Newborn Prep Guide

Newborn sessions take place in a studio setting which is perfectly prepared for your newborn.  I keep the room at a toasty 80 degrees so baby is comfortable being photographed with minimal clothes.  You have access to my entire collection of newborn tiebacks, wraps and props which have been carefully selected based on the comments from your questionnaire and the lighting is just right.  I use studio lighting so there is no guessing.  Your photos will have beautiful lighting even if it is cloudy outside.  There is also a perfect spot for parent shots.  I understand it may be a little intimidating traveling with baby.  But I promise, it’s not bad! Even a little exciting.  Often your newborn session will be your first outing and a very enjoyable one!  Below you will find details on how to prepare for your newborn session.

NEWBORN PREP INSTRUCTIONS

In order to give yourself the BEST possible chance for amazing photos, you have to prepare your baby.  This is not optional……Not only will this decrease the amount of time for your session, but it will also make sure your baby is easy to pose safely.  A happy sleepy baby makes for a happy photographer, happy parents and smooth session.  Here are instructions on how to make that happen:

FOR BABY:

The most important thing is to give baby a little awake time before your session.  Let him/her burn some calories so that when it’s time for me to pose them they are in a deep sleep.  My newborn sessions start at 10am so you may need to back track to calculate travel time.  The goal is to keep baby away for 1-1.5 hours then give a nice long feed before their session.

If you feel like this is not possible to do for you scheduled session time, please message me and we can push the session back or move it to a different day.  I would hate to have to reschedule because baby wasn’t prepped properly.  Following these instructions will ensure those squishy, sleepy newborn pictures!  And that ‘s why you hired me, isn’t it?

My recommendation:  

  1. If nursing or bottle-feeding breastmilk, try to eliminate caffeine or anything spicy from your diet for 48-72 hours prior to your session.

  2. If bottle feeding, breastmilk or formula, please bring along a bottle if we need to feed baby during your session.

  3. Feed baby 2-3 hours before session.  This is usually a feeding between 6-8 am.

  4. Undress baby and let kick and play naked for a bit.  Babies tend to be awake if they are undressed.

  5. Give a nice long bath.  Why?  Because baby won’t sleep in the tub.  Stretch it out as long as you can.  If baby still has the cord stump, you can still give a nice long sponge bath in a warm room.

  6. Next lotion baby up!  Take your time and stretch this out as well.  Not only will it help with keeping baby awake, but it will also moisturize his/her skin so it is nice and soft for photos.   

  7. After bath, put a loose diaper on and dress baby in a zip-up, loose-fitting onesie without socks.  Nothing that goes over their head so that baby doesn’t wake up while I undress him/her when you arrive.  A baby will always wake up when you take clothes off over their head so we want to try to avoid that.

  8. Please bring a nuk/pacifier (preferably the soothie pacifier the hospital provided, they won’t leave marks). Even if you haven’t used one yet or baby doesn’t seem to take to it, just for the 2-3 hours that I’m posing baby it can really help. However, if you really prefer that we don’t use one, that is fine as well.

  9. Please bring plenty of diapers and wipes!

  10. Have a nice long feeding.  If you are traveling from an hour or more away you may need to top off baby when you arrive and that’s ok.

  11. Put baby in car seat and head over.  After all of that, the car ride should put baby in a deep sleep so that I can start posing when you arrive.  Do not take baby out of the car seat.  I will do that in a way to keep baby asleep.  

I CAN’T STRESS THAT IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO DO YOUR BEST TO KEEP BABY AWAKE.

The thing is with newborn photography in order to successfully pose baby they need to be in a deep sleep, not just napping as newborns do.  Many parents say “my baby sleeps all of the time or baby has been sleeping all morning, but trust me, he sleeps SO good during the day!” only to have baby wake up, since they will be unclothed and un-swaddled.  I know it’s hard because you need to get yourself ready too.  You are more than welcome to come in your pjs and get ready while I photograph baby.  Parent/family shots are always at the end.

 

FOR MOM & DAD:

Photographing baby with mom and dad is my favorite.  These are the photos you will look at every year as they grow older and your baby will cherish these first photos with mom and dad when they are adults.

 

Dads:  I ask that you have a tight fitting t-shirt to wear with khaki pants or jeans.  I prefer simple soft t-shirts in neutral colors (cream, white, gray).  Nothing fancy.

 

Moms:  Same for you.  Simple is best.  You don’t really see your clothes as I try to keep the focus on your new baby.  Keep the color neutral and design simple.  Be sure that you have a nice manicure or no nail polish as your hands will make their way into the images.   Also, I know you may not feel so glamorous after having a baby but do not worry. I only photograph using the most flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty in you and your family.

 

The colors I think work best for family photos are nude/tan, cream, gray and blush.  Remember, the focus is the new baby and we don’t want bright colors and busy prints that may be distracting.

 

FOR SIBLINGS:

Sister(s):  I can provide a wrap that will act as the perfect top, or please have a snug fitting tank in a neutral color.  I ask that girls hair be natural (or in braids) and free of bows, headbands, etc.  Just as with mom, no nail polish please.

Brother(s):  A snug pair of jeans or khakis and a neutral colored shirt are preferred.

 

A FEW ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

Plan to arrive around a little before 10 am.  A typical session lasts about 2 1/2 hrs.

It is my hope that you enjoy the photo session and feel both comfortable and at home.  Feel free to relax (or nap!) while your baby is being photographed.  I am truly honored to be able to document this incredible time in your lives and look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!

Lillington's premier photographer specializing in boutique portraits for expecting mothers, newborns, children, and families. Serving Lillington, Raleigh, Southern Pines, Fayetteville, and surrounding areas. To receive more information about a fully custom boutique photography experience, please contact us. We look forward to answering your questions and planning your one of a kind photographic session.

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