Tips for Including Siblings in Your Newborn Session

Newborn Photography

As you eagerly await the arrival of their newest family member, there’s no doubt that capturing those precious early moments will be a top priority. From the first snuggles to the tender bond between siblings, every moment is worth cherishing. As a professional newborn photographer with years of experience at Kathy White Photography in New Market, Maryland, I’ve enjoyed photographing many sweet (and silly) moments between newborns and their siblings. I’m excited to share some tips specifically for parents who are considering a portrait session with their newborn and siblings.

How to Include Other Kids in Your Newborn Photography Session

Prepare Your Family Ahead of Time:

In the days leading up to your photography session, involve your older child in the preparations by encouraging them to practice holding their new sibling. This simple activity not only helps them feel more comfortable and less startled if baby cries, but also gets them excited for the upcoming session.

Start with Sibling Pictures Early:

To capture those precious sibling moments when they’re at their freshest and most cooperative, plan to allow your photographer to do the sibling pictures at the beginning of your session. This timing ensures that your little ones are well-rested and more inclined to engage with the photographer. Once you get closer to lunch and naptime, kids (especially toddlers) may start to lose interest, get cranky, or meltdown.

Warm Them Up:

If your older child seems a bit hesitant or shy, don’t worry! Your photographer can jump right into the family portraits to help them ease into the session. Seeing the whole family having fun together in front of the camera can help your child feel more relaxed and willing to participate.

Don’t Force Sibling Interaction:

Every child is unique, and it’s essential to respect their comfort levels during the session. If your older child isn’t keen on holding the baby, that’s okay! You can encourage them to just get closer and look at baby and that in itself is a priceless moment. You never know; they may eventually be willing to hold the baby for a photo.

Involve Older Siblings:

Encourage your older child to play an active role in the session by helping get the baby ready, grabbing diapers, or gathering special items to include. Maybe let them pick an outfit and pat the baby if he’s fussy.

Parental Involvement:

If your older child needs a bit of reassurance or support, don’t hesitate to step in and join them in the photographs. You can also “spot” to make sure your older child doesn’t get too rowdy around the baby while your photographer is behind the camera.

Use Distractions:

To keep your older child engaged during the session, the photographer may use playful distractions, like encouraging them to touch the baby’s toes or point out features like their tiny nose. These interactions often lead to adorable moments captured on camera.

Be Creative with Poses:

If your older child isn’t interested in traditional poses, that’s perfectly fine! The photographer can get creative and capture moments of sibling bonding by having them gently rub baby’s head or kiss baby in mom’s arms. They can even play peek-a-boo with the baby for a photo that will be cute even if your newborn doesn’t know that game yet!

Take Breaks:

Recognize when your child needs a break during the session and don’t hesitate to take a pause for a quick snack or some silly playtime. These breaks can help recharge their energy and ensure a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Toddlers often want to do the opposite of what everyone wants them to do… so giving them some space and time can help them get distracted and regroup! Once your older child is done with photos, you can allow them to go play or watch a show.

In-Between Moments:

Some of the most beloved photos are often the candid, “in-between” moments that capture genuine moments between siblings. Trust the photographer to capture these spontaneous interactions, even when you aren’t posing.

Consider Outdoor Shots:

If weather permits, taking the session outdoors can provide a beautiful backdrop for family portraits with your newborn. The outdoor environment can help your older children feel more relaxed and playful, resulting in more authentic photo moments.

Prioritize Safety:

Above all else, your child’s safety is paramount. Ensure that the photographer prioritizes safety during the session and has measures in place to support and protect your children, especially during poses that involve holding or positioning the baby. Be sure to stay on top of energetic toddlers around your newborn during the session.

Strive for Moments, Not Perfection:

Remember, it’s the genuine moments and emotions captured in the images that truly tell your family’s story. Embrace the imperfections, knowing that these moments are what make your family truly special. By following these tips and working closely with your photographer, you can ensure that your newborn photography session is a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family!

Here at Kathy White Photography, I specialize in the art of newborn photography- it’s where my photography journey began! Your newborn session will take place in my cozy New Market studio, where you’ll have access to my extensive collection of newborn outfits, bonnets, wraps, buckets, and props that are designed to fit your newborn perfectly. You’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your precious baby’s first photo session! I’d love to chat with you about your family and your vision for your newborn session!

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