When BD and I started down the path to parenthood, we really had no idea what "stuff" we needed to buy in preparation for our little bundle-of-joy-to-be. So, in case anyone else out there is in the same predicament, here are a few of the things that helped us survive (and enjoy!) the first 3 months with MC. Some of these have also become my go-to baby shower gifts. I know that a lot of things are baby/parent specific; what we loved might not necessarily work for every family but these are the things we used often and were glad we had.
Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper - we used this as MC's bassinet; she slept in this for 4+ months beside our bed. (In fact, as of the writing of this post, she's still sleeping nights in it.) I could scoot it right up against my side of the bed so it was easier to reach her in the middle of the night. It keeps her at an angle like a bouncy seat and snuggled her so she didn't flail around and wake herself. It is also up off the ground so I didn't worry about cold drafts on the floor. It folds for easy storage.
Baby B'jorn Carrier "Air" - The Baby B'jorn was BD's pick for a baby carrier, and we both used it a lot. He would wear her in it when he got home from work, and it really helped calm her during her evening fussy-time. I would wear her in it and actually be able to do things around the house. It was also really helpful for any place where you need to push a buggy - grocery, Target, etc. She would stay happy because she could see all the action but could also take a nap when she got sleepy.
Summer Infant SwaddleMe blanket - we started swaddling MC when she was just a few days old. These swaddle blankets worked better than just a regular receiving blanket but weren't as complicated as some of the other swaddle blankets that are available. Swaddling kept MC from flailing her arms and waking herself up but didn't restrict her legs.
Gumdrop Pacifier - We went through many different styles of pacis before we found this one that she likes. I like this one because of the shape - it doesn't block her nose and the holes on the sides let air through to her skin. And I like this one because it is one piece. This style of paci is recommended for breastfed babies.
My Brest Friend nursing pillow - This wins the worst product name award but is probably my favorite thing on this entire list. This made the first few weeks of breastfeeding much, much easier for both of us. I liked it because it wraps around me and has a clip so it stays in place. I used this constantly for the first 6 weeks.
White Noise machine - I have slept with a sound machine myself for the last 10 years, so MC slept with one by default since she was in our room. We also have one of these for her nursery. It just provides a constant background noise to help her sleep. It also makes us feel like we don't have to tiptoe around as much when she's sleeping.
Pampers Swaddlers diapers - I know diapers are really baby specific, but Pampers are by far our favorite. I like the swaddlers because it has a "wetness indicator" to let you know it's time to be changed.
Skip Hop Funky Farmyard activity mat - This is one of MC's favorites. She loves the animals that dangle down from overhead; each animal does something different: crinkle, rattle, jingle, etc. The mat itself also has interactive pieces (fuzzy sheep, cow squeaker, carrot rattle, etc). We started using this when she was around 10 weeks old and she continues to enjoy it.
Sofie Giraffe teether toy - This teether is easy for her to grab and get into her mouth. I like it because it is rubber and therefore easy to clean. The only downside to this one is that it squeaks, so we've had to convince Kip that it's not his toy.
Ring O' Links toy - these links are useful for a lot of different purposes. Strung together they make a fun hand toy and teether for her. They can also be used to attach other toys to just about anything - car seat, stroller, etc. I also used these to lower the toys on her playmat so she could reach them better at first.
Puj tub - this soft foam mat folds up to fit in a sink to make a cushiony tub for the baby. We used this in the kitchen sink for baths for the first 3 months.
Baby 411 - I reference this one all the time. It's written by a pediatrician - and in my opinion has reasonable, middle-of-the-road advice.
Nursing Mother's Companion - This was my favorite out of the nursing books I read. It has lots of good tips and advice on lots of different issues that can come up with breastfeeding. Also has several sections of "survival guide" which I found immensely useful in the first few weeks.
(This is not a sponsored post; I have not been compensated in any way.)