Here is the newborn session preparation guide for you to review and read through ahead of your session so you can be the most prepared. The guide is full of lots of information and tips to help make for a sleepy and successful newborn session, as well as what to expect during and after your session, along with some other little tips. After reading it, if you have any questions at all, make sure to get in touch with me let me know.

While full Newborn sessions generally are 3 hours in length, Newborn Petite sessions will last approximately 1 hour and therefore some of the information in the preparation guide may not apply to clients who have booked a Newborn Petite Session.

Newborn Session Preparation Guide

a sleepy baby makes for the most beautiful of portraits

Welcome! I'm Ashley, your newborn photographer.

This guide is to help you prepare for your upcoming newborn session with Honey Heart Photography, with detailed info on what to expect during your session, sleepy baby tips, what to wear, and other helpful information. The sleepy baby tips when followed are sure to result in a successful session and gallery full of the most desired images of your sweet new baby.


I'm looking forward to our session together, and I hope that you are as well. I will do my best to create a one-of-a-kind experience that will celebrate your new baby and your family, leaving you with memories and portrait art that you will cherish for years to come.


Your session will be set up so that when you arrive we can get started right away and make the most of our session time together. Depending on your session type, your session will last approximately 1-3 hours, leaving plenty of time for feeding, soothing, posing, and of course, photographing. Some babies sleep sound for their whole session and we finish quicker, where other babies may need a little longer so your session may run a little longer. Please come prepared to relax and take this time to rest.


All newborn props are provided by me, and are included in your session. If you have a special sentimental or heirloom item you would like included bring it and I will try to work it into the session. Please give me your special item at the beginning of the session so I can plan to use it as I go along.

**Please note that while I make every effort to accommodate client requests, no specific pose or prop is guaranteed.


Your baby will be posed in props, on backdrops using the studio’s wraps, headbands, knitted newborn, hats, etc. Some babies may stir or fuss until they are moved into a pose or wrapped. Once posed or wrapped they usually settle because they love the secure feeling – it reminds them of being in your tummy. If I sense that your baby needs you, I will bring baby to you to cuddle and soothe. An extra pair of hands is always nice for soothing when needed. Some babies prefer to be kept cozy and secure, so we may have to adjust our posing expectations by wrapping baby.


With posed newborn photography comes baby poop and pee! I fully expect your sweet baby to make a mess on me and my stuff. Don’t worry it’s all washable and is sanitized after every newborn session. Parents can be surprised and unprepared if it happens during parent photos, so it’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes, just in case ;)


Some parents may worry about their newborn being exposed. I want to assure you that little bum pictures are as far as captured, and that any images which may contain any genitalia are destroyed.


Parent photos are done based off how sleepy baby is when you arrive. If baby is sleeping deeply, I will get started right away posing baby and will do parent photos at the end. If baby is awake, fussing, or needs to be topped up, we may start with parent photos first and then focus the remaining session on posing of your baby.


Sibling photos are always done at the start of the session, so that Dad (or a relative) can take older siblings home, or out to be entertained for the remainder of the session, so that we may focus the rest of the time on the baby. Children get bored and since newborn sessions can last hours at a time, they don’t do well sitting quietly for that length of time. We need a quiet, calm atmosphere and we need baby sleeping.


Only bring those who are being photographed – dad, and baby’s siblings. The newborn session is really all about getting beautiful photos of your baby, unfortunately not for visiting with or entertaining family or friends during your session. The studio needs to be quiet and the session room is cozy enough just for parents and baby.




A full baby is a happy and sleepy baby – and that’s how we want them! Have baby well fed in the 12 hours leading up to your session. Give baby a FULL feeding before you leave, and top up if need be once you get to the studio. While we know it's best to keep to a feeding schedule, please come to your session flexible on feeding. Baby may need to feed or to top up during your session to sleep more soundly - and that is just fine ;)


Give your baby a warm bath a few hours before your session. Baths are a way to interact with your baby and keep them awake prior to their session, while also soothing them afterwards and making them sleepy for their session. Lavender baby lotion is always nice and soothing for your baby after their bath.


Dress baby only in a button down or zippered sleeper. Please do not dress baby in a onesie (or cute outfits) where we will have to remove over baby’s head as this is will disturb and wake your baby and we want baby sleeping.


