For newborn sessions, I suggest scheduling them anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks old, depending on how baby and mom are doing. The younger babies tend to sleep a little better and are typically a little more squishy, but every baby is different. If your newborn is jaundiced at all, it’s usually better to wait to schedule your session until they are closer to two weeks old. If your newborn is older than 2 weeks old, that’s OK, too! I’ve photographed a lot of “older” newborn babies, and while they don’t sleep nearly as much, we still get a lot of really cute photos. :)
I am definitely a go-with-the-flow kind of person/photographer, so I block off four hours for every newborn session (although they don’t usually take that long). This allows plenty of time for feeding/nursing, diaper changes, and getting your baby into a nice, deep sleep for those adorable sleepy newborn photos. I tend to keep my studio pretty warm (about 80 degrees), so plan on dressing accordingly. :) Babies love the warm temperature and since I typically photograph newborns in just a diaper cover, I want to make sure that they stay comfortable. If baby is not in a deep sleep when we are getting started, I’ll often take the parent/newborn shots right away while everyone is still looking fresh so you don’t need to worry about being spit up on and sweaty for the family shots. I, on the other hand, will be a hot mess by the end of the session, and usually look like I’ve just run a marathon. It’s not pretty – you’ve been warned. :)
GETTING READY FOR YOUR NEWBORN SESSION
a few tips to help make your newborn session go smoothly:
- Try to keep baby awake for at least an hour before the session. Baths can work great for this. :)
- A full belly usually makes for a happy, sleepy baby. If it’s been a little while since your baby has eaten, feeding/nursing before we start the session might be helpful, even if it’s just to top them off.
- Dress your newborn in something with buttons that will be easy to take off, and won’t need to be pulled over their head. That way if your baby is asleep when you arrive, we can hopefully keep them asleep and get started right away (and FYI – this almost never happens, so if your baby isn’t sleeping right away, please don’t worry about it. They almost all fall asleep eventually).
- If you are nursing, try to avoid foods that may cause baby to be gassy, such as spicy foods, citrus, fatty foods, caffeine, and chocolate (I know, all the good stuff, right?). :)
- If you have gas drops, please bring them with. These can make such a huge difference for an uncomfortable baby.
For newborn sessions, there really isn’t much that you need to bring with other than something to feed your baby with and diapers. However, I know how much of a fog those first weeks can be, so I’ve come up with a short list of things to that might be helpful to have in your diaper bag:
- burp cloth
- a black shirt if you would like to get some of the “baby in parents hands” photos.
- something to feed your baby with (bottles/formula/expressed milk. If you’re nursing, there’s not much to remember. :) I have a boppy pillow available and a nice, comfortable couch).
- nursing pads
- snacks (I have some snacks at the studio, such as nuts, granola bars, water/soda, and of course, chocolate).
- drinks for yourself (I have a fridge full of water, soda, iced tea, and juice boxes that you can help yourself to, too).
- any special blankets, outfits, etc that you would like to incorporate into your newborn photos.
- magazines/book or other entertainment