Should I Book a Newborn Photo Session?

Posted September 24th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Everyone loves those adorable photos of teeny tiny brand new squishy babies snuggled up and looking so angelic after they’re born.  Those photos are the result of well thought out newborn photo-shoots (and parents who planned ahead to make those newborn shoots happen!).

If you are considering booking a newborn photography session, here’s what you need to know:

Book Early: Book your session while you are in your second trimester because good newborn photographers get booked fast. Don’t worry if baby doesn’t arrive on time, newborn photographers usually hold space for you around your due date, not on an actual date.

Limited Time Only: The adorable little sleeping poses you see in those photos can only happen within the first few weeks after a baby is born – the period of time when all your baby does is sleep. The ideal age of your baby for a newborn shoot is about 5-12 days.

How Long Does A Shoot Take: A typical photo shoot lasts a few hours. That may seem like a long time to take a few photos of your baby, but keep in mind that baby will need to be nursed or comforted frequently. Plus there is time to set up each shot.

Wardrobe: Don’t worry about putting baby in a cutesy outfit. Most newborn photos are taken in baby’s natural state.

Choosing Your Photographer: Research a few local photographers. Check out their galleries and previous work to see if their style matches the look you are going for.

Remember you only have a finite period of time to capture that itty bitty baby. So go for it! You’ll never regret the gorgeous photos you’ll have as a keepsake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woof! Preparing Fido For Your New Arrival

Posted May 21st, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Baby kissing dog

When I was expecting my first human child, I wanted to be sure my four-legged fur babies were ready for my daughter’s arrival.

Oliver and Pearl were my first babies. While they were sweet and good-natured dogs, I still wanted to maintain their good behavior when I introduced a new member to our family.

I scheduled a few sessions with a dog trainer before my due date. We worked on exercises for establishing control and dominance. Our trainer also gave me and my husband some pointers about how to bring baby home and introduce her to the dogs.

Three years later and a second daughter later, I’m happy to report that all my “babies” are happily coexisting!

Here are a few things I learned about preparing a pup for a new baby:

Basic Training: Our dog trainer worked with us on some basic commands and exercises – such as sit and stay. This established that we were in control over the dogs and that they will follow and listen to our instructions. If you skipped puppy training, now is the time to sign up for a doggy class before baby arrives.

Set the Scene: Put the swing, bouncer, high chair and any other baby gear out so your dog can get used to the new furniture. We would bring out diapers and blankets every day and let the dogs sniff them before our daughter was born.

Keep It Safe: No matter how darling your dog is or how cute and cuddly they can be, never leave your dog alone with baby.

Pay Attention: Your dog’s life will certainly change when baby appears. Make sure you take your dog out for its regular walks and he or she gets a bit of your dedicated attention.

Having a trained, well-loved and well-exercised dog will make all the difference in the world once baby joins the family.

The Right Time to Start Baby on Solid Food

Posted April 23rd, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Feeding Baby Solid Foods

Starting solids may be a ways off in your baby’s world (especially if you’re still pregnant), but a new study has found that many mothers are introducing babies to solid food earlier than medical experts recommend.

A recent article in USA Today discussed the study, which found 40% of mothers start feeding their baby solids before the recommended minimum age of four months old. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the head and neck control and overall coordination infants need to safely eat solids doesn’t develop until around 4 months. In addition, the early introduction of solids may increase the risk of some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease.

Starting baby on solids too soon also has an effect on the length of time a baby is exclusively breastfed.  The AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months because of numerous health benefits for infants. When a baby starts solid foods, they will naturally cut back on nursing or bottle-feeding, which affects the nutrients a baby is receiving in their diet.

The study also found:

  • Mothers who introduced solid food before 4 months were more likely to be younger, unmarried, have less education or be participating in the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

 

  • 8% said they introduced solid food as early as 1 month or younger, including 11% who formula-fed only and 5% who breast-fed only.

 

  • 89% of moms who introduced solid food early said they did so because their baby was old enough to begin eating solids.

o   71% said the baby seemed hungry a lot.

o   67% said the baby wanted the food I ate or showed interest in solid food.

o   8% said the baby had a medical condition that might be helped by eating solid food.

It is best to work with your child’s pediatrician or health care provider and follow their recommendations before starting baby on solids.

 

He Did What? Man Sues Wife For Ugly Baby

Posted March 6th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Musical Belt

File this one under “ridiculous baby news!” A man in China sued his wife and WON for giving birth to a child he deemed “so ugly it horrified him.”

The story is as follows:

Jian Feng was very much in love with his wife when they married. However, when she gave birth to a daughter, he thought the baby was so ugly and did not bear any resemblance to himself or his wife. He accused his wife of being unfaithful.

