Moments You’ll Never Get Back | Yin & Yang

Moments You'll Never Get Back Jax, FL | Jax, FL Newborn

Moments You’ll Never Get Back | Yin & Yang

Parenting means there will be moments you’ll never get back. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing, I promise! Today, Elizabeth Luke, mother of four, postpartum and infant care specialist, and the owner of The Jax Baby Company, Jacksonville’s only agency catering to, caring for, and supporting new families as they parent their babies during the first year of life shares 3 secrets that will help you capture moments you’ll never get back!

The Yin and Yang of Parenting

There are lots of sleepless nights. Tears will be shed; both your own tears and tears from your babies. There’s heartbreak when you can’t figure out why or what is wrong. Spoiler alert, this isn’t limited to their time as babies. This will apply to newborns, toddlers, children, teens, young adults, and your adult children if or when they become parents. Might as well get used to it, embrace it, and realize with the bad comes the good. You simply can’t have one without the other.

Then, there are the moments you’ll never get back!

Those moments and memories you want, so desperately to hold tight to. These moments happen, and as they fade away you think to yourself, “I’ll never get this moment again! I’m going to remember this forever.” But guess what? You can and almost always do forget. And, it will be okay. Promise

The good news is that the moments you’ll never get back are replaced by new, equally magical moments! And the sentiment lasts a lifetime.

The new moments capture your heart yet again and remind you that although you’ve forgotten a lot, there is still more moments to come that are beautiful and most importantly meaningful! So meaningful they may be forgotten, but they deeply impact you, your life, and how you parent and love your babies forever and ever amen!

I know you’re thinking, BUT I don’t want to lose any moments!!! I simply refuse!

What if I told you there are 3 ways to help you hold tightly just a little longer to the moments you’ll never get back?! You’d be excited, almost tearful at the thought, right? I know I sure get that feeling just writing about it! I’m not crying, you’re crying! Damn hormones! What do we do when we want to remember things? Make lists, set calendar reminders, create a post on social media so it will pop up in our timehop each year, create visual and auditory reminders, and hire a tutor!

3 Secrets to Help You Capture the Moments You’ll Never Get Back

Photos!

Photos, when done right can capture a moment in time, evokes emotion, triggers memories, and are gorgeous! Moments like pregnancy, birth, squishy newborn feeding sessions, sibling interactions, baptisms, birthdays, and graduation photos are all moments that are irreplaceable!

Music!

Music therapy is very interesting. We’ve all experienced it. A song comes on the radio and immediately you’re taken back. Psssss, It works with a scent too! Make a short soundtrack or playlist of songs during the year and play the sh*t out of it! Make some for each year. Make sure you label with the month and year! When you play that soundtrack or playlist years later there will be at least one or two songs you can close your eyes and go back in time to! Try it! I’m not even kidding. Likewise, we’re in the digital age so videos have never been easier to create! Do it! They don’t need to be perfect, they need to authentic to trigger memories!

A Professional Tutor!

Wait, they make tutors to help you remember moments you’ll never get back? Well, not exactly. A professional tutor to help you take time to slow down, enjoy, and thoroughly soak up the moments in time, yes! Well, not exactly. A professional tutor to help you take time to slow down, enjoy, and thoroughly soak up the moments in time, yes!

Remember Elizabeth, mom of four and agency owner?

Hi, it’s me! My team and I are your professional tutors, just contact us! We help you slow down, we will make your lists, do your shopping, toss in the laundry, play with the dogs, and organize the pantry so you my dear can enjoy those moments you’ll never get back. We will take the nights so you can enjoy the days, or vice verse! We will prep your meals so you can enjoy time with your family. We will encourage you when you are feeling unsure or uneasy! We will validate your feelings and help you create a plan that works for your family!

So, while it’s true that there are lots of moments you’ll never get back, it’s also true that the 3 ways I listed above will help you capture and store more of them in your longterm memory bank!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth Luke, the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co. has been a trusted provider of personalized care and support to families in and around Jacksonville, Florida for the better part of two-and-a-half decades. Specializing in childbirth education, postpartum support, in-home infant care, and sleep coaching! Here is The Jax Baby Co website , the FB page, and the IG account.

Carpe Diem Parenting | Do the Thing Y’all!

carpe diem parenting

Carpe Diem Parenting | Do the Thing Y’all

“What’s carpe diem parenting”, you ask. In short, it just means seize the day! Do the damn thing! Say yes!!! Life is short, sometimes much too short. Between adulting, exercising, meal prep, and chasing your toddler around, the days seem so long, but the years just fly right by! You know how it is. One minute you’re wondering if they’ll ever crawl or say mama and the next minute it’s a full-time job to keep them from climbing tables and you’re hiding fine chocolates in an empty frozen broccoli bag to enjoy a piece now and again in peace in quiet!

