When Is the Right Time to Start Shopping

Updated on January 28, 2012
S.E. asks from Caldwell, NJ
20 answers

so im about 14 weeks along right now, my boyfriend and i have already taken 2 trips to babies r us just to look around. The whole time we're in the store i have to constantly remind myself that its still too early and we dont even know the sex of the baby yet so i shouldnt be buying anything. In a little over a month i have my doctors appointment to find out wether we're having a boy or a girl, and everyone ive talked to thinks i should at least wait until then before i start buying anything, much less clothes. Not only that but my boyfriend doesnt want us to buy anything that i could possibly get as a present at a babyshower. I know everyone is probably right but i cant help myself and i know its going to be even harder once i find out the sex lol. just looking for suggestions when is it typical to start buying things for the baby?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I bought a crib and car seat 2 weeks before he was born. A crib mattress 2 days before he was born along with a changing pad and two changing pad covers. I bought nothing else until after we came home from the hospital.

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answers from St. Louis on

Why don't you just start your registry early since you spoke of a shower. Kind of feels like shopping but all you have to do is delete instead of return. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Becky is so right about the diapers. Start buying now. Get a lot of size 1, 2, and 3. Look for coupons for them and when you see them on sale, snatch them up. They seem to stay in the 3's the longest. At least mine did. But no matter how many you get, you won't have enough. You change them like twelve times a day when they're newborns. You won't need as many size ones because they grow out of those quickly.

Other things you won't have enough of:

Baby socks - you'll lose them fast.
Onesies - awesome by themselves in summer and for layering in winter
Sleepers - this is what mine wore most of the time around the house
Gowns - these were my sleep clothes of choice. At night you flip them up, change the diaper and flip them down. No zippers, no snaps, no buttons to manipulate when your eyes won't open all the way and it's also less disruptive for the baby.
Burp cloths - trust. They have a multitude of uses
Mittens for their hands so they don't scratch themselves
Good sized receiving blankets - you want them large enough to swaddle.

These are the things you can never have to many of and I found at showers you got things in two categories: 1) the big stuff 2) adorable outfits they will only wear a few times outside the house.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

you could buy diapers! lol. You could also pick out the crib and nursery furniture and purchase that! I know it was very hard for me too, because I was soooo excited to be pregnant and couldn't wait to get the baby's room ready. But, everybody told me too not to buy yet. Once you find out the sex, it is alot of fun to go register for your gift registries. Don't go just one place and register, pick two or three places. It's fun, kinda like shopping but not. Then after all the showers are over, you can go buy what you didn't get at your showers. I think we bought the crib/changing table after we found out the sex. Other than that, I waited.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Don't buy ANYTHING until after your shower! People go crazy buying baby stuff... especially clothing. You will receive more clothing that your child will ever wear.

As hard as it is because you are excited, don't buy anything. Start a registry and add to it after you find out the sex of the baby. If you see a piece of clothing that you MUST have, fine- but don't start building his/her wardrobe.

I ended up with 3 showers for my first- my mother in FL, my MIL in NY and one at work. Let's just say that little one had EVERYTHING on the registrty and more. We returned over $500 in clothing and saved that money to buy him clothing over the next couple of years.

Also, don't take the tags off of ANYTHING until you need it! For some reason people love buying "tiny" things, so you will end up with a ton of NB- 3 month clothing, which they wear for about 6 weeks. Keep the tags on and return what you don't use and get things he/she needs.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

Congratulations! You've made it to the 2nd trimester so you're pretty safe to start buying things. I'd encourage you to think of how many people will be giving you gifts and how much they'll spend. Some family/friends can afford more gifts than others. If you can save the money then do! Trust me and everyone here that you'd be happy to save that money for when you know how to spend it well rather than impulsively buying what is cute and ultimately useless.

If you announce the gender to everyone, be prepared to mainly get clothing as gifts. We got way more general baby stuff since we didn't know what we were having. Other friends were stuck with TONS of pink clothes in size 0-3 months and had to buy their own general baby stuff. It wouldn't be a bad idea to encourage people to buy bigger sized clothing for down the road-you've really got to push them. I think you should find one outfit that you simply can't resist buying and pretty much stop there for now. PS-consider having a poker/diaper party for your BF and his friends...they need to bring a pack of diapers to get in the door.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I just HAD to buy something, it was the worst craving ever ... so I bought ONE super soft, green blankie and left it at that.
Oh and I just found out that one of my best girlfriends are expecting and it's just sooooooo hard to resist buying her something but so far she has only told me, our thrid and her husband so I HAVE to wait.

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answers from Chicago on

It's so hard to wait, but you really should. Once you find out the gender, go to Babies R Us and register. That's really fun to do! Seems like yesterday my husband and I were there doing that and it's been 10 years! I also bought just one little outfit once I found out we were having a girl. I was soooo excited and couldn't wait. After your baby shower, go back and buy the things you still need.

And Angi C made a good point about the nursery furniture. That kind of stuff is good to buy early.


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answers from Seattle on

I waited until about a month or a little more, before I was due to go buy anything. I bought a few things here and there but the big stuff like crib and what not I waited. I didnt want to buy stuff too early and put it all together in the nursery to have it get dusty waiting for the baby.

