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When to Schedule Newborn Photos: 9 Magical Moments for Timeless Memories

Welcoming a new baby into the world is an extraordinary occasion filled with joy, love, and precious moments that pass in the blink of an eye. As a parent, you’ll want to cherish and savor every milestone, from the first time you hold your little one to their earliest smiles and expressions. One of the most beautiful ways to immortalize these fleeting instants is through newborn photography. It’s an art form that captures the pure, natural beauty of your baby’s first days, creating timeless keepsakes you’ll treasure forever. But when is the ideal time to schedule newborn photos? This comprehensive guide will walk you through nine magical moments that are perfect for a photo shoot, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of these priceless opportunities. Let’s dive in!

When to Schedule Newborn Photos 3
When to Schedule Newborn Photos: 9 Magical Moments for Timeless Memories. Image Credit: Canva

1. Scheduling Your Newborn Portrait Session

As an expectant parent, you’re likely filled with a mix of excitement and anticipation as you prepare for your little one’s arrival. Amidst the whirlwind of preparations, it’s crucial to plan ahead and schedule your newborn photoshoot at the ideal time. The most common recommendation is to book your session during your third trimester, around the 28th to 32nd week of pregnancy. This way, you can secure a spot with your preferred photographer and have a tentative date in mind.

However, babies often have their own schedules, and their arrival can vary from the expected due date. If your little one decides to make an early or late entrance into the world, don’t worry! Most newborn photographers are accustomed to these variations and will work with you to adjust the session date accordingly.

Next Step: As soon as you’ve chosen your newborn photographer, go ahead and schedule a tentative date during your third trimester. This will ensure you reserve a spot and have a general timeline in mind.

2. The 7-10 Day Window, Or 6 Week Milestone

One of the most popular and recommended windows for newborn photography is within the first 7-10 days after your baby’s birth. During this period, newborns tend to be in a sleepy, curled-up state, which allows for those adorable, curly-posed shots that are so iconic in newborn portraiture. Their flexibility and malleability during this time make it easier for photographers to gently position them into those sweet, snuggly poses.

Additionally, babies at this age are less likely to be affected by environmental factors or to have developed cradle cap or other skin conditions, which can sometimes pose challenges for photographers. The first 7-10 days offer a perfect opportunity to capture your little one’s delicate features and tiny details before they begin to change and grow rapidly.

Next Step: If possible, try to schedule your newborn photoshoot within the first 7-10 days after your baby’s birth. This window provides optimal conditions for achieving those precious, curly newborn poses.

Age RangeDescription
7-10 DaysConsidered the ideal window for classic curly newborn poses. Babies are sleepy and malleable during this time.
2-5 WeeksBabies become more alert and awake, making posed shots slightly challenging but allowing for awake/eye-open portraits.
6 WeeksA popular milestone age for newb
Ideal Newborn Photography Windows

What Happens After 10 Days?

While the 7-10 day window is often considered ideal, it’s not the end of the world if you miss it. Newborn photographers are well-versed in working with babies of different ages and can adapt their techniques accordingly.

Between 2-5 weeks old, babies may start to become more alert and awake during the day, making it slightly more challenging to achieve those sleepy, curled-up poses. However, this period can also present opportunities for capturing your little one’s bright eyes and curious expressions, adding variety to your newborn gallery.

Next Step: If you’ve missed the 7-10 day window, don’t stress! Communicate with your photographer about your baby’s age, and they’ll adjust their approach to ensure a successful session.

Six Week Milestone

The six-week mark is another popular time for newborn photography, particularly if you’ve missed the earlier windows. At this age, babies are still relatively sleepy and can often be posed, albeit with a bit more flexibility and alertness compared to their younger selves.

Six weeks also marks a significant milestone in a baby’s development, as they begin to become more aware of their surroundings and may even flash their first social smiles. Capturing these early milestones can add a unique and heartwarming touch to your newborn photo collection.

Next Step: If you’re nearing the six-week mark and haven’t had a chance for newborn photos yet, don’t hesitate to schedule a session. Your photographer will be able to guide you through the best ways to capture this special age.

3. Premature Babies

For premature babies, the timing of a newborn photoshoot is calculated a bit differently. Instead of counting from their birth date, photographers often base the ideal session window on the baby’s due date.

