San Diego Babies and Toddlers Guide 2019

Page 1


San Diego

Babies and Toddlers From Baby Bump to Preschool Prep

Publisher’s Letter



to the 1st Annual San Diego Babies and Toddlers digital guide by Family Magazine!

4 Our Local Mom Contributors Meet moms who shared their expertise

Babies grow really fast—they change every day. Start a

14 10 Baby Sleep Strategies Help for slumber-starved parents

journal early on to keep track of baby’s growth. Interact and play with your precious bundle of joy— talk and sing to him, make eye contact and smile. Babies will follow your actions. We have several editorial pieces — from parenting babies to preparing for preschool. You’ll find tips from local second-time moms, plus great resources from our advertisers. Check out new baby products currently on the market. Read and enjoy it all. Throughout the year we will add more information and resources, so come back to review it. Give us feedback—we want to hear from you!

6 The Big Reveal! Gender reveal ideas to wow family and friends 10 What to Know about Breastfeeding How to navigate the ups and downs

18 Baby Feeding & Nutrition Introducing solids and more 22 Tips for Potty Training Success Signs of readiness and expert mom advice 26 Preschool Prep Benefits, how to choose a school and more 30 Oh Baby! Some of our favorite baby and toddler products 34 Baby and Me Fitness Groups Where to get fit with your new workout buddy

Thank you to our advertisers 3 Real Education Enrichment Academy 5 UC San Diego Health

8 Palomar Health Birth Center 12 SDSU Foundation WIC Program

FollowUs San Diego Family

San Diego Family Magazine

16 The New Children’s Museum SDFamily


Main Office: 1475 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-685-6970 Fax: 619-685-6978 E-mail: 2 • • Baby Guide 2019

20 All Colors Photography 24 Children’s Physicians Medical Group 28 First 5 San Diego 31 Fertility Specialists Medical Group 33 Gymboree Play & Music - Poway & SD 36 Children’s Choice Pediatric Dental Care

SMALL, LOVING ENVIRONMENT QUALITY EDUCATION - WE OFFER A KINDERGARTEN/FIRST/SECOND GRADE CURRICULUM! See our reviews on Yelp Like us on Facebook Accepting children ages two and a half years and up. We accept gifted children as well as those children who are struggling in a traditional preschool or school setting. We also work with ASD children. We offer help for children with behavior problems. We have individualized programs with one-on-one attention. School Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am-2:00pm At Real Education Enrichment Academy we use an eclectic approach to education. We use a variety of programs, and take the best of each program to suit the needs of the individual child. We: • nurture individuality and creativity. • encourage creativity and independent thought, as well as a love of learning. • give your child a quality education so that he is well prepared to start elementary school. • provide children with a healthy, loving and nurturing environment. • provide children with various learning modalities occurring in a small and cozy environment. • tailor the curriculum to meet the needs of each child. • assist in the development of cognitive and spatial skills, as well as gross and fine motor skills. • use a combination of phonics and sight words to teach reading. • teach numbers and mathematical concepts through the use of manipulative and concrete materials. • prepare children for elementary school.

Call Eleanor (over 20 years of teaching experience) at 858-484-0341 for an appointment to view facility.

Meet Our Mom Contributors We are thrilled to include wisdom and expertise from

Tabitha Frost of Carlsbad is a health and wellness blogger at All Natural & Good, contributing writer for San Diego Moms Blog, and mother to three kids, ages 5, 3 and 21 mos. She is a former breast milk donor whose story about donating 20,000 ounces of breast milk to babies in need was featured on Good Morning America and Inside Edition. She survives mom chaos by drinking coffee and working out.

local moms who have walked the pregnancy, baby or toddler path recently, or are on it right now. Here are this issue’s expert mom contributors. You’ll find their advice and shared experiences peppered throughout the publication.

Christina Furnival of San Carlos is a licensed mental health therapist, blogger at Real Life Mama, and mother of two kids, ages 3 and 1. She was rocked by postpartum depression and anxiety after the birth of her first child. It has improved with time and therapy, but still isn’t completely gone. Christina has a huge sweet tooth, which has been passed on to her kids, but she admits, “When they’re playing nicely, you’ll often find me in the kitchen, secretly eating something I don’t want to share.” Daphne Gaghagen of Chula Vista is a body positivity advocate and editor for San Diego Moms Blog. Her kids are ages 5 and 3. She loves traveling, beer, chai, absurd romcoms, baking competitions, weightlifting and writing. Daphne has lived in five different states. Find her on Instagram @ mommyiloveyousobig.

Victoria White of Santee was a military kid and now is raising three military children, ages 10, 9 and 5. She loves to cook (but says, “I can’t bake to save my life!”) and shop out of season for the best deals on kids clothing. Victoria is currently in school to obtain her Masters in social work. She encourages moms to chase their dreams while simultaneously “chasing” their children. Melissa Varela of Rancho Peñasquitos is a former healthcare dietitian who became a skincare consultant so she could be home with her kids, ages 7, 3 and 1. Four years ago she started a Facebook group called PQ Moms to make new friends in her neighborhood. Now there are 1,100 members in the group! Melissa enjoys exploring San Diego with her family and playing monthly trivia at Pitchers Sports Bar with friends.

Anne Malinoski of Santee is an award-winning contributing writer for San Diego Family Magazine. When she’s not entertaining her two boys, ages 6 and 3, she’s likely reading, making pie or checking out San Diego’s newest restaurants. Anne is a native of San Diego East County and proud alum of USD (“Go Toreros!”). She is a self-proclaimed “culture nerd”, noting that her family spends most weekends exploring local museums.

4 • • Baby Guide 2019

Pam Molnar Learn how to make this stunning Ombre Cake from local food blogger, Laura Bashar of Family Spice. Find recipe and directions at

The Big Reveal! 19 Gender reveal ideas to wow family and friends

Photo credit: Laura Bashar of Family Spice

6 • • Baby Guide 2019

Every parent wants to celebrate a new baby in a big way and the announcement is just the beginning. Moments after announcing a pregnancy, the next question is often, “Are you having a boy or a girl?” Here are 19 unique ideas to reveal your baby’s gender to loved ones. Tell Baby’s Siblings First


Fill a black balloon with colored confetti and have the kids pop the balloon to reveal contents.

