Being that this is baby #3, I have a slightly different perspective on baby gear. I know what matters to me more, what I want to splurge on, and what items I really don't need. Here is a quick list of my favorite baby items that make the first month easier (and none of these are sponsored; these are all things I went out and purchased because I wanted them!).
(1) the Rock N Play: Chip bought this on a whim when he was at Babies R' Us while I was in the hospital (Ellie James came a week and a half early, and the car seat was the last thing on our list that didn't get done . . . so he had to make a dash to get one so we could go home!), and we have used it a ton. It's sort of a bouncer and swing in one, and I like that it's a bit taller than a bouncer, but so much less bulky than a swing. I can easily move it from room to room, the vibrating feature is very soothing, and the incline is helpful after Ellie eats because she doesn't spit up as much (although she spits up a lot less in general than her big sisters). There is also a plug in "rock" function, but I haven't really used it much as she doesn't seem to love it. I also put a little towel in it at night to give her a little sponge bath.
(2) This car seat and this stroller: This car seat is super cute, and I love the boot that comes with it to zip around baby for extra warmth/protection. It's super easy to snap in and remove from the base. We also made the mistake of going with a 35 lb car seat with Vivi and those are so much heavier. A friend had recommended we go with a 30 lb car seat, but we just didn't get it. You will probably move baby to a convertible car seat before 35 lbs, so it's not worth the extra weight! I also love using the stroller caddy; it's perfect for shopping or running errands, and this one has a ton of room in the bottom basket, and several little holders around the handle for your phone, keys, and drink.
(3) These swaddles. I wish I could say I was trendy and could swaddle baby one handed with a muslin swaddle, but I used these with Vivi, Brigette, and now with Ellie, and they just work for me. It's so easy to get them cozy and snug, which is helpful in the middle of the night when you are exhausted, and they are also easy for dads or grandmothers to figure out, too.
(4) I also love these swaddle blankets, though. They are adorable, and also super easy to throw over the stroller for privacy, and also are great nursing covers or play blankets. And these burp cloths, while a bit spendy, are my absolute favorite.
(5) These diapers. They are better for baby, and they have the wetness indicator, which I find so helpful when baby is tiny, so you can make certain they are wetting diapers and staying well hydrated. They also seem to be slightly larger, so they will last a bit longer than other newborn sized diapers.
(7) I love this adorable hand sanitizer. I keep it on the changing table, and the big sisters use it frequently before playing with Ellie.
(8) This play mat is great for tummy time and super cute, so I don't mind leaving it out in the living room.
(9) I have this duvet cover and duvet, which I use to cozy up in during middle of the night feedings. Ellie also loves staring at it. I'll throw it over the side of her crib when she is awake and it keeps her entertained for quite awhile, which is saying a lot for a newborn! She also loves her black and white wallpaper - so really anything with that contrast is helpful to hold their attention and keep them happy. It's really great to have on hand!
(10) I have loved these bottles. I used different bottles with Brigette and Vivi, and they spit up a great deal more. I don't know if it's the bottles, or that Ellie is much less prone to spitting up, but either way, it makes me happy! I'm doing a lot of pumping as my babies don't seem to gain enough weight in the very beginning.
(11) This baby wearing shirt is awesome. It's adorable, and super easy to use. I love wearing it around the house, especially in the late afternoons/evenings when Ellie is a little more fussy. I can just pop her in it, and she calms down quickly while I get supper started, fold laundry, or just walk around the house.
(12) This is my favorite baby carrier. I had a plain black one with Brigette and splurged on a fun pattern for Ellie, because I used it so much. It's just the best having baby snuggled on your chest, and it's so much easier to manage older siblings when you can have your hands free. I just love using it!
Anyway, those are my must haves!! Of course, it changes as baby gets bigger, but these things have seemed to be the most helpful during these first weeks. Hope it's helpful to some of you - what are some of your baby favorites?