Leaving the house with a newborn baby

You just had a baby, and you are living on no sleep! Those babies are cute little sleep thieves! The thought of having to get anywhere at a particular time sounds daunting. Not to mention leaving the house with a baby comes with extra stresses. I know when my babies were little I felt like we lived on two hour stretches. My babies needed to eat about every two hours. I would have to feed them, then pray they would be content long enough so I could get ready. It never failed as we were leaving the house we would have a blow out diaper, or spit up that required a change of clothes for the both of us. Then if I was lucky I could maybe make it to my destination before their next feeding time. With my first we travelled to see family 12 hours away when he was just three days old. I call that "new mom stupidity" I thought I was wonder woman! Our 12 hour drive took close to 18 hours split between two days. My breast milk came in while we were traveling and I didn't pack a breast pump. We were searching the nearest target for a breast pump. I nearly got mastitis! Needless to say when I had my second baby we kept our adventures to a minimum.... With all this being said I know the struggles of having to leave the house with a baby. However, a newborn photography session should be the exception. lol! I think this so much so that the actual reason I travelled the 12 hour journey with my first baby. My little sister was dabbling in photography at the time and wanted to try newborn photography, and I desperately wanted newborn photos! Apparently so much so that I travelled the distance to get them!

How long is a newborn session?

Newborn session can last anywhere from two to four hours. Newborn babies are human! Humans are unpredictable! No matter how trained your photographer is, every little baby is different. Some babies sleep like little champs, and can make it through a session in two hours flat! Others struggle to get settled, and take a little more time to settle into poses. We also need to leave time for feedings. Some babies need to have a little break, and have a little meal.

Wrapped session!

For me workflow is the key! I always start every session with the baby wrapped! Newborns love to be swaddled. This usually means they will sleep. I am able to do several different wrap styles without disrupting their sleep. They are in a base swaddle so when I change the top wrap to a different color they aren't having to be fully unwrapped. If my clients wanted a wrapped only gallery the session could be much much shorter!

Buckets & Beds

I always wrap the baby with the outfit of choice on underneath the wrap. The reason I do this is for minimum disruptions to the baby. After All the wrapped poses, we can move into unwrapped props. I know parents may want multiple outfit changes through their session, but the more times you change their outfits the more likely you are to disrupt their sleep. When the baby wakes up it usually means an extra 30-45mins of resettling. This is why I try and do everything I can to keep the work flow as smooth as possible. The goal is to keep the babies settled, and to get you the most precious photos!

Table poses

Next I do table poses. If your baby is going to wake up during any part of the session this will probably be the part. I have tried table poses first it usually is a disaster. There are those unicorn babies that will sleep through anything. Most don't! Because your baby is unwrapped in these poses I keep the room really warm, and a heater directed towards them. I also go as far as heating the surface with a heating pad before laying the baby down. Babies hate being cold! I try and work through as many poses as I can on the table white transitioning the baby as gently as I can.

Newborn family session

Very last is to capture baby with their family. I always encourage mom's to have a photo alone with their baby I think this is one that will forever be cherished! I save the family portion of the session for very last or sometime do it on a separate day. It is always best if younger sibling aren't at the studio for the whole duration of the session. They tire easily, and my personal studio is small! So typically dad come with the other siblings at the end of the session cause true the told dad's tire easily too. lol!

keys to success sessions!

Step 1

Try and have you baby fed and dressed in a zip or sleeper when you arrive to the session.

Having a pacifier at the session can also help

Step 2

Try and book your newborn session no later than three weeks after birth. I know special circumstances you can't avoid that, and that is okay. Babies are just usually sleepiest in those first few weeks of life.

Step 3

Trust your photographers process! I find that when clients want to change up the order of the session it usually results in a less settled baby. Your photographer has a workflow, they do what they do for a reason!

Step 4

Sit back and enjoy. Bring a snack, and a drink. Watch your photographer work their magic and create memories for you!