2. Fill a piñata with appropriately colored candy. Depending on the age of the kids, use a traditional stick to break it or buy a pull-string design to open the bottom. 3.

Do a simple science experiment with pH. Buy a universal indicator to change water color from clear to blue or pink by adding either ammonia or vinegar.


Make white playdough and add a few drops of food coloring inside. When the kids start to play with it, the gender will be revealed.



Many Etsy retailers offer pink or blue powder-filled balls. Have the dad-to-be hit, throw or kick the ball, which opens on impact.

A More Formal Affair


Fill mom and dad’s champagne glasses and drop in a color fizzer (available online) to reveal baby’s gender.

2. Rent a bubble machine and add food coloring to the bubbles for a magical display of color. 3.

For a slow and subtle reveal, pour food coloring in the water of several opaque vases filled with white mums. Place them on the table(s) right before food is served. During the meal, the flowers will change colors.

4. Another slow and subtle reveal: Light a gender reveal candle, which is white on the outside. As it melts, it reveals pink or blue wax inside.

2. Consider cannon poppers, which blast out colored confetti — and create great photo opps! 3.

Dress mom and dad in white clothes and have them shoot each other with water guns filled with water and food coloring.

Foodie Reveals


Look for confetti-filled push pops online and give them to everyone for dessert.

2. Did you know that blue chai tea changes to pink when you add lemon juice? It’s a great idea for the family that is finally having a girl after several boys.

Across the Miles


Use FaceTime or Skype to show parents-to-be chewing pink and blue bubble gum. As they both blow a bubble, pop the wrong color.

2. Send a package with two latex balloons – pink and blue (or whatever two colors you choose to represent boy & girl!). Put a small hole in the balloon that is the wrong color so it can’t be blown up. Ask grandparents to try and blow up the balloons. 3.

Send a baby onesie in chosen color with an iron-on image reading “See you soon” or “Better luck next time.”


Purchase gender reveal cups that change colors when liquid is poured inside. Have dad fill mom’s cup while everyone watches.

4. Order a pizza to be delivered to grandparents while you are on the phone. Have the pizza reveal the word “girl” or “boy” in pepperoni.

4. Bake a cake and insert cake pulls under it—baby-themed charms attached to different color ribbons pulled by a select few people. Place one charm to reveal baby’s gender.

Pam Molnar is a writer and mom of three. She loves to plan parties as much as guests enjoying attending. Follow her at Pam’s Party Printables for more party ideas. Baby Guide 2019 • •



MORE SMILES. MORE HUGS. MORE LOVE. Adding to your growing family means more of life’s most precious moments. And at the Palomar Medical Center Poway Birth Center, take comfort in knowing our highly trained labor & delivery team can provide the personalized birthing experience you’ve planned for. We’ll be there to make every moment special and safe. Because when you’re here, we are family.

We Provide the Birth Experience You’ve Planned. • Same physician from prenatal appointments to baby’s delivery

• Doula friendly

• Natural and holistic birth options and tools

• Compassionate Lactation Consultants with the highest breastfeeding rates

• Large private rooms with laboring tubs for your entire stay

• Spinning babies educated nurses

• VBAC supportive physicians

• Mobility during labor

• Lower than average C-section rates

• Low patient to nurse ratio

• 98% Patient Satisfaction

Learn more by attending a childbirth class or scheduling a tour at or call 442.272.0076. Receive a free gift for attending a tour!

Tabitha Frost

What New Moms Need to Know about

Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is often on the minds of moms-to-be as their due date approaches. For some, breastfeeding comes naturally, but for others, it can bring anxiety, fear, challenges and a lot of questions: Will I make enough milk? Will my baby latch? Will it hurt? Breastfeeding is one of those things — you just don’t know how it will go until you try. The first time may be the most challenging, but give it a chance because it can get better with time. Having breastfed my three children in some capacity, I’ve dealt with latch issues, oversupply and mastitis, to name a few. Here’s what new moms should know about breastfeeding. Seek Support While each breastfeeding relationship is different, I can say that even without the challenges I faced, I wouldn’t have been able to continue without support. Christine Ridings, a Lactation Consultant and Pediatric R.N. at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego suggests surrounding yourself with family, friends or a Lactation Support Group. “Confide in encouraging mamas who have trekked the breastfeeding trail before you,” Ridings advises. “They are a treasure of knowledge and support as you journey through this new adventure.” Taking a prenatal breastfeeding class can also start your breastfeeding journey on a strong path, according to Ridings.

Establish a Good Latch It’s all about the latch when it comes

to breastfeeding successfully. Ridings recommends putting baby to breast early and often to establish a good latch. “It might be painful in the beginning, but it will pass once you get the hang of it,” she says. If challenges arise, seek help from a lactation consultant. I found using a nipple shield helped with many breastfeeding challenges, including latching. With my first-born, we never

10 • • Baby Guide 2019

established a good latch, so he drank breast milk from a bottle. I wish I had known as a new mom to find support from a lactation consultant.

Pumping is Breastfeeding, too Using a breast pump is another form of breastfeeding that does not require a baby to latch. I was a nursing and pumping mom and at one point an exclusively pumping mom. Pumping isn’t always necessary, but it is helpful for moms who are going back to work or have a hard time nursing. A lactation consultant can help moms get fitted for the proper flange size to ensure enough breast milk is being expressed without causing pain.

Take Care of Yourself Giving birth and being a mom is hard work. Add breastfeeding to the mix and it may feel like there is no time to take care of yourself. Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat extra calories to replenish what is used to make that liquid gold. I drank a pint of water at each feeding/ pump session and always had snack bars handy. Other tips: Use nursing pads to manage leakage and warm compresses for clogs, pain or engorgement. Nipple cream and coconut oil are great for dry or cracked nipples. Keep these items in a basket or nearby breastfeeding station.

