Celebrity Dad: ET Canada’s
Rick Campanelli Having a Baby:
Prenatal Special Feature ABC’s of Eye Care for Children
A Growing Trend UrbanGuide:
2015 Car Seat Guide
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CONNECTING YOUNG FAMILIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
FALL 2015 • PRICELESS
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FALL 2015 volume 13 • issue 3
t able of
4 feature: Parents’ Guide to Choosing Child Care 6 prenatal: Having a Baby: Prenatal Special Feature 8 celebrity dad: ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli 10 postpartum: Try Cloth Diapering: Share Your Enthusiasm! 11 in the kitchen: Healthy Snack Ideas 12 nutrition: Lunchtime Tips: Four Ways to Help Your Child Eat Well
l et te r f ro m th e After dealing with our summer heat wave in BC, shopping for back-to-school sweaters and jackets can feel really, really odd. The return of the cooler weather had a definite upside because it gets darker earlier making it easier to get the children to sleep in the evenings. Like many parents, you have probably been checking into fall activities to get your children into. As always, you wonder about the money and time commitment. Read our article on page 30 for a new perspective which could help you determine the right balance of activities for your family.
24 ceo mom: Homeschooling: A Growing Trend
31 spotlight: UrbanMom: Janette
EDITOR/AD SALES Lara Leontowich
DESIGN/PRODUCTION Shannon Brownlee
CONTRIBUTORS Child Care Resource & Referral, Katie Mark, Kristen Yarker, Daniela Ginta, Lindsay Coulter, Julie Romanowski, Dr. Shimi Kang SUBSCRIPTION urbanbaby & toddler magazine is available for $25.00 per year (includes GST). 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.
28 UrbanGuide: 2015 Car Seat Guide
31 on the town: Fall Family Fun
As always we value your feedback. Send your emails to the editor at email@example.com
You Could Win 1 of 6 Car Seats Featured ENTER TO WIN AT www.urbanbaby.ca
26 GREAT GOODS: Back-to-School Finds & Fall Products
3 0 UrbanKid: Parental Obsession with Activities: Has it Gone Too Far?
Despite our back-to-school rush, we must pause to enjoy our fabulous fall colours. So as we transition back to our fall routine, we need to keep our children actively connected to nature. We have an article on page 19 for that too!
Ultimate Car Seat Contest!
18 eco parent: Five Ways to Connect Your Child with Nature
22 education expert: Ready, Set, Read: Help Your Child Learn to Read
Ever found your child’s lunch-box returned practically un-touched? Our article on page 12 offers useful lunchtime ideas and strategies to keep your child well-nourished at preschool or elementary school.
Check out the UBT UrbanGuide on page 28 & 29 for our
16 ages & stages: ABC’s of Eye Care for Children
2 0 UrbanMarket: Products & Promotions
I highly recommend reading our parent’s guide on page 4 as you venture out on that very important quest.
For parents of younger children, selecting the right child care is a common dilemma.
14 relationships: Family Matters: Be Thankful for Grandparents
19 parenting: Q&A: Transitioning Back to School: Make it a Smooth One
@urbanbabymag On the cover: Audrey, 14 months old Location: Bopomo Pictures Studio Photo Credit: Bopomo Pictures Clothing: WHEAT Canada
urbanbabymag urbanbabyandtot our mailing info:
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fe a t u re
| by Child Care Resource & Referral
Parents’ Guide to Choosing Child Care Finding a high quality early learning environment that meets the needs of your child and your family can be challenging. Often the logistics of waitlists and cost, as well as the emotional aspect can feel overwhelming for many families. It is now well documented that not only are the early years the most significant developmental phase in life, it is also known that quality child care promotes positive social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development for our children. In BC, the Child Care Resource & Referral program (CCRR) is a free service, funded by the Province of BC, for all families to access a child care referral list; information on child care subsidies and quality child care as well as any community referral you may need. Some things to consider when searching for child care and when requesting a child care referral list include: location (near work/home/school); hours, type of care, fees, and any specific program aspects you may want (meals included, other language component, etc.). Selecting the type of child care that meets your family’s needs is an important decision. Various child care providers offer different group sizes; child-tostaff ratios; philosophies and physical environment. You will also find differences in daily program and schedule depending on the type of care. These differences are vital for families to have a choice in what type of care works for them. For a complete description of the type of child care available contact the CCRR or refer to the booklet Parents’ Guide to Selecting and Monitoring Child Care in BC. Download a copy of the booklet at www.urbanbaby.ca/childcarebooklet. It is recommended to give yourself ample time to find child care. Schedule a visit/tour at as many child care centres as you can to get a sense of each program and the type of care offered.
Some questions to ask and observations to make during a visit/ tour of a child care centre include: • Are you licensed with the Ministry of Health or registered with the CCRR? • What are your staff qualifications? Low staff turnover? • What is your guidance policy? Guidance should teach, not punish. • Review their parent package/contract. Ask for references. • Do you have a parent information package and contract? • What are your hours of operation? Do you close for holidays? • Observe the environment: clean, safe, developmentally appropriate play materials, etc. • What feel do you get from the child care provider? Once you select a child care centre you can expect your child to start with a gradual entry. It often starts by attending the centre with your child for an hour or two the first day, leaving your child for a short time the second day, and then leaving your child the third day for a longer period of time covering some transitions (possibly lunch or nap). Children react differently to starting in a new environment. Some are teary, while others happily run to the toys, and some go through phases for months! Getting updates from your child care provider after you leave is often a great way to ease your nerves and feel supported. The Child Care Resource & Referral program staff look forward to assisting you in choosing child care. Visit www.ccrr.bc.ca or contact the offices at 1-888-338-6622. •
We Make Finding Child Care A Piece Of Cake! HELP FINDING QUALITY CHILD CARE ANSWERS TO YOUR CHILD CARE QUESTIONS HELP FILLING OUT SUBSIDY FORMS Please contact us for a free list of child care providers in your area
4 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
Bellies to Babies Celebration™ Sunday, October 4th, 2015
Come celebrate motherhood with us at the Bellies to Babies Celebration™. BC’s 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! See everything from stylish baby and children’s clothing; unique, baby gear; skin care; to postnatal classes and green baby products. It’s all at one show — under one roof!
Drop off your old or expired car seats at the tradeshow for recycling and help keep car seats out of the landfill. Sponsored by WCS Recycling.
Moms-to-be can participate in educational workshops. First-time Dads can take part in our Rookie Dad Contest. Varied support groups will also be on hand to answer questions for new and expectant parents.
Bellies to Babies Celebration™ supports “Breastfeeding is Best” and provides a breastfeeding-friendly environment.
Bellies to Babies Celebration™ will feature a wide variety of exhibitors and sponsors, over $3000 in door prizes. The first 100 moms in attendance receive a complimentary diaper bag filled with samples from Baby Gourmet, Aleva Naturals, and Pampers to name a few. With even a bigger array of prizes attendees can enter to win the grand prize of a $1500 shopping spree to TJ’s The Kiddies Store. As well, enter to win an education credit to CEFA valued at $4000.
