Wondering when is the right time to hit the shops and pick up cute baby things?
Once you have a positive pregnancy test the temptation is to rush out and celebrate that by buying a ton of adorable baby stuff!
The answer is there no “right time” to start buying baby stuff, however most people wait until after they have reached the second trimester, or the 12th week, of pregnancy to start buying baby products.
Pregnancy is exciting and planning for your baby’s arrival is all part of that excitement.
Once you learn you’re pregnant and start to research all of the baby gear that you can buy, the temptation is to start buying right away.
I remember being amazed at just how much baby stuff is on the market when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby.
As someone who loves to be organised, I had to really hold myself back from going crazy with buying stuff during the first trimester.
And I’m so glad that I did rein myself in, because there’s a ton of stuff to consider before you start with the impulse purchasing, such as:
- How much space you actually have for baby stuff
- What baby gear you will receive as gifts from friends and family
- What the sex of your baby will be
- What your budget is
- Sticking to the items that you actually need so you don’t waste money
So before you get too carried away, let’s take a look at the perfect timeline for shopping for your baby!
You may also like: When to set up baby’s nursery
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Is it bad luck to buy baby stuff early?
It really depends on you and what you believe in.
The reason that people believe it’s “bad luck” if you buy stuff for the baby early stems from the fact that most miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, according to the baby charity Tommy’s. Around half of these have underlying causes.
Modern day pregnancy tests offer us much earlier positive pregnancy tests than we have ever been able to have before.
This means that sadly some ladies may get a positive pregnancy test and then within days the pregnancy is over, because even though the hormones in her body were gearing up to support the pregnancy, for a variety of reasons it sadly wasn’t meant to be.
I personally believe in science and that nothing you can buy or shop for will have any influence on your body.
Should you buy any baby stuff in your first trimester?
Having said the above about bad luck not being anything to worry about if you’re not superstitious, you do need to consider your own feelings.
If you start buying baby stuff during the first trimester, when everything is a little uncertain, and then the worst does happen it will be very hard to have that physical reminder in your home.
But of course you are completely entitled to make your own decision on what you think is best for you.
This is what you need to weigh up when it comes to buying baby stuff in the first trimester. Only you can ultimately decide if buying baby stuff right away is totally necessary, or rather something you just cannot resist!
If you do decide you just have to buy baby stuff in the first trimester, stick to very small and simple purchases only.
Instead of buying you may want to sit down and make a budget for your baby instead. Figure out the stuff you need, research roughly how much it will cost and then see if you have the cash to pay for it.
Planning in itself can be really fun, so make lists and start researching the best brands on the market that fit in with your baby budget.
It’s never too early to be prepared for the expenses associated with having a new baby!
If you do really want to do some baby-related shopping, there are various things you can buy related to your pregnancy in the first trimester including:
- A pregnancy or baby journal to record the next few months
- Pregnancy vitamins
- A waistband expander for your jeans
- My pregnancy planner – it’s 50 pages of handy checklists, planning pages and helpful tips to get you through every trimester!
Hold off on buying other pregnancy stuff like a pillow for making sleep more comfy and maternity clothes until well into your second trimester.
When should you start buying for baby?
So with all of this mind, when can you start buying stuff for a baby?
I suggest you start making most of your purchases after the 20-week scan, when you can find out the sex of the baby, if you want to. You may want to leave it longer if you are having a baby shower so that you can see what items you receive at the party from friends and family.
Remember you still have a long way to go in your pregnancy, and that you may have some generous friends and family who want to help you out.
A baby registry list with all of the essentials you will need can help you keep track of what you’re buying so you don’t end up with duplicates.
By the middle of the third trimester, I recommend you have the following essentials for your baby:
- Cot or Moses basket for them to sleep in and a mattress
- Cot mattress fitted sheets and waterproof mattress cover
- Changing mat
- Blankets x4
- Car seat
- Baby outfits x7 (including sleepsuits, vests if your due date is in the winter, and hats)
- Warm pramsuit if baby is due in winter
- Muslins x 7
- Bibs x7
- Play mat and/or baby bouncy chair for playtime
- Baby care essentials – nappies, wipes, baby bubble bath, baby moisturiser
- Baby towel
- Baby monitor
- Toys – rattles, comforters and cloth books make great first toys
Any other items you may receive as gifts such as additional baby clothes and blankets so try not to over-buy on these items.
What should you buy first for your baby?
For most expectant parents the first thing they pick up are baby clothes. These are cheap, practical and also there’s something about seeing a tiny baby outfit that makes the whole thing seem more real.
Big purchases such as the pushchair and cot don’t need to be rushed, and it’s a good idea to shop around a bit so that you can get what you want at the best price.
When it comes to setting up your baby’s nursery you’ll ideally aim to have this done by the middle of your third trimester. This way you can spend your final weeks of pregnancy resting.
Tips for early baby purchases
If you cannot resist hitting the shops earlier than week 20 of your pregnancy then that’s totally fine of course! It’s your baby and most parents will pick up the odd item ahead of this milestone.
However here are a few tips to help you with your baby purchases:
Stick to gender neutral clothes
If you don’t know the sex yet then try to stick with gender neutral baby clothes.
There are so many adorable ones on the market that you will be spoiled for choice!
Go for yellow, white, pastel green and beige.
When it comes to how many baby clothes to buy, I have entire post including a handy checklist and tips on what sizes to buy!
Watch the sales
If you are looking at purchasing baby stuff early on then use the time to keep an eye on sales.
Certain items fluctuate massively in price, or great offers may pop up from time to time. For example when we purchased our pushchair we were also given the car seat as part of the deal. It saved us more than £100.
There are price tracking tools you can use such as Honey. There are five examples explained over on this Life Hacker article.
Avoid these items at all costs
As a mama of two I recommend you avoid these unnecessary baby items:
- Baby bath
- Too many baby clothes in newborn size – your baby will grow out of them in a matter of weeks
- Cot bumpers – they’re unsafe and you really do not need them
So when can you buy baby stuff?
While deciding when you can start to buy baby stuff, here’s my best advice:
- Start shopping for big ticket stuff after your 20 week scan.
- Shop for a few small items, such as the odd baby onesie, after 12 weeks if you cannot resist.
- Make a thorough list of everything you actually need and keep close track of what you buy.
- Remember that your friends and family will probably offer to help you out by buying gifts nearer to your due date. Most baby showers happen in the final two months of pregnancy, so wait for that time to ensure you have everything on your baby checklist.
- Do not buy tons of baby clothes in newborn size – you will be gifted a lot too and your baby will grow out of them within a matter of weeks.
I hope this post has given you some idea about when you can start shopping for your baby.
Ultimately mama, you need to remember that the choice is totally yours and it really comes down to what you feel comfortable with, as well as what you can afford!
Remember that exciting friends and loved ones will definitely want to help out with the baby stuff, so keep this in mind when you’re putting together your baby must-haves checklist.
Happy shopping mama!