By Sarah McLean Photography based in Longridge near Preston, Lancashire
What to take to your newborn baby photo shoot....
As a parent myself I understand how it can be a challenge to get out of the door with young children or a young baby – you feel as everything but the kitchen sink is packed in your bag ready for your outing, and we have all been there when we realise what we have forgotten too!
I have put together this handy check list of items to bring along with you to your newborn baby's photo shoot to help relieve the stress of forgetting an item off the list.
I send a helpful prep guide to parents when they book me for their newborn session, here are my top tips on what to bring to your newborn session.
To find out more on Newborn sessions, for your baby photo's in Lancashire - click below.
Sarah McLean is an award winning photographer specialising in Newborn Baby Photography.
Sarah Mclean Photography - Maternity and Newborn Photography, Babies and Milestones, Cake Smash and Family Portraits in Longridge, Preston, Lancashire and surrounding areas Clitheroe, Blackburn, Chorley, Leyland.
Wow how fast has that first year gone?
It’s nearing your baby’s first big milestone – their first birthday, it’s been a busy first year and you have done it! So why not celebrate this special occasion with a first birthday cake smash photo shoot.
What is a Cake smash?
It’s a fun filled celebration portrait package, with cake, balloons, bunting, and party decorations – to mark this first big milestone, turning one.
It involves a professional portrait session in my photography studio based in Preston, Lancashire. I create a bespoke set to your chosen theme, colours and source the decorations to make a unique set for your baby’s birthday. We start off capturing those important milestone birthday pictures, and then we bring out the cake.
Your baby has fun, touching, tasting and playing with the cake whilst creating beautiful memories of this once in a life time occasion.
Clean up is just as fun with a splash session, with lots of bubbles and ruby ducks and lots of giggles – little ones, love bath time!
So you have booked your Cake Smash session, here are some handy tips on getting the most from your portrait shoot in the studio.
In the weeks leading up to your cake smash, let your baby play with finger foods. Introduce new tastes and textures and encourage messy play. Move away from the high chair to the floor so your baby is introduced to the idea of eating on the floor with finger foods. This helps to build up their confidence.
NEVER force your baby to eat or touch food, or stick their hands into the food or cake.
Some babies prefer to try new things, and others prefer a little more time.
Encourage play, and get involved too – this helps them to become more confident with experiencing new textures and flavours prior to their cake smash.
Finally Introduce a cup cake with frosting. Some babies haven’t experienced such sweet and sticky foods before, so doing this won’t be such a shock on the day, gradually build them up with different textures and flavours and find their favourite type of cake.
Cake Smash Day
Relax and take it easy and try not to over stimulate your baby with lots of activities on the day of their cake smash, and try and encourage a nap so they are not over tired and grumpy when they arrive to the studio.
Give your baby a healthy protein filled breakfast on the morning of their cake smash.
Remember the studio and me; the photographer are new to your baby and like trying new foods, some little ones need time to adjust and feel comfortable in a new place, with new people and their new surroundings.
What to bring
Bring your cake, Pack a bag with, a change of clothes (for you and your baby), Cake smash outfit, towel, baby bath, drinks, snacks (savoury ones work best as we use these to get the most of the cake smash when your baby doesn’t want any more cake), favourite toy.
This is a celebration session, please enjoy the experience and be in a happy mood, even if the session is moving slower than you expected – your baby can sense tension, and may need a little more time to ‘perform’ on the day. We sing songs and play games, so please have your babies favourite songs saved on your mobile phone ready.
Smile and enjoy the fun - let me create you those beautiful memories for you and your family.
For more information on Cake smash & celebration packages click the link > www.sarahmcleanphotography.co.uk/cakesmash.html
Sarah McLean is an award winning photographer based in Longridge in Lancashire specialising in your babies first year from Bump, Birth and Beyond.
Sarah McLean Photography
14a Berry Lane
My first Guest Blogger for 2018 is with the lovely Hayley & Lyndsay from Breathe Hypnobirthing based in Preston, Lancashire.
Introducing Hayley & Lyndsay who are both practicing Mental Health nurses with over 25 years service within the NHS.
With their combined passion for pregnancy and birth – and support from their loving Husbands and families – Breathe Hypnobirthing was born.
Helping couples and new parents in Lancashire to have a much more positive and relaxing birthing experience....
Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal program to inform and educate pregnant ladies and their birthing partner’s about their pregnancy, birth and their choices.
Couples are provided with simple, logical, practical and very effective tools to enable them to let go of fear and build confidence in order to focus positive energy into birthing their newborn baby calmly and naturally.
Using positive affirm nations, relaxation and self hypnosis techniques, Hypnobirthing enables couples to give themselves and their baby the best possible start in life, and can really make a difference to couples experience of giving birth.
Hypnobirthing isn’t just for couples who plan on having a natural birth, it is designed for all mums; mums who may need or choose an induction, or require a caesarean section, enabling couples to make informed and empowered choices about the care mother and baby will receive to help them have a more positive birth experience.
"I had a more relaxing birth experience"
Hypnobirthing sessions are one session per week held over a course of four, lasting around two to two and half hours, including:
Hypnobirthing has a huge focus on your birth partner, and we love to include your birth partner in both the pregnancy and preparation for their role during labour and birth and the support they can provide for mum.
Couples attending classes are educated about the changes which happen in the body during pregnancy, discussing and explaining all the terminology used during and in pregnancy.
“I was terrified of the idea of giving birth and so when a colleague recommended hypnobirthing I decided to give it a try”
Hypnobirthing gives your birth partner a role, so during birth when mum is focusing on managing surges and birthing baby, your partner can take the lead in managing the environment and communicating with the healthcare professionals so mum doesn’t have to.
Your partner is involved in the decision making for pregnancy and birth and means they are aware of all of the choices and decisions they need or may need to make for your birth, and ‘Breathe Hypnobirting’ ensures that they are confident in communicating these.
Actively banishing the stereotypical ‘useless dad’ and focusing on how much of an important role they have during birth – many mums comment after their birth that they truly could not have done it without their partner.
Hypnobirthing will always make a difference to pain relief, one thing we don’t promise is a pain free birth – instead we provide the tools for parents to lead a much calmer and more manageable birth.
Relaxation scripts are practiced with couples to help mum to enter a deep, relaxed sate to enable her to manage her surges better, training the mind to eliminate fear and therefore pain. The more couples practice the more effective the relaxation will be and tend to find mums can manage their birth with little or no pain relief.
“The breathing techniques along with the visualizations and affirmations made the pain much more bearable and I was able to cope with only gas and air during the birth of my daughter”
Benefits for you and your baby include:
‘Breathe Lancashire’ repeatedly hear wonderful birth stories from their mums and couples of Hypnobirthing babies and reports of them being calm, content, sleeping and feeding really well. They seem to thrive better – it may seem miraculous but this is how hypnobirthing is designed to be.
Jennifer booked her daughter’s newborn baby photo’s with me – Sarah McLean Photography, and when she told me the story about her wonderful birthing experience she had with Breathe Hypnobirthing I was fascinated to know and find out more which inspired me to Blog about her experience for pregnant mums looking into Hypnobirthing …………
Read below Jen’s experience with Breathe Hypnobirthing Lancashire.
“I was terrified of the idea of giving birth and so when a colleague recommended hypnobirthing I decided to give it a try. It’s not hypnotism, but a range of relaxation techniques to help you stay calm and go into almost a hypnotic-like state during labour.
It reminds you of the simple fact that your body is made to be able to give birth, it’s not a medical procedure but a natural process that will happen whether a midwife or doctor is present or not. It explains how if you’re stressed and scared of labour then adrenaline kicks in which makes you tense up and pumps your blood to your arms and legs as a fight or flight response which makes labour more difficult.
By teaching you to stay calm and trust the process your body stays relaxed and loose and labour is less uncomfortable.
The sessions give you a range of tools to help you stay calmer; information about what happens in labour, relaxation scripts which help you get into a meditative-like state, positive affirmations to remind you that your body’s capable of birthing naturally and knows what to do, and breathing techniques which help you through the discomfort. They also helped us form a birth plan and encouraged us to define what our preferences would be for the different stages of labour.
I found it really helped allay my fears and preconceptions about labour so that I was more confident going into it. The breathing techniques along with the visualizations and affirmations made the pain much more bearable and I was able to cope with only gas and air during the birth of my daughter.
I really feel that hypnobirthing made a big difference to my experience of giving birth and I’d highly recommend it to both mums and dads to be”.
Jen - Breathe Hypnobirthing client
Are you ready to try Hypnobirthing?
‘Breathe Hypnobirthing’ teach at various locations across Lancashire – They have group courses running on a regular basis at Trybe Hot Yoga Studio in Penwortham,
Azcend Health and Fitness Club in Catterall, and Lavender Barn at Charnock Farm in Leyland.
Bespoke 1:1 sessions are available for couples as home visits or agreed locations across Lancashire, these are for couples who prefer a more private and bespoke course tailored to their personal requirements.
To find out more, contact Hayley and Lyndsay via their website below;
I had the pleasure of photographing Elora at just 20 days new– Elora is one of Breathe Lancashire’s own Hypnobirthing Babies – here are a selection of her newborn baby photo’s taken at my photography studio in Preston, Lancashire.
To find out more about maternity and newborn baby photography please visit
Click HERE for more information about Maternity and Newborn Baby Photography.
Please check out these links to other great articles on my blog:
What to pack in your hospital bag – with a free printable checklist
Hospital photo checklist for dad
To find out more information on a Hypnobirthing class and sessions in Lancashire please CLICK HERE
Introducing a new baby to your toddler.
However you approach the way to tell your Toddler about your news, it will depend on your toddler how the process the information of the arrival of a new baby brother or sister.
I have put together some handy tips for when your new baby arrives and dealing with your toddler below.
Please see our FREE printable photo checklist of must have hospital photo's for dad to take CLICK HERE
Sarah Mclean Photography
14a Berry Lane, Longridge, Preston PR3 3JA
Specialist Maternity, Newborn Baby and Family photographer based in Longridge, Preston, Lancashire.
Surrounding areas: Clitheroe, Blackburn, Chorley, Leyland, Blackpool
Congratulations, your pregnant!
Pregnancy is such an exciting time in any ladies life - every day is a step closer to meeting the little bundle of joy you are growing patiently inside of you.
Maternity sessions are so much fun, and towards the end of my pregnancy I remember I practically lived in jogging bottoms and t-shirts, and nothing fit, and I was tired and hadn't actually got dressed up for quite a few months.
My Maternity sessions not only capture and record professional photo's of your baby bump as a keepsake reminder, but my sessions are designed to make mam's to feel super glam and amazing!
I have photographed a few families expecting their first baby, shooting the traditional pregnancy style photo's wearing casual clothes, and maybe your partner's shirt, and I still capture these as part of your maternity session, but I want to my mama to be's to look and feel......GORGEOUS!
Do something for you, before you time is taken up with your new baby when he or she arrives into the world.
As females, we always feel that we need to have an occasion or an excuse to do something and never much for ourselves. Maternity portraits are often overlooked because of the impending arrival of your baby - maybe you don't feel nice, or your scared of feeling huge - why not celebrate this magical time of what your body is doing...... creating life!
Your body is changing, so embrace those curves and feel super confident and stunning in front of the camera, get those 'WOW' pictures for your facebook or Art work for your home.
I provide a selection of stunning slips, dresses and lacy garments for you to wear during your session
you can wear as many of the items as you wish to change up your looks during your time in the studio, and you can wear as much or a little as you want.
My most requested maternity pose is an implied nude in black & white showing off your new baby bump curves - your body is amazing!
I know how to flatter and poses ladies to look their very best.
Partners and baby's siblings are more than welcome to be involved in your maternity session, making your images much more intimate and special with your family.
Your pregnancy is a very special time, and much like the newborn baby stage, it's an irreplaceable time too.
