Wooden toys are traditionally considered for toddlers but there are many great wooden toys for infants under 12 months. Most often, infants want to look at, feel and put toys in their mouths. Wooden toys are great for babies because they are often visually appealing, soft with rounded edges, and are non-toxic.
What do most infants like to do with toys? Put them in their mouth. Earnest Efforts, a husband and wife duo out of Oregon, make a very simple, fun and practical rattle for infants. The rattle is simply a small, ovular shaped piece of wood that rattles. The handmade rattle is not a choking hazard and can easily be grasped by tiny hands. You can purchase the rattles in a variety of wood types and colors.
Camden Rose is an artist collective in Michigan that produces handmade crafts. They have an adorable bowl and spoon set made from Cherry wood. Each item is cut from a single piece of wood. The advantage to having these wood bowls and utensils is the soft edges. Be sure to wash them shortly after using. Camden Rose also offers a teether, rattle and a unique book and puzzle set. The teether is a soft, unfinished Maple wood and the rattle is a slightly darker cherry wood.
Haba is a toy maker out of Germany. There are many online stateside retailers who sell wooden Haba toys. They have many safe wooden toys for babies. Some of my favorites are the Click Clack Clutching Toy, Flapsi Clutching Baby Toy, and the Rattling Caterpillar Clutching Baby Toy. One thing I love about Haba toys is their bright colors. They are colored with water-based, safe lacquers and all the bright, primary colors appeal to babies. You can purchase Haba toys at many online retailers including Julabug and more.
The Wood Garden
The Wood Garden is an Etsy seller out of Canada. They make rattles and a teething ring that would be suitable for babies. They also make a wooden bowl and spoon set that looks very nice. What sets them apart is the appearance of their rattles. The rattles are unpainted but because of the different woods used, there are contrasting colors on each rattle. The end result is a handmade rattle that looks very soft and colorful, without being painted.
PlanToys is headquartered in Thailand and has offices and manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States. The company prides themselves on being sustainable in business and manufacturing. Some wooden baby toys I took particular notice of was the butterfly mirror, the rattle, and the bumblebee beeper. The butterfly mirror has a wooden body, cloth wings and a mirror on the underside. The rattle looks like a small wooden 'ring' and the loop is just the right size for baby to grasp. The bumblebee beeper is a small wooden bee with crunchy cloth wings that beeps when you press it.
The more you look, the more you find in the world of children's toys. Do not wait until your child is a toddler before buying the best toys. Make sure your infant has safe and appealing handmade wooden toys to encourage development.