What if my baby poops during their newborn session? (& other parent worries)

Poop Happens

The question is not what if, but when will your baby poop during their newborn session. Poop happens, and as parents with a new baby, I implore you, please don’t freak out. It’s really not something you should worry about!

BABIES POOP A LOT!!! I have had babies jet-stream poop across living rooms, narrowly missing us grown folks. I’ve had pee and poop happen in parents hands. I’ve been the victim of the most massive poop going right through my pants, underwear, everything, while holding a naked baby in my lap. Note to self: never doing that again!

The fact of the matter is, babies poop. They’ll poop even more when we’re posing them in tummy curling positions that alleviate any gas bubbles and give them that much needed release. A lot of times babies get fussy because they’re having tummy troubles. Sometimes, having their legs tucked up and under, or a brief belly massage helps to move things along.

For me, it’s just part of the job, and I am more than prepared to change all your babies diapers, clean up their mess, and wash everything afterwards. Everything that we use during a newborn session is washed afterwards, so really, there is no harm done.

Do boys poop more than girls?

Actually, in my experience, the worst offenders have been girl babies. I don’t know what it is, but this is just true for me. Boys however, PEE. A LOT. Most of the time when these little peanuts are squirming in their positions it’s because a pee or poop is coming and then we just prepare and wait for it. Some of my twin baby moms with babies of different genders have also confirmed the girl poop theory to be true!

Nursing babies also tend to poop more often, so really, don’t worry if it happens!

As new parents, you will find yourselves becoming experts in your baby’s bowel movements and any changes you may notice! For some more resources to help you along- check out the below links:

Preparing for the inevitable poop

I do everything in my power to prevent a poop-splosion. I keep baby’s diaper on for a majority of the time until I absolutely don’t need it (if we are doing that!). And before taking the shot, there are paper towels in the vicinity just in case. Most times I will keep a towel next to baby’s bum as a preventative until I am ready, and there is always something absorbent under the fabric drop to help pick anything up if an accident does happen.

If an accident does happen, no need to worry that your baby is terrible or apologize profusely. If we are removing their diaper for some newborn shots, it is like we’re asking for it. The chill hits their bum and they just want to wee or poop. Don’t worry, it’s on me, and we’ll quickly clean it up and carry on.

Does baby have to be naked for his or her newborn session?

If you prefer not having baby naked, we can hide the diaper with “baby spanx” as I like to call them. These are specially designed snug diaper covers in a flesh tone to help disguise the bulk of the diaper under outfits and wraps. With this, we don’t have to worry about any accidents either!

What if my baby won’t settle down during the newborn session?

There are many methods we employ during the newborn session to help settle and soothe baby. These include

  • White noise (at a comfortable, safe volume) – see my favorite white noise gadget here!
  • Wraps! Wrapping an unsettled baby will usually get them cozy and reminiscent of being in the womb. They will typically fall right to sleep this way.
  • Warm room temperature. Babies are used to it being warm in the womb. The room temperature for a newborn session is kept warm to allow for baby to be in various states of undress and stay comfortable. The warmth also promotes that feeling of comfort and coziness for them to sleep.
  • Traditional soothing with movement. Combining the above with some gentle swaying and rocking helps calm baby down.
  • Eyebrow Rub! The eyebrow rub is like the secret magic trick that puts baby to sleep. The light motion on the brows gets them closing their eyes and soon you have those heavy sleepy lids!

What if my baby is hungry during the session?

I always recommend that parents have extra milk on hand during their baby’s newborn session. Babies tend to get hungrier faster during the session, or often want to nurse for comfort in between sets. Whether you are pumping, breastfeeding, or formula feeding, having extra of whatever method you are using is great to ensure the session runs smoothly and with less interruption.

  • Having your breast pump handy!
  • Extra bottles of Formula
  • Nursing directly

Do I need to bring a Pacifier?

This is a major concern with many parents, and with decidedly different opinions. I ALWAYS recommend bringing a pacifier to your newborn session, and I keep new ones on hand in the event we need one or parents forget.

There are a lot of differing opinions on pacifier use and dependency or nipple confusion. I promise you that I only ever use a pacifier to soothe babies if they are being tricky, for a few seconds. If we are just using it for a few seconds during our session, this will never create a dependency on the pacifier. We are only using it to settle/comfort baby into a position, and then popping it right back out. A baby’s survival depends on their sucking reflex, and it can be s huge source of comfort for them as well.

There is increasing evidence that nipple confusion only really correlates to bottle vs. breast only, and not to the use of pacifiers themselves. Read more about that here: “Clarifying Nipple Confusion”

I had two breastfed babies- and two very different experiences with pacifiers. My first child was in the Nicu for a week and was exclusively bottle fed and pacifier-d for that timeframe. He went on to nurse for a year, and had no issues with nipple confusion. He would use a pacifier only to soothe for a few minutes at night if he needed it and it would be spit out immediately after falling asleep. My second child was almost exclusively breastfed. While this is amazing, I WISH he had taken a pacifier to soothe at times, because i was the pacifier.

You can read more about pacifier use here:

What do I need to do during the session?

Mostly just sit back and relax with a much needed break! Unless we are taking parent portraits within your session, you really don’t have to do anything! The exception is of course, if you are nursing or baby needs some extra comfort from mom or dad and having a difficult time settling. I will ask parents to jump in as spotters for the baby if needed. This is something parents enjoy since they get to be more personally involved in the session.

Other than that, I will be happy to feed baby, change their diapers (if parents are comfortable with that), and do anything else that needs to be done.

You can check out a list of newborn essentials moms ask me about all the time here!

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Sofia Ribeiro Photography is a Westfield NJ Newborn Photographer, serving the Union County area, North and Central New Jersey, and NYC and Staten Island.

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Known for my fine art style, and way of capturing moms and growing families in their most beautiful stages, I pride myself in providing you the perfect images for your family to treasure. I want you to have a stress-free experience, with hands on guidance through the whole process, culminating in perfect treasures for your family to hold and admire. Choose me as your New Jersey maternity & newborn photographer to capture all of those beautiful, ever-changing, motherhood moments!

– Sofia


2 responses to “What if my baby poops during their newborn session? (& other parent worries)”

  1. Who knew there was so much to know about poop? Ha! Thanks for the info.

    1. Always so much to know! Especially for new parents!

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Sofia Ribeiro is a New Jersey Newborn & Maternity Photographer serving the North and Central New Jersey areas, including Union, Morris, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Middlesex, Monmouth, Sussex & Hunterdon counties, as well as New York City, and Staten Island.