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.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
  • Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:36 PM | Joanna
    It was an amazing 21 degrees today, and bright and sunny. What a perfect day for a walk! And walk we did. Eight moms with babies in strollers came out and enjoyed a good walk through a route that took us to three parks in the Red Maple and Bantry area-- James Langstaff Park, Russel Farm Park, and Springbrook Park.

    The "Park Hop" stroller walk has always been popular and although we visit the same parks, I will occasionally vary the route. If you missed this event, please join us next time.

    Next week, we won't be park-hopping but we will be walking in beautiful Mill Pond Park. Check our calendar for details. Come on out. It's a great way to meet new friends, and get to know the parks in your neighbourhood.

    See you soon!

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2010 10:36 PM | Joanna
    The following is a really funny blog post from one of my favourite blogs "Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip". Naomi de la Torre shares her version of "Not Me Mondays".  "Not me what--?"  Read on and you'll see :-)

    I Can Do Bad All By Myself

    This is my version of “Not Me Mondays” from a wonderful blog that everyone should visit, MckMama. I know it's not Monday. And I don't have the cool linky thing, cuz I'm lame like that. But I want to participate even in all my low-tech glory. So here goes…

    I did not serve my children frozen corn dogs this morning for breakfast, followed by a large helping of chocolate cake. Nor did I tell them that it would be all right to eat said gourmet breakfast directly on the living room carpet because I couldn't stand the whining and wanted to blog. Not me. Not me at all.

    I would never let my bathroom go months without a cleaning because I am a fabulous housekeeper. I have never seen hairballs the size of small goats roaming free beneath my toilet and munching small cockroaches as snacks. I would never let the toothpaste scum in my sink get so bad that I could no longer determine the color of the sink itself.

    I do not let my children deposit half-chewed foods and boogers into my open hand. This is disgusting and completely unacceptable.

    I did not find sixteen mummified cheese sticks under my couch when I was looking for a lost bouncy ball the other afternoon. But if I did, I would have put them immediately in the trash before my two-year-old managed to snatch and gobble one of them whole. I did not call Poison Control because cheese sticks, even when mummified, are still food.

    I did not leave a carved pumpkin in front of my house for weeks after Halloween was over until the pumpkin was devoured by green mold, caved in upon itself, became a small furry ball, grew legs, and walked away.

    I was hallucinating when I thought I saw the pumpkin mold creature lurking in the shadows of my sparkling clean bathroom last night. I did not run. I did not hide. And I did not spray the imaginary monster with Hot Shot Ultra Ant + Roach Killer because of course we do not need this in our house as I am such a fastidious homemaker. I am not afraid of the movie Monsters Inc. thanks to my imaginary run-in with the pumpkin mold creature and did not get hysterical the other night when watching this movie with my children and spray Hot Shot Ultra Ant + Roach Killer at the TV.

    I am not crazy and do not hallucinate on a regular basis. I do not need to be put in a straight jacket. I just need a short vacation from the madness and maybe … a housekeeper.

    Can you relate? Oh, come on. We all have our days. And if you're a Martha Stewart clone, I apologize if this makes you cringe. You can stop reading if you haven't already :-) Here's a tiny bit from me. Now share yours!

    I did not send my  two year old to daycare in stripes and polkadots wearing all the colours of the rainbow just because she threw a tantrum. Her fashion sense would reflect on me and I can't have that. Besides, I absolutely have control over my children and never give in to their hysterical fits. Never.
     - Joanna

    p.s. If you enjoyed the above post, visit Naomi de la Torre's blog and drop her a line.
  • Monday, March 08, 2010 12:41 PM | Joanna

    Newborn's Ten Commandments to Parents

    Another one from my midwives. I do not know its original author but I love this one!

