Official Stork Craft Blog

Shaking Off the Winter Blues: Vancouver, BC

With the Christmas season behind us, the winter lull can get a little long, especially for those of us located in colder climates.  Vancouver, British Columbia, home of Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.’s headquarters, is one of those cities that can see a lot of rainy days and early evenings that get dark by 4:30pm during the winter months.  Good news is that this city offers some great options to take your family to shake off that cabin fever.

 

1) Vancouver Aquarium:  Rain or shine, the Vancouver Aquarium is the place where little ones (and big ones!) will enjoy spending a day.  The recently installed penguin exhibition has received raving reviews for their adorable African penquins and “A 180 degree view [that] will allow you to see these penguins in action as they waddle on the rockwork and swim in the surrounding water.”

Looking for more than just a day experience?  The aquarium also offers Family Themed Sleepovers.  How cool is that?  “After everyone has gone home and the Aquarium has closed its doors for the night, join us for an exciting night of exploration, complete with special activities, tours, presentations and guest speakers. After a delicious evening snack, we continue on the second half of your adventure in our behind-the-scenes marine lab. Touch local invertebrates, including sea stars, sea urchins and anemones.”  I did this with a youth group back when I was around 10 and a few decades later, I still remember the experience of whispering up a storm with my friends in our sleeping bags, and eventually drifting off to sleep with the glow of the huge killer whale tank in front of us.

 

2) Science World: Housed in the unmistakable silver sphere, Science World is the destination for all curious minds.  No need to hush-hush your kids or tell them “do not touch”.  Let your children get hands on with the exhibitions and galleries that change seasonally.  After the energy is spent, sit back and relax to a OMNIMAX film that will take you on a journey to the ends of the earth.  Currently playing is To The Arctic.

 

3) La Casa Gelato: Needing a sweet pick-me-up after a day’s activity?  Housing 218 flavours on location at a time, La Casa Gelato is the go-to place for Vancouver sweet-tooths.  With so many options to choose from La Casa invites customers to “Come on in and try a few of our 218 flavours, and then make your decision – we have to warn you though, it will be a difficult one.”

 

4)  Cypress & Seymour Mountain: One of Vancouver’s greatest winter features is the skiing.  With Cypress and Seymour as local mountains, both locations are an easy drive up for a day in the snow.  For first-timers, big and small, lessons are available (here and here).

Got the need for speed?  Looking for the rush, but minus all the gear?  Tubing and toboganning are available as well.

 

5)  Granville Island: Located in the heart of Vancouver, Granville Island will delight your family’s senses with it’s fresh produce, bakeries and restaurants, especially during Winteruption.  Grab a bite, listen to various street performances, and survey the vendors that offer everything from locally sourced honey to hand made arts and crafts.

The kids will go ga-ga at the Kid’s Market with its “30 shops, services and activities for children and their families. Kids Market is housed in an old factory which is over 100 years old, two annex buildings and a train caboose”.  Colourful and eclectic, you can be sure to find quality classic toys, as well as the latest, much sought after ones here.

 

 

Crib Care

  

(Stork Craft Monza I and Monza II cribs)

 

Did you know that a crib requires care and maintenance?  Just like any other baby gear or item that is used on a daily basis, it is advised for all caregivers to frequently check for loose or worn out parts.  Loose pieces should be tightened and worn out parts should be immediately replaced.  Do not hesitate to call up the manufacture to ask about how you can go about aquiring new parts (Read about Stork Craft’s warranty and replacement parts policy here).  Should your item already be out of warranty, the manufacture may have a fee for the part or for shipping and handling, but for the safety of a child, it will be worth it.  In the meantime, here is a quick Q&A for Stork Craft’s pointers on crib and furniture maintenance.

 

What is the best way to clean my Stork Craft item?

When cleaning your crib or dresser, please always use a soft cloth.  A damp cloth may be used if necessary, but make sure to dry the furniture with another soft dry cloth afterwards.  Avoid use of any chemical products.

