We are an independent mom-run online parenting magazine serving York Region.Please visit our homepage and enjoy all the information there, as well visit our blog, where we post news and information about baby & kids related information affecting new & expectant parents.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Book Review: The No-Cry Sleep Solution for toddlers and preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley

Book Review: The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers : Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Childs Sleep

Elizabeth Pantley writes an incredible series of parenting bookson topics including sleep, potty training and discipline.

Her book entitled, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for toddlers and preschoolers, is a must read for parents who have either:
  • a toddler/preschooler who has never been a good sleeper and are looking for practical solutions for helping this situation
  • a toddler/preschooler who is having difficulty transitioning to a new sleep situation (e.g.new bedroom) or have begun to have sleep problems
Pantley’s book provides very specific suggestions for how to analyze your personal situation as well as a variety of steps/suggestions that you can try to improve your sleep situation with your toddler. Her practical and supportive text allows parents to take the information that sounds helpful and leave the tips that will not work for their family. She recognizes that every family as well as every child is unique and will therefore have a unique situation that requires careful thought and implementation of a strategy that will work for them.

In Part Two of her book, she lists eight sleep tips for every child. This section is a wonderful resource for all parents to read. She then writes about solutions for a variety of common sleep problems such as “Bedtime Battles”, “ Naptime problems” and “Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking”.

Throughout her book, Pantley emphasizes the importance of consistency as well as giving each plan a fair try. She provides parents with solutions that are easy to understand and follow.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for toddlers and preschoolers is definitely a book worth reading. It is well written, is an easy read and will most likely assist any family experiencing bedtime issues.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wet Happened? By MiniMe Baby Gear

Product Name:
Wet Happened? Wet Bag from MiniMe BabyGear

A "wet bag"
made with thick cotton outer print, then lined with a Polyurethane Laminate, called Baby Dry. The inner material is great for storing used diapers, wet clothing, or bathing suits. Constructed with the two layers sewn separately, the zippered top secures contents to keep smells where they belong.

Review: Until I recieved
my Wet Happened? Wet Bag from MiniMe Baby Gear, I was toting around plastic bags in my purse for diapers, spare clothes etc!

I actually received the bag just as we were thinking about potty training our toddler and it turns out this is just the thing we needed!! We have used the Wet Happened? Wet Bag for so many things this summer, including of course carrying our little guys wet clothes while potty training, his potty seat cover and even our wet bathing suits while out and about this summer.

Since he is now fully potty trained, but off to nursery school the bag is conveniently in his school bag, with a change of clothes, just in case. And with baby #2 being here in the next few months, we are sure to get a lot of use out of this handcrafted (amazing!) bag.

They also carry very cute "Rufflebutt" Onesies, Strollers Liners and lots more -- so check it out.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just Jill: Handmade Love for your Little Ones

Product Name: Blankets, Onesies & Shoes from Just Jill

Description: Handcrafted cozy blankets,cuddly quilts, huggable pillowcases, cute shoes and onesies! Just Jill uses the softest, coziest fabrics. Vibrant modern prints and fun, whimsical fabrics are stylish and eye catching.

Just Jill is an Etsy based store from Oakville, creating truly one of a kind blankets, shoes and onesies for babies. I ordered a pair of super cute cotton shoes in size 0-6 moths, in the ever-so-funky 'sock monkey' fabric and matching onesie. I ordered it for a shower gift -- but loved it so much I kept it for my new baby! The quality of the product is truly outstanding, and I can't wait to put the little cute shoes on our sweet little monkey! Just Jill also makes amazingly hip blankets for little ones, and I fell in love with a great blanket which will be great to use as nursing coverup, stroller or just to snuggle with. It's the perfect size to fit into a diaper bag, with cotton on one side and soft minky on the other.

All of the products have washed really well, and I love how inexpensive the shipping is on these products, and that they arrived within a day or two of ordering, and the fact that by purchasing from a small designer I was supporting a small business! You can view the newly added designs from Just Jill here, as well you can visit Just Jill at The Children's Trunk Show in November to pick up some great gifts for baby.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More, Argue Less & Communicate Better as Your Family Grows

Description: From Amazon.ca The Babyproofers are three women who wouldn't trade their roles as mothers for anything, and they love their husbands deeply. But after living through it and hearing the stories of hundreds of other couples, they know that with young children in the house, you need to block the stairs with baby gates, put plastic covers over the outlets, AND take the necessary steps to safeguard your marriage.

Babyproofing Your Marriage is the warts-and-all truth about how having children can affect your relationship. The authors explore the transition to parenthood in light of their own experiences, with input from their husbands and commentary from men and women across the country. Their evenhanded approach to both sides of the marital equation allows spouses to understand each other in a whole new way.

With loads of humor and practical advice, the Babyproofers will guide first-time parents and veterans alike around the rocky shores of the early parenting years. Don't fall prey to common relationship pitfalls: Babyproof Your Marriage!

Review: Babyproofing Your Marriage is the book that every parent and expectant parent should read -- on top of course of all the books about pregnancy & child birth. Babyproofing Your Marriage is different, it's all the information you need about how having a baby changes your relationship with your partner. It tackles the postpartum period, where many of go from having leisurely weekends to no free time at all and how that puts a strain on relationships.

The chapter on "What's the Score?" is an eye-opener, as partner a states all the things they did this week for the family and partner b retorts back with all the things that they did this week -- and in the end with attitudes like this everyone loses. The Babyproofers tell us why both sexes keep score (this book is based around mainly heterosexual couples) and how we can stop keeping score and be happier!

It really is a fun book to read and you'll find your head shaking "yes!" a lot and the Babyproofers give parents some great tools and tips on how to be happy with baby, and your marriage.

Tushygear on the Road

Product Name: Tushygear on the Road

Description: Designed by a mother of two, Tushygear includes a convenient way to carry the diaper, wipes and the pad. Tushygear is a tote that is small enough to fit into a diaper bag yet is self contained so it can be used on its own too. Tushygear's high quality fabric is also machine washable.

Review: Keeping my diaper bags and purses organized is a total necessity. I need to know where everything is at all times! And I love the fact that the Tushygear on the Road does just that!

Available in many fantastic patterns, the Tushygear on the Road stands out when inside your bag, and you can simply pull it out of your jammed bag and access a softer-than-soft change pad,your wipes and diapers quickly and easily.

When I am in a rush and for daytrips, I simply stock up the the Tushygear on the Road and know that I have 3 diapers, wipes and somewhere clean and soft to change baby.

The quality of this product is really outstanding, and you know that Emily, mom of 2
has put a lot of effort and time into perfecting what moms need. I can't wait to keep using my the Tushygear on the Road for babies to come!

Check out the Tushygear website for other great baby items like change pad covers and blankets!

Get Organized! Family Medical Journal

Description: The Get Organized! Family Medical Journal was created by a GTA mom of three who after she had her twin girls, and her eldest daughter was 3½, suddenly I had a lot of medical
information to remember from doctor's appointments for all three of them, not to mention herself and her husband. Additionally, unfortunately, one of her girls was born with some medical issues
which required specialized treatment, through Sick Kids Hospital.

Jodie would try to write down questions she had in preparation for appointments on a scrap piece of paper that she found in her purse in the waiting room (sound familiar?) and then try to remember all of the information in her head that she was told by the doctors.

So, she created this Canadian focused family medical and health journal, where from birth parents can track appointments, questions for doctors, medications, growth and development and so much more.

Review: People who know me know that I am organized, well at least I think that there is method to my madness!!

But, the Get Organized! Family Medical Journal has taken my organization to the next level. I now have a place to store all of our pertinent and important health information, including immunization records, fingerprints and DNA for the kids. I keep the Get Organized! Family Medical Journal handy in the kitchen, so when I am thinking about any health related question, I can jot if down for the next time we are at the doctors.

