What to Do With Old Baby Items: Recycle, Donate, or Sell?
Parents tend to purchase a lot of things that they hope will help them raise a happy and healthy child. But as your little bundle of joy grows, you may end up with a plethora of items that were never used, barely used, or good enough to be used another time. In any case, if these items are no longer needed, then you need to get rid of them. The old and damaged items can be discarded as waste, but some of them can be reused, sold, or donated. So, which items should be sent to recycling services, safely passed down through donation, or sold to other expecting parents?
Selling Used Baby Clothes and Toys
You can sell any gently used maternity wear and baby clothes that are still in good condition to consignment stores near you. Some of these stores only accept certain items, such as maternity, baby, and toddler items, and are your best choice for getting rid of any toys that your baby barely played with, as well as clothes that are now outgrown.
Start by identifying any consignment stores near you and giving them a call before hauling the used baby items there. The amount of money you get on your baby items will vary depending on the season and what they currently have in stock, so you can use the information you get to determine the best store and timing to sell.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with online consignment shops that are interested in baby items. These stores mail you a cleanout bag that you put your baby and maternity items in, and then send it back. Once they receive the items, they will choose which ones they want and make an offer to you, and then donate the rest.
Donating Used Baby Items
You can also opt to donate used baby and toddler items to organizations near you that accept old baby gear, such as day camps, daycares, and women’s shelters. Most of these charities depend on donated items to keep their operating costs low and can make good use of any used baby items that are in good condition, such as playpens, crib mattresses, baby swings, toys, and anything else you need to get rid of.
It’s important that you first identify any charities near you and contact them to ensure that they accept the items you’re planning to donate. Some of them may refuse to take items with expiration dates or that may have been recalled, such as strollers and car seats, so make sure you provide them with a list of the items you want to donate to avoid wasting your time and effort hauling everything.
Some of the baby items that are considered safe for reuse, provided they are in good condition, include:
- Clothing, shoes, and bedding
- Baby swings, bouncers, and pack ‘n’ plays
- High chairs, bassinets, and baby bathtubs
- Diaper pails, diaper bags, and baby carriers
- Car seats, cribs, and strollers
- Toys, toy boxes, and baby monitors
- Cribs and changing tables
Generally, you can split the items you want to donate to different organizations, such as stuffed animals and baby blankets to a local animal shelter, while audio and books can be donated to a local library, daycare, or church.
Recycling Old Baby Gear
Another easy way to get rid of old baby and maternity gear that are worn out, expired, or damaged is by using recycling services around you. Some organizations have recycling programs that function in a similar manner to the consignment stores mentioned before, in that they may give you a discount for any old baby gear that you turn in, and donate any items in good condition to needy families or charities.
Online recycling services are a great option if you don’t have a lot of time to sort your old baby items before getting rid of them. Simply choose an online service like TerraCycle and purchase a zero waste box from them. Once the box arrives, you can put all the baby gear you want to get rid of inside and ship it back to them so they can handle the rest.
There are different recycling programs that only accept specific baby items. For instance, breastfeeding gear companies like Medela and Hygeia offer recycling services for old breast pumps, while Baby Earth has a recycling program for old baby car seats. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your municipal recycling service to find out the baby items that they accept.
Most baby gear can be recycled via your municipal recycling service, or simply dropped off at a nearby recycling facility for them to sort out the items to donate or recycle. Some of the items that are commonly recycled include:
- Baby food jars, sippy cups, plastic dishes, and silverware
- Manual breast pumps and breast pump tubing/shields
- Crib mattresses
- Baby bottles and milk/juice jugs
- Breast milk baggies
- Baby bathtubs
- Diaper pails and wipe dispensers
Old Baby Items that Go in the Garbage
The only baby items that should be disposed of are those that pose a safety risk, such as used bottle nipples and pacifiers. Even damaged crib mattresses and out-of-date car seats can be thrown in the garbage for proper disposal, but only if there’s no appropriate recycling service nearby.
Getting rid of old baby stuff can be quite a challenge for many parents. Besides the items you bought for your baby, you probably received a lot more baby gear from friends looking to donate their old baby items. If you don’t have the time to sort the items to sell, donate, recycle, and trash, you can simply hire the services of a licensed junk removal company to handle all the work for you.
If there are some items that you would like to reuse in your home, such as baby bottles for oiling squeaky doors or for your child’s art painting sessions, make sure to put them aside before the professionals come in. Professional garbage removal companies work with insured professionals who will sort the baby items you want to get rid of and haul them away to be recycled or donated.