Category Archives: Infancy

9 tips for surviving your first week home with a new baby

9 Tips for Surviving Your First Week Home With a New Baby

Congratulations! You spent nine months preparing and planning. And now you’ve made it home with your newborn! If you’re anything like most parents, you feel the exhaustion of a job well done, and it feels daunting to think that there is more work ahead of you.

We want to make the transition as easy as possible for you. Parenting your newborn should be about savoring moments, not feeling stressed.  Take a deep breath, and take it one day at a time.

You can thrive during your first week with a newborn with these nine tips

Accept Help

If you are lucky enough to have a community of people who want to help you, let them. Now is not the time to be a hero. Say yes to offers of a home cooked meal, free babysitting for your other little ones, and any other acts of kindness that come your way. It takes a village to raise a child, and that village can start contributing on the first day.

9 tips for surviving your first week home with a new baby

Take it Easy

You’ve just had a baby. And now you’re home and making it through the first days with feedings, diaper changes and naps. Don’t expect to cross anything off your to-do list this week (and maybe the next several, as well). Your focus should be on the baby and yourself. There is always time later to get back to that to-do list.

Write it Down

With the lack of sleep you are most likely getting, it’s hard to remember anything. Many parents find tracking tools useful in helping remember the last feeding (and if breastfeeding, which side you started with last time) and how many wet/dirty diapers the baby has had each day. Eat Sleep, Baby Connect and Baby Log are a few of our favorites, but there are many options out there, so find the one that best fits your needs.

Trust Your Gut

Whether this is your first or seventh time bringing home an infant, know that some things cannot be taught. There are some things that you just know. Trust your gut. Don’t ignore the inklings, the nudges, or the internal warnings. More often than not, your intuition will lead you where you need to go, and it will only get more accurate as you continue your parenting journey.

Cherish This Moment

The first weeks of parenting a newborn are a whirlwind. Before you know it, your newborn will no longer be an infant. Take a couple of minutes each day to reflect on what’s happened, the good, the bad and the ugly and keep a journal of your parenting journey and/or your little ones milestones. As everyone says, time flies by and you may want to look back and reflect on the memories of what day-to-day life was really like with a newborn. Try The Five Minute Journal or the Day One app for memory tracking.

Build Your Tribe

You will have innumerable questions during your first week with your infant, ranging from “Does this look normal to you?” to “Will I ever stop feeling so overwhelmed?” Find the people and resources who will be your go-tos when you’re not sure what to do. Everyone has advice for parents, and it’s up to you to decide who is worth listening to. Your tribe will probably consist of a mix of doctors, family members, close friends, books, and online resources. We can’t tell you what people to include in your tribe, but we can suggest a few of our favorite digital resources:

  • The Bump: This website will answer most of your questions about newborns and connect you with a community of other parents through their message boards
  • Scary Mommy: The pieces on this website will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, realize that you are not alone in the craziness that is parenthood
  • Parenting: It’s all in the name. Consider this a catchall resource for your parenting questions

Communicate

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the busyness of diapers and feedings, completely forgetting that you have a partner in raising this child. You both are running on very little sleep and a lot of adrenaline. Communicating well may take more energy than usual, but it will save you effort in the long run. Be clear about how you are feeling. Are you discouraged? Do you need your partner to handle the next diaper change so you can take a shower? Are you noticing a negative behavior trend that needs to change? Set an expectation of transparency so that you can both find joy in parenting rather than resentment.

Rethink Productivity

You may have breezed through to-do lists in the past, and now it feels like changing clothes is an accomplishment. That’s okay.  Having a newborn will alter your idea of productivity. Caring for your new baby is now the number one item on your to-do list. Everything else will happen at a slower rate. If there are tasks you must finish this week, schedule only one per day. Remind yourself that making it through another day with your newborn is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Be You

One of the best gifts you can give your child and your partner is the gift of yourself. Savor your role as the parent of a newborn. Give yourself and your partner at least five minutes a day to do one thing that energizes you, whether that’s playing a song on your instrument, taking a hot shower in peace, or making progress on a puzzle. A little bit of “you time” each day will go a long way in helping you avoid parent burnout.

