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I Like: Liberte Baby Yogourt

liberte baby yogourt

Since it is a know fact babies needs fat for their brain development, I was surprised when my son reached the solid feeding stage to see that the food industry doesn’t provide parents many options.

And the fascination with 0% fat yogourt, while many are eating bacon and pork belly, does nothing to help parents. I also try to minimize his sugars intake which is why Zack started eating Minigo (fresh cheese) around 10-11 months instead of a regular yogourt. He adores the Minigo! I added the Danone’s Oikos 2% fat a few months later. These days, Zack either eats two Minigo, or a Minigo and a greek yogourt, for dessert at night. Continue Reading

BABY products FAMILY

Holiday Gift Guide: What to Give to a Two-Year-Old

holiday gift guide for toddlers

This guide is made of things that my 20-month-old son already has and plays with everyday. These educational toys are sure bet for little boys and girls.

Ok, the first item is not a toy but this Woodours melamine cup was too adorable for not include it on my guide. The Woodours collection (literally “Wood-Bear”) tells the story of a Papa and Baby Bear. Papa is strong as an oak tree, but a gentle soul. Woodours combines the best of teddy-bear cuddliness with a modern flair. I not only like the design but also the story between it. I bought his Woodours cup by Ebulobo at Faon on Saint-Denis Street.

Look for the 2+ years old version of Play-Doh. Initially, I bought him a My First Crayola Super Soft Dough Shape and Create Kit that includes 8 animal shape cutters, 3 cutting tools and a dough extruder pump. The accessories are awesome but the Crayola dough dries too quickly. The Play-Doh dough is definitely easier to manipulate. Playing with dough has become one of his favorite games. He likes to play with us or by himself.

The Puzzle Duo collection by Djeco is awesome. Each box of these two-piece puzzles are designed around a theme. They teach toddlers vocabulary and notions as they develop their fine dexterity. Zack has À table!, which is no longer available. I plan to by him the Habitat set. For 3 years old, Djeco makes Puzzle Trio. Zack has also have one. Right now, he plays more with the Duo. The puzzle comes in a nice box. My son have fun emptying and putting the pieces back in the box. Available at Renaud-Bray. I bought mine at Educa-jeux at Place Ville-Marie.

My son has several packs of First Builders by Mega Bloks. Having a kit with wheels open new creations for him. The more he plays with them, the more unique and complex his structures become. Personally, I prefer the Mega Bloks to the Lego DUPLO. Both have the same educational and fun values.

We bought him a B. Meowsic Keyboard a month ago. Zack likes to sing in the microphone that amplifies his voice and makes music with the keyboard. We bought ours at PinkiBlue in Montreal.

Lastly, I must mention again his Hippo Zoo backpack. I bought it when he started daycare. The backpack plays an important part of his daily routine. He carries it with him on our way in or out of daycare. When I forgot to put it next to the car seat, I am quickly reminded that he wants to be able to touch his backpack. I prefer that he carries outside the home a backpack than his cuddly night buddy.

You probably noticed that some items are from French companies. I have no problems finding them in Montreal. I am not sure how widely available they would be in your area. Some products might be available at Amazon. Still, I shared them because of their aesthetics. You might look for similar items that are easier to buy in your area. Happy holiday shopping!

 

BABY products FAMILY

My Must-Have Baby Gear List | Being a First-Time Mom

must have for a baby

must have for a baby

My son is 5 months today. I am taking this occasion to share what are the baby items that we really used over the last 5 months since it could help moms-to-be with their shopping list. Besides the car seat and the stroller, I think that you should get:

A lounger or bouncer: I have the mamaRoo. We use it to let my baby rest after a feeding. He also sits in the mamaRoo for watching his favorite movies or TV shows, when I read him a book or simply to be near to us when we eat dinner or when I cook. We used the movements and the sounds for the first 3 months. Lately, the mamRoo acts as a low chair where we know that he sits safely.

A play yard: We bought the Graco’s Pack ‘n Play Chadwick Playard at Babies R Us when my son was a few weeks ago. We bought it because we were invited to a brunch at the home of a single guy. This is why we selected a model with a removable bassinet and diaper changer. What we did not anticipate was how much we would use it at home. I use the bassinet for when my baby takes a nap. His nursery is on the second floor. The diaper changer comes handy when we have a babysitter. It is easier for them to not go upstairs and we feel better knowing that they do not carry our baby up and down our long staircase.

An activity mat: I suggested that you buy an activity mat that will look good in your living room since it will be on the floor all the time. At first, I stored our activity mat after each usage but I quickly give up. Providing enough tummy time is very important to build muscles. Since most babies do not like to be on their tummy, you end up doing mini sessions several times a day. It is wise to avoid tummy time immediately after a feeding. I bought the Treetop Friends Activity Gym from Skip Hop.

