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.
The gift of a hug holds more power than one might imagine, visit for more information on this initiative and how you can get involved.

Oyaco Celebrates a Birthday!

OYACO, one of Canada’s larger distributors of infant, toddler and maternity products, is turning 15 on Mother’s Day this year! One of the first companies to introduce baby sleeping bags to Canadian parents in 2001, OYACO has continued to bring innovative, creative and truly helpful products to the Canadian marketplace.

OYACO was founded in 2001 by Narda Simpson, President of Oyaco Products. Narda, who continues to run the company today, is an inspiration to Mompreneur’s everywhere. Building a company from an idea drawn up at their kitchen table into a national success story is something many entrepreneurs will do only in their wildest dreams.

“Oyaco is my first baby,” Simpson says. “I wasn’t a mom when I started the company. A friend of mine was making sleeping bags for babies, and I bought one from her to give to one of my friends as a baby gift.” Simpson’s friend was very impressed with the usefulness of the sleeping bag, and word spread to other friends, who were eager to have them for their babies. “Before too long, we found ourselves sewing baby sleeping bags after work in the evening and selling them privately,” she says.

Simpson’s success was fast and furious. With a keen business sense and a natural instinct for knowing what the consumer wants, Simpson started sourcing the product from international manufacturers and distributors to bring to the Canadian market. With the success of the Grobag sales, Simpson’s business started to be recognized by other baby product manufacturers who wanted to enter the Canadian market, and Simpson soon found herself sourcing and importing products from around the world.

“We really strive to make parenting easier,” Simpson says. “We want to take the frustration factor out of parenting by giving parents the tools they need to enjoy these precious moments in their young family’s life. Our products must be practical, otherwise we won’t carry them. This has really been an awesome journey.”

WestCoast Families Congratulates Oyaco on their success!

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.

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Don’t Miss Once Upon a Belly Today in Yaletown!

An informative and exciting festival for new and expectant parents, Once Upon A Belly provides an amazing environment that brings together everything your growing family will need. Parents and parents-to-be will be able to shop and explore for all things baby. The event will also include:

  • A gift bag full of free products & samples for the first 250 moms in attendance
  • A “Mommy Lounge” to breastfeed and change babies.
  • A broad scope of exhibitors
  • Door prizes galore, including a shadowbox of your baby’s feet casting, courtesy of Wee Piggies & Paws, valued at $350
  • Guest speakers offering specialized advice in their respective fields

Admission is by donation. Proceeds will go to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

WHEN: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 11am-4pm

WHERE: Roundhouse Community Centre, Yaletown


Baby Photo Contest via Whole Foods!

As part of its “Be Good to Your Whole Body” campaign in Whole Body departments, Whole Foods Market focuses on “Be Good to Your Whole Baby” during March with a “The First Yum” baby photo contest, educational podcasts, in-store lectures and a brochure offering lifestyle tips and ideas for choosing natural alternatives to support a healthy start for families.

From March 2 through 16, parents can upload pictures of their little ones via Facebook, enjoying their favorite first foods, for a chance to win the grand prize, a $500 Whole Foods Market gift card and a Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera. Other prizes include five first prize “Be Good to Your Whole Baby” gift baskets and 10 second prize $25 Whole Foods Market gift cards. For full details and contest rules, visit

New Joe Fresh Store Launching Kids’ Line Next Week!

Attention downtown shoppers! The new Joe Fresh store at 540 Granville Street is launching the kids’ line of clothing and accessories on November 16, which means the whole family will be able to shop in the heart of the city, with no minivan required. Check out some of the cute looks below…

Lusso Baby Anniversary Sale!

Lusso Baby is having their one-year anniversary sale this weekend, October 15 to 17, 2010. There will be giveaways every day as well as free manicures on Friday and Saturday, and free face-painting on Sunday. The MANY deals include the following:

  • FREE carry cot/bassinet or accessories with a purchase of select strollers
  • FREE conversion rail or mattress with select convertible cribs and crib sets
  • FREE gift with select high chairs
  • Buy One Get One 50% Off select clothing & shoes
  • Up to 50% OFF select crib bedding
  • Up to 50% OFF select floor models
  • Up to 40% OFF select diaper bags & toys
  • $25 Gift Card with purchase of select car seats
  • Plus you can print out the coupon below for 20% off any single item. The store is located at 1037 Marine Drive, North Vancouver.

    Happy Shopping!

    Clarification on Similac Infant Formula Recall

    We have received several concerned emails from readers, asking for further info on the recent recall of Similac Infant Formula. Here are the details direct from that press release. As you can see, the recall involves about five million Similac-brand powder infant formulas that were sold in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and some Caribbean countries. The recall does not extend to Canada. If you have bought Similac-brand powdered formula in the States recently, you can check the lot numbers at by typing in your lot number to determine if your product is affected, or call (888) 376-2054.

    The product was recalled after Abbot, Similac’s parent company, detected the possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

    While the FDA’s description downplays the severity of the symptoms, comments from parents on Now Public indicate that several infants have experienced more severe reactions. If you have bought formula in the US, and it turns out that you have been using a contaminated product, and your child exhibits any symptoms of stomach pain, screaming, fever, or digestive problems, it’s best to be safe and consult with your doctor.

    Cool Event this Weekend for Families of Multiples!

    North Shore Mothers of Multiples

    Clothing  ·  Toys · Baby Gear  ·  and More!





    9:30 am to 12 Noon

    Admission: Adults $2, Children Free

    A great chance to pick up some gently used toys, clothing and gear for the babies and children in your life.