I made this list a while ago for a friend and thought I would share it here, of course everyone's experiences are different and babies are different. Please add anything you would like - the more the better!
“The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy” great book! Super fun and tells you the yucky part!
Great tip for hospital – take depends, I wish I had known that! Take loose clothes that are comfortable for you. Take make up because you won’t feel so fresh for pics after having a baby! If the nurses offer to take the baby to the nursery so you can get a couple of hours of sleep – do it! You won’t end up reading magazines or books or watching DVDs It is a personal decision but when your doctor offers you pain medication after delivery I would recommend taking it, you can be a better mom and more patient if you are not in terrible pain!
Newborn clothes: we had a ton of 0 to 3 months clothes and never thought that at 8lbs 3oz he would be too small for them! So take some newborn clothes and be prepared with some small clothes, take different sizes to the hospital. Don’t buy too many baby clothes since you will get a ton as gifts!
Diapers – we found Pampers swaddlers to be the best, no diaper rash, Target has the best prices here.
Rocker – a must have! We got the Shermag Oak glider at Babiesrus and we love it
Diaper bag – make sure you get one with lots of compartments and pockets to keep things from going all over the place, get something neutral that your husband won’t mind carrying!
Sleeping – our baby used to get awaken by moving his arms too much, they say babies don’t know it is a part of them and get startled, we would hold his arms together by his chest and he would calm down and go back to sleep.
Burping – we also would sit him on our lap and hold his chin with one hand and pat him with the other, that position worked better sometimes. It is better to try and burp them than to have them have gas…
A great nursing top was glamourmom’s, very discreet.
Aimee Nursing gowns – are great and comfortable with some support.
Changing pad for traveling – get the biggest one you can find, they grow fast and most are too small!
Disposable changing pads by Munchkin – great big size for changing in yucky places like airplanes.
Hand sanitizer – you want to avoid getting a cold when pregnant or having your newborn get a cold, I used it everywhere and did not touch my face with dirty hands and used those when touching shopping carts, I never got a cold while pregnant and our boy only got a cold at 8 months! Also don’t be shy about telling people to stay away from you when they are sick!
Thermometer – we got the fancy ear thermometer only to find out it doesn’t work on newborns so you have to get the digital rectal thermometer and the hospital gave us some clear gel.
Hats – great for newborns but they are hard to fit and stay on, the ones that are long with a little knot on top stayed on better.
Nose bulb – great for colds since they can’t blow their nose
Temperature – I found it very hard to gauge temperature and how much clothes to put on him, the rule I found best is one layer more than you (thin layer). I kept the house around 70 but you don’t want to heat it up too much because then it gets too dry for them.
Boppy pillow – a must for breastfeeding and rocking the baby, get different covers so you can always have one clean.
Blankets – have some thin blankets on hand also, learn to swaddle, it really calms them down.
Burpy/mouth cloths – you cannot have enough of these with the amount of spitting up they do, go for nice soft ones and at least 6” to 8” square, some can be like sandpaper.
Bibs – I thought bibs were only for when they ate, but having a bib on a baby sometimes saves you from changing outfits 5 times in a row from spit up.
Crib – Make sure you read all the recalls and they are saying that drop cribs are not that great now. Don’t rush on the crib, chances are you will end up using a bassinet or co-sleeper or your bed for a while!
Baby clothes – size means nothing, I organized the closet by size and found out the bigger sizes did not fit 0 to 3 mos can be bigger than 6-9 mos!
Desitin – you can buy big tubes at Costco, cured red buns so quickly!
Washcloths – we only needed a couple, used the rest for burp cloths
Baby bathtub – we had a hard time with those, find something that keeps baby upright and secure, they are so slippery! We got the Safety first one with a recliner thing, worked ok, in hindsight I would have gotten a small bathtub already inclined.
Baby Trend Diaper Champ – great disposal system, you can use regular trash bags! (Target has them) and they are doggie proof!
Nursery – I found that getting furniture in white was much easier than trying to match different colors or wood stains.
Baby towels – we found them useless and just used regular towels
Baby wipes warmer – we skipped that due to reports of it starting fires
Breathable crib bumper – since because of SIDS they don’t recommend the cute fluffy bumpers, Babiesrus has a mesh one that is breathable “breathable baby” by Trend Lab
Alcohol – for the belly button, our doctor said to soak a cotton ball and drip it on so it would fall faster
Changing tables are great, especially with a curved pad and a safety strap, we also got covers for the pad and on top of it we put small waterproof Boppy pad liners – lifesavers! This way you can change the liners when you have an explosion and not have to change the cover! Also get some waterproof pads (more like cloths), they are great for when you have the baby hanging out on the bed with you and they have an accident or throw up! But make sure you have something like a thin cotton sheet or blanket over them, otherwise it might make them sweat too much just laying on the waterproof mat. Keep everything tight.
Bottles – buy BPA free, same for pacifiers. We made the mistake of only offering too few bottles with breastmilk and he got opinionated and refused to take a bottle, so I would introduce a bottle after he/she is 6 weeks old and then do a bottle a few times a week so he/she does not refuse it later. Slow flow in the beginning otherwise they might not want the breast.
Car seat – we use the Radian XT by Sunshine kids that came highly recommended by a lady who trains CHP officers in car seat safety, good for infants up to toddlers, when they are very little the travel system by Graco with a carrier and bases and it worked great.
Baby shoes – cute but also not practical, I read that it is best to wait until they are walking to use shoes or it could deform their feet. We used the leather ones from Target when he started crawling and standing up but always barefoot at home.
Plastic interlocking rings – hours of fun for young baby!
High contrast baby books – black on white, he has loved books since one month old with John reading them to him.
Swing – he used to fall asleep in it and loved it
Activity mat or tummy time mat – keeps them busy when they can’t move around too much and helps with tummy time, something he hated.
Fisher Price aquarium mobile – the only thing that saved us when changing diapers! Since he would stare at the fish, made it easier!
Costco wipes – buy in bulk, you will need tons of wipes
Swallowing things – as a rule if it fits in a toilet paper roll, they can choke on it
Sleep and plays – great for colder weather since you get all those cute onesies but they don’t really work, so Gerber and Target have 3 packs for around $10, that are great jumpers with feet. We found some Costco’s sell Carter’s jumpers for cheap.
Newborn socks and mitts – mitts and socks don’t stay on and are a pain even if they are very cute, outfits that have a sleeve that can turn into a mitt are much better. We never used the little socks!
Sleep sacks – are wonderful because of all the diaper changes in the middle of the night and fussing with snaps most also have a sleeve that turns into a mitt You can also buy blanket sacks.
Moby wrap: http://www.mobywrap.com/
great for newborns up to toddlers
Baby Bjorn: the best carrier!
Medela Pump in style with hands free bra (I would not buy one until you are sure you will breastfeed or have milk) Cheapest place to buy by far: http://www.addalittlelove.com/
Gel pads for sore nipples – hydrogel pads - oooooh the relief!
Breastfeeding – it is wonderful and it can hurt like heck! But it does get much easier! Also our nurses said to have him latch right in the center. We went to a lactation consultant after I had so many issues with it hurting and she showed me to bring him to the nipple not the other way around, wait until he opened his mouth VERY wide like a yawn and actually have him take in more of the lower part of the areola then the upper part – voila! It was much better after that! I also found that after a c-section, it was easier to feed him while having him lay down next to me or the “football” hold.
Avent comfort Breast shell – this is great if you have sore nipples or engorgement
Disposable breast pads – great for going out but not for home, Lansinoh are the thinnest and best that I found
Cotton reusable breast pads – better for home since cotton is breathable, cuts down risk of yeast infection.
Bumbo seat – great for that in between stage where they don’t sit yet but don’t want to lay down at about 5 months
Jumperoo – rainforest or baby Einstein – highly recommended, very fun for when they are 4 mos plus and can hold their head very steady
Arm’s reach co-sleeper – great size, fits next to bed, can lower one side, large enough to last more than 2 mos. I think we used it until he could pull himself up at 5 mos
Babe safe mattress cover - http://www.thediaperlady.com/BabeSafe.htm helps prevent SIDS but encapsulating the mattress in a plastic bag made with non toxic gas emitting materials
Fan in the room – studies show it cuts down SIDS by 70% by circulating air
Warm mist humidifier – while baby is not mobile, a warm mist humidifier provides more humidity, since they don’t produce much mucus early on. After they are mobile it needs to be a cool mist humidifier but we found that the warm mist releases much more moisture
Foam tiles are great for when they start sitting and can play without hurting themselves if they lose balance
Water pals swim diapers by Finis – best swim diaper, reusable, much better than disposables, easy to clean
Nightlight – most nightlights are fine when they are not mobile but once they are, they can pull it apart and the tiny bulbs are dangerous, if you get one now, get one that is baby proof and will not come apart.
Honey – babies should not have honey until after one year.
Ask for a stool softener after delivery, trust me!