1.} Moby Wrap ~ Yes, I am a baby wearer. When Joseph was little, he was in the Moby wrap all. the. time. It gave us bonding time that I hadn't been able to have the last nine months and allowed him to feel comforted while I had my hands free to do stuff. I still use the Moby when grocery shopping and such. One big perk of the Moby is that strangers touch him less than they do when he's in his car seat. At first the Moby seems a little intimidating, but after you watch the online video a couple of times, you will be a pro. It also grows with your child by offering different wraps/holds as the child reaches various weights and developmental milestones.
This is 3 week old J in the Moby while I got my thrift on trying to get stuff for his nursery (I promise I will post about it someday).
2.} Muslin Blankets ~ As far as swaddling blankets go, muslin or gauze is the way to go! They allow you to get an awesomely tight swaddle (even if you don't know what you're doing). Also, since they are a light weight material, you don't have to worry about the blanket adding too much extra warmth, just dress the baby in appropriate clothes (this is extra helpful in the summertime). We used the Aden and Anais brand (I know they are available at Target and boutique stores), but I'm sure other brands would work fine too.
3.} Car Seat Caddy ~ Since we bought the car seat spur of the moment, we didn't bother getting the entire travel system at the time. I'm so glad we didn't because we talked to some friends and did a little research and decided to just go with the caddy (some brands call it a snap and go system). I love our caddy! It's small enough that it easily fits in the back of my Forrester and light enough that I can easily get it out and put it back in the vehicle. I even ran with it the other night (long story short, a spontaneous out of town run with friends turned out to be an awesome night) and was impressed with how well it did.
4.} Dirty Diaper Bags ~ Dirty diaper bags are a must, especially when you have a little one that poops as much as our guy. I use them often including when we are on car trips and will have to carry the diaper with us for a little way and when we are visiting people (because really, who wants to smell dirty diaper every time they open their trash can.). They even come with this handy little dispenser that clips onto your diaper bag and are lightly scented.
5.} Mesh Bumper ~ Our little guy moves a lot in his sleep. As in, when I go get him from his crib he has ofter spun 180* and is pushed up against the side.
6.} Mabel's Labels ~ So these totally aren't a necessity, but I still love having them. Even though he doesn't go to day care, it's nice having Joseph's name on his belongings when I drop him off at the nursery. The labels on his bottles have already been through multiple steam sterilizations and still look brand new. I actually got a back to school value pack, but haven't used any of the clothing or shoe tags yet. I'll let you know how those work out when the time comes. Since I bought a discount certificate through Mamasource (a deal a day site for moms), they were very reasonable priced (just be forewarned that Mabel's Labels is a Canadian company, so you might get a call from your bank asking about an out of country purchase :).
7.} Backpack Carrier ~ One of my husband's only requests was a sturdy backpack carrier. We went with the Chicco version and both my husband and Joseph love it. In my opinion, the best part about this carrier is that my husband is willing to wear it.
8.} Car Mirror ~ A car mirror is such a simple thing, but I didn't think about it until I finally started driving with Joseph in the car and wanted to be able to check on him (more often than not, he's giving me his mad face in the mirror).
10.} Pack and Play ~ This is a fairly common item, but I'm still including it because we use it a lot. Joseph slept in it for the first three months and still uses it at least a couple times each month as we tend to travel a lot. It's very easy to put together and pack up, provides a comfort zone for him since he is familiar with it, and solves the problem of us having to figure out where he will sleep while we are traveling. We got one with a newborn sleeper level which was very convenient when I was getting him out multiple times per night at first. Our pack and play also had this cool little attachment that would vibrate it, such a lifesaver.
And there you have it, my top ten baby items. I also love our Go-Pod, but don't feel that we've used it enough to include on this list. Oh, and our swing. I don't know what we would have done without our swing those first few weeks. J still naps in it daily. What are your favorite baby items?