Thursday, 21 January 2016

Chewbeads Baby Gramercy stroller toy

Hi Mamas and Papas!

How's your week going so far?  Mine is going well, although my name (Mama) seems to sound whinier and whinier lately!!! Any of that whining over at your house?  Toddlerhood sure is challenging, can't wait to see his teenage years!!! hahaha

Well, today I'd like to talk about our Chewbeads stroller toy.  Quickly, here is what has to say about it:
100% silicone ring and beads - plastic "C" hook
Select beads glow in the dark making the toy interesting to baby, and easy to find in the dark
No BPA, no phthalates, no cadmium, no lead, no metal
Easily cleaned with dish soap and water

Ok, well, I have to first say that I LOVE Chewbeads! So, I'm not very objective here! hehe But really this is one of my favorites!  Honestly, I'm not one to attach toys to the car seat or whatever very much, plus we used the carseat cover all year round, so no place either.  Anyway, so I bought this one because it was on sale!  Looking back, maybe the Mulberry Teether would've been a better option... and I still might buy it!!! hahaha baby is teething like crazy right now, so watch me go!!!  So, to get back to the review, E chews on the hook too, but loves the toy overall!  I do love the whole string thing with the hook, even if I don't attach it, for many uses.  For example, say you're holding baby and trying to entertain her while having an adult conversation, you can hold the hook and let her play with the rest and not be worried about baby throwing the toy on the floor! Ta-Da!!  Plus, E has the best time with ev'ry part of the toy, really!  I love that it's soft on the gums, so pleasant to look at and easily washable, like really easy (you should treat a teether like a soother and wash it very frequently, so this is perfect)!  I'm just Loving that all those chemicals aren't in it  as well and that I can give that toy to my precious little baby without worrying!  She's honestly always looking for it and reaching for that one instead of her other ones, when given the choice.  For me, it's super pretty to look at and I feel good giving it to my baby: that's the main thing right here, right?! .

Now for the OT (Occupational Therapy) part, well it's a chew toy, so it basically fulfills that need! hehe ok, ok, I love that it's super easy to grab in different ways.  The ring is also big enough to fit baby's both hands and still be able to chew on it!  This also helps develop the hand to hand transfer as well as bilateral grasp.  E also loves to swing it, as the string of beads are fascinating to her.  The color contrasts are also super, captivating the baby and helping to distinguish the relief.

Overall: love this toy! love this company! I highly recommend pretty much any of their products, starting with this one!  Good thing my post isn't a drinking game, taking a sip ev'rytime I say "love" or some form of it!!!! hahaha

I personally bought it from Ana Banana (local stores in Moncton and Saint John, NB), but it's also available online on and other websites. is having a sale right now on it actually, and if you're a first time buyer and use code: " ErgoMamaV  " you'll get $10 off a $40 purchase, until March 21st!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Tummy Time (Part 1)

Hi Mamas (and the occasional Papa!)

This post is about tummy time!  I've talked about it before, but now I want to actually get directly into the subject, for this post to be an overall reference for this.

First of all, what tummy time will do for a baby is help him develop his shoulder, core and neck muscles, for one.  As he progresses, pushing himself up, weight bearing on the hands and working the whole upper body, is great for the development.  Muscle and strength development starts from the body center and then moves away.  Hence, tummy time will help the obvious ones, like the shaping of the spine, the strength in the shoulders and the neck, etc, but will also help a baby eventually pick up small objects and even further along the years, hold a pencil right and cut with scissors (all fine motor skills basically). You get the jist!

Ok, a little bit of theory, but very useful theory: The "Back to Sleep" ("Dodo sur le dos") campaign that started in the 1990's, was very effective to reduce SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrom).  But then studies showed that just at 6months, you can see many delays (not just motor!!!) with babies who sleep on their backs versus their stomachs. Therefore, while sleeping on their backs is still the safest practice, when the babies are awake, they should be put on their tummies for supervised playtime from the very very start!   I couldn't find studies that compared babies sleeping on their stomaches versus babies sleeping on their backs with tummy time awake (especially that compare cognitive and social skills), but in clinic we see a big difference in the motor development. Sadly, this Back to Sleep campaign might've scared some parents to put babies on their stomachs AT ALL and since is has been launched there are more and more issues with fine motor skills, especially in schools, as it is often not identified before then. (Plus, I'm aiming at fine motor skills here, but there are lots of other issues the arise from this) Supervised tummy time should be done from birth!  You put your baby to sleep on his back from birth, right? well do the same for tummy time!  Why? you want to shape their brain from the start and make the right connections in there!  babies don't stay little for long (as we all know all too well!!!) and as soon as they can climb up and walk, don't even try to make them walk on all-fours!!! hehehe waste of time!!!  Of course there are other ways you can reinforce their upper body strength if they're passed their tummy/crawling phase (so don't get discouraged if you're there right now), but why not give them a good base from the start?!
All that said, please do Back to Sleep, just do supervised tummy time awake as well to outweigh!

Another big problem that came along with "Back to Sleep" is plagiocephaly.  Good news???  Tummy time will definitely help this as well!  Not to get to into this subject, but a few other basic rules apply if you see your baby has a "flat head": alternate sides you lay him down to sleep, alternate the side you give him the bottle(if you bottle feed), do skin to skin (with mama or papa) on his tummy and alternate sides you lay him down to change his diaper.  If you see it's not going away or your baby has a definite preferred side, immediately talk to your doctor about it and suggest getting referred to a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist to help.

Now that I've got you convinced on Tummy Time, I'm working on Part 2 of this with a list of Play Ideas.  My part 3 will be for older kids that are having issues with fine motor skills now and want ideas to go back to basics.

So stay tuned and I'll post as soon as I find my list makes some sense! haha


Friday, 8 January 2016

Do ONE thing today! #FridayFunDay


Hi Mamas and Papas!
Here's a quick one! I want you to do ONE thing today, ONE thing, that's all!  One thing that will improve your interaction with your child, one thing that will improve your child's play, one thing that will help your child mature, grow and develop and basically, one thing that will make your child happy!  I'm writing this, thinking of a "child" as a baby or a toddler, but really it can be transferred to a 0-99 year old!

So, back to my thoughts: If you're like me, you have tons of toys just there for your kids to freely play.  Well, just let your child freely play and... wait for it...: Observe!!!!!! Simple, right?!  Observing will give you cues on what your child likes, not just the specific toys, but what kind of interaction he has with the toys, what kind of play he uses, does he use imagination, is there pretend play, what does his movements look like, etc.  That will then allow you to create play situations with your child that is tailored to his needs!  I always say, just play...but if you take a few minutes beforehand and observe, you get so much information to make sure playtime is maximized for both of you.

So now go.  Observe... and then Play!!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Welcome Back!!!

Hey Mamas!
I'm finally back after a little pause.  Sorry, but the pregnancy was tough and then sleepless nights (still to this day with little E unfortunately... C was such an easy baby...*sigh) and I couldn't imagine how 2 busy kids can take so much time in my day!  I'm sure a lot of mamas understand what I'm talking about and some think that I'm complaining for nothing as they have it worst then me! hehe I know, I know, I really can't complain about my life as we are pretty blessed to have 2 awesome healthy kids and to be healthy ourselves (hubby and I).  So that's it for my sharing/venting!

Now, on to my usual postings.  I wanted to start this new beginning by talking about old stuff! No, not really old stuff, but updates on what I've reviewed so far and how it's still working for us after all this time.  I'll take each products individually and do a quick update on how it's used now in our house, wether it's with the 29month-old (C) or our 8 month-old (little E) or both. Ready? Go!

We still use and love our Applecheeks! the diaper stash has gotten bigger and bigger over the years and is still loved.  Both our kids are in Size 1, yes, still in size 1.  Our oldest is soon to be fully potty trainzed though.  They recently came out with trainers, so can't wait to try them... stay alert, as I'll be more then happy to review them very soon!

Kinderville Dishes
We still use and looooove these... still buying more!

Just started with the baby and still loving it! Trying to convince ev'ryone that this is the way to go! hehehe   With our 29 month old, as he evolves with his eating, I'm loving how independent he is and easy to feed... almost!

SwaddleMe Swaddles
Still using them as E is now 8months.  Still works like a charm on a squirmy baby!

Chewbeads Necklace
Still loving it (them!!!) with the new baby!  Occupies roaming hands!!! oh and I keep on getting more! hehe

Lamaze discovery shapes
  We used it when E was a small baby and now she's already all over C's big kid toys! so maybe not used so much here anymore, but I definitely could see how we would still use it if we didn't have a living room full of big kid toys! This toy was practical in the swing as we could tie it on the half moon above her.

Aden + Anais Cozy Sleeping Bags
We still use these with E, as C (29mths) was taken out of them about 4 months ago for a security reason as he was moving out of his crib to a big bed.  If it wasn't for the move, I would still use it!!!  I love that the kids are sooo warm in there and that they are safe as they don't use blankets.  I still adore this product!!!

Melissa & Doug bug jug
It's one of the toys amongst many others in the toy bin! hehe I still like this from an OT point of view, we just don't use it much right now... soon to come back though!

Uppa Baby G-Luxe
We still love this stroller and still use it with C.  So easy to use! We also really fell in love with the brand... so much so that we bought the Uppa Baby Vista about 5months ago and love it (more to come on that in a later post, I promise!).

Boon Odd Ducks
The best bath toy ever! All the other bath stuff we got is growing mold even with washing it ev'ry time...grrrrr... But this one just amazes me!  Both kids still love them!

Lulujo Muslin Cotton Security Blanket
To be honest, I realized C didn't need it! He loves having a blanket and a teddy bear, but really, at this point, both are very interchangeable!!! Mama and Dada are the ones pushing for certain blankets and teddy bears, more than C cares!!!! hehe Mama: "take this one C, it's cuter", C: "ok"!!! hehe  Don't get me wrong, some kids NEED a security blanket and it needs not be replaced!!  just not C! I'm sure they will be used for imaginative play later on, which is always super!  We also bought the lulujo baby mini muslin cloths when we got E and those serve as burp pads and also later on, I imagine, imaginative play.  So I say you could go for these mini instead as they might grow better with time and have more different purposes!  We also got Aden & Anais Mussy for security blanket for E and she loves playing with it, but it's not to the point of being a "security blanket"... we'll see.

Dans Un Jardin - Pois de senteur
Well, we still use this as we still have tons of it! (sale price, meets grandma, equals tons and tons of soap!!!)  We've since researched quite a bit the soap market and we try using a lot of the more natural organic products, like the Honest Company products, Green Beaver (love the toothpaste) and Badger (like the sunscreen), for a few examples.  I'm not gonna start assessing the effectiveness of these and comparing cleaning products, but I will tell you when I have a coup de coeur!  Right now I enjoy the Honest company all purpose cleaner... with the joys of potty training!!!

Skip Hop Mirror
Still a great tool for tummy time and does evolve with baby until about 14mths.  Although even my 9year old nephew likes to play with it :P hehe you know, just checking that they are safe for the baby! Love him!!!

My Brest friend nursing pillow
It's still my fav! couldn't do without it! Even when I give E the bottle, I will still use the pillow!!!  It grows well with baby!

Ouf, the straw cup world!!! crazy stuff!! finding a bottle that doesn't leak is a nightmare (although we might have succeeded with the ones at Costco... so far so good!!).  So, we still use it, but we didn't buy any more since then. (see below, update for zoli)

Love Child Organic Purees
Another one of my Coup de coeur! We still use these and love these! Plus, they've since come out with a bunch of new products that we adore (presently potty training C with their owls!!!).

Ok, here I'm still firm! I love the kushies sleeved ones! bumkins are too bulky for me.  I like that they have the elastics at the sleeves, don't get me wrong, but it's way too big for my babies!  We just went up a size in the kushies ones for C.  Easy to wash = easy to love!

