How has your relationship changed with your partner since having a baby?

How has your relationship changed with your partner since having a baby?

How To Take Perfect Baby Photos This Christmas

It is very common for couples to argue more after the arrival of a new baby. Research shows that first-time parents argue on average 40% more after their child is born. It’s no surprise, you’re under more pressure, have less free time and are getting less sleep than usual.

So what can you do about it?

Below are some tips of what you can do about this to ensure your relationship stays strong during this massive change in your family.

1. Recognize that this is hard for both of you:

“It’s human nature to feel resentful or play the ‘who has it worse game,” but try and remember that each of you is dealing with a major identity shift. Your experiences may look different and still be equally intense.

I have to be honest and say that I was very guilty of this “who has it worse game”, when our daughter was first born. Unfortunately our daughter has never been a good sleeper and when you are always tired, it’s easy to play the victim role.
My hubby found it very challenging as well and the way he put it was “it was like losing your best friend overnight”.
We have gone from spending all the time in the world together, to no time together at all.

Once you communicate with your partner and understand that there is no “I have it worse”, then it’s much easier to communicate and adjust to the new environment.

2. Set aside time to work through difficulties:

When you are exhausted it can be so easy to complain about what your partner is or isn’t doing. By setting aside time to talk about it to your partner things may have calmed down and then you will both be more open to talking about things instead of just complaining.
It’s amazing how many problems “solve themselves” simply by setting time aside to talk about what is bothering you.

3. Communicate effectively:

When you are angry and frustrated it can be hard to talk to your partner without offending him.
Try to be as specific as possible, i.e. instead of saying “You don’t help” say “I feel tired, can you bath the baby tonight”?
Of course we expect our partners to “know” what is bothering us and that they should take the lead and offer to bath the baby, we shouldn’t have to spell it out right?
Remember though, we are all fighting our own battles. Although it would be nice for our partner to know what we need, don’t let this affect your relationship.

4. Schedule in time to spend together:

As you adjust to life with a new baby and become more confident you may be tempted to leave the baby with a family member or a friend. At first it may be only a few hours to go for a drink or a movie or just to relax. Quality time should never be underestimated in any relationship.
Although it would be nice to be spontaneous when spending time together, having a baby can really change the entire dynamic. It doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous, it just means you need to find new ways to be spontaneous.

We do not have the luxury of having grandparents or any family members to help out so instead our “date night” is when our daughter is in daycare.

What is your ideal “date night” given the new circumstances?

5. Understand that this time will pass:

When we get caught up in the moment we can forget that this is just a phase and feel like it will never end. Babies don’t stay tiny forever and toddlers will grow out of their tantrums.
Your relationship with your partner may require a lot more conscious effort so you need to decide and plan ahead.
When you have a sleepless night, or your baby is teething or your toddler is throwing tantrums, remember the phrase “This too shall pass”!

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How to use the 5 Love Languages on Yourself

How to use the 5 Love Languages on Yourself

How To Take Perfect Baby Photos This Christmas

We have all heard the saying “You cannot pour from an empty cup”!

Since becoming a mother I surely felt like my cup was empty plenty of times. Don’t get me wrong, having my daughter was the single most important thing in my life and always will be, but any mum would know it’s hard work and requires your full attention and energy.

So how do you ensure you regularly fill your own cup?

According to Gary Chapman we give and receive love in five different “love languages”. It is important to understand our own love language as well as our partner and kids. 

In this article my focus is on how do you use the 5 Love Languages on Yourself especially when you have a baby or young kids that require so much of your time and attention. Remember you need to fill your own cup so you can “pour into someone else’s cup”

Words of Affirmation:
We sometimes tend to criticize ourselves a lot more than we should and this can have such a negative impact on us.
Start saying kind things to yourself like;

“I did my best today”

Even if you’re not happy with what you have accomplished, you did your best with what you could, given how you felt on this particular day.

“I am enough as I am”

This means that there is no mistake you are who you are, in this place at this time. You are enough as you are, mess and all, beautiful and broken, showing up for your life every day. That’s all you have to be and all you have to do. You’re already enough.
It’s easy to forget that we are doing our best especially after a sleepless night or a day full of tantrums.
It’s also easy to compare and sometimes it can feel like every other parent “has it together” except you.
This is why using this Love Language and saying kind things to yourself can really help and shift your energy.

