One of the questions I hear most often from clients is, "How old should our baby be for newborn photos?" And honestly, I struggle a bit to answer! Since I am a lifestyle newborn photographer, and do not need a sleepy baby for posing, I have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to scheduling your session.
While most of my clients tend to schedule their photos for when their baby is 7 to 21 days old, that doesn't work for all families. Health challenges, sleep schedules, visiting family, work schedules - all can come into play when scheduling a newborn session.
When looking at the following timelines, take your due date into consideration. For example, a baby who is 14 days old but was 10 days late will be more alert than a baby who is 14 days old but was born on their due date. A baby who was 10 days early and photographed at 14 days old will act more like a two day old baby.
And like everything baby-related, this information is dependent on YOUR baby. I've had sleepy 9 week olds, alert 2 day old, and fussy babies of all ages!
Under 7 Days Old
While brand new babies will be the sleepiest, so will their parents! While I am more than happy to photograph your brand new baby in the first seven days, I also don't want you to be too exhausted and overwhelmed to make it through your session.
7 to 21 Days Old (Most Popular Timeframe)
Seven to 21 days old is what I consider the sweet spot for most newborn sessions. Babies are still (usually) fairly sleepy, but have started to work on their squishy cheek and neck rolls! This also gives families time to recover from delivery and start to settle into their new routine.
Three to Six Weeks Old
At about four weeks, babies start to wake up for more of their session. If you're hoping for awake photos with those big, glittering eyes, this might be the timeframe for you! At 4 weeks, babies can see about 18 inches in front of them, so they may start to track your face and be more interactive during your session.
Six Weeks and Older
Babies six weeks and beyond will start smiling during sessions, as well as cooing and interacting with their family. As they get closer to 8 to 10 weeks, they tend to be happier and less fussy, and are easier to settle than younger babies. But don't expect a sleepy baby session!
Premature Babies/NICU Babies
As mentioned above, you'll want to take your due date into account when planning your session. If your baby arrives several weeks (or even months) early, don't panic that your baby will be too old for photos! I tell parents of premature babies to plan on scheduling their session for 7 to 21 days post-due date, even if that means your baby is 8 to 12 weeks old. The babies shown below are 8 to 12 weeks old.
How To Schedule Your Session
If you've booked your newborn session prior to delivery, send me an email/text once you're home from the hospital and ready to schedule! Most clients get in touch during their first week home, getting their session scheduled in the 7 to 21 day timeframe.
If you're looking to schedule your session and your baby is already here, send me a message! It usually takes 1-2 weeks leadtime to get on my schedule.
More Information On Newborn Sessions
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