Courtesy of Mishal Ali Zafar

Can Babies Play With Homemade Slime?

by Mishal Ali Zafar

Slime is all I hear about these days. My little ones are consumed with everything slime — they want to buy it, make it, play with it — they’re obsessed. And while my kids are older, and I try to make sure they don’t touch harsh chemicals like Borax when making their slime, the interaction with this gooey glop might be of concern for parents with babies. Can babies play with homemade slime?

Although I’ve been unable to find any personal appeal for slime, my 9-year-old daughter tells me that its stretchy and squishy nature give her a sense of satisfaction. The fact that she can add any colors or ingredients to it caters to her creativity, making it a combination of art and a chemistry project. I make sure she uses non-toxic ingredients and remind her often of the dangers of ingesting it.

Babies, however, may not be mature enough to handle slime, even if it’s non-toxic. In an interview with Romper, Bineesh Moyeed, Pharm.D, says that when it comes to babies, parents should be extra careful. "Babies have very sensitive skin," says Moyeed, "and things like harsh detergents or glues can cause skin irritation."

She notes that for babies with eczema or extra sensitive skin, parents are forced to use baby friendly, chemical free laundry detergents. "If washing your baby’s clothes in detergent can cause irritation, I would imagine that direct contact could be even worse."

Moyeed also notes that babies should never handle chemicals or substances, even under supervision, because it can take a split second for them to ingest it. "Babies have a tendency to put things in their mouths, and even if the slime is not going directly in their mouth, the residue left on their hands might." If ingested, she says that chemicals like glue, detergent, or Borax can cause stomach pain, vomiting, or even seizures in young babies.

If you do want your baby to play with slime, whether it’s for sensory purposes, or just for fun, there are alternatives. A quick Google search for "edible slime" will unearth tons of videos and recipes on making safe slime for your babe. Fun At Home With Kids recommended an edible baby-safe slime recipe that’s made of basil seeds and corn starch, which would be safe even if ingested. On Instructables, you can even find an edible Nutella slime that’s made with condensed milk. (I'm sure your baby will love that one.)

It's all about adapting your fun DIY projects to include the whole family. Even if it means giving your baby the ultimate sugar rush.