What You Need to Know About Baby & Me Yoga

mom-baby-yogaWhile it may have felt like your little wriggly one was already practicing yoga moves in utero, once they’ve arrived, there really is no better time to think about starting yoga.

Yes, we know, energy and time can be in scarce supply postpartum. So the thought of a mama and baby yoga class (not to mention the thought of putting on exercise clothes) from six weeks, might be daunting. Even stressful. Will I strain myself too soon? Where will I feed baby? What if my baby cries and interrupts the class? What about diaper changes?

But it’s not about putting stress on you, your body or your baby. The right classes offer an inclusive, safe environment. All other parents will be in exactly the same position, with exactly the same worries. If baby cries, no one will judge. If you need to stop and feed baby, go for it. This type of yoga experience is all about destressing and reconnecting with your body. It’s about creating new bonding experiences with your baby. A real win-win for both mom and baby:

Here are our 5 top reasons to give mama and baby yoga a try:

  • NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY: Don’t worry if you weren’t able to fold yourself in to a pretzel pre-baby. It doesn’t matter. No prior skills or yoga knowledge is necessary for new parents to enjoy and benefit from this experience.
  • BONDING TIME: It offers you dedicated time where you can both relax. Remember, your baby will relax when you relax! Joint relaxation is so powerful in strengthening connections and non-verbal communication.
  • BETTER SLEEPERS: Yoga promotes MORE and BETTER sleep. Hooray! Short classes offer just the right amount of stimulation they need to help them sleep for longer stretches. If that’s not good news enough, tactile stimulation has also been show to contribute to the development of the brain and nervous system.
  • BETTER DIGESTION: Yoga stimulates all of baby’s bodily systems including the digestive system. It’s been known to help keep babies contented between feeds and also alleviate wind and colic too.
  • GOOD FOR MOM: Yoga can be great for mom’s all important emotional wellbeing. Not only is parenting hard and stressful at times, for new parents especially, it can be darn scary. Yoga gives moms time to relax and refocus via breathing exercises and focused stretches. And let’s be honest, parenting can also have its lonely moments too, so classes like this are a great way for parents to get out, socialise, support and find a healthy balance.

If this sounds good to you, we offer an all-levels Mama and Baby Class at Babies in Bloom, suited for 6 week olds to crawlers – check out the next few dates on our calendar. All you need is a yoga mat and blanket for baby to rest on.

Our wonderful instructor Holly also recommends some helpful home resources if you want to bring the yoga experience and relaxation vibes home – the Itsy Bitsy Yoga series and Yoga Pretzel Cards.

Enjoy and Namaste!

Happy Birthday to Us!

image3What a party to remember! A big thank you to everyone who attended our Babies in Bloom Birthday Extravaganza – it was so good to see you and your beautiful growing families.

Our hearts are warmed and overwhelmed by the support that our community continues to show not just us, but each other too. We are so proud to offer a safe sanctuary for all parents and parents-to-be to meet, learn, support and shop small.  What an honor it is to watch parents grow in excitement and confidence, as well as share their valuable experiences, via our facilities. We think we have the best job in the world, and today’s birthday fun just proved it!

Our doors opened at 9am, offering the first 50 families a special gift bag with purchases, followed by a completely free pre-natal yoga class for those moms-to-be looking for ways to relax and bond with their growing baby. (If you missed our free taster, but are interested in yoga classes, check out our events calendar – we run classes twice a week at the boutique.)

image1-3We were also so lucky to host a Hullaballoo concert for our families. There was a sea of toddler wiggles, clapping hands and musical instruments throughout the performance!  Our favourite was definitely the ‘Sippy Cup’ song for coffee loving Moms. We triple challenge you to get this song out of your head. We haven’t stopped singing it yet. ‘She’s got a growwwwn up sippy cup, she goes to Starrrrbucks to fill it up….’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSXjlvdziQw
We’re hoping the adorable petting zoo from Nettie’s Party Pals, the free pony rides on the adorable 12 year old Magic, the bounce house, the carnival games and yummy popcorn meant that your little ones napped like champions for the rest of the afternoon / that night. We certainly did!image2

If you were unable to stay for the afternoon to attend the Babywearing and Car Seat 101 classes – fear not, we also have those running throughout the month at the Boutique. Again just check our class calendar for future dates.
And finally for those who entered our raffle on the day, we sure hope you were victorious! There were some fabulous prizes were up for grabs – enjoy!

