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Green issue

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A Green Home is Safer for Your Baby and Toddler

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SPRING 2016 volume 14 • issue 1

t able of

contents

4 eco parent: A Green Home is Safer for Your Baby and Toddler 5 eco living: The Knowledge Gap: Choosing Eco-Friendly Products Wisely 6 nutrition: Meal Planning: Seven Simple Steps to Get You Started 8 celebrity mom: Aurora Browne and Nadine Djoury 10 prenatal: Here Comes Baby: Creating a Birth and Recovery Plan

l et te r f ro m th e It’s Here! Our Annual Green Issue is packed with helpful tips for families. Find out why a green home is safer for your baby and toddler and how you can be knowledgeable in choosing eco-friendly cleaning products. And for those considering cloth diapers, we have the answers to common questions, listed on page 12. For many parents, getting dinner on the table after work and school activities can be a source of daily stress. We have the stressfree solution for saving time and money. For our very informative article on creating a weekly meal plan, check page 6-7.

editor

Concerned that your school-age child might be spending too much time in front of a screen (TV, computer or tablet)? If so, we offer ideas on how to swap screen time for active play on page 30. Special congratulations to those parents who had a baby last year. Check page 16 for our 4th Annual Babies of 2015 special feature. If you are a new parent making the all important stroller purchase, once again we have you covered! Be sure to check pages 28 & 29 for our 2016 Stroller Guide. Don’t forget to enter our Mother’s Day Giveaway on page 18. One lucky reader will win $1000 in prizes. Good Luck! As always we value your feedback. Send your emails to the editor at editor@urbanbaby.ca

Editor

12 ages & stages: Q & A: Cloth Diapering 101 15 fashion: Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue: A Calming Trend for 2016 16 special feature: Babies of 2015

ENTER TO WIN OVER $1000 IN PRIZES AND HAVE YOUR CHILD APPEAR ON THE COVER OF URBANBABY & TODDLER MAGAZINE*

18 contest: Mother’s Day Giveaway 19 mom self care: Moms Night Out: Make it Fun and Stress-free!

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2 0 UrbanMarket: Products & Promotions

EDITOR/AD SALES Lara Leontowich

2 2 education: Mother Nature’s Classroom: A New Concept for Preschoolers

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24 ceo mom: Entrepreneurship Gives Moms Career Rewards and Flexibility

DESIGN/PRODUCTION Shannon Brownlee

CONTRIBUTORS Lindsay Coulter, Kristen Yarker, Kim Vopni, Katie Mark, Ria Chana, Melissa Collins, Julie Romanowski, Lídia Meneses 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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25 parenting: Q & A: Decoding Common Parenting Traps

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26 things we like: Green & Organic Products

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3 0 UrbanKid: Unplug & Play: Keep Them Active

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31 on the town: Spring Family Fun 31 spotlight: UrbanMom: Priya

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On the cover: Brooklyn, 1-year old Location: Maple Ridge Photo Credit: Capture Video and Photography

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e co p a re n t

| by Lindsay Coulter

A Green Home is Safer

for Your Baby and Toddler As a parent, you can create a better environment for your child by carefully selecting healthier products for your home. Reducing your child’s exposure to toxic chemicals can give you some peace of mind. Choose snug-fit, certified organic pyjamas that are not treated with flame retardants. Avoid synthetics like polyester. Polyester is plastic (which melts) and has flame retardants built into the fibres.

Natural fabrics and fibres are better because they won’t off-gas. Some down pillows contain feathers sterilized with formaldehyde — a known carcinogen.

Studies show that consumer products — not industrial emissions — are a likely source of the buildup of flame retardants. These toxic chemicals are found in some furniture, carpets and electronics and have adverse effects on body. Such chemicals are also persistent and bio-accumulative (continuously building up in the environment and our bodies).

Pillows are not recommended for babies under 12 months of age. Choose a low-loft pillow for toddlers.

Household dust is now recognized as one of the most significant sources of childhood exposure to toxic substances because it is really a chemical soup with low levels of flame retardants, pesticides, phthalates and metals like lead, mercury and arsenic. Choose pillows made from the ecofriendliest materials: wool, natural rubber, kapok or organic cotton. Your toddler rests his or her head on a pillow for about 12 to 13 hours each day (if you’re lucky). As a parent, you are now probably wondering what their pillow is made of? Modern kid’s shop for hip baby clothing, shoes, stylish duds for boys and girls from newborn to 8 years plus toys and unique gifts

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• Wool is naturally resistant to dust mites and mildew. It needs to be spot-cleaned.

• Natural rubber is resistant to mold, fungus, mildew and dust • •

mites. It’s also renewable and biodegradable. Silky threads from the flower seeds of kapok trees are harvested without chopping down trees. Organic cotton breathes and is free from chemicals and dyes, which makes it better for the environment. It’s popular among people with allergies or sensitive skin.

Choose reusable, recyclable stainless steel plates, cutlery, lunch kits and straws. Plastics are widely used because they’re cheap and often durable. Most contain toxic chemicals and can be resistant to ultraviolet light. According to Health Canada, 95 percent of Canadians have measurable levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in their blood or urine, with the highest levels found in children. Shop for dishware that’s free of BPA, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), phthalates, lead and cadmium (or other heavy metals). You can find non-toxic, air-tight, leak-proof and dishwasher-safe options. • 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

Avoid pillows made from synthetics like petroleum-based polyester. And avoid those made with polyurethane foam which can off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

media and appeared on the Dr. Oz show. www.queenofgreen.ca

Where to Recycle It? Recycling Council of BC: www.rcbc.ca Return-It: www.return-it.ca Regional Recycling: www.regionalrecycling.ca

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4 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016


e co l i v i n g

| by Urbanbaby & Toddler

The Knowledge Gap:

