Like most first-time moms, I got everything when I was preparing to have a baby (see a lengthy list here of all we registered for).
It felt nice to have the "best of" in every category, but I also knew that it was probably a bit excessive and I didn't really need every single thing. Sharing today what we actually used those first three months, and what we could have done without.
1. DockATot. Full disclosure here: this company reached out to me to test their product. At the time, I had every single possible "baby placement" option available: a bassinet, a Moses basket, a crib, a mamaroo, a bouncer, blankets for days, etc., and I really didn't need anything else. The only reason I agreed is because I had a friend who loved hers, and I am so glad I tried it. We use it everyday. Trey sleeps in it every night and takes all naps in it as well. It's portable, washable, lightweight, great for travel, I could go on and on. Trey was a noisy baby so our baby sleep arrangement was placing him in this just outside our bedroom door, and eventually we started placing him in the DockATot in his crib. Easiest transition ever. This product gets the most use of any baby product we own and I recommend it all the time.
2. Little Unicorn Swaddles. The deluxe bamboo ones are the softest. I love the size, how lightweight they are, the price point for the quality, and the millions of uses. Next time, I would go for colors, not white, because I store them unfolded in bins and sometimes I grab a burp cloth instead of a white blanket and vice versa.
3. Swaddles with velcro closures. I liked the Nuroo for when Trey was a newborn (maybe 7-10 lbs, in the smallest pocket) because it was easy and soft, and then the Ollie was great once he was a bit bigger.
5. Covered Goods Nursing Cover. Trey doesn't love nursing under it, so in public I default to a bottle (which works great and is actually much more convenient). But the amount of times we've used it as a stroller/car seat cover to block the sun has earned it's spot on this list. (Our car seat even has a partial shade cover so I assumed I wouldn't need to use it like this, but the coverage with this one is much better.)
6. Keekaroo Changing Pad. I've never had to wash a single changing pad cover in my life because of this product. Brilliant.
7. Gathre Mats. We use the midi size everyday, it's our "play mat" and extra bonus that it's super soft and wipeable (so helpful with all the drool/spit up during tummy time). I also like the smallest size as a travel changing pad and the largest size as a picnic blanket.
9. Nursery Works Empire Rocker. I spend a lot of time nursing here and love it. I don't think there's anything special about this one, and have even seen some cool DIYs out there, but it's been helpful to have a designated, comfortable place for nursing. (Someone asked if I was nervous about having a light color, and I LOVE it, it hides spit up/nursing stains very well.)
Favorite clothes for baby in this post here.
WHAT WE DIDN'T GET/DON'T USE
Moses basket (I had every intention of using this and just defaulted to the DockATot every time), bassinet (same), wipe warmer, crib bumper (I heard they're not recommended anymore because of the SIDS risk), breathing monitor (never bothered with it), pacifiers (he liked these at one point but currently doesn't, each baby is different so for some this is a must have), bottle sanitizer, all the plain white onesies (totally personal preference, I just like him to wear my favorite things since he's flying through sizes), baby stain remover and baby laundry soap (regular stain remover and regular laundry soap works great, I've also heard dish soap works in a pinch).
I could go on forever about the millions of products that are out there and marketed as "must haves" but you don't really need. I've said it a thousand times, but each baby really is SO different, and what works for one family doesn't work for another, so this list may or may not make sense for you. With babies, you just have to try things and tweak as you go along. We're all still figuring it out.