September 5, 2018

Selah’s Newborn Session | 3 Sleepy Baby Tips

Sleepy Baby Tips

Have you ever wondered how I get my newborns to sleep?  Well…. I’m going to share a few of my secrets with you!  I think the biggest fear for all of my newborn clients is that their baby won’t cooperate for newborn pictures.  As you can tell from my pictures, I get LOTS of sleepy babies!  So I’m going to share 3 of my best sleepy baby tips with you.

Meet Selah.  She was an awesome sleeper for her newborn photos.  She even gave us quite a few little smiles.  She is baby #1 for her parents, and I must say, they make a pretty cute little family.

 Selah's Newborn Session | 3 Sleepy Baby Tips
Froggy pose is one of our most requested poses. It’s a complex pose requiring an extra set of hands and composite work.
 Selah's Newborn Session | 3 Sleepy Baby Tips
Not only is the froggy pose a complex pose, but it’s also a pose babies either love or hate. I don’t guarantee any pose and will not force baby into a pose that they don’t like.

Sleepy Baby Tip #1

When babies are just a few weeks old, a full belly makes them nice and sleepy.  This is why I ask my parents to feed baby before coming to the studio.  When I was a new mom, I followed the Babywise sleep training schedule.  The Babywise method follows an eat, wake, sleep cycle.  If you feed baby before leaving your home, this allows a bit of wake time while you get loaded in the car, and by the time you arrive at the studio baby is asleep.  When clients worry about a 45 minute – 1 hour drive, I tell them it’s actually perfect.  The drive gets them good and sleepy by the time they arrive at the studio.   I also recommend keeping baby awake a little longer during their wake time before this feeding.  You can do this by bathing baby if you have started baths.  However, you can keep baby awake too long.  We don’t want to overstimulate them so that they get over tired.

Theare are a few other factors that go into feeding baby.  If you are nursing, we want to schedule your session once your milk has come in.  This amount of time varies for every mom, but it usually takes about 4-5 days.  This is why I never schedule babies before 6 days new (preferable 8 days).  We want to let your milk come in and allow you time to develop a good nursing routine with your baby.  I also recommend watching your diet very closely before pictures.  Avoid drinks with caffeine that may keep baby awake and foods such as green veggies and citrus.  There are so many great resources online about nursing diets, but I found a great comprehensive list on The Bump.

 Selah's Newborn Session | 3 Sleepy Baby Tips
Selah’s nursery is decorated in watercolor flowers that are pale pink and peach. I used that as inspiration for her newborn props and colors.

Sleepy Baby Tip #2

Babies love to be warm and comfortable. Their environment is another key factor in keeping them nice and sleepy.  I keep my studio warm for pictures without wraps.  At home, this is not possible, but you can dress baby so that he or she is nice and warm during nap time.  (Be cautious of the season so baby doesn’t overheat.). White noise is another great sleep aid.  It filters out background noises that can startle baby and mimics sounds that they heard in the womb.  I LOVE the White Noise app, and usually have clients downloading it at their session.

 Selah's Newborn Session | 3 Sleepy Baby Tips
Blanket poses like these require sleepy babies.

Sleepy Baby Tip #3

Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle.  Babies LOVE being wrapped up nice and tight.  This keeps their startle reflex under control and prevents their hands and arms from waking them up.  Many parents believe that their baby doesn’t like to have his or her arms pinned up, but I have found it’s usually the wrapping process that they don’t like.  I like to pin up their hands nice and tight first and rock them a bit as soon as I have them secure.  This usually soothes them enough to finish wrapping.  Wrapped poses are some of my absolute FAVES.  I love how it keeps the focus on their little faces and those tiny fingers peeking out are bonuses.  Swaddling isn’t just for photos.  Learning how to wrap baby securely at home will help with nap time.

 Selah's Newborn Session | 3 Sleepy Baby Tips
Parent poses are some of my favorites! I love seeing the love between parents and their new babies.

I hope you have found some helpful sleepy baby tips!  I LOVE when parents call me the “Baby Whisperer”, and I find us talking about sleep tips during every photo session.  I only had 2 kids, and the last time I had a newborn in the house was NINE (insert crying emoji) years ago.  I am not a doctor, nurse, sleep expert, etc.  But I see lots of babies, and I’ve found some great tricks to calming down babies through the years.  I love helping new parents with what I’ve learned during our sessions.

If you are expecting and want to book your newborn session, please get in touch!  I am currently booking newborns due in November – March.


This is such a great post. There really is a lot of special techniques that go into making sure each newborn is comfortable and happy. Also, this baby is gorgeous. What a beautiful session.

Don’t you love when clients follow all of your directions and bring you a sleepy little angel!  Great informative post!!!  And beautiful work, as always!

Sharing the tips you use to insure the babies want to be asleep during their session is so reassuring for new parents that are concerned that their little one will not be cooperative.  This little angel was obviously very happy to sleep through your beautiful poses, the smiles you caught are priceless. 

Love all these tips for a successful photo shoot!!  It is so evident that you are the baby whisperer your work is absolutely gorgeous !!

OMG!! Those smiles!!  Such great info for new and old parents!  These are absolutely breathtaking!

Love, love, LOVE this post!! Such awesome tips  for parents! And of course, absolutely BEAUTIFUL work. Well done!!