Many parents admit during their session that they were stressed their baby would never do “what the babies on the website do”…and I assure you – they will. There are a few things we have to do to ensure this. First, the baby has to be “newborn”. I consider “newborn” to be LESS than two weeks old. Even better – under 10 days. In order to prepare for your newborn session, have interactive time with your newborn before the session while at home to encourage him to be super sleepy once he arrives the studio. It’s difficult to wake a sleeping baby, but I do recommend trying to wake him / her about 2 hours before the session and how do you accomplish this? Give the baby a bath. I have had clients say they used Johnson and Johnson Lavender Baby Bedtime Bath – and it works! Then you can have interactive time with your baby. Try giving baby a nice big feed before you come as well.
Don’t put too many layers on the baby as there will be a lot of marks on his skin once we get him undressed, and not only lots of marks on him, but the more you have to take off the baby, the more likely he will wake up. Bring a soother. I know some parent have difficulties with this part, but even if you have not used a soother yet, please bring one just in case. I find that some babies are really attached to soothing themselves on mom’s breast – even if they aren’t hungry. Sometimes between pictures, we use the soother just to pacify the baby for a few seconds back into that nice lull – it has been a life saver on many occasions. Grape Water. This is a great thing to help comfort those little hick-ups. If baby has a full belly before arriving the studio – that helps. But even with a full belly, sometimes when they come out of the car seat and get undressed (even though it’s super warm), they wake up and become upset and feeding may be the only thing that calms them back into a sleep (even if they have already fed).
The most important thing to note about your newborn session – come prepared to relax. If parents are up tight and just wanting to get in, get it done and get out – its NOT GOING TO WORK. The baby can feel when you are tense, I can feel when parents just aren’t into it and it never goes well in these cercumstances. Sit on the couch, let me do all the work and just enjoy your time getting to relax. Bring a coffee, or water or whatever you like to drink so that you can literally sit back and enjoy. I may borrow you here and there to hold a blanket, or the baby while I change backdrops or props, but for the most part, you don’t have work to do – so just enjoy.
Some parents in the past have asked for “just a couple pictures” and I have to say that this is not a 15 minute session, so to do ” a couple pictures” is just not what I do. I do the full session, I take my time, I like to make sure baby is happy and sleepy and sometimes that alone takes more than 15 minutes. On the other side, some parents bring a list of pictures they want, but sometimes your baby may not co-operate for those pictures. For example, I get the tree branch shot requested a lot and I love to do that shot but ONLY if your baby is in a DEEP sleep. I’ll do the session and near the end, I will start to ask “is there anything we have not done that you really wanted out of your newborn session” and then depending on the request, and the sleepiness of your little one THEN we will try the requested pictures.