Thinking about the best ways to dispose of different types of popular baby gear? There is so much advice out there for how to buy baby gear, but very little on how to actually get rid of it once baby inevitably outgrows it.
After putting so much time and effort into choosing everything from a crib mattress to a high chair, here’s how you can make sure you’re retiring your gear responsibly.
One option is to drop off your car seat at super stores like Toys R Us if they are offering trade-in promotions.
Or you can do what I do, and simply break the seat down. This makes it easier to toss it in the trash, and to guarantee that no one else uses the expired and potentially unsafe seat.
First, you should take off the cover, padding and harness. Then, break it down by using a screwdriver on each section of the seat. You'll find that it comes apart rather easily.
If you are having a difficult time, be sure that to remove the padding and straps—you can just cut them up—so no one else will be able to use the seat even if you do leave it out for garbage removal.
I’ve seen a lot of crib mattresses on the curb, and I’ve seen a lot of people pick them up to use. This is not a great idea!
Reusing crib mattresses can be very dangerous due to SIDS. This is because an old mattress can increase the risk of suffocation because it's too soft and can potentially conform to the baby's face. (I have a whole guide about how to buy a crib mattress if you're interested).
So don't put it your used crib mattress on the side of the road, and definitely don't give it away to someone else. The best thing to do is call a mattress store and have them pick it up—a lot of places offer free mattress pick up, so this couldn't be easier. Reputable stores will even offer white glove service and will take your mattress away when they bring in a new one.
Since reusing a stroller isn’t a huge safety risk (unlike a mattress or car seat), I’d recommend taking your stroller to a consignment shop or giving it away to one of your friends.
Depending on the shape of your stroller, you could get a pretty penny for it! Simply wash it down, dry it (especially in the cracks and crevices), and make an appointment with your local consignment store to learn about their policies. You can also list it on a website like Craiglist and see how much you can get for it.
For a number of reasons, I don't recommend giving a used crib to anyone. Cribs are constantly recalled and safety standards and regulations are always being updated. So, chances are, your crib is effectively "out of date" by the time you're done with it anyway.
Instead, you can simply unscrew all the pieces until the crib is totally broken down, bundle it up and leave it for the garbage truck on the side of the road.
High chairs are reused all the time, so don't be afraid to give yours away, or try to sell it. Once you clean and sanitize it well, it's a good idea to have a yard sale. Someone is always looking for a good high chair, or even a spare for a grandparent’s house.
As parents, we dedicate a lot of time and research so that we can buy the perfect items for our little ones.
Now, when it's time to get rid of all your stuff, you'll be armed with all the knowledge you need to properly dispose of some of these big-ticket items.
Kate Trout is the mommy blogger behind Maternity Glow. She’s a coffee addict, wine drinker, cheese lover and is kind of obsessed with the new show Odd Mom Out. Oh, and she’s also mom to the two cutest little kids. You can find her on Twitter.