Author Topic: S/O baby clothes  (Read 6490 times)

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Syrse

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S/O baby clothes
« on: February 10, 2013, 05:51:58 PM »
The other topic got me thinking: exactly what would be considered proper etiquette in this dance?

I always thought, baby things being expensive as they are, that it is very normal to pass them around to help people out. I also am of the belief that you do not ever sell a gift, rather you donate it or give it away. But it seems that there are very different views around, so I was wondering which one was the 'right' one.

A few examples from my social circle:
- Our little girl is about 4 months old, and we are already in the process of passing along the clothes she has grown out of. I am not expecting these back. The pregnant friend I am passing them to always makes a point of thanking me, but also to promise me to give them back. I usually make an off-hand remark that we'll see who the next baby is and then she can just pass them that way, but it surprises me that she feels obligated to return to me every single thing. Surely accidents will happen, things will get worn out, and I don't expect her to be able to tell in half a year which one she got from whom.

- I bought a baby gift for a (former) friend, lets say friend D. Friend D was in a rough spot at the time, single mom, and she got a lot of help, from all over.
A few years later somebody else in that social circle was pregnant, and when the new mom was freaking out a bit about all the stuff she'd need,  the remark was made, jokingly, that friend D could probably pass on some stuff. Friend D looked at us as if we'd grown two heads, and said 'oh no way, I sold it all'. She didn't seem to get why she got a lot of weird looks all of a sudden.
I realize you lose all rights to a given gift, but honestly? Selling every single toy, every piece of clothing? It's not like she was still having a rough time, and after all the help she got, the least she could do, in my opinion, was pay it forward.

- My little bundle's great-grandmother reacted very upset when she realized I am passing along clothes to a friend. And now of course I feel guilty. But I honestly do not see how keeping clothes that are way too small around forever, when you could help someone else with them.

Some thoughts would be appreciated  :)

siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 06:04:48 PM »
While I don't have kids, I think some of this this sort of goes along the same lines of "regular" gifts.

Once something is gifted to you, its yours to do with what you want.  So while you may not think its the right thing to do if someone sells a gift, there really isn't much you can do or say. in the second instance, the mom was given things for her baby, and later sold them after she was done with them. Which was her right. yes, she could have given them away, but she didn't.

As far as giving clothes away, I know if I had kids, I'd certainly give them to someone else who might be able to use them, and not expect them back. and if someone chose to give somehting I had given someone for their baby to someone else, once the child outgrew it, I'm practical, so as long as the giftee was able to wear it, great, and now someone else can use it.



 

Sharnita

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 06:09:15 PM »
I don't think there is any one 'right" answer.

I don't particularly see selling clothes/baby stuff second hand that much less righteous.  It gives some people the opportunity to get stuff that they might not be able to afford otherwise.  Those people might not be in your circle but I am not sure how important that is/should be.

As far as keeping clothes v. giving them away, I think that can depend too.  are there other people in the family looking forward to having kids?  Was greart-granmother thinking these items would be shared among the grandchildren rathern than be passed outside the family?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 06:12:00 PM »
I don't think D did anything wrong.  Sure, it would have been nice if she'd kept stuff to pass on but some people just like to keep the house cleared out.  I certainly wouldn't have wanted to keep stuff 'for a few years' on the off chance one of my friends might need/want it.

In the case of clothes, I wouldn't expect those back.  It would be too hard to keep track and stuff gets worn out.  If there was a special Christmas or party dress that was easy to identify, I might ask for that back for the next one or to pass on to someone else.  Larger articles, like swings and high chairs and portable cribs, I would expect to be returned unless otherwise instructed.  (As long as they don't have expiry dates.)

When my oldest nephew was born, my parents had a wooden cradle handmade for him.  That cradle has been passed around to many people and is currently sitting in my spare room at my house, to be passed on again.  All of my brother's and my friends are past the stage of having kids so its next use might be for one of my nephew's kids a few years down the line.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 06:19:32 PM »
I agree that baby equipment (Pack N' Plays, high chairs, swings, strollers, etc.) are different from clothing.  Most equipment can hold up easily through at least two and sometimes three or even more children depending on how 'hard' a particular given child is on that piece of equipment.  If it's still usable and in good condition, I think the person who passed it on SHOULD be asked if they'd like to have it back or if there's someone else they'd like to see it offered to.

But clothes, unless it's something special, just rarely make it through more than a couple of kids.  The only exceptions might be if the new parents also got lots of brand new stuff for their baby and so nothing got worn more than two or three times.  Then maybe clothes could even be returned.

But generally speaking, I think baby clothes and baby equipment are two different things with different expectations as to what will be returned to the person who gave/loaned it and what will be passed on or thrown away.

delabela

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 06:22:11 PM »
I think I said in the other thread, passing baby items along is very normal in my circle (we have several things - clothes and other items - that have been through several babies and circled back to us).  I think it's actually kind of fun to see how different babies like different things, or see my friend's baby in an item of clothing I loved but my kids have outgrown.

