Never apologize for burning too brightly or collapsing into yourself every night;
that is how galaxies are made.”
This little cutie was just a few days old at the time of his newborn photography session which is why you still see his legs tightly curled. Love it!
This is another common question I get because most moms wait to have their baby before booking a newborn session. But, just like you would book a wedding photographer way ahead of time, it is a good idea to book your newborn photographer while you are still pregnant.
Now, there are many different styles of newborn photography and other photographers might not mind the age of the baby, so you would need to know your style preference and what best fits your family.
Our style at The Crunchy Nest is simple and we try to stay away from the overuse of props because we prefer a more organic look; however, we still pose our newborns. We change the baby’s hand placement, turn their little face, change their position, etc. in order to get a variety of picture for you. Therefore, we prefer our newborn sessions to take place during the baby’s first two weeks of life. 5-7 days is ideal!
When babies are brand new, they position themselves in the way they were in the womb and they sleep all the time! As time passes, babies stretch out and are more alert, which makes it more difficult to keep them asleep and pose them. The older the baby, the more aware they are of their surroundings.
But what date do you pick?
Well, because we know that due dates are not set in stone – I wish they were (being a mom of three), when you book your newborn session while expecting, We will pencil in a date approximately one week after your due date. Once your baby arrives, you give us a call and let us know. We will then move our schedule around to accommodate the best time to hold your session.
Booking your session before-hand guarantees your spot once your baby has arrived and your session will take priority over new inquiries around the same time.
So what are you waiting for? If you are currently expecting, book your session today.
[Big Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form telling you that this is what you should do for your baby. This was a decision I made for my baby after many hours of research. Please make sure you do your own research before determining what is right for you and your baby]
I wrote in this post about my breastfeeding struggles and because of it I had to find an alternative way to feed my baby. Not only did I have to find the safest bottles, but also the safest formula.
When it came to bottles, I knew that we would be warming up formula, so plastic bottles weren’t an option. We decided on the Avent Natural glass bottle, and as he grew older and wanted to hold his own bottle, we bought the Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Bottle. These are the bottles that we still use today and he loves them!
The next struggle came when it was time to choose a formula. I started to supplement Gavin’s feeding since early on. He was only a few days old and already drinking Enfamil. I knew before I gave birth to him that I did not want to give my child commercial grade formula. My plan was to breastfeed and when I didn’t succeed, I was left at the last minute to do tons of research to find something that I felt good about feeding my child.
Now, to be honest, I fed both my daughter and my oldest son formula without thinking anything of it. As I got older and I learned more, I wanted a better option.
Gavin was not like my other children. He dreaded sleep, yet he wasn’t (that I know of) a colicky baby but he was crying as if he was in pain often. I did then what most mothers would do and hit google to find out why. I thought that he fit the description of possibly being lactose intolerant. Although he did not have diarrhea, he did seem to have gas, was very irritable, and was developing little red spots all over his face. So we switched to Baby’s Only Lactose Relief organic formula and he was doing well on it for about two weeks and then got constipated, really constipated, and the rashes that he had got dry and scab-like. At the pediatrician’s recommendation we switched formula brands again to see if this would solve the problem with no luck. I was at my wit’s end because I knew I had to switch formula again and this time the only other formula that the doctors were recommending was soy based and I refuse to give my baby boy soy.
So I went on a quest to find a solution when I came across this post and it changed my baby. The more research I did about homemade goat milk formula the more I started to think that this was the best option for us. I purchased Mt. Capra Goat Milk powder along with all the other ingredients. See recipe here. And I started making daily batches.
Was I scared? Yes! I was. I was scared that I wasn’t following my pediatrician’s advice; I was scared because this was not the norm. But guess what? Gavin thrived on it. His constipation went away, his faced cleared up, and he was a much happier baby. I still don’t know what in the cow milk was causing him problems back them as his formula recipe included lactose, and now at 16 months he drinks full fat organic cow milk, but I now know that I made the right choice for him then. It was a hassle making formula daily, which meant warming up the formula under hot water before every feeding, but I would do it all over in a heartbeat.
What do I recommend? Do your research, educate yourself, seek professional advice, and then make the right decision for you.
I would love to hear about your unconventional ways to childcare. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Often clients want to know what to wear to their maternity photography session so I wrote this post in an effort to help the process. Here are some things to consider when picking your outfit:
2. Stay away from logos. Huge designer brand logos don’t look great in pictures. Keep in mind that you will be looking at these pictures yearsdown the road and I’m sure you wouldn’t like the first thing to stand out be the designer that you were wearing.
This morning Gavin, my youngest, woke up earlier than usual. At 5:45a.m. to be exact. We had been hearing him complaining from his crib for a while, but the real crying didn’t begin until 5:45 came around. The horrifying part is that my alarm clock is set to go off at 5:55a.m. He robbed me of ten whole minutes which are oh-so-precious to me.
