Soothing your baby
I have been fortunate to have been able to sooth more than 100 babies and have picked up a few tricks along the way. During your newborn session we want a nice calm and sleepy baby and I make use of the 5 s’s to sooth your baby. Before I use the S’s to soothe your baby. We make sure your baby is full. Hungry babies fuss squirm and cry. Newborn babies cannot wait for food, they will cry until their needs are met. Before we start your session I will check that baby has had a full feed and I will give baby back to you when they show signs of hunger.
S- Steamy hot
The most important environmental condition is to make sure the room is warm. Keeping the room very warm helps your baby stay asleep during the unwrapped or naked poses. The room is the perfect cozy warm temperature for your undressed baby but it feels too warm for parents. Make sure to wear comfy clothes so you don’t feel too hot.
During your session I use a soother or pacifier to help your baby stay settled between poses. When your baby is moved while asleep they can stir or fuss but the soother helps them move without waking up. The soother is only used for short periods throughout your session and only if baby needs it. I ask that you bring 3-5 soothers that do not have toys attached. My favourite soothers are these ones, or these ones from Avent. I do not recommend the green hospital or hard silicone types because newborns can’t hold these in their mouth without you holding it.
S- Shushing Sounds
The other important environmental factor is white noise. Newborn babies are used to the loud swishing sounds inside the womb and if they are sleeping in a silent room they will very easily startle by any sudden sounds. The sound of the camera shutter or walking around the room is enough to startle them awake. I love this shusher and sound machine for sleepy photos.
S- Swing Sway
Anyone who has ever spent any time with babies will know that the fastest way to stop a baby from crying is to pick them up and sway or bounce them gently. I use gentle swaying and rocking to help babies fall asleep and also to help settle a fussy baby.
The final S is to swaddle your baby or as it is known in the newborn industry to wrap your baby. Swaddling and wrapping your baby keeps their arms and legs in place which stops them from startling. Being in a cozy and tight wrap also makes them feel secure and mimics the womb. Immediately after being swaddled and swayed you can see most babies relax and start to sleep. Swaddling is very effective for calming and helping baby sleep unless there is something else bothering them. As a photographer I use all kinds of pretty fabric wraps to swaddle but also as decorative elements in your photos. But for my own babies at home I loved the velcro swaddle sacks like these. Swaddle sacks were SO helpful with my first who had a strong startle reflex.