As for selling gifts, I agree with Sharnita.  My take on it is that baby items are incredibly expensive, and the city I live in has several great second-hand shops.  By selling baby items I have no use for and can't pass on I'm helping participate in an economy that offers quality items at a reasonable price.  Now, I wouldn't sell anything handmade, or that had a special meaning to me or the gifter.  But a pack-n-play or a pair of jeans?  Sure.  For the record, I have donated a fair amount also. 

GratefulMaria

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 06:26:36 PM »
Sounds as though the gifts to former friend D were above and beyond typical gift-giving due to her circumstances at the time.  And that, maybe, what bothered people wasn't so much that she wasn't passing along the items themselves, but the generosity?  I mean, I wouldn't have hung onto the baby items, either, but probably would have said something more reassuring about helping the current MTB.

I think YMMV in all the situations.  I've been lucky with my circles of friends and had good outcomes with gifted, loaned, and donated baby items.  It just took everyone being clear and considerate.  Again, lucky.

bonyk

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 06:39:33 PM »
- My little bundle's great-grandmother reacted very upset when she realized I am passing along clothes to a friend. And now of course I feel guilty. But I honestly do not see how keeping clothes that are way too small around forever, when you could help someone else with them.

Maybe great-grandma is hoping you'll have more babies to wear the clothes she gave?

Sharnita

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 06:45:36 PM »
- My little bundle's great-grandmother reacted very upset when she realized I am passing along clothes to a friend. And now of course I feel guilty. But I honestly do not see how keeping clothes that are way too small around forever, when you could help someone else with them.

Maybe great-grandma is hoping you'll have more babies to wear the clothes she gave?

Or siblings, cousins would?

NyaChan

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 07:06:51 PM »
If someone gave me a gift and then later casually suggested in public that I would be giving that item to someone else, I'd look at them like they had two heads too.  It isn't as if you gave her items as a loan right? You gave her a gift, it is hers to do with as she wants. 

I don't think there is a wrong way to handle keeping, selling, or passing things on, but the important thing is that people should be clear when handing over items whether they are giving a gift or a loan with strings attached.

Bluenomi

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 07:31:36 PM »
If I'm loaning someone clothes or they are loaning them to me, it is always expected they are to be given back. Most of us have put our surnames on the tags so you know who it goes back to afterwards.

If I'm given something or I give something and don't want to back, it is upto the person to do whatever they like with it. Keep it, donate it, pass it on or sell it. It just needs to be made clear when the items are handed over if they are being given or loaned.

I know people who make a fortune selling baby clothes. They love pricey stuff so can justify it by selling it once when they are done. There is a huge market for it.

Peregrine

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 07:33:14 PM »
As far as selling gifted items of baby gear/clothing, why in the world not?  If you know you aren't going to use them again, why not recoup some of the value and put it towards the next size/developmentally appropriate thing?

Granted, I have boxes upon boxes of baby clothes and gear.  But my sister is planning to start a family within the year, so much of the stuff I bought with the intention that I would use it again myself (looking unlikely due to a health problem  :'() or pass it along to a family member.  However, if it is an item that is absolutely not going to get used again, I will trade it in at my local kids consignment shop and let some other Mama enjoy the cute little outfits for her kiddo while I get some new ones in a bigger size for my kiddo.

If the item was handmade specifically for my child, I would keep those and ask if the giver wanted me to pass them along to another baby.

LadyR

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 07:39:04 PM »

- My little bundle's great-grandmother reacted very upset when she realized I am passing along clothes to a friend. And now of course I feel guilty. But I honestly do not see how keeping clothes that are way too small around forever, when you could help someone else with them.

I have put aside special outfits that have special meaning for me and DS#1 and once my boys are both bigger and I start purging, I'll keep one container of favourites that have special memories.


doodlemor

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 08:22:52 PM »

I have put aside special outfits that have special meaning for me and DS#1 and once my boys are both bigger and I start purging, I'll keep one container of favourites that have special memories.

Absolutely, you need to do this.  I saved a few special outfits from both of my babies, and it really warms my heart to get them out every now and then and look at them.  My babies are 34 and 30 this year.

I saved a little outfit that my son had his picture taken in when he was 3 months old, and we got his son's picture taken in the same outfit also on the day that he was 3 months old.  We have the pictures side by side, and see a great resemblance.

Our little grand daughter enjoys playing with a little bunny fur dolly muff that her mother had at the same age. 

Your children will be grown up before you know it.  Save a few mementos.

kudeebee

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Re: S/O baby clothes
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 09:57:50 PM »
I think that once you pass along clothes or items, unless you specifically state that you want them back, you can not tell the person you are giving them to what to do with them once they are done using them.  While it is nice that in your social circle items are passed around, it is not always true for other social circles, or even families! 

It was nice that you all helped D out when she was in need.  But, it is now years later, and she sold the items rather than hanging on to them on the odd chance that she could pass them on.  maybe she needed the money to buy other clothes/items for her child.  Maybe she just doesn't want clutter.  maybe no one else in your group has had a baby for awhile and thus there was noone to pass them on to when she was done with them.  I think it is unfair to judge her for what she did with items that were given to her and were not asked to be returned.

it also isn't wrong for someone in your social group to hold on to clothes/items if they are planning to have other children.  Maybe grandma was thinking of all the nice clothes that you had and how they could be used for the next baby you might have.