Babies grow very quickly. And as they grow, so do the sizes of the onesies, dungarees, pinafores, dresses, jeans, and what-have-yous. Believe it or not but you could be shopping each month for new baby clothes in order to keep up. Aside from that there are also other items to take care of such as prams, room furniture, bathing essentials, and toys.
Shopping is not difficult. It is as straightforward as going to the store, picking what you want, and paying for the item. Online shopping is just as easy, if not easier, as it can be done within the confines of your home. BUT. And this is a big BUT. As an expat AND a new mama, this baby checklist of things can be dizzying especially with the added challenge of figuring out the sizes and wie die Sache auf Deutsch heißt. I’ve gone down this road (and still on it!) and totally get how it is overwhelming. Between nursing and caring for your screaming bundle of joy, making sure that the house is reasonably clean, and managing the ups and downs that come with the fluctuating hormones, the last thing on your mind is to rack your brain figuring out what the German words stand for. Let alone find the right translation for what you have in your mind.
As with many things, key to survival is patience and dogged persistence. So, dear new Mama, it will get better. And soon, you will also discover that zum Einkaufen in Deutschland macht Spaß.
Helpful Baby Keywords auf Deutsch and What They Mean
First things first: DIE DEUTSCHEN WÖRTER. Whether shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store, you need to know what to look for. Here are a handful of German words to get you started:
- Body/Unterhemd – onesie
- Baumwolle – cotton. To avoid any skin reactions, it is wise to check whether the clothes, blankets, and covers are 100% Baumwolle.
- Latzhose – dungaree
- Hose – pants
- Mützchen – bonnet
- Babydecke – baby blanket
- Spielbogen – playmat
- Kinderwagen Fußsack – literally a foot sack inserted in the pram where you can place the baby in to keep it warm and cozy. You can choose from Ganzjahreszeiten (all year round), Sommer, or Winter.
- Lätzchen – bib
- Babywippe – baby rocker
- Schnüller – pacifier
- Spielzeug – literally play things = toys
- Spucktuch – literally spitting towel = burp cloth
Where to get Baby Stuff Online
Online shops really helped me get through the first few weeks postpartum. This is in no way a comprehensive list of everything out there but these are shops I frequent to get baby items.
Amazon has an inventory of anything you could possibly think of buying. It has a wide array of options that cater to different buying capacities and preference. If you know exactly what you are looking for, then Amazon is your friend. Delivery time differs per Amazon membership level and where the item is being shipped from.
I love this online shop. Even if there is a significantly less number of brands to choose from, I like its friendly user interface where items are organized per category. For a first-time mom, die nicht so viel deutsche Wörter kennt, the images provided per category are very helpful. There are also individualized filters that are relevant for the category selected. Apart from that, the site helps expand the vocabulary with the short descriptions and customer feedback. Most of all, their pricing can be a few euros less than Amazon’s. Delivery is usually within one to two working days.
- Facebook Marketplace
This is an unexpected addition to the list but I have used this several times before and my experience had been good. You can buy pre-loved items on this platform. Let’s face it, you don’t need to buy new things all the time. Some sellers have used the item only a couple of times and don’t have strong signs of wear. For this to work, you need to be able to write and understand German to transact better and to understand the item descriptions.
Brick-and-Mortar Stores for Baby Stuff
There are certain things that are best bought on brick-and-mortar stores. I’m talking about clothes, bonnets, and shoes. While online shopping is convenient, the photos and descriptions still could not convey the real-life quality and texture of the material. Here are some of the stores I visit:
- C&A – reasonably priced, many 100% Baumwolle baby items.
- DM – they have a small selection of baby clothing that are also 100% Baumwolle.
- H&M – reasonably priced, has nice dungarees for babies and soft pajamas.
- TKMaxx – reasonably priced. Many interesting brands that you don’t find anywhere. There are also baby stuff organizers, interesting toys, and books that you don’t easily find.
- Sergeant Major – quite pricey but they have well-made clothes for babies. Sizes run small so be sure to check the equivalents. Watch out for their sales because they sometimes slash off 50% from select items.
Again, this listing is based on what I have tried so far and would confidently recommend to any new mama looking for baby things. What other shops are worth trying? Let me know!