Education is key

This week I was lucky enough to attend a newborn training workshop with the wonderful Tracy Willis of Tracy Willis Fine art photography. I have long been an admirer of her work, so I was very excited (and nervous, very nervous) to attend.

Our model was a gorgeous little 3 week old girl, Aria, with the most stunning head of hair. She was a little star.

These are some of my favourite images from the day πŸ™‚

I loved every moment of my training day. In a profession where trends change often, education is most definitely key. It may be a cliche, but you really don’t ever stop learning. I can’t wait to put everything I’ve learned into practise!

Newborn sessions are available, but availability is limited so advance booking is highly recommended.

 

Kelly.x

 

Choosing a sling – Guest post by BabywearingKimmy

I wanted to write a post about choosing a sling, the different kinds and how to know what is best suited to you and your baby. But whilst I have worn all of my babies one way or another, I’m far from an expert.

So I asked my lovely friend Kimmy (AKA BabywearingKimmy) if she would be willing to share her knowledge and write a guest post for me! She is so passionate about wearing ALL the babies so she was happy to oblige. So I’ll pass you over to Kimmy, I hope this helps if you’re struggling through the seemingly daunting minefield that is babywearing.
This is what I have written up, please let me know if its not any good! ❀ 😊


I have been attending sling meets from Maidstone to Manchester, I love babywearing, and I love babywearers, and I am being 100% honest when I say that empowering other parents to babywear is probably one of my favourite things to do.
I have had a significant increase in expectant parents who want to try babywearing with every meet I run locally. They all have pretty much the same set of questions that I hope I can help you with!
The first thing you need to consider will be how long are you planning on wearing your baby? If you just want to wear for a few weeks or months, your best option is to find a local (or postal) sling library and hire a carrier. If you plan on wearing for longer you will want to buy yourself a carrier, so you need to consider what your budget is as well as what style you want to go for.
There is a wide array of styles of carriers, and with each style is its benefits. Just like finding the right pair of jeans to suit you, there is the right baby carrier for you and your baby. The best guess we can make with expectant parents or those who plan to carry their newborn baby, is to focus on the benefits they want to gain from wearing.
Stretchy wraps are pretty self explanatory. They are a length of stretchy fabric that you wrap around yourself and pop baby into. Stretchy wraps are great because you can pre tie it onto you, and then pop the baby in and out as many times as you need throughout the day without having to rewrap/tie. And when you have a newborn that feeds and poops, you know you need to pop it in and out! Most people transition from stretchies to other styles from about 6 months onwards.
Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) or sometimes referred to as β€˜buckles’ are very quick to get on and off, especially once you have adjusted the straps to fit you and baby. Whereas with the stretchy wraps I could wear it all day around the house, if I wanted to pop out to the shops I would use my buckles as it was easiest to put on in a car park or shop for example. Some carriers come with newborn inserts which makes it comfortable for the babies who still need their little legs in the right position, so these too are suitable to use from birth. As your baby gets bigger you can remove these inserts and adjust the straps, meaning with the right carrier you can use it well into toddlerhood!

With all carriers though you must be safe, which is why I would always say if you can – try and get yourself to a local meet or sling library. The Sling Pages http://www.slingpages.co.uk/ is a great resource for finding local babywearing help, and for online safety information. The main thing is to remember TICKS Guidelines and ABC reminders

Photo courtesy of babywearingsafety.co.uk
T – Tight, 

I – In view at all times, 

C – Close enough to kiss,

K – Keep chin off chest, 

S – Supported back, 

Photo courtesy of babywearing international.org
Airway

Body Positioning

Comfort

I hope you have found this helpful, and can use this information to enjoy wearing your baby!
Kimmy.x

Kimmy is a qualified babywearing consultant and member of BABI (British Accossiation of Babywearing Instructors). She is due to launch Mid Kent babywearing in September 2016. Consisting of a sling library, sling swing (babywearing exercise classes) and one to one consultancy. 

Follow her pages on Facebook at BabywearingKimmy and midkent babywearing.

12 Bright/Rainbow buys for babies

I love rainbows! I may have mentioned that once or twice before πŸ˜‰ I don’t really like the whole gender stereotyping thing, pink for a girl and blue for a boy. I love things that have a bit of colour, a bit of personality. A rainbow can always cheer up even the dullest day!

So I decided to share some of my favourite rainbow/bright things I’ve come across.

Little Bird by Jools Oliver at Mothercare

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I LOVE the Little Bird range! Sadly it only goes up to age 7-8, meaning that only two of my little pandas fit into the clothes still. But we sure make the most of it! The bright colours and vintage feel, plus the often gender neutral designs, make this our go-to brand for fun, stand out clothes on the high street.

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Rainbows and brights are the signature colours, so its easy to spot another Little Bird whilst out and about. A great conversation opener!

Sizes start from newborn, so its never too soon to be a Little Bird.

 

Mamas and Papas Jamboree Blanket

Mamas and papas blanket

Made from 100% cotton, this blanket is just so bright and colourful! It has co-ordinating items available too, so you can choose to just add a splash of colour to your pram, or deck out the whole nursery in matching brights. Available from Mamas and Papas.

I also have to give a mention to the Mamas and Papas Gingerbread blanket, which is another one of my favourites!

mamas and papas gingerbread

 

Kokadi Rainbow Stars Wrap

kokadi-rainbow-stars-a6b

This is such a happy, bright and funky wrap! Woven from 100% organic cotton, once its broken in its so butter soft and comfortable. I don’t own one, but I wish I did! One of my favourite wraps of all time.

kokadi-rainbow-stars-3ad

 

Annzel Creations Rainbow Nappy

rainbow nappy

Whats not to love about this gorgeous cloth nappy? Rainbows AND unicorns! Its just awesome. And handmade too! Annzel creations is a WAHM (Work at home mum), and she doesn’t just make nappies! Check out her Facebook page for more yummy rainbowness!

 

Sainsburys Colour Sort Rainbow

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I love wooden toys. They are generally so much more tactile than plastic, and more hardwearing. Obviously the natural materials is a big bonus too!

This rainbow from Sainsburys is everything I love in a toy. Wooden, brightly coloured, fun and educational. My littlest panda has one, and he loves it!

 

All The Small Things Tie Dye Clothing

all the small things tie dyed clothing

Photo by All the small things

As the slightly-crunchy, hippy, AP parent I am of course I love myself a bit of tie dye! We were gifted a babygrow dyed by Linds at All The Small Things. It was love! My little panda looked amazing in it, and the quality of the dye job was fantastic. I’ve been a fan ever since! Linds takes customs, so if you have something in mind then just pop over to her Facebook page or website and ask!

 

JojoMaman Bebe Rainbow Stripe Slipper Socks

rainbow slipper socks

These were a lifesaver for us when Littlest panda was small! Being in the sling alot of the time, and being the Houdini of socks, he would get really cold feet. We would have people stop us in the street and say “Oh, aren’t his little feet getting cold?”, when he had started off with a pair of socks on! So when someone suggested these to me I was ready to try anything!

Part thick sock, part moccasin, they really are an amazing invention. You can pull them on and tuck in little trousers, which means no riding up and leaving a bare patch of skin. And no matter how much they kick and kick those little legs, these beauties are not coming off! Plus they look awesome, so its a win-win πŸ™‚ Available from the JoJo website here.

 

Bubble and Geek Rainbow Romper

bubble and geek rainbow romper

Another fantastic WAHM creation! Bubble and Geek make some gorgeous rainbow-y things for babies and kids, but this rainbow romper is my favourite. Handmade with love, from quality fabrics. They are well wroth a look if you are wanting something unique for your little ones! Check out her website or her Facebook page

 

Cheeky Wipes Rainbow Muslins

rainbow muslins

Muslins are a parenting essential! They are so versatile. Mopping up spills and baby sick, using as a nursing cover or a swaddling rag, a comforter or a face wipe. their uses are endless. So if you’re going to be whipping it out every 5 minutes you may as well make it pretty right?

These gorgeous rainbow muslins are from Cheeky wipes (who also make great reusable baby wipe kits!).

Silicone Teething/Feeding Necklace

rainbow teeting feeding necklace

I absolutely love these necklaces from Funky Twiddle Mamas! So bright and colourful, but so useful too. Not only do they look stylish, but they are great for little ones to chomp on to ease the pain of teething. they are great for distracting little one during breastfeeding, to stop them from pulling hair, scratching and turning around to see what the cat is up to every 3 seconds πŸ˜‰ They can also be worn when babywearing, to give baby something to fiddle with. Not just a pretty adornment!

 

Rainbow Legwarmers

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For those days when socks or booties just aren’t enough, or for showing off those pretty nappies in the summertime, you can’t beat these funky legwarmers from Ali Express. Gender neutral and oh so bright, they are amazing for keeping little legs warm in the sling, or over the top of socks in wellington boots.

 

Short Rainbow Romper and Bib

Rainbow baby romper and bib

This gorgeous set is another WAHM creation, from the very talented Rainbow Baby. As the name suggests, she specialises in rainbows! She has so many awesome makes, I struggled to pick just one for this list. Pop over to her Facebook page and check out her other makes, you won’t be disappointed!

 

I’ve had so much fun putting this list together, and found it so hard to narrow it down! In fact, I may just have to do a follow up πŸ˜‰ I used to despair about the lack of funky clothes for little ones, boys in particular. Everything seemed to be dull and beige or blue (or pink pink pink for little girls). But as you can see, there are nice clothes and other items out there! I hope this list helps you to find them πŸ™‚

 

Kelly.x

Babywearing session – Kimmy and Tilly

I was really excited about this one! When Kimmy contacted me and told me she was training to be a babywearing consultant I knew that she would have a few wraps. But when I jokingly replied to her message saying she didn’t know which ones to bring with “All of them!”, I didn’t expect to be greeted by a bag full of gorgeous coloured slingy loveliness! Coupled with such a vibrant, genuinely lovely lady, beautiful little people and a truly gorgeous location, we had a great afternoon lined up!


Leeds castle has so many beautiful locations, and Kimmy had a sling for all of them.


The weather stayed beautiful for us, and we had such a wonderful afternoon. I have serious sling envy again, especially when Kimmy cracked out Erna! One of my all time favorite wrap designs.


So many lovely photos to choose from, only a fraction of them here! I’m loving these babywearing shoots in the sunshine! To for details on how to book see my Facebook page www.facebook.com/littlepandasphotography, or my price list page on the website.

To follow Kimmy’s journey go to www.facebook.com/babywearingkimmy

Kelly.x

Babywearing session -Martha and Aya

Last week I had the pleasure of no less than 3 babywearing mini shoots! These lovely ladies had agreed to give up their time to model for me with their gorgeous little ones.

My first shoot was with Martha and her little girl, Aya. Aya wasn’t overly impressed with the idea of a photo shoot! She maintained a serious face throughout, but she looked beautiful none the less! 

 Martha had brought a selection of carriers, so we made the most of them. A woven wrap, a ring sling and a SSC all got their time in front of the camera. It was wonderful to capture the special connection between mother and daughter, Aya was obviously more than happy to be worn close to Mum. 


I love doing babywearing shoots. My son is getting to the age where he is reluctant to be carried unless he’s tired, yet I have very few photographs of me wearing him. It means so much to be able to provide these memories for others.

newborn photography hythe kent babywearing
If you are interested in booking, please see my price list page for details of my babywearing mini shoots πŸ™‚

Kelly.x

Natural parenting shoots -Babywearing

Since I made the decision to be true to myself and my style, I have been full of ideas. It’s like a floodgate has opened in my mind and suddenly my creative juices are flowing. 

In keeping with the natural parenting direction I have decided to take I have been shooting some Babywearing photos. 

  
Babywearing was my saviour when my youngest was small. Having a newborn with a tongue tie and severe reflux, who can’t be laid down and wants to be at the breast constantly would challenge any parent. But when you already have four children who need you, school runs and after school clubs to do, dinners to cook and the mountain of mess they leave in their wake, a sling is a must! He lived in it. I cooked cleaned, fed, helped with homework, read stories and ate dinner with him in it. On nights when his pain was especially bad I wrapped him on and went walking in the dark with him. It saved my sanity, it strengthened our bond and it enabled me to not be stuck on the sofa for the first six months of his life! So babywearing has a special place in my heart. 

I wanted to capture all those things in my photos. The closeness, the convenience of a sling in places where you would struggle with a pram (have you ever tried pushing a pushchair on a shingle beach? It’s near impossible!), the comfort of the child. This has resulted in a series of images I adore.

  

  
  
  
I’ll be offering these shoots as half hour mini sessions soon. Watch out on the website for pricing and details!
Kelly.x