Your little family has added another member, and it’s so important to capture this moment in your lives! One of the best things about newborn photos is it’s a great way to get new photos of the whole family, including any older siblings. But it can sometimes be a challenge for parents to encourage toddlers to cooperate with the photo session. That’s why we put together these five tips for including older siblings in your newborn shoot.
Give them time in the spotlight.
An older sibling of a newborn has often just become an older sibling, which means they’re still getting used to having a baby in the house. They may feel that their parents don’t pay as much attention to them with all the needs of their new sibling. Take time to make sure your older kids feel involved in the photo session, both in photos with your new baby and photos of the whole family together. Your newborn session is a great way to let older siblings know that it’s not just about your new addition, but about your growth as a family.
Encourage them to snuggle up.
Your older child may feel unsure or uncomfortable around the new baby, and a photo session can be a great way to help them loosen up and get to know their new sibling. Some of my favorite photos are images of the older sibling holding, kissing, or snuggling the new baby. Encourage them to gently touch the newborn and to get close, which can lead to a lot of giggles and smiles and some great photos.
Let them do their own thing.
One of the most important things is not to force your older child to participate in the session. The last thing you want is a tantrum or a grumpy face in your photos! Instead, encourage them to participate without forcing them. You may be surprised how much they enjoy being involved on their own, and giving your older child space to explore and relax can result in more natural, genuine images of your family.
Make time for breaks.
Your newborn won’t be the only one who needs breaks. Have some snacks handy for older siblings, and give them a chance to step away from the camera and just play for a little while. Sometimes it’s best to do photos with the older sibling first, so they don’t get bored and agitated as the session goes on. Regardless of how your photographer organizes the session, be sure to include regular breaks throughout.
Talk to them beforehand.
It’s so important to let your older children know what to expect from a photo session. Whether they love to be in front of the camera or are a little bit shy, talking to them in the days before your shoot about how things will go can really ease their minds and make them more comfortable with the photographer. Be sure to sit down with your older child throughout the week before your session and talk to them about how you’re going to have photos taken and the importance of listening to both you and the photographer. With a little preparation, you may find that they’re excited to participate, which makes for wonderful photos!