You and your baby and your family have been safely snuggled away in your house for months and leaving the house very infrequently. Now you are venturing out more and your baby is turning one and a first birthday session is in your future. Preparing for a cake smash session after quarantine is helpful to make your baby as happy and comfortable as possible.
Stranger Anxiety & Masks
If a baby is going to get a little bit of stranger anxiety it usually happens between 6 months and one year. Some babies don’t get stranger anxiety at all and some babies can be quite affected by it. Our new normal has amplified many babies stranger anxiety. Quarantining and mask wearing have made so many babies very sensitive to the world around them. Babies are not in their normal routine, they are staying at home most of the time and they are seeing the same faces every day for months. When you do venture out all baby sees are masked faces which can be quite alarming to some babies.
What to expect: expect that your baby might take longer than normal to warm up to the idea of having a photo session. Baby might cry and not want to leave your lap. We allow plenty of time for baby to adjust to the studio.
How to prepare: About a week before your session wear a mask at home around baby. Wear it for a little while every day. Play with your little one with a mask on your face. Make it fun! Make it normal! Have other people in your family wear their masks around baby too. Put masks on baby’s stuffed toys. You are trying to normalize and desensitize masked faces for your baby.
Naps are Priority when Preparing for a Cake Smash Session
Keeping baby on a normal schedule is key. A session should be scheduled after a nap. If you know your baby is happier during a certain time of the day please let us know and we are happy to scoot your session to the best time of day for your baby. Do not hesitate to contact us if a nap schedule changes and you think another time will work better. Scheduling a session during a nap time is a recipe for a whole bunch of sad face pictures.
Fill Up Baby’s Belly Before the Session
A baby with a full tummy is a happy baby. Make sure that baby has had a good breakfast or lunch before their session. Bring a bottle or be prepared to nurse your little one before and during the session if that will make them a happy camper. Bring their favorite snacks to their session too!
Interesting fact: most babies do not eat the cake. We make it look like they are eating cake by hiding their favorite snacks on the back of the cake or in the cake itself. So don’t forget to bring their favorite treat! Goldfish, yogurt melts, veggie sticks, baby puffs are all perfect to use for “not cake but looks like cake”. Most of the babies in our first birthday gallery did not eat the cake but it looks like they did!
Trial Cake Run
Before we start a cake smash session I always ask the mom and dad if they think baby is going to be a cake smasher or a cake poker. (We had a cake smoother in the studio recently and that was hilarious!) You just never know what a baby is going to do when their cake is right in front of them. When preparing for a cake smash session expect the unexpected!
What to Expect: baby will most likely not want to eat the cake or even touch the cake in some cases.
How to Prepare: make sure that this is not the first time baby is eating cake or playing with cake. Make or get a small cake and put it in front of baby about a week before your session. Let them make a mess and cheer them on! Make sure the cake is vanilla so that it is similar to the cake that will be here at the studio. This introduction to cake is also important just to make sure baby does not have an allergic reaction to any ingredients in the cake.
Preparing for a Cake Smash Session with Baby Bait!
Sometimes baby will need a little bit comfort from home to make them feel better. Sometimes bringing a favorite toy or watching something familiar on your phone can make a big difference between a sad and happy baby.
Consider bringing these items to your baby’s session:
- favorite toy (even if it’s a bath toy!)
- favorite song or video queued up on your phone
- facetime their favorite person during the session
- favorite book
- sometimes a baby will love to watch a video of themselves laughing or other babies laughing
- maybe there is a noise that you make that makes baby giggle?
Pack Your Patience
Babies need time, sometimes quite a bit of time to acclimate themselves for a session, especially after quarantine and with everyone wearing masks. I absolutely understand that and I am ready and prepared to do everything in my knowledge vault to make your baby happy and comfortable. Our new normal is not normal to the babies. With 22 years of experience (almost 23!) with working with babies I have tons of patience and perseverance and I don’t want any parent to stress at their baby’s session. With all of us practicing patience and calmness baby will have a very enjoyable session.