When it comes to the shopping list for the baby, us fathers to be are incredibly naïve. In our minds it will take about half an hour and all we need to do is buy a crib, stroller, some diapers, and some baby formula and that is basically it right? It is almost incomprehensible as to how many things your baby is going to need. There will be bibs, burp cloths, breast pumps, milk storage containers, nursing pillows, nursing bras, bottles, cleaning brushes, sterilisers, changing pads, changing tables, cream for nappy rash, talcum powder, baby baths, baby shampoo, disposable wipes, cotton wool, washcloths, hooded towel, waterproof mattress covers, and I am going to stop there, but there are literally dozens of other things on top of these that you are going to need. When you break these individual items down in to the dozens of possible brands and variations, it is much better to start as soon as possible. Luckily, you will also be able to find various checklists for free online to make sure you don’t miss anything. There are some things you can do to ensure you are well prepared in addition to starting to buy things as early as possible.
Research everything before purchasing
I will be honest, I am the type of guy who literally does his entire Christmas shopping in about 15 mins without any preparation or idea of what I am going to get until I am actually in the store. But as I went through the pregnancy and my wife and I began to learn about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) more commonly known as “cot death” in my home of UK it terrified me. This made me realise how important it is to make sure that you have the right kind of cot/crib, that it’s been properly certified for having all of the right safety standards and so on. In the world of online shopping where you can purchase something from anywhere, you actually realise pretty quickly that a common brand in your own country may actually be banned in another country due to safety concerns etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg as you will then realise that there are like 94 different types of baby bottle and teat (I may be wildly overexaggerating or actually underestimating that number, I am still not quite sure) and you realise they all have varying operating systems that effect the flow of milk, potentially reduce gas etc. Once you settle on the item you feel most comfortable with, you can then source the best price online. You will realise pretty quickly that walking into a baby specific store instantly doubles or even triples the price of what you want to buy.
Putting it all together
As a father there are going to be three words that haunt you for the rest of your life and these words are “some assembly required”. Trust me, you do not want to sit there and think “I will get the cot ready once the baby is born”. It just isn’t going to happen, between the emotional turmoil and sleep deprivation of labour, combine with instructions that mean you may as well try and put together something from Ikea blindfolded and without a screwdriver, its just not happening. Make sure you get everything well in advance, and honestly, if you can pay the company to also deliver it and put it together, do it!
Spreading out the cost
In case you haven’t yet realised, this is also going to get incredibly expensive. Even if you are able to get great deals on everything, buy things second hand and so on, there is still a lot you have to get. If you try and do all of this at the same time, you are going to run up one hell of a bill. So, there is an added advantage to starting as early as possible, you get to spread the cost out over a longer period. Research says that you are going to spend at least a few thousand dollars on your new-born shopping list. Research also shows that if you earn a middle-class income, you are likely to spend about $10k per year on the baby/child. So assuming you are not flush with lots of spare cash, the best way to approach this is to simply be prepared well in advance and make sure that you spread out the purchases over several months to ease the financial pressure.