And I wanted to wait until my husband came home on leave from deployment to buy any of the big things so we could do it together. I felt bad that he had to miss out on the whole pregnancy and wanted to share it with him.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I found it so, so hard to wait too! But I found I got a lot at baby showers, and they aren't till the last month or so. I also was able to buy a lot of things used, which really saved some $$. Except a few used things I waited till after the shower, and we got most of what we needed that way.
I'd suggest you wait till you know the baby's gender, then you can have lots of fun "shopping" -- picking things out and putting them on your baby registry. Likely you won't get furniture out of a shower, so you could do that. However, babies r us will give you a discount on anything you buy at the end of your pregnancy, as long as it was on your registry. So, you might be able to save some money by listing the crib, bassinet, etc, and then buying them at the end.
Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

I would say the big things like crib, dresser, changing table and possibly even a car seat. would be fine to start shopping for. or at least getting a good idea what you want for the room. I personally prefer a natural wood (stained and shellacked) over something painted. But that's me :) And those items tend NOT to be baby shower gifts because of the cost.

Onsies, Blankets, sleepers and diapers, in multiple sizes. You can NEVER have too many of those and you can buy them in gender neutral colors (I liked white cause they could be bleached) till you know what you are having.

Congrats and good luck :)



answers from New York on

I 2nd the opinion to wait until AFTER the baby shower. You will get more items than you know what to do with. And to be honest lots of things can wait till after the baby is born. You really only need the essentials the first couple of weeks. That gives you time to figure out what you like and truly need as well as what the baby likes. Save time and money :)


answers from Houston on

When we started talking babies, I bought myself a cloth storage bin which I used to put things I bought for our theoretical baby. :) That solved my itch to shop for baby long before I was even pregnant.

We never did find out the gender and we had almost no one buying for us so I tried to spread the purchases out for the sake of our budget. I always shopped at discount stores (Ross, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning) or Target. I bought and stored things like blankets, towels, wash cloths, toys, assorted crib sheets (since I didn't do a bedding set), a grooming kit, soap/lotion/medicines and gender neutral colored clothing/bibs/socks/hats. I bought clothes in a broad range of sizes and in fact we didn't have to buy any baby clothes for the first year. When we finally got pregnant, I started buying the big ticket items (furniture, swing, etc.). The only thing I didn't have when our baby arrived home from the hospital was newborn sized clothing. My husband graciously ran to the store for us on Christmas Eve.



answers from Reno on

I am 13 weeks along and at least once a month we buy a package of diapers and wipes to have stockpiled. Everyone gets those at baby showers anyways but you can never have enough! You can also purchase bigger items like a stroller, pack n play, and crib in gender neutral colors. Buy combs, lotion, soap, bottles/sippy cups. I think it's best to start buying early so you can spread out the amount of money you spend rather than spending it all at once.
We decided not find out what we are having so this will be interesting!



answers from New York on

I bought a crib and dresser about 1-2 mos before the birth. I bought a few clothes (VERY few -- remember babies grow at all different rates, and all you're going to want is something easy -- sleepers and the like -- during the newborn phase. All the "cute" outfits pretty much never got used) before the shower because there was a crazy good deal. Remember, babies need very little. A place to sleep, a few clothes, diapers, and a boob (or bottle). I picked up a few more things as time went on because I found what I liked and didn't like, but try not to get too sucked into the trap of thinking you need a bunch of things.

Also, don't buy bibs or blankets at all. I got far more of those than I will ever need at the shower.


answers from Norfolk on

Actually I didn't feel like buying much when I was pregnant.
I loved looking but didn't buy anything till the last few months.
A rocking chair, stroller, car seat and crib are not gender specific.
I got more into the clothes shopping after our son was born (and then I went a little crazy with it).



answers from Los Angeles on

Never too early to start!! There is always the "neutral" section, toys, blankies, bottles and stuffed animals! When you do find out the sex I bought seasonal clearance items for the baby and got great deals. You just have to think about how old your baby will be in that season and buy appropriate sizes! I was really glad down the road when I had those bigger sizes of clothes waiting. It's hard to shop when they are 1-2 years old! And everyone will give you newborn stuff at your showers. All of the sudden you will realize your baby is one, you have no clothes and you have to go to the mall with a screaming hungry baby!!



answers from New York on

Yes.... it's sooo hard, but waaaaait.... I returned so much and didn't use so much!! You really don't need that much, even though it's fun. I do agree. Wait until people give you things. I would check out zulily.com too. I wish I had discovered this site earlier. You can get so many great quality things for much cheaper, but be careful you don't go too crazy! Good luck and just remember to try to buy less of everything. Really you will be much happier later.



answers from Albuquerque on

That was the hardest thing. You see something you like, you want it, but then you hubby says wait till the shower. URG.. then you don't get what you saw and can't find it later.

Diapers could be pretty safe, but would not get too many newborn. Wipes will always be needed even when they are five. I would probably still look around and if you see something you think is really neat pick up a thing or two here and there, just don't go over board.

Congrats good luck! :)



answers from Houston on

For me, all the times is the right time for shopping!
Jokes a side, I am so glad that you are so excited about your baby! that is awesome!
Is is good to have an idea of what things your friends and family would be giving you for babyshowers, but I do not thinks you can wait until then to start getting things and preparing since the babyshowers are usually the last month of the pregnancy.

For clothes and bedroom decoration, it is ideal to wait until you know if is o boy or a girl but you can still buy neutral gender clothes and things if you find something you fall in love with.

Normally on babyshowers the gifts are clothes, toilettries and maybe a little bouncer or swing, towels etc... family members if they can afford it will give you car seat and or stroller.

You can start getting ideas for the crib and furniture that, unless someone is giving you one that they already have, you will have to buy.... the same goes for the bassinet or where the baby is going to sleep the firsts months.

Good luck, congratulations and buy a lot of beautiful things!

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