Losing that Lingering Winter Cough

Feeling better when the cough is stacked against you

Get rid of a dry, persistent, lingering cough!The aggravating, unrelenting common cold can be caused by a variety of viruses and can occur without warning anytime of the year. The onset and spread of the viral illness is more prevalent in the winter months because of the multitude of viruses that are known to thrive in the freezing weather. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of viruses believed to be responsible for the existence and yearly pandemic of the common cold. The symptoms include sore throat, runny nose or sinus congestion, a productive or nonproductive cough, and fatigue. A cold and its associated symptoms will usually last 7 -10 days, sometimes with a few lingering symptoms for another week. A cough can last longer, becoming persistent and resistant to the traditional treatments, leaving you feeling almost hopeless in your coughing nightmare.

A cough that brings up mucus is considered productive and shouldn’t be treated with medicine containing a cough suppressant. It is always best to see your primary physician when symptoms persist longer than 21 days. A cough that is dry and causes painful breathing is considered non-productive and should be evaluated by a medical professional. The doctor may suggest or prescribe from a slew of possible medications and treatments for the relentless cough, depending on the suspected cause. Follow all instructions to the letter and take any and all medication he or she prescribes, even if your symptoms subside, to prevent the reccurrence of the cough and cold. The only good news is that, since antibiotics won’t help the cold virus, they aren’t usually prescribed. Since 95% of all colds are viral in nature, the best your doctor can do is to treat the symptoms that are making you miserable.

You can try a few things to relieve the cough and ease the cold at home before it becomes a costly trip to the doctor’s office. Many home remedies are popular and offer inexpensive, safe, natural treatments for the symptoms of the common cough and cold. First and foremost, if you smoke, quit! That one is a no-brainer. If you continue to smoke after the onset of a persistent cough, you will have more problems to look forward in the future than the aggravation of a cough. A multitude of programs and aids can help you stop smoking. Next, avoid the possible causes of the cough, such as smog and air pollution. These irritants exist everywhere and avoiding them is seemingly impossible, so try to limit exposure to these irritants. Also, avoid pet dander, air fresheners, household cleaners, and pollen in flowers and on trees. Try to follow a healthy diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry, and skim or fat free dairy products. Avoid the foods that are high in trans-fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.

Drinking warm tea with honey will help break up the mucus of a productive cough and will ease the pain of a sore throat. Also, stay hydrated with water and juices containing high Vitamin C content. Certain foods like garlic, peppermint, onion, and basil make great vapor breathing decongestants. Honey and ginger seem to be a very effective natural cough suppressant. Many other natural ingredients have shown positive effects on the symptoms of the common cold as well as the persistent cough. Experts say that this year’s cold and flu season will be especially nasty. Take the time now to be prepared and the cough won’t be stacked against you.

 

 

Choosing a Christmas Tree – Apartment Size Possibilities

Apartment size Christmas TreeApartments shouldn’t be left out when you’re in the mood for decorating this time of the year. Sure it may be small, but as long as you have the motivation, you can make it look the part. The holidays are near, so why not take the time to bring something festive and fun home with you? And with this, I mean finding the perfect little Christmas tree for your apartment. Aside from holiday decorations for apartments, such as candles and wreaths, apartment size Christmas trees are a must.

Green or White?

There are two classic colors for Christmas trees— green and white. Get a mini tree in a medium size if you have the floor space so that you can set the gifts under the tree. No matter which apartment sized tree you choose, you will always have to buy ornaments for them. Balls, angels, stars, and candy canes are just a few things you can put on you tree. Ornaments stand out on white trees while the focus is on the presents for green ones.

Go Small

Smaller trees are adorable without even trying. Take your cue from tabletop trees that range from a foot to two feet tall. This works very well with very small apartments and studio type condominiums. Small trees are ideal if you lack the floor space. If you’re up for something funky, a Charlie Brown Christmas tree would be a fun variation. It comes with a little red ball and a smooth, light blue blanket— just like the one in the comic!

Be Creative

It’s not difficult to work with the things around your living space. Do you have plenty of books lying around? How about boxes? Some old Christmas cards, perhaps? Using your creativity here is what’s going to make it so much fun. Making your own Christmas tree gives you room to personalize your living space and make Christmas more “you.”

Just because you live in a small flat doesn’t mean you can’t have the same elegance of decoration as a grand manor. In fact, you can play up your décor as much as you wish. Here’s a tip, though: If you want more decorations, keep them small. If you’re fine with just a few pieces, larger ones will do. Do not put up too many large decorations because they will overwhelm your living space.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, cheerful, and decorative with your home. No matter how small it is, it deserves the same amount of details as you would a spacious home.

 

Natural Beauty Tips: Preventing Hair Loss

hair-brush-hair-lossIf you’re starting to notice more hair stuck in your hairbrush or extra strands collecting in your shower drain, you could be experiencing the beginning stages of hair loss. Hair loss is something that will affect everyone to some degree as they age. Even young people aren’t immune to this problem. Hair loss can start at any age and can be exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations, medications, and illness. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help keep hair loss at bay.

If you’re having nightmares about hair transplant surgery, don’t worry. You can find plenty of natural ways to prevent hair loss. Scalp massage is a great way to help hold onto the hair you have. A very gentle massage of your scalp twice a day can help boost circulation near the hair follicles, which helps the follicles keep a firm grip on your hair.

Perhaps one of the best natural ways to prevent hair loss is to take vitamins. If you don’t currently take a multivitamin, starting to take one daily could be enough to turn your hair loss problem around. Most people don’t have a very well-rounded diet and this can contribute to hair loss. A deficiency in biotin can lead to hair loss, so you could also try a B-complex supplement that contains biotin. It might take a few weeks before you notice an improvement, but vitamins have the added benefit of helping you stay healthy.

Biotin is so helpful to hair growth that it has worked its way into a number of topical hair products as well. You can pick up a shampoo or conditioner that contains biotin or other natural hair growth ingredients. Many people report success using these products on a regular basis.

Sometimes hair loss can be caused by physical distress to the hair follicle or strand, so it pays to be gentle with your locks. Do not brush your hair too much. Brush it just enough to make it look nice and then put the brush away! Also, be sure you are using a brush with coated bristles to minimize tearing. The bristles that have balls attached to the tips tend to be gentler than other types. If you wear your hair in a ponytail, opt for ponytail holders that are made of soft materials and avoid using the type with metal clasps at all costs.

Chemicals can also contribute to hair loss. A great natural way to prevent hair loss is to reassess your styling routine and scrutinize the ingredient list of the products you use regularly. If you color your hair, ask your stylist about using natural dyes. Try to avoid chemical treatments like perms and straightening. Keep the heat as low as possible on styling devices like flat irons, blow dryers, and curling irons. You should also try to avoid using hair products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient that is suspected to cause hair loss.

Author Bio:
Tobie J. Foy is a hair stylist who has uncovered plenty of helpful tips during her decade of salon experience. After undergoing training on the various types of hair removal Toronto is famous for, she is now considered one of the top providers of laser hair removal Scarborough and the surrounding area has to offer.

 

Pregnancy Testing for Gestational Diabetes

DoctorI recently welcomed a daughter and while I was pregnant, I worried a little bit about the glucose test for gestational diabetes. I was a little bit nervous about getting tested for diabetes while pregnant. I worried that I might have a false positive, or that the glucose test would make me feel sick, or that the sugary drink would be disgusting. I am glad to share my pregnancy diabetes experience for anyone else who is feeling this way.

Leading up to the test, I ate a half an English muffin with cream cheese, a fried egg, and some breakfast meat, I can’t remember what – maybe ham or Canadian bacon. I am pretty sure I only drank water. I got to the appointment and had the initial blood work done, and it was pretty uneventful. I didn’t look. Then I had to drink this juice bottle that honestly didn’t taste much different than if you added a bunch of extra sugar in a batch of KoolAid.

During the waiting period, I asked if I could step outside for some fresh air. I made a few phone calls and paced around the parking lot. I don’t know if this impacted my results, but it made me feel better. The office was very stuffy and I was dressed too warm for that. They say if you puke, you have to do it all over again, so I didn’t want to chance that!

Honestly, everything went fine for me with my pregnancy, including that test. I got my results back and I passed with flying colors. A (relatively) healthy diet and exercise seemed to do the trick for me. Although, I did eat my fair share of donuts and chocolate chip muffins while pregnant. Yum!

Diabetes isn’t something to mess around with, especially when you are pregnant. This disease often causes a number of symptoms like excessive thirst and frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, changes in vision, increased tiredness, extremely dry skin, to name a few. In pregnancy, you may already be experiencing frequent urination, increased tiredness, and other symptoms, which is why it is a great idea to have this gestational diabetes test done. If you experience these or any other unusual symptoms, you should be sure to make a doctor’s appointment so you can get yourself checked for diabetes and other serious conditions.

Do you have any experiences to share in being tested for gestational diabetes? Did you pass or fail? Did anyone have to go back for the three-hour test? Please share your experiences and memories in our comments below.

 

Six Holiday Traditions to Try with Your Family

Christmas cookiesIt’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here. So many things on our to-do lists remind us daily that we’ve got a lot to do before the holiday arrives, from shopping and wrapping to baking, sending out Christmas cards, replying to holiday party invites, setting up the Christmas tree, decorating, and more. If you’ve already done some or all of this, you are definitely ahead of the game.

Despite all these holiday “chores,” it can be fun to have a few family traditions when it comes to the holidays. You and your loved ones can find a great number of holiday traditions to enjoy, with many that don’t cost much at all to do. Consider these suggestions for six holiday traditions to try with your family or significant other this year.

1. Bake Christmas cookies together.

2. Drive around to look at the holiday lights in your neighborhood.

3. Take a family photo for your holiday card.

4. Make a handmade Christmas ornament. (When you have a young baby, consider making a handprint or footprint ornament!)

5. Get your kids’ or pets’ picture with Santa Claus.

6. Spend Christmas morning at your own home so your kids can enjoy the magic of Christmas.

Christmas tree

Depending on your family’s favorite things and the neat holiday attractions near your home, you might find other holiday traditions to add to this list. You may also wish to set out cookies and milk for Santa with your kids after hanging your stockings by the fireplace with care. You might also want to visit a special holiday attraction if you live near such a thing, or simply enjoy Christmas breakfast as a family every year.

If you plan to split up the holiday with your family and your in-laws, you might want to factor in traditions for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or the weekend before or the weekend after Christmas. Talk with your spouse or significant other about ideas you might have for a fun holiday tradition to try.

What other ideas do you have for a holiday tradition, or what traditions do you and your family enjoy year after year? Please share them in our comments below.

 

Tips on Surviving a Teething Baby

Baby smileJust when you think you’ve finally got this “being a parent” thing down, your baby throws you a curveball. She’s no longer sleeping through the night. She wakes you up three, four, five times, screaming, crying, just wanting to be held. You can tell something’s wrong but she isn’t able to tell you what. You check for a tooth. Again. Three, four, and five times a day. Still nothing. You see if she’s hungry, check her diaper. Nothing. It’s got to be the teeth. Sound familiar? I am going through it, too.

Our daughter is a very happy baby, at least most of the time. She’s been sleeping through the night since she was two and a half months old, what a blessing. Over the past week, she’s decided to stop sleeping through the night and wakes up crying or screaming as if in pain. As soon as we pick her up, she seems to go back to sleep, but once she feels us set her back down, all bets are off.

So how do you deal with a teething baby? We’ve been to the doctor and back and received a few recommendations on teething remedies. If your baby is teething too, try chilled teethers or water-filled teethers that you can put in the refrigerator to get nice and cool. You can hold them for her to help your baby learn to chew on them for some numbing relief. The pediatric nurse also said freezing a washcloth and letting the little ones chew on that can help to ease the discomfort of their teething gums.

Another mom I met a few months ago preferred natural teething remedies and had purchased a Baltic amber teething necklace for her daughter. She sang its praises, not truly sure why it worked, but sure that it did, in fact, ease her daughter’s teething pain. Some other teething baby remedies may include massaging the infant’s gums with your finger, or a product called the “Molar Muncher” for older babies and toddlers getting their back teeth.

Baby boy napping

Baby teething toys may be helpful in soothing and distracting from the sore gums. One thing to be wary of is anything medicated that you would topically apply to your baby ’s gums. I recently read a story about Baby Oragel where the numbing effect actually caused the infant to stop breathing for a short while, his face blue and all. It’s a terrifying thought, so be sure to check with your child’s doctor to be on the safe side.

If you start to notice the signs of a teething infant, be sure to speak with your pediatrician for advice on your son’s or daughter’s own teething needs. The good news is I’ve heard the first tooth is the worst. We are still waiting on our little girl to cut the first one, so we’ll believe it when we see it. Best of luck to all other moms and dads in getting through this trying phase!

 

Top 10 Christmas Activities to Enjoy with Your Family (Without Snow)

The winter season typically brings cold weather and shorter days with daylight transitioning into nighttime earlier than usual. Still, the wintertime invites us to enjoy a number of fun family activities despite the cold. Some snow activities may be fun if you already have the weather for it, but if you are still waiting for that great snowfall, consider these fun and festive winter activities for families.

Remember, family activities don’t have to cost a lot of money. You can find a number of lower budget plans or even free ideas for your family to enjoy this winter. Here are our top 10 winter activities for families:

1. Skating – Whether you choose an ice rink with public skate or a completely frozen pond to play a little family friendly game of ice hockey, ice skating is a fantastic family activity you can enjoy year after year.

2. Checking out the Christmas Lights – Take a drive or a short stroll through your neighborhood to look at the holiday displays around your town. Have each person pick a favorite house.

3. Holiday shopping – Go out shopping as a family to ensure everyone marks off their Christmas lists. Split up in a store or two if you need to shop for someone in your family without them seeing their presents.

4. Christmas cookie bake-off – No holiday tradition tastes as good as making homemade Christmas cookies as a family.

5. Get a family portrait – It may seem like a hassle, but years from now you will cherish the family holiday portraits you’ve gotten over the years.

6. Attend a holiday festival – Look at the local paper or online resources to find holiday festivals near you or take a little drive to somewhere you used to go as a child. As one example, Hershey Park is an amusement park in Pennsylvania that puts on a great holiday display called “Candy Lane” during the holiday season.

7. Ride the Christmas Train – Some towns have a holiday train ride, or Santa train, where you can bring your children for a fun experience they will remember for a lifetime.

8. Write a letter to Santa – Have your kids write letters to Santa and help them mail them to the North Pole. Do this far enough in advance that they may get a response in time for Christmas! Here are some ideas to get you started.

9. Make your own Christmas ornaments – You can make handprint and footprint ornaments with your little ones, or have older children paint Christmas balls or craft other decorations. These will make lovely gifts for family and friends!

10. Play Christmas music, decorate the tree, drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies – Does it get any better than this? You might also want to consider picking out a Christmas tree if your family opts for a live tree each year. You can have so much fun as a family, setting up the tree, decorating, and enjoying a festive snack.

Our minds are still swirling with other activities to enjoy as a family this holiday season. You can make handmade cards with the kids, or host a holiday party, visit lonely neighbors or elderly folks, or donate food to food pantries or gifts to Toys for Tots or other similar programs. Teaching your children while they are young, that Christmas is also a season of giving, can go a long way toward their future goodhearted efforts this time of year.

What other ideas do you have as far as family activities to enjoy in the winter? Please leave your favorite suggestions in our comments below. Happy Holidays!

 

New Year’s Travel Ideas

New Year's Travel IdeasLove ‘em or hate ‘em, the holidays are here to stay. You might find it tempting to go away for the holidays, especially if you are in a situation where your holidays revolve around visiting numerous different family members across several days. Still, your family might be disappointed not to see you over the holidays, and you might not like disrupting tradition either. Why not plan some New Year’s travel ideas to look forward to instead?

No matter if you want to go away over New Year’s Eve or in the actual New Year, sometime after New Year’s Day, a New Year’s vacation can be just the thing to refresh your mood and shed some stress. Consider these New Year’s travel ideas to help get you through the holidays:

1. Times Square, New York City, NY – If you don’t mind crowds, consider spending your New Year’s evening in the city that never sleeps. It is probably something everyone should add to their bucket list to do at least once.

2. Paris, France – Ooh, la la – what a romantic and/or exciting way to spend the holiday. You can enjoy an incredible country of romance and charm with your sweetheart, your friends, or even your family.

3. Italy – With a name like La Festa di San Silvestro, Italy’s New Year’s festival is one you won’t want to miss, with its fireworks, dancing, and delectable food as far as the eye can see.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada – Because, why not? The city has more forms of entertainment and nightlife than you can shake a stick at, and the long list of food and alcohol options to boot.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana – With all the fun and insanity that encompass Mardi Gras, how could you imagine anything less for this playful and memorable city? When the clock strikes 12 the party is just beginning!

6. Atlanta, Georgia – Have a peachy time at this huge New Year’s travel hotspot where you can watch the Peach Drop in honor of Georgia’s state fruit.

7. Key West, Florida – Enjoy a pirate themed New Year’s celebration complete with cannons, a pirate wench, and more.

8. Walt Disney World, Florida – If you have kids, or if you’re still a kid at heart, a Disney World vacation may be the best option for you to ring in the New Year. Just think of how much better those fireworks are going to be on a night like December 31!

These are just a handful of fun and exciting places you can go to ring in the New Year. Where do you prefer to celebrate the New Year? Do you have any New Year’s travel ideas of your own? Please share your thoughts in our comments below.

 

Top 3 Gifts Ideas for the Church During Christmas

Gifts for ChurchChristmas is above all the time to be charitable and give to others in need, or better yet join your local church in their rally to give gifts to struggling families in need. Even though most of your budget may already be geared towards gifts for your own family and Christmas food shopping, you can really help to make a difference in someone else’s life through your local church’s outreach program in the community.

1. The most common types of gifts to the church during this season are monetary endowments. They don’t have to be overly large either, as any amount will be received with gratitude. Giving money will also allow the church to allocate the money as and where necessary. If you don’t have enough to donate on your own and have a large family, then a good idea might be to get every working member of your family to pitch in with a small amount each.

Gift ideas for Church2. If you feel as though money is too impersonal, then it may be helpful to ask your church what it is they need to collect for their Christmas outreach program. For example, some churches hand out shopping lists during services, where you can buy up a few items to fill up a large or a small Christmas gift hamper like one from interflora. That way, you will only buy the essentials that families need to get through Christmas.

3. You will undoubtedly have a few items or clothing that you want or need to get rid of. There is no reason to wait all the way until summer to have that garage sale you have been dreaming of, when you can easily set up a small sale during the weekend. The best part of it all is that if people know that you are trying to raise money for a good cause, they will more likely buy something whether they need it or not, because they get to participate in a good cause in some way, shape or form.

Alternatively, if some of the families within the outreach program need some essential housewares, blankets, or clothing and you have some that are in good care, then you could always give that too.

Giving doesn’t take a lot – you just have to find a need and then fill it. It is ultimately the thought that counts.

Do you have any more gift ideas for charity or the church? Share them in our comments below.

 

Horseback Riding for Fitness

Horseback Riding for FitnessAs you begin to advance in years it can be helpful in many ways to take up a new hobby. Choosing something physical helps you keep fit and healthy, it adds diversity to your day, and a hobby is often a great way of meeting new people.

Some say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but actually, it is never too late to learn a new skill, especially when you can have a lot of fun doing so. Horseback riding is among one of the most rewarding activities out there, and anyone of any age can learn.

Learning to ride a horse at a later age can seem a little daunting at first. After all, horses are pretty big animals, and not to mention strong, too. Most riding school horses have been well trained in helping beginners learn to ride, from tiny children to octogenarians.

They are naturally docile creatures and are more likely to ignore any inaccurate commands than to run off. Most riding schools offer lessons in stable management as well as riding. This teaches you how to care for your horse so you can develop more of a bond.

Horseback Ride for FitnessStarting a new hobby can be expensive – paying for lessons, purchasing any gear you might need, and travel costs to and from the stables all add up. Luckily, there are many great sites on the Internet to help you get started for less. For example, Ariat rider wear, which was heavily worn by the equestrians during the Olympics, is a lot cheaper from an online outlet, than at a local hobby store.

When you first begin, there’s really no need to spend a fortune on all the best gear. When you initially start out, you may be able to borrow or rent a lot of things from the riding school. All schools will have a selection of helmets for hire, which may be included in the lesson price.

For beginners, however, it is only recommended that you turn up in comfortable trousers that are not too loose and flapping, and boots with a smooth sole and small heel as these help your foot to grip the stirrup.

Anything more than this is just an added expense and not at all necessary at this stage.

The important thing is to stay fit and healthy while enjoying a new hobby.

Image © Simonkr | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

 

ChapStick® Raspberry Crème Moisturizer & ChapStick Sport Ready Review

Raspberry Creme ChapStick ReviewIt’s no secret that I’m a sucker for raspberry flavors. I saw that ChapStick® now offers its popular lip moisturizer in a wonderful raspberry crème flavor, and I couldn’t wait to try it. I happily accepted the offer of a free ChapStick Raspberry Crème Moisturizer for the purpose of this review. Find out what I really think about this product below!

