I know some women who are getting ready to welcome a baby, so I thought I would share what worked for me. My husband recently complimented me on how well I had researched and chosen what to buy, so I think I did pretty well!
I relied on two books that I read before we registered at Babies R Us. The first is Baby Bargains, which is chock full of information and rather overwhelming – I recommend using it as a reference after you’ve narrowed your choices and want to see which brands get the highest rating, are safe, etc. I was really glad I had it with me when we bought our crib so I could check the brand’s reputation.
The other book is Girlfriend’s Guide to Baby Gear by Vicki Iovine. It’s a lot easier to read than Baby Bargains and the list in the book was what I used to decide what to buy before my son was born.
Finally, one last piece of advice that I acquired the hard way: if you get a swing without having your baby try it out first, get the Fisher Price Aquarium swing that goes side to side. When my son was a few weeks old and especially fussy, my mother-in-law bought us an open-top Graco swing that goes front to back. My son spent maybe a total of 100 minutes in it before we took it apart. I later learned that a lot of babies prefer the side to side motion and I bet my son would have been okay in that – and it would have saved me some gray hairs, shoulder and backaches, and a lot of tears.