Shopping for Your Baby 101

baby with toys

When you find out you're pregnant and you’re preparing for a baby, it's hard to resist the temptation to scoop up every adorable item you come across. From baby care basics like diapers, a crib, and a car seat to super-cute baby clothes and toys, you'll want to buy it all. But really, try your very best not to -- not every baby item you see is a must-have.

Tips on Shopping for Baby Care Basics

  1. Wait for the baby shower: Your friends and family may want to throw a party to celebrate the birth of your new baby. Wait until after the shower passes before making any major purchase.
  2. Make a list of the musts: It's easy to buy nearly everything you see in stores when preparing for a baby -- it's all so cute and looks useful, too! But to save time and money, make note of the things you feel are absolute necessities to get you through the first month at home with your baby. Create lists for different categories, such as “bath time,” “nursery,” “travel,” and “feeding” and jot down products as you think of them (keep the lists handy in your purse or on your phone!). Then stick to your lists while shopping. If you’re out and about and see something that’s not on your lists, jot down the name of the product. When you get home you can compare reviews from other moms or ask friends what they think before making your final decision about whether it’s a must-have -- or a purchase that can be put off.
  3. Buy clothes one size up: Purchase a few outfits that’ll fit your newborn, but also consider buying some that are a size (or even two sizes) larger than you’ll initially need.
  4. Consider secondhand items: Babies tend to outgrow items really fast, which makes buying used items a great option and a way to save some money. Of course, there are certain items that you’ll want to purchase new, like baby diapers and car seats. However, other baby care basics like clothes, baby swings, and bouncers (to name a few) can definitely be bought secondhand if in good condition. With a little cleaning, you'll have something nice for your baby without breaking the bank.
  5. Your baby doesn't need much: Contrary to popular belief, your baby really doesn't need much. Other than a few baby care basics like Pampers diapers, a crib, a car seat or stroller, and clothes, most baby items are useful but not an absolute must.   

Your priceless baby comes with some big costs, but every new mom quickly learns strategies for keeping to a budget. One simple strategy to remember: Save those receipts! If you go overboard with shopping for baby products only to realize you don’t really need the gear when you get home, you’ll be able to easily get your money back. Now that’s smart shopping!

Photo by Shirota Yuri on Unsplash

by Melanie Edwards