If you know me in real life then you know I absolutely adore my dogs. My black Labrador retriever, Reese, has been a part of our family since my husband and I were dating. We got her together and she was at our engagement and in the photo for our save the date. After getting married we got our Golden Retriever, Maddux, who is the energizer bunny of our dogs. My dogs were actually the first to know I was pregnant since they waited for the results with me because my husband was out of town! They kept me company throughout my pregnancy and months of quarantine once COVID started since my husband still had to go to work daily. They truly are my best friends! I cried a lot leading up to my due date because I was so worried they would be upset with me for bringing a baby home. Everyone would say when I was pregnant: “Just wait until that baby gets here, things will change!” I’m here to tell you that they do but for the better.
Maddux is technically “my dog,” since I was the one that got him and took care of him from being a puppy onward plus he is a male so he naturally gravitates more toward me. Once I got pregnant Reese must have been able to sense what was going on because she got very protective of me. I’ve heard dogs sometimes know people are pregnant before they even know themselves and I could definitely see how that’s true!
I want to share some tips that helped us with transitioning our dogs to their new baby brother. I obviously am not an expert in dog training of any kind but this is what worked for us!
Before we were ever pregnant we let our dogs be around kids as much as possible! We let kids pet them and love them while closely supervising them both. No matter what kids did to either dog they absolutely loved the attention and were so gentle! I know with COVID this may not be as much of a possibility but if you do have kids you see in your life and their parents are comfortable with it then expose your dogs to them! Of course remember some kids are afraid of dogs and in that case it’s better if they are put up. All of our friends that came around our dogs had dogs themselves so they were fine with the kids playing with them.
Play sounds of baby crying, babbling, laughing! Anything baby noise related play it for the dog often leading up to birth. That way they aren’t startled when they hear any of the noises. Our dogs don’t even bat an eye if Turner cries or makes noise of any sort!
Let the dogs be a part of the preparation process for baby when possible! We went in the nursery every single day and would hang out in there. We let them sniff around and even left the door open for them to go in as they wanted to explore.
Once baby was actually here we made sure to send a blanket and hat with his scent on it home for the dogs to investigate. I had my husband go downstairs and send it with a parent to take to our house. In COVID times this might not be possible but if it is not then maybe send someone in for a few minutes before you go inside with an item with the baby’s scent on it.
Once we actually got home the dogs were very curious. Maddux wanted to be close to him right away but Reese took a day or two to warm up. That’s just her personality though! She’s a bit of a diva. We still let our dogs sleep in our room (yes, they sleep in our bed) even when Turner was staying in there. We left the door open because some nights one or both of them would leave the room at first during the night. We let them be near baby as much as possible but we do supervise them very closely and never leave them alone just to be safe.
I try to show them the same amount of attention I always have throughout the day. They hang out with me during nap time and after Turner goes to bed we all cuddle. I’ve heard people say to only give them attention when baby is around and ignore them when baby is gone. We didn’t follow this advice and just give them attention whenever and it has worked fine for us.
Turner is starting to show a lot of interest in the dogs now! He has started to reach for them, turn his head to watch them and sometimes they actually make him laugh! As he gets older we will make it a point to teach him how to treat them kindly but will always supervise them when they are together. We have had zero issues with either of our dogs and interacting with baby. They do both like to lick him quite a bit so we say “Thank you” to them and move them away instead of saying no. A baby fence or play yard is a great idea to keep them separated if you want to! We don’t do it much yet but definitely will once Turner is on the move.
One last thing I worried about before baby was here was barking. Our dogs only bark if they think someone is at our home. That means every delivery truck, neighbor slamming car door, kids riding their bicycle past etc. I guess Turner hears it so much that 99% of the time it doesn’t wake him up when he’s sleeping. I think he just got used to it so it doesn’t bother him! Overall, the transition has been very seamless for us and it melts my heart seeing my original babies with my human baby!
Do you have any questions about bringing a baby home with dogs? Leave them below in the comments and I will be glad to answer!
We are officially a SNOO graduate as of this weekend. We started sleeping in the crib at night for good! Since the SNOO Bassinet is a newer product and technology I wanted to write an honest review about our experience with it. [I have zero affiliation with Happiest Baby – the creator of the SNOO. All of these opinions are my own as a first time mom!]
What in the world is a SNOO?
