Category Archives: Infancy

Here Comes The Holiday Season: Health and Safety Tips

The holiday season can be a busy time of year between parties, travel, and hosting out-of-town relatives. Child safety might not be top of mind so we created this quick guide that you can refer back to all month long.

Deck the halls with safety in mind.

Choking Hazards

Some holiday decorations can pose serious choking hazards, especially for newborns and young children. Keep ornaments, pinecones, potpourri, or any other small decorations out of reach of young kids. Seasonal treats, including hard candy, should also be displayed only on a high shelf. If you have a Christmas tree, start placing ornaments and glitter garland halfway up the tree.

Secure the tree.

Make sure that your Christmas tree is securely anchored in its stand. The last thing you want is for it to come toppling down because of a curious child. You could also put up a child safety gate around the tree.

Here Comes The Holiday Season: Health and Safety Tips

Avoid fire hazards.

Move the Menorah onto a high shelf or table after it’s lit. Keep candles out of reach and far away from the tree. String lights can also be dangerous so make sure that the ones you purchase have been tested for safety and don’t have any frayed wires. If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure that it’s labeled as fire resistant.

If you’re visiting a friend or family member’s home for a holiday party, be sure to share this blog post with them. Safety precautions can be overlooked, especially by a relative who isn’t used to having kids around.


Create an age-appropriate wishlist of safe toys that you can share with relatives. Keep all wrapped gifts out of reach especially if there are ribbons that can become a choking hazard. Then, immediately discard the wrapping materials after your child opens a gift.

Here Comes The Holiday Season: Health and Safety Tips

Since your little one will probably be overloaded with toys from family and friends, consider a gift that will be special for the whole family. A Bella Baby photo shoot creates beautiful, lasting memories and is a meaningful experience for your family to enjoy together. Photos can be framed and gifted to relatives.     

Going somewhere?

Are you heading out of town for the holidays? A little planning goes a long way when it comes to safety and avoiding illness. Check out our top tips for traveling with your kids this holiday season. There’s even a printable packing list.  

We at Bella Baby Photography wish you a very happy and healthy holidays!

Tips for Traveling with Your Kids This Holiday Season

Traveling over the busy holiday season can be stressful, especially when you’re traveling with a newborn or young child. Proper preparation can make the process smoother. Here are our tips for keeping your sanity while traveling with your little ones.

Don’t Travel Too Far

Prior to age three, it’s best to stick to destinations that are close to home. Newborns have a much higher risk of catching something while traveling and it’s just not worth the risk. You’ll also want to keep your trip short. Just a weekend getaway to somewhere within a couple hours drive is ideal, especially for the first few months.

Tips for Traveling with Your Kids This Holiday Season


Airports and airplanes are basically feeding grounds for germs. Ideally, wait till 4-6 months until you take your newborn on a plane. Most airlines do allow young kids to sit on their parent’s lap, however, that’s not the safest place for a child. The FAA recommends securing your little one in a child safety seat. Most car seats will work; just check your seat to see if it says “approved for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft.”

What to Pack

Start planning a few days early. Avoid waiting till the night before to start packing so you don’t forget anything important. Keep a list going and whenever you remember something that you absolutely don’t want to forget, write it down.

Here’s a Basic Checklist:

  • Documents – Bring your baby’s birth certificate if you’re flying.
  • Food for baby – formula, snacks that don’t need refrigeration
  • Toys – Pack a few favorites for entertainment during a long car ride.
  • Transportation – car seat for the plane, stroller
  • First Aid – Band-aids, hand sanitizer, any prescriptions
  • Changing supplies – diapers, wipes, changing pad, diaper rash cream
  • Clothes – socks, shoes, bibs, extra clothes in case of spills

Bookmark this blog post or pin this image to refer back to before your trip!Baby packing listAlso, check out The Ultimate Pack List for Jet-Setting Families.

Don’t worry too much about forgetting any one thing. As long as you have the essentials, you can always stop by a convenience store near your destination to pick up anything else that’s needed.

Super Mom Christine C has a fun travel hack:

“When our kids were little and we were facing a long car ride or flight, we would pack two backpacks; one for snacks and one for entertainment. Each section contained a different little batch of new things and we would ration out the goodies, section by section throughout the trip. We always had one last thing stashed in one of our bags or under the car seat that we knew would be a favorite. We’d only bring it out at the end and that would get us through the last bit of the journey.”

