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baby

BABY products FAMILY

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

FAMILY LIVING with kids

Parenting Tips: How I Get My Baby to Sleep All Night

How to get my baby to sleep through the night?

My husband and I are the lucky parents of a loving baby that sleeps all night since he is 3-week old. We can’t take all the credits since Zack arrived from his 3-week hospital stay this way.

At four weeks, Zack made us understand that he didn’t want us to wake him anymore for feeding. His doctors said it was OK to let him guide us to what he needs. He drank plenty of milk during the day. He quickly moves to sleeping 6 hours, 7 hours, 8 hours and so on, without a bottle. He sleeps for 10 to 12 hours every night in his nursery since he is 3 or 4 months.

At a time where having a good night sleep is a luxury for most new parents, I felt truly blessed. So, I did some reading to make sure that my baby continues to sleep well. I learned that a few simple rules made it possible. For the ones who doubted that it applies to most babies, you should give a try to know if it works before you make a decision. I read that this method provides a high success rate.

Differencing Night and Day

The first rule for sleeping all night is that your baby must grasp the difference between night and day. Once your baby distingues nighttime, you can teach your baby that night is made for sleeping. It starts by lowering the lights and reducing the noises in the house near bedtime. The light and noise trick comes from the hospital. This is what they do at the NICU.

Short Bedtime Routine

We try to keep our bedtime routine short and simple. Ours used to take up to 45 minutes when he was a few weeks old. Now that he is 17 months old, it takes about 10 minutes. Zack understands it. In fact, he is looking forward to our bedtime ritual. Our babysitter reproduces the same ritual once a week with the same level of success than us. While my husband is prepping his last bootle feed, I change his diaper and put on his pyjama. We feed him in our living room before we move him to his room upstairs.

For about a year, we waited until he was asleep in our arms and then, gently put him in his crib. Sometimes after he reached one year old, we slowly moved away from waiting that he was completely asleep before leaving the room. Later, our son started to tell us that he did not want to be in our arms and that he prefers to go straight to his bed.

We currently feed him a bottle, brush his teeth, mommy quickly gives him a kiss and he goes straight to his crib. After putting my baby in his crib, we turn his pendant light off, we strategically place two OXO nightlights around his room and illuminate his ceiling with stars and a moon. We tell them the story about how the sun went down and the dark sky gets brighter. We only provide him with a dark sleeping environment at nighttime. We have a little play session with a plush toy or we sing him a few songs before we tell him good night. A baby can easily relate to these steps and understand what is coming next.

Everyone, including my baby, is happier since my baby falls asleep by himself, at naptime and at bedtime. I feel that you must do that step when your baby is ready for it.

Give Your Baby Time to Learn How to Sleep

Babies must learn how to stay asleep when they are transitioning from one sleep stage to another stage. This is one of the reasons why they cry. Waking them when they are transitioning from one sleep stage to the next only makes it harder for them to learn that most important skill when it comes to sleep. When this happened, your baby can still be asleep. Give your baby the few minutes he/she needs to make the transition. So wait a few minutes — my limit is 5 minutes —before you rush by the crib. It will be a lot easier to do this if you must get up in the middle of the night and walk to their nursery than if your baby sleeps next to your bed.

Comfort only when Needed

From what I read, the earliest a baby can learn how to sleep on his/her own, the easiest it will be to acquire the skill. I can bring comfort to my baby in my arms if he woke up in tears (arrived a lot when he does his teeth), but he will return to sleep in his crib after that. I often found that he only wants a fresh diaper. Like I said earlier, we quickly reached a point I didn’t need to feed him during the night.

Keep the Noise Down at Night

To further help your baby distingues between night and day, it is best that they sleep with no noises at night and that they can nap hearing your day activities.

What about Naptime?

To not confuse them, rely on a different routine at naptime. Your baby needs to know that we only expect a short sleep.This is why when he was younger, he slept in his room only at night. He napped in the crib of his playard in a corner of my living room during the day.

