Baby Hints & Tips

Santa Photo Fear – How To Avoid The Annual Meltdown!

crying baby in a santa outfitTips for avoiding the meltdown during Santa photos? Or tips on warming them up to the idea to try and get a ‘happy’ shot? Dd LOVES Santa & Christmas but when she sees him in person, not so much lol. I haven’t been all that lucky with Santa photos over the years so any tips are welcome!

  • I used to take Santa photos so it was a daily thing that we had crying kids…. Some parents wanted that as their photo. Tips to help, write Santa a letter and have child give it to Santa (no photo pressure) keep going for visits. If all else fails speak to the photo staff, have Santa ‘go home’ (make him hide behind the chair) get your child to sit on Santa’s special chair and get the child to watch you….. In the meantime Santa pops his head and hands out from behind the chair as though he is peaking around the corner…… And there you have it….. Your child and Santa in the one photo.   Jacinta
  •  I tell the assistants weather my kid’s screams kick or cry please take the photo… they r only 1and 2 so one was a newborn last yr… I just think it’s something to look back on why have a picture perfect picture every time that will come in time…Jaylene
  •  I’ve been a photographer for Santa photos in the past… My advice is once your child starts crying, remove them. They just get more & more hysterical if you leave them there & try to cheer them up. Take them from Santa & go and watch from the side for a while so your child can see Santa isn’t that scary & that other kids are going to see Santa.   Alecia
  •  Tell them if they don’t sit and smile they won’t get presents!! Haha I’m totally kidding!!! Tell them all about Santa, read books, watch movies etc.   Ashlee
  •  Bubbles!!! We tried 3 times last year for my 20 month old and he screamed until one of them got the bubbles out, tears disappeared and we got a beautiful smiling pic, he is reaching for a bubble but it’s better than crying!   Bec
  •  I’ve tried everything BUT I’ve heard there’s one that’s local to me that will allow the kids (as I have 3) to sit in the chair and Santa just “peeks” over the edge of the chair. I’m hoping I can get it done like that this year as mr6 is ok with it now but I’ll have miss4 and mr1 screaming this year!!   Lauren
  •  Castle Towers at Castle Hill (Sydney) have a blanket the same colour as the background, so as I’ve had to do for the last 3 years (at least!!) is parent sits on an ottoman, blanket over the top and child on parents’ knee next to Santa. You can’t see the parent is there! Works beautifully every time, pure sneaky genius I reckon!!    Cassy
  •  Don’t worry about the happy shot. Just get a shot that reflects how they feel about Santa that year! If they are scared of him then get the screaming kid shot lol    Bianca
  •  I love my Santa photos with my crying toddler and my look of sheer terror toddler. Pleanty of time for happy smiles when there older.   Casey
  •  Also just get your child to stand next to Santa’s chair if they are still really hesitant.    Jacinta
  •  If my children don’t want to do Santa then it’s as simple as that, we don’t do it. One year my daughter got upset as the photo was taken. I hate that picture.    Jackie
  •  If they won’t take a nice photo to an action shot of them running away from Santa it actually looks quite cool.   Cassandra
  •  I always take my boys a few times every year and don’t get the photos done until my little one is happy to sit up on Santa’s lap – last year there was no chance he wouldn’t go near him I ended up standing in the photo holding my screaming child – my 4 year old has never had an issue with Santa – I’m hoping this year that Mr. 2 will be happier to go – he loves Christmas and Santa too and was always happy to say hello from a distance!!    Amanda
  •  We take “Nan” lol she is designated to be in the pic to keep the kids calm and happy.   Vanessa
  •  I wouldn’t have a clue….all mine have had a meltdown lol but when you think about it they only see him once a year.   Sarah
  •  I think the best pics ARE those when the kids aren’t behaving lol. My DD was totally freaked last Xmas, even to go up to him at Kindy play group breakup she was stuck to me like a koala. He gave her her present & she was ok till he touched her – screaming like a banshee. We’ll see what this year brings. Might be able to bribe her to hold our newborn & sit with her big brother.    Krystal
  •  This will be my daughters third Christmas (2.5yrs old), first Santa photo at 6m old she was fine, not really smiling though lol but didn’t understand what was happening, last year at 1.5yrs she got a little upset but we still managed to get an alright photo, with her sitting there all serious. This year she knows who Santa is, that he will bring her presents, she’s going to ask his to bring her a bike for Christmas, so I *think* she will be ok for a photo this year…fingers crossed!!   Tiana
  •  Last year we had a lovely Santa who let my almost-1-DD sit on the chair, while he went out if eye-sight then popped up ready for the photo. In the photo she does look like she had been crying, but its a gorgeous shot of a little girl on a big throne!   Andrea
  •  I stood by the side for ages and let my son watch last year. They were giving candy canes out and my ds saw and wanted one I told him you had to have a photo and smile at the camera then you can have one got a great pic.   Zoe
  •  Every year I have had to sit under a blanket next to Santa with a child on my knee. The blanket hides me and it’s hard to see that he isn’t actually sitting on Santa’s knee.   Kristie
