Originally Posted by jezebelle
I am really learning a lot from this thread. I had no idea that using toys was considered against natural parenting. I guess they have to be made of wood? Which kind of makes me wonder what people who are against plastic toys feed their babies with? Wooden spoons? Wooden bowls? Do they all cook in wooden pots, too? I'm not being sarcastic, I am genuinely intrigued by people that don't sit their babies in anything plastic all day. I am kind of confused by some of it, but at least I have learned that these topics are touchy.
using toys in general is certainly not against natural parenting. some NFL mamas prefer to stick with natural material toys (perhaps for environmental reasons, anti-made-in-china reasons, waldorf philosophy, or aesthetic reasons)
i don't like and do avoid plastic, but it stems from aesthetic preferences and not liking the taste of plastic (i know i'm perhaps unusual in that i can taste the difference), but the "health benefits" are just an added bonus.
anyway, to answer your questions: i feed my baby with a steel spoon out of a ceramic custard ramekin. my other children have used "real" plates and cups/glasses from the age that they can feed themselves with utensils (i expect breakage and stock up on $.19 dishes from the salvation army ). i cook in steel, cast iron, and pyrex. i personally detest wooden utensils (for eating with -- love them for cooking)...talk about raking an emery board over your teeth.
however, my baby sits in a plastic high chair, a jumparoo, etc. but i imagine hard-core anti-plastic families have wooden high chairs, wooden floor gyms, and canvas baby hammocks (instead of a conventional baby swing). i would have those, too, because they are pretty, but they are not in our budget.
same for "natural" toys (mainly wood and cloth, some metal too). they can be expensive. most of our natural toys are either homemade, made in china (i.e. cheap), or really, honest-to-god NATURAL (i.e. sticks, rocks, vines, etc.). i also have another "practical" reason for not liking plastic toys: many of them are poorly made, and will break easily when up against (at least) my children. that, imo, is a waste of money as well as an unnecessary addition to the landfill. and, the noisy battery-operated toys drive me insane. i banned them years ago, simply to cut down on the chaos. that said, there are still lots of plastic toys in our house (e.g. legos, anyone? ).
i also wanted to add that i have used pacifiers with every baby that would take one (not the current baby, grrr), and our kids play with toy weapons, too (military family, whattaya gonna do?).