Newborn sessions are a little different than your typical session. A normal newborn session takes between 2-3 hours and are done between 3-10 days old. This is the perfect age because they still love curling up into themselves like they did in their momma's belly and they love to sleep that first week. It is important to contact me as soon as you decide you will want a session. It gives me time to prepare a custom session for your precious little one. I will pencil in a session based on your due date and when your little one arrives contact me to set a definite date.
Here at Rachael Bangert Photography! I shoot sessions in my studio. Some things to expect during the session is for it to be in a warm room. It is ideal to keep my studio around 75-80 degrees since baby is going to be undressed most of the time. I encourage parents to dress in layers because it can get warm. To help baby stay warm I keep a heating pad on hand to warm blankets before laying baby down.
Here are some things that I encourage you to do to ensure your baby's session goes as smoothly as possible:
Baby needs to be fed as often as possible in the twelve hours before your session. This helps baby stay in a deep sleep for as long as possible.
Try to keep your baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session. I know this sounds difficult because it seems like all baby wants to do is sleep. Some helpful tips are to undress your baby, play and interact with them, talk and sing to them, and if they still want to sleep you can try giving them a bath. This will help ensure a sleepy baby.
Please don't feed your little one until you get to my studio. This is so helpful because once baby is fed it starts its sleep cycle and we don't want that to start while baby is in its car seat. We want that to begin in the studio. If you are bottle feeding make sure to bring extra bottles.
You will want to put baby in loose fitting clothes, preferably a zip up/button up pajama. This helps reduce lines on the skin from clothing. You also want to avoid any onesies that would need to be pulled over the baby's head as this usually just leads to an upset baby.
Things you will want to bring:
Drinks for yourself and any younger siblings. I also would recommend bringing a snack. Especially for nursing moms. These sessions are long and nursing really makes mommas want to eat.
Plenty of diapers and wipes, babies poo... a lot. It never fails. Poo happens and it's nothing to worry or feel bad about. Trust me I'm used to it.
2-3 receiving blankets to wrap baby in between poses.
Pacifiers. I know not all parents plan to use pacifiers but please bring one. Even if you have to buy one for the occasion. Sometimes babies just want to suck intermittently for a few minutes and it truly helps while trying to pose. Once baby falls back asleep the pacifier will be removed. The soothie type pacifier that they give away at the hospital are helpful because they don't leave marks on the face. Go ahead and ask for one at the hospital even if you don't plan on using it. That way you can have it for your session.
Props I have in my studio:
Family portraits: If you are planning on having family portraits taken during your session remember simpler is better. Try to avoid patterns. White, black, navy, cream and tan are always good options. Try to avoid anything with a logo or wording on it. Little girl in dresses and little boys in plain t shirts and jeans. Don't worry too much about shoes because little bare feet are cute.
For Breastfeeding Moms: Please try to follow this guide for 48 hours prior to your session. It is a list of what not to eat to ensure baby is very comfortable. Gas is very uncomfortable for the little ones and it will help baby to stay calm and relaxed if a gassy tummy can be avoided.
It is always important to remember that newborn sessions take time. Safety is my number one priority. It takes time to safely pose newborns because they can startle so easily. I use parents to help me insure safe poses for the baby. I often use parents as spotters as I do not use an assistant.
The goal at Rachael Bangert Photography is to capture your baby in those first few weeks in a safe, beautiful and creative way. Using this guideline you are increasing the likelihood of a smooth and easy session. I can't wait to work with you.
Rachael Bangert Photography-Quincy, IL based Wedding, Senior, Maternity, Birth, and Newborn Photographer