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Simple Tips To Prepare For Your Newborn Session at Home | Arlington Heights Lifestyle Photographer

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Congratulations! Your beautiful baby is almost here!

I can’t wait to take photos of those first precious days for you!

Here are some tips to help you get ready for your session.

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - mother holding baby in nursery

Preparing Your Home:

This session is supposed to be fun! I do not want you stressing out about cleaning the house because let's face it - you've got other things to do with a new baby in the home. Cleaning for me is not necessary. I am strategic about what is in the background of the photos and can work with your space. First, decide which room(s) you would like to take photos in. Common locations for a home session include the baby's nursery, parent's bedroom, living room, or outdoors. Make sure to clear any clutter or objects lying around in these areas beforehand. The easiest way to do this is to put all the items in a bag and put it in the closet for an hour. Done!

If you choose to take photos in your bedroom, please make sure the bed is made. Neutral sheets or blankets are preferred. Photos in bed give a cozy feel where the whole family can pile in the bed and snuggle up.

Please open the blinds in all the rooms you would like to be photographed in. I try to use natural light or a combination of natural light and bounced flash if needed.

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - family snuggled in bed

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - swaddled baby

Preparing Baby:

If baby's skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion to those spots the day before our session. Sessions should take place between 0-14 days old ideally. During this time, babies are more sleepy and cooperative. Have a hairbrush for baby on hand to freshen up the hairdo after outfit changes.

Babies are most content when they have been fed and feel warm. If baby is coming up on a feeding around the session start time, consider starting the feeding 20-30 minutes before my arrival. If baby is hungry during the session, please do not rush feedings. It is most important to complete the feeding so baby is satisfied and cooperative for photos. We are on baby time and will make sure he/ she is comfortable before continuing.

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - Father with daughters

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - baby looking at camera

What To Wear:

Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand such as blankets, swaddles, head bands, or stuffed animals. I encourage simple outfits and neutral colors like white, black, or tan while steering away from t-shirts with logos or bold patterns for the family. Casual clothing is perfect and bare feet look most natural in a home setting. Moms can also consider a light, flowy maxi dress or a pretty cotton gown that will be both comfortable and soft while you are cuddling with your new baby.

For baby, I recommend a solid colored swaddle or neutral swaddle (no bright colors or bold patterns), neutral onesie, and / or newborn sleeper gowns (they have a knot to tie the bottom of the gown). I know there are a ton of really cute baby clothes but some can be distracting in photos if they have a lot of color or pattern. Newborn outfits can also run big on average sized newborns so it is recommended to try it on before the session. Consider having a couple of outfits on hand in case of blowouts or major spit up.

A throw blanket or textured blanket to lay the baby on for their solo photos is nice to add if you happen to have it on hand. This is showcasing your real life at home with baby so keep the wardrobe simple for yourselves as well. I do not do overly posed newborn photos. I photograph baby in natural positions laying down or being held as well as details of the face / hands, etc.

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - sister holding baby

Relax & Have Fun:

If the baby gets fussy, don't worry. This is totally normal and to be expected at some point. I recommend having their favorite soothing items on hand (pacifier, white noise machine, etc). I find the greatest success in keeping baby happy is when baby is fed (can't stress this one enough to complete feedings and not rush it) and warm. A baby can sense your anxiety and we want to keep the environment as mellow as possible. I am not in a rush and as a mom of three myself, I understand we are on baby time. Ultimately, I want you to enjoy this experience and I look forward to capturing photos of your little one that you can cherish forever.

Arlington Heights Newborn Photographer - parents kissing baby

Arlington Heights Photographer - baby face close up

Jessica M. Photography is an Arlington Heights, IL lifestyle newborn photographer. She photographs families in the Northwest Suburbs including Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Barrington, Schaumburg, Glenview, Deerfield, Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Park Ridge and more throughout Lake and Cook County in Illinois.


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