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CrocTalk E-Newsletter

If you have ever had the chance to visit one of our stores, you know that at Crocodile we have an opinion. We are proud to be a source of research-based knowledge that parents can rely on when making the tough decisions that accompany the joy of a new baby. Here we wish to share our informed opinions with you through our weekly newsletters. Stay up to date on the latest developments and trends in the world of babies by singing up for our weekly e-newsletter. E-mail us at croctalk@crocodilebaby.com to sign up today!

Visit our Baby Checklist to help you narrow down those baby needs.
For archived CrocTalks see our Blog.

   

Clek Booster Seat Recycling Program

With the Clek Recycle Program every part and piece of your old Clek Seat is recycled. Bring your old Clek Seat to a Crocodile Baby Store for a $20.00 fee we will recycle your old booster seat and in return you will receive a $20.00 Gift Certificate. Learn more about this program, click here.
 

A chiropractor comments on carrying a baby in an infant car seat
The other day a prospective customer came into Crocodile Baby Store to look at a stroller and car seat for her first, as-yet-unborn, child. This is her reaction.

Hi Gerry,
  WOW!!! I was really impressed with your service, knowledge and advice! Particularly when you informed me what I really needed, not what you wanted to sell me.
   I was especially impressed with your knowledge on the infant cars seats that detach and travel as a single unit. I am very concerned with this product and was worried I needed to purchase one because I have seen first hand the damage they can cause parents and babies.
   Being a Chiropractor for over 10 years and specializing in pediatrics and pregnancy, I have become increasingly alarmed at the possible long term damage that can occur from these mobile seats. On a daily basis I see parents who struggle to carry these mobile car seats, and strain their bodies. I have also observed new babies who have been left in these seats for too long with their heads becoming flat on one side, dropped over to one side or forwards.

   Neck, shoulder, rib cage, pelvis, knee and ankle problems can arise or aggravate old injuries from lifting a heavy load on only one side of your body repetitively. Similar strains occur when struggling to get the infant car seats in and out of cars.
   Babies are very susceptible in early days of molding to their environment and a lack of movement results in decreased brain stimulation causing several long term effects.  Basic neurology states that the Motor movement of the body drives the Sensory system which in turn develops the cerebral cortex(smart part of your brain). With the weight of a newborn's head on such a weak neck, lack of proper head support is very
stressful on the nervous, skeletal and circulatory system. A newborn's cranium or head is sensitive to flattening when left for too long in one position. This is not just an aesthetic point, the brain is resting within this cavity and the cranial bone movement determines how well cerebral spinal fluid circulates and bathes the brain and cord. A flattened occiput (back of the head) has been linked to SID's, nervous system, respiratory, digestive, cardiac and behavioural problems. I work with babies with colic, sleep issues, ear aches, breast-feeding problems and more and they always have cranial and upper cervical problems.
   It makes complete sense why we should be encouraged to keep babies moving and to lay them flat in a bassinet or cradled in a sling.  
   With all of the Physical, Chemical and Emotional stress that is on parents and babies these days it is nice to know that we don't all have to subscribe to the same products.
   Products that are introduced to our western society may be very convenient or look good but what is the long term cost to us and our environment? We are now the sickest species on the planet.

   Thank you for your time and insight!
        Dr Amber Kirk

Get a bassinette with that stroller

 

The other day a gentlemen, who represents one of our stroller suppliers, told me that Canada has a lot more “healthy baby stores” than the US does. In comparison to Seattle, Philadelphia or St Louis, Vancouver has many more “healthy baby stores”.

What he meant by the term "healthy baby stores” is stores that are concerned about the safety and health of your baby, focusing on the safest car seats, breathable mattresses, organic products and the advantages of a bassinette over a car seat on a stroller, as opposed to big box stores who simply display popular products.


As an example, this stroller supplier said that if he asked his Canadian stores what accessory should be added to his company’s line, about 90% would say a bassinette that goes on the stroller.

 

 If the same question were asked in the US, about 10% would ask for bassinettes and about 90% would ask for more car seat adaptors (to fit a more varied number of car seats). We have been pushing the bassinette on stroller idea for as long as we have been open – in 1999.

 

Babies need to lie flat with their heads directly perpendicular to their shoulders, with no drooping of the head onto the shoulder. Why is this? To be really clear about this, new babies need as much oxygen in their developing brain as they can possibly get. Laying a baby down in a bassinette is better than having a baby in a car seat, where the neck could bend and the flow of oxygen-rich blood is slowed to the brain. Now some people say that this will cause flatheadedness in the baby. Any position the baby is left in for a long time will cause flatheadedness. You can cure this by picking up your baby every half hour or so, hugging her and cradling her for a few minutes in your arms. This causes the blood to circulate, changes the position of the baby so arteries and veins open up in a different way (You’ve done yoga, right?) and generally gives a good flush to the system. Then in the resting pose in the bassinette, a baby laying flat presents no crimps or resistance from gravity for oxygen-filled blood to flow to the brain.

While Crocodile Baby thinks we are unique with our product mix that features organic, sustainable and healthy products, there obviously is an ethos at work here where many Canadian stores focus on health in most things they sell. We have one supplier (not the same one), who signs their corporate emails as follows:

"Any baby that lies flat for the first six months of life can be up to 30% healthier and more intelligent than a baby that sits upright"

~Prof. Kita, Kobe University of Japan"

So, when you buy a stroller, be Canadian, eh. Get a bassinette to go with it.


