I have a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 16-month old, so my baby items have been through the test of time and three kids! Following are the items I'm still glad I bought, and the ones I learned I could have done without.
Glad I Bought
1. WubbaNub pacifier. I love these. The pacifier is the kind I like and the little stuffed animal on it helps you wedge the pacifier in place so it stays in the baby's mouth. Lifesaver, I tell you. These are also much, much easier to keep track of than pacifiers without the little animals. Plus, they are adorable.
2. Quality diaper bag. My mom got me a JuJuBe and I still love it. It's extremely well thought-out. The pockets keep everything in order, and the construction is exceptional (important, since baby bags take such a beating). My bag looks good as new even after three kids, partially because it's so easy to clean. And they are beautiful. Anything that makes it easier to get and be out and about with baby is a must in my book.
3. Ergo. I've tried a lot of baby carriers, and I also love the Moby (but I made my own version). I love the Ergo because it's comfortable for the baby and the wearer, it's durable, and it lasts until the children are bigger (relative to many other carriers).
4. High quality convertible stroller. We went through several strollers before settling on the Britax B-Ready when we had our second child — and I wish we'd started with this one. It can be used with an infant car seat, and as a one-seater or two-seater. In addition to being so versatile, it's well-built, looks snazzy, and Britax customer service is top-notch.
5. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. I LOVE these. They are the perfect swaddling blankets, and so much more (blanket, play mat, car seat cover). The fabric gets softer with each washing and they've withstood, again, three kids, lots of spit-up, etc.
6. Nursing pillow. My Boppy made nursing sessions very comfortable and I'm certain helped prevent backaches and neck aches from nursing in odd positions. No new mother needs aches and pains she can prevent. I didn't need to wrestle with positioning a regular pillow to prop baby up while feeding. The nursing pillow was right there, in the exact right configuration every time.
Wouldn't Buy Again
1. Big baby bathtub. At least the tub I got was relatively easy to clean and simple. But it was still too big and hard to store. Instead, I would have simply used a sink or a little mesh seat in the bathtub and not bothered with an infant tub.
2. Co-sleeper. I loved the idea of extending my bed for baby to sleep in, but I could never get comfortable maneuvering baby over to me and back. For me, it was easier to sit up, get baby out of the bassinet, which was right next to the bed, but at a better angle, and then put her back after nursing.
3. Pack 'n Play. I used mine a lot, but if I had it to do over again, I would get a travel crib that was much more portable, like one of these.
4. Audio monitor. The way my homes have been set up, I didn't really need to hear when baby was crying or awake happy in the crib. I could usually hear that, monitor or not. But a video monitor would have given me some peace of mind, and would be something I'd use now when I worry about my 3-year-old getting into his baby brother's crib to play. Plus, the entertainment value of watching them when they think they aren't being watched — priceless.
For my more in-depth list, see What to Get for Baby: The Great Big List I Wish I'd Had.
(Image credits: Shifrah Combiths)