Second life - What to do with all the baby stuff?
We are well and truly leaving baby-dom behind for the last time. As we do that, we are suddenly finding ourselves with a lot of stuff that either needs to find a new home, or a new purpose in our home. With such a focus on sustainability at the moment, I’m trying to do my bit to cut down on waste and be resourceful with what we have as opposed to always buying new things.
While I believe a lot of our baby gear will get passed on to other friends and family, there are also a lot of items that feel too used to pass on, but still have a lot of miles left in them. Those are the things I’ve focussed on, and would love to hear your ideas too!
Muslins make fabulous tea towels in the kitchen.
Passing on the squares you’ve used for over a year to wipe up sick and every other spill imaginable feels a bit wrong. But the fabric is amazing, and deserves to be used until it’s worn out. Seriously absorbent and quick drying, I started using them in the kitchen a few months ago, and will now be using all our muslins until they develop holes. They are resilient, really easy to clean, and do a better job than most kitchen towels I’ve invested in because they don’t leave random fluff behind. They may not be as pretty to look at, but then neither are the nice tea towels after they’ve been used a few times!
Tommy Tippee Pop Up Freezer Pots are perfect for freezing homemade stock
We are definitely out of the puree phase, but suddenly I’m left with all these tiny freezer-friendly containers that are too small to be good for much. One day, after we’d roasted a chicken, I got ambitious and decided to make a stock too but had no way to save it all. I ended up using the pots, and they were so brilliant they’ve become my go-to way to set some stock aside without taking up too much room in our tiny freezer. They are exactly the right size for adding a hit of flavour to casseroles or rice dishes. Once they’re frozen, you can pop the cubes out into a bigger freezer bag, or just leave until you’re ready to go. I have a feeling they’d be great for freezing chutneys and other pastes as well – I just haven’t tried it yet.
Stained vests make great cleaning rags.
Those gorgeous onesies that start life pristine and white always feel too used and stained to pass onto other people by the time my children have grown out of them. But it feels a waste to recycle them or throw them in the bin. Instead, I’ve started cutting them into squares and keeping them around for cleaning. The cotton is soft, washes really well and with two toddlers around, there’s always a spill to mop up.
Fitted waterproof sheets are incredibly useful when a tummy bug hits.
We’ve potty trained my eldest, and moved my youngest out of her baby cot into a slightly bigger one. Which leaves us with a lot of waterproof sheets that only fit a tiny mattress we no longer use. The other week, when a tummy bug hit our house, I ended up grabbing one of the fitted sheets and ripping the large rectangle of waterproof fabric from the fitted cotton bit. I then laid the waterproof square of fabric under the twin sheets on the top half of my daughter’s bed. If she was ill, at least it wouldn’t soak into the mattress. It definitely saved us a few times.
Baby towels are very helpful travel companions.
What do you do with those tiny hooded towels that lose their purpose after one year? We have a few stashed in the boot of our car, and have even packed one or two away when we’ve gone on a road trip. They are incredibly helpful when it comes to wiping down muddy feet, towelling off after an unexpected rainstorm, or even cleaning down little ones who fall victim to car-sickness. Because they’re small, they don’t take much room, but they definitely come in handy in an emergency.
So those are my little attempts at finding a new use for old things. Any tips or tricks you’ve picked up along the way? I’d love to hear!