Posts tagged "baby"

How can I reuse or recycle a baby changing mat?

baby-changing-matWe’ve had an email from Jess:

What can I do with a baby changing mat made from foam?

Like with all baby stuff, my first thought is to pass it on if you can – they’re usually used for such a short period of time that they tend to stay in pretty good condition. Pass it on through a baby group, a charity shop, Freecycle/Freegle or something like an NCT nearly new sale.

Aside from that, changing mats are just flat wipe-clean foam cushions so could be useful in lots of situations. If the covering is completely sealed & waterproof, a small child might prefer to sit on it in the bath rather than the hard surface of the bath itself. If the covering is punctured or just water resistant, it’d still be splash-proof, so you could fold in half and use it as a kneeling mat for you while bathing Junior, or it could be used as a bathmat when they get out. Similar, it would be great as a kneeling mat/cushion in the garden.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle baby clothes?

babygroWe’ve had an email from Gemma:

I’d like to make something out of my daughter Hayley’s first babygrows and bibs but all the refashioning ideas I can find are from adult clothes. Have you got any suggestions?

Baby clothes probably don’t lend themselves quite as well to keepsake projects as, say, a lace/satin wedding dress but I’m sure they can be put to other reuses. The first idea that springs to mind is a quilt for the baby – the cotton will be super soft so make a nice snuggly cover. They’ll also make great reusable face cloths/wipes.

Aside from crafty solutions, if they’re still in good condition and you’re not too attached to them, of course you should pass them along someone else to use – either through a baby group, a charity shop or through something like the NCT’s nearly new sales.

Any actual refashioning ideas? Or other ideas?

How can I reduce the amount of babywipes I use?

baby_wipesWe’ve had a email from Jo:

Love the new Reduce This thing. I’ve got a question about babywipes. At home we use wash cloths for wiping sticky faces and hands but those little packs of disposable wipes are so much more convenient when we’re out and about. Does anyone have any alternatives?

You could put a damp cloth in an old re-sealable baby wipe container – either a thick washcloth or thinner clothes like hankies. They probably would get mouldy if left in there for more than a few hours though so you’d would have to get into the habit of remembering to take them out again after your excursion.

There is, of course, always the spit-on-a-hankie method much loved in mum-stereotypes too ;)

Any other suggestions? What did your mum/grandma do?

How can I reuse or recycle a baby’s sippy cup?

Sippy cupHelms has asked:

How can I recycle my baby’s sippy cup? The no-spill cups that young children use before learning to drink out of a “grown up’s” cup.

Well, whenever I see those cups, I always wipe at the Ribena down my tshirt and think “I should get one of those!” – so that’s one answer: give them to clumsy adults ;)

Aside from that, if they’re still in a good condition then I’m sure they’d be welcomed by charity shops – or organisations like the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), which have “nearly new” sales for new parents to pick up bargains.

As for actual recycling, it would depend on what they’re made out of. Most I’ve seen are plastic and if it’s obvious what type of plastic they’re made from, then you might be able to recycle them with your normal plastic waste. Searching around now though, I see that there is also a growing trend to have them made from stainless steel with plastic handles – and mixed material items can a nightmare to recycle.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle worn out cloth diapers/nappies?

disposable_nappiesI put together a “Recycling Baby Stuff” guide the other day and I was surprised how few entries we had in our baby-stuff category.

The biggest surprising omission was cloth diapers/nappies – we’ve covered disposable ones but not the already more eco-friendly cloth version.

Obviously they’re reusable – that’s the point of them – but that doesn’t mean they’re reusable forever: they might wear out at critical points or the fabric become rough/otherwise unsuitable for baby-wear. And of course, the thing about babies is they have a tendency to grow and eventually learn how to use the toilet too – so unless they’re going to siblings or similar, there will be leftovers.

Old-school folded flat square ones obviously have as many reuses as an other square of fabric: one very close reuse might be to cut them up into smaller squares and use them as cloth wipes, a green alternative to toilet paper.

But what about shaped? Any other great reuses for flat ones?