A Birth Class Can Make You or Break You –Newborn Information

A Birth Class Can Make You or Break You

Elizabeth Luke, the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co. has been a trusted provider of personalized care and support for families, in and around Jacksonville for the better part of two-and-a-half decades.

Specializing in childbirth education, postpartum support, in-home infant care, and sleep coaching, she’s bringing information about child birth classes to our blog today!

So you’re having a baby. Congratulations! You may have some ideas of what you want your birth to be like, or maybe you don’t! You and your partner or spouse (if you have one) possibly have some questions and a few concerns surrounding pregnancy, birth, and the critical post-birth time period. Those are all good signs! I am a big believer of hope and faith as well as open-mindedness and mindfulness. I also know a birth class can make you or break you!

A birth class can make you or break you…. what exactly does that mean?

Well, here’s the scoop. Birth is a surprise beginning, the biggest surprise most people will experience in life. Sure, you know you’re having a baby and that is exciting, but not a surprise really in the sense of birthing. Not everyone, but most pregnant people know the sex of their baby before birth, most of the time there’s no surprise there. You plan to have x, y, and z covered. No surprised there! Whew! Thank goodness!

Your doctor is lined up and your baby’s birthday is scheduled! Awesome!

Guess what? Doctors are human and sometimes have emergencies themselves! Shocking, I know! Seriously though, they have things come up, even those in a practice of 1, 2, or 5 or more doctors. Also, babies have absolutely no regard for our calendars and have been known to come early, so that could be a surprise!

You’ve already researched epidurals and other pain relief techniques and you know you’ll be getting that!

Did you know that epidurals aren’t guaranteed to work, or can only work on one side of the body and not the other? Did you know that not everyone is a good candidate for certain medications? Did you know that even the most well thought out, planned, and educated parents experience births they never anticipated would happen? It happens every day and the last thing you want to be is blindsided.

So, what can you do to avoid being blindsided?

Take a childbirth class! Not just any birth class though because remember, a birth class can make you or break you! And what I mean by that is quite simple really. Hospital birth classes have come along way in teaching about the biological process of birth, but they still fall short in teaching you real-life tools and explaining the full range of options available to you. Hospital classes will also teach you hospital policy and the basic motions expected at that particular hospital…although your care provider has the ability and flexibility to override any hospital-wide policy! So, there’s that!

Many birth classes set parents up for a certain type of birth.

Sounds great, right? It’s not! In fact, setting parents up for a certain type of birth, vaginal, un-medicated, vaginal with an epidural, water birth, etc. is irresponsible and can lead to unrealistic expectations, broken or damaged relationships, feelings of resentment or skepticism, even birth trauma, and worse still, feelings of failure as a parent.

WOW! Let that sink in.

What a way to enter into the hood, parenthood that is! Sadly, this is the birth culture today in the United States. Parents do all the things they think are best or right and still come away feeling like shit. I promise you I hear from parents day in and day out who reach out to me for support and resources to make peace with their feelings surrounding their births. It’s terribly sad isn’t it? To think of starting out that way.

But, there’s a better way!

The Confident Birth & Parenting Class teaches parents about all types of birth. It truly helps parents learn all of the options with out inducing fear, another tactic that sets parents up to feel like failures! It teaches students how to think through situations when they arise. It teaches the importance of communication and gives them the tools they need to communicate effectively. If there’s ever a time in a person’s life that communication is vitally important it’s during the birth of their baby.

Parents need to be able to trust one another, trust their care providers, birth team, and more importantly, they need to be able to trust themselves!

A birth class can make you or break you so select one that sets you up for the best possible outcome! The Confident Birth and Parenting Class offered only through The Jax Baby Company will set you up for success no matter if your birth is spontaneous or induced vaginal, elective, scheduled, or emergency cesarean, medicated or non-medicated vaginal, water, home, birth center, or a hospital birth! If you’re in the car traveling near or far, in a house with your pet mouse, laying in the bed or standing on your head, kneeling down with a baby about to crown, on a plane or in the express lane, this is a birth class you can use anywhere in any situation! Promise!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

Here is The Jax Baby Co website , the FB page, and the IG account.

