Getting Sleep with the Sound Oasis Sound System (S-650) – Review

Before I was a mom, I always had a difficult time getting to sleep. After kids, it was the challenge of getting them to sleep. Now, when I’m awake, it’s usually not because I can’t sleep but because I have so much to get done and not enough hours in the day. (Can anyone relate?) In the past, I have tried many things to get to sleep…everything from drinking warm milk, keeping a note pad beside my bed to write down things as they pop into my head, even counting sheep, etc. Unfortunately, most of the time, none of these tactics worked. With my kids, I focused on the 5S’s by Dr. Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. White noise is something that I knew worked well but sometimes I needed a break from all the Shhhhhing and a white noise machine was helpful. Even now that my kids are older, they enjoy something like music or white noice before bed to help them wind down.

Sound Oasis makes sound machines to help you get to sleep. In addition, white noise has many other benefits such as giving sleepers better “quality sleep, enhancing their concentration, and feeling more alert and comfortable throughout the day!” In addition, on their website, they talk about how it can soothe crying babies, help people who suffer from circumvent tinnitus discomfort, stress, and even menopause. That’s a long list of things that white noice can help! Who knew?!

I was talking to the representative for Sound Oasis, he told me, “Sound Oasis is the world leader in sound therapy systems. We are dedicated to making your life healthier and more enjoyable with creative sound solutions that combine superior quality with the very latest technology.”

Sound Oasis has been featured on Extreme Home Makeover – Home Edition and they have received the MBA: Mom’s Best Award.

My Review
Sound Oasis was kind enough to offer me the chance to review their S-650 Sound Oasis Sound System with, in addition to each of their sound cards: Sound Oasis Sounds for Baby, Sound Oasis Nature Journey, Sound Oasis Ear Therapy & Sound Oasis Spa Therapy.

This sound system is different from others on the market because it uses authentic nature sounds that have been clinically proven to help people get to relax. To find out more about the research team behind the Sound Oasis systems, please visit Sound Oasis’ research page. In addition, besides the Sound Oasis system, all other sound machines I have seen in the market have one list of songs and that is it; there is really no flexibility. Sound Oasis has come out with a great alternative, which utilizes sound cards to store various sounds. This allows users to switch between different sounds by simply swapping sound cards.

According to the Sound Oasis website, “The S-650 features; extra long, high fidelity sounds for exceptional sound realism, a backlit alarm clock allows users to wake to a buzzer or any sound, our patented Sleep Enhancement® technology that slows down sound playback to lull users to sleep, a multi-position timer (with 4 selections: continuous, 30, 60, and 90 minutes), a unique “gradual off” volume reduction feature for a peaceful decrease in sound volume, a headphone/speaker pillow jack, a one-touch off/ resume button that stops the unit or repeats your last played sequence, and an omnidirectional reflective speaker that projects sound from the back of the unit for rich, deep sound.”

Finally, this system can be used as a stand-alone system or as a portable system by either using the AC adapter that comes with the S-650 or 4-AA batteries (not included with the system). Having both options is great for several reasons. The portability of the system can allow you to take it with you anywhere: your office, the babysitter’s, etc. In addition, I like the idea that you can use the batteries as a backup. That means you no longer have to worry about your alarm clock resetting when the power goes out.

When I received the S-650 system, I set it up immediately. I enjoyed listening to all the different sound cards that are offered for this system. The first thing I noticed was how realistic these sounds were. It even has a heart beat function which is fantastic for babies. The speakers offered with this system seem to be high quality and I was happy with the sound. The first night I used this system, I had an extremely hard time trying to choose which sound to fall asleep to. I finally chose the Secluded Lake – “Experience the peacefulness of a secluded lake with gently lapping water and song birds”. I quickly realized this was not the sound for me. It reminds me of all the times I go camping and the birds wake me up at the crack of dawn.

I love all the different sounds. I especially like listening to the Thunderstorm sound from the Sleep/Relaxation/Wellness sound card. Since the sound of rainfall makes me happy, this one is a great choice for me!

