or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Working and Student Parents › transition to daycare - how to reduce baby chewing (possibly toxic?) toys
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

transition to daycare - how to reduce baby chewing (possibly toxic?) toys

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm transitioning from SAHM to working and starting daycare for my 10-mo old. I'm a little concerned that my baby puts all sorts of toys while at daycare.  So far, at home, I've tried very hard to have no-BPA, no-phtalate, toys etc ...

 

I've tried to gently discourage the baby not to suck on any toy that looks 'unsafe' - the baby would usually respond and happily oblige.  Though I can't imagine the daycare providers will manage to do that consistently throughout the day.  I'll definitely mention it to them, but wouldn't count on it.

 

So, other than just keep practicing with the baby at home, and talk to the providers - is there something else I should try?  All daycares around here more or less have the same types of toys.  What do you do?  I do realize that the baby will outgrow this stage - once learning to walk becomes more interesting, etc, there'll be other distractions, ways of explorations other than licking and sucking stuff.  But, till then, how can I minimize the baby from ingesting possibly harmful chemicals on the toys?

 

Are you ever concerned about this?  Is there any reason to worry - or not to worry?  Thanks for any ideas and insights.

 

post #2 of 19

Unless you find a dcp who completely agrees with you AND doesn't have those types of toys around, you can't do much about it. Babies will chew on whatever they can put in their mouths, even if you feel they are unsafe.

 

As a former DCP, more concerning than the plastic stuff would be the GERMS from sticking toys in their mouths. One baby sucks on a toy, passes it to another baby who sucks on it who passes it to another baby.... and around and around the germs fly until all the babies are ill. Despite trying to clean toys constantly, and taking them away to clean after we see it in one baby's mouth, the germ sharing is inevitable.

post #3 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post

 

Are you ever concerned about this?  Is there any reason to worry - or not to worry?  Thanks for any ideas and insights.

 

 

I was not concerned about this. Exposure levels from mouthing a few toys are not even a blip on the radar of health risks. I mean, compared to issues like air quality, those kinds of risks are ridiculously small, if they exist at all.

 

Best of luck with the transition!

post #4 of 19

Yeah- this would not have been on my radar- babies chew things.  Instead I would have focused on choosing a DCP that provides a safe/clean environment so that I didn't have to worry about things like that. 

 

Is that you deem certain toys are unsafe but the DCP doesn't? My gut says if a parents and a DCP disagree on such a a basic concept than chances are as your child grows the differences will continue to grow. You need to be able to leave your child w/o worry and have confidence that your child is safe and happy. If you don't feel that way your transition will be even more difficult. 

 

 

post #5 of 19

What do you mean by "looks 'unsafe'"? I don't think there are any DCPs that have items in a infant room they think are unsafe. I'm just trying to imagine how your  conversation with DCP would go. Are there certain toys you would expect your DC could not play with? and how would that work, from the DCP's perspective?

 

Also, how does this "practicing" work? Are you expecting your child to determine what toys are "unsafe?"

 

I agree with PP, you need to decide if this child care center (I am assuming it is a center) is the right fit for you, if you are this concerned about plastics. 

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammysue View Post

What do you mean by "looks 'unsafe'"? I don't think there are any DCPs that have items in a infant room they think are unsafe. I'm just trying to imagine how your  conversation with DCP would go. Are there certain toys you would expect your DC could not play with? and how would that work, from the DCP's perspective?

 

Also, how does this "practicing" work? Are you expecting your child to determine what toys are "unsafe?"

 

I agree with PP, you need to decide if this child care center (I am assuming it is a center) is the right fit for you, if you are this concerned about plastics. 

 

"... if you are this concerned about plastics ..."???  What?  Is this forum part of MDC? 

 

Of course I am "this concerned about plastics" - I thought there would be others here in MDC who are as well.  Boy, forget it ...

 


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 3/27/11 at 11:13pm
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Good point, StephandOwen.  The germ sharing can make a child sick faster than any of the bad chemicals - thanks for the reminder!


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 3/27/11 at 10:32pm
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

Originally Posted by ~pi:

I was not concerned about this. Exposure levels from mouthing a few toys are not even a blip on the radar of health risks. I mean, compared to issues like air quality, those kinds of risks are ridiculously small, if they exist at all.

 

--------------

Do you have any links by any chance? That would be interesting to see how exposure to phthalate, BPA from mouthing toys in daycare centers compared to other pollutants, for example?

 

I would like to believe what you said to be true.  But then, I'd read something like this:

http://www.center4research.org/2010/04/phthalates-and-childrens-products/ - they only started a few years ago to reduce them in toys - lots of older toys in daycare.

 

I'm also looking for the US version of this, if it exists:

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/consumer_safety/l32033_en.htm

 


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 3/27/11 at 10:49pm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post

 

Originally Posted by ~pi:

I was not concerned about this. Exposure levels from mouthing a few toys are not even a blip on the radar of health risks. I mean, compared to issues like air quality, those kinds of risks are ridiculously small, if they exist at all.

 

--------------

Do you have any links by any chance? That would be interesting to see how exposure to phthalate, BPA from mouthing toys in daycare centers compared to other pollutants, for example?

 

I would like to believe what you said to be true.  But then, I'd read something like this:

http://www.center4research.org/2010/04/phthalates-and-childrens-products/ - they only started a few years ago to reduce them in toys - lots of older toys in daycare.

 


I am not aware of any link that breaks down and compares all of life's health risks. (More's the pity. We might all be a little more rational about comparative risks!) But if you are willing to take a little time to think and do some basic math and logic yourself, just look at any credible health agency's page on air quality (e.g., here is an overview from the World Health Organization). When you look at these and compare, note first, the enormous difference in effect sizes, and second, remember that the diseases whose incidences are increased by poor air quality are far, far more common. This means that air quality has a larger risk multiplier, and it is multiplying a larger number to start with.

 

The science on phthalates is still very preliminary. Animal models are given massive doses to test for effects. As I understand it (and admittedly, this is not my area of science, but I do know people who are doing research in this area), there's still a lot of conflicting research and question marks. Don't get me wrong; we won't be running out and wrapping our kid in vinyl anytime soon. But phthalates are still in the, 'we think this may be an issue, more research is needed' stage, whereas air quality is much more of a slam dunk, 'this is a definite, known, well-established health issue.'

 

Also, re: old toys, since phthalates leach out over time, if you're going to play with plastic toys, perhaps older ones are preferable.

 

I don't know. You seem surprised that others might not share your level of concern. It's worth noting that MDC is a large community and not everyone agrees on every issue. I personally feel that exposure to some plastic during the minority of time a child is at daycare doesn't really stack up compared to a lot of the larger health risks out there. And, really, if your kid has good quality child care, decent nutrition, access to health care, and good education once s/he is a little older, s/he's already well ahead of the vast majority of the world in terms of what s/he can expect for health outcomes.

 

You may feel differently, and that's OK, but you asked specifically whether others worried about this, so you're going to get some honest answers.

 

Again, good luck with the transition back to work.

post #10 of 19

Hi, mama. I can hear your concern for the safety of your kiddo, and while I understand why you're worried about the safety of plastic toys at the daycare, I think the previous posters are right to point out that in the grand scheme of things BPA and phthalates are, frankly, minor when compared to issues of security, health (germy toys), nutrition etc. Unless you have a Waldorf-inspired daycare near you, it's unlikely you'll find one with a really strict stance on plastic toys. And to be perfectly honest I don't think it's rational or reasonable to expect a 10-month old to determine which toys you consider safe and which you don't. I would suggest that you focus on making the toys you take into your home as safe as possible, and if you otherwise feel that the daycare you've chosen for your child is safe, and that they will be kind, loving and respectful of your child you need to let the toy issue go. The further I get along my parenting journey the more I understand that I cannot control all aspects of my children's lives, especially when they are in the care of others. The best I can do is mindfully pick who, other than myself, cares for them and make sure their philosophies on discipline, nutrition and child development track as closely as possible with mine. Best of luck to you.

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~pi View Post


The science on phthalates is still very preliminary. Animal models are given massive doses to test for effects. As I understand it (and admittedly, this is not my area of science, but I do know people who are doing research in this area), there's still a lot of conflicting research and question marks. Don't get me wrong; we won't be running out and wrapping our kid in vinyl anytime soon. But phthalates are still in the, 'we think this may be an issue, more research is needed' stage, whereas air quality is much more of a slam dunk, 'this is a definite, known, well-established health issue.'

 

Also, re: old toys, since phthalates leach out over time, if you're going to play with plastic toys, perhaps older ones are preferable.

 

Thanks!

 

Per leaching out - I do agree that for a given toy, the phthalates level will be reduced over time from leaching out - thanks for pointing that out.  However, the remaining levels might still not satisfy the CPSIA restrictions (curious how they decided on these numbers ... anyway ... a topic of some other time).  I suspect heat might accelerate the process of leaching out as well - washing with very hot water, for example, might do that probably. 

 

Anyway, I have even more questions now than when I started the thread.

