Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mothers' Gathering Testimonials and Instructor Interviews

We know that your first year with your baby is extremely hard!
You're tired, overwhelmed, and confused - that's why we're here!

Much more than a "Mommy and Me" class, our Mothers' Gathering classes are Education & Support groups for thinking moms who are looking for information, support, & friendship. Not a just baby group, or a class where moms will be told how to parent their child, but a place to gather the information and tools to determine what fits best for each mom and her child.

Our philosophy is that there is no one "right way" to parent and what works for you might not work for another mother. And what might work one week, might not work the next. We give you tips and strategies for your parenting tool box, helping you to find confidence in your parenting skills and choices.

Our Mothers' Gathering (Mommy & Me) groups are a wonderful way to get the information, support, and community you need during that first year with your baby - but don't just take our word for it!

"I credit my sanity during the first 6 months after my son was born to my Mothers' Gathering class at A Mother's Haven. The teacher (Jill) was an incredible resource of information. Her sweet but straightforward disposition makes her feel like your best friend/sister/mom all rolled into one.
I also met the most amazing group of women, and we all became fast friends. Three years later, we still meet up for playdates, birthday parties, and girls' nights! I am forever grateful for this invaluable experience, and I highly recommend it to all new moms I meet."
-Tami, mom of Guy, 3 and Zoe, almost 2

"When I had my first child, I attended Mothers' Gathering (Mommy & Me) at A Mother's Haven. It was a fabulous experience for me and my son. I got to meet other moms and get the support I needed at the time. It was so nice to be with others who were going through the same experience as me.
I also got quite a bit of guidance from the instructor on how to get my baby to sleep and eat. The best part is that I made one of my best friends in that class. I highly recommend A Mother's Haven to new moms in the San Fernando Valley."
- Lorena from LA Moms Dig, mom of Beckham, 5 and Sienna, 2

"Deciding to join the Mother's Gathering for new moms was the best decision I made for me and my new baby. Not only did I learn so much about child care, like tips for infant feeding, how to develop a good baby sleep schedule, and ways to help foster my baby's psychological and intellectual development, but I also discovered the BEST support system ever. 
When we first met, the 12 new moms in our group were overwhelmed, overtired, stressed, and feeling isolated by the rigorous schedule of new motherhood.  Not only did our instructor give us encouragement and reassurance, but she also shared her wealth of knowledge that helped make us feel more in control as mothers. From our very first session, we were so excited to meet other moms feeling the same way and began to schedule our own play dates, mommy's nights out, family BBQ's (so our hubbies could bond- which totally worked!) and within a few weeks our group grew very close. 
Many of the moms chose to continue past the first 8-wk session and a few of us continued to re-enroll for the first year of our babies' life, since we were not only learning so much from our instructor but we wanted our babies to stay connected to their best friends. Now that my baby is a toddler, I am still very close friends with a handful of the moms I met through AMH and feel so lucky to have them in my and my son's life. Thank you, A Mother's Haven, for giving me and my family friends for life and the skills I needed to become the confident mom I am today. "
-Jana from Helping Hand Nutrition, mom of Evan, 1.5

For a full Mothers' Gathering class schedule, you can visit our online class calendar.

You can also read more about our Mothers' Gathering teachers on our blog:

Interview with Synthia Praglin

Interview with Danielle Vorzimer

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ease Your Child Into Eating Solids

You're most likely to start introducing solids to your baby any time between 4 and 6 months. Your baby will give you clear signs when he's ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment. Some cues to look for include:

- Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
- Losing the "extrusion reflex." To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth.
- Sitting well when supported. Even if he's not quite ready for a highchair, your baby needs to be able to sit upright to swallow well.
- Chewing motions. Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling – though if your baby's teething, you might still see a lot of drool.
- Significant weight gain. Most babies are ready to eat solids when they've doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least 4 months old.
* Growing appetite. He seems hungry – even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day.
- Curiosity about what you're eating. Your baby may begin eyeing your bowl of cereal or reaching for a forkful of pasta as it travels from your plate to your mouth.

This is an exciting milestone! You can finally use all those cute spoons and bowls that have been sitting in your cabinet in anticipation for this day! Or maybe you need advice on some of the best products out there. We had our moms weigh in on their favorites.


The Squirt baby food dispensing spoon is a top contender because it allows for convenient feeding, one bite at a time. The easy-to-fill bulb holds up to 3 ounces of baby food and attaches firmly to the spoon end. By combining the spoon and food container into one product, Squirt makes one-handed or on-the-go feedings a snap.


Known for their Petroleum free products that are made from plants, Green Sprouts Sprout Ware Infant Spoons curved handle makes feeding baby easy. These multi-use disposable spoons are dishwasher safe, top rack only and up to 10 washings, or you can hand wash for longer life.


As your baby grows and is able to eat on his own, Green Sprouts has Sprout Ware Forks & Spoons that are right-sized for toddlers. Like their Infant spoons, these multi-use disposable utensils are dishwasher safe - top rack only and up to 10 washings, or you can hand wash to extend their usage.


When first-time eaters start using utensils, their motor skills are not fully developed. Benders Adaptable Utensils were designed to help make the transition to regular utensils a little easier. Parents can position the adjustable end to the perfect angle to accommodate the child’s grip. As motor skills develop, adjust little by little, until straightened.

According to our moms, these spoons also kept their babies sweet faces the neatest and were the easiest to use.


A favorite among bowls, is the Green Sprouts Sprout Ware Plate/Bowl Set which have a deep, divided bowl with 3 sections, and a plate that doubles as a travel lid. These multi-use disposable Plates & Bowls are dishwasher safe (top rack only and up to 10 washings) or hand wash for longer life.

One of the best parts to your child eating solids is their new found freedom to feed themselves. They'll love the feeling of independence as they're able to feed themselves snacks from these handy snack containers.


The Snack Ball by Boon is truly a amazing container that doubles as a toy. It's tough, so snacks don't get crushed. The two halves unscrew, so cleaning is super easy. The lid rotates shut, so snacks don't jump ship. And it's great for travel or a game of catch!




Another brilliant innovation is the Stack-N-Seal by Innobaby. This all-in-one storage solution for moms on-the-go is now designed to store both liquids & dry food! This must-have diaper bag essential helps store, dispense and organize formula, cereal, snacks, water, extra juice, pacifiers and more in one convenient unit. Put an end to a diaper bag mess or endless search for the items you need. Its twist-to-seal design allows you to stack and interlock multiple containers while the quality construction allows each use as simple as it can be!

To order any of our feeding products online, please visit our website or call us at (818) 380-3111. You can also feel free to email us at info@shopthehaven.com with any questions.

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