Fear of the unknown usually envelops your first pregnancy. But with the second baby, you are much more relaxed. Having one child is pricey, but having two babies doesn’t necessarily have to double the cost. You can reuse a lot of baby items from your first baby to help make ends meet.
Understandably, many parents struggle with a pang of subtle guilt about this, but there is no need for you to feel this way. Having a newborn is demanding in every way, and the state of the economy these days makes the situation even worse. It is smart to reuse the baby gear from your first baby, including the baby bottles.
You may be filled with doubts and questions! Perhaps you are worried about residue left in the bottles or you wonder if they may infect the new baby if reused. You may have other worrisome thoughts and qualms about it.
Let’s find out answers to all those questions!
Cost Savings from Reusing Bottles for Second Baby?
Pediatricians usually consider BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottles safe for a baby’s use. Why does plastic have to be BPA-free? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has discovered that BPA builds up in the developing body of the baby and can cause him health issues over time. BPA mixes itself with the formula in the bottle and becomes ingested with the formula. The higher the temperature of the bottle, the more BPA will be released into the food, harming your baby.
The average cost of buying a high-quality baby bottle is between $6 and $18, more if you want ultra-high quality material. Multiply these numbers by three or four and that’s the money you need just for baby bottles. The rest of the gear is even pricier. Save a few bucks and reuse the previous baby bottles.
Moreover, bottles that are doctor-certified don’t come cheap. If you invest in a high-quality plastic or glass bottle, it will stick with you till your next baby. Imagine how much money it will save you. All you need to do is replace the nipple, clean the container, and your baby bottle is like new and ready for reuse.
Can I Reuse Pacifiers for Second Baby?
Your baby’s safety is everything to you. Every parent hears horror stories about sudden infant death syndrome that keep you on your feet all day long. You can’t risk keeping your baby out of sight for even a second. All you want is his safety. You can’t do anything to put your child’s health in danger. Hence, your concern with reusing pacifiers is understandable.
Pacifiers are not and I repeat NOT recommended by any pediatrician or experienced parents. Why? Saliva sticks to the rubber of the pacifier, making it unhygienic. You may want to boil it to make it fit for reuse, but it will still carry bacteria that could harm your baby. Therefore, it is preferable to toss old pacifiers. You can reuse baby bottles after replacing rubber nipples for the same reason—they are unhygienic. But for pacifiers, you have no option of replacement. You have to buy new ones.
Secondly, most of the time, children bite on the pacifier while sucking it. This damages them within a short period. Usually, pacifiers have to be replaced within two months as cracks or tears start to appear around this time. These cracks can lead to the crumbling of the rubber that could choke the baby.
The bottom line is that a pacifier is neither safe nor durable enough for reuse.
How Long Are Baby Bottles Good For?
Most companies print expiration dates on their products and it is the same for baby bottles. Check out the manufacturer’s instruction manual to find out if there is a limit on using the baby bottle. If there is, then you can’t reuse it for your second baby if the expiration date has passed. Also, non-BPA-free bottles should not be used for periods longer than three to four months as they can harm the baby. Glass bottles can be used for much longer periods of time.
If there is a large gap between your first baby and your next baby, you might not want to reuse the baby bottles. This is because you will have to replace the nipple anyway, and you can only reuse the container. If it isn’t durable, it won’t be around when the time comes for feeding your second baby. Therefore, store the baby bottles for reuse according to the circumstances of your baby’s arrival.
Do You Have To Replace Bottle Nipples For Your Second Baby?
Replacing bottle nipples can prove an excellent way of starting the reusing process of baby bottles. Nipples are the most damaged part of the baby bottles. This is because babies chew on them, bite them, and tear them easily.
More than that, nipples have salivary bacteria. The containers of the baby bottle may be cleansed thoroughly but with nipples, one can never be sure. Instead of wasting time on sterilizing the damaged nipples, you can simply buy new ones. They are readily available almost everywhere.
How Can You Reuse Baby Bottles?
The process of reusing baby bottles starts with examining the bottles, sterilizing them, and replacing damaged parts. If they are worn out, you will have to get new bottles.
When you know your next baby is on the way, gather all the plastic bottles and inspect their condition. If they have any cracks, holes, or even discoloration that isn’t visually appealing, you will have to discard them for new bottles.
