Thursday, June 15, 2017

Babies and Sleep and a Bassinet Called a SNOO

A few months ago, a PR manager from over at Happiest Baby reached out to me about trying their new bassinet called a "SNOO." A what? Yes, a SNOO. I immediately recognized the name of their company, Happiest Baby, because I had read and utilized a lot of the tips in the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" with my first son, Theodore. Turns out, the author of that book (Dr. Harvey Karp) helped develop the SNOO. Besides the fact that the bassinet looks incredibly sharp, I was so intrigued to try it out with our soon-to-be-born son, Augustine, after watching several demo video clips.

I want to say this upfront: the people at Happiest Baby did send this SNOO to me as a gift and simply asked that if we liked it, to share about it. Everything that I will say is my own opinion and is completely based on our experience with using the SNOO over the last 3-4 months. 

Also, I want to warn you that I will say "SNOO" like a million times in this post....

Theo was a relatively good sleeper at night, but he definitely had day-time colic starting at about 3-4 weeks old and lasting until he was probably 4-5 months old. Even though I was getting somewhat decent sleep at night, I was so exhausted and worn out during the day. He was rarely happy unless I was holding or wearing him. Because of that, it took me forever to heal from his birth and my back was constantly hurting. He has since been a fabulous napper since about 6 months old, so all is forgiven (wink). All of that to say,  I was very nervous about Auggie being a good sleeper, If you have ever been sleep deprived, you know that you get to a point where you are willing to try ANYTHING to get some extra sleep. Enter the SNOO.

A couple of weeks before Auggie was born, the SNOO arrived on our doorstep. Jeff and I were like little kids opening up the box and getting it set up. We were both so impressed with the design and stability of it. Turns out that's an extra good thing when you have a toddler who wants to try and climb in to see baby brother! Even with Theo hanging on the edge of the bassinet, that thing didn't budge.

The SNOO comes with three swaddles in small, medium and large. Auggie here is wearing the large size simply because he can have his arms out in this one - which he likes. The swaddle is unique in that it has flaps on either side that slip onto clips. If the swaddle isn't attached to the clips, then the SNOO will not turn on - one of the many safety features. These flaps also will keep Auggie from turning over whenever he starts doing that.

The SNOO gently rocks (or wiggles) and has soft white noise in the sleep mode, and it will move up through four different levels as it senses Auggie's crying. Each level gets a bit more intense in the wiggling and the noise actually changes to get his attention and calm him down. As he calms, the SNOO moves back down through the levels until it is in sleep mode again. In the settings, you can adjust the sleep mode so that it turns off after a bit to help with weaning and transitioning to the crib.

One of the features that I really like is that you can adjust the sensitivity of the SNOO. Auggie is a very quiet crier, so I put it on the most sensitive setting and it will move up levels with just a bit of fussing from Auggie.

One of my favorite things about the SNOO is the smart phone app that links directly to the bassinet. I can control everything from my phone. So, sometimes I will hear Auggie start to wake up prematurely from his nap and I will turn the SNOO up a level or two to help gently soothe him back to sleep. Obviously, that doesn't work if it's time for him to eat or whatever, but many times it extends his naps! I would also manually turn the SNOO up after a middle of the night feeding and it just helps him settle back in to sleep before he even starts fussing.

Auggie is now three months old and he sleeps like a champ. He has been sleeping through the night (six-ten hour stretches) since he was about five weeks old. I can honestly say that he would not be napping and sleeping at night like he does without the SNOO.

*I shouldn't even have to say this, but I will. Obviously, the SNOO is not a substitute for properly caring for and tending to the needs of your baby. It will not magically make your baby sleep through the night if he/she needs to eat etc. But, it might cut out some of those nighttime comfort feedings. I will not be discussing sleep training (unless you have positive input/questions) or debating co-sleeping vs. not co-sleeping here. These are just my thoughts and my experience with a bassinet that has helped us and Auggie get a lot more sleep. Take it or leave it, friends. 

(Happiest Baby is actually running a Father's Day sale right now through June 18th for $300 off! The code is DAD300)

I probably should not let the cat out of the bag, but I just can't help myself, so I'm going to drop a massive hint here: There just MIGHT be a giveaway that just MIGHT involve a SNOO on my instagram in a couple of months. So, if you don't follow me there, ya should (wink). Find me here (@emilysuenetz).

Friday, June 9, 2017

Just An Overdue Life Update

I was thinking back over the last six months and how crazy busy life has been. I don't even know how it is summer already. Maybe that is a sign of getting older; time just seems to fly by at record speed.

We wrapped up renovations on our Sear's kit house in December and we have really been enjoying living in it. I know I haven't posted an "after" tour here yet (so sorry!), but I promise I will do that soon. In the meantime, you can see lots of pictures of the house over on Instagram under the hashtag #Our1920SearsHouseReno.

Throughout the spring, we worked on some smaller projects like landscaping and painting the deck. Jeff is now working on finishing out the basement (adding two whole bedrooms and a living space!).

Augustine was born in the middle of March and life has been a whole new kind of busy as we adjust to having two kids. And somehow in the craziness of newborn days and keeping a toddler productively occupied, we have decided to put our house on the market this summer. I know, I know...we are crazy, but it is time to move on to the next project - whatever that is!

I also decided to start a little email newsletter for anyone interested in hearing more details about our experiences with renovating/flipping houses. After getting lots of questions about what we do and how we make it work while raising a family, I thought it would be fun to share a bit about our process in a more personal setting. The response has been amazing, and I have loved the emails and direct messages from everyone. If you would like to jump into the discussion, you can either sign up here, or in the box at the very bottom of the page. I won't be posting the material that we discuss here on the blog or anywhere else, so be on the lookout for those emails.

Life is full of different seasons, and each season has its challenges. We have had a few months of (relative) rest as we welcomed little Auggie into our lives and took a bit of a breather from our major house projects and other obligations. With the upcoming sale of our home and moving on to the next house, these next few months are bound to be a crazy ones for us.

Jeff and I were talking about life and future plans the other night, and I told him that I felt so overwhelmed with what needed to happen in the next couple of months. But I totally did this to myself. I agreed to a plethora of opportunities and projects - all of which I am pretty excited about. We have been as intentional as we can be to make the busyness count, and only agree to things that will push us forward. I knew that in order to move forward with plans and to accomplish our goals for this year, I had to get more plates spinning than I knew I could handle. It feels vulnerable and scary. But I think that's okay too.

Along those lines, I've been working on some projects and getting some balls rolling for some exciting things in the next few months. I can't really share much more than that, but I hope to divulge more in the near future.

And maybe I will blog a bit more often ;)

(Image above by my talented friend, Rachel Andersen)