Watch them grow: Our favorite monthly baby photo ideas

Monthly Baby Photo Ideas

Of course you’re going to capture a gazillion photos during your baby’s first year. But there’s something about snapping a photo every month specifically to watch your baby grow.

Whether you’re taking photos for yourself or looking for cute ideas to share on social media for friends and family who live far away, we’ve got some tips to make it fun and easy.

Inspired? Create and share by tagging @hallmarkstores.

Monthly baby photo backdrop ideas  

The perfect monthly baby photo has a few simple elements, the background being a major one. And it can still be tough to know where to start. So here are some things to think about as you get started:

  • Do you want to show scale, to see how much your baby grows each month? If so, at least one major element needs to stay in the picture each time. It can be a blanket, chair, prop, etc.
  • Is there a story to tell? Use a prop with special meaning. One mom we know took pictures with a combat helmet to send to her Army husband overseas.
  • Do you want to keep things simple? You could get one of those blankets printed with numbers, with a space for baby to the side. All you have to do is lay the baby on it and find something to put on or around the number to signify what month it is!
  • Are you crafty? You could letter the month on a chalkboard, stitch the number into a pillow or paint it on an oversized block or simple onesie.
  • Are you REALLY crafty? You can draw, paint, design or construct backdrops that change every month.
  • Do you want to add monthly baby stats? If so, keep the background super-simple so you can add text over the photo.



Monthly Baby Photo example months 1, 2, and 3

Monthly baby photo outfit ideas  

Babies grow FAST, so wardrobe can be tricky. Buying the same outfit in three or for different sizes isn’t the most cost effective. But then again, you can’t imagine just taking a picture of them in a plain ol’ diaper.

We recommend a simple onesie. Maybe it’s white every month. Or maybe it’s a different color that coordinates with the background. Either way, it’ll keep the focus on baby and their size in relation to the photo’s backdrop.

If a onesie is a little too plain for your taste, here are some ways you can plus it up:

  • Add a number. You can usually find iron-on numbers meant for adhering to t-shirts at craft stores. Get a number for each month of their first year, and iron it on to a new onesie every month. (Bonus: Baby can still wear the onesie after the photo shoot, until they’ve outgrown it.)
  • Add an accessory. Consider something with elastic that’s easy to put on or take off, and will stretch as baby grows. Like a tiny tutu or a pair of solid-colored sweat pants. You could also add something that doesn’t have to go around their torso, like a little hat or cute headband.

Tips for getting great monthly baby photos  

Because the idea is to recreate roughly the same photo every month, there are some unique challenges to getting monthly baby photos. Here are some tips to help make success more likely:


If you’re standing over the baby to take your photo, set up next to a big window to get plenty of natural light, so you don’t cast a shadow or have to use a flash. Using a flash tends to wash out colors and startle the baby.

Shutter speed

The older little ones get, the more wiggly they are. Adjusting the shutter speed is helpful to snap your kiddo’s quick body movements. Many camera phones also let you shoot “live” photos or multiples and choose the best still image.

Prevent accidents

Consider using a strap so you don’t accidentally boop the baby with the camera or phone. Also, avoid using tiny props or decorations your baby might be tempted to put in their mouth!

Call in reinforcements

If you can, get some help. Your partner, a friend, or grandma can help by making faces or noises while you take the pictures. Plus, it’s great bonding time for all three of you.

Preview your pic

Compose your photo before you add the baby. You might find that your props need to be closer together to fit in the shot. Adjusting these things before adding your baby ups the chances you’ll snap a pic while they’re still in a good mood.

Monthly baby photo prop ideas  

Incorporating props is a great way to show how baby has grown each month. It gives the viewer of the photo a reference point to compare the baby’s size to and as they get older, gives the baby something fun to interact with…and potentially giggle about.

But, you want to keep things soft and safe. Definitely don’t use props that could accidentally poke an eye or scratch a face. Need help thinking of a few? Here are some ideas for monthly baby photo props that we came up with:

  • A plush number. Can’t find ones to buy? Make ’em! It’s super simple…just draw or trace the outline of a number onto a piece of folded fabric, so you end up with two once you cut the number out. Then just do a quick stitch around the edges, leaving an opening at one end to put fiber-fill stuffing into. Once it’s stuffed, sew up the opening and hand it over to baby for the photoshoot! (Be sure all numbers are a similar size so you can see how baby is growing when compared to them.)
  • A keepsake or favorite thing. Did Nana sew baby a special lovey? Take a picture with that sweet gift every month. Are you and your partner huge fans of a sports team? You could take a picture of baby next to a football, basketball or baseball glove and ball.
  • A stuffed animal. If you’ve already identified a plush that’ll be their pal for life (or at least until they’re “too old for stuffies”), snap your monthly baby pictures with the stuffed animal included.
  • A family pet. If you know your cat likes to cuddle up and purr next to baby, or the family dog wants to be anywhere baby is, feel free to use them as a “prop” in the photo shoot. But only do this if you’re sure of your pet’s disposition toward your baby—and even then, we recommend having an assistant on hand, just to be safe.
  • An older sibling. Does baby have a big brother or sister? You could take a monthly baby photo of them lying next to their big sib on a blanket, or sitting cuddled in their lap. It could make for a suuuuper cute (or extra silly) photo for the kids to recreate when they’re grown. 😂

We hope all these ideas for monthly baby photos helps you find the sweetest setup to capture your little one’s growth over the coming year. Have fun and get lots of snuggles along the way!

Looking for more baby ideas? Check these out!