Turns out his wife did not cheat on him. Instead, she had major plastic surgery that completely changed her appearance prior to meeting her husband. She had never told her husband about her face altering procedures. When she admitted to the reconstructive surgery, he filed for divorce and took her to court claiming she had wooed him into a marriage under false pretenses.

The judge sided with the husband who won $120,000!

Even with the payout to her ex-husband, we think the mama was the big winner in this case. Who wants a baby to have a daddy that is so cruel, judgmental and narcissistic? If the little girl was that unattractive, she is going to need positive re-enforcement and parents who will boost her self-confidence and self esteem. 

Do you think the mom should have been up front about her plastic surgery? Should any baby be classified as too ugly? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Post-Baby: Tips for Getting Back in the Love Sack

Posted January 9th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

 

After the birth of my first daughter, I felt so connected to my husband for bringing this beautiful child into the world with him. I could hardly wait the regulated six weeks to be romantic again.  It was slow going at first, as we wanted to be safe, but our sex life remained about the same after baby and led quickly to another pregnancy.

After the birth of our second daughter, I was a bit more hesitant to get busy again. I was older, tired from taking care of two kids and the two vaginal births I’d endured in two years had taken their toll.

I needed a little help to rekindle the fire. Here’s what I did:

Make Time: It can be really easy to skip over sex when the laundry is piling up, you’ve been nursing and changing diapers all day, and you’ve hardly had a minute to wash your hair. Being spontaneous will not be easy. Agree on a day, pick a 30-minute period of time after baby has gone down for the night and schedule a little session. 

Repeat Often: It might take a few times for you to feel that special spark again, but don’t give up after the first try. In those first few times you’re intimate after baby, there might not be that same pleasurable sensation down there, but trust me it will come back. Instead of focusing on the feeling, focus on the emotional connection with your spouse and the rest will follow.

Use Props: You’ve still got the extra baby weight you want to lose, so maybe sexy underwear is not the right choice for setting your mood, but there are other fun things you can do. Kissable dusting powder, dirty dice and other fun props are a great way to put a fun spin on your romp.

Lube: The fact is after childbirth our hormones are still regulating and you might be a bit dry down there. Using lube will make sex easier and more enjoyable for both you and your partner. There are lots of fun (and flavored) varieties on the market, so go wild! But remember not to use an oil-based lubricant if a condom is your birth control method of choice.

When your doctor gives you the go ahead, get back in the sack as soon as you feel comfortable. It’s an important way to stay connected to your partner in the hectic time post-baby.

 

Money Saving Tips for the Thrifty Mama-To-Be

Posted December 18th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Pregnancy Music Belt

There is no doubt about it, babies are expensive. However, having a newborn doesn’t have to push you over a fiscal cliff. Here are a few tips for shaving off some dollars those first few months.

Save Money on Dipes – Cloth diapering baby is always an economical (and environmentally friendly) way to go. But if a fluffy bum is not your thing, you can still find a way to save on disposables by buying generic diapers from any of the big box stores, or purchasing your stash at dollar stores.

DIY Wipes – Sure you can buy wipes in bulk and save a bit, but why not make your own wipes for even more savings. Moisten several small washcloths, towels or strips of fabric with a solution of soap and water. Fold them and store in an airtight container.

Hand-Me-Downs – Tap family and friends for hand-me-down duds and other essentials, or hit up websites and second hand shops that sell baby clothes, toys, books and other baby gear.

Enroll in Baby Clubs – If you create a registry with Target or Walmart you’ll be automatically enrolled to receive tons of coupons and product samples. Be sure to sign up for baby clubs at your local grocer, pharmacy or other retailers too for more coupon and savings opportunities.

Become a Coupon Queen – You’ve all seen Extreme Couponing and probably have been tempted to coupon yourself. Look for coupons on baby essentials like diapers, wipes, food and formula and stock up your family’s fridge with healthy, coupon’d items too.

What is your best kept money saving tip when baby makes three? Please share with the Lullabelly pregnancy music belt readers!

How To Turn a Small Space Into a Nursery

Posted November 13th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

So you’re expecting, but your current home or apartment is on the smaller side and you don’t have a lot of extra room for a nursery. True story, my friend lived in a one-bedroom condo when she had her first baby – they turned their small walk-in closet into a nursery.  Proving that no space is too small for a nursery!

The Lullabelly Blog is here with some tips on how to turn that small space into the perfect nursery.

Double Duty  – You can save room in a small space by using a dresser as a changing table. Simply pop a changing mat on top of the dresser. The top drawer should hold all your diaper and changing needs and the other drawers are free for clothes and toys.

