From beautiful Gainesville, Virginia


Photographer, twin mama, and sushi connoisseur.  I'm so glad you're here, and I hope you'll stick around and enjoy these blog posts!


5 Tips for Wrangling Toddlers During Your Newborn Session from a Photographer

Wrangling Toddlers During Your Newborn Session

Have an upcoming newborn session and feel a little anxious about bringing your older kiddos along for the adventure? No worries, parents, we’ve got you covered. This week on the blog, we are sharing all our best tips and tricks for wrangling toddlers during your newborn session.

Consider Your Schedule

We will start with something simple you can do before your session even begins. Be sure to build in a little extra time into your morning. If that means getting up a little early to collect your thoughts, take that time to care for yourself to ensure you’re in the best headspace.

Building extra time before your session also ensures you have wiggle room when things inevitably arise. Someone will surely take their sweet time putting their shoes on or need to potty as soon as it’s time to walk out the door.

Give yourself the gift of an easeful session day by building in time to allow for all that life throws your way.

An Addition Note About Pre-Session Planning

Save the screens. If possible, avoid screen time the morning before the session. We will (on rare occasions) use it as a last resort during the session. So, by avoiding it during the first part of the day, offering it as a last resort tool can sometimes be more effective.

Pack A Special Treat

Be sure to bring their favorite (mess-free) snack for them to enjoy once you arrive at the studio. We aren’t above bribing those sweet littles occasionally, and toddlers do not understand “wait three hours for ice cream.” Gummies and marshmallows work best, and are simple, easy to eat (and don’t melt), and work much better for instant reward.

Give Them Options During The Session

As a seasoned mom, I know nothing infuriates an independent little one than being told what to do for an hour or two. During our session time, we will build in choices whenever possible.

For example: Would you like to wear the pink dress or blue dress?

The more times they are given a choice in their experience, the easier they cooperate! Plus, it makes them feel like they got to be a big helper during the session.

We also try to follow their lead. If they need a break to play with toys, we will allow time for that and shoot other things.

Keep Your Cool

If you have them, you know toddlers feed off negative energy. They can feel your anxiety or frustration. There might be a time in the studio when they’ve had enough or need to regroup. Remembering our patience and staying grounded means everyone has a better experience!

A Few Tricks Up My Sleeve

I have lots of tools and tricks I will use during our session. So, if your toddler isn’t responding well to your usual prompts or requests, it helps to let them interact with me (and/or my assistant). This isn’t our first rodeo, and we don’t expect you to focus on our session together and entertain your little one. We’ve got you (and them) covered.

Be sure to let me know any favorite songs, sounds, or characters they love. This can be a helpful tool for genuine smiles on the day of our session!

Creative Scheduling

We will always plan to start newborn sessions with toddlers mid-morning to account for lunch and nap time.

Also, a well-fed toddler is a more cooperative one, so make sure they eat a good breakfast. We promise to have you out of the studio just in time for a lunch break.

5 Tips for Wrangling Toddlers During Your Newborn Session

Did you enjoy reading about Dorothy’s 1-Year Milestone Session with Leesburg VA Photographers? Are you hoping to see more posts like it from DC Photographers? You can find more newborn photography blog posts from a DC newborn photographer here, here, and here. If you are looking for studio maternity photos or lifestyle newborn photography in your home, you can find those here and here!

Ever wondered what a newborn photographer recommends you pack for your newborn session? Find my packing list over on this blog post. If you are looking for more tips and tricks, you can find my Must Have Newborn Items From A Newborn Photographer here or Breastfeeding Must Haves From A Twin Mom Here. 

Looking for nursery inspiration as you decorate for your new little love? You can see our Gender Neutral Twin Nursery Here and our Gender Neutral Safari Theme Nursery here.

Please contact me if you’re looking for an in-studio lifestyle newborn photography session, an in-home lifestyle newborn photography session, a studio maternity session, or a milestone session with your baby and loved ones. I would love to work with you!

You can also visit my portfolio here or follow me on Instagram for updates on availability and upcoming events. Santa sessions take place each fall in the studio, and all families are welcome to join the waitlist!  You can also visit my portfolio here or follow me on Instagram for updates on availability and upcoming events. Additionally, head over to my Pinterest for ideas and inspiration for our session together. Thank you again for reading Our Cant Live Without Baby Items.

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