There are so many items that go to waste in a baby’s first year of life. Think about all the diapers, wipes and food pouches that get tossed out every single day. Then there are the big items like outdated car seats, diaper changing pads, diaper genies and bouncers that have been beaten to a pulp that are trashed once no longer useful. I’ve been looking for ways to reuse and repurpose baby items and despite not having found a ton of new uses I’ve quite enjoyed the upcycle projects I have made.
Baby Food Jars
There was a time when I was buying a lot of baby food in jars. Most jars were recycled but I held onto a few. I had some lofty ideas about what I could do with them but in the end I dropped a tea light candle in and placed them on our patio. Boom – instant votive candle holders!
These little containers are great for small plants too. I still use some of these jars for food storage since they are the perfect size for on the go snacks and don’t take up much space in a diaper bag.
I’m curious what most people do with a crib mattress when they’re done with it. Donate it to a thrift store? Post it on Craigslist? Give it to a friend? Thanks to my neighborhood Buy Nothing group, I was gifted an extra mattress and I was thrilled! We’ve used our additional baby mattress for an extra nap spot when we have friends with kids over but the best use we’ve made of it is as an outdoor lounge cushion. It’s the perfect size for a little outdoor bed and it’s plastic coated to keep bugs and bad weather out. It’s by far my favorite upcycle!
Second Hand Shops
Thrift store shopping for baby clothes is my new favorite way to shop. There are some great baby resale shops in San Diego, my favorites being The Baby Exchange and Baby Trader in La Mesa. Whenever my son outgrows a size I set aside the items that he has a lot of and when I find he’s needing more pajamas, hoodies, t-shirts, shorts or pants in his next size up I take my stash to a thrift store and do a trade. You can find some really cute dress and play clothes, toys, bouncers, strollers, baby carriers, maternity clothes and much more for a lot less. He looks pretty sweet in his thrift store finds.
I took my sister baby resale shopping and now she’s a fan too!
I owe all my repurposing inspiration to a friend who shared a photo of her nursing pad doubling as a coaster for her cocktail. Pure genius! I’m convinced moms know how to be resourceful and problem solve like no other. Feel free to share your upcycles in the comments and if you’d like to see some non-baby related ideas, list of my favorite around the house upcycles can be found here.