baby gear that's still useful years later

I live in a small house that's short on storage space. (Hashtag: first world problems.) And since getting married, I've moved four times. (Hashtag: U-haul adores me.)

Purging unnecessary stuff comes as second nature by now--as does striving to make sure everything I've moved from house to house has value and purpose, or possibly duel purpose. Here are my all-star purchases that have survived each move, AND gotten more useful with time. 

Baby bath with pedestal - It's just a humble little bathtub, I know. But three years ago, that bottom pedestal became Joseph's step stool for potty training and washing his hands.

Why it's still useful: Since it's so wide, both boys can stand on the pedestal together to brush their teeth at night, or wash their hands before dinner. 

Activity gym - Everyone already has one of these, but we've used it for a lot more than just infant tummy time. 

Why it's still useful: Drape a blanket over those crossed bars and you've got a perfect tent for toddlers (or for little boys on the small end of the growth charts). This is especially valuable to families like mine that have mothers who do. not. camp. and therefore do not have real tents. 

Used Halloween costumes - Every year since she became a grandmother, my mom has hit up her local Once Upon a Child in July or August to start scouting out the best of the used Halloween costumes for the kids. Of all the good stuff those stores carry (and there's quite a lot), I'd say Halloween costumes are the tip-top of the "barely used/basically new" list.

Why they're still useful: Playtime is that much more interesting when you're wearing a dog/dragon/giraffe suit, right? Sometimes the boys won't wear them for a month, but sometimes they're all they wear for a week straight. 

Changing table - Traditional changing tables get a lot of hate from the "we just use a low dresser instead" crowd. But I see a changing table as essentially the same thing as a dresser, except you don't need to pull open a drawer to get at your wipes. 

Why it's still useful: Our lightweight (key word!) changing table works as a toy organizer/storage in various rooms (in various abodes). Granted, it's now being used for its original purpose, but when Gussie's bigger, I'm sure that we'll once again move it (without wrenching our backs) to another room and fill its baskets with Legos instead of diapers.

Or heck, maybe not Legos, but My Little Pony things. Or doll clothes. Ahh... 

Baby books - Do moms still keep and update baby books? My mom filled our baby books to the brim with weight and height charts, vaccine records and sickness notes, plus pages and pages of hand-written anecdotes about our childhoods. 

I'm keeping books for our three, though I know that I'm not nearly as good as she was about writing down so many precious memories. 

Why it's still useful: Even if I can't write down everything I intend to, the books do provide a great space for stashing those little tidbits that will be treasures later on: the ticket stub to Amby's first baseball game; a brochure from Joseph's dream visit to the Sacramento Railroad Museum; cards from grandparents and godparents for birthdays and baptism. If I didn't have the books, I know I'd haphazardly stash that stuff in nooks and crannies and lose track of it all. 

What's the best stuff in your house that serves a duel purpose? 

Linking up with Jenna


  1. Ugh. The baby books. Mom guilt right there on my part ;) I did a great one for Ellen. I think Sam's might have a piece of paper from one of his doc appts in it. This new kid? I hope he has a good memory. ha!

  2. Oh this is a really handy list, thanks for this.