Why Newborn Sessions Take Place in the First 14 Days? By Mindful Light Photography Located in Rocky Mount, VA Photographer
Why are newborn sessions only for babies under 14 days new if a baby is technically a newborn up to 12 weeks?
There are many reasons why babies are photographed as newborns from 14 days and younger with preemies being an exception to the rules. Preemies are the exception because in most cases they are kept in the NICU until they reach specific miles. I will wait to do a preemies session til they are at their gestational due date, reach 6 lbs and can maintain their temp for a period of time unless requested by the parents to do the session sooner do to health reason. A Preemie is good for a newborn session for 14 days after their original due date or after they reach 6 lbs and cleared by the Dr. for their session. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons Newborn sessions are done so soon after birth.
1. Babies under 14 days are still comfortable being placed in the fetal position and are less stretchy. This means it is easier for posing baby for those squishy curled up poses. After the 10 to 14 days babies bones and cartilage begin to fuse and calcify making posing in the fetal position more of a challenge and less comfortable for baby. Therefore making the froggy pose and taco pose possible for those who want their baby in these poses. Hands and feet are much easier to pose and have placed close to the body and feet are easier to get into position for wrapping.
2. In the first few weeks after birth baby is still comfortable being naked for long periods of time and don’t mind being changed from one outfit to the next. This makes the naked newborn images much easier as baby is more likely to stay asleep once unwrapped without stretching out. Where a baby over 14 days old will stir and start to wake up once the wrap and outfit is removed making naked baby images more of a challenge. Babies not minding being naked at this early age also make changing setups easier as it can be done without them waking up, giving you more variety.
3. You know the saying “you will sleep like a baby”. The early days are when baby sleeps their soundest and can be moved without waking when the conditions are right. I know you are probably thinking I am crazy, you mean baby actually sleeps. In a warm room, a snug soft swaddle, a white noise machine, and a milk drunk baby (full belly of milk), they will sleep extremely sound for a couple hours. This makes the posing easier and the session go more smoothly as baby will not wake as easily.
4. Newborn skin is another reason a newborn session is done in the first 14 days. You see when a newborn enters this world they are used to being in a specific climate of moisture. When they come into this world their skin is put into overdrive for acclimating. You will notice at first they have this amazing soft skin that begins to crack and peel. Then it looks good after about 4 days. For about 10 days. After 10 days baby will start to develop what is called baby acne, milk pimples, and in some cases a baby rash. This is again because they are acclimating to their surrounding and their new diet. So within the first 14 days baby has the best skin. You will also notice baby may start to develop cradle cap after 14 days and this is again their skin getting acclimated and causing an over active yeast production on the scalp.
5. In the first 5 to 14 days baby has started to create a feeding schedule that is more predictable around eating every 2 to 3 hours. This makes their session more predictable. At around 14 days baby will go through a growth spurt and want to eat more making the session be filled with more feeding and since baby is going to want to eat more as is during the session the last thing you want his your baby to want to eat their entire session and not have the selection of beautiful images you hope to see from your beautiful bundles first portrait session.
6. The last thing to take into account on why babies newborn sessions take place in the first 14 days is they change so much in the first 3 weeks. After three weeks baby start to feel out as they start stretching and moving their muscles start to strengthen and they start to fill out. Their tiny bodys start to grow into their head. You would be surprised to see how much your baby changes from the day he or she is born to their 2 week birthday. This is a time you want to catch as it passes so quickly.
Don’t worry if baby is over 14 days you can still have a session focused on your new bundle of joy it just means the session will be focused more on open eyes and wrapped images as well as baby in arms. Babies first session may also be shorter as they are less willing to work with us for more than 90 minutes (most of which is spent cuddling, feeding, and rocking baby).
I will do a newborn session after 14 days but any infant after 3 weeks will receive a general session difference is the length of time. This is because I work on baby time and after many years of experience I have learned infants over 3 weeks are done working with me after 90 minutes, but I promise whether the session is an hour or 4 hours I will leave with amazing images and a wonderful selection for you to view at your ordering session.
So for the best images of your baby and your session to go smoothly we newborn photographers try to get the newborn session in before your lovely baby is 14 days old. It is less stressful for you, baby and us as the photographer. Remember preemies are an exception as they are usually in the hospital until their original due date and have a harder time regulating their temperatures. I will work with preemies once they are released from the dr. and have reached their original due date. Size is not an issue as I have worked with little ones as small as 4 lbs. and up to 10 lbs. for newborns. I hope this gives you a little insight into why we photographers do newborn sessions up to 14 days and after 14 days do infant or baby sessions (usually shorter than a newborn session with more eyes open images).