Hey Baby Chicago Summer 2018

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Your Drool-worthy baby’s kind of CTA town


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Chi-Town for life

7 Chicago-themed baby products to rep your city pride

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Stranger things

Oh the things we never thought we’d do

Working moms

Three moms who are balancing it all while in the spotlight


A baby’s guide to the CTA

Spots not to miss on the L

Plus: Maternity leave realities, staying social with On the Cover: Zaiden Ziggy Capers, 11 months, of Chicago, and Jada GibsonDonohoe, 7 months, of Chicago

Photographer: Thomas Kubik of TK Photography

Art Director: Claire Innes

Kristen Nicole baby in tow and best bets for baby-friendly area children’s museums




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CHITOWN FOR LIFE 7 Chicago-themed baby

products to rep your city pride



ou’re obsessed with Chicago (and who could blame you?), so it’s only natural to want to pass on that love to your baby. These Chicago-themed baby picks will have your mini declaring their love for the Second City straight from birth.

Nursery Rembrants Chicago nursery art set Admit it, you started planning baby’s nursery shortly after seeing that BFP. These art prints featuring famous landmarks—Buckingham Fountain, the Bean, Navy Pier and more—are a sweet addition to any nursery’s decor. Or, if you’re really feeling the Chi-Town love, you could make them the focal point and design the entire room around them. Talk about #nurserygoals. $44+, set of four, etsy.me/2LznVDl

Franks and Beans Chicago L Train Map Bandana Drool Bib There will be a period of time in your baby’s life when it will feel like they are living in bibs (Hello, teething!). This adorable, colorful striped number has the L train lines embroidered on it, so baby can stay dry while reppin’ the Chi. $9, etsy.me/2s999eA 4 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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Psychobaby Personalized Chicago Hoodie Psychobaby is the place to go for Chicago-themed baby gear (they even provided the onsies for our inaugural Hey Baby Chicago cover shoot), and these cozy hoodies top our favorites list. They feature a seriously cool graphic of the Chicago skyline and flag, and can even be personalized with baby’s name. Now, if only they made them in adult sizes. $40, bit.ly/2IPp3AZ ChicagoParent.com

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C Is for Chicago (Alphabet Places) Board book Monica & Andy Chicago dog top knot cap Hot dog! A Chicago hot dog, that is. From hometown design team, Monica and Andy, comes this adorable kitschy knit hat. Part of the ‘Chicago Style’ collection, the print also comes on bodysuits, shortalls and oxford shirts, so baby can wear her dog order proudly: Mustard, relish and definitely no ketchup. $13, bit.ly/2IO1Za3

Teach baby his ABC’s, Chicago-style. This fun board book—with beautiful illustrations—is a great intro to all of the things that make Chicago great, from The Art Institute and blues music, to Lincoln Park Zoo and Wrigley Field. As baby grows, this is one nighttime story he will turn to time and time again. $9.95, amzn.to/2kwnZY9

Smiling Tree’s US State Teether Hand crafted from sustainably sourced maple wood and free of oils and finishes, this attractive teether will no doubt be baby’s favorite way to soothe sore gums. It’s carved into the shape of Illinois and can be personalized with a name or phrases, such as “Locally grown” or “Love from IL.” $14, bit.ly/2saPU4r

Honest Company Chicago Cubs disposable diapers Go, Cubs, Go! Is there anything cuter than a baby bum clad in the logo and colors of Chicago’s most recent Championship-winning team? This print is so cute, Sox fans may even be tempted to buy it. If you love it, be sure to stock up; Honest Company rotates through prints frequently. $13.95 per pack, www.honest.com ChicagoParent.com

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arenthood is a great teacher. Sure, some of the “lessons” are things you could’ve probably skated along just fine without, but few educations are this rewarding—or strange.

Chicagoland moms and dads share the silly, sentimental and sticky things they’ve learned on the journey and—spoiler— even though they’ve made us weirdos, most of us wouldn’t change a gosh-darned thing.

Before kids, would you have said this? Googly eyes do not belong in your nose. Hubbell R., Chicago

Yeah, you think boobs are so exciting now. Wait ’til you actually get them. Vanessa J., Chicago

We do NOT put our mouths on ANY surface of public transportation.

Can you please stop celebrating and announcing you’re tooting while we’re at Mariano’s? Stephanie B., Des Plaines

You have to get consent before you jump off the couch on someone. P.J. S., Chicago

Taylor W., Chicago

New rule: You have to know your new friend’s name before you can kiss them.

