There are soooo many (too many!) choices out there and it's a little overwhelming. Try to get as much as you can for free or used. They really do outgrow these things very fast. Join a local facebook parenting group, it's an easy place to buy & sell used baby stuff. I joined BoCoCa Mom and Parenthood Together groups on facebook. I would say for me personally, BoCoca moms is more my speed. Also ask everyone you know with kids if they have anything they want to give or sell to you.
Of course, in the end what you buy for your baby is ALL about personal preference. Here's what we bought, if you were to look at someone else's list it would most likely include completely different things! Here are Eva Chen & Joanna Goddard's lists as well. (OG mamas ;))
If you plan on breastfeeding see THIS PREVIOUS POST for the lowdown on how to make it work while you're on set, on location, or just working locally.
Baby Wearing Options:
We bought 2 kinds of Ergos & a baby wrap. First we got this ERGO ORIGINAL w/ the INFANT INSERT. It worked good until about 4months when my son wanted to face outward and only then did I realize that this Ergo didn't accommodate that position. So then I ended up buying the Ergo 360 also...ugh! I also bought this Boba Wrap to wear around the house and neither of my sons liked it & I found it confusing to wear...so that was a waste for me. In the end I didn't really loooove any of the baby carrying contraptions I bought. I loved wearing my babies, but none of the brands I chose were super comfortable. If I had endless money I would have tried other brands. People seem to love the BABY BJORN & MIA MILY. I had also wanted to try this RING SLING but couldn't bring myself to spend any more money.
Strollers & Car Seat:
With our first son we were economical and got the BABY JOGGER CITY MINI SINGLE STROLLER, with the CHICCO KEYFIT CAR SEAT & BASE and then the STROLLER ADAPTER to attach the car seat to the goddamn stroller! Even if you don't have a car you'll need a car seat. Gotta get the baby home from the hospital and it's just good to have one in case of an emergency and you need to get in a taxi etc.
And because my first son was born in December I also bought this BLANKET to go over the carseat to keep him warm in the stroller and this RAIN COVER too. Oh yeah - and this fucking STROLLER ORGANIZER because I need somewhere to put my coffee and my cell phone and my keys and the pacifier and napkins....uggghhhhh.
So we used that stroller for two years, it was fine, but that city mini jogger has minimal undercarriage storage. It looks like it that's deceiving because it's hard to access. It's also kind of a tank. When my son outgrew the infant/carseat phase and was able to sit in the regular stroller as is, we found that we needed for a light weight stroller for the times we took him on the subway or when we just wanted a smaller footprint at a restaurant etc. So then we also got this MCCLAREN UMBRELLA STROLLER....oh and don't forget the goddamn RAIN COVER for this stroller because of course you can't use the same one that's on the other stroller!
OK wait for it......But then I became pregnant with baby #2 and realized there was no way to customize my City Mini beast of a stroller into a two kid situation. First I bought this KICKBOARD that attaches to the City Mini, in hopes that my toddler could ride on that while I pushed my newborn. But that was a total waste of money because that kickboard SUCKS! It just doesn't really work design/space wise and it also made the already heavy stroller even heavier. I threw it out after 2 outings with it.
Sooooo I had to start all over again to now find a new stroller that could accommodate both an infant AND a toddler. This time I went for the UPPABABY VISTA and it was glorious...it was the stroller I should have bought in the beginning. So in addition to the stroller I bought this KICKBOARD & the detachable RUMBLE SEAT. Before you die because of how expensive this all is, I have to tell you I bought all these things USED off of a mom group on facebook. Instead of paying over $1,200 I paid $500 for everything. I joined BoCoca Moms group on facebook and posted "ISO: UppaBaby Vista, kickboard, and Rumbleseat" and low and behold people were looking to sell their used ones. I bought a 2010 model instead of the newest version but it is still amazing. So you if you can afford all brand new UppaBaby stuff you're gonna love it even more!
One thing you should know about UppaBaby strollers and accessories is that they are NOT all compatible so make sure to check their WEBSITE to see what year your stroller is and which accessories will be compatible. Basically an UppaBaby made before 2015 is not compatible with most of the accessories you see on Amazon now. It's a whole thing....email me if you want more guidance but the website is a good place to start.
We had one with our first but honestly with NYC living it wasn't even necessary since our apt isn't gigantic and you can hear the baby crying if they are awake from any room in the apt! But if you're like me and want to be able to creepily watch you baby while they sleep I recommend this HELLO BABY monitor (below left). It's pretty inexpensive for what it does, ie. - color picture, temperature reading etc. We started with this expensive INFANT OPTICS one (below right) and it broke after 3 months, ha! You could also get one that doesn't show picture and just has SOUND which is even cheaper. With our second baby we haven't used the baby monitor at all.