Hooks & Shelves – Shelves and hooks are great space savers. They free up the floor for tummy time and other play activities. The shelves can display all of your baby’s toys and books and the hooks can hold clothing, towels and even a hanging laundry bag.

Under the Crib – The space under the crib is usually the most underutilized space in the nursery. Purchase slim boxes or baskets that you can fill with toys, blankets, out-of-season clothes or extra diapers and then store them out of sight.

Baskets – Not only are baskets useful for storing just about anything, they also add to the décor of a room. Store blankets, toys, clothes or books inside. Choose baskets that are the color or have complementing fabrics that fit with your nursery’s design.

Mini Cribs – A full-sized traditional crib isn’t the only option available these days. Mini cribs or portable cribs are smaller, compact and the perfect option for a tight space. Plus they offer the same comfort as a standard sized crib.

With a little planning and some great design, a tiny room won’t feel too cramped and can still contain all the essentials you need for baby.

 

 

 

 

Crazy Baby Names

Posted November 6th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

We talk a lot about baby names on the Lullabelly blog, but that’s because it is so much fun to choose a name for your little miss or mister. There are so many options out there.

We had a little laugh when we came across an infographic that detailed some of the most unusual baby names from 2011.

Since the Social Security Administration keeps record of every child’s name born in the U.S., they are privy to all of the monikers that parents bestow upon their little ones.  Here are some interesting unusual baby names in 2011.

  • Five girls born in 2011 were named Moo and Island.
  • Six boys born in 2011 were named Treasure, Draper, Strummer, Law, Marcjacob, Mattingly, Life, Marvelous, Brilliant, Cougar and Benjerman.
  • Six girls were named Tomorrow and Tiger.
  • More than seven boys were named Famous.
  • For the booze-lovers, five babies were named Tequila and Patron and nine were named Chardonnay.

Check out more unusual names HERE. Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your baby name, but most likely you’ll just get a good chuckle.

Pre-Baby Education – What Classes Should You Take to Get Ready?

Posted October 23rd, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Has anyone been watching the new season of “Giuliana & Bill” on the Style Network? They have been trying for years to have a baby and happily they were able to conceive via a gestational carrier. While they have already had the baby in real time, the latest season of their show documents the events leading up to their baby boy’s birth.

The episode I just watched sent them off to Bel-Bambini Baby Boutique in LA to register for baby. Quite frankly, they were absolutely clueless as to what they needed and quickly realized that while she wasn’t physically carrying the baby, they still had a lot of preparing to do to bring a child into the world.

If you’re feeling clueless when it comes to preparing for baby’s arrival, don’t worry, help is on the way!

Here are Lullabelly’s suggestions for classes you should take before the baby arrives:

Childbirth Classes: This is a must for any expecting mom. This type of class will prepare you for labor. A good class should include the following information:

 

      The signs of labor

      The normal process of labor and birth

      Techniques for coping with pain

      How your partner can help during labor

      When to call your doctor or midwife

 

Breastfeeding Classes: If you plan to breastfeed, or want more information on the process, you should sign up for a breastfeeding class.  A good breastfeeding class should be led by a certified lactation consultant and cover breastfeeding basics such as techniques, positions, pumping and how to store breast milk.

Basic Newborn Care Classes: If this is your first baby, or maybe you need a refresher on the basics of caring for a newborn, a baby care class is absolutely recommended. Look for a class that will teach you about diapering, bathing, infant behavior, sleep patterns and comforting techniques.

Taking a prenatal class will help you focus on baby and give you a bit of an education before baby comes. It will also give you the reassurance of knowing what to expect.

And when it comes to shopping for baby goods, like Bill and Giuliana did, well, you might have to just muddle through that one on your own!

Do You Have the Mom Gene?

Posted October 2nd, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

The Lullabelly team just read about a new study conducted on female mice that shows there might be a genetic link to nurturing traits – or what they are calling the “mom gene.”

Researchers at the Rockefeller University in New York say they’ve found a single gene linked to key parenting skills. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, took a group of healthy mice mothers and injected a molecule that silenced their estrogen receptor alpha in one specific area of the brain.

It turns out that once this particular gene was silenced, not only did the mommy mice not nurse or lick their little one, they wouldn’t even move the baby mice back into the cage or fight off strangers. To sum it up, the study shows that without this particular gene, these mice lacked the skills it takes to be a mom.

Of course, mice are not humans and what it takes to be a good mom in the human world is a lot different than in the laboratory.

It’s important to note that perhaps we are not simply born to be mothers and fathers, we are taught how to take care of our babies and children from our own parents and family members, society and even in the classroom.

So don’t sweat it if you don’t consider yourself to be a particularly maternal person, it doesn’t mean you won’t make a stellar mom!

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