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Picture perfect: 8 adorable ideas for your baby’s milestone photos

That first year of your baby’s life is hectic and happy, and exhausting and fleeting. You’ll blink, and seemingly without warning, you’ll have a 12-month-old on your hands. Their newbie facial features will quickly evolve, and those string-bean legs and arms will chunk up before your very eyes. We hate to sound like a cliché, but our top piece of advice for you: Soak it all in. Enjoy every giggle and smile and cuddly, colicky moment. And take all of the stills and videos — capture the real, the raw, the pretty, and the gritty moments.

What’s more, make sure you plan your monthly baby photos in advance, so you can cherish these prints for years. Want some Instagrammable inspiration? Here are our favorite thematic ideas for photoshoots.

Onesie and props for a baby photo
Milleflore Images/Shutterstock

Use a swaddle

Your little bundle can’t sit, stand, or do much of anything for the first few months. Take advantage of this sedentary stage and style the most adorable baby-milestone pictures using a specific swaddle or blanket, like Cloud Island’s muslin blanket. Lay it out flat and use the accompanying target circle (or heart!) to mark your child’s age. Of course, the photos toward the latter half of your baby’s infant stage might be more challenging, as your active cutie will want to move and shake, and grab and crawl. But this makes for a fun real-life photo, too!

Compare Baby to a large “stuffy”

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get your baby a ginormous teddy bear, this may be it! How adorable would it be to lean your baby against a larger-than-life stuffed animal for those signature snaps? Every month, you’ll be able to see just how big your babe is getting.

Use onesie stickers

One of the simplest ways to capture your milestone photos? Dress baby in a plain white onesie and slap a number sticker on the front. It’s a pretty traditional route, but it’s also a tried-and-true option. Best of all: It requires minimal effort and planning — which is key for some busy parents.

baby girl photo
Rostov Oleksandr/ Shutterstock

Wear the same outfit

One slightly over-the-top option? (Hey, we like being “extra.”) You could get the same special outfit in multiple sizes for those monthly photos. Go all-out with fancy tulle dresses or suspenders and ties — such sweetness from 0 to 3 months all the way up to 12 months of age.

Use wooden building blocks

These traditional wooden blocks share your baby’s monthly milestone in a cute and classic way. You can coordinate Baby’s ensembles to match the block colors — or keep it simple with a plain white onesie.

Make a sign

Prop Baby up in an armchair (just have a “spotter” on hand). Next to your slumping sloucher, position a letter board sign. You can write baby’s age in months, customize your own hashtag for social posts, or put a cute little phrase or development in text.

Be real in your monthly portrayals

Instagram can be deceiving. We promise you that those moms and dads who manage to snap gorgeous photos of their families are sweating real hard behind the scenes. If staging and bribing while taking a billion shots to get the perfect one is not your jam, we hear you loud and clear. You don’t have to put perfection on display because it’s not realistic, and it certainly doesn’t capture the daily struggles of parenting an infant. So, you do you.

Show what it’s really like. Instead of creating a themed photo, share a photo of an actual moment in time — like when your little one’s hands were covered in poop, after a finger-painting debacle, or while sleeping in their crib — because, let’s be honest, some months you may forget to snap that photo during the day!

Embrace a monthly theme

You could create a different theme for each monthly milestone. In April, put that baby’s tiny feet in a huge pair of rain boots. In July, place Baby on a pool lounge chair wearing shades and a wide-brimmed hat. In October, dress baby as a pumpkin (it’s an excuse to buy an extra Halloween costume). And in December, put a huge red bow on Baby’s front — because parenthood is the gift that keeps giving.

You will never regret taking ridiculously indulgent milestone photos. Make sure that while you are recording these moments, you are also writing down some developments. Even if you don’t share your child’s photos on social media, keep a journal or scrapbook, so you can look back at all the incredible feats they tackled each month of babyhood. And if over-the-top, staged pics aren’t your thing? No biggie! Just make sure you are snapping away with your phone or professional camera. This time will go fast, and you will want to remember all the amazing early moments.

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