Newborn Baby Photography: Tips for Keeping Baby Sleepy

When doing newborn baby photography, it makes everyone's job easier if the child you are photographing is reasonably sleepy throughout the photography session. As a rule, sleepy children are much more agreeable and less likely to raise a fuss. As any parent knows, however, keeping a newborn sleepy is no small feat in and of itself. While there is no magic technique that will guarantee that a newborn will be pleasant, sleepy and docile throughout the duration of the photography session, there are a handful of steps that can be taken to increase the chances of being faced with a sleepy newborn.

Below you will find a rundown of the steps that you and the parents can take to help ensure a pleasant experience.

Plan Ahead

All newborns have at least a rough schedule of when they are at their sleepiest. While parents may often wish that they could predict more accurately when their child will be wide awake, there are certain times during the day when newborns tend to become sleepy. Ask the parents of the newborn you will be photographing when these times are and schedule photo sessions to correspond with these normal sleeping times.

Keep the Room Warm

It is a fact that infants feel more comfortable--and by extension, sleepy--in warm environments. The last place that newborns were used to living, after all, was their mother's womb. An hour or two before any photo session with a newborn involved, it is always a good idea to begin heating up the room that will be used to shoot pictures. If you do not want to heat up your entire studio, have a handful of space heaters on hand that can provide heat to the shooting area when your subject arrives.

Make Sure Baby Is Well Fed

One of the main things that can cause a newborn to suddenly wake up completely and become cranky is when they are hungry. Infants have very small stomachs and they need to be fed regularly and routinely in order to keep them happy. Feeding a baby immediately before shooting will often go a long way towards ensuring that you have a pleasantly sleepy subject for your photographs. Whether this means allowing a mother to breastfeed her child in your studio or instructing the parents to bring a bottle with them to the studio, be sure to alert them to this fact before they come to the studio.

Music or Toys

Be sure to ask the parents of the child if there is any music or toys, like a mobile above the child's crib at home, that tends to help the newborn fall asleep quickly. If the newborn you are photographing tends to get to sleep better when a particular lullaby or song is played lightly, have a CD player on hand or ask the parents to bring in their system in order to recreate the child's normal sleep environment as much as possible. Similarly, if a child is used to sleeping with a particular toy or decoration, consider having the parents bring this along too.


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