How to Prepare Your Sensory Sensitive Child for a Family Photoshoot in Toronto

Dressing your sensory-sensitive child for a family photoshoot requires consideration for their comfort and sensitivities while still achieving a cohesive look. I experienced this when my 3 year old started to show clothing sensitivities once we returned home from our vacation in Mexico. After spending a month wearing shorts, dresses, and sandals, she had a hard time putting on long tights, socks, shoes, and anything that was tight fitting. The snow pants she used to wear just before our trip is now impossible to put on without a long fight & tantrum. 

I had to learn how to be extra patient with her when we have to dress for the weather. It’s totally normal to feel nervous and anxious about your session day if you have a child with sensitivities. There’s a lot to consider, and clothing is definitely high on the list. We want a cohesive look, but also meet our child’s needs. 

Sometimes it helps if children are exposed to the clothing for a few times before they are required to wear it. Practice putting on your child’s outfit before your session day to familiarize them. This can help reduce anxiety about wearing something new. 

It also helps to know exactly what type of clothing to look for. 

Comfortable Fabrics: Opt for soft, breathable fabrics and avoid scratchy materials like lace or stiff fabrics like tulle.

Loose-Fitting Clothing: Choose clothing that is loose and doesn’t constrict movement. This can help prevent discomfort caused by tight clothing. My daughter can’t stand anything that hugs her tight on the legs, ankles, and her arms. She loves wearing dresses, but in colder temperatures, straight or flared pants work great with an oversized, loose sweater or cardigan. 

Tags: Remove tags from garments beforehand to avoid any irritation from tags rubbing against the skin.

Avoid Lumpy  & Tight Socks: My daughter has a big issue with socks. The seams bother her, and she can’t have long socks that are tight around the ankles. She also can’t wear stockings/tights anymore. There are seamless sock options for kids if your child is very sensitive about socks too. 

Neutral Colours: Choose neutral colours or soft, muted tones for clothing to create a calming environment for your child. Avoid overly bright or bold patterns that might overwhelm them. Neutral tones also photograph perfectly, so it’s always my recommendation. 

Layering Options: Opt for layering options like a soft cardigan that can easily be removed if your child becomes too warm or uncomfortable during the photoshoot.

Involve Your Child: If your child is old enough, involve them in the clothing selection process. Let them choose from a few options that meet their sensory needs and preferences.

Be Flexible: Be prepared to make adjustments on the day of the photoshoot based on your child’s comfort and reactions. Flexibility and giving them an alternative might save a meltdown. Have a backup option just in case. 

Communication: Lets chat about your child’s sensory sensitivities so I can be accommodating during the photoshoot. I can provide suggestions for the right location and create a supportive environment to make it more comfortable for your child.

Remember, the most important thing is your child’s comfort and well-being. Prioritize their needs while still aiming for a successful and memorable photoshoot. We can do this together! 

Hi! I’m so happy you are checking out my work here at my website and blog. 

I am a Toronto family photographer and specialize in maternity, newborn, & family photography in Toronto.

If you’re interested in booking a maternity, newborn, or family photography session in Toronto, please reach out to me to discuss your vision, preferences, and any questions you may have. Together, we can create an experience that captures the love and connection that defines your family’s story.

Let’s connect and chat about turning your dream session to a reality. I’m SO excited to hear from you!


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