It's an unfortunate fact that many things being advertised and sold to us are not entirely safe. I think it's terrible that even children's items, including toys, are toxic, even some of the supposedly "natural" brands [ahem... Melissa and Doug]. I think it is more important than ever to make sure the things that surround my baby every day be safe for her to touch and chew on.
One brand I have found that really impresses me is Miyim. Their toys are made of certified nontoxic, organic cotton and made colorful with natural, plant-derived dyes.
My current favorite is Sleepytime Charlotte [we have her in grey]
but there are a lot of other adorable characters to choose as well. Take a look at their Storybook Collection:
They also have cute knit toys,
and even more on their website.
I really like that even though they're soft, they are stuffed full and tightly enough to serve as chew toys- Bay loves to chew on Benjamin's eyes and hands.
For really little babies, I also like their blankies [Amazon had some of them on sale last time I checked]. I think one would look adorable on the top of a diaper cake or tied to the outside of a big gift. If you're interested, check discount sites often [links and invitations are on the left side of the page] because I found some on Gilt a few months ago for around 50% off.
blurry cell-phone photo of Bay and Benjamin: