When it comes to gift giving, selecting a gift for a baby or child can be particularly overwhelming. Given that the holiday is geared towards buying toys (read: junk) for kids, there seems to be an endless array of choices- that is, unless you decide to try to shop responsibly! Thankfully, there are a number of wonderful companies who are dedicating their work to creating quality products for babies and children that make beautiful holiday gifts. Here’s a few of my favorites!
This post does contain affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, there is no extra cost to you, but I do receive a small amount of commission, which allows me to keep writing! Many, many thanks for your support, friends 🙂
Vulli Toys– I got my nephew, Miles, a Sophie the Giraffe toy last Christmas, and he absolutely loved it! Moms all over the world are raving about Sophie and other Vulli toys. Made out of naturally sourced, nontoxic rubber, Vulli’s teethers and toys are specifically designed to be the perfect toy for baby- visually appealing, with a distinct smell and texture, and easy to grasp. They even make Sophie in a keychain for emergency situations!
Crunchy Mama Happy Baby– I came across this company by chance while surfing Etsy and I totally fell in love with it! Diedre handmakes beautiful teething pad strap covers for baby carriers- so much more awesome than the ones you’d buy from a box store (and free from the undoubtedly nasty chemicals you’d find in those store ones, too!). I am personally obsessed with the earth rainbow style- but there is one to fit everyone’s personal aesthetic 🙂 Can’t wait to get a set of these on my Ergo when baby girl comes!
Umi Sling– This is without a doubt one of my new favorite companies! Umi Sling operates under a ‘one-for-one’ program- whenever you buy a sling for yourself or a loved one, another sling is sewn and sent to Papua New Guinea, where many children are malnourished because they are left at home during the day while their mothers work. When the mothers are provided with a sling, they can then carry their children (and, thus, feed them) while they work, which is significantly changing the health of the community! Umi Slings are well-made, durable, single-layer ring slings made with the highest quality fabrics. I especially love their Batik line, made with fabric sourced from Ghana! Adriel, who works with the women in Papua New Guinea, writes, “Athough leaving a supply of baby slings will not “solve” the problems in Bamio, it’s a practical, achievable part of the approach we can take in educating and equipping these dear women (and their husbands) in regards to the importance of maternal availability during the newborn and infant stages.” I love this honest approach to their work- aware that they may not be solving a long-term problem, but they can provide a short-term solution in the meantime.
Fair Indigo: Joobles Line– What little kid doesn’t love stuffed animals? These are not only adorable, but they are hand-knitted in a Peruvian co-op out of sustainably-sourced yarn and dyed with certified baby-safe dyes. Proceeds from the sale of these little cuties go towards educational opportunities in Peru as well! They make the perfect special gift for your favorite little one. I especially love Racky the Raccooon! Fair Indigo is actually a much larger company, with great selections of clothing for men and women, as well as accessories. Their Joobles line is their baby-and-child specific selections.
Two Little Fish Bedding– This new company is creating beautiful crib sets, wet bags, and other linens through a women’s cooperative in Ghana! Purchases from Two Little Fish then help to send mattresses to orphans in South Africa. The best part: Two Little Fish is offering 10% off of crib sets to Feed Me, Mama readers when you use the code ‘FEEDMEMAMA’ 🙂
The Little Bee Co. Diapers– Adorable cloth diapers. Another ‘one-for-one’ type company that gives a diaper to an orphaned babe for every one you purchase. From their site: “Orphans, especially those in 3rd world countries, often do not have proper diapering available. A large number of orphanages use split pants, rags or often times no diaper at all. These precious babies find themselves in unhealthy and unsanitary conditions that cause an already bad situation to be far worse. The diapers shipped to each orphan enable a healthier diapering system and a comfort they may otherwise never receive.” Each color diaper represents a different country they work in. Christian owned, really great company!
Re:Play Dishes– These bright recycled dish sets are made locally in South Florida. Re:play takes old milk jugs and other plastics and uses them to create their fun, playful dishes. An added bonus: they faithfully employ adults with developmental disabilities to make their products! I received some of their line at my baby shower and I can’t wait for my little girl to be big enough to use them!
Grimm’s Spiel und Holz Design– Awesome, very cool baby toys, such as blocks and stacking sets. The wood used for Grimm’s production is sourced from sustainably managed forests in Europe and includes alder, lime, beech and maple. The wood is cut into the forms then coated with natural oil. If the product is colored, the wood is then stain with certified non toxic, water-based colors.
Kate Quinn Organics– these baby and child clothes are absolutely stunning, and they are made with 100% organic cotton, and natural dyes! We have graciously received several outfits from Kate Quinn and I can’t speak highly enough about their quality- her pieces truly put box store clothing to shame. It’s a little higher price point, but well worth it, IMO.
Tegu Playsets– Given my personal affinity for wooden toys, I absolutely love these beautiful block and toy sets! In 2006, Tegu co-founder Chris Haughey returned from Honduras with a vision to create a for-profit business that would have a transforming effect on the lives of Hondurans. Four years later, not only has Tegu electrified the toy market with the introduction of its magnetic wooden blocks, but, in doing so, Chris and his brother Will have delivered on their commitment to make a lasting difference in Honduras and to its economy. The name is derived from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, where Tegu block sets are manufactured. Tegu works with local Honduran cooperatives who individually hand pick each mature tree for use. These cooperatives are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and their process facilitates the forest’s natural regeneration cycle. Additionally, they have partnered with local communities to support reforestation, donating a portion of revenue to replanting efforts when Tegu blocks are sold.
Apple Park is another one of my personal favorites. While they do have some more developed toys in their line, I think their shining stars are their organic lovies and stuffed animals. They are so cute, soft, and make the perfect companion for babe- especially useful as a little friend for helping them soothe themselves to sleep. We have one of their loves for our little girl, and I can’t wait to see her snuggle with it!
Eco-Kids Art and Craft Supplies– My absolute favorite thing to do with kids is arts and rafts/ Maybe it’s because I’m not all that artistic, and I feel better about myself, but I feel like every child enjoys a good, fun art session! However, commercially-made art supplies are terrifying in their ingredients. Enter Eco-Kids: beautiful, totally safe art and craft supplies for your little Picassos! Colors are made with food sources, and they even have gluten free modeling dough– perfect if you have high sensitivities or hungry crafters 🙂