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13 days old

10 weeks old

5 weeks old

This is a question I get asked OFTEN my with website inquiries and on Instagram. And the answer is….. well, there is no perfect and “right” answer! When your newborn session takes place takes into considerations ALOT of factors, including (but not limited to) moms birth healing, if baby needed NICU time after birth, preference on whether parents are comfortable leaving the house with baby yet, scheduling conflicts with the parents families visiting from out of town to meet the new baby, and how booked I am that month. Yes, I do have a general “rule-of-thumb” recommendation that I tell my clients when booking, and that is 10 days to 2 weeks old. Now, I’ll explain why and then I will also explain why I don’t make this a hard a fast rule. 

At the 10 day to 2 week mark, your baby is generally on a somewhat set and regular feeding routine. If mama is breastfeeding, she has usually worked out those initial kinks one can experience, and nursing is a bit smoother for both her and the baby. Baby is still usually pretty sleepy just after a feed, and typically settles fairly quickly – which comes in handy when your dealing with a limited amount of time. They are also generally easier to pose at this age, NOT that I do any crazy posing (all of my newborn posing is very natural), but it helps. Parents also, the great majority of the time, really want those sleepy newborn shots. And why wouldn’t they?? Those cuddly sleepy photos are ADORABLE. 

Now don’t get me wrong. Just because you bring me your 10 day to 2 week old baby does NOT mean they won’t fuss or cry or be unsettled at all. My newborn sessions last about 2 hours long, but nearly half of that time is usually spent on feeding and settling the baby. It is very rare that I get a unicorn baby who sleeps the entire duration of the session. Things like colic, regular baby gas, and growth spurts are usually happening at this time, which is perfectly normal and expected. 

I am also not saying that babies older than 2 weeks old are always more “difficult” to pose and settle. They just have longer wake windows, and depending on their individual disposition, may be unsettled if awake and not in mom or dads arms. Which is also completely fine, normal, and expected.

I guess what I’m getting at is, its more about parents managing their expectations for the session, that trying to pinpoint a “perfect” age for the baby.

 

This is what I tell clients to generally expect at different ages:

5-10 days old: Baby is super duper fresh and sleepy, may be struggling with flaky skin still and/or newborn acne. Mom still very much healing.

10 days-2 weeks old: Baby is still pretty sleepy, especially after a full feeding. May be able to capture some shots of baby being more alert. Most flaky skin/acne is gone. Mom still healing, but able to get up and about more. 

3 weeks-4 weeks old: Baby is still pretty sleepy, especially after a full feeding, but with larger wake windows. Will almost definelty capture some shots of baby being more alert. Pretty much all flaky skin/acne is gone. Mom is almost definitely more comfortable moving around, but still overall should take it easy.

5 weeks-6 weeks old: Baby almost definitely will be more likely to be quite alert the majority of the session, although we may be able to capture some sleepy photos after feeds and cuddles. Mom is usually feeling much better and back to normal by this point.

7 weeks-10 weeks old: Baby will likely be awake  the entire duration of the session. If sleepy images are captured, it will likely be in moms arms. Usually lots of smiling and cooing, and baby will still look plenty “new” but will be a bit more “filled in”.

 

So you see, there is NO right or wrong time to have your newborn session. Regardless of age, your baby will still look like a new baby, and regardles of which stage of the newborn phase we capture, I can promise that you will be in LOVE with your gallery!

xoxo,

Victoria