Tricks to a sleepy baby and successful newborn session
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Friday, April 01, 2016
By Carey Hope Photography
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Do you ever wonder about the "behind the scenes" in a newborn session?  How these babies just seem to effortlessly fall into these adorable little poses?  Well the truth is, it is not without great effort getting these sweet little things to pose in all these setups. Every once in a while there is that rare newborn that sleeps through the entire session without waking up to feed or for comfort in any way.  And of course as a photographer, we just love when that happens!  But again, that is rare!  And many mommys that claim that there baby is very sleepy ends up quite surprised when there child is awake and fussy for most of the session.  That's because a new enviroment is such an overwhelming sensory experience for someone that is only 7 days old!  All they know is mommy's safe warm belly, and then they are suddenly ejected into this world filled with different stimuli.  So going to a new place can be enough to keep an ordinarily baby awake!    We usually begin the sessions in my comfy home studio around 10am which seems to be the sleepiest time of the day.  After that, little things like daylight, gas and digestion begin to disrupt their sleep.  Once the session begins we setup up a dark, warm studio with sounds that emulate the womb in order to relax and comfort the little one.  Although there are many comforting tricks we do in studio, the real key to success happens before the session even begins!  I call this the "Parent Prep."  It's basically a list of things to do prior to the session to guarantee success.  Here is that list:

1) If breast feeding, avoid spicy foods the night before and that morning.  That can cause some unwanted gas and discomfort to an underdeveloped tummy. 

2) Give baby a luke warm sponge bath.  Not only will baby arrive fresh and clean for her first photosession, but a bath is extremely stimulating and will help make him/her very sleepy afterwards

3) Change their clothes a few times that morning and handle a little more than usual so get them used to it

4) Keep baby AWAKE for 3 hours in the morning!  Not easy but very important!

5) Right before leaving your house in the morning give baby a BIG feeding.  Between a full belly and the car ride, they will arrive in a deep sleep!

6) When packing baby in the car make sure he/she is in a zip up and nothing that goes over head so I don't wake her up getting her clothes off.  Use your judgement for this, but if weather is reasonable you can even pack her up with no clothes, just a diaper and layered in a few warm, soft blankets!

And that's it!  This prep works 100% of the time.  Tired and well fed babys will sleep!  I usually know when the parents don't follow the prep...as we end up having a very lonnngggg session lol!!  But at the end of the day, it's all so WORTH IT!  Just look at the images below and you will know what I mean!

 

If you want to see more, please click here for my newborn gallery

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