I've been a mom for 1.5 years now and there are some things I cannot live without. Here is my list
(infant stage) bassinet: Arms Reach Original Co Sleeper ... I had a bassinet but found it really inconvenient during night feedings. When B would wake up for a night feeding, I would have to get out of bed and walk over to the bassinet, get him and bring him back to my bed. by the time I completed his feeding, I was too exhausted to go back to the bassinet so I would end up falling asleep with the baby on our bed. not safe! Not to mention you have to do this 3-4 times at night with a newborn. With the cosleeper, all you have to do is reach over and pick him up and set him back down when done. I used this for 3-4 months until he was ready to sleep through the night and move to his crib.
sleep sack: aden + anais sleep sack; baby deedee... I like the aden+anias sleep sack in the light fabric for summer nights and the 4layered one for colder nights. The baby deedee sleep sack is perfect for winter nights. (I put B to sleep in his onesie or PJ with sleep sack over that.)
bumper: pottery barn baby... I found that after 4 months (when he was able to roll back and forth), B was not able to sleep without a bumper. his legs would get stuck and would cry in the middle of the night. He also likes to hug the bumper for comfort. pottery barn's bumpers are nice and plush. perfect for cuddling.
baby monitor: Motorola video monitor... my first baby monitor was great but had one major flaw... it did not show the temperature of the room. Temperature is very important, especially when they're able to sleep in their own room. I switched right away to Motorola which has a wide video screen and also shows the room temp.
water dispenser: I don't think I could have survived without this... well, I could've, but life would be very inconvenient. with the water filter, I am able to dispense hot water instantly... this was key to mixing formula and heating breast milk from the fridge/freezer quickly. Our dispenser was hooked up to the water line and had a filter in it.
breast pump: medela double electric pump. I made the mistake of buying a single pump because I didn't know that when one breast starts flowing, the other one does too! the double pump would've saved a lot of time, pumping both breast at the same time.
nursing tank: I lived in my nursing tank. I didn't like how nursing bras were constricting (maybe I bought the wrong ones?) I also didn't like layering a nursing tee over a bra. too many layers... just make sure your tank is comfortably fit but not too tight. breastfeeding doubles the size of your breasts.
bottles: nuk... B preferred breast and had a hard time transitioning to bottle. we finally got him to take the nuk and only the nuk.
bib: must buy one with pocket!
sippy cup: zoli for beginners...he learned to suck on a straw very quickly with the zoli (although it leaks if the liquid is not room temperature) and think baby for toddlers
high chair: baby bjorn... first, I love the aesthetics... clean lined and simple. second, it folds so you can put it away when not in use. its really light too.. I also like how it keeps the baby upright and not slouched.
baby bullet.. if you want to make your own baby food.. I use it now to make smoothies.. a standard food processor works just as well too.
stroller: uppababy cruz... I have other strollers but I would say I use this stroller the most. its not flawless but it works.. good for everyday use. it has a big under-basket and is a good size, not too small, not too big. buy a car seat adapter and you can simply attached the carseat to the stroller (great for newborns and infants)
diaper bag: kate spade... its a nice size and love how it looks. comes in numerous colors and patterns... and not cheesy :)
towels: aden + anais swaddle... I use the swaddles as towels. I found towels scratchy and too heavy.
soap and lotion: California baby... some people might not like the fragrance.. but I grew fond of it. I love how light and fluffy the lotion is. for winter nights, I use the cream on B.
wash cloth: Satsuma... the softest, most absorbent cloths... they also make great baby mittens. they were my favorite
large soft cotton quilt/blanket: for tummy time
books: pop ups and ones with flaps were the most fun for us.
activity walker (not to be mistaken with a walker that has them seated... apparently its bad for their legs): great for learning to walk when they're able to stand on their own
baby piano or instruments: babies love love love music.
puzzles, building blocks and coloring books: for toddlers
polarn o. pyret... they make the BEST pjs and leggings. the fabric is amazing.
H&M... surprisingly 90% of his going out clothes are from H&M. its trendy but not too trendy. super comfy too
mini boden... they have the cutest bloomers and sweaters
zara kids... omg they have the cutest girls clothes! best shoes too (for boys and girls)
carter... for good, cheap white onesies
glider!: potterybarn ... don't get a rocker, get a glider. I made the mistake of getting a rocker and it rocks out of place all the time, scratching the walls and molding.
furniture (crib, dresser, bookcase): land of nod, oeuf... I like modern cribs. I have the oeuf classic in walnut and I love it. my favorite from land of nod is the "low rise crib". i have the matching oeuf classic dresser but love the land of nod monarch dresser as well.
Bradley is turning two soon, and I want to get him a scooter
the mini micro kickboard scooter is the best for toddlers.. and looks super cool. can't wait for him to scoot :)
if you're looking for convertible car seats, I heard great stuff about the foonf. looks super comfy too.
ps. i left out a lot of essentials (ie. car seat, baby carrier, pacifier etc) because B never needed one, I have no preference or I have yet to find one I like. if you're still curious as to which one i have, let me know .. i'll be happy to share