I got this question a lot. It’s still not widely known in the parenting world even though it was been around for a few years now! I heard of it before I was even pregnant and knew it would probably be what we chose for a bassinet for a baby. In short it is a WiFi enabled smart bassinet that mimics the sounds and movements of the womb. It is supposed to help the baby transition into the fourth trimester! (If you don’t know what that is Google it. It’s a thing.) If it your baby is upset and needs to be soothed the bassinet will use the sound and movement to help do that. It has a special swaddle sleep sack that clips in on either side of the bassinet that you place the baby in to keep them safe. It has an app that connects to it where you can view sleep logs and level the motion and noise up manually if you choose. It was also created by the Dr. Harvey Karp who wrote The Happiest Baby on the Block book which covers helping your newborn sleep more efficiently.
Why did you choose the SNOO?
We thought as first time parents that it would be helpful to have an extra set of hands. We also really liked the safety aspect of it. Additionally, anything that will help you get more sleep in those first few months with a newborn is priceless so we thought it couldn’t hurt!
Is the SNOO difficult to use?
Not at all. Truly anyone could use it. It only took minutes to put together. It was easy to set up and connect to Wi-Fi. It’s also easy to put baby in and and tak out of. The app is very simple and user-friendly as well. You can have the app on as many devices as you like so you and your partner can both have it on your phone as well as an iPad or any other device you would like. If you do run into any issues they have a number you can call or you can email them whether they’ll help you troubleshoot.
Did you feel safe allowing your newborn to have that much motion?
[Disclaimer the pillow pictured in the snow with Turner is not recommended by happiest baby. In fact they recommend that nothing is in the bassinet with the baby other than the baby itself and the swaddle. We chose to use this in order to help combat flat head and the loss of hair on the back of his head but it didn’t work. We quit using it after a couple of months. I probably wouldn’t use it with another child because it was just a waste as well as it’s technically not safe sleep practice.]
Honestly at first, no. They are swaddled with a Velcro band and zipped into their sleep sack so they are in there very safely. The first time that you see this new level up to help soothe the baby it is a little surprising. They don’t have much neck control at first so it looks like it’s moving a lot more than it really is. You can turn motion limiter on at any time which just means that it will not go over level two when soothing your child. We actually turned the motion limiter on for the first month and then turned it off until month three. At month three we found that he was getting much more upset when it would go to level 3 and 4 and could not be consoled and we would have to intervene. He was still responding well to levels one and two though so we just put the motion limit her on so it wouldn’t go up any farther. You also have the option to completely lock it on baseline so it won’t level up at all but I personally don’t see the point in doing that since the point is for the bassinet to help with the soothing process!
Did the SNOO make you feel like you were a lazy parent?
Not at all. I really thought it would but you still do have to get up to feed and change them and sometimes even soothe them when the SNOO can’t. It just gave us an extra set of hands that could try to soothe him before we had to step in. It’s certainly no miracle worker which I didn’t expect it to be. If your baby cannot be soothed by the motion and sound of this new within a few minutes it will completely shut off and alert you to go to them. You can feel confident that you’re not neglecting your baby because it’s going to let you know if they really need you.
Do you feel like the SNOO really made your baby sleep better?
This is such a loaded question because I really do feel like it is somewhat dependent on how well the baby naturally sleeps. For Turner we have only had to intervene once when putting him down for the night and he’s 5.5 months old now. It’s obvious to me that his drive for going to sleep is very high and it comes easily to him. The first two weeks he was sleeping three hours and we would have to wake him so he could eat. Once we were given the go ahead to stop waking him to eat at two weeks he started sleeping 4 to 5 hour stretches before his first wake up of the night. This is much longer than the average baby this age sleeps at a time! The wake ups typically were 10 minutes or less where he would get changed and have a bottle, burped and back down. At about two months he started sleeping six hours but still doing 1 to 2 wake ups during the night to eat. He gradually pushed his wake up time each night a little further and tell there was only one wake up for a bottle. At four months he slept fully through the night for the first time randomly and then started doing it consistently a few days later. Typically about 12 hours give or take about 30 minutes. This is still what he is doing even having moved to the crib. Overall I do believe that Turner is naturally a good sleeper and I don’t have any other experience with other bassinets to compare it to since he’s my first child. Do do think this new helped especially at first when he was brand new but I do think his sleeping has been a combination of just his natural sleeping temperament and then also the snoo.
Do you have anything that you regret about the SNOO?
