Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

Book: For parents with young children in Vaud

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The Canton of Vaud recently published free pocket address books (carnet d’adresses) for parents with young children (0-6 y.o.).  The book provides contact details of professionals who can help new parents (or parents-to-be) within the area, such as gynecologists, midwives, counselors, social workers, early childhood nurses (Infirmière Petite Enfance) and pediatricians. There also addresses of nice-to-know places like theatres, ludothéques and fringothéque. It even has a glossary of important terms in 7 different languages! I really like this book, the size is just perfect for my bag so that I can always carry it around.

This guide book is available for all 4 regions of the Canton of Vaud. It is distributed by the professionals as above. I got my copy from the nurse at the Centre médico-social (CMS) Epalinges during one of my visits there to weigh the baby. You can also obtain it from the Espace Prévention in Lausanne (see address below).

Espace Prévention
Pré du Marché 23
1004 Lausanne
Tel: 021 644 04 24
Fax: 021 644 04 26
prevention.Lausanne(AT)omsv.vd.ch

Book: The Know-It-All Passport

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I hardly believed that I found out about this guide only after I lived in Lausanne for 3 years. I was looking for information about finding baby-sitters in Lausanne when one of the pages I browsed brought me to their website.

Two weeks ago I finally got my copy at Payot. The guide is very thick and quite heavy, and it costs CHF38. Browsing through, I get the feeling of going through a telephone book that has undergone a careful selection to accommodate the need of English-speaking families in Lausanne. Of course, unlike the telephone book, there are more useful information than just addresses and telephone numbers. However, browsing through their day-care center section, I found that many centers are not listed there. So, even with this book, I think sometimes I will still have to go to directories.ch. Click here for the table of contents.

The guide is published every two years and is constantly updated through the website. To buy one, you can order online, or just go to Payot in Lausanne (they have it in their English book section).

Parenting DVD: Raising Children

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Since the beginning of my pregnancy I have read a lot of books about pregnancy and baby, and  tried to share whatever new knowledge I found with my husband. I actually prefer that he reads those books by himself, but he never has the time (and the mood) to do so. So, when I found out about the Raising Children DVD from the Australian Parenting Website, I thought it would be perfect for us.

I ordered the DVD online and it arrived around 1 week later. Indeed, it was a perfect (i.e. easy and quick) way for my husband (and me!) to learn how to handle a newborn. The content is structured in such a way that each topic can be watched on its own by going through the menu. It covers many important issues and offers tons of tips for handling children from birth to five.

The DVD cost AU$14.95 and the shipping (in Dec 2008) AU$11.00. For more information, check out their website.

Course: Espace Prévention’s Classes

The Espace Prévention of Lausanne regularly offers classes for parents, which some to be done with babies/children. The classes range from physical exercises such as yoga, to the classroom type on child feeding. The complete list of current courses and how to register can be found on their website.

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Last year I took the Gym Mère-Bébé. It was a light physical training class to be done by both mother and baby. It was lead by Ruth Brauen, an English-speaking midwife so that I had no problem following the instruction. There were around 10 mothers (and 10 babies) in my class and as we were dealing with 0-6 month-old babies in this class, no one is expected to be able to do the whole course. We got so used to stop in the middle of the training when the baby got fussy, sleepy, or hungry.

Most (if not all) of the other classes, however, are only in French. But if you can already follow instructions in French, I think it should be good enough for some classes. I found the Gym Mère-Bébé in particular a good excuse to kick me and the baby out of the apartment and meet other moms and babies. And FYI, in my class at least half of the mothers spoke English.

Espace Prévention
Pré du Marché 23
1004 Lausanne
Tel: 021 644 04 24
Fax: 021 644 04 26
prevention.Lausanne(AT)omsv.vd.ch

Children clothing store: Okaïdi / Obaïbi

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I dropped by the French clothing store Okaïdi/Obaïbi at the new commercial center at Flon today to check out their new spring collection. The store is quite small but has a good collection for newborn to the bigger children. As always, I couldn’t resist myself from buying new clothes for my baby girl. The price is reasonable, which is a breath of fresh air from always counting on H&M. And I seem to always find something I really like there. I have to admit that I only checked the baby girl collection, but I guess the other collection should be as good.