Sponsored by: Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine, TJ’s The Kiddies Store, Core Education & Fine Arts, PrintPrint.ca, JRFM, Z95.3FM, CTV, Shop n’ Stroll Fitness, yoyomama, Movies for Mommies.
Join us Sunday, October 4th, 11am – 4pm
at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Dr, Vancouver. Donations collected for Vancouver Basics for Babies Program
Register online to attend:
FALL 2015 •
VANCOUVER, BC • 11AM - 4PM CROATIAN CULTURAL CENTRE
First 100 Moms In Attendance Will Receive
A COMPLIMENTARY DIAPER BAG! SPONSORED BY
BELLIES TO BABIES CELEBRATION SPONSORED BY:
EDUCATION CREDIT SPONSORED BY CEFA
REGISTER ONLINE OR CALL
604 • 908 • 8835
p re n a t a l
| by UB&T and Active Baby
Having a Baby:
Prenatal Special Feature Sponsored by Active Baby
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fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 7
ce l e b r i t y d a d
| by Urbanbaby & Toddler
ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli What a difference a decade or two makes! The newbie who started out as Rick, The Temp after winning a MuchMusic contest in the mid-nineties, is now well-known throughout continent. These days, as co-host of Global’s Entertainment Canada, the very polished and well-spoken Rick Campanelli can be seen weeknights interviewing a steady lineup of high-profile celebrities. During his long tenure at MuchMusic, his stellar rise to fame as a popular host was brisk thus earning him a top spot with Global’s ET Canada which launched in 2005. So many viewers grew up alongside Campanelli over the past 20 years. Now, he is not just a broadcaster, husband and father of two boys. He successfully balances a thriving high-profile job, extensive charity work and precious family time. Urbanbaby and Toddler Magazine had the opportunity to get his views on how he priorities family life to make it all work. UBT: You have two children and as every parent knows you never get two the same. Tells us special qualities about each one. RC: My oldest son Noah is 10 and a half. He’s a great well-
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mannered kid who loves to have fun, play sports and hang out with his friends/cousins. He just loves his little brother Jack who will be 17 months in a couple weeks. Jack is the cutest kid. He is all smiles and laughs and doesn’t want to miss a thing so rather than sleeping he would sooner stay up to see what’s going on. My wife Angie and I are very fortunate to have two great boys. UBT: How do you balance ongoing demands of career and family, especially when you have to travel? RC: It can be challenging, but everything just seems to work itself out. Yes, there’s a lot of travel for work but I bring my family on as many trips that I can. When I travel solo, my wife is absolutely the best mom ever. UBT: How do you manage being recognized when you are out in public, especially when you are with the family? RC: It is never a challenge being recognized when I’m out with my family in public. People in Toronto are great about that. I live in a very cool city. Everybody has their own lives and own kids to take care of. UBT: What is the best part of being a dad? RC: The best part about being a dad is moulding a child into becoming the best person they can be in life plus teaching them right from wrong including values and morals. I love spending time with my family. We go on road trips; out to eat and to the park. I just love being with them and I’m proud to be Dad to two wonderful boys. UBT: You do a lot of work with some great charities, do you think it is important to share that with your children? RC: I love telling Noah about the work I do. He shows interest in my stories and you can just tell when he gets older, he wants to do what he can to help out people in need. Jack is still a little too young for my stories but one day I will tell him about the work I do. It is good for the younger generation to know about charity work. I started when I was young and it just stayed with me. I hope it is the same for my boys. UBT: Has being a dad affected or changed your approach or perspective on your career? RC: My boys and my family will always be first. As for career, I am so grateful to be doing what I’m doing. I absolutely love what I’m
Register online to Attend 8 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
doing, but my family is my priority. Also, I do tend to ask more baby-related and family-oriented questions these days. UBT: What has been the most memorable moment in your career? RC: Wow, that is tough to answer! I’ve done so many wonderful things, travelling/exploring the world; interviewing many stars and handling assignments that I’ve dreamt about. But nothing comes close to marrying my wife and having my boys. UBT: You have been in front of the camera for years and became a real veteran on the Canadian broadcasting landscape. What’s next for you? What’s on your professional bucket list? RC: I love what I’m doing for a living. As for what’s next, definitely more charity work. And making more babies LOL. •
Read past celebrity parent interviews at
fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 9
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| by Katie Mark
Try Cloth Diapering:
Share Your Enthusiasm! Ever notice how parents who use cloth diapers, tend to be ridiculously enthusiastic about their child’s fluffy bums, and giddily share this excitement with the world (whether they asked or not)?
be surrounded by other parents eager to chat with another cloth enthusiast. I met some of my closest mom friends this way!
In your parenting travels, you have probably heard of the main reasons why cloth diapering is awesome. You save thousands of dollars. You are environmentally responsible and you help reduce the amount of chemicals your baby is exposed to. Those reasons were enough to convince me to try cloth. But if you are still on the fence, there are many other reasons to seriously explore this alternative.
This camaraderie continues online, with moms and dads merrily sharing their cloth diaper experiences with others, and reaching out to welcome newbies into the “fold”. These groups have an amazing, cheerful vibe, and will brighten your day. My favourite group recently had a thread where everyone posted a picture of themselves smiling, just in case anyone needed a lift.
Cloth Diapers are Super Cute
My husband and I soon discovered that changing a diaper can actually be fun! We look forward to putting on a new colour or print, seeing how Deja Blue brings out our little boy’s baby blues, or how Hooty Booty makes our daughter dance.
There are endless prints and colours available, and it seems like a crime to cover them up with pants. My children run around with just a diaper often because their little backsides are just so squishy loveable! (Warning – this availability of delectable options may cause a deep addiction to buy all the diapers)
Less Poop Blowouts
Some parents are hesitant to try cloth because they think they clean up is more complicated as compared to using disposables. I have found the opposite to be true. I discovered that cloth is far superior at keeping deuces from going wild.
Lifetime Membership to the Cloth-Diapering Community
Try this for kicks: go to any gathering of parents with small children and change a cloth diaper. Eyes will rivet to the brightly coloured fabric of your chosen diaper. Ears will perk up at the unmistakable “snap, snap, snap” of diaper closures. You will soon
Diaper Changes are More Enjoyable
You’ll Feel Good about What’s on Your Baby’s Bum It is a great feeling knowing that you have chosen this chemicalfree alternative. And you can feel good about the trees that are being saved as a result of your decision. Chances are you will instantly feel upbeat about your money savings.
