Parenting Books: Bestsellers

Today, any resource available is at the fingertips of your keyboard.  But every once in a while it is nice to disconnect from technology and sit down with a good book and a cup of tea- especially if it’s a rainy day!

Here are a few bestsellers from Barnes and Noble that are sure to give you a great read:

1.  The Baby Book – A practical, contemporary approach to parenting that reflects the way we live today.  It covers the very basics and answers parents’ most concerning questions.  Written by a paediatric husband and wife team, with over 30 published books on parenting.  

2.  The Happiest Baby on the Block – This national bestseller was also written by a paediatrician/child development expert.  Through his research and experience, he has developed four basic principles that are crucial for understanding babies as well as improving their sleep and soothing their senses.

3.  Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: 9th Edition – For thorough and authoritative references from birth to adolescence, this book has you covered.  Although this is the 65th anniversary edition, it is packed with contemporary issues like new family structures, children and media, increasingly common disorders and cutting-edge immunizations. 

4.  The Baby Owner’s Manual –  If you’re looking for quirky humour, look no farther than this book, which relates “running” a baby to running the latest technology.  Find detailed methods and tips like step by step instructions and schematics on swaddling a baby!  

5.  Brain Rules for Baby – If you like reading statistics and studies on the latest scientific approach to parenting, this is for you.   The author of this book is a developmental molecular biologist focused on helping you nurture a smart, high performing son or daughter!  



San Francisco Baby Boutiques: Part 3

giggle is an adorable boutique located in the Marina/ Cow Hollow area of San Francisco.  They have a huge selection of furniture, clothing, toys and books- although a little pricey, everything is high quality.  The store also runs great events like storey times, and they provide white glove service- delivery, assembly and removal of boxes for setting up your nursery.  Online there are resources like a pregnancy tracker, pregnancy library, gear guide, gift finder and registry walk through.  Here are some of my picks at giggle!

A video all about giggle:,default,pg.html 

 ADDRESS: 2110 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 


1. Petit Pehr Nursery Quilt, $65/  2. Zoe Milestone Baby Cards, $26/  3. Giraffe Silhouette Lamp, $175/  4. Personalized Cup & Bowl Set – Giraffe, $60/  5. Peek-a-Boo Brush & Comb Set, $20/  6. giggle Pouf – Round, $65/  7. Petit Pehr Multi Dot Bin, $40/  8. Giraffe Changing Pad (Organic Cotton), $30/  9. Personalized Spring Jazz Growth Chart, $64

Nursery Pinks: Petal, Flamingo, Raspberry, Fuchsia, Rose, Blush, Magenta, Coral


1.  Candy Watercolour, $40/  2. Receiving Blanket, $34.99/  3. Very Berry Crib Sheet, $30/  4. Butterfly Chandelier Mobile, $31/  5. Emma Rabbit, $39/  6. Dolce Ruffle Blanket, $78/  7. Knit Cotton Pouf, $89-149/  8. Suri Convertible Crib, $228.29

Nursery Yellows: Citrine, Amber, Flax, Mustard, Straw, Saffron, Daffodil, Sunshine


1. Swaddle Duo, $15/   2. Pebble Zip Sack, $48/   3. Petals Pillow, $24.95/   4. Convertible Crib, $399/  5. Giraffe Nightlight, $48/   6. Penny Dot Crib Sheet, $36/  7. Alphabet Watercolour, $40/  8. Monte Design Joya Rocker, $995/  9. Shaggy Yellow Rug, $106

Pregnancy At Every Age


The Pros and Cons for pregnancy in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s from Baby Center:  Ever wonder if a certain time in your life is better for starting a family than others?  There will never be a “perfect” answer but what is considered your ideal age is based on your lifestyle, health history, career and financial stability.  The following list of advantages and disadvantages can help inform you on pregnancy at different chapters in your life and provide you with a greater understanding of the choices you have.  

Your 20’s

+ From a strictly biological standpoint, the 20s is the best decade for conceiving and carrying a baby: Experts say the average woman’s fertility peaks when she’s 24 and in your 20’s you have about a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant in any single ovulation cycle. Your chances of conceiving within a year of trying are about 98 percent in your early 20s and about 84 percent by your late 20s.  You can also expect a low risk of miscarriage, premature birth and down syndrome.  Lastly, at this age you are still very energetic and flexible in life, making it easier to wake up in the middle of the night and then function well during the day.  

– In your 20’s you generally have less life experience, career stability and financial stability.  Young mothers are more likely to fall into depression and feel overwhelmed and unprepared for motherhood; behavioural issues are more common in younger mothers.   Young fathers may also feel neglected because the couple have not yet been able to spend years building a relationship, experiences and trust before having a child.  


+ During this stage you are more secure in your career and relationship, and you also have a larger financial cushion established.  Physically, you still have a lot of resilience and stamina, and a flexible attitude.  Women at this age are also more likely to be emotionally mature and able to focus on a child, maintain work relationships and find time for yourself.  In your 30’s you also have used your 20’s to have some adventure, focus on yourself first and build your personal identity.  

– In your early 30’s fertility is still strong but at 35, the decline in fertility begins to increase more rapidly. Age 35 is also the point when Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities become more of a concern, so experts routinely recommend amniocentesischorionic villus sampling, or other detailed fetal screening during pregnancy from the mid-30s on.  The rate of miscarriages slowly rise throughout your 30’s and in your mid to late 30’s caesareans are more common.   Your chances of conceiving within a year of starting to try are about 75 percent but in your late 30s your chance of getting pregnant within a year drops to 65 percent.