I've also been taking the Get Organized! Family Medical Journal to the doctors for the past few visits and it's made the visits less stressful, as having a toddler running around the room, while I am trying to ask questions, or take down information about the appointment can be a challenge!

I really can't say enough about this product and it's creator! Jodie Pappas is up for the Savvy Mom Mompreneur award, and we've already voted for her -- and you can as well.

This journal would make a fabulous gift for a shower for a new mom, who for the first few months of her life seems to spend a lot of time at the doctors with new baby!

Right, now you can buy one get one free, if you buy directly from their website.

Product Name:Bilingual Books and Flash Cards from Il Cocco di Mamma

Product Name:Bilingual Books and Flash Cards from Il Cocco di Mamma

Review: Many of your know that Il Cocco di Mamma is a great place to get bilingual onesies for baby, but they also carry amazing book and flash cards in a number of languages. We like the Elmer and Friends, in the English- Spanish book, but think it's amazing that it comes in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Turkish!
It makes reading the story so much fun! When we've done the English, we start again and do the Spanish!

The Milet's Flashcards, come in English-French and 7 other language combinations! The cards are bright and colourful and with 60 cards, it's hours of fun for our toddler -- and we are brushing up on our french while teaching our toddler a whole new language!

Supperworks - Newmarket

Product Name: Supperworks - Newmarket

Review 1:
What can I say about Supperworks? The people who invented Superworks are my heroes! I cannot say one negative thing about my experience at Supperworks. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was warm, inviting and most importantly, clean!

Who knew that preparing a healthy, delicious meal could be so much fun, so easy and so fast?! All of the ingredients are set up for you, all you have to do is add and mix. The recipes are easy to follow. The layout is extremely organized and the best part is that you don't have to clean up! You just prepare and go.

Each meal comes with a pre-printed label for cooking instructions and suggestions for serving. Supperworks is definitely the best option for families who have little time to prepare meals and who find themselves eating less healthy alternatives or dining out on a regular basis.

What an amazing experience!

Review 2: I too, am in love. In love, with Supperworks. I've been twice now, and will be booking my third session for next month soon! When I didn't return to work after maternity leave and started working part-time from home. I thought I would have all the time in the world to make yummy and healthy meals for the family.But, it turns out, on top of the million things I have to do, sometimes supper isn't at the top of my list!!

It's hard to sum up what I love about Supperworks, but I'll try!! The staff are amazing -- totally helpful and really fun. I prepared 6 meals in less than an hour and I didn't clean up a thing!! (WOW!) I love that the food is healthy and resonably priced.

And the food is really good. Some of our favourites include, Lemon Chicken or the Cabernet Beef -- check out all the yummy meals you can make!

Portraits by Josee

Product Name: Portraits by Josee

Review 1: I'm always very nervous going into photo shoots, whether it be I am the centre of attention or my daughter. However, as soon as I stepped foot into Josee's studio, I was immediately put at ease. Her kind, calm and welcoming nature put all of my fears aside.

We spent the perfect amount of time getting photos taken of my active toddler, Josee had instinct when it came to a toddler's attention span. She was well prepared with toys and distractions in order to keep my daughter intrigued and happy all at the same time.

Josee is a creative photographer who uses a candid approach in her work. This helps with the subject feeling more at ease as well as the natural look of her work.

After the photo shoot, the photos are placed online (password protected) for viewing in a timely manner.

All in all, having a photo shoot with Josee was a positive experience for both me and my daughter.

Review 2: We booked our photo session back to back with our friends, reviewer #1, and we too felt comfortable from the second we walked into Josee's studio. Josee was so fun and genuinely
excited to take pictures of us, with our little 'cookies'.

The session was the prefect length to get some breathtaking photos of my nearly two year old that will become family heirlooms and treasured memories of toddlerhood.