Enjoy the Convenience
The thought of a couple more loads of laundry a week may sound like more work. Think of it this way: throwing a load of laundry in the washer and pressing start is a cakewalk compared to cramming my two wiggly kids into car seats and jetting off to the store because you discover you are running out of disposables right before night time. The next time you hear a mom or dad raving about cloth diapers, think back to this article and you may have an AHA moment. Don’t be surprised if you turn into that parent who proudly shows off baby’s fluffy backside. You could be that parent who excitedly verbalizes how good it feels to support the environment and boost the family budget at the same time. Be forewarned: Your enthusiasm could be contagious! •
Modern Cloth Diapers That Don’t Cost the Earth • CLOTH DIAPERS AND ACCESSORIES • CLOTH DIAPER WORKSHOPS • NEWBORN RENTAL PACKAGES • DIAPER TRIAL PROGRAM
Katie is the owner of Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company, and (not
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surprisingly) an avid cloth-diapering parent, who in her “spare” time, writes; gardens; falls off of horses and laughs at her own jokes. www.bumbini.ca
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10 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
i n t h e k i t ch e n
| by Urbanbaby & Toddler
Healthy Snack Ideas
CLIF Kid Zbar
Soft-baked whole grain snack bar made with a nutritious blend of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fibre.
Healthy Hearts Bites
It’s hard to come up with new snack ideas, especially when you have a kitchen full of hungry children begging you to produce something fast. Here are some simple, handy snack ideas:
Bite-size crunchy hemp snacks perfect for little fingers.
GoGo Qunioa Cookies Wheat free and gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Each cookie is individually wrapped for school lunches.
G.H. Cretors Popcorn
Fun, savory or sweet snack choice made of all natural ingredients, non-GMO corn and no artificial colours or flavours.
Ra Ra Energy
Organic hemp seed blend with chia, sesame and sprouted buckwheat perfect for adding to your child’s yogurt.
Where History Comes to Life
Kids Gourmet Squoosh A tasty, organic snack pouch with a full serving of fruit and vegetables for busy pre-schoolers.
Free admission! Open Tuesdays-Sundays & holiday Mondays until September 7
Go Gourmet Slammers
Superfood smoothies designed for school-age children made with healthy fruits, vegetables and vitamins for growing children.
Costumed townsfolk welcome you and give demonstrations at the homes and shops of a traditional village. Explore the restored Interurban Tram and take a whirl on the historic 1912 CW Parker Carousel—rides are just $2.55 each! Upcoming Special Event Join us for our World Rivers Day celebrations on Sunday, September 27 featuring children’s entertainer Will Stroet. For more info: burnabyvillagemuseum.ca Thanks to our partners:
fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 11
| by Kristen Yarker
Four Ways to Help Your Child Eat Well Starting at a new daycare, preschool or school is a big change for children. Lunchtime can be an especially overwhelming experience for them, resulting in many children eating poorly and often followed by afternoon meltdowns. For many parents it can be concerning when you find lunchboxes coming back home practically un-touched. Here are four ways to help your child navigate this transitional time:
1. Select a Bento-Style Lunch-Box
I am a big fan of the bento-style lunchboxes. These have multiple sections to keep foods separate. Many picky eaters don’t like to have foods touch and these boxes are designed to keep foods in their own individual sections. Bento-style lunch boxes are widely available in a number of materials, sizes, and sections.
2. Plan a Trial Run
In the last few weeks of summer, practice eating school lunches at home. Pack your child’s lunch in their lunchbox. Then join your child at the kitchen table (or wherever you usually eat lunch) while she/he eats out of the lunchbox. This way your child can have a trial run, practicing opening their lunchbox and any other containers. You can spot any difficulties your child is having. Take this opportunity to try some different recipes and food combinations to see if your child likes them.
3. Pack Only Familiar and Favourite Foods
Initially children undergoing big changes, often do well eating the same lunch every day during this time. With everything else new, why not help them by making the inside of their lunchbox predictable with the same foods. Just be sure to serve your child a variety of other foods at dinner to balance out the lack of variety in their lunches. Once your child settles in to their new school, you can change up their lunch items.
4. Plan for Big After-School Snacks
Offer your child extra-big after-school snacks. A good strategy is to let your children eat their leftover lunch as their snack after school. Arrange for a little extra time in your schedule so that they can eat as soon as you arrive home. Have a few extra snacks available in case they are hungry for more.
Checkout UBT Pinterest for more lunch ideas www.pinterest.com/urbanbabyandtot
12 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
Looking for ideas for what to pack in that lunch box? Choose foods that are easy to self-feed:
• Raw veggies and fresh or dried fruit are nutritious and easy to eat.
• Dips such as hummus and a guacamole pack a nutritional punch.
• If your child is proficient with a spoon, try plain yogurt in a
single-serving container. Applesauce and other no-sugaradded fruit purees also work well.
• Pick whole grain, low-salt (sodium) crackers and flatbreads. • Pack sandwiches (cut into quarters) pita pockets; wraps or whole grain “cracker- sandwiches”.
Here are two easy to eat, sandwich alternatives:
BBQ Tofu Pizza: Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat pita bread 2 tbsp barbecue sauce 50 grams firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled 1/4 medium red bell pepper, diced 15 grams partially skim mozzarella cheese, grated Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. In a bowl, mix together 1 tbsp of the BBQ sauce and
crumbled tofu. Set aside for about 10-15 minutes to marinate and allow the tofu to soak up the BBQ flavour.
3. Spread the remaining BBQ sauce evenly over the pita bread.
4. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the sauce. 5. Distribute the tofu and the pepper evenly over the cheese. 6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pizza. 7. Bake just long enough for the cheese to melt.
California Wrap: Ingredients:
The best thing to spend on your child is time. - Louise Hart
(All the veggies are optional – mix and match with your child’s favourites) 1 small whole wheat or corn tortilla 1 tbsp cream cheese 2 tbsp shredded, raw carrot 1/4 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 tbsp red onion, thinly sliced 1/4 small avocado 2 tbsp cheddar cheese shredded 1 cup baby spinach 2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional) Directions:
1. Shred cheddar cheese and carrots. Chop onion, slice bell pepper and avocado.
2. Spread cream cheese over the tortillas. 3. Arrange all the filling ingredients in a row along the center of the wraps and top with mustard.
4. Roll the tortilla up as tightly as possible to enclose the filling without tearing the tortilla.
Kristen, MSc, RD is a child-feeding expert that helps parents support their picky eaters to try new foods on their own. Since 2008, she has been working with families to provide good
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nutrition for their kids today and instill a love of food that lasts a lifetime. www.kristenyarker.com/kids-nutrition
Many children are challenged with serious food or medical allergies. Beware Bandits are simple effective medical alert wristbands for children. These colorful bracelets sport informative characters that correspond to the child’s particular allergy or condition to help to easily identify the medical challenge.
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re l a t i o n s h i ps
| by Daniela Ginta
Be Thankful for Grandparents A few months ago, a Craigslist ad created quite a stir. It had to do with a mature woman offering to be grandmother to a young child or children who did not have such people in their lives; and a motherly figure to the children’s parents. Some applauded the kindness and intention. Others did not know what to make of it. One thing that people can agree on is that having involved grandparents makes the world a better place. And here is why. Patricia Holmes* of Kamloops, BC has seven grandchildren, five of whom live in the same city. She has been present in the life of each grandchild since they were born. “Watching them grow was the most wonderful thing”, Patricia cites enthusiastically. Children and grandparents have a special connection. Having a grandparent helping out gives parents a much-needed break from time to time along with added assurances that the children are well taken care of.
