• Mon, Dec 16 - 12:00 pm ET

My Infant Is Getting Wrapped Hand-Me-Downs For Christmas

119547096Spending money on presents for a child who has no idea what day it is, what Christmas is, or what a present is is silly when you are on a very tight budget. So this year, my infant is getting wrapped hand-me-downs – from my son’s closet.

The idea came to me yesterday when I was in Target buying wrapping paper. I walked by the baby toys section and thought, Shit. I haven’t bought a single thing for my daughter. I started shuffling through the toys, and kept being drawn to the ones that my son already has. He has two giant toy chests filled with old toys he doesn’t play with. Fisher Price phone? Check. Stacking rings? Check. Fabric books? Check. Blocks? Check. I got home and immediately started pillaging his stuff.

He came into his room and gave me the side-eye. It’s like he knew I was taking his stuff. All of a sudden, baby toys that he hadn’t touched in years captured his attention like I couldn’t believe. They may as well have been touched by a magical fairy and brought to life – he was that excited about playing with them. What the heck?

So I did what any other sane parent would do – snuck into his bedroom last night while he slept and stole them all. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It worked. He woke up this morning, grabbed his Yo Gabba Gabba boombox and went into the living room to color.

I’m thinking he’s probably going to be a little pissed when we unwrap them and hand them to his sister, but I’m hoping he’ll be distracted by all of the gifts my family is bringing him. My infant will love her crappy, old, hand-me-downs. Since they’re all made of plastic, I’m sort of saving the earth by not buying anything new. Okay, that’s a little much. But really, why buy more stuff? There’s already so much stuff in this house.

So, if you have a new baby and she or he is your second – pro tip; wrap the old toys and call it a day. Your older kid might be pissed, but your wallet and the planet will thank you for it.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Martyn

    My infant isn’t getting any presents from Mom or Dad, other than paying to visit grandparents for the holidays and some new cute holiday outfits. I think she will be fine with it :)

  • eloquacious

    This is not only my plan for this year, when my infant will be three weeks old at Christmas, but also for the next two years. The trials and tribulations of being the third of three boys. I’m sure he will live just fine.

  • rhonnygyrl

    I’ve been doing this for #3 for 2 Christmases and 2 birthdays. My 6 and 4yr olds get a kick out of it, they like to help choose what toys little man will like best

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    My kid hardly got anything from us her first xmas. We mostly wrapped up some clothes we’d bought for her that were in a future size…stuff we would’ve bought anyway.
    My niece’s birthday is 3 weeks after xmas, so she got the same gifts for both (rewrapped in birthday party) for her first xmas.

  • Janok Place

    I’m the frugal queen of penny pinching. Honestly, mostly everything in my house is second hand. Our furniture, our clothes, our movies, our dishes, or appliances… our dog (haha…). I was raised this way, and I knew how hard my mom worked. I guess I just figured, she worked so, so hard… and I could see the price difference. How could I expect my mother, who I never saw, to work 10X harder so I could get things brand new? But I just Can. Not. Do. It. on the holidays. I don’t know why. Theoretically, I know it’s fine. I’m pissed ass hell that I just spent over $100 on a kitchen set when I know I could find one for $10 at a garage sale. Why did I do it? Why? I don’t know :(

    • Alicia Kiner

      Sometimes, you just have to buy new because you need stuff that is in good working order or well taken care of. You just do. Kids clothes and toys? Not necessary to buy new all the time. They grow out of it all so fast it’s actually pretty wasteful if you think about it. Until my kids started school, my husband and I didn’t buy new clothes for them. We went to yard sales and second hand shops all the time. On the rare occasions where I did buy new, it was off the clearance racks at Target or Kohls.

    • Janok Place

      That’s what my mom did… but it didn’t really change when I went to school. Or graduated from school. Or got married… I still can’t bring myself to buy clothing new, for anyone in the family. Exceptions obviously being undergarments, socks, bathing suits. Occasionally winter ware if I can’t find it in good condition. Something about the holidays tends to sucker me in…

    • Emily

      My mom got our kids’ kitchen set at a garage sale, and it is great. I just ordered a scooter for my daughter – used in a demo, but saved $40. Almost all of their clothes (heck, some of mine, too) are hand-me-down. That just makes sense! (And… cents! See what I did there?)

    • Janok Place

      Bahahaha, you so punny! I think all of my clothes are used right now, exception being my winter coat. Back to back babies just makes buying clothes an extreme sport. If you like it, buy it, it’ll fit at some point one way or another.

  • Brittany Anne

    My husband and I aren’t buying any gifts for our seven-month-old. I got him an ornament for the tree, but he’s the first grandchild on both sides of the family, and despite us asking everyone to keep it simple, both grandmothers have hinted that he’s going to be getting quite a haul.

    Plus, we live in a tiny apartment.

    Plus, his favorite toys right now are empty boxes and paper towel tubes.

    • Janok Place

      Oh my… Grandparents of the first kind! That right there is a terrifying creature to behold. Maybe open up a college savings fund and give everyone the information necessary to deposit… that might slow them down.

  • Bethany Ramos

    Why didn’t I think of this??? Baby#2 could have a 20 present stack of all the shit lying around our house!

  • personal

    Yep. I’ve been planning this since summer. Our boy just turned 1. His sister is 4. I hid away a bunch of her old things this summer so she’d forget about them and am planning to rock his world next week with the riches our attic is hiding. :)

  • Lee

    I bought a sack this year and am starting a new tradition with my 2 year old. We are filling the sack for Santa to bring back to his workshop to “clean up the toys to give to other kids”. Which actually means storing the good baby toys for the eventual kid #2 and tossing the crap.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      Good idea!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I think there’s a good possibility that your oldest will say, “I have one just like it” but never actually bother to go see his at the same time as the babies’ toy….thus thinking there are actually two in the house. It would take effort to confirm there’s not two, and you could always say, “Well, if you cleaned your room, I bet you’d find that other one.” Then, you get a clean room out of the deal and maybe you could slip it back in there when he’s finishing. I’m actually kind of delighted with this idea now and may use it on my own kids :)

  • Natasha B

    I just wrapped up the 4 yo’s old duplo Lego sets for the 18mo for Christmas :)

  • Amanda

    I did this for my younger daughter’s first birthday. She didn’t know the difference (she just want to play with the wrapping paper) and the 3 year old would have stolen everything anyway. For Christmas, we basically got mostly “big girl” toys for the 3 year old, but are putting the 1 year old’s name on some of them so she can open those presents. And to try to teach the 3 year old that not everything belongs to her.

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