Over the last (nearly) 3 years of parenting, I have discovered surprising and brilliant uses for baby products other than their intended use. I hope you find them as useful as I have!
This is my all time favourite product for babies and older children! I tend to stick with Nelson’s Teething Powders (but the Boots ones are just as good), and I used them way before either of the children were actually teething. They are suitable for use from birth which is great for the reason I will explain in just a sec…
I first used these with Amelia when I mistakenly thought she was teething, and when I found that they relaxed her so much that they helped her to sleep I did some research. It turns out that the ingredients in these powders is essentially only one ingredient – Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita (Chamomilla) 6c). In homeopathy, Chamomila is recommended for teething, colic, and general irritability and anger.
Now that I know this, I use ‘teething’ powders for both of the children, and it acts just as a cup of chamomile tea would act for us as adults – put simply, it calms them down in moments when they are irritable or inconsolable and none of the usual fixes have worked (nappy, food etc). Revelation!
Any parent will tell you that when you become a parent baby wipes become a household, handbag, and baby bag staple. Baby wipes are great for a host of things, not just a baby’s bum! We use baby wipes for spillages, hands, a quick fix if food is spilled on clothing, dusty on furniture or surfaces (dust sticks to them as they are moist, and they’re way cheaper than dust wipes!), cleaning our shoes after a trip to the park, the car dashboard, basically anything and everything! If they are gently enough for my kids bum, they are gentle enough for my leather boots! All hail baby wipes!
Formula Milk Tubs
Once empty these make amazing storage tubs! Simply clean the tub out with a damp cloth and it’s ready for use. You can decorate them if you want to (or if you have the time!) A simply and effective way to d this is just to wrap the tub in a colourful piece of paper and hey presto – pretty storage tub! Use them to store art materials like pens, pencils, paintbrushes, pieces of scrap paper/ribbons/stickers etc.
Alternatively, if you have the kind of tub which has a lid like this, you can remove the lid and stick it onto a large piece of paper with pictures underneath, creating a fun and interactive game for the kids. You could use pictures of family or friends to help children learn and remember people and their names, or for older children you could make a cool matching game whereby they have to find the matching picture underneath another lid. The options are endless!
Mr C recently discovered that baby brushes and combs work great on his facial hair! Baby combs are wide toothed enough that they don’t pull, and baby brushes are soft enough that they don’t irritate.
Formula Milk Portion Pots
As Amelia got older, I had loads of these Tommee Tippee milk portion pots just lying around, no longer of any use. So I started to use them to store small snacks like raisins for on the go. The small lids are perfect for little fingers, and the opening was exactly the right size so that Amelia could tip a few raisins into the palm of her hand without dropping the whole lot!
This is no revelation, but a rolled up blanket has a thousand uses! For both kids we were given waaaaaaay too many blankets as gifts, more than we could ever use. I have used rolled up blankets to prop the baby up a little on the floor so that he/she could see what was going on around them, or to prop a bottle up when they were learning how to hold their own bottle (with supervision, obviously), and also as draft excluders, and even rolled up and curled into a doughnut shape for me to sit on when I was *ahem* uncomfortable after giving birth!
Old Maternity Dresses/Maxi Dresses
Ok, so not strictly a baby product, but this one made me ecstatic when it worked! I had a bunch of maternity and maxi dresses in my wardrobe after I had Wills, and one day when I was really struggling with him just not wanting to be put down I decided to try something. I wasn’t prepared to buy an expensive sling or wrap knowing that he would grow out of this phase fairy soon, so I cut one of my maxi dresses along each side seam to create one very long piece of stretchy material. I then used this as a warp and BINGO! Wills was super comfy in his new wrap and my hands were once again free to continue with my daily chores!
Have I missed any?! What surprising alternative uses have you found for baby products? I’d love to hear about them, so feel free to let me know in the comments below!