I was reading Oh Joy's guide to baby essentials the other day and decided to put together my own list of top 10 items. Everyone has their favorites when it comes to baby items, and I've found that in motherhood people tend to get hyper opinionated. Granted a lot of the time, you end up liking and swearing by the items that you already own and were given (It's not like you're going to go out and buy another stroller if some aspect of yours doesn't fit perfectly with your lifestyle - and most mom's don't like to hear that there are better options once they've already made a purchase). That said, there are a few items that I feel have worked well for us and are worth recommending. Take it all with a grain of salt and definitely do your own research before purchasing.
California Baby Calendula Cream - Since it's super dry in LA this cream is great for those rough spots that even baby gets. It's great for sensitive skin and is super healing. It's vegan so I've used it on Bryan's hands with no worry (he's a fist sucker and his hands get red and chapped) and on the occasional scratches that his tiny sharp nails have incurred on his face. The cream works like a miracle and blemishes heal right up. I think I might start using it on myself!
 One Line a Day - 5 Year Memory Book - A friend of mine sent me one of these. I'm not much of a diary person, but I love writing just one little insight or memory from the day. The book takes you through 5 years and each date (for all five years) is on one page so you can compare from year to year. It will be fun to see how things change with Bryan and look back at when he was such a wee one.
 Aiden + Anais washcloths - I have about 15 washcloths from various sources. Some I use for covering up his peepee during diaper changes. These Aiden + Anais ones are great for the bath. They are large so they work well as a nice warm wet blanket on baby's tummy during bath time. And they're super supple, soft and pliable, great for those crevices between Bryan's chins :)
 Cloud B Sleep Sheep - Honestly, I thought this stuffed sheep was a ridiculous gift when I first saw it. It produces four different white noises from ocean waves to mom's heartbeat. But I'm a convert now. It does a great job of soothing Bryan to sleep at night and drowning out any other noise outside his room.
 Baby Trend's Snap n Go Stroller - I originally wanted the Teutonia T-Linx stroller or a Bugaboo or the like, mainly because they looked so cool and technical and well designed (and because my brother worked on the design of the Teutonia). I think if we still lived in New York I might have gone that route. But being in LA where cars are king, we went with a snap-n-go for our Chicco Keyfit carseat. The Chicco had the best safety ratings and the snap-n-go is super inexpensive and lightweight. It's no the highest quality but it will get the job done until Bryan's big enough to sit front facing in his City Mini stroller (also awesome because of it's foldability)
Tray - I highly recommend any sort of tray to corral your necessities (creams, snot suckers, peepee teepees) on your changing table. I have a turquoise python print tray that a friend gave me, but this CB2 Format Orange Tray would be a great option. Anything easily wipeable and that adds a fun pop of color to the baby's room would be welcome.
 Gerber 5 pack prefold cloth diapers - we don't use these as actual cloth diapers, but they work great as burp cloths. They're super absorbent, very inexpensive so you can buy a ton of them, and are easy to fold because of the way they're constructed. I keep one handy in every room of the house in anticipation of burp-ups.
 Art Cards for Baby - These graphic art cards are a great way to stimulate your baby's mind. They have wonderfully illustrated high contrast images of animals and are super sturdy so you can prop them up in baby's crib for a look see.
 Trumpette baby socks - The oxford ones are super cute, but they also come in so many other fun patterns and designs. Bryan owns several styles of trumpette socks and they are the only ones that consistently stay on his little footsies.
 Baby Gap Knit Cargo Pants - These pants are super soft and I love that they have a narrow cuff at the bottom so they don't ride up. The pockets and drawstring are great for storing pacifier covers and clipping pacifier strings to.