Where to Stay

Some hotels are more family-friendly than others. Do a little research to compare nearby options beforehand. The hotel’s website and Yelp reviews should give you a good idea of whether or not the place is extra accommodating to little ones. The experience will be more enjoyable if there are other families around. Some baby-friendly hotels even offer baby gear for rent so you don’t need to lug your own. Ask the hotel if they have a kids menu at their restaurant.

You might consider booking a larger room than you would without the kiddos. You’ll be thankful for the extra space when it comes time for feeding and changing. Plus, it will be nice to have plenty of room to store all of the extra supplies you packed.

Have Realistic Expectations

Go into your vacation with the understanding that there won’t be a lot of rest and relaxation time. An infant who is one year or younger requires almost constant attention. If you keep your expectations low, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you do get some time to yourself during naps or calm moments.

Have any additional tips? Share them with us below in a comment.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

This is Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

Halloween is a fun occasion to dress up and indulge in sweet treats. But this holiday can have some hidden dangers for young children. There are plenty of precautions that you as a parent can take to prevent accidents. Fear not – these safety measures won’t make Halloween any less fun or spooky.


Skip the masks and opt for non-toxic face paint instead. Masks can hinder sight and even lead to breathing problems.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

Keep fire safety top of mind. Look for flame-resistant labels when shopping for costumes or props. Steer clear of pumpkins that have real candles inside.


This may seem obvious, but it’s an important one – never let your toddler go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. You, your spouse, or another trusted adult should accompany kids at all times. Stay in a neighborhood that you know is safe and that you’re already familiar with. Avoid going to houses that look like uninviting or where no one appears to be home.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

If your child is trick-or-treating with a large group of friends, make sure there is more than one adult who comes along in case one child wants to go home early.

Bring along a flashlight if you’ll be trick-or-treating after dark. It might come in handy to avoid tripping hazards on dimly lit driveways.


The only way to keep your kid truly safe is to eat all of their candy. Kidding!

According to one study, the average child consumes 3 cups of sugar on Halloween – yikes! This is nearly 16X more than the recommended daily amount by the American Heart Association. Avoid a sugar overdose by limiting consumption to just a few pieces of candy on Halloween night then saving the rest for later.

One great tip – serve a healthy, protein-rich meal before festivities begin. Your child will likely eat less sweets if they’re already full.

Make sure to check all of the trick-or-treating candy thoroughly for tampering. Get rid of anything that looks like it could have been opened. Better to be safe than sorry. Set aside anything that could be a choking hazard (gum, hard candy, taffy).

If your child has allergies or special dietary restrictions, purchase (or make) treats that are safe for them to eat ahead of time. Then have them ‘trade in’ their trick-or-treating haul. Consider participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and inclusion. They also provide a map of homes that will be offering non-food treats.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

Image via FARE

Lastly, make sure your kids brush and floss their teeth before bedtime to prevent cavities!

Do you have any additional safety tips to add? Leave a comment to share them with our community.

10 Overlooked Tips for Baby Safety Month

Did you know September is Baby Safety Month? Most parents will agree that there’s nothing more important than the safety of their little ones. Here at Bella Baby, we believe it’s incredibly important to prepare your home and take safety precautions before baby comes home. We previously wrote a blog post on babyproofing.

New parents have a lot on their plates so it’s important to prepare your home ahead of time and become aware of common risks.

  1. “Crawl around or lay on the floor to see things from your child’s perspective,” recommends Macy H from our Super Moms Facebook group.

You might be overlooking any number of potential dangers when it comes to preparing your home for a newborn. Consult a thorough babyproofing checklist and enlist your spouse or a friend as a second set of eyes.

  1. “Outlet covers are a must, even for infants because some teething babies with slobbery hands have killer accuracy when trying to put slobbery fingers into an electrical outlet.” – Pam B


  1. “Use sleep sacks to keep baby warm instead of blankets which they can get tangled in,” says Jovana B. Not only are sleep sacks safe, but they’re crazy adorable!

Image credit: Target

  1. Never leave your baby unattended with your pet.

Most pets have no problem adjusting to the company of a newborn, but accidents can and do still happen. “Pets need to have a safe place to hide from the kids,” says Jessica G. Here are some ideas to help introduce your dog or cat to the newest member of your family.