2. Quality Time;

Make time for yourself.
You can journal, read, meditate or do anything you enjoy and makes you happy
Most mums would cringe and say “I don’t have time for myself”, however consciously decide to “make time” for yourself even for a few minutes.

3. Gifts;

Buy yourself a gift, like flowers, a special treat or a new outfit.
Once we become mums we tend to forget about ourselves and end up buying all the nice things for our baby and kids. Remember you need to feel special too

4. Acts of Service;

Be as dedicated to making life easy and pleasant for yourself as you do for your kids and others. Put some energy into your own dreams and goals (even if they keep changing)

5. Physical touch;

Treat your body with the love that is deserves, listen to it and give it what it needs.
As mums our hands are always full and we sometimes forget how we feel.
What does your body need?
Yoga or Pilates? Massage? Relaxing bath?

How are you going to fill your cup today?

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Traditions to start on Baby’s 1st Christmas

Traditions to start on Baby’s 1st Christmas

Traditions to start on Baby’s First Christmas

There are so many traditions to start on Baby’s first Christmas, and you may be wondering how your little one can participate during their first year.
Here are some ideas that you can start this Christmas or add to your already existing traditions.

Stocking Stuffers
Fill your baby’s first stocking with age appropriate toys! There are so many things you can fill your little one’s stocking with like pacifiers, teethers, bath toys, rattles or even their first toothbrush.

Christmas Tree
Whether your tree is real or fake, tall or small, start your Christmas Tree traditions on Baby’s first Christmas!
Allow your baby to “help” you decorate the Christmas tree while listening to Christmas carols.
The sooner you put out your Christmas tree the better so you can celebrate all month long.
*Never leave your baby unattended with the Christmas tree! Ornaments can be broken and hooks can be swallowed!

Elf on the Shelf
If you have a young baby it may be too early to start playing hide and seek with your Elf on the Shelf, but if your baby is on the move, why not start this tradition on your baby’s first Christmas?
Hide the elf on low shelves or furniture so your baby notices it while exploring the house. She may not find it every day but it will be exciting for everyone when she does!
If your baby is too young to find the elf take a photo of them together to show your child when she is older, and has grown to love this fun Christmas tradition!

Cookies for Santa
Leave cookies and milk out for Santa starting on Baby’s first Christmas! Even if your baby is too young to help bake Santa’s cookies this year, it is still a fun and delicious treat for Mum and Dad!

Family Christmas Card
Take a photo together and send out an annual, family Christmas card! You can sign the card from Baby using her footprint!
Signing your baby’s name is cute, but this is a creative way to sign greeting cards from your baby. Signing the card with Baby’s footprint makes the card so much more special by turning it into a keepsake for family members and friends!

Favorite Christmas Movie
Although your baby is too young to watch a Christmas movie this is one of my favorite traditions. After a big meal (and too many sweats), the best thing is to relax and watch a movie. You can always play some Christmas music or carols instead if your baby is too young to make an exception on Christmas day.

Annual Event
Whether you attend a church service or a local Christmas event, start this tradition on your baby’s first Christmas!
Our annual family tradition is to go to the city and see all the decorations and take some nice pictures and also attend our local Carols by Candlelight event.
What are your annual traditions?

Donate
It is never too soon to start teaching our children the importance of giving.
A great way to donate during the Christmas season is simply put a gift under the Christmas tree at your local store such as Kmart. Your baby/child can select the present and put it under the tree. This can really teach them the art of sharing and caring.

Meet Santa
There is nothing quite like the anticipation of bringing your baby to meet Santa for the first time! Will she smile? Will she scream? Will she sit on Santa’s lap.
Either way, your family will have a great time introducing Baby to Santa!

Make an Ornament
Let your child get creative and make a homemade ornament to hang on the tree each year! You can imprint your baby’s handprint on their first ornament, or let your child paint one of the blank ornaments each year.
We had so much fun with this on my baby’s first Christmas!

Read Christmas Books
We read books to Grace every night as part of her bedtime routine. Introduce your favorite Christmas stories to your baby during the month of December, and enjoy reading them over and over again each year!

Meal With Family
Plan a meal to have as a family each year! Whether you meet for dinner on Christmas Eve or lunch on Christmas Day, this will be a wonderful time for your family to spend together!
Keep it simple or include your extended family members and a gift exchange! This is a tradition that will begin on Baby’s first Christmas and will last a lifetime.