In addition to putting me to sleep and my little ones to sleep, I have found it much easier to wake up in the morning to a relaxing sound than the harsh sound of the radio. I also enjoy that it gradually gets louder instead of blasts on at once first thing in the morning. Waking up gradually seems to be helpful. Overall, I find this is helps me feel more awake in the morning and I actually seem to have a bit more energy throughout the day.

After using the Sound Oasis S-650 system, I have come up with a few things I would love to see in Sound Oasis’ future systems.

1.) Sound cards with completely unique tracks. The sound cards Sound Oasis currently offers have some tracks repeated on multiple cards.

2.) An easier way to change the time. Unlike most alarm clocks, this system does not allow you to change the time by hours and minutes. For example, say your clock says 8:00am but it is actually 8:00pm and you want to change the time. To change the time on the S-650, you have to press the time change button as it goes through every possible time between 8:00am and 8:00pm. It would be much easier if I would just change the hour by pressing the button a few times. I found this process to be rather time consuming.

3.) I would also like to see Sound Oasis add the ability to change the time on the clock backwards or forwards. For example, say my alarm is set for 7:30am one morning and the next morning I need to get up at 7:00am. With the S-650, as it is now, I would have to go through each possible time between 7:30am and 7:00am (forwards). I would love to be able to switch the time or the alarm 10, 15, or 30 minutes backwards or forwards quickly and easily.

4.) I would like a control switch that allowed you to adjust the brightness of the display. I found it to be quite bright and distracting when trying to fall asleep. I fixed this problem by covering the display with a piece of paper. The downside to this was not being able to see the time. Possibly if it had a black background instead of a blue, it would be easier to tolerate.

5.) Finally, my last suggestion would rather be a luxury feature than a necessity. I would love to see Sound Oasis add an AM/FM radio to their next system. Since the current system doesn’t have that option, I have to choose between having a radio or the S-650 set up in my bedroom (I’d really prefer not to have both set up at the same time – I do not need 2 clocks). In the daytime, I enjoy listening to the radio while putting clothes away, etc. I really think the addition of this feature would be something people would enjoy.

Compared to other systems I have tried in the past, I really enjoy the Sound Oasis S-650. I really like the realness of their sounds, as well of the versatility of their sound cards. In addition, I like the idea of making different sound cards for different purposes and people; for example, for babies or people with tinnitus. However, by far, the best feature of this system has to be it’s ability to get me to sleep. To me, this seems like a miracle! If I had to recommend one sound system, it would definitely be the Sound Oasis S-650. Even though there are a few things I’d change, the benefits definitely outweigh those aspects. The S-650 certainly gets 2 thumbs up in my book!

Disclaimer: I was given one of the Sound Oasis S-650 Systems for no charge to review. I aim to provide objective reviews including both pros and cons and receiving the system has not altered my review. 

Interview with Lactation Consultant – Lynette Beard, IBCLC

Today, I’m happy to introduce Lynette Beard, a local Nurse and IBCLC Lactation Consultant, who is helping to make breastfeeding easier for moms and babies in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba.

Lynette, how did you become interested in helping families with their breastfeeding journey?

I started out my nursing career on the Mother Child Unit at St. Boniface Hospital. It was there that I began to learn more about breastfeeding. I was given the opportunity to take the Douglas College Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Professionals in 2011, which provided me with a wealth of knowledge I could bring with me to the ward. My favourite part about working on the Mother Child Unit was the teaching aspect, especially about breastfeeding. I worked straight nights and you can imagine a large portion of my shifts were dealing with tired moms and babies who wanted to nurse nurse nurse! And once I became a mom myself, I realized how much more important breastfeeding was to me. Sharing my passion for breastfeeding is a joy and I love to see other moms find success in their own breastfeeding journeys.

I read that you are an IBCLC. What does that stand for and how does it differ from other lactation professionals?

IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. It is the gold standard of lactation care. It differs from other lactation professionals mostly in its accreditation process. To become an IBCLC, you need to acquire at least 1000 hours of practical experience, 90 hours of breastfeeding education, the equivalent of a 4 year university education, and write the entrance exam. Once you have been certified, you then need to re-certify every 5 years either by submitting 75 CERPs (Continuing Education Recognition Points) or writing the entrance exam (This is optional every 10 years). You can see that to become an IBCLC, the process takes years. To become a lactation counsellor or other lactation professional, the process may be to acquire 20 hours of breastfeeding education, provide an assignment, and write an exam. Some lactation educator programs may differ from this.

What is your favourite aspect of your job as an IBCLC?

I love visiting women where they are most comfortable, in their homes. I’m able to problem solve with each mother in their own environment, tailoring their care to their home environment. I also love all the baby cuddles!

What services do you offer to families and what areas do you serve?

I serve Winnipeg and Southeast Manitoba – including but not limited to Lorette, Ste. Anne, Landmark, Steinbach, La Broquerie, Niverville, St. Agathe, Oakbank, etc.

I offer a bunch of different services:

  • Home Visit – In the comfort of your own home, I have a conversation with mom about her pregnancy/labour/delivery/breastfeeding history. I do a comprehensive exam on baby, including baby’s structure (body), function (how the tongue moves), mouth, and latch. Together with mom, we create a care plan that meets mom’s needs. We weigh baby and plot it on a WHO Growth Chart. And best of all, every mom receives 2 weeks of unlimited communication with me after our visit.

  • Hospital Visit – For those who would like to have an IBCLC come see them in the hospital before they go home, this is a great option. I’m happy to come and provide the same service as I’d provide in the home.

  • Prenatal Visit – For parents who would like to feel more prepared before their baby arrives, I come and discuss breastfeeding basics. I will discuss any past breastfeeding difficulties that may have occurred and how we can combat them this time around.

  • Full Online Visit – For mothers who might live out of my service area, I provide my services via Skype. The only thing we are not able to do is weigh the baby.

  • 30 minute Online Visit – For those who just have some questions for an IBCLC but don’t need a full consult, this is a good option.

  • Tongue Tie Package – Many parents who find out their infants have a tongue tie have no idea how to move forward. And when they have a frenotomy done, many parents are unprepared for the difficult journey that follows. I am here to provide guidance and support, both emotionally and practically with breastfeeding positions and after care following the frenotomy.

What do you think are the current breastfeeding challenges for families locally?

I think that the largest obstacle for families currently is the lack of IBCLCs on the front lines. With the cutbacks on breastfeeding services at HSC, we have significantly less resources for moms in that first 1-2 days post-partum. And that’s a critical time in the mother-baby relationship where they are learning to breastfeed. Without appropriate help at this point, they are much more likely to have breastfeeding difficulties in the following days and weeks.


What are the top 3 tips you would give to families who are planning to breastfeed?

  1. Take a breastfeeding class. I teach one once a month at Birth Roots.

  2. Learn what normal newborn behavior is.

  3. Plan to do continual skin to skin with your newborn at all times when you are awake in the first few weeks of his/her life. This will maximize your milk supply!! Skin to skin is magic!

Finally, how can families find you and access your services?

You can find my website here:

You can find me on Facebook here:

Improving Sleep for Your Baby with White Noise

I used to be a ‘bad sleeper’. That is, before kids. After kids, sleep definitely changed, and my definition of sleep has changed with it. But because I seemed to need it more than before, falling asleep wasn’t as big of an issue as it used to be. Instead, my kids getting to sleep became the primary issue. But, I quickly realized that somtimes, things that helped me get to sleep before, would help my babies too.

As a doula and a childbirth educator, sleep is a topic that frequently comes up with parents before baby arrives and after. It is one of the biggest changes to routine that parents experience after the birth of a baby.  When babies are born, they are nocturnal and often don’t sort out their days and nights until at least 3 months, but often 6-9 months after birth. Which means your sleep routine will be changing too. In addition, they are also used to the comfort and safety of the womb. Knowing that can help us to figure out what will help to calm our babies after birth.

Photograph by Imagery by Bean (www.imagerybybean). Imagery by Bean Specializes in Maternity, Birth, Baby, and Family Photography in Winnipeg and Rural Manitoba.

