Baby Items I Should Probably Give Up … But Won’t

So my baby turns 5 on Sunday.

And yes, you’re not the only one who thinks of this when you hear someone refer to non-infants as babies.


You’ll probably hear more about E. turning 5 than you’ll care to over the next few days (don’t say you haven’t been warned), but I had a startling realization tonight. Since E. is turning 5, does that mean I have to give up some of my favorite “baby” things now?

Like what? Like the following:

1. Her stroller. 

We rarely use the stroller anymore. In fact, it’s used almost exclusively at one place — Disney World. And yeah, it’s beginning to look a bit absurd.

E in a stroller

Dear parents who I used to judge before I had my own child — I humbly apologize for every side-eyed glance I gave you for still hauling your non-toddlers around in strollers. I had no idea just how crucial they were in places like Disney. To be honest, E. rarely rides in it once we get there. She hops in for the (long) trips to and from the car, but usually it serves another purpose at the parks — storing our bag with an extra outfit and snacks while we go on rides. A lot of times, we’ll park it in one spot for a couple hours, then come and grab it when we’re ready for snacks or to move to another section of the park.

And I’m not ready to give up my pack mule. I know it looks ridiculous for this long-limbed child to ride around in it, but I don’t care. You’ll have to pry my Maclaren from my cold, dead hands. Or, at the very least, push my 13-year-old out of it.

2. The Baby Monitor

This is one item that my husband constantly mocks me for, but frankly, I’m too addicted to it to give it up. Over the past five years, it’s become almost a white noise machine to me. And since I had my child in the dark ages, ours is just an audio monitor. The good thing is that it somehow feels slightly less creepy and intrusive that way.


If the receiver gets unplugged in our room for some reason (usually because the cat pulled it out of the socket), something will bother me at bedtime until I realize what it is. There have been times when I’ve been dead tired and still gotten out of bed and crossed the room to plug it back in.

I’ve got a fever that only the sounds of my daughter tossing and turning in her sleep can cure.

Besides, it’s brought me so much joy over the years.

For starters, when E. was 2 or 3, I convinced her I had Magic Mommy Ears thanks to the monitor. I heard her do or say something in there when she was playing and dropped that information on her later. She was freaked out. That’s just called good parenting.

Even when she became aware of the monitor, it still never really clicked for her that it was the source of all my knowledge. I pray I’ll always be able to trick her like that.

The monitor has also given me a front-row seat to her nightly concerts. Here’s one I recorded on my phone last summer.

My favorite part is her dramatic rearrangement of “The Hockey Pokey.” I’m pretty sure she’ll be performing that at an audition some day.

The baby monitor was also crucial to me overhearing the “there’s no Tooth Fairy” conversation. This is useful information my friends.

I suppose one  of these days I’ll have to give E. some privacy and pull the plug. Or just hide it better. Hey, it worked out OK for this crew … for awhile at least.

The Wire


3. Her play kitchen.

I have such a love-hate relationship with E’s play kitchen.

I hate it because it takes up SO much space in our tiny house. We’ve moved it several times over the years but everywhere it goes, it just takes up an obscene amount of precious real estate.

The problem is that she’s loved it since day 1.

E's kitchen

We bought this for E. off of Craig’s List for about $100 (including ALL the food, dishes, utensils, etc) when she was 2 1/2 and I’m pretty sure she’s played with it nearly every day since then. Over the years, her play has definitely developed from just putting things in and out of all the drawers and cabinets to running a full restaurant out of there (she’s even made her own menus).

It’s really been such a great learning tool. We’ve used it to teach our picky eater about fruits and vegetables, practiced math and money skills when she’s tried to charge me 400 “monies” for my meal of a donut and a tomato slice and read labels on all the random food items that came with it (the collection was heavy on British staples like marmalade and beans).

I know the kitchen isn’t necessarily a “baby” toy but perhaps it’s because we’ve had it for so long that it seems to me its days of use must be dwindling, right?

I’ve already warned Katy that whether she wants it or not, she’s getting it. Originally I thought we’d be ready to get rid of it by this last Christmas, but E and DadJovi protested. So I’ve mentally decided that next Christmas is the absolute deadline.

Somehow, though, I think I may be overruled again.

That’s OK. As long as she’s still playing with it that means she’s still my baby, right?

Moms and dads — any baby items you’ve been reluctant to give up? Or, for everyone, is there something you’ve held onto — clothes, shoes, random objects — that you’ve held onto for years past their prime?