I only have two things because I went into it with super low expectations for sleep because I knew it wasn’t going to be a miracle worker and I knew that he was a baby. The first thing that I regret is not moving him out of our room sooner. Happiest baby and the AAP recommend rooming in otherwise known as keeping the baby in a bassinet in the parents room for the first six months. Turner was a very loud newborn sleeper and was waking me up literally all night. I was getting very little sleep and we even had our hatch sound machine on. At five weeks we decided to move him to his own room since we have the outlet sock and camera. The only other regret that I have is not allowing the SNOO to do it’s thing. What I mean by that is a lot of times I would go to him because it was quicker and easier to soothe him before I really let this new intervene in level up to try to soothe him. Sometime after three months I started allowing it to work first for a few minutes before I would step in and it made a world of difference. He quickly started sleeping longer and needing less motion to soothe him and less often.
Did you do all naps in this new like happiest baby suggests?
We tried to at first. They suggest doing all sleep in the snow exclusively until they transition to the crib full-time. For the first month to probably six weeks I tried all day every day to get him to nap in the snow and he would only sleep for about 20 minutes. Finally I gave up and started allowing him to take swing naps or in a carrier etc. basically anywhere where I could supervise him sleeping to make sure he was safe. At a little before three months I moved him to the crib in a Magic Merlin suit for naps. He has done all of his naps in there since then. Recently we moved him to a Kyte baby sleep sack during naps. I know they say that it doesn’t matter but I do believe that having him nap in the crib for that long has helped our transition be a lot easier. As a parent you just have to do what works for you because sometimes it doesn’t matter where they’re getting the nap as long as they’re getting it!
Were you worried about the transition from the SNOO to the crib?
This was like my biggest source of anxiety even though I had read everywhere that the transition is basically seamless and babies don’t have a problem with it. I literally put off transitioning him from this new to the crib for a month and a half. Truthfully, the only reason we finally transitioned him is because he’s in the 99th percentile for height and he was running out of room. The transition so far couldn’t have been smoother. I literally stressed over nothing.
Does the SNOO sleep train your child?
It does not. Sleep training is essentially helping babies learn tools to help put themselves to sleep or back to sleep when they wake up throughout the night. Turner is not sleep trained as of yet because you can’t begin the process until they are out of the SNOO since the bassinet itself is referred to as a sleep prop! (Something that helps baby fall asleep. Swaddle, pacifier etc are also props.) At this time we will wait until we need to sleep train him since at this time his nighttime sleep is good. Now, naps are a different story for another day!
Is this new really worth the price?
It’s definitely pricey. Currently the price for a brand new SNOO to purchase is $1395. You can also rent it by the month for $129 which for how long we used it would’ve came out to $774 which is still cheaper than purchasing it. We were very blessed to have been able to borrow it from my brother and sister-in-law who had my nephew six months earlier. I’m confident however that we would’ve chosen most likely to rent it anyway if we hadn’t had this opportunity. We really don’t have anywhere to store the SNOO when it’s not in use plus we’re not planning on adding to our family for a couple of years so purchasing really wouldn’t make sense for us. The resell value for the SNOO is extremely high as you can pretty much resell it and get all of your money back if you decided to do that. Overall, I do think for the safety aspect and first time parents it’s worth it. Is it a must have for all parents and babies? Absolutely not! Your baby will be just fine in a regular bassinet or pack and play to sleep their first few months. It’s definitely a splurge item that will make having a baby a little bit easier and I definitely would choose it again for a baby in the future.
I’m thinking about doing an in depth post about our journey with the SNOO plus the transition, would you guys be interested in that? Let me know below!
Hello, remember me? It’s been awhile. I had much better intentions and plans for writing more posts but life happens. We are currently nearing the end of month 4 with Turner and I am finally sharing my must haves for month 3 and 4.
Our Hatch Rest is used for naps and nighttime sleep. I love it because my husband and I can both control it from the app on our phones. It even has timers and favorites you can set. It easily turns on when you touch the top of it. Our favorite sound to use is the “TV Static” one.
We give these Enfamil Probiotic drops to Turner everyday. I really do think it helps him to have less gas and have more regular bowel movements. We chose this brand because we use the same one for his formula.
We started using the Magic Merlin Sleep suit at 3 months for naps only. We are still using the SNOO for all nighttime sleep and will be transitioning soon. The suit helps them feel secure and relaxed without swaddling it. I think of it as the next step after swaddling and before a sleep sack. I do think it helped him nap a little better. It looks like it would be hot but it is not at all. I just recently quit using it for naps because I am trying to get him ready for all sleep in the crib in a sleep sack. You can actually use the Merlin until they roll in the suit. Plus, I won’t lie…it’s pretty cute when they have it on!
