How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session : Orange County Newborn Photographer

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With my newborn clients, I always try to make sure they are well prepared in advance of their session.  Even though I come ready to the session with all of my blankets, props, backdrops, soothing techniques, etc, most parents don’t realize that they need to prep themselves and the baby for the session as well.  I always strive to have a sleepy baby and calm environment for the entire session and as an on-location photographer, there are steps that parents can take to help ensure this happens.  Here are my top tips for preparing for a successful newborn session.

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1.  Watch what you eat.

Some babies are sensitive to what their moms eat and acidic and gassy foods can affect the baby.  I ask my mommies to refrain from eating any gassy or acidic food and drink for about 24-48 hours before the session.  Most doctors can provide a list of these foods or a quick Google search can help in a pinch.  If the baby is uncomfortable due to these foods it will be harder to capture those sleepy, curly poses we all love.

2.  Keep baby awake for at least an hour before session.

Keeping your newborn awake for a while will help ensure that they are asleep during the session.  Dribble a little cool water on them, tickle their feet; little things that keep them awake will do the trick.

3.  Starve baby.

OK, don’t really starve your baby.  What I mean is try and hold off your next feeding until about 30 minutes before your session.  Making the baby hungry enough to give them a large feeding 30 minutes before my arrival is the point here.  A full baby is a sleepy baby and that’s what we want.  Don’t forget to burp baby!  Those gas bubbles will make them uncomfortable and will cause them to stir, jolt or wake up.  If/when baby is hungry again, we’ll take breaks as needed for feeding.

4.  Keep your house warm.

I ask that you keep your home around 80-85 degrees.  I realize that this will be hot for us but newborns lose heat quickly and they will be naked and/or dressed in a light wrap so keeping them warm is important.

5.  Family first.

Because your home will be very warm, I always try to do family portraits first.  This way, mom and dad will look fresh for the pictures.  So please be fully dressed and have your hair and make up done when I get there.  Be sure to have extra clothing on hand because the baby is usually naked for these portraits and accidents on shirts and pants do happen!

6. Special props or keepsakes.

If there are any props or keepsakes you want incorporated into the session, please let me know before the session that way I can plan on how to incorporate them artistically into the portraits.  Props and keepsakes can include a special stuffed animal, a blanket from your childhood or even something as simple as a headband.

7. Things to keep on hand.

There are a few things I suggest that you keep close to where I am photographing.  Extra diapers & wipes.  I always come with wipes but if there’s a special kind you prefer to use, we’ll use those.  Extra bottles if using formula.  Trust me, they’ll come in handy!  Pacifier.  Some newborns haven’t taken a pacifier yet and some parents prefer not to use them.  I always ask that we have one on hand as a quick soother if baby needs it.  If you’d rather not have the baby take a pacifier a clean finger from mom or dad can do the trick.

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I am currently booking newborn sessions for December, January and February.  If you’re interested in booking a session with me, please email me at jessica@jessicaholmesphoto.com or use the contact form above.

October 7, 2014 - 9:02 am

Kristina - VERY informative and helpful! I don’t take newborn pictures but when I get them done when I start having kids, I will read this again! Great images also!

October 7, 2014 - 10:18 am

lin - these are so so cute! Looking at these pictures brightens my day!

October 7, 2014 - 11:13 am

Sara Robertson - Squee! Those little babies are TOO adorable.

Great tips also!

October 7, 2014 - 3:07 pm

chantal - so many great tips and tricks! also beautiful photos!!

October 7, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Melissa Avey Photography - LOVE your newborn photography!

October 8, 2014 - 7:54 am

Emily - LOVE that you used one of the images from the session with the red wrap!! I LOVED those photos. 🙂

October 8, 2014 - 9:42 am

Jessica - Thank you so much, Emily!!

October 8, 2014 - 9:42 am

Jessica - Thanks Melissa, you made my day! 🙂

October 8, 2014 - 9:43 am

Jessica - Thank you, Chantal! 🙂

October 8, 2014 - 9:44 am

Jessica - Aren’t they?! I’ve been so blessed to capture these gorgeous babies.