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Who Wants My Hand-Me-Downs?!

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Momlogic's Jenny: Every time I open the garage door, I'm overcome with shock: How can one 13-month-old have so much sh*t?!

mom at door with hand me downs

Before my son was born, my family and friends threw me an amazing bridal shower. I, er, the baby got so many wonderful gifts. I thought the kid was set for life. But soon after he was born, people with older babies, started to show up on our doorstep with bags, trunks, literally LOADS of stuff that their sons were no longer using. "There's a ton of stuff in there," they would say, "Some of it (insert kid's name here) never wore because the seasons were off. But you might get a lot of use out of it." Suddenly, my newborn son had a wardrobe that could keep him clothed until he was 18 years old ... if we lived in the Arctic.

Of course I appreciate the generosity of my friends, and certainly did make use out of stuff like pajamas and cotton pull-on pants that my son seemed to grow out of every day. But some of the stuff we were given (especially the stuff that had spit or food stains on it), seemed like we were getting hand-me-downed hand-me-downs!!! (If your kid never wore these hideous overalls, why would mine??) Was this just a chance for my friends to unload their garbage and make room in their own garages???

On top of it, I'm still not sure if the item(s) we're being given, are expected to be returned ... Do they never want their walker back? Is the rain jacket ours to keep, or when you get pregnant again, do I have to return it? And now that I have a garage full of brand new stuff -- equipment, toys, and clothes -- that my son has outgrown, am I expected to bequeath it to my pregnant friends? Do I need to warn them that I want it back or let them know: "You can have all the sh*t in this pile. But the other pile of nice stuff, I want back."

Listen, don't get me wrong. The idea of sharing and using hand-me-downs, especially in these uncertain economic times, is fantastic. But I just wish there was a book I could read on the etiquette of hand-me-downs. Of course, I won't be able to lend you the book ... I may need it again ...

Any advice for moms on "hand-me-down etiquette"? Tell us in our momlogic community!

AND Do you have stuff that your child has outgrown? Check out a great new site called It's the ultimate resource for moms to buy, sell, give away for free or donate their gently used items!

next: Moms: Get a Third Opinion!
3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sara November 9, 2008, 9:20 PM

I had a really hard time with this I think it is universal. I would ask as they were giving it to me if they wanted any of it back or if it would be okay to pass it on again to a different new mom. Most people would say they wanted the big expensive stuff back but they didn’t really care about the clothes. As for the stained stuff trash it, if you don’t want it neither will anyone else.

Anonymous November 10, 2008, 10:58 AM

I give it all to friends with no thought of return- even the expensive stuff. I tell them that my wish is that they pass it on to others after they have a turn. It makes for a better world to help eachother out.

birdsfly November 10, 2008, 4:53 PM

I think it’s kind of rude for anyone to assume that they would get those things back. A new mom doesn’t have enough things to worry about without keeping track of who gave what to be returned at some nebulous date in the future?

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