West Coast Kids is proud to be a family-run Canadian business and we are so thankful for each and every one of our customers. To show our gratitude for all of the customer love and support, we are pleased to announce a 12 Days of Giveaways holiday contest! West Coast Kids has partnered with some of our favourite suppliers to offer some incredible prize packs this Holiday Season. Click each contest above to fill out the entry form. A new prize will be announced each day, starting December 1, 2016 and ending on December 12, 2016 at 11:59pm PST. Enter them all! Winners will be announced December 15th, 2016. Contest open to Canadian residents only. Full Contest Rules and Regulations.
Daylight savings is no fun. Period. For anyone. Now add toddlers and babies who can’t tell time and you really know you are in for a treat… for at least a week!
We have all googled “time change tips for babies” (ok maybe not all of us, but you I bet you do after reading this!) and we get the same tips: start adjusting bedtime by 15 min each day the week prior to time change; use room darkening curtains like the Gro Anywhere Blind to keep the room as dark as possible, helping their circadian clock adjust; stick to a bedtime routine, and so on. As wonderful as these tips are, they don’t help me at 4am when my daughter has decided it is time to get up and have breakfast and “don’t worry Mummy, I will just do it myself”.
So what is a parent to do? Besides dreaming about the days when ‘fall back’ meant that you got a full hour of free sleep?
Yea….remember that? Those were good times.
Those tips are at the top of Google search results for a reason: because they do help. If you haven’t started already, start adjusting bedtime by 15-30 min if you can. I am also a big promoter of bribery when needed as well. And if a GroClock, fancy night light or new bedtime stuffy is going to help your little one cozy down for any extra amount of time, it is worth it.
Honestly, the best tip I can give you is to just get through it. And I know that is the most useless tip possible but there it is. We all have to do it, we are all up at 4am scrolling facebook hoping the littles somehow miraculously go back to sleep, so please, take solace in the fact that you are not alone. And it will get better. Soon enough you will have a teenager that celebrates the ‘free hour of sleep’ and you can get your revenge by waking them up at 4am! Pay back, baby, that is what the teenage years are all about!
Good luck Mamas. Enjoy your last few nights of sleep before the fun begins!
Kids, Bikes, Laughter, Repeat. Helen Frost of West Coast Kids is brought to you by caffeine and chocolate and is sponsored by white wines everywhere.
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The first is still the best: Bugaboo was the brand that invented modular, multifunctional luxury strollers, transforming an entire industry. The original stroller, the Bugaboo Cameleon³ remains unsurpassed in terms of functionalities, such as its ease of use, versatility and high quality. An icon from the start, this fully-loaded original adapts to every age and journey. From newborn to toddler, from the city to woods, sand and snow, the versatile Bugaboo Cameleon³ makes it easy to go everywhere you want to go.
Bugaboo Cameleon³ is based on the stroller that Max Barenbrug debuted at his graduation for the Design Academy in Eindhoven. The first ever Bugaboo stroller raised everyone’s expectations, and Bugaboo has been steadily raising the bar ever since. And so, we introduce to you: the all NEW 2016 Bugaboo Cameleon³ with Leather Accents! The Bugaboo Cameleon³ Stroller 2016 is the latest evolution of our iconic Bugaboo, refined to perfection. The previous 2012 redesign resulted in the Cameleon³ (or C3 if you prefer). It was a full-scale effort, tweaking a wide variety of features to make them more user-friendly – the fold was improved, the under-seat bag was enlarged, a new height-adjustable harness was debuted, and the bassinet was redesigned to fold flat. Some minor changes have appeared since, like an improved harness and extendable Sun Canopy. The all new 2016 Bugaboo Cameleon³ adds one more upgrade to refine this design even further: a faux leather carry handle and handle bar. This latest posh new model is a legacy of 15 years of Bugaboo. After 15 years, and it has only improved: an iconic yet practical all-in-one stroller.
