How to Take Your own Newborn Photos Like a Pro, Tips From a Newborn Photographer

How to Take Newborn Photos like a Pro

By Christy Whitehead,

The first year of your baby’s life they change so much from day to day. While I highly recommend professional portraits, here’s some tips for capturing a few moments on your own as well.

newborn photography jacksonville fl
Newborn photographer in Jacksonville, Florida. Specializing in custom sets like this Toy Story set.

Let’s talk Lighting

Lighting is your friend, but not all lighting is created equal. Have you ever noticed how sometimes photos have a yellowish tint? Yeah, you can thank those indoor lights. So let’s look for some window/natural light.

Position your baby so that their head is closest to the window, and their little booty is parallel to the window (if you want mainly face photo) or farthest away from the window (if you want full body).

In studio, I use a big light that acts very similar to a window light and position it just to my right, and maybe slightly to my back.

Keep in mind, shadows are your friend! Without shadows, you’ll have a flat image and you won’t see all those cute little baby rolls.


Next thing to think about is the angle you take the photo, you don’t want to shoot so that you don’t see up into the baby’s nostrils, as that’s not flattering and creates a “black hole.”

Don’t forget to step back and get full body, as well as get close and get details.

If you’re doing a naked baby shot, you also have to think about all those little bits. You want everything tucked in so you don’t see their genitals. Push comes to shove, a little blanket can help cover things up.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Shoot straight on, stand up higher and get a shot from above, etc. Even going on the shadowed side and shooting back at the baby can create a nice effect.


A large bean bag that is a bit stiff is a good place to start with posing your little one.

Some large throw blankets work great over the bean bag to not only help keep your little one warm, but also give you a nice soft backdrop.

Rolled towels are great for putting under the blankets to help prop them up.

newborn photography jacksonville fl

Props or No Props?

Some people prefer very simple and clean. Either baby completely naked or with a little outfit on they want something that represents them and their personalities.

I often try to do both. But it’s something you’ll have to think about when you’re thinking about your own photos, what do you like?


Some different popular poses with your little one.

Families together.

newborn photography jacksonville fl

Siblings with the new baby.

Depending on the older child’s age, you might want to position them laying down next to each other, or have the older child sit on the ground with the new baby in his lap. (I would have a spotter though, just in case!)

With each parent, individually.

Naked, skin on skin with dad is fun, especially if he has tattoos. Or if he’s military or has another uniform, that can be a great way to customize it.


If you’re having a hard time getting your little one settled, a swaddled baby is typically a happy baby!

newborn photography jacksonville fl

Baby on tummy.

This gets a nice cute shot of their whole little body laying down in that cute little pose, showing off their toes and fingers.

Hands on arms/elbows, front view.

This is more of a straight shot of your little one, but can include a little bit of their whole body. But the focus is more on the face.

Head in hands.

Get dad to hold the new baby in his hands, it shows how little the baby’s head is at this time in his life, compared to daddy’s hands.

Wedding rings on toes or fingers.

This would be especially sentimental if you plan on gifting your child with those rings one day.

Baby on his back.

This can be a very natural pose for little one and if he has gas, the tummy pose may irritate them, but this pose is usually pretty comfortable.

newborn photography jacksonville fl

Buckets and baskets.

Using a bucket or basket is popular with newborn photographers


Special toys can be a great way to make your session extra special. Oversided teddy? Make it look like your little one is sleeping in it’s lap. Grandma make the little one a special little doll, have her hold it.

Special items, like a wedding dress or veil is another nice idea to incorporate.

Use the crib as part of your session. Pose your little one in there on their belly, face towards you and shoot them through the bars or from above.

Types of Newborn Photography

There are two main different types of newborn photographers, lifestyle and studio/posed.

Lifestyle photographers are photographing things as they happen naturally. So if you like this style, you like the photos of the chaos of everyday situations—the house the way it is, the kids doing what they, want, etc. The only problem with doing this type of session yourself, is lifestyle sessions typically include YOU, the parent.

Studio/posed photography is how I typically shoot. While I shoot families with their little ones, it’s in studio, posed for the best possible results. While the family photos would be exceptionally hard to get on your own, since you need to hold the little one AND take the photo, posing your little one for some photos of only them.

newborn photography jacksonville fl


Cell phones have come a long way, but even as a professional, I still struggle to get great shots from my cell phone, so if you’re struggling, you’re not alone!

I shoot with Canon professional SLR cameras, if you want some info about what I shoot with and what I recommend, check out the For Photographers section on my website for info about education and gear.


Baby rolling, or kicking out. Little ones like to push and kick, always be careful of where they are on a prop, make sure they aren’t too close to an edge or on an unstable prop, like a bucket without help. I have an assistant or parent sit near me, within reach in case they need to grab the little one, as safety is of the utmost importance.

