When To Start Shopping For Baby Stuff

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Child, Parenting

When To Start Shopping For Baby Stuff

Not sure when to start buying baby stuff? It’s always a great idea to start planning what to buy before the baby arrives. Especially if this is your first child…there can be a lot to buy.


The truth is, there is no rule book on when to start buying things for your baby. Some parents can’t wait to pick out cute baby clothes, while others prefer to wait off on certain baby items.

Things to Consider Before You Shop for a Baby

It can be easy to go overboard on buying baby items. Yet, before you add another item to your shopping cart – there are a few things to consider. 

1. Budget

We all know babies are expensive. The good news? You likely have nine months to budget and find ways to save money on baby gear. 

Despite what companies lead you to 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, while saving you money. 

2. Space

Another important factor to consider is how much space you have in your home. Large dressers and reclining gliders may sound great, but may not be able to fit into a teeny-tiny baby room.

Keep in mind the space you have to work with when shopping for baby gear. If you’re lacking on space, consider a mini-crib and other nursery solutions that will allow you to create a functional nursery. 

3. Baby Shower

Are you expecting a baby shower? If so, its best to go light on purchasing baby stuff until after the baby shower. Depending on how many people show up to your baby shower, you could end up with more baby stuff than you expected. 

Even if you don’t have a baby shower, it’s still best to wait to buy baby stuff. Once word gets around that you’re having a baby, you could end up receiving hand-me-downs from other parents as well. 

4. Baby Gender

Some parents prefer to hold off on buying baby stuff until they find out the gender of their baby.  Generally between 18 and 21 weeks, this can happen. 

Of course, you don’t need to know the gender of your baby in order to buy baby stuff. You can always stock up on gender neutral clothes for your new bundle of joy. The decision is totally up to you!

A General Timeline for Buying Baby Items 

First Trimester

  • Create a budget- This will give you a better idea of what you can realistically spend on your baby. 
  • Set up a baby registry- It’s never too early to set up a baby registry. You are simply creating a list of baby supplies that you can choose to share with friends and family later down the line.
  • Research baby gear- From choosing the right stroller to buying a breast pump, there are a lot of tough decisions you’ll need to make before the baby arrives. Be sure to spend a little time researching your highly-rated baby gear and start reading baby buying guides to get a better idea of what products will serve your family best. 

Second Trimester

  • Design your nursery- By this time you know the sex of the baby and can pick out a theme for the nursery. Once a theme is chosen, it is much easier to pick out furniture and decor. 
  • Start ordering nursery furniture- If you are buying nursery furniture online, be sure to order sooner rather than later. It may take weeks for  items to arrive, and you will need time to assemble your furniture as well. 
  • Buy a crib- A baby crib is an essential purchase! This is the best time to do it since you will have more energy and time to assemble. 
  • Declutter your home- It’s time to make room for all the baby stuff that is about to arrive. You don’t have to do it all in one day.  
  • Decide on Diapers- If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to choose which type of diaper you’re going use. Although the main options are cloth and disposable diapers, you also have different styles and brands for each. 

Third Trimester

  • Stock up on must-have essentials- Surprisingly, babies can go through a number of clothes, diapers, and creams. Make sure to have your nursery stocked with essentials such as burp cloths, wipes, lotion, and bibs. 
  • Buy a baby car seat- You will want to have plenty of time in advance to practice using your car seat. You can’t leave the hospital without one either!
  • Fill in your baby’s wardrobe- This is the time to check and see if your missing any needed baby clothes. 
  • Pre-wash baby clothes- It’s always a good idea to wash all baby items before putting them on your baby since either dust or harmful chemicals can irritate their delicate skin. Also be sure to use baby-safe laundry detergent when washing your little one’s clothes. 
  • Keep an eye out for good deals- While you are waiting for your little one to arrive, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for deals on future baby purchases like high chairs, bouncers, and other items that your baby doesn’t need right away. This way you can wait for your favorite models to go on sale as well! 

Ready, Set, Shop!

Hopefully with this helpful timeline, you have a better sense of when to start shopping for baby stuff. Just remember that this isn’t a set timeline you need to follow. You should prepare and purchase for your little one as you see fit. 

Happy shopping!