Why Do Babies Have to be So Young for Newborn Photos?

As a first time parent, you may be super surprised to learn that newborn photos are best shot during their babies’ two weeks after birth. Why so young? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Babies fresh from the womb are always sleepy and quite malleable for newborn pictures. When babies are first born their bones are still soft from being cooped up in the womb and then undergoing the experience of labor and delivery. This means they’re as flexible as they  can be which is why they can comfortably be curled up in those adorable poses that you see in the newborn photographs. Not only do these positions allow for easy swaddling of all those precious wrapped up all snug portraits you see, but their natural tendencies, like keeping their hands close to their face with their legs tightly crossed in the most precious way, are most optimal in this stage. You can see these examples of those beautiful newborn shots on my website.

Another reason why newborn photos should be scheduled within those first two weeks of life is because week three is when most babies go through their first growth spurt, waking up and wanting nothing more than to fill their bellies with milk. They tend to be more alert and fussier during this stage not only because they’re ravenous, but because they still can’t control those finicky limbs, and they just startle too easily. Other less-than-lovely perks of week three and beyond include baby acne and, worse, colic, that gas-induced fussiness.

Like all rules, however, this one does come with exceptions. Babies born prematurely, can be photographed past the two- week point. Preemies are typically more sleepy than full term babies because they came out before their due date. Their bellies are still developing and their desire for more milk is less intense in those first few weeks. In these cases, we can be much more flexible in booking their newborn sessions. As long as the newborn photos are scheduled for within 5 days of their actual due date, it will be perfectly fine.

When should I book my newborn photos? 

With all these unknown facts, I recommend booking your newborn photos before your baby arrives. It’s one less thing to have to think about as you know your world will be super busy as a newborn parent. Ideally, we can start discussing dates for newborn photos towards the end of your second trimester. Of course, you don’t know exactly when they will come. Not to worry—I’ve created a system that works for every parent that works seamlessly every time: We simply book a tentative date based off of your actual due date and keep in touch after each doctor’s appointment from 36 weeks on.

This way, I’ll know how your baby is doing so you can make adjustments along the way. And, of course, once your baby actually arrives, make sure I’m in the know. While it’s a lot of keeping in touch during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, it will ensure we can capture those precious moments at a perfect timing.  

If you’re interested in learning more about newborn photography or would like to reserve your own session be sure to fill out the contact form below and I will be in touch!

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