I used to wonder how photographers got babies to sleep for newborn sessions. It all felt like a big mystery to me. The more I do it, the more I get that it’s actually kind of simple. It’s not always easy, but preparation is key. Every baby is different, but in general, I find that these are the most helpful tips that will make your newborn session a success.

1. Plan for 6-10 days after baby arrives. I know, it feels fast, but here’s the thing: Your little one becomes more and more alert as days go by, so you really have a tiny window of time to get those dreamy posed newborn shots before they become too alert.

2. Select the time of day by seeing when the light is best in your house. Usually this will be mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

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3. Take the pressure off of yourself for the session by planning in advance to make it as easy as possible. Have some outfits selected before you ever give birth; I even encourage having someone come over to do your hair and make up for you. You’ve been up all night for a week with a newborn… you deserve to be pampered and to not have to worry about it.

4. Crank up the heat. Literally, crank it on up. Your baby is used to being in the womb… 98.6 degrees. Little one is already adjusting to new norms, so let’s make it as comfy as possible for those sweet posed pictures. If it’s summer time and we can do them outside under even lighting, we definitely will. Otherwise… 80-85 degrees is ideal.

5. Do a full feeding before I get there, and be finishing up as I’m ready to get started (I’ll usually take about 15 minutes to set up). We have a 2 hour window before they usually want to eat again, so being efficient in managing that time is key! Although we can always stop to feed if necessary, many babies won’t need to if they’re nice and full when we start.

Above all else, I want you to go into the session knowing that I am flexible. Those first couple of weeks with a baby are very tender time, emotionally and physically. I’ll be as efficient as possible to respect that 2 hour timeframe, but know that we’ll go at your pace to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.

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