As you probably know, already I am generally not a fan of stuff taking over my space, and even less a fan of waste and consumerist culture. However, having a baby can destroy principles remarkably easily and fill your life with short-lived garments and broken shards of plastic. This makes generosity and thrifting all the more important. It also saves you a lot of money.
Now I want to make clear that I am not an extreme minimalist (although it is tempting sometimes): we have kept a large number of useful, somewhat gender-neutral clothing for any future children. We do not haphazardly throw everything away, but we do think carefully about what we keep and try not to get emotional about every teeny tiny onesie Cub might ever have worn!
One amazing friend recently passed on a huge box of clothing in the perfect age ranges. We worked our way through, organised it into age ranges, and what was really useful (however adorable a little 12month old summer dress sadly won’t be suitable for Cub when she’s a year old because it’ll be mid-winter). It was an incredible act of generosity and we hope to pay them back in kind by sewing a few pieces for their lovely daughter. This gift also helped them as, in the process of moving, they cleared stuff out of their own space.
Pieces that we have already grown out of we had been cleaning and folding for a little while, and with a small amount of what was given to us, we were able to donate it. We decided to pass it onto our church who often make up new baby hampers, but who also create food parcels for people in need. By passing on these clothes, we can hopefully assist those who might really be struggling with the large costs that come with a child.
I would really recommend doing the same: you share in the memories of other families (remembering where their child wore something special when they see your bundle of joy wearing it too), you share property that otherwise would have gained dust and used space, and you eventually pass on thing to start the cycle again. Baby clothes specifically are worn so few times, they can often be worn again and again over many children without showing the least bit of real wear and tear. Secondhand may not be popular in the modern world (unless termed “vintage”) but personally I love this level of fashion – no-one can deny how cute Cub is in her new threads!