Is my baby too old for newborn photos? 

March 19, 2024

As a Los Angeles newborn photographer, I often get the question: Is my baby too old for newborn photos?

Most newborn photographers, myself included, typically photograph newborn portraits in the first two weeks of baby’s life. This is because newborns at this age sleep more deeply and are more comfortable in curled-up poses. You can read about the ideal window for newborn photos in this blog post: the best time to photograph your newborn.

So, if your baby is older than two weeks, you might wonder… Is my baby too old for newborn photos?

The short answer is “no.” There is plenty of time after the two-week mark to get beautiful newborn portraits of your baby. Keep reading for more information on what to expect from a session with an older newborn and how old is too old!

Is three weeks too old for newborn photos?

Absolutely not!

At three weeks, there is a wide range in the “typical newborn.” Some are starting to have longer wake times and be more alert to their surroundings, and some still pass out cold after a feeding.

At three weeks, most newborns can focus on an object up to two feet away, and their eye muscles are stronger. If your 3-week-old newborn is awake for a portion of their session, we will likely get better eye contact with the camera and fewer cross-eyed looks.

Most 3-week-old babies are still comfortable in curled-up positions.

newborn photographed at 3 weeks old

Is one month too old for newborn pictures?

Nope.

At this age, your baby will likely be awake and alert for a good portion of their session. Some one-month-old newborns still like to be curled up, but many prefer to stretch out and have gained the strength to kick wraps loose, even in their sleep.

I photographed this baby’s newborn session when he was one month old, and he was typical for that age. He was awake for about half his session and made great eye contact with us!

He wasn’t keen to be fully curled up, but I got him into some snuggly positions, both on his own and while being held.

one month newborn portraits is one month too old for newborn photos? one month baby photos 4 week newborn session

Is six weeks too old for a newborn session?

Not quite.

At six weeks, we can still get beautiful newborn portraits. I can usually get your baby to sleep for at least some of the session and guide them into more snuggly positions, especially when parents are holding them.

Most babies will still tolerate a swaddle at this age, and that can be a great way to get them off to sleep so that I can get all the detail shots while they are nice and still.

six week newbornIs 6 weeks too old for newborn photos 6 week newborn session

Every baby is different!

So far, I’ve outlined what you can expect during a newborn session at two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, and 6 weeks. That said, every baby is different, and there is always an exception to the norm!

This little girl came in for her newborn session at 6 weeks old. You can see that she’s older… just look at those rolls! I would have expected her to be wakeful during her session, but I don’t think she opened her eyes once. Not only that, but she was perfectly happy to be guided into curled-up positions.

On the other hand, I have plenty of 10-day-old babies who are awake and alert for a portion of their session.

What’s true in life is true for a newborn session: you never know what you’ll get with a baby!

is six weeks too old for newborn photosnewborn photos six weeks six week newborn photo shoot

My baby was born before their due date; should we wait to do their newborn photos?

Most babies born one or two weeks early are fine to come in around the two-week mark. Babies born before 37 weeks often require a NICU stay and may still be bringing all their systems “online” even after they come home from the hospital. I photograph many babies born at 36 or 37 weeks around their original due date.

Newborn babies portrait

I also have clients who delay their newborn sessions for other reasons.

Maybe mom is still recovering from a c-section, or the family is feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you don’t even know why but don’t feel ready.

If you prefer to come in late for newborn portraits, that’s fine with me!

However, some photographers aren’t comfortable photographing babies outside the 2-week window, so it’s always good to ask about it when booking.

That leaves us with an obvious question:

What age is too old for newborn photos?

There is no “wrong age” to get beautiful photos of your baby, but eventually, your baby just won’t be a newborn anymore!

Now it’s time to ask: when is the best time for baby photos?

I advise my clients whose full-term babies who have passed the 8-week mark to wait until their baby is about three months old and come in for a baby milestone session.

This is because your baby enters an in-between stage at around two months old. They aren’t small or sleepy enough for the poses and positions I usually do in a newborn session, but they aren’t quite ready for a milestone session.

By three months, your baby will be smiling, babbling, laughing, and holding their head up for longer. During the 3-month milestone session, we’ll be able to capture more of their personality and get a wider variety of portraits. Plus, they’ll be able to stay awake a bit longer and give us more time to work.

3 month old baby 3 month baby cheek squish 3 month baby milestone session 3 month baby milestone session

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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

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