5 ways to recycle your unwanted baby items
Whether you’ve had one child or seven, you’ll know how easy it is to collect a surplus of baby clothes, furniture and other ‘I’ll get it just in case I need it’ items. When your baby outgrows them, here are some ideas to recycle your unwanted baby items and give them new life.
Give it away
It’s an obvious one that’s often considered a ‘last resort’, but giving away old toys, clothes and baby items can actually play an amazing part in helping your child development social and environmental responsibility and, in turn, empathy and understanding. Whether you give these old items to a friend or donate them to a responsible charity, like Baby Give Back. It’s important that you explain to your child why you’ve chosen to do so. You could even use it as an opportunity to create a fun bonding activity, getting crafty upcycling your old items to present as gifts to friends and family, or integrate environmental education and understanding into the experience by taking your child to a dump and showing them where the items would have otherwise ended up.
Repurpose baby clothes
When it comes to uses for your old baby clothes, if you have the time and know-how, the options are seriously endless. Pick out the most loved or memorable items of clothing to turn into a memory quilt, special teddy, a cute cushion or make a tote bag. Pinterest is – literally – bursting at the seams with ideas from clever creatives with a knack for turning the pre-loved into loveable new items. And, if you’re like us and like step-by-step help, Pinterest will also be your best friend when it comes to providing actual instructions. But, if you are not excited by craft or don’t have the time, why not ask a creative family member or pay a tailor to upcycle your fabric items for you?
Baby-specific bowls – like divider or ‘bento’ bowls – are one of the easiest items to accumulate, and the hardest to re-home. Very few of us end up eating off them beyond the age of three or four. Instead of using them for their intended purpose, why not use them to divide and store craft items? Sequins, buttons, loose needles and thread can all be organised neatly with these kinds of bowls, which are also usually equipped with anti-slip materials that make them perfect for storing in drawers. You could also use them for jewelry, or as a paint tray when you’re painting.
Have you got a copious amount of baby food freezer trays that you have no idea what to do with? Why not keep them to use as regular ice trays, making the most of the extra-large segments to get creative with fancy fruits or lollies? The other thing these storage trays are good for is freezing homemade stock, or even pre-made smoothie cubes for an easy summer snack. When all else fails, just fill them with juice and stick a small paddle pop stick into the centre for DIY ice blocks.
Upcycle your furniture
Think you’re never going to use that baby change table now that your kids are out of nappies? Think again. Nursery furniture doesn’t come cheap, so if you can’t find a good place to rehome it, consider getting a little crafty instead. Your change table, for example, could make an excellent bar cart – just take off the mattress, polish it up and stock it with martini glasses and liqueurs. No one will ever know you used to plant your bub’s bare bottom on top (or any of the other unmentionable details…). Pinterest can even show you how to repurpose a cot into cute kids’ seating or a reading nook, or even turn your highchair into a plant stand. The possibilities are endless!