One time I went to work, opened my bag and realized that my baby had vomited inside it. Working mom fun!

Why are there so many naked dolls on the living room floor? Please stop drooling on the dog. Samara H., Chicago

Yes, I’m sure when all four of the Beatles are dead they will do a concert in heaven for your cat. Matt B., Chicago 6 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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When passing through security at work, I dug in my purse for my work ID and pulled out 3 LOL Dolls and one spare pair of toddler underwear before finding my ID buried at the bottom. Jil M., Chicago

Jil M., Chicago

Nat T., Lindenhurst

Oh, the things we never thought we’d do:

Where do markers go? On paper? Then why is your body blue? Jacqueline M., Chicago

There is no such thing as a “dressy” pair of sweatpants. Stephanie F., Chicago

Jamie B., Chicago

Why do I now KNOW this? No good can come from a quiet toddler. Wendy D., LaGrange ChicagoParent.com

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HEY BABY When my kid shows me any single finger I can bet there is a booger to be removed. Hubbell R., Chicago

I can no longer leave my house without having snacks on me—even if I’m going somewhere by myself—and my lunch at home typically consists of the food my toddler refused to eat on her lunch plate. Jil M., Chicago

And those moments where you realize you actually miss the little punks, like… …Begging your husband to keep the kids at home while you get to go to the grocery store by yourself, then desperately wanting to have someone sitting in the shopping cart to mindlessly talk with. Jil M., Chicago

…Counting down the minutes until your kids go to bed, knowing full well that you’ll spend the rest of the evening looking at pictures of them because you miss them. Like a chump. Wendy D., LaGrange


Baby & Me Free ! Mondays rogram 9:30 a.m. P

Childhood doesn’t get a second chance! A child’s early cognitive, social, and emotional development sets the stage for future achievement and success. Kohl Children’s Museum provides a free Baby & Me program for you to meet with other new parents and have discussions with an Advocate Lutheran General Hospital nurse. Discover why we’re The Place Where Awesome Lives!

2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview | (847) 832-6600 | kcmgc.org


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Marina Squerciati, 34 ✻ Actress on Chicago P.D. ✻ Child: Daughter “Bean,” 9 months ✻ Baby must-haves: Spectra breast pump, Dr. Brown’s bottles, Ergo Cocoon Swaddle What was it like for you the first time you saw your daughter? I find that people are incredibly positive and happy-go-lucky about their experience, and I feel like that’s not always truthful and it makes other people feel less-than when they don’t have that experience. I didn’t have an incredible surge of love; I didn’t have an incredible non-surge of love. I just was like, “Oh, this is a new part of my life.” … I didn’t have postpartum [depression] or anything, it was just not there. It took a couple months, and people were like, “Oh you will feel it, you will.” And I did. And now … I really do absolutely love her and have such joy and so much fun with her. But it took a little bit of time and I’m not ashamed to say that. … [Now] when my kid’s in the room, I’m just gaga. 8 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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Are there certain things you’re trying to instill in her as she grows? I have three adjectives in my head whenever I’m parenting, [but] it’s not like I wake up and am like “This is my mantra for the day.” I want her to be brave, I want her to be confident and I want her to be kind. … I don’t dress her in pink and frills and stuff like that, but I also want to respect that if that’s what she wants as a woman, she’s allowed to choose that. If she doesn’t want to be a badass, that’s fine too. I just want her to choose and be confident in her choices. … I want her to be safe, but I also want her to be brave, and I don’t want to sort of swoop her up in every single instance. … Inside I’m pretty uptight, but I really am trying to parent in a more low-key manner. Was it hard to get back to filming shape postbaby? Because I was fit beforehand, I thought I would just bounce back. I’d be like, “I’m fine, I can do it” [and] get back to the gym. I remember [asking] my doctor, “When can I get back in the gym?” He said six weeks. I was like, “Pshaw, what about four?” And he was like, “I don’t recommend it.” I was like “… But can I do it?” He was like, “Yeah, I guess so.” And at four weeks I was like, “Oh, hell no!” I don’t think I went back to the gym until eight months, and I’m only now at nine months feeling like my body’s mine again. … We sort of play down how hard [giving birth] is on the body and how much you need to recoup. We’re ChicagoParent.com

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HEY BABY such a busy, do-it-all culture that if you can, take the time to sort of be still and heal. I think that’s good. Not even just physically, but emotionally. You don’t have to start being yourself four weeks later. A mom friend of mine encouraged me to go sit in a sauna for 30 minutes, just to have a few minutes, and I was a better mom that day. I worked hard and I needed a few minutes to decompress and I took that. I can’t lie and [say] I didn’t feel a little guilty. But I did it, and it felt good. What is it like raising your daughter here in Chicago? People are so nice and kind and supportive. … There’s a feeling to Chicago that I don’t think you could replicate in another city. … There is so much to do here. You can go to the library, Cat & Mouse has a reading [time], Open Books has readings on Tuesdays, Juicebox. Everything’s so close and accessible, it’s just so cool. CO N T I N U E D O N PAG E 1 0


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Kristen Nicole, 35 ✻ Anchor on Fox’s “Good Day Chicago” ✻ Spouse: Brock Howard ✻ Children: Colton, 10, and Enzo, 4 months ✻ Baby must-haves: SNOO Smart Sleeper, Baby K’tan For you, what is the difference between being a first-time and second-time mom? When I was pregnant, I found myself thinking, “I don’t remember any of this, going through this with my first son.” There were certain feelings that I had and the hormone differences and how I felt about the pregnancy itself. It was so different from my first one. So when [Enzo] got here, I knew immediately it was going to be different. … And even though they are both easy boys, they were both easy pregnancies, they’re different. … [I’m] just kind of throwing [it] all out the window and starting over. I think I expected it to be more of the same the second time around. It’s been different, but it’s been fun to figure out when he presents me with a challenge, how we get over that little hump. … I love motherhood for the same reason that I love my job: You never know what you’re going to get into when you walk in and you start another day. … I love not knowing what’s coming next. And it’s the same with these two. Every day it’s a different sound they make or a different face or trying a different food. The chapters make it fun and the challenges make it rewarding. 10 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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What was it like when you were criticized for how you dressed when you were pregnant? Everything had just been so positive. And in one week, I just got back-to-back-to-back nasty emails from people. … There’s always some bad that comes with the good, but I was just really thrown by how nasty these people could be and that they took time out of their day to write something so mean to me. … I’m not a confrontational person; I’m usually one that bites my tongue because in this business you’re going to get some people who just say dumb things. But that day it hit a nerve, and I decided to respond. … Looking back, I think it’s so silly that I ever even spent seconds worrying about those people. I think what bothered me most at the time was two out of the three that wrote stuff were women, and I thought, how could you sit back and judge another woman or say something like this? Don’t you have anything better to do with your time? We should be supporting each other. How was it going back to work? I was not a fun person to be around the night before I went back to work. … But it was like riding a bike. I got right back into it and everyone at Fox helped. … It’s family over there. … If I ever needed anything, there are a number of people I could go to in our Fox family that would be willing to help out. That’s a really reassuring thing because our families aren’t up here. ChicagoParent.com

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Julie Yoon, 36 ✻ Food blogger and YouTube personality ✻ Spouse: Joe Yoon ✻ Child: Lincoln, 10 months ✻ Baby must-haves: Stroller weather shield, Baby Connect app How has the transition to becoming a mom been? It’s been a really surprising journey for me. … What I realized is that instinct is a lot stronger than you realize, and that every single baby is different. So you have to take whatever advice you get from friends and family with a grain of salt because I really believe that each mom is designed for that baby. You know your baby more than anyone else. … I really understand unconditional love now. … You’re easy to forgive, you’re easy to forget. I think that just experiencing him every day as he changes, ChicagoParent.com

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it’s like a Christmas present every day. You don’t know what you’re going to get that morning. … The hardest thing is dying to yourself. Literally, you feel like there’s a death to your selfishness, sometimes your ambition, your priorities, and even your alone time. … When I didn’t have a baby, I kind of set my own schedule and I could do what I wanted. But now I have this little boss that dictates my time. What is your favorite way to spend time with him? We tote him around everywhere. … I take him to the library or to Barnes & Noble to play with the trains. Wherever we go, we just take him—even though it’s harder—so he can experience the world. … I love discovering what he’s discovering. I can’t wait until I can take him out to the zoo, or the aquarium, just to see his face light up when he starts to explore and understand and

comprehend things. I can’t wait until he has his first taste of ice cream. It’s just fun to see him discover every little new thing. As a chef, are there other foods that you’re looking forward to Lincoln trying? This is the most humbling thing: He does not like food. … Right now, all he eats is avocados and bananas. That’s it. I sit there making all these homemade purees … and then he doesn’t eat it. … I want him to have a wide range [of tastes] so that he’s not reliant on chicken fingers and French fries and macaroni and cheese. I want him to be able to eat what’s given to him—eat our food—so I don’t have to be a short order cook. That’s what I’m hoping for; I don’t know if it will get there at this rate. CO N T I N U E D O N PAG E 1 0

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Do you have any cooking tips for moms in that first year? I’m truly passionate about cooking, I love it. … [But] after I became a mom, I understood other moms who said “I don’t have time to cook.” I understood where they were coming from because it is really hard to find that time where your baby doesn’t need you and isn’t crying ... My meals have become simpler. … I literally stir-fry everything! And it doesn’t even have to be Asian stir-fry; I’ll make stir-fry kielbasa with potatoes … just anything that’s quick. I love stage cooking. … Whatever you can prep in stages, do it. [If ] you’re going to make a stirfry the next day, the night be-

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fore, chop all your vegetables and keep them in Ziploc bags, and make the sauce in advance and keep it in the fridge. Just prep whenever you can. … And utilize your freezer.

What are your hopes for Lincoln’s future? I pray that he becomes a man of faith, honestly. I feel like that will get you through a lot of hard times in life. That he will be respectful and have [emotional intelligence]. I feel like that’s more important than having brain knowledge, being book smart. That he gets along with people. And that he goes after his passions. … Growing up … it was really tough to march to the beat of my own drum and follow what I wanted to do. So as long as he’s passionate and works hard toward something, I want him to strive for that, whatever that is.


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Maternity leave




veryone tells you maternity leave is the perfect time to bond with baby—and to work on getting that baby book off to a good start and losing the baby weight.

I wish someone told me what I’d really be doing. So here’s six tips to help you make the most of your time away from work.

Sleep when baby sleeps You’ll experience a whole new level of being tired. Your baby won’t be a good sleeper yet, so get in as much sleep as you can, even if they’re just catnaps. Don’t clean or do laundry instead.

Pump it up Just when you thought adjusting to parenthood was overwhelming enough, then comes pumping. If you’ve chosen to breastfeed, start pumping now to build a stash. This liquid gold will run out faster than you think. Having extra will allow you to have much-needed date nights or time to pamper yourself. It’ll also come in handy in case a work meeting runs long and you miss a pumping session.

Transition from breast to bottle All bottles are the same, right? Nope. Be prepared with more than one type as some babies won’t like the one you’ve chosen. Whether you’ve decided to breastfeed or use formula, have baby practice with a bottle to help them adjust for a smoother transition without you there.

when baby is still in the oven. Sure, agencies and websites offer guidance and background checks, but interviewing and finding the right one for your family can take awhile.

Create a manageable routine Baby makes the rules now and the only rule now is to expect the unexpected. Don’t think you can wake up the same time you did pre-baby and still make it to work on time. Establishing a morning and evening routine with baby in the mix before heading back to work will help ease stress.

Meal prep/assess your clothes When my maternity leave came to an end, I had nothing to wear or eat unless it was takeout. Research quick and easy recipes and prepare freezer-stored meals. Being on baby’s schedule, finding time to prepare dinner is impossible. Prepped meals will be a lifesaver as you’re adjusting to your new routine, not to mention lighter on your wallet. There is also a good chance your body won’t be back to pre-baby yet and that is perfectly normal. Assess your clothes and know you’ll most likely transition some of your maternity wear into postpartum wear. And if you decide to nurse, make sure your bra will accommodate for pumping on the job.

Photo by Jacqueline Barkley

Find child care You may be lucky to have the grandparents step in, but for those without willing and able family members, finding the right child care can be tricky. Start searching early, even ChicagoParent.com C hiccag goP Pareentt.ccom

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A baby’s guide



h, Chicago. The City of Broad (Mom’s, usually) Shoulders. The Second (to none) City. Being a baby here is pretty great, if I do babble so myself. There’s the fun activities in every possible weather, the friendly people, and, of course, best of all, the trains. Whether you’ve lived here your whole life like me or just visiting for the first time, I simply must recommend traveling courtesy of the CTA. Not sure where to go when you’ve got a baby in tow? I’ve got you covered. And, best yet, the L is a perfect introduction to helping us learn our colors.

