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Best Time To Shop for your Newborn Baby

Most parents find shopping for their newborn an exhilarating aspect to parenting - a new baby and a whole range of exciting items out there to shop! Because of this it can be quite confusing on what to buy and what to omit, and with no budget to watch out for, many parents do get carried away. While it is very understandable that you want the very best for your baby, buying too much too soon is not only wasteful but can be a squeeze to your pocket. As a guide it is best to categorize baby items into essentials or must-buy and non-essentials or luxury-buys. Also, your budget will guide you (if you have one).

Best time to shop for your Newborn Baby

  • Many parents keep shopping till much later owing to superstition or previous bad experience(s) (e.g. miscarriage). Despite this it is best to plan what you will need according to your financial situation, home space etc.
  • With a first baby there is so much to buy. Many parents choose to buy the large ticket items in the final months, and purchase the other essentials after finding the gender of the baby which is after the 20th week of pregnancy (anomaly scan).
  • Many typically do their shopping in the middle trimester when the gender is known and when the energy level is higher. Towards the end of pregnancy shopping can become tiring, when you are heavier and more prone to fatigue.
  • Shopping at the very end can also pose a problem if the need arises to exchange items. You should leave enough time for that.
  • Space your shopping according to need. Shop gradually. Buy items which you will need immediately after your baby is born first. Ideally this list should be done with by week 36-37, though many parents keep this stock ready by week 30-34, some even earlier.
  • You may also want to buy other essentials such as baby cot or Moses basket for your baby to sleep in, a stroller to lug your baby around and a car seat for travelling with your baby in a car.
  • Once you are done with buying the essentials, you can buy the additions when it suits you. If shopping becomes a constraint for any reason, you have the choice to buy online.

Second hand vs Brand new

  • For parents with financial issues, it makes sense to acquire second-hand items handed down from relatives and friends or bought.
  • Big ticket items are a popular category of hand-me-downs from relatives and friends. These can include cots, car seats, buggies etc. You have to be cautious and certain of the item's history i.e. any accidents or damage and if it is too old and worn. Especially with a car seat you have to be absolutely sure of its history so do not buy through second-hand shops or classifieds. Friends and relatives are reliable sources and therefore a better alternative.
  • It is important to purchase a new mattress which fits well if you plan to have a cot. A correct fit will ensure no gaps on the sides. The mattress should be firm, clean, dry and well-aired. A brand new mattress is important as it is believed to reduce the incidence of cot death.
  • Used or unused, clothes make good second-hand items as babies grow out of them rather quickly. Accept offers from friends and relatives; often you may receive second-hand unused items. Many mothers buy more clothes than necessary and, end up passing them to their friends instead.
  • Certain non-essentials such as mobile, baby monitor can also make good second-hand items, if any of your friends are willing to pass them

What are the essentials?

  • Basically you will need to look into baby's sleep equipment, travel equipment, clothing, feeding equipment and bathing essentials, ideally before your baby arrives.
  • A clean, firm mattress (to fit into the cot or playpen) and a cot, playpen or Moses basket for your baby to sleep in. Depending on the weather include lightweight blankets and covers for the mattress. Avoid adding duvets. A Moses basket is small and cozy and doesn't use much space but the downside is babies grow out of them after a few months. A cot offers plenty of growing room and can therefore be used for a longer period but you will need more room for it.
  • Travel equipment will depend on your mode of travel. If you use the car very often you may want to invest in a car seat cum stroller. If you move around a lot on foot, a lightweight buggy (0 months up) is more appropriate. You may also want to consider a sling to lug your baby around.

Baby clothing

Babies grow quickly so buy a fewer items in small size. Avoid fussy styles with tricky or fancy openings and opt for easy to wear 'n wash fabric clothes. Essential clothing items for your newborn:

  • 6 vests (0-3 months)
  • Half a dozen sleep suits (0-3 months)
  • 2 Cardigans for summer months and a winter jacket
  • Blanket for outdoors
  • 3-4 Burp clothes
  • Woolly hat for winter months and a light hat for summer months
  • Cotton socks

Feeding Essentials

  • If you are decided on bottle feeding your baby for whatever reasons here is what you will need:
  • About half a dozen bottles with teats
  • Sterilizing unit
  • Bottle brush and tongs
  • Recommended brand of formula

Baby changing Items

  • Basically you will need:
  • Waterproof changing mat
  • Good supply of disposable nappies or cloth nappies depending on your preference
  • Baby wipes, cotton balls,
  • Bottles (about 6), bottlebrush and sterilizer
  • 2-3 Baby towels with hoods, flannel napkins
  • Anti-rash cream or Vaseline
  • Baby massage oil to massage your baby
  • Bath tub

Optional Buys but many parents do include:

  • Baby bouncer
  • Baby toys e.g. rattle, stuffed toys
  • A diaper bag
  • Mobile for the cot
  • Baby toiletries such as baby wash, shampoo, baby lotion, baby hair brush etc
  • Baby monitor
  • Baby carrier or sling
  • Diaper genie to dispose soiled diapers
  • Night lamp.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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