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It is never too early or late to start preparing for your baby. Planning ahead can make life easier and less stressful. The earlier you prepare, the better off you will be in terms of both time and money spent on items that are needed right away like clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. If you wait until closer to your due date before starting preparations then it may seem like a daunting task because there are so many things to buy at once! Here are some tips on when and what to get for baby while pregnant.
First, you should consider the most significant stuff like strollers, cribs, and car seats with priority. These items are what you will need to have before bringing baby home. According to CostHelper, car seat prices can range anywhere from 50 dollars to over 200 dollars depending on which type you decide to buy. According to Consumer Reports, New traditional-style cribs can range from $100 dollars to over $3000. Strollers can range from the easily portable umbrella-type stroller averaging about $40 dollars to a high-end stroller system between 800-1000 dollars. Any discounts and sales you can find will save you hundreds of money.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when considering all the things a baby will need. It’s also easy to get carried away with purchases while shopping and if you are on a budget that can easily lead to debt.
Factors to consider
Here are some things to consider before you start buying for your baby.
Gender of the baby
If it’s before the 20th-week ultrasound, or if you have decided on waiting to find out if you are team blue or pink, it may be a good decision to wait on buying gendered clothes and toys.
A onesie with ribbons is not going to be useful if you end up having a boy. Avoid pointedly gendered clothes and baby products. You do not want to search for another mom-to-be to gift it later or go buy a new one in a rush.
Of course, we do not mean to say that you have to buy everything blue or pink for your child. Nowadays, these standard colors are considered a bit outdated. Many years ago, before the pink and blue wave, babies were dressed the same, regardless of gender.
In case you want to start shopping before knowing whether it’s a girl or a boy, you can always opt for unisex colors like whites, creams, pale or pastel yellows, and greens.
If you wait too long to start baby shopping, you might spend way more money than if you had started to look for good deals earlier. Compare the prices and choose between a few brands before making a decision. Baby clothes, especially in newborn or 0-3 sizes, can be found in like-new condition at second-hand stores
The crib, stroller, the car seat will be essential for the first years of your child. It’s a good idea to start your search here with these big-ticket items as soon as possible.
Smaller things like bibs, toys, stuffed animals, bouncers, wearable carriers, and boppy pillows can be purchased later. If you stumble upon a big sale though, do not miss it. In the end, you still would have to buy these, so if you can save some money, you will be thanking yourself in the long term.
Chances are you will be tired at the end of the pregnancy, so you might have a hard time waddling through a store to find all the things on your must-have list.
See also: Best Mini Fridge for Breast Milk
Shopping for a baby can be pricey. You will need a large amount of basic stuff from the beginning. To prevent unnecessary purchases and greater expenses, make a list of the most essential ones and follow it as much as you can.
We already mentioned it, but the bigger items are better to be bought first, especially if you are on a tight budget. Of course, compare the prices and look for good deals. Ask family and friends if they have a crib or stroller that you can use, or check out local yard sales or social media posts in your area for the big-ticket items you need.
We don’t recommend using a second-hand car seat for a couple of reasons unless you can guarantee that the seat hasn’t been in a car accident. According to safekids.org, car seats are designed to only last through one collision. Using a car seat after it’s been in an accident is dangerous and potentially deadly.
Car seat manufacturers build seats with an expiration date which is typically 6 years after it’s manufactured, according to the Washington Post. Car seats should have a clearly marked label stating when the device was manufactured.
See also: Best Convertible Car Seats for Your Baby
What to buy for baby
Shopping for baby clothes is an enjoyable experience. Most women have been dreaming of baby clothes shopping way back when they were younger. This is why when somebody says “baby shopping”, the first thing that comes to mind is clothes.
This is completely understandable. Who can see baby clothes and stay indifferent to their cuteness? Looking at them and touching them fill your heart with beautiful impatience. This can lead to buying more than a newborn might need.
A good tip when buying baby clothes is to write a list of items down along with the quantity needed for each item and stick to that list. The quantity for each item will depend on a number of factors and these factors differ for each household. Consider the number of clothing changes due to spit-up, blowouts, and excessive droolers. Also, consider how many loads of laundry you’re willing to do per week. When the moment comes, start with onesies, swaddles, and foot pajamas.
