I try to re-purpose our stuff for O whenever I can because we live in an apartment with limited space. Having too many items that serve only one purpose would turn our happy apartment into a miserably cluttered mess. The picture above is a great example of a re-purposing idea that I learned from a Facebook friend. The common solution to baby safety is a bath seat but I find that a laundry basket is much cheaper and it works better for a baby who can sit up. It keeps him from tipping over, gives him something to hold onto and contains his toys as he splashes and plays. He doesn’t need to lean out and try to grab them plus he learns how to balance himself in water in a way that he could not in a traditional bath seat. When he was younger we used a bath sponge that you can lay him on in the tub. It worked great and we still use it occasionally. When we visit family for any length of time we will re-purpose a couple of adult sized towels to reproduce the same basic function. If we hadn’t gotten the sponge we probably would have used the towel method instead. We also had a hand me down baby tub and found it to be a hassling space thief more-so than a helpful bath tool. When it comes to bath time there are clearly many opportunities to re-purpose stuff you already have instead of spending more money on single purpose items that will just hog precious storage space.
Another example of re-purposing is our baby station. The idea is to take any piece of furniture with a top roughly waist-high and turn it into a changing table by stuffing it full of diaper changing supplies and throwing an inexpensive changing pad on top. We went a step further and had my father in law build some custom shelves for the sides to create the ultimate baby station. I talk about our changing station in an older post “Diaper Central Command” which has an excellent picture of how it turned out. When we went out looking for baby stuff we were dismayed by the cost of specialize baby furniture. It was nice looking but we had a hard time with the idea of spending $100+ dollars on a changing table that we would use for only one purpose for a few years and then promptly try to shove into the limited storage space we have in our central CT apartment. Re-purposing has been the right solution for us and ended up producing a piece of furniture that is way better than anything we could have bought from a Babies R Us.
So that is how we have done a bit of re-purposing for our baby in an apartment. What kind of creative re-purposing have you done? Have any re-purposing tips that this stay at home dad could use? Share in the comments section below so we can all benefit from your experience!