Harling Ross Anton combines her love of words and her love of fashion on her wildly popular Instagram account and Substack called Gumshoe, which feature fun glimpses into Harling’s personal style and detective-worthy talent for tracking down amazing finds. But recently, her fans have gotten a taste of a whole new aspect of Harling’s life: her foray into motherhood! And from the vibrant knits that have adorned her bub to the bold use of contrasting prints in her nursery, Harling’s approach to fashion post-baby is shaping up to be as distinct as it ever was. Here, Harling talks her subtle style evolution, how she cultivated her baby registry, and of course, how she and Baby Boy are sleeping.

Happiest Baby: How did you use your fashion sensibilities to curate your baby registry?
Harling Ross Anton:  I’m incredibly decisive when it comes to what I like and don’t like, and delusionally patient when it comes to combing the internet for very particular items, which is helpful when curating something like a baby registry. That being said, since this was my first kid, I did have to do a lot of research upfront before I felt fluent enough in the language of “baby world” to dive in with some degree of confidence.

HB: With many baby items, style can only take you so far! Can you share what other criteria you leaned on for selecting items for your baby?
HRA: As much as I value how something looks, function is understandably a critical factor for any baby-related gear. When you’re swaddling a newborn in the middle of the night you’re not going to care how the swaddle looks—you’re just going to want it to be easy to put on and effective at keeping the baby’s arms tucked in! I tried to prioritize practicality just as much as style while shopping for the baby, but it can be challenging to balance between the two. There’s lots of ugly-but-super-functional baby stuff out there. Sometimes you have to compromise for the sake of sanity.

HB: When you were expecting, was sleep a worry for you?
HRA: I wouldn’t say it was a big worry when I was pregnant, mostly because I felt like I was mentally prepared for sleep to be bad for a while, and I’d made peace with that. It became much more consuming once the baby was actually here and the sleep deprivation went on a lot longer than I’d anticipated.

HB: We hear your little one slept in SNOO! Can you share how SNOO first appeared on your radar?
HRA: I’d heard about SNOO from other parents who spoke about it with the kind of reverence typically reserved for things like Taylor Swift and Beyonce. What I came to understand, and absolutely related to throughout my own experience, is that anything that legitimately helps with baby sleep tends to garner a cultish fanbase.

HB: What drew you to SNOO in the first place?
HRA: Safety was the #1 thing that initially drew me to SNOO. As a first-time mom and someone who tends to be anxious about things, the fact that SNOO’s swaddle secures the baby flat on their back was really appealing to me. The promise of better sleep was a very close second, though.

HB: How was your experience with SNOO?
HRA:  [I loved] the safety and sleep-enhancing benefits, but I also really like how SNOO looks. It’s one of the rare super functional, but also aesthetically pleasing pieces of baby equipment. I also appreciated how customizable the features were, and how I could use the corresponding app to track how many times a night my baby was waking up.

HB: Do you feel there are some SNOO misconceptions out there?
HRA:  Yes. I think there’s a fear that SNOO will somehow interfere with bonding with your child because it’s doing all the soothing for you. That didn’t feel true to my experience at all. I was still responding to my son whenever he cried in the night or needed to be fed. SNOO just reduced the amount of time I needed to spend settling him back to sleep afterward. No bonding interference whatsoever, but still a huge help.

HB: Your little one is now 6 months, so have a SNOO grad on your hands! Congrats! How did the transition to the crib go—for you and him?  
HRA: I was bracing myself for the worst, but the transition ended up being no big deal at all. As with any change, it didn’t happen overnight—pun intended—but in just a few days he was totally comfortable in his new environment. Even though I was excited for him to start sleeping in his own room, I’ll admit I was also a bit wistful to say goodbye to SNOO. It’s now sitting on the top shelf of my closet and feels like a little relic of his early babyhood.

HB: How has being a mom changed you personally, professionally—and fashion-wise?
HRA: I’m more obsessed with my mom—and my friends who are moms—than ever before. It astounds me how generously the moms in my life have shown up for me over the last year with their time, their advice, and with the simple but deeply powerful offer of solidarity when things have been challenging. I can’t wait to pay it forward.

I’m still working through what my professional identity looks like in the wake of becoming a mom, and I feel enormously grateful for the privilege of being able to take it slowly. Right now, 90% of my time is still focused on taking care of the baby, and seemingly an even higher percentage of my brain is focused on just thinking about the baby. But I’m really enjoying my toe-dip back into the working world and hoping to balance the scales to more of a 60/40 split over the coming months once I figure out childcare.

Finally, fashion-wise, I don’t feel like things have changed all that much…although breastfeeding does continue to rule out a number of my favorite shirts from a boob accessibility standpoint.

HB: How would you describe your baby’s style?
HRA: I’m in the process of writing a guide to baby clothes for my newsletter Gumshoe and this is how I described my baby’s style in the introduction: “Sweet, colorful, and comfortable. Like a Danish person commuting to Copenhagen fashion week by bicycle.” That pretty much sums it up!


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