Believe me… as a mama of four I’ve had my fair share of toddler meltdowns during photography sessions with my own children. Plus, I’ve witnessed a toddler temper tantrum or two during HJ sessions. It’s totally normal to have some tears and tantrums when little ones are involved- especially when a new baby just entered the world and is hogging all the attention and affection.
This blog post is dedicated to giving you some practical tips when preparing for a session with a toddler in tow.
Preparing for your session
I try my best to have open communication with parents ahead of time about what to expect during newborn photos, sibling photos, and the entire experience. It is also a great idea to have a conversation with your toddler about what they can expect. Hype it up as much as possible. Let them know that it is going to be a really fun experience for the whole family.
If your toddler is really young (under two years old) maybe consider a photography session after their nap time. This could be in the morning after they have had a full night's sleep or in the early afternoon after their morning nap.
If your child is older (over two years old) it's still a good idea to keep their routine as close to normal before newborn photos. If they usually take an afternoon nap, try and stick with that schedule so you don't have any unexpected meltdowns during the session due to lack of sleep.
I always recommend a meal or a nice heavy snack before the session. Nobody is crankier than a hungry toddler (or dad). Enjoy a yummy breakfast or a smoothie before a morning session, or a good lunch if you plan to have an afternoon session.
Last but not least, bring something familiar for your toddler– something they can hold onto and feel safe with. It could be their favorite toy, blanket, or book. Bring something tangible that they can see and feel when the attention is on little brother or sister.
Now that you're armed with some tips, let's chat about what to wear!
What to Wear
When it comes to newborn photography (especially sibling shots) I highly recommend neutral colors. This is especially important if there is more than one child in the photos.
For newborn photos, I love photographing newborns in all white. It creates such a clean and classic look for newborn photography. We can then add a soft pop of color or a contrasting neutral for big sister or brother!
My client wardrobe is full of great options of soft patterns, textures, and neutral clothes for the whole family.
During Your Session
Our newborn photography sessions always involve a few fun, and creative shots of siblings interacting together. This is my favorite part about newborn sessions because it's so special to see how caring big brothers or sisters can be towards their new baby brother or sister (or how they are still a little unsure of the new family member)!
If your toddler is older, they may be more interested in playing with the newborn and less interested in sitting for photos. That's totally okay! We will take lots of shots of siblings together as well as individual portraits of each child.
I always recommend parents let their toddlers be themselves. If they want to hold the newborn, great! If they want to sit back and observe, that's perfectly fine too. And if they want to run around and explore the studio... go for it! As long as they interact with the newborn in some way during the session, those sibling shots will be precious.
Most importantly… have fun!! It's so easy to get caught up in the planning of a newborn session or sibling photos but, at the end of the day our goal is to create beautiful memories that we can cherish forever.
When all is said and done… newborn photo sessions with toddlers are always a little bit chaotic but so worth it in the end. These photos will capture the beginning of a beautiful friendship between your children and will be a treasure as they grow up together.
Hello Jude Photography is a North Georgia Newborn Photographer specializing in luxury family, maternity, newborn, and baby photography. I believe in the beauty of simplicity and the value of tangible heirlooms that you can pass down from generation to generation.
Bailey serves clients in the North Georgia region including Habersham County, Hall County, White County and beyond. Our natural light studio is located in Clarkesville, Georgia.