Save on pre-loved baby items at the Brooklin Mom Sale

There is something for everyone at this weekend’s Brooklin Mom Sale. If you’re a mom that knows how to shop well, you’ll know that these type of Mom to Mom Sale events can be a great opportunity to save money on clothes and especially toys. For the mom who is looking for an inexpensive way to get out of the house with your little one, this event also has a play area provided by Discovery Toys Brooklin, and fresh coffee made on site. Honestly, what more could a mom need?

The flyer for the 2015 Brooklin Mom Sale

In my experience of attending Mom to Mom sales – the prices can be very, very good and many vendors at the Mom Tables are open to negotiating if that’s your kind of thing. Clothing and toys for babies under the age of four months are typically in the best condition and this is where you can really save. For anything past this age group, I’ve found it harder to find clothing that I like that is in great condition and a great price. It’s not impossible – but, it will require some organization to arrive early to get first pick at the good stuff. Regardless of age group, the toys sold at these sales can save you a ton of money. For babies under the age of 12 months, the toys aren’t likely to be damaged so the most you would have to do is clean whatever you buy (rather than repair). Plastic toys and equipment such as activity tables, Exersaucers, walkers and plastic blocks are the best items to look for because they can be cleaned easily.

The Brooklin Mom Sale begins this Saturday, January 24th, at 10am. The event will be held at Sinclair Secondary School (380 Taunton Road East, Whitby).

Cost: Admission is free.

 

photo credit

Get active in the New Year with mom and baby yoga

New Year can be a motivating time and I’m here to guide you to some of the best opportunities Durham has on offer! If you’re still looking to hit your stride in your mat leave, Mom and Baby Yoga can help you get there. It’s got the trifecta of benefits: feel-good exercise, a chance to make mommy friends and a reason to get out of the house.

The Mom and Baby Yoga Flyer for Moksha Yoga Brooklin

Sessions run weekly on Tuesdays at 9.45am for an hour in a series of eight sessions. If you’re feeling a little shy, signing up for a sessions like this can help you interact with the other moms as you will see each other so regularly. These sessions are best for babies up to the crawling stage, so chances are you’ll meet other moms in a similar stage as you.

There are still spaces left so it’s not too late to sign up! Registration can be completed online or in person at the Moksha Yoga Brooklin studio (31 Baldwin Street, Brooklin). Mom and Baby Yoga begins January 6th, 2015 and continues up until February 24th.

Cost: $105 + hst (Approx $13 per class).

How to manage a baby meltdown when you’re not at home

Ah, we’ve all been there at some point with baby meltdowns. There comes a time when the cries begin to sound like requests rather than just noise. This is when you begin to hit your stride as a mom and realize you know your little one best. When a baby meltdown hits, I like being home to have everything I need handy. Nursing pillow is always near, there are lots of places to lay down for quiet time, and even a roomful of toys in case baby boredom has struck. But being out of the house with a meltdown on my hands? That takes a special kind of resourcefulness that only a mom can understand.

A baby crying

It takes time to build up the confidence to leave the house for any period of time with baby, especially as you’re learning that perfect mix of items to keep in your diaper bag to help you while you’re out. Here are a few strategies that I’ve learned from my many meltdowns so far:

  • Scan the area for a sympathetic face. If you’re somewhere public like a supermarket or shopping centre, someone will be empathizing with what you’re going through. See if your baby is interested in interacting with this person. The change in energy can lighten the mood for both baby and you.
  • Show baby an item they haven’t seen before. I bring toys with me for baby wherever I go but sometimes even this doesn’t work in my favour. There are usually plenty of items available out of the house for baby to see which always ends up being far more interesting than what I bring along. These don’t need to be other toys either – A kitchen spatula at a department store or a bright red fire extinguisher may catch the attention of those curious little eyes.
  • Consider removing or adding a piece of clothing. If baby is hot, then loosening a onesie or popping open a few buttons on a sleeper can help cool them down. If baby is cold and you don’t have extra layers on hand, consider using a sweater or shirt of your own to drape over them.
  • Find a quiet area to recharge. Overstimulation is tough on a little baby, and what calms them down will depend a lot on their little personality. Public washrooms may seem like a good idea but I’ve found that the loud sounds in a washroom (hand dryers, multiple toilets flushing) can be disruptive. Instead, ask an employee to direct you to a quiet area in a store or venue so that you can be alone with your little one and give them time to calm down.

What are some of your strategies for baby meltdowns? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the comments below.

 

pic via earlyinterventionsupport.com

Break out the camera at a local pumpkin patch

One thing that is fast becoming a must-do this month is visiting the pumpkin patch for a photo shoot. The possibilities for some of the best staged photos are endless… big pumpkin, tiny baby… tiny baby, holding tiny pumpkin… This was never much of a thing for me growing up but since visiting a pumpkin patch with my family this year, I’m happy to add this to my growing set of family traditions.

The sign for the Linton's Farm Market surrounded by large pumpkins

One of the higher rated pumpkin patches in the east end of Durham is Linton’s Farm Market.

