Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist from Plano Newborn Photographer Erica Grandin

I’m a Plano newborn photographer, and also the mom of three boys, the youngest who just turned 1! I not only spend a lot of time with families with newborns, but I’ve spent a lot of time being a newborn mama. All of this first-hand experience with new babies has also brought me lots of first-hand experience with baby products, and I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite newborn baby essentials.

I know you’ve got the big stuff – like the car seat, the stroller and the crib – covered. My list of essentials includes some of those lesser-known but much-loved items that will get you through the day with your newborn. But before I roll out my list, there is one MAJOR essential that I can’t let you forget:

Your newborn photo session!

plano newborn photographer lifestyle family photos

While you’re making your list and checking it way more than twice (you’re a nesting mom-to-be, after all!), I would be remiss not to advise you to be sure to schedule your newborn photo session

As a Plano newborn photographer, newborn photo sessions make my heart sing. But this isn’t about me – it’s so important to capture this special time with your new little one. Newborn photo sessions are typically scheduled during your second trimester to ensure you snag a spot on my calendar. However, I do occasionally have last-minute openings, so don’t hesitate to reach out if your due date is approaching, or even if baby is already here! I specialize in lifestyle newborn photography, and one of my favorite things about these kinds of newborn photos is that they are relaxed and natural…and they can be scheduled anytime between birth and when baby is three months old! 

These Plano lifestyle newborn sessions can take place in a studio or in-home, and the sweet spot for scheduling is when baby is between 4-6 weeks old. This ensures that the baby is recovered from birth, that their features are starting to fill out, and that they look more like themselves. This timetable ensures that you, Mama, are all healed and starting to feel more like yourself, too. 

Your lifestyle newborn photos are not the only sessions to keep on the checklist. An in-hospital Fresh 48 session is a sweet, stress-free newborn photo option, and don’t forget about your maternity photos either. While pregnancy may seem like forever, and the focus is so heavily on baby, please don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate and capture this special time, and all of the milestones that come with it. Do it for your future self, and your future kiddo(s). They will love looking back on these photos in all the years to come and so will you.

As far as baby products are concerned, there are a few I can’t live without.

Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist from Plano Newborn Photographer


When baby is brand new, I really can’t overstate the importance of the swaddle. They’re instantly calming, they help with sleep, and they can also be very chic in a newborn photo session. 😉  In my opinion, Milkmade Goods make the BEST stretchy swaddles. However, swaddles with velcro can come in very handy during the wee small hours of the morning when it’s dark and getting back to bed quickly is the name of the game. These Velcro swaddles for nighttime are great and, best of all, you can scoop them up during your next Target run. 

Breast pump

If you’re a nursing mama, as I am, a pump is an absolute necessity. Even if you’re spending most of your time with baby, a pump provides comfort and, of course, extra supply for middle of the night feedings and times away from baby. I use the Haakaa Silicone Pump every single day. It’s an item I truly couldn’t live without. 

Nursing tops

Nursing tops are another one of those items that I would find quite tough to live without with a nursing baby, and My Favorite Nursing Top cannot be beat. It allows for easy feeding, and total discretion, wherever me and baby may be. Not to mention, it’s cute and comfortable, too. 

Nursing pillow

Over the years, many nursing pillows have entered the marketplace, but the Boppy is the GOAT. It’s light, it’s soft, it’s extremely portable. Best of all, it provides a comfortable position for both you and baby during the many hours of nursing ahead. I think this is not only an essential for life with a newborn at home, but to bring along to the hospital so that you can work this into any feeding assistance from your nursing team. 

Disposable changing pads

These are exactly what they sound like, and while they may not seem essential right off the bat, hear me out. These pads are lightweight, foldable and super absorbent. They are so useful when changing diapers out and about, to create a barrier between your baby’s bare bottom and the not-so-clean public bathroom changing table. But they are also super handy at home. Keeping these changing pads on the top of your changing table helps capture and soak up smaller messes and leaks, saving you from many unnecessary loads of laundry for the cloth changing pad cover underneath. My favorite disposable changing pads can be ordered for under ten bucks from Amazon

Do you have an essential newborn item to add to the list? Or might you have questions about newborn photos in Plano? Send me an email and let’s start the conversation!

plano newborn photographer
big sister holding baby by plano newborn photographer
plano newborn photographer with whole family

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