How to Prepare for Your Baby’s Milestone Session | St. Louis Baby Milestone Photographer

Baby tooshie at a milestone session in Lake St Louis, MO

How to Prepare For Your Baby’s Milestone Session to Ensure a Successful Session

To help you and your baby prepare for a successful baby milestone session, I have put together some tips and answered a few frequently asked questions for you. These helpful tips will apply to any milestone session, whether it’s a session in-studio or outdoors.

Baby giving the smolder holder


To set your baby up for a successful session, consider the following tips:

1. Feed your baby a meal or snack before heading in to the studio. A fed baby is a happy baby!

2. Schedule your session preferably right after nap time and when baby is at their happiest time of day. (If you want an outdoor session, this may not be possible due to sunset times).

3. Please wait until you are at the session location to get baby dressed in their outfit. This will ensure that there are no wardrobe accidents prior to the session and will help avoid wrinkles.

4. Avoid bringing snacks to the session. We want to avoid capturing images of baby with food in their mouth. (except the cake)

5. Avoid bringing toys or “lovies” that you do not want photographed. Once they see their favorite toy, it will be difficult to capture images without it.

One year old holding their white lamb lovie during a photo shoot

6. Consider leaving guests and siblings at home. Baby can become easily distracted by too many people around during the session.

7. If you are doing a cake smash, consider bringing along a container for any leftovers that you might want to bring home. 

8. If you are providing a cake, I suggest placing an order about a month in advance with your bakery. We suggest either a 4 inch or 6 inch cake so that it does not appear larger or block the baby in the images.

Close up of 6 month old baby's hair behind their ears.

9. If your baby has been sick within 48 hours of the session, please let me know immediately so that we can reschedule. It’s important to keep in mind that we often have newborns in the studio and we want to avoid unknowingly passing a virus on to a newborn baby. I also want your baby to be happy during their session and a sick baby is not a happy baby. If you are worried about the cake already being made, the cake can be placed in a freezer and used at a later date.

10. Avoid replacing nap time with a nap in the car on the way to the session. Babies who take their nap in the car, are often woken up mid-nap and are not happy. Or they don’t fall asleep in the car like they normally do.  I highly suggest doing baby’s normal nap time at home and then coming straight to the session. Schedule the best time of day between 10am-2pm that your baby is the happiest!

11. To ensure that baby will enjoy playing and eating the cake during the cake smash, let them play in some kind of mushy food like mashed potatoes a few times before the session. You could also try giving baby a cupcake a few times before their session. It can be more likely for baby to be interested in the cake if your baby has touched it and tasted it before!  

Frequently Asked Questions

six month old with big blue eyes, wearing vintage dress for milestone session.


We suggest that you schedule your session date 2-3 months in advance. If you wait, you may not have many options to choose from when scheduling your session.


Baby milestone sessions are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In-studio sessions can be scheduled between 10am-2pm. Outdoor sessions will take place 1.5 hours prior to sunset.

SHOULD I BRING PROPS? (short answer, no.)

Rather than having your eye moving around the image, I strive to make baby to be the first thing you see. If you have had the opportunity to view my portfolio, you will find that I provide a very specific style for in-studio milestone sessions. This style is very minimal and timeless which allows the images to be focused on baby rather than the “set up.” If you have chosen an in-studio session, you can expect at set up with a white wall with a white floor, a neutral colored chair, a white bed, a white cake stand for cake smashes, a white ballon, etc).

Baby in light purple Jamie Kay onesie and bonnet playing with wooden airplane.

However, if you have a family heirloom or a special “lovie” that you would like photographed with your baby, I would LOVE to find a way to include it in the session.


Photo by St Louis Baby Photographer of baby wearing white lace romper and white headband. Looking at camera with pouty lip.

There are a few options for baby:

  • Naked baby bum
  • Diaper cover
  • Your outfit of choice
  • Outfit from our studio wardrobe closet

I have a carefully curated selection of outfits for ages 6 months to 1 year available for both boys and girls. However, you also have the option to bring an outfit that you would like photographed.

Items with a vintage feel (lace, suspenders, neutral tones) photograph well and offer a timeless look. Try choosing outfits with texture (to avoid being too plain) and solid patterns. Rylee & Cru, Zara, Baby Gap, Jamie Kay(my fave), or H&M have great neutral-toned clothing options for babies. If you are planning on using outfits from our studio collection, please let me know which ones so I can set them aside for your session. For Signature Session clients, we will schedule a wardrobe consultation around 3-4 weeks before your session to plan out your wardrobe. For Simplicity Session clients, you will have the option to select wardrobe items on the day of your session.


A simple modern classic baby milestone session by st louis baby photographer in an all white studio.

Babies tend to have a short attention span and we have found that they become uninterested in the session after around 30 minutes. Every baby is different, however, we have found that a 35-45 minute session is the perfect session time for a successful baby milestone session. Keep in mind that we will have plenty of time if we need to shoot longer. Signature Session clients can expect their session to last up to 1.5 hours which can include Mom, Dad, and siblings. Simplicity Session Clients will receive a 15-minute session which is reserved for baby only.

Signature Milestone Sessions will be baby focused, with a few parent shots. We will photograph baby in diaper cover/naked baby, our studio outfit, and/or an outfit provided by the parents. We can add bubbles, our wooden toys or you can bring along a family heirloom (wooden toys, quilt, etc) to be photographed. We will let your baby play and have fun while we capture all those smiles, playing, crawling, standing, as well as little details like the curl in their hair, the rolls in their thighs, and those cubby little toes. If you’ve decided to dedicate part of your session to a cake smash, we will bring out the cake for the last 10 minutes of the session.


All white cake smash baby milestone session in St Louis.

No we do not provide the cake. However, we have worked with several lovely local bakeries over the years. Flour Dust Delights, Christina’s Confections, and Laulie’s Cakes, are all great places to order from. I suggest that you place your order 30-40 days in advance so that there is plenty of time to place an order.

Baby wearing all white and glitter headband for cake smash session in st. Louis natural light studio
Brown eyed baby at 12 month cake smash session eating cake and white icing.

I hope that these tips have been helpful in getting you prepared for your baby’s milestone session! The baby’s mood, clothing, and your expectations will all set the tone for your session.

Are you located in St. Louis or St Charles County area and still looking for a baby milestone photographer? Check out our baby milestone portfolio to see more of our work. Ready to get more information about our St Louis Baby Milestone Sessions so you can book your session? Send me a message HERE.


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A rating of 5 is not high enough for Kelly!! Kelly is an amazing photographer, was absolutely wonderful to work with, and was quick to reply to emails. Shes an upbeat and positive person, which made out photo sessions comfortable and fun!! Kelly is professional in more ways than one and I highly recommend her to anyone in the St. Louis area wanting some maternity and/or family photos taken!

Angela, Family session

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