Capturing this amazing time in your family’s life with a newborn baby hospital photoshoot is priceless! Doing a newborn baby hospital photoshoot is definitely worth doing if you have the option. These are memories you will always cherish. I’m sharing what a newborn baby hospital photoshoot is, options for doing one, tips and tricks, what you may want to buy, and what to pack for a newborn baby hospital photoshoot!
Photos of my husband, Tom, our baby boy, Caleb (at 1 day old), and me, Christina Chitwood. Photos taken by Bella Baby Photography.
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Our Newborn Baby Hospital Photoshoot
I’m so happy we got a newborn baby hospital photoshoot done when Caleb was born! I’m also glad that we knew in advance that we would be able to get a hospital photoshoot done because this helped me to prepare in advance for it.
We had our newborn baby hospital photoshoot when Caleb was 1 day old. It was so special! Tom and I have both had some of the photos as backgrounds on our phones, and we’ve looked at the photos so many times!
My niece Zoey was born at the same hospital 4½ years ago, and my niece Sophia was born there nearly 6 months ago. So, I had some experience with the hospital already, and my brother, Will, and sister-in-law, Chea, told me about the photoshoot.
I’m sharing with you how I prepared for our newborn baby photoshoot and what was most useful!
What Is the Newborn Baby Hospital Photoshoot?
A newborn baby hospital photoshoot is a photoshoot held in your hospital room typically on the 2nd or 3rd day you’re there. If you have a natural birth, like we did, you probably will have it on the 2nd day. We had our photoshoot on the 2nd day and were discharged on the 3rd day.
The hospital we had Caleb at had a photo company that had photographers who would take professional photos of your baby and your family in your hospital room. The photographer showed up at our hospital room and asked if we would like photos taken. They then take the photos, and there is only a charge if you want to purchase the photos. I definitely recommend purchasing the photos because you could regret not having them in the future.
Options for Doing a Newborn Baby Hospital Photoshoot
The hospital you’re having your baby at may already offer a professional photographer. This may vary from place to place, so it’s worth checking in advance if possible.
Here are some options for getting a newborn baby hospital photoshoot:
- Use the professional photographer at the hospital (if this is provided).
- Have your own professional photographer come to the hospital. Make sure to check that your hospital allows this, and make sure your photographer will definitely be able to do the photoshoot when you have your baby. The photographer has to have a lot of flexibility in his or her schedule to do this because a baby can arrive anytime (literally!), but even a full-term baby has a 4-5 week period they could arrive in. So, it’s not like you can select a date in advance. Even if you’re having a planned c-section or induction, your baby could still decide to come early.
- Have a friend or family member who is a professional photographer do the photos. He or she may offer a discount or do it for free. However, the friend or family member’s schedule has to be flexible enough to ensure you will get the photoshoot while you’re at the hospital. Plus, you want to ensure you won’t have any weird feelings if your friend or family member doesn’t get all the photos you want. It may be simplest to keep things separate for the actual professional photoshoot.
- Have a friend or family member take the photos. It may be best to have a professional photographer take the photos since the lighting can be really tricky in the hospital room. So, it can be hard to get good photos if the photographer isn’t a great photographer. Having a friend or family member take photos is a great option for getting extra photos in addition to the professional photoshoot in the hospital. My mom is really good at taking photos, so we were able to get lots of extra photos we love in addition to our professional photoshoot.
Tips and Tricks
- Ask for what you need! Our photographer showed up in the morning after a bunch of people (nurses, pediatricians, etc.) had just been in our room unexpectedly before we’d showered or gotten ready for the day. (So many people come in and out of your hospital room unexpectedly and at random times during the day.) The photographer asked if we wanted to have our photos taken right then. I really wanted to be able to get us all ready first. So, I asked if she could come back later. She said it wouldn’t take long, maybe just 10 minutes. I said we hadn’t showered or gotten ready yet. So, she kindly said she’d come back in 30 minutes to an hour. I said the longer the better. This really helped because Tom and I were able to get ready while Caleb was sleeping. Then we were able to get Caleb ready.
