Posts Tagged ‘baby toys’

Safe Toys Feature: Tiny Love

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS

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If you missed the Toy Safety post, go back to read it here.

I have a soft spot for Tiny Love. It’s the first company that I discovered that is conscious of toxic chemicals in children’s products. It’s the first company that I started obsessing over when I saw all their products. It’s also one of the first companies that was added to my baby registry.

For the first few months we used ( and destroyed) our favorite Princess Gym that was a gift from American grandma. It was probably THE most used accessory in the house. By the time Lexi “grew out of it” developmentally, we had nothing but the mat left. All the toys had been carried around and taken with us so much that the gym no longer served as that. Then it was time to buy a bigger mat for Lexi to play on before she started crawling.

SAFE TOYS FEATURE: LAMAZE

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, HEALTH, PRODUCTS

If you missed the Toy Safety post, go back to read it here.

Today we’ve got Lamaze toys by TOMY brands. Lamaze toys are pretty mainstream and aren’t known for being “green” in particular. However, the company, that also owns my favorite Boon, is obviously set on making safe products.

First of all, all Lamaze toys are made primarily out of fabric with a few small plastic components.

What Lamaze toys DO NOT HAVE:

Fire Retardants
PVC

Now that’s that out of the way…

Toy Safety {In Time for the Holidays}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS

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As we are approaching the most important holiday of the year (at least from a little kid’s standpoint), one might wonder if all those bright colorful toys that are routinely bought for babies and toddlers are safe. I mean, OF COURSE, they are safe! The government makes sure of it, right? Right?

Apparently wrong!

While 65% of people believe that toys that contain toxic or potentially toxic chemicals wouldn’t be allowed on the shelves of baby stores, the reality is more grim. In fact, our government has long since subscribed to the philosophy of “safe unless proven otherwise”. That is where we, as parents, are forced to do the due diligence before buying a cute toy.

It is true that we cannot protect our babies from every danger, no matter how hard we try – we can’t live in a bubble. But we CAN take certain steps to educate ourselves about, let’s say, toy safety, especially considering that aside from food (more on food safety in another post), this is the one thing that gets put in their mouths constantly in the first few years of life. I also won’t be talking about “fringe dangers”, like plastics that are yet to be found dangerous (all those millions of new chemicals, plastics and materials that get made and discovered in labs all the over the world have not been proven dangerous and thus are by default “safe” as far as our government is concerned). So even so called safe plastics are not necessarily safe. Wood is, of course, the best, but wood can have hidden dangers, as well as natural rubber.

What makes it even more dangerous is our current standards for levels of toxic substances in children’s toys are based on a 180 pound adult male. As you can imagine that makes a huge difference when the same amount of toxins is ingested by a 20 pound infant whose body and brain are developing and don’t have the same capability of processing toxins.

The issue also comes in when these toxins “interact” in our body and create different reactions all together than they would if they were simply ingested alone.

I would like to list all the common dangers, as well as the materials that are considered somewhat safe, ways to find out what is in your toys, hidden dangers of “safe” materials to watch out for, and finally a list of companies that are committed to making toy safety a priority and have been found to be more consciences and safer than others. What I will NOT cover is the physical danger of toys, like making sure they are age appropriate, can’t be choked on, as well as can’t cause bodily harm. Those are more common sense things.

Finn & Emma Organic Activity Gym

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, PHOTO, PRODUCTS

FINN AND EMMA ACTIVITY GYM


When I saw this gym on one of the blogs, I knew I had to try it.  Being a huge fan of Finn&Emma (see Lexi Awards), I knew that the gym wasn’t going to disappoint from eco standpoint and design. However, I was wondering if such a simple bar with a few toys would keep Lexi’s attention for long enough, like conventional gyms do.

By the time I received the gym, Lexi was 5 months and already sitting up. That actually worked in our favor, because if she were to be in a lying position, she wouldn’t be able to get the toys into her mouth, and she’s pretty forceful when it comes to tasting everything she can lay her little hands on.

So I sat her next to the Finn &Emma gym and she went to town. She didn’t hesitate to taste every single toy on the bar. Over the next few months, the arch has been empty half the time. Do you know why? Because she was SO in love with the wool toys and the wooden teethers that we had to take them with us EVERYWHERE we went.

It didn’t make much sense to me why she preferred these toys over any others, but she clearly did. The two wool animals had feet just the perfect size for her mouth and 90% of the time she HAD them in her mouth. The wooden teethers were fun to manipulate and easy to hold for her. And the biggest bonus for me? They clip in a way no other hanging toys does. Rather than use velco which ultimately ends up “un-velcroing” under the strength of a 6 months baby, Finn and Emma used a ribbon with a clip at the end, so no amount of pulling would unclip it from the stroller, their wrist, your wrist, etc etc and  drop it on the dirty floor. Dirty floor is where most our toys end up on, except for these toys. That also made the toys mommy’s favorite.


That clip and ribbon is what she loves to chew on the most, so they are always soaking wet, but give her hours of entertainment. No joke!

You know how sometimes you buy something, you use it and then you just shake your head and wonder whether these people ever tested the product at all- it doesn’t work or works poorly. Well, I have to say that the toys of this gym, specifically, work like they have been tested by both parents and babies over and over again. Huge winner in my eyes!

Because we received the gym at the time when Alexis was no longer interested in playing while lying down, I cannot tell you how it’d do with younger babies.  I know Alexis has always been the kind of baby to take toys into her mouth rather than swat at them. I can see where that would present a problem for “pullers” like her since the wooden arch doesn’t bend.

Alexis did spend a decent amount of time just swatting at the toys but soon became frustrated when she couldn’t get them in her mouth. For a younger baby that shouldn’t be a problem since they don’t have the hand coordination to grab a toy and bring it to mouth yet.

Unlike other more traditionally styled gyms, this can be easily used once the baby is sitting up, which extends the lifespan of the toy.  That and the amazing portability of it (we’ll be taking it with us to Disney to do something in the hotel room while we are waiting out the midday heat) have made me a big fan of the gym. And once she is too old to play with it, I already have an idea of covering it with a piece of fabric and creating a puppet show within the arch.

According to Finn & Emma’s description, the gym is made out of untreated hardwood, organic cotton, hand knit , non-toxic toys with wool stuffing. Recently the whole “untreated hardwood” came in handy, since Lexi has gotten into a habit of lifting one of the gym’s leg over her head and then shoving the whole thing into her mouth. Yeah…no further comment.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FINN AND EMMA

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Finn and Emma Gym

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. FInn and Emma provided me with a product sample to review. All opinions are 100% my own.