Helping baby prepare for their debut session.
It is a labor of love soothing babies into each perfected pose. A little help from you before arriving can go a long way in helping baby feel sleepy and comfortable during their session. I have compiled these tips into a Newborn Prep Guide that, in my experience, will help to get the most out of your session time.
Keeping baby active in the hours leading up to the session will help them be ready for a nice day of napping. Some playtime suggestions for newborns is talking or singing to them with animated faces and age appropriate toys. Massaging their arms, legs, back and feet to stimulate their little muscles. Tummy time. Be in an interesting environment to experience their surroundings, for example siblings are often very interesting subjects to watch and listen too, this will become one of babies favorite past times as they grow!
Bath time is a proven way to help baby (and momma!) to get a goodnights sleep. The same can be said for a portrait session. After a morning of play, give baby a nice long warm bath (sponge bath for those still hanging on to their umbilical cords). After bath time, dress baby in zip or button down onesie, please nothing overhead or that requires a lot of jostling to remove.
The key to keeping baby sleeping is usually a full tummy. Hunger is one of the top reasons babies get fussy. Breast feeding mommas please be sure to take adequate time to nurse baby. My first boy would nurse 10 minutes each side and be done...my second took 20 minutes per side (he was a sleepy nurser). So take your time here, I would rather have you a few minutes late with a well fed baby, then arrive on time only half fed.
Please leave baby in their car seat, I will get them once we are ready to begin. This will set the tone without baby feeling like mom or dad just handed them to someone else. I also like to give a quick welcome, lay of the land and discuss a few items before we begin.
What to Bring.
While Merrick Imagery provides everything needed for a successful session, here are some recommended items to bring along.
TOP 2 must bring items:
- Milk and/or Formula. Baby will often stop for a snack break 1-3 times. (If breastfeeding mommas are able to bring a pumped bottle great, if not no worries just plan on nursing baby a few times during the session.)
- Pacifier. This can literally cut babies solo session time in half due to faster transitions and ensure those adorable poses when we need baby super content. While some newborns seem to struggle taking a pacifier, they almost always find their way during a newborn shoot...I'm not sure if it is just because I am not momma and don't have the goods (aka milk) or because I catch them before they actually wake, but either way this helps a ton. If you prefer no pacifier while you work on your latch I of course respect your bonding process, just be prepared to do some standing while baby pinky sucks. (Side note: Newborns almost always prefer the pacifier style that the hospitals give out.)
- Diaper & Wipes. We do have some in studio, however limited size and brand.
- Blanket & Burp Cloth. Again we have some here, but baby can be comforted by your scent.
- Anything you would like to incorporate into your little ones session...favorite little stuffed animal, handmade baby blanket, etc.
- Comfort clothes. I begin my newborn sessions with the family portion so that you can relax during babies solos. I keep my studio a comfortable 76 during family, however crank it up to 82 and use a space heater during babies solos...it get WARM so please bring something comfortable to wear once the family portion is complete.
Next weeks blog will cover how to prepare older siblings for their starring role in the Newborn Session.
Are you expecting a bundle of joy?
I would love to hear from you and discuss how we can create some magical memories for you and your family at this special time in your lives.