Picking Outfits for Newborn Photos

It’s easy to overcomplicate picking outfits for newborn photos. Check out how to make it simple and still get a beautiful gallery of images.

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When thinking about your baby’s upcoming Tacoma newborn photo session, one of the first questions you’ll probably ask yourself is what outfits should we pick for newborn photos? Before I get into suggestions for picking outfits: remember that the focus is not what the baby is wearing, so don’t get too caught up in trying to make it perfect. The love and connection of the family with the new baby will be front and center, and impossible not to be beautiful no matter what is worn.

Below I have some tips to ensure the outfits you choose for baby to wear don’t stand out in a not so great way.

The most important thing to do when picking outfits for newborn photos is to keep it simple!

Onesies and knotted gowns are the simplest outfits to use for newborn photos. The less fussing we do with outfit changes, the better! Both of these are great options because they are fitted (mostly) and allow for their little hands and feet to be featured. Though not an “outfit”, swaddles are also a good option for babies that like to be snuggled up.

The other outfit that we will use you definitely will have on hand already – a diaper!

Now, I don’t want you to think that onesies/sleepers and swaddles are the only options you have. There are many outfits that work beautifully and don’t fall into those categories, as long as they fit the baby well.

Which leads me to my next point…

When picking outfits for newborn photos, be sure they will fit baby well

It’s reeeallly hard for a baby to not look adorable, but a sure way to head that direction is to have them in clothes that are too small or too big. I love a good thigh roll as much as any other mom, but forced rolls may not be as cute! 😉 At the same time, you don’t want them swimming in an outfit – the end result will just be us fidgeting with it and trying to keep their hands outside of the sleeve.

This may mean that you are ordering/purchasing several different options to make sure a couple will work and fit well. But, don’t do it SO far in advance that you can’t return them if needed.
(they would make great gifts to pass along to friends should you find yourself in that boat, though!)

Baby’s outfits picked for newborn photos should complement the rest of the family

  • Colors: Soft, muted tones are beautiful with baby’s skin, but bold colors also can look really amazing if that fits with your style. Keep in mind that you’ll (ideally) be coordinating (not exactly matching) the rest of the family’s outfits with the baby. Pretty much anything is an option, but stay away from neons (they’re just too bright).
  • Texture: ribbed or similar fabrics are great to add depth to outfit without being distracting
  • Patterns: these should be chosen carefully. They have a tendency to be distracting because there’s so little area on the fabric. Subtle patterns/prints would likely be okay! Utilizing a solid color “background” (mom/dad’s shirt, bed sheets/comforter, blanket, etc.) will usually make the pattern pop and look wonderful.

If you’re unsure, shoot your photographer a picture for specific advice!

Family wearing complementary colors for newborn family photos

As I mentioned earlier – the point of these photos is not the outfits. The brand will not be plastered across the photo, so ultimately it doesn’t matter where it comes from! Whether you got it from a high end boutique or found a great deal at a second hand store, it will be perfect because you love it. The great thing about so many options is that there is something to fit every kind of budget!

More resources for newborn sessions:

What to wear for newborn photos (touches on the whole family)

How to have a stress-free newborn session

Best age to have newborn photos taken

Ready to check ‘schedule newborn photo shoot’ off your list?

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Ashley Morrisey

Tacoma-based lifestyle newborn and family photographer serving South Puget Sound + greater PNW


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