Live Green and Earn Points


Surprising Ways to Reuse Baby Items

By Annie Bell Muzaurieta |
Don't throw away that empty jar of carrots. One mom's trash is another mom's ideal bow holder.
Originally Published: 11/12/09

The world of infants and toddlers is filled with disposable and plastic items, but there are myriad ways to re-use baby goods that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Here's a few to try:

  • Kids' Socks: Cut the feet off of your older children's holey socks, and voila! Baby has a new pair of leg warmers-perfect for crawlers.

  • Food Jars: Give a clean, empty glass food jar a new job; use them to store finger paints or baby bows.

  • Baby Wipes Containers: An empty carton of wipes is perfect for storing markers, crayons, or paint brushes.

  • Diaper Boxes: Get organized: One Florida mom took an old empty diaper box, covered it in wrapping paper, and used it to store her daughter's Legos.

  • Too-Tight Pajamas: With a little creativity you can maximize the life of your kiddies' clothes. One clever friend told us she cut the sleeves and legs off of her daughter's too-tight favorite pajamas and lo and behold — it's a short set!

  • Bonus: Yesterday's Favorite Toy: Inevitably your kid will move on from that favorite or age-specific toy (or maybe you'd like to just weed a few out of the toy heap in your home). A toy swap is an easy way to keep the goods out of the garbage and will save you money too. Talk to the moms at your new moms group, Strollercize class, or familiar faces on the playground. Set a date to exchange toys or books with a specific mom in need, or you can make it a general toy swap. Moms donate a clean, gently used toy, and then select a new one from the pot. Depending on the number of participants, and if you've extended the group to beyond friends, you might want to set some rules-toy size, price range, and age group, for example. The organizer should donate any remaining toys to a charity.

What baby items do you reuse in your home? Share your ideas by commenting below.

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  • Elaine F. 5 years ago
    I hand down their toys to the younger ones.
  • Kelly F. 6 years ago
    sounds like a lot of clever tips, ill pass the word on to my friends
  • 6 years ago
    We had an excess of receiving blankets, so I turned some into pajama pants for my toddler. All it took was a simple pattern made from an existing pair of pants and a small length of elastic.

    I also turned receiving blankets into custom-fit pillow cases for smaller pillows.

    I use a diaper stacker (the cloth kind that come with crib bedding sets) hung in the closet to hold toddler bed sheets.
  • 6 years ago
    Cut the feet out of a sleeper when baby has gotten too long to fit in it comfortably. Add a pair of socks to keep the feet warm and you've added new life to your baby clothes. Cut up cloth diapers to make home made nursing pads. I found that they worked better than most of the ones bought in stores.
  • 6 years ago
    I make my own babyfood so I dont have to recycle the jars, I purchase wipes in recycled packaging so I dont have a plastic tub. And recently now that I am finished having babies I am donating all my swings, highchairs, carriers to a battered womens shelter.....There are so many great and easy ways to recycle. Thanks for the tips!
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