When To Start Buying Baby Stuff? – Check List For Each Trimester

When To Start Buying Baby Stuff? Timeline shopping list for each trimester

Pregnancy comes with lots of surprises. While you cannot prepare for when you’ll get morning sickness or the exact date your angel will arrive, you can prepare for having a new baby by purchasing the essentials and getting baby’s room ready in advance.

However, it may be tempting to go out shopping as soon as your doctor confirms that you are pregnant, and why not? While there is plenty of shopping to do, you may want to start by researching first and foremost and establishing a realistic budget before you actually buy baby stuff.

For moms who have you’ve experienced a previous miscarriage, the first months of pregnancy can be especially difficult time. However, more and more moms are realizing that they allowed fear to rob them of such a beautiful, exciting time in early pregnancy.

Whether this is your first or sixth time being pregnant, remember that it is special and you deserve to fully embrace the joy of a new life you’re carrying.

So, before you read any further, hear this and feel it deep in you heart: Congratulations on your pregnancy! What wonderful news.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

When Should I Start Buying Baby Stuff?

There is no rule about when pregnant moms should start buying baby stuff. You can start when you feel ready, but it is a good idea to make a budget, especially for essentials like a baby car seat and baby crib, as those can be expensive.

Some moms like to use the first trimester to plan out the nursery, decide how they want to decorate and research the best jogging stroller or baby carriers. Then, second trimester is when they buy baby stuff or make a baby registry. Finally, they save buying clothes and hygiene items for the last trimester, when their excitement fro baby’s arrival is at a peak.

However, also long as you feel prepared for baby’s arrival, you can purchase baby items in any sequence you feel comfortable with.

What Is The First Baby Item You Should Buy

Timeline For Buying Baby Stuff

Here are some tips to help you organize your baby shopping over the next nine months (or wherever you are in your pregnancy). Remember, these are just tips, not strict rules.

1. What Baby Items To Buy In First Trimester

It’s probably best to use the time in first trimester for planning than actual shopping.

  • Before buying any actual baby items, do some initial planning.

Map out what you want your baby nursery to look like and think about your lifestyle: Do you want both a baby bassinet and a crib? Can you afford both? How much space is in the baby nursery to store baby items?

Do you plan to breastfeed? Will you need a breast pump?

These kind of questions are the best place to start, before you go out shopping.

  • Now, research and budget!

Find the most lightweight, breathable baby carrier for your warm climate. Or, the best baby crib with high safety ratings. Decide on a simple or all-frills stroller. Learn all you can about electric breast pumps or manual ones to make an informed decision.

Do all this with your budget in mind. You may have your eyes set on a great stroller – one that you will need to save up for. That’s fine, just plan in advance. Create a budget and stick to it, if you don’t have a baby swing or high chair for your newborn that’s no problem, but he or she does need a car seat.

  • Create a baby checklist

This doesn’t have to be a formal baby registry, but it can be useful for friends and family to know what type of things you want or need. A good idea is to make an electronic ‘wishlist’ that others can access (make sure it’s public).

This also can be a good guide for you to know exactly what you still need for your little one, with a quick glance. That way you feel prepared, at least with all the essentials.

  • Don’t forget about yourself, mama!

Of course getting prepared for baby’s arrival and buying all those baby items is very important, but there are also some pregnancy must-haves that you should get for yourself, that will help you to get through those 9 months and all changes (and challenges)! What I have in mind is for example: prenatal vitamins, morning sickness and constipation, and heartburn relief, maternity pillow, comfy leggings, pregnancy bra, oil for itchy belly and compression socks.

2. Baby Purchases In Second Trimester

This is when I suggest getting baby furniture and finalizing the nursery (you likely won’t want to do any painting at the final weeks of pregnancy).

  • Crib or bassinet
  • Nursery decor (rocking chair and book shelves, too!)
  • Baby monitor
  • Diapers – if doing reusable/washable diapers
  • Baby bath tub

Baby Things To Buy In Third Trimester

If you have a baby shower around this time – enjoy it! Celebrate your new little one, and hopefully you are also blessed with lots of baby items. If there are still things to buy, you should look into:

Things To Consider Before You Start Shopping For Your Baby

While there are no ‘rules’ for when to start buying things for baby, it’s a good idea to keep some things in mind before you start buying baby stuff.

Of course, some of these are not entirely in your control, but they make for good markers to direct your baby-purchasing decisions.