This baby Einstein Toy is the best $8 I’ve ever spent. We do try not to overstimulate him too much. Only two of his toys have flashing lights and music and this is one of them. He is mesmerized by this thing! We reserve it for emergencies when either he is very upset and we have tried everything to calm him down or for when we need 5 minutes to eat. It plays snippets of classical music and the lights go with it…so it’s educational, right?
This may seem like an odd thing to include but hear me out: you need a space heater. This idea was given to me by a friend who is also a blogger. Turner loves baths but hates being cold afterward no matter how tightly we bundle him in the bowl and hurry to dress him. I plug this small heater in before bath so it can warm the changing area. He rarely makes any fuss now when getting dried off and changed. Obviously, be mindful of safety with a baby and heater. I always unplug mine as soon as we are finished.
Sensory soft books are a must have! We have an Eric Carle one that has crinkle pages and he loves it! He will literally hold and play with it forever.
I mentioned before Turner loves his baths! He would stay in there until the water turned cold if we would let him. We have this Fisher Price tub. It has a sling for the first three or so months then you remove it. He sits one way for a few months and when he gets bigger it switches to the other way. Eventually, the green insert comes out completely. We use this tub in a bathtub but it would work in a larger sink. He also loves the little fish that has holes for water to come out. It’s lightweight, easy to clean and I feel like he is very secure in it.
I started using this Hair Spritz from Rowe Casa on a whim when he was about 2 months old. He had lost a ton of hair as babies do. I apply it nightly with a brush after his bath when his hair is damp. I cannot believe how much his hair has grown since I started using it! You can also use this on your own hair which I need to start doing. Click here to shop it and use code MEGAN20 for a discount. (Code only good through December 18th)
Want to shop the items I mentioned in this post? Click here to shop the exact products. You can always shop them in the free liketoknow.it app as well as many other products I love! Do you have any current baby product favorites? I’d love for you to comment what they are below!
Turner is two months old today and time has certainly flown! His little personality is really starting to shine through. He’s usually pretty happy unless he wants to eat or has a wet diaper! Today, I am sharing our most used baby products for month two of his life. You can shopping all of these products by screenshooting the above photo and/or visiting my liketoknow.it!
We had a small bout of baby acne and completely banished it in about three days with Tubby Todd’s All Over Ointment! I applied it to his face each night after bath at bedtime and saw improvements in the baby acne immediately. It can be used for a variety of things on babies so it is a great product to keep in your diaper caddy! A little goes a long way so it will last a long time.
I debated not adding this because it is kind of gross but cradle cap is very common in babies. It is basically a flakey scalp. Thankfully Turner had a very mild case of it but we got this Cradle Cap System from Fridababy and used it twice over the course of a few days and it completely went away. We just did it as a part of bath time. It has not come back yet but we will keep this on hand in case it does.
This may truly be my number 1 baby product of all time. No exaggeration. The Boppy Lounger is SO affordable and we use it every single day. It is not for sleeping but rather a place for baby to lounge when you need a hands free moment. The heavier Turner gets the more thankful I am for this! The fabric is easy to wipe down and the pillow itself is machine washable. It comes in several different prints. This would be a great baby gift if you do not know what to get someone because it will definitely get used!
This is one of those little things that actually makes a huge difference! The Baby Bump Brush is an easier and more sanitary way of applying diaper cream. We have not had a diaper rash yet but we do use Aquaphor at night where the diaper meets the skin on either side since it gets red and we want to keep it from getting irritated. We use this brush to apply it and it saves our hands from having to be coated in it. It is super easy to clean as well!
What do you do when you do not want to keep holding your baby or need your hands free? Wear them! The Ergo 360 Omni Carrier is so comfortable for adults and baby. As an infant you have them facing you until their neck control gets better and then they can face out and even ride on your back. It is a little tricky to get into without another person but it is doable since I have done it before. Turner goes right to sleep in this thing 99% of the time! Our friends all have these and love them too!
We have a couple of baby items that are 4 months and up only because they need better neck control. This Huggapod supports your baby so they can begin using things like this sit me up now! We only use it for about 15 minutes a day but Turner loves to sit up and watch us make dinner. It can be used in high chairs and really anything that your baby is not quite strong enough to sit in unsupported yet. The front and back pieces can eventually be used separately when they need less support.
If you have any questions about any products I have listed for this month comment below and let me know! I will be glad to answer.
