Basic Baby Co.

Basic Baby Co. 

basic baby co

Business Highlight 

This blog post is sponsored and I have been compensated for my time and work put into this piece, the opinions are honest and true to my beliefs.  

When I was two months postpartum with Amadeo, my first birth, I wrote a blog post, 5 Postpartum Care Must Haves for Mom. 

https://mylittlelamb.ca/2018/10/22/5-postpartum-care-musts-for-mom/

With the experience of a traumatic birth (in the sense of person vaginal injury) recovery from said birth and what my postpartum right after baby looked like, I knew what I wanted to do differently next time and the advice I would give to future mamas out there.

At the time I followed on Instagram and reviewed online Basic Baby Co. and all of the amazing products they offered for after baby comes and my FAVOURITE product and package they carry was/is their, Postpartum Bundle.

It’s embedded deep within our culture to make sure mom is okay, has everything she needs, support her physically, mentally and emotionally while pregnant, but within 24 hours of that beautiful baby being born we are now, sadly, officially an after thought. I will never stop being vocal about how absolutely wrong that is. We need to be a thought after birth not an after thought.

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A bit about how Basic Baby Co. was started from the owner Sheila,

Basic baby co. launched about three years ago and it was my lemonade at a time when I was feeling the lemons. I have a Masters in Counselling Psychology and after over a decade working with and counselling people experiencing substance use issues, involvement with the justice system, trauma, mental health, and other challenges, I was burnt out.

More than that, I arrived at a place where the experiences and traumas from my own life had caught up with me – I was exhausted and overwhelmed by anxiety to the point of it being totally crippling. I have never been good at sitting idle, but I was also forced to accept that I need to make some changes and give myself some time to heal.

I didn’t really realize it at the time, nor had this ever been part of my “life plan”, but as it turned out, part of that healing process came in the form of starting a business – a business that was completely different from my career and provided an opportunity to have something that was mine, be creative, and celebrate some of the more joyous and heartwarming parts of life. So, with the unwavering support that my Mum has always provided, I saw an opportunity, followed a feeling I had, and basic baby co. was born!

After months of building it, I actually went back to work in the healthcare system doing consulting work about the same time basic baby co. launched. It has been a busy few years, but I am so grateful for this business and the people that support it because it affords me a wonderful balance and place to be creative in my life.

Everyone loves to celebrate the arrival of babies, but often people don’t know what to get and/or cannot always be there in person or know when would be a good time to visit a new parent. So, basic baby co. is really about making it easy for people to celebrate their loved ones during this amazing and life-changing time of life!

More than that, it is about sending a gift that is not just thoughtful, but also practical! So often new parents get all sorts of gifts that they never have the chance or need to use. Personally, I don’t like getting someone a present just for the sake of getting them something… I like to give someone something that is good quality and something they will actually use and truly appreciate. So, that’s basic baby co. … carefully curated and perfectly practical!

-Sheila

Basic Baby Co. is a mother-daughter venture – a testament to the life-long relationship of unconditional love, support, and friendship between parent and child. Located in Vancouver, BC, basic baby co. is a proudly Canadian company.

Now more then ever we are hyper aware of supporting Canadian companies and supporting those we love during their pregnancy and post birth during this pandemic in any way we can while respecting social distancing and the boundaries in order to keep baby and mama healthy and safe.
A Basic Baby Co. bundle will be that perfect gift sent directly to mama and baby to show your love and support.
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To view and shop all bundles click the link below 
At checkout use code MYLITTLELAMB to save 10% 

Open-ended Play

Open-ended Play

What is it?

How can I provide open-ended play opportunities?

I will be answering and explaining frequently asked questions that I receive about open-ended play in this post.

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Amadeo is exploring the new Lola set we got from Modern Rascals and his Discover castle block set we go from Winners. He spent most of his time stacking ( one of his new skills ) tearing down, and putting the little Lola people in and out of their cylinder homes.

What is Open-ended Play?

I’m going to answer this question as simply and easily as possible, children are naturally curious and explore the world around them through play experiences. This is why experiencing learning through play is so valuable. Open-ended play can be described as play that has no pre-determined limitations, children simply lead with their imagination to allow the play to go in any direction their creativity and interests at that time, takes them. As there are no set outcomes, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with open-ended play.

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Amadeo spent most of his play using his whole body to explore and balance on his natural Grimms half circles we got from Modern Rascals. I wanted to create beautiful mandala art but he had other ideas for the play, so I sat back and encouraged the big movements. 

One of the most valuable assets to open-ended play is that its not limited by developmental stages, milestones or ages. How your child explores the world, toys and resources that you provide will be completely controlled and determined by them. Children as they grow, yearn for independence and control, the more open-ended play opportunities available to them the more that will be fulfilled. With play that emphasizes the process or experience rather than the final product children will be able to build on who they are as a person and what interests and makes them happy.

What are the benefits to Open-ended Play?

Providing opportunities for children to lead their own play that supports their early development will have long lasting benefits for your child/children in so many ways.

  1. Helps build confidence and self-esteem; Fear of making mistakes is one of the greatest barriers to learning – adults experience this as well. Open ended play provides a low stress environment where children can take risks. Play is one space where it is safe to make mistakes. This makes play one of the greatest tools for learning. Open ended play can teach children that it is okay to make mistakes, and that making mistakes is one of the most important ways we learn.

2.  Helps build social and emotional intelligence ; As children communicate with one another or parental figures in open ended play, they learn how to read social cues and respond appropriately. They are able to do this because of the low stress environment created by open ended play. Children explore a range of emotions through pretend play, and its a great opportunity to help highlight those and honour those processes throughout. As they express and respond to the emotions expressed by their peers and adults, they develop emotional intelligence.

3. Allows children to teach themselves; when your child/children are playing and exploring, you will see that they are teaching themselves through their play. They will discover physics theories, language, discovery with their senses, the list goes on and on.

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Amadeo is HUGE anything that involves Farm Animals at the moment. We started this play with cars and racing but as he went to get his farm animals from his basket I draped one of his silks over his wobble board and he started placing the animals in the tunnel. As he was placing them I was asking him the name and sound of the animal.  

How can I provide Open-ended Play opportunities ?

My two suggestions to help provide Open-ended Play opportunities more often for your child/children involves which toys, resources, and materials are provided for them to play with as well as environmental and routine changes that can help support open-ended play.

Part 1 ; What kinds of materials and play equipment encourage open-ended play?

Simple materials can provide so many possibilities for developing and fostering your child’s creativity and imagination.  Here are some examples of toys, materials and resources that are considered open-ended. You probably already own many!

Blocks: There’s no one way to play with blocks, making them the perfect foundation for open-ended play. Because there are so many different blocks on the market I recommend starting your child’s collection with blocks that can be versatile and provide many opportunities to explore at different ages and stages.

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The block sets from Guide Craft are AMAZING for versatility and can grow with your children, they are also professional quality at an amazing price point for parents. 

Play–Doh: Play-Doh is probably already in your home or you can easily whip up a home made batch. Your child can create anything and everything out of Play-Doh that they can think of! I love setting up invitations to play with Play-Doh to help spark the creativity and or set the stage for a theme I would like to introduce, you can also pair it with items that your child’s interested in.

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Adding natural elements to your Play-Doh invitation can be an extra element to the activity as you and your child/children can search for them together. 

 

Small toy vehicles, characters and animal figures : Your child/children can create their own amazing worlds with these kinds of small toys if left to their own devices. I love to create dinner small world, and active world invitations for Amadeo and the children in my programs. Especially if your child/children are older and they aren’t used to playing and creating with their imagination setting up play invitations can be the little spark they need to continue and use their creativity and imagination to continue on the play on their own.

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Amadeo LOVES his farm animal figures, I’ve paired it with the Melissa and doug wooden farm and he spends so much time placing them in and out of the spaces. 

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Boxes, cardboard tubes, empty bottles: Your child/children can build with them, connect them, break them, put things in them … and they’re already sitting in your recycling bin, ready to play!

Sand/ Sensory bases: I’ll use the example of sand, with Amadeo I use kinetic sand in his play invitations because it is the kind of excellent shape-shifter that children will be able to see all sorts of possibilities in.

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I set up a turtle habitat invitation to explore for Amadeo with some glass beads. Any time there are potential chocking hazards you need to be supervising at all times. 

Water : Most children LOVE exploring and playing with water and it’s a simple way to foster open-ended play. You can set up intentional opportunities or just know that during bath time they are developing and fostering those imagination and creative juices in their brain. Please be sure to always closely supervise kids when they play with water.

 

Craft materials: Glue, paper, feathers, paint, glitter (the herpes of craft materials lol). Providing these materials with no specific outcome is one of the best ways for open-ended play, creativity and imagination to be fostered.

Part 2 : How can parents encourage open-ended play?

There are lots of ways you can set the stage for this kind of play – and it’s very, very important that you allow child/children to explore and create on their own, as much as possible.

You can help foster open-ended play by:

Scheduling free time: Free time is key, allowing your child to explore with materials and toys in their own time and in their own way.

Reducing screen-time: I’m a believer in having a balance of both, I have screen time and sometimes just the tv playing in the back ground while we do an activity or play in the other room, but finding the balance with your specific, child/ children will be key to helping support their open-ended play opportunities.

Avoiding micro-management: Allow your child the time and space to act out the possibilities of the play and take action – without your help.

Open-ended Play is appropriate for all ages, remember it is providing opportunities for your children to lead their exploration and discovery of what toys, materials, and resources are in front of them.

Happy Playing!

123 Petits Pas

 

123 Petits Pas 

A local Ottawa business that offers a variety of Parent and Child french educational programs

 

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This blog post is sponsored, however as always my opinions are a true representation of my experience of service. 

 

Last fall Amadeo and I were lucky enough to be invited to attended Mme. Amy’s, 123 Petit Pas Infant French Classes.

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My husband and myself have no french background and like many parents born in the 90s (aging ourselves) french wasn’t pushed as an importance throughout our school educational system like it is today.

I know through my Education in Early Learning that early exposure to song, dance and movement is a wonderful foundation for learning language and conversational skills.

Our hopes are to send Amadeo to school which has a great french program, and in order to do that with my husband and I not being bilingual in French, we knew we needed to have some early exposure to the language for both Amadeo and us. In order get him on the road to being bilingual,  I saw 123 Petit Pas as a great option to help facilitate that dream.

When I attended the classes, to my surprise, there were also many francophone families in attendance. They expressed to me how happy they were to bring their children to an interactive French class with their infants. Since attending Amy’s classes I’m almost hyper aware of how lacking of french toys, literature, resources and classes there are in Ottawa for parents to participate and interact with their children. I know they’re so thankful that they have access to these classes for their children to learn and developed.

Another big difference I noticed was how many Fathers participated in the classes. Its amazing as so many dads are sharing Parental Leave for them to feel comfortable and enjoy interactive activities like this in the city to do with their children!

 

Myself and many other attendees call Mme. Amy , Amy Wiggle. The has the most amazing energy and Ora that just commands the room in such a calm and inviting way. Amadeo LOVED interacting with her and listening to her voice and instruments.

123 Petit Pas offer a wide variety of French Educational classes for all ages. 

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Parent & Infant French (4 – 17 months)

These classes focus on teaching parents action songs, rhymes, and games, that they can use to help introduce the French language to their little ones. With lap & hand games, dancing, toys, puppets, parachutes, and percussion instruments, this class is sure to be a great bonding experience for parents and their infants. The goal of this program is to expose Ottawa’s infants to the French language during an important period of growth, when they are building language pattern connections, in the hopes that it will make their journey towards bilingualism that much easier.

 

Click the link to Find an Infant class : https://123petitspas.com/registration/infant-french-classes/

Parent & Toddler French (18 months – 3 years)

These classes contain sing-alongs, action songs, rhymes, learning centres, and storytime, with a focus on teaching basic French vocabulary. A variety of instruments, puppets, and toys will be included throughout the program to ensure an engaging environment for tots. 123 Petits Pas includes parent involvement in each of their programs, as we strongly believe it is the key to creating a comfortable learning environment for little ones as they take their first few steps towards bilingualism. The goal of this program is to expose Ottawa’s children to the French language at an early age and to help parents learn enough basic vocabulary to continue their education at home.

Click the link to find a Toddler Class : https://123petitspas.com/registration/toddler-french-classes/

 

Parent & Preschooler French (3 – 4 years)

These classes contain sing-alongs, action songs, rhymes, learning centres, and storytime, with a focus on teaching basic French vocabulary. A variety of instruments, puppets, and toys will be included throughout the program to ensure an engaging environment for tots. 123 Petits Pas includes parent involvement in each of their programs, as we strongly believe it is the key to creating a comfortable learning environment for little ones as they take their first few steps towards bilingualism. The goal of this program is to expose Ottawa’s children to the French language at an early age and to help parents learn enough basic vocabulary to continue their education at home.

 

Click the link to find a Preschool Class: https://123petitspas.com/registration/preschooler-french-classes/

Other French Classes

Our goal is to ensure that any child in Ottawa has the opportunity to experience the French language prior to going to school, and that any parent has the opportunity to play a role in their child’s French learning (whether or not they have any prior French knowledge themselves).

As participants, you and your child will learn French through song, movement, sensory play, and educational activities in order to ensure that the learning environment is engaging and encouraging for all.

Classes are divided by age (infant, toddler, or preschooler) in order to cater the activities to the interests and abilities of the specific age groups. Parents attend and actively participate with their child in order to ensure that the learning continues at home as they practice what they learned in class.

Classes also include educational resources to support continued French practice at home.

123 Petit Pas offers French Circles for Daycares, Summer Programs, Primary Programs and Workshops for Parents.

Click the link to see all other Class Opportunities: https://123petitspas.com/other-french-programs/

When you attend the Classes you also as a parent are sent the Lyrics to songs so you can practice at home as well as some French Resources like the one below.  Amadeo’s favourite song which i often sing now is Bonjour, Bonjour, I cant wait to add a lot of these songs with actions to my Circle time at daycare.

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I highly recommend signing you and your child up for a class, I cant wait to attend the Toddler classes with Amadeo in the Near future.

If you have any further questions you can reach out at mylittlelambblog@gmail.com

Merci Mes Amies!

 

Fab Baby Gear Christmas Gift Registry

fabbaby
This is a sponsored post, all that is expressed are my own honest thoughts and opinions. 

Christmas Gift Registry

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Are you worried or concerned about the amount of toys and odds and ends your child/children will be getting as gifts this year for Christmas?

Do you have a clear idea of the types of toys, books, clothing items that your child needs or you prefer to have in your home and lifestyle?

Are you the one who have to go out with your families budgets and do the shopping for your children in a bunch of different stores?

These were all examples of the struggles that you expressed to me with the upcoming holiday gifting that is inevitable.

I feel the same, I have a very clear vision of what I want Amadeo to have to learn, play with, wear, have in the bath, footwear, necessities and extras. I know exactly what Amadeo already owns and I know what brands I prefer to support. I wanted to think of a way that if fun, takes some pressure off of you as a parent, and is super simple and easy for your family and friends to purchase gifts for your child/children if they’d like.

A Christmas Gift Registry

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Do you remember how much fun it can be to go into a store or scroll online and put together that wish list that you know will be perfect for your families needs, well being pregnant as a first time mom I honestly had no clue, I just went with what the experts said. However now I’m in a new territory I have a great sense of what is valuable and helpful as a product, which toys and books I want to have for my child and everything in-between.

I truly believe that children when they are old enough to make a list of “wants” of toys that it should be from their parents and Santa and then the rest be a surprise to them. It helps with the notation that its a gift instead of an expectation, and to be honest what most likely going to happen is those things they SO badly want in November they wont even care for come the spring. I don’t know about you but longevity of play means ALOT to me and I like a toys life span to last longer then a couple months.

You all want to know some of my Christmas recommendations and what better way to show you then my personal registry from one of my favourite Canadian Stores and brands, Fab Baby Gear. So here’s my Christmas Registry filled with some ideas and inspiration so you can go in store or start scanning online just in time for Black Friday sales at the end of the month so yourself, family and friends can get the best bang for their buck!

Follow @fabbabygear on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date on the sales coming up in the near future.

My Christmas Registry: http://fabbabygear.com/apps/giftregistry/registry/86441?limit=100

Books:

When thinking of adding books to your Registry think about your current collection, is it a good time to maybe add some classics that your child will apricate when they are older? Do they have some favourites of a series that you’d like to add to and give more variety ? ( Amadeo is OBSSESED with the never touch a series) These are the favourites I chose and Fab Baby has a BEAUTIFUL selection of books displayed in their store, and even have a couple French to select from!

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Fab Baby Carries this AMAZING line of Magnetic Books in English and French. They are made by Janod and are the perfect item to have during a transition between school and dinner or in-between clean up and a quiet bed time activity, as well they would be PERFECT for traveling with older ones as everything is contained in the box for storage and use. I have the English Alphabet and Moduloform for when Amadeo is older.

 

Toys:

When you are looking for toys to put on your Child/Children’s Christmas Registry I recommend adding items at different price points but still under $50.00 per item. That way it will give a variety of types of toys as well as it will work well with all budgets.

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Fab Baby Gear Carries some amazing toy brands that are some of my Favourites!

Plan toys, Hape, Janod, Btoys, Green toys and some amazing Canadian hand made treasures when you visit in store.

When I think toys I automatically think wooden puzzles, not only are they amazing cognitive tools to help your children develop many different skill sets but the wooden puzzle pieces can be re purposed in play set ups when they are finished using them as puzzle pieces! Fab Baby Gear has an amazing selection of puzzles for all different ages and skill sets.

If you follow me you already know my LOVE for JELLY CATS! Amadeo has a pretty big collection so far, not only are they the softest and sweetest stuffies but they have the funniest corkiest collections that are so unique! There are also mini versions and a Christmas Collection that would be perfect stocking stuffers!

 

Imaginative (dramatic play) Toys are in my opinion where money should be spent. This has been proven to be one of the most important types of play for children developing real life and self help skills. It allows for opportunity to use their creativity and imagination in real life mirrored scenarios. For those with multiple children this type of play is great for building bonds and cooperative play skills. Fab Baby Gear carries beautiful dramatic play set ups and accessories that are amazing quality and sustainable sourced. I have the Green Market for Amadeo, and even though I have put the small wooden food away until he’s a bit older due to safety risks I have substituted for fabric food and so far this is one of his most played with toys!

 

Clothing:

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This section wont get those ouuuus and awwssss from your children butttt clothes are a necessity and I don’t know about you but Amadeo goes like a weed! Amadeo is now in the 24 month and up range so there are no longer awesome hand-me-downs because at that age everything most likely will get some wear and tear to it.

Fab Baby Gear carries my FAVOURITE baby brands. These clothes are AMAZING quality ( they have outlasted Amadeo and all his craziness!) and fit like a dream! So many brands are also Canadian and Canadian made! (can you guess my favourite colours)

 

At some winter boots and accessories in there for some practical fun!

 

Sleep Essentials:

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You always need new sets of cozy jammies, a swaddle or two, blankets, lovies and a sleep sac, Fab Baby Gear carries my favourite brand Kyte Baby and so many other luxurious sleep items for your little ones!

 

Feeding:

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Fab Baby Gear carries some great feeding accessories for any stage your child is in. Amadeo LOVES his ezpez products and I love the Re-Play products made from recycled milk jugs from the states! (they are also amazing price points and have the most beautiful colours!)

Last but not least my FAVOURITE bath toys!

Amadeo LOVES bath time and playing with his bath toys, I however hate the idea of having bath toys that can’t be cleaned properly and mold and mildew can accumulate, so I LOVE the brands that Fab Baby Gear carries. Our favourites, which we own all of them are all the Boon bath toys! I highly recommend these!

 

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Fab Baby Gear is generously offering all My Little Lamb followers that create their Christmas Registry’s in store,  15% off of one of your registry items.

It was so fun spending time in the store with knowledgeable and friendly staff building up our Christmas Registry with necessities and dreamy wish list items I know Amadeo will cherish.

Happy Shopping Mamas, and don’t forget to check back for those Black Friday Sales!

Winter Sleep Essentials

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This is a Sponsored Blog Post in partnership with Kyte Baby, All Opinions are true, honest and my Own.

I get asked a lot about what Amadeo wears to sleep, during all seasons, but winter is always when I get the most questions! Since Amadeo was a newbie we have always had him in the nested bean swaddle and sleep sacs however my little chunky monkey outgrew those pretty quickly and that’s how I stumbled upon Kyte Baby through the recommendations of you fellow mamas!

If you haven’t come into physical contact with an item from Kyte Baby I must urge you to find a location that sells them and just take some precious moments feeling the insanity that is 97% Bamboo Rayon and 3% spandex. It’s like a cloud! I truly cant find the proper words to describe HOW amazing the material used in their products feel.

Aside from just how luxuriously soft the products are they were actually designed and made with a very important purpose, again why originally they were recommended for me to buy for Amadeo.

The owner and founder of Kyte Baby, Ying Liu, has a daughter who has Chronic Eczema and she found that Bamboo was a cooler material then cotton, fleeces etc , but still would help keep her daughter warm at the same time. This would help prevent flare ups and keep her baby more comfortable during sleep and day time.

Amadeo is lucky, he doesnt have any major skin conditions as of yet, the winter months when the house air is dry and we bundle him up to keep him warm is when his Eczema would flare up. So this year we are being as preventative as possible. He is prepared for these long Canadian Winter months with all his (my) favourite Kyte Gear!

These are my Winter Sleep Essentials all from Kyte Baby!

(don’t forget to join the Kyte club Facebook group for exclusive sales and discounts! https://www.facebook.com/groups/kyteklub/ )

Let’s Talk Sleep Sacs

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Sleep sacs are an important part of our babies safe sleep. They keep them cozy but safe while sleeping and help prevent SIDS ( sudden infant death syndrome) Amadeo has been wearing the Tog 1.0 and Tog 2.5 for the last couple of months and I have to say I’m SOLD!

TOG is a rating system that measures warmth and calculates how quickly a fabric uses heat. It is the standard when choosing the appropriate sleeping bag for your baby depending on the ambient temperature in their nursery. We recommend a thicker tog during cooler months and a thinner size during warmer months.
0.5 TOG: 23 – 26 ?C / 74 – 78 ?F
1.0 TOG: 21 – 23 ?C / 69 – 73 ?F
2.5 TOG: 16 – 20 ?C / 61 – 68 ?F
Exterior: 97% Rayon from Bamboo, 3% Spandex
Filling: 100% Polyester

Amadeo has Mustard & Sage and two of the new winter exclusive colours Steel & Emerald.

Click the link to see the full colour collection and read more about the sleep sacs :

Sleep Bags

Rompers, Onesies & Separates

Kyte Baby has soooo many gorgeous colours that carry through from sleep sacs to baby and toddler separates, onesies and rompers. They recently add zippered rompers and I’m obsessed, I’m not a fan of buttons with a wiggly jiggly child like mine so the zippers are a must have in my opinion! We got Steel and Emerald in the Zippered, footless rompers for Amadeo as he is now on the go ( and cant be stopped ) and I wanted to match his beautiful sleep sacs. We also have a set of toddler separates for Amadeo to use as his Christmas Pjs , we have it in crimson.

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Click the link to see the full colour collection and read more about the Apparel :

Apparel

Blankets and lovies!

Soooooooo In that unreal material that is Kyte Baby, they have created the most heavenly blankets, I’m hoping to save for an adult one in the future but for now Amadeo has one that is perfect for when he transitions to his toddler bed. We have it in sage as well as the crib sheet. He also has a beautiful lovie in Oat and the wood is stunning and acts as his teether in the night.

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Kyte also offers tuns of products for infacts including  swaddles and baby blankets and new ring slings for baby wearing!

Visit https://kytebaby.com/collections/all and explore their beautiful products!

 

Child Proofing with Professionals

 

safety mavens & Buybuybaby
These products and installation services were provided by Safety Mavens and BUYBUYBABY CANADA in exchange for a honest review.

We just got possession of our new house and I started freaking out because when we took Amadeo to there he very enthusiastically started opening EVERY kitchen cupboard and B-lining it right to all the stair cases. I knew that with the parenting approach I’ve been going with since Amadeo was mobile (the sort of laissez-faire approach) I would need to baby proof this home with permanent fixtures, the tape on the cupboards and pressure gate wouldn’t cut it.

You are used to by now me admitting that I’m not an expert on most thing not child education related, and I truly am of the belief that if their are services provided by experts in your area, to hire them. It takes away the guessing, the questions and millions of different opinions on those mom Facebook groups, saves you time from researching and honestly and most importantly to me, gives you peace of mind that something will be done right the first time. No trial and error here.

I knew after I hired Safety Mavens for our at home car seat installation that they would be a perfect fit. (and are the only company in Ottawa who provides this service) They are a wife, husband duo who run the business and a pleasure to work with. They also service Toronto residents.

Webpage : https://www.gatemaven.ca/

Instagram : @safetymavens

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/gatemaven/

We had a consultation and found the right fit for our Safety Proofing needs with our family. Its important to do this step because everyone’s home, lifestyle and parenting style is different. It’s great to get a second opinion and recommendations from a professional in regards to child safety.

At the moment our safety needs are:

Installation of a fixed gate at the top of the stairs going to the basement.

Installation of a gate ( we chose fixed and pull adjustable because of the size of the opening) at the bottom of our stairwell on our main floor.

Installation of a fixed gate at the top of our stairs on the top floor.

Magnetic locks (due to the style of our cabinet and the modern look I was going for in my home design) on all of our lower cabinets and pantry.

Here are a couple quick videos of the Installation process.

 

The products that were installed in my home were gifted to My Little Lamb by, BUYBUYBABY CANADA.

