Sleeping well?
Newborn baby Essex cyber monday

Its the same question every single new parent hears…

‘are they a good baby, sleeping well?’

My answer with all three of mine? ‘Yes they’re a good baby, ALL babies are good babies, but NO theyre not sleeping through’.

I mean, come on. Who really wants to have that pressure immediately?

It doesn’t stop there though. As they get older, the same pressure, well even more is put on parents.

I’ve thought about this more recently as my now 4 year old has had a few nights sleeping through recently. Yes, I said 4. FOUR YEARS OLD HAVING HIS FIRST NIGHT SLEEPING THROUGH.

I’ve been asked for years how I cope with now having a full night sleep. ‘I couldn’t do it’. ‘I need my sleep’ ‘Maybe you should do cry it out’. First and foremost. No. I am not leaving my child to cry. But we shall speak about that another time.

When I recently added a status about his amazing sleep, I was happily surprised at some friends comments that their children slept through ‘late’ too.

There were a fair few comments and it was, even though I’m not really bothered, reassuring.

Sleeping baby

I had a few messages soon after the status surprisingly and they said how glad they were that I added it. All of them had had friends/family telling them that their babies, yes BABIES, should be sleeping through. Now these babies are like 5 months, 10 months, and 19 months. See, it’s not anyones business but the parents. Thankfully I have epic friends who understand that their babies will sleep through when they sleep through. It’s not part of the deal when you have a baby that they mustn’t wake because Mum and Dad need to get a good nights rest. No. It’s what you sign up for when you have a child, they wake. They want milk, they want comfort, they just want to look about.

As tiring as it is. It just something we have to get on with.

Newborn photographer in Essex

The simple fact is, they will go through the night when their bodies choose to.

Being a newborn and baby photographer, I hear this from parents a lot. Their parents, friends, siblings already putting the pressure on them to get a sleeping routine when their baby has barely been born.
They’re told ‘my baby was sleeping through at 8 weeks’. Well, that’s great for you, but most babies aren’t.

Can’t we just let them enjoy their babies, that can still happen through tiredness.

One thing I tell my clients is ‘This too shall pass’. Four words that get me through absolutely every single part of parenting. Through life is fact.

Having three sons that don’t always sleep through the night, I can truthfully tell you that you WILL get through it. One day at a time. One day you’ll wake and it’s 6:30am and they’re still there with their sweet eyes closed, their little noses snoring that sweet snore and you’ll wish they’re were awake.

And as babies most importantly of all, it is safe. It’s part of their bodies doing what they need to do. Their little brains are waking them to make sure they can. As scary as it sounds, our bodies are incredible from that very first cell forming towards the next.

So, know that if your little one isn’t sleeping through like Sallys baby next door, it’s not a problem.

And a heads up with your newborn session here, your baby may not sleep but it’s fine. Many don’t sleep through the session. We achieve a beautiful gallery no matter what. Your baby is perfect just the way they are.

Three sons.

Childrens Photographer Essex sons

You know what?

I need to pop on here and have a little word.

This is coming from my heart which is still quite raw.

A mother like myself who has three sons will hear this weekly, if not daily…
‘Aww you have three boys, you NEED a girl’. Yes, I know I know, I’ve had this rant before. But it seems the point never comes across and not only to me, but to many other parents.

For me, every single time this is said, it rips another tiny hole in my heart.

You’ll get tons of people telling you ‘ignore it, its just something people say’. But maybe it shouldn’t be that way. Maybe it would be nice if people thought before saying it. I mean this in the nicest possible way, but it can really hurt.

It gives the feeling as if having three boys isn’t enough. But if you had sons, you’d know that they’re a handful 😉

But aside from that, having one flavour doesn’t mean my family isn’t complete. It doesn’t mean that we NEED a girl. I know people mean well but I hear it almost daily.

You see, the end of 2017 I fell pregnant. You can see the in depth of this on my blog Two Little Lines. 

From the moment I saw that test show positive, I planned. I planned the announcements, the photoshoot with the boys to tell everyone. I planned the khaki green icandy pram. I planned the car we would need to buy to fit our little crew in.

And then came the loss. My first loss. All those plans fell apart. It was like a bridge had been set fire to and lead to a part of our life being taken away.
The day after this loss, I photographed a beautiful little newborn. I put my feelings and hurt aside to make sure I photographed another families joy. And I don’t regret for a single second doing that.

Shortly after in 2018, we became pregnant again. The feeling of a girl washed over me again. Intense. The boys always wanted a sister, especially my eldest. To this day he still wants one. It wasn’t like we were planning on a girl, we were wanting our fourth child no matter the gender.

The plans began again, but this time we planned our rainbow baby. I still wanted that khaki pram…

As a baby photographer, one of my first thoughts AGAIN was the announcement photo. The rainbow theme, I can still remember it in my head as I type this.
Sadly one evening it happened again. Unfair. Soul destroying. Life.

So, it may make no sense to you, but in my mind, we have our girls.

