It's not uncommon for moms to keep random objects that remind them of their babies, for years and even decades. Most have probably heard of the cute keepsakes, such as making a shadow box featuring the baby's hospital band, blanket, and hat. Some may even be familiar with parents keeping their kids baby teeth after they fall out, or a lock of their hair from their very first haircut.
Seems innocent and sweet enough, right?
Well, some moms really know how to take things to the next level... to a gross level that shouldn't be reached. But that's what humans do; we push the envelope.
There's something to be said about the moms that actually turn their weird baby keepsakes into something useful or decorative though. You have to give them props for that. From necklaces containing their kids DNA, to dreamcatchers made from dried up placenta and umbilical cords, people are certainly getting creative with their weird stashing habits.
It's all pretty intriguing. Here I sit, feeling judgmental towards moms who are upcycling their afterbirth, when the truth is I'm overflowing with useless, strange keepsakes from my son's first year. I'm really no better. So while I seem like I'm totally grossed out - I am. But I also get it. From one mom who can't let anything go to another, I understand their unreasonable urge to hoard useless and oftentimes offputting mementos. Moms get thrown up on, handle dirty diapers on a daily basis, and are no stranger to weird rashes. It's no wonder we're the ones making wacky crafts with things that most would consider to be trash.
15 Their First Band-Aids
Yeah, forget the cute family photos and saving a lock of hair. Some mamas have taken to keeping their little ones used band-aids. I know from experience. When I was pregnant with my son, my mom pulled out my old baby book to look through. In between the cute cards from family members and pictures of my first birthday cake were disgusting, crusty band-aids that my mom taped everywhere.
It's not the grossest thing in the world, especially when it's your own kid. But if you step outside of yourself for a moment, and you really think about it, it's not very sanitary. It's borderline creepy, really. She also had band-aids from the first time I skinned my knee, and again when I busted up my finger on the playground.
Why she chose to keep the band-aids as a reminder of my pain, instead of simply writing a little passage about it, I'll never know.
My mom isn't the only one who does this either! I've talked to several women who do this. Saving your baby's band-aids from shots and booboos is just the tip of the iceberg if we're being honest. Let's move on.
14 Pacifiers From The Past
Saving your baby's pacifier is a lot more understandable and accepted than holding on to your kid's nasty band-aids. It doesn't sound all that gross, until you really starting thinking about how long you'll be holding on to this little piece of silicone that your baby slobbered on for weeks or months. Imagine forgetting about it, and pulling it out after your kids are all grown and have moved out of the house. How sanitary do you think that thing is going to be?
Most pacifier brands recommend replacing them every two months, due to wear and tear, and just getting plain gross. Some parents in forums have disclosed that they even reused pacifiers and rubber nipples with their subsequent children, which is just downright dangerous. It is absolutely not recommended that you hold on to these plastic choking hazards for longer than a couple of months.
Packing your child's paci away once they've been weaned from it is certainly not a crime, and it's not something you're likely to get dirty looks over. But you definitely don't want to go reusing them, or even really touching them all that much. Think of all the germs that had time to work their way inside. Yuck!
13 Jewelry For The Breastfeeding Mama
Yes, you read that right. Breastmilk jewelry is all the rage nowadays! You freeze a few ounces of your breastmilk, send it in to a jeweler, and within a few months they'll send back the finished product. There are rings, necklaces, earrings, pretty much anything you can think of.
It sounds really off-putting to some, but honestly, I love the idea. The amount of dedication breastfeeding takes leaves you feeling like you deserve a memento that's flashy and sentimental.
So while I totally get it, and I actually plan on ordering one for myself at some point, many people are turned off by the entire thing.
Ashely McCann, a write from Naples thinks moms have gone too far. She says, "This is the most hilariously absurd trend in mommy jewelry that I have ever heard about in my life. I think it is just flat-out weird, to be honest." She went on to say, "I actually think it's the attitude behind it. [Nursing] is one of my fondest memories, and honestly I would get pregnant again to nurse another baby. But it was the relationship. There's something about plasticizing breast milk, which is just food to nurse your baby, that almost seems like some sort of weird worship of nursing." What do you think about it?
12 The Cord No One Ever Knows What To Do With
Do you see that bad art above? Yes, that is in fact, umbilical cords, twisted and dried out like year-old beef jerky, and for some reason, hung on someone's wall like some sort of weird fertility shrine. Look, I'm a crunchy mom (sort of). I'm all about holding on to memories, being natural, yadayada. But oh. My. Goodness. This is pure insanity.
Yes, pregnancy and birth are beautiful, and it's one of the most important and momentous occasions in many people's lives. But it's also disgusting. I can't stop talking about pictures, because seriously! Just take a picture!
A common favorite for moms making art out of their umbilical cord is to spell out the word, 'love' or create a heart. According to Buzzfeed, the mom starts off by placing the fresh umbilical cord on a baking sheet in the design of her choice. She then bakes it in the oven on low. Once it's completely dried out, ta-da! Your weird art project is done!
You know what this reminds me of? People who have far too much time on their hands, and not a care in the world. There are people starving, giving birth to babies that won't make it, and people here in America are busy swirling their afterbirth and baking it in an oven to make art pieces. What a strange world we live in.
11 These Toenails Were Not Discarded
Yeah, if keeping baby's hair and turning your body fluids into jewelry wasn't weird enough for you, some moms keep their baby's toenail clippings. It's just another one of those "firsts" that moms want to hold on to. As strange and sentimental as I am, I have to say, this isn't even something that I've held on to. It's too gross.
You'd think that moms are saving all of their baby's body fluids, hair, teeth, and nails so they can make a clone of them someday. But really, they always mean well. Many mothers find that after their hormones calm down a little bit about a year into their baby's life, that they're just holding on to a bunch of junk.
It's a long process, but sometimes it's necessary to go through your keepsakes and weed the gross stuff out, with toenails being at the top of that list.
It's hard to find information about what exactly these moms are doing with their little one's toenail clippings, but let's just hope they're sitting in a plastic bag in their baby book, and not in a necklace or on display in their home. Again, why not just take a picture of your baby getting their nails clipped for the first time? It's just as sentimental, and about 110% less gross.
10 Your Baby's Former Lifeline
Oh yes! You thought people stopped at the umbilical cord? Think again! Some mamas take it a step further by keeping their placenta as a sweet memento for this glorious occasion.
Women make all kinds of crazy crafts out of their placentas. Dreamcatchers, various art pieces and keepsakes, and even drums. Yes, drums.
Daily Mail interviewed a woman named Nicole Petrucco who makes these as gifts for new moms. They wrote, "She said it was once seen as a 'hippie thing to do' but that it is becoming increasingly popular following endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Coleen Rooney and January Jones."
If we're following the lead of Kim Kardashian, we have bigger problems to worry about if you ask me. Some say that ingesting your placenta after giving birth has health benefits that you don't want to miss out on. I could see that. I've never done it, but I could see how that might be beneficial. But drying your placenta out and hanging in your home is exclusive to humans. Weird humans. If you like dreamcatchers, just buy a dreamcatcher.
Petrucco also grinds placentas up into pill form and even separates it, making it easy to add to smoothies for those that request it. It's definitely interesting, to say the least.
9 Very Detailed Baby Bottom Molds
We all know baby bums are just about the cutest thing around. The qualities that usually make an adult's butt unattractive make baby butts even cuter - the more cellulite and rolls, the better! The fact that they crawl and waddle around with absolutely no shame is enough to make even the toughest person giggle.
There are butt prints, and people even paint little pumpkins on their baby's booty during the fall, posting them to social media with the caption "baby BUMkin," and then there's... this.
Again, I don't understand why pictures aren't sufficient enough here, but parents feel the need to really capture that little bum before their kid grows up and it starts to get weird.
Molds of your baby's feet, hands, your family's hands, I can get on board with all of that. But the butt is just too far. One company that provides this service is called Brighton Bodycasting. The website says, "Your body cast can be framed, wall-mounted, free-standing or set on a plinth." No thanks, I don't really feel like looking at a baby butt on my mantel every day, no matter how cute it is.
8 Those Lost Strands Of Hair
It's common for moms to save a lock of hair from their baby's first haircut, or even the first few. Most women keep it in a plastic bag in a box somewhere, or possibly in their baby book, but few of us actually get around to making something out of it. I mean, what exactly is there to make?
