These past few months have introduced a whole new dynamic to my milestone sessions.
Wearing a Mask!
With wearing a mask, your baby now can't see my face, or my smile. This has had an impact on your little ones and how they react at their milestone session.
My family and friends have always said I have a real knack with kids. I am the 4th of 6 children and was a little Mommy from the start. I babysat a ton, chose my first career in childcare and quickly expanded that into elementary education.
Getting your babies to smile has always been a pretty easy feat for me.
Some say it is the blonde hair, apparently studies have shown that babies respond better to blondes, who knew!
But I just LOVE playing with them and getting genuine interactions during their session but NOW, without being able to see the smile behind my mask, I have a greater challenge.
I get it, this is totally out of the norm for your little ones and they likely have had very limited contact with other people during this outbreak, increasing that 'stranger danger' even more.
So here are some things I try when the session starts off to a rocky start, with lots of tears and clinging to Mama.
FIRST and most important is I really make an effort to stay back and keep my distance during milestone sessions. There isn't anything that I need to do myself, as Mom can change baby and put them in place. This helps a lot if I stay out of their 'bubble of security'.
I also make sure baby gets lots of love and snuggles from Mom. We try putting baby in place and getting some shots and if they cry, they go right back in Mom's arms. During the whole session Mama's are right beside baby, within reach. Then we try again!
If baby will not leave Mom's arms than I take pictures with Mom, usually standing behind baby holding their hands like this...
If they keep crawling back to Mom we move to a highchair and see if that works (often adding some treats brought from home, on the tray to see if they will get more comfortable). Remember Mom is still right beside baby.
If your baby is still feeling uncertain and afraid I keep going through my bag of tricks. The next one is I leave the room for a bit. Giving baby some time alone with Mom in the shooting space, without me. This can be a good reset for them and often I can get more shots without a problem when I return.
My top 'go to' is definitely my selection of squeaky and light up toys, to distract baby. These are pretty effective for short periods of time and baby always wants to play with these items in between. I disinfect all of these items after each session so they are clean and safe for your child to chew on, cause we all know they will go straight in their mouths.
So even if your session starts off with tears, we almost always are able to get to the fun and play, no matter how brief that moment may be.
If you are concerned about how your little one will react to a milestone session, send me a message and we can chat about the best way to approach it specifically for your little one.
Even with a mask we will still capture your baby, just the way they are. Tears and all... cause how can you not still love those crocodile tears and pouty lips!