There was so much stuff ! I found that I was more comfortable looking online for reviews and good deals rather than a huge store with rather uninformed and disinterested salespersons. So to all you new moms/ new aunties here is my list of top baby things ranging from the most essential-cant-live-without to the nice to have but not reeeeaaally needed.
1. A safe, sturdy, yet doesn't-weigh-a-ton car seat and stroller: You can't leave the hospital without a car seat so this is one of the first things you should have ready, and installed properly. Travel systems or combos of car seat + stroller often are better deals than buying each individually. We bought one that was highest rated for safety on consumer reports but is a pain to lug around because it is so heavy (gracco quattro) I wish we had got the Metrolite instead:
2. A nursing pillow: The first few weeks (months for me) of nursing can be really really challenging, and a nursing pillow really helps! I had neck and back pain for weeks before a cousin recommended this goofy looking pillow which I now use to prop up jelly bean up on our couch during the day. His "arm chair" I call it.
3. A Crib or Packnplay: Even if you are planning to co-sleep with baby in your own bed (which I do since it's much more convenient to nurse in the night) it's really nice to have a safe place to lay baby, especially in those first few months when baby is so small and fragile and you are terrified of rolling over him or her in your sleep. I lost many sleepless nights until my sister-in-law sent us a Graco pack-n-play in Cabo which is great because it is lightweight and portable and can be easily rolled from room to room, and converts into a play yard when baby is older. I couldnt find the cabo model online now, I liked it because it has a "stages" mode, where the mattress can be lowered to accomodate growing baby. Packnplays also come with all sorts of fancy things like bassinet and changing table etc. which I don't think you really need. Try and get hold of the Cabo model at your babiesrus if you can.
The Co-sleeper is also something I explored, since it attaches to the side of your bed so its very easy to slide baby from your bed into it. Didn't work for us since our bed was too high.
4. Avent Bottles with Microwave Sterilizer:Even if you are planning to nurse, having some bottles and formula on hand is a good idea.We tried various bottles before my awesome sister-in-law sent us these. They have a nature replicating 'slow flow" which is important for a new born, we found they didn't cause gas like other bottles which made baby suck in more air, and best of all they are easy to sterilize. Two times, random women- one at the mall the other a waitress, who saw me using these bottles have actually come up to me to tell me how great they found these bottles too! I too highly HIGHLY recommend them. The only quirk is that when shaking them with formula, just be sure to hold the lid down with your thumb so that you don't spray your self with leaking liquid.
5. A baby tub: Technically you can bathe baby in your sink or in a basin, but this tub really makes bath time with a squirmy, slippery baby s lot more hassel free. I love this tub since it has a safety "bump" to prevent infants from sliding into the deeper part of the tub. Not that you need me telling you, still remember to NEVER leave baby unattended in the tub for even a minute! It helps to have everything ready before bath time so you dont feel the need to run and get something while baby is in the tub.
6. Daily essentials: You should have a bunch of diapers since babies go through about 10 a day especially in the first few months. Yes poor you . Get pappa on diaper duty if you can! Jellybean uses the Pampers Swaddlers though I've read reviews where the newer version of these with "dry max" technology has caused lots of babies to get diaper rashes. We haven't had problems so far but I still prefer to get the original ones if I can find it. I've heard that the Luvs Diapers brand also from the Pampers stable is a good, lesser cost option. Once you know the brand your baby suits, getting them in extra large cases from amazon.com or diapers.com is a good idea.
Oh and after rashes and Tylenol recalls I shun Jhonson & Jhonson products like the plague. Jellybean likes Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo which many mommies recommend.
7. Cotton front open, snap button shirts and long onesies & mittens: Do yourself and baby a favor and don't get rompers and t-shirts with small necks and frilly and itchy clothes for your baby.They may look cute but you'll be changing baby several times a day with spit ups and diaper blowouts and onesies are the easiest to wear, comfortable and since it is one piece, that's one item less to wash and fold! also don't forget mittens! babies have surprisingly sharp nails and could hurt themselves or you!
8. Nursing Pump: This is great especially in the first few weeks while you and baby are getting used to nursing. Can be a lot less frustrating than waiting for baby to latch on properly and be awake long enough to get a proper feed. Essential absolutely if you are planning on getting back to work and want to continue working.
9. Nice to have- Moby wrap: I'd heard a lot about this but was skeptical about a long piece of cloth to hold my baby. Would it be secure enough? Would I be comfortable looking like a crazy hippy/ tribal woman? Well it is a little fussy to put on but it really helped me soothe poor Jelly bean during his colicky days when he wanted to be carried around all the time. No poky buckles and it comes in many pretty colours too!Good for running errands so that you have your hands free too. Lots of moms swear by it.
10.Nice to have-baby entertainers: In a few months you'll be watching your little one like a hawk waiting to see signs of your little one qualifying for the baby olympics with turning over and crawling and other fantastic feats. Jelly bean spends tummy time on his baby gym gifted to him by his sweetest aunt C, and he likes to bat at all the overhanging toys with a double windmill arm-action.
Swings are good to entertain and rock baby to sleep.Preferably one with a plug in option so that you don't spend a small fortune on batteries! This one lasts till toddler hood so its a really good option.