Is Natural Rubber Safe for Babies? Pros and Cons Explained

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

When searching for baby items, it is crucial to select the safest options for your little one.

Avoiding chemicals and other unsafe additives is at the top of most parents’ lists, and that’s where natural rubber comes in to help. It’s an alternative to which many caretakers are turning to ensure the products their babies use are safe. 

Is natural rubber safe for babies? Yes, natural rubber should be safe for your baby. Since babies tend to chew on items, pacifiers and bottle nipples containing natural rubber can be a better option than plastic. Even as your child leaves the baby stage, you may still want to look for products that contain natural rubber. 

Just like with any material, there are pros and cons to natural rubber. Know everything you can to decide how to use this option in your life.

Natural Rubber Products and Your Baby – What To Know

Whether you are registering for your baby shower or picking out items yourself, make sure you know when to go with natural rubber options. It’s also important to know what alternative materials have to offer.

What Is Natural Rubber?

Natural rubber is obtained from the latex sap of trees and is considered a more sustainable choice than plastic.

Due to what it contains and how it is harvested, it is a safe option for almost anyone to use. 

Is Natural Rubber Really Natural?

Like all products that claim to be natural, you have to dig below the surface to find out what natural really means.

There are additives in natural rubber, such as dyes and fillers among others, and the FDA doesn’t actually monitor the use of the word “natural” as it pertains to products.

Natural Rubber Advantages

Many parents choose natural rubber because it is much safer than plastic. Though there are additives, there don’t tend to be as many in natural rubber, and the actual rubber is usually safe for even the most sensitive baby. 

Disadvantages of Rubber

Some babies don’t take to natural rubber because it has a distinct taste. Though the chances are slim, your baby may also have an allergic reaction to natural rubber.

Natural rubber needs to be replaced more often than plastic because it will lose its shape and may start to smell strange.

Does Natural Rubber Leach?

Natural rubber does not leach. This isn’t true for plastic. Plastic is full of chemicals that can leach, and this is a major concern since baby products will often end up in your child’s mouth.

You want to stick to materials that won’t negatively impact your child’s health by leaching.

Natural Rubber vs. Synthetic Rubber

Natural rubber and synthetic rubber both have their uses, so you have to compare and decide which one is best when considering baby products.

Natural rubber tends to excel in certain areas whereas synthetic can vary depending on the brand and the product. Specific research for whatever baby item you are choosing is necessary to decide the best fit.

Natural Rubber vs. Silicone

Silicone is definitely sturdier than natural rubber when it comes to wear and tear.

Silicone pacifiers may last longer than natural rubber, but you should still replace them frequently. They just may not show as much damage during use because of the durability of silicone.

Silicone is often used for bottle nipples because of its durability and flexibility. It is a much better choice than plastic.

What Baby Products Are Made From Rubber?

Examples of baby products made from rubber include pacifiers, bottle nipples, and teething toys.

Since all of these go inside your child’s mouth, you want to ensure they are made with the best, nontoxic materials. Toddler toys can also be made from natural rubber.

Does 100% Natural Rubber Contain Latex?

Yes, 100% natural rubber does contain latex. That’s why there is a slight risk of a latex allergy reaction when your child uses it.

Can Natural Rubber Trigger Latex Allergy?

Natural rubber can trigger a latex allergy, but it’s rare. If your child does have a negative reaction after exposure to natural rubber, it’s important to look into the possibility of a latex allergy.

Natural Rubber Toys

A baby girl lying on her tummy while chewing on a rubber teething toy.

There are some great toys on the market made of natural rubber.

Natural Rubber Sensory Ball

This colorful ball is made of safe natural rubber and can be used to help your child with eye-hand coordination.

As is true with most toys, it will probably end up in your child’s mouth, but the natural rubber it is made of ensures that is not a problem.

Organic Rubber Bath Toy Set

Bath toys keep your child in the bathtub long enough for you to actually get them clean. These are made from safe natural rubber. Just make sure to clean them regularly and watch for mold growth.

Calmies 100% Rubber Teether Toy

Teething toys can get you through some really hard times when your baby is in pain. Choose ones that are safe for your child to chew on since that is the whole purpose. Calmies are great and durable.

Natural Rubber Pacifier

Pacifiers help your child self-soothe and can ensure you actually get some rest. Here are some great choices.

Stars & Stripes Natural Rubber Pacifier

This natural rubber pacifier comes in a variety of colors and is easy to handle. Like any pacifier, you will need to replace it every 4-6 weeks.

Since these come in packages of two, it’s easy to replace them and to have a spare in case one is lost.

Sweetie Natural Rubber Pacifier

Choose from three different shapes when you buy Sweetie’s pacifiers. This eco-friendly option is durable and comfortable for your child’s mouth. Parents offer great reviews as well.

Related Questions: 

What Are Baby Bottle Nipples Made Of?

Baby bottle nipples can be made from a variety of materials. Silicone and rubber containing latex are the most common choices.

Are Silicone Bottles Safe for Babies?

Yes, silicone bottles are safe for babies, and they are also convenient to use. That’s what makes them a popular choice for parents.

Closing Thoughts

Know everything you can about the materials that go into your child’s baby products. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions for your entire family.