In the past year, two of my best friends have been pregnant. Having been the first of my friends to have children I was the automatic go to person for all questions. One topic that seemed to be super popular with both of them was what to register for. Imagine stepping into a baby store for the first time and being surrounded by all of that stuff. Not to mention the list the stores gives the customer as the "must haves".
My first time around I registered for everything that "must have" list suggested. I quickly learned that I did not need a high chair, toys, and safety gates ready the day baby comes home from the hospital. My second time I promised I would not fall into the traps of getting everything under the sun, and I didn't. The second and third children usually get the hand me downs and for the most part you have already found your favorite brands. Registering for the second child is so much easier!
As I am on the phone walking my besties through the store, I remind them that while I have gone through all of this twice before they need to find what works for them. Some people swear by the Diaper Genie. I personally think it is a waste of money. Others can not live with out a sterilizer. It is all based on personal preference.
What I do suggest is to do is go to several different stores and try things out. Look online and read reviews. I am a firm believer in reading reviews and writing them as well. A review may have saved you from buying a bad product so give back and do the same. I will give a few of my personal favorite items.
As a self proclaimed stroller guru (I have had five in the past five years) I strongly recommend the Quinny. Of all my single strollers it is my favorite. I have used a Graco, Peg Perego, and a MaClaren. The quinny drives like a dream, is comfortable for children, and is easy to close. Like the more expensive Bugaboo the quinny's seat can be turned to face you. The added bonus is that it can be closed with the seat still attached. I have only used one double stroller but I did a lot of reading and found the Bumbleride to be the best fit. (They also have single strollers and I am sure they are just as great) My tire popped and all I had to do was call up and they sent me a new one, no questions asked. I got the newer indie twin stroller from their movement collection which is water resistant. Living in Florida the additional cost for that type of material seemed justifiable.
Car seat wise for infants I life the Peg Perego but the Maxi Cosi comes in a very close second. My son was pretty tiny at birth and the added padding that the Peg Perego offered is what sold me. Although the Maxi Cosi was much lighter (10 pounds empty compared to 13 pounds) it also only fits children up to 20 pounds while the Peg Perego can be used up to 30 pounds. When my daughter grew out of her infant seat we chose the Maxi Cosi convertible car seat. She is four years old and still fits in it. I will be getting them for my son soon.
One baby registry item I could not live with out would be the swing. There are a million of them out there. My key suggestions would be to get one that has a plug in adaptor as well as battery operated. You will save a ton if you have a plug in. If you want to pay extra for the added bells and whistles that is up to you. Something I also found very important when purchasing a swing is to READ the reviews. I registered for a super cute Mickey themed swing and didn't read the reviews. When I finally did after having to return it because it kept dying, I saw that several people were claiming the same thing. I purchased another one and again did not read the reviews. (See second time moms mess up too) It too died on me and when I read the reviews saw the same comments. Finally, the third time was a charm. I read the reviews and found one that has as of now worked perfectly.
Take the time to read the reviews it really can help. Ask for recommendations from other fellow moms. And remember if you do not have the high chair ready the day baby comes home you will be ok!