Oh, the joys of having a baby! And, the joys of shopping for baby stuff! Shopping for your baby, especially your first, is exciting. But, if you are not careful, you may end up spending way too much money on a bunch of stuff you don’t really need. You will hear from plenty of other moms that there were several things they bought that they did not even end up using.
Yet, there is a lot of stuff you really will need to make bringing home your baby even easier. If just thinking about the giant shopping spree fills you with glee (or anxiety), you may be wondering when to start buying baby stuff. You’ve come to the right place. Let’s walk you through your baby shopping experience.
Where and When Should You Start Buying Maternity Clothes?
One of the first things you will need to buy is not for your baby. It is for you. You will need to stock up on maternity clothes. I wish I could give you one simple answer as far as when you will need maternity clothes. However, this varies drastically from one mom to another – and it even varies from one pregnancy to another.
Generally, most pregnant women will need to begin wearing maternity clothes during the second trimester. Many moms wear their own clothes during the first trimester or simply go up a size in regular women’s clothing. Once you are visibly showing, you will want to purchase maternity clothes. They are made to fit comfortably around your growing belly and you will wear them after your baby is born.
As far as where to buy maternity clothes, you will be surprised to find it ranges from second-hand stores to designer stores. It is up to what your budget can withstand; however, there is nothing wrong with buying maternity clothes second hand since you will really only wear them for a short season. If you prefer to buy new, then head to a department store or a maternity clothing store.
Should You Start Buying Baby Stuff Before Pregnancy?
While it may be tempting to start stocking up in baby stuff when you are trying to conceive, it is best to wait until you see that special plus sign on your pregnancy test. Unfortunately, many women do struggle with fertility issues and suffer miscarriages. Sometimes seeing a closet full of baby stuff is emotionally overwhelming.
There is plenty of time during your pregnancy to shop, so even if it is a good deal, you should hold off until you are pregnant to avoid potential heartache. Additionally, many women wait until they are past twelve weeks to buy baby things. This is really a personal decision. Many moms buy something small for their baby as soon as they hear the good news.
What Are the Things You Must Buy for Your Baby?
The experts at Baby Center break it down what things you must buy for your baby right away pretty simply: “Your baby will require a few basics: a place to sleep; a safe seat in the car; diapers; and some key items for eating, getting around, and staying safe.”
Your baby will need clothes – this list is wide and varied. It includes every clothing item possible depending on the season your baby is born. Moms tend to go overboard and wind up with far more clothes than their babies really need.
Additionally, babies grow out of sizes fast. So, only buy a few clothing items in each size. Helpful tip – you may only want to buy one or two newborn-sized items as some babies do not even fit in this size as soon as they arrive.
You will need to purchase feeding supplies depending on your plan. Breastfeeding moms have a different list than formula feeding moms. What goes in, must come out. So, you will also need to stock up on diaper supplies too – diapers, wipes, and a diaper changing pail.
Some of the more expensive items are essential. You must have a car seat to take your baby home from the hospital. You will also need a safe place for your baby to sleep. Either a bassinet or a crib is a must have for your baby. You should avoid buying fancy crib bedding sets that may cause suffocation. The experts at Consumer Reports explains that the best crib is a naked crib, so do not buy the extra blanket.
When to Start Buying Baby Stuff?
After reading the above essentials for your newborn, you may feel like you need to rush out to the store today. There is no need to panic. Generally, you should wait until after the first trimester to begin your shopping sprees. At this point, it depends on numerous factors. For example, if you are having a baby shower, you will need to create a baby registry that allows people to buy baby stuff prior to the shower.
Another factor in when you start buying baby stuff is if you are finding out the gender. While some doctors are doing gender reveals earlier, most still wait until week 20. If you are wanting to buy baby stuff that is dependent on the gender, you must wait until after this special ultrasound appointment.
However, you do not want to wait too long before you start buying baby stuff in case you go into premature labor. While it happens, you do not want to put yourself in a bind. Instead, try to get as much shopping done during the end of the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester as possible.
Why You Should Not Buy Everything New
Baby stuff can be incredibly expensive, so if you can save some money by buying used baby items, you should consider it. For example, clothing is something you can safely buy used. Additionally, you can save money by purchasing used baby toys or nursery furniture. One way to stay safe when shopping for used baby products is to check for product recalls and missing parts.
If the items are in good condition and safe, you should consider buying them at consignment stores. Many moms enjoy buying and selling baby stuff. If you keep your little one’s stuff in good condition, you can turn around and sell it yourself.
But, there are Some Things You Should Not Buy Used
However, there are some things you should not buy used for your baby. For instance, you should not buy used cribs, crib mattresses, bassinets, strollers, or car seats. Crib mattresses should not be reused because of sanitation reasons, as well as being worn down and too soft (which may contribute to SIDS).
What About Buying Baby Stuff Online?
There are plenty of options for buying baby stuff online. If you feel comfortable doing so, just make sure you find out all the essential information before clicking “buy.” For instance, is the product new/old? Is it priced fairly? Does the seller have good reviews? Does the product have helpful reviews?
There are several websites where items can be shipped directly to you. For instance, the experts at Parents explain, “There are a several websites geared towards parents who want to get rid of their stuff, but don’t want to deal with eBay and don’t trust selling on Craigslist. These sites are more intimate and are parent-friendly services that cater specifically to this niche audience.”
What About Buying Baby Stuff in Bulk?
Buying in bulk can save you money, but there are some things you want to consider before you stock up on baby stuff. For instance, your little one may have sensitive skin and need special diapers. Or, your baby may not handle a certain formula well. Therefore, it is fine to buy in bulk after you know the product works for your baby.
In other words, do not run to the big box store and purchase bulk items before your baby is born or you may be stuck with stuff you do not use. Additionally, you need to check the expiration dates. As Amber Keefer explains, “Estimate whether you can use up all the formula and baby food you buy before the expiration date. Prevent waste by buying only those products that you use most frequently in bulk.”
How to Get Free Baby Stuff
Another thing to look for is free baby stuff for expecting mothers. Moms will be given lots of free products to try with their babies. The problem is knowing how to get free baby stuff. Baby Center offers a continuous list of free baby stuff and coupons for pregnant women. Pregnant women are often gifted with free items when they register for their baby’s arrival, as well as when they sign up to learn more.
To Wrap Up
Start your shopping after the first semester and before you hit 35 weeks. Purchase the essentials first before you add all the extra cute stuff. Finally, consider buying used products to save money.