In a culture where people live their lives intertwined with social media, we have access to wonderful visual platforms where the more imaginative of us can showcase creative new styles of baby pictures. Documenting your baby's first year in pictures is high on the to-do list for a lot of new parents. Theming the pictures around seasons and events is a trend that helps to easily identify the time of year that the photos were taken, and an increasingly popular option for Autumn is putting your little pumpkin...into a pumpkin! If you feel like trying this out for yourself, keep reading for 10 tips on how to avoid a disaster.
10 Use The Right Size Pumpkin
Your little bundle of love is not going to be a happy camper if you try and put them in a pumpkin that is the wrong size. If it is too small, they are going to feel squashed and uncomfortable, and possibly not safe as the pumpkin wont be very stable once they are in it. If the pumpkin is too big, they might try and get inside the pumpkin completely, depending on their age. This would not result in a very successful picture! Try and get a pumpkin that will come up to baby's chest, just below the armpits, once it has been cut.
9 Make The Leg Holes Big Enough
There seem to be two main schools of thought on the 'proper' way to fit a baby into a pumpkin; legs in vs legs out. For younger babies, it is really a matter of preference. Folder babies you are for sure going to want to opt for legs out. Apart from looking adorable, this will make them feel more comfortable and also minimize the risk of them trying to climb out of the pumpkin mid-photoshoot. If you are going to go with leg holes, make sure that you cut them big enough. You should be able to fit babies' feet through the holes without too much wiggling. This will also allow you to get them back out again with minimal fuss.
8 Clean The Inside Properly
It is no secret that babies like to put things in their mouths; teethers, toes, impossibly tiny pieces of fluff or crumbs that have somehow been missed by the hoover... so pumpkins will be no different! Make sure to clean the pulp and seeds from yor pumpkin thoroughly. This will make it a bit less appealing for them to chomp on, and will also remove the temptation for them to play with the stringy slimy insides, instead of posing for their picture! Babies love to explore new textures so why not save the scooped out insides to use later for a halloween themed messy play session?
7 Put A Towel Or Blanket Inside
Help to minimize the risk of an unhappy baby by making the experience as comfortable as possible. Once you have hollowed out and cleaned your pumpkin, you can fold up towels or muslin cloths to pad the interior and keep your little one more comfortable. It is up to you whether you leave the padding visible or not, both will give a different look and feel to the photo. Towels are also a good way to solve a problem if your pumpkin is slightly too big, as the towels will raise baby up to the proper level.
6 Think About Clothing
You will probably have a good idea about what sort of look you want to achieve before you get to the stage of actually putting your baby in a pumpkin. You will have considered things like location, background, and maybe even props, but don't forget to give some thought to what your baby will wear. Consider using a Halloween costume; perhaps a cat, ghost or even another pumpkin. For a more 'Fall' theme, why not choose a pretty outfit with warm autumnal colors to compliment the orange pumpkin. If you want to go for an au natural vibe and have your baby not wear clothes, please remember to keep them in their nappy. You won't see it in the final shot, it will add extra padding for comfort, and it will prevent any accidents in which pumpkins become water features!
5 Create The Right Environment
Where you take your pictures will depend on what look you want to go for, and also what the weather is like where you live. If you are in a warmer climate you will have the luxury of choosing between indoor and outdoor shoots. Outdoor will give a more natural look, but you can control the decor a lot better in the house. If you choose to go outside, dress your baby accordingly. Make sure that you have considered lighting too - it would be a great shame to get everything set up and look through the lens only for the picture to be too shady or for baby to be squinting against the bright sun.
4 Bring A Friend
The only thing cuter than a baby in a pumpkin, is more babies in more pumpkins! If your little one has friends or family that are close in age, or if you have had twins, why not round up all the babies to make the most adorable pumpkin patch you have ever seen! You could even host a pumpkin patch party and serve tasty Halloween treats for everyone after you are done with the photo shoot.
3 Crying Is OK
Whilst utterly adorable, the reality of the situation is that being popped into a hollowed out pumpkin is a new and rather strange experience for your baby. They may take to it like a duck to water and you will not be able to choose your favorite picture, or they may absolutely hate it. If they are not a fan, don't worry. Try and ease them into it slowly, and do your best to keep them happy and distracted. Obviously, a crying baby is not something that any parent wants, and ultimately you may have to abort the mission if your little one is really unhappy. Remember though, all you need are a few smiling seconds to capture the perfect image, so your baby might not need be in the pumpkin for long at all!
2 Be Realistic
We are all familiar with 'Pinterest Fails' and 'Expectation vs Reality' posts online. What these things prove is that what we see on our social media feeds is not always realistic or replicable. Be realistic with your expectations! Your pumpkin may be a bit duller, or have some bruises or blemishes, but a filter can fix a multitude of sins. Your baby may not behave in the way you hoped, but you can still capture a beautiful picture that is full of character, memories, and, best of all, has a great story behind it.
1 Be Adaptable
There is a chance that ultimately you will have to abandon ship on your mission for the perfect pumpkin baby picture, and this is ok! As a parent, it is our responsibility to make sure that out children are as happy as possible, and if popping them in a pumpkin for a photo is making them distressed, then there is no point continuing. You likely won't end up with a cute picture, and may end up with a case of Mom guilt instead. There are plenty of options to get a similar festive photo that your little one will be more comfortable with. You could simply sit your little one alongside some pumpkins, or if your baby is able to stand unaided, why not use safe non toxic paints to turn their little bum cheeks into a 'bum-kin'?