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When to Start Buying Baby Stuff During Pregnancy?

The time to start to seriously begin to buy items for your baby shopping list is when you’re between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant. You will definitely want to have all you need by the time you’re between 32 and 36 weeks along in your pregnancy.

The right time to start buying baby stuff is when you are between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant. By the time you hit the 32 to 36-week mark, you certainly want to have all you need to welcome your new baby. There is a lot to do and much more to buy to prepare for the homecoming of the new member of the family.

This guide will serve you as you’re crossing off items off your baby shopping list.

Table of Contents

Create a Helpful Timeline for Buying Baby Stuff

One of the first steps you can take to make your life easier when planning for the arrival of your baby is to create a timeline. After you determine how far along you are in your pregnancy, you will know approximately how much time you have left to complete all the shopping.

An easy way to structure the timeline is by trimesters. The pregnancy will be complete at the end of your third trimester, meaning approximately 40 weeks. It is then when you will certainly have to have all the essential components for your baby’s nursery.

1st Trimester (4 to 12 Weeks)

Before starting the shopping, there are important tasks to complete at home first. You must organize your home so that there’s plenty of room to receive all the baby stuff.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Some Items Too Early

Before going out and getting a bunch of stuff on your shopping list, you must consider some factors. Once you figure out your timeline, you now must decide what items to add to your list. A great starting point is to choose what type of nursery you want and the type of lifestyle you’ll have.

For instance, if you’re athletic, it will be important to find the right sports gear that allows you to safely include your baby in activities. The more you take the time to consider your preferences, the less you’ll have to do later down the road.

Create a shopping list based on well-researched items. All women approach motherhood differently. Knowing how you want to raise your baby and the type of care you want to provide will serve as a guide for the essential tools you’ll need.

When you know what items you’ll want, the next step is to create a registry for your baby shower. Some people prefer to have a shower after they know the gender of the baby. After your baby shower, you will know exactly what is left to buy.

In the meantime, you can stock up on consumables such as toilet paper, baby wipes, shampoo, etc.

Create a Vision and Research it Well

From the nursery theme, to what type of diapers you’ll use, the first trimester is a time to plan and research all details. Consider your personal style, parenting preferences, and lifestyle.

Since your baby is so precious, you will also want to take the time to research all items well. Safety is one of the biggest concerns for new parents.

2nd Trimester (13 to 26 Weeks)

The second trimester is an exciting time when you can start to see your plan start to become a reality. This is the time to take the necessary actions to cross items off your baby shopping list and finish preparing your home for the baby.

By your 2nd trimester you should achieve the following:

  • Choose a Nursery Theme: The nursery will be the center of your baby’s world. It is essential that you choose a theme that sparks joy in you. Make it fun and light with a calm atmosphere. It is where you’ll spend some of your most precious moments, so make your vision as dreamy as you’d like. By this time, you may choose to know the baby’s gender and will be able to plan the nursery accordingly.
  • Declutter Your Home: A clean and organized home is the key to successful parenting. It’s never too early to start creating good habits. You’ll want your baby to feel at ease in an organized and spacious environment. Make room for all important items and be sure to get things out of the house you no longer use.
  • Finalize Your Shopping List: It is very important to wait to finalize your shopping list after the baby shower. You’ll be surprised at the number of items you’ll be glad you didn’t buy yourself. Your friends and family will likely gift you many essential items that you won’t need to purchase.

Stay Organized with a Detailed Budget and Baby Checklist

If you can stay organized, you see how much easier everything becomes. This applies to everything in life and having a baby is a particularly important time to create systems. When you know what baby essentials you’ll need, you’ll be able to easily determine a budget.

Be sure your budget includes every detail of the pregnancy, birth, and at least the first six months after your baby is born. A detailed budget will serve as a roadmap as you make important decisions about your baby’s care.

Along with a budget, a checklist is also going to be a helpful tool. It is going to be very easy to keep track of the many tasks you have to complete as you get ready for your baby’s arrival.

Have Fun Creating a Baby Registry

Creating a baby registry can be a lot of fun, especially when you choose your favorite stores and brands. Since your friends and family are going to want to shop for your baby, it makes sense to create a registry.

A baby shower is a great opportunity to gather with your loved ones while alleviating some of your shopping responsibilities. People want to know exactly what you want and need rather than buy gifts blindly hoping they work out.

Furnish the Nursery

Your nursery is composed of key items such as a crib, dresser, rocking chair, and changing table. These are some of the most basic items to start your journey into motherhood.

The 2nd trimester is a perfect time to finish ordering items for your nursery. You need to allow time for delivery and assembly, so be sure to finalize your nursery before entering your 3rd trimester.

Set Up the Nursery First

Setting up the nursery is a smart starting point because it will lay the foundation as you gather the rest of the stuff you’ll need. Besides, the 2nd trimester provides a time where you’ll have more energy before you enter the later stage of the pregnancy.