When teaching prenatal classes we talk about the 5Ss, which is a system founded by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the popular book ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’. The 5Ss are a simple system of 5 ways to help calm your baby whether they need to sleep, or just need to be calmed and comforted to a happier level again.  It’s a system, and a book that I highly recommend to new parents. If you are looking for more information, you can learn more through his books, on his HappiestBaby website, or on his YouTube channel.

One of the 5Ss that we discuss is Shushing or Shhhhhh-ing. The Shushing or Shhhhh-ing is a type of white noise that helps to mimic the muffled sounds that babies hear while they are in the womb, which can help them feel more safe and secure once they are born. This is something that you can learn to do yourself to provide white noise anytime and anywhere.  Why would you want to do this? Because, white noise like this is a well known/studied way to help calm babies, children, and even adults as well.

What is white noise?

Furthermore, white noise is essentially background noise – other examples aside from what I’ve talked about above include: the sound of a radio station with no music but static instead, the sound of the dishwasher (or a washing machine), the sound of a vacuum or a fan, or the sound of a car (which most experienced parents will tell you often puts a baby right to sleep).
There are many options listed above that you already have available to you to provide white noise.  To get a break from ‘being’ the white noice machine, some people like to buy special white noise CDs or actual white noise machines. Some items for babies like bouncers or swings often have sounds built in – many are music or nature sounds, but some offer white noice options as well.

Do you find that white noise helps to calm your baby, older children, or family as a whole? What other types of white noise have you found effective?

Making Shopping Trips with the Kids Fun & Easy

Do you avoid shopping with your kids? Or, do you love it? Or, are you trying to learn how to love it? Shopping with your kids can be fun, easy, or at least less stressful if you plan ahead and are open to ‘going with the flow’ and learning from your kids!

This is a picure I found of my oldest daughter Lyla, when she was only about 7 months old, during a shopping trip to Costco.

I admit, it took me a long time after having my first daughter to attempt a ‘full blown’ shopping trip solo. In my mind as a new mom, there were so many things to consider. Do I use a cart, a stroller, or a baby carrier? What happens if it is winter and I need to transfer her out of her convertible car seat and into her carrier or stroller? What if she starts crying in the middle of the trip? What if she wants to breastfeed? And, this was only with one child!

After the birth of my youngest daughter, things got even more interesting. Because she was a preemie, the NICU recommended keeping her out of highly public places, especially during cold and flu season. So, the first trip with both of them together took a bit longer. I remember that first trip with both kids as if it were yesterday. The actual trip wasn’t bad, but by the end, they were done! Done, done, done! As we got to the checkout, they started to cry – and as one started to cry, so did the other. I felt all eyes were on me. So I tried to get everything together, pay for my large grocery trip (I’m not sure what I was thinking), and keep composed. I was offered help by a stranger but was too proud to accept it.

With my first, we started with little shopping trips. With time, I became more confident to go on a grocery shopping trip with just me and my daughter. Once my youngest started to come along, it was a learning curve again, but we got through it, learned new tips and tricks, and often ended up having a great time!

My babies were both curious and that made shopping trips more fun and entertaining for them; there was so much for her to look at (and to try and grab for)!  Just in case, I made sure I was prepared with extra toys, books, and things to keep her busy. Toys that attach on to the cart made it convenient for her and good because we are more likely to leave the store with all of the toys that we came in with (shoes sometimes were another story!).  Throughout the trip, we had fun chatting with each other, making faces, and playing little games – like Eye-Spy.  I learned that we could make it an educational opportunity by listing things as I saw them or as my daughter grabbed for them, or by simply answering questions. As they get older, there are still lots of questions and I see it as a chance to learn about different things – like nutrition and living healthy!

What do you do to keep your shopping trips fun and easy with your little ones in tow?  

Touch and Feel Books by DK Publishing Review

Are you looking for some fun new books for your baby, toddler, or preschooler? Every since I was a child, I remember loving books that were interactive – I loved to read but I also loved exploring with my books. My kids were the same when they were babies but often choose books now that have that added sense to them. DK Publishing has been offering Touch and Feel Books for your children for years!

A while back, I had a chance to review a few of them – Touch and Feel Dinosaurs and Touch and Feel Jungle Animals.

Here is what DK Publishing has to say about these titles, “With a sparkling new look, these bestselling DK classic preschool board books are sure to become favorites for a
whole new generation of young readers. Babies and toddlers will be drawn to the captivating, tactile pages, and will want to touch, feel, and explore every spread.” – I found this to be accurate. 

I have seen books that allow you to touch and feel different textures in the past, and as mentioned, I have always been a fan of them.  I sometimes wonder, do I or kids enjoy reading them more?! These books allow you and your children to interact, have fun with, and learn from the Touch and Feel books.  It is fun to experience new and exciting elements within the pages.

Touch And Feel Dinosaurs
I loved the basic images that were contained within the pages of this book! The simplicity makes it easy for young minds to focus on the variety of sensations that this book offers. This book helps your child interact with it by inviting them to explore the fun textures of various dinosaur parts (e.g. skin, horns, tongue and more). In addition to various sensations, this book will introduce your children to different dinosaur species. This book is a perfect length for young children.

One thing that could be improved in this book – one of the pages in this book has a ‘sticky tongue’ sensation. If you a parent of a young child, you know that things get dirty…fast. To me, a sticky sensation in a Touch and Feel book is asking for trouble; this aspect will likely limit the lifespan of the book.  After using this book for a couple of weeks, the sticky sensation has already started to get dirty. After a few months, it had collected quite a bit of dirt. Sticky is tough to deal with as a parent.

Touch And Feel Jungle Animals

Out of these two books, the Touch and Feel Jungle Animals book is my favourite. I love the variety of textures in this book. My daughters  also seemed to enjoy the feelings in this book quite a bit.

This book like the other, has basic images and simple directions that make it easy for young children to interact with and learn from this book. This book included a variety of jungle animals and fun textures. This book is the same length as the Touch and Feel Dinosaurs book, making it short enough for young children to stay entertained.

There is nothing in this book that I would change. We enjoyed it from front to back.

I love reading books with my kids and these were a lot of fun. My kids had fun exploring the different dinosaurs and jungle animals and learning about new tactile sensations. I think these books are a great choice for both boys and girls, babies, young kids, and older siblings!  Besides these books, we have had several other Touch and Feel Book by DK Publishing in our book collection.

Overall, I think these books are great for teaching your children through words, imagery and touch. Your children will learn about different sensations, animals, and more with Touch and Feel Dinosaurs and Touch and Feel Jungle Animals.  There are many other great topics and titles to choose from as well!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of each of these books to review. Receiving these items did not in anyway affect the information that I shared in this article. All the opinions in this article are my own.

Fall Family Photography In Winnipeg, Manitoba

Fall is always the most popular time for Photography Sessions in Winnipeg.

Photography by Imagery by Bean -

Photograph by Imagery by Bean –

If you go to some of the most popular locations for photos in Winnipeg and Rural Manitoba (during the ‘GOLDEN HOUR’), you’ll often see many families and their photographers capturing new memories to update their walls and get ready for holiday cards and gifts.

But with living in Manitoba, many of you already know how quick the leaves seem to drop after the leaves start to change colour. And this year, the colours seem to be changing even faster than normal.

Besides managing the Pregnancy Winnipeg website, I’m the photographer behind Imagery by Bean, Professional Photography Service of Bean Family Wellness.

I have been specializing in capturing special photographs for maternity, birth stories, babies, children, and families since 2012. I love working with families in Winnipeg as well as Rural Manitoba. I have also had the pleasure of being featured in several internationally published magazines for my work with local families.

Because of the quick start to Fall this year, if you haven’t booked a session yet, now is the perfect time to avoid missing the Fall colours!

