Baby-Young Child Safe Finishes

I am making a stand-up name puzzle for a friend who has a new baby. Any recommendations for a safe finish would be much appreciated. The wood is hard maple.



My inclination for this sort of thing is always beeswax and a suitable tree/nut oil — walnut is easily sourced at a grocery store.

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Babies can chew on things. As @WillAdams suggested bees wax is good. You could also use mineral oil which is easy to get. Any “Food Safe” finish would work. There is many cutting board oils that will work. This one is easy to get.

You can get it online or at Lowes. This would be safe if the baby chewed on it. Will Adams suggested nut oils but these could cause an allergic reaction should be baby be allergic to nuts. 20 years ago that was not even thought of but now a day it should be considered. Plus some organic oils can go rancid. That is why it is not recommended to put fruit/nut oils on salad bowls like olive or nut oils. Better to be safe than sorry.


Until you know more about the child, avoid any nut oil finishes. You just never know when there’s a nut allergy.

I [also] use the Howard’s finishes for my cutting boards and kids toys. Milk paint is also a food-safe finish for kids toys (available in primary colors).

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‘Osmo’ wood waxes are food and child safe.


Thanks. I do have a couple bottles of that and have used it on cutting boards.

Great advice! Thanks!

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