Category Archives: Pregnancy Resources

26 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect and Prepare For

26 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect and Prepare For

At 26 weeks, you’re approaching the third trimester of your pregnancy. Your baby is getting bigger and your body is undergoing more changes. Read on for what to expect at 26 weeks.

Your Baby at 26 Weeks

At this stage, your baby is continually putting on fat and weighs nearly two pounds. Your baby’s nerves in their ears are more developed, so they can probably hear your voice. Your baby now measures about 14 inches in length, comparable to the length of a scallion (Baby Center). Your baby’s eyes will also open around this time.

Your Body

Stretch Marks

It’s about this time when stretch marks begin to appear. This is a natural part of pregnancy and sometimes not really avoidable since they’re genetic. However, there are lots of popular creams on the market to help prevent and lessen the effects.

Belly Button

There’s no need to be alarmed if your belly button has suddenly turned into an “outie.” Your enlarging uterus pushes your navel forward during pregnancy, but your belly button should go back to its previous form a few months post birth.

Symptoms

Every pregnant woman experiences different symptoms at different times. Here are some common ones that occur at 26 weeks.

Gas

This is a perfectly natural symptom during pregnancy and there’s no need to be ashamed. Pressure on your stomach is what leads to gas.

Migraines

Some women are more prone to headaches than others. Try natural remedies for relieving headaches or stronger migraines. Have your spouse give you a massage or do a few yoga poses.

Forgetfulness

Don’t worry, you’re not losing your mind! Forgetfulness and short term memory loss are expected symptoms during your second trimester. It’s only temporary. Utilize a notebook to write things down.

26 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect and Prepare For

Achy Stomach

Naturally, you can expect your stomach to ache as it grows. More noticeable aches and cramps usually happen around the 26-week mark.

Blurred Vision

Blurry vision during pregnancy comes from dry eyes, as hormones decrease tear production. Eye drops are an easy fix for this symptom. (What to Expect)

This is by no means a complete list. If you’re unsure whether or not one of your symptoms is expected, always consult your physician. More than likely, what you’re experiencing is completely natural. Avoid the stress of trying to diagnose yourself on WebMD and just ask a professional.

Planning for Birth

Classes

Since birth will be here before you know it, you might consider taking a few classes. Most hospitals offer classes for new parents that are taught by a labor-and-delivery nurse. You can also opt for private classes, which will be a little pricier. Classes cover everything from pain management and troubleshooting to hospital visiting hours and procedures. It’s best to bring your spouse along so that you both have more confidence when the baby comes.

You can also take prenatal workout classes. These may help alleviate any aches and pains that you’re feeling.  

Baby Name

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start thinking about baby names. This should be a fun and stress-free activity for you and your spouse. 

Get Your Home Ready

26 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect and Prepare For

You still have plenty of time, but it’s a good idea to start shopping for baby essentials such as a crib. Refer to our guide on Preparing Your Home for the Baby.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes

Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes

We know there’s a lot to prepare before your baby comes home. The most important on your to-do list should be related to safety. This includes babyproofing your home and installing a car seat. Don’t know where to start when it comes to shopping for and installing a car seat? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Requirements by Age

Child passenger laws vary slightly state by state, but car seat guidelines are generally the same.

  • Newborn to two years – (and weighing under 20 pounds) should be in a rear-facing car seat.  
  • Two to four year-olds – should switch to a convertible seat after they outgrow the height/weight limit of the infant one. There’s a little debate when it comes to when to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing. Parenting.com and Consumer Reports recommend staying rear-facing until age two.
  • Children under age 8 – and under 40 pounds must be secured in a car seat at all times.
  • Age 12 – Kids should sit in the back seat until age 12.

Shopping for the Safest Car Seat

A car seat is something that you definitely want to have before the baby arrives, so it’s time to get shopping!

The most important tip is to buy new. Buy a new, not used car seat to ensure that it’s up-to-date with all of the most recent technological improvements. While all car seats have been tested for safety standards, everyone still wants to know which one is the absolute safest. Baby Bargains does a great job of rating all types of car seats in different price ranges.

Infant Seat v.s. Convertible Car Seat

There are two types of car seats available to you for newborns. A rear-facing infant seat is used just in the first year. On the other hand, a convertible seat starts rear-facing, but can then be turned to the front and adjusted as your little one grows up. Choosing a convertible seat will save you money down the road, however convertible seats typically can’t be removed easily from your car like infant seats. The convenience of moving your sleeping baby in their seat usually leads most parents to purchase an infant seat for the first year (Parents.com).

Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes

Installation

Each car seat comes with its own unique installation manual. In today’s technological world, some companies will even direct you to a Youtube tutorial. Make sure to read the manual before you try to install the seat. It’s also a good idea to just keep that manual in your glove box or somewhere else in your car so you know where it is.

A common mistake is forgetting to put the seatbelt in lock mode if your car doesn’t have self-locking ones. Since car seat installation is complicated and there’s so much room for mistakes, it’s not a bad idea to have a professional inspection. You can use Parents Central’s Inspection Station Locator to search for the nearest technician.

We hope that this guide has been helpful. Have you already started shopping and have an additional tip to share? Comment 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.

10 Ways to Make Birth Announcements Fun and Easy

10 Ways to Make Birth Announcements Fun and Easy

Your newborn is here! Your community wants to join in the celebration, and you want to tell the world. However, it can be hard to imagine adding anything beyond a Facebook post to your to-do list. After all, caring for your infant is your top priority.

The good news is that there’s no reason to put unnecessary effort into preparing and sending your birth announcement. You’re announcing one of the most joyous occasions of your life, so make the process enjoyable. With our tips and tricks, you’ll be ready to send out your birth announcements with ease.

Here are 10 tips for simplifying birth announcements so you can focus on your newborn

Pick your design beforehand

The easiest way to simplify birth announcements is to start before your new baby is born. You can probably find a spare moment during your nine months of preparation. Spend some time picking a birth announcement design. Bella Baby has several options that will fit any family’s style. Already had your baby? Don’t worry. This won’t take long. You can find a design you’ll love in less than five minutes.

Find an expert

Most birth announcement designs prominently feature a photo of your newborn – recipients want to see the adorable face of your little one. Now that you’ve had the beautiful pictures taken at the hospital featuring your new bundle of love – it’s time to take some shots with the whole family. Go easy on yourself – schedule a newborn portrait session, and let a professional capture some of your most cherished moments with your whole family. You’ll have photos for your birth announcement and memories for years to come.

10 Ways to Make Birth Announcements Fun and Easy

Don’t rush

It’s logical to have a sense of urgency around birth announcements. Your newborn is here, and you want to share the news as soon as possible! Thankfully, no one expects a fast turnaround. The people who care about you understand your situation. Even etiquette says you can send birth announcements up to six months after your infant is born.

Buy a return address stamp

Time is unbelievably valuable during your first weeks with a newborn. There’s no reason to write your return address over and over again. Streamline the process by purchasing a self-inking return address stamp or return address labels. The address will look beautiful, and you can invest that saved time into a treat, like an extra few minutes of sleep.

Gather addresses online

There are few things more stressful than trying to wrangle addresses. It’s impossible to keep track of who moved and when. Don’t add that anxiety to an already busy time. Gather your addresses online using a tool like I Need Your Address. Email or text the link to your online address book, and watch the addresses roll in. As a bonus, you’ll have an updated list for holiday cards as well!

Prep your envelopes

Simplify the process of sending birth announcements by preparing your envelopes ahead of time. You can start stamping and addressing envelopes before your newborn even arrives. Preparing just a few envelopes a day will make your life easier when the time for sending announcements actually comes. Work on envelopes as you tune into your must-watch TV show or listen to your favorite album. You’ll be having such a good time that you’ll barely notice you’re working.

10 ways to make birth announcements fun and easy

Involve your family

If there’s one thing having a new baby teaches you, it’s that you can and should accept help. Get your family–or your friends who feel like family–involved. Let your other children play a role in announcing the birth of their new sibling by stamping and stuffing envelopes, and help you prepare your birth announcements!

Make it your own

Traditional birth announcements include your newborn’s full name, his or her date of birth, and measurements. Feel free to add special touches that are representative of your family. You can use informal wording, if that fits your style. Some families even add a link to a photo gallery or birth story. Your infant is the newest addition to your family. Let the birth announcement showcase who you are.

Spread it out

Batch processing can be a parent’s best friend. Consider sending out your birth announcements in waves to make the task more manageable. Start with family. Expand to friends, and send to colleagues or acquaintances last. No one is keeping track of when they receive your birth announcement. Spread out the process, and keep your sanity.

Announcing the birth of your newborn should be fun and easy, and with our tips, you’re well on your way to avoiding any birth announcement related stress. Do you have advice of your own? What are your tips for taking the stress out of the process?