The best time to have newborn photos taken

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The great thing about taking photos of a newborn is that they’re pretty compliant and you can get them into the most darling positions. We’ve all seen the “barrel” photos of the little newborn sleeping peacefully on a bundle of hay, or the “I’m getting lost in all the blankets around me” newborn images. Luckily for mums and photographers, newborns spend so much time sleeping that indeed, many photographers suggest taking photo’s before the two-week mark.

You’ve got about 3 weeks where your little one is still considered a newborn, after that they’re a baby. There’s up to about 2 weeks to make use of the easy-to-photograph phase. Really the ideal time to take photographs of your newborn is between 4 days and 2 weeks of age.

So there are two suggestions for you:

Option 1: Have your newborn photographs taken at about 1 week of age.


This way you’ll still get the best of the newborn phase and both you and baby will have settled in a little. Taking photos just a few days after birth can be a little much for some new mothers, especially if feeding is still a little irregular. A hungry and unsettled newborn will make for a complicated shoot and a pretty uncooperative little one.

The plus side of taking photos at 1 week:

  • Baby will be easy to photograph and will simply fall in with whatever you do, or however you arrange him.
  • If the studio or location is warm, there shouldn’t really be a problem undressing the little one, he’ll most likely continue to sleep
  • You’ll get gloriously peaceful looking images
  • You’ve got plenty of time between feeds to have the photos taken before your little one starts to get busy again.

The downside:

  • Most of these photos will likely be of your newborn sleeping soundly, for awake-type pictures they’ll need to be a bit older.

Option 2: Take your newborn photos after the second week

Your little one is transitioning and growing at super speed. In a week or so, the newborn phase will have just about passed completely. At this stage you now have a beautiful baby.

The plus side of taking photos after 3 weeks

  • Your baby photos will likely have a few clear open-eyed images
  • You’ll be able to play more with the dress-up images as your little one won’t be sleeping so much

The downside:

  • It might be harder to get your little one into those sweet cuddly positions. Often, as the little ones grow a little, they’ll be less willing to be undressed and may kick up a fuss.

What we’ve come to see is that there really is no perfect time to take pictures of your little one and it depends what you’re looking for: newborn photography or baby photography. As each child’s growth and reactions differ immensely. But I can suggest that you take those photos before the newborn window closes (at 3 weeks or so), as you have a short window of time to capture this type of photography, the baby stage lasts a lot longer.

As long as your little one is comfortable, warm, has milk in his tummy and no winds hurting him, you should get some beautiful happy newborn or baby photos out of the photography session.