    I come to you as a small, immature being with my own style and personality. I am yours for only a short time; enjoy me.
    1. Please take time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring to you.
    2. Please feed me when I am hungry. I never knew hunger when I was inside you and clocks and time mean little to me.
    3. Please hold, cuddle, kiss, touch, stroke and sing to me. I was always held closely inside of you and was never alone before.
    4. Please don’t be disappointed when I am not the perfect baby that you expected, nor disappointed with yourselves that you are not the perfect parents.
    5. Please try not to expect too much from me as your newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both six weeks as a birthday present – six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature and become more stable and predictable, and six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.
    6. Please forgive me if I cry a lot. Bear with me and in a short time, as I mature I will spend less and less time crying – and more time socializing.
    7. Please watch me carefully and I can tell you those things which soothe, console and please me. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, but the only way I can tell you that I am not happy is with my crying.
    8. Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you will make with me. As long as you make them with love, you cannot ruin me.
    9. Please take care of yourself and eat a balanced diet, rest and exercise so that when we are together, you have the health and strength to take care of me.
    10. Please take care of your relationship with each other, for what good is family bonding if there is not a family to bond?
    Although I may have turned your life upside down, please realize that things will be back to normal before you know it.
    Thank you,
    Your Loving Child

    (First posted on: The Working Mama, February 8, 2010)
  • Monday, March 08, 2010 12:32 PM | Joanna

    Rules for Postpartum Guests

    I got the following list from my midwives during my pregnancy. I find these quite humorous, probably because I have heard stories from friends (new parents) of appalling behaviour by their postpartum guests. One new dad told me that his in-laws insisted on waking up their newborn every time they came to visit so that they could hold him! 

    Below, I  include the introductory note by the midwives that accompanies the list. Enjoy, and pass these on to your expecting mommy friends or better yet, to their friends and relatives (or yours if YOU are expecting)! :-)

    Since  this mother and newborn are spending their first few precious days at home together instead of in the hospital, there are no hospital rules to prevent excessive or inappropriate visits. We outline here, some fairly common sense "rules" for postpartum guests. Though we present them with good humour, please take them seriously. Help to make this postpartum recovery as smooth as possible.

    DO call before you come by, and arrange to visit at a time convenient for the parents. Evenings,  which may be more convenient for you, are usually the worst time for parents.

    DO keep our visits short. 15-20 minutes is good.

    DO bring food offerings. Suppers particularly come in handy. You may bring frozen dishes or plan in advance to serve an entire supper.
    DO praise the new parents about their growing parenting skills.
    DO offer your opinion when it is asked for.

    DO offer to wash some dishes, to take home some laundry, to run the vacuum.

    DO offer to look after older siblings.

    DO respect the parent's need to do their own things their own way in their own time.

    DO listen raptly to the birth story.

    DON'T bring the whole family and settle in for the afternoon.
    DON'T accept offers of tea unless you make it and clean up afterward.

    DON'T tell the parents that you hate the baby's name.

    DON'T smoke.
    DON'T give unsolicited advice.

    DON'T expect the new mother to leave the room to nurse her baby.

    DON'T ask to hold the baby. Wait for an offer.

    DON'T visit if you are feeling even a tiny bit under the weather.

    (First posted on: The Working Mama, February 8, 2010)
  • Friday, January 29, 2010 1:59 PM | claire (Administrator)

    I am a breastfeeding mom -- and proud of it! I know the benefits of breastfeeding and was lucky enough to have been given all of the support and resources that I needed to help me breastfeed successfully. I was lucky, and I hope that other moms will be just as lucky in having all of the support and resources that they need as well. I support breastfeeding and believe that there is nothing better for our babies.

    Are you a breastfeeding mom?  Have you ever stopped to wonder why the "formula feeding mom" next you isn't breastfeeding?

    Was it by choice, or could it be due to a lack of knowledge about breastfeeding? Could it be that she didn't have the resources or the support that she needed? Does she have an underlying health problem that makes it unsafe for her to breastfeed?
    Maybe she tried various methods, but was unsuccessful. Maybe her doctor told her that she couldn't breastfeed due to health reasons. Maybe she has a condition that makes it impossible to breastfeed.

    These are all very real reasons why some moms, unfortunately, are not able to breastfeed successfully.

    The story that hurt my heart is of one mom who tried everything to nurse: she saw the lactation consultants, she tried pumping, and she went to clinics. Nothing worked. This mom was also suffering from Postpartum Isolation, loneliness and depression. One day, she walked into a room and started feeding her baby and was called a "MONSTER!"

    Why? Because she was formula feeding.  
    Was that fair?  Should we do this to our fellow mothers just because they are not as lucky as we are? 

    When we see another mom bottle feeding, would it not be more helpful to give that mom some support? To tell her about the benefits of nursing, and try to find out her reasons for why she was not successful? Shouldn't we give her more resources, and point her in the direction of what worked for those of us who are successful?   Maybe she was not aware of the breastfeeding clinics available, or maybe she didn't know about some of the breastfeeding myths out there.

