When Should You Schedule Your Newborn Session + 3 Tips For Preparing

Cincinnati newborn wrapped in dreamy white swaddle

Newborn babies are some of my absolute favorite to photograph!

Cincinnati newborn wrapped in dreamy white swaddle

Newborn babies are some of my absolute favorite to photograph.


The little bitty toes, fingers, hair curls, that new baby smell – I love it all!


They grow and change so much over the coming years that at times it’s hard to remember that they used to be so small!


To commemorate this time in their child’s life, many parents opt for newborn portraits.


However, all too often, parents-to-be don’t know when they should schedule a newborn session. A week after the baby is born, two weeks, a few days, etc.?


And not only that, but with the bustle of having a new baby, how do you even prepare for a newborn session?


I totally get it – it can all seem really overwhelming. That’s why I decided to take a minute and compile a few tips for new parents and parents-to-be.


wizard themed newborn session cincinnati ohio

When To Schedule Your Newborn Session

As a newborn photographer, What I’ve found that works best is scheduling your session 3 months out from your due date.


This gives me time to fully customize your session and purchase anything I may need.


Then, once you and your baby have a discharge date, you’ll want to contact me and schedule the session within 3-5 days of your release from the hospital.


Since most parents are in the hospital around 3 days, this means your session will take place between 5-10 days after birth. This perfect, because babies tend to be really sleepy up until the 10-day mark.


(Plus, babies older than 2 weeks can sometimes start to develop baby acne, and with younger ones we tend to miss that.)


Once you have your date scheduled and you’re released, it’s time to prepare for your session!


dreamy floral newborn photography

3 Tips For Preparing For Your Newborn Session

There’s a lot you can do to prep yourself and the baby for having a successful newborn session. Here are 3 big things that can make a big difference in your photos!

1. Feed Your Baby.

Please feed your baby 2-3 hours prior to the session. After that, do your best to keep your baby awake between that feeding and your session time.


Then, when you arrive at the studio, be prepared to feed your baby again.


Making sure your baby is well-fed and ready for a nap will help them sleep through the session and will make it so they’re easiest to work with, resulting in the best photos.


2. Dressing your baby.

It’s best to dress your baby in an easily removed sleeper (zipped footed sleepers work great!) and loose diaper to minimize disruption when they get undressed for their session.


(Remember, we want them to sleep through the session as much as possible, so the easier it is to remove their clothes, the better!)


3. Bring your soother.

Soothers are controversial at this age, but honestly – they can make or break a session.


Since our goal is to keep the baby as comfortable as possible, it can really help.


So if you have one, make sure to bring it along.

Cincinnati Newborn Photographer

But what if my baby cries?

If your baby cries, that’s ok! As well as having my own kids, I’ve been working with newborns for years and I’m pretty good at calming down upset and crying babies.


Additionally, I’m a seasoned pro at getting photos in during those few moments of quiet, however few they may be!


I also like to prep for newborn sessions by making sure the studio is nice and warm. This helps keep the baby warm during the session and encourages them to keep sleeping!


Cincinnati Newborn Photography


How I Prepare For Sessions

You’re not the only one who prepares for a newborn session! I take time before your session to get ready as well. Some preparations start a few hours ahead of time, and some even start years ahead of time. Here’s what I mean.


1. I’m Always Up To Date On My Vaccinations


I get asked if I’m up-to-date on vaccinations a lot, and for completely understandable reasons.


I am always up to date on all of my vaccinations, as the health and safety of you and your baby are of the utmost importance to me.


2. I Make Sure The Studio Is Warm Enough.


A warm baby is a sleepy baby!


Before your session, I make sure to get to the studio early enough so that I can turn the temp up.


This ensures that the studio is nice and warm so the baby is warm and cozy and more likely to sleep throughout the entire session.


3. The Entire Studio Is Sanitized.


Between each session, the entire studio gets a good sanitizing cleaning.


As I mentioned, health and safety are super important to me, so everything in my studio gets a thorough wiping down between every single client.


Linens and cloth props also get cleaned and laundered as well.


Cincinnati Newborn Photography

How Should You Prep For Your Session?


Ok, we’ve talked a lot about how to get the baby ready for the session, how I get ready for the session, but what about you!?


Don’t worry – if you inquire with me about booking a newborn session, I send you an entire guide including all of this info (and more) that will help you prepare.


I will also send you a session planning guide so you can pick all of the poses, colors, and themes ahead of time.


Want to see more Newborn Session with Heather Elizabeth Studios?


Check out my portfolio here!