Meet Chanell. (Say it like Chanel No. 5) :) I absolutely love her name, and I LOVE all of her dark hair!! So precious!
Almost NO newborn sessions go smoothly from start to finish. I want to just put that out there, not because Chanell’s is an example of a not-smooth session (at all!), but more because of the poor new moms and dads who get stressed out because their baby needs to eat right when I arrive (naturally), or gets fussy when we start the session (I certainly don’t smell like mom!) or doesn’t like being unswaddled (poor things, they are brand new in this big cold world, they like to be warm and cozy!)
I want to do something a little bit different in this post, and share a few images that I almost always take, but don’t usually include in my blog posts. My goal is just to maybe put a few nervous parents’ worries to rest (or simply answer a couple questions!)
Let me assure you that babies are rarely asleep when I arrive, and almost never have they JUST finished a full meal. (I mean, really, what one-week-old baby really ever finishes eating?!) ;) No worries. I am a big fan of variety, and that means we want to see your new little bundle of joy’s eyes too! :) (Which is not to say that I won’t try to lull your baby to sleep by the end of the session…)
Often we start out with some wide-awake shots. These are sometimes hard to “pose” because babies like to wiggle. NEWS FLASH! :) Little Miss Chanell only weighed 5 lbs. something, but she really wanted to pull her arms in to her tummy and pick her head up and look at me. Sweet!
Almost certainly, after being alert for a few minutes, babies will get fussy… It’s okay. It’s normal. At this point I almost always swaddle them and see if I can calm them myself–if they don’t settle down quickly, I let a parent take over (more for the parent’s sake than for mine.) As you can see here, some Mommy-Time was just what the doctor ordered for this little sweetheart.
There’s not much worse than being all warm and comfy and asleep, and having someone suddenly pull the blanket off of you. Are you with me? So I don’t do that to my newborns either… They get to stay swaddled for now, while my space heater purrs along, making very convenient white noise. :) Often I will get them settled and snuggled in, and then have Mom step in and cradle her baby just with her hands, to ease the transition even more. At this point my goal is to keep them warm and comfortable and asleep (or at least calm, if they haven’t fallen asleep yet!)
Often right as newborns fall asleep, they give cute little mysterious smiles. I TRY to be ready for these, as they are just so adorable!
You can see in one of the details shots above that Chanell is still swaddled; and in another I’ve pulled the wrap off (at least partially). I try to ease the baby through each transition, so often I’ll unswaddle but leave them loosely wrapped or covered, especially if they are stirring a little. The space heater is key at this point—if the room (or my hands!) are cold, I am almost certainly going to have an unhappy baby on my hands when I remove the swaddle.
Success!! I looooove how “casual” she looks here. So comfy. :)
And cheeks….. Who can resist squishy baby cheeks?!
Thanks SO much to this darling’s mommy for the chance to photograph Chanell! I loved spending the morning with her. :)
Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions regarding newborn sessions! I’d love to share.