Strap on camera. This may sound crazy, but if you’re photographing above the baby, make sure the strap is on your wrist tight or around your neck. The last thing you would want is to accidentally drop the camera on your little one!

Glass jars, etc. There was a time when people put babies into glass jars with their heads sticking out, etc. This is dangerous. What if the baby kicks out or something happens and the jar falls and cracks? I would only hope that all photos using things like glass jars are being photoshopped and not really done.

Railroad tracks. What most people don’t realize is, shooting on railroad tracks is illegal. Even adults who know what they are doing have been caught by surprise and killed, here in the US, so just avoid the railroad tracks.

Fabric hanging. Sometimes, people request a shot of their little one inside a wrap, lifted off the ground. When we shoot this, we do this on top of a bean bag and there is a spotter right there to help in case the little one were to fall, etc.

Taco Pose.

A lot of people love the shot with the babies legs all the way to the front near the baby’s face. I’m not a huge fan of this shot. Not all babies will do this pose, some just aren’t this limber. Also, if they have gas, tummy issues, or anything else that is bothering them, they may not want to do this pose at all.

newborn photography jacksonville fl

Head on hands.

This is a popular request and we do it quite a bit. But what most people don’t realize is, this shot is typically composited. Basically, we set the baby up in the pose, and my assistant holds their hands at the bottom, under the chin, I take a photo, and then she moves her hand to hold the baby’s head and I take another photo. Then I combine these shots in Photoshop, to create what looks like the baby is resting on her hands. Little baby heads are quite heavy and it would not be comfortable for them to rest on their hands, if they can do it at all. So if you’ve tried to do this shot and couldn’t, this is the secret of how I do it!


Even with all these tips, I don’t know that I could even go over everything I’ve learned over the years on how to create the best newborn portraits while keeping your little one’s safety in mind.

If you’re struggling to take photos of your little baby, or just overwhelmed with the thought of it, give me a call, (904) 891-0359 or shoot me an email

Christy Whitehead is a pregnancy, newborn and cake smash photographer in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been voted best photographer multiple times and has been featured on Buzzfeed multiple times for her fun and geeky photos.

newborn photography jacksonville fl
Some of our geeky newborn sets!

Shark Week: Hunting for Shark’s Teeth–a fun outing in Florida!

I’ve lived in Florida most all of my life and I’ve only ever found ONE shark’s tooth. My husband loves to go to the beach and walk and look, but we just never find them.

I’m one of those people that for gifts I rather give experiences, so for Father’s Day, I found Fossil Florida through a friend and booked Chase for a 4 hour private fossil/shark’s tooth dig for 4 people.

My father in law, Felix, my hubby, Andy and my daughter Spencer woke up early one Friday morning to meet up with Chase in Gainesville.

My haul!

We were hunting for about 3 hours or so and I found about 120 shark’s teeth, plus sting ray teeth, an alligator tooth plus some other stuff, including a broken Megladon tooth.

I posted a photo on Facebook and EVERYONE was asking me how we found so many shark’s teeth, where, etc.

I have been back since, when my brother came to town, but we just went by ourselves, not with Chase. I HIGHLY recommend going with Chase. One of the biggest reasons is his knowledge.

He is super friendly, great with kids and REALLY knowledgeable about everything you find and run across. He loves what he does and you can tell! Plus he goes to different places all over the state to hunt!

My daughter found a huge Megalodon tooth that she is sooo proud of. My father in law found a tooth that Chase absolutely loved, my FIL tried to give it to him, but he refused, but politely offered to turn it into a necklace for my FIL.

Cell phone photo of my daughter, Spencer, and her Megalodon tooth!

Chase said he has found arrowheads while doing the digs also!

We had a great experience and I wanted to share it with everyone and with this week being Shark Week, and Chase just having his first boy (shark theme nursery, of course!) this last month, this seemed like the perfect time!

He provides EVERYTHING you need for your hunt and is a great host that keeps digging and refilling your sifter with sand/fossils! All you need is a bottle of water, swimsuit and maybe some snacks!

Read all the way to the end for my review and a DISCOUNT CODE!!!

Cell phone shot of Chase and his daughter hunting!

From Chase: We are super excited about shark week, my daughters are making shark art and Wednesday I am displaying my shark tooth art at Art Walk in Jacksonville! 

My grandmother was a pro at finding shark teeth at the beach, I would walk next to her and not finding any as she picked them up right and left.

I remember always looking at her piece of art my aunt made for her with their findings from a trip to Fernandina Beach–It has hundreds of shark teeth and even a nice 2” Megalodon!

I always looked for them at the beach, and in the shell cart path ways at the golf course, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine showed me that you could find them by diving in the dark creeks I grew up swimming and fishing in.

