Wrapping Newborn for Potato Sack Pose
I've taken a temperature reading with this trusty little thermometer thing. So if I place it just over the area that I'm using it's about 75 degrees, just down in this area which is gonna be nice and comfortable for the babies once they're wrapped. The little boys are dressed in the most adorable outfits and they are absolutely gorgeous. Hi, but before we actually get them on set I'm gonna wrap the baby and I'm gonna show you how I position the baby first. How I use the wrap to support the baby throughout this setup from the first setup in terms of the sibling shot right through to that last setup that we're gonna aim to try and get. So let me just put some sanitizer on my hands, take my glasses off. (hands rubbing) It's cold that stuff. First thing I always do when I'm taking a baby is make sure my hands are warm because if they're nice and snug on their mum and they're sleeping I don't wanna go and grab them with wet hands and wake them up. Hi, oh my god, I'm gonna place my hand in t...
he back here.
And then one down here and just lean back towards me, hi gorgeous girl. How many days is she?
She is two weeks and one day.
Oh my goodness, oh and this is perfect because she's wide awake but she's nice and content. Hello, and what is her name?
Sophia, ah, she is gorgeous, hi, yeah, look. There's a lot going on in here. (baby vocalizing quietly) When I do take a baby you will notice that I actually did instruct how to place the baby in my hands or where my hands are going, 'cause their instant reaction is to try and hand the baby over and I wanna keep them nice and snug and supported throughout the process so I let them know where my hands are going. And that gives them confidence in that I know what I'm actually doing. I take control of the situation, I let them know where I'm gonna put my hands and how I'm going to take the baby. And she is so, she's a good size. I just realized that her little legs are quite long down here. And she's been fed, she's nice and happy, beautiful. So I've got a few different types of wraps here. These stretchy wraps are the ones that I love to use with this process because they're nice and long and they've got give, so that means that when we are wrapping and positioning them that it is gonna have that, you know, that ability to kinda stretch and allow them to be quite comfortable under there. And you know what I love about this setup? The nappy stays on the whole time, it's so easy. (laughs) Now I don't wanna make her cold even though it is nice and warm in here it is gonna be and adjustment once this blanket comes off. So I'm gonna start with my long wrap and I'm gonna place it underneath her as I remove the blanket there. It's a beautiful soft blanket. Ah Miss Sophia, I know my hands aren't as warm as the blanket sweetheart. I'm just gonna gather that up so it doesn't get all tangled here. Start to slide this blanket from underneath, there we go. I can kinda sense that she has a little bit of strong startle reflex there with those arms so that means that while she's swaddled it's gonna make her feel really comfortable, it's gonna make her feel secure. When you do have a baby that a strong startle reflex you wanna make them feel secure. You don't want them constantly going like that because it's gonna make them jolt and sort not settle down into be nice and calm and quiet which is what we want. You are strong with those arms. So you can see I'm just resting my hand on top of her hands. Bring that wrap out a little bit there. Alright, yes, shhhhh. (baby vocalized quietly) So the little legs at the base, I wanna bring those up into like a sitting position so that when she is upright in that potato sack the feet aren't underneath her and the weight of her body aren't underneath her, sorry the weight of her body isn't on top of the feet that are under her. When you bring the legs up like this and cross them over, that's how you wanna position them inside the wrap. So I'm just gonna bring that first bit up. I know you're gonna like being wrapped. Look at these arms. Do you use a pacifier at all with her.
Sometimes, do you have one handy?