 

How do I get rid of smell in units?

It is possible that the characteristic smell of the wood from a new product may be noticeable for a while.  The smell usually disappears after one or two weeks with some airing out from the original carton and packaging materials.  Keeping the pieces in a well ventilated room can speed up this process.

All Stork Craft products are built to comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States and Health Canada in Canada, and meet or exceed North American regulatory standards for juvenile furniture safety and performance.

Stork Craft products are made with non-toxic paint and materials.

 

What is the best way to store a crib?

When storing your crib for future use, save the instructions and keep them with the crib.  Often, manufacturers post or attach instructions to the mattress platform so that they are easy to find when the crib is re-assembled for later use.  If you misplace your instructions, please contact Stork Craft toll free at 1-877-274-0277 (Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 3 PM Pacific Standard Time) or email parts@storkcraft.com (Email size should be at 4MB and under).

  • Store small parts and instructions in a Ziploc bag.
  • Keep crib away from extreme temperatures.

 

What size crib mattress should go with my crib?

The mattress size should be at least 27 1/4“x 51 5/8”, and should not be more than 6 inches thick. The mattress should be of such length and width that the gap between the mattress and the sides of the crib is not more than 1-3/16 inches when the mattress is pushed into the corner of the crib.

 

Are conversion rails included with the Stages Cribs?


Stork Craft cribs do not include the metal rails required to convert to a full size bed.   To convert a Stork Craft convertible crib into a full-size bed, use a metal frame with a double ended attachment.  These rails can be purchased separately from any bed rail retailer.

 

Bunting Up A Storm

We’re always on the lookout for fresh nursery decorating ideas and we have jumped on the bandwagon for bunting!  One of the cutests ways to add whimsy and colour to a room, it’s simple to make, and easily customizable into any size, length or theme colour that you can imagine (Easy no-sew instructions here).  Not up for DYI?  Etsy offers some great options in paper and fabric.

 

Etsey, The Spotted Barn.  Fun, bold and graphic.

 

Etsey, The Spotted Barn.  Pretty vintage prints.

 

Etsy, All The Trimmings.  A nautical theme for that little sailor.

 

So what are some ways to use them?  Well, pretty much anywhere in a room, strung up high on a ceiling or wall.  Our recommendation is to take care not to hang anything directly on the crib or furniture, and keep away from any place that is too close to where a child can pull the decoration down, whether in a crib or while crawling around in the room.  Just like any decoration or accessory in a nursery, make sure to secure them properly so that it will not fall.  Here are a few examples of inspirational places and spaces using bunting (Sources for images below can be found on my Nursery Pinterest board).

Pin Some Baby Style

There are days when I can’t get enough of Pinterest.  It’s the place to find quick inspiration for, well, just about anything!  Here are some of my top favourite pregnancy style pins for this week.  These hot mamas show that style is not dependent on the measurement of a waistline or the numbers on a scale.  Style is still about selecting the right pieces for your current body shape, and staying true to your own tastes and comforts.  But my favourite thing about these particular outfits is that they can be made up of items already found in your wardrobe.  No need to be dismayed about having your current collection accumulate dust for nine months, or go out of the way to buy a brand new one.  Note the summer maxis, a boyfriend blazer left unbuttoned, a pair of low sitting black leggings, or empire waist dress.  These are probably all items that can already be found in your closet.

Find sources for the images below on my Nursery Pinterest board.

