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How to Have Fun while Your Baby Sleeps

How to Have Fun while Your Baby Sleeps

And Maybe Become an Insta-Celeb Too.

Laura Izumikawa's photos just about broke the internet.

We think they deserve extra brownie points because, for once, here are some insanely viral pics that don't feature anything even remotely Kardashian-related. (Yeah, believe it or not!)

After the birth of her daughter, Laura - a professional photographer - found herself floating on that amazing cloud of baby-induced fuzzy love that envelops you while you watch your little one sleep.

As it turns out, her baby Joey likes to sleep. A lot.

She'd snooze so deeply that Laura could do just about anything next to her without waking her up. So, being the creative mind that she is, Laura dug out props, fabric, accessories and her trusty camera and...a star was born.

When Laura's shots started to go viral just a few short weeks ago, they very nearly caused Instagram to shut down. Since then, they have garnered thousands (actually, more like tens of thousands) of social shares, likes and views.

Joey dreams of sushi 🍣

A photo posted by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on

To date, Laura's Instagram account has a skyrocketed to a whopping 413K+ followers. (Whoa!)

So, what is it about these pics that makes them so cool?

Because they make every mom sit up and think, "That's so awesome! I can do that too with my baby!"

I feel the need...the need for sleep! #TopGun | onesie by @thewishingelephant

A photo posted by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on

While we're not setting out to try and duplicate Laura's (and Joey's) success, by following in their footsteps, you can create some very, very awesome baby pics of your own.

So here are some ideas and tips to help you set up your very own Joey-and-Laura-inspired photo shoot so you can capture some priceless pics of your own. Just make sure you've charged your smartphone or camera in advance!

I feel the need...the need for sleep! #TopGun | onesie by @thewishingelephant

A photo posted by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on

How Do I Get Started?

It really is this simple:

  1. Choose your theme or inspiration. Do you want your baby dressed up like your favorite musical artist, a character from a well-known movie, or a random famous person? Having a clear direction in mind is the key to success here.
  2. Gather your gear. Get everything you need ready - clothes, wigs (if using), and accessories. Be sure to bring a range of props as it's these little touches that will make your pics far more authentic. Think: a toy chameleon and a frying pan for Tangled's Rapunzel, or a mini guitar and a leather jacket for your Jon Bon Jovi in miniature.
    SUPERHERO TIP: To make things easier, try to get your little one dressed up as much as possible before they fall asleep. Leave the final touches for when they fall asleep, and then you'll have no problem setting up the perfect shot.
  3. Don't forget the backdrop. A great background is just as essential as the perfect costume.Smooth a plain-colored sheet over your baby's sleeping surface. FYI: white is usually the best for the clearest pictures, but really, any bright, plain color will do.

It's tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that's right on time. It's trickaaay! #RunDMC

A photo posted by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on

Time to Get Snapping

Not so fast. Don't try to finish setting up your scene or start taking photos in those first few minutes right after your baby has fallen asleep.

Babies can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to get out of light sleep (where they can easily wake up again) and into deep sleep (where they're far less likely to be awoken if you move them gently).

So be patient for just a few minutes longer. Once they're finally sound asleep, you can add the finishing touches to your scene and get snapping!

Laugh it up, fuzzball. #starwars

A photo posted by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on

Eat your heart out Anne Geddes! :-)

SUPERHERO TIP: Try to incorporate as much natural lighting in your pic as possible, rather than relying on your camera's flash. You don't want any sudden noises waking them up in the middle of the perfect shot.

2ND SUPERHERO TIP: Make sure the room is pleasantly warm. They're also far more likely to stay fast asleep if they're warm and cozy (but not if they're sweaty, or too cold).

Okay, That Was Fun. So, Now What Do I Do with All These Cool Pics of My Kid?

For starters, you can upload them to your social networks to share with your loved ones, but why not continue on your creative streak?

You can:

  • Get them compiled into a photobook or calendar as a wonderful Christmas gift for grandparents and extended family
  • Have them printed on mugs or keychains for coworkers and friends
  • Use them as birthday party invitations, holiday-themed greeting cards, special announcements, or whatever your heart desires! (Just be sure to save a copy for your little one's 18th birthday.)

What will you do with yours?

Happy snapping!

With love - the Lil' Baby on Board Team


Oct 26, 2016 • Posted by Trisha Burke

My friend is always on Instagram posting stuff and she recently found out she was pregnant. She hasn’t told anyone but me but I bet I can see her doing this when he or she is done. She should use this as a baby announcement idea, like post something on Instagram about it since all our friends and family follow her on there.

Oct 25, 2016 • Posted by Linda

How fun and cute! I am going to have to try this! I know it is not something to brag about, most people think it is weird.. But I dress my cats up in costumes. They honestly enjoy it. It would be cute to do pictures of them with the baby! They are both very protective of my little girl it is adorable.

Oct 23, 2016 • Posted by Michael P.

I will share this with my girlfriend, she will love it! She has had an Instagram account for 2 years now and had no idea what to do with it. We are expecting our first child in December so I think this would be a fantastic way to share fun pictures like these. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

Oct 21, 2016 • Posted by Nan

I had to follow her, these pictures are so cute! I bet using Instagram would also be a great way to announce a baby, like a really cute pregnancy announcement idea. I wont seen a couple leave clues on there for their friends and family and thought it was adorable. They now post 2 to 5 pictures a week of their twins on their account.

Oct 19, 2016 • Posted by Heather

We live on a farm and I have such amazing shots of my child playing in nature, petting animals, and all that. I have printed to many off and I just don’t have the room for anymore right now. I am going to take some inspiration here and start an Instagram. Thanks for the creative idea!!

Oct 17, 2016 • Posted by Cassie

What wonderful pictures! I never would have though to do something like this. I can bet things like this just blow up on social media. The only kind of creative pictures I have done with my little one thus far are meal times. He loves to paint with food haha

Oct 15, 2016 • Posted by Vanessa K.

How cute! I would love to do these things with my little babes but they don’t sleep deep enough haha They will make a fuss if I change anything around them and the one is afraid of cameras. For being twin boys, they aren’t much alike. This is a very creative way to share memories though :)

Oct 13, 2016 • Posted by Britanica

These are hilarious and so cute! I have a friend who dresses up her baby in all kinds of outfits. Mine is still wearing me, so to speak. I am about 6 months a long. My younger sister stuck a " Baby on Board" car sticker to my butt yesterday and I had no idea. Walked in and out of 3 stores like this. Would have been a good start to my account! haha I plan on starting an Instagram account for all my baby pictures so family and friends can see them. I may just dress her up as well :)

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