Donate your unused formula to a local mom in need

Whether it be formula samples that were never tried, formula that revealed a milk allergy, or formula that’s outgrown your baby, you – or at least one of your new mommy friends – will have some baby formula at home that isn’t being used.

A woman sits next to many boxes and tins of baby formula

Ask any mom that feeds their baby formula, and they’ll be the first to tell you that unused formula is better off donated to another mom who can use it. The costs involved with formula add up all too fast, so once you feel that urge to leave unused and unopened formula in the back of a cupboard, consider donating it locally, instead.

All of the following Durham-based organizations are more than happy to accept your unused, unopened, unexpired baby formula and formula coupons to help local moms in need:

  • Herizon House, a shelter for abused women and their children (Ajax).
  • YWCA Durham’s Y’s WISH shelter for women and children (Oshawa).
  • The Rose of Durham, offers programs and services to support young parents in Durham (Ajax, Oshawa and Port Perry).
  • Wings Maternity Home, supports pregnant homeless young women (Ajax).
  • The Refuge, is a drop-in centre that supports youths 24 and under (Oshawa).
  • The Pregnancy Help Centre, a faith-based organization that supports pregnant women and families (Ajax and Oshawa).
  • Bethesda House, an organization that offers services to victims of domestic abuse (Bowmanville).
  • The Denise House, is an emergency shelter for abused women and their children (Oshawa).
  • Feed The Need in Durham, is the food distribution warehouse and hub for Durham Region’s Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Shelters and other food programs (Oshawa).

pic via winnipegfreepress.com

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Where to find support when you’re a parent with vision loss

A woman poses with her baby in a stroller and her guide dog

Quite often when I have my tough days at home with baby, I just want to talk to someone going through the same and that is often enough to make me feel better. This is why meetups are important to join while on mat leave.

Whether you have full vision, partial, or none at all, parenting requires constant adaptation and meetups are usually full of stories of the way we improvise as parents in any number of situations. I recently discovered that CNIB runs a distance support group (or digital meetup, which is how I like to think of it!) for anyone with vision loss who is a parent, expecting parents with vision loss, and even people with vision loss who are thinking about becoming parents. This group meets mostly over the phone and on Skype, so attendees are able to join from the comfort of their home.

To register or find out more, contact CNIB or join the Parenting With Vision Loss Facebook group for more information.

pic via medicaldaily.com

What to do with baby’s old clothes: Mom to Mom Sales

What it is:  A Mom-to-Mom sale is a huge undercover rummage sale held 3-4 times a year by city. Moms bring their gently used items to sell at a pre-designated area within the venue.

Example of a mom to mom sale

How it works: To sell at one of these events, you must register with your local Mom-to-Mom sale organizer for a table for a fee. This is a one-off payment that you make prior to the event when you register. Once this registration fee is paid, all the profit you make from selling your goods on the day is yours!

Pros:  The chance to get your stuff in front of hundreds of moms who are ready, cash in hand, to buy your stuff if they find something that catches their eye. You’re able to get immediate buyer feedback on your items and adjust your pricing strategy accordingly. Also, you’re in an undercover area so, you’re not at the mercy of the weather like you would be at a garage sale.

Cons: Sales can be infrequent, so if you’re looking to offload your stuff in a hurry it won’t be your best option. As these sales are held in large, drafty buildings like school gyms, bringing your little ones along is not a good idea. You will need to organize a baby sitter for the duration of the sale which is usually 3-4 hours in total (plus any set up time).

Value Potential: 3 out of 3. If you price your items well, you can make a good return (in comparison with consignment and resale stores) in a short amount of time because of the large number of buyers that attend these type of events. If you buddy up with another mom, there are plenty of savings to be made in renting the space at the event, too.

Cost: The costs to register for your own table at a Mom to Mom sale are low in relation to the number of buyers that you will have access to. Spaces at Mom to Mom sales can vary between $20-40 + hst in Durham. Additional costs include materials to price your items such as stickers ($1-2 at the Dollar Store) and permanent markers ($2 at the Dollar Store).

pic via Facebook

What to do with baby’s old clothes: Garage Sale

What it is:  If you’re not familiar with one already, a garage sale (also known as a yard sale, rummage sale or junk sale) is an informal sale usually held in the front yard, driveway or garage of your own property on a weekend.

Photos of a yard sale sign and a table set up in a front yard selling various items

How it works: The key to a good garage sale is preparation. Once you’ve got a collection of goods that you want to sell (in addition to your baby clothes), decide on a day and time that best suits you to hold the sale. As a recommendation, early Saturday morning is best. Short and sweet is best, no longer than 3 hours or so, for example, 9am-12pm. The trickiest part is advertising your sale to reach the most amount of people. These are a few of your options:

Pros:  You don’t have to travel somewhere to set up your stuff. If you’re not using your garage to park your car during the week, you could have your stuff set up in there ahead of time to avoid setting up on the day. You get to be in charge of scheduling – you choose the day and time that best suits you.

Cons: Being limited to your garage for three hours (or more) at a time. Depending on your thoughts on privacy, you may not be comfortable with strangers visiting your property. Being reliant on weather to get a good turnout of people.

Value Potential: 2 out of 3. You get to be in control of how much time you invest in this and in comparison with waiting for your stuff to be sold online, it’s a nice option if you want to try and get rid of your stuff all in one shot. The money you can potentially get for the clothes is medium-high if you find the right buyer, but it can be hard to find this person unless you advertise your sale well.