Access to the pumpkin patch is free. What I liked about this farm is that you can also wander  through the small petting zoo with goats, sheep and chickens before you make your way over to the pumpkin patch to take some photos. There is also a kid’s play area available with a sandpit, play equipment and access to the pumpkin cannon. This section is worthwhile if you’re bringing along kids that can run around, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend paying the $2 admission for entry to this area. For you – and anyone you bring along – there is a large farm market to shop, which includes honey, meats, preserves, apples, beets, garlic, brussels sprouts, carrots and farm decorations (think decorative wheat).

Linton’s Farm Market is located at 571 Raglan Road East, Oshawa. Opening hours vary, and their website recommends calling ahead. As a side note – I visited around lunchtime on a weekend and that seemed to be a good time.

Cost: Visiting the pumpkin patch is free. If you’re interested in bringing home a pumpkin from your visit, the pumpkins in the picture above were priced at $8 each or 3 for $20.

Learn to play in the pool with swimming classes

Most moms will have different reasons for joining an infant swim class. Some do it so they get out of the house, to meet other mommies, to burn off some of that boundless baby energy or as I did in my case, to get my little one used to being in the water.

Swimming classes held at the local Whitby Recreation Complex are led by a trained swim instructor who will guide you and a group of other parents through water play activities. This includes, holding your baby on the side of the pool and having them “jump” into the water, helping your baby to float on their back with the help of pool toys, practice using life jackets (for baby and parent) and if you’re brave – dipping your little one under the water!

A view of the baby pool and the toys used in the Starfish swimming class

The view of the baby pool at the Whitby Recreation Complex and some of the toys used in the “Starfish” infant swimming class.

What I love about this activity is that there are a ton of scheduling options offered through the Whitby Recreation Complex. Starfish Infant swim classes are held on both weekdays and weekends, so if you decide to try an activity like this you can be flexible in who you bring along, whether it be a family member, mommy friend or your partner.

Registration is open now for these group swimming lessons for January-March, 2015. Starfish swimming classes are open to babies 4-18 months old.  You can register in person at the Whitby Recreation Complex, or online.

Cost: The Starfish Group Swimming Class program runs for 10 weeks and costs $89.51 (approximately $9 per class).


 

To register online, these are the steps that you’ll need to follow:

1. Check out the Fall/Winter Activity Guide and pick your preferred class times and days. Note the corresponding class codes as you’ll need these for later in the process.

2. Call the Recreation Program staff (905-666-1991) and ask for a PIN and barcode, which becomes your username and password for the online registration system. Keep these details saved somewhere that you can find them again. This is important because you will continue to use these login details when signing up for swimming classes in the future! This is a one-off type of step in the process but it’s worth it.

3. Once you have this information, sign into the online registration portal and search for the class code you noted earlier. Once you have searched for the class, a screen like this will appear showing you how many spots are still available. If there is space available, a green button will appear at the top of this box that says “Add” which allows you to add this class to your account.

Example of online registration for swimming classes on the Whitby Rec Centre online registration system

This is an example of what you will see when registering online for one of the Winter Starfish swimming programs

4. Make sure to select your child’s name for this program so you can continue with the registration

5. Find the Checkout button and finalize your payment for the program.

Try a drop-in playgroup in Colombus

The Columbus Playgroup hosts a drop-in program every Friday, where you can bring your little one to play indoors out of the cold. If you’re thinking about daycare options, or even looking to socialize your little one in preparation for daycare, a drop-in option like this is useful. For only $2, your little one can tire themselves out on all the toys, activities and the large gym on site, while you get the chance to chat with other moms in the area.

The Colombus Playgroup Friday Drop-In Program flyer

Cost: $2 per mobile child.

The drop-in program is held every Friday from 9.30-11.30am at the Columbus Community Playgroup located at 3625 Simcoe Street North, Columbus, east of Brooklin and north of Oshawa.  This program is open to members of the public and runs from September 12th – May 29th, 2014 with the exception of all scheduled holidays, Christmas vacation and March break.

pic via Facebook

Take baby for their first trim at Melonhead

There comes a time that you’ll start to feel like you want to take your baby for their first haircut. However you look at it, it’s an emotional day for us as parents because it’s such a big step toward toddlerhood.

A view inside of a Melonhead salon

A view inside of the Melonhead Whitby salon

For a first time haircut, Melonhead is a fun salon to consider because it specializes in kid’s haircuts. The whole space is decorated top to bottom with bright colours and has themed seats for baby to sit in while having their hair done. Best of all, your little one gets to choose if they would like to sit in an airplane, train, car or horse. All the elements are here for any mom looking to make a special occasion out of this opportunity. After the haircut is done, Melonhead staff provide you with a first-time-haircut certificate, “after” photo and a clipping of your little one’s hair.

A photo of the full service price list at Melonhead in Whitby

The full list of prices for services available at Melonhead in Whitby

There is only one Melonhead location in the Durham region, in Whitby. The salon is located at 3930 Brock Street North, close to Brock and Taunton.

Cost: In total, you can expect to pay $23 + tips + tax.

More information about locations, hours and services are available on the Melonhead website.