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.
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!
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?
. . .
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:
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.
West Coast Kids would like to inform all of our Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite car seat customers
BRITAX ANNOUNCES SAFETY RECALL AND REMEDY KIT FOR CERTAIN B-SAFE 35 AND B-SAFE 35 ELITE INFANT CAR SEATS
Recall involves the carry handle on certain Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seat models manufactured between October 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015
“In a continued commitment to child passenger safety, Britax has determined that certain B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seats can develop cracks in and around the carry handle grip. If the cracks lead to the handle breaking, then the seat could be dropped, causing potential injury to the infant.
To address this issue, all registered users in the U.S. and Canada will be receiving a free remedy kit containing instructions and a reinforcement bracket that will attach to the infant car seat carry handle. Expected delivery of remedy kits is within 10 to 14 business days of this recall announcement or a newly added registration.
Of note: This recall affects the carry handle portion of the infant car seat only and does not affect the performance of the infant car seat when used as a child restraint in a motor vehicle. It is safe to continue to use your car seat when secured in a vehicle or as part of a Britax stroller system until the remedy kit has been installed.”
Consumers should determine whether their infant car seat is included in the recall by visiting: www.bsafe35recall.com or by verifying the model number and date of manufacture as follows.
In the interim, consumers affected by this recall should follow these steps:
Visit bsafe35recall.com to register and verify existing registrations. Remedy kits should be received within 10 to 14 business days of registration.
Do not return product to the retailer.
Continue to safely use the car seat when secured in a vehicle or on a Britax stroller, but do not lift or carry the car seat by the handle until the remedy kit has been installed.
Before installing the remedy kit, review the printed instructions. For a video detailing how to install the kit, please visit bsafe35recall.com.
Consumers who own seats with carry handles that are already cracked or fractured and consumers who have other questions or concerns, should contact the Britax Customer Service Department at: 1-800-683-2045. Customer Service business hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 5:45 pm (ET) and Friday 8:30 am – 4:45 pm (ET). Consumers living outside of the US or Canada, should e-mail Britax.Recall@britax.com.
When I first brought my son (now nine) home from the hospital at less than one day old I could not imagine having him all the way down the hall from me at night. He was barely out of my uterus; how could he be 25 ft from me?! I purchased a typical bassinet to have in my room but instead of having a relaxing sleep where I could gaze longingly at my son in a cozy cot beside me I was constantly pulling up my sore body to peer over the high sides and make sure he was still in there. It was an up and down battle for 2 months before I finally gave in and resigned to walk down the hall.
In 2014, Halo introduced the Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. They did it! They came up with the bassinet that every new mother wished they had when they were so exhausted they couldn’t sit up one more time. The Bassinest’s features answer every one of those middle-of-the-night wishes.
The Bassinest has a retractable side that can either be locked in an upward position or can be unlocked for easy access to your newborn without having to get out of bed! Just push down the side bar and reach for your little peanut. And don’t worry about leaving it down because it will retract to its upright position.
Halo has even thought about all of us with big comfy mattresses with the Bassinest by including the option of height-adjustment. Ranging from 22” – 34”, and of course with the ability to swivel 360 degrees, you can ensure that the Bassinest will be at the perfect height for you to fall asleep looking at the new love of your life. The side panel provides a nightlight, soothing sounds and lullabies, a nursing timer and 2 levels of vibration with a 30 minute shut off.
What could be better?! Oh, don’t worry it gets better.
For 2016, Halo has shown us just how much they value Mothers (and Fathers) slumber by adding even more features to the Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Luxe Plus. A floor light and storage caddy as well as the included fitted sheet and mattress pad are all only available with the Luxe edition and they make it worth every penny!
The floor light is pure genius. Who wants to end up rocking a crying baby to sleep because you knocked into something in the dark when all you wanted was one last glance before bed? Sleep is gold and anything that helps new Mama’s succeed in resting is magic in my books.
Any product that includes the items that I don’t even know I will need is also key for an absent-minded pregnant person. The importance of a mattress pad only becomes a reality at 4am when you are trying to mop up a mess. You hear “if only” and “why didn’t I” as you scrub away wishing you were in the land of nod. Thankfully the Luxe edition takes care of that by including both a fitted sheet and mattress pad.
Halo. Thank you. Thank you for creating the bassinet that has thought of everything.
Cold and Flu season has begun, the line in the snow has been drawn and it’s here folks. The Cold and Flu has rounded up its troops and declared an all out war on the family! We’ve all been at battle with a cold or flu and most times, it’s not until you’re ugly crying on the bathroom floor, you’ve hit rock bottom, and your nose is so red you’d give Rudolph a run for his money, that you admit defeat!
Well at this point, I can almost guarantee that it didn’t start at you, you’re on the receiving end of a contagious disgusting cold or flu that has grown in size and momentum with each member of the family that it has been so generously shared with.
Our ever so kind and generous oldest daughter who since being back at school is like a walking germ factory brought the last round of colds that cycled through the family home. Funny how we cannot get her to share a toy but a cold.. sure no problem!
I line up my troops and at the helm of the battle is my nearest and dearest Neti Pot, I swear by it but unfortunately I cannot use it on my children. Ava sputters and coughs and chokes as if she were that old clunker in the farmyard driving its last few miles with anything that goes near her nose and that includes Kleenex. How can you effectively align your troops for a swift and winning battle?
For the onset of a cold or flu you want to start off small, send in the Archers also known as your Humidifiers, we use the Crane Humidifier, which quietly releases a cool mist to help ease coughing or congestions or to simply add moisture to a child’s room. This is crucial for a positive beginning in the stages of battle
Next we send in Horsemen for battle, in modern day terms we call this the Dimpleskins sniffles this is a 100% natural aromatherapy balm. Simply apply Sniffles to your child’s neck, chest, back, under the nose and soles of the feet as needed.
Now, we might quickly there after start to start to send in the Soldiers for the dread sniffles that are starting to gain momentum, which is our favorite Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Breathe Easy Wipes which are so gentle and easy on the nose, not going to lie I use them myself! I am a frequent nose blower once the sniffles kick in! I can still hear my mother yelling “BLOW YOUR NOSE!!!”
Our last call of attack is the big guy! He’s the everything, that last resort! This bad boy will assist in the demise of this of battle. Welcome the Nose Frida– The grossest and best invention ever! As often as I can hear my mother yelling “BLOW YOUR NOSE” I hear it when my baby is suffering from rattling boogers and cannot blow her nose. We’ve all seen those awful nasal aspirators you stick in the babies nose, well those hurt especially when baby is ripping her head away to avoid it. This product forms a seal with the outside of the baby’s nostril (creating a vacuum). Parent-powered (mouth) suction is much stronger and more effective than the static suction of the bulb or battery-powered aspirators. NoseFrida is also easy to clean
Those 4 items alone in the harsh battles of colds and flu’s are enough to knock that cold dead but, in all seriousness, sometimes we do need to take harsher measures for the worst of the worst so please make sure you consult your doctor before use of certain products on your child. The health nurse hotline is always a good place to start to ease your mind and ask questions. Worse comes to worse nothing like good Hot Toddy at the end of the day.. for YOU not the baby!!
Bugaboo never disappoints with their collaborations and with their newest Diesel Denim Collection they prove to continue to stay on-trend.
“Bugaboo Special Editions bring fresh perspective and informed style to modern parents that love both. [Their] collaborations with like-minded design and fashion leaders bring even more energy to the Bugaboo experience. Whether making a statement with your first Bugaboo stroller or refreshing an existing one with on-trend looks for seasons to come, those in the know keep an eye on Bugaboo Special Edition product for its delightfully unexpected point of view”
This is the second collection from Bugaboo and the iconic lifestyle brand. The Bugaboo by Diesel collection “reflects Diesel’s irreverent spirit and approach”.
With the Cold weather moving in, the first thought for all parents is Cold and Flu Season, especially if you have multiple littles in your home! It seems that with each passing year that colds are becoming more and more lethal and harder to kick. If you have school aged children, you will know this for a fact! Cold Season can last weeks and weeks with multiple kids in the house so now’s the time to prepare for it by winterizing your baby. These 5 products are high on our favorite winter must have baby lists to hopefully stop the colds and flu’s before they have the chance to call an all out WAR on your family!
