I typed the above into Google and got 16,600 hits. I chose ParenTime, RealSavvyMoms, and About.com to investigate.
I made a spreadsheet. And I am NOT ashamed!
(Chris and I recently had a moment of laughter when we realized we are approaching newborn care/parenting with the same mindset we approach everything: researching (me) and gear-buying (him).)
There were some strange words on the three layette lists. Like "stretchies" and "sacques". Google as I might, I can't figure out what the hell these things are. Mom helped us figure out the difference between sleepers and jumpsuits, but the division between onesies and undershirts is still hazy.
There were also some amusing differences between one list and another. For example, the ParenTime list is most extensive in its bath consumables section (cotton swabs, cotton balls, baby powder, baby lotion, baby wash, blunt-edge scissors (why?), baby comb and brush, etc.) but doesn't list the baby bathtub. Admittedly not a must-have, but you could probably get by without a lot of the aforementioned items as well, so it seems incongruous.
Three sets of fitted sheets for the crib (or cradle) seems excessive to me - I don't even have three sets of sheets for my own bed. But neither Chris nor I has wet the bed for a very long time, so I guess I see the logic there. And with any bit of luck, baby sheets will be less expensive than a queen-sized set, right?
So, tallying the averages of all the items and comparing the numbers to what I have on-hand (thanks to my fantastically generous sister and a couple of fun shopping trips), I find to my surprise that there are still a few items I "need". I am wholeheartedly not concerned about this, because I take the word "need" with a crib-sized chunk of salt. More amusingly, though, are the items where I have way more than I could possibly use. For example, the number of recommended onesies is 8. I have 19. Recommended number of hats = 2. I have 8. But seriously - can you ever have too many hats? No, I say! And again I say no!
Anyway, it was an amusing and enlightening exercise. Especially because after I printed out the lists, and unbeknownst to me, Chris added a few more must-have items. In amongst the onesies, washcloths, and diaper pails, I discovered the additions "Katana Rattle" and "Kimono & Obi".
This will go well with the Ninja mobile he has planned.