(Disclaimer: Please disregard any misspellings or incorrect grammar. It took me several sessions of writing to get through this ridiculously long list, and by the end I wanted to slam my head into the keyboard. I may have let my writing skills slide a bit by the end.)
*Infant car seat - You must have an approved car seat to even leave the hospital. Some parents go straight to the convertible car seat, since many can hold an infant as small as 5 lbs. I would recommend, however, still getting the infant car seat. It is SO helpful to be able to move your child from car to house, car to store, car to car, etc. without unstrapping him (especially in the case that he's sleeping!). Convertible car seats, although needed once your child reaches a certain weight and height, are not NEARLY as easy or convenient. I'd hold off on the convertible car seat as long as possible. (Krew actually started hating his infant seat somewhat early, so we moved him to a convertible car seat before he outgrew the infant seat. And at that point we started looking for a new car once we realized the inconvenience of not being able to click the car seat in and out of a two-door. Sigh. I will always love you, my tC.)
*Car seat base for 2nd car - yes, get this
*Shopping cart cover - First off, I have no idea why this is in the carseat section. Nevertheless, I do actually recommend getting one of these if you enjoy shopping at places with carts or if you are the grocery shopper for your household. I suggest getting one that can also be used as a high chair cover. I have used mine countless times for both purposes. When using it as a cart cover, I've even been able to lay Krew down in the cart to sleep. On the other hand, I have friends who have one and say they've never used it. You'll have to figure out what you think for yourself.
*Travel system - Ah, the travel system debate. I really don't remember the arguments for and against travel systems, but I can tell you that Dave and I decided against. How we arrived at this decision, I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with what we read in Baby Bargains. (An excellent book. Check it out. But make sure you get the latest version!!) So instead, Dave and I got a snap n' go to attach our infant car seat to, and we found it for 10 bucks on Craigslist. It worked excellently.
*Full-size stroller - You'll only need this if you don't get the travel system. If you do get it, realize you won't really use it until your child can sit up.
*Lightweight stroller - I do actually recommend having a lightweight stroller. It's excellent for throwing in and out of the car for quick trips to the store. We found a Maclaren stroller which we love at a local consignment shop. Note: You won't need this until your child can sit up.
Backpacks & Carriers
*Front & back soft carriers - We used our Baby Bjorn quite a bit when Krew was younger. I'd probably recommend it.
*Sling & wrap carriers - These are nice, as long as you're careful about the suffocation risk. We have a Moby Wrap and a sling, and I enjoyed using both.
Play Yards/Travel Yards
*Play yards/travel yard
*Play yards/travel yards sheets (Qty: 2-3) - We only have one, and it has sufficed. Of course we've also never had a middle-of-the-night-soaked-sheets incident.
*Walkers - Not necessarily needed. Many have been banned. Krew had a big plastic bulky one that we borrowed from Eileen (his daycare lady) that he really enjoyed for a while. Just be careful around the stairs. And keep in mind that you can't use this until your child has good trunk control.
*Infant positioner - We did use this to hold Krew in place in his crib while he was swaddled. Although I've heard they may have been recalled? (And I don't understand why this is in the activity section?)
Feeding & Nursing
*Burping cloths (Qty: 6-12) - Holy camoly, if your child is anything like ours, stock up. I'd recommend having more like 20 of them.
*Cloth diapers (Qty: 6-12) - We used these as burp cloths. So these should be combined with burping cloths, above.
*Bibs (Qty: 8-12) - Very useful. They catch spit up, food, and drool. A quantity of 8 to 12 should be more than enough. I'd recommend small cloth bibs for little babies (spit up) and for teething infants (Qty 6-8), and I'd recommend larger plastic-type bibs for feeding solids (between 4 and 6 months of age) (Qty 4-6).
*Breastpump - Needed if you're nursing and if you're working or planning on being away from the baby whenever the baby may need nursed. Of course, double electric pumps are the hype for working moms. I've loved using my Medela. Simpler, cheaper pumps should suffice for the mom who just wants to have a little extra milk in case she's gone on an errand over a nursing session.
*Breast milk storage - If you're planning on nursing and storing any milk, you will need some bags (or other approved storage container). How many you will need depends on how much you will be away from your baby. When I first returned to work, I was going through 5 or 6 bags a day at work...which amounted to about 50 bags every two weeks. (Yes, that's a lot.) You will also need freezer or fridge space. Keep that in mind.
*Nursing pillow & stool - Had both and liked both.
