Infant tummy issues? It might be time to try Probiotics

Probiotics. There’s been a buzz about them for many years. It seems like most people I know are using them to help promote optimal gut health for themselves and their children.

According to Harvard Medical School, “since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.” A pretty impressive resume for these bacteria!

I admit I’ve been late to the probiotics party—we’ve never used them in our family, and were skeptical at first.

When my first daughter was born she had some bouts of gas and digestive issues, especially in the first few weeks of her life. We used comfort measures—tummy massage, leg pumping, nursing—to help alleviate any discomfort.

With my second daughter born this autumn, my husband and I did more research into probiotics, and following the recommendation of our paediatrician and a nutritionist decided to purchase an infant probiotic. Anything that could potentially help mitigate the discomfort of gas or tummy issues in babies is worth investigating!

If you go to any big-name grocery store or pharmacy the shelves are lined with various probiotic products. It can be overwhelming. You want to pick only the best and most suitable for your child. In our research and through word-of-mouth we came across BioGaia. We were reassured by the fact that their ProTectis Baby drops are evidence-based and backed in science, and approved by Health Canada. The drops have been proven to soothe common tummy issues in newborns and older babies including regurgitation, occasional constipation and infectious diarrhea, and also help to prevent and reduce colic. I have friends who use only BioGaia and swear by their products.

My 2 1/2 month old has been on them for a few weeks now and she hasn’t had any digestive issues—no constipation, no regurgitation. It’s hard to say for a fact whether this is directly related to the probiotics—she’s been such an easy-going, well baby since birth—but we feel we’re giving her the best start possible and this includes her gut health with the introduction of probiotics.

As a side note, the drops are so easy to administer—via a spoon or I drop them directly onto my nipples when nursing.

Also, the BioGaia ProTectis Baby drops are free from artificial colours and flavours, GMOs, preservatives, dairy, soy, peanuts and other tree nuts, sesame, egg, fish, wheat and sulphites, giving us peace of mind that we’re exposing her to only the highest-quality ingredients.

If you have a little one at home with tummy issues, give probiotics a try. It just might make all the difference.

Meet a Mom: Meet Gessica

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues. Today we’re chatting with Gessica.

MEET A MOM: MEET GESSICA

Hi Gessica! Thanks for speaking with us. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
I have two boys. Sebastian Duke is two and Benjamin Maxwell is six months old. 

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
Before I became a mom, I worked as a residential mortgage underwriter for a mortgage lender.  

What do you like best about what you do?
As a mortgage underwriter I like being able to help people attain their dreams of home ownership, especially given how difficult that has become as of late. 

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
I LOVE seeing the smiles on my children’s faces. I love hearing them laugh and giggle and I love seeing them learn new things. I guess that’s more than one thing… lol. 

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
The biggest challenge has been the death of my previous life. I could eat when I wanted, sleep (wake-up) at my leisure and go out when I wanted. Being a mom, the lack of sleep is like nothing else, especially at the newborn stage. It really affected my state of mind, especially with my first baby. Overall though I’d say the lack of true “me time” is a huge challenge. While I’m thankful for the 10 minute shower alone or the odd times I get my nails done, I’m really craving a full night away where I can truly relax for at least 24 hours and come back to my kids feeling refreshed.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without as a mom?
The internet. It sounds funny but it can be the key to a lot of unanswered questions where kids are concerned. If I’m looking for a new recipe for my picky toddler, need answers to sleep issues, developmental leaps, etc. the internet is there to help!! 

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I like to listen to music. It’s the one thing that helps me to clear my head and just be still. 

Current fav show on Crave?
It’s between Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale

You joined Mommy Connections in summer 2019. What did you enjoy most about the program?
The AMAZING group of moms I met there. It happened by chance that I ended up at that particular group as the Mississauga North location was cancelled. I’m so glad I decided to try out this group instead of opting out altogether. We have a great rapport and get along so well. We even get together once a week outside of Mommy Connections! 

