Getting ready for your child’s arrival (especially a first child) involves all kinds of big and small investments in things you’ve never had a reason to have around before. And this isn’t limited to basics like the crib, car seat and high chair. Weird things like bouncy chairs and swings and pack ‘n plays that you don’t often picture in the ‘thinking about having a baby’ phase start multiplying and cluttering up your living room almost as soon as you get that positive pregnancy test.
If you’re thinking about having another child, you don’t want to have to start all over again like a newbie. But all of the baby stuff can start to feel like it takes up a lot of space as your little one moves out of the ‘baby’ phase and into the toddler-who-gets-into-everything one! It can be hard to choose what to hang onto, either for sentimental reasons or to try to save a little cash on the next tiny human. Not all hand-me-downs are created equal though, and there are definitely some things that are better to let go of and start fresh with the next child, if you have the chance to. These, however, are things you should consider keeping.
Big ticket wardrobe items/the barely used
There’s a good chance that, even if you don’t buy a stitch yourself, you’ll be getting a fair amount baby clothes for baby number two, either as hand-me-downs or as gifts, so you probably don’t need to save every spit-up-stained onesie or frayed cap. There are bound to be a few outfits though that Baby barely wore at all, and as long as the reason they barely laid a tiny finger on them isn’t that you hate them, they’re probably a good idea to keep around. Baby‘s successor will never know they’re a regift, after all.
The other clothing category to hold onto is the specialty items – snowsuits, party dresses, baby shoes in general – that cost more than they should, and don’t generally get used that often, but are really nice to have around in case the occasion arises. While it’s true that depending on the sex and birth season of Baby 2.0, he or she may not have any use for these, if he or she does, you’ll definitely be glad you kept them.
Maternity clothes that you actually like are practically worth their weight in gold, or at least bronze. If you’ve got a decent-sized collection, you might want to pare down to some favorites and some of the more versatile, classic pieces, but in general, saving maternity clothes is a good investment of your space if you planning on having more kids. After all, for the next pregnancy, Baby will be around, and there might not be much time for shopping.
The perfect carrier
This one is slightly more general than the heading implies, but if it took you a long time and a lot of shopping around to find the sling or carrier that works best for you and for Baby, and that you and your partner are comfortable using, you should probably hang onto it. This goes for any item that comes in many different varieties, or that took you a long time to decide on. Just be sure you double check that there are no new safety concerns about the item before you start to use it again with your next child, and you’ll save yourself the search a second time around!
The three Cs
This one comes with a bunch of ifs. If you’re planning on having another child soon, as in some time in the next couple of years, and if you have the storage space to spare, it can be a good idea to hold onto the big essentials, like the crib, car seat and high chair, so you don’t have to start over again. There are several reasons why this is really only a good idea if you’re planning to have another child soon, though, and the most important one is safety. Some car seats actually have expiration dates, so if you wait too long, holding on to that one isn’t much help. Cribs are generally still good to use unless safety regulations have changed since you bought them, so a quick Google will clear that right up, and the same is true for high chairs. Many cribs these days are also convertible, so even if you don’t plan on having any more kids, that crib might also serve as a daybed, or toddler bed over the next few years.
If you don’t want to have to start over on nursery furniture but are having a little trouble finding the space to store it, another option is looking around to see if there’s anyone in your family or community who’s expecting and might want to borrow it for a few years. That way, ideally, you’ll have it out of the house for a few years, and can get it back just as you’re getting ready for a new arrival.
This one obviously isn’t relevant for everyone, but if you’ve already made that initial investment in cloth diapers, there’s certainly no reason to go for a whole new set for baby number two.