Babies are expensive, and because of this many parents find themselves looking to cut some corners in favor of saving some cash. Van de Geyn, freelance writer and author of Babies, the Real Story of How Much They Cost says, “According to parenting magazines and online parenting sites, some families spend $10,000 or more on their baby’s first 12 months.”
Now some of this can be avoided by being a savvy shopper, looking for deals, and second-hand clothing and baby gear, but there are many costs that can’t be avoided. It’s been estimated that the average infant uses over 2,700 diapers in their first year, meaning a cost of $500 for 24 diapers should mom and dad decide to go with cloth, plus adding in the additional time and energy parents use to clean them, or around $550.00 each year if the parents are going to purchase disposable.
Many parents end up cutting costs on what they spend on themselves to compensate for these expenses. The good news is that baby products can be used for a lot more than their intended purpose. Thanks to some ingenuity and creativity from other parents, we’re happy to present 20 baby products that can double as products for mom.
Baby wipes are essential for parents. A recent Global News report suggested that many new parents spend as much as $20 a week on baby wipes, and perhaps it’s because they’re using them for other things that have nothing to do with a baby. Baby wipes can easily be used to dissolve eye makeup and mascara in a pinch (and are so much cheaper than expensive beauty brand makeup removers). As a bonus these wipes are made for delicate baby skin, so even people with sensitive skin can use them. Painting your nails and made a mistake? A baby wipe can allow you to quickly fix your mistake and keep on painting.
Being a parent can be- ahem- dehydrating. Whether you’re afflicted by the latest bug that your little babe brought home from daycare, have taken up running as a New Year’s resolution and are absolutely parched, or had a little too much fun at the latest girl’s night out – Pedialyte can help rehydrate you – fast. Designed to rehydrate ill children, it passes the taste test of picky kids and adults alike and isn’t as syrupy sweet as other sports drinks. We aren’t the first ones to discover this one size fits all cure, and Pedialyte has begun advertising to grown-ups too because their product just plain works!
Baby cream works wonder on diaper rashes, but it can also work for mom. The next time you’re feeling tempted to go to the department store and drop a mint on fancy, wrinkle-reducing face cream, just go for your diaper bag instead. Baby cream has a lot of zinc oxide, which is great for rashes and irritated skin. It will work on sunburns, mosquito bites, razor burn, or just to lock in moisture and help your skin stay hydrated and looking young, just like a baby’s bottom (we couldn’t resist that one!). Just remember a little goes a long way and consider using a brush applicator to put it on lightly.
Baby cream works wonders on diaper rashes, but it can also work for mom. The next time you’re feeling tempted to go to the department store and drop a mint on fancy, wrinkle-reducing face cream, just go for your diaper bag instead. Baby cream has a lot of zinc oxide, which is great for rashes and irritated skin. It will work on sunburns, mosquito bites, razor burn, or just to lock in moisture and help your skin stay hydrated and looking young, just like a baby’s bottom (we couldn’t resist that one!). Just remember a little goes a long way and consider using a brush applicator to put it on lightly.
Baby shampoo is good for anyone with a sensitive scalp, not just little ones. Most parents remember to put sunscreen on their kids but forget when it comes to themselves. The next time you find yourself with a sunburn because you forgot to put on a hat, or spray some sunscreen on your part, try using baby shampoo to avoid further irritating your sore scalp. Baby shampoo can also be used on pets without a problem. Another hack is using a small drop of baby shampoo on a soft rag to clean the scuffs off leather purses and shoes.
Toddlers fall, and so do parents, particularly when their children leave toys and LEGO lying around everywhere. Thankfully the next time you pull your back carrying a tantrummy two-year-old or sprain your knee doing whatever you can, make your own ice pack using a disposable diaper for a cheap compress that will make you feel better fast using many different online recipes. For a really easy one dribble a cup of rubbing isopropyl, and then dribble water on it until it swells to the size of a full child’s diaper. Next put it into a large Ziploc bag, squeeze out any excess air, and freeze it. This way you can pre-freeze a bunch following an injury.
Runners know a lot about chafing, but that doesn’t stop them from getting out there. Whether it’s a bra that rubs under your armpit, or thighs rubbing together it can burn, but thankfully there are cheap solutions available care of your baby. EmcDermott told The Bump, "Diaper cream is awesome for treating chaffing from running." Other parents swear by keeping a bag of baby wipes in the fridge for adults to help cool down after a solid exercise session. Another solid use for your wipes is to wipe down your yoga mat after a sweaty session of hot yoga.
As kids get older many parents find they have a glut of baby products that they no longer use. Some are worth keeping for the next kid in line, others are best passed on to someone else who can use them, then there are products that you can repurpose for other uses. RMatthews told The Bump, “Baby food freezing trays are great for freezing (anything) for future recipes.” The small sample sizes allow you to freeze herbs from your garden, broths, cooking wine, and just about anything else that you don’t want to go to waste. Maugustine told The Bump, “Now that my kids are older, I use their old baby food storage containers as storage for paints, hair accessories and other small things. I’ve also used them as popsicle molds."
Baby wipes are magical when it comes to cleaning, just ask anyone who has ever used them. You can use them to remove dust on shelves or houseplants, and in your office to clean your keyboard. They will help remove dust from your ceiling fan, since the dust sticks to them, instead of just moving around. These are perfect for a quick wipe down of counters in the kitchen and the bathroom when an unexpected guest shows up. Baby wipes can also be used with a small drop of liquid detergent to remove stains from your clothes, carpets, and furniture. If you are painting your walls and slop a little bit, try using a baby wipe to clean up the mess! Got salt on your boots, try wiping it off with baby wipes.