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
I know sometimes motherhood can be tough and you can feel isolated but my best advice is to get out there and join a mommy group or visit an EarlyON centre near you. Find others who are going through it so you can share your experiences and feel less alone. Plus, you never know when a simple meeting could turn into a beautiful friendship! 

Where to See Santa in Mississauga in 2019

With just over a month to go until Christmas, and the first big snowfall of the year behind us, the talk about Santa has probably started in your house.

Luckily for us here in Mississauga, Santa will be making several local appearances over the coming weeks. We’ve rounded up the top spots to see the big man in person.

Christmas at the Lighthouse – FREE
Saturday, December 7 – 6-9 p.m.

Christmas at the Lighthouse is a festive family-friendly event in the heart of Port Credit including selfies with Santa, live music, market shopping, ice sculptures, lighting of the historic lighthouse and more.

Christmas in the Village – FREE with food donation for the Compass Food Bank
Thursday, November 28 – 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy the annual lighting of the Clarkson Christmas tree at Christmas in the Village, taking place at Clarkson Community Church on Lakeshore Road. The family-friendly event features a visit from Santa, a petting zoo for the kids, live music, and complimentary hot cocoa and cookies.

Erin Mills Town Centre
Daily – Various Hours

How delightful is this year’s Santa display at Erin Mills mall? Photos with Santa are happening daily from now until December 24, with a special Santa Storytime and Carol experience November 19, 26, December 3, 10 and 17 at 10 a.m.

Photo by Adam Pulicicchio for Mississauga.com

Light Up the Square 2019 – FREE
Saturday, November 23 – 5-9 p.m.

Lace up your skates and hit the ice while celebrating the wonder of the holiday season at the annual Light Up the Square event at Celebration Square. Kids can explore the Little Borealis with glowing snow domes, visit Santa’s Cabin for photos with Old St. Nick and his elves, snap a photo at the Let it Snow Selfie Stop with friends from Disney’s Frozen, giant Jenga and an 8ft Light Brite Wall, and be wowed by the Pop up Planetarium with northern lights in a 360 degree theatre. The whole family will enjoy free ice skating, the official Christmas tree lighting, live music, food trucks, and more.

Santa arrives at The Mississauga Santa Claus Parade

Mississauga Santa Claus Parade – FREE
Sunday, December 1 – 12:30-2 p.m.

The Mississauga Santa Claus Parade features over 15 custom-designed floats, 1,500 participants including marching bands, dancers, fitness and sports clubs, community groups and dignitaries and an expected crowd of over 20,000. The parade route opens to the public at 11:00 a.m., so you can stake out a prime Santa-watching spot. A perk for families: all the businesses on Motorway Blvd. will be open with complimentary hot chocolate, light refreshments and full access to changing, feeding, and washroom facilities throughout the parade. Santa kicks off the parade, arriving at 12:30 p.m.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Square One
Daily – Various Hours

Experience the newly refreshed Square One Santa set featuring a lineup of sparkling, towering trees adorned in pops of gold and silver alongside magical woodland creatures. Photos with Santa are happening daily from now until December 24. Fur baby at home? There are special Pet Nights with Santa where your pet can join in the holiday family fun and pose with Santa, too.

Streetsville Christmas in the Village – FREE
Friday, November 22 – 6-10 p.m.
Saturday, November 23 – 12-10 p.m.

The fourth annual Streetsville Christmas in the Village festival is a weekend full of free activities and entertainment for all ages. Children’s activities include selfies with Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, Polar Express Train, maple taffy station and horse drawn carriage rides, while parents can enjoy craft beer and mulled wine, shopping at unique market vendors, and delicious eats from local restaurants and food trucks.

The Streetsville Santa Claus Parade – FREE
Sunday, November 24 – Parade starts at 1 p.m.

The Streetsville Santa Claus Parade represents various local community groups and takes about an hour to make its way down Queen Street South, from Ontario Street to Church Street, to the delight of between 40,000 and 50,000 parade-goers who excitedly welcome Santa Claus to the historic Village of Streetsville.

Winter in the Port – FREE
Saturday, November 23 – 1-7 p.m.
Sunday, November 24 – 1-5 p.m.
Saturday, November 30 – 1-7 p.m.

