You want what is best for your baby. You read labels, make intelligent choices, and try to keep up with the latest news on health and wellness. But with so many products hitting the shelves and so many acronyms (PVC, BPA, PBDEs - what do they all mean?), it can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.
To ensure you are buying the best teethers and toys for your baby that are non-toxic and safe, we’ve put together a handy list that takes the guesswork and stress out of your shopping trips.
Just Say No to Plastic
Those acronyms we mentioned earlier? Plastic toys and teethers - particularly the soft, inexpensive variety - are generally full of them. A 2021 study by the Technical University of Denmark found over 100 chemicals in plastic toys that pose possible health risks to children. While strides are being made to make plastic toys more strictly regulated, it is best to try to avoid them altogether.
Instead of plastic or gel-filled teething toys that risk bursting when baby is chewing on them, opt for silicone labelled as food-safe. Silicone is made using silica, a natural substance derived from sand. That means that silicone does not contain any harmful chemicals that regular plastics do, such as BPA and Phthalates. Remember, however, that not all silicones are created equal. That’s why opting for silicone toys labelled as food-safe are the way to go, such as our teethers. Every teether toy and ring we sell is safety-tested by a leading third-party laboratory to ensure that they are entirely free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, cadmium and other toxic substances and that they are compliant with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations.
Another reason to love silicone? It’s non-porous, meaning it is hypoallergenic and won’t become a safe space for germs to live. It’s also easy to clean and can simply be tossed in the dishwasher at the end of the day. If you or your baby have a latex allergy, silicone is the ideal alternative to natural rubber toys and teethers.
The Glossary of Toxins
Let’s break down the most common toxins and chemicals you might see when you’re out shopping:
BPA - Bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and resins since the 1950s. It has been shown to cause health problems in children. Look for toys and other products that are labelled as BPA-free. If a product isn't labelled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycling code 3 or 7 may contain BPA.
PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride plastic, commonly known as "vinyl.” PVC is created using chlorine, the basic building block of the infamous CFC chemical, which is widely known for not just causing ill health effects in humans but for having a negative impact on our environment.
PBDE - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are used as flame retardants and have been shown to cause developmental issues. They are applied to home products like furniture, but also many plastics.
Be Wary of Wood
To avoid plastics, you might want to gravitate toward wood toys. However, you’ll want to ensure you only purchase toys made using solid FSC-certified wood and non-toxic paint. Traditional wooden toys are often made using plywood or particleboard that uses toxic glues containing formaldehyde and lead-based paints.
In our toys and teethers, we use only high-quality wood that is proven safe, like beech wood. Beechwood is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial and won’t splinter when the baby chews on it. When you are looking for a teething option that is a little harder than silicone, beech wood fits the bill, as it will also help babies strengthen their newly forming teeth and their roots.
Looking for a teether that combines the best of both worlds? Our silicone and beech wood teethers are perennial favourites, and you can rest assured that they are safe and toxin-free. Heads-up: Beechwood and other wood-based toys and teethers will require some upkeep to ensure they won’t dry out and break. A simple rub with edible oil, like olive or rice bran, will keep them in tip-top shape.
Non-Toxic Baby Toys Checklist
- Natural materials, like beech wood
- Food-grade silicone
Here at Loulou Lollipop, we’ve made it easy to make healthy and safe choices. Our teethers, pacifier clips, and dining products are made of soft, food-safe silicone free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, and cadmium. Our wood products are crafted using durable, natural beech wood that a third-party laboratory has stringently tested. As always, adult supervision is required when your baby is using any toy or teether, regardless of how safe it is.
Learn more about our safety standards and how we choose the best products for your baby.