You’re uncomfortable, you’re feeling large and in charge and it doesn’t help that it’s hot and sticky out. How the heck do you deal? I’ve got some tips and tricks for dealing with your pregnancy in the thick of the summer months and if you read to the end… I’ve got an embarrassing story for you as well.
This may sound like a simple concept but when you’re uncomfortable to begin with it’s that much harder. I know you know what I’m talking about. Ok, of course there are the basics like staying in the shade, wearing lighter colours and just flat out staying indoors on hot days. You already know that stuff though. How can you make cooling down fun? Well, I’ve got a few simple techniques for you to try:
- Add frozen berries to your water bottle for a fruity refreshment or try adding berries to your ice cubes. I love the flavour this adds to my water and it makes me drink a lot more than I normally would.
- Head to the lake! There are some amazing spots around the GTA to go for a dip. This can be really refreshing and fun on hot summer day. Just don’t forget to bring a cooler with drinks. Oh and FUN TIP put your sunscreen in the cooler so it’s nice and cold when you apply it.
- Freeze your sheets!? Ok, I actually have to try this out for myself. I’ve been told that if you put your sheets in a freezer bag and place them in the fridge or freezer a few minutes before bed you can cool yourself down. Keep in mind, this isn’t going to stay cool all night but if you’re needing some extra relief it’s a cool idea to try.
- Eat cool foods. You can freeze grapes for a yummy late night snack, have some frozen berries in your yogurt, make pasta salads to take for lunch, we know we can always use another excuse to eat ice cream and I personally love having some lemonade in the fridge. I’m no Martha Stewart and I definitely don’t brew it from scratch but I do enjoy a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime in my store bought lemonade.
If you haven’t already been told… you’ve got a lot more blood pumping through your body now that you’ve got a little human to nurture. Guess what that means? Most women can actually burn much faster because there’s more blood pumping near the surface making your skin more sensitive than normal. When you’re pregnant you’re actually more likely to suffer from heat rash and chloasma (skin patches that develop during pregnancy that cause discolouration on your face and body) as well. So, of course you can stay in doors, cover up, stay in the shade but let’s be real… you’re going to be in the sun at some point. I tested out Substance Natural Sun Care Creme SPF 30 from Matter Company and I’m loving it! It makes me feel good to lather in a chemical-free, unscented sunscreen and boy is it creamy. It’s got a really smooth texture when you apply it and you can see it go on. Don’t you hate when you can’t see where you’re applying your sunscreen only to find out when you’ve got burn patches? Not the case with this sun care creme. It has natural oils such as organic shea butter, sesame seed and jojoba which help to protect and moisturize your skin. Oh and it’s not just for mamma bear, you can use it on the entire family! I can’t wait to test it out on my little one.
Another great way to cool down and cool off (if your hormones are as crazy as mine are) is to just take a bath. If you’re looking for some new bath salts you have GOT TO TRY the Matter Company’s Substance Mineral Soak with Bergamot, Elemi & Tangerine and it’s heaven. Not only does it smell fresh it actually helps to rejuvenate your summer skin. It helps to relieve tummy dryness, relaxes stiff muscles and helped me with my round ligament pains. Matter also has a leg and back creme that I like to put on before bed. It said ‘anti-fatigue’ on the front so I had to try it out (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). It’s lemony fresh and great to start the day or to finish off a relaxing bath. We need a little extra soothing don’t we? My feet have actually been so swollen and sore because of the extra weight I’m carrying. Nothing better than a bath soak and some lotion to help with that. Would love to hear your remedies for relaxing. Please let me know in the comments below.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR
Ok ladies, you made it to the very end which means… you’re hoping to read my oh so embarrassing wardrobe malfunction story. I just hope I save you from going through this yourself. I’m just over 6 months pregnant now and I’ve been getting away with wearing my normal clothes. Not my jeans… those were out of the picture by about 14 weeks but I have some dresses and shirts that I can still fit into. I had a busy day of meetings this week and I thought “it’s too hot and there is no way I’m wearing my maternity jeans”. So I slipped into a dress that used to sag on me. It had buttons up the back and seemed to fit perfectly… I was wrong. After my very first meeting of the day I went to get into my car when a few of the buttons caught onto the seat. PIEW (that’s the sound of a button flying off)… I almost cried. I now had a gaping hole not at the top of my dress, not at the back of my dress but exactly where someone could clearly see my underwear. Yes, I panicked. I actually ran back up to my clients house to ask if she had a safety pin and luckily she helped tighten things back up for me. When I sat back down in my car the safety pin burst open. Definitely not one of my finest moments. There was a pin and I was sitting on it…. ouch! I drove to the closest store in hopes of finding something I could throw on. Did I mention that I had a busy day of meetings? So there I was… walking through the aisles with my blue underwear in full view. I think my face literally matched the colour of my red dress. I grabbed 3 dresses and ended up buying ALL of them. A girl’s got to have options. Not sure I’ve ever ripped off a tag to take to the cashier on the way out though. There wasn’t a chance I was walking around in my busted dress for another minute.
LESSON OF THE DAY: Invest in some loose clothing BEFORE you get into a situation like I did. Summer maxi’s, shorts, tanks… you know the summer essentials that could get you out of a pinch like the one I was in.
Best of luck staying cool mamma,
Jackie is a Southern-Ontario based TV Host, Interior Stylist and first-time mom due in October. Follow her journey through pregnancy and into parenthood weekly through this series “Baby Talk” with Jackie and check out her Nursery planning tips and tricks in her blog “Nursery Style” with Jaclyn Colville.
My favourite season of the year is here and, as I do every year, I vow to enjoy it. I don’t complain about the endless heat because, sadly, it isn’t endless in Southern Ontario. I do my best to leave the comforts of an air conditioned house and experience some of the amazing activities, events, and memories that can only be found this time of year. Though summer has my heart, it also has a few challenges and when adding two children into the mix, it can get tricky. But, now that we are into the full swing of the season, I have found my groove and am sharing with you my favourite things to do with two! Whether you choose to beat the heat or bask in it, there is something here for everyone!
I’m not sure how any of us every grew up in a time when splash pads didn’t exist, but I think they may just be one of the best inventions ever. Each child can get as wet as they are comfortable with, they aren’t weighed down by floaties or a life jacket (but are being supervised closely by an adult), and they can run in all different types of water sprays that are so much more exciting than your lawn sprinkler. Both my 9 month old and 4 year old can play at the same time (in different ways) and I don’t have to worry about them being at different ability levels. Perhaps the best part is that most are FREE! And the second best part is that they aren’t swimming in a pool that is filled with equal parts chlorine and urine. Score one for the germaphobes!
Next on the list of things that I was deprived of growing up are these awesome indoor play spaces. When the heat and humidity is just too much to bear, head to the cool comforts of an indoor energy zapper. Kids can climb, slide, jump and dance for hours in these places and there is usually nice seating and coffee for parents to enjoy. Most play spaces have dedicated areas for smaller children and babies so we can take a cruise through an area of sensory play or smaller slides and when babe gets tired of that, I can feed him or snuggle him while big sister plays her heart out.
Who would have thought that writing on your driveway and your sidewalk could be such a thrill? I think because I forbid crayons and markers to exist anywhere play tables, drawing on the ground seems really rebellious and that means my daughter is all in. There are so many great chalk sets now that contain the chalk to a holder and make it possible for babies to play too. We trace everything, including each other, play tic tac toe and write our names with colourful flourishes. This kind of art is such a fun way for kids to express themselves and it keeps the mess outside! One rainfall or a sprinkle from the hose and you have a blank canvas.
