Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GigglesandWiggles #CollectiveBias
Because of my partnership with Gerber, my little one is ineligible to win the Gerber Photo Search or a weekly prize, but you may be eligible so make sure you submit a photo of your baby and/or pet!
A little less than a year before my husband and I had our daughter, Madison, we drove to Richmond, Virginia to pick up our first pet together. Our first pet was a ball of energy and fluffy white fur. Riley, our yellow lab, instantly stole our hearts.
Riley was always our sidekick to everything. Whether we were going to the beach for the day or to visit family, Riley was always with us. She was the first dog we’d had that was our sole responsibility.
When we found out I was pregnant we were both excited to watch Riley and our future baby grow up together. But what if they didn’t like each other? What if Riley was jealous? I was worried and naturally researched the internet to figure out how I could prepare Riley for a real baby. Luckily, what we tried worked. When Madison came home with us, Riley was prepared. While it was an adjustment, she adjusted very well because of the following tips.
Set up Baby Furniture Early – We had our nursery mostly complete about 6 weeks before we had Madison. When I would work in the nursery, I’d let Riley come with me and smell around. This way she was getting used to the nursery and all the new baby items that were in it. We also set up the baby swing and a pack-n-play in our living room. This way our dog would be more used to it being there by the time the baby came. The less “new” something is, the less of a chance your dog will want to mess with it.
Change Possible Sleeping Arrangements – Matt and I had the bad habit of letting Riley sleep in our bed. A month before we brought home our baby, we transitioned Riley to sleeping in her dog bed instead of our bed. This did work for a while for us, but when Madison transitioned to sleeping in her crib, Riley transitioned back into the bed.
Get Your Dog Used to Baby Noises – There are tons of videos of babies on youtube. Playing these for a few minutes a day will help your dog adjust to the new noises that a baby will bring.
Brush Up on Training – We had a training collar we got for our dog a few months after Madison was born, that I wish we’d gotten prior. I did not brush up on our training as well as we could have, but if and when we have another baby this is something I’ll definitely do. Ensuring that your dog knows when to listen, stop, etc is vital when bringing home a new baby.
Bring Baby Scent Home – Have a family member or Daddy bring a blanket or piece of clothing that your baby wore home to your dog. Place it on their bed and let them sniff and get used to the baby smell. When you introduce your dog to the baby officially they will recognize this scent.
Bring Dog to Meet Baby – When we brought our daughter home, my inlaws were there to take Riley out for a walk before we got there. This way she got any excess energy out, attention and didn’t jump on the baby carrier when she saw us. We got Madison settled into her baby swing before bringing the dog in. Keep her on a leash and close to you, so that you can ensure they are walking slow and calm. Let them sniff and greet the baby. This was something we allowed Riley to do a few times a day until she ended up losing interest.
There were definitely times when Riley pushed her limits. She liked to steal our blankets or pillows from the living room and occasionally I’d find them shredded. But she never acted out towards the baby. Our dogs are like family, so it’s still so important to give them time too, even after a new baby has come into our lives.
Now that Madison is almost-two, her, Riley and Lena (our long-term foster) are the best of friends. I honestly think she views her dogs as part of the family. Each morning she starts her day off by running downstairs and hugging her doggies. They humour Madison when she attempts to play catch with them and they allow her to lay all over them after a long day. Both of our dogs are truly a special part of our family.
Since our dogs are family, we like to feed them like family. Which is why we feed our dogs Purina® ONE® Dog Smartblend Chicken and Rice. Purina ONE’s Smartblend of ingredients means complete and balanced nutrition that can support your dog’s well being at every life stage — whether 3 years like Riley or 12 like Lena – and real meat is always #1. In every flavor, real meat, fish or poultry is always the first ingredient. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives, but plenty of good-for-them ingredients like Omega-6 (for healthy skin and coat) and natural sources of glucosamine (to support healthy joints). Purina One has over 85 years of innovation in pet nutrition. Since my dogs are important members of my family, I want to feed them a food I trust. Which is why I continue to choose Purina One for my girls.
While I have to keep Riley and Lena strong so they can keep up with Madison, I also have to keep Madison strong. At almost 2-years-old, she’s a growing girl. And growing girls are HUNGRY. Madison constantly wants to snack. I trust Gerber snacks because they’re packed with nutrition and a taste my daughter loves. Gerber Graduates Strawberry Yogurt Melts are made with real yogurt and fruit. These are an amazing source of vitamins A,C and E. Each bite melts in your baby’s mouth and is easy to chew and swallow.
Madison also loves the Mild Cheddar Lil’ Crunchies snack. These are a great first snack for your littles ones because they have a meltable texture that dissolves easily, are easy to chew and swallow and are easy to pick up. In addition to being delicious, Mild Cheddar Lil’ Crunchies have 5 grams of whole grains per serving AND 20% Daily Value of Vitamin E.
I love that I can find both of these products at Target. You can find Purina One Dog Smartblend Chicken and Rice down the dog food isle. Gerber snacks like the Mild Cheddar Lil’ Crunchies and Gerber Graduates Strawberry Yogurt Melts can be found down the baby food isle in the baby section of the store.
Gerber is a leader in infant and early childhood nutrition. Have questions? Head to MyGerber.com to meet Dorothy, your on-call personal baby expert, or call anytime 24/7 at 1-800-284-9488.
So do you have a little one that you just KNOW could be the next Gerber Baby?
Every parent thinks their baby is the next “Gerber baby” and every year Gerber parents anxiously await the announcement of the next Baby Search. And it’s officially that time! Now in it’s 8th year, Gerber is ready to shake things up and to make sure that this program is new, relevant and bigger than ever. This year’s program will leverage social sharing for parents to enter their baby’s photo using the #GerberPhotoSearch2017. Gerber.com will feature a dedicated promotional page, announce surprise and delight weekly contests, and share many of those precious photos of babies. One Grand Prize winner will receive $50,000 plus the title of 2018 Gerber baby. Parents may enter a photo of their baby for a chance to be the next Gerber Baby who may be featured in paid media and Gerber’s social channel. The grand prize winner will walk away with $50,000!
The photo search began on 9/13 and will run through 10/27/17. People may enter by posting a photo of their child on Instagram (must be a public account) using the hashtag #GerberPhotoSearch2017. Make sure that your account is public so that Gerber can be sure to see your photo of your adorable little one.
Believe it or not this is not all the good news I have for you today.
Gerber and Purina are joining forces for the #GigglesandWiggles Baby/Pet photo contest. Each weekly winner will receive a $500 prize pack, 1 year supply of Gerber baby food (valued at $600), 1 year supply of pet food (valued at $540). Parents may enter a photo of their pet and baby for a chance for the weekly #GerberGigglesandWiggles winner and will be featured on Gerber.com or social media channels for the week. Additionally there are six weekly winners of Giggles and Wiggles prize packs, one winner chosen by judges each week of the photo search.
To qualify for the Giggles and Wiggles Photo Contest, submit a photo that includes both your pet and baby. Like the Gerber Baby photo contest, entries will also be made through instagram. Make sure you have a public account and use the hashtags #GerberPhotoSearch2017 and #GerberGigglesandWiggles on your photo entry caption.
Please refer to the official rules for additional information HERE.
Good Luck to you and your Gerber Babies. Happy Posting!