Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tips for Better Photo Shoots

Spring is (Almost) Here!

Tips for Surviving A Photo with Your Kids

Spring is here and we all want those cute shots with the Easter Bunny or in the wildflowers... but we also all know that those photo shoots can end in tears and tantrums for both parents and kids. Here are some tips to make it a little easier on all of you!
Thanks to Making the World Cuter for these great tips!

  • When choosing a time with a photographer, or a time to photograph your children yourself, make sure you work it around your childs nap and feeding schedules. If you try to cram a session in before nap or meal time you are setting yourself up for a cranky little one.Try and plan for photos immediately after nap time and directly after a good feeding. Well rested and well fed kids are happier and more cooperative.
  • Try not to talk to your child about your upcoming session in details for days on end. While picture day can be exciting, it can also be stressful and kids can get worked up with the antipcation of a big event. Mention it once or twice so they are prepared and then leave it alone until the day of the session. When picture day rolls around, remind them that photos are fun and that it’s not a huge production that they need to be nervous about.
  • Dress accordingly. Photos aren’t something we normally have done once a month on a professional level…so make sure you’re adequately prepared for this special event. Buy a new outfit, do some extra styling with your childs hair, or incorporate fun props like hats or scarves. For mom, hire a professional makeup artist or have your hair done. Picture day is not just another day…it’s something to get dolled up for!
  • Be on time or come early. This will help ensure you have a few minutes for your child to get comfortable with your photographer. These few short moments are more important than you realize. This is helpful for adults as well. It’s just as important for you to have some time to connect with & get to know your photographer before jumping in front of their lens.
  • Stay out of your photographers way. Let your photographer call the shots and direct your little ones. Your job as a parent & subject is to look at the camera and be ready for the moment the photographer has your little one smiling. Let your photographer take charge! Part of their ability to connect with your child comes from conversing with them…so be sure to allow your little ones to answer questions and interact during your session.
  • Bring bribes & motivation. Provide incentive for your little ones to cooperate! Kids generally have a maximum cooperation time of about twenty minutes depending on age. Make the most of that time….or attempt to extend it by providing things they aren’t given every day…whether it be happy meals, treats, cash or the promise of ice cream or a small toy at the end of your session. Providing little perks along the way like snacks or candy is helpful in keeping kids motivated.
  • But most of all…have fun! Natural smiles are a result of a good time. Enjoy the time spent capturing the memories and smiles of your family! The photos resulting are what you will look back on and enjoy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pool Safety

Pool Safety for Kids

Summer is just around the corner and with that comes outdoor and water play and all the fun and danger that comes along with that.

No matter how safe you feel your kids already are around swimming pools and spas, adding as many proven safety steps as possible is the best system because you can never know which one might save your child’s life…until it does.

The Pool Safely campaign’s educational videos and parent-child activities can teach your kids how to stay safe while having fun in a swimming pool. They have interactive videos and activities, posters and coloring sheets as well as information for parents. All free for you to use!

Here is the link to the site for more information:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Have a Budding Babysitter?

Babysitter Training

Do you have an older child who might be ready to start babysitting? Although it might seem like most of babysitting is common sense, there are some training materials that can help your child feel more comfortable and possibly handle emergency situations. If your child is going to be babysitting for other families, a class in babysitting can also boost the confidence those families will have in your child's abilities to handle whatever might come up! is a non-profit site dedicated to babysitter training and safety.

The Red Cross offers training as well.

You can even take a class online!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

AH-CHOO! Healthy Habits to Prevent Colds

Can you Cold-Proof Your Child?

Nope. Probably not. But you can follow a few healthy habits to maybe cold proof them a little...

Most of these tips are ones that veteran parents already know and hold dear but a refresher never hurt!

The CDC recommends the following to help prevent the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands often. This is probably the single best measure to prevent transmission of colds. Especially after shopping, going to the gym, or spending time in public places, hand washing is critical. Frequent hand washing can destroy viruses that you have acquired from touching surfaces used by other people. You can also carry a small tube of hand sanitizer or sanitizing hand wipes when visiting public places. Teach your children the importance of hand washing too.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially the nose, mouth, and eye areas, if you are around someone with a cold or have been touching surfaces in a public area.
  • Don't smoke. Cigarette smoke can irritate the airways and increase susceptibility to colds and other infections. Even exposure to passive smoke can make you (or your children) more vulnerable to colds.
  • Use disposable items if someone in your family is infected. Disposable cups can be thrown away after each use and prevent accidental spread of the virus from sharing of cups or glasses. This is particularly important if you have young children who may try to drink from others' cups.
  • Keep household surfaces clean. Door knobs, drawer pulls, keyboards, light switches, telephones, remote controls, countertops, and sinks can all harbor viruses for hours after their use by an infected person. Wipe these surfaces frequently with soap and water or a disinfectant solution.
  • If your child has a cold, wash his or her toys as well when you are cleaning household surfaces and commonly-used items.
  • Use paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom for hand washing. Germs can live for several hours on cloth towels. Alternatively, have separate towels for each family member and provide a clean one for guests.
  • Throw tissues away after use. Used tissues are sources of virus that can contaminate any surface where they are left.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. While there isn't direct evidence to show that eating well or exercising can prevent colds, maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, with adequate sleep, good nutrition and physical exercise can help ensure that your immune system is in good condition and ready to fight infection if it occurs.
  • Control stress. Easier said than done sometimes!Studies have shown that people experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold than their calmer counterparts.