Well i had my first born last September and am currently due February 7th with my second babe. I've figured out that there are several items that we received that were just not worth the money spent because they either weren't used at all or long enough to justify the money spent. In the early months we used a swing and infant sleeper a LOT because we had the baby in our room to sleep. Clothes of course are a must have! We loved that we were so stocked up on warm and light footed jammies. I breast fed my first until she was just done nursing and I'm also a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and can tell you that having a Boppy Pillow or nursing pillow makes a huge difference in comfortably while nursing. A handful of bottles for when baby is a month old or so and you start pumping (if you choose to do so). We used Avent brand bottles and binkis because of the natural shape and anti-colic nipples. Cloth breast pads and milk storage containers are great things to have as well as maybe a decent breast pump, definitely some Lanolin nipple cream, and some comfortable nursing bras and shirts. You may also desire a nursing cover for when you go out with baby.
I strongly recommend an Owlet Baby monitor. They're expensive, but so worth it. It monitors your baby's heart beat & oyxigen levels and sounds alarms of your baby is in distress.
I recommend this because my cousin just lost her 5 month old to AIDS. Had she had an Owlet on his foot, she would have known and he would still be alive.
The loss of a child is never an easy thing to think of and you NEVER think it will happen to you, but it happened to my family and one of the best mother's I know.
Thank you so much for your input! I found that with my first we didn't use a lot of things that we received at the baby shower and ended up having to buy a lot of items! And I have been going back and forth about a lot of things because we didn't use HALF of what was bought!
I'm pregnant with my 4th. Staples I've used for every one are: good stroller, bouncy seat, swaddlers and blankets, structured baby carrier, angel care or owlette monitor. My oldest 2 couldnt have survived without a swing and excersaucer... my daughter hated both. We never used our cradle or bassinet. We had a playpen for each though. They didnt sleep in a crib until they were at least 6 months old.