The Power of a Hug with Huggies

Huggies1Every mother remembers the first time she held her newborn. The smell of them, their warmth and just how exquisite it felt. Instinctively, cuddling our children comes naturally to us, what you may not know is just how important those first cuddles are to your baby’s future. Medical studies show cuddles benefit babies in many vital ways beyond simply developing a stronger bond between baby and parent. Some of these benefits include stabilizing heart rate, improving sleep and fostering healthy brain development. So, what happens when a baby doesn’t get this critical action?

Tiny diapers for premie babies

Tiny diapers for premie babies

Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond control, new babies are unable to get the full advantages that touch, like hugging and rocking provide. Recognising the need, Huggies has partnered with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres on their Huggies No Baby Unhugged Program. This initiative is providing special training to volunteer ‘huggers’ across Canada who will sit with (and cuddle!) newborns and babies in the paediatric intensive care and neonatal units of hospitals. We had the unique opportunity to visit Victoria General Hospital and see the program in action!

Often these huggers are offering respite to parents who are already living in extremely stressful situations. We had a change to meet Cindy, a first-time mom who’s adorable 10-month-old son Gabe has been in hospital since birth. It is paramount to Cindy that Gabe be touched in a loving, gentle way as he has already experienced more uncomfortable touching than any baby should endure. Cindy spends every day at the hospital with Gabe concentrating exclusively on his care and these huggers give Cindy an opportunity to pay attention to the other aspects of her life – take a shower, run errands, or simply go for a walk to clear her head, knowing
Gabe is receiving a loving touch while she is away.
Huggies3
The gift of a hug holds more power than one might imagine, visit NoBabyUnhugged.ca for more information on this initiative and how you can get involved.

Mums Tums and Babies… oh my!

mums-tums-poster-8x10Looking for the best in the latest products and services for you and your baby or little ones? If you live in British Columbia, or better yet the Fraser Valley, you are in for a treat at the premiere event for hopeful, expectant and new parents and families – the Mums, Tums & Babies Show!

Pregnant couples, new parents, and those who are needing a little extra for the kids who are growing up – there are stresses, needs for new products that are safe and friendly, services and goods, including some advice – this event has everything for you! Explore the world of baby and toddler – from food to gear, like top trending brands that have some awesome deals and discounts for you. Come down to this low-pressure, family-friendly event: you won’t regret it.

There is lots to see and do for your little ones in the Family Fun Zone with My Gym Langley and their bouncy castle and tumbling station. Twist Parties with balloon twisting and have your photo taken with the princesses. There are Sportball and other sport instruction for kids and will test their skills and have fun.

Don’t worry, for those expecting, or wanting to grow their family there will be a ton of presentations from tips on how to get your baby sleeping well to help with birthing! Tony from The Average Father will do a special presentation just for dads!

Canada’s country music sweetheart, Jessie Farrell will entertain your kids with her catchy whimsical songs featured on the Kids’ CBC television series, Scout & The Gumboot Kids.

Enter to win the major grand prize – a nursery from Ikea Coquitlam. Over $10,000 in prizes provided by our exhibitors. The first 100 mommies each day will receive a Lucky Mummy Bag! (Be sure to take a look inside as their are a ton of vouchers and even some goodies from the local vendors).

Visit www.mumstumsbabies.ca to purchase your tickets!
$10.00 online
$12.00 at Door (Cash Only)
$15.00 weekend pass
Children under 12 *FREE*

Date: October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm – Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm – Sunday
Location: Tradex – Trade & Exhibition Centre, 1190 Cornell St., Abbotsford
Contact: Debbie Fenrick or Judi Rosebrugh: (844) 933-1366 or 604-200-0905

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Make a #Mommitment to End Mom-Shaming

Judgement and mom-shaming; many are guilty of it and we need to make a commitment to bring it to an end. As modern mothers, we are exposed to online opinions, advertising, and social media that skew our perception of motherhood. This leads to comparisons, often steering us from doing what is right for our family. Conversely, our own opinions may refrain us from wholeheartedly supporting other mothers’ choices.

Judgement and mom-shaming are ever present. If you had a vaginal delivery, you should have done it without pain medication. If you had a caesarean section, people ask if you planned it and why. If you are formula feeding, you must not have made much of an effort to breastfeed. If you are breastfeeding, people can’t believe you’re doing it in public and are even more shocked if you’re breastfeeding into toddlerhood. If your baby is in a crib or if your baby is co-sleeping, there is always a ‘better way.’ If you choose to have one child, you’re robbing them of unconditional friendship.

This has to stop. Judgement and shaming digs at the core of one’s parenting confidence. With each judgement, we attack other mother’s self-worth and increase their levels of insecurity. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what we should be doing as mothers? Don’t we all want support so we can feel good about our decisions for our family?

Mothers should support mothers, without comparison, judgement, or shame. Let’s start by taking the commitment to do what we feel is right for our own families while supporting other mothers in doing the same. Let’s embrace and support fellow mothers to help them through their own journey. Let’s understand the value of a ‘village’ and work together to end judgement and mom-shaming.

Make your commitment and join the conversation on Twitter with #mommitment.

About the authors: Kari Wright, B.A., B.Ed., and Alison Ruks, B.M., C.H., are Certified Child Sleep Specialists and co-founders of The Sleeping Child who provide sleep solutions and support to families around the world.

www.thesleepingchild.com

Facebook “The Sleeping Child”

Understanding Toys by Age Group

Guest post by Joanna at Granville Island Toy Company

When babies make their entrance into the world, they aren’t able to do much for the first 3 months. At this stage, vision is blurry so bright bold patterns are best as well as black and white images. As the baby grows, toys that stimulate other senses are good such as squeaking or crinkling noise toys, toys that have texture, and toys that are soft and cuddly. Toys that can help relieve teething pain, such as teethers are great too!

As babies near their first birthday, it’s all about cause and effect. At this stage toddlers begin to make use of their newly acquired motor skills. In this instance, toys like stacking rings, nesting boxes, push or pull toys that make noise or have pieces that pop up and move are great. Four or five piece puzzles can help those little motor skills develop too.

There’s no such thing as the “terrible two’s” in our book. We like to call it the “independent twos” as these older toddlers like to imitate the actions of the grown-ups around them. Props for make-believe play such as toy telephones, tea-party sets and dolls that make-real life sounds are great. Self-propelled ride-on toys make a nice introduction at this stage as well.

By the time a child reaches 4 to 5 years of age, their learning ability increases dramatically. This is a great time to introduce interactive educational toys that teach math, verbal and social skills. Once a child turns 6 or 7 years old, it’s a lot easier to see what their own interests are. Some kids love doing science experiments (with a parent’s help), building things (lego) while others love arts and crafts.

At 8 years and older, many kids develop adult-like interests, abilities and hobbies and may even display a passion by becoming a collector. These are great years to help kids build a sense of mastery and competence. Kids also like working on longer projects, some of which may take days to complete. It’s also a great time to introduce board games that the whole family can get involved in playing.

For tons of amazing toy options, check out the Granville Island Toy Company. Don’t miss the grand opening, Saturday May 23rd, 2015 from 12 – 6pm at their new Marpole location (8710 Granville Street). There will be prizes, face painting, a gift with purchase, pinwheel discounts, and more!

Donate Breastmilk

We’ve all heard that breast is best when it comes to supporting your child’s health and immune system and physical development. Many moms are feeding their children the best way they know how. However, for some mothers, breastmilk isn’t an option, even when their children need it the most, such as children in special care right after birth or mothers who are too ill or unable to develop their own milk.

These days, women are now able to donate their breastmilk through several donation depots across the Lower Mainland. Screening can be hefty, including blood tests, interviews, and assurance that women are not smokers or drug users. Once milk is collected, the BC Milk Bank pasteurizes and disseminates it to those who need it most. Mothers have to be able to commit to donating a certain amount of milk before their child’s first birthday, so although it’s a large commitment, mothers can rest easy knowing they’ve helped others in need in the most powerful way possible.Breastmilk can save lives. For more information, see the BC Women’s Milk Bank for more info.

Don’t Forget- Belly Baby Kid Show, Saturday 22 March!

BBKS_LOGO_PNG_SML copyDon’t forget the Belly Baby Kid Show this Saturday, 22 March at the Act Art Centre in Maple Ridge from 10 am – 3 pm. The show is shaping up to be lots of fun for the entire family. There are free swag bags to be handed out and prizes to be won!

We’ve already mentioned the fantastic kids area, but it is worth repeating! We have a tumble area, bouncy castle, face painting, balloons and more, all to give you ideas for how to make your kid’s next party fun and unforgettable!

As for shows on the main stage, there will be a nutritionist coming to speak to the crowd, a fashion show of kids clothing lines, a Mad Science interactive show for kids, martial arts demonstrations and more! And of course, Queen Elsa from “Frozen!”

Also, don’t forget that the winner of the Kids Photo Contest will appear on the cover of WestCoast Families Magazine!

And what better way to raise money for a good cause then to go to a fun event? Partial proceeds from the Belly Baby Kid Show will go to the Art Angels Program and Basics for Babies.

Admission is $5 but kids are free. Stop by for a fun-filled day for the whole family.

Belly Baby Kids Show!

By Amanda Collett

BBKS_LOGO_PNG_SML copy

Looking for a fun family event to go to over Spring Break? Come check out the Belly Baby & Kid Show! We have everything for expecting parents through to kids in the Elementary School years!

There is so much happening that I almost don’t even know where to begin!  We have over $4500 in prize give-aways! 200 Swag Bags worth over $250 each for the first arrivals at 10am & 12pm! I promise you will be more than excited with what’s inside them. The show will have everything from products, gift certificates & coupons with the top leading products & services in the lower mainland.

Want to know what some of the fun ?

–        Kids Photo Contest; Winner will be featured on the COVER of West Coast Families Magazine

–        Come take your photo with the Easter Bunny and have in sent to your inbox in time for Easter

–        Are your little ones a fan of Disney’s Frozen Queen Elsa? Come and meet her, listen to stories and songs @ 10.55am on the stage or come visit her at her booth for some one on one attention!

–        Bring Dad…if he’s not in to all the kids activities and shopping…Let him have a look at the latest models of cars from Super Dave’s Hyundai

–        Check out a variety of vendors with all the latest products and services catered to parents and kids.

–        We have seminars; so if you are struggling with sleep deprivation due to your child not sleeping you are not going to want to miss our Sleep Consultant Seminar. Or looking for some great nutritional tips for your kids or you; don’t miss the nutritional seminar.

–        Interactive music demos with the kids, my gym classes, come see the exciting Mad Science on Stage. Not to mention the cutest karate kids, little dancers and a kids fashion show with the latest kids trends.

–        Of course how could we forget to mention our kids tumble area, the bouncy castle, face painting, bubbles galore, Balloon animals and more.

A great Family Event you don’t wasn’t to miss! Be sure to come by Saturday, March 22nd at The Act, Maple Ridge 10am-3pm. For more details check out Belly Baby Kid Show’s website;

Bellybabykidshow.ca

Got Lego?

Santa’s coming soon and there will be new toys abound. Little ones overcome with excitement, big ones retreating to their rooms with the latest gadget in their hands. But what happens to all the old toys? The ones that lay forgotten and hidden in the corner or the ones lurking in storage and under beds? 

Well if any of them happen to be LEGO then we’ve got the perfect solution for you! Reclaim your storage space, provide room for the new toys and donate your LEGO to the Library!

That’s right! Donate it to the Library. We are accepting donations of LEGO at any branch so we can establish a monthly LEGO Club for kids (and any adults who want to come with their kids). The Club will start in January and will rotate between the three branches.

Why LEGO?
·        Building with Lego requires organization, planning, concentration and patience

·        Lego play encourages children to use critical thinking and creativity

·        Building with Lego improves fine motor skills

·        Group play helps children improve social skills and work cooperatively

·        Children are building valuable literacy skills as they build towers, trucks, dragons, pirate ships, castles and more!


So by establishing a LEGO Club, we’ll be building, developing and encouraging the growth of our youngest users and providing a good home for your old LEGO.

How to Donate:
Please drop off any LEGO at any NVDPL Branch. We will love it forever!

Don’t Miss the It’s My Family show in Abbotsford

Become part of the family at It’s My Family on Nov 16 & 17, 2013 at the Tradex in Abbotsford.  Don’t miss out on the largest and most interactive show in the Fraser Valley.

Come and rock out to a fantastic performance by Bobs & Lolo. Get in touch with your inner Princess with performances by Snow White and Cinderella or join a princess for story time and be sprinkled with fairy dust in our perfectly princess area.  Be awestruck by the amazing Science World presentation.  Get your giggle on with fabulous performances by Norden the Magician and Neale Bacon and His Crazy Critters. Roll on down to witness the fantastic feats by The World Roundup Freestyle Skateboarding Team.  Jump, tumble, roll, and bounce with the Langley Gymnastics Foundation interactive circuit, bouncy castles and toddler area by Par – T – Perfect and Hamster Balls and Laser Tag by Games2U.

Participate in the photo contest to raise funds for the Canucks Place Children’s Hospice sponsored by Ashley Martins Photography or enter your baby into the Baby Olympics Crawling Contest.

Enter to win the Ultimate Birthday Party Grand Prize or a fabulous 7 day trip for 4 to Southern California provided by Roblin Travel and Western Vacations.

For more info or to purchase tickets please visit www.itsmyfamily.ca or email zoey@itsmyfamily.ca

Surrey Children’s Festival – tickets now on sale!

Tickets for the 9th annual Surrey Children’s Festival went on sale April 16th at the Surrey Arts Centre box office.
 
Six ticketed headline performances occur on May 23 – 25 for $10 each and an all access pass is available on Saturday for $12 each which admits you to all the performances (subject to availability) and activities on site. Entrance to the festival is free, as are many community performances and art activities.

The goal of the Surrey Children’s Festival is to expose children to the arts in a fun and interactive way.  This year’s line-up of performers ranges from a preschool performance from Australia, Grug and Alberta circus performers The Chairmen. Medicine Bear is dance theatre from Toronto at its finest, while Grand Dérangement gets kids moving with Acadian music from Nova Scotia. The Spirit of Harriet Tubman from Ontario and a film from the U.K The Itch of the Golden Nit round out Festival ticketed performances.

Tickets and all access passes go on sale April 16th at the Surrey Art’s Centre box office and may also be purchased on site during the festival. However, there are a limited number of all access passes available.

www.surrey.ca/childrensfestival.ca
Dates:   May 23-25, 2013
Time:   Thurs/Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
            Sat:  10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.