A sleeping baby. Ahhh….
We parents know that a sleeping baby means we have a rare opportunity to accomplish something. That could mean catching up on email, cleaning a room, eating a meal, or taking a nap ourselves.
For newborn photographers, it also means easier posing of the baby. When the baby is in a deep sleep, we can position them to look cute and they will go right along with it!
So what is the equation for a sleeping baby?
During every newborn photo session, I have a few things on hand to encourage the baby to get sleepy.
A baby who is cold will be an awake baby (and not a happy one!). A space heater helps warm the air around the baby keeping him or her nice and toasty. This is especially useful if the baby isn’t wearing any clothes (which can commonly be the case in newborn photography). Newborns can’t regulate their own temperature very well yet, so a space heater is necessary to keep the baby comfortable.
Have you ever read the Happiest Baby on the Block book? It talks about the 5 S’s that can help calm a crying baby. One of the 5 S’s is making a “Shhh” sound. Newborns are used to loud swooshing noises in the womb, and they find a loud “Shhh” sound to be normal and comforting. One option is to repeatedly say “Shhh” next to a baby’s ear. However, thanks to the invention of the Baby Shusher, you can save your energy and let the product do all of the work for you. I have the Baby Shusher playing during newborn sessions to help the baby feel at ease.
I have also used the Baby Shusher as a parent to help my son fall asleep at night! Once you get used to the rhythmic noise, it even works to help parents fall asleep 🙂
This one is not provided directly by me, but it’s an essential part of the equation.
Newborns only do a handful of things when they are first born. They sleep, eat, and spend a little time observing the environment around them before they fall asleep again (in addition to making dirty diapers several times a day!). When your baby wakes up, chances are they are feeling hungry and are ready to eat yet again. With the typical newborn session lasting 2-4 hours, the baby will likely need to eat once or more than once during a session. Once the baby is full and satisfied, it won’t be long before he or she is ready to take another nap.
Going back to the temperature regulation issue, wrapping a baby in cloth material helps them stay warm. It also reminds them of being in a tight space in the womb, which they like. My favorite type of swaddling blanket is the type that has separate flaps to keep the arms pinned down! Babies have a surprising way of wiggling their hands and feet out of a wrap. And of course, they get upset after it happens!
And there you have it. These are a few strategies for parents to help keep their babies happy and sleepy. Naps are an amazing thing for both the baby and the parents! You will see these strategies being used in a newborn session with Erin Swann Photography, and they are also useful to parents at home as well.
If you are interested in scheduling a newborn or baby photography session, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can start the planning process and get your date on my calendar 🙂