“My grandchildren tell me things they would not tell their parents. Sometimes they seek advice. Or they might be just looking for another shoulder to cry on,” comments Patricia. “As a grandparent, you need to stay neutral and remind the grandchildren that their parents are trying to do their best. That way the children obtain more understanding for their parents under the gentle guidance of their grandparents”, she adds. Recalling special memories with her own grandparents, Patricia continues. “They would step up and help if needed, and felt good about their contribution”. So what if grandparents live far away or they do not get to have daily contact with their families? As it turns out, it’s not quantity but quality that counts, and, like with everything else in life, moderation is key.
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According to a recent study published in 2014 in Menopause, grandmothers who babysat their grandchildren for one day a week were shown to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. Regular interactions with those close to us helps keep us emotionally balanced and less prone to depression. A recent study also published 2014, concluded just that: grandparents and their grandchildren had a much lower risk of depression when they were connected emotionally. Is more time spent together better then? Not necessarily. Caring for little ones for five days a week seemed to have the opposite effect, increasing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders. We are all aware how caring for children can be demanding for adults. Well it is even more the case for adults in their mature years, which emphasizes the need for a balanced approach. If you’re a grandparent living close enough to your children’s family, you have ample opportunity to connect with the grandchildren without all the extra stress you had while raising your own family. Take your grandchildren out for walks and see the world through their eyes. Delight in their many intriguing questions. Build the emotional bridge now so you keep the communication lines open.
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Get down on the floor and play. Be silly. Enjoy those precious giggles. Show them treasures you have around the house. Tell stories and snuggle after story time. If you’re a parent, invite grandparents to be an integral part of your children’s life and allow them to help whenever possible. It gives them purpose and builds trust for everyone involved. Those with previous parenting experience can offer some nuggets of valuable advice from time to time, so stay openminded. Learn together about boundaries and be respectful. Research continues to underscore the benefits of close connections between grandparents and grandchildren. Everyone wins - including the parents! The result is longlasting memories and strong family ties. Wouldn’t you want that for your children? • Daniela, MSc, resides in Kamloops, with husband and two sons. They give her ample reasons to keep reinventing herself as a mother. Daniela believes that some of the most valuable gifts she can offer her boys including unconditional love and
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time with family.
fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 15
2 95 0 G R A N V I L L E ST R E E T D I A N E S L I N G E R I E .CO M 6 0 4 73 8 5 1 2 1
a g es & s t a g es
| by HealthLink BC
ABC’s of Eye Care for Children Young children with vision problems often don’t know the world is different from the way they see it. They may never have seen clearly, and they have no way of knowing their vision is not normal. By recognizing vision problems and their symptoms early on, you can help your child get tested by an eye doctor.
How Developed is my Child’s Vision?
Babies can see at birth, but they have to learn to use their eyes. They have to learn how to focus, track objects, and use both eyes together. Babies learn eye-hand coordination and the distance of people or things. By about one year of age, children have “adultlike” vision. They are able to judge distances, and they have good eye-hand-body coordination for grasping, holding and throwing things. During the preschool years, children develop vision skills needed for
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eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. They also learn how to read. Children’s vision continues to develop until they are about eight-years old. After that age, eyesight development is complete and it cannot be corrected easily.
Should Vision Problems be Corrected at an Early Age?
Yes. Some vision problems need to be corrected at an early age. Some vision problems or changes can be difficult to detect or notice without testing. Some problems can result in permanent vision damage if they are not corrected early such as: Crossed eyes (strabismus) is a condition where the eye muscles point one or both eyes in the wrong direction. Lazy eye (amblyopia) is a condition where the vision in one eye is weaker than the other eye. The child’s brain ignores the weak eye and uses the strong eye to see. If untreated, the child’s brain develops a clear picture in the good eye and a blurry picture in the weak eye. Vision problems often have a family history. If you know of vision problems in your family, your child’s eyes should be examined by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) by 3-years of age or earlier, especially if you notice any concerns.
Common Vision Problems and Symptoms
Your child should see your family health care provider or eye doctor if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:
• Red, itchy or watery eyes • Squinting or rubbing Dr. Vertel is proud to unveil her new, state-of-the-art pediatric dentistry facility in South Surrey. She specializes in dentistry with expertise in holistic care, conscious sedation, ceramic crowns, custom mouthguards, diagnosing lip/tongue ties, and restorative and preventive dentistry with gentle hands.
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16 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
• Lack of concentration • Holding objects too close • avoiding activities needing distance vision
• avoiding books and television
• bumping into things
businessSPOTLIGHT What Can I Expect at my Child’s Vision Test?
Your child can have a vision test or eye exam even if your child is not talking or reading. Vision screening or eye exams can be a challenging for younger children, however the eye doctor will do his/her best to make it easily for you and your child. The eye exam may check your child’s eye health; eye muscle movement; ability to see clearly; ability to tell the distance of objects; and ability to see colours.
Did You Know? MSP (Medical Services Plan) provides coverage once a year for eye exams for children up to age 18. If your child currently wears corrective lenses or glasses, make sure they have UV protection. Hats that shade the face and eyes may provide better sun protection. Hats can be easier for children to keep on than sunglasses. • For information on vision screening, contact your local public health unit. To find an optometrist in your area, contact the BC Association of Optometrists at 604-737-9907 or toll-free 1-888-393-2226, or visit www.optometrists.bc.ca
dandelion KIDS was founded in 2004. Is a Vancouver based modern kid’s shop that stocks hip baby clothing, shoes, stylish duds for boys and girls from newborn to 8 years plus cool toys and unique gifts. In 2009, dandelion KIDS opened its second location in Port Moody. Serving our lovely neighbourhoods till today. Check out www.dandelionkids.ca for products & store hours.