You can step confidently into your first week with a new baby, knowing that there is always more to learn. This time with your newborn will be both awe-inspiring and challenging, and the best thing you can do is savor each day.

Did you survive your first week with an infant? Share your tips below!

Top Six Ideas for Announcing Your Baby's Birth on Social Media

Top 6 Ideas for Announcing Your Baby’s Birth on Social Media

The phrase, “Pics or it didn’t happen”, started on online message boards when users made farfetched claims that couldn’t be verified without photographic proof. Today that phrase is part of society’s ethos. Did you really go on vacation, eat a trendy meal, or get married if there isn’t at least one picturesque photo to show for it?

Babies take this craze to a whole other level. We all have that friend who posts naked pictures of their little one on a weekly basis. On the other hand, you likely have friends that live in other cities, and you wish you saw updates about their children more frequently on social media.

Today, parents need to create their own rules of engagement around that they will and will not share about their child on the internet. It’s best to make these decisions well before the due date.

Discuss these three questions as you draw your own boundary lines:

  • Will we make our child’s life public on the internet?
  • Who will be allowed to see photos of our child on the internet? (ie; Will we create a private Facebook group for family and friends?)
  • Are there any types of photos that we’ll never publicly share on the internet?

These clear guidelines allow you and your partner to enjoy taking photos that are meaningful to you rather than blindly following trends. With those boundaries in mind, you’re ready to start planning an epic, yet tasteful, social media birth announcement. There’s an option for every parental privacy preference.

Here are our six favorite ideas for social media birth announcements

The status update

If you’ve decided to keep your child’s life more private, or if you don’t want to worry about crafting an epic announcement of your baby’s birth, consider a simple status update. This option allows you to focus on savoring your first moments with your newborn, and you can save the pictures for your closest family and friends.

The private announcement

We can control who sees our social media content, and it’s a right that we often forget to exercise. There are several ways for you to share a post-birth photo with a target audience of your choosing. Consider creating a private Facebook group for your inner circle or a group chat in Messenger, Instagram or Snapchat. Instagram and Facebook also allow you to exclude certain people from viewing a post. The private birth announcement is a nice middle ground between not sharing photos at all and sharing photos to the world.  

The sneak preview

You’re just getting to know your little one’s face, and you may not want everyone to see it just yet. That’s understandable! Why not post a photo of your newborn’s tiny hands or feet? Our Priceless Little Pieces photos are cherished by our clients. Your friends and family will see just enough of your new baby to fall in love.  

Top Six Ideas for Announcing Your Baby's Birth on Social Media

The mother and child shot

There are two questions that loved ones ask after the baby’s birth. “Is the baby healthy?”, and “How is mom doing?” You can answer both questions with one picture. There’s a certain magic in a picture of a mother and child in the calm after the chaos of birth. Maybe it’s the look of love in the mother’s eyes. Maybe it’s the post-birth glow. Because it is an intimate shot, and it’s impossible to predict how you’ll feel in the moment, have a backup birth announcement photo planned.

The family shot

Your baby is the newest addition to your family. Show exactly where your newborn fits in by using a family photo for your social media birth announcement. We’ve captured countless new family photos, and they never cease to warm our hearts. From parents marveling at their newborn to siblings experience their little brother or sister for the first time, these photos are an ideal way to introduce your new baby to your circle.

Multi-photo announcement

Sometimes you’re so enraptured by your little one, that you can’t choose just one photo. You don’t have to! Create a Facebook album or make use of the multi-photo gallery on Instagram, and share away. There are also several collage apps that are a parent’s best friend. Try Pic Collage or PicArt to put all of your favorite photos in one place.

