This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. If you’ve scrolled through my Instagram, you know we love our Lady. She’s the sweetest thing and ever since my belly started showing, she’s been by my side snuggled up next to her baby sister. But I worry about how she’ll react to the new baby once she comes home. What will she do when the baby cries? Will she be skittish around her? What about when she gets older and starts crawling around the floor?

Lady is a rescue dog. We’ve had her for about 3 years now and she fits in perfectly to our family. My 11 year old is obsessed with her and Lady kindly tolerates Jaime’s constant attention (whether she wants it or not). My oldest is not the biggest animal lover, but Lady’s personality is perfect for her. She knows when to back off and doesn’t bother her too much. Just the way Julianna likes it.

But this baby will be something new. Someone who will take my attention away from her. Someone who will take her place in our warm, comfy bed at times too. We started kicking her out a few months ago, encouraging her to go upstairs and sleep with Jaime, but she inevitably sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night and ends up under our covers. We’ve bought a few different dog beds, each one comfier than the next, but she doesn’t go near them.

We also started putting out baby things a few weeks ago so she can get used to them. The bassinet, a car seat (which she was not happy about since it stops her from jumping in the front seat next to me while I’m driving), diapers, a pacifier, etc. We plan to bring home one of the baby’s blankets from the hospital so that she can get used to her smell.

I wondered what else we should be doing so I did a little research. Here are some other tips I found online that we’re going to try.

Tips for introducing your newborn to your fur baby. www.stacymaeandco.com

When you get home from the hospital, greet the dog alone without the baby. I told my husband I want to come in the house first so she can greet me and I’ll love on her for a few minutes before he brings the baby in.

Praise the dog when she interacts with the baby in a positive way. Goes without saying, but Lady can be insecure so I think she’ll appreciate the words of encouragement when she comes over to sniff the baby.

Give your dog attention when the baby is around. I guess it’s obvious, but I never really thought about this. If I am only giving Lady attention when the baby is sleeping or out of the room, she’ll decide good things happen when the baby isn’t around.

Never leave the dog alone with the baby. Period.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress! If all goes well, I can’t wait to take a million photos of them together!!

 

Still counting down the days until baby girl arrives! We’ve got less than two weeks and I find myself dreaming about what she’ll look like and how my older two will interact with her. Eeeek! I can’t wait!

Another thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how I am going to document this new baby. When my first was born almost 15 years ago, there were no iPhones or digital cameras. I never even thought about bringing my camera to the hospital. Fast forward more than a decade and Fresh 48 sessions are on the rise along with Documentary Birth Photography. And I totally get why. Those first few days of a newborn’s life are truly extraordinary. You’re completely exhausted, but so totally energized by the experience of bringing new life into the world. You think you’re going to remember everything, but inevitably the details will fade as the weeks fly by.

It makes me so sad to not have those memories with my first two so I am making it a priority to capture everything this time around. I know I am not going to be able to capture it all, but I’ve made a list of must have photos in the hospital. Here’s what I’m hoping to get.

Meeting her sisters for the first time. I mean, could there be anything sweeter than that? This is definitely a must-have for me, but it may not actually happen in the hospital for us. The hospital I am delivering at currently has a ban on visitors under the age of 16 because of the flu. Fingers crossed it gets lifted before we are admitted, but if not, I will have my camera ready  to capture the shot at home. I feel like my heart might explode seeing my two big girls welcome their new baby sister into the family. They have been wishing for her for years and I know they are going to make the most amazing big sisters. And I am looking forward to watching their relationships blossom!

Image credit www.brittanyblakephotography.com

In the bassinet. Every hospital seems to have those same powder blue and pink blankets and I love the way a newborn baby looks all wrapped up in the bassinet. I plan to roll that sucker over to a big window and take as many different angles as I can. My favorite shot is from directly over head because that’ll be my view while I swoon over her tiny features.

Image credit www.ashleekay.com

All the details. These are my favorite shots. They are the storytelling images I like to have because they are the ones that are the easiest to forget. Things like that little card the hospital provides with all of baby’s stats. Baby’s umbilical cord. The hospital bracelet. Their tiny toes. Footprints. Their fuzzy hair. Baby yawns.

Image credit www.alexmorrisdesign.com

As long as I can come away with these images of her first 48 hours, then I’ll be a happy mama. Even if I have to hand the camera over to my husband or grab my iPhone, as long as they are recorded, that’s all that matters.

If you’re interested in learning more about photography and following along on my journey to document baby’s first year, check out my private online community.

Bringing home a new baby is such a special and exciting time. Those first few days can feel like a blur, but you’ll no doubt be taking tons of pictures. I know I will once baby #3 arrives later this month! I want to make sure I capture every tiny detail because I know how fast they grow. I’d love to share a few tips with you about how I plan to photograph my own little one and hopefully you can use these tips to improve your own photos.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Find the Light

In photography, light always comes first! Before you set your baby up for a photo, take a walk around your home and pay attention to which rooms get the best light. Pull back the curtains and open up the blinds to let in as much light as possible. Also, it’s important to turn off all overhead lights so you’re not getting any color casts from those yucky indoor lightbulbs. In the shot below you can see the window to the right and there was also a window behind me to help brighten this adorable duo.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Move Around

Once you’ve found some good window light, position your baby as close to it as possible. You may need to move the bassinet or push the crib or a bed up closer to take advantage of the light. Just make sure baby is safely swaddled or sleeping so you can move around while taking pictures. One of the best places to photograph your newborn is in their crib. There are a ton of shots you can get without even having to move the baby. Get creative with your angles and perspective! Grab a step stool and shoot from high above using the rails as leading lines.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Shoot straight on through the crib rails. Then, get in closer so you can see baby’s face.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Walk around to either side of the crib and capture baby’s toes or the top of their heads.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

These rules don’t just apply to crib shots either. If your baby is sweetly snoozing in some pretty light, take advantage of the quiet time and experiment angles to capture as much as you can. Go wide shot to show what room you’re in.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Move in closer to focus on baby’s features. Get even closer to capture details like flaky skin, tiny toes, and pouty lips. All those things you want to remember that you can’t necessarily get while baby is awake.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Shoot from the side, above the baby, get on baby’s level, etc. Don’t stop moving until you’ve captured every angle.

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

Prop Ideas 

If you want to add some personal touches to your photos, try including a few props. They don’t have to be anything fancy. Just a few special items from around your home. Some ideas to include – colorful swaddle blankets, rugs, blankets, or bedding with texture. You can also include a few of their favorite things. Ok so maybe your newborn doesn’t have a favorite thing yet, but maybe a special stuffed animal that is meaningful, his/her pacifier, or booties that a grandparent knit. Don’t leave out those details!

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

How to photograph your newborn at home. Practical photo tips for taking pictures of your newborn at home. www.stacymaeandco.com

I hope these tips help and that the photos serve as inspiration for the next time you pick up your camera. I’ll be posting a lot more examples once baby girl arrives so keep an eye out for most tips on photographing your newborn at home.