From the moment you find out there will be a new little soul in your life the urge to buy and spend will be strong, but before you do let me share some items that I found to be helpful and some idea of what to register for, because trust me as fun as it is to run around a store with a scanner gun you don't want to over whelm your baby shower guests.
The BIGGEST & BEST tip I ever received as a future parent was this: With EVERY paycheck, buy at least 1 box of wipes and or a random size of diapers. Seriously! This was the best lifesaver ever! We bought all the way up to size 3 an we didn't have to buy any once our child was born till we started the potty training stage. When you buy just remember sizes Newborn & 1 will be for a tiny period and in our case 3 seemed to last the longest, but each baby is different and this is why I say buy a bunch of random sizes. Honestly do it! You will be happy when the time comes. Plus, if you are lucky your baby shower guests will give you some in addition, check out "Diaper Raffles" as a baby shower party game idea to encourage it.
Also a tip on the prego book buying...SAVE YOUR MONEY! Really there are so many awesome sites out there that will even send you what's going on this week (I still get my Baby Center updates on the kiddo). Really if you buy a book I would skip "What to Expect You're Expecting" and buy the daddy-to-be, "The Expectant Father," it's a great one that we past down to expectant dad's in our group of friends. Another book I LOVE and we used through out baby's 1st year was, "What to Expect the First Year." I did have a pregnancy diary, "The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer," but sadly as the pregnancy continued I stopped filling it out. I just felt like I was repeating and it took away from the pregnancy writing down my battles (I had hyperemesis), but if you are one to scrapbook everything you may want this.
The belly items that I couldn't have lived without an think made a world of difference: Coco Butter and Bebe Sounds Prenatal Gift Set.
The butter just helped with the itchiness of my belly. It didn't really stop the stretch marks from coming, so sorry if you were hoping for a cure.
As for the Prenatal Sounds, it really didn't deliver for the whole "hearing baby's heartbeat" part, but we defiantly got to hear our little one kick, but I really liked this item as a means for Daddy-to-be to bond with the little bun in the oven. All day baby gets to hear Mommy talk, but this allows Dad to tell stories to and baby to get use to his voice, just as much as yours. My husband & I made a point every night for him to have little chatting sessions, sometimes he would read a book, other times he would force us both to listen to the stories of the "Legendary Chicago Bears." Btw, I'm a Chargers fan, so those moments weren't my favorite. ;) In addition to that, it's able to hook up with your ipod, so our Riley got her own baby playlist to listen to in the womb. If you can find something like this & it's in your price range go for it!
Registry Time! Like I said, it's really fun & yes, you'll wanna scan everything, but don't. It really makes your guests have a lot more work and odds are you'll get more items you really don't need that are "cute" and be stuck buying actual items you do need yourself.
Crib (If you can & are wanting baby in your room you may want a bassinet for the first few months) Mattress Pad
Diaper Changing Table
Diaper Changing Table Pad & Cover (You can skip, but I was happy we had ours. Saved my back.)
Stroller, another personal choice, but we used a jogger the whole time. It was much easier to open, close & use where ever we needed it. Eventually we bought a umbrella stroller as back up, but it only got used once or twice tops.
Car seat, typically matches your stroller choice.
Pack N' Play/Play Yard/ Travel Crib, our's was great for time at Grammy's.
*Remember Babies grow FAST! Register for many many different sizes and items that will grow with them you'll get the most out of. Also try to think what season your little one will be arriving in. Obviously, won't want hot clothing for summer or vice versa.
Layettes, Onesies, Gowns (sleepers), Tops, Socks
Hats & Mittens, though you will probably use socks over mittens, warning.
Bibs, not the fancy, oh so cute ones. Odds are you'll get those, but the cloth over plastic good for feeding time ones. You won't care if they get ruined.
Cloth Diapers (these work as even better burp cloths)
Swaddle Size Blankets, swaddling is God's gift to parents! If you are confused, check out Happiest Baby on the Block.
Washcloths (You'll probably end up with a ton, even if you forget to register.)
Butt Paste, no joke less mess then other diaper rash creams, LOVE IT!
Infant Safe Nail Clipper Set
Diaper & Wipes
Diaper Champ, personal choice, I liked more cause I didn't have to buy special trash bags like the Diaper Genie requires.
Baby Monitor (Get 1 that can move with you, so you aren't stuck by a outlet when you move your end)
Bedding, typically your theme item for the whole nursery
Dry Mattress Covers - Having a few on hand are a big help, you never can predict a diaper leak and it saves the mattress big time!
Crib Sheets, 4 is a good number.
Boppy! A mom's best friend :) (You may want to register for a additional cover to have on hand.)
Tummy Time Mat/Gym
Jumper/Stationary Entertainer (Walkers aren't recommended anymore.)
Swing & this does not have to be a huge expensive swing, actually ours folded down and was easy to move and our Riley loved it for months!
Baby Proof House Items, look around your house cause you'll need it sooner then you think.
Nursing Bra Pads, we all leak, sorry, but it's the truth.
Lanolin, if you are going to pump or breastfeed.
High Chair/Booster Seat (We used the seat, it was easier to take with us to an lasted a good amount of time.)
Optional, but Recommended:
Baby Record Book!
Another item that we registered for that most people don't was a Jumbo Toy Hammock. Thing has been a huge help with the stuffed animal over load.
There were a few things that I did leave out, like Breast Pump and bottles. Now, there is a reason, check with your hospital because it may work out better for you to rent a "Hospital Grade" breast pump over buying, an bottles come down to choice. We tried to find ones that were the closest to "mommy's boobs" as we could find, an clearly we are not all built the same. I did have a Medela Pump, which my hospital's Lactation Nurse provided tubing for, but I still ended up relying on the hospital's machine more.
Another really random tip: If you get a gift receipt and they happen to have the gift bag on it, an they didn't write on the card attached or anything, RETURN IT! I know it sounds funny, but it was a tip from some wedding site and I applied it to the shower, well you'll be surprised how much extra baby cash you'll end up with.
Obviously, this is just a jumping point an if you see some must have items for your nursery theme or a diaper bag, a must have outfit by all means scan it, but you would be surprised some items I've seen on registries that I don't know anyone who has used, let alone needs. Sometimes it was sooo much that it just looked like a kid went crazy in a store and I ended up just picking random things that I've liked over looking at their list. Hopefully this gives you a starting point an makes you feel a little less lost in a sea of baby items.