Parents Canada Annual Guide for New Parents

Page 1

ANNUAL 2022 /3 table of contents 18/ 18/ 12/ 20/ 24/ 28/ WELCOME BABY HELLO BUMP 7 Weird Things to Expert During Pregnancy Five Non-Obnoxious (and Safe!) Gender Reveals Top 8 Baby Registry Items You Actually Need 20 Timeless Baby Names That Never Go Out of Style 06/ 10/ 17/ 28/ 30/ 30/ What No One Tells You About Recovering from Childbirth Do Babies Dream? And Other Newborn Questions Answered Establishing an Equal Parent Household Mother Doesn’t Always Best: Outdated Parenting Advice Debunked Are You Ready for Another Baby? 5 Conversations to Have with Your Partner Before Your Baby Arrives 08/


Bringing home a new baby is an exciting, life-changing event in the lives of parents. Whether it’s your first or your fifth, meeting your newest family member never gets old. But the heady, early days of new parenthood do get exhausting, and it can feel very isolating. That’s why we created the ParentsCanada Annual Guide for New Parents—so you know you aren’t alone.

This magazine offers a mix of useful and fun content, from the conversations to have with your partner before your new baby arrives, to the right way to do a gender reveal (spoiler alert: It should not involve gunpowder). We want to ease your anxiety and answer your questions while also getting a giggle or two out of you, because, while there’s no doubt that parenting is hard, it’s also really fun. You’ll see. As soon as you get some sleep.




Lisa Evans

Alyssa Dow

Katie Dupuis

Lori Dickson

Angela Breese

Casey Stratton

Lisa Mackay

Vic Chen

James Morrison

Ryan Burke Blake Eligh Kailee Somers

Jane Bradley

The ParentsCanada team


Meliza Orellana is a lifestyle and newborn photographer in Vancouver, BC, who makes getting beautiful photos easy.

ON THE COVER Violet, age three months

Copyright © 2022 Jane Media Inc. The ParentsCanada Annual is a registered trademark of Jane Media Inc.

All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication, reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system without the prior written consent of the publisher—or in the case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, license from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency—is an infringement of the copyright law.

Printed and bound in Canada by Dollco Printing Inc.

Published in Canada by Jane Media Inc. 407 Iroquois Shore Rd., Suite 8, Oakville, ON L6H 1M3 Telephone: 905-334-6417

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

ANNUAL 2022 /5
We’re always here for you at ParentsCanada, with the information and advice you need. Start here, with this magazine, and then come check out for so much more. WRITERS


You probably know about morning sickness and swollen ankles—these are your garden-variety pregnancy ailments—but there are other symptoms no one seems to talk about. We’re breaking the taboo and rounding up some of the lesser-known pregnancy symptoms to help new mamas know they aren’t alone.

DRY, ITCHY SKIN is very common, especially around the abdomen and breasts (it’s not used to being stretched!). Avoid taking hot showers, use pregnancy-safe moisturizers or oils to soothe skin, and wear breathable clothing on warm days.

SWELLING OR BLEEDING GUMS may occur due to the increase in pregnancy hormones. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly, and visit your dentist early in your pregnancy for a checkup.

SHORTNESS OF BREATH might occur as your uterus grows and pressure on your upper body increases. Try this: Stand up and raise your arms over your head. By lifting your ribcage, you’ll be able to take in more air. Try to keep your shoulders back so your chest area can open, allowing more breathing space.

A STUFFY NOSE is not uncommon. The increased hormones dry out the lining of your nose, making it inflamed and swollen. Try to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day to thin out

mucous, and avoid using commercial nose sprays. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air.

HEARTBURN can seem non-stop when you are expecting. Stay ahead of it by avoiding fried or spicy foods, eating small meals throughout the day rather than larger, less frequent meals, and rest/sleep with your upper body propped up to prevent stomach acids from rising.

LEAKING COLOSTRUM (a thick, yellowish fluid containing valuable antibodies for your babe) from the nipples is normal and can happen as early as the second trimester. Wear nursing pads in your bra to protect your clothing from leaks.

DIZZINESS is common during pregnancy—especially during the first trimester. You may be able to prevent or handle these episodes by eating regularly to keep your blood sugar stable, lying on your left side to improve circulation, and sitting down and practising controlled breathing. You should also avoid becoming overheated.

ANNUAL 2022 6/
HELLO BUMP 1 2 3 4
6 7 7

Three Reasons to START SAVING

For Your Child’s Post-Secondary Education

There is a common saying in the parenting community: “The days are long, but the years are short.” And if you’re expecting a baby, you’re about to find out just how true that is. The early days can feel never-ending, but all of a sudden, your child is starting school. And then, seemingly overnight, you’re taking “flanking the graduate” pictures at your child’s grade 12 graduation.

