Secondhand clothes have a bad reputation. Many people immediately envisage worn out, musty jeans, or jumpers starting to unravel. And when you think back to your own ‘difficult’ years, frequenting thrift stores and the like, looking for whatever counter-culture clothing statement seemed important at the time, you may recoil in horror when somebody offers to give you a bag of used clothes for your precious new baby.
If this is your first baby, rest assured that this is normal. In fact, in a few months, you’ll probably be passing on your baby’s used clothes to someone else too, and wondering what all the fuss is about! Believe me, any chance you have to acquire cheap baby clothes should be embraced.
What babies need
You see, as parents, we become a little too socks distracted by all the cute, adorable outfits available. It takes some time to adjust to the notion that babies’ clothing requirements are different to those of adults. They need to be kept warm and comfortable of course, but they also get a little messy throughout the day, and need to be changed frequently so that they can stay dry.
Soon you’ll discover that having only a few nice outfits becomes impractical. Unless you love washing clothes, you’ll learn that it’s a good idea to have a few clean sets of bodysuits, sleepers and bibs to hand at all times. You’ll also find that babies grow very quickly in the first year, so their wardrobe will constantly need to be replenished.
Add these factors together, and what do you have? Bags upon bags of clothes that were only worn for short periods of time, and are now too small for your baby. In other words, bags of clothes in great condition that are only taking up space!
What’s in it for you?
Now you can see why you might want to pass your used baby clothes on. Unless you’re planning to hang on to them for your next baby, they’re just collecting dust. They’re in too good condition to simply pile them into landfill. And your sister or best friend is expecting their first baby too: you know they’re going to need a whole bunch of baby clothes. You can help, and everyone is a winner!
What’s in it for them?
So you’ve offloaded your used baby clothes, but is it a one-sided deal? If the clothes are clean, and genuinely in good condition, then yes, rest assured that you’ve done a good thing. There are many important things to buy for a new baby, and some things (like car seats and cribs) can be quite expensive. Any savings that can be made will help, and giving a gift of baby clothes is one way to achieve this.
Nobody to give to?
Of course, it’s possible you may not have somebody in your immediate circle you can give your used baby clothes to. If that’s the case, decide whether you want to help out a stranger, or make a few bucks.
The first option is easy: look up your local FreeCycle or CraigsList on Google, and post a free ad offering bags of used baby clothes for free to whoever can collect them. You’ll have no shortage of responses!