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• Children's eyes grow the most from birth to age 8
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www.drrandhawa.ca fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 17
e co p a re n t
| by Lindsay Coulter
Five Ways to Connect Your Child with Nature Too many of us treat family time outdoors like it’s dessert as if it were something to indulge in once all the daily chores are done and the to-do list, completed (like that ever happens). Vitamin “N” (otherwise known as nature) is essential for healthy human function, especially for children of all ages. Over the last decade, researchers have documented what most of us have known intuitively: nature is good for learning, health and well-being. Being regularly immersed in the outdoors can reduce stress and symptoms of attention-deficit disorders while boosting immunity, energy levels and creativity. Children who spend time in nature are far more likely to care about protecting it later in life. There’s simply no vitamin or energy drink that can do all that! Caregivers of children receive all the aforementioned benefits that children do. While spending time outdoors with the children they are caring for, caregivers also enjoy increased job satisfaction. Children are curious explorers. So you don’t need to do much to cultivate their connection with nature. Just take them outside! The challenge for parents, caregivers and teachers is more about knowing how to safely explore plants and critters. Here are five simple ways you can give your children a daily dose of Vitamin “N”:
1. Watch your Language
You notice bugs on some rocks and immediately exclaim, “Ew”. Children notice your reaction and associate nature with something yucky. Adults say those words about nature in front of children without even realizing it. Try not to squelch your child’s natural curiosity. Show them how to think like a scientist by teaching them safe ways to explore nature. Here are some examples: • Toilet tissue or a cup and paper can help relocate spiders • Have your children help you find snails in the garden • Remind children no slugs in the hand (the sticky slime is impossible to get off) • Bees are fun to watch but not to touch • Ant hills are best observed from a distance • Caterpillars need to be released to morph into butterflies or moths • Wasps and bees need space because they can sting
18 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
2. Read and Eat Outside
Sometimes the easiest way to increase time in nature is to take what you normally do inside and do it outside! Host story time or snack/lunch time on the grass or under a tree.
3. Make a Nature Discovery Kit
Build your discovery kit with a mason jar equipped with air holes; butterfly net; magnifying glass and a dip net (to explore streams and ponds). Then head for a local park, beach or boulevard.
4. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Grab a few brown paper bags (one per child or team) to fill with the suggested items. Search for colours, shapes and objects e.g., “something smooth, oval and red”. Items could start with different letters of the alphabet, or even spell a child’s name – makes a fun birthday party activity!
5. Make a Bee Bath
Busy bees get thirsty. As crash landers, they risk drowning in open water, creeks, ponds or even a bird bath. So get your children involved in helping bees get a drink of water. For older children, this activity offers some teachable moments. • Place a shallow plate in your yard or garden at ground level where you’ve noticed bee activity • Add a few rocks to the plate to create landing pads or islands • Add fresh water but don’t submerge the stones • Refill as needed To realize the full benefits of time spent in nature, turn off the ringer on your smart phone (you know the one that sounds like a bird or cricket). Instead, get outside and listen for the real thing! Whenever you hear birds singing outdoors, let that serve as a constant reminder that nature is reaching out to you and your family. Nature is calling. Will you answer? • Lindsay resides in Vancouver with her two-year old son. As David Suzuki’s “Queen of Green”, she answers questions and offers DIY recipes and tips. She regularly appears as a “green expert” in the media and appeared on the Dr. Oz show. www.queenofgreen.ca
p a re n t i n g Q& A
| by Julie Romanowski
Q&A: Transitioning Back to School:
Make it a Smooth One Ask Our Expert: Certified Early Childhood Consultant, Julie Romanowski. Whether your child is returning daycare, pre-school or School, you can make it a positive time.
Q: Dear Julie. My three-year old twin daughters will be going to preschool for the first time this September. I don’t know where to start as I’ve never done this before and want to make sure I do it right. Kathy, Edmonton JR: Start by having a discussion with your daughters about the key points of going to
preschool; what they will do there, who will be there as well as when/how you will drop them off and pick them up. Draw a picture of these points with them on a paper and have them participate as well by colouring or decorating it. Really connect and listen to them during this time. Acknowledge their feelings or fears and re-assure them. Try having a few discussions before the preschool program starts and some during the first few weeks as well.
Q: Please help us Julie! We will be coming back from Europe four days before school starts. We won’t have much time to organize and prepare our children for school. Is there anything we can do to help this transition? My youngest is always clingy during these times. Veronica & Pierre, Coquitlam JR: Explain the situation clearly with the children about 1-2 weeks before you return.
Brainstorm with them for ideas on how to best prepare for this time. Make a list of what is needed and then designate a person to be ‘in charge’ of those points such as who is going to go shopping; what to buy; preparing backpacks and lunch-kits. Use a calendar to mark down what has to be done on the days leading up to school so the children can use this visual to help them understand the time crunch involved.
Q: My son’s school has a ‘kiss & go’ policy where we have to drop our kids off and leave right away. I find this hard as my six-year old son always wants me to walk him to the classroom however, in the past this has never worked out really well. Paula, Langley JR: Have a talk with your son about what the expectations are at ‘drop off time’ from the
school’s point of view and from yours. He will need to clearly know what the boundaries are – what is acceptable and what is not. He may not like the decision but you can help support him with how to deal with those feelings of anger, fear and disappointment. Let your son know what the exact plan is and all the necessary details. Then discuss what he can do about those feelings and what he can do to feel better, once he is at school. •
Julie is a mom, an Early Childhood Consultant and owner of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach and consulting services. Learn more through her e-newsletter, tips and blog at www.missbehaviour.ca
Have a Question for Julie?
Submit your questions at missbehaviour.ca/ask-us.html
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ed uca t i o n ex p e r t
| by Natacha V. Beim
Ready, Set, Read:
Help Your Child Learn to Read Reading is the most important habit to instill in a child. It will increase their vocabulary, which will directly improve their performance at school. Reading will expand their knowledge in every other area, and open their minds to so many possibilities! Because children often learn the technical phonetic combinations at school where they focus on the practical side of reading, the love of reading is best fostered at home, and supported by you, the parent. If your child is younger, take the time to read to them every night, and delight in the stories you discover together. To make that time even more special, here are five tips you can use:
Take the Time to Look at the Images Together
Instead of just reading the book, look at the images with your child and see what they tell you. This will teach your child to look for cues in the images that tell him what is about to happen
in the book. Using this strategy will help the child increase his vocabulary by enabling him to â€œguessâ€? what a new word means, just by understanding its context.
Use Different Voices for Different Characters in a Book
Here is an approach children of all ages will love. By making a special voice for the ogre of the story, then for the little girl he meets, and all the other characters, you help your child imagine the story, bringing it to life. Once your child begins to read, even when she is not reading aloud, she will adopt the habit of giving book characters their own voice which will greatly increase her reading comprehension skills and work with her imagination.
Recommend Read My Yellow Balloon by Tiffany Papageorge
Whether your child has observed a loss or dealt with (death, divorce, moving away, deployment), helping them understand it can be challenging. This uplifting book provides a comforting story for children who are navigating the complicated emotions of grief. Available by order: Kidsbooks, Chapters and Amazon
Follow with Your Finger
If your child is just learning to read or is an inexperienced reader, it helps when you follow with your finger as you tell the story. This will show him that, in the English language, we read from left to right. It will also help your child discover that every word you are reading is there, on the book, and once your child is beginning to read, he will start visually recognizing whole words. This is like watching a movie with subtitles. You donâ€™t need to read the subtitles if you understand the language, but you tend to want to read them anyway.
After Reading to Your Child, Read with Your Child
Remember, when you children starts to read on their own they will miss that time with you and will not feel the same encouragement. Your job is now to show her how great it is to read. Read to him or her from time to time even when your child develops reading skills. Occasionally sit by your child and read your own book while he or she reads a favourite book. This will not only shows that you like reading, it will give the two of you time to bond and allow your child to share the reading experience with you.
Buy a Special Book Together
Make it a time you spend together, just the two of you. Take your child to the bookstore and let them know you would like to buy a book which he or she gets to choose. Bookstores have a special feeling to children. They are wonderful places to spend a little time just browsing. Your child will later associate the happy experience when reading the book at home. If you like, instead of visiting a bookstore, you can spend time together at the library, and borrow a book instead. Literacy is the most important skill. Take the time to foster it at home in a way that will make it fun and appealing to your child, so they will enjoy a lifetime of reading and literacy. â€˘
Natacha is a world-renowed Early Years and Parenting Expert.
She is an award-winning writer, speaker, teacher, and the Founder of the renowned CEFA Early Learning Schools. www.cefa.ca
fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 23
ce o m o m
| by Karen Randall
Homeschooling: A Growing Trend An increasing number of parents in BC are choosing an alternate path for their child’s education. Homeschooling is an option for families who want a customizable and flexible approach. Home schooling provides significant benefits for families.
In BC, parents can choose two options for home schooling. You can “register” your child with your school district and direct the learning at home without any responsibility to report on progress. For this option, parents receive $125 per child of government funding towards the purchase of materials and classes.
Customizable Learning Plans
The other option is rapidly growing in the province of BC. With Distance or Distributed learning (DL) a child is “enrolled” with a DL school. Children are required to follow the BC Provincial Learning Outcomes for their grade and receive ongoing support from a teacher who works with each family to create a learning plan. Parents receive $600 per child towards the purchase of materials and classes.
Learning can take place conveniently weekdays between from 9am-3pm. With a much lower teacher-to-student ratio, lessons can be completed quickly. This can translate to half days open to pursue sports, artistic activities, nature explorations and field trips. Travel to activities often takes place at non-peak times.
The speed of learning can be adjusted as needed to ensure that concepts are understood and mastery is achieved.
Freedom to Choose Content
With a blended approach, learning content is aligned to what children of similar age are learning in BC. Family values are also considered. Homeschooled children can also provide input in what they want to learn during the school year.
Helps Build Family Relationships
Families spend more time together and really get to know each other well.
Provides Enriched Learning
The process includes ample hands-on activities and experiential learning assignments. Each child’s learning can be further enhanced with trips to theatre productions and numerous nature adventures.
Enables a Blended-Approach
Self-directed learning at home works in harmony with class time at a Distributed Learning School, which enables interactions with teachers and friends.
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Anyone with the motivation to educate their children at home can do so. Parents can connect with teachers in the DL programs and receive peer support from other families who are also homeschooling. •
Homeschooling in BC Information Online BC Ministry of Education www.bced.gov.bc.ca/home_school Greater Vancouver Home Learners www.gvhomelearners.com Simple Homeschool Blog www.simplehomeschool.net/day-in-the-life-2014 Karen is a homeschooling mom of two girls and a part time Pediatric Occupational Therapist. She delights in not having to rush out the door each day for school and being present for all those a-ha moments as her kids learn and grow.
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If you own, lease or otherwise occupy private property containing a glass-fronted gas burning fireplace, fireplace insert or heating stove, you should read this notice. Under a court-approved class action settlement certain manufacturers are offering, free of charge, barriers intended to prevent burns from the hot glass fronts. Further information is below. NOTICE* OF SETTLEMENT APPROVAL AND CLAIMS PROCEDURE OF A CLASS ACTION INVOLVING CERTAIN GAS BURNING FIREPLACES, FIREPLACE INSERTS AND STOVES TO: ALL PERSONS IN CANADA WHO OWN, LEASE OR OTHERWISE OCCUPY PRIVATE PROPERTY CONTAINING A FIREPLACE FROM ONE OF THE SETTLING DEFENDANTS DESCRIBED BELOW CERTIFICATION A lawsuit commenced in British Columbia has been certified as a class action against CANADIAN HEATING PRODUCTS INC., MILES INDUSTRIES LTD., MONESSEN HEARTH CANADA, INC., and MONESSEN HEARTH SYSTEMS COMPANY (doing business as VERMONT CASTINGS GROUP) (the “Settling Defendants”), by the Supreme Court of British Columbia (the “Court”). WHAT IS THE LAWSUIT? It is an action concerning the risk of burns from contacting the hot glass fronts of some gas burning fireplaces. WHAT IS THE SETTLEMENT? The British Columbia Supreme Court has approved a settlement under which the Settling Defendants have agreed to provide, free of charge, barrier screens or screen kits for certain of their Fireplaces to reduce the burn risk.
WHAT DOES COURT APPROVAL MEAN? Class Members are bound by the settlement. Notice of the proposed settlement was published in April and May, 2015. The settlement was approved by the Court on May 26, 2015. WHERE CAN I OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION, OR OBTAIN A FIREPLACE BARRIER OR SCREEN? Class Members should contact: Crawford Class Action Services (the “Administrator”) Suite 3-505, 133 Weber Street North Waterloo, ON N2J 3G9 Toll Free: 1-877-739-8933 Fax: 1-888-842-1332 Email: email@example.com DO I NEED PARTICIPATE?
No. You do not need to pay any money to participate in the settlement. Class members pay nothing. The lawyers appointed by the Court to represent the Class will be paid by the defendants under the settlement.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?
WHO ARE THE LAWYERS FOR THE CLASS?
Class Members are all persons in British Columbia, plus all persons elsewhere in Canada who choose to “opt in”, who have one of the Settling Defendants’ gas fireplaces, inserts or stoves (“Fireplaces”) in their home that was installed between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2014.
The following law firm represents the plaintiffs and the class, and will answer questions about the class action:
If you live in British Columbia and have such a Fireplace you are automatically included in the class action settlement. If you live elsewhere in Canada you may choose to opt into the settlement. You should immediately review the full legal notice in this matter to ensure that you understand your legal rights. Further details on the proposed settlement and on opting in are available via the telephone numbers and email & website addresses set out in this notice. Claim Forms and Opt in requests MUST BE SUBMITTED by June 6, 2016. If your communication is not received in time it may not be considered valid.
Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, 25th Floor, 700 West Georgia Street, Vancouver B.C. V7Y1B3 Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Or Mike Wagner @ 604-661-9388 or Robert Anderson, QC @ 604-661-9372 (*) This Notice is just a summary. For more detailed information, including a list of all defendants and the definitions used in this Notice, please go to or contact the www.fireplaceclassaction.com Administrator listed above, or contact the lawyers above.
Do Not Contact the Court about this Notice. For any questions, please contact the Administrator or the lawyers listed above
THIS NOTICE HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE BRITISH COLUMBIA SUPREME COURT fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 25
GREAT GOODS: BACK-TO-SCHOOL
Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Go eco-friendly this coming school year with reusable snap together containers in multiple configurations to efficiently use the space in your child’s lunch bag. Perfectly portioned for your child’s favourite foods or snacks, with handy measurements on the sides of each container. Keep your child’s lunch chilled with snap-in Blue Ice. Microwaveable and dishwasher safe.
