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16 Non-Toxic Baby Toys to Make Playtime Safe and Fun

From recycled plastic submarines to play gyms crafted from natural wood, these non-toxic baby toys make play fun, safe, and sustainable.

Written by
Andrea Hill
Published

The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time. Whether you're expecting a child of your own or welcoming a niece, nephew, grandchild, or a friend's child, investing in (and gifting) toys is inevitable. But to protect our beloved little ones, favoring eco-friendly, non-toxic baby toys is a must.

As we evolve into more intelligent and thoughtful consumers, questioning the materials and chemicals that go into playtime is a natural step. Let's be real: babies are vulnerable, and they love putting anything and everything into their mouths. From play gyms to pacifiers, their toys should be sustainable and safe.

So, whether your circle is expanding to include an infant or you're shopping for tots that have already graced us earth-side, we’ve compiled some tips for shopping non-toxic baby toys.

Chemicals and Materials to Avoid When Buying Non-Toxic Baby Toys

Baby toys are soft and colorful, but that doesn’t mean that they're safe for babies—or anyone, for that matter. The following chemicals and materials should be avoided when shopping for baby toys to help ensure their non-toxic status.

Chemicals:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Bisphenol S (BPS)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Heavy metals (including lead)
  • Azo dyes
  • Pesticides
  • Phthalates

Materials:

  • Single-use plastic
  • PVC/Vinyl
  • Polyurethane foam

Other Factors to Consider

Know Where Your Non-Toxic Baby Toys Come From

For toys not made in the United States, Canada, or Europe, you’ll want to research the brand certifications to confirm they’re non-toxic. Toys manufactured outside of the aforementioned areas aren’t uniformly regulated and aren’t required to pass certain qualifications to make it onto store shelves. For example, a number of toys are made in China, where brominated flame retardants are still permitted in the production process. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is also responsible for toy safety in the United States. Regulations put in place by the CPSC have helped consumers avoid the chemicals listed above, making it a wise choice to shop for toys that are made in the States. Still, more research is needed, as not all parts of a toy require testing.

The bottom line: Pay attention to chemicals, materials, and the country of origin for any toys that you purchase moving forward, and check for additional certifications under each brand to ensure the utmost safety for babies.

Here, 16 eco-friendly, non-toxic baby toys to help you on your way to an entirely sustainable nursery.

16 Non-Toxic Baby Toys to Shop

This gift set comes with an adorable non-toxic Cheengoo crocheted sloth or monkey teething rattle that's ethically made by artisans. But there's more! It also includes Coyuchi's jersey baby blanket and beanie set made from 100% organically grown cotton, Esembly's balm that's great for dry skin (or nipple relief!), and a book that's responsibly printed using soy-based inks.

For those whose homes feature a bohemian flair, this play gym entertains in style. The wooden toys are crafted by artisans in India and are suitable for babies from newborn to nine months.

3. All-in-One Toy, $16

This toy is made with 100% organic cotton rope and parents can easily clip this onto a stroller, car seat, or play gym. As with above, this non-toxic baby toy is hand-crafted by artisans—and an accessible solution if you're not ready to invest in the play gym.

4. Teething Ears, $22

Make teething days less of a struggle with this toy made of untreated wood, non-toxic vegetable seed wax, and organic cotton. The soft, smooth, and natural materials ensure that your baby can gnaw away safely.

5. Rattle Buddy, $28

A soft and reassuring stuffed animal that doubles as an eco-friendly rattle. This adorable toy is hand-knitted at an artisanal women’s collaborative in Peru from GOTS-certified organic cotton and includes a phthalate-free rattle.

Henry the Hippo is also made with untreated wood and vegetable seed wax. Sometimes the simplest toys are also a child's favorite ones to reach for.

7. Pacifier Holder, $24

Another of Finn & Emma’s ethically-made toys from Peru, this pacifier holder is made with GOTS-certified organic cotton, non-toxic dyes, and a lead/nickel-free clip, all designed to keep your baby's pacifier on-hand rather than on the floor.

This cute baby kit has everything you need to keep your little one entertained. It includes keys, stacking toys, and an elephant on wheels, all made with recycled plastic that is free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC.

9. Play Gym, $140

As another all-in-one option, this gym set is made with organic cotton and FSC-certified sustainably-sourced wood was conceptualized to keep your child busy (and developing!) throughout the first year of life. Plus, the toys are detachable for multi-purpose use.

10. Mouse Rattle, $25

Explore the sense of touch with this lightweight rattle that's ideal for tiny hands. This toy comes from natural wood and uses no synthetic dyes—but that doesn't mean skimping on the fun colors!

An homage to endangered sea turtles, this toy is made with 98% recycled plastic, discarded fishing nets, along with other end-of-life maritime industry plastics like ropes. It’s also BPA-free and comes apart easily for cleaning purposes. 

Sounds! Textures! Shapes! This ocean-themed toy was created with sensory development in mind. It's crafted from organic cotton and is easy to grip. 

Another great developmentally-focused toy, this set of sensory balls helps hone hand-eye coordination. Each ball is made with soft natural rubber—a gentle means of encouraging motor skills.

14. Shape Sorter, $20

Pattern play with a sustainable spin. The shape sorting set is made in the USA from food-safe, 100% recycled plastic milk jugs, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

15. First Keys, $8

These giant keys will undoubtedly end up in your baby’s mouth—and thankfully, they meet the FDA's food contact standards. They’re made from recycled plastic and are free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC. The non-toxic toy is also dishwasher safe.

Turn bathtime into playtime with this recycled-plastic submarine. Babies will love submerging the toy and then watching it float, transforming the bath into a personal seascape. The watercraft is free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC.