Stay Cool, Baby

Tyron and I have been enjoying the summer, even this week while temperatures reach record highs. Outdoor activity is super important in our lives, but when the temperatures reach 40+, it’s best to limit outdoor time and find ways to beat the heat and stay cool. Here are some tips for staying cool on hot summer days (and ways to protect you and your baby from those pesky hot-weather nuances like dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn!).

1. Water water water! Water isn’t just good for hydration, it helps keep you cool, too! Splash pads and wading pools are a great activity for hot days. Check your city’s parks and recreation website for lists of community pools, wading pools and splash pads. If you live in a city that doesn’t have these options, create them yourself! Buy a cheap plastic pool or splash mat for your kids, fill it with cold water, and some water toys, and have fun! We’ve even used an old rubbermaid bucket (pictured above) when we didn’t have a proper baby pool.

image source: google images

2. Drink Up! Staying hydrated is important all year round, but especially in the summer when you lose more of your body’s natural water stores through sweating (and spending time immersed in water also draws water out of your body! When your fingers get wrinkly, it’s time to re-hydrate). Drinking water is important for you AND your baby, so be sure to offer him water whenever possible. If you are breastfeeding on demand, you may notice your little one wants to nurse more frequently when it’s hot out as well. Breast milk is excellent for hydrating and replacing lost electrolytes, so don’t be alarmed if you feel like you are constantly feeding! If your baby is eating solid foods, offer water with each meal and offer lots of water-rich foods, like raw fruits and veggies! Formula doesn’t hydrate the way breast milk does, so offer your formula fed baby water between meals as well. If you are worried about replacing electrolytes, skip the sports drinks (which have added flavors, sugars and coloring), and give your baby (and yourself) some Coconut Water. Coconut water is excellent for replacing lost electrolytes, and hydrates just like normal water does. It’s also all-natural, and way healthier than sports drinks or fruit juices.

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3. Stay in the Shade. Keeping out of the sun will help prevent sunburn and sun stroke, and shaded areas are much cooler than being out in full sun. Using an umbrella or sun shade when out at the beach or park will offer a cool place to rest and will keep you out of the harmful rays of the sun. Wearing a sun hat will offer extra sun protection for you and your little one’s face, neck and eyes, and making sure to wear UV protective swimwear will add in sun protection. Use baby sunscreen on babies over 6 months (younger than 6 months, keep your baby out of the sun!). Iplay has a lot of UV protective baby gear, such as swim wear, hats and clothes.

4. Stay Indoors! Check your local weather station for heat advisories. When it is TOO hot, stay indoors! Little lungs can struggle to breathe air that is too thick with heat and humidity, and in a heat wave, being indoors is sometimes the safest option. Take in a matinee movie with your older kids (or check out Movies for Mommies in Ontario, Stars and Strollers all over Canada). Hang out at the library, walk the mall,  or take your little one to a family-friendly restaurant for lunch. If you or a friend have central air conditioning, share the love! Have an “Escape the Heat Wave” indoor play date with summer foods and indoor play time. Check out indoor playgrounds, museums and aquariums for other fun indoor activities!

What are your favorite ways to beat the heat in the summer?

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Summer Activity: Baby Story Time!

imag e credit: google images

Okay, so it’s not just a summer activity, but it’s definitely nice to have a cool, air conditioned escape in the library!  Many public libraries offer story time for different ages. When Tyron was just a couple months old, we took him to baby time and Mother Goose (Baby Time offered by the Public Library and Mother Goose offered by the Ontario Early Years Centre). He wasn’t all that interested or interactive our first go around, but when I found out the public library was doing a summer session of Baby Time, I got super excited!
One of the things I always wanted for Tyron was for him to love books as much as Doug and I do. I wanted him to have favorite stories, and to ask us to read to him over and over again, to pull out the same book every night because it was his favorite. Long before I was even pregnant, Doug and I had talked about wanting to read to our kids at bed time. I have fond memories of visiting my childhood best friend and sleeping over at her house, and listening to her dad read The Chronicles of Narnia to all three of his kids (and me) before bed. I want to share my love of reading with my kids.
The great thing about Baby Time is that the librarians know how to keep the babies’ attention. They sing songs, do rhymes, use puppets and props and read fun books that babies love. Ty loves to crawl on the big rug and sit right up front where he can see the pictures up close! He also loves the very end of the class, when the librarians/teachers blow bubbles!
Ask the librarians in the Children’s section of your local library for any story time or baby activities they may do. And if they don’t offer any, ask if there’s a way to suggest an activity. And if that doesn’t work, do story time at home!
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Mommy Must-Haves: Air Travel

In Tyron’s first year, he will have gone on 2 international flights (round-trip) and two domestic flights (round trip). Traveling with a baby is tough, but not impossible. Having a few things on hand made traveling with a lap baby much easier!

image from Beco Baby Carriers

1. Carrier: We have a Beco Gemini in the Paige pattern, and I love it. I use it every day! When traveling on a plane, any carrier will do as long as it works well for you, and there are lots of carriers to choose from (future post about carrier types and brands coming soon!). It helps to have a secure place for your baby if he needs to sleep, or if you end up needing to walk up and down the aisle. We used the Beco Gemini while on a 5 hour flight, and Ty took two naps in it! It is also helpful if you don’t plan on bringing a stroller.

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2.Smitten Baby Change Mate: When changing diapers on a plane, these change mats rock! They open up to reveal a pocket that can fit 2-3 diapers and a travel wipes case. They’re fantastic for grabbing and heading to the tiny airplane bathroom without lugging your whole diaper bag to change a diaper.


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3. Snack Trap: Keep your snacks handy, in a cup that little hands can easily hold. These are great for filling with small snacks, and the lid helps prevent spills (you can also buy solid lids, so nothing spills out in your diaper bag). These are great not just for air travel, but for every day use! We use a Munchkin brand snack trap for stroller trips, and snacking on the go.

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4. Toy Strap: Keep your baby’s toys safe from falling below airplane seats with a toy strap. These work great on most toys, and will keep you from dropping toys when you are juggling baby in your arms. Attach one side of the toy strap to the toy, and the other can be attached to your seat belt, belt loops, or baby’s clothes. Toy straps work great for keeping Sophie safe in the car or stroller, too!

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5. A Special Toy:  Purchasing a special “travel” toy is not necessary, especially if your baby has a special toy he loves. You can buy your baby a new toy just for the plane, but be sure to have other known favorites on hand as well. Something interactive that will keep his attention is key. Ty loves his My Pal Scout (by Leap Frog), and we bring it with us when we travel. Keep in mind the size of your carry-on luggage when planning or buying toys for the flight. The smaller the better. It helps, too, for baby to have something familiar to sleep with in a new place.

Hope these ideas help! I’ll have more travel tips as we head off to new adventures in the Caribbean next month!

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Friday Review: Innobaby Packin’ SMART

I recently bought an Innobaby Packin’ SMART Butterfly. I was so excited for it to arrive, and it didn’t disappoint. I filled two of the containers with formula, and the other three with various snacks (cheerios, Gerber puffs, and some small pear cookies). It fits so easily in my diaper bag, and instead of having three or four different containers for all of Ty’s various snacks, I can fit all of his snacks in one container. It’s also great because you can remove the tiers, so if you only need a couple of them, you don’t have to carry around any of the empty ones.

Packin’ Smart containers are BPA, Lead, PVC and Pthalates free, and are dishwasher safe. The 5 tier stacks are $19.99 and come with 5 tiers, 5 inner lids, a base and the top lid (that has a nifty little handle). They also come in 3 tiered stacks. The inner lids have a small hole for easy pouring, so they aren’t made for liquids or purees, but Innobaby has a Stack N Seal 4 tier container that can carry liquids OR dry products (those ones are $17.99). Those ones are awesome if you’re feeding your baby pureed foods and are planning on being out for the day!

Just a note: I am not affiliated with Innobaby, and they didn’t pay me anything or give me anything to write this review. I’m bringing you this review of my own accord, because I love this product!

I love this product SO MUCH, I think my readers should have one too. Stay tuned, because in a few weeks I’ll be giving away TWO 3-tiered Innobaby Packin’ SMART zoo stacks!

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Hello, and all that stuff

I’ve tried to be a blogger in the past. Always looking for my niche. I can’t even remember all the blogs I used to have. I’ve blogged about cooking, about writing, about becoming Catholic, about my greyhounds, about the miscellaneous goings on in my not-so-fabulous life. The problem was, all of these things were just things I did, but not things I did well. I’d never found anything I was really and truly good at. Then I became a mother. It’s totally cliche, I know, but I can’t help it, it’s true. I was never really GOOD at anything untl my baby boy came along.

And even then, no mom ever knows what she is doing right from the start. Sure, it’s something that comes naturally, but when your baby cries for 4 straight hours, or when he gets a fever, or when you accidentally clip his skin with the fingernail clippers, you freak out. It’s normal for moms to feel like they don’t know what they are doing, and I’ve definitely felt that way numerous times. But this is the first time in my life that it didn’t matter if I was educated, or talented, or beautiful. All that matters to my little boy is that I know a few songs, that I am not afraid to let him get a little dirty, that I will hug and kiss him when he’s sad. He doesn’t care about the other things. So for once in my life, I feel like I can actually be good at things, because no one is judging me based on my resume.

So here, I blog. I know, I know, there are 600,000 parenting blogs, and I’m sure every single one of them has something amazing to offer. I can’t be as amazing as everyone else, but I can promise I will be real, and I will be really me. And if that’s good enough for my baby, that’s good enough for me.

I can promise a blog full of product reviews, recipes, giveaways, pictures and stories about my life as a first time mommy. I hope you’ll stick around!

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