The first time I went looking in a creek, over 10 years ago, I found a 2.5” Megalodon tooth and I was hooked! My favorite place to hunt fossils is scuba diving or snorkeling in Florida waters like deep creeks/rivers. The fossils accumulate in the gravel when the water ways wash through the ancient layers. 

The teeth I found–Christy

I have found the fossilized teeth and bones of many of Florida’s extinct and living animals, from alligators and dolphins to horses and bears. Shark teeth being the most common of course.

In the past year, I have picked up approximately 100,000 shark teeth of all different shapes sizes and colors. The majority of them going into my fossil Florida artwork, the largest of which contained almost 10,000 teeth alone!

One of Chase’s pieces on his website. Florida COMPLETELY made with fossils!

A large variety of recognizable shark teeth and other fossils go into our interactive fossil dig kits as well!

One of my favorite finds is a 3.5” perfect ancient dolphin/whale relative known as a delphinodon. They aren’t found too often and it’s the only one like it I have seen!

Anything funny ever happen? I once took a family to a small private creek and ran across a 7’ rat snake, I grabbed it by the tail and tossed it off in the woods. The family was a little surprised, but that’s how Florida is.

How do you see your company in five years? I will continue making art, leading private guides and expanding our jewelry and dig kit lines.

Sharks lose an average of 30,000 teeth in their lifetime, that times millions of sharks, and 400 million years, there are still many to be found!

We will be expanding our private guide areas, and looking to start taking children’s groups in the future!

How can people book you?

DISCOUNT CODE to get a free mini dig kit with any purchase from the website: Sharkblog

Details of some of the teeth I found. The bottom right is an alligator tooth.
Cell phone photo of our gang. Chase provided the sifting pans and the bags to put our teeth in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christy Whitehead is a photographer in Jacksonville, Florida. She often shoots product photography and head shots in her studio and on location.

School is Back in Session: Creative Ways to Photograph the First Day of School

ICongrats parents, you made it! You survived summer break. Here’s some ideas for those back to school portraits.

The first day of school is a milestone for all kids and parents. I always try to catch a photo of my kids on their first day to show how big they were, what they wore, etc. Over the years, it’s fun to look back on those images and to see how much they’ve grown from one year to the next

Below are some really cute ideas that you can use to make your child’s first day of school photos memorable and unique.

  1. Get a shot of the outfit. You’ve spent the time choosing the perfect outfit for this day so why not hang it up somewhere and get a shot of it before they get dressed? Lay the outfit out on your child’s bed and take a shot from above or place it on a cute hanger and hang it against the door. Then, once your little one has it on, let them give you their best model pose with it on!
  2. Use a blackboard. Incorporate a cute blackboard with a frame into the photos. Fill the blackboard with facts such as the date, their age or even what they want to be when they grow up. Easels also work really well for this and will give you more space to be creative.
  3. A drawing. Get your child to draw themselves on their first day of school and include this in your photo. Or have them write their name and incorporate that into the photo to show off how their penmanship has changed as well.
  4. Show their progress. While taking a picture on the first day of school is a must, make a point of taking a photo on the last day of the school year too. It’s always kind of sad to compare the two photos for me. Another sweet idea is to get your kid to pose with their first day of school photo from the previous year to show their progress. Or have them wear the same outfit as the first day of school!

By having fun and making this moment a big deal for your children, you will instill confidence in them and prepare them for the day and year ahead. Good luck parents!

A Sweet Local Company: Bee Friends Farm

A couple of months ago, I was over at Diamond D Horse Ranch for an event and ran into Bee Friends Farm and their honey products. At first, I didn’t think it was local, the logo and packaging just looked very corporate and national. I’m a huge honey fan and am always buying local honey, so I was shocked to find that it was a Jacksonville-based company.

I bought a bunch of items and took a couple of quick product photographs in our studio and I wanted to share some info about them as well as our own personal review!

Product Photography of Bee Friends Farms honey, labels and logo.

They had a product that I had never seen before called Roasted Toasted Salted Pecan Honey. They call it pecan pie in a jar. If you love pecans and honey, this is amazing. I honestly wasn’t sure what I would think of it, but I hid it from my kids so I wouldn’t have to share. I bought pecans and added it to the jar and added honey and it’s not the same, but it is getting me through my withdrawals! LOL.

I bought some for my mother in law as well and she said she thought it was weird but when she tasted it fell in love with it as well!

The company is run by third generation beekeepers. Leach has been a draftsman, engineer and so much more. When the market crashed his successful cabinetry business fell with it and he was looking for something new.

Michael had always learned a lot from oral history and getting into hives so he started selling bee equipment in 2009 and then in 2013 moved over to honey production as Bee Friends Farm.

