Great Holiday Photos

Whether you're taking pictures at home or in a studio, here are tips on how to get your kids dressed -- and keep them looking spotless -- for great holiday photos.

What to Wear

Kids at the holidays -- what could be cuter? Everyone loves girls in fancy dresses, little boys in suits, and babies who look sweet enough to eat. But while you'll want to make your child look like the angel he or she (sometimes) is, it's obviously necessary to stay practical. Here are some commonsense pointers.

For starters, don't get too attached to the idea of your child looking "just so." The best you can hope for is that he or she arrives at Grandma's looking close to perfect, and that may mean putting on the outfit right before you head out the door. After that, remember that part of the charm of seeing children dressed up is watching them get a little disheveled. You'll also be able to relax more if you stash a spare outfit in the car. Think of it as a potential opportunity to showcase yet another barely worn ensemble!

The clothes you should choose depend partly on age. Some tips:

Brand-New Infants

  • As you surely know by now, outfits don't last more than a few hours without spit-up stains unless you keep baby in a bib. Consider buying a new, clean bib that's as nice as baby's outfit, so you won't feel like it takes away from his clothes.
  • Save a lace gown or little suit for portraits. For a long event, such as a day at a relative's house, keep an infant's outfit simple -- a holiday-theme onesie, for example.
  • One great holiday-colored accessory, like a red hat, goes a long way toward making an infant look festive.

Little Crawlers

  • For girls in the crawling stage, those beautiful big skirts don't work well -- they get caught under hands and knees and can even rip. Consider a pants outfit or a very short skirt paired with leggings.
  • Shoes rarely stay on a crawling baby, so skip the precious penny loafers or Mary Janes for now. Instead, keep it simple with bright, clean socks.

Active Toddlers

  • For these newly independent kids, avoid clothes with collars (magnets for food and juice stains) and long sleeves (sure to land in the gravy boat or at least get dragged across your child's plate).
  • Put toddlers in good shoes for holiday portraits or church, but give them a break with comfortable sneakers if they'll be playing with cousins at a relative's house or waiting in line to see Santa.

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