Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little Traveller gets a mention

Little Traveller was featured in Kim Gray's Modern Family blog on the Calgary Herald site last night. Take a peek at some of Kim's posts on all things family.

Win a CARES harness

It's sunny outside here in Calgary which is very fitting for the launch of our sweet summer deals. To kick it off, we have a CARES competition through Canadian Babies. Click here to visit the contest page and vote for your favourite Little Traveller blog entry for a chance to win a CARES harness!

Little Traveller is a baby equipment rental company in Calgary that rents and sells the CARES harness across Canada.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Get all the latest parenting books...

...summarized and delivered to your in-box by! What a great way to get through the pile of unread parenting self-help books you bought in a moment of "why is my kid suddenly behaving like this?!" a few months back. If you like the sound of the summary, you can go ahead and purchase the book and read it from cover to cover, if you have the time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Holiday Card offer

The Holiday Card from Travel Alberta is free and gives you access to hundreds of special deals on accommodation, attractions and activities throughout the province. As part of its sweet summer deals promotion, Little Traveller is offering all Holiday Card carrying customers 10% off their rentals from May to September.

Little Traveller is a baby equipment rental company in Calgary. Visit our web site for a run down of all our sweet summer deals.

Top 5 things to do in Banff

Ciao Bambino just published their top five things to do in Banff for those who are not familiar with the town.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Head Snuggler

I come across some weird stuff sometimes, but this seems to be a crazy-looking invention that might actually work. My 15-month old has a serious case of head lolling while she snoozes in her car seat and I'm planning on giving the Head Snuggler a try on our next road trip. Designed to properly support your child's head and neck in a car seat or a stroller, this mom-invented product designed in Calgary has the thumbs up from a pediatrician and a chiropractor. 

Available online from Melrose Kids, the cost of the Head Snuggler is $15.99 plus $5 shipping.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CARES and special needs children -- new breakthrough

There's great news of a breakthrough for parents of special needs children who would like to use the CARES airplane harness on flights in the US. If the CARES harness will physically fit your child (the black straps actually expand enough to fit a child about 4 ft 10 inches tall) even though they are over the 44 lb / 40 inch current limit, a request in writing can be made to the FAA for permission to use the CARES harness. Specify in the letter that you are willing to sit in a bulkhead seat (the last row of any section of the plane) so no one will be required to brace by leaning against your child's seat. According to Kid's Fly Safe MD Louise Stoll, the FAA will not take long to grant the exemption. Carry the exemption with you when you fly. When you make ticket arrangements, ask for a bulkhead seat, but there is no need to discuss anything further with the individual airlines.

The situation is Canada is less accommodating. Transport Canada told me that it is unlikely that an exemption could be issued at this time for special needs passengers over the current CARES limits since no regulatory requirements are yet in place for the use of CARES by children with special needs. Also, in Canada it is up to the individual airlines to make their own rules regarding the use of on board child restraint systems.

Little Traveller baby equipment rentals in Calgary sells and rents the CARES harnesses (we ship across Canada). Visit our website for more information or call us at 1-877-242-4067.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Add more fun and culture to your next family holiday

My husband and I both did postgraduate research at university. It's left us with an incurable desire to research everything. If we watch a movie based on a real event, we read up on it afterwards to find out more about the event. When we plan a holiday, we delve into the history of the place. We don't overplan the trip itself because it's fun to discover the sights when you get there, but we like to have a grasp of the culture and even the language. We went to Zanzibar on our honeymoon and spent the months leading up to our wedding learning some Swahili so we could interact with the hotel staff and perhaps meet a few local people -- which we did. Our best memories of the trip come from these interactions.

We plan on continuing this approach to travelling with our chidren in tow. Of course we can't make them learn the local dialect but then children don't seem to let a little language barrier get in the way of a good playdate on the swings. And we won't force feed them culture -- there are more subtle ways of enjoying a foreign travel experience with kids. Check out this great blog posting written by Debbie Dubrow on the blog Adding fun and culture to your next holiday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baby B'Air in print

The brand new May/June edition of Calgary's Child (page 4) features the Baby B'Air flight vest for lap-held infants. These are available to rent for or purchase from Little Traveller baby equipment rentals in Calgary.