Most babies outgrow caps and mittens pretty fast, so do not jump in and buy many of them. Here is our list of newborn wardrobe essentials to get you started.
Newborn wardrobe essentials:
- Onesies: 10-20 long sleeve or short sleeve (depending on the season)
- Socks: 3-4 pairs
- Footed Zipper pajamas : 3-4
- Caps: 1-2
- Cotton mittens: 1 pair
- Sweaters: 1-2
- Bunting: 1 (if you have a winter baby where it snows)
How about the size? A great idea is to buy a 0-3 month size, as well as the 3-6 month one. You will spend a lot of time at home when the baby arrives and going shopping would be a bit stressful. It will also grow fast, so you want to have the first two sizes to save some time in the future.
Diapers are the one thing you will need to buy way too frequently then you can imagine now. Stocking up on diapers is not a bad move since you are going to need them anyway. This will also save you some money.
According to Babylist, babies can go through upwards of 2000 diapers a year. This is information is for the disposable ones. The cost of the diapers varies on the quality and the brand.
However, instead of purchasing hundreds of them, consider using reusable ones. Cloth diapers should be cleaned, which can be a con since you have to constantly organize your laundry.
Whatever you choose, keep in mind that baby skin can be susceptible, and some brands can cause the skin to react badly. We do not recommend purchasing a small quantity from one brand to test before buying big boxes.
If you decide to breastfeed your baby, it’s a good idea to get everything you will need beforehand.
We recommend buying nipple moisturizer, a couple of nursing bras, nursing tank tops, burp cloths, and a nursing pillow. Of course, this is not everything, however, start with these essentials.
The nipple cream will be handy at the beginning of your breastfeeding because you will need something to help heal and protect your sore bits from your clothing.
Nursing tank tops are convenient for feeding a baby in public or at home. You can wear a t-shirt over the top and unhook the latches when the baby is hungry. the lower part of the tank hides your belly from the cold air or curious eyes while the t-shirt covers your upper body.
See also: 20 Tips For Breastfeeding Newborn
Baby room furniture and accessories
Whether if the baby is sleeping in a nursery or in the master bedroom with Mom and Dad. There are a few things that require setup before the baby comes home. These items include but aren’t limited to the crib, sheets for the crib, baby dresser, changing table, and baby monitor.
You can go without the baby monitor. However, you will be way freer to do chores around the home without continually checking in with the baby. Not to mention going to the baby’s room all the time can wake it up, which, as we all know, is not preferable. There are even cameras that can connect to your Alexa devices or your smartphones allowing for a more convenient way to check on Baby.
Pediatricians recommend waiting until the umbilical cord falls off naturally before bathing the baby in a tub. Prior to that, we recommend gently wiping the baby down with a warm wet washcloth or sponge being careful not to get the cord wet.
After the umbilical cord falls off, the baby can enjoy bath time in a tub or sink. Bath time should be soothing to the baby and comfortable for you. To make it that, you need to take care of a few things before the first bath. Some of the items that will come necessary are the bathtub, baby shampoo, lotion, towel with a hood, soft hairbrush, and washcloths.
We suggest you look for a bathtub with a sling because it is the most comfortable one. Babies are tiny creatures, and holding them over a slippery surface is slightly stressful. If the baby bathtub has a sling, you will be more comfortable washing baby safely.
See also: 8 tips to Help Newborn Sleep
Don’t forget about the car seat, first aid kit, thermometer, and nail clippers. The car seat is going to be used immediately after the hospital when you take the baby home. The other items will also be needed at some point, and it will be way better if you have them available than to panic later over the fact that you do not have them.
Expecting a baby is exciting and magical. We do not want to panic but make the most of it. To answer our original question again, you can start baby shopping the minute you know what you want for your baby and how much money you are willing to spend.
Some moms-to-be start shopping at the end of the pregnancy, and it is entirely normal. Do not feel rushed or anxious. Make sure that you have thought about what you really like before buying and where possible check out second-hand or yard sales to find gently used highchairs, strollers, books, and more.
Shopping earlier, on the other hand, will save you some stress at the end of the pregnancy. Do not buy things that you might not need or that are just pretty and not functional and comfortable.
Was there anything that you realized you really needed but didn’t have?
Let us know in the comments!
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