Right now I probably could be considered a baby stuff hoarder. I have trash bags full of my daughters’ clothes in various sizes. I have baby-sized snowsuits, swimsuits, dress shoes, stockings, and more. I have leftover diapers in teeny sizes, swim diapers, and random pullups. I have tubs full of baby toys and receiving blankets, closets containing bouncy seats and baby carriers with their matching bases. While I feel prepared knowing I have these items in case they are needed again, I also struggle with feeling that I need to declutter and simplify my house again and would be able to use some closets.
Why do I keep all of this stuff, even though my kids have outgrown them? There are a few reasons:
Nostalgia: I can’t bear to think of the sweet little onesies and adorable outfits that once held my teeny people being gone forever.
Hope: I would love to have another baby but know that now isn’t the correct time. Who knows if we will ever have a third child, but I don’t want to get rid of all the basics and the necessities so they wouldn’t have to be bought all new if we do have another.
Usefulness: I have been reusing various pieces of my daughter’s wardrobe for my son. I know some moms probably wouldn’t do this, but I figured why not let him wear perfectly good plain t-shirts, sweat shirts, athletic pants, socks, jackets, and other items that would otherwise go to waste and be replaced by store-bought stuff.
Fun: I have given my daughter some of the barely-worn newborn outfits, the small baby pacifiers, and newborn diapers to use while playing with her babydolls.
What I still use
I first started using Lanolin when I breastfed my daughter. Besides helping my nipples keep from being chapped and cracked, I’ve found it has several other helpful uses.
I’ve used it to lightly rub onto my children’s’ cheeks when they’ve been outside and had pink, wind and cold chapped faces. I have used it instead of chapstick for my dry lips. I have also employed lanolin for dry spots on my body like my elbows, heels, and my knuckles. It is also great to use to rub around your nose when you have a cold and have blown your nose or wiped it so much that it becomes red and sore.
I have tried several different kinds but think the Medela brand is the best. It is hypoallergenic and has all-natural ingredients, so I never think twice about using it for uses beyond what it is labeled for.
My sister gave me her kids’ old baby bathtub, which is very similar to the Boon 3-stage Baby Bathtub, above. I used it when my babies were too small to sit up in the bathtub, but now that they have outgrown it I use it to handwash or soak clothing items that would otherwise have to soak in a sink or the bathtub (wasting more water). It has turned into a very handy item to have.
Reusable breast pads
I wanted to curb waste as much as possible when I was pregnant. Even though I didn’t use reusable diapers, I did use these amazing flannel and fleece reusable breast pads from Etsy. I bought some and my sister also gave me hers when she was done with them. They were perfect as breast pads but now I use them to wash my face at night before bed.
I have a TON of burp rags/burp cloths between ones I was given at my baby shower and ones my mom and my sister had sewn. I boxed up the family-made ones but kept out the rest. I use ones like these by Gerber as a replacement for paper towels because they are soft and absorbent. My daughter also uses ones with cute prints as blankets for her dolls.
My son had a Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine for two years. It was an AMAZING night light and noise machine that I could program to turn on and off at certain times, play a chosen sound, and display a chosen color. We used it not only at home but also on visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, to hotel stays, etc.
Unfortunately, my kids discovered that if they touched it they could make it change colors and sounds, thus I would find them hiding in the dark bedroom playing with it. They knocked it off of the shelf too many times and broke the mini USB port- after the warranty had expired.
Since then we have been using aromatherapy diffusers like the one below in their rooms – both as colorful nightlights and as a small bedside humidifier when they need it.
Since the Hatch Rest is no longer with us, to get the calming sound and help the kids to sleep better we’ve been using a Homedics Sound Machine.
Besides helping the kids sleep better, the white noise also helps the sound from the TV not wake them up at night.