Hindsight, I wish I would have done more research before registering, but I was just too sick. I did the necessary things like obsessively reading the ratings on carseats, but I didn't do enough research to prevent over-registering. To be fair, it is hard to know what you will use and what products are the best until you have been there.
The good news for you is that I have been there, so please read on and benefit from my experience.
1. Carseat. You don't need to read my blog to know about this one. It is the law. The law that will ultimately lead to you throwing out your shoulder and back because you are lugging a 19 pound baby around in a 90 pound carseat. The law that will leave you with one Popeye-esque arm simply from the daily grind of walking from your car to your front door. Gotta do it though. We went with the Chicco KeyFit 30 and loved it. It was comfy and had great ratings from Consumer Reports. I would highly recommend buying a second base so that you don't have to keep moving it from car to car. We now have the Britax Boulevard convertible seat, which I love. It is top rated by Consumer Reports and very easy to use. I would buy it again in a second, although I am glad that I don't have to because, like most other baby stuff, it doesn't come cheap.
2. Video Monitor. I actually consider this to be one of the top two baby things that I own. When I registered, I decided not to go for the video monitor. I felt like it was excessive. Do I really need to watch my baby sleep? Well, Ms "I know it all from being pregnant for a mere 5 months Becky," the answer to that is yes. Too bad I didn't realize that until 4 months into my Moose's life and then had to go buy one. It would take an entire post to tell you why I love this, but here is one reason: sometimes babies cry, yell, or even talk IN THEIR SLEEP. My baby was one of those babies. I would run into her room only to find that she was actually talking in her sleep. Guess what though? She was no longer asleep because my bursting into her room just woke her up. This happened more than a few times. Waking up sleeping babies it the ultimate Mommy no-no. Get the video monitor. These suckers don't come cheap though, so don't do what I did. Just register for the damn thing and get it over with while someone else is paying.
3. VTech Learning Walker Toy. "Welcome to our learning farm.
As a side story that will not leave you impressed with my parenting (or dog-rearing), one of the funniest things that she did with this toy was learn to run into the dogs. We let our dog finish whatever food Moose doesn't eat off of her tray (yes, we are those people. Germs are good). Somehow, Moose figured out that when the dog was distracted by eating, she could run full speed and ram the Learning Farm into him. It shouldn't be funny, but, let's face it, it is. It wasn't hard enough to hurt him and after one time he was smart enough to move out of the way. Being the crafty little booger that she is, she then transferred this skill onto people, ramming into my husband and I. Again, it shouldn't be funny, and it wasn't...it was downright hilarious.
Back on point though, this toy is awesome. She still enjoys pushing it around. Hands down, of all of the toys she has, this has been the best money spent.
VTech Learning Farm
4. Diaper Genie. Unless you love the smell of stale, rotting poop.
5. BOB Revolution Stroller. This one is a total splurge, but I feel obligated to list it because it is truly one of the best two baby things I have bought (along with the video monitor). I wanted a stroller that could be used for jogging (translation: walking) and also everyday use. I was dead against buying a BOB because they are so much more expensive than other jogging strollers, but after buying and returning 3 other models, I took the plunge and am absolutely in love. When I use any other stroller, I get so frustrated because of how hard they are to push. I didn't realize it until I got my Bob. I cannot say enough good things about my Bob. I can literally push it with one finger. It folds up nicely for travel. It maneuvers like a dream. My love for this stroller is even making me uncomfortable and I am pretty sure my husband is getting jealous, so just go test one out. You will not regret it.
If you don't want to pay that much money, look for gently used ones on Craig's List. Be obsessive in your pursuit though. They sell quickly on second-hand sites.
6. Baby Bathtub. Some people think they are unnecessary, but we actually still use ours. Obviously Moose is old enough to sit in the real tub, and has been for a long time, but her whale tub uses much less water and she likes it. Also, and here is a toddler parenting tip, she can lay back in it, which makes it much easier to brush her teeth.
Could you use the sink to bathe your child? Yes. Do you really want to put the butt of a person who poops in her pants in the sink that you use for dishes/food? You be the judge.
Whale of a Tub
And there is it, folks. My top 6 baby purchases. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Especially the Bob. ;)