Your little family has added another member, and it’s so important to capture this moment in your lives!
One of the best things about newborn photos is it’s a great way to get new photos of the whole family, including older siblings.
But it can sometimes be a challenge for parents to encourage toddlers to cooperate with the photo session.
But sometimes that’s the most hilarious part.
I thought it wouldn’t hurt to put together these
Five tips for including older siblings in your newborn photoshoot
1) Give them time in the spotlight
Fabulous pearls and all. An older sibling of a newborn has just had their world rocked too, which means they’re still getting used to having a baby in the house.
They may feel that their parents don’t pay as much attention to them with all the needs of their new sibling...
Take time to make sure your older kids feel involved in the photo session, both in photos with your new baby and photos of the whole family together.
We can do that with storytime… or with so many other kinds of activities that make them comfortable.
It’s also fine if they just want nothing to do with it. That’s part of your family’s story right now, too.
Either way, your newborn session is a great way to let older siblings know that it’s not just about your new addition, but about your growth as a family.
2) Encourage them to snuggle up.
Your older child may feel unsure or uncomfortable around the new baby, and a photo session can be a great way to help them loosen up and get to know their new sibling.
Some of my favorite photos are images of the older sibling holding, kissing, or snuggling the new baby.
Encourage them to gently touch the newborn and to get close, which can lead to a lot of giggles and smiles and some great photos.
3) Let them do their own thing.
One of the most important things is not to force your older child to participate in the session.
The last thing you want is a tantrum or a grumpy face in your photos! Instead, encourage them to participate without forcing them.
You may be surprised how much they enjoy being involved on their own, and giving your older child space to explore and relax can result in more natural, genuine images of your family.
4) Make time for breaks.
Your newborn won’t be the only one who needs breaks. Have some snacks handy for older siblings, and give them a chance to step away from the camera and just play for a little while.
Sometimes it’s nice to do photos with the older sibling first, so they don’t get bored and agitated as the session goes on.
Sometimes break time tells the best stories, too.
Not everyone's totally into posing all the time, and honestly, that's the best part!
5) Talk to them beforehand... maybe
Depending on the age of your older children, it can be important to let your older children know what to expect from a photo session.
You may not need to mention it if your older child is still very young… they’ll have fun with whatever happens!
Whether they love to be in front of the camera or are a little bit shy, talking to them in the days before your shoot about how things will go can ease their minds and make them more comfortable during the photoshoot.
If it feels like it makes sense, you can sit down with your older child throughout the week before your session and talk to them about how you’re going to have photos taken and how much fun they'll be.
And then real life will happen, and it won’t matter what we plan on… we’ll just go for it and
tell the story of right now
in your house.
And you never know, you may find that they’re excited to participate once we start to have our fun… and that makes for wonderful photos!
No matter what happens, it’s always fun to tell the story of your family when a new baby’s just joined it.
Because it’s your story.
I’d be honored to help you tell it.
And if you're here in the Boston area navigating pregnancy, adoption or that first year with a new baby, I just launched a new VIP Facebook Group for local families who are expecting a baby and who have a baby under a year at home and I would just ADORE it if you'd come hang out with me in there!
My new group is called Year One Together.
It's for new parents who are getting excited about or already navigating their baby's first year here in the Boston area. I interview local baby experts every month, and then those interviews are saved in the group archive so you can watch them anytime. Topics the experts are covering in their interviews with me include: "Dressing your Baby in Boston Weather", "Do I want a Doula? A Midwife?", "Postpartum: The Emotional Side", "Year One With Twins", "Sensory Play Ideas for Babies"... and so much more. We also have giveaways and fun contests in there all the time.
Don't have a baby in your house right now, but you live in the Boston area and want a fun online community of families to connect with? Come join my group for families with older children - it's called Boston Families Together and you can join that group here.
Hope to see you in there! I can’t wait to meet you.
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2021 will mark my 18th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
BBP Demo Video
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- Spring photoshoot at home with three gorgeous kiddos May 5, 2022