This is an article in our Pregnancy Week by Week series, a resource to help you manage your job and life, through and after your pregnancy.

Week 32: What To Buy To Get Ready for Baby

There are so many things an expecting mother can buy. Cute baby things that make us go, “Awwww….that’s adorable!” And things that make us say whoa (just look up “perineal massage” for example).

But last we checked, money isn’t just lying around. So as you begin your shopping list during your last months of pregnancy, what are some must-haves moms who are going back to the workplace? Put these things on your shopping list, or your baby registry!

Sharon Swan is a mom who knows a lot about baby products. She’s the Director of North American Marketing at Tommee Tippee and she told us, “When you’re headed back to work, making sure baby is well fed during the day is generally top of mind...Experiment with bottles weeks before you’re heading back to work, to be sure they’ll take a bottle while you’re at work.”

She suggests that you look for a bottle that your baby will take since some breastfed babies need a little more practice before they’re comfortable with a bottle. Other things to consider when looking for a bottle? Ease of cleaning and simple assembly are important. But so is just having enough around!

Sharon told us:

I highly recommend stocking up on them so you have enough in rotation not to become a slave to your sink every night. It was a revelation for me, personally, to realize I didn’t have to wash pump parts every night if I just bought a few more sets. This is good time-saving advice if you can afford to buy a bit extra. You’ll certainly have less time on your hands after Baby arrives so Sharon says that “anything you can do to minimize the struggle with your gear is helpful.

What other things can be helpful for a new mom to buy? Amy Jamieson, an editor, compiled her favorite list of gadgets for new moms. They include a wide range of things ranging from a hands-free pumping bra, to a pacifier that doubles as a thermometer and medicine dispenser!

Parents Magazine also compiled a list of what baby products got real moms through their first “roller-coaster” months. They include things like a baby carrier, swaddles, and diaper pail. Some things on your shopping list are pretty universal of course. Most of you know you’ll need to buy things like a baby bath, blanket, breast pump, and newborn onesies.

But for many new moms going back to work, it’s not just about what you buy as much as it is about how you buy it.

Many moms seemed to concur with Samantha Sand who said, “As much as I love supporting local businesses, life with young children means convenience trumps just about everything, at least for now.” In other words, investigate delivery, Amazon Prime, anything that auto-renews and refills monthly purchase you’ll have to make on things like diapers and wipes.

While some moms really believed in stocking up in bulk to minimize shopping trips, others told us things like, “Don’t buy too much at once. You or your baby might not like something, e.g. a brand of diapers, or shampoo. It can be tempting to go to Costco and buy in bulk when the prices are good but you won’t be saving money if you end up throwing away a huge bottle of lotion that gives your baby a rash.”

One mom we talked to was uber practical. She told us: “You’re not going to win any fashion awards, but buy bulk basics in the same color (e.g. white onesies and white socks). They’re easier to wash together (e..g all “whites”) when you’re doing laundry and if you lose one, you don’t have to worry about finding another matching item.”

Many moms forget to shop for breastfeeding supplies, probably because they can be uber confusing. But not to fear: Yummy Mummy provides all things breastfeeding, all in one place. From breast pump orders based on your insurance to breastfeeding classes to easy access tops, the site makes it simple to prepare for pumping in every way possible. 

But in the end, sometimes shopping for baby isn’t actually about baby things, per se.

Rachel Andrews is a busy working mom and frequent traveller. She said, “It seems like I’m always on the run, and always rushing to pack my things as I head out the door. Until recently, that was a BIG problem! I had too many bags - a purse for me, a laptop case for work, and a diaper bag for my kids.” She couldn’t find something that met her needs, so she made a genius bag called the “Overtime bag” that kills all three stones with, well, one bag.

Other things you might want to put on your shopping list have to do with saving you precious time. During her maternity leave, our co-founder Georgene started thinking about her time obsessively. She was worried about how to make a healthy dinner when she was exhausted after work and didn’t want to always be eating fast-food or take-out all the time.

That’s when she realized that the key was actually just not to cook in the evenings at all during her first few months back at the office. “I got a slow cooker and a recipe book of things I could pop in the cooker in the morning and come home to at night. It helped me feel more sane to know that after work, dinner would already be ready.”

In sum? Buy stuff online. Especially stuff that saves you time. Not too much at once.

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