When William and Charlotte came into the world a month early, they were in the NICU for 11 days due to infection and a need to develop a little bit more. It was so scary and nerve wracking to see them hooked up to machines in the islolets. My favourite time of the day was when I was able to take each baby out, careful of all their wires and monitors, to hold them close, nurse (or attempt to) them and just feel them in my arms. Sob… thinking back on this scary but special time still makes me tear up going on two years later.
November 17th is World Prematurity Day, a day to raise awareness of the high rates of prematurity across the globe.
When babies come into the world early, they are so fragile and vulnerable. Human touch and skin-to-skin contact are hugely important to newborn care development, in both the short and long term.
Skin- to- skin contact helps to improve sleep, regulate body temperature, improve oxygen levels and pain tolerance and improve brain development and so much more.
Huggies believes in the power of touch so much they created No Baby Unhugged, an initiative to make sure all babies get snuggled when when their mother cannot be there.
I was never in the hospital as much as I wanted to be- I was recovering from a c-section and trying to pump milk for two babies… how much more peace of mind I would have had if I knew that my babies were being held close when I was not there?
Through the No Baby Unhugged program, Huggies has provided $50,000 in funding to two Canadian hospitals, with more planned. To-date, Huggies has partnered with Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, offering funding to cover hugging chairs and stations, along with dozens of Hugger Volunteers in the NICU’s to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need. Over 600 babies are admitted to these hospitals each year, where hundreds of hours of care are offered by trained volunteers.
Take a look at the videos below featuring true stories captured at the these No Baby Unhugged hospitals, which show the reality of NICU care and how this initiative is helping families.
Show your support at nobabyunhugged.com. When you do, Huggies will thank you for your support by sending you free Huggies Diapers!
I am trying a new ritual in the morning- instead of rushing out of the door for the school run and work with a bare face feeling like a frazzled mum not ready to face the day, I am working on refining a five minute face so I feel good when I leave the house.
I recently hit the drugstore for some new products to make this challenge more fun (new things are ALWAYS more fun than old things as any kid will tell you).
Here is what I am currently playing around with:
The Black Tapes – From Pacific Northwest Stories, “The Black Tapes” is a fictional docudrama about Dr Richard Strand, who’s Strand Institute works to debunk paranormal events. The host of the podcast, Alex Regan becomes completely entwined with Strand and the cases he has not been able to dismiss as false, dubbed his “Black Tapes”. This podcast is super addictive- you are going to wish your commute was longer.
Tanis– Another fictional podcast from Pacific Northwest Stories, reporter Nic Silver and his trusty hacker buddy Meerkatnip delve into the deep Web to investigate the mysterious myth behind the question of “What is Tanis?” I don’t want to say too much about this because it is so awesome to listen to this series unfold from the beginning. Anyone interested in the supernatural and mysterious events will LOVE this show. I have listened to every episode twice.
Sword and Scale– “Sword and Scale” is a true crime podcast with the tag line ” The worst monsters are real”. This show is super disturbing and often relies on real recordings from the cases explored. The gripping narration, meticulous research and super high production value makes this one of my favorite podcasts of all time.
Casefile True Crime– Probably my second favorite crime podcast is “Casefile”. The subject matter is very similar to “Sword and Scale” and is also very creepy. This show relies more heavily on host narration but it doesn’t render the subject matter any less gripping.
Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories – This podcast take a cue from old time radio dramas. Famous unsolved murders are re-inacted by voice actors in order to animate the narrators stories. Cases investigated include the Black Dahlia and Bugsy Siegel.
Thinking Sideways – Thinking Sideways is a relatively new addition to my podcast library and is also crime related. It focuses on unsolved mysteries, such as Jack the Ripper, the disappearance of Agatha Christie. What makes it very different is that it takes a round table discussion format with the three hosts. It is a fun way to look at these mysteries although I occasionally find the hosts glib, especially when dealing with more recent crimes.
I had a heck of a time potty training my eldest, Wee Man. I was so stressed out and anxious about the entire experience that it made it so much harder for both of us. While we are still a while away from potty training the twins, I am already thinking about ways to avoid the pitfalls that I experience the first go-around.
The Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership launched earlier this year with huge success and offers a whole new way to potty train. Created in partnership with renowned child psychologist and potty training expert, Dr. Heather Wittenberg, it’s tailored to work with your child’s unique personality, on their schedule and according to how they learn.
By completing a free, online quiz about your child’s habits, parents will receive customized tips and advice based on their kiddo’s Potty Personality: a Squirrel, Bear Cub, Puppy, Owl or Turtle.
Based on your childs personality, the program suggests the best way to approach this milestone in the most reassuring way possible for both parent and child.
I did the quiz based on Wee Man’s personality back then and he is a Squirrel. Once the animal is established, there are SO many awesome tips, including night training, training while traveling and transitioning to big kid underwear! I wish I had this in my back pocket three years ago and I am thrilled to be able to assess the twins personalities for potty training, as they most likely will be pretty different (those two are chalk and cheese, I tell you!)
· Pull-Ups® Training Pants
· Pull-Ups® Flushable Wipes
· Potty seat and chair
· Milestone chart to track and award your child’s progress
· Potty training book
· Plush toy to reward potty accomplishments
· $25 Walmart gift card to help you stock up on other potty training essentials outlined in the Potty Partnership Toolkit
The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti– This book hooked me SO fast! I was up until the wee hours reading it because I had to know what happened! So many twists, turns, red herrings… it was fantastic. Fans of The Luckiest Girl in The World, The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love this book! All hail the unreliable narrator!