For example, if your baby was born at 35 weeks, the optimal time for newborn photos would be around 7-10 days after their original due date, rather than their birth date. This ensures that your premature baby has reached a similar developmental stage as a full-term newborn during the typical newborn photo window.

Early Arrivals

ScenarioSession Timing
Full-term Baby7-10 days after birth
Premature Baby7-10 days after due date
Early ArrivalAdjust session date based on communication with photographer
Late ArrivalPush back session date based on communication with photographer
Premature Baby Photography Schedule

If your baby arrives earlier than expected, it’s best to communicate this with your photographer as soon as possible. They can then adjust the tentative session date you had scheduled during your third trimester to better align with your little one’s actual arrival.

It’s important to note that while premature babies may be smaller and more delicate, experienced newborn photographers are trained to handle them with the utmost care and ensure their safety and comfort during the session.

Next Step: If your baby arrives prematurely, let your photographer know right away so they can adjust the session date accordingly, based on your baby’s due date rather than their birth date.

Late Arrivals

On the other hand, if your baby decides to make a fashionably late entrance, don’t worry! Most newborn photographers are flexible and can accommodate late arrivals by simply pushing back the session date.

While it’s generally recommended to have newborn photos taken within the first six weeks, many photographers can work with babies up to 8-10 weeks old, depending on their size and flexibility. The key is open communication with your photographer to ensure the best possible session for your little one.

Next Step: If your baby arrives later than expected, contact your photographer as soon as possible to reschedule the session for a date that works well for both you and your little one.

4. The First Smile

One of the most magical moments to capture through newborn photography is your baby’s first genuine smile. Those early, toothless grins are so precious and fleeting, yet they have the power to instantly melt your heart.

While newborns may exhibit reflex smiles in their sleep or in response to certain stimuli, their first real, social smile typically occurs around 6-8 weeks of age. This milestone is a clear indication that your little one is starting to become more aware of their surroundings and is developing their own unique personality.

Scheduling a newborn photoshoot around this time can be incredibly rewarding, as you’ll not only have the opportunity to capture your baby’s delicate features but also those priceless, joyful expressions that will warm your heart for years to come.

Next Step: If you’ve already had a newborn session but would love to immortalize your baby’s first real smile, don’t hesitate to schedule a follow-up session around the 6-8 week mark.

How to make baby smile | Newborn photography

5. Sibling Bonding

For families with older children, a newborn photoshoot presents the perfect opportunity to document the heartwarming bond between siblings. Capturing the love, curiosity, and tender interactions between your newborn and their older sibling(s) can create truly cherished memories for your family.

While sibling poses can be incorporated into a traditional newborn session, some photographers may recommend scheduling a separate “siblings session” a few weeks after your little one’s arrival. This allows time for the older sibling(s) to adjust to the new addition and for the newborn to become a bit more alert and responsive, creating more natural and engaging interactions between them.

Next Step: If you have older children, discuss with your photographer the best way to incorporate sibling poses or consider scheduling a dedicated siblings session a few weeks after your newborn’s arrival.

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When to Schedule Newborn Photos: 9 Magical Moments for Timeless Memories. Image Credit: Canva

6. Why Studio Photographers Ask for an Earlier Date

You may have noticed that some studio newborn photographers prefer to schedule sessions within the first 7-10 days, or even earlier than that. There’s a good reason for this preference.

Studio newborn photography often involves intricate posing and the use of various props and setups. The sleepy, curled-up state of newborns within the first 7-10 days makes it easier for photographers to gently mold and position them into these elaborate poses without causing discomfort or disrupting the baby’s natural sleep cycle.

As babies grow and become more alert and active, achieving these precise poses can become increasingly challenging. Additionally, studio sessions tend to be longer and require more time for setup and transitions between different setups and backdrops.

Next Step: If you’re interested in the traditional, intricately posed style of studio newborn photography, it’s best to prioritize booking your session within the first 7-10 days, or even earlier if recommended by your photographer.

7. Postponing Your Newborn Portrait Session

While the ideal window for newborn photography is within the first 6-8 weeks, there may be legitimate reasons why you need to postpone your session. Perhaps your little one arrived earlier than expected and needs more time to gain weight and strength, or maybe there are extenuating circumstances that make it difficult to schedule a session during that timeframe.