The safest car seats are not on sale

We’ve seen some Britax car seats on sale and have been asked why our Britax seats are at the regular price. The ones on sale at other stores are OLD car seats, produced before the new “Next Generation” car seats by Britax. The new seats are safer than the older ones. The reasons they are safer are shown in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_-fncKg8cQ.

We are dedicated to providing to our public with the safest car seats we can. The Next Generation Britax seats are safer so we no longer have available our old stock. One other thing to remember when comparing the old Britax with Crocodile’s new stock – our seats have black bases and the seat’s expiry date is 7 (seven) years from manufacture date. The old seats have white bases and their expiry dates are only 6 (six) years from manufacture date. The manufacture date is on the Britax box and on the seat frame.

We have found our customers are looking for the safest products possible for their babies. Hope to see you soon.

This week's CrocTalk: Companies Who Are Making A Difference

Continuing with last week's theme of constructive consumerism here are a few of the companies that Crocodile has chosen to support. These companies, Bholu and Under the Nile, not only create their hand crafted merchandise with organic and sustainable materials but they also incorporate philosophies of fair trade manufacturing giving back to communities around the world to improve the lives and education of their workers.


Bholu
The Bubalahs by Bholu are the work of Australian designer Jodie Fried. Designed in Australia, the Bubalahs are brought to life by the hands of traditional Indian artisans. Each piece is hand made using ancient techniques, giving each product its own unique and original personality.

The philosophy behind Bholu is about creating products that we love and live with, while benefiting communities we work with along the way. By using their traditional skills, the artisans gain an income hence independence and opportunity.Bholu, is a Fair Trade and Climate Neutral Company and part of proceeds go back to the women and their communities, along with funding educational facilities and other programs for underprivileged children. In 2008 Bholu won the NSW Telstra Business Award for Social Responsibility for demonstrated leadership by a business for the environment, people, education, and the community.


Under The Nile
Under the Nile Organic Teethers come in fun fruit and veggie designs. Through these teethers Under the Nile is doing more than just helping kids make a positive association with healthy foods. They are also proud participants of the 13-Villages-Project an initiative to fight against poverty and its causes in rural Egypt.

The 13 Villages Project is a campaign co-conducted by Under the Nile and its Farm in Egypt (Sekem). It takes place in 13 rural villages in Sharkeya, Egypt. Through vocational training and infrastructural development, the project is improving the health, skills and overall well being of the village inhabitants. They provide excellent health care as well as education on dental and over all physical health. They begin by educating the villagers on how to make our fruit and vegetable toys. Each village receives an advance for their work and the materials needed to produce that toy. Upon completion, Under the Nile pick up the finished goods and pay them fair wages for their work.


 

Last week's CrocTalk: Constructive Consumerism

http://enthusiasm.cozy.org/images/vancouver-aerial.jpg
I recently ran across this article in a lovely magazine called Birth of a Mother and though I'd share it with you for this week's CrocTalk. Birth of a Mother's February/March issue was dedicated to what they call Constructive Consumerism, that is, the importance of making your shopping choices matter. The editor-in-chief Leah Chevalier writes about the importance of buying local and supporting businesses that support your personal ideologies rather than running to the closest mass-made-in-China retailer. We think this is an important initiative since rarely do people stop and think about where they shop, not just what they buy.

"I try to make purchasing decisions based on our family needs as opposed to wants. When weighing decision, I try and look at the amount of packaging things come with and yes, whether it is recyclable or not. Tough to do at Christmas time when it seems every toy comes super glued to shrink wrapped plastic and kryptonite twist ties. Yes, sometimes we buy individually wrapped treats or bars but we try to buy most food items in bulk and skip by the fast-food single size servings. My kids are sent to school with stainless steel water bottles, (I wish they would make the effort to get them back to the kitchen sink so I can avoid rummaging in the abyss of their scary backpacks), and we are trying to even reduce our paper towel use by using old cotton clothing recycled into rags.

We try to eat local first, then organic and sustainable, and we are eating less meat (hard sell to a European, French husband!). Obviously there are evenings where a drive-by, fast food infraction is mandatory due to piano, guitar and drum lessons all being at the same time. But overall, living in Calgary means that most people live within a 5-9 minute drive from a mini or maxi-power retail center. This makes it ultra easy to support local business and reduce mileage between you and your shopping.

As a consumer, I try and look beyond the comfort and ecological radius. I look at WHO I am supporting with my hard earned dollars. Does your favourite store give back to the community? Do they support local causes like Children's Hospitals, Shelters, Food Programs? What are they doing to ensure that they reduce their commercial, carbon footprint? Are they recycling their mountain of cardboard or filling landfills with waste? Are they at least trying to make a difference?

It may not seem like much, but every little detail makes a huge impact. If 100,000 people in every large city stopped supporting mass-made-in-Cina retailers and supported local, eco-responsible, Canadian business. Imagine how that would impact the community; that city, the entire country. It would mean potentially saving hundreds of local jobs, a larger budget for local philanthropic work; larger donations to local charities; extra funds for homeless and shelter programs, and better waste reduction and eco-advancements.

In the end, you chose where your money goes and who deserves to have it. By keeping your spending local, it just might bring a better selection and improved business practices to you favourite store all the while supporting the ever important eco-initiatives for our planet! So shop wisely!"
Leah Chevalier -Birth of a Mother
FEB/MAR 2008

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