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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.