Skip Hop Bath accessories
Well, we still use the non-slip bath mat, the spout cover, the toy organizer (bag) and the Bath kneeler with C.  we still bath E on the counter (easier on the back!! hehe).  The one thing I have to complain is the moisture resistant part... I'm gonna be happy throwing the mat, the spout cover and the bag out in a year.  Even if we wash them and take them out of the tub, they grow these black spots... are there any that exist that don't do that?!?! if so, PLEASE let me know!

Lolli Living Robot
Just a fun adorable teddy that C still uses and sleeps with.

Zoli Bot Cup
We still use this and we bought another for E.  This is the one we preferred to start with a straw and they learn how to suck.  E was sooo good and used it like a champ right from the start at 6 months!  But to be realistic, it usually takes a couple of months and around 10months they should be good... I can post more on this skill later on.

Reusable snack bags
We still use all of them.  No real winner here, we just love when it can be thrown in the wash with ev'rything else!

OXO Tot Flippy snack cup
Still using this and loving this!

baby utensils
We've been still using plastic, but we've since tried others.  Future post to come.

Well that was exhausting for a first post!!! Took me almost 2 months to finish it!!! haha Hope you've enjoyed it and it gives you a good idea of what products will grow with your babies and what won't.  Follow me on Facebook and if you have questions, comments or ideas on futur posts, please feel free to contact me! I love interacting as well as chatting baby and OT!!


Facebook: Ergo Mama V
Twitter: @ErgoMamaV
Instagram: @ErgoMamaV

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Baby (or toddler) utensils

Hi Mamas!
I had a spare half an hour to blog and didn't know what to get into with such a small timeline, so here is a quick post on baby utensils.

As you probably know, we did Baby-Led Weaning with our first baby, now 16months and since maybe his 12th month we've started introducing utensils.  As baby spoons and forks are usually long to help the feeding from the parents, I had a hard time to find something with no metal (personal preference) and that would fit well in my baby's hand as well as be short enough to be easily brought to his mouth on his own.  I ended up just looking through the tons of stuff we got given at the baby shower and never opened (as I wasn't feeding my baby purees) and found some Fisher Price utensils.  Those ended up being perfect!  Here's why I love them: they're short and their handle is the right size (so easy to use for small hands!!), they're BPA-free and they're in plastic.

We also tried the Boon Benders Adaptable Utensils which also fit great in a little one's hand and they are also very short, perfect for a toddler to handle.  The company says that they use a sharper angle for early stages, straight (no angle) for advanced stages, that they're soft, with easy-grip handles, and BPA, PVC & phthlate free. Perfect! I love these too, but they are a bit more expensive.The angle adjustment I think is very interesting and might be useful especially with babies that are having a harder time to get use to using utensils by missing the mouth all the time or having restrictions in their movements. (OTs use bended utensils with adults very often!)

As an OT, again, one of my goals is to help my clients be independent in their ev'ryday activities, in their environment.  Therefore feeding independence is important to me and these utensils are really helping to get our baby (now more a toddler!!!) on his way.

Well, I think my time is up, so hope you enjoyed reading and don't be shy to comment or suggest ideas of future blogs either here, on the facebook page (Ergo Mama V) or on my twitter (@ergomamav) or Instagram (@ergomamav).

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The OXO Tot Flippy™ Snack Cup with Travel Cover

The OXO Tot Flippy™ Snack Cup with Travel Cover

Hi Mamas!
Today is a special day for my family and I! today marks the 20th week mark! No, not 20weeks of blogging, 20 weeks of mini baby growing in my belly! yes, baby number 2 is on his way.  Ultrasound and all today, but we'll have to wait another 20weeks (or so!!!) to find out if it will be a he or a she!  Anything pregnancy related you'd like reviewed or for a newborn (soon to come) please let me know!

Ok, back to topic: today is about the OXO's Flippy snack cup.  Here is their description: "great for munching at home or on the go. The Flippy Snack Cup's soft, flexible opening gives little hands easy access to goodies, while the flaps keep even small snacks off the floor. The twist-on lid stays secure when the Flippy Snack Cup is dropped (or thrown!), and the shape of the non-slip handle is just right for tots. It also comes with a snap-on cover to keep snacks fresh and secure." Of course, this is PVC and BPA free. yeah!

