Some people are 'pantang' (superstistious) - they do not want to prepare clothes, accessories and stuff too early in the pregnancy. Some old folks especially. Something along the lines of '..just in case something bad happens if you do that'. From the practical standpoint, the 1st few months are the more vulnerable period. At the same time, preggy moms will go through the Triple Screen Test (between 15th - 20th week) to signal if further testing should be done, such as Amniocentesis (extracting a sample of amniotic fluid from around the baby between 16th-20th week.) to test for genetic disorder or a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome.
Of course, there is no right or wrong about when to prepare. It is entirely up to you. If you have friends and relatives who can pass baby things to you, all the better. I had no such luck :(
In my case, my preparations did not begin until way after that... until I knew my baby's gender. I am VERY PARTICULAR that baby girls wear pink and boys wear blue. I cannot have baby boys wearing pink or vice versa. When they are little babies, there is no way people will know the gender and most of the time, they tell through the color of their clothings. Of course, I can always opt for neutral colors like white, yellow and green. I like white for babies - so clean and so pure. But I also like to 'color code' my newbies :).
First thing first, I prepared a checklist of things needed for my new baby and for my confinement. There were lots to buy! The checklist proved to be very useful and some of my friends even asked for it.
What was in the check list:
- things needed to buy or prepare for my new baby, for myself during confinement and for my confinement lady
- categorized by 'clothing', 'medicine/food', accessories, furnishing, etc - this will later help me determine when and from where to get them
- determine the quantity required for each item
- figure out which ones to buy (eg. baby bottles, baby clothes), which ones to borrow (eg. breast pump) and which ones to get your friends to give you. At this point, when your friends or colleagues ask you what you want, be truthful. It is better that they get you a useful item than not. Nothing to be shy about. My colleagues gave me an electric sterilizer and baby car seat for Ryan, and baby monitors for both Raymund and Rachel. I use the items till today.
Then the hunting began. I had big time issue towards the end of my pregnancies. My leg cramp would be so bad that I couldn't walk more than 10 feet without resting. So, I had to do all my shopping and hunting way before like during my 5-6th month. The trick here is to wait for promotions and baby fairs. There is really no point in getting too expensive items such as clothes since the baby out grows it very fast. But for certain items like baby bottles/feed accessories and such, I'd go for the better quality ones for health and safety precaution.
If you are interested, here is the checklist which I used when I was pregnant. I have added in some pointers and suggestions. Also indicated some 'pantang' stuff along with some items. Enjoy :)