As a new mom expecting a new baby (especially your first baby!) it can be so exciting to think of all the things you’ll need. (And yes, nesting is a real thing!) But before you fill up that Amazon cart, it may be a good idea to know when you should actually start buying baby stuff.
From the moment you get that positive pregnancy test, one of the first things you’ll probably want to do is start buying all the baby items you can think of. It’s easy to forget you have plenty of time before baby’s arrival because, well… it does go by pretty fast!
But is there a right time to buy baby products? What should you buy now, and what should you leave for closer to the due date?
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Why wait to start buying baby stuff?
There’s an old superstition that it’s bad luck to buy baby stuff early. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not one for old wive’s tales!
However, there is a very practical reason why you should wait: baby’s gender.
It’s tempting to buy all the cute baby clothes now, but aside from unisex onesies, diapers, and such, you need to hold off until you know the sex of your baby before you start buying.
And whether you like it or not, your friends and family WILL want to buy you baby clothes, too. So either wait until the gender of the baby is revealed, or request gender-neutral items only!
When should I really start buying baby stuff?
The short answer is: whenever you want! But there are some factors to consider aside from finding out the gender of your baby.
First, the honest truth: the later you get into pregnancy, the less energy you’re likely to have for things like shopping. (Especially if you’re pregnant with twins!) So most expecting mothers do a majority of their nesting during the first trimester, but that’s not a requirement.
In fact, it may be in your best interest to wait just a little bit longer.
Another factor is the timing of the baby shower. You may not want to start purchasing too much beforehand, both to save money and so that you don’t end up with two of everything. Once again, your friends and family members WILL want to buy you baby essentials. Oblige them!
In general, the best time to start buying baby stuff is about the same time you start planning your baby shower: between 5-7 months into your pregnancy, when you 1) know the gender of the baby 2) start putting together the nursery.
Before you go baby shopping, hold your horses!
One of the biggest mistakes new parents make is not realizing just how much money they can save by buying baby items second hand.
Of course, there are some things you’ll want to buy new, for health and safety reasons. Here are a few:
Basically, anything that has long-term use and that you can’t prove is clean and in working order should be bought new!
And there are other things you’ll have to buy from a store no matter what. Disposable diapers, baby bath soap, formula (if you choose to formula feed).
But there are a lot of things you don’t need to buy new.
Baby clothes are a HUGE one. You can find a nearly endless supply of gently-used baby clothes from basically any second hand source. For that first year of life, baby is going to grow so fast that many clothing items you won’t even get to use more than once, if at all. So why spend any more money than you need to on them?
Other baby gear items you can look for second hand include:
- High chair
- Nursery furniture (including changing tables)
- Baby monitors
- Baby baths
- Infant wraps and slings
Basically, anything that doesn’t tend to get seriously stained or soiled. Thrift stores, garage sales, friends, family, neighbors and coworkers are all great resources for hand-me-down baby gear.
Trust me, you end up with a lot of stuff that you don’t need after the first year, and once you’re done having kids, it’s gotta go!
What can I buy now?
Maternity clothes!!! (Also a good thing to buy second hand!!!) Yes, you are fully entitled to start buying stretchy pants and cute maternity dresses, especially once you start showing.
You can also start stocking up on diapers and other baby essentials, especially if you see a good deal – never a bad idea, because you will go through them fast.
Generally, during the first trimester is also the perfect time to start shopping for those bigger baby items, like a crib, a stroller, and a baby carrier. If you’re ordering offline, taking into account shipping times and possible returns is never a bad idea.
When you give yourself that time to compare prices and find the best deal, as opposed to racing against the clock to have everything ready before baby’s arrival, it’s one less thing to worry about.
Getting ready for that new arrival by buying baby stuff is one of the many exciting things about expecting, so enjoy every minute of it!
To recap, start planning early so you can shop around for the best deals, but don’t feel like you have to buy everything new or right now. Remember that friends and family will want to buy you baby items too, so plan around your baby shower. Try not to buy too much until you know the gender of your baby, and most of all, have fun with it!
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