  1. says

    You’ve seen my organization posts recently, right? That is at a minimum 85% baby crap. I honestly don’t even KNOW what was in some of those bags I threw away because I KNEW if I started to go through them I would want to keep all of it for nostalgic reasons! It’s ridiculous how much shit we kept because of emotional attachment.

    I can’t believe E is turning 5. I have to say, it’s wonderful age (I love too). It’s hard to see them get older, but at the same time it’s SO NICE to watch them become more independent. Wait – why am I doing this all over again?

  2. says

    I blame Toy Story for 90 percent of the stuff in my house. Those damn movies have convinced me that toys have feelings! We’ve been purging as much as we can over the last year or so but there are some things I just can’t seem to let go of. Stupid Woody and Buzz and their feelings.

    I’m glad to hear you say that about 5. Lately, she’s been showing signs of copping a ‘tude and I’ve been worried about what 5 would bring. Hopefully her 5 is as fun as B’s 5 was.

    Ha! I think it’s a little too late for second-guessing yourself. You’re going to do awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on BW3!

  3. says

    Aww, those things must be impossible to give up! I am a weird mix of a nostalgia hound and someone who hates clutter. So I get rid of a lot but have the worst time getting rid of things that mean a lot to me. I have my favorite Gremlin lunchbox from when I was a kid, which is now filled with all sorts of things that I have collected along the way – the tag to my first running shoes, name tags from jobs I loved, pine nuts from favorite forests.
    You know what else I thought about when I read your post? It is always so weird to look back on the last time you did something, esp when you did not know it was the last time. One day, E will play with her kitchen set for the last time and…oh man now I am tearing up! Yup, period week for sure… but anyway, one day she’ll do that for the last time and the whole concept of growing up is so beautiful and so sad all at the same time. Hmm, there is no way this is making you feel any better… and since I have no kiddos of my own, I will just pass along what my parents always tell me and Lil Sis – as much as they loved raising us and experiencing us as children, they really love and appreciate having us as adults. We are a tight knit crew and have the best time together – in a different way then when we were young and in some ways I think they like it better this way. So never fear, the best years are ahead!

    • says

      Do you want me to cry and cry all day!!! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!?!

      Ha! It’s so funny you do say that though because I think that all the time about certain things. The biggest thing I wished I’d known was going to be the last time was the final time E. nursed. I had no idea it was coming. One day she was a happy nursing toddler. The next, she was done. And never wanted to do it again.

      It really is all so bittersweet. I love the little person she’s become and is becoming, but I can’t help but long for my baby.

      Ah, life.

      Thanks for making me cry, er, I mean, thanks for the beautiful comment!

      • says

        haha, it really was the worse, i am sorry! i think the people we should really blame, though, are the scientists that have yet to figure out time travel, or at the very least a way that we can visit our memories in a way that makes us feel like we were there. that would solve this whole issue as well as a host of other nostalgic moments in my life i’d like to go back and experience again. come on, scientists, enough with the figuring out how to get to mars and beating childhood obesity, let’s get our deloreans already!

        • says

          What we need is a Pensieve from Harry Potter. I’ve always said that it’s the thing I’d want most from the books/movies. If we could just watch a video of our memories, like would be so much better (at least for some parts!)

          Maybe JK Rowling can consult w/ some scientists and get this crucial issue solved!

  4. says

    i’m already planning on D harassing me to go play with the magical kitchen at A’s since we have nothing that can compare.
    d’s only 7 months now but so far i haven’t been too clingy to stuff, much more desperate to just regain some space. i am, however, holding to just about all of her clothes in case there’s a #2 and it’s a girl since these clothes are so damn cute and she only wore most things 1 or 2 times.

    • says

      Yeah, I held onto baby clothes for a long time too before eventually letting them go. I’ve kept a bunch of “memorable outfits” still. A word of warning: things yellow VERY quickly in Florida. I went through a big bag of baby clothes when Audrey was coming and was so saddened by how many of them I had to toss. Anything that had ever been spit up or drooled on did not stand the humidity test of time. They were gross and yellow down the front, even though they weren’t that way when they went into the storage bags!

      And I’m totally willing to open up a bidding war on the kitchen! :)

      • says

        oh no, audrey can have the kitchen. the only space left here is on the porch.

        i’ve got her old clothes in a vacuum sealed bag so hopefully that helps since daphne spit up on everything. woohoo reflux.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *