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Why we only asked for hand-me-downs for our baby sprinkle

When I was pregnant with my first baby I remember being overwhelmed by all the stuff we needed to get. Or at least, all the stuff I thought we needed to get. Our Amazon registry was endless and our friends were very generous in making sure we had everything we asked for. Which actually meant we had way too much.

Then our baby boy decided to make an entrance into the world a bit earlier than expected, leaving us way underprepared but also drowning in boxes. Turns out, newborns don't need that much stuff to begin with and his nursery turned into our storage unit.

As our son grew by the minute, I became hyper-aware of how wasteful having a kid can be. Yes, there is the ridiculous number of diapers they go through a day—which all end up in landfills forever—but there's also how fast they grow out of clothes or how quickly they lose interest in plastic toys. Because of my initial experience the first time around, I decided to look into more eco-friendly ways of parenting that would be attainable for us to do with our lifestyle as two working parents in a big city.

The first thing I looked into was hand-me-downs. My neighborhood has an amazing network of moms and they were all more than willing to pass down heaps and heaps of clothes. Suddenly my son had more clothes than he could wear and I happily started passing them down to friends who had kids after us. It gave me such great satisfaction to pack items we didn't need anymore and hand them off to the next person in line.


So when I found out I was pregnant again, with twins, I really wanted to be as environmentally conscious as possible. I've decided that I'm not falling into the same trap, especially with the whole needing two of everything idea. Yes, we will need double the diapers and two safe sleeping places, but they don't each need their own tiny plastic bathtub or super smart swing.

When the time for our sprinkle came around my husband suggested we do a re-sprinkle. What does that mean? Everyone who wanted to gift us something had to either have it be a hand-me-down from their kids (anything from clothes to toys to even half-used boxes of diapers), bought at a second-hand store or an item from an environmentally-friendly company.

And it was a hit!

Our friends were excited to purge their clutter and we got a ton of products we needed, from clothes and shoes to bibs, diapers and soap for bottles. Most items came with tags. Someone even donated to save the koalas from the wildfires happening in Australia in our names, which made my very pregnant and emotional self sob for approximately two hours.

As I was unpacking and organizing all the stuff we got, I noticed a familiar onesie. My sister-in-law had passed down clothes her twins had outgrown when we had our son and this onesie was part of that pile. I had then passed it to a friend who also had a boy shortly after us. She then passed on back to us, meaning this adorable bright green onesie is now on its fourth life and looking brand new. That's when the importance of what we chose to do hit me.

Sure, I won't be able to save the world just by reusing other people's baby clothes, but it all adds up. We can all make little changes here and there to make sure our children have a better place in this world to grow up in.

We are probably not the first ones to do this, but I really hope we are not the last. So go ahead and steal our re-sprinkle idea and make it your own. People will be excited to show their love to your family and you will get what you need—if not more—for your little one. Plus, if you still need something that no one gave you, online retailers with super fast shipping can come to the rescue.

I'm excited for the twins to come and start using all the items we got and to share photos with the people that gave them to us. But also, I'm already planning our own big purge to pass on and donate all the things our girls won't need anymore.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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