When should you buy baby stuff?

This is literally the question on every pregnant female’s mind once she finds out that she’s expecting.

There’s no “official” timeline for when to buy new baby things, but I know we all start to wonder when you should buy baby stuff basically as soon as we find out we’re pregnant.

It’s so exciting, and shopping is fun, and we want to combine all that excitement and shopping.

Trust me, I was no different.

The second that I found out I was pregnant, I was making list like a crazy woman looking at all the cute and adorable items that I knew I just HAD to have.

And like all of us do, I got drawn in by all the excitement.

But then reality hit…and I started to pump the brakes.

It was very important for me not to overspend, and to keep my baby prep on a budget.

While your hormones are screaming “buy now”, your head (and pocketbook) are going to have to take over and slow down that desire for a spending spree.

Because remember mama’s….you have 9 months (or so) before that baby is going to arrive. And take it from me…

  • you’ll get a bunch of gifts
  • you can find a lot of it cheaper
  • you don’t even really know what you NEED
  • and I promise – what you want is going to change

(One day you’re going to want all things pink and the next day you’ll feel as though a light yellow might be more your style. And honestly, that’s totally fine- you do you when you’re growing another human inside your belly!

Finding a balance between filing things in your memory for later and swiping that credit card can be hard, but there are reasons that it’s not always a good idea to stock up on everything during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Related: What Do You REALLY Need for Baby? (from a mom of 2, who knows what you’ll use and what you won’t!)


Is there anything I should buy in early pregnancy?

Yes – there are a handful of things to buy when you find out you’re pregnant – but there aren’t many on the list.

In the first trimester, you buy things for YOU instead of the baby.

These things include:

As far as baby things go, the following will explain how I like to approach deciding when it’s time to purchase baby things:

When should I start shopping for the baby?

I personally think the best time to start buying baby stuff is beginning to middle of the third trimester (EXCEPT for crazy sales on large items, and I would purchase those things in the second trimester if I saw them then).

I KNOW, that seems like a long time to wait right now to start adding to your baby nursery and building up that adorable baby wardrobe – but hear me out.

This means that you’ve gotten past the sometimes rocky first trimester, you’re probably feeling more human, and you also probably already know the sex of your baby (if that’s something you want to do).

These are likely your last “semi-comfortable” days… and I suggest doing the bulk of your shopping before the “I’m a whale and sometimes I cry when I walk” days begin. (Besides, you’ll be frantically finishing off your third-trimester to-do list at that point.)

I did mention the “crazy sales” exception, so I will say that – if you come across an AMAZING sale on a high ticket baby item that you’ll be using A LOT, it’s absolutely okay to buy that ahead of time. (Any time after the start of the second trimester.)

Some of these high-ticket /high-use baby items you MIGHT want to watch for sales on would be:

Baby Items to Purchase During your Second Trimester

  • Baby crib (unless you plan to cosleep)
  • Changing table
  • Breastpump
  • Diaper Genie
  • Stroller/Carseat
  • Diapers (but only 1 package of newborn size!)
  • Wipes

Many of these items are considered a MUST by many parents, no matter what the gender of your baby. (Exception: don’t buy a breast pump right away if you plan to spend all your time with your baby. You just might not NEED one!)

If you can find a great sale on these items, and they are a must for you, go ahead get them early.

These are what I consider to be “100% safe” baby purchases – after the start of the second trimester – because you likely won’t get these large items as gifts and you’re also pretty gauranteed to use them!

The one thing to watch out for on this list is NEWBORN DIAPERS!

Be very careful with a newborn diaper stockpile… often a normal sized baby (7lbs or so) will only use one or two packages of newborn diapers before you get into size one.

Is buying baby stuff early bad luck?

If you believe in that kind of stuff, the old wives’ tale that still lingers says that it is bad luck to buy stuff too early for your baby. (Personally, I don’t believe in bad luck AT ALL.)

The only bad luck that I see associated with buying baby stuff too early is that your house is going to be crowded, your bank account is going to deplete, and you’re taking a risk on spending a ton of time and money on outfits and nursery decor that might not even be the right colors or pattern for the gender of your baby.

Plus, you very likely WILL get a ton of gifts (and possibly gift cards to baby stores).

I don’t believe it’s bad luck – but I believe it’s a bad IDEA.

Related: Baby Shower Gifts for Mom

Buying Baby Clothes in Advance

Should you buy baby CLOTHES in advance?

That’s a pretty common question.

I have split thoughts and feelings on this –

On the one hand, baby clothes are often the most fun thing to buy it’s exciting… but you’re also buying clothes that you might not even be able to use.

During the early months of pregnancy, you don’t know if you’re having a boy, a girl, or even (gasp!) twins so you’re already going to feel limitations on outfits and colors that might be calling you more than others.


Not to mention, clothes are one of the most common shower items, and you will probably GET a ton of baby clothes given to you. Both my kids had so many clothes, I didn’t even get to take the tags off some of them!

If you HAVE TO buy baby clothes in advance, limit yourself to just one or two outfits and have them be gender-neutral. (This means yellows, grays, or even fun prints like stripes and polka dots.)

Because let’s be real – it’s not likely that you won’t buy ANY clothes before you know what you really need…so giving yourself a hard-set limit on just how many you can buy can be a great way to stop those impulse purchases.

Skipping buying clothes in early pregnancy is one of the best ways to save money on baby clothes.

Don’t stress that much about buying baby stuff!

Hopefully, now you have a realistic idea of when you should buy baby stuff to save the most money and also be the most prepared that you can be.

But if you feel that calling and needing to get ahead of time game, please don’t make yourself feel horrible about that choice, either.

You’re already going to have a ton of emotions and thoughts pulsating throughout your baby at rapid speed, so don’t put guilt on top of it, too.

I mean, you can always gift those un-used onesies to your next pregnant friend.

Related: 11 Important Things To Do In Baby’s First Year

What should you not buy for a baby – especially before it’s born?

I’m also a believer that there are things that you actually shouldn’t buy AT ALL for a baby.

Can you believe that companies make items that really aren’t necessary? (Shame, right?!) Now while this list is my own PERSONAL opinion, I’ve found that the items on here are ones that you really don’t need to buy for your baby.

  • Newborn Baby Shoes

Nope, just nope. Your baby won’t want to wear shoes at this age. You’ll just be chasing those things around, and frustrated that you spent 40$ on them. Socks are 100% fine.

  • Crib Bumpers

Just leave these off the crib. They serve no real purpose and have even been recommended to be removed entirely from baby cribs.

  • Baby Formula

I’m not saying to not ever buy formula for your baby, but you’re going to want to wait and test out the brand and type with your baby before you buy a ton and store. Some babies react differently to formulas so this is something that I’d wait on until after the baby is born to test and see.

Expecting a baby is certainly a time to be happy and excited but it doesn’t mean to buy everything in sight. Hopefully, these simple tips on when to start buying baby stuff will be helpful to you throughout your pregnancy.

Related: Postpartum Recovery – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Do you have any tips to share about when you should buy baby stuff?

when to start buying baby stuff