So you’ve had a baby and you want to book a photoshoot to capture some cute baby photos of your little one. What you might not know is that there is a narrow window of opportunity for capturing those newborn photos you’ve seen all over the website of your chosen newborn photographer.
The medical definition of a newborn baby is up to 28 days old, after which they are classed as an infant. However when it comes to baby photography this definition changes!
The ideal age window for taking newborn posed style images is within the first 2 weeks after birth. The reason for this is that baby will still generally be sleepy at this stage and so we are more likely to get the deep sleep needed for creating newborns poses. At around 10-14 days babies have a growth spurt which means they need to feed more often and are more awake and aware of what is going on, making it harder to achieve that lovely deep sleep.
At under 2 weeks they are also still curly and bendy from being squashed inside the womb and so will find the poses easier to do. After all a newborn baby’s body has around 300 bones at birth but almost half of these are made up of cartilage, which will eventually fuse to form the 206 bones they’ll have as adults. That explains why they are so flexible!
Finally a newborn’s skin is generally a lot clearer in those first 2 weeks, with the exception of a few battle wounds from the birth which can easily be edited out (along with any jaundice). As baby reaches the 2 week marker they can develop baby acne, and some babies can get this quite severely.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule and premature babies are the exception here. When a baby is more than 2 weeks premature we actually have longer in which to capture those newborn style photos as they can take a little longer to reach the ‘normal’ developmental milestones. Often clients are worried they’ve missed their opportunity when baby has made a surprise early appearance as they can be in hospital for a little while after the birth. Every baby is different of course but I have successfully achieved newborn poses with premature babies who are 5 weeks old at the time they have come to see me – for example these twin girls were born a month early and were only just at their due date at the time of the session.
Don’t be disheartened if your baby is already over the 2 week mark. I offer newborn photoshoots up to 4 weeks of age. The sessions can take longer as baby will fight sleep more than a brand new baby, but it is usually possible to achieve those lovely peaceful, sleepy photos. In fact some of my best sessions recently have actually been with babies who are 2-3 weeks old and were born close to their official due date – just like babies Jacob and Evelyn below who were both between 2-3 weeks old at the time of the session.
So what do you do if your baby is already over a month old? At this stage most baby photographers will tell you to wait until baby can sit up unassisted, which is at around 6-9 months of age, when you will achieve images like these here. In my experience most parents don’t want to wait that long as they want photos if their baby while they are still tiny. That’s why I created the Simply Baby package which is aimed at babies aged between 5 weeks and 6 months. The session is much shorter than a newborn session as baby will likely be awake and so posing will be more natural. If baby does fall asleep I am always happy to attempt some of the newborn poses as well. Of course the types of photos we are likely to achieve varies with baby’s age. Between 5 weeks and 3 months baby will be fairly stationary but we should get some lovely eye contact, by 3-4 months we should be getting a few smiles and baby may be able to do some tummy poses, & by 5-6 months we may be able to sit baby up with support. You can find out more about Simply Baby here.
So as you can see the definition of ‘newborn’ changes depending on who you are talking too! No matter what age you have your baby photographed you are bound to love the images of your gorgeous little one.
You can find out more about my newborn photoshoots here.