What to Buy & Not to Buy for Your Baby When You Are Expecting


When I was expecting, no one really told me what to buy for my son. When I shopped, literally EVERYTHING looked adorable in their miniature sizes. They all whispered “bring me home, bring me home…” On the other hand, with a million dollars in debts, I had to resist the intriguing temptation and spend on the most useful things. It turned out I wasn’t always right with the purchases. Here, speaking from my experience and suggestions from a few others, I’ve put together a list on what to buy and not to buy for your expected new born.

Starting from what NOT to buy:

  1. New born baby clothes – unless you think your baby will be less than 6 pounds, don’t bother with new born clothes. When Austin was born, we went straight to 3-month.
  2. 3-month baby clothes – don’t buy a lot of them because you will get them from friends, families, colleagues, and neighbours as gifts, and babies grow very fast. I bought a dozen onesies from Cosco and I felt they were more than enough. They were sold 5 or 6 per package for less than 10 dollars. Austin started to wear 6-month clothes when he was about 2 months old.
  3. Anything white – all the milk stains on white fabric turned bluish after washing. They looked like they had mold.
  4. Johnson and Johnson products – earlier this year, J&J vowed to remove harmful chemicals from their baby products BY 2013, so all their current products in stores still are harmful.
  5. Crib – all doctors and books suggest new mothers not to share bed with babies. I think they don’t really have children so they don’t know how hard it is to put new-borns to cribs. Austin had to be fed every hour or less. The cycle of feeding / burping / changing diaper / rocking him to sleep would take an hour and half in average. Putting him back to his crib would wake him up and I would have to take him out and rock him back and forth again. It was impossible to let him sleep in his crib at the beginning. Even now, as Austin is close to turning 3 months old, we still sleep together 50% of the time. I wish I had postponed the purchase.
  6. Thick baby story books – I bought 100 Classic Stories, 50 Bedtime Stories, Poems for Your Children, and 50 Fairytale Stories books. Each was an inch thick. There was no way that I could manage to have Austin in one arm and hold the equally heavy happy wheels book in the other.
  7. Cotton nursing pads – they were always wet and became very uncomfortable to wear. The disposable ones worked way better.
  8. Nipple shield – it was probably difficult to suck the milk out with a shield on, Austin got frustrated and bit me. It was so painful that I cried.
  9. Nap caps – they were never the right size. Either they looked painfully small that could have dented Austin’s head or they were so big that they kept falling off. Austin slept just fine without one.
  10. Gloves – again, they were never the right size. I just put socks on Austin’s hands when necessary.
  11. I bought two strollers – one of them came with a bassinet. It has never made a trip outside of the house because Austin doesn’t like laying flat. It just parks in our living room. What a waste of money and space.

What to buy:

  1. Two dozens of cotton swaddle blankets – I had a lot of milk. When Austin took breaks from sucking, my milk kept dripping like a leaky faucet, mine and Austin’s shirts would get very wet, and we would have to change. Cotton swaddle blankets were very handy; I used them to absorb all the extra milk away. Also, they can be used as handkerchiefs, bibs, and burping cloths.
  2. A vibrating chair – I bought it a week ago and I wished I had it earlier. Austin simply loves it. As a matter of fact, the chair I got doesn’t even vibrate because its electronic piece was missing from the package and I was too lazy to go for an exchange. However, when Austin wiggles, the chair rocks, and Austin giggles at the movements.
  3. Breast pump – it’s unhealthy and sometimes painful to have a full breast of milk if your baby isn’t going to dine soon.
  4. Baby carrier – to avoid sore arms, you need a baby carrier.
  5. Stroller with a car seat – we have been using this one every day in and out.
Profile photo of Kathy Wu

About the Author

I am a new mother who lives in Stouffville. My baby boy was born in August 2012. I never imagined that being a mother could be such a satisfying and proud occupation.


About Author

Profile photo of Kathy Wu

I am a new mother who lives in Stouffville. My baby boy was born in August 2012. I never imagined that being a mother could be such a satisfying and proud occupation. Right now I am on maternity leave, I will return to my full time work next July. I loved my job dearly – it was a team lead role in a technology support team. Many people thought it was stressful to work in a support team, but I liked the fact that our days were unpredictable and very dynamic. Sometimes, I imagined we were firefighters. I was very committed to my work and I hoped to return to the same role and to the same team. With a baby now, I 'm praying to have the strength to balance life and work. I don't know how yet, but I'm sure I will find out. Right now my boy and I are establishing our rhythm. Besides work and being a mother, I love reading books and listening to radio. Recently, I'm also learning photography from YouTube clips.

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