How to Prepare your Toddler for a Newborn Session


If you had a newborn session with your first child, you may remember all the sweet time you got to focus on your new baby without any distractions. Sine welcoming another sweet new baby, I’m sure you’re well aware it may not be quite as distraction-free this time. (Though it will still be absolutely wonderful because watching that bond between your babies grow is unreal!)

As a mama of two who had newborn photo sessions each time and as a seasoned Charlottesville, VA photographer, I’ve found a little prep can go a long way so I’m sharing 5 tips to prepare your toddler for your newborn photo session.

1.Have a slow morning

Keeping the morning of your session plan-free and normal is a great way to start the day. Enjoy your favorite breakfast together and avoid rushing and hurrying.  The hurry can set the pace for their energy and mood, so the more you have time to just be a family and enjoy each other, everyone can start off on a great foot.

2. Planning the session around your toddler’s schedule

When planning the newborn session, we’ll talk through nap time and lunch time with your toddler. The more “normal” their schedule stays, the better. Typically, I plan newborn sessions for mid-morning with older siblings so that we finish before lunch and nap.

3. Include your toddler in the process

When kids have a say, they always are more interested in cooperating. Give them choices in what to wear whether it’s the main outfit, a special bow or their favorite shoes. Or maybe it’s giving them ways to help while you’re getting ready or getting their new baby sister or brother ready for the session. Simply including them throughout the process helps them to feel seen in this new season.

4. Have treats or rewards on hand

Beyond a great meal before the session, having mess-free snacks on hand or even mess-free treats like marshmallows are a great way to reward your toddler (if that’s something you’re interested in doing!). Or, if food treats aren’t your style, stickers or small toys like bubbles are great too.

5. Your energy is their energy

I totally get it. As a mama of two, it’s hard to keep it cool when things go awry. Especially with a new baby,  needing to nurse, wrangling your toddler and all the in-between feelings of the newborn season. The truth is though, our kids reflect our energy. If you stay calm (even during the chaos), they’ll feel that. Becoming a big sister or brother is a huge new role for your child, and believe me, I’ve seen it all! Staying calm and loving on your family no matter what means that it stays a joyful experience!


Amy Nicole Photography (Amy Cherry) has been a photographer for over 15 years. Amy is a family, baby & newborn lifestyle photographer serving Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. She creates timeless, genuine and effortless photos for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. She offers on-location, at-home, studio and outdoor family photo sessions.

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I take a limited number of sessions each month (plus, I’m a bit of a planner and always account for possible weather and sick days!) I’d love to set up a time to chat with you, hear your vision and answer any questions! 

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