When Should You Start Buying Baby Stuff?

by | Feb 5, 2021

Once you have discovered you are expecting, the next thing on your mind is often- When should I start buying baby stuff??? It is a natural thought process and one that even I am not immune to!

When I found out I was expecting my first- I couldn’t WAIT to start buying all the cute baby things. There was SO much I was going to need. It only made sense to start buying right away- right?

Not exactly.

Before you get caught up in the excitement of pregnancy and buying everything in the store you should take some time to think about several factors that may determine when and what you should buy for your new little miracle.

Things like:

  • Gifts you may receive
  • The sex of your baby
  • Waiting for sales
  • Being sure on the style you want

It can be hard to find a balance between making sure you have everything you need and also being smart about when you swipe that credit card, luckily I have put together some guidelines to help you decide.

Before you get caught up in the excitement of pregnancy and when to buy for baby- take some time to think and make the right choices

When Should You Start Buying for Baby?

Although there is not really an exact *optimal* time to start buying for baby, you will find that a lot of veteran mothers suggest waiting until at least after your 20-week scan if you can resist. This is normally when you will be able to find out the sex of your baby- and can avoid buying everything in pale yellow or green.

Of course, if you don’t plan to find out the sex of your baby at all- this may not really apply to you. However, at your 20-week scan, you still have a long way to go and will have plenty of time left to make purchases regardless of your choice.

There may be times before this 20-week mark that would definitely call for an exception to this rule. Things like finding an excellent sale, or wanting to space out larger purchases would definitely give you a reason to shop a bit earlier.

While many pregnant mothers may have a multitude of generous family and friends- if you know you won’t have anyone making the bigger purchases, you can watch for sales and space out the bigger items as you go along in your pregnancy. So you don’t have to get them all at once.

Why Should You Wait To Start Buying Baby Stuff?

You may be wondering why you should wait at all to start purchasing for baby. After all you can’t wait to get started!

Many women wait until at least after the first trimester before buying anything for baby at all. This is to prevent having a houseful of baby things before you are sure the pregnancy is progressing well.

The first trimester can be a scary time, and many mothers will use the 12-week mark as the time that they can “safely” begin purchasing items for their baby.

What to Start Buying in the First Trimester for Baby

If you decide to use the 12-week mark as your date to start buying for baby you may be curious what you could start buying in the first trimester. While there isn’t a lot that you will need to be buying for baby during this time, there are still plenty of things that you could purchase for yourself.

Things like:

If you are looking for some more good ideas you can check out this blog post for Pregnancy Must-Haves.

What to Buy in the Second Trimester for Baby

Once you hit your second trimester you may begin really getting the itch to buy for baby. This is a great time to start stocking up on diapers and wipes. This is also a great time to start grabbing items that are must-haves regardless of baby’s gender.

Things like:

Baby Crib

Once you find out the gender of baby you may also start buying a few things such as clothing and nursery decor.

You may also want to grab a few more things for yourself as pregnancy is getting more uncomfortable. There are several items you can purchase during your second trimester that will help pregnancy be more enjoyable.

Such as:

What to Buy in The Third Trimester for Baby

The third trimester is the time to start tying up all the loose ends and making sure you are prepared for baby.

If you are planning on breastfeeding you will want to make sure you are stocked up on a few things:

This is also the time to make sure you have all the must-haves for when baby arrives such as clothing, blankets, diapers, wipes, and of course a diaper bag!

When Should You Have a Baby Shower

Deciding when to have your baby shower will be another one of the exciting decisions on your list when deciding when to buy for baby. While you can have your baby shower at any time- it is usually most beneficial to have your baby shower towards the end of the second trimester into the beginning of the third. This way you are far enough along to know the gender but also not too uncomfortable just yet.

Is it Bad Luck Buying Stuff for Baby too Early?

While some people may believe the reason to wait for buying for baby is that it is bad luck- this is only the case if you are superstitious. Buying things for baby early in the pregnancy doesn’t have any scientific connection to the success of the pregnancy.

The only bad luck associated with buying too early is that your house may end up a bit crowded, you may end up spending money on things you don’t need, or end up with a lot of things in the wrong color or style.

Buying things for baby early isn’t bad luck- but it can be a bad idea.

Should You Wait Until You Find out the Gender to Buy Stuff for Baby?

When buying the bigger stuff it shouldn’t really matter the baby’s gender either way. If you plan to have more than one (or another) baby buying gender-neutral on the larger items just makes the most sense. You may even choose to buy lot of gender-neutral newborn clothing since they will outgrow this size quickly anyway, and this size will usually last through more than one child since they are not at the age of stains just yet- and they don’t wear the clothes very long.

For most clothes though- you will want to wait until you find out baby’s gender because you will likely want to dress baby in all the cute boy/girl outfits once they are here.

What Baby Stuff Should You Let Friends or Family Buy?

Your friends or family may be asking what they can buy for baby. One thing that is helpful is if groups of family or friends can go in together on one of the larger gifts like a stroller, car seat, or bassinette.

You can also make a baby registry to avoid getting 20 bottles of baby shampoo and nothing else.

If you do not need any larger items purchased- a safe choice for gifts is always diapers and wipes! You will need a lot and the more you receive, the less you have to buy.

Avoid having friends/family purchase newborn diapers as your baby will likely outgrow this size quickly. 1-2 boxes in this size is usually more than enough.

Do I Need to Buy a Lot of Baby Clothes?

This is a pretty common question. Of course, you will want to buy a lot of cute baby clothes, but if you buy too many clothes, you may be wasting your money.

In the earlier months of pregnancy, you do not know if you will be having a boy or a girl, so you may buy the wrong items. If you buy gender-neutral you may be stuck with a lot of green and yellow when all you really want is cute pink and blue.

Not to mention, clothing will be a number one item you receive at your baby shower so you may end up with far too many outfits.

If you just MUST buy clothing for baby- go small and remember that babies grow fast and you may not know what size they will be in certain seasons.

What Should I Not Buy For Baby?

There are a few things you should just not buy for baby at all- especially before the baby is even born. There are a lot of companies out there who are making items that are just really not even necessary for babies at all.

Here are a few of those items:

  • Newborn baby shoes– While it is so tempting and they are SO cute- they are just not necessary at all. They fall off baby, and have no real use.
  • Formula– I am not saying to never buy formula for baby- but you likely will not know which formula your little one can handle until they are here.
  • Too much of anything – babies are finicky and no two babies are alike. Your baby may end up allergic to certain materials or prefer an entire different pacifier than others (even siblings). So while stocking up may seem like a great idea- it isn’t always.

Deciding when to buy for baby can be a hard choice- especially when you are excited to get started. Just remember to not go overboard, and to take the time to enjoy your pregnancy there will be plenty of time for buying even after baby gets here!

Do you have any items to add to this list? When did you start buying for baby?

Hi I’m Marissa!

A mom of two little ones, here to provide some relatable experiences, tips, and tricks to the joys and challenges of pregnancy and childbirth through raising babies and toddlers.  Read more about me here.