By Tara Cushing (TheBravoBlonde)
Every parent goes through the angst of tossing away the baby stuff. Things that cost a small fortune that we either used in the blink of an eye, or never quite used at all. Our guilt laden purges are done via selling gently used stuff on the web, trying to force parents-to-be (who are wrongfully under the assumption that they, too, want to buy this stuff new) to take them off our hands, or (the absolute worst) chucking it all in a sad heap of memories and wasted dollars at the end of the driveway on mass garbage pick up day.
Babyhood, though we never realize it while expecting, is the shortest time in our, and our babies’, lives. The things we so desperately think we need; the bottle warmers, the booties, the mobiles; are the things that are outgrown the fastest. I would take a guess that much of the stuff filling up the landfills are baby items. Just the items I received at my “double trouble” baby shower filled up an entire room. Alas, there is some hope.
The other day Perez Hilton posted a photo of Liv Tyler on the street outside her apartment toting a little Medela breast milk bottle insulated cooler. The very same insulated cooler that, when once I toted precious ounces of liquid gold home from pumping at work, I now use in lieu of a brown bag. It got me thinking, “What other baby items do I, or can I still use in a new way?” Below are 8 baby items that can be repurposed long after babyhood.
Insulated Bottle Bag: Like mentioned above, insulated bottle holders can be repurposed to carry lunches. They keep food cool, are compact, and dishwasher safe. I wish I had a Medela bag for each member of my family! I also used the Medela tote as a work bag for a long time…until the handle broke.
Diaper Stacker: Long after your child has mastered the art of using the toilet, your diaper stacker can keep hanging in your child’s (or even your) closet. Diaper stackers make great hanging storage for foldable clothes, or even as a space saving hamper!
Video Monitor: Don’t want to spend your entire day in the playroom? Of course not, you’ve got other things to do. Mount that video camera in the places your child hangs out and now you can watch them while you cook, clean, or…OMG…watch something other than Disney Jr.
Frozen Teething Ring: Because childhood clumsiness sticks around longer than we wish. Teething rings are easily gripped by small hands. I give these to my sons as ice packs when they take the usual bumps and tumbles that most growing boys take. I also feel safer about them placing it in their mouths if the injury is lip, gum, or tongue related.
Tiny Forks and Spoons: They fit perfectly in that little repurposed insulated bag you now use for lunch. No more plastic cutlery and you are now forced to take tinier bites. Slimming your waistline and your trash bag!
Plastic Wipe Dispensers: You can organized anything in these! They are especially great for storing small toys, puzzle pieces, and Legos. I’ve even seen teachers use them to hold crayons and markers for their students.
Diaper Bag: It’s big, it’s bulky, and you couldn’t wait to carry your trendy designer purses again. However, your diaper bag is the perfect bag to take when you need big and bulky. Use it for the pool, the beach, as an overnighter when the kids go to grandma’s. Just make sure it doesn’t smell like sour milk and Pampers.
The Bella Band: If you wore one of these to stave off wearing maternity pants as long as you could, then you know what it is. What you didn’t know is how you can use it for years to come. My Bella Band comes with me to the gym now where it keeps my midsection warm until my run is heated enough for me to fold it over, at which point it becomes a holder for my iPhone. You could also use it as a tube top at the pool. Slide it over your bikini top and take down those straps…no tan lines or accidental flashing!
Did you find this article helpful? Which ideas will you try? Do you have other ideas for repurposing baby items? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section. Email addresses remain confidential and do not show up in publishing.