February 18, 2023

Beyond the Newborn Session: Planning Your First-Year Milestone Sessions

Milestone Sessions, First-Year Milestones, cake smash session

Your Guide to Planning Baby's First Year Milestone Sessions

The days are long, but the months are short — I'm not sure which mom said that first, but we all know it's so, so true. Time flies even while it's standing still, so it's really never too early to start planning your baby's first year milestone sessions, beyond, of course, the newborn session. It may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Here's a quick roadmap to get you from NEWBORN to CAKE SMASH with just a few pit stops in between.

(Side note: did you know if you book two or more milestones in the first year (that aren't mini sessions), you'll get a 15% pre-tax discount on each session? Just saying.)

Baby boy in green, taken by Jen Knightstep, Photographer

Tummy Time Session

This session should happen when baby is lifting his head and upper body consistently, making eye contact and even smiling, around 3 and a half to four months. Not all babies enjoy being on their tummies, and if this is the case, we'll improvise and catch those cute smiles with baby on his back, instead of his belly.

Baby girl in pink for 6-month photos, taken by Jen Knightstep, Photographer

Happy (Half) Birthday!

This session happens to celebrate baby's 6-month/half-way to first birthday. By now, her little personality is really starting to shine! She's not sitting up quite yet, so we can either try more back and tummy poses, or sit her in a weighted basket or bowl, for support, so she doesn't tip over. There are so many possibilities!

Baby girl in blue hood and capelet, taken by Jen Knightstep, Photographer

The Sitter Session

Now that baby is sitting up on his own — and not quite crawling yet — it's time for the sitter session! This typically happens when baby is around 8 months old. How has it been 8 months already?! Side note: I have so, so many outfits in the client closet for sitter sessions.

Baby girl with lemons, taken by Jen Knightstep, Photographer

The One-Year/Cake Smash Session

You've made it through the first year, and what better way to mark that fantastic milestone than with a one-year and cake smash session? This is the big one, the one with a special theme or color scheme, with two sets. The first set might pull elements from baby's newborn or other milestone sessions, maybe a color or theme. The second set is where the messy fun begins! Typically it's a cake, but if baby has another favorite food — blueberries, Cheerios, tacos, spaghetti, donuts, lemons, cookies — we can include that instead. These sessions are always a hoot, and it's the perfect way to officially kick off the next year of so many new adventures. And again, I have loads and loads of darling outfits in the client closet for these sessions.

Of course, we don't have to do every one of these sessions — many parents opt for the newborn session then the one-year/cake smash at the end of the year, and that's completely fine. But definitely plan your first year milestone sessions in advance, especially the one-year session!