What traditions will your family start on Baby’s first Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

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benefits of taking your own baby photos

benefits of taking your own baby photos

Top benefits of taking your own baby photos

There are so many benefits to taking your own baby photos. This days the camera’s on most new phones are almost as good as a professional camera. The internet is filled with tips and tricks on how to take your own photos especially using your phone.

Although there are too many benefits to list, here are the top two benefits of becoming your baby’s professional photographer

Ability to get the timing right

There is nothing worse than hiring a photographer and when the time comes your baby is not in the mood. Be it a bad night’s sleep, teething, you name it, your baby just can’t seem to relax enough for that perfect photo shot. Trust me, I have been there. Last time I hired a photographer my daughter was just not feeling it. The only thing that we could have done to change her mood was to give her a biscuit, so we ended up with a lot of photos of her eating her biscuit.

All throughout the day your baby will be in different moods, sleepy, hungry, grumpy, happy etc Although you could plan as much as possible to get the timing right, there is no guarantee your baby will cooperate. 

By learning the tips and tricks of taking your own professional photos of your baby, you are eliminating getting the timing wrong. 

Endless Milestones especially the first 12-24 months

There are so many milestones to capture, the first smile, the first time your baby rolls over, first time your baby sits up, when your baby starts to crawl, when you baby takes their first steps. The list goes on and on.

By learning to take your own photos you will be able to create albums filled of cute baby photos and you will be able to capture special moments that you couldn’t have otherwise.

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Baby Photography Tips

Baby Photography Tips

Baby Photography Tips

When it comes to babies, two things are certain:

They’re incredibly adorable, huggable and irresistible

They grow insanely fast and before you know it, they are teenagers wearing your cloths or driving your car.

Capturing those precious moments, especially in the first few years is something you can cherish forever and you don’t need to go to an expensive photographer for that. We’ve collected the best of the best newborn photography ideas. By the end of this article you’ll know how to set up your own photoshoot right from the comfort of home without having to fork out lots of money for a photographer. So let’s get started…

1. Create the best lighting for your baby shots
Pick a shooting location that has a lot of natural light. Choose the room or area in your house that gets the most sunlight and if you want to shoot on the floor find a window or door that lets in light all the way down to the floor if possible.

2. Find a time to shoot that fits with your baby’s schedule
All throughout the day, your baby will be in different moods, sleepy, hungry, grumpy, happy etc
You need to find a time of the day when your baby is generally the happiest (maybe after a nap or after a meal)
If you are wanting to photograph a newborn when they’re asleep, schedule this around their nap time and to keep them happy, you must ensure the environment is comfortable and even play some soothing music to keep them happy.

3. Pick neutral, textured props so your baby can shine
It is best to Pick props and outfits that are a neutral color and similar tone so that they don’t distract from your cute baby. Picking a light color may help with the lighting of the picture, since it will reflect light instead of absorbing it. Add visual interest by using a prop with texture, like a knit blanket. Using blankets as a backdrop is best, since they won’t wrinkle like sheets or curtains do.

4. Set your environment before you start shooting
Have backup baby outfits and props ready in case your bub has an accident or if they’re in a good mood and willing to have their outfit swapped for a second round of cute photos.
It is also recommended that you adjust your lighting before you put your baby in place for the shot. This will save you time since you don’t have to keep readjusting and it will speed up the process.
Lastly get your iphone/smartphone or camera ready and make sure it is fully charged.

5. Keep Your Baby Supported
Shooting your baby on the floor is a good option for getting overhead shots and making sure your baby doesn’t roll off anything. Other options is having someone hold the baby while they’re under a big, bulky blanket or placing the baby on a Boppy pillow that’s covered with a blanket. Having someone hold the baby is an especially good trick for newborns since they get cold and love to be held. It’s pretty easy to keep the holder out of the shot, and the baby will be less fussy.

6. Take pictures from above
Angle your shot so that you’re shooting down the baby’s nose instead of up because that doesn’t look flattering on anyone. If you’re shooting your baby from an elevated surface, try getting eye level with your baby so you can establish eye contact.

7. Use The Baby Focus to get your Babies Attention                                                                                                 The Baby Focus is a detachable baby rattle for your smartphone. When you attach the spinning rattle on your phone, it is almost guaranteed your baby will look instantly and since the rattle is attached below your phone’s camera, the perfect photo is just a snap away!

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