What to bring to your newborn photo session

August 5, 2023

If this is your first time doing a newborn session or maybe even one of your first outings with a newborn, you might be feeling a bit nervous. As a mom, I know that packing up everything you need to venture outside the house with a new baby can be daunting. As a Los Angeles newborn photographer, I’m here to ease some of that stress. In fact, I’ll tell you that you probably don’t need much more than what’s already in your diaper bag! Here’s my list of what to bring to your newborn session and what to leave at home.

newborn baby in parents hands, looking at the camera

My studio has nearly everything we need for your session, including all the blankets, swaddles, and knits we need for baby as well as wardrobe for mom. The client lounge – adjacent to the studio room – has snacks and waters, a nursing chair, diapers and wipes, and a bottle warmer. There are just a few things you’ll want to bring with you to ensure a smooth and stress-free session.

mother holding newborn on her chestnewborn baby hand holding parent's finger


  • Diapers and Wipes.: The studio is stocked with Honest brand diapers in a variety of sizes, as well as wipes and diaper cream. Of course, it’s a good idea to have a few of your own diapers just in case. In my opinion, you can never have too many diapers ;).
  • Pacifiers: Pacifiers can be really helpful during a session. Even if your baby only occasionally takes a pacifier, it’s a good idea to bring some with you. I have a few unopened Soothie pacifiers on hand just in case.
  • Bottles: If you’re formula-feeding, be sure to bring enough formula and bottles for the session. It’s common for babies to eat more than usual during the session, so bring a little extra. Likewise, your breastfed baby may want to eat more often than usual. 
  • Any special items you’d like photographed: Although I don’t use props in my photography, I’m happy to photograph your special items during the session. Please be sure to give me a heads up before your session if you have something specific you’d like me to photograph.
  • Sibling snacks: If baby has a young sibling, I recommend bringing a few things to ensure that they are happy and comfortable. My newborn sessions usually run from 10am-1pm, so bringing plenty of snacks and a healthy lunch for your toddler or pre-schooler is a good idea. If your little one is old enough to understand incentives, a few little treats (think fruit snacks or something else that isn’t too messy) never go amiss.
  • An iPad or other engaging activity: Siblings are welcome to watch TV in the client lounge when they aren’t needed in the session. I have all the major streaming platforms available for you. They can also stay in the studio room, but you may want to bring a tablet, coloring books, or other quiet solo activity. Headphones are always a good idea if they will be watching or playing on an iPad in the studio.

young couple holding newborn

Again, I have almost everything we need in the studio. There are just a few essentials to remember and they are probably already in your diaper bag!


  • Loud toys: It’s great to have some toys to keep baby’s sibling occupied, but toys that make a lot of noise can be disruptive during the session. Not only do they disrupt the calm environment for baby, but they may make you feel frazzled after a while, too. 
  • Large groups: If you’d like to bring a grandparent, friend, or nanny to help with your toddler, that’s welcome. Aside from that, I don’t recommend inviting anyone along who isn’t being photographed. Too many people can quickly create an overstimulating environment. 
  • Worries: Leave your worries behind! It can be stressful getting out of the house, but once you arrive at the studio I encourage you to let your worries and stress melt away. Rest assured that, I have everything well in hand. Get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy the magic of your newborn’s session. 

black and white studio portrait of mother with newborn

Preparing for your newborn session can feel overwhelming, but there really isn’t much you need to bring! Aside from a way to feed your baby, I can provide all the essentials for your session. So… even if you forget all the diapers and show up with a naked baby… you’ll still have a relaxed and enjoyable experience. 

studio portrait of newborn baby sleeping

For my type-A moms who believe there’s no such thing as too much preparation: Check out how to prepare for your newborn session or how to prepare for your newborn session with a toddler.

Have a question? Interested in booking a session? Please contact me!

big sister and newborn

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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

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