Baby Equipment can cover a vast variety of areas when it comes to looking after your baby. What is essential can also be another mind field to a new mother and we can often get lost in the look of something or the want for it, rather than actually needing it. That can lead to a lot of wasted money many people can't afford and also may result in forgetting the crucials.
In all honesty my idea of essential is completely different to most. I never had a crib or a changing station or a nursing chair. In fact my most expensive purchase was reusable diapers.
I do however consider some items Essentials Clothing for a baby and have a few that many people seem to never own. This is my essential list of baby equipment:
Clothing - Every baby needs clothes and lots of them! I had my fair share of second hand items from eBay and also hand me downs from when my Husband was a little boy, however I was not prepared for how messy my little boy was going to be. My son unfortunately had some acid reflux issues and for the first year of life was constantly throwing up and I had to change him every 5 minutes. Make sure that when you buy clothing you buy a lot of it. You can never have too much! Getting second hand is a great way to go and eBay is a good choice for this. eBay is also great because you can often get very cheap new items too. I bought a lot of new organic items for my son at very cheap prices.
Car seat - A car seat is another essential item. You will need it as soon as baby is born if you have a hospital birth, so this is definitely a piece of equipment you want ready!
Baby sling - I found a baby sling to one of the most essential items I could own. I have used it nearly everyday. My son was very colicky when he was a newborn and for the first 6 months or so and the only thing that really soothed him was taking him for walks in a sling or walking around the house with him in a sling. A sling is also a great way to keep your son close to you for the first 6 months of life (considered the In-Arms phase). Your baby loves being closed to you and you will not spoil him for giving him what he needs.
Muslins/Cloths - In relation to my son's acid reflux, a lot of mop cloths were needed! I was lucky to have lots of spare from buying lots for my son's diapers. Try to get a good back up stock of mops. Babies are inevitably messy little things and this will save you have to do washing everyday. Cloths are also great for mopping up once your baby is grown so don't think this is a wasteful expense - it isn't!
Nursing pads - If you intend on breastfeeding or if not, nursing pads are really quite crucial. Your breasts will leak and being very full to begin with and you will need a continuous supply of pads to help absorb it!
Breast pump - This is on the essential list because it was EssentialsHoodiefor me the first week. I managed to get Mastitis where your breasts get very full, lumpy and you feel like you have been hit by the flu. I needed a pump to help relief some of the excess milk I was producing. Despite nursing my son, I still had problems. I also found (Even though this is not recommended in the first 6 weeks) that pumping milk and putting in the fridge allowed my Husband to feed our son while I got have a nice 4 hour nap during the day. You need as much as rest as you can so every little helps!