I am preparing my registry and I am just overwhelmed. I think it is a combination of trying to be practical and the fact that this is not our first child so some of the "Shiny toy" appeal is gone. However, I don't have any baby items left.
So I reach out to you my fellow sisters! Tell me, what was the one item that you had to have for your baby and why?
y favourite was my Snugli. I could get so much done because it allowed me to be hands free. For my last baby, I ditched the high chair and bought a booster seat with a detachable tray. It was great because I could take it anywhere, even to a restaurant. It was also very easy to clean.
Stroller with a carry cot. I honestly used my stroller in the house a lot, I would wheel the Screaming Diva from room to room. I could cook, clean, exercise. I had 4 bouncers, never used any of them, all end up being donated.
I loved my slings. Go figure I used my slings when out and out and the stroller at home, lol. One of my other favorite things was our Sorrelle Dondola cradle, LOVE this. It has a higher weight capacity than a bassinette, it glides like a rocker and can fit through the doorways. I used it in my room for 9 months b'c Screaming Diva had bad reflux. Now the girls use it for their doll bed.
Congratulations and hope you have an easy pregnancy!
Reading everyone's great suggestions, I'm realizing that every child is different. I would recommend you don't spend huge money before the baby gets here, and buy as you go along. I ended up with a baby that hated any kind of swing and breastfeeding was so easy (and I was a stay at home mom), I didn't use my (expensive) breat pump. I think that the bucket car seat that snaps easily into a base in the car and the stroller is a must, so that you don't wake the baby every time you get in and out of the car. I was very happy with my P3 by Peg Perego. My daughter even slept in her carseat next to my bed early on, because it was the only thing that relaxed her, besides me holding her (and I had to sleep every once in a while). :) When she turned 1, we had to move up to a larger carseat, but at 3, she still rides in the Peg Perego stroller just fine.
When they are infants, I love the board books by Sandra Boynton. They rhyme well and you can kind of them sing the books to your baby, which they all seem to love!
My advice would be to make sure you have diapers, wipes, a car seat and clothes; you need a place for baby to sleep and a stroller that holds the car seat but isn't so big and bulky that you cannot comfortably maneuver it in and out of your vehicle. If you'll be breast feeding, a good hand pump (Avent Isis was perfect for me), nursing bras (avoid underwires) and good breast pads (Lansinoh disposables hold like a gallon of milk before they leak) are a must.
Things like a bouncy, a swing and a sling are sooo dependent on your baby's personality. My first hated her swing, my second slept in hers. My first nursed to sleep really easily, my second took two hours to nurse down. My first hated being in a baby carrier, my second was in a wrap, pouch or mei tai almost all. day. long. Etc, etc.
With my first, my best items were the stroller, the car seat and clothes. With the second, I ended up borrowing a swing and a Miracle Blanket so I could get her to sleep, and my Gypsy Mama wrap, Hotsling pouch and BabyHawk mei tai so *far* more use than a crib or stroller ever did :)
Rocking chair! I can't tell you how many times I fell asleep rocking my daughter to sleep each night, plus she had colic. And a baby monitor. I was able to go outside and do yardwork or relax in my backyard while watching her on the monitor.
It's not an immediate need (your kiddo can't use it until he/she can hold his/her head up), but we loved the BUMBO! (http://www.bumbobabyseat.com/) One of my friends told me about - I hadn't heard of it before - but I think you can get it at Target (not just online)...sling or snugli too, my youngest had colic + reflux and putting her in a front-carrier helped a ton...