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This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

Be sure to also check out our Travel Blog where you can share and read stories about travelling with the family.


We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.


  • Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:39 PM | Claire (Administrator)
    We'll be running our Managing Expectations program for new & expectant parents starting Friday July 10th @10am at the Ontario Early Years Centre at Bayview & John.

    The focus of this program is to normalize the challenges first time and new parents face adjusting to the new dynamics in their relationships.  This 6 week program will include tips and strategies for:
    *Keeping the marriage strong
    *Sleep training methods and strategies
    *Getting support and local resources
    *Expectations v.s. reality and the supermom complex
    *Importance of self-care and eating for mood
    *Managing Money and Life With a baby on a budget

    Week one - Let's talk about sleep, baby!

    So you know those romantic notions we had before giving birth that all babies do is sleep and eat ... As first time parents we think that up until the point we get home from the hospital and find ourselves thinking why won't the baby sleep... so we go down the list;
    we make sure the baby is fed, we change the diaper, we check the room temperature - is it too hot, is it too cold, we rock/and or nurse and the baby falls asleep so we decide to put her down in her crib and tip toe out the room, you get outside the door and say YES!!! she's sleeping and then.... that's as far as we get, so we go back in and try the routine again and again to no avail, by this time, baby is tired, mommy is tired, daddy is tired... this is how arguments start, sleep deprived parents become cranky, easily irritated and sleep deprivation can lead to the baby blues - good news is there is help...

    In order to better understand the how-to's of getting you and your baby to enjoy going to sleep and staying asleep, we will discuss some important principles of sleep that every new parent needs to understand.

    Luckily we have a wonderful Doula, Marcia Horbacio, our very own sleep fairy will provide information on the various types of sleep training methods as well and discuss the importance of sleep and mom's health.

    Sleep training does not mean that you let your baby cry it out, In Week 1 of our Managing Expectations program we'll discuss our expectations of sleep, and we'll give you tools and tips that you can use at home with your baby so that the entire family can get the rest they need.

    See the Calendar for more info on this session
  • Monday, June 22, 2009 12:12 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    We are very, very happy to announce that we have a permanent space to run programs in the Richmond Hill area.

    The wonderful people at The Richmond Hill Christian Community Church has offered us space to run programs, events, playdates and workshops.  I've had a few request from parents that they wished for more events in Richmond Hill and we are very pleased that we were given the chance to fulfil these request.

    Even better, we will be able to run programs for Infants and Toddlers at the same time because the area is separated by a gate so that the toddlers have a separate play area (so for parents with two, you can bring your toddler/child and your infant).  If you've ever been to an indoor playground where a toddler almost ran over your infant - you will really appreciate this space.

    Look for Events starting in July, various play groups on Tuesday Mornings as well as First Aid Workshops, CPR training, Infant Massage Workshops, Sleep Solutions Workshops, Car Seat Safety Clinics and Many, Many More!

    A big thank you to Lori Splett and the team at RHCCC!!!

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:03 PM | Marina

    Why so lucky?

    Babies are wired to learn any language in the world and have the ability to learn more than one language at a time.

    Learning how one language works builds the foundation for learning how other languages work.

    An understanding of the richness of any language improves literacy skills.

    Bilingualism improves brain growth and activity.

    Language connects your baby to his culture.

    How do we do this?

    Speak to your child in the language that you know the best. This way you model your language at its richest.

    Use the "one person, one place" rule. Have one person always speak one language tot he child and another person always speak another language to the child.

    Or always speak your mother tongue when at home, and speak English when you're out in the community.

    Speak Grandmother's language when you visit with her.

    Avoid mixing two languages in one sentence. This confuses a child who is learning to speak.

