Over the years I’ve had so many wonderful clients here, but one thing that is spoken about more than others is friends and families opinions on holding your baby ‘too much’.
I know right? *Eye Roll*
Now, if you know me, you’ll know I believe full well than you cannot create a clingy baby. You cannot spoil a baby with love. You baby craves the love, the hugs, the kisses, the cuddles. It helps them grow and become strong confident young adults.
Besides my thoughts, scientific research shows that the children and babies that are held more, are actually more confident in themselves.
While writing this, I did some research on google. I cannot tell you the overwhelming sadness I felt when typing in ‘holding your baby too much’. Endless articles on how to hold your baby, when to, tips on stopping holding them so much.
Why is it the norm to find out ways to hold your baby less? Yes, I understand that we are busy. But why are we too busy to hold our baby?
According to a new study, you can’t EVER cuddle your newborn too much. And in fact, touch is crucial to a baby’s development and actually has some pretty major benefits when it comes to brain development.
So, this blog comes from personal experience. I’m no Dr, not a nurse, nothing in the medical industry. However, I am a mother of three. Three boys who I hug and love on as much as I can.
When clients come into the studio and we begin our talks (I love to get to know you), so many times I am told that their friends and families have told them not to hold their baby too much as they’re going to make them clingy. Clingy? I wish people wouldn’t say this to new parents. All their baby has ever know so far is the warmth and love of their mothers womb. The closeness of that 24 hour hug.
Pick up any child development textbook and you’ll read that between 2-3 months the infant begins figuring out it is a separate being from it’s mother. With this awareness comes separation anxiety or the fear that the mother will never come back. (This lasts from 2-4 months.) This is made worse by the fact that infants cannot yet recall the past. They don’t remember that LAST TIME you came back. They only know you set them down and are leaving them NOW and are unsure of the future so they cry because they truly do NEED you.
Babies are just babies. They are tiny, helpess infants. They need constant reassurance and love. Their needs don’t end just because you have something to do. The cleaning can wait, the washing can go on another spin and that laundry folding can be completed later on.
This next part is for those who believe that they have any say on another parents baby and how they should raise them.
The mother and father you’re standing in front of or speaking to in any way, has just had a baby. They’ve just had 9 months of growing this baby or these babies.
All they’ve yearned for is to hold their newborn(s). Some of these parents have been through so much to have these babies. They could have been through a loss, multiple losses and now finally have a healthy baby. As a mother who has sadly lost babies, it makes me want to hold my children who I have walking by me each day, even more. Some of these parents have thankfully never had a loss but want to hold their babies just as much.
In the nicest possible way, it really isn’t any of your business. You may mean well, but it can become detrimental. It can make a parent feel they’re doing the wrong thing by holding their child. That they’re failing their baby by wanting to be with them all the time.
They’re not failing, they’re succeeding. Old traditions and old wives tails should not come into it when a parent just wants to simply love on their child.
I don’t want to fluff on for too long and lose direction, its just I am very passionate about subjects like this.
My blogs come from an emotional point of view and I chuck in a few facts as it’s necessary.
Think about it in way like this. You’re an adult, you’re feeling sad and someone simply tells you they cannot comfort you because you wont learn to ‘self soothe’ and you’ll be clingy, not leave them alone.
I don’t know about you but this would utterly break my heart and I’d no doubt end up crying even more.
So, before you head over to a new parent and tell them to put their baby down to cry, stop and think about how you’d feel. But more importantly, how you’re making those new parents feel.
Oh and Mums, Dads? When you head over for your newborn session here, you’ll get nothing but praise for all that love your giving to your baby.
But I reeeeally want to get in on those baby hugs… ok? haha!
Your Family pet.
That says it all really doesn’t it? Family. That’s what they are. Not just a pet.
I’ve had 5 wonderful rescue dogs since I was born. These were never all together, they were our close companions over the years.
Our first was Max, our little collie.
Our next little guy, (I say little, he was much bigger than Max) was Ben another collie. As lovable as he was feisty. Don’t get that wrong though, he just had a kick about him, but not a mean bone in his long haired body.
Along came Patch. *takes breath*. A blue merle collie. The fluffiest of them all.
Very soon came along Digger. A mixed Staff/Lab. Muscles for days but a gorgeous dopey attitude to life.
