family picture during a newborn session

We are sharing 5 tips for including older siblings in newborn photos, so if you are wondering how to get a toddler to cooperate, we've got ideas!

Welcoming a new baby into the family is such a special time, especially when that baby is also welcomed by an older sibling.  There are a million questions surrounding this new chapter:  will they get along, will they be nice to the new baby, will you have enough room to love both equally (yes!)?  When families visit us for newborn photos, one of the most-wanted portraits is of siblings together.  It's the start of a relationship and friendship, and having those moments photographed will mean more and more over the years.

We are sharing 5 tips for including older siblings in newborn photos, so keep scrolling to read more!

simple newborn images

5 Tips For Including Older Siblings in Newborn Photos

We've been photographing maternity, newborn, and family sessions in the Houston area for over ten years, so it's safe to assume that we've tried out a million tips and tricks to get the perfect photo and do it with the least amount of stress and time.

Here are 5 tips for including older siblings in newborn photos:

When to schedule your session?

1.  Schedule the session during a time when your older child is rested and fed. A tired or hungry child is not likely to cooperate during the session, which can make things difficult.  We always offer two times, at 10am or 12pm, which work with nap schedules and ensure everyone is happy, rested, and fed.  We also keep snacks, drinks, and bribes in the studio, and have Disney+ and Netflix in case they need a break.

How to get kids to cooperate during newborn photos?

2.   We always involve your older child in the session by giving them specific tasks, such as holding the baby's hand or kissing their forehead. This can make them feel like an important part of the process and help them to cooperate.  We ask them to smell stinky toes, to see if the baby smells like cotton candy, and to help mom or dad hold the baby up with their strong muscles.  These simply prompts really help create engaged, authentic portraits.

big brother checks on baby sister during newborn photoshoot
backlit photo baby with florals

Tip for a relaxed and stress-free newborn session

3.  Be patient and relaxed during the session. Children can be unpredictable, and it's important to go with the flow and allow us to photograph natural moments.  Often, if parents jump in to correct or direct, kiddos can feel that stress and tension and it totally changes the feel and flow of the session.

Please know that we've photographed hundreds of kiddos and know how to pivot if we sense there is a meltdown coming or they are needing something new.  Your job is to stay relaxed, and enjoy the session together.

newborn baby wrapped and swaddled in a Houston photography studio
newborn with florals and a motherhood picture

"We've photographed hundreds of kiddos and know how to pivot if we sense there is a meltdown coming..."

Allison, Owner and Lead Photographer at Lentille Photography
older brother kisses baby sister during newborn session
dad and son cuddle baby sister

What to bring to your newborn session

4.  Bring along a few favorite toys or snacks for your older child. This can help to keep them entertained and happy during the session, which can lead to more natural and relaxed photos.  

One thing to note:  please don't bring anything chocolate or with dye, as those can stain hands and mouths and clothing.  The best treats are rice krispie treats, marshmallows, or goldfish (colors).

Detail picture of baby toes
mom and son during newborn session
Inspiration for wall galleries

Take breaks during your newborn session

5.  Don't be afraid to take breaks during the session. Newborn sessions can take a bit of time, and young children can get restless. Taking a quick break to let them stretch their legs or have a snack can help to keep everyone happy and focused.

I've even been known to do a few Studio races with kiddos, dance, etc to get the wiggles out.

Remember, there's no time limit on any full sessions, so we can pause and pivot and ensure that everyone leaves happy.  No stress is our mantra around here, and we've got tips and tricks to help you enjoy our time together.

We hope you've loved these 5 tips for including older siblings in photos, and can incorporate them into your next session.

older brother helps hold baby sister during newborn photos
proud older brother smiles with baby sister

Should you include older siblings in newborn photos?

Including older siblings in newborn photos will create beautiful portraits that you'll hold onto for forever.  I've realized over the years that these portraits become more and more valuable, and dear to my heart, as my own boys have grown up.

We treasured photos of them together when we took them, but now we look back and can see a tangible foundation of love and friendship building, and that's pretty special.

newborn a florals plus a family backlit picture
dad cradles baby girl
newborn baby girl with dad kissing her and laying in florals
older sibling kisses dad during newborn session

Bonus tip: Where and how to print your newborn pictures

One more bonus tip:  print your favorite pictures and display them so you can see them daily.  Science shows that kiddos and siblings feel a sense of love, family, and belonging when they can see themselves in pictures.  That's amazing, and a pretty easy way to create good for your babies.

We offer complimentary Design and Ordering appointments, and can help create wall art and heirloom albums for your home.

Mom kisses son while holding new baby sister


Family's clothing borrowed from the Studio Wardrobe. Mom's dress is from Nothing Fits But and big brothers outfit is from Zara.

This session was done in our all-white photography studio, just outside of Houston, Texas.

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