A common question expectant parents ask is, “When should we take newborn photos?” Every newborn session is different. Some babies are awake. Some babies are asleep. It just depends on the baby. I usually try to photograph newborns in the studio within 1-2 weeks after the baby is born. During the first 2 weeks of life, babies are still mostly sleepy and curl up more easily. After this point, many babies tend to stretch out and begin to become alert for longer durations. However, that is not always the case. I have photographed babies under 2 weeks that don’t want to sleep, and 3 week olds that do sleep. Most babies will fall asleep or at least be content after I wrap them. That’s why I will often start a session with wrapped poses. Then we try to be sneaky and slowly unwrap for other poses.
In some cases it is not possible to take photos during the first 14 days of life, and that is totally fine. I have photographed 3 week olds, all the way up to 6 weeks for newborn sessions. I think at 4 weeks we see more of a difference and need to change our expectations, as most newborns will be awake and won’t necessarily curl up for sleepy newborn poses. But you never know.
Another reason to delay a studio session is for babies born earlier than 38 weeks. You may then want or need to wait until around the baby’s due date for a photo session. This is especially true for premature babies that spend time in the NICU. The same 2 week timeframe doesn’t necessarily apply to them and the session should be scheduled based on their adjusted age, or whenever is best for the family.
So when should we take newborn photos? The answer is when it is best for your baby and your particular situation. If all is well, the 2 weeks timeframe is recommended, but not imperative. There is no guarantee that every new newborn will sleep. If a baby has FOMO (fear of missing out), the baby will stay awake. 😉
Speaking of sleepy babies, this session went so smoothly. Hello world, meet this little 10 day old “dream baby” as I called her. She had an All Wrapped Newborn Session, but she moved so easily from pose to pose that we were able to sneak in a few partially wrapped poses that are normally only done during full sessions. I especially like to use a felted heart for February babies born around Valentine’s Day; it just seems fitting. And of course our babies are our heart and soul. No matter if your baby is asleep or awake, having portraits taken during this fleeting time is one of the best ways to hold onto these memories.
If you like these delicate headbands in the photos below, you can find them in my Sweet Rebecca Leigh shop HERE!