Do a little shuffle and shout a little cheer – the birth is around the corner! YAY!
Take all the lists you’ve been making, combine them into one big list, and head off to the store. Or make yourself at home in front of your computer. It’s time to get everything you (think) you’re going to need.
No doubt you’ve really been looking forward to this moment. Maybe even for months. The urge to buy baby gear has been as strong with you as the force is with Luke Skywalker.
So, we’re going to help you put the must-haves on the top of your list and show you ways to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Make Sure You’re All Researched-Out
There’s no substitute for proper research. Baby gear comes in SUCH a wide variety. There are brands and bells and whistles and lights and fireworks and a hundred different online stores that are all trying to attract your attention.
And the price tags are as varied as the products themselves.
Make sure you do sufficient reading about the products on your list. Sometimes holding out for something high-tech is a pain if you can do with the lower-tech version.
Remember, your attention is going to be on the baby, not the toys.
Makes sure to tap all the knowledge of your network. Find out what has worked for others and why—nothing like the advice of parents that have actually traveled that specific journey.
If You’re Going Used, Check the Safety
Hand-me-downs are a brilliant way to save a few bucks. And because babies grow so lightning-fast, the stuff you get second hand for newborns are mostly in pretty nifty condition.
But don’t just accept anything blindly. The gear you’re offered may very well be 100% safe but research it anyway. Look if the items have been listed on the Consumer Product Safety Commission – just to make sure they conform to the latest and highest safety standards.
This is a government site that posts issues and recalls for more than fifteen thousand items – and this includes a whole bunch of baby products.
Newborn Sizes – But They’re So CUTE!
Grind your teeth and look away. Those little khakis that would look SO gorgeous on the newborn will serve you much, much better when the little one reaches six months.
Remember, at the rate they grow, many little ones are ready to wear six-month outfits LONG before they reach the half-year mark.
If it’s too big, you can roll it up to fit. Too tight won’t work. For you or for the baby.
Easy On, Easy Off Is Key
The little one isn’t even going to notice the designer duds. Not yet anyway. While your fingers are still fumbling during the first couple of months, simpler is better. Onesies that have snaps or zips are the thing!
Remember, sleep deprivation is going to take its toll on your fine motor skills!
Think About the Diaper Stations and Hen Double Them
A second diaper station is a must. It doesn’t have to cost all that much either. Get an additional diaper caddy and fill it with wipes, cream, and diapers. Tuck it away somewhere, along with an extra changing mat.
When things get up to speed, you’ll be grateful for every trip you save to the nursery and back. A second station somewhere where you spend a lot of time is a godsend.
Besides, a diaper blowout (a law of nature, actually) will happen whenever you’re about to leave the house.
One Stroller Is Enough to Start
You have time for this one. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but really, you do!
Get something really lightweight (you’ll have a baby in your arm, plus a diaper bag, plus, plus, plus…) because you really don’t want to exhaust yourself any more than you already are. Something that you can snap into your car seat is excellent.
And it will probably be just fine for a couple of months.
Use that time to take a stroll, have a look at what is available, see if you need a jogging stroller or just something umbrella-ish. You’ll know when you see it.
But, for now, easy and lightweight will do you just fine.
Oh, and the Baby Carrier
This is worth the cost. A mistake new moms often make is to think they won’t be doing any walking without the stroller. That’s just not the case.
You may suddenly get invited on a Sunday morning hike. And shopping with a carrier is just SO much easier than lugging the stroller through a busy supermarket.
Comforting or soothing your baby in a carrier is infinitely easier on a busy morning.
It even pays for itself when you’re busy with chores around the house!
Do a bit of research about the available models and makes but get one! You’ll thank me later.
A Baby Bouncer
Put one on your baby shower registry, if you haven’t already! If you have a busy lifestyle, ignore the other gizmos with the flashy lights until you have one of these. And if your home has two stories, beg borrow and steal for a second one too.
You’ll save yourself a bundle of pain and effort if you have one upstairs and one downstairs.
Think Time, and Put Off Buying
When you do your research, make a list of the things you’ll need in the first year. And so, what if you don’t score an activity center or a highchair at your baby shower. It’s going to be several months before the baby will start to use or need them. Buy these things as you go along.
Remember, you’re going to get wiser and cleverer in a really big hurry! You’re bound to make better buys a little way down the line.
Plus, it keeps the fun of it all alive!
You might even get lucky in a couple of months. The way things are going, you may stumble across a highchair that cleans itself, changes the baby, and prepares baby puree. That’s the way the world works in this segment of the market.
If you need it or think you need it, they’ll make it for you!
The Big Question Is, WHEN DO I START BUYING!
Most women wait until they exit the first trimester. Superstition plays a role, sure. If you feel better waiting until then, by all means, do. You have more than half a year of baby shopping ahead of you. That’s PLENTY of time.
Oh, and it’s possibly a good idea to wait until you know the gender of the little one. That’s if you’re going to find out beforehand.
This is SUCH a fun time. It’s exciting, and it makes everything SO real.
The great thing is there’s no real right or wrong here. If you get something and you end up not using it, so WHAT?! The same goes if you get something and it doesn’t do stuff as well as you’d hoped, or it simply doesn’t make your life any easier. Again – SO WHAT?
You’re going to learn a lot, especially about things that make your life easier and those that don’t. In fact, you’re on your way to becoming the queen of the life hack. Out of pure, exhausted necessity!
The only real advice here is to enjoy it with your whole heart. Enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy!
Your only limitations should be your budget and your creativity.