Clearing out our old baby gear is making me cry

Family life

The Jumperoo was the first thing to go. Via Gumtree. I don’t think I will ever forget its theme tune, or the excitement on all three of my children’s faces as they jumped around in it. But it’s been a while since any of them fitted in it and it’s not exactly a small thing to store.

Next it was the baby car seat, which all three of my children travelled home from hospital in, looking oh so tiny and perfect. It’s gone to a friend who had a surprise pregnancy after getting rid of all their own baby stuff. I felt so sad when it left the house that no more of my babies would get to sit in it.

Nine pairs of Little Miss E’s shoes have found new homes via eBay, with several more pairs ready to be listed. Not her first pair though, I wouldn’t dream of parting with those teeny little pink size 2Es. The Peppa Pig wellingtons she was obsessed with when she was two are now adorning the feet of another little girl who lives down the road. The happy nappies and wet suits they wore to their baby swimming classes are enjoying themselves in other swimming pools. Well, the ones that were worth selling, anyway. Some of them needed to be binned after being well-worn by three children.

Toys they no longer play are starting to be sold, or given to charity shops or friends with children younger than ours. Aside from the ones I can’t bear to part with, that is, which are boxed up in the attic with the dream that one day my children’s children will play with them.

I’ve kept pretty much everything my children have worn, played with or slept in. That’s just the kind of person I am. Luckily, we have a good-sized attic – but even I can see the mountain of stuff is getting too big and I don’t want to be a candidate for one of those programmes about extreme hoarders.

We never found out in any of our pregnancies whether we were expecting boys or girls, so we held on to all of it because after Miss E and Little Man we always planned for there to be another, and we didn’t know what we’d need and what we wouldn’t.

But now…. yes, now, my baby days are over. After much thought, our third baby is our last. And now that he’s approaching the 22-month mark, the time has come to clear out the baby stuff we no longer need.

Selling my baby gear is making me cry Collage

All of Little Man O’s clothes are being re-worn by his younger brother Toddler Boy I. But as he outgrows each size, I can feel the tears in my eyes as I pack it all away, knowing that’s it. It makes me just as sad that no one in our little family will wear Little Miss E’s clothes again. I still get pangs of longing for another baby – I think I am just one of those eternally broody people. But deep down, I know our little family is complete (barring any happy accidents, of course!). Deep down I know I’m lucky my children are growing healthily and I’m in the position to be able to pass on their old stuff.

And so the big sort out has started. Some of my children’s favourite clothes have already been made into beautiful patchwork memory bears, which sit proudly in each of their bedrooms. There are a few extra special outfits I’ve kept in their memory boxes, because I always want to be able to see how small they were. But the rest of it…. ah, the rest of it…. is in the process of going.

I’m taking it slowly. A few things at a time on eBay, Gumtree, and various local selling sites on Facebook. Some of it is going to charity shops or clothing appeals for those in need.

There are so many memories steeped in all these clothes, toys, books and baby equipment. I know a lot of people don’t feel this kind of attachment, and I know some of my friends laugh at me for how sentimental I am, but that’s just me. I’m sure I’m not the only one!

Simply looking at certain outfits brings the emotions flooding back. I can vividly see what my children were doing when they were wearing them. It’s the size of the clothes that gets me most though. “Wow, I can’t believe they were once small enough to wear this.” is the phrase that I keep repeating in my mind. I know everyone says it, but time really does fly by when it comes to children. I can scarcely believe my daughter, who needed tiny baby clothes when she was born weighing 6lb 6oz, is now six years old and two-thirds of my height. (It’s not hard, I’m very short!). And each time Toddler wears hand-me-downs from Little Man O, I look at my big boy and wonder where the time has gone since I was dressing him in these same outfits.

But as attached as I am, I know it’s pointless it all sitting in the attic gathering dust. Such lovely clothes and toys deserve to be appreciated once more.

The big plus side from this clear out is that I’ve started a special savings account for the money we’re making from our sales – and it’s growing quite nicely.

I’m hoping we’ll soon have enough for a family holiday somewhere exciting. I’m sad about the memories I’m giving away with all of this baby gear – but what could be more fitting than using the proceeds for an opportunity to create even more happy family memories in our future?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels so sad about passing on their old baby gear?! Do let me know in the comments section below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy

For more of my blog posts on parenting, see the Family Life section of my blog.

Selling my baby gear is making me cry Collage with text


16 Comments to Clearing out our old baby gear is making me cry

  1. I feel exactly the same way. Everytime my babies grow out of their clothes I feel really sad putting it all in bags knowing that they will never wear them again.

  2. I’m going through the same thing. My daughter’s clothes get passed to a friend’s little girl and my 18 month old son’s clothes go to another new baby in the family. He has just moved into a forward facing car seat so I feel that aside from the Phil and Teds pushchair, that and the jumperoo in the attic will be the last few items of official baby clobber, boo!
    Going to have that rainforest jingle in my head now. Good memories 🙂

  3. The L's Mum

    Aw it’s quite therapeutic to clear things and get them to loving new homes but like you say some things you just have to hold on to. I have kept everything because we want more children but the moment I know we are complete I will definitely be handing things out to friends and families and charity shops.

  4. I’m the same! I’ve been sorting through my little one’s clothes to see what can be used for the new baby. The answer is not a lot, as they are babies from opposite seasons. I keep crying when I see how small my chunky toddler once was, those tiny baby size clothes! This is my last baby, and I’ve promised myself I’ll get rid of the clothes and the toys as we go along, instead of hoarding it. I’m so sentimental about baby stuff though, I’ll probably still end up with a loft full!

  5. You are totally not alone. I just sold off a huge bundle of baby clothes and it was horrible seeing them.go but what good would they be to me if I kept them? Yes, maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to have grandchildren but I am not keeping all the baby clothes for 30 years or so on the off chance.

  6. We are currently sorting our teens rooms and having a sort out – even at their age i feel the same as when they was little and we passed things down to younger family members, it’s horrible to see them go but atleast we know they have gone to good homes.

  7. I’m dreading doing this. E has now grown out of his first lot of clothes and I’ve put them all in a bag but not taken the step to get rid yet. It’s so hard!

  8. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    Aww I can imagine it’s really hard, I need to sort Boo’s stuff out – I haven’t had the heart too yet – but we need the space and the money would be nice – I love the idea of a savings account for a family holiday

  9. We were in pretty much the same situation as you 18-24 months ago. Actually, even a bit longer ago than that as we always knew we would stop after Kara was born, so we had been offloading baby clothes and toys since she was about six months old. The process continues now: clothes, toys, the Little Tikes Ezy Coupe, it never ends. There are some items that it’s really hard to say goodbye to, particularly toys that have served all three children and provided so many memories. I’m not sure you ever get used to it, to be honest. But then I am a bit of a sappy soul!

  10. Oh definitely! A lot of the tiny things were borrowed so I knew I had to return those but it’s hard to pass them on when they’re so incredibly little. Fortunately I have a nephew and niece to give my daughter’s old things to so I can see some being re worn.

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