Brentley Stead is the Marketing Director for Bee Friends Farm, though she says, Bee Friends Farm Wrangler is more accurate. She got her start with the company after college and says that they run the company full time and it’s a lot more time consuming than folks think!

“Between maintaining our retail stores (you can find a map of our local retailers here), bottling honey, taking care of bees, selling honey at events and doing educational events there’s a lot to get done,” she says. “We have about 400 hives right now and we are looking to expand to 700 by the fall!”

They are currently located right off of I10 and Lane Ave but are migratory beekeepers which means they move the bees depending on what blooms are in season.

What has been the hardest part about working with family, as a family run business?

Having a family run business means we can focus on what needs to be done because we all chip in for tasks that must be accomplished for the business to move forward. That might mean test tasting products, late nights moving bees, cleaning toilets, running around making deliveries the possibilities are endless and it isn’t always glamorous. Because we are all in this together, we get it done together. 

Christie, Michael’s wife, and their three children are always pitching in. At markets, with creative projects and more they are always willing to help! Christie is also the mastermind behind why our Creamed Honey is so delicious. She plays a big role in our fundraising programs for schools as well. 

Can people visit the farm?

We wish we could say yes to this request and we are working on it! For now, we have a couple of great opportunities: You can come visit us the first Saturday of every month when we host a bee mentoring workshop with the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association which is a very cool way to get some hands-on education and meet fellow beekeepers.

We also host a Honey Tasting Workshop with Congaree and Penn practically every month. You can find info on both opportunities on our website – and if we start to open up the farm social media would know first! We are also excited to announce our upcoming Honey Bee Festival on August 17th. Fans can find more info on the event here:


What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

We have some great outdoor opportunities in Jacksonville like the Arboretum, farm visits at Congaree and Penn, taking a book to Memorial Park, hanging beachside, biking trails and more. 

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always have to do while they are in town?

There are so many great markets around town and pop-up events picking one of those is a great way to spend a day! 

What’s your favorite bee related movie?

We are loving the bee/honey segment in the four-part series Rotton which you can find on Netflix. It’s very accurate – know your beekeeper! 

What’s your current obsession? 

Craft beverages are super fun right and we’ve been experimenting with other local businesses in town! For example, Wicked Barley specializes in meads and they have been using different types of our honey to make some magic happen, or Hive Alive who specializes in Jun Kombucha which uses honey instead of sugar. Cocktails are all the rage too (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and working with Volstead downtown and Wildcrafters in Riverside – an upcoming alcohol-free bar –  is always exciting for us. 

Where do you see Bee Friends in 5 years?

We hope to still be producing the best quality honey in North Florida! We are also currently working towards expanding into beekeeping equipment and selling bees again. There’s up and coming beekeeping community and we want to help make sure they get quality supplies and bees. Maybe get into more backyard beekeeper education – stay tuned! 

My daughter’s favorite lemon creamed honey!

Favorite dessert?

Honey!! In all seriousness, there is a local ice cream maker in Springfield, Thomas Reed Creamery, who makes small batches for his neighbors and he makes some honey-based icecreams that are divine! 

We also specialize in Cream Honey which is a crystallized version of our Jacksonville Wildflower and then we add an infusion of spices or extracts. That crystallization is what gives it that thick, rich texture. There is no added sugar or dairy. My favorite is Mexican Vanilla it is rich and smooth and the vanilla almost mellows out the sweetness.

Favorite restaurant?

Oh, we love so many, but are pretty partial to spots like Bread and Board, Vagabond Coffee, Ugly Cupcake, and Vitality Bowls. 

Education is very important to Bee Friends and they try to do a lot of outreach in schools and troops/kids club (which they do not charge for).

We bring our observation hive and bee suit and the kids can’t get enough! We offer fundraising programs for those schools as well – it makes a nice change of pace from wrapping paper and cheesecakes. 

We also do special events and people can book our Tasting Experience for weddings, corporate events, parties etc. 

What if I want to be a beekeeper or want more info?

For those looking to become beekeepers, interested in beekeeping we recommend coming out to our upcoming event on August 17th the Bee Friends Farm Honey Bee Festival. All of the local Beekeeping Clubs will be in attendance and available to answer your questions! 

The Jacksonville Beekeepers Association is an amazing organization and we work closely with them. Any time anyone is interested in learning more about beekeeping or our fabulous community the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association is a fabulous year around resource. Find more from them at


Instagram: @beefriendsfarm

Facebook: Bee Friends Farm 


Christy Whitehead is a corporate and product photographer located in Jacksonville, Florida. She photographs headshots and products for many types of companies. She often features local companies and products on her blog that she thinks other people might find interesting as well!

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,

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:

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.


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.


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.


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:




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

(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.