It only makes sense that Bugaboo would add this new luxurious feature. Previously only available on Bugaboo Special Editions, like the Bugaboo Cameleon³ Classic Collection, the faux leather adds to the longevity and quality that Bugaboo is known for! This handle will wear better than the foam material that was used on their handles before, and the tactile quality of this grip really adds to the overall luxury stroller experience. Generation after generation can explore the world from one. Single. Bugaboo stroller. They really do last for years and years. Because Bugaboo builds their strollers to last, they only use durable materials and quality fabrics. For the same reason, they made it easy for you to convert your stroller for different ages or different journeys. It’s an extraordinary value – you definitely get what you pay for with Bugaboo!
OFFICIALLY AVAILABLE OCTOBER 1, 2016
Thinking about purchasing one of these new, upgraded strollers?
Here’s a little recap of everything you need to know about Bugaboo Cameleon 3:
suitable from birth up to 36 months (17 kg/37.5 lbs)
one hand release bassinet
five point harness with height adjustable shoulder straps
mattress with aerated inlay
foam filled rubber tyres
all fabrics machine washable
weight (chassis, wheels, seat) 9,6 kg / 21 lbs
folded lwh 90x50x31 cm / 35x20x12”
unfolded width 59 cm / 23.2”
underseat bag 24 l / 6.3 gal
What you get:
base seat fabric
chassis with wheels
extendable sun canopy and bassinet apron*
base bassinet fabric
*For some listings on the West Coast Kids online store, the extendable sun canopy and bassinet apron (AKA: Cameleon3 Extendable Tailored Fabric Set) are sold separately from the Chassis. See product description for details so you don’t forget to add any components to your cart!
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It’s the Bugaboo 2016 Canadian Launch Event!
Announcing even more new arrivals today: some are available to order now, and some others are coming soon to a West Coast Kids location near you:
Just when you are finally getting into the groove of summa-summa-summatime it is time to gear down and get ready for Back to School. The dreaded back to routines, back to getting up and out every day and (insert ominous music) the back to school lunch packing. Every. Single. Day. Five days a week. For 10 whole months.
I don’t know if those words send shivers down your spine like they do for me but I for one despise making lunches every day.
We have all seen those memes that show the difference between lunch making in the 70’s (a Twinkie, a bottle of juice and a white bread PBnJ) versus the lunches of today (organic, perfectly portioned food groups in cute little shapes) and we all laugh at them, yet we all also try to live up to the perfect lunch model of today’s parents. We set ourselves up for failure from day one. No one can keep that perfect lunch train going for 10 months, it’s just not possible! And for those parents that do keep to it then I applaud you (and secretly hate you) because you are a better lunch chef than I.
I have picky kids. The worst kind of picky kids. Two kids that don’t like the same things. One likes sandwiches, the other likes her ham on the side. One likes a variety of fruit, the other only eats apples. One can’t stand yoghurt, the other only likes one kind of yoghurt, and so on and so on. It is enough to drive a lady loony!!
So what is a lunch chef to do?!
As I venture into my 5th year of making school lunches I feel like maybe I might have a little bit of wisdom to pass on in terms of tips and tricks but who am I kidding, that is what Pinterest is for!
Sanity Saving Tip #1:
Take your kids grocery shopping with you!
Yes I know I am actually recommending that you give up solo shopping time but trust me, it will benefit you in the end. Let your kids be in control of their own eating destiny (to a point of course!). What cookies would they prefer, which apples look like the yummiest ones, ham or turkey – your choice. Usually if they are helping to select the products they will be more likely to eat them…..or at least you can threaten them with “you picked it, you eat it!” if all else fails
Sanity Saving Tip #2:
Make those little snackers help pack!
One trick I have learned over the years is to prep my food so that it is easily accessible without any work or thought. Wean Green’s containers are amazing for this! Buy a pint of strawberries, wash them and then separate them into little snack cubes for the perfect grab and go lunch item. Do this with 4 or 5 different items and you have a variety of food to choose from each morning (again, be in charge of your own meal destiny kiddos!)