In 2008, our Nan passed away so I took responsibility of her little fatty Yorkshire Terrier, Elle Bear.
Every single pet named above was loved the same. SO hard. Losing every single one broke us, it tore us apart.
But this post is about our pet dog, Patch. Our latest loss.
I’ll always remember the day we went to the rescue ‘Viking Oak’ to check out some new dogs. We had not long lost Ben, and the house wasn’t a home without a pet. But we are dog people, they’ve such personality!
We asked to take a certain dog for a walk, just around the rescue so we could get a feel for if he was the boy for us. With seconds, he was ours. We knew it in our hearts. Out he came bolting along.
Silly little me, still a young teenager wore all white. A rainy day, mud everywhere, I still wore white. I’m sure Patch wanted to teach me a lesson, so as soon as I got a hold of his lead….
OFF WE WENT!
Yes, we. I went flying. Straight through the muddy puddles. Straight on my bottom. Straight to the biggest belly laughs!
I often get reminded of my first day meeting him, and it always reminds funny.
Well, that was it, he was the one for us. To live with us, you had to have a real character about you and he sure did. When Digger came along just a couple weeks later, we were greeted with even more character. Sadly, too much for each other.
Over the years they spent together, they were kept apart by the door between the kitchen and dining room. And indeed it was as much a pain in the bum as you can imagine.
A few times, they got to each other and it was nasty. How can two such awesome dogs dislike each other so much?
Anyway, we dealt with it. They both received so much love and were a huge part of our lives.
Some years later our Digger had a tragic accident.
Every day he would jump on the table to look into the garden. Nosey little lad he was. Perfect.
But, this time he jumped back off the table and sadly landed terribly.
I had just returned home with my little boy from the theatre one day when I received that phone call.
He had jumped and broken his back. An accident, but one that cost his life and our hearts. My brothers heart was shattered and to this day I know it is still broken. Digger was his dog you see, and his best friend.
As much as Patch didn’t get along with Digger, Im sure he missed his presence and that little nose up against the window.
The years went by and Patch was the only dog we had. Well, he lived with my parents but he was all of ours. Our furry little brother who loved to sit on your lap.
2018 was here and Patch suddenly grew old. What happened to the puppy that stayed young for 16 years? His 17th year seemed to make him frail. His back legs were going, his liver was failing. He was nearing the end. My heart is heavy while typing this but I feel I must.
Id received a phone call from my Dad one evening and he told me that he didn’t think Patch had long left. A month maybe, a couple of weeks at most. But he was deteriorating fast. Those weeks turned into a few short days.
I had to get to see him, hold his paw one last time.
We packed up the kids, my camera and headed down to my parents home in Kent.
Patch was so frail, just standing took it out of him. Where was my boy? This old man was stood before me, looking up with me with desperate eyes.
He was so ready.
Dad picked up his lead and we asked Patch if he would come for a little walk with us on the back fields where he always went.
To my surprise, he got up. It’s as if he knew how desperately I wanted this last walk with him and my Dad.
It was slow, we took our time. It was a 1 minute walk usually but it took about 10 on that day.
The longest walk of my life.
I pulled my camera out and began snapping away. I was determined to capture his last day with me with forever photos.
As Patch stood, my Dad walked over to him. He got down on his knee and just like that, they heads came together. This part has me gasping, I remember the moment so vividly. It was raw, it was real. My boys stood in front of me showing real love.
These photographs weren’t about posing, they were memories.
I had to get a last smiling photo with him too, so I handed my camera to my Dad and got down to Patch’s level.
We headed back in and I knew I had to leave shortly so I laid with Patch on the kitchen floor. Our boys gave him one last huge and kiss, a finally stroke on his pretty little head and got in the car with my husband.
I needed some time with him, but as much as you think you would be able to get up and go after a few hugs and kisses, you can’t.
He was looking up at me, longingly. It was as if he was telling me it was ok and he was ready to go.
I laid with him for so long, but it’ll never feel as long as I’d like.
He had a hard start to life, he was found on the streets and obviously beaten. But he came into our lives and had nothing but love and a hell of a lot of sausages! Oh how he loved his sausages.
I told him how sorry I was that I couldn’t help him, that I couldn’t stop the pain but that I loved him so incredibly. We had him 15 years and he was a huge part of us, part of my children too.
