Browsing Tag

toddlers

Babies + Kids

Things I Never Leave Home Without

Going from a designer bag to a diaper bag was not an easy transition for me – I’m sure a lot of mamas can relate. Trading cute style for multiple storage compartments and an easy to pack diaper pad was not my idea of staying on trend.

As Rosie got older and became a toddler, the big cumbersome diaper bag filled with baby essentials like extra sleepers, bottles and a supply of diapers was replaced by a cute leather tote with a handful of key items for both of us.

Here’s a list of the things I never leave home without (from left to right):

1. My BKR bottle

A BPA-free glass reusable water bottle that often feels like a cute accessory more than a necessity. The stylish design of this bottle allows it to fit neatly into my tote making it easy to stay hydrated all day long. (find it here shopbeautifully.com)

2. Rosie’s Kleen Kanteen Bottle

I love this super light-weight sippy water bottle for Rose – and it’s drop-proof!   It’s aluminum and BPA free and small enough for her little hands.

3. Love Child Organics Fruit Pouches

By far the best tasting fruit pouches out there – it literally tastes homemade. So easy to pop into my purse and have on hand when Rose gets super hangry. PS the company is Canadian! Love!

4. Robert Munsch’s Mud Puddle

Um who doesn’t love a good Robert Munsch book?! Rosie loves this story and it’s super mini so it goes everywhere!

5. Raisins and Almonds

For mama and baby on the go. A little snack during errands and some play time keeps us going all day long.

6. Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

So nourishing and hydrating for my lips and I love the little zing from the peppermint oil.

7. Aleva Baby Wipes

I never, ever, ever leave home without these wipes. Not just for bums, but for sticky messy fingers and runny noses – they are the best. Super sensitive and not overly fragrant. They are awesome for delicate skin.

8. A Diaper

We are now starting to potty train Rose so I pack at least one diaper when we are on the go!

9. Thomas the Train

Obviously.

10. Dimpleskins Naturals Bum Bum Balm

For those unexpected diaper rashes. It’s zinc-free and made with calendula oil which provides natural healing for rashes. (find it here well.ca)

11. Substance Natural Sun Block Stick

As the weather gets warmer, I always have some sunblock handy for Rosie especially. It goes on super easy and doesn’t leave a filmy residue like most other sunblocks. Plus it’s super natural and safe for babies.

12. Honest Company’s Face + Body Lotion

Travel size lotion for dry skin and not greasy at all.

13. Minions Band Aids

Because sometimes you get a boo-boo and you need a minion band-aid to make it all better (and a mommy kiss of course).

14. KIND Granola Bar

No one likes a hangry mommy.

 

OK, so that seems like a lot – but they are my essentials for a day on the go with a toddler.

I’m curious to know… what are some of your diaper bag essentials?

Babies + Kids, Health + Wellness

Life Lessons Learned from my Little

 

No one ever said motherhood would be easy.   Actually, I’m pretty sure we’ve all had our butts kicked by our kids at some point or another. For me, it’s a constant reminder that she really is “The Boss”.   And the boss is a little crazy.

But I will say one thing….my little boss is constantly teaching me things.

Today I took a second to stop and think about all the little nuggets she’s shown me or taught me over the last 2 years.   Some pretty awesome life lessons.

Here are a few:

1. Take pleasure in the little things.

Blow bubbles. Splash puddles. Let snowflakes land on your tongue. Try on mommy’s jewelry.   Eat raisins one at a time. Lick the jam off the toast before you take a bite.

She loves taking her time, investigating and savouring the little details.  Life moves so fast – it’s easy to get caught up in it and forget the little things that make you feel joy!

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

photo rose 1

 

2. Dance to the rhythm of your own drum.

Sing off tune. Dance they way you want. Wear mismatched socks. As adults we’re constantly fearful and mindful of what others will think or say. Her life is limitless. She’s not scared or fearful of failure or judgment.

As we get older, we fear the unknown, stay safely in our comfort zone and perpetually match our socks. I’d like to think the sense of unknown exhilarates our senses and keeps our spirit awake.

3.  Baths aren’t just to get clean.

Baths are to practice swimming or to pretend you are an octopus. The crib isn’t just where we sleep – it’s a giant castle for all of your stuffies or a boat that’s sailing through the sea.

A child’s imagination is wild. I can’t believe all of the things she dreams up and how creative her mind becomes. She sees an elaborate fairytale story everywhere!

“Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will get your everywhere” ~Albert Einstein

photo rose 2

4. Every day is a new day

She pushes a reset button every night.   Every morning is a fresh start and all of the worries from the day before have flown away. Her adaptability constantly surprises me – she kinda just goes with the flow (clearly she doesn’t get that from me!).

There’s no baggage from day to day.   How I wish I could as easily let go of the past with its often tenuous situations and just chuck my baggage out the window!

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” – L.M. Montgomery.

5. A hug and kiss fix EVERYTHING.

I’m serious. It’s like a magic potion. It works for skinned knees, major meltdowns and a lost stuffed bunny.   It still amazes me how powerful a loving hug is when she’s in the throes of her emotions – whether it’s anger, sadness or frustration.

It’s such a tremendous feeling to know that I have the best antidote to all of the crappy things life hands her… she still needs her mama to make things better!

“The Best Medicine in the World is a Mother’s hug”

Babies + Kids

How to strengthen your baby’s back muscles!

Unfortunately these days our babies spend way too much time in carriers, car seats, highchairs and strollers! It’s important to let babies and toddlers explore the world around them. Teaching them to engage in a wide range of physical activities is important for their strength, balance and co-ordination.

As your baby grows into a toddler, “tummy time” may no longer be applicable. However there are a few ways to stimulate his postural muscles to help development and improve brain function!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Regularly tickle their back
  • Write letters and numbers on their back in the bath
  • Play on all fours (pretend to be wild animals)
  • Encourage hand-stands and cart-wheels
  • Dance!
  • Use hula-hoops
  • Rub the back of their necks along their hairline
  • Play on jungle gyms, slides, or balance beams
  • Try jumping games like hopscotch or jumping jacks
  • Play on the floor with everyone lying on their tummy

 

 

(Reference: Ticklish by Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani)

Babies + Kids, Pregnancy

Baby and Beyond: Learning by Trial & Error

As a chiropractor working with pregnant women and babies for years, I’m your girl when it comes to labour prep, solutions for colic, dealing with gas, breastfeeding, morning sickness and the like. I’m ready and willing to share!

But nothing could have prepared me for going through this process myself.   There is so much more to pregnancy, labour, childbirth and parenting than I could have imagined. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 14 months, it’s that every pregnancy, mama, baby is different. What worked for many of my friends, or even my patients did not work for me.   Unfortunately, there isn’t one way to conquer all that comes with pregnancy and having (and raising) a baby. What I’m slowly learning is that parenting is basically trial and error. As an analytical person, I like to follow rules, steps, flowcharts; motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Every baby is different and we are all doing our best to figure it out. You might get the hang of certain things – you’re good, you’ve got it under control… And then the phase changes. Sleep patterns are out the window, your toddler stops eating and you have something new to master. It’s a learning curve, and at times it can be frustrating but it’s also so gosh darn amazing!

So if you’ve tried everything under the moon to help soothe your teething, fussy baby (or your morning sickness won’t ease no matter how many tips you’ve tried), my advice to you is: Don’t Give Up! Just because your best friend’s way to burp a baby didn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. You’ll settle into your groove and find a way that works best for you.

Chin up Mama – you’re doing great!

Babies + Kids

My Favourites: Books for the first year of parenting

Ever been to the Parenting section of your local Chapters/Indigo? Overwhelming isn’t it?  I, myself have a stack of parenting/toddler books on my night table that I am hoping to tackle one day (when I’m not completely exhausted). On the other hand, I have loads of friends who are the “I don’t need a book to raise my kid” type – and that’s amazing.

For me, a handy resource here and there is like a helping hand and a rational voice. Let’s face it – sometimes we need all the help we can get when faced with an unruly toddler who doesn’t want to wear pants to daycare.

Here is a list of books I found useful and would pass along to friends, if asked.

The Wonder Weeks

This book was recommended to me by a patient when Rose was four months old and it was a game changer. Understanding the reasons behind fussy periods and the ever talked about regressions will help you stimulate your little one’s mental development and gives you a glance into what’s really going on in your wee one’s mind.

Well Adjusted Babies

I bought this one before I was even pregnant! As a chiropractor treating babies, it was a great resource and as a mom it was my holistic parenting bible. I found myself flipping through the pages on nutrition for healthy babies quite a bit when I was starting Rose on solids. The book is also well researched and evidence-based which appeals to my inner science geek.

Breaking the Good Mom Myth

I remember the day I picked this book up. I was feeling terrible about the fact that I had worked a full week and I had barely spent any time with my now seven month old little girl! Time was flying by, she was getting bigger and bigger and I was missing it! I felt as though the author, Alyson Schafer, was speaking to me – telling me to let go of the idea of the “perfect mom”. She does a great job of reminding parents that we can raise children without perfection or selflessness.

No Drama Discipline

Another dear patient of mine recommended this book after I told her that my 13 month old had her first tantrum. I found that the authors offer a clear and effective way for dealing with tantrums, tears and general meltdowns.   It also has a summary at the end of the book as a kind of “cheat sheet” for your child’s caregivers, keeping you all on the same page when addressing discipline.

Bringing Up Bebe

About an American woman raising her kids in France, this book illustrates a different perspective of motherhood.   At times, it made me wish I was a Parisian woman wearing skinny jeans sipping a café au lait while my daughter plays nicely beside me (not in this lifetime). It was a fun, light read and offered some interesting cross cultural observations and insights.