Find out when you should start buying baby stuff once you know that you’re expecting. We break down all the must-have items and when you should start buying things for your new baby.

pregnant woman buying baby stuff

If you’re expecting, then you might be a bit overwhelmed at the idea of all the baby stuff you need to buy. It’s a lot and well-meaning family and friends always want to give their input on the must-have products that they just loved using for their baby.

But don’t fret! You have plenty of time to start buying baby stuff and chances are, you are going to get a lot of the items you need from friends and family or at your baby shower.

It’s not super urgent to start buying up baby items when you’ve got 8+ months to go in your pregnancy, but you can also save yourself a lot of stress by not waiting until the last minute.

You’ve got many months to spread out all of the to-do items and purchases for your newborn. My advice to you is to not leave it all until the last trimester.

In my pregnancy checklist post, I go through each item you can do to help prepare you for the birth of your baby, broken down by trimester.

Let’s talk about the various baby items you’ll eventually need to buy as new parents as well as the things you can start buying when you’re pregnant to prepare for your newest little arrival.

Want a realistic newborn sleep schedule? Download my free newborn sleep schedule to see what a day with your newborn might look like. Click here to grab it, it’ll be super helpful.

woman holding positive pregnancy test

Can I Buy Baby Stuff Before 12 Weeks?

You can buy baby stuff whenever you choose! However, it might be a good idea to wait until you’re further along before going on a shopping spree. You’ll likely get items from your baby shower and maybe even some hand-me-downs from other mom friends.

If you’re chomping at the bit to purchase a baby item, but a cute outfit. We bought a little dress when we found out our baby’s gender, even though I had so many hand me downs.

What Are the First Things to Buy When Expecting a Baby?

After the initial shock and excitement of finding out you’re pregnant, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed. It can feel like there’s so much to be done before your baby’s arrival, especially if this is your first child.

But don’t panic! I’ve got you covered with some suggestions for essential items that will help you through pregnancy and in those early days with your precious newborn.

Things to Buy for Your Pregnancy

These are items you may want to purchase as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test:

  • Prenatal Vitamins – Your health is key when growing a healthy baby! Make sure to work with your doctor to pick a prenatal vitamin with all the essentials, including DHA and folic acid.
  • Morning sickness remedies – I sincerely hope that morning sickness is a non-issue in your pregnancy, but let’s be real: it can happen, and it can be a huge bummer. These remedies helped me stave off the sour tummy throughout the day.
  • A maternity pillow – This pillow saved my restless nights during pregnancy and it is an absolute pregnancy must have for new moms. If you find yourself having trouble getting comfortable at night, or if you need a little help becoming a side-sleeper, this is the pillow for you.
  • Belly butter – Stretch marks are inevitable and a rightful badge of honor when you are literally creating a life within you. But one thing I didn’t expect was to feel so itchy around my growing belly! This lotion helped a lot, and it became a soothing bonding ritual to apply it and talk to my bump every night.
  • A pregnancy journal – If you’re sentimental like me, you’ll appreciate having some details from your pregnancy to look back on. And maybe one day you can share these pages with your little one.

Things to Buy for Feeding and Diapering a Newborn

You can include many of these must have baby registry items, even if you’re creating a minimalist baby registry. Many woman choose to have their baby shower toward the end of their second trimester or beginning of their third trimester. This ensures you have plenty of time to buy any last-minute baby gear you may need.

If you’re anxious to get started on your baby purchases, stock up on the following or add them to your baby registry.