The level of excitement over this one must stem from the same reasons as the chalk drawing. Since it is a universal fact that children are rock hoarders, the idea that they get to both hunt for a special rock AND keep it to paint on it is like Christmas in July. For my older child we use traditional paint and she can spend at least an hour combining different colours, patterns and words to make the prettiest garden stones. For my baby Picasso I use food colouring tinted water and help him transform his rocks into works of art. We keep some of our favourites and then also place others in parks and gardens where others may find them and get some enjoyment out of them too. Also, it addresses these hoarding tendencies at an early age.
When I was a child, I would visit my grandparents and wherever we would go we would pack a picnic lunch and eat it on the way. Fast food was never an option and I have such fond memories of my grandma’s triangular sandwiches and baked goods packed away in large margarine tubs. I love sharing this with my own kids now. We pick a fun place to spread out- sometimes near a playground, other times near the beach, and often somewhere where we can just people watch. We unload our spread and are free to get as messy as we want. Eating on a blanket is liberating, especially when you shake the crumbs onto nature’s floor instead of your own.
Whether you brave the beach or fill up a bin with sand, this is one activity that can keep little hands busy for hours. Grab some plastic sand toys and watch as your kids work together to fill them up, bury one another and just dig. The freedom to play in a more sophisticated form of dirt makes kids feel like they have pulled one over on you, meanwhile you sit back and read a magazine for two glorious uninterrupted minutes (to stop the next sand meal from being eaten).
Another cool spot for a hot day, your local library is a great place to spend a blistering afternoon. With all kinds of free programming geared to different age groups and abilities, there is usually something for everyone. We join the Summer Reading Club to instil a love of books (and winning prizes) early and my young readers love the independence of picking out absolutely any book they want to within the children’s area. Most libraries are equipped with so much more than books now and we spend a good part of the day playing games on the computers, putting together puzzles and even making crafts.
This is one kind of grocery shopping that can actually be enjoyable with kids. There is usually room for a stroller, you can often taste test the goods and there is always an animal or some interesting thing making an appearance. Letting kids pick out your produce increases the likelihood they will eat it and also gives them an education about where and how food is grown. With a renewed pleasure for local and home made goods, we love to discover great baked sweets, beauty products and toys that have been made by human hands and are often the best kinds of treats.
You can find them in zoos, pet stores, friend’s houses and on trips through the country, so you don’t have to travel far to find some animals for kids to love up on and delight in. Kids and animals seem to have a unique chemistry, likely due to the fact that they have the same opinions on cleanliness, indoor voices, toilet training and smiling for a camera. And they are both pretty cute to look at, so grab a candid photo while you are at it.
Though this list is by no means filled with new and innovative ideas, perhaps it will give you some inspiration on those days when bedtime can’t come soon enough and kids are melting down like an ice cream cone. Remember that summer is short so take advantage of the sticky kisses and sweaty brows while you can because, before you know it, you will be back in the season of extra layers and hours to leave the house on time.
Katie is a new mom of two and will be sharing her experiences in parenting a toddler and a newborn though this series “New with Two”.
Summer is here and it feels amazing! Worrying about the wind shield and wrestling with snow pants are distant memories, and the long, lazy days of summer are the new reality. Personally, I feel like a much more easy-going and spontaneous parent in the summer months. I rarely hesitate to leave the house, because there’s no concern of below freezing temperatures or heavy outerwear to put on. But if it’s your first summer with a little one , there are some things you need to know to best enjoy summer with a baby. Below we’ll talk water safety, being sun smart, and how to maximize your days outside.
The hot days call for refreshing water – be it a splash pad, a kiddie pool, or the lake up at the cottage. Either way, water safety is extremely important.
I love splash pads because the highest risk we face is a skinned knee if the kids fall while running through the jets of water. They’re refreshing and wet, not there is no drowning risk. These are great for all ages – babies love to sit and play with water as it pops up from the hidden jets, kids love to race through, and even parents can cool off with a quick dash inside. Do a quick scan of the splash pad before letting your kids run wild – since these are in public parks, there is always the small risk of something unsavoury like a broken bottle being on the ground. Encourage your children to keep their sandals or water shoes on as they run about, too, and always remind them to be mindful of smaller children and babies.
