Posts Tagged ‘affordable newborn photographers’

Ava: {2 weeks new}

August 28th, 2019

It isn’t very often I get a request for in-home lifestyle newborn sessions, which is such a bummer for me because I absolutely love doing them! Especially with the white and gray trending modern homes we have these days – they really make the photos look light and airy. Even though I don’t post a […]

 

It isn’t very often I get a request for in-home lifestyle newborn sessions, which is such a bummer for me because I absolutely love doing them! Especially with the white and gray trending modern homes we have these days – they really make the photos look light and airy. Even though I don’t post a lot of sessions that look like this style, I actually do quite a few per-year except most are on a volunteer basis and take place in hospital rooms. Lifestyle sessions can be much more relaxing for families. There is no stress of packing up the house early in the morning to drive to a studio. Because we aren’t using any props, beyond wraps and headbands, the sessions go much more quickly. And, if you have other children, it is easier to keep them occupied during this kind of session.

When it comes to lifestyle photos, there are a few things that can make these types of sessions a huge challenge and there are some things you can can do to prepare ahead of time to ensure a great session. Here are my tips for a flawless lifestyle newborn session for both photographers and parents:

 

TIME OF DAY: Lighting can be tricky for this kind of session. Ideally, we want to rely on natural light as much as possible and turn off all indoor lights. When booking the time of day, observe what time of day lighting is the strongest in the area of the home you want to focusing on photographing in. If you aren’t sure, send photos of your home ahead of time to me so that I can help choose which rooms may provide the best look. It’s always ideal to get a sunny or mostly sunny day for this kind of session. Cloudy days are doable but I will likely need to crank up the ISO or use fill lighting. If the day is really dark and stormy, depending on your home, you may want to consider rescheduling. You can still do a session on this kind of day but fill lighting will be necessary which can give the photos a very different look, which you may not care for.

 

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PREP YOUR SPACE: Your home does not have to be perfect. I promise. It’s your home and it’s supposed to look lived in, and if you have little ones, it’s VERY well lived in.  You don’t have to hire a professional cleaning company before your session or redecorate the living room; I’m there to focus on you and the interactions with your new baby. Instead, focus on uncluttering your home which means just tidying up a bit and basically putting stuff in the room where it belongs (no coats on couch or towels on bed sort of thing) and just toss the rest in a closet until I leave. The less clutter showing the photos, the more airy the images will look. Giving windows or mirrors a quick wipe does go a long way because streaks or dust on these surfaces can be very obvious in photographs.

 

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CRANK THE HEAT: (or turn off the air conditioning). The adults may feel a bit hot and uncomfortable, but the baby will be toasty and happy (and as you’re learning, their needs come first haha).

 

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COLLECT: any items you want used in the session beforehand such as blankets or stuffed animals.  We’ll go through these together to determine what and how we can use the items in your session.

 

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LOCATION: I typically shoot a good portion of the session in the nursery so please have the curtains and shades open to let in lots of natural light. I also love to photograph baby with mom and dad in their bed, on the couch, anywhere comfy and snuggly. No need to clean, but just try and make sure the clutter has found its way to a closet in these particular rooms.

 

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BATH: Please be sure to give baby’s hair a wash the morning of the session. Newborn’s hair get’s greasy very quickly and clean hair photographs so much better.

BEFORE MY ARRIVAL: In order to spend as much of the session time photographing, please feed baby shortly before my arrival so we are ready to begin. However, if you’d like nursing photos captured, let me know and we’ll start the session by feeding baby.

 

If you are looking to book a lifestyle newborn session, contact me at: Kristen@herber.com

or you can find pricing here!

