It was around 11pm and I was hurriedly grabbing a few baby essentials – bottles, blankets, a pacifier… I had just gotten a text from a friend. A girl she went to high school with showed up at her door with a baby and no place else to go. It was a rough situation. I pulled open the drawer and stared at the onesies. Salem was only three months old, having only just outgrown the newborn size. Even in my distraction, I was overcome with emotion. About baby clothes. She no longer fit it them, and it wasn’t like I was upset about the actual act of giving them away. They were just HERS. My first baby wore them, once, or maybe not at all (I can’t really remember).
A few more rounds of packing up clothes later, I was having a baby shower for my son. I’m happy to receive any gift but was really excited about this one particular outfit. White cotton polo, blue striped denim pull on shorts from my favorite store – Baby Gap! He’s a July baby so they were 0-3 months, perfect. Of course, I had forgotten that the outings during the newborn stage were few and far between, and would realistically be even less with a toddler. I also failed to remember that shirts on infants cause unnecessary exhaustion having to be pulled down constantly, something I realized with my daughter and decided against buying until at least 12 months. Surely happy pregnancy brain blocks rational thoughts and memories. He never wore the shirt and maybe wore the shorts once.
Why are we so attached to our babies’ clothes once they’ve outgrown them? I waited until my baby turned 6 months old to pack up any of his clothes only so I didn’t have to face the fact that he was getting bigger. I’m even more emotional about the clothes my babies NEVER got to wear, like that adorable white polo shirt. Maybe I’ll save the shirt for a future baby. Maybe I’ll give it to a friend for her baby. Maybe I’ll give it to Goodwill where a mom will be excited to find it on super sale! But it still makes me sad.
On the other hand, and although it’s hard to convince myself of this, I really shouldn’t be emotional about outgrown baby clothes or the ones that they never wore. I enjoyed my babies’ first months of their tiny-clothed lives regardless of what they were or weren’t wearing. And unless I got a picture, I don’t remember much about what they did wear on a daily basis. My point is that I didn’t miss a thing. They smiled, laughed, drooled, nursed a lot, slept sometimes…all while wearing a rotating collection of only a few onesies. The clothes were cute on them, don’t get me wrong. And they do symbolize how small my babies once were. But I still have the sweet memories of them being little and am now enjoying their new stages just as much. I say all this now until the next time I am packing a batch of clothes into a box while needing to be consoled again. And there are probably a few items I will never get rid of. Anyone else have this problem?