Newborn photography Richmond - swaddled

Photographing babies with reflux

Around 40% of babies experience some level of reflux. It’s a condition that I’m very experienced with working with. It’s always possible to take beautiful photographs of babies with reflux, it just takes a little patience and lots of experience.

No matter what medical condition a baby has, or his/her mood on the day, I work at their pace. I won’t rush either you or your baby.

photographing babies with reflux - lying in arms

The best positions for photographing babies with reflux

As you’ll have already have found, babies with reflux generally don’t like laying flat at all. They experience a feeling like heartburn as stomach acid escapes from their tummy. Keeping your baby upright is generally much more comfortable for them. Gravity gives a helping hand with keeping stomach contents where it should be.

So how does this work with baby portraits, where a classic pose is the baby lying on their back? It’s fine, there are plenty of other positions your baby can be in that work well for photographs.

Generally, positions where your baby’s head is higher than their stomach will be the most comfortable.

Lying on their tummy can be more comfortable as it doesn’t put pressure on their stomach. If your baby can lie on their tummy briefly, we can do a few shots on their front. Again, if your baby doesn’t like lying on their front, that’s absolutely fine.

photographing babies with reflux - holding upright

Once babies can lie on their sides (even if propped up), that’s also a lovely photo opportunity.

If you’d particularly like a photograph of your baby lying on their backs, making a slight slope for them to lie on can feel nice and comfortable.

I’ll always respond to your baby though – if they’re uncomfortable, we’ll move them.

If your baby needs to be upright all the time, we can photograph your baby lying in your arms, and propped up against cushions. In this case, it’s worth waiting till your baby is a little older so they can hold themselves up. By six months, they’re likely to be sitting so that can be worth considering.

Making sure your baby is happy and comfortable

Anything that helps your baby feel secure and comforted is great.

If your little one likes being swaddled or wrapped up, that also works well for photographs.

If you have a special reflux bed, we can lay your baby in that for some photographs. It’s already designed for their comfort, after all.

photographing babies with reflux - sleeping newborn

Any time your baby needs a break or a change of position is absolutely fine.

There’s plenty of time and no rush.

“Louise did an amazing job on my daughter’s newborn photo session. My baby was fairly fussy that morning but Louise managed to get beautiful pictures of her despite this. I loved the detailed shots she captured of my little one’s features, like her eyelashes, nose, and tiny feet. She was very professional and listened to everything I requested for the shoot. Louise made us feel comfortable during the entire process. At our viewing session, she even took my daughter and rocked her so I was able to look at everything properly. I highly recommend Louise!” Erica

How to prepare for a baby portrait session with reflux

It’s worth having several outfits to hand, as your baby is unlikely to get through the whole session in the same outfit. If your baby doesn’t like being changed, try to choose outfits that don’t involve lots of buttons and take ages to put on.

The easier we can make the process for your little one, the better.

Bear in mind that you might also take the hit with your own outfits too, so you have a few changes of clothes to hand that you know you’ll be happy wearing. Just in case!

Have plenty of muslin squares to hand too – the more the merrier.

Think about how your baby reacts to feeding:

  • If a big feed brings up more spit up, see if you can hold back a little on their feed before your portrait session.
  • If your baby is much happier after a big feed though, give them as much as they like. I can work with whatever windows are left.
  • If your little one gets hiccups, there’s lots of time to bounce them away (if that helps your baby). Don’t worry – whatever happens, I can take adorable photographs to record your baby’s first year.
  • If your baby responds better to smaller but more frequent feeds, that’s also absolutely fine.
  • If your baby copes better with being upright for half an hour after feeding, we’ll take family group photographs after feeding. This works well because  you’ll be holding her upright already. We can then take photographs of each of you holding her afterwards.

“On the day of our shoot Louise made us feel at ease. She was so wonderful with our newborn son. I was a bit nervous about the shoot as babies can be very unpredictable. She was very understanding, though, and had a calming influence on him. It worked really well.

I absolutely adore the newborn photos that Louise took for us. She surpassed all our expectations. They were natural and so beautiful! If you are struggling to decide on which photographer to choose, look no further. I can highly recommend Louise – book with her!” Kelly

Scheduling a portrait session for a baby with reflux

The first six weeks can be a particular challenge for babies with reflux. If your baby’s suffering, I’d suggest waiting until they’re at least six weeks old.

Reflux can affect babies for 6-12 months. It makes sense to bite the bullet and go for it, rather than wait for reflux to clear up. I promise you that you will still have  a beautiful set of images, even if your baby is battling reflux.

If you feel that you’d rather wait, we can of course postpone your session until your baby is more comfortable.

The best thing to do is get in touch so we can discuss your baby and see when’s going to be best for them and for you. I look forward to hearing from you!

“Louise did an amazing job capturing our little girl. The photos are natural, relaxed and not over-styled. Highly recommended! They are absolutely beautiful and capture Olivia so well despite her reflux. They are really gorgeous!” Kristi

Find out more about how to reduce reflux

closeup photo of sleeping newborn baby on a knitted bedding
What to expect