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How to tel MIL we don't need her to buy any more baby clothes!

(37 Posts)
33goingon64 Mon 08-Aug-11 17:26:05

DS (aged 5 months) is MIL and FIL's only grandchild and they love buying him clothes. Every time we see them (every 6 weeks or so) they buy him a couple of new outfits. The thing is, I have three nephews and we had a chest of drawers full of boys clothes before DS was even born, most of which is in really good condition (they know this).

I understand they are excited about having a Grandchild and they probably like the idea of him wearing something they have bought rather than just the hand me downs from his cousins. But the way I see it, it's a waste of their money. He has so many clothes he doesn't get to wear them all before they are too small, even though we are selective to make sure he wears the best stuff. In fact the last outfit they bought him was already too small. I would rather they bought him something that will last, like a book.

I know I sound ungrateful and DH thinks we should accept the gifts with thanks, but I hate to think of them spending their money on stuff he doesn't need. He doesn't know what he's wearing, he's 5 months old FFS. I can't help thinking it's for them to feel somehow connected to him when they aren't there. But surely a book or something else long lasting would have this effect too?

Should I say something when they come next week (apparently bringing with them a new snow suit... In August?!) or do I smile and say thanks?

faverolles Mon 08-Aug-11 17:28:38

If they enjoy buying them, let them, and be grateful. Then put them on eBay after one wear

nickschick Mon 08-Aug-11 17:31:18

I think its something you need to address but im not sure how best to go about it - could you explain to mil that he has stacks of clothes, hes not yet had a growth spurt and so hes ok at the minute but with things getting dearer and dearer it would be great if when they are planning on treating him they ask you what he actually needs as soon hes going to need new clothes and quite soon shoes and it would be a v big help if they would do it that way?.

If not then perhaps just accept their gifts and use less of the pre owned stuff?

Dont upset her,he's her grandchild and its done out of love.

Sheepling Mon 08-Aug-11 17:33:03

Try having a MIL who has LITERALLY bought your unborn child its first wardrobe. I was so looking forward to buying his first cardigans, shawl, vests, sleepsuits, playmat, steriliser, nappies, car seat, toiletries, pushchair... thankfully she isnt speaking to me right now so shes stopped grin

Can you take any excess back to the shop? I know its sounds horrible, but if its being wasted, change it for something you would actually use. Or save them and give them to friends when they have babies?

AMumInScotland Mon 08-Aug-11 17:34:02

When they turn up with the snowsuit, say "It's lovely..... oh I do hope it still fits once the weather changes, he grows in such spurts there's no telling how long things will fit for! It's such a shame but he's been growing out of the lovely things you've bought him before he's had a chance to wear them more than once" Then hopefully you can have a sensible discussion about what kinds of things last, and which are very transient...

whackamole Mon 08-Aug-11 17:34:50

I would probably accept them and then take them back to the shop and exchange them for bigger sizes. I did this with a lot of the stuff I was bought when the boys were born - it seemed pointless having 500 lovely newborn outfits but nothing bigger!

I did tell people I was going to do it (with proper outfits anyway), just a sort of 'how lovely! If you don't mind, I'll swap it for the same in 12-18 months, he's still wearing the lovely sailor suit you brought last time', sort of thing.

Pashazade Mon 08-Aug-11 17:35:19

I would go with explaining that he has loads of clothes but it would be really great if they could start building him a library of books, mention classic childrens picture books ie. Very Hungry Caterpillar or say get them to buy him a nice Winnie the Pooh set or Thomas, make the other option a very positive one you know a special grandparent job as you get clothes from other people too...

Iggly Mon 08-Aug-11 17:35:53

Explain that he's too big for some stuff while making it clear that you're very grateful. Maybe suggest toys, books instead? Put it terms that you don't want anything to go to waste and that books and toys will last longer (well depending what they buy).

You could have an open chat with them to try and work out why they buy the clothes and see if something else will do the trick to satisfy their "urge"!

plupervert Mon 08-Aug-11 17:35:56

Have you talked to them about this? If no, then YABU, and have to tell them he doesn't have a chance to wear everything, which makes you very sad, and you really wish they would choose a book instead, or contribute to his savings account, which he will benefit from more than new clothes.

Definitely tell them when things are too small, and eBay what he can't wear - that's the sensible thing to do. If you feel guilty, just remember that you are not responsible for the clothes mountain, and recycle the eBay earnings for DS's benefit.

However, you need to tell the GPs first, otherwise you will be being unreasonable....

Mitmoo Mon 08-Aug-11 17:36:07

Let them know the baby has plenty of clothes but if they'd like to put that money into a children's savings bonds for her they'd be starting to make a huge difference to her future? A bit cheeky I know but they are just wanting to spend money on her.

WhereDidAllThePuffinsGo Mon 08-Aug-11 17:36:33

Could you let MIL see in ds's cupboards? Take her upstairs to help get him changed or something. Let her see how much stuff he has. Make a joke about it. Show her the box full of clothes in the next size up. Have a few binliners full of outgrown/excess clothes on the floor and apologise for the mess - you just didn't have time to get to the charity shop this week.

Could you work out what clothes he might need in the next size up, and tell her - as in, we know you like buying him clothes, and we've got 3 coats but no pyjamas ...

Books won't last btw, he'll eat them!

IAmTheCookieMonster Mon 08-Aug-11 17:36:39

why not ask them to get sizes that are too big?

EveryonesJealousOfWeasleys Mon 08-Aug-11 17:38:08

Aww bless, let them buy him stuff! It's for them not you, or him! Stick him in something they've bought when you see them, make sure that he wears each thing for a photo or two - babies get through so many clothes, just go with it!