When Should I Start Buying Baby Stuff

1. Your Home Space + Storage

Before stocking up on baby items, you need to be realistic about where you plan to put everything. If you live in a tiny apartment, this might influence your purchases as well as your timeline for when to start buying baby stuff.

If you get a crib and baby swing in the first trimester, you’ll be bumping into it for another 7 or 8 months before you even start using it.

It’s also a good idea to factor in your home’s layout and size before purchasing baby’s nursery furniture. You might need to go for a smaller crib and a stroller that folds down flat, to make your life easier for the first two or three years of your little one’s life.

2. Expecting Any Gifts / Hand-Me-Downs?

Has your sister mentioned giving you a high chair she no longer needs? Or your mom suggested going shopping to pick out a stroller as her gift to you?

First of all – be open to gifts! This is a great way for friends and family to express their love in a tangible way – and one that will be a great blessing to you for many years.

If you’re planning to do a baby shower, you could put some big ticket items on a baby shower registry and hope that your friends go in on it as a group gift.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you definitely will be gifted everything on your baby registry, but it is never a bad idea. If friends are eager to celebrate with you, having a list points them in the right direction.

You could also ask family members if they have any of the items on your list which you could borrow or buy. This is an easy way to get some great baby stuff that they don’t need anymore: anything from quality baby clothes to baby gear will help you out a lot!

3. Baby’s Gender

While some mom’s like to be surprised, many parents choose to find out baby’s gender early in order to plan accordingly. While this is very personal, it can be a lot of fun to choose baby’s nursery décor and buy baby clothes that align with their gender.

Of course, if you decide not know know baby’s gender in advance, that’s totally fine. but in that case, you maybe want to go with a more gender neutral nursery and buy clothes that would work for either sex.

When Is The Best Time To Buy Things For Your Baby

4. Your Budget

Before purchasing baby stuff early, sit down and look at what your budget is. This will be the ultimate guide for what you can afford, or if you need to save up for it.

Some big purchases might need you to save up for; like a car seat or stroller. These expensive baby gear items you can leave until the third trimester, making sure to keep an eye out for deals, sales or even a quality used stroller in order to save money.

Don’t buy a used car seat, though there is no way of telling if it was previously in a car accident. This should be a new baby purchase, for safety.

5. Your Personality & Lifestyle

Another thing to consider before making a baby checklist is your personality or lifestyle. Buying baby stuff just because they are on sale, but then you never use them is just silly!

Make sure your baby purchases are going to get used, as well.

Here are some things to keep in mind when buying baby stuff early:

  • Strollers

Do you enjoy running? Consider investing in a jogging stroller. Do you travel often? Get a great travel stroller, maybe one that folds down to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane.

  • Diapers

Choose if you want to go for reusable diapers or disposable ones. If you want reusable, then you might need a wet/dry bag and to start researching good brands of reusable diapers.

No matter what, by the third trimester, it’s a good idea to have some newborn diapers that are disposable, and pack a hospital bag with a few items like diaper cream and newborn clothes to bring baby home from the hospital in.

  • Feeding

If you know you want to bottle feed, this doesn’t mean go and stock up on any formula, no, no. But it does mean look at bottles and other equipment (sanitizers) to add to the baby checklist.

I also recommend you to read about baby formulas: those based on cow’s milk and soy milk, lactose-free ones and those that are hypoallergenic, as well as organic formulas. There are ready-to-use formulas, which don’t require you to add water; concentrated liquid formulas that have to be mixed with water, as well as powdered formulas that you also mix with water1. The latter type costs usually the least. Do you research beforehand!

Or, if you want to breastfeed, there are some things you might want for you, as a mom: like a breastfeeding station, lactation cookies or nipple creams. It’s not only baby stuff you need to buy before baby arrives!

Also, if you know you’re going back to work after baby arrives, then start shopping for a breast pump. Some hospitals allow you to rent breast pumps, so look at different options out there.

Can I Buy Baby Stuff Before 12 Weeks

6. Month Or Season Baby Will Arrive

Another factor to consider before you start buying baby stuff is the time of year you are scheduled to deliver.

For example, if your little one is due in July and you find a sale on baby sweaters and warm jackets, go for 6 or 8 months old sizes, not newborn sizes.

While some baby stuff (tummy time mats and high chairs) will get used no matter the weather, some articles of clothing, need to be considered for your baby’s age during that season: like swimming costumes, warm jackets or cozy sleep sacks. Make sure they will fit your baby when that season arrives.

This also influences your maternity clothes, too. Make sure to plan for the season, even if something is on sale, if it won’t fit by the time you need it, its still a wasted purchase.