Nothing to wear?
Don't worry - choose from our ever growing collection of slips, dresses and gowns to wear at your shoot.
Maternity sessions all take place at my studio based in Longridge Nr Preston, Lancashire.
The studio is warm & welcoming with a growing selection of slips, gowns & dresses to wear during your photo shoot.
With a private changing area, you can try on as many of the dresses as you wish to choose the perfect one for you.
I have contacts of local Make up artists should you wish to have your hair and make up professionally done before your shoot.
If you are still un-decided about booking your maternity photo shoot - why not take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
For all ladies who pre-book their newborn baby photo shoot on or before 30 weeks pregnant, you will receive a complimentary mini maternity session at around 36 weeks.
Then simply view your baby bump pictures together with your newborn baby ones, and combine your favourite images into your chosen package.
Some of my client's opted for the complimentary mini maternity session option, and when they saw their images they were happy they had the option to do it as they would not have considered it otherwise and they are so glad they have these memories.
Find out more CLICK HERE
Sarah Mclean Photography
14a Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JA
You have the hospital bag packed, your ready to meet your new baby as those final days are ticking down to your due date.
Your fully charged camera is packed in your bag so you can capture your baby's first moments when they arrive into world.
If it's your first baby, the experience of what happens during delivery & labour is very new so it's easy to get caught up in whats going on and forget about recording those first moments.
Here I have put together a list of must have hospital pictures to capture those important first photo's for your family album, and to make it even easier you can download and print off the handy check list for Dad, so he doesn't miss any of those special shots too.
1. Final bump picture
Capture your last ever bump picture - this may be easier to capture if your going in for a scheduled C-Section than if your already in full established labour, this shot males for a final memory especially if you have been recording your bump growth over the last 9 months.
2. Hospital Room / Delivery suite
Really capture the room details such as the door name/number, and the room your baby is going to be delivered in.
3. The Time
Capture a picture of the clock when your baby arrives, what better way to capture the exact time your baby entered the world.
4. Your Baby
It's entirely up to the individual of what part of your baby being born is captured, once your baby has been delivered they will be lifted up and wrapped in a blanket, this makes a beautiful first photo even if they are crying. Your baby will be then weighed so a snap of them on the scales if possible is a memorable picture.
5. Hospital Tags/ ID Cards
Your baby will be given an ID tag, usually with a name and their D.O.B. Capture a close up of your baby wearing their tag. Other information is recorded on a card for their bedside cot such as their length and head circumference.
6. Meeting mummy
This is the most precious photograph you can possibly capture, there will be so much emotion when mum meets her baby for the first time.
7. Meeting daddy
This is a sure 2nd after your baby meets mummy, is when your baby meets their daddy for the first time, and again lots of emotion.
8. First family picture
If this is your first baby, asking the midwife to capture your first family photo is a must. If you don't want to look straight at the camera, look down at your precious baby for a more intimate picture, and convert it into black & white for a more timeless photo.
9. Meeting siblings
If your baby has brother's and sister's their first meeting with their new baby sibling is a photo to treasure.
10. Meeting grand parents
First granchild or not, capturing your newborn baby meeting their grandparents for the first time is another special keepsake photo for the family album.
11. First Outfit
Once your baby has arrived they will be dressed in their first outfit, usually a sleep suit and hat. Capture photo's of your baby in their new outfit, and asleep for those adorable new baby photo's
12. Going Home
It's time to take your baby home, and usually a going home outfit is prepared in advance for this special occasion, remember to capture their first photo in their car seat as you leave the hospital.
Don't forget to arrange your professional newborn baby photo's too - a lot of photographer's become booked up in advance with the unpredictability of when babies actually arrive so they take advance bookings.
I cover Longridge, Clitheroe, Preston, Chorley, Blackpool areas in Lancashire - if you require newborn baby photo's in these areas please click the link below to check our availability.
Download and print of this handy check list so you don't miss any of those must have first baby photo's.
Sarah Mclean is the owner of Sarah McLean Photography
As a newborn photographer I get asked this question quite often by client's who are looking to book in their newborn photo's.
"what happen's if my baby doesn't behave?", or "My baby is always awake!"
To be honest babies & children are unpredictable, from one day to the next.
As a newborn specialist I do have an idea of when to expect babies to have their growth spurts and cluster feeds, although this does vary from newborn to newborn as they develop at different rates, so I plan my sessions accordingly.
I have many babies in my studio for their newborn photo's and some will arrive asleep, and stay asleep, and some will take a little longer to settle as they require more milk & cuddles - no baby is the same.
I have a variety of poses which help settle babies, and you may be surprised on how many photo's I can achieve with your baby in those poses.
I have lots of fabric wraps available to keep your baby nice an snug whilst they are awake or asleep, I can place them inside one of our baskets for those adorable above baby shots.
Our adorable rompers are nice and snug, for your baby to be photographed in too, like this one below.
Our Bespoke sessions allow plenty of time for your baby to settle, our studio is super comfy and relaxing which helps your baby settle so much easier.
To find out more information about our Newborn Sessions, CLICK HERE
For our Newborn Session FAQs CLICK HERE
Newborn Baby Specialist Photographer
Based in Longridge, Near Preston, Lancashire, 10 minutes from the M6
Studio: 14a Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JA
Clitheroe, Blackburn, Longridge, Preston, Chorley, Leyland, Lancashire
Congratulations! your new baby has arrived!
A much awaited arrival after patiently waiting to meet him and her.
You have been so busy with prepping for your new arrival, deciding on which pram to purchase, what colour to paint the nursery, not to mention stocking up boxes upon boxes of nappies - that you forgot to book your little one in for their professional newborn photo shoot.
So after searching the internet you are finding that Newborn photo shoots have been booked in advance so there is no sessions available, or you may be even told that a 3 weeks your newborn is too 'old' to be photographed for a 4 hour bespoke photography session.
You only want a few keepsake pictures of your baby at this fleeting time, and every day your baby is growing and changing.
Don't fret! here at Sarah McLean Photography, we have designed a new all inclusive package for busy mums in mind.
Our shortened down Newborn session is 'Pure & Simple' - just focusing on the most important part of - Recording your newborn baby as a set of timeless portraits before they grow and change any more.
These sessions also do not require advanced booking unlike our bespoke session, and can be booked when you have a spare hour one afternoon (subject to availability).
This session is suitable for babies up to 12 weeks - perfect for those who missed the initial fleeting two week newborn phase.
The Pure & Simple package also includes your favourite Five images as Hi resolution digital files, which are perfect for printing ans sharing your new images with family & friends, and this complete package makes an ideal Gift for someone who is expecting a new arrival or just had a baby.
All of the sessions take place in our baby friendly studio in Longridge, near Preston where you can sit and relax whilst we capture your babies first portraits.
With over 7 years experience in the speciality of Newborn Photography you can be guaranteed your baby is in the best hands for having their baby pictures taken.
For further information on our Newborn Baby Photo sessions, please call Sarah at the studio on: 01772784499
Or feel free to pop in for a chat over a coffee and have a look around.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Your Newborn Baby Portrait Photographer
Studio: 14a Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JA
Guide on what to pack in your birthing hospital bag
Packing your hospital bag can be a very exciting time in your last trimester; it’s one more step closer to meeting your little bundle of joy that's been growing & wriggling inside you.
I started to pack my own hospital bag at around 35 weeks, just so it was ready to grab and go straight
to the hospital when my labour started, and we all know babies rarely arrive on their due dates.
Packing your hospital bag with these essentials will help you feel more comfortable, with these little home comforts to really help you through your labour.
I have split the guide into essential items for Mum, and for baby, and don't forget to claim free printable checklist if you wish to check off your items as you pack your bag - so nothing is forgot!
Items for Mum;
Essentials for Baby;
I hope you have found this blog useful, and don't forget to enter your email address below to receive your free printable checklist to help with your packing. Please give us a like & share on social media.