These ideas will help you announce your baby’s birth on social media while staying true to your own privacy preferences. Nothing beats the convenience of having a photographer come to the hospital to capture the beauty of your newborn. If you’ll be DIYing your photos, here are a few tips:

  • Clothe your child. Your newborn can only wear those tiny outfits for so long, and not everyone wants to see a naked baby in their newsfeed. A fully clothed photo will probably garner a more positive response.
  • Keep it simple. It’s trendy to use props in birth announcement photos, but you’ll be tired from giving birth. Don’t waste your energy on styling a perfect photo.
  • When it doubt, go black and white. Hospital lighting can be weird. If your photo doesn’t look the way you want it to, know that a black and white filter can work wonders.

How did you announce your new baby’s birth on social media? Are there any boundaries that you set? We want to know! Share them in the comments below.

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

How will you capture the memories of your newborn as they grow more and more each day? You may have considered this question as you prepared for the birth of your new baby, and you may have been overwhelmed as you searched for the answer.

Between Facebook and Instagram, it seems like everyone somehow becomes an expert in baby photography as soon as their child arrives. Your feeds are filled with beautifully shot photos. Are they all buying a camera you just haven’t heard of yet?

There are countless cameras that seem ideal for baby photography. It’s hard to know which one is best for capturing images of your newborn. Are iPhone photos all you need to preserve lifelong memories, or should you invest several hundred dollars in a professional camera? We’ll break it down in this blog post.

Let’s review five differences between an iPhone and a professional camera

Portability

This difference seems obvious, but it is worth stating. Your iPhone fits in your pocket and is always on hand for documenting precious moments. You’re already carrying a newborn. Carrying a professional camera, as well as several lenses, is a lot to manage. It’s difficult to beat the convenience of an iPhone camera, so, for parents of newborns especially, it makes a lot of sense to rely on your smartphone for everyday photos.

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

Ability to capture detail

From wisps of hair to tiny eyelashes to miniature nails, baby photography is all about the little details. For truly breathtaking portraits, you want a camera that has the ability to capture every aspect of your child. In photographer’s terms, you want a camera that takes high resolution photos.

iPhones cameras have come a long way. The latest iPhone even has a dedicated portrait mode. However, the resulting images still cannot compare to professional cameras. One photographer described the iPhone camera as “good enough.”  It’s perfect for documenting the beauty of the everyday, but not the right choice for documenting and showcasing the intricacies of a newborn life.

Aperture

The best photographers have an innate understanding of light and depth; their cameras are a tool for harnessing those elements. The aperture is the part of the camera that lets in light or blocks it out. Professional cameras have adjustable apertures, putting the photographer in charge of the richness of the photo. However, the aperture on the iPhone is unchanging. Users can try different tricks to create the appearance of depth, but they are ultimately are at the mercy of the iPhone.

Baby photography is especially dependent on lighting, using light to highlight and contrast all the features that make your little one unique. An iPhone could produce a wonderful shot in ideal natural lighting, but professional cameras are best when you desire more control over the photographic outcome.

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

Image stabilization

Babies don’t often stay still, so image stabilization is key for baby photography. You want to avoid the blur of your newborn moving their hands and feet. Additionally, image stabilization improves low light photography–perfect for sneaking a photo of your newborn as they sleep! In this area, iPhone and professional cameras achieve at a similar level. The newest iPhones have optical image stabilization that, some say, rivals professional cameras.

Zoom capabilities

Zoom shots are the hallmarks of baby photography. We even have a photography product called Precious Little Pieces that is dedicated to showcasing hands, feet, and other adorable little parts of your newborn.  

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

A professional camera can be outfitted with specially crafted lenses for taking zoom shots. That’s not the case for iPhones. One article described it this way, “The iPhone doesn’t actually have the ability to zoom, just the illusion of doing so. You’re actually just enlarging a portion of the image.” The photo gets grainier and grainier as you zoom in, which is probably not the look you want. Go with a professional camera when you want to capture your newborn’s little pieces in full detail.

So what’s the verdict? You don’t have to choose between an iPhone and a professional camera! You’ll probably be happiest if you use both to document your newborn’s growth. iPhone cameras are perfect for quick snapshots, but they don’t compare to the quality of a professional camera. That doesn’t mean that you need to spend your diaper budget on a fancy camera. Use your smartphone to capture everyday moments, and invest in the use of a professional camera for momentous occasions.

