Keeping Mealtime Messes to a Minimum 0
Let's face it, life can messy, especially when you have a high chair in the kitchen. Babies aren't too clean to begin with, but just give them a little food and voila! There's a whole new level of messiness achieved.
Though as parents and caretakers you have probably learned to embrace a level of chaos in your lives, we can do quite a bit to keep the clean-up post-meals as quick and simple as possible. It's as easy as investing in a few kitchen staples that you will end up using on a daily basis, we promise!
Put a bib on it!
Bibs are essential for keeping those little outfits clean. Even if you're in favour of stripping your baby down to the diaper for mealtimes, bibs protect his or her delicate skin from harm, whether strange reactions to certain spices or to heat. While a traditional bib might be enough for when the infant is still eating from a pouch or a spoon, we love this one from Bummis for some more coverage. It protects the sleeves that end up getting pulled through the high chair tray or plate while grabbing that little morsel of food with those tiny fingers!
Stop the Fling Thing
Kids love pushing, pulling, and throwing. It's all about discovering their new abilities! However, mealtime is not a great time to celebrate these skills, especially from the caretakers' point of view. EzPz Fun has come out with great bowls and plates that stick to surfaces like tables to avoid the inevitable pushing off onto the ground. They come in a variety of sizes and colours, so it's all about what fits your needs and style.
A full Pouch Keeps the Grouch at Bay
Food pouches are a staple for babies getting their first forays into the world of solid foods and also a great way to transport healthy snacks like vegetable purees and fruit sauces for older kids. However, rather than buying the disposable versions at the supermarket which are often filled with preservatives anyway, make your own meals at home and simply put them into reusuable pouches like these by Roost or Little Green Pouch! It's the healthier and more eco-friendly option!
Spill-Proof Snacks to Go
Everyone who has had contact with kids knows that snacks are the key to happy kids. They can tide over "hangry" toddlers, soothe teething babies, or even just keep kids busy when you're out and about getting things done. To keep the happiness levels at a high and the mess levels at a low, we recommend the Munchie Mug, a spill-proof snacking mug that gives easy access to those little fingers without the risk of spilling the contents all over the backseat of the car, the playmat at home, or the waiting room at the doctor's office.
Squeeze-proof Juice Boxes
Juice boxes are a great idea in theory. They give you an opportunity to take a yummy beverage with you and your little one, no matter where you are. But the setbacks often outweigh the positives. Apart from the lack of options of what is actually contained within these juice boxes or pouches, often sugary drinks, the "squeeze and spill" phenomenon is definitely a real thing. The "Drink in a Box" seems to have fixed both of these problems by allowing you to fill the plastic container with whatever you want and avoiding the potential spilling due to the rigid nature of the box.
What do you use to keep mealtimes as pleasant and clean as possible? Let us know in the comments!
Beyond the Onesie - Useful Baby Shower Gifts that Mama and Baby will Love 0Welcoming a baby into the world is an exciting event, both for the parents and for their family and friends. This special time is often marked by baby showers, intimate gatherings between friends, and family celebrations. Everyone wants to contribute to preparing for the baby's arrival, often with thoughtful gifts for the parents and the baby.
However, some gifts are more appreciated than others. You know what you mean if you have ever had kids: The endless pile of newborn onesies that no single child could ever possibly go through before outgrowing them, the same fleece baby blankets, and baby bottles that your baby never ended up liking. It's a difficult situation to navigate through for everyone, but can be avoided if the right strategy is employed.
If you want to be known as a great gift giver, it's time to step up your game and try one of these products from this list:
Earth Mama Angel Baby Set
Baby Skin Care
We love the OVer Company nursing cover. Not only is it very fashionable and stylish, but it has multiple functions, which means that mama will have more room in her diaper bags for other things! It can be used as a scarf, for nursing in public, as a bassinet or car seat cover, as well as a shopping cart cover.
It's difficult to buy a large ticket item on your own, and both parents and generous gift givers know this. When you give a gift card, you give the parents the opportunity to buy something bigger with combined cards as well as the freedom to buy missing items in their own style. It's difficult to know exactly what is needed, and a gift card is a more elegant way of presenting this freedom than cash.
Something off the Registry
Registries are the best solution out there for voicing needs and wants and matching them with generous and loving gifts. Parents can add all their essentials, from diapers, crib sheets, thermometers, towel, nail clippers and more, and you can just go online or to the store they registered at and directly purchase the item.
Times have changed, yet one thing remains true: we love babies and showering them with gifts and love. Now it's up to us that they have the best welcome to this world, including thoughtful and useful gifts that will be appreciated by all!
The REAL Basics of What You Need in Your Hospital Bag 0
Everyone has their own take on what an expecting mom should have in her hospital bag. Sometimes you wonder if there should be that much extra space in your weekend duffel while at other times, it's almost as if you needed one of those XL suitcases or a magical Mary Poppins bag to fit it all in.
We know, the struggle is real.
That's why we decided to dedicate this post to the REAL basics of what belongs in that hospital bag, devoid of all those extra gadgets and inclusive of all those items you wish you had as you are detained to that hospital room.
As you are the one that is going to be giving birth to this baby, your body is going to be experiencing a lot - it is hard work. It's important that you stay as comfortable as possible during your hospital stay, whether than means listening to your top playlists on your ipod or having a fluffy robe to stay cozy in. Those little details are up to you, however these are the "momma" essentials that need to make it into your bag:
- Comfy PJ's
- Slip on shoes/slippers/flip flops
If you're in the last few weeks of pregnancy, we expect that you understand why slip on shoes are essential. You likely won't want to be bending over in half trying to do up your laces. Something quick for bathroom trips and getting up to see visitors is ideal.
- Nipple Cream
Breastfeeding can be hard on the nipples. However, keeping them moisturized and supple will go a long way in mitigating pain and cracked skin. Most will suggest you use lanolin, a heavy-duty industrial product used on cows, however, we love the natural ones you can get from Substance and Bamboobies. Both lanolin-free but effective, you don't have to worry about your baby getting traces of it in his or her mouth.
- Nursing Pads
Though it might take a little while for your milk to come in completely, it's best to be prepared with nursing pads which will keep your bra and clothes dry and clean. Some women go disposable, however we like the idea of reusable ones that you just throw in the wash. We have both kinds in store for moms to choose from.
- Travel-size skin regimen
You most likely will be staying at the hospital for a night or two, so it's a good idea to have your essentials with you. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mini sizes of your favourite cleansers, creams, shampoo and conditioner. Leave anything overly scented at home out of courtesy to others you might be sharing your room with- they could be scent-sensitive.
- Sanitary Pads
Yes, you were lucky to not have your period for a few months, however you will be needing some sanitary pads for those first few weeks after birth. Tampons are not a good option at this time, and once again, you can choose between going reusable or disposable. You've probably thought about it already, but in case you haven't - full bottomed, cotton underwear will probably be the most comfortable paired with your pads.
There's a lot of waiting during the birthing process, so pack some things to entertain you during those hours between feedings or visitors. Pack a book, download some podcasts on your phone, or download some Netflix videos to your iPad. Having your phone with you will allow you to more easily spread the good news and talk to those who can't physically visit you at the hospital.
Along with your mini entertainment suite, remember to bring the appropriate chargers. It's something we often miss while packing and then find ourselves mentally kicking ourselves about later.
- Health Card + Other documents
Your OB or midwife have probably already gotten you to register in advance with the hospital you intend to give birth at. However, it's best practice to have all of your health-related documents with you, including your health card, insurance information, and a drug list. Bring any medications you take on a regular basis with you along with their original packaging and information.
- Going Home Clothes
You probably won't want to be leaving the hospital in the pjs you just spent the last few days in. Pack yourself your favourite maternity jeans or leggings along with a nursing top and sweater for ultimate comfort and style.
Baby won't be packing it's own bag, so you'll have to bring some essentials for it as well. You'll be surprised at how much the hospital will provide at first for the little one, but remember that this is also your time to learn the basics of baby-care, so having your own tools is useful. Besides, you'll need to bring your baby home somehow!
There's no way you could be having a baby and not heard of swaddles. They are also known as "receiving blankets" and can be used in a variety of ways, from performing as a comforting "straight jacket" for baby, a light weight blanket, a large burp cloth, or even a makeshift wipe for spills. Most hospitals encourage that you bring your own in which you can take baby home in.
You'll need to have a small pack of newborn diapers with you. Even if you plan on cloth diapering later on, we suggest that for the first few weeks, at least when the baby is in the hospital, you make do with disposable ones.
You're going to need baby wipes for those first few diaper changes, so even if you decide to have a dedicated box at home, you might want something a bit more portable to bring with you to the hospital. Whether you decide to buy ready to use ones or make your own, remember to keep the scents to a minimum.
The last thing you want for your fresh newborn to experience is a diaper rash, so come prepared with a bum cream or spray. We find that a lot of moms like the Substance line we carry- as with everything else in store, it's all natural and safe for your little ones.
If you are going to be introducing a pacifier or soother to your baby, it's probably a good idea to bring it along with you to the hospital. There are a range of different types and brands on the market, so take your time to research what you are looking for. Keep in mind that your baby might like a round nipple more than an orthodontic one or vice versa, so don't go buying dozens of the same type before you are sure it's what he or she likes. We like the HEVEA natural rubber ones, but you might have a different kind in mind.
Going Home Outfit
Depending on the weather and the season during which your baby is born, you'll be needing different items to dress your baby in for the trip home. Though a onesie is a safe bet, you'll also want to consider a hat, socks, mittens, sweater, or a winter-grade snow suit. Of course, a swaddle or blanket are also part of this equation.
They will not let you and baby out of the hospital without a proper car seat. Remember to check the expiry date on your model and ensure that it is installed properly.
If you have any questions or concerns about your hospital bag, feel free to drop by one of our store locations. All the staff that work there are moms and can give you great advice on preparing for delivery day.
Otherwise, reach out to us on social media or email to ask about how to make your hospital bag as complete as can be.
Managing Child Eczema Naturally 0
Child eczema is something that no one would ever wish on any kid or parent. One of the first motivators of opening Mrs. Greenway was actually the search for a natural solution to my granddaughter's eczema. She would be covered in these patches of itchy, dry skin and it was a nightmare trying to keep her from scratching herself and making it worse.
No drugstore cream made any improvement, and it seemed like the artificial scents and ingredients were only making it worse. My daughter and I made it our mission to find something that not only cut out all those irritating additives, but was actually effective in managing the baby's symptoms.
Over the years, I have found that every parent has his or her way of treating child eczema, as each case is different and everyone reacts to each treatment in a unique way. However, when looking for a starting point, I usually direct the parents towards the following products and lifestyle changes:
Change Your Laundry Detergent
Though eczema itself is not a reaction, it is often triggered by an irritant or an allergen. Choosing natural laundry soaps that are soft and gentle on baby's clothes and skin is a good first step. They should have no artificial colors or scents, and only contain ingredients which are proven to be effective cleaners and safe for use with babies. We recommend ZUM's wee clean laundry soap, however all the laundry soaps we carry in store should be fine. After using it regularly, you can be sure that baby's eczema is not being triggered by rubbing against clothing, towels, sheets, blankets, or pillows which could have been washed with an irritating chemical.
Eczema is extremely dry and scaly skin, something that you don't want to risk drying out further with a harsh soap. Switch your baby wash or soap for something extremely gentle that won't irritate existing breakouts, but will keep your child clean and fresh. Depending on whether you are used to using a bar of soap or more of a gel, we usually recommend ZUM's wee clean bar soap or Earth Mama Angel Baby's Natural Wash. Choose an option with a pH level close to that of baby's natural skin as to not dry it out or alter its chemistry and make it more susceptible to eczema breakouts.
Tip: I always found it helpful to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the affected child's bath water. It keeps baby's skin soft and supple while naturally locking in moisture. I'm sure that coconut oil would work well too.
So the last, but most important, step to managing child eczema is moisturizing. You can never over- moisturize a baby with eczema, though I know the process can get messy, and well…slippery. It's important to keep the dry skin as supple as possible to keep it from possibly cracking and getting infected, while soothing the incessant itchiness. Janet from Desjardin's Holistic Therapies makes gallons of her Children's Eczema Cream, which many moms swear by and is a definite best-seller at our stores. However, we always have a few different options in stock for those cases in which this miracle cream doesn't seem to work. All of them are all-natural and most of them organic, meaning that you don't have to worry about additional irritants or rash inducing stressors to your baby's delicate skin.
Like I said, there is no one treatment which works for everyone, however I find that a combination of these changes often brings an improvement in the state of eczema and young children.
If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to naturally manage eczema, please share in the comments below.
Mary Lou - Mrs. Greenway
The Best Natural Teething Solutions for Sore Babies 0
Teething is a difficult time for both infants and their parents. Even babies who have extremely sunny dispositions can quickly become little storm clouds, constantly fussing, crying, and deviating from their regular sleeping patterns. Parents find it difficult to manage these poor babies, and more so if they want to deal with teething naturally, without resorting to medication.
At Mrs.Greenway, we often encounter these wild-eyed, tired parents asking for advice about getting through teething naturally (and with their sanity). We find that every baby is different, and what worked for one might not work for another, so that's why we stock a variety of products for teething babies and let the parents decide on what they would like to try.
As a response to the ever-growing demand for natural teething solutions, we found Bug & Pickle teething oil and now stock it in our stores. It contains baby-safe natural ingredients, including oil of Roman chamomile, a natural analgesic, and is applied as needed to your baby's sore gums.
