How to pose newborns with siblings

If you’re like most parents, you want to capture your growing family in a series of beautiful photo portraits. Capturing newborns with their siblings can be a particularly memorable way to commemorate this special time.

I can’t even tell you how many parents I have that say they’d love to have some pictures of their newborn baby with their siblings, but that “it may not be possible because my toddler can be a little rowdy”. Don’t fret, I’ve got you covered. Sibling poses are one of my favorites to photograph and I’d love to share with you my tips and tricks on how to safely pose your newborn with their sibling(s).

Getting the perfect shot takes some planning and preparation. As a Luxury Newborn Photographer in San Diego with close to a decades experience working with newborns, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks on how to capture those amazing newborn photos with siblings that every parent will LOVE.

Here are a few tips for posing newborns with siblings that will help you get the best results!

Newborn Portrait with big brother looking at camera with a small smile. Newborn baby brother is wrapped up and laying on big brothers legs also looking ash the camera.

Sibling Newborn Poses Tips and Tricks

Tip #01: Coordinate Clothing

One of the most important things to consider when posing newborns with siblings is clothing coordination. Make sure all of your subjects are wearing complementary colors or patterns, so the photos will look visually appealing. This is especially important when photographing multiple children, as it can be difficult to make everyone stand out in a photo if their outfits clash. Don’t worry about your newborn, I supply both outfits and wraps to wrap up your baby in, using colors that coordinate well with the older siblings.

Sibling Newborn Poses Tips and Tricks

Tip #02: Choose a Simple Background

When photographing newborns with siblings, it’s important to choose a simple background that won’t distract from the main subjects of the photo. A solid color or light texture is ideal for this purpose. Busy backgrounds can be visually distracting and make it difficult to see the children clearly.

I usually end up using our bed arrangement in our newborn studio since it allows for several people to sit comfortably while also providing a secure area for the older siblings to cradle their newborn sibling. If I don’t want to use the bed setup, I’ll use one of my Savage Backdrops that coordinate with the outfits and use that as a simple backdrop behind the siblings. This also makes it easy if you have to make any composites and merge multiple images together into one.

Big sister is laying on her stomach on a bed with her newborn sister wrapped in white laying front of her. Big sister's head is on top of baby's cheek smiling at the camera.
Image of Big sister with her two younger brother's during a newborn photoshoot in San Diego. Big sister is proudly smiling holding newborn baby in her lab and holding middle brothers cheek to her right.

Sibling Newborn Poses Tips and Tricks

Tip #03: Pose Children at Different Heights

When posing newborns with siblings, it’s important to think about their relative heights. If you have young children, I try to position them so that they are looking down at the baby. This will make the photo feel more intimate and create a sense of scale. Older children can be positioned in the middle holding the baby, with the younger siblings gathered around.

Sibling Newborn Poses Tips and Tricks

Tip #04: Use Props Wisely

Props can be a great way to add interest to your family photos, but it’s important to use them sparingly. Too many props can clutter up the scene and make it difficult to see the subjects properly. As a Newborn Photographer that specializes in a minimalistic style, you already know I use props sparingly. Usually when props are used during sibling photos, we end up taking multiple images. Some with your newborn baby along in the prop, and then the prop with the siblings. These images are then combined in Photoshop for a safe composite image.

Newborn Photo of older sibling and baby brother during newborn pictures with Luxury Newborn Photographer in San Diego
Picture of older sibling poking little sibling on the cheek during newborn pictures by Luxury Newborn Photographer Studio Freyja in San Diego. Big sister is slightly out of focus with newborn sister in focus wrapped up in a flower wrap.

Sibling Newborn Poses Tips and Tricks

Tip #05: Provide Prompts for siblings to focus on the baby

When photographing newborns with siblings, it’s often helpful to provide prompts for the siblings to focus on the baby. This can be as simple as having them smile or look lovingly at their new sibling. If you have older children, you may need to give them specific instructions about what to do in the photo. For example, asking them where baby’s nose is, or can you give baby a kiss on the belly, or can you tell me what your baby sibling smells like. Prompts like these will not only make the sibling look at the baby but it will also help them interact with baby.

Sibling Newborn Poses Tips and Tricks

Tip #06: Safety First: Keeping both baby and siblings comfortable

Safety is my number one priority regardless of what session I’m photographing or what we are shooting. Therefore it’s important to understand the limitations of siblings when it comes to posing them with their newborn baby. Toddlers for example may not be able to safely hold baby in their arm without dropping them.

Always have a spotter close by. Ask mom or dad to stand next to their children to ensure the toddler doesn’t all of a sudden drop the newborn.

Wrap baby up in wraps to make him or her easier to hold for the sibling. Have siblings lay down on the ground and place the newborn in the crook of their arm.

There are multiple poses you can do that keeps both the newborn and sibling safe and comfortable during your newborn photoshoot.

Older sister is posing with her twin newborn brothers during a newborn photoshoot in San Diego. They're all laying on a bed with older sibling hugging around the newborn twin brothers.

Pinterest Collage of different newborn poses with older siblings as shown by San Diego Luxury Newborn Photographer Studio Freyja

Sibling Newborn poses tips and trick

Poses to try during your newborn photoshoot

Pose #1: Sit on the bed with oldest sibling holding newborn baby in their lap.

Pose #2: Have newborn lay down on the ground or bed with older sibling hugging around.

Pose #3: Have older sibling lay down on their back and place newborn in the crook of their arm or beside them. Support their heads with a pillow or poser.

Pose #4: Have newborn lay on bed or on the ground and use prompts to have sibling interact with the baby. For example, can you show me their cheek, can you kiss baby’s head etc.

Pose #5: Use a bucket to place newborn in. Take an image of older sibling sitting by the bucket facing the camera, or with the bucket between their legs. Take it together or separate depending on how old sibling is and how still they can sit.

Pose #6: Place newborn baby on siblings legs and prop the head up using a newborn posing pillow.

This blog post was written by San Diego Newborn Photographer Studio Freyja. When hiring a photographer for your newborn pictures it’s important to hire someone with plenty of experience and who can provide a safe environment for both you and your baby. Studio Freyja offers a beautiful, minimalistic newborn photography studio in La Mesa. Practicing safe posing techniques and baby led posing, Johanna’s number one focus is the safety of you and your children. If you’re ready to learn more about how you can have your own newborn session, simply fill out the contact form on the website and I’ll be in touch as soon as I can.