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hand-me-downs etiquette?

i'm pregnant and a friend of mine gave me some hand-me-downs from her children a few months ago, basically everything a baby needs for the first year. we don't have a lot of money so i was very thankful to get these things. she has 3 children and i've heard her say several times they were done having kids. last week she wrote me an email asking if she could have them back because another friend of hers found out she was pregnant (i guess someone who is closer to her than i am) we're friends, but basically i know her from work and don't really hang out with her outside of work. the problem is, i'm due any day now and if i had any indication that these items weren't mine to keep, i would have been saving up to get these things on my own, but i didn't, and now it's kind of too late. if i don't give them back, i'm sure she'll be mad, i understand she wants to help her friend, but isn't taking back things you give away wrong?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:44 PM on Sep. 1, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (14)
  • I would be honest with her and let her know you are not in a position to give them back. If she did not indicate that she would need them again once she gave them to you I would think you are in the clear.

    I've heard of people give away stuff and then ask for it back when they are surprising PG again, but never to get them back to give them to some one else.

    Perhaps you guys can split the goods?

    Answer by KATEISME at 3:47 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • The baby items are yours now, she gave them to you. It is extremely rude to ask for hand-me-downs back. I would politely decline to give them back.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 3:48 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Wow, how rude of her. She GAVE them to you so therefore she doesn't even have a right to ask such a thing of you. I'm sorry I would not give them back, she gave them to you to use for your baby and those items are now yours.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:56 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Wow, that is the epitome of rude! She is clearly not a friend. If the entire situation has left you with a bitter taste, will it bother you to put those clothes on your brand new bundle of joy? If so, give them back and tell her what a hardship she has put on you. If not, tell her that you can't possibly go out shopping for all of those things NOW, when you can barely walk. Offer to give them back when your baby outgrows them, which will seem like a matter of weeks anyway. Hopefully you won't have too many poop-up-the-back episodes that ruin them....wink wink.
    That's a tough situation, especially so close to your due date. As though you aren't freaking out about enough as it is. At least this gives you an opportunity to practice your breathing and relaxation techniques..."focus on a point across the room and breathe..." ;-)

    Answer by JawgaMom1 at 3:58 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I would tell her you will gladly give her friend anything your baby outgrows. But since she gave them to you, that you did not purchase any other things and now are unable to give them to her.
    How incredibly rude she is!

    Answer by Nathskitten at 3:58 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • If you're almost due, and her other friend just found out she was pg, then yours should be out of the size she needs before she needs them. Tell her you will return them as your child outgrows them so she can pass them on.

    Answer by missanc at 4:00 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I think it's rude of her to expect for you to give them back!!! If she had told you when she gave them to you that at some point she wanted them back, that's a different story, but since she didn't, they belong to you.She GAVE them to you, she didn't LEND them to you. I'd tell her politely that the items were given to you, that you are not in the position to give them back and if she gets angry, then she's not a true friend.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 4:01 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • That's just rude and sad. But to salvage the situation maybe you could suggest you save the clothes and as your child outgrows them you package them back up for this other woman.

    Most of the hand me down's I got from my friend were handed down to her from her cousin and some of those came from another cousin (whose daughter was in a wheel chair so they were in perfect condition). So by the time my kid got them they had been worn by 1-3 other kids and then I passed them down to my other 2 girls (and my son wore some of the unisex stuff). And some of that I gave to the Salvation Army or passed to another friend.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 4:01 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Wow, that was rude of her! I would tell her that since your baby is due any day you are not in any position to return her things right now. I would let her know that you will not be able to return the clothes/items until your child grows out of them.

    Answer by MizLee at 4:11 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • That is wrong on so many levels! What kind of stuff did she give you? Was it just clothes or did it include baby equipment too? This is just me but if someone gave me stuff then asked for it back, they would get everything back along with major attitude and a couple of choice words from me. but I don't really know what to say since you say you haven't saved up for anything. ggod luck though.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:27 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

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