Buying all the things you'll need for your baby is one of the most fun parts of being pregnant. It can be expensive though, and you'll encounter some pretty heavy duty advertising. Much of this marketing strategy is aimed at convincing you that you can never buy enough baby gear, or even that you're somehow inadequate as a parent if you can't afford to buy every baby product in the entire store.
At pregnancy-info.net, that's definitely not our philosophy. We provide reliable and straightforward information about a varied range of baby items. If we think a certain baby product is essential, we'll say so, on the other hand, if we think an item is simply a fun extra, we'll be upfront with you about that too. Remember that it's possible to borrow a lot of baby gear, or buy it second hand, from friends, family and even form parenting support organizations.
Newborn Baby Gear
We've divided our baby gear information into what we think you'll need right away and the purchases we think you can delay until your baby is a little older, and sitting up and moving. In our newborn baby gear section, you'll find helpful advice on buying the following items:
Diaper bags, baby changing tables, baby bottles, baby formula, baby clothes, baby cribs, baby bedding, baby blankets, baby strollers, baby carriers, baby joggers, infant seats and baby car seats.
Gear For Older Babies
As your baby develops and becomes more mobile (and more of a handful!), your needs in terms of baby equipment will change.
For example, once your baby is no longer content to simply lie on his back and be played with, you'll need equipment that helps him move around and play safely. As he begins to eat more independently, you'll need a high chair that allows him to sit up at the table with no danger of falling. As he gets bigger, your car seat won't fit him anymore, therefore you'll also need a booster seat to keep him safe as he's being driven around.
That's why you'll find useful tips and information in this section on the following:
Baby high chairs, baby swings, baby booster seats, baby walkers, baby chairs and infant seats.
Preparing a baby nursery involves a lot more than just making purchases - there's also the issue of decorating. Do you want to do it yourself, or should you hire a professional? Where can you get inspiration for murals and attractive nursery décor? Which paints are safe for use in a baby's nurser, and which are environmentally friendly? You don't know yet if you're having a boy or a girl - so which colors should you use? All this and more is covered in our baby nursery section.
Of course, buying equipment is also part of the nursery preparation process, because depending on the layout of your house, a lot of the baby gear you buy (not just your baby's crib bedding), will be stored in the nursery. That's why we also talk about storage and space (and safety) considerations for your baby's nursery.
Buying Baby Gear During Pregnancy
Whether or not to buy baby gear while you're still pregnant is a very personal choice. Some people, perhaps for religious or cultural reasons, believe that you shouldn't take fate for granted by filling your house with baby products before the baby arrives safely. For other people, buying these products and preparing the baby nursery is one of the highlights of the pregnancy. (There are also the practical implications of coming back, baby in arms, to an insufficiently equipped baby nursery!).
The choice whether to buy now or to wait is up to you - but remember that many baby gear stores will give you the option of paying for your baby stuff now and having it delivered only after the birth.
Budgeting For Baby Gear
We recommend that you read through the information we've provided and, with a notebook and pen, make a list of your planned purchases. Divide this list into essentials and things you'd love to have but could do without if necessary. This will help you to spend your money on the right things first. Set a target spending limit for your baby equipment purchases, with an "emergency" fund for unforeseen expenses. Particularly if this is your first baby, you may not realize that something is essential until after he arrives!