Main floor bottom of the stairs:

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/homesafe-trade-by-summer-infant-reg-retractable-gate/1043986125?opbthead=true&ta=typeahead&keyword=baby-gate

Main floor and top of the stairs Kid Co. Angle Gate :

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/kidco-reg-angle-mount-safeway-reg-gate-in-black/1040816203?keyword=wide-metal-baby-gate

Kid Co. Magnetic Cupboard locks:

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/kidco-reg-adhesive-mount-magnet-lock-system/112238?keyword=magnetic-lock

So far all of these products are FANTASTIC and have done exactly what was promised!

Amadeo has given up even trying to open the kitchen cabinets and these locks will also be installed in the playroom once the doors are in.

He cant open any of the gates on the stairs and they are SO easy for me to open up one handed, also BONUS they look AMAZING in my space, and that’s important to me.

 

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Thank you Safety Mavens for such a pleasurable consult and installation, mess free and such a beautiful finished product that works!

Thank you BUYBUYBABY CANADA for providing the awesome products!

Now Amadeo is safe and my sanity is saved!

What Is A Calm Down Corner

You’ve probably herd many different names or terms for a Calm Down Corner, this is the term most used in Therapy, the School Boards and Daycares to describe a “safe space” where an individual child can go to self regulate their emotions away from others.

I’m almost 30 years old and still go to therapy to learn different strategies to regulate my emotions, it takes a lot of work to be able to gain the skills of self reflection and self help, its not a skill you are genetically born with, its a taught skill.

For children especially, the skill of being able to recognize and self regulate their emotions can be very difficult and may take some time to learn and master due to their brain growth and development. When looking at implementing learning and coping strategies for a calm down corner area like this in your classroom, daycare or home, I truly feel its important as an adult to understand how a child’s brain is working and developing on the emotional scale. (the Limbic system of the brain)

The Limbic System of the brain consists of the Hypothalamus, Pituitary Gland, Amygdala, Thalamus, and the Hippocampus. 

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Hypothalamus: The Hypothalamus is a very small part of the brain however it plays a huge role in many important functions, including: releasing hormones, regulating body temperature, maintaining daily physiological cycles, controlling appetite, managing of sexual behavior, and regulating emotional responses from yourself and others.

Pituitary Gland: The Pituitary Gland is a tear drop looking part of the brain that is a part of your endocrine system. Its main function is to secrete hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones can affect other organs and glands, especially your:
thyroid, reproductive organs, and adrenal glands.
The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland because it’s involved in so many processes.

Amygdala: The Amygdala is a part of the brain that is responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events. The amygdala is responsible for the perception of emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness, as well as the controlling of aggression. This part of the brain is formed during its development is based upon experiential events. The amygdala helps to store memories of events and emotions so that an individual may be able to recognize similar events in the future.

Thalamus: The Thalamus is responsible for relaying information from the sensory receptors to proper areas of the brain where it can be processed. It is a large mass of gray matter in the dorsal part of the diencephalon of the brain with several functions such as relaying of sensory signals, including motor signals to the cerebral cortex, and the regulation of consciousness, sleep, and alertness.

Hippocampus: The hippocampus is involved in the formation of new memories and is also associated with learning and emotions. Because the brain is lateralized and symmetrical, you actually have two hippocampi. They are located just above each ear and about an inch-and-a-half inside your head.

All of these functions aren’t fully formed or developed until you are 25 years old. This is why it is curtail to learn and develop self emotional awareness and regulation strategies during these formative years and while these parts of the brain are still developing . Experiences will and can have effect on the Limbic System as it develops, depending on the experience it will either positively or negatively impact how these areas are developed in those early years. No matter the case, self help tools can be taught and learned to help a person regulate and understand this part of the brain and how it reacts to the world around them emotionally

A calm down area has been studied and proven to be a great tool for teaching children those self help, awareness and regulation tools and stragies in their early years.

What a Calm Down Corner looks like and consists of

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A calm down corner ideally should be separate from an area in your home that your child would usually play in, this area isn’t meant for play, it’s purpose is for centering themselves emotionally and relaxation. (make sure to follow @mylittlelambblog on Instagram to sign up for the email freebie on how to properly implement a calm down corner, in this freebie you will learn at what age this is appropriate for and how to introduce and teach your child to use this space as its intended)

It should be cozy and inviting, choose calming colours for pillows, a blanket, rug or matt , seat extra to help visually promote the idea of relaxation. Maybe include a favourite stuffed animal, a lot of children will use this area to re enact an event out loud and a stuffed animal to confide in can sometimes be very comforting.

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Have some quiet activities that can be switched up weekly to keep your child’s interest and books with little to no words, mostly pictures. Puzzles are a great addition as well.

Sensory items are a must. When your child, or even adults, are dealing with a influx to their nervous system, a great way to regulate that is fulfilling a sensory need, something physical that can be touched and focused on to distract and break the cycle (spiralling) of big emotions.

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That’s it, at no point should technology like a tablet, iPad, or television be incorporated into a calm down corner, it will be a distraction instead of your child learning how to cope and deal with the emotions they are experiencing head on.

That’s it, to actually introduce and implement a calm down corner will take a lot of time, effort, dedication and being consistent, but once your child gets the idea of it and practices using it, it will be your child’s ( and your) saving grace. Nothing that truly benefits your child’s growth and development emotionally is easy, remember they are still growing that part of the brain till they’re 25 years old, but the pay out and benefits completely out way all that hard work!

I will link below the sensory items I picked up from Scholars Choice. These are NOT affiliate links.

These items however WILL be included in a Giveaway hosted on @mylittlelambblog on Instagram and will be live from Thursday September 12th and the contest closing Thursday September 19th at 7:00pm est. Visit @mylittlelambblog to find out the details on how to enter! (total value : $250)

 

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Sleep Training with Support

antea

Mama’s please don’t hate me but I had a very easy newborn when it came to sleep, well easy in my mind. The picture looked a lot like me being glued to my couch because he would nap in my arms and I would have to hold in my pee for hours. But honestly I loved most of all of those moments with my little one. We got to snuggle, it helped a lot with my stress and anxiety and also made me just rest and relax instead of constantly trying to get something done. He also only had one wake up per night to feed. So if I were to go back a couple months the truth is I wouldn’t change a thing.

Then our son grew, like really big and long, overnight. He no longer fit in his bassinet and we were starting to wrap our heads around the fact that we would very soon need to transition him into his crib. My husband and I were trying to plan on making this transition when he was finished his construction season and we were both at home to be able to support each other.

THEN.LIFE.HAPPENS. I say it like this because I’ve been slowly figuring out that you cant meticulously plan much in motherhood. We had three nights in a row of our son waking up every hour on the hour and it would take us FOREVER to settle him. Gone was the one night wake up ( again sorry moms) since three weeks old, our soon to be four month old who started teething, decided he was going to change his sleep schedule on us before daddy was done work.

