I have often remarked with several clients during their sessions that if I had only known back then – meaning before or when I had my first child, some of the tricks and tips I do now, I would have been in such better shape as a new mommy. Sure, I read the books and took classes, but the first hand experience I have gained from being both a mom and newborn photographer have made me so much wiser (and confident too!) regarding newborns. It is often difficult to come up with ideas on what to blog about but I think this is the perfect topic for me to share! Some are photography related, others just some gentle advice. A disclaimer though is necessary – ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOU PEDIATRICIAN TO SEE IF THIS IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY!
First, I would have definitely have gotten professional pictures(or taken them myself) of my own kiddos in the first 2 weeks of life by a natural light photographer. Sleep depreviation coupled with nursing issues – well, pictures weren’t exactly the first thing on my mind. Also – who thinks about taking their baby out that early after birth – especially to one of those mall chain stores where you don’t know what has been on those blankets! I can say I understand mom’s concerns such as mine own at that time and work extremely hard to have a “germ free” environment. ALL blankets and materials are washed after each session and the floor is cloroxed and air lysoled. Yes, I am a bit of a germ phobe but hey – can’t be too safe with these precious little ones. One more word about pictures – I know moms you just delivered a baby and don’t want to step foot in front of the camera – but don’t worry – do it! Your photographer will know how to place you best to flatter you and you don’t want to miss capturing these special moments with your new baby and baby’s dad.
Next, a few tips to help get babies to sleep. These I have learned primarily via photography!
- Rock them by window light – they don’t like the bright light and are more apt to shut their eyes!
- Rub just between their eyes, gently on the bridge of their nose – it is a reflex for them to close their eyes and is soothing to them.
My favorite products -
- triple paste – similar to desitin but works so much better. This is a household staple for us today! We discovered this as is was a prescription ordered by our pediatrician when my son had 3rd degree burns from diaper rash. Back then it was a prescription, today, while pricey, you can find it at target, etc. It goes with saying – as in the photography world – you get what you pay for!
- diapers – they now make diapers that have a strip that changes color if the diaper is soiled. How cool is that you don’t have to disturb a sleeping baby if it isn’t necessary!
- Robies – these are little leather slippers that come in a variety of fun colors and keep little feet cozy!
- ETSY – a wonderful online website marketplace to find beautiful hand made goodies for your baby – everything from knitted hats, blankets, flower headbands, rufflebuts and tutus! For some really cute hats be sure to stop by Bean Bailey’s shop and tell her I sent you!
- noise machines – make sure you get the electric kind as you will go through tons of batteries! My kids always liked to fall asleep to the traditional white noise background but there are other sounds too like heartbeat, rain, etc.
- baby einstein videos – my kids loved these starting even as early as 2-3 months! a very simple soother that is affordable and will help you keep your sanity!
Baby Heath ( remember – talk to your pediatrician about this info too!)
Many newborns have baby acne that develops around week 3. I have been told this is the mom’s hormones coming out of the baby’s skin. Again, a major important reason to get pictures in the first 2 weeks! Also, babies may have pink splotches in various areas – such as on their forhead or back of neck. These are nicknamed “storks bites” and usually will disapper. If they are bothersome to you, ask you photographer to photoshop them out. Not a big deal to do so! Finally, many babies will still have the remnants of their umbilical cord where it was cut. Again, not a big deal to photoshop out – just ask – that is what custom photography is all about!
In an effort to keep this rather short – and not loose to many weary eyed moms and dads, I will keep it to this for now. As I continue to photograph more and more babies, I may add to this post in the future! There is one thing for sure – in the world of babies – new product development never ceases to amaze me (oh – like that new bottle I forgot to mention that can heat itself without electricity – how cool is that???)