Little makes it past your baby’s curious mouth. From toys and teddies to their own tiny toes, babies take the world on teeth first! This is an entirely normal – indeed, essential – part of their development, but it can also lead to them chewing on some potentially harmful materials.
This realisation was the founding spark for Natruba, a luxury teething toy brand where style and functionality come together.
When Line and Kasper Lilholm-Mikkelsen from Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, had their first child, they became concerned about the plastic toys she was putting into her mouth. Like all babies, little Alberte’s inquisitive mind wanted to chew on every object she could find!
‟As months went by Alberte began to put whatever she could in her mouth, which is natural for babies of course, but we started to worry about the things she chewed on and played with. What were they made of? What did they exactly contain? Therefore, we began searching for safe, non-plastic, chemical-free toys, but found the range of safe toys not only small but uninspiring and boring as well. We decided to change that.”
Line and Kasper, who still works full-time as a sales manager, are business-minded and had always dreamed of creating a brand from scratch. So, when idea and opportunity came together, they decided to take the leap and launch Natruba toys.
Research was the first task. Line and Kasper already knew that safety and ergonomics needed to be top of the list, and additional research helped them to find the perfect material: natural rubber.
Extracted from the Hevea tree, Natruba’s natural rubber is flexible, lightweight and soft, making it just right for teething gums. Natruba toys are free from synthetics, PVC, BPA, Phthalates, and any other nasties you don’t want to find their way into your little one’s mouth.
Line and Kasper knew that hygiene is a top priority – now more than ever – so made sure that all Natruba toys were free from holes and gaps that could lead to accumulating bacteria. The research journey, they describe, was a process of ‟making natural toys that parents can feel 100% secure about, giving them to their child knowing they are completely safe and free from harmful contents”.
So, why is chewing so important? There are multiple reasons why babies want to put every object within reach into their little mouths, most of them beneficial and completely natural. Chewing toys, for example, aids their sensory exploration by exposing them to different textures and materials, as well as gently introducing different bacteria into their immune systems. It is also a sign that their hand-eye coordination is developing, as they are learning to lift toys up to their face. The key reason, however, is that your little one is getting ready to eat! Putting objects into their mouths helps them to practice chewing, strengthen their tongue and jaw, and also gets them used to holding different shapes between their teeth.
Line and Kasper knew how important teethers were in Alberte’s development, so decided to spend a year perfecting their models to ensure top, baby-friendly functionality. Each toy, from their powder-blue peacocks to smiley racoon rings, is expertly designed to give growing gums plenty of bouncy, rounded edges to chew on. ‟We continuously challenge shapes, textures, and functionality,’ the couple tell us, in order to create ‟safe toys wrapped in beautiful, elegant and playful Danish design”.
Because being beautiful is equally important: great toys should be just as pretty as they are practical. Hand painted in soft, muted colours, Natruba teethers add a touch of grace and poise to any playroom space. Line’s designs are inspired by the natural world – its shapes, its textures, its colours – and also by Alberte and Bertram, who are now five and two respectively. The design process can be frustrating and stressful if you ‟do not know the process ahead”, but, for Line, the end product makes it all worthwhile: ‟I love the transformation from thought to raw sketch, to design drawing, to prototype, to sample, to final product. Having the final product in your hand is an amazing feeling!”
Sustainability is another value at the heart of Natruba. Line and Kasper wanted to give parents and babies safe, fun toys that had minimum impact on the environment. This is another reason why the couple selected natural rubber; as a natural product, it breaks down without leaving harmful materials behind. They also chose plant- and food-graded dyes to eliminate potential toxins, guaranteeing that Natruba toys care for our planet while supporting your baby.
Fun, functional and planet-friendly – it’s an irresistible combination! Natruba toys are crafted with love and care, giving you piece of mind that your little one is playing with toys that are safe, secure and beautifully stylish.
What’s next for Natruba toys? Are there any new projects on the horizon? ‟Absolutely!” Line says,‟We are continuously creating new, safe, stylish yet fun products, and will be expanding our product range to reveal new product categories later in 2021”.
We can’t wait!
For more information and to view the entire range, please visit: www.natruba.com