I’ve been thinking of something to blog that will be a bit light to write about (since most of the ideas I have in my head are a tad bit depressing so I’ll shy away from that for now). I decided to walk home from work earlier to clear my head when I thought, why not write something about shopping for babies? Well, why not? Sounds like fun.
I have liked quite a few mommy pages in Facebook and in every community page I liked, there is always that one mom asking about what she needs to prepare for the babies arrival: baby gears and furniture, what clothes to buy, what bottles, etc. And you Google it, there are tons of websites that will give you a list of the things that you need to prepare for. Even BabyCenter has a checklist for that as well.
So, let me share how I prepared for my little Z’s arrival. This is my own experience so I am not saying that this is the right one. I’m sure a lot of Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Godparents would have their own opinion about the things that a baby need and will probably argue some of my ideas but nonetheless, here goes.
When there is a baby on the way, everyone gets excited and would already think of the cutest little booties they saw at the mall or the gorgeous romper they saw on sale and all that. But, not knowing the gender of the baby yet, it is so hard to decide what to buy. Before I got pregnant, the only time I get to buy baby clothes is when there’s a new baby in the family or when my friends have babies. It is indeed fun to shop for babies and sometimes, people tend to go overboard (at some point, I know I did).
I see something cute for a friend’s baby or a relative’s baby, I buy it without hesitation. But when I got pregnant, I was frustrated for the first few months because I didn’t know what to buy just yet. I didn’t know my baby’s gender and I was tempted to buy anything I fancy, regardless if it was for a boy or a girl. My thinking that time was that, if it’s one or the other, then the baby stuff that I don’t need will be set aside to be given as gifts later on.
My first trimester was spent browsing online for baby clothes and baby gears and all that, checking new stuff of my favorite online sellers, going around malls and toy stores to compare prices, looking at what they have and mentally adding items in my head that will be soon bought. During my fourth month of pregnancy, I couldn’t resist starting to buy stuff. So, since I still didn’t know the gender, I bought the basics – tie-side wraps from sleeveless to long sleeves, long pants, booties, mittens. All white. Typical. LOL! When I learned the gender of my baby (it’s a boy, Mommy!), the first thing I bought was a baseball romper. I got it from one of my favorite online sellers. And it escalated from there.
Well, I had to control myself because I didn’t want to overdo my shopping so I shopped wisely (probably my Mom would disagree with this at some point haha!). Anyway, that was a long introduction to say the least. LOL. Here are a few tips that I think I can impart:
Buying clothes for the little one.
I know how exciting it is to buy stuff for your little one, especially if it is the first one. It is so tempting to buy a lot of cute clothes and all that. But, you have to remember the fact that babies do grow fast. They don’t need that many clothes during their first month. And besides, given the superstitions, sayings of elders and all that, a lot of babies during the first few months only stay inside the house (they are only allowed outside for the daily sunbathing in the morning and probably afternoon or during scheduled check ups).
A few onesies perhaps, a few long pants or shorts (depending where you are), a few pairs of mittens and booties or socks will do. Most of these clothes are sold by age range so try to estimate sizes, too. I found that the old-fashioned tie-side wraps are best for the first few months. And if you plan to use cloth diapers, better stock up on it as early as possible. Babies tend to use up to 12 cloth diapers, I think, in a day. Make sure that you have a dedicated person to do the laundry. LOL!
When I started buying clothes for little Z, I looked for the cute ones that I would like my son to wear. But I made sure that the clothes I bought are not only to be used for the first three months. I bought the basic whites with sizes ranging from 0-3 months and 3-6 months. As for the onesies and rompers, I bought different sizes for up until 12 months. I also considered the fact that there will be hand-me-downs from my cousins, gifts from other people and all that.
When I checked the clothes that my cousin gave and the sizes were for 0-3 and 3-6 months, I started buying clothes with sizes for 6 months onwards, instead. You see, my goal was to have enough clothes up until my baby turns 1. That way, during his first year, I don’t need to be budgeting for clothes anymore. Well, I might still need to buy a few more if needed and that is already considered in my budget but the thing is, I don’t need to spend too much anymore.
Another thing to remember: don’t stick with what is sold in malls. A lot of the clothes sold are too expensive, especially the branded ones. There will always be that urge to buy that Carter’s onesie or that Mothercare newborn set or even that Converse infant shoes and I wouldn’t advise you not to indulge in a few (I know I did).
But, check out online sellers, too. They may be selling overruns (for some), or factory rejects but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t good enough. They still carry the brand, you know. Only, you get them at such a cheaper price. I even got a few clothes from second-hand shops. 🙂 Also, check out bazaars and clearance sales. Sometimes you get good deals there and a few freebies, too. Don’t buy anything you see just because it’s cute. Well, not for that reason alone. Sometimes, a little practicality needs to be practiced as well. Leave the impulsive buying of cute stuff to your relatives and godparents-to-be of your baby. 🙂
Shopping for baby gears and furniture.
During my first trimester, I was already listing down the gears and furniture that my baby needed. I have a shoe-box size apartment so I have a very limited space for those giant cribs and all that. Before you buy that bassinet or that crib half the size of your own bed, think of how long that will be used by your baby. A crib wasn’t very practical for my apartment so I had to cross that out of my list. But I was planning to get one at home since I was thinking that there is enough space there for one. There are a lot of cribs being sold now of different sizes, materials used, different features and all that but there is one that I saw that will be very practical if you are planning to get one for your little one. There are cribs now being used that are convertible to junior beds. They are a bit pricey but when you think about it, your baby can use the crib (and eventually converted into a bed) for several years. Probably even up to 7-8 years, depending on how big and tall your little one by that time. It is a good investment, I’d say, especially if you have the money for it. 🙂
I didn’t buy a crib for little Z since I decided to co-sleep with my baby. What I bought was a second-hand, still good condition bed chair that I found online. There’s this Japanese brand, Combi, that I am getting fond of because their products because it is very practical and for long use. Anyway, the description online was hi-low bedchair. It is a high chair basically but you can adjust the height (high or low) and you can fully recline the seat and turn it into a daybed for the little one. The thing I like about it is that my little Z can use it up until 2 years probably (until when do babies use high chairs anyway?). It was his day bed during his first month back home and now that he’s almost six months, he’s been using it as a high chair already.
I initially decided against getting a stroller for little Z. But then, well, it can’t be helped. It is helpful to have one nowadays. I didn’t buy this before my baby was born only because of the reason that I cannot find one that I like and the ones sold at the malls are way too expensive that I cannot justify the price even if I can afford it.
So, I got Z a second hand stroller again. The price was about 20% of the mall prices. 🙂 I got him a second hand Combi (yes, another one) full-recline, reversible stroller. You see, I don’t like the typical stroller being sold. The one that is not reversible. I want my baby to be facing me when I push him in his stroller. Not just because I want it that way. It is to keep an eye on what my baby is doing and at the same time, I could talk to him while walking. I think it is more of the security for me. So, whenever we bring the stroller when we go out, expect to see me pushing it in a reversed position. 🙂
But, even with a stroller, always make sure to bring baby carrier with you. There will always be that moment that your little one wouldn’t want to be sitting down and would want to be carried and cuddled instead. And if you buy a carrier, think long term. Get something that you can use up until the toddler age probably. In that way, you don’t need to buy carriers after carriers as your little one grow. A baby sling is the most practical one, I would say. You can use that up until toddler years. It is easy to use as well and it is comfortable.
So, lesson learned: be practical in buying baby gears and furniture. Think of the long term use. Not just the first few months. And if possible, I suggest you look for quality second-hard gears. That will save you tons of money which you can use for other things.
Stock up on disposables.
It is hard not having that wipes or diaper when you needed it the most (especially if you decided not to cloth diaper and all). Or not having that baby bath when your baby pooed all over and you need to give him a bath. My Mom was against this, I remember but before I went home to give birth, I already bought 4 packs of newborn diapers and 2 cans of wet wipes with the intention of buying more. I wanted to have at least a month’s stock of diapers and other supplies (I think the diaper lasted 2 weeks LOL). I bought the large bottle of baby bath, baby powder, baby oil, etc.
Disposables are indeed easy to get since they are available even at convenient shops but I like to be prepared. I like to have stash for rainy days. And I mean literally rainy days. 🙂 Well, I never got to stock up to a month’s worth of diapers for my little Z’s first month but I was able to stock up on diapers during his third month. And the last pack of diapers bought last December has just been opened.
Sometimes, malls offer “discounts” and “promos” of disposables. Even if you only save about a Php 100 for getting a bundled pack of diapers, I’d say take it. That Php 100 savings can already get you a bottle of multivatimins for your little one. 🙂
OK, I think this is getting too long already. Here’s the bottomline: shop wisely. Be practical. Think long term use. Make sure you have stash for rainy days. You don’t have to buy everything you think your baby needs because at the end of the day, you are not the only one who’s going to be shopping for your baby. Leave something for your family, friends and peers to indulge you with. Who knows, one of them would buy you that feeding set that you’ve been wanting to buy or that giant stuffed toy that would look good in your baby’s nursery. 🙂 You will have a lot more stuff to think of when the time comes and the money you will save from impulsive buying will be put to good use by then. 😀