Usually the first stop when stocking a baby's "teething arsenal" is a collection of teething (or chew) toys. Remember that these toys are going into your child's mouth, so it's important that it is made of non-toxic materials and kept as clean as possible. We have an extensive collection in store ranging from silicone, rubber, to wooden versions, but personally, I love the maple RiNGLEY teethers. Designed and produced in Canada, they have a piece of certified organic cotton attached to them that you can either wet with cold water or freeze. Your babies will love chewing on the soft fabric which simultaneously cools and comforts their inflamed gums.
For years, people have been using amber to naturally keep inflammation at bay. At Mrs. Greenway, we stock the very popular Momma Goose necklaces. Many mamas swear by them, and we love carrying these pretty accessories in our stores. Just remember, they are meant to be worn high on the neck where baby can't pull it into his or her mouth. If you are worried about tying this necklace around your baby's neck, try an anklet instead.
Did you know that the super popular Munch Mitt was actually invented by a Burlington mom?! You strap one of these baby-friendly gloves onto your child's hand and watch them self-sooth in style. Not only is it more hygienic than having babies just put their hands in their mouths, the silicone material is non-toxic and it even has a "crunchy" paper sound that babies love. For even more "munch fun," look into their new product, "Buddy bibs" that offer protection while entertaining little ones with their crunch sound and attached chew toy.
If your baby is very fussy, it might just be a sign that your world is about to be "chew-beaded". Chew beads can be found on pacifier clips, toys, and even your accessories. We carry some locally made "chew jewelry" for you to wear that baby can safely chew on when needed, ranging from pretty necklaces and neutral coloured bracelets for Dad to wear.
Finding safe and natural teething remedies can be difficult and exhausting, that's why we aim to provide parents with a curated selection that they can trust. Being a mother and a grandmother, I know what it's like to be concerned, so please don't hold back if you have a question or comment.
If you come into one of our stores, either I or an experienced staff member will help you.
If you are shopping online, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that you make an informed decision about what you're buying.
If you have any proven natural remedies or products you have used with your kids, please share in the comments.
New Arrivals from the ABC Kids Expo 2016 0
We're back from warm Las Vegas and glad to report that our scouting at the ABC Kids Expo, the greatest in North America, was extremely successful. In addition to seeing many of our current suppliers, we were happy to discover a few new gems that we felt our customers would love as much as we do.
So enough of being secretive, it's time for us to share our favourite new finds that you will be arriving shortly at our stores!
We all know how much kids (and parents!) hate the struggle that comes with wiping a dirty face. That's why we were so happy to discover Neat Cheeks- a way to get clean faces without wiping away the smiles. The wipes are sweetened with stevia, meaning no more strange fragrances or association with baby bum wipes. In addition to the natural and peach flavours that make this product "pop" the wipes contain aloe vera juice and other natural ingredients that won't irritate the skin, but rather sooth and nourished.
Overwhelmed by the adorable design and unbelievable softness of the Baby Soy line, we knew that it was something that we had to bring back to our Canadian customers. The baby clothing is made with natural soy fiber which keeps those little bodies warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The company owner is actually Canadian and she's ecstatic for her line to enter the Canadian market!
Sustainability is important to us, and that's why we felt such a strong connection to Plan Toys. From their materials, through their manufacturing and their involvement in their local community, this company is committed whole heartedly to creating a better world. They make the bulk of their toys from rubber trees which no longer produce latex and are directly involved in a reforestation initiative to replant the trees that they have used. These toys are smart, high quality, and part of something bigger than just making a profit.
We hear you, nursing moms! Looking and feeling good while making sure your baby is well fed shouldn't be as hard as it is. So when we stumbled upon Bamboobies, we knew that the products were going to be a hit. From reusable and eco-friendly nursing pads, to seriously stylish clothing options like the nursing shawl and tank top, it's all about you being able to still be you while also having a second job as a milk-producing machine. We're most excited for their nursing yoga bra that they are working on. Can't wait to be able to share it with you!
Classic wooden toys are our favorite, and truthfully, they aren't as easy to find as they used to be. We're looking forward to stocking American-made manny & simon wooden toys in our stores and by extension, your children's playrooms with their heirloom items that will stimulate the imaginations of those that will use them. The company is dedicated to using organic and eco-friendly materials as well as a sustainable production process in their factory.
In addition to these great brands and products that we have discovered at the ABC Kids Expo, we are excited for the all the new winter and Christmas products coming in weekly. From fuzzy socks, mittens, and hats, to tea, toys, candles and gift baskets, Mrs. Greenway will become your go-to store for everyday things and presents for everyone on your list.