Jump to content


Baby/Kid Gear Musings

Recommended Posts

My kids (6 and 8) just found a tote with their old blocks and Little People in it and have been busy with them for quite a while now. They were asking about their old toys and it got me thinking about everything that they had. I told them I had sold/given away many things, which of course they thought was horrible! We moved two years ago and many things were purged then, but we still have about a dozen totes of toys/clothes around the house.


The first few years of my kids lives they were given SO much. We are blessed with many family and friends who love to give, but it was TOO much. With all the baby gear, furniture, TONS of clothes, toys, bigger toddler toys, outside toys... I literally could have jammed-packed a decent-sized bedroom wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with everything we had.


I kept all of my favorite and sentimental items from their early years, but there was so much that I sold at yard sales, consignment shops, gave to friends, sent to Goodwill, and threw away broken/junky things.


Baby/toddler stuff is really fun and cute, so I understand the draw to family members who want to buy things for the kids, but then I feel bad that thousnads of dollars were spent and there was no way we could keep most of it. Everything was used, but kids grow out of their little clothes and toys so fast the first few years of life. We did always encourage family to get less toys and maybe give a small amount to the kids college funds, but nobody was too thrilled about that plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had that problem too. I started to ask people to pool together on significant items that were not duplicative. For example, when they turned 2 I asked for a kitchen set from one group, and for a dollhouse from another group. Granted, they bought a too-big kitchen set and dollhouse, but at least it was only those items and these are things my kids continue to use. The next year I asked for a train set for the train table I was buying. You get the picture. I also held back on my own buying, even though that meant I missed out on some fun. I also held no "birthday parties."


I noticed that the excitement for buying my kids "stuff" waned as other babies joined the family and as my kids got older and presumably less cute.


I was lucky enough to have a sister with two daughters younger than mine. I give her all of my kids' hand-me-downs. I kinda feel sorry for her since it really is a LOT of stuff! But I told her to feel free to donate to charity if she does not want anything.


From my experience, I learned that when I buy for others' kids, I should keep it to one nice gift. I used to buy multiple toys because it was fun and felt generous. But when too many people do that, it just gets overwhelming for all involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did always encourage family to get less toys and maybe give a small amount to the kids college funds, but nobody was too thrilled about that plan.


People will give what they want to. They think that giving the kid a shiny toy will personally lift the heart of that kid. Additionally, it's EASY to pick up a plastic toy at Target. (It is the same reason people who provide bagged Cheetos at a relatively sedentary team sport like pee-wee softball instead.) If you think asking for money contribution instead of a plastic gift goes over like a lead balloon, try suggesting giving of their time toward a special afternoon with a kid. The outcome will most likely be radio silence, or a something similar to the appearance of Brigadoon.


Anyway, singlehandedly providing the inventory for a Goodwill store is a sign of overconsumption.


But now I have also come across tawdriness. Recently I went to a school supply store (which I do about once/year). Every year I am dismayed by how LOUD everything in the store appears. Big, bold, shiny primary colors everything for sale. Like red, blue, and yellow paint were gotten wholesale. It was an eyesore, and the whole place just seemed to reek of drawing a thick black line between adult and child, between respect and pandering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...