If you're the parent of a young child, my guess is that, right now, your house is a lot like mine: a wasteland of plastic baby gear, too-small onesies, spare parts, and tiny plastic spoons (current count: approximately nine million). What do you do? You can't throw these cast-offs away — not environmentally friendly — and donating them to charity takes time and energy you might not have. So I guess you just wander around in this ocean of child-related clutter forever, unless, of course, Babies "R" Us is throwing its annual Trade-In event, offering discounts on new items in exchange for your clutter.
Here's how it works. On Friday, Feb. 16, parents and caregivers can bring in old or damaged baby gear, nursery furniture, and even gently used clothing to get 25 percent off a new big ticket item — like a stroller or toddler bed — at their local Babies "R" Us and Toys "R" Us store. (Babies "R" Us loyalty members can start trading even earlier, on Sunday, Feb. 11.) This year, the trade-in event will run until Sunday, March 18, which means you have more than a month to box up that giant highchair your kid doesn't even sit in anymore. There's never been a better time to ditch all those baby slings cluttering your hall closet in exchange for something a bit more useful, like 25 percent off the Graco Uno2Duo Double Stroller. What's not to love?
The Babies "R" Us trade-in event has run annually for the last eight years, but this month, the deal's even more amazing than usual. Now you can bring in old clothing, as well as crib and toddler mattresses. Even better, that old clothing will be donated to a local charity.
What if you don't have anything to trade? Actually, the event's still pretty exciting. Online, you'll still get a 15 percent discount on one piece of gear or furniture. In store, those without anything to trade can get still 15 percent off one baby item. Also, shoppers with a Toys "R" Us credit card get 30 percent off a single purchase, so be sure to get the rocker you've been dreaming of.
But really, it's safety, and not discounts, that's at the heart of the nationwide event, which was thrown in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide last year. Every month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall toys, car seats, cribs, high chairs, and more. According to Safe Kids, a child-safety information website, 15 children's products were deemed potentially dangerous by these agencies in January 2018 alone. From snow globes and a VTech Lights and Lullabies mobile to a wobbly Skip Hop high chair, these products play an important role in a child's daily life, and it's crucial to ensure that they're safe. To keep tabs on it all, parents can subscribe to recall update emails, sponsored by Safe Kids.
Trading potentially unsafe or recalled items for a discount does more than just make your home a safer place. It also prevents these hazardous products from circulating in second-hand stores or into charities. Getting these products off the streets has been a major goal of the trade-in event since the beginning, and items don't have to be officially recalled to qualify for a trade. Babies "R" Us will accept old car seats with missing parts and damaged gear, too. Thanks to the Greater Trade-In, the second month of the new year is a fantastic time to screen your baby stuff for safety and declutter the nursery room at the same time. Enjoy your discount.
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the types of items accepted at the trade-in event.
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