For my newest baby I wanted to take some newborn portraits. I also wanted to read up on lighting and they ideal times.
I learned that between day six and ten is the ideal time to photograph a newborn. No flash and natural light from a window in the background works well too. Another tip was to have something white to reflect the window light back to the baby's face. Most babies sleep a lot during this time and are easily positioned into cute poses.
I even purchased a pattern for my mom to knit a little photo prop for the baby to be nestled into. It worked well too. Though it almost didn't fit her over ten pound size.
I felt fairly prepared for a great newborn session. It was day 7 and I had a clean, content baby. But she was awake! My camera wasn't anything special and I didn't use a tripod. I set up in my son's room with a piece of fabric draped over his bean bag chair. Flash off, white board reflecting the light back and go!
I set up a few other sessions over the next couple weeks. Certainly she was more wiggly and therefore blurry as she got older. But I did finally get a sleeping photo of her and even caught a few smiles. Patience and persistence paid off.