Fun is healthy, but is your baby staying healthy while having fun? Bright colors, cheerful noises, and exciting textures are all important things to look for in your baby’s soft toys, rattles, and books, but these things should all come secondary to safety.

At Hatched Boutique, our favorite kind of baby toy is one that is safe, adorable, and made from organic materials. While it’s possible for baby toys to be safe without being organic, we prefer this distinction because we like knowing that only all-natural substances are going into our little ones’ curious mouths. We also like knowing that our purchases are contributing to a healthy planet, not a depleted one.

Whether you’re going for organic or simply safe, shopping for a reliable soft toy or hard toy takes a little bit of care. That being said, it’s definitely doable! Just use our reliable checklist the next time you’re at the toy store or shopping online.

1. Does My Child Fit The Intended Age Range?

Most children’s toys come with a tag or sticker explaining their intended age range. Manufacturers make these estimates by assessing what age a child must be to use the toy safely. Toys with small parts, for example, won’t generally be marketed towards children under three years of age. Don’t just rely on these labels, though! They’re just a guideline. Make sure to take your child’s actual playing habits into account.

2. Is It Non-Toxic?

Soft toys and plastic toys alike can potentially contain toxic substances. Common plastics such as PVC often contains heavy metals, phthalates, and other substances that interfere with normal development and cause cancer. The same goes for common fabric dyes including Azo dye. For a more sustainable and baby-safe alternative, we recommend choosing toys made from G.O.T.S certified organic fabrics or sustainably-sourced wood or bamboo. They’re safer and they’re just as colorful and stimulating to play with.

3. Could My Child Swallow The Toy Or Its Parts?

Safe baby toy use involves constant adult supervision, but it would be impossible for you to control everything your little one tries to do with her favorite soft toy or plastic toy. A newborn baby WILL taste, chew on, or even try to eat her toys. As a rule of thumb, make sure that the toy is bigger than your child’s mouth. If it’s a stuffed toy, check the eyes, ears, tails, and limbs to make sure they are sewn well and extremely difficult to tug off. Be especially wary of small magnets, which could repel and attract inside a child’s body and cause injury. Also, be wary about small parts that are hidden inside the toy.

4. Is It Too Heavy For Baby?

While you want your baby’s soft toys and hard toys to be too big to swallow, you also don’t want them to be so heavy that they’d hurt her if they fell over. This point applies especially to hard toys and play gyms, which have bigger frames. Make sure that play gyms are made from lightweight materials such as wood or hollow plastic, and make sure that there’s a solid base structure holding everything up. At Hatched Boutique, we prefer versatile minimalist play gyms made from untreated wood with detachable, loveable animal friends included.

5. Is There A Strangulation Risk?

A soft toy doesn’t have to have that much string attached to pose a strangulation hazard. Be wary about ribbons, yarns, strings or cords attached to any of your child’s toys, including baby mobiles that your child might be able to reach. Of course, many stuffed animals have tails attached. Most of them won’t be a worry – the strings you should be cautious about are those 12 inches or longer.

6. Is The Toy In Good Condition?

If you’re a parent who prefers the eco-friendly and small business option when shopping for yourself, you may also be interested in sourcing hand-me-down toys or locally handmade toys, especially soft toys, for your child. While these objects are often perfectly safe baby toys, this depends on the quality of craftsmanship and degree of wear. Use an especially critical eye when evaluating the conditions of these toys to make sure that there are no detachable parts or questionable materials in sight (or hidden inside!).

Browse The Hatched Boutique Collection

From natural latex toys painted with food-grade dyes to 100% organic hypoallergenic soft toys, our toy box is filled with high-quality baby toys that we curated for optimum safety and play value. If you’re looking for something to delight your own baby or an exciting gift for a baby shower, you’re in good hands. Visit the collection today and get free shipping on any order $35 or over!