3 Tips for soothing a newborn like a photographer mother
I have three babies that walk and talk. They’re not really babies anymore. I first fell in love with babies, in general, when my cousins were born. I signed up for my first babysitting certification class when I was a pre-teen. I made my own special babysitting kit to take to my first “job” for entertaining the children. Any time I got to hold a baby I was so happy! I’ve always loved babies and I still remember the moment when my own first baby arrived. Best gift ever! As a former art teacher with a Masters in Art Education, and a love for creating art in all its forms, it’s no wonder that my path led me to newborn photography.
The little soothing tricks I’ve learned with my own babies work with all babies in my experience.
White noise. We all know about how babies hear your heartbeat. I’ve tried different sound machines. In the photography studio I use the Baby Shusher. You’ll find out why if you have a newborn session. Instead of me making a shushing sound, the machine does it for me. Another option is the Dohm. The Dohm is great to drown out sounds of older siblings or just to calm your baby. I haven’t needed this in my photography studio yet, but it certainly kept my own 2nd and 3rd babies from waking up their older siblings. We had that sound machine running every night for years in my house.
Gentle touch. All babies love and respond to a gentle finger stroke across the forehead brow or between the eyebrows on the bridge of the nose. Works every time! If your baby is sleepy and her eyes shift between open and closed, this technique will lull her to close her eyes. And maybe even fall asleep. Try it; it works! My 5 year old remembers this and occasionally asks me to do this when he’s sleepy. It is so relaxing for any age, really. And don’t forget, a gentle patting on the backside also helps a baby relax. Many newborns are especially aware when we lift up our hands after posing them. Sometimes a gentle hand resting in place on them makes them feel secure.
Swaddling. Even Houdini babies can appreciate a good swaddle. Swaddling takes some practice and I wasn’t one to make a good lasting swaddle at 2am in the dark when I was exhausted after giving birth. When you’re sleep deprived, a nice velcro “SwaddleMe” or the like, is a great time saver. In the studio, I use long stretchy wraps to artistically wrap your baby. Fussy babies will calm down and often fall asleep once they are warm and secure in their wrap.
These are just a few ways to soothe newborns during a photography session that also work at home. What are some other techniques that you’ve found have worked for you? Please share in the comments.