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15 Things You should Pack in your Diaper Bag

GEAR, toys By April 15, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

The diaper back is often handbag, toybox and tolietry kit in one.  Sleep-deprived moms often forget to replenish their bags and there is nothing worse than being left in a lurch without diapers or a change of clothes for your baby.  Here’s a checklist of the essential 15 things you should pack in your diaper bag, as well as a few fun surprises.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Under Pressure: Mothering in The Age of Perfection

baby, FAM, Parenting, self By April 9, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

There are more than a few reasons I am happy I waited until my mid-30’s to have a baby (and a few reasons I am not, but that’s for another post), and when I did give birth at 37 and decided to hit some of the mom-and-baby library groups, it became abundantly clear what exactly had made waiting right for me.

Being a people watcher and an armchair psychologist, I had a good look around. The moms were all younger than me; I wasn’t the oldest, thankfully, due to the grandmother unsuccessfully wrangling her grandchildren to the circle and the elderly librarian trying to grab their attention.

Jennifer Pitt

I became a mother for the first time at 37. I know, I know – what the hell was I thinking? P.S. I also believe in eating the last butter tart while my husband is sleeping, because snoozing = losing. I also blog at www.mommiesdrink.com.

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Talking About Sex with your Kids

Tips for Talking About Sex with your Kids

FAM, health By March 16, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It’s almost as busy at the school as the mall on boxing day. The parents get to find out from Saleema Noon exactly what she’s going to be telling the kids about… body stuff. You know, sex. And parts ‘down there’. WHISPER… Where babies come from. We’ve got her tips for talking about sex with your kids.

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very early pregnancy signs and symptoms

Very Early Pregnancy Signs + Symptoms

baby, FAM By February 26, 2016 Tags: , , , , 4 Comments

What most women take as a first sign of early pregnancy is a missed period but truthfully, there are a few other signs that can be detected earlier than a missed period that could mean you’re pregnant.  Keep in mind that these symptoms are generally counted on as reliable indicators of pregnancy but are in no way a guarantee—it’s always best to get tested by your physician.  So what are some very early pregnancy signs and symptoms?

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Safe Prenatal Screening with Panorama

baby, FAM, health, Parenting, pregnancy By September 29, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

That moment when you think you might be pregnant. I remember both very clearly – trekking to the store for a pregnancy test, then trekking back to the store for a more expensive pregnancy test just to be sure!

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Baby Nutrition Month By Month With Mother Hen

baby, EAT By September 26, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Baby Nutrition Month By Month With Mother Hen

Every mother wants to offer their child the very best possible, whether that’s education, extracurricular activities or the food that we put on their plates. Many of us struggle with how to “do it all”. Finding ways to make life easier is essential for every busy parent (and let’s be honest, isn’t every parent busy?)

Mother Hen Organic Baby Food is a great alternative for busy parents who don’t have the time to prepare and puree their own baby food. They come frozen so they don’t have the preservatives that traditional baby food in glass jars often has. All you have to do is thaw and serve.

Mother Hen had their nutritionist, Genevieve Nadeau, share with us some thoughts on different stages of baby nutrition month by month through the first year. She debunked some common baby nutrition myths and gave great tips on how to care for your baby’s nutritional needs.

Nutrition guide for babies 6 months

Takeaway- Avoiding high risk allergy foods until after 1 year of age does not prevent allergies from developing. Introducing iron-rich foods amongst baby’s first food selections is important for baby’s health and development of palate.

Nutrition guide for babies 7-8 months

Takeaway- Focus on foods that are high in iron, avoiding foods that are protein rich but low in iron. Introduce new flavours including dark leafy greens, small pasta and fruit.

Nutrition guide for babies 9-12 months

Takeaway- At 9 months offer the breast or bottle after your baby has eaten their meal. Purees can start to take a backseat as you introduce grated or chopped foods. Introducing baby to a variety of flavours help develop their palate (even food that you may not enjoy.)

Nutrition guide for babies 12 months

Takeaway- At one year baby can start eating all of the same foods as mom and dad eat.

Mother Hen recently shared their line of organic baby food with one of our writers, Kyla Beyer– mommy to baby Harvey and successful Vancouver entrepreneur. Kyla shared with us her thoughts and Harvey’s reaction to this organic line of frozen baby food.

[pullquote_left]Kyla[/pullquote_left]It’s no secret that it can be challenging to balance career and motherhood. As a new mom I envisioned making all of my baby’s meals from scratch. Boiling, steaming, chopping, pureeing…I did it all….for a while. And then, when I went back to work, I found myself with less time to prepare healthy meals for my son. I wanted to spend my precious time with him, not in the kitchen. There are plenty of canned baby food products in the market, but once I discovered Mother Hen’s frozen baby food I was delighted. Natural, allergen free, no additives and all their fruits and vegetables are organic. I noticed a big difference in the smell and taste (yes, I tasted them!) of the Mother Hen products when comparing them to canned foods because the flavour and nutrients of their foods is retained due to their freezing process.

The Beginner line of purees are blended to the perfect silky consistency(no matter how I tried, I could not get my homemade carrot purees to be anything but lumpy). The portion sizes are perfect for little ones discovering new tastes, and their containers are free of BPA so they can be safely microwaved.

The Junior line (8 months and up) has great flavours such as Chicken Cacciatore and Lamb with Fruits (inspired by Morrocan cuisine and my son’s absolute favourite). The portion sizes are larger for growing appetites and the variety of flavours help to expand his palate.

My discovery of Mother Hen’s line of baby food has freed up precious time and helped me to find balance in my busy life as mother and career woman.

Thank you to Kyla and baby Harvey for testing and sharing their thoughts on Mother Hen Organic Baby Food and to Mother Hen for sending them food to test.

Kyla Beyer is mother to Harvey and the owner of Limelight Floral Design, a busy boutique floral studio based in West Vancouver. With the help of her fabulous husband she manages to balance it all and still find time to stop and smell the roses.

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Top Strollers for 2013

fitness, GEAR By October 3, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Top Strollers for 2013Baby stroller shopping is without a doubt a cumbersome feat to achieve if not impossible. while shopping for a baby stroller you have to keep in mind the yours as well as the comfort of your child, price, durability, weight, ease in carrying and folding, brakes and safety gears as well as the look of the stroller. Here is a list of top strollers for 2013 that not only the latest but the greatest trends in baby rides:

 

Bugaboo: This many-in-one is an option is ease to open and collapse, having adjustable handlebars, three different canopy locks and a reversible reclining seat for kid’s growing legs. So what if it’s pricey, it is definitely your pick if you want features. You can get this baby wonder at bugaboo.com.

Orbit Baby: Orbit Baby Double Helix is a fashionable design which won’t disappoint you with all its bells and whistles. This versatile design lets your kids face each other, away from each other or sit in the same way with the option of being changed into a single stroller for one kid for outings. You order this twin treat at orbitbaby.com.

 

Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller:  A stroller which is lightweight, featuring two removable cargo bags and parent tray, a large storage basket and sturdy cup holders, cool mesh backing to dazzle you with its green colour. This is an eco-friendly stroller made out of 45 recycled plastic bottles which you can shop at amazon.com.

 

Quinny Yezz: One of the best light weighted strollers that can be carried around easily with a weight of about 11 pounds. It is one of the top strollers for 2013 with an easily foldable design and straps to comfort in carrying. You can buy this little magic from Quinny.com.

 

Graco MetroLite: This versatile design is a three piece system which is versatile as well as safe to travel around with, with handle for adjusting height, a low storage basket with ease of access, an infant car seat and a stay-in-car base. This one of the top strollers for 2013 can be brought at babiesrus.com.

 

Phil & Teds Promenade: This design with its double version has bassinets style two full-size seats with enough space for both the kids. It has a five point harness which is stylish and safe, with a large sunshade, footrest which is adjustable and is extremely easy to clean up. It can be brought in single as well as double kit from philandteds.com.

 

Above listed top strollers for 2013 offers an absolute smooth ride which are not only compact and easy to carry and travel with. While buying baby strollers keep calm and cool, understand yours as well as your child’s need rather than thinking simply about style or price.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Twin Baby Shower Ideas

baby, FAM By December 30, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

If you have a friend that’s expecting twins or triplets, it can make for a difficult baby shower; when should it be, what should the theme be and how do you even go about getting presents for multiple babies?  As difficult as it may seem, throwing a shower for twins or triplets isn’t much different than throwing a shower for one baby—unfortunately, that isn’t true for the labor part.  Here are our twin baby shower ideas.

The Timing—Women expecting multiple babies generally give birth at around 36 or 37 weeks, and often much earlier.  But it is much earlier than 36 weeks that women carrying more than one baby begin to feel extremely hormonal, tired and sluggish—the shower should be well before this time, obviously so that the mom can enjoy her shower and have fun.  Also, women carrying more babies are more physically progressed in their pregnancy than women carrying only one baby so the longer you wait to throw a shower, the higher the odds the mom-to-be will go into labor or be put on bed rest.  To be safe, err on the side of caution and plan a shower for some time between 28 and 32 weeks.

The Theme—Baby showers have such cute themes and with online stores, you can get baby shower paraphernalia for any situation and any theme.  If you’re having trouble getting creative, think of things of two that are usually referenced or spoken together.  If you know the sexes of the babies, that makes it easier, but if the theme says “twins,” it will be cute no matter the sexes of the babies.  Some themes for girl/boy babies could be: Mickey and Minnie, tiaras and crowns or bees and flowers.  Ideas for multiple girl babies: stripes and dots, flowers and stripes, sugar and spice or pickles and ice cream—this one has the bonus of being two fabulous colors plus is a stereotypical pregnancy craving.  Shower themes for two boy babies could be: sports, cowboys and Indians or snails and puppy dog tails.

The Gift—Obviously, having a shower for multiple babies means that you can’t only give one blanket and a onesie as the parents to be will need multiple sets of everything.  For shower gifts for multiple babies, you and the guests may have to get creative with the gifts.  People could pool money and get a twin or triplet stroller or give themed baskets of bath-time stuff, bed-time stuff or health care stuff.  Alternatively, if the family is set up with everything they will need for the baby, try to have a shower that is a baking party and have people buy and make food to stockpile in the family’s fridge and freezer, or do a diaper drive.  Even if a family has all the things they will need for a baby, they will never have enough diapers for multiple babies.  You could also do a shower that is only about mom and dad.  Have someone give them the promise of child care when everyone has settled in and have someone else give them a dinner out or a half day at the spa.

Planning a shower, no matter the amount of babies, should be fun and a last chance to shower the parents-to-be with gifts, support and love before they welcome their new addition.  Whatever you decide to do for gifts, theme or time, ensure it is something the family will be comfortable with and appreciate.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Riley’s Baked Organic Apple

baby, EAT By August 10, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Good for 9 mos and up.  It doesn’t get much easier than this. It’s quick, yummy and really good for you and your little one! You know what they say, “an apple a day”!  This recipe is great if your little one is starting to eat soft solids and not just pureed foods.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Beat the Heat

LIVE, rest By June 5, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Severe heat can inhibit the safety of babies and children.  With global temperatures on a slow march upwards, heat waves such as this are unfortunately likely to become more frequent than their previous once-in-a-lifetime occurence. Some people adore the heat, but babies and children as well as pets and elderly relatives are vulnerable to heat strokes, dehydration and other serious heat-related ailments. Here are some tips on surviving the heat:

  1. Never, EVER, leave a baby, child or pet in a parked car during hot weather. The temperature inside a parked car can very quickly rise to extreme levels. Children and pets can become extremely over-heated and some have even died when left in a hot car. This tip is therefore very important.
  2. Make sure babies, children and pets have plenty of water to drink. Heat produces sweat which causes the body to lose vital water. It is very important to replenish the body with water in order to prevent dehydration, which can be very serious.
  3. Keep babies, children and pets where it is coolest. Find the coolest room in the house, most likely the basement, and spend as much time there as possible. Only go outside unless you are doing water-related activities or if your house gets so hot, it’s cooler in the shade outside. Restrict outdoor exercise, including walking dogs, to cooler evenings. Avoiding the heat is a great reason to spend the afternoon at the air-conditioned library.
  4. Dress appropriately. Keep babies and children in lightweight, loose fitting clothing. Is your toddler not a fan of clothing? Well, this is a good time to let him get away with his preference for nakedness!
  5. Hats and sunscreen. If you are outside in the sun at any time, make sure babies, children and yourself have hats and waterproof, high-SPF sunscreen on. Make sure to re-apply it when necessary. If baby is constantly taking his hat off, find a hat that has a Velcro strap that goes under his chin.
  6. Fans and air conditioners. These are of course, summer-heat standbys. Here’s a good tip: put a bowl of ice in front of a fan. The fan will blow the cooler air around the ice towards you!
  7. Don’t leave a baby or child to nap in direct sunlight. That tip speaks for itself.
  8. Utilize water. Cold showers and baths, pools and natural bodies of clean water are of course great. But here’s another tip: fill up a bucket with very cold water and sit with your feet in it. As your blood circulates through your body, it will cool down in your feet and circulate cooler blood throughout your body. I tried this today and it helped a great deal. Just make sure there are no electronics that can fall into it to avoid electrocution.
  9. Keep cool at night. Have the whole family sleep in the basement if possible. Make sure babies and children are in light clothing, if clothing is necessary, and that they only have a sheet to cover them, if necessary. Open windows, if safe, to ensure plenty of circulation of the slightly-cooler night air. A cold shower or bath before bed can also help.
  10. Check in on elderly relatives. If elderly relatives live in hot areas, make sure to check with them that they have everything they need to beat the heat. The elderly are very vulnerable to overheating. Sadly, sometimes, it even causes death.
  11. Be careful of worsening air quality. Heat causes air quality to diminish. Be aware of this and make sure people with respiratory problems, including kids with asthma, are looked after. Try staying inside where the air is a little better.
  12. Indulge your children in frozen treats. If it’s very hot, the cooling effect of frozen treats can be more important than their sugar content. If you’d prefer a healthy alternative, pick up a popsicle mold and make fruit juice popsicles by filling the mold with fruit juice.

Have you got a tip? Email us at info@urbanmommies.com (subject: Beat the Heat) with your name, city and tip and we will add your tip to this page!

Here are some signs of overheating to look out for:
*rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
*weakness, dizziness, or fainting
*more tiredness than usual
*headache
*confusion or disorientation
*nausea

If you see these signs in someone help them cool down by removing clothing, having them drink cool (but not ice cold) water, bathing them with cool water and moving them to a cooler area. If they appear seriously listless or disoriented, take them to the emergency room or call 911.

The above signs to watch out for were taken from the Toronto Public Health’s brochure on beating the heat. This brochure also has tips similar to some of the ones above. You can view this brochure here: http://www.toronto.ca/health/heatalerts/pdf/beattheheat.pdf

For more information about the health effects of extreme heat call
Canadian Red Cross Heat Information Line 416-480-2615

-Danica Longair

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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