Swaddle me: I use the Summer infant swaddle me. For winter time I used the mirco fleece. It is a light fleece that doesn't seem to be too hot for cold nights. For spring -through Fall I'll use the cotton swaddle (I put a light blanket on him during the spring and fall nights that are a little cooler). The cotton is quite thin and seems to run larger than the mircofleece because it is stretchy. I started using a large cotton swaddle when he was 11 lbs. It's a little big but still works. By 10 lbs the fleece was getting snug.
J.J. Cole Bundle me: This is so good for the winter time. No blanket needed! It's nice and cozy. Cons: the back of it where the baby's head goes is bumpy because it has holes for adjusting the straps. We had to put a head support in it to cover up the holes and make it more comfortable. Also, I found Mason getting hot in it pretty easily. If it's even somewhat warm outside, the Bundle Me is too hot. I took it out of his carseat when it got to be around 60 degrees outside and started using a light blanket.
Pampers Swaddlers or Huggies Little Snugglers: Not only are there different brands of diapers, but there are different grades of diapers within each brand. Who knew?! I thought huggies were huggies and pampers were pampers. They're not. Swaddlers and Snugglers are by far the softest. There is a definite difference in the quality of a Huggies Snuggler and a Huggies Snug and Dry. Dan likes that there is a yellow line going down the middle that turns green to tell you if the diaper is wet. The Huggies seem to run smaller than the Pampers in our experience. Cons: They're more expensive (worth it though) There are lots of coupons out there for Huggies if you look for them. Pampers coupons are harder to come by.
Medela pump: I've done enough research on these to realize that it IS ok to buy a used pump. (I've only researched the Medela's) At first I thought it was completely gross and unsanitary. Here's the thing: anything that touches skin or milk can be thrown away and replaced for a lot cheaper than buying a new pump. You can even pop off the face of the pump and make sure that no milk has leaked down into it.The pump itself is basically just a small air compressor. No milk goes down into the pump. Cons: expensive, even used.
Sleepers that zip instead of button: I can barely figure out how to button these correctly when I'm wide awake much less at 2am! Zip and you're done.
Safety Q-tips: I never have to worry about sticking it in his ear too far. These are pretty much only good for the ears. I use regular q-tips to clean around his belly button and for getting boogies out of his nose.
Jersey knit blankets: They have a little bit of stretch too them. When I swaddle him in them I don't feel like I'm making him claustrophobic because he can move a little bit with the stretchy-ness. They're also the right thickness. Not too hot, not too cold.
Boppy pillow: Awesome for nursing. This really helped me get the hang of nursing and helped him latch on better. He also loves to lay in it and look at the ceiling fan =)
Socks that look like shoes: These were just fun to put on and a lot less bulky than actual shoes.
Carseat cover: Such a great invention! Sheilds them from the rain, the wind, and the sun. Love it
Diaper bag that converts into backpack: This is what I have and I love it. We have two flights of stairs to hike up and it's so nice to throw this on my back so I can carry groceries and everything else I drag out of the house on a daily basis (seriously, why do kids have to much stuff?!)
Mirror for car: These are really nice to have if you can find one that woks. We went through a couple before we found one that works well enough. The ones that stick to your window did not work for us, but I wish they did because they are a lot less bulky. There have been many times where I have looked in the mirror and noticed Mason wasn't holding his head up, so I'm glad I have one!
Bath seat: This is the one I use. It's a Summer infant large bath seat. It's so much nicer that trying to hold up a wet baby in the sink or the tub. One bad part about it is that you have to fill up your tub quite a bit to get the water to the right level. It's worth it to me though. He has fit in it since he got his first bath at a week old.
Snuza breathing monitor: I will admit this is a pricey product (especially when you see how small it is). With that said, this has been the #1 thing I have been so thankful to have. Especially those first few weeks when any amount of sleep you get is so precious. I never had to stay up worrying if he was breathing. All I have to do is fold the top of the diaper down and push the snuza onto it. We have only had one false alarm because it fell off (which will give you a freaking heart attack!) and it was totally our fault for not putting it on right. Best gift I got!
Thermometer: This might not be as important to some people as it is to me. We live in a condo with vaulted ceilings and two floors. His nursery is upstairs and it is hot up there. I worried about the temperature in his room since before he was born because I know that being over heated has been related to SIDS. So when I got this from my friend, I was so thankful for it. We rely on this all the time to make sure it's not too hot or too cold for him.
Mesh bag for socks: I know this isn't a regular baby item, but it is such an awesome idea that my friend taught me. Put the baby's socks in here, then throw them in the washer. Now you don't have to go to work and find one of the baby's socks stuck to the inner thigh of your pants, yay!