We have two kids and no plans to expand our family any further (with the possible exception of a fainting goat because hot damn, I’d never get sick of seeing this), and now that we’ve completed our childbearing activities I realize I no longer need to hang on to every item of baby clothes I own. I had no problem offloading my maternity wear, but then again, I didn’t find myself waxing nostalgic about a shirt the size of a circus tent.
Our youngest is six months old and he’s already gone through many of the small outfits I had saved after our first boy. I cleaned out the nursery closet the other day and ended up with a few boxes I plan to send to a couple of friends who are expecting their own baby boys, but there were certain items I just couldn’t part with. Like the incomprehensibly tiny striped onesie that both my kids wore during the first weeks after they were born, their coming-home outfits, the weird little yarn-tied hats they wore in the hospital. The first footed pajamas that fit, the hand-knitted cap gifted to us by a friend, even those unattractive teal-and-pink blankets they wrap your baby with at the hospital — I can’t bring myself to get rid of any of that stuff.
Luckily, there are options for indulging my sentimentalism. For those who can’t bear to part with some of your kids’ earliest outfits, here are some ideas for hanging onto them:
Preserving Baby Garments. This is a detailed set of instructions for long-time storage (this site also sells a ‘preservation kit’ that gives you everything you need to follow their suggestions), if you’re planning to maybe give some outfits to your grandchildren someday. A dry cleaner should be able to preserve the clothes, too.
Swatch Books. This website tip from Disney’s Wondertime suggests cutting the outfits into swatches you can attach to a scrapbook, including photos if you like.
Keepsake Boxes. There are lots of options for baby-designed memory boxes, meant to store all sorts of things (photos, outfits, hospital bands, first haircut curls). I like this one, which can be personalized with name and birth date.
Stuffed Plushies. It looks fairly easy (well, if you can sew) to make basic stuffed plushies using old clothes. Here’s a short tutorial, and a cool Flickr set called “Things Made from Outgrown Baby Clothes”.
Memory Quilts. My favorite idea by far is having someone create a quilt from outgrown clothing items. I LOVE the designs here, I can imagine what a wonderful heirloom that would make — I’d hang it on the wall of my bedroom. (If you’re the crafty sort, you could quilt one yourself with this handy kit.) This artist will make a sweet blanket your child can actually use.
Did you hang on to any of your baby’s clothes as keepsakes? What did you do with them?