- a good car seat and stroller. we decided to go with a combo and registered for the Evenflo FlexLite Travel System Santa Fe Sunset. i really like it because the car seat attaches to the stroller and the stroller collapses and fits easily in my trunk. for newborns the car seat latches on and faces you, but you can also use the stroller on its own for a forward facing stroller when they get bigger. my only complaint is that the sun shade is a little flimsy and i wind up using a blanket to shield baby’s eyes. otherwise, i love it.
- a breast pump. i was lucky enough to get the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump On-The-Go Tote and am really impressed with the design. it comes in a little black tote, and has a small cooler bag and ice pack and 4 little bottles for storing expressed milk. i love this thing.
- nipple cream. i like lansinoh but i had no idea what nipple cream could be until my guy picked me up some Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter 60 ml. (2 oz.). it’s a world of difference. it not only hydrates but it soothes as well, it saved my boobies during crazy growth spurt every hour feedings.
- good baby blankets. out of all of the receiving blankets that we got, i love this Gap Favorite Reversible Airplane Baby Blanket – blue galaxy that i found at the thrift store for $1 the most. it is cotton and easy to wash and not too warm, but has a really nice weight to it. it’s also the perfect size for wrapping up a newborn. also the cute little airplanes are old timey looking.
- a bath. we got this cute fisher price whale tub and we love it. you can put it in the kitchen sink or the bathtub, and it has a little ledge for newborn support so that they don’t slip. for bath goodies we received this Burt s Bees gift sets kit and we love it. the lotion smells great, and this is my favorite diaper cream, it’s gentle and smells like eucalyptus.
- a plethora of onesies. of all the cutesy gimmicky printed onesies that we got, nothing beats the plain old gerber variety. as much as babies poop on, pee on and spit up on them, these ones are essential for everyday wear. i especially love the long sleeved ones, they have little hand cuffs in the sleeves to cover those little scratchy nails, and my boy looks especially handsome in the printed stripey ones. i have done amazingly with baby clothes at thrift stores. i regularly find all of the adorable carters, gap and old navy clothes there for around one dollar instead of 7-15 dollars. once you have the baby you realize how quickly they grow out of these little things, and how much it adds up.
- diapers. i am all for cloth diapers, but i couldn’t handle dealing with that on top of colic. hats off to moms that do. we have tried every brand of disposable dipes, but have found that pampers swaddlers are the best of the bunch. while we have the occasional leakage problems, they are far fewer and less severe than with other brands. particularly huggies pure & natural and earth’s best leaked in horrific ways for us. while luv’s “overnight protection” was good at keeping poop from blowing out, we had major pee leakage from them. as for wipes, we like earth’s best chlorine free ones. i find that with the chlorine free wipes my boy pretty much never has diaper rash. with the regular ones he tends to get a rash.
- a wipe warmer. warm wipes are the courteous thing to do! i love this travel one for on the go changes, but for my changing table i got this standard one: babies are us wipe warmer. it has a light, which is great for middle of the night diaper changes. i try to keep my boy sleepy when he is up in the night and the dim light and warm wipes help.
the other essential things are: a swing or rocking seat for baby, a sling or baby wearer, and a sleeper/bassinet or cradle. these will depend totally on what your baby prefers but it’s best with anything to try to start on it right away, and stick with it.