When you have a baby, suddenly your life is taken over by this tiny person and their incredibly enormous amount of stuff. Swings and bouncy seats and high chairs and toys and little tiny socks… Awwww! And those little shoes!!!
Um, yeah. Anyway…most of that stuff only gets used for a short time before it gets put away to be saved for the next kid. Or for just in case you decide to have a next kid. (Or just in case a next kid decides to have you.)
But what happens when you’ve still got a bunch of baby stuff and you’re totally done having babies? No more “just in case.” You’re done. Like DONE done. You just give it all away, right? You don’t need any of that stuff any more—that stuff is for babies! Well…maybe.
The other day I was talking to a friend whose daughter went to one of the new Metro Nashville Pre-K hubs last year. At orientation, they told the parents to get out their old boxes of board books because they’re perfect for kids who are just learning to read. But my friend is DONE done and had already given her board book collection away. Oops.
I probably would have done the same thing next consignment season. I love consigning. I treat it like a sport. But now I’m thinking, “What other baby stuff can still be useful, even though there are no more babies in the house?” So I took a totally unscientific poll of some other moms, and I’ve compiled this probably not comprehensive but still pretty useful list just for you! You’re welcome.
1. The Aforementioned Board Books
For the aforementioned reason. Board books are short and use small words. That makes them just right for little ones learning the basics of how to read.
2. Wet Bag
This is a super handy thing for baby’s on-the-go diaper changes, but it’s still super useful even after the travails of potty training are behind you. I always take mine to the pool and the splash park to stash tiny wet swimsuits and squishy pool toys in for the ride home.
3. A Few Baby Toys—Just a Few
Hang on to a few baby toys for two reasons. First: playdates. You may be done having babies, but your friends/cousins/neighbors/friend’s cousin’s neighbors aren’t. How thoughtful of you to keep a—small!—box of baby toys on hand to entertain them. Second: toy rotation. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and sometimes a kid who’s bent on whining you right out of your sanity can be momentarily distracted by an oldie but goodie.
4. Bottle Nipples
I haven’t done this myself, but I have it on excellent authority that you can cut the ends off and use them as tiny funnels. I think this could be handy in the kitchen or for crafting applications including, say, re-bottling 8 ounces of spilled tempera paint. Not that I can even imagine that ever spilling. Not at my house. No, never.
5. Flannel Receiving Blankets
These have a lot of post-baby applications. Worn-out flannel is great for cleaning, dusting, and gently polishing the fancy silverware your grandmother convinced you to put on your bridal registry. They also make nice baby doll blankets, hair drying towels, and bathroom floor bedding for a kid who’s suffering through a case of the pukes.
6. Formula Dispenser
These little plastic containers have separate compartments for storing powdered baby formula but can be used later on to hold little snacks—or Mommy’s protein powder.
7. Bottle Brush
Bottle brushes aren’t just for bottles any more! They’re also great for cleaning water bottles or for getting the gunk out of the bottom of the flower vase that you use to display the dozens of lovely roses your partner brings you for no reason at all (certainly not because they just did something really stupid).
8. Baby Clothes(?!!)
The crafty-type respondents of my little poll have encouraged me to keep my favorite baby outfits in order to make them into a quilt…but you and I and Pinterest all know that I’m just not ever going make a quilt out of baby clothes (same goes for those concert t-shirts from the late 90’s). And anyway, most of our baby clothes got consigned long ago. I have a couple of teeny things that I keep in a box and the day my son leaves for college I will likely go through it with a box of Kleenex and a bottle of Chardonnay to keep me company. But as for the quilting—probably not going to happen in this household.
So there you have it, mamas. Eight(ish) baby things you get to justify keeping—even after you’re DONE having babies. I told you this list wasn’t comprehensive, right? What other good ideas do you have for re-purposing baby gear?