Amazing Handmade Rosaries by Local Artist! –Product Photographer Christy Whitehead Photography

A love for crafting, jewelry and design as well as being inspired by her mother’s devotion to the Catholic faith, brought Charmaine Crawford into the forefront of designing rosaries.

She contacted me a couple of months ago about photographing her gorgeous designs.

I’ve been to the Vatican twice and they have a small shop in there and I don’t remember seeing rosaries as pretty as hers. Plus, hers are handmade and the attention to detail is exquisite.

The first rosary she ever made was for her mother when she entered Hospice care. It was made with pink crackled beads, a beautiful Crucifix and a center piece of pink and green enamel. Her mother loved it so much that she was buried with it.

Knowing that others will be using the rosary to pray and that it might mean that much to them as well, inspires Crawford when she’s picking out elements and designing the jewelry pieces.

Many of them are made with Swarovski pearls and crystals or beautiful fire polished beads. All hand chosen by Crawford.

“My mom had a keen eye for beauty, and she was very much a perfectionist,” Crawford says. “Every time I work on a rosary, I think of what she would say if she looked at it. I double and triple check my rosaries for quality, color, and texture.”

Crawford was crafty from a very young age. She grew up making doll houses, drawing, crocheting, and knitting. As an adult, she began creating jewelry–initially as gifts to bring her friends and family joy.

Crawford studied at The New York Institute of Art and Design, where she received a certificate in Jewelry Crafting and Design. 

She hopes that her custom rosaries will bring each family many years of blessings and that they will be passed on as family heirlooms.

Custom requests accepted. However, you can pick them up locally at:

Queen of Angels Catholic Store at 11629 San Jose Blvd, Suite 3.

Even the packaging is fantastic and makes the whole thing a nice gift!

Christy Whitehead Photography photographs products for all different types of companies. For Charmaine we photographed her items on a white backdrop, doing 2-3 images per item.

Some clients also have us remove the background to give a very crisp backdrop, like below.

Contact Christy for a custom quote for your own product photography or business photos at 904-891-0359, Christy@jaxphotographer.com

3 Secrets to Getting More Sleep After Your Baby is Born

There are secrets to getting more sleep after your baby is born and Elizabeth Luke, a postpartum and infant care specialist at The Jax Baby Company is sharing three of them with all of you! Too often we hear about sleep-deprived parents falling asleep in compromising positions while holding their newborns. We’re here to help you all sleep more soundly and as safe as possible!

Now, I know you’ve heard parents complaining, “sleep deprivation is real,” and “you’ll never sleep again.” Listen to too many of those comments and you’ll find yourself rethinking the whole parenting thing, or you totally won’t even remember these comments until they hit home for you! Not only is it possible to have a baby and still get a reasonable amount of sleep, but you’ll also feel better and think more clearly when you do!

Here are the top 3 secrets to getting more sleep after your baby is born:

1. Take Shifts

During the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth, you should try your best to get as much rest and sleep as possible. Sleep is a key component to good health and essential to postpartum recovery. Without sleep, you’ll quickly turn into a mombie (zombie mom). As cute and as sweet smelling as your baby is you need rest. Optimize your sleep by taking shifts with your partner! It’s a strategy that helps both parents get the rest they need while keeping an eye on the baby’s needs full-time.

2a. Begin a Routine

Give yourself and your baby three full weeks to snuggle, get know one another, rest and sleep as much as possible, and just be. By 3 weeks be ready to implement a routine! Beginning a routine by the time your baby is 3 weeks old will help you lay one layer of a strong foundation for better sleep overall. Remember, routines are NOT schedules, they ARE a customary or regular course of procedure.

2b. Begin a Somewhat Flexible Schedule

Aim to begin a somewhat flexible feeding and sleep schedule by about 4-6 weeks. Each baby is different, but by the time most babies (who are born full-term and considered healthy) are 6 weeks old they are ready and thrive on a regular routine and flexible schedule. How you ask? We know the way!

3. Hire Help

Yep, there’s expert help for this and much more after your baby is born! Postpartum and infant care specialists help you with all the things! To give a more specific idea of what we do here’s a short list:

  • help you get restful sleep
  • ensure you can get showers each day
  • assist you in learning your baby’s needs and cues
  • help you set healthy boundaries
  • hands-on, accurate breastfeeding/bottle feeding/pumping advice
  • work out and implement routines/schedules
  • assist with light housework like dishes, laundry, and meal prep

Have questions? Want to learn more about getting your baby off to a great start?

Get in touch with Elizabeth and her team at The Jax Baby Co. It is with great joy that we provide exceptional support and inclusive care to families welcoming babies in the Jacksonville, FL area. Bookmark this blog and put these 3 secrets to getting more sleep after your baby is born in your toolbox! Then, get ready to rock this parenting thing!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth Luke, the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co. has been a trusted provider of personalized care and support to families in and around Jacksonville, Florida for the better part of two-and-a-half decades. Specializing in childbirth education, postpartum and in-home infant care support, and sleep coaching!

You can find her at: www.JaxBabyCompany.com

www.facebook.com/TheJaxBabyCompany/

School Photos Vs Studio Portraits

Getting Past Dull School Photos

I love my kids’ school photos–for all the wrong reasons. The last one my son had, he looked like he hated the photographer. My daughter always has a weird cheesy smile. What are your childrens’ photos like? Do they make you laugh too?In studio, I can take more time with the kids, it’s not one long procession of kids. Even my daughter tells me “you don’t have to buy the school photo mom, yours are better.” Love her!

And while I love those photos from school, they are def. not going on the wall. I prefer to keep them for maybe blackmail later. You know—that big page in their senior yearbook filled with the photos of the past.

In studio, I can take more time with the kids, it’s not one long procession of kids. Even my daughter tells me “you don’t have to buy the school photo mom, yours are better.” Love her!

If you’re like me and would prefer a more custom experience and not run of the mill and cheesy, why not consider taking some professional headshots at the studio instead?

Below are just some of the differences between school photos and studio portraits.

The Backdrop

School Photos: Your child’s school photos are usually shot in front of a generic, sometimes from the 80s background. These backgrounds tend to be distracting and move the focus off your child completely or just look flat out dated.

VS

Studio Photos: Shooting professional headshots in a studio means you have the option of choosing a more classic backdrop, something that keeps the focus on your child. Or updating the photos with a bit of color. Let your child’s blue eyes shine with a blue backdrop.

Posing and Smiling

School Photos: When it’s time to take school photos, kids are called up one at a time, placed in a standard pose and told to smile in front of a complete stranger before being rushed back to their classroom. In our studio, we do not only a headshot, but full body photos and try to get a little more personality out of the kids.

VS

Studio Photos: Our studio takes the time to make your child feel more comfortable in front of the camera, which results in a natural expression and smile.  We also try a variety of poses so that you walk away with more memorable portraits of your kids.

The End Result

School Photos: When you receive your child’s school photos you usually get one or two standard photos in various sizes. There is nothing unique or special about the photos and they usually end up in a drawer in the house if you purchase at all.

VS

Studio Photos: I not only takes a variety of photos of your child but we spend time editing them too. Did your kid cut his chin—no worries, we’ll edit that out for you. Love one pose, but like his smile on another, no worries. We are a custom studio and will help you get the perfect photo.

These images are something you can proudly display in your house, and show off your child’s true self.

Contact us today to set up your own custom portrait session. 904-891-0359.

Featured Vendor: Dr. Cristina Padilla, Thrive Family Chiropractic — Business Photography

Dr. Cristina Padilla contacted me a couple of months ago needing portraits for her business to showcase what she does. She wanted to feature them on her blog, Facebook and Instagram. I happened to be looking for a chiropractor at the time but was having an issue finding one that worked with my schedule since you typically have to drive out to their office.

Our meeting came at a perfect time. Dr. Padilla just recently got an office space, however, she mostly makes house calls!

Padilla has been practicing for almost 5 years. Her husband is a chiropractor in Amelia Island.

How did you become a chiropractor?

I received Chiropractic care as an athlete during my teenage years and had a great experience. After undergrad, I wanted to stay in the healthcare field and in 2010, a friend suggested I explore a chiropractic college in NY state.

At that point, I planned on working with athletes after graduation but as I went through the program at New York Chiropractic College, I learned about all the amazing benefits Chiropractic and Alternative Medicine offer children and women during pregnancy. I underwent a post-graduate 12-course program with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) to become certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor and a Webster Technique Chiropractor.

Side note (from Christy), if you are a pregnant, contact Cristina, I had the Webster technique done to me at least once a week during my last pregnancy and birth was sooo much easier, not to mention the chiropractic care helped with a lot of the pain I was having!

What is your favorite part about chiropractic care?

Chiropractic, in its core, focuses on enhancing the bodies ability to heal and to manage physical, emotional and chemical stress. The fact that I help people reach their maximum health potential and become the best version of themselves every day is absolutely rewarding.

I love being part of a woman’s journey through fertility or pregnancy and empowering families to seek alternative methods of healthcare for their children.

What do you specialize in?

I underwent 14 months of training in Pediatric and Pregnancy Care, additional to the 3.5 years of Chiropractic education. I am certified in the Webster Technique for pregnancy care, which is a Chiropractic-specific protocol to prepare women for an optimal birth experience by aligning their spine and balancing their pelvis.

I am also certified in Kinesiotaping by Kinesiotape International. I use this technique mostly in my pregnant patients and in athletes.

You’re a mobile chiropractor, is that common?

In Jacksonville it is very uncommon. Because the majority of my practice are busy professionals, children and pregnant women, being mobile allows me to provide convenient care for my patients, without the added stress of taking time off of work, traffic and missing school/work to be able to receive the care they need.

How did you come up with the name of your business?

My mission is to help families and children express the best version of themselves with good health, a positive lifestyle and healthy practices. I think this is all summarized in helping families thrive.

Now on to the fun stuff:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Buying a home in Jacksonville (ideally in Springfield!), starting a family and partnering up as a chiropractor with a birth center!

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

I love checking out local coffee shops and breweries, being outdoors–going to the beach, riding my bike, going for runs.

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always do together?

We always go to St Augustine. I love the historic neighborhoods and it reminds me of home (Puerto Rico).

What’s your favorite movie?

I don’t have one specific one but Disney’s Lion King, Love Actually (a Christmas staple), Juno and Under The Tuscan Sun are some of my all time favorites.

What’s your favorite song?

Some of my all-time favorites are “Let It Be” by the Beatles and “Eso es vivir” from La Secta, a puertorican rock band.

What’s something you can’t live without?

Coffee and sunshine.

What’s your current obsession?

Chocolate hummus (yum!) and the Backstreet Boys new album, DNA. I listen to it almost every single day. I’m a total BSB fan. My girlfriends and I bought tickets to their concert in August!

What’s your favorite food?

Puertorican, all the way: mofongo, tostones de pana and my mom makes the best “ternera”, which is a meat stew. But I can eat Mexican every day too!

Favorite dessert?

Anything with chocolate, especially cakes or a baked good.

Favorite restaurant?

In Jacksonville, I love Lime Leaf (Thai), Latin Creations (Puertorican) and Cantina Louie. In St Augustine, I love Taverna del Caballo (Spanish/Tapas).

Favorite place to hang out in Jacksonville?

I live on the Northside of Jacksonville. I like going to the local breweries, Wicked Barley is my favorite but I love hanging out in Springfield. I am a huge fan of the historic neighborhoods.

Get in touch with Dr. Padilla:

Website: WWW.JAXMOBILECHIROPRACTOR.COM

IG: @JAXMOBILECHIROPRACTOR

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaxmobilechiropractor/

Her office is located at (by appointment only):

6817 Southpoint Parkway Ste 2304 (across from St Vincent’s Southside)

Costello Syndrome Fundraiser — Jacksonville, Florida

In 2017, I met Sarah Holloway and got to know her and her son Joey and learned about the rare disease he had, Costello Syndrome. He is the only child in Jacksonville to have the disease, but he’s not the first in our area.

This disease is so rare and so little is known about it by doctors that more children and families may be struggling with it, undiagnosed.

Only 600 people in the world have ever been diagnosed it.

Costello Syndrome affects every part and function of the body; intellectually, developmentally, and physically. Many Costello kids look alike, because syndrome diseases often cause similar physical features. There is a 66 percent chance that Joey will get childhood cancer. One in six die before the age of ten. Which is why I’m here asking for your help!

Your Chance to Make a Difference!

January 27th is Costello Syndrome Awareness Day, and in an effort to help out, I’m reposting the original information I posted about Joey and Sarah from 2017 and creating a special offer to help benefit kids with Costello Syndrome.

Purchase a $200 gift certificate for our studio for ONLY $100. ALL proceeds will go to Costello Syndrome. Give these to friends, family, or keep them for yourself. Purchase HERE.

The Gift Certificates will be mailed to your home, so include your address in the notes when you purchase! Or email Christy@jaxphotographer.com

(Only one gift certificate may be used at a time for a session.)

Here’s a little information Costello:

From Sarah/Wear Red & Denim on Sunday

Did you know for English speaking countries the Costello syndrome rate is approximately 1 in 1.2 million people? Out of the millions of babies born each year all over the world, there are only 2 babies born with the HRAS gene.

Being a parent of a child with Costello Syndrome means knowing everything there is to know about the disease, so we are equipped with the knowledge to teach the doctors how to treat and care for our children.

It’s so rare to the area that geneticists in the area couldn’t diagnose Joey. It took 4 doctors to diagnose him.

Please help us raise aware about Costello Syndrome. This Sunday please wear red and denim in honor of Joey and his Costello Syndrome Cousins. Please take pictures and share #costellosyndrome#joeycsjourney#teamjoeydavid

First Coast News Coverage & Cake Smash

Watch the First Coast News Coverage about the Holloway family.

“Just keep swimming” is motto of families dealing with children of rare disease. Jacksonville toddler is the ONLY child in the area to have Costello Syndrome.

Hoping to raise awareness for other parents who may not know their child has it and also to raise money for this local family so they can get to a specialist without taking on debt!

Most kids do a cake smash for their first birthday; it took Joey Holloway a little longer and many tears of joy from his mother when he was finally able to hit that milestone.

From the time Joey was born Sara Holloway knew something was wrong. But doctors told her it was nothing or he was just stubborn. It took many doctor’s appointments, second opinions and car rides home in tears before Holloway got the answer to what was going on with her son, the very rare disease—Costello Syndrome.

For Joey, who is developmentally eight months delayed because of the syndrome, it means regular cancer screenings, annual MRIs, exploratory procedures and ongoing new issues.

Joey is 16 months old and has already had five surgeries, tons of exploratory procedures, and has spent around 120 days in the hospital in his short life. And while eating isn’t a big thing for most children, for Joey, it’s one more step to normalcy.

“The medical field is the only field that someone can be wrong so often and miss so many things other than meteorology, and still have a job,” Holloway says. “Since the diagnosis, I have realized that I have had to teach the doctors.”

But she hopes that will change and she has new hope with a trip to a specialist in Costello Syndrome, located at the Dupont Hospital in Delaware. The doctor there has treated 100 of the 600 known cases of Costello Syndrome. Her insurance has just approved the visit and Holloway just got word the hospital has an opening at the end of October—she was originally told it might take six months to get Joey in.

The catch? Holloway has to pay for the airfare, hotels, car, etc. Which is hard when you’re a single mom who can’t work full time because you have a special needs child.

