Newborn sessions are even sweeter when siblings are involved.
Many of my in-home newborn session have been for first time parents. This makes sense for a few reasons. First, the number of photos you take of your kids tends to dwindle as you have more kids. Anyone who is a second or third child knows that their eldest sibling has albums and albums worth of photos dedicated just to them, whereas the younger siblings maybe have one. After a while photos become a family affair rather than focusing on any individual kid. And that is okay.
Second, life gets busy. It gets harder with multiple kiddos. First time parents are enjoy a multitude of "firsts" and want to document everything. Back in the day this meant scrapbooks, now its thousands of digital photos and recordings. And though the firsts experienced with a second or third child are just as precious, you're less likely to be recording every second of it. Mostly because you're busy also watching the other kid(s).
So it's understandable that parents who do newborn photos with their first child may skip it when their second child comes along. But I'm here to say, do it! Don't skip it.
Your newborn photo session will be different the second time around because of the energy your other kid(s) bring to the session. It may feel a bit more hectic than when it was just the two of you, but I aim to keep things calm and stress-free, while also fun for the siblings who --let's be real-- are no longer center of attention. I provide moments where big sister/brother still get to be in the lime light but give them enough space to come and go as they please. I also don't force a lot of moments. In the end, you'll have photos of a variety of precious moments, moments that are fleeting.
A Doting Big Sis
I don't like to force moments between the newly big sibling and their baby sister/brother. It's usually easier to ask if they want to take photos with Baby than force it. And if they say No, that is okay. They are more likely to change their mind if you let them walk away. I find they are more interested to return and eager to snuggle up and hold their new best friend when let them come and go. Whereas, if you insist they take a certain photos when they aren't in the mood, you may only end up with an upset kid who doesn't want to be involved at all.
Sometimes kids, especially toddlers, are in a mood when I arrive. They may love the newly arrived baby, but that one morning they may want nothing to do with them. I get it. They're kids. I don't expect lovey dovey siblings every session or for the entire time. It's a good idea to prepare yourself for this circumstance, too.
Most of the time, newly appointed Big Sibling wants to participate in the photos. They want to hold the Baby. They're more than happy to hug, kid, snuggle with them. When they do, I don't give really specific instructions on how to pose. Instead, I give suggestions on how to interact. That way their personality shines and the photos look more natural.
No newborn session would be complete without images of baby by themselves. Close ups of their little toes, fingers, baby folds are some of my favorite shots. For these images, I like to have baby in a diaper or a wrap that allows their feet and hands to be free. These shots also occur whenever baby is calm or sleepy. Sometimes these shots are the first ones I take, sometimes they're the last. My sessions are "baby-led" so the order depends on them and their mood.
If you're expecting, whether it be your first, second, or fourth, schedule a newborn session! Trust me, you won't regret it.