Carpe diem parenting means saying yes to family time!

Take the vacation! Use your leave! Take the boat out on the water, put your feet in the sand, and splash around in the pool, the bills, the to-do list, and the mess will all be there when you return! No one ever looks back on life and say, “Damn, I should have tackled that laundry instead of playing and enjoying time with my family.

Carpe diem parenting means it’s not all about the kids!

Catch a movie and lunch with your sister, the kids don’t need you every minute. In fact, being away from your kiddos sometimes will allow them time to miss and appreciate you more! As long as they are well-cared for they will be fine. There’s nothing like the love of a sibling, even when they are a big pain in the ass! I promise one day will come and you will miss them probably more than you ever imagined. Yes, I know that day is not today!

Carpe diem parenting means everyone is learning!

Get that massage, try the dessert, and sing wildly with your hair blowing in the wind! You deserve to treat yourself to something fun and relaxing! Being a parent is hard! There’s no trophy for those who finish without stopping to smell the roses along the way! Hint: the trophy is the flowers you missed along the way! It’s not a race, it’s a journey. Journies are meant to be lived and experienced to the fullest. I’m not saying there won’t be hardships, bad times, or even times that the unthinkable happens. I am saying just the opposite. With the good comes the bad, you can’t have one without the other. So carpe diem means to seize every single moment in this life!

Carpe diem parenting means saying yes!

Say yes to you, because in doing so you’re teaching others how you expect to be treated. You’re setting an example for your kids. You are paving a way for others who may be hesitant to seize the day, the moment, or the experience!

Say yes to your kids, if you can’t identify the true harm in it?

Embrace carpe diem parenting whenever and wherever possible!

Get down on the floor and roll around, be silly! Splash in the water, skip stones, and watch the birds. Talk about your day, listen and ask questions about their day. Let them wear the tutu and rainboots! Enjoy them!

Our team at The Jax Baby Company wants you to experience and cherish everything you can in this lifetime! No matter what parenting style you adopt We are here to listen, offer an objective perspective when you’re interested, and most importantly we have no ideas about how you should parent your children or live the life you are living! We just want to support you through it and help you enjoy it in your own way, in your own time as much as possible! Contact our team today! Cheers to carpe diem parenting!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Nighttime Newborn Care | Help Available

nighttime newborn care jax, fl | Jax, FL Nanny

Nighttime Newborn Care | Help Available

Parents are seeking nighttime newborn care, but most don’t even know it’s a thing! As you come home from the hospital exhausted and excited about beginning a new chapter in life, shit gets real, really quickly! The saying, the nights are long and the days are short is beginning to be understood in its entirety by about the 3-week mark! Tired is an understatement, diaper changes and feedings all seem to run together, you begin to wonder if it ever gets easier.

IT TOTALLY DOES!

It’s only a matter of time before things eventually start to feel manageable. But, it doesn’t have to feel that way! You don’t have to wait for things to get easier months down the road! Nighttime newborn care will allow you to “speed up” the healing process, get the sleep your body and mind needs, get a handle on life, and enjoy your baby!

In many ways, nighttime newborn care is like bringing home your favorite nurse from the hospital!

While baby nurses, night nannies, and newborn care specialists aren’t really nurses of any kind, we are the ultimate baby whisperers! Our team at The Jax Baby Company is fully vaccinated, CPR & first aid certified, vetted, hand-selected, knowledgable, and we have excellent references if that’s desired! We care for mothers and babies like a boss!

As if that’s not enough I’ll give you 20 more reasons you’ll want to have us in your home for nighttime newborn care:

  1. Our team knows about newborn needs and development!
  2. We’re all very familiar with the ins and outs of caring for your body after vaginal or post-op childbirth!
  3. We have up-to-date information about all things mother-baby!
  4. Your choices and individual needs are always respected.
  5. You don’t have to explain a million things to us (unless you just want to), we get it!
  6. Your sleep will be maximized.
  7. We can sleep shape your baby or babies (get em ready to sleep in their cribs).
  8. We support breast, bottle, formula, and know all about different feeding methods!
  9. When your family from out of town comes, we can give them all the time they want with you and the baby while still doing all the other things to make life easier! Or vice versa! Your choice!
  10. We give your 4-legged friends all the love too!
  11. Siblings love us!
  12. Relationship with your partner is improved with sleep and time together.
  13. We prepare yummy food.
  14. We help tackle the laundry,
  15. Dishes are done, dude! (a popular line from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead)
  16. We can help you select, order, and assemble baby products!
  17. You have someone to talk to about all the things it seems no one else understands!
  18. We can help you learn how to wear your baby if you choose to do that!
  19. You don’t have to feel bad for sleeping, showering, and eating hot meals!
  20. Because nighttime newborn care is amazing, but we also do days, weekends, and travel care too!

Nighttime newborn care with The Jax Baby Company is the perfect blend of relaxation and motivation, validation and commiseration! We are a cohesive team and we would love to support you and your family through it all! Contact us and let’s get you booked early before we’re all booked up!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth Luke

Childbirth Education Classes – What I Wished I’d Known

childbirth education classes jax, fl | Best birth classes in Jax, FL | Jax, FL baby classes | give birth jax, fl

Childbirth Education Classes – What I Wished I’d Known

I absolutely love to learn, so when I was pregnant with my first, it was a no-brainer to sign up for childbirth education classes to help us prepare. The hospital where I planned to give birth offered multiple classes and our insurance even reimbursed us a small amount for taking a few. My husband and I signed up through the hospital for a few different classes including breastfeeding and a labor one.

Several months later, I took said childbirth education classes and found them to be okay. Pretty standard.

You see, if you’ve never had a baby, you don’t really know what to expect or what info you need to know. Only after I had my first, my son, did I begin to realize just how unprepared I was. Every hospital is different, so my experience with hospital classes may be very different from yours. The hospital I gave birth at was very new and supposed to be state-of-the-art. However, the classes were too textbook and barely skimmed the surface. I’m not sure why this was the case, but, to my dismay, it was.

In hindsight, the hospital childbirth education classes did little to nothing to prepare me.

It’s both frustrating and disappointing. It also is concerning to me for other parents who seek out childbirth education classes like this in hopes of gaining needed knowledge on labor, delivery, and their lives after they bring their baby home from the hospital. To be honest, I was lost as a new mom. I mean LOST. There are so many things I wish I was taught that would have prepared me better. Here’s a few that initially come to mind:

  • Having a birth plan and being able to assert my desires.
  • The realities of hospital birth and what that entails.
  • Preparing for what happens when your birth plan is thrown out the window.
  • Your rights in the hospital.
  • Not just the physical toll, but the emotional and mental toll it takes on you during your hospital stay.
  • The realities of sleep deprivation and how to cope.
  • Breastfeeding-so many variables I never thought of or learned that I ended up experiencing.

In saying all of this, I strongly recommend you seek out in-home childbirth education classes.

It wasn’t until after I had both my children that I began to learn about the many options available. If I could go back in time, I would have hired help in the blink of an eye. One of the amazing things about hiring outside help is that most are knowledgable about the variations of birth, including cesareans, infant care, breast and bottle feeding, and the postpartum recovery process. Some even teach childbirth education classes in the comfort of your own home like The Jacksonville Baby Company. In my opinion, having a private educator prepare me would have been much more helpful than someone who is staffed by the hospital.

Here are a few reasons why in-home childbirth education classes will likely prepare you better:

  • An in-home CBE allows you to be in the comfort of your home where you feel more comfortable asking questions.
  • The CBE facilitator is not employed by a hospital and therefore can give you more honest feedback regarding what to expect at the different local birthing facilities.
  • The facilitator can personalize the information to what you are desiring through the delivery process (natural vs medicated birth, where and how you’ll labor, formula fed vs breastfed, etc).
  • The facilitator likely has a lot of very recent experience in regards to helping women through labor, delivery, and adjusting to their lives with the new baby. This recent experience means their information and advice is up-to-date to what’s going on currently in the world in which you ‘re living.
  • They will go into more depth and will include important information regarding the realities of having a newborn.

Preparing for childbirth is so important.

In this day and age, where there are so many options for every aspect of pregnancy, delivery, and parenting, it is overwhelming. It is crucial to choose childbirth education classes where you will learn more than hospital policy and skim the surface. It’s important to dig in deep. Find someone who is knowledgable and trustworthy to prepare you for every step and not just birth, but for after birth. Ask those you trust for recommendations and do your research based on what you are hoping for through your pregnancy and delivery and choose the person you feel is a good fit for you.

I encourage you to check out The Jax Baby Company and the services they offer. They are there throughout the pregnancy and provide excellent postpartum support as well.

