When to Buy For Baby
Simonne Walmsley continues her story of trying for a family.
To buy or not to buy? That is the question!
As part of planning and trying for a baby, you will start to think about the things you will need for when baby arrives, and of course, some of the things you want. As in, you need a cot, but you want the one that makes your mortgage payments look like parking meter money. That sort of thing. Or is that just me? Oh dear.
Everybody feels differently about when to start buying things for baby, and it's an individual decision, very much based on that you feel comfortable with. Do you buy while trying to conceive or even beforehand to put away, once you are actually pregnant, or once you are at a certain point in your pregnancy where you feel ok with surrounding yourself with baby things? There is no right or wrong here.
I know a couple, who at more than eight months pregnant with their first child, were still reluctant to buy anything for baby. Some of you will read that with gaping mouths and will have to pick your eyes up off the floor, some of you will be nodding your heads, and some of you are perhaps just thinking that maybe getting things sorted a few months earlier would have been ok. The thing is that they felt strongly about it, and it was right for them. (Of course, in that particular situation, by that stage, a certain Grandma was quietly organizing some basics behind the scenes and out of sight!)
What my husband and I did was completely different, but it worked for us and we were very comfortable with doing things this way. It was ok for us, just as much as for someone else, it would have been a very bad idea. The way we saw it, whilst trying to conceive, we had two incomes for the foreseeable future. Each month that we weren't pregnant meant that we would have at least one more month of two incomes, and so we'd buy a major baby item such as a cot, or a car seat while we were under no imminent pressure financially. This meant that we were able to take advantage of sales over a long period of time too. One month for example, we bought a gorgeous Peg Perego stroller as part of a Baby Factory sell out, and we paid less than half the normal retail price. So, we had an expensive item that we loved, but which, if we had waited until we were pregnant would not have been available, and certainly not at the price it was (any excuse for me to go shopping, I know!!).
But, a lot of couples prefer to put money aside for buying baby things once they are pregnant, and would rather wait before making any purchases, and I can understand that too.
Another thing you could think about, if you want to do something in anticipation of baby, but not specifically 'baby oriented' is perhaps doing something around the house, in preparation for the time when baby is here and you may be a little more housebound than usual. You could purchase a really great piece of furniture such as a chair (something that looks fab, and would be great for when you are nursing), or redo the carpet, or a bench top, or, for something slightly less ambitious, you could purchase some nice linen sets. Something along the lines of improving the environment you're going to be spending a lot of time in.
One important thing to consider, if looking at collecting baby things while still trying to conceive, is how will you feel having those things around you? What is, to one person, an affirmation or symbol of hope, is to another a negative reminder if things aren't happing quite as hoped. There are definite ups and downs with trying to conceive a baby, not least of which is the roller coaster ride of emotions you will feel from month to month. Would you find it difficult to remain positive with baby things around you when dealing with disappointment, and would it put you, or your partner under extra pressure, or lead to feelings of sadness or desperation in relation to a pregnancy? None of those things are desirable, and you must be realistic about the fact that it can and often does take time to achieve a pregnancy.
Another thing to consider is whether you want family and friends to know that you are trying for a baby, or how open you want to be about it all. Many couples want to keep that they are trying to conceive to themselves, at least initially. You may want to collect baby things and stash them secretly, but there are only so many things that you can fit in a closet, or hide in the garage, and if you do end up accumulating bigger items such as a cot or change table, you're going to run out of places to hide them when family and friends come to visit! How do you feel about the questions this will raise?
Don't forget too that people will want to buy you things as gifts when you are expecting baby. If you want to collect things whilst trying to conceive, think of some things that you can easily wait for, and things that grandparents for example may love to buy such as a highchair or a baby bouncer.
Some things, such as buying baby clothes, are a pleasure and exciting when trying to conceive, but they're not really necessary, and are perhaps the items that will be most likely to make you feel extra pressure. Don't forget, clothing will always come on sale, prices don't tend to fluctuate that much, and let's face it, you'll be given a huge amount of such things anyway. Plus, practically, what's the point of putting aside gorgeous little woolly baby jackets, and then finding you will have a summer baby? But of course you may come across precious things, which you may want to put away regardless. A while ago, I came across a beautiful sleep gown for a wee baby, which I fell in love with, and I have that sitting aside waiting for a little person to fill it. It cost a fortune, but I doubt I'd have ever found it again when the time came to go looking, or more importantly, talked the husband into letting me splurge on it!
So, it really is up to you what you do. Everyone has their own opinion on all things, and most are happy to confuse the issue by sharing it! The only advice I have left is…if you go shopping, have fun (!!), and if you decide to save, enjoy watching your savings build, and thinking forward to when baby is well on the way and you will be able to go and spend it all!
Click here to read more from Simonne as trying to conceive risks taking over in the bedroom.