If you are breastfeeding, please avoid eating foods a couple days prior to your session that can give your baby an upset tummy. Not all breast fed newborns are affected by the foods we eat, but to be sure that your baby won't have tummy trouble for their session which will limit newborn posing, it's best to avoid them for 48 hours before your session.


If you are bottle feeding, please bring enough to last several feedings. Bring what you think you may need, plus a couple more. Please have bottles already made.


Bring a pacifier for soothing. Even if you don't intend to regularly give your baby one, for the time during your session it will only be used to soothe and settle if your baby gets fussy during posing. The quicker and easier it is to calm and soothe baby, the more time to pose and photograph. Babies who won’t settle, or sleep, may be wrapped instead of posed and awake portraits will be taken to proceed with the session.




For sibling poses, have older siblings practice holding baby safely each day prior to your session as it may help them get used to holding the baby, and may make photographing them easier.


You may also want to get older siblings excited by telling them ahead of time that they will be getting their photo taken with their new baby brother or sister. Older siblings may still be getting used to the idea of baby suddenly getting all of mommy and daddies attention along with new responsibility of the older sibling role. So, please be extra patient. It is easier to get genuine smiles and cooperation from older siblings, who are still young, when they feel happy, loved, and welcomed.

**Please note sibling photos are always attempted, but may not always successful depending on the age, mood and cooperation of the older sibling.


The above tips may help, but please be flexible with your expectations as every baby is different.



  • Bring extra diapers
  • Wipes
  • Oval drops or gripe water
  • Burp cloths
  • Receiving blankets
  • Baby brush
  • Pacifier - no clips or stuffed animals attached
  • An extra change of clothes for baby, mom and dad



If you will be having parent & siblings poses done with your sweet new baby, there are a few tips below with friendly suggestions on what to wear to make your family photos with your sweet new baby the most timeless.


Neutral colours are always best when being photographed with your newborn. Ivory and creams, or light and pale colours with soft colour tones will create the most beautiful and timeless portraits.


I keep my studio as warm as possible and run a space heater for added warmth so your baby is comfortable. If heat bothers you please dress in layers. Dressing for comfort is a good idea as well.


For Mom:


I have some textured wraps that you are welcome to use, if you like.


For Dad:


If you are comfortable going shirtless and bearing your chest for a few photos, this can make for some very tender images with your new baby.


For Mom & Dad:


Parents are recommended to dress in jeans or slacks paired with a cream or neutral coloured top. Please no patterns, graphics or logos. Bring a change of clothes for both of you, in case of an accident.


For Siblings:


Dress siblings in solid neutral colours like cream or ivory for tops with jeans, or even dresses in pale colours for girls. The more texture in clothing choices the better (knit, lace, etc.). They’ll be barefoot, so no need to look for new shoes. As a guide, you can have boys can dress similar to dad, and girls dress similar to mom. No patterns, graphics or logos.


As a gentle reminder, don’t forget to wash little hands and faces, and style hair for photos. Please avoid giving any food or drink item before or during the session that can stain their skin and clothes.


Your newborn session takes place in my home studio, which is located in my fabulous basement ;) so if you happen to hear people walking around upstairs, don’t be alarmed as it’s just my husband and my little ones :)


Please turn off/turn down the ringers on your cell phones. They can be disruptive and startling to your sleeping baby and we want them sleeping sound. Also, as per your contract no other cameras or recording devices in use or in my studio.


Please help yourself to refreshments and snacks if you get hungry or thirsty. That is what they are there for :) (**Due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols all snacks and beverages have been removed for the time being.**)


Feel free to use this time to sit back and relax, read a book, take a nap, or watch and take it all in. I won’t need much assistance, so take advantage of this time to rest or close your eyes if you need to.


Your gallery will be ready for viewing and ordering within 15-19 business days after your newborn session. I always make every effort to deliver your gallery as soon as possible after your session, but please note that it may take the full turn around time.


A Gallery Rush option is available for clients needing their gallery sooner. A Gallery Rush Fee of $250 will apply and be invoiced to you at your request. The gallery rush payment must be paid within 24 hours. Image processing begins after payment is received. Your Rush Gallery will be delivered to you within 3-5 business days.



Thank you for choosing me as your baby artist! I am truly honoured to be able to document this incredible time in your lives with your new baby bundle. I look forward to our session together and getting to know you and your sweet baby.


If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch with me!