Typically, a kiddie pool in your town or city will have life guards on duty, but parents still need to be vigilant. I asked our local lifeguards at the kiddie pool that we frequent for a few tips and he was happy to help. I learned that the greatest risk is drowning for babies, and choking on water due to rough playing for older kids. Even in very shallow water, a baby can drown if their face is covered by water, so make sure you are always with your baby, sitting together in the water. If your kiddie pool has a gradual entry, or extremely shallow spot, she can walk to you, but never let a baby be more than an arm’s distance away. Older kids must be taught to respect the pool rules of no running and no rough housing. It can seem like a bit of a kill joy, but when faster, larger kids get rough, smaller children are at a greater danger, too. Before you go to the kiddie pool with your older kids, make sure you go over the rules with them before you let them loose.
The fresh water of a lake is one of the best parts of summer in Canada! With the vast water, it’s important to be safe with your little ones. All the same rules from the kiddie pool apply, with the additional recommendation of a flotation device for your children. If they’re in a boat, it’s the law that all passengers have an official life vest, such as the Salus Nimbus Infant vests, but even at the shore or in shallow water, puddle jumpers are a great option for kids under 50lbs.
With the warm temperatures, we like to be outside for hours on end, and sometimes all day long. Though it is dangerous on extremely hot or humid days to be outside (especially between the hours of 12pm-2pm ), there are lots of ways to stay safe and enjoy the sun while it’s here.
Hats for all ages are a must! Baby’s sun hats should be attachable, since they often like to grab them off. I love the ones that cover the back of the neck for extra sun coverage, like this one from Cali Kids. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours and after swimming. I really love the sticks for applying sunscreen to little faces – it makes the whole process so much easier and faster. Check out Sun Bum and Think Baby for great options in SPF 30, and for SPF 50 sun sticks, check brand Mustela.
If you have a little one who will be napping outdoors this summer, make sure he’s sheltered from the sun. Find a shady spot under a tree, or cover their stroller with a sun shade.
Maximize Your Days!
Always make sure you pack a swim diaper, along with enough diapers to last you several hours. You never know when you’ll run into friends, or get the urge to stop by the splash pad on your way home from the park! Pack a water bottle and some healthy snacks in your diaper bag so that you don’t need to rush home on account of hungry. If you baby still drinks formula or breastfeeds, plan accordingly. If you want to avoid peak heat hours, get out first thing in the morning, when the temperatures are coolest.
Long live summer! What are your favourite ways to beat the heat with little ones? We’d love to hear!
Emily is a Montreal-based writer and blogger, but most importantly, a mom of three littles (age five and under). She geeks out over cloth diapers, lattes, and will do just about anything to travel. You can find her on Instagram @emmorrice where she profusely overgrams pictures of her meals, kids and city.
As a part time cloth diaperer, I have been curious to try reusable swim diapers to see how they compare to the convenience of my usual disposable swimmies. I have always disliked that waterlogged, saggy bum look with the disposables (as well as the impact on the landfill) but truthfully didn’t give much thought to a reusable cloth swim diaper (despite being very familiar with cloth diapers of the regular variety). When I was offered the chance to review the AppleCheeks Washable Swim Diaper, I jumped at the chance.
When it arrived in the mail I was struck by how light and thin it was. Would this really protect me from being called out as the ‘Mom Of The Kid Who Fouled In The Pool’? It was so stretchy and soft- not bunchy and scratchy like the multilayered design of my previous disposables. I was eager to put this swim solution to the test so I did what any nervous mom would do- I asked my own mom to come with me! She could hold the baby while I took photos, that way, should anything “escape” from that little diaper, she would be the one holding the guilty party, not me!