Oh fantastic. Only because, the only reason I ask that. I never tell my clients to bring one with them, I only use it if they have one handy and you can see just by putting that little of support on her arms she's already stopped sort of moving around and squiggling there. If the baby is kind of going like that and they've been fed, if they use a dummy I'll use it because they often use that sucking soothing motion to settle and calm down. She's not really going for, she's not mouthing for food which is great, but sometimes it's just nice to settle with. So because those arms are quite strong I'm gonna go around once just to keep them in place and then I'll position those feet 'cause they're not really moving it's more the arms that are kinda. We want her to be nice and settled, shhhhh. When they are wriggling around a fair bit when you're trying to wrap them you wanna make sure that their feet and arms are positioned properly and when they're moving it's quite hard to get them into that perfect position so we'll just wait for her little pacifier to come in, her dummy, for my Australian viewers. Shhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, thank you. So when I introduce a dummy to the baby I first let it rub on their lip and then I touch the top gum, I don't just try and shove it in there because I don't want them to gag. So I let them open their mouth, she's clamping down on it, it's so cute, she's like that's not right, that's not what I wanted. Shhhh. (baby vocalizes quietly) Nope, she doesn't want it. She is attempting to take it but she's not sucking on it so I'm not gonna force it into her mouth and we'll keep going. So we've got those little arms nice and secure. Now that's gonna make her feel secure and prevent that startle sort of, strong reflex that she's got there. I'm gonna get these little feet positioned up, and a lot of babies tend to bring that foot back especially when they're awake and they're moving. Wanna make sure especially when you're using fabrics like that, that none of the toes are caught up anywhere because that can become really uncomfortable and it can damage their little toes. I get asked a lot what do you do if you don't have long legs when you're positioning babies like this? You can use a change table, you can use the posing pod to do this on or you can sit down on the floor and extend your legs and put a towel underneath your legs to give it a little bit of elevation and that kinda helps as well. Here we'll try again, we're going for your hand. Shhhhhhhhh, you're a chomper. Okay let's see if we can keep going here and keep her nice and settled. We talked yesterday a lot about patience, ah I shouldn't, yep, and it's important that you know, whenever we do, like our clients are coming into the studio or we're going to client homes to photograph their baby and we're being paid to do it. It's important that while we're doing it it doesn't become about us. A few people commented yesterday that I had the patience of a saint, but when it comes to (baby sneezes) bless you. When it comes to working with these little babies you have to be patient, you have to work individually with them. So now that I've got her feet and legs in place what I'm gonna do is bring the wrap down a little bit lower and now secure those down here. Our base wrap is always gonna be the one that holds them in position. And the beauty of you doing this on your lap is that once you get legs and feet in place you can just lean forward and just use your chest, your belly to kind of put a little bit of pressure there so the legs don't come flying out again, keep them in place. She's staring at this light here. Okay, so for the sibling shot I'm not going to do the full wrapping style for the cocoon 'cause I really want to be able to support her when she's standing up. So I'm gonna the base wrap on, I'm then gonna put another wrap on so she's beautiful and secure and in a great position ready to go into that upright cocoon shot. How you handle a baby a in session must always be with respect. You must always use slow, gentle, soft movement. If you're moving a baby around and you're being rough the parents are gonna see that and you have to be gentle with them and go slow. Treat them with respect every step of the way. You my love are very, very strong. Okay I'm just gonna sit her upright just for a moment because she's having a really good squirm. She just might have a bit of wind. (baby vocalizes quietly) She's so strong I can feel all the muscles and I'm supporting her at the back and at the front and I can feel all the muscles in her stomach and her back really kind of stretching up so to me that's kinda letting me know that she might have like a little bit of a discomfort there a little bit of wind, which is fine, 'cause you just have to work with them, what they're comfortable with. Look at that. When they do raise their head up they're like that and their neck you wanna make sure that you have got support at the back and the front because even though they might seem like they're really strong their little muscles can give way at any time and their head can kind of wobble around and that can cause strain to their neck and their muscles. Shhhhhh, shhhhhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhhhhh. I can feel her starting to relax. Shhhhh, shhhhhh, shhhhhhh. (baby vocalizes quietly) okay, shhhhhh, so we wanna see her little hands we want her elbows kind of positioned beside her body so her hands can come up like this. And then later on we're gonna support those hands but for now we just want them up nice and high getting ready to go into that position. I'm just gonna wait for her to settle just a bit more 'cause she's really kicking out down here with these legs. She's getting sleepy you can kinda tell. Shhhhh, while we're doing this Kenna, does anybody have any questions about this particular setup, or concerns?
Well we do have a question that actually had come in yesterday from Amy Algie, and the question was, do you ever have a parents wrap and pose a baby? Specifically she was talking about if they had been premature or had any health issues, but in general like if the baby is fussy would you ever say, oh maybe the parents should try to wrap them or no?
Yeah, I actually don't ever have the parents come and help with any of the positioning or the wrapping or posing, and it's for a reason. It's because we have our pose in mind at the back of our mind, we know what we're trying to achieve and we know what's involved every step along the way in getting them to that point and if they're not supported the right way then, I'm just re-adjusting her there to make sure she's comfortable and supported. If they're not supported the right way and wrapped the right was you know, it's really gonna show in our photos and plus, we're trying to create something that parents can't create themselves. We're making something that they can't do which is the whole purpose. We don't want parents to think that their coming to us and they need to be a part of it. That's the service and the products that we're providing, something they can't provide from themselves, we're giving them that need to hire us as photographers as professionals, so yeah, they're coming to us because we are trained, we are experienced in this area. Shhhhhh, I'll try one more time with the dummy. Let's see what's gonna happen here. She's really kicked out though. Can I ask, how long ago was she fed?
30 minutes ago, And was it a big feed?
Does she normally get a little bit of wind after she has a feed?
Yes she does.
So do you think that might be the issue?
I did burp her.
Oh cool. I always ask the parents because they know their child better than anyone else and because I wasn't in the room while she was feeding and I wasn't able to sort of be in there I wanna know how she's going, how much she's had to eat and things like that. In a normal studio environment I'm there with my parents and I can see what's going on. She's now got her dummy and she's starting to calm down. She finally took it but she was really clamping down on it which made me kinda think she might actually still be hungry and realize this is not, that's not food, that's not what I want, so now that she's kind of settled a little bit I'll just undo a couple of these layers because those legs have kicked out. How much does she weigh?
She weighs eight pounds, six ounces.
Eight pounds, six ounces, she's a good size. So that means when it comes to wrapping a bigger baby I do wanna make sure that they are very supported which might require more wraps because you have to go around so many times. With the smaller babies you know, you can get a fair bit of mileage out of those long stretchy wraps. Shhhhh, so I always have like some type of noise playing in the studio which helps sooth them because they're used to noise and even though I'm talking it's actually fairly quiet in here and they're used to a lot of background noise going on. And she has two brothers so I'm assuming she'd be used to noise. (laughs) Right, let's get started here now that you are nice and comfortable with that dummy. I remember the first time I was on CreativeLive and I used the word dummy and Kenna looked at me very strangely and she's like, what is a dummy? (laughs) So getting those hands up. I'm gonna make sure that this is positioned nice and high around the back of the shoulders here because it's where we wanna support them with their arms and hands. You can see her little feet are kicking back there so I wanna make sure when that wrap comes over that those toes are down nice and soft. So we'll go with the arms first getting those into position because she is nice and strong. Shhhhhhh, and she's really relaxed at the moment. And I'm not trying to make her go to sleep I'm just kinda getting her to calm and relax so that her little arms and legs aren't kicking out while I'm trying to position her because getting them into the correct position for this pose, this setup is really important. They need to have the right support. Okay so arms are good, just gonna tuck that in there for a moment while we get those feet sorted. Shhhhh, keeping an eye on those little toes. She's really pushing back there, you can see against my foot. I'm not sure if the camera can come in any closer to have a look at that but she's pushing back and I'm just, I'm not pushing against her but the weight of my hand is stopping her feet from coming up. Okay so when I do wrap for this particular setup I like to give enough support across that mid section because there is a gap, you can see now as we're starting to get the pose sorted that we've got elbows up here and we've got legs down here and then we have a smaller section in the middle so that's gonna have to have bit of support. So I will crisscross one of these layers to give extra support here. And it's also, by crisscrossing I'm allowing room up the top for space for breathing and things like that as well. (baby vocalizes quietly) Shhhhhhhhhhhh. Shhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, shhhhhh, shhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh, shhhhhh, shhhhh. So I just took a moment just to settle her back down 'cause she was kinda doing a bit of squirming a bit of wriggling and then she can see that she wants to go off into that sleep 'cause her eyes are getting nice and heavy there. Make sure that that hand is not falling down in there and that it's nice and high so we can bring it out. Okay so we've got our first layer on and that's got her into position. Those feet are strong. So coming across this section here now in the middle it's gonna add a little bit of thickness there. I'm always careful when dummies fall on the ground to make sure that I give them back to the parents because you don't wanna be using a dummy that's got you know, that's potentially now got germs on it and it can be washed and things like that. When it comes to having like some form of sterilization in the studio for that I don't have any boiling water in my studio at any point, especially if there's toddlers running around. And I just go out to my kitchen and I'll boil the jug and I'll sterilize it out there and then bring it back in if something like that happens. She is still looking for food here, she's rubbing that hand across her mouth. Does she settle normally when she eats?
She usually have little bit of awake time and then falls asleep.
You can see where my thumb is there she's drawing back towards my thumb. She was spitting the dummy out though so this is kinda showing me either that's she's still hungry or she's wanting to settle with either feeding or sucking. So we'll just let her be upright for a bit. I'll give her a gentle rock and see what happens. If she continues to look for food like that I am going to hand her back to her mom because we're at the beginning of the session, this is what I would do at the very very beginning with an awake baby and that's just how it goes. You wanna make sure before you start any session that the baby is nice and comfortable, the baby is relaxed, the baby is well fed and ready to go off into that sleep that we've been talking about in previous sessions. Shhhhh, a really important thing to understand is that you can't make a baby go to sleep. You can encourage it, you can't magically make a baby go to sleep and I think a lot of people really struggle with that because and they get frustrated in their sessions. It's hard to describe how strong babies are. Like when you're holding them, my hands are nice and soft, I can feel all the muscles in her back and in her stomach as she's kinda squirming around like she's moving she's strong, you can see it. I've got my hand at the back of her head here so I'm supporting her neck and across her shoulders and my hand is not going to feed you and it's also not gonna taste very good with that sanitizing stuff on it. You know wrapping techniques for me was basically learnt when I had my babies, I learned how to wrap them in the hospital and I watched the way that they did it with process. So the way that they crossed over the wraps, the way that they brought them up and tucked them to support all the arms and legs so basically it comes from that, but I use my fake doll when I was learning all the different wrapping techniques to practice on. Where do I position the wrap, how do I give the maximum support and things like that? Practice really does make perfect and in terms of having a doll, if you can wrap a doll you can get those techniques sort of down pat before you even start working on a baby, you know that when you start it goes across the back, comes around the front. You're gonna bring the feet up, it's gonna have to support them. You can see her legs kicking out. She's so strong. I'm just waiting for that pacifier to come in.
Kelly while we wait, are there any fabrics, somebody had asked that are stronger if you will, that with such a baby you might use?
You wouldn't use a stronger fabric, you use the same fabric. There's no such thing as a stronger fabric. It's about making the baby feel comfortable and supporting them, it's not about restraining them and putting them in a straight jacket for example. It's about making them feel comfortable so that when you do wrap them they are secure they are comfortable and they're not gonna hurt themselves. But this is such a great example of a baby in a studio, you know, they come in, they might be in that period where they are having that awake time after they've fed. We talked in a previous segment about the baby sleep cycles and the mom has mentioned that she will have an awake time. She is getting sleepy.
Kelly, one thing that I think is so important that you mentioned that a lot of photographers will get frustrated when the baby doesn't go to sleep. And I know for myself like I'd blame myself when I was photographing babies and newborns. As if it was my fault that I couldn't get the baby to sleep, but can you just reiterate some of the those things that you know when you're early on photographer that you might be feeling and thinking.
Yeah, and it is important to understand that when you go into a shoot we might have so many expectations of what it is that we want to be able to produce for our clients. We know that our clients have expectations. We want to be able to achieve beautiful setups and we are influenced all the time by what other photographers are doing and when we try and create something that someone else has done really well, we get down on ourselves that we can't then create it. But it all comes down to the baby not the image, not the pose, it comes down to working individually with these gorgeous little things and making sure that they are comfortable and secure the entire time. She's showing a lot of signs here of wanting to either feed or suck so we're just waiting for that dummy to come back and I'm just being gentle with her. I'm being very careful not to over stimulate her. I've got her in a very sort of supportive hold, it's firm. Shhhhhh, shhhhhh shhhh, look the eyes have closed straight away. So being able to read their behavior as we've mentioned in a previous segment knows, like I'm on live camera, like you know, there is a little pressure to get the pose, get the shot and get it right but first and foremost she is my priority and her comfort and her safety in my priority and I'm gonna work with her and not push her into anything that she's not comfortable with. But I could tell the movements, I could tell the kind of rigid back that we're talked about and the over-tired or the over-stimulated or the feeding or anything like that, we are looking at those behaviors to identify what it is that they need right now before we start because they're the most important aspect of the session, making sure that they're safe and they are comfortable. She's got hold of my thumb here so tightly. Shhhhhh, when you do have a baby that is kind of struggling to go off into that sleep it's important to remember to sort of step back from that sort of mind set of like I've gotta get this shot, I've gotta get this done and relax, take a deep breath and remember when they're happy they're calm that's when you're gonna be able to start to get those images that you want. Shhhhhhh, shhhhhh. Shhhhhh shhhhhh shhhhhh. Another thing, when are getting them to kind of rest, go into this restful state of relaxation if I can see that she's going off to sleep I'm not going to start moving her right now because it's gonna make her come back up awake again. It's gonna make think, oh what's going on, am I actually gonna be fed right now, or? 'Cause even though she might not be hungry being fed is the most enjoyable thing to a baby. Like it's where they're most comfortable. They're so in love with that place it's when they wake up that's where they wanna be. When they're upset that's where they wanna be, it's where they find comfort it's where they feel secure. They can smell and hear their mother, that's where they wanna be. So I don't want her to think if I keep moving her she's gonna wanna go off you know, it's time to go back to that place. Shhhhhh, do we have any other questions anyone in the audience?
Do you have any tips for soothing without using a pacifier, I know a lot of my clients maybe don't use pacifiers with their newborns or trying not to, so do you have any tips for soothing and helping babies--
Yeah, if you've got a baby that does want to suck to soothe to settle and their hands are constantly kinda going up against their face and that's where they're going like that but you know that they've been fed and it might just be that they're wanting to suck to settle I would remove their arms from their face, put a gentle wrap around the top of them, bring their arms down and put them upright and turn their face away from you. If you try and put anything near their face they're gonna continually want, you know, think that there's something there for them to suck on. But yeah, just be patient, be calm, use slow sort or soothing motions.
Another question Kelly came in from Nina Cannito. When the mom breast fed her baby do you give her space and leave the studio. I wonder if women are comfortable to feed in front of other people? So what is your setup for letting the mother breastfeed?
That's actually a good question because in my studio I do. I purposely leave my camera outside in my office, not outside, outside, in my office. And I say to them, okay let's undress your baby. When were they last fed? If they look like they're you know, sort of looking for more food are you happy to give them a quick top up? And if they are I always sort of say okay, well I'm just gonna go and grab my camera, wash my hands, can I get you a drink of water? And I'll purposely, I'll use that as an excuse to purposely leave the studio for about five minutes. I wanna give them some space and time to relax and breath, take in my environment and focus on feeding that baby and not having to worry about have a conversation, having conversation with me. It's all about all feeling their body movements as well. When you're holding them, you know, if your hands are nice and soft and gentle but supportive, you can feel their bodies, you can feel how they're reacting to your touch. And when they start to really relax you can feel that. And then you can identify that it is time that you might be able to start sort of going back to positioning. Those legs, they're long. But she is nice and comfortable now. Shhhhh, still gonna move quite slowly though because I don't her to think that it is time to wake up. And I'll pull this wrap back down over these legs to keep them up nice and supported. Actually Jamie, there's another wrap over here that I might just use before I use this cream one. It's the sort of greeny stretchy one in the middle there. Yeah, that one, I'll use another one of these because she is a nice big girl. No one ever likes to be called that, I shouldn't have said that, but she's a nice big baby. She's a good size, she's not teeny tiny. She's not huge though. And I wanna make sure that she's nice and supported. All right.
Can you just tell us again what those types of fabrics are that you're using?
Um, the name of it actually, do you know what, I just called then a stretchy wrap but I was talking to some of the girls yesterday about this particular type of wrap and I think Stephanie knows the name of wrap don't you? What it's more commonly known as?
Yeah, these wraps are referred to as tissue net wraps.
Tissue net wraps, that's right. It's quite a sort of, it's a funny kind of fabric because it's almost like a bandage, a long stretchy bandage and it's, they're great for these type of setups. Shhhhhhh, oh she has the cutest dimples. Shhhhhhh. Shhhhhh, shhhhh, so I've gone straight over the top this time, tucked it in around the back instead of having to lift her. She's nice and supported. I'm keeping her legs resting up against my belly. All right, it's gonna be worth it I tell you Sophia. And now I can come down and as I come down this is gonna support the bottom half and then as I come up I'm gonna come up the other way. Supporting the back of the hips there when I lift her and leaving the top half of her stationary so I'm not moving her too much. And now I'll come up this way, go over that shoulder and we're starting to get that beautiful support that mid-section. You know, we talked about how popular this particular setup is becoming in studios and it's important that we do know how to do it safely and correctly. And it has been done for a long time by lots of different photographers but there are just so many different versions of it out there. I used to do it with baby sitting upright on the floor and I've had lots of different versions of that so getting them nice and comfortable though is the main process of this. So you can still see her little hands are there, they're up nice and high. I'm gonna use, now the boys are wearing these beautiful navy blue, one's got a vest on and one's got a jumper on and they've got some checks so they're matching and this is a little girl that's gonna go in the middle so I want it to all compliment but I do want her to stand out. It's a photo of all three of them but it's about welcoming a new baby into the family. So I'm gonna use a lighter wrap so that she really stands out in the middle of them and we're gonna try and lay the boys down, we'll see how we go. If the youngest one doesn't want to I'll show you how I do it with one sibling just so we can do a demonstration of that, because he's been sitting here watching and he's very interested in everything that's going on. So when I do put like a bit of a detail fabric over the top of my two stretches I start with it in the middle. I'm gonna gather it up just a little bit at the top here, she's drifting off to sleep now you can see that being nice and secure and wrapped she's warm, she's snug, she's happy and she's comfortable. She's still not in a deep sleep 'cause as I move her the hands and everything are moving. So one side's gonna come around the back, the shoulders and come up high. And then the other one is gonna the same and come up nice and high. And this is where you can start to sort of add some detail in terms of you know, ruffling the fabric and gathering it together and bringing it down. So I can bring the fabric down in a crisscross like this, cover the wrap that's underneath and it gives as a little bit of texture and detail to the setup. So before I do that though I wanna bring these hands out so we can see them. Love seeing baby hands, that's enough, come on. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh. And when we are positioning the hands we want the chin to come above the hands. If the hands are in front of the face for the shot they're gonna be quite distracting. (baby crying) Yes you can have it back, here it is. I love how they spit it out and then all of a sudden it's like where did it go? Shhhhh. (baby crying lightly) shhhh. Shhhhhhhhh. I love how she goes to such and then she's like that's not right. (baby crying) Shhhhhhh. Shhhhhhh. Shhhhhhh. So what I'm doing is gauging that because she was drifting off to sleep with the dummy and the dummy came out and then all of a sudden the dummy's no longer there, that's she's wanting to suck to settle. She's not ferociously kind of attacking my hand or carrying on, she's just drifting off into that sleep and they do have that slight little kind of fuss before they go off into that sleep. But she's gone back off. If she was hungry she wouldn't have gone back off to sleep. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh, so when we talk about settling with the question before, I could feel her head like she's not in a deep sleep. If I keep moving her she's gonna, it's gonna you know, unsettle her. I've just laid her head back so gently into my lap. I could feel it relaxing. I'm not gonna let go until I can feel that it's fully relaxed and resting on my lap but very, very slow gently movements. Okay so let's see if we can get this wrap across and get a photo of these boys and then move on. When you are positioning fingers I just wanna mention here, her hand is turned into her neck. If you try and bring that hand around and any little fingers get caught underneath her neck or her chin, she's going to become extremely uncomfortable and it could injure her fingers or it could sort of get stuck up there and put pressure on their esophagus. It's so small and it's all so delicate under there so you have to make sure that all the little fingers are in place. There we go. So we've got a nice little detail there in terms of crossing that over and when I lay her down in between her brothers it's going to be head shot like all my shots are.