The day he left us, I knew it. Before any phone call.
It was 10am and I took a huge gasp of air. I’m quite open to life and death even with a pet it seems (not out of choice) and feel it strongly.
I knew he was gone. He was now in his forever sleep. Our boy was now at rest.
Not long after, my dad called. ‘He’s gone’. Just as I thought. I sat on the stairs and cried. My husband was sleeping, I had people putting up the blinds in the lounge but I just sat and sobbed.
You were such a huge part of my life, Patch. More than a pet, you were a part of my soul. You got me through parts of my teenage life, through tears you gave me that little nose nudge and I fell into those eyes so deeply. Everyone who met you, loved you. Yes, even Malik!
As much as I know you’re out of pain, Id do anything for one last nose nudge and hug.
Goodnight Patch. We love you.
Your Family Portrait.
I know I know, getting in front of the camera isn’t most of our favourite things to do. But…. it is a must!
Coming from a Family of photographers, can you believe that I don’t actually have a Family portrait of my family and I? Not even at my wedding. Insane.
I must rectify this one day. Right, I digress, let me carry on.
Family portraits are something I speak about regularly, and yes it may bore you, but that doesn’t get you out of it 😉
I personally cannot photograph my own Family, with me involved anyway. So I saved my money to book one of my favourite photographers. I then have this portrait almost 40×30 on my lounge wall.
Print big I say, print HUGE!
Dinky Days offers in studio portraits, or the freedom of outdoor.
During your family portrait sessions I make sure it’s not just you all that are photographed, it’s all of you alone too. You all matter and all deserve your time to shine.
Oh and I adore letting little ones characters shine through.
I find that outdoor sessions allow your child to let that fun escape in the best way, and your inner child comes out too!
You’ve the space to spin them, run with them, snuggle in blankets and breathe in that fresh air.
But don’t let that discard the Family portraits I capture indoors.
Whether it’s with your older children, or newborn, you can feel the love just as much!
It’s really important to have Family photos up on your walls. Whether that be one of my stunning wall art pieces, or a photo wall of many frames. Get them up on the wall.
We all too often have images digitally, but then do nothing with them apart from a Facebook album or uploaded onto Instagram. But if technology failed, what would you do?
Technology corrupts sometimes, its a sad fact. It’s happened to me too, I lost thousands of photos. All those keepsakes, gone.
Print. Please print your photos.
I know when you have your baby you don’t straight away feel like getting up and ready for a photoshoot, but one thing Ive heard Mums say (including myself) is that they regret not getting in the photos. But lady, you are one of the reason that this family is here. What would they do without you, what would they see without you in the photo?
As your children grow, we make excuses not to be in the photo.
‘I feel too shabby looking’
‘I need to lose weight’
‘I don’t have the right clothes’
‘The photo would be better without me in it’
Now, excuse me while I give the side eye and let you know a few things.
I’ve been that Mum. I am that Mum that feels frumpy, I shove my hair up in a bun and get going with the school run.
But, I refuse to be the Mum that says no to being in a photo. You see, in the end all we have is photos. That is all we have. I known it’s a sad thought but it’s the hard hitting truth.
When your children look at this Family portrait, just know that they aren’t thinking…
‘Oh boy, Mum could have lost weight’
‘Dad could have smiled’
‘Did they really wear that?’
Nope. They’re looking at those photos and saying…
‘They’re my parents’.
‘I love that photo, I am SO happy we have it!’
‘I cannot wait to show my children when I have them’
Ok, the last one is for the adult children of yours, but hey, they’re your kids none the less.
Let’s throw away those excuses. We aren’t promised tomorrow, but we have today.
I personally cannot imagine walking into my lounge without my beautiful framed portrait hanging on the wall, even the kitten tries to get in. (no, seriously, I have proof haha!)
Exist in photos.
Print your photos.
Ready to book your Family portrait today?
Click the contact button today to send the all important email and I’ll be right with you.
While you’re here, check out the Family gallery amongst the others to see what would be best for you.
Indoor? Think about your colour scheme ahead of time.
Outdoor? What time of year would you like?
Allow this session to suit you and your family, and what works best for you all.
One of my favourite parts of my job is watching your little ones return and how they grow. From those bumps, to babies and beyond. Sometimes I forgot how fast they grow then boof, you walk back through the door.
