I Tried a SNOO Rental & It Was Dreamy

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Ah, sleep, one of the first things we come to terms with losing as we begin our journey into parenthood. For many moms-to-be, this often starts well before birth as pregnancy makes plenty of everyday tasks, including sleep, increasingly uncomfortable. Add a pandemic to the mix and you have the perfect recipe for sleepless nights. 

I could have never imagined that I’d be pregnant amid a worldwide health crisis, but here we were equal parts over-the-moon and scared to bits. My husband and I are a pretty tech-savvy (and sleep-loving) pair, so a smart bassinet was something we were interested in early on. It just so happened that in the middle of my pregnancy, Happiest Baby (the company behind SNOO) had been in touch with an offer to try out their SNOO rental program and the rest (pun absolutely intended) is history!

SNOO was created by Dr. Harvey Karp, the renowned pediatrician who authored Happiest Baby on the Block & Happiest Toddler on the Block. In certain circles, he is referred to as “The Baby Whisperer” so we knew that the SNOO was something we wanted to try out.

We put our little bundle in the SNOO starting the first night we were home with her. I will say, seeing her jiggling in there was pretty funny, but before I knew it, she was out like a light. So I’ll go ahead and assume her favorite thing about it is the motion since she’s been quite the mover and shaker since her days in the womb. Here’s what I loved about the experience (for both my child and myself):

The rental aspect. This is a huge win in my opinion. These tiny humans already require so much stuff it’s ironic. For the amount of time they sleep in a bassinet vs how much space a bassinet takes up in your house, being able to use it for however long you need and not have yet another item to store, sell or hand down to someone else seems ideal. It’s one less thing to have to sort out and let’s face it, most people simply don’t have oodles of storage space. Another edge case, given that all babies are different, is if it doesn’t work for your baby it can be sent back early. Most other baby products you’re just going to have to take the L on if your little doesn’t like it or you end up not using it as much as you anticipated. 

The rental includes a mattress, sheet and swaddles that are specifically designed to hook into the SNOO. You’ll likely want to purchase an extra sheet and swaddles because spit (and a host of other messes) happens.

The clip-in swaddles. Anyone who remembers the very beginning of their parenting journey likely recalls checking on their baby approximately a million times per night. Now, this won’t exactly eliminate all of your urges to check on the baby (who can resist stealing a few minutes to watch those sweet little faces sleep?), but it definitely does reduce the urges that are based on safety concerns in our experience. Safe sleep is a top priority for every parent, so the fact that the swaddles clip into the base giving your baby no way to accidentally roll over to an unsafe position that they can’t get out of gave us huge peace of mind. Our child has been extremely wiggly since day one, so this would have been a major concern of mine if not for the SNOO. Plus, in the early days, minimizing that startle reflex is key which is part and parcel of swaddling them. 

The app. We liked that the SNOO app makes it easy to customize the motions & sounds to your child’s preferences as well as give you a visual of your baby’s sleep journey. Each day can be viewed with markers for time the SNOO is on and time the SNOO is on and actively calming the baby. The SNOO is responsive to cries and will cycle through 4 levels of both sound and motion, however, if it is on the top level for 2-3 minutes and the baby is still upset, it will turn off signaling that the baby needs your care. 

I really liked the fact that I could visually see how well the baby had slept, for how long and how long feedings took in the middle of the night before putting her back to bed. It is frankly one less thing you have to be responsible for remembering or recording . . . so you can get back to bed, too!

The bassinet makes a noise similar to in the womb but you just might find that you start relying on the white noise also. In which case, you might be tempted to get our bonus favorite thing for your baby AND yourself…

SNOObear

The BFF: SNOOBear is a wonderful companion product that was introduced last year and is meant to help your baby transition from the SNOO into their crib. We found it especially useful for naps on the go. It plays the sounds your baby is used to from the bassinet so even if they’re not movin’ and groovin’ as they would be in the SNOO, the familiar sounds are comforting and help them drift off. Plus, they’re adorable which is just an added bonus. We’d use ours for impromptu naps while out and about or on walks—it happened to fit perfectly in the compartment below the stroller bassinet so the baby would still be alone (because some rules are definitely not meant to be broken)!

Overall, we’ve had a very positive experience with the SNOO. At about 3 months old, she’s largely sleeping for about 8-hour stretches each night (sometimes more). If she does start fussing sooner than that, we just let the bassinet do its thing and 9 times out of 10, she drifts back off to sleep. It’s made for a happy baby and possibly, even happier new parents. I can say without a doubt that if more babies come along for us, we will be renting a SNOO for them.

To learn more about the rental option, or to purchase a SNOO, head to HappiestBaby.com

—Jen Watro

Special thanks to Happiest Baby for sharing a SNOOBear & loaning us a SNOO bassinet to try out! All opinions expressed here are my own. 

All photos courtesy of Happiest Baby

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One thing that’s universal in parenting, especially in the earliest days, is the need to keep an eye on your little one. Whether you’re trying to squeeze in some me-time (or a snooze yourself!) while the baby is napping or need to keep a watchful eye on an adventurous toddler trying to climb out of their crib, a baby monitor is essential for being able to look in on the kids without disturbing them.

Parent-favorite baby monitor brand, Infant Optics, has a new model that is up for the challenge of growing with your kids and your needs as a parent. The new DXR-8 PRO from Infant Optics has upgrades from the previous DXR-8 model fueled by feedback from parents.

One of the most prominent feature upgrades, and a first for baby monitors, is their new Active Noise Reduction (or ANR) technology which, when enabled, reduces background noises like fans and air conditioners so your child can be heard more clearly.

It is also a non-WiFi, closed-loop system, providing a sense of security and privacy for parents. There’s aren’t any apps to download and the system is expandable to use up to four cameras paired with the display.

The DXR-8 PRO includes a large 5-inch display (up from 3.5-inches on the previous model) with 720P HD video resolution. The unit also comes with a zoom lens included which is interchangeable with a wide-angle lens (sold separately) giving parents the ability to use a lens that best fits their viewing needs in a particular space. This can be especially useful when traveling or using in different rooms for optimal viewing when paired with the pan, tilt and zoom features of the camera.

The video monitor is available at Target, Amazon & BuyBuy Baby for $199

––Jen Watro

All photos: Courtesy of Infant Optics

 

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Cute Crib Sheets for the Sweetest Dreams

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Trying to get a wiggly baby to be still long enough to take a measurement can be just shy of impossible. Struggle no more, because the new Nanit Smart Sheet, paired with the Nanit Pro camera, aims to solve this problem for parents. Read on to find out how this dynamic duo will have you tracking those milestones easier than ever.

How It Works

Using AI technology, parents lay their baby down on a Smart Sheet in the crib, then access the Nanit App, select the best image and mark the key measurement points on the baby. The camera processes the baby’s height in relation to the proprietary pattern printed on the sheet.

In the app, you can get baby’s real-time height measurement and can store them to track growth over time. More features including a growth chart and time-lapse video compilation will be available later in the year.

What to Buy

The Smart Sheet is actually compatible with all models of Nanit’s baby cameras, so if you’re already part of the Nanit family, you’ll be able to purchase the sheets solo for $34.99 later this month. If you’re new to Nanit, the brand new Nanit Pro has a sleek design & includes enhancements for clearer day & night vision, a small breathing band to track your baby’s breathing motion, faster processing and higher quality sound including for two-way talk, real-time sound notifications and a variety of white noise/background audio.

The Nanit Pro Complete Monitoring System bundle starts at $379, will include a new Nanit Pro camera and one Smart Sheet that gives parents the ability to measure their baby’s height and growth through the camera and associated app. 

These new products are currently available for pre-order on Nanit.com and will launch later this month at retailers including Amazon, Target & buybuy Baby.

––Jen Watro

All photos: Courtesy of Nanit

 

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One Cool Thing: A Baby Carrier That Checks All the Boxes

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Selecting a baby carrier can be a daunting task for any new parent, especially once the realization sets in that there are several types to consider (hello structured carriers, wraps & ring slings, to name a few)! Layer in personal preferences like weight, fabric, eco-consciousness and style and you could be down a shopping rabbit hole for hours.

One carrier that checks our boxes? The Ergobaby Aerloom carrier. It marries function & form with the added benefit of being eco-friendly and stylish. It also happens to be one of the lightest structured carriers on the market, weighing in at 1.45 lbs and is made from FormaKnit™ fabric in a seamless knit design inspired by the activewear industry (AKA breathable).

Not only is the fabric durable & breathable, (which will be key for wearing baby during the hottest days of summer) but 87% of the knit of each carrier is made from recycled polyester yarn and reuses 26 post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. So it’s safe to say the carriers are quite eco-friendly! Bake in the fact that they’re also shipped in recyclable, direct shipper packaging and no additional box or packaging and it’s enough to make your green heart sing. 

The carrier also features a zippered pocket to keep essentials as secure as the little one you’ll be carrying. It currently comes in 5 color combinations with each collection produced in small, limited batches: light grey/grey/orange, sky blue/blue, multi-color/black, burgundy/dark teal/black and charcoal/black with most colors never to be produced again after they sell out. 

The Ergobaby Aerloom retails for $219 and you can check out the collection and current color selection at Ergobaby.

––Jen Watro

All photos: Courtesy of Ergobaby

 

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Walmart is kicking off fall (and spooky season!) early this year with the release of their 2020 Great Value Fall Bake Center starting in September. If you’ve found yourself baking more during quarantine this year, get ready to level up your skills with some fun, themed baking kits that the kids will want to help with, too.

There are six Great Value Halloween Kits to indulge every kind of sweet tooth. There are a few selections for brownie lovers and meringue aficionados alike:

Ghost Meringue Kit (which comes with an easy-to-use icing pen!)

 

Graveyard Brownie Kit complete with bone-shaped candy pieces.

 

Halloween Whoopie Pie Kit with fluffy purple filling. Mmmmm. Purple.

Skull Sugar Cookie Kit that has a skull cookie cutter included.

Spooky Vortex Sugar Cookie Kit to make eye catching colorful swirled cookies.

Monster Eyes Sugar Cookie Kit with candy eyes!

Each kit will retail for $4.97 and be available in Walmart stores beginning September to have you baking sweet treats right up to Halloween.

—Jen Watro

Photos Courtesy of Walmart

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What’s a more delicious treat than a batch of mom’s homemade, fresh-baked cookies? Probably not much, but combining them with ice cream à la Baskin-Robbins’ ‘Mom’s Makin’ Cookies’ flavor has to be high on the list.

The ice cream retailer announced on August 4th (AKA National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day) that this fan-favorite flavor is returning to shops as August’s Flavor of the Month.

The ‘Mom’s Makin’ Cookies’ flavor originally launched for Mother’s Day in 2014 and is packed with cookie flavors. It combines brown sugar flavored ice cream with chocolate chip cookie pieces, chocolate flavored chips and a cookie dough-flavored ribbon.

The flavor will be available at Baskin-Robbins locations nationwide for a limited-time during August and September, and there’s no time like the present to treat yourself! The only question now is: cup or cone?

—Jen Watro

Photos Courtesy of Baskin-Robbins

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Our Back-to-School Sweepstakes Is Here! Enter Today

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It’s official, the end of summer is upon us and back-to-school season is in full swing! From picking out that first day outfit to checking off every item on your child’s supply list, we know you’ve got your hands full. Which is why we want to make things a little easier…with a giveaway!

Red Tricycle has teamed up with Western Chief, SheKnows, BlogHer and The CuteKid to bring you the Amazon Back-to-School Sweepstakes with a chance to win a Grand Prize $500 Amazon gift card! We’ll also have five additional winners who will each receive a back-to-school Amazon Kids Edition tablet kit worth over $350 to start the year off right.

The back-to-school kits include:

One Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet
One Osmo Genius Kit for KET
One set of headphones for kids
A $50 Western Chief gift card
A $50 Amazon gift card
One Bixbee lunchbox
One backpack

Check out the video below for more details on our back-to-school prize kit.

This sweepstakes runs through 8/21, enter by 11:59 pm PST. Get in on the action and enter for your chance to win today!

See the official sweepstakes rules here.

featured image: iStock

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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited, taxed or otherwise restricted by law. Subject to all federal, state and local laws.

HOW TO ENTER:

Enter on-line on www.tinybeans.go-vip.net by filling out the entry form on the page during the contest period, (August 8, 2019 at 9am PT to August 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm PT). By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules. All entries must be unique and valid email addresses.

Limit is one entry per email address. By participating in this sweepstakes program, you are agreeing to the privacy policies of the following sweepstakes parties and to be opted-in to receive email communications from these sweepstakes parties as outlined on the signup form: Red Tricycle, Western Chief, The CuteKid, SheKnows and BlogHer.

This Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the United States and District of Columbia, and U.S. Military personnel (and their families) with APO/FPO addresses, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older. Participation in this Sweepstakes constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional acceptance of these Official Rules.

All Internet access and usage charges are the responsibility of the entrant. If for any reason the Internet portion of the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. All entries received on-line before the on-line portion becomes inoperable, will be included in the random drawing. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or entry to be received by Sponsor on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any web-site, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this Sweepstakes. In the event of a dispute, eligible electronic entries will be considered made by authorized account owner of the email address submitted at the time of entry. Entries generated by robots or scripts are considered to be a direct violation of sweepstakes policy and will result in immediate disqualification of any and all associated entries. Sponsor is not responsible for printing errors in these Official Rules.

PRIZE(S):

Five (5) winners will each receive a back to school prize package (total value, each: $364.96) which includes:

  • One (1) Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet (7” display with kickstand) (value $99.99)
  • One (1) Osmo Genius Kit for KET (value $99.99)
  • One (1) set of headphones for kids (value $14.99)
  • A $50 Western Chief gift card (value $50)
  • A $50 Amazon gift card (value $50)
  • One Backpack (value $30)
  • One Bixbee lunchbox (value $19.99)

One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • a $500 Amazon Gift Card (value $500)

EXCLUSIONS & RESTRICTIONS:

Unless otherwise specified in an individual contest post, entry to this contest is limited to one email per entry. All associated email addresses must be valid and deliverable.

WINNING:

On or about August 23, 2019, Sponsor will select five (5) potential prize winners and one (1) potential grand prize winner in a random drawing from all eligible entries received throughout the Sweepstakes Period. The odds of winning will be determined by the number of entries. The winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries received whose decisions regarding all aspects of the Sweepstakes shall be final and binding. On or about August 23, 2019, potential winners will be notified by the valid email submitted for entry and may be required to complete an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability and Publicity Release (unless prohibited by law) and any other documents required by Sponsor, which must be returned to and received by Sponsor within seven (7) calendar days of issuance. If a winner does not contact Red Tricycle within 72 hours, declines to accept a prize, or in the event that a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, the winner will be disqualified and the Sponsor may elect, at its own discretion, to select an alternate winner. By participating, entrants release Sponsor, prize providers, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliated businesses, advertising and promotion agencies and the officers, directors, employees and agents of each from any and all liability, damages or causes of action (however named or described) for injuries, damages or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with receipt, enjoyment, ownership or use of the prize, and winner grants permission to Sponsor to use winner’s name, age, city, state, photograph or likeness for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation or approval (where lawful).

DISPUTES:

Each entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and any judicial proceeding shall take place in a federal or state court within the State of California; (2) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, and consequential damages, and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased THE CALIFORNIA COURTS (STATE AND FEDERAL) SHALL HAVE SOLE JURISDICTION OF ANY CONTROVERSIES REGARDING THESE SWEEPSTAKES AND THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SHALL GOVERN THESE SWEEPSTAKES. Each entrant waives any and all objections to jurisdiction and venue in those courts and hereby submits to the jurisdiction of those courts. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as originally planned, the Sponsor, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to cancel the Sweepstakes without liability. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

SPONSOR:

This sweepstakes is sponsored by Red Tricycle, Inc. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel the Sweepstakes at any time and substitute another promotion in its place.

THE PROMOTION IS IN NO WAY SPONSORED, ENDORSED, ADMINISTERED BY, OR ASSOCIATED WITH, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER.