Baby Whisperer – Newborn Photographer Oran Park
A lot of clients call me a Baby Whisperer which is absolutely lovely. I spend so much time with newborns each week and over the past 14 years that I know them really well and can read each newborn quite quickly. Being a newborn photographer in and around Oran Park I need this skill aside from my photography skills. This means our session can be wrapped up in 2-3 hours instead of 4 hours, and lets face it, as much as you love your sessions you would still probably rather be catching up on some much needed sleep and rest. I get it 🙂
All newborns are different in many ways but also in many ways they are all very much the same in what they crave at this age.
Coming from a beautifully warm 36.5 degree, snug and secure environment to being brought into our world which can be very much the opposite. They all crave security, warmth, and the reassurance of a firm boundary to their movements. Newborns rely greatly on their sense of smell and also an intuitive sense of energy. They really rely heavily on these two aspects and they use crying as their method of communication. Which is often due to being hungry, tired, over tired, wet, cold, frightened or in need of a cuddle to know someone is there with them.
Babies have different cries and you will get to be able to recognise them but there are also other signs of what your baby needs. A clenched fist or eye rubbing can indicate a tired Bub, just as yawning can indicate a tired Bub. Jerky movements or raising of legs can indicate tummy discomfort. It can often be a guessing game, a process of elimination, even for someone like myself who spends lots of time with newborns. And sometimes there can be other elements thrown into the mix. Some Bubs can have a little more mucous in their sinuses and be a little more snuffly, other Bubs can be a little constipated or have trouble moving wind along.
Trying to read a newborn can be very tricky!
For me though, I assume Bub is an everyday Bub unless I can see or know otherwise. If they have a clean bum, and a full tum, there is a great chance they are content and ready for a snooze. Some babies like to suck for comfort, this instinct can be very strong and can cause confusion as to whether they are after a feed or just something to suck on for comfort… which often ends up being Mum 🙂
There are varying views on the use of dummies, though my daughter and I fell into the category of mistaking the need for comfort with the need for a feed. Buying a dummy was the best $5 I have ever spent and it meant we were both able to rest. Happy Mum = Happy Bub. End of story.
Most newborns in the first few weeks are also usually only awake for an hour or so at the most.
If a Bub has arrived in the studio, has a feed and their nappy changed, then I usually know they are set for sleep. If they are having troubles moving air, holding them upright against your chest with their legs up like a frog will help them. Otherwise I will wrap newborns firmly and cradle them in my arms with a lot of support. They often fall asleep this way. Bubs will air in their bellies will often fall asleep upright along my chest and shoulder until I can transition them to the cradle position in my arms.
One of the most important factors here is one I mentioned above about a newborns super intuitive ability to read your energy. I am not joking here this is completely true and a major factor to know about when caring for a newborn.
Newborns are like little sharks, they can sense your emotional state from a mile away! When I handle newborns, if I am in a hurry the baby in my arms will sense this and feel a sense of unease. Bub will not sleep as he or she knows something isn’t right. Its the greatest survival instinct and I find it fascinating! I never set a time limit on newborn sessions for this reason. Looking back on experiences with my own children when they were newborns, I distinctly remember being in a hurry to get the house in order before family arrived, my daughter was fed, had a fresh nappy on, was warm, calm and safe but just simply would not sleep, she would not sleep. The longer this went on for the more stressed I became, the more aware I was of the time and she could sense my emotional state so easily, I couldn’t even fool her. She could still read the underlying energy I was giving her. Isn’t that amazing!!
If you have a newborn yourself you may have realised that sometimes you pass your baby to another person, a Grandparent maybe, and he or she settles so easily. This is the reason why. Certain people have such a calm and relaxed energy and babies just feel the same in an instant. Newborns will mirror your emotional energy. It can be really hard to try to calm yourself and slow your pace in an attempt to send a reassuring vibe to your baby. It can take ten minutes or more and sometimes it is best to put Bub down safely n his or her cot, take a few deep slow breaths, shake off any tension genuinley release any source of stress or tension that you have a start again. Keep in mind their is absolutely no reason why you can’t put Bub down somewhere safe if you are feeling overwhelmed – we have all been there, myself included. We are only human after all and we often don’t get a chance to recover after the marathon or pregnancy and birth, we may only get a day or two and this clearly couldn’t possibly be enough after all our bodies have been through. Recovering physically and mentally are two completely seperate things also. Processing mentally what you have achieved can take a substantial amount of time, and sometimes we think we are in a good place and underlying thoughts arise that take us back.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, I know for a fact that lots of parents don’t have much support and are flying solo. I did this myself with both of my babies and I know how hard it can be especially when partners work long hours. It can be stressful trying to negotiate this new, unknown territory alone. And it can be isolating also as you simply cannot have an adult conversation with a baby 🙂
This blog post has taken on a direction of its own but I am very aware that as a newborn photographer covering Oran Park and surrounds, I give you the highlight reel. I pull out all of the good stuff and share with anyone who will listen. Sure, sometimes there are babies that I might need half an hour to get to sleep, I have been poo’ed on, spewed on, peed on… I have had newborns flip me ‘the bird’ on many occasions! If only I had a dollar for each time! I have wrapped little Houdini newborns who break out of my wraps, I have had newborns give me the sweetest, full face smiles only to not have my camera in my hands in time.
The precious moments I capture of the many newborns in my studio can take 250th of a second, but on the other hand they can also take 2-3 hours. There is very much a bloopers reel here I can assure you! Each and every single one of the parents who bring their new little treasures into my studio are Baby Whisperers too! They are all doing the best they can and are learning the ropes and even though I pull out all of the goodness I can, I know they will hold these moments dear as this time can be so overwhelming, exhausting and it can easily turn into a sweet blur. Being able to keep hold of those beautiful moments are what I am all about.
Giving you little snippets of treasure not only for yourself but for your newborn also will be honestly without a doubt one of the greatest items you can own and also one of the greatest gifts you can give to your new baby.
Karen is a newborn photographer servicing all areas in Oran Park, Macarthur and surrounds of Camden. If you are looking for a Newborn Photographer around Oran Park, please give me a call.
Book a session for your family here
If you need help to settle your newborn, click this link to reach Tresillian, or get in touch with your nurse or GP.
Karen Ashcroft Newborn Photographer Oran Park