Our son is thirteen months old now and I’m not certain if we’ll have another baby anytime soon. I’m considering saving baby clothes for our next child, but I’m not sure what to keep for a second baby. Have you wrestled with this same decision? Here are a few thoughts on what baby stuff I should keep.
So Much Baby Stuff
Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff in our house. This 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. 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 that my son has outgrown. I also found toys, clothes, and equipment he hasn’t grown into yet. 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 on to a bunch of baby clothes that our son has outgrown. If we do have another child we don’t know if it will be another boy and we don’t know if he or she 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 frame?
Also, I’m not sure how many of the older toys I should hold onto. 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 the money. 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. This is a particularly good 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
Keeping clothes for our next baby seems like a good idea, but what exactly should I keep?
Here’s what I’ve decided to do. First, I sorted through my son’s clothing. I picked out all of the baby clothes that were stained or defective. The clothing with holes and tears were easy to part with first.
Then 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 keep everything.
I simply don’t have the space for it, 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 bin with the rest of the stuff I wanted to keep, but I couldn’t save anything extra. Once the bin was filled to the brim I had to donate everything else.
So I made a second pass through the baby clothes and picked out my second favorites and repeated this process until the bins were full.
I should point out that my son wears a lot of gender-neutral clothing at this point. The first year of his life has been filled with greens, yellows, blues, yellows, and whites. This clothing can be worn by a boy or girl, but I would still save a small bin for each age range even if it wasn’t.
If your child is older you can sort the clothes by season. 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. If I don’t get pregnant or have a child within four years I’ll donate everything that’s left. Saving baby clothes for the next child seems like a wise idea, but it’s not always easy to figure out what to keep or how long to keep it. It’s time to think carefully about all of that baby stuff before purging or donating any of it.
Saving Baby Equipment and Toys
Clothing doesn’t take up a ton of room, but what about all of the baby equipment and toys that come with our adorable little tike?
I plan to store the majority 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 that are not packed tightly in boxes, (our basement gets ridiculously dusty), but we do 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 that we won’t need to buy new ones a few years from now. Those big-ticket items are too big to buy again 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 exactly three weeks. I may also get rid of his stroller just because I’ve never really loved it.
If you don’t have a ton of room for all of 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 you can decide how much you want to save you need to look around at 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
I must admit that it’s difficult to part with my son’s adorable baby items. As I prepare a bag for donation I struggle to place the tiny sleepers and onesies inside of it. All of those memories of morning grins and smiles are so vivid in my mind.
As I say goodbye to all of 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.
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 a lot of 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 decide to keep? Was it difficult to let it go?
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- Creating a Baby Registry: How to Get Friends and Family Members to Buy What You Want