Hand-Me-Downs or “Early Sharing Opportunities?”


As I quickly approach my due date for #2, I find myself agonizing over the fact that I simply haven’t done as much to prepare for this one as I did when Lovey was on the way. Every once in a while, I have to stop from “beating myself up” for not repainting the nursery and putting up a new wall border. I try to justify keeping the theme the same because we have elected not to know the gender of this one in advance either; so a nice, neutral Noah’s Ark theme should work well the second time around too.

Okay, so I justified that one away (at least in my mind)…now what about the fact that I haven’t run out and purchased a layette for the new baby? Does that make me lazy, cheap, and uncaring or just a tired, still-working, pregnant mom of a two-year-old? I haven’t figured that one out yet…I ask myself regularly: “Am I setting up #2 for a lifetime of hand-me-downs?” (Of course this possibility won’t play out so much if #2 is a boy.) I have been trying to justify my thoughts and actions as “early sharing opportunities” but have the nagging sense that I am just trying to do what is convenient for me at this time.

I have spoken to several people who tell me that the baby won’t know the difference and not to sweat the small stuff, but I can’t help but wonder…what happens ten years down the road when we are flipping through photo albums and #2 notices that their nursery was exactly the same as their sister’s, or that they are wearing some of the same clothes…I know I have a while to wait, but how do you approach that conversation?

I think I need a stronger antiperspirant!

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9 Responses to “Hand-Me-Downs or “Early Sharing Opportunities?””

  1. Ashley February 21, 2009 at 2:13 am #

    I think this is fairly common. It has to be. I’m expecting my second in April and don’t know the sex either. I haven’t done anything yet this time round like I had done by this time in the last pregnancy. If it’s a girl (I have a 19 month old boy) she will get everything she needs in due time. She won’t know but I don’t think she’ll feel any less loved if she does see a difference (in pictures). And if she ever asks, I’ll tell her we had all the baby things we needed for her except for pink clothes! And those came after we knew you were a girl! I don’t think she’ll be heartbroken. We all have enough to worry over as mommas, I don’t think this should be something to be overly concerned about. :-) Congrats!

  2. onemotherslove February 21, 2009 at 8:04 am #

    I’m expecting #3 in April. I’ve previously had a boy and a girl. I saved everything from both so I wouldn’t *have* to buy all new stuff. There will inevitably be new clothes, though. Someone will give them to you or you’ll see something adorable. You can take it either way – My sister-in-law had 3 boys and in one of their baby pictures (maybe their 6-month or something) she had each one of them in the same outfit. Or you could just make sure to make a point of getting them dressed differently for photos.

    And I’ve used the same primary colored, gender neutral bedding for all 3 kids! My Grandmama made the bumper pads & quilt and my mom made the bed skirt, so it’s special to me. And if I have any more, they’ll use it too! I added ladybugs to make it more girly for the girl and am still using the ladybugs for this next girl.

    I personally think people spend way too much going all out on nursery & layette for a baby who’ll never know the difference. The time you spend with them & love you give them is so much more important!

  3. Kristen February 23, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    I’m expecting #2 in June. Luckily I have a 19 month old son and we are expecting another boy. Actually what you blogged about it really the main reason we found out what #2 was going to be. We knew we have ooodles and ooodles of boy gear and what happened if #2 was a girl? Yes, girls can wear blue and orange, but dockers pants and polo shirts I’m not so sure about. I didn’t really want to start from scratch feeling like I had to run out and get all new clothes and things immediately if it was a girl and instead wanted to be able to spend a little over time to “gear up”.

    Ultimately, since #2 is a boy he’ll wind up in the exact outfits, stuff and things handed down from his big brother. I was the 2nd girl in our family growing up and my husband was the 2nd boy so we both know all too well about this “never got new” position in the family.

    Funny enough my husband thought of this whole hand-me-down thing the other day too. And then we realized that our son, Colbmeister, was going to complain just as much because he has the smaller bedroom! His was the first made into a nursery so we naturally picked the one that was closer to ours which happens to be the smaller room. Rather than moving him out of his and making him feel like he was being “kicked out” of his own bedroom by the new baby we’re just setting up this baby’s room as the next one down the hall.

    So who knows maybe this situation will work itself out. Baby #2 (currently known as “Sheldon” – see my blog for the explaination! http://kstownsend.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-sheldon.html) would ask why I got all the hand-me-downs… and Colbster would complain about having the smaller room. Soo there you have it. They each had one thing “better”.

    Hopefully we’ll never get to this point, perhaps a long shot, but the goal is to have taught them that neither really mattered and the love of a family is what’s important and not the order, size or form of stuff. I’m guessing they may not understand right away, but in due time, if we did our job as parents correctly, they too will “get it” just like we (my husband and I) did as the younger siblings.

  4. T with Honey February 23, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Stop worrying about those little things and start thinking of it as being “green” by recycling perfectly good layette and clothing and other baby items. Think of it as breaking out of the consumerist mentality that has many Americans trapped in debt.

    Anyway I think having children share the same room, reuse each others clothing, etc. will only give them more in common.

  5. Yankee Mom February 25, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    I agree with T with Honey. We are trying to be more “green” and so for shower gifts, we told our friends we wanted as many “hand-me-downs” as possible from them. We still got a lot of new clothes as gifts, but many of the “old” clothes were practically brand new since babies grow out of them so fast. As for decorating the nursery, I turned my home office into the nursery and didn’t paint it first (walls were already a neutral shade of yellow) and I’m pretty sure my baby doesn’t care.

  6. Melissa February 25, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    Your comments are so on target! Thank you! I try to be green whenever I can…I carry my own “green” bags to the store, use chemical free cleaners around the house, etc. I just never thought of hand-me-downs as a “green” opportunity. Thanks for opening my eyes to another way to approach the topic.

  7. Tara February 27, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    I had an older, boy cousin that I used to get hand me downs from, and I actually preferred the snake skin boots most of the time. I think they were passed down through about 4 or 5 of us!! I think it will also make your children appreciate the value of things and not be so wasteful, hopefully anyways!

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