When you're pregnant you want to have everything ready for your new baby, but the problem is you don't really know what your baby will be like or what kind of parent you'll be. Also the shops will remain open after you’ve given birth, and your partner or family may be grateful for the chance to run out and buy something to feel helpful. There are also certain things that you definitely won’t need until a few months in, so there’s no need to rush and buy them now. Here's some things to avoid buying (for the moment at least):
It can be lovely to go and buy a cute cuddly toy or comforter which you imagine your baby snuggling up to for years to come. But bear in mind you will definitely be gifted at least one of these (or maybe ten) and your baby may not even like them! And in fact the guidance is not to introduce comforters to babies (overnight) before 6 months, so this purchase can wait.
2. Baby toys
The kind of toys your baby plays with in the first year is pretty limited – they tend to favour you as their most-played with toy, especially in the first few months. So there’s not much point spending a lot of money on toys at this stage. They also develop so fast that one day they'll love stacking things and the next they'll be over it and those five stacking toys they got for their birthday will sit gathering dust in a cupboard. You'll find they enjoy playing with household objects just as much as any 'toy' you've bought. After the age of one you might find that they start to engage with toys for more than 3 seconds.
3. A baby carrier
Some babies love being in a sling, others hate it. You might have harboured visions of you or your partner going for long walks with baby happily cozied up next to you, enjoying the feeling of being close. And while that is the case with many babies, others just don’t like it. Also there are so many slings and carriers to choose from, and until you’ve tried to get one on whilst holding a screaming baby, you might not know which suits you (i.e. which is easiest and quickest to get on). So try one from a sling library or secondhand first to figure out if you, and your baby, get on with it, before you buy a fancy expensive one with all the bells and whistles.
You might find this really useful or perhaps your baby will hate being put down and your beautiful playmat will sit gathering dust in the corner. Bear in mind they take up a lot of floor space as well, so be wary if you don’t have a lot of room. You could try a second hand one first to see if it suits you and your baby. Facebook marketplace, ebay or The Octopus Club have a good selection of preloved baby items.
5. Jumpers, booties, socks, dresses
These types of clothes, although very cute, might just be too much of a faff if you're sleep deprived or just have a new baby who hates getting dressed (most babies). Especially for a new baby, stick with basic vests and sleepsuits to start with. This is another reason why renting baby clothes is great, because if you do rent jumpers and find your baby hates having them put on, you can return and stop paying for them straightaway!