Well, a lot, apparently! A quick search on Etsy will bring up tons of options for new moms who want to keep their baby's hair in jewelry form. From rings, to charms, to necklaces, you can find just about anything. There are even personalized satchels you can buy that come with a comb. It's a lot to take in.
Again, I'm all about it. I'm sure at some point I'll have my kids locks turned into a small charm, though I don't imagine I'll wear it very often. Still, it's enough to make some people squeamish. Emily, a writer from XoxoJane writes, "When it was offered to me at the barbershop, I eagerly accepted it, wrapped it in a wad of toilet paper and stuck it in my pocket. But now that I have it here, it seems kind of weird? And a little gross? Like, what am I supposed to do with this hair?"
"'Put it in a scrapbook,' people say, but really? You want me to put a lock of human hair under plastic next to some bubble stickers and put it on my bookshelf? I'm not freaking Dexter."
7 Flanges And Tubing Hold Sentimental Value
Similar to keep your baby's old pacifiers and rubber nipples, some moms choose to hang on to their old breast pump parts for some strange reason. How do I know this? Because I haven't touched my pump in almost a year and it's still sitting in my son's closet, collecting dust and probably molding on some spots. We've even moved, and I still brought it all with me, knowing full well that I'll never use that particular set again.
Why? Well, like everything else, it holds a lot of sentiment for many moms, especially those that pumped often, or exclusively. Looking at my pumping parts fills me with nostalgia. It's bittersweet. It reminds me of all the times I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, turned on King of The Hill next to my sleeping husband and pumped away. All the times I cried from frustration, all the times I fell back asleep from exhaustion, it all comes flooding back in.
And yet, I know there's no logical reason for keeping any of it. In fact, I have more pumping parts than the average bear because my boy spent so much time in the hospital as a newborn. The nurses just kept dumping new flanges and tubing in my lap, as if that were supposed to make my breastfeeding relationship better. "Just keep pumping and before you know it, he'll latch." But I'll never use those parts again. It's not sanitary. They won't be as effective when my next baby is born. But yet, like many moms, I just can't seem to part with them.
6 Those Ratty Stuffed Animals
Dear moms and dads everywhere, please throw your baby's nasty stuffed animal away when they're done with it. Or, at the very least, wash it!
Really you guys, it's just gross. When you're old and gray, and you decide to pass the nasty thing down to your pregnant daughter, do you really think they're going to want that ratty ol' thing? I'll answer it for you - they don't!
They'll probably think it's sweet that you've held on to it for so long, and they might even recall a few fond memories they've made with their old best friend.
But trust me when I say they're just going to pack it away in yet another box in their attic until someone finally decides to throw it away.
Some memories are better left in the past, and when it comes to dirty, worn out dolls and stuffed animals that have eyes hanging on, and stitches coming out, it's best to just move on. The memories aren't going anywhere.
That being said, I fully intend on keeping my son's favorite raccoon, but the difference is I wash it every week! I actually bought three different ones, and I let him cycle through so they all stay somewhat intact. I can't tell you how many ratty teddy bears have been passed down to my son by my parents and my husband's family. Please, just stop.
5 The Bellybutton Stump
Ahh, the good old bellybutton stump, often accompanied by the cord clip. Magnificent! No, just kidding, it's gross.
It's another one of those strange things my mom held on to for the last 24 years. I don't even want to explain to you what it smelled like when she turned to that page in my baby book. You don't want to know. But no matter how weird I know it is, I still have my son's bellybutton stump too. Somehow I convince myself that I'm better than other people who do that, possibly by thinking that maybe one day I'll do something with it (though, what, I don't know). Don't make me explain mom logic you guys, because it's not possible.
After doing some research on just what in the heck people do with these disgusting scabs, I came across a man who actually had his kid's bellybutton stumps turned into a custom necklace for his wife. Here I am, thinking everyone just keeps it for no real reason, other than to occasionally take it out and look at it with watery eyes, possibly from an intense feeling of pride, or perhaps because of the stench. But seriously, it turns out people really do things with them. I'm not lying, you can Google it right now! It looked surprisingly artsy and cool for what it is. I'm sure he's not the only one to have this done, considering most women I know end up keeping their baby's bellybutton.
