First off. Repeat after me. Babies don't needs lots of stuff. Moms like stuff. Babies don't care.
Very new babies have four hobbies:
Needs - as defined by very difficult to survive without.
A place to sleep
We had a crib for the nursery and had the baby nap in his crib but spend the nights beside our bed in a bassinet. I really like the Ikea cribs and I've heard great things about WalMart too. I bought a super adorable bassinet from Land of Nod, but if I had to do it over again I'd be the Halo Bassinet. Since the baby outgrew the bassinet before I was ready to have him sleep in another room, he spent a few months sleeping in his pack n play. If I had the Halo, he'd have outgrown it at the same time that I sent him packing to his nursery. You don't need a pack n play now, but eventually you'll use it as a play pen or a travel crib so it's a good thing to go ahead a pick up.
You'll want a crib mattress. I liked this organic soybean one. You also want a mattress protector
and at least 3 sheet. Your baby will have at least one night where he or she wets and then spits up on the sheets. Oh the fun you have in store.
Register for diapers. I use the pampers sensitives. They aren't the cheapest out there, but they work well and they keep Z from having rash issues. Also, they have a fun line that lets you know when he's wet. Many diapers are adapting the pee line. You'll also want some sort of diaper rash cream.
Possibly on the bubble (no pun intended) of nice to have as you could wash the baby in the sink, but a tub is so much easier. I love my FisherPrice whale tub. When the baby is new, he will not need toys, but a comfy bath towel and massage lotion would be good. And, of course you need soaps.
So, this is a a place where you can really go high or low. Babies do care about comfort and some parents care about fashion. If you have a summer baby, you only need oneies. Although, I suggest some rompers. These are awesome. My summer new born lived in these and pajamas. Carters is ubiquitous for baby clothes but I also like Gymboree, Next and Target for baby clothes. Don't buy Carters at Target as it's probably cheaper at the Carter's store or site. Gerber is okay. I would say have
I would say to get these in newborn AND 0-3 month sizes. But leave the tags on most of them. Your baby could be able to wear the newborn stuff (and I feel badly for you).
- 7 pajamas. Babies can stay in pajamas all day if you want. I'd get some extra pajamas if you plan to do this. Try to get the jammas that have fold over hands so that you don't have to always break out the scratch mittens.
- 7 rompers (shorts for summer, long for winter). Substitute onsies if you want.
- 2 or more hats for summer babies. 4 or more for winter ones. I love baby hats. Extra points if they have ears.
- 2 pairs of pants (pants are the devil, I like rompers better, but some times it's good to have).
- 5 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of scratch mittens
- 2 seasonal sweaters or jackets
- Do not get shirts that don't button under their diaper. It pulls up too much and is annoying.
- 1 or 2 Buntings. These are like full body coats. Do not put a bunting on if the baby is in a car seat, bring it along with you if you must. This is good if the baby is in a stroller. I got this football one. But there's nothing cuter than a baby with ears on a hat. We had a thinner one that was a hammy-down.
- Car seat and stroller muff aka Bundle Me. These go over the car seats or strollers acting like a blanket with elastic.
Car Seat and Stroller
You can either get an infant car seat which will last 6-12 months depending on the weight limits and how big your baby is, or you can go ahead and get a convertible car seat which you can use from birth through to Kindergarten. Personally, I got a Graco infant car seat. It's convenient to lug the baby around in the car sear. You can snap the car seat from the car and into a stroller and avoid waking a sleeping baby. I just got a frame for the car seat and then another stroller when he got a bit older. Lots of strollers have adapters to allow you to snap a car sear on. If I had it to pick this moment I would get the Armadillo Flip (it wasn't out when I had to pick so I got the smaller Armadillo City which doesn't take a car seat so also had a stroller frame). I won't go into the pros-and-cons of strollers as a thousand people have already done this.
Babies spit up a lot when they are new. By far my favorite were the curved burpy bibs by Aden + Anais. They fit perfectly over the shoulder and also can be used as bibs once the baby is a little older.
First off, it is not safe to put a baby to bed with a blanket loosely around them. You need to either go without a blanket, swaddle the baby or use some sort of wearable blanket, which I like to call baby straight jackets. We had 4 or 5 various styles of wearable blankets and around 10 regular blankets. By far my favorite blankets were the Aden + Anais. Heads up, take one each time you go to the doctor because they make you hang out in the room with the baby in just a diaper.
Sling or Carrier
I consider this a very important item. Sometimes this was the only thing that would calm Zander down during the "witching hour". When he was brand new I used the k'tan and the bjorn, but that was a hammy-down. I really like the Ergo 360 and would have gotten it if I didn't already have the bjorn. Once again, I like what I have, but many people have spent lots of time going over the pros-and-cons of different options.
Feeding and milk storage
If you plan to breastfeed you won't need bottles until later. I would rent a hospital grade pump for the first two or three months then buy a portable pump if you plan to go back to work. But start with the hospital one from day 1. After the baby nurses, pump for 10 or 20 more minutes. If your milk hasn't come in you will pump for ages to get a mL. Feed this to the baby. You are encouraging your milk to come in. Once your milk has come in, save this to freeze so that you can build up a freezer stash. I used the Medela freezer bags ones first, but didn't like them as much as the Lanolish ones. I got a couple of milk organizers which I love for organizing my freezer stash.
If you go the formula route, you'll need some bottles right away.
Nice to have - this will make your life easierSnug-a-monkey Sleeper - I had this in the main room and the baby napped in it.
Some babies like swings. Z hated them.
Wubby Monkey - Cute pacifier.
Paci-clip to help keep the pacifier near by. Don't let them sleep with this.
Milk inducing tea. I love the taste of the Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid tea.
Diaper Genie - I hear a lot of differences in opinion on this one. For us, we needed a trash can in the nursery. Extra poopy diapers will stink it up like anything else, but it does help to contain the smells more than a normal trash can. Of course, you'll also need the special liners. So, if you don't need an extra trash can, don't bother.
Play Gym for tummy time. I love this one that turns into a ball pit eventually.
I wouldn't bother yet, but would get eventually
Non-Swaddle Wearable Blanket
When they are new you want the swaddle/stright-jacket ones. But once they can roll at 4ish months (but 13 weeks for little Z), they need their arms free at night. I like the lightweight Aden + Anais ones for summer babies, but also have these with pseudo-sleeves which I like a lot.
Sophie the Giraffe - all babies love this little squeaky toy.
Bath toys. Bath is super fun time for babies.
Other toys. Your newborn really isn't going to care about toys yet.
You won't need these until the baby is 6 months old, but they do make good registry items. You'll want spoons, lots of bibs (sleeved bibs are great for self-feeders) and bowls. Freezer containers are great for if you plan to make your own baby food, but this is optional. You can also just use ice cube trays. I gave you links to all my favorites.