Hey beautiful mamas!
When I had Eldest Little Man I didn’t really know anyone else with babies; this time around I’ve more than made up for it – my sister (almost)in-law had our nephew just five days after Littlest Man was born, and my best friend (and future Maid of Honour!) had her girl six days beforehand! It’s so wonderful having the bubbas so close in age and it’s great watching them grow up together. Since their first birthdays are fast approaching, we all decided to do a combined cake smash. We figured it’d be cool to have photos of them all together, and that it’d be easier as a joint effort rather than trying to do it individually. Plus if we agreed to do it together, it meant that we had to actually commit and follow through with doing it!
In the end it turned out we were right; doing it all together was definitely the way to go! As you can see, the photos turned out gorgeous, and all in all it was a (relatively) stress free and successful smash. Or you could say it was, in the words of Nigel Thornberry, “smashing!”
Like any time you try something new – or try something with kids – it didn’t run completely to plan; but that was totally OK. We just adapted as necessary, followed the babies’ cues as best we could, and just went with the flow. You have to be pretty mentally flexible when working with bubbas – it’s better for everyone involved.
My sister in-law Casey and I decorated the cakes the day before and she brought along the rainbow bunting to hang up. We got a couple white plastic table cloths to use as a backdrop in our makeshift photo studio (my lounge), a giant foil number 1 balloon to hang with the bunting, some cute outfits for the smashers and we were good to go!
My friend Laura put a cute headband on her girl and Casey and I put bow-ties and suspenders on our boys, and they all wore modern cloth nappies. Not that I’m at all biased or anything, but I’m pretty sure they’re the cutest babies in the entire world.
The Cake Smash
None of the babies were quite as into the cakes as we thought they would be, especially considering they are all big eaters and are no strangers to feeding themselves. They didn’t seem overly set on eating the icing, so my theory is that they’re natural health nuts and have decided to start practising an “icing in moderation” approach. Seems legit, right? Now, to learn that kind of control myself…
We may have hit a few bumps along the way…
…but everyone cheered up pretty quick!
After a while, the two boys crawled off to play with the toys/tear down the backdrop/come and cover the rest of us with icing.
We managed to bribe them back for a while with the foil ‘1’ balloon, then with bubbles and me attempting to sing Wiggles songs whilst simultaneously blowing said bubbles (which is quite tricky it turns out), then after that we called it a day. We popped them all in the shower to hose them down while Laura wrapped up all the cakey mess in the table cloths and mopped the remaining icing off the floors.
At the end of the smash the babies were happy, us parents were happy, and we had 600ish gorgeous photos, so all in all I’d say it was a success.
Tips for a successful cake smash
Use a crumbly cake like a sponge. We tried to go healthy-ish so Casey baked some delicious banana wholemeal cakes. While they were really yummy, they weren’t super easy to crumble; I think a crumblier cake would’ve encouraged a lot more smashing from our babes.
Have lots of hands on deck to help with baby wrangling, photo taking, attention keeping, needs meeting, equipment rescuing, baby cleaning, and so on. We had five adults for three babies and it made everything so much easier.
Warm the room ahead of time, especially if you’re going to have almost nakey babies like us. I didn’t think this through, and a winter morning mixed with wooden floors was probably not the kindest on their little legs. It wasn’t freezing and they didn’t seem to mind, but definitely something to consider!
Use disposable plastic table cloths to cover everything because they make clean up so much easier, plus they provide a nice simple back drop so that all the focus is on your beautiful bubbas. If I were to do this again, I’d probably open them a few days beforehand and hang them to try and remove some of the fold lines a bit. Tape them down well, because they will get tugged on. A lot.
Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty because the likelihood is, you’ll end up covered in icing too – like a lifesized yummy mummy cupcake.
Make sure you have a clear memory card and a charged camera which sounds explanatory, but it’s often the simple things we forget… Not talking from experience though (OK totally talking from experience, neither of my camera batteries were charged and I only remembered an half an hour before we were due to smash – lucky we have a fast charger!). And while you’re at it, if you’re using a DSLR camera, check your camera settings ahead of time to make sure your exposure, shutter speed, etc is all ready. Remember, a faster shutter speed is helpful for getting shots of moving babies – and there are tons of helpful infographics on Pinterest in regards to using DSLR cameras.
Remove other toys from the room so that they aren’t distractions for mobile babies… Because even though our babies are usually little hunguses, they decided toys were more exciting than cake. Who would’ve thought??
Make sure they’re hungry but not starving. You want them to be keen to eat cake, but not grumpy or hangry. Make sure you’ve eaten too, otherwise you’ll definitely get hangry seeing all that cake everywhere!
Have towels and wet wipes handy because even if you don’t mind getting messy, you probably don’t want to touch your camera or phone with icing fingers. Or maybe you do. No judgement here!
Take lots of photos from all different angles and if possible, have two cameras if you’re cake smashing with more than one baby. The beauty of technology means you can always go back later and delete the less-than-awesome ones.
Be flexible and follow your baby’s cues. If they’re over it, pick them up for a cuddle and try again later. Don’t force it, otherwise you’ll just stress yourself and your poor bubba out. Distraction can help if they’re just starting to put up a wee fuss, but only temporarily.
- 2x plastic tablecloths
- Fabric rainbow bunting
- Giant foil balloon
- Tape to hold backdrop/floor in place
- Wet wipes
- Outfits (we used bow ties, suspenders, headband, modern cloth nappies)
- Bubbles (for distraction and because they’re cool)
- Baby bath handy if no shower
- Clean nappy & s for afterwards
- Sippy cup or bottle with water for afterwards to wash all that cake & icing down
So there are my tips for a successful cake smash. Have you done one, either by yourself or with a pro? (Side note: being a professional cake smasher sounds fun… I may need to look into this further as a future career path!) What tips would you add? Let me know below or on the Facebook page.
Until next time, glow mamas!