Choosing Eco-Friendly Products Wisely Everyone wants to select non-toxic, environmentally-friendly products that benefit the earth; choosing between a natural home and a toxic one is an easy decision, especially for new moms. Unfortunately, many cleaning product manufacturers promote and benefit from a ‘knowledge gap’ that exists between their products and their customers. Such companies can make it tougher for consumers to make informed and responsible choices. With food, you know what you’re getting, thanks to governmentmandated ingredient lists. However cleaning products don’t require the same transparency. When most ingredients in chemical cleaners have long, complex names, the customer is less likely to recognize the harmful ones, even if they are able to find a complete list of ingredients. The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to a healthier environment, recognized this knowledge gap and decided to do something about it. They set out to analyze over two thousand different cleaning products, and separate the good from the bad, to give the customer the edge in choosing eco-friendly products. Of course, this was easier said than done. The cleaning industry hid its ingredients behind claims of ‘trade secrets’ and confidential formulas. The companies used their own testing data to ‘verify’ the safety of the products, without allowing the EWG to see that data. But the EWG was persistent, and with dedication and some scientific ‘elbow grease’, the group managed to complete their Guide to Healthy Cleaning, a list of hundreds of products, complete with a rigorous rating system to determine their impact on our environment and our health.

What did they find? They found evidence of a process called ‘green washing’ (when a toxic, unhealthy product is marketed as ‘green’ and ‘natural’). Since those terms have no official requirements, it’s easy to claim any product is ‘green’. For example, the Green Works ‘naturally-derived’ all-purpose cleaner received an “F” rating. Most products fell into the C to F rating. Of the 237 bathroom cleaners, for example, that the EWG studied, only 9 received an A, a total of 4%. More than 50% of the cleaners received an “F” rating. Many of these products contained ingredients with proven side-effects, including everything from skin irritation to cancer. A shocking number of popular ingredients had adverse effects on unborn children and fertility (including sodium borate), a common ingredient in air fresheners. Fortunately there was some good news. Every single AspenClean product was deemed A-level and has received environmental certifications and awards over the years. A variety of products did manage to get top marks, for both health and environmental safety. Thanks to rigorous testing, the EWG has helped millions of consumers make informed eco-friendly choices. The A-level ratings gives parents reassurance that they can trust the products to keep their home clean and healthy, and in doing so, provide a safe environment for their children. For more information visit www.aspenclean.com •

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nutrition

| by Kristen Yarker

Meal Planning:

Seven Simple Steps to Get You Started For most parents, the most stressful time starts at the end of the work day continuing until the children are (finally) asleep. If I could give you a solution to make this time less hectic for you and your family, would you jump on it? What’s this solution? Meal planning! Chances are you are already using a day planner or digital calendar to organize your life. If you can do that, you can meal plan. Let me expand on how meal planning can help you.

Why Meal Plan?

Getting Started

Like most parents, you are already feeling the squeeze of a jampacked schedule and the very idea of finding time to do even more may leave you feeling rather skeptical about the benefits. Fact is meal planning can save you time, stress, and money.

Do it old-school with pen and paper. Or, use one of the many apps. I recommend starting with one meal at a time – dinner. Why? Because it is the meal that tends to cause people the most stress. Once you get the hang of planning dinner for one week, you can choose to expand to other meals and snacks.

A good portion of the stress of making dinner each night is figuring out what to make. There you are having another busy day and you stop to check the time noticing it is 4pm already. Realizing that you haven’t thought of dinner, you start experiencing some panic-stricken moments. Never has a mom told me that she enjoyed staring blankly into the fridge while the children started to meltdown because they were hungry. Not having a plan leaves you multi-tasking to come up with some ideas while you’re finishing up your workday and when fighting the traffic to get home. What are the consequences of not having a plan? • Running to the grocery store at the busiest time. That’s not fun, especially with little ones in tow. • Increased food waste. If you’ve been paying attention to the news (or your grocery bill), you know that food costs are rising. Meal planning means that you’ll actually use the groceries you buy which translates to less money going into your green bin. • Unhealthier eating habits. Most convenience, prepared, takeout, and restaurant foods have higher sodium (salt), higher amounts of unhealthy fat, and fewer vegetables than homemade meals. I admit that it does take time to sit down and create a meal plan. However by making the commitment you can cut your weekly stress considerably.

6 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016

Step 1: Write out your family’s schedule for next week. Identify those nights when your little ones have extra-curricular activities. On those nights you will need some super-quick meals. Step 2: Start with the easiest days first. Consider those nights when your family may be eating out; enjoying takeout or having dinner at Grandmas. Include them in your list. Now take inventory of any leftovers you have in the fridge that should be used up. Write down the nights when you plan to use up the leftovers.

Step 3: List any nights when your family is likely to be extrarushed? Plan for family favourites that are easy to make. Those are not the nights to try something new. Instead stick with easier options. Write down any side-dishes you plan to serve. Step 4: Choose one night per week where you’ll try a new dish or revive something that you haven’t made in a long time. Take the time now to choose the recipe. Include any side-dishes. Choose a system to make recipes handy on the nights that you need them. Ideas include: • Jotting down the cookbook and page number. • Bookmarking the webpage. • Taking a photo of the recipe with your phone. • Grouping them under “This Week’s Recipes” in Evernote.


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Step 6: Look in your fridge, freezer, cupboards and pantry to see what you already have and make note of any ingredients you’ll need to buy. Create a grocery list with all the ingredients needed for each meal that week. Step 7: Grocery shop. It’s so much easier now that you have a list.

