We know that plastics aren't great for our earth or our kids. Why? Plastic releases dangerous toxins—dioxins, phthalates, cadmium, ethylene dichloride and more. Chlorinated plastics release toxic chemicals into our soil and that seeps into our groundwater and drinking water. Our ecosystem is so delicately connected—plastics are destroying it day by day.

And if that's not bad enough, those hazardous toxins leech into our food and water when we use plastics to contain them. Or when we give them to our children to play with. Chew on. In fact, did you know that ninety percent of Americans show trace amounts of BPA in urine, breast milk, and umbilical cord blood? Yes, umbilical cord blood.

Yikes.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has significant concerns about the chemicals in plastics that our kids are exposed to. While many are considered 'Generally Recognized as Safe' by the FDA (GRAS), that 'recognition is based on antiquated and archaic regulations from the 1950s that allow what was new and convenient then. Now we know better, though, so that means we absolutely must do better. For our planet and our children.

So what do we natural-minded parents do? Look for safe, natural alternatives.

Rubber Toys For Kids: Not All Rubber Is Created Equally
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Many ethical and natural-minded toy and baby product manufacturers are also concerned about these same issues. First and foremost, they want safe products for our kids and our earth.

As a result, rubber toys have become an incredible and viable alternative to plastic for many baby toys and products.

But not all rubber is created equally. When looking for rubber toys for kids, you need to make sure you're looking for an ethically sourced natural rubber toy from a company you can trust.

What Is Natural Rubber And Why Use Natural Rubber Toys?

When you hear the words rubber toys or rubber teethers, you may recognize there are very different ideas that come to mind. Some are soft and pliable toys and teethers, while others are stiff and smelly. You most likely are also experiencing the difference between natural rubber and synthetic. Many plastic toys try to emulate rubber toys at the core, but they have to use tons of plasticizers to do so. Not good for your baby or the earth.

Natural rubber is an elastic material that comes from the latex sap of trees—Hevea in particular, and is often mixed up with the term latex for that reason. But there's a huge difference, and that matters when it comes to natural rubber teethers and natural rubber toys for your kids.

Latex is basically the term for a polymer in a viscous or water-based liquid state. The terms are often used interchangeably because natural rubber comes from the Hevea tree's white sap. They're different, though, in that natural rubber is a dry rubber. It's basically natural rubber that comes from the Hevea trees (mostly found in Asia) and doesn't have synthetics added in its processing. It's harvested by tapping trees in a similar fashion to syrup tree tapping, and the natural process makes it cleaner for your baby and the earth.

Why Are Natural Rubber Teethers and Natural Rubber Toys Better For Baby?
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Natural rubber toys are safer for babies because of the natural and less-toxic processing that natural rubber teethers and toys go through. Babies chew on everything (especially teethers designed to be chewed), and when they chew on plastics, they're chewing on (and absorbing) the chemicals and toxins in the plastics.

That's not the case with natural rubber toys and teethers. They're made from sustainable material that's non-toxic and that's good for your baby and the planet.

Natural rubber teethers and natural rubber toys are soft and flexible for little fingers. They're plant-based, coming from a renewable source and there is low impact on the environment when sustainably harvested. They're free from phthalates, PVCs (polyvinyl chloride) and heavy metals as well as petroleum.

Most of all, your babies love chewing on them as their little mouths bring in teeth and their sensory systems develop. And you can feel good knowing they're doing so safely.

What Are The Best Natural Rubber Teethers And Best Natural Rubber Toys?
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We get to try out lots of different toys and teethers and our mama forums are full of mama favorites too. When it comes to the best natural rubber teethers and best natural rubber toys, some of our favorites come from Tikiri Toys.

We love companies founded in peace and with a purpose to take care of our little ones and the earth, and that's just what the family behind Tikiri does. They've spent the bulk of their lives making soft and safe toys for toddlers, and they're dedicated to making high-quality, handcrafted toys that you can trust. They work to promote every child's physical and emotional development, and they do so with their eco-friendly toys kids love.

We can't love Tikiri Toys enough because they sought and were awarded the Global Latex Standard Accreditation (GOLS). This is a pretty important accreditation in that you can know their manufacturing processes are sustainable and eco-friendly, and they use the purest natural rubber from Hevea plants in Sri Lanka. Impressively, they were the FIRST and ONLY natural rubber toy company in the world to do so!

The folks at Tikiri are committed to bringing joy to your child and the world with their products, and to do so without polluting the world with more plastic. They know the value of natural, handmade alternatives to mass-produced plastic for both the earth and your family, and their product lines shout their dedication to this purpose.

Tikiri Toys brings teethers, rattles, gifts, soothers and even soft dolls to natural-minded families everywhere, and as they do, you can be sure that each handmade and hand-painted toy comes from a socially responsible manufacturing process. Additionally, we love that Tikiri prioritizes taking care of all their employees—ensuring appropriate pay for craftmanship and ensuring the work environments that the crafters are in match the pride they put in their work.

It's not often that you find a natural-minded company that focuses on creating the best products but in a way that is good for their employees and the earth. But that's a core mission of Tikiri.

Thankfully, manufacturers are paying more attention to we parents seeking safe and non-toxic alternatives to plastics in teethers and toys. But, if you're looking for a company of integrity and 100% natural organic rubber that's GOLS certified, you'll find it in Tikiri Toys. They have tons of biodegradable, non-toxic and eco-friendly toys your baby is bound to love, and that they're handmade and hand-painted in Sri Lanka makes them all the more special.

Check out their full lines here!