Stroller- My key advice is pick a stroller to pick your lifestyle. Will you use it mostly indoors or outside? Will it live in your trunk, garage, or home? Can it grow with the baby, or is it just for infants?
When I was pregnant with Gaines, I figured that I could just get away with our indoor double stroller (that my parents kindly bought us.) However, I quickly found out that my boys were happy during their witching hour when we were outside, and the indoor stroller was getting too much wear and tear. My kind in-laws got us the BOB double stroller. It is perfect going to the park. As much as I know that I could probably get away with one or the other, I like both! I use both! The Joovy (which is a very affordable option for a double stroller BTW) is perfect for walking around the mall and getting in and out tight doors. I also adore the massive basket and sunshade. It reclines almost completely, which is nice with little babies. The BOB is wonderful for our long walks, especially when we venture into the woods. Also, I own both of these strollers in their single versions, so you know I really like these companies.
What I own-
Furniture- By save, I mean don't feel that you have to go to a big box baby store and buy and expensive set. All of the nurseries I love on Pinterest had an eclectic feel to them. We already had some antique furniture that had been passed down to us, and I wanted to incorporate it into both nurseries. Our in-laws purchased this crib for us when we were pregnant with Woody. It was a great crib that Woody used until Gaines came along. Now he happily resides in it. I think it is beautiful and was pretty affordable. Wal-Mart and Ikea also have really great prices on cribs that look way more expensive than they are. Even if that is a little steep, Craigslist is full of cribs for sale.
I know a lot of people buy those covertable cribs that turn into toddler beds and double beds. This seems like a great option, but my sister let me know that after you buy the expensive crib, the converter "set" is extra $$$. And I am difficult and wanted a twin bed for Woody after he outgrew the crib.
As for the rest of the furniture, think about pieces to reuse from your own home. Dressers make great changing tables. We used a pie safe for a bookcase/storage. And check out flea markets. That is where I bought the ugly, red dresser for cheap cheap. Like less that $100 cheap/ It was a solid, sturdy piece of furniture though. I cannot imagine what I would have spent at an actual baby store.
Here are some examples of my nurseries, as well as my sister's, where we have an eclectic mix of furniture.
Glider- Ok, so this is the one piece of nursery furniture I would spend a little more on. Thankfully, once again, our parents gifted us with these purchases when Woody was born. I wanted a glider for his nursery that looked like a chair so that I could use it in other rooms once he outgrew it. I tried to pick out a fabric that wasn't too babyish.
When Woody was about eight weeks old, my in-laws were keeping Woody and purchased a super comfortable rocker/recliner for the family room, which was nice since we had an upstairs and downstairs. However, that can be a really big expense, so try to imagine where you will spend the most time with your baby if you can just choose one.
Bedding- The side of me that loves interiors cringes to write this. However, if money is tight, you can really save here. Guess what your baby needs in his crib? A mattress protector and a sheet. Oh, and those are pretty affordable, so buy several. Now, I love a crib skirt, so you can read here about mine. I spent $100 on my bumper pad and took it out as soon as I thought Woody might roll over (I am super paranoid.) $100 is a lot of money for something that was for pictures basically.
Again, be weary of sets. They often come with things you won't ever use, like pillows and quilts, but pay $$$ for.
Diaper Bag- Yes, it is true. However, it doesn't have to be a legit diaper bag or a "designer" bag, but you will want a good quality Mom Tote. I have wasted lot of money on buying cheap bags that fell apart. I never used an official diaper bag, but my favorite tote is this one.
They make an insert I believe if you are organized and like your stuff separated. I am just a toss in the big tote kind of girl.
Swings, Bouncy Seats, Rockers, Etc...- These type things add up quick. Honestly, I think ever baby is different in what they prefer. I had a bouncy seat with Woody that he used occasionally, but Gaines adored it. My advice is to ask friends and family to let you borrow whatever they have until the baby comes. Then test drive the options out. Then you can spend on one that your baby really likes (or keep the one loaned to you and act like you don't know what happened to it!)
Overall, I just think it is wise to stop and think about baby purchases. You can feel like you HAVE to buy everything, when in reality, you're baby just needs love, food, diapers, and sleep (buy whatever is necessary to make that baby sleep.) It is easy to get caught up in cute clothes and the latest gadgets (guilty), but try to invest in the things you can use for many years. I am always interested in what other moms think. What would you add to the list? What would you take off?