Thursday, April 30, 2009


The sweet potato or yam is a great first baby food. It is high in fibre, beta-carotene, calcium, and vitamin A. It also has a natural sweetness that babies will love.

We already know about how "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" so why not introduce your baby to this easy to digest fruit?

Combine the sweet potato and apple for a delicious meal!

1. Peel sweet potatoes and apples.
2. Wash well.
3. Steam or boil until tender together.
Steaming retains more nutrients.
4. Puree. Add a bit of water if needed.

Eat fresh or store for later use. Eat within 48 hours if stored in the refrigerator and 3 months if stored in the freezer. Remember that babies do not need any spices or condiments added to their food.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The best toys are the ones your baby will love the most and play with often. As they get older, they'll probably go for the box rather than the toy that was once contained there, but this one will be a staple.

I recommend the Baby Einstein Link Set for its simplicity, but also educational merits. My baby girl loves the 15 colourful links which keep her amused each time she holds onto them. They are on-the-go toys which are durable and light and can be washed easily. They snap together quickly and can be attached to strollers, diaper bags, and infant carriers. The different textures allow for self-exploration or for simple lessons about colours and shapes. She even uses it to soothe her itchy gums.

They are available at Toys R Us for $11.99 and are a great investment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I put my baby in the Bumbo Baby Sitter when I noticed that she could hold her head up steadily. Hannah was almost three months old. At four months, she could sit on her own for about thirty seconds at a time. She needed her arms for support (like a tripod), but her time in the Bumbo gave her a clue as to what sitting up and viewing the world in a different way was all about.

The Bumbo is a lightweight, non-toxic baby seat made of low density foam used to help babies sit on their own. It is easy to clean and portable. The seat does not have any straps, however, it holds the baby in securely because of its unique design. The raised leg openings decrease stress on the baby's spine while the front support prevents the baby from sliding forward. It comes in many colours such as pink, yellow, blue, and purple. When ready, a Bumbo tray can be purchased so that the baby can play while sitting.

For safety reasons, the Bumbo should not be placed on an elevated surface. Parents should watch their children carefully while they are in the Bumbo.

Monday, April 27, 2009


In my circle of friends, I was one of the last to be a "Mommy". There were times I felt left out. Like when a child had a birthday party, I was the only adult without a baby. At times, I felt awkward. I couldn't talk about bedtime routines so I'd smile and nod. Yes, there were days where I even felt clueless. My mama friends spoke of Stage 1 baby cereals and how Gymboree clothes fit their baby. I was focused on All-You-Can-Eat sushi places and how End of Season jackets fit me.

Now however, I see the advantage of being last. It's actually not so bad, and in fact, very good. Why, you ask? Well, after so many years of listening to the wisdom of my girlfriends, I've picked up a few things. As if by osmosis, I've learned through their experiences. Their mistakes have become my lessons. In fact, being one of the last mamas in my group has its benefits.

Here are four lessons I learned from my girls and they don't even know it:

1) Be patient before filling up your house with huge boxes of diapers. I didn't stock up even though there were many (hard to resist) sales during my pregnancy. I had to see which brand suited my baby best...turns out, she's a Pampers girl!

2) Buy a few toys in the beginning. You don't know what your baby will be attracted to. If you can't resist purchasing though, rotate the toys every week so your baby will constantly be stimulated by something new.

3) Family will always want to give you advice. Be polite and listen, BUT you don't have to take it.

4) Breastfeeding is recommended, however, if it doesn't happen for you, DON'T put extra pressure on yourself. Feed for three months, six months, or beyond a year. It's your choice. Not breastfeeding? Multi-billion dollar companies created formula for this reason. Don't stress.

For those and many more tidbits of information, this is a thank you to my wonderful girlfriends (a lot of whom are Hip Teacher Mamas themselves) who taught me to be a better mama just by being around.

Friday, April 24, 2009


We're all familiar with Feist's 1234 song as seen on the Apple iPod Nano commercials, but have you seen her on Sesame Street? Guaranteed to bring you a smile as she prances up and down the famous street that I (and I'm sure you) grew up watching.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Baby foods have come a long way. They still have the old time favourites such as applesauce, pears, and carrots, but some companies have ventured into fancier flavours such as apple strawberry banana and chicken noodle dinner. At times, store-bought baby foods contain more sodium than you would like to serve your baby. There are also organic baby foods, but at a cost. So if you're like me when it comes time to serving solids, here are some important tips for those who want to make their own foods at home.

• Steaming instead of boiling your veggies and fruits help seal in as many vitamins and minerals as possible.

• Use ice cube trays to freeze puréed foods. Each cube should be about one ounce. Once frozen, pop out the cubes, store in a sealed plastic bag, and use within two months. Breastfeeding mothers may already be familiar with this technique.

• Unfinished meals should be tossed because bacteria forms quickly. If you don't think your child will finish a meal, put a few spoonfuls in another container and serve from there. The rest can be refrigerated.

Before you jump ahead with solids make sure your baby is ready. Baby cereals are the first foods recommended for all babies. Although 4-6 months is when babies may show signs of readiness, do not judge by the age, but by the baby's behaviour. Always check with your paediatrician before starting solids.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, we recognize Fisher-Price's Precious Planet Jumperoo. This is a free-standing jumper with a 360 degree swivel chair and several stations of play. There are three height levels to adjust as your baby grows. The music function can be set to continuous play or to motion sensitivity so that the music turns on when your baby bounces about. There are toys to spin and turn, a couple of dangling toys to swat at, and toys that make rattling sounds. Requires 3-AA batteries.

Available at Toys R Us for $129.99 (Cdn).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Becoming a mommy for the first time was overwhelming. What should I buy? What will be purchased for me? Should I put a few of these on the register?

One of the most important things I learned was how much I didn't like scratch mittens. They fall off, get lost, and are a choking hazard. Some come with strings, but we all know that strings shouldn't be anywhere near a newborn.

Instead, I opted for long-sleeve onesies with mitten cuffs, where the ends flipped over to cover the baby's hands. You need them especially in the early days when babies are exploring themselves and constantly touching their own face. New parents are especially afraid to deal with the tiny, delicate fingernails (my husband was). Having said that, if you are worried about using baby nail clippers, try to nibble on the nails or simply tear them off. At this point, they are so soft, they will rip off and no, you won't get into the quick (pink part of the nail).

For me, it was mitten cuffs all the way. I recommend the Gerber brand with long sleeves. The basic white ones are excellent for newborns, but as they get older, they can be used as undershirts under the cuter tops and bottoms.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I remember how I first felt when the blood test confirmed I was pregnant. I remember the first fuzzy ultrasound photo and the sound of her heart beating. I remember the first time I held my tiny daughter in my arms. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. The first smile, giggle, and squeal all seem so long ago.

Today, my daughter is over five months old and I wonder just how those days flew by so quickly. My friends all warned me that this would happen especially in the first year. A few sleepless nights and several hundred diaper changes later, so many firsts have come and gone. I want to have those firsts again, but sadly, they are firsts for a reason.

I know there have been many special moments and there will be more to come. I've got numerous Facebook comments and photos on my laptop to attest to that. There are a hundred videos of her on the playmat, licking her plastic rings, and drooling all over the couch. I watch those clips often because I just can't believe how much she has grown. Wasn't I just in the hospital? I thought we just sent out the birth announcement.

In the next couple of months, I know to expect the first time she can sit completely on her own without keeling over in two minutes. I'll be there to witness the first time she'll take the bottle willingly because currently she is stubborn as heck and the sight of it sends her into a tizzy. I hope to hear her first words soon and maybe they'll resemble "Mama." There will be a day when she will crawl across the floor and throw herself into my arms.

As much as I can't wait for the day that I don't have to lug out the heavy stroller with the car seat and she can walk on her own, I also want things to slow down. I want to relive her firsts over and over again.

For all you moms out there (first or otherwise), treasure each and every moment you have with your baby. Time does fly when you are having fun, but with a baby, it goes by the speed of light.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Welcome to Hip Teacher Mama! Drop by often to read the musings of a new blogger, a first-time mommy, and an experienced Canadian elementary school teacher....yes, we're one and the same! From product reviews to baby food recipes to classroom experiences, follow me on my initiation through motherhood. This blog wouldn't be teacher-like without daily lesson plans so here is what I have in store for you.

Mondays: Personal reflections about my baby girl. Spending each day with her is an absolute joy, but having Family Time (especially on the weekends) means more to me than anything. Find out what I think and how I feel to start off the work week.

Tuesdays: Although I'm new to the world of motherhood, there are still tidbits of wisdom that I would love to share as my journey progresses. Of course, I will also point you in the right direction of experts who actually KNOW what they are talking about.

Wednesdays: Ahhh...Hump Day. This day may be the most difficult for educators because the students have forgotten their parents' weekend reminders to be "good for the teacher" and now are just struggling to get through the week. I'll provide some laughs and motivation to remind you why you became a teacher in the first place or just some insights as to the best toys on the market for your little one.

Thursdays: Like to eat? I know I do! My baby also has a love of food so check out the delicious recipes for the young and old alike. Breastfeeding moms need to keep up their strength and babies starting solids need a variety of foods to help develop good eating habits. Join me in this culinary exploration for Mommy and Baby, won't you?

Fridays: It's time to sit back, put your feet up, and watch a little video. Whether it's a song, dance, or clip from a show, you're guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.

I hope your first visit won't be your last and I welcome your comments about each day's post in the comments section or feel free to email me at