Why You Should Always Do Newborn Photography Before 14 days old

The Team at MM PHOTOS are experts at newborn photography. They have photographed more than 3000 newborns during their 20+ years in the industry and they say you shouldn’t have your newborn photoshoot after 14 days. 

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Beautiful precious newborn babies … they are so tiny! This is the smallest they will ever be!

It is hard to believe when they are that small that they one day will grow up and go to school, high school, have boyfriends, girlfriends, jobs and start learning to drive! It all happens so fast.

The days are long, but the years are short.

It’s amazing how much they change in the first year. But even more so, in those first few weeks!

As a newborn photography studio, we know all too well how much they change. We will only do Newborn Photography with newborn babies within their first 14 days.

Why?

There are a few very good reasons.

Baby Is Getting More Alert

Newborn Photography MM photos newborn photoshoot

You might have heard other new parents talk about how their baby suddenly seemed to “wake up” when they are a couple of weeks or so old. Baby spends their first couple of weeks sleeping and drowsy through the day, and then suddenly baby is awake more often, more focused and more alert.

Fresh newborns tend to sleep as much as 18-20 hours a day and they often sleep more during the day as they do at night. Which isn’t ideal for mum and dad getting a good night’s sleep, but it does mean they’re more likely to be in that super relaxed sleepy stage during their photo shoot. 

You baby may also have a growth spurt around 2 weeks old and want to feed constantly, similar to what they were like the 2nd or 3rd night after they are born when they are trying to bring mum’s milk in.  If you are trying to photograph them on that day, it is a nightmare!!

After the first couple of weeks your baby is becoming more alert, so they can become harder to settle. This means it takes us much longer (if at all) to get them into the perfect pose. It also means that any slight movement we do to get them into that perfect pose may wake them up and we may never get the shot. Babies in that first week sleep through so much!

Newborns Grow So Fast

mm photos newborn photography

Your baby is growing and stretching every day. In the first 2 weeks, newborns can put on as much as 250 grams per week! That is a lot for someone so tiny! 

One moment your baby is practically swimming in the tiny outfit you brought them home from hospital in and the next they’ve outgrown it and you’re back at the shops buying another dozen sleep suits, because in a couple of short weeks nothing fits them anymore. 

And just like they outgrow newborn sized clothing, they’re outgrowing all the gorgeous newborn sized photography props. 

When our newborn photographers look in vintage shops or sees a large bowl and they immediate thinks “Can I put a baby in that?” So much creativity and thought goes into our select of newborn prop, so it would be a shame if on the day your baby doesn’t fit into any of the amazing pieces we’ve collected over the years.

Getting Stronger Every Day

Newborn Photography MM photos newborn photoshoot  getting stronger

Not only are they getting bigger, but their muscles are developing a little bit more day by day which means they aren’t as flexible or as easy to pose. They may also simply not stay in the position they’ve been posed. 

You may have an image in your mind of your baby posed on their tummy, but some babies can even roll front to back as early as 4 weeks. 

Alternatively, you want your baby neatly swaddled into a perfectly little bundle, but every time your photographer expertly wraps up your precious baby, they stretch out their arms and unwrap themselves. 

By having your newborn photo shoot before 14 days you will be able to achieve those gorgeous newborn photos you have seen all over Facebook and that you want to hang on your wall

Perfect Newborn Skin

Is there anything softer or smoother than fresh newborn skin? Some newborns do start to develop “milk pimples” rashes, and flakey skin. So the sooner they have their newborn photography photoshoot the better, so you can make the most of that newborn perfection.

Exceptions to the Rule

Babies that are born prematurely and spend a few weeks in the Special Care Nursery (SCN) or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) obviously cannot have their newborn photos taken within the first 14 days. For these babies, we are more than happy to photograph them in the studio when it is safe to do so, however we may have to adjust the expectations for the shoot, and different poses, and techniques may need to be used.  

For example, we may prefer to not attempt any naked photos and keep Bub wrapped during the shoot for safety and comfort.

There are also some cultural reasons why we cannot photograph babies within the first 14 days  Asian families (in particular Chinese families) have a custom where the mother is in “confinement” for at least one month post birth.  This allows the mother and baby to rest and recover and minimises the risk of exposing the baby to germs.  It also is a way for mother and child to bond, and concentrate on things like breastfeeding without the other stresses of life.  These families cannot therefore go to a studio to have newborn photographs done within the 14 day timeframe.  

So, we will accommodate these lovely traditions and photograph their baby at the 100 day celebration stage.  This is a very different kind of photoshoot, and involves limited props and wraps.

We are Newborn Photography Experts

Newborn Photography MM photos newborn photoshoot  relaxed parents

For all of the reasons above we specialise in photographing newborns in that first two weeks. So we understand how precious those tiny newborns are and how important their comfort and safety is.

  • We heat our studio to 31 degrees.  That means it is quite hot and at times uncomfortable for the parents (and photographer). So we recommend wearing something light during the shoot, but bring a jumper or jacket for before and after. But it helps the baby stay warm, safe and cosy so they stay asleep in the beautiful poses we are trying to capture.
  • We will only do one newborn photoshoot per day as we don’t want our families to feel rushed.  Your newborn photography photoshoot can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours.  It just depends on how settled bub is.  They will definitely need to be fed, and they may need to be changed a few times.  
  • When mums are feeding, we leave the family alone to have this as quiet time. It can be very daunting for a first time mum to feed “in public” and this may be their first venture out!  So we want them to feel perfectly comfortable.  
  • We clean the studio down between every shoot, and wash every item that touches the baby as well, including all blankets, wraps and change mats.  
  • Our newborn photographers are up to date with all their vaccinations, including whooping cough, flu and pneumonia vaccinations.

We also know lots of settling tricks and tips and are happy to give suggestions on settling and wrapping to our new parents.  Anything that helps them get through the day … or night.

MM PHOTOS :: Newborn Photography Experience from MM Photos on Vimeo.

When To Book Your Newborn Photos

As the timeframe available for photographing your precious little bundle is so limited, we recommend you book while you are still pregnant. 

We book you in a week after your due date, but we can move that date around if bub arrives early, or takes their sweet time to be born. It is also one less thing you need to worry about (and being in danger of forgetting) once bub arrives. 

Just give dad the job of calling us to confirm your booking date works. We also love to hear all your new baby. 

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We love guest posts at Parenting Central so we can deliver you a variety of voices and perspectives. We take submissions from other writers, or people who just have a story to tell. If you'd like to submit an article please contact mail@parentingcentral.com.au

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