After posting about these nights on my Instagram stories I had like ALOT of moms message me saying they still wake up at least three times a night and their kids were 1-3 years old. UMMMMM NOPE. That can’t be my life, for my mental health I NEED to be able to sleep more then that, I cant have this be my new reality for the next three plus years or I will end up in a really dark place. Soooo that being said my husband and I better figure something the fuck out and FAST!

Back it up to when my son was 2 months old, I had originally gotten in contact with Antea through our social medias and then met in person at her organized mommy meet ups. I felt an instant connection and unconditional care and support from her. The advice and conversations we would be having at our mommy meet ups just showed me how much she cares for other women and mothers and truly her purpose in life is to help support us through this beautiful journey, and being a mother of two beautiful boys and a registered nurse her advice was always from a place of love and expertise.

Now fast forward to a couple weeks ago when these three sleepless nights happened, I immediately contacted Antea to talk about sleep training and if she could help.

One of the ways that I’ve enjoyed parenting so far is to try to be as flexible as possible in my schedule and truly just do what I want when I want to. I need groceries and want to go to the mall for a couple of hours, no problem, my husband and I are invited to a party and it might go until 1 am, well we might be a bit tired or hung over but our sons got this,and now I’m realizing that with a newborn its actually much easier to be that way. When your baby starts to get older and is learning new skills that take ALOT of energy, they are going to start sleeping less and be awake for longer periods, and in the beginning its really hard on them. Their little bodies and minds are moving a million miles a minute and without us properly supporting that growth with proper sleep habits and a schedule, we basically unintentionally make a non sleep monster.

If this sounds like your life or if you just have a child that WILL NOT SLEEP WELL , my god you NEED to do research on sleep training.

At first the idea was really hard for me to grasp because I knew that it would take away from my “flexibility” but Antea reassured me that yes, we would need to be CONSISTENT for a while and it would be hard work but with team work being on the same page and completely following her customized sleep plan, eventually when our child had those sleep skills down pact we could live a more flexible life again and do things here and there when we wanted because the next day he could bounce back faster with his skills in tow.

The MAIN reason on why I want to share all this personal mumbo jumbo about my experience with Antea is, yes because I have received a lot of questions so it will be a great place for you to hear about my experience, but I wanted to share what I think is special about working with her in particular and why I believe we were so successful so quickly in sleep training our 4 month old.

I’m an early childhood educator and I truly believe like my profession has taught me  that every child is unique and so is every family situation. Our son has had four months of us uniquely teaching him different bad sleep habits then you and your child, And to be very honest the hardest part about sleep trainer is trying to break all of our (the parents) bad sleep habits because some of them you will want to keep. For example in my perfect mom universe I would have my son sleep alllllll night in this crib till 7 am then I bring him into bed with me and we can cuddle and sleep for a couple more hours till 9. Then we can sometimes sleep some naps in the crib when its coinvent for me and I need to get stuff done and want my arms, but sometimes in my arms for a cuddle or sometimes in his stroller for a shopping outing, but here’s the thing, every action has a reaction with children and I know this. Maybe because I work in childcare I can very clearly understand this, but I know my perfect sleep schedule isn’t at ALL realistic for this age or really any age past the new born stage. Babies and Children thrive in an environment with consistency because it makes them feel safe and secure.

Once I had a really good cry about giving up my bed and couch nap and morning snuggles I was all in baby.

Antea sent us his ideal sleep schedule with times that she knew he would eventually hit and with a schedule of a night time sleep that looks like 7pm-7am and naps to fit his age.

This is what I can only try to convey to you guys properly, but when you start sleep training, timing changes, naps are weird, you will have a cranky child that is learning some hard shit, but the tweaking and constant comfort and reassurance that Antea gave us, truly gave us the confidence to completely stick with it and keep going , teach our son these sleep skills and give him the grace and patience he needed to do so and by the end of the first week he completely matched 7pm-7am and was hitting his nap and awake time targets.

I know every child is different but honestly Antea is my SLEEP ANGEL sent from the SLEEP HEAVENS to save us and teach my son what I am not trained to teach him or to fully understand.

I HGHLY recommend if the sleep is an issue in your home to contact her and just see what can be done, because with some hard work, dedication and consistency you will see how amazing your child truly is.

I’m now able to put my son in his crib awake every single time and he self soothes and is asleep on average within minutes. If he does ever wake up he usually self soothes and again falls back to sleep within minutes as well. He takes proper naps and is in the BEST mood ever when awake. He is truly thriving and I’m incredibly proud of him and us as parents because we were able to, with Antea’s help, give that all to him.

Parenting is HARD.AS.FUCK. and its ten million times harder with parents and a child/children who aren’t  getting the proper sleep needed each day.

Check out Antea’s Mama Coach website on all the details about sleep training as well as give re blog posts a read.

https://linktr.ee/anteathemamacoach

This is some information about sleep services on the Mama Coach website…..

More than Sleep
It is never as simple as “do this and they’ll sleep”.
There are so many factors that need to be accounted for, which is why as Registered Nurses we do a full assessment on your child included in each sleep package.
We look extensively at feeding, development, weight gain, and your child’s circadian rhythm to determine the best way to find sleep.
If there is an underlying feeding issue, finding sleep will be a challenge. Lots of tears and feeding may be compromised. We look at the entire picture and if there is something that needs to be addressed prior to working on sleep, we will help you or find you the health professional to address it, then work on sleep together.
This is a vital step for all families looking for sleep because sleep comes easily when we ensure your child is ready for it.
We understand there are a lot of choices out there for finding sleep for your little one, but we promise we bring so much more than sleep. We bring quality care and support from a Registered Nurse that will help you meet your goals.

In-Home Sleep Services

Newborn Package
Birth to 3 Months
You’re looking for answers on why she is so gassy, why she is spitting up or why each feed is taking over an hour? You put her down and she only sleeps twenty minutes, then you start all over again?

More than Sleep
3 Months to 18 Months
You tell us your expectations, and we will use our extensive knowledge on sleep science, feeding expertise, and Registered Nurse assessment skills to ensure you meet your goals. We make sure your child is ready for sleep prior to starting which is key- any underlying feeding or medical concerns will be addressed first to help make finding sleep so much easier.

More than Sleep
18 Months to 3 years
We are all mamas, and we get it. As Registered Nurses we understand the cognitive and physical development of a toddler and how that impacts sleep. Maybe sleep was going well and now it isn’t or maybe it never has. We can help. We use the science of sleep and the deep understanding on the development of toddlers to help you find sleep for your little one.

More than Sleep
4 Years and Older
If you are struggling with your older child, we understand. Our philosophy on sleep for older children, is that we need to work with them, not on them. They have a voice and deserve to be included. We will empower them to start sleeping independently and develop a positive outlook on sleep.

Which Sleep Method do we Use?
This is a big question.
The answer is… we don’t have just one.
One particular method doesn’t work for all children.
We complete a nursing assessment on each child we work with, as well as a feeding assessment to ensure the least amount of stress for the entire family.
We don’t believe infants should be forced to sleep through the night. This causes too many tears for moms and babes!
Instead we do a feeding assessment on every child, and teaching around the timing and feeds themselves… and you will see amazing outcomes.
A baby that can fall asleep independently and will sleep long stretches, and through the night when they are ready, all while feeding on demand. Naps will fall into place and you will find yourself enjoying parenting.
We are using our years of training as Registered Nurses to bring so much more than sleep.

Ten questions to ask a potential provider

Ten questions to ask a potentional daycare provider picture

You’ve done the research of which type of childcare best suits your family, you’ve found a couple daycare contenders, now what?
I’ve seen and experienced first hand that usually this next step comes with a lot of anxiety for parents. I see that they are wanting to ask me important questions about my program and style of education, food, first aid, policies etc., but once they are in the space its almost like it all goes blank. When I’m giving a tour and summary of the programs we run at my location, I try to give as much information that we believe is important for a parent to make a confident decision to have their child in our program. Realistically its one of the biggest decisions a parent can make, your child will be spending the majority of their early years with these staff and children, you want them to know it will be a right fit for their families.
After you make those appointments to tour and get information of the different programs, make a list of questions you’d like answered and the information that’s important to you.
If you are choosing a licensed center usually information is as easy as looking on their websites and being able to download their policies and procedures. If you are going to visit unlicensed home daycares and are having a hard time getting a good picture of what your child’s day will look like if xyz happens before you meet with the provider, I recommend you go with these questions in tow to help alleviate the stress and anxieties that come with making this decision.
Ten of the most important questions to ask your future child care providers.
1. What type of licensing or accreditation does your center/daycare go through and how often?

Like I mentioned in the last blog, understanding what to look for in a Daycare, if the daycare is licensed it is mandatory that you have access to seeing their up to date licensing inspection reports. If your looking into a homecare provider that isn’t licensed, you will need to ask those questions yourself and trust that the answers given are true. (I would say always trust your gut, mama you will have some sort of a sense after asking some tough questions)

Some questions you should ask a none licensed home daycare:

• What are your daycares policies and procedures?
• What are your group sizes and day to day supervision look like?
• Is everyone that will be in contact with my child, as well as reside in the home, have a criminal background check, if so can I see a copy?
• Do you have an up to date first aid training certificate as well as anyone else who will be caring for my child?
• If my child gets injured what are your practices and procedures on notifying a guardian?
• What are your policies on having children immunized in your care?
• What are the action plans put into place in case of emergency, for inside your home or on an outing? (if your child is anaphylactic you need to ask how that would be handled as well in and outside the home.)
• What is your food prep and storage practices? What do your weekly menus look like? What is your special dietary and allergy arrangements and practices.?
• How are hazardous materials stored in your home and how do you keep them safely away from the children?
• What are your qualifications and education behind working with children?
• What do your daily programming plans look like?
• How do you deal with disciplining children in your care?
• What does nap time look like in your care? What if my child stops napping/ or doesn’t nap?
These are some of the main questions I would recommend asking and having the answers either in paper form or at least verbal. When your looking into a licensed center all of this information again is very easily accessible or is visible within the center or online for you to have, but the ministry of education is making sure this is all being done properly to their standards of the law or the center wouldn’t no longer be open and operating.

2. What is required for the educator’s background checks, and who needs to have them?

Its hard as a parent to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s before you enrol your child in a daycare. One thing you’d want to make sure of is that everyone that will be in daily or even occasional contact with your child has no criminal background especially working with the vulnerable sector. At our center we require all staff as well as students and volunteers to provide an up to date criminal reference check that we keep on file.

3. Are the educator’s CPR/ first aid certified and how often does this need to be updated?

As peace of mind its good to know as a parent that your child is left in the care of someone who will know what to do in case of an emergency. Its one thing to take a first aid and CPR course ten years ago and needing to update your knowledge and stay fresh every two years. CPR and First Aid id hope isn’t being practiced every single day in your center (other then little band aids or a child being sick) so its important to always be up to date and practice what needs to be done to save a child’s life in case of emergency.

4. What is an average educator turnover rate look like at your center?

This question is usually never asked and in my opinion as an educator at a daycare center one of the first questions I would ask. A month down the road if you and your child aren’t going to recognize the staff and have to constantly get used to new people there’s going to be a problem. You won’t feel as secure and at peace with leaving your child constantly with new people as well as your child’s behaviour will most likely be affected from having to get used to and get comfortable with new staff. At my center we are just starting to see more turn over because staff that have worked there over thirty years are now retiring but we have a very low turn over rate in most of our programs. I myself have been there right out of high school!

5. What are the staff to child ratios in the program?

In a licensed center this should be posted and visible for parents to see, however it is good to have the knowledge and be aware. Now with the new ratio laws, ratios actually are different depending on time of day as well, so its always good to know if your dropping your child off at a certain time and its so busy and ratios are not being met, that you need to bring it up to the staff, board, and maybe the ministry of education and a resolution will need to be made.

6. What is the information needed about my child as well as how is it stored and filed?

This can look different at every center. We have enrolment packages we give to parents filled with information as well as a registration form of information that is needed for our license to be in good standing. Things like emergency contact information, their allergies or medication plans, depending on the age of the group a photocopy of the child’s vaccines. This information should also be stored in a locked cupboard that only staff should have access too.

7. What is the cleaning and sanitizing practices, how often are carpets and surface areas cleaned?

Again, this will kind of align with your gut feeling as well as hearing or reading their practices. You can visually see how an area where kids learn is kept. If things are tidy and in place, the children are taught to respect the toys and have responsibilities to tidy their own areas, if you go in and it visually looks clean with no dust, the staff is constantly cleaning and sanitizing.
At my program we have cleaning schedules posted but you can visit almost any time of day and any point and our daycare is clean and sanitary. Its important for learning and helps keeps germs at bay.
8. What are the safety and security policies and procedures?

In a licensed center there should be these policies and procedures easily accessible for you to have but to actually have a conversation about it will make you feel more secure. It’s a crazy world we live in today, just a little over a month ago it was suspected that there was a protentional child obduction attempt in our city and because of the safety practices of the center the child was not released and was safe from harm.

