What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Your Fresh 48 Photos

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

The most common question I get from mom’s who have booked a Fresh 48 session is what do I pack in my hospital bag for photos?

Before I continue, if you’re in labor now, or just had your baby wanting a Fresh 48 session, just contact me now. That way I can come photograph your baby. Do not let not having the “right” thing stop you from documenting this fleeting time for your family.

However, if you’re expecting and working on packing your hospital bag, this is the perfect post for you.

Newborn baby in father's arms showing dad's what to wear for Fresh 48 photos, Swedish Hospital Issaquah, What to pack in hospital bag

Pack comfortable and neutral tops for you and your husband in your hospital bag.

It is so easy to think about baby, yet your baby will be adorable in nothing but a diaper. So focus on you and your husband first. I suggest packing a nursing tank or t-shirt that is just for photos. After having a baby, simply changing into a fresh, clean shirt will help you feel more photo ready. A pair of leggings are a great addition to the hospital bag too. A good rule of thumb, if they fit in pregnancy, they will work for postpartum.

The next thing to pack in your hospital bag is a plain, casual shirt for your husband. I know that if I left it to my husband to pack his shirt, I’d end up with a bright orange shirt or one with a logo right across the front. It’s also likely we’d end up without any clothes for him packed in the hospital bag! HA!

A plain top allows the focus to be on baby while giving you clean, classic, and timeless photos from your Fresh 48 session.

Mother standing near window with newborn baby at Issaquah Swedish Hospital, what to pack in hospital bag

Another thing to pack in the hospital bag is an open sweater or robe for mom.

After giving birth you may want to feel a little more covered up. I totally get that. After each of my children were born, I had marks from all the IVs and tape holding those IVs. Having a robe or cardigan along in your hospital bag helps cover those up a little more during your session. They can also help you feel less like you are in a hospital.

I have seen many beautiful robes that are printed. While you’re looking keep in mind that bright colors or “loud” patterns can distract. The mom featured in this post is a beautiful example of using a robe as gave her a more feminine feel without taking away from their sweet baby boy.

Newborn baby swaddled during Issaquah Fresh 48 session, what to pack in hospital bag

You do not have to pack anything for baby for a fresh 48 session.

The point of your session is to capture those details of your brand new baby. In the hospital baby will be in just a diaper, swaddled in a blanket. That is perfect. We can unwrap him, capture his toes, the umbilical stump, little fingers, and then wrap him up warm like he prefers to be. The swaddling blanket with the animals is a staple at hospitals and a detail we will want to capture.

With that said, if you bring a swaddle from home and a hat, we can capture that too.

When deciding what to pack in your hospital bag, remember neutral is key. If you pick a floral print, think about a pattern that has a light (white/grey) background with the print on top, over something that is bright and floral.

Baby will also be tiny (yes, even those 9lb babies are tiny). Any clothing should be well-fitting. My favorite are the gowns from Loulou and Company. They have a button neck (so you can slide the gown on from the bottom up instead of going over baby’s head – which they hate). They also fit well and the tie bottom makes them fit no matter how long baby is.

Pack a Siblings Bag to help Grandparents dress your kids.

If you have kids coming to meet their sibling, packing a bag with what they should wear will help grandparents (or whoever is bringing your kids to the hospital) big time. Before my youngest was born I packed a bag that had clothes that were neutral and would photograph well in the hospital. I had even told my kids I had set up a special bag for grandma so that they knew what to expect and were excited to put on their “hospital clothes” to meet the newest member of the family.

Parents with newborn baby during Issaquah fresh 48 photos showing what to pack

The key is to coordinate not match when packing outfits for fresh 48 photos.

Whether you’re packing for just you and your husband, or planning for your kids to meet their newest sibling, remember you want to coordinate not match. Everyone in white t-shirts and jeans can feel very 1990. Just like a normal family session, I lay out outfits ahead of time. Of course, fresh 48 photos are more casual but I still don’t want anyone to clash or blend in with each other.

Baby swaddled at Swedish Hospital during portrait session

When in doubt, send me a photo and I will help you with what to pack in your hospital bag.

If you’re packing your hospital bag and still unsure, send me a photo. I am here to help you. This should not be a time of stress, but joy. As a Seattle newborn photographer, I am experienced in helping families just like you select the right outfits for their family.

For more ideas on what to pack in your hospital bag, head to my Fresh 48 Portfolio.

Black and white photo of mom and dad admiring newborn baby for Issaquah fresh 48 photo session
Profile photo of swaddled newborn by Seattle newborn photographer
Black and white photo of dad admiring baby in hospital bassinet
Photo of newborn swaddled newborn baby as example of what to pack in your hospital bag for fresh 48 photos
Black and white photo of newborn boy sticking out tongue during Issaquah Fresh 48 photo session