The eco-conscious mother today is looking for baby rattles made from natural/organic materials. These materials include:
- natural wood
- organic wool or felt
- organic cotton
- natural rubber
- sterling silver
Ideally, baby rattles should be free of lead, phthalates, PVCs, and bisphenol-A. Non-toxic coatings such as water-based inks and vegetable dyes are eco-friendly options for decoration. However, in your quest for the perfect eco-friendly, sustainble, organic, and Fair Trade baby rattle, please don’t forget that one of the most important reasons for buying a rattle is to develop motor skills such as grasping and reaching. If the rattle is eco-perfect but not useful for motor skills because the size or dimensions are not easy for the baby to hold and manipulate, the most important goal will be lost. I encourage parents to have some eco-rattles, but not to fret over mixing in a few plastic ones as well. Keep in mind that the cloth ones cannot be wiped clean, they need to be laundered. This can be a bit labor intensive.
Brands such as HABA and VIULLI have made names for themselves by manufacturing and selling only eco-friendly baby toys and rattles. HABA manufactures an entire line of baby rattles and toys, while VIULLI is the maker of the classic baby teether ‘Sophi” the giraffe among others. You can find them online and often at local children’s boutiques. Although the cost is usually higher, a few carefully selected rattles last a long time.