Category Archives: Baby Gifts

Non-Toxic Baby Toys: 7 Ways to Sift Through the Junk While Buying Your Baby’s Toys

Being a parent is a tad frightening these days. There are so many ills to contend with. There are pesticides in kids’ bedding, harsh chemicals in bubble baths, toxins in crayons, and harmful chemicals in toys among many other perils. 

Parents buy toys to keep their tots enthused and to stoke their social and cognitive skills. Unfortunately, many of these toys brim over with harmful toxins that often leach out when kids nibble on them. These toxins cause severe health complications to children. 

It’s no longer business as usual, parents need to be hawk-eyed while purchasing toys. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-toxic baby toys available for your child. This article will show you how to niche down on them. 

Cracks in Toy Safety Manufacturing Laws

How do toxin-laden toys seep through the law and end up in the hands and mouths of little babies? In the USA, the buck stops with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 

There are however many loopholes in their regulatory laws mainly because toy production is a complex global supply chain. Many companies in developed nations outsource their manufacturing overseas. This complicates the regulatory process and the rules are easily flouted. 

Furthermore, CPSC focuses mostly on mechanical safety such as the choking and laceration hazards. CPSC has also been mainly reactive in cracking the whip. In the past, they have only recalled toys after complaints are filed.   

Common Toxins in Baby Toys and Their Harmful Effects

What’s your idea of a perfect toy? We bet that you fancy soft, sturdy, durable, colorful, affordable, and heat-resistant toys. Toy manufactures are privy to this and will go to any lengths to churn out your dream toys. 

Unfortunately, many of them use harmful chemicals that are crippling to kids’ health. Here are some common toxic chemicals found in baby toys.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and Phthalates

PVC goes down as the most environmentally impairing plastic, from its production to disposal. PVC is all around us – in home furnishings, packaging, building materials, and sadly in children’s toys. 

It has a high chlorine content which causes toxic pollution in the environment. Phthalates on the other hand are thrown in to make PVC soft and flexible. 

Phthalates are notorious for triggering hormone disruption, birth defects, asthma, liver problems, early puberty, and low fertility. They also exacerbate the risk of both testicular and breast cancer. 

Other harmful chemical compounds found in PVC are lead, cadmium, and organotin which have devastating effects on the human body. 

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is an industrial chemical that is commonly used to make plastic strong, heat resistant, and light in weight. BPA easily leaches to the human body and causes great harm to infants and children. It is an endocrine disruptor that throws the body’s hormones into disarray.

BPA can interfere with the development of prostate glands, alter brain development, cause infertility, obesity, cancer, and liver problems. It has also been linked to high blood pressure. 

Lead

Lead can be found in the paint, metal, and plastic parts of some toys. It is used to soften plastic, make it flexible, and as a stabilizer from heat. It causes nerve damage, reproductive problems and has been linked to low IQ and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Flame Retardants

These are added to toys to make them less flammable. They are endocrine disruptors that trigger reproductive problems and birth defects. They also cause dermatitis, allergies, asthma, and some types of cancer. 

Formaldehyde

This is colorless flammable gas with a pungent smell. It is used as a preservative in water-based toys. Exposure to formaldehyde can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, and throat while long-term exposure has been linked to some types of cancer. 

Children Are More Vulnerable to Toxins

If an adult and a child were both nibbling on a toxin-laden toy, the child would be more adversely affected. Children are more susceptible to environmental toxins and hazards. In our case, the child would ingest a larger dose of the toxins than the adult in proportion to their smaller body.

Additionally, a child’s body is still developing so their detoxification system may not be able to flush out the toxins.  

How to Choose Non-Toxic Baby Toys

Here is a cheat sheet that will help you dodge harmful toys:

1. Avoid Plastic Toys

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Plastic is the most common material in conventional toys. Though not all plastic toys are created equal, most plastic toys are chock full of harmful chemicals that leach out and cause untold harm to children. 

2. Avoid Cheap Toys

Cheap is expensive. It’s appalling to think of the harmful toxins hiding in cheap toys. Steer clear of dirt-cheap toys especially from countries where toy production laws are sloppy.  

