Sunday, July 29, 2007

Exciting New Arrivals at

Over the past 3 months we have received great feedback from customers, friends, and colleagues on the website. Based on this feedback we have been working hard to make the website easier to navigate and more informative, and to give our visitors a satisfying online experience. We have also added some great new products that have been lacking in our product selection:


If I could carry the whole HABA toy line I would, they are just fantastic toys. However, we have been able to add some key items, namely activity mats, mobiles, and a push wagon. One of these is Dwarf's Land Playmat, a colourful soft cloth play mat with playing elements that baby can clutch, push, and remove. It has vibrant trees, houses, and castles that can be popped up or folded down. Dwarf's Land Playmat is for babies starting at 0 months and up.

Another great new item is HABA's Splish Splash Playmat, which has a water filled center with little toy fish that swim around as baby presses down on the mat. Around the "pond" there are fold up houses and a lighthouse that invite baby to play. The Splish Splash Playmat is for babies 6 months and up.

We have also added 2 new colourful mobiles, Sunshine and Curtains Rise. The Sunshine mobile is decorative, while the Curtains Rise mobile has interactive elements such as a foil mirror and detachable mouse and bear plush toys.

Last but not least, we have added a wooden push wagon. This beautiful wagon has sturdy wooden construction, with rubber wheels, and has a small seat up front for baby's "travelers" as well as a cargo area at the back for baby's "luggage".

Manhattan Toy

With their "Imagination at Play" approach to product design, Manhattan Toy always has new items to peak baby's interest. From Manhattan Toy we have decided to complement our existing products in the Whoozit, Cirque du Soleil, and Nooboo lines of toys.

If you are a fan of the Whoozit toys, you will love our Whoozit additions. The most notable is Tizoo, Whoozit's female, heart-shaped companion. We have also added a Whoozit activity center with lots of interactive items such as a bead spiral, squeakers, spinning balls, and crinkle paper. This product is great for teaching baby about cause and effect and is geared for babies 6 months and up. To top it off we have added an interactive spiral toy that can be attached to baby's crib or stroller.

Another great new addition is the Big Top Sounds toy. This amazing toy is a circus tent with plush animals that make animal sounds when inserted or removed from the tent. Baby will hear "Monkey" or "Ooh Ooh, Ah Ah!" when taking monkey out of the tent. It's absolutely fabulous.

For the full selection of toys, including all new arrivals, please visit our store front.

- Frank

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mr. Sandmand, where are you?

This article is for all the moms and dads who are experiencing difficulty with sleep and their little ones.

Sleep Solutions
By Ann Douglas

Sleep is the stuff of which dreams are made—especially if you’re a sleep-deprived mom. Here are some tips on troubleshooting some common mom, baby, and toddler sleep problems.


“My newborn is sleeping, but I’m not. It takes me forever to get back to sleep after each middle-of-the-night feeding—and then it’s time to start all over again!”

What to try:

· Try to lull yourself back to sleep by breathing in and out slowly and deeply; imagining a peaceful and relaxing scene; and repeating the same relaxing word (“relax” or “calm”) over and over again until you fall asleep.

· Get out of bed. If you aren’t asleep within 15 minutes (don’t look at the clock!), move to another room and read until you feel sleepy. Then go back to bed.

· If you continue to have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. Caring for a new baby is tough enough without being chronically sleep deprived.


“My newborn hates to sleep on her back. I know this is the safest sleeping position for her, but neither of us is getting any sleep!”

What to try:

· Swaddle your baby. A study in the September 2002 issue of Pediatrics concluded that newborns protest less about sleeping on their backs if they’re swaddled.

· Watch for symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—colic, feeding problems, choking, and gagging. Babies with GERD find it very uncomfortable to be placed to sleep on their backs. Your baby’s doctor will be able to suggest ways of easing your baby’s discomfort if your baby has GERD.

“My ten-month-old was sleeping through the night. Now he’s up almost every night.”

What to try:

· Sometimes when babies are trying to learn a new skill, they’ll work on that skill day and night: you’ll find your baby “stuck” standing up in his crib because he doesn’t know how to get down.

· If there has been a big change in baby’s life, he may react by waking in the night. Encouraging an attachment to a small stuffed animal and providing tons of TLC during the day may help to reduce the number of night-time calls for mom.


“My toddler wakes up really early. I’m talking 4:30 a.m.”

What to try:

· Move your toddler’s bedtime back by an hour. Sleep deprived toddlers wake up earlier than toddlers who are getting adequate sleep (which is 14 hours of total daytime and nighttime sleep for most toddlers). Note: You’ll need to shift your toddler’s bedtime back in stages—by 15 minutes at a time over a period of a week or two.

· Learn your toddler’s signs of sleepiness (e.g., talking less, starting to yawn, becoming distracted) and try to get your toddler to bed before she becomes overtired (whining, crying, acting all wound up, becoming frustrated with her toys).

· Encourage your toddler to stick with her daytime naps as long as she needs them. This will help with the quality of her nighttime sleep and, because she will be better rested, this will help with the early-waking problem, too.

Sleep Facts and Stats

· Breastfed newborns may need to be fed a little more often than formula-fed babies, but their moms end up getting roughly the same amount of sleep in each 24 hour period.

· New parents can each expect to miss out on about 400 hours of sleep by the end of baby’s first year.

· A study by the U.S.-based National Sleep Foundation found that majority of toddlers are down to one nap a day by age 18 months (87%), and that only 19% of two year olds are members of the “no nap” club.

Ann Douglas is the author of The Mother of All Baby Books and the newly-published Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler and Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler. Read her articles at

I went through hard times with my daughter and did quite a great deal of reading on how to help your child sleep and sleep well through the night. Another place where I looked for help was my mom group and they were able to provide me with ideas and suggestions that I could try. They also suggested a great book for me to read which I have since recommended to many friends, it is called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth.

I have yet to read Ann's book Sleep Solutions as it was just recently published and thankfully I have not had any new sleep problems (knock on wood). I am sure that like all her books it is filled with great information.

If there is one thing that I can say is that it does not come easily and that it is very important to be consistent and for both parents to be involved in the sleep training.