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How to Sanitize and Store Your Baby Stuff For Round Two

Aug 21 2014 - 5:22am

With your first child, there's a seemingly never-ending list of stuff to buy [1] — nursery furniture, clothing, bottles, breast pumps, bouncers, swings . . . After you've invested in all that gear, there's no way you're going to want to buy it again for baby number two (if you're a one-and-done kind of gal, we have some great tips on how to get rid of it [2]). So how do you store all that precious baby stuff, so it's ready to go for your second arrival? We have some great tips on cleaning, sanitizing, and storing the most costly of kiddie investments so you'll feel great about using them for your second baby. Keep clicking to get all your baby gear organized!

High Chairs

Your high chair is like one big crumb and spill magnet, complete with lots of nooks and crannies perfect for hiding peas from who knows how many meals ago, ketchup drips, and crushed crackers. In a word: "ick." But follow these quick tips [3] to take your high chair from gross to gleaming — then store it in a cool, dry place — and your high chair will be ready to go for round two!

Strollers

Your stroller is probably one of the biggest investments that you made in the baby gear department (case in point: our beloved Bugaboo Cameleon [4]), and for good reason. Your little one's first set of wheels is a daily workhorse, cruising through everything from rain and snow to dirt and mud to get you and your baby where you need to go. Protect your precious ride for your next baby by giving it a thorough cleaning (check out a complete how-to here [5]) and storing it in a cool, dry spot.

Breast Pumps

Breast pumps can be super expensive (the Medela Freestyle [6] is almost $400), so you'll want to keep the motor. We recommend storing it in a safe place where you won't lose it! But toss all those parts that actually get dirty — the tubing, connectors, and breast shields — and then replace them [7] before you use it for baby two (don't worry, it will cost less than $100).

Car Seats

Your car seat (like my Peg Perego Primo Viaggo [8], shown here) has probably survived some major spills or, heaven forbid, a diaper blowout or two, so it needs a thorough cleaning. It can seem like a daunting task with all those parts, straps, nooks, and crannies, but follow these five easy steps [9] (and, we suggest, wait for a sunny, warm day), and it doesn't have to be. Clean it up, store it in a cool, dry place, and before you know it, your next little one will be riding in sanitary style!

Bouncers, Swings, and Jumperoos

All those baby contraptions can not only take up a lot of room in storage, they can also be a pain to clean. Our recommendation, take them apart as much as possible (take a picture or find the manual so you know how to put them back together when needed) and tackle each part individually. Most soft seats and parts can be laundered and air-dried, while metal and wooden parts can be wiped down with a nontoxic cleaning solution. Clean plastic toys by putting them in the gentle cycle in your dishwasher, wiping them down with baby wipes, or giving them a warm bath with a mild soap in your sink. Then store smaller parts in an airtight container to keep out bacteria and allergens, and the larger base in a cool, dry spot.

Bottles

If you've made a major investment by buying a ton of bottles, don't worry, you can keep them! Clean all your bottles well, boil them for five minutes to sterilize, then let them dry completely before you pack them away for the next baby, who will hopefully like the same bottles your first one did (that would be Born Free [10] for me). Use an airtight container to keep out bacteria and allergens.

Cribs and Mattresses

Your crib and mattress can be one of the biggest investments you make for your baby. The crib is easy enough to clean with some nontoxic wood, or if you're a supermodern mama, acrylic [11], cleaner. Then tackle the mattress with a homemade cleaning solution of two parts water and one part vinegar with a large spoonful of laundry detergent. The detergent removes dirt and body oils, while the vinegar deodorizes and disinfects. Scrub the mattress with the solution, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove residue, and then let it air dry. Then store both your crib and mattress in a cool, dry place, awaiting the arrival of number two!


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