Buying natural baby toys is one of the best parts about being a parent to a newborn.
Seeing them experience a range of emotions for the first time is always entertaining, especially when they fall in love with a toy that will end up becoming a beloved memory of theirs.
Problem is, baby toys aren’t always sustainably made or good for the environment. It’s no secret that plastic baby toys almost always end up in landfills when the child has outgrown them.
For those wanting to minimize their impact on the environment, natural baby toys are the way to go.
Natural baby toys aren’t just good for the environment, they’re also highly beneficial for a baby.
The range of textures and safe materials are ideal for curious little ones, especially those who intend to put every toy into their mouths.
Best Natural Baby Toys
Here is our review of the best natural baby toys on the market!
OUR TOP PICK
Teethers are an essential toy for babies. Not only do they help satiate a baby’s curiosity, but they’re highly beneficial for soothing the gums as teeth start to develop, work towards starting hand-eye coordination, and prepares babies to start eating solid foods.
This Promise Babe teether is made of 100% organic maple wood, which is both natural and sourced from sustainable maple tree farm so is a great natural baby toy.
The wood is shaped into smooth shapes, including spherical balls and an adorable hedgehog shape designed for your baby to grip.
To ensure a smooth surface, the wood can be oiled and even sanded when it starts to look slightly rough. As for cleaning, it only needs to be wiped with a damp cloth.
When we tested this product, we found that babies enjoyed the variety of materials thanks to the additional crochet-covered beads.
This is also a resilient product that can withstand breakages from even the strongest of babies.
- Sustainable - Made from 100% eco-friendly maple wood
- Safe to use - Wood is soft and oiled to prevent splintering
- Satiates curiosity - Range of materials and shapes keeps babies entertained
- Upkeep - Wooden balls might need to be sanded down after frequent use
Also available to purchase at:
This natural baby toy is a great choice for your inquisitive baby. Rattle toys are great for babies who love to make a noise.
They’re fascinating to hold and teach babies that when they make specific movements, corresponding sounds happen.
They also help to develop hand-eye coordination from a young age.
These wooden rattle rollers are ideal for babies who are becoming curious about moving toys and different sounds.
This product consists of three wooden rattle rollers made of certified FSC beech wood, which is sustainably grown to minimize negative impact on the environment.
Inside the cylindrical rattle rollers (that are safe to roll around on the floor without making loud noises) are three colored wooden balls that are smooth enough to make a soothing sound.
The sound is more like wood on wood, rather than an irritating and scary knock.
When testing this product, we found that the cylindrical shape of the rollers encourages babies to crawl as they push and chase the rattler.
- Natural materials - Made from sustainably sourced beech wood and kid-safe coatings
- Nice sounds - Creates soft wood on wood noises
- Encourages crawling - Cylindrical shape can be rolled on floor easily
- Don’t leave unsupervised - Always stay near your baby in case one of the balls comes loose
Not all baby toys need to be made out of wood to be considered natural.
Luckily for parents who are worried about the potential risks of wooden toys, you can still find high quality natural baby toys made from rubber!
The Bambeado Amber Teething Giraffe is made of completely natural materials, including the namesake combination of natural rubber with natural amber, making for a resilient surface that is comfortable for teething.
As well as this, the teether is free from chemicals, fragrances, additives, dyes, and coloring, making for a neutral flavor and scent, and so is a great natural baby toy choice.
The giraffe shape is not only adorable, but it’s also conveniently designed for babies to easily hold the teether in their hands.
They can explore which parts of the body can go in their mouths without the risk of choking, as all aspects of the toy are joined together to prevent breakages and choking.
When testing this product, we found that babies seemed to appreciate the lack of artificial rubber flavor.
In terms of cleaning, it needs to be wiped with a damp cloth after every use, as fluff adheres to the natural rubber.
- Natural materials - Made of natural rubber and natural amber combination
- No scent or flavor - Doesn’t taste or smell like a flavor or artificial rubber
- Good shape - Easy to hold and lots of parts to safely chew
- Cleaning - Needs to be cleaned regularly as fluff sticks to the surface easily
Also available to purchase at:
Toys that double up as teethers and rattles are brilliant for babies.
Not only do they help to satiate a baby’s curiosity to play, but they also make noises and serve as a comforting surface to chew or suck during the teething process.
These Promise Babe teether rattles are ideal for babies who want a bit of variation in their box of toys and for parents looking for a natural baby toy.
This product comes with five different rattle toys that are made of 100% natural beech (sourced from sustainable beech forests) and shaped into various designs to make for a nice variety of toys to hold, rattle, and teethe on.
Each toy comes with their own form of rattle, whether it’s wheels on a wooden dog or circular wooden beads inside an elephant toy.
This is ideal for capturing a baby’s attention and establishing a distinction between different toys.
When we tested this product, we found that the toys shouldn’t be cleaned with water, as direct water can lead to the cracking of wood.