So, we have a piece of important advice for new parents: Start saving for your little one’s post-secondary education early. That way, you can spend your time soaking up the baby days instead of worrying about the years ahead.

Here are three other reasons to start contributing to an RESP sooner than later:

It Becomes a Part of Your Household Budget

At CEFI, we offer three different RESP options in order to serve all families:

• The Group Option Plan: If you prefer to budget for regular, scheduled contributions, this plan is for you. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your RESP can grow with this consistent, reliable approach.

• The Achievers Plan: Do you prefer to work toward a goal? CEFI can help you to open a plan to meet a savings objective.

• The Self-Initiated Option Plan: If you desire flexibility, you’ll love this option. You can contribute what and when you want to your child’s RESP, giving you full control of your financial commitment.

You Can Take Advantage of Government Grants (and Other Perks!)

No matter what plan option your choose, CEFI will help you to collect all of the government grants for which your child is eligible. You’ll also be able to earn AIR MILES ® Reward Miles with contributions to your CEFI-managed RESPs.

It's Confidence-Boosting

If your child knows early on that you have an RESP in place for them, it helps to reinforce the idea that postsecondary education is a real possibility. We spend a lot of time telling our kids that anything is possible. Now imagine telling them you’ve been saving money to help their dreams come true since they were a baby? As a parent, it doesn’t get much better.

®™Trademarks of AM Royalties Limited Partnership used under license by LoyaltyOne Co. and Children’s Education Funds Inc. In partnership with ParentsCanada Head on over to Contest – Children’s Education Funds Inc. ( right now for a chance to win an RESP valued at $3,000 courtesy of Children’s Education Funds Inc CEFI plans are sold by prospectus. Please refer the prospectus before making an investment decision.


Non-Obnoxious Gender Reveals

(and Safe!)

Prior to 2008, the term “gender reveal” was limited to your doctor giving you a call to let you know the results of your anatomy ultrasound (or maybe, if you were lucky, the ultrasound tech told you on the spot so you didn’t have to wait). Today, gender reveal posts, reels and parties are commonplace, with varying degrees of obnoxiousness. For the most over the top, the reveals can even border on unsafe; elaborate gender reveals have resulted in the deaths of party goers, forest fires, plane crashes and more.

We say keep it simple, parents to be. From frosting-filled cupcakes to pre-loaded confetti cannons, we’ve rounded up a handful of down-to-earth, responsible reveal ideas that won’t have your friends and family secretly cringing (or running for cover!).

A Sweet Filled Confection

The very first documented gender reveal involved cutting into a sheet cake layered with pink icing to share the news of a baby girl. Cute, right? This idea has expanded and evolved into frosting-filled cupcakes, chocolate smash cakes with hidden coloured surprises, stacked sugar cookies with a compartment for pink or blue sprinkles and more. With this reveal, the treats get eaten (and it’s unlikely that anyone dies).

An Answer Box

If you’re looking for a cute but modest way to share your news, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Head to the party store and grab a few helium balloons in the correct


colour. Decorate a large cardboard box (it needs to be big enough to contain the balloons) and anchor the balloons inside. With your friends and family present, open the box and let the balloons pop out to deliver the

A Gender Reveal Word Search

There are many free word search generators online, so you can execute this reveal idea with very little effort. Program in the words “boy” and “girl,” adding one extra mention for the gender you’re revealing. Guests can work together to complete the word search, counting up which word shows up one more time than the other option.

Gender Reveals GONE WRONG

To keep everyone at your reveal safe and comfortable, here are a few ideas to stay away from: • Anything that involves weapons

Anything that involves gunpowder or homemade explosives • Anything that involves fire

Setting off fireworks

A Scavenger Hunt

Whether you’re creating this type of reveal for your partner or for invited guests, the nice thing about this creative idea is that it can be personalized to reflect who you are as a couple or family. Send participants from location to location collecting clues, culminating in a final clue revealing the gender of your impending arrival.

Using a bat or stick to break something open (broken nose, anyone?) • Incorporating animals in any way (don’t dye your pet’s fur!) • Crude messages on cakes or balloons (yes, avoid jokes about genitalia)

ANNUAL 2022 /9

Top 8

Baby Registry Items

You Actually Need

Yes, stuffed animals and onesies are adorable, but if we’re being honest, most of these things will still have tags on them on your baby’s first birthday. If you want to fill your registry with things you’ll actually use every day, here are our top baby registry recommendations.

360 Cloud High Chair

Your baby can eat and play facing any direction in this 360degree swivel high chair. This easy-to-clean seat is free of nooks and crannies (so no Cheerios in impossible to clean places), plus the tray is dishwasher safe—a bonus for busy parents.

Nursery Projector and Sound Machine

Help your baby sleep, well, like a baby with this sound machine that features both soothing, ambient sounds and lullabies. It also features a projector with three image cartridges, which provides just enough light for changing baby in the middle of the night.

Clearnose Aspirator

Brica XtraGuard Antimicrobial 5-in-1 Cover

Protect your baby from germs when out and about with this versatile, antimicrobial cover-up. Featuring silver-ion technology that prevents bacteria growth on fabric surfaces, this five-in-one accessory can be used as a car seat cover, nursing cover-up, shopping cart cover and more.

Bet you never thought you’d be sucking snot from your baby’s nose, but trust us, a nasal aspirator will be one of your medicine cabinet’s most used items during your baby’s first year. The Clearnose Aspirator is easy to use and includes three different nose tips with no filters required.

ANNUAL 2022 10/ In partnership with ParentsCanada

Munchkin Swing

Babies love to be in motion (well, most babies…it takes a little trial and error to figure out what they like).

This swing rocks side-to-side, emulating a caregiver’s natural swaying motion. Plus, it plays soft sounds in the background to soothe your little one.

Munchkin Sponge Bottle Brushes

These may not seem like the most exciting items on the list, but washing and sanitizing your baby’s bottles will soon feel like it’s taking over your life. This brush will be a game changer. It’s a bottle brush and nipple brush in one, allowing you to clean every inch of your baby’s bottle with one simple tool.

Munchkin CleanSqueeze Mold-Free Bath Squirts

Fun in the tub is one of the best ways for your baby to engage in sensory play. A bath can help your baby get a better sleep and can help them reset if they’re feeling a little cranky. Just be sure to fill your tub with fun and safe bath toys that won’t harbour mold inside. That’s why we love these ones! Easily squeezed by little hands, they twist apart for thorough cleaning. Grab the Munchkin Quack Bath Caddy to hold all of your bath toys while allowing water to drain out when bath time is over, too.


Learn from veteran parents what you really don’t need for your new arrival. Here are a few of the things you can leave off the baby registry.

✘ Dozens of receiving blankets: You really only need four or five.

✘ Crib bumpers: These are considered a safety hazard.

✘ An excess of diapers: Don’t stock up, unless you’re buying a range of sizes. Your baby will outgrow them before you can use them.

ANNUAL 2022 /11

What no one tells you


Yay! The baby’s here! What a miracle. But childbirth’s not exactly a picnic. After you’ve given birth, you will experience myriad mental and physical changes, from bleeding to mood swings. So how do you know which changes are normal and which ones warrant a call to the doc? Read on for a rundown of what to expect, how to cope and when to ask for help.


What’s normal: It’s normal to have bleeding, similar to a heavy period, for up to six weeks. The lining of the uterus is shedding, so it may be heavy early on, but it should lighten over the next few weeks. You may also experience increased bleeding and pain similar to contractions while breastfeeding, as nursing stimulates oxytocin which affects all of the smooth muscles in your body. This process is helping your uterus to contract back to its prepregnancy size.

What’s not normal: Contact your doctor if you are soaking through a pad every hour, if you are passing clots larger than the size of a loonie or if you have foulsmelling discharge or a fever. It may be an infection or retained placenta.


What’s normal: Forty to 80 per cent of women will develop the baby blues. This is normal. It usually starts during the first postpartum week and can last for a few weeks. Rely on the support of your friends and family to get through it.

What’s not normal: Up to 10 per cent of women may develop postpartum depression, which can appear anytime within 12 months of delivery. If you have substantial sadness, anxiety or are having trouble caring for your baby, see your doctor. Anxiety can be common, but if it interferes with eating and sleeping and you are agitated all the time, take it as a warning sign. It can be treated with a range of therapies including individual therapy, group therapy or medication. Women who have had it before are more likely to experience it again.


What’s normal: Many women tear or

ANNUAL 2022 12/

have an episiotomy during delivery, so it’s common for the area to be sore and uncomfortable for up to a few weeks (you likely have stitches, so this makes sense!). Use a peri bottle filled with water after urination or bowel movements to keep the area clean. Some women use ice packs (or maxi pads soaked in water and frozen), especially 24 to 72 hours after delivery, to help bring down the swelling. You can also sit on a donut pillow and use stool softeners to ease the pain.

What’s not normal: If you’ve taken Tylenol or Advil and you still have substantial pain, or if the pain gets worse, talk to your doctor.


What’s normal: It is very common for women to develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy or during the delivery. Basically, intra-abdominal pressure forces veins to swell and stretch around the anal area. You can treat the symptoms of pain, itching and discomfort by taking regular, 10-minute sitz baths (a shallow bath with warm water). Also be sure to drink lots of water and eat a high fibre diet to avoid straining. You can also apply witch hazel, which is soothing, or use an over-the-counter product containing hydrocortisone and zinc oxide.

What’s not normal: For many women, the hemorrhoids will eventually go away, but others will have them long term. Consult with your doctor if you’re bleeding or in a lot of pain.


What’s normal: After delivery, your breasts will fill with milk and become engorged. Often, it is difficult for newborns to help relieve the engorgement because they can’t yet suck hard enough. Some babies also have trouble latching, which can cause breastfeeding parents to have bleeding or cracked nipples. For engorgement, use Tylenol or Advil to treat the pain (cool compresses and even cabbage leaves can also help) but you’ll also need to relieve the pressure: Try handexpressing or pumping and you should see an improvement fairly quickly. If you have sore nipples, lanolin or other creams developed for nipples can help, but you should also see a lactation consultant to make sure you are nursing properly. Otherwise, the pain is likely to get worse.

What’s not normal: Call your doctor if your breasts are sore, hard and red, or if you have a fever. It could be an infection called mastitis and you may need antibiotics.


What’s normal: Follow your doctor’s direction upon discharge to care for your C-section scar. Once the staples come out, you will likely get steri-strip bandages, which you should leave on for as long as your doctor advises. When you remove them, keep the area clean by gently cleansing with soap and water.

What’s not normal: If your scar is red, oozing or smelly, contact your doctor.

ANNUAL 2022 /13


Gram for gram, beef is one of the richest sources of key nutrients that babies need to get from solid foods—iron in particular. Since babies have high iron requirements but small appetites, you want to get as much bang out of each bite as you can.

You might be stumped on how to offer beef to your baby. Whether you feel more comfortable starting with purées or more adventurous and want to jump in to baby led weaning, there’s a beef texture that’s just perfect!

Beef Purée

If your baby is showing the signs of readiness and you’ve been given the goahead to start solids, puréed beef can be offered as early as four to six months.

Beef Patties

Yes, your six-month-old baby can enjoy a burger with you! Or a meatball, or a kebab, or, or, or…the options are endless! Ground beef is a fantastic tool in the baby feeding

ANNUAL 2022 14/
Brought to you by

toolbox because you can mold it into handheld shapes (when babies put them into their mouths, they crumble apart). Try adding prunes to your beef patties and they’ll double up as a constipation fighter.

Beef Bolognese

Make your favourite pasta sauce and you have a baby-friendly meal the whole family can enjoy together. As a bonus, beef bolognese is a delicious way to introduce your baby to the taste of veggies like zucchini, celery and mushrooms. Just skip the salt when cooking because babies shouldn’t have too much sodium; you can always salt your own dish afterwards.

Beef, but Shredded

Employ the help of your slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker to make tender, fall apart, shredded beef. The soft texture is great for a baby to munch on with their gums, no teeth required. Small pieces can be challenging for a baby to pick up, so shredded beef works best for babies who are developing their pincer grasp. This usually occurs around eight months old. Beef blade steak or short ribs are perfect cuts to use for shredded beef.

Beef Liver

For a super boost of iron, cook up a piece of beef liver and mix it into your baby’s other food. Liver has more than double the iron than other cuts of beef. It’s also a very soft texture when cooked.

A word of caution: Liver is also a high source of vitamin A, which can be toxic in large amounts for babies. As such, they shouldn’t consume more than one tablespoon of beef liver each week.

Beef, an Everyday Baby Food

With the exception of liver, beef can be served every day to your baby. Compared to adults, who only need maintenance doses of iron, babies need iron to support their growth and development. Coupled with their small tummies and appetites, it would be unlikely for them to overconsume.

Beef is a whole food that is incredibly rich in nutrients and enjoyed by people all over the world. If it’s something you eat at the family dinner table, be sure to share it with your baby too.

Combined, Jess and Nita have four children between the ages of three and nine years, and almost 20 years of experience working as registered dietitians. They decided to become experts in the area of childhood nutrition to serve likeminded parents the confidence they need to raise happy, healthy eaters.

Visit for more information.

ANNUAL 2022 /15

Timeless Baby Names That Never Go Out of Style

If you’re looking for a baby name that will stand the test of time, take a look at the history books and choose from the classic (dare we say, iconic) names you find there. We love these tried-and-true monikers that are sure to remain steadfastly in style.

Alan Anthony Catherine Charles Christopher Daniel David Elizabeth Jane Joseph

John Margaret Michael Patrick Peter Raymond Robert Thomas Walter William

ANNUAL 2022 /17

Do Babies DREAM?

And Other Newborn Questions Answered

Now that your little bundle has arrived, welcome to the baffling world of parenting and searching for answers to random questions for the rest of time. We’ve got the answers to eight common newborn queries you’ve no doubt already considered.


While some researchers believe babies experience some form of rudimentary dreaming, most neuroscientists believe their brains need time to develop before they’re capable of self-awareness and the abstract thinking required to truly dream.


Babies in the womb can tell the difference between light and dark, and newborns can see contrast between black and white shapes. It’s not until they are several weeks old that they will be able to see their first primary colour—red. It’s generally believed that babies can see the full spectrum of colours by the time they reach five months of age.


Some newborns seem to have an offkilter gaze soon after birth, which can be concerning to new parents. Not to worry, though. This is a perfectly normal—and common—newborn characteristic.

Some babies are born with extra folds of skin in the inner corners of their eyes or a wide-bridged nose, giving them a crosseyed appearance until they grow into these features. You may also notice your baby’s eyes don’t always move in unison, but again, this is normal as your baby’s brain and eye muscles develop and learn to coordinate their movements.

Fortunately, these things are rarely anything to worry about and a baby’s eyes typically straighten out by four months, but if you’re concerned, it never hurts to consult your child’s doctor.


Researchers have long known that a newborn recognizes, and even prefers,

ANNUAL 2022 18/

their mom’s voice. This makes sense as Mom’s voice is the most significant sound your baby hears in the womb, and your baby can already recognize it from the third trimester! With continued exposure, your baby will also start to recognize and form a preference to their other parent, as well as other close family members and friends.


The colour of a baby’s irises depends on a protein called melanin, which is also responsible for hair and skin colour. Specialized cells in our bodies called melanocytes are responsible for secreting melanin and typically, the most significant changes in eye colour occur anywhere from three to nine months, with most babies having their permanent eye colour by 12 months. Of course, there are always exceptions and occasionally a child’s eye colour can continue to darken up to six years of age.


As research has shown, that mesmerizing newborn baby aroma is very real, and as it turns out, it’s a nifty little biological trick for keeping babies alive and well.

Scientists have learned that for women, the scent of a newborn stimulates the parts of the brain that recognizes reward and pleasure, helping to forge a strong mother-to-infant bond.

As to what exactly causes that intoxicating newborn smell, no one knows for sure. Some researchers speculate that it comes from their sweat glands, or that it’s the

lingering scent of amniotic fluid or vernix caseosa—the white, creamy substance that coats babies to protect them in utero.


You’ll quickly find it’s best to wait until after mealtime for a diaper change, as breast milk is not only easy for babies to digest but is actually considered a natural laxative!

Babies who are breastfed often poop immediately after, if not while they’re eating. Generally, formula-fed babies have bowel movements less frequently than breastfed babies, but all babies are different and this isn’t always the case. In the early weeks, babies may poop during or after every feed, but as time goes on and their stomach grows, they may settle into a different routine.


At some point or another, all babies will fight sleep—even when it’s clear sleep is what they need most. They’re rubbing their eyes, fussing and yawning, and yet are seemingly refusing to doze off. Why?

There are a few reasons why babies fight sleep but the most common one is that they are simply overtired. Babies tend to have a “sleep window” during which they are primed to fall asleep, and if they are awake too long, they can become frantic, fussy and downright cranky, naturally making it even more difficult for them to succumb to the sweet, sweet zzz’s.

ANNUAL 2022 /19

I remember thinking, when I learned my first daughter was on her way, “Well, you’ve gone and done it now. The life you knew will never be the same.” And I know I’m not alone—this time is defi nitely anxiety-inducing for many. No one really has any idea what they’re doing in the early days, and that’s terrifying. Other people’s opinions seem to rain down on you from every direction, too, further muddying the waters. One thing I did know for sure was that—even though I wasn’t the one giving birth—I wanted to be an equal parent. I wanted to be sure that all of the tasks were shared in our household. I’m now nearly 18 years into my parenting journey, and while I’m no expert, I’ve definitely learned some tried-and-true ways to navigate creating a balanced home. Here are a few tips to help as your start your own voyage.

Be Prepared to Pitch in at Night

Sleep deprivation hits hard and fast, but stepping up to the plate to take on night feedings can be a blessing to all.

Establishing an Equal Parent Household

The bonds that can be formed here, in the wee hours of the night, can lay the foundation for your relationship with your child. Even if you can’t do the actual feeding (not all babies take bottles), get up anyway; you can be on burp-andback-to-bed duty. Once you get in the rhythm of interrupted sleep, this isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. Plus, if you’re the out the door to work bright and early, it will make for a much smoother day at home if your partner gets decent sleep through the night.

Make a Schedule to Divide and Conquer

If you didn’t give birth and are in the supporting role at first, I could tell you to just take over a lot of the necessary chores, but this would be wrong. You also need to factor in your own poten tial burnout. You don’t want to end up exhausted day in and day out, or even in a state of resentment towards your partner if you feel the household division isn’t fair. Instead, take turns cooking and

ANNUAL 2022 20/
“Start out as you intend to go on” is the best advice for new parents who each want to pull their weight. Read on for five easy ways you can share the load, from a parent who has been there.

cleaning, maybe factoring in the days you know your work schedule is lighter. And take into consideration who likes to do what. You love folding laundry but hate putting it away? Tag team it. Your partner loathes vacuuming but doesn’t mind emptying the dishwasher? That’s a no brainer.

Find the Routines You Enjoy and Make Them Yours

For me, it was always bath and bedtime. Even after long days—when the traffic was horrible, when things don’t go right—the silly songs, games and stories were so good. Yes, it was adding a little fun to the evening, but it was also making connections. My children are now 17 and 14 and we still share laughs over memories formed during those daily routines. Added bonus: Your partner will likely appreciate the break they get during these moments when you’re doing your thing.

Embrace Your Inner Child

There’s usually one parent who is a goofball, but they have to keep it in check at work and with their friends. If this is you, let ’er rip with your kids. It can lead to amazing bonds and memories that only you can share with them. There is no special recipe for building relationships with your children, but trust me—when you’re the reason for silly smiles at a young age, it makes it easier to coax them out of your kids later on in life too.

Don’t Forget About Your Partner

People read love in different languages. Don’t get complacent and assume your partner is filled to the brim with happy, loving thoughts just because you carry your weight. Stay strong on the chores and household help, but don’t lose sight of the small things that make your part nership work. Maybe create a bedtime routine for the grown-ups, too?

At the end of the day, of course we don’t know all the thoughts and emotions that new mothers carry. There is a lot to unpack once a newborn comes home for the first time (literally!). We don’t know it all and we can’t do it all, but being present and helpful is the best approach. You will quickly find that almost all of what was initially terrifying becomes natural instinct. You got this! Oh, and diapers—there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to not change diapers.

ANNUAL 2022 /21

Your little one is about to dine on Cloud 9!

The sleek 360˚ Cloud™ High Chair elevates mealtime with function and style. Easy to clean, easy to assemble, and easy on the eyes!

360˚ Swivel Removeable Cushion Insert 1 Minute Assembly

Doesn’t Always


Safe sleep guidelines call for all infants to be put to bed on their backs, alone, in a crib without extraneous bedding (you may have heard this referred to as the ABCs).

can use a fitted crib sheet and a wearable sleep sack for extra warmth, but blankets, pillows and stuffies are prohibited.

Okay, that’s not fair. It’s not always mothers. Let’s try that again: Older relatives don’t always know best. Parenting advice will come fast and furious once your little one is earthside but, depending on the source, the guidance may be quite outdated. With this in mind, we put the call out on our social media channels for the most obsolete “help” our readers were given.

WELCOME BABY Babies don’t like to sleep on their backs! Maybe she’s a tummy sleeper.”
ANNUAL 2022 24/

Do not give your baby booze, full stop. While we’re at it here, teething gels containing benzocaine are also a no-go. Infant formula Advil or Tylenol are your best bet, once your doctor gives you the okay. You can also try giving your baby a frozen teething ring or a mesh fresh-food feeder with a frozen berry in it once they’re old enough for solid food.

Nope. You can’t spoil a baby. End of story.

According to Health Canada, infants should not have anything besides breast milk or formula until at least six months of age. Speak to your child’s doctor before introducing any other food source prior to this time.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”

Okay, this is great in theory, but show us a parent who was ever able to do this on the regular and we’ll show you a total fibber. Naptime is often the only time a new parent gets to themselves in a day, which calls for a hot cup of coffee, catching up on TV shows, calling a friend, starting the laundry…you name it. Plus, sleeping on command is not an easy feat, even when you’re beyond tired.

The laugh track at the end of this quote is especially apt. Sleep begets sleep. Infants and toddlers need consistent daytime sleep and an early bedtime in order to avoid getting into the dreaded overtired zone. Don’t try to push bedtime later; you’re asking for a rough night, an early wakeup and a cranky kid in the morning.

Um, what? Not only are

but there are specific directions for how long a child should be rear-facing, in a five-point harness and using a booster seat (and it’s a lot longer than you might think!). Check out Transport Canada’s guidelines at for the latest guidelines.

“Rub a little whiskey on a teething baby’s gums to soothe them.”
“If you let them stay up later, they’ll sleep in later…bahaha.”
“Car seats aren’t actually necessary.”
they necessary,
“Comforting a crying baby will end up spoiling the baby.”
“I was told if you add pablum or rice cereal to your baby's bedtime bottle, they'll sleep longer. This was before my baby was even on solids. Also, my babies rejected the bottle and I was exclusively breastfeeding.”

How to Cope When Your Baby Won’t SLEEP THROUGH the NIGHT

There’s nothing worse than not getting enough sleep, and it’s pretty much a given in your baby’s first year. But all is not lost—there are things you can do to ease the toll of sleep deprivation as your little one learns just how glorious sleep can be (they’ll learn eventually, don’t worry! They may be 13, but we digress).

The average adult should get seven or more hours of shut eye each night, but with wee ones in the house, that’s an unlikely scenario. On average, new parents lose a staggering 109 minutes of sleep a night in the first year after having a new

baby. It’s no laughing matter, either: Every new parent has a tale of car keys mistakenly tucked into the freezer, irons or stove burners left on all day or sweaters worn to work inside-out, but fatigue is serious issue. Fragmented rest wreaks havoc on memory, metabolism, decision-making abilities and the ability to multi-task.

Studies also indicate that lack of sleep worsens the symptoms of postpartum depression in the parent who has given birth, too. Partners take a hit, as well, schlepping to work every day with bags under their eyes. Who wants their dental surgeon or fork-lift driver running on a mere four hours of sleep? Or a drowsy parent behind the wheel? American figures estimate that there

ANNUAL 2022 26/

are 100,000 fatigue-related car crashes each year, resulting in 1,400 deaths.

But we know, as you pace the floor at 3 a.m. with your newborn, it won’t be sleep science and stats you’re thinking about; you’ll be thinking about your pillow. No worries. We’ve got strategies to help you make it through the night.


We know the laundry won’t do itself, and there’s a teetering stack of dishes in the sink, but get your exhausted self to bed whenever you can. This is your official pass to slack off. Take a timeout, call a friend, hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the front door, whatever. Catch a break whenever you can.


Split your night into four-to-six hour time slots so you and your partner can get solid chunks of dream time. When you’re off-duty, find a dark, quiet, babyfree zone to catch some zzz’s. Turn off your phone, get yourself some blackout curtains and use a white noise machine or fan to block out ambient noise.


If you must get up, keep the lights low so it’s easier to slip back into sleep after. If you’re breastfeeding, try to express milk during the day so your partner can take over a nighttime feed, too.


Everyone and their mother (and your mother, and your partner’s mother) has an

that you asked for it). Don’t even get us started on the additional advice you’ll find on social media. Despite the competing voices, you will eventually find a solution or routine that works for you and your family. And when that solution stops working (and it will—kids are like that), you’ll find another. Just be sure that you are taking a safety-first approach: The ABCs of sleep (Alone, on their Back and in their Crib) should be a priority.


If nothing seems to work, consider hiring a sleep consultant or doula. They can provide a friendly ear, a shoulder to cry on and sound advice. Doulas can get you through early days at home, but there’s a growing number of sleep consultants who can cajole night owls of all ages to sleep. Services and fees vary; a quick Google search will tell you what’s available within your budget.

When in doubt, remember: Your child won’t be doing this forever. By three months, 90 percent of babies are sleeping for six to eight hours stretches. Someday, you’ll even back on these nights with your little one fondly. We promise.

ANNUAL 2022 /27

Another Baby? Are You Ready For

We know how it is: One whiff of a new baby and you’re longing for the newborn days. But don’t let your hormones make such an important decision. Read on for some significant things to consider before you start picking out nursery colours.

When I found out I was pregnant with my second baby, I was ecstatic. My son was six years old and thrilled at the thought of becoming a big brother. But after the initial giddy phase wore off, it hit me: I’m going to do this all again. The diapers, the sleepless nights, the teething, the midnight fevers (why do they always spike a temperature at 1 a.m.?).

Preparing to add a new family member can feel both exciting and nervewracking. Questions about how your family structure will work with a new addition can keep you up at night more than pregnancy heartburn. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me about being a second-time parent:

ANNUAL 2022 28/

1Your second pregnancy may be nothing like your first. I forgot how relaxed I was during my first pregnancy. I’d put my feet up at the end of the day and be in bed asleep by 8 p.m. Being pregnant as a mom means a lot less rest and a lot more exhaustion. Not only are you growing a human, but you’re also chasing after one! Try to encourage independent play for your older child, delegate tasks that drain your energy and sneak in rest breaks when you can.

2Your older child (or children!) might not know what hit them. Having a new member of the family is not only a big deal for you and your partner—it’s a major milestone for older siblings. While they might be excited about taking on their new role, that excitement may start to wane when they realize they aren’t the star of the show anymore. Talk to your child in advance about what life will be like with a new baby to prepare them as much as possible. But also ensure to schedule special one-on-one time once your new addition arrives. This may be tough to do in the first few months when you’re feeding your baby round the clock and are up at all hours of the night, but even taking 20 minutes to curl up and read a book together will help.

3You’ll be more relaxed as a secondtime parent. With your first baby, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and Google every little thing. I remember googling, “Is green baby poop normal?” The good news is, all those things you researched with your first are stored somewhere in your memory bank, so you’ll be able to soak up more baby snuggles and relax a bit more the second time around.


While your energy and anxiety levels and your relationships with your older children are so important, there are some very practical checks and balances to consider, too:

Crunch the numbers to determine if you can afford another baby. If it feels scary, reach out to a financial advisor to figure out how to make it work.

Look at your family’s schedule to determine if time will be an issue. If one parent travels a lot for work, for example, you’ll likely need to figure out how childcare will work so the other parent doesn’t get burnt out.

Consider your home and whether you have enough space for another child.

Look at your vehicle. Is there room for two kids and their car seats and all of their stuff?

ANNUAL 2022 /29

Conversations to Have With Your Partner Before Your Baby Arrives

From who is taking parental leave to how involved you want the grandparents to be, here are five important conversations to have with your partner when you find out you’re expecting (and the earlier, the better!).

Becoming parents is a life-changing experience for a couple and, from the moment the second line appears on the test, you may feel your relationship shift. It’s no longer just the two of you; there’s someone else to factor into decisions. It’s an exciting time, but also one involving huge adjustment. Having the tough conversations before you get pregnant is ideal, but at the very least, tackle these topics before baby makes three. It’s a lot easier to have a productive conversation when you’re not knee-deep in diapers and covered in spit-up.

1 Who Will Take Time Off?

While it’s often assumed that the parent who gave birth will be the baby’s primary caregiver for the first year of their life, this isn’t always the case. Will your partner take some parental leave? How long will each of you be at home?

2 How Will Division of Labour Work?

Once the baby arrives, you may find that your household that once ran like a welloiled machine becomes in need of more frequent oil changes. Who will take on the cooking, the dishes, the piles and piles of laundry? Consider your feelings about outsourcing help. If you or your partner are against hiring a cleaner, for example, who will handle what chores?

3 What About Childcare?

As soon as you learn you’re expecting, research childcare in your area and find out how early you need to get on the wait lists. It’s also a great time to talk to your partner about what factors are important to you in choosing childcare. Are you more comfortable with a home daycare or a centre? What is your childcare budget and does it match your wish list?

4 How Involved Do You Want Your Extended Family to Be?

Some people grow up with very tightknit families, and it feels like a no-brainer to have grandparents, aunts and uncles in their everyday lives. But this isn’t the case for everyone. Talk about how much involvement you’d like from relatives on both sides, both in the days after your baby arrives and for the years ahead.

5 How Do Your Parenting Styles Mesh?

Of course you can’t know 100 per cent the type of parent you will be until you’re in the thick of it, but you probably have a pretty good idea of the kind of parent you want to be. Talk about this as early. This will open the door to conversations about things like sleep training, baby-wearing, attachment parenting, etc., and can even lead to longerterm chats about discipline styles, routines, education preferences and more.

ANNUAL 2022 30/
Register today for all your baby essentials. We've got you covered from cribs to creams. Curbside Pick-up Personal Shopping Appointments Professional Advice @babiesrus_canada

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.