Take little Zyana for example.
This beautiful little lady I met when she was just days old, and absolutely nailed her newborn session here. She slept beautifully and had such gorgeous little features.
Such a Dinky little precious, she did so well. But, why do they have to grow? And grow SO fast?
Today is her first birthday, and she joined me here at Dinky Days with her Mum and Dad to celebrate with a Cake Smash and Splash.
May I just mention what an honour it is too, that they chose her birthday to come here, and spend it with me? Thanks guys!
As always, I begin with portraits and boy Zyana didn’t disappoint. Even though she was feeling super tired as she missed her morning nap (but did have amazing night sleep so we shall forgive), she took every set in her stride.
Like all babies, I wanted her to feel comfortable in her surroundings before we began. There is no point in making a little one sit on a set they don’t know and expecting them to be happy straight away, or even want to stay there.
Some babies will happily be my best friend from the start, some will take some time to warm up to me. Zyana was the latter, but it’s totally fine. I avoid eye contact for a while and let them take their time.
Look at her now! WOW! Hasn’t she grown so much? But still so similar to her newborn face.
Like all the babies that come here, she liked sitting in and on my props I have here in the studio. (don’t worry, I supply everything!)
I feel like it gives some distraction, something to hold when feeling a little nervous.
A simple portrait goes a long way.
You really couldn’t want more.
But psssst, don’t grow anymore for a while…. please?
Next up was her cake smash!
Mum chose green, much to my happiness. Green is very rarely chosen but it is such a stunning colour to work with.
It’s my very favourite colour and thankfully it’s Mums favourite too!
All that glitters isn’t gold…. it’s GREEN!
From the buttercream goodness, to the confetti below. Your set is simple, yet fun. Balloons and glitter (added post production) add so much to your cake smash scene.
Oh and you need not have to clean up, winning!
Oooof, just look at those lashes. Not jealous, nope I’m not jealous at all… much.
I’ve never had a baby have so much confetti stuck to their feet. Zyana set a record today.
What’s next? Well the SPLASH of course.
Carrying on the green theme, these are some of my favourite bath photos from her session.
This means your little one goes home super clean and will probably end up napping in the car too after all the fun.
‘I don’t normally bath on set, but when I do, it’s at Dinky Days’
Could she look more regal? I feel I’ve been put in my place, Zyana certainly is the boss. I’m so pleased to have had her back today to see how much she’s grown up.
Another part of todays session was capturing a new Family portrait of the three of them. There are another two to this beautiful family, but they were in school today.
Look at this trio! How much beauty can you get in a family? It’s getting to the point of unfair, guys 😉
But watch her grow…
You see, it’s not until you put photos side by side that you really do see how much they’ve grown. And its an honour for me to take those portraits.
I am always so thankful for you all that you continue to choose Dinky Days Photography to capture these ever lasting memories.
So, here is the beauty that is Zyana and Family.
See you guys in the Summer for those outdoor family portraits. It can’t come soon enough.
Will you be next?
It was early 2017 when little Marny’s story began.
His pregnancy wasn’t the most simple, or the least dramatic.
Severe SPD, more than one round of reduced movements amongst other things.
At 30 weeks I had a huge thump pain in my back, unlike any pain I’d had previously. Immediately after, my chest had pain that took my breath away.
I was already getting ready to head off to the hospital with my 4 year old son, Zishan by my side, because of Marnys reduced movements (again). Id not felt normal after these chest and back pains, so I was looking forward to getting to hospital quickly.
We worry enough when it comes to pregnancy, so this was another one the list of things alongside reduced movements.
We arrived at the Maternity unit and headed upstairs to the reception.
I told the receptionist my name and immediately I collapsed in full view of my son. Suddenly a handful of nurses came to run to help me into a wheelchair. What happened? I’ve never collapsed before? Reduced movements were not the only worry I had now.
Once wheeled into the unit, I was put straight into one of the beds and hooked up to the wires to check on baby and I.
I had no choice but to stay calm, my 4 year old relied on me to keep the situation one that isn’t scary. Trust me, that’s pretty hard when your heart is racing ten to a dozen.
Doctors came and went, each with a concerned look upon their faces, but I just thought ‘this is the Dr look, they can’t give anything away’. I felt calm and safe, I was in the right place to collapse after all.
