This is going to be a huge post. My apologies in advance.
I'll start by saying this - I purchased a LOT of things based on recommendations from friends, internet ratings and just because it looked cool. Some things worked great - others I wonder why I ever bothered. Hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes! Without further ado:
SwaddleMe wraps - I bought one of these from BabySteals.com or something without knowing much about it, and ended up buying 3 more from Babies R Us. Abby LOVED being wrapped up tight, and it was the only way she'd sleep soundly (and still to this day!) Swaddling with a regular blanket did not work, as she'd kick or punch her way out of it. I had four, 2 fleece and 2 cotton knit. I probably could have gotten by with just one of each, but Abby doesn't spit up much so...take that as you will.
Graco Pack N Play - Anyone who's going to be traveling with the wee babe, or needs something for grandma's house - THIS is what to get. Between the bassinet feature and changing table (that folds out of the way) it's everything you need while on the road. It even has a mini diaper caddy and wipes holder.
Fisher-Price Little Lamb Swing - I know most of the baby world knows how great this thing is already, so I won't go off the deep end with compliments, but it's pretty damn great. Abby loves hers. And momma just found out the seat sits up or lays down. (I'm a slow learner apparently.)
Air Flow Sleep Positioner - I don't remember why I was inclined to buy this (probably the instilled fear of SIDS) but it is WONDERFUL. Abby rolls onto her side pretty easily - not with this product. It's adjustable, and she doesn't seem to notice. The piece of mind it offers is worth the $13 or whatever it cost.
Cloth Diapers - Yeah - I don't cloth diaper. (Tell me about how I'm destroying the environment later.) However, these things are THE BEST burp cloths. Don't bother with the cutesy burp cloths sold by Gerber - they're too thin and Abby ends up getting soaked unless we double them up. Cloth diapers are the way to go.
Aden + Anais Swaddle Wraps - These are HUGE muslin blankets great for swaddling, emergency crib sheet, etc etc. A good lightweight blanket for summertime as well. Also - BUY THEM FROM TARGET - they're about $15 cheaper than if you buy them anywhere else. Don't ask me why.
Soothe & Glow Seahorse - Again, this is all over the baby boards as being awesome so I won't bother going into it. Just trust me - IT WORKS.
Tiny Love Symphony in Motion Mobile - I LOVE this mobile. It's perfect with bold colors and black & white graphics. Unfortch, it's not being produced anymore, but Tiny Love has other mobiles that are just as awesome. I bought mine on craigslist. Here's where I'm not so much on this - the motor was a bit loud, so I tried to contact Tiny Love to get a replacement part. I called them 4 times, leaving messages 3 of those times, and sent two emails trying to get ahold of someone. I still have yet to get any sort of reply. So...as long as it never breaks this is an awesome mobile. :)
Bink Link Pacifier Clip - I'll admit, when I saw little Madeline (of Matt & Madeline fame) with one of these I ordered one. Like, 5 months before I even tried to get pregnant. It was just too cute. And it's also a lifesaver. Abby loves her pacifier, but also enjoys spitting out just as much. This stops it from hitting the floor. And stops me from having a nervous breakdown.
Moby Wrap - I don't use this too much yet - but the times I have made it worth the money. I'm sure I'll use it more as she gets older and when it's not eleventy billion degrees below zero.
Bassinet (courtesy of craigslist) - I wasn't going to buy one since I had planned on using the Pack N Play in our bedroom. Then, a couple months before my due date I realized there was no way in HELL that huge thing was going to fit in our room. I didn't see the sense in buying a brand new bassinet when she was only going to use it for a couple months, tops. I got mine for $30, and it was in great shape. Ours is two pieces, so you can bring the "basket portion" into the living room, leaving the base behind.
Wet Happened Bag - Such a good idea. Anytime Abby's spit up or somehow managed to piss all over her clothes while we were out and about - her clothes went into this bag, keeping everything else dry and smelling good in her diaper bag. I have the "orchid groovy" print.
Summer Handheld Video Monitor - We tried the traditional audio monitor in our house and for whatever reason got nothing but feedback. (WiFi interfering? Who knows.) We had our eye on this the whole time, and finally broke down and bought it. LOVE. We have to keep the door to her room closed since our cat loves her crib more than she does - so having an ear AND eye on her from anywhere in the house is awesome for peace of mind. It was spendy, but I got it on sale at Babies R Us and it's been worth every penny.
Burt Bees "Baby Bee" line - I received Johnson's, Mustela and Burt's Bees products as gifts...and I have to say I love the Burt's Baby Bee products the best. (Ironic name, no?) Their line is almost 100% natural and smells just as good if not better than the Johnson's line.
Munchkin Safety Bath Duck - If you're like me and enjoy a scalding hot bath, it can be kind of scary selecting a temp for your little one. This little ducky stopped me from worrying if the tub was too hot.
And websites I purchased many an item from - Mamabargains.com and Babysteals.com
Not So Much
Halo Sleep Sacks -I have 3 of these (including a swaddling version from the hospital) and I've used one a couple times. Here's my issue (and maybe it's just a seasonal deal) - her arms are not covered while she's in this thing (the non-swaddle version). It's cold in our house at night, and this didn't keep her warm. Fine for napping, but I'm not sold.
Itzbeen Timer - I bought this because in the beginning I was having a hard time remembering when I had fed Abby. Problem is, I also had a hard time remembering to hit the button every time I did, which makes this thing pretty useless. I will say I use the light on it all the time, as I have it clipped to the bassinet. (Then I don't have to turn on my light in the middle of the night and wake up the mister.) Might be more helpful for breastfeeding mommies (helps to remind which breast you nursed from last).
Carter's Cuddle Me Safari Bouncer - I registered for this because it was cute, neutral and had a vibrating option. IT SUCKS. Her head rolls all around (despite the head positioner) and the vibration makes this thing sound like it's going to fall apart. It's SO LOUD. We had to stuff folded up paper into it to try to quiet it down and it just vibrates out and the one million decibel vibrations resume. I wish we had a chair that was quiet, because she likes it, but momma can't stand the sound. But I can't bring myself to buy a different one.
Fold Away Baby Bath - I thought this would be nice to have since it folds up so small, but it's ridiculous. I can't use it alone, she slides all over the place on the inflatable bottom. It might be better when she's older and can sit up on her own, but not now. Also, the plastic feet made the tub itself slide all over our tub. We ended up with one that looks like this (sans the froggy stuff) and it's MUCH better, I can actually give her a bath myself.
Gerber Burp Cloths - As I mentioned above, these things are adorable but need to be doubled or tripled up to prevent the formula from leaking through.
Baby Cache "Tampa" Crib & Dresser - I only put this here because I have a complaint. The wood is REALLY soft and there's lots of dents and deep scratches in both of these already (some scratches from my kitty's claws!!) and that makes me sad for how much they were. Other than that I really like the design and build of these two...but scratches = sad.