Our son is thirteen months old now, and I’m not sure if we’ll have another baby soon. Should I keep old baby clothes for our next child? If so, which ones should I keep?
So Much Baby Stuff
Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff in our house. This feeling always seems to happen around the holidays. The weather is cold, and we spend a lot more time indoors. The more I stay home, the more I become aware of our limited space. Christmas is coming, which means a ton of new stuff will arrive from generous parents and grandparents.
Yesterday I ventured into the haven of plastic containers, otherwise known as my basement. I started digging through all of the baby stuff, and there is a ridiculous amount of it. I sorted through the bins trying to decide what we might not need anymore.
Among the boxes, I found clothes, equipment, and toys my son has outgrown. I also found toys, clothes, and equipment he hasn’t grown into. My brother provided us with boxes of toys and clothing that my son might not use for the next two, three, or even four years. I hate to get rid of these items, but for now, they take up a tremendous amount of space in the basement.
What Baby Stuff Should I Keep?
I’m not sure what to do about all of this stuff. What baby stuff should I keep?
It seems silly to hold onto a bunch of baby clothes our son has outgrown. If we have another child, we don’t know if it will be another boy, and we don’t know if they will be born at the same time of year or be the same size as our first.
Our son wore a lot of warm weather items between 3 and 6 months. What if the next child needs short-sleeved summer clothes during that same time?
Also, I’m not sure how many older toys to keep. Does it make sense to keep boxes of toys in our basement for three to four years while I wait for my son to grow into them?
I don’t want to waste money, and it doesn’t make sense to buy everything all over again, but I also don’t want to keep moving boxes around and juggling containers of stuff we aren’t using regularly. The fall is a perfect time of year to donate items to children who may be in need.
So what should I keep for our next child?
Saving Baby Clothes for Our Next Child
I’ve thought about the question for a few days now, and here’s what I decided to do. First, I sorted through my son’s clothing. I picked out the baby clothes that were stained or defective. The items with holes and tears were easy to discard.
Then I sorted through the items in good condition. I picked out my favorite items, the little sleeper with frog feet, the long-sleeved shirt with pastel striped sleeves, and the super-soft dog sweatshirt with silky ears. I placed them into the keep pile, but I knew I couldn’t continue keeping everything.
The Easiest Way to Store Baby Clothes for Our Next Child
I didn’t have the space for all those baby clothes, so I found three empty plastic bins and labeled each one. They read 0-3, 6-9, and 9-12 months.
All of my favorite items went into the bin first. Then I decided I could fill the container with the rest of the stuff I wanted to keep, but I couldn’t hang onto anything extra. Once I filled the bin to the brim, I had to donate everything else.
So I made a second pass through the baby clothes, picked out my second favorites, and repeated this process until the bins were full.
I should point out that my little one wears a lot of gender-neutral clothing at this point. During the first year of his life, he wore greens, yellows, blues, yellows, and whites. A boy or girl can wear this clothing, but I would still save a small bin for each age range, even if it weren’t.
If your child is older, you can sort the clothes by season, and I would suggest separating them by winter, summer, spring, and fall. You can also create separate boxes for items like bibs, shoes, coats, jackets, and sleepers.
Setting a Time Limit
I’ve also set a time limit for myself, and I’ll donate everything remaining if I don’t get pregnant or have a child within four years. Saving baby clothes for the next child seems wise, but it’s not always easy to figure out what to keep or how long to keep them. It’s time to think carefully about all that baby stuff before purging or donating any of it.
Saving Baby Equipment and Toys
Clothing doesn’t take up much room, but what about all the baby equipment and toys that come with our adorable little tike?
I plan to store most of my son’s baby equipment and a few of his favorite toys. Our house does not have a lot of storage space for items not packed tightly in boxes (our basement gets ridiculously dusty), but we have a few places where we can keep unwanted baby items out of sight.
Eventually, I will save my son’s baby swing, high chair, and bouncy seat so we won’t need to buy new ones a few years later. Those big-ticket items are too big to repurchase a few years into the future.
I plan to sell a few bigger pieces of equipment like the activity center my son rarely uses or the jumperoo he played with for precisely three weeks. I may also get rid of his stroller just because I’ve never really loved it.
If you don’t have enough room for all this baby stuff, consider taking some things apart. If you have the original instruction manual, you can disassemble the equipment. Make sure you place the screws in a plastic bag. Then tape that bag directly onto the equipment, so it doesn’t get lost.
How Much Space Do I Have?
Before deciding how much you want to save, you must look around your storage space. At this point, we have a large basement with plenty of room to store rows of plastic bins. While this may seem like a good thing, I’m not so sure it is.
With a ton of space available, I could throw everything into our basement, but I’m already overwhelmed by the mass quantity of stuff that comes with having a baby. I’ve decided I need to sort through the piles and pare down the sheer quantity of baby stuff rather than just stowing it away.
Letting Go Is Hard to Do
Letting go of childhood toys, clothes, and memorabilia isn’t easy. As I prepare a bag for donation, I struggle to place the tiny sleepers and onesies inside of it. All those memories of morning grins and smiles are so vivid in my mind.
As I say goodbye to all this baby stuff, I am also saying goodbye to my son’s infancy and moving on to the toddler phase of his life. The process is more emotional than I thought it would be, because I’m emotionally attached to this baby stuff.
It is a reminder that this time passes quickly and that I should enjoy each moment to the best of my abilities.
Saving Baby Stuff for Your Next Child
I’m sure there are a lot of parents out there who can weigh in on this topic. Did you keep your baby’s clothes, toys, and equipment, or did you decide to donate what you had on hand and buy new if and when the time came? What did you choose to keep? Was it challenging to let it go?