Scheduling your newborn portrait session: the 7-10 day window, or six week milestone

Scheduling your newborn portrait session: the 7-10 day window, or six week milestone

How do we choose the best date for your newborn portrait session?

Don’t worry, I can take care of most of the logistics for you! Once we’ve scheduled your session, just keep me posted on your baby’s arrival date. We can adjust our plan accordingly to find a date that’ll be best for you and your baby.

When I book you in for your newborn portrait, I also save an extra session the week before and after that date – giving us flexibility according to how you’re getting on.

Here’s an overview of my recommendations, and what we do if your baby is born earlier or later than expected:

The 7-10 day window, or 6 week milestone

In my experience, the best time to photograph newborns is when they’re 7-10 days old (when they’re still absolutely tiny) or at their six-week milestone (when they’re gorgeously small but also more alert and engaged, and starting to smile).

Peaceful photograph of a newborn baby sleeping and holding a white bunny teddy

At 7 days old, your baby will have had a chance to settle in a bit and to grow into their skin a little, and for any jaundice to settle. You’ll have had a few days at home to enjoy as a family, and to bounce back from the hormone dip new mums can experience at day 4 or 5.

Newborns often have a growth spurt soon after 10 days old, embark on cluster feeding and digestive gripes can kick in. That’s why I aim to photograph them in those first 7-10 days – to catch them at their most tiny and at their most comfortable.

Close up photograph of a mother holding her newborn baby's feet in her hands

Weeks 2-5 are generally best avoided as newborns can go through an uncomfortable phase with skin issues and digestive problems rearing their heads. If your newborn is settled and doing well though, I can photograph him/her earlier than six weeks. See for more on my approach to photographing older newborns (I know, such a strange phrase!).

Six week milestone: newborns are generally much more settled at six weeks. Though still tiny and snuggly they’re more alert and open-eyed – and often starting to smile. Six weeks is a big milestone for newborns in that sleep is often starting to really improve, and you might well be finding it significantly easier – which can mean more flattering photographs for you!

Six week old newborn baby smiling with alert blue eyes and wearing a pastel pink babygro

Premature babies

If your baby is premature, I calculate your session date from your due date rather than the birth date to give them a chance to catch up a little.

If your baby’s only born a week or so early, see how you feel at the time – your baby might seem calm, and happy, in which case we can bring the date forward. If your baby seems a little fragile or uncomfortable, we can keep the date originally scheduled.

Late arrivals

If your baby’s born late, it’s a good idea to have your newborn portrait session at around seven days old (rather than the usual 7-10 day window) as your baby will be a little more developed and his/her growth spurt might come a little sooner.

Why do studio photographers ask for an earlier date?

Studio photographers sometimes specify a date as soon as a few days old, so that your baby will be as flexible and sleepy as possible – so they can be contorted into buckets! My approach to photographing newborns is much more natural, so we don’t need to book you in quite so early – take the time to enjoy getting to know your baby instead, and we can take the photographs when it’s more enjoyable for you and your baby.

Postponing your newborn portrait session

If you find you would rather spend more time adjusting to life as a family before having your portrait session, you can either postpone your newborn session to your baby’s 6 week milestone, or postpone it up to 6 months ahead. 3 months is a good age for baby portraits, or 6 months is a really sweet age for child portraits – see more on this here:

Gorgeous photographs no matter what

Babies are each unique, and develop at their own pace – my years of experience photographing newborns means that regardless of the mood they’re in on the day or the exact date of your portrait session, I’ll be able to create a beautiful set of photographs for you that really bring back the love and wonder of those special first weeks.

Newborn baby holding her parents fingers lying on a patterned bedspread

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