Does my baby have to be less than 21 days for newborn photographs?

Well not as far as I’m concerned… 

Does age really matter for newborn photography? 

So as a general rule I always say to Mums and Dads “book your newborn photoshoot during pregnancy“. This ensures that we can capture your little one before they are over 21 days old, and get all of those gorgeous sleepy squishy poses. However, older newborn photography is just as beautiful.

I am often asked why 21 days is the magic number? Physiologically speaking a newborn babies have really soft skeletons. This allows them to be born via the birth canal, as they bend unlike adult bones. A newborn baby has almost 300 bones / cartilages.  Whereas by the time he or she reaches adulthood he or she will be down to 206. I found out recently that toddlers don’t even have kneecaps until they are 2 years old!!

In those really early days though at around 21 days those ‘bones’ begin to become fused and calcified. This means the bones are harder and therefore more rigid and babies are more stretched out, rather than curled as they were in the womb. Yet what we may loose in flexibility, we will make up for in older newborn photography, with big open eyes and wide happy smiles.

All babies are different

Obviously this is an average time period, and babies, as with us adults are all different. It can work all different ways for different babies. Sometimes I have found what is possible and ‘pose-able’ with a 7 week old, may not have been possible with a three week old.

I once photographed a little boy who was only two weeks and had the longest legs and strongest limbs. He burst his way out of almost every wrap and pose. While a 7 week old I had the pleasure of photographing recently loved being all snuggled and wrapped, but also had a little snooze, so we got some posed photographs too. Both of these galleries were beautiful, and also very different.

All babies are different though. As I often say throughout my website and during your consultation as well…

“I will totally work around your little one and what they are comfortable with – no matter how old or young they are. It’s my job to make sure your little one has amazing newborn photographs, and that is what you will get”

With older newborns, (generally speaking) they tend to be more alert and wake for longer periods, meaning we may get lots of wide open eyes, and little smiles. However, they can also get sleepy from all of that awake time, and if that happens, getting the posed photographs may be possible as well.

Top tips for a successful photoshoot with older newborn babies…

My top tips for older newborns and getting the best out of your photoshoot

  • Bring plenty of milk – as if your little one is full, he or she will be more inclined to sleep
  • Try not to overstimulate them before a photoshoot – just keep them in their normal routine, as if they are overtired, they are even less likely to sleep and will probably be grumpy
  • Go with the flow – I will always have a plan, and a backup plan, and probably another one just incase! It’s my job to make it work, so do not worry if your baby doesn’t settle straight away. A calm and stress free environment is key, as your baby will pick up on how you feel. Just relax and leave it to me.
  • Be prepared to be here for at least 3 – 4 hours, as that is the average time it takes for a newborn photoshoot. I will not rush your little one, if they want to feed, we will stop to do so. Everything will be tailored around them.
  • It will be warm and cosy – to keep your little one happy… So we adults will feel warm – I always suggest loose, light clothing.

I will totally work around your baby, not only do we want to get the most beautiful gallery, but I want you guys to have the loveliest experience too.

Every baby should have ‘newborn’ photographs… even if they are that little bit older.

I will never turn a baby away for being ‘too old’, as all babies should have a gorgeous set of photographs from when they were brand new, and still little babies. If your baby is over 21 days, we will still get an absolutely stunning gallery, and what we may lose in the curled poses, we will more than make up for with big eyes and smiles.

We can still use wraps and coverlets too, to suit your tastes and styles. I will even try some posing if your little one sleeps and is comfortable, we may even get your little one in a little bed, or one of my other props.

Here are some examples of some of the older newborns I have photographed… Aren’t they gorgeous?!

older newborn baby girl in black and white

Nancy, almost two months old

happy older baby on purple fluff and leaf nest

Milana, 12 weeks old

Baby Boysleeping on turquoise pillow

George, 7 weeks

baby's feet in fathers hands black and white

7 week old little toes, not a brand new bubba… but still pretty tiny!

If your little bubba is past that 21 day mark, get in touch… we can absolutely still get an amazing gallery of newborn photographs for you. For details on my newborn photography packages just click here.

Have a look at some photoshoots of newborns here:

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