5 Things to Do With Old Baby Clothes
Many moms are familiar with the phrase "babies don't keep." One day they're swimming in a newborn size onesie, then you blink and suddenly they're outgrowing every outfit, pulling themselves to stand, and developing their own unique personality. As your little one sizes up, it's so tempting to hold onto every sweet piece of clothing in hopes of holding onto the memories it brings. On the other hand, babies outgrow a LOT of clothing in their first couple years, and as the drawers get fuller, it can also be tempting to toss everything in a box and drop it at the nearest thrift store for someone else to deal with. Luckily, with a little intention, there's a way to preserve the memories, be kind to the planet, and ensure you don't become a onesie horder. Here are five things you can do with old baby clothes when your kids outgrow them.
Save the Most Special Pieces
Take a cue from Joanna Gaines, and create a special keepsake bin for each child with your most cherished pieces. As they transition into the toddler years, choose just 10-15 items that are heirloom, hold special memories, or you'd like to see 20 years from now. Think coming home outfits, holiday outfits, or special family hand-me-downs. Place them in a durable bin, and before storing it somewhere safe, write a note to your child for them to read as an adult when they open the bin. As sappy as it sounds, your children will cherish these items if they become parents themselves one day - and you get to share special memories while they're still fresh in your mind.
Hand Them Down
Anything that's in good shape and unstained but not as special can easily be saved for your next child. If you don't have any more on the way, check with friends or family members who are expecting. If no one comes to mind, you can always check with local mom groups, churches, or even Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook. Chances are, someone would be happy to take it all off your hands.
If you don't have the bandwidth to find the right person to hand clothes down to or simply need to purge a lot of clothes at once, find a local charity that accepts donations. Thrift stores are fine, but see if a local church or women's shelter can take them first as many are often in great need of donations. Before dropping them off, make note of what you're donating if it's going to a non-profit so that you can write it off at tax time and ask for a receipt from the organization.
If you're crafty, favorite pieces that are lightly stained or damaged can be upcycled into new items! A few ideas:
- Cut squares from multiple clothing items with similar colors to make a baby quilt, blanket, or Christmas stocking.
- Cut the elastic waistband off a pair of stretchy pants and attach a bow or flower to make a headband.
- Create plush alphabet toys or stuffed animals with extra fabric.
- Make a bunting or banner with scraps of fabric to decorate for parties or to use as decor in a child's room or playroom.
- Make them into doll clothes
- Cut apart onesies and turn them into hats
For clothes that are beyond repair, they can find new life as other useful items. Knit and cotton clothing make for great cleaning rags, no matter how stained they are. You can even make reusable snack bags or drawstring travel bags out of old items!