Baby showers are the BEST! Everyone gets together to celebrate you and your new little one. There’s always way too much delicious food, and you eat as much as you want because you’re PREGNANT! And then you get to open presents—lots and lots of presents. While being the center of attention while opening presents is not my cup of tea, it is pretty wonderful to be with people you love while they help you get ready for the biggest/best change of your life.
Every present you open is going to contain the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your life. And somehow the exclamations of “Cute!” “Adorable!” “Precious!” and “Aaaahhh!” don’t’ lose their meaning because the cuteness factor is always off the charts.
Once you’ve opened all the presents, eaten all the crepes, and stuffed your new stroller in the backseat of your car, what do you do next? You’ll probably be looking at a giant pile of tiny things and wonder what you’re supposed to do with all of it. Here’s where I would start.
1. Take inventory
Lay out all the clothing according to size and set aside all duplicates. With the duplicates, you can either exchange them at the store or keep for future baby showers. Someone told me this trick a little too late. With my first baby, I ran all over town exchanging and returning, when I probably could have saved time and money by just gifting them later. Just be sure not to regift to the original gifter. Awkward.
Most likely, you’ll find that you have about a million 0-3 month outfits. Everyone wants to buy 0-3 months because they’re irresistible. You see that tiny little outfit on the hanger, you start talking in a high, incoherent voice uncontrollably, and that outfit goes straight into your cart. Even for moms like me who know everyone else will be gifting 0-3 outfits and that new babies live in pajamas and onesies, you still have to buy those tiny outfits. We don’t have a choice.
Note: You probably already knows this, but as a new mom, I didn’t know there was a difference between newborn and 0-3 month clothes. 0 months is newborn, right??? Wrong. Unless you give birth to a 10-lbs baby, your newborn will probably be in newborn clothes for at least a couple weeks. Then they’ll graduate to 0-3 month clothes.
2. Separate outfits from essentials
You may get a couple packages of onesies, but, for the most part, people like gifting cute outfits. And can you blame them? And again, even when you know better, you grab the cute outfit before the much-needed package of white onesies every time. You’ll want to make sure you have onesies, socks, gowns, and pajamas ready to go for your newborn. You’re going to need onesies, socks, and pajamas for every growth stage, so you may want to stock up so you’re prepared. Or you can get a Beanstalk Bundles subscription and have them automatically mailed to you at each new growth stage. I’m just throwing it out there. J
3. Decide what to keep and what to exchange
Once all the clothes are laid out, you can easily see what gaps need to be filled. Then choose outfits from the overcrowded piles to be returned or exchanged for outfits in other sizes. By the time you get up to 9- and 12-month clothes, there’s a good chance the piles are going to be sparse. Don’t be like me and suddenly have no clothes for your baby when they grow out of their 6-month clothes.
4. Fill in the gaps
Exchange duplicate items, or exchange for sizes you don’t have, and buy essentials you didn’t get at your shower. For me, this is when I really feel like I’m getting prepared. I’m free to get the rest of the things I need without worrying if someone is going to gift it to me.
When exchanging/returning, make sure you know where the item came from before your jump in your car. Unless you have a gift receipt or the gifter told you where they purchased the item, you’re going to be running all over town. If you’re not sure where an item came from, look up the brand online and see if any retailers near your sell that brand.
5. Get organized
You’re probably in the nesting stage anyway, so this will come naturally to you. Keep the clothes separated by size and get them folded, hung, and organized. Make sure the clothes for the next growth stage are easily accessible. There’s no way to know how long your baby will actually be in each size, so you need to be on your toes. And, believe me, they’re going to grow out of those clothes faster than you think they will. It’s really hard to watch your baby leave the newborn stage so quickly, but it’s also the best thing in the world to watch them grow.
Even though I didn’t assign it a number, you also want to make sure you write your “thank you” notes ASAP. Believe me, you want to get these written and sent out before your little bundle gets here, otherwise it will never get done. You’re going to be way too busy snuggling that little baby to think about anything else. It’s the best.