Ever since she first started being able to grasp and hold on to toys, S. has loved little bath toys. She loves them in the bath and out of the bath. Despite S.’s love of the water, for quite a while she was a little finicky about her baths; once she moved out of the baby tub she would only sit in the big tub (happily) if someone was in the tub with her. After months of me taking a bath with her, we discovered that the kitchen sink was easier on everyone and a great place to brush her teeth at night. So S. has been bathing in the kitchen sink for months now. However, the other day she woke up early from a nap and while I was trying to rock her back to sleep there was a major diaper leak that occurred. She was fussy, I was wet, and I decided that we both needed to get clean so I turned on the shower and we both hopped in. In the past, we tried showers and it was kind of a hit or miss with S. Well, she timidly looked at the shower and then decided it was an OK. We rinsed off and then she sat in the tub and played for over an hour. I gave her toys and she flailed around like a little fish. Later we moved all her bath toys out to the water table so she could play with them there. I try hard to buy her bath toys that are non-toxic and safe since I know they always end up in her mouth. I have also recently tried to find her a couple of more interactive toys that will maybe entertain or engage her for a little while as well as grow with her. Here are the bath toys that S. has. Most of them actually live in the toy box since she loves them so much. The names of all the toys in the list below link to Amazon and the prices I have provided are from Amazon, but I’m sure there are other companies that sell them as well and prices may vary. Also, Amazon prices fluctuate quite a bit so you might see prices different from those I have listed.
This little duck looks kind of sad to me, but he is very will loved by S. I put one in her stocking for Christmas and I think of all the gifts she received this little duck was her favorite. Unfortunately, a seam across its head split open and the rubber started to crumble. I recently sent it back to the company and they sent me a new one. I hope this one lasts a bit longer because S. really loves it. When the new one came in the mail S. started actually saying the word “duck” rather than just making an odd little quacking sound. The duck floats on its side and not up right, I guess that might bother some people, but it doesn’t really bother me. According to the company website, the little duck is “[m]ade from natural latex, which is naturally phthalate- and BPA-free. Hand-painted using natural-dye paints”. The bottom of the little duck actually says LANCO on it. LANCO is the manufacturer of some of the other natural rubber toys that S. has that I have included below.
2. Natural Rubber Frog, Relaxing Frog, and Fish by LANCO ($10 to $20 each)
These are rather pricey little creatures on Amazon and S. only had the frog, but recently there was a really good deal on BabySTEALS and I was able to get both the fish and relaxing frog (sorry, I can’t find a link for that one on Amazon) for only $8.07 with shipping. S. was quite thrilled with the fish and relaxing frog when they came in the mail and has played with them quite a bit since. The LANCO toys are (according to the company website) made in Spain out of pure natural latex that is organic, biodegradable, and “respects the environment”. They are handmade without the use of machinery. I have found that the natural latex rubber is usually a little softer and easier to squeeze than the traditional plastic bath toys so it has a different feel than most of us are used to with regards to bath toys, but S. really seems to like these toys. All of the LANCO bath toys that S. owns have good color to them and a soft little squeak. On some of them you can tell that they are hand painted because the lines aren’t perfect, but it just gives them a little more character. Like the little rubber duck, the fish floats on its side, but the other two float upright, at least if they are placed that way.
I should also note that there are many other natural rubber bath toys made by LANCO so if your little one is especially attached to a certain animal or creature you may be able to find a LANCO toy that they will enjoy. If they weren’t so expensive I would buy S. more of them since she really likes them.
3. Natural Raw Rubber Bath Toy Polly Fish and Fred Frog by Hevea ($11.99 and $13.99)
Yes, more natural rubber bath toys. Hevea makes natural rubber bath toys, teethers, and pacifiers. Their products are 100% natural rubber and most contain no added paints or dyes. The bath toys that I have purchased are (according to their website) “100% natural rubber – sustainably produced, BPA, phthalates and PVC free [with] no added colours or synthetics”. They are a single color, it’s kind of a yellow that is a little on the brown side which I assume is the color of natural rubber after it has been processed. I think these are the most “mom friendly” bath toys since they are so pure and because they don’t have any holes on the bottom which means no chance of mold growing inside. That being said, the lack of color and squeak makes them a little less attractive to S., but she still does play with them. Some Amazon reviewers have complained about the quality, but I personally do not have any complaints about these two little bath toys. I think I would definitely consider this company for pacifiers and teethers as well if I was in the market for them.
