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FREE April-June 2014 KCParent.com Since 2002 Where you find family, you will find us.

best place to have baby?

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LABOR & DELIVERY ISSUE we’ve got an app for that

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labor & delivery issue APRIL-JUNE 2014 IN EVERY ISSUE 8 13 14 29 30 34

Our Baby Story Blog Bits Real Mom Reviews Baby Bytes Calendar of Events Belly Laughs

STYLING THE PERFECT BABY SHOWER, PG. 22

YOUR BABY

YOUR TODDLER

10 Terrific Transitions

16 Creative Play

14 Real Mom Reviews

12 Postpartum Weight Loss

26 Best Places for Busy Hands

18 What to Keep and What to Toss

15 Save $$$ on Diapers

29 We Have an App for That

20 Questions and Answers

32 Parent’s Night Out

30 Play Dates

YOUR PREGNANCY 8 Where to Deliver

22 Baby Shower 24 Tips from L & D Nurse 32 Parents Night Out

Our cover features Mari-Lynn from Paola, KS. Cover photos by KiaBondurant.com. FREE

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April-June 2014 KCParent.com Since 2002 Where you find family, you will find us.

best place to have baby?

home birth birthing center hospital

we’ve got an app for that

DO TOTS & TECH MIX?

ON THE COVER Best Place to Have Your Baby Hip Hangouts Tech & Tots

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8 26 29

LABOR & DELIVERY ISSUE

local moms love!

hip hangouts for little people in kc! kcparent.com april-june 2014

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editor’sletter APRIL-JUNE 2014

Publisher Michael Gimotty Michael@KCParent.com Associate Publisher Darrell Dean Darrell@KCParent.com

I

had so many worries and concerns with both of my pregnancies, but one of my biggest concerns each time was “How will I know I am in labor?” I spent way more time than I care to admit fretting over the onset of labor. I am happy to report that I was able to determine when labor began, got myself to the hospital in plenty of time and had smooth deliveries. Here’s the good news for all you expectant mamas out there: You will know. In order to help ease your worries that accompany both labor and delivery, we’ve got tons of great info for you in this Labor & Delivery issue. Local labor and delivery nurse Jessica Heine shares with you what nurses want you to know about delivery. And she would know! Olathe mom Lauren Greenlee shares details of the births of her three sons with you. Each one was different—she had a home birth, hospital birth and birthing center delivery. I know you’ll enjoy reading about each of her experiences while you decide what is best for you. As new parents know, the worries don’t stop with Baby’s birth. In fact, they seem to grow. To ease diaper dilemmas, read “Save $$$ on Diapers” on pg. 15. And for concerns about losing some post-baby pounds, turn to pg. 12 for “Healthy Eating Tips for Postpartum Weight Loss.” Enjoy the arrival of spring, Kansas City! May it be warm and worry-free in your home!

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Margaret Sarver, Editor

Editor Margaret Sarver Margaret@KCParent.com Art Director Lauren Goldman Lauren@KCParent.com Advertising Sales Darrell Dean Lynn Hawkins Advertising@KCParent.com Electronic Media Manager Kristina Light Kristina@KCParent.com Proofreader Susan Crainshaw Susan@KCParent.com Distribution To be added to our distribution list, e-mail Distribution@KCParent.com Local Contributing Writers Melissa Bellach, Overland Park Rachel Boese, Kansas City Jennifer Bosse, Kansas City Gretchen Brittan, Kansas City Julie Collett, Overland Park Tisha Foley, Belton Lauren Greenlee, Olathe Jessica Heine, Olathe Alyssa Klimek, Kansas City Kristina Light, Kansas City Julie McKinley, Lee’s Summit

100% LOCAL

Business Office 11936 W. 119th #335 Overland Park, KS 66213 913.782.3238 phone • 913.681.5139 fax Find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/KansasCityParent Follow us on Twitter: @KCParent Member of

Kansas City Baby is published four times per year: Winter (JanMarch), Spring (April-June), Summer (July-Sept) and Fall (OctDec). It is distributed free of charge throughout the Kansas City area. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. Kansas City Baby is not responsible for statements made by advertisers or writers. All photography and letters sent to Kansas City Baby will be treated unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially.


make your child’s shots less stressful

V

accines help protect babies and young children against 14 serious diseases. Even though you are keeping her safe from diseases, it’s hard to see your child cry when she gets her shots. But you can take some steps before, during and after a vaccine visit to ease the pain and stress of getting shots. Read in advance about the shots your child will receive. Bring your child’s vaccine record to show the doctor. Pack a favorite toy, book, blanket or other comfort item. Ask your child’s doctor any questions you have about vaccines. You may even want to ask about cooling or numbing the area of your child’s arm or

leg before the shots. Distract your child with a toy, a story, a song or something interesting in the room. Make eye contact with your child and smile, talk softly or sing. Hold your child tightly on your lap, if you can. Take deep breaths with an older child to help “blow out” the pain. After the shot, hug, cuddle and praise your child. For babies, swaddling, breastfeeding or a bottle may offer quick relief. Comfort and reassure older children if they cry. “Read the vaccine Information sheets from your doctor so you know what to expect after the shots,” says Dr. Melinda Wharton, deputy director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Some children have pain or swelling where a shot was given, a rash or a fever. These reactions are usually mild and resolve on their own without needing treatment.” If you notice redness, soreness or swelling from the shot, place a clean, cool washcloth on the area. If your child runs a fever, try a cool sponge bath. You

also can use a non-aspirin pain reliever if your doctor says it’s okay. Some children eat less, sleep more or act fussy for a day after they get shots. Make sure your child gets plenty to drink. If you’re worried about anything, call your doctor. Information provided by the CDC website. As always, please consult with your health care provider with any questions or concerns.

Did you know? National Infant Immunization Week is April 26-May 3. To learn about infant immunizations, visit CDC.gov/vaccines or call 913.826.1261.

kcparent.com april-june 2014

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babystory

3 babies, 3 different deliveries

hospital

home

W

Did You Know? About 98 percent of U.S. births take place within hospital systems, while roughly 1 percent occur in freestanding birthing centers and 1 percent take place at home.

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hen I found out I was pregnant with our firstborn, the search was on for a good hospital system for the delivery. I knew two things right off the bat: I wanted to deliver naturally and I wanted to have a female doctor. While the first could be achieved at the community hospital system in my hometown, 30 miles north of Kansas City, I knew the second could not be guaranteed. I felt it was worth the drive to be seen at Northland Women’s Health Care, where an all-female staff of doctors and nurses provide full OB/GYN care. I enjoyed getting to know my primary doctor during the first monthly visits, but it was especially encouraging during my last few months of pregnancy getting to know all the others on staff. I was also glad I would not be meeting the on-call doctor for the first time when I went into labor. At my final prenatal appointment, I had a sonogram. There were some questions about Baby’s heartbeat, which required monitoring for an additional hour. It turned out he was fine and, unbeknownst to me, I was in the early stages of labor. Contractions remained consistent enough to go next door to St. Luke’s Northland, where patients deliver. I was initially admitted into a triage ward where I was encouraged to walk around the halls to jump start labor. Power

birthing center walking did the trick and, in no time flat, I was escorted into their beautiful new maternity ward. My focal point of choice throughout intensifying contractions was none other than the picturesque downtown skyline that was on full display outside my delivery room’s large window. The doctor and nurses were supportive of my decision to have an unmedicated delivery, yet I found being confined to a bed constricting, and ice chips didn’t curb my hunger after missing two meals. Thankfully, active labor from start to finish was uncharacteristically quick for a first-time mom (less than four hours) and required no medical interventions. One year later, we found ourselves moving to Olathe and announcing that our family was growing. It was back to the drawing board (regarding prenatal care), as we now found ourselves on the other side of the city. I admittedly watched more episodes of TLC’s A Baby Story than many would care to know. A number of women on the show elected to have a water birth, referring to it as “nature’s epidural.” That sounded like heaven, and I knew if I could labor flat on my back in a hospital bed successfully, how much better would it be sitting upright in a tub? Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before I found out that water birthing was prohibited within the nearby hospital systems. My next choice would have been a birthing center, but there were none close by at the time, so we looked into a very foreign concept to me at the time: home birth with a midwife. My desire to water birth was strong, but I didn’t know whether it was strong


