There’s no doubt that shopping for baby things is one of the most exciting things expectant parents can do to prepare for their little ones! Between the time someone finds out that they’re pregnant until the arrival of the baby, there are so many things that need to be done to prepare—from new doctor’s visits planning the baby shower to picking out a name. And yet, out of all of these things, nothing makes the experience quite as tangible as buying little baby clothes and toys for their new bundle of joy.
With so much to do, and only so much time to do it, many soon-to-be parents often find themselves wondering about many things—but nothing perhaps so much as deciding when, exactly, to start buying baby stuff.
While there is, of course, no hard and fast rule—as babies have a tendency of arriving whenever they very well please, with only 4% of babies arriving on their actual due dates—most of those expecting to have a baby typically wait until the end of the first trimester (or about 12 weeks in) before investing too seriously in the majority of what they’ll need for their baby.
However, there are some other factors you should also keep in mind before you officially begin your slow descent into baby madness. In this article, we’ll talk a little bit more about what these things are and what parents need to know before they start buying baby stuff.
Table of Contents
- An Overview of Things to Consider
- Your Budget
- How Far Along You Are
- The Baby Shower
- Available Space
- Your Own Energy Levels
An Overview of Things to Consider
When it comes to the general timeline of the best time to buy things, you should try to keep in mind the following items:
- Your budget
- How far along you are in your pregnancy
- The Baby Shower
- The amount of available space you have in your home, and,
- Your own energy levels
Now that we have a general overview of some things for you to consider, we can talk more about them in the sections that follow.
First things first: while it may be exciting to hit the ground running when you shop for new baby items, when it comes to actually buying anything, you need to keep in mind what your budgeting limitations are. Babies are not cheap, especially once they’re Earth-side, and also tend to grow—meaning they also outgrow—things incredibly fast.
Savvy parents will know they can often afford to cut some corners with their budget to account for this. Many other parents tend to sell their gently used or completely unused baby products on online marketplaces, buy and sell apps like OfferUp, and Facebook swap groups, to name only a few options.
How Far Along You Are
Another thing that will determine how frantically you need to shop for baby items will naturally be how far along in your pregnancy you currently are. Naturally someone who is further along will need to start thinking more and more about buying things.
Realistically speaking, parents are known to start collecting baby items at various points throughout the gestation process and there is no “right” or “wrong” time to begin, but, as previously stated, most expectant parents tend to wait until at least the end of the first trimester (12 weeks) before they start seriously shopping for their baby. Some parents even take it one step further and wait until their 20-week ultrasounds, when they learn the sex of the baby, to begin.
However there’s no harm in collecting some smaller baby items (like a few clothing items) in the earlier days of your pregnancy if you find you’re just too excited to resist buying something.
The Baby Shower
If you’re planning on throwing a baby show to celebrate the arrival of your little one, you’re in luck, as parents tend to rack up quite the little collection of baby items from the celebration. Once the party is over, you can take inventory of the gifts you receive and adjust your new needs accordingly.
The great thing about throwing a shower is that you also get the opportunity to set up a baby shower registry which helps to give people an idea of what kind of baby items you’re looking to receive—which not only helps your guests know what to get you, but also help you to stay on top of what items you’ve acquired and what items you may still need.
Babies may be small, but the things needed to care for them properly—like bassinets, changing tables, car seats, clothing, and diapers—take up a lot of space.
With all of this in mind, you should take into account all of the space you have available in your home to store all of these things. It would help to take measurements and get an idea of the dimensions of your space as well so you can avoid the pitfall of investing in an expensive piece of furniture only to see it doesn’t fit into your space as well as you first imagined.
Your Own Energy Levels
Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but it’s also exhausting. For most people, the second trimester tends to be the most comfortable time—a brief respite from the nausea and morning sickness of the first trimester and before the fatigue of the third starts to kick in.
Given this, the second trimester also aligns with the most opportune time to begin amassing your collection of baby things, especially the more essential, big-ticket items like furniture and nursery decor. Since you’ll have more energy and generally feel more at ease due to a stabilization in hormone levels, you’ll be able to do things like assemble furniture much more easily.
Planning for the arrival of a baby is an exciting time, but it can also be exhausting. With so much to do, and only so much time to do it, many parents often wonder when the best time to start buying baby stuff actually is.
While there is no hard and fast rule, new parents tend to wait until at least the end of the first trimester before they begin seriously collecting things—but, at the end of the day, the correct answer is really “whenever you feel like it!”
If you’re still feeling a little lost or apprehensive about the exact right time to start, hopefully this article has helped you to figure things out a little bit better and plan accordingly.