Authored by: Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woma

Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns | 5 Easy Steps

newborn umbilical cord care | Jax, FL Baby Nurse

Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns | 5 Easy Steps

Writing an informative piece on umbilical cord care is right up my alley! When I’m not helping parents with all the things after their babies are born I’m teaching classes that include information on optimal umbilical cord clamping and providing placenta encapsulation services. During that time I often get to talk with parents about the anatomy of the placenta and cord and the functions of the umbilical cord during pregnancy. After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer needed as the placenta will no longer supply nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to the newborn. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut leaving behind a small nub of cord still attached to your baby’s abdomen.

Clamped and cut, now what?

Your baby’s umbilical cord should begin to dry out, turn into a stump, and eventually, it falls off. What kind of time frame are we talking about here? Usually, within one to two weeks after your baby is born the stump that once was the cord falls off. Until then, follow the 5 simple steps below unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician.

Umbilical Cord Care in 5 Easy Steps:

1. Only give a sponge baths IF a bath is needed.

Generally speaking, newborns don’t need to bathe. A simple wipe down with warm, clean water and a cloth is sufficient. Pay close attention to areas that are moist and tucked away like the creases of their necks and their legs near their diaper area. Avoid their umbilical cord area. The idea is to keep it dry and sponge bathing your newborn will help with that!

2. Keep the stump dry.

You may hear all sorts recommendations such as putting breastmilk on it or applying Goldenseal and Echinacea powder to the area. Please consult your care provider before putting anything on the umbilical cord as it heals. Dry care is currently said to be the best care! There is research that suggests by putting anything on the cord you may be killing beneficial bacteria that is present naturally to help the cord heal on its own. What if my baby pees or soils the umbilical cord area? Don’t stress it! Just wipe it clean using a cloth and warm water (no soap), and let it dry out!

3. Let the umbilical cord air out!

Keep the umbilical area exposed to the air in a controlled temperature environment as much as possible. Fold down the newborn’s diaper, don’t allow it to touch or rub on the cord! Won’t my baby get cold with his umbilical cord area exposed? As long as you have him dressed for his environment he should be fine. For example, if your home is kept around 76 degrees Fahrenheit and you’re wearing shorts and a tank, your baby will be fine in a shirt, diaper, socks, and loose blanket over her lower half. Better yet, snuggle up!

4. Leave it alone!

Let the stump fall off on its own. No pulling or picking at it! If there’s some dried blood around the cord itself (that’s normal) on the skin, you can leave it or wipe it off with a cloth and warm water (no soap), being careful not to get the cord wet. Can I do something so my baby will have an “innie/outtie”? Nope! There’s nothing you can do to encourage or ensure your baby will have an “innie” or an “outtie” a belly button is a belly button! If it’s meant to be it’ll be!

5. Report any problems or concerns to your pediatrician.

Similarly to a scab, the stump might bleed a little when it’s falling off, that’s normal. However, you’ll want to contact your baby’s doctor if: The umbilical cord area oozes or has visible puss. The skin surrounding the cord gets red and swollen. If there’s an odor or smell coming from the area. If your baby’s umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off by the end of week two, even without signs of infection.

Together we can keep dem’ babies safe!

There isn’t a general consensus for umbilical cord care everywhere. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that, “dry cord care without the application of topical substances is preferable under most circumstances in high-resource countries and for in-hospital births elsewhere; the application of topical chlorhexidine is recommended for infants born outside the hospital setting in communities with high neonatal mortality rates.20 ” Basically, they’re saying that that dry care is usually the best care in low-risk environments. In settings where the risk of bacterial infection is high, it may be prudent to use an antiseptic as per your pediatrician or general practitioner’s recommendations.

Here’s the recap:

  1. keep it dry
  2. sponge bathe only as needed
  3. let it air out
  4. leave it alone
  5. report possible problems or infections to your pediatrician right away!

That’s it, folks!

Sounds simple enough, right? For the most part, it is! Follow these recommendations, that of your pediatrician, and most importantly listen to your gut! Not familiar with that? Our postpartum and infant care specialists are amazing at helping you tap into that parental power! Book a consult with us today and grow more confident in parenting each day!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth Luke

Chill Your Tits, It’s Just Milk!

chill your tits, it's just milk Jax, FL | Jax, FL Breastfeeding

Chill Your Tits, It’s Just Milk!

Seriously people, chill your tits, it’s just milk! Adultish language will be used! f-bombs will be dropped, and I ain’t even sorry if you keep reading after you’ve read this warning! How is it that people who love tits still have hang-ups over them? The fact that they are biologically designed to produce milk is just too damn much to handle for some! Tits are the real O.G. They are multi-functioning, badass lady bags! Ready at a moments notice, tits are there to satisfy and soothe babies. They soothe babies who are hungry, tired, getting vaccines, hitting a growth spurt, (fucking) teething, sick, or who are just straight over your ass!

These bad bitches pull double duty too!

Not only do they feed and soothe babies they’re also visually pleasing to the eye. Even in their most tired, deflated state! YES, they are still desirable! A diamond is still a diamond! So why then am I here writing this blog to tell you (whoever the hell you are) to chill? Can’t you chill your tits, it’s just milk? If you’re weirded out, or just plain disgusted over a little (or a fuck ton) of milk leaking or spraying on you or in your mouth during sex, it’s time to evaluate why. I’m not talking about disliking the taste of breastmilk. The sensation of liquid dripping on you, I’m not referring to that either. I’m talking about the actual fact that tits make milk. The fact that they will do whatever the hell they want when they want, including while you are interested in them sexually!

Women are amazing in their entirety!

If you’re reading this maybe you need to hear what I am about to say. Please know that any person who has negative comments to say about your tits making milk has issues. There’s nothing wrong with your tits making milk! Even if your baby weaned years ago and your tits are still sending you liquid reminds of how badass they are, you are amazing. To those reading this who are uncomfortable, that is your issue and no one else’s! If you’re reading this and a woman is inviting you into her space whether it’s for casual enjoyment or deep and meaningful sex if you accept the invite it’s a sacred space! Bitch or make any hurtful remarks or smartass comments and they can be revoked and may no longer be available for your pleasure any longer.

There’s no shame in having issues, we all have issues! It’s simple really, work through them, seek help to do so, enjoy tits again! Otherwise, chill out! It’s only milk!

Let the nasty comments and tit shaming commence! Followed soon after by giving no fucks and a fuck ton of rebuttal!

The Jacksonville Baby Company receives numerous emails from women each year who ask questions like, “my milk won’t dry up, my sex life has taken a dip,” “why are guys immediately turned off when my tits leak a little milk,” and “please tell me life with boobs gets better after having kids.” We reply with encouragement and science, no surprise there!

Seriously though, OMG, chill your tits, it’s just milk people!

Again, work through your issues, get over your fear of tits, enjoy them, or in the words of Ludacris, “move bitch, get out the way!”

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth Luke

How to Take Newborn Photos Like a Pro

newborn photos jax, FL

How to Take Newborn Photos Like a Pro

So, you want to learn how to take newborn photos like a pro? Then stick around! While I highly recommend professional portraits, Christy Whitehead, a professional photographer is sharing a few of her tips and tricks so you can get some homegrown shots of your own! During the first year of your baby’s life, they change so much from day to day. Naturally, parents and grandparents want to capture moments in time through photographs!

First, let’s talk lighting!

Lighting is your friend, but not all lighting is created equally. Have you ever noticed how sometimes photos have a yellowish tint? Yeah, you can thank those indoor lights. So let’s look for some window/natural light. Position your baby so that their head is closest to the window, and their little booty is parallel to the window (if you want mainly face photo) or farthest away from the window (if you want full body). Keep in mind, shadows are your friend! Without shadows, you’ll have a flat image and you won’t see all those cute little baby rolls.

Next up, are angles!

Think about the angle you take the newborn photos from, you don’t want to shoot so that you see up into the baby’s nostrils, as that’s not flattering and creates a “black hole.” Don’t forget to step back and get full body, as well as get close and get details. If you’re doing a naked baby shot, you also have to think about all those little bits you don’t want to share with the world! Push comes to shove, a little blanket can help cover things up. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Shoot straight on, stand up higher and get a shot from above, etc. Even going on the shadowed side and shooting back at the baby can create a nice effect.

Positioning, positioning, positioning!

A large bean bag that’s a bit stiff is a good place to start with posing your little one. Some large throw blankets work great over the bean bag to not only help keep your little one warm, but also give you a nice soft backdrop. Rolled towels are great for putting under the blankets to help prop them up. Always making sure they arr 100% safe or using an assistant.

newborn photos jax, fl

Props or No Props?

Some people prefer very simple, very clean newborn photos. Either baby completely naked or with a little outfit on. They want something that represents them and their personalities. I often try to do both. But it’s something you’ll have to think about when you’re thinking about your own photos, what do you like?

Siblings or just mom or just dad with the new baby!

Depending on the older child’s age, you might want to position them laying down next to each other, or have the older child sit on the ground with the new baby in his lap. (I would have a spotter though, just in case!)

Naked baby, skin on skin with dad is fun! Do you have some tattoos you enjoy showing off? If you’re a military family, work for the police, or are a firefighter your uniform can be a great way to personalize your photos!

newborn photos jax, fl

Other fun and super duper cute ideas!

Yummy tummy shots! This gets a nice cute shot of their whole little body laying down in that cute little pose, showing off their toes and fingers.

Baby got back! Putting a baby on their back can be a very natural pose for little ones. If your little one is prone to gas, the tummy pose may irritate him, but this pose is usually pretty comfortable.

newborn photos jax, fl

Buckets and baskets of fun oh my!

Using a bucket or basket is popular with newborn photographers Props. and special toys can be a great way to make your session extra special. Did grandma make the little one a special little doll? Have her hold it. Use the crib as part of your session, it’s totally considered a prop! Pose your little one in there on their belly, face towards you and shoot them through the bars or from above.

There are two main types of newborn photographers.

Lifestyle photographers are photographing things as they happen naturally. Then there are studio or posed photography. The latter is how I typically shoot.

newborn photos, jax fl

Cameras cell phones have come a long way!

Even as a professional, I still struggle to get great newborn photos from my cell phone, so if you’re struggling, you’re not alone! If you want some info about what I shoot with and what I recommend, check out the “For Photographers” section on my website for info about education and gear.

Safety first, always!

Always be careful using props, make sure they aren’t too close to an edge or on an unstable prop. I have an assistant or parent sit near me, within reach in case they need to grab the little one. This may sound crazy, but if you’re photographing above the baby, make sure the strap is on your wrist tight or around your neck. The last thing you want is to accidentally drop the camera on your little one! Avoid the use of glass jars, hanging fabric, and railroad tracks! Trust me on this, not only is it dangerous, but photographing on the railroad tracks is illegal. Should you want shots of your baby hanging in a beautiful wrap, call me, we can arrange a safe photo shoot you’ll love and not have a heart attack trying to execute!

Even with all these tips, I’m barely touching on all the techniques, tips, and tricks to get the best newborn photos!

I’ve learned over the years how to create the best newborn photos while keeping your little one’s safety in mind. If you’re struggling to take photos of your little ones, or are just overwhelmed with the thought of it, give me a call, (904) 891-0359 or shoot me an email Christy@jaxphotographer.com

newborn photos jax, fl | Jax, FL Photographer

Christy Whitehead is a pregnancy, newborn and cake smash photographer in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been voted best photographer multiple times and has been featured on Buzzfeed multiple times for her fun and geeky photos. You can find Christy by going to her website: www.JaxPhotographer.com, visiting her Facebook page, and following her on IG!

Tummy Time Tips for Success

Tummy Time Tips for Success

I received a text last week from a father we’ve been working with. It read, “HELP! I need some tummy time tips. Our daughter is getting pissed any time I try. Am I doing it wrong?” The next morning Heather arrived and was met by dad, eager to learn ways to make tummy time less stressful! Of course, when Heather went over the tips with this father, demonstrating with his daughter, she was just as tickled as she could be about it! Don’t worry parents, you’re not doing it “wrong” our specialists just have a way with babies!

For sleep, back is best, but we must balance that with plenty of awake tummy time.

Tummy time is what exactly?

Tummy time just means the time your baby spends time on his or her stomach while awake and supervised. This is done 3-5x daily for 2-10 minutes each time to help him/her strengthen and develop muscles and avoid positional plagiocephaly.

Is tummy time really that important?

It absolutely is! Think about how much time your baby is on their back. In the car, in the bouncy seat, swing, in their crib, and riding out in the stroller. That’s a lot of time in the supine position. First, it’s important for motor skills to help your baby roll, sit, crawl, and eventually walk. It’s also important for cognitive development. Babies who are not getting enough tummy time are prone to plagiocephaly (flat spots on their head).

Here are our Best Tummy Time Tips for Success:

Timing is Everything!

Not all babies like tummy time, shocker huh?! Even though tummy time isn’t a favorite pastime for most babies, if you start within a few days of birth you may find that your baby is more accepting of it. Begin at a time of day when they are awake and happy, but not immediately after being fed or right before they are about to fall asleep. Tricky with a newborn, but it can be done!

Chest Bumps and Baby Rumps!

Baby’s tummy on your chest counts! They may find this far more comforting than being placed on a play mat since they get to feel the warmth from your body and hear your heart beating too! Do you see the photo at the beginning of this blog of the man holding the baby on his chest? Totally counts! Laying them across your legs while you’re in a sitting position also counts! For safety always keep one hand on them at all times! The bonus here is that you get to pat their cute little tush!

Get Down and Boogie!

Don’t hesitate to get down on the floor and engage with your baby at their level! Talk, hum, and sing to them. Show them a high contrast book or blocks, babies LOVE it!

Utilize the crib!

Remember, awake and supervised and tummy is fine! Place a playmat in your baby’s crib and let ’em chill! Bring a book and get in some reading for a few minutes while your little one gets a works out!

Special Reserve!

Bust out the special reserves and raise spirits! Baby spirits, not liquid spirits! Set up a small bin with special toys, blocks, and books that are reserved only for tummy time! Think different textures, natural sounds, and contrasting colors to draw their attention!

Flip ‘Em & Reverse It!

Most parents can usually get a minimum of 5-minutes of tummy time in before their baby flips the flip out! When you notice your baby is beginning to get agitated pull a Missy Elliot on ’em! Flip them over (gently of course) onto their backs for a few minutes! Then, give them a couple of minutes and reverse it! Flip them back over facing the opposite direction! Wash, rinse, repeat!

Tummy time does not have to be stressful, your baby and you can learn to love this time together!

Follow the tips we’ve listed here for you and drop any new ideas you have in the comments below! Looking for compassionate care and knowledgeable support around the house? Contact us today and join all the families around the Greater Jacksonville area who knew what they wanted and hired the best to get it!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth

6 Steps to Grow | Personal Growth for Parents

6 steps to grow Jax, FL | Jax, FL night nurse

6 Steps to Grow | Personal Growth for Parents

Within my circle of friends, the parents with whom I work, and even in my own home, we each strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. We’re each taking steps to grow as individuals and as parents! Personal growth should push us, stretch us, and even pain us at times, but most importantly it should excite us! We were meant to grow, change, and evolve throughout our lives. Does that mean we won’t fall short at times? No! Does it mean it’ll be easy? No! But, taking steps to grow is worth it! Growing as a parent is especially rewarding!

Here are 6 Steps to Grow as Parents:

Tackle the Hardest Task First

Dreading the thing you don’t want to do is often worse than actually doing it. Not all hard things end up being as hard as we anticipate them being either, the bark can be worse than the bite. My advice, take bites at the hardest, most dreaded thing on your plate first. Then, chomp away at the more palatable pieces of the pie. More often than not when we handle the hard things first we feel accomplished, we breathe a sigh of relief, and we can move on.

Learn to Say YES, without feeling guilty.

Sounds easy, but just as saying no without apology or explanation can be extremely difficult, so too can saying yes! Say you’ve had a rough week. A friend calls to see if you want to get a pizza and watch a movie. You want to say yes, but you have a load of laundry that needs washing and a dog that needs to get a bath. What do you do?! Say yes! Saying yes because that’s what you want at the moment is perfectly okay. Try it! There will always be laundry. You won’t always have the friend, the opportunity, or the ability to join said friend.

Meet Others Where They Are

This is a difficult one! It can take a very long time to become aware you’re even doing it. We’re literally designed to use our judgment to help us survive, but surprisingly we’re not always so great at the judgment part. Knowing when to use it is the hard part. We learn pretty early on that a hot stove isn’t something we want to place our hands on.

It gets tricky when we’re talking about judging others.

It’s so easy to say, “If that was my kid, I would…[insert judgemental comment here].” “Why doesn’t she just …[insert another judgy thought here]?” This behavior isn’t healthy. STOP! Check yourself! Your truth isn’t everyone’s truth and each person is on a unique journey in life. There is beauty in that. There is happiness is non-judgment. Be self-aware. Hold yourself accountable. Take steps to correct yourself. These things will help you meet others right where they are. The best part is you don’t have to travel anywhere!

Yoga

You can’t take steps to grow and not include yoga and meditation! Yoga is for everybody and every body! It truly is. I don’t care for labels, but here goes; young and old, singles and couples, disabled, athletic, introverts, extroverts, moms, dads, caregivers, police officers, doctors, kids, babies, and grandparents, large people, tiny people, silly people, and even pregnant people. Yoga incorporates breath work, gentle poses, stretching, meditation, and mindfulness. It helps you center yourself, feel more grounded and connected, and become more self-aware. The perfect place to grow is literally from within.

Exercise

We’ve all heard it, exercise is 90% mental and 10% physical! Exercise very literally pushes you out of your comfort zone. It requires you to be resilient, persistent, and consistent! Exercising absolutely requires you to takes steps to grow in more ways than one. Exercise the body, but also remember to exercise kindness, forgiveness, will-power, and always, without a doubt your right to vote!

Keep an Open Mind and a Level Head

Hold it together Karen, noone wants to see you lose your shit in the breakroom today! Sometimes things aren’t as they first appear. Black and white are black and white, but they make gray when watered down and mixed! We need to become masters of adjusting our own lens. If you can slow down, become aware of your own feelings and breath, silence the tongue, and keep an open mind and a level head as you adjust and observe, it gives you the freedom to think more clearly and objectively!

Taking steps to grow is important.

Growth happens in so many ways. I challenge you to begin taking steps to grow right now, today. Answer these questions: In what ways have you grown as a parent? In what areas would you like to grow? What is your biggest challenge (remember to tackle the hardest thing first)? What is one thing you’ll work on this week that will help you grow as a parent?

If you find that you enjoyed this blog and the steps to grow mentioned within it, and you’d like to learn more, contact us or leave a comment below!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke, author and owner of The Jax Baby Co.

Mantras for Each Month of the Year

Mantras for Each Month of the Year Jax, FL | Affirmation Jax, FL | Birth Classes Jax, FL

Mantras for Each Month of the Year

When you think of a mantra what comes to mind? A word or phrase repeated? A word or phrase used for motivation? I like to think of mantras similarly to affirmations or mini meditations that anyone can do, any time, any place! We love meditation and the inner peace it brings, so we’re sharing mantras for each month of the year with all of you amazing humans!

I’m aware that introducing mantras for each month of the year after the first quarter has already come and gone seems a bit…odd, but the great thing about these is you can start anytime and apply these mantras year after year in new ways!

Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Jax, FL Night Nanny | Jax, FL Doulas

May’s Mantra: Less is more!

What ever that means to you! Less noise, fewer commitments, less food, less travel, less social media, less stuff! What does “less is more” mean to you?

June’s Mantra: Stop watering dead plants!

Are you pouring from your own cup and watering things that just won’t grow? Feeling a little taken for granted or that relationship you’ve been working at is leading you in circles? Stop giving that energy away!

July’s Mantra: Just start!

A journey or a thousand miles begins with a single step. Just starting can be the hardest part! That’s not to say preparation isn’t beneficial. It is, but don’t let all the details hold you back. You only live once! Get to stepping!

August’s Mantra: I am enough!

There isn’t a single person just like you anywhere in existence. None of us are without flaws, and each of us is special. You are beautiful just the way you are! You ARE enough!

Jax, FL Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Sleep Training Jax, FL
Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Jax, FL Doulas

September’s Mantra: I am right where I am suppose to be!

Focus on the now! Yes goals are good! Dreaming should never stop, but there is peace, joy, ans satisfaction in accepting where you’re at in this very moment.

October’s Mantra: What I think, I become!

The mind is a powerful thing! With intention set yourself up to become exactly who you want to be in this life!

November’s Mantra: I choose joy!

You have the power to choose joy! You can’t always choose what happens or when it will happen, but you always have a choice. Choose joy!

December’s Mantra: Calm is Contagious!

Calm is contagious! So is chaos. Quiet the background noise, use your breath for change and influence those around you with the power of calm!

Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Jax, FL best in jax
Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Positive Affirmations

January’s Mantra: I’m planting seeds!

Each day, each experience and every interaction with another human being you are planting seeds. What seeds are important to you? What are you cultivating? Kindness?

February’s Mantra: I will make it worth it!

What is your “it”? Make whatever “it” is worth it! You can never get this day back! Where will you send your energy?

March’s Mantra: I have enough!

I have enough love in my heart, enough courage in my soul, and enough stress in my life. What do you have enough of?

Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Doulas in Jax, FL
Mantras for Each Month of the Year | Mindfulness Classes Jax, FL

April’s Mantra: Silence is Golden!

Silence and focused breathing helps me center myself. Sitting in silence, listening more, and speaking less allows me to be present and be a better friend.

Feel free to add to these mantras for each month of the year.

What resonates with you? What moves you? Is there something you can do today to encourage yourself and others? What mantras are your mantras? Leave us a comment below and for the most supportive experience and help at home after you give birth contact us today! We’re your feel-good baby and postpartum experts!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke