Newborn Baby Photography London – what if my baby doesn’t sleep during the session?

Newborn Baby Photography London

You want those sleepy newborn portraits for your baby but you’re nervous. You’re wondering about whether your baby will be the baby that doesn’t sleep.

Does that sound about right?

I’ve been photographing Newborns for almost 8 years. My experience and research tells me that this is possibly the Number 1 concern of most parents.

And I get it, I really do.

So let’s dive in… here are 5 tips to help with the question – what if my baby doesn’t sleep during the session?

1. Timing is key

If you’re going or this type of session then it’s so important that we get the timing right. Book your session whilst pregnant anytime after your 20 weeks scan. Or if you’ve had your baby, book someone as soon as baby is born. For best results I recommend photographing newborns under 12 days old if we’re going for that ‘sleepy’ baby style. However (for me), I can take babies up to 3 weeks in some cases, it really depends – I’ll always have a chat with Mum/Dad to let them know what to expect.

Samantha Black Photography
Newborn Baby Photography London

2. Feeding needs to be going pretty well

Whatever you’ve chosen to do – breast, bottle or mixed feeding, we are looking for good full feeds. A baby that feeds well, pees and poos regularly (most babies) will generally be fine.

If your baby has a tongue tie, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a session, sometimes babies with a tongue tie can feed reasonably well. It’s always best to let me know if you have any concerns at all.

Some babies will feed fairly well, but within 30 mins or an hour might need a top up. If you’re breastfeeding and you have also decided to express milk, it’s good to have a couple of bottles available for the day if the session as they can help with topping baby up. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it can help to have these as a back up to help settle baby when we need it most. Or, if it’s a formula fed baby, then if they haven’t completed the whole feed, the rest can be used as a top up.

3. I’ve photographed hundreds of babies

I’ve been photographing newborns for almost 8 years now and yes I’ve photographed hundreds of newborns and babies.

I can tell you now, I think I’ve had them all, and I know how to handle things, whatever the situation. No one baby is the same as another, every baby is different. Thankfully my experience has helped me tremendously. It feels really natural for me, challenges can come, and they always go. I/we deal with them together.

Of course I have my own tried and tested ways of settling and handling babies, and I’ll use those to assist me – especially with a baby that’s more awake or unsettled.

As long as baby is feeding well and doesn’t have any serious medical problems that would mean an unhappy baby, then really it’s just a case of working with each baby’s rhythm. I can and will give guidance where needed and you can ask me absolutely anything. I’m happy to help and have lots of good advice, if you need it.

4. Tune in – Intuition and awareness

Okay so I’m a big believer in Intuition.

So much so that I wrote a post on Intuition – 6 things you can do to develop it  so feel free to go and check that out if you’re interested.

A lot of new parents face challenges or have questions and mostly they’ll find answers from their health professionals, friends and family and, the internet of course!

Sometimes this information can be conflicting and, downright confusing so it’s hard to know exactly what to do.

I’m telling you now that when you’re feeling that ‘feeling’ be aware that you’re feeling it. Recognise it. Know that it’s okay. That’s the first step.

The second is to listen to your head and your heart. What do you think? What do you feel? What do you believe? What feels right for your baby, or for you even? Often we dismiss our ‘feelings’, and fairplay, you do need to listen and take on board whatever the professional are advising. But it’s important to listen to your feelings too. If you are not sure, or have questions, then dig deeper. Dig much deeper if you have to. Know that you are able.

So pay attention, tune in, and connect with your intuition.

It will also help you understand how to react to your baby in those moments where he/she isn’t sleeping, or seems fussy or unsettled. This kind of thing goes a long way not just with a new baby, but in parenting and, in your own life in general.

5. Super awake babies can be photographed too!

Often babies post 3 weeks are quite awake so I generally recommend a Natural Newborn Baby Lifestyle Session. These sessions are beautiful, authentic and filled with light, love and emotion.

These are some of my favourite sessions to do.

Newborn Baby Photography London

6. Relax

Easier said than done? I hope not.

The reason I come to your home for your newborn session is so that gives you the comfort of being at home. I love that, and, that’s why I’ve opted to go to peoples homes rather than have a studio.

I like it to be chilled, relaxed and easy for Mum and Dad. Yes you will need to feed baby and maybe change a nappy or two whilst I’m there. Beyond that, the idea is that you guys can probably just have a moment or two to relax. Know that I’ll do my best to just do, what I do best.

London Newborn Photographer

I hope this helps!

With Love,


Samantha is an award winning London Newborn and Portrait Photographer, she specialises in home based sessions.

Child and Family Photographer covering North London, East London, some West and South London areas, plus Herts, Essex and Bedfordshire.

Contact me to discuss how I can help you achieve timeless images that you will love forever.

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