Before you get headfirst into shopping for baby clothes and accessories, you should keep some information in mind and make a list of all the things you cannot do without.
First, it is usually recommended to wait until the second trimester before proceeding to major and mass purchases because the risk of miscarriage is higher until then.
How much will I spend?
Overall, you should plan a budget of at least $2000, says Geneviève Thibault, owner of the online boutique Toi, Moi & Bébé. Obviously you can spend less if you choose to buy used clothes, furniture and accessories.
Furniture and bedroom accessories
Of course the crib is on top of the list since it represents the place where your baby will spend most of his time during his first few months. Mrs. Thibault strongly suggests choosing a crib with one removable side that allows turning it into a bed when your child reaches his 18th month (between 18 months old and 2 years old). “It is also important to buy the bed rails, the ones with a tab that can be slipped under the mattress”, she says.
The padding that you put all around the crib and on the bars should not be used before your baby is 8 months old because he cannot get up on his own and could suffocate.
The changing table is also indispensable, as the park which allows you to sleep elsewhere or to vary the rooms where he can sleep in the house. The dresser, the closet or the wardrobe for your baby’s tiny clothes are necessary too.
The rocking chair is not essential, says Mrs. Thibault, because we can sit comfortably on a couch or a chair to breastfeed or bottle-feed. It is true that we can use it to calm our little crying angel but it can be easily replaced by a stroll around the house or a bit of swaying.
For transport and travel
The stroller is an essential means of transportation, says Mrs. Thibault. “If you expect to have a second child after the first, you can choose a stroller that converts to a double stroller with a second place at the back, rather than side by side”.
Since we live in a northern country, let the winter come and go and choose a stroller equipped with wheels of at least 6-inches. To avoid unnecessary frustrations, make sure that your stroller folds up easily, that it is not too big to fit in your car and that it is light enough for you to pick it up without hurting your back every time.
It should also be equipped with a hood to protect your baby’s head from the sun and the rain. Ideally, says, Mrs. Thibault, you should buy an “anti-UV” net that protects the child against UVA and UVB rays.
The infant car seat, the only safe way to carry an infant in a car, will also be useful in the stroller if it is big enough for you to put it in.
Finally, the baby carry scarf allows skin-to-skin contact and became a necessity, especially for families living in the city who walk a lot.
Hygiene, care and breastfeeding
The bath, no matter what we may think, is not essential, according to Mrs. Thibault. We can easily bathe our baby with us in the big bath.
For breastfeeding moms, the nursing pillow is not superfluous. Make sure that you can tie it to your waist, that it is well padded and both rigid and comfortable.
If you plan on returning to work while you are still breastfeeding and you will use a breast pump, there is a holding strap that you can place on your breasts and attach to the pump while your hands are doing something else… using a computer for example.
To breastfeed in public places, the nursing tops - sweaters or t-shirts with a zipper and a flap – are very useful.
For your baby’s daily care, it is recommended to get a nail clipper, small mittens (so your little angel doesn’t scratch his face), a dropper for liquid medicines and a nasal aspirator. The model that parents use to suck out the mucus is much more effective that the bulb, says Mrs. Thibault.
Pyjamas, pyjamas and more pyjamas! When the diapers overflow, it is very unpleasant to be faced with an empty drawer. “Choose pyjamas that button down the legs”, says Mrs. Thibault.
Bodysuits are essential for the summer (avoid those that are removed by passing over your baby’s head), snowsuits are essential for winter and bibs are essential all the time.
Finally, the blanket used to swaddle baby will be very useful in the winter; you can find models equipped with a zipper, making it possible to build a little cocoon that will keep baby warm.
You can also read our article Everything you need for baby’s arrival! for more ideas.