Parent Tips For Hospital Newborn Photography Sessions
I'm a weeee bit in love with newborns.
That newborn baby smell is intoxicating, and combined with their delicate soft skin and adorable yawns?
Photographing newborns are my favorite, and even more so when we pair family together. I absolutely love showing my families exactly how that moment FELT with my portraits. These new hospital newborn love stories are ones that help shape and tell the early story of YOU!
Your baby's debut is one of the most important milestones in a new parent's life.
Kudos to YOU, for jumping at the opportunity to have a photographer present to document those early family memories after your baby's arrival. These sessions are called a "Fresh 48" session because the brand 'newness' of your newborn are captured within the first 48 hours of birth while in the hospital. The kisses and snuggles, tears of joy and first yawns are all details that I love to document and share for families. Quiet cherished moments of the first few hours of mommy-daughter/son skin-to-skin bonding and a proud new dad's large hands enveloping his new child's tiny head after a nine month wait.
Your new baby's first year is the fastest chapter of life that makes you want to hit the pause button and relive these fond memories.
These newborn photography sessions are the best way I know how to slow down time. (You're welcome.)
a few tips for hospital newborn sessions:
book a photographer right away
If you're looking for not just a newborn session, but a hospital session, it's imperative you start reaching out to a photographer for their availability right away. Most photographers can only accommodate a limited number of these sessions, given the nature of the unknown exact arrival date and time of your baby's debut. I usually leave flexible dates and times in my calendar before, after and around the due date of a booked Fresh48 hospital session. This is why I restrict the number of these photography sessions I accept each month.
Trust me, you'll thank me later. The hospital gowns are usually worn while you're in labor and delivery, and they're not the most flattering piece of fabric. For moms, I find that simple robes (can be paired with either a nursing bra or nursing tank) work extremely well because the natural V-neck is naturally flattering, and this allows for quick subtle access for breastfeeding. Newborn babies tend to swim in newborn sized outfits so there really isn't a need for a special outfit for your session (just for your going-home outfit!). Simple white onesies will always be a classic and timeless look. Hats, headbands and swaddle blankets make an adorable addition to any photo. We can always take a few portraits with the classic hospital blanket, and also some with your personal items.
decluttering the room
If you haven't already noticed, there's a TON of gear and gadgets that co-exist with babies. You're bound to accumulate items in your temporary hospital home that may seem to fill the room. Don't panic- I'm accustomed to working around in both small and large spaces, so you can expect for me to shift personal belongings. My priority is to create beautiful hospital memories without distracting elements. Rest assured, the focus will be on your new family!
a few hospital bag must haves
Toiletries. There's convenient shower access in your postpartum room at Chicago's Prentice Women's Hospital, so bring something that routinely makes you feel like YOU. i.e. Your favorite shampoo for your first shower post delivery. (You don't need a hair dryer if you're at Prentice.) That shower makes you feel human again!
Slippers. You'll want to walk around your room to stretch your legs a bit, or walk down the hall to visit the nursery and get a bathing tutorial from one of the veteran hospital nurses.
Snacks. Sometimes the 'hangry' doesn't hit you until it's too late. Don't underestimate the caloric demands of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation during hospital kitchen after-hours.
Nipple butter. For first time mamas, the first few attempts are a foreign feeling and often leave you feeling a bit raw. There's nothing like those gel soothie pads and quality cream that help ease the early discomfort. Just keepin' it real.
Underwear. Just in case, pack some extra. Save your fancy ones for another occasion, because you'll likely want a looser fit style that you should expect to toss out. Otherwise, see if you can score the mesh boyshort style from the hospital- they're the best and super comfy!
chicago fresh48 hospital newborn photography
Due to the on-call demand of Fresh 48 Hospital sessions + the unpredictable nature of due dates, limited session requests are taken each month.