Becoming a parent for the first time can be a bit overwhelming and one of the problems that many new parents face is what to buy for their new arrival and when to start buying. Most parents will want to start buying things before the actual birth but there are so many options available it can be difficult to know which is an essential item and what can be left behind in the store.
As a parent I faced the very same challenge and through my experience I have learned that one of the worst things you can do is go shopping for your baby items without having a clear list of what you need, chances are if you are unsure of what to buy or how much to buy you will arrive home with too much of some things and only realise later that some items have been overlooked.
It is a natural tendency for new parents to over buy, having a baby is an exciting time for anyone, whether it is a first or third baby it is still one of the favourite pastimes of expectant parents to go baby shopping.
Tips for buying for your new baby
Don’t buy everything you think is cute, especially if this is your first baby. You will receive many of the “cute” items from relatives and friends so leave the Christmas Santa outfit in the store, if your baby is due around Christmas or any other celebration you can expect to receive a festive gift from at least one well wisher.
Buy the essentials early on. You will need a crib, pram or stroller, a diaper bag, a bottle sterilizer (if you are bottle feeding) baby bedding, feeding equipment, pacifiers (optional) baby blankets, newborn clothes and a few extras for the hospital stay.
You will not need, a crib mobile (cute, but non-essential and usually received as a gift) multiple outfits (buy a few, but not a whole wardrobe, babies grow very quickly) and many extras like bottle warmers and heated wipe holders etc.
Spread the cost. If you are going to purchase all your baby items from one store check if they have an option to put a deposit on the bigger items and if they will allow you to spread the cost over a few months. This way allows you more freedom and helps you to budget, it also means that your purchases are secure and will be available to you exactly when you need them without the need to store them unused at home for weeks before the delivery. It also (depending on the store) allows you to change an item, which is a great way to deal with surprises (like the sex of your baby for instance or even twins!)
Make a baby list. Just like you would make a list for a wedding, many people will want to buy gifts for your baby, or perhaps even throw you a baby shower, if you make a list of the things you really want it can save on duplicates as well as giving you the choice to leave some items that you would rather choose yourself, off the list.
Lastly, enjoy shopping for your new baby, once you know you have all the essentials sorted and hopefully you will be on budget, this is when you can choose to buy those little extras, a first teddy bear or first Easter outfit, whatever you choose you can buy those non essentials and be secure in knowing that the must have items are taken care of.
My name is Gemma and I am a mother of three. With my firstborn I made the usual mistakes and ended up buying far more than I actually needed. Not only did I end up wasting money I also ended up with many unused baby items that at the time where just “too cute” to leave in the store. I also found that friends and family not only buy gifts for a new baby but that they also want to buy these items, so if you are expecting and someone asks what they can get as a gift, next time let them know or you may end up with three diaper bags and not a baby blanket in sight!