As a mom of two under four and a professional newborn photographer, it’s safe to say I’m around babies a LOT. I’ve been called a baby whisperer by some of my clients {it’s part of the job, ya know?}, so I thought I’d share my four essentials to help get you through the newborn phase.

southern Maryland newborn photographer

1. A white noise machine

You’ll hear mine going from the moment you walk into the studio, and for good reason! Newborns just spent nine months listening what sounded like a vacuum running 24/7. Background noise helps them settle to sleep, and sleep is good. I highly recommend a standalone machine rather than a phone app so that your phone isn’t held hostage. I like this one¬†because it mimics sounds heard in utero, and the rhythmic shushing is a nice touch.

2. A backpack-style diaper bag

Once you’ve got a baby, you basically become a human pack mule. How do the tiniest humans require the most stuff!? The traditional purse-like diaper bags are cute, but functionality is king here in the trenches. A backpack means you’ll take up less room width-wise, which you’ll appreciate when you’re trying to squeeze yourself, a bucket car seat, and an overpacked diaper bag between tables at Panera. There’s a wide range of styles available, and dads tend to love them, too. The JuJuBe BFF is my personal favorite.

3. A non-stretchy baby carrier

I baby wore my girls, which I credit with easing my postpartum anxiety and allowing me to get things done while still snuggling my babies. But we went through a lot of trial and error to find a baby carrier that worked for us. Skip the cheap stretchy ones and go straight for a ring sling or a soft structured carrier. The Tula ring slings were lifesavers in the early weeks, but as your newborn grows, the versatility of the SSC is hard to beat. I still wear my girls on occasion, so rest assured that the investment will pay for itself!

Professional newborn portraits

southern Maryland baby photographer

Oh come on, you saw that coming! In all seriousness though, this is such a fleeting moment in your life, one that may be mired in the fog of raging hormones and sleepless nights. I don’t have newborn portraits of my girls, and it’s truly one of my biggest regrets and why I specialize in newborn photography now. They really do grow faster than you ever thought possible! Head here to learn more about the newborn portrait experience with AWP.