10 Baby Items You Don’t Need To Buy New

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The first and last time I watched “Hoarders” I sat through 3 episodes back to back. It made me want to gouge my eyes out and scrub them. This past weekend while I cleaned out my garage of old knick knacks, I recited, “I will not be a hoarder. I am not a hoarder.” I thought about how much time I wasted buying, sorting, and throwing out products I didn’t REALLY need.

Where I live, it’s the norm to create a baby registry. In fact, Amazon.com makes it so easy with a pre-set category list of all the glorious baby contraptions people have invented over the years. They practically force you into adding all these products you’ve never thought of. What they don’t tell you is that many of these items are either unnecessary or can be purchased second hand. OR if you’re like me you’ll get as many hand-me-downs as possible.

Baby Products that are great 2nd hand:

  1. Baby items made of fabric like baby clothing, burp cloths, blankets, towels, bibs, even gently used cloth diapers! 1405967472199These items can be used over and over again as long as you wash them. If you want to naturally stain remove, leave the cloth out in the sun after a wash. For a boost, you can squeeze lemon juice and then lay it out. You can also look up ways to strip your cloth so they go through a deeper wash. Reusing cloth helps the environment. The production of fabric and clothing in our society has one of the biggest footprints of all commodities. According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, cotton, one of the most versatile fibers used in clothing accounts for a quarter of all pesticides used in the U.S. In fact, pesticides used for cotton in the south is the main reason why inorganic arsenic is found in much of our white and brown rice. Aside from the environmental impact of cotton cultivation and the financial implications of sustaining cotton government subsidies, labor practices to keep clothing costs low often force workers in developing nations into difficult conditions with low wages.


    In addition, all the transportation back and forth to produce cotton into thread, then thread into fabric, then fabric into clothing, and eventually clothing for the consumer, wastes so much coal and oil! Reuse cloth as much as possible. It’s cheaper for you and better for the planet.

  2. Glass drinking bottles for babies. Simply sanitize by washing and boiling them. Then they’re like new!
  3. Infant accessories like shoes, coats, hats. These products are pretty much just for looks on a baby so they are typically gently used and like-new even 2nd hand.1405967418187
  4. Baby toys and books. Babies outgrow toys and books so fast. Most toys you can wipe down and sanitize easily for reuse. Many old, classic baby books are the best!


  5. Playpens. These are great 2nd hand. However, first look up the model number for any recalls. Make sure there are no dangling cords, all fabric is intact, and there are no tears or holes.
  6. Baby furniture and decor like mobiles. Baby furniture can be expensive. Plus, you don’t need to buy furniture made exclusively for babies when it comes to dressers and a nice cushiony sitting chair. Remember to check for recalls and check the integrity of 2nd hand purchases to ensure baby safety.
  7. Baby bathtubs. Just make sure there is no mildew or smell.1405967386412
  8. Baby rockers. They’re great to place baby in occasionally when you need a break. However, they don’t need to be new as long as there are no recalls and the product is still in good working condition. Typically the seats can be washed to get rid of any stains.1405967447736
  9. Baby carriers. Again, check for recalls and make sure the product is in good working condition. Make sure all seams are intact and so on.
  10. Diaper pail. You can actually just use a garbage pail with a lid. You may be curious about poo smell. First of all, once toddlers make their nasty poos, no “magic genie” diaper pail will mask the odor. It will STINK. The World Health Organization actually suggests poo be shaken into the toilet even from disposable diapers to reduce the risk of spreading disease from human waste. So start shaken them poos into the toilet! If you’re like me and use cloth diapers, you can use a regular waste bin with a reusable cloth liner for absolutely zero waste. Then once the baby is out of diapers you won’t be stuck with a baby diaper pail but a regular garbage pail you can use around the house.

Re-using and repurposing baby items helps keep money in your wallet and breaks the chains of consumerism. (Baby product companies will hate me but oh well..that’s why I don’t have ads on my site). Our small changes collectively can make huge changes worldwide that ultimately help protect our environment from dirt to air. So the next time you’re at Target just think about this image



and repeat after me: “I will not be a hoarder. I am not a hoarder.”


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Founder at Dymin Collective
Mindy Song is a mother of one, a video artist, and musician from Orange, CA. She is an advocate of social justice with interests in globalization, socio-economics, and the history of women’s rights in developing nations. By day she is a marketing specialist for a dental imaging company, milk pumper, and wannabe supermom. By night she is an asian fusion chef, art critic, and blogger.
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