Properly Cleaning the Baby Bottles
If you are considering reusing baby bottles, take precautions.
The first step you need to take is sterilization. Sometimes cleaning of baby bottles or sippy cups may leave behind residue. These breed harmful bacteria that can be fatal for your child. To get rid of this bacteria properly, you must sterilize all baby dishes.
In most cases, the baby’s tummy will hurt if he/she is fed in inadequately clean bottles. You can wash them manually or use your dishwasher, but you can never be too careful.
Sterilization sounds like a better option, but you may be wondering how to sterilize. Boil the baby bottles in a container. Boiling will kill any persistent bacteria and you will be able to reuse them as if they were new. You could also buy a sterilizer that is just for this purpose.
How Do You Store Baby Bottles For Next Baby?
When reusing bottles for your next baby, you must keep a few things in mind to keep the bottles like-new even after storage.
- Do Use Hot Water for Cleaning
Hot water works as an anti-bacterial defense against all residuary germs in the container. If the bottles used by your second baby aren’t thoroughly clean, he/she may catch food poisoning. For the sake of your little one’s health, you must take proper cleaning measures.
- Do Boil Every Few Weeks
Boiling bottles every few weeks can help keep germs at bay. Another option is to get a sterilizer.
- Don’t Use Old Nipples
Buying new nipples tends to keep your baby safer. This is because nipples become unhygienic quickly. Also, any wear and tear can damage them which can lead to excessive amounts of milk flowing into your baby’s mouth and may cause choking and pose a suffocation risk.
- Don’t Buy Low Quality
Your second child will only be able to use an old baby bottle if your older child had a high-quality one. If you buy low-quality baby bottles, they will not only be medically harmful but will also break down quickly. Your second child won’t be able to use them.
Which Baby Gear Items Are Reusable?
It is great when you can afford all the new stuff for each baby, but most of the time it is a better, thriftier option to reuse items that you had for your previous baby. Let’s find out which items, other than baby bottles, you can reuse.
- Clothes Always Come in Handy!
Babies outgrow their clothes fast. The most common problem is that parents, in their enthusiasm, buy heaps of clothes for their first child. Most of them go unused due to the rapid growth of the baby. Even the ones that you do use end up being too small the next time you choose them for your baby to wear.
It is very convenient to reuse baby clothes for your second baby. These clothes may include shirts, trousers, wraps, caps, sweaters, pants, shoes, and whatnot.
- Swaddles Can be Passed On
Newborns require a lot of swaddling; therefore, you may have purchased a lot of swaddles for your first baby. After four to five months, your baby becomes old enough to sleep without a swaddle, and then the whole basket of swaddles just sits in the baby’s closet.
You can buy new swaddles as they are made of delicate material and may be damaged after a while. But if they are in good shape, there is no reason not to use them for more than one child.
- Towels Can Always be Reused
A clean towel is a savior when it comes to newborn babies. Towels are like all washables and can be reused easily. Just be sure that you disinfect them properly by washing them with a baby detergent.
- Reuse the Cute Baby Blankets
High-quality baby blankets are long-lasting. Buy a variety of blankets during your first pregnancy and you can use them for all of your future kids. Just check in with your eldest child if they have an emotional attachment to such things. If that’s not a concern, go ahead and use them again.
- The Crib is a Long-Term Investment
If your first baby has outgrown his crib and sleeps in a bed, it is time to reuse that crib for your second baby. A baby crib eliminates the need for co-sleeping and gives your baby a comfortable space for sleeping.
Cribs and cots are usually pricey. Once you buy a high-quality one for your first baby, you must make ample use of it for the other baby.
- Reuse the Car Seat
For safety reasons, car seats are a must-have for a new baby, and they are quite durable. It is only fitting that you reuse it for your second baby once the first baby has outgrown it.
You can also utilize other baby items such as a mesh laundry bag, a carry-on bag, or even toys.
So What Did We Learn About Reusable Baby Items?
If you are planning to or are already on the way to having a second child, reusing baby gear, especially baby bottles, will prove economical. All you have to do is clean and sterilize them properly and you are good to go. You can buy BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottles for your baby, but always pick the safest choice and clean them properly to keep your baby out of harm’s way.
We know that you want to give the world to your baby, but to save money for their future, you will need to reuse a lot of baby things. Just know that it is okay to do so. There is nothing wrong with saving a few dollars.