How can I achieve these beautiful sleepy newborn photos? Over the years working as a baby photographer, I have learned a few ways to help a baby fall asleep and I will share them here with you. These are general tips, which might help any new parent who is finding it challenging to get the baby to fall asleep. The best time to achieve sleepy baby photos is when the newborn is 0-2 weeks old.
One obvious tip is for your baby to have a full tummy! Nobody can sleep on an empty stomach so the first box to tick is that your baby is well fed. Once the burping is out of the way, your newborn should have no problem to fall asleep.
The next, and possibly, the biggest tip is to be calm yourself! Babies are so sensitive, they will pick up on most signals. If you are not calm, the baby will be restless too. Try to relax as much as possible. Do not schedule anything in the next hour but give your baby all the time it needs to fall asleep.
Check out that your baby is not sensitive to light. Some babies are very sensitive to light and will have a frown on their face, while trying to fall asleep. If your baby is sensitive to light, try and darken the room. If you want to do some newborn photography, you can open the blinds once your newborn is in a deep sleep.
The best ways to calm the baby is to rock your baby. Babies love movement. Walking around with your baby will really help the baby to fall asleep.
Babies love noise! When they are in the tummy they are surrounded by noise. So try to turn on some white noise on your mobile, this youtube ‘video’ will give you 8 hours of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUwEiMNhOCM. Babies also love the sound of a beating heart, such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUxS21-cf80. However if you rather do not like to have phones or other devices in the bedroom, a good hussssssh sound will also to the job!
And one last tip is to stroke your baby between the eyebrows in a downward movement. This works very often for me.
Once your baby falls asleep, you will see the eyes open and turn upwards. It is usually after this that your baby will have a ‘smile’ (this is just wind but it does look like a genuine smile). Wait for another 15 minutes, before moving your baby into a different position. It takes that long for your newborn to reach a deep sleep. Just one little note: if your baby goes through a growth spurt it is impossible to not wake your baby. They will only have a very light sleep during this time. The growth spurt usually happens around 10-12 days.
If you have any tips, I have not mentioned here, I would love to hear them! Please feel free to share!