Tag: Baby

Explore & Crawl Elephant Perfect for Your Little One

“Explore & Crawl Elephant has crawled into our hearts and we know your little one will adore it as much as we do!” – Momma Braga

Explore & Crawl Elephant

It’s time to explore! The cheerful Explore & Crawl Elephant encourages little ones to crawl and walk after him with ears that flap and a bright, light-up star. This soft, plush animal invites cuddles while providing lots of sensory stimulation with multiple textures and bright patterns. Kids build their gross motor skills as they practice crawling and walking after the elephant. Babies and toddlers can press any button to get the elephant moving, making playtime easy and rewarding. The elephant asks children to identify colors and numbers by pressing buttons. Watch the elephant crawl, sing and flap his ears in response! 45+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases enliven playtime while teaching about colors, numbers and daily life. Intended for ages six to 36 months. Requires 3 AA batteries. Batteries included for demo purposes only. New batteries recommended for regular use.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Explore & Crawl Elephant is absolutely adorable and a perfect gift idea for a little one in your life. We love how soft the elephant is and it’s design is too cute! It offers many wonderful features that will allow little ones to learn and grow with it. There are four activities that you can try with the push of a button. First there is the Elephant Button, press this button to hear fun sounds and phases. The elephant will flap its ears and crawl forward. Then there is the Music Button, press this button to hear playful melodies and songs. Then head off to the Number Button, press this one to learn numbers, body parts and the color of the shape. The elephant will flap its ears and move forward during the playful number song. Lastly but not least, you will need to check out the Light-Up Star Button. Press this button to hear fun sounds, phrases and playful songs that encourage interaction and crawling. The elephant will flap its ears and move forward during the playful sounds, songs and short tunes. The light will flash with the sounds.

Feature Highlights
  • The crawling, ear-flapping elephant encourages gross motor development as little ones crawl and walk after him.
  • Soft, plush fabric with multiple textures and patterns provides tactile and visual stimulation for growing infants’ senses.
  • Four easy-to-press buttons trigger the elephant’s movement as well as songs and dialog about colors and counting.
  • 45+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases teach about colors, numbers and daily life and encourage interaction with the friendly elephant.
  • This soft, plush elephant invites cuddling and active play with learning.

We give it, 10 flaps out of 5! This is a perfect gift for babies and toddlers as it offers ample of fun and learning. Nikki thought the elephant is super adorable and even though it doesn’t have a name, she decided to call it “Ellie the Elephant.” We think it is absolutely perfect!

The Explore & Crawl Elephant is recommended for children 6-36 months. If you would like to purchase one, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

*This product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Normal Things That No One Tells You To Expect With A Newborn

Having a baby is one of life’s best parts, it’s a truly beautiful experience, that is unique to each person. With advice from others, books, professional advice and information readily available online, it’s no wonder that parents are able to get well and truly prepared for the arrival of their new addition. But are they really prepared for absolutely everything? 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

Whether it’s unexpected things at the birth, countless sleepless nights because of baby day/night confusion, or more frequent feeding than expected, it’s all normal and perfect fine to feel a little lost. Usually, you will feel as though no one can help, and you’re doing wrong but that not the case. 

There are some worrying yet normal things that come with having a newborn, all of which are completely normal. Whether you’re a new parent or even a tenth-time parent some of the most normal things can sometimes leave you scared and concern, however, you have got this!

Have a look below at some of the completely normal yet scary things about newborns that people just don’t tell you about: 

Constant Sneezing 

For a newborn, the world is an entirely new place to be. Therefore, you need to be aware that their little nose is going to be a little extra sensitive to their environment. It may seem as though your newborn is sneezing all the time, but it’s a completely normal way for them to react to their new living environment. Sneezing helps then to get rid of any tiny foreign particles that may have made their way up into their nose. 

In their first few days, you may notice they are sneezing more, this is because there is extra mucus or amniotic fluid that is still sitting in their nostrils, this is completely normal. If you see any signs of temperature or wheezing alongside the sneezing, then give your health visitor a call as they may need to be seen.  

Jerky Or Sudden Movements

If this is your first child, then you may be a little bit supposed by the way that a baby moves. It’s likely that your little one will have rather jerky movements. Flailing limbs, and jumps a lot, and on top of that, it’s happening randomly. Relax, this is entirely normal. As they grow, they go through a number of developmental changes, one of which is their reflexes. After about three months of age, it will start to settle down. Heard of swaddling? This is one of the most common reasons babies are swaddled. 

Cradle Cap

This is something that is commonly seen on newborns and even some toddlers. It usually goes away very quickly, in fact, the first few months and it’ll be gone. Doing things like rubbing baby oil on to the areas it is every other day can help. Applying some baby oil using a fine baby comb will also help it to lift away. If it doesn’t go you may need to speak to your health care professional, but only if it is irritated or infected. It can be treated at home otherwise and is nothing to concerned about

Massive Poo Explosions

OK, so this is one that you may have heard of. People can’t help but share this story when you are expecting a new baby. However, what most new parents don’t realize is that they are much bigger and messier than you can imagine. Many new parents come across this with their new baby, all to different levels of the explosion, but it’s just something that you are never going to avoid. A newborn is well-known for having a runny and explosive poo, and it just seems to be a right of passage that every new parent must face. Don’t worry though, this is one of the most normal things you will experience with a new baby

Different Shaped Head

You and your baby work very well together to bring them into the world safely through the birth canal, so you shouldn’t be too worried about their strangely shaped head afterwards. Both you and your baby go through a tremendous amount of changes through childbirth and one of them is that their head shapes changes. It flattens slightly because it is malleable and soft, however, this is normal. In fact, it’s needed so that delivery can take place. It won’t be long before it starts to go back into a more normal shape. You should still be mindful that a baby can get a flat head is they are on their back too often, so try to lay them on the front and sides too. 

A Surprising Amount Of Hair 

If your little one is hairier than you expected don’t worry. As well as having hair on their head, a baby is born with more hair on their body than most parents expect. You will notice it on their back, shoulders, and even their feet. This is known as lanugo, it’s the first type of body hair made. Lanugo plays a crucial role in regulating a babies temperature in the womb. It’s certainly nothing to stress about, it will soon come away, and you won’t even notice it happening. Babies will lose most of the hair they are born with, including the hair on their head. Don’t panic though it luckily starts to grow back. Some quicker than others, but it does return. 

Spotty Babies 

This is most commonly known as ‘baby acne’. If your newborn has spots on their face, don’t get too worried about it. It just a reaction to your annoying hormones, and it will soon clear up on its own. You may also notice that they have little white spots Milk Spots’ or ‘Milia’ that aren’t related to the acne. They are just little bumps that are linked to their consumption of milk, they’re more common in bottle-fed babies but they will also disappear within a few weeks. 

The Scary Soft Spot 

Any new parent will be warned about the soft spot by someone at some point. It’s just a small area on the top of a babies skull that stays soft for months after the birth. Its purpose is there so their head can change shape for birth and the birth canal. You have to be careful of this area, but try not to stress about it, instead just be mindful and keep an eye on it. You will notice that you can see it moving, this is because their brain pulses inside their head, it’s a little bit tummy turning, but it is normal. If you have any concerns regarding the soft spot though, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare professional. 

Hiccups That Just Won’t Go

Hiccups may seem troublesome, however, they are extremely common for newborns. It will seem like they have them at every feed, to begin with, and yes it can seem scary, but it is completely normal. Your newborn is learning to breathe in their new environment, their ability to breathe and swallow hasn’t quite synchronized. As soon as they master this, the hiccups will start to appear less and less. 

Although for any parent, some of these can seem scary, they are all completely normal. There is always going to be something new to learn, and you will also pick up your own methods as you get to know your little one. Is there anything that you have experiences that were scary but normal with your newborn? Should they be on this list? Please share some of them in the comments section. 

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

Image Source

Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

A Bundle Of Duties Before The Bundle Of Joy: Preparing Your Home For A Baby

Pexels – CC0 Licence

As if you don’t have enough to do already! Of all the work that comes along in preparing yourself for the impending birth of your child, you’ve also got to look at the environment that your baby is going to inhabit. Put simply, your home is the most important environment, not just to nurture and raise your child, but also to ensure that you have everything in place so after you come home from the hospital, you can hit the ground running. But as with every parent that goes on the journey of having a child, they seldom feel prepared. So, let’s give you a couple of hints to ensure that the home is prepared in every single way.

Give Your Home A Safety Exam

As much of a shock to the system as having a baby is, we have to remember that when our child gets going and learns how to crawl, opens cabinets, and gets into all manner of mayhem, that will be a bigger shock to the system! It’s important to give your home a safety exam, not just so the baby is safe but also you need to fix those little house duties that you’ve not been able to get round to because of numerous trips to the hospital. That way you will ensure that the home is safe for the baby, but also, an appliance won’t give up on you when you need it the most! There is nothing worse than in the middle of the night when you are trying to sterilize a bottle with some boiling water, but the electricity has gone off everywhere, and not only do you not have light, but the kettle doesn’t work, and there’s a screaming baby to boot!

Have a look at your property and take yourself out of the equation for a second. Perhaps you lived in this property for a while, so while you think it’s safe, what is it like for a baby where a dangling switch or open plughole seems like a really exciting prospect? There are things that you need to do, such as locking medication and cleaning products away into secure cabinets, but also when you are looking at the property, and attempt to ascertain its safety, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential for disaster. When you live in a property that is, at best, temperamental, that one little watermark on the wall may harbor a bigger problem. If this is the case, it’s important to get in contact with a plumber, like on mrrooter.ca/mississauga to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Making sure that your home is safe will be easier to achieve before the baby comes along. You may think you’ve got plenty of time, but babies become mobile overnight, almost literally! You don’t want to be full of regrets.

Rearrange Your Space

Another thing you need to do right now because you have the time and the luxury is to arrange the space, not just so the baby paraphernalia has a place to live, but you may also want to turn the space into something more practical. The kitchen is a great example. Look at the counter, and see what can be stored. If you are someone that doesn’t like a lot of mess, finding a cabinet for all the baby stuff is a good idea. This means you’re going to have to rearrange the space and perhaps look at where older things might go. This may be part of the nesting phase, where you are compelled to clean the property and rearrange everything in preparation for your baby’s arrival. But it’s common sense to make everything easily accessible. You’ve got to prepare for the fact that you won’t be sleeping much, which makes the littlest of tasks an almighty chore. You don’t want to be rooting around for things in the fridge when there are so many expired jars in the way! Everything has to be accessible.

Planning For Late Nights, Early Mornings, And No Sleep

When you hear so much about the lack of sleep, this may very well be your biggest fear. As you start to get closer to the due date, your sleep may actually tail off, and when people tell you that you need to get as much rest as possible, this may seem more than impossible. And this means that when you are making the home ready for you and the baby, you have got to think about making life easier overall. When you lack sleep, your decision-making can prove troublesome. But this means you’ve got to learn the cliche of “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” But, when you can’t sleep because you’re concerned about the baby (which is very normal), you need a lot of home comforts around. If you decide to breastfeed, you need quick access to all the home comforts. This means you may very well be relying on Netflix in the middle of the night, but also, you will learn the art of making coffee with one hand! One of the greatest tools you can use is an insulated mug. Drinking a simple cup of coffee may take in excess of 45 minutes on certain days so having a nice mug of coffee is one of life’s little home comforts. It is those little things that will keep you going, especially during stressful times.

Keeping On Top Of House Duties

They say that during the first couple of weeks of a baby’s life that all cleaning goes out of the window! And while you may have plenty of visitors, and you want to make the home as presentable as possible it may very well be impossible to even put the vacuum around! But keeping on top of house duties is something that can be done, just as long as you plan better. You may find that doing the dishes is impossible, and while there’s no shame in leaving the sink to pile up, there is also no shame in asking visitors to help out because you haven’t had the chance! When you are are are sleep deprived, and you would like to tidy the house, you’ve got to work smart instead of hard. A handheld vacuum will work wonders because it’s a quick method of lifting up bits of lint and dirt. That way, you can keep the house vaguely presentable. But remember, even if you are house proud, people will understand that you have a baby to look after, so things can fall by the wayside. But there are little hacks you can take advantage of. The biggest one is getting a bouncy seat or a carrier, and doing a little bit of housework with them strapped in. All the motion could put the baby to sleep, so it’s win-win!

And also, while you might not think that you’re able to prepare for keeping the house clean, you can certainly minimize the overall duties by looking at your household tasks and see what you can do in the run-up to the baby being born! A great example is the cooking! Because eating a meal is a 30-minute task, and one you have to do standing up, you’ve got to think how difficult it would be to even cook a meal in the run-up to dinner time! Batch cooking is a lifesaver. A couple of months before the baby is born, start to compile meals that can be cooked, portioned up, and put in the freezer. There are some recipes on purewow.com/food to give you some inspiration. It’s also worth stocking the cupboards with perishables, so even if you have a spare 50 minutes to rustle up something, at the very least, you can have a tin of soup, or something quick. Eating quick is the name of the game, but you also need to eat healthily. Batch cooking is the best way to prepare meals that have a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. It will be crucial when the baby comes along, and you need that little bit of extra goodness in your diet. Because, after all, we can very easily rely on takeout and other unhealthy foodstuffs to see us through a tough time. This is an incredibly bad habit to get into because it may take a long time to get out.

You may wonder how you even have time to do all of this! But you will soon realize the benefit of hindsight if you don’t get underway. Preparing your home for the baby isn’t just about a nurturing environment (and padlocking everything), but it’s about making sure that you are able to thrive. You want the place to be a loving home, and you will start to get things underway, and you may even realize that you aren’t as prepared as you think. This is why now is the perfect opportunity to get the home up to speed. A baby is a wonderful thing, and it will change your life, as well as how you view yourself, but you also want to enjoy those precious few weeks. If you end up stressing about things around the house, rather than enjoying time with your little one, it will feel like a waste.

Start the Fall Season Right With Swim Club, Adult Lessons and Family Swims…Oh My!

The leaves are starting to turn colours, the air is getting crisp and the smell of Autumn is filling the air. All clear signs that Fall is soon upon us.

Now when we think of Fall, we rarely think of swimming but we would like to change that especially with the great new services offered at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

Here is what is new at Aqua-Tots Burlington.

New Swim Club

Make a splash in a new club this Fall! This service is open to swimmers in Level 7 and 8. Swim Club is a 30-minute program intended to help advanced swimmers with developing endurance and stamina. Students will have the opportunity to refine technique in all the major strokes as well as working on their flip turns while swimming the whole length of the pool!

This weekly Swim Club is an easy drop in on Tuesday from 8 PM to 8:30 PM and will be available on a pay per class basis. Swim Club is perfect for those swimmers aspiring to move into competitive swimming down the line.

New Adult Lessons

Who says only kids can learn how to swim?! It’s never too late to start! The one-on-one (private) adult swim lessons will include a personalized approach to every adult’s individual goals whether that be building basic comfort in the water or wanting to master the breaststroke, you now can with this new service.

These lessons will be offered in 30-minute segments on a pay per class basis. These classes will be available during lunch time every Thursday.

Family Swim

Fall and winter can be tough to get through especially when you have little ones at home that get the wiggles! As parents we want to help everyone in the family stay active heading into the cooler weather days. This is why Aqua-Tots is hosting 3 FREE Family Swims every week including: Wednesdays from 12 PM to 1 PM; and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 PM to 2 PM. These family swims are great for bonding with your wee ones and also a wonderful opportunity for older children to show off the swim skills they learn in class. The pool is 90 degrees which helps everyone stay warm and comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.

There you have it! Three new amazing services that are being offered this Fall at Aqua-Tots in Burlington. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to join one or all of the new services.

As we have mentioned before on our blog, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools are great schools that truly teach the importance of water safety while still having fun. They provide a much-needed service to the communities they serve and I am truly grateful for them.

If you would like to learn more about these new services or how you can get your child enrolled in a swim program, please feel free to contact them at 905.331.3393 or send them an email at burlingtoninfo@aqua-tots.com. They will be splashing for joy when they hear from you!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

Mealtimes Without The Mess With Tidy Tot Canada

Mealtimes with little ones can get messy at times (ok I will admit all the time). We have all seen the mess that is left on the table, floor and even on the child themselves. However, what if I told you that it doesn’t need to be like that anymore?!

We at Momma Braga are very excited to introduce you all to Tidy Tot Canada! They have a solution that can help with mealtime mess and that is the coverall bibs.

What is so awesome about this product is that they have coverall bibs for the different stages of your weaning journey. From early weaning to toddler feeding and on-the-go.

Stage One Weaning – Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit

This stage is for children up to two years of age. All you need to do is attach the bib to the tray for no more gaps between your baby and highchair and to keep food well within baby’s reach. This is the only kit to be certified 100% food safe.

Benefits
  • Fully waterproof long sleeved bib attaches to tray for no more gaps!
  • Protects baby, floor and highchair from food mess and spills.
  • Tidy Tot Tray is just wider than babies arm span preventing food being dropped to the floor.
  • Easy to clean. Machine washable.
  • Comes in wipe clean travel pouch for easy storage.
  • BPA free, Phthalate free and food safe.
  • Compatible with highchairs and booster seats.

Stage Two Feeding – Tidy Tot Long Length Coverall Bib

When you no longer regularly need the full protection by the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit, the next stage is the Tidy Tot Long Length Coverall. This is ideal for toddlers up to three years old. This bib is one of the longest coverall bibs on the market giving full protection from food and messy play.

Benefits
  • Large crumb catcher pocket to catch dropped food with side fastening poppers to make for easy cleaning – just open the poppers and scoop out the mess.
  • Water-resistant, lightweight and durable.
  • Comes with travel purse.
  • 360-degree protection from mess with long sleeves and full cover fastening at the back.
  • Easy clean, machine washable.
  • Fun unisex print that appeals to inquisitive toddlers.

Tidy Tot Disposable Coverall Bib- On the Go Mealtimes

This is great for families on-the-go and it is great for children up to two years of age.

Benefits
  • Long sleeves and unique patent pending design keeps little ones clean from head to toe when eating out.
  • Essential for travel, holidays and meals out.
  • Resealable strip at the bottom of the bib sticks to table or highchair – no more gaps!
  • Waterproof.
  • Made from recyclable materials.
  • Resealable Twin Pack for easy storage – two bibs per pack.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We at Momma Braga are very lucky as we have amazing testers to try out products that we receive and in this review we got my goddaughter, Adriana who is one years old. We got Adriana to try the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit by Tidy Tot Canada.

Adriana’s mom tried it out and completely fell in love with Tidy Tot. “This is SO amazing! We love it!” stated Adriana’s mom after the first use. Best part is that Adriana didn’t mind it at all and the mess truly stayed contained which made clean up faster and easier.

Adriana’s mom also mentioned to us that the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit is especially great when rice or spaghetti is served for dinner. “It gets REALLY messy! But the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit made it so much better”, she stated. We call this a parent win!

Adriana enjoying the little bit that is left from her rice dinner and look at how clean everything looks!

We love how Tidy Tot is making life easier for parents especially during mealtimes! Now these great coverall bibs are not just great for mealtimes but also great for creative play. The coverall bib fully protects their clothing from paints and spills whilst the tray provides a secure, self-contained (and wipe clean!) surface, and keeping any mess well away from the floor. So time to get creative with your little one! 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Tidy Tot Canada 10 stars out of 5! We love it and it has received thumbs up from our tester, Adriana which is the highest compliment you could possibly get. 😉 There are so many great benefits for your little one to use Tidy Tots and of course the benefits for parents is the peace of mind of a safe product that makes mealtimes less messier.

If you would like to purchase one of the Tidy Tot Canada products, please click here. You will love it too!

Special thank you to Adriana and her mom for testing out this product for us as we really appreciate their honest feedback.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*The Tidy Tot Bib & Tray Kit in Dove Grey was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Babymoon | Book Review

“Shhh…we’re on our babymoon.”

Synopsis

Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Babymoon is the perfect gift for an expecting parent as it pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family’s first quiet days with a newborn. I loved the message in this book and love the concept of a babymoon. The first couple of days are so important to just spend it alone to really get to know each other. All new expecting parents should read this book and have it part of their story time with their little one. Time flies by and the first few days are precious days to enjoy.

Beautifully written and illustrated! It truly touched my heart to read and it is a must read in my books. Therefore, we give this book 10 babymoons out of 5! It is recommended for children ages two to five but we recommend it for everyone who is expecting! 

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author and Illustrator

Hayley Barret says that fond memories of her own days spent nesting and cocooning with her husband and each of their newborns inspired her to write Babymoon. She lives in eastern Massachusetts.

Juana Martinez-Neal is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book Alma and How She Got Her Name and the Pura Belpre Award-winning illustrator of La Princesa and the Pea and of La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Ninos, both by Susan Middleton Elya. Juana Martinez-Neal was born in Lima, Peru, and now lives in Arizona.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are our own.

 

If Animals Said I Love You | Book Review

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching and we love it!

We are starting the Valentine’s Day celebration off with a book review on a children’s book called If Animals Said I Love YouIt is a board book edition; written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker.

Synopsis

If animals said “I love you,” how would they say it? Gorilla would pound her chest, whale would sing, and cheetah would purr. The story takes us through the animal kingdom and how they each might express love.

It is the perfect and an adorable bedtime story for the youngest audience. It is also a great way to introduce them to expressing love.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We adored the book. We love the rhyming concept as it makes the reading extra fun for baby. The illustrations compliment the book beautifully and we loved take the journey through the animal kingdom. It really makes us appreciate the beautiful animals that are in our world.

It is a simple book which flowed easily throughout but we love the concept of love. Each animal expresses it differently which almost lets us know that within families we may express it differently too. We feel that this book is a great intro to babies on love and how different it can be for one another. We would recommend this book to add to your little one’s (Ages 0 to 3 years old) bedtime routine and collection. I know it sure put a smile on our face as we read the book together and Nikki’s favorite animal was the cheetah. 🙂

We give If Animals Said I Love You, 5 hugs out of 5!

If you would like to purchase your very own, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

 

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Burlington Takes Swimming Lessons To The Next Level

The roads were covered with snow and the temperature was below freezing on a Sunday morning. A snowstorm had just hit our city and usually this would mean a day indoors in our PJs. However, this Sunday it was going to be different – very different. We were going to brave the wintery weather conditions and take Nikki swimming at Aqua-Tots Swim School in Burlington.

Nikki sprung out of bed excited as she has been waiting to check out the new location for months. But with battling colds and a very busy holiday schedule it was not possible until now. Therefore, we were not going to let some winter weather stop us from checking it out.

We bundled up in our winter gear and slowly made our way to Burlington. The drive was nice as we got to see a different part of Burlington that we haven’t seen before. When we arrived at the Activity Plex where Aqua-Tots Swim School is located, we did not know what to expect since we have been away from the swimming scene for months.

First Impressions

They say first impressions are everything and they truly are. As soon as we opened the doors to Aqua-Tots Swim School, we fell in love with it. It felt like home.

We walked in and were quickly greeted by the friendly staff who gave us our first tour of the new facility. Many of our favourites such as the play area, comfy seating, and dressing rooms have carried into the new location. We loved the open space and great design. Of course we couldn’t expect anything else from the Aqua-Tots Swim Schools brand.

We were amazed by how stunning everything was. From the design, layout, colours to the friendly staff – it was Aqua-Tastic!

Family Friendly Top Priority

Of course, there is no denying that Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is family-orientated, focused and friendly. Every detail in the swim school has family in mind and that is evident with the baby protection seats in their changing rooms (let the koala seat sticker on the doors in the family change area be your guide). There are also cubbies and lockers available to place your items in while your child swims.

The layout is family friendly too with the entrance to the pool on one side of the change room and the exit being right in the change room area – brilliant!

Did I mention that the facilities are very clean?! Being a family friendly environment, cleanliness is important and they deliver exceptionally.

Swimming Class

Once we absorbed the facility it was time for swimming! Nikki was anxious and couldn’t wait to try the new pool. Since the swim program is the same throughout all Aqua-Tots schools, we knew the drill. 😉

The swim instructor called out the children’s names and took them in. They took a quick shower before entering the pool and the class began. It was amazing to see that Nikki didn’t miss a beat and it appeared that no time went missing as she completed each lesson with ease.

At the end of the class a very excited Nikki greeted us at the exit and instructor informed us of how it went. Nikki did well with only a few areas that need to be worked on but above all it was a great class.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The time has come to evaluate our overall experience and it shouldn’t come to a surprise that Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Burlington surpassed our expectation.

The facility in itself is stunning and you can tell that a lot of time, designing and love went into creating it for families to enjoy. We love how family friendly the facility is and they didn’t miss a beat to ensure that the swim lessons are top notch for children.

There are many swim schools available but none offer the feeling of family and belonging. Nikki was so excited that the staff cared to remember her name and she felt like it was home to her. She was a bit nervous at first that this was a new location but when she felt like she belonged as soon as she walked through the doors, she knew it would be great. That is something that is hard to duplicate as you can’t clone a feeling that an establishment can give you. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools recognizes that and have ensured that this feeling is given to everyone who comes through their door.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give them 6 fins out of 5! Our first rating that has surpassed our system and it is much deserved.

Enrolment is ongoing and you can register anytime. If you would like to enroll your child with Aqua-Tots Swim School in Burlington, make sure to give them a call at (905) 331-3393 or email them at burlingtoninfo@aqua-tots.com.

Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and great tips!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

– Momma Braga

 


This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

Self-Care: How to Combat Parental Burnout

Written by: Claire Adams

Do you ever get tired of parenting? Do you ever feel like you simply can’t take it anymore? Most parents reach that point from time to time, that moment when all you want to do scream and run away somewhere where somebody will pamper you for a change. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. If anything, the fact that you’re trying so hard makes you a good one. However, you should consider your own mental health and how parental burnout can affect you and your family if you don’t do something about it. If your mind is in overload and you don’t know how to get through another day of being an exemplary parent, here is some advice for you.

It takes a village to raise a child

It takes a lot of effort, devotion and patience to raise a child, but nobody can have it all under control all of the time. So, try not to be offended or threatened when another parent steps up and offers their wisdom and experience to help you in some situation you could be handling better. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that they only want to undermine you and show they’re a better parent than you, consider the fact that they might have been in your shoes and in a situation identical to this one in the past. Maybe at that point somebody helped them, or maybe they just wished somebody did. In any case, try becoming friends with other parents. They might offer some good advice on things like helping your kid with school stuff or dealing with them when they act out. Talk to moms and dads at school or at the playground, organize playdates and dinners to create your own village and maybe make parenting a bit easier.

It’s OK to ask for help

When taking care of your children seems too much to handle and you need some time off, remember that you can always ask for help and that it’s not something you should be ashamed of or hide from. There are many people you can turn to. It could be your spouse, your parents, siblings, friends or neighbors or anybody else you trust. When you try doing everything on your own, of course you’ll feel like you’re on the brink of madness. And if you have nobody close to you to jump in, there’s always the option of paying for help. For example, there are some amazing catering companies out there which will impress even the most demanding guests, meaning that you don’t have to make all the food for your kid’s birthday party yourself. Also, if cleaning your home takes too much of your time and energy, find somebody who’ll come once or twice a week and get things sorted out for you. Just don’t shy away from reaching out when the going gets tough.

Lower your expectations

When the bar is raised too high up, you won’t be able to reach it no matter how hard you try, which can leave you feeling inadequate, frustrated and desperate. When you notice that this is happening, remember that you’re the one who decides where the bar is and lower it a bit. Don’t expect perfection from yourself, because there is no perfection when it comes to parenthood. A lot of times it comes down to trial and error, whether we like to admit it or not. What does this mean? Basically, it means it’s not the end of the world if let things go when they get too difficult. Nobody will judge you if your house is messy from time to time, if you let your kids watch Trolls on TV or if they skip their piano lesson or football practice once in a while. Adjust your expectations to something more realistic and you’ll relieve yourself of some stress momentarily.

Be more than just a parent

Once you become a parent, it can become hard to remember that you were ever anything other than that. Well, you were and you are. You’re a person with needs, desires and ambitions that have nothing to do with your children. Send your kids to kindergarten and find a part-time job if you don’t already have one. You can even start working online from home, or at least find a hobby you’ll enjoy. If nothing else, don’t forget to give yourself some time away from your family occasionally, to do things that make you feel happy and help you unwind. Under no circumstances should you think that this is selfish. It’s a way to preserve your mental and physical health, so that you can be a calmer and more supportive parent to your children in the long term.

Parental burnout is a real problem and one you should deal with as soon as you feel the need to. Consider this an important part of your self-care and a way to stay on top of your parental role.