Here is my list....remember this is strickly as a mom, not as a health provider person so ask your friends and see what seems like the best fit for you.
The List - turns out I have a lot of opinions after all, surprise? I asked Sam for input and he added a few musts, including pacifiers which I think was more of a dad thing while I nursed but that is very valuable - a secure dad makes a happy secure baby.
I hope all the links work.
Born Free Bottles - I think we had 6 to begin with, but slowly lost them down to 2 which was actually fine - less to keep track of.
5 oz - we never needed more than this, but other babies do, so maybe getting one of each makes sense as start
High Chair - love it and the knock offs are not worth it, the break in no time. This and the stroller are two things that you will get 4+ years out of, it is well worth the price.
Food Mill. I'd say this one over others cause it was the metal part inside that makes it actually mush all foods. We froze food in ice cub trays, but I found that she preferred fresh stuff, so we'd make a few things every few days and keep in glass jars.
Bottle warmer - this Sam insists on and I agree. We did not get it till a few months into the game (Cause I was in denial about needing to bottle feed at first), but it really saves tones of time, still works like new and was cheap. No need for a fancy one.
Drying Rack for Bottles - fun to look at, and useful to dry all things baby/kid.
Stroller - again, this is my pride and joy, but that could just be me. The Bob is a bit smoother, so more sporty, but I can run with this, doing dirty trail hikes, and fit into doors in town etc.
Stroller Sleeping bag thingy. I have both the baby and the toddler version. They work in the car seat too. This matters in cold ass NH, not sure about Olympia.
We had both the Moby and the Ergo. I liked the Moby for the first 2-4 months cause of how close and cuddly it was, and this was really nice for a winter baby. The Ergo has been the best by far, but again, everyone loves the one they have. We went back to the Moby here and there in the first year cause she could be forward facing in it and can't in the ergo. The ergo was her home away from home until she was too heavy to carry at age 4.
Tub - I did not like all the fancy tub things that have "no slip" sections etc. They are bulky, cool down fast, and I could never get the baby into it deep enough to clean it well. This little thing goes into your regular tub which uses more water, but works well.
Lots of friends had this that can be used in the sink or in the tub and they really liked it, plus you can just hang it on the back of your door, so it does not take much space.
I don't think bathing the kids in the early months is that big of a deal, they only need to actually get into the water every week or so to wash hair so I just got in the tub and Sam handed me to her, I did a fast wash and he took her to dry her and I added salts and smells and relaxed.
When she could sit up I got this chair and she could play happily for half hour every night (Starting at 5 months or so when she could almost sit up). She loved in, and still likes it from time to time. I liked it cause it meant I could sit next to the tub and read a book instead of holding and stressing the whole time about her falling in - which is what she did at 14 months when we were on vacation and baths have been a fight ever since.
This is the only soap we've used, hair to butt. It works great to prevent cradle cap cause the oils it has in it. Just scrub on head once a week with your hands/nails or use a brush or comb to make sure you are really getting it into the skin and rinse.
This is the only diaper cream we've ever used. Cause it has calendula, it protects and heals so most of the time we put some on when it was a bit red and by the next diaper change it was gone. It is not cheap, but we've only needed 3 or 4 in her whole life, so well worth it. Out of all the organic hippy dippy things that you choose to do or don't, I feel like lotions/skin care is an area worth spending money on cause it all gets absorbed into their bodies...but that is just me.
For after baths and baby massages, this was our choice of lotion. Again, not cheap, but we even including the night massages that she got or the first year+ (not she is too active), we only used maybe 4-6 of them. Don't buy any of these in too big bulk cause they go bad/rancid after 6-9 months since they don't have all the stabilizing chemicals.
