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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Duprey

Older Siblings and Delaware Newborn Photography Sessions | Advice from a Delaware Boy Mom On Being Real and Nurturing Sibling Bonds


a Newark Delaware family play football in their living room during a newborn session with toddler siblings


My husband liked to joke when I was pregnant with eldest son that the girls had become "old and crusty". While I was excited for a new fresh babe to arrive, I was mindful that my girls might feel dethroned by their baby brother. I took extra care to make sure that they still felt special and included as we transitioned from a family of four to a family of five.


At my surprise baby sprinkle, they received matching "Best Big Sis" t-shirts from a family friend. When Bard was born, my girl's were sent a hand-drawn card from a friend's child who was already big sister in the mail-- in bright crayon it read: "Congrats, on being Big Sisters! You are going to have SOOOOO much Fun!" These thoughtful gestures helped ease the way for their little brother and made them feel like the special, awesome big sisters they were and still are today.


siblings pose with their newborn brother in 2020
My girl's with their baby brother, circa March 2020.

My girls attended Bard's The Birth Center birth; they helped cut his cord together, and were able to participate in his newborn exam-- each taking a turn to listen to his heartbeat with the stethoscope and helping to make keepsake prints of his tiny feet. Being involved in the preparations and the process of his birth really helped with their transition into their new roles as Bard's big sisters. Now, my girls were 5 and 7 years old when their first brother was born-- but my boys were born 21 months apart. Bard's adjustment to becoming a big brother was a little rocky at the start. As a mother of four, I realize that toddlers sometimes have a difficult adjustment when a new baby is brought home.


toddler chops ensues during a Newark Delaware newborn session with siblings.

This adjustment period for older siblings often falls during the timeframe that families are seeking newborn photography. And there is concern around how children, especially toddlers, will behave around their newborn siblings. As a Delaware newborn photographer, I often encounter families navigating this delicate time, and I have developed strategies to make the most of the short attention spans and the sometimes unpredictable behavior of toddlers during these sessions.


All parent's want is for their toddlers to be snuggly and sweet, and while I try my best to capture these types of photographs-- I never push too hard. I recognize that toddlers and young children have short attention spans and try to take advantage of the their initial interest. Without fail, the first 15 minutes that I’m in the door is the most engaged siblings are with their new baby. They usually want to show them off! It is a golden window in which they are more likely to take gentle direction and want to be part of the picture taking process.


For this reason, I always try to shoot as many photos as I can of them and their new baby sibling right at the start. After that, I give toddlers a break and focus on 'mom and baby' or 'mom and dad and baby' and photographs of just baby. More often than not, at some point, old siblings will want to join back in on the fun. I am very go with the flow-- and let kids and babies take the lead. I usually try to take some solo shots of toddler too-- these makes older siblings feel special and gives them a chance to be in the spotlight.



toddler chops ensues during a Newark Delaware newborn session with siblings.


When it comes to those sibling shots, safety is my number one concern. I typically try to capture sibling shots in the middle of a large bed, or on the floor. This gives young children the freedom to interact safely with their newborn sibling and for parents to swoop in if need be. Another excellent way to keep a newborn baby secure when being held by an older sibling is to swaddle them-- this usually helps with keeping baby's head from wobbling and gives the older child something a little less wiggly to hold onto. Pillows and boppy's are great for this too!


Some tips for parents on how to engage their toddler in the newborn session and keep things light and fun:


  • Tickles, Raspberries, and cuddles all around. I love a love fest!

  • Reading your toddler's favorite storybook with their new baby is a great way to capture everyone in a group shot. Other quiet activities might include painting or side walk chalk, puzzles, and games.

  • Ask your toddler questions about their baby sibling: How do they smell? Where are their toes? Can you see baby's eyelashes?

  • Make sure everyone has a meal before the session so that bellies are full. Having easy, mess-free snacks on hand is a good idea too.

  • Dress siblings in comfortable clothes! There is nothing worse that a scratchy crinoline or stiff suspender pants when you are a toddler.

  • Embrace the chaos! I always strive to photograph what is true and authentic to your life-- your kids start playing monkey in the middle with a football in the living room? I'm here for it.



toddler chops ensues during a Newark Delaware newborn session with siblings.


Advice from a real Delaware Boy Mom:


"I guess what I would say, which you said during the session, is to not have any expectations haha. Let them do their thing (within reason) and you will still be able to capture meaningful moments in pictures. Also, maybe schedule the session at a time in regards to when the kids tend to be best behaved..( I.e my oldest didn’t nap so he was a little tougher to control). The best part about this session was including the siblings. Capturing their relationships is super meaningful to me. I was surprised by how well the photos turned out because just seemed like neither of my older boys were cooperating.

An apprehension I had was if they were going to behave/listen. I also feel as though my home is not very aesthetic but you were able to make it look as though it was."



toddler chops ensues during a Newark Delaware newborn session with siblings.


Feel free to bring up any concerns you may have before your Delaware newborn photo session. I’m happy to help brainstorm ideas on how to help older (and especially toddler) siblings enjoy our time together. Ready to schedule? You can do so HERE,


Is your newborn older? No worries! I photograph babies at every age and stage. Learn more about my process for photographing older newborns HERE.



toddler chops ensues during a Newark Delaware newborn session with siblings.


toddler chops ensues during a Newark Delaware newborn session with siblings.



a Newark Delaware family play football in their living room during a newborn session with toddler siblings




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