A musical mobile: Contrary to my initial belief, a mobile is not to make your kid sleepy unless it is by exhaustion. Our son becomes excited when we put the mobile on. A mobile distracts and entertains your baby while you are doing something else. We bought the Tiny Love Sweet Island Dreams Mobile. The sound quality of the Tiny Love is way better than the Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-a-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile, which is a similar model.

Fun Educational Toys: It is important to stimulate the senses of our baby as soon as possible. We bought and received from friends many toys. The ones my son enjoy the most are his Tug & Play Activity Knot and his Musical Inchworm, both from Lamaze, Sophie The Giraffe plus his T’es fou louloup hand puppet from Ebulobo. The puppet enables me to interact and communicates with him.

Books: At the Montreal Children’s Hospital, they told us to read books from day 1. It will help you create a lasting connection with your baby. Your baby will learn to recognize the sound of your voice. Zack already have a huge collection of books. I buy board books suitable for children aged 1 to 3 years old. Now that Zack is able to manipulate objects with his both hands, the books become a tool to further develop his motor skills.

SOURCING:
+ Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym $74.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Tapis de jeu Treehop $81.99 CAD at Rose ou Bleu
+ Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard – Chadwick $199.99 CAD at Babies R Us
T’es fou louloup hand puppet from Ebulobo
+ I Love You Through And Throughby Bernadette Rossetti Shustak $8.95 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
Tug & Play Activity Knot $11.99 USD from Lamaze

BABY products FAMILY

Chronicle Your Baby’s Life with Sticky Bellies

sticky bellies

sticky bellies

As my son approaches the 5-month mark, I wish to find an easy way to document his monthly milestone. We already take a daily picture of him. I initially wanted to design my own signs, but I clearly lack the time. I need a ready-to-use option to identify his age on a picture. I might have found the one.

Sticky Bellies is a peel-able sticker that looks great on shirts, pants or objects. It comes in a set of 1 to 12 months and a set of 13 to 24 months. The Oh Sew Adorable is tailored towards little girls, the Oh Sew Handsome is for boys while the neutral Oh Sew Cute would fit both genders.

SOURCING:
+  Oh Sew Stickers by Sticky Bellies $14.99 USD per set

BABY products FAMILY

I love my Ze Super Zeros

ze super zeros :: zebu the zebra plush toy

ze super zeros :: zebu the zebra plush toy

Our friend Nathalie of the Foodies Emporium blog gave us one of the most adorable plush toys at our baby shower. From the Ze Super Zeros collection, she selected Zubu the Zebra as the perfect toy for our son-to-be. A cool detail is the logo on its cape. It reads SZ and we will name our son Zack. My husband noticed that it can stand for Super Zack. We like that!

Each super zero has a mini power and a related challenge that teaches kids to embrace what makes them unique and find their inner super zero. Zebu the Zebra is a super good at hiding, using his stripes as ze camouflage! But, he is always getting lost, but his spotted cape helps his zero friends find him. These plush toys are suitable for newborns.

You can buy your own Ze Super Zeros plush toy at Itsi Bitsi in Montreal. While you are there, indulge in one of their delicious cupcakes.

One Last Thing

colors collection bento box

And if you are looking for cute bento boxes, read Nathalie’s round-up on the best bento lunch boxes available in Montreal.

SOURCING:
+ USA: Ze Super Zeros Zebu The Zebra Plush Toy $24.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]

BABY products FAMILY

Beco Butterfly II, Baby Ergo or BabyBjörn Baby Carrier | Getting Ready for the Baby

buckle baby carriers

buckle baby carriers

At one week before my due date, I want to complete my baby gear shopping list. The baby carrier is the last thing on my list. Some people have suggested to wait after the baby is born to try them out with my baby boy before I select one. In the meantime, I share my short list.

My husband and I initially wanted a BabyBjörn baby carrier but after reading many reviews and chatting with parents about the fact that it might be uncomfortable for a baby boy, I am leaning towards either Baby Ergo, the Beco Butterfly II or the new Beco Gemini.

If you want to read more about the concerns parents have with the BabyBjörn baby carriers, google “baby bjorn crotch”. Having said that, I know that BabyBjörn is a very popular brand for baby carriers. Therefore, I suppose that many parents must be happy with them. One point that seems obvious when I look at the pictures is that the BabyBjörn baby carriers put more weight on the shoulders of the parent. The Beco Butterfly and the Baby Ergo distribute some weight to the parent’s hips.

I like the fabric choices of the Beco Butterfly II and think that it is more stylish than the Beco Ergo. Plus, The Beco Butterfly 2 seems easier to wear the baby of your back than the Baby Ergo. On the other end, for light outdoor activities, the Baby Ergo or even the BabyBjörn give me the impression that they are more suitable for active activities.

For your information, the Beco Gemini allows you to carry your baby in the front facing out; a position that is not supported by the Beco Butterfly II. Otherwise, they seem to be pretty similar.

Before I make a choice, I would like to hear your thoughts and your experience with any of these baby carriers.

Why, How and When I Plan to Use a Baby Carrier?

But before you share your experience and recommendations, here is how I intend to use the baby carrier. I feel that I need a baby carrier to make my life easier. I plan to use the baby carrier when I go at places or do things where a stroller may be harder to maneuver.

For example, shopping at my favorite local farmers’ market on weekends with my Bugaboo Cameleon stroller with the bassinet base will restrict my mobility. Plus, I would need to go up and down many stairs. Another occasion would be when my husband and I will go hiking in the woods. I do not plan to wear it for consecutive hours at home.

Now that you know my needs, which buckle baby carrier do you recommend and why?

BABY products FAMILY

My Shopping Trip at Babies “R” Us | Getting Ready for the Baby

shopping spree at babies r us

I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary $500 gift card from Babies “R” Us for my baby shower. I went with my husband. We bought baby essentials and other things that we feel are necessary for either my peace of mind or for what we believe will bring well-being and fun to my son-to-be. I was happily surprised by their inventory.

Baby Essentials

The first thing we did was to make sure we have all the baby essential gears. We started with baby care essentials and diaper care products including the Playtex Diaper Genie II Elite Advanced Disposal System. I decided to go with disposable diapers since as a first time mom, I will already have plenty of things to do. We bought the Pampers Dry Max diapers for newborns. A friend had recommended those because they don’t leak.

I bought the Especially for Baby Contour Change Pad in Blue Dots and the Blue Especially for Baby Terry Change Pad Cover because the blue complements our nursery decor. And I can tell you that one of my cats seems to adore the changing pad.

Then, we headed to the baby clothing department. I received many clothes as gifts from our friends but we still needed more in different sizes. I bought clothes in sizes 3 months and 6 months. Newborns need a good supply of diaper shirts, sleepers, receiving blankets plus a few hats, no-scratch mittens and tiny socks. I particularly like the design of Gagou Tagou and Bruin.

Toys

I bought him Sophie the Giraffe, a famous French baby toy that was created in 1961. Lovable and amusing, Sophie makes a happy sound when her body is squeezed that stimulates baby’s hearing and helps him to understand the link between cause and effect. She is perfect for soothing the baby’s sore gums when teething. The singular scent of natural rubber from the hevea tree makes Sophie very special and easy for your child to identify amid all his other toys. It’s a toy that is suitable from birth up to 12 months.

My husband and I remembered how much fun we had with our Jolly Jumper. Therefore, we want him to have the Original Jolly Jumper. When we arrived home, we noticed that where we wanted to hang it there was no frames. Therefore, we will exchange it for the Jolly Jumper on a Stand.

We like the brand Lamaze for their educational values. We bought the Spin and Explorer gym on which the baby will play on his tummy. Being on his tummy is important for his body development. A friend gave us the Lamaze Musical Inchworm.

Safety

For our peace of mind, we bought the Angel Care Movement and Sound monitor. I am more interested in the motion detection monitor than the sound monitor. Many parents told me that babies make so many noises when they sleep that they turned the sound monitor off to be able to sleep.

I saw that in the United States, Babies “R” Us carries many products from Skip Hop either online or in stores. I wish that the Canadian stores did the same since I like their merchandises.

SOURCING:
For Canadians:
+ Playtex Diaper Genie II Elite Advanced Disposal System $45.99 CAD
+ Especially for Baby Contour Change Pad in Blue Dots $29.99 CAD
+ Especially for Baby Terry Change Pad Cover $10.99 CAD
+ Sophie the Giraffe $23.99 CAD
+ Original Jolly Jumper $39.99 CAD
+ Jolly Jumper on a Stand $69.99 CAD
+ Angel Care Movement and Sound monitor $159.99 CAD

For Americans:
+ Diaper Genie II Elite Diaper Disposal System $34.99 USD
+ Pampers Dry Max 108 Ct Swaddler Diaper Value Box – Newborn $29.99 USD
+ Sophie the Giraffe Teether by Vulli $22.99 USD
+ Lamaze Musical Inchworm $19.99 USD
+ Angel Care Deluxe Movement Monitor $149.99 USD

BABY products FAMILY

2011 Baby Gift Coin Set

2011 baby gift coin set by royal canadian mint

2011 baby gift coin set by royal canadian mint

My husband bought the 2011 Baby Coin Set for our soon-to-be-born son when he went to the the post office this morning. It’s funny because I went yesterday and I almost did the same.

Made by the Royal Canadian Mint, each coin set includes Canada’s 2011 traditional uncirculated coins with a unique engraved design on the 25-cent piece! The main feature of this gift coin set is a special 25 cents coin with baby feet. It’s too adorable! When my husband came back from the post office, he said to me “Here is Zack’s first pay”. Or, we might start his first collection.

SOURCING:
+ 2011 Baby Gift Coin Set $19.95 CAD at Canada Post
+ 2011 Baby Gift Coin Set $19.95 CAD at Royal Canadian Mint

BABY products FAMILY

Baby Shower Gift Ideas – Part 4: Keepsake Gifts

Keepsakes as Baby Shower Gifts

Keepsakes as Baby Shower Gifts

I conclude this series on baby shower gift ideas with items that you will cherish for a long time.

Elegant Baby Coin Banks

If you wish to contribute to the baby’s future with a monetary gift, a piggy bank is a unique, tangible presentation idea that will be cherished in the years to come. These contemporary coin banks from Elegant Baby are available in a ceramic elephant, bear, giraffe and turtle.

Mozartkugel Music Box

A music box is a calming addition to a nursery for sleepless nights. This elegant version mixes contemporary design with classical music. Available in a dark oak or light beech finish, the ball plays music from Mozart with one turn of the key.

Petit Souris Bonnet

This bonnet has enough vintage charm for generations of hand-me-downs. Made by Canadian designer Patouche, it’s sewn from grey wool and lined with soft flannel to keep baby’s ears warm.

For more ideas, take a look at my suggestions for baby basics (part 1), decorative accessories (part 2) and what to give to a stylish dad (part 3).

SOURCING:
+ Coin Banks from Elegant Baby $26 each
+ Music Box from Mozartkugel $160 AUD
+ Baby bonnet from Patouche $36

BABY products FAMILY

Baby Shower Gift Ideas – Part 3: Stylish Dad

bugaboo black canvas bag

bugaboo black canvas bag

Baby showers aren’t just for moms anymore. More and more, Dads-to-be and their guy friends are being invited to join in the celebration of their baby. Of course, dads probably won’t get excited about blankets and bottles, so you’ll have to get creative with your gift. Here are a few ideas that can help them make the transition to fatherhood.

Books

Guys need just as much guidance as moms-to-be, so check out the parenting section of your local bookstore for titles to help him on the journey.

Bugaboo Canvas Bag

Can you blame dads for not wanting to tote typical diaper bags? In recent years, diaper bags have come a long way in the style department. A perfect example: the sleek design of this guy-friendly diaper bag from Bugaboo is practical enough to stash baby gear and stylish enough for a new dad’s day-to-day activities. It comes in black canvas, brown canvas and black leather.

Rockabye Baby Music

On the hundredth listen, even lullabies can be less-than-soothing. Rockabye Baby specializes in lullaby remixes of popular music from bands like The Rolling Stones, U2 and The Ramones. The music will delight both Dad and baby.

And make sure to have a look at our baby basics and decor gift ideas.

SOURCING:
+ For Canadians: Bugaboo Black Canvas Bag $164 CAD at Ella + Elliot
+ For Americans:  Bugaboo Black Canvas Bag $129.99 USD at Bugaboo
+ Rockabye Baby Music $16.98 USD

BABY products FAMILY

Baby Shower Gift Ideas – Part 2: Decor Gifts

Baby Shower Gifts :: nursery decor

Baby Shower Gifts :: nursery decor

After talking about baby basics, let’s continue with cute decor gifts.

Woodland Plate Set

These three woodland-inspired plates from Chik Design feature deer, squirrel and bunny cutouts in pastel shades. Plate displays are typically seen in traditional homes, so this adorable collection would make for unexpected nursery art.

Eames Molded Plastic Rocker

Every nursery needs a rocking chair. If the parents-to-be are fans of modern design, the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is the ideal choice (it’s what Kim wants for her son’s nursery). It’s available in a variety of colours to suit any type of nursery decor and would fit in elsewhere in the home as the child grows. It’s pricey, but a nice option for a group gift.

Zinnia Mobile

Known for their gorgeous printed fabrics, DwellStudio has transformed nursery decor – and this whimsical mobile is no exception. Designed by Frazier + Wing, it would work a nursery now and in a little girl’s room later. Shopping for a baby boy? Check out the transportation mobile.

Mini Pillow and Blanket Set

Newborn babes are sure to have sweet dreams with this handmade and hand screen printed set from Tulip and I. Made of natural fibres, miniature size makes it ideal for a bassinet, car seat and stroller while the neutral shades would work with any decor.

SOURCING:
+ Woodland Plate Set from Chik Design $44.95 each or $99.95 (set of 3)
+ Eames Molded Plastic Rocker $508 at Ella + Elliott
+ Zinnia Mobile from DwellStudio $75l
+ Pillow and Blanket Set from Tulip and I $92