Don’t spend too much time on the nursery theme, instead, focus on the basic essentials you’ll need to welcome your baby. Some parents prefer using a bassinet for the first few months but eventually will need a fully functional crib. Ideally, you’ll want to set everything up before the baby arrives because once it comes you’ll probably want to use any free time you have to take a nap.

Take Advantage of Retail Bargains Now!

If you see the opportunity to snag good sales prices on items you know you’ll need, you might as well stock up. As long as you can keep your home organized, feel free to stock up on anything you feel you might need during your baby’s first year.

Even personal items for you such as toothpaste or home supplies such as garbage bags are things with a long shelf life that you will certainly need. Besides catching sales prices, you’ll be glad to not have to think about shopping for these things when you’re busy caring for your baby.

Prepping the Home

Part of your baby checklist includes getting your home ready. There could be repairs, decluttering, or other projects you’ll want to complete before your baby arrives. Make room for the baby by going through old boxes you may not need anymore. You’ll notice how much more prepared you’ll feel to receive your baby once you know exactly what you have and where it is.

A cautionary step to consider is having a home inspection to make sure everything is safe and working optimally. If you have to paint, change the flooring, or complete other projects, the 2nd trimester is the time to do it.

3rd Trimester (27 to 40 Weeks)

Now, you’ve made it to the home stretch! The 3rd trimester is the time for you to relax and be as calm and energetic as possible for the delivery. It is a chance for you to double-check your list and complete the finishing touches.

Enjoy Your Baby Shower with Loved Ones

If you took the time to make a registry, you can just sit back and enjoy your loved ones as they throw a party for you and the baby. Besides showing off your belly at the baby shower, you’ll go home with many items crossed off your shopping list. It is a great opportunity to review anything else you might want to purchase before the baby arrives.

Some people request hand-me-downs as a way to recycle items that some of their friends and family no longer need. There are many families that have baby stuff to give away. Some baby showers request that recycled items be part of the gifts.

Sort Registry Items for Returns and Exchanges

Not every single item on your registry works out. Some items you may have to return or exchange. After the baby shower, it is better to sort these items right away and finalize their purpose. The last thing you want is any type of clutter in your home, so be sure all items you receive work for you.

Choose a Car Seat

By your 3rd trimester, you must finalize all essential items such as a car seat. If you didn’t include it in your baby registry, be sure to purchase it as soon as you can. The sooner you buy it, the more time you’ll have to familiarize yourself with it before the baby comes. It is something you cannot leave the hospital without!

Choose Diapers

It is recommended to buy diapers for at least the first couple of weeks. Then, you can decide if they are working out for you or if you need to choose a different style or brand. Some people buy too many diapers only to find out that they don’t work as well as they hoped.

Baby’s Wardrobe

After the baby shower, you’ll have a better idea of the clothes you have for your baby. Don’t buy too many items for one particular age period. You’ll be surprised how fast your baby will grow out of them.

Items for Feeding

Whether you choose to breastfeed or prepare bottles, these are some items to consider:

  • 10-15 bottles and nipples
  • Bottle brush
  • Liners for bottles
  • Bottle warmer
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • High chair
  • Pacifiers
  • Nursing bras
  • Nipple cream
  • Breast pump
  • Milk storage bags
  • Nursing pillow

Your Baby is Here!

Once the baby arrives, hopefully, you’ll feel prepared and well stocked. The birth and homecoming of your baby will be a memorable time. It is time to basque in all your hard work and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Considerations Before Making Purchases for a Baby

A little bit of planning goes a long way. Consider these things before starting to shop.


It is important for you to know how much you’ll want to set aside for the baby stuff. Having a clear idea of your budget will help you make important decisions as you prepare for your baby’s arrival.


Be sure to not go overboard with baby items if you have limited space. In many cases, less is more. Consider the room you have at home and plan to keep your home spacious and organized.

Baby Shower

Remember that the baby shower will be an important event to help you gather all the things you’ll need for your baby. Shopping too early is a mistake, so be sure to schedule your baby shower early enough for you to complete the rest of the shopping.

Stages of Pregnancy

Your planning will be based on how far along you are in your pregnancy. The time you have left before your delivery date is what will determine all your planning. It is helpful to follow a timeline to guide you through all the tasks ahead.

Baby’s Gender

If you want to find out your baby’s gender, you will have an easier time purchasing some items. However, if you want to be surprised when you give birth, focus on purchasing gender-neutral items.

Retail Sales and Promotions

Since you have some time before the baby’s arrival, take advantage of sales and promotions that can save you money. You might as well stock up on items you know you’ll need that are being sold at a discounted price.

Pace Your Purchases

You certainly don’t want to buy everything at once. Of course, you want to finish all preparations early, but there are certain items that you just cannot buy too early. This is why creating a timeline is so important.

