Tag Archives: newborn essentials for sleep

I always love to catch up with my families after their newborn photo session, especially when it’s for a relaxed and joyful family session in their home. The last time I saw this adorable family, I was hugely pregnant and just a few weeks away from welcoming my own baby into the world. I only realized today that I didn’t blog their newborn session… 

This time, we played in their backyard for a relaxed morning to document their family time together. This is the best way to capture summer fun with young children!

children popping huge soap bubbles in their backyardbaby brother is surprised by a soap bubble bursting in front of his facebeautiful curly hair on a little girl as she twirls and playsbig sister is making big soap bubbles for her little brothers

The baby’s face is absolutely hilarious! The bubbles confused him so much, because they disappeared right in front of him.

baby boy is fascinated by a large soap bubble in front of his face

It was beyond adorable when big sister and big brother tried to help the baby pop bubbles. I think this confused him even more – and also got soapy bubbles all over him.

big sister and big brother helping baby brother pop soap bubbles

Once they tired of the bubbles, it was time to play with their water toys. Children can play with water for hours! I’d forgotten the joys of the water table since my boys outgrew theirs so long ago.

little girl is pouring water into her water tablebaby boy is trying to play with his water table

Getting water poured over your head… One of the many joys of being the youngest and having older siblings.

baby brother is having water poured on his head by his older brother

And then the jumping started! They do this all the time and have clearly mastered their form and squeals of delight. They were SO MUCH fun to watch! I think all of my summer sessions should include water and splashing.

little boy is jumping into his baby poollittle boy is wiping water from his face after jumping into the baby poolbrother and sister are running to jump into their baby poollots of water is splashing out of the baby poolbrother and sister are smiling as they sit in a baby poolbrother and sister are playing in their backyard baby poolbig sister is jumping for joy in the baby pool as her brothers play

Time for popsicles. Even the baby got to try one! The older two thought this was hilarious, of course, but the baby wasn’t sold on the cold treat.

brother and sister are comparing their orange popsiclesbrother and sister are sharing popsicles with the baby baby brother is trying a popsicle for the first timebaby brother makes a frowny face after trying a popsiclebrother and sister are eating popsicles in their playhouse

This was such a great session to document, full of laughter and personality. Documentary sessions at home always make me happy. I bet next summer the baby will be jumping into the water with his brother and sister, which means even more giggles and squealing!

Another bonus of documentary sessions at home? There’s no rushing around! Getting out the door for anything always seems like a marathon event with young children. So by staying at home, you have one less opportunity for toddler tantrums or forgetting important things at home. 

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!