Debunking that 14 day rule for newborn photography

simple newborn photo with white headband

Debunking that 14 day rule for newborn photography

Let’s get into debunking that 14 day rule for newborn photography. When looking for a photographer to take portraits of your first little bundle of joy. You might see a common theme that newborns must be under 14 days old or even 10 days old. This is especially for POSED newborn photography. This is where they position baby in an adorable prop or intricate position with beautiful backdrops.

Why hire a newborn photographer?

Clients tell me all the time they want to capture this stage in their lives before their baby grows. They would like these images captured while they’re still tiny and new, to commemorate this huge milestone in their families lives. Also, how it’s so wonderful to reference back to these portraits every day on their walls once they grow a little bigger. That being said, they want to capture this age as soon as possible.

14 days rule for newborn photography

Who came up with 14 days?

The reason behind these dates is because babies are born with nearly 300 ‘bones and cartilage pieces’, while a full-grown adult has only 206. After the 2 week (14 days) mark, the bones and cartilage start to fuse together into calcified bone and make it much harder for them to be moulded into the womb like position we adore. Keep in mind, every baby grows differently and some may still love to be in that curly position.

What age is best to have newborn portraits?

I recommend to schedule any newborn session after 3-5 days to give moms and dad’s time to adjust, especially in making sure baby is getting the right amount of milk. Besides that, I’d love to photograph your newborn at any age! As a newborn photographer who specializes in natural newborn poses, we can have your newborn portraits done up to 5 or 6 weeks! What this means is, I don’t use props and poses that come unnatural for baby. During your newborn session, most of your portraits show how little baby is in your own arms. Then we would end your session with a few shots of baby alone. Wrapped up or sprawled out with me gently guiding them into positions THEY’RE most comfortable with.

I always tell my clients I can tell what type of sleeper they will be, just by listening to them lead me into the poses they like. For instance, one of my favorite poses are when they hold their hands above their heads while they sleep. Not many babies will want to do that! Those parents come back to me laughing because they notice how much they love sleeping like that all the time. I, for one, am a side sleeper. What type of sleeper are you? Do your parents have any photos of you sleeping this way when you were a baby?

baby girl sleeping with hands above head

There can be some disadvantages when waiting. For instance, the older they are, the less posed they will be… and a few other reasons.

Advantages and Disadvantages of older babies

You can get more images of baby dressed in a special outfit and even some awake shots.

2 month old in soft newborn outfit-14 day rule for newborn photography
[This little guy was 2 months old!]

Older babies have more of that extra chub we all love in baby thighs and rolls.

You aren’t limited to a specific time. Which is great if you live in the Chicago area and are limited to a bright and beautiful day outside.

Usually both parents are home on maternity leave during the first two weeks.

You might not get baby fully asleep. After a certain age, their eyes become more open and aware of their surroundings. Which can also make a great portrait of baby staring at you or at the camera.

awake newborn - 14 day rule for newborn photography


Keep in mind when having a boy, we want to ensure the best comfort for baby. Therefore, a newborn session with a baby boy will not be held until 6 days after his circumcision. It can be too uncomfortable for baby when we’re moving him in different wraps and positions during this healing process.

newborn boy swaddled -14 day rule for newborn photography

As you know, we can’t always have full control over how baby will be during their session. Every baby is different and want different things to help sooth them. In saying so, an experienced newborn photographer will take the time with each newborn to either get them in that sleepy state or work with baby being awake. It’s very normal for baby to not cooperate the first 45 minutes of our time together. However I do provide a detailed prep guide to help avoid this ‘un-soothing’ time. Giving you and your family more time creating these memories together.

If you are interested in a custom portrait session with Cristina Hope Photography and would like more information, please click here to learn more about me and this experience.

If you would like to reserve your date on my calendar, please click on the contact in the menu below or email me directly at

Sign up for my newsletter and grab my top 5 tips for a successful session.

Cristina Hope Photography

Studio located at 45 S. Washington St., Hinsdale, IL and serving Chicago, IL | (708) 365- 9691

Featured Categories