In fact, professional cameras produce the best results when they’re in the hands of a professional. Work with a baby photographer to get gorgeous photos that can be shared for generations to come– and all for less than the cost of buying a professional camera of your own.

So Your Wife is Expecting: A Guide for Expectant Fathers

So Your Wife is Expecting: A Guide for Expectant Fathers

What was your gut reaction the moment your wife found out she was pregnant? A huge smile. Anxious butterflies. Or maybe a mix of both. Whether your new baby is your first child or your fifth, preparing for your newest family member takes a physical, mental, and emotional toll.

There are thousands of resources for expectant mothers, but resources for expectant fathers are few and far between. Dads need advice, too. You have to navigate your own issues while also trying to support and encourage your pregnant wife or life partner. We don’t want you to go it alone.

Here are seven things that every expectant father should know

Your hormones are changing, too

The media makes it exceedingly clear that expectant mothers have changing hormones that cause mood swings, strange cravings, and physical changes. People don’t talk about the fact that expectant fathers experience changes in their hormones as well. A University of Michigan study observed a decrease in the testosterone levels of expectant fathers. This hormone change works in your favor, helping you better care for your wife and newborn.

Your support matters

It’s true that your body is not the one growing and sustaining a new life, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a role in the pregnancy process. Use these nine months to practice supporting your pregnant wife. Having a baby, or adding another child to your family, will change your partnership. Lay the groundwork for a strong support system now. Be ready with crackers and seltzer when morning sickness turns into all-day sickness.  Change your schedule to accommodate your wife’s needs. Offer a shoulder to cry on and a huge hug when pregnancy just feels too overwhelming. Stock the fridge with your wife’s latest cravings.  Preparing for a successful partnership starts today.

It’s okay to feel nervous

Being a supportive partner does not mean that you have to have it all together. It’s normal for expectant fathers to feel anxiety throughout the pregnancy. From concerns about being able to afford a child to worries about the health of your pregnant wife, there are many topics that can be a cause for concern. That’s okay. Acknowledge those anxieties and address them as needed. Whatever you do, don’t ignore them. Pent up anxiety is not productive for you, your wife, or your new baby.

Be in the know

Your pregnant wife’s body is changing on a daily basis. You’ll be a better partner if you have a general idea of what’s going on. Download an app or subscribe to an email newsletter that sends regular updates. They will provide you with the insights that you need to be empathetic towards your partner. These resources are a great starting point:

  • Pregnancy+ – Serves as your guide through pregnancy with daily updates and advice
  • Glow Nurture – This one allows you to receive updates based on the data your wife inputs, making it even easier to anticipate her needs
  • Baby Center –  Get weekly pregnancy updates delivered to your inbox each week

Take care of yourself

The health of your wife feels like it take priority now, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. It seems easier in the moment to skip the gym or to order greasy takeout three nights a week. In the long run, healthier choices pay off. Regular exercise and healthy eating habits will help you combat anxiety, boost your mood, and give you the energy to love your growing family well. Build positive lifestyle practices now so that you can be around for the births of your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Find your community

There are some questions that only people who have been there can answer. Find the people whose answers you trust. This can be internet experts, friends, relatives, online communities or a mix of all four. For questions such as Did your wife do this when she was pregnant? or Which crib is the easiest to put together?, knowing where to go is half the battle. These resources can guide you as you continue in your parenting journey. Here are a few online resources that expectant fathers will appreciate:

  • What to Expect – You’ll find resources for expectant mothers and expectant fathers alike
  • Mr. Dad – Mr. Dad feels like getting advice from your older, wiser friend
  • Parenting.com – Parenting has a section just for fathers that will offer advice for years to come

So Your Wife is Expecting: A Guide for Expectant Fathers

Reflect

Take time to think about what fatherhood means to you. If you already have children, reflect on any changes you would like to make to improve the experience of your newest addition. Start the process on your own, and then have open and honest conversations with your wife. These nine months give you time to align your thoughts as a team so there are fewer ideological surprises when the new baby arrives.