 

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Cayden: {2 weeks old}

August 16th, 2019

Earlier this year, I started seeing a trend in newborn boy color requests – navy and cream. Now I’m seeing a trend in newborn girl color requests – pink, cream, and gray. No matter how many times I photograph little girls in pink, I never get tired of it. Pink is so lovely on a […]

 

Earlier this year, I started seeing a trend in newborn boy color requests – navy and cream. Now I’m seeing a trend in newborn girl color requests – pink, cream, and gray. No matter how many times I photograph little girls in pink, I never get tired of it. Pink is so lovely on a lot of skin tones. Sweet and simple sessions continue to be my all-time favorite to shoot. They allow the focus to be on the babe instead of the background. When I shoot a newborn session, I always start out by wrapping baby up very tightly in multiple wraps and then photographing them on a beanbag. Wrapping baby nearly always calms them down. Even if photo day ends up being the worst day of their life, I know I can for sure capture a few shots in this pose. Once baby feels more comfortable and goes into a deep sleep, I then begin unwrapping her; posing her in harder and harder positions until she tells me she’s had enough.

 

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Recently, I started incorporating a newer form of newborn photos in with my Heirloom package – digital backdrops. As beautiful as this pink feather wreath is, it would be nearly impossible to use something that cost that much money enough times to make the purchase worthwhile. And as much as I love props, I also need to keep costs down in order to make any sort of profit. So one way to do so is to use digital drops. Digital drops are not created equal. I highly recommend doing research before making the investment. It also takes both a high level of lighting and editing skills in order to make a digital drop look authentic. Light sources must match, as well as shadowing, color tempurature, and sizing and posing of the baby. Offering this does cost me more in time but the outcome is gorgeous.  I hope to eventually become good enough at editing more elaborate digital drops to be able to offer them as add ons. Stay tuned…

 

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Another new addition to the studio is this gorgeous cream couch. If you don’t know, I work in a very small studio. I’ve had 4 studios over the years and this one is by far the most cramped. It can be frustrating at times and does limit what I can do but the convenience and cost savings of an in-home studio is incomparable for both myself and my clients. Adding in this couch has allowed me to photograph families much more easily and comfortably with the space I have to work with.  I found this on sale at overstock.com. This family was phanominalto work with! They requested simple sets with pink and gray and let me run away with it from there. Also, can’t you just feel the love they have for their daughter and each other in these photos? Awe!

 

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Riley: {2 weeks old}

June 5th, 2019

In the past, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for pink sets for little girls but it feels like it’s been forever now since my last one! I’ve said this before but nearly every time I photograph a newborn, I change my mind as to what my favorite sets are. Simple versus neutral versus bright […]

 

In the past, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for pink sets for little girls but it feels like it’s been forever now since my last one! I’ve said this before but nearly every time I photograph a newborn, I change my mind as to what my favorite sets are. Simple versus neutral versus bright colors versus elaborate… I love them all. This mom requested pink and purple for this little girls session and I think that the pink perfectly matched her beautiful skin tones.

When I do newborn sets, I always try to shoot for three different looks. One routine of simple sweet poses on the beanbag, one set in a basket or bucked posed on a backdrop or wood floor, and then the third being either family or sibling photos or a more elaborate backdrop set. To be honest, maybe only 50% of newborns let me get this much variety before they’ve had enough – but we always try. In order to attempt to have the best session, I always send out a list (very long list) of recommendations to help prepare baby for their session. Some of these things include:

  • Keeping baby awake in the AM so they are extra sleepy when they arrive
  • Choosing an AM session time
  • Allowing baby a bottle and nuk for use during the session even if you’ve never given one and don’t plan to. Allowing me to care for baby instead of letting baby smell mom nearly always leads to getting a lot more photos
  • Letting baby feed until they get milk drunk
  • Letting me know a few days ahead of time what they want for their session or plan to bring so that EVERYTHING is set up and ready to go before they arrive and they don’t have to give up shooting time waiting for me to set up

beautiful newborn baby girl in pink wearing mia joybeautiful baby girl posed on pink bean bag drop wearing mia joy studio dress
At this point, I have photographed over 100 newborns (I’ve officially lost track) yet I continue to learn new tips and tricks for sessions. I swear that even after all this time, I learn something new or learn from a new mistake or a client asks me a question about their session that has never been asked before. A great business owner is always adapting and learning. Some days I feel like I nailed it! While others I feel like I’ve totally dropped the ball – all based around client questions and reactions. But always always always everything is done with the best intensions and love – which is why I do what I do, I LOVE IT! So bring me your newborns!

Purple backdrop and wood floor by Intuition Backgrounds
Pink floral headband by Polka Dot Poppy
Pink outfit by Mia Joy Studio
Cream basket by Luneberry

Beautiful baby girl in purple on intuition backgrounds backdrop

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Reese: {one year old}

May 30th, 2019

What are the most fun sessions to do??? Sitter sessions! Sitter is defined as between 6 months to 1 year – once they can sit up on their own but before they start walking. Sitters are the best because they are so interested in everything! Sitting up is a new skill they are proud of […]

 

What are the most fun sessions to do??? Sitter sessions! Sitter is defined as between 6 months to 1 year – once they can sit up on their own but before they start walking. Sitters are the best because they are so interested in everything! Sitting up is a new skill they are proud of so they are generally really happy and they can’t run away from me yet! Miss Reese is the babe of a very good friend of mine. A friend who always loves any photo I take of her children so she gave me free rein to put together any sets and outfits I wanted – that’s like giving a gift to a photographer! I felt so gitty! I put together sets I’d want to do if it was my own child, and I had so much fun. I had too many ideas!

One-year-old sessions generally start out really happy during their session but then like only 10 minutes later, they are over it. LOL! So we have to move fast! This kind of sessions rarely lasts longer than an hour so I always tell parents to prepare themselves to be over the top silly and sweaty. I NEVER have to go to the gym after doing a session this age and I often lose my voice. Lots of monkey sounds, dog calling (don’t judge me), singing, and jumping up and down just so we can get one smile. Miss Reese was no different! By the time we got to the cake smash session, we had 5 of us trying to entertain her like a bunch of monkeys but she was so focused on her cake that we didn’t even get one smile! The girl knows what she likes.

 

one year old girl in pink on antique doll bed

But even after all that monkey business, we got GREAT photos! I’m super excited with how they turned out. A lot of variety and outfits, and several different facial expressions. So if you bring your little one for a sitter session (which you should) bring their favorite toys, download their favorite songs, bring bubbles, treats (as long as they aren’t messy or are in the photos), and maybe a few extra people. 🙂 And I guarantee you we’ll get some super fun photos!

All backdrops and wood floors by Intuition Backgrounds
Ouftits by Cora and Violet
Wings and cream bucket by JD Vintage Props

best affordable One year old milestone studio photographer near me Woodbury Mnone year old baby girl in studio for her cake smash photo session

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Aiden: {2 weeks new}

May 27th, 2019

Nothing makes me feel more warm-hearted than when a client comes back for repeat newborn photos with their next baby. There are literally thousands of photographers in my state that photograph newborns and who are very talented. It’s an honor for any client to choose me but to continue using me for future sessions is […]

 

Nothing makes me feel more warm-hearted than when a client comes back for repeat newborn photos with their next baby. There are literally thousands of photographers in my state that photograph newborns and who are very talented. It’s an honor for any client to choose me but to continue using me for future sessions is so great. This is the second baby I’ve photographed for this family, as well as doing a maternity session and a whole family session for their grandparents. Not only that, but these clients moved 40 minutes away from me (on a good day) and continue to make the drive. With that being said, they now feel more like friends – which is also the best!

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Mom requested navy and cream from Mr. Aiden’s session to match his nautical themed nursery. How cute, right? However, photographing dark colored backdrops can be significantly more tricky. I’ve never photographed a navy colored drop so I did some google and pinteresting and loved many photos I saw so I had to give it a try. The first issue I ran into was that the back of my camera was not displaying the color correctly. It’s hard to describe but it basically made the dark blue look overly saturated and bright. Photography 101 is to never trust the back of your screen. It can be very hard not to when things look wrong! But I have learned my lesson that my hand meter and manual color temperature are never wrong but my canon LCD screen always is – especially when photographing deep blue, reds, and hot pinks. Sure enough, when I downloaded the images to my computer, they looked spot on.

