Seems like every week I find out another friend or family member is pregnant (or just had a baby and I didn't even know they were pregnant -oops!). Anyhoo, I thought I would list some of the baby items that I like best. Bonus: all of these are under $25. Click on the link to see a picture/where to buy. Most of these can also be obtained at your local baby superstore.
Garment extenders (Add a size) These are great because they extend the life of your onesies. In my experience, babies grow in length faster than in girth so these really do work. They are also excellent for getting onesies to fit over fluffy, cloth diaper butts.
Jamtots wetbags These zippered bags are perfect for cloth-diapering on the go, but they are also great for carrying and storing sticky bibs, washcloths, feeding utensils, and dirty wet clothes in the diaper bag. Keep one stocked with a diaper, some wipes, and a pacifier and it's perfect to keep in the pocket of your stroller.
Tilty cups BPA-free and easy for babies to use. Better for babies oral health (those valves are not good news according to the American Dental Association).
Bumkins Superbib Simply the best bib. Good shoulder coverage. Easy to clean. A pocket to catch stuff. Need I say more?
Bath hammock Stick one of these in the Ikea tub and you've got a good way to bathe a newborn.
Ikea tub I like this tub much better than the gimmicky ones in the baby superstores because it is simple, easy to clean, no bumps/weird positioners. It works great for the older baby and even works for a toddler. Sit it inside your regular tub, fill it up, and use less water.
Mesh basket for dishwasher I prefer these to the hard plastic baskets. It can fit anywhere in your dishwasher and all kinds of things fit inside- bottle rings/nipples, baby spoons, straws, lids, etc.
The one thing I really couldn't live without, is my Maclaren Quest stroller. No, not under $25 (in fact, quite a bit over), but absolutely one of the best "baby" investments. Mollie is almost 5 and still rides in it when the need arises.
Now, if you want to get all this stuff, you might have to hurry. According to this article (click here) , the recently enacted Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is going to put a lot of baby product manufacturers out of business. This law creates a stricter standard for lead in children's products (yay!). I am all for improved product safety, but I have been hearing a lot of bad press about how this law is going to be implemented. Primarily, I am concerned about the availability of handmade and second-hand toys, clothes, diapers. The third party lead testing and certification required by the law is very costly, and small manufacturers cannot afford it. And it's retroactive, so forget about buying all those great used toys/clothes for a while. If you're interested in the issue, here's another good article to read.