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When your baby grows out of their clothes…

As a baby grows into a toddler, it can be a challenge to figure out what to do with their not-so-old clothes. So to help you when it comes to old baby clothes, here’s a guide to donating, recycling and repurposing to extend the life of baby’s clothes.

Baby Bank Network is very fortunate to have received a mountain of clothes from donations events but occasionally needs specific items – such as warm coats in winter and newborn vests (please keep an eye on our Facebook page for these call outs).

Donate to charity

Donating clothes to charities such as Baby Bank Network gives you that warm glow of knowing that the clothes that your baby has grown in—and out of—will still be used by a family in need. When we’re OK for clothes, donating them to a charity shop is a great way to prolong the life of the clothes, support low income families and a range of charitable causes.

When donating, please consider the state of the items – avoid including ripped and stained clothing in the basket. While the clothes you donate don’t have to be brand new, the items should be in good shape. Shoes are often the victim of wear and tear, thus only include them if they are in suitable condition.

Rewarding as it is, sorting through baby’s clothes once in a while takes some time, energy, and focus. Find yourself a nice afternoon, and sift through each item – sorting them into various piles/bags. It makes life easier for our volunteers if similar items are grouped together in age groups.


Re-using clothes is the ultimate form of recycling. If you’re planning to have more children, it’s best to decide first which items you want to keep. This is your first category. Unisex items such as onesies and socks are precious and can save you cash in the long run. You also need to know that it’s fine to hold on to some items for their sentimental value, while keeping in mind that they require utmost care if they are to last for years.

For clothing to last longer, it’s worth considering altering items, especially when the clothing is made with quality or expensive materials. Sometimes, by changing the buttons or by increasing the length, it can do wonders to spruce them up.


Some items will no longer be appropriate for donating or recycling so we’re left with the repurposing option. This is particularly relevant for stained, ripped or torn items and those which you no longer want your baby to wear, that can’t really be given away. There isn’t too much that you can do by way of extending the life of these items besides turning them into rags to use for cleaning purposes. The rest? You can use them to make a patch quilt, stuffed animals, fabric-covered buttons or even a rattle thanks to companies such as Stitchwork Memories.

Thank you for your support!

By guest blogger Alice Hanna