Woof! Preparing Fido For Your New Arrival

Posted May 21st, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Baby kissing dog

When I was expecting my first human child, I wanted to be sure my four-legged fur babies were ready for my daughter’s arrival.

Oliver and Pearl were my first babies. While they were sweet and good-natured dogs, I still wanted to maintain their good behavior when I introduced a new member to our family.

I scheduled a few sessions with a dog trainer before my due date. We worked on exercises for establishing control and dominance. Our trainer also gave me and my husband some pointers about how to bring baby home and introduce her to the dogs.

Three years later and a second daughter later, I’m happy to report that all my “babies” are happily coexisting!

Here are a few things I learned about preparing a pup for a new baby:

Basic Training: Our dog trainer worked with us on some basic commands and exercises – such as sit and stay. This established that we were in control over the dogs and that they will follow and listen to our instructions. If you skipped puppy training, now is the time to sign up for a doggy class before baby arrives.

Set the Scene: Put the swing, bouncer, high chair and any other baby gear out so your dog can get used to the new furniture. We would bring out diapers and blankets every day and let the dogs sniff them before our daughter was born.

Keep It Safe: No matter how darling your dog is or how cute and cuddly they can be, never leave your dog alone with baby.

Pay Attention: Your dog’s life will certainly change when baby appears. Make sure you take your dog out for its regular walks and he or she gets a bit of your dedicated attention.

Having a trained, well-loved and well-exercised dog will make all the difference in the world once baby joins the family.

How to Get Mama’s Sleep Schedule Under Control

Posted May 7th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Musical Pregnancy Belt

One of the first tasks a new mom must tackle is to get baby’s sleep schedule on the right track.  While at first it can be a little wonky, eventually baby will settle down into a nice routine.

However, according to a study from Rush University Medical Center, 67% of new moms report experiencing issues with their own sleep habits within the first year of their baby’s life.

I guess this isn’t so shocking considering that a new mom is getting up multiple times a night for feedings or to assist her waking baby during the first year (or beyond) of motherhood. All this “up in the middle of the night” business can throw a wrench in a mom’s sleeping patterns.

Before you turn to drastic measures to get your nightly Z’s back, here are some tips to put into practice for a more peaceful night’s sleep:

Walk Away from the Phone: While it may be tempting to check your email or Facebook just once more before bed, you’re better off powering it down and saving it for tomorrow. You’ll avoid stimulating your mind while you should be zoning out and the light that phones and tablets emit can disrupt melatonin – sleep hormone – production.

Implement a Routine: Baby gets a bath, stories and a song every night before bed, so what’s Mom’s bedtime routine like? Pick a nighttime ritual for yourself and stick to it so you train your body that bedtime is near!

Quit the Caffeine: If you are too wound up before bed, ask yourself when was the last time you had a latte. You might want to stop drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages all together.

Too Bright: If your room is too bright, light is seeping in or the sunrise is waking you, install blackout blinds. They will keep your room nice and dark so you can get some much needed shut eye.

Hit the Gym: Studies show that exercise can regulate sleep patterns, but it’s hard for a new mother to cram gym time into her packed schedule. If you’re finding it hard to keep up with exercise, take baby along with you. A light jog, walk or even a mommy and me yoga session will keep you active and you won’t have to hire a babysitter.

Remember what works for putting baby to bed will probably help you when it comes to settling down for the night. Try a glass of warm milk, a book and a dark cozy room to help you drift off to dreamland.

 

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