Baby boy  in navy blue and cream on bean bag backdrop in st paul studio

Another thing to watch for is that certain colors reflect onto newborn skin more which requires additional correcting in photoshop. These are often dark colors or rich colors such as dark blue, red, hot pink, and bright green. Even though I try to spend as little time as possible in photoshop, I still spend a significant amount of time editing newborn photos. My exposure, lighting, and coloring are generally spot on so it isn’t my image quality I’m correcting – it’s the baby’s skin! Newborn skin is THE WORST. Seriously! I spend on average of 20 minutes per photo editing out (what I call) cottage cheese skin, peeling skin, scratches, red blotches from birth, fur (sometimes), jaundice or skin that is unnaturally too red or purple, and then color reflections from backdrops. It’s quite the process. I get asked a lot how I get my newborn skin to look so creamy and perfect. The answer is that I use an amazing set of newborn photoshop actions purchased from Greater than Gatsby – both versions I and II. The upfront cost isn’t cheap but it’s truly a game changer for newborn photographers.

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Stella: {10 Days New}

April 29th, 2019

May seems to be the month for babies this year… I think it’s because I’m going on my honeymoon to Egypt in May and that is just how things always go! lol, I can not remember the last time I had so many requests for the same month, so many so that I heartbreakingly had […]

 

May seems to be the month for babies this year… I think it’s because I’m going on my honeymoon to Egypt in May and that is just how things always go! lol, I can not remember the last time I had so many requests for the same month, so many so that I heartbreakingly had to turn clients away! Even ones that contacted me 2 months ahead of time. Sweet Ms. Stella was scheduled to make her debut while I was in Egypt but this beautiful girl couldn’t wait to meet her Mom and Dad and perfectly timed an early arrival so that I could capture her photos before leaving for my trip.

I generally try to make everything in a session coordinate so that when parents hang collages on the wall everything flows. I made an exception this time since Mom’s favorite color is purple but Dad specially requested a hot pink and gray backdrop. How can I say no to that? It really isn’t that often I hear an opinion from Dads. I’m not trying to stereotype here, it’s just fact. So when I do, it seems just so much extra sweet. And, I think the set turned out adorable so great job Dad!

So on this post, let’s talk a bit about session colors! This can often be a difficult decision for parents. I always offer my clients the option to choose a color theme, request a prop or backdrop of mine they love that I’ll match the rest of the session too, OR let me put together a set for them… the ladder being my favorite, of course! Funny thing that most people don’t notice is that in the newborn photography industry there are mega prop trends and they change very quickly. I spend a significant amount of time keeping on top of what those trends are (which also gets quite expensive). Here are a few popular trends of 2019:

  • Use the same exact color wrap and bonnet as the bean bag drop color (which does allow baby’s skin to stand out)
  • Burlap and jute mesh layers
  • Faux and real flowers, especially cotton stems and peonies
  • Natural and cream barn wood backdrops
  • Natural and cream wood dough bowls
  • Less traditional colors such as sage, mustard yellow, blue for girls, burgundy, navy blue
  • Fabric bean bag drops and wraps that have floral patterns
  • Potato sack pose on fur
  • Hand knit wraps and bonnets
  • Elaborate digital backdrops (I haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet)
  • To name a few!


Baby girl in mauve wearing Mia Joy Studio Dress taken in Woodbury, MN

Quite often I question whether or not I actually turn a profit from newborn photos since each session uses roughly $1000 of props that I rarely use more than once or twice. So, when you’re looking at newborn photographers and notice that newborn photographers that provide props charge a higher cost for photos, this is one of the reasons why!  It’s crazy expensive to do so! So if you aren’t sure what colors you want your session to be – I highly recommend letting me put something together for you! I guarantee you it’s going to be on trend and different than all your friend’s photos. Otherwise, I often ask what the nursery colors are and recommend using those and then hanging baby photos in the nursery. Many parent’s spend a lot of time thinking about what color or theme they want their baby’s nursery to be so chances are you’re going to love the same colors for your photos!

