When your family is blessed with a new little member, it’s time to get photos! But bringing the whole family can be tricky if you already have a toddler who is still adjusting to being an older sibling. That’s why we put together these five tips for including older siblings in your newborn shoot.

Give them time in the spotlight.
For an older sibling of a newborn, it often takes time to get used to having a baby in the house. They may feel that their parents don’t pay as much attention to them with all the needs of their new sibling. You can address this by time to make sure your older kids feel involved in the photo session. For example, when it’s time to take solo pictures of your newborn, try tasking their sibling with the job of keeping the baby’s attention–it will help them feel important and included at a time when they may otherwise feel jealous not to be the center of attention. Then, when it’s time for pictures with everyone, let the older sibling know they are in charge of keeping the baby on task if they get distracted. Your newborn session is a great way to let older siblings know that it’s not just about your new addition, but also about your growth as a family, and giving them a role in the spotlight can go a long way!

Encourage them to snuggle up.
Your older child may feel unsure or uncomfortable around the new baby, and a photo session can be a great way to help them loosen up and get to know their new sibling. Some of my favorite photos are images of the older sibling holding, kissing, or snuggling the new baby. Encourage them to gently touch the newborn and to get close, which can lead to a lot of giggles and smiles and some great photos. This also helps give them an important job and helps them feel more included in the photo session, which keeps everyone happy!

Motivate, don’t necessitate.
One of the most important things is not to force your older child to participate in the session. The last thing you want is a tantrum or a grumpy face in your photos! Instead, motivate them to participate without forcing them. You may be surprised how much they enjoy being involved on their own, and giving your older child space to explore and relax can result in more natural, genuine images of your family.

Make time for breaks.
Your newborn won’t be the only one who needs breaks. Have some snacks handy for older siblings, and give them a chance to step away from the camera and just play for a little while. Sometimes it’s best to take photos with the older sibling first, so they don’t get bored and agitated as the session goes on. Regardless of how you choose to organize your session, be sure to include regular breaks throughout.

Talk to them beforehand.
It’s so important to let your older children know what to expect from a photo session. Whether they love to be in front of the camera or are a little bit shy, talking to them before the shoot will help take the pressure off. In the week before the shoot, try sitting down and talking with them about the how, when, where and why of the photoshoot, and the importance of listening to both you and the photographer. With a little preparation, you may find that they’re excited to participate, which makes for wonderful photos!

Don’t forget to fill out our contact form at https://chicagobaby.net/contact/ to book your session today!