I will do the same thing with the ‘recess treat’. Colibri snack bags are perfect for single portions of crackers, cookies or snack mixes. Have each kid pick 2-3 fresh items and 1-2 snack items and this will leave you way ahead of the game, which in my house is essential when I am waiting for my caffeine to kick in! The less thought at 7am the better!
Sanity Saving Tip #3:
Go container crazy!!
We have a schoolwide initiative to have “litterless lunches” which sounds fine and dandy until you are trying to shove a pizza pretzel into a container that is clearly meant for goldfish. Having a variety of sizes and shapes will save you a lot of searching and frustration.
Depending on how hungry of a hippo you have (and how often you get to your dishes) it is ideal to have 2-3 sandwich size containers, 5-6 snack size containers and a few segregated containers such as the Lunchbot Duo and Trio. A squeasy gear is amazing for any kids that eat applesauce or blended foods as well.
A thermos-style container such as the Skip Hop Insulated Food Jar is also a must, especially for those non-sandwich-eating children! Food Jar tip: fill the container up with hot (not boiling water) for 3-4 min before putting the food in. It will warm up the container so that the food stays hot longer.
Sanity Saving Tip #4:
Pinterest it up!!
When your little one tells you they didn’t like their lunch that day (and after you have taken a few deep breaths to calm down) get out your computer and Pinterest away! There are some pretty creative Mama’s out there and luckily they like to share their knowledge with us for these very moments. I love the Weelicious blog for new ideas as well as the go-to Huffington Post and of course we can’t forget about daycare lunches, Beaba’s blog is perfect for that!
It seemed like yesterday we were dreading the end of the school year. Just as soon as it ended, I blinked and summer vacation is now drawing to a close. Crack open the champagne, the days of whining, sibling fighting and constant need for adventure are almost over… FOR NOW!
Routines are essential and the key to success! First and foremost with littles, they need sleep! The younger ones will benefit from a Gro Clock. The Gro Clock will aid in establishing normal sleep patterns by letting them know that it’s time for bed and when it’s time to wake up. For the older ones, like my Ava, the Gro Blinds were my saviour last year. Blocking out the summer light helped us establish an earlier bedtime to get back onto the school year sleep schedule.
I try to sneak routine in as much as possible, almost like hiding vegetables in a meal. Planning meals and snack times around school routines will help their mind in that adjustment period. Additionally, I subtly schedule in some school-like activities throughout the day to get their minds thinking like school again.
As we prepare for the mental warfare that is known as the return to school, we need to make sure our daycare go’ers, preschoolers and school aged kids are armed with the back to school essentials. Backpacks, lunch kits, water bottles are just that! Letting them pick out their favourite design is a wonderful way to excite them during what can be a scary transition.
Most importantly at the top of our little fashionista’s back to school list is clothing. However not just clothing, footwear is also key! The weather will begin to change, slowly but surely, the sun will fade and the rain will begin again, putting Hunter Boots and Muddy Buddy at the top of our must have fall shopping list!
Lastly, and often most forgotten about is stroller accessories. As we are lugging our smaller ones out the door to get the bigger ones off to School, often we forget about the rain covers, the cold weather stroller foot muffs, stroller blankets etc are incredibly important.
At WestCoast Kids, we have everything you need and probably some things you didn’t even know you needed. Our qualified sales people are here to help, let’s get these little people excited for fall.
Janette Shearer of Ava To Zoe is a Vancouver based Mommy Blogger, wife and mother to Ava, 7, and Zoe, 20 months. avatozoe.ca
Now that Summer is in full swing, I am reminded more of every screech, wale and tear from summers past with every sunny day. If you have school aged children, you’re likely already feeling it after that last day of school. The whining, the acting out, the constant need for feeding is overwhelming, especially when you’ve had the entire school year to enjoy the peace and quiet! If you’re a parent of multiples, you will no doubt begin to see the personality clashes as they spend the day together or if you’re lucky enough to have children that get along, you will watch the conspiracies of destruction and ways of torment stirring deep within their core.
The pending threat of an attack from hangry and bored child is enough to send me into hiding, so we must have our parenting hacks in place just to survive. I began trying to find clever ways to entertain her that would also keep my sane. We read books and mommy closes her eyes because I’m imagining, and mommy always imagines better with her eyes closed. The threat of an attack from hangry and bored child is enough to send me hiding. Trying to imagine things to do is hard enough and while there are so many fun activities going on all summer long, sometimes you must pack a picnic and mommies thermos will contain wine.. no judgement!
1.DIY Popsicle stations make for a fun morning activity with an afternoon reward on a hot day. Beaba makes these fun little food freezer containers that you can use to make popsicles! They have recipes for it in their Kids Cook Book, but sometimes we like to create our own: Once a week we hit the Dollar store for cans of sprite and different little bags of gummies. Fill the cups 3/4 full of sprite and let them pick which gummies to put inside. For the littles, you can use water and fresh fruit, or for a mommy wobbly pop, you can use bailey’s and coffee or Sangria makes for a refreshing treat.
2. Let them drive! (Kind of). Take the kids out to the family vehicle, ensure the e-brake is on, all windows are down and let them sit in the front seat. You sprawl out in the back, this works exceptionally well if you have a Van or SUV. Encourage them to dream up a fun adventure to go on and that they are the driver, so they will need to describe to you where you’re going, what you’re doing, who you see along the way, pretend they’re taking you on a trip through Mars and you keep running into bad Aliens! You may need to re-adjust your settings on the radio, heat and mirrors, but the fun of sitting in the front seat where you’re not supposed to be is incredible to littles, meanwhile, kick your feet up in the back seat and tell them mommy imagines better with her eyes closed.
3. Play Hide and Seek.. and just be a REALLY BAD seeker!
4. Got an old cardboard box? Have the kids get inside with their crayons, markers and stickers and have them make a home for their stuffies. Ava used to sit inside for hours playing!
Every year the,” I’m BORRREEEDDD!” get’s a bit louder and slightly more annoying, having a handful of fun activities and even a few girlfriends for playdates to rotate with can save your sanity even just for a few moments. There are many fun things that you can do with objects around the house from creating indoor hop scotch for the rainy days to cutting a pool noodle in half to make race tracks for cars, do yourself a favour and put together a fun little list of things to do now. You can put the ideas in a hat and have each of the kids pull one idea from the hat each day.
At the end of it all, invite some friends and their kids over for some sprinkler fun the backyard, get them soaked, while you and the ladies enjoy those mommy wobbly pops!
Water Safety is one of those things that you don’t think about much until you’re at the pool with the kids or thinking of going to the pool with kids, it’s not always on the forefront of the mind. However, water safety is easily one of the most important areas that more people need to be educated one.
There are so many water safety statistics that will terrify you, and give you the urge to sponge bathe your child until they are 18. Ok, well maybe not 18 cause that’s weird, but you get what I’m saying! Did you know that a child could drown in less than 2 inches of water?
Bottom Line, water is dangerous, and drowning can happen anywhere, the sink, inflatable pools, and the lake, anywhere! Children must be watched closely, regardless of skill levels. There are steps that you can take to prepare both yourself and your children for a fun and safe time in the water.
Swimming lessons, this can be done as early as a few months old, getting children comfortable with water is so important for both fun and safety.
Invest in a good quality and properly fitted Life Vest like the ones from Salus. Be sure to check the weight and height recommendations prior to use!
Ensure that you have your eyes on the prize at all times. We can often get distracted by the simplest of things, say another child calling or the dog barking, but it is important to remember that taking your eyes off the kids while in water for one second can end tragically. Playtime in the water is one time as a parent to completely unplug from the outside world, and fully submerse you in the time with the children. Be present, be there and enjoy!
By keeping these three things in mind when making plans for some water time with the kids, you are not only setting yourself up for a fun, successful and mildly stress-free playtime, but the kids will be happier as well, nothing is worse than a worrying mommy.
Finally, remember hydration, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen are just as important as the above points. Keep the head covered, skin slathered up with sun-protection and the water steadily flowing will prevent dehydration and again, the kids happy because Mom is happy knowing they’re safe and protected. The water doesn’t need to seem too scary; we just need to remember to be smart, aware and present!
Not many two word sentences can cause as much anxiety in parents as that. I’ll say it again: Potty Training.
We all have to do it, whether we avoid it until they are 3 and 4 years old, or we try to up our parenting game and attempt at 18 months before deciding that diapers are not the worst thing in the world and that maybe we can just keep using them until kindergarten. Really, how many kids go to elementary school in diapers? None that I know of. So the diaper train might just phase itself out, right? Maybe?
And then there are the grandparents and great-grandparents that love to remind us that ‘you were out of diapers at 10 months’ and ‘you can’t let them walk around in saggy diapers hanging down like that!’. Thanks Nana. I appreciate your support.
Everyone has something to say about potty training, helpful or not, and it is our job as the parents to filter it out and have faith in both ourselves and our little ones that we can do it. Together. As a team, we can do it.
When I had my second child, a daughter, I was told right away “oh girls are waaaaaaaay easier to train than boys. They don’t like to feel dirty. They train way earlier.” After dealing with my 3 year old son, while 8 months pregnant, trying to potty train him, I was pretty thrilled with the idea of an ‘easier diaper transition’.
So let me tell you.
Girls are not easier. Boys are not easier. Potty training is potty training, and sexual orientation has nothing to do with it. You are negotiating with a strong-headed toddler that has been able to go to the washroom whenever and wherever they want for their whole life so why would they want to change that?!
So when the little princess was just over 2, we decided that it was time. It was summer, and she would be naked half the time anyways. Let’s do this.
The first thing we did was get a Baby Bjorn Potty Chair and stick it in our living room. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch Dora while sitting on the toilet?! I have to admit, even if it looks weird to anyone that doesn’t have kids, having a potty at the ready in the room you use the most really works well. Add a few board books to the experience and not only are you potty training your child but heck you are even teaching them to read!
We didn’t pressure her at all; we kept putting diapers on her, but encouraged her to sit on the potty whenever she wanted. She would sit there and do her duties, with her diaper still on, and she would be happy about having her own private area (as private as beside the couch can be!). It was a great way to start the process. She would sit there with her book, looking cute as a button, and we thought we were getting somewhere.
The process seemed to be going really well. Within a few weeks she was sitting on it without her diaper, telling us when she needed to go, and even carried it to the kitchen if she felt that it was a more ideal location for this particular bowel movement. We were giving ourselves some serious pats-on-the-back.
And then leaving the house happened.
This is where I agree, boys are easier than girls. Why? Simply because of anatomy. Boys have to pee when you are at the park and you show him where a tree is. Boom. Done. Girls? Not so much. Teaching a grown woman to squat without making a mess is hard, why would I try and teach someone that is only 20 inches from the ground?!
My minivan became a traveling port-a-potty with a second Potty Chair in the back at the ready for any situation that may arise. Why wouldn’t I just take her to the public bathrooms at the park, at the gas station, or at the mall instead of having a travel potty? Because the other caveat to potty training is the actual toilet itself – THEY FLUSH! And the sound of a flush is apparently a very traumatizing experience to some children, including my second, and no amount of stickers, candy, or toys will convince her that the toilet is not going to attack her.
So needless to say the Potty Chair was the only way and pulling over on the side of the road, opening your hatch and sitting your child at their makeshift bathroom is a pretty comical sight.
Comedy will save you when it comes to potty training.
Don’t take it too seriously and try to laugh at the inevititable mistakes that will happen.
Oh and buy extra underwear – I would rather throw a pair away that have been completely soiled versus attempting to make them passable as clean. It is still cheaper than buying diapers and saving my sanity is worth a pair of Little Mermaid underlies.
