The session flows best when we have a sleepy baby!
When new born's are awake, they will most likely be crying or at the very least moving around exploring the new world they have found themselves in.
This means, no pictures.
It's happened a few times before and so easy to prevent, but almost impossible to fix once the session has started.
So here are a few things that could help ensure that baby will sleep.
Stimulate baby in the morning
Please give baby a bath in the morning before coming in for the session. This will stimulate baby and help baby tire out. Lotioning your baby after the bath will also help baby tire out. Allowing your baby to kick and be free for around 10-15 minutes will also help tire them out.
Dress baby appropriately
Dress baby in a zip up sleeper, or a button up. NO undershirt please! We do not want any clothing we have to pull over the baby's head that will ensure they wake just as we are getting started.
Before you leave the house for your session, please FEED baby.
This will allow baby to fall into a deep sleep while you are driving to the studio.
Babies have very few requirements at this early age, nourishment and warmth. If you satisfy these two ingredients for life, they will sleep and continue to grow and develop.
Bring a bottle (expressed or formula)
As a new mother, if you have chosen to breast feed, you will still be coming into your flow - you won't produce anywhere near as much milk as you will in a few months time and so your baby will feed little and often. Your body is wonderful and can quickly adapt to the babies demands but there will be times of the day where you produce more or less as your body adapts.
In order to ensure we are not unlucky during our session I highly recommend expressing a bottle or two in advance to ensure you can satisfy their hunger during the session otherwise your baby may not settle and there is a very real possibility you won't get any photos at all.
If you are mixing breast and formula, this becomes even more important because you body will have already limited the supply and it would be much harder to quench babies thirst with just the boob alone.
Bring a pacifier / soother
If your baby is only a little hungry or just looking for comfort a pacifier / soother works amazingly.
I will only use the pacifier/soother if your baby is having trouble transitioning into different poses or if the baby is simply unable to settle. Sometimes a baby just needs to suck for a few seconds to relax. This does not mean that they are hungry. However, if they are rooting for longer, I will give baby to mom for a feed and a snuggle.
If you are worried about nipple confusion, as a mother of 2 children, I can assure you that the few seconds or minutes of a pacifier/soother will not affect them. They will always prefer the breast milk over a dry pacifier however during a session it is sometimes impossible to move them off the breast without disturbing them.
I have had sessions without pacifiers/soothers and the baby was unable to settle for the full 3 hours, and those sessions result in no images at all. I feel terrible for the parents as they are unlikely to get this opportunity again with that baby, and it makes it awkward as my sitting fee of $250.00 will not be refunded as I've probably spent 2 hours preparing the studio and then 3 hours in the session.
If you are a model call you will have to agree in advance that you are happy to use a pacifier/soother, if you change your mind I will terminate the session as it is unfair on both of us to spend the time if we may not get any images.
I keep a stock of pacifiers/soothers in my studio which will be available to purchase for $5.00 if you have forgotten yours.
What to Wear
Spouse and/or other children
The studio room will be hot and the newborn session can last between 2-3 hours. We will begin the session with your newborn baby and do their entire solo portion. Once the newborn portion is complete, we will do the sibling poses, and then the parents and family shots.
To keep the studio as calm as possible, only mother and baby will be permitted into the studio for the first 90 minutes. It is my recommendation that if you do have other children with you for the newborn session, to either bring two vehicles and have your spouse and other children go back home, or elsewhere such as to the park or Costco. This will give Dad and the other children time to eat and play while Mom stays with baby and completes the lengthy part of the newborn session.
This makes it easier for mom to relax and enjoy the newborn session to the full.
If this is your first child, then Dad is still welcome to go for a coffee and come back afterwards.
We undress your baby and start with fabric poses, the studio will be at its warmest and it avoids dressing and undressing multiple times.
This is where we get a little creative, we will wrap your baby in various wraps and position them in props.
This is where Dad and the rest of the family come into the studio, baby might wake up here with all the extra stimuli but its not as important to be asleep here so that works well for the last portion of the shoot.
Every newborn session is different. If your baby sleeps perfectly from the time of your arrival, fabric and prop proses would take 1.5 hours. So if you have a spouse and other children coming, have them plan on being there no earlier than 1.5 hours after we've started.
But keep in mind, that not every baby sleeps easily, so this time can vary - and often does. I do not rush the baby, and you should be prepared to hang out for a while since the baby is the boss!
The session takes place from mid morning and usually goes past the lunch hour. Please bring yourself lunch and snacks. Moms are welcome to eat in the studio room during the session. Due to Covid, you'll also need to bring your own water as well. *****please don't try to tough it out, it's important to bring food to your session******