How do you feel about hand-me-downs? This mom is not a fan, and she certainly doesn’t want them for her new baby. She received backlash after she put a ‘no hand-me-downs’ request on her baby shower invitations, so took to Reddit to find out if this was really so wrong. (1)
Mom Requests No Hand-Me-Downs on Baby Shower Invites
Recently a woman posted on the popular Reddit forum “Am I the Asshole” to find out whether or not she was wrong for putting a no-hand-me-downs request on her baby shower invitations. (1)
She explains that she is 35 years old and having her first child. The last time there was a baby in her family was 13 years ago on her side and nearly 40 years ago on her husband’s. She says they accepted a wooden cradle from her husband’s family, but that fabric items (primarily clothing) concern her. After a bad experience with baby blankets from her mother, she is afraid of the state that fabric items will be in after being in storage for so many years. (1)
“I can’t even imagine what shape any fabric item would be in after so many years. All I can think of is the blankets my mother made. My mother made baby blankets when I was a teenager, but after just 5 years of being stored in the attic, they were found covered in mold and mouse droppings and bugs. I don’t trust anything fabric that old. I would never feel like it was clean.” (1)
She put the disclaimer on her invitations because she knew she would just throw away any hand-me-down items and didn’t want people giving her things with sentimental value that she would immediately toss out. Now, however, she says that her invitees are accusing her of being greedy, selfish, and thinking her baby deserves better than the rest of their children did. (1)
Reddit’s Response: Hand-Me-Downs Are Great
The internet overwhelmingly sided with the mother-to-be’s family, saying that it was extremely rude for her to put such a request in the invite. (1)
For starters, most users explained that hand-me-downs, if stored properly, are perfectly clean and safe to pass along to someone else. (1)
“Clothes that old if stored properly are fine. We have clothes from when our now adult kids were little 20 years ago. They have been in storage bins the entire time. Those blankets weren’t stored properly, so that’s how they got moldy and mouse droppings on them.” said one user. (1)
Another user agrees, and went a step further to suggest that perhaps clothing hand-me-downs aren’t the gifts she should be concerned about. (1)
“Agreed. YTA for being rude on your invitations and not understanding that clothing when properly stored can be used for decades. Also, OP, please research safety standards for baby items. The hand-me-down cradle is much more likely to be a problem than used clothing.” (1)
The Cost Factor
Many users mentioned that sure, she says now that she wants new things. Once she realizes just how quickly babies grow out of their clothing and how expensive replacing their clothes so often is, she’ll have a greater appreciation for hand-me-downs, and will most likely be looking to pass along some of her own things. (1)
“When I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t want hand me downs. I wanted to buy everything. I never told anyone, I just figured I wouldn’t use anything I got. But then my SIL started randomly dropping off bins of clothes from her girls. Then swings, cribs, car seats, diapers, etc. I probably saved thousands off her hand me downs. Some of the clothes were from when my oldest niece was a baby who was 18 at the time.
It’s perfectly fine to not want hand me downs, the AH part was putting it on the invite.” (1)
Another user agrees.
“Yep. Had my first baby at 39. Mom gave me my siblings’ footed pajamas. Those things were 25-30 years old. Also gave me an outfit that I wore when I was 6 months old. All of the clothes were stored very well and she was keeping them specifically for me, so they’re very sentimental. They’re better quality than a lot of the clothing you could buy new today.
Babies grow fast and clothes aren’t cheap.” (1)
An Insulting Request
Beyond cost and materialism, several users claimed that her request is personally to her friends and family not just because she’s saying their items aren’t good enough, but because it openly questions their ability to judge what is and isn’t in good enough condition to pass on. (1)
“Not only are you turning your nose up before even getting gifts, you’re stating that you don’t think your family has enough sense to determine if something is still in good condition. Do you just assume they’ll gift you stained, moldy items? That isn’t giving them much credit,” (1)
Another user said that putting that on her invitations shows how ungrateful she is for the people in her life who want to support her and her new baby.
“Yup YTA because nobody is even giving you dirty unusable hand me downs yet, and you are sticking it out there like a prissy witch, kinda.
My daughter has been wearing a couple of dresses my Mom made when I was a kid, and they are her favorites. They were stored properly and they don’t smell musty or anything at all. I use a quilt my grandmother made before I was born, and I’ll be 45 this month.
It is called grace, and you can have some, too. Accept gifts in the spirit they are given, and go ahead and deal with the items as necessary after the fact.” (1)
Reddit users agree that while hand-me-downs are actually awesome, if she truly doesn’t want them, she should just say thank you and deal with it after – if she gets any, at all. They can be donated to someone else who might be in need. (1)
What do you think? Would you accept hand-me-downs as gifts at your baby shower?
- “AITA for not allowing hand-me-down gifts for my baby?” Reddit. December 2020.