Essential Baby Products: A Newborn Photographer’s Recommendations
Preparing for a new baby can feel like a whirlwind and can be very overwhelming. What do you need? But also what do you actually need? What are the best products? So much of these questions are just guesses and then once the baby arrives you figure out what works and find your favorites.
But what if I told you that I did some research and found out which products members of the Amanda Ellis Photography community think are the absolute must haves? That’s exactly what I did! So take the advice on these tried and true favorites from some of the expert parents we polled.
● Baby wearing can be so convenient (especially if you have other littles!) and is a great way to bond. The Boba Wrap is highly recommended and super simple to use (and comfy to wear!)
● Diaper changes can be hazardous-the Keekaroo Peanut Changer helps keep the risk to a minimum with a soft and easy to clean solid shell.
● Diaper changes are also messy, for a variety of reasons. One you may not have thought about is diaper cream-trying to spread that all over a squirmy baby is not a simple, or neat, task. Luckily, this is 2023 and there’s something for just about anything: enter butt spatulas. Little diaper cream applicators that make the dirty job of diaper changes a little less dirty and do a much more effective job than smearing it around with your hands.
● Activity or play gyms are great for young babies’ development and the Lovevery play gym is such a great option (it even comes with different tips and activities for the different stages of your baby’s early life)!
● Sometimes we need to put our babies down-as much as they may wish that wasn’t the case. The Snuggle Me Lounger is a cozy, safe, play space that is great for tummy time and can support a newly sitting babe as well. If your baby responds particularly well to movement, the Baby Bjorn Bouncer is also a lightweight and fun option.
● Dapple dish soap is an absolute game changer when it comes to washing bottles and pump parts-goodbye milk film!
● Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience-and it can wreak havoc on your nipples. Earth Mama Nipple Butter can heal, soothe, and moisturize those tender areas and, a bonus, it also happens to work wonders for healing dry and cracked lips!
● Breast milk is known as liquid gold for a reason. Sometimes getting enough milk from pumping can be extremely challenging and then, infuriatingly, while feeding your baby you could be leaking out and wasting some of that hard won milk. The Haaka is a manual breast pump that you can just attach on one side while nursing from the other and I know countless people that swear by them. They frequently result in way better milk collection and can be incredibly helpful during a breastfeeding and pumping journey.
● When picking a car seat and stroller, it can be really convenient-particularly with small babies-to pick ones that fit together. You can easily transfer a sleeping baby from stroller to car (or vice versa) simply by moving the car seat. The Doona is an option recommended by our community, and you can also check manufacturers’ websites for strollers and carseats to check which fit together and find the right option for you.
● Babies pretty much live in sleepers in the early months and there are some particularly amazing ones out there: double zippered varieties were recommended by our community as well as the magnetic me brand, which has ridiculously simple magnetic closures to make changes easy.
● Speaking of baby sleepwear: sleepsacks. Infinitely easier (and also safer) than figuring out how to fold and wrap a swaddle blanket, but even more effective at suppressing the startle reflex and providing comfort so your baby has its best chance to actually sleep. The Halo sleepsack swaddles and Love To Dream swaddle up are some favorites.
● Sleep is, clearly, a big topic and concern for parents, and people swear by the SNOO smart sleeper bassinet. Invented by the writer of Happiest Baby on the Block (pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp), it swaddles, gently rocks, and even automatically responds when baby fusses!
● Repeat after me: white noise is your best friend. It’s a miracle worker and can be a game changer for sleep. Parents in our community insist having a sound machine, like the Hatch, is a non-negotiable.
Of course, all of these recommendations are still subject to every person’s individual situation and preferences, but this list is a great jumping-off point when making those registries and getting ready for this great adventure we call parenthood! At our studio, located in Munroe Falls, Ohio, you’ll find many of these items because we always want to make sure to provide the best experience for our clients and for you to show up for your newborn session knowing you and your baby will be taken care of.
In the words of our amazing clients, Jessica and Andrew Toro:
“I arrived in my PJ’s and Amanda’s crew did my hair, make-up, and had a gorgeous selection of flattering gowns! Amanda is just incredibly talented and my husband and I had so much fun at our newborn photoshoot. And we were sooo impressed at how Amanda just had the perfect touch to calm our baby through the photoshoot to get the most precious pictures! She is truly a gem! Will be recommending her to everyone!”