- Say and ask for some of the photos you’re wanting! I didn’t have a lot of specific photo requests, but I did want photos of us together with Caleb, Caleb on his own, and each of us individually with Caleb. I also wanted Caleb in his swaddle for some photos and in his fluffy blanket for some photos. Our photographer was great and so kind! She got lots of photos, all the ones we wanted, and even extras at the end!
- Purchase your newborn baby hospital photos right away! Our photos were only available to purchase for a short period of time … way shorter than I ever would have imagined. Plus, the e-mail saying the photos are now available didn’t say they would expire. You only see this when you click on the link to go to the gallery. You have a certain number of days to make your purchase and download your photos before they expire. Make sure to check your newborn baby photos right when they say they will be ready. In our case, our photographer said they would be ready the same night. Then purchase them and download them any places you will want them. You don’t want to forget and miss this opportunity. There are so many things going on during those first few days and weeks that it is really easy for things to slip your mind (even if they don’t normally!). Better to prevent than be sorry.
- The entire gallery is great to have! Our photographer chose 25 photos and put them in a gallery. We bought the entire gallery in digital download. This is so awesome to have, and we love all the photos. We obviously have our favorites, but it’s great to have the others, too.
- You may be able to use the photos to announce the birth of your baby! Whether you will want to or are able to use the photos for your baby’s birth announcement depends on how quickly you will get the photos back and how soon you want to announce the birth of your baby. We used the photos to announce Caleb’s birth on social media. We also sent them to some close family and friends.
What We’re Wearing
Here are links to what Caleb and I are wearing!
What I’m Wearing:
Tinted Moisturizer: Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 | Foundation: Juice Beauty (Buff and Creme) | Concealer: Juice Beauty | Blemish Powder: Juice Beauty | Powder: Lily Lolo | Blush: 100% Pure (Color: Chiffon) | Highlighter: 100% Pure | Eyes: 100% Pure | Eye Liner: 100% Pure | Waterproof Mascara: Tarte | Lip Pencil: Au Naturale (Color: Marrakesh) | Lipstick: Au Naturale (Color: Marrakesh) | Lip Gloss: Au Naturale (Color: Magnolia)
What Caleb’s Wearing:
What You May Want to Buy In Advance
Here are some items for baby, mom, and dad that you may want to buy to have in preparation for your newborn baby hospital photoshoot.
- Swaddle. A swaddle really shows how small your baby is, which is precious. We got a dinosaur swaddle in this swaddle set that’s so adorable. Aden + Anais swaddles have some really attractive and soft swaddles that can be used as blankets when you’re done swaddling. We didn’t swaddle after the hospital at home, so we’ve used them as lighter blankets when we’re watching him or carrying him. (We use sleep sacks while Caleb sleeps.) These lighter blankets are especially helpful as the weather warms up.
- Blanket. You could get a blanket or a swaddle.We really liked having both. We got this super-soft and fluffy blanket. I absolutely love it in the photos of his face and feet! The blanket was a little bulkier and harder to see how small Caleb really was for full-body shots. We still loved it in all of them, but that’s why it was nice to have both the blanket and swaddle. We love getting great deals and shopping the sales at Bloomingdales.
- Baby Hat(s) to Go with the Swaddle and/or Blanket. We got this cute baby hat set that went with the swaddle we got. It’s really cute and so soft! They come in lots of colors and two sizes. The newborn size fit really well. Surprisingly, most of the newborn or 0-3 month hats didn’t fit Caleb for quite a while. So, it was great that these fit even in the hospital. The hat we got to go with the blanket was a bear hat from Gymboree that isn’t available anymore. It was a little big, so we rolled it a little. It was still adorable!
