Baby Clothes Keep or Toss

Baby Clothes: What to Toss and What to Keep

We decided to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. (It’s a boy!) This is our third child, and I thought it would be wonderful to hold out and be surprised on the day our baby is born. But, we also had a tub of boy clothes and a tub of baby girl clothes. Going through the process of downsizing those tubs after we had a sweet but time-consuming newborn was exhausting. What I didn’t realize is that going through those sweet baby clothes was going to be emotionally exhausting. It’s so hard to get rid of those teensy little outfits! But Nate and I limited our space to one small tub of keepers per child, so I had a limit to stick to.

Baby Clothes: To Keep or Toss (As In Donate!)

Maybe you’re sentimental and want to keep baby clothes so you can have them nearby when you feel nostalgic. Or maybe you want your children to have them when they’re grown. Knowing your “why” will help you decide what, if any, clothes you should keep.

Personally, I have no problem getting rid of toys or books that we’ve outgrown. But for me, baby clothes mark my children’s too-quick development. I want to tell their disbelieving little faces, “See? You were that small once!” It is so easy to forget just how tiny and fragile these blessed little humans were, and holding onto a few sweet memories reminds me to be thankful for these moments. Also, I want to have clothes to pass onto them when they’re adults. Maybe they’ll toss them, or maybe they’ll appreciate them.

Of course, the other side of this argument is that holding onto clothes you don’t need anymore is selfish, especially if other people can use them. I get that. Plus, aren’t we so over clutter these days!?

There are other sweet ways to remember you baby’s clothes without having to put them in storage.

  • Round-up all the pictures of your child in that favorite outfit and (actually print them out to) put them in a photo album
  • Make a memory bear out of a favorite sleeper
  • Make a memory quilt out of favorite bodysuits or sleepers
  • Put precious items in a shadow box

Baby Clothes Keep or Toss

What to Keep

If you do decide to store few pieces, setting some boundaries first is helpful. What you decide to hang on to when it comes to your children’s clothes is completely up to you, but I made some guidelines that helped me with these tough decisions. In order to take up prime real estate in the tiny little tub, clothes had to follow these requirements:

1.Clothes with special “firsts” attached

If my child wore it during a first photo shoot or a first Christmas, it’s definitely a keeper.

2. Specially made for my child

When we had two incomes, I sometimes ordered custom bodysuits and shirts from work at home moms. Most of these were keepers.

3. Gifts from important people

Some cute clothes from family members and dear friends made the cut.

4. Clothes with special memories

Sometimes clothes become special for various reasons, and I think it’s okay to keep those. It’s when I have 200 special items that it’s a problem! I tried to set a limit to one or two special items per size (sizes 0-3T).

What to To Toss

1. Stained Items

I was so tempted to hang onto stained clothes. Is that weird? I justify it in my head by saying that no one else will love and appreciate the outfit as much as I do. But the problem with that logic (for me at least) is that I don’t want to pass on stain clothes to my children. Hanging on to stained clothes that they probably won’t even want in 20+ years doesn’t make much sense.

2. Multiples

Those cute baby onesies that say “Mommy Loves Me” are some of the hardest for me to get rid of. But do I really need to store three of them? Nope.

3. Things That Are Just Plain Cute

Miss H had a lot of really cute baby clothes (that two income thing, again!) I remember picking out some of the dresses, sweaters, and tights (probably because of a good deal!) but the memories stop there. Some of the outfits weren’t all that sentimental to me, but they were just cute.


What did you do with the clothes that your children outgrew?




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