Baby Boy, Baby Girl, In Studio, Newborn Photography, Prep Guide, Uncategorized

August 8, 2023

Prepping for Your Newborn Photos

5 ways to prepare for baby’s first photoshoot

When talking with parents about their vision and goals for their newborn session, it never fails that their biggest cause for concern and anxiety is preparation – making sure that baby sleeps throughout the session and is comfortable, leading to the best possible photos. As a mother of four myself, I completely understand this anxiety and I am here to tell you – there are things you can do in advance to prepare and set us up for success! As a client, you’ll receive my Newborn Session Prep Guide which breaks these tips down even further.

I’m so happy to share my Top 5 Tips for Prepping for Your Newborn Photos!

They are:

  • Plan A Wake Window
  • Full Feedings
  • Give Baby a Bath
  • Dress in Loose Clothing
  • Overpack the Diaper Bag

All of these things will help your newborn’s first photoshoot run smoothly and give us the best possible outcome for photos, so let’s dive into each one and explain more in depth!

mother, father and baby girl standing in front of a white background during newborn photo session

Newborn Photo Tip #1: Plan a Wake Window

First up on the list of ways to prepare for a newborn photo session: plan for a wake window! I know it’s our nature to let baby sleep whenever baby wants to sleep, but planning to keep baby awake for an hour or two prior to their photo session will help them get sleepy and ready for a nap during their session! It can be as simple as playing, bouncing, tickling or talking to baby – anything to keep them stimulated and awake for a longer than normal period of time right before their session.

If you are able to keep them awake in the car on your way over – bonus points for you! However in my experience, babies tend to come in asleep from the car ride.

prepping for baby's first photoshoot

Newborn Photo Tip #2: Feedings

It’s very, very important that baby gets a full feeding when preparing for their newborn photo session. Most people often refer to this as “getting them milk drunk”, because it helps them relax and sleep very deeply. Having a full tummy and a good burp can help babies stay calm, sleepy and avoid gassiness. If baby is breastfed, make sure they are eating a normal amount of time and not just falling asleep during their feeding.

When scheduling newborn sessions, I do tend to avoid days 9-12 because of cluster feeding. Most babies around this age tend to want to eat constantly – which is perfectly normal – but makes photo sessions very difficult! If you notice that your baby is cluster feeding and you feel that rescheduling your session by a few days may give better results, please reach out and let me know! I’m more than happy to accommodate that request to ensure baby is comfortable!

Preparing for your Baby's Newborn Photo Session

Newborn Photo Tip #3: Give Baby a Bath

Another fantastic way to prepare for your newborn photo session is to give baby a warm bath the morning of their session, especially if baby is used to getting a bath in the evening before bedtime. The warm water and gentle scrubbing helps them to relax and signals to their brain that it’s time for a big sleep!

Another tip – don’t forget to apply lotion! Newborn skin is notoriously dry and flaky, and lotion on the hands and feet can often times help eliminate some of the flakiness! No worries if they come in with flakes though – a little bit of photoshop magic will help to clear up any that is left.

Preparing for Newborn Photos, Give Baby a Bath

Newborn Prep Tip #4: Dress in Loose Clothing

After making sure that baby is super tired from staying awake, getting a full belly and taking a nice, relaxing bath, be sure to dress them in something that can be removed easily, such as footed pajamas or a one-piece outfit that buttons down the front. We want to avoid pulling the garment over baby’s head if possible when undressing them, as this might wake them. Once they’re wearing just a diaper I will swaddle them up and start the photoshoot. If at any point baby needs to take a break I will send them back to a parent for milk and a snuggle.

Prepping for your Newborn Photo Session

Newborn Prep Tip #5: Overpack the Diaper Bag

Nothing is worse than being out and about with your baby and running out of the supplies they need, and our studio is no exception to that rule! The studio is stocked with basic things you’ll need such as extra diapers and wipes but it’s also smart to bring extra things that are specific to your baby’s needs. It’s not uncommon for baby to need extra food, a pacifier, an extra change of clothes or a snuggly blanket that smells like mom. A good rule of thumb to remember is that it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared!

If you need any more help prepping for your newborn photos, please reach out to me via email at or visit my website at

Preparing for your Newborn Photos with Photos by Ashleigh

Photos by Ashleigh is an OKC Newborn Photographer who specializes in studio newborn portraits, and is located just south of OKC. My clients come to me from Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City, Yukon, Mustang, Newcastle, Tuttle, Edmond and surrounding areas.

Photos by Ashleigh is booking newborn sessions for moms due in Oct/Nov of 2023. Only 8 newborn sessions are available per month and are reserved based on your due date. Inquire here to find out if your due date is available, or email me at

I would be thrilled to celebrate this time in your life with you!

  1. Jody Autumn says:

    These are amazing tips for newborn moms to follow before their session. Planning is key to any session and you are helping them get amazing photos even before they step in the door! Great job

    • Ashleigh Maxey says:

      Thank you so much, Jody! I completely agree – planning is key, especially for clients running on so little sleep! I love helping my families feel as prepared as possible.

  2. New moms are likely to be overwhelmed right after giving birth, so they will absolutely appreciate this detailed list of what to do before their newborn portrait session! Ashleigh is amazing with newborns and babies, and your photoshoot will go smoothly if you follow her advice!

  3. Brandi says:

    These are such great tips for new moms as they are preparing for their newborn photo session! When you are sleep deprived, you just need someone to tell you what to do!

    • Ashleigh Maxey says:

      That’s where I step in! I love helping new parents feel more relaxed and at ease during their session, and planning ahead is the key!

  4. Brandi Price says:

    These are such great tips for new moms as they are preparing for their newborn photo session! When you are sleep deprived, you just need someone to tell you what to do!

  5. Susan says:

    I love these practical tips for preparing for a Newborn Session–so helpful. And the photos are gorgeous!

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