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CONNECTING YOUNG FAMILIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
FALL 2012 • PRICELESS
volume 10 • issue 3
i n t h i s i ssue
Edit or’s L et t er This time of year is often a turning point for families. Mommy and Me classes start up for little tykes and some kids (and parents) are eagerly anticipating that first day at preschool or grade one.
parenting: Keeping Kids in School: Parents Value Education.............................. 4
For some new moms, this time of year marks big changes with maternity leave soon over. One of our mustread articles is on career changes after having a baby. I know that feeling all too well having started my fitness business when my son was just six weeks old. Read about three inspiring local moms who have taken on the challenges of raising a family while going back to school or starting a business. Talk about empowering messages!
relationships: Table for Two: No Highchair Required........................................... 14
We invite you to check out our new special UrbanKid feature for parents of children ages 6 to 12. We recognize in this era of more and more blended families, it is common to have toddlers and tweens growing up in the same household.
UrbanGuide: Fall 2012: Car Seat Guide........................................................... 28
Watch for UrbanKid articles in this and subsequent editions of Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine and read related articles on our website at www.urbanbaby.ca.
on the cover
Photo Location: Granville Island Photo credit: Bopomo Pictures
celebrity mommy: Kristi Gordon......................................................................... 8 nutrition: Brain Boosting Foods: Giving Your Child a Healthy Start.................... 10 ages & stages: Communication 101: Cooing, Babbling and Signing................. 12 parenting: Using Praise to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem.................................. 16 education: Choosing the Right Preschool: One Mom’s Search......................... 18 UrbanMarket: Products & Promotions............................................................. 20 education expert: Learning Starts At Home: Tips to Help Your Child Learn...... 22 ceo mom: Motherhood Reinvented: Changing Diapers and Changing Careers. 24 GREAT GOODS: Fall Finds!.............................................................................. 26 UrbanKid: Raising a Digital Generation............................................................. 30 on the town: Fall Family Fun............................................................................. 31 spotlight: UrbanMom: Alishia........................................................................... 31 EDITOR/AD SALES Lara Leontowich
As always we value your feedback. Send your letters to the editor at email@example.com
2012 Cover Contest Winner Jordyn 2 ½ years old
prenatal: Pregnant In the City: Prenatal Class Basics.......................................... 6
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DESIGN/PRODUCTION Shannon Brownlee
CONTRIBUTORS Marilee Peters, Sarah Alexander, Corinne Eisler, Heather van Mil, Tania Zulkoskey, Amy van Weelderen, Dr. Michal Regev, Susan Wong, Natacha V. Beim, Daniela Ginta SUBSCRIPTION urbanbaby & toddler magazine is available for $20.00 per year (includes HST). Published four times per year by Local Kids Media, reaching 68,000 readers per issue. Material appearing herein may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the publisher, and without proper credit. Editorial opinions and viewpoints may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.
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Bellies to Babies Celebration™ Sunday, September 30th, 2012
Come Celebrate Motherhood with us at the Bellies to Babies Celebration™, the best and original tradeshow for new and expectant parents. Whether you’re a rookie or becoming a mom for the second or third time, this day is just for you! Attendees will see everything from stylish baby and children’s clothing; beauty advice for radiant skin; and postnatal classes for mom and baby; green baby products for the new arrival. It’s all at one show - under one roof. Representatives from varied support groups will be on hand to answer questions for new and expectant parents. Moms-to-be can take part in educational workshops. Rookie Dads can take part in our Daddy Diapering Contest sponsored by New & Green Baby Co. Bellies to Babies Celebration™ will feature a wide variety of exhibitors and sponsors, plus $3000 in door prizes. The first 100 Moms in attendance receive a complimentary diaper bag. Every mom attending the tradeshow on Sunday, September 30th, 2012 will be eligible for the grand prize draw of a $1000 shopping spree from to Lussobaby. Enter your baby in our CUTEST BABY PHOTO CONTEST. Your little one could win the opportunity to be featured in an issue
of Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine plus win a $500 in prizes. Pictures taken on site by Leina Wade Photography. Bellies to Babies Celebration™ takes place on Sunday, September 30th, 2012 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive from 11am – 4pm. Admission is by donation to Vancouver Food Bank Basics for Babies Program. Donations include baby food, formula, diapers and baby wipes. Monetary donations also appreciated. Bellies to Babies Celebration™ supports “Breastfeeding is Best” and provides a breastfeeding-friendly environment for all. Sponsored by: Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine, JRFM, Virgin 95.3FM, Lussobaby, Salsa Babies, Vancouver 24 Hrs, Movies for Mommies.
Register online at
www.belliestobabiescelebration.com or call 604-908-8835. Sign up today for Bellies to Babies Celebration™ e-newsletter.
ENTER THE CUTEST BABY PHOTO CONTEST! Winner will be featured in
Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine and win over $500.00 in prizes.
FALL 2012 •
2011 winner of the Cutest Baby Contest!
CROATI A N CU LT U R A L CEN T R E ,
VANCOUVER, BC. 11A M - 4 PM
SHOPPING SPREE SPONSORED BY:
First 100 Moms in attendance will receive a complimentary diaper bag!
BELLIES TO BABIES CELEBRATION SPONSORED BY:
Admission is by Donation to Basics for Babies
REGISTER ONLINE OR CALL
p a re n t i n g
| by Marilee Peters
Keeping Kids in School: Parents Value Education
If I asked you, right now, to name the person in your life who had the biggest influence on your success at school, I’m willing to bet that most of you would tell me about a really great teacher you once had. The person who immediately comes to mind might be that grade five teacher who helped you to come out from your shell, conquer your shyness and discover your passion for learning. Or you might have fond memories of that preschool or kindergarten teacher who was so friendly and welcoming making you feel comfortable and safe in your first anxious days in a classroom. There’s no question that good teachers make a huge impact on kids’ experiences at school, and I’m thankful every day that the local elementary school my children attend has teachers who are passionate about helping kids explore, learn and grow. Who had the most impact on my learning? It’s not a teacher. I am proud to say the people that influenced me most was my parents.
Research consistently demonstrates that a child’s learning doesn’t stop when we pick them up from school or childcare at the end of the day – and not limited to inside a school building or childcare centre. In fact, it is what happens at home. One child development expert recently shared with me: “Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers and their first and most important nurses, coaches, safety officers, nutritionists and moral guides.” How’s that for a bracing reminder of the significance of our jobs as parents? As a parent, I know that my attitudes to learning and school, as well as the examples I set, are all factors that will have the biggest influence on how my children learn and value education.
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Recently, a group of economists from the University of British Columbia released a study examining the factors that played a role in teenagers’ decisions to either drop out of high school or continue in school. The biggest deciding factor in keeping kids in school? How much their parents valued education. The lead researcher, Giovanni Gallipol, explained that the study “shows that kids can still thrive in school if parents make education a priority around the house.” So how do we do that? How can parents (and it’s worth emphasizing that both parents need to be on the same page here) clearly demonstrate that they value education? Here are some suggestions from the My Tween and Me parenting education program. While My Tween and Me is a program for families with older children (7-12), many of these suggestions are applicable to parenting young children as well.
Let your child see you reading books, newspapers and computer screens; using math to figure change or to measure for new carpeting; and doing things that require thought and effort.
Make sure that your home has lots of reading material that is appropriate for your child.
Limit TV viewing. Be aware of the shows your children like to watch and discuss their choices with them. The same goes for video games.
Encourage your child to be responsible and to work and play independently.
Offer praise and encouragement for effort and improvement.
Show your child that the skills they are learning are an important part of things they will do as a adult.
Show an interest in your child’s activities and special interests.
It sounds simple, and it is. And it’s a great way to start helping your child to build a foundation for success in school, and life.• Marilee is the Acting Executive Director at the BC Council for Families, a provincial non-profit organization dedicated to providing supports and services for families in BC. To learn more about the Council’s parenting education programs, including My Tween and Me, check out www.bccf.ca.
fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 5
p re n a t a l
| by Sarah Alexander
Pregnant In th e City: Prenatal Class Basics
When I was first asked to write this article, I immediately thought of Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex In the City. I guess you could say I am the Sarah Jessica Parker of pregnancy – minus a closet full of expensive Manolo Blahniks. With over 10 years of experience in the field of prenatal, labour, delivery and postpartum, I bring insights into what first-time parents are looking for in a prenatal class. Here are some ideas to consider when choosing the right prenatal class for you and your birth partner.
Ask Around Ask your friends, co-workers, neighbours and friends if they attended a prenatal class. If so, did they enjoy it? Which class did they choose? Did they find it beneficial for their birth experience? Would they recommend the class they took? There are a variety of classes for new parents to choose from. They vary from a weekly series of classes, prenatal-in-a-day, weekend classes and private classes in the comfort of your home.
Group Weekend Classes / Private Classes / TENS Rentals Breastfeeding Counseling / Dunstan Baby Language / RN Doula™
Belly to Baby prenatal education
“cherish your birth experience”
www.bellytobaby.ca / 604.469.2698 / email@example.com
What is Your Objective? Is this class more for you, or for the both of you? Professional referrals will give you an indication if it will be a good fit for you. Are you open to making new friends and establishing a support network for your growing family? If so, a group prenatal class could be beneficial for you and your spouse. On a personal note, my husband and I attended a prenatal class nine years ago and connected with another couple. When our daughter was born, they came over and brought dinner for us. We became good friends with them and did the same for them when their son was born. Our families have continued to grow together over the years and they are our closest friends.
Who is Teaching the Prenatal Class? What is their level of expertise? What is their approach? Has the instructor given birth? At a social gathering, a woman I was speaking with compared teaching a prenatal class without birth experience to someone teaching you to drive without driving experience. Their scenario was based on the Driving a Car for Dummies manual. For some expectant women, whether or not the instructor has given birth is a non-issue. So think about what you are looking for? After all, this is all about you…until baby arrives, then it shifts to be all about the little one.
Where is the Location of the Prenatal Class? Are you looking for something in your neighbourhood? Do you mind driving to a class? We are very fortunate to have so many options for prenatal classes within the Lower Mainland. Again, you need to prioritize what is most important.
Prenatal Class Benefits Even if an expectant mother is planning to book a C-section, a prenatal class is still advisable. It is common these days for C-sections to be booked at 39 weeks and as a result, many women come into the hospital in labour. If a woman has not prepared herself for the possibility of going into labour, it can be quite a surprise and even unsettling. Prenatal classes prepare expectant women and their birth partners for labour, pain relieve options such an epidural, morphine or natural ways to cope with labour pains. It has become much more common in the last 20 plus years for women to start a family at a more mature age. A woman who has prepared for life with an education, career, and a life partner is more likely to feel comfortable; and prepared for childbirth; with the pertinent information. Understanding the process and knowing specifically what to expect empowers her and her partner with resources to reduce any insecurities and minimize the unknown during childbirth. Quality education is key. •
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Calling all new and expectant moms don’t miss out on the
Bellies to Babies Celebration™ Tradeshow on Sunday, September 30th, 2012. See ad on page 3 for details. fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 7
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ce l e b r i t y m o m my
| by Lara Leontowich
Kr isti Gordon Kristi Gordon was born and raised in White Rock, BC. After spending eight years at UBC earning two science majors in Meteorology and Physical Geography, she started her broadcasting career in major Canadian cities. She is a meteorologist as part of the weekend Global BC Morning News team. For the past year she has been on maternity leave nurturing her beautiful little boy, Jordan. She has recently returned to broadcasting on a Monday to Friday schedule at Global BC. Her decision to return to work was bittersweet. It is great to be heading back to a job she loves though difficult to leave her son. Recently Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine had a chance to chat with Kristi about her life behind the camera and about being a new mom. UBT: Do you have a cute parenting story to share with our readers? KG: The other day Jordan decided to drop my cellphone in my cup of tea. I was busy and I didn’t notice until an hour later when my cellphone was at the bottom of my cup. Sadly, there was no hope in fixing it. I’m sure every parent has gone through something like that. UBT: Parenting can be trying at times for people in the spotlight. Viewers have some perception that when you are well known, you live a glamorous life. Is that how it is for you? KG: Everyone thinks it is picture perfect. Recently a publication asked if they could do a feature on my family. I said, “that sounds great but I have seen some photo shoots you have done and we are not the picture-perfect family. I don’t feel comfortable with ear-to-ear posing and “matchy-matchy” clothes. So I suggested a different style with real life scenarios to include photos of when I am trying to get ready for work and feeding Jordan at the same time. I wanted to show what really happens around our house. You see all those pretty pictures of these families featured in magazine that are so picture-perfect and I wanted to show my life as real as possible. UBT: You have been on maternity leave for the past year with Jordan. How do you feel about getting back into the routine of work? KG: I am having mixed feelings as a lot of new moms do. I am super excited about going back to work as I really love my job.
