The time after your newborn arrives is a blur as you learn what your baby needs and as your body changes yet again. There are many things to prepare for ahead of time, but I would like to help take the guesswork out of how to get ahead in preparing for your newborn photography session. I usually try to get newborn sessions scheduled in the first two weeks after a baby is born. But it can be later than that if you need more time to adjust and heal from birth.
Choose your photographer
Right after you announce your pregnancy and you have passed the critical first 3 months of pregnancy, check into packages and pricing from your photographer. You want to make sure there is space for your session in their calendar and that their offerings fit your budget. If you are looking for a maternity session to document your glowing bump, this is a great time to book that too.
Side note: I highly recommend a maternity session before your newborn session. This gives you a chance to know and interact with your photographer. Think of it as a get-to-know-you time before committing to a photographer being with you at a vulnerable time in your motherhood journey. A maternity session is as important to a newborn session as an engagement session is to a wedding day if you get my drift.
Find a forgiving outfit ahead of time
When I mention a forgiving outfit, please don’t try to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy jeans or dresses days after you baby is born. It just isn’t realistic. The time after your baby arrives is often referred to as the 4th trimester. It’s not talked about enough by many women, but it’s a whole new ball game. You aren’t pregnant but you aren’t back to the body you knew before this baby. And you know what? It’s ok not to fit into those pre-baby clothes now.
Maybe you can find a beautiful neutral dress that works for you both pregnant and would also work postpartum. You will need extra room in the bust and in the waist after you have a baby. If you have questions about wardrobe, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Pick out a few neutral swaddle blankets
All you really need for a baby for a beautiful newborn session is a white onsie and a swaddle blanket. Babies like to be held and swaddled for their session. They want to feel snug and be close to their momma when they aren’t being fed. In my experience, babies don’t do well in an outfit or having their photos taken unswaddled. They flail, cry and are usually a little too chilled by the air. Don’t bother with a special onsie with their name or a special outfit. Focus more on a special swaddle blanket to purchase for your session. Lou Lou and Company make some of my favorite swaddles ever! They also have beautiful and functional baby gowns that could work if you still want an outfit on your baby. The gown helps to cover and give that security babies love.
Try to rest and give yourself time
The day of the session will flow best if you can rest as much as possible. Have your husband, mom or sister clean up your house for you. Eat a nutritious breakfast and give yourself plenty of time to get prepped for your session. You could even hire a professional to do your hair and makeup so you feel glamorous. If this service is something you want but need help setting it all up, I would love to help with this!
Ask for help
Ask your mom, friend or sister to stay to help with your kids during the session. They can get snacks, or change their clothes. She can grab you some more water while you nurse or even get lunch around for your family while we finish your session. I’m always open to having an extra set of hands at a session. I would limit it to one or two extra people. Basically too many extra people may make your session more stressful.
Just go with the flow
Not everything is going to go as smoothly as you plan the day of the session. Trust your photographer. Go with the flow and enjoy the day.