 

Style + Mommy Life

 

Moms will attest to the fact that once you have children in your life, mommy’s needs, rightly or wrongly, tend to take a backseat to those of the family.    The best of resources, whether it is in time, energy or finances, are allocated first to children and partners.  So does this mean that moms are relegated to sweatpants, pony tails, and staying in until they wave their children off to college?  According to website Elizabeth St, “Where Stylish Moms Meet”, definitely not!  While not everyday may hold a fancy date night, Elizabeth St. shows how moms can incoporate style with their daily life of errands and car pools.  On top of insprational street styles that are taken around the world showing trendy moms and their little mini-me’s, Elizabeth St is a lifestyle site that feature tips on decorating, healthy living, and interviews with mothers, including singer and academy award winner Jennifer HudsonWhile mothers will always appreciate dinner recipes, pointers on ridding diaper rash and the benefits of  opening an RESP account, it’s refreshing to be reminded that even with a family and home to take care of, women can actively maintain the role of style mavin and mommy extroidinaire.

 

 

Keeping Baby Safe

Our customer service department receives so many safety related inquiries from parents and caretakers that that we have come up with a short Q&A for our customers.  With the New Year just begining, make it a habit to take a few spare moments to check all your baby gear over to make sure that everything is in good working order.  Whatever parts require a quick evaluation and/or adjusting is worth doing on a regular basis in order to keep baby safe, and mommy and daddy at ease.

 

 

Are Stork Craft’s products compliant to safety regulations?

Your child’s safety is our greatest concern.  Stork Craft strives to exceed your expectations in the areas of safety, performance, usability and style.  All products meet or exceed North American regulatory standards for juvenile furniture safety and performance.

All Stork Craft products are built to comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States, and Health Canada in Canada.

Stork Craft is JPMA certified.

 

How can I check to see if my crib is recalled or not?

For customers located in the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov/) can be contacted directly.  Their toll-free Hotline, 1-800-638-2772 is available 24 hours a day and can be used to find out whether a product has been recalled and how to return a recalled product or arrange for its repair.

For customers located in Canada, please contact Health Canada (http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/home-accueil-eng.jsp).

 

My baby often sticks his/her limbs between the slats.  What are the regulations for crib slat spacing?

Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8” apart, and none should be loose or missing.

  

My baby is teething on the rails.  Is the paint safe?

You are not alone when it comes to a young child wanting to chew on their crib.  Although many children only gum their cribs, there are some who will continually chew until they are removed from the area.   Stork Craft products are made with non-toxic paint, which has no lead in it.  Please keep in mind, however, that wood as a natural product will deteriorate if subjected to continual gnawing as teeth are harder than wood.

As a manufacturer, there is not much we can do to prevent this behaviour from occurring, but we do to suggest to parents to seek the advice of their paediatrician on what can be done to help limit this behaviour.

All Stork Craft products are built to comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States and Health Canada in Canada, and meet or exceed North American regulatory standards for juvenile furniture safety and performance.

 

Up to how many pounds will a Stork Craft crib hold?

The limiting factor for using the crib is not weight, but by height.  The maximum height for a child to use a crib is 95cm.

 

How can I evaluate my baby’s crib for safety?

Make every night a good, SAFE Night!  When a crib is assembled to the manufacturer’s instructions and properly cared for, it provides a safe and comfortable environment for baby.  To ensure the safety of your crib for current and future use, follow these guidelines:

 

  • Never place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the appropriate weight and size of babies who can safely use the crib.
  • Make sure there are no missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support.  Regularly check the stability and hardware on the crib.
  • Never use a crib with corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16” high for a canopy). Babies can strangle if their clothes become caught on corner posts.
  • The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • No cutout areas on the headboard or footboard so baby’s head cannot get trapped.
  • No cracked or peeling paint.
  • No splinters or rough edges.
  • If you are located in the United States, look for the JPMA Certification Seal.

 

Still have more questions which were not answered above?

For any further questions or inquiries, please feel free to contact Stork Craft customer service directly either by email or telephone.