Cost: The costs to hold a garage sale are minimal. At most you will have to pay for the materials to make your own signs (approx $2 for cardboard) or to buy ready made garage sale signs (approx $7 per sign)

 

pic via ohhappyday.com

What to do with baby’s old clothes: Resale Store

What it is: A resale store is different to that of a consignment store in that they are able to offer cash (or store credit) outright for any clothes that they offer to take.

Racks of childrens clothes

How it works: You do not need to make an appointment to visit a store and have your clothes looked at. Staff will review your items on the spot and you can wander round the store while they review your items, or you can wait up front while they go through whatever you bring in. Buyers will then pick out the items and make an offer on these based on the style, condition and the current stock levels in-store. If you accept the offer you will receive either cash or store credit. As a general rule for all resale stores, clothes over five years old will not be accepted. Typically, clothing with any holes, fading or pilling will not be considered. Below are some of the child-specific resale stores in the Durham region:

Pros: This option is perfect for moms that don’t want the hassle of selling their old baby clothes themselves. You’ll be saving time as it only takes one interaction with a store (not multiple interactions with sellers like you would get with Kijiji or Facebook buy/sell groups) and you are compensated immediately. You do not need to make an appointment to have your clothes reviewed by a buyer, so you’ll be selling on your own schedule.

Cons: Stores will pick and choose what items they want to take based on the kind of brands you have, what’s in style, and what stock they currently need. You will most likely be out of luck if you want to offload summer items at the beginning of winter. Not all stores will take certain items like socks or cloth diapers, so you may need to visit a few resale stores to get rid of everything or offload your remaining stuff another way. To save the most amount of time when you visit a resale store, you will have to prepare your clothes for easy sorting in advance. This includes sorting clothes by brand or by age group.

Value Rating: 2 out of 3. Your potential for cash is very low than if you were to sell the items yourself or take them to a consignment store, but if you value the time saved managing the sales on your own, then this is the option for you.

Cost: There is no cost involved to bring your clothes to a clothing resale store.

 

pic via brendawritesablog.com

What to do with baby’s old clothes: VarageSale.com

What it is: VarageSale.com is an online an online marketplace similar to Kijiji.ca and Craigslist with more of a community feel. It has the trustworthy elements that you’d expect to find in an eBay listing (i.e. seller reviews and profiles) and social elements of what you’d expect to find in a Facebook buy and sell group (strict rules on group/posting behaviour, moderation and the ability to start discussions with members).

How it works: All users (both buyers and sellers) must use their Facebook account to use the service. Once you have logged in and set your location, a list of Buy/Sell groups are displayed, and you can choose which areas nearby you would like to sell to. An organizer within this group will then review your request to join the group. Once you’re approved, you’ll see that listings are posted in a timeline much like you would see on Facebook. Users can rate each other based on how each person follows through on a sale, and these ratings are made public for other group members to view. Buyers are able to like and watch listings depending on their interest in an item, and these Like and Watch numbers will be shown publicly within the group. As a seller, your profile will have a summary displaying all items that you are currently selling. Buyers also have the ability to follow your profile to keep updated for future items that you list for sale.

Listing your items on VarageSale takes only three easy steps

Listing your items for sale with VarageSale couldn’t be easier with only three steps in this form

Pros: More personalized and secure than options like Kijiji.ca and Craigslist. This site comes with a set of rules for each community, similar to that of a Facebook buy and sell group. It’s a step up in terms of navigation compared to that of a Facebook buy/sell group, so in theory you’ll get more eyes on your items this way. This app or website (depending on how you use Varagesale) will walk you through every step of listing your items, making it easy to get over any feelings of procrastination when it comes to selling your stuff.

Cons: It’s yet another social media site to join / or app to download. It does a lot of the same things that a Facebook buy/sell group does with the exception of having a better browse and search function.

Value Potential: 2 out of 3. The mechanics of this community encourages buyers to interact with you more if they like the type of items that you sell. Listing your items is fast so you won’t lose too much time and you get control over pricing your items.

Cost: There are no costs involved with using VarageSale.com.

What to do with baby’s old clothes: Facebook Buy, Sell and Swap groups

What it is: There are multiple groups in the Durham area that have been created solely for parents that are looking to buy, sell and swap items that they no longer need. Items range from household items to furniture to baby clothes.

How it works: Locate and join the relevant Facebook groups and familiarize yourself with the rules for each group. Each group will have their own rules for how to post your listing so be sure to check this out too. Once you are satisfied with the photos that you have taken for your listing, upload the photos to a post within the group and include any information that you find relevant for potential buyers. Sizing, clothing condition, brand and asking price are all important to buyers.

Sample Baby Outfit Listing in the Facebook Buy Sell and Swap groups

As a general guide most Facebook listings will look something like this

Below is a list of all the Facebook classified groups for the Durham region:

Pros: You’re able to manage all interactions with buyers through Facebook. This is handy if you have the Facebook app installed on your phone so you can respond to any questions wherever you are. Interacting with someone else over Facebook is also great for security – being able to see someone else’s photo and profile helps screen sellers to make sure that they are legit.

Cons: The number of notifications you receive might bother you, selling through your account may be uncomfortable for those of you that like privacy, any posts you make on the group timeline will get pushed down (out of view) by other people in the group that post.

Value Potential: 2 out of 3. Time is an investment here. You may have to interact with multiple potential buyers asking questions about your items, also consider how much time you have to meet up with buyers to check out whatever you sell. The money you can potentially get for the clothes is high (compared to what you’d get in consignment or resale stores) if you find the right buyer, but it may take time to find this person.

Cost: Listing within these groups is free.