The best coloring tool for young children. These non-toxic, natural soy wax crayons are made from USA-grown soybeans and coloured with natural mineral powders. Designed to strengthen the tripod grip muscles in young children and prepare little fingers and hands for handwriting. Not suitable for children under 3-years of age.
Dilly Dally Kids, Vancouver
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Skip Hop Zoo Raincoat Whether you’re headed to the bus stop or running errands, your toddler will be ready to head out in the rain. The hooded visor and playful 3D ears add a touch of whimsy, while keeping your little one dry. Available in monkey, ladybug, dog, owl, and bee designs.
Dandelion Kids, Vancouver & Port Moody
www.lussobaby.ca LittleLife Toddler Daysack
These cute character backpacks feature a built-in safety harness and come with a removable safety rein giving you control in busy places, while allowing your little adventurer the confidence-building freedom.
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Active Baby, North Vancouver
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Who’s ready for a tweet? This innovative snack container combines playfulness and functionality, making snack time enjoyable. Created for a small child’s hand, the bird-shaped container stores and seals snacks to keep them fresh.
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GREAT GOODS: FALL PRODUCTS Complete Baby Tooth Album
B-Warmer Hoodie by Boob
Children grow up so quickly. This cute keepsake album organizes tiny teeth. A satin pouch keeps teeth safe under pillows for the tooth fairy to find. Available in boy and girl designs.
A hoodie with double function capabilities for pregnancy and nursing. The front nursing overlap has a supple fleece lining to keep the bosom warm and snug, while the rest of the garment is soft, certified-organic cotton to keep you cool and comfortable.
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Little Dream Bird Car Seat + Stroller Cover
Keep babies sheltered in style, while parents continue with their on-the-go lifestyle. These purpose-made covers seamlessly bring together function and fashion – and feature such details as reflective trim, zippered pockets, hidden magnetic straps, and more. Designed in Vancouver
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www.littledreambird.com Cookie Teether The world’s favourite cookie is now available as a perfect teether for your baby. Made from 100% food-grade silicone. Free from harmful chemicals and zero calories.
ENTER TO WIN AT www.urbanbaby.ca Jump Gymnastics’ programming gives your kids a strong foundation for an active life & success in all sports! Classes, birthday parties, date nights, camps and more for kids from 6 months through their 7th year.
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2015 Car Seat Guide 1. Evenflo • Symphony Platinum DLX
3. Britax • B-Safe 35
Type: All-in-1 Convertible
The Evenflo Symphony car seat offers a sleek look, and modern design with added protection for your little traveler.
The B-Safe 35 Infant car seat lets you travel with confidence knowing your baby is comfy, safe and secure for the journey ahead.
Booster: Converts to booster
Child Safety: SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection surrounds your child in a deep protective shell designed to absorb crash forces and shield your child
Child Weight: Rear-facing 5 to 40 lbs, forward-facing 22 to 65 lbs Child Safety: 5-point safety harness
Specialty: #1 rated car seat by a leading consumer magazine Available at: Babies R’ Us Features:
Advanced SureLATCH® Technology
A secure installation in less than 60 seconds
Lap and shoulder belt fit for typical 4 to 8 year-olds in almost any car, minivan or SUV Infinite Slide Harness: easy, safe accurate fit for your child and eliminates the need for harness rethreading as your child grows
2. Diono • Rainier
Diono Rainier is the only car seat brand that offers convertible+booster seats with a full steel frame making it one of the safest car seats available today.
Child Weight: Rear-facing 4 to 35 lbs
Specialty: Click & Go System featuring a quick-release handle makes for an easy and secure attachment to any Britax stroller. Features: •
Comfort foam provides an extra layer of padding to cushion your child
Ergonomic handle makes carrying comfortable for the hand or forearm
Extra-large canopy provides sun and rain protection
4. Diono • Monterey Booster
The Monterey Booster is a full-featured, expandable high-back booster seat designed to fit growing children. Price: $159.99
Child Weight: Rear-facing 5 to 50 lbs, forward-facing 22 to 65 lbs
Child Safety: Extra-deep side walls are reinforced with aluminum and lined with EPS foam
Child Safety: 5-point safety harness
Specialty: Reinforced deeper sidewalls lined with energy absorbing foam for superior head and body protection Available at: Active Baby & Lussobaby Features: •
Full steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides
Height adjustable head support
Memory foam padding for extra comfort
28 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
Child Weight: 40 to 120 lbs
Booster: Converts to booster
Available at: Lussobaby
Type: Convertible+Booster Price: $399.99
Booster: Converts to backless booster
Specialty: Energy absorbing AirTek foam provides superior cushioning and comfort Available at: Babies R’ Us & Baby’s World Features: •
Extra deep, reinforced sides
Adjustable width: unique expandable seat back width fits shoulders up to 20” inches
Adjustable height: 11 position headrest, adjusts up to 6.5” with one hand
Two recline positions for comfort and to fit all vehicle seat shapes
Ultimate Car Seat Contest!
We’re Giving Away all the Car Seats Featured
ENTER TO WIN AT www.urbanbaby.ca 5. Safety 1st • Grow and Go The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible car seat is built to grow with your child. Type: 3-in-1 Convertible Price: $269.99
Child Weight: Rear-facing 5 to 40 lbs, forward-facing 22 to 65 lbs Booster: Converts to belt-positioning booster Child Safety: QuickFit™ Harness System lets you adjust the height from the front in one simple step Specialty: Machine-washable and dryersafe seat pad removes easily, with no need to remove the harness. Available at: Babies R’ Us Features: •
Three-position recline can be adjusted with just one hand
Rear-facing installation provides up to seven more inches for the front seat
Removable pillows allow the seat to grow with your child
6. Cosco • Scenera NEXT
The Cosco Scenera NEXT car seat is designed it to be affordable for all families without compromising on quality. Type: Convertible Price: $84.97
Child Weight: Rear-facing 5 to 40 lbs, forward-facing 22 to 40 lbs Child Safety: Side Impact Protection built into the headrest and a five-point harness that adjusts easily from the front of the seat Specialty: Certified for use on aircraft, this NEXT lightweight car seat gives your child a familiar place during the flight Available at: Walmart Features: •
Easy-to-clean machine washable cover
Fits three car seats in any vehicle
Removable cup holder is dishwasher safe
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.
Convertible Car Seats:
Convertible car seats are practical and allow the same seat to be used for rearfacing 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.
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,
Under 9 years old and over 40 lbs
9 years+ and at least 4’9 ft tall
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 lowback. 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.
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.
back seat of car is the safest *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.
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.
Recycle Your Expired Car Seat Keep your car seat out of the landfill and bring to the Bellies to Babies Celebration Tradeshow on Sunday, October 4th, 2015. Monetary donations will be accepted towards the program.
