How Long To Keep Baby Clothes and Equipment

You’ve had one baby.  Or two.  Or three.

How long should you keep the baby clothes and equipment?

When is the right time to sell or give away all your baby’s stuff?


Here’s advice from a mom who’s moved every 2 years!


Don’t be so quick to pack things away for posterity!

Baby things aren’t always meant to last.

Those carefully washed pastel onesies?

They might be dotted with mystery stains two years later. (True story!)


Why It’s Sometimes Better To Sell Now, Buy Later

  • Safety standards improve.  The top-of-the-line car seat 2 years ago may be only so-so now.
  • Plastics can become brittle and/or degrade. The clips on my baby’s crib cracked after 2 years in a hot attic!  My Avent bottle nipples crumbled from dry rot.
  • Styles change, and so may the sex of your baby!  If you can afford it, it’s nice to have a fresh look.  Especially if you buy from a consignment sale!


Giving Your Baby Things Away

I’m a big believer in what-goes-around-comes-around.  Unless you know that you’ll be pregnant again soon, why not let someone else use your equipment?  Crisis pregnancy shelters and churches can find someone who needs help right away.

The cool thing about mom karma?  I’ve always been the recipient of better items than I gave away!



Which Baby Items You Should Keep

  • The going-home outfit with hospital bracelet
  • A special toy or rattle, including a photo of the baby holding item
  • Heirloom clothing, wrapped in a favorite cotton baby blanket
  • Large furniture-like cribs, changing tables, and rocker — IF you plan to have more children
  • A photo of the nursery, if you have to move

Here is an excellent guide for preserving baby clothes and other keepsake textiles.

Here are some interesting things to do with all of those old toys.

Here’s a quick look at baby safe clutter vs baby safe items you’ll actually use.


How To Tell If Baby Equipment Is Too Old To Keep

Sign up for free recall alerts from the Consumer Safety Protection Agency.  Check your baby equipment for recalls.

Newer cribs have smaller spaces between slats.  Here is a checklist of crib safety standards.

Car seats are meant to last about 5 years.  You can check the age of your car seat by finding the manufacturer’s info on the back.  Here are more tips on the life expectancy of your car seat.

Slings and strollers last a long time.  You may need one even for older children on long trips.

Clothing is usually safe to store.  Check older children’s clothing for drawstrings and flammable fabrics.

Finally, here are some great tips for dealing with baby clutter!