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Remember, it is your plan. You can change it any time you wish. So for example, let’s say you had planned to make a complicated, new recipe tonight. Then life throws you a curve ball. After having one of THOSE days, you just want to order in some pizza. Then go ahead and call takeout. Then revise your plan so the ingredients for that new dish are used up soon. Once you get into regular meal planning, you will wonder how you managed without that routine. The upside to making the commitment is having some extra quality time with your family at the end of the day. Priceless! • 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 nutrition for their kids today and instill a love of food that lasts a lifetime. www.kristenyarker.com/kids-nutrition

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ce l e b r i t y m o m

| by Urbanbaby & Toddler

Aurora Browne and Nadine Djoury

Aurora Browne

Every parent has funny stories to tell. Parenting (especially when you are new at it) can be filled with hilarity. Sometimes an incident will bring back some chuckles and laughter days, months or even years later. Two Canadian comedians decided to draw on those early days of parenting and all those hilarious trials and tribulations, when cocreating a web series called Newborn Moms. Aurora Browne and Nadine Djoury are the comedic masterminds behind the series. The pair created and star in all nine of the CBC Punchline short webisodes. Each webisode takes an honest and entertaining look at the secret shames, daily struggles, and cringe-worthy challenges that is real life for many new moms.

Nadine Djoury

Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine recently had the chance to chat with Browne and Djoury about where they found the ideas for the miniseries.

UBT: Tell us where the inspiration comes from. What were you thinking when you decided to put these webisodes together? ND: I had just gone to visit my sister in Seattle for two weeks. She has two kids. I just remember being in the thick of her new motherhood and there were no illusions of what was going on. I really saw the chaos happening. It is such a fascinating time in a mother’s life and yet funny because of all the stress and anxiety involved. I was on the lookout for a web series idea for a while because, as comedians, we always need to produce our own work. When I got back to Toronto, I immediately set up a meeting with Aurora who is an amazing actress, director and mom. AB: She came over to my house telling me she wanted to do a web series about being new moms. My son was no longer a newborn, but I was still really tired. I said, “that’s a great idea – if you have the energy to start this. I will do it with you”. And so we sat down to come up with ideas. From the beginning, we were convinced we wanted to make it a web series. We wanted something accessible. We imagined that new mom sitting at home with baby in one hand looking for something to click on. We wanted something easily digestible. So we just honed in on all those little funny moments. We had no shortage of ideas. It just grew from there.

8 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016


Read past celebrity parent interviews at

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UBT: I am a mom too and found these videos were very entertaining and so relatable. Was that what you were going for? ND: And it has opened up a lot of dialogue. Mothers tell us all “Oh my goodness, you haven’t heard my story.” It means a lot to us to be constantly resonating with moms. AB: We wanted that. Of course you want people who don’t have kids to enjoy it too. The feedback we have been getting is that people really do enjoy it. When we went to Just for Laughs, we were doing a pitch in front of a panel. One of the executives from Yahoo started his feedback with “Listen, I have triplets, and I totally get what you’re talking about”. Everybody who has kids immediately knows what we are talking about – be it a man or woman. UBT: What are your plans for the future? Can we expect more? AB: We are exploring some options and considering expansion into the USA as well. UBT: Webisodes are really popular now. It is on-demand content. Are you planning to keep them short, or expand to something a little bit longer? ND: We are hoping to explore both. I think this format works so well for our audience and for what we’re trying to do. AB: I think if we did another series, it would be the same kind of format, most likely. We’ll see what the future holds. UBT: How do you keep up with fresh topics? ND: A huge source of inspiration for me was my sister and her laughable stories. I also read online blogs. AB: We get inspired just walking around the neighbourhood. Sometimes we’ll just sit down and go down memory lane together recalling all the hilarious things that happened as new moms. •

Watch all 9 webisodes of

CBC’s Newborn Moms online now at

www.cbc.ca/punchline

spring 2016 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 9


p re n a t a l

| by Kim Vopni

Here Comes Baby:

Creating a Birth and Recovery Plan A common recommendation for expecting mothers is to create a birth plan: a document that gives your caregivers (midwife, doctor, doula, partner) an outline of your choices during the stages of delivery. This is designed so you can focus on the task at hand – birthing your baby. And while it is important to think about the delivery, it is also important to remember your recovery so you can plan for that crucial time when your body needs to heal. Here are some key points to consider when creating a birth and recovery plan:

Your Birth Team By the time you are creating a birth and recovery plan, you will more than likely have chosen either a midwife or an obstetrician as your primary caregiver. You may wish to add a doula, acupuncturist or a chiropractor to the team. A final member of the birth team is a pelvic floor physiotherapist. You can see her during your pregnancy to help optimize your pelvis and pelvic floor for birth, and again at six weeks postpartum, after your final checkup with your primary caregiver.

Birth Location Home birth? Hospital birth? Birth centre? Provided you are not a high risk, you can choose where you give birth and each choice involves a different set of needs to plan for. Your decision will also be dependent on the person chosen as your primary caregiver. Our recommendation is to give birth where you feel the safest. For some, that will be in the hospital, and for others that will be at home. It is really about what feels right for you. Giving birth where you feel safest will better enable you to relax and focus inwards during your labour and birth.


Birth Positions Aside from the traditional birthing position (laying on your back), the squat or laying on one’s side seem to be popular alternatives. By having a number of positions in your mind, you will be ready to pull from the list, rather than feel like you need to stick with one option during the entire delivery. Movement while in labour is optimal so finding and practicing movements and positions during pregnancy is ideal. Discuss options thoroughly with your primary caregiver.

Healing Herbs Peri-bottles and baths will be your best friend in the early days postpartum. The warm water soothes and when healing herbs are added, it becomes a restorative therapy. Earth Mama Angel Baby is a wonderful herbal blend available at many retailers.

Abdomen Wraps Just as you would wrap an injured ankle to support it while it heals, so should you wrap your abdomen to help the connective tissue heal and encourage the muscles to realign. Traditional belly wraps are available, however they do not promote movement. While I am a big believer in rest with little movement in the first week, I do encourage gentle movement.

Restorative Exercises After baby is born many moms are very eager to get back to exercise. Core Breathing will be the first exercise you do and then you can gradually add on gentle movement like Bridging. The key to getting your body back is to take it slow. Seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist at six weeks postpartum will give you a good idea of how your core is doing. Running and other high-impact activity is not recommended for four to six weeks postpartum. Remember to communicate closely with your primary caregiver throughout your recovery. Consider building in some flexibility into your birth and recovery plan. Creating a structured, rigid plan can induce fear if the delivery doesn’t go as planned. Your primary caregiver can help you address any concerns and desires so you can create the ultimate birth plan for added peace-of-mind. By thinking of ideals and listing them in advance, your birth team will be well-equipped to support you and your baby during the miracle of birth. The plan will also help set you up for an optimal recovery. • Kim is an author, doula and mom of two boys. She is also the owner of Pelvienne Wellness Inc, and Co-Founder of Bellies Inc. She helps her pregnant clients prepare for birth and her postpartum clients optimize healing and become confident moms.

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a g es & s t a g es

| by Katie Mark

Q & A:

Cloth Diapering 101 For parents choosing between disposables or cloth alternatives, there is no shortage of questions. Cloth diapers are easy to use, can save you money and are definitely easier on the environment!

Q: Will they actually save us money? A: Cloth diapers certainly will over the three years your child will be in diapers, you will save approximately $2000. Baby needs to be changed 5000-7000 times, which adds up to quite a mountain of disposable diapers.

Q: Are cloth diapers hard to use? A: They aren’t. Lucky for our generation, modern cloth diapers are simple. With the advent of snaps, Velcro and waterproof fabrics, they are so easy to put on baby (and to wash)! There are no pins to poke baby and no rubber pants to fight with. Complex origami folding techniques are not required.

Q: Will laundry take over my life? (Picturing a heap of

laundry the size of Mount Everest with an exhausted Mom sitting on top) A: No. Using cloth diapers will only add 2-3 loads of laundry per week. And since we no longer have to wash clothing by beating them on rocks down at the river, it will not put a dent in your social life. Cloth diaper laundry routines are simple: 1. Do a cold wash cycle with no detergent. 2. Wash on hot with detergent with an extra rinse 3. Dry on medium or hang to dry (if you want to save more money) That is it. Definitely no rock beating required.

you are out and about) but the basics are: 1. About 24 diapers. 2. A diaper pail (a garbage can with a lid works too!) Depending on what type of diaper you choose this setup can cost approximately $300 to $800. Compare that to $2500$3500 spent on disposables. When it comes to building a good supply of cloth diapers, I suggest buying one or two diapers per paycheque. Before you know it, you will have a full stash.

Q: What about handling the No.2? Is it messier with cloth

diapers? A: No! There is absolutely no requirement for cloth diaper users to have any less aversion than parents using disposable diapers. Wonderful inventions like flushable liners mean we dump that grossness in the toilet as fast as physically possible and before you know it, you are done!

Q: How do I figure out which diapers to choose? A: I highly recommend attending a cloth diaper workshop. An experienced cloth diapering mom or dad will walk you through the basics, and show you all of the options so that you can choose the diapers that fit your budget and lifestyle. Many stores also offer trial kits so you can try out some options before you make the commitment. • Katie is the owner of Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company, and (not surprisingly) an avid cloth-diapering parent, who in her “spare”

Q: What do I actually need to get started with cloth diapers? A: Not a whole lot. There are tons of accessories that can make

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14 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016


fashion

| by Lídia Meneses

Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue: A Calming Trend for 2016

It is time for your toddler to get dressed and every outfit you pull out gets an emphatic “NO!”. You reach for her favourite outfit but your little girl is refusing to wear it today. You fear that things could escalate to a fullfledged temper tantrum. Time for a bold move. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures. You reach for that new outfit with the calming colour graphics in Serenity Blue and Rose Quartz. Your little fashionista’s eyes light up and she smiles with delight. It is obvious she is eager to try out the colours of the year and make the kind of fashion statement every little princess dreams about.

According to the world´s authority, Pantone Color Institute, 2016 will be the year for two colours: Rose Quartz which conveys compassion and sweetness, and Blue Serenity, which-like the expanse of the blue sky above us-instills that much-needed sense of calm into our hectic lifestyles.

You are quick to point out that you are also wearing the same colours. Immediately you see another glowing smile as she looks at your graphic top infused with the same colour combination. Clearly she is brimming with joy in her new ensemble. Your mother-and-daughter coordinated look is going to make quite the impression as you venture out to her preschool graduation.

The seamless union of these two colours will create a balance, by providing a perfect counterpoint to our fastpaced and hurried world.

You suggest she puts on her pretty pink “princess tiara”. She agrees. In clothing and arts, colour is an expression of a mood and attitude. So on those challenging days when your little one is extra picky about clothes, try turning the process into a game to gently persuade your toddler. Be inspiring. You might start by asking: “What is your mood today; and how about we pair it with a colour?”

As a mother of a boy and girl, I am thankful for this new tranquil colour combination. Be prepared to see these same colours showing up in a wide variety of new decorating trends too. Talk about the perfect combination for a little boy and girl sharing the same bedroom! Some stores and some online businesses have adopted this emerging new trend. Watch for local stores in BC featuring this Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue combination in their window displays this spring. • Lidia is a mother of two children, image consultant, graphic designer. Her Vancouver store carries children’s and women’s

Your little fashionista will be more receptive when you reveal to her, the trendiest 2016 colours in the most coveted spring patterns, especially if you are wearing them too.

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spring 2016 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 15


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18 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016


m o m se l f ca re

| by Ria Chana

Moms Night Out: Make it Fun and Stress-free!

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding roles on the planet, but it also can be one of the most taxing. Unlike a standard nine-to-five job, motherhood comes with no lunch breaks, paid time off and benefits package (although the compensation through hugs and kisses is a pretty sweet trade-off!). Because a mother’s work is never done, carving out a little time without the children is a sure way to get recharged. Alone time is always treasured but sometimes you just need to socialize with other moms. Cultivating friendships helps to inspire and encourages you to be the best parent you can be.

When planning an outing, remember to keep it interesting. Occasionally you could meet at a favourite coffee shop or restaurant. As an alternate option, you can enjoy varied activities in someone’s living room or backyard. Mix it up and have fun while doing it. Just remember to savour those supportive smiles, lively conversations and belly laughs. After all, you totally deserve it! • Ria lives in Richmond and is a mom to three girls. When she’s not

Playdates give an opportunity to connect with other moms while the children play however – for one reason or another – you may not get the chance to fully relax. An exclusive outing just for you provides that rare opportunity to converse without being interrupted; eat while your food is still hot; and sit back without having to jump up to do yet another diaper change! Planning a night out should not be overly complicated. It should be one of those tasks that are simple, fun and stress-free! One of the easiest ways to do it is by setting up a private Facebook or Meetup group. By doing this, you can privately discuss dates, times and locations and view each other’s responses. Your group can decide collectively how often you would like to meet. Or you and your group can set a regular “night out”, such as the third Friday of every month, to encourage everyone to meet on a regular basis. Discuss what works best for your group.

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Of course, a night out can turn into a relaxing party at someone’s home. Consider creative projects such as sewing, scrapbooking or learning a new skill. Your group might try making candles, jewellery (for you) or headbands and bow ties (for little girls and boys in your life). Other options include making freezer meals together or having a toy/clothing exchange. Organize a book club and discuss the chapters. Create a DIY spa party for facials, manicure or pedicures. Your group could also plan an afternoon or night devoted to trying out Pinterestinspired hairdos. Just pick a relaxing music station, offer assorted refreshments and you’re all set!

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spring 2016 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 19


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e d uca t i o n

| by Melissa Collins

Mother Nature’s Classroom:

A New Concept for Preschoolers Outdoor Preschool is a growing trend in British Columbia. While some parents have readily embraced the concept, others reacted with some skepticism. Learning in Mother Nature’s playground has its definite benefits. We live in one of the most beautiful provinces in the country, so we totally get that. Taking a closer look at the learning culture of Europe – especially in the Scandinavian region – we discover that outdoor schools (preschool and kindergarten) have been running for three decades or more. The Scandinavian approach, using the outdoors as a part of the education philosophy, incorporates learning and developing in natural environments. Research has shown that the child’s sense of creativity, self-worth, independence and tolerance thrives in an outdoor setting. Traditional schools offer similar benefits. However, from a child’s perspective, immense creativity is fostered from having to “build” or construct a play area from only elements of nature.

With Forest Preschools, the entire curriculum takes place outside – rain or shine. It can be the coldest day of the year and the children will remain outdoors. Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine had an opportunity to speak with Katelynn Tekavc, a knowledgeable consultant for the Township of Langley’s Forest School Program and an Early Childhood Educator whose children previously attended the Langley Forest School. According to Katelynn, a typical school day at the preschool involves meeting at the outdoor location and an adventure walk through the park or trails. The children look for signs of what Mother Nature has brought to the Earth that day, such as ice, frost, fallen leaves, and insects. After the nature walk, the children gather for a snack and a warm drink. On particularly cold days, there is a communal gathering around a fire which the children assist in building. This is usually an opportune time for the teachers to introduce any new observations during the nature walk, and to discuss findings.

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Children are introduced to concepts such as natural habitats; weight variance (whether things float or sink in a puddle); salmon spawning and the life cycles of insects. The school day consists of some free play, games and stories, and last of all, children are encouraged to sit quietly for the last 10 minutes of class and reflect what they have learned that day. Free, non-associated play outdoors differs from what children do indoors. While indoors, children have toys and playthings that have an associated meaning. For example, that kitchen set exists as a kitchen set. On the other hand, while outside, the children’s imaginations are further expanded as they assign meaning to a stick, stump or bubbling brook to create and construct toys through pure imagination. This type of free play has been found to develop children’s motor skills and allows them to make decisions and solve problems, thanks to the more variable and less-structured outdoor environment. The setting also imposes fewer constraints on a

22 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016


child’s movement, allowing for more possibilities for gross motor exploration. Finally, exposure to healthy amounts of risky play has shown to be valuable to a child’s development. It can be helpful in developing the child’s emotional regulating mechanisms, such as fear and anger. When the child engages in risky activities, such as climbing a tall tree or jumping off a high platform, the child may feel fear. If they achieve climbing that tall tree, they learn that they can manage their fear, overcome it, and come out alive.

time. Add to all that, societal pressures to be over-scheduled with activities and overwhelmed with information which leads to burnout and exhaustion in children and adults alike. Sound familiar? In summary, if you are a parent who is not that keen about an outdoor school curriculum, you can always just make an effort to go outside and play more! After all, we live in one of the most diverse and vibrant places in the world (with forests, oceans and mountains), which is perfect for fostering a child’s imagination. •

If they don’t climb it, they are learning self-regulating techniques and exploring their limits. During rough and tumble play, the child may feel anger or aggression if one person accidentally hurts another. Succumbing to the anger comes with the consequence of disengaging from the play – whereas feeling the anger and moving on from it rewards the child with re-engagement in the activity. This is not to say that children won’t experience all these skills and rewards when engaged in a traditional indoor schooling system. As parents we are all cognizant how children seem to be inundated with technology, video games and too much screen

To learn more about outdoor schools operating in the Greater Vancouver and outlying areas, check out the following websites for more information:

West Vancouver: www.aplingsoutdoorprogram.ca North Vancouver: www.freshairlearning.org Langley: www.langleyforestschool.com Richmond: www.terranovanatureschool.com Bowen Island: www.littlenestforestpreschool.com Victoria: www.victorianatureschool.com Surrey: Opening Spring 2016

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ce o m o m

| by Urbanbaby & Toddler

Entrepreneurship Gives Moms

Career Rewards and Flexibility

According to Forbes Magazine, many women start businesses aligned with personal values as well as “freedom and flexibility when it comes to scheduling.” Roni McMillan, a stay-at-mom of four, started working from home 18 years ago. She previously worked in the corporate world for the Federal Government. After her first child was born, Roni noticed that her career goals had faded. “They didn’t disappear, but they certainly became secondary.”

with such giants as Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, she was buoyed by how her values mirrored the company’s. While working part-time with the manufacturer, she has watched the company quadruple in size and become the largest online Wellness Manufacturer in North America.

“Being home with my children was a joy, however I missed my corporate income”, Roni points out. “Going back to the Federal Government would have been an easy fix however my values changed dramatically. I didn’t want a long workweek and flexibility around my family’s schedule became paramount.”

Roni explains, “I am neither a distributor nor a consultant. “In fact, I’ve never sold a single item that the company manufactures. My job is introducing families to a new outlet where everyone shops online and pays the same price as I do.”

She discovered a manufacturer that was leading the way in the ‘Green’ Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Industry. Despite the fact that the company was relatively small and competed

Those introductions have proven to be very lucrative generating more than a million dollars in sales each year and securing her a six-figure income. Roni believes her success is directly related to the idea of ‘Going Green’. Today, people don’t just ask for greener products, they demand them!” she explains enthusiastically. “Healthy living should be easy and ‘affordable’ for everyone and we offer a better, safer alternative than what is available in mainstream grocery stores. And, I love working with a company that allows customers to purchase direct from the manufacturer without mark-up from middlemen. Add the convenience of shopping online and it’s no surprise how receptive families are.” Her team is comprised of women from very different education levels, backgrounds and work styles. According to Roni, “interested team members don’t have to have a marketing background, but they do have to have self-motivation and the desire to succeed because they make their own schedules and work hours”. Starting a business aligned with personal values continues to be a fast-growing trend in Canada as more and more moms, like Roni, trade the long daily commute for a much shorter one. Working from their home office down the hall enables them to easily pivot around family activities and in doing so, enjoy the ‘ultimate flexibility and balance’. • Roni has been mentoring women in achieving balance between family and career. To learn more about being part of her team or her ‘Family-Career Balance’ blog, call 778.882.6586 or email roni@creatingsixfigures.com.

24 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016


p a re n t i n g

| by Julie Romanowski

Q & A: Decoding

Common Parenting Traps As parents we often deal with a common dilemma: children not listening or being rude; and having to repeat a request time and time again. These parenting pitfalls can be easily avoided with a bold shot of ‘effective communication’.

Q: Clean up time is such a struggle at our house with my two kids, ages two and four years. How can I solve this problem? Olivia K. Edmonton JR: This can be very frustrating for sure! Young children are just beginning to understand the ‘concept’ of clean-up time and may need some time to comprehend. Having to clean-up a messy room or activity can feel very overwhelming for children. Children usually respond well when they know they have both physical help as well as emotional support from their parent. Make clean up time go smoother with these tips: • Pitch in with them and let them know they don’t have to do it alone. • Break down the entire task into small parts. • Delegate. Offer certain categories of things they can clean up.

Q: Why is our five-year old acting

rudely and talking back so much? Is this a stage and if so, are other parents experiencing the same thing? Denise & Daryl J. Surrey

JR: This parenting pitfall is very common and I see it often. Testing the limits and boundaries is an essential part of child development and is supposed to take place. When parents guide children’s behaviour and teach them what is acceptable and what is not, there can be positive short-term and long-term results.

Here are some tips to effectively guide your child’s behaviour: • Remain ‘neutral’ in the approach and avoid getting emotionally engaged. • Use phrases such as: “I don’t like… (state the undesirable behaviour)”. • Distinguish that it is the behaviour you dislike and not the child. • Clearly mention behaviours ‘that are okay’ and ‘not okay’.

Q: Is it possible to get our children to

listen the first time instead of having to repeat ourselves numerous times? Kelly & John B. Vancouver

JR: It is possible. When parents find themselves repeating the same request over and over and getting very little or no response, it is a pretty sure sign that communication skills may need improving. Here are some ‘effective communication’ tips: • Discuss the ‘expectations’ around the request, responsibility or routine. • Prioritize what needs to be completed and when (responsibilities & leisure activities). • Create a list (visual) and post it. Use it as a daily guide to refer to. •

I looked into several home based companies (party plan & MLM) but I wanted something more traditional. Today, I work with a manufacturing company and head up a marketing team. Most of us are moms and all of us work from home… around our family’s schedules! If the idea of earning additional income, while having fun with other moms, intrigues you…we should talk!

Julie is a mom, an Early Childhood Consultant and owner of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach and consulting services’, the children’s behavior & discipline specialists! Learn more through her e-newsletter and blog at www.missbehaviour.ca

Have a Question for Julie? Submit your questions at

As a busy mom of 4, I loved being there for my children however, my choice to be at home limited my career options.

www.missbehaviour.ca/just-ask-julie spring 2016 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 25

Roni McMillan

778.882.6586

Roni@CreatingSixFigures.com


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Additional Accessories:

• Rain Cover: $49.99 • Travel Bag: $59.99

28 | www.urbanbaby.ca | spring 2016

The ultimate premium jogger that delivers optimal performance to active parents who really want to get active on and off road. The powerhouse, terrain redefines functionality as the ultimate adaptable jogging buggy where sporting aesthetics meets precision steering and maximum control.

Price: $699.99 Type: City / Urban Stroller Weight: 28 lbs Weight Capacity: 55 lbs Wheels: 16” air-filled wheels Child Safety: 5-point harness with shoulder pads Car Seat Compatibility: Graco Classic Connect, Chicco KeyFit/KeyFit 30, Peg Pergeo Primo Viaggio Handlebars: Adjustable Storage: Large gear basket under the seat that holds up to 11lbs

Features:

• Hand operated control brake • Lie-flat seat recline for newborn to

upright five-year old • Shock-absorbing rear wheel suspension • Compatible with freerider stroller board • Seat pocket storage

Additional Accessories:

• Car Seat Adapter: $64.99 • Sun Cover: $54.99 • Storm Cover: $39.99

Bugaboo Chameleon3 This fully-loaded stroller adapts to every age and journey. From newborn to toddler, from the city to woods, sand and snow, the versatile Bugaboo Chameleon3 makes it easy to go everywhere you want to.

Price: $1399.99 Type: City / Urban Stroller Weight: 24 lbs Weight Capacity: 37.5 lbs Wheels: 12’’ foam-filled tires Child Safety: 5-point harness with shoulder pads Car Seat Compatibility: Peg Pergeo Primo Viaggio, Britax-Romer, B-Safe, Maxi-Cosi, Chicco KeyFit/KeyFit30 Handlebars: Reversible and height-adjustable Storage: Maximized underseat bag

Features:

• Reversible seat –

facing you, or facing the world

• Rotating carry handle • Flat fold bassinet • Converts into two-wheel position to pull through sand or snow

Additional Accessories:

• Organizer $29.99 • Cup Holder: $24.99 • Breezy Sun Canopy: $44.99 • Wheeled Board: $99.99


Baby Jogger City Select Uppababy G-Link Double Stroller Having twins or a second child means more to juggle, but this versatile double stroller helps you roll through it. The G-Link double umbrella stroller in the side-by-side version of Uppababy’s feature-packed G-Luxe stroller. The stroller lets you recline the seats individually so your little one can comfortably snooze and your other child can go on babbling.

Price: $599.99 Type: Double Stroller Weight: 24.5 lbs Weight Capacity: 50 lbs per seat Wheels: High-performance, EVA 5.75” diameter tires Child Safety: Each seat comes with an adjustable non-padded 5-point harness with a center release buckle Car Seat Compatibility: N/A Handlebars: Non-Adjustable Storage: Double the size basket

Features:

• Lightweight aluminum frame with side-by-side seats

• Independent reclining seats • Removable, machine washable seat fabric • Hand-level folding triggers • Easy open, removable canopy with view window • Extendable SPF 50+ sunshade

Additional Accessories:

• Additional Cup Holder: $14.99 • Travel Bag: $99.99 • Rain Shield: $39.99

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 Weight Capacity: Up to 45lbs per seat Wheels: 12” forever-air rear tires and 8” lightweight front wheels Child Safety: 5-point safety harness with shoulder pads Car Seat Compatibility: Graco Classic Connect, Maxi Cosi, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 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

Additional Accessiories:

• Second Seat: $219.99 • Transport Bassinet Kit: $119.99 • Rain Canopy: $59.99 • Snack Tray and Belly Bar: $39.99 • Glider Board: $99.99

Sponsored by

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 2016 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 29


UrbanKid

| by ParticipACTION

Unplug & Play: Keep Them Active! In today’s overly busy culture, the claim of “no time” for physical activity is a common one. Despite that, children are spending 7.5 hours of a day being sedentary and 73 percent of 5-12 year olds watch TV; play video games or read books after school. Often parents are too tired to go into battle over ‘screen time’. In fact, screens have become a tool to keep children quiet and occupied so parents can get their own things done! Moderating children’s screen time (which includes TV, videos, movies, computers, video games and handheld devices) is key for healthy development and staying active.

• Challenge the family to see who can do the most push-ups,

How to Swap Screen Time for Active Play for Children Ages 5-12:

• Tell sitters and relatives that when they’re with your children,

jumping jacks or leg lifts during commercial breaks of your favourite TV show.

screens go off and active, fun time is expected.

• The Canadian Pediatric Society suggests limiting screen time to less than one to two hours per day for older children. Make family rules that limit how much screen time your child is allowed each day, and stick to them.

• Avoid making television watching part of your regular daily routine.

• Explain to your child the importance of outdoor and active play and establish active play as the norm at an early age. This also helps reinforce that minimal screen time is not a punishment.

• Eliminate background TV. If the TV is turned on — even if it’s just in the background — it’s likely to draw your child’s attention. If you’re not actively watching TV, turn it off.

• Throughout the school year, after-school is a key timeslot for children to be active in after-school programs. Encourage them to participate in intramural sports, and arrange active after-school playdates with their friends.

• Children naturally play more actively when they’re outdoors, so send them outside, or better yet, head out there with them.

• Before you switch on the TV or the computer for your children, stop and think – could they spend the time being active and have some ‘small screen’ time later on?

• Don’t allow a TV, computer, or cell phone in your child’s bedroom. Keep them in a common area of the family home so you can monitor use.

• Have a list of active indoor and outdoor games or activities, so you can suggest alternatives to watching TV or playing on the computer.

• Unplug for a day. Designate one day a week or month as a screen-free day for the whole family.

• If your children need an extra push away from screens, plan

active family outings, like skating, hiking or a family yoga class.•

Share your own tips for balancing screen time by connecting on twitter @ParticipACTION

Join us

for classes today!

free class on us! *

2764 Barnet Hwy. #103, Coquitlam, BC V3B 1B9 Canada

Art

Sports

(Ages 18 mos.– 5 yrs.) Inspire creativity in visual and interactive arts.

(Ages 3–5 yrs.) Sample and learn the basics to 8 different sports.

Music (Ages 6 mos.–5 yrs.) Explore music through play, activity and song.

(Ages 6 mos.–5 yrs.) Bring all your children to the same class to play and learn together as a family!

Play & Learn

School Skills

(Ages 0–5 yrs.) Nurture confidence, curiosity and physical skills through play-based activities.

(Ages 3–5 yrs.) It’s our Preschool Alternative. Develop key social and intellectual skills.

604-945-4967

Bring in this offer.*

gymboreeclasses.com *Offer expires 12/31/2015 and is available for new families only at participating Play & Music locations. Existing Play & Music customers are not eligible. Offer is not redeemable for cash or credit. Gymboree Play & Music may change or cancel this promotion at any time in Gymboree Play & Music’s sole discretion. Void where prohibited by law.

Family


o n t h e t ow n

|

Spring Family Fun!

March 2016

May 2016

Mar 12-13, 11am-4pm: Exotic Reptile Show Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Hwy Rmd Drop-in to see snakes, lizards and geckos By donation

May 7, 2pm-3:30pm: Mother’s Day High Tea Coquitlam Heritage Society, Coq Celebrating Mom! Bring your mothers, daughters, wives, grandmas, and aunts to this popular event. Registration is required

richmond.ca/parks

Mar 13, 11am: St. Patrick Day Parade Howe & Davie St, Van Celtic music groups, Scottish and Irish dancers celticfestvancouver.com/ parade

Mar 14-24, 11pm-4:30pm: Spring Break Scavenger Hunt Puppets Burnaby Village Museum, Bby Theatre art, scavenger hunt, crafts, live performances Free admission, Carousel Rides burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

April 2016 Apr 2 & 16 11am-3pm: Royal City Farmers Markets 600 block of Belmont Street in Uptown, NW fresh local produce, handmade crafts music and children’s activities rcfm.ca

Apr 15-May 27 (Every Fri) 10am-10:45am: Nature Baby Richmond Nature Park, Rmd Introduce little ones to the outdoors with a nature walk and nature-themed songs and rhymes. richmond.ca/register

April 22-24, 10am-5pm: Just Between Friends Sale Croatian Cultural Centre consignment sale featuring clothes, toys and baby items. Admission: $5 per adult vancouverbc.jbfsale.com

Apr 24, 12pm-4pm: Earth Day Event Heywood Park, Van Live music, family tent, and special guest speakers cnv.org/earthday

coquitlamheritage.ca

UrbanMom

Priya • Coquitlam, BC

May 26-28, Various Times International Children’s Festival Surrey Arts Centre & Bear Creek Park, Sry Family-friendly festival with performances, and hands-on art activities

Mar 19, 10am-1pm: Geocache Easter Egg Hunt Hawthorne Park, Sry Find Easter Eggs with GPS Registration required surrey.ca

surreychildrensfestival.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 runnersandbootiesfitness.com

Movies For Mommies New Releases and Favourites Alternating Wednesdays, 11:30am Dunbar Theatre, Vancouver Grab bags and special guests. Stroller friendly, diaper change area. moviesformommies.com

Groovin Babies Every Wednesday, 11:00am Parent and Toddler Dance and Music Class Sponsored by Brentwood Town Centre Free to Attend Registration required runnersandbootiesfitness.com

Please check websites to confirm event details

SPOTLIGHT

Mar 24, 10am: Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Van Easter egg hunt, Easter Bunny, decorating eggs and crafts Tickets required vandusengarden.org Mar 27, 11am-2pm: Easter in Queen’s Park Rainbow Playground, N. West Photos with Mr. & Mrs. Bunny, petting farm, crafts, face painting Free admission newwestcity.ca Mar 28-29 and Apr 1-6 10am-5pm: Stanley Park Easter Train Stanley Park, Van Ride on the miniature train, egg hunts, crafts and meet the Easter Bunny and Easter Chick Tickets required vancouver.ca

Find more family-friendly Easter events on our blog

Jacob, 5-years old Javed, 4-months old

1. What is the best part about being a mom? Endless amount of snuggles time. 2. What is your favourite activity to do with your children? We love being outside and keeping active together. 3. What is one product or service you can’t live without? As a new mom, definitely quality lingerie! I love my Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, Cake Croissant Nursing Bra and Chantelle Multi-way Padded Sports Bra. 4. What is the last book you’ve read? For me, Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. For my kids, Magic Tree House: Danger in the Darkest Hour by Mary Pope Osborne. 5. How do you find some “Mommy Time”? Running alone with music is a mind-body reset for me, however running with my girlfriends allows me to catch up with them and burn some calories at the same time. 6. What is one piece of advice that you have for new or expecting moms? Have a professional bra-fitting, shortly after baby arrives (two weeks is ideal) and invest in a bra you love. You will thank yourself later. Follow Priya on her blog www.calliopeandclio.blogspot.ca

www.urbanbaby.ca

Want to be our next

UrbanMomorDAD spring 2016 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 31

email us at info@urbanbaby.ca


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*Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Valid until April 30, 2016. One coupon per family. Excludes strollers, car seats, high chairs, furniture. Cannot be combined with other promotions. Other exceptions may apply. See in-store for details.

kids 0-10Y

2699 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3H4 604.736.0648

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Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine - Spring 2016  

Our Spring magazine issue is available on shelves, online and in stores March 1st. Our annual green edition focuses on helping you make envi...

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