Just getting caught up on the past few pages. It looks like we're past the stroller selection posts and onto baby gear.
STROLLER: Like a couple Ottawa mommas, we got the BOB and borrowed a snap and go. I had the SAG in our trunk for a few weeks but hated it mostly because it's been well loved and it feels like it's going to fall apart.
I love the BOB and got it before A arrived. For winter walks with a pooch, I highly recommend putting the baby in the carrier and wearing yak trax if the ground surface is slippery. Even with the BOB and "ploughed" sidewalks, I find using the stroller quite bumpy for the baby and difficult to maneuver. For -20C, I only walk with her in a carrier (see below) since she's warmer that way. For warmer days, I use the BOB with the weather shield.
CARSEAT: We have a Britax B-SAFE bucket, which I also love. It only goes up to 22 lb but as with all buckets, most babies will outgrow the length/height of the seat (varies depending on manufacturer) before they ever hit the weight so IMO the higher weight of a Snugride is moot since you won't likely ever ready a 30-35 lb weight rear-facing. Plus, who wants to be lugging around a bucket longer than necessary? Not me, those things are heavy!
Convertibles are great too but not so good if you end up with a preemie or very small weight baby (6 lbs or less). Some are rated to 4 lb but it depends on the proportions of the baby since the lowest harness setting might not be short enough for a smaller/shorter baby. It's tricky to buy a convertible ahead of time unless you want to gamble a bit. In most cases, you would be fine with it provided it's installed at the requisite 45 degree angle rear-facing. All of the brands are crash-tested according to federal standards so find one that fits your car and can be installed correctly every time. I have TONS of carseat related safety/brand information if you want it.
ESSENTIALS (FOR US): Other than the standard safe place to sleep, we use the following items daily or semi-regularly and they are amazing:
-Carriers (we have 3 - a Manduca buckle carrier, ring sling and woven wrap). If you want to babywear, get one that's ergonomic. It will be more comfortable in the long run and you will be more inclined to use it. If I had to use 1 carrier, it would be the buckle carrier. I'm a big big big babywearer so PM me if you want to have a long discussion on this.
I'm happy to share some knowledge.
-Swing: A loves it and it allows us to put her down while we prep meals and eat.
-Bouncy chair: I use it when I go on my bike trainer in the basement or I'm pumping in another room since it's portable. Not essential since you could also put baby on a blanket on the floor.
-A has a fairly minimalist wardrobe for a baby girl. She usually has 3-4 outfits in rotation. You'll be doing laundry frequently and will get gifted with lots of clothes so you don't really need that many pieces of clothing. Zippered sleepers are very hard to find (at least in the winter) but I agree with QC on this point. Snaps are a PITA!
-Cloth diapers (hurray!): We're a prefold and pocket diaper family. We were committed to CDing before the baby arrived and it's really easy to do. You can use an old bucket as a dry diaper pail (we use the Nellie's one) with a wet bag. Again, I'm really enthusiastic about CDing so PM me if you want to chat.
We also use re-useable wipes at home and they are very convenient. IMO they clean better than disposables since you require fewer to get the same result especially for blow-ups. They go in the diaper pail and get washed with the diaper laundry.
-Not all babies take bottles so buy the stuff but don't be surprised if he/she doesn't take them for awhile....but keep trying especially if you'll be going back to work pretty early and are planning on pumping. We were fortunate to have no problems with breastfeeding so we started trying bottles with pumped milk around 4 weeks. Some older babies will go right to a sippy cup and there's also a cup called a Doidy Cup. I was really expecting to get a break from BFing so I could get away for 2+ hours but that's not the case yet.
-Full swaddling might not work for every baby. From day one, A wanted her hands out despite the moro reflex. She was happier that way than fully swaddled. We stopped swaddling her torso and legs around 2 months and now she uses a sleep sack.