Posts Tagged ‘toys’

Christmas & Christmas Morning: Holidays in Review

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, TODDLER

Christmas Morning

Since I resumed blogging at the end of January, I sort of missed out on all the holidays posts, and now that I am knee deep in inspirations for other parenting/breastfeeding/toddler posts, it’s hard to have to go back to the holidays that happened 2 months ago and do a recap. But. Christmas morning is pretty fun. And there are some fun presents there. And I had the pictures ready. So I just have to do it. It’s the last one, too.

If you ask me what we did on Christmas Eve, I honestly can’t  remember. Like I seriously can’t remember whether we cooked, or did take out or how it all looked. I know Lexi opened some gifts, I know we took some photos and the rest is blank. I’ve experience this memory funk since Lexi was born. It’s like my memory is selective and can only hold so much!

So the photos fill in the blanks a little bit and then we’ll go into the Christmas Morning.

Fun Toys for 12-24 Months Stage

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

fun toys

I have been thinking of ways of structuring this post to make it easier to read and more comprehensive and the only thing that seems to make sense is to go by brand. We tend to be loyal to companies whose products we like, so if you were to walk into our house, you’d see lots of items by the same brands. It doesn’t mean we are not open to other companies and makers. In fact, on the contrary, I am always looking for new ideas and products, but usually when you happen on a product that really really works, you end up sticking with it, at least until something else comes along.

So it’s even more relevant when it comes to toys. I have favorites, companies that I know I can trust from the safety standpoint and those that make beautiful, functional and fun toys.

A while ago I wrote about toy safety from the toxin standpoint and outlined some of the companies that make better toys with fewer recalls, some that claim they are lead free, BFR free and approach safety consciously. If you’re just starting on my blog, make sure to check that post and then go over the toys that we found useful for the 0-12 months stage. Also don’t miss the post on Tag Toys which are the most unique toys I’ve ever come across.

For now, in case you are  looking to replenish your playroom, buy birthday gifts, or are just curious about which toys Lexi plays with on daily basis, or used to play when she was slightly younger, read on!

Best Toys for Outdoor Play {12-24 MONTHS}

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



Since summer officially started in all parts of the northern hemisphere, I am sure that mommies of all kids all ages are trying to figure out ways of getting everyone outdoors, keeping them outdoors and keeping them entertained there. Usually, it doesn’t take much to have fun outside, if you’re willing to run around with your toddler, roll in the grass, throw the ball around.  But toys can always be an enhancement to a parent involved play or a welcome distraction for some alone time.

Unfortunately, in Florida,summer often means HOT (not always, but most of the time), so we are actually going back indoors. That’s fine by me, because we’ve spent months playing outside while others bundled up and stayed at home.

But I’d like to share some of the items that have been thoroughly enjoyed by Lexi while playing outdoors while summer is still in full swing everywhere else.


Safe Toys Feature: Tiny Love

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

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.


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

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

B. TOYS are the most original toys that you will find on the shelves of toy stores. Aside from nontraditional baby colors and fully recycled and recyclable packaging, B. Toys truly represent what is, in my mind, creativity and innovation.

I remember when I first bumped into B Toys online. I was going over and over their toy list literally excited for all the toys I will get to buy for Alexis. It wasn’t long after B. Toys sent me a few of their items to try, that I went ahead and ordered most of  their Lexi-appropriate toys.

When it comes to safety, here is where B. Toys are at according to their customer service. B. Toys do not have any BPA, they meet the standard requirements for lead and other substances. MOST of their toys are PVC free, except for soft squishy ones ( damn those soft toys that just require PVC!). And while I personally do not buy ANYTHING PVC if I can help it, if you do have soft squishy B toys, you can breathe a sigh of relief over the fact that B. Toys does not use phthalates at all. Instead they use citric acid as a softener (unlike most other companies that use PVC who DO use phthalates and simply try to keep it under the government mandated maximum)

One fun thing that B. Toys does is include funny quotes from real children in their toy tags, so whenever we get a new BToy, Andrew and I sit down and read through those and laugh.

So here are some of our favorite toys.


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


Heading our SAFE TOYS FEATURE is HABA, a wooden toys giant!

Haba, to me, is an exception to my “rule” that the bigger the manufacturer, the more careless about safety they are. They are the best example of a company that stayed true to itself as it grew, a company with a conscience.

According to Haba their products comply with EU standards, as well as are tested independently.

My two favorite lines of Haba are wooden toys and their new Organic toy line.

The wooden toys are painted with solvent-free, environmentally friendly, water-based stain, which is where the trouble usually arises with some traditional paints having lead and formaldehyde. So you can be sure that it is ok for babies to mouth HABA’s toys.

This Pixie World Stroller Toy was one of Lexi’s favorites to look at when she was little and play with when she got a bit older ( though, I do not recommend leaving your child alone to play with this).

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


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.