  • Breast pump – If you plan to breastfeed, beginning your pumping journey early and often in those first days can assist with increasing your supply. You might also be able to get a jump-start on stocking away some frozen milk if you plan to introduce a bottle.
  • Breast pads – I recommend keeping some disposable breast pads on hand as well, but I also really liked these washable and reusable pads.
  • Burp cloths – While you can find tons of cute, fancy burp cloth options, I recommend functionality and stain-resistance over aesthetics in the early newborn days. These burp cloths are multifunctional: you can use them during feeds and under that tiny tushy during diaper changes.
  • Diapers – Start off with one box of newborn disposable diapers and one box of size 1 diapers. That will allow you to test out diapers on your newborn before buying more in bulk.
  • Diaper rash cream – Newborn skin is sensitive! This diaper rash cream did a great job of keeping our daughter’s diaper area free from irritation.
  • Disposable wipes – Not only are these very helpful during diaper changes, but you can use them to clean up all sorts of other messes. Our daughter is a preschooler now and we still keep these stocked around the house. You’ll need plenty, whether you’re registering for your first or second baby registry.
  • Diaper Pail – Trust me, you will want to lock those dirty diapers away in a smell-proof container. This handy device can hold plenty of dirty diapers and keeps the odors locked away.
  • High Chair – I know it seems like baby will be so small forever, but soon enough, they’ll be joining you at meal times.
pregnant woman with baby items and a checklist

Other Must-Have Items for Your Newborn

You’ll probably get plenty of gifts from your baby shower for your newest addition, especially if you’ve created a registry. Make sure to include some of the most overlooked baby registry items on your wish list.

Here are some essential items you’ll want to make sure you have waiting for your newborn when you bring them home from the hospital. You can wait to purchase many of these items until after your baby shower so you can fill in the gaps of what you might still be missing.

In the last month or so of your pregnancy’s final stretch, you should also stock up on necessary household items. Make sure you have plenty of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and any other pantry or consumable goods that you use on a regular basis.

For an extensive list of non-baby things to buy when pregnant, check out my post on what to stock up on before baby arrives.

dad putting nursery furniture together

When Should You Start Buying Baby Furniture?

The second trimester is the best time to get to work on procuring your baby nursery must-haves. You’ll probably start getting back some of that energy you’ve been missing since the first trimester. Plus your belly won’t be too big to make getting around tricky.

Nursery furniture can definitely be the priciest—but most fun—baby stuff to buy before you give birth. Seeing things coming together in your baby’s space is so rewarding. It also makes their imminent arrival all that more exciting.

If you want to purchase some of those big-ticket items, then go for it.

Although a newborn doesn’t have many furniture needs, one thing is for certain: your baby needs a safe place to sleep.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends starting your newborn off by sleeping in the same room as you, on their own safe sleep surface (not bed sharing).

Most parents choose to set up a bassinet in their bedroom in those early weeks. The mattress must be firm and flat with a fitted sheet, and no blankets or other items inside the crib.

You’ll also need to make sure that the sides of the crib or bassinet are breathable, and not made from pillow-like material. For more information about sleep safety for your newborn, check out the ABC’s of Safe Sleep.

All your newborn really needs is a safe place to catch some z’s, but that doesn’t mean the nesting and furniture fun has to stop there!

Get your baby’s nursery ready with a changing table, and a dresser to hold all those adorable baby clothes and diapering items. And don’t forget the nursery decor if you want to make their room extra cute!

I’d also recommend looking for a cute and functional rocking chair where you can comfortably nurse. Chances are pretty good that you’ll rack up some serious hours in that chair, so make it a good one!

pregnant woman shopping

Is Buying Baby Stuff Early Bad Luck?

You may have heard people say that buying things for your unborn baby too early is bad luck. I understand that some people hold their pregnancy superstitions, but this is a misconception that I just can’t get behind.

It’s not necessary to start buying stuff before you’re pregnant, but once you’ve got the positive test, go for it!

From a practical standpoint, it makes the most sense to start buying things for your baby when you have the energy and are still feeling physically capable. No one wants to be building and rearranging nursery furniture at 9 months pregnant!

It’s also worthwhile to buy baby stuff with enough time to test things out and return things if you don’t like them.

Pregnancy can be an uncertain and stressful time. I understand the urge to not want to “jinx” anything.

I just think it’s best to focus your energy on preparing for and creating a beautiful new life instead of fearing the worst.

You’ve been loving your baby since the first day you found out you were pregnant. It’s okay to start preparing for their arrival as soon as you feel like it’s the right time!

Amy Motroni
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