One truth that every parent discovers as their baby gets older is that they also get bigger, sometimes at such an astonishing rate that you swear the clothes you just bought last week don’t fit already! As your sweet infant becomes a baby, then a toddler and then a child, they move through clothing sizes so quickly. Before you know it, they’ve grown from size 3-6 months to 3T and you have tons of adorable baby clothing at home that you can’t bear to get rid of but don’t have use for anymore. Here are some popular ideas for what you can do with your baby’s clothes now that you can’t use them anymore.
Have a baby clothing swap party. Chances are you aren’t the only family with this sort of overflow. Plan a swap party with other parents from your children’s school, moms you’ve met in play groups or friends who have children in the same age range as yours. Ask the attendees to bring clothing similar to what they would like to receive, reminding them to keep it stain and tear-free. Decide ahead of time how the swap set-up will be, with clothing set out for perusing like a store or wrapped up and labeled by size for a surprise once everyone gets home. Consider if you want the swap to be same-for-same, with parents who brought footed pajamas to go home with footed pajamas in a larger size, or if you want to bundle by size and send home big surprise packages to be opened at home later. Along with a glass of wine and snacks, this can be a fun way to also get the grown-ups together to socialize while at the same time serving your kid’s needs.
Online swapping services can also be the way to go. Swapping can be done online as well, done with a sort of honor system in place that seems to work surprisingly well. Be sure to check out previous participant’s feedback on online services and only sign up if you feel totally comfortable with the group and their reputation. The shipping charges may be a deterrent, but can be worth the investment if you live in an area where swapping isn’t a local option but appeals to you.
Consider consignment sales. Many cities have consignment stores that resell children’s clothing, and towns that don’t have them at least have internet access where you can find online consignment done remotely. These stores typically only take higher-end baby clothing but serve a clientele who are ready to spend should they find the right item. Don’t be afraid to consult with a consignment store’s manager on appropriate prices, so you can avoid overpricing an item because of emotional attachment or personal expectations that might not be realistic.
Sell them yourself. Going “old school” and having a garage sale is always a good option. Be sure to advertise your sale well. Baby clothing sells best at garage sales if it’s clean and organized by size, and if it’s displayed in an attractive manner. It will be unfolded and refolded by almost every person going through your sale, so be sure to stay on top of messy, unfolded piles of clothes. Also, don’t mark the price too high or you’ll find visitors aren’t interested in the used clothing. Craiglist and eBay are online options for similar garage sale experiences. For baby clothing sales on both these sites and a garage sale, bundling clothes into lots to be purchased together can help you sell.
Store clothing for future children. If you might be having more children in the future, consider investing in large Tupperware-style bins that seal closed and can be kept in the garage or other storage areas with clothing saved for future babies. There is a comfort to getting out baby clothes from your older kid’s baby days when you’re expecting a new one, and nothing beats the savings of reusing your own used baby clothes. The emotional enjoyment of going through the older things is priceless. If you have the space to save your baby’s clothing as they grow, this can be a great option.
Donations for the needy. There are always charitable organizations that need used children’s clothing and the area you live in is no exception. Look for philanthropic groups that serve homeless families, teenaged mothers, at-risk children or battered women, as they are always in need of quality baby and children’s clothing to support the kids that come in with these victims and needy people. They particularly need nighttime clothing like baby pajamas for people coming in for help late at night with nothing but the day clothes they have on. These organizations can often give you receipts for the value of your used clothing to deduct on your federal taxes so you get a little financial benefit from your altruistic efforts as well.
Military donations. Contemplate reaching out to military groups in your area or whom you are in touch with online to see if there are any groups that can take your baby clothing to give out to families abroad as soldiers interact with them in their home lands. Particularly in impoverished countries where American troops are stationed, having shoes and clothing to give out to the children in the communities where we are trying to make a positive difference can have a large, positive impact. If you find the right group to give your footed pajamas and clothing to, you can often send the packages through the Military Postal Service, at no charge to you.
Whether you want to make some money off the clothing that your children have outgrown, or you want to pass it along to someone else with nothing other than the personal satisfaction that you’ve helped someone in need, finding the right solution for your baby’s outgrown clothing can be a challenge. Regardless of the solution that you go with in the end, knowing that someone else’s baby will get good use out of your used clothing can be very rewarding!