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I love going on family road trips! Some of my favorite memories are of me and my husband taking trips around (and outside) the country, so I try to recommend to my newborn photography mommas that they find a fun location to go on as they introduce baby to the world! In order to have the most effective and least teary-eyed road trip, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1) Car Seat Installation

It goes without saying – your baby’s car seat is key for any trip. The car seat keeps baby safe in the backseat, and provides a sense of comfort while they’re not being held. Make sure that the seat itself is installed correctly. It should be in a backward-facing position, as this is the safest option for any child under the age of two. In the case of any potential accidents, it’s better to be safe by keeping children away from the potential of loose objects.

2) Pack Smartly, Not Heavily

It’s easy to get lost in the fog of war that is known as “packing before a trip,” and you end up cramming all of your stuff into as many travel bags as you can fit. Instead of opting for more, trying thinking about the necessities and develop a list. Now that baby is in the picture, you’ll need the extra room for bringing toys, pre-pumped milk, and strollers. Plus, having less will allow you to bring home more memorabilia from your trip!

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3) Time to Feed

Baby gets hungry, and you know there’s no stopping a grumbling belly. Before any trip, try to get your newborn to feed, as this could reduce the amount of tears from the start. And make sure to take as many stops as you need to feed baby during the drive. There are plenty of rest stops that you can plan for and take advantage of just for that occasion. Of course, it’ll also help to keep yourself well-fed, so make the stops for the whole family!

4) Be Ready to Clean

Whether it’s the leftover burger wrappers or baby’s drippy nose, you should be ready for all types of cleaning. Stock up on the baby wet wipes to keep baby’s face bright and shining. Re-use leftover plastic shopping bags as miniature trash bags, the perfect way to keep up on the potential growing pile of trash. And knowing baby’s messy self, it wouldn’t hurt to bring a Tide To Go pen for any chance of stains.

What do you like to do for your road trips? Have any recommendations of where to go on the East Coast? Let me know in your comments!

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If baby has been crying more than usual lately, it could very well be that they might have begun the process of teething. Teething can start as young as 3 months old, and can drastically affect their temperament. When I’m doing my family photography and baby photography, I like to keep these tips in my back pocket, just in case I need them. Take a look at some ways that you can take care of your child when their little mouths are in pain.

1. Keep Baby’s Mouth Cool

It can help to keep your child’s mouth on the cooler side, as that tends to help numb any discomfort and pain. I recommend using a soft, clean washcloth and running it under cool (not cold) water. After you wring it out, you can apply a corner of it to baby’s affected area. By allowing baby to slightly gnaw on it, the action mixed with the cool temperature can help alleviate the issue almost instantly.

2. Apply a Clean Finger to the Tooth/Gum Area

A really effective method I’ve found is simply using your index finger to apply some mild pressure to the new-tooth area. After you wash your hands (preferably with a non-strong-flavored hand soap), you can slip your finger into the area where baby’s gums are and give a very mild massage near the affected tooth. The counter-pressure provided from the inside gives a quick relief.

3. Breastfeeding

This method can take care of two birds with one stone. Whether baby is hungry or just teething, attempting to breastfeed can remedy the situation. Perform the feeding as usual, and baby should be able to latch on. In the instance where pain may be too much to latch, doing the finger-to-gum massage beforehand may make a difference. The goal is to keep baby comfortable throughout the entire process.

4. Buy a Teething “Toy”

There are toys specially designed for teething babies, that are often made from soft, plush materials. By getting one of these for your child, it allows them to safely gnaw and chew with their newly-growing tooth, and is designed to last throughout the teething process. I recommend finding one that is washer-safe, so you can add that to your laundry routines.

Do you have any tips for new mommas on how you’ve dealt with teething babies? Please feel free to send your comments and suggestions below!

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I may not be able to speak from my own personal experience, but from my observations, new mommas can see quite the struggle at home. And one of the biggest struggles I’ve seen in my newborn photography shoots is that mom’s and baby’s schedules don’t always line up perfectly. When mom needs a rest, baby wants to eat, and when mom is ready to feed, baby’s tuckered out and sleepy! Here are a few suggestions that could help with time management, so your lives can be as close to in-sync as possible.

1. Keep A Notepad On You

If you have an idea, or if you need a reminder to do something later, make sure you have either a notepad or a smartphone on you to take note of it. Oftentimes it’s easy to forget the least (and the most) important tasks, especially when handling a cranky newborn. When you have a free second, jot it down and save it for later. That way, you can keep a running record of all the things you need to get done by the end of the day!

2. Take It Moment By Moment

Life is just a series of moments, connected by the laughter we share and the tears we shed. Don’t look forward to the next moment – live in the one you’re in and cherish it! Taking advantage of the time you currently have is strangely proactive, especially if you recognize that the current moment is fruitful for getting done the things that need to be done. Whether baby is sleepy or cooing, be aware of what you can do for yourself in that time.

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3. Find Your Priorities

There are plenty of things that need to get done, whether at home or with work. Finding your specific priorities will ensure that the necessities are met, as the other tasks can take the backseat. It helps to have a willing hubby at your side to take on those extra responsibilities for you, but you can ask family and friends to lend a hand – that’s why you’ve kept them close!

4. If Able, Do Extra

What does it mean to do “extra”? Whether you’re in the kitchen making meals or taking care of baby’s laundry, it’s always a huge time management help to do just a little extra in that moment. Make some more proteins and veggies that you can save for the next day, to cut down on cooking times, or throw in an extra load of laundry so you’re not washing baby’s clothes on a daily basis. A little “extra” in that moment can go a long way.

What would you say to new mommas on how to manage time? Leave a comment below!

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I’m so excited to announce that I’ve created a brand-new promo video to highlight my photography! This video shows a brief but insightful glimpse of my routine, so to get the full effect, you’ll have to take a look at the services I offer.

It’s been a wonderful year for ShayLeigh Photography as my business continues to grow, and I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming dozens of families into the fold of my newborn photography sessions. Here’s to hoping that 2017 brings many more blessings, from my home to yours.

Check out the video below, and let me know what you think!

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‘Tis the season to spend a little more time and attention on the ones we love, and we’re only a few short weeks from Christmas Day! So I thought that I would take the time to talk a little about the photography equipment that I use, in case you or a loved one is looking to pick up the craft, or just looking to take the best family photos as baby continues to grow.
Canon Mark II 
I use the Canon Mark II as my go-to camera for my photo shoots. This model was always a dream of mine since I first became interested in photography. It was such an accomplishing feeling once I was able to get it! The camera features a 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, with 14-bit A/D conversion. This gets me that high definition image that makes for easier editing, and helps give my new mamas the pictures they want!


Lenses 


As far as lenses go, I often find myself using the Canon 50mm lens for newborn shoots. Because it’s a fixed lens, it makes for a surprise sharp image result. When I’m looking for a more nuanced, detail shot, the Canon 100mm lens does the trick. It’s great for picking up those little toes, eyelashes and smiles!


I like changing things up every now and then by using the Canon 24-70. This is a wonderful accompaniment on those shots inside with parents, especially when the little ones are on the move! But my absolute favorite lens is also the newest lens to the ShayLeigh family – the Canon 70-200. It makes me long for those summer shoot sessions, since it’s so great for outdoor photography. With its improved depth of field and crystal-clear images, it’s hard to recommend a better lens for taking advantage of the beautiful outside.


Comment below on some of your favorite photography equipment!
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