THE QUESTION :
When should I buy clothes for my baby? I am 9 weeks pregnant.
First of all, congratulations! Like many expectant moms, you may find that the rush of joy and anticipation makes you yearn to bring your future reality to full-color life right now. The months ahead may seem interminable, but it’s wise from an emotional– as well as a practical–standpoint to hold off on purchases until you’re well into your second or third trimester.
As hard as it is to think about, most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, so keep things low-key. Having to pack away baby clothes and crib gear might only make a loss that much more wrenching. In the same spirit, you might want to only tell close friends and family about your pregnancy until you’re statistically out of the woods.
Should the worst happen, you can count on them to support and grieve with you, while protecting yourself from the pain of repeating the sad news over and over to others you aren’t so close to. On a happier note, waiting until about the fifth month, when you’re showing, gives you something to look forward to, and a way to mark the time passing.
But don’t rush to the store once your news is out, either. You’ll probably be inundated with hand-me-downs from parents with older babies—another reason to wait to buy. Before the baby arrives, you might want to re-launder hand-me-downs in dye- and fragrance-free detergent (like Tide Free or Seventh Generation Natural Baby Laundry Detergent, which is plant-derived and nontoxic)—and you should certainly do so for new clothes.
When you do shop, consider what season your baby will be born in, so you’re not stuck with wee fleece vests in May. I recommend buying clothes for sizes 3 months and up; wait until you’re closer to your due date to buy smaller sizes, if you must. By then you’ll have a better idea of how much your baby will weigh as a newborn. Many babies skip the newborn size entirely, or grow out of them after one or two wearings, so it might be better to buy clothes with legs and arms that are easy to roll up so your baby can grow into them..
Focus on easy-on-and-off clothes—snaps and Velcro beat buttons—that feel soft, especially around the neck and cuffs. Light colors actually hide newborn spit-up pretty well. (Once your baby’s onto solid food, the more colorful the clothes the better).
Speaking of which, don’t forget to pick up bibs in soft terry or cotton, And—do I even need to say it?—everything should be machine-washable. Leave the fancy duds to doting grandparents and your friends with no kids.
So what to do between now and shopping day? If you can’t stand not feathering your nest at all, invest in information! You may have a classic or two like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but I also loved A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson, with its breathtaking in-utero photos as well as the hilarious and poignant Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott. They’ll help pass the time while you wait and wait and wait…..
Excerpt for Momtourage.com