How to prepare for baby when you don’t know the gender
So you’ve decided you’re going to wait until bubs arrives so you can have that traditional ‘It’s a [insert gender here]!’ moment. Maybe you’re happy about it or maybe you just lost the argument with your partner over the issue. Either way, you have yourself a dilemma – how on earth do you prepare for a baby when you don’t know the gender?
A quick scan of any of baby stores awash with pink and blue will tell you that manufacturers are assuming you asked that all-important question at your 20-week ultrasound!
Don’t panic, you can still make sure you’re prepared without buying double of everything, just in case.
Choose a gender-neutral theme for the nursery
There are some really gorgeous gender-neutral prints out there – jungle scenes with impossibly sweet giraffes and monkeys; circus clowns with brightly-coloured beach balls balancing on the nose of happy seals.
The beauty of this approach is you’ll be able to use the same sheets and sleeping bags for any future little brothers or sisters!
Leave space for pink and blue
It can be as simple as a delaying the purchase of a throw rug to draper over the chair and keep you warm during the midnight feeds; or leaving a space on the wall for a beautiful pink butterfly picture or a montage of dump trucks.
These final touches can easily be added in the days or weeks following the birth of your precious bundle.
Buy gender-neutral coloured baby clothes
Let’s face it, nobody likes lemon. It makes babies look jaundiced even if they’re not. Unless you’ve found a lovely pattern which combines lemon with other colours (crimson or navy make great contrasts), steer clear of pale yellow onesies!
White, green and red are great options, and good for staples like onesies and singlets, but they’re not particularly exciting on their own.
If you’re really looking for something that will really brighten up your baby preparations, consider opting for patterned clothing. The availability of gender-neutral patterned clothing is limited, but you’re certain to find a few lovely items that you can feel proud to bring baby home in.
Delay buying clothes and bedding
Obviously you need to make sure you’ve got something to pop bubs in when he or she is first born, and the last thing you want to be doing is hitting the shops when you get home from hospital!
However, there’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to buy some really pretty pink or handsome blue outfits. What you may not realise is those first few weeks are often such a blur of highs and lows you probably won’t much care what baby is wearing – as long as they don’t cover them in poo and let you get some sleep!
And remember – there’s always online shopping, which you can do from home… on your phone… during the 3am feed if you like!
Gift-free baby shower
Baby showers are great fun, but if your friends and family don’t know the gender of the baby, you may end up with piles and piles of grey and white clothing and wraps that they didn’t really want to buy. You’ll be miserable and so will they.
Consider gently suggesting to your guests that they spend the baby shower having fun with you and celebrating your pregnancy. Point out to them how much more fun they’ll have shopping for your baby when he or she is born – they’ll be able to happily fling their way through racks of frilly pink dresses or robot-encrusted rompers!
Rebecca Bowyer is a Melbourne mum of two preschool boys. You can find her writing about all things parenting at Seeing the Lighter Side.