Baby safety month

  1. “Honestly, most new parents worry about things like outlet covers and cabinet locks. The number one things that kill babies and children under age 5 are car accidents (improper car seat use) and drowning. Teach them water safety and how to swim ASAP.” – Brycelyn Z

A car seat is definitely an item you’ll need to get before your baby arrives. Shopping for a car seat and correctly installing it can be intimidating. Check out our guide that has everything you need to know about car seats before the baby comes.

Baby safety month

  1. Practice strapping “baby” into your car seat.

One thing we did, other than installing car seat bases, was practice strapping “baby” into the car seat and removing it (using a stuffed animal that had been gifted to us). No one teaches or helps you do that at the hospital! With the whirlwind the first 48 hours are, it’s one less thing to have to try to figure out.” – Kara Z

  1. Never leave your child alone in the bathtub. We’re including this tip because drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4, according to the CPSC. It only takes a few inches of water to endanger a newborn.


  1. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help or let people know when you’re overwhelmed, even if it’s your 3rd kid, there are things that may throw you for a loop.” – Ali U


  1. Take care of yourself.

Laura K offers some often overlooked but extremely important advice: “What so many leave out is: self-care and asking for help. Sleep deprivation is considered torture for a reason. If you are completely exhausted, it is soooo easy to pass out when you should be watching them, or to forget to tighten the car seat when you buckle them, or get in a car accident, or do some other mindless thing. Untreated anxiety can run rampant when caring for an infant. Nobody can do it all on their own. So, my best baby safety tip: take care of yourself. Go to bed. Go to therapy, yoga, meditation, on a run, or wherever you find peace. Get some good babysitting help. Share the load with your partner.”

  1. “Keep the number for poison control handy, just in case. No matter what babyproofing you do a toddler is always going to figure out a way around it. Always.” – Ali U

Do you have any additional safety tips to share with the community? Leave us a comment!

What no one tells you about breastfeeding

Tough Stuff: What no one tells you about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is probably high on your list of worries when it comes to postpartum. Breastfeeding is natural and women have been doing it since the beginning of time, but that doesn’t mean that it feels natural or is easy. The experience is vastly different for each mom. A few lucky ones have no problem at all, but for most, breastfeeding is hard. And it’s something that is hard to prepare for if you’re a first-time mom.

“It will feel unnatural at first,”

shares Janelle R from our Super Moms Facebook group. You really won’t know how breastfeeding feels until you experience it for yourself. Many women experience pain at first as well as breast tenderness. It’s important to stay extra hydrated while breastfeeding.

What’s something no one told you about breastfeeding, we asked new mom, Susie L? “Oh my… so many things! That it is HARD! And you spend a LOT of time with that baby fixed to you.”

What no one tells you about breastfeeding

It’s ok to ask for help.

As with all things related to pregnancy and motherhood, it’s always ok to ask for help. “It’s ok to ask for help on the different methods and positions to breastfeed in order for baby to latch correctly,” says Kim C.

Many hospitals have lactation consultants on staff that can provide support before you leave the hospital. You can also visit the International Lactation Consultant Association to locate a consultant near you.

There are a variety of resources out there on the interwebs. Just remember that each experience is unique and you should never compare yourself to other women.

Here are a few resources we love:

It’s ok to just be done.

Yes, there are many benefits to breastfeeding over formula (including lowering yours and baby’s risks for asthma, infections, and certain cancers). However, none of the benefits outweigh you feeling miserable.  Your mental health is important to your baby’s wellbeing too. In an article on Motherly, Jessica Alba shares why she quit breastfeeding her son, despite having breastfed her two older daughters:

There are certain things that get less challenging with each child you have—like changing diapers or figuring out how to tie a Moby wrap—but breastfeeding just isn’t one of them. Breastfeeding is different for every woman, and it can even be different for the same woman at different times in her life.”

Your second or third breastfeeding experience may be harder or easier than your first. Each time is different for each woman.

You may become an advocate (one way or another).

“You may become a more passionate advocate than you ever dreamed possible,” says Macy H. Actually going through the experience of breastfeeding might turn you into a passionate spokesperson for or against breastfeeding. We encourage you to share your experience and advice – whatever it may be – because let’s face it, there’s not enough information out there!

Are you nervous about breastfeeding or do you have advice that you want to share? Please share with our community by leaving a comment.