Curating for Baby: 5 Elegant, Non-Toxic Infant Toys

During those first six months of delicate infant-hood, I love to craft an environment for baby that’s as pure and natural as possible. Doing so has required a little extra leg-work, and I’ve often had to look beyond the big retailers like buybuyBaby and Target.

Truthfully, your infant’s favorite toy isn’t likely to be sold in stores. Cuddles and kisses, hand and finger songs, nursery rhymes and silly faces, these are the amusements baby most needs and desires.

And while infants may not need much in the way of toys, parents should get a lot of mileage out of these 5 simple, yet elegant essentials.

Crafted from natural, non-toxic materials, these heirloom quality toys are sure to delight parents and babies alike!

There will come a day when each little one begs for that bright pink Barbie Dream House or the Hot Wheels everything, so we may as well seize this fleeting opportunity to select the charming and healthy toys we as parents crave.

Some of the links in this article are ‘affiliate links,’ which will connect you to Amazon. Should you purchase through my link, I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. You can read the full details of my affiliate policy here. Thank you for your support!

1. Homi Baby Organic Wooden Rattle

This was my daughter’s absolute favorite toy for almost a year. At first, she just loved to explore its texture, shape, and rings. Later, she loved to gnaw the round ends, and finally, she was only too pleased to discover its function as a music-maker.

The Lovely:

  • Materials: Solid wood construction of maple and birch
  • Finishes: Organic coconut oil and beeswax (We own the ‘natural maple’ version that doesn’t include any color/paint)
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA
  • Well-sanded, no rough patches

2. Solid Wood Teething & Grasping Toys

Teething rings and grasping toys provide another opportunity for choosing a natural material over plastic.

New parents might not realize there are companies creating these types of toys from solid wood.

We love our wooden teething & grasping toys, in all shapes and sizes. I’m featuring this particular Camden Rose teether because its traditional shape makes it a great first basic.

Camden Rose Maple Teether

The Lovely:

  • Materials: Constructed from solid maple
  • Finishes: Organic jojoba oil
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA

A mix of round and square edges allow baby to explore different shapes.

If you’re looking for teethers in a variety of shapes, Maple Landmark, a Vermont-based company with superb products, offers some fun options, like this heart-shaped design, currently available on Amazon.

Camden Rose and Maple Landmark are my go-to companies when I’m seeking solid wood toys crafted in the USA.

3. Camden Rose Wooden Blocks

Camden Rose Tri-Color Wooden Blocks for Sale through Palumba

For a healthier set of blocks, I love the idea of opting for solid wood over plastic or particle board.

Baby is sure to begin their play by placing a block into his or her mouth, and selecting solid wood ensures that bits of glue or particle board aren’t slowly dissolving there.

A set of blocks will grow with baby beyond the first six months of infant-hood, into the second half of their first year and beyond. Mouthing will lead to knocking down the towers you build, and later, baby will construct towers of her own.

We’ve been using this Camden Rose set for the past four years. Their products are a bit of an investment, but the quality is just excellent. If properly maintained with beeswax, their toys are sure to last through your littlest sibling and beyond.

My sweet pea at 7 months tasting..

and stacking blocks.

The Lovely:

  • Materials: Constructed from three types of solid wood: walnut, cherry, & maple
  • Finishes: Sealed with beeswax polish
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA

Some Camden Rose products occasionally become available for purchase through Amazon. These blocks aren’t currently available there, but can be purchased through their Palumba online storefront, a division of Camden Rose that offers products for natural living, including toys and art supplies.

4. Palumba Wool Ball

Handmade Wool Felt Ball for Sale Through Palumba

Every baby needs at least a few balls with which to play! What a wonderful vehicle for exploring shape, movement, and eye-hand coordination.

But rather than settling for the usual ball constructed from plastic, these balls offer a lovely and unexpected alternative crafted from 100% wool.

There are many colors from which to choose, and I love that the use of wool material adds a completely different texture for baby to explore.

The Lovely:

  • Materials: 100% Alpaca Wool
  • Manufacturing: Custom-made by hand for Palumba in Nepal

These balls are currently available through the Palumba website.

I thought I’d take a quick peek to see if I could find a anything similar from other companies, perhaps at a lower price point. I couldn’t find anything on Amazon intended for babies, but I did find several options created for pets! These gave me a chuckle, but I suppose pets deserve natural fibers too.

I thought it worth mentioning that we’ve played with some of our extra wool dryer balls too. They don’t offer vibrant colors like those from Palumba, but they do provide the experience of a fun wool texture, and the health benefit of a 100% natural fiber. The dryer balls we have are no longer available, but this brand of organic eco wool dryer balls looks quite similar.

5. Camden Rose Solid Wood Stacking Rings

Camden Rose Multi-Hardwood Circle Stacker available through Palumba

We purchased this stunning set of solid wood stacking rings for my son more than four years ago, and honestly, they look just as lovely today!

Developmentally, your infant is unlikely to master a set of stacking rings before reaching six months, but like that set of blocks, stacking rings are a versatile toy that really grows alongside your baby.

Before baby is sitting-up, these rings can be used like teething or grasping toys, and can be stacked as blocks.

Later on, baby can refine her motor skills as she attempts to mount the rings on the stick. And even later, parents can work with toddlers to explore the concepts of size and order.

One word of caution, because this toy does include a wooden stick, I recommend supervising little ones while they play with it, and putting it up after play is done.

The Lovely:

  • Materials: Constructed from three types of solid wood: walnut, cherry, & maple
  • Finishes: Sealed with beeswax polish
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA

This circular set of the Camden Rose Hardwood Stackers is currently available only through Palumba, but Amazon does have sets of the Camden Rose Hardwood Stackers in Triangle and Square available.

Tips for Sourcing Non-Toxic Baby Toys

Looking to curate your own list of favorites? Here are some of the details I look for when sourcing toys for baby:

  • Natural Materials: Look for toys constructed from natural, non-toxic materials like solid wood, wool, organic cotton, or natural rubber.
  • Finishes: Pay close attention to the finishes as baby is likely to place everything in the mouth! For teething toys, I prefer unpainted wood, but for other toys, you can look for toys finished with non-toxic paints.
  • Safety: Toy companies should be watching for small parts or other potential safety hazards for baby. But as parents, it’s still a good idea to examine toys carefully to ensure our own standards are met.
  • Manufacturing: If I can find the time, I like to dig a little deeper to find out the details of manufacturing. My top preference is to find toys manufactured here in the USA, but I’m open to toys manufactured elsewhere if produced by reputable companies and I’m confident that the product and materials are as advertised. Other selling features I love to see include the use of sustainable materials, and companies that incorporate third party testing to verify quality and check for toxic substances like lead.

Healthier Toys, Healthier Environment

I hope you enjoy this collection of elegantly designed, blissfully healthy baby toys as much as I do!

I think it’s wonderful to incorporate natural materials into baby’s toy collection where possible. Why not seize the opportunity to create a healthier, non-toxic environment for baby while we can?

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