Our extended family loved that they could go online after the shoot and order their prints, as did I. It was so hard to choose pictures from the shoot to have blown up, but in the end we did and they are hanging on our walls as a testament to Josee's great talent as a photographer.

I didn't know at the time, but I was just pregnant with baby #2 and I look forward to meeting with Josee again in the late summer so she can help us capture our growing family and new 'cookie'

Baby Bath Gate

Product Name: Baby Bath Gate

Review: The Baby Bath Gate is a wonderful invention for parents of young children. It
is easy to install, fits all standard tubs, dries easily with its mildew-resistant safety screen, has unique grip pads to hold it in place and it rolls up for easy storage and travel.

When bathing two children, it is always difficult to keep the one child safe and away from the faucet. the Baby Bath Gate eliminates this safety hazard all together. It is so simple to
use and doesn't stand out in design, allowing it to become just a fixture of the bathtub, rather than another toy.

The Baby Bath Gate is an award winning product that is a must have for parents who have difficulty keeping their child still in the bath.

Safety Note: Never ever leave babies or children unattended in the bath or near water, not even for a second

dwink - the universal dwink box holder

Product Name:dwink - the universal dwink box holder

Review #1:
The Dwink Box is by far one of the coolest inventions we have come across! It's name is catchy, the colours are not easily missed and most importantly, it prevents those crazy squirt spills that erupt from drink boxes all over the country!

The unique design allows this product to be used with standard and mini drink boxes. The handles on both sides were definitely placed perfectly for young hands. The design is perfect, right down to the non-skid bottom!

Long gone are my nervous feelings when handing my daughter a drink box and the need for cleaning after a drink box has been consumed has disappeared.

Review #2: The mom that invented the dwink universal drink box holder is one smart lady! This handy little invention is a great way to stop squirts from drinking boxes and allow toddlers to grip tightly to their beloved "dwink"!.

What I love is that it is indeed universal and doesn't just hold juice boxes -- I tried all sizes of tetra packs, including soy milk and it fit those in as well

Belly Casting Kit from The Better Baby Company

Product Name: Belly Casting Kit from The Better Baby Company
Review:7:49 – Dinner is over and my toddler is with his grandma. I finally have uninterrupted time to start my belly cast.

Following the directions, I set up a chair and drape it with the plastic sheet provided. It’s Sunday
night and the Amazing Race is about to start so I put the chair near the tv. I get my husband to fill up a bowl of water. We cut the plaster strips according to the instruction sheet – the messiest part about the whole process as plaster dust settled over our coffee table – and we lay everything out like we are doing surgery. My husband is skeptical about the cast but gets into it a little more as he realizes its plaster of Paris. It reminds us of our childhoods and we reminisce about art projects gone wrong!

As I read the instructions, I like the individuality of the casting process – you can do whatever you want and decorate it however you want. I decided to only do my belly but according to the box and the website lots of women choose to do their entire torso, breasts included. I sat in the chair with a towel protecting my pajama pants and my husband started to apply the strips of plaster we had cut. I recommend using an old towel as protection for clothing as the strips do drip a little and it made clean up a breeze. He laid the strips across my belly slowly building up the layers. We chatted and laughed (and watched the tv) and genuinely enjoyed ourselves. Generally when our toddler is at Grandma’s we use the time to catch up on other stuff and don’t spend quality time together. I was a little apprehensive to start the cast because I thought it would take a lot of time and require a lot of clean up. It really didn’t. We were done in less than half an hour and the clean up was about 5 minutes – including vacuuming the plaster dust from our coffee table.

8:19 – I sit back to continue watching the Amazing Race and wait for the cast to harden. I am pleased with how easy it was to do. When we are done my husband says that was kind of fun and I agreed. Now I must wait 48 hours to decorate it and I am trying to decide what method I should use. I’m a scrapbooker so the ideas are flowing. I don’t know that I personally will keep this for life but it was really fun and easy and gave my husband and me something to bond over with the baby-to-be.