I simply cannot carry them for very long. Think what you wish, I know in my heart that they were girls. Our daughters would be absolutely divine looking, with the biggest hearts. It’s just, they can’t be here.

For all of the little ones that we are lucky to have, I would be honoured to have you here for me to capture beautiful portraits of you all.

Simply contact me today so we can discuss your session.

The thought of a children’s party at home, a huge dread, right? It doesn’t have to be, I promise!

Personally, I have at least one of my children’s birthday parties at home each year. One of which is definitely in June.

We’ve just had my sons 4th birthday party, and again it was at home.

Whenever I speak to other parents and say it’ll be at home, they seem to gasp in shock. ‘Oh rather you than me’ ‘All those children in your home? That’s a little crazy’ ‘But what about the clean up?’ ‘I could never have a party at home’.

I never think this. Speaking to a friend this afternoon, she said her son LOVED his time here on Saturday. The traditional games, the BBQ food, the freedom of the children to run around and do their own thing, making their own fun most of the time. I heard that from so many of the Mums. Happy days.

Every year I hear that the party goers have had ‘The best time ever! The best party they’ve been to!’. This will always surprise me as I have such high exceptions of myself and I’ve worked out now that I’m actually a bit of a control freak, which I never expected myself to be. But knowing the children have no expectations and that they just have had such a super fun time, that makes all the stress worth it.

But I’d like to blog a little on my tips for a successful, simple birthday party. I’ll leave lots of links throughout this blog from the places I used and I’m very happy with to help you find what can help you.

Balloons and decorations.
Buy in advance. Our party in June I always sort buying for in January. This way I don’t notice the money I’ve spent on it. A few pounds here and there doesn’t make a big difference. PLAN AHEAD!
You can never, ever go wrong with balloons and every party needs them.
The children will love holding them, popping them, playing catch with them and kicking them all over the place! I tend to buy a ton of them but I also like to save money so this year I purchased all of mine (around 150, but different kinds) from Amazon. This years theme was Plants VS Zombies.

Piñata.
Everyone loves a piñata, right? We have one every year and it’s always been a smash. Get it? Smash? Ok, ok, I’ll get my coat.
I order mine from eBay. I’ve always found a perfect party piñata to suit the theme thankfully, but did you know you can make it yourself too? I don’t want the huge plastic waste and toys that will be played with for 5 minutes, so I put in a bunch of sweets, enough for the amount of children attending and a few over.

Entertainment.

Party - baby photographer essex Party - baby photographer essex Party - baby photographer essex Party - baby photographer essex

I keep my entertainment simple. This way the children can come and go as they please. One thing I always opt for is a party Face painter. 99% of children at the parties I hold will want their face painted, and if they don’t then there is always the option of body paint.
This year I decided to pay the extra for the lady who model balloons too, and what a hit they were. I hired Nikki from DazzleDust Face painting and not only was she a hit with all the little ones, but lots of adults had some painting done too. I had body art, and friends had some flowers down their faces.

The Cake.

Party - baby photographer essex Party - baby photographer essex party

The cake to me is the main part of the food table. I personally love an outstanding party cake. I love it to match my theme, and taste out of this world. The very talented Faridah from Jams Joint has made my last two years cakes and every invited to our party loves them. We always get a ‘WOW! That cake!’ and even though I’ve not made it, I definitely get proud haha! Don’t forget the candle!

Party Bags.
Keep them simple, don’t fill with a load of rubbish because it’s just more wasted money spent and the children won’t really bother with it for long. I buy paper bags and have stickers put on.
This year, they all received a balloon as always however, this time they had a balloon animal head! It’s simple. The pack includes the balloon, the cardboard stand for it to stay upright plus the stickers to make their face. It gives the child something to do when they get home and they seemed to really love it.
they had 2 sweets, a mini finger torch and an animal mask. Never any whistles here, my friend! What a nightmare they are.

Food.
BBQ. Always a hit. No one can complain about a good old fashioned BBQ, right? Burgers, Chicken drummers skewers, a delicious salad, pasta and nibbles. Everyones happy! Don’t forget the chocolate fingers, fairy cakes and chips! Classic. Also, remember your paper straws 🙂

Party games.

PARTY - baby photographer essex
It’s fantastic for the children to run about and play on the slide etc, but I also love a traditional party game or 5!
Games I always plan for are Pass the parcel, musical bumps and musical chairs. the children love it, and it’s always something to bring laughter for them and the parents. It’s awesome to see how competitive the children are. I also added ‘Pop the Balloon’ this year. I added bits of paper inside with dares on like ‘act like a monkey, pretend to be your Dad’ ‘pull a face like a fish’. The children that did them, earnt a treat.

So as you see, it’s pretty simple. Written out, it looks a lot more but it’s really not. Buy ahead in little batches and store away.

When all is done, grab the bottle of wine you stored, head to the garden soak up the fact it’s all over until next year.

Don’t forget those birthday photos. It’s not just 1 year olds that need their birthday portrait, bring me the bigs! 

Simply message me today to discuss your session and I’ll be right with you.

Aimee.