My Baby Is Very Unsettled. I Think We Should Postpone Our Newborn Session

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You’ve booked your newborn photo shoot, and can’t wait to have some gorgeous, sleepy photographs of your baby.

Then suddenly, a few days into your baby’s life they become very unsettled. They cry frequently, spend long periods awake and short periods asleep. You’ve fed them, winded them, rocked them and you can’t work out what’s making them unhappy. You’re convinced that there’s no way they’ll settle for long enough to have their photo shoot.

If this sounds familiar, I completely understand how exhausting a time is for you. My daughter was a very unsettled baby, spent a lot of time awake, a lot of time crying, and it felt like she would only sleep when she was being held or on me.

I also hear from other parents who have the same concerns before their newborn session; they’re worried that their baby is too unsettled for the shoot, and there’s no way we’ll be able to go ahead.

However, choosing to go ahead is usually the right thing to do. In this article I’ll explain why we should go ahead even if your baby is unsettled, and when I would recommend that we postpone your session for a later date.

Most Newborn Babies Are Unsettled During Their Newborn Session

You may be surprised to hear that I expect most babies who come into the studio to be unsettled and to have unsettled periods during their newborn shoot.

Thinking about it from the baby’s perspective, they’ve spent nine months in a cosy, warm, safe environment, and then suddenly during the first few weeks of their life, they’re being exposed to a huge number of new experiences. It’s understandable that they’re going to feel unsettled sometimes.

During the vast majority of the newborn sessions that I have, the new baby will be unsettled for a lot or part of the time.

Newborn Sessions Allow Plenty of Time To Settle Your Baby

Typically a newborn shoot takes around three to four hours, but I spend a small proportion of that time taking photographs. The rest of that time is spent working with your baby and working with you to settle them into the different positions for their photographs. 

Sometimes a baby will sleep throughout the whole shoot and we’ll get it done very quickly. However, it’s much more common that we’ll need to take breaks. Perhaps your baby needs some time to settle into their sleep. Perhaps they need another feed. Perhaps they just need a cuddle with you.

My approach is completely baby-led. I’ll take my time, and make sure that your baby is comfortable throughout. So no matter how unsettled your baby is before you arrive, I’m quite confident that during the shoot we’ll be able to capture them in the sleepy poses you’re hoping for, during the small periods when they are settled.

What If My Baby Is Ill?

If your baby is unwell rather than unsettled I recommend that we postpone the shoot until they are better. It’s much more important to focus on their health.

In this case please get in touch with me before your session, and we can discuss the best time to reschedule your session for.

Over To You

I hope this article has reassured you that provided your baby is not unwell, then we should still go ahead with the shoot even if they are unsettled. 

If you have any other questions about preparing for your shoot, please do let me know. You can send me an email at, or use this contact form to get in touch.

Related Articles and Videos

As you prepare for your newborn session, you may also find these articles and videos helpful:

What should my baby wear for a newborn photo shoot?

What do I need to bring to a newborn photo shoot?

My Baby Has Spotty or Flaky Skin. Should We Postpone Our Newborn Photo Shoot?

What to wear for your newborn baby’s photo shoot

What if my newborn baby doesn’t sleep during their photo shoot?

Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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