Kangaroo Towl from Small Made Simple

Product Name: Kangaroo Towl from Small Made Simple
Description: The Kangaroo Towel from Small Made Simple is a hooded bath towel for mom
or dad to wear. It keeps you dry while bathing, gives you a pouch to put baby into after the

Review: I can't say enough about the Kangaroo Towel from Small Made Simple!!

This convenient and cute towel is so practical (did we mention cute!). With adjustable should
straps so both mom and dad can use, this very soft towel comes with a hooded towel, so baby
stays warm after their bath. The Kangaroo Towel comes in three yummy colours, blue,
pink and green and as your baby grows the towel grows with baby.

So, no more putting baby on the floor, after the bath it's time for a snuggle, before getting nice and dry and ready for night-night.

The Kangaroo Towel makes a fabulous shower gift for a mommy-to-be or as a welcome home present for baby and is available at many stores in York Region and the GTA.

Petite Diapering Bag from Bubble and Squeak

Product Name:Petite Diapering Bag from Bubble and Squeak
Description: Small Diaper Bag
Review: Believe it or not, but there comes a day when you don't have to leave the house with everything but the kitchen sink.

And for that day, there is a small and versatile diaper bag from Bubble and Squeak, available at Tummy Time. This bag comes with a change pad and the bag wipes done easily for those toddler accidents.

We love the green paisley print, and it also is available in a pink paisley print, which screams, "Hello Spring!"

And for those days when you do need to bring the kitchen sink, just toss the petite diapering bag into your larger bag!

Wipes Case by Made By Angie

Product Name: Wipes Case by Made By Angie
A stylish and functional wipes case

$30.00 (USD)

To carry wipes for baby/toddler

I love anything handmade and inventive! And it's always an added bonus when the product s functional as well as stylish! Made by Angie is a line of wipes cases for moms to carry their wipes in -- but with a twist. These handmade wi
pes cases make a great shower or new mom gift! With a range of styles from funky polka dots, to retro fabrics and very fashionable prints, there is case for every mom. Angie, is a mom to 2, whose customer service is exceptional, as well as her style. Each case is made by hand and finished with beautiful matching ribbon around the case. As their slogan states "Diapers need changin' ... at least you can look good doing it!" And we agree! And to top it off, each wipes case comes ready-to-go with wipes included!

Classic Sling from the Better Baby Company

Product Name: Classic Sling from the Better Baby Company
Description: A ring sling for babywearing
Price: $69.99-$74.99
Function: For parents to wear their baby/toddler
Review #1:
I’ve always been a little hesitant of ring slings, don’t ask me why, I just have. I think it’s because they just look so darn complicated.

But, after testing and trying the Classic Sling in Blue & Green Stripes (Size Long) I’m addicted.

When I opened the Sling Package from The Better Baby Company, there was a instruction manual with pictures that I followed and was able to be ‘up and running’ in a few minutes. Being nearly 6 foot and having a husband who is over 6 foot the size Large suited us both well. Our toddler loves being able to be carried by both ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. (and so do I!!) I also love that because the ring sling is adjustable, it’s easy to wear over a coat or winter jacket.

I also love that this baby/toddler sling is handmade in Canada, and that it’s stylish and a great price! For $74.99 for a long size and $69.99 for a regular size sling, it is well worth the investment in a sling that takes you from newborn to toddler.

Review #2:
Slings are a lifesaver for new Moms and not-so-new Moms! When your baby is very young and needing to be held, rocked, bounced, etc., it can be very tiring! When your child is older (e.g. toddler age) and cutting teeth or sick and needing extra love and attention, it can be backbreaking trying to lift them and carry them around.

The Better Baby Company makes a top quality sling for parents. It comes in six fashionable colours made from top quality fabric. They are sewn with 'wear and tear' in mind, and trust us, you will get a lot of wear out of this product. The aluminium rings are durable and provide for simple adjustments of your sling.

