I just got home from a newborn shoot today (I was not the photog) and I was in awe throughout the process. The thought of getting my toes wet with newborn photography had crossed my mind in the past, but that thought was wiped clean today. There is A LOT of work involved...making sure the baby is warm, keeping he/she asleep, dealing with poop/pee, trying to soothe a crying, hungry baby, and safely handling a floppy head and body. We requested this "hands under the chin" pose and it took easily 15-20mins of posing, with an assistant's help, to pull it off. It is going to be a composite top/bottom image. First the assistant would support the chin and hands, and then she supported the head from above. Even with two people and a good amount of experience, it was no small task and definitely requires the baby's cooperation.
Luckily she got the shot just before the baby made a mess on the props. My wife and I are pretty laid-back, but I can't even imagine a photog doing what they did today while a bossy, uptight, or micro-managing parent is constantly looking over your shoulder. A few things that seemed to work well was having a sound machine, portable heat fan, a pacifier, cloth gloves to avoid touching the baby with cold hands, and "the touch". Our photographer was a mother of 3 and very good at calming the baby and overall just being so slow and gentle with repositioning.