Is amigurumi baby safe?
No, amigurumi is not baby safe. It all comes down to an amigurumi's components: the type of yarn, the type of stuffing, and what accessories did you use to make it with.
- Who am I?
Hello, my name is Chy. I'm the online persona and the Creator of Cult Amigurumi. I've been crocheting since 2015, and began my self-taught journey in amigurumi in 2016. I created Cult Amigurumi in the beginning of 2020 to share my techniques that I've picked up as well as my original patterns that I've designed. Now let's get into why amigurumi is not baby safe.
- The Yarn Acrylic vs. Natural Fibers
Acrylic yarn is made from a polymer (which is carcinogenic) that is turned into a filament and then is spun like wool. Although it does hold color longer, and maintains its shape in the wash, you would not want your little one sucking on an amigurumi made of acrylic yarn. Not only is the acrylic yarn flammable, but when treated with anti-flame retardant, the yarn still contains carcinogens.
With natural fibers, like wool and cotton, it is a much safer alternative. However the aesthetics will be short lived. Natural fibers do not hold color for very long and do not maintain their shape after repeated washing cycles. The ultimate factor that makes natural fiber yarn a big no-no, is the potential allergies that babies may have towards said natural fibers. Cotton, wool and bamboo are the common natural fibers but are the least expensive of the higher grade yarns.
- The Stuffing Wool vs Polyester
Wool stuffing through wear and tear creates pilling in the stuffing. Pilling deforms the amigurumi from its original shape.
Polyester is hypoallergenic, but it's still made from petroleum making it a non-renewable resource that is not biodegradable.
- The Accessories
Plastic eyes, noses, and needles. These accessories are choking hazards. The most dangerous toy in history was a manufactured teddy bear. So even a mass-produced, consumer regulated stuffed animal was considered dangerous because the eyes and nose would pop off and be swallowed.
Needles are still a thing to be forgotten. By human error alone, despite the many years as a Crocheter, mistakes still happen. In amigurumi, needles and pins are used to sew the limbs of amigurumi together. There's always a chance, however small, that a needle or pin could be found inside a handmade Amigurumi. A rare risk, but still a risk.
Side note: Big toy manufacturers have the necessary financial shield to protect themselves from lawsuits. Majority of online Crocheters, like us, do not have this protection.
- Is there an upside to collecting/ making amigurumi?
Shelf-Baby vs. Crib-toy
I highly recommend making and collecting amigurumi as shelf-babies only. Like an heirloom to be displayed instead of played with. The Amigurumi could still bring joy in a home, just safely tucked away on a shelf.
As much as I love amigurumi, and while it's a beautiful therapeutic outlet, it saddens me to admit that amigurumi is not baby safe. It's components present various risks for infants and young children. However, if the aesthetic of an amigurumi is necessary to the nursery decor, Amigurumi is encouraged to be made to be passed down through the family as a Shelf-Baby only.
- Links to check out.
Teddy bears as choking hazards
Yarn fiber types
Natural fiber stuffing alternatives