pregnant woman shopping for car seat and stroller

The Ultimate Guide on When to Start Buying Baby Stuff: 4 Important Questions to Ask First

If you landed on this page, you are probably pregnant! Congratulations! When you find out that you’re pregnant, it’s natural to be excited and start planning for the baby. I get it – I’m a planner myself. I want to be as prepared as possible, especially with such a life-changing event as a new human being.

But when should you start buying baby stuff? As soon as you find out you’re pregnant? Or what about further along in your pregnancy? Is it bad luck to eye that cute onesie while strolling the aisles of Target?

Please don’t worry. Yes, all these questions are valid.  Luckily, this blog post will go over all that and more! By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a good idea of when to start buying baby stuff and what things to consider!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.

When to Start Buying Baby Stuff

Short answer: there’s no right answer on when to start buying baby stuff.  You can start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant or you can wait until you’re in the third trimester. Or anytime between. You’ll know when the time is right for you.

Many women wait until after the first trimester to start buying baby items.  This is for many reasons:

  • tiredness during the early weeks. It’s difficult to go shopping when you’re exhausted. And nauseous.
  • too soon to know the baby’s gender. You won’t know whether to pick out the matching mommy and me outfit for a baby girl or a dashing bow tie for a baby boy.
  • miscarriage rates decrease after 13 weeks (first trimester). After the first trimester, couples usually begin telling friends and family about the baby. Now that everyone knows and excitement is in the air, it’s almost as if you were permitted to officially start shopping for your new bundle of joy.
pregnant woman shopping for baby clothes and holding bodysuit

What to Consider When Starting to Buy Baby Stuff

Okay, okay. That last section didn’t give you a specific date on when you can start buying baby stuff. But it truly is a personal decision!

However, here are some things to think about that may help guide you on when you can start:

When will you find out baby’s gender?

As mentioned above, knowing if your darling baby is a boy or a girl will be a deciding factor in a lot of your purchases. Many gender-specific items range from high-ticket items (like nursery decor) down to everyday things (like clothing and shoes).

Finding out baby’s gender can happen as early as 11 weeks with a blood test. If that is not an option, ultrasounds generally can determine gender around 18-20 weeks.

However, if you are Team Green, you will not find out the gender until the little one is in your arms. You should probably not wait to buy everything until after you give birth. But you can start buying gender-neutral items when you are ready. The next few sections will be more applicable to you and your situation.

cupcakes with blue and pink swirled frosting for gender reveal

Will you be having a baby shower?

Baby showers are a time for celebrating parents-to-be as well as the new baby. These events are also when a lot of new parents get a ton of baby stuff. Like a ton. While they can happen at any time during the pregnancy, baby showers are typically thrown between 24 to 32 weeks.

Because of this, it may make sense to wait until after the baby shower to start buying the majority of baby items. This way, you aren’t getting duplicates of things that friends and family have already purchased. And you can see what was gifted to you and you’ll be able to buy anything that is missing.

High-ticket items like the crib, car seat, stroller, etc tend to be more practical purchases for after a baby shower. You never know if these items on your baby registry will be picked up by a group of coworkers or by the grandparents.

Speaking of baby showers, display baby showers are becoming a new trend. Instead of bringing wrapped gifts, guests bring unwrapped gifts that are then displayed on a designated table. What a great way to be green and save some time to mingle!

young women celebrating pregnant woman at baby shower

How much space do you have?

The amount of baby stuff you can buy at one time and even when you can start is somewhat dictated on space. How much room do you have to store these items until baby is born? After all, it doesn’t make sense to store boxes of clothes in the designated nursery if you still need to move furniture and build the dresser.

What is your budget?

Your budget will also limit how much baby stuff you can buy all at once or at one time. It may make sense to wait until the last half of your pregnancy and spread out all the shopping that needs to be done. Or it may make sense to wait until the third trimester to save up for the baby items. When is best will be decided by you, your financial situation, and what you’re comfortable with.

blue dresser in baby's nursery

Is it bad luck buying baby stuff early?

Some cultures have the superstition that it is bad luck to buy stuff in early pregnancy. They believe you should not buy baby items before a certain time or even before the baby arrives.

Rest assured, this is simply not true.  There is no evidence of a baby being harmed just because you ordered a cute pair of shoes online.

So whenever you feel ready (whether it be at 13 weeks or 40 weeks) to start shopping for your precious baby, go for it!

Benefits of Buying Baby Stuff Early

Now we know that it’s not bad luck to buy baby stuff early in your pregnancy.  Let’s go over some benefits to buying items sooner rather than later.

Space out purchases

By purchasing baby items early, you have the opportunity to space them out over time. This makes it easy for your wallet and storage. You also won’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff!

Scope out the best deals

When you shop for things early, you can see what the best deals are. You can focus your attention on one item and compare prices at different retailers. This is how I managed to get a $300 car seat for less than $100 on Black Friday!

pregnant woman online shopping for baby stroller on tablet

You’ll feel more prepared

When you are pregnant, there are so many things to do and think of: go to doctor’s appointments, prepare for natural labor, and decide what to wear to your baby shower.

Buying baby stuff early ensures that you don’t forget essential items, such as a diaper bag or swaddle blankets. You can check items off your to-do list and move on to the next thing!

When will you start buying baby stuff?

When to start shopping for baby stuff is a very personal decision. It depends on many variables, including family plans and finances. Some people want to wait until they find out the gender of their child before buying anything at all; others buy everything as soon as possible.

smiling pregnant women shopping for baby clothes and shoes

There is no right or wrong answer here! You and your partner know your needs better than anyone else. Only you can decide when it feels like the time is right for you to start decorating the nursery or building that capsule wardrobe.

When did you start buying baby stuff? Or if you are currently pregnant, when do you plan to?  Please comment below!

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