Baby Gear I Can’t Let Go of: Things I Still Use in Elementary School

We all have baby things we can’t part with: blankets that remind us of our sweet little newborns, outfits that were classic and well-loved, baby books and toys that you hope your grandchildren will play with someday. These things are usually lovingly stashed away. But some of my favorite baby gear is still getting a workout.

Most of the time, you’re ready to give away/sell/pass along/donate that pile of baby gear ASAP. Even the most minimalist of moms can’t believe the amount of gear needed for such tiny people. It takes over your house and seems to multiply when you’re not looking. My little is not so little anymore, but no matter how big my “baby” is, there are baby things I still use every day. Matter of fact, I’d probably turn into a honey badger defending her turf if someone tried to make me give them up. As a mom of a seven-year-old rockin’ his way through first grade, here’s the baby gear that has stood the test of time—and that I can’t imagine being without:

Our dated, trusted monitor.

Baby Monitor

In my house, we just call it “the monitor.” Yes, my son is seven. Yes, we still use our monitor every night. My son has allergy issues, which can mean coughing fits overnight—the kind that have to be tackled with medication, inhalers, etc., and noise doesn’t travel well in our house. Even though I’m a light sleeper, I can’t hear him without the monitor. We even take it with us on trips. It’s old-school—no video or motion-sensing anything, and it was a pass-along from my niece and nephew, so it’s even older than my son—but it gets the job done. I’ve gotten to where I can’t sleep without it.

In addition to this collection, I have another stash. If we ever switch to pills, I guess I’ll give these up?

Medicine Syringes

See above re: having a son with allergy issues. That means allergy medications are a year-round staple in our house (and allergy shots since the age of four, but that’s another post). I don’t trust those little medicine cups, and my kid isn’t great at doing a shot of medicine, especially if the flavor isn’t his favorite. He has a gag reflex that should be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. Cue the syringe. I know the dosage is correct and that he actually gets the medication that he needs.

Nail Clippers

Anyone not have a panic attack the first time they had to cut those tiny little baby fingernails? It was one of my least favorite things to tackle, and I still feel guilty about the one time I slipped and made my son’s finger bleed at three months old. Even though his fingers are much larger now, those little baby clippers are more precise and get the job done better than regular clippers. And they fit his hands better, too, though I won’t be asking him for a mani/pedi anytime soon.

Diaper Bag

Now you think I’m crazy, right? Yes, I still have and use our diaper bag, though it hasn’t carried diapers in a VERY long time. When we had a newborn, we had a traditional diaper bag. And it drove me crazy. Too big, too many pockets we never used, and I felt weighed down with it. So I gave it back to the fellow mom who loaned it to me (yes, I love pass-alongs/sharing) and went with an L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag. It worked for what we needed, didn’t look too girly when my husband was carrying it, and I was able to customize the colors, strap lengths, etc. It has now transitioned to be my office on the go: phone charger, laptop, notepads, etc.

And side note to the diaper bag, I still carry and LOVE the little organizer I bought to help keep my mom stuff together when I was carrying said diaper bag. To make it easy to transition from diaper bag to purse, work, etc., I found this fabulous “baggie” from RuMe. With three pockets, it holds ALL of my mom stuff and can go from my purse to a backpack. It’s awesome for traveling, and I don’t have to think about grabbing my wallet, make-up bag, etc. I have everything from my ID and credit cards to Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, and lipstick stashed in it. It’s been drowned in juice, stained by lipstick, and covered in barf, but it always washes out and comes back for more.

A CD and a CD player. I promise, we’re not Luddites. We just go with what works.

Baby Einstein Lullaby CD

Yes, I said CD. Quit laughing. They do still exist. I didn’t register for this, but I’m so glad it was a shower gift. Baby Einstein might seem dated, but this CD is pure gold. It’s gotten this mama through naptime, fussy car trips, and bedtime. Naps are a distant memory, but this CD is still part of my son’s bedtime routine. Of course it’s loaded in iTunes now, but at bedtime, it gets played on our old-school CD alarm clock and helps my son go to sleep. I’ll probably cry the first time he says he doesn’t need it to fall asleep.

Burp Clothes/Puddle Pads/Wipes          

Note: None of these items still serve the purpose they were intended for, but they’re all in use around my house. Burp clothes have become dusting rags and mirror cleaners (they leave no lint!), and I love that I can just wash and reuse them (yay for the environment!). Puddle pads are still on my son’s bed, but not for bedwetting: they’re there in case the nighttime coughing creates vomiting. It’s rare, but it does happen, and it keeps me from having to change both sheets and mattress pads. (Ask me sometime about my “prince and the pea” bed system: we have three layers of sheets/mattress pads/puddle pads on the bed so that when something happens, I just have to take off the top set vs. having to remake the entire bed. Getting him back to sleep ASAP means I get more sleep, too.) And wipes—hello. I have them in my RuMe baggie and in the car. They get tossed in a backpack when we’re out and about. No matter how old kids get, they still make messes/get sticky. And I manage to get messy on the go, too, so the wipes come in handy. They work to clean up spills in the car/get rid of stickiness fast (I’m talking to you, travel mug that always seems to leak). And when I’m stuck in the school pick-up line, I randomly use them to detail my dashboard, door, etc. You’d be amazed at what they clean up. (Hey, a mom’s got to do something to while away that time, right??)

So ‘fess up and share: what baby gear have you repurposed or do you still find yourself using?

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