Having a new baby is overwhelming enough, but ask a new mom or dad to do something they’ve never done before right after having a baby and you might be crazy. Mom is sore and uncomfortable and both parents are exhausted and overwhelmed. Even though they’re full of more love than they could have imagined, living everyday life can be challenging. That’s why I help new moms and dads prepare for their newborn session ahead of time (with reminders after the baby is born too) – so they can remember those new baby smell and sounds forever <3
When preparing for your newborn session, we will spend time talking through many things – from what color schemes you’ll find in your home, to what you plan to do with the images we capture, and even reminding you to loosen your baby’s diaper before you leave home so that the diaper marks have time to disappear before our session begins. However, there a few things that I always emphasize with all newborn clients because I believe they’re what will help both of us the most!
Babies are just little humans – they get hungry and sleepy on their own schedule. At this stage of the game, that usually means they’re sleeping nearly all of the time and eating frequently (especially during cluster feeding!). The babies that do best at their sessions are those whose parents keep to their normal schedule and routines! There is one exception I ask parents to make if it’s possible (and it’s not always – in fact the baby girl in this session hadn’t eaten in the two hours before they arrived and still rocked her session!). I ask you to give your new baby a full feeding right before they leave home to come to the studio. That way when baby falls asleep on the drive, they’re sleeping on a full stomach and will likely stay asleep after you arrive at the studio! You should expect them to want to eat at least once before you leave my studio too – it’s hard work being a model!
The second thing I emphasize in preparations is clothing. Baby clothes are so adorable and onesies are so convenient, but I ask that when dressing her to come to the session, you dress baby in an outfit that zips or buttons up instead of pulling over her head. This is for the same reason as above – if (or, really: when) she falls asleep on the drive, I’m less likely to wake her as I get her undressed to start the session in my warm studio.
Thirdly there are several reflexes that your baby is born with – a rooting reflex, a step reflex, the moro reflex (when they startle), as well as the sucking reflex, among others. It’s the sucking reflex that causes me to ask parents to bring along a pacifier to their newborn session. Some parents are hesitant to give their babies a pacifier (we were with our first!) and that’s ok! However, for those parents that are willing to use a pacifier, it can really help us have a successful session. During the session I put baby’s hands near their face in nearly every pose and naturally they want to stick those cute little fingers right into their mouth! With a pacifier to use instead, it’s much faster and easier to get them in those super cute poses you see here without much of an issue so that you can get back home to your own comforts that much sooner!
Even with these suggestions, sometimes your baby will decide that she’s not very interested in cooperating for their session. Rest assured, even when she’s the most cooperative baby, most of a newborn session is spent posing, shushing, swaying, patting, and snuggling. So, sit back and relax and I’ll capture some beautiful images for you to remember the blur of the newborn phase forever.