Natalie Gutierrez, 9 months, of Chicago Photo by Thomas Kubik

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Purple Line Don’t tell my Chicago friends I said this, but sometimes it’s nice to escape the city for a little bit, and the Purple Line is my favorite way out. I love going to Gather, a beautiful indoor play space with plenty of activities and storytimes for babies. Then, when we all need to recharge, Mom and Dad stroller me over to Smylie Brothers Brewing Company where I can munch on some delicious kid-friendly barbecue and they can drink their “grownup juice.”


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HEY BABY Brown Line The Brown Line runs through the heart of the north side of the city. Dad likes to call it the “Brownton Abbey Line” because all the stops are so pleasant. Mom and I love going up to Damen and going over to Milk Supply, a special shop for breastfeeding moms and tots. Mom can stock up and there’s a little play area! Afterwards we head over to Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits a few doors down. When I “need to get a little more energy out” (whatever that means) we whisk off to the Addison stop and go to Present Place indoor play space. There’s free coffee for the parents and a special area just for the babies. When Chicago gets too cold or too hot, it’s our favorite place to be. Green Line Green means go, and go we shall! The West Loop might be known as the coolest place in town for foodies, it is also home to Cat & Mouse Games, one of the best toy shops in the city right off the Morgan stop. There are tons of toys and activities to be found, and regular storytimes for even the littlest of us little folks! Red Line Arguably the most iconic of all the L lines, the Red Line runs from the far South Side to the far North Side, 24 hours a day. And sure, there may be a baseball team or two right off the tracks, but we babies have no interest in such matters. What do we actually want to do? Eat, of course! Take us up to the Argyle stop and get us some delicious Vietnamese pho (my mom said pho is Vietnamese for “the best chicken noodle soup ever”). Tank Noodle has a mini chicken pho bowl perfect for us babies. If you’re ChicagoParent.com

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Dalphne Wood with big brother Conner and their dad, Chris.

extra super good, maybe your parents can take you across the street to Ice Station for some rolled ice cream, too! Blue Line Sure, the Blue Line might run near some of the hippest bars and music acts, but I bet you cool cats didn’t even know that off the Division stop there’s a veritable baby rock star in our midst. Mr. Dave Music is a staple in the baby and toddler music scene. He offers drop-in classes as well as special shows and events. Classes are designed to get everyone moving, grooving and having a spectacular time. Once we’ve finished shaking our diapered tailfeathers my personal preference is to head over to the Bongo Room, where we can learn from birth the joys of brunch. Mom and Dad can sip on their “grownup orange juices” while we munch on some of the most delicious pancakes known to mankind.

Pink Line If you haven’t ridden the Pink Line lately, hop on and get over to the National Museum of Mexican Art at the Damen stop. Not only do we babies love the beautiful art, but Mom and Dad love the admission price of “free!” The museum has lots of activities for families on the weekends where we can all make a special piece of art together, or do tours specifically designed for families with babies. Yellow Line The Yellow Line is the CTA’s sleepiest line, but the payoff for babies and kiddos at the end of it is huge: the Skokie Exploritorium. This indoor playground, art studio, water playplace and more offers something to enjoy, and with an admission fee of $5 for non-Skokie residents, it’s one of the best entertainment bangs for your buck you’re bound to find anywhere. CO N T I N U E D O N PAG E 1 6

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Brown Line ✻ Milk Supply, 4955 N. Damen Ave., Chicago ✻ Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits Ravenswood, 4947 N. Damen Ave., Chicago ✻ Present Place, 3701 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago

Green Line: ✻ Cat & Mouse Games, 1112 W. Madison St., Chicago ✻ Mary Bartelme Park, 115 S. Sangamon St., Chicago

Pink Line:

Red Line:

✻ National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago,

✻ Tank Noodle, 4953-55 N. Broadway, Chicago

Purple Line:

✻ Ice Station, 1130 W. Argyle St., Chicago

Blue Line: ✻ Mr. Dave Music, 1935 W. Division St., Chicago ✻ Bongo Room, 1470 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago


✻ Gather, 602 Davis St., Evanston ✻ Smylie Brothers Brewing, 1615 Oak Ave., Evanston

Yellow Line: ✻ Skokie Exploritorium, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie


The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently less than 20 weeks pregnant to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth.