Final Verdict: When Is The Best Time To Buy Things For Your Baby?

The best time to buy things for your baby is after you’ve considered the most important things you need for your baby and have set a realistic budget.

For many moms, that’s at the end of the second trimester, beginning of the third trimester. But some moms wait until they feel the ‘nesting urge’ come on around the third trimester and go on a shopping spree! Hey, as long as you’ve saved up for it over the first and second trimesters, why not?

The main thing is to have a list of essentials and ‘must have’ baby items before you go out and buy stuff. This can help you save money and keep your eyes peeled for sales that can help you save money.

So, whether you start buying baby things in the first or third trimester, it doesn’t really matter. The main thin is to be prepared.

The question of when to start buying baby stuff shouldn’t take away from the excitement of being pregnant – enjoy it!

Buying Baby Stuff – FAQ

Here are some common questions about when is the right time to buy baby stuff:

Is it okay to buy items in the first trimester? When should you start buying baby clothes?

Keep reading for the answers to these questions and more.

What Is The First Baby Item You Should Buy?

The first baby item you buy should be something sentimental, and not an essential baby item that will get used up and tossed out.

This is not something to put on your baby registry or an item of baby furniture. If you just learned that you are pregnant, why not celebrate by purchasing a toy, stuffed animal, or your baby’s first outfit they will wear home from the hospital.

This item will have such a special meaning when you dress them in it, or they play with it. And you’ll likely want to save it in a memory box for years to come.

Can I Buy Baby Stuff Before 12 Weeks?

Of course you can! While some people think it is bad luck to buy baby things before the second trimester, this isn’t true.

Since you don’t know the baby’s gender yet, you might want to go for gender neutral baby clothes or other items.

Before you buy stuff, though, make sure to look at my list of ‘things to consider’ about season, and your personality so you don’t start buying stuff only because its on sale and end up never using it.

Is It Bad Luck To Buy Baby Stuff Early?

No, it is not bad luck – it just shows how excited and eager you are to become a mom! And, that you’re probably going to be a great mom because you’re organized and plan ahead.

If you do want to know about buying baby stuff before pregnancy, check out this article.

When Should I Buy Baby Stroller And Car Seat

When Should I Buy Baby Stroller And Car Seat?

These are likely the most expensive items of baby gear you will buy. Give yourself enough time to research what you’re looking for, read up on the safety ratings and reviews before you buy.

Also – see consider how they will fit into your lifestyle (or your car!) before settling on a purchase. For this reason, many new moms wait until the third trimester to make these purchases.

If you’re still unsure when it’s the right time during pregnancy to buy the stroller – read my article here.

When Should I Start Buying Baby Clothes?

Personally, I think it’s really fun to go shopping for maternity clothes in early pregnancy, but you can certainly buy baby clothes in the first trimester, too!

There is no right or wrong time to buy baby clothes or newborn outfits (just remember, babies grow fast – too many newborn or size 1 month clothes won’t get much wear. Keep the tags on some items, just in case your baby grows before they wear them).

Some moms wait to buy baby clothes until they know their baby’s gender. Others go for gender neutral clothes until the 20-week scan.

This is all personal preference, I say – just enjoy it, don’t allow fears of miscarriage to steal your excitement.

One good tip, though, is to wait until after your baby shower to buy the final clothing items, such as bibs and socks, because these are common gift items and you may end up with an avalanche of them and not need to purchase any.

When Should I Buy Baby Bassinet, Crib And Nursery Furniture?

It’s a good idea to buy nursery furniture during the second trimester.

Why? Ask yourself if you have enough space to store a crib in your home. Buying in the first trimester and you may be stuck bumping around it for months and months (that is, unless you have a separate baby room).

And, if you need to assemble baby’s crib, you may feel too tired or have difficulty moving around to set up a crib, come third trimester.

This is why second trimester is best to finish purchasing all of baby’s furniture like cribs, bassinets or rocking chairs.

Is 30 Weeks Too Early To Buy Baby Stuff?

No, 30 weeks is not too early to start buying baby stuff.

Hopefully, you started planning around the first trimester or second trimester and have some baby essentials secured or at least your top 3 picks in mind. There is still plenty of time to buy baby stuff before your little one is born.

As you enter the last weeks of pregnancy you can organize all the baby stuff, or do some shopping for baby clothes, a cute diaper bag and more.

Some parents don’t have a lot of help and support, so they can’t depend on getting a stroller at a baby shower, that’s okay. If you start planning and saving early, the third trimester is a good time to buy those important items.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.



About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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