1. Stroller – We have a Britax B-Ready, and I think I mainly picked it because it converts to a double and because it was part of the Britax travel system and I really wanted to go with the Britax car seat as I read lots of great reviews for infant car seat safety. It is heavy, but I think that makes it sturdy. It gets pricey because of the attachments and such, but we love it.
2. Baby food maker – Personally I don’t think it is necessary. We used our Nutri Ninja after steaming the vegetables. I actually remember using both freshly made food and also store-bought food (our baby is now a 2 year old).
3. Exercisers – We did get an exersaucer and did use it quite a bit. It was convenient as a place to keep baby entertained while getting stuff done. I think some people have mentioned consignment and this would be one of those purchases that could be bought second-hand – and then even consigned back after you are done with it as it is only used for a certain amount of time.
4. Thermometer – We have a rectal one and it works great (Vicks brand I think). We paid under $15 at a drugstore. Really accurate and easy to use.
5. Diaper bag – A backpack has been the most convenient for us. But don’t get me wrong, there are so many super cute ones out there, especially for mamas, so temptation is always there to make it cute, but functionally, the backpacks we use are really great and not too pricey. I find a duffle or luggage-style bag also works, and they have lots of cute, inexpensive ones at places like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s (not sure if those stores are in Canada!).
I also agree with others that for the most part you will figure out as you go along what works for you and baby. The good thing is that you can consign stuff or return stuff that you don’t use (our baby did not like the bumbo seat for example and this one type of swing/rocker that we got before we found one he did like). And there are soooo many things out there that are made for “babies” and they look like they are a necessity, or at least they market them that way, but really, there is probably a cheaper and easier way of accomplishing the same thing (ie: formula makers, super expensive diaper bags, and baby food makers).
Just a few things I got that I am so glad I did (not mentioned): diaper pail, a baby bath tub with a built in thermometer, swaddling blankets and wearable blankets, humidifier, diaper clutch.
Good luck and congrats again!! 🙂