3. Avoid Toys That Smell

If a toy has a ‘chemical-like’ smell, steer clear of it. If it smells fruity, it is most likely having some phthalates in it. 

4. Opt For Stainless Steel Toys – Kleynimals

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Your tot gawks with longing at your house keys. They love the tinkling sound. They would love to fiddle with them before shoving them into their mouth. But you know that keys often contain lead, not to mention the gunk they accumulate over the years. So you keep your keys far from your child. 

How about enthusing your little cherub with their own organic, non-toxic and safe set of keys that they can rattle and nibble on to their heart’s content? Our Kleynimals are kid’s toy keys made from food-grade stainless steel that is 100% non-toxic. 

Kleynimals are manufactured in the USA and are durable, dishwasher safe, recyclable, heat and fire-resistant. They are suitable for babies that can sit unaided.

5. Opt For Wooden Toys

Opt for non-toxic wooden toys made from natural wood that is devoid of toxic paint or finishes. Wood is durable, biodegradable, and recyclable. It’s great for both your child and the environment.  

6. Opt For Natural Rubber Toys

Opt for toys made from natural non-toxic rubber that has been harvested naturally without the use of herbicides. Rubber is environmentally friendly because it is biodegradable. 

7. Opt For Organic Stuffed Animals

Babies love cuddling with plush toys. Non-toxic stuffed animals that are made from organic fabrics like cotton, wool, bamboo, or hemp are a great choice. Ensure that they do not contain any non-toxic dyes and pigments. 

Final Thoughts

It is paralyzing to think of the plethora of harmful chemicals that children come into contact with through toys. Parents need to keep their eyes peeled to ensure that they only purchase non-toxic baby toys. We trust that the tips we have shared will help you fortify your kids from this peril.   

Kleynimals and Baby Development – Guest Post from Dr. Patricia Bast

Tummy Time with Jangles

As parents something we always wonder and question is whether our baby is developing at a healthy rate. Here is a little glimpse at what to expect over the first 3 years. The Kleynimals toys are wonderful to encourage these developmental milestones. For example, the large ring of the Rattle is perfect for tiny hands to grasp, the Keys soothe sore teething gums while stimulating imaginations, and the Jangles keep busy little fingers occupied! 

Starting at 4 months old your baby may reach for toys with one hand, batting at hanging toys, and shaking toys with their hands. This is the beginning of using their hands and eyes together. This is also the stage where many babies will start bringing hands to their mouth and following items from side to side. This is the perfect time to introduce the Kleynimals rattle, with a large ring it is easy for tiny hands to grasp and explore.

At 6 months old your baby will start to focus on nearby objects and is now capable of bringing objects to their mouth. Baby may also reach for objects that are just out of reach and will begin to pass toys from one hand to the other. This is when I find my babies start to love their keys, the cold metal is soothing on the gums while the sound they make is beautiful. Learning they can make noise when they shake an object is huge for their development. 

By 9 months old babies develop preference for favorite toys, point to what they want, and may even look for things you hide. They can also now smoothly transfer toys from one hand to the other. All of the Kleynimals toys are perfect for hide and go seek. Shake the toy to draw baby’s attention and place it under a small lovey, baby will love peeking under the blanket to find their beloved toys.

Next, at 12 months old, babies will find hidden objects. In addition to placing objects into containers and taking them back out, this is also when babies love to bang objects together. With their increased awareness, babies love placing their toys into small baskets and dumping them out repeatedly. Another favorite activity is clapping hands together with bangles on their wrist. The musical nature of stainless steel captivates their attention while the cold texture stimulates their attention. 

At 18 months pretend play comes to life. This is such a fun time and the perfect opportunity to introduce the Kleynimals keys as keys. Model them for starting a toy car or opening a door, place them into a purse or backpack, the possibilities are endless. 

At 24 months your toddler will be able to find objects hidden under 2-3 covers, and begins to sort shapes and colors. Simple make-believe games are popular. Hand dominance may be apparent. The Kleynimals toys make the perfect objects for hide-and-go-seek.

Finally, at 36 months old your toddler can work with toys, buttons, and moving parts. They may also play make-believe with dolls, animals, and people. I find this is when jangles are the most enjoyed. The small beads and interlocking rings are perfect to keep fidgety little fingers busy. 

If you are looking for more than toys Kleynimals also makes the most beautiful stainless steel utensils, I highly recommend them!

Christening Keepsakes Fit for a Prince

Baby grasping metal toy keys

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby, Archie, was christened earlier this month. Archie’s baptism made headline news, as it should be for every baby — what a milestone! 

A christening, which usually occurs alongside a baptism, offers the infant a Christian name. This ceremony is a momentous occasion for many faiths because it symbolizes the child’s admission into the Christian faith.

Baby Christening Gifts

What we didn’t hear about with Archie’s christening were the gifts he received; I can only imagine the grandeur. If you’ve been invited to witness or partake in a christening ceremony, you’ll want to bring a gift that is as meaningful as the occasion. You can do a google search for ideas including books, artwork or stuffed bears. 

I believe a christening is an occasion that calls for the timeless allure of silver. It is so appealing and so meaningful, but it’s also unrealistic because you have to keep it polished. And, let’s face it, rare is the parent that allows their child to manhandle silver. 

So when I say a baby christening is worthy of silver, I mean something that looks and feels like silver — but without the drawbacks.

Baby Christening Gift Ideas

Below are my top three baby christening gift ideas. They are all things babies love to play with and enjoy. How can I be so confident? Because I make them! 

I designed these Kleynimals to be “practical” christening keepsakes that stimulate a baby’s sense of sight, touch and sound:

1. Kleynimals Clean Key Animals

These non-toxic stainless steel toy keys have no sharp edges. They are dishwasher safe, making it easy for you to keep them germ-free. As a bonus, you can order them with personalization, which is perfect christening gift for a baby boy or baby girl.

2. Kleynimals Flatware Sets

Our flatware is the perfect size for baby’s hands and helps them master the art of self-feeding. Babies know when you’re using metal, but they’re using plastic; our utensils make them feel like the big deal they are. 

3. Kleynimals Stainless Steel Rattle

Remember the polished silver rattle you received as a christening keepsake? Probably not, because your parents tucked it away in a box on the shelf. But babies will remember their heirloom-quality Kleynimals rattle.

If and when you need a baby christening gift — for boys or girls — consider Kleynimals. You can shop on our website. I’m tempted to send Kleynimals to little Archie so he has a gift he can actually enjoy. (I’m betting most of the offerings got tucked away in a royal closet.) 

Stainless Steel: A Modern Spin on Traditional Baby Shower Gifts

We’re in the thick of fulfilling orders for baby shower gifts right now — it got me wondering how baby showers came to be. Through a little research, it seems celebrations of mom- and baby-to-be have been building steam for millennia.

Baby Shower Gifts: How Did They Originate?

In ancient times, people honored moms with a meal on the tenth day following the birth of their baby. But they gave gifts to a ‘Birth Goddess,’ rather than to the mother. It was during the Renaissance period that new moms began to be honored with gifts such as food, clothing and paintings.

Food played a more prominent role during the colonial times when birthing parties were held in the home of the expectant mother. Guests would feast on ‘Groaning Cakes’ (the scent of it baking allegedly eased labor pains) and ‘Groaning Ale’ as a show of sympathy for what the mother-to-be was enduring.

Fast forward to the Victorian era: During this time new moms were honored during a tea after the baby was born (a welcome change, I’m sure, to hosting family and friends while in labor). By the early 1900’s the baby shower as we know it began to take shape. New moms received handmade gifts and grandparents would typically offer gifts of silver.

Timeless Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower

Today, the baby shower can be as simple as a few friends over for tea, or it can be an elaborate affair for the mom-to-be’s closest 400 friends. Food is rarely in short supply, but clever, unique gift ideas are harder to come by. Many shower-goers fear their gift might be outgrown before a baby even gets to wear it.

I find most people want to give a gift that will be cherished, without being untouchable (ahem, sitting on a shelf or behind glass doors). There is still an allure to silver, but it’s not as desirable a baby gift as it once was. At Kleynimals we honor the tradition with stainless steel jangles, rattles, keys and baby silverware.

And babies love metal items — they are shiny, they make noise when banged together or on a table and they are cool to the touch (a real treat for teething babies with sore gums).

Stainless steel Kleynimals give all the benefits of silver, including the timeless feel, without the impracticality, like endless polishing. Because you can personalize many of our Kleynimals with engraving, they make a treasured gift that will last a lifetime. And they are versatile: They make a great baby shower gift for boys or girls.

The Best Gifts for Baby Showers Come With a Stamp of Safety

I learned early on in this venture that not all stainless steel is created equal. Most stainless steel is made overseas (usually in Asia). Since babies and toddlers touch and mouth their Kleynimals all day long, I wanted to be sure I sourced safe steel from the USA.

Safety is important not only to me, but to the gift giver and to the parents-to-be receiving them. You’ll know you’re getting an authentic Kleynimal because we stamp them with our fun characters: Eli the Elephant, Gus the Giraffe, Leo the Lion, Pippi the Polar Bear, Scout the Snowshoe Hare, and Otto the Snowy Owl.

For your next shower, feel confident that, with Kleynimals, you’re bringing a safe, heirloom-quality gift.

You might also consider bringing a Groaning Cake for a good laugh. I found this recipe online, and I’m dying to try it (with or without the ale)!

Personalized Baby Gifts— Timeless and Classy

Spring — it’s a season of birth and renewal. Tree buds are ready to pop, birds are chirping, and flowers are starting to shower us with fragrance and beauty. With spring we look forward to Easter, Mother’s Day, Earth Day…and babies!

Personalized baby keepsakes don’t need to be ordinary

Spring babies are blessed with sweet dispositions (what baby isn’t?).  One study showed springtime babies are more likely to be optimistic and creative. We like to think our personalized newborn baby gifts are a perfect fit for those characteristics.

Kleynimals are a unique choice for your next baby gift. Why? For starters, they are not another:

  1. Embroidered baby blanket
  2. Personalized puzzle or step stool
  3. Set of booties (you get so many of these that babies only get to wear them once)

Instead, Kleynimals are something babies will want with them ALL THE TIME. Babies love the clinking sound and the cool feel of the smooth metal on their tongue and gums. Caregivers love that they are:

  • Non-toxic
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Durable
  • Not plastic

Engraved baby gifts aren’t a relic

In the good old days, baby gifts were cherished mementos: engraved baby rattles or silver cups. They were loved from afar while they sat on the shelf out of baby’s reach. And, frankly, a little annoying because without a regular polishing, they’d turn an ugly shade of brown. Those heartfelt baby gifts often ended up in a box in the attic.

Out with the old, in with the new: engravable, personalized Kleynimals made from USA-sourced 100% stainless steel. We can engrave your baby gift with up to 12 characters per line. For a more classic feel, we offer a traditional script monogram. A big plus, they’ll never tarnish — pop them in the dishwasher to clean them.

Kleynimals: Unique baby gifts with a personal touch

When shopping for that perfect baby gift, we know you want options. Our line of unique keepsake gifts is continually growing. Right now, you can choose from these Kleynimals baby gifts:

  • Flatware sets: A fork and two spoons in two different designs
  • Key toys: The practical keepsake gift with no sharp edges
  • Rattles:The sweet jingling sound keeps babies enthralled (note: we also have wearable bracelets for you that double as a rattle, they just aren’t engravable)

If you can’t decide, we offer four gift sets to choose from. But keep in mind, if you want your personalized baby gift to arrive “on time,“ (whether baby does or not) you’ll need to plan ahead. Engraved Kleynimals can take up to three weeks to appear on the doorstep since we work with a family-owned business to engrave our products.

Gender-neutral gift options for babies

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? It’s rare that the baby’s gender is a total surprise until birth day. But if you’re shopping for the unknown, Kleynimals are a great choice because they work for both genders. If you want it engraved, we recommend using the surname (which also makes it easily identifiable should they get dropped).

Personalized baby gifts are great for the second (third, fourth, fifth) baby. These babies sometimes get cheated out of personalized gifts because, well, they aren’t the novelty the first baby was. Regardless, if you buy Kleynimals for baby #1, you can rest assured the product will withstand years of use and abuse from any siblings (of any gender) that follow.

If you’re ready to shop, order online or check our retail locations. Need more info? Read our story and find out how Kleynimals came to be.