So here is my suggested list:
|SUSAN diaper bag|
from 1154 Lill
breast pump Medela Freestyle. It comes in its own relatively discrete bag (except for the dried milk droplets mine acquired, as one pal pointed out) and hands-free attachments (you can fondly refer to the whole getup as your 'robo-boobs'). If you go with this one, it mates well with the Gerber brand bottles (because you will need more than the 4 it comes with, and the Medela bottles are more expensive). Also you'll probably want breast milk freezer bags and our favorite were the Gerber brand as well.
swaddle blanket: I recommend your favorite pattern of the ones from aden & anais and you probably don't need to register for any other 'swaddle' or 'receiving' blankets, if you ask me.
miracle blanket this may be the exception to the swaddle blanket rule, but we only used it at night (though, thinking back on it, he may have been a better napper if we had used it during the day, too). It looks like a baby straight jacket, but it works like a charm (it was a gift to us from from a family member who also raved about it).
Halo sleepsacks So for when baby outgrows the above (around 4 months) you'll still want him/her to be warm, but loose blankets are not allowed in the crib for a while. Our guy still sleeps in one at 15 months (in fact, any suggestions for transitioning to a blanket, now that its safe?)
|Ergo Baby Carrier|
travel changing pad - we liked this one from First Years which holds everything you need, and we keep it stocked with wipes and a couple disposable diapers (we carry them around, 'just in case' though we primarily use cloth diapers.Tthe wipes and pad are always handy!).
video monitor - any brand is probably fine (we have the Summer Infant), but being able to SEE baby is so helpful, especially when you go the 'cry it out' route, you'll need the reassurance that they are OK. Plus, we've learned, if he's crying and not standing up, he'll likely go back to sleep. Once standing, nap is officially OVER.
car seat (+Snap n Go stroller) - All new car seats on the market pass crash test requirements, so this is mostly about style and budget, in my opinion. If you have the funds, go as crazy as you want. You definitely want the kind where the carrier can snap out of a base (which means you'll have to upgrade to a stationary one at a certain age/height/weight - around a year or so, and then to a booster seat even later - like 3 or 4). We went with the Chicco because it came in orange (the color of our alma mater). Also we got the matching stroller, but I wish we hadn't. It is cheaper and equally as functional, in my opinion, to get a Snap n Go that the carrier can fit into. When baby has outgrown the carrier they are officially big enough for an umbrella stroller, so spend your extra money on a more stylish, souped up one of those.
|First Years travel changing pad + wipes case|
diapers (disposable and/or cloth) we didn't do cloth until our son was about 3 months old. I think it is one less thing to have to master in the first few weeks (not to mention that even one-size cloth diapers are too big for newborns, so you'll need a different size for the new one) so you'll probably want some size N and 1's at least. Pampers brand (we tried an off-brand and they were awful). I have to say that cloth diapers actually held in big messes better than disposables, so that is reason enough to use them, as many times as I was pooped on...
crib bedding At least sheets, 2-3 of them, the bumper isn't necessary, but is usually the cutest part of the set, though you don't use it very long. Maybe a crib skirt? The other parts in a set (including pillows) are really suffocation hazards until after baby can roll over, and has good head control.
crib mattress This and bedding is pretty standard size, so I don't think you have to pick a crib first, and surprisingly they don't usually come with the crib.
car seat mirror so you can see him from the front seat, since he'll be rear facing for a while?
changing pad and covers You know, those curved foam pads you'll keep on the changing table in the nursery? The covers are like sheets for those... you'll probably want 2-3 covers.
umbrella stroller as I mentioned above, Umbrella strollers fold down really small, and you can use them without the carseat/carrier as soon as baby has good head control. Baby can't really sleep in one (a toddler may, if you get one that reclines enough... the one we have - doesn't... but it DOES have cupholdlers)
high chair/shopping cart cover if you fear germs, and I would for the tiny ones!
high chair booster seat We have used this one from Fisher Price since his first food. I feel like its economical, and allows our son to sit at the table with us. It travels with us, too.
pack n play/play yard if you have a two-story house, this is nice to keep on the opposite floor as your real crib, for naps. And, of course, this is great for traveling to Grandma's or even just over at a friend's house while you watch a football game. here's one from Chicco, that may match your carseat :)
night lights put them in the nursery, and the bathroom and the hall... for middle of the night navigation. (ones with autosensors)
bottles and nipples Whatever bottles you chose, have the next flow-size up on hand. I never even thought of this until we got to this stage, but once babies get good at feeding, they don't want to wait on it. Bottles usually come with slow flow nipples on them. There's also medium and fast flow, and then you go to sippy cups. We bought the Gerber nipples to go with our Gerber bottles (see above). They aren't fancy, but you need a lot of them, and these are inexpensive, work great, and work with our breast pump directly.
bottle brush for getting those nooks and crannies clean
baby bath tub worth the backache for an inexpensive tub, for countertop baths
baby wash and lotion We have enjoyed Aveeno and Burts Bees
diaper ointment we like the A&D ointment - not cream its more like vaseline than a lotion/cream, and is medicated. for cloth diapering we love CJ's BUTTer.
baby wash cloths and towels it's nice to have baby-sized versions of these, and the towels usually have a little pocket for junior's head. its cute, and useful :)
nursing cover Can use to cover up when pumping, too, if you choose. I used one from Bebe Au Lait.
Also add on any favorite books from your childhood. You can start reading to him/her now if you want (like, 'Guess How Much I Love You)! And textured links are the best $3 one will spend (you can attach any toy to the diaper bag, stroller, carrier, or make great toys themselves). Any keepsakes you especially want?
Maybe also a baby book? For recording milestones? We loved this baby tracker for minding our pees, poops and sleeps for the first couple of months home (it was a great gift).
You could think ahead, too, and put some sippy cups and toddler spoons/forks/plates on your registry. Our favorite first sippies are the Born Free, without the 'spill proof' parts in them (we just take them out, which is a shame since that is probably what makes them pricey... but all the other ones leak or are in some other way impractical). But after that, the Take n Toss are most practical, and what they use at daycare.
Have I left off anything essential, Mommas?