There are a million advice books, gadgets and the like on the market for new moms. With only a very small apartment, there's not much we can fit here, yet alone afford. I also don't have much use for a lot of new age advice on "baby nurturing". Here's what I have found actually useful over the past few weeks.
On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep This book is full of practical, useful advice. It soothes a lot of the fears of first time parents and makes everything so much more manageable. My little girl sleeps like an angel thanks to the solid principles from this book. They really mesh with my parenting style.
Ameda Purely Yours Ultra Breast Pump Formula is ridiculously expensive, and not as nutritious or beneficial to the baby as breast milk. I therefore decided to make every best effort to give my baby exclusively breast milk for the first year if I could and avoid formula altogether. To facilitate this, and to still get some sleep I started pumping the excess milk after feedings so my husband could give the baby a morning bottle and I could sleep a little more. I am also going to need to go back to work and pump milk while there for the nanny to give the baby. Lansinoh 20435 Breastmilk Storage Bags
are great for storage, lie flat very well and are cost efficient. The price of the double electric pump is a tiny fraction of what formula would have cost me. This pump is also a closed system so it won't get moldy between baby 1 and the next siblings birth one day or require excess sterilization. Plus you can adjust both speed and suction.
Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, 0-6 Months, Pink/purple To get nursing off to a good start, I did not give the pacifier for a week and a half. Then we chose this one because it closely resembles the breast. It really helps when baby just wants to suck. Plus the American Academy of Pediatrics says that using the pacifier when baby goes to sleep helps ward off SIDS. We do not give the pacifier at all times and we allow the baby to fuss sometimes so that she doesn't become dependent.
HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle, Cream, Small Babies love swaddling. This contraption ensures they can't break free. It also signals to my baby that it is time for nighttime sleep (we only use it at night). She sleeps longer and sounder. Plus I don't have to worry about her being cold or needing any blankets in the bassinet (another SIDS danger).
Everything else (besides for diapers and a place for her to sleep) is kind of nice but not necessary or completely useless. We're happy leaving a lot of it on the store shelves and not in our crowded living space!