When To Start Buying Baby Stuff

If you have recently found out that you are expecting a baby, I would like to wish you a big congratulations! While it is a completely life-changing time, it is one of the most precious and special moments to experience.

When you see the positive pregnancy test for the first time, a lot can go through your mind, and it is likely that you will want to prepare as soon as possible.

However, the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can be quite a stressful and worrying time, and you may wonder if this is the correct time to start preparing.

On the flip side of this, if you are someone that is extremely laid back, you may be wondering when the latest point you should start is baby shopping! 

Ultimately, there is no real right or wrong answer to this question, and you should start baby shopping when you are personally ready to do this.

However, I have compiled an article of things you will want to take into consideration when purchasing baby things, and when it is useful to purchase the most important items. 

When To Start Buying Baby Stuff?

An organized baby closet

When you are pregnant, there can be a certain amount of pressure placed on parents surrounding when they should or shouldn’t purchase things for their baby.

This is especially true for first-time parents. However, as I have already covered, ultimately, it is up to you when you want to start purchasing items. 

If you are someone that has had previous children, the likelihood is that you probably already own all of the main items you need, such as changing mats, cots, and pushchairs. Given this, the element of pressure does lessen.

If you are a first-time parent, I would advise that you begin to purchase the main items well in advance, just to give yourself peace of mind. If you are purchasing items too close to your full term, you do risk going into labor before you are fully prepared, and this would be less than ideal!


The majority of parents will wait until around 18 weeks before they start purchasing the larger items. Between 18 and 21 weeks is typically the time when parents will find out the gender of their child, and this can be useful when shopping for more decorative items.

While you can purchase things that are gender-neutral, if you are planning on purchasing gender-specific items, this is the best time to purchase these. 

Some people do choose to purchase things before the 12-week mark, but it is worth noting that the risk of complications and miscarriage is always higher in the first trimester.

This is why people tend to hold off until their 12-week scan when the pregnancy is more secure and parents can be more reassured. 

When it comes to baby clothes, these tend to be the items people will purchase first, because when you know you are expecting, it is difficult to not become excited and purchase some baby clothes to mark the occasion. 

Delivery Times

When it comes to the larger items, such as the cot, pushchair, basket, and nursery furniture, it is always best to get these well in advance and possibly around the second semester. 

While you can wait to purchase these items, it is not always recommended because the delivery times of these can be lengthy.

The last thing you will want to do is leave purchasing these for too long, and the delivery time is then estimated to be after your little one is born. 

Having these items ready and set up around a month before your baby is due is the best thing you can do. This then means that if your labor begins early, everything is set up and that is one less worry for you to think about. 

These are essential items that you will need and are not easy to pop out and purchase in comparison to bottles, formula, or clothes. As a result, you will want to be prepared well in advance for these items. 

The Third Trimester

In an ideal world, you will want to purchase the most important things before you enter the third trimester.

Not only will you have more energy in the second trimester, but you will also find things easier to do. As a result, it is the best time to purchase larger items. 

When it comes to the third trimester, ideally you will want to be as prepared as possible, and just want to be left with a few smaller things to purchase.

You can leave things such as diapers, the remainder of the clothes, creams, shampoos, and all of the other essentials until then because they are easy to pick up and use.

In addition to this, you will want to be purchasing things you will need postpartum too, such as pads, creams, and after birth care too. You will want to pack your labor bag in advance so that you know you are good to go if you do suddenly go into labor. 

Shopping Around

When you are looking to purchase items for the baby, you will want to shop around and not rush into your decision. There may be deals being held by certain companies, and these are always worth looking into. You will want to carry out research to ensure you are buying the best options for you.


I hope that this article has helped you to decide when it is the best time to start buying baby stuff. As you can see, there is not a specific time you should be doing this. Ultimately, it is down to you, and when you are ready to start. 

However, I would recommend not purchasing things too early, but early enough that you are not panicking and are ready and set when you go into your third trimester. 

By planning ahead and setting yourself a budget, you will then be able to plan what and when you are going to purchase baby things.