-Email (Email size at 4MB and under): parts@storkcraft.com

-Phone (toll free): 1-877-274-0277 (Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 3 PM Pacific Standard Time)

 

Mom of the Week: Amanda

Say hi to our new Mom of the Week, Amanda Vrtis.  She is a self described SAHM of three, with a fourth soon on its way (Major Congrats!).  If you haven’t read her blog, Saving 4 Five, then go check it out!  Need a heads up on a good shopping tip, where to find that week’s coupons, or an honest review of a product?  You will find it at Saving 4 Five where this Seattle, Washington native says, these allow “other moms like me [to] have somewhere to go to see if products are REALLY that cool”. 

Speaking of product reviews, during this past October, Amanda did a review of Stork Craft’s Carrara 4 in 1 Crib, Aspen Combo and Tuscany Glider for PTPA, and we are thrilled that one of our most popular nursery sets was met with approval from this savy mommy shopper.  Hopefully baby #4 will feel the same way too!

 

The 411:

-Name: Amanda Vrtis

-Children’s age: 10, 4, 18 months, and 33 weeks with number 4 (due Feb 1st)

-Location: Seattle, Washington

-Occupation: Mommy Blogger

 

 

The Low Down:

 

SC: What has been the biggest surprise about motherhood since you have become a mom?

Amanda: The biggest surprise about becoming a mother for me was how much love I have to give. It seems endless. You see this beautiful little face and you truly believe in love at first sight from that moment on.

 

SC: How has your life changed since you became a mom?

Amanada: I spend a lot more time at home now. My weekends aren’t spent getting ready to go out with friends. I’m lucky if I make it past 10 pm on a Saturday night. I’m not worried about the newest boots or sweater I wanted. Now I worry about doctor appointments and school functions.

 

SC: What has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood?

Amanda: Letting my kids learn things for themselves. I want to protect them every moment of every day. I have to give them a little bit of lead way, or they wont ever figure out things on their own.

 

SC: How do you (or plan to) manage your work life balance?

Amanda: Being a Mommy Blogger lets me balance my work and kids really well.

Although there are times where I am writing a post up, and the kids just wont let me be. So there have been a few late nights. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. Ive been able to be home when my eldest gets home from school and have dinner with my family every night.

 

SC: Any advice for moms-to-be or new moms?

Amanda: As a new mom 4 times over, I would have to say “It’s ok to ask for help!” As mush as you want to do everything on your own, let family and friends help you. They WANT to help. It’s ok to take a hour away for mommy time. A happy family starts with a happy mommy.

 

SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby products that you can?t live without and that every mother should also have?

Amanda: I think as a first time mom you think you need all the latest and greatest baby products, but that just inst the case. Babies just want mommy close. I would say that baby wearing is a great way to get things done around the house. If you don’t like the idea of baby wearing, I find that a portable bassinet or Moses basket is great to be able to move baby from one room to another with you.

 

Fun Facts:

 

-My guilty pleasure is?

Reality TV

 

-My biggest influence as a mother is?

My own mother for sure! She did so much raising my brother and I on her own. She taught me so much about being a mom and life. If used a lot of what she taught me in raising my own children, as well as some things I’ve picked up along the way.

 

-My favourite beauty buy is…

Bubble bath! I love a good bubble bath and I like lots of it!

 

-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have?

Wifi lol

 

-Favourite restaurant:

Red Robin…yuuuuuum!

 

-Favourite place to take my child/children to:

I love taking the kids to the woodland park zoo. I love their faces as they see the animals. Plus it’s a great workout!

 

-Top children’s store:

For furniture, StorkCraft for sure! Their pieces are so well priced and look like the high end furniture!

For clothes, I love a sale. So I don’t really have a preference on where I get them as long as they are on sale. I’ve been known to pick stuff up from Value Village. Babies grow so fast, there is no reason to spend a whole pay check on cloth they will only fit in for a month.

Baby Wish List 2012

What’s on your Christmas wish list for your little one?  Here’s a list of items that I am hoping to snatch up for some of my friends’ children.

 

1) Infant Scout Moccasins by Manitobah Mukluks: Aren’t these the cutest things?  Made in Canada and proceeds from each sale goes to support The Centre for Aboriginal Human Resources Development.