    Would it not be more effective to encourage this mom to try harder next time, if she has a second child, by being supportive instead of resorting to name calling, judgment and criticism?  

    If you are not sure how to broach the topic, you can use these Three Easy Steps to Discussing Breastfeeding, an adaptation of Best Start’s Three-Step Counseling Program©:
    Step 1: Ask open-ended questions about breastfeeding.
    Step 2: Affirm the mother’s feelings.
    Step 3: Share appropriate information and refer mother to a breastfeeding expert.
    For more information on the steps, visit
    It’s sometimes easy for us to feel that we are better than other mothers just because we breastfeed. But motherhood is not a competition – it’s a sisterhood!

    So let’s stop the judging. Yes, breastfeeding is superior, by far, to formula – there is no comparison. But a breastfeeding mom is not better than a formula feeding mom.
    We should all make a conscious decision to be more empathetic towards our fellow mothers. Remember, most of the time, we do not know why a mother isn't breastfeeding, and she may have a very good reason. So let’s not make assumptions anymore.
    Parenting is challenging enough without feeling like we have to compete with each other. 


  • Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:13 AM | claire (Administrator)

    We've all heard the term a mother's love is the strongest love of all and a mother loves her child unconditionally. 

    I would agree that I love my daughter unconditionally and as mom and daughter we have the strongest bond (especially since I'm her primary caregiver). but does that mean that dads do not love their kids unconditionally? 

    I sometimes wonder if sometimes we are not being a little unfair to dads when we assume that just because we are the mom, we automatically get the right to say we love our child more.

    In my case, I'm more patient, more affectionate, more touchy feely toward Katelyn than my husband - that's my personality. I feel I have a stronger bond with her because of the amount of time we spend together and because she is really apart of me.  But I cannot say with certainty that I love her more than he does.  We just display our love in different ways. 

    I think sometimes as first time moms we get caught up in little statements we've been hearing over the years and other stereotypes in the media.  It does not diminish our love and our bond for our child even if we admit that other caregivers whether it's dad or grandparents love our child just as much as we do.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this posts, even if you disagree

    Happy Bonding!

  • Friday, January 22, 2010 11:26 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Are you an attached parent? What do you think of the name of this parenting style "attachment parenting".  What is attachement parenting?  A lot people are confused about what it means to practice attachement parenting.

    I've met new moms who think that to practice attachement parenting is to have your child attached strongly to one parent and now one else.

    Fact: Attachment parenting involves having the child attached to one or more caregivers so that they are provided with a safe, loving and secure environment. I myself practise "attachement parenting" I didn't know that there was label for this until I was asked. " do you practise attachment parenting?"  

    I did what most moms do without realizing there was a label for this -

    • I slept with my baby for the first 4 months
    • She was held constantly, also b/c she didn't like to be put down
    • after the initial 4 months, I took my baby to bed with me, when she wouldn't sleep in her crib
    • I attended to her when she cried or was upset
    • I wore her in a carrier (actually still do when she will let me and she's 2)
    • nursed ( this one begs the question, are you not attached b/c you were not able to nurse)

    So when I was asked If I practice attachement parenting, I said yes without even thinking about the label, aren't all parents attached to their kids?

    But lately, someone asked "but, I thought you practised attachment parenting" this in response to me going away on vacation without my two year old and I did sleep training when she was 19 months old.

    My answer is yes, I very much practise "attachment parenting", but I do not want my daughter to be attached to just me. I want her to be very attached to her dad and grand parents as well other family members

    So in a sense, my idea of attachement parenting is getting my child attached to other people not just myself, so that in the event that I am not around, her environment will still be loving, safe, familiar and secure. So she spends a lot of bonding time with just dad, and she also spends bonding time with just grand-parents.

    The fact is attachment parenting does not mean that you get your child stuck to your person and never leave their side. It does not mean that you have to co-sleep, it does not mean that you have to wear them in a sling! These are great if it's something you and your baby enjoys, but it's not a requirement to call yourself an attached parent.

    Now the issue of sleep, as a parent, you know your child and you know if there are being affected by lack of sleep.  So if you choose to sleep train your child (after 6 months of age) for the benefit of your baby, yourself and your family.  Does this make any less attached to your child? 

    There is a lot of information including the definition of attachment parenting and the philosophy on the following sites:,,489j,00.html

    I would love to hear comments about this posting.  Agree or disagree - What is your perspective on this? 

  • Thursday, January 21, 2010 2:16 AM | claire (Administrator)


     It can be quite unsettling and burdensome to have a young child attached to you at all times, particularly when you are trying to get things done.
     Clinginess is a common phase in the early years of life including the preschool age. It typically presents around the age of nine months, peaking at 18 months and becomes less intense over time.

     The causes for clinginess are unique to each child since children handle stress differently. However, common causes may include:
     Illness (e.g. ear infections)
     Temperament (i.e. impulsive desires to be attached to the caregiver)
     Late walker (may be a cause for excessive clinginess)
     Traumatic experiences (e.g. parental divorce, hospitalization, illness or death of a parent, natural disaster)
     Distressing separation or threats of abandonment
     Sudden transitions (e.g. arrival of a new baby, moving to a new home, new day care center)

     In the beginning, you should try to ignore as much of the clinging behaviour as you can.
     Provide great amounts of physical attention (e.g. hugs, kisses, physical contact, and reading books) that will help your child be more secure.
     Allow your child to play independently, but ensure times of social interaction with you and others as well.
     Play hide-and-seek games. Gradually extend the time that you are hidden from view and use the same phrases when you leave and come back from hiding. This helps your child understand that you will always return to him.
     If you need to separate from your child:
     Prepare your child for separation. For example, when he goes to the day care, make sure you introduce him to the teacher before leaving him there on the first school day to help ease the transition.
     Create goodbye rituals like offering a kiss or hug before you leave. You can also try giving your child a small, special stone that he can leave in his pocket as a symbol that you are always there. This can help build your child’s confidence.
     Always be consistent and leave. Do not communicate your own anxiety about leaving since this will certainly not help your child’s anxiety. Reassure your child that you will see him later, say goodbye and leave.
     Find a potential substitute that your child likes and trusts such as a babysitter, friend or sibling.
     When at home, tell your child to play with toys or games to keep him interested in an area in the room while you are in the same room doing something else. This will offer similar support, but not exactly following you everywhere you go in the home. Be sure to talk to your child while you are doing your own activity to encourage moral support. Maintain comforting contact when you are out of view (talk or sing to him). 
     Also when at home, be consistent in telling your child that he cannot come with you into the shower or bathroom. Let him know in a firm tone that you will not be long and tell him he can play by himself in his room or your room or with other family members while you are in there. Offer rewards for the first few times until he lets you go without a fuss.
     Be patient with your child. Offer love and support, especially since he will eventually outgrow it.

     Make sure you are not dependent on your child’s dependence, unconsciously encouraging it. Become aware of your own role and the part you play in your child’s dependence and clinginess.
     Do not rob your child of confidence by being overprotective or offering too much reassurance. Try to find the balance between allowing your child to grow independently while using your help and guidance.
     Do not share your anxiety with your child since he will feel it and become anxious himself.

    Additional Concern: If my child still clings onto me despite all my efforts, what should I do?

    Conduct your day calmly with your child by your side. Let him hold onto you so that he can see that his efforts to gain attention by this manner fail; he is likely to then give it up.
     Remember that some degree of clinginess is common well into the preschool years.
     Excessive clinginess can be a sign of separation anxiety disorder or other disorders. Consult a health professional should you have any further concerns.

    About Dr. Levy

    Dr. Maurice Levy is a Pediatrician with 30 years of day-to-day medical experience in hospitals and a pediatric primary care office.  He is the Former Chief of Pediatrics and an active staff member at North York Branson Hospital,Toronto including multiple responsibilities on hospitalized newborns,infants and children and dealing with staff pediatricians along with a multitude of health problems to include nutrition, development and more. At Present Dr. Levy is Head of Research at the Pediatric department at North York General Hospital,Toronto.

    Dr.Levy also  has an active pediatric and consultation practice in Toronto, there will be a book on Development and behavior on babies and children coming soon

    For more toddler tips and information for the Dr. Levy's books can be found at


  • Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:05 PM | claire (Administrator)

  • Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:22 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Parent Concern:

    Dressing is a common concern of parent-child struggles and a source of frustration for both.