Guest Blogger – Maureen Burton
The Benefits of Baby Massage
I am delighted to have Maureen Burton as our guest blogger to share her hints & tips of the benefits of her baby massage sessions.
Maureen Burton is the founder of Maureen Burton’s Baby Massage and Support Group based in Preston Lancashire.
Maureen is 62, and a mother to two adult boys, and has worked alongside the Health Visiting Team for 16 years, using baby massage as part of the post natal after care to new mums.
Over the years her passion for Infant Health grew and I focused on providing mums with a Baby Massage & Support centre at two local venues in the community – Grimsargh Village Hall, and Ribchester Club in Preston, Lancashire.
Maureen’s sole aim was to not only help mums bond with their babies, but to also create a meeting place for mums and parents to meet and have a network of friends and extra support. The need for support is greater after the NHS services were reduced.
Adjusting to life as a new mum can be a daunting yet such an enjoyable time with your new baby.
Maureen’s Baby Massage classes not only give you that crucial bonding time with your new baby, Maureen also shares tips on other popular topics such as weaning and sleep routines, and can signpost Mum’s to G.P’s for any medical advise.
A little more about Baby Massage
What is baby massage?
Baby Massage originates from old Indian Culture and evidence has found that baby massage has been practised dating back over 3000 years, as routine part of childcare from the moment of birth until the baby is weaned and walking.
Since the late to mid 1900s baby massage has become popular here in the U.K and more emphasis on the physical bonding between the parents and baby that more and more professionals are encouraging parents to make baby massage a part of your daily routine.
Your baby has spent 9 month’s growing inside your womb with constant touch and contact on their skin, even during their birth your baby is still experiencing contact, and touch therapy has benefits to both parent & baby.
What are the Benefits for me and my baby?
There are many additional benefits from practising baby massage – such as;
Maureen’s Baby Massage class teaches parent’s how to massage their baby – Here you learn essential massage strokes which soothe colicky babies and help relieve that stubborn trapped wind & constipation.
Babies from as early as birth start her classes, and attend up until they start crawling.
Her massage moves and strokes are sequenced with popular Nursery Rhymes which your baby will come to recognise the more they develop and one of Maureen’s moves which is set to the Rhyme ‘Pat-a-cake’ brings your babies arms out and opens the chest which helps your baby’s respiratory system.
"I enjoy coming to the baby massage group as it is a chance to meet new parents, it is fantastic bonding time with me and my baby, and also she really enjoys it and has a long nap after!"
Maureen’s excellent support group is an added benefit of attending her classes where mums can come and socialise with other mums, and make lots of new friends.
“Even when their babies have grown up and start nursery or even school, its lovely seeing the mums still keeping in touch, they have created lasting friendships”
After attending one of Maureen’s classes I got a first look on how beneficial her classes and her friendly advice given to the new mums who attend.
Maureen’s group also enjoy organising evening’s out, and meet ups so mums/parents can enjoy getting dressed up and socialise with their new friends – it’s such a friendly network of new parents.
Find more information on Maureen's Baby Massage here on her facebook page below.
Maureen Burton - Baby Massage & Support Group
"Maggie absolutely loves baby massage!
"The chance to learn Baby Massage and talk to like minded mums"
Following on from Maureen’s Baby Massage classes, are her “Learn through play” classes.
These classes differ from your general playgroup and toddler groups – they focus more on early learning development, using interactive toys to develop your toddler’s co-ordination and social skills with other children.
Using sensory objects that are sticky, tactile or varied textures helps in your toddler’s next stage development.
The Baby Massage classes start Mondays at 10am – 12 noon at Grimsargh Village hall, Grimsargh. Lancashire
and Wednesday’s 10am – 12 noon at Ribchester club. Ribchester, Lancashire
There is no pre-booking system, Maureen likes parents to be able turn up as she understands that appointments and family life can sometimes clash with class days, all up-to-date class information can be found on her facebook page.
Maureen Burton - Baby Massage & Support Group
Sarah McLean is a newborn portrait photographer providing her service to the Ribble Valley & Lancashire. She specialises in Newborns, Babies, Children, Families .