After the birth of my little man, just like after my wedding, I discovered that the registry lists provided by most stores are completely overkill compared to what you actually need. Or at least what I needed. Keep in mind I'm a first time mom, and every situation is different. There are also multiple stages to a baby's life for which they will need completely different things. And knowing that you won't get more than probably 50-75% of your registry list, I would start with the things you will need first! I would also register twice, once at a baby specialty store like Buy Buy Baby or Babies R Us, and then a discount store like Target or Wal-mart. So keeping all this in mind, this is what I needed for the first 6 weeks:
1. 15-20 burp cloths. You'll need at least one or two a day.
2. Diapers. I'd register for 1 box (100 count) of size newborn, and 4 boxes of size 1's. You can register for more if you want, any store will trade them for another size. But know this: different stores carry different size boxes (96 instead of 106 etc.) that you can't return to another store. So ask for gift receipts, and if you don't get them, look up the sku number before you try to take them back. Try Amazon Mom for diapers. They send them to you on a subscription basis so you never have to run out to get them! Such a life saver for the busy mom.
3. Wipes. I've tried a few brands, and Huggies Natural Care are the best. Pampers are too thin, Regular Huggies aren't wet enough.
4. Diaper rash cream. Desitin can be very irritating for infants, instead try an organic variety like this.
5. 0-3 month sleepers and AVOID buttons. You want zippers. Squirmy babies make it difficult to line up buttons. I didn't like the ones with the elastic at the bottom either because you have to pull them over the baby's head. Little man didn't like that! You'll need 7-8, depending on how often you do laundry.
6. A bath gift set. It'll have anything you need for a bath. We tried Johnson & Johnson, but Little Man had sensitive skin and broke out in rashes when we used it, so we use Shea Moisture now. You can buy it at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Buy Buy Baby.
7. A DIGITAL bath thermometer. The ones that change color aren't as accurate.
8. A baby swing. I couldn't live without mine. Make sure it plugs in and has shoulder straps.
10. A manual breast pump if you plan to nurse. You may need the electric one (you can rent one from the hospital for pretty cheap), but you'll need the manual for when you're out or if you're traveling and the electric one isn't an option to carry around. Nowadays your insurance is required to provide an electric one. You usually have to call them to find out what kinds they offer.11. Carseat & stroller (you can get a set, just make sure you can lift/open the stroller by yourself.)
12. 4-6 pacifiers of DIFFERENT varieties. You may have to try a few different kinds to see which ones your baby likes. My first child liked the Nubies from the hospital. My second will only take a Mam, and then only begrudgingly.
13. 10+ socks. I use mine as no-scratch mittens too because they fit his hands better.
14. A baby bathtub. I went through a couple, check out my reviews here.
15. An infant recliner or lounger, they are a little expensive but it's basically a portable bed. I've used mine endlessly.***
16. A backpack style diaper bag - hands free! Mine has an insulated bottle compartment and a portable changing pad and was under $30 at Babies R Us.
17. Wipe warmer, some people say that these spoil your baby and when you use cold wipes when you are out they will scream...I did not have that experience. My babies were fine in public.
18. Soft strap covers for your car-seat and stroller. I use these little teddy-bear velcro cushions strapped to the shoulder straps, they work much better than the ones that came with it.
19. A carseat mirror so you can see the baby in the back seat.
20. Baby detergent and dryer sheets, and some stain spray for diaper leaks.
21. Foam hand sanitizer to put on the changing table.
22. A changing table cushion and a couple washable covers.
23. A few baby blankets
24. A swaddler blanket - I'd say a few but my little man loved his for 2 weeks then hated it. So if you want, register for more and then take them back if you don't need them.
25. 10-12 onesies, and one collared jumper. You really won't need much else for a while. And most people are going to get you clothes not on your registry list. Here's some more advice - don't remove tags or wash any clothes that are the next size up yet. You may get too many in one size or get 0-3 sweaters when your baby is born in July etc etc etc, and if you need to trade up you need them to have the tags on!
26. A baby monitor with a portable viewer. It's so nice to be able to see and hear your baby, I don't know what our parents did without them!
27. Nursing pillow
28. A sleep sheep or other soothing noise maker
29. Gas drops. I only use these when I'm out, when I'm in I have a natural trick. My mother-in-law taught it to me. Make some bay-leaf tea. Steep 2 leaves per 8-ounces of water, and keep a bottle at the ready in the fridge! It works like a charm. (If you worry that the leaves are poisonous, read this.
30. Gripe water
31. Ear or temporal thermometer. Because I wouldn't want my temperature taken rectally, and I'm sure my baby wouldn't appreciate it either.
32. A soft baby brush, aspirator, and nail clippers, you can get a little grooming kit if you want, I only use those three items out of mine, but the little bag is very convenient for carrying around all the items I do use!
33. A kneel cushion for baths
34. If you don't already have them, a good camera and a small video camera, I have a Canon Rebel and a Flip.
35. Baby books. When your friends send out shower invites, request that people buy you a baby book instead of a card. You'll just throw the cards away, and at $3-4 a pop, you can get a cute book instead!
36. A nursing wrap
37. A bottle warmer, even if you're nursing, for the milk you store
38. A crib and mattress and bedding set, changing table, and glider. Walmart has great prices on gliders.
39. I don't have a dresser because the nursery is small, so I use closet hanging organizers.
40. A 'mommy hook' for the stroller to carry bags/purse.
41. A good diaper pail and refills.
42. Baby hangers
43. A hamper and trash can, we just use some we already had.
And really, that's all I've used. My baby was born in the summer so I didn't need any warm weather clothes yet. I'm nursing so I didn't need formula. I didn't register for nursing bras and tanks because you need to wait to get measured after your milk comes in. (By the way, Medela side sling are the best, the kind with the holes in front can cause mastitis, OUCH!) You'll notice I didn't have towels or washcloths on it. Because really, yours work better anyway. I know I'll need other things later like a bath seat, toys, a high chair, etc., and I do have some of those things, but I don't need them yet. I'll keep posting as I go along.
***NOTE!!! The Nap Nanny has been recalled, the company, Baby Matters, is no longer in business. Read about it here. Most recalls come from parents not following the manufacturer's instructions, this and the Bumbo chair being the most glaring. Please read and follow all manufacturer's warnings on all of your baby products.