You could specifically ask them for a different size if that would work better, but I suspect that a) your nephews have donated/will continue to donate bigger stuff too, and b) your PILs see something cute and want to see their grandson in it now!!!

Being the first grandchild is very special but brings its own pressure and I'd say the excessive spending goes hand in hand with the extra love smile

dickiedavisthunderthighs Mon 08-Aug-11 17:40:24

Let them know the baby has plenty of clothes but if they'd like to put that money into a children's savings bonds for her they'd be starting to make a huge difference to her future? A bit cheeky I know but they are just wanting to spend money on her.

Isn't that the equivalent of saying "Thanks for the offer of a drink but I'd rather have the money"?

plupervert Mon 08-Aug-11 17:41:30

P.S. Grandparents can be trained; you just have to be tactful about it, give them a good option, and they should happily start contributing books/ money to baby savings account/ extra pieces to a big railway set or Sylvanian Families village (DS has a great train set now, thanks to his GPs!).

Could they buy less and start putting some money away for your DS. My parents used to put £1 a week away for the kids as pocket money which I then put in to Childrens Bonus Bonds for when they are old enough to appreciate it.

unpa1dcar3r Mon 08-Aug-11 17:46:02

Oh 33

Accept the gifts with thanks, they are enjoying themselves. Yoiu can always sell them on ebay after.
I have a grand daughter and cannot go anywhere without buying my little princess something! Cleaned out Asdas, Next, Tesco's, Matalans...you name it before she was even born. So what if she didn't wear it all, my daughter was immensely grateful not having much money between them at the time too.
I couldn't do it when mine were young, always skint, but I can now and I love buying her stuff. No harm done...
Buy some of those vacuum bags, put everything in age order (3/6 months 6/12 etc) and bag it up once it's done with and put it all in the loft ready for the next one or to sell at a bootsale or ebay etc...
Let them have their fun, they sound lovely. My mum never bought sod all for any of my kids or even bothered to see them (has never seen my boys, now 12 and 14). Which would you rather have?

x post Mitmoo

DickieDavis I saw it differently - a baby doesn't care what it wears so having loads of new outfits doesn't benefit the baby in any way. Putting money away so the child can get something they really want when they are older or towards the cost of Uni is of much more practical use. As my parents have now died I quite like the idea that there is a pot of money (which I have topped up a bit) that my kids will have in the future to remind them that their grandparents did something good for them (the youngest will probably not remember my parents as they had both died by the time he was 4).

Sirzy Mon 08-Aug-11 17:55:06

I do think it's nice to have some new clothes, the vast majority of ds clothes are hand me downs but we do get (or grandparents buy) a few new things in each size.

If you would rather they got something else then you have to tell them though. That said as he gets older and gets more into things chances are they will naturally stop buy clothes and move towards books and toys.

Flowerista Mon 08-Aug-11 18:03:43

Ask them to buy bits of brio instead, it's really expensive but by the time he can play with it he'll have a great set AND something they can with him on their visits.

olibeansmummy Mon 08-Aug-11 18:12:00

Maybe make some hint about other things he 'needs' and hope they decide to buy him those instead eg 'oooh he likes books, well have to get him some more..' and then make some comments about how he has soooo many clothes.

kevlarbrassiere Mon 08-Aug-11 18:15:19

I wouldn't say anything, other than 'thankyou' every time.

Its so lovely to have caring grandparents in your child's life. I'd so love to have a granny/granddad for our children.

As you have lots of hand me downs, you won't be stuck for clothes for him, and maybe you'll get the opportunity to hand these presents on to others?

I do think that it sounds a bit grabby to ask for anything else instead. These are obviously grandparents who love your ds and probably enjoy shopping for him.

Let it off.

And enjoy!!

Muckyhighchair Mon 08-Aug-11 18:37:09

I went though the same thing with my mum

In the end I took her out for coffee, brought her some lovely flowers and had a good chat, saying that love every thing she's done and brought but that I didn't want her to waste her money.

She of course said it's fine, it's my grand child etc. I then politely said how just one outfit in the size bigger then she thought and then a book, teddy, keepsake or a baby bond.

She agreed so now she spends about 10 on a out fit, a small toy, etc 5, and 5 goes into the baby bond.

She does drive and gets a taxi, so creme de la creme was I said that rather she spend less and see her gc more. But then I like my mum

unpa1dcar3r Mon 08-Aug-11 18:51:33

Spot on Kevlar!
I know I have to force my head in the opposite direction when in Tesco's (or anywhere for that matter that sells pink!) but this strange force over which I have absolutely no control just forces my head round to the pink. It's a phenomenon and I don't think it's been recognised or investigated fully but I reckon it's called 'OMG would you just look at that darling little outfit...darling grand daughter would look so adoooorable in that, I simply MUST buy it' syndrome.
I guess it would have to be shortened or achronymed upon further research but that's the proper name!

Looking on the bright side at least baby clothes are small. My MIL loves Bidup and is always sending stuff down that I could probably fit my house into! I did draw a line at the drum kit though.
smile

Tortu Mon 08-Aug-11 19:00:10

Ha ha ha ha ha! I have exactly the same problem. My MIL once famously turned up and asked for help to carry stuff up from the car with the phrase, 'well there really wasn't anything I didn't like in John Lewis, so I just bought it all.'!

She has been relentlessly teased about it ever since.

I did, briefly, consider saying something- as it would be quite nice to buy things for my baby. And then I realised how much money I've saved and have also given her pleasure.

But yes to the training. MIL also loves, it emerges, nothing more than to spend an hour tidying up the chest of drawers, rearranging his clothes and ironing his little t-shirts.

Let them do it.

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