In such cases, don’t worry! Many newborn photographers are happy to accommodate and will work with you to find a suitable time for your photoshoot. Some even specialize in “older newborn” or “baby” sessions, capturing your little one’s beauty and milestones beyond the typical newborn stage.

Photographers understand that every baby is unique and develops at their own pace. The most important thing is to ensure your little one is healthy, comfortable, and ready for their close-up.

Next Step: If you need to postpone your newborn session, communicate openly with your photographer. They’ll be happy to work with you to find a new date that aligns with your baby’s needs and development.

8. Milestone Moments

While the newborn stage is undoubtedly precious, your little one will continue to reach exciting milestones and developmental stages in the months to come. From rolling over to sitting up, each milestone is a testament to your baby’s growth and progress, and capturing these moments through photography can create a beautiful visual timeline of their journey.

Many photographers offer “milestone sessions” or “baby plan” packages that allow you to document your little one at various ages and stages, such as 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and even their first birthday. These sessions can be tailored to capture your baby’s unique personality and current developmental stage, creating a cohesive and cherished collection of memories.

Next Step: Consider booking a milestone package with your newborn photographer or explore options for capturing your baby’s growth and development at different ages and stages.

9. When Your Newborn is Most Alert

While sleepy, curled-up newborns are often the preferred subject for traditional posed newborn photography, there’s something incredibly captivating about capturing your little one’s alert and curious expressions. These wide-eyed, bright-eyed moments offer a glimpse into your baby’s developing personality and can create truly stunning and engaging portraits.

To increase your chances of capturing these alert moments, consider scheduling your newborn session during your baby’s awake periods. This may involve some flexibility and communication with your photographer, as every baby’s awake times can vary.

Additionally, some photographers may recommend scheduling a separate “lifestyle” or “awake” session specifically focused on capturing your newborn’s alert and interactive moments. These sessions often take place in the comfort of your own home, creating a more natural and relaxed environment for your little one.

Next Step: If you’re interested in capturing your newborn’s alert and curious expressions, discuss with your photographer the best times and approaches for an “awake” or lifestyle session.

Newborn Photography Tips

Items to PackPurpose
Extra diapers and wipesFor changing and cleaning up
PacifierTo soothe and calm the baby
Loose, comfortable clothingFor easy undressing and posing
Snacks and water for parentsFor your sustenance during the session
Favorite toy or blanketFor familiarity and comfort
Burp clothsFor any spit-up or messes
Newborn Photography Session Checklist

Regardless of when you schedule your newborn photoshoot, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure a successful and stress-free experience:

  • Feed and burp your baby before the session: A full, content baby is more likely to be calm and sleepy during the photoshoot.
  • Dress your baby in loose, comfortable clothing: This will make it easier to undress and pose your little one during the session.
  • Pack essentials like extra diapers, wipes, and pacifiers: Having these items on hand can help soothe and comfort your baby if needed.
  • Keep the environment warm and cozy: Newborns are most comfortable in warm environments, so make sure the studio or location is adequately heated.
  • Communicate with your photographer: Share any concerns, preferences, or special requests you may have to ensure a personalized and enjoyable experience.

Next Step: Make a checklist of essentials to pack for your newborn photoshoot, and don’t hesitate to communicate openly with your photographer about any specific needs or preferences.

Seasonal or Holiday Themes

If your little one’s arrival coincides with a special time of year or holiday, consider incorporating festive or seasonal elements into your newborn photoshoot. These themed sessions can add a unique and personal touch to your newborn’s portraits, creating memories that are truly one-of-a-kind.

From cozy winter scenes with knit blankets and evergreen accents to Easter baskets and spring blooms, the possibilities are endless. Your photographer can work with you to create a cohesive and tasteful theme that celebrates the season while keeping the focus on your precious newborn.

Next Step: If you’re interested in a themed newborn session, discuss your vision with your photographer ahead of time. They can provide guidance and suggestions to ensure a beautifully executed and meaningful photoshoot.

Newborn and Parent Bonding

In addition to capturing your newborn’s delicate features and milestones, a newborn photoshoot is the perfect opportunity to immortalize the special bond between you and your little one. These intimate, heartwarming moments are not only beautiful to photograph but also serve as a powerful reminder of the unconditional love and connection you share with your baby.

From skin-to-skin cuddles to tender kisses and peaceful nursing sessions, there are countless ways to incorporate parent-child bonding into your newborn portraits. Your photographer can guide you through natural poses and interactions that showcase the unique relationship you’ve already begun to cultivate with your little one.

Next Step: Discuss with your photographer any specific bonding moments or interactions you’d like to capture during your newborn session. They can provide guidance and ensure these precious moments are documented beautifully.

When to Schedule Newborn Photos 5
When to Schedule Newborn Photos: 9 Magical Moments for Timeless Memories. Image Credit: Canva

Lifestyle Sessions

While traditional, posed newborn photography has its own charm and appeal, many families also appreciate the candid and natural approach of lifestyle newborn sessions. These sessions take place in the comfort of your own home, capturing the real, unscripted moments of your new life with your little one.

From peaceful moments of rest and nursing to playtime and giggles with older siblings, lifestyle sessions offer a glimpse into the everyday joys and routines of welcoming a new baby. The resulting images are often warm, genuine, and full of emotion, creating a timeless and relatable documentation of this incredible journey.

Next Step: If you’re interested in a more candid and relaxed approach to newborn photography, inquire with your photographer about their experience with lifestyle sessions and discuss your preferences for location and styling.

Milestones with Furry Friends

For families with furry companions, including your beloved pets in your newborn’s photoshoot can create truly heartwarming and memorable portraits. Capturing the joy and curiosity of your pet as they meet their new human sibling for the first time is a moment you’ll want to cherish forever.

However, it’s important to approach these sessions with caution and preparation. Your photographer should be experienced in working with both newborns and pets, ensuring the safety and comfort of all involved. Additionally, consider scheduling a separate “pet session” a few weeks after your newborn’s arrival, allowing time for your pet to adjust to the new family member and for your little one to gain a bit more strength and stability.

Next Step: If you’re interested in including your furry friend in your newborn’s photoshoot, discuss your pet’s temperament and behavior with your photographer. They can guide you on the best


As you embark on the incredible journey of parenthood, cherishing every moment with your newborn becomes a top priority. Scheduling newborn photos at the perfect time ensures that these fleeting instants are immortalized, creating a priceless collection of memories that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored nine magical moments that are ideal for capturing your little one’s beauty and uniqueness through the lens. From the classic 7-10 day window to the first genuine smile, sibling bonding, and milestones with furry friends, each moment offers a unique opportunity to document your baby’s growth and the unconditional love that surrounds them.

Remember, while there are recommended timeframes, every baby is unique, and their development progresses at its own pace. Open communication with your newborn photographer is key to ensuring a successful and stress-free session that aligns with your little one’s needs and preferences.

Ultimately, the most important thing is creating a warm, comfortable environment for your baby and embracing the beauty of these precious moments. With careful planning and the guidance of an experienced photographer, you’ll be able to capture timeless memories that will forever remind you of the magic and joy that your newborn brought into your lives.

So, take a deep breath, savor the present, and get ready to immortalize the most incredible journey of your life through the art of newborn photography. Your little one’s first days are fleeting, but the memories you create will last a lifetime.

FAQ – When to Schedule Newborn Photos: 9 Magical Moments for Timeless Memories

What if my baby arrives earlier or later than the expected due date?

Don’t worry! Newborn photographers are accustomed to babies arriving early or late. If your little one makes an early entrance, let your photographer know so they can adjust the session timing based on your baby’s due date rather than their birth date. For late arrivals, you can simply push back the session date in coordination with your photographer. The key is open communication to ensure the best possible timing for your newborn’s photoshoot.

Is it okay to include older siblings or pets in the newborn photoshoot?

 What if my baby is fussy or won’t sleep during the scheduled photoshoot?

Can I still get posed newborn photos if my baby is older than the recommended 7-10 day window?

How do I prepare for a newborn photoshoot at home (lifestyle session)?

When to Schedule Newborn Photos
When to Schedule Newborn Photos: 9 Magical Moments for Timeless Memories. Image Credit: Canva
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