When my husband and I first became parents, we did a lot of research to figure out what we needed and what we could omit purchasing. Over the last (almost) year we can now look back and pinpoint the essential items that truly got us through the first several months with baby girl.
This white noise machine is literally a lifesaver. We continue to use it every nap and every nighttime sleep.
Amelia LOVED her Rock 'n Play and I'm not sure we would of survived the first 4 months without it. She would nap in it and sleep beside our bed at night. It doesn't make a huge amount of noise which was nice during nap times when I would sit beside her. Eventually when we were transitioning her to the crib, I would use the rock and play but keep it stationary, so she got used to sleeping with no motion.
This baby monitor is amazing and I highly recommend it! I tried the video monitoring and it just wasn't my thing. I preferred being able to hear her rather than see her. When she started sleeping in her big girl crib in her nursery I used it for a couple of nights, until I realized that I could hear her just fine with no monitor since she was right next door. The monitor is perfect for when I'm in the shower and she's napping, when we're outside the house in the back or front yard, or when we have guests over and I can't hear her properly.
My mom first got us this baby gown and I so wish we had purchased/known about it when Amelia was first born! The quality of this fabric is outstanding, it's easy to put on, has amazing scratch mitts, and the bottom flips up and snaps to mimic a swaddler. At night it was incredibly easy to undo the snap and change a diaper, and in the morning she could play comfortably in it as well. Well worth the price.
We continue to use this carrier and it is by far the best we've found. I did purchase another one early on that tied around my waist and Amelia hated it! This carrier is incredibly easy to get baby in and out of, and also grows with them which was a huge selling feature for us.
We tried a couple of bath tubs that were either too awkward to maneuver by myself, or just totally unworkable for our family. This bath tub comes with a sling that allows newborns to safely sit in the bath water, and grows with them.
Remember that every baby is different, and although Amelia loved these items, your little one may hate them! My best piece of advice is to not get frustrated. You will purchase items you will throw across the room at 3:00AM (yes, I've done that.) You will lament the day that you bought that "amazing" piece of new technology that instead of making your life easier, seems to make it more difficult. You will regret not purchasing something that you find out about later. We're all new at this and we're all learning, so take a step back when you feel these emotions and give yourself a break!
Yours in sleep deprivation,