 

2) Wheely Bug.  You have your choice of the lady bug, mouse, bumble bee, piggy, tiger, or cow!

 

3) 15pc Breakfast set & 14pc Vegetable Set: Don’t overlook your local Ikea for some creative toys that come with a good value price tag.  Cultivate that little chef early on!

 

 

4) Every little princess and cowboy needs a handsome mode of transportation.  We can’t help but include our Stork Craft Rocking Horse in this list!  I think just about every little child of my husband or my own friends have one of these from us.  Take your pick of espresso, natural, cherry, oak or cognac.

 

5) Need a stylish place to store all those toys that the kids will be receiving for the holiday?  Keep it organized in the Stork Craft Toy Box (Exclusive to Sears Canada).

 

 

6) Canada can’t wait for Target to cross the boarder and open up soon, but for those of you in the USA, hello to Target’s latest collaboration with Neiman Marcus!  This would be a great dress for the holidays and any special event.

Jason Wu Girl’s Solid Dress & Jason Wu Girl’s Printed Dress

 

7) Is your little one ready to welcome the new year in a “big kid” bed?  Get them started with a Stork Craft Toddler Bed.  It makes a great gift and gets the kids excited for the transition out of the crib.

 

 

8 ) Fisher Price has brought the 80′s back!  Remember the Chatter Phone?  I total do!  This is going to be a hit with the kids and the parents.

9)  Some classics just stay… well, classics! Golden Book’s reprint of I Am a Bunny will delight your child as Nicholas the rabbit takes them through the different seasons.

 

10) Looking for a plushie that is whimsicle and fun?  Check out Blabla Dolls in both their knit and cloth lines.

 

Happy Shopping!

Gift Giving: Count Down to Christmas

With the Christmas rush coming on and the overwhelming number of products to choose from, make your hunt for those family presents easier by looking no further than the Parent Tested Parent Approved’s Holiday 2012 list.  Tested and rated by everyday parents, and not as endoresments from the manufacturer, the PTPA awarded products make the cut only after being approved by real families that put the products through the rigours of day to day life with children.

Stork Craft had their Tuscany Gilder and Ottoman set, Carrara Crib and Aspen Combo Dresser rated just this year by PTPA!  Check it out on their blog!

So who are the PTPA?  They are ”a community of parents across North America sharing valuable feedback about the products we bring into our homes and to our families.”  Their reviews and seals of approvals are not only limited to toys, but extend to a range of household and family products.  So the next time that you need to pick up something for that girlfriend who is expecting, or even simply thinking of switching to another household brand, check out the PTPA list of approved products before you head out to make a purchase.

No more fear of buyer’s remorse and the long trek back to make a return.  And definitely say goodbye to any disappointments on Christmas morning: Jimmy Kimmel’s I Gave My Kid’s a Terrible Christmas Present

 

Dilly Dally

For all of you fellow Vancouverites who have not checked out the local toy shop, Dilly Dally (dillydallykids.ca), you need to make a trip over now!  I first saw this store being mentioned in Today’s Parent‘s November issue and had take a peak for myself.

 

In a culture where kids are clocking more screen time than they are being out and about, Dilly Dally is the perfect place to find those classic toys, books, and activities to keep your little one’s active and imagination alive.  They have a wonderful section of picture books that will make for a perfect bedtime story,  and a toy selection that will delight any child and make adults feel nostalgic about their own childhood.  Dilly Dally is also well known for “best selection of wood toys in the city”.

 

For those who cannot make it out all the way here to the west coast for a visit, Dilly Dally has a wonderful blog with a section devoted to crafts and activities that will get your child’s creative juices flowing.

 

Go check it out!

 

Speaking of great toys, StorkCraft loves a throw back to classic items and we will be giving a Rocking Horse sometime soon.  Keep tabs on this give away on our Facebook page.