1. Prince Lionheart wiper warmer: I know, I know-- a wiper warmer is not a necessary. You may even think I'm spoiling him. But at this point I know this at least: you pick your battles. And at 3 a.m., when you're changing a squirmy little guy's diaper and trying to keep him at least a little quiet so your husband who has to go to work in the morning can sleep, OR you finally got him to sleep and don't want him to wake up, a wiper warmer is awesome. And, this isn't California; it gets COLD here at night, even with the heat on, and so this thing has been great. It doesn't shock him like the cold disposables do.
2. Cloth wipes: These go in the wiper warmer and they're awesome. I can NOT believe how many wipes we can go through in one week, probably a hundred fifty (since we went through one hundred diapers this last week!!), and so this has proven much less wasteful and more pleasant for the baby overall. Thirsties Fab Wipes are what we have and we bought about 3 packs (18 total), which is just barely enough. I'd like to get some more at some point soon. And they're so cute and soft.
3. This pail liner is awesome; it's washable and dri-able, so you can just dump it in the wash with everything else.
4. You need a Moby wrap or a baby sling. Period. I just vacuumed, swept the kitchen, and cleaned the bathroom with Elias snuggled up against me and using both of my hands. I think I like the Moby wrap better for a newborn because I can fit him up higher much easier than with the sling, but my goodness we sweat so much when we're in it! It'll be good for this winter while he's so small but I think we'll transition quickly to the sling when it both gets warmer and he gets bigger.
5. Newborn sized clothing. I thought he would be huge, so we barely had any of these and actually had to buy some after he was born.
6. Two Boppy (obviously, you need a Boppy or something similar) covers, crib sheets, and changing table pads. Or three.
7. Bundle Me stroller/car seat cover. So soft and cozy, I think this will take us straight through winter here.
8. Changing pad for your diaper bag, for when your newborn is screaming in the backseat because they have a wet diaper and you have to change them in the car because there's no place with a changing table nearby.
9. Lansinoh nipple cream. You'll understand by that second week.
10. An electric breast pump. I fought against this for a long time, but that manual one was horrific. The electric one is much more gentle. (I do know some people that like the manual better, but I had a very hard time with it and couldn't express anything because it was so uncomfortable.)
11. Side Sleeper/ Co-sleeper or a bassinet for your bedroom. I have really appreciated being able to just reach over when he's crying in the middle of the night (which is all the time) instead of stumbling down the hallway. For the first couple of months, at least, I can't imagine having anything else.
12. Fenugreek: If you have any problems with your milk supply, this herbal supplement is really helpful, and this brand is great. I've noticed a huge difference using it. Also, Mother's Milk tea and Red Raspberry Leaf tea are galactogogues as well.
13. A swaddle blanket. Elias' arms and legs are constantly moving and wake him up if they aren't pinned down. This helps him sleep a HUNDRED times better than he was before. And, this particular one will keep him swaddled, while with the other ones (and we tried out a few!) couldn't withstand his constant movement and would eventually come undone, and he would wake up. With this particular one: watch when you wash it, b/c all of the velcro can get stuck on other clothing, etc., in the wash.
14. A couple of soft hats. It's too cold for a baby to not have their head covered around here. It reminds me of the women in my family; whenever they would see a baby with it's head uncovered, they'd say (loudly), "That baby needs a hat!"
15. And finally, I think I would get a nursing cover for next time; at some point, he can figure out nursing himself and I won't need to see him to help him along, but it's been a struggle to keep modest and help him along, especially since so many people are going to be visiting you and the baby. I've just been draping a blanket/sling over us, but I can't see him, and it hasn't been working very well.
What you may not need much of:
1. Socks. These don't get dirty, so he goes through, like, 2 a week. Of course, we don't have a girl, so this may just be partly because we don't have a lot of "outfits" we're putting together and coordinating socks with.
2. Fancy, expensive clothes that aren't easy to get in and out of. We stick to cheaper onesies and pants most days.
3. Huggies diapers. I have literally watched as the pee poured out of these horrible things right onto me, the couch, my husband, etc. Get Pampers or Luvs instead. (Although maybe with a girl these would be different.)
4. Receiving blankets. These are basically just used as burp cloths around here at this point since they're just too small to do much warming.
What you may want to wait for:
1. An infant seat OR swing. I think you have to know your baby's personality before buying something like this. We have the Little Lamb chair, and he's not a big fan. Knowing him now, I would totally have gotten a swing instead. He likes movement and gets bored really quickly in this seat. I'm lucky if I can set him in here for a quick bathroom break.