How do you prepare for Winter with littles? Bundle them up! Letting the heat escape is when chills take over and invite the bugs to come play with your baby.
Old wives Tales will tell us that we lose most of our heat through our head and whether true or not, does it hurt to wear a toque? Absolutely not and when they are as cute as the Blueberry Hill hats how on earth do you say no?! We’ve been eyeing up the bunny toque but that little cupcake one is pretty adorable too.
JJ Cole Urban Bundle Me in the stroller saved my butt with Ava as she despised having anything on her feet during the winter so this was high up on our MUST HAVE list for Zoe. It truly is one of the smartest and most important invention to get you through the cold winter walks and this is why I bought it in two sizes!
Also keep in mind that not all products are universal and sometimes you have to buy the accessories that fit your stroller. For you mama’s rocking the Bugaboo Stroller, they have an entire Wool collection to keep your little all snug in a bug (blanket, seat liner and mattress cover). I have a few mama friends who swear by it and don’t know what they would have done with out them during the cold winters!
A little local love for a West Coast company that I recently learned about is Stonz Mittz and Booties. If you’re one of the lucky moms with kids that will wear footwear this incredible product coming out of the west coast, will save their little toes. If you’ve never seen these Booties they are meant to wear over bare feet, socks, slippers or shoes, throughout fall, winter and spring! The Booties go on easily, stay on with two adjustable toggles, and keep wind and cold out. Comprised of a water and wind-resistant 600D nylon upper, inner fleece lining and skid-resistant Toughtek® soles for all types of outdoor play. For colder weather, layer up with a pair of the Sherpa-fleece Linerz.
Speaking of West Coast, we have all experienced a drop of rain or two out here in Vancouver and so waterproof, water resistant, or just ANYTHING to keep the rain out are essential. Nothing is worse than being wet so we bought the 7AM Enfant 212 Evolution for a new mama friend of mine who is quite outdoorsy and needed something that wouldn’t slow her down when the rain sets in. Adaptable to fit most brands and extends to fit your child until preschool age. Did I mention thermal filling and waterproof shell?
Blankets work just as well, but the same way you think you’re ok not purchasing the fan today on a not so hot day and then a heat wave rolls in and every store is sold out of fans! You don’t want to be caught in a jam when your babies feet get going and the shoes go flying and you can’t keep a blanket on to save their life. Trust me I’ve been there, 5 different stores later I finally found the size I needed for my JJ Cole Urban Bundle.
Remember friends, it all runs down stream so if your babies get sick, it’s only a matter of time before someone else in the family gets sick! If we are proactive in preparing for winter, hopefully we can avoid the cold and flu all together because well, there is nothing worse than a man flu!
The words Daylight Savings are curse words for moms and are as fully loaded as “Time Change” and “Fall Back”. Two times a year, we feel the need to mess with the sleep schedules that we obsess over the rest of the year working to perfect so that mommies can have alone time, or clean up time, or even a glass of mommy juice, no judgment!
I’m originally from Saskatchewan myself, one of the few places in the world next to Hawaii that does not observe daylight savings. Our reason was it affected the farmers, they needed all the daylight they could get when tending to the crops. Once I moved to Vancouver, my biggest complaint was that I had to plan phoning home a lot better because in the winter months, home was 2 hrs behind! As soon as I began to get accustomed to the change…I had children, and now daylight savings makes me want to have a glass of mommy juice.
It was all kinds of messy the first few years with my oldest but I feel like after almost 7 years of daylight savings with one child I am much better prepared with baby no.2 for a successful and much quicker transition. Here are my top 4 tips for surviving
Routine, make sure you got one, even if it’s loose, be sure you have some type of consistency in your “triggers” for bed time. Bath, Book, Songs, Bed, not necessarily in that order.
Start turning the clock backwards or forwards by 15 minutes everyday for the week leading up to the big day.
Patience and Team-work, all hands on deck for Daylight savings time! Make this week all about family, do things together, simple things to calm down for bed time, maybe it’s a quiet book together, bedtime stretches, or a nature show