One unique feature of the The Better Baby Company's sling is the storage pouch in the tail of the sling for carrying an extra diaper, your bank card, a hat or receiving blanket etc. This pouch is a convenient addition to their sling.

The slings come in two sizes and each allow for plenty of adjustment room to fit your comfort needs and your growing baby.

The sixteen page instruction booklet comes complete with pictures and is easy to follow, guiding even the newest of parents through the six different wearing positions.

Baby wearing is definitely the way to go and with the The Better Baby Company sling, you will definitely be satisfied. You can carry your baby or child without getting tired, Moms can breastfeed discreetly and you can look stylish all at the same time.

Top 10 reasons for buying a sling from The Better Baby Company

  • Wearing your baby is convenient for you!
  • Wearing your baby promotes physical development.
  • Babies worn in slings are more content.
  • Using a sling can help prevent Positional Plagiocephely ("baby flat-head").
  • Slings allow for proper bone and joint development.
  • Baby wearing helps you to communicatewith your baby and her with you.
  • Slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents,and other caregivers.
  • Slings are a safe and secure place for a baby or toddler to be.
  • Slings are economical.
  • Slings are an emotionally safe place for children to experience life.

Nurse-n-Glow available at Trendy Baby Products

Product Name: Nurse-n-Glow available at Trendy Baby Products
A nursing pillow with built on light

Price: $49.99 Review: For the first few nights of babies life at home, we slept with the light on, so we could see how he was doing… was he breathing?… was he ok?...was he sleeping?

We were typical first time parents – afraid of everything. On top of everything else that entails being a first time parent
s, we were also working on our nighttime routine. And we'd have done so much better if we had the Nurse-n-Glow pillow.

Rather than have numerous lights on and getting in and out of bed, the inventive Nurse-n-Glow lighted pillow it allows for a more tranquil and thriving breastfeeding experience without leaving your bed.
The Nurse-N-Glow, available in a number of colours is great for a number of reasons including, the soft glow of the light allows you to have a mid-night nursing without turning on a light and waking up baby. The lighted pillow was developed by a Chiropractor and mom, and therefore allows the baby to be positioned so that their heads and backs are properly aligned. The pillow is sturdy, allowing a good barrier between your partner and your baby. To turn the light on you simply just press on the top, and the soft glowing light comes on – and stays on for 30 minutes. And best of all, you can sleep with the lights off!! Available exclusively at Trendy Baby Products.

Little Star Sling available at Baby~ola

Product Name: Little Star Sling available at Baby~ola
Description: Cotton and Hemp Baby Slings

I though my babywearing days were over! With a 27 pound (wiggly) toddler I could no longer where him the front carrier (that I wish I had never had bought!) as his legs dangled down and it just wasn't working.
But I still wanted the ease of being able to not have to talk my stroller and shopping with ease and comfort. Last fall I was in Baby~ola and was attracted to the new slings they has just got in. There were denim, black, olive cotton ones and hemp ones as well. I decided to give it a whirl and put my toddler into the sling. At first it was a no-go! He wanted nothing to do with it, but after attempting a few more times, he liked being up high and seeing what I saw, and I liked how small it was. I could literally put it on in 2 seconds and carry it in my purse.

Last December we went away to Cuba, and decided to forgo the stroller and just take my Little Star Sling! It was the best thing we could have done!! In the airports we walked easily carrying our luggage, we strolled down the beach and I wore him whenever he asked! I really think the Little Star Sling has helped us become a little closer as well, as we spent lots of time close together and bonded!

I am looking forward to continue wearing my toddler, and hopefully any future babies!

Our Reviews

We've been doing product and service reviews since January of 2007 on our main site, but due popular demand we have decided to transfer our reviews over to the blog and increase the frequency of the reviews for our readers! Look for our previous reviews to be posted in the next day or so, and enjoy!!