36 weeks over here! Things are getting real. I packed my diaper bag for baby boy last week. I’m not planning on bringing it the hospital but wanted it to be ready for his first doctor’s appointment and anywhere else we may have to go soon after birth. I have been loving my Freshly Picked diaper bag. It’s so roomy and of course super cute! It can be worn as a backpack as pictured above which is most likely how I will wear it.
It can also be worn as a cross body as pictured above. My dogs loved helping me pack the diaper bag! They are good helpers. I also consulted my mom for suggestions on things I should add. I am a first time mom so this is what I am thinking I will need. Here’s what I packed:
*Premade Similac formula bottles + nipple
*Portable changing pad
*Cover for pad
I’m keeping it basic for now and will add more things in coming months when we actually leave the house for more than an hour. Can you think of anything else that should be added for short trips away from home? Please leave me a comment below if you think I am forgetting something!
Even with everything packed the bag is only halfway full at this point! Plenty of room to add more items as he gets older and we need more things with us. I love how sturdy the bag is and that it can grow with us!
My diaper bag comes in so many other great colors if you are not interested in camouflage and black. I love all the different compartments it contains which makes organization a snap! Everything is so easily accessible between the different pockets. Freshly Picked doesn’t often have sales but they have given me a code to share with you for 25% off your purchase: FPXMEGAN25 and you can shop the bag directly here. Have any questions about this Freshly Picked diaper bag? Leave them below and I’ll be glad to answer them!
I thought it would be fun to share some things that I didn’t expect about being pregnant.
You won’t necessarily be sick the whole trimester with morning sickness. In fact, I only had a week or two of mild nausea that was easily banished with eating crackers and drinking spite. It was mild enough that it didn’t effect my daily life at all. I never actually got sick once!
99% of your doctors visit only include a urine sample, weight check, blood pressure, and listening to baby’s heartbeat. Somehow I thought there would be more to it but ultrasounds are few and far between unless there are problems!
You might not get that burst of energy in the 2nd trimester everyone talks about. I feel like I was still so tired then but that it got better for me in the 3rd trimester.
Shopping for baby clothes, yes even boys, is so addicting! Pump the breaks though because you have no clue what size your babe will be plus people will gift you clothes. I bought some fun things I absolutely loved but tried to keep it within reason!
Feeling your baby move is truly the best thing on earth. It’s so special and magical but when your husband finally feels it too for the first time there’s no feeling like it!
6. The moment you find out you’re pregnant don’t necessarily rush out and buy all the maternity clothes. I’m glad I didn’t do this. Depending on what season you’re pregnant (especially 3rd trimester) and what your job is like you may not need much! I had planned to wear maxi dresses this spring at school but didn’t even need to worry about it because of COVID. I’ve mostly been able to work stretchy things I already had work. I did invest in a pair of maternity blue jean shorts and they’ve gotten their money’s worth.
7. Be prepared for people’s input. I’ve been cold my whole life but it got worse once I was pregnant. I kept my heat on on my classroom plus wore layers. People kept saying, “oh wait until 3rd trimester plus it’ll be summer. You’ll be burning up then!” Well, I’m 39 weeks and still keeping my house at 73 degrees with a sweatshirt on so apparently didn’t happen to me. Just take the input with a grain of salt and smile!
8. How your body grows and changes to develop your baby is unique to each person. I didn’t gain any weight first trimester and maybe 5-7 pounds second trimester. I’m up to 14 pounds now at the end. I didn’t truly show until I was in the third trimester. Despite eating plenty and never being sick during pregnancy. All of this is fine and normal. It’s also normal and healthy if the opposite happens to you and you gain more and show earlier. Your body is going to do what it needs to do so don’t stress too much about too little or too much weight gain!
9. You’re always going to find something to worry about whether it’s symptoms you’re having, what you’re eating or doing, labor/delivery and the health of your child. I highly suggest staying off doctor Google! Obviously ask your doctor anything you have concerns about but just know it’s okay to be a little anxious about things since it just means you want the best for your baby!
10. The most surreal moment is when you see your baby on the ultrasound and see that heart beating. The feeling is truly indescribable.
And here’s a bonus that I had heard before but until you’ve experienced it you really don’t get it: the last trimester speeds by until the final few weeks. Then it crawls and feels like years which is where I’m currently at! I’m going to be sharing more on that in a third trimester bump date post this week. What is something you didn’t expect about pregnancy? Leave me a comment about what it was!