Shopping for babies is the best. It doesn’t matter if you are selecting items for an on-the-way bundle of joy or a new arrival – it is incredibly fun. For the most part, this is because baby stuff is pretty cute. And, these days, there is more to choose than ever before.

If you aren’t careful, though, you may end up getting carried away. In turn, you will have to deal with a bunch of expensive baby items that aren’t all that useful to you. In case you want to make sure that your baby shopping expeditions are budget-friendly and functional, here are the tips to follow:

Don’t Buy in Bulk

Unless you are stocking up on formula or diapers, avoid buying items in bulk for your little one. This is especially true when shopping around for clothes. Did you know that within the first six months of your baby’s life that he or she can grow up to an inch a month? Not to mention, they can gain between 5 and 7 ounces a week.

This means that your baby is going to outgrow most of his or her clothes and shoes rather quickly. So, you will not be able to use what you buy for very long. So, just buy a few items and try to look for hand-me-downs for the rest. You will save a considerable amount of money with this tactic.

On a similar note, don’t shop in advance for your baby either. Every baby will develop at a different rate and it can be difficult to predict a growth spurt or how much your little one will grow. So, wait until you have a clearer idea of just what size your little one is going to wear before going shopping.

Conduct Your Own Research

As mentioned, there are more baby products than there were ever before. And, to top things off, there are now more influencers, celebrities, and “experts” pushing these items as well. Due to this, it can be tricky to figure out what your baby actually needs and then to find the most suitable item for them.

For instance, do you have any idea what you should be looking for if you were looking for the best baby bottles for your little one? It is more than picking out a well-known or reputable brand. You have to pay attention to the bottle materials, what size the bottle is, and what nipple accompanies it as well.

This argument can be tacked onto any baby item that you wish to buy. So, go ahead and check out the science behind materials, designs, and other factors of any baby product. Read up on reviews that aren’t based on sponsorships or influencers. You will then find it easier to make a more informed decision for you and your baby.

Make a List, Check It Twice

Let’s face it, unless the baby items that you are looking for can be found in a grocery store, you aren’t going to make a list. This is because half the fun involves wandering around baby stores, taking in all the cute items that are there. Unfortunately, this comes with a hitch. The more that you walk around aimlessly, the more likely that you are to come away with things that you don’t need.

This is why it is important to make a list before you go shopping. Make sure to start with the essentials. Now, if your baby is a few months old, then you will have some of the basics such as crib, linen, clothes, etc. Thus, it is just a matter of buying things that you need for your baby at this age. The key word here is: need.

Once you have checked off the items on your list, you can give yourself permission to buy one or two novelty items. Remember not to go overboard, though, as there is a good chance that you will find yourself needing to give away those items in a short while.

Beware of Over-Gendering

If this is your last baby, then there isn’t any harm in buying traditional colors and designs for that gender. However, if it is your first child or if you are planning on having more kids, you may want to avoid buying too many items that are specific to one gender.

If you are intent on having more children, all the clothes that you buy now will eventually become hand-me-downs. And, since you can’t predict whether your next baby will be a boy or a girl, it is best to err on the side of caution. This way, you can re-use the clothes without any hassle.

In case you would like to buy some items that are very girly or boyish, opt for accessories instead. You can still make a gender statement through bows, hats, etc. and not waste your money.

These are the top tips that you should pay attention to the next time that you buy baby items. Stick with these and you will be able to make better choices and save some money in the long run.