We were only having two children, so we gave it all away. The clothing. The baby carriers. The playmats. Everything. We were still using the crib, the changing table, and the glider, but we were set to hand those off to some friends before we left London.
One day in January, I gave them a call. “So, we won’t be able to give you our baby furniture, after all, because it looks like we are going to need it ourselves.”
Pause. Beat. Light dawning. “Oh, well, Mazel Tov!”
Everything else was gone. We had decluttered, only to find that we would need some of that clutter back again. And, like a flock of really astute homing pigeons, it has found us, even though we have moved 1/3 of the way around the world.
Mostly, it is not the same stuff we gave away. People in our new neighborhood have given us a swing and a bouncy chair. Other neighbors have provided a doorway bouncer and some toys. My best friend has given us some of the clothes we gave her, but many others, too, not to mention a sling.
A few things I have bought used. There is a great parenting listserve here in LA, and through that I have found almost everything we want to have in used but excellent condition. Housing prices are high in LA. No one has extra space to store crap she isn’t using.
We need so little that we are going ahead and registering the baby at Save the Children, so that people who feel the need to give us things can make a donation in her name instead.
We do have to buy a few things new: a carseat, a manual breastpump, a few nursing bras, and a board book of Clifford, the Big Red Dog, since the boys consumed most of the one we already have.
Everything else? We have gotten it used. Good for the planet. Not so good for stimulating the economy.