Not sure what to do with used baby items? Here’s a helpful guide so you know what baby things to sell, donate, recycle, and throw away!
Over the last few months I’ve been going through our baby things and slowly getting rid of things. We’re 100% sure we’re done having babies, and while it’s sad that the baby part of our lives is over, we’re happy knowing our family is complete.
But as any parent knows, babies amass quite the collection of stuff. Our storage closet was literally full of things our kids had grown out of.
As I started going through our kids’ old things, I realized that it was going to take more than just a weekend to get rid of everything. Some things I could sell, some things I could donate, and some things just needed to go in the trash.
If you want to get the most out of your old baby things, you’re probably wondering where to turn. Luckily, I’ve gone through it all and I’ve got a helpful guide so you know what to do with used baby items!
What to Do with Used Baby Items
What to Do with Used Baby Clothes
The thing we had the most of was baby clothes. We only have one girl, so everything she’s grown out of in the last six years was just sitting in storage tubs downstairs. And as for our boy clothes, some of them didn’t last through two boys, but we still had a lot that both of them had worn and we didn’t need anymore.
I’m pretty sentimental, so when I was going through all the clothes, I chose a few special outfits to keep. What I do with them in the future, I’m not sure, but pieces like what my babies wore coming home from the hospital or some of my favorite outfits, I just couldn’t get rid of. I have a special bin for each of my kids, and along with other special mementos, I decided to keep a few of their baby clothes in there.
Some of the clothes we had left were nice enough to sell. The easiest way to sell baby clothes is either through a garage sale or through a second-hand clothes store like Once Upon a Child or Kid to Kid. You could post them to Facebook Marketplace too, but that seemed like a lot of work with the amount of clothes we had.
Donating is what I did with most of our baby clothes. We got a lot of baby clothes for free when our babies were little, and I wanted to pay it forward and donate clothes to other mamas who might need them.
How you donate your baby clothes is up to you. You can either give them to friends who have babies or younger kids, donate them to a women’s shelter, or give them to Goodwill.
There’s always a few outfits that are torn or stained from baby food or spit-up, and while you could throw those away, the better option would be to recycle them. I just googled “textile recycling near me” and a whole list of places came up.
What to Do With Used Car Seats
Car seats are kind of a tricky thing to get rid of. You shouldn’t donate or sell a car seat unless you’re 100% sure it’s never been in an accident. I personally would never take a used car seat from someone, just because you never know if it’s been compromised. You can’t drop them off at Goodwill, because they don’t accept used baby equipment, and that includes car seats.
There may, however, be a way to donate your car seat still. I googled “car seat recycling” and I got a lot of local resources about donating car seats. They did have some restrictions, though (like the car seat can’t be older than five years and it can’t have been in any accidents).
The best way to get rid of an old car seat is to trade it in. Target offers car seat trade-in, usually once a year. You can bring your used car seat to your local Target and trade it in for a coupon for 20 percent off a new car seat, stroller, or select baby gear.
Walmart also offers car seat trade-in one a year, and they give you a $30 Walmart gift card that can be spent on anything in return. However, they do not accept booster seat trade-ins (Target does).
Some places can recycle your car seat if the above option don’t work for you. The website recycleyourcarseat.org has different links for different states, so you can check there and see if you can recycle your old car seat anywhere near you.
What to Do With Used Baby Equipment
There are lots of options for getting rid of baby equipment like cribs, high chairs, bouncers, strollers, diaper pails, swings, or changing tables. And depending on what type of equipment you’re getting rid of, some options are easier than others.
If your baby equipment is pretty gently used, selling it is a great option. I sold most of our old baby equipment via Facebook Marketplace, and that was easy. There are also second-hand baby and kid stores that accept used baby equipment. You can get some decent money back when you sell things, too!
Like I said before, Goodwill won’t accept used baby equipment, but you can give it away to friends or neighbors, or you can try calling local women’s shelters and see if they’d be able to take things.
For anything that’s been through multiple kids and you can’t sell or donate, you may have to recycle them. This gets kind of tricky. Sometimes they’re made of different materials so you can only recycle parts of them, or you may have to take them apart in order to recycle them. Call your local recycling service and see what they’re willing to take. And heads up, sometimes they require a fee to recycle baby things.
What to Do With Used Baby Toys
If you have any special toys, like a favorite stuffed animal or action figure or something, that’s totally okay to keep. I have my favorite stuffed animal from when I was a kid and now my kids all take turns sleeping with it. Just try to be very minimal with anything you keep.
Some baby toys you could probably sell for a few dollars. The easiest way to do this is to have a garage sale. Posting them online is going to be a lot of work for not very much money.
Lots of places accept used toys, like Goodwill, preschools, churches, or charities. As long as they’re in good condition and still work, donating used baby toys is a great option. In some cases, you may need to call ahead and make sure they’re accepting donations, but if it’s like Goodwill, just drop them off.
Recycle or Trash
If the toy is broken, super worn, or generally not in good condition, you should try and recycle it. If you can’t, just toss it.
What to Do With a Used Breast Pump
I looked into selling and donating my breast pump, but there were health restrictions on doing this. So unless you go some back-alley way outside of Facebook Marketplace or Goodwill or something, your’e going to have to recycle your used breast pump (even though that does seem like a huge waste).
Some breast pump manufacturers (like Medela) will recycle the pump unit part of your breast pump if you send it in. You do have to pay for shipping, but if you want to be responsible, this is what you should do. The rest (like the breastshields, connectors, tubing, or bottles) should be recycled through your local recycling program.
What to Do With Used Books
My parents kept a few of my favorite books from when I was a kid, and I really enjoy reading them to my kids now. Especially the ones that aren’t super popular that probably won’t be around in 20 or 30 years.
You can of course try to sell used baby books. The best way to do this is probably in a garage sale. But there are also websites and stores that buy used books, so you could try that, too!
I actually haven’t gotten rid of any of our old baby books, but when my kids do outgrow them, I plan on donating them. You can donate books to Goodwill, a library, schools, or a local charity. Books for Africa is a charity that sends books to Africa (obviously). You can send them via mail, or they have a few drop-off locations in the United States.
Books are 100% recyclable, so if you have books that are so well-loved that they’re falling apart, recycle them!
What to Do With Used Pacifiers
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do with used pacifiers but throw them away. They shouldn’t be reused because they can harbor bacteria, so just toss those babies when you’re done with them.
What to Do With Used Feeding Supplies
I’m including things like bottles, burp rags, sippy cups, and baby spoons, plates, and bowls in this category.
As long as things have been sanitized, it’s fine to sell these things. I’d recommend selling bottles somewhere like Facebook Marketplace, and everything else is more likely to sell at a garage sale. And you’re probably not going to get much from anything other than bottles. Especially if they were pricey to begin with!
All of these things can be donated to Goodwill, as long as they meet CPSC’s current standards and haven’t been recalled. Women’s shelters would probably also accept sippy cups, bowls, plates, and spoons, as long as they are in good condition.
If any of these things are broken, cracked, or just not usable anymore, recycle them. Burp rags can be recycled as textiles and if your bottles, sippy cups, spoons, plates, and bowls are made of plastic, they can be recycled, too!
Is there anything I didn’t cover? I’ve been through all of our baby bins, and I think I mentioned everything I found here!
What are you motivated to get rid of now? I hope you have fun! And now that you know what to do with used baby items, if you’ve caught the decluttering bug, make sure you head to my post with an on-your-schedule declutter challenge printable!
I donated most of our baby clothes and then gave our crib and bassinet to our neighbor, who just had her first baby. I still have a lot of kids’ clothes to go through. It’s a little sad, knowing I won’t be having babies anymore, but it’s also refreshing to be in this phase where the kids are not so dependent on me.
Chelsea Johnson says
Yes, there are definitely things I’ll miss about that stage, but it’s also nice to have more space in our storage room!