Port Credit’s new Winter in the Port family skating events launch next Saturday, November 23. With visits from Santa, free ice skating, hot chocolate, live music and more.

Celebrate Halloween in Mississauga This Weekend

Happy Halloween! There are a variety of fun FREE family-friendly events happening in Mississauga this weekend. Here are four of our favourites for a ghoulishly good time:

Meet a Mom: Meet Jennifer

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues. Next up: Jennifer.

MEET A MOM: MEET JENNIFER

Hi Jennifer, so nice speaking with you today. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
Hannah is currently 6 months old. She is my first baby.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I was in market research doing product testing for consumer packaged goods and then decided to pursue a second career in healthcare. 

What do you like best about what you do?
I’ll let you know once I start my second career. 😉

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
My favourite part about being a first-time mom is watching Hannah achieve developmental milestones like her first laugh, turning on her side, intentionally grabbing things. She recently started giggling and OMG baby laughter is so infectious. My heart literally died the first time I heard Hannah laugh.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
I miss the good old days where I had down time for myself. Someone once told me it’s OK to grieve your loss of freedom. Dads can’t fully comprehend this lack of freedom because you are “on” all the time (especially if you are breastfeeding). It was an emotional roller coaster the first few months, but it has challenged me to know who I am as an individual without the mom title.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without as a mom?
Facebook Marketplace hands down. It’s an awesome way to buy used baby items from other moms, save money, and reduce waste.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Be a coach potato and watch a Korean drama or some sappy romantic movie.

Current fav show on Crave?
Star Trek Discovery!!!

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I loved that Mommy Connections provided a space for new moms to connect and introduced us to many mom and baby services that are available in our community. It was very informative and fun! The music class by Tip Toe Music was my favourite with all the singing and dancing. It was a great sensory experience for Hannah.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Being a new mom can feel lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Join a mommy group, go take a stroll outside, check out an Early On program. There are lots of activities out there for you and your little one.

Meet the Team! Introducing Katelin

Welcome Katelin, a new member of the Mommy Connections Mississauga team!

Katelin recently participated in the Mom & Baby program with her now seven-month-old son. Currently on maternity leave from her position as a physiotherapist, Katelin stands out for her warm and outgoing personality, and she is a proud supporter of Mommy Connections.

She looks forward to facilitating a community of support for mothers and their babies in the hopes of connecting those on the same challenging and exciting journey.

Katelin will be leading Mommy Connections Mississauga’s Fall 2019 Mom & Baby programming.

Meet a Mom: Meet Madeline

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues, and next we’re meeting Madeline.

MEET A MOM: MEET MADELINE

Hi Madeline! Thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
One son, Xander, five months. 

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
After leaving school, where I was studying subjects in the Liberal Arts field, I took up a career in Aesthetics. I had always been involved in the elements of that industry and realized that it is what I wanted to do for work on a day-to-day basis. It was also something I could do part-time and from home after becoming a mom, which was always in the back of my mind when thinking about my future.

What do you like best about what you do?
I like that there are many pathways one can take in the Aesthetics industry; self employment, specialization of specific procedures and a business side. I also love making connections with others who work in the industry. Trying out new products and treatments is always interesting and fun, as this field is constantly expanding with new technologies.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
There are so many things I love about being a mom, but the way my son looks at me with his big loving eyes has to be the best feeling. Overall, I love this completely new path my life is on. All of the plans my husband and I make together with our son, all of the mom and baby classes we join, thinking about the different activities Xander will be involved in, the new experiences we will have with holidays now—it’s all so exciting!

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
I think becoming a mom is full of new challenges that we think we can totally prepare ourselves for but never end up grasping until the time comes. With being a very analytical and structured personality, I made sure I read all of the books, had all of the baby gear ready, and asked all of the moms for advice…but It wasn’t until the first night we got home from the hospital that I realized nothing can truly prepare you. We are wired differently now as mothers—our minds never stop even in the few moments we get to relax, because our baby’s well-being is and will anyways be the forefront of our thoughts. I was told you never know a love so strong until you have your own child and I now truly understand what that means.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without as a mom?
My Baby Brezza Formula Advance Pro! After weaning off breast milk and switching to formula full time, we invested in this wonderful machine and I do not know what we would do without it! Instant and perfect bottles every time! 

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I’m a bit of a foodie so I find it soothing to cook, try new recipes or meal prep. I also love to take long walks with an audio book and I enjoy yoga as well. When I get the opportunity, I look forward to dining out and trying new restaurants.

Current fav show on Netflix?
Schitts Creek and Working Moms are at the top of my list.

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
For myself, I loved looking forward to a scheduled day out and meeting up with other moms who were all sharing similar experiences of early motherhood together. We all still keep in touch and it’s great to have connected as a group. I also felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to different industry professionals each week and obtain such great information on different aspects of motherhood and baby life. 

For my son, it was the group socialization and trying new activities that encouraged his development (some of which we ended up pursuing further outside of Mommy Connections). It was so great watching him, even so young, being around others and seeing how he interacted with the environment.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
I think it’s important to be reminded by one another that we are all awesome, powerful women who are capable of anything, and who are doing a great job being mothers! 

Five Fun Things to Do in Mississauga With the Family This Fall

The Dr. Seuss Experience at Square One

It’s a pretty exciting time to be a kid—or a parent!—living in Mississauga, with a variety of fun family-friendly activities and events coming to town this Fall. We’ve rounded up our list of the Top Five Things to do with the family next season:

  • The Dr. Seuss Experience: Dr. Seuss fans are going to love this. The Dr. Seuss Experience—an imaginative, interactive and immersive touring experience that’s intended for viewers of all ages—will kick off in Mississauga on Oct. 26 at Square One. The massive 15,000 sq. foot experience will take attendees on an awe-inspiring journey through the wondrous world of Dr. Seuss. Each area is themed after the beloved Dr. Seuss stories and characters, from “The Cat In The Hat” to “Horton Hears A Who!” and “The Lorax,” as well as other timeless favourites. To register for tickets and updates, visit https://www.drseussexperience.com/.

Fall Colours Community Ride

  • Fall Colours Community Ride: Don’t pack away your bikes just yet: Mississauga Bikes is running a free Fall Colours Community Ride on Oct. 5. Pedal through Mississauga’s parks and trails while enjoying the fall colours. With a short and long distance to choose from, this is fun free event that all members of the family can enjoy. The ride departs at 10 a.m. from Samuelson Park, and is followed with free refreshments. For more info, visit https://www.mississaugabikes.ca/events/fall-colours-community-ride/.

PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue

  • PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue: This all-time toddler and preschooler favourite is coming to Mississauga this fall. Families can catch the “heroic musical adventure” at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre on Nov. 23 and 24. Using their unique skills and teamwork, the pups show that “no job is too big, no pup is too small,” and share lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem-solving as they make several heroic rescues. For tickets, visit https://www.pawpatrollive.com/Canada/.

Fantastic Beasts of Benares

  • Fantastic Beasts of Benares: Featuring all things wizarding, Fantastic Beasts of Benares on Oct. 26 and 27 packs Benares Historic House with two days full of potion making, spell casting classes, crafts, games and prizes. Don’t miss out on fun for all ages with quill writing in invisible ink, an artisans market, visits with real life beasts, tastes of your favourite wizarding world treats, and many more magical surprises. Tickets available on-site. For more info, visit https://culture.mississauga.ca/event/benares-historic-house/fantastic-beasts-benares-0.

Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration

  • Sesame Street Live, C is for Celebration: The longest running children’s television program, celebrating 50 years this November, comes to the Living Arts Centre with a new live show. Families can sing and dance along with Elmo, marvel at Abby’s magical moments, shake it up with Cookie Monster, be amazed as Super Grover flies, and move to the music with Rosita. With a run time of only 45 minutes, this show is ideal for little ones with shorter attention spans. For tickets, visit https://www.livingartscentre.ca/theatre-performances/sesame-street-live-c-is-for-celebration.

Meet a Mom: Meet Kleine

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues, and this month we meet Kleine.

MEET A MOM: MEET KLEINE

Hi Kleine! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
I have an 11-month-old baby girl named Ariel.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
My full time job is Manager of Governance for the YMCA, working with the Board of Directors and the CEO on ensuring the organization sets high standards, and continually complies with laws and relevant regulations as we work towards fulfilling our mission and vision.

I’ve also used my maternity leave as an opportunity to build my coaching practice. I help women go from feeling anxious and held back by their financial situation, to feeling confident and clear making big life-changing decisions that come with a big financial investment and feeling excited about their future. My website is currently under construction, but the best way to connect with me and learn more is through my Instagram: www.instagram.com/kleineachiles

What do you like best about what you do?
As a coach, I love seeing the women I work with transform, and become open to all the possibilities and opportunities that they thought they didn’t have. My last client was terrified of asking for a raise, and experiencing a lot of anxiety around her ability to make life-changing decisions because she had a lot of student loan debt. Going through three months of coaching with me, she gained the confidence to ask for adequate compensation and got a promotion, she and her husband were able to get pre-approved for a mortgage, she opened up an investment portfolio, and was finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel to her student loans. Debt no longer had control over her life. Her future opened up and became more exciting. But the best part was that she finally realized she could create a future and the life she wants.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
Watching my baby girl grow, learn new things, and see her personality blossom. I love discovering what she likes and doesn’t like.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
One of the biggest challenges I found was when my baby came down with her first cold. And she just recently experienced her first fever, too. It was so hard to see her stuffed up, having a hard time breathing and eating. Using the nasal aspirator was so hard too and of course she hated it. I wasn’t able to give her any medication because there’s not much you can do for a viral infection except wait it out. What got me through it was just reminding myself that this cold, this fever, etc. was her body’s way of building up her immune system.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without as a mom?
A gratitude and meditation practice. I had a gratitude practice before I got pregnant (I used a journal called “The 5 minute journal”) where I’d write down three things every morning and evening that I was grateful for.

Once I had Ariel, I fell off my gratitude practice, but recently picked it up again, along with meditation. I find this has helped me stay grounded, calm and less overwhelmed, especially as my mat leave is nearing its end and there are some final things to prep before I got back to work and Ariel starts child care.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I love listening to podcasts. I like to listen to a mix of business-related and spiritual-related ones. Currently listening to: The Get Paid podcast, Biddy Tarot podcast, and starting to listen to the Intuitive Entrepreneur podcast as well.

Current fav show on Netflix?
Lucifer

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I really loved getting to know other moms and their birth stories, listening to the different experts/professionals that came in, and how all of us moms could relate to each other and how these experts/professionals could help us. I also loved the activities we did with the babies—it really sent the message that you can still do things and have fun with your baby, you just may need to adjust your expectations (like a baby yoga class…you won’t be able to do yoga during the whole time, but you will get some in, and that’s still winning).

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
It is so important to get out with your baby, make connections with other parents and get support/help with any issues you’re having. If you’re experiencing an issue, there is a good chance another mom is experiencing it too, and so the more we openly talk about the struggles of being a mom (motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses), the more moms will realize what is and isn’t normal (for example, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed every now and then; it’s not normal to feel overwhelmed and sad every single day) and hopefully get the help/support needed.

The City of Mississauga’s Creative Fall Classes Are Here!

Unleash your full creative potential by developing a new skill and participating in the arts! The City of Mississauga offers a variety of entry-level to advanced classes in Visual, Digital, Literary and Performing Arts that are professionally-instructed and adhere to industry-best practices. Creative programs consist of a wide range of unique workshops and classes that inspire innovation, promote community spirit and are designed for all ages. From single day workshops to full sessions, classes are conveniently offered at a variety of locations throughout Mississauga.

Fall Creative Classes begin September 21, 2019.

Register early! Programs fill up fast; sign up today at http://mississaugaculture.ca/register.