Borrowing and lending baby stuff- top tips

As discussed here, I’m a big fan of borrowing and lending baby stuff. It makes complete sense, especially if you are short on storage space. Over time, we have done very well out of it. However, since attempting to retrieve all our baby stuff (in preparation for baby number 2 who has now arrived!), and having had some difficulty I have compiled these borrowing and lending top tips- It’s not rocket science, but was clearly too complicated for our tiny brains to work out the first time round.


Label everything
We learned from bitter experience that, although you might think you will remember each cute baby item and know what is yours and what is someone else’s, you won’t. Especially the ones from the first few months- those days will be a hazy blur in your mind. Like a never-ending drunken night out (combined with a terrible hangover). We now label EVERYTHING, with the first initial of our son, or the child who has kindly loaned us their hand-me-downs. We use a laundry marker from WHSmith (a bit pricey and probably available elsewhere, much cheaper btw), and just write on the label. Simples.

Write a list of who has what/who has lent you what
There are some bits and bobs that I think we have lent to people, and I am almost sure of who those people are, but not quite sure enough to actually accuse them of theft and take them to the small claims court/Judge Rinder.

Take a photo of what you have lent
I thought about doing this (and of course didn’t), but this would be a good way of remembering stuff you have borrowed/lent to someone if you didn’t want to/couldn’t be arsed labelling them. You could even take a photo of the person with the stuff, doubling up as a lovely momento of that beautiful borrowing/lending moment. Cheese!

Make it clear that you want the stuff back (if you do want it back), or ask, if you are the borrower
I have failed miserably on this count, quite a few times. I have apparently even told people that I don’t want our stuff back and so they have “kindly” donated our stuff to other people. I was probably sleep deprived, they were probably even more sleep deprived. As I said, those early months are very much like being drunk (or maybe I actually was). Don’t follow my example- be assertive and clear. “THIS IS A MOTHERF***ING LOAN- I WANT IT BACK OR THE BABY GETS IT!!” should suffice.

Make it clear when you want the stuff back
If you have an idea when that will be, let them know at the time that you lend the stuff to them. Otherwise, try to let the person know in plenty of time before you need it. if not, you might end up doing what I did, and start panicking as your due date approaches and feel compelled to buy more stuff (and lets face it- none of us needs more stuff in our life).

And finally… don’t lend anything that you are so attached to, that you couldn’t bear for it not to come back, or would be gutted if it came back covered in another baby’s bodily fluid stains. Your own baby’s poo is bad enough.

Got any ideas you would like to share? Any tales of where borrwing and lending has worked well, or gone horribly wrong? Comment below or take part in our Facebook group forum here.

Related posts:
Toys: how to avoid the clutter

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