Outfit Guide: Your Chicago Newborn Lifestyle Photo Session at Home

January 9, 2023

mothers outfits for newborn photo sessions

Although lifestyle newborn sessions are usually easy on you and your family, there is some prep work involved in getting ready for your Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home. Planning ahead keeps the stress to a minimum and we are here to help. Bookmark this outfit guide so you have it as a resource.

We are Here to Help

Bubble+Spark Chicago Family Photographers are on the referral lists for Prentice Women’s Hospital at Northwestern, Evanston Hospital and Chicago Midwives at Swedish Hospital. We learned that during postpartum appointments, providers have consistently heard how thrilled new parents are with the results from our relaxed in-home lifestyle newborn sessions. Once you’ve booked your Chicago newborn photographer, let’s talk about wardrobe so you can get that planned out ahead of time. If you are looking for an outfit guide for your Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home, look no further! Booked clients can text us any time with questions.

Lifestyle Newborn Photo Session Outfits

After scheduling a newborn photo session, the most frequently asked question is “what do we wear for our newborn family photos?” We are happy to provide you with resources on planning for your in-home newborn session. Below are some tips to help you feel and look fabulous for your newborn family session!

For a newborn family photo session, it’s best to keep the focus on your new baby and choose simple, coordinating outfits for the rest of the family. We will look at how to select the perfect outfits.

Our Best Tips

  1. Keep it simple: Choose solid or neutral colors for the family’s outfits, such as white, cream, or soft pastels. This look will be clean and simple. Working with whites, neutrals, and earth tones are wonderfully dreamy and help set the tone for a timeless gallery of images that will look spectacular on the walls of your home. Avoiding overly vibrant colors or patterns can also help the focus stay on your baby’s face in the photos. Steer clear of patterns or busy prints, as they can distract from your baby. It’s a good idea to choose soft, comfortable materials that will not irritate your baby’s skin. For example, a mother could wear a flowy pastel dress, while a father could wear a light-colored button-down shirt and pants.
  2. Dress for the occasion: Your newborn will likely be dressed in a simple onesie or swaddle blanket, so it’s a good idea to dress the rest of your family in clean, light and classic attire, such as relaxed dresses or button-down shirts and pants.
  3. Pay attention to the details: Make sure that everyone’s outfits are clean and pressed, and that any accessories, such as jewelry or scarves, are coordinated. Pro tip: have a family member come by the night before to help prepare for your session while you relax with your newborn.
  4. Don’t forget about comfort: It’s important that everyone is comfortable during the photo session, so choose outfits that are soft, stretchy, and easy to move in.

Overall, the most important thing is to keep the focus on the newborn and choose outfits that are simple, coordinated, and comfortable for the family.

Newborn Baby

Newborn babies typically look best wrapped up in a blanket, wearing a well-fitting gown or set (Lou Lou & Company) or a plain white onesie (H&M has a great kimono style onesie). We don’t recommend rompers or bloomers because diapers tend to show since newborns aren’t usually chubby yet. Our top recommendation is to get a stretchy polyester swaddle in a white or cream for your newborn session. If your home is warmed up (78-80 degrees!), your newborn will likely be super content to be put in a wrap with nothing else on except a diaper. The stretchy wraps are a favorite, as they can wrap snug and quick to get your baby comfy. They can be wrapped any way you like, are easy-on, easy-off and don’t really wrinkle either.

baby swaddle  and wrap outfit guide for the best Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home

our favorite stretchy super-soft swaddle for newborn sessions

Choosing Clothing for Newborns

baby outfits for the best Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home

H&M white melange set Banana Republic white essential footie Carter’s ivory jumpsuit

Simple clothing keeps the focus on your sweet, snuggly newborn. If you are thinking about accessories for your baby, we recommend going minimal – such as a thin, dainty headband rather than a giant hat or bow. In the future, you will want to SEE your tiny newborn in a beautiful, artistic photograph. If your baby’s head is covered with a giant bow, bonnet or hat, you won’t see much of your little babe. Remember, by setting the temperature of your home very warm ahead of your photo session, your baby won’t need to be bundled and kept warm as it will be nice and toasty so we can see more of your new family member.