Pick up your copy of the Calgary's Child spring issue to browse their annual summer camp and program guide and their festival guide for the upcoming Children's Festival in May. And don't miss the hulabazoo family event sponsored by Calgary's Child at the Calgary Zoo on May 9.

Nannies on call

It was my birthday on the weekend and my husband surprised me with lunch at the always excellent River Cafe with a couple of friends. AND he arranged for a nanny to come and take care of our two children and our friend's two little ones (four kidlets under the age of five). How about that for a birthday treat!

He called Nannies on Call who offer full-service child care to private homes or hotels. They will find you a nanny to cover a dinner date or they'll find you a full-time live-in nanny if that's what you're looking for. Megan was our assigned nanny. The company emailed my husband a few days before with her name and a little bit of info about her. The minimum charge is for 3 hours. We booked Megan for 4 hours so we could stroll down to the restaurant in the warm spring sunshine and enjoy a leisurely lunch. Bliss.

Nannies on Call is a great resource for families travelling to Calgary. It's not cheap but it is convenient and all their nannies have clean criminal records and first aid training. Nannies on Call like to have 48 hours notice so book ahead of time if you can.

Now I just have to figure out what to get my hubby for his upcoming birthday. He's set the bar high this year...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

CARES harness for children with special needs

The CARES airplane harness can be a very useful tool for families flying with children that have special needs. If your child is in the 22-44 lb weight bracket and has physical disabilities, check with your doctor or physical therapist to determine whether the harness will provide sufficient upper body support. If you get the green light, check your bulky car seat and carry the little 6" CARES stuff sack on board instead.

For children with autism or related issues, the CARES harness has been successful in providing a level of security beyond what the lap belt alone does, and families that have used it say that it helps to keep their child calmer during the flight.

For more information on flying with children with special needs, check out this web page that has relevant links to the major airlines.

Little Traveller baby equipment rentals in Calgary sells and rents the CARES harnesses (we ship within Canada). Visit our website for more information or call us at 1-877-242-4067.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to snap great baby pics

Do you want to take better photos of baby? Here's a link to the Olympus website with some useful tips from professional photographer Nick Kelsh.

I'm a big fan of tip number two on the list. I take loads and loads and loads of photos of my kids every time I get the camera out. Then I edit out all the bad ones and I'm usually left with a couple of gems. Or at the very least, a few photos that warrant some space in my photo album (no blinking, blurry individuals).

Nick Kelsh has also written a book called "How to Photograph Your Baby" which gets great reviews on Amazon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

US recommends rear-facing until 2

At a National Safety Highway Conference last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new recommendation on the use of rear-facing car seats. Their research shows that toddlers are five times safer in rear-facing seats until they turn two. (Previously, the recommendation was to switch to a forward-facing seat when a child is a year old and at least 20 lbs in weight.) So, while most children will have outgrown their infant seat by 12 months, the AAP recommend that you rear-face your convertible car seat to keep your toddler safe for a further 12 months. Almost all convertible car seats have rear-facing upper weight restrictions of 35 lbs.

You may need to use a bolster or adjust the angle of the seat to level the car seat when it is used in rear-facing mode so that your child's head doesn't flop forward -- check your manufacturer's guidelines or have a certified child restraint technician help with the installation. In Calgary, I recommend LaVonne Ries of Keepin' Baby Safe. She runs regular car seat clinics. The next one scheduled is April 24 at Strathcona Community Centre.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Calgary Children's Fest

Tickets went on sale this week for the 2009 Calgary International Children's Festival. If you are in town from May 19-23 then be sure to take the kids along to this event, which has been a big hit in my family for the past few years. This year, I'm taking both my children. My youngest will be 16 months but she loves music and likes to wriggle to a good rhythm so I've picked a performance by Splash 'n Boots as her entree into the world of performance art. There are 13 shows plus workshops to choose from.

Flying with baby -- the Delicious way!

I thought about compiling a list of all the little things you need to consider when flying with babies or toddlers. But then I found this page on Delicious Baby ( written by Debbie Dubrow, a mom of two from Seattle, WA. She's thought of everything so you don't have to. There's a section on how to breeze through security with kids and how to nurse or pump at high altitude, product reviews and more. Take a peek... when you have a spare hour or two.