When you are having a baby, you are going to be amazed at how many times you are going to have to go shopping. The required shopping list is going to just seem to get longer and longer every week. But that’s OK, as I am sure you love going shopping with the partner, right? In addition to the obvious baby stuff, you are going to have to go maternity clothes shopping with your partner. You are going to love it. You are going to buy clothes that cost more than regular clothes, but that can only be worn for a few months. It’s a great deal! To make it worse, you are not going to know how to answer when she says, “does this outfit make me look big?”. If you say yes, you are a monster and if you say no, she is going to worry about whether or not the baby is OK as she still isn’t “showing” yet.

When to buy maternity clothes?

So, as a starting point, there is no specific timeline as to when maternity shopping is required. The truth is, no two pregnancy bodies are the same. Some women will begin to show quite heavily after only a few months, others can still fit in to their normal clothes for several months into the pregnancy. The easiest way to tell its time to buy maternity clothes is simply, that her current clothes no longer fit. Maybe she won’t be able to button her jeans. Perhaps she can’t get her favourite shirt over her bump, there comes a time for all women at which point it is time to go shopping. But, under no circumstances should you suggest you should go shopping for maternity clothes. All you are doing is calling her fat in her eyes.

What to buy?

The truth is that by the end of the pregnancy, your partner is probably going to have acquired an entire new wardrobe. There will be maternity jeans, leggings, shirts, t shirts, a lot of new underwear that looks nothing like the usual stuff you are used to seeing from Victoria’s Secret and a couple of maternity dresses for occasions such as weddings, parties etc. This is inevitable, so unless you have a friend or relative that you can borrow this stuff from, make sure you budget for it in advance. The truth is what to buy is not about actual items of clothing, because you are going to buy everything. It’s actually about the quality of the clothing. For example, when buying maternity clothes, make sure you factor in further growth. If she is 4 months pregnant and the material doesn’t feel that stretchy, make sure you go up a size or two as she will still have 5 months to go. By the time you have finished shopping, you will be an expert as to what fabric has the most flexibility. In addition, you want to consider how sheer the material is. As material stretches it gets thinner, so if your partner bends over in a few months will everyone be able to see through those leggings?

Re-use them

Finally, when shopping with your pregnant partner for maternity clothes factor in re-usability. This comes in two forms. The first is relatively easy to consider. Could your partner potentially wear the items once the baby is born. This makes the expense of buying an entire new wardrobe a little easier to swallow. If she is able to wear the items, even if its just around the house after the baby is born, then it makes for a better investment. The good news is that maternity clothes are so great these days, you could probably still wear the same dress to a party, and no one could tell that it was a maternity dress. The second element is a little harder to potentially answer. Do you plan to have any more children after this first one? If so, it makes sense to go for higher quality, more durable clothing as you will be able to use it multiple times over a number of years.