The Secrets of a Baby photographer in Huddersfield
My name is Mya Lau and I am a baby photographer, Huddersfield. As a mum of two under two and I must say I have been thought it. I have had my fair share of sleep deprivation, exhaustion and have tried many tips, tricks I could find under the sun.
Baby sleep habits can be baffling, and they can turn our lives upside down. Whether it’s the start of a newborn first week or an older baby who won’t get settled, the results are the same: A parent who is sleep-deprived and desperate for relief.
What’s a parent to do? Learning some tricks of the trade can definitely help and won’t do any harm in trying. As a baby photographer, I have had my fair share of newborns to settle into sleepy dreams. Once you understand how, why, and when babies sleep, it will be easier for you to decide on the best sleep strategies for your family. It may also bring you peace of mind.
Here are the tips that I use as a photographer to help my baby’s sleep in their sessions.
There is a myth that you are to keep quiet around a sleeping baby but that could not be far from the truth. “Amazingly, the sounds they heard 24/7 in the uterus were about twice as loud as a vacuum cleaner, so babies love and need strong rhythmic noise,” Dr. Karp says. My first baby loved white noise and by the time she was around 3 months, it was the only thing that would send her to sleep!! You can download free apps on your phone that plays white noise, vacuum and other various noises that can help your little one to sleep but I highly reccommend Whisbear – The Humming Bear. It omits a lengthy 40 minutes of shushing then goes into standby mode which then continuously analysing the surrounding sounds and as soon as it recognises baby’s cry it switches on automatically for an additional 20 minutes.
Within a baby’s first month she is unable to regulate her own body temperature so it is very important to check on the baby’s temperature regularly and adjust to her needs. Being nice and warm will definitely help towards getting a sleepy baby. Check that the house is at a comfortable temperature for both you and your baby by having a thermometer around. There’s loads of different ones on the market but I suggest The Gro Company Grow Colour Changing Room Thermometer. The innovative Gro-egg changes colour to let you know at a glance whether the temperature of a room is too low, too high or just right, helping you maintain a safe sleeping environment for your baby. It also makes for a great gentle night light for those night feeds.
Swaddling is a traditional practice of wrapping a baby up gently in a light, breathable blanket to help them feel calm and sleepy. They should only have their bodies wrapped and not their neck or head. It’s also thought that swaddling prevents unnecessary wake-ups caused by a baby’s startle reflex, this is when they fling there arms and legs out like having the feeling of falling. Swaddling baby’s arms and legs will be contained as they’re wrapped gently in a blanket which means they will be less likely to startle themselves awake with their flailing limbs.
You will see some of the images I have used this technique on babies that are just a bit sensitive to touch. This helps greatly to soothe and calm baby so I can get those lush images.
Please talk with your doctor, midwife or health visitor about safe swaddling before trying to swaddle your baby. Check out Babycentre about its benefits and risks, and tips for safe swaddling.
In my sessions I do tend to sway baby gently, it gives them the sense of still being in the womb as baby would have been consistently moving. Now I am not suggesting that that is what you do at home but do bear in mind that it is completely natural for babies to want to be rocked. Having baby close in a baby sling helps too and a great alternative to pushing a pushchair whilst out on a walk. You could also do the hoover in the house as both the swaddling of baby being close to mum with the added bonus of noise from the hoover.
You could also try baby swings to help sway baby into a sleep. “It’s a myth that you’re starting a bad habit,” says Dr. Karp, who adds that fewer than 5 percent of babies need the swing technique. You can gradually stop using it when she’s better able to soothe herself. They are loads of baby swings on the market today but I recommend The mamaRoo – 4moms. I had one for both my kids and it gave me a few hours of peace.
Baby will most likely always fall asleep during a feed. whither you are breast or bottle feeding, you need to establish a feeding routine that works for your baby. It can be a massive learning curve at the start but you will learn from your little one and by the time you know it, your baby will settle down into a routine.
When Rayah was born, we didn’t find out until she was 5weeks that she had tongue-tie. This was very common in babies and she had a little procedure to correct it. I also found out because of this she wasn’t getting a full feed from incorrect latching on. I just wished I had gone to a specialist earlier as this could have made things a lot easier.
Locala has some great breastfeeding cafes that are widely available to breastfeeding mums in the Huddersfield, Calderdale and Bradford areas. Check out their website for further information.
In my sessions, I tend to have a baby feed before we start the session. This just means baby is asleep on a full tummy and I can eliminate that factor if she is not settling into a sleep. As my sessions are fully baby-led, I look closely for signs and cues to when baby will need to feed. This will differ depending on if she is a bottle or breastfed as a bottle-fed baby will take longer to digest her milk and a bottle-fed baby will digest her milk much faster.
Stop Overthinking the Situation
When I had my first child, I spent every middle-of-the-night feeding Googling “how to get my baby to sleep longer.” And every morning I would try something new. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but none of it led to a longterm solution.
“Information overload causes parents to try a million different things, which doesn’t build any consistency or trust,” says Prueher. “For the first 4 months, give your baby a little space to show you what she’s capable of,” notes Turgeon. You’ll be empowering your little one, and once she’s actually sleeping through the night, a fully rested you will be capable of more than you ever imagined. Sweet dreams!
Baby Photographer in Huddersfield spealise in mobile newborn photography in the comfort of your own home. To find out more or to get more info click HERE
My friend Jill at Light of my Life Photography is blogging about cake smash’s. Read more about what happens in a simple cake smash Cheshire