As parents, we want to share things with other parents that we have extras of. Some things are safe to share, but some things aren't as safe as we would think. We want to give to people who don't have things, or simply share because it's the nice thing to do. We have something we don't need, or we have something someone else could use, and we want to spread the love as they say. However, some things aren't safe to share. Some things are too personal or have safety standards that change. We don't think about it at first, but some items are really dangerous to share.
In this article, we'll explore some things that are safe to share and some things that aren't as safe as we would think. Everything is, of course, up for personal discussion. But these are some tips of what should or shouldn't be shared and reasons why to help guide you through these sorts of decisions. Sometimes we don’t consider all sides of things, and we might think something is safe because it’s simple, but in reality, it’s not as safe as we would like to think. Ultimately, it’s your call, but please consider some of these points before sharing or not sharing some items.
20 Don't Share: Teethers
Not sharing a teether sounds like an obvious one, but many moms still do it. Even if it’s clean, it’s unsafe to share a teether. There could be hidden gems, as it’s difficult to fully sanitize them. Children can also break it down quickly, leaving small tears that you can’t see. You should check teethers for any damage already, and replace them immediately. But sharing them could put another baby at risk, as it can come apart or spread illness. They may seem like they’re undamaged or new, but baby teeth can really wreak havoc on teethers and make them dangerous to your child and to whoever you’re sharing with.
19 Don't Share: A Binky or Pacifier
When a baby is crying and upset, it’s natural to want to help. You might be tempted to grab a spare binky you have lying around and give it to them, pacify them and help them relax. However, like a teether, binkies or pacifiers can be dangerous to share. They easily get small holes or tears in them, The materials don’t last long, even for your own baby. They’re affordable enough to be replaced, and buying a few extra spares to leave unopened around if you have friends with other babies is a good idea. Always inspect a binky before giving it to your baby or someone else’s baby, even if it’s new or it’s been in use recently. You can’t be too safe with your kiddos.
18 Don't Share: Toothbrushes hold germs
Good mouth hygiene is important for kids, but sharing gum brushes or toothbrushes is risking exposing them to germs. Mouths hold a lot of germs, and even if you try to sanitize or clean a brush, it might not get fully clean. A hand-me-down brush might not get teeth clean enough, either. Every mouth is different, while the general shape of a mouth stays the same, they don’t develop the same. Teeth grow different, gums are shaped different, everything has tiny differences that can hide germs if you’re trying to brush with someone else’s brush, which has probably taken shape to the owner’s mouth.
17 Don't Share: Thermometers stop being accurate
Many parents use digital thermometers nowadays, rather than glass and mercury ones. They’re safer and supposed to be more accurate, too. And they’re usually more hygienic, as many can be used on the forehead or in the ear instead. However, over time, they need to be replaced. As with many products around our homes, we need to replace them after time to keep them safe and in their proper working order. With time and use, some thermometers can lose their accuracy. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you have a sick child, having as close to their true temperature is important.
16 Don't Share: Pumping accessories can’t always be fully sanitized
We use our breast pump accessories and sanitize them after, and it’s usually pretty simple and safe for reuse. But as it’s such a personal item, sharing it can be equated to sharing used underwear or such. Even after cleaning them, there could be germs hiding around to risk spreading to someone else. They may be germs that are safe for ourselves, and our babies, things that our own bodies made that we’re used to. But for someone else or their baby, it could make them sick or worse. Plus, every breast is made different. Accessories that work for you might not work for another person, an improper fit could cause discomfort or even damage.
15 Don't Share: Hats or Hair accessories could have loose parts after time
It might seem safe to pass on old hats or hair accessories, as they’re like clothes, right? Wrong. Hats and hair accessories usually have small parts to them, little decals or such to make them look so cute on our little ones. But with wear comes tear, and the little parts can easily come off and become problems after time. At the start, when they’re new, they aren’t usually a danger. But after some time, they get easily messed up and parts can come off. These small parts can become choking hazards for babies, and pose a risk of injury or worse.
14 Don't Share: Diaper cream might have germs and it does expire
Checking diaper creams before use is a good idea, as they can and do expire. While it probably won’t hurt your baby, it does become less effective and can be as useful as not even putting it on to begin with. Besides expiring, they can also hold germs. The tubs of diaper cream are the worst for this, as you dip your fingers into the tub to get the cream out. The tubes can do the same, though, as some of it can be exposed to your fingers then sucked back into the tube. It poses a small risk to your child, though typically their bodies are used to your germs and don’t react poorly.
13 Don't Share: Bottles may also break down
While it might seem safe to share bottles, it’s not the best or safest idea. Whether you’re wanting to share the bottles and new nipples or use the same nipples as you did for your baby, it’s too dangerous to risk it. The nipples, like binkies, break down and can tear or come apart in a baby’s mouth. The bottles themselves are now made with safe materials, but old bottles can have dangerous materials in them. The bottles can also break down, too, if you’re not careful. Sanitizing and cleaning them over time make them grow weak and could also pose a risk.
12 Don't Share: Shields are difficult to fully sanitize and may not fit everyone the same
Similar to breast pumping accessories, nipple shields are hard to sanitize entirely and can be difficult to fit everyone the same. Using a dirty nipple shield is dangerous to your breast and to your baby, it can cause infection or sickness in both of you if you’re not careful. An ill-fitting one can also cause damage to your breast and nipple, and cause extreme pain when used. It also could make breastfeeding difficult for your baby, which would cause frustration in the mother and baby. After a shield is used, it can typically take a specific shape to the user’s body, and won’t fit will on another body.