     

    A Message from the York Region Early literacy Specialists 2007

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:42 PM | Marina

    A Child's 5 Senses Are Very Important to Growth and Development!

    by E. Harmon


    Preschoolers learn through their five senses. The senses of touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing are how young children explore the world around them. As parents and educators, it is our job to help them explore their senses by providing appropriate activities for sensory play and learning. To better understand the importance of the senses for young children, imagine you are about to take a drink of something you think is water. You lift up your glass and take a big swig. It turns out to be lemon-lime soda. You pull your face back quickly and possibly even gag a bit. Did the soda taste bad? Not at all. But, you were expecting water. Adults already have mental ideas of what things look, sound, feel, hear, and taste like. We already imagine what an item will taste like before we even have it in our mouths. When something challenges what we already know, it throws us for a loop. For toddlers and preschoolers, everything is new! They have not developed these mental pictures yet. That is why the world is so fascinating to them, and why we have an obligation to show them the world through their senses. Try these tips and ideas to get your toddler or preschool child to delve into our amazing world and to start using his senses to develop his own mental pictures.

    The most commonly stimulated sense for young children is sight. From birth babies are given brightly colored and patterned playthings. Indeed, many children and adults learn best through their sight. The best way to stimulate the sense of sight is to allow your child to experience as many different sights as possible. Take your child to different places: the grocery store, a local park, the library, etc. Exposing your child to new and interesting experiences will keep her curiosity high. While you are exploring these places, talk to you child about what she is seeing. Explain what each item is to help develop the link between sight and sound. Visual art projects are also a great way to stimulate this sense. Age appropriate art materials of various colors provide a sensory smorgasbord for young kids.
    Hearing is another commonly stimulated sense. Many toys for young children feature music and other various sounds. Music is extremely important for children. Many kids learn best when a concept is set to music. Music encourages motor skills development as children learn to keep a beat and to dance. When you are getting ready in the mornings, or preparing for bed at night, listen to a CD or sing some songs. Classic nursery rhymes are excellent, as are classical music CDs. Don't worry about what you sound like, your child won't care!

    The sense of touch is probably only second to sight when it comes to common stimulation. The youngest of babies learn through the touch of their mother's skin. As children grow, different textures become highly interesting. Introduce babies and toddlers to various fabric textures. Use the side of a crayon to produce "rubbings" of items like coins, tree bark, or tombstones. Allow children to really explore their sense of touch through a sensory table. Items such as shaving cream, dry rice, sugar, dry beans, potato flakes, and countless other items, all provide inexpensive interesting textures for children to explore through their sense of touch.

    The sense of taste is probably the most neglected of the senses when it comes to exploration. Once babies reach a certain age, they are encouraged to keep everything out of their mouths. Using mouths to explore, however, is quite natural. To stimulate the sense of taste, allow your toddler to try different textured (safe) foods. Let your toddler help you cook so that she is more likely to try new dishes. Make edible doughs to mold with and taste.

    The sense of smell is often also neglected when it comes to sensory play. The sense of smell, however, is actually stronger than we realize. We link our smells to very sentimental items in our lives. To stimulate this sense, encourage your child to sniff the air and ask her to describe what he is smelling. Smell flowers, and foods, and other odors. Try putting some common smelling items into opaque containers, then allow your child to smell the items and guess what is inside. Children are often better than adults at this task!

    Sensory play is essential to a preschool child's growth and development. It doesn't just happen on its own, however. We are responsible for opening up the world to our children through encouraging use of their five senses. Try these tricks to get started and really show your child the world!

    Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/167489/sensory_play_is_important_for_preschoolers.html?cat=4

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:37 PM | Marina

    Hi fellow mommies!!

    Life with a baby goes along with technoogy ;)

    For news, updates and links find us on Twitter-->http://twitter.com/lifewithababy

    Let's tweet!! :)

  • Saturday, May 09, 2009 10:45 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Hello, Moms
    Happy Mother's Day to you all!


    Intuition Concierge, our new sponsor, is offering this wonderful gift to each one of our members. Please read the e-mail below for details.


    A Note: When you sign up to receive your gift, the form is set up to ask for your invoice format. You may ignore this and leave it as is because you will NOT be charged. There is also no expiry date to this offer.


    Enjoy!


    Joanna


     Happy Mother's Day!

    IntuitionConcierge is giving every member of Working Mama's and LifeWithBaby.com in the GTA a Mother's Day gift that they can really use!


    One Hour of Free Concierge Service!


    Thats one free hour from our concierge team for you to use any way you please! Want your groceries picked up? Done!  Take the car in for service? Done! Pick up dinner and your dry cleaning? Done and Done!


    No catch, no hidden fees, just a gift from us to you!


    Our List of services is endless, so no matter what your needs, let Intuition be the only number you need to call ... ever!


    Simply fill out the information form below, and our concierge will contact you and you will be on your way!

     


    Also, as a bonus for registering with us, you are able to take advantage of our 1 week complimentary HomeSafe service. We will check on your home while you are away on business or vacation, and make sure that everything is safe and sound for when you return!  That's right, more free stuff!


    This Mother's Day, get a gift that everyone can really use, free time!

     


    Use the link below to register, and your done!
    http://intuitionconcierge.wufoo.com/forms/intuition-membership-application/


    So Happy Mother's Day! And enjoy your free time!


    Intuition Concierge
    www.Intuitionconcierge.com
    416.619.0207


     
     

  • Monday, April 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Marina

    Toddler's Day Out
    Tips for Summer Playgroups
    By Jacqueline Bodnar
    An article from iParenting Media

    Spring and Summer are filled with all the things we love and cherish each year: the aroma of backyard barbecues, the laughter of children playing outdoors and the slower pace we get to enjoy for a few months. This time of year is perfect for getting children outside for some fresh air and keeping them active. While most people think of getting the older children outside to play, some may overlook the smallest children, those ages 3 and under.

    This spring, plan some fun playgroups for your toddlers and get them in on all the fun this season has to offer. With a little bit of planning, you can all take part in and get something out of summer playgroups for the little ones. Playgroups for children this age not only are good fun for the kids – parents benefit as well.

    Playgroup Dynamics
    While children this age generally engage in parallel play, rather than being interactive with other children, groups can still be beneficial for them. Children need to learn how to get along with other people, and playgroups are a great way to get them on that path. The children get a chance to practice their social skills and have fun at the same time. However, that doesn't mean it will be all fun and games.

    "Parents need to have realistic expectations about little ones getting along," says Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore, a psychologist and author of the book The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends.
     "It's normal for very young children to ignore each other, to snatch toys and to cry when they don't get what they want."

    Understanding that there may be problems can help you work to prevent them from happening and deal with them if they do. Although children this age may have a hard time sharing, they may be able to understand the concept of taking turns. Groups like this are great for helping children begin to understand the concepts of taking turns and following directions. When toddlers get frustrated, they may resort to hitting, pushing or biting. Preventing such problems before they start is the key. When you see a child getting frustrated, try to step in with a new activity, provide a healthy snack or physically separate the children.

    "Parents can definitely benefit from play dates for young children," says Kennedy-Moore. "Besides having the camaraderie of other parents, play dates are also a great opportunity to observe other children. Seeing that everybody else's kid does it, too, can help parents feel more confident in their own parenting abilities and more accepting of their child's developmentally normal behavior."

    Playgroup Planning
    It's a good idea to plan the playgroups for children this age. Having fewer children wll help keep things calmer. Another good way to avoid meltdowns is to keep the visits short; a good range for this age would be no more than two hours at once. When it comes to deciding what to do during that time, keep in mind that the activities should be something that will involve all the children and should be kept age-appropriate.
    "At this age, children in playgroups have the opportunity to explore new areas in their environment," says Suzanne Reszka, the lead teacher at People's Church Preschool in East Lansing, Mich. "As they explore these new areas, they become more independent. Their emotional, social and language skills develop, and their feelings of self-esteem increase."

    For children 3 and younger, Reszka recommends planning events around sensory activities such as water play, textured blocks and playing dress-up. Other areas that are good for this age group are activities that involve large motor skills as well as playing with music and finger play.

    No matter what type of playgroup you plan, make sure you have fun. If your child sees you getting frustrated at some of the behavior, they will pick up on that and become frustrated, too. Have fun and they will have fun, too.

    "Play dates are very exciting for young children," says Kennedy-Moore. "But focus on keeping them short. Shorter play dates work better."

    Summer Playgroup Ideas
    When it comes to putting together a playgroup that young children will love, you are limited only by your imagination. Here are a few ideas you can use or adapt when creating your own theme:

    Field Trips: Summer is a great time to plan field trip playgroups. You can visit the zoo, the beach or even the library for story time and finger play. Other great field trips include going on a nature walk or meeting at the park for a picnic and play date.
    Gym Class: Planning a gym class is a great way to keep the kids active – and they should take a great nap afterward! This can be set up outdoors or indoors on rainy days. Just create a gymnasium and have all the kids follow along with the routine. You can set up a small balance beam, create a floor routine and help them do tumbling.
    Treasure Hunt: It doesn't have to be Easter for children this age to have a blast running around and gathering up treasures. You can create a treasure hunt in your backyard that will keep them busy looking for summer treasures.
    Art: All year long, you've thought about pulling out some finger paints and other messy things for the kids to play with, but you have dreaded the thought of it getting all over the carpeting. Take the paints outside and set them up at the picnic table or on the ground. Well-supervised, the children will create their own little masterpieces.
    Sidewalk Chalk: Find a safe area in your driveway or on the sidewalk to give the children colored sidewalk chalk and let them draw. You can also create and introduce them to different games, like hopscotch.
    Beach Bash: You don't need to have a big swimming pool for children this age to have a beach bash. Just get a small wading pool for children and help them have some water fun. Throw in a picnic lunch and you have a perfect day at the beach – right in your own backyard.
    Themed Play Dates: To make it a little more fun and creative, you can have a theme for each playgroup. You can concentrate on characters that the children like, sports or even animals.
    Ice Cream Party: Summer means ice cream for kids of all ages. A simple yet tasty ice cream party can be thrown for the children.

    Source: http://www.toddlerstoday.com/articles/your-toddlers/toddler-s-day-out-4115/

  • Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:26 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    We travelled to the Grand Sirenis with Katelyn and the manager there was very gracious and answered some questions that other parents travelling with young children would want to know. 

    Overall I loved this resort, the selection of food, the rooms, the staff and the service. Everything was five stars!

    What happens in an emergency?

    In case of an emergency, how far is the hospital?

    There is a hospital in playa del Carmen about 20 minutes away. There is 24hr medical service at the resort with a doctor and two paramedics.  The doctor can prescribe antibiotics and the staff will bring it to your hotel room.

    What is the procedure at the hospital?

    Hotel guests especially children are given top priority. The ambulance will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the hospital. There is always a pediatrician on site in case there is a need for one. If you have insurance, the hospital will arrange it so that the charges are to your insurance provider so you don’t have to pay anything.

    Babysitting on site:

    How are baby sitters trained?

    If the child is under 4 , the  babysitters have paramedic training and have taken a baby sitting or nanny course.   We used the babysitter one evening and she was very good. We were only gone for 2 hours b/c we were a bit nervous about leaving her, but when we came back the babysitter was holding her and she was asleep on her stomach. The baby sitter we requested is a certified babysitter who was a nanny in France and had a certificate for CPR training.  The rate for babysitting is 10/hr

    For children 4 and up, there is the kids club. The sitters at the kids club all have basic paramedic training. The kids club is equipped with books, toys and other activities and the day is structured with sleep time, play time and eating time.  Parents can leave their children at the kids club if the child is over four is your child is younger you can stay with them at the kids club for some of their activities.  Another great thing about the kids club is the kids take part in the show during the evening and there is a separate show for kids during the entertainment portion of the night.  The kids club does not take the children to the beach.

    Feeding your infant

    Do you have a baby food section for infants?

    If you need pureed food, you can ask the chef to make your baby food on the spot. Just pick the foods that you would like and the chef will blend or puree for you.  There is also a selection of yogurt and fresh foods such as bananas and avocados that are excellent for infants as they are easy to puree.

    In regards to milk for infants, you can ask room service and they will send a container of milk to the room for your baby. You can ask for the milk to be cold or warm depending on your preference. You can also keep ask for a few days supply of milk and keep it in the in room refrigerator.

    Day Activities for the whole family

    What are some suggested activities for families with small children?

    Xcaret is a great place for families with children as it has a small zoo, pool and river activities.

    Tullum – has a gorgeous beach with lots of sand area and the ruins

    Akumel – Great for snorkeling, a lagoon with different colours and habitat for turtles

    Went went to Tullum and Akumel, the beach was amazing at both beaches and much longer and calmer water than at the resort, my husband went snorkeling and saw turtles almost as big as out dining table at Akumel. 

    Travelling off the resort

    What is the best way to get around?

    The safest way for get around is by taxi. When you leave with the taxi, security at the hotel takes your information and the information of the driver, the driver will wait for you wherever you go and if you are not back by the time you specified you would be back, the hotel will then make inquirers as to where the driver is.

    We travelled by Collectivo which is by far the cheapest way to travel, about $2 where the taxi would be $20. The collective is also very safe but mostly the local people take the collectivo and I felt safe with Denys, but if I was travelling without Denys I would only take the taxi.  Taxis are good for groups of up to four, for bigger group you can request a van.

    Restaurants.

    There are seven restaurants included in the price. You are allowed to eat from 4 a la carte restaurants per week. The French restaurant is an extra $40.  Children can go to all the restaurants except for the French.  The French restaurant is a romantic experience and for adults only.  Our favourite restaurants were the Brazillian, the Japanese and the Itallian.

    No smoking in public resort areas or rooms.  There is a new government law of no smoking in bars or restaurants. The theatre also have a no smoking section, rooms are all no-smoking.  There is a smoking room for people who want to smoke.

    Entertainment:

    The evening shows are great and really family friendly. At 9:30 there is a show for kids and 10 the regular show. The kids from the kids club get to take part in the show. One night was the Lion King and all the kids got to dress up in costumes and have their faces painted and play on the stage. This was very fun for the parents whose kids were in the show and made it a more memorable experience for the kids.

    You can see more of the resort at www.sirenishotels.com

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2009 3:01 PM | Marina

    Here is a cool freebee offered by Toronto Library.

    With the Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass (MAP), you and your family can explore the best of Toronto's arts and cultural treasures for free.

    With a valid adult Toronto Public Library card, you can borrow a MAP for your family at any Toronto Public Library branch. Quantities are limited and borrowing rules apply.

    For deteils check here --> http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/spe_ser_museum_arts_pass.jsp

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009 11:25 AM | Marina

    Hi dear mommies.

    Some of us got it by mail, but those who didn't or didn't have time to look into it, here is some info:

    The NDDS is currently being offered completely free of charge to residents of Ontario, as part of an initiative with the Ministry of Children & Youth Services.

    Screening tool that proactively identifies problem areas in a child's development. Early identification is the first step in early intervention.

    The NDDS was compiled by a multi-disciplinary team. This easy to use tool examines thirteen key developmental stages: 1 & 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 30 months, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years and 6 years.

    The Screen explores a child's skills in the following areas: vision, hearing, speech, language, communication, gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social/emotional and self-help.

    When you go to the website click on "Ordering" and then you will get instructions on how to receive Developmental Screen that will be sent to your email address.

    I found it pretty interesting.

    http://www.ndds.ca/

    Good luck!

     

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