8 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2012
I feel it’s taken me longer to adjust to motherhood compared to other mothers. I’m a busy person so I was starting to feel quite restless. As any new mother knows there is lots of housework to be done during the day however with a new baby you end up with bits and pieces of tasks half finished. I am looking forward to getting back to work for that reason. At work all my time is devoted to a particular project and it feels great getting it completed. On the other hand, I am going to miss Jordan, now that he is doing and learning more every day. UBT: What surprised you most about motherhood? KG: The biggest surprise was how much enjoyment I got once Jordan started to show his personality. I really love seeing him smile back at me. Just recently he started to clap his hands. Watching him learn to clap his hands was so precious and quite funny as he would often miss putting both hands together. For me, I always felt that I was strong willed; I worked really hard
while attending university to get where I am in my career. Initially I didn’t want kids; it wasn’t in my game plan, but once Jordan arrived, I wanted to be there for him all the time. As someone who was always so independent, I was surprised how he completely controlled me from day one! UBT: Having a first child changes a person’s lifestyle. Would you agree with that? KG: Unless you are a new parent there is no way you can understand how your life will change. I remember people preparing me for how things can change when a new baby arrives. I was so sure they didn’t know what they were talking about and that it couldn’t be all that difficult. Boy, was I wrong! UBT: It can be difficult to make the transition from full time stay-at-home-mom to full time work-outside-the-housemom. Do you think it will be an easy transition or are you expecting challenges juggling it all? KG: I do anticipate some struggles. I always try to go into things as well prepared as possible. I like to manage my expectations. We have a family calendar now and we are planning meals so I can do one grocery shopping trip a week. Our goal is to have our family meal planning done in advance so that I don’t have that on my mind when I am at work. Lucky for me my husband will prepare one meal a week and also pack Jordan’s lunches for daycare. By the time you pack lunches, prepare dinner and other must-do evening tasks, the night goes by so quickly. For me, I’d rather to be well-prepared and have more time to spend with Jordan before bedtime. •
Coming in our
Next Issue Breastfeeding Q & A Mom Self Care Creating Family Traditions Winter Products for the Family Beauty and Health Basics Common Baby Illnesses Wintertime Family Fun
| by Corinne Eisler
Brain Boosting Foods:
Giving Your Child a Healthy Start The developing brain is an incredible organ, and is totally dependent on what we eat. It is our “motherboard” and various nutrients found in the foods we eat will help your child’s brain to function at its best! For breakfast choose whole grains such as 10 grain toast, oatmeal, quinoa, flaxseed multigrain toast, and muesli. Overnight the body was fasting and the brain needs food. Children need breakfast to concentrate, focus, and learn. Whole grains will give important B vitamins to help the brain function, and to help what we call “positivity.” B vitamins are also needed for those important neuronal connections, so that our brain works well. These important B vitamins are found in muesli with flaxseed, oatmeal, or high fibre flaxseed multigrain toast, multigrain rolls, and Finnish bread. Whole grains also have a low glycemic index, which means that the conversion from starch to blood glucose/sugar is slower. A
slow release from quality whole grains will continue to fuel the brain/neurons so that the brain can operate at its best. Some excellent protein sources are peanut butter, eggs, other nut and seed butters (cashew or almond), slices or cubes of cheese, cottage cheese mixed with some yogurt, meat, chicken, lentils, beans, and tofu. Protein is equally important at breakfast and at all meals to help keep blood sugar levels stable, so that there is a slow release of blood sugar into the bloodstream instead of a spike, and then a dip, which will leave children feeling restless and nervous. This principle is very important, and teachers know it all too well. When blood sugar levels dip, children begin to get restless, distracted
Nutrition help for your child
• food allergies or intolerances • gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, constipation) • infants or children with eczema • food refusal or mealtime battles • overweight or underweight • vegetarianism Workshops for Parents
www.eislerforkids.com #400-1338 W. Broadway Vancouver
Feeding Your Baby - What's New? Toddlers & Picky Eating - Why and How to Manage For dates/locations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corinne Eisler, RD
Registered Dietitian & Pediatric Nutrition Expert
H O T O G R A P
Help your child learn to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables with Today I Ate a Rainbow.
www.todayiatearainbow.com WIN a copy at www.urbanbaby.ca
and fidgety. Snack time is the perfect time to offer children cheese, grain crackers or some flaxseed toast pieces with pumpkin and sunflower seed butter on it. Sugar cravings occur when the blood sugar dips too low, which can happen after eating refined and sweet foods. What children need is protein to help to keep blood sugar levels stable, so there is a constant supply of blood sugar/glucose to the brain. Include foods with omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, omega eggs, canola oil, flax bread, tuna, herring, sardines and omega enriched yogurt and milk. The brain needs omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. We can get omega 6 from corn oils, nuts and seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and are important for cognitive brain memory, performance and behavioral function. In fact, babies who do not get enough omega 3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. In adults, symptoms of omega 3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings, depression and poor circulation. Serve your family fish twice a week. Fish provides important DHAs (preformed omega 3 fatty acids). Avoid giving children fish that is high in mercury, such as halibut, ahi tuna and swordfish. Consult the BC HealthFile for fish choices that are good for children and learn about those which have moderate to high mercury. Other sources of omega 3 fatty acids, include canola oil, omega eggs, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hemp oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, walnuts, and walnut oil. If your child is not a fish eater, consult a Registered Dietitian about supplements which contain DHA in the form of algae, and the amount to give to your child. Children need a balance of omega 3 and 6. Too much of either one can upset the balance that the brain needs. Some studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids may also help children with ADHD to focus and to calm their hyperactivity. â€˘
Read part two of our Brain
Boosting Foods article on
Corinne is a Registered Dietitian and Pediatric Nutritionist in Vancouver, BC. She provides nutrition counseling for families and is available for workshops. She can be reached at www.eislerforkids.com.
fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 11
a g es & s t a g es
| by Heather van Mil
Cooing, Babbling and Signing While a baby’s most obvious form of communication is through crying; parents typically run through the checklist of feeding, burping, diaper changes and tiredness. Though they are non-verbal they are still communicating so much!
Starting Early Babies start by making vowel based sounds like “aah” and “ooh”. The cooing stage is accompanied by baby’s first social smiles sure to melt anyone in viewing sight! During these months parents are setting foundations of communication in each interaction with their child. Spending time each day face-to-face shows your baby a wide range of emotion and communication styles. When parents “coo” back to baby and talk to them in a reciprocal fashion, they reinforce the idea of communication, introduce turn taking and model good conversational habits. Listening to your baby is just as important as speaking!
After Three Months of Age Baby’s vocal horizons broaden to include consonants such as
“ba” and “da”. Initially, this babbling will be fairly random and experimental in nature, but will mature into repetitive patterns -“dadadada”. At this point they will start to pause after a string of ‘words’ to wait for a response – the first milestone in two-way communication! These early cooing and babbling stages are key to successful and effective communication.
Teaching Baby Sign Language With the emergence of intentional and thoughtful vocalization, now is a great time to introduce signing to your baby. Although it is never too early to start, and I often encourage parents to sign early. During the first three to six months is when parents have typically settled into a familiar daily routine and are ready to take on something new.
Recommended Reads The Happy Mommy Handbook
by Alan Greene The first three years of life are the most important for nurturing a child’s full potential: that’s when they start forming attachments, developing a sense of self, and learning to trust.
WIN a copy at www.urbanbaby.ca
by Katie Norris and Susan Case When children are challenged with playful, developmentally appropriate activities, they behave better, their confidence is boosted, and they become better at using their imaginations to play and learn.
When Should I Teach My Child The Alphabet? by Nicola Lott A guide to early literacy written with busy parents of 0-5 year old children in mind. Laid out by age so that parents can easily locate fun; play activities that help children learn the vital pre-reading skills they will need to be successful in school.
12 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2012
Let’s Play and Learn Together
by Roni Cohen Leiderman Ph.D Playing with your child is more than fun and games: it’s the key to building a strong relationship with your child and providing important early stimulation that promotes learning and development.
You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
Understanding child development body, mind, emotions, and spirit that equips parents to make their own decisions based on cognitive and intuitive knowledge and to raise a well-rounded child.
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Growing young minds around the world.
Many parents question the need for signing; is it really worth the effort? Absolutely! As discussed above, babies have an obvious desire, and need, to communicate long before they have the motor skills and co-ordination needed to produce the words their parents understand. Signing is a perfect bridge for that frustrating gap, reducing tears and tantrums. It also enriches future interactions and serves to strengthen the parent-child bond immensely. Signing will become natural for your child, whether or not you intentionally teach it. Children will automatically use gestures for words they do not know, or cannot form. The baby who lifts their arms to be picked up, points at something they want, nods yes and shakes their head no, waves hello and goodbye is signing. It only makes sense to expand on their natural tendencies. No two children are alike, but they can produce their first sign as early as eight months. How you choose to sign will vary from family to family, but the common thread is to make it simple enough to fit into your daily routine without too much effort. You want it to become second nature! Practice when baby is on the floor or in a seat and you have your hands free. Activities like singing songs or reading a book are great for playtime. During long walks introduce everyday words and actions to your little one. Starting with a few signs then add more gradually. Recruit spouses, extended family and caregivers to join in. The more the merrier, and the better the learning for baby – and you! There are so many effective classes and playgroups that focus on baby sign language. Be sure to select signs that are important in your baby’s world. They will be more excited to successfully sign ‘milk’ over ‘coffee’ and if your baby prefers bananas to peas, you can be sure banana will be an early sign, although ‘no’ won’t be far behind! When diaper changes or bath time are particularly distressing, being able to understand what’s happening ahead of time can make all the difference in the world to your little one. Choosing signs that you encounter over and over will increase your child’s exposure to them. Always be sure to pair all signs with verbal language as well for a well-rounded approach. Remember that once your child starts signing, don’t fuss over correct form. Just as a child learning to speak will mispronounce words, a child learning to sign will make mistakes before getting it right. Always model the chosen sign correctly, but don’t force them to correct themselves.
off enrollment plus a free class on us!
