Looking to create a safe, non-toxic baby/ children's book
January 17, 2010 10:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to create a printed book/magazine that will be as safe as possible for small children kids and babies. Safe in that they can put in their mouths, tear it apart and the risk to them is as low as possible. However, I can't find much information on how to do this.

I've already explored vegetable based inks, non-chlorine paper, compacted cornstarch (edible) paper, and dis-solvable films (similar to those breath mint sheets).

However, each of these options have downsides- Not all colors are available in the vegetable based inks, non-chlorine paper still poses a choking hazard, the cornstarch paper is too lumpy and the colors don't pop enough, and the films require a very large order). Additionally, if it can be eco-friendly, that would be a big plus.

Is there anything else that I should look into?
posted by JiffyQ to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is a baby magazine at my library that is printed on a Tyvek like material. It's the stuff that waterproof maps are printed on. I'm not sure about inks, etc, but the paper would be super durable. I've also seen books in the bookstore printed on this paper.
posted by ms.v. at 10:31 AM on January 17, 2010

Here is my opinion. I am not a materials scientist. I am a father, but I am not your father.

My son was given dozens of cardboard books at his baby shower. The pages were laminated and survived gumming and teething, tearing and folding. The colors were vibrant. Is that insufficient for you?

The way your question is written it seems that your primary concern is your book's ability to be eaten rather than ensuring that your book is simply non-toxic, which would be my "rule of thumb" as a parent. Are you planning on making an edible book?
posted by boo_radley at 10:32 AM on January 17, 2010

Look at Babybug magazine. It would be the competition but you could get some guidance.
posted by pearlybob at 10:36 AM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I was a baby, I had several cloth books which I passed down to my own kids and the books are still in good enough shape for my kids to pass down to their kids someday. According to a google search, it looks like cloth books are still fairly popular, and there's even a site devoted to making your own.
posted by amyms at 10:39 AM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cloth books would be my suggestion. Or the cardboard ones like boo_radley describes. The things you are talking about that would dissolve and could be eaten would be pretty impractical unless your goal was for the book to be actually eaten. If you made books out of that stuff, they wouldn't survive getting wet or probably much handling by sweaty hands. You want to aim for durability not edibility.
posted by ishotjr at 10:58 AM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm a huge fan of Yupo (http://www.yupousa.com/paper/about-yupo/what-is-yupo) paper. In its thicker weights, it it delightful. It's got a velvety texture, takes ink beautifully for color, is waterproof and tear proof.

Have no idea about toxicity, though.
posted by Gucky at 11:31 AM on January 17, 2010

Tyvek? That is if the book is not intended to be eaten.
posted by Gungho at 12:18 PM on January 17, 2010

Thanks to you all for your replies.

I have many concerns about this book, and toxicity and edibleness / inability to be eaten are two of them.

Also, babies love tearing out pages and feeling the pages as the crinkle, so perhaps edibleness would be preferred.

With all these concerns about different chemicals in the book making process, I'm just worried that in the future, something deemed safe now will be considered dangerous, and I'm trying to cover my bases as much as possible.

Thanks again!!
posted by JiffyQ at 1:07 PM on January 17, 2010

I wouldn't be very interested in giving my baby an edible book, since I already need to constantly discourage him from eating his books. A Tyvek book, however, would be interesting. I'd also be interested in fabric books with stiffer, structured pages (the floppy fabric ones don't seem to interest my son as much since the pages don't turn anything like a paper or board book).
posted by rebeccabeagle at 2:19 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

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