One piece of equipment I always recommend for new-moms-to-be is a good camera. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive or loaded with special space-age features that you'll never bother to figure out anyway. When it comes to having kids, what you want in a camera is something that's easy to use, something that you will use, because I want you to use it. A lot. The baby months--and especially the newborn days and weeks--go by too fast to let them slip away undocumented by hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures.
Does "thousands" sound like too much? I don't think so. My advice for new parents is to take WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY more photos and video clips of your infants than you think you could ever possibly want. Digital photography takes the cost out of processing film, and you don't have to put them all on your blog or print them out or make them into a photo book. Just take them and HAVE them. Certainly take more than you'd ever in good taste post to Facebook or attach to the family newsletter or hang up in your cubicle. For one thing, a lot of your shots will probably be bad (newborns are beautiful in their way, but they're not always particularly attractive), but quality issues aside, just trust me that the photos you get will become priceless treasures as soon as your baby is not the same baby he was just a few weeks before.
Another important point: Please, please, please don't be shy about getting in the photos yourself. You may not look or feel awesome in the days or weeks (or, let's be real, months or years) after giving birth, but think of this as an opportunity to look back on where you were, on who you were, as a new mom and see just how far you've come as a parent. Besides, don't you think your kid will eventually appreciate having some photos of the two of you together during those early days? I don't just think he will, I know he will.
Do you take a lot of photos of your baby? Do you make sure to get in the frame yourself now and then?
Image © iStockphoto/sswartz