By far the biggest concern parents have is the myth about language delay in signing babies. In fact, signing children are consistently ahead of non-signing peers in their language skills in terms of early comprehension, number of words acquired, grammar and phrasing, and go on to score highly overall in standard IQ tests. Some children will choose to sign later, even though they have the ability to speak. As long as you are diligent about speaking the words along with the signs, you will only enhance their language skills. Just as learning to crawl doesn’t slow down walking, signing won’t slow down talking. Your baby will be excited and motivated by being able to interact with you. Regardless of how you chose to communicate with your baby, make it fun and frequent, and before you know it, you’ll be thinking wistfully of those days before your talented tot ever uttered their first “why?” • Heather is the General Manager and Chief Baby Signer of Gymboree Play and Music in Vancouver and North Shore. Heathers live in North Vancouver, BC and is the mother to a very communicative three year old daughter.
Coquitlam Creekside Village 103-2764 BarnetHighway Highway 5-2773 Barnet (604)945-4967 (604) 945-4967 Coquitlambc@gymboreeclasses.com Coquitlambc@gymboreeclasses.com North Shore Shore North 942-A West 942-A West 16th 16thStreet Street (604) 739-1190 (604) 739-1190 Nshorebc@gymboreeclasses.com Nshorebc@gymboreeclasses.com *Offer valid through 9/15/2012 and is available for new families
fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 13
at participating locations only. Offer is available not redeemable cash *Offer valid through 6/30/2012 and is for newfor families at credit. participating only. Offer is not redeemable for cash or Cannotlocations be combined with any other offer or discount. or credit. Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.
re l a t i o n s h i ps
| by Tania Zulkoskey & Amy van Weelderen
Table for Two:
No Highchair Required So you’ve decided it’s time to plan a date with your partner, leave the kids at home and just reconnect. Besides looking forward to this special time, you may also feel anxious about it. The pressure comes from feeling that the time is so precious that you need to make the most of every moment. You and your partner are in a journey together and it can be hard to feel connected without thinking of the kids. Contrary to common belief, it is okay to talk about the kids on your date, especially the moments that have made you laugh, feel grateful, and brought tender tears to your eyes. The person sharing parenting duties knows what your parenting journey has been like. You have a connection. It may be your only uninterrupted, private time to do so. A couple’s date doesn’t have to be a dinner and movie after the kids have gone to bed. Parents know they can stay up as late as they want, but the little one is still going to be the early bird. The “day date” offers more flexibility and doesn’t leave you as tired.
When asked, couples often report the same desires for their date: not preparing meals, eating while the food is still warm and having uninterrupted quality conversations with their partner. Some new moms enjoy a sunny afternoon walk in a park and a dinner with wine at a nice restaurant. One husband summed it up this way; “we normally only get two to three hours together so our date has to be short and sweet”. If time and resources don’t permit a date outside of the house it is still possible to have date night at home. Once the kids have gone to bed, couples can make the most of those few precious hours. One option to consider is to spend time together in your living room, curled up on your couch. If you like to watch movies together, invite your partner for a bath and watch it on your laptop.
Do you feel guilty being away from your kids or do you count down the minutes until you are free again? Parenting is always with mixed emotions and internally we can be at odds with ourselves. To ease the planning around your date night, keep it simple. Think about what you’d really prefer to do if you had a couple of hours together. Making time to connect with your partner will help you to re-engage with your kids with more patience, empathy and energy. A small break in your routine can give you a boost that can last weeks. You may notice that you appreciate your partner more, feel more connected and feel that you have maintained a sense of independence outside of being a parent. Sometimes the journey of parenting has been challenging. Couple time will give you the opportunity to encourage each other; be supportive; share a laugh or two; have fun together and rekindle the romance. •
Easy it’s as
Take Your Time
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Our Top 10 Ideas for Date Night 1. Take a handholding stroll at a local park. Pack a picnic basket and relax under the trees. 2. For a dinner date night, share a meal at your favorite restaurant and a bottle of wine that you both enjoy. 3. Enjoy live entertainment together at a concert or street festival. 4. Take a yoga class together. Enjoy stretching in the peace and quiet. 5. Pretend to be tourists in your own city. Find local attractions and take pictures together. 6. Try a new activity together. Sign up for rock climbing, salsa dancing or scuba diving lessons. 7. Go for a test drive. Head to your nearest car dealership and test drive your dream car. 8. Create a special dinner. Find a recipe you’ve never tried and make it together. 9. Have a spa night at home. Give each other manicures, pedicures and back massages. 10. Drive out to a country field, snuggle under the stars and try to find the constellations.
Tania is a registered family counselor and owns a private practice in East Vancouver focusing on relationships, families, trauma and fertility issues. She resides in Vancouver, BC and is a mother of three year old twins. She can be reached at www.tzcounselling.ca.
fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 15
Finding a great babysitter takes time. Craigslist and other online classified listings are great starting points and babysitting referral companies can help narrow down your search in a snap. Getting a minimum of two references and asking for a police background check is not out of the norm. Sitters charge between $10.00 - $15.00 per hour and parents deserve to know what they are paying for. You need to feel completely comfortable with the person looking after your kids so take the time to find a sensational sitter.
She might not look like Mary Poppins, but underneath all those piercings and tattoos could be a fantastic babysitter who is energetic and eager to spend some amazing time with your kids. Take time to get to know your “sitter candidates” before you judge them. Perfect looking sitters might not be so perfect after all and not-so-polished looking sitters might actually be incredible on the job.
Best Time to Hire a Babysitter is Before You Actually Need One New parents should find sitters and use them months in advance before needing one for a special outing. When time comes for that big evening out, the kids are comfortable and excited with the person who is coming over and you and your spouse will truly enjoy your evening away feeling confident that your children are well cared for. Amy is a busy mother of a 10 year old son. She owns Lullaby League a service that connects busy Vancouver parents with part-time babysitters.
p a re n t i n g
| by Dr. Michal Regev
Using Praise to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem
All parents want their kids to do well and be successful in life. But did you know that self-esteem is one of the top predictors of success and psychological well-being? Self-esteem is the way kids (and adults) perceive themselves and their capabilities and it includes self-confidence, self-worth, selfimportance and, lovability. Helping your child strengthen their self-esteem may seem like a daunting task and one more thing that you, as a parent, are expected to do and be responsible for. Following these twelve simple guidelines may help you help your child.
Practice Self-Care You may be surprised to find this as number one on this list but we have ample evidence that shows a strong connection between a parent’s sense of well-being and their ability to provide good parenting. If you think about it, it actually makes sense; after all, a parent who is overwhelmed, anxious or simply hurried all the time will likely have little patience or energy for their child. If you rarely have a break, if you have all the responsibility for your child or not doing well physically, emotionally or mentally, it is highly recommended that you take steps to take better care of yourself.