Hopefully you feel more equipped for your journey as an expectant father. Is there a piece of advice that has helped you? Share it in the comments below.

The Big Reveal: Eight of Our Favorite Gender Reveals

The Big Reveal: Eight of Our Favorite Gender Reveals

Baby bump painting. Labor pain simulation for dads-to-be. Eating your placenta. Pregnancy trends come and go, but the gender reveal looks like it’s here to stay! Gender reveals from both friends and celebrities are filling up our social media feeds. They range from sweet to hilarious to over-the-top to completely cringeworthy.

Gender reveals offer another opportunity to pause and celebrate the fact that you are bringing a new life into the world. The idea of sharing that joy with others is appealing to some and a little off-putting to others. Thankfully, you can structure a gender reveal so that it suits you and your partner’s preferences. We don’t have all the answers, but these questions will help spark a conversation between you and your partner.

Is this a trend you want to participate in?

There are enough hard and fast rules when it comes to pregnancy. Don’t subject yourself to a gender reveal just because it’s trending. You lose the joy of the moment when it’s forced. It’s okay to opt out.

Do you want a public or a private moment?

Not everyone likes surprises. While the gender reveal will always have an element of surprise, you can decide whether to share that initial moment with others. Some couples choose to view the results first rather than learn the news with their loved ones during the public gender reveal. Other choose to do a festive reveal just for the two of them.

How do you want to share the news?

It’s never been easier to spread the word to loved ones near and far. Consider your options. Will you host a gender reveal party? Will you share a video or post a photo? Maybe you’ll do a combination of all three. It helps to think about the medium as you plan your ideal gender reveal.

We’ve gathered our favorite gender reveal ideas for expectant parents

The ideas are divided into engaging in-person activities and eye-catching photo ops. See the ideas below and take your pick.

In-person activities:

Cake

The cake is the classic gender reveal instrument. It’s perfect for parents who want to be surprised along with family and friends. Give the envelope to a trusted bakery, and you’re ready for a sweet surprise. There are variations of the cake reveal ranging from dyeing the inside of the cake blue or pink to having colored candy pour out of the cake when cut.

The Big Reveal: Eight of Our Favorite Gender Reveals

Piñata

Get all of your guests excited with a gender reveal piñata. The suspense builds as each person takes a turn. Fill the piñata with candy, confetti, or a mix of both to create a festive celebration when the piñata finally bursts.

Scratch off

The gender of your little one is really up to chance. Why not play with that idea? Take bets from family and friends on whether your new baby will be a boy or a girl. Then hand out scratch offs and let everyone discover the news together.

Silly string

This one is for families who aren’t afraid to get a little messy. Buy cans of blue or pink silly string. Then cover up the label. Crank up some celebratory tunes, and have all your loved ones shoot the strings at the same time. Nothing highlights good news like a burst of silly string!

Photo Opportunities:

Gum

Nothing brings out your inner child like blowing a gigantic bubble. Buy a pack of gum in the right color, and snap a photo of you and your partner blowing the biggest bubble possible. (You might want to use a few pieces of gum for maximum wow factor.) Then share the shot, and the news, with your favorite people!

Powder or smoke

There’s a reason why colored powders and smoke bombs are so trendy. The hues look amazing on camera, and the process of getting the photo is an all around good time. Take this opportunity to share a carefree bonding moment with your partner in the midst of the busyness of pregnancy.

Sign or banner

This classic gender reveal will never go out of style. It’s easy to make a sign or banner that fits your family’s style. Whether you write a punny note, a heartfelt message, or a simple “coming soon”, your loved ones will get the message as if they were hearing it directly from you.

Holding baby shoes

The baby shoe photo is a visual representation of the new family. Buy an adorable pair of shoes, and have the members of your family hold them together. Include your other children, and even your pets, to create a true keepsake.

The gender reveal is an opportunity  to celebrate your new baby with the people you love most. Be sure to make it your own! Share your gender reveal stories, ideas, and advice in the comments below.