Co-sleeper - I have no idea what your sleeping plans are, but let me tell you my story. I wanted a independent good sleeper, I did NOT want to be a co-sleeping attachment parenter. So I had a crib in the nursery set up and a beautiful family cradle in our room. The first night we brought her up and put her in the cradle, and there was NO way I could have her that far away, so we put her in this fancy in bed co-sleeper thing we had that was a flat piece with sides so we don't roll over her, and we got all tucked in, and she was still too far away. So I cuddled her in next to me and felt happy - there I was, a co-sleeper and in heaven. That last 3 weeks, then I got sick of sleeping on my side and worrying about her location all night, and I also missed sleeping with Sam, but the cradle was still too far away, I could not see her from my bed and this meant I had to get up and down 10 times a night to look at her, so we got this co-sleeper (on craiglist for $100). Again, I was in HEAVEN. I could see her, hear her, keep my hand on her if I wanted, but she had her own little space. When we traveled we brought it with us as the pack and play/crib (and she still just fits in it now, so I would not recommend the mini version since that won't last past 4 months or so). I thought for sure she'd be in it, tucked next to be bed until she was 20. But guess what, at 3months I got sick of hearing her all night. Every time she stirred I'd wake thinking it was time to feed. If she fussed even just a little it woke me up, I found that I was sleeping terribly so close to her, and when I was out early in the AM or gone for a birth she also slept way better - according to Sam. So one night after waking way way too many times, I picked her up, carried her to crib, put her down and slept like a doll - as did she, in her own room. My point of telling you this whole story is not to tell you how to do it, but to show you that there are at least 5 ways to do it, and you'll probably do them all at your own pace and that is what makes perfections. I plan to cuddle with this one as long as I need/want and then use the co-sleeper. I expect both phases will be shorter this time since life will need to go on a little more due to Dylan's presence, but who knows, maybe this baby will want more close time, or want more alone time, and we'll adjust.
The BEST swaddle blankets and work for covering stroller/car seat when sunny. I'd register for 2 of the 4 packs.
A HUGE part of Dylan's wonderful sleep can be attributed to a sound machine. It has also been crucial to good traveling cause new noises don't wake her when this is in the back ground. She is/was super sensitive to noise and this really helps. Even a few weeks ago when I slept over at my sisters she was obsessed with the noises from the people upstairs, and the sounds outside the window. I plunked this down next to hear bed/head and off she went to sleep. I'll gladly share our sleep journey when you are ready - it too is a novel of starting and stopping and learning that has ended with a super duper awesome sleeper.
Sam says yes to monitor, I don't have any suggestions. This is the one we have, we got it from a friend who got two - so no big research involved. I don't remember using it much except when on vacation, and sometimes when I was outside. I bet I'll use it more with babe #2 though.
Diaper bag - also a big epic story. We went through two before we ended up with this one from Timbuk2- and love it. We started with a smaller Skip Hop bag and it drove us nuts. It was too small and the snaps came open so even when you did stuff it it was always coming open. I have friends who have and love the larger Skip Hop bag and like it, but between using cloth diapers (which take more space, plus you don't lighten the load as the day goes by as you do with throw aways), having bottles and now baby number 2, the Timbuk2 bag has won our hearts over big time. We can easily fit our water bottle, her water bottle, a few diapers and a change of cloths, as well as the normal wipes etc.
Stuff From Ikea that I LOVE
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70179754/ - full body bibs work great. She still fits them at 2 years, so they last long and can be washed in the sink and dry fast.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30192960/ - this cup, plate, bowel series are just convenient. Meal times are an up and down experience in our home, but having lots of bowels and plates has been helpful. She mixes and matches and moves her food around, abut mostly keeps it in the bowels or on the plates cause they are there. We also place an empty bowel near her so she can put what she does not want in it, instead of throwing it - that has made a huge difference to our meal time.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70137575/ - hands down the best set (out of many) that we have. Next time I am near an Ikea I'll get 2 more sets and throw everything else out.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70128199/#/50128614 - they are soft and cheap. We have 4-6 and find that number works well. It seems like we can go weeks with no leaking and then have nightly leaks for days in a row so I am glad not to have to worry about sheets.