Babies come with a lot of gear. It can seem wasteful to throw it out for items used only for a short period. Many parents don’t know what to do with old equipment. Some equipment can be passed down, resold, or reused, but other gear needs to be thrown out or discarded properly.
Equipment to Toss and Why
Some equipment is just not reusable. Even if it seems to be in excellent condition, reusing it is not a good idea. Some of these items are for hygienic reasons, while others are prohibited by law.
Baby bottles are often passed down or sold after a baby finishes using them. This idea is fine, but the nipples should go. As babies grow, sometimes they bite or pull on the nipple. Passing it down could mean that the integrity of the nipple is compromised, and your child or someone else’s child could chew the end off, creating a choking hazard. Likewise, the more the nipples get worn, they create scratches and blemishes in the silicone, which can harbor bacteria. Sell or donate the bottles but replace the nipples before use.
Breast Pump Tubing
Breast pumps are expensive. It is a fantastic idea to share that cost with another mother by selling or donating the old machine. However, old milk can sometimes be left behind. The tubing should be replaced frequently, even with only one user. Once the machine is passed down, any disposable tubing and filters should be replaced immediately.
Car seats are one of the most significant expenses you will have as a parent. Car seats generally grow with your children, but they eventually outgrow them. You may have spent quite a bit of money and don’t want to get rid of them. However, normal wear and tear can cause small fishers or fractures in the car seat that are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Likewise, sometimes car seats get recalled, and parents do not know. Most resell shops or consignment stores aren’t allowed to resell car seats because they can be dangerous. Don’t take the risk. Just get rid of it.
Cribs, toddler beds, and bassinets do not last long. Giving the frames and even sheets or blankets away can be a fantastic way to recycle. However, sharing mattresses is never a good idea. The risk for bedbugs and the spread of lice can be greater with shared mattresses. When you share beds, toss the mattress and buy a new one.
Resell or Donate
Reselling your items can be done in many ways. First, you might contact a consignment store such as Posh Baby, Hoot-N-Annie, or Pinwheels in Portland. Many consignment stores specialize in children’s clothing. When going the consignment route, be sure to contact the store ahead of time to determine their policies and whether appointments are needed for first-time consignors. Sometimes, they want to do this to review the contract and let you know what they take in which season.
Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories
Clothes are one of the simplest things to consign or resell. Unwanted clothing can also be donated to thrift stores and nonprofits. Be sure that the clothes are clean, free of most stains, and in good repair. Old tattered and worn clothes should be discarded or used as cleaning rags. Burpees and bibs make great cleaning rags as they are tough enough to withstand your baby but soft enough not to scratch surfaces.
Children outgrow toys or change their preferences frequently. Getting rid of old toys is easily done. Remember, you don’t have to use consignment stores; you can also donate to churches, schools, daycares, or nonprofit agencies to redistribute or resell for fundraising. You can also pass toys down to friends or family members. Be sure that toys have all parts and aren’t broken or worn out.
Monitors and Cameras
Video cameras and baby monitors are fantastic items to resell or pass down. Parents and grandparents feel better knowing they can monitor the baby when sleeping or playing alone. Monitors are an excellent way to do that. Once they do not need the monitor, there is no reason to throw them in the trash.
Breast Pumps, Bottle Warmers, and Wipe Warmers
Electronic equipment can be expensive and isn’t used long. When you finish, feel free to resell or donate these items. As we mentioned above, throw out the tubing and filters, and let the new owner buy more. These items can be resold, but if they break or aren’t working correctly, they should be taken to an electronics recycling facility.
Outdoor Toys and Equipment
Some outdoor toys and equipment break down after exposure to the elements. However, plastic equipment and treated wooden equipment may also be great for reselling and donation. Be sure that any equipment that can hold water is drained or dried thoroughly.
Nothing beats books for young children. Reading development begins as soon as you start reading to your children. Board books, soft books, and even bathtub books are great options for infants, but they do outgrow them. Donating to a daycare center is an excellent idea for getting rid of old books.
Whether you get rid of things through resell sites online or in stores or have a yard sale, people will pay for used items to save money and get quality equipment. Donations can often be taken off on taxes and make you feel good to help others. Be sure that you don’t create more problems for the recipient whenever you make these decisions. Let them know what needs to be purchased and what you can bring to them. Purge the old stuff. Make a dollar or a smile.