I edit all my images in Adobe Photoshop and there are various stages to the editing process that are repeated on every image. The most important and very first stage is to ensure the skin is cleaned up of scratches, spots, bumps or blemishes. Newborn skin is beautifully soft but very rarely perfect, so they go through quite extensive editing before they look like perfect soft squishy babies in baskets.
After opening the image in PS I duplicate the layer (Windows keyboard shortcut; control + J) and immediately get to work with the healing tool. Sample areas close to where you will erase any unwanted marks using windows shortcut alt + left click (or alt + touch to pad, if you are using a Wacom pad or similar). The secret with good quality retouching, is really to build up slowly, so work in small patches and make clean small adjustments. I only ever remove distracting skin flakes from newborns, never completely clean the skin, it simply isn't a good natural look. Newborns lose their birth skin in flakes and if you remove that, it's like removing part of the story.
Watch this short tutorial to see how quickly you can clean up the skin, just with the healing tool alone. No need to clone stamp or frequency separate, just heal small patches and if you have very bad skin to correct, then bring in the heavier editing layers, but start simple first.
My personal preference is not everyone's, but I strongly believe that over retouching a newborn will inevitably make it look like a doll, rather than a real baby, so go easy on these little cherubs.
I hope this small snippet of information helps you in your journey, whether you are new to retouching or photography. Passing on techniques that I have learnt over the years is fun and I love to hear how people are developing and growing in their own businesses. If you have any questions about the video or this technique, leave a comment below and I will help you out as much as I can.