Your Relationship with Your Partner If your relationship with your partner is loving, harmonious and stable you are providing your child the best environment in which to grow and build their self-confidence. When a child is anxious or worried about her parents’ relationship it takes a toll on their sense of safety which, in turn, takes away from their ability to have a solid sense of self-confidence. Do your best to nurture your spousal relationship and seek professional help if you cannot seem to do it by yourselves.
Listen and Respond to your Child When your child talks to you, cries, asks a question or simply tries to get your attention, listen carefully and respond to them as soon as you can. Give her your full attention and fulfil her need to the best of your ability. Children whose parents tend promptly to them develop trust and a sense of safety, which are important building blocks for self-esteem.
Validate your Child’s Feelings If your child is upset, frustrated, disappointed or simply not having a good day you can help them by being empathic and validating. Saying “you’re disappointed because you didn’t get that candy,” means they feel understood and know that feeling upset or
16 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2012
disappointed is alright. Avoid passing judgment or reproaching your kid for expressing emotions (e.g., avoid telling your child to stop crying and certainly avoid mocking them if they cry). Kids whose parents validate their feelings grow to trust their own feelings and be more confident in themselves.
Be Affectionate with Your Child Affection gives your child the message that they are loved. Feeling loved, in turn, builds a child’s sense of self-worth. Showing love and affection to your child does not mean spoiling them. Spoiling a child has to do with not setting boundaries or limits, not with displaying love. There is no such thing as loving your child too much.
Set Boundaries When you set boundaries for your child it helps them know the “rules of the game.” Knowing the rules and having you there to enforce them provides the child with a sense of safety, crucial to the development of self-confidence. When a child does not have a clear sense of boundaries they are more likely to make mistakes and “fail.” By setting clear boundaries you give your child an opportunity to be successful in the family environment, a sense they can then carry over to other environments.
Have as Many Positive Interactions with Your Child as Possible Some children get their parents’ attention only when they misbehave. As a result, most or all of the parent-child interaction are negative in nature. Engage with your child through play, talk, singing and doing activities together, such as art or cooking project. A positive interaction can be as simple as pointing out the changing colors of the leaves in the fall or commenting on your child being a great helper. Minimize criticism and avoid yelling at your child. Smile and have fun together.
Use Encouragement and Praise Parents should give praise and encouragement often, not only for achievements but also for trying. Saying to your child “I see that you like drawing with red” may be as important as commenting on how beautiful their drawing is. Similarly, commenting on their attempt to dress by themselves is as important as praising their success in doing so. As part of praising you could display your child’s art work and tell others about your child’s achievements
when they can hear you. Praise and encouragement should be given genuinely or they lose their value. Insincere praise may take away from a child’s confidence because they may interpret it as praise of pity, meaning that they are less than competent.
Provide Your Child with Opportunities to Learn Kids have to learn a lot; about themselves, their family, their environment and the world. As a parent you are in the best position to teach your child. Play is an important and fun way for kids to learn so play with your child as often as possible. Reading to them and pointing out things in their environment will help them gain better knowledge about important things. The more they know and understand their world the higher their confidence will get.
Set Your Child Up for Success You may do that by giving your child small tasks and responsibilities that are age-appropriate. At the age of two a child can help water plants or feed the family pet. Some kids at that age can pull up their pants or flush the toilet. If you ask your child to help clean the kitchen by wiping the cabinets they are likely to get a sense of accomplishment and pride. Every little task they perform successfully builds their sense of selfcompetence and self-confidence. It is true that doing these things by yourself may save time but allowing your kid to do them will help their confidence grow.
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Cultivate Your Own Self-Esteem Our kids look to us for guidance and role modeling. When a parent’s self-esteem is low, when they are self-critical, hesitant or afraid to try things, kids pick on that and it is hard for them to be confident. If your self-esteem is low you may need some professional help to make sure you are more confident and are able to help your child be more confident.
Give Your Child Choices Decision–making is an important life skill and the ability to make decisions can build a child’s confidence. Start with simple things like choosing between two outfits, choosing playground activities, whether to read one book or another, what to put in their sandwich, etc. By allowing your child to make choices you help them feel important. They are also going to have to think about their preferences, which will cultivate their self-knowledge. Knowing who you are is an essential ingredient in self-esteem. • Dr. Regev is a registered psychologist, marriage and family therapist practicing in Vancouver, BC. She can be reached at www.drregev.com. Offices in Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria. fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 17
e d uca t i o n
| by Susan Wong
Choosing the Right Preschool: One Mom’s Search Three years ago I was filling out an application at a preschool my husband and I finally felt comfortable with. We anxiously submitted our papers and kept our fingers crossed. Apparently there was a long waiting list. Months later, we received a call from the program coordinator and she said our application had been accepted and our son, Liam, could start that coming Fall. Upon receiving the message, I excitedly shared it with my husband who was home early from work that day. I remember we were so thrilled we did the happy dance! Yes, all just for preschool. Honestly, we were oblivious to the whole process. The hardest part was finding a facility that fit our expectations, budget, location, schedule and family needs. We began our research and became more confused as we learned there were so many different options and decisions to make: Montessori or playbased, pre-school and/or daycare, religious or non-religious, bilingual or not, part-time or full-time and the list goes on. We were quite impressed with most of the schools we visited which made our decision extremely difficult. It is easy to be influenced by parents, relatives and friends. Everyone had a different opinion and expectation. So we were torn. Finally, the two of us had to sit down and discuss our decision. Ultimately it came down to what did we want for our son at this point in his life? For us, it was not just about placing him somewhere while we worked but we wanted him to be in an environment that reflected our lifestyle and beliefs. We wanted him to be around good friends and positive teachers. We wanted him to learn, play and just have fun. Our preschool had it all: an apple tree, an herb and tomato
garden, an outdoor playhouse and boat, picnic tables and two large sandboxes! They encouraged lots of outdoor and physical activity, dance, music, art, science, discovery, gardening, cooking and much more. Of course the first six months or so it was like any new relationship: we had to learn their daily routines, the preschool’s expectations, and get to know and trust the staff. Liam had trouble saying goodbye to me in the mornings but eventually settled in. However, he never wanted to leave when his father went to pick him up. So in time we knew he was having fun. The preschool staff supported us tremendously with words of encouragement, smiles, hugs, and feedback about our son. They answered any questions we had. It is tough letting go of your baby and allowing others to care for your child. Inevitably, it has to happen. We just had our second baby a month before our eldest started school, and my husband had just started a new job. It was a big year of change for all of us! Liam had started crying again in the mornings about a month or two before his last day. I suspect it was because he was aware he was going to Kindergarten soon, and it created some anxiety for him. So the day had finally come and it was my last drop off. I began tearing up. We brought in a poster card we made together for the teachers. The card was a collage of all his firsts at daycare: his first preschool play, field trip, graduation, and his first connections with new friends and teachers outside of our family circle. The preschool teachers were moved. Even the teachers admitted they always have a tough time on the last day.
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It was just as difficult at the final pick up when I gathered all his belongings. I walked around the room one last time: the reading corner, the science table, the play kitchen, the dress up closet, the puppet show theatre, and their snack and activity tables. My first born’s preschool days were over! I still remember the many field trips with the kids and how tired I was by the time we got back. All the children had grown so fast and lost their baby faces. I was going to miss the cozy little one level house on a quiet neighbourhood street. It was safe and quaint. I even missed the coat room and watching Liam sign his name, and post his apple shaped name tag on the tree. As a keepsake, the preschool prepared a hand-made book of photographs of moments he shared with them. Your child’s preschool becomes a part of your life, somewhere you trust to leave your child, and a place where they really get to know your child and you. They had become not just preschool teachers, they were our friends. Luckily, I get one more chance at this with my youngest. So it will be nice to see everyone again. As a parent you always wonder if you made the right decision for your child: What school to send them to; which activities to enrol them in or whether to introduce them to a second language and more. There’s is no right answer or same answer for each individual family. If you are struggling, don’t settle. Take your time and find the right fit for you and your family’s needs and expectations. Go with your gut; we did. I left with tears in my eyes that last day. I was reassured that it was the perfect place for our son and our family. Enjoy the preschool experience as it only happens once for each child. •
Tips on Choosing the Right Preschool • Ask relatives, friends and parents with older siblings for referrals. • Give yourself ample time to review preschools and the type of learning style you are looking for. • It is recommended to contact preschools regarding registrations and waitlists when your child turns two years of age. • Some preschools offer an open house a year or so in advance. • Most preschools require children to be potty trained, however this may vary with each preschool. Susan works part-time from her home office in Vancouver. She has two young boys age two and five. Her favourite part about motherhood is learning something new about her children and herself.
fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 19
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ed uca t i o n ex p e r t
| by Natacha V. Beim
Natacha, with so much going on in my day what’s the best Q:“Dear way to teach my child at home?” Michelle, West Vancouver
Lear ning Star ts At Home: Tips to Help Your Child Learn
Even when spending the whole day with your child at home, hours seem short and finding the time to help your child learn new skills can be tricky.
The good news is, children are constantly learning from their environment, whether we facilitate it or not. Many of our daily tasks we wouldn’t consider learning experiences are some of the richest in content for your child. The trick, however, is to know when to involve your child, and to know what types of activities will make a difference to their development. If you find that your child is mainly watching you go through your chores all day, it’s time to start including your child in these daily chores.
Reorganize Your Home Your home environment should be accessible to your child, so they are able to do most things independently, like choosing their clothes and getting dressed, helping themselves to water or to
a healthy snack, going to the bathroom, and finding things to play with and learn from. Organize your fridge and your kitchen cupboards in a way that fosters independence. Open cupboard doors (just make sure you remove anything dangerous) and let them explore. Do the same in their bedroom so they don’t need your help every time they want to do something. Once your child is comfortable around the house, start to teach them how to put things away, this teaches essential math skills and encourages responsibility.
Enlist Your Child’s Help with Laundry Laundry is an exciting activity, and is brimming with learning opportunities in both language and math. Your child can learn
ASK: Natacha Do you have an educational
q uestion for Natacha? Email her at
a sk natacha@ur ba nbaby.c a
so much from sorting (whites and darks), measuring (how many clothes fit in the washing machine) and pairing (your child can pair socks together). Talk to your child about the textures and colors of the clothes and discuss the scent and temperature of clothes when they first come out of the washer or the dryer. Talk about everything your child notices, use rich vocabulary and full sentences, and encourage your child to follow suit. Once they have mastered these experiences, it’s time to learn to fold, sort by family member and put away the clothes.
able to comprehend and then do it alone. Teach your child that when you play with something, you put it away before you take out something else. Model how to do it, and don’t let too many different toys pile up, otherwise it becomes too difficult for your child to re-organize. A tidy house teaches your child to respect the order of things, and to restore it when it’s out of balance. It also motivates you, as a parent, to allow your child to play with different items, because you know that they will clean it up when they are finished.
Take Your Time at the Grocery Store
There are many more chores and activities your child can partake in. This may require more time from you, but will save you time in the long run. Your child will gain excellent practical skills, math and science skills, new vocabulary, and especially independence and confidence. Look at your daily chores and find ways for your child to participate, you will raise a lifelong learner in the process.•
Ask any parent if they like going to the grocery store with a young child and they will most likely say NO! The grocery store, however, is a place of enchantment for children, just as long as they’re not hungry, tired or hurried. Set aside enough time so your child can help you choose fruits and vegetables, weigh and bag them, and feel included in the tasks. Ask for your child’s opinion and introduce them to new smells, flavors, textures, names and sounds. Compare items, count them, weigh them, and discuss what is good to eat. You don’t have to go through every aisle in the same fashion, just pick a new one each time. Encourage independence and control by giving the responsibility of choice to your child, give them a small amount of money and ask them to choose one thing to buy. Little by little, your child will begin forming these concepts and understanding what the necessities are and what is extra.
Invite Your Child to Cook Cooking is pure science in action. Most children love to help washing fruit and vegetables, mash, beat, crack, knead, cut and peel (when old enough). Measuring, mixing, pouring, counting and reading are all valuable learning opportunities that can be found in the art of cooking. Help your child feel needed and important in their role in the kitchen and encourage creativity. As your child gets older, start to teach them how to cook and follow recipes. Your child can gradually be given more responsibilities in the kitchen and eventually prepare full meals, starting with breakfast and snacks.
Teach Your Child to Have a Sense of Order The most precious gift you can give your child is a sense of order. This means they understand how a space (work or play) should be organized, and are able to put items back in their place. For example, if your child had a wonderful time playing with the bath toys but is ready to do something else, invite them to clean up first and make it easy to do. If your child is young, have a colorful bucket by the bathtub for the toys to be returned to. The easier you make it, the faster they will be
Natacha is a writer, speaker, teacher, and the founder of Core Education & Fine Arts Junior Kindergarten schools (www.cefa.ca). You can reach her at www.natachabeim.com
CE O m o m
| by Daniela Ginta
M otherhood Reinvented:
Changing Diapers and Changing Careers For many mothers having a baby can be life-changing in more ways than one. Maybe your considering going back to school, changing careers or starting a business. Motherhood often serves as a catalyst to rethink career options and to decide what’s really important to you.
Finding Balance Lisa Corriveau talks about careers, past and present. “I used to teach ESL before I was pregnant,” she says. Soon after her son was born a new career started emerging. “I started blogging every day, and then I got in touch with a local website where I’ve been publishing a couple of articles a month since.” Between writing website content and PR material, articles, blogging and reviews for child-related products, Lisa believes writing for a living is not farfetched. It’s quite a journey, she says. Finding time to write while taking care of her two year old son, without a regular paycheck coming in, has its challenges. She cites, “I can be out with my son on a sunny Friday afternoon meeting a friend, knowing that I will make some time for writing later on.” She loves the flexibility of being a writer and the fact that she can fit in other
things she’s passionate about. Either way, Lisa seems to know a great deal about achieving balance.
Back to School Some people think of maternity leave as sweet baby time, but Sarah Whitehead made it a tad different. After careful consideration, she studied hard, waddled her way literally, since she was in her last couple of weeks of pregnancy into the bar exams and successfully passed. Handling a full-time law career and raising her daughter, Sarah declares she is happy as can be. “While it is exhausting both mentally and physically at times I have a career that challenges and fulfills me and a daughter who is the love of my life; so I wouldn’t change a thing, “So, what has she learnt when she became a mom? That one cannot
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do it all: spotless house, gourmet meals, job and time with family; something’s gotta give. Dishes and laundry can wait a few hours if the time is spent at the pool or at the park with her daughter, or cuddling during reading a book. Aside from occasional long hours and sleepless nights Sarah comments “The biggest challenge is acknowledging that your time is not your own and that you have to plan ahead otherwise you are in for a big headache come Monday morning!” The good news? It is possible and sustainable if you believe in it!
Following Your Dreams Pamela Findling believes it too. “I’d always known I wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a kid,” she says. But how do you go from an IT career to being a full-time writer? With determination and willingness to do what it takes, she explains. Going back to school full-time was not easy, but that got her where she wanted to be. Aside from wanting to be a writer, Pamela wanted to make it real for her son too. “How am I going to tell my son that he can be whatever he wanted to be if I hold back?” Whether she is writing for companies or freelancing, the path is now set. Challenges? Pamela admits she has had her share. Being in school, juggling homework, deadlines and making sure she spends time with her son as she did was not an easy feat. Pamela believes all the juggling has its rewards.
Steps to Get Started Set your priorities straight. Whether you want to be a full-time mom for the first couple of years and switch careers slowly as you go, or if you are ready to go back to school during maternity leave or shortly after, don’t let anything or anyone deter you from it.
Believe in yourself. If it feels right, if it makes you feel fulfilled, go for it!
Acknowledge challenges. Spotless homes and perfectly folded laundry are urban myths. Make time for what matters.
Do your best to honour your job or school engagements during daycare or school hours.
Seek support and share your journey with your family and ask for help when needed. Keep in mind that many moms go through the same dilemma or career challenges. Having people cheer you on as you reinvent yourself professionally can be a life-changing gift. •
Daniela is a freelance writer in Vancouver, BC. Her two sons ages five and nine, are her greatest inspiration.
fall 2012 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 25
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Shapes Sorting Box Your little one will have so much fun learning new shapes, colors and improving their fine motor skills. The Sorting Box is made out of high-quality nylon material and comes with six wooden shapes.
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Fall Finds! Chewbeads Chewbeads are a fashionable way for mama to ensure she always has a teething toy on her! Made with 100% silicone (similar to pacifiers & baby bottle nipples), they are soft on babies gums and emerging teeth. Easily cleaned with dish soap and water, also dishwasher safe. Necklaces have a breakaway clasp for added safety and BPA, phthalates, cadmium, lead, metals free.
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Environmentally Friendly, Economical & Convenient
UrbanGuide: Car Seat Guide 2012
Sponsored by Lussobaby www.lussobaby.ca
Ch i cco • KeyFit
D i o n o • Radian RXT
Cl ek • Oobr
Infant Car Seat
Convertible Car Seat
The 2012 Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat is the premier infant carrier for safety, comfort, and convenience.
The Radian RXT is a highly versatile 3-in-1 car seat that could be the only seat you’ll ever need.
Oobr is high-back booster seat that provides superior protection for your child without sacrificing comfort, convenience or style.
Brand Range: $209.99 - $229.99
Brand Range: $279.99 - $359.99
Child Weight: 4 to 22 lbs
Child Weight: Rear-facing: 4 to 45 lbs, Forward-facing: 20 to 80 lbs
Child Height: 18 to 30” Booster: No Child Safety: 5-point safety harness Specialty: Rated No.1 for easiest car seat to install correctly Stroller Compatibility: Fits most strollers with an additional car seat adapter Colors: Graphica, Romantic Features: • Removeable newborn insert for smaller babies • Thick cushioned seat pad • Energy-absorbing foam for improved side impact protection • Spring-assisted level foot, bubble levels, and “Center-Pull” adjustment for easiest installation
28 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2012
Type: Booster Price: $324.99 Brand Range: $299.99 - $349.99 Child Weight: 40 to 100 lbs
Child Height: 57”
Child Height: 40 to 57”
Booster: Up to 120 lbs
Booster: Converts to backless booster
Child Safety: 5-point safety harness
Child Safety: 5-point safety harness
Specialty: The only car seat rated for LATCH use for child up to 80 lbs (age 9-10 years old)
Specialty: “Best-Bet” in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Colors: Shadow, Daytona, Storm, Plum, Rugby, Colbalt
Colors: Snowberry, Blue Moon, Drift, Blue Moon and Paul Frank editions
Features: • 3-in-1 car seat that can be used through all car seat stages • Steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides • Energy-absorbing EPS foam panels on all sides • Fit three car seats in a mid-size car • Adjustable headrest, shoulder, buckle, height and recline positions • Folds flat for travel and storage • Add up to four cup holders, one included
Features: • Magnesium back frame and energyabsorbing foam layer • Elemental safety system engineered for front, rear and side impact • Rigid LATCH system with audible “click” • Crypton super fabrics to protect against stains • Adjustable headrest, shoulder, buckle, height and recline positions • Recyclable through Clek’s recycling program
Car Seat 101: Know the Type You Need Infant Car Seats: Infant Car Seats are designed for babies from birth to 20 lbs. They help support your baby’s head and make it easier for them to breathe, while keeping them in the safest rear-facing position at all times. These smaller infant car seats are compatible with a variety of strollers.
Pre-Order for Fall 2012
Convertible Car Seats:
Convertible car seats are practical and allow the same seat to be used for rear-facing and forward-facing stages. Babies 5 to 45 lbs are seated in rear-facing position and adjusted to forward-facing position when they reach 22 to 65 lbs, depending on the car seat make and model.
Cl ek • Foonf Convertible Car Seat
Foonf convertible car seat provides revolutionary safety technology and innovative convenience features. This convertible child seat makes a parent’s job easier! Type: Convertible Price: $499.99 Brand Range: $449.99 - $499.99 Child Weight: Rear-facing: 14 to 45 lbs, Forward-facing: 20 to 65 lbs Child Height: Rear-facing: 25 to 46”, Forward-facing 30 to 49”
Booster Car Seats: Booster car seats are designed for forward-facing position for children 40 lbs and at least nine years old (depending on child’s weight and height). If your current car seat does not convert, you’ll need a Booster car seat. All Booster seats are forward-facing position, as either high-back or low-back. High-back Boosters provide extra support and protection for your child’s upper body. Low-back Boosters, also known as backless booster seats, are the last stage of a car seat for a child who does not yet meet the height and weight requirements for using a seatbelt alone. Backless booster seats provide extra height for your child, along with arm rest support. Why Rear-Facing? Rear-facing car seats support and protect the child’s head and spine in the event of a car accident. This is the safest position and it is recommended to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, until they reach the maximum weight and height. A rear-facing position must never be used in a front passenger seat that has an active air bag. Death or serious injuries can occur if the air bag inflates.
British Columbia Car Seat Guidelines: Birth to 1 year and 20 lbs – Infant Car Seat, Rear-facing position *Over 1 year and over 20 lbs – Infant Car Seat, Forward-facing position Under 9 years old and over 40 lbs – Booster Seat, Forward-facing position
Booster: Up to 65 lbs
9 years+ and at least 4’9 ft tall – Seat belt, back seat of car is the safest
Child Safety: 5-point safety harness
*A child may remain rear-facing until they outgrow the rear-facing weight and height limits of your car seat make and model. Check car seat manual for requirements and restrictions.
Specialty: The Revolutionary REACT™ Safety System reduces forces transmitted to your forward-facing child in a frontal collision by up to 40% Colors: Snowberry, Blue Moon, Drift, Blue Moon, Phantom and Paul Frank editions Features: • Engineered to protect in side impact collisions • Energy-absorbing, foam-lined, deep side wings and steel and magnesium rigid sub-structure • Crypton super fabrics to protect against stains • Approved for use on airplanes • Integrated harness magnets make taking your child in and out easier • Fit three car seats in a mid-size car • Recyclable through Clek’s recycling program
For Use in Canada:
Car seats purchased in other countries are not legal for use in Canada. All car seats made for use in Canada have a National Safety Label. Non-Canadian certified car seats are not covered by insurance companies in the event of a car accident.