I've tried a few snack cups and oh the mess! My Little One (LO) totally understands the concept of taking one out at a time, but isn't it more fun trying to just dump it all out on the floor...or wherever?!?! I think so!  I really try to get him more independent, so the option of being right there and holding a cup or giving him one at a time is not an option for me!

To be honest, at first I thought this cup was hard to get food out of! seriously, even I had a hard time grabbing one Cheerios, for example!  I still gave it to my LO and eventually the top loosened up a bit (especially since my LO likes to sometimes just leave his hand wedge right in there, almost in a protective manor!).  So it's really not an issue anymore.  Again, to be honest, it's not mess-free either, but it's the closest we've ever come to keeping content in one container with our LO being in full control... which means the cup is being taken ev'rywhere and anywhere and thrown on the floor and banged up quite a bit!!!  This is a tough one!!

Lets get more technical now.  First off, I love the lid.  It gives us the option to leave left over snacks in there and they stay fresh!  I also really bought it for the handle, which I thought was perfect for my LO's hands... in fact, the first time I gave it to him in the store he didn't want to let it go for the cashier to scan it!  Before this cup, I didn't have peace of mind to just give my LO a snack and leave to go somewhere (in fear he would ruin his car seat or his stroller).  This is so magical it even stops tantrums!!! hehehe giving him dry cereals in it in the morning on our way to the daycare, makes his morning!

All and all, this is one of my go to products and I just happened to stumble upon it, browsing in one of my favorite local store.  As an OT, I encourage independence and development of fine motor skills, which I think this cup does very nicely. So, this is why this product is Ergo Mama V approved!

I purchased mine at my local store, Ana Banana, but it should also be available where they sell OXO kitchen products (like well .ca), if you are not local.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Reusable Snack Bags

Hi Mamas!

My post today is about reusable snack bags... and how I love them!!!  A reusable snack bag is basically a bag (usually about the size of a Ziploc sandwich bag) with a zipper.  It's made of a cute fabric on the outside and a waterproof material on the inside.  I think they are just so practical and eco-friendly... and soooo cute!  I have bought a few in the last few months as I keep seeing the need to add one more to my collection.  So far I have some from Maxwell Designs, Itzy Ritzy, Colibri and Sling Sisters (which is now Colibri).  They all have their pros and cons, but overall they all work great.  Of course one thing I look for is that it's food safe with as little as possible chemical products that are not needed, especially near food.  I also look for it to be easily cleaned.  Why I love snack bags so much is really for the multi-purpose use, the ease of cleaning, the look of the adorable prints and being eco-friendly.  These bags can be used for snacks, sandwiches, medication, fruits, pacifiers, makeup and so much more!  The OT in me can only add that little ones can do zippers before they can do the Ziploc bag zipper thingy, so it's better for their little hands.  So enticing for them too if it has their favorite print on it.  In this house, we all use it and have our own prints!

Maxwell Designs says that their bags do not contain Latex, DEHP (di-ethyl hexyl phthalate), BPA (bisphenol A), Formaldehyde, Brominated flame retardants and Lead.  They need to be hand washed but the inside can actually be easily pulled out to clean better.

Itzy Ritzy says that their bags are FDA approved food safe, BPA free, lead free, phthalate free and PVC free.  These are machine washable and hand washable.

Colibri (and the old Sling Sisters) says that their snack bags are bpa free, and FDA approved as food safe and that the Zippers are lead and nickel free and CPSIA tested.  These are also machine washable.

Maxwell Designs and Colibri are both Canadian companies and Itzy Ritzy is an American company (but also selling in Canada).  I love all the fun prints!  They are all great products but really it's a matter of print choice, size choice and fabric choice, that will probably make the final personal choice for you.

I personally bought the Itzy Ritzy one at Ana Banana, the Maxwell Designs one on the company's website and the two others on Well.

Happy Shopping... and snacking!
Thanks for reading!