Buying baby items prior to birth

May one buy items for a baby before he or she is born?

Yes. There is no prohibition recorded against doing so. Nevertheless, some have the custom to abstain from doing so due to Ayin Hara. One who did not receive this tradition is not required to follow this custom and may choose to buy items and ignore the Ayin Hara.[1] Those who received this tradition are to try to abide by it.[2] Some are accustomed to have another person buy the item for them.[3] Others are accustomed to pick out the item and only pay for it after the birth.

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[1] Rav Eliyahu Landa wrote to me that that one may purchase without any worry, and that on this it states “One who is not Makpid -Lo Kapdinan”, and that so is the custom that he witnessed.

[2] This follows the famous ruling of the Rashba that the Minhag of women is holy and is to be abided.  [Heard from Rav Leibal Groner who is of the opinion that one should guard this custom]

[3] Heard from Rav Leibal Groner

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