As I've mentioned in the session details on this website, I just love it when my clients bring something to their session that has special meaning. I’ve had them bring special knitted or crocheted blankets as well as hats that were made by grandmas or close friends. Another one of my favorites is incorporating mom and dad’s wedding rings into baby’s portrait. But there’s also no reason your special item couldn’t be something you buy or make yourself, it will become special because you will use it with your own baby. But how do you find something that will be extra meaningful?
Here’s some ideas about how to find something special:
First ask your parents or grandparents or other close relatives if they know of any special baby blankets or outfits that you can borrow. When I did my own daughter's photos (which by-the-way is not something I’d recommend and will be a topic of a future blog post!) I had her wear this beautiful dress that I myself had worn as a baby (see below on the right). See if they have any ideas about anything that might be meaningful. For example I once had a client bring in strings of pearls for their little girl because that was something important to her and her mom and in her family.
Do you or any of your close friends or relatives knit, sew or crochet? Ask them if they would be willing to make you something special for your baby. Stick with simple and classic patterns and designs for optimal results. Avoid trendy patterns. Simple white knitted or crocheted blankets have been some of my favorite items to work with.
Do you have any cute stuffed animals that were gifts for your baby? Maybe put one on your registry so you might get it at your baby shower! I love stuffies that are fluffy and small so that baby can cuddle it in his or her arms. But I’ve seen some really cute photos where the stuffed animal is so big that it cuddles the baby in its arms! Keep the colors and patterns simple so it doesn’t overshadow your baby as a focal point in the photos.
Check Etsy. Etsy can be a dangerous place with all of the super adorable baby apparel that so many of the different vendors make. But it is a gold mine! Some of my favorite shops are: No2WillowLane, polkadotsandsunshine, and OlgaBabyProps. Try searching “newborn photography outfit” for more ideas, and don’t forget to include the gender of your baby in the search to improve results (or if it’s a surprise, then stick with “neutral”). Look for outfits that are RTS or ready to ship so that we can make sure the item arrives before your baby’s portrait session.
Consider what you and your partner enjoy. Think about special occasions or interests you share. Do you have a unique hobby? What types of music, outdoor activities, or movies do you love? Do you play piano, guitar or some other instrument? Do you have a favorite sports team? Do you just love Harry Potter?! Let me know and we can plan a setup together for your session that will celebrate what you love. For example, I have several vendors that I work with that create special digital backdrops based on favorite movie or book characters and many activities such as sports or musical talents. From there we can consult prop vendors that can create coordinating props. Pitter-Pats Creations and the Felted Attic Newborn Prop Shop are two of my favorite vendors that create themed props and outfits. There really are so many possibilities!
September is National Preparedness Month in the US. It's so very important to be prepared for an emergency before the disaster happens. Living here in Silicon Valley California there are several types of natural disasters we can typically expect even if we can't predict when they will occur. The most common ones are: earthquakes, fires resulting from earthquakes (or possibly tsunami from very big earthquakes), flooding, and wildfires. But in reality just about any type of disaster can strike at any time and often without warning.
So what do you pack for your family to be ready in case of an emergency especially if you have a baby? Well first it's important to decide what type of emergency kit we are talking about. There are three main types: 72 hour kit, emergency car kit, and long term food/water supply.
Two weeks ago we covered the 72 hour kit. Today we are going to focus on the Emergency Car Kit. Sometimes driving a car can be very unpredictable; you may unexpectedly need roadside assistance. There could also be inclement weather that causes an emergency situation. But an emergency car kit can be extra useful when you have a baby. There may be times when you are in a rush out the door and forget something very basic that you need like diapers or wipes (it happens to the best of us). Having a well supplied kit in your car solves this problem. Basically having an emergency car kit can help in everyday mishaps or larger scale emergencies.
We keep ours in a backpack but I know some people put their kit supplies in a small plastic storage bin, a storage cube, or even a collapsible shuttle bin. Whatever you use your bin should be big enough to fit everything you need but small enough to fit in your trunk without monopolizing your trunk’s storage space.
Here's some ideas about what your baby might need in your emergency car kit:
I also found a great list on DMV.org that recommends the basics of any emergency car kit whether you have a baby or not:
I would also add that you should keep water and snacks for you and your passengers in your car. I had a friend in an accident and while she wasn’t injured very badly she was stuck at the scene for hours and wished she had some water and something to eat while she was there.
Did you know September is National Honey Month? Seems like every month is promoting something (or ten somethings!) these days… Still I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss an important infant related topic.
Can my baby have honey? No. At least not yet.
When can you give a baby honey?
According to kidshealth.org babies younger than one year old should NOT be fed honey. Not even a little taste. Additionally corn syrup isn’t a safe alternative sweetener either for the same reason that honey isn’t safe.
The short answer: there's a risk of botulism.
The long answer: A bacteria called Clostridium has the potential to contaminate certain foods with honey and corn syrup being very vulnerable targets. Your infant’s young digestion system hasn’t matured enough to protect their body from the harmful bacteria. The opposite is exactly why it is okay for older children: their digestive system is older and stronger.
What about things with a small amount of honey like honey cereal or honey graham crackers?
Nope, sorry, not those either. Same reason: the risk of botulism is still coming from the bacteria that could potentially be harbored in the honey. Just wait until your baby is one years old... then ask your doctor just to be safe (sometimes guidelines change so it's always best to consult your doctor to be sure).
Your baby won’t be sad that they’re missing out on the sweet taste of honey. Their taste buds are still growing and developing too so most of the time they actually prefer food that is more bland. If you are still looking for something sweet to give your baby try some fruit. You can cook it first so that it’s nice and soft and easy for baby to enjoy. Or try mixing fruit puree into other recipes to make them sweeter.
This blog will feature new parent advice, what to expect when working with my business, as well as an ongoing series about safety when interacting with newborns
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