Tips for Calming Your Fussy Baby During a Newborn Session


As a Milwaukee Newborn photographer, there are few things more challenging than trying to capture beautiful, timeless images of a baby who has a serious case of FOMO. It’s a frustrating experience for both the parents and the baby for sure. In this post, I’m going to share some of my tried-and-tested tips for calming a fussy baby during a photoshoot, so that we capture those precious moments without the stress and frustration.

Start with a good feeding

A well-fed baby is a happy baby, and feeding your little one before the session can help them feel content and relaxed. My sessions always start at 0930, and I tell my parents to try to plan a feeding (and burping!) right before they leave. Allow your little one to sleep on the way over if they’d like, as long as you’re sure they have a full tummy! I always encourage parents to bring plenty of milk or formula and be prepared to nurse (sometimes a lot!)

Create a comfortable environment

Babies can be fussy if they’re too cold, hot, or uncomfortable, so it’s important to create a warm and cozy setting for the shoot. I have a heater going for all of the naked posings we do and take time undressing your little one to help them adjust to the temperature changes. If your baby is really unsettled while naked, I have cute outfits or matching fabric we can put over them.

Use a pacifier

Pacifiers can be a lifesaver during a newborn session, especially if the baby is feeling a bit anxious or unsettled. Even if your little one doesn’t typically take a paci, bring one! Sometimes it distracts your little one enough to change poses, or helps them settle when moving through props. Many mamas worry this will hurt their nursing relationship, but I promise that I use them sparingly (when I can). And- did you know pacis are actually known now to prevent SIDS?! Read the article from AAP here.

Work with the baby’s schedule

Every baby is different, and it’s important to me that we don’t force the baby to sleep if they’re hungry, or need some awake time. As your Milwaukee newborn photographer, I always give my parents a prep guide to help adjust the schedule before our session. If your little one needs a break, I allow them some time to rest and relax before getting back to the shoot. I am patient and flexible, and adjust my approach based on the baby’s needs.

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Swaddling during the newborn session

Every baby LOVES being swaddled. So if unwrapped posing just isn’t happening, or if they’re just unsettled and can’t sleep- I’ll almost always swaddle. Swaddling helps your baby feel safe and secure, and limits their startle reflex. There are lots of different variations for swaddling to give your final images a diverse look.

Capturing beautiful images of a baby can be a challenge, but with these tips, you can make the process a lot smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved. By creating a comfortable and relaxing environment for the baby, respecting their rhythms and routines, and using a range of calming techniques, you can help them relax and feel content, allowing you to capture those special moments and memories that will last a lifetime.

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I’m Tara Fay, the owner, and photographer with Tara Fay Photography. I service the Greater Milwaukee Area, including Cedarburg, Grafton, Mequon, Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, West Bend, Jackson, Menomonee Falls, Germantown, and River Hills. I can’t wait to meet you!

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