9. What are your disciplinary policies as well as everyday practices?

Depending on your beliefs is how you will feel about the response, but to be honest if you ask this question and the provider answers with “time outs” you may want to reconsider. You should hear words like redirection, we try to not give attention to the behaviours we don’t want them doing, we give praise to the children who are doing what they should, we will give praise to your child as soon as and whenever we see them listening to offer them positive reinforcement and attention… these are better strategies for teaching and working with a child with behaviours.

10. What is your centers philosophy on learning?

For most early learning centers, we are educated backed by science, experiments and years of implementation that children learn through play. There are many different styles so before you pick which centers, you’d like to go visit and potentially enroll your child in, figure out which style matches your family’s belief’s best. Some are very similar but some do focus a lot more on structured education even in the younger years.
Finding a childcare center or home daycare can be stressful just for fact that you will no longer be with your child and are now trusting someone else to add value, love, support, teach them, care for them etc. to your child’s everyday. I know for me whenever I’m anxious about something new research, attaining knowledge and speaking with professionals in that field will always make me feel more at ease. I hope these two blogs will help give you the tools to do your own research and give you the questions to confidently pick the right care for your little ones when you go back to work!

Understanding what to look for in a Daycare

Understanding what to look for in a Daycare:


Non-profit & Profit Centres


Licensed & Non-Licensed providers

 

Since launching My Little Lamb, the number one question that I have received from mothers in my private messages are usually daycare related and where they should send their children for care when they go back to work. I’m always more then happy to have separate conversations about pretty much anything at all times, including giving any advice or knowledge that I can, being a daycare educator, but I was realizing that it would be beneficial to have a post and compiling what I think are the most important things to think about when choosing the right fit childcare for your family as well as what information you should have before making that important decision.

If you’ve read my About Me post you know that I have worked as a nanny, aupair, and over the last 10 years as an educator at the Glebe Parents Daycare. Glebe Parents Daycare is a licensed non-profit center in the Ottawa downtown area. 

http://glebeparentsdaycare.ca/

So, here’s the thing, I never really knew until being asked these questions from parents about where I would recommend their child go to daycare, that most of the parents had no idea what the differences between a non-profit and profit childcare centers or licensed and non-licensed center where.
I think this is probably in my opinion the best place to start. 

A Non-profit center:
Non-profit centers, in provinces and territories in Canada, are eligible for a majority of the funding from the government to be allocated to child care services within their center. This funding might include, capital funding, start-up funding, a per child fee grant, staff salary grants and parent subsidies. In order to receive this funding from the government a center must be run by a board of directors, composed of parents, community members as well as staff. This means that all decisions that are made about where the funding is allocated, the policies and procedures of the daycare and many other decisions are made from different perspectives encompassing the one goal, to offer quality childcare for the children attending. Non-profit centers for the most part also pay their staff a higher livable wage, make sure they have proper benefit packages and a lot of the centers are unionized. For me as a staff its super important because the level of quality care that is provided in an environment that’s paying more then minimum wage and has better benefits you will see as a parent, a lower turn over of staffing. I can say that I’ve been at my center for ten years, and plan on retiring there, as well as most of the senior staff have been working at our center more then 30 years. 

For profit center: 
Private, or profit centers, on the other hand, rely on parent fees to operate. While this in no way determines the care the private operator provides, it does severely limit the program in that in order to remain competitive it must rely on cost reducing measures to maintain even the basics like art supplies, learning materials, repair bills and staff salaries. Most profit centers the decisions are made by a sole owner or investors and in some cases the decisions made are not entirely to benefit the children in the programs but its to maintain the bottom line and remain out of the black. 

A Licensed Childcare center:
Explaining all that a childcare center must abide by as well meet the standards of the Ministry of Education is a lot of information! They are set rules and regulations that must be met at all times, in order for the center to maintain their license. 
I truly recommend to all parents trying to decide between a licensed and non-licensed center to read the checklist of standards that have to be met by a licensed center in Ontario. If you feel that these would be important for you as a parent to have the ministry of education making sure that at least once a year on a un scheduled visit that your child’s providers are meeting these standards then a licensed center or home daycare is the better option for you and your family.

https://www.earlyyears.edu.gov.on.ca/EYPortal/en/ChildCareLicensing/CCEYALicensingStandards/index.htmWhen you scroll down you are able to click on the headings to see all of the standards that need to be met in a licensed center for those specific categories….. examples from the site look like this :

Ratios of Employees to Children and Group Size
7.Age categories
8.Ratios and maximum group sizes, child care centre
8.1Licensed family age groups
9.Home child care group sizes
10.Resource teacher
11.Supervision by adult at all times
11.1Supervision of volunteers and students
Building, Equipment and Playground — Child Care Centres
12.Child care centres in schools
13.Compliance with health and safety standards, Building Code, Fire Code, etc.
14.Approval by director of plans re child care centre
15.Designated spaces
16.Play activity space
17.Play activity rooms
18.Resource area
19.Play materials, equipment and furnishings
(these are just some of the examples from the governments website, again as a parent please do your homework and read up on what is required from licensed centers)
All of the information/scoring from these yearly licensed inspections as well as the license in itself, must be displayed in the center for the parents to see. 
Licensed home daycare centres follow the same regulations and best practices when it comes to safety. A home-based provider can operate as a licensed home daycare contracted by a home child care agency that is licensed by the Ministry. * These providers aren’t required to have the Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) designation, but they are required to have first aid certification and undergo a criminal record check. (CRC)

Un-licensed home daycare:
An unlicensed home daycare is not required to follow a program plan, a menu plan, nor are they required to post a fire escape plan or to fill out a daily safety log. However, this does not necessarily mean that the provider doesn’t voluntarily do these things. When considering an unlicensed home daycare, it falls to the parent(s) to inquire about the provider’s credentials, certifications and what standards the provider maintains as these things aren’t mandated. That said, many unlicensed home daycare centres provide a safe and nurturing environment for children, with many of the providers having young kids of their own. 
When considering home-based child care, it’s up to parents to do their due diligence, ask the right questions and check references.

For me as a staff at a licensed center I would recommend if you don’t go with a daycare center but a home provider instead because it’s a better fit for your family I would recommend choosing a licensed home daycare because I know how much time and effort goes into making sure that at all times a child’s safety and wellbeing is being met and standards of the ministry are ones that I believe should be met at all times when caring and educating children.

After you and partner way the pros and cons of all of these options and find out which centers look like the best fit I want to give you some questions that I feel as a parent you need to ask a coordinator on a tour of the daycare or a home care provider in an interview.

That blog will be next Monday November 26th,2018, stay tuned because I’ve just left you a lot to not only think about but a lot to research in our city! 
If you have any questions, concerns or even wanting to know my recommendations of some of the centers in the city let me know as well!