Ugh. I hate the term "baby gear". In this consumer driven land we call the US, "baby gear" is a multi billion dollar business each year. Why? Cause people are suckers. And "stuff" is equated with being a better parent, person, businessman, etc.
Do you need all this crap to care for a baby? NO! The first time around we had the whole beautiful crib with this amazing bedding, and everything matched, blah blah blah. And you know what we used it for? To hold clean laundry! And you know what we used the playpen for? More laundry. I put Max in his crib exactly once. He woke up, I put him in his carseat where he slept fine for the remainder of his nap, the end. We co-slept anyway.
But basically what I learned in having the first 2 was that all of that stuff I really thought I needed ended up being useless. Or at the very least a silly expenditure that could have been much less pricey in the first place.
At this point, I know what is useful and what is not. What is nice to have but not necessary. And you know, I do plan to have a baby shower since it has been so long since I've had a baby and I do not have anything left over from my older childrens' younger days. And I am going to have a registry available, but you know what? I am going to BEG everyone to try to find things like blankets, clothes, Boppy pillow, slings, etc, 2nd hand! And ask my friends to generally keep an ear out for used cribs and various related accoutrements.
Baby gear is 99% useless and it takes up space! No good reason for it all.
There are, of course, the things that are not necessary but awfully nice, like an Excersaucer. And I know these can be found in good shape used.
And of course, I do find certain items that make me go *SQUEE!* and that I would like. I am not a total monster :)
In particular, I am questing for a certain blanket that I saw in a picture of Cory Doctorow and his partner Alice's new baby girl that I MUST HAVE! Yes, a $70 baby blanket that makes me froth at the mouth with desire.
I am not immune. Sigh...