*Nursing wrap/cover - A MUST-HAVE for nursing moms. Definitely get yourself one of these. Preferably one that has a strap that goes around your neck.
*Bottles for formula (Qty: 6-8) - Krew had 3 bottles for daycare and I think 3 for home. It was plenty. Keep in mind that babies are often particular about their bottles and will only use certain kinds. You may have to try a few different ones.
*Bottle nipples - Your bottles should come with these. Make sure you have slow flow for newborns, then faster flow for when your child gets older.
*Bottle drying rack - I used this a little. It was helpful for propping bottles upside down. If you think you have another way of propping bottles upside down that's cheaper, I'd go that way.
*Bottle brush - Yup, get one of these.
*Dishwasher caddy - I actually do recommend this. We used ours a lot to hold bottle nipples, pacifiers, and pump parts.
*Insulated tote - Especially useful if you will be storing milk at work and bringing it home. A lot of pumps will come with a small one of these.
*High chair cover - As mentioned previously, I recommend a high chair / car seat combo cover to take on errands or to restaurants.
Bath & Potty
*Hooded bath towels (Qty: 4-6) - Very good to have.
*Baby lotion - Very good to have. Baby skin is fragile and needs moisture. (Although they recommend NOT using lotion until the first layer of skin all sheds off. I couldn't resist...I still used it.) I prefer Johnson's unscented, which is conveniently only located at select stores such as Babies R Us. I have some friends who love the lavendar scented lotion, but it's not for me. I'm not even big on the regular scent. So, yes, I will go out of my way to travel to Babies R Us to get the unscented lotion.
Baby Care & Grooming
*Nail clippers - Yup, these are a must.
*Brushes & comb - I am glad we had these. But that is probably because our child has had hair his whole life.
*Digital thermometer - Yes. I highly recommend the Vicks Rectal Baby thermometer. It's super quick, which is a must-have when you're sticking something up your child's butt. (Yes, that's the way you must take their temperatures when they're young.)
*Baby mittens - Yup we used these in the beginning. But only for a very short while. One or two pairs is plenty.
*Cotton swabs - Good to have for belly button, ears (but don't stick it in near the eardrum!), etc.
*Cotton balls - Good for cleaning in the beginning.
*Petroleum jelly - Good to have. Although I more specifically suggest Aquaphor. I use that stuff for everything.
*Gas relief drops - Yes, have these on hand. We used them a ton.
*Teethers - Yup, Krew loves these. It's great if you can find the kind you can freeze.
*Pacifiers - Most babies will use these in the beginning, but some won't. And babies tend to be very specific about which pacifiers they like. Krew actually changed his preferences between four different pacifiers as he grew.
*Pain relief products - Keep infant acetaminophen (Tylenol) on hand in the beginning. Once your child is 6 months old, he can have infant ibuprofen, which I actually much prefer.
Diapers & Formula
*Diapers - Clearly, these are needed. I recommend starting with one giant pack of newborn diapers. Then learn and go from there. Baby butt sizes vary soooo much, you have no idea what you'll need ahead of time. Also, every mother will have her preference on diapers. In general, Pampers are most expensive, Luvs are cheapest, and Huggies fall somewhere in between. Krew wears mostly Luvs because they work fine and save us the most pennies. In general, if you can find infant diapers for $0.16 each or less, you're getting a good deal.
*Baby wipes - Again, clearly needed. I prefer Huggies or Pampers. I don't like Target brand...they're very soft, but almost too soft. They don't efficiently wipe because of their softness.
*Diaper pail refills - If your diaper pail needs refills, then by all means, get refills.
*Diaper pail - There are many options here. There's the Diaper Genie, the Diaper Champ (what we have), the Arm & Hammer diaper pail...or the good old regular waste basket. Do your research and make your pick. But yes, you will need something. (I like our Diaper Champ because it uses regular trash bags.)
*Formula - If you choose to formula feed instead of breast feed, then yes, you'll need this.
*Baby changing mat - Yes, very important. Some diaper bags come with them. If yours doesn't, I would still recommend buying one of these to put down under your baby's body. You'll be surprised at the strange places you have to change his diaper.
*Diaper ointment - I use Aquaphor (mentioned previously under petroleum jelly). There is also Desitin.
*Travel wipes - A travel wipes container is very helpful to have. It's small and convenient.
*Audio monitor - Most parents want one of these, unless you live in a really small place. It allows you to shut doors, take a shower, etc. and still know if your baby starts crying.
