Newborn smiles are just the sweetest things ever. And while they may not be genuinely smiling when they're so young, it sure does look super sweet in their photos! Over my 10 years specialising in newborn and baby photography in my Sydney baby photo studio, I've come to learn a few tips and tricks to maximise the chances of photographing newborn smiles. Here are my top tips!
Tip 1: Watch and Wait for their REM Sleep Cycle
Newborns have different sleep cycles to adults. Whilst we go through several sleep stages to reach REM sleep, newborns enter REM sleep very rapidly. You'll be able to spot this sleep cycle if you watch carefully. The baby will have rapid and heavier breathing, and their eyes will move back and forth with their eyelids closed (hence the name REM or Rapid Eye Movement). Often, babies will pull some funny faces during this sleep cycle including smiling. If you notice that the baby you're photographing is in REM sleep it's a good idea to keep your camera close by! Smiles are generally very quick and fleeting so it pays to be ready for them.
Tip 2: Gently Blowing on Baby's Face
I'm not sure why this works, but often if you gently blow on the baby's face while they're asleep, this can encourage them to give you a little smile. It's worth a try!
Tip 3: Softly Tickling the Corner of Baby's Mouth
Sometimes if you softly touch or tickle the baby's cheeks or the corner of their mouth, this can make them smile.
We can't always be lucky and capture smiling newborn images, but when they happen it sure is super special! Enjoy!!