Emptying Our Nest: Bye Bye Baby Stage

As my youngest’s first birthday quickly approaches, the baby stage items are on their way out. Time seems to never slow down as a mom; this is something that I constantly struggle with. As my youngest’s first birthday quickly approaches, the baby stage items are on their way out. I am ready to stop tripping over stacking rings, walking around giant jumpers, and stepping on floor mats. I am ready to clear them out, but I can’t help dragging my feet.

baby stage itemsIt’s silly, but at the same time, it’s not. This stage and these items mean something to me. They represent memories that I want to hold forever. 

That bouncer? It held both my boys when they were tiny. It held them when they wanted to take a quick cat nap while mom wanted to wash dishes. It held them when they needed to be rocked, but mom had her hands full. It held them while I stared at their sweet, squishy faces. It was a huge part of my life during the baby stage.

That “kick and play” floor mat? It’s where I heard my firstborn belly laugh, and it has brought endless laughs since that first one. It’s also where I saw both boys roll for the first time. Where we spent hours of tummy time – though not all of that was filled with laughter, there might have been a good amount of tears too.

That push walker? I watched them tumble, roll and struggle to get back upright, only to start again. I watched them laugh, pushbuttons, and run into almost all of the walls in our home. 

Don’t even get me started on the clothes. I thought it would be hard after one kid, but now watching my second wear some of my favorites, I might have to keep all the baby stage clothes. {HA! My husband would say otherwise.}

Can I keep everything? Ugh. 

I know these are just material items, but to me, they are full of memories. Moments that I hope I can look back on and reminisce. I have been slowly putting these things away, tucked on shelves, packaged, never to be used in our home again. And, dang it. It makes me sad, like really sad. 

So, what do I do with it all?

I know I am still early in this journey – in an early stage – of parenthood. I know I will have so many things that will have wonderful memories associated with them. Heck, my four-year-old is obsessed with every single one of his dinosaur stuffed animals, I know I will be keeping all of those. I know I will most likely keep way more things than I should, but I think that’s most parents. It’s normal. 

There are a lot of things I know I won’t keep. I won’t keep the bassinet that they slept in when we first brought them home. I won’t keep an infant car seat that brought them home from the hospital and took them back and forth to daycare every day, and I won’t keep that nursing pillow that I used when my babies needed a nursing session at night. No, I won’t keep those items, but I will always cherish those memories and that stage of our lives.

As my children age, these memories and items will start to pile up, and I know I have to let them go. I will give some of my favorite things to friends and family, and I will sell the rest. Letting these items go still tugs at my heartstrings. Thank you, cloud, so that I can look at those photos all the time. With each item I let go of, I am thankful that it will bring their children as much joy as it has bought mine, and I hope it gives those parents the same nostalgic feeling I get as their children age.

Do I still have a tote of clothes of varying sizes? Yup, but I have narrowed it down to the items that I just can’t let go of. Will I keep the favorite blankets and stuffed animals? Probably. What about smaller baby toys that I hope to pass down someday? You bet. I have decided that it is alright to keep some of these things, and I don’t feel guilty, though my husband thinks that I’m a little crazy. 

I love watching my children grow and learn. I love switching out rattles for hot wheels, jumpers for swing sets, and strollers for wagons. But it is so much more than that. We aren’t just switching the little things; it’s the big things too. We are switching the bottles for sippy cups, onesies for two-piece outfits, and cribs for full-sized beds. Most importantly, we are switching babies for little boys. We are entering a new stage.

Every switch I do, it’s a weird feeling, a sad but happy feeling. I love watching these tiny babies I brought into the world move on to bigger and better things. {Not going to lie, one of the switches I am most looking forward to with my youngest is diapers to undies!}

So, yeah, I am emptying our nest. I am clearing out the baby stage for the last time. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

I hope these items give their new homes as much joy as they brought mine.

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Cassie lives in the Thumb. She is married and has two boys. Cassie and her family also share their home with their two dogs. Cassie is extremely involved in Agriculture, not only is she a full-time field consultant (working with Sugarbeets) in the thumb, but her husband and his family also own and operate a dairy farm and cash crop operation. Most of her free time is spent at the farm with their kiddos, trying new recipes or just cooking in general, reading, and watching the bachelor with her girlfriends. Follow along with Cassie as she writes on her experience of becoming a mother, farm life, and plenty of other random things.