4 Saving The Baby Teeth From The Tooth Fairy
Saving your children's baby teeth after the "tooth fairy takes them away" is pretty common, and has been for a long time. Some still feel like it's a little on the weird side, and honestly - it kind of is. It's certainly one of the creepier things you could hide away in your closet. Imagine if you weren't a mom, and you had a plastic bag full of children's teeth. Yeah, pretty scary, right?
There are so many options out there for moms who want to keep their child's baby teeth in a unique and fun way. Actually, my husband's aunt had her kid's teeth turned into earrings.
They weren't coated in gold or imprinted or anything. It's literally just her son's teeth, dangling from her ears like some kind of sick reminder of the times she pried them out of his mouth against his will. Pictured above is a similar idea, except it's executed better, and it's a simple necklace that could possibly be hidden under a blouse.
People also get their kids' teeth covered in silver or gold before wearing them, and others just stick them in a little box designed to hold each tooth. Pretty crazy stuff.
3 The First Pregnancy Test
Guilty! I totally still have both of my pregnancy tests with my son. You know you can never just take one! Though it's not nearly as creepy as keeping your kid's teeth in a drawer, it's still equally gross. I mean, let's be real, it's a pee stick.
The sentiment behind pregnancy tests is too strong for most people to just throw them out though. For many women, it's the thing they were looking straight at the moment they found out they were expecting a little bundle of joy. It doesn't get much more sentimental or important than that. Let's just hope people seal them where the pee is contained, or at least put the cap back on.
BabyCenter ran a poll in November 2012, and the results were split down the middle. Half of the moms reported having thrown their tests away afterward, while the other half kept them.
Katherine Martin from Baby Center wrote, "I never really knew what to do with mine. I always kept them for a week or so just so I could look at them every five minutes to make sure the two lines were still there and I wasn’t hallucinating. But eventually, the nice pretty lines got a little faded and the white part of the test yellowed. And it became undeniable that it was soaked in urine and the ick factor took over and I chucked them. But of course, I took some pictures of the tests to save for posterity." Again, pictures seem to be the winner.
2 The First Dirty Diaper, For Real
Okay, on second thought, the umbilical cord art doesn't seem so strange now. It's far and few between according to a poll ran by DottyBingo, which included 500 moms. The survey even asked the moms to explain their reasoning for keeping certain items. A few of the moms who said they kept their baby's first dirty diaper had better reasons that you might think. One mom wrote,
"My daughter was born nine weeks prematurely and spent the first weeks of her life in an incubator. She was fed on a drip during those worrying early days so when she was eventually able to suckle and fill her own nappy it was such a significant event for us that we decided to keep the used nappy forever.
She claims that they wrapped the diaper in a sack, sprayed it with air freshener and put it away in a box. She went on to say,
"I realise many people might think it is a bizarre thing to keep but changing that first dirty nappy was such an emotional experience for us. It was the moment we knew our daughter was truly well, that everything was working as it should."
Okay, if there's ever a time to save your baby's first dirty diaper, it would be this. Otherwise, please just throw them away.
1 The 'Baby Memeber' Ring
Moms who choose to get their baby circumcised, often take their little one home with a plastic ring around their private parts. It's called a Plastibell, and it typically comes off on its own about 10 to 12 days after the operation. And once it does fall off, you guessed it - people tend to hold on to it for their baby book.
I realize that circumcision is a controversial topic, but let's not go there. At the end of the day, it's each individual family's choice whether or not they want to get this done for their child. Though it doesn't hold the same sweet sentiment as baby's first stuffed animal, or even the afterbirth that people are so keen to save, it's still a pretty big moment.
I kept my son's plastibell. Don't ask me why. If there's one thing I won't be upcycling into jewelry or art, it's the piece of plastic that fell off of my son's nether regions after hanging around in his diaper for almost two weeks. I would imagine most moms don't plan on doing anything with theirs either, but hey, I've been wrong before. I hope I never see a woman walking around with a plastibell hanging from a chain around her neck. Gag!