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To think I should sort out old baby clothes before handing them on?

(48 Posts)
hedgehogpickle Mon 13-May-13 09:54:22

My BIL & SIL have a DD who is 4-5 months older than ours. We were delighted to receive a bag of handmedowns from them after a couple of months - at first. However when I went through the bag, more than half of the things they had given us were for a new baby so already too small for our DD or not suitable for the cold weather and would also be outgrown by the summer.

There were also a couple of "special" items (knitted by grandparents or bought with particular relevance by my BIL/SIL). I was a bit surprised they hadn't wanted to keep them so I asked if they'd been included accidently. I was told "use them as much as you want but please don't get rid of them". These were just returned immediately so I didn't worry about losing them or them getting damaged.

Although I'm probably being a quite ungrateful, I also feel like we've been used as a bit of a dumping ground for stuff so they don't have to sort out/store it/find another home for it. So now I have to! We don't know anyone else having a baby to pass it onto and even if we did, I think I would sort things out to some degree so they are at the very least age appropriate for the recipient and not give away stuff I knew I would eventually want back. So AIBU or is this just the (admittedly small!) price to pay for receiving handmedowns?

Also, does anyone know any charities etc that would accept donations of clothes? Our local highstreet charity shops aren't interested.

idiuntno57 Tue 14-May-13 14:56:01

YABU If you don't want stuff don't take it. I take things then sort, pass on, keep or recycle.

You kind of get to know which givers have the best stuff.

jazzandh Tue 14-May-13 14:18:41

I have a friend whom I pass some clothes onto but I do only pass on the better bits....

Anything else that is ok I give to the health visitors when I am passing. They are always grateful as they have plenty of families who have absolutely nothing...

gail734 Tue 14-May-13 14:10:51

Wishwehad Everything I have is tiny newborn size and white! (Neutral - did not know gender of bump.)That's why I'm looking for a home for it all! My DD now weighs 20lbs. One "send knitting to Africa" charity specifically says they don't want white stuff, it isn't practical.
Miaow Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

MiaowTheCat Tue 14-May-13 13:17:40

One of our local charity shops has done a window display this month of hand knitted cardies in various sizes hanging in the window above baby toys. Damned display makes me bawl my eyes out everytime I go past as in the middle of the newborn and 0-3 stuff is one teeny tiny premature sized cardie that would have fitted DD1 like a glove when she was born.

They think I'm a nutter probably.

Can't bring myself to give our tiny stuff to the local NICU - still feel incredibly angry and bitter about how they treated us and still bear the mental scars of it.

hedgehogpickle Tue 14-May-13 13:12:24

Thanks ebwy, that's really useful to know - will definitely be sending some stuff their way smile

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 14-May-13 11:41:54

gail If you have any that would fit a 17lb 6 month baby I would love them!!!

Hand knitted stuff is the best!!

Hawkmoon269 Tue 14-May-13 11:17:33

gail are you serious? My dc were knitted some beautiful jumpers, cardigans and hats. Nothing nicer than a hand knitted wooly cardigan surely?! (And they were knitted some not so great things with polyester that made my teeth itch...)

gail734 Tue 14-May-13 11:11:23

Oh, excellent ebwy. My MIL and her friends are all prolific knitters. I have tons!

ebwy Tue 14-May-13 10:51:08

preemiesuk take all baby clothes up to 0-3 size (and especially knitted stuff!) and send it to the special care baby units in hospitals, having sorted it out as some hospitals only want certain things and others take everything they can get.

send to

PreemiesUK
138 Farmers Green
Droitwich
Worcs
WR9 9EH

gail734 Tue 14-May-13 10:28:20

Oh, and like Miaow I have a mountain of tiny, lovingly hand-knitted cardigans. Does anyone know of a charity that would actually want these, beyond just taking them to Oxfam? I just don't think anyone in the UK dresses a baby in hand-knitted stuff any more.

gail734 Tue 14-May-13 10:24:16

Feel your pain, OP. I have two SILs. One "hands down" beautiful, nearly new, washed and ironed baby clothes which simply have to be laid in a drawer. It's like having a laundry maid when she turns up! Other SIL gives me a giant bin bag containing a mad knot of clothing. I "edit" it and take anything that's too small or done-in to a clothing bank. It's a big job that takes a while! The "don't get rid of it" stuff is just stressful. My second SIL (brothers' wives) has done this with her maternity clothes. She doesn't want them back, but I'm not allowed to get rid of them!!

mameulah Tue 14-May-13 10:11:48

I totally get it and no you are not being ungrateful. imo

We were offered lots and lots of second hand things when our pfb was born. People offered it in lots of different ways, and I quickly learned that very few people were happy for you to simply have it. For them, they had spent a fortune on it, for me it was unnecessary baby stuff they had no further use for. One person offered me baby stuff, then offered me to buy it from them, then dropped it off at my house.

I knew I had to get a present for these people but my friend, who has two older children, warned me to set it up so that I didn't become a dumping ground for more clothes etc (apparently they become more warn the older the children get) not to be too generous.

Sorry for rambling but absolutely refuse to take the bag unless you are allowed to keep it. If there is precious stuff in the bag that would need returned then sort through it in front of whoever gave it to you.

MiaowTheCat Tue 14-May-13 09:51:38

I wouldn't pass clothes on I had sentimental attachment to and wanted back (trying to sort out the newborn clothes I used for DD1 and 2 at the moment and if I had elastic walls I'd keep ALL of it since I'm just a soppy old sod despite us being completely done with having babies now).

I'm in the middle of sorting out the first batch of clothes I have to get dealt with - plan on pulling out the stuff that might be deemed "mankier" - babygros and vests and chucking them on Freecycle in a "use 'em if you can need 'em" deal and then the good "outfit" stuff will go to be passed on more thoughtfully so to speak.

As for knitted cardies - I have no idea what I'm doing there - I have MOUNTAINS of them as my mum's a really really fast and prolific knitter (to the extent she tends to post me knitting for the girls every couple of weeks) - feel bad passing them on, but we're done with them and have no storage space to keep mountains of chunky double-knitted cardigans here.

Decoy Tue 14-May-13 01:17:05

I think it would have been polite to sort it out, instead of dumping stuff on you that you clearly won't need or want.

If I give someone a birthday present I don't include this week's recycling in the package.

starfishmummy Mon 13-May-13 23:03:10

I would always give it a basic sort first and wouldn't pass on anything that was obviously too small for the recipient. I also weed out anything that is stained or in bad condition as I go - it just goes straight in a bag for a local charity shop that accepts stuff for "rags".

OOAOML Mon 13-May-13 14:23:48

Getting rid of stuff too small/wrong season I'd be fine with. Having to remember which were the special things I wasn't allowed to get rid of would do my head in.

janji Mon 13-May-13 14:16:14

I go through things I'm giving away to sort out misshapen / clothes that have seen better days but don't sort according to size. My friend and her dds love going through the bags together and finding out what's in there (often as soon as I give them the bag whilst I'm still there; they love it). Wish I had someone to donate clothes to me (never had hand me downs as don't know anyone with older dd)!

Wuxiapian Mon 13-May-13 14:14:54

YABU.

How long does it take to sift through some clothes?!

hedgehogpickle Mon 13-May-13 14:10:28

Floggingmolly - no, it was just a couple of standout items that they wanted me to not get rid of, stuff the grandmas had knitted and a couple of quite specific in-joke things. If everything had been on loan, I would have likely given the too-small things back already as I'd be worried about keeping track of what belonged to who and what I could do with it!!

Sirzy Mon 13-May-13 14:06:55

I would never give stuff that I want back but I wouldn't spend time sorting it into sizes/seasons although things get passed on in roughly age bags as DS grows to expect someone to sort for seasons is madness!

My sister passes on all of her sons clothes and its great saves me a fortune. Ok some bits may not be quite right but I'm not complaining at free clothes. When DS has outgrown things they go back to her for her youngest along with any bits that I have purchased for Ds.

No pre sorting occurs though!

hedgehogpickle Mon 13-May-13 14:05:11

I think that's what did worry me a bit Patchouli, the fact that most of the stuff we'll get from them we won't be able to use and it would then be up to me to deal with because they cba to sort what they want to keep and the stuff that is unusable. But as the majority of people answering have said, if I want the benefit of even some handmedowns, I need to be prepared to spend the time going through the not-so suitable stuff and find somewhere to pass it on/get rid of it.

I will certainly make sure I double check with them that they haven't given me anything they're not happy for me to get rid of!

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

Floggingmolly Mon 13-May-13 14:00:52

I'm a bit confused at you looking for some way to pass the clothes on. Didn't she say not to get rid of them, so they're basically on loan?

Patchouli Mon 13-May-13 13:41:18

Don't worry, you won't get much more with that little age gap, they won't grow out of stuff in time to pass it on.

MrsDeVere Mon 13-May-13 13:37:12

I don't give stuff out that I really want back.
Its too stressful for both parties surely?

I never lend anything that would devastate me if it were lost or damaged.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 13-May-13 13:28:31

MrsDevere my sister gave me some pretty limp summer dressed for my DDs when we went abroad in the winter and she asked for them back when we'd finished...I didn't really want them then as I'd be stressing incase the DDs wrecked them more than they already were!

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