The outfit in these photos is from Mia Joy Studio
Hot pink and gray backdrop is from Intuition Backgrounds

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Katie: {Maternity Photos}

April 28th, 2019

I love all my clients but every once in a while I have clients that leave a very special mark on my heart. The McGuire family would be such a client. A little over 3 years ago, this family reached out to me with a very special request. They had recently relocated to MN and […]

 

I love all my clients but every once in a while I have clients that leave a very special mark on my heart. The McGuire family would be such a client. A little over 3 years ago, this family reached out to me with a very special request. They had recently relocated to MN and living with family and their baby girl had had a rough but miracle start to life – spending the first few months in the hospital. They really wanted beautiful newborn photos but this sweet pea was still on O2 and her system was still fragile. So, I offered to pack up the studio and transport it to them. I don’t generally do this. It is very time consuming and exhausting but something in my heart told me I should this time. I transformed the living room into a makeshift studio, studio lights and all. We got adorable photos and from then on I often thought about this sweet little girl.

Fast forward a few years and I get an email from Mom asking if I’d be interested in Maternity photos and a newborn session for baby #2. Heck yes! And I was tickled pink – they are now living clear across the Twin Cities but were still wanting to work with me! They requested we take the maternity photos at their home. I never know what I’m going to get when I get a request like this. I can make just about anything work but often the location is just so-so. This time, I pulled up to their home and my mouth dropped. Breathtaking. Beautiful airy home up on a hill/semi cliff overlooking a gorgeous lake with the Minneapolis skyline in the background and woods surrounding one side of the home. Yes! This I can work with. Upon booking the time, I wanted to make sure the sun would be located in the background and not blaring in the client’s eyes so we booked an AM session. Well, the sun rises quite early in April. Even though I arrived around 9, the sun was already very high and direct. A lot of photographers struggle to shoot this type of light. It isn’t ideal but a well trained photographer still knows how to handle it. Two very important tools are:

  1. A handheld meter – a lot of photographers these days use the back of their screen to gauge exposure. Well, when the sun is blaring bright, you can’t accurately see your screen. A handheld meter will never lead you wrong!
  2. A 5 in 1 reflector – you want to make sure the clients are facing away from the sun so that they don’t squint but then you want to make sure you reflect natural light back in so that coloring is accurate and even, eyes are bright, and they don’t appear to have circles under their eyes. I LOVE using reflectors. If I had had an assistant, I would have also used a large diffuser to block the hot spots hitting their hair. I do have a reflector holder but it was much too windy to make it work.


Maternity photography in blue dress with family taken at medicine Lake in Plymouth MN

Using these tools lead to very little to no editing being done on the exposure and background. I never understand why photographers spend more time trying to correct these issues in photoshop versus learning these techniques and getting the exposure spot on in the camera. I’m a photographer first, photoshopper second and I almost never need to do a drastic before and after photoshop edit. I have been a photography instructor for over 10 years now so if you are local and would like to schedule a one on one class with me, please shoot me an email! Kristen@herber.com

 

Maternity photography in blue dress with family taken at medicine Lake in Plymouth MN Maternity photography in blue dress with family taken at medicine Lake in Plymouth MN

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Ricci {Maternity Photos}

March 28th, 2019

First-time newborn photo clients often start with a maternity session, which is a really great way to get to know my clients. Roughly a third of all my newborn parents choose to do a maternity session and almost every mom asks me prior to scheduling if I think maternity sessions are a good idea. My […]

 

First-time newborn photo clients often start with a maternity session, which is a really great way to get to know my clients. Roughly a third of all my newborn parents choose to do a maternity session and almost every mom asks me prior to scheduling if I think maternity sessions are a good idea. My answer is always the same – I’ve never heard a mom regret having newborn photos, only regret not doing them. If you’re kind of on the fence or are apprehensive about the way you look pregnant, I recommend scheduling a mini session for your maternity session. This session below was a mini session that took place right at sunset. The weather was still very brisk and the ground muddy so these parents were troopers. Mama’s dress was perfect for this setting and really stood out in the photos. This session was taken at the Oakdale Nature Preserve. This park so large that I’m certain I’ve still only explored about 10% of it. Going for a leisure walk at this location is on my summer bucket list.

