There are so many ways babies come in to the world- no two women are going to have the same exact birth story. But no matter if baby was born completely naturally or by an emergency C-section, one thing is the same- baby’s first few days are busy! Between all the vaccinations, blood draws, hearing screens, learning to take a bottle or learning to breastfeed, it’s amazing there’s time for anything else!
Despite the busyness of the first few days, nothing is more precious than those first moments of baby’s life. Learning to hear their cries, trying on the first outfits, and getting all the sweet baby cuddles new parents have been waiting nine long months for. That’s why we have hospital newborn photographers- to capture those sweet first moments. This is one thing offered at the hospital that will be a keepsake and reminder of those moments even when baby is not a baby any longer.
Be prepared for your newborn’s photographs to be taken, but don’t stress out too much- it’s more about the experience than it is about the outfit. Baby is brand new, and often their stats are a surprise. We were positive my daughter was going to be about 6 pounds when she was born. Boy, were we surprised by an 8-pound-3-ounce baby girl! Most of the newborn stuff we had brought wouldn’t even fit over her head! And that isn’t uncommon in the hospital- most newborn outfits are designed to fit a variety of sizes anywhere from 6 -10 lbs, leaving either lots of extra fabric in the wrong places or not enough room where there needs to be. This often leads to disappointed parents when their planned outfit is either too small or way too big.
This is especially true with the ever-popular crochet outfits. We’ve seen firemen, bunnies, princesses, even a prince- complete with a crochet crown and cape! As cute as these outfits can be, they rarely turn out the way parents hope. The opening for the hips is often too large, since it's meant to accommodate much larger babies, but there is never enough fabric around the legs, so the diaper is almost always poking through. It’s a frustrating dilemma.
My suggestion- bring a wrap! It’s small enough that it can be tucked into a duffel bag with ease and it will fit any baby at any size, and they’ll be wrapped up just right! The cheese cloth wraps are especially sweet, because they’re so soft, come in a variety of colors, and photograph beautifully. That way, if baby’s outfit is a miss, you’ll still have something that can be used no matter what.
If you’re hesitant to wrap baby up, don’t be afraid to let them be naked! Many times, clothes are more of a hindrance than a help. Baby’s skin is so sensitive to all the new sensations around them, and certain cloth can be scratchy or harsh on their skin (especially if it has not been washed). Baby is comfortable being naked! This is the route that we went with my daughter’s pictures, and we absolutely adore them. She curled herself up so nicely on the little blanket and was out like a light for her pictures.
For my daughter, we decided against doing bows for her very first session. But they are super popular and some can be absolutely stunning. But it’s also a tricky situation because baby’s head size is a surprise! Many elastic bows are either far too small or far too large, and they’re uncomfortable for baby girl’s head (this is especially true if the band has glitter on it). To combat that, I would suggest nylon headbands. They’re soft, and they tend to stretch out more instead of being too big. They’re also easily transitioned from one side of the head to the other without pulling on baby’s hair, which makes it easier to get a variety of angles and photographs during your session without making baby mad. Comfort is key for baby!
Overall, just take a deep breath! Even if baby is completely naked and none of the outfits worked out, the pictures are going to turn out beautifully. Trust your photographer and enjoy the session- and don’t be afraid to jump in! Your photographer would love to capture those sweet first moments with you and your precious new baby.