These are the items that I could not have done without, it has been perfected over the years to only include essential items and some brand preferences.
Car Seat. Get the infant seat that you can take the baby out of the car w/out waking and plop into the stroller or shopping cart. Get one with higher weight so it will last longer. I used both the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and the Chicco KeyFit 30.
Stroller. For the first 0-6 months I preferred the stroller frame that you snap the car seat in. After that, just a good umbrella stroller was all I needed. If you are a big walker or runner, get a jogger. There are a ton of options, you just have to find what works for your needs. Look for one that you can close and will fit through a doorway.
Monitor. I used a $30 Sony monitor without any video, etc. There is a new app called Best Baby Monitor for $3.99 you can use your phone (and an old phone) for a video monitor.
Manual Breast Pump (if breastfeeding). I liked Avent ISIS, but didn’t try any other manual pump. I used a top of the line $300 automatic pump for my first one. It was way too painful and I could not control the flow. The manual pump worked much faster and easier for me.
Portable crib or reclining swing. You need to put baby somewhere during the day when you are not holding. I love the space saving Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play.
Baby Carrier. I liked a sling when the baby was under 2 mos, it was easy to use and portable. I prefer the ErgoBaby Carrier over the Baby Bjorn. It was more comfortable and can be worn front and back.
Crib. Get one that fits your budget without drop sides. You will want at least 2 mattress pads and 2 or 3 sheets.
Dresser. I put changing pad on top and called it a changing table until I didn’t need it anymore then you already have a dresser.
Changing pad. Nice to have 2 covers.
Chair and ottoman. I prefer a comfortable arm chair to a rocker.
Fan. I found this to be the easiest and cheapest way to give white noise in the room and help prevent wake ups.
Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail. At $25 it’s a steal, and it uses regular trash bags.
Woombie. The best swaddler. Zips your baby into an armless bag, they won’t get out.
Halo sleep sacks (2). Use them once you are done with the Woombie, around 3-4 months.
Pacifier clip. I used booginhead, was great to clip on the car seat, clothes, etc so they don’t drop or throw it.
Blankets (3+). Get a couple different kinds to see what you and baby like. Use them for swaddling, warmth, nursing cover ups, changing pad, etc.
Pacifiers (4+). I prefer Avent. Don’t get the clear ones they’re hard to find when dropped
bottles (4+). I used Avent BPA Free. 4 oz size is all you need for the first few months.
Cloth diapers (6-10+). Use for spit ups and endless messes. I actually have about 30 of these.
Onesies (8-10). Get either short or long sleeve, depends on the weather where you live. I needed long sleeve even in the summer because of the air conditioning in the house. I liked Carters best.
Onesie extenders (3). These little strips of cloth with snaps can be hard to find, but will extend the life of your onesies, especially if you have a long baby.
Jammies or sleep & plays (5+). Do NOT get the ones with snaps, only zippers for easier changing. I prefer Carters, but liked Gap and Old Navy too.
Sleeping Gown (2). I loved these in the first month when you will be changing the diaper in the dark in the middle of the night.
Hooded Towels (2). It’s nice to cover baby’s head after bath so they don’t get cold.
Pampers diapers. Unless your baby is 10 lbs, you will want the Newborn size Swaddlers, but they will grow out of that quickly and move to the size 1.
Huggies wipes. These worked the best for me, way better than Pampers wipes.
Baby wash. Lots of fun choices, just choose what you like.
Lotion. I used Cerave and Aquaphor. These are good for sensitive skin.
Diaper Cream. Triple Paste Medicated Ointment is the best. Get the big tub.
Gas Drops. Mylicon or any store brand works.
Baby Pain Reliever. I prefer ibuprofin, you will need it for shots and fevers.
Essentials for later:
Umbrella stroller (4+ mos).
Highchair (4+ mos).
Baby tub (4+ mos). Use bathroom or kitchen sink
Exersaucer or jumper (8+ mos).