Fall Family Photography Session in Rural Manitoba. Photograph by Imagery by Bean -

Fall Family Photography Session in Rural Manitoba. Photograph by Imagery by Bean –

Pregnancy Winnipeg has a page dedicated to LIST OPTIONS for Local Manitoba Photographers who offer sessions for maternity and/or birth and/or babies and/or families. Check out the list here:

Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group

Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group

The Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group was created to provide a safe place for women to share their breastfeeding experiences. Research has shown that when women are given the opportunity to call on their own past experiences to help others with breastfeeding, their own confidence in breastfeeding improves. Women who are more confident in their own breastfeeding abilities will go on to breastfeed for longer. Lynette Beard, RN, IBCLC, and founder of the Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group Facebook page is a firm believer in building womens’ breastfeeding self-efficacy. The owner of Lynette Beard Breastfeeding Support Service has been helping women find their way along their breastfeeding journeys for over 10 years.

“I wanted to do something that was going to make an impact in our city. With all of the cuts in funding, our breastfeeding community is reaching a new low with appropriate support.” Lynette says. “We have Public Health breastfeeding support groups in place, which is excellent. Unfortunately, many women can’t come to these groups. So how can we connect women who are breastfeeding? I wanted to meet women where they are – at home, on Facebook. The Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook is a thriving community of moms helping moms!”

Along with being an active online community, the Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group will begin meeting on Monday mornings, 9:30 – 10:30am, starting on September 10th. They will be located at Birth Roots, 206-83 Sherbrook St. in Winnipeg. Lynette will be facilitating the meetings and will have speakers visit each Monday. There will be snacks, coffee, and tea for the moms.

You can find the Winnipeg Breastfeeding Support Group Facebook page at

Shift Career Coaching – a new resource for moms in Winnipeg!

Transitioning from work, to having a baby and going on parental leave, then transitioning through your career with a young family can leave you with questions, plus a need for additional support. Shift Career Coaching is a new business in Winnipeg that aims to help women journey through their careers and motherhood. This is very much needed!

Shift Career Coaching: Meg Valdmanis-Miller is an experienced Career Practitioner and Mom with a heart for helping women navigate their careers through motherhood.

Owner Meg offers a variety of career resources are available on the Shift Blog and allows to you keep up to date by subscribing to the Motherhood Advantage e-newsletter.

Meg also runs a self-paced online career course, the Motherhood Advantage Program, to help you transition your career through pregnancy or new motherhood. One-on-one career coaching is available virtually by phone, Skype or FaceTime. Questions are always welcome by contacting Meg or finding her on Facebook.

Save $20 on a Prenatal Childbirth Class with Bean Family Wellness

Winnipeg Prenatal Class Promotion - Save $20 off with code LITTLEBEANS20

Winnipeg Prenatal Childbirth Class Promotion – Save $20 off with code LITTLEBEANS20 – Valid April 18-25.

Bean Family Wellness is hosting a special promotion April 18-25, 2018 on Prenatal Classes. Just in time for Spring and Summer babies!

Register between April 18 – April 25, 2018 to save $20 off your choice of prenatal class. Your class can occur at any time in the future.

This promotion includes: Group Prenatal Childbirth Classes, Private In-home Prenatal Childbirth Classes, and Refresher Childbirth Classes.

To register, visit and use coupon code LITTLEBEANS20:

This promotion cannot be combined with any other offers, promotions, or gift certificates.

Apply to be part of the Baby Box Study (University of Manitoba / WRHA)

Are you more than 32 weeks pregnant? Or do you have a baby less than 4 weeks old? If so you may qualify to participate in the Baby Box (Portable Bassinet) Study. Read below to learn more.

If you don’t qualify but know of someone who might be interested, please feel free to share the image in this post.

“Do you need a safe place for your baby to sleep but don’t have a crib? This research study will help you get a safe place for your baby to sleep and help you to learn more about how to keep your baby healthy and safe. If you are 32 or more weeks pregnant or have a newborn less than 4 weeks of age, and you don’t have a crib, cradle, or bassinet for your baby, you may be eligible.

Please call us at (204) 451-0621 or email to find out more or sign up!”

Study Ad V3 – Social Media April 2018