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Mom Offended After Pregnant SIL Washes The Hand-Me-Down Baby Clothes She Gave Her

New mom folding baby clothes
kipgodi/Getty Images

Preparing for a baby to come home for the first time is meant to be an exciting and beautiful time for a growing family.

But as they prepare for their baby to arrive, there are inevitably going to be people issuing unsolicited advice and comments about the new parents’ preparations and plans, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

While visiting her sister-in-law (SIL), Redditor Dry_Enthusiasm2661 gave her some baby clothes and other items that she didn’t need anymore that her future niece or nephew might need.

But when her sister-in-law washed the items, the Original Poster (OP) was insulted, thinking she was commenting on her home’s cleanliness.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my SIL (Sister-in-Law) that she doesn’t have to wash everything before her baby is born?”

The OP recently gave her sister-in-law some clothes to prepare for her future baby.

“My SIL is expecting her first baby at the end of this month.”

“I have three kids. My youngest just turned one, so I have a lot of baby stuff (baby swing, clothes, toys, etc.) that we don’t need anymore. Instead of donating them, I thought it would be nice to let my SIL and her wife look at them before.”

“I brought them over, and they picked out what they wanted/needed, and my SIL immediately put the clothes in the washing machine.”

The OP was insulted by her sister-in-law’s actions.

“I’m a very clean person, and all of the baby stuff was clean, so I confronted my SIL.”

“I asked her why she needed to clean my stuff if it wasn’t dirty, and she knows I’m not dirty.”

“My SIL said that she’s cleaning everything and named a long list of things she’s cleaning and has cleaned for the baby (she sterilized all bottles and pacifiers, washed all blankets, clothes, etc.).”

“I told my SIL that it’s pretty stupid to wash everything, because what if she wants to take something back? And it’s not like cleaning everything in her house is going to make her prepared for her baby. Nothing prepares you for your first.”

The OP was further insulted by her sister-in-law’s difference of opinion.

“My SIL took this as me being mean, but I was trying to be helpful. She should enjoy her last few weeks of pregnancy instead of cleaning everything.”

“My SIL’s wife told me that they ‘are allowed to do things differently with their children.'”

“I pointed out to them that they’ve never had children, so she’s going to feel silly for doing all of these things later.”

“I also told them that when I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t want to listen to anyone, and I regretted it later. They will too.”

The OP didn’t understand why her sister-in-law was upset with her.

“My SIL made it seem like I was being an AH, but I don’t see it.”

“I know what ‘nesting’ is, and obviously, I wanted everything clean and perfect, too. However, when one of my family members gifted me something, or if someone I KNOW is clean and takes care of things, I didn’t throw it in the washer.”

“I might be coming off as nitpicking, but when someone throws something in the washer that came from your house like it was something dirty, you would be annoyed, too.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some pointed out to the OP that everyone parents and prepares differently.

“YTA. It must be exhausting to be so easily offended.”

“Who cares if she wants to wash everything? She’s about to have a baby, it doesn’t hurt anyone (reasonable) and it makes her feel better.”

“Yes, you have three kids, but that doesn’t mean that they need to parent exactly like you. Maybe they will have similar realizations to you, maybe they will make different choices about what was unnecessary.”

“It’s their parenting journey, let them figure it out the way they want to. And if you actually have any interest in your thoughts being considered, try presenting them in a less condescending way and try considering that doing things differently than you are not automatically bad.” – photosbeersandteach


“Why would you care if they want to wash everything? It may not be helpful in the grand scheme of things but it’s what they want to do. It’s not going to hurt.”

“Some people find cleaning and organizing relaxing. They get to decide how to ‘enjoy’ the last few weeks prior to the arrival of the baby. Mind your own business.”

“If you are this critical about something so silly I bet you will be a joy with all of your child-rearing ‘advice.’ Having three kids doesn’t make you the supreme expert in all things relating to parenting or cleaning. Mind your own house and leave these poor people alone.” – 2Whom_It_May_Concern

“It is not a big deal but you made it one. She did not ask for your advice or input.”

“If she wants to sterilize her entire house, it’s her business. Not like she asked you to do it. And no, there is nothing to prepare you for the reality of a baby but there’s lots you can do to help FEEL prepared. Like having everything clean and organized.”

“Apologize for your attitude and don’t offer unsolicited advice again.”

“YTA.” – Top_Ad5114

“Ok holier than thou. YTA.”

“Your baby stuff has been in storage for a while, so it can handle a wash.”

“Your babies may have not had any skin sensitivity, but a lot of babies do, so your SIL may have just been making sure they’re washed in sensitive wash or even just rinsing dust from them sitting there.”

“Your detergent might be a smell they don’t like.”

“Your clothes might be clean but smell like your house. Everyone’s house has a smell. Whether it’s nice or not is up to the beholder.”

“They recommend washing new clothes especially as a lot have a coating on them that makes them less absorbent.”

“She may be nesting and just want to have everything nice.”

“She may be stressing about the birth and cleaning and organizing makes her feel useful/expelling stressful energy as at late pregnancy there’s not much you can do but wait.”

“You are 100% going to be that mum that your kids either ignore or never go to for advice because everything will be ‘I know this why don’t you just listen and do what I think.'” – Disastrous_Cress_701

“Do you even see WHY you are the AH? I mean, you said you didn’t want to listen to anyone during your first pregnancy and you regretted it. But I’m sure someone tried to tell you you would regret it at the time and you ignored them as well. You had to learn on your own.”

“And guess what… So does your SIL. This is not your life. Not your pregnancy, Not your child. Not your business.”

“You are insulted that she is washing something because you take her action to imply you’re dirty. When in fact her action has absolutely nothing to do with you at all! You know you’re not dirty. Why do you attach such a strong emotion to the simple act of laundry? Why do you attach personal feelings to someone else’s life?”

“Maybe you should take a second look next time before gifting anything to anyone. A gift, once given is no longer yours to control. If you are too emotionally attached to said ‘gifts,’ you should not give them.” – Moonsrayven

Others urged the OP to be more respectful of someone else’s nesting period.

“YTA. She’s nesting. If you were so worried about her doing extra work, you could have offered to wash the stuff for her.”

“Also, you telling her she’d regret not listening to you later over washing some baby clothes is weird as f**k.” – zan915nyc

“Have you never heard of nesting? It’s an instinct that affects many pregnant women near the end of their pregnancy. It tells them that they need to get everything prepared before the baby arrives: buy everything needed, clean, rearrange things, make anything they feel they need, etc.”

“Maybe it didn’t hit you, but it sounds like your SIL is feeling it pretty strongly. It’s an instinct that varies between helpful and harmless, depending on how prepared the parent(s) already was/were. But unless it goes to pathological extremes, it is at worst harmless.”

“Acting like that instinct is pointless and stupid – which is exactly what you were doing – is a hurtful response that does absolutely no good. If we’re going to talk about someone doing things that are not needed and cause harm, how about we look at your behavior?”

“You took offense at something that wasn’t about you, you picked a fight with a heavily pregnant person over that, and then you repeatedly spoke down to her and her wife.” – KaliTheBlaze

“Nesting is an instinct that pregnant moms have. I went into a frenzy about six weeks before my youngest was born and guess what? A few days later I was in hospital giving birth to a premmie.”

“Our baby was fine but we stayed in the hospital as a precaution for eight days and when we went home, everything was ready for our new addition.” – Ok_Smoke_1056

“YTA. Your baby stuff needed a wash even if it was clean when you put it away. It doesn’t hurt to freshen things up even if they are still clean. Why is this something you chose to fuss at her about?”

“Cleaning everything in her house will surely make those first few days/weeks out of the hospital easier for her. Also, cleaning can be considered nesting behavior. Many pregnant women ‘nest’ before giving birth.”

“A quick Google search will show that this urge to clean and organize is known as nesting. Nesting during pregnancy is the overwhelming desire to get your home ready for your new baby.”

“The nesting instinct is strongest in the later weeks coming upon delivery; there is nothing wrong with what your SIL is doing. It’s perfectly NORMAL.”

“Put your jealousy away and let her enjoy her remaining pregnancy.” – Foggy_Radish

“YTA. At first, I was gonna go with NTA otherwise based solely on my first kid I washed EVERYTHING. Even the walls, d**n it… Then with my secondborn, I was like okay, I’ll wash the clothes and call it good. Because who knows about allergies!”

“But reading the remainder of your post, you are clearly TA. You weren’t saying any of that out of love. You were saying it out of some sort of malice for whatever reason.”

“She’s probably nesting. Which is real. And even if she isn’t to that stage yet, let her enjoy her fu**ing pregnancy how she seems fit providing it’s safe. Which I’d consider washing everything a SAFE THING.” – ch196088

“YTA. Sorry, but I would wash everything, too. Plus, this helps your SIL in her excitement for the upcoming birth of her precious baby. You literally just rained on her parade.” – Limp_Comedian_7470

The subReddit couldn’t help but collectively shake its head at the OP for the priorities she had set against her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law clearly wasn’t judging the OP’s cleanliness; she was just preparing for her baby, and the OP was criticizing her in a way that she probably hated being criticized when she herself was a new mother.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.