Upcycling and Repurposing Stuff to Replace Baby Products

Baby stuff can get really spendy, really quickly. It makes sense to consider spending a little bit more money when shopping for a car seat, as the safety and comfort of your little one is at stake, but it doesn’t make nearly as much sense for a lot of other baby products. I remember seeing a $25 “diaper caddy” that looked like nothing more than the TV remote caddy you’d see at the dollar store, except it said the word “baby” on it.

A big part of the baby industry, as you can imagine, has to do with marketing. These companies tug at your heartstrings and lay on the guilt trip, convincing you to spend more and more money. Through some clever repurposing and shifting your mindset, you can save quite a bit of cash.

Here are a few examples from my ongoing experience as a thrifty, work-at-home dad.

Diaper Bag:

Part of this comes from the fact that the majority of diaper bags are marketed at women. As a result, the majority of diaper bags will feature more of a feminine design. While there may be something said about organization and water-resistant materials, I have a hard time justifying the cost of many of these pricey bags.

Some may disagree, but I’m currently using a plain black messenger bag that I won for placing third in a local Street Fighter X Tekken tournament. Go figure. It happens to be Hugo Boss and it didn’t cost me a dime.

Baby Monitor:

I realize I come from a somewhat privileged position as a professional gadget geek, since I also didn’t “pay” for what I’m currently using as a video baby monitor. Right now, we have the SpotCam HD IP camera set up, complete with night vision, motion detection and cloud video storage. I can watch the feed on the computer in my home office, though it is on a bit of a delay.

Stroller Cover:

There are a number of different covers available for car seats and strollers. We may still buy one in the future. In the meantime, using one of our many receiving blankets in tandem with a claw-style hair clip from the dollar store is doing the job.

Baby Mittens:

This isn’t so much a matter of saving money as much as it is about being resourceful. Our daughter has a habit of scratching her head, sometimes to the point of drawing blood, so we put mittens on her when she goes to sleep.

However, regular baby mittens are a little too thin and she can take them off too easily. So, we slip a pair of her socks over her hands instead. The elastic part of the sock helps to keep them in place and the thicker material results in fewer open wounds.

We all know that babies are supposed to be expensive. They grow out of their clothes very quickly. The cost of diapers and wipes can add up very quickly too. But if you combine a little bit of ingenuity with a knack for clipping coupons, you can save yourself some money and still have a perfectly happy and healthy little one.