Deliverable and Assembly Timeline

You must plan for the time necessary for the delivery and assembly of some items. This is particularly important when you choose custom-made items and those that require complex assembly.

Your Stamina and Energy

As much as you want to spend time prepping for your baby’s arrival, you have to consider the energy you’ll need to carry out your pregnancy safely. Your pregnancy should be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. Recruit the help of friends and family as you complete some projects. More important than any baby item is a happy mom, so be sure to take care of your personal needs first.

Is it Bad Luck to Purchase Baby Items Early?

Some cultures have superstitions about buying baby stuff early. If you are not the superstitious type, then don’t worry about when you start shopping for your baby.

Choose Gender-Neutral Clothes

Buying gender-neutral clothing is a great idea if you want to wait to reveal the baby’s gender. Colors like yellow or green are good for both genders.

Keep an Eye on the Sales

Since you have some time to prepare for your baby’s arrival, you might as well take advantage of discounts and promotions. It is a great way to save money you can spend on important things.

Don’t Buy These Items

These are some things you don’t have to buy for your baby:

  • Baby formula: You won’t know how much or what type you’ll need until you actually start feeding.
  • Baby shoes: As cute as they may be, the baby will outgrow them soon and may not need them.
  • Cosmetics: Shampoo, lotions, and other items should be bought as needed. Some brands may not suit your baby, so don’t stock up on these.

Tips for Baby Shopping

Following these tips will make your shopping experience fun and easy.

Research Well

Doing proper research will help you save time when purchasing items. Knowing exactly what you want to buy and all the specifics about the item is half the battle. Safety is a huge concern, which is why researching the products well is worth it.

Inspect Used Baby Gear

Hand-me-downs are a great way to save money and help the environment. However, you must ensure that all parts are functioning properly. Do safety checks on all items before you use them.

Skip Newborn-size Clothing

Your baby is going to grow at an exponential rate. This is a good reason to skip newborn-size clothing and be more practical for the first six months.

Easy to Wear Outfits

Once your baby is here, you’ll want everything you use to make your life easier. Choose clothing that is easy to put on and take off.

Multiple Diaper Stations

Having multiple diaper stations will make your life much simpler! Stock multiple stations throughout the home with diapers and everything you need to change your baby. This will not only save you time but will also allow you to feel more relaxed when your baby has a soiled diaper.

Choose One Stroller

Starting with only one stroller will give you the opportunity to experiment with your routine. You’ll find that once your baby is here and you start your day-to-day activities, your preferences might change.

Remember a Baby Carrier

One of the most useful items on your list is a baby carrier that allows you to free your hands when you carry your baby while it sleeps.

The Must-Have Bouncy Seat

An item you don’t want to forget to buy is a bouncy seat. It’s going to give you many hours of enjoyment while your baby is soothed and entertained.

Procrastinate Buying Some Items

There are plenty of items that you may want to wait to get. Until you start your daily routine, you won’t really know what else you might need or not need. Some items are best to buy later on as you discover more about the experience.

What Should I Purchase for my Baby While I’m Pregnant?

Your timeline will give you a good idea of what items you can buy while you’re pregnant. There are plenty of things you can do before your baby’s arrival.

  • Clothing and Blankets

  • Baby Gear

  • Nursing and Feeding

  • Hygiene

  • Nursery

  • First Aid and Safety

  • Toys

What NOT to Buy for Baby Before it’s Born

  • Crib

  • Pacifiers

  • Breast Pump

  • Baby Shoes

  • Newborn Size Diapers

Your Ultimate Checklist of Baby Essentials

  • Safety Items

  • Nursery Items

  • Feeding Items

  • Bathing Items

  • Diaper Items

  • Out and About Items


When should I start shopping for pregnancy?

There are particular items that have to be purchased at specific times. Having a timeline will help you figure out the best time to purchase stuff on your list.

What stage in pregnancy do you buy things?

Certain items have to be purchased at different times during your pregnancy. Not all items should be bought early while others cannot be bought late. Planning a timeline will help you figure out the ideal time to make purchases.

What to buy when you’re expecting your first baby?

The first baby will need all the essentials including toys, bathing and feeding supplies, furniture, etc. You will need everything a complete nursery requires.

Is it bad luck to buy baby stuff early?

Some cultures believe it is bad luck to buy baby stuff early, however, if you are not superstitious this doesn’t apply to you.

When to start buying baby stuff in high-risk pregnancy?

High-risk pregnancies require that you are ready faster as the baby may come early. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, it is best to finish prepping as soon as you can.

Is 20 weeks too early to buy baby stuff?

No, depending on what you’re purchasing. Some items can be purchased very early while others are best purchased after the baby shower.

Is 13 weeks too early to buy baby things?

No, it all depends on the items on your list and your baby shower registry.

When is the best time to start buying baby clothes?

Baby clothes can be bought immediately, just be sure not to buy too many newborn items as your baby will quickly outgrow them.