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When to Start Shopping for your Baby? – What I Bought First as a FTM

Preparing for a new baby is exciting, but it can be a daunting process. This is especially true if it is your first little one! Other than picking doctors and making a birth plan, one of the most common questions you might be asking yourself is: When Should I Start Shopping For My Baby? This is certainly an important task as your newborn will need everything from diapers to furniture!

When Should You Start Shopping For Baby?

I started shopping for gender neutral items right after I found out I was pregnant. Although, many moms prefer to wait to start shopping for baby until they know the gender, at 20 weeks! I felt safe purchasing baby items after the first trimester because we were out of the “danger zone” of miscarriage.

Before you begin purchasing anything, it can be very helpful to create a list of everything that you will need. This list could include several categories, such as diapers and diapering supplies, clothes, furniture, and feeding supplies. While this can become quite an extensive list, you can remind yourself that as long as baby has somewhere to sleep and something to wear when you get home from the hospital, other items can always be added on later!

When Should You Start Buying Diapers?

Deciding when to start buying diapers is one of the most common things to think of as you determine when you should start shopping for baby. This makes sense, since you will go through a LOT of them! Newborns need their diapers changed every two to three hours, so they may go through upwards of 10 diapers a day! If you wait until baby arrives to stock up on diapers, it can feel like a constant chore or an annoying expense. 

One great way to plan ahead in this area, is to buy a pack or two of diapers each week of pregnancy. 

Tips for Buying Diapers

  1. Don’t Buy One Size in Diapers – Just keep in mind that you might not want 40 packs of the same size of diaper! 
  2. Don’t Buy Too Many Newborn Diapers – Another important thing to remember is that some babies don’t wear newborn size for very long. The good thing is, most stores make it very easy to exchange sizes if you accidentally get too many of a particular size.
  3. Don’t Buy One Specific Brand – You might not know what brand or style of diapers you want to use until you have tried them out. If you are hesitant to stock up in advance, you could simply buy one package each of several different brands so you can try them out before stockpiling. If this is your preferred method, you could also start setting aside “diaper money” each week so you are ready to purchase a large quantity of diapers once you have decided on a brand. 

Don’t Forget Wipes + Diaper Cream

It’s important to remember wipes and diaper cream as well! Like diapers, it can be a good idea to buy wipes throughout your pregnancy so you are all stocked up when baby comes, or you can buy a variety to decide which you like best! It’s also important to remember that some babies have more sensitive skin, and they might react to some brands of wipes. 

You Don’t Need Diapers + Wipes For The Hospital

If you give birth at the hospital, they will provide all the diapers and wipes that you need while you are there, but you should still be sure to start buying diapers and wipes by the time you reach the third trimester. After all, making a quick diaper run on your way home from the hospital probably won’t sound very appealing when the time comes!

When Should You Start Buying Baby Furniture? 

Cribs, bassinets, portable cribs, mattresses, rocking chairs, changing tables, dressers, decor, noise machines, bedding, and so much more! There are lots of things you will need to buy to furnish a nursery, but somewhere for your baby to sleep should be at the top of the list when you are getting ready to start shopping for baby. 

Where will my baby sleep?

The first step of deciding when to start shopping and what to buy, is determining where your baby will sleep when you first bring him or her home. If the baby will be sleeping in the nursery, you may want to go straight to buying a standard crib. If your baby will be sleeping in your room, it might be better to start with something smaller such as a bassinet or mini-crib. Being that this is a larger purchase, it is important to give yourself plenty of time to think about what will work best for your family and home

Regardless of whether you pick a standard crib, mini crib, or bassinet, you will also need to make sure you have a mattress (if the bed doesn’t come with one), a waterproof cover, and sheets. These purchases should be made by the end of the second trimester, as sometimes babies show up early! However, for those who decide to start with a bassinet or mini-crib, you don’t necessarily need to buy a full-size crib prior to baby’s arrival. 

Other important furniture

Along with a bed for your baby, there are a few other furniture items you may want to consider purchasing before your little one arrives. 

  • Rocker or Glider – comfortable chair for rocking your baby (newborns love to be held!)
  • Dresser or shelves – to store baby’s clothes
  • Changing table – many dressers have space or attachments for a changing table on top, though this is not a necessity as you can always change baby’s diapers using a blanket or mat on the floor!

When Should You Start Buying Baby Clothes?

While purchasing diapers, wipes, and furniture are important, picking out baby clothes might be the most fun part of shopping for your new arrival! Making a trip to the baby clothes section can be a fun way to celebrate finding out you are pregnant. Or, if you plan to find out the gender in advance, selecting a gender-specific outfit can be a great way to commemorate that moment and to announce the gender of your new baby! 

It’s never too early to start buying clothes for your new baby, but there are a few things to consider in determining what to buy and how much. 

Things to Consider When Buying Baby Clothes

  • You Will Get Clothes as Gifts – While shopping for baby clothes is a lot of fun, you will likely receive lots of gifts that include clothes, so you don’t want to stock up TOO much. 
  • How Fast Will Baby Grow? – You also should keep in mind that it is difficult to predict how quickly your baby will grow, so if you live somewhere with changing seasons, it may be challenging to predict what type and size of clothing your baby will need when. 
  • Not Too Many Newborn Outfits – If you anticipate having a large baby, you might want to take special note of your 0-3 month clothes supply, and if you have reason to believe the baby might be small or early, you may need to consider purchasing a few preemie sized items. 

Create a List of Baby Clothes Essentials

A great way to ensure you are prepared with enough clothes for your baby is to keep track of the sizes and types of clothes you buy and receive as gifts. You can start by creating a list of items you will need: 

  • short-sleeve bodysuits
  • long-sleeve bodysuits
  • sleepers and sleep sacks 
  • socks
  • outfits (tops and pants)
  • hats
  • miscellaneous (no-scratch mittens, hats, headbands, etc.)

Once you’ve created your list, record how many of each item type you have for each size. This will help you to have a better idea of what you still need to buy before your baby arrives. It is probably a good idea to have a few of each item in newborn size by the time you are heading into the third trimester or after your baby shower (if you are having one).

Do you need baby clothes for the Hospital?

In the hospital you won’t need any clothes for your baby until it is time to go home. Often times people like to pick out a special going home outfit to celebrate the moment of bringing your growing family home. It may even be a good idea to bring a couple of outfits for the trip home, in case the weather is not what you expect or your baby is bigger or smaller than anticipated! 

Thankfully, baby clothes are widely available and fairly inexpensive, so they can also be purchased at the last-minute if needed. The most important thing is to give yourself enough time to wash, fold, and put away all of your baby clothes before you need to use them. And don’t forget to keep your receipts! 

In Conclusion…

Deciding when (and how) you should start shopping for baby can be an intimidating process, but making lists and having a plan in place can make it much easier. It is almost certain that you will buy at least one thing you don’t need and not have at least one thing you wish you had purchased, so it’s important to remember not to stress too much! After all, parenting is a learning process and as long as your baby has something to wear (clothes and diapers) and somewhere to sleep (a crib or bassinet), you will be off to a great start! 

When Should you Start Shopping for your Baby

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