As a mama and newborn photographer, I’ve experienced first-hand the stresses and worries that come along with a newborn session.
Well, fear not, mama.
Below are a few newborn photography tips that will be sure to help you keep your newborn baby calm and happy during your newborn session.
This is one of my biggest tips for keeping your newborn calm and happy during your photoshoot. I recommend feeding your baby as much as possible leading up to your photo session – as in, plan to feed up until your photographer has arrived at your home, so that baby will be full, sleepy and content for photos.
If you know that baby is likely to spit up, has indigestion or any tummy troubles, give yourself a bit of time between the last feed and your photographer arriving, so that you can burp, hold baby upright or do anything you typically would to help their little tummies digest.
Ensure that you select the proper outfit so that you can easily nurse a fussy baby.
If you’re a client of mine, you know that the majority of the dresses in my exclusive client closet are nursing friendly.
But if you’re on the hunt for a dress to purchase yourself, I recommend finding something that can easily pull down or open, and bonus points if you can wear your nursing bra with it!
Smocked and wrap dresses are my personal favourites for this, and most of my mamas select these for their newborn session for just this reason. Not to mention, they’re super flattering on a beautiful postpartum body.
If you’re not nursing, have everything you need for baby’s bottle prepped and ready to go.
Whether it’s formula or fresh or frozen breastmilk that you’ve previously pumped, plan to need baby’s milk at some point during your session. That way, you or your partner can quickly slip away to make a bottle and we can continue on our way once baby has had a little top up.
Taking breaks to feed is an essential part of any newborn session, and a good photographer will never rush through your newborn session.
Ever wonder why you sleep better when it’s raining? It seems that all people, but most especially newborns, who are used to the noises inside mom’s womb, sleep best to the sound of white noise.
Many photographers will bring along a white noise machine (mine is a favourite among toddlers to “help” shush the baby to sleep). And if yours doesn’t, simply pull up a 12 hour white noise loop on YouTube and have it play quietly in the background. This is one of my favourite (and easiest!) tips for keeping your newborn calm and happy during your photoshoot. And if you’re a client of mine, you can rest easy knowing that I bring my white noise along to each and every session.
Perhaps one of the best tips, and one that is appreciated solely by baby (as all of us grown-ups tend to be a bit overheated!) is to turn up the heat a few degrees, or to use a space heater in the room you’ll be shooting in.
Plan to get the room nice and toasty about an hour prior to the session, so that it’s ready to go for baby. And trust me, it may seem a bit excessive, but I promise there is nothing like heat to soothe a fussy baby to sleep during your newborn photoshoot. You’ll thank me for this one! I personally recommend a temperature between 22-23 degrees to keep baby cozy, while not overheating mom and dad.
As a mom myself, nothing gets me sweating more than the sound of my newborn crying. But, know that babies are supposed to cry. That is the only way for them to communicate their needs, and while it can be difficult on your mama nerves, it’s typical of every single baby.
If you can try to relax, take a few deep breaths and have some faith in your photographer being able to do their job well, baby will more than likely follow suit. After all, newborns pick up on our emotions more than we think.
Which leads me to my final tip for today…
Remember why you hired your photographer in the first place – they are the expert. It is literally their job to calm a fussy baby, and they have the years of experience to handle an unhappy newborn. In fact, most babies cry at some point or other during their session. And somehow, you’d never know it by looking at the photos.
Having faith in your photographer goes a long way in ensuring that your newborn session is calm, easy and stress-free. Find a photographer who specializes in newborns (versus, say, weddings, branding, etc.) to ensure that they know exactly how to handle a fussy baby, and your session will be a success.
And if you’re a KKP client, you can rest easy knowing that I work hard to ease all of your worries. Our Edmonton newborn photography experience was designed to take the stress out of each stage of our time together – so that we can focus on capturing your beautiful love story. I take care of everything – from wrapping and swaddling baby so that you don’t have to, to soothing even the fussiest of babies, to helping calm your own anxieties and reduce your to-do list the morning of your session. And at the end of our time together, you’ll look back on your photos and not even remember a few tears.
For more tips, such as preparing for your newborn session, check out this blog post.
To see this sweet family’s maternity session, check out this blog post.
Expecting in 2023? Our KKP First Year Collection captures every important milestone in baby’s magical first year of life. From their first days at home to their first wobbly steps, and every big moment in between, our First Year Collection is the most popular among sentimental mothers. We have a few remaining spots for 2023. Let’s plan your Edmonton newborn photography session! Learn more about the KKP Experience here, and come say hello! I can’t wait to preserve your most special moments with the ones you love.
All film scanned by The Canadian Film Lab
Hair and Makeup for mama by Robyn Scheer Makeup
Mama’s dress and baby’s swaddle are from the KKP Client Closet
All images by Edmonton Newborn Photographer, Kahla Kristen Photography