3rd Trimester

Is there a way to politely decline a passed down gift....?

So last night DH and I stop by the inlaws house because they have something for us. MIL looks all teary eyed and hands me a box and says "this is for you". Its a little knitted hat/booties/and jacket (?) type thing. Then theres a note in there that says it was something that DH wore, and DH's dad wore, and DH's dad's dad wore... etc. Then MIL says "I was hoping you could bring the baby home from the hospital in this..." Uhm. DH and I already picked out all of the clothes LO is coming home in. Plus the stuff seems big (I later found out that it was originally made for a 6 months old, not a new born). Plus it just... looks and smells and feels... old. I appreciate the gesture, but there is no way I'm putting that stuff on my baby. I feel bad tho cause FIL kept saying how excited MIL was to give it to us, etc.

DH hasn't really said anything either way. After we left I said to him that we already had LO's coming home outfit and he just said "yeah I know". So I really don't know how he feels about it.

Do I just suck it up and put something (maybe the booties) on LO to come home? Or do I stick to my guns and go with the outfit me and DH originally picked. The other part of it is that I don't want the IL's to think they have a say in everything regarding LO. I don't want to set the precident that anytime they say "oh we wanted LO to do this or that" that we're just going to go with it. When DH and I were getting married they were trying to make decisions for us and I made it very clear from the very begining that wedding decisions were mine and DH's and noone elses, and I want to make sure they understand that the same goes for baby.

thoughts?

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Re: Is there a way to politely decline a passed down gift....?

  • I would just explain that you and DH have already picked out a coming home outfit together.  Can you put it on the baby for a special event or something or a family gathering that your MIL is attending?  If even just for a photo op?  Clothing is a pretty harmless item to pass down.

  • I would stick with the clothes you have already picked out. I know finding LOs outfit for us was a nightmare and it took forever to find something "perfect" to bring him home in. I would just netion that you already have something picked out but maybe get some pictures with him in the outfit for the ILs. If you are getting newborn pics then you can take a few in that outfit and send them to the IL's.

    Thats cute that they gave you that outfit. Even if you don't put your LO in it its still a GREAT keepsake.

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  • image somegirl425:

    I would just explain that you and DH have already picked out a coming home outfit together.  Can you put it on the baby for a special event or something or a family gathering that your MIL is attending?  If even just for a photo op?  Clothing is a pretty harmless item to pass down.

    I think this sounds pretty special. I wouldn't change your coming home outfit if you don't want to, but I would use it for some sort of special thing with your IL and make a big deal with pictures for them or something. You still get your way, but you also still let them know you care about their feelings and appreciate them passing something on that is so important to them.

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  • do a photo for her.  I don't usually suggest giving in to in-laws on this stuff - but three generations of dh's family did this so why would you break it? seeems like a pretty big slap in the face. 
  • Ok for the 'smells old' you could have it dry cleaned. If it's too big, wait til LO is bigger and use it for some pictures? That way it's being used and the grandparents can have a way to cherish the fond memories of said outfit.

    As for them trying to be too involved, cherish that they are trying at least. My mother has seen my daughter for a total of an hour since she was born, and she lives an hour away. She doesn't work and plays online games all day, no valid excuse. If you feel the grandparents are starting to cross a line, put your foot down when it's appropriate. Remember you are LO's parents, you make the decisions..ALWAYS! GL to you dear!


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  • Oh man, that's rough. I'd talk to DH about it, and see what he really thinks. If he doesn't really care, then I would stick with your original plan. If he really wants the baby to wear it then maybe you can compromise - like you said, just the booties or something (just dry clean them first). Or to save face, you could always tell the ILs that they are just too big for LO. Babies aren't supposed to wear jackets in the car seat since the buckle can't get tight enough. The hat would probably be really itchy too.  
  • If it looks big then it's an obvious no-brainer that it won't work for a coming home outfit but I wouldn't reject the gift entirely.  It's very thoughtful and special and obviously means something to his family.  It's just clothing, you can always wash it and make a big deal of LO wearing it when it fits.  No big deal.
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  • i dont see what the big deal is to not put him in the outfit? i mean its one day.. and its has been done for 3 generations already.. even if you hate it i would still do it.. it seems like a big deal for them..
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  • Go with the outfit you chose already. To appease the family tradition in the next couple weeks, put the outfit on baby, take a picture and then redress him. Problem solved.

  • I'd explain that you already chose a coming home outfit, and I'd take a picture of LO in the hand me downs - right before his or her bath!
  • all the pp's are right. Stick with the coming home outfit you picked out and wait until baby is big enough to wear it and either just take a pic of him in it or put him in it when your il's are around. no big deal
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  • I wouldn't change my plans for coming home outfit.  As PP's said, one day put the LO in the outfit, take some pics and send it to them.  I don't get the whole thing myself but I am not all mushy when it comes to stuff like that.  I personally think it is silly.  I have my daughter's outfit she came home in but I don't ever see myself passing it along to her for her child to wear, I know how I enjoyed being able to pick out her own outfit myself. 
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  • You could always stage a few pics of LO in the outfit - then change LO into what you and DH picked out. Or put the outfit on LO further down the road and explain it was just too big, if she asks.

    IMO, there is no polite way to turn down sentimental family hand me downs. Just take it, and do what you can to get a picture of LO in it for your ILs.

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  • image Libby283:

    Go with the outfit you chose already. To appease the family tradition in the next couple weeks, put the outfit on baby, take a picture and then redress him. Problem solved.

    This!

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  • If it were me, I would bring the baby home in the outfit that MIL gave you. It seems like it's pretty special to them, especially if your MIL was excited to give it to you and became teary eyed. I get that you have chosen a 'coming home' outfit already, but this is a tradition that I would want passed down to my grandchildren as well. I've also saved DS' coming home outfit, blanket, Christening outfit, and Christening blanket to give to him if and when he has his own little boy. Of course, I wouldn't EXPECT him to use it, but it's the gesture that counts. It's not like MIL said you HAVE to use it, she said she was 'hoping' you could.

    Of course the decision is yours to make, but if it were me, I'd use it.

    Oh and for the feel and smell of it, that's nothing a good wash w/ baby detergent couldn't fix.

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  • You're making a mountain out of a mole hill here. Seriously, if this was something that was passed down 3 generations of YOUR family, would you be making such a fuss? It's special to their family. Use your coming home outfit and put baby in this outfit for the IL's first visit with the baby once you're all home.

    I have no idea why the thought to not accept the gift would even cross your mind.

  • image locash:

    You're making a mountain out of a mole hill here. Seriously, if this was something that was passed down 3 generations of YOUR family, would you be making such a fuss? It's special to their family. Use your coming home outfit and put baby in this outfit for the IL's first visit with the baby once you're all home.

    I have no idea why the thought to not accept the gift would even cross your mind.

    I worded that somewhat wrong. I never meant to completely turn down the gift all together (like give it back or anything)... I was more referring to the idea that she gave it to us for the baby to come home in, and I don't want to use it for that purpose.

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  • I hate to be the one that disagrees ... but I think it's pretty selfish to not use it in some way and decline a gift. (Ok, so I take that back if that wasn't your intention - I just was going on the heading of the post.) It's an outfit that was passed down and used three generations.

    Quite frankly, ok - if it's too big to use as coming home outfit, so be it. But let it be something special and give this one to your IL's. Believe me I have bad IL's sometime and even I'd give in to this one.

    I guess I'm different and don't understand the necessity of having the perfect coming home outfit. (Not to say that it's wrong, but sometimes - concessions need to be made.)

    Edited because of response by OP to PP & spelling.

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  • image jmm881:

    I hate to be the one that disagrees ... but I think it's pretty selfish to not use it in some way and decline a gift. (Ok, so I take that back if that wasn't your intention - I just was going on the heading of the post.) It's an outfit that was passed down and used three generations.

    Quite frankly, ok - if it's too big to use as coming home outfit, so be it. But let it be something special and give this one to your IL's. Believe me I have bad IL's sometime and even I'd give in to this one.

    I guess I'm different and don't understand the necessity of having the perfect coming home outfit. (Not to say that it's wrong, but sometimes - concessions need to be made.)

    Edited because of response by OP to PP & spelling.

    All of this.  Even if you could just use a hat and some booties - it's just a hat and booties!  Have it dry cleaned or hand wash it.

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  • I would not change the outfit, but our hospital sends a photo team around 24 hours after the birth, its around 80 bucks and you can do several outfit changes, maybe your hospital does something like this and you could put LO in that outfit for some of those.
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  • While I think you have every right to keep the outfit you and your SO chose for baby to come home in (and I agree with Mom2Hay, I think, who said something along the lines of it was so fun to choose LO's coming home outfit that she wouldn't want to deprive her children of that by expecting them to use a passed down outfit), three generations is a lot to mess with.

    I am thinking about an incident that happened in our family; there is a necklace that has been worn by every single bride in our family since my grandmother's mother. My cousin's wife refused (she wore something she bought at Claire's) and it caused serious tension between her and her MIL (my aunt), and the rest of the older generation. They took it as a sign that their family traditions didn't matter to her.

    Anyway, just throwing that out there as an alternate POV...personally, I would keep the outfit I had chosen and would just do a photo later in the heirloom stuff as PP suggested, but it's always good to think about all possible outcomes!

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  • I agree to using your chosen coming home outfit but use the family outfit for something else. Perhaps the announcement picture? Some friends put their B/G twins in their own old coming home outfits for the announcements and wrote a little blurb about the clothes on the back. It was very sweet.
  • Thanks ladies, I like the idea of just doing some pictures in it, or wearing it for some special occasion when it fits a little better. Unless DH decides he feels strongly about it being worn home, I think we'll stick with our original coming home outfit.

    And to those who thought I meant to completely turn down the gift... my bad, I should have worded that better. I would never just be like "no sorry we don't want this" and give it back... I just meant turning down the idea of LO wearing it home from the hospital, because thats what they were giving it to us for. I'm definitely going to keep it as a keepsake and at some point I'll put LO in it for some pictures or a special occasion.

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  • I think it is a nice gesture.  Sometimes I think we are all so ready to pounce on our in-laws "stepping on our toes" that we forget to be graceful about a nice gesture.   I am guilty of this sometimes too so please don't take this as a flame.

    Something so precious should be handled with care.  I would have it cleaned (either hand wash and line-dry or take it to a cleaner and see waht they can do) and then do what you can.  If it is too big, tell her that and then have him wear it some other time.  If it does fit, maybe put him in the booties or hat for the way home (or for pictures while in the hospital).

    Be gentle with your MIL's feelings.  Imagine some of your baby's things being saved, handing them down to your son's future wife, and her complaining because it is "old" and not her style.  Some things are worth making an effort for and I think this is one of those cases.

  • Are they going to be there when you bring LO home?  If not, then they won't really know.  I would use your original coming home outfit and just take pics of your LO in the passed down clothes at some point for MIL. 

    I understand what you mean about not wanting the ILs to have a say in everything about your child.  Last year MIL bought DD and her cousin (just two months older than DD) matching Christmas dresses.  It was fine for some pics, and I actually didn't find another dress that I wanted to get her anyway.  However, I told DH that I don't want her doing it every year.  I'm her mom and I want to pic her Christmas dress.  I don't know if MIL is planning on doing it this year, but I already have DD's dress.  I paid for it, I love it, and it's what she's going to wear.

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  • image Venus04d:
    image somegirl425:

    I would just explain that you and DH have already picked out a coming home outfit together.  Can you put it on the baby for a special event or something or a family gathering that your MIL is attending?  If even just for a photo op?  Clothing is a pretty harmless item to pass down.

    I think this sounds pretty special. I wouldn't change your coming home outfit if you don't want to, but I would use it for some sort of special thing with your IL and make a big deal with pictures for them or something. You still get your way, but you also still let them know you care about their feelings and appreciate them passing something on that is so important to them.

    This.

  • Personally I'd just put the baby in the outfit MIL gave me unless it completely didn't fit and evne then I'd probably just try to roll it up or make it work.  Pleasant relations with in-laws trumps what the baby comes home in.  Who cares? It's only a few hours anyway!
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  • i would do something with it-- after hand washing it or having it cleaned to get the old smell out. maybe wear the sweater over his other outfit as a jacket if it's cold when you bring him home and the sweater will be big anyway. i think they will understand if you make an effort to use it, but the clothes are too big. I'd try to do something that day (and photograph it) and maybe use all the pieces in a photo when he's bigger.

     it would bother me if she had purchased a brand new outfit and was trying to tell you what to bring your baby home in-- but i think they mean well and are just being sentimental by sharing an "heirloom" outfit that has been worn for three generations.

  • I probably would use it. They're just booties, a hat, and a jacket so you can put what you got under it. Worst case scenario, you can put it on your LO for a picture in the carseat/with you in the wheelchair to give to your MIL/FIL.

    My MIL made a presentation at my baby shower with items that she saved from my husband. I know it meant so much to her to save those things for 34 years, but some of them are old/stained/wrong season/huge. My husband seemed very apathetic to the items (except his baby blanket). He's asked her before to not give us certain things of his because he doesn't want them (without consulting with me first :P). I will be storing most of these clothes but I picked out a little sweater of his to put on our LO for the coming home outfit. When I showed him, I could see that it really meant a lot to my husband. That in itself is worth it to me, but I also wanted to do something for my MIL. It seems very uncaring to just ignore what she put so much thought and time into.

    She has tried to take over certain decisions for us in the past, with us adamently denying them, but I know that she means well. I don't think that something this small is going to make her think that we'll let her start making decisions for us now. We will just continue to put our foot down with the big stuff.

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  • We received similar items from DH's family that were knitted by his grandparents and great-grandparents. We are keeping them in a drawer and we plan on getting pictures of LO in them and sending them to his family, but that's it. They are old, kind of smell funny, but the gesture was very sweet (especially since this would have been their first great-grandchild, but they passed away 2 weeks before we found out we were pregnant).
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