Thank you again for the well wishes - yeah, it is exciting but also scary, baby toys notwithstanding lol.gif

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post

 

Hi, mama. I can hear your concern for the safety of your kiddo, and while I understand why you're worried about the safety of plastic toys at the daycare, I think the previous posters are right to point out that in the grand scheme of things BPA and phthalates are, frankly, minor when compared to issues of security, health (germy toys), nutrition etc. Unless you have a Waldorf-inspired daycare near you, it's unlikely you'll find one with a really strict stance on plastic toys. And to be perfectly honest I don't think it's rational or reasonable to expect a 10-month old to determine which toys you consider safe and which you don't. I would suggest that you focus on making the toys you take into your home as safe as possible, and if you otherwise feel that the daycare you've chosen for your child is safe, and that they will be kind, loving and respectful of your child you need to let the toy issue go. The further I get along my parenting journey the more I understand that I cannot control all aspects of my children's lives, especially when they are in the care of others. The best I can do is mindfully pick who, other than myself, cares for them and make sure their philosophies on discipline, nutrition and child development track as closely as possible with mine. Best of luck to you.

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Marylizah!

 

You're absolutely right - it's a journey of letting things go a little bit at a time. 

 

Per which toy to chew or not: no, no, of course - the baby can't decide that - sorry if what I wrote seems to suggest that.  What has been happening is it's me who have been telling the baby what is ok or not to chew on and he does listen.  As I pointed out in my original post, I don't expect any daycare providers to be able to do that all the time.  

 

My only hope is that if the dcp is willing to try to tell the baby not to chew - at least once in a while during the day - the baby will also listen just like he does when I do it.  Whatever to reduce the exposure - but no, it's not a solution, this won't happen in a daycare setting, I agree.

 

True - it's not possible to eliminate all risks, only to reduce them.  The big transition for me is, some of the bigger risks that have been mentioned so far, e.g.  germs, security, etc - these are things that I don't have to worry much about while being an SAHM.  It is a drastic change that I have to worry about these now.

 

Thanks again, Marylizah - I suspect the transition will be harder for me than for the baby ... wink1.gif

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 19

I am sorry to repeat myself but why are you allowing to child to be exposed to something you deem dangerous?? If you don't want your child exposed to plastics and the potential dangers don't utilize a DCP that supplies such toys. If you and the DCP have such different views of child safety at this early stage I can foresee the potential of other fundamental differences.

 

When you choose to utilize a DCP there will always be risks involved.  Many of the same risks are there when you are SAHP, use a nanny, or an in home CCP. Some risks will be out of your control-exposure to germs etc.. Some risks you can help minimize such as doing thorough background checks, checking references, interviewing current and past parents, making unannounced visits. However exposure to dangerous toys made of unacceptable plastics, MIC items not tested for lead and the like is something you CAN control. 

 

Speaking from experience the transition is hard enough when you know you have done everything you could to make sure your child is safe. I don't see how you will be able to comfortably walk away each morning feeling they way you currently feel. You are expecting the DCP to monitor what your child is chewing and are worried that they can do that all time. Why not have your child in a place that doesn't have unsafe items to chew on to begin with???? That would be one less worry you would have each day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post
Thanks, Marylizah!

 

You're absolutely right - it's a journey of letting things go a little bit at a time. 

 

Per which toy to chew or not: no, no, of course - the baby can't decide that - sorry if what I wrote seems to suggest that.  What has been happening is it's me who have been telling the baby what is ok or not to chew on and he does listen.  As I pointed out in my original post, I don't expect any daycare providers to be able to do that all the time.  

 

My only hope is that if the dcp is willing to try to tell the baby not to chew - at least once in a while during the day - the baby will also listen just like he does when I do it.  Whatever to reduce the exposure - but no, it's not a solution, this won't happen in a daycare setting, I agree.

 

True - it's not possible to eliminate all risks, only to reduce them.  The big transition for me is, some of the bigger risks that have been mentioned so far, e.g.  germs, security, etc - these are things that I don't have to worry much about while being an SAHM.  It is a drastic change that I have to worry about these now.

 

Thanks again, Marylizah - I suspect the transition will be harder for me than for the baby ... wink1.gif

 

 

 

 



 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

I am sorry to repeat myself but why are you allowing to child to be exposed to something you deem dangerous?? If you don't want your child exposed to plastics and the potential dangers don't utilize a DCP that supplies such toys. If you and the DCP have such different views of child safety at this early stage I can foresee the potential of other fundamental differences.

 

Speaking from experience the transition is hard enough when you know you have done everything you could to make sure your child is safe. I don't see how you will be able to comfortably walk away each morning feeling they way you currently feel. You are expecting the DCP to monitor what your child is chewing and are worried that they can do that all time. Why not have your child in a place that doesn't have unsafe items to chew on to begin with???? That would be one less worry you would have each day.

 

 

Thanks for the response.

 

I don't like repeating myself - but nope, I never expected the dcp to monitor my child continuously and I'm going to repeat myself and say that I'm aware it's not possible.  And, I'm sorry to repeat myself but there are no daycares around here that have no plastic toys.    

 

If I were to reformulate the question it would be that given the current circumstances - how can I reduce the exposure?     