  •  I hate photo shopped Santa photos! My Santa photo for my kids last year was hilarious!! Santa looks pretty scary when kids are young, why fake something? Enjoy the tears (and in my case tonsil) pictures. Before long they will happily sit but at least it’s real.   Ashleigh
  •  I bribed last year with a chunky kitkat had it in his hot little hand opened and all in the photo this yeah he is much happier with the concept of Santa so I’m hoping ok….we also did a number of practice runs.   Simone
  •  When my daughter was 3 she still didn’t like Santa, so I told her that if she wanted pressies off Santa she had to have a photo and tell him what she wanted for Chrissy cause he wouldn’t know what to get her, ever since them she has had her photo with Santa.   Kylie
  •  Be the first in line so they don’t see other kids crack it.   Bec
  •  When I was young, I was a Lori the Lorikeet at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I have seen so many kids have meltdowns & parents telling me to just hold them while they are absolutely terrified. Really left me quite disturbed now that I have my own son. I was thinking of trying a Santa photo this year, he will be 18mths old. I think if he has a meltdown, I will have to just say no & try again next year. The other concern is pulling off that beard, hahaha.   Skye
  •  I get in the photos with my kids; I find it helps keep them calm.   Leigh
  •  I have had photos done with the kids sitting on the chair by themselves and then they Photoshop Santa into it, it was great and my kids were happy and smiling!!!!    Casey
  •  Thanks for all your tips ladies and poster; I got a job doing Santa photos this year so it’s great to find some tips in getting good photos for the mummies!   Jessica
  •  See him as often as you can all the free ones etc. It got my son over his fear of him last year.   Laura
  •  Lots of visits before a photo, even just waving hello from the side. No pressure . One year he would not sit so he just stood next to Santa [it was a DJ Santa & he a bench seat & Ethan stood on the seat shoulder to shoulder with him].    Kerri
  •  I feel this will be my problem this year as DS2 is 22 months. On a different note I display the Santa photos from every year at home during Xmas to look how much my boys have grown. I love looking at them!    Danielle
  •  Some places take the kids photo first then Santa and puts the photo together.   Chana
  •  We have this problem!! This year I’m making daddy go in the photos.   Amy
  •  My LG is 4 apart from last year and the xmas 09 I’ve had to sit with her in her photos. Also if you have the option to go to different Santa’s do so. I found last year that my girl wouldn’t go to the Santa in Morley but she felt comfortable with the one in Midland (the one in Morley was way nicer) so she was able to sit happily and have pictures.   Calina
  •  Told my DS (9mths) that it was just grandpa and got the most amazing photo ever… the next year he wouldn’t have a bar of it Hopefully this year goes better because he says he’s excited and already knows what he’s asking for lol.    Choni
  •  Start going up and just talking to Santa and save the photo for another day. The more your child is used to Santa the more relaxed they will be.    Sarah
  •  Just go to the shops more regularly and just walk past and wave a few times… Go to different Santa’s each time and see which one she meshes with.    Jacinta
  •  I only have photos from the kids’ first Christmases, (and the oldest’s second). I won’t force my kids to go near Santa if he freaks them out, I ask each year, but they don’t want a Santa photo. I want them to enjoy Christmas, not be scared about it.    Melanie
  •  I found just going to the shops a few times and seeing Santa first. Last year my daughter who was 4 suddenly asked for a photo, and there was no queue. This year she can’t wait to see Santa. Don’t know how my 2 1/2 yr old will go but I think it works best when you don’t plan it, so your not stressed. Just have them dressed nicely just in case.   Annalisa
  •  One year we had a few older girls in the line ahead of us all excited and happy to see Santa made a world of difference. Also I think we had to do a couple of the photos on a chair next to Santa.    Ally
  •  When any of our kids have been upset we just sit in on the photo too. And have a few visits before we actually get the photos done.    Debbie
  •  I have 3 children and the oldest is 3. Her 2nd year she was just over 1year and absolutely hated it so Santa held our little 2 month old and Daddy help her and backed up to santa so that she didn’t even know he was there. Last year we had miss 1 and 2 and I took them atleast once or more a week to see santa and get used to him. And it’s helped heaps. Pretty sure both or alteast one girl had no problem with him but mummy and daddy still had to be close so we had to be in the pic also.    Yvette
  •  Last year we had his fave toy with him as he was a little bit stressed and the pic was so very.   Arija
  •  Also find one with a great photographer – they make a big difference. We also have had ones taken with his cousins which sometimes helps or in pops Mum.     Kerri
  •  We go past him a few times… but i always end up in photo too. Which works then they also keeps. The we dont talk to strangers thing in check. Safety first… if they feel safe n I have to sit on Santa’s lap so b it… if they didn’t want to have photo also would b fine with it.    Amy
  •  Reading Christmas books so he knows Santa is friendly?   Emma
  •  Tell them Santa will give them a lolly if they sit nicely & smile.    Margaret
  •  I take my kids to say hi every time I go to the shops. Even just to stop and talk or wave. Then have the pic nearer to Xmas.    Cassey

What do you do to help your kids enjoy santa photos

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