La Universidad de Minnesota está buscando mujeres con menos de 20 semanas de embarazo para participar en el estudio de investigación que examina los efectos del ejercicio y la salud del estado de ánimo posterior al parto

• Program delivered to you via the mail and phone • Must be 18 years of age or older • Must not currently exercise regularly • Must not take antidepressants • You will receive $100 & a FitBit for your time (you will be allowed to keep the FitBit after the study is over) • Program can be delivered in English or Spanish • Must be considered low-income, defined as: -Enrollment in any government assisted program (e.g., WIC, SNAP) AND/OR -Annual income that is considered low (less than $45,510 for a family of four, less than $30,044 for a family of two, and less than

• Programa ejecutado vía correo o teléfono • Debe ser mayor o igual a 18 años de edad • No debe hacer ejercicio regularmente • No debe tomar antidepresivos • Debe considerarse de bajos ingresos, lo cual se define como: -Inscripta en cualquier programa asistencial del gobierno (por ejemplo, WIC, SNAP) y / o - Ingresos anuales considerados como bajos (menos de $ 45,510 para una familia de cuatro, menos de $ 30,044 para una familia de dos y menos de $ 22,311 si es soltera). • Usted recibirá $100 y un FitBit por su tiempo (será permitido quedarse con el FitBit después de la culminación del estudio)

To see if you qualify for this research study: English Speaking: Call or TEXT to 612-345-0325 or mompro@umn.edu.

Llama al 612-237-1004, envía la palabra “TEXTO” al 612-237-1004, o un email mompro@umn.edu para ver si califica para éste estudio

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Best bets for babes



Fanon Roberts, 1, of Chicago, and mom Ashley Photo by Thomas Kubik

our city kid is brilliant, brave and full of boundless talents—everybody knows that! Here are some of our fave (and urban-tastic) ways to keep your growing gourmand, musical maven, creative crawler and eager explorer on the path to grownup greatness.

For the aspiring artist The Art Institute of Chicago: This place has been voted the No. 1 museum in the world (repeatedly) by TripAdvisor, and with good reason. The collection of fine art alone—including an unparalleled number of rare European beauties from the masters—is a must-see, and the Thorne Miniature Rooms will have your little ones ChicagoParent.com

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crafting their space of their dreams in no time. But the real draw for the non-walking set? Those gallery stroller tours, which are absolute perfection for exposing your offspring to the most famous art in the world—in a crowd who totally gets it if your toddler has a meltdown by the Monet. 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago; artic.edu CO N T I N U E D O N PAG E 1 8

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For the future foodie Costco: You want to give your kiddo the world, right? What better place to try a little bit of (literally) everything without any fear of wallet pain? Not only is every last type of cuisine preference and dietary restriction accounted for (on gigantic pallets, no less!), but those sample carts are a public service and a downright foodie hero. Pad Thai? Fried tofu? They’re not going to say no to anything in one of those tiny paper cups. (Pro tip: Club members are under zero obligation to buy anything they’ve tasted, but this is a great opportunity to model extreme graciousness to the folks providing Second Breakfast/First Lunch to your kiddos. Might even warrant multiple samples!) Various locations around Chicagoland

For the soon-to-be songbird Old Town School of Folk Music: Sometimes you’ve just got to stick with the classics and be a Wiggleworm. It’s a rite of passage shared by so many Chicagoans—and their parents, who still can’t get ‘Five Little Monkeys’ out of their heads. With classes for newborns up to preschool, there’s a singing, dancing, music-making, caregiver/kiddo-bonding class that’s perfect for your Itsy Bitsy Spider’s age and stage. ‘Lullabies’ is the perfect option for the smallest member of the family, and ‘Sibling Wiggleworms’ answers the question of “What the heck do I do with my other kid during class time?” (Spanish offerings are available, too!) With classes available at six locations, you’ll definitely find the one that makes you happy (and you’ll know it). Various locations around Chicagoland; oldtownschool.org 18 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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Old Town School of Folk Music/Kevin Viol

Merit School of Music: This West Loop mainstay offers classes for the very young, encouraging their creativity and self-expression, all the while teaching them the fundamentals of musical appreciation. (‘Movers and Groovers’ or ‘Ukelele and You’, anyone?) Then, once they rock it—which they will—they’re encouraged to continue on with the Instrumental Music program before eventually auditioning to enroll in the lauded Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory (yes, you read that right), for professional training in jazz combos, guitar, chamber music and everything in between. Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria St., Chicago; merit music.org

For the happy hiker Walking Stick Woods: When’s the last time someone told you to get lost—and have it be a good thing? Especially in a city, the ability to hike, stroll or crawl around in nature is incredibly important, and this offshoot of the North Park Village Nature Center Park is a local fave. With plenty of deer-spying practice areas for your bird calls and sweet structures that’ll make you daydream about living off the grid, Walking Stick Woods’ well-defined trails will help you

get your nature fix. Whether you plan on wearing the backpack or simply hitching a ride in one, this spot is absolute perfection for a quick swap from cityscape vistas for dense foliage—and a breath of fresh air. 5747 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago; bit.ly/2GeiExr Garfield Park Conservatory: While this oasis in the city boasts tropical temps year ’round, the green season is when it shines like the sun. Yes, the majestic Palm and Show Houses are Instagram-worthy, but the Garfield Park Conservatory’s take on Monet’s Garden is worth its weight in francs, and the City Garden just begs for a good game of tag—watch out for the lily ponds, though! The Play and Grow Garden, open seasonally, is the place to express yourself, whether it’s through wooden xylophone-playing or mud-pie baking (no judgment, here), and kids are never too young to learn about variety and sustainability in the Demonstration Garden. Another reason to love this spot? All of the produce is donated to the Garfield Park Farmers Market (which brings us right back to the first category of well-rounded, up-and-coming Chicagoan). 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago; garfieldconservatory.org ChicagoParent.com

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DuPage Children’s Museum

A baby’s guide to Chicago area children’s museums



aising a kid in Chicago means that there are so many children’s museums to enjoy. You don’t have to wait until your baby is a bit older, though! These museums prove that it’s never too early to start learning.

Chicago Children’s Museum Bond with your baby in the Pritzker Playspace, a private space open various hours throughout the day for babies and toddlers. From there, take them to the Tinkering Lab where they can safely explore the Early Learning Nook featuring touchable tools, interactive wall panels, exciting shakers and more. There’s a special infant area at Treehouse Trails and the popular Kids Town even includes a semi-private Caregiver Nook when you need a break.

Kohl Children’s Museum Plan an outing to the Baby & Me program, a free meetup group that gives new parents time to ask questions to a nurse from Advocate ChicagoParent.com

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Lutheran General Hospital. The museum also offers four infant and crawler stations, each with stimulating toys and short padded walls to allow parents to look over and watch any older kids nearby. New moms can also enjoy Habitat Park where they can stroll and explore the outdoor natural space within the museum.

DuPage Children’s Museum Babies are able to learn through play thanks to the three Young Explorers areas. Whether it’s learning about cause and effect or light and shadows, each station is designed for 2 and under. These areas can be found throughout the museum: Creativity Connections Young Explorers, Build It Young Explorers and Math Connections Young Explorers.

Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn The Tummy Time exhibit is designed for infants and toddlers to discover their world at their own pace. By using their senses, infants are encouraged to spend time on their tummies. There’s plenty of room to roam around and with the area gated, you don’t have to worry about your crawling babies getting too far either. Summer 2018 • Hey Baby 19

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Staying social ... with baby in tow



or those of us who mostly have DINK—Dual Income, No Kids— friends, it can be a difficult transition when baby comes along. You’ve got one foot in the carefree, do-what-I-want old world while still trying to make time for mom friends, work, a significant other, the baby and maybe, just maybe, an hour for yourself here and there.

When my friend Kevin and his partner wanted to meet my baby for the first time, we headed to the Growling Rabbit in Edgewater, which ended up being a perfect spot with its hangover skillets, scrambles, breakfast burritos, a highchair I could use for my son’s car seat and enough space for the stroller without being totally obnoxious. If you’re trying to figure out what to do with your childless friends, here are a few suggestions. Remember, no matter what you decide, be brave enough to venture out, even if you feel like you’re in a sleep deprived daze. There’s something about being around friends, no matter how tired you are, that is just good for the soul and will help you feel human again. 20 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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Go to brunch

If it’s hard to meet friends during the “witching hours” that accompany dinnertime, try brunch. If you have a big group and live on the northwest side, try Fannie’s Cafe. This Wisconsin-esque space has a bakery in front, random homemade crafts, live music and a $18 for adults, $10 for kids, $4 for toddlers, all-you-can-eat brunch of homemade scones and other baked goods with savory items, granola and fresh fruit. If you’re by Millennium Park, especially with out-of-towners, Wildberry Pancakes in the Prudential building is always a good option. The local chain has fluffy-not-too-sweet berry bliss pancakes with mascarpone, red velvet French toast, skillets and salads. Don’t be surprised if you find a slew of strollers at Crosby’s Kitchen in Lakeview, which offers a great Bloody Mary, monkey bread, crab toast and omelets. Kids can get pancakes and French toast while parents can go for chicken chili Benedict or lobster deviled eggs. Afterwards, there’s shopping along the Southport (Avenue) corridor. ChicagoParent.com

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Grab coffee (or tea) If you want to just chill for a bit while the baby naps in the stroller, look for a coffee shop that also serves tea if you’re a nursing mom who doesn’t want the caffeine. Overflow coffee bar in the South Loop uses fairly-traded, local ingredients with its European-style bakery, coffee, organic teas, even a Nutella mocha. The cafe is connected to the private Daystar School so there’s plenty of kids here, which can make it noisier. Bucktown’s Red June has ba-

gels and sandwiches in a kid- and dog-friendly café that also serves breakfast and lunch. If you want to go old school and play board games, head to North Park’s Java & Mug Café. It’s open until midnight for the college students, but offers plenty of seating for those who go early with kids. There’s bubble tea, waffle sundaes and other options besides a hot cup of joe. In Portage Park, the Perkolator offers tea, coffee, breakfast and lunch options coupled with a retro counter and mixedmatched furniture.

Find a brewery

Sit on a patio

There always seems to be the “there’s a baby in a bar” comments from childless couples. Sometimes heading to a brewery is just easier. The key is to find one with decent food, so when you’re not drinking, you’ve got options. Rachael Toma-Tamez, a mom of four, says she’s a fan of Revolution Brewery Tap Room in Logan Square. “My kids have fallen asleep in the booths without a bat of an eye,” she says. Old Irving Brewery is another favorite for parents for its family-friendly atmosphere (you can play bags inside), good beers, brunch, lunch and dinner options that include a bacon-and-cheddar mac-and-cheese. Plus, it opens for lunch daily at 11 a.m. Gastropub Corridor Brewery & Provisions in Lakeview has brunch, lunch and dinner options ranging from artisan pizzas, salads and sandwiches to brioche waffles and croque madame. Goose Island’s Clybourn brewpub in Lincoln Park and Lagunitas Brewing Company in Douglas Park neighborhood are both known as being kid-friendly. For a more creative option, head to The Plant in Back of the Yards, an urban farm and food incubator that teaches sustainable business practices. This innovative net-zero space houses 21 business inside the 93,500-square-foot former meatpacking facility, including the Whiner Beer Company.

Being outside can help if the baby starts to wail. Chief O’Neill’s Pub is a favorite among parents who love outside patios, plus you can eat Shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, listen to live music and drink some Guinness. Avondale’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken has an intimate indoor seating, but a nice patio to sit and chill. Plus, there’s pimento mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy and heavenly chicken. Or head to Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse in Lincoln Square, which has a tiny hidden outdoor patio perfect for a quiet retreat or Café Selmarie with its outdoor seating near the fountain on the square. Both Wicker Park’s Big Star Taco and Portage Park’s Cochinita Taco Company offer savory mix-and-match tacos coupled with outside spaces. Beatrix in Fulton Market, Streeterville and River North offer a variety of outdoor patios with cocktails and brunch options like cauliflower grits or steak chimichurri with eggs, along with Belgium waffles and lemon pancakes.

Take a group class If you’ve got a day off during the week, head to Bloom Yoga studio off the Rockwell CTA stop in Lincoln Square, which offers great adult-and-baby yoga classes on Mondays and Thursdays. Then walk across the street to Beans and Bagels, if it’s before 2 p.m., or Rockwell’s Neighborhood Grill, which is another family-packed bar. ChicagoParent.com

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uel baby’s huge curiosity by getting out and about.

Anywhere you like to go, they can go, too. Adair Kubik, 1, of Chicago, out with mom in a Chicago-themed Hey Baby favorite, a Tekhini Woven wrap. Tekhini is based in Grayslake; tekhniwovens.com

22 Summer 2018 • Hey Baby

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