REAL Parenting Advice

Real Parenting Advice from Everyday Mums

South West Victorian mum’s share their best parenting tips – for expectant mums.

I’m Jess from Jessica Jane Photography. I’m a mum, wife and photographer based in Camperdown who specialises in newborn photography. Below you will find everyday mum’s sharing their best parenting tips. My clients were excited to share their experiences in those early days with baby.

While pregnant with my first, I only seemed to hear fluff about how amazing having a baby is or to ‘look out’ you won’t know what hit you! All were useless information that didn’t help me at ALL.

After I had my daughter Bonnie, I wondered why people weren’t more open and honest about how caring for a newborn can be very stressful and demanding. So when I didn’t love every minute of this parenting gig, I would have known these feelings were very normal.

Having a baby is an incredible experience, it’s a new love which is hard to explain – but it doesn’t mean it’s easy and wonderful all the time. At times it can be extremely challenging especially if you aren’t getting sleep.

We’re all in the same boat – No idea what we’re doing – but we are trying our best and learning along the way! I hope you get lots of little gold nuggets out of this.

Being a mum is difficult and stressful at times but self-rewarding to watch your baby thrive.
Warning: Teething is a demon! Although sleep deprivation is exhausting I found this our biggest challenge and anxiety provoker. My boys have been difficult teethers but I get comfort in knowing this is only a short phase that will soon pass. I know that a better nights sleep is only around the corner.

Social media doesn’t often depict the reality of what daily parenting looks like. On a daily basis, my house is messy, my children play in the dirt and I have a mountain of housework and jobs to get done.

Spending time with my family takes priority and I’m happier for it. Let go and accept the mess and you’ll enjoy your babies more.

Download ‘The Wonder Weeks’ app prior to bubs arrival. It gives you an insight into milestones/leaps/sleep regressions/ your baby will go through as they grow. It helps you to understand why your baby might be crying, clingy or being cranky. This was recommended to me by all my mummy friends – great advice. Don’t get caught up reading ‘too many books’ and ‘blogs’ before and after baby – it can cause unnecessary anxiety for you which then can be passed on to bub – no baby is by the book. So go with the flow and do what works best for you/your bub/your family.

Take lots of photos! Even if that’s 20 snaps every hour from sunrise to sunset. Reality is, our babies will never ever be this small again and unfortunately we can’t freeze time. This time is precious. All those photos will tell a beautiful story as your child grows up.

Before having Winnie, we had no experience with babies; no babysitting, no changing nappies, nothing! We used the routine in “Save our Sleep” by Tizzie Hall as a guide as we had no idea what we were doing! It taught all of us, Winnie included, about the importance of sleep and how to develop good sleep skills.
With a routine, we have been able to work our lives around Winnie and what she needs. It has been restrictive at times because we can’t always go out when we want and sometimes we have to leave before we’re quite ready, but we do bend the rules at times too.
Following the guide however, gives us the confidence that when we are out and about Winnie will generally be quite happy because she’s been fed and has had enough sleep. My husband recommends the routine because most of the time when she is upset we can problem solve quickly as we know what she needs and don’t have to guess.
The book also has a step by step program for introducing solids which has been super handy too!

I was very grateful that I did a massive cook up in the lead up to my daughters birth. I made a heap of “dump bags” for the freezer which are raw meals you defrost and put into your slow cooker.
I’ve also accepted that with Elvie, co-sleeping is the only way we will get “some” sleep, at least for the time being.
Bonds zippies are worth their weight in gold, and also old school muslin nappies for 101 uses around the home.  Boobie bikkies and breastfeeding tea for those first few weeks helped establish my milk supply whilst recovering from birth.  Also don’t rush out of the hospital, if you’re lucky enough to have your baby in Camperdown, take advantage of their care because you are not pushed out the door like city hospitals do as they need the beds.
Take advantage of grocery click and collect services, I often do my groceries in my dressing gown in the comfort of my couch.




Jessica Jane Photography

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    It's Jess, your go-to newborn photographer, and today let's chat about one of those adorable quirks that often steal the spotlight during our newborn sessions – hiccups!


    Ever wondered why those tiny, hiccupping symphonies happen? Well, fear not; I've got the inside scoop for you!


    Warrnambool Newborn Photography


    1. Baby's Superpower: Developing Diaphragm

    Newborns are like little superheroes in training, and their hiccups are a sign that their diaphragm, the muscle responsible for breathing, is flexing and getting stronger. It's like their own mini gym session, preparing them for those hearty belly laughs and future superhero feats.



    2. Gastrointestinal Adventure

    Sometimes, those cute hiccups are just a part of your baby's digestive journey. Their tiny tummies are navigating the ins and outs of processing milk, and hiccups can be a natural outcome of this gastrointestinal adventure.



    3. The Learning Curve

    Just like we stumble while learning to walk, newborns might hiccup as they figure out the whole breathing-and-swallowing coordination dance. It's all part of the learning curve, and trust me, they'll be mastering it like pros in no time!



    4. The Calming Effect

    Believe it or not, hiccups can actually have a calming effect on your little one. It's like a rhythmic lullaby, creating a soothing pattern that might even help them drift off to sleep. Ah, the magic of baby hiccups!

    So, the next time your precious bundle of joy breaks into a hiccuping melody during our photoshoot, know that it's just another note in the beautiful symphony of babyhood. 🎶



    Common Questions about hiccups:


    How do I stop my baby's hiccups?

    To ease your baby's hiccups, try gentle burping, offering a pacifier, or letting them suck on a small feed. Patience is key; hiccups often resolve on their own.


    Do hiccups mean the baby is OK?

    Yes, hiccups are usually harmless and common in newborns. They often signify a developing nervous system and are not typically a cause for concern.


    Why does my baby hiccup for no reason?

    Newborns hiccup frequently, and sometimes seemingly without cause. It's a normal part of their development, linked to the maturation of the diaphragm and respiratory system.


    What is the purpose of hiccups in infants?

    Hiccups in infants serve a developmental purpose, helping to strengthen the diaphragm and respiratory muscles. While their exact function isn't fully understood, they're considered a natural part of a baby's growth.


    Should you sit the baby up with hiccups?

    While it's not necessary, you can try holding your baby upright or allowing them to suck on a pacifier. However, most hiccups will resolve on their own without intervention.


    How long should newborn hiccups last?

    Newborn hiccups are typically short-lived and can last anywhere from a few minutes to around 20 minutes. If they persist for longer periods, it's always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician.


    And hey, if you're curious about capturing these delightful moments (hiccups included) in a frame, I've got you covered!


    As a seasoned newborn photographer, I'm not just skilled at handling these little ones; I'm also your guide to creating timeless memories that celebrate every adorable nuance of your baby's journey.



    Grab Your Seat In My FREE Newborn Photography Training


    Are you ready to take your newborn photography skills to the next level? Consider joining our 30-minute Masterclass , where we’ll share game-changing insights to elevate your photography game. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your photography skills and create unforgettable memories!


    Newborn Photography tips


    I'm Jessica Van Den Berghe, a small-town

    Camperdown girl with big dreams.
    I'm hooked on Netflix, in-door plants, candles and crispy pork crackling with apple sauce.


    T.0439 932 229