Sometimes, your baby won’t sleep during their newborn photo session…
…and that’s ok!
When you book your newborn photo session, you’re excited and you’re looking forward to a perfect session and perfect images to follow. You imagine a smooth running session where your baby sleeps and the photographer is able to pose your baby and capture their cuteness and all their perfections with no hiccups whatsoever. Let me tell you, sessions like this are extremely rare and I think I can count on one hand how many of these sessions I have had in the past four years.
Most sessions will consist of rocking, feeding, shushing and burping or winding for most of the duration. The actual photo taking is a fraction of the session.
While we will do all we can to get your baby to sleep to be able to pose them with ease, some poses are still achievable while your baby is still awake, providing they’re fully relaxed and happy to be moved around.
I recently had a newborn session with a beautiful little girl called Eloise. She arrived asleep and the minute we removed her from her car seat and undressed her, she woke up and all hell broke loose. We spent the first hour and a half of the session trying to calm her. We rocked, we fed and we cuddled but there was nothing we could do. Eloise just cried and the only time she relaxed a little was either when she was breastfeeding or snuggled against someone’s skin. This is very common for babies as it is their safe place being close to another human, especially mum. The minute she’d fall into a deep sleep, it literally lasted seconds! A slight touch, or movement and she’d wake up crying again. As much as some of this is normal, usually I’d be able to move the baby gently while they’re in a deep sleep but this little lady was having none of it. Babies enjoy being wrapped so I gave that a go but by this point she had worked herself up so much that it was impossible to wrap her legs without her kicking herself out of there again. Cuddling her or her mother breastfeeding her was all she was happy with. It took almost three hours before I decided to call it and invite mum and dad back another day. Now, this is rare! Usually by 3 hours I’d be able to get a full gallery even with an unsettled baby but Eloise was obviously uncomfortable with something. Turns out she had a lot of trapped wind and she was constipated which caused her to be uncomfortable which disrupted our session. This is the first time I have actually had to call a client back to try the session again.
I booked them another session for three days later. This time Eloise was in a much better mood. Asleep on arrival, fed as soon as we took her out of her car seat and she was asleep straight away. In the first hour of the session we got some beautiful shots before she woke up needing a feed again. Once she woke up, it proved difficult to get her back to sleep again as she definitely preferred the closeness of her mother.
I decided we should wrap her and try again. Right away Eloise was happy, comfortable and fell into a deep sleep. Babies love being wrapped as they feel secure and it’s like being back in the womb. The moment I unwrapped her, she was awake again but this time she was relaxed, calm and happy to be laying on the fabric. I took the images I needed as she lay there happily, looking around and taking in her surroundings. She stayed awake for the rest of the session, happy for part of it until she got upset and we had to call it a day.
Without a doubt one of the most challenging sessions I’ve had to do yet one of the most rewarding.
She was such a beautiful baby and I am so pleased with the results of the session.
Newborn sessions are completely baby led, so as much as you desire a specific pose or image it completely depends on your babies temperament on the day. It is almost certain I will achieve that image for you eventually and I will do my absolute best to get it for you but if your baby is unwell, constipated or just plain unhappy then I will reschedule your session so we can achieve it!