- Nursing Nightgown. I debated between a nightgown & matching robe or a dress. A nursing nightgown is so comfortable. It’s perfect for when you’re in the hospital but want to feel and look put together. I decided on this nightgown & matching robe because it’s pretty and comfortable. I loved the lace on both the nightgown and robe. It also seemed more fitting since the photoshoot takes place in the hospital room. I’m really happy I chose the way I did.
- Matching Robe. A matching robe makes it more appropriate for a lifetime of looking back at photos. Plus, grandparents and great-grandparents will most likely be more comfortable seeing you in a robe. I absolutely love the lace on the sleeves of this robe.
- Strapless Bra (Ideally a nursing bra.) Some nursing nightgowns have enough support and coverage that you won’t need to wear a bra. For photos I definitely wanted more support and coverage with the nightgown I chose. A nursing bra is ideal because you will probably be nursing before, maybe during, and after. I actually didn’t find a strapless nursing bra that looked as good underneath at the time, so I used this strapless bra that isn’t a nursing bra in the larger bra size that I was closer to Caleb’s birth. I could always pull the bra down to breastfeed, but I didn’t end up having to nurse during the photoshoot. I changed right before and right after the photoshoot to make it easier for breastfeeding. It worked well for the photoshoot, but I haven’t used that bra since. It’s just so much easier and more comfortable to use a nursing bra if you’re breastfeeding. I have liked using this strapless nursing bra since Caleb’s birth, and I also liked using it during my pregnancy. It isn’t as cute in the front though, which is why it didn’t work for my nursing nightgown.
- Nursing Pads. This is helpful in case you leak, so it shouldn’t go through your bra or outfit. These have been some of my favorite nursing pads. If you need something a little more discreet with any outfit or bra, these nursing pads work well.
- Breastfeeding Cover. A breastfeeding cover is great to have so you can breastfeed discreetly during your photoshoot if necessary. This is my favorite breastfeeding cover. I also loved having this breastfeeding cover in the hospital to breastfeed while family was visiting since it was easy to use even in those first few days.
- Makeup and Makeup Brushes. You may want to get extras of your favorite makeup and/or makeup brushes … either to ensure you don’t run out of anything right around when your baby arrives or to have makeup you can leave in your hospital bag. I really liked being able to apply makeup for photos, especially since I will look back on these photos for a lifetime. At our hospital tour the woman giving the tour said not to bother bringing makeup. I think it’s a good idea to bring it because you can always decide not to apply it. It would be more difficult if you wanted to put on some makeup but didn’t have any.
- Shirt (If he wants or needs a new shirt)
What to Pack
You definitely may not need all of these items, depending on how much you like to do, how you prefer to look, and what you want your photos to look like. You can just use this list to help you figure out what you would like to bring for your own newborn baby hospital photoshoot. Remember this is your family’s day, so make it that. If you want to bring something I didn’t or don’t want to bring something I did, go for it. This is meant to help make it easier for you to prepare and give you ideas. Do and bring what’s best for you and your family!
This is what we packed or alternative options for what we packed, depending on your preferences. This includes getting ready for the photoshoot and what you may need for the photoshoot. Adjust, eliminate, or add, depending on what you want for your own photoshoot.
Note: This is not an entire hospital bag packing list. It’s just what we brought for our newborn baby hospital photoshoot.
- Baby Hat to go with Swaddle
- Baby Blanket
- Baby Hat to go with Blanket
- Nursing Nightgown
- Matching Robe
- Makeup and Makeup Brushes
- Stud Earrings
- Hair Towel
- Leave-In Conditioner / Detangler
- Hair Dryer
- Round Brush (or a Hair Styling Brush)
- Straighteners (or a Curling Iron)
- Contact Lenses
- Strapless Bra
- Nursing Pads
- Nude Underwear
- Contact Lenses
Mom & Dad
- Body Wash
- Hair Brush
- Contact Lens Solution
ENJOY AND HAVE FUN
We definitely had fun taking photos with Caleb, and we will cherish the memories forever! It’s most important to enjoy the birth of your incredible baby! This is one way you may like to remember the birth of your baby. Do what’s best for you and your family.
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