How many of you have thought that you’ve missed your chance at a newborn session? That you’ve missed your window because your baby is too old?.. Well I’m here to tell you that you absolutely have not!
I know you hear that newborn photography is best done between 6-12 days old.. and this is true in some aspects, but it’s definitely NOT set in stone. I often have mums call me in a bit of a panic asking me if their baby is too old for me to photograph and the answer is no, it’s never too late! There could be a hundred different reasons why you weren’t able to have a session done at that stage. Maybe you and/or baby had to stay in hospital, maybe you had a c-section and you weren’t quite ready to get out of the house yet.. and the list goes on! Not all births are easy. I know because my labour was 52 hours long! lol
The reason photographers say that the newborn window is between 6-12 days old is because at this age, babies ‘usually’ get into a deep sleep much easier and they curl up easier as well. At this age a lot of the bones haven’t starting fusing together so they get into those cute curly poses a lot easier because that’s how they were in the womb. They also tend to sleep much better, especially whilst being naked. It takes them a bit of time to get into that deep sleep but once they’re there, you can get them naked and get those adorable shots. Now I use words like ‘usually’ and ‘tend to’ because every baby is different. I’ve had some 8 days old not sleep a wink and be awake and aware the whole time! I’ve had babies that HATED being naked to the point that I had to keep them swaddled and wrapped up. Newborn photography is about reading the cues and going with what the baby gives you.
I’ve heard some photographers turn away clients because their baby was older than the 12/14 day mark.. I think this is ABSURD. It’s NEVER too late to photograph your beautiful, precious new miracle! I photograph newborns up to 2 months and sometimes older. Premature babies can also be photographed much older as their bodies don’t develop as quickly. I’ve had a 3 month old premature baby only weighting around 6 pounds and she sleep better than any newborn I’ve ever had! With older newborns, you just have to be aware of a few things.
1- Their bones have started fusing together which means they’ll be less curly. Being careful not to push baby too far and only bending baby as much as he/she is comfortable with is so so important.
2- They’re much more awake and aware so getting them to sleep can take longer and sometimes they might not sleep at all. Every baby is different but they usually won’t go into that deep sleep.
3- Not going into that deep sleep also means that they usually hate being naked even more than newborns do. They wake up much easier and are much more aware of being naked so images with older newborns tend to be more wrapped and swaddled.
Newborn sessions with older babies are absolutely doable, but your photographer just needs to know what poses work and how to handle the older babies. You’ll still get stunning images of your beautiful newborn baby, please don’t think you’ve missed your chance! Funny enough, I’ve had 7 week old babies sleep better than 7 day old newborns!