When I was pregnant with my first baby I remember being overwhelmed by all the stuff we needed to get. Or at least, all the stuff I thought we needed to get. Our Amazon registry was endless and our friends were very generous in making sure we had everything we asked for. Which actually meant we had way too much.
Then our baby boy decided to make an entrance into the world a bit earlier than expected, leaving us way underprepared but also drowning in boxes. Turns out, newborns don't need that much stuff to begin with and his nursery turned into our storage unit.
As our son grew by the minute, I became hyper-aware of how wasteful having a kid can be. Yes, there is the ridiculous number of diapers they go through a day—which all end up in landfills forever—but there's also how fast they grow out of clothes or how quickly they lose interest in plastic toys. Because of my initial experience the first time around, I decided to look into more eco-friendly ways of parenting that would be attainable for us to do with our lifestyle as two working parents in a big city.
The first thing I looked into was hand-me-downs. My neighborhood has an amazing network of moms and they were all more than willing to pass down heaps and heaps of clothes. Suddenly my son had more clothes than he could wear and I happily started passing them down to friends who had kids after us. It gave me such great satisfaction to pack items we didn't need anymore and hand them off to the next person in line.
So when I found out I was pregnant again, with twins, I really wanted to be as environmentally conscious as possible. I've decided that I'm not falling into the same trap, especially with the whole needing two of everything idea. Yes, we will need double the diapers and two safe sleeping places, but they don't each need their own tiny plastic bathtub or super smart swing.
When the time for our sprinkle came around my husband suggested we do a re-sprinkle. What does that mean? Everyone who wanted to gift us something had to either have it be a hand-me-down from their kids (anything from clothes to toys to even half-used boxes of diapers), bought at a second-hand store or an item from an environmentally-friendly company.
And it was a hit!
Our friends were excited to purge their clutter and we got a ton of products we needed, from clothes and shoes to bibs, diapers and soap for bottles. Most items came with tags. Someone even donated to save the koalas from the wildfires happening in Australia in our names, which made my very pregnant and emotional self sob for approximately two hours.
As I was unpacking and organizing all the stuff we got, I noticed a familiar onesie. My sister-in-law had passed down clothes her twins had outgrown when we had our son and this onesie was part of that pile. I had then passed it to a friend who also had a boy shortly after us. She then passed on back to us, meaning this adorable bright green onesie is now on its fourth life and looking brand new. That's when the importance of what we chose to do hit me.
Sure, I won't be able to save the world just by reusing other people's baby clothes, but it all adds up. We can all make little changes here and there to make sure our children have a better place in this world to grow up in.
We are probably not the first ones to do this, but I really hope we are not the last. So go ahead and steal our re-sprinkle idea and make it your own. People will be excited to show their love to your family and you will get what you need—if not more—for your little one. Plus, if you still need something that no one gave you, online retailers with super fast shipping can come to the rescue.
I'm excited for the twins to come and start using all the items we got and to share photos with the people that gave them to us. But also, I'm already planning our own big purge to pass on and donate all the things our girls won't need anymore.