*Smoke & carbon monoxide alarm - I'm kinda hoping you already have these two items in your house. If you don't, please go buy them. Several of each.
*One thing that's not listed here that I recommend - we've loved our movement monitor. It goes under the baby's mattress and sets off an alarm if it senses that all movement (i.e. breathing) has stopped for more than 30 seconds. I loved having one...I didn't feel the need to jump up every 5 seconds to make sure our child was still alive. These usually come combined with an audio monitor...check it out if you think you might be interested.
*Cradle, bassinet or portable crib - I mentioned pack n' plays above. Yes, I think you should have one. The other thing we loved having was a moses basket. Krew slept in that thing all the time for the first 3 months of his life. We could carry it into any room, and swing it when he was being fussy. The one we used for Krew was borrowed, but I can guarantee that for our next child we'll find a way to get another, even if it means purchasing it with our own money.
*Cradle, bassinet or portable crib sheets (Qty: 2-3) - Sheets would be good. At least one per sleeping contraption.
*Crib - Good to have, although I think a pack n' play would work fine if that's all you have.
*Changing table - Good to have, but you can also use the floor, a bed, or even the top of a dresser if you have it set up appropriately.
*Dresser/chest - A dresser is probably good to have, unless you have enough room in the closet for everything.
*Glider or upholstered rocker - Some type of chair or rocker is nice for feeding the baby in his room. I also have liked having a nursing stool so I could rock myself.
*Crib mattress - Yup, a mattress is a good thing to have.
*Crib mattress pads (Qty: 3) - We have two. Yes, good to have.
*Fitted crib sheets (Qty: 4-6) - I think 3 should be enough.
*Blankets (Qty: 4-6) - I think 3 should be enough. These are typically just used for laying the baby on the floor, covering the baby when going outside, etc.
*Receiving blankets (Qty: 4-6) - I think four is plenty. We typically just used these as a lighter blanket.
*Changing table covers (Qty: 2-4) - Yes, have these if you're using a changing table pad. Two should probably be enough, but three might be better.
*Changing table pad
*Crib mobile - We put one over the changing table that we used a TON.
*Lamp - It's good to have a lamp or some other type of low light for when you go into the room for middle-of-the-night feedings.
*Diaper stacker - We have one of these and I actually like it a lot. But if you'd rather stack your diapers somewhere else, that will suffice also.
*Hamper - I do like having one of these. Your baby will go through a lot of clothes.
Clothing and Layette
*Clothing hangers (Qty: 12-24) - Needed if you have a closet. But I would recommend more like 50. Or 100 if you acquire a bagillion pieces of clothing before your child even enters the world (as I did). That's just my personal opinion.
*Outfits (Qty: 4-6) - It's a luxury, but it is nice to have a couple outfits that you can put your baby in for church, get-togethers, etc. Not a necessity, but fun to have.
*Bodysuits (Qty: 9-12) - A.k.a. onesies. Very good to have. Get a bunch.
*Socks (Qty: 9-12) - Socks are very very good to have for covering little toesies. We personally prefer and primarily use Puma socks. They are the only socks to-date to stay on our child's feet. When I find them, we purchase them in bulk. And I would pay a good price for them. No joke, they are amazing. I have friends (ok, a friend) who will attest to this. (And they come in girls' colors, too!)
*One-Pc. Coveralls (Qty: 4-6) - I'm assuming these are the outfits that are one piece and have little footies. These are nice to have if it is chilly in your house. If it's hot in your house, then you won't necessarily need any. You may want some for your baby to sleep in if you don't swaddle. If you do swaddle, I recommend just putting the baby in a onesie under the swaddle so he doesn't overheat.
Toys and Gifts
*Soft toys - Yes, some bright, colorful, made-for-babies soft toys are good to have.
Books, Music, and DVDs
*Parenting & family books - It may not hurt to read some books on infants (I did), but I wouldn't read about much past that. You'll forget it all before your child gets to the appropriate age.
*Baby books/journals - I would recommend recording your baby's milestones somehow. I do all of mine through this blog, and I plan to print the relevant posts in a book when he turns a year old. I have a friend who wrote it all in a calendar. Do whatever works for you.
* I'm skipping the Organic and Earth Friendly section. If you want to go organic with any of the above, I'm sure you can do it.*
And there you have it. My thoughts on the insanely long Babies 'R Us "Must-Haves" Registry Checklist. Hope you enjoy. :)