When we had our baby shower I got all kinds of stuff including a bunch of gift cards. We went out and bought a nice changing table, crib, dresser, the whole nine yards. I thought we needed a changing table. It was the biggest waste of money! I may have used it once. When you are in the trenches, you just change the baby wherever you are. You are not going to be taking the baby to the changing table every time you need to change their diaper. Buy from a place like Kids-to-Kids. They out grow clothing and toys so fast, it is foolish to think everything has to be brand new. If you want to spend your money on anything, buy diapers. Your baby will go through more than you ever imagined, I promise. Newborn babies are expensive so choose very wisely what you want to spend your money on.
When it came to getting newborn pictures done, there were a lot of options. We went with Kerry Paradis Photography because she was much cheaper than most photographers out there, but also has very good quality work. I saw some photographers wanted close to $1000 for pictures! Who has that kind of money after just having a baby. A girlfriend of mine took the cheap route and regrets it everyday. You only get one shot at newborn photos so you don't want to go cheap. Her pictures in my opinion are terrible. The swaddle is awful, the baby is not posed properly and the pictures almost look unedited. Our pictures with Kerry turned out wonderful! She was very patient with us and made us feel very comfortable. Her studio is so unique and rustic too. We will definitely be using her for all our pictures in the future. She was worth every penny.