Having a baby is an unmatched joy for every parent. It’s a nine-month wait and your little one is finally in your arms. And then a different adventure begins. The crying, cooing, the first time they crawl, the first time they walk.
Each moment is precious and the happiness that a parent derives can’t be replicated.
Having said that, it’s also a pretty short phase. Babies outgrow things quickly — sometimes even before you know it. From clothes to furniture, a child’s requirements are quite high but the utility period is too low. And after the first three-odd years, all of their belongings are packed away in storage.
At least until the second or third baby comes along.
But if you are done having children and have a lot of baby items stored in the house, it would be a good thing to donate them. Not every parent is as privileged and blessed as one would hope. And it’s donations from people like you that help them ride out this phase peacefully.
Yes, this gesture is noble. But at the same time, you also need to be aware of which baby items to donate, and which ones you should not.
Here’s a list of the dos and don’t when it comes to donating baby items so you can segregate your stuff accordingly before you head to the donation centre.
7 baby items to donate
Here are seven baby items that donation centres and even other parents would be happy to receive from you
1. Clothes and shoes
Babies outgrow clothes and shoes within weeks and most donation centres will happily accept clothes. Most of these are barely worn and have seen a few washes.
That said, please make sure that there are no stains on the clothes before you donate them. Give them a wash if they’ve been in the storage for a long time.
Baby books are expensive and while your little one loved those as an infant, they have outgrown them over the years. Instead of letting them stack up on the shelves, it’s preferable to donate them instead.
Do check if the books have any ripped pages and make sure they were not used as a teether for the baby.
Toys are also a huge part of a child’s collection and some children have more than others. So once your child is done with using certain toys, you can donate them.
Do remember, most donation centres will only accept toys that can be sanitised. So, items like stuffed animals that cannot be sanitised easily will not be accepted.
On the other hand, items made out of plastic and wood that are in good condition will find new homes. It will be even better if you can sanitise them before you donate.
4. Changing table
Items like changing tables are universal and can be used for multiple babies. But their utility is short-lived in most homes. Once your baby outgrows that stage, it’s just another piece of furniture in the house.
So, it’s better to donate the changing table that can be used by other parents. Do note that while donation centres do accept changing tables, they may not accept changing pads.This is more of a sanitisation issue and most centres tend to avoid it.
5. Baby monitor
A tech piece that finds little utility after the first few years. Most donation centres will happily accept baby monitors. All you need to make sure is that everything is in working order and there is no major visible damage to the piece.
6. Baby carrier and swing
Both the baby carrier and swing can be washed easily and sanitised too. This makes them ideal for donation after use.
With baby swings though, there is a possibility that it could’ve been part of a recall. So, do make sure that your particular set has not been recalled. And if it was, do have it checked before donating.
Another item that will not come out of the storage once the baby phase is over, sterilisers serve a major purpose.
It’s a baby item to donate that will easily help a few more parents in its lifetime, before heading to wherever sterilisers are sent to lay to rest.
7 baby items that you should not donate
Here are seven items that you should not or cannot donate. They need to go to the recycling centre instead.
1. Cribs and car seats
While cribs and car seats are great and expensive, most donation centres will not accept them because of the possibility of a recall for defects.
This is more of a safety issue and the liability would then rest with the donation centre, something they probably don’t want to have.
2. Crib mattress
Unlike the crib though, the mattress will not be accepted due to sanitisation issues. Crib mattresses cannot be fully sanitised, which means they can’t be handed over to other parents.
3. Manual breast pump
Once again, a sanitary issue makes these unfit for donation. It maybe advisable to either discard them to send them over for recycling to organisations that are willing to do that.
Pacifiers are constantly used by babies and develop microscopic cracks and fissures after extended use. This makes them unsanitary for donation.
5. Bottle nipples
Much like pacifiers, bottle nipples cannot be accepted because of sanitary issues. They have the potential to harbour bacteria and viruses which you wouldn’t want to pass on to another child.
6. Opened hygiene products
There are multiple problems here. First, the product may lose its shelf-life after being opened. The product may become contaminated and that can be hazardous for the other baby. And, it’s simply unhygienic to use a product of this kind.
That said, most donation centres will accept packed hygiene products.
7. Soiled items
Anything from the list of baby items to donate that’s soiled and can’t be saved should be either recycled or thrown in the trash.
Donation centres in Singapore
Add: Pass-It-On, The Helping Hand, 819 Upper Serangoon Road
Phone: +65 8511 9160
2. Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support Ltd
Add: Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support Ltd, 26 Jalan Klinik, #01-42/52, Singapore 160026,
Phone: +65 6664 8590
3. Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO)
Add: SCWO, 96 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187967
Phone: +65 6837 0611
4. Jamiyah Children’s Home (Darul Ma’wa)
Add: Jamiyah Children’s Home, 15 Guillemard Crescent Singapore 399910
Phone: +65 6344 9533
5. Dignity Mama
Add: 69 Boon Keng Road, Singapore 339772
Phone: +65 8363 5072
This article was first published in theAsianparent.