If all your attempts fail, give potty training a backseat for a few months and then try again. And then if that doesn’t work, put it out of your mind again and then go for round 3 in another few months. And if all else fails just remember, kids don’t go to elementary school in diapers so at some point everyone figures it out. Right?
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WIN a BabyBjörn Potty and Safe Step!
Did you know that it’s Potty Training Month at West Coast Kids? Share your potty training pics, tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram to WIN a BabyBjorn Potty Chair and BabyBjorn Safe Step. Use the hashtag #WCKkids in your post, then follow West Coast Kids and BabyBjorn to win. Here’s where you can follow us:
Mother’s Day rolls around and flowers seem to be the easiest gift of choice selected by many fathers. However, they still come with needs, from trimming, to watering and feeding, a beautiful bouquet is just like mothering, a job that truly is never-ending!
We’ve all experienced those moments with kids driving you crazy, laundry turning into a mountain before your eyes, food needing to be cooked AGAIN and the day just doesn’t seem to have an ending in sight! The kids are screaming, beating on each other and finding new creative ways to re-organize every cupboard in your house… Dreams of wine o’clock are floating in. Just when you think you cannot handle it any more, the littlest monster runs up, wraps both arms around your legs and says something sweet followed by a big hug and a kiss!
Now let’s capture all those sweet comments, for crazy moments will happen again, many more times, unfortunately and it is those sweet comments that hold our sanity together somedays! Now, how does this tie in with flowers you ask, well how about a Mother’s Day craft of sweet flowers that capture all those sweet comments! This is so easy, that you can prep for everything Dad and finally receive that mother’s day gift that doesn’t require any further work afterwards on your part!
For this craft, you will NEED:
Hot Glue Gun
Piece of Styrofoam
Step 1. Use Construction paper to cut out 4 small hearts and 1 circle, you will need 4 hearts and one circle per flower.
Step 2. In the Circle, write with a marker or fine tip pen, “I love Mom because” or any variation of that, as one each heart you will write the reason why they love Mom
Step 3. Glue or tape the hearts to the circle as they are the petals of the flower.
Step 4. Glue or tape the assembled Flower to the pipe Cleaner. I folded the pipe cleaner in half for stability
Step 5. Place Piece of Styrofoam into the flower-pot, you may need to trim it first to make it fit! If you’re really adventurous, the kids can paint the flower-pot before hand. Stick Flower into the Styrofoam!
Step 6: Repeat these steps until you’ve completed the amount of flowers you’d like to have in your flower-pot. I made a little cover to hide the styrofoam by using more construction paper and traced the top of the pot and then cut a hole in the middle where I was placing my flower.
Voila.. a bouquet of flowers.
** All items were purchased at the Dollarstore for under $10**
After the rush of the holidays and then the dreary January, February has always been a first light on the horizon of spring for me. From the grocery stores to the malls we are hit with red and pink hearts to remind us that we need to show love for those in our lives.
Valentine’s Day takes on a whole other meaning for a new Mom. Love for your child cannot be described in a card and as much as Hallmark does their best, there are no words for the unconditional love a Mama Bear has for her cubs.
Not a day goes by that we don’t show love for our little ones, but it is not in candy and cards, it is through making sure bums are always dry or toes are always warm. It is getting up in the night, no questions asked, to listen to what happened in a nightmare. It is driving to and from school and then to and from again because someone forgot their favourite book. We show love with every movement of every day and then we get up the next day and do it all over again.
It isn’t a romance, it isn’t all lollipops and roses; it is love. You hold them close to your heart from the second of conception and that love never fades.
Moms. We do it all. And we expect nothing in return.
West Coast Kids has teamed up with Little Unicorn to thank one special Mom for everything she does. “Family is a real value at Little Unicorn and cuddling your baby envelops your little one with love and makes us [all] happy”
Little Unicorn’s products are thoughtfully created with hand-painted designs and keep in mind what Mom really needs.
Nominate a Mom that you think deserves that little bit extra recognition this year.