Monday, July 18, 2016

The BEST Baby Shower Gifts!

The BEST Baby Shower Gifts!

When helping someone pick out a baby shower gift we like to suggest useful and fun items that might not be on a new parent’s registry. The products we pick are must-have baby items and are sure to be used and appreciated by baby and parent, but most likely won’t be found at the mass-market retailers. Below are just a few of the great items we suggest. Visit us in store for more ideas and beautifully wrapped shower baskets and gift bags! 

Mia the Lamb by CaaOcho Friends
Mia is made of 100% natural rubber and is certified Non-Toxic.  Mia has slightly ridged ears to sooth sore teething gums and she promotes sensory development with different textures for tactile exploration. Mia is sure to be one of your baby’s favorite toys.  Mia is produced sustainably and is completely biodegradable. 
Price:  $19.99 

Skwish by Manhattan Toys
The Skwish Toy is the perfect first toy for any baby.  This cognitive toy can be rolled like a ball and has colorful sliding beads.  The toy squishes and will then return to its original shape.  It appeals to baby’s visual and tactile curiosity and is a source of wonder and learning.  Made from renewable wood with a water based color finish.
Price:  $17.00  

American Sign Language Blocks by Uncle Goose
Babies know what they want as early as 6 months and sign language gives them a way to let you know what they’re interested in before they can communicate verbally.  Uncle Goose Sign Language Blocks are made of Basswood and give parent and baby the opportunity to learn to sign letters.  Supplemented with a sign language program they’re sure to help baby communicate before she or he can talk.  A must have for every new family!
Price: $45.00 

Baby Shusher by The Sleep Miracle
The baby Shusher is a doctor-approved and thoroughly tested technique to break a baby’s cry spell and engage their natural calming reflex.  The rhythmic “shush” reminds baby of the in-utero womb noises.  It has a timer option, volume control and is versatile and portable for use in the car, stroller, crib or anywhere!
Price:  $38.00 

Honest Baby Arrival Gift Set by The Honest Company
Treat mom and baby with a full set of Honest products made with safe & natural ingredients.  The set is wrapped in a beautiful, reusable wooden box made from sustainable wood.  A must have to start baby off with The Honest Company’s best products!
Price: $51.50

…and don’t forget something for Mom! 

My Mother, My Friend Necklace by Becoming
We like making the mom-to-be feel special at her baby shower so we like to suggest bringing something special just for her.  Becoming makes amazing necklaces’ and jewelry with special messages and special meaning.   The “My Mother, My Friend” necklace is sure to be a hit with mom.
Price:  $64.00

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Real Show

Happy 4th of July!

I love celebrating Independence Day!  For me it’s always represented the kickoff of summer.  Having the day fall on a Monday is a nice bonus as the three-day weekend is a welcome and needed break from work, obligations and general stress!  I try to remember to reflect for a moment that we are celebrating our Independence and the birth of our great country, but for most of the weekend I’m focused on my family, barbecues and fireworks!

Every year since the birth of our first, we’ve made an effort to spend the 4th with families we’ve grown close to with children of the same age.   We spend the day swimming, barbecuing and enjoying a little adult company while the kids run, jump, play and have a ball with their friends.  This year, we are going to make our way over to a local park to watch the annual firework show.  The kids are already super excited and I’m told that the show we’re planning to watch never disappoints.  My husband (I already know) is going to insist we enhance the show with patriotic music played by a local radio station.  This is a relic from his childhood and the kids and I will groan, but I secretly enjoy the music too and I have a strong feeling the kids will do the same when they are older!  When the show starts, I have no doubt it will be amazing, but this year the fireworks in the sky will not be the show I watch.  

I’ve seen plenty of fireworks shows and I’ve enjoyed them all and someday in the future I will enjoy watching them again.  The show I will watch is on the faces of my two kids.  Their little faces literally light up in the dark with every explosion and every new flare brings a new wonderful expression. I watch the show through their eyes even though I’m not watching it at all. On this day and especially in this moment I’m focused on and reminded of what is important…it is my kids and my family. So, I’m sure the fireworks will be amazing this year, but for me, the real show isn’t in the sky, its on two faces that make it all worth it.

