Tag Archives: dc newborn photographer

What an amazing maternity session I had with this lovely family! This Mama was just stunning in her beautiful white and pink lace maternity dress. Perfectly fitting as the family waits for their baby girl to join them. Maternity sessions are such a sweet reminder of those fleeting months. They’re months of anticipation, of excitement, of nervousness, of eagerness. It’s a weird time that I wanted to freeze and speed up all at once.

I wanted to freeze that amazing feeling of growing a tiny human inside of me. The memory of those tiny punches and kicks. I wanted to freeze the time with our family dynamics before they changed. But, at the same time, I wanted to speed past the anxiety and worries over the baby. I wanted to skip the last month that feels like it will never end. The heaviness of the growing belly, the sleepless and uncomfortable nights, the aches and pains. Oh, and labor! That part I definitely wanted to skip each time.

But that’s not how pregnancy works. We don’t get to pick and choose. We have no control over anything that happens with our bodies. Our body changes so much in such a short time that I love having maternity photos from each pregnancy to remember what it felt like. My last pregnancy was 9 months ago, and it feels like it was just yesterday and also a million years ago.

Maternity photos will help you freeze and remember those (seemingly endless) short months in your motherhood journey.

mom and dad are holding and smiling at their toddler boy.adorable toddler boy is snuggling close to moma cute little boy is feeling the baby move inside momtoddler boy is being held on top off his mamapregnant mama is walking through the garden with her toddler sona perfect baby bump is being shown off with moma gorgeous pregnant mother is enjoying a quiet moment in a gardenpregnant mama is laying her head in her husbandproud father to be is gazing lovingly at his pregnant wifepregnant mama is twirling in her gorgeous lace maternity gownthe perfect pregnant belly in a flowing and lace covered pink maternity gowngorgeous mama to be in a white lace maternity topDon’t forget to schedule your maternity session today! It will be one thing to check off your long to-do list. The best time for pregnancy photos is between 32 and 36 weeks. You should be feeling great then, and your baby bump will be perfect for showing off.

The sleep deprivation is hands down the hardest part for me with a newborn. I just don’t function well on little sleep. And the little sleep we get with a newborn is interrupted at best. With each baby, I learned and tried some new things, but I have a list of my top 10 newborn must haves to help the baby (and you!) sleep. They’re definitely what I would add first to any baby registry! 

These are my favorite top 10 newborn must haves for sleep:

  1. Rock N Play. I wasn’t lucky enough to have one of these with my first two, but a friend insisted that I needed it with my third so she let me borrow hers. We carried it around the house for a safe place to put the baby, and she also napped in it during the day where I could keep an eye on her. I especially liked it for napping when she started spitting all the time around 2 weeks old. baby sleeping in a rock n play sleeper with swaddle and pacifier by dc nova newborn photographer
  2. Bassinet. Friends let us borrow the gorgeous Pottery Barn Kids bassinet with our third, and we loved it. It was so much better than using the bassinet insert in the Pack N Play that we used with the boys. We alternated between having her sleep in the bassinet in the living room during the day and in our bedroom at night.
  3. Swaddle Blankets. I tried several different swaddle blankets with my 3 kids. The gold standard for me is honestly the Swaddle Designs cotton flannel blankets. They’re the only blankets that my kids couldn’t kick out of immediately! I think the material is grippier than muslin. baby is sleeping in a bassinet with a swaddle blanket
  4. Sleep Sacks. My kids liked being swaddled until about 3-4 weeks. I know plenty of kids who were swaddled for months. But my kids grunted all night long very early on to work their arms out of that swaddle… At that point, I transitioned them to sleep sacks with their arms out. I have several different brands from my older boys. With our third, I discovered this brand and love it so much. We received it as a gift, and I went out and bought the next size up. My kids sleep in sleep sacks until age 3, which may be partly why they never climbed out of their cribs.
  5. Zipper Pajamas. I avoid buttons on pajamas at all costs. It’s terrible having to button pajamas in the middle of the night or when baby is crying to be fed. My favorites are Carter’s pajamas. I use those from newborn through 12 months, when babies are no longer so anxious to be dressed quickly for bedtime. 
  6. Pacifier. Personally, I’m a big fan of using pacifiers with my kids. I used them with all 3 babies until the pacifier fairy comes to take them away at age 3 when they transition to a twin bed. I tested out different ones with my first and settled on the MAM brand for all 3 kids. They make a newborn pacifier and one for 6+ months.
  7. Boppy Nursing Pillow. I really liked the Boppy nursing pillow, especially at night when you’re basically bleary eyed with exhaustion. It’s nice to have some help to hold baby’s weight.
  8. Sound Machine. I’d never heard of a sound machine when my first came along. But my second and third have never known sleep without one :) We have one sound machine for each kids’ bedroom. It’s a pleasant sound to sleep to, and it really helps to reduce the noise of city living. Or the noise of toddler feet when baby is trying to sleep…tiny newborn is sleeping in whicker bassinet
  9. Night light. Yes, you’ll need some light when you get up with the baby in the middle of the night. But you also don’t want to throw on all the lights so that baby thinks it’s day time and perhaps to let your partner sleep more. We use these IKEA night lights. They hold their charge through the night if you need to take it along or don’t have a plug available.
  10. Video Monitor. Chances are your newborn is sleeping beside you during those first few weeks at home, but a video monitor is nice to have if you’d like to check on them while napping. That’s especially helpful if you’re chasing a toddler around or just need to be away from your sleeping newborn for whatever reason. 