I love that these diapers are available in two different sizes. My son is about 18 lbs, which is at the higher end of size one and the lowest weight of size two. I went with the size two and hoped he wouldn’t have to “grow into it.” When I tried it on him for the first time, I realized that the swim diaper is just as genius as AppleCheeks‘ popular envelope style cloth diaper- with snaps at both the waist and the legs to obtain the ideal fit. As promised, it was perfect and I began to think that this diaper might really have the containment powers it promised. The other thing I immediately noticed was that there were no rub points on the diaper, which is perfect for my babe’s sensitive skin.
Into the pool we went, armed with a diaper and a silent prayer that we would not be responsible for evacuating parent and tot swim. I am happy to report that we swam about for 40 minutes with no incident. About the only thing that did happen was having three (3!) separate moms come up to ask us where we got the diaper and how we liked it. When we completed our dip we headed to the change room to dry off and not only were we lacking that soggy, waterlogged diaper, the diaper was almost dry to the touch immediately after we got out. I expected it to be heavy with the weight of the fabric and moisture, but it was seemingly absent of anything other than my son’s cute little baby bum. He laid happily kicking his legs while I changed him and marvelled at this crazy swim technology.
All in all, my honest review is that I absolutely loved this swim diaper and will continue to use this line for all of our swimming needs, be it beach, pool, or lake! I am wowed by so much more than I thought I would be, so I had to make a Love List:
- The fit- all those snaps give you the best options for the perfect fit at both the waist and the thighs
- The feel- So soft both when it is dry and wet and absolutely no rub points or velcro.
- Lets water flow through instead of soaking it all up- no waterlogged soggy diapers!
- Adorable colours- I tried the Bondi Blue (bright and bold) but it is also available in three other colours- Sail Away, Suddenly Sunny and Breath of Fresh Air– all equally adorable.
- Convenience- Lighter and smaller than a disposable swim diaper and easy to care for/wash
- Doesn’t end up in a landfill
- CANADIAN MADE! I love supporting Canadian products AND AppleCheeks is owned and founded by two amazing female entrepreneurs, which also makes my heart sing a little.
I would really love to give you a balanced review with an accompanying list of cons but I truly found none. These retail for $19.99, so they are completely affordable (much cheaper in the long run over buying bags of disposables) and to sweeten the deal, they are on sale for 15% off for the entire month of March!! Some styles have sold out so hurry if you would like to get one or two for yourself! I have already ordered a second colour and can’t wait to pair these with matching rash guards for the summer. All in all, the maiden voyage went swimmingly and we will never go back to disposable swim diapers again!
Have you heard of Stonz? They’re a great, made in Canada line that I’ve wanted to try forever, and so I got my hands on a pair of the new Toddler Booties! At first the boots are a little weird and take some getting used to as they’re much different than other boots on the market. First off, your toddler can wear their shoes inside if they like, so they’re a much softer boot than the general hard boot you’d find out there. If you do want to use their shoes inside, you need to buy with that in mind. Then they have liners (“linerz”) for warmer winter use and you can remove them for fall and spring. How versatile is that? As you can see I opted for the most exciting colour/pattern around: all black (although they come in 14 different designs).
These ones are “new” in the Stonz line because they have a new waterproof sole on them – it’s more durable and slip resistant than previously and you can RECYCLE THEM when you’re done. I’m a huge fan of that! You can find the new sole on the medium, large or x-large booties. The soles contain something called PLUSfoam so I took a swing by their website to learn a bit more about the product. It’s nice to know I own a product that is made with responsible manufacturing processes in mind, and these are no exception – they claim their products produce no manufacturing waste and zero post-consumer waste. Sounds good to me!
One of the best things is that they’re SUPER lightweight so your kid isn’t lugging around a giant pair of boots that weigh close to what they do. The two drawstrings are great on the boots as they keep them on in two places (and prevent the surprise of arriving at your destination to a toddler in barefeet).
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