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We’ve partnered with Canon to bring you a three post blog series on capturing your baby’s moments and milestones in the easiest way possible. With the help of their site, babymoments.ca we’ve learned that using a DSLR camera is not as intimidating as we thought and we wanted to share the process with you in the hopes that you will be inspired to capture some of your baby’s sweet moments too. 

As a follow up to Part One in our Canon Baby Moments series we decided to test out our skills with a model in the 3-6 month age range. At this time babies are typically just beginning to reach for their toes, experiment with tummy time and rolling, and are just so interested in taking in all that is going on around them. We recruited nearly four month old Daniel, the most easy going and co-operative model we could have asked for.

Armed with tips from Canon’s Baby Moments site and our Canon EOS Rebel T6i camera, we were ready to tackle our next challenge to see what moments we could capture of sweet Daniel.

The Shoot: Capturing 3-6 Months

Daniel is not quite rolling yet but he is a pro at tummy time. We decided to capture some of his expressions and personality as we worked on his neck strength and flashed his baby blues at us. As smitten as we were with Daniel we quickly realized that he only has eyes for his Mama. The way a baby looks at his mom, with such adoration, was a moment we just couldn’t let pass us by. In order to get the shots we wanted, we used the tips on babymoments.ca to guide us. Here is how we set up the shots:

  1. We found a bright room with a window that let in lots of natural light.
  2. Using a soft blanket, we created a place to comfortably rest Daniel for his paparazzi moment.
  3. We used the Canon EOS Rebel T6i paired with a EF 50mm f/1.8 STM portrait lens and set the dial to Portrait mode or “P”
  4. Getting down on our hands and knees, we went to work snapping his expressions, his sparkling eyes, and the tremendous effort it took for him to keep his head up.

The results: 

We love how they came out and think they captured little Daniel’s easy going nature and personality perfectly! With this completely obliging subject, the whole shoot took around 20 minutes and we had so many great shots they were hard to narrow down! Stay tuned for part three of our Baby Moments series with Canon where we will be celebrating baby’s first birthday and capturing those exciting one year characteristics.

Posted in 2016, Family, Get the Look, Life With Baby, Mom Talk, Product Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , |
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Leaving the crib behind can be scary for both kids and parents, but it doesn’t have to be. The transition from crib to bed can be made easier for everyone with some advance planning and preparation. Here are my best tips for making the transition as easy as possible.

1. Timing is Everything:
I always recommend holding out as long as possible before moving your little one from crib to bed. Ideally, waiting until your child is 2.5-3 years of age, will allow him to understand the rules that go along with sleeping in a big kid bed. Of course, if your child is climbing out of the crib, it’s a safety risk and you need to speed up the transition. Likewise if you need the crib for a new addition, it’s best to start trying to transition a few months before you plan to need the crib.

Often, I’ve worked with families where the parents have decided that since their child isn’t sleeping well, they might as well transition him into a bed. I cannot stress enough that transitioning children to a bed when they are experiencing sleep issues is a bad idea that will likely make things worse. The best thing to do in this situation is to put the change on hold and do some sleep training as needed and when your child is sleeping normally again, revisit the switch to a big kid bed.

2. Routine, Routine, Routine
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big believer in the importance of routines to sleep. Before you begin to transition your child from crib to bed, make sure there is a consistent bedtime routine in place to help him feel secure and safe no matter where he sleeps. Once the bedtime routine is established, you can add a few extras for the new bed – a toddler alarm clock, a bedtime routine chart, and some firm limits. Your child WILL get out of bed. The new freedom of being able to get out of bed whenever he wants is just too tempting for toddlers to resist. You need to have a plan to deal with this behaviour. I tell parents to explain to their children what will happen if they get out of bed (going straight back to bed with little interaction) and following through EVERY TIME will eventually lead to success. The first night, you may have to return your little adventurer to bed many times, but if you are consistent, the nighttime adventures out of bed will end in a few nights.

3. Parents Need A Plan
Before you start the transition, you need to sit down with your partner and develop a plan so that you’re both on the same page. Go over all the “what ifs” and problem solve before they happen. What will you do if your child calls out to you 10 times in the night? What if they keep coming out of their room? How will you handle it together? Having a plan will make it easier for you to be consistent, which will make the process much easier for everyone.

4. Prepare your child and their room
Finally, you need to talk to your child about the transition. Let them know that they’re going to be getting a new bed, and that there are new rules about staying in bed. Involve your child in the process – have him pick out new bedding for his new bed. Get him to practice putting his favourite stuffed animals to bed. Model the new bedtime routine including instructions about staying in bed. Make a big deal out of sleeping in a “big kid bed”. The more excited your child is about the transition the easier it will be.

