Pregnancy tips: Think before you buy anything
It’s easy to get carried away at the shops when you’re anticipating your child’s arrival, but there are some very good reasons why you need to hold off on buying that baby crib or those 20 or so super-cute onesies until after you deliver
You don’t know if you will (really) need it?
Emotions and impulses tend to run high for many pregnant women, be it dealing with the idea of an additional mouth to feed or how your little baby will look in that dress.
And if you strongly believe in retail therapy, you’ll be even more prone to impulsive buying whilst pregnant because let’s face it, retailers have years of skills dedicated the sole purpose of getting fresh mums-to-be to spend as much as their wallets can dish out.
Be aware though, especially when you’re having a child for the first time, that you don’t know what’s to come until your child is well out of your belly and in your arms. There is a very good chance that half the things you think you need are not going to be used for very long, if at all.
Also take into consideration the gifts coming your way for your baby shower and when your friends and family celebrate the birth; kids have a way of making people very generous suddenly.
You don’t know if your child wants or can use it
Your newborn child might turn out to be the pickiest customer for any salesperson, not to mention babies can be prone to allergies. In light of this, you might want to have your child actually try out your intended purchases before you purchase them. For all you know, your child might not even like pacifiers, or her sensitive bottom will only accept one particular brand of disposable diapers without breaking out into an angry rash.
Besides, most maternity hospitals will provide you with a newborn starter kit packed with essentials such as documentation (yes, your baby will come with instructions), a set of baby pyjamas and bibs, milk powder, toys and a sample pack of diapers – all packed in a sturdy bag – to help you through at least your first few days. Try out the package first; it is a good starting guide to properly figuring out your child’s needs.
You don’t know what’s going to happen
While you do need to plan for the new arrival, no one can be sure that things will go according to plan, and very often with a new child, things don’t. In hoping for the best, parents-to-be tend to neglect thinking about the worst-case scenario.
Many North American retailers advise their pregnant customers to delay purchase delivery until a few days before or after the baby is born, with some offering an option for a fully-refundable deposit should anything unfortunate happen. It’s sensible advice based on experience with families who have lost their child through miscarriage or stillbirth. Just the presence of these new purchases in the home (it can be as simple as baby clothing or as big-ticket as baby cribs) will only add to the grief, and possibly trigger a depression.
What you really should (just) get
So keep to the simple stuff. All you really need for now is a feeding bottle a pack of cotton swabs, a small pack of diapers to try out, enough onesies for a week (infants will typically go through at least 3 a day), and an infant car seat (borrow one if you can, you won’t use it for very long).
Your hospital’s newborn starter kit is also sufficient in the meantime, after which you should be sending your husband out for anything else you and your child needs while you recover.