By Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®
When my babies were brand new there was one thing that I wanted more than anything else. I wanted to hold onto time, to stop it right in its tracks so that I could enjoy those fleeting moments for just a little bit longer. I wanted to be able to remember every sweet dimple on their cheeks, the way their little hands curled up and how still they were when they slept. Of course, time can’t stand still and the newborn stage flies by. For me, the memories of those precious early days have always been more susceptible to fading than others because of the brain fog that is created by a mix of postpartum hormones and lack of sleep. That’s part of why I believe that newborn photos are so important. They give us the ability to remember, even if just a little, what hormones and brain fog can take away.
A professional photographer skilled in working with newborns can create gorgeous images of your little one that will last a lifetime, but that’s not an option for every mom. If you’re facing time, budget or other constraints you can still get images of your baby that will take you back to those early days every time you look at them. Follow these simple tips and start capturing the memories.
Take the photo early- Newborns are most likely to sleep well when they are younger, and don’t you want to remember them as new as possible? Try to take their keepsake photos, the ones you’ll look back on twenty years from now by the time they’re two weeks old. Enlist the help of a friend or family member if you don’t feel up to taking photos yourself.
Keep the baby happy- A very warm room is vital to keeping baby happy and sleepy for photos. Baby just came from a snug and warm womb so you’ll want to recreate that feeling as much as possible. A small space heater can help keep things warm for baby without making it unbearably hot for you, but perspiration is part of the deal when it comes to photographing newborns. To recreate the “snug” feeling of the womb you can wrap baby’s body (shoulders down) in a gauzy material from your local fabric store; it’s available in a variety of colors and photographs nicely. Make sure baby is fed, and has a dry diaper as well.
Keep things simple- A blanket draped over the back of a chair near a sunny window can be the perfect backdrop for a beautiful newborn photo. If you’re going for a more casual look, wrap the baby in a blanket and lay him or her on your freshly made bed. Just make sure to point baby’s head at a 45 degree angle to the window so that the light comes down over the top of her head.
Don’t believe everything you see online- Those gorgeous photos you see on Pintrest of a baby resting his head on his folded hands or hanging peacefully from a lace cocoon aren’t exactly what they seem. In fact, they’re almost always a combination of two or more shots merged together using the magic of Photoshop. They are quite simply an illusion, albeit a beautiful one. Babies can’t hold their heads up on folded hands and lace cocoons aren’t a good place for an otherwise unsupported baby. Never take chances with baby’s safety and comfort.