As everyone knows, babies come with lots of baggage. Literally. When my husband (who HATES to shop) and I went to Babies R Us to register, he had a bit of a panic attack and asked me, "Really? Do babies need all this STUFF??". Well, no, there certainly is a difference between want and need, for sure.
Here are some great sources of what you need before bringing home baby:
Consumer Reports' checklist
Several different checklists from New Parents Guide
First Time Mom List of Essentials by Crystal Paine
And here is a fantastic blog post about how to control baby clutter, from Erin at Unclutterer:
Reader Question: How control pre-baby clutter?
I wholeheartedly agree with all of her points. Number 6 in particular. Don't take the tags off and wash anything until just before they are going to wear it. It's so tempting to have everything washed and ready to go, but I can't count the number of adorable outfits my son simply never wore, mainly because they were the wrong size for the season. With tags on, you can often return/exchange them, or, if you have a local kid stuff sale (like the awesome Parenthesis sale in Oak Park, IL), then you will get more money for them in resale if they've never been worn.
What are some of your newborn/baby essentials? What did you find useless?