P R E P A R I N G Y O U R F A M I L Y & H O M E
For nine months your body worked hard to grow a tiny human. Those nine months came and now they are gone and just like that, you hold in your arms, the sweetest blessing your heart desired. Hold on tight mama, these moments are going to be amazing and I'm so excited we get to capture the very first days of this new chapter in your families life.
In this guide, you'll find some helpful tips to prepare you and your family for the upcoming session. Each of these tips are highly important in creating a calm environment for your sweet baby.
Each of these tips are put together from the many years of experience in shooting newborns.
As all babies are different and some are sleepier more than others, we have a better chance at keeping the area calm and comfortable for baby, if these basic instructions are followed.
Y O U R H O M E
Prior to my arrival, please open all blinds and curtains in your home. This enables me to find the best source of natural light, where majority of the photos will take place. I'll bring along some additional light as well, but I'd like to use natural light if possible. If you have selected a family session, typically your bedroom, couch or babies room are the most popular areas to shoot at. Please remove unwanted items off your nightstands, dressers, end tables, etc. that may appear in images.
Since most of the images I'll be shooting work best if baby is in a deep sleep, it is highly recommended to keep your home a bit warmer than normal during this session. This means cranking up the heat to around 80 degrees. If your house is a large 2 story home, you may need to start preparing your home 2 hours before my arrival. Newborns are use to being warm and cozy inside mom's belly, so by doing this, will ensure our session will flow smoothly and help baby stay in a deep sleep most of the time.
Please keep in mind that once the session begins, keeping the noise level to a minimum during our session is also important. Talking loudly while the photos are in session can easily wake and disturb baby while they are sleeping.
If you have smaller children, you may want to have a little chat about wanting to walk up to baby and touch or talk to them while they are taking photos. I know with smaller children it may be harder for them to really understand what is going on, so having someone over to help out, might be a great idea for the day of photos.
I will have my white noise and a small space heater to also help soothe baby during this time.
B A B Y
While all babies are different and some are sleepier more than others or become hungrier more frequently, the best we could do is help keep baby comfortable and satisfied during this time.
As you know, the mother's diet is the babies diet. For about 24-48 hours prior to your session, I highly recommend eliminating any foods from your diet, that may cause baby to have gas or an upset tummy. This will allow baby to remain comfortably asleep and less gassy during most of his/her session.
In the 8-10 hours leading up to the session, it is very important to feed your baby as much and as frequently as possible, to ensure a full belly. I know that putting a schedule together and sticking to it, will be very important, so please be prepared to temporarily adjust babies feeding time, especially for this session. Right before we begin, baby will need to be topped off to help keep them comfortable.
Being a model is a lot of work and baby may need extra feedings. So be prepared to feed more than usual.
The nose knows
This might sound funny, but it's absolutely the truth! Your baby knows exactly who you are. They recognize your voice, your touch and your smell. Oh they are in tuned with their senses! I have had moms who are breastfeeding get near their babies and sure enough, baby starts to wake up wanting to feed. It's incredible! If this happens too frequent, mom might need to step out of the room or keep a good distance, so baby can stay in a deep sleep.
Not everyone prefers them, but they can really come in handy. Even if you plan to not use them in the future.
I highly recommend having one on stand-by. The best pacifier to use is going to be the green or brown soothie pacifiers. Typically the hospital will give you one of these during your visit, but not always. You can pick one up at your local drug store.
These specific pacifiers do not leave markings on babies cheeks, which can happen with the other hard plastic pacifiers.
I like to recommend a soothing bath for baby prior to their session. This will also help clean off any dead skin they may be shedding. A nice oil massage afterwards will not only help them stay relaxed, but will also help prepare their skin as well.
Tubby Todd has an amazing line of all natural baby products I love to personally use on my kids. Here is a link you can look over for massage oils and creams that are amazing on eczema and baby acne. https://glnk.io/jmy/monicaro
Since newborns have sensitive skin, I also wash all my blankets and props in non-scented baby detergent, to minimize any exposure to harsh products.
Since baby will be in the nude for some of his/her photos, accidents are bound to happen. Especially in breastfed babies. Please keep baby wipes, rags and some diapers nearby.
Lastly, please dress your baby in a minimal button/zipped up clothing, so that nothing needs to be pulled over babies head.
T H A N K Y O U F O R R E A D I N G
I know that was a lot of information, but I promise it all helps a huge deal. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
A note for mom:
Mom, you have done amazing things these last 9 months. Take this time and relax. Read a book, watch a movie, take a nap... or simply marvel over your little one, as they have their photos taken. We are going to be shooting for a good 2 hours, sometimes 3, so don't feel guilty in taking this time for you!
One last note.. If you happen to snap a photo behind the scene, please feel free to share with me!