Originally Posted by lolablitz
What's so wrong with plastic? I get that wooden toys are in vogue right now, so if you're looking for toys that look cooler in your home, well...drop it.
Wooden toys are made from chemically-treated lumber and coated with resin (plastic) or paint (non-toxic chemical compound containing PVC-type elements). All of them. It's what keeps the wood from splintering in your kid's hands. I don't understand your issue with Legos either. My brother's are 30 y/o and still played with (unlike our wooden blocks which had to be tossed).
Most high quality wooden toys that I have looked at and/or purchased are made to be non-toxic (though not all, some are certainly still the made in China, chemical treated crap- I would agree that just because it is wood does NOT necessarily mean that it is fairly or safely made) BUT the higher quality companies and retailers seem to be very aware of these issues and state when describing a product what it is treated with etc. Maybe I am naive for taking that at face value but I do trust a smaller, naturally focused toy company more than say Toys R Us.
Even if wooden toys had some or all of the same chems as plastic as you seem to be asserting (which I will not necessarily agree with based on my current knowledge, though again I would be interested in reading more if you have sources of this info), I would probably still prefer the wooden because plastics are often made from petroleum and other non-renewable resources and do not always use fair labor practices. Again, I don't know as much about this issue as some others do, and am always interested in learning more, but that is my take on it. (And on the flip side, I know there are plastics which are BPA free, made from cornstarch resin, etc. A friend got us a rattle made in this manner and I let my son play with it, I don't have a full-on "plastic ban" in my home, but I do try to be cautious-- that said, despite my efforts, my son puts everything in his mouth and makes random objects into toys, which he seems to prefer over actual toys most days lol- so instead of his nice wooden blocks he can usually be found attempting to eat my cell phone or chewing on a plastic tupperware- so yeah, I try to limit his exposure and would never choose to buy him -or request others to buy him- something plastic if there are higher quality and safer options available- stuffed wool or cotton toys, safe sustainably made wooden toys, etc. But I do agree that there needs to be some flexibility when dealing with a child. I know there will be more hurdles to navigate when my son is older and can ask for specific items or discuss these issues and we'll cross that bridge when we get there- but for now he's not even a year and I feel like, since 1) he is at the put-everything-in-the-mouth phase, and 2) I control what comes into our come, I am determined to make the available toys high quality and as safe as possible.
We live in a world sadly enough where babies receive toxins starting in utero and through breastmilk or formula, I realize I cannot protect my son from everything or anywhere close to it, but I do believe that high quality wooden toys are much safer than the majority of the plastic junk in terms of materials, chemicals, etc. That alone is reason enough. But I also want to instill certain values- that it is better to have fewer number of high quality toys and to give to others who don't have as much as we are blessed with (it's all relative, and even though we are considered low income as a single student parent, I want him to see that we choose not to have more than we need, and that there are others who are not as fortunate and we can help others as a part of our value system), that it is better to support independent/small business and ethical companies than questionable corporations, etc. So that is another reason.
Others take issue with many of today's plastic toys with lights, sounds, stimulation galore, believing that this could be damaging to a growing baby/toddler's brain development at worst, and obnoxious and unnecessary at best.
So I really do not think OP or others with such concerns are wanting their toys to look "trendy" or being nitpicky. Although I am a first time mom, and a couple mamas have said that as their kiddo gets older or as they have a second or third child, they relax certain rules or standards. Me, I try not to make most things absolutes, but I am assertive when it comes to my choices, because I parent the way I do for valid reasons.
In the case of the OP, I agree that since your mom seems to be asking for feedback and running this by you, the suggestions of several posters-- bring up the reviews and point out to her that you don't want her to waste her money on something that is not well made, and/or show her the wooden version and comment that you think it would last longer, etc. would be kind ways to go about it.
I do think it is odd that she asked for a list and now is not following it, but at the same time, the fact that she is running things by you seems to imply she is open to working with you on this. And for the future, I think maybe implementing some of these other suggestions (i.e. the list of general stores/companies/websites, and/or general interests) and make clear to her if there are certain things that are absolutely not allowed in your house, in a respectful but firm way. Good luck and keep us posted!