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The MUST-HAVE List No One Tells You About | Puyallup Newborn Photographer

The “must have list” that no one actually tells you about…

The moment you find out you’re going to have a baby is usually pretty exciting! You are thrilled, over the moon and a little terrified (trust me girl… I’ve got 2 of my own- I’ve been there). You’ve already got your “must-have list” all ready! Once you announce you are having a baby, things tend to move pretty quickly. Baby Showers, Gender Reveal parties, Doctor or Midwife appointments, finding a doula, finding an amazing birth photographer (cough cough) and the ever so fun registries to get all those amazing things you’ve been drooling over at the adorable baby stores in person and online.

The elation of the moment is often rivaled by the thought of “OMG. What if I don’t have everything I NEED before the baby comes?”.


Girlfriend… let’s chat for a moment. I want you to breathe and feel a moment of woosahhh. I’ve been a mama for 10 1/2 years (I know that’s not too long) and I’ve been a professional birth and newborn photographer for going on 7 years now- so I’ve tried it all! From the baby car seats to the wipes warmers to the Moby wraps to the Bugaboo Strollers.

We are thrown so many useless items by the magazines and our friends/family members, that we often feel super overwhelmed and frustrated with all the stuff that’s on the market for our little precious bundles of joy! Fear not- I’ve complied a list of the important stuff to have BEFORE your babe arrives! But this must-have list is a little different than your usual list. Yes- we all know that we need diapers and wipes before baby arrives. We need a gazillion outfits for our babes, swaddling items, pacifiers, bottles, a cute bedding set and more… but what about the stuff no one really told you is a lifesaver? What about the stuff that “seems” luxury but it’s really a necessity (for your sanity)? That’s what this post is all about!

I visited a local baby boutique up here in Sumner, Washington (about 45 minutes south of Seattle and 45 minutes north of Olympia) called Sugar Babies. OH MY GOSH. I was in pure HEAVEN! The atmosphere was so welcoming. The design of the displays was perfection (I’ve worked in retail for the better of 20 years… I appreciated the simplicity of the layout). I got to chat with the owner, Ashley, and a few of her lovely employees about the store and some of their best sellers. They were so kind and helpful. I highly recommend visiting their store- local OR online!

And guess what? Ashley was so kind and gave me a discount code for all my readers to use on their next purchase with Sugar Babies! Save 10% on your next order- simply enter NEWBORN10 at checkout or mention The Newborn Artist sent you if you shop in store and woot woot! You just saved some $$$ (so you can buy some coffee or that coveted donut you’ve been wanting so bad!)


cute boy clothing baby boutique Sugar BabiesAlrighty… here we go with The MUST-HAVE List Before Your Newborn Arrives!

  1. Wipes Warmer. Seriously. It’s the best invention known to man and it’s literally a lifesaver. If you’re a new mama to be, then you may not have experienced the joys of your son or daughter projectile peeing all over you when you take their diaper off. Cold wipes + no diaper = disaster. Trust me.
  2. The Baby Shusher. Any of my clients who come into my studio for a newborn session will hear this incessant shushing sound. And it’s a little annoying at first. Until my clients realize their kid is legit passed OUT the entire session (please note that the shusher is just one aspect of many during my newborn sessions… but it sure helps). The shushing sound isn’t synthetic- it’s actually the dad who invented it’s voice! Keep it close to baby and let them sleep away. PS… if you haven’t read Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp– go buy it TODAY. It’s one of the best books out there for soothing your babes. And fellow newborn photographers- grab one for yourself! The techniques are what I use in my studio! BABY SHUSHER
  3. A Nuna Carseat. Where were THESE AMAZING carseats when mine were little? They are literally made to last your kiddo till they are over 100 pounds. They grow with your babies and keep them safe. The one I was looking at yesterday goes from 5 to 130 pounds. YES. You read that right. 130 pounds! It will literally grow taller, wider and longer for your precious cargo to remain safe. Just mind blowing. See… you have more options other than Graco, Britax and Chico! Plus Nuna has the most beautiful strollers, chairs, high chairs and more! nuna carseat
  4. A solid high chair. One that will literally last through the torture your child(ren) will put it through. And one that is easily cleanable… cause lets just admit it- kids are gross. They spit out their peas and you don’t find it till 2 months later when it has made a crunchy ball of pea/cheerios/banana mush. You may THINK you don’t need one yet… since your little one will be snacking on your boob or a bottle… but time flies girlfriend. And by the time you realize you need that high chair- you’ll most likely be broke cause babies are expensive or someone will have given you a questionable hand-me-down high chair… and who wants to deal with THAT stress? Put one of these on your list. I promise you won’t regret it. I am TOTALLY diggin Skiphop’s Tuo Convertible High Chair. It grows with your kiddo!!!! You can’t beat that. convertable high chair
  5. Now… in my last blog about your birth bag (read the blog HERE), I talked about the importance of boob pads. Cause breastfeeding is tough… and leaky boobs are no fun. But I didn’t go into those pesky covers that kids NEVER LIKE (dude… my kids hated being covered up. Legit HATED IT). So wait… what do you do so you can breastfeed in public with some modesty? Enter the Moby. and the Tula. I actually used a simple black Moby with my daughter and let me tell you… I wore her around literally from day 3 when I went home from my c-section! It was so easy to just wrap her up and carry her. It took all the pressure off my lower back too. Heck… I wore that girl to Angels games (I’m from SoCal… so I’ll always be an Angels girl) and people NEVER TOUCHED HER! It was fabulous! Cause we all know that those rude people who you don’t even know have the audacity to come up and touch your baby often- which is just not cool. The pic below is me 7 years ago with my little monkey, rocking the black Moby. You can see her little head popping out (and trust me- she was 100% safe)
  6. Last but surely not least on this “must have list”- you want to get an amazing baby book. This is something your little one will LOVE when they get older! You’ll want to get it before your baby is here… because you’ll want to document some stuff in the book during your downtime (like when your little one is sleeping and you aren’t). My kids adore reminiscing over their baby books! And while we are on the subject of something to reminisce over- hire your birth and/or newborn photographer by the time you’ve hit 20 weeks. This gives you time to find the “right” professional photographer to work with and save up a bit for your session. Cause… good photography isn’t cheap. It’s totally a luxury item- and one worth investing in to celebrate the birth of your newest little human! babys first year book

If you’re pregnant (or if you just had your little one) and you live in the Pacific Northwest- let’s chat! My studio is located in beautiful Puyallup, WA (tucked in between Seattle and Olympia). I hope you enjoyed this short rendition of “must have list” as much as I enjoyed writing it! Now go shopping and have fun! I’m going to throw in some more pics of my favorite items at Sugar Babies. 😉 All photos were taken with my iPhone 7.

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The Journal


  1. Ashley Roe says:

    Another superb list for the new mama’s!! Julie you are on it!! I love it!! <3

  2. Ann Jessup says:

    Wow, so many goodies for the new mom!

  3. Nataly says:

    Wonderful post! So helpful!

  4. April says:

    Awesome! Love this post!

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