Help my boy teeth without BPA exposure.
October 17, 2009 11:54 AM   Subscribe

My wife is going mad looking for BPA-free teething toys for our 5-month old. Can you point me to web sites (or other resources) that might help us find such toys?

Additionally, any insights into whether we should really be concerned about BPA in toys, etc. (especially those designed for teething) would be appreciated.
posted by ajr to Shopping (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
There are a variety of handmade, wooden teething shapes and pegs on Etsy, some unfinished and some finished with a food-safe oil. Eg this one.
posted by slightlybewildered at 12:01 PM on October 17, 2009

Best answer: There is a nice list here
posted by a22lamia at 12:05 PM on October 17, 2009

Best answer: My son's favorate teething "toy" was a frozen bagel, or a frozen washcloth.

That being said, the folks over at Z Recommends have been on the forefront of the BPA issue, and I trust anything they recommend. Also, the Alliance for a clean and healthy Maine has a site (it might not just be them) called that is a great all-around resource w/r/t toxic chemicals in things in your life.
posted by anastasiav at 12:18 PM on October 17, 2009

Best answer: This is a site I've found helpful. And even though pricey, many babies love Sophie.

(that is an international site, but she can be found in the US in local shops or Amazon.)
posted by pinky at 12:19 PM on October 17, 2009

Generally speaking, you don't have to worry about soft plastics containing BPA. BPA is used to make hard plastic polycarbonate, e.g. the stuff that CDs and eyeglasses are made of. Polycarbonate can be used to make crystal clear, very hard, brightly colored plastic.

If you have plastic that is cloudy, flexible, foam, etc. it is very unlikely to have BPA in it. For soft plastics, the thing to worry about is phthalates. Fortunately, it is possible to find soft plastic items for kids that are specifically labeled as "phthalate free". If you can find that, you've gone a long way to ensuring that the toy won't expose your little one to any xenoestrogens.

Oh.... I assume you've stopped eating canned food, right? (Tongue not in cheek here. Food cans are lined with BPA, and it leaches. Not sure whether it passes through breast milk, though.)
posted by alms at 12:32 PM on October 17, 2009

Best answer: I believe BPA is used more frequently in baby bottles than in teething toys. My understanding is that plastic that is both hard and clear is likely to have BPA in it. So if you bottle feed, I would focus on that before upgrading your teething toys. For non-BPA teethers in general:
- Wood (Haba is a brand I like, but any wood with a non-toxic finish and too large to choke on)
- Natural rubber (Natursutten brand is one I know)
- Facecloth with corners dipped in water and put in freezer
- Chilled carrot. Use a peeler to round down both ends. (Make sure it's not too short (do use full size carrots, don't use baby carrots).
- Bagel

Another good list (with photos) here. My kid loves the First Years bristle buddies.
posted by cocoagirl at 12:43 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

We like the Razberry teether, Sophie La Girafe, and different baby toothbrushes. Also the Munchkin-brand frozen teether bags with some fruit and ice.

BUT, as kiddo gets older and puts whatever in his mouth, my concern about BPA is getting lower. Sure, things that are heated (i.e. bottles) are BPA free always, but his fave teething toy is a small non-BPA free rubber duck and baby toothbrushes.
posted by k8t at 1:07 PM on October 17, 2009

According to the website that anastasiav refered to, they (at that site) can't tell if the products have BPA in them. Link to FAQ on that site.
posted by kg at 1:10 PM on October 17, 2009

Just a hunch, but I'm assuming the OP's aim is to avoid phthalates (which are often found in soft plastics and can be transferred by mouthing) and not just BPA. As I understand it, heating isn't important with phthalates.

Sophie La Girafe is very popular and made from rubber, I think. Wooden teethers are good, but make sure you get one that doesn't have paint or varnish on it, unless it's safe.

Frozen facecloths are great.
posted by acoutu at 1:14 PM on October 17, 2009

After accidentally buying a scented (!) teether, I gave up on buying a suitable one and let my daughter chew on a wooden spoon or frozen washcloth.
posted by vespabelle at 1:45 PM on October 17, 2009

A friend who runs a health food store just suggested greensprouts
posted by mareli at 3:42 PM on October 17, 2009

I like the Oompa Toys website. They have a section on teethers. The plastic ones that I looked at on their site are BPA-free and they also have a lot of other materials (wood, soft fabric). But Sophie La Girraffe was a hit for us, too.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:49 PM on October 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips everyone. Great answers all around.
posted by ajr at 7:51 AM on October 19, 2009

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