Car Seats and Booster Seats: How Long are They Safe? All car seats sold in Canada have an expiry or useful life date indicated in the car seat manual. Parents should not use an expired car seat and should discard it rather than donating to a charity or giving to a friend. Average useful life of a car seat is between 6-8 years. Expired car seats can be recycled at Pacific Mobile Depots www.pacificmobiledepots.com.
2012 Car Seat Guide Sponsored by Lussobaby
DID YOU KNOW?
*Over 80% of car seats are not properly used or
installed. Lussobaby provides monthly car seat workshops; education and inspection sessions to help parents properly install and use their car seat the right way. * CMVSS Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard
To sign up for an upcoming car seat session, contact Lussobaby at
778-340-0648. Lussobaby 1037 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
| by Lara Leontowich
Raising a Digital Generation Who hasn’t chuckled watching those cute four year olds who so confidently insert and play children’s games on the Wii? Let’s fast forward a few years when the overuse of technology is no laughing matter. According to Active Healthy Kids Canada, children are spending 40 hours per week in front of screen either television, iPad, computer or video games and cellphones. Digital consumption continues to rise with a new label emerging; “the gamer generation,” as the iPads, cellphones, hand-held video games consoles make their way into our children’s lives. In a recent study 73% of the parents surveyed about their children’s after-school activities said their children spent their time between school and dinner watching television and playing video/ computer games.
We invite you to check out our new special UrbanKid feature for parents of children ages 6 to 12. We recognize that in this era of more and more blended families, it is common to have toddlers and tweens growing up in the same household. Watch for UrbanKid articles in subsequent editions of Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine and read related articles on our website at
Give Your Child Alternatives to Screen Time Enrolling them in regular programs or making a routine of outdoor excursions will teach your child how to enjoy a broader range of activities.
A Time and Place for Everything Keep your computer in a “common” room where you can keep an eye on it. Grant your child online gaming access only when a parent is at home.
Don’t Rely on Parenting Software to do Your Job
The Canadian Society for Exercise say children and teens should spend only 25% of the day seated, with the rest of the day spent pursuing moderate-intensity activities like cycling and vigorousintensity activities like playing hockey. Instead of playing outdoors, Canadian kids in Grades 2 to 9 are spending time in front of a screen.
Filtering and blocking programs can be a part of your Internet safety plan at home, but they don’t take the place of an informed and involved parent.
Consider installing a child’s basketball hoop in your child’s play room. We have one that has been passed down in our family that has been loads of fun especially on those rainy days.
Put it in Writing
Although digital devices are fun and our children love them, at what point is there too much of a good thing? Experts advise that parents need to monitor use of technology by establishing time limits and sticking to them before kids turn them on and tune parents out. So what can parents do? Here are some ideas for monitoring and staying involved in your child’s video game and online routines:
Make Rules and Stick With Them Help your child to manage their screen time by limiting the amount to 45-60 minutes daily. Encourage your child to do an hour or more of active play each day.
Participate with Your Child Online Familiarize yourself with the games and programs your child plays.
Creating an agreement between you and your child/tween/teen is an excellent way to teach responsibilities that come with using new technology. •
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines • Infants (under one year of age) should be physically active several times a day particularly through interactive play. • Toddlers (1–2 years) and preschoolers (3–4 years) should be involved in a minimum of 180 minutes of physical activity at any intensity throughout the day. • Children (5 -12 years) should have a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily.
COME DANCE WITH YOUR BABY! New Classes starting this Fall
Register online at www. r unnersandboot i esf i t ness. com
o n t h e t ow n
Fall Family Fun!
Sept 30, 10am–4pm:
Oct 13 - 14, 11am –4pm: UBC Apple Festival
Aug 18 – Sept 3:
Bellies to Babies Celebration
The Fair at the PNE Pacific National Exhibition Kiddy rides, live entertainment, food and musical guests. pne.ca/thefair
Aug 20 – Sept 3: Dinotown Live Cloverdale Fairgrounds One-of-a-kind experience featuring dancing dinosaurs dinotown.com
Croatian Cultural Centre A one-of-a-kind event, for trendy baby fashions, décor and more. Community resources and support services on hand. Admission by donation to Basics for Babies. Over $3000 in door prizes. Register to attend: 604-908-8835 belliestobabiescelebration.com
October 2012 Oct 10 – 31:
Sept 1 – 18:
Stanley Park Ghost Train
Summer Night Market`
Stanley Park Miniature Train Activities for the kids. vancouver.ca/parks/events
12631 Vulcan Way, Rmd Shopping, food vendors, and buskers. Free admission summernightmarket.com
Sept 28, 11am–5pm: Word on the Street Festival Library Square at CBC Plaza, Van Storytelling, Family Literacy tent, bookmaking for kids, scavenger hunt. thewordonthestreet.ca
Children’s Halloween Fair & Train Bear Creek Park Train, 13750 – 88th Ave, Surrey Train ride through Halloween displays, crafts, games and pumpkins. bctrains.com
November 2012 Nov 3 - 4, 10am-5pm Vancouver Baby & Family Fair Pacific National Exhibition Exhibitors and displays, product samples, live entertainment, photo contest Admission: $12 per adult babyandfamilyfair.com
Lower Mainland Toy & Product Fair Coast Hotel & Convention Centre, 20393 Fraser Hwy, Langley +50 exhibitors, unique, innovative gifts, photo contest and on site babysitting langleycdc.com
Alishia • Burnaby, BC
Amena, 10 months
1. What is the best part of about being a mom? I could never have imagined how wonderful it is to be a mom. The best part is everything about my sweet Amena. The laughs, cries and new things she tries to do everyday are precious. I look forward to new words she will say. It brings a smile to our family. 2. What is your favorite activity to do with your child? I love being outdoors with my daughter. She loves looking outside with curiosity, squinting from the sun, trying to touch the rain and smiling the entire time. 3. What is your favorite television show? My favorite television show right now is anything on Treehouse. 4. What is the last book you’ve read? I read The Help, I loved it and couldn’t put it down.
PUMPKIN PATCHES Opens September 1st
Opens October 6th
Open October 6th
Applebarn Pumpkin Farm
Petey Pumpkin Patch
Laity Pumpkin Patch
333 Gladwin Rd, Abby
9423 Gibson Rd, Chilliwack
21145 128 St. Maple Ridge
Opens October 6th Opens September 30th
UBC Botanical Gardens, Van Apple tasting, entertainment, children’s area, crafts, face painting, games and storytelling. Admission: $4 per adult botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/ apple-festival
Nov 21, 1pm–7pm: Oct 6 - 31, 10am–5pm:
Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Farms
24990 – 84th Ave, Langley
12900 Steveston Hwy, Rmd
Information may be subject to change.
5. What is one product or service you can’t live without? The Dri-Line Baby Dri Pad, Soaker Pad. I carry it everywhere with me. It is a useful absorbent quilted pad I can use in the car and at the park. 6. How do you find some “Mommy Time”? (able to find a break from the kids or take time for yourself?) I have fun when I’m doing activities with Amena. Spending time with her makes me happy. I have lots of support from my husband and family to find time for work and myself.
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Published on Aug 15, 2012
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