What Should You Hand Down To Other Parents?

What Should You Hand Down To Other Parents?

Janie Lee
Sep 9, 2010

It's Fall cleaning season at our house and that means the contents of all closets, wardrobes, cabinets, bins and boxes are inspected. Whatever is too small, not relevant, or broken is separated out into piles. Broken items that can't be fixed by us or others are tossed. But what to do with everything else? We have a few new babies in our circle of friends so the first thought is to organize everything and offer them up but I always worry whether certain hand me downs would be welcome.

Before bringing over a trash bag full of used baby items, think not just about your desire to get rid of them but your friend's need for these items. My friend's sister-in-law periodically dumps boxes of stained clothing and broken toys at her house. Instead of being appreciated, my friend dreads these drop-offs and loads up the car to head straight to the dump.

Bottles and sippy cups. I've got a ton of baby bottles of all shapes and sizes. I also have lots of sippy cups that I bought to try out. All are BPA-free. Everything can be washed and sterilized but I can't help but to think that some parents, especially first-time parents, won't want a box full of used bottles.

Breastpump and parts. Like baby bottles, I had two breastpumps and tons of assorted parts and storage containers. I read the manufacturer's warning that breastpumps should not be shared so I've been reluctant. But a good friend told me that if the tubes are sterilized or replaced with new ones it shouldn't be an issue.

Clothing. This is an obvious one. Anything that isn't stained or torn and is clean should be candidates for handing down. I have a friend who looks forward to coats and boots my kids have outgrown.

Books. Truth be told, we haven't handed down many childrens' books as favorites are read over and over again. But these, like, clothes, are an obvious candidate for handing down to others. And don't forget the parenting and pregnancy books.

Burp cloths and bedding. Every new parents gets a ton of these as gifts. So long as they are not monogrammed and they are clean and unstained, they are great hand me downs.

Gear. This is the perfect hand me down. Who wouldn't want a perfect condition Bjorn, Ergo carrier, high chair, baby monitor or bouncey seat for free? Just make sure everything is in proper working order and clean.

Furniture. This is a tricky one. A modern crib with a high-end price tag is incredibly generous but only if it fits the room and parents' vision for the room. Remember when you were planning for your first baby? The choices you made for the nursery were extremely personal so it's best to ask before assuming that large pieces of furniture will be a welcomed addition.

What items have you received that were extremely welcomed or that you wish you didn't? Tell us in the comments.

(Image: Carrie McBride)

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