Author Topic: Offering hand-me-downs  (Read 3195 times)

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checkitnice

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Offering hand-me-downs
« on: January 10, 2014, 09:40:32 PM »
My brother and STBSIL are having a very unexpected LO in a few months.  Yay!  She is not working, and while he has a decent job, babies are expensive.  My DS will be 7 months older than their DS.  As tends to happen with babies, I have a TON of clothes that he has outgrown.  By the time nephew is born my DS will have outgrown his swing and infant car seat as well.  I have offered all of this to them - my brother has said, "bring it on!" and his DF has seemed appreciative.  I don't want to be pushy though.  What is the etiquette of offering things like this?  Should I wait and see what she gets at her shower? 

Jones

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 09:54:53 PM »
We do this in my family all the time. Currently waiting for my sister to find out the sex of her soon to be baby before I offer my son's stuff (the 2 nieblings that came after him are girls so I still have a bunch of his stuff, though I gave some to two girls I knew in HS, their sons caught up to mine in size).

Ask if they want it now, since it's already been offered. If they have the space it'll probably be now, rather than later. It would be good to plan in case someone asks "What do you need still?"

gramma dishes

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 10:36:04 PM »
...    Should I wait and see what she gets at her shower?

I don't think you need to do that.  Let her know the kinds of things that you have that you'd like to give her.  Then if other people ask for shower suggestions (or if she completes a shower registry or wish list form) she'll be in a better position to know what she will really genuinely still need.

We were very grateful for all the clothes and other stuff we 'inherited' from my nieces and nephews after they'd outgrown them.  Even though we were okay financially, it still was nice not to have to buy everything new.

lilfox

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 10:51:23 PM »
I've been in the receiving and the offering side of hand me diens. When offering,  I didn't want to be pushy either, since some people prefer to have all-new stuff, and some are leery of hand me downs for whatever reason (fwiw, on a few occasions I have accepted bags of hand me downs only to find that stuff wasn't laundered or was so worn or stained as to be unusable, so I understand the possible reticence).

I also got offered a ton of stuff for each child and it was always framed as, "I have XYZ to give, would you like it?". If yes, then we arranged a hand-off time.  If not, no worries, the stuff would get offered to someone else or donated. In each case it was pretty casual.

Since your brother has already said they'd be happy to have the stuff, i think you could just send a txt/email or call and say hey, about those hand me downs, when should I deliver (or do you want to pick them up)?  Even if they get a lot of stuff at the shower, sometimes duplicates are very helpful (two car seats if there are two vehicles), and some things you can never have too many of anyway (onesies, burp clothes).


m2kbug

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 11:23:35 PM »
I have always handed everything over.  They can use what they want and give away the rest.  I LOVE hand-me-downs and have always appreciated the offer!  I have gotten a lot of hand-me-downs over the years, which I appreciate, even if I don't use all of them.  As long as your brother and SBSIL are happy to receive them, pack everything up and turn it over when you see each other.  They can use or not use what works for them and donate or give the items away to one of their friends.  Hopefully if they just don't really want or need the hand-me-downs, they'll tell you, so you can give the items away elsewhere and not flog them with stuff.  I hand everything over to my sister for her kids.  We see each other often enough or the cousins get together, I just place everything in a bag and hand it over or send it with the kids.  With some bigger items and with items like the swing and car seat, you might want to ask first before you go and pack them up in the car.  Clothes are pretty easy, but bikes and toy kitchens and baby swings are pretty bulky and they may not have a need or space. 

Bluenomi

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 11:56:35 PM »
Just let them know what you've got and see what they are interested in. We had a lot of stuff get passed around my friends and family and generally you'll hand over a bag (or bags) of stuff saying 'keep what you want and give back/pass on what you don't'.

Just make sure you are clear about any items you want back again and what you are happy to never see again.

cicero

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 01:09:10 AM »
Just let them know what you've got and see what they are interested in. We had a lot of stuff get passed around my friends and family and generally you'll hand over a bag (or bags) of stuff saying 'keep what you want and give back/pass on what you don't'.

Just make sure you are clear about any items you want back again and what you are happy to never see again.
Yes. This part is important. If you're going to want anything back then let them know.

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Lindee

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 01:49:37 AM »
Yes, letting them know if you'll want something back is very important. When my first child was due we were broke new immigrants with no family around so were grateful when someone we knew from a group we belonged to offered us an old wicker bassinet they didn't have a use for. 

My heart sunk when I saw what condition it was in, ("It is a little mouse chewed from being in the farm shed" is not what you want to hear after your husband has enthusiastically accepted their offer).  I actually wept when I saw it but needs must right? so I set to and cleaned, mended and painted it and sewed beautiful bright coloured linings for it and eventually after a lot of work  it looked really nice. So nice, that just before I had baby number two they wanted it back and were rather annoyed that I didn't include the mattress I'd bought and linings I'd made to go with it.

I don't know who got it as they weren't having any more children but I managed to buy a replacement just in time that looked good with my accessories.

m2kbug

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 08:15:54 AM »
There was a discussion about getting things back awhile ago.  When it comes to clothing and toys, you probably shouldn't loan them out if you expect them back, as they're too easily damaged/stained and lost.  If you don't care about it too much, that's fine.  My sister and I bounced some clothes back and forth, as we had more children, and some of the clothes just didn't survive.  If you have a really nice outfit you would like to have for another child in the future, you could let your brother borrow it for their one occasion and then they can give it back right away.  It's too hard to keep track of what belongs to whom over longer term.  I loaned out the bassinet, and the exersaucer went back and forth and got a lot of use.  They lost all the parts and pieces to the crib.  I was done having children at this point, and now I think this type of crib is considered unsafe, but be careful about loaning things because you may end up with an unusable piece of expensive furniture or equipment that you now have to go and replace.  It would be wise to be clear on what you want back, but also keep in mind, once it goes out the door, it may come back completely unusable. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 08:22:34 AM by m2kbug »

HGolightly

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2014, 08:26:00 AM »
I was lucky, when we announced we were expecting DD my SIL happened to be cleaning all of their baby stuff out. A few weeks later there was a van full of gear that we used. With this one, we are still using most of the stuff and only had to replace a few things due to age and wear and tear after three other kids having used it. I kept all of DD's clothes and haven't  passed them on just in case and plan to sell them if I need a different look for this one.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 09:29:56 AM »
First, decide what you would want back and how you would feel if you didn't get it back. If the answer is "not good" don't loan it out.

Then tell them what you have and ask what they would like. Also agree with them on disposal of items they quit using or never use. Do you want them to give the items back to you so you can donate for tax write off? Will you be ok to see the items in their garage sale or on ebay next year? Or feel odd if the cute outfit you gave them ends up being handed over to her neighbor?

My position was once I gave them to someone, they were no longer mine and they could use and dispose of them as they would like. But if you have a different position, please make it clear up front.

Oh, and really stained clothes I wouldn't pass on. A neighbor and I had a nice giggle over some of the "rags" her sister passed on to her. As she said, she could get better items at Goodwill for a quarter.

checkitnice

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 10:01:51 AM »
First, decide what you would want back and how you would feel if you didn't get it back. If the answer is "not good" don't loan it out.

Good point - we're not planning on having any more kids, but I will be sure to keep back any sentimental outfits.  As far as the clothes go, I would love for them to be passed on when they're done being used.  Stained clothes I have tossed out as I go - I hate receiving stuff like that and then feeling awkward about pitching other people's things.

They do know about the swing and have been sure to let people know that they don't need one.  It's the tricked out model that swings three different ways and reclines and yada yada yada, although I think we stopped short of the iPhone dock ;)

LadyR

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2014, 12:34:28 PM »
Yes, letting them know if you'll want something back is very important. When my first child was due we were broke new immigrants with no family around so were grateful when someone we knew from a group we belonged to offered us an old wicker bassinet they didn't have a use for. 

My heart sunk when I saw what condition it was in, ("It is a little mouse chewed from being in the farm shed" is not what you want to hear after your husband has enthusiastically accepted their offer).  I actually wept when I saw it but needs must right? so I set to and cleaned, mended and painted it and sewed beautiful bright coloured linings for it and eventually after a lot of work  it looked really nice. So nice, that just before I had baby number two they wanted it back and were rather annoyed that I didn't include the mattress I'd bought and linings I'd made to go with it.

I don't know who got it as they weren't having any more children but I managed to buy a replacement just in time that looked good with my accessories.

I think I would have politely said "I'm sorry, I'm still using it. I'll be happy to return it when I'm done with it." I hate to be uncharitable but I wonder if they saw how nice you made it and wanted to get money off of it by selling it?

To the OP, definitely keep back anything that you'd hate to see ruined/lost. I'd also mention it to your brother again and make arrangements for him to pick stuff up. Definitely do it before the shower though. My SIL had a lot of stuff leftover and she let me know early (she had a crib for us) and it was nice because I based my registry on what I already had. Did you ask your brother first, maybe that's why your SIL is a little taken aback? I know, I was the one creating all the baby lists etc and that DH didn't really know what we had/what we still needed.


amandaelizabeth

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 02:52:03 PM »
All our extended family children are in their late teens and early twenties now., and between them and close friends we seem to have managed a baby a year.  When they were young, clothes and equipment were passed around.  As many new parents do, many photos of the babies were taken.  Now at family gatherings they play that they call "follow the cardigan".  Photo albums are pored over and items of clothing are traced for wearer to wearer.  Great is the chagrin of someone who does not appear to have worn said item. 
They still pass around  clothes, and we have a series of sixth form ball photos featuring the same dress. 

Jocelyn

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Re: Offering hand-me-downs
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 06:39:24 PM »
As far as the clothes go, I would love for them to be passed on when they're done being used.  Stained clothes I have tossed out as I go - I hate receiving stuff like that and then feeling awkward about pitching other people's things.

That's why it's important to convey to the recipient that these are HER things now... and if a giver can't do that with a clear heart, she shouldn't give the item away (but save it as a keepsake). I'd say something like, 'Here's the box of stuff. I hope some of it is of use to you, but if you find something you can't use in this box, just pass it on to someone who can use it. I think everything in the box is useable, but if you find something that's damaged beyond use, feel free to toss it out or use it as a rag.'
When my niece was expecting her first son, I shopped the end-of-season sales for anything that would be in a likely size for him, up to 2 years old. She later said that it was wonderful to be able to have an outfit in size 9 months ready and waiting, when she put him into a size 6 months outfit and realized it was too tight for comfort, or to have a hot/cold weather outfit when the weather suddenly changed. So for that reason, and so you can clean house, I'd give her all the stuff at one time, unless she lives in a tiny home with no storage available.