Something That Rocks or Sways: (without you!)
This is a total optional/luxury item & you can definitely live without it. It is also likely to take up a lot of room in your apt. My friend never had anything like this with her baby and she was totally fine. I on the other hand, am an impatient person and needed to put my baby down in something that would rock him when I got tired of doing so. I got this hideous FISHER-PRICE swing as a hand me down from my sister and my first son LOVED it. He napped really well in it during the day. We ended up getting rid of it after 3 months because I was sick of having it take up half of my apartment and it was time to sleep train my son. The swing was a double edge sword, on the one hand my baby loved it on the other hand I needed to teach him how to sleep without it. At the time it was a lifesaver.
We didn't re-buy the swing for my second baby because one of my friends gave me a MAMAROO. My son doesn't love it....he doesn't hate it either. He will tolerate it for about 15min at the ABSOLUTE most but really only likes to be in it for 5min at a time. Every baby is different, maybe yours will love it??
The first two toys my sons played with were this PLAY GYM and this PLAY GYM and this tummy time MIRROR. There are definitely way cuter options out there but these were hand me downs (i.e. - free) so I was happy with that! With my first son, I would say we used that play gym for about 9months everyday and then occasionally after that. He adored that thing! My second son loves it too but he's only 2 months so I'll let you know how long he uses it, I suspect for a while! They were both madly in love with this OCTOPUS. Oh and THESE THINGS to link more toys to the stroller or link together to work on grasping. Both of my sons are tacky and only love bright, ugly toys. Anytime I try to give them beautiful wooden or nordic looking toys they're like "meh". Oh yeah and high contrast stuff like THIS BOOK and THIS STROLLER MOBILE which is nice because you can clip it on to anything, anywhere.
Sleeping at night & napping during the day:
We used THIS BASSINET for my son until he was 15lbs. Also THIS ONE for traveling (but only because someone gave it to us for free. They were both good. We also used this PACK N PLAY with both kids A LOT! It was useless to buy the one with the extra doo dads, could have gotten by easily with a simpler/cheaper version. We left one travel sleepyard at my parent's house permanently and the other one we left in the trunk of our car so it was always available whenever we traveled on vacation etc. It was also nice to store it in the car because space in our apt is limited.
We bought THIS CRIB from Ikea because we wanted something cheap & that could convert into a toddler bed. I have no complaints about it other than it took 50yrs to put together. We probably could have gotten an even cheaper one honestly. We also bought the mattress at Ikea.
***PLEASE NOTE none of the following contraptions are approved by AAP or my pediatrician to nap baby in!***
For napping they recommend to only nap in bassinet or crib. During the day it was hard to get my babies to nap fo long periods at a time and I was losing my mind so sometimes our first son would sleep in that Fisher Price swing that I mentioned earlier or in my arms. My first son hated this ROCK N PLAY that everyone swore by. But my second son loved it and it was the only thing I could get him to nap in. With my second son we used this DOC A TOT to nap him and sometimes co sleep him in our bed in the first two weeks. I would say by 2 months he was over it and just slept in his bassinet.
We bought two kinds and my sons preferred different styles. My first son wanted to be swaddled with his arms down until about 3 months old and he wanted to be swaddled as tightly as possible! I gave up on learning how to do the proper/traditional swaddle pretty early on and opted for a velcro one. (below left)
White noise machine - My boys enjoyed having the white noise to soothe them. It was also nice to have the white noise block out the noises we made in the apartment while baby was napping.
Portable changing pad - I like this one. The pad area is a nice size & overall it's big enough to store diapers, wipes, and AD cream, etc.
Pacifiers - both my boys loved these. We used them from birth to 3months. Then we weaned them of pacifiers at that age.
Nose Frida - Yup, you literally have to suck the boogers out of your baby's nose
Baby Nail Clippers - I like the 2packs because I would always lose them
Baby Thermometer - Since a fever of 100.4 can require a trip to the emergency room in babies under 3 months, you don't want to be stuck without a thermometer if your baby gets sick.
Thank You Cards - Even if you already had a baby shower or didn't want one, people will send you gifts when the baby arrives.
Also: diapers, baby wipes, burp cloths, storage baskets, baby bathtub, diaper bag, changing table or pad for the apt, crib sheets, bouncer chair, and little soft blankets. I'm not including links to these things because I feel like they are all kind of the same and it's just about which ones you like best.