enough to forgo a traditional hospital delivery. We opted to interview a midwife and only determine our plan after the consultation. I went into the meeting with some reluctance but found my mind put at ease as we soon discovered how favorable outcomes were for home births with skilled care. The day before my first appointment with our midwife, I was in a car accident where the brunt of the impact was on my abdomen. I was 12 weeks pregnant and convinced that something terrible had happened to our baby. My uneasiness increased as an ER nurse failed to detect a heartbeat. A labor and delivery nurse was sent in and, after quite some time, she detected a faint pulse. The next day at our home appointment, I relayed the events of the visit to my midwife, preparing her that it might be hard to find the heartbeat. That proved unnecessary, as she found

a strong heartbeat within seconds and even told me the tone sounded very much like a boy’s heart (we would find out later during our sonogram that she was correct). Appointments were longer than I experienced at the hospital, covering all the same bases as during my first pregnancy, such as lab work and ultrasounds, but extending to focus on nutrition (literally looking through the kitchen cabinets together) and lifestyle. I felt empowered through the additional education I received and confident in my midwife’s ability to coach me through labor, which wound up being lightning fast. Water birthing was wonderful, and in hindsight, I was thankful that I had a home birth (as my active labor was so quick there wouldn’t have been time for transfer of care). Being able to shower and lie in my own bed immediately after was an added perk. This past year, we welcomed our third child, and I experienced yet another first: delivering at a birthing center. New Birth Company in Overland Park opened its doors in 2011, providing a happy medium between a hospital and home birth. Aromatherapy, music therapy and a water wall create a spa-like environment. Each birthing suite houses a kitchenette, jacuzzi tub (for birthing and

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post-labor) and queen size bed. Suites are modeled after high-end hotel rooms but inconspicuously house emergency medical supplies should they be needed. I was encouraged to walk the wooded trails around the building during the early stages of labor. After delivery, we found ourselves surrounded by the staff as they sang “Happy Birthday” to our newborn and presented us with a cake. I’m often asked what my favorite birthing experience has been, but truthfully, all have delivered favorable outcomes: healthy babies born in safe environments with skillful care. And what could be better than that?

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frustrated?

remember, transitions are temporary! In our household, we find ourselves constantly transitioning...to a big boy bed, from a bottle to a cup, to more finger and table foods, as well as to self-feeding. Change is difficult no matter the age, but there are a few things you can do to help the process.

No matter what transition you find yourself in the midst of, remember to celebrate successes, even the small ones.

Welcoming a new baby to the family? Visit KCParent.com for tips on how to transition from one child to two.

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F

or babies, transitioning with food (to pureed, finger and even table foods) can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Babies learn about their environment by putting things in their mouths, and eating is an experiment to them. Expose to and offer your baby a wide range of textures and flavors, but be patient with this new process. Just because your child dislikes a food you’ve offered once doesn’t mean you should abandon it. Try again the next day, or wait a few days—or even a few weeks—before trying again. Embrace the messiness. Let go of your need to clean and reach for the camera instead. You’ll be glad you did. When moving from a bottle to a cup, give your baby time to explore. Preferably use a cup with handles and a soft spout, but be prepared to try several different cups until your child finds one he likes. Dr. Harvey Grossman of Pediatric Specialists in Overland Park

says, “Allow the infant to imitate you and make it fun. If you’re enjoying the experience, most likely your child will, too.” Sleep is perhaps one of the harder transitions, as it often directly affects you, too. Whether you are transitioning from bassinet to crib, crib to toddler bed, two naps to one or eliminating naps altogether, it’s all challenging. When transitioning to a new bed or sleeping area, formulate a plan and stick to it. Carry out your plan in a firm and consistent manner and give it a fair chance, which could mean a couple of weeks or even longer. For us, changing to a big boy bed has been a long and tedious process (and yes, there have been some tears!), but we are now seeing the payoff. Start slowly and pay attention to your child’s cues. Jean McPherson, mother of two who is expecting her third, says, “Experience has taught us transitions are easier when you let them


(your children) lead the way. Having a hard deadline adds pressure to complicate the process.” If you’re transitioning from two naps to one, realize naps may temporarily shorten, and your schedule may be off for a bit while going through the adjustment. If your child normally naps around 1:00, moving to a 12:30 or 12:45 nap for a short time might help ease her into the transition. Also, be sure to establish, and keep, a bedtime routine. This is important to help your child settle down and be ready to fall asleep. If your child still struggles with settling or falling asleep, look into using a white noise or constellation machine, soft music or cuddly toy. Transitions are a learning experience for everyone, and not all children are the same either. “One of the most important things I’ve learned through raising each of my children is every child is different. There is no perfect way to transition a child from one thing to the next,” says Heather Reidy, mother to 3-year-old twins and an 8-month-old. Enlist the support of others. Maybe it’s a friend to hold you accountable to your “plan” or your spouse to help trade

off nighttime duties with you. Also, seek advice from other parents who have already been through the same situation. Dr. Grossman sums up by saying, “Infants’ and toddlers’ transitioning to new developmental stages, such as bottle to cup or crib to bed, should be a positive and enjoyable experience for parents and children. Each child transitions at his own pace, and we, as parents, should positively guide and nurture our child along while enjoying each stage.” No matter what transition you find yourself in the midst of, remember to celebrate successes, even the small ones. These changes can be frustrating, time consuming and seem never ending. However, after the fact, you might realize it only lasted a short time in the grand scheme of things. Instead of wishing the time away, remember transitions are temporary and will end all too soon. I’m confident that from here on out, all of the transitions you encounter will go as smooth as silk…right?!

WE ASKED KCPARENT.COM READERS,WHAT WAS HARDEST FOR YOUR CHILD TO GIVE UP?

Julie Collett writes from her home in Overland Park and has experienced (and still is) many transitions with her 2 ½- and 1-year-olds.

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healthy eating tips for

postpartum weight loss D

uring my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time doing two things: marveling at the ultrasound pictures of our baby boy and eating as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted. Well-meaning friends and family encouraged me to indulge in cravings for milkshakes and french fries, using the age-old adage that I was eating for two. It was only after I returned home with my newborn sleeping soundly in his crib that I braved the mirror to assess my postpartum body. I told myself that I had just had a baby, that I couldn’t expect to be svelte in a matter of days. I assured myself that I had gained the requisite 25 pounds that the pregnancy books said I would. Yet there was a nagging voice in the back of my head that said I would’ve had less work ahead of me if I’d ingested fewer fries beforehand. What I didn’t realize then that I do now is that there is a difference between a 25-pound gain with healthy eating and exercise and a 25-pound gain without it. Adjusting my diet and making time for exercise helped me drop the pounds surprisingly quickly, and by quickly, I mean within eight months. Patience is key! With patience and dedication, you can drop the weight too. The most crucial part of your weight loss is going to come from your diet. Have you heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? It’s true! Whether you’re aiming for a six-pack or just wanting to melt the muffin top, you’ve got to focus on what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating. The article “Weight Loss After Pregnancy: Reclaiming Your Body”

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on MayoClinic.org highlights four ways to adjust your eating habits. 1. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Foods high in fiber…provide you with many important nutrients while helping you feel full longer. 2. Eat smaller portions. Experts recommend that you eat five to six small meals a day. This keeps your metabolism level and doesn’t leave you with hunger pains and consequent food binges. 3. Avoid temptation. Surround yourself with healthy foods. If junk food poses too much temptation, keep it out of the house. 4. Eat only when you’re hungry. Many eat when they’re bored, sad or stressed. Instead of focusing your emotional energy on food, redirect it to a hobby or activities you enjoy, such as spending time with friends, engaging in a sport or rewarding a particularly rough day with a pedicure. Christine O’Neal, KC mom of four, says, “I opted for snacks with a veggie and a protein. It’s very important to eat smaller meals and a few snacks to keep your metabolism running! My go-to snacks are almonds and baby carrots with hummus. I also cut out most sugar, but when I wanted to splurge, I did. I just made sure to keep it in check.” Christine says she also cut out soda and increased her water intake. Sometimes

when we feel hungry, it’s not hunger. We’re actually thirsty. Staying hydrated keeps our appetites in check, as well. LiveStrong. com highlights the USDA recommendation for water intake: 2.7 liters for the average adult woman and 3.8 liters for breastfeeding moms. That may seem like a lot of water, but just remember that we do receive some of that from the foods that we eat, especially from fruits, such as oranges, melons and apples. Once your diet has been adjusted, you’ll have more energy, too. Use it to ease back into exercise. KC mom of three Chrissy Sandifer says, “I walked a lot with all three. I also loved doing situps with them on my belly or holding them while doing squats. It made it fun and allowed me to spend time with them simultaneously.” Above all, be realistic. Remember when I said that the weight didn’t magically disappear after a week the way I had hoped? It takes time. It takes dedication. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. You grew precious life within. Your body stretched in ways that may have seemed unimaginable to you prepregnancy. Your body is strong and capable and beautiful, and that baby cooing at you is so very worth it. Take heart, Mama; you’ll get there. Jennifer Bosse lives in KC with her husband and two sons. She enjoys living a healthier lifestyle. As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.


blogbits

Combating GST

I

t’s become clear to me that no matter where I have to be with three children, I will almost always be 10 minutes late.

I’m pretty sure it’s one of the unspoken laws of parenthood. And to fight it is like trying to fight gravity. Pretty fruitless. Sure, I learned early on—as a novice parent—that there are the usual preventative steps that can be taken in an attempt to be punctual. Like lay out the kids’ clothing the night before. Make sure the cell phone and keys are put in their

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whipping up a juicy new issue for this

summer! don’t miss the pregnancy decision issue!

usual spot to avoid any last minute hunt for them. Get up earlier. But these preemptive actions don’t safeguard from the baby’s blowout that will likely occur the moment I get him in his car seat, nor do they deflect the meltdown that the preschooler will have over the shoes that need to be put on (regardless of the fact that they were his choice a few minutes before). In our house we know this little phenomenon as GST (that’s Greenlee Standard Time for the common man). What amazes me is that GST is in effect no matter what time zone we’re in. We could be in Tonganoxie or Timbuktu and we’d still be 10 minutes late to any engagement. My husband and I have tried to be strategic as we combat GST from holding us up (and keeping others waiting on us). We’ve found communication to be a key feature in our success. Inevitably, when we are heading somewhere as an entire family, we typically run even later, usually because of unspoken expectations (e.g., I assume my husband is getting a certain

(Greenlee Standard Time)

child ready to get into the car, while he thinks I’m doing the same with said child). Plus, there’s always the last minute scramble for forgotten items, because, as we all know, an outing with a baby usually requires so much gear, it looks like we’re moving and not simply stepping out for a few hours. I’ve come to the conclusion that you need a larger vehicle not because of the kids, but because of their stuff. We now set our clocks a few minutes ahead, provide extra margin in our scheduling for the “hiccups” that come our way, keep water bottles in the car and grab extra shoes for the 3-year-old who is notorious for losing or taking them off. We’re not always on time, but we’re making strides. They’re baby steps, I tell you, baby steps. Lauren Greenlee makes a valiant effort to be on time from her home in Olathe. She and other parents blog at KCParent.com. Join the conversation today!

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Hands-Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford

I am guilty of spending more time than necessary staring at a smart phone screen. It’s hard to disconnect in our technological culture! This book is not so much about giving parenting advice, but is a reminder to unplug and keep our eyes on the things that matter the most—our kids. Each chapter includes weekly challenges to inspire intentional living. $12, Amazon.com

Julie McKinley is a stay-at-home mom of a 2-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. Keeping up with her kids is a fulltime job, so she is always on the lookout for innovative baby products that make life a little easier! In between snuggles and diaper changes, she blogs at DirectorJewels.com.

There are lots of baby products out there, but these are a few we just think are great!

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coupons you can click and use through the Amazon website to save you a few extra dollars. Often Amazon will change its prices, so watch to make sure you are getting the best deal. Another online option for purchasing diapers is Diapers.com. Similar to Amazon, this site ships products directly to your door and offers various incentives, such as $10 off your first box of diapers, 20 percent off of your first three months and other additional coupons. By far, however, we have saved the most money by using cloth diapers. For as little as $100, a family can create a very basic stash of cloth diapers (onesize prefolds and covers) that can get them through the diapering years. We have used a variety of styles of cloth diapers. The initial investment of some styles can seem daunting; however, the savings over time and the ability to use them through multiple children or re-sell them has saved us an incredible amount of money. Starting cloth diapers can seem incredibly intimidating, but there are many local resources to help get you started. For example, Itsy Bitsy Bums is a local store in Brookside that offers classes, consultations and rental programs that give you a chance to test out cloth diapers for a small fee. We have used a mixture of all of these approaches to save money in different seasons of our parenting journey. A little research can go a long way in helping you secure the most bang for your buck!

save on diapers The cost of diapers for one child can mount to more than $1,085!

Helpful websites to check out: • Amazon.com/Mom • Diapers.com • ItsyBitsyBums.com—KC cloth diaper store with lots of helpful information online and a retail location • Gentle-Choices.com & MetroClothDiapering.com—KC cloth diaper services • TeenyGreenyKC.com –KC online cloth diaper retailer

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ecause I have three young children, diapers are a hot topic of conversation in my world: what kind, how many and, most importantly, how much? If you assume a child goes through seven diapers a day (more as a newborn, fewer as a toddler) and is in diapers for an average of 30 months, and you average a price of $0.17/diaper (my target price for purchasing)—the cost of diapers for one child can mount to more than $1,085. My target price is $0.17/diaper, and I will stock up when I find anything below that price. Stores like CVS, Walgreens and Target often offer promotional incentives, such as earning money off your next shopping trip or earning gift cards through specific purchases. When combined with manufacturer or store coupons, these promotional offers can save you a ton of money! Target’s Cartwheel phone app typically provides additional cost-saving offers for diapers and wipes. One of the biggest regrets I have is not giving store brand diapers a chance sooner. We have recently found that Aldi sells the cheapest diapers, and they happen to be our favorite for our toddler! When I was expecting my second child, I was introduced to the world of Amazon Mom. With a subscription to Amazon Mom, you receive 20 percent off of diapers and wipes shipped directly to your home. There typically are also

Rachel Boese is a blogger from Gardner, where she raises three young children with her husband. She is always looking for the best deal and enjoys a blend of using cloth and disposable diapers. She blogs about her adventures at RachelOnRewind.com. kcparent.com april-june 2014

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CHILD’S PLAY

HOW IMAGINATIVE PLAY BENEFITS YOUR TODDLER

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hildren who engage in imaginative or pretend play are offered a stress-free environment where their dreams have no boundary. This type of activity just comes naturally for kids because it’s just plain fun.

CREATE A PRETEND PLAY PARADISE

RESEARCH SHOWS PARENTS WHO ENCOURAGE THIS SORT OF IMAGINATIVE PLAY OFFER A HEALTHY, SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR THEIR CHILDREN.

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A make-believe-friendly setting begins with the parents. Here are a few ideas to create an environment that fosters creative, imaginative play for your little ones: Focus on fun: A truly free setting for imaginative play is one without structure or rules. Let your child know there are no expectations or wrong outcomes while he is pretending. There may be moments where you have to intervene, but the atmosphere should be relaxed and free from rules. Give toys that encourage pretend play: Make sure your kids have toys that allow them to express themselves. The Calico Critters toy line is the ideal choice for parents who seek timeless, classic toys that delight children and promote wholesome values through

pretend play. Children will love these adorable, high quality miniature animal figures, which include families of rabbits, dogs, cats, bears and more. For more, visit CalicoCritters.com. Read to your children: The benefits for children who are regularly read to are immense, from enhanced bonding between parent and child to better test scores. So, begin the reading ritual as early as you can. You will find your child will love and look forward to sharing this healthy activity with you. Create a fantasy prop box: Fill a box with various trinkets found throughout your home for kids to create their own forts, homes, businesses or simply engage in a rousing game of dress-up. Just make sure to pick items that are safe and that you won’t miss if they are lost or damaged from heavy play. Plan open-ended activities: Instead of starting an art project with a finished model for them to create, plan free painting or crafting sessions with your kids. This will allow your children to fully express themselves any way they desire. Just make sure you have plenty of fun supplies on hand, such as glitter, paper, glue, markers, boxes, feathers,


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sequins or any other trinkets available. Use the great outdoors as a playground: Encourage your kids to use the great outdoors as their canvas for unbridled creativity. A simple trip outside opens a whole world of play options for a child. Plus, it allows your children to be more active, which is always a bonus.

THE MANY BENEFITS OF IMAGINATIVE PLAY

Research shows parents who encourage this sort of imaginative play offer a healthy, supportive environment for their children. Here are a few of the ways in which the power of imagination benefits your child’s development and overall well-being: Emotional and social development: When a child is involved in pretend play, he naturally creates scenarios and acts out different roles. This often involves looking outside of his individual desires and learning the essential skills of empathy and understanding. Language aptitude: When alone at play, children will often mimic the vocabulary they’ve picked up from their parents, family members and educators. This association of vocabulary and word meaning is reinforced more when acted out in front of peers during pretend play. Enhanced mathematic skills: Parents who use fake food or money to act out a grocery store trip help their children associate the challenging concepts of addition and subtraction to real life. Problem solving skills: From deciding who gets to be the princess to taking turns hosting the tea party, pretend play allows children to tap into cognitive thinking skills they’ll use in different scenarios throughout life. Enhanced relationships and bonding: New worlds are opened when children and adults interact together through imaginary play. Adults can offer wisdom, life lessons and vocabulary the child will absorb. Good, clean fun: Pretend play is the best way for children to escape from the stresses of daily life. By creating their own make-believe world, kids have complete control of their destiny within that environment. With so many play dates and after school activities, such a release is a positive for many youngsters. (Family Features)

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MORE MAKE-BELIEVE PLAY MEANS ENHANCED SKILLS: Research shows an environment where imaginative play is fostered is healthy for a child’s development. Here is a snapshot of the many benefits this type of activity can provide to a child: • Increased sense of safety, calmness and protection. • Higher rates of self-esteem. • Ability to cooperate, control impulses and deal with disappointment. • Increased levels of fitness and coordination. • Developed sense of individuality. • Ability to negotiate with peers. Kids Camps in KC

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kcparent.com april-june 2014

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what to keep... Reusing baby gear can be a great way to save money when expecting a new baby, but buying a car seat at a garage sale, accepting an antique crib from a relative or using the high chair that Mom bought for your first child may not be safe for your new bundle of joy. Four health professionals weigh in on which items are safe to reuse and which should be purchased new.

Crib

Before you lay your baby down for naptime, it is important to check whether the crib has been recalled. Dr. Kyran Quinlan, pediatrician at Erie Family Health Center in Chicago and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ council on injury, violence and poison prevention, says, “If the crib has a drop side, it is recommended to find a new crib, because if the side drops when it’s not supposed to, the infant may be injured or killed.” It’s not just the mechanics of the crib that cause worry, but also the materials that were used to build it. Dr. Elizabeth Simpson is medical director of routine newborn services at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill, associate professor of pediatrics at UMKC School of Medicine and academic general pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She warns, “Furniture made

Recipe for Homemade Disinfectant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a simple but effective disinfectant solution that can be made at home. 9 parts cool water 1 part household bleach Gently pour the bleach into the water and mix well. A mixture of bleach and water loses its strength quickly so it should be mixed fresh before each clean-up. After disinfecting, wipe with soap and water.

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before the ’80s often contains lead paint, and when children learn to stand, they love to chew on the top rail of their crib.” Dr. Simpson suggests replacing the rails or using a different crib when the baby learns to stand.

Crib mattress

If you plan to reuse a crib mattress, make sure that it hasn’t exceeded its lifespan. According to Dr. Simpson, “Mattresses have expiration dates, and those more than 5 years old will likely need to be replaced.” If the mattress has not expired, it is important to disinfect it. “If the crib mattress is coated in plastic, it can be effectively sterilized by wiping it down with a disinfectant solution and then with soap and water,” says Dr. Ken Wible, staff pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at UMKC School of Medicine.


and what to toss High chair

A high chair can easily be disinfected, but make sure to check the brand and product number closely to ensure that it hasn’t been recalled. “Injuries can occur because the chair collapses or the faulty restraints allow the baby to fall,” warns Dr. Simpson. “It’s also common for a malfunction in the mechanics of the chair to hurt the baby’s fingers.” Dr. Wible says that “it’s necessary to make sure that the restraint system hasn’t been torn, cut or broken in any way to ensure that it remains secure for your baby.”

Car seat

It’s fine to use a car seat from someone that you know and trust, as long as you know the seat’s history, age and that it hasn’t been recalled. Susie Girten, registered nurse, child passenger safety technician and coordinator of the car seat program at St. Luke’s Hospital, stresses the importance of not using a

car seat that has been involved in a car accident, big or small. “Damage to the plastic shell may make the car seat less effective, and that damage may not be visible to the eye,” says Girten. If there is any doubt, do not use it. If the car seat is older than 6 years, it should not be used. After 6 years, there have been improvements in technology. Dr. Wible also says, “The seat ages, and the materials tend to deteriorate and provide less protection.” To find the expiration date, look on the plastic shell of the seat for a sticker or imprinted date. If you can’t find one, assume the 6-year mark. Always check for recalls, because there can be safety issues that even the person who has the item originally may not be aware of.

Bottle

Health professionals have deemed baby bottles, bottle nipples and pacifiers fairly safe to reuse. Simply drop the item in a bowl of disinfectant, soak it for a few minutes and then wash it with soap and water. Dr. Wible also says that these items can be boiled to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Clothing

Babies grow so quickly, and hand-me-down clothes provide a great way to save money on something that your baby will only use for a short period of time. Laundering the clothes is the best thing you can do, and the hot, dry heat of the dryer helps to wipe out any residual bacteria. “It isn’t foolproof, and you aren’t necessarily sterilizing the clothes, but any item of

clothing that you buy brand new isn’t going to be sterilized,” Dr. Wible says. “From the standpoint of chemicals and other contaminants, sometimes used clothes have been laundered more and are safer.” Do be cautious of choking hazards like buttons or strings that hang down that could get wrapped around the baby’s neck.

Swing & bouncy seat

Dr. Simpson suggests going to websites like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics to check whether your item has been recalled. It is also important that the seat or swing is not missing any of its original parts to ensure safe functionality for your child. New baby gear can be expensive, but it’s important to keep the health and safety of the baby a first priority. Do the necessary research and take the appropriate steps to ensure the item’s safety. You may find it safe to reuse, or it may need to be purchased new to make sure your new baby is getting the protection he needs. Alyssa Klimek is a local freelance writer and ESL professor at Johnson County Community College. She lives in Kansas City, MO. As always, please consult health care provider with any questions or concerns.

kcparent.com april-june 2014

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Q: Do I need a prescription prenatal vitamin or can I take an OTC?

Q: How much is too much caffeine when pregnant?

you’ve got questions...

Q: When’s the best time to tell people I am pregnant?

Q: What’s the new definition of a term pregnancy?

we’ve got answers!

A:

Women can still get their daily java fix during pregnancy, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Caffeine is a stimulant and increases heart rate and blood pressure, which is not recommended during pregnancy. Too much caffeine can disrupt not only your sleep pattern, but your baby’s as well. It’s also a diuretic, meaning it causes frequent urination that can lead to dehydration. And caffeine also can aggravate heartburn, a common discomfort during pregnancy. Ana Martinez, MD, obstetrician/ gynecologist at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, explains, “Patients often wonder if the consumption of caffeine is safe during pregnancy. There is no reason why patients cannot consume caffeine, so long as it is

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A:

The most important thing to remember about prenatal vitamins is that they should be taken every day, preferably starting in the months before conception. Whether they are prescription or OTC is a matter of tolerance (some vitamins aggravate morning sickness), cost (prescription isn’t always covered by insurance) and your doctor’s recommendation. Dr. George Lu, a practicing maternal and fetal medicine specialist at Saint Luke’s Hospital, says, “Some form of prenatal vitamin taken prior to conception is the key, with the main ingredient being, at minimum, 0.4 mg of folic acid daily. What distinguishes one prenatal vitamin from another, whether prescription or OTC, is the amount of other essential vitamins and nutrients, such as iron, and other medications, such as stool softeners.” Talk to your health care provider about which prenatal vitamin is best for you, and remember, vitamins should be taken as a supplement, not as a substitute for nutritious meals.

A:

For years, babies born between 37 and 42 weeks were considered “full term” and were believed to have the same good health outcomes. However, research over the last several years has found that newborn outcomes during this time frame are not uniform. Research from two leading medical groups, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, has found that babies born between 39 weeks/0 days and 40 weeks/6 days fare the best, compared with babies born before or after this period.

The change was made in an effort to reduce the rate of early elective deliveries, often scheduled before 39 weeks of gestation. In some cases, delivery before 39 weeks is unavoidable, such as when a woman’s water breaks or when there are significant health risks for Mom and Baby. Here are the new, more precise labels doctors are using: Early Term: 37 weeks/0 days to 38 weeks/6 days Full Term: 39 weeks/0 days to 40 weeks/6 days Late Term: 41 weeks/0 days to 41 weeks/6 days Post Term: 42 weeks/0 and days later

A:

There is really no “right” answer to this question; it’s a matter of personal preference. While many women wait to share the news until after the first trimester, when the rate of miscarriage goes down significantly, others choose to spill the beans right away. Many couples tell immediate family right away and wait until 12 or 13 weeks to tell extended family, friends and coworkers. Some things to consider when deciding when to make the big announcement: your health and history of past pregnancies, your age (the older you are, the greater the chance of miscarriage), work schedule (you and your boss may need to make plans for your maternity leave) and even how you feel those first few weeks (those dealing with morning sickness may seek advice/ support from others). Bonnie Lesmeister, a Raymore mom, says, “When we found out we were pregnant with Luke, we told everyone right away. He was 10 years in the making.” Whitney Szczucinski, a Belton mom and teacher, says, “We gave my parents a Christmas ornament that said ‘Grandparents are the Best’ and then told my close friends. Since it was twins, I waited to tell work/my students until I was about 13-14 weeks along.” Tisha Foley lives in Belton with her husband and two children.

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We’ve got you covered from pregnancy through when your

We’ve got you covered from kids are in high schoolwhen with pregnancy through your kids are of in products! high school our family with our family of products! Plus, you’ll find all of our Plus, you’ll find all of our magazines and a whole magazines wholelot lot more at KCParent.com. more at KCParent.com.

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done in moderation. We suggest no more than around 200 mg of caffeine daily, which is equal to a 12-ounce cup of coffee. I would just recommend that you stay away from those super-caffeinated drinks, such as Monster or Red Bull.” Caffeine is found not only in coffee, tea and soda, but also in chocolate, coffeeflavored ice cream and some over-thecounter medications.

As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns. kcparent.com april-june 2014

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styling the perfect

baby shower Cake Pops: Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats

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essert tables at baby showers are incredibly popular, and for very good reason. They are pretty, easy to assemble, and the wide selection of desserts allows guests plenty

of choices and the chance to try something new—not to mention helping the mom-to-be with those cravings! The first step to designing a beautiful dessert is to select your theme and design your table around it. At this shower, a “little man” theme was chosen, so printables, desserts and embellishments with mustaches and bow ties were the focus.

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Mustache straws, food picks, plates and napkins: Hobby Lobby


Petal cake and cupcakes: Mixing It Up

The next step is to choose a beautiful backdrop to anchor your table and complement your theme. An old vintage window is an easy backdrop, because you can hang on it banners, wreaths or, in this case, paper rosettes and a large mustache to highlight the “little man.” Fabric, a nice shower curtain or tablecloth also can make a lovely backdrop when working with an imperfect setting. Get creative! When it comes to the food, I always recommend picking out just a few designer elements, such as professionally decorated sugar cookies and cake, to serve alongside home-style desserts like brownies, miniature fruit pies or tarts, bakery cookies and classic cupcakes. A few professionally decorated sweets add a wow factor to your table, while the addition of homemade or home-style treats from the grocery store fill out the table and keep the budget in check. Printables and embellishments are other elements that bring a dessert table to life. They add uniqueness and can be personalized with Mom’s and Baby’s names and due date, and reinforce the theme. With printable designs, a color printer, scissors and some tape, you can add a polished, professional look to your baby shower without blowing your budget. There are two way to style a table: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical tables are often the easiest to style. Start by deciding on your centerpiece, such as a cake on a stand, and then build out from there, creating balance on each side with serving dishes, props and your desserts. Each side should mirror the other. Asymmetrical tables like the “little man” table I styled are actually my favorite way to set things up. It allows you to be a bit more free and creative, since you don’t have to be so precise and can sneak in fun props like the vintage scale I used to serve cookies. If you prefer to go with this approach, embrace imperfection. Don’t forget the entertainment! Baby shower games such as Name That ‘Stache, Bingo, Don’t Call Me Baby and guessing games fill the room with laughter, create memories and entertain guests. Also, setting up a small table where guests can fill out wishes for Baby and advice cards are perfect for memory boxes and even more laughs for the mom-to-be. Finally, don’t forget to provide goody bags for your guests. They can be simple bags for taking home leftover cookies or something more detailed. Always a nice gesture, take-homes give your guests something by which to remember how sweet the day was. Gretchen Brittain is a local stationery designer, party stylist and a mom to her three young children (monkeys), who are a constant source of inspiration. Visit her at ThreeLittleMonkeysStudio.com for all things party! Little Man party printables, party styling and photography: Three Little Monkeys Studio

kcparent.com april-june 2014

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Visit the Labor & Delivery Guide at KCParent.com!

what labor & delivery nurses want you to know Checking into the hospital can be a little scary whether this is your first baby or fourth, whether you’ve attended birthing classes or not and whether this is a planned induction or you come in laboring on your own. While every hospital has different policies and expectations, there are some general tips to make this special day even more special. Many hospitals offer tours of their labor and delivery unit and can answer specific questions that you may have before labor begins.

Stats:

31.8% of babies are born via cesarean section (NCBI.nlm.nih.gov) 65% of moms get an epidural (CDC.gov) 22.1% of moms are induced (AHRQ.gov)

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Think carefully about whom you want to share in your birth experience. It’s not necessary to include your second cousin’s children.

open mind

As labor nurses, one aspect of our job we take very seriously is advocating for what our patients want. Tricia Miller, RN, says, “We put all of our heart and soul into you and your labor process. We feel connected to you.” Your nurse wants you to have the delivery experience that you have always wanted. However, childbirth is an unpredictable thing, and things can change course at any time. Please ask questions if there is something that we have not explained well enough. “I truly believe everything in labor happens for a reason. Please keep open-minded and go with the flow,” Megan Bliss, RN, advises. “We only want to help you have a safe delivery and happy, healthy baby.”

visitors

Some hospitals have strict visitation rules and only allow two to three visitors during delivery, while others do not place limitations. Nancy Morgan, RN, tells all her patients, “Think carefully about whom you want to share in your birth experience. It’s not necessary to include your second cousin’s children. Sometimes too many well-wishers can detract from the remarkable experience of the birth of your child. Remember, no one will treasure this day more than you and your partner.”

food

I think all pregnant women will say mealtime is a very important part of the day, but during labor no food is allowed. Many doctors will allow ice chips and nothing else. If you have not been told to not eat prior to coming to the hospital, take advantage and eat something before you leave the house.

Make sure that something is easy on the stomach, though, as many women do experience nausea and vomiting during the labor process. Labor can take many hours, and while you, the patient, can’t eat anything, your support person can and should eat. However, Morgan says, “Don’t be afraid to tell your husband, ‘No you cannot eat those hot wings in the birthing suite while I’m in labor.’”

epidural

Some doctors require their patients to be dilated a certain number of centimeters prior to getting an epidural, and others will allow it as soon as a regular contraction pattern has developed. Only one visitor will be allowed to stay in the room, and the procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes. Pain relief will begin almost immediately, with the full effect kicking in within 20 minutes. Some patients will have no feeling in their legs or abdomen, while others may feel the contractions and their legs, but have no pain. Both of these results are normal.

pictures

Bring your camera and keep it close by at all times. After delivery there are many opportunities to get “the shot” of your newborn, and you will not want to miss it.

cesarean section

There are many reasons why a “normal” laboring mom could be taken to the operating room for a cesarean section. Some babies do not tolerate labor for one reason or another, and for their safety, a C-section is best. Other moms do not completely dilate, or if they do completely dilate, may not be able

to deliver a term infant due to size or position. If any of these complications arise, maintain an open discussion with your nurse/health care provider. Only one person will be allowed in the OR, and this person will be brought back at the time of the abdominal incision. If for any reason general anesthesia is necessary, the visitor will only be present after the surgical delivery of the infant.

after delivery

You have just given birth to a beautiful baby, and now it is time to show your bundle of joy off to the world. While that sounds perfect, the first two hours after delivery are messy and overwhelming (as well as perfect). Christina Bradenburg, RN, says, “Despite your nurse’s best effort, you are going to be exposed. Every 15 minutes for the first two hours your nurse is going to pull back your covers and rub on your uterus to make sure your vaginal bleeding is under control. During this time we also want breast-fed babies to have their first feeding and spend that time doing skinto-skin. If you have lots of visitors during this time, know that we will be asking them to step out of the room often to ensure your privacy.” Just remember that, overall, your labor and delivery nurse is there to make your day of joy be just that—joyful. She wants you to know that she’s doing her best to provide the highest quality of care to both you and your baby. She looks forward to answering your questions and being part of your special day. Jessica Heine is a labor and delivery nurse. She lives with her husband and two young children in Olathe. As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns. kcparent.com april-june 2014

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hip hangouts to keep little hands (& feet)

happily busy in kansas city

I hope I never forget the delight my Emily took in creating her first painting, or my Kayla found in discovering where fairies live in the forest. I remember how my Brielle thrilled at building the tallest tower she could possibly build out of LEGOs with her father, and I delight in my Lucy as she giggles with delight, playing and jumping at her favorite play places. We are often reminded that they are only young once… and how true it is! These are just a few of the ways our family loves enjoying those early years of play, joy and discovery at some of our favorite Kansas City places.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

appreciate art “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ~Pablo Picasso

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Kansas City’s art galleries are committed to cultivating a love of art early, and they happily welcome even the youngest patrons with special programs with little ones in mind. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, Kansas City, MO, 816.751.1278) hosts story time for preschoolers at 1:30 on the second Sunday of each month. The event is free, as is museum admission, and no reservations are required. Watch their online calendar (Nelson-Atkins.org) for other family programs, festivals, concerts and shows. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.753.5784, KemperArt.org) hosts Tots on Tuesdays on the third Tuesday of each month. Children explore bright colors and bold patterns in Dressed Up, play color matching games, try on crazy hats and read stories with a trendy twist. Both museums are free to the public.


Fairy Houses

explore nature

Paradise Park EduTainment Center

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~Margaret Attwood

find fairies “Every child must remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairies.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Did you know that fairy homes are just waiting to be discovered right in Overland Park? There is a trail behind Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead (another favorite outing for little ones (OPKansas.org/Things-to-See-and-Do), now lovingly known as Firefly Forest (search Firefly Forest at KCParent.com for specific directions). The paved trail through the woods and across a creek leads the way to discovery where fairy houses line the path just waiting to be enjoyed. Local citizens designed and planned several (more are added often) fairy houses in the trees and forest lining the path. Young children delight in looking inside each fairy house and discovering the treasures inside. Tip: Plan a day of it and visit Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, as well!

Burr Oak Woods (1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, MO, 816.228.3766), one of the largest nature centers in the area, is home to a super cool indoor playground featuring a climbing tree and slide (for little ones), puppets and terrific interactive exhibits. Outside you’ll find miles of trails (some are paved and stroller friendly!) and an outdoor nature classroom with large hands-on exhibits for kids. The Little Acorns programs for preschoolers and Babes in the Woods programs for infants and toddlers are free, fantastic and offered year round, as are the family nature programs for all ages. Check the Burr Oak Woods calendar for upcoming events and hours (MDC.mo.gov).

get the wiggles out “Play is the work of the child.” ~ Maria Montessori

Sometimes little ones just need to wiggle and jump and bounce and play. Two of our favorite indoor play places for tots are: Paradise Park (1021 NE Colbern Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO, 816.246.5224 Paradise-Park.com) is a favorite destination for our family. The Children’s EduTainment Center offers many areas for imaginative play. The child-size village

with a grocery store, pizzeria, bank and home is the favorite for my children. Paradise Park is one of my top picks because it offers a great area for parents to visit or work using free Wi-Fi. Plus, the facility is kept clean and sanitary by staff, is well supervised and the toys and play equipment are ideal for little ones! Rainbow Play Systems (307 N. Burch St., Olathe, KS, 913.780.6500, SwingSetsKansas.com). Yes, the same company that makes favorite playground equipment has opened their showroom for children to enjoy indoor play MondayFriday. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, play admission is just $1 from 10:00 to Noon.

spark the imagination “Playing dress up begins at age 5 and truly never ends.” ~Kate Spade

Playing dress up, role playing and pretending are enriched at these favorite attractions: FREE Exhibits at Crown Center (2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.274.8444, CrownCenter.com). Every year Crown Center brings colorful, kcparent.com april-june 2014

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create & play “Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Crown Center

This time of year, little hands and feet love to play at the park! Visit KCParent.com for a list of great parks all over the Metro.

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creative and child-approved exhibits for KC kids to enjoy. This spring, enjoy two great exhibits. First, 75 Years of Oz (thru May 4) traces Dorothy’s footsteps through the Land of Oz from the moment her house plops down in Munchkin Land until she clicks her ruby red slippers to return to Kansas. Then, Super Kids Save the World (May 24-Sept. 27), developed by one of our favorite children’s museums, the Magic House® of St. Louis, arrives. The exhibit’s big message is reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. In the garden, kids pick fresh vegetables before selling them in the farmers market. They can sort and hang laundry in the house, sell funky clothes at the Re-Use Charity Shop and use their scientific skills to learn about solar power and bio-fuel in the research lab. Kidscape at the Johnson County Museum (6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, KS, 913.715.25550, FREE admission). At KidScape, children escape into a childsized suburban streetscape, where they role play as community figures in educational environments: bookstore, park, City Hall, hospital, fashion boutique, farm and theater. With wooden sets and toys, dress-up clothes and games, this is a great outing for preschoolers (and younger). On Wednesdays, the museum hosts Pop ‘n Play events, concerts and local storytellers for little ones. Watch the museum calendar at JoCoMuseum.org for details.

LEGOLand Discovery Center LEGO has been one of the most beloved toys for generations, and now Kansas City kids are falling in love with LEGO all over again at LEGOLand Discovery Center (2475 Grand, Kansas City, MO, LegolandDiscoveryCenter.com). At LEGOLand Discovery Center, little ones can play with giant LEGO blocks in the world of Duplo, where they can sit atop a LEGO giraffe and elephant and build their own towers and play structures. Children enjoy the Kingdom Quest and Merlin rides, the tunnel play and the 4D animated movies. Parents are impressed with Miniland, a model Kansas City made entirely of LEGO blocks, and play areas for older kids and kids-at-heart. Kristina Light enjoys outings with her girls as much as they do…. Shhhh! Don’t tell!


babybytes

We have an app for that!

I

n the digital age, we can find a solution to almost anything online. According to BusinessNewsDaily, American adults spend 23 hours per week online and using smart devices, such as phones, tablets and gaming systems. Now, the world of baby products is colliding with the world of technology.  “My daughter loves her Leap Pad, and I do, too,” Shawnee mom Allison Murphy says. “It is educational and has games, too.” Apple’s iTunes stocks more than 700 apps for children and toddlers, including ones that promise to develop hand-eye coordination and focusing skills in young babies ranging from newborn to 2 years old. Even the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon got an update for the digital age. In Goodnight iPad, rather than wishing goodnight to a comb, a brush and a bowl full of mush, children say goodnight to treasured items like their MP3s and HDTV. A few examples of new tech toys on the market that have parents talking include: The iPotty This new tool in toilet training is on sale at retailers like Amazon.com and Target. It is in the $35.00 price range and comes from CTA Digital. The training seat features a special adjustable stand to keep your iPad safe and secure. The products suggest use from ages 18 months to 3 years. Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case Fisher-Price is also getting in on the act. This case keeps the iPad or tablet safe while your toddler plays with apps and games. Drawing and Activity Case Another product from CTA Digital, this case and tablet holder allows your child to play and draw using all his or her favorite apps. The iPad can also be changed out for a whiteboard.

iPad Car Seat Mount Make sure your little one has his or her favorite movies and apps on the go! This device allows you to fit the tablet into the back of the seat in front of the car seat. “I am so confused about when it’s okay to use technology with kids,” says Kansas City, KS, mom Tess Cameron. “My pediatrician has advised against watching television for the first couple of years, because she says it can stunt kids’ development. So then you wonder if that’s the case with just TV or other technology, too.”  With all the options out there for new learning techniques, as well as providing a few quiet mommy moments while the little one is entertained by a digital babysitter, how do you know when it is right to introduce technology to your child? “There is no ‘right’ age to start introducing your child to TV or any kind of tech toy. Children can start to handle that kind of visual stimulation between the ages of 18 and 24 months,” says Dr. Sherri Martin, pediatrician with Shawnee Mission Pediatrics. “However, the largest concern about a child’s spending too much time watching television or using any kind of app is what that time is replacing. Is your child playing with an app instead of going for a walk with you, reading a book or playing with sidewalk chalk? In terms of what is valuable for your child’s development and communications skills, you can’t replace human interaction.” The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to eliminate screen time for children under 2. The AAP says exposing your child to this kind of stimuli raises concerns about language delays and disrupted sleep. Meanwhile, a recent study funded by the Department of Education shows that the PBS Kids iPhone app “Martha Speaks” boosted 3- to 7-year-olds’ vocabularies by as much as 31 percent over the course of two weeks. “I understand the concerns

about exposing your child to too much visual stimulation, but because of the technologically advanced world we live in, I think a child needs some early, supervised exposure to it,” says Sally Groesbeck, Overland Park mom. As with many debates, the best solution may be somewhere in the middle. Take the time to research new tech toys you purchase for your little one and read about the recommended age ranges. Consult your family pediatrician with any questions about toys or the impact on your child’s development. Dr. Martin suggests putting one-on-one time with your child first and allowing tech toys and movie time to be fun rewards for good behavior and relaxing treats for you to enjoy together. Melissa Bellach is a full-time mommy and freelance journalist living in Overland Park. She enjoys playing with her 20-monthold son, reading books and going on play dates. She also enjoys down time with the Curious George app. kcparent.com april-june 2014

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SPRING 2014 CALENDAR

Visit the KCBaby.com calendar for over 1,000 more events!

playdates WEEKLY

MONDAY

Moms FREE Monday 9:30-8:00, Paradise Park. Moms are free at the Children’s EduTainment Center with a paid child’s admission. 816.246.5224 KidScape Mon-Sat, 10:00-4:30, Johnson County Museum. Hands-on exhibit immerses young children in a colorful, exciting environment. 913.715.2552 Power Hour 1:00-3:00, Little Monkey Bizness. Special $5 admission from 1:00 to 3:00 on Mondays & Wednesdays. 913.631.7000 Toddler Takeover Mon, Wed & and Fri mornings, KC North Community Center. Bring little ones and let them run and play in the gym. Cost: $1/ session. 816.784.6100, KCParks.org

TUESDAY

These events typically occur every week, but there may be exceptions. Please remember that events are subject to change and many facilities close on federal holidays, during inclement weather or when school is closed. Always call ahead to verify times. Tip: Visit KCParent.com/Going-Places/ for even more ideas!

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FREE Open Play Tue-Thu, 8:00-8:00; Fri, 8:00-4:00; Sat-Sun, 9:00-Noon, Parkside Coffeehouse (Cedar Ridge Christian Church). Indoor playground and toys for children and coffeehouse. 913.393.3000 Toddle Time Tue & Wed, 9:00-11:00, Matt Ross Community Center. Tunnels, games, puzzles… lots for your little one to play and learn. $1-2/child. 913.895.6390


SPRING 2014 CALENDAR

did you know? At the Kansas City Zoo you are welcome to bring in your own food and beverages. No glass containers or alcoholic beverages. You also are welcome to retrieve items from your vehicle and return.

Story Time 10:00, Barnes & Noble (Town Center). Free story time for little ones. 913.491.4535 Power Hour 1:00-3:00, Little Monkey Bizness. Special $5 admission from 1:00 to 3:00 on Mondays & Wednesdays. 913.631.7000

THURSDAY

Bumper Bowling 10:00, Mission Bowl (Olathe & Mission). Moms and tots enjoy bowling. Cost: $3/ea includes one game, shoes and small drink. 913.432.7000

Preschool Playground 9:30-11:30, Irene French Comm Ctr. Enjoy Step 2 climbers, Little Tykes toys and more. $2/child. 913.322.5550 Dollar Days Tue & Wed, 10:00-Noon, Rainbow Play Systems Olathe. Indoor play on Rainbow’s play equipment. 913.780.6500 Tots on Tuesday 3rd Tue of each month, 11:00, Kemper Museum. Explore bright colors and bold patterns. Dress up, play color-matching games, try on crazy hats and read stories with a trendy twist. 816.753.5784 Coffee Playground 10:00-11:00, OPKS 1st Assembly of God. Coffee shop for moms and inflatables, balls and toys for kids under 5. Free. OverlandParkMOPS.blogspot.com Creative Story Time 11:00, Ceramic Café. Paint pottery and enjoy a story. $9.50/ child. 913.383.0222

WEDNESDAY

Pop ‘n Play on Alternating Wednesdays 9:00-11:00, Johnson County Museum. Activities designed especially for your 9-month- to 3-year-olds. Fee: $1/child, members FREE. 913.715.2552, Toddle Time Tue & Wed, 9:00-11:00, Matt Ross Community Center. Tunnels, games, puzzles…lots for your little one to play and learn. $1-2/child. 913.895.6390 Pixie Skate 9:30-11:00, Skate City. Bring your little one out to the rink! $5/child. 913.888.6668 Baby Bounce Story Time 9:30, Plaza Branch. Bring your infant (newborn to 18 months) for a fun story time every Wednesday. 816.701.3481 Dollar Days Tue & Wed, 10:00-Noon, Rainbow Play Systems Olathe. Indoor play on Rainbow’s play equipment. 913.780.6500

Nature Story Time 10:00 & 11:00, George Owens Nature Park. Children are invited to participate in a nature focused story time and craft. 816.325.7115

FRIDAY

Creative Story Time 10:30, Ceramic Café. Paint pottery and enjoy a story. $9.50/child. 913.383.0222 Story Time 10:30 & 11:30, Shawnee Books & Toys. Free stories, craft and a snack! Story time is ideal for ages 2-6, but everyone is invited! 913.962.1428 Paint Me a Story Alternating Fridays, 10:30, Paint, Glaze & Fire. Paint a ceramic piece, listen to story and enjoy a snack. $15/child. 913.661.2529 Family Fun Night 4:00-9:00, Little Monkey Bizness. Admission is only $6 for kids to climb and bounce the evening away. 913.631.7000 kcparent.com april-june 2014

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SPRING 2014 CALENDAR

Visit KCParent.com and search “Favorite Dates” for even more ideas!

parents night out

Pinot’s Palette Diavlo April 25 & 26, Yardley Hall, JCCC.edu/Performing-Arts-Series. Fourteen stunning dancers, gymnasts, acrobats and athletes leap, fly and spin with power, modern elegance and a thrill of danger! Outrageous sets incorporate skate ramps, half-pipes and other large structures to flesh out acrobatic and abstract narratives of the absurdities of life and the struggle to maintain our humanity in an increasingly technological world.

fairies’ weaving spells, the handsome prince, the glass slipper, the clock’s striking midnight and, of course, the wicked stepmother and riotous, bumbling stepsisters all come together to tell this beautiful story.

Murder Mystery Dinner: Gilligan’s Island of Death May 9 & 10, Holy-Field Winery, 18807 158th St., Basehor, KS, 913.724.9463, HolyfieldWinery.com. Upstage Productions presents a night of nonstop fun that is “to die for!” Reservations required. Tickets $45/ea. Tip: Search “Holy-Field” on KCParent.com for a review of the shows.

We Will Rock You June 17-22, Starlight Theatre, KCStarlight.com. We Will Rock You features the greatest hits of the legendary British rock group Queen. Now in its 12th year in London and seen by a staggering 15 million people worldwide, this hilarious, multi-award-winning and record-breaking phenomenon boasts a fantastic score of killer Queen tunes that you just can’t resist singing along to, such as “Another One Bites The Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Are the Champions,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and, of course, “We Will Rock You.”

Cinderella May 9-18, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KCBallet.org. Cinderella is a magical celebration of dreams fulfilled and true love’s triumph. Victoria Morgan’s beautiful choreography accompanied by Prokofiev’s captivating music will bring this enchanting story to life. The fairy godmother, the pumpkin that becomes a carriage,

Zip Line at Adventure Zip KC Contact for schedule. 12829 Loring Rd., Bonner Springs, KS, 913.302.8881, AdventureZipKC.com. The brand new 143-acre destination offers unforgettable experiences over their 300-foot elevation change, which is almost unheard of in the state of Kansas! From the highest point at the park, you enter the 65-foot

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tower where you can see for miles. Enjoy the views of downtown Kansas City, the flowing Kansas River and views of Lawrence on your zip line adventure. A Night of Painting Visit a paint-your-own canvas shop at various locations (search “Creative Canvas Shops” on KCParent.com for a complete guide). BYOB painting classes and studios have been popping up around town offering the perfect chance to get those creative juices flowing and do something out of the ordinary! Check shop calendars for a variety of canvas paintings and select an evening to learn how to complete your own masterpiece. Through the Looking Glass Exhibit Thru July 20, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins.org, free exhibit in the Bloch Building, Gallery L10. This exhibition highlights a commitment to the earliest form of photography: the daguerreotype. The museum’s world-renown daguerreotype holdings now include more than 800 pieces. Continuing to build on this strength, this exhibition displays the newest additions to this remarkable collection.


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The tips below will help you have a successful day out with your tot.

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kcparent.com april-june 2014

33


bellylaughs

Ended a work call with “I love you.” Talk about embarrassing! -Molly D.

We asked KC Parent’s 13,500+ Facebook Fans:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done sleep deprived? Rebecca I: My husband wins this one! One day shortly after our quads came home, he was wandering around the house looking for his socks. He couldn’t find them anywhere...until I pointed to his feet. RK: Gotten up and gotten ready for work. Started the car and saw the time. It was 4:00 a.m., not 6:00 like I thought. Abby D:  I tend to think I’ve lost things while I am holding them. For example, I had my keys in my hand and was searching the house like a crazy lady looking for them. Margaret S: One day shortly after my older was born, I took a nap. When I woke up, I couldn’t remember if I had a baby. Once I determined I did have a baby, I couldn’t remember where she was. Luckily, she was safely napping in her crib. Stacey F: I put liquid hand soap on my toothbrush instead of toothpaste. Yuck! Molly M: Showed up for work wearing my slippers! Sarah L: I was talking on the phone to my sister. I set the phone down to mix a bottle. I picked it back up and told her a long story…only to realize I was talking into the TV remote! Tina R: The craziest thing I’ve done was change my son’s diaper and forget to put a new diaper on! When he was all wet I realized my mistake! Jane F: Making a bottle for a middle-of-the-night feeding and forgetting to put the top on before shaking. Molly D: Ended a work call with “I love you.” You talk about embarrassing!

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Associated Women’s Care Physicians, P.C.

Since founding Associated Women’s Care Physicians in 1968, our practice has been providing excellent obstetric and gynecologic care to Eastern Jackson County. Our providers are well trained in the management of women’s health, including: • Normal & high risk pregnancies • Vaginal birth after cesarean section • Infertility • Robotic Surgery

Lee’s Summit Office 816.246.7200

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Blue Springs Office 816.228.4400

www.awcpobgyn.com

Dentistry That Will Make Kids

Board Certified Pediatric Dentists

Smile • Prompt, friendly care • Professional dental cleanings • Fun, interactive environment • Specialized dentistry just for kids!

kcparent.com april-june 2014

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EXPLORE KANSAS

CITY ZOO Watch Polar Bears Flip and Splash at Polar Bear Passage, Penguins Waddle and dive at Helzberg Penguin Plaza and much, much more!

Always a new adventure!

2014 FOTZ Memberships NOW AVAILABLE! kansascityzoo.org 816.513.5800

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kcparent.com april-june 2014

The Kansas City Zoo, a private, non-profit organization is operated in agreement with the Kansas City, MO Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, partially funded by the Zoological District in Jackson and Clay Counties in MO, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


KC Baby Magazine Spring 2014