boy kisses baby brother

Family Photography

What Does an Older Sibling Do During a Newborn Session?

Tips for Preparing Big Brother or Big Sister for a Newborn Photography Session

What does an older sibling do during a newborn session is a question that I often receive. Should Grandma come over to help wrangle bigger kids? Will we photograph big brother with the baby? Will big sister be gentle enough in the photos?

Most parents want photos with all the kiddos during a newborn session, and that definitely works for me. You will cherish photos of big siblings interacting with the new baby for the rest of your life!

Luckily, since newborn photography session typically take place in your home, having a big sibling present is pretty easy.

Keep reading for tips to help prepare big sibling for newborn photos.

black and white photo of a family with newborn and older sibling


I will pay a lot of attention to older siblings when I arrive and throughout the session. I want to remind them how important they are and may try to get them to be my helper during the photo shoot.

Food and Sleep

Food and sleep goes a long way with keeping children happy. For all photo sessions, I recommend kiddos get plenty of sleep and are well fed before I arrive. This will definitely help keep Big Brother or Sister happy during the newborn session!

In and Out

We’ll try to do group family photos soon after I arrive. Little ones are most interested in me at this time, so we’ll try to wrangle them. If they won’t sit still (TOTALLY NORMAL), we’ll play on a bed or couch. We may also head to a shady spot in your yard for some light games.

Siblings will be in and out of the photo session. At times I will be focusing on the newborn, so siblings don’t need to be around. Depending on the ages of older children, one of the parents or caretakers may need to keep an eye on him or her, just like normal.

When a sibling chooses to investigate the action, I like to have them in photos…be it the background, kissing little baby, etc.

in home lifestyle family photos


Siblings are welcomed and encouraged to have their favorite toys out! If they are comfortable, the entire photo session is easier!

Best Time of Day

Newborn sessions typically last 90 minutes (give or take 30 depending on feeding and sleepiness). I shoot them weekday mornings, starting around 9.

I am happy to start at a different time to work around sibling naps. Since I do photograph the newborn alone, I can arrive towards the end of naptime to capture the baby and then focus on the family. I defer to parents to choose the best schedule.

(And, of course, no one will follow a schedule that day. Big sister won’t nap. Big brother will have woken up the night before. Baby won’t sleep when she normally does. This is all okay and normal–do not stress. We will embrace it!)

a young boy smiles at his baby sisterSafety

Safety first! When we get close-ups of siblings with the baby, safety is my first priority. If a sibling isn’t ready to snuggle up gently with his sibling, we can have mom or dad hold Big Brother close to baby.

family play outside a pop-up camperTo Recap

Grandparents are not needed (but welcome!). I will pay attention to siblings when I arrive. We’ll take a couple group photos and integrate play into them. I will focus on the newborn and parent groupings–at this time siblings can be and out of our space. (They will never be in my way!) We can try to get photos of siblings and the baby, and safety is the main concern!

Additional Newborn Photography Session Information

When to Schedule a Newborn Photography Session

Six Tips for a Newborn Photography Session

How to Prepare Your Home for an In Home (or Newborn) Photography Session

big brother and newborn baby photos

\What does an older sibling do during a newborn sessionOlder siblings at newborn photo sessionsWhat to do with older siblings during a newborn photography session

What does an older sibling do during a newborn session

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