The first days and weeks of your new baby’s life are so incredible, full of memorable moments and first times. As you watch your little one grow and learn, you may be surprised at how quickly they change. Within weeks, you may have trouble remembering the tiny baby you brought home.

That’s why newborn photos are so special. These images capture your child’s first days in the world and give you something to look back on to remember that special time when your life changed forever.

If this is your first child or you’ve never had professional newborn photos taken before, you may have a lot of questions. What should you wear? What should you bring? How long will your photo session take?

To help you feel a little less anxious about your baby’s first photo session, we’ve put together this guide that goes over everything you need to know and what to expect, so you can make the most of your newborn session.

Book early

It’s a good idea to book your newborn session at least three months before your baby’s due date. If you are planning on taking maternity photos, consider booking both sessions at the same time, just to make sure you have a spot.

And don’t worry if your baby comes early or late. Once you’ve booked your session, we will hold a spot for you around your due date. We know that you can’t be sure when baby will arrive, and we’ll make sure you have a chance to get those newborn photos you’ll love!

Let your photographer know when you’re going home

We get it, you just had a baby. Calling your photography probably won’t be at the top of your to-do list. But letting us know that you and your little one are heading home is essential to making sure we get your session on our calendar. You may want to hand this task off to your significant other or a family member, just so you don’t have to worry about it.

The sooner you can schedule a definite date and time for your session, the better. Newborns grow quickly, and the older they get, the less comfortable they will be with posing and sleeping during their session. It’s important to make sure you have your session before your baby turns 14 days old, as at this point infants start to move around more and spend more time awake. You want your little one to be sleepy to get those adorable newborn images!

Make sure your baby is sleepy and hungry

Speaking of sleepy, don’t let your little one nap right before your session. Babies do well in their sessions when they’re in a deep sleep. To help encourage your child to get cozy and take a nap, keep them stimulated at least a couple hours before your session. That also means keeping them awake during the car ride to the studio and refraining from feeding them as well.

Even if it seems like your baby will sleep through anything, you want to make sure they will snooze through the session to help us get those cuddly baby poses that every parent loves!

Dress comfortably

You don’t need to dress up for a newborn session. The focus will be on your little one, and it’s most important for you to be comfortable. Wear loose-fitting clothes in neutral colors and don’t worry about spending a ton of time on your hair or makeup. We just want to capture your love for your newborn!

When it comes to dressing your baby, be sure to dress them in loose clothes as well. Anything tight may leave marks or indentations on their skin, and we want to capture that soft baby skin just as it was on the day they were born. You may also want to loosen their diaper about half an hour before your session to avoid any diaper marks as well.

Be prepared for crying and maybe some messes

Your newborn will cry during your session, and that’s okay! We’ve seen it all, and we’re pretty good at calming little ones. Don’t be embarrassed when you have trouble calming your baby down. You’re new at this, and those things will get easier with time.

Similarly, don’t be mortified if your baby poops or pees during some of their images. That’s why it’s essential to bring along extra clothes for anyone in the session who may be holding the newborn. We’re totally prepared to clean up and get right back to work, and you should be too!

Take time to relax

While you will be in some of the photos as well, your newborn session is a good time for you to relax while we capture some adorable images of your little one. Chances are you haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a while, so take the opportunity to just hang out. Your baby is in great hands!

Your little one will also need some time out to snuggle and eat. We won’t rush you! Your newborn photography experience should be beautiful and relaxing for you, so don’t stress about taking time out to comfort or feed your baby. Our goal is to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for everyone involved.