11 Don't Share: Car seats, as regulations change
As your baby grows, you have to upgrade to new car seats over and over. And it seems every year they update the safety regulations of car seats, too. But when you have a hardly used car seat, especially one for a newborn, you want to put it to use. Either to help a friend save money on getting a new one for their new baby or to get your own money’s worth out of a car seat you hardly used, it’s not a good idea to pass one along. The regulations aren’t changed for fun, they’re updated to keep children safe as new tests are performed and new information is found out. You put a baby at risk by using old car seats, even if it’s only old by a year or two. You also don’t want to accept a used car seat as there’s no way to know what all it’s gone through. It could have weaknesses that are undetectable until it’s too late.
10 Share: Old clothes are always great hand-me-downs, though
Clothes don’t change much, except styles or what’s popular. And with how fast kids grow, some clothes take little to no wear and tear, leaving them almost new. They’re not only safe to pass down and give to another child, they’re great to share! You get to have plenty of use out of them and have the fun of seeing them on another kid, spreading around fun with them. Some parents keep their clothes for years until they have children of their own to pass them on to, even if it’s an “out of date” design or character, getting to have the joy of seeing their grandchildren in the clothes their own children once ran around in.
9 Share: Toys hardly ever get too old to share
We spend a small fortune on toys for our kiddos, whether it’s a holiday or birthday or just something fun for them, we spend far too much on toys. The worst part, our kids end up outgrowing the toys! They either literally getting too old or too big for a toy, or simply decide they’re too old for certain toys. They even sometimes just get tired of the toys they have and the poor things end up left alone at the bottom of the toy box or stuffed away in a closet, never played with again. Whatever the reason, we end up with all sorts of unused toys, safe and in working order so we can give them to another kid to enjoy.
8 Share: Breastpump machines last longer than you’ll ever need them
While breast pump accessories are unsanitary to share, the actual pump machines are untouched by any bodily fluids, making it safe to share. The machines last forever it seems, long after we need to pump and are a great thing to give to a friend or even donate. As the machines are so costly, it can be frustrating to use it for a while then have to put it up after using it, probably never to use it again. They don’t usually break down to a point of being dangerous, and many pumps can be used with various types of accessories, which are quite affordable to get.
7 Share: Bibs are in abundance and work great for years
We buy plenty of bibs- in fact, we buy too many bibs, to be honest. They’re used to keep clothes clean and keep things from getting messy, but many go either unused or simply lightly used. Similar to clothing, bibs might have a change in superficial ways but they’re typically still safe to pass down to friends or even to donate. Not the stained ones, of course, but the ones that were hardly used or not used in some cases, those are perfect to give to another kiddo. The concept of a bib doesn’t really change, there’s no update to the safety standards, the only thing that might slow down sharing is stains.
6 Share: Shoes, like clothes, are great to reuse
Kids grow really fast, as all of us parents know. It seems like as soon as we buy something, they outgrow it! Sometimes, we have things that are so lightly used, it’s like we didn’t even use them at all. Shoes are included in this, especially while they’re young and not walking a lot if at all. Sharing or donating shoes is always nice, they cost an arm and a leg to get and aren’t used as much as we’d like in the early years. Even as our kids grow up, they sometimes have shoes that they outgrow before any damage is done to them. Dress shoes are especially bad for this, or good if you look at it from a sharing standpoint.
5 Share: Cribs are usually safe throughout years of use
Not much has changed with cribs. They’re little areas that we keep our babies in so they can safely sleep, usually a rectangle, with spaces so they don’t suffocate on accident. Some safety changes are made, but that’s usually with the mattress than the crib itself. So sharing a crib is usually safe, especially if you have a sleepy kiddo and nowhere else safe to put them while they sleep. Giving away a crib that a kid has outgrown is a kind gesture, and should typically be safe to do. It’s always a great idea to double check safety standards, but typically it’s safe to give away a crib you can’t use anymore.
4 Share: Strollers don’t usually change much
Strollers are typically kept about the same. The style may change, but strollers are safe to share or give away to someone who needs one. They cost quite a pretty penny, so it’s wonderful to be able to share them and get real use out of them. They’re helpful for trips or just walks at all, and being able to give another parent that freedom is a kind gesture. Sometimes they do update safety standards, so, like cribs, it’s great to double check the standards. But you should be alright to share or give away strollers as your kiddos outgrow them.
3 Share: Books are always fun
Even before our kids are born, we will probably end up with at least one child’s book. They’re wonderful to help kids learn and to simply read to them for entertainment or even to help them get ready for bed. By the time our kids are bigger, we have a whole collection of books that are “too young” for them, that are simple ABCs sometimes when our kids are already beyond needing those levels of books. So sharing them or donating them is a great idea, and a sweet way to help other kids grow to love the same stories your kids did or to learn different things like their numbers or alphabet.
2 Share: Bedding gets too small but remains a great item to pass down
As our kids grow, they get too big for some things. Beds and betting are some examples of what they’re too big for, that are still safe and good to share or donate. We don’t see many changes to bedding, same as clothes, so handing them down is usually pretty safe and a kind gesture. Styles may change, some cartoon characters might be more or less popular over time, but the bedding itself is typically still safe to share. Simple blankets or pillowcases have been the same for years, they’re usually entirely safe to share with other parents for their kids.
1 Share: Movies or DVDs might become “for little kids” as your kids grow
Kids are funny. They hit certain ages and start to decide some things are for little kids instead of for them, as they’re “big kids” now. Too big for some Disney movies, for example. But as they’re simply movies, not in direct use by the kids, there isn’t any reason not to share them. As your kiddo decides they’re too old for some movies, or as they do outgrow some things, such as ABC movies when they’re older kids, it’s great to share them. Donating is also a great idea, as some families can’t afford luxuries like DVDs, but giving away ones you don’t need or use anymore can bring endless joy to the less fortunate kiddos.