+ Many 40-plus women do get pregnant, some using fertility treatments and some not. And recent studies have shown there may be benefits to waiting to have children, for both you and your child. You’ve had time to grow and to see the world; you’re more likely to be secure financially and more comfortable in your career.  There’s also some evidence that older mothers, who generally are better educated than young mothers, make wiser parenting decisions.

– The largest downside to putting off pregnancy until your 40s is significant: It’s harder to get pregnant the longer you wait. Researchers found that 40-year-old women treated for infertility had a 25 percent chance of achieving pregnancy using their own eggs. By age 43 that number dropped to 10 percent, and by 44 it had plummeted still further, to 1.6 percent.  Pregnancy complications are another concern. In your 40s you’re far more likely to develop problems like high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy, as well as placental problems and birth complications. Finally, the cost of fertility treatments can be very expensive and you and your partner may have to continue working past retirement age to support your children, while friends are retiring.  

For more information visit “Age and Fertility”.  

San Francisco – Children’s Boutiques Part 2

As a second children’s boutique choice for my new San Francisco local series, Aldea seemed like the perfect choice. “Aldea”, which means village, is full of unique, one of a kind toys, unique fabrics and eco-friendly products.  It also has a homey and warm feel, with playful decor and a feeling of endless possibilities. 


My favourite part of Aldea are their staged designer nursery and toddler bedrooms.  Their 7000 sqft Aldea Home showroom is located just a block and a half away from the Baby store at 890 Valencia between 19th and 20th Streets.  Here are some picks from the boutique- I really love their variety of wooden mobiles, their modern furniture and their whimsical toy selection.  

Visit them at 1017 Valencia Street, SF, Ca


1. Deluxe Elephant Mobile, $56/  2. Cloud Pillow, $62/  3. Tavo High Chair, $299/  4. Giraffe Nightlight, $48/  5. Sleepi Mini, $799.99/  6. Meadow Powder Fitted Crib Sheet, $40/  7. Mimmo Aeroplane, $64/  8. Handthrown Animal Teacup, $26.95/  9. Mushroom Rattle, $10.95

Body Oils 101

With the cold February air, nothing beats soft, silky skin and body oils are a sure way to get there. Especially when you are expecting, body oils can help with stretch marks, sooth your irritated, dry skin and uplift your spirits.  Most have a smaller ingredient list than creams and lotions, and are based primarily on natural oils like almond, argan, grapeseed, sunflower and avocado oils.  Here are some picks that I really love and recommend for a “spa” experience at home!  Or even better yet, for Valentine’s Day use body oil for a romantic night in.

xo Christinna


Dry Oils (Left to Right): Fresh Rice Oil, $48; Nuxe Multi-Usage Oil, $29; Kiehls Superbly Restorative Argan Oil, $34  Luxury (Left to Right): Omorovicza Blissful Frankincense Oil, $75; Diptyque Satin Oil, $58  All Natural (Top to Bottom): Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Oil, $6.50; Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil, $90  For Stretch Marks (Left to Right): African Botanics Stretch Mark Botanical Oil, $70; Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, $57

Different Ways of Raising A Child Around the World


It is always interesting to think that certain ways of raising a child are common while others are very unique!  I came across this article and was drawn into the subtle but charming approach to parenting in the Netherlands.  As a first world country known for tulips, wooden shoes and windmills, there’s a lot more than meets the eye 😉 

According to Unicef’s most recent Child Well Being in Rich Countries survey, Dutch kids ranked as the happiest kids in the world. They led the way in three out of the five categories, namely- material well being, educational well being, and behaviour and risks.

Here are the 8 reasons Dutch kids are consistently ranked by different research organizations as the happiest kids on the globe:

1.  Their parents are among the happiest people in the world! (ranked 4th, specifically)

2.  Dutch women don’t get depressed- according to many studies women in the Netherlands have great social freedom and expression, flexible work hours so that they can balance work-life, and a lot of respect in the culture.

3.  Dads in the Netherlands take a more equal approach to parenting- 1 in 3 dads work part-time and dads that take 1 day off a week, to watch the kids, are so common that this has the name “Papa dag” (daddy day).  Overall they take parenting very seriously.  

4.  Dutch schooling is more focused on learning than testing- Dutch students under the age of 10 usually don’t have homework and are encouraged to just enjoy the learning process.  By 12 they take a multiple choice test which determines their relative intelligence level and highly influences what high school they should attend, accordingly.  For the most part, there is no formal competitive University application process.

5.  They can eat chocolate sprinkles on their buttered bread every morning- a breakfast staple in the Netherlands, “Hagelslag” sprinkles take up a whole section in the grocery store and there are endless variations and varieties of sprinkles to choose from!  This genuine excitement over breakfast has led to Dutch children eating breakfast with their family most regularly in the world (according to Unicef). Not only is eating breakfast associated with better performance in school and decreased behavioural problems, but eating breakfast daily as a family creates opportune time for family bonding and fostering individual identity and growth.

6.  They have a right to express their own opinions- Dutch kids are supported in forming their own ideas and expressing themselves as soon as they can.  Dutch parents listen very intently to their children.   

7.  The Dutch have Oma Day- Dutch grandmothers “Oma’s” take great pride in raising their grandchildren and help out with them usually once a week, giving the parents more time to balance their lives

8.  The government gives families money each month to help raise children-  No matter the state of the economy, Dutch families receive a child allowance, a child benefit stipend (an income-dependent allowance for the cost of children), the combination discount (a fiscal break for combining work and caring for children) and the childcare allowance.  This takes a great financial burden off of the shoulders of parents.