You should also take the time to ensure that your child’s room is safe for an unsupervised child in the middle of the night. You can forego the bed frame entirely at first putting the mattress directly on the floor, or you can put a bed rail up along the side of the bed (with mesh so it’s not a suffocation hazard) to stop your child from being able to roll out of bed). Other safety tips include always shutting his door at night, installing a childproof handle on the closet door, anchoring any furniture to the wall, and removing sleep distracting toys from the bedroom.

The crib to bed transition is a big step, but there don’t have to be issues because of it. With preparation and consistency your child can and will transition into a big kid bed with ease.

Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She is Representative and Director for the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants (IACSC) and serves on the faculty of The Family Sleep Institute. She and her husband, Mike, live in Burlington, Ontario with their 3 children (1+twins!) and when she’s not on route to the bus stop or tripping over fire trucks and tea sets, she and her global team are working with families to overcome their sleep challenges. You can follow her expert advice in national publications like Today’s Parent, Yummy Mummy Club, PBS Kids, and Canadian Living. Alanna strives in helping families and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have happy well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and Good Night Sleep Site at www.goodnightsleepsite.com and you can join Alanna on the first Wednesday of every month at the Burlington location of Snuggle Bugz/Nestled for her in-person sleep clinic from 10-11am.

Posted in 2016, Sleep | Tagged , , , , , , |

CRUZ It Forward 2016

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Blog_header_CruzItForward-2016What is better than winning an UPPAbaby CRUZ? Giving one! From August 15-28th, 2016, nominate a friend or family member for a chance to win an UPPAbaby CRUZ in Denny! All you have to do is tell us why they should be chosen over all other nominees to win a stroller. We will read through each one of the submissions and our panel of judges will select one lucky winner. To nominate someone, click here.

We caught up with last year’s winner, Karen for a quick update to see what she has been up to since winning CRUZ It Forward last September. If you want to read Karen’s story that was submitted by her friend Morgan, you can read it here.

2015 Winner ImageUpdate: On January 12th, 2016, Karen, Maddie and Drayton welcomed their newest addition, Jayce Nathaniel Froude at 4:15 PM. He weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and was a spitting image of his Daddy. Jayce spent the first 5.5 months of his life stealing the hearts of every person he met in Saskatchewan. At the end of June, the family packed up their home and began their adventure east to their new home. They are thrilled to now be back in Newfoundland and closer to all of Jayce’s grandparents.

Posted in 2016, Contests, Strollers | Tagged , , , , , |

The Mom Files: 2 Years

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Blog_MomFilesThis is two. Here we are, with a two year old. Do you ever stop to look back and think “what? How/when did that happen?” I remember when I was quite pregnant I would sometimes see my reflection in a store window and be all excited about a pregnant woman. Then I realized it was me.

SO, HI! It’s nice to be back and sharing about Harrison. I was reading old blog posts recently and got the itch to write about it all again. Well, here we are! So what is there to say? First, Harrison is still in daycare four days a week. They love him there, partly because he “doesn’t hit them” and is relatively well mannered. So… high standards for the kids all around.

2yrs-2He is going to BE IN A WEDDING in a few weeks – my brother’s wedding, to be exact. I’m anticipating disaster but a bag of snacks and plans B through F should do the trick. Which means his wispy mullet needs its second real haircut. Mom could do with one of those as well.

I wrote a long long time ago that Harrison likes people more than toys and this is still the case. At the time, being a first time mom and not being able to track down my crystal ball, I was wondering why my child wasn’t interested in anything. I see now it’s just because he likes to be with people. That doesn’t stop him being super shy and needing some time to warm up but he’s really a personable dude. This sort of gets in the way of him playing independently but we try and encourage him to make his own fun as much as we can.

He is finally starting to talk but communication itself is difficult. He answers questions, but he almost always answers ‘yeah!’ so that method of getting the answer cannot really be trusted.2yrs-1

Me: ‘Are you all done?’
Him: ‘Yeah!’ *keeps eating*
*stops eating, pushes away from table*
Me: ‘You look to be all done. Are you all done?’
Him: ‘Yeah!’ *grabs toast and continues eating*

It’s frustrating when your child doesn’t really talk until an ‘older’ age. It’s hard to know what he understands but doesn’t say, aside from things he points out in his books. And he won’t communicate when he’s “off” (tired, hungry etc), which I expect is the same across the board with lots of kids.

We’re at a point where we are constantly working on learning boundaries and what is ours vs what is not ours. This is a challenge in stores when he picks up something but then I say we can’t buy it. I give him ample opportunity to put the item back on the shelf or give it to the cashier or otherwise relinquish control, but eventually just have to take the item and put it back and it’s always an insane meltdown involving me carrying a screaming, thrashing child out of a store. It’s tiresome, and I’m not sure why he doesn’t do it to my husband.

