How To Plan For Your Newborn Portrait Session

How should I prepare for a successful newborn session? For newborn photographers, one of the most important things is to plan ahead so we can, to the best of our abilities, have your baby sleepy for the session. For the best result a full tummy = tired baby. If you can try and keep your baby awake for about an hour before your session, it will make them sleepier for me when you arrive. Also have them fed before you arrive and I’ll ask you to feed them again once you get here.

Mom’s please try to avoid any caffeine before the session if you are breast feeding.  This will in turn make your baby more active and they may not sleep very well.

Also plan to loosen their diaper & clothing an hour or so before our session, it will help prevent red marks or diaper creases from showing up on your baby’s skin. Also avoid putting them in clothing that will be difficult to remove.  This will in turn wake them up.

If you are breast feeding or using formula plan to bring extra milk if possible. Babies always eat more during newborn photo sessions. We want your little one asleep and full, and running out of formula or milk with a hungry baby could cause a session to end short.

What outfits should my newborn baby wear? For most of their newborn portrait session we will have them naked, however if there is a special blanket or accessory you would like to have your baby photographed with please let me know.  For the last bit of the session we can cloth them in an outfit of your liking, no need to think too hard.  Outfits that tiny are adorable not matter what pattern or color.  See the checklist below for details.

What should Mom or Dad wear for our newborn session? Something comfortable and light, remember the studio will be warm. White or light/neutral colors are best. No graphics, bold stripes or prints. Bring an extra change of clothes in case your baby has an accident on you.

What happens if… No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. I have photographed many, many newborn sessions and have seen everything. This session is supposed to be a special experience for you and I don’t want you stressed if the baby starts to cry. There will be plenty of time allowed for your session. If we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can do that. I want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment.

Check list for your session & what to pack:

Blankets that are special to you (made by grandma, embroidered with baby name, matches nursery, etc.), hats or booties you love, diaper cover, plain onsie, fun personal items that represent a hobby, favorite sports team, family heirlooms, etc.

Feeding supplies: anything you will need to nurse or bottle feed your baby. Make sure to bring extra formula, or an extra bottle of breastmilk.

A pacifier, this may be needed to help soothe baby. If you are nursing you may not be using a pacifier regularly yet, but it will be very important to have one available during your baby’s session.

A few extra diapers. I say 5-8 to be safe.

A set of light/comfy clothes to wear while your baby’s photos are being taken. A set of clothes to wear for a family photo (remembering no logos or busy prints please). Extra clothes in case your baby has an accident on you, which may very well happen.

Food for Mom or Dad:  You may build up an appetite over the course of the session.