The mysterious power of baby clothes

I’ve always thought of myself as a mother who isn’t really that in to babies. I look forward to my children being an age where we can climb hills together, make flapjacks, and really talk about ‘stuff’. For me, babyhood has always been a means to an end.

The one exception to this seemingly complete lack of emotion relating to babies is when, for whatever reason, I open the trunk where I keep my daughters’ baby clothes.

It’s the sight, the smell, the feel of these tiny pieces of clothing. My senses are stimulated and somehow I’m transported back to a time when my children were much smaller versions of their current selves.

On doing so I’m flooded with feelings I find hard to explain. It’s the sight, the smell, the feel of these tiny pieces of clothing. My senses are stimulated and somehow I’m transported back to a time when my children were much smaller versions of their current selves.

kleine baby strampler auf der wäscheleine im schaufenster

It’s like a surge of nostalgia. The memories are vague but all quite pleasant, probably because I somehow seem to have edited out any recollection of the crying and the constant puking and poo explosions that really defined this period in my life.

So what is it about these miniature pieces of clothing that gets me feeling all gooey inside? That takes my breath away and makes my heart skip a beat.

Maybe it’s because, though my babies have changed so much, these clothes are exactly the same. They haven’t changed one bit. Every fibre, every stich, every button, every pleat – it’s the only constant in a world that is continually growing and changing. It’s the link back to a not-so-long-ago past when my babies were born.

As I sift through the clothes, somewhere in a dark, primitive, and totally insane, part of my brain I have this overwhelming urge to continue to spawn more offspring.

And the reason? The only reason? (Note I omit the word logical.) So I can use those baby clothes just one more time. Hmmmm…scary.

 As I sift through the clothes, somewhere in a dark, primitive, and totally insane, part of my brain I have this overwhelming urge to continue to spawn more offspring.

My babies have grown – they’re now rambunctious, rowdy, cheeky and hilarious three and five year olds. That they were ever small enough to fit into these minute items is flabbergasting – and yet I know they did.

I know that one day I’ll feel the same about their current clothes as I do now about their baby clothes. Compared to their newborn baby grows their current clothes look enormous. But let’s face it – they are still pretty tiny and cute compared to whatever they’ll be wearing as gangly teenagers.

As time passes I put more and more of the clothes that they’ve outgrown into the trunk. It’s so full now I have to sit on the lid to shut it, and I worry that before long the hinges will give way. Decision time is coming I fear.

But what should we do with outgrown clothes? It’s simply not practical to keep them all forever.

Of course, if there is even the remotest chance of you having another baby then hang on to them. Surely there’s nothing worse than going out and rebuying something that you gave away only months before. Even if the next baby turns out to be a different gender from previous ones there’s bound to be some stuff that still works……or you can just dye it.

Once you know there’s not a snowflake’s chance in hell of you having any more babies then it really is time to start thinking about moving some of those clothes on. It seems to me there are a few options.

Keep

 You are always going to want to keep some of those most treasured items – as keepsakes, for future grandchildren or simply because you just can’t let go of them all. I know my weaknesses and that this is where I’m likely to err – I’m a hoarder by nature and I can see the ‘keep’ pile towering over any other.

Give

Giving clothes away to friends and family, at least those that will appreciate them, can be really satisfying. Parents seem to particularly appreciate hand-me-downs when given thoughtfully chosen pieces for the right season or age of their child.

Exchange

You can exchange bundles of clothes with fellow parents through companies like Relike (www.relike.co.uk). At Relike you can buy good quality bundles of second hand clothes for your children. What is even better is that you can earn credits by listing and selling your own bundles of outgrown clothes.

Sell

If you want to recoup some of the money you spent buying your children’s clothes you might consider selling some of them. You can do this through thrift shops or consignment shops. Alternatively websites like ebay make it possible to sell to other parents on the internet.

Donate

Finally, for the clothes that are left, there is always the option of donating them to charity. This brings the benefit of knowing someone else will have the chance to buy and wear those clothes for a great price, and you raise a bit of money for charity at the same time. Happy days!

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