As he grows older, I tried several napping techniques.  To tell you the truth, I had more problems with establishing a regular naptime than sleeping at night. My boy used to fight me even when he was tired. For the past few months, we found a way that suits him. I tell my son that I will see him soon and that we will play after he sleeps. I often leave him with a book in his crib. He decided when to fall asleep; which is usually a few minutes after I left his room. One important visual cue remains: I partially close his blinds so he sees that their is still light outside.

I know that every parent and baby is different. My technique might not suit your parenting style. My goal is simply to provide food for thoughts. Any comments, any tips to add? How did you teach your infants to sleep at night?

BABY care FAMILY

Baby Food: Essentiels to Make Your Own Baby Purees

baby food

baby food
photo of my son at 7 months after a meal

Introducing a baby to solids can be challenging for new moms. After trying several brands of store-bought vegetable purees, it became clear that if I wanted my son to develop appetite and to stimulate his taste buds, I must cook my own vegetable purees. It is fun and if you do in batch, it will not require a lot of your time.

Before I gave birth, I wanted one of these fancy baby food machines. Let me tell you that you don’t need one. I bought a Beaba Babycook, read the manual and return it. My method is simpler, uses what you already have in your kitchen and would not become useless 6 or 7 months later. Talking to a few moms convinced me that a baby food machine didn’t worth the trouble, the cash and the extra counter space. Instead, I upgraded my 20-year old immersion blender for a sturdy model with a chopper attachment with lid. I never looked back.

Batch Cooking and Freezing

If I was making mashed potato and carrot for our dinner, I doubled the recipe. I froze the rest in ice cube trays. I use standard ice cubes (because I had them), the trays from KidCo and the PLASTIS ice cube trays from IKEA. If you need to equip yourself, buy two standard size silicone trays — it is easier to remove the food from them — and a few PLASTIS trays. The smaller size of the PLASTIS trays is practical for adjusting how much food you serve to your baby.

Season the Baby Food

My goal was that Zack could easily transition to what we eat for dinner. I developed recipes that fit my cooking style. For me, that means seasoning the food. Right from the start, I use butter, olive oil, onions, freshly ground pepper, ginger, fennel, and herbs to provide an array of flavour to my baby.

The Basis of my Recipes

I boiled the  vegetables in a marguerite. I tried roasting in the stove one or twice without success. I cut the vegetables in small pieces to reduce the boiling time. Each puree includes two or three vegetables that complement each other in taste and texture. I cooked them together.

I experimented a lot. Don’t hesitate to look at what inside your fridge or on your counter before you start. One of my yummiest recipe was a batch of caramelized onions that I mixed with boiled carrots. For inspirations, I looked at soup recipes. The list of ingredients triggered delightful mixes that became my signature purees.

Zack adored these recipes:

  • Ginger flavoured sweet potato and zucchini puree. I added a small potato to absorb the water of the zucchini.
  • Ginger flavoured carrot and red onion puree.
  • Mashed cauliflower and potatoes with a touch of fennel.

Have you cook any tasty purees lately? What is your secret?

Zack now eats like us. No more purees for him; in his mind, he is a big boy. He looks forward to lunch and dinner. He eats by himself and likes everything, except for eggs that he never cared for. We will never know if making his purees played a role in that but I am sure that it didn’t hurt. I encourage any mother to make their own baby purees. All you need is your pots and pans, a handblender, good ingredients and a little bit of imagination.

 

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

FAMILY LIVING with kids

A Lot Happened in 3 Months | Being a First-Time Mom

I can’t believe that my little baby son is already 3 months old (he reached it last week). I met lately a few parents-to-be who ask me what to expect, which gave me the idea to share my impressions so far. They say that the first 5-6 weeks are hard and they do not lie. I recall the first days where I wore a PJ all day and was wondering when I could go back to a routine where I do my hair and wear make up every day. But it happened quicker that I imagined at that time. We all need some “Me” time. I feel that it boosts a new mom’s morale to try to look good on a daily basis.

