Don't go overboard shopping for your baby. You don't need half of the things you end up buying.
Your baby does not need a lot of toys to play with. Invest in a single colourful rattle that is also suitable for teething, a soft toy for him to cuddle up with, and you're all set. Hang the rattle from above his crib when he's little, and once your baby can hold the rattle, let him play with it and chew on it for a while. The bright colours stimulate your baby's sight, and reaching out for it helps in hand to eye coordination. Your baby will receive a lot of toys as gifts either on his birth or on his first birthday party, so don't bother about investing in any at this point. In any case, everything is a toy for your baby at this age, and he will be perfectly content playing with a plastic box as he will be with a thousand-rupee toy soldier. Save the expensive toys for when your child grows up and demands them - because those days are not far away!
Not everyone will need a steriliser. Many mothers go from directly breastfeeding their baby, to feeding them with a cup or a glass when the baby is older. So if you plan to breastfeed your baby for a long time, don't bother buying one until the need arises, if it does. However, if you cannot directly breastfeed your baby for whatever reason, invest in a steriliser to make your life a lot easier. You will not have to constantly boil bottles, keep a lookout for the time, wonder if they have boiled long enough and so on. An electric steriliser is very convenient and very portable. Take it with you wherever you go, and simply plug it in to use. A microwave steriliser is cheaper, but may not be suitable for sterilising all equipment, and may not be of use if you don't possess a microwave oven.
If you have a fairly large home, or perhaps a duplex, it makes sense for you to invest in a baby monitor so you can hear your baby cry no matter which room you are in. Without a monitor you may feel hesitant leaving your baby alone in the room. Even if you leave the room, you will find yourself constantly going back to check on her. "I would keep imagining that I could hear my baby crying, and when I would go and check on her, she would be fast asleep," says Maya. She was constantly straining to hear if her baby was crying, while she was busy working around the house. Finally she invested in a monitor. "I feel so much more relieved now!" she says.
In smaller houses there may not be any need of a baby monitor, but even so, remember, any other noise source like the radio or television, can very easily drown out your baby's cries. Also, once your baby has fallen asleep, you may wish to close her door so she doesn't get disturbed with the noise. Or you may want to keep mosquitoes at bay or keep your lovable but dirty pet out of the room. Without a monitor you will need to keep the door open when you are out of the room at all times, so you can hear her if she starts crying. However, if the monitor is on, you can leave her in the room with the door closed, so she sleeps undisturbed - and you will be able to hear every little cough, sneeze or cry.
In any case, avoid leaving your newborn unattended. Ideally, there should always be someone in the room. Never leave your baby alone in an object like a bouncer or car seat, or on a play mat under hanging toys.