Opinions on giving second hand clothes as a baby shower gift?

Looking for other peoples opinions on a dilemma I’m having.

I’m going to my cousins baby shower at the end of [name_u]January[/name_u] and she is expecting a baby boy. I don’t have any boys, but I do frequent a children’s second-hand clothing store that buys and sells used baby clothes. It’s like Once Upon A Child. [name_f]My[/name_f] cousin also likes to shop at this store.

Would it be okay to buy some boy clothes from the second-hand store and give them to her as a baby shower gift? I’m also buying her a new baby bath tub and a new diaper bag. I know my cousin has fallen on hard times financially so I want to get her some nice things for her shower but spending a lot of money on clothes the baby might only wear once seems wasteful.

Is it ok to give someone second hand clothing at a baby shower? Should I give her the clothing after the baby shower? Should I just not give her any clothes at all?

Thanks in advance.

I’ve given second-hand items as gifts before and no one has complained. I think as long as they are in good condition and clean, then it’s perfectly acceptable. I’d probably run them through the wash to make them extra fresh.

I suppose it could depend a bit on the person receiving the items, as well. Some people are a bit snooty that way and think second-hand items are beneath them. If it’s going to cause a drama, then maybe it’s not worth it, but if your cousin is the down-to-earth type, then I can’t see it being a problem.

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I think either secondhand or no clothes at all (especially since you’re already giving her other brand-new items) is fine. [name_u]Or[/name_u], if it bothers you, give her 1 cute new outfit with the other things.

Otherwise, it depends on the type of secondhand IMO.

If it’s “other baby wore this twice and it’s basically brand new” then that’s fine. If it’s “this was mommy’s favorite shirt and it still has breastmilk stains and the fabric is wearing” then I would say no.

Steer clear of stains or tears and just general unkemptness and I think it’s fine. If I’m able to get pregnant, I won’t be tag-checking at my showers but I would be sad if I got something that was dirty or worn out before my baby got to wear it. :woman_shrugging:t2:

[name_f]Hope[/name_f] this helps :slight_smile:

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It is very generous of you to help her out so much :heart: second hand clothes, as long as they are in good condition, can be great gifts! However, I do have a couple of thoughts.

  1. Possible issues with exchanging clothes that are the wrong size or whatever

  2. Does she have a registry? They are a great way for expectant parents to communicate what they actually need vs what people want to give. In my experience, everyone gives clothes. That’s not a bad thing but sometimes you end up with a mountain of clothes but you really needed a special kind of bottles, for example. Personally, I ended up with enough totes of baby clothes to fill my son’s closet and he didn’t end up wearing the majority of it.

I’d ask what she really needs or even see if there’s a “splurge” item you can contribute to that she really would like for the baby but doesn’t want to ask people for.


I’ve seen other people do it, and I think it is a great idea!

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If you’re uncomfortable with it, you could give 2nd hand clothes to her after the shower/ on another occasion.

I LOVED second hand things. [name_m]Way[/name_m] better than brand new!!


It’s fine. Since you already got her a present and opening shower gifts can be a bit slow, I’d give them another time though.


I’ll be the voice of dissent.

While I almost exclusively buy second hand or borrow for my own kids (fabulous stuff,) I’d only gift someone else at a shower something that’s brand new. There’s something to getting new baby clothing as a gift that’s nice - especially if she’s the type to purchase second hand herself. Like, it’s the time to receive an ‘indulgent’ gift.

That being said, I don’t think it’s necessary to bring clothing at all if you have those other gifts, and if you’re really close, it should be fine to gift her second hand at another time.

Note that hand me downs are always welcome, and don’t need to be passed as a gift… hand me downs are like the circle of life lol, they just cycle till they die.


To be honest, I’m not a fan of baby clothes as a gift in general. People have given us baby clothes countless times, and a lot of the time it was just a waste because they were the wrong size, for the wrong kind of weather, weren’t anything I’d want my child to wear (like pink cute dresses for our daughter)…

If you do want to gift some clothes, try a larger size. Most new parents have tons of outfits in the newborn size, and they grow out of it so quickly. But again, sizes and months in baby clothes are often meaningless. Let’s say you buy clothes that are a supposed to be size 6 months, in reality they might fit into it at 4 months or 8 months. You just never know with babies.
But I think other practical gifts, like the ones you have already, might be a better idea.

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I think as your friend shops there herself, you’d be absolutely fine gifting pre-loved items to this mama. However, something is making you unsure so I’d echo the advice above about giving them separately, away from the baby shower situation. It would be such a shame if your friend got snooty reactions from other people at the shower (if everyone was watching her open them and they were somehow identifiable as second hand).

Extra rambles

It’s an amazingly ethical thing to do, to avoid buying new and seems extremely fitting when welcoming a new child! Like, hello little one, I’ve lovingly sourced these for you and no extra greenhouse gasses were formed in their making to harm the planet you are going to inhabit!

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Oh my gosh I would be delighted to receive second hand items!

When I was pregnant with [name_f]Lilia[/name_f] it was financially hard (still is) and I got given tons of second hand items I was delighted with all the stuff I received. It was all super useful and used so many times! I still get given second hand items from my mum friends with older kids and I’m so grateful.

So honestly I think your cousin would be really happy to receive them.

Wishing your cousin all the best :butterfly:


[name_m]Just[/name_m] realised I kept saying ‘friend’ but this should be ‘cousin’ sorry!

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For me it would depend on my relationship with the person. [name_f]My[/name_f] sister’s and close friends & family I would have no problem gifting second hand items, because I know they wouldnt mind. But I know some people are bothered by it, so if I don’t know how they feel about it I would by new. [name_u]Or[/name_u] just stick to diapers and wipes, [name_u]Ive[/name_u] found with my babies, I much prefer to buy the ‘fun’ stuff myself, and its really the more practical stuff I wish people would buy for me.


I think that’s absolutely lovely! Not at all a problem. (Speaking for myself—I’d be really pleased if someone was able to find nice baby stuff at a second hand store and gave it to me. That’s a great idea.) Plus, I bet they have a great and wide selection!

Both of my kids wardrobes are 99% Vinted (secondhand online shop if you’re unfamiliar), the only time they ever get new is if it’s on sale and I buy it, or as gifts. So I wouldn’t be upset if I received secondhand clothes as I have no issue with them, but I like getting new outfits as gifts for them as they feel extra special.

I think it depends on how you think your cousin will take it. [name_u]Or[/name_u] maybe an idea is to get the gifts you already said, plus one new outfit and then some secondhand clothes. You cover all bases this way!