    • Many children enjoy some self-dressing by the age of two years. Many dress themselves by ages 4-5, but you cannot expect quick results.
    • Your child’s readiness for learning (and wanting to learn) to dress herself will depend on development, behaviour and mood. Keep in mind that the ability to undress usually precedes the ability to dress; so you want to help your child first learn how to undress.
    • Parents need to realize that independent dressing is a learning experience and that the child will make choices and mistakes. Your child may (a) refuse to dress; (b) insist on dressing herself; and (c) take off clothes when starting to dress or a combination of these.

    Why is Dressing Difficult?

    • Freedom and independence are a part of growing up. As your child is growing from a dependent baby to a confident toddler who is ready to take on the world, she will naturally want as much control as possible over her life and will express a desire to dress herself.
    • Self-awareness is growing and she will have favourite outfits to wear by the age of 4-5.
    • When she knows you want her to do something urgently, she will resist the most.

    What to Do


    • If you have enough time, let your child try to dress herself. Ask her if she needs any help.
    • If you have enough time, give your toddler plenty of time to do what she needs to do to get ready. You can pick out clothes ahead of time on the night before, if a particular outfit is the source of conflict. Wake her up earlier if you need to since toddlers do not respond well to being hurried.
    • Provide a selection of two outfits. This will empower your little one with choice and gives her a sense of control while allowing you to set your boundaries at the same time. This provides your toddler with independence and the chance to learn how to make appropriate choices. While offering two choices, say “you can wear either overalls or sweater and pants”.


    • If you do end up being in a rush, then you can explain your position: “Mommy needs to leave early today for a meeting” and then say “would you like help getting dressed just this morning?” This shows your child that she needs to get ready quickly (maybe she can dress herself another morning). Wake up earlier if you need to, since toddlers do not respond well to being hurried.


    • If your toddler takes off as soon as dressing time begins, then turn it into a peek-a-boo game. Put your face through his shirt to peak-a-boo or you can try to sing a song to get him in the mood of playing.
    • Make dressing a fun activity by playing games rather than running away. Power struggles usually dissolve with laughter.

    D) Others

    • Do not express a bad attitude when it comes to dressing your toddler. Children may cry as a result of their parents’ behaviour.
    • Use tact; do not say that a shirt’s tag is on the front instead of the back when she puts it on for the first time.
    • Encourage team work. Allow your child to take over and let her participate in choosing outfits and getting dressed. Maybe she refuses to because she does not like the clothes you are picking out for her; let her choose (within reason).
      Make your child’s clothes accessible. Place clothes in the lower drawer so that she can reach and help herself to feel more independent. Place clothes in the higher drawers when clothes are inappropriate, so that they are not easily accessible.
    • Acknowledge sensitivity. Some children with sensory problems absolutely refuse some clothes; some get irritated over a scratchy tag. Hypersensitivity to labels, seams or socks are common. Luckily, this sensitivity is outgrown by age 6.
    • Do not let your struggles get to the point of anger. Sometimes, you just have to get her going and dressed; take charge before you lose your patience.

    TIP: Practice Dressing
    You can give your child some extra hands or experience by providing specifically designed dolls or fabric books that allow her to practice zipping, buttoning, snapping and tying.

    Additional Parent Concerns
    Any recommendations for clothing?

    • Since toddlers are incredibly active, use clothes that do not restrict movements or clothes that your child can easily get tangled in or trip during play.
    • Make sure her clothes are not too small or too big.
    • Comfort is important, so offer pants or jeans with elastics waists.
    • The easiest clothes to put on or off include t-shirts, track suits, dresses, and so forth.
    • Look for clothes with big buttons that are easy for your little one to grasp.

    About Dr. Levy

    Dr. Maurice Levy is a Pediatrician with 30 years of day-to-day medical experience in hospitals and a pediatric primary care office.  He is the Former Chief of Pediatrics and an active staff member at North York Branson Hospital,Toronto including multiple responsibilities on hospitalized newborns,infants and children and dealing with staff pediatricians along with a multitude of health problems to include nutrition, development and more. At Present Dr. Levy is Head of Research at the Pediatric department at North York General Hospital,Toronto.

    Dr.Levy also  has an active pediatric and consultation practice in Toronto, there will be a book on Development and behavior on babies and children coming soon

    For more toddler tips and information for the Dr. Levy's books can be found at


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