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July 12, 2022

Ideal Age For Newborn Photos

How long is a baby considered a newborn?

The newborn stage is an incredibly wonderful, difficult, exciting, and sadly, short time. If you felt the rollercoaster of emotions in that one sentence, you’ll get a good insight into exactly what I mean about the time following bringing home your newborn baby. If you google, “How long is a baby considered a newborn?”, Google will tell you 4 weeks. I am here to slightly confirm that statement, but let’s rewind just a bit first.

The process starts before baby is even here.

You will want to start thinking about newborn photos way before your little one arrives. Many newborn photographers, including myself, only take on a certain amount of sessions per month to allow for these unpredictable sessions to all have room to be scheduled. The best time to reach out is in your second trimester. That allows you to:

  • Inquire with your newborn photographer and go through the process of booking your session.
  • Decide if you also want to add on a maternity session which normally will happen in your early third trimester.
  • Allow for time if your baby decides to come early.
  • Start a payment plan with your photographer or start putting money aside on your own. Newborn photography can be an investment, but one that will be so worth it, so start saving for it now if needed.

Okay, now you have your photographer booked, when does the actual session take place? In most cases, we do not know the exact time and date the baby will be born, so there’s a little bit of juggling that happens. This next part can vary from photographer to photographer, but here is my preference.

Ideal age for a newborn session.

For me, the ideal age for newborn photos is 2-3 weeks old. This gives the baby and mother time to bond without stressing over getting ready for a portrait session. Mom’s should be celebrated as much as the new baby should and I strive for that in my sessions. More on that later. Let me continue on why 2-3 weeks is the ideal age for newborn photos. Not only does it allow for adequate bonding time for mom and baby, but it also allows time for nursing moms to kind of get the hang of breastfeeding. This allows for the baby to be able to take in more milk during a feeding and sleep longer stretches. This allows me to pose them easier and achieve better images. The other reason it is easier to pose a younger baby is their flexibility. They are fresh out of the womb, which if you’ve ever seen a picture of a baby in this environment, you know it’s not the most spacious. It is because they have spent the last 4 months bent in half and in all sorts of odd positions that allows for us to get the smooshed up, cute photos that you see in newborn photography.

If you’re late to the game, don’t worry.

But, let’s say you didn’t think about newborn photos until after your baby arrives. Or maybe you meant to reach out, but life got busy as it always does and it slipped your mind. I want you to know it is okay! I get it, and as a newborn photographer I have actually done a newborn session on a baby at 6 weeks old. And guess what? It went great! She slept better than some of my 2 week old. It really all depends on the baby. One thing I will say though is the older the baby gets, the less flexible they are. And remember we need that flexibility to be able to achieve some of the poses that we love. Not all, but there may be some that we have to skip if your baby is a little stiffer.

So, to sum it all up, reach out to your newborn photographer in your second trimester so you won’t have to stress about it on top of taking care of your newborn and you can just look forward to your newborn session at 2-3 weeks! But if you’re a little late to the game, reach out anyway and we can make a game plan!