot Artisans Toys

Barefoot Artisans are dedicated weavers and needlewomen who, without time constraints of mass production. Barefoot Sri Lanka opposes exploitive practices. Each Artisan earns a real wage enabling them to support their families with self-respect and dignity. Barefoot toys are now filled with polyfil due to import restrictions on kapok. Each are 100% hand woven fabric and 100% natural fibres and Swiss dyes used are non-toxic and colourfast.

2. Maud n Lil Organic Cotton Soft Toy

GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard;  Certified by ICTI, Intertek or equivalent inspecting body. This means that the factories pay their staff fairly, provide healthy & safe conditions for workers and pay proper overtime.European Oeketex Accredited weaving, knitting, dyeing & finishing processors to minimise environmental impact. Our natural filling fibre is derived from NON GMO sweet corn, is machine washable at 40º and eventually biodegrades after the life of the product. It is also backed by Oekotex.

3. Apple Park organic Toys

GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard ; comply with ASTM F963-08; Azo Dye Free; free of mutagenic & carcinogenic dyes; Certified Non-Toxic & Non-Phthalate ; ICTI Certified Factory Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act & International Council of Toy Industries; Organic Trade Association Member; Contains no: harmful chemical dyes, synthetic pesticides, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or Polyester Fillings; Packing is printed on recycled paper with soy ink.

4. Under the Nile Baby Toys

100% organic Egyptian cotton; GOTS certified; Made by our fair trade partner in Egypt; Absolutely NO Azo colorants, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, fragrance, PVC or lead

 

Rattle

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We never bought a rattle for Octavia, since she had the Dingaring, but if we did I would loved one of these.

1.EverEarth Grasping Toy Rattle 

Made from sustainable FSC beech wood and finished with non toxic water based paints and stains; nickel free bell, baby safe mirror and saliva resistant

2. Hess Spielzeug Rattle

Made from European beech and maple woods, all paints are water based and 100% non-toxic and saliva resistant. Strings, elastics and glues are also child safe and non-toxic. Complies with all European and Australian Safety Standards for Toys.

3. Apple Park Organic Soft Rattle

Eyes are non-toxic plastic safety eyes, Ears & Nose are natural silk, Fur is 100% organic cotton and soy fiber, Filling is natural corn fiber.

4. Dandelion baby toy – giraffe with rattle

Organic cotton velour. Natural corn fibre filling.

 

Other toys for under 12 months

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I couldn’t find many brands that sell toys recommend for under 12 months. However, Green Toys and B Toys have a few great toys for this age bracket. Similar toys in other brands are recommended for older babies. If you prefer another brand maybe contact them directly or use your own judgment and supervision. We bought Octavia the Green Toys Elephant on Wheels and the B. Toys Hugs Links. She really enjoyed the Hug Links as she likes sorting things. Unfortunately, her elephant hasn’t seen much play yet. I purchased them of David Jones and Fish pond.

Green Toys:

All toys are made from 100% recycled plastic. No BPA, phthalates or PVC. Meets FDA food contact standardsPackaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks

Green Toys Animals on Wheels

Green Toys Shape Sorter

Green Toys Stacking Cups

Green Toys Stacker

B. Toys:

All the toys go through stringent testing procedures that meet or exceed all U.S., Canadian and the even more stringent European safety standards, all regulations regarding age guidelines, all Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) directives and guidelines, Packaging is recyclable. All toys are BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free.

B.Toys Up Up Cups

B. Toys Whirly Pop

B. Toys Hugs Links

B. Toys Skipping Stones

B. Toys Spin, Rattle & Roll

Bath toys

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We bought the Plan Toys Sea Life Bath Set for Octavia. She has lots of fun with it them in the bath and they still in good condition. She now prefers to play with her beach set.

1.Plan Toys Water Play Toys

Made from natural rubber wood trees that no longer produce latex. To keep the wood pure, no fertilizer is added to the soil three years prior to cut the trees down. Chemical-Free Kiln-Dried; Non-Formaldehyde Glue; Organic Color Pigment; Water-based Dyes; Soy Ink and Recycled Paper.Exceed international safety standards including both ASTM (USA) and EN71 (Europe)

2. Hevea Kawan Duck

100% natural rubber, free from phthalates, PVC and BPA; handpainted with natural plant pigments; Meets EU standard EN71, US ASTM, Canada Consumer Product safety Act, & AS/NZ ISO standard.

3. Boon Odd Duck

BPA, PVC and Phthalate Free, Ducks do not absorb water

4. Green Toys Bath Time Fun Toys

Made from 100% recycled plastic. No BPA, phthalates or PVC. Meets FDA food contact standardsPackaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks

 

Continue reading “Non-toxic/Eco Toys for under 12 months”

Welcome! Back Online.

Hi there, thanks for visiting my new blog. My name is Vanessa and I have been planning this move for quite a while. I first started my original blog Live Blissful, back in September 2012. OMG that was a long time ago. I was in my 20’s, back in Australia after my Italian exchange, embarking on a journey to change to a plant based/vegan diet. My blogs aim was to keep me on track whilst sharing my challenges, experiences and discoveries.

However, after the death of my father and the birth of my baby girl I was burnt out and found it really hard to get time to blog, cook or generally have me time. Since then a lot has changed in my life. My daughter is now 20 months old. She is becoming a more independent little person and with the help of some much needed sleep training I now have a few hours to myself every night.

My diet has also adapted to her needs and my own desires. I have found it hard to stick to a purely plant-based diet without any animal products. I know other people make the transition to motherhood without changes to their diet, but I found it hard to be so strict on my self and my daughter and I didn’t want to be anymore either. My original goal was to change my diet to be a healthier person and I feel that I did accomplish that. I learned a lot through that time and I have managed to stick to a plant-based diet 85% of the time. Most of my home cooking is purely plant based with the exception of a few animal products used as a condiment to enhance rather then take centre stage of our meals. For the most part we avoid processed foods and try to stick to food in its more natural or traditional forms. I also still love to dine at vegetarian or vegan friendly restaurants and I am still in love with vegan desserts.

When I thought about returning to blogging about food I didn’t really know how I was going to approach it. I have changed and evolved and I wanted my blog to reflect that. I didn’t want to go backwards or hide the changes in my life. I also wanted to share some of my new interests that I have been fortunate enough to pursue since I have been at home with my daughter.

So Live Eat Colour will reflect my life since I turned the big 30 this year. I will be sharing my love of travel and family, my own cooking, recipe creating and food finds and sharing my own art projects including colouring and cross stitching.

Whilst I get this blog up and running I will be sharing some of my old recipes from Live Blissful, as well as my past travel and art projects. I hope to get more current content on here soon, but it may take me some time.

Thanks again for visiting and I can’t wait to start this new journey with you.