Another common question is: when should I schedule my maternity photos? Each woman is different but as a general recommendation, I suggest roughly one month prior to your due date. Those last few weeks of pregnancy often cause a lot of face swelling which makes some moms dislike how they look in photos. Photoshop is forgiving but face swelling is a different kind of beast that isn’t exactly removable.  Not sure what to wear in your photos? Check out Sew Trendy. These designers are the go-to in maternity photo session fashion and do keep in mind that most of their dresses fit a variety of women’s bodies making them very easy to resell after your session.

 

Affordable mini session maternity photography in St Paul Minnesota taken at sunset at the oakdale nature preserve. Mom wearing blue flowered maternity dress.

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Mazin: {5 weeks new}

January 25th, 2019

Meet sweet Mr. Mazin! This little guy is the little one of a women I attended high school with, whom I later in life reconnected with when I photographed her wedding and now have had the honor of photographing her son. Mazin entered this world several weeks early, causing him to spend some much needed […]

 

Meet sweet Mr. Mazin! This little guy is the little one of a women I attended high school with, whom I later in life reconnected with when I photographed her wedding and now have had the honor of photographing her son. Mazin entered this world several weeks early, causing him to spend some much needed time at the hospital. 5 weeks later, when he was ready for his photo debut, he had grown to the perfect size and weight to fit into all my cute stuff!  Many photographers request newborn photos to be taken at under 2 weeks old. The reason is that their little bodies still feel natural being contorted into super cute and often unnatural looking poses. Following those two weeks, it quickly becomes more difficult and sometimes even impossible to achieve these poses. Mazin was a trooper. This was only the second time I’ve been able to get a babe of this age to achieve some of these poses. We didn’t quite get 100% there in some of these poses, his back no longer twisted enough to have his feet and elbows touch but it still turned out awful cute.

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Want to schedule a newborn or milestone session? Contact me today!  Kristen@herber.com

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Arlie: {3 weeks new}

November 20th, 2018

A few months back, I attended a newborn training session (because even after 16 years of shooting and even teaching others, there is still always more to learn) where I learned a new stylized workflow that promotes getting a larger variety of bean bag posing in a short amount of time. It’s a bit simpler […]

 

A few months back, I attended a newborn training session (because even after 16 years of shooting and even teaching others, there is still always more to learn) where I learned a new stylized workflow that promotes getting a larger variety of bean bag posing in a short amount of time. It’s a bit simpler than my usual style but the results are phenomenal. A few days ago, I got married. Yup! I scheduled a newborn shoot a few days after the largest event of my entire life. My brain still felt fried and Miss Arlie waited a few weeks for me to be free for her photos. Normally, 3-week olds can be a little tougher to photograph but thanks to Miss A’s calm personality and the training session, I think we nailed it!

 

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I also love when parents give me full rein to choose what colors and props I want to use for their session. Nearly always, I have super cute outfits and props on standby just waiting for the right request or ability to choose what I want to break them out. I got to do this for Arlie and put together a super cute teal set that was all based around the adorable teal outfit I have been dying to use!

 

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Here is today’s tip: Start baby wrapped up in a very tight burrito posed on a beanbag and then work towards naked and prop photos. When I say tights, I mean, use two wraps and make sure to pull it as tight as you can with each wrap around. Why? Because this nearly ensures you’ll always get at least a few framers no matter how unhappy baby may be that day. This also helps calm them down and feel safe which often naturally puts them to sleep!

 

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