See page 5 for more tradeshow information
| by Dr. Shimi Kang
Parental Obsession with Activities: Has it Gone Too Far?
“What activities are your kids in?” It is often the first question one parent asks another, sometimes even before knowing anything else about a family. Has parenting gone from nurturing strong values and fostering true connection into managing “activities?” As a psychiatrist and mom of three, I’ve been there. Activities can be a great way to keep kids busy, learning, and socializing. However, as parents we need to consider if all of the activities are even necessary and what the downsides may be. To start with, numerous lessons and activities can cost a lot of money, and paying for these expenses can cause a lot of stress for some parents. Let’s factor in all the “time” spent driving a child to the entire swim meets, music lessons and soccer practice. Lots of activities means lots of driving which can affect precious “family time”, “couple time” and “me-time”. For example, a family may have a father–son duo involved in one activity and a mother– daughter duo involved in another. As a result, family members may live parallel lives, and the house becomes a pit-stop versus an actual nurturing home. In addition, parents can often burn out from all the running around, typically during their child’s teenage years, a particularly important time for them to be present. With this kind of lifestyle, the family unit can suffer. Of course, all of that is worth it if you believe activities will give your child the competitive edge they need later in life. Turns out too many structured-activities can actually hinder your child’s success. Children are now more “over-scheduled” than ever before and the resulting over-busyness can create havoc on our bodies and minds. The most serious consequence is sleep deprivation. The National Institutes of Health suggests that “school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily; teens need 9-10 hours; and adults need 7-8 hours.” When my patients tell me that their child is “too busy” to sleep enough, I tell them that their child is then “too busy” to be healthy, brilliant, or at their peak performance because the human brain functions best when it is not burnt out, stressed, and sleep-deprived. The key identified 21st century skills are creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. The world has changed and for today’s children to “achieve” in real life and the workplace they will require sophisticated intellectual, social, and cognitive skills that cannot flourish under stress, exhaustion, or external instruction. There is nothing wrong with a few activities that parents and children choose collaboratively. The problem comes when activities are imposed on a child and there are too many of them leading to resentful, exhausted, unimaginative, and rigid kids who are consumed with schedules and instruction. It is all about achieving balance! • Dr. Kang is an award-winning researcher, Harvard-trained psychiatrist, media expert and author. She is the Medical Director for Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. 30 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2015
o n t h e t ow n
Fall Family Fun!
Aug 1 – Sept 7: Dinotown Cloverdale Fairgrounds One-of-a-kind experience featuring dancing dinosaurs. dinotown.com
Oct 4, 11am – 4:00pm: Bellies to Babies Celebration Croatian Cultural Centre, Van 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 Win a $1500 shopping spree to TJ’s the Kiddies Store. Register to attend:
Aug 22 – Sept 7: The Fair at the PNE Pacific National Exhibition kiddy rides, live entertainment, food and musical guests. pne.ca/thefair
Sept 1 – Sept 14: Summer Night Market Shopping, food vendors, and buskers. Free admission summernightmarket.com
Oct 9 – Nov 1, 11am – 5pm: Stanley Park Ghost Train Stanley Park Miniature Train Activities for the kids. Vancouver.ca/parks/events
Sept 5, 11am – 9pm: Richmond World Festival Minoru Park, Richmond main stage multicultural acts food truck festival, and activities for all ages. richmondworldfestival.com
Oct 9 – 31, 10am – 5:45pm: Children’s Halloween Fair & Train Bear Creek Park Train, Surrey Train ride through Halloween display, crafts, games and pumpkins. bctrains.com/halloween
Sept 23, 10am – 6:00pm: Raise a Reader Day Support this charity by purchasing a copy of the Vancouver Sun newspaper. abclifeliteracy.ca Sept 27, 11am – 4:30pm World Rivers Day Burnaby Village Museum Family-friendly event with children’s entertainer Will Stroet, displays and crafts. burnabyvillagemuseum.ca
Oct 17 – 18, 11am – 4pm: UBC Apple Festival UBC Botanical Gardens, Van Apple tasting, entertainment, children’s area, crafts, face painting, games and storytelling. Admission: $4/adult, kids under 12 free botanicalgarden.ubc.ca /apple-festival
Opens September 27th Aldor Arces Pumpkin Patch 24990 – 84th Ave, Langley 604.888.0788 aldoracresfamilyfarm.ca
Ongoing Events Zumba for Mom & Baby Every Friday, 10:00am Dance Class for Mom & Baby/ Toddler. Sponsored by Lougheed Town Centre Free to Attend Registration required runnersandbootiesfitness.com
Shop ‘n Stroll Fitness Various Weekdays Mom & Baby Fitness Class Sponsored by your local Shopping Centre Free to Attend Registration required
Movies For Mommies Weekly Shows of New Releases. Grab bags and special guests. Stroller friendly, diaper change area. moviesformommies.com Please check websites to confirm event details
Ava, 6-years old and Zoe, 8-months old
1. What is the best part about being a Mom? I love having two little girls that look to me for the love, support and encouragement to become successful women. I love the hugs, kisses, and constant entertainment having girls provides. 2. What is your favourite activity to do with your daughters? We like to do simple activities as long as a fancy coffee and a special treat are involved. We love going for walks to find flowers to photograph. 3. What is your favourite television show? I definitely have a solid line up of shows recorded such as find Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Nashville, Law & Order SVU and Chicago Fire.
5. What is one product or service you can’t live without? My cellphone. I’m addicted to social media in all aspects.
Opens October 4th Richmond Country Farms 12900 Steveston Hwy, Richmond 604.274.0522 countryfarms.ca
6. How do you find some “Mommy Time”? When everyone’s asleep, I take time to write my blog www.vancitymommyd.com and plan new articles. I also run my jewellery company making custom dream catchers.
Read more interviews online at
Want to be our next
Find more community events at
Janette • East Vancouver, BC
4. What was the last book you’ve read? The 5 People You Meet in Heaven by my favourite author Mitch Albom. I also finished reading Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley.
Opens October 4th Petey’s Pumpkin Patch 9423 Gibson Rd, Chilliwack peteyspumpkinpatch.ca Opens October 4th Laity Pumpkin Patch 21145 128 St. Maple Ridge 604.467.4302 laitypumpkinpatch.com
Oct 28 – 30, 6pm – 9pm: Haunted Village Burnaby Village Museum Halloween entertainment, trick-or-treating, carousel rides, ghoulish snacks and more. burnabyvillagemusem.ca
PUMPKIN PATCHES Opens August 14th Applebarn Pumpkin Farm 333 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford 604.853.3108 tavesfamilyfarms.com
UrbanMomorDAD fall 2015 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 31
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Our Fall 2015 issue is available on shelves, online and in-stores. Our annual back-to-school / early learning magazine featuring Et’s Canada...
Published on Aug 15, 2015
Our Fall 2015 issue is available on shelves, online and in-stores. Our annual back-to-school / early learning magazine featuring Et’s Canada...