Happy Independence Day from A Mother’s Haven!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pediatric Sleep and Travel

Traveling with young children can be a challenge, to say the least. I like to say that traveling with children is not a vacation, but a relocation. Those of you that have traveled with babies or toddlers probably know what I'm talking about. It is important to note that the better your child sleeps at home, the better he/she will likely sleep when you are away.  However, traveling can throw anyone off schedule, so trying to help your little one get the best daytime and nighttime sleep possible while away from home is key, since a well-rested child = a happier child.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when traveling with your young family:

- Make sure you pack bottles or sippy cups, extra diapers, plenty of wipes, low-mess snacks (for both parents & children), new toys for the car or plane ride, and a change of clothes for your little one (and a clean shirt for you).  
- Invest in a good travel crib (or borrow one) and bring along properly fitting crib sheets. If your child is older and sleeps in a bed, bring along his/her favorite small blanket and lovey.
- When you arrive at your destination, spend time with your little one in the room where he/she will be sleeping to help him/her become more acclimated and comfortable.
- Try to follow the same naptime and bedtime routine that you do at home. Bring along a nightlight, his/her favorite books, favorite pjs, and quiet toys, especially those that he/she associates with napping and bedtime.
- Bring a source of soothing background noise for where your baby will be sleeping: a sleep sounds app for your mobile device or a sound machine.
- Plan your daily activities around your baby/toddler's nap schedule. If possible, let him/her sleep at least once per day in the travel crib or bed where he/she will be sleeping at night.
- If you are traveling across time zones it is best to switch your child to his/her usual wake/sleep times according to the new clock.  Exposure to sunlight (particularly in the morning) can help the body adjust.
- Enjoy your visit/vacation. Even if it means your child gets off schedule somewhat (you can work on getting back on track when you get home), making memories with your little one is priceless.

Tracie Kesatie, M.A. is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach and an experienced mother of two.  In addition to working with private clients, Tracie also runs a pediatric sleep support group for parents and caregivers once a month at A Mother’s Haven in Encino.  If your family needs individualized pediatric sleep support, please do not hesitate to contact Tracie at Rest Well Baby ( to learn more about her gentle sleep solutions.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Safest Sunscreens for Babies

Are you using sunscreen on your baby? There are so many different options out there and frankly some of them might be doing more harm than good! The EWG has published their Suncreen Guide giving customers tips on what sunscreens are the safest for themselves and baby.

Before you go outside, EWG suggests the following:

1. Wear clothes.
Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, reducing risk by 27%.

2. Plan around the sun.
Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.

3. Find shade – or make it.
Picnic under a tree or take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade, reducing the risk of multiple burns by 30%.

4. Don’t get burned.
Red, sore, blistered skin means you’ve gotten far too much sun.

5. Sunglasses are essential.
Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation.

6. Check UV Index
The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure.

Some of their best rated sunscreens are:

Babytime! By Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, SPF 35 - Rated 1

The Honest Company Honest Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 - Rated 1

Thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 50+ - Rated 1

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Prenatal Yoga Classes

Prenatal Yoga provides a relaxed and nurturing atmosphere where you can enhance the bonding process with your baby while supporting the development and strengthening of your body, mind, and spirit during pregnancy and after pregnancy. The yoga exercises and postures, deep breathing techniques, and mantras greatly impact the quality of your pregnancy and birth experience as well as the many changes your body and emotions go through after the baby arrives. This class ends with an extra-long relaxation period. This class is also a wonderful opportunity to meet other pregnant women who can relate with you as you experience the miracle of the life growing within you and the transition of becoming a mother.

The benefits of a regular prenatal yoga practice will provide you with the healthiest and most peaceful pregnancy possible. Prenatal yoga practice can also help ease morning sickness, alleviate edema, and prevent varicose veins. The benefits of a regular postnatal  yoga practice will provide you with core and pelvic floor strengthening, increase overall strength and flexibility and you will gain upper body strength and stretch shoulders to promote healthy spine movement and openness for breastfeeding .

In this class you will:
  • Help strengthen the pelvic muscles – instrumental in the birthing process, and post-birth to bring your body back to a pre-pregnancy state.
  • Exercise and strengthen the uterus so that it functions more efficiently and increases the potential for a normal delivery.
  • Exercise the spine and help reduce backaches.
  • Aid in proper digestion and circulation, and regulate breathing.
This 1 hour and 15 min. class is held every Monday evening. If you would like to bring your own yoga mat, feel free! Otherwise we do have mats available for you to use, we just asked that they be wiped down after each use. We also provide all of the yoga props such as blankets, bolsters, straps, etc. to make a variety of postures possible and comfortable for everyone.

Cost: $18 per class – Register Now!
Limited Time Offer! 10 Classes for $100 ($10 per class) - Register Now!
Time: Mondays from 7pm – 8:15pm (Prenatal Yoga)

Call (818) 380-3111 to reserve your spot - or register online at

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Say Goodbye to Back Pains and Hello to the Support You Need!

Ah the joys of pregnancy! You're glowing, your belly's growing... and with that, sometimes you develop back problems. Lucky for you there are now a number of support products to ease discomfort and let you progress with ease and style.

As your belly grows, you may find it uncomfortable and difficult to move with this sudden new weight. The Upsie Belly by Belly Bandit provides immediate relief, making it easier to increase your range of motion and daily activity throughout your pregnancy. Featuring revolutionary SecureStretch materials that mold to your body with just the right amount of tension. This allows for strong support and a stable fit while the exclusive soft-front closure allows you to move freely, without digging or discomfort. Because your baby bump is all the matters, Upsie Belly is created from ultra soft bamboo made from viscose materials.

Instantly relieves pregnancy discomforts:

- Minimizes stretch marks
- Adds back and abdominal support
- Helps relieve bladder discomfort
- Increases circulation and blood flow
- Eases sciatic, back and leg pain
- Provides extra support to hips
- Decreases varicose veins, hernias & hemorrhoids
- 12” of adjustability to grow with your belly
- Aids in post hysterectomy recovery.

The SOOTHING HOT/COLD PACK INCLUDED Fits conveniently into built in back pocket!

This band works DOUBLE DUTY! Use it AFTER you deliver for added comfort and relief. Simply turn the belt around and fasten it in the back so the hot/cold pack lays over your healing belly.

It's smooth and invisible under clothing, as well as machine washable, so you can wear it everyday!

If you have a history of back problems, or are carrying mutiples, or even if you just need stronger support, the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt is what you've been waiting for!

This strong support belt creates warmth and increased blood flow to the lower back, thus encouraging flexible muscles and therapeutic healing. By providing support and compression to the hips, the garment helps to stabilize the weakened hip area and reduce pain. Belt helps maintain proper posture and prevent stretch marks.

The Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt is highly recommended by doctors as an excellent abdominal support and to reduce lower back pain. It promotes proper posture and balance while allowing you to continue an active lifestyle.

To purchase any of our pregnancy & postpartum products, feel free to visit us online or come by the store.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Raising a child with a healthy self esteem!

Nurturing your toddler's self-esteem is essential to boosting his self-worth and laying the foundation for your child's development as he tries things on his own. Self-esteem is believed to come from having a sense of belonging, believing that we're capable, and knowing our contributions are valued and worthwhile. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child develops pride and self-respect — in himself and in his cultural roots — as well as faith in his ability to handle any life's challenges - whether social or educational. Here are ten simple strategies to help boost your child's self-esteem:

Give unconditional love. A child's self-worth blossoms with the kind of no-strings-attached devotion that says, "I love you, no matter who you are or what you do." So go ahead and lavish your child with love. Give him/her plenty of cuddles, kisses, and pats on the shoulder. And don't forget to tell him/her how much you love them.

