Tips for Your Baby’s First Birthday Cake Smash Session

This little girl wrapped up her First Year Baby Plan a few months ago with a First Birthday Cake Smash Session.  This session went smoothly for a variety of reasons, but not all cake smash sessions do.  Below are some of my tips for making your baby’s first birthday cake smash session a success!

  1. Schedule the session around your baby’s happiest time of day. It’s best to pick a time as early in the morning as you can without cutting into their eating and nap schedule. Most of my baby photo sessions take place mid-morning after baby has woken for the day and had a good breakfast, but before lunch and nap time.
  2. If you suspect your baby is cutting any teeth (lots of drooling and fingers in the mouth), give your baby Tylenol or another pain med at least 30 minutes prior to the session.  It typically takes 20-30 minutes for the medicine to kick in and we want your baby to be as comfortable as possible.
  3. Whether you bake the cake yourself or hire a professional baker to make the cake, test it out on your baby before the session. Babies are quite possibly touching and tasting the cake and frosting for the very first time. It’s not uncommon for baby to have a texture aversion to the frosting especially. Frosting can be slimy and gross to some babies, or sticky and fun to others! Test it out a few times so they’re familiar with what they’ll be dealing with at the session.
  4. Don’t get a cake made with fondant. Buttercream frosted cakes work best. Have fun with the colors and decorations, too!
  5. Strip baby down to a diaper, or plan on ditching the clothes you put them in. Frosting can stain. If you want baby to stay dressed, I recommend an outfit you won’t mind getting ruined. Otherwise, nakey baby in just a diaper works great. Bring another outfit for bringing baby home in, as well.
  6. If you’re looking forward to watching your baby dig in and eat the cake, bring them to the session a little hungry. Just give them a light snack to hold them over for the first 20 minutes of the session (which is reserved for portraits). Also, bring water for baby to drink to wash down all that sugary goodness.
  7. Don’t let your baby go too far. Cake and frosting is very rich and super sweet. The last thing you want to bring home is a baby that is sick to their stomach.  We can capture a lot of images just by letting them dig in and getting a few bites, but it might be best to reserve the rest of the cake for after they’ve eaten a meal at home.
  8. Bring extra wipes and a bath towel. In the bathroom at my studio, there’s the option of giving your baby a sink bath after the session. At a park with a beach, there’s always the option of a lake bath. If you choose a spot for the photos where water is inaccessible, bring many, many wipes.

If you have any other suggestions not listed here, please feel free to place them in the comments.

Here’s to a happy and fun first birthday cake smash session!

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