Justin Bieber’s Mom
Green Family Living: How to Get Started
A Bundle of Joy Times Two Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees:
Budgeting for Your Family
2013 Stroller Guide Sign up for special offers at WWW.URBANBABY.CA
CONNECTING YOUNG FAMILIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
SPRING 2013 • PRICELESS
volume 11 • issue 1
Edit or’s L et t er
i n t h i s i ssue
I love this time of year and enjoying the great outdoors! We live in one of the most beautiful provinces, where outdoor life is the best!
green living: Green Family Living: How to Get Started...................................... 4
Springtime brings our annual Green Issue that helps you make environmentallyfriendly choices for your family. Check out our eight green products in our Great Goods Pg. 26 & 27. Learn helpful tips from our Green Living article on Pg. 4. Spring is a great time to teach your child, regardless of age, about taking care of the environment.
going green: Entrepreneurial Parents Go Green...............................................12
prenatal: A Bundle of Joy Times Two................................................................ 6 celebrity mom: Pattie Mallette.......................................................................... 8 in the city: Fitness ...........................................................................................10 special feature: Babies of 2012........................................................................16 parent talk: I Wish Someone Had Told Me.......................................................17 parenting: How Does Your Child Sleep?..........................................................18 UrbanMarket: Products & Promotions........................................................... 20 education expert: Early Education: Timing is Everything................................ 22
Create your own family legacy by doing something in conjunction with Earth Day and get the whole family involved. For those parents expecting twins, read the article on preparing for “double the joy” on Pg. 6.
CEO mom: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: Budgeting for Your Family............24
At Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine, we are proudly celebrating our 10th Birthday. Parents of children zero to five in British Columbia rely on our magazine as a top resource. With our birthday contests running throughout 2013, our loyal readers have opportunity to win weekly giveaways all year long. Be sure to check out Pg. 16 for all the details.
on the town: Spring Family Fun.........................................................................31
As always we value your feedback. Send your emails to the editor at email@example.com Editor
on the cover Odin & Torger, 6 months Photo Location: Grandma’s Backyard, Richmond Photo credit: Vairdy Photography Clothing: Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diaper Service
Great Goods: Going Green!............................................................................ 26 UrbanGuide: 2013 Stroller Guide.................................................................... 28 UrbanKid: Caring for Mother Earth: It’s a Family Affair!................................... 30 spotlight: UrbanMom: Ella.................................................................................31 EDITOR/AD SALES Lara Leontowich
DESIGN/PRODUCTION Shannon Brownlee
CONTRIBUTORS Suzanne Bertani, Lara Leontowich, Christina Stewart, Kathryn Wood, Natacha V. Beim, Marilee Peters and Chelene Knight. SUBSCRIPTION urbanbaby & toddler magazine is available for $20.00 per year. 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, May 5th, 2013
Celebrate Motherhood at 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! Attendees will 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. 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. 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. For attending one lucky winner will win the grand prize draw a $1000.00 shopping spree to Lussobaby. Enter your baby into our Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine Cover Photo Contest. Your little one could win the opportunity to be featured on the cover of Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine plus win some fantastic prizes. Photos taken on site by Bopomo Pictures.
Bellies to Babies Celebration™ takes place on Sunday, May 5th, 2013 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. Drop off your old or expired car seats at the tradeshow for recycling and help keep car seats out of the landfill. Sponsored by UsedVancouver.com. 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.
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ENTER THE UBT COVER PHOTO CONTEST! Winner will be featured on a cover of
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g re e n l i v i n g
| by Suzanne Bertani
Green Family Living: How to Get Started
Everywhere we turn, experts are talking about food, household items, and human pollutants that could be contributing to the earth’s pollution and the health of our family. Here are some tips for unleashing your inner green-ninja to help you inspire, educate, and empower your family;
Getting Started Contrary to popular belief, the easiest way to increase your ‘green’ is to curb consumerism and not buy more stuff! This means to scale back on what you are buying. Talk as a family about what things are really needed, use up the products you have, and when it comes time to replace shampoo, food, toys, clothing, and household items – research more earth-friendly options that are safe for your family. We don’t need to run out and buy ‘green’ products to become ‘green’. We have other options. I always suggest going room by room to avoid that horrible feeling of being overwhelmed by research and ingredient reading. Let’s start with the kitchen where most families can make the most impact. The kitchen may take the most work if incorporating organics and clean food into your home. The easiest in my home was the bathroom, laundry room, and cleaners. Make life easier by consolidating household cleaners into Castile soap*, using baking soda & organic products for personal care, and discontinue using dryer sheets.
What is the Most Difficult Part of Adopting a Greener Lifestyle? After many years of concentrating on reducing chemicals in ‘things’ that surround my children, I discovered the place that matters most – the kitchen. The most important lifestyle change for a family is food. It sounds so simple but can be overwhelming for parents when they’ll be spending hours reading labels, trying to figure out where genetically-modified ingredients, dyes, corn syrup, and preservatives are lurking. Stick to these three rules to save you time reading:
1. Keep ingredients to under five when buying packaged foods. 2. If you can’t understand the ingredients, skip the item. 3. With fresh foods, pay attention to the dirty dozen list for produce and if you can’t source your food locally, buy organic. Schedule trips to farms as an educational activity with your children. This helps them understand that food doesn’t just magically appear on store shelves.
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Farmer’s markets and small businesses that support local farmers typically take extra efforts to have clean food and can answer your questions. Take a few minutes to ask where food is grown and if pesticides, GMO grain/seeds were used in the production. Farmers are usually happy to answer your questions and proud to talk about the unique farming practices they use to offer locallygrown, quality food.
The Benefits of a Green Living As a parent of four children, I found it’s important to keep the learning fun. You can find alternatives to a packaged lifestyle and the food can be just as tasty for older children. A great example is switching up packaged granola bars with a healthier, homemade version. I feel great giving them to my children and they love this tasty, organic alternative that mom makes. Baby steps are important in this process because you want your family’s support during the transition to green living. The possibilities are unlimited. For example, a group of likeminded mamas in one neighborhood might start an organic food co-op or share the cost of a food dehydrator. We are the generation trying to find our way back to the basics of healthy
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living without relying on all the gimmicks, health-washing*, and convenience that is causing health and environmental setbacks in North America. When I began being empowered on my greener journey, I discovered that I naturally valued and appreciated the items that came into my life. There is also no better feeling than having your child appreciate and know where food and locallycrafted products come from. It’s such a critical part of our existence – it’s time we placed the proper value on where and how things are grown and produced. • *Castile soap solid and liquid form are made with vegetable oils like palm, coconut, hemp, jojoba, and olive. Castile soap is gentle on you and the environment because it’s free of artificial foaming agents, harsh cleansers, deconstructed fatty acids from vegetable oils and chemical anti-bacterial agents. *Health-washing is a term that defines food or marketing that leads you to believe items are healthy but in fact, often they are not. The biggest confusion is the use of the term ‘natural’, frequently overused on product labels. Look for certified organic when searching for safer products on store shelves.
