I worked with a portrait photographer way back when I was in college - 70s. This guy has long since retired. But he was fantastic - as a young teen - he had a job in Warm Springs, Georgia working a soda fountain - he always kept a Kodak Browny strapped round his neck - hoping to get a photo of FDR. Did he ever, one of the White House staff came in one day and asked about the camera - he told him is desire - they took him out to the Little White House and he got photos of FDR that have never been published. OK - but here is how he did babies. He had several large soft backdrop cloths different colors and dies of multi-color grays and other neutral colors - he also had a pink and a baby blue backdrops all about the size of a king size bed sheet (Mom or parents could pick a backdrop). He would drap this over the Mom and then put the baby in her lap. So she could hold the baby in her lap. David would set up and get ready, the Mom would hold on to the childs clothes through the backdrop sheets so that the child would be more stationary. This allowed the infant to remain comfortable in Mom's lap. The camera rig was set up behind a dark curtain as well - because the camera gear often frightened small children - looked like a doctors exam room to them most likely - the ones that were old enough to know what an exam room was all about. David would wait and watch the infant till the right pose and snap. The lights often would shock some - so he always had several toys of different age ranges to step out and distract them back into smiling. His studio lobby was wall to wall infant photos with all kinds of awards. In the three years I watched him work - there was only one child that could not be tempered - that kid cried and screamed the entire time he was there - but believe it or not David managed to get one shot with no tears - however, no smile - but a very serious look out of that child that made him look rather executive like - he was in a little suit and tie for the shot - would remind you of the E-trade Baby. The Dad loved the pose - the Mom was rather perplexed - but they ended up with three 16x20s matted - for each grandparents home and one for their home and framed in a very expensive frame, several 11xz17s, several 8x10s, 5x7s, four sheets of wallets. All in all - about $450 worth in their package. David said it was the worst day he had ever had in the studio - when the proofs came back from the lab - he didn't think he could sell a one of them - and was prepared to offer them a reshot at no cost.
They did bring the child in about two years later for another round - and he was mature enough by then that he put up some great big smiles - Dad did not like a one of them - Mom loved them all - and this time it was a $550 sized order.
OK hope this helps. Me I'm not much of a portrait guy - I do mostly Industrial Training Photos (Photo Assembly - so factory workers see the steps and order of the parts assembly), Product Catalogs of Industrial Products, Some Magazine Covers for Trade Associations, and Business to Business Advertising. Some of my work gets slick - most is down and dirty. But I have always dreamed of having a portrait studio. I've done several Passport portraits - but that's about it - not a lot of experience with infants - but you do have me motivated.
Wow great inputs Photoplay and Dan! Really gives me a chance to explore some of the tips and see how it goes. I do agree that the most challenging part is to get the baby's attention + not make them cry + getting the right moment!
Hope you make some great shots. Best of luck...
Just an amateur's perspective on my part: try to capture them as natural as you can, for me those poses make the entire photo.