It seems like the babies I have photographed this year have been so well behaved! I know that they aren’t really “well behaved” but they are just so good. Again, I know that it’s not the baby really being good, but that’s how it feels. they are just very content. I have had just such a great year with so many amazing babies and families. Very calm and happy babies. Rarely fussy at all. They cry a bit when hungry or tired. Minimal effort needed to get them to sleep. It’s been awesome!
I was reflecting after my shoot this week with Deb, Ed and baby Paxton. The shoot went so smooth. I just love how fun and relaxed it was. They followed my tips and we followed Paxton’s schedule, instead of planning a session time, she texted when he started feeding so I could head down the peninsula to their home, and he would have a full belly. Of course he slept later that morning. It’s always the case. Babies love to keep us guessing, just when we think we know them. So we just went with the flow. That’s key.
When I walked into their home there was such a relaxed feeling. Calm and happy. Deb’s parents were at the house. They were in town visiting their new grandson. They were just doing their thing and ready to help out with whatever we needed. Which was mostly shuffling around while we took photos in different areas of the house. They were great!
Ed and Deb had an ease about them that I think is so essential for a newborn baby. I believe when a parent is anxious and stressed, the baby is anxious and stressed. For first time parents it is new territory when you bring home this new little one, but if you know you are doing your best, you have to really trust that, even when your baby cries and can’t be consoled sometimes. Knowing your baby will cry, and you might not be able to console them and it will be ok, is an important hurdle to overcome.
I also noticed how “hands on” Ed was. This is a great shift these days. Dads want to be an involved and engaged parent. I love seeing this. It makes a huge difference for the whole family unit. Deb had finished feeding Paxton when I got there. We jumped right in to taking photos. I had Ed lay Paxton on his tummy over Ed’s forearm. Paxton loved this position and promptly pooped. It was quite loud and long, as newborn poops often are. Luckily Paxton had a diaper on! Ed stayed in position and we all just completely cracked up. We totally got the giggles. It was so quiet and then…..wow! Ed didn’t freak out. Throughout the years I have seen dad’s get very uncomfortable and freaked out by poop. Not Ed. He changed the diaper and we were on our way again. He also has a mean swaddle happening. No hands escaping Ed’s power swaddle!
I talked to Deb about what a great team they are and she said how she can’t imagine doing it without Ed. The fact is you both become parents at the exact same time, you both have exactly the same amount of skills coming in, so you really are in it together. I also noticed that Ed and Deb had very different styles of soothing, which is awesome. She holds the baby close against her chest, he holds the baby out from his body. I told her how I wished I had let my hubby do things more his own way with the kids early on. I think a mistake a lot of mom’s make, and I was one of them, is thinking you have to micro manage how the dad takes care of the kids. Dad’s do a lot of things differently than mom, and that is the way it should be. I have noticed dad’s seem to hold the baby much farther from their bodies when soothing the babies. I always think it is so weird, but the next thing you know the baby is asleep! I love watching the mom, watch the dad, with a look on her face that says “Really, is that how you are holding the baby?” and yet, she doesn’t say anything. The dad does his thing, and baby is happy. It is sooo great and I love how this empowers the dad to feel like he is an equal partner in the “parent” thing. It is a real gift to the child to have two parents who equally love and care for them.
This was just a lovely afternoon. I loved working with Deb, Ed and Paxton. I’m very happy to see parents be so happy and relaxed with their newborn.