Moms: simplicity is key – what to wear: newborn family photos

Resist the urge to put the whole family in blue because it’s your safe color, you have a baby boy, or your eyes are blue. We suggest dressing yourself and the rest of the family in light, neutral colored clothing that coordinates each other and has minimal patterns and logos. This helps in keeping the focus on expressions and the moment. Moms are often not in a rush to put on a pair of pants so soon after delivery, so beautiful gowns that are postpartum-friendly are perfect for these sessions. While there are many dresses to choose from, don’t feel like you have to go this route. A comfy sweater or top and jeans or leggings work perfectly fine for a casual, homey vibe. If you feel most comfortable in blue jeans, we recommend you are the only one wearing them. One thing we suggest is to borrow clothing for your newborn family photo session. Lots of other families have done newborn sessions at their home and may have outfits for you to borrow.

Ideas for Mom

Moms, say yes to the dress – even a robe-type dress!  Dresses look STUNNING and flatter every body type. We recommend dresses from Baltic Born, and Pink Blush. and even Amazon.

mothers outfits the best Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home

PinkBlush Beige Draped Nursing Maxi Dress White empire waist kaftan Rachel Pally ISA dress

mothers outfits for the best Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home

Loose tiered ruffle cami dress Beige flowy wrap dress Pale blush tiered flow dress

Wearing a simple, solid-colored dress or top is a beautiful option. A top with a long or 3/4 sleeve is a fabulous choice as well. Flowy and textured fabrics are flattering: plus, the movement in the fabric adds a feminine touch.

Wear clothing that compliments your style and decor. Neutral, light tones will look lovely in a canvas print on your living room or nursery wall, and will stand the test of time with any decor. For your Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home, keep it simple.

Wear a top you feel relaxed and beautiful in. Anthropologie has very nice sweaters that are an ideal mix between classic and stylish.

Dads: coordinate with mom’s top – what to wear: newborn family photos

Similar tips apply to dads or partners. Solid-colored tops and long sleeve tops are preferred as they allow the pictures to focus on connection.  Avoid large logos.  When in doubt, a neutral color Henley top or a long sleeve linen top are the best options.

fathers outfit guide

Waffle white henley Khaki linen henley White linen henley

Wear khaki or sand colored pressed chino pants or colored denim. Avoid shorts or work pants.

Wear a solid shirt that compliments mom’s top.  If you’re going with a pattern, keep it subtle so it’s not a distraction from your new baby. We always recommend white or cream because it’s pure and sample and draws focus to the newborn with visual distraction at a minimum.

Siblings: comfort is king – what to wear: newborn photoshoot

No matter how old the sibling is, the main goal is to make them comfortable.

Coordinate colors with the parent’s wardrobe.  A light-colored top on the siblings helps in creating an angelic and sweet look.

An easy choice for boys is a neutral henley shirt. A chunky ivory cardigan is also adorable. If an older sibling is still in diapers, ensure their diaper is not showing through tights or leggings. For girls, Etsy has lots of adorable, flowy, little boho dresses for toddlers. A cable-knit sweater and skirt or leggings is also super sweet. While it might be cute for a snapshot, for a professional photo session siblings should not wear clothing with sayings, logos or images.

Families: be you!  Family photos with baby, what to wear

Each family is unique and different… so don’t be afraid to break “the rules.”  As long as you are comfortable and feel gorgeous, let your style shine through!

Light colors are recommended. If you love color, don’t be afraid to rock it! If you are still unsure, let us know. We are here to help you along each step of the way!


If you LOVE babies and want your baby fix, follow us on Instagram!  We look forward to seeing you there.


We are baby and newborn photographers for those looking for a Chicago newborn lifestyle photo session at home. We are happy to provide boutique photography services to the Lincoln Square, Lakeview, North Center, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Edgewater, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Loop, Logan Square, Avondale, Uptown, and beyond!  All sessions take place in the comfort of your own home or favorite location in the greater Chicago area. Interested in a newborn baby session? Contact us now!