If you’re looking for an experienced, loving photographer for your newborn portraits, then you’ve come to the right place. I specialize in bringing your family a smile with each snap, and I can’t wait to help you create those first few memories with your baby! If you’d like to learn more about the experience of newborn photography, please visit the Experience page. You can also learn more about my packages on the Investment page. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

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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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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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!

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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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In the last blog, I wrote about some tips and tricks I’ve learned from my years of traveling. And with it being March, we’re getting closer and closer to the beautiful weather that demands a trip! I try to recommend to my newborn photography clients that it’s perfectly okay to take baby on a trip (as long as they’ve been given a bit of time to acclimate at their new homes, and for momma to heal appropriately). That being said, it’s not always easy to get baby to fall asleep when they’re away from their new comforts. Here’s some tips to consider if you’re planning an overnight visit.

1) Journal Their Sleep Patterns
This is more of a pre-emptive step to do long before the trip. Try to keep a diary of baby’s sleeping habits, including the times that they fall asleep, what position seems most comfortable for them as they sleep, and if they’re drawn to any specific objects like blankies or pacifiers. Since each baby is different in how they function, this is the most effective way to make sure your newborn is getting exactly what they miss at home.

2) Pack for the Occasion
Whether you’re bunking up with noisy family members or a more quiet, hotel environment, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra supplies to help keep baby sleepy and happy. A white noise machine to help block out the excess (or lack of) noise, and serves as a great sleep aid for both babies and adults. You can also opt for bringing portable suction cup blackout blinds, which you can apply to any glass window to reduce the amount of light that peeks through the curtains.

3) Behave As Normal
Following in the theme of “reminding baby of the comforts of home,” nothing serves as the best reminder as being yourselves! If you set yourself to a nightly routine at home, make sure you go through with the same routine abroad. Seeing these habits will remind baby that everything is fine and perfectly normal. This is especially true if you’re reading a story to them as they start to drift off to Dreamland, which is a great sleepy habit to get into.

4) Plan Snoozing (& Travel) Accordingly
It’s never great to arrive at a destination and immediately trying to get baby to sleep, especially if they’re wide awake. They’re likely taking in their new surroundings, and could use the comfort of a parent’s care. If you’re planning on driving, the road trip may be the perfect solution to rock them to sleep. It’s even more beneficial to get them into a calm slumber right before the end of the drive, as this will give you the extra time to put away your bags and such on arrival. Key note? Manage that time!

How do you normally get your baby to sleep on a trip? Comment below!

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