 

Anyway, just want to share that I'll try this approach instead - (silicone or any other non-bpa non- etc ...) pacifier.  The baby is big on pacifier but I haven't brought any to the daycare so far but will do so now - if he spends more time chewing on the pacifier, perhaps he'll spend less time chewing other things - or perhaps not, but worth trying anyway. 

 

Thanks for the honest feedback, appreciate it.

 


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 3/28/11 at 8:46am
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post



 

"... if you are this concerned about plastics ..."???  What?  Is this forum part of MDC? 

 

Of course I am "this concerned about plastics" - I thought there would be others here in MDC who are as well.  Boy, forget it ...

 

 

I am sorry, that is not what I meant. I should have clarified. Of course you should be concerned. I am concerned, I avoid BHA and phalatates (and other nasty stuff) in my home as much as possible. 

 

My point was, that in order to enroll your child in a child care center, you have to be willing to give up some control. You cannot be there to control the environment all the time. Also, on the scale of concerns parents have when enrolling their child in a center (CIO, non-organic processed foods, cleaning products used, on and on) plastics seem low, to me. But I understand that everyone has differnet priorties and it is not necessarily my place to say yours are wrong, and I am sorry if it came off that way. I was trying to be helpful, asking you to really look at if you will be comfortable with your child in an environment you are already deeming unsafe becuase of plastics. 

 

 

post #16 of 19

I know that where I live there is a Waldorf preschool that accepts babies as little as 9 months, so it is essentially a type of day care. They have only wooden and cloth toys there. I don't know if waldorf schools that accept babies that little are common, or f you could find one in your area but it might be worth looking into- either that or a more natural minded day care that owuld share your concern. I don't htink it is an odd or off based concern at all, I would be concerned about it too. But if you take the baby to a daycare that has lots of those toys, other than mentioning it to the dcp and hoping they are considerate about it, it will be hard to get the bbay to not play with the toys and chew on the toys that are there.  You could also bring a whole bunch of your own natural material toys to have the baby play with while they were there.

 

post #17 of 19

sorry- I just read your posts closer and saw that you already siad there are no daycares there without plastic toys- so my suggestion is moot. So then I  would say the best you can do id bring some of your toys and mention it to the dcp.

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammysue View Post

I am sorry, that is not what I meant. I should have clarified. Of course you should be concerned. I am concerned, I avoid BHA and phalatates (and other nasty stuff) in my home as much as possible. 

 

My point was, that in order to enroll your child in a child care center, you have to be willing to give up some control. You cannot be there to control the environment all the time. Also, on the scale of concerns parents have when enrolling their child in a center (CIO, non-organic processed foods, cleaning products used, on and on) plastics seem low, to me. But I understand that everyone has differnet priorties and it is not necessarily my place to say yours are wrong, and I am sorry if it came off that way. I was trying to be helpful, asking you to really look at if you will be comfortable with your child in an environment you are already deeming unsafe becuase of plastics. 

 

 

Got it, I see what you meant now - thanks for clarifying.  

 

I know what you meant about priorities - definitely true.  It's my fault that I never mentioned that this particular daycare happens to be very good wrt to almost everything else - no CIO, plenty of physical contact, parents bring their own foods, the infant head teacher has been around for 20+ years, the 1:2 ratio most of the time, all solid wood furnitures, and on and on.

 

You're right - in terms of priorities, there are concerns that rank higher than plastic toys - I suppose up till now I never explained that those higher ranked ones are taken care of - that's my fault, sorry for that.  I guess it's like I'm going down the list, and then here's the deal with plastic toys.  There doesn't really seem to be a good (enough) solution - hence the thread.  

 

You made a good point about the loss of control of the physical environment in a daycare setting - I completely agree, it's inevitalbe.  Thanks for trying to provide a helpful context for my concerns.  

 

I do appreciate your taking time to respond - thanks! smile.gif

 


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 3/28/11 at 7:58pm
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

I don't htink it is an odd or off based concern at all, I would be concerned about it too. But if you take the baby to a daycare that has lots of those toys, other than mentioning it to the dcp and hoping they are considerate about it, it will be hard to get the bbay to not play with the toys and chew on the toys that are there.  You could also bring a whole bunch of your own natural material toys to have the baby play with while they were there.

 

So then I  would say the best you can do id bring some of your toys and mention it to the dcp.

Edited version:

 

I'd wanted to write a longer response but no time till now - hope you're still following,

 

I just want to say I'm very thankful of your response - I was starting to wonder if I'm the only one.

 

I searched the archive before starting this thread and didn't find much help. Also a quick search on mothering.com hasn't helped either - I'll keep looking of course.  And I'm not quite ready to let this matter slide either.

 

Anyway, I just want to say - thank you, thank you, thank you Snapdragon!  It really helps to know I'm not the only one.


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 3/29/11 at 4:10am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Working and Student Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Working and Student Parents › transition to daycare - how to reduce baby chewing (possibly toxic?) toys