Ok, so I'm going to start with a couple of things you need. And y'all know what #1 is going to be right?
#1 must have for new parents- Cloth Diapers! Seriously now, if you didn't see that one coming... But really- I've said this before, and I'll say it again. And again. And again. Cloth is EASY, Saves you money, keeps nasty chemicals away from your sweet babe's bum, and they are just so darn cute! My favorite of all favorites right now happens to be Thirsties Cloth Diapers AIO (that means All in One if you're new to cloth). I'll tell you why I love them because this will be a good jumping off point, and then you can look through some of my older posts about cloth diapering like this one or this one, or even this one here. There are quite a few. Take a look around! Anywhoo- Thirsties Diapers makes a few different styles of diapers, but my favorite by far (and even favorite out of anything right now) is their Duo All in One Diaper. It's only about $15 a diaper, two sized for a great fit, and it's nice and absorbent. Also, it's my opinion that Thirsties has some of the best colors around on their diapers, and there are so many color options and prints to choose from.
#2 must have for new parents- a co-sleeper of some sort. With E we used a Rock 'n Play Sleeper, which worked great, but I think with baby #2 (whenever they decide to come into existence) we will get an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper since babe #2 will be sharing our room longer than E did as we are currently living in only a 2 bedroom house. Either way, having a safe and easy way to keep baby right next to you in those first 3-5 months will be a sleep-saver. Trust me on that one. You don't want to be getting out of bed, leaving your room, feeding your baby in a chair for an hour, then dragging your tired feet back into bed a million times a night. With a co-sleeper you can just reach over and bring your baby into bed to nurse. So. Nice.
#3 must have for new parents- This one's for the moms. A really good, supportive nursing pillow. Especially if you are big chested like I am. I had a Boppy with E, but I always needed a pillow under it. It was a little bit of a head ache. Spend the extra money, and go with something like the Balboa Baby Nursing Pillow. That extra support and firmness can make a big difference in how comfortable you are when nursing your baby.
So now let's get to the things that you really could live without. So save your money. Babies are expensive enough, right?
#1 thing I wish we hadn't registered for- a travel system. Yup. HUGE waste of money in my opinion, and here's why... when E was a tiny little baby I personally preferred to wear her. She preferred it too. There were times when a stroller came in handy at first, but we just didn't use our travel system stroller much in those first months. Now that E is older, we go on more walks, but I quickly found that the small hard wheels of the travel system stroller just wasn't going to cut it here in Kansas City. The sidewalks are awful. And they're definitely not made for trail walking. oi. So I bought a BOB jogging stroller, and I LOVE it. Now I really don't see when I will use the stroller that came with our travel system.
What I should have done was this- buy a nice and safe infant car seat. Buy a stroller frame that I could have just clicked the carseat into. Then bought a BOB. Had I done that, I wouldn't be sitting here trying to figure out what the heck to do with my travel system stroller. Lesson learned.
#2 thing I wish we hadn't registered for- a Bumbo. I thought I would love that thing, but man, I think I used it a maximum of ten times, and now it's just taking up space in my daughter's room while I try to think of where to store it. Seriously. They're cute, and it seems like a great idea, but E never seemed comfortable in it. I would say you can skip it.
#3 thing I wish we hadn't registered for- all those little odds and ends. You know what I'm talking about. The cute little gadgets, the toys, the socks. All that stuff that will clutter up your baby's room and look cute, but never actually make your life easier. The little bath ducky that is supposed to tell you if your baby's bath water is too hot (it doesn't really work), the stuff that companies will market to you because they know you're nervous because you've never had a baby before. Trust your instincts, and save your money.
I could go on and on and on with stuff you need and don't need. So before you go and register, poll your mom friends, ask your sisters and your brothers what they found helpful and what they didn't. Go buy yourself some Cloth Diapers, and ditch the useless gadgets. After all, you know what the Beatles said- "All you need is love!"
And a bassinet.