Try Not to Worry Many moms wonder if their baby is getting enough milk. Adequate diaper output and weight gain (after the initial weight loss after birth) are good indicators. Cluster feeding or wanting to breastfeed more often than usual is normal. Just because a baby wants to breastfeed often does not mean he is starving. Sometimes the reason points to a growth spurt or the need for extra comfort. Although it is exhausting, babies will eventually eat less often and fall into some sort of schedule. Try not to stress about

breastfeeding on a schedule, especially during the first few months when feedings are often unpredictable.

Supplementation If supplementing with formula or donor breast milk is necessary, it doesn’t mean failure. A fed and loved baby is all that matters in the end. By the time kids are in preschool, no one can tell the difference between breastfed kids and formula-fed ones! One thing I’ve learned is that moms do not owe anyone an explanation for how they choose to feed their baby or if breastfeeding doesn’t work out.

Breastfeeding Can Be Amazing The moments when your baby is nursing and gazes into your eyes are amazing. That giant smile with milk running down his face makes it all worth it. Those moments made me happy I never gave up on a bad day. Breastfeeding is a relationship that can be wonderful once you find what works. Setting goals helped me get through tough days. I rewarded myself for reaching a breastfeeding goal, even if it was only to get through one more day.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others There are highs and lows of breastfeeding. At a time when we experience mom shaming and mom guilt, remember that any amount of breastfeeding is good — and not breastfeeding isn’t bad. Don’t compare yourself to others, as each experience is different. Breastfeeding is a full-time job, but so is being a mom. However a baby is fed, motherhood is still the hardest, but most rewarding, job there is. v Tabitha Frost is a Carlsbad-based blogger and freelance writer. She is a mom of three, former preschool teacher and breast milk donor.

If you produce more milk than you need, please consider donating to help families in need. Get more information and find a local milk bank at

More Moms Say... I didn’t understand until I was actually learning to do it that breastfeeding can hurt. The latch, the soreness, the gumming and biting, the chafing and the redness; and OMG, the mastitis! For the first several weeks, I held a pillow to my face and screamed as my son “hopped on board.” It took a little over a month for both of us to chill out and figure out positioning and duration that worked for us. Daphne, Chula Vista Don’t stress out about your supply or creating a stash, the best thing that you can do is to bond with and feed your baby. Victoria, Santee Breastfeeding hurts at first! Ask to meet with a lactation consultant while in the hospital. Melissa, Rancho Peñasquitos Cluster feeds in the early days often provoke anxiety as mothers wonder if their baby is extra hungry, but cluster feeding is exactly what’s needed for a mother’s body to encourage more milk production. Hang in there! Soon your baby and your body will figure out the perfect milk amount. Christina, San Carlos I never used formula, because I’m lazy. Breastfeeding was a huge convenience for me at a time when I was always tired. If your feeding method makes your sleepdeprived life easier, lean in! Anne, Santee Read about our local momcontributors on page 4.

Baby Guide 2019 • •


San Diego Families Grow Healthy With WIC

What is WIC? 

WIC is California’s Sp Women, Infants, and of nutritious foods tha and active. WIC servic

What does WIC   

Individual and group online nutrition classe Support and informat access to breastfeedin The California WIC C and vegetables, whol butter, soy milk, tofu, Referrals to other pro and dental care and p

The California The CA WIC card allows: 

The family’s food ben one WIC card.

The food benefits to b in the family account. or stolen family memb benefits.

To locate the

Call us toll-f



pecial Supplemental Nutrition Program for Children. WIC provides benefits for a variety at support you and your family to be healthy ces are provided at no cost to you.

IC provide?

nutrition sessions, with many locations offering es. tion about breastfeeding your baby, including ng educators. Card to buy healthy foods- such as fresh fruits le grains, milk, eggs, bread, cereal, juice, peanut , and more! ograms or services, such as childcare, medical parenting classes.

You can participate in California WIC if you live in California, meet the income guidelines, and one or more of the following applies:  You are pregnant  You are breastfeeding a baby under age 1  You have had a baby in the last 6 months  You have a child under age 5  You have experienced a pregnancy loss within the past 6 months




$ 2,607


$ 3,289


$ 3,970


$ 4,652


$ 5,333

*Pregnant women count as 2 people

WIC Card is HERE!

nefits to be together on

be secured electronically . If card is lost, damaged bers will not lose their The California WIC App will be able to assist you with shopping for your WIC foods. Other features include: reminders about your next appointment, ability to review your existing food balance, and reminders of when your food balance is set to expire. Find the app in Google Play & the App Store!


San Diego Families Grow Health With WIC

 Families who meet the above requirements and receive Medi-Cal, CalWORKS (TANF), or Calfresh (Food Stamps/SNAP) may be automatically eligible for WIC. Give us a call to find out if you qualify!  Foster children under the age of 5 are eligible for WIC.  Military families who meet the requirements may be eligible for WIC. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is not included when calculating income for military families.  Families who meet the requirements may be eligible for WIC regardless of immigration status.

To locate an you, use  Children under the age of 5office who arenear cared for by fathers, grandparents, or other legal guardians may be eligible for WIC. the WIC locator tool:

Visit us at or call us toll–free at 1-888-999-6897

Call us toll-free to set up appointment!

1-888-999-6897 Or visit us online

e an office near you, use e WIC locator tool:

free to set up appointment!

1-888-999-6897 Or visit us online

This institution is an equal opportunity provider


Malia Jacobson


to help slumber-starved parents

The one piece of sleep advice that

serves parents best is this: Give your child the sleep support he needs, and no more. Respond to his needs compassionately, and learn when to step back, because he’s got this. Really. This “line” is tricky to find, and it shifts. Your child may need you more at certain times, less at others. But once you figure out this essential balance, you’ll become your own sleep expert, supporting your child’s needs with compassion and wisdom for the rest of your parenting journey. Here are 10 tips to help prepare children for healthy rest and increase their natural drive for sleep. Support your child’s circadian rhythm. Forget the old “never wake a sleeping child” adage — embrace your role as your child’s guide to a regular sleep cycle. It’s perfectly appropriate to wake a child when he is sleeping at an inappropriate time (past normal wakeup time in the morning or napping too long/late in the afternoon) to protect his healthy sleep routine. Keep a sleep log. Tracking your child’s sleep is the best way to detect patterns that will help identify root causes of any sleep troubles.

14 • • Baby Guide 2019

Rise and shine. Preparation for a good bedtime begins first thing in the morning: At least 15 minutes of strong light exposure combined with a morning meal tells a child’s brain that it’s time to wake up, and also helps him feel sleepy come bedtime. Maximize melatonin. Darkness is a powerful cue regulating the body’s biorhythms and a potent sleep aid for children, as it triggers the brain’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep–wake cycles. Dim the lights an hour before the time you’d like your child to be in bed. Black out the bedroom. Nighttime light exposure interferes with the body’s production of melatonin. Every sleep doctor I’ve interviewed says the same thing: Bedrooms should be completely dark — the darker, the better. So, douse the cute nightlights — they are not necessary for babies and can be harmful to sleep quality. Create a quiet sleeping space. Add a pure, high-quality white noise to create a constant screen of background sound that makes sudden noises less detectable, and therefore less likely to rouse your little sleeper.

Monitor room temperature. Temperature is an important physiological cue that promotes sleep. When your child or the bedroom is too warm, this natural process is interrupted. Doctors say the ideal bedroom temperature is 60–68 degrees. Fuzzy-wuzzy is no more. It’s a myth that babies sleep best on soft, fuzzy surfaces. Fleece sheets, flannel sheets and sheepskins trap heat, which can lead to an uncomfortably warm sleep environment. Opt instead for simple cotton sheets to keep things cool.

Move that body! Physical activity promotes deep, restful sleep and is important for children of all ages, beginning at birth. For brand-new babies, this means ample time on their tummies and on their backs so they can look around, work neck muscles and wiggle their arms and legs. Master the art of the nap. Naps support healthy development, promote restful sleep at night, and help young children rest and process new information. Naps should be long enough to be restorative — no longer. Avoid naps longer than two-and-a-half hours; and for babies taking multiple naps, one to one-and-a-half hours per nap may be plenty. For more science-backed strategies and solutions for setting a peaceful bedtime routine and resolving nighttime parenting struggles, consider getting the author’s ebook “Ready, Set, Sleep” at parentmap-books. v Malia Jacobson is an awardwinning health and parenting journalist and author of Ready Set Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep, So You Can Sleep Too.

What Mom Experts Say Both our kids had sleep training journeys that brought me to tears. Luckily, I found a sleep coach who was both compassionate and efficient, and we were sleeping through the night about two weeks later. Daphne, Chula Vista When we went in our daughter’s room to comfort her, she would become even more aggravated when we left. We realized what worked best was to comfort her with our voices through the baby monitor. It calmed her down and she was better able to soothe herself back to sleep. Christina, San Carlos I love the eat-play-sleep routine for babies. From early on, allow your baby to fall asleep on his own. Then, when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he knows how to put himself back to sleep and doesn’t need milk to do it. If you’re a nursing mom, sending dad in baby’s room sends a clear message that it isn’t milk time. Melissa, Rancho Peñasquitos Accept help, whether from a grandparent, in-law, doula or night nurse. Accept it and lie down. No one is handing out prizes for mommy martyrdom, and you’ll still be your baby’s favorite — even if a relative holds him for a two-hour nap. Daphne, Chula Vista When our child stirred at night, we waited 5-10 minutes before checking in (as long as he wasn’t bawling). Many times he would fuss a little, then put himself back to sleep. Anne, Santee Read about our local momcontributors on page 4.

Baby Guide 2019 • •


explore the magic of


our reimagined toddler space is now open! 200 W. Island Ave. Downtown San Diego open every day except Tuesday

Anne Malinoski

Baby Feeding & Nutrition:

Introducing Solids

When baby is ready for solids her world expands to include meaningful family mealtimes, colorful messes and bursts of excitement when she loves a new flavor. However, this time of transition can be stressful for first-time parents. Rachel Rothman is a registered dietitian and pediatric feeding expert. In her practice, Nutrition in Bloom (in Hillcrest), Rachel works with children and families to provide feeding guidance and evidence-based nutrition recommendations. She teaches infant and toddler feeding classes and facilitates group coaching throughout San Diego County and online. We caught up with Rothman to discuss infant nutrition and to develop quick tips for introducing solids.

Is Baby Ready? At around 6 months old, many babies are ready to experiment with solid foods. There’s no harm in starting earlier or later, but there’s also no benefit. All children develop at different rates, so watch for readiness and follow the child’s cues. According to Rothman, babies who are ready for solids will: • sit upright in a highchair • exhibit good neck and head control • open their mouths when food is offered • seem genuinely interested in food

Purees vs. Finger Foods There are two common methods for feeding babies. The more traditional path has been to spoonfeed purees. The alternative, which is growing in popularity, is to offer

18 • • Baby Guide 2019

soft, appropriately-sized bites of food for baby to self-feed as desired. This method is often described as “babyled weaning.” Both methods require a little research, and parents might find that the topic can be polarizing. What matters most is to choose a method or combination of methods that work well for the unique needs of the family. “What is more important than how you choose to feed is to be responsive to [their cues],” says Rothman. “All babies are different and respond to feeding differently. At meal time if they have a closed mouth, or aren’t into feeding, don’t put pressure on them. Feed responsively.”

Which Foods to Offer First In the past, parents were advised to introduce fortified rice cereal first. Baby cereal can be a wonderful choice, because it supplies additional iron and zinc that children require around 6 months of age. However, it is possible to acquire those nutrients from other foods. Any easily digestible food is a great choice for baby’s first solid meal. Some parents find it helpful to introduce a baby’s palate to vegetables before fruit (fruit is significantly sweeter). Many prefer to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables before introducing meats. “I recommend parents think about variety as they begin to offer foods,” Rothman says. “Many people call the first 6 months of feeding the ‘honeymoon period,’ as infants are more likely to try new foods and may become a little pickier as they enter into toddlerhood.” Rothman created a

helpful guide to get parents thinking about important nutrients and how to incorporate them into baby’s diet. Find it at

Allergy Awareness According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should introduce higher allergenic foods early and often. The top eight most allergenic foods include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, soy and wheat. “I recommend parents chat with their pediatrician prior to offering these foods, especially when food allergies run in the family,” advises Rothman. Research indicates that early and frequent exposure to these foods might help to prevent serious allergies.

Picky Eating It’s developmentally appropriate for toddlers to express themselves by refusing certain foods. Parents should continue to make those foods available, even if they are rejected several times. The last thing families want is a power struggle at mealtimes, so it’s best not to resort to punishment or bribery. While it would be wonderful for toddlers to eat from each of the food groups daily, we can’t force them. Some pediatricians advise parents to focus on weekly nutrient intake instead. A child who rejects veggies on Monday might request extra broccoli on Wednesday— and that’s OK. “I am a huge fan of getting kids in the kitchen as early as possible, so they can have more interactions with food,

besides just at the table,” says Rothman. “Food is a full sensory experience: see, touch, smell, taste, listen. I love recommending parents try to get all senses involved.” For more from Rachel Rothman, including feeding tips and recipes, visit Nutrition in Bloom at, find her on Instagram @ or join her private Facebook community (same name). v Anne Malinoski is a contributing writer and mother of two boys. Her kids may not eat everything she serves, but they love to help out in the kitchen.

More Input from Moms Toddlers can be picky. They will ask for a sandwich and then have a tantrum because you made them a sandwich. My son finally grew out of the picky stage at age 5. Tabitha, Carlsbad We make smoothies every morning with bananas, peanut butter, greek yogurt, whole milk and honey. If that is all they eat all day, at least I know they got some great nutrition. You could always add things like flax seed, spinach and coconut oil to give your kiddos even more healthy ingredients. Christina, San Carlos During pregnancy, eat a variety of foods. Baby can taste it. When baby starts solids, offer a variety of foods. Check out BabyLedWeanTeam on Instagram for the first 100 foods to give baby. Melissa, Rancho Peñasquitos Let children participate in preparing food with you. When they help, they are more likely to eat without complaint. Victoria, Santee

Baby Guide 2019 • •


I am a Natural Light Photographer specializing in Maternity, Newborn & Children. I live in San Diego with my husband (Chris also) and my two boys Caio and Matias. We love our town and we could not be raising the boys in a better place. We are constantly traveling together and also seeing all the beautiful corners San Diego has to offer – it is also a great way for me to find special spots for photoshoots. Hopefully what I love about my work is what is going to make you love it too: the colors, the spontaneity, the “blur”, the light… If that is what you want your pictures to look like, then let’s talk and work together. – Chris Dowd

To see more of my work or to book a session for your family visit

Tabitha Frost

Tips for Potty Training Success As babies become toddlers and

need fewer diaper changes, parents wonder when is the right time to start potty training. While there are many signs to look for, a child must be developmentally ready. It cannot be overstated that there is no magic age — children will be ready at different times. It also takes patience and commitment from parents and caretakers, so don’t dive in too soon. Here are signs of potty training readiness and, as a mom of three children ages 5 and under, my tips for potty training success.

22 • • Baby Guide 2019

Signs Your Child is Ready More Dry Diapers: When you start changing diapers less frequently, pay attention to how often your child wets his diaper. If he can go 2-3 hours (or more) with a dry diaper, this is a sign he might be ready for potty training. Regular Bowel Movements: Your child’s bowel movements become more predictable, possibly occurring the same time each day. Verbal Cues: Children start verbalizing when they need to go potty. They might also say they have a dirty diaper or ask for a diaper change. Hiding: My kids started hiding behind furniture because they wanted privacy when they had a bowel movement. They usually wanted a diaper change immediately. Age: According to Dr. Peggy Manuel, pediatrician at Sharp Rees-Stealy San Diego, it is best to wait as long as possible to start potty training, usually between 1½ to 3½ years old.

How to Potty Train Using the Three-Day Method Potty training looks different for every family. I really like the Three-Day Method — it worked well for my kids. The Three-Day Method is exactly what it sounds like — potty training in about three days (but it took us closer to a week). Remember that every child is different and will potty train at his own pace. This method requires a lot of commitment and might be more successful when two parents or caretakers are available to help. Starting on a long holiday weekend worked best for our family. Our kids were completely unclothed (daytime only) for three days. It is best to stay at home during this time so you’re ready for accidents and can run to the potty at a moment’s notice. Being at home will make a child feel more comfortable, too.

Why go naked? I found that using diapers or pull-ups didn’t dissuade my kids from peeing in them, despite my reminders to use the potty throughout the day. Since they didn’t want to wet themselves or have an accident on the floor, being naked is what worked for us. With this method, the kids told me they needed to go potty before I even asked. If the weather is nice and you have a private yard, having the kids play outside most of the day is a great option. It’s much easier to clean up when they have an accident! After a few days, the kids may fall into their own routine of asking to use the potty. If not, kindly remind them every hour or so. If they keep having accidents after a few full days of trying, they may not be ready. Wait a few more weeks (or months) and try again.

Naptime and Bedtime For naptime and bedtime, we continued to use diapers until my kids woke up with a dry diaper for three consecutive days. After that, puppy pads were a lifesaver! Consider putting them under crib sheets and in car seats and strollers to protect these surfaces from accidents. There will be naptime and nighttime accidents, but using puppy pads makes cleanup quick and easy.

Time for Underwear Once my kids did well running around naked for three days, it was time for underwear. Letting them go to the store and pick out underwear ahead of time is fun and gives them something to look forward to. It’s OK if there are accidents in the underwear. It’s all part of the potty training process.

Focus on the Positive It can be challenging to not get frustrated when your child has an accident, but if you focus on successes instead of accidents, it will make both of you feel better about potty training. I bought a pack of M&M’s and let my kids have one M&M each time they used the potty successfully. After a few days, we switched to a daily reward for

having no accidents. Eventually, we offered a weekly reward. Potty training can be intimidating for both children and parents, but the transition can also be fun and rewarding. Before starting, look for signs of potty training readiness, talk to your pediatrician and remember that every child is different. v Tabitha Frost is a Carlsbad-based blogger and freelance writer. She is a mom of three and former preschool teacher.

More Expert Mom Advice Your child is ready to be potty trained when they are (1) aware of their bodily functions (and even hiding to do their business), (2) able to communicate that they have already gone to the bathroom in their diaper or that they are about to, and (3) are capable of pulling their pants down to use the toilet. When they show readiness signs, jump at the chance! Christina, San Carlos Ugh! Potty training is the worst. I promised I’d never do it, but bribe the heck out of your kid. Pee in the potty? Jelly bean. Poop in the potty? Popsicle. Throw a big fat party every time. Of course, your kid has to be ready and actually want to do it, but make it a big deal when they have success. Sticker charts, candy, whatever motivates them. Melissa, Rancho Peñasquitos

Baby Guide 2019 • •


BIG care for little

patients Our only priority is your child’s health – that’s why parents count on Children’s Physicians Medical Group. In partnership with Rady Children’s Health Network, CPMG brings you the most comprehensive pediatric health care in San Diego County. We’re the region’s only pediatric medical network specializing in children’s health.

From babies to teens, we’re there for you in a big way.

in partnership with

Healthy kids. Happy parents.

• 1-877-276-4543



Keeping kids ACTIVE

& age-appropriate skill development by Cassandra Padgett, MS

Sometimes it feels like little ones never stop moving, but all that activity is important for their health and development! Research shows toddlers and preschoolers actually spend quite a few hours in front of the screen each day, and some parents believe that kids are so active, they don’t need designated time for physical activity. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that up to two hours of activity per day is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. These hours of physical activity can be broken down into shorter spurts, for instance, playing at the park, taking a quick walk as a family, or playing catch or tag at home. Physical activity is crucial to kids’ growth and development and can help build confidence and, improve muscle and bone growth and development, as well as help kids maintain a healthy weight --and even reduce the risk for chronic diseases later in life. Plus exercise is a great way for kids to have fun, help them to get better sleep, and have fun together as a family! It’s a win-win-win!

Physical activity helps kids build important skills. Age 0-2: Skills such as reaching, scooting, crawling, cruising, and then walking are the first physical skills babies will develop! Help babies practice these development achievements by doing lots of tummy time, reaching for toys and using push toys for balance. After learning to walk, use pillows for obstacle courses, roll a ball, or dance or bounce together. Age 2-3: Development comes from independent play! Give plenty of opportunity for playing outside. Structured play like kicking or rolling a ball, using a balance bike, trying scooters, climbing at parks can lead to improved balance and motor skill development. Play together by kicking a ball or playing tag or hide and seek. Age 3-5: Kids are learning to pedal, and balance, and may even begin to learn important skills like swimming. As kids get older and are able to walk further, they may be up for hiking together or playing more structured games like Hide and Seek or Duck, Duck Goose. Sports teams can be a fun opportunity for socializing and learning new skills, too. Since their

Cassandra Padgett is a mom to a 3 year-old girl (and one on the way!). She’s a Senior Health Educator and ACE certified health coach for the W.E.L.L. Clinic at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group- La Costa. The W.E.L.L. Clinic helps kids and families optimize health by making habit changes in nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management, and screen time. Cassandra also helps run the Carlsbad chapter of Walk with a Doc, and is passionate about helping kids and families improve health, one small change at a time.

hand-eye coordination is improving, playing catch and kicking is getting easier at this stage. If your family is looking for a fun and free way to get some extra physical activity and learn about health, Children’s Primary Care Medical Group is now offering “Walk with a Doc” at two convenient locations in North County. Carlsbad Join Dr. Natalie Muth for “Walk with a Doc”, Tuesdays at 4pm at Stagecoach Park in Carlsbad. A healthy snack is always provided. Meet at the lower parking lot by the picnic tables.

Find out more at Vista Join Nurse Practitioner Nicole Kastner for “Walk with a Doc”, Thursdays 4:15- 5:15 pm at VIDA: Vista Innovative Design Academy (VIDA) Middle School located at 740 Olive Ave, Vista, CA 92083. A healthy snack is always provided. Meet at the outdoor lunch tables.

Find out more at

Cassandra Padgett, MS

Health Educator and mom


It’s an exciting time when your child is ready to learn and play outside the home. Preschool helps children to develop friendships, practice communication and grow as individuals. “It’s a wonderful gift to give your child,” says Allyson Kennett, a San Diego preschool teacher. “There may be some initial growing pains as you and your child adjust, but the skills and independence gained will be well worth it!”

Benefits of Preschool Researchers agree that children who attend preschool are better prepared for kindergarten than those who don’t. At preschool, children will practice social skills, explore new ways to play and become familiar with a classroom environment. “Preschool is a time of amazing leaps in social-emotional development for children,” says Kennett. Preschool parents can

26 • • Baby Guide 2019

expect to observe growth in their child’s independence and language skills. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for youngsters to form positive relationships with peers and adults outside their family.

Is Your Child Ready? Most programs welcome children beginning at age 2 or 3. Since students are quite young, communication is a major concern for schools. “Preschoolers need to be able to express themselves in a way that an unfamiliar adult can understand,” Kennett says. “That doesn’t mean your child needs to speak in full sentences, just that she has an appropriate way of getting her feelings and needs across.” And while many schools require children to be reliably potty-trained, teachers know to expect setbacks and accidents during transitional weeks when a child starts school.

Anne Malinoski

How to Choose a Preschool Referrals are an excellent way to find good preschool programs. Ask friends and relatives which schools have the best reputation in your area. Plan to visit more than one, so you can compare the indoor and outdoor play spaces, warmth of the teaching staff and sense of community. It’s best to visit prospective schools several months before you plan to enroll. San Diego schools often have wait lists. Enrollment priority is typically granted to siblings of current students or children requiring fulltime care. Plan ahead!

Learn more about finding the right preschool and access San Diego Family Magazine’s Education Directory at resources/educationdirectory. How to Prepare In the months and weeks leading up to the first day of preschool, encourage independence during playtime. Preschool teachers can’t provide the same amount of oneon-one interaction that children experience at home, so it helps if kids are confident working with a coloring book or bin of blocks for 5-10 minutes without assistance. “Try to visit the school together if possible, as children are very visual and the abstract idea of a ‘new school’ is difficult for many to grasp,” says Kennett. Parents and students might benefit from discussing the daily schedule with the teacher before school starts so kids know what to expect during class.

What do our moms say? Help prevent separation anxiety by reading books like “The Kissing Hand” and “The Invisible String” before starting school. Christina, San Carlos Your child may walk in happy on the first day of preschool, but be prepared—the second day might the hardest. It does get better once he adapts. Tabitha, Carlsbad Keep your goodbyes short and sweet during drop off. Comfort kids briefly (if needed), express confidence in what a great day they’ll have, give a kiss and a hug, and be on your way. Christina, San Carlos

What to Expect Many children are excited to begin preschool and have no issues with drop-off. Others express reluctance about being left at school. It’s also quite common for children to be excited the first week, but worried the next week— once they realize that school is part of the permanent routine. “The longer parents linger in the classroom over ‘goodbye,’ the more difficult it will ultimately be for the child,” Kennett says. “Continue telling your child that you will come back, that school is a fun place to be and her teachers will take good care of her.” Preschool is not only the best preparation for kindergarten, it’s also a wonderful way to grow social and emotional awareness in the youngest members of our community. v Anne Malinoski is a contributing writer and mother of two boys. She loved her time at Holy Trinity Preschool in El Cajon and enrolled her children in preschool programs from the age of 2. Baby Guide 2019 • •



and best teache r

First and Best Teachers

By Alethea Arguilez, M.A., First 5 San Diego Executive Director As their children’s first and best teachers, parents can encourage their children’s cognitive, physical and emotional development. Children often look to their parents for guidance on just about everything from how to eat, talk and walk to reading and writing. Through the support of their parents and caregivers, children can learn these skills and become healthy, thriving adults. It is important that parents create a learning environment every day through love and consistency.

Parent engagement is critical, as parents are a child’s first and best teachers. Each child grows and develops at their own

Bond with your child

pace and parents can help

Spend time engaging in fun learning activities with your child. As a parent, you don’t have to teach your child how to read and write before they enter preschool, but you can help prepare them for the classroom with activities like coloring, drawing, playing games, and introducing them to letters, numbers, colors, and shapes.

them learn by modeling

Read to your child

Children follow their parents’

Reading aloud to your child every day helps them to develop vocabulary skills and a love for reading. Research shows that children who spend time reading with their parent or caregiver are better prepared for school.

positive behaviors.

lead so be observant and curious. Encourage your child to taste, smell, feel and describe the world around

Talk with your child Talk with your child about their environment, such as a backyard, pets, siblings, cooking, and chores. Discuss your child’s daily schedule and create structure for different parts of the day.

Encourage your child to play with other children

them. Make sure to ask your child questions and let them ask you questions as well.

Your child is on an

It is important for your child to meet and play with other children. This will help your child learn how to share, take turns, socialize with others, and will contribute to your child’s success in building relationships.

adventure. Take the lead and show them all the cool places they will go.

About the author: Alethea Arguilez is Executive Director of First 5 San Diego. The organization promotes the health and well-being of young children during their most critical years of development, from the prenatal stage through five years of age. 1-888-5 FIRST 5


Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite baby and toddler products, reviewed by local families. Kissin Toes Slip-Ons $35; Kissin Toes help children know which shoes to put on which feet. When the little foxes are facing each other for a kiss, kids know they’ve put them on correctly! Grey muslin material is soft and easy to slip on.

Indestructibles Books $5.95; Indestructibles books are built for the way babies “read” — with their hands and mouths. Made of a unique paperlike material that is nontoxic, washable and rip-proof!

Crawl About Bee $18.99; This early learning toy wobbles as it moves and has bright lights and fun melodies, enticing children to follow along as it moves across the floor. Find more baby products and helpful parenting resources at

Mini Charm Stroller Organizer $39.98; Whether using it as a diaper bag or purse, this multifunctional bag easily attaches to a stroller. Bottom zipper makes compact bag expandable to fit all the essentials. Also easy to clean!

NextFit Zip Max $369.99; This convertible car seat acommodates children in the rear-facing position up to 50 pounds, and has 25 percent more legroom. It also features extended calf support in the forward-facing position. Provides the comfort, safety and easy installation Chicco users know and love.

30 • • Baby Guide 2019

Harry Potter Classic Swaddle 3-pack $59.95 Harry Potter fans love these limited-edition muslin swaddles with metallic accents and imagery from Hogwarts and beyond. Breathable and versatile, they can be used as stroller covers, burp cloths, nursing covers and for comfy cuddles, of course.

Bright Starts Ford Mustang 3 Ways to Play Walker $79; This trendy walker featuers two modes and three height settings. Younger babies can play in basic walker mode, while walking babies can steer the Mustang using push-car mode.

cont. on p.32

Pivot Xplore All-Terrain Stroller Wagon $349.99; Accommodates up to two children (6 mos.–5 yrs.). Easily transforms from stroller to wagon by flipping the handle, giving parents the ability to push or pull. All-terrain wheels are built for adventure and everyday activities. Includes a large, overhead canopy (UPF 50+), large storage basket and cup holders.

Tiny Love Black & White Gymini Infant Play Mat $59.99; Black and white design provides visual stimulation for babies while textures, sounds and other features provide auditory and tactile stimulation. This mat supports development of gross and fine motor skills, language, and cognition.

The Baby Name Wizard $14.99; The fourth edition of this ultimate baby name guide features updated trends, facts, ideas, and tons of enchanting names. Examines usage and popularity, styles, variants, potential nicknames, and names with similar styles.

gb Pockit Air All-Terrain Stroller $159.95; An absolute travel essential, providing total convenience without compromising on comfort or style. The double wheels of the stroller were cleverly designed to allow parents to confidently maneuver on different surfaces throughout their day. Boasting breathable mesh fabric, your child will keep cool even on the hottest summer days. The stroller’s lightweight design and ultra-compact folding mechanism make it the perfect addition to your next family vacation.

Grow-With-Me 4-in-1 Convertible High Chair $99.99; This high chair is both adorable and functional, transforming into a space saver, booster and toddler chair. Features a dishwasher-safe meal mat, easily removable food tray, and adjustable seat back with easy-to-clean cushioned padding.

MOLUK Nigi, Nagi, Nogi Teething Rings $14.99; Made of high quality, food-grade silicone, these teething rings are easy for little hands to grab and hold. The set of three is wonderfully soothing for sore gums while encouraging fine motor skills and sensory exploration. BPA-free.

32 • • Baby Guide 2019

Music & Lights 3-in-1 Discovery Seat & Booster $44.99; Parents and babies love this multifunctional booster seat that grows with baby from 4 months to 4 years old. During playtime, entertain baby with a light-up piano and interactive activities that support fine motor skill development. When it’s time for a snack, slide the toy pods apart to reveal a food tray and cup holder.


Mention the ad and get a


at 1 of 3 locations New families only.







Classes that give kids the best start. Ages newborn to 5 years. All of our classes are inspired by play and designed to enrich the lives of families with babies, toddlers and preschoolers! As members you’ll interact with your children, working with a dedicated team of teachers that can help you gain insight into your child’s developmental stage, and provide ideas for activities in class and at home. PLAY. LAUGH. GROW. TOGETHER.

Baby and Me Fitness Groups Postpartum fitness groups are an excellent

way to meet like-minded parents while strengthening body and mind, and getting out with your cute little workout buddy! Instructors focus on training that makes new parents feel great—and they know all the tricks to keep baby happy during class. Here are exceptional parent/ baby fitness classes in San Diego.

GroovaRoo Dance At this babywearing dance class, families learn fun, simple steps to popular music while baby snuggles close in a soft carrier. This low-impact aerobic workout creates community for new parents while promoting healthy development for baby. Try the Basics class for fun, easy dance routines. Intermediate classes groove at a faster pace. Find a workshop near you at

Stroller Warriors This FREE running club is open to military spouses & family members of all fitness levels. Groups meet on base at MCAS Miramar, MCRD or Camp Pendleton. Stroller Warriors helps military families beat stress and improve overall wellbeing. Attend with or without kids. Trainers are active-duty spouses with chapters thriving worldwide, so participants can keep up with fitness goals wherever they move. To learn more, visit

34 • • Baby Guide 2019

Anne Malinoski

Fit4Mom The nation’s largest baby-and-me fitness company has a program for every parent—including dads and grandparents. At Stroller Strides, trainers lead 60-minute full-body workouts, incorporating fitness bands, cardio, toning and stretching. Parents feel the burn while using songs and activities to keep babies engaged. Classes may meet indoors or outdoors. Modifications are available for all fitness levels. Stroller Barre builds on the stroller strides concept, but with a focus on strength, length and posture using ballet, barre, yoga and Pilates moves. Older children are welcome at all stroller classes, as long as they remain seated and buckled. Other programs include drop-in, high-intensity Body Back classes and Run Club. Try your first class for free.

Hapa Yoga In addition to a staffed childcare room, this familyfriendly studio offers several classes for parents to practice yoga alongside their young children. Newborns and pre-crawlers are welcome at Mommy and Me Yoga, offering a gentle flow for postpartum healing. Mothers will bond with their babies while slowly rebuilding muscle strength. Music and Movement invites crawlers and toddlers to sing, play and move with their caregivers. Hapa Tots (ages 2–4) incorporates toddler-friendly poses. Studios located in Mission Valley and Eastlake.

Hike it Baby This group of nature-lovers explores outdoor spaces throughout San Diego County. Join an adult-paced hike for parents with babies in carriers or enjoy a Toddler Waddle and let tykes set the pace. Annual membership is just $10 per year, and the group offers a generous 90-day free trial. Learn more at If you’ve recently given birth, ask your doctor when it’s safe to resume exercise—usually 6–8 weeks postpartum. Remember to start slow and listen to your body as it heals. v Anne Malinoski is a contributing writer and mother of two boys. She enjoys yoga and strength training and she’s learning to like cardio. Baby Guide 2019 • •




1 2

Schedule your baby’s 1st dental visit by his or her 1st tooth or 1st birthday Start brushing that 1st tooth 2 times a day with a smear of toothpaste

Award Winning Dentists!

All Nearly e nc Insura d te Accep g in Includ Cal Denti-

Full service pediatric dental care in fun engaging offices! Bay Area Parent Family Favorite 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Hulafrog Most Loved Dentist 2018, 2019

San Diego 4074 Fairmount Ave, Ste B San Diego, CA 92105 To schedule or for more Choice locations, contact us!

(844) 707-KIDS 5437





For New Uninsured Patients. Not valid for patients with contracted insurance plans. Coupon may not be combined with any other offer. Must bring in coupon to visit.

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