What If Your Newborn Won’t Sleep During the Photography Session?

As a newborn photographer, I understand the joy and excitement that fills your heart when you hold your precious little one in your arms. You want to preserve every tiny detail and capture those fleeting moments that seem to pass by in the blink of an eye. That's where newborn photography comes in, allowing you to cherish those early memories for a lifetime.

However, newborns can be unpredictable, and sometimes they simply won't sleep during their newborn session. While it may seem like a challenge, fret not! In this blog post, I'll walk you through what happens if your newborn won't sleep and provide you with some valuable tips to ensure a successful and memorable photography experience.

Newborn Won't Sleep During the Photography Session

Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns

Babies have their own unique sleep patterns, and it's essential to understand them before diving into a photography session. During the first few weeks of life, newborns tend to sleep for extended periods, often up to 16-20 hours a day. However, they can also be awake for short periods, especially when they need to be fed, changed, or comforted.

If your newborn won't sleep during the photography session, it's likely because they are in a wakeful state.

This could be due to various factors, such as being hungry, uncomfortable, or overstimulated. Remember, each baby is different, and their sleep patterns can vary from day to day. So, let's explore some practical strategies to encourage a peaceful slumber throughout the session.

Newborn Won't Sleep

Creating a Soothing Environment When a Newborn Won't Sleep

To help your newborn relax and fall asleep for the newborn photography session, it's crucial to create a soothing and comfortable environment. As a professional newborn photographer, I pay close attention to the atmosphere, ensuring it's warm, quiet, and calm. Soft, gentle music or white noise can work wonders in lulling your baby into a peaceful sleep.

Temperature during the session

Moreover, I always maintain a consistent temperature to mimic the warmth of the womb. Keeping the room dimly lit with soft natural light or using a small diffused light source helps create a serene ambiance. By crafting a tranquil setting, we can significantly increase the chances of your newborn dozing off, making for stunning photographs filled with tranquility.

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Timing Is Key

Timing plays a vital role in the success of your newborn photography session. It's essential to schedule the session during a time when your baby is naturally inclined to be sleepy. Many newborns have a particular time of day when they tend to be more drowsy, often after a feeding or when they are experiencing milk drunk.

Being aware of your baby's natural sleep patterns can help us plan the session accordingly.

We can work together to find the optimal time that aligns with your little one's sleepy window, ensuring they are relaxed and ready for their close-ups. Patience is key, as sometimes it may take a little longer for them to drift off. Remember, your newborn's comfort and well-being are our top priorities.

newborn photography in Washington DC

Embracing Wakeful Moments

While we aim to capture those adorable sleeping poses, there's a unique charm in awake shots too! If your newborn won't sleep during the photo session, we can embrace their wakeful moments and capture their bright eyes, tiny yawns, and captivating expressions. These shots can reveal their individual personality and add a touch of spontaneity to the final collection.


What to do during awake and alert moments

We can turn even the most awake and alert moments into precious memories. As your newborn photographer, I'll guide you through various interactive poses and gentle interactions that keep your baby engaged while still capturing those beautiful connections between you and your little bundle of joy.

Newborn photography is an art that requires patience, understanding, and flexibility.

While it's normal for your baby not to sleep during the newborn session, it doesn't mean the experience will be any less magical. We can still capture breathtaking photographs that celebrate the beauty of your newborn.

Precious baby little moments.

Remember, every moment with your little one is precious, and the joy they bring is immeasurable. Embrace the unpredictability, cherish the awake shots, and trust that your newborn photographer will capture the essence of your baby's personality, whether they're peacefully snoozing or wide awake and curious about the world around them. Let the journey of documenting your baby's earliest days be a remarkable one, filled with love and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


Here are some more tips to handle the situation:

