Burp Clothes/Diapers. We started using this IMMEDIATELY, what with all the poop, pee, spit up, and general dribbling taking place. They can hold gallons of liquid but they're soft enough to use when wiping the bean's chin for the thousandth time. We have them in every room of the house and when the time comes we just pop them in the wash and they come out as good as new.
Miracle Blanket. After about the first month Cohen was able to burst from any swaddling attempts we made which resulted in him waking himself up after sleeping for about 25 seconds. We had purchased another "swaddle blanket" with velcro straps but the Miracle Blanket, hands down, was the clear winner. It was the only way we could get the bean to sleep longer than 45 minutes at night and to take a true nap during the day. We got by with just using one but the next time around (HA!) I'll definitely make sure we have several of these on hand.
Aveeno Baby Moisture Lotion. After our run in with Johnson & Johnson's Rash Inducing Bed Time Lotion we were pretty leery about putting products on Cohen's skin and after a few trial and error attempts we started using the Aveeno products. They worked wonders with his dry skin and now he boasts a soft and perfectly kissable complexion, which he clearly did NOT inherit from his mama.
Candleloo Lamps. Okay, so these aren't necessarily a baby item but they were invaluable when it came to nighttime feedings. We had originally outfitted Cohen's room with a nightlight but it started proving a major distraction early on with Cohen staring at it when he should have been eating or sleeping. So we tossed the plug-in and started using these Candleloo Lamps instead. They have just enough light to see what needs to be seen for feedings/diaper changes/cleanups but not enough to completely suck Cohen in and keep his attention. The great thing about them is you can take them where you need them, changing table, dresser, nightstand etc., they have a power switch on the bottom, and they don't scream BABY DECOR.
The Arc Thrift Stores. Apart from what we were gifted all of Cohen's clothes, blankets, bibs, hats etc. were secondhand. When you love to shop, as I DO, learning to appreciate and love thrift stores is a must. Otherwise we would be poor. Very, very poor. So, thanks to all those lovely people out there donating their slightly used, sometimes brand new, with the tags, clothes, linens, furniture, books, you name it and I've probably bought it. We were able to put together quite an impressive layette for less then $50 when it was all said and done. Who says the average nursery costs a whopping $5000?! Ridiculous. All you have to do is spend a few weekend afternoons rummaging through the racks and bins at the Arc on Colfax. And every Saturday, practically the entire store is 50%. Wahoo!