A collage of photos showing wardrobe suggestions for in-home lifestyle newborn photography

What should I wear for my in-home newborn photos?

Y’all, I get clients stressing about this a LOT.

I see everything from texts with wardrobe options months in advance to families who are scrambling to decide on options when I walk in the door the day of the session. While things will be just fine (promise!) if you end up being a last-minute scrambler, a little preparation ahead of time can help you feel good about your look and take those nerves out of the equation so you can focus on everything else.

A family cuddles with their newborn baby. Text reads "Your Ultimate Styling Guide for in-home newborn photography"

So, where to start? I typically recommend jumping in with one of two mentalities:


If it’s just Mom, Dad, and Baby at the session, you can probably get away with solid pieces for everyone. But if your little one will have siblings involved, it can be helpful to have one of you in a patterned print containing 1-3 colors. A piece like this will serve two purposes:

a) it helps give you a jumping-off point for a color scheme to work everyone else’s pieces around, and

b) once everything is put together, it works as a visual thread to tie everything together in your photos.



Let’s be honest - Mom is usually the one booking the photos, and Mom is usually the one planning everybody’s wardrobe. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Moms say that they’ve put everyone else’s looks together and have dressed themselves as kind of an afterthought. But here’s the thing - especially if Mom has just birthed a tiny human (and even if not), she deserves to feel amazing in whatever it is she’s chosen to wear. Mamas, you won’t regret starting with yourself to find something that makes you both look and feel like a goddess. Promise. Once that piece is in place, you can work in everyone else’s wardrobe with confidence that you’re going to look amazing.

A collage of 3 photos of mothers in their homes with their newborn babies.

Once you’ve chosen a jumping-off point, here's some guidance for filling in the rest:

1. Textures

This definitely my favorite wardrobe tip. Textures look amazing on camera and add a level of dimension to your look. Think lacy or eyelet patterns, waffle knits, ribbed or muslin fabrics, etc.

Four images of lifestyle in-home newborn photography sessions with great examples of textured fabrics

In general, once you’ve landed on a patterned piece to work your colors around, pick 3 colors from that pattern to focus on as you style. For a little more guidance,

a) Break out that color wheel

Overall, stick to analogous colors or complimentary colors (colors directly across the wheel from one another).

b) Consider your background

Using the same color wheel guidelines, think about the colors in your home and how your wardrobe will incorporate across different rooms.

c) Use neutrals as “freebies” (but don’t use them all)

Once you have your color scheme picked out, incorporate whites, beige tones, and blacks as your “freebie” options. In general, I recommend whites and beige tones over blacks and greys, but depending on your color scheme any of them can work.

Color wheel and examples of analogous and complementary colors
A newborn baby rests in a Moses basket. He wears a green gown that contrasts well with the orange pillow and blankets.

If you and your crew are super casual, consider leaning into that for your photos. If you’re more of a ripped-jeans and t-shirt type of person, don’t feel the need to pop on dress pants and a polo. A casual look can add to the vibe of your photos, and can be a great option for all or part of your session.

A mom kisses her newborn baby while sitting on the floor. She wears black pants, brown leather booties, and a sweater

When it comes to your clothing choices for Baby, less is definitely more. It can be tempting to want to dress your Baby in all the adorable newborn outfits you’ve bought or been gifted, but it’s best to resist anything too intricate. Newborn outfits tend to be difficult to get on and off, seldomly fit well, and don’t really show up much in your photos depending on how Baby is posed. I usually recommend a simple onesie (skip the pants), small rompers for girls in the summer months, or overalls with nothing underneath for baby boys. Save all the rest of those intricate-yet-adorable ensembles for visits from family and friends :)


It’s allll about layers, friends! Incorporating textured cardigans/shawls and jewelry for Mom, hats/headbands for Baby, etc. is an easy way to quickly switch up your look.

Collage of five photos depicting simple textured outfits for Baby's lifestyle in-home newborn photos

A FEW MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER when styling your in-home newborn photography wardrobe:


If this is your first baby, know to expect some sort of accident with spit up, diaper blowouts, or both. If this is your second baby, you know by now to also expect that older siblings will probably find something to get their clothes dirty by the time we wrap up. I recommend having your go-tos picked out, but also having secondary options at the ready for everyone involved if/when it’s needed.

*Note: Though you'll want to have several options for Baby in case of accidents, note that babies in general don't love wardrobe changes, and that trying to work in too many outfit changes will heavily disrupt the flow of your session. I usually work through 1-3 outfits for Baby during the session, and add in swaddles/wraps for some extra variety. I recommend choosing your two absolute must-have outfits, and the rest we can work in as time and Baby's temperament allow.


I like focus more on what you should aim for as opposed to what you should avoid, but it’s probably best to touch on this as well. In general, my main recommendations for what to avoid are large graphics, logos, bright/neon colors (these reflect onto everything, including the person next to you), and anything too “matchy” (i.e., same colors on top and bottom across the board)


Since we’ll be photographing your little one shortly after birth, it’s best to have a couple of size options prepared so you can cater to what fits Baby the best. Most babies will fit into newborn sizes for at least the first couple of weeks, but you may want to have a 0-3 month option at the ready just in case.


It's rare to have a newborn photo session where Baby doesn't need to be wrapped at some point to help with settling. I have a few wraps that I bring to every session, and if you have any wraps or swaddles of your own that you want to work with, we can definitely incorporate those as well.

Collage of four photos from an in-home lifestyle newborn photography session.

We covered a lot of ground here, so if you felt lost coming in, I'm hoping you're leaving this post with a little more direction to get started on dressing the crew for your newborn photography session! If you're booked with me, please know that I love helping with your selections - text them on over, and if you have any questions, ask away! Haven't booked your session yet? Let's get that fixed - contact me now and we'll get you set up.