One of the questions every new parent asks me while making their initial enquires about our newborn portrait sessions is “how old should my baby be for the photos?”
My answer is always the same, the ‘ideal’ time to photograph your newborn baby is 5 to 10 days old. But why is that?
1. The cutest of poses are ‘squishy’
Have you ever looked at a newborn and wondered how on earth did they fit in their mothers belly? An unborn baby is snuggled up in a tight curly little ball and after they are born they gradually get used to being nicely stretched out. For the best newborn shots we want ‘squishy’ poses, and between the 5 and 10 day old mark, those ‘squishy’ positions are still very natural for them.
2. Perfected poses come from the sleepiest of babies
Newborn babies don’t have a lot of control over their limbs, a sleeping baby rests naturally into position allowing me to gently move their arms, legs and fingers to place. Between 5 and 10 days your baby is still very sleepy, the older a baby gets the less sleep they will have and the more sensitive they get to touch making some poses impossible. None of the poses we use are dangerous or uncomfortable – but some of the most gorgeous positions can’t be achieved with a wriggly or awake baby.
3. A full tummy makes for a settled baby
If your baby is formula fed we could photograph them before the 5 day mark, however, a breast fed baby may be unsettled because typically a mothers milk does not ‘come in’ until the forth day. A breast fed baby on day four will very likely be unsettled and want to spend what will certainly seem like all day feeding, I’d rather you spend the day with your baby at home than worrying that they won’t sleep through their photographs. A baby with a full tummy is a baby that will have the deepest sleep.
Occasionally things don’t go entirely to plan and your baby might spend some time in hospital or perhaps you didn’t already know to book your newborn session in advance, truly, we can photograph your newborn baby anytime – but we want to get the very best images we can of your precious bundle of joy. So if we get to do our work during the ideal 5-10 day window, this allows us to do our very best for you.
© Samantha May Photography 2014 – Do not print, crop or alter.
Jodie is the owner & photographer at Samantha May Photography, she specialises in custom newborn, baby and children’s portraits from her Perth home studio.