Hand-Me-Downs: Is It Worth Keeping Baby Clothes?


I’ve gone back and forth more times than I can count on the question of storing baby equipment and clothes for subsequent children. Over the years I narrowed down my son’s wardrobe into relatively small plastic boxes categorized by size.

I allotted one box for each size and gave away the rest. I donated the excess to a local facility or to friends and family in need of them.

My children have a three and a half year span between them, so those baby clothes sat in the basement for quite a long time. If you plan to have children closer together than storing them may not be as big of an issue, but as the years went by the tower of plastic containers grew larger and larger.

My children are not the same size. The first was always long and lean. The second is big all over. At his most recent doctor’s appointment he measured in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. In comparison my first typically measures in the 99th percentile for height and the 60th percentile for weight.

While my first grew quickly, he seemed to wear all of the early stage clothing. He started in newborn sizes, moved to three months, six, nine and up and up never skipping a size along the way. The second skipped six months and jumped directly into nine. He wore twelve month clothing for a very short amount of time and then jumped ahead to eighteen month sizes.

He’s only six months and wearing eighteen months! He has a long torso and a chunky little body.

While number two hasn’t worn all of number one’s clothes, he has worn more than enough to make a final determination of the hand-me-down storage conundrum.

It turns out storing those clothes was a great idea. Of course I saved a ton of money on clothes, but more than the savings is the joy I feel every time I dress the second child in an article of clothing my first wore.

My two boys look nothing alike. Their features are different, their skin color and hair color are not similar. When I dress the second in clothes of the first I don’t relive my first experiences, but I am awash in a warm and fuzzy feeling I never expected. I’ll be honest. I can’t explain what I feel.

Perhaps it is the feeling that time is fleeting. Perhaps it is the feeling that four years flashed in the blink of an eye. Perhaps it is the feeling that my second will receive the same care and attention that make my first child so sweet and loving. I’m really not sure.

I only know that I stored those clothes in an effort to save myself money and in some strange way, on a completely unexpected level, I gained so much more.

2 thoughts on “Hand-Me-Downs: Is It Worth Keeping Baby Clothes?”

  1. That’s so cute. I saved all my oldest girl’s clothes, and my second daughter was born almost two years later to the day. I got a ton of use out of the clothes, and it is a treat to see pictures of them wearing the same clothes. My younger daughter is a peanut, so I’ll be getting a lot of use out of the clothes. She is 2.5 years old but still fits in almost all her 18 month clothes!

  2. That’s crazy! My 6 month old is wearing 18 month sizes and your 2.5 year old is wearing the same size. Isn’t it funny how different children are?


Leave a Comment