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Does my baby have Reflux!?

If you feel your baby may have Reflux, speak to your health visitor or Doctor straight away. Sadly many parents feel they aren’t being listened to, here are a few tips.

keep a diary for a few days, take videos of your baby’s episodes.. and present them as visual evidence. Make them listen!!

Ask a friend to come to the appointment with you, someone who is sleep deprived. You may be exhausted & emotionally charged, this won’t help get your point across.

Do not feel embarrassed, keep going back time after time. Don’t be fobbed off!

If you still have no enjoy, and finances will allow go private to a specialist.

Support is essential, visit forums and chat to mums online. Have a look at www.livingwithreflux.org

Finally trust your instincts

Family Portrait Photographer in Northampton

In my line of work I meet lots of lovely people that work with children. Andy Nickerson is a family portrait photographer in Northampton and he’s given me some advice to share on choosing a family portrait photographer…

family portrait 1

How to choose a family portrait photographer?

Choosing someone to shoot your children’s portraits sounds straightforward enough, but it’s an investment and a shared family experience so its worth your time and research. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right family photographer for your needs.

Specialism

Does your chosen photographer have the credentials? This may sound pretty obvious, but take a moment to look at their training, experience and specialism. Most photographers favour a specific interest eg, school photography, family portraiture, commercial or weddings, although some may cover many other so it’s worth looking at their portfolio to check out which genre they really shine at, not just jack of all trades.

Timing

Children are amazing through all their ages and stages, but timing is an important consideration. For instance, if your 7 year old has lost several teeth you might want to wait a couple of months for photos when they feel less self conscious and goofy! Equally, if your baby is not yet smiling, it’s worth waiting till they smile around 6 weeks old as this is a smile you’re going to fall in love with. If they’re ill on the day of the shoot, postponing is likely to be the better option to get the best out of them at a later date.

Safety

Is your family photographer someone you feel is trustworthy? Are they qualified or hold lots of experience? When choosing a family photographer, ask questions about safety. Eg, there are particular industry considerations for posing newborn babies that should be observed. You could also ask about safety in the studio if you have an energetic 2 year old as there will be lots of heavy equipment around. During the shoot, don’t be afraid to ask questions and ensure that the photographer puts your children’s safety as priority.

Style and Quality

Are you thinking classically posed shots, or are you looking for informality to capture the purity and natural expression of childhood? There’s no right or wrong and it really is down to personal taste, but do think ahead and consider fashion. The photographs are an investment you’ll want to last the test of time so it’s important to consider quality too, especially if you opt for bespoke artwork. After all, if you could capture the same quality and expertise at home you wouldn’t be seeking professional photography, so make your session count.

Three quick questions to ask yourself when short-listing your family photographer based on style and quality include:

  • Does their portfolio show children looking comfortable capturing a variety of expressions and aspects of their real character?
  • Will the image stand the test of time or is it a current fad?
  • Has it been professionally edited/retouched? ie, has flaky skin been retouched or any temporary marks and scratches been removed?

Location

Practically, are you within travelling distance of your favourite family photographer or would it be best for you to commission a home service? Studio photography is a specialism in it’s own right, while location photography means you have the photographer come to you, space allowing. There are pros and cons t to both, and again it’s down to preference.

Cost

Great portrait photography is an art form and suffice to say prices will often vary to reflect both the experience and talent of the professional photographer. Often if something seems priced as too good to be true, then it probably is. Be sure to ask your photographer about any hidden costs and expect clarity. Any business worth their salt will offer honesty and transparency. The web is full of stories where this isn’t the case so research pays off rather than meeting hard sell head on.

Reviews

The web is a great place to do your homework. Netmums is a great website to find honest customer reviews to make an informed choice as are the photographer’s business Facebook pages. Friends and family are perhaps even better sources for honest reviews.

Purchasing

The trend of receiving digital images remains popular, but a disk of images unprinted and unappreciated is often not the best option. Most photographers sell professionally presented bespoke artwork, helping to ensure your beautiful images get seen everyday, ensuring commissioning a photographer is worth your while.

Family-portrait

These pointers should help you make a good investment. Perhaps most important is to enjoy your shoot, as every time you view your images you can treasure the lasting memory of a memorable family outing together.

One mums experience

Slowly, I backed out of the room and closed the door as gently as I could. I didn’t realise I’d been holding my breath until I’d crept half way down the stairs on tip toes and once I was back in the lounge I let it out, thankful that he was still asleep then just as I collapsed into an exhausted heap on the sofa, I heard the all too familiar sound of crying that made my heart drop and tears of frustration and tiredness fill my eyes and threaten to fall… he was awake again.

You see, my 7.5 month old son didn’t sleep… ever.

Night after night, I’d sit on the sofa with him on my chest falling asleep. I’d think, ‘yes okay this is it, he’s going…’ but ten minutes later he’d start tossing and turning. This carried on for hours until my husband and I brought him upstairs into our bed where he would sleep for a few hours and then wake up again.

With a 2 year old to also look after, life was becoming incredibly hard. I spent all day holding/tending to him and then he’d sleep for ten minutes or an easily disturbed hour and it HAD TO BE IN MY ARMS! I was down, easily upset and fed up.

I craved to have an evening where I could just sit down and have a moment to myself. I wanted to just read or watch a film with my husband and just have my hands free to do whatever I wanted and the more I needed that, the more desperate I became until, faced with another dreadful night of no sleep and a restless baby, my husband Wesley came home to find me crying in despair.

We knew I needed to get help. Not the kind of help a shrink or therapist could offer but someone to train my son. I needed someone to help me bring back my life and create some balance.

Introducing Diane. Her colleague recommended I contact her and I did… a long garbled outpouring of desperation in an email and she understood fitting me in as soon as possible. I was so relieved. The next few nights whilst we waited were some of the hardest and one night standing in the kitchen so tired I could barely see in front of me with an awake baby in my arms, my husband told me ‘help is on the way’. I knew it was, but I couldn’t see beyond that night… I couldn’t imagine my life being any different than it was now. My son didn’t sleep. Surely I was mad to think that someone was going to come in and change the way my son had been for 7.5 months of his life. It was just wishful thinking, wasn’t it?

But I was completely wrong.

Lovely Diane came to stay with us for 36hours… a breath of bubbly fresh air and my children loved her. She asked me questions, listened and then we went to work implementing the plan she constructed for Alexander. She knew and understood his needs and the fact that he was a tough cookie to crack. My son’s stubbornness didn’t faze her at all and she was right there, every step of the way guiding me.

The first night he was put to sleep in his cot and he slept!! A miracle!! He woke up once and that feeling of solid sleep was bliss. I felt energized and renewed. My husband commented how happy I seemed. That day, he actually went down for his naps and I sat at lunchtime with nothing to do for the first time in months. That night he slept in his cot again and I was shocked that this was the same boy who only days before had been so restless and unsettled.

Diane had changed my life overnight.

I went from an over tired, weepy, fed up mother in despair to one who had time to do all my household chores, play with my two year old and enjoy every second of my son. Both of my children now go to bed at 7pm thanks to Diane and I have my evenings back. I can watch a film with my husband and read a book, write and just RELAX AND BREATHE!

To any mums out there who right now feel how I felt, who are sitting up in the early hours of the morning with a baby who won’t sleep and every part of your body aches with tiredness and desperation, contact Diane.

I would recommend you to have her come into your home and for just one night, let her change your life and help you to start being YOU again. You deserve it. I’m writing this in bed, my husband is next to me reading and it’s 8.30pm. My house is silent and my two children (thanks to Diane) are in bed fast asleep. My marriage is thriving and I’m at such a happy point in my life again after months of hardship.

I just wish everyone struggling could read this and understand that you’re not alone. Help is on it’s way… if you want it.

Thank you Diane!

“Our 18 months old girl kept waking up a few times at night for a feed. It also took us at least an hour to put her to sleep. Diane recommended just a phone consultation. Our daughter sleeps through the night now and her bed plus nap times aren’t struggle any more! Thank you Diane!”
Magdalena Dry, July 2015

Gave us tips that we hadn’t heard of before

“We have struggled with my 4 year old daughter since birth to try and get her into a sleep routine. We spoke with drs, health visitors as well as numerous Google hits for tips. Lotti is our fourth child so we are experienced parents but had never dealt with this before. Typically it would take my daughter 2-2.5 hours to get her to sleep, her routine was to fall asleep cuddling us in our bed watching a film then when she was asleep we would move her to her bed, she got up throughout the night and got back in bed with us. We couldn’t continue like this so we called Diane.

She gave us tips that we hadn’t heard of before and gave us tasks for bedtime and gave support for a week. We started the week leaving lotti at 9pm and within 7 days she now goes to sleep in her bed at 8pm, if she gets up in the night she returns to her bed and sleeps there. We are amazed at how quickly the new routine worked and Lotti seems very receptive to it. We have finally got a life back in the evenings, we don’t know what to do with ourselves! Thank You Diane for your help and support x”

Sarah Barham, May 2015

Amazing results! Worth every penny!

“Absolutely fantastic! Our 12 month old son had never slept completely through the night but then at 12 months started waking every 2/3 hours and had been doing so every night for a few weeks, we got in touch with Diane for some help. Just a few simple tweaks to his routine and a few new techniques learnt and we have a much happier little boy who has slept through the night for the last week – amazing results! Worth every penny!”
Emily Carter, May 2015

We just wish we’d done it sooner

“We would highly recommend Diane. After 9 months of waking every hour to comfort our twin boys and replace dummies they are now sleeping through the night and so are we! Diane spent time with us understanding our family, made a couple of changes to our daily routine and feeds and tailored a sleep training plan for our 9 month old twins. Diane’s support throughout the process was incredible and she was always available to answer a question. Not only are the boys sleeping through the night but they are now also having a morning and afternoon nap in their cots! I no longer have to take them for walks for hours and hours every day to get them to have a nap! Its wonderful and so is Diane. We couldn’t have done it without her, we just wish we’d done it sooner”
Gemma Phillips, April 2015

Diane has been amazing

“Diane has been amazing. A wonderful support for me when I really needed it and full of very sensible advice that really works. Her approach was gentle and made sense for our family. Our daughter is now having restorative sleeps in the day and at night, and we feel much better equipped to deal with bumps in the road like teething, illness and in our case lots of travel and moving house! Thank you so much xx”
Lizzie Mandeno, April 2015

Sleeping from 7 to 7. Simply Perfect!

“I would highly recommend Diane if like me & my husband were experiencing our LO was waking up every 2hrs wanting a feed, at 6 months I was becoming absolutely worn out. With Diane’s support, knowledge and guidance within a week we had moved from waking up every 2hrs to not waking at all! Sleeping from 7 to 7. Simply Perfect! Diane will also help with the daytime routine which had helped me plan my day better and know when I need to be doing what and when. It’s a definite game changer! Outcome is one happy family! ❤️x”
Kate Reynolds, April 2015