Holloway hopes to bring awareness about the disease so other mom’s who were in her boat can find answers. In the meantime, she’s relishing in the normalcy of simple milestones like eating cake.

Video From Cake Smash & More Info

Rex, from Drawn In Media, helped create a video of the cake smash and interviewed Sarah about Costello Syndrome, that video is here.

Here’s Your Chance to Help & Get Something in Return

Purchase a $200 gift certificate for our studio for half off– ONLY $100. ALL proceeds will go to Costello Syndrome. Give these to friends, family, or keep them for yourself.  Click HERE to purchase.

Help us raise money for foster kids in North Florida! Limited Edition Photo Session

There are over 14,000 children in Florida currently in Foster care. Over 1,000 of those are right here in Duval and Nassau county. We want to help North Florida area foster kids have a great Christmas/holiday season, but I need YOUR HELP!

Christy Whitehead Photography is offering this very limited mini session over two days in November to raise money and toys for these special kids.

WHEN

Sessions will be held: Saturday, Nov 3rd and Friday Nov. 9th. IF we sell out soon enough, I’ll try and open up another day or more time slots, but my schedule is pretty tight, so we’ll see what happens!

COST

Mini sessions normally run $150, but for this special session, it is ONLY $10. That’s a steal for professional photos in our studio.

1-The $10 is non refundable and will be used to hold your spot. (This money will be donated as well.)

2-Additionally, for EACH child/adult/animal in the photo, please bring in a gift card or unwrapped new toy (min. $20 denomination per person) that will go directly to foster children.

Need some ideas on what to buy, these were sent to us from Foster Closet as some of the most commonly requested items:

WISH LIST

Some of the items that are popular for foster kids:
Nintendo DS
Gaming systems
Video Games
Kindles
Leap Pads
Scooters
Bicycles (different age ranges and colors)
Baby dolls (different ethnicities)
Gift cards (the teenagers enjoy shopping for themselves)


INCLUDED:

Every session will last up to 15 minutes and will include up to 3 people/pets/children. If you have a larger family or would like to do separate sessions, please purchase additional time slots, this will also give you additional digitals as part of your package.

Each session will be edited and put up in an online gallery within 2 weeks of the session. You will pick out your three favorite images and be given the digital copies. Print prices start at $40 and are mounted (except for wallets) If you would like to purchase prints or additional prints, you’ll be able to do that through our online gallery.

CLOTHING/PROPS:

We will provide a neutral bed that would be super cute with matching pajamas and maybe your child’s favorite toy. We also have princess type dresses (like the blue one) available in different colors and sizes up to 12 available for you to use.

We will be using the brick background with the white bedding. If you prefer, bring a special blanket, maybe the one grandma made and we’ll use that instead!

LOCATION:

Our studio at 514 Chaffee Point Blvd, located next to Cracker Barrel at the Chaffee exit off of I-10. We are 10 minutes from downtown Jacksonville.

PLEASE SHARE:

Please share this mini session with others you know so that we can make it super successful for the foster kids in our area!

BOOK IT AT THIS LINK

What do you need to rock a Finding Nemo or Dory Session?

I don’t know about you, but me and my kids LOVE Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. My 7yo also loves to watch Ellen on YouTube, of course, I can’t blame her, Ellen has such a bubbly personality that just draws you in. She’s got that family friendly sense of humor that rolls out of her mouth and you just wish you were as funny as her or that she was your aunt at family gatherings!

Anyways, I ramble, lol, I’ve done a couple of Finding Dory and Nemo sets for newborns and as a cake smash session. I wanted to share with you if you are a photographer or a mom looking for help for your own photography session or for your little one’s birthday party.

Backdrops

Sometimes you have to think out of the box for a backdrop. And with Nemo & Dory, you kind of need to buy licensed to get the right look.

These would be great for a photo booth or behind the birthday child at their birthday party or behind the cake or decorations.

Here’s something you could use that has both of them large on it.

This one has the shark on it.

This looks like the one I have in my photos.

For the best results, you don’t want a plastic backdrop or anything that has a shine as that will create a glare. It takes a lot of work, but I usually put a town on the table and then the backdrop face down and then iron it to get the wrinkles out. A steam iron works best.

Our blue ONE sign was made by Design Elements by Erin. She also made the blue and white circles garland.

This is an awesome sign and high chair decoration from Etsy.


Clothing

I use cloth diapers a lot, they look nicer than a traditional diaper and you can color match them. I keep about 10 different colors in studio. They are made to fit most any size. This one from Etsy would be perfect for a Nemo or Dory theme.

This would be good for a little boy, however, I find that most kids HATE hats.

This shark tutu outfit by Pampered Paisley would be cute for a girl.

Nemo Tutu outfit on Tu2Cute1 on Etsy.

Dory tutu by Copper Arrowz is sweet.

This ONE shirt from Best Birthday Ever. would be great for a boy or girl. With a boy you could pair with Nemo or shark swim trunks. For a girl, pair it with a tutu.

If your little girl will wear a hat/headband this Nemo/Dory Mickey ear set would be cute as well.

Cake & Toppers

Our gorgeous cake was made by Bold City Confections. She is no longer in Florida, but we know some other great cake people if you need help.

Also, if you wanted something for the birthday party, this is a cute cake topper sign.

Nemo chocolate pops from And Chocolate for All.
Decorations

You could use paper puffs to add some dimension. I keep big Disney characters in my studio like Nemo.

If you have a newborn and you want something for them to hold, something like this would fit a little better.

We have one of these large plastic Dory’s that talks.

About our Model

Joey, was a special model for us in many ways. He has Costello Syndrome. He did his session when he was about 18 months old. He had only recently started eating food by mouth. Costello syndrome is a very rare disease and he is the only child in our city of nearly 1 million to have it. 15% of these children will develop childhood cancer. To learn more, visit Costello Kids.

17+ Super Cute Farm & Chicken Themed Items For Your Next Portrait Session or Your Child’s Party

17+ Super Cute Farm & Chicken Themed Items For Your Next Portrait Session or Your Child’s Party!

I have chickens and occasionally other farm animals and so farm animals is a fun theme, my kids love.

Please note, these are NOT my photos, I took them directly from the stores’ sites. As a photographer, I see many themes and this blog is for educational purposes. If you are doing any of these themes with me, let me know if you are bringing in any of these awesome props, so I can decorate accordingly!

Garland & Backdrops

This animal garland from Artifanhas is fantastic!

This chicken bunting is too cute and would be great for a rustic theme. From AmpersandGo.

Something like this would be great for selfies or a photo booth at the party. You could also put it behind the birthday boy’s chair. By LittleFancyParty. (She has different versions and colors, look through them!

Here’s a cute chicken high chair banner from RustyChicDecor.

If you prefer more of a farm theme high chair banner, this is an adorable one from PrettyLittleClippie.

Outfits

While I wouldn’t recommend this shirt for the actual smash, I might have to get one for my own kids to wear on a normal basis! From SalemGraceDesigns

This dress from Francisbel is super CUTE and if I would have seen it when my little girl was little, I would have gotten it for her. I actually used this fabric for my daughter’s room. I wouldn’t have your kid wear it for a cake smash, but for regular photos, it would be adorable. Check out her stuff, she also has a chicken dress, that I wish came in a 10/12!! 

Tutus are always a safe bet for cake smashes. This chicken one would pop off a red backdrop nicely, or do a pink color to go with the ribbon and make it extra girly. From PrincessGirlsTutu.

Alternatively, diaper covers are a good go too. For boys, with a farm theme, you could do overalls or blue jeans.

I saw these chaps on Etsy and I about died! Can you imagine this with a naked booty, OMG! From SMPstore. (Now to talk a client into doing this! LOL.)

Cakes & Cupcakes

These fondant cake toppers are fantastic and you can get the whole set or just pieces. From CarolinaCakeToppers.

These Oreo Cookie Pops from DoodlePopsCo are SOOO cute.

These cookies from CookieBliss would be a hit!

Here’s some more super cute fondant items from ParkersFlourPatch. (Please note, fondant is great for decorating, but for a photoshoot smash, it’s harder to get into, so you’ll either have to cut into it (and make sure there’s icing inside, if you want the mess for photos.) or use these only for décor.

This cake topper would be cute too, from HadleyandCompany.

Or this one from SmashCaked, which I love with the number and bunting.

Other

Maybe not for a one year old’s party, but this chicken piñata would be great for older kids. From Pinata Pals.

These cute little chicken crayons would be great as part of an activity or party favor for older kids! From Penguinwithaproject.

Watch our blog for other themes and ideas in the future. If you live in Jacksonville, MacClenny, Fernandina, Amelia Island, Oakleaf, Orange Park, Middleburg or somewhere else on the First Coast and need a photographer for your little one, check out Christy Whitehead Photography.

10 Tips on What NOT TO DO if You’re doing A Smash Session, Tips from a North Florida Cake Smash Photographer

Everyone comes into doing a cake smash imagining their baby having this dream session where they immediately dive for the cake and everything is just oh so cute. For the best session possible, check out these sometimes funny things NOT TO DO!

I don’t write this to be mean, in any way. These are just things I have learned through trial and error!

  1. Chocolate ice cream, fudge, or icing. When it comes to babies, we parents get to deal with blow outs enough as it is, and while chocolate is a favorite flavor of ice cream— just don’t do it. LOL.
  2. Animals in the session. Kids are hard enough to get focused, throw in some animals and it’s likely a recipe for disaster. Your kid may run off, but the pets, on the other hand see a free meal!
  3. Shirts with words on them. It’s hard to get a good photo of shirts on a kid. Their bodies are sooo little and then having them at the perfect angle to see the words (even just O-N-E) can be a nightmare.
  4. Balloons. No seriously. I occasionally use them, but they can be a nightmare. Especially the number ONE balloon. It turns, it’s never at the right angle and THEN, kids are much more interested in playing with balloons then getting messy.
  5. Wearing only fancy clothes. Seriously. Those messy fingers will come after you! And even if they don’t, you’re going to have to wash your baby off, and icing sometimes is really greasy and sticky! If you’re coming in for portraits, make sure you have an extra pair of grungy clothes you can change into just before the smash. You don’t want to worry about whether that icing will stain!
  6. Red icing. It can look like your child is a vampire, no seriously. But, on the other hand, if it’s a vampire themed smash–great idea!
  7. Hats. I don’t know a single kid that likes to wear a hat. Unless you get one on your kid’s head almost every day without issue, don’t spend money on a birthday hat, ESPECIALLY the ones with the strings that go around the chin, the kids throw them off.
  8. Gels and things that have color (that you haven’t tested). We did a strawberry smash one day and it went REALLY well. I made a strawberry short cake and added strawberries and a red strawberry gel stuff I got from Publix in the produce department. Figured it would give it more of a mess. The problem was, after we washed the baby, she still had a red stain on her face. I do all my family photos before the smash, so it wasn’t too much of an issue, but on her bath photos, I had to clean it up in Photoshop. so it didn’t look like she had a rash.
  9. Bow ties, ties and suspenders. Pretty much anything fancy your kid doesn’t wear on a normal basis is likely to tick them off, trust me!
  10. Wait until the day of to give your kid cake. For the first year of a baby’s life they are RARELY given sugar and parents usually clean them up fast, so sweet things and being messy are usually things that make babies upset. Start giving your little one cake (cupcakes with icing work great) about a month or so before their smash session. Let them play with it. Try different flavors and such to see what they like the best. If all else fails, go with a fruit or food smash (like Spaghetti). Those go over MUCH better and are soo cute!

Looking for a photographer for your little one? Christy Whitehead is located in Jacksonville Florida and specializes in bellies and babies. Call 904-891-0359 or email her to set up your own session.