As a newborn photographer for the last five years, I've picked up some amazing tips to soothe and calm a fussy newborn. New moms and dads are always in shock at how I am able to get their baby super sleepy; sleepy enough to pose them for the photos. I've had parents ask me to accompany them home so I can help them with their baby at night. Because that is not a possibility, I would like to give you my soothing techniques so that you can leave the studio with everything you need to know in your back pocket.
Step number one is to identify why baby may be crying. That sounds simple but many parents go straight into panic mode the second their baby lets out a cry. Are they overtired? Have they been awake past their age appropriate wake window. (About 45 minutes for a newborn.) Are they hungry? Many newborns are cluster feeding and want to be fed every hour. Is there belly hurting? Did you burp baby during and after the feeding? Maybe baby is cold. And lastly is baby's diaper dirty?
This should be your checklist when troubleshooting the reason for your newborns' cry's.
Now let's talk about what to do. Most babies love a good swaddle. It keeps them warm, cozy and in a womb-like hug. Not sure how to swaddle baby? Here's a link to an awesome tutorial:
Once baby is tightly swaddled, make sure he or she is warm enough. A lot of swaddles are thin and won't keep baby warm on its own. Next put on a Baby Shusher. Here's a link to one.
I have a Baby Shusher running in the studio for the duration of the photoshoot and it really helps keep baby relaxed. Hold baby and sway slowly and gently back and forth. You can also put baby on your shoulder and pat baby's back while gently bouncing up and down. Babies also love a good forehead rub. During a photoshoot when I want baby to close his or her eyes, I gently make circles with my finger on baby's forehead bringing my finger down between babies eyes and onto their nose. Most babies will automatically close their eyes. (This will only work if baby is calm.)
Sometimes you can try every trick in the book and baby will still be fussy because after all, a baby is a baby! Stay calm moms and dads. Just know that you are doing a great job and your little one is lucky to have you.
Have any questions? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org