What you need when you bring your baby home

Anyone who has walked through a Babies 'r Us recently knows that the marketplace of baby supplies is huge.  For many new parents preparing to bring home their first child, the vast array of things to buy can also be extremely overwhelming.  Below is a list of the top ten most important supplies to have in your home before you bring home a newborn.  These things will make your first few days at home a little easier and (hopefully) prevent any excess trips to the store.  Everything else in the baby stores can wait.
1. Rubbing alcohol: For the first couple weeks of your baby's life, you will be told to keep his/her belly button clean with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.  You may be given enough of these at the hospital to last that time period, but you may not.  Have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in your closet just in case it's needed.
2. Baby stain cleaning product: Most parents are aware of the reality that dirty diapers often leak onto their children's clothes (and anything they happen to be sitting on).  Most of those parents also have an opinion on the best way to remove those stains.  While you will have to figure out what works best for you, buy any special products before you bring the baby home.  One trick to getting the stains out is to get them wet and treated quickly; having your product ready will be a huge help.
3. A baby seat (not a car seat): While newborns are a ton of fun to hold, eventually every parent needs to shower, make a sandwich for dinner, etc. and you need someplace to put your baby.  Chances are they won't get into much trouble on the floor but it's nice to have a seat to put your baby in when you need your hands back for a couple of minutes.  There are many options of swings and bouncers out there.  Personally I loved the fact that my baby's bouncer was portable and I could easily move it to whatever room of the house I was in.  This object may be a luxury for some, but it's a very convenient luxury to have.
4. Swaddler wraps: Unless you are a labor and delivery nurse who swaddles babies for a living, chances are you won't be an expert (at least right away) at swaddling your baby.  But for many babies, swaddling really does help calm them and help them sleep.  Purchase some swaddler wraps that have velcro; they make swaddling easier and help keep your baby contained more effectively than a plain receiving blanket will.
5. Baby feeding supplies:If you plan to breastfeed, buy several nursing bras before your baby arrives.  Even though the last thing you may feel like doing during your ninth month of pregnancy is bra shopping, make yourself do it; you will be glad you did it later.  Also buy nursing pads to keep your new bras from becoming completely milk logged instantly.  If you plan to bottle feed, have all your bottle supplies purchased and sterilized before your baby arrives.  A dishwasher basket and bottle drying rack will also come in handy.
6. Nightlight or low-wattage lamp: You probably won't want to turn on a regular lamp in the middle of the night, both for yours and your baby's sake, but you will need light to change diapers.  Having a nightlight and/or low-wattage lamp in your nursery should be all you need.

7. Nail clippers or file: Baby fingernails are sharp and grow quickly.  If you don't keep them trimmed, your baby will very quickly scratch him or herself and you. 

8. Burp cloths: Your baby will spit up and he or she will spit up often.  Buy enough to keep at least one in all the rooms of your home you spend time in, as well as extras to replace the first round when they are being washed.

9. Place for baby to sleep: Whether your opt for a crib or a basinette, make sure you have a spot for your baby to sleep before you leave for the hospital.  You will want it when you come home!

10. Diapers and wipes: This may seem obvious, but this list would be incomplete without it.  Make sure the diapers are newborn size.