5 Tips When Buying Your Baby Gear Early (Before Birth)

With rising prices and inflation, every peso saved is very important, especially for soon-to-be dads. And yes, having a baby will be a very costly endeavor and it's going to be one roller coaster ride for most first-time parents. If you think picking a new phone, laptop or device is complicated then you haven't seen how many variations of baby items there are in the baby area of your favorite department store. Here are 5 things I wished I knew before buying those "essential" baby gears:

1. Know what you want to buy before going to the mall or worse, on a sale 

One of the biggest pitfalls we did was to go to a massive Baby Fair earlier this year when my wife was around 5 months pregnant. We went there without any knowledge of which articles of items were essential, which brands were good, and how much the regular prices for items were. It didn't help that there was a massive crowd in the sale and a very long line going to the cashier that made the whole experience a complete blur. At first, we thought we made a massive haul of great items at a great overall price but soon found out that the most expensive ones didn't suit our needs. We were hoodwinked by the massive sale prices and brand recall that at the end of the day we ended up spending more. So be sure to do your due diligence before going to the mall or sale. Better if you already have specific items that you want to target and know the actual SRP so you would know if you are actually getting a great deal or not. 

2. More expensive doesn't mean it's better
Like the latest iPhone Xs Max, baby products shooked me on how expensive they are in most cases. As dads, we want our babies and our wives to have the best there is. That's actually commendable and understandable. But expensive isn't always better. At the end of the day, your baby won't even know the concept of brands or prices. Your wife's body won't produce more breastmilk just because the pump you bought is a hundred grand more than average. What I'm saying here is that there will be unpredictable variables and it's better to test out the waters in real-life before buying the most expensive items out there. Most of these items work on the same basic functions - just be sure to check if their materials are safe - don't skimp on that one.

3. You don't need to buy everything before your baby arrives
Settle down, breath, and stop panicking. Your baby is about to arrive and there's this foreboding sense that you're missing one key essential item that could make or break his/her development. As a couple, we wanted to prepare everything ahead of time and that's normal. But you don't need to buy everything right now. You don't need a Carrier or a Stroller or even Baby Bottles (if the wife is exclusively breastfeeding). The most essential things we needed for the first month were basic clothes, diapers, wipes and, items for bath time. While you can take your baby out while he or she is a newborn, we actually didn't in our case until our baby was around 3 months - when he had his core vaccines injected already. So until that time, skip buying these items not unless they are already on sale, to begin with.

4. Avoid new clothes as much as you can or buy bigger sizes 
Baby is going to grow really fast. In fact, he or she will be eating up those clothes like a Ferrari on a race track. In our case, we bought a handful of clothes - just enough for him to have a regular change of clothing. We also made sure to buy bigger sizes to prolong their useful life. Luckily, we also had relatives who gave us hand-me-downs to further help us in making sure our baby is well-clothed all the time. We also returned the favor and gave away clothes to others that needed it after our baby outgrew them. Not only are you going to save some money, I'd also like to think that we are saving the environment a little bit.  

5. Planning is totally different from reality
The most important tip I can give is this last point. You can plan all you want but it's going to be different from what you expect it to be. In our case, we spent a chunk load of our budget on our Baby's room. We bought a massive crib and even designed the room with stickers, paintings, and eye-candy to make it as pleasing to our eyes as possible. But here's the thing, 5 months to the day when our baby was born, he has never used that crib and that room - not even once. My point here is to make sure to give your dream plans a lot of thought. Do you really need a crib when you actually want your baby to sleep beside you? Do you really need that baby room now or maybe you need to save it for later when baby is a lot older?