Suzanne is a mom of four children and resides in Port Moody. She secretly yearns for backyard chickens and is not so secretly inspired by hand-made and Westcoast treasures. She carries many of these treasures on her online shop, Mommy Footprint.
The fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list can be contaminated with pesticides. They may be difficult to wash, are usually eaten unpeeled, or may be affected by pesticides migrating through the roots.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Celery Peaches Strawberries Apples Blueberries Nectarines
7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Sweet Bell Peppers Spinach & Kale Cherries Potatoes Imported Grapes Lettuce
spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 5
Affordable Cloth Diapers & more
Environmentally Friendly, Economical & Convenient
p re n a t a l
| by Lara Leontowich
A Bundle of Joy Times Two So you have been to the ultrasound and received the exciting news! The thought of having twins may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed, concerned and even frazzled. So how exactly do you prepare and adjust if you don’t have endless resources and assistance that celebrity moms like Angelina, Julia and Sarah-Jessica have? Identical? Fraternal? You won’t know that just yet but one thing is certain, having twins has its challenges. For starters, you and your partner will be well-advised to register for multiple-birth prenatal classes which will help you get acquainted with other couples. According to the Twins, Triplets and More Resource Guide January 2013 edition*, available through the University of British Columbia, our province had 1,379 twin births (690 twin pregnancies) in 2010. On a typical day in BC, four multiplebirth infants are born. Realize first and foremost that if you are carrying more than one baby, you are going to need help along the way and it may even start in pregnancy. So communicate with your partner whenever
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Taking Care of You Sleep when the babies are sleeping so you get the rest you need. Taking care of more than one baby can be exhausting so make caring for your newborns, your main priority and leave that re-decorating project for another time. Before your babies are born, discuss with your spouse ways you can regularly make time for each other and your older children while caring for your twins. Keep your list of reliable babysitters or relatives handy so you can occasionally run a quick errand, catch a nap or soak in the tub guilt-free!
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Since many moms of twins or triplets deliver early, stock up early and ensure your nursery has all the essentials. Visit your favourite baby supply store often to take advantage of savings on the necessary baby gear you will need. Consider borrowing some items from friends or family. When it comes to everyday items, take advantage of savings by buying in bulk.
Organize. Organize. Organize. Go even as far as making a schedule with an auntie coming once a week to do laundry; sister helping you meal plan; and a friend or neighbour coming over to just hold and cuddle the babies while you freshen up. With twins, a schedule becomes non-negotiable. Do your best to establish a consistent routine so your babies eating and sleeping at the same time. Prepare for some schedule setbacks and for those times, rely on your partner or others to help you get back on track. If you don’t have a consistent routine, you might have one going to sleep while the other is just waking up. Not only could you become very overtired, you and your partner may not get much time to relax together which is so vital to parents of multiples.
Then there comes that day when you are taking your twins to their first day of school. You are looking back and feeling a tremendous sense of accomplishment --justifiably-so! Might be a time you consider picking up the phone to see if you can help out a new mom expecting a bundle of joy times two (or three), and offer up some much-needed and much-appreciated reassurance. • *Twins, Triplets & More Resource Guide for Multiple Pregnancy and Parenthood was compiled by Linda G. Leonard, Associate Professor Emerita, Multiple Birth Specialist at the University of British Columbia. To download this resource, visit www.nursing.ubc.ca/pdfs/twinstripletsandmore.pdf
• Multiple Birth Canada - www.multiplebirthscanada.org • Serving in Prince George. Richmond, Delta Fraser Valley Multiple Miracles Association www.surreytwinclub.com • Serving Surrey, Delta, Langley, White Rock, Abbotsford Mission North Shore Mothers of Multiples www.northshoremoms.ca • POCOMO Mothers of Multiples - firstname.lastname@example.org • Vancouver Twins and More - email@example.com • Vancouver Island Multiple Births Association www.vanislandmultiplebirthsassn.com
Let Go of the Guilt Bear in mind you only have two hands and can only hold one bottle or change one diaper at a time so you’re bound to have one baby upset, while you’re caring for the other. You are doing the best you can. Give yourself a break; do one thing at a time; and know your baby will be okay while you care for the other.
Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. When friends and family offer to help, consider setting up routine assistance with housework, meal preparation, grocery shopping or those never-ending piles of laundry. As your babies get older and your routines are more established, chances are you can handle more tasks, but go at it gradually. When your twins are ill or teething, bear in mind that you may need some help during those transitions, so keep your delegators list handy.
Stay Connected Get to know other parents who are having twins and stay in touch. You can learn valuable tips from each other and occasionally share a laugh or two from someone who has ‘been there’ and ‘done that’. Whenever your precious bundles of joy are sleeping, relish every relaxing moment you get. After all you deserve it! Offices in Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria. spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 7
ce l e b r i t y m o m
| by Urbanbaby & Toddler
Pattie Mallette Millions call her Mom: millions of Justin Bieber’s Twitter followers that is! Pattie Mallette, a.k.a. Studio Mama is Justin Bieber’s mother. For some time she was known as Studio Mama to Twitter Fans, who gradually got to know her by her real name. In 2012 she stepped into stardom of her own when her picture appeared on the cover of her new book, Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom. Mallette’s story is one of struggles and faith. Her book takes the reader from her early teen years while growing up in Stratford, Ontario through to her adult life. Readers catch a glimpse of her struggles with substance abuse; sexual abuse; depression and thoughts of suicide. As the series of uncommon obstacles are revealed, readers get to know her vulnerabilities and what kept her strong. She is honest about many dark places in her life; equally candid about happier days and the uplifting path she and Justin are on.
In my phone interview with Mallette, I found her to be sweetnatured, soft-spoken and eager to share her story. Though she is Mom to one of the most famous singers in the world, chances are many moms will find her typical struggles as a mom, something they can relate to. On the other hand, for the many new moms today over 30, Mallette’s book offers some very heart-wrenching perspectives about becoming a mom as a teen. UBT: Why write a book now? PM: The only reason I chose to write this book was really to help other people. I had a painful past that I think a lot of people can relate to. I was always very curious to know how people got through major struggles in life. UBT: Any plans to write any more books? PM: We are writing a teen version of this book in the spring. It is going to have some study guide questions in it and written age appropriate for adolescents. Unfortunately statistics show kids and teens are still experiencing some of the challenges I faced. I want them to know even though they might be in a tough place now, it doesn’t have to be forever. I am so grateful to be where I am today. I learned some powerful life lessons. UBT: How difficult has it been to be a parent in your unique circumstances - raising a world-renown teen celebrity? PM: I think when it comes to disciplining my child, I had to come up with creative ways to do it. I couldn’t ground him (Justin) from a concert but I could take away his phone and his computers. UBT: How have you found the transition watching Justin as a young boy, teenager and now; a very successful young man? PM: Like any parent watching their kids going off to college or moving away, it is no different for me. It’s tough. I miss him and try to talk to him whenever I can.
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UBT: When it comes to Justin’s fans, there is an obvious “recognition factor”. How do you deal with the fame? PM: I really have a heart for the younger generation because of Justin’s huge following. His million Twitter followers call me Mom and that is part of the reason I wanted to share my story. I feel a sense of responsibility to use this platform to share a helpful message. UBT: What is next for you? PM: Right now I am concentrating on the next book and taking it one day at a time. I just started a foundation called Nowhere but Up and the majority of the proceeds from the book go towards the causes that helped me, like single parent homes; financial help and counseling; and drug addiction centers. UBT: You address many life experiences in your book. You talk openly about facing difficulties and not giving up. Was that the kind of message you wanted to get out there? PM: I began telling my memoirs before Justin started his career. Now that he is eighteen, I felt it was a good time to put it on paper and share it. He was totally supportive because he has seen the impact my life experiences had on so many. UBT: If you could sum up some wisdom, what would you like the public to know about what you have learned from your life path and transitions? PM: I want people to know that no matter what kind of pain they are in currently or in the past, they should never give up hope. Most of all, I want them to inspired that they don’t have to stay in that dark place. Others can help. Mallette’s first book Nowhere but Up is currently on sale in book stores and online. She is currently working on the teen version and plans to have it in bookstores in the spring of 2013. She offers encouragement for those who feel unlovable. She knows the feeling all too well. Thanks to her remarkable transitions, she serves as a beacon of hope to people of all ages.•
Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom By Pattie Mallette
spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 9
adorefashions.com | 604.620.8212 2814 Granville Street, Vancouver (South Granville @ W.12th Ave)
i n t h e ci t y
| by Urbanbaby & Toddler
In T he City: Fitness Spring is the perfect time of year to clean off the bike, dust off the sports equipment or sign up for a new program or class. With childhood obesity rates on the rise, here are some fun activities to encourage your children to stay active and have fun together as a family.
YogaButtons, Vancouver www.yogabuttons.com The benefit of yoga for adults has been widely known. In recent years, parents are learning more about the benefits of yoga for children. It encourages children to take time to slow down, breathe and feel joyful. YogaButtons is a Vancouver company offering child-friendly yoga classes in their 1200 square foot yoga studio. Special class formats combine traditional yoga poses inspired by animals and nature. Classes incorporate stories, games, music, crafts, dance, song, puppets, poetry, acting and more. The studio offers classes for pre-schoolers, school age, teen, adult and prenatal ladies plus FamilyButtons classes for the entire family. You can get started with a parent & tot class or take out a long-term membership to get you and your family enjoying the benefits of yoga on a more regular basis. Namaste.
Extreme Air Park,
Gymboree Play & Music,
Richmond & Langley www.extremeairpark.com Getting outdoors in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland can be tough during our extended rainy season however there is a new fun alternative that lets your children run, jump and play in the comfort of the indoors. Canada’s largest trampoline park, Extreme Air Park has come to Richmond with 42,000 square feet of interlocking trampolines and includes two main jump courts; three courts for 3-D Dodgeball; trampoline basketball; and The Foam Zone, an eight-lane foam dive pit. Extreme Air Park has plans to open a similar facility in Langley in 2013.
Coquitlam & North Vancouver www.gymboreeclasses.com For parents looking for children’s activities that include parent participation, varied classes are offered at Gymboree Play & Music. While participating in the classes, parents gain an understanding about their child’s development. Each location offers play, music, sports and art classes for children six months to five years of age. Family classes enable parents to bring all the children in the family to enjoy fun activities geared for group learning. Class activities provide new challenges for children at every stage of development.
Salsa Babies & Tots, Burnaby & Delta www.runnersandbootiesfitness.com Hola Amigos! Music and dance are important at any age! Salsa Babies & Salsa Tots classes combine movement and play with lively Latin rhythms that parents and children can both enjoy. Classes are offered on a weekly basis at Brentwood Town Centre and Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall. Salsa Babies provides a great workout for moms with babies six weeks to a year of age. Parents can learn basics dance steps of Salsa, Cha Cha, and Merengue. Classes involve socializing with other parents and provide a fun way to introduce babies to music and movement. Designed for older toddlers who have outgrown their baby carriers, Salsa Tots combines movement, song and play, all set to lively music.
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H O T O G R A P
g o i n g g re e n
| by Christina Stewart
Entrepreneurial Parents Go Green My dear, old grandmother has a saying: “If you don’t like the way the boat is heading you better figure out how to steer.” Eight years ago Langley stay-at-home mom, Tami Main, did just that. “After the birth of my daughter I discovered very few natural and organic skincare options available,” says Main. So, instead of loading her daughter up with chemical toiletries she launched Taslie Skincare; a line of chemical-free baby products, and hasn’t looked back since. Having run a large company’s photography group, she was familiar with managing a business. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “Taslie was originally started with a friend who had talked about doing this sort of company for years,” says Main. “When she bailed out at the last minute, I decided to go ahead and just do it. I jumped right in and it’s been a learning curve but I have enjoyed every minute.”
Natural Means Natural Taslie sets itself apart from the competition by staying true to its promise of natural, earth-friendly products. “Children are less likely to detoxify chemicals from their systems than adults,” says Main. “Their developing organs are more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure. Our products contain only high quality natural ingredients with no sodium Laureth Sulphates, Triclosan, Lanolin, Parabens or Synthetic Colors and Fragrances.” And Taslie goes one step further with a commitment to customers to make all products in Canada, a promise that nothing is tested on animals, only sustainable packaging is used and their adorable “froggle” bottles are hand-painted with lead-free paint.
The More the Merrier Marcie Weinstein Smith has a similar story which led her to becoming an entrepreneur. Like Main, she was on a quest to find better quality products for her own children.
After her own struggles with cleaning her baby’s bottom, Marcie Weinstein Smith began Lovey’s, which produces natural bum care for babies in the form of a diaper ointment and a spray, that serves as an alternative to wipes. “Our Lovey’s Tushi Wash, is a natural alternative to chemically laden baby wipes,” says Weinstein Smith, who is now mom to a six-year old son. “After many trials and tribulations with my own baby, I developed this product out of necessity. My son would get rashes from every baby wipe I tried. I finally realized that the chemicals were irritating his skin.” Lovey’s Tushi Wash is a spray that is used in conjunction with a washcloth or a disposable, biodegradable cloth. “We don’t claim to be natural and then sneak in chemicals,” says Weinstein Smith. We research our ingredients to ensure our products are safe for children.” “Our products are all made right in BC”, she states proudly. “The diaper ointment is the only diaper cream sold in Canada that comes in stick form which saves parents from messy hands and prevents cross contamination that can occur with a tub or tin”. Stuart Roberts is a Vancouver father of three and a regular customer of the Lovey’s Tushi Stick. “Those little pots of the other stuff are too small for my fingers so I appreciate not getting messy. With the portability of the product, my five-year old can help with the baby changes. It is also reassuring to know the products aren’t loaded with chemicals that I can’t pronounce.”
Not Just Mom Entrepreneurs Jason Powell, a Vancouver dad of two, started Coco & Tini, a line of naturally pure hair and bath care for children, after the birth of his first child. “I had previous experience creating a professional salon and spa hair-care line and that definitely opened my eyes to the potentially harmful ingredients that seemed to be in so many personal care products,” says Powell. “When my wife and I had our son, we really couldn’t find anything on the market for babies and children that we felt entirely comfortable with. So given my background, I decided to work on creating our own line.” Coco & Tini’s guiding principles are to keep things as natural, pure and simple as possible. “As parents, we wanted to ensure that we only used gentle cleansing agents and ingredients derived from natural sources, without a lot of unnecessary exotic and potentially irritating or allergenic extracts,” says Powell.
12 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2013
Christina is the principal advisor for Black Swan HR Consulting Group, and a mom to three kids under five. She makes her own cleaners, drives as little as possible and is role-modelling her love of nature to her children, one hike at a time. For more information, www.blackswanhr.com
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Tami and her inspiration Nila.
All three entrepreneurs agree that launching a product line has its ups and downs. Despite all their trials, they take pride in knowing the results of their efforts have made the world cleaner and greener. “My grandmother would certainly be proud”, adds Main. •
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COVERContest 2013 ENTER BY FRIDAY, MAY 17TH, 2013
GRAND PRIZE Winning Child on the Cover of Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine Fall 2013 A Quizzy Buzz 3-Wheel Stroller valued at $499.00
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Gymboree Gift Certificate valued at $150.00
Kalencom Diaper Bag valued at $120.00
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Visit urbanbaby.ca starting Sunday, May 26th, 2013 to see the Top 20 finalists Voting starts online Monday, May 27th, 2013 Contest closes Monday, June 3rd, 2013
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Bellies to Babies Celebration Sunday, May 5 th, 2013 Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commerical Drive, Vancouver Have your child’s photo taken at the tradeshow by Bopomo Pictures
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• Photo should show your child’s head and shoulders. • Black and white photos will not be accepted. • Photo does not need to be taken by a professional photographer to qualify for contest.
RULES 1. Open to residents of British Columbia. 2. Contest open to children between the ages of 0-5 by contest entry deadline. 3. One (1) colour photo per child will be accepted. 4. Photos will not be returned. No monetary compensation provided for use of winning child’s photo. 5. Prizes must be accepted as awarded. 6. Completed entry form, colour photo and payment must be received by Friday, May 17th, 2013, midnight.
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at locations only. Offer is notother redeemable for cash *Offer *Offer valid valid through through 6/30/2012 and and is available available for for new new families families orparticipating credit. Cannot be6/30/2012 combined withis any offer or discount. or Cannotlocations be combined with other offer or discount. at atcredit. participating participating locations only. only. Offer Offerany is is not not redeemable redeemable for for cash cash or or credit. credit. Cannot Cannot be be combined combined with with any any other other offer offer or or discount. discount.
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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our 10th Birthday, and the Presents are for YOU! Starting March 1st, 2013 check out the UBT facebook page & www.urbanbaby.ca for a new present announced every Monday morning. Complete the entry form on our website each week to win the weekly giveaway.
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like us on facebook
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Pa r ent Tal k We asked our readers to complete the following sentence with regards to parenthood...
I wish someone had told me…
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Here is how you completed the sentence
…that the love I feel for my child is the most amazing kind of love I will ever feel, for anyone. ~ Shianne K, Burnaby …that I would never be able to go to the bathroom or take a shower alone for the foreseeable future following the birth of my kids! ~ Tracy F, Vancouver
Congrats to our winner of the $100 UBT gift certificate to spend with a Spring advertiser. …that life with three kids was going to be hard and difficult, restless and exhausting but so much happier! That way I wouldn’t have had waited 36 years to have my first child! I wish I started earlier when I was younger so I could enjoy more time and a longer life with my children. ~ Francesca G, Vancouver
…how much my life would change. Oh wait, they did, but until you’re on this side you have no idea what they mean! ~ Nadja S, North Vancouver …that being a mother meant going to bed at 8pm every night to be able to get up at 5am with my daughter who is an early bird. ~ Geneviève B, Vancouver …how having kids would bring out my inner slob. Ponytail, yoga pants and t-shirts with fluids crusted all over! I wouldn’t change it for the world. ~ Kelly K, Coquitlam
The Family Friendly Realtor
…that my house will never be clean for increments longer than 30 seconds. No matter how fast I clean, my two-foot tornado can pull paper out of the garbage can and throw 100 legos in the toilet much faster. ~ Sunny M, Surrey …to let go of my pride and accept any and all offers of help. I didn’t for the first four weeks or so and was totally exhausted and by the time I was ready to accept help, no one was offering anymore! ~ Sarah K, North Vancouver …to trust my own instinct as a parent. Everyone gives you advice, but only YOU as a parent know what’s best for your child. ~ Chelsea G, Langley
Olivia is an experienced Realtor & Interior Designer... and a Mommy too! She can help you get your family home staged, listed and SOLD quickly.
Next Parent Talk Question Where is Your Favourite Place to go with Your Child and Why?
Email your 30-50 words, first name and city to firstname.lastname@example.org and be entered to win a $100 UBT gift certificate to spend with a future advertiser. Contest closes Monday, April 15th, 2013 spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 17
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| by Kathryn Wood
How Does Your Child Sleep?
Five Tips for Raising an Independent Sleeper Do you find yourself dreaming of the days when getting a good night’s sleep was as simple as choosing to go to bed early? Recalling when being up at 2am meant that you were out having fun? Sleep is vital for all humans to be healthy: it’s when we recharge so we’re at our personal best. If your child isn’t sleeping well, you’re likely not either and you probably wonder when it will end. Children with persistent sleep problems are more likely to have behavioral problems, battle obesity and have trouble concentrating.
to sleep when they wake in the night. If they depend on a “sleep prop” (any device or activity they rely on to fall asleep) they will need someone – usually you! – to help them every time they wake in the night. Some examples of sleep props are: breast or bottle feeding; pacifier; rocking, bouncing, or riding in the car.
However, if addressed early on, sleep problems can be overcome. There are steps you can take today to form healthy sleep habits for you and your family.
An early bedtime is best to ensure your child doesn’t become overtired, making it more difficult for them to settle down and fall asleep. Your child will have an easier time drifting off, they’ll get the sleep they need and you will get your evenings back! Based on your baby’s age and timing of last nap, you should pick a bedtime for your child somewhere between 6-8pm.
Eliminate Sleep Props Children need to develop self-soothing strategies so they’re able to fall asleep independently and be able to put themselves back
Time for Bed
Create a Predictable Bedtime and Naptime Routine Routines are a great way to let your child know that sleep is coming and it’s time to transition from day to night. It also helps them wind down from the excitement of the day, so falling asleep is easier for them. Bedtime routines are most effective when they are about 20 to 30 minutes long, and the majority of it takes place in your child’s bedroom. Some activities that work well include a bath, massage, going potty, brushing teeth, reading, sharing thoughts or a favourite song and cuddling. Parents should take turns doing the routine, or let a friend or grandparent do it so your child understands this is what happens for every sleep situation, no matter who puts them to bed. Routines can also be good sleep signals at naptime. They should be shorter (about five minutes): a diaper change and short story or song is perfect.
Keep Your Child Awake While Feeding If you’re feeding your baby at night, do your best to keep them awake. Keeping them awake during feedings will help break the association that sleeping and eating go hand and hand. They will be awake when they’re put back in their bed, encouraging their self-soothing skills. Sing to them, tickle their toes or use a cool cloth to keep them alert and make certain they are filling their tummies. Night feedings should be very low key: keep lights dim, speak softly and don’t turn on electronics.
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Consistency The most important part of teaching your child to become an independent sleeper is consistency. Once you choose your method, you need to be consistent 100% of the time! If you give up or change rules every night, you will frustrate and confuse your child. Keeping all sleep situations the same sends a clear message about what’s expected of them. By taking the necessary steps so your child gets restful and tranquil sleep, you will be giving your child fundamentals that can be carried throughout his or her life. Make tonight the first step on your path to healthy sleep… sweet dreams! • Kathryn is a child sleep consultant, mom of a lively one-year old and founder of Sleep Stars Consulting; she resides in Maple Ridge and enjoys singing and dancing with her child. For more information visit www.sleepstars.ca.
spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 19
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ed uca t i o n ex p e r t
| by Natacha V. Beim
son has turned three. Is there a benefit to registering him in Q:“My a pre-school or junior kindergarten program? ” Samantha, Victoria
Early Education: Timing is Everything
Does it really matter if a child can read at age three or at age six? Is it really that important to know all the numbers before kindergarten? Why not just let them play and enjoy life?
Most parents who send their children to pre-school or junior kindergarten school are very happy with their decision. Some say it is a great way for children to meet friends. Others find it an essential step for them to learn to socialize. Some even notice that their children learn a great deal! But few of these parents believe deep down that thanks to those pre-school years, their children will be, well, smarter. How can that be? After all, the academic knowledge given to the child during those years is not so unique compared to elementary school. Right? The secret ingredient is not in the academic component itself. Children who attend early education programs are better equipped to learn because they have received the right type and the right amount of stimulation at the right time (which, of course, implies a great academic program!)
As adults what most of us don’t realize is that, for children, learning is enjoyable. Take newborn babies, for instance. When they are not sleeping, they are constantly learning. They learn to recognize our voices, their environment, the patterns of their mobiles and the many things we are excited to bring closer to them. By their first and second birthday, children are discovering language, and figuring out their role in the household. They even have their own scientific agenda, which they carry out quite well by experimenting on everything they can find (electrical outlets included). They are constantly asking us questions! The world is a fascinating place for a young child. Once they gain a greater understanding of their environment, they need a higher level of reasoning and intellectual stimulation. From birth until about age six, a child’s brain is forming all the pathways it will use during adult life. This process considerably slows down after they turn six. Those pathways can only be formed through adequate stimulation, which explains why young children are constantly in learning mode. This means that what the child learns early on in life, will determine how much he or she can learn as an adult. You can compare this process to the child’s physical growth. A one-year old is so much more developed than a one-day old, but it is harder to see the difference between a seven-year old and an eight-year old. As parents, we pay special importance to what our children eat, because we know that it will impact them for life. If they do not grow at that age, they will certainly not start growing in their thirties (at least most of us have given up hope by then). Similarly, what you “feed” your child’s brain during the first years of life determines how easily you child will be able to learn, for life. And since school in Canada officially starts at age five, early education is not only a good concept: it is essential for the proper intellectual development of your child. A good program is very enjoyable for children. It enables them to keep pursuing their interests at a much more stimulating level. Of course, not any program will do. A good pre-school or junior kindergarten school will stimulate your child at just the right level, and in many different ways.
22 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2013
Do you have an educational q uestion for Natacha? Email her at a sk natacha@ur ba nbaby.ca
Simply providing a nice atmosphere to socialize and do crafts for the day is great fun, but it is not the level of stimulation that your child needs in order to develop adequately. Instead, look for a program that offers activities that take into consideration each child’s interests and level of understanding, and is varied in nature. Music and arts are just as important at that age, as reading, or science. This does not mean that your three-year old will be sitting at a desk, pen and paper at hand. Good programs are very creative in their approach to learning, and “disguise” the projects and concepts taught as games and fun activities where your child is always an active participant. Look for a program that can present a challenge as well as a fun, magical environment. Early education is an essential step in your child’s life. You may never be able to measure how much it impacted your child, but you can trust that it did. •
Natacha is a writer, speaker, teacher, and the founder of CEFA Early Learning and Junior Kindergarten Schools (www.cefa.ca). You can reach her at www.natachabeim.com
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| by Marilee Peters
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: Budgeting for Your Family
If you’re thinking about starting a family, or perhaps deciding whether you should have another child, it may be time for you and your partner to sit down and discuss the “B” word. No, I’m not talking about birth coaches, baby names, or breastfeeding. Mom and Dad, get ready: it’s budget time. Here’s why:
A Nation of Spenders, Not Savers The shocking truth about consumer spending and household debt in Canada these days is this: we’re out of control. And here in BC, we’re leading the pack. Families in this province have the highest levels of household debt in the country, thanks in large part to our sky-high property values. But surprisingly, those hefty mortgage payments are only part of the problem. It turns out that BC consumers are also carrying, on average, more than $37,000 in non-mortgage debt. Sustainable? Not really. According to Vancouver’s Credit Counselling Services, the number of people seeking help with personal debt rose by 7 percent in 2012, and that’s following a whopping 30 percent increase in 2011.
So just who are these debt-burdened souls? Well, overwhelmingly, they’re people between the ages of 35 and 44. And that’s not surprising, as these are the years when typically we’re establishing our careers and households, starting and growing our families, making those big-ticket purchases (homes, vehicles, major appliances) and, more and more frequently, taking on unrealistic levels of debt to keep it all going. While it may seem like maxing the credit card is the only way to keep up with the costs of raising kids today, there is an alternative. It’s called budgeting, and if you’ve got discipline and determination, it works.
Getting Into the Saving Groove Don’t think about your budget as an exercise in cutting back – instead, think of it as a plan for redirecting your money so that you can start spending it on the things that you really want. According to Khadijah Suleman, a Canadian financial literacy consultant with more than a decade of experience educating families on the basics of managing money, one of the reasons behind Canadians’ growing indebtedness is our demand for instant gratification, which leads to impulse spending.
Get Clear on What You Want Sheila Walkington, a Vancouver financial planner and founder of Money Coaches Canada, typically sees couples coming for advice well after their children are born, when the family is already floundering in debt. Her advice to first-time parents is to start planning as soon as possible to prepare for the drop in cash flow when, with one partner on parental leave, families may find themselves living on three-quarters or less of their normal combined incomes. Then, she says, be prepared to carry on with that plan for the next several years: “The reality of going back to work is that childcare is such a large expense, so if families can get used to living on less, they’ll find it easier.”
Offices in Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria.
Plans to start spending wisely, saving, and reducing debts need to begin with clear shared goals and priorities, according to Walkington. “Be clear on what you want, and what you’re willing to do to achieve your goals”, she advises.
24 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2013
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As Suleman points out, “Budgeting doesn’t mean giving up everything. It doesn’t mean never going out again or enjoying any luxuries. It’s about being in control of your spending and planning for those luxuries. Following a budget means an investment of time and effort but in the end, it’s worth it because the result is so sweet.”
Get Organized You’re going to need to take a long hard look at your family’s spending habits. So dig out those credit card bills, utility bills and invoices for any major expenses you had over the past year. They’ll help you estimate your monthly expenses. If you can’t reconstruct your past spending history, try recording all of your expenses over the next month or two. The object is to figure out where your money actually goes and where you can cut spending.
Talk with Your Partner What are the most important things you spend your money on? What could you do without? If you have older children, try including them in the discussion so they understand why the family is making a budget and how they can help.
Choose Needs over Wants Divide your expenses into things you need (groceries, diapers) and things you want (like restaurant meals, or movies). Then try and eliminate unnecessary expenses and put that money towards savings or paying off debt.
Identify Your Savings Goals, and Build Them into Your Budget For example, your short-term savings goal might be buying baby equipment or outfitting the nursery. But don’t forget about saving towards long-term goals like your child’s university expenses, or your retirement.
Make “Being Debt-Free” One of Your Goals Make a list of all your debts and the interest rate you are paying on each of them. Try to pay off the debts with the highest rates of interest first.
Pay More than the Minimum Even a small increase in payments on bills can make a big difference in the amount of interest you pay and how long it takes to pay off your debts.
Stick to Your Plan! Once you’ve done the work to create a family budget, the key to long-term success is making sure you stick with it. Budgeting is a great way to role-model “smart money-management” to our children so they learn early in life that money simply doesn’t grow on trees. • Source: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca) Marilee is a Vancouver communications consultant and mother of two. Her resolution for 2013 is to stick to her budget, and her new shopping mantra is, “needs before wants, needs before wants.” She blogs about writing, social media, and other topics as they occur to her at mapcommunication.ca.
spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 25
Great Goods: Kidz on Safari These eco-friendly plush toys are made from 100% organic cotton with natural corn fiber filling. Kidz on Safari’s organic plush toys makes the ideal first toy for your baby and life-long friends for your child - perfect for cuddling, hugging and holding with the right splash of colour and fun! Fair trade from Mauritius, Africa
Dapple Toy Cleaner Spray
Perfect for cleaning what little hands touch. Clean toys to highchairs, swings and more. Features green technology and harnesses the power of natural ingredients such as baking soda to keep your home and environment a healthy clean.
IN-STORE: Baby On Board, Richmond Active Baby, North Vancouver
Wee Woollies Pure Merino
Made from the highest quality New Zealand merino, the Wee Woollies pyjamas are designed and made to fit snug and feel great. Layer them, sleep in them, or split them up for everyday wear. 100% natural, eco-friendly and sustainable. No chemical flame retardants, nontoxic dyes. Designed and made in Canada.
The perfect skincare starter set for baby. Made with 100% natural and organic ingredients and packaged in a reusable organza bag. Starter set includes Bottom Balm, Body Lotion, Body Wash and organic cotton and bamboo washcloth.
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Going Green! Stokke HandySitt Portability lends itself to families on the go be it for outings to restaurants, grandmother’s house or on holiday. HandySitt offers two optional solutions: can be attached to a suitable dining chair or with additional legs, create a freestanding chair for placement on the floor.
IN-STORE: Hip Baby, Vancouver & Victoria ONLINE: www.hipbaby.com
Babyletto Grayson Mini Crib A modern, portable mini crib perfect for smaller spaces. Grayson Mini Crib is also a fine choice for relatives to keep on hand for a new baby’s visit, or for families that need to set up a safe crib for baby in a small room. With baby’s safety in mind, the crib comes equipped with safety hinges and lockable wheels, and has a non-toxic finish, lead and phthalate safe.
Brinware Dishware Constructed from tempered glass with a silicone coating to provide an extra-durable layer of protection and slip resistance, these BPA phthalate-free dishes offer an alternative to plastic plates. Your child will always finish their food just to see the captivating graphics beneath! Tempered glass dishes with a removable silicone cover that is microwaveable and dishwasher safe.
IN-STORE: Lussobaby, North Vancouver & Vancouver
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mOmma Rocking Cup Rocking beverage systems for babies and toddlers offer some extra movement and fun over traditional cups. mOmma baby bottles have cool roly poly bottoms that weeble and wobble, and the point of suction never comes into contact with the surface of tables or highchairs, thus ensuring maximum hygiene. Available in child-pleasing bright shades of green or orange, each cup and bottle in the mOmma line is BPA phthalate-free and features a non-spill lid.
IN-STORE: Lussobaby, North Vancouver & Vancouver ONLINE: www.lussobaby.ca
COME DANCE WITH YOUR BABY! New classes coming this Spring! Register online at:
UrbanGuide: Stroller Guide Sponsored by jack&lola
Baby Jogger City Select The City Select by Baby Jogger is a one-of-a-kind multi-functional stroller that allows parents to mix and match seats, bassinets, and car seats to customize their stroller. Customize this stroller into 16 different combinations to suit your family’s needs. The City Select starts as a single capacity stroller but expands to a double by using a unique patented attachment method.
Price: $569.99 Type: Single to Double Stroller Weight: Frame only 22 lbs, with seat 28 lbs Wheels: 12” forever-air rear tires and 8” lightweight front wheels Child Safety: 5-point safety harness with shoulder pads Car Seat Compatibility: Graco, Maxi Cosi, Peg Perego, Britax, Chicco Handlebars: Telescoping adjustable handlebar with wipe clean grip Storage: Back storage compartment and large underseat basket
Features: • Patented Quick-Fold technology • Multi-position seat recline for passenger comfort • Hand operated parking brake • Includes accessory mounting bracket • 90 lb maximum weight capacity • Three panel canopy, can be raised up or down • Adjustable footrest • Available colours onyx, ruby, quartz, amethyst
Additional Accessiories: • Second Seat: $199.99 • Transport Bassinet Kit: $119.99 • Rain Canopy: $59.99 • Snack Tray and Belly Bar: $39.99 • Glider Board: $99.99
Mountain Buggy Mini
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The lightest most compact Mountain Buggy ever designed. The mini is so technically advanced yet so classically simple. Includes state of the art hybrid blend tires and easy single hand fold, super lightweight frame, and ultra adaptability from newborn to toddler.
Smart™ is the complete compact stroller that makes life in the city with a child easy. Smart™ adapts to four modes from birth to four years. The unique aerocore seat can switch baby to face you then forward and has a super compact, telescopic fold. Available in a range of colours for hoods, seats and liners.
Price: $379.99 Type: City / Urban Stroller Weight: 17 lbs Wheels: 10’’ Aerotech Wheels Child Safety: 5-point harness with shoulder pads Car Seat Compatibility: Graco, Peg Perego Handlebars: Non-adjustable Storage: Large basket under the seat that holds up to 11 lbs
Features: • One-hand fast fold with an auto-frame lock • Aerotech tires, which is a blend of EVA with a hollow inner • Flip out mesh sun visor • Car seat compatible • Fully customizable colour canopies
Additional Accessories: • Car Seat Adapter: $43.99 • Sun Cover: $43.99 • Storm Cover: $38.49
Price: $299.99 Type: City / Urban Stroller Weight: 18 lbs Wheels: Front 7.5’’, Back 9.5’’ EVA tires for a smooth ride Child Safety: 5-point harness with shoulder pads Car Seat Compatibility: Graco Handlebars: Non-adjustable Storage: Large basket under the seat that holds up to 11lbs
Features: • Build your look: select your own seat, hood and liner colours • Car seat compatible • Main seat recline in rear and forward facing modes • Full size seat with leg support to ensure a comfy ride • Fold out the sun hood to protect your child from the sun, wind or dust • Smooth riding with EVA wheels
Additional Accessories: • Car Seat Adapter: $39.99 • Sun Cover: $29.99 • Storm Cover: $19.99
2013 Stroller Shopping Guide is Sponsored by jack&lola
UPPAbaby Vista Two new colours for 2013! Part sports car, part super-utility vehicle, the Vista is fully equipped to master any terrain. An innovative, universal stroller system that truly grows with your child from birth into the toddler years. Stroller adapts with accessories to accommodate a second and third child.
Price: $789.99 Type: Leisure Stroller. Ready for every adventure Weight: 25.5 lbs Wheels: 8’ front, 11’ rear smooth-rolling “no-flat” foam. Shock-absorbing front + rear suspension Child Safety: 5-point harness with shoulder pads and buckle cover Car Seat Compatibility: Peg Perego, Graco, Maxi Cosi & Chicco Handlebars: Adjustable Storage: Back storage compartment and extra-large basket
Features: • Includes both bassinet and seat. Interchangeable and requires no fabric swapping • Easy one-step fold with or without the seat attached • Welded and formed aircraft aluminum alloy frame • One-button handle-height adjustment • Added rubber bumpers to protect the stroller handlebar in standing position • Elevated seat/bassinet height brings you closer to your child • Removable bumper bar cover
Additional Accessories: • Rumble Seat: $149.99 • Piggyback: $119.99 • Snack Tray: $99.99 • Cup Holder: $24.99 • Parent Organizer: $34.99 • TravelSafe Travel Bag: $119.99
UPPAbaby G-Luxe 2013 Available May 2013. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe is the ideal, lightweight travel solution for parents on the go. It’s one of the lightest reclining umbrella strollers in the world! Updated with sophisticated fashions, featuring a removable seat pad and StainDefend fabrics, the 2013 G-Luxe holds up against spills and stains synonymous with toddlers. Suitable for children three months to 50 lbs.
Price: $239.99 & $249.99 for Special Edition Type: Umbrella Stroller Weight: 11 lbs Wheels: High-performance 5.5” wheels with rear suspension Child Safety: 5-point harness with shoulder pads and buckle cover Car Seat Compatibility: N/A Handlebars: Tall ergonomic handles for easier pushing. Non-Adjustable Storage: Spacious shopping basket
Features: • One handed adjustable recline from upright to 120 degrees • Extended SPF 50 pop-out sun canopy for extra protection against UV rays • Lockable front wheels for added stability • Stands when folded • Hand-level folding triggers—no foot action required • 4-wheel, shock absorbing suspension • Aluminum frame and easy-carry shoulder strap • Elevated rear frame to reduce toe-stubs • Easy open, removable canopy • Removable cup-holder included
Additional Accessories: • Rain Cover: $24.99 • TravelSafe Travel Bag: $69.99
Stop by jack & lola and meet with one of our Stroller Experts for demonstrations on these featured strollers as well as many others. jack & lola offers Stroller Demonstrations Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm or any other time that suits your needs. jack & lola is your one stop destination for all things baby and child.
jack&lola 135 West 1st Street North Vancouver, BC V7M 1B1 www.jackandlola.ca 778.340.5225
Stroller Buying Tips What activities do you plan to use the stroller for? Consider what the main activities will be with the stroller when choosing the best model. Are you planning on using the stroller for mostly long walks and shopping or will it be use for jogging or trail walking?
What is the age of child? Strollers list their weight limits and seat back height. Will an infant and a toddler be using the stroller? Consider any future children to avoid having to spend more on a new stroller in a couple of years.
Do you need a infant car seat adapter? Depending the make and model of your infant car seat certain strollers can accommodate different models. Check with the sales representative and car seat manual to make sure your child’s car seat is stroller compatible.
Child Safety Rules: Babies incapable of holding their head up must have additional head and neck support to ride safely and comfortably. For jogging or off-road stroller use, children should be at least 6-8 months old. Please check your stroller manual for proper guidelines and safety instructions. spring 2013 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 29
| by Chelene Knight
Car ing for M other Ear th: It’s a Family Affair! This year for Earth Day, gather the whole family to celebrate and make an entire day of it! Earth Day falls on April 22, 2013 and originally celebrated at Spring Equinox. Now it is an annual day with events held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of our environment. British Columbia is home to some of the most amazing urban green space on the planet, and it is no wonder BC inspires such a devotion to sustainability. We are surrounded by a striking mountain panorama and miles of serene Pacific shoreline with some of the most breathtaking views in the world. The Vancouver region and Vancouver Island are beautiful places to live. Parents raising their children here are teaching them about sustainability as much as they can and going green is easy when it is taught as a way of life in every household. It is pretty easy to make Earth Day a year round celebration by making it a way of life in your home.
Make it engaging for your family: •
Create some initiatives in your home and see who can get the most “earth points’ by doing something each day to help the environment or to save energy. Keep track of points on a chart and let your child exchange points for an earth-friendly reward at the end of the month. Collect refunds! Keep all refundable items in a bin and let the kids know that the more they remember to recycle, the more cans and bottles they can cash in at your local bottle depot. Although it may seem like only a few cents here and there, if your family recycles enough and makes a big effort, it will add up quickly. Save your recyclables for arts and crafts and school projects throughout the year. My daughter is always being asked to bring in string, cans, and related items for various school projects and science experiments. Bring your own reusable cup or tumbler to your local coffee shop, and save the paper cups. Children can get their steamed milk or hot cocoa in their own mug too and most coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own mug.
I started teaching my daughter in her toddler years, to be environmentally friendly and I feel that it has done wonders. Now that she is entering the preteen years she carries a sense of pride 30 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2013
for protecting the environment. Going green is super easy and everyone in the family can help. My daughter enjoys the incentives and she likes doing her part too. A sense of accomplishment is another great benefit gained from being environmentally friendly. Your child can help out around the house by turning off lights when they leave a room. Get them to routinely recycle their juice boxes, pop cans, plastics and cardboard. British Columbia schools demonstrate eco-friendly responsibility by implementing environmentally-friendly initiatives such as bottle and clothing drives; energy saving tips for everyday use; and the use of recyclable items in classrooms. Teachers and parents can work together to motivate and educate children at an early age about easy ways to do their part to care for Mother Earth. Some schools have children involved by having them pick up garbage around the neighborhood to teach them about respecting their surroundings and where they live. Earth Day is a day to celebrate, go green and take part in activities around your neighbourhood. In the process, we can all learn from each other. Even young toddlers rolling on the grass and checking out the petunias can inspire us to take care of the captivating nature that surrounds us. So start now by getting your family involved. Check out a great website where children can learn about being eco-friendly and have fun with games and activities at www.ecokids.ca • Chelene is a Vancouver-based freelance writer and a part-time student in the Writer’s Studio Program at SFU. She and her 10 year old daughter Desiraye are currently working on a family goal to make their home more energy-efficient.
o n t h e t ow n
Spring Family Fun!
May 2013 cont..
March 2-3: Franklin and Friends and Richard Scarry’s Busytown Musical Playdates Brentwood Town Centre Come and see beloved characters. Franklin Turtle and Busytown’s Huckle Cat brentwoodtowncentre.com
Apr 7, 10am: Hyack Antique Car Easter Parade, New West Antique Cars and Easter Parade hyack.bc.ca
May 23-25, 10am: Surrey Children’s Festival Surrey Arts Centre Performances from around the world surreychildrensfestival.ca
Mar 9, 10am: 2013 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair Croatian Cultural Centre Cooking Demos, Healthy Kids Activities Zone amssa.org Mar 17, 11am: 9th Annual St. Patrick Day Parade Howe & Davie St. Celtic music groups, Scottish and Irish dancers celticfestvancouver.com/ parade Mar 16-24, 12pm -4pm: Spring Break Scavenger Hunt Puppets & Pageantry Burnaby Village Museum Theatre art, scavenger hunt, crafts, performances burnabyvillagemuseum.ca Mar 30, 10am: Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt VanDusen Botanical Gardens Decorating eggs, crafts vandusengarden.org Mar 30, 10am: Easter Fair, Surrey Museum Springtime crafts, animals and games surrey.ca
Apr 14, 10am-3pm: Mommies n Munchkins Fair Fort Langley Community Hall Exhibitors, prizes, entertainment and food mommiesnmunchkins.com Apr 22, 11am -3pm: Earth Day Parade Grandview Park, Van funky live music, a family tent, student art competition, activities, and special guest speakers earthdayparade.ca
May 2013 May 5, 11am-4pm: Bellies to Babies Celebration 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 $3000.00 in door prizes. Register to attend: 604.908.8835 belliestobabiescelebration.com
June 2013 Jun 2, 9am: 28th Annual ChildRun Family Fun Run 5k or 1k run to help fight childhood cancer www.childrun.com
Ongoing Events Shop ‘n Stroll Fitness Various Weekdays Mom & Baby Fitness Class Sponsored by your local Shopping Centre. Free to Attend. Registration required. shopnstroll.ca Salsa Babies & Salsa Tots Every Wednesday 11:00am & 11:30am Dance Class for Mom & Baby/ Toddler. Sponsored by Brentwood Town Centre. Free to Attend. Registration required. runnersandbootiesfitness.com
Movies For Mommies Weekly Shows of New Releases. Grab bags and special guests. Stroller friendly, diaper change area. moviesformommies.com
Contact event organizers with info provided to confirm details.
Ella • Vancouver, BC Jackie, 23 yrs • Jeremy, 13 yrs Jamie, 11 yrs • Jayden, 3 yrs Erika, 7 mths
1. What is the best part about being a mom? I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my children. We often do errands and dinner then play a game as a family. 2. What is your favourite activity to do with your children? I plan various activities with each one of my children. Sometimes we go for dinner and dessert or watch a movie. 3. What is your favourite television show? Actually, I have several. My favourites are Bones and Til Debt Do Us Part. 4. What was the last book you’ve read? I just finished reading Shopaholic Takes Manhattan. 5. What is one product or service you can’t live without? Mary Kay Microdermabrasion and Cellushape tops my list. After five children, every bit of pampering helps! 6. How do you find some “Mommy Time”? I find time to relax when my children are in bed. I’ll clean the kitchen or sort the children’s clothes. I also use the time to finish my paperwork and organize my coupons. Then I’ll enjoy a 15-minute bubble bath with a cup of tea and a good book.
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