While planning our wedding, I remember lots of loud complaining about the wedding industry, how they soak you, and how much STUFF is insisted to be essential.
Once I got pregnant, I realized the wedding industry ain't got nuthin' on the preggo/baby/child industry. For weddings, if you don't have item x, people might talk! For pregnancy or babies, if you don't have item x, that's fine IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO DIE/DEVELOP IMPROPERLY/BE LESS SMART THAN SUZIE DOWNTHESTREET/ETC. Phew. What's a parent to do? Simple - maintain perspective and remember that, like cats, most children are happier with cardboard boxes than whatever came in them and that you'll never know what works for you and your baby until your baby arrives.
But that won't stop me from telling you the top 5 things I think make parenting easier in the first 6 months - which is all I got so far. Click on each item for the whys: