Soon after you learn you’re pregnant, you’ll probably realise just how many things you’ll need to buy for your baby.
The list of things you’ll need will be a long one. But do you need to buy everything at once? And how soon is too soon?
When Is Too Early to Buy Baby Stuff?
It’s all down to you. There’s no right or wrong. You have the best idea of what you need, and of what sort of budget you have. Buy everything at once, and you’ll have everything you’ll ever need, immediately. But this will be very expensive, and you may end up buying some things that you won’t need for some time.
On the other hand, if you wait a while, you’ll be able to save up for certain pricier items, and you might be able to take advantage of seasonal sales.
Also don’t forget to talk to your friends and family. They might be able to provide you with some second hand things that they don’t need anymore, which can help you make huge savings. But there are some things you should never buy second hand – such as a car seat.
When To Start Buying Baby Stuff
The only time it’s “too late” to buy the essential baby stuff is after your baby’s been born. But in the final months and weeks of your pregnancy you’ll probably feel too preoccupied to shop around for essentials. So while you don’t have to buy everything from the moment you learn you’re pregnant, at the same time you shouldn’t leave things until the last minute.
Most babies arrive between 37 and 41 weeks of pregnancy. Ideally, you should aim to have everything you need by week 35.
Aim to start as soon as possible, but don’t worry about getting everything at once. Take your time, pace yourself, and think about the following:
- Go gender neutral. We’re moving away from a world in which blue is for boys and pink is for girls. But those who sell baby stuff still tend to gender their products. So especially in the early days, it’s a good idea to try and make everything you buy gender neutral.
- Keep an eye on the sales. Larger items, such as cots and prams, regularly appear in sales. You could make some huge savings if you take your time and shop around for the best deal.
- Keep all your receipts. You might find a better deal later on. And some items might turn out to be impractical or unsuitable, for one reason or another.
- Have a baby shower. You could receive many of the items you need as gifts!
- Talk to your friends and family. Ask anyone with children if they have anything they could donate – even if it’s only temporarily. Babies and children grow up very fast, so most parents will have things that are still in very good condition, but which their children have now outgrown.
Moses Basket or Cot?
Many parents use a Moses basket or bassinet for newborns – if only because newborn babies tend to look tiny in a big cot. But cots are perfectly safe for newborns, and babies outgrow bassinets sooner than you think. So if budget’s an issue for you, skip the bassinet and go straight for the cot.
When To Buy Your Baby’s Cot
This is something you’ll need right from the start, as your baby will need somewhere to sleep when they first come home from hospital. So it should be near the top of your list when you’re shopping for baby stuff, and the sooner you get one the better.
You can get a basic cot for as little as £70, but you’ll have to pay more to get certain features – such as removable sides and adjustable mattresses.
Also consider that cots are only suitable for babies. A cot bed will cost you a bit more, but you’ll be able to convert it into a toddler-sized bed as your baby gets older. So if money’s a little tight, consider getting a cot-bed instead of a cot, as it will last you for much longer.
When To Buy a Pram
You should aim to order your pram no later than week 32 of your pregnancy. This will allow plenty of time for delivery, meaning you’ll have it by week 35, with time to spare before your delivery date. But the earlier you order your pram, the more time you’ll have to get used to how it works. Ordering early will also give you lots of time to find space to store it in your house or flat.
Your baby’s first pram should allow them to lie flat on their back, as they won’t be ready to sit upright for the first four months. Some prams can convert into carriers, which will come in handy if you spend a lot of time out and about – particularly if you use public transport.
You may want to consider a good travel system. These offer you interchangeable seating options all in one allowing you to swap between a carrycot, car set or toddler seat. Great for your growing baby and for transferring a sleeping baby from the pram to the car.
When To Buy a Car Seat
This is another item you’ll need right from the start, as you’ll need a car seat to take your baby home from hospital on day one. Like with the pram, aim to order it no later than week 32. Again, this will allow for plenty of time for delivery, and for you to get used to how it works.
For your newborn, you’ll need a Group 0+ car seat. These seats are rear-facing, and they allow your baby to lie flat.
Unfortunately, the car seat is likely to be the single most expensive thing you buy for your baby. But never buy a second hand car seat! And if any of your friends and family offer to give you a car seat second hand, turn them down!
You need to buy your car seat brand new. This is the only way you’ll be able to depend on the seat’s safety and reliability.
Don’t Forget the Nappies!
Obviously you won’t need nappies until your baby’s arrived. But it’s important to have a supply ready for when you first take your baby home from hospital. One thing you’ll have to decide is whether you’ll use disposable nappies or reusable nappies.
You’ll have to wash and dry reusable nappies yourself. But they’re significantly better for the environment, and as you can reuse them, they can prove more cost-effective than disposable nappies in the long-term.
Head here to browse our range of reusable nappies. We stock starter-packs and bundles, which will give you everything you need to keep your baby clean and happy from day one.
If you’re not sure reusable nappies are for you, or you want to have a few options, explore our eco disposable nappy range.