He had allergy tests done a couple weeks ago and DIDN’T CARE FOR THAT! I mean, he hate all kinds of surprises – toenail cutting, fingernail trimming, and apparently allergy testing. I feel like I’ve had to hold my child down while a medical professional does whatever to him WAY more often than my friends with kids. Sigh. Anyway, he’s over his egg allergy and is only allergic to (of the ones they tested) sesame and chickpeas.2yrs-3We got him a doll stroller for his birthday and I’m *more than annoyed* at the marketing of these things to kids. It’s a doll stroller. My husband pushes a stroller, why does my son need an obnoxious pink flowered thing that’s obviously intended for/marketed to girls? But anyway, we got him a pink one because those were our options and boys can be pink too. He loves it, yessss! My husband and I have been quite sick this last week so Harrison’s been on his own mostly for playing while we die on the couch, and he’s been better with playing independently than usual because he can play with his stroller.

And that’s about it for current day with Harrison!

Posted in 2016, The Mom Files | Tagged , , , , |

Blog_BabyMomentswithCanonBlog_BabyMomentswithCanon_SubheadWe’ve partnered with Canon to bring you a three post blog series on capturing your baby’s moments and milestones in the easiest way possible. With the help of their site, babymoments.ca we’ve learned that using a DSLR camera is not as intimidating as we thought and we wanted to share the process with you in the hopes that you will be inspired to capture some of your baby’s sweet moments too. 

We live in a social society, where the only photo albums many of us have are on Facebook and Instagram. Our phones are equipped with cameras and the ability to upload photos immediately to our social networks, which has made it easier to share our lives and our images with a broader audience in real time. We are no longer limited to the twenty four exposures on our roll of film as digital photography gives us the freedom to snap until we capture the moment perfectly. With very little barrier to taking pictures at every whim, it has led to most of us stockpiling these digital files on our devices, leaving them to hang on our Facebook walls rather than those in our home. Having this great supply of memories to look back on is indeed a great asset to have, but what happens to those photos that never get printed or are lost forever in a computer crash?

We have partnered with Canon to encourage you to capture those baby moments and milestones that you might not otherwise take with your phone or point and shoot digital camera. Taking time to set up a shot and thoughtfully capture those amazing little details and moments in time that they outgrow so quickly might inspire you to print it out and frame it. While it can be intimidating to use a DSLR or “fancy camera” we were so happy to find Canon’s Baby Moments site that gives step by step instructions and video tutorials on how to easily take some beautiful shots of your baby that are professional quality and possibly even wall worthy! We tried the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and loved how easy it was to use. What’s even better, it has Wi-Fi capabilities that allow you to upload the images directly to your smartphone so we were still able to share instantly on our social channels when we wanted to. Keep reading to the end of this post to find out how you can win a Canon EOS Rebel T6i and a EF 50mm f/1.8 STM portrait lens of your own!   

We wanted to find out just how easy or hard it would be to capture baby moments at different stages and ages so we recruited some beautiful baby models to help us with our experiment. In this three part blog series we will photograph a newborn, a 3 month old and a 12 month old and put the camera as well as the tips on babymoments.ca to test!

The Shoot: Capturing Newborn Moments

First up is Baby Ari. At just two weeks old, he was the perfect candidate for our newborn image trial. Canon’s babymoments.ca site is broken down into specific age categories and types of images/moments to take so it was easy for us to go through to the 0-3 months category to find out what types of shots we wanted to attempt. We decided that capturing Ari’s tiny details was a great way to start out. We followed the site’s step by step instructions to get the shots we wanted. Here is how we achieved them:

  1. We found a bright room with a window that let in lots of natural light.
  2. Using a soft blanket, we created a place to comfortably rest Baby Ari for his paparazzi moment.
  3. We used the Canon EOS Rebel T6i paired with a EF 50mm f/1.8 STM portrait lens and set the dial to Portrait mode or “P”
  4. Got down on our hands and knees and went to work snapping all of his tiny details.

The results: 

Collage of 4

We loved how they came out! Baby Ari was the perfect model and we were able to really capture his tiny fingers and toes and his beautifully alert eyes and dark hair. The entire process of shooting the images took no longer than 20 minutes and we are so happy with the results.

BlogFooter_Canon_giveawayWould you like the opportunity to win the equipment we used for this shoot to capture your own precious baby moments? Login to the Rafflecopter below, answering the question “Which of your baby’s memories or moments are you most excited to document?” Leave a comment with your answer and you will be entered to win a Canon EOS Rebel T6i and a EF 50mm f/1.8 STM portrait lens of your own! This contest will run from Friday, August 12th to Monday, August 15th at 11:59pm EST. Contest Rules and Regulations.

*Update: Congratulations to Melissa Siddall, the winner of the Canon Baby Moments contest. Thank you to all who entered. Stay tuned for our next installment in the Canon Baby Moments series where we are talking tips on taking photos at 3-6 months.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in 2016, Contests, Events, Life With Baby | Tagged , , , , , , , , |