Discipline with love. Your child benefits the most when you accept him/her for who they are regardless of strengths, difficulties, temperament, or abilities. And if/when you do have to correct your child, make it clear that it's his behavior — not him — that's unacceptable. For instance, instead of saying, "You're a being a bad boy! Why can't you be good?" you can say, "Pushing (friend's name) isn't nice. It hurts and gives him an ouchie." This also allows your child to develop empathy.

Give undivided attention. Carve out time to spend one-on-one time with your child. This sends the message that you think s/he's important and valuable. It could just be a few minutes of talking/ reading/playing/interacting on some level while making eye contact and affirming your child's self worth. When you're strapped for time, let your child know it without ignoring his needs. Acknowledge them by saying something like "tell me about the tower you built with your legos, and then I'll make dinner."

Set limits. Establish reasonable rules for your toddler/preschooler - make sure it's something they can follow like eating snacks at the dinner table or cleaning up after playing. Be specific with your rules, if you tell him to put his dirty close away - make sure to tell him where they go (hamper) and make sure he understands that's the only place they go (ie not the floor or his bed). Rules give children a sense of security and stability. It may take constant repetition initially, but with some encouragement he will learn to follow the rules. If you're clear and consistent while show him that you trust him to do the right thing, he will.

Support taking healthy risks. Encourage your child to explore something new, such as trying a different food, finding a new pal, or riding a bike, etc. Though there's always the possibility of failure, without risk there's little opportunity for success. So let your child safely experiment, and resist the urge to intervene. If he's showing frustration with a task, don't try to "rescue" him. You'll build his self-esteem by balancing your need to protect him with his need to tackle new tasks.

Celebrate the positive. Everyone responds well to encouragement, so make an effort to acknowledge the good things your child does every day within his earshot. They'll enjoy hearing good things said ABOUT them as opposed to TO them. they'll get to bask in the glow of your praise and the person's heartening response. Be specific about what your your child did. This will enhance his sense of accomplishment and self-worth and let him know exactly what he did right.

Let mistakes happen. These are valuable lessons for your child's confidence. So if your child puts his juice too close to the edge of the table and it tips, encourage him to think about what he might do differently next time. That way his self-esteem won't drop and he'll understand that it's okay to make mistakes sometimes. Also, when you goof up yourself, admit it, so he sees adults make mistakes too but show him what you do to correct them. Acknowledging and recovering from your mistakes sends an important message to your child to accept his own shortcomings.

Listen well. If your child needs to talk, stop and listen to what he has to say. He needs to know that his thoughts, feelings, desires, and opinions are heard and matter. Help him get comfortable with his emotions by labeling them. Say, "I understand you're sad because you have to say bye to your friends." By accepting his emotions without judgment, you validate his feelings and show that you value what he has to say. If you share your own feelings ("I'm excited about going out to see a movie"), he'll gain confidence expressing his own.

Resist comparisons. Comments such as "Why can't you be more like your brother/sister?" or "Why can't you be nice like (a friend)?" will just remind your child of where he struggles in a way that fosters shame, envy, and competition. Sometimes even positive comparisons, such as "You're the best player" could be potentially damaging since a child can find it hard to live up to this image. If you let your child know you appreciate him for the unique individual he is, he'll be more likely to value himself too.

Find the balance between encouragement and praise.
Make sure to reward the task, not just the person to let your child know you acknowledge his efforts as well as his accomplishments. Provide the kind of support encourages progress — not just rewarding achievement. So if your preschooler is struggling to fasten his seat belt, you could say, "You're trying very hard and you almost have it!" instead of "Not like that. Let me do it." offer empathy and acknowledge his feelings. You can dole out the praise judiciously and offer encouragement liberally - it will help your child grow up to feel good about himself.

And for a bonus eleventh tip - enjoy your time with your kids. Really learn to appreciate the special moments - your kids already do!

A Mother's Haven takes pride in trying to help our "moms" with any issues, questions or concerns. We support your child rearing views and encourage mothers to trust their gut and feel empowered by motherhood. We're always here to be a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Feel free to give us a call at (818) 380-3111 or drop by the store.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.