A Helpful Timeline: When to Start Buying Baby Stuff

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Wondering when to start buying baby stuff? Good for you for thinking ahead! Between now and the time you meet your little one, there’s a lot to do…and a lot to buy.  

The truth is, there is no hard and fast rule on when to start buying things for your little one. Some parents can’t wait to pick out cute baby clothes and nursery décor, while others prefer to hold off for various reasons. In this guide, we’ll discuss a few of those reasons and provide a helpful timeline for buying must-have essentials for your baby.

Things to Consider Before You Shop for a Baby

With all the teeny-tiny baby clothes and newfangled baby gear available today, it can be easy to go overboard on baby items in the first trimester. But before you grab a shopping cart and go crazy, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

1. Budget 

It’s no secret that babies are expensive. According to a USDA report, a middle-income family can expect to spend nearly $13,000 annually per child. The good news? You likely have nine months to budget for your new bundle of joy and research ways to save on baby gear.

Contrary to what some companies would have you believe, babies don’t need fancy cribs, designer clothes or state-of-the art bouncers. Creating a budget for the baby forces you to think about what your baby actually needs, so you don’t get sucked into buying the “latest and greatest.”

Additionally, budgeting in advance for the baby can give you more motivation to find coupons and wait for the best deals. You can also take advantage of rewards programs—like our Grow-With-Us Perks—to help you save even more on baby stuff.

2. Space

Another key consideration when shopping for your baby is how much space you have in your home. Reclining gliders, large dressers and free-standing bookshelves may sound nice, but they’re probably not going to fit in a teeny-tiny room. 

Keep this in mind when adding items and gear to your baby registry. If you’re tight on space, consider a mini-crib and other smart nursery solutions that will help you design a functional nursery.

3. Baby Shower

Are you expecting someone to throw you a baby shower? If so, try to go easy on buying baby items until after your baby shower. Depending on how many people attend your baby shower, you could end up getting most of what you need from friends and family members.

Even if you aren’t planning to have a baby shower, it might make more sense to wait to buy baby stuff. Once word spreads that you’re having a baby, you could end up receiving a lot of hand-me-downs from other parents.

4. Gender of the Baby 

Many expecting parents prefer to wait to buy baby stuff until they find out the gender of their baby. This generally happens between 18 and 21 weeks, but some people find out as early as 12 weeks.

Of course, you don’t need to know the gender of your baby to begin buying things for them. Whether you’re keeping the baby’s gender a surprise or simply can’t wait to start shopping for your new bundle of joy, you can always stock up on unisex baby clothes for your little one. The choice is entirely up to you!

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