With the monitors beeping more so than Id noticed before, I asked if I was ok.
‘We’ll be with you shortly, a specialist in cardiology is on their way down to you’.
What? A specialist? Cardiology? I only came in for reduced movements, is he ok?
Zishan (then 4) stayed so perfectly by my side. Sat with his spiderman lunch box and action hero toys, he was happy enough.
By this time, my husband was made aware that it was more serious than first thought. Marny had got us into hospital for a reason, it was fate. Those reduced movements were meant to happen that day. I’m forever thankful. If I had collapsed at home, Id have maybe put it down to tiredness I suppose.
When the cardiologist arrived, she had a look of concern on her face. Confused, I asked her what was happening.
‘We’ve found ketones in your urine, along with something else’.
Now, it’s been over 3 years, I can’t remember what exactly she said after, it was kind of a ‘What, me?’ kind of blur.
My husband arrived not long after, and they explained the situation to him, along with the fact I would be admitted for the night.
I’d not been away from my boys before really, so this hit me hard. Being there to put them to sleep was what I did (alongside my husband), but that wouldn’t happen that night. At least Marnys reduced movements has subsided and he was back to giving me beautiful wiggles.
Evening came and one of the nurses came into my room. I asked her what was going on as I wasn’t told. She looked at me with a complete straight face and made me aware that this was serious.
As the days went on, I was kept in. I admit, I was scared.
With little wifi and so much time to just sit around with my thoughts, I drove myself crazy. Still, I had edits to do, so I sat on my bed making sure my clients images were completed in time. what else was I suppose to do.
During the day, my husband would bring our two little men to come and see me, they brightened up HDU no end, the Drs fell completely in love with them, who wouldn’t?
2 days later, I was still on the ward, still with no answers but my heart continued to sit at 130 BPM. They simply couldn’t find a reason for it.
The next question we were asked was one we had to really think about. A scary choice, but one we simply had to make.
Another specialist had stayed after her shift to try and get to the bottom of what was happening. They asked if we would say yes to a CT scan. The problem with this was it had risks. It would mean a 13% increased risk of cancer for Marny and I. But they suspect I had torn my aorta so really, we saw no choice.
In I went, first a VQ for the suspected clot in my lung, then down for a CT scan. I remember going down the halls in the wheelchair like it was yesterday. Everything was silent. The halls were bare. It was around 11pm at night and I was so tired from the constant fast beating of my heart.
The warm sensation that went through my body was one that wasn’t comfortable at all. Laid straight on my back with my enormous bump weighing down on me, I couldn’t wait for it to end.
After the CT scan, I was taken back up to my bed (on the High Dependancy Unit) to get some rest. It seemed as soon as I’d closed my eyes, I was woken again. But for good reason. The nurse knew how scared I was, they’d seen me cry enough, that’s for sure.
It was 5am, and I was told the news. ‘Your aorta is in tact! I really wanted to let you sleep but I know you needed to know’. I just wanted to hug her. I could breathe at last, and the thought of heading into surgery could now leave my mind.
I was allowed to leave the next day, a week after first arriving at hospital. A week that I didn’t expect to stay in HDU.
My Husband would agree, this was the scariest time of our lives together thus far. We just did not know if I was ok.
I left with news of a heart murmur but also that my heart trauma could happen again. There was no way they could tell me it won’t.
Fast forward 9 weeks later…
Photo by the ever wonderful and extremely talented James Heffernan at Funky Pixel Photography
I’d had two emergency sections before but Marny was the first planned section and the first I’d been lucky enough to watch be born. the time was here, we were finally about to meet our boy. I had part of the team that looked after me with my heart trauma and reduced movements in theatre which I found calming. The drapes were lowered, the camera was ready and out he came!
He was born 9th June 2015 at 9:44am, a healthy 6lbs 10 oz. The third boy born into our little brood.
All in all, I’m glad it was me who had the pain, the drama and not him. Thankful for the reduced movements that day. One day I’ll tell him of his crazy time in my bump, but for now, he can enjoy being three and be the crazy little pickle he is.
My little man then went on to have many newborn sessions and continues to have his own crazy little adventures with his brothers in various hospital stays. But don’t worry, they’re all in good health now.