The Smart Shopping Guide for New Parents: When To Buy Baby Stuff




The Smart Shopping Guide for New Parents When To Buy Baby Stuff

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I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was so excited that the following day, I went out to the local town and spent a small fortune on baby clothes, bottles, blankets, cuddly toys and anything else I could get my hands on that was baby related.

I mean, seriously; what was I thinking? Not only did I go totally overboard but there was then the issue of storing all the baby stuff until my little one made an appearance some eight months later.

Some people even consider it bad luck to buy baby clothes during the first trimester and refuse to do any baby shopping until they’re at least 12 weeks pregnant.

While there’s no right or wrong time to hit the shops, you don’t want to buy baby stuff too early because there’s a temptation to buy things you don’t need.

Key Takeaways

  • When is the right time to start shopping for baby things?

  • Is purchasing baby stuff bad luck in the first trimester?

  • Things to consider when buying baby items.

  • What are the most important baby essentials?

When Is The Right Time To Start Buying Baby Stuff?

When Is The Right Time To Start Buying Baby Stuff?

Seeing that positive pregnancy test can stir up all kinds of feelings. If you’re a bit of a shopaholic, like me, then it’s so tempting to rush right out and start buying baby stuff early but this isn’t always the best idea.

Of course, there’s no hard and fast rule on when to buy baby stuff. Who am I to tell you not to enjoy every moment of your journey, especially if this is your first baby. However, from experience, I can tell you that you’ll likely waste a lot of money.

When you start buying baby stuff, it’s good to have some sort of plan in mind. Most people will wait until they know the baby’s gender or once they are in their second trimester.

But if you do feel the unrelenting urge to start shopping then why not think about the things that you need, as opposed to what your little one needs? You can always buy baby items down the line.

Expectant moms need a whole new wardrobe, for example. Buying maternity clothes isn’t always cheap but it’s something you’ll have to do because your body is going to change and you need to make sure you’re comfortable.

You might also consider buying pregnancy vitamins to ensure you stay in tip top condition during a time that your body is under enormous strain. Other things you might need are remedies for morning sickness, a pregnancy pillow, and other items to make yourself more comfortable.

Is It Bad Luck To Buy Baby Clothes In The First Trimester?

There are a lot of parents who refuse to buy baby stuff before they are at least 12 weeks into the pregnancy. There’s an old wive’s tale that says it’s bad luck and while I’m not the most superstitious person in the world, I can see where this notion came from.

It’s reported that one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. As devastating as this fact is, it’s fact nonetheless. Going out to buy baby stuff early only to find out a few weeks later that your pregnancy terminated can be incredibly hard to bare. This is why people save themselves the heartache and wait to buy baby stuff.

There is also the risk of a false positive when taking a pregnancy test. While this is uncommon because modern tests are very accurate, it isn’t impossible. Imagine taking a test, getting a positive result, and then spending a small fortune buying baby stuff only to find that you aren’t pregnant at all. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

There are also some people who experience a high-risk pregnancy who may wish to wait until their third trimester before they start buying baby stuff.

Think About What You Really Need

Think About What You Really Need

It is so tempting to go out and buy heaps of adorable baby clothes in preparation for the baby’s arrival. But you have to consider that you probably aren’t going to need all of these baby things.

With your first baby, I totally get it; you want your little one to want for nothing and a lot of expecting parents will get caught up in buying baby stuff early only to later realize that they went a bit overboard.

Think about the things that your baby will actually need. Does your child really need 30 lots of newborn clothes or could you make do with just a few outfits? What you have to remember is that most babies will grow out of these first sizes in a matter of weeks. My fourth baby was 7lb9 when she was born and newborn clothes only just fit her.

It’s worth making a baby checklist of all the things you will need as soon as your little one arrives. A lot of expectant mothers will have a baby shower and this is a brilliant opportunity to let your friends and family chip in and get some of those all-important baby things.

So with that in mind, here’s a list of some of the things that newborn babies really do need:

  • A Moses basket or crib, a mattress, and sheets

  • Three to four blankets

  • An age-appropriate car seat

  • Muslin cloths and bibs for feeding time

  • Seven baby outfits

  • Sleepsuits and vest (you’ll probably put your baby in these more often than anything else)

  • Changing mat (while you might buy a changing table for the baby nursery, this isn’t an essential item and you’ll do just as well changing your baby on a mat on the floor if you want to save money.)

  • Newborn diapers, wipes, cotton balls, baby lotion, and other essential

  • A baby monitor

  • A small selection of toys such as teddies, rattles etc. Remember that a new baby won’t start playing but can see movement and color so it’s good to have sensory toys for them to look at from an early age

  • A diaper bag for outings

Of course, there are going to be those big ticket items that you need to think about such as nursery furniture and your pushchair. But you really don’t need to worry about these things until closer to your due date. Most parents find that they don’t even decide on a nursery theme until the second trimester when they know the baby’s sex and may not even have the nursery set up until right at the end of the pregnancy.

Are There Any Items You Don’t Actually Need?

I know how easy it is to fall victim to the baby products in stores when you’re carrying your first baby. But you have to think that you probably aren’t going to use half the stuff you acquire.

Things like a baby bath, tons of newborn-size clothes, cot bumpers, and baby shoes are all novelty items. If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s recently given birth and can benefit from some hand-me-downs then great, but otherwise, I’d suggest saving your money.

What Should You Consider When Buying Baby Gear?

If you allow yourself to go over the top with baby items, you may find that your home is filled to the brim by the time baby arrives. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to take a few things into consideration before you buy your baby any gear.

For starters, think about what space you have. If you’re only in your first trimester, do you really want a ton of baby gear cluttering up your home for the next six to eight months? How much space you have will be one of the biggest deciding factors on when to start buying baby stuff.

Furthermore, I’d seriously urge you to set a baby budget. I made the mistake of splashing out every time I got paid when I was pregnant with my first baby and I’m sure many parents have fallen into the same trap. But it’s nothing more than wasteful especially when you consider that you’re not going to use every baby item you buy.

Set a realistic budget for larger items such as car seats, pushchairs, and furniture and then set an overall budget for clothing and baby accessories. You’ll also want to set aside a certain amount for nursery décor.

Finally, I’d recommend thinking about what items you might be able to get from friends and family. Making a baby registry is a great idea and this will prevent you from doubling up on certain baby items.

If You Must Start Shopping Early On…

If You Must Start Shopping Early On…

…remember to stick to gender-neutral clothes because you won’t find out the baby’s gender until the second trimester. While you might have your heart set on a baby girl or a baby boy, biology could have other ideas. The last thing you want is to go out buying baby clothes in pinks and purples only to find out that your bundle of joy is blue!

Also, keep in mind that your pregnancy is going to be an emotional journey and you may find that your opinions change during the course of it. While you might love one type of nursery decor in the beginning, you could hate it by the end.

If you can’t resist the urge of buying baby clothes early on then make sure you take advantage of the sales. This way, you’ll be able to get your baby purchases at a fraction of the cost and if you do change your mind, you won’t have lost as much. Moreover, at any point during your pregnancy, you may stumble upon an offer that’s too good to resist and this can help massively with those more expensive items.


I was so caught up in the moment when I found out I was carrying my first child that I went out and to buy baby stuff early when I really could have waited. Subsequently, I had three more children and learned from my mistakes, waiting until I was a little further along before I started buying baby stuff.

I’d got a few things from my first baby that I used for my second but I soon realized that I didn’t need every cute set of baby clothes I stumbled upon nor did I need hundreds of newborn diapers because babies grow out of these very quickly.

There really is no serious rule on when you can start buying baby stuff but it’s important to use your common sense. Think about how much space you have, whether you’ll have a baby shower and receive gifts, the gender of the baby, and make a baby registry and set a budget so you can keep track of everything.

Otherwise; happy shopping!

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