Tips to Prepare Your Little One for Pictures with Santa

It’s not quite the holidays without a few pictures with Santa and if this is the first time your baby or toddler will be having their photo taken with Saint Nick, it’s particularly exciting. However, if your child isn’t great with strangers, you might be feeling a bit concerned about whether you’ll be able to get any good photos at all – these tips should help make the experience more pleasant.

Before the Santa Shoot

  • Get your child excited. When a child sees Santa in real life for the first time, it can be a little overwhelming. The hat, the bright red suit and a giant beard can all be a little much for some children. However, by getting them excited and showing them what to expect, the whole process might go a little smoother. Watch a few Christmas movies or read them a book about it to get them acquainted.
  • Visit the mall. Another way to get your little one used to the idea of Santa is to visit the mall the day before your photo shoot so that you can show him/her what he looks like and what they can expect during their photos.

The Day of the Santa Shoot

  • Get there early. Standing in a long line full of hyper children can be stressful for you and your child, so it’s best to get there early if you can. Plus, seeing Santa earlier in the day will ensure you see him at his jolliest.
  • Work around your child’s schedule. Obviously, if getting there early is going to interfere with your child’s naptime or snack time, you’ll want to work around that. A well-rested child who has a full tummy will be much more pleasant.
  • Jump in the photo. If your child is feeling nervous, you should be prepared to be included in a shot or two to get them to feel comfortable. This means making sure you arrive photo ready just in case.
  • Just go with it. Many parents are disappointed when their child doesn’t play along for photos, but this is something you can’t predict or avoid so it’s best just to roll with it and enjoy the experience as much as you can. Just remember crying photos are ok too. 

In the weeks leading up to your pictures with Santa, you may even want to get your child to practice posing for the camera as extra preparation. 

A personal note:

We have been fortunate enough to have such a wonderful community and neighbors who open their home up for “Santa Visits”! How awesome is it that Natalie has been to see Santa in the same house, with the same Santa, each year! We did miss the year of 2019, right before Covid hit because she was so miserably sick. The last two years, we have gone with our my husbands brother and his little family. Since our girls are only weeks apart, Love seeing them grow up so close with each other. I am so excited for this years visit! I really hope we keep our tradition of taking both the girls together!!


Be sure to keep an eye out for my annual Christmas Minis!

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