Winning With Toddlers During Newborn Sessions

Newborn Session Tips | Richmond, Virginia Newborn and Birth Photographer

About half of my Lifestyle Newborn Sessions are with families who also have a toddler. We all know toddlers can be a bit unpredictable, which could cause you, as a parent, to feel a little worried when it comes to how your newborn session will go. The beauty of a relaxed Lifestyle Newborn Session in your own home, is that your toddler is already in a comfortable environment. Let’s talk about things we can do together to win with toddlers and help ensure your newborn session goes smoothly and we capture those beautiful images for you.

A family with three young brothers, and their dog, snuggles together on a bed during a newborn session in Richmond, Virginia.

Toddler Tip 1:

Let’s schedule your session during a toddler’s most successful time of day. I typically schedule newborn sessions around 10am for a few reasons. In my experience, mid-morning is best for indoor lighting, babies are usually happiest in the morning hours, and it allows us time to finish our session with enough time to eat a good lunch. As a bonus, toddlers tend to be happier in the morning, and by starting in the morning, we’re not usually interfering with their nap schedule.

A toddler kisses his baby sister's head while they sit in their parent's lap.

Toddler Tip 2:

Give your toddler a simple, low-mess snack before we start, and probably also before they get dressed in their photo session outfit, just in case. Something like an applesauce pouch, or cheese and crackers, or any of their other favorite snacks just to hold them over until lunchtime and put them in a good mood.

A toddler boy reaches into a crib to gently touch his baby sister's arm during a newborn session in Richmond, Virginia.

Toddler Tip 3:

Talk to your toddler about what we’re going to be doing in the days leading up to our newborn session. Prep them with simple ideas like, “Someone new is going to come over tomorrow and take pictures of us. We’ll smile at her sometimes, and we’ll also get to snuggle, and give hugs, and laugh together. It will be fun!” Letting them know what will happen beforehand will help them feel more comfortable and not be as surprised when someone they’ve never met comes over.

A series of three photos with a toddler boy snuggling and being tickled by his mom or hugging his baby brother during a newborn session in Richmond, Virginia.

Toddler Tip 4:

Don’t sweat it. I also have a toddler. I know firsthand how every day can be different. During most of the session, we’ll follow their lead. If they want to stand beside you instead of being held, that’s totally ok! If they want to be tossed in the air, let’s do it! If they want to hold onto their favorite matchbox car during a few photos, let them. These sessions are to showcase your family in this stage of your life. I also know that toddlers need breaks sometimes, and it is very expected for them to go play nearby for a little bit and come back. Lifestyle sessions are more relaxed, and lends itself well to toddler’s attention spans.

A newborn baby being held by his family while big brother plays with small toy cars during a newborn session in Richmond, Virginia.

Toddler Tip 5:

Keep on smiling. Do your best to laugh it off. Take a deep breath. I promise, even with toddlers who aren’t thrilled to participate, we can make some magic. As long as you’re smiling, you won’t always be able to tell if things weren’t going 100% during the session.

Remember, I am here to help make sure your session is a smooth and enjoyable experience. Working with toddlers adds an extra element of fun for me! They’re cute, and silly, and real, and I love it!

In a living room, a mom holds a newborn baby and smiles while a dad tosses big sister in the air.
A family of five laugh and play on a bed during a newborn session in Richmond, Virginia.
A black and white photo of a toddler and his newborn sister laying facing each other nose to nose.
A toddler big brother puts a blanket on his newborn sister in a bassinet during a newborn session in Richmond, Virginia.
Two images of families on beds and a toddler up front, with the parents looking on during newborn sessions in Richmond, Virginia.

Winning With Toddlers During Newborn Sessions

Hey! I’m Stephanie! Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m a Richmond, Virginia light and bright photographer specializing in Family Newborn Sessions and Birth Photography. I hope you enjoyed these toddler tips I shared with you today, and found them helpful. If you’re ready to talk with me more about your own newborn session, reach out here! Not quite ready, but want to keep me on your short list? Feel free to check out more of my newborn work here, and connect with me on Instagram! Either way, I can’t wait to connect with you!