This got me thinking of how different all of my kids have been when it comes to sleep training. Trying to get Gavin to sleep through the night in his crib is not a faraway memory. In fact, he didn’t sleep on his own through the night until he was about 8 months old, he is now 15 months. Now I’m convinced that sleep training has very little to do with the techniques used or parenting skills and more to do with the baby’s personality.
See, Joshua is my oldest, and when he was born he simply refused to sleep in his crib. Refused! I would rock him and feed him until he was fast asleep. Then moving slowly and in my tippy toes I’d walk over to his crib and gently lay him down while holding my breath so as to not cause any movement. The moment his little back touched the sheets he would open his eyes. If left there awake, he would scream in a matter of minutes. So what did we do? We carried him to our bed and he slept with us until he was three years old.
Khloe, my middle child and the princess of the house was independent from the day she was born. She slept in a bassinet next to our bed from the day we brought her home from the hospital. Every three to four hours I would hear her whimper so I’d get up, change her, feed her, swaddle her in her blanky and place her awake back in her bassinet. She would sooth herself back to sleep (without a sound). This little trooper was sleeping through the night at four months and alone in her room by five.
When I was preparing for Gavin’s arrival I would say every time the topic came up that I wouldn’t have a hard time with this, I would just follow everything I did with Khloe. I was so confident, that it is embarrassing to admit. It’s funny how life has a way to humble you. Gavin was a screamer! He cried ALL THE TIME. Day and night. Just like the picture you see above. In part, I’m sure this had something to do with his milk allergies, but the crying was non-stop.
See for yourself:
As he got older he would sleep longer stretches from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. – sometimes 3 – and would wake up screaming. After changing him and feeding him, it would take almost an hour to soothe him back to sleep. It was exhausting and we did this every night for 8 months. To tell you that I don’t know how my marriage survived this is an understatement. The night that he slept through I was so scared thinking something had happened that I snuck into his room to make sure he was breathing.
This confirms my believe that sleep training is more about the baby than techniques. I did everything to try to get Joshua and Gavin to sleep. I read books, blogs, followed tips from other parent, I even put cereal in Joshua milk bottle (gasp!). I bathed them late at night with chamomile soap, with lavender soap, I warmed up their milk, I swaddled them, I un-swaddled then, I let them cry-it-out, I rocked them to sleep, I did everything within my power and nothing worked until they were ready.
I am by far not knocking any technique out there. And if you are going through a rough time with sleep training yourself, please know that I’m 100% behind you in trying to find a solution because I have been that mom in the corner soothing her baby while crying herself. And if it works for you great (honestly), but if it doesn’t I want you to know that you are not alone. I have been in your shoes, and it does get better and you will be able to sleep again. Only with time.
If you have a sleeping technique that has worked for you, write to me at email@example.com and tell me about it.
I got a call from my mom while at work today. She was telling me how the baby, who is now fifteen months, was refusing to eat lunch. She explained how she tried everything and it wasn’t until she handed over the spoon and allowed him to feed himself that mealtime resumed and he devoured his lunch.
Smiling I ended the conversation with my mom and an overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me. This feeling is not new to me. I have experienced it many times before. It comes during moments when I realize that my babies are growing up and I’m running out of time to be the mommy that I dreamt of being for them.
You see, Gavin is my third child and this time around I wanted to get it right. I’m older now and my ideas about parenting and my body have changed so much since I had my first baby. There were many things I wanted to do differently, and one of those things was breastfeeding.
During the last weeks of my pregnancy I read books, blogs, forums, anything I could find about breastfeeding and how to succeed. I thought I was prepared. I felt empowered being surrounded (both in my personal life and in online communities) by mommies, mine included, who did succeed. I was excited and ready to meet my new bundle of joy and dreamt of our nursing time together.
Now looking back I understand the many medical reasons as to why my body did not perform as it normally would: I did not go into labor on my own (it was a scheduled c-section), it was my third c-section, I lost a lot of blood, the baby was not able to nurse right away, etc.. Yet all of this didn’t stop me from trying. For weeks I pumped around the clock, took supplements, visited a lactation consultant, rented a hospital grade pump, and drove myself to exhaustion. And although I know that I gave it my all, even as the chips were stacked against me, every time I see nursing mothers I feel like a failure. I had one chance to get this right – a chance that I will never have again – and I somehow screwed it up.
I realize that as time passes the guilt becomes more manageable. I hope that someday it is gone all together. For now, I try to remind myself that I did nurse and although I did not produce enough to sustain him, we did connect in ways I never could have imagined. I remind myself that my determination was not in vain, that I am human, and that there will be many more opportunities in his life – and the life of my other children – to get it right.
How was your breastfeeding journey?