How to Prepare a Toddler for New Baby Photos

How to prep your toddler for newborn photos. Family in home newborn photos

5 Ways to Prepare a Toddler for New Baby Photos | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

In home newborn photos are the easiest way to do photos with a new big sister or new big brother and new baby. There’s a TON of new changes happening and there’s no way to plan for it. Baby is coming, talk it up as much as possible and give everyone (yourself included!) grace and patience.

When it comes to the newborn photoshoot itself, there are 5 ways to make it as easy and delightful for everyone – especially the toddler. Here are my top 5 tips for prepping your toddler for newborn photo session:

  • Work around the toddler’s nap schedule
  • Do the photos at home
  • Bribery/rewards
  • Photograph them first
  • Keep it fast & fun

1. Work around the Toddler’s nap schedule

This might be obvious, but with a new baby there’s a lot to juggle and to do so on little sleep is harder. Most newborn photo sessions happen start between 9-10 am, before a morning nap if there is one. Everyone is most fresh and easily coaxed with snacks – clean ones of course!

2. Do the photos at home

Leave the house and we’re asking for trouble. A photo studio is not the place for an unattended toddler with lights, cords, props and toys sometimes literally falling off shelves. You’ll be attending to the baby’s positioning, helping the photographer in a studio and at least need a second hand from Dad to supervise the toddler in studio.

If you do the photos at home, you’re already in a hazard free zone. Big bro or sis knows their boundaries and limits. S/he won’t be inclined to explore unfamiliar territory. And equally, your toddler will feel comfortable in his or her own house, with snacks and treats s/he knows.

3. Bribery + Rewards

Bribery by definition is to encourage illegal behavior. Of course we’re not actually bribing illegal behavior! But we will reward with puffs, smarties or any other clean snack to get a few extra baby kisses.

4. Photograph the toddler first

Also simple: let’s do the shots with big bro first! They’re cooperative, still sizing up this chick with the black thing in her hand. Let’s get the family photos, the sibling shots & and let them be done.

And because we’re:

  1. at home
  2. happy to use rewards

Toddler can go watch a show at any time! In mom’s bed? sure! In the living room? Whatever you’re comfortable with!

And finally…

5. Keep it Fast & Fun

This is my entire approach to family photography summed in one phrase. Blow kisses, sing a song, jump on the bed, count 10 kisses, hug Daddy’s booty, do a lil dance. Keep it short and sweet and it’ll be done in no time, before sleepiness sets in.

There’s nothing easy about family photos

There’s a lot of decision making that can be overwhelming:

  • what to wear
  • where to go
  • what sizes to print

I provide wardrobe support from start to finish. Every client gets access to Style & Select. If Pinterest and Stitch Fix had a baby this would be it. Everything is vetting for colors, patterns & textures that look good in camera by photographers for family photography.

I’ll help you streamline everything so that your images are framed beautifully on your walls, not just collecting digital dust in the cloud.

Alison bell family photographer

Hi, I’m Alison, your chaos coordinator.

As the ringleader of my own 4 boy circus, I know how hard getting family photos can be.

If I could dress your kids and literally hang your family photos on your walls, I would.

…but I can’t, so I do just about everything else in between.

That’s why I take the time to hold your hand from start to finish.

Because what good are family photos if your kids never see them?

Our active duty USMC family is currently stationed in Virginia Beach near Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Hampton in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. I call Charleston SC home and go back as often as I can! I shoot families and weddings as travel permits. Check out more of my work in Charleston here.

HEY! I'm Alison, Your Fun And Hilarious Family & Newborn Photographer!

I'm a South Carolina native, USMC spouse, and recovering homeschool mama of a four boy circus. Bring me your crazy!

After 11 years of photographing families all over the world, I've realized my clients aren't printing their images. We go through all this work to get dressed, coordinated and then let those photos die on the hard drive.

No more!

There's nothing easy about family photos but I'm here to help you with every step from what to wear to printed in your hands whether thats an album or wall art. I want you to Make your people the rock star of your house!

You'll be reminded of what really matters every day when you see the giant prints of your crew laughing on your walls every. single. day.

Currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia photographing families all over the Hampton Roads area from Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore all the way to Portsmouth and Elizabeth City!

Follow along on the Gram at @alisonbellphotog or reach out today!

I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better! I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

about Alison

contact Alison