White or pink? Blue or yellow? Baby shopping dilemmas
Getting to a new phase of pregnancy is always exciting. If you haven’t already, by around week 20 you might find yourself starting to think about buying some clothes for your baby.
You don’t need to go overboard, and even if you have older children or other family members providing infamous hand-me-downs, it’s still nice to choose some fresh bits and pieces for the new arrival. Below, one expectant mum tells us all about her first shopping experience for her baby.
Ready, steady, shop!”
I was a little bit nervous at the beginning of my pregnancy, especially before my 12 week scan. Having had a miscarriage the year before, I was loathed to tempt fate and start preparing for the baby early on. Luckily, everything progressed well and by week 20 I was feeling a lot more secure in the pregnancy. In fact, week 20 was a really exciting point for me because that’s when I started to feel regular little flutters as my baby moved around. My bump had taken on a nice shape and it no longer looked like I was just overweight!
After my 12 week scan, we started to share our news gradually with people. I was a little cautious about work knowing, but with friends and family we just told them as and when we saw them. And soon I noticed something. After the hugs and rounds of congratulations, this was the next thing that almost every person who was a parent themselves said:
“I’ve got some baby stuff stored. Don’t buy too much, you’re welcome to it.”
For some reason, I found this quite strange. I mean, it was very generous, obviously, but I genuinely couldn’t see why new parents would borrow old baby stuff when kitting out a newborn can be so cheap? As long as you don’t shop exclusively in baby Dior, then it shouldn’t be too expensive, I reasoned. And apart from anything else, preparing for your baby should be an exciting time for couples! So, I was really looking forward to going shopping with my husband and picking out cute little baby clothes.
However, at this stage, I hadn’t really looked at what was available and what we needed. I’d been concentrating more on maternity clothes and, to my delight, my stalwart shopping havens like TopShop and H&M had a full range of maternity wear alongside their normal stock which made it very easy.
By week 20, because I was halfway through the pregnancy, I decided now was the time to start gathering baby stuff, so I earmarked a Saturday on the calendar for my husband and I to go and hunt and gather some baby clothes. I was armed with a list I’d printed out so I knew exactly what we would be needing. I actually still have it as a keepsake, and it reads:
- 14 babygros, white (two for each day was my thinking)
- 14 vests, white (same again)
- Knitted cardigans, four
- Scratch mittens
- All in one outdoor suit
- Little ‘real’ outfit? Dress?? Jeans??
I read that list back now with a hollow laugh. I honestly thought that we could buy enough baby clothes with that list and less than £100!
We chose not to find out the sex of the baby which made colour options very easy – everything would be white. My mother had a bee in her bonnet about newborns wearing white babygros exclusively for the first six weeks, regardless of sex, anyway. But what we thought would happen was nothing like what actually happened. Walking into the baby shop for me was like a child walking into the Disney Store. I instantly wanted everything. List discarded immediately, I dragged my long-suffering husband down aisle after aisle of babywear, cots, prams, Moses baskets, soft toys, musical toys, blankets, bibs, baby gyms – you name it, I saw it, eyes on stalks.
And the clothes! They were just too sweet for words. There were so many – white, pink, blue, yellow – and they came in the teensiest, premature baby sizes, right up to 18 months. For a brief moment I regretted not finding out the sex; I was so drawn to the soft, pink, fleecy babygros and tiny pink, frilly socks.
I honestly think we spent longer in that shop than we did in IKEA when we were kitting out our house, and I thought we’d never break that particular record. Everywhere we turned there were new options, new clothes, new designs, basic pushchairs and more sophisticated ones. Though I still had twenty weeks to go, I insisted on ‘test-pushing’ a few. But, to be honest, I had no idea what I was looking for! We collected dozens of baby clothes, some plain and some with logos (my personal favourite was a little vest saying “50% Mummy/50% Daddy”).
We left eventually with several bags full of baby clothes and toys. My husband managed to persuade me to leave the baby bedlinen for another day; we didn’t have anywhere to store it for a start…… apparently.
One of the best bits for me all through this mammoth, exciting shopping trip was feeling my tiny baby kicking away enthusiastically inside me, as if to say “Yes! Yes! All this stuff and more!” And this immediately made me think. Baby….enjoying shopping…..must be a girl, surely?!