The wonderful thing about being a new parent is that it gets easier every day. I would say that you grow with your baby. You get better organized and always fine-tune some kind of routine. I say some kind of routine because your baby will dictate when you will do things. Right now, I am in heaven. His feedings are going well and are pretty regular. I have a pretty good idea of when it is the right time for quick naps during the day. I have a set of activities to entertain him during the day. I am able to run errands with him during the afternoon. I cook dinner and we are able to enjoy our meal most of the nights. As a bonus, my son sleeps 9 to 10 hours a night. Nonetheless, I am still impressed by how much time you must put to take care of a young baby.

Baby Nasal Aspirator

nasal aspirator for baby

Since he was born, I learned new skills and discovered baby products that I would have never imagined. One of those is the baby nasal aspirator by hydraSense. I received a sample from a PR person in Montreal. I must say that we hesitated to use it at first. When we finally did, a day where it was obvious that my baby needed it, we were impressed by its effectiveness. Our son doesn’t appreciate the process but it works. We use it with Easydose, a seawater nasal drop dispenser that you use to liquefy mucus.

I started an incredible journey and I know that the next 3 months will bring even more adventures. I am leaving you with a cute photo of my son.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Owl Theme for a Bathroom

give a hoot shower curtain

give a hoot shower curtain

The owl theme is popular for a nursery and invites. Now, you can have it for your bathroom decor. Last Friday afternoon, I took a few hours off the baby world for a quick stop of one of my favorite stores in Montreal, Maison Simons. I often buy at Simons my everyday kitchen linens. I stopped by the bathroom department to check the bathroom accessories since I need a soap dispenser for my baby son’s bathroom.

orange chenille bath rug

I stopped by the shower curtain section. Changing the shower curtain is a quick and easy way to update a decor. The Give a Hoot shower curtain caught my eye. I would coordinate it with that orange chenille bath rug. I like it so much that I’m contemplating the idea of putting this playful theme in my baby son’s bathroom, even though I already bought a shower curtain.

orange and blue bathroom accessories

Consider these bright bathroom accessories to continue on the orange and blue theme. The colors are invigorating as the idea that Spring is here.

orange and blue bath towels

Note that Maison Simons now runs an online store. Unfortunately, only a subset of their merchandise is available online.

SOURCING:
Orange chenille bath rug $30 CAD at Maison Simons
+ Zesty citrus bathroom accessories $5 – $20 CAD

FAMILY KIDS party

Paper Airplane 1st Birthday Party Theme

paper plane birthday party table

paper plane birthday party table

Had your fill of princess parties and superhero soirées? This charming, cheerful first birthday party uses bright colors and customized, inexpensive invitations and printables to help a paper airplane theme take flight.

Clever wording and simple graphics on the invitation, designed by Paper And Pigtails, are the starting point for this party theme.

The hostess, Amy of Buggie and Jelly Bean, packed loot bags decorated with luggage tags inside a paper suitcase, which helped to organize the table. Other suitcases, perched on upside-down empty flower pots, hold pilot loot bag essentials like plastic aviator sunglasses and airline wing pins.

paper place birthday party invite loot bag

Small food marker signs play up the paper airplane motif with snacks named to fit the overall party theme.

paper place birthday party cookies

paper place birthday food signs

Check out the Paper and Pigtails Etsy shop for more creative party themes and coordinating printables.

SOURCING:
+ Printable Paper Airplane Invitation $15 USD at PaperandPigtails on Etsy
+ Real party: Paper Airplane First Birthday from the Paper and Pigtails blog

DESIGN and style LIVING

Big News: I’m Pregnant!

i'm pregnant

i'm pregnant

My husband and I decided that it was time for us to expand our family. Therefore, Jerome and I are happy to announce that I’m expecting a baby boy. I can’t wait for the end of February to hold him in my arms.

As you can imagine, I already know which stroller I want, which furniture and bedding will decor the nursery. Where I need more help is with clothing. There are not many maternity stores near downtown Montreal. I do not wish to shop in a suburb mall because I will waste 1 or 2 hours driving in a car for the return trip.

I was thrilled to hear that Mexx launched a maternity collection but frankly, I was very disappointed. Boring style, no patterns. They do not seem to recognize that being pregnant is a happy time and that we also wish to wear colors and patterns.

What are the Best Maternity Stores in New York?

I will be in New York next weekend. I already know about Macy’s, Gap Maternity (which is not available in Canada) and Motherhood (which are only in the suburbs). Therefore, I am asking you for suggestions. Where should I look for fun, reasonably priced maternity clothes? I’m looking for a warm knee-length fall coat, a few dresses, tops and pants.

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

The Dwell Studio’s Learning Books

orange bus bookshelf and go book by dwell studio

orange bus bookshelf and go book by dwell studio

I just noticed that Dwell Studio partnered with Blue Apple Books to produce a book collection for infants and toddlers. You get the graphic design associated with Dwell Studio. I like it since you teach your kids good taste at the same time.

count and what colors :: learning the basics with dwell studio books

From learning the basics from numbers, animals and colors.

+ Count book $6.99 USD at Amazon.com – in Canada $7.99 CAD
+ What colors? book $8.99 USD at Amazon.com

discovering where food come from with dwell studio infant and toddler books

To provide a way to talk about where are food comes from

+ Touch & Feel Farm book $8.99 USD at Amazon.com
+ Eat book $6.99 USD at Amazon.com  or $7.99 CAD at Amazon.ca

Up to books and even a bookshelf that go with Dwell’s Transportation bedding collection

+ Orange Bus Bookshelf $124 USD at Dwell Studio
+  Go book $6.99 at Amazon.com or $7.99 at Amazon.ca

There are more titles but I think that you get the idea. I will remember those for when I visit parents with a newborn child or to bring as a gift for a first or second birthday party. Some of the Dwell studio books are suitable up 5 years old.

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Double Duty Modern Cribs for my Organizing Monday

Since I went to a baby shower last Saturday, designing a nursery inspired me to write this post. I am into modern cribs. Since modern cribs tend more expensive than the traditional cribs at Pottery Barn Kids, why not go for convertible cribs or cribs that serve two duties? It is more eco-friendly to extend the life of the baby furniture.

casa kids ola crib - convertible

+ The Casa Kids Ola crib is supposed to be the only crib sold today that converts to both a Toddler bed and a Twin bed. At $899, the starter crib compares with wood cribs at other stores. The cribs component will be reused later. The side rails will become the headboard and footboard of the Ola Twin Bed.

aj crib and alex crib :: both baby furniture collections by ducduc

+ The AJ crib by ducduc comes with a bookcase attached to one side. For an extra $45, you can add doors to convert the bookcase in an armoire. Kids clothes and other baby accessories should fit well inside. It comes in 10 finishes. The AJ crib starts at $1450 USD
The Alex crib with an optional applique word on the side starts at $950 USD.

nurseryworks studio crib

+ For space savings, the Studio crib designed by Truck Product Architecture for Nurseryworks provides a hideaway-changing table with closed storage on the side of the crib. This pricier modern crib also converts to a toddler daybed and built-in desk. $2095 CAD at ModernKid | $2100 USD at Modern Nursery

Note that the Nurseryworks Sleepytime Rocker in Velvet is on sale at $450 (50% off) at Modern Nursery. Available in several fabric colors and wood types.

BABY products FAMILY

Beautiful Textile Baby Goods at oktak

oktak baby goods :: burp cloth :: drawstring bag :: bibs

I bought a couple framed handbags from the New York designer oktak. I enjoy them. With the baby boom I see around me, I more inclined to show you cool baby goods that would be perfect for baby showers.

You can find an array of baby gears in an array of stunning fabrics. The octopus pink burp cloth is lovely. Diapers and feeding bottles of any size will fit comfortably inside the drawstring bags. You can recycle it as a beach bag or a shoe bag.

Mothers never have enough bibs. Her bibs are reversible. The large bibs fit babies over 6 months and toddlers. The small bibs fit newborns, up to 12 months.

SOURCING:
+ octopus pink burp cloth $12 USD
+ octopus yellow drawstring bag $18 USD
+ owls on cream yellow bib $16 USD

More oktak on AHWKV:
+ Mother’s Day gift ideas
+ Running errands with oktak