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Eco friendly baby: Go green with our top toy picks 🌎

Toys that are good for your baby and good for the ?? ✔ Yes, please!


Whether you're taking a step toward minimalism or on the hunt for natural, eco-friendly toys for your little one, we've got you covered. From toy shares and stuffed animals to teething rings and push toys, you and your babe will be the greenest around with these earth-friendly picks.

1. Green Piñata Toy Share

Remember how your toddler just had to have that certain toy, then played with it for 15 minutes, then never looked at it again? Mmmhm, so do we. Enter Green Piñata. Perfect for the green, minimalist mama, this toy share service is the perfect solution for moms looking to be eco and clutter-conscious.

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We found the process to be quick and easy: simply choose age-appropriate toys (Green Piñata partners with manufacturers who use only sustainably-sourced wood or recycled plastic toys), play as long as you'd like, then mail everything back, free of charge, and wait for your next box. Genius! And yes, in case you're wondering, all toys are sanitized in between uses, so no need to add “other kids' germs" to your list of mom worries ?.

Pro tip: You might be (pleasantly) surprised how basic, simple toys capture your child's imagination and truly encourage open-ended play. (And how much cuter they look spread all over your living room floor.) We definitely were.

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2. Finn + Emma Play Gym

Say goodbye to shiny, gaudy plastic and hello to this simple, modern play gym from one of our faves, Finn + Emma. The frame is made from 100% birch wood and finished with non-toxic stains and lacquers, and the wooden and knit gym buddies are all completely eco-friendly. The knit dolls are fair-trade and hand-knit by artisans in Peru—how cool is that? When not in use, it's super easy to tuck away to the side of a room so it's not taking up half your living room. Win!

Pro tip: The play gym buddies are all detachable and make great stroller or car toys.

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3. Kleynimals

Kleynimals stainless steel teethers look, sound, and feel a lot like real keys, which is perfect because isn't your baby always after the real thing? We love them because they have no sharp edges like real keys, and they're made from medical-grade stainless steel, so they're much cleaner than the real thing. They can also be engraved!

Pro tip: The cute animal shapes can also come in handy when baby starts learning animal and name sounds.

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4. Marcus & Marcus Silicone Bath Toys

These BPA and phthalate-free silicone toys from Marcus & Marcus are a fun, bright addition to any little one's bath time. Vibrant colors and simple designs encourage imaginative play, and some toys feature a temperature sensitive function that changes color when the bath water gets too hot. The best part? Each bath toy comes apart for easy drying and cleaning—hello fun in the tub, goodbye mold!

Pro tip: For a good scrub, toss them right in the dishwasher for an easy, extra cleaning.

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5. Estella Baby Rattles

These organic, non-toxic, handmade knit rattles from Estella are one of our go-tos for giving (and hopefully receiving!). They're made of 100% organic cotton, so you won't have to worry when your babe tries to stuff the entire thing into her mouth—which we can assure you, she will—and are perfectly sized for little hands. And have we mentioned the off-the-charts adorableness? Taxis and hamburgers and rubber ducks and hot dogs—come on!

Pro tip: These rattles are a huge hit with older kiddos for imaginative role play, so don't pack them away after the first year.

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6. Hazel Village

You guys, I dare you to go to this site and not audibly squeal with delight. Hazel Village offers organic cotton, hand stitched animals and dolls that are, oh, just possibly some of the CUTEST THINGS WE'VE EVER SEEN. The whimsical characters and incredible attention to detail will surely capture your child's heart—and yours.

Pro tip: A full wardrobe of doll and animal clothes are also available, as are matching clothes for your little one, so dress-up options are endless!

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7. Feltman + Co. Wooden + Silicone Teething Ring

If plastic teething toys aren't your jam, head over to the gorgeous Feltman + Co. Etsy shop for a handmade wooden and silicone teething ring that is truly as beautiful as it is functional. The wooden rings are all natural and lightly coated in 100% organic beeswax, and the beads are made with food safe, BPA-free silicone. You now have permission to rest easy as your little one happily gnaws away!

Pro tip: Never submerge the teether under water because the wood may warp; instead, clean using a mild soap and warm water.

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8. Melissa and Doug Chomp and Clack Alligator Push Toy

Push toys are perfect for toddlers learning to take their first steps, as they allow a child to see his feet and practice standing and stepping. Melissa and Doug's Chomp and Clack promises to add a little fun and excitement to that process! The hand painted wood has plenty of bright, colorful details to capture your child's attention, and the chomping alligators will provide endless hours of entertainment. (Trust us!)

Pro tip: Remember that push toys, not walkers, are recommended for kiddos just learning to walk.

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9. Green Toys

We love pretty much everything about Green Toys, and we think you will too. Made from 100% recycled plastic—mostly milk jugs!—Green Toys save energy, help reduce our carbon footprint, and, most importantly, are fun. The simple designs inspire creativity and imaginative play. We're big fans of the fire station playset and the submarine.

Pro tip: Every pound of recycled milk jugs saves enough energy to power a TV for three weeks. That's a lot of Daniel Tiger.

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We only include products we've tested and loved in MotherlyLoves. Through affiliate programs, we may receive a revenue percentage if you purchase through our website.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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