The store:

Okaïdi / Obaïbi
voie du Chariot 5 (Flon)
1003 Lausanne
Tel: 021 320 20 5

Travel: Family offers from Swiss Train (CFF)

When I got pregnant, I thought that maybe the time had come for us to buy a car. But at the end, we never did. The new metro m2 (which serves exactly our route from home to work/city/Ouchy) started to operate not long after the baby was born and we still enjoy traveling with train, especially since we both have the Half-Fare Cards.

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If you happen to be car-less like us, and like to travel with your child by train, make sure you check the family special offers from Swiss train CFF. There are a number of special tickets that can be purchase for children such as the Junior Card, Grandchild Card, Children Day-Cards, and even a discount for a general abonnement (GA-Plus Familia).

In addition, there are also trains with special coach that has a children play area. See more information about the trains and the routes here.

Bon voyage!

Pregnancy: The CHUV Maternity Tour

Two months before my delivery due date, my husband and I toured the CHUV Maternity to see the facility. The one-hour tour was guided by a midwife consultant (sage-femme conseillère). Half of the time was used to fill up some forms needed for the hospital administration (e.g. family health history that may affect the mother and/or the baby), to tell them what we wish for the delivery (the use of epidural, etc), and to get information on what we would need during the delivery, the hospital stay, and for the birth registration. The rest of the time was used to see one of the labor/delivery rooms. The midwife explained how things would flow once we arrive at the hospital and what we could have during labor (bath, birth ball, squatting bar, etc).

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P.S.: I gave birth to our daughter on that bed!

I found the tour useful, especially to see the labor/delivery room and to know what they provide to ease the pain of a birthing mother. We also used the opportunity to book a private room for the hospital stay. If you only have a basic insurance like me, you can have a private room with extra charge, provided the rooms are not taken by the ones with private insurance. We paid CHF150/night (in 2008) and had to pay for 4 nights (the normal length of stay after a vaginal delivery) in advance.

If you want to do the tour, make sure to book the appointment well in advance. However, the midwife consultant who guided us did not speak English that well. She mainly spoke in French and sometimes tried to speak English. So if your French is really poor, it’s better to bring someone who speak French with you.

The contact details:

Sage-femme conseillère
Maternité du CHUV
Av. Pierre-Decker 2
1005 Lausanne
Tel : 021 314 32 32

Travel: City Guides from Babyccino

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The four moms of the Babyccino blog have recently launched their Babyccino City Guides. The guides are filled with inside information of the cool places in their cities, carefully selected, tested and proven to be kid or parent friendly!

This is what they wrote about the guide:

“Visiting cities with kids in tow doesn’t mean you have to spend your days in the swimming pool of the hotel (if it even has one) feeling guilty about disturbing the other hotel guests who, without a doubt, are hoping to spend their first romantic weekend-away-from-kids in 15 years. Or… ending up in the local Rainforest Café or McDonald’s restaurant because you’re hungry and frustrated and all those fancy-looking local restaurants didn’t look very kid-friendly.”

God bless these moms! And the best part is that all four big cities they covered are just a few hours away from Lausanne! So, which one first for this spring: Amsterdam, London, Paris, or Milan?

Children’s things at Tchibo.ch

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Tchibo.ch is currently offering children’s things, from clothes to in-line skates. The website is in German, but hey, that’s why we have Google Translate, right? So hurry, as their offers only last a few weeks.

Book Clubs at Books Books Books

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If you’re a book lover, this could be of your interest. Books Books Books, an English bookstore in Lausanne, has book clubs for adults and pre-teens, as well as a parent-child story time. See the schedule at their website. Happy reading!

The bookstore detail:

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS
Rue de Mercerie 12
1003 Lausanne
Tel: 021 311 25 84
books(AT)booksbooksbooks.ch

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