Child things hand-me-downs, parenting tips from Care and Feeding.

A pregnant woman expresses shock at a baby crib and rocking chair.
Image illustration by Slate. Images by ShevchenkoN/iStock/Getty Pictures As well as, markmortensen/Getty Visuals In addition and kokoroyuki/iStock/Getty Pictures In addition. 

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Dear Treatment and Feeding,

My husband and I are expecting our initially kid in February, and our family members are extremely psyched. We’re also quite enthusiastic, and it’s acquiring to be about time for us to start out setting up our nursery in earnest. The minute we explained to my spouse and children that we’re obtaining a newborn, on the other hand, my mother and father quickly begun telling us all about the outdated little one stuff of ours that they’ve saved from again in the ’80s, which of study course we’ll need to have for their grandchild! This features a crib, a rocking chair, two large chairs, two strollers, maternity outfits, toddler garments, little one toys, bottles, cloth diapers, baby carriers, and all fashion of other things that the grandparents-to-be have been dutifully “saving” for the last 30 decades. It’s extra than more than enough to fill a nursery and then some—I really don’t assume my moms and dads at any time threw a one point of mine away.

I know that I need to be grateful to have so a great deal absolutely free toddler stuff currently being offered to me, but I was definitely on the lookout ahead to shopping for new (or at the very least just lately made) things for our child, not to mention the simple fact that other pals and loved ones associates want to contribute items, much too. I’ve taken a number of scaled-down items—mostly previous toys that I favored, and 1 sweet toddler outfit—but my dad and mom are inquiring when they ought to carry the significant home furniture in excess of, and at this level, we will not have home to shop everything that was not made prior to 1995! My husband and I don’t have to have to rely on hand-me-downs to provide for our infant, and I do not even believe that a great deal of these merchandise are up to code by today’s baby protection standards. Of study course, if I point out that to my parents, they get offended and remark that they utilised these intended loss of life-traps with me each individual day when I was a child, and I turned out wonderful. (For this reason, I’m also a tiny hesitant to propose that my moms and dads preserve the products them selves and use them though babysitting.)

I would like that they’d presented these items absent decades in the past to a person who actually wanted them—they’re most likely not donateable now, so if I do not use them, I suppose they’ll close up in the trash. I also experience responsible about that—who says that my special newborn Need to have brand name-spanking-new home furnishings, apparel, and toys? But of study course, my mother and father will not comprehend why buying a crib that was applied past calendar year is diverse from using a crib which is sat in a basement considering the fact that the ’80s. I know that they just want to experience handy and bundled through my being pregnant, and that all of these goods have great psychological importance for them. My family is incredibly big on preserving points for youngsters and grandchildren (there are some delicate-to-moderate hoarding tendencies powering this), and the fact that they’ve held all of these factors for me for the previous a few a long time is a supply of excellent delight. I just sense like everybody’s acquiring to choose out items for my toddler to use besides for me! What do I do?

—Drowning in Hand-Me-Downs

Dear Drowning,

In this scenario, there is a appropriate solution and a best justification for it, which you have previously touched on in your letter—the a long time-aged baby furniture possibly doesn’t meet recent basic safety specifications. You don’t just want new things for your toddler you require new things. This is about your child’s protection, not you wanting a procuring spree or an justification to spoil your kid. (Take note: You are unable to actually “spoil” a new child, a currently being who would be blissfully unaware if you set them down to snooze in a dog bed—which of class would not be harmless, possibly, but I trust you get my place below.) I fully grasp it is a little bit jarring for some men and women when youthful moms and dads do points differently—I know persons who’ve gotten into actual arguments with their mom and dad around the necessity of putting infants down to rest on their back again. 1 of our kin acquired irritated with me for not taking my screaming infant out of the motor vehicle seat to nurse and tranquil her while the automobile was shifting (they preferred her to be quiet they did not want to pull about so I could unbuckle her securely). Sometime, perhaps you and I will be the people questioning why new mom and dad are so hung up on doing things the new-fangled way they do, but I hope we’ll just obtain it in our hearts to take it as soon as we’re explained to it is simply because it’s safer for the newborn. It really should not really feel like a personalized slight to everyone when very best tactics and protection actions evolve more than time!

You’ve presently tried using to convey to your mom and dad your causes for seeking to obtain new newborn household furniture and other goods, and they have not been receptive. I hope they transform their minds, but if they really do not, you really don’t essentially want them to recognize or be delighted about your client options as a parent—you are the mother or father, and you’re trying to do the best factor for your newborn by making certain they slumber in a crib and eat in a higher chair that fulfill today’s security benchmarks. You can thank your parents for the present of their old stuff, accept their thoughts, decide a handful of things of sentimental worth to retain for your child, and then carefully but firmly reiterate your (correct) decision. If they hold hoping to guilt you, let them know that you’re subsequent the assistance in all the toddler publications your intellect is created up, and that’s the conclusion of it. Try not to allow this trouble you as well much—parenthood is an ideal time for your priorities to change from building your mothers and fathers happy to concentrating on what is very best for your kid, and hopefully your people will be so above the moon about getting a new grandchild that they’ll get around this immediately.


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