4. Octo Brush by Baby Banana ($7.47)
This little octopus is marketed as a baby toothbrush and teether. I think it should be marketed as a teether and bath toy because it really isn’t a toothbrush at all. S. has never been a big fan of having her teeth brushed and for a while I tried almost every brushing implement I could find. Despite the fact that I would say this octopus was a major fail as a toothbrush, I don’t regret purchasing it. I remember when I first gave S. the octopus; she was eight months old and was cruising around the house in her little walker at the time, as soon as I handed it to her she took off with it and would cry if it fell on the floor or we took it from her. Since then we have used it as a teether and a bath toy. Unlike most of the other bath toys we have it sinks instead of floats, which I like since it makes it a little different. The other day when S. first decided to play in the bath tub it was the only toy I had in reach so she played “bob for the octopus” for quite a while. I tried to look at the Baby Banana company website, but my computer gives me a malware warning; however, according to Amazon, the “The Octo-Brush…is made from the highest quality medical grade silicone, which is…[t]ested and approved safe for lead, phthalates, BPA and other toxins by the CPSIA (Consumer Protection and Safety Information Act). The Octo-Brush is completely non-toxic, non-allergenic and safe enough for newborns.”
This is a cute little water/bath toy. The net is not like a fish or butterfly net, it is much smaller so it really is just a toy, but it is perfect for toddler hands. I tried to show S. how to use the net to scoop things out of the water, but she hasn’t quite grasped the concept yet (she just picks up the little bugs and puts them in the net or throws the whole thing in the water), so I think it will be a good toy for her to grow with. The bugs are nice because they are the perfect size for little hands to hold on to and they float on top of the water “just” like a water strider. It is supposed to be a good toy for motor skill and hand-eye coordination development, but to S. it is just fun. She carries the little bugs around the house, but just like Legos, they aren’t fun to step on. It is plastic, but according to the company website it is is BpA-free, Phthalate-free, and PVC-free so hopefully it is better than some other plastic toys.
6. Plui by Moluk ($13.26)
This is a unique little ball to play with in the bath tub. S. is a little too young to really understand how it works, but she is obsessed with balls so I thought it would be another good toy for her to grow into while simply enjoying it as a ball for the time being. You fill the ball with water by submerging it and then when you pick it up water pours out of the holes in the bottom; however, if you put your finger over the hole in the top the water stops coming out, which can be both entertaining and useful. According to the company website, the ball is BPA-free, phthalate-free, and latex-free.
And apparently the Plui ball is a good place to rest your head for a few moments if you get a little overwhelmed with all your water toys.
7. Stacking Cups by Green Sprouts ($7.28)
One of the best investments I have made in toys for S. in terms of toys that she has loved. This set of eight little cups has been a hit since S. could first hold on to toys. She used to love to just hold and chew on the cups, then she would throw them and army crawl around after them as best she could, now she can kind of stack them and loves to put them back in their “nesting” position. The cups all have holes in the bottom which makes them ideal for water play. According to the company website they are BPA /PVC free and are made of polypropylene. Polypropylene is commonly used for food product containers because it isn’t supposed to leach chemicals into food or liquids.
What good is water if you don’t have a good bucket to carry it around in? Not necessarily for bath time, but for outdoor water play a good bucket is essential. The one that comes in the Green Toys Sand Play Set is just the right size for S. (OK, maybe a little big, but I don’t think it would be a good bucket if it was any smaller). It is a really sturdy bucket, but not too heavy and has a really nice thick rope handle. I don’t see this bucket breaking any time soon so I’m sure it will last S. quite a while. It comes with a sand castle mold, a shovel, and a little rake. Green Toys uses recycled milk jugs as the main component in their toys and they state on their website that their toys contain “no traceable amounts of Phthalates or BPA… [and are manufactured] without any external coatings, eliminating the fear of lead paint”. They are also manufactured in the USA.
There is one more toy that I have to mention, but I am not going to include it in my “official” list because I don’t really know a lot about it. It is a little traditional rubbery plastic bath toy that we named Freddie the Frog. It was in S.’s Easter basket from her grandmother when she was only a month old and I think it is the first toy that S. formed any kind of attachment too. He now often gets forgotten in the toy box, but he has a good story to go with him. When S. was ten months old we were flying home with her after visiting my family. I let S. hold Freddie in the airport while we were waiting to board and then when we got on the plane I realized that he was no longer with us. It wasn’t a big deal I guess, but it really was her favorite toy at the time. I called the airport hotel front desk where my parents were staying and they gave my parents the message that Freddie the Frog was missing. I was hoping Freddie had just ended up in my mom’s pocket. While we were obliviously flying home, there was a major search being conducted throughout the airport for Freddie. The TSA crew and staff at the Bangor airport helped my parents look everywhere for Freddie (it is a small airport with not too much going on), but Freddie was nowhere to be found. My parents returned to their hotel room, but before they left they got a message that Freddie had been found! The cleaning crew had found Freddie at some unknown location and they had him safe and sound waiting for my parents to pick up. My parents mailed him back to S. and now he floats around with all her other bath toys, but I think Freddie the Frog will be one toy that I will keep in her memory box if he doesn’t get lost again.
After a while of playing with all her water toys and running around the yard while I sprayed her with the hose, S. got a little bored of playing outside with me. She grabbed her net for closer examination and went over to sit at the door, I think she was waiting for her dad to come out and play.