Unwanted Baby Gifts

Dear yayas,

I have a family member who keeps buying the ugliest, most ridiculous baby clothes I have ever seen. We’re talking over a dozen since finding out I was pregnant. I don’t want to offend her, but none of the clothes are my style, they’re scratchy and uncomfortable, and honestly, every time I open a new gift from her it gets harder and harder to hold my tongue. What do I say? Is there anything I can do? I kind of want the parade of clown clothes to come to a halt. 

– Clothes-ed Out

People love to look at baby clothes and it probably makes her happy to give to you. When you see your friend maybe describe to her what kind of clothes you are looking for and ask for her to help you find that. – Grama Claire Bear

It is frustrating when someone close to you doesn’t take into account your style or wishes for your baby. That said, your family member sounds super excited for your little one. I would thank them, but let them know that you have plenty of that style of baby clothes and are still looking for soft cotton pieces to complete your baby’s collection. And then I’d donate the clothes. – Cortney

Hmmm…this so depends on the person who is giving to you. Some people you could talk to and others may be very hurt if you did. You could tell them you have plenty of clothes now so they do not buy more? Or give them something else they could buy instead of clothing? – Taren

This is a tricky one as it depends on how sensitive this person is. Some people would just brush it off while others might be very hurt. I would try showing her the style of clothes you like and see if she gets the hint. Otherwise if you think she wouldn’t be upset I would tell her about other items you need as you were going for different tastes in baby clothes. – Nadia

This is a fun one because it will be much easier to look back and laugh about later, though in the moment, it can feel frustrating and wasteful. I know that I stressed about this kind of situation along my parenting journey, though my advice looking back would be not to worry about it. I’d find a favorite charity group to donate the undesired clothes to and keep my focus forward. No hurt feelings, no unnecessary stress, and benefiting others. Win-win-win! – Diana

Honsestly? Start getting comfortable with giving stuff away immediately. Someone out there will like it, it doesn’t have to be you “just because.” Don’t hold onto baby clothes you don’t like because of sentiment or guilt. Dress your baby how you want and most people will “get it” within a few months. Try creating a registry of exactly what you want/need and share that with folks who express an interest in giving gifts. Tell folks you are drowning in clothes or out of room in baby’s drawers/closet. Keep suggesting other things if they bring it up.

Start a savings account for baby and give people the account number so they can make deposits as gifts. Ask for memberships to classes or passes to experiences. People want to give gifts to celebrate baby, you can try providing some gentle guidance. – Lori Beth

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