It cleans best when wiped with a damp cloth, and also benefits from being oiled with olive oil to prevent splintering.
- Good variation - Five toys of different shapes and sizes to keep your baby entertained
- Natural materials - Made from 100% sustainably sourced beech wood
- Two-in-one - Toys work as teethers and rattles
- Cleaning - Cannot be cleaned with direct water to prevent cracking in the wood
If you want to enhance your baby’s bath time, add some toys to the bathtub!
Bathtub toys help to build a positive association between a baby and bath time, which is ideal if they have had a difficult day.
After some playtime in the bath, your little one should be tired enough to fall straight asleep.
The Lil’ Llama Squirty Bath Toys is a 3-piece set consisting of an adorable llama, elephant, and sheep.
Each toy is made of 100% natural rubber that is sourced from hevea trees (also known as rubber trees), making it free from toxins, BPA, and other artificial materials.
As the name suggests, these hollow toys feature tiny holes used for squirting water in the bath.
Plus, the toys come in a zipper bag for easy portability, so you can maintain the fun of bath time when you’re out of the house!
When we tested this product, we found that the toys were just as beneficial out of the water, as it’s hard to clean the inside of each toy (if you’re worried about them growing mold).
For an all around natural baby toy, this is a great choice.
- Natural materials - Made of 100% natural rubber that is soft to chew and play with
- Bath time toys - Designed to squirt water for fun bath times
- Versatile - Three toys can also be used outside the bath
- Cleaning - Not easy to clean the insides to prevent mold
What To Look For In Natural Baby Toys
If your main concern is negatively impacting the environment by buying baby toys, your priority should be to find natural baby toys made of 100% natural materials.
The best natural materials for baby toys include sustainably sourced wood, natural rubber (sourced from hevea trees, which is far more sustainable than synthetic rubber), and natural cotton.
Unfortunately, there can often be a difference between natural materials and sustainable materials.
Just because a wooden toy might say it’s made with 100% natural materials doesn’t mean those materials were sourced from unsustainable practices.
The key is to find products from brands that are certified FSC. The FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, and is responsible for the sustainable management of the world’s forests.
When brands are certified FSC, they are using materials that are sourced from forests (such as beech and maple), which are sustainably controlled to not impact the environment.
Above all else, the safety of your baby is paramount. It’s all well and good buying a bunch of natural wooden toys for your little one, until the wood starts to splinter and your baby’s mouth gets scratched.
The key is to look for toys that have gone through rigorous testing to ensure splitting and splintering doesn’t occur in natural wooden toys.
For natural rubber toys, the risk of breakages is far less than with wooden toys. Make sure to choose toys from brands who have evidence of certified safety testing.
Parents can take some steps to ensure the safety of natural toys by cleaning them properly.
Baby toys made from natural materials can’t simply be washed under the tap with water or thrown into the dishwasher as with synthetic plastic toys.
Natural wood shouldn’t be met with direct water when it’s being cleaned. This is because water works to split the wood, which can be a painful hazard for a curious baby.
Also, water lingers in the middle of solid wood for a long time, which can eventually lead to mold. Instead, natural wood baby toys can simply be wiped with a damp cloth.
To maintain the smooth surface of natural wood toys, parents can sand down the surface or rub olive oil into the wood.
For natural rubber toys, parents should make sure to wipe the toys regularly with a damp cloth or sponge.
Natural rubber is known for attracting and adhering fluff, which isn’t always nice for your little one to chew on.
Intention Of The toy
You’ve also got to consider whether your baby will actually enjoy the toy. While some babies won’t care, others can be surprisingly picky with what toys they like.
Again, consider the intention of the toy. Does your baby need a rattler, or a teething toy?
Both are highly effective and necessary for your baby’s development, so sometimes it’s just easier to kill two birds with one stone and get a toy that does both.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should My Baby Have Natural Baby Toys Or Synthetic Toys?
Technically, there is no wrong answer to this question. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of throwing away baby toys made of synthetic materials, then you might want to consider buying natural baby toys.
Also, you’ll be giving your money to brands using sustainably-sourced materials rather than synthetic ones, which do more harm than good to the environment.
At the same time, you don’t have to throw away synthetic baby toys once your baby has outgrown them.
You can always give the toys to other parents in thrift stores to continue the lifespan, thus reducing your own negative impact on the environment.
Possibly the biggest issue with natural baby toys is that materials such as wood aren’t always enjoyed by teething babies.
Unless the wood has been properly sealed and structured into a soft surface, they might not enjoy the texture.
On the other hand, synthetic toys tend to be more flimsy than natural baby toys, which can lead to broken pieces and the potential for choking.
Natural baby toys are a brilliant way to keep your baby entertained, improve vital skills such as teething and hand-eye coordination, and keep your negative impact on the environment as low as possible!