Now the big question….how do we top that for next year’s birthday?

 

May is Better Sleep Month

BabiesinBloom_KelseySmithPhotography2015(PrintResolution300PPINativeFile)-41“SLEEP?” we hear many of you cry. “What’s that?!”

If you are struggling to get your baby to sleep through the night, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We know it can be HARD. And when you feel like you have tried everything, we know it can feel relentless. You’re exhausted. Defeated. Overwhelmed. You’re just not you.

‘Better Sleep Month’ is all about encouraging people to seek and establish better, healthier sleeping patterns. So what better time is there than now to take a moment and virtually hug, empower and support all our sleep deprived parents out there! It WILL get better, we promise you.

First, stop telling yourself you’ve messed up. That’s just the exhaustion talking, coupled up with the obligatory mom guilt that we all know and hate. Just because your friend’s baby is sleeping 11 hours a night at nine months, doesn’t mean you have done it all wrong. There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do this. No two babies are wired the same.

Second, it is never too late to fix it. Good sleep habits can be learned at any age says Jen Varela, our wonderful friend and Sleep Coach, be it six months or five years old.

Under the age of six months, we are not talking about sleep training, but sleep shaping. This is all about sleep hygiene and simply identifying the methods used to get baby to sleep. From around three months, small incremental steps can be taken to make adjustments in how your baby sleeps at night – this is because most infants take about 12 weeks to fully produce melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” So for example, instead of nursing him/her to sleep, simply try rocking instead. Don’t worry, baby will let you know if it is too soon to make that change. And if it is, just hit pause on this shift for a little while and then try again.

Sleep training is generally recommended for babies six months or older. This is when you use a specific method, over a period of time, and then start removing ‘sleep crutches’ to enable baby to self sooth and put his/herself to sleep.

Third, let’s be real. There will ALWAYS be tears. There is no getting away from this. But our expert Jen’s goal is always to have as little crying as possible, and to avoid ‘toxic stress.’ She believes there is a big difference between tears in arms and not. If a baby is crying in arms, there is a stress buffer there by way of the nurturing parent, vs. things like the detached ‘cry-it-out’ method. Sleep training needn’t be a battle – it CAN be gentle and successful.

Jen runs regular Gentle Sleep Coaching workshops at our Boutique, so if you feel like you need to get a better idea on methods, or just feel like you need a darn miracle, please register. She may be the Fairy Godmother you have been looking for. We promise you, no question will be a stupid question, and no case is a hopeless one. Stay strong folks – this too shall pass!

International Day of the Midwife

unnamedIn honor of International Day of the Midwife this week (May 5th), we are taking a moment to celebrate the AMAZING work midwives do!

They strive tirelessly to ensure safe and positive birth experiences, and there is no finer example of this than the dedicated midwife in Houston who hit the headlines last month by riding an inflatable swan to a client during a major flood. Nothing was going to stop this woman from attending a birth!

13EE610BECB842B1AA07F808AC85FEAEIt takes such a special type of person to be able to penetrate someone’s life while they prepare to bring a brand new life of their own in to the world.  From building trust and forming a connection to offering support, advice and endless reassurance – midwives are rocks. What a lasting imprint they make on so many lives. We are so so grateful for their devotion, passion, empathy and strength.

Looking for a midwife?

Finding a midwife can be a daunting task. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ job – we know just how important it is to find the right person to share your incredible journey with. We have a healthy list of recommended practitioners listed here, but what are the next steps to help you try and make your birth everything you want it to be?

First, take your time. Don’t rush this. We recommend checking out potential midwives websites –especially client testimonial pages. Don’t forget to ask like-minded mama friends for recommendations too. After this research phase, you can create a short list of midwives for interviews.

For interviews, prepare a thorough list of questions covering all your areas of preferences and concerns. Ask them about their general pregnancy and birth philosophy to see if it mirrors yours. Ask them about their training and experience. Ask them what happens if you go past 42 weeks. Ask them what their newborn protocol is (these can vary greatly). Ask them anything that is on your mind. Even ask them about their own birth experiences if you choose…whatever it takes to build that all important trust and connection with them.

And last but not least, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. You will know when you have found ‘the one!’ Never stop listening to that voice inside your head, even if you have already found a midwife, but feel that something isn’t quite right. Remember, mama knows best! Do what feels right for you.