  1. Stay Calm and Patient: It's essential to remain calm and patient during the photography session. Babies can sense stress and tension, which may further agitate them. Take breaks when needed and allow the baby time to settle.
  2. Try to Soothe the Baby: Use gentle techniques to soothe the baby, such as swaddling, rocking, or offering a pacifier. The warmth of your touch and soft sounds may help to calm them.
  3. Feed the Baby: A hungry baby might be uncomfortable and less likely to cooperate. If it's time for a feed, take a break from the session and make sure the baby is full and content.
  4. Create a Comfortable Environment: Ensure that the photography studio or location is warm and cozy. Newborns are used to being in a womb-like environment, so replicating that atmosphere can help them feel more at ease.
  5. Use White Noise: White noise machines or apps can mimic the comforting sounds babies hear in the womb, which may help them relax and fall asleep.
  6. Be Flexible: Be prepared to be flexible with the schedule. Sometimes babies have their own agenda, and it's essential to be accommodating to their needs.
  7. Embrace Awake Shots: Some photographers can capture beautiful and candid moments with awake newborns. Instead of forcing the baby into unnatural poses, consider embracing the awake shots and capturing their curiosity and expressions.
  8. Book for Another Day: If the baby is extremely fussy and uncooperative, it might be best to reschedule the session for another day when they are in a better mood.
  9. Involve Parents: Sometimes, having the parents nearby can help the baby feel more secure and comfortable.Here are some additional tips for dealing with a newborn who won't sleep during a photography session:
    1. Use Natural Light: If possible, utilize natural light during the session. Soft, natural light can create a warm and comforting ambiance, which may help relax the baby.
    2. Include Family Members: Incorporating family members, especially parents or siblings, in the photography session can create a sense of familiarity for the baby. Family interactions can also lead to adorable candid moments.
    3. Capture the Awake Moments: While the primary goal is to capture sleepy newborn poses, don't overlook the opportunity to photograph the baby when they are awake. Babies have a unique charm and cuteness even when they are alert and active.
    4. Plan for Breaks: Newborns have their own rhythm, and it's essential to respect their need for rest and breaks. Plan for breaks in the session to allow the baby to recharge and settle.
    5. Be Prepared for Messes: Babies can be unpredictable, and accidents can happen during the session. Bring extra props, blankets, and clothing, so you're prepared for any messes that may occur.
    6. Keep the Environment Calm: Avoid sudden loud noises or bright flashes that may startle the baby. Create a peaceful and serene environment to encourage relaxation.
    7. Utilize Props and Wraps: Soft wraps and comfortable props can provide a sense of security to the baby, making them more likely to settle down.
    8. Be Mindful of Timing: Newborns often have specific times of the day when they are more awake and alert. Try to schedule the session during their sleepier periods if possible.
    9. Patience is Key: Newborn photography sessions require a great deal of patience. The baby's needs come first, and it's crucial to be understanding and adaptable throughout the process.
    10. Safety First: If the baby is particularly fussy and difficult to handle, prioritize their safety at all times. Avoid forcing them into positions that might cause discomfort or compromise their well-being.
    11. Consider Lifestyle Photography: If posed newborn photography isn't working out, consider a lifestyle photography approach. Lifestyle sessions capture the baby in more natural settings and interactions with family members, without the need for complex poses.

    Every baby is unique, and there's no guarantee of how they will behave during a photography session. The key is to be flexible, go with the flow, and capture the baby's essence, whether they are sleepy or awake. A skilled photographer will be able to create beautiful images regardless of the baby's mood. Lastly, always prioritize the baby's comfort and well-being above all else.

Remember, newborn photography sessions can be unpredictable, and not all babies will cooperate in the same way. A skilled and experienced newborn photographer will know how to work with babies in various states to capture beautiful and meaningful moments. Communication with the photographer and realistic expectations will also help ensure a positive experience for both the baby and the parents.




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2 months ago

Absolutely precious! This newborn photography captures pure innocence and beauty.

Layla Li
2 months ago

Incredible newborn photography session!

Oliver Stur
2 months ago

Bravo to the best newborn photographer in Washington DC!

2 months ago

The creativity in these newborn photography sessions is truly stunning.

2 months ago

Captured the magic of newbornhood.

2 months ago

I love the talent of this newborn photographer! Amazing!

2 months ago

These newborn photography portraits are full of love and tenderness!

2 months ago

Adorable poses with a newborn!

Ruby Green
2 months ago

The skill of this photographer is incredible! Wow-wow.

2 months ago

Newborn photography provides a timeless treasure for families to cherish. I’m sure of it.

2 months ago

Bringing out the newborn’s innocence.

2 months ago

I like how this photographer captures every detail!

2 months ago

Such beautiful newborn portraits!

2 months ago

Ethereal and dreamlike newborn photographs.

2 months ago

The attention to detail in these newborn photography sessions is remarkable. I love it.

2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

A true work of art capturing the newborn.

2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

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Aurora Sho
2 months ago

Pure perfection in newborn photography.

2 months ago

Newborn photo shoots seem to capture the pure joy of new parenthood.

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Awards and Certifications

Nataly Danilova Photography is a multi award winning baby and newborn photographer certified by the National Photographers Association and proud member of Best Newborn Photographer Association as well as Professional Photographers of America.

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