Do you have two or more kids? Or, do you have at least two children of the same gender? Do you love to dress up your little humans? Then you should know that kids clothes and baby accessories are probably the worst investment you can make, considering how quickly they outgrow things. Especially in the first year and I would say even in the first 2-3 years. However, these things are also something parents cannot help but splurge on. From the moment you (and your entire family) find out whether you are going to have a little boy or girl – it is hard to resist all the darling mini outfits and accessories for each gender.
So what’s a budget-conscious parent to do?
Well, I say have more kids. (LOL, counter-intuitive, I know).
If your second baby is the opposite gender of the first, you’re in trouble. Because you’ll want to stock up on all of their gender’s super-cute accessories too. However, if you invest in many neutral items or have a second child of the same gender – you’re in business my friend. From this point onward, you have become eligible for the best social convention in town: The Hand Me Down Club.
Read below for details about membership and decide for yourself.
Club History: The Hand Me Down Club is rich in history, practicality and charm. Members of this club have for many years enjoyed saving money on clothing for subsequent children and have been able to use their savings elsewhere for family improvement: on organic foods and healthy snacks that will inevitably end up in the trash untouched, enrolling their toddlers in 4-6 extracurricular activities AFTER Montessori or Daycare in order to enrich their tired little minds, for further spoiling of the first child, and on extremely lavish parties that often make the front-page news of Facebook and Pinterest.
Eligibility: (i) You must have at least two kids of the same gender. (ii) Number of total children is limitless. Although parental sanity will be taken into consideration if you have more than six kids. (iii). You must be willing and able to sort and store all of your first child’s clothing and accessories for future use.
General Rules & Regulations: (i) You must store first child’s clothing by size. (ii) Second child of same gender, or second child of different gender utilizing neutral pieces, must occasionally sport mismatched outfits, wear large sizes just to avoid buying something new, and even don a stained outfit or two or twenty. (iii) You must have a state of the art laundry room, fully stocked with stain remover sprays and eco-friendly, baby-friendly, not-so-wallet-friendly detergents. (iv). You must avoid the temptation of buying your kid new clothes for every holiday and special occasion. Once in a while and during sales it is acceptable.
Social Responsibility: We are an environmentally and socially responsible club. For members looking to trash the worst of their used clothing – poop stains, excessive fading from spit up, holes, clothing that looks more like an art canvas than a shirt, etc. You may partner up with our Simple Recycling program to arrange for clothing pick ups to be repurposed into something useful in our world. For clothing that is in decent condition, you may send to our partners at Salvation Army or Texas Refugee Services. (Jokes aside, these are actually great services to use.)
So there you have it. As a mom of three little girls, ages 4 and under, I’m a lifetime member…and loving it! On a serious note though, there truly are some advantages of hand me downs and NOT spoiling each child with new everything. Here’s a quick few that come to mind:
- Every girl (or boy) rocks an outfit in their own way. It doesn’t look the same on any of them. Even when Zahra, my third baby, wears her eldest Aiza’s, clothes, I never feel like I’ve seen the outfit too much before or felt that it’s any less cuter on her. They look completely different. It just reminds you that each individual is born with their own personality and own style. And it’s something we can teach our kids too when we compare pics of them in the same clothes.
- Sharing wardrobes reinforces sibling love and humanity. It reminds children that things don’t have to be exclusively “theirs”. When you don’t need something anymore, it can be passed onto a younger sibling or someone else who can use it.
- If you’re a shopaholic mom like me, three girls is awesome because my husband does not monitor what I spent on Aiza’s wardrobe anymore. He knows it will end up being worth it because three girls will get use out of it!
So if you plan on having multiple children or already have them, don’t hesitate to hang onto their clothing just a little bit longer. Because trust me, everybody should be down, for a little hand-me-down!