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Max | South Jersey Newborn Photographer

This little one was super special here at the studio. Little girl, Max, is my very good friend and posing assistant, Leeann’s niece! Isn’t she just a dream?
Detailed shots end up being some of my favorite images in the gallery. To be able to look back and remember all those little details, there cute lips, little birth bumps on their nose, their sweet profile, so magical.
Incorporating fresh flowers into my sessions is my new favorite obsession. Fresh baby, fresh flowers, does it get any better?


These three, oh my word the sweetness! Leeann’s 2 boys and their new sweet cousin Max, my heart is melting.

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Finding the Perfect Big Sibling Gift

The greatest gift you can bring into your home is the life and love of a newborn child. Of course, you can tell that to big brother or big sister, but they’ll often prefer a gift that they can play with immediately! That’s why a “big sibling gift” has become more popular throughout the years, by making sure your older children know that they are still loved all the same. Here are some great tips for getting the perfect gift.

1. Snacks

What’s your child’s favorite snack? More importantly, what’s their favorite snack that’s usually only saved for special occasions? This may be a great opportunity to give them a treat that they aren’t allowed to have often, like candy. Or, you can keep it healthy, and pack them up some delicious baked crisps and sugar-free animal crackers!

2. Toys

There’s not a single kid in the world who wouldn’t love another toy to add to the collection, so this is a no-brainer! If there’s a toy that they’ve been absolutely dying to have, let Christmas come a little early this year. Or consider a toy that would be best for helping them get adjusted to the addition to the family by springing for a doll. This could be a great moment to also teach them how to be gentle!

3. Coloring Books

I absolutely loved coloring when I was a kid, so getting a few coloring books would be right up this alley! Check out your local dollar store and see what they have in stock, or look online for the perfect one. Your child may appreciate one that comes with a theme, like superheroes, princesses, or whatever kid’s show is popular these days. Don’t forget the crayons and markers!

4. Combine All Of Them!

You don’t have to restrict yourself to one gift by only picking one of the suggestions above. These gifts are usually on the cheaper side, and can be bought at a bargain at your local dollar store. Put them all in a fun, colorful basket, and you put together the best gift for a kid to enjoy for the next month to come. By keeping them busy with the fun, it lets you focus on caring for your newborn the way you want!

What are some neat, inexpensive gifts you’ve given a child that they absolutely adored? Comment below!



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Teaching Your Toddlers The Value of Soft Touch

I am constantly blown away with the amount of care and knowledge that my clients show during ShayLeigh Photography family portrait shoots – I’m always so proud of these parents in action! Whether it’s being ready with the binky, or having an extra set of diapers, they’re usually on top and prepared. But what do you do when you have a toddler AND a baby? It’s not always easy introducing the ever-learning toddler to a situation that absolutely requires gentle care. Here are some tips on how to best teach your little one on the values of being soft and careful with baby.

1. To Teach Gentle, You Must Be Gentle

I know it’s really easy to slip into stern, louder volumes when needing your toddler’s immediate attention, but avoid it at all costs! That type of correction doesn’t necessarily stick as a learning moment. Try to keep your tone and volume gentle, and lead by example. You can still get your point across through things like eye contact and touch.

2. Be a Physical Guide

Going along with the first point, the best way to learn for children at this age is to be taught through example. This can absolutely occur just by using your own hands to guide theirs as they touch baby. Make sure they know the difference between using palms and fingertips while avoiding using nails. These little steps, along with soft reminders, will make sure baby stays safe.

3. Practice Positive Reinforcement

When you positively reinforce good behavior in young children, it often promotes them to continue down that path. Once they’ve started to grasp what gentle means, especially in regards to your newborn, make sure you give them loving praise for their actions. A simple “very good!” can go a long way!

4. Practice with a Doll (Or Action Figure!)

You may be eager to introduce baby to your toddler, as they slowly get adjusted to having that new baby brother or sister. But the safest option to teach them on how to be gentle is by using a guided toy, like a doll, action figure or stuffed animal. Using an inanimate object allows your young child to make the simple, easy mistakes, without fear of harm coming to baby. Plus, since they likely already have something of this nature, you won’t need to purchase anything else!

Let me know some of your recommendations below, I’d love to hear from you!


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Walking Your Baby Through The City of Brotherly Love

Ahhhhh, take a deep breath in and enjoy this beautiful, new weather! Being outside isn’t just good for a ShayLeigh Photography newborn photoshoot – it’s simply great for the soul! And it’s a great opportunity to go for a walk outside with baby, to take in the sights and sounds of beautiful Philadelphia. Here are some great walking areas in the City of Brotherly Love to take advantage of this season.

1. Race Street Pier


Take a stroll along the peaceful Delaware River Waterfront and make your way to the Race Street Pier. Lined along the “boardwalk” are a set of trees, with benches underneath almost all of them. This beautiful area is home to joggers and sightseers alike, and makes for a great way for baby to see the light shining brightly off the surface of the water. It’s also generally a great family picnic spot!

2. Elmwood Park Zoo


Elmwood Park Zoo is a wonderful destination for families with children of all ages! Bring baby to the zoo to introduce them to the wild world of animals, where they can see giraffes, jaguars, and plenty of other favorites. Plus, baby gets to enter for free, since children aged 2 and under do not need a ticket. You can also rent a single stroller for just $5 for the day – a huge bargain for bringing baby in on the fun!

3. Franklin Square


Another peaceful destination for which to take advantage would be Franklin Square, an historic site to see. This large park was set aside by William Penn as part of his idea to keep the greenery within urban reach. Take a ride on the carousel located near the center of the park, designed perfectly for those family outings that you don’t want to end. It’s also a great place to lounge around under a tree and people-watch!

4. Rittenhouse Square


Rittenhouse Square has a deep, rich history in Philadelphia, and it comes as no surprise that it’s one of the most popular spots to go for a walk in the city. You’ll often find the Square involved in fun festivals that bring out small business owners to show off their goods, and a stroll around this block with baby means you’ll be walking away with some goodies. So grab a bench by the center and take in the surrounding sights and smells of the glorious spring weather!

Where is your go-to spot for when you decide to take baby on a stroll? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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Bless You! Signs of a Baby With Allergies

One of my favorite things about the spring is being able to go outside, take in the sunlight and breathe in the beautiful smells of freshly-cut grass and flowers. It’s also great for taking beautiful family portraits with ShayLeigh Photography! But not everyone can fully appreciate the change in weather, especially those that suffer from seasonal allergies. If baby has a case of the sniffles, then maybe you should look for these additional telltale signs that allergies may be in the future for your little one.

1. Upper Respiratory Tract

One of the first signs you’ll come across would be a specific type of leaky nose. If baby’s nose is running with a bit of cloudiness in it, then it may just be a cold. But a persistently-running nose that’s a bit more thin and watery may be indicative of some allergies. It’s good to know the difference between the both of them because it will help guide whether or not you should be visiting a doctor over these types of issues.

2. Eyes

Take a look at baby’s eyes and see how they look. Are they red or pink, and crusted shut when they wake up? Your newborn may have conjunctivitis, which may be worth taking them to the doctor. It’s almost certainly allergy-related if their eyes seem frequently itchy, which you can tell if baby seems to be rubbing them more. Another reaction would be if small dark circles appear under their eyes. Either way, their eyes will definitely stand out!


3. Skin

It’s fairly common for newborns to see skin rashes near their diaper areas, especially during the first couple of months. But if rashes are appearing outside of the normally-affected areas, it might be due to an allergic reaction. This can be from exposure to grass, certain types of laundry cleaners, and other physical contact with allergy-heavy properties. Especially keep an eye out for symptoms of eczema!

4. Behavior

If you’re noticing a change in appetite or sleeping patterns during allergy-heavy months (like from March to June and September to November), then they may be dealing with breathing issues caused by allergies. Sometimes this can show in their fussy nature, and may express discomfort. This, along with all of the physical issues caused by allergies, is something to definitely keep an eye on and track throughout the day.

There are plenty of ways to give your baby the care it needs when it’s suffering from allergies! Hydrocortisone creams are available for skin issues, and doctors can help with the rest. How do you help your newborn with allergies? Comment below!


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