Having so many kids can be expensive, and one way we save money is by storing clothes. I buy things in sizes they haven't grown into when they're on sale, I shop at resale shops and consignment sales whenever possible, I happily accept clothes that friends' children have outgrown, keep what I like and pass on the rest. As a result, I have tubs and boxes FULL of clothes for my kids in the attic an on some shelves in the upstairs room. It's all actually pretty organized, a result of hours of work on my part. I've passed on stuff to friends, sold things online, donated stuff...and I still have a small mountain of children's clothes.
I rotate my own clothes, too. I have a tub of maternity clothes, a tub of out of season clothes (summer and winter). I even have a smaller box of nursing tops, but that box is currently empty since all those items are being utilized. I rotate everything around with the changing of seasons and sizes for the kids. It's a lot of work, hauling tubs around, making sure everything is in the proper place, that sets are together and that everything is clean and the boxes are labeled. I even have boxes of clothes that were mine as a child that my mom saved for me to give my own daughters. They're pretty little dresses with smocking that my aunts made me. Very 80's styles, so I've only pulled a couple out for Eden and Rebekah to wear, but it's still really cool to have those mementos. I've got bags with special items for each kid, though each subsequent child's bag is a little less full that the older ones...lol
Recently, I've put away the maternity clothes and pulled out some summer stuff and made sure I had all the nursing stuff. The kids have been switched from winter to summer. And Rebekah is moving out of newborn and into the 0-3 month size.
When I put away the newborn clothes for Eden, I cried. Her early infancy was so tainted by her diagnosis that we didn't know anything. We thought she was probably our last child, but her future was so ambiguous it was hard to completely accept that fact. I cried each time she outgrew a size for the first few months because who knew what would happen next.
I'm not the only mom to be sentimental like that, but I wasn't that way with either of the boys. Maybe because I knew neither of them was the last?
Unless something unexpected happens, Rebekah is my last baby. She's outgrowing her newborn clothes. She's starting to sleep through the night...sort of (4 hour stretches almost counts). She's not nursing as much and she's able to be awake and pleasant for stretches. She smiles at me every day.
I started packing up her newborn clothes today. And I didn't cry a single tear.
There's some relief in knowing that the newborn phase is almost behind me for good. It's exhausting. My body is sore from holding her in certain positions for long periods of time and from feeding her seemingly constantly at times. I wake up a couple times to feed her, though Austin helps tremendously by giving her a bottle at night when I'm tapped out, both milk wise and energy wise. They spend times together snuggled on the couch so I can get some rest without a fussing hungry baby nearby. He does better on less sleep than I do, but I think he'll be just as happy to leave this phase behind.
There's so many phases ahead of us, not just with Rebekah but with all four of our kids. School, dating, adulthood, teen years, driving, etc. The newborn phase has its sweet spots, like those first unintentional smiles and the midnight snuffling to mama's breast, the deep sleep laughter (this girl laughs in her sleep a few times a week and it's my favorite thing ever...I WILL miss that). So for now, I'll pack away the newborn clothes until such a time as someone else needs them. And with so many people in my life having babies, that time will come sooner rather than later.