I’m always happy to share advice and my favorite must haves so I do NOT get any referral fees or credits. They’re all items that I’ve used personally and that have worked for my kids. For more advice, check out my hospital bag essentials and my baby travel gear essentials.

One last piece of important advice: Make sure you have at least 2 of the items that need to be washed like crib sheets, blankets, pajamas, pacifiers, etc. You don’t want to be scrambling in the middle of your short night!

Moments documenting brand new life is magical! I loved watching these new parents get to know the little person that they’ve been waiting for all these months. Fresh 48 hospital sessions are such a great way to freeze some of these precious moments. Mama and Baby are exhausted and recovering from the birth. Dad is also tired and trying to help as much as he can. There’s this mix of uncertainty and excitement and love that always takes me back to meeting my own little ones.  

Those first 48 hours go by so quickly, it’s hard to remember all of the little details. Baby girl’s Mama wanted to preserve it all! The hospital blankets and bracelets, the hospital bassinet, the baby’s red and wrinkly skin. I came across one of my boys’ hospital bracelets the other day and can’t believe it once fit. Babies go from being tiny to growing up too quickly! Even if we don’t feel our best after giving birth (I felt like I got hit by a bus after having my first), these moments are fleeting. Remember to document them!

sleepy newborn baby is swaddled in the hospital bassinet as photographed by holy cross newborn photographer stefanie harringtontiny newborn baby is wearing a "a dua come true" onesie in the hospitaltwo photos are showing tiny newborn baby feet with hospital bracelettiny newborn baby girl is giving the camera a quizzical looka newborn baby just hours old is sleeping beautifully in a white onesie and hata newborn baby with a full head of dark gorgeous hair is sleepingpeaceful newborn baby is asleep in the hospital bassinetsweet newborn baby is silently alert and looking around in the hospital bassineta new mom is smiling down at her new baby girl in her armsnew mother is cradling her sleeping newborn infant in her postpartum hospital roomgorgeous new mom with headscarf is holding her sleeping infantsleeping infant is cradled softly in momnew parents are cuddling with their infant baby in the hospital beda young mother is watching her husband soothing their baby girlbaby girl is asleep in dada new father is swaddling his baby in the hospitala young father is watching his baby sleepa brandnew infant is swaddled and peacefully looking around the hospital roomtiny infant is yawning and ready to sleep in the hospital bassinetI leave you with this adorable baby yawn and hope you enjoyed the glimpse into this family’s first 48 hours together! If you haven’t guessed it, she’s their wish come true. Such a sweet onesie!

With my oldest kids being 6 and 8, it had been a while since I had to pack for a baby when traveling. Older children require much less gear, and I pack as light as possible. But with the arrival of the baby in mid November, I dug out all of my baby travel essentials gear again. We flew as a family of five when the baby was just two months, and I’m happy to share my travel packing list. I previously shared some tips for flying with young children. The key for me when traveling with a baby and young children are routines that can be easily adapted.

Here are my travel essentials and some tips. As an added bonus, I’ve dug up some old photos for you to enjoy :)

Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is a must for me. We usually take a stroller, too, but sometimes grabbing your diaper bag and the baby carrier is so much easier. Strollers can be a big hassle in tight locations with endless steps. Or may not make sense if you’re traveling to go skiing. My favorite baby carrier is the Original Ergo carrier. I’ve tried many different carriers and wraps over the course of having 3 babies, and this one works best for me. Considering my Ergo is 8 years old and has been washed countless times, the quality is clearly long lasting. I love the padded shoulder straps and the attached hood, which I use as a sunshade and as a signal that it’s time to nap. Plus, it’s super easy to put on, and my husband can wear it easily, too.

Mom and dad are carrying baby in the original Ergo carrier with photos by DC infant photographer Stefanie Harrington.

Travel Crib
Another essential travel item for babies that has stood the test of time is our BabyBjorn travel crib. Over the past eight years, our travel crib has flown and traveled numerous times without any issues. It’s very light and so easy to set up and pack up. I always use it as the baby’s suitcase by stuffing clothes, a few diapers and other baby items in its bag. One time we tried using a travel tent, but I found it too awkward to use and our baby slept much better in the crib. 

Adorable toddler boy with white blond hair is waking up in his portable crib.

Car Seat
We always bring our infant car seat instead of renting one locally. That way we know that it works for our baby. It also doubles as our stroller, because we bring a stroller base. For our first, we had a slightly different infant car seat and stroller base, that we changed for our third baby.

Blankets
I like to bring 2-3 lightweight muslin blankets. They can double as a nursing cover, baby blanket, sunshade, burp cloth. We still have our Adan + Anais blankets from my oldest’s newborn days. For winter trips, I make sure that our car seat stroller is warm with the BundleMe.

A collage of photos showing a baby boy smiling and sleeping in his infant car seat.

Sleep Routine
I’m a huge proponent of having a sleep routine. My kids love to sleep a lot, and so do I. To help them feel comfortable and safe in a new environment, I always bring a few MAM pacifiers (they’re the best, hands down), 2 of the same Angel Dear lovey (one for the car/plane, one clean one in the suitcase for when we arrive), and a portable sound machine. I also have a white noise app on my phone and on our iPad for times when the kids napped in different rooms. 

A few more thoughts on traveling with a baby:

  • I pack diapers for the first 2 days and then stock up locally.
  • I only bring a baby monitor if we are staying in a large house. If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to bring some adapters. 
  • Once the baby is eating solid food, I bring a few spoons and some baby food for the first 2 days. Depending on your destination, it’s usually easy to find baby food locally.
  • When flying, I pack medicine supplies like infant tylenol, infant ibuprofen and a thermometer in our carry on bags. 

Happy travels!!

I love it when couples set time aside to capture maternity images before baby arrives! It is such a wondrous time, especially if it’s the first baby. There’s so much joy and excitement bundled up into that baby bump. I know from my own pregnancies that there is also some nervous energy and anxiety mixed in. But time flies and pregnancy is such a very short season in life! My littlest love is going to be 7 months next week!!!!!! There’s no turning back or slowing down time. 

We had the most gorgeous sunshine for this maternity session! The parents to be were eagerly waiting for their baby to join them.

An adorable couple is cuddling bathed in gorgeous sunshine.Beautiful maternity photo by DC baby bump pregnancy photographer Stefanie HarringtonBlack and white images of husband and wife with their baby bumpA pregnant mom to be is smiling in a field of flowersMom to be is resting her hands on her pregnant bellyA young couple is enjoying a walk and kiss together with momDad to be is feeling the baby kick in momMom and dad to be are smiling at each other and at the baby bump

If you’re considering maternity images for your own pregnancy, get in touch! I’d love to help you show off your baby bump before your little one arrives. I can promise you that you’ll treasure these images.

And if you’re packing your hospital bag already, check out my list of hospital bag essential items. After three hospital deliveries, I’ve perfected my hospital bag for Mama and baby. I’m always happy to help other Mamas prepare!

Stefanie Harrington is a maternity, birth, newborn and family photographer in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding metro area. She specializes in creative and modern photography with a timeless feel.