Like many new parent in this world, taking a child photograph is not that easy as I thought. I couldn't imagine how difficult it will be to capture just one "good" picture of a child where everything is clear and sharp and not blur out by his non-stop action; asking a child to be still for just 1 sec is a mission impossible. Not until I have my own kids and have my hands-on taking my son's photos.
Fast lens would help, but not always. Big aperture would allow me to take photo in high shutter speed, hence freeze any movement of a child, but big aperture would cause shallow DOF, hence I might got sharp nose pic with blur OOF eyes; no difference from a blurred picture.
Hence, high ISO help a lot. I really don't care much on the noisy high ISO from my current camera. The more important thing is that moment I wish to capture on film. Developing high ISO picture tell me that those noisy things are not visible in a 4R size photo. So, I wouldn't care much about high ISO noise, and sometime I take my son's photograph in ISO 1600.
Natural light would be the best lighting when taking baby photographs. Although there is not an evidence saying that flash strobes would harm a baby's eyes, but better be careful than sorry.
Window light is always the best lighting when shooting portrait. It's diffused and directional.
Then come to the question of how to meter and where to meter. Spot metering is my setting, and I spot meter on his face. Most of the time I shoot in aperture priority mode, and depend on the scene, if the scene is bright, I would set my EV to +1 for high key-ish photos or else the EV will be staying at 0.
Take some shots and edit through the shoots. Choose the best picture of the initial set and lock the exposure by shifting the setting to manual setting. The lighting would not change during the whole shooting period provided the whether is pretty stable; so the whether would not change from bright sunny day to stormy gloomy day in just a second.
The background should be as simple as possible so not to drag the attention away from the baby. Bed sheet and tower can be a great back ground.
Focus point should be on the eyes. I personally like to see a sharp focus eyes of a baby photo. Some catch light on their eyes would add a touch of livelihood to the baby in the photo.
And one more thing, never leave your eyes away from the view finder. Baby would not stop moving around for us to take their photograph. Do the chimping only after the photoshoot finished. Moving our eye away from viewfinder would caused us missing lot of nice moment of the baby.
Lastly, but not limited, is to get to play with the baby. Giving them a smiley face and make funny voices would grab their attention to you.
Shooting baby photographs should be a fun thing to do. Looking at their innocent cute face, seeing them smiling at you is priceless. :D