Posts tagged "baby"

How can I reuse or recycle baby cot mattresses?

We’ve had an email from Maggie:

I’m due to have my second baby in January but everyone has screamed at me when I mentioned reusing the cot so I’m going to get a new mattress. What can I do with the old one?

I don’t have kids so I’m not exactly knowledge but from what I’ve read on the subject, it sounds a bit like car seats – you can reuse them yourself if they’re still in good condition for your other children but it’s best not to buy/receive a second-hand one with an unknown history. You know how much it’s been used, what it’s been, um, soaked with and know how well it has been cleaned. Having said that, I can understand why people don’t want to risk it (although obviously so do baby mattress manufacturers…).

Some crib mattresses are fully sprung but others, particularly cheaper ones, are just slabs of foam so in theory, they could be reused for any spot needing a bit of foam cushioning.

When we were talking about reusing the actual cot last year, some people talked about turning them into essentially a day bed for the growing toddler/small child – if you had the space, you could keep the first mattress to use as extra seat padding or cushioning on the side/back.

Any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle baby sleeper suits/onsies?

We’ve already talked about baby clothes in general but CD, who writes the Canadian Doomer blog, has sent over such an excellent reuse idea for worn out baby sleepers/romper suits that I thought it was worth featuring these in particular:

I just posted this on my blog, and one of my readers thought your site might be interested. They’d have be super-frugal and have a real sense of the absurd.

I had recently read about someone making no-sew cloth menstrual pads by folding cut-up facecloths and placing them inside a longer folded
facecloth. Well, I’m not about to cut up my facecloths for that. However, with two small children, I have a LOT of baby sleepers that are becoming too raggedy to wear, but are still soft and amazingly absorbent.

So I cut off legs, leaving snaps attached. Then I cut off arms. I cut the body of the sleepers up so that I had various sizes of cloth without bulky seams. It’s quite an easy matter to fold a piece of the fabric into half or thirds and tuck it inside an “arm” (gravity-held) or “leg” (snap-on style) tube. I also made one that was essentially the entire upper body of a thin sleeper, making a “belt-style” for overnight, which I safety-pinned to my underwear.

Great reuse since it really will help reduce wastage in the future.

Any other suggestions for reusing or recycling them? Particularly ideas taking advantage of their super-softness — and also often their cute patterns?

How can I reuse or recycle a baby’s cot?

We’ve had an email from Jess:

What can I do with my little girl’s cot now she’s too big for it? We’re not having any more so don’t want to keep it and I know you’re not supposed to use second hand beds for babies.

There is apparently an increased risk of cot death if the mattress has been used by a child in another home – but it’s the mattress not the whole cot/crib. All sorts of second-hand baby furniture is available via eBay, Freecycle/Freegle or NCT Nearly New Sales, so you should feel free to sell/pass yours on with a clear conscience.

While it’s best to keep using it for its original purpose for as long as possible, I know they’re reused in fun ways too – a blog I read, I forget which, showed one flipped upside down in a larger chicken run as a broody chicken house, and I’ve seen them used as growing containers in the garden – the plants either tied or climbing up the bars.

Any other suggestions for how to pass them on? Or for reuses around the home and garden?

(Photo by levigruber)

How can I build a baby playpen reusing or recycling stuff?

Early 2009 was apparently a boring time around here: every couple we know – bar one other couple & us – had a baby last autumn/winter. (The other couple are expecting their first in just over a month; we got a dog & chickens instead.)

All the babies are starting to crawl/walk with support now so need penning in lest they get *everywhere*. At their own homes, they’ve have purpose-bought playpens but when they visit here, their parents have to hold them/leave them in their prams for the duration of the visit. I bought a handmade quilted playmat for when they were smaller and couldn’t escape so easily but mobilebaby has put an end to that. What with our dog, cats & chickens, giant cactus plants, knitting needles & other sharp/swallowable craft supplies, endless electric cables and bajillion stairs (house over four storeys, garden over another four) … well, with all that, sometimes I think *we* need to be penned in for *our* safety.

So, anyway, I’d like to make a playpen type thing – and I’d rather not buy a whole lot of expensive supplies to make it. However I do realise there are safety concerns – especially with hinged bits (it will need to be collapsible so it can be packed away when the babies go home to stop the dogs/cats/chickens getting in it).

There are surprisingly few how-tos online (or at least very few that I can find), which is odd considering how long babies existed before the invention of mass-produced nursery furniture. There seem to be two basic designs these days – wooden bars (or metal/plastic ones like in the picture) or plastic mesh sides. I presume the babies will be very keen to see out so reusing/upcycling some regular fabric – for example, old bedding – for the sides would cause upset.

Any thoughts/ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle baby bottle teats/nipples?

We’ve had an email from Rebecca:

Love the website, have found it really useful but I want to know if I can recycle rubber teats? I am going to sell the bottles on e-bay for re-use but I know Mums won’t want used teats and we have about 25 of varying sizes and I cannot bear to just chuck them.

Would our local recycling centre take them, is there even a facility for recycling rubber bottle teats?

Would love any suggestions.

Apparently the clear teats are more likely to be silicone than rubber – silicone can be recycled but isn’t done so widely. If they are rubber, there may be a collection bin at your local household waste recycling centre but most recycling of rubber seems to be on a bigger scale – car tyres for example.

So what about reuses? It might be worth calling a local animal shelter to see if they could use them for bottle feeding small creatures – they might need the attached bottles too though.

Any other suggestions?