Stainless steel appliances are the norm in many kitchens today. When they’re sparkling new, they look fantastic, but thanks to the grease of cooking, and fingerprints of sticky toddlers they can get gross looking easily. You don’t need an expensive cleaner to get them looking showroom new. Simply rinse off the dirt and grease with some water and dish soap and then get ready to polish. Put some baby oil on a clean cloth and polish in a circular motion. Best part, your kitchen will smell and look fantastic. You can also use this baby oil polish to make faucets, certain pots and pans, and steel appliances sparkle.
Most of us know that we shouldn’t wash our hair every day since it strips away our scalp’s natural oils. Many parents don’t have the time to wash their hair every day anyway. Just the same a sweaty workout, hot day, or lack of time can give you an oily looking itchy scalp. Run out of dry shampoo? Try using some cornstarch-based baby powder instead. Those who don’t want the gleaming white powder in their hair can add in a dab of cocoa powder for a fresher scent and shade that may better match your hair. Just sprinkle on dry hair and brush through to remove excess oil.
While outdoor time is great for your pet, it also makes them stink. Whether they’ve been rolling around in a mud puddle, a pile of dirty leaves, or something else, sometimes you want to freshen them up without hauling them into the bathtub and ending up with scratch marks up and down your arms. Baby wipes can give a quick freshen up between baths or clean off muddy feet on a rainy day. If the scent just won't go and your pet has sensitive skin, know that you can use the tear-free baby shampoo on them as well.
Fragile delicates that you worry about? No problem. Gentle baby shampoo can be used on thin and finicky fabrics like lingerie and lace that you want to extend the life of. Just put a teaspoon of baby shampoo into your sink or bathtub for one or two delicate items, give them a swish, focus a scrub on any stains, then simply rinse and hang them up to dry. Don’t forget the power of baby shampoo as a spot cleaner when mixed with a little warm water when you run out of stain removal products, for a spill on a more delicate item of clothing or furniture.
The winter months are brutal for static cling and flyaway hairs. The good news is, baby wipes can save the day, and you probably already have a box in your car anyway. Dry winter air mixed with over-washed, over-colored, and overtreated hair can lead to fly away hair. While you may be tempted to whip out the hairspray or gel, this will make it necessary to your hair sooner, further stripping it of natural oils. Instead, take a baby wipe and pat down the hair that is sticking up. These wipes can also be used to smooth out misbehaving eyebrows in a pinch.
Parents are very careful to make sure their children have access to age-appropriate sunscreen all year long. As adults, for the most part, we forget about it until spring and head out at least once before realizing we’re out of the adult product and need to take a trip to the drug store. Here’s the thing – SPF is SPF. It measures the amount of time your skin can be exposed to the sun and it doesn’t matter if you’re three-years-old or 33-years-old, it works the same. So, when you’re out of sunscreen, don’t feel bad about slathering on some of the kids’ stuff.
Baby oil can be a gentle makeup remover that saves you money. Some people even make their own makeup wipes by throwing a bunch of cleansing pads into a reusable jar infused with baby oil, which will even remove waterproof mascara. Baby oil is simply mineral oil with a very light fragrance so it won’t sting your eyes or sensitive skin. Anyone with dry skin or keratosis pilaris deposits on their skin can use baby oil to soften their skin and alleviate symptoms. B Duvall told The Bump,” I put baby oil on right after the shower. It keeps my skin super-soft and prolongs my shave!”
It’s hard enough to get out the door in the morning with a baby without worrying about deodorant marks on your clothing. Many of us don’t even realize we have these until we’re on the elevator heading up to our office, at lunchtime, or even worse until a co-worker points out that you ‘have a little something on your shirt’. Keep a box of baby wipes in your desk drawer (or some travelers, in your purse) to easily wipe away any white residue that your deodorant leaves behind without leaving big wet marks on your clothes.
Burp cloths are popular gifts at baby showers, and most new parents end up with more than they know what to do with, generally using the same dozen or so for their day to day use with babe, while the rest sit in the linen closet unused - at least they did in my house. P Buenrostro told The Bump, “I use burp cloths to clean up around the house. They’re heavy-duty!" Since burp cloths are made for the delicate skin of a baby, they’re great for dusting and polishing wooden surfaces in your living and dining room. Simply add a little water and vinegar and you can make your home shine!
While many new parents try their hand at breastfeeding their children, it doesn’t usually last all that long. According to Parenting, “At 6 months, only 36 percent were still nursing. At 12 months, the number dips to 17 percent - fewer than one in five mothers.” Because of this many moms have breastfeeding supplies that they no longer need beyond six months after the baby arrives. E Maur told The Bump, “I use the breast milk ice packs all the time. We’ve put them in a cooler with beer and soda;” a brilliant use of resources for anyone’s summer picnic or next camping trip!
Baby powder can help freshen up baby’s diaper, even after the stinkiest blowouts, so surely it can help bring some freshness back to your carpet, or some particularly smelly furniture. All you need to do is sprinkle the baby powder on the offensive spot, let it sit for five or 10 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Much like the baking soda in the back of your fridge, baby powder will absorb the odors and help restore your furniture and carpeting to a fresher state. For particularly smelly areas, repeat the sprinkle and vacuum another time to ensure long lasting freshness.