I have to say, first and foremost, that I am somewhat distressed when I can’t find my new ChapStick in my purse or pocket. I’ve suffered through a few different occasions where I misplaced my Raspberry Crème lip balm for days at a time, finally finding it in a coat pocket or other unexpected location. In recent days I’ve enjoyed much better luck with keeping it close at hand. The flavor is THAT good that I don’t want to miss a day without this lip product. I will most certainly be buying more ChapStick Raspberry Crème when this one runs out in the coming weeks or months.

Boasting Aloe and Vitamin E among its ingredients, ChapStick Raspberry Crème Moisturizer glides smoothly and comfortably onto the lips, adding a dose of SPF 15 sunscreen protection. It is comfortable to wear and seems to last a rather long time once applied. The fragrance and flavor are tantalizing – I only wish I had a chocolate flavored lip balm to apply at the same time!

I also had the pleasure of trying ChapStick® Sport Ready lip balm, which is aimed at protecting the lips of those who are active and athletic. Especially great for skiers and other adventure-seekers, ChapStick Sport Ready features a cool clip top for easy access anywhere you go. This lip product also works hard to protect your lips from the elements, giving a stronger dose of SPF 30 sun block and a water-resistant formula, effective for up to 80 minutes, that works great by the beach or at the pool.

The Raspberry Crème Lip Moisturizer retails for .99 to $1.99 and Sport Ready sells for $2.59 to $2.99 at your favorite drugstores, grocery stores, and mass market retailers. Learn more about ChapStick products at www.chapstick.com.

Disclosure: I received a ChapStick gift pack containing both of these products for the purpose of this review, courtesy of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

 

How to Ensure Your Pet Dog Feels Loved Despite a New Baby in the House

Tips for showing your dog love when you bring home a new babyMy husband and I partially think of our pet dog as our first child. She came to us as a baby puppy and we trained her to behave, to learn commands, and even to know a fairly extensive vocabulary. She is our companion at home and even on some of our vacations. We love her and think of her as 100% part of our family. Of course, now that our daughter is here, our pup takes a back seat sometimes. Sometimes her wants and needs are satisfied a few minutes later than they did previously. Sometimes she doesn’t get the same amount of attention as she used to get. Regardless, we do everything we can to ensure our dog knows just how much she is loved.

When you bring a new baby home, your life can turn upside-down in more ways than one. Sleep schedules are off, eating may consist of lots of takeout and anything else you can find in the cupboards and freezer…. Your dog may immediately sense that something is different. He or she may make an additional effort to spend more time with you, practically on top of you, even, showering you with more love and affection than ever before.

Training a dog with a new baby in the houseOur dog is a border collie and obviously loves to play, so she always has a toy of some kind in her mouth or nearby. It gets a bit dangerous when get gets underfoot with her ball, especially when I am carrying the baby. It makes me nervous, but I am careful not to scold her, as I know she just wants the attention and wants to be loved as much as she was before the baby came. We are very careful with keeping the ball out of reach when we are not actively playing with it, for our own safety and our daughter’s.

Here are some things you can do to help your dog remain a very important part of the family despite you and your spouse having your attention pulled in new directions:

· Maintain a special routine of playtime with the dog, either in the morning or in the afternoon or early evening after work.

· Give your dog treats and practice his or her tricks on a daily basis. Even for just a moment or two, this kind of attention can go a long way.

· Make the time to sit on the floor and pet your dog or hold him or her in your lap. Our dog is medium sized, about 40 pounds, but she still loves to pretend she is a lap dog.

· Do things together with the dog and the baby. Go for walks around the neighborhood or over to the park.

Tips for showing your dog love when you bring home a new baby· Teach your infant to love the dog, too. Practice gently petting the dog’s head or back. (Be sure your dog is friendly and would never bite your child. Avoid leaving the baby alone with the dog just to be safe.)

· Play fetch with the dog and encourage your child to watch as the dog retrieves the toys and comes running back to you. You’re sure to see your little one break into huge smiles in no time!

Remember, your pet may feel a little out of place or a bit replaced, so it is important to make that extra effort to show your pet you still care very much. Rather than shooing the dog away when he or she wants to play but you feel too busy, take a moment to toss the ball or scratch him behind the ears. Your pup may be feeling a little bit left out right now, but just wait until your son or daughter is big enough to run around and play. You can definitely look forward to those days and how cute they will be, playing together. Of course, your dog probably wouldn’t understand even if you tried to explain it, but the shared joy will be well worth the wait.

Photos © Gruja_digital_rebel / © Paha_l, respectively. | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos