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M A T E R N I T Y & I N FA N T

PA S A S OR E V V N R TI Y TE N D G

m a te r n i t y a n d i n f a n t . i e

Backto School Savings

PLUS RECIPES for FUSSY EATERS

WIN a 'create your own' family adventure

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Toxic

friendships

SHOULD YOU INTERVENE?

+ 100 SUMMER

HOLIDAY BUYS

PARTY POLITICS

Mastering the birthday circuit

t s a at l

05/07/2018 10:34


#BOOTSMIFAWARDS18

Maxi–Cosi Dad of the Year #MAXICOSIDAD Do you know the best dad in the world? We want to hear about dedicated fathers who go that extra mile to spend quality time with their children by showing outstanding support through a particularly tough time, or working extra hard and defying all the odds to provide for their family. Tell us their story!

NOMINATE NOW

Log on to maternityandinfant.ie/awards and Nominate Today!

childcare

canavanbyrne childcare canavanbyrne

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05/07/2018 04/07/2018 09:58 10:50


SUMMER | CONTENT S

Contents 18

PREGNANCY NEWS Advice and ideas for a happy 9 months

19

M E E T T H E PA R E N T S Savvy tips for going to visit a new baby

20

SMALL WORLD Smart and stylish kit to make family life run smoothly

21

6 OF THE BEST Hard-working buggies and strollers for all occasions

24

PA R E N T I N G N E W S A fresh look at your most important job

11

THE HOT LIST Red hot summer style

12

DOWN TIME Because it’s OK to put mum first, once in a while

13

15

25

14

16

28

I N STA M U M Life through a lens with sister bloggers Kerry & Tara from Sisters & Sons

BEAUTY SPOT Time to update your summer beauty stash

REWIND & RESET Skincare staples to help wind back time

7 RULES OF A HAPPY HOME Why morning routine is invaluable for everyone

PA RT Y P O L I T I C S Navigating the minefield of kids’ birthday parties

TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS Should you stand by or jump in and rescue your child? maternityandinfant.ie

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CONTENT S | SUMMER

30

PHYSIO DURING PREGNANCY 10 reasons you may need it

31

DADLAND Surely it’s OK for boys to like pink too?

32

CONFESSIONS OF A G R A N D PA R E N T Should grandparents be allowed to spoil the kids?

34

THE TOY BOX Make the most of these summer days outdoors.

36

M AT E R N I T Y ST Y L E Breezy holiday chic for expectant mums

41

50

58

42

52

62

39

44

54

65

40

46

56

37

GR E E N SH O OT S Effortlessly chic holiday looks

38

R O MPING H O M E Keep baby cool in these adorable summer rompers

WATER WORLD Colourful beach and pool attire for the kids

SU NNY SIDE UP Team pretty pastels with sunshine yellow

SUM M E R C AM P Cool and comfy boy’s fashion

BAC K TO SC HOO L ACC E SSO RI E S Cool gear for the big return

FAM I LY KITC H E N Time-saving gadgets and cool homewares

RE C I P E S FO R FU S SY E AT E RS Ciara Attwell’s brilliant family-friendly meals

FA M I LY P E T S Days out and travelling tips with pooch

H I T TH E H I GH S E A S Nautical décor for little sailors, pirates and mermaids

W E E K E N D AWAY Family fun in Kilkenny’s Marble City

FA M I LY M OTO R I N G 4 budget-friendly options to the SUV

BACK TO S CH O OL S AV I N GS Super smart budgeting tips

H E A LT H N E W S Health advice and fun family challenges to get everyone active

MEET THE EXPERTS Our panel of medical experts answer your family health questions

72

FI V E M I N U TE S W I TH… Yoga teacher and mum, Lou Horgan

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#BOOTSMIFAWARDS18

Sudocrem Miracle Baby of the Year #SUDOCREMMIRACLEBABY Sudocrem Miracle Baby of the Year Criteria: Do you know a baby who has come into the world against all odds? It could be pregnancy complications, years trying to conceive or a premature birth. We want to recognise a baby who ultimately overcame all challenges and is now a thriving, healthy little boy or girl (aged zero to 12 months).

NOMINATE NOW

Log on to maternityandinfant.ie/awards and Nominate Today!

childcare

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05/07/2018 04/07/2018 09:48 10:56


ED’S LETTER | SUMMER

Welcome W

hat an amazing summer we’re having! Endless blue skies, sun-kissed beach days and barbecues galore. It’s the stuff of dreams, especially for Irish mums and dads who are more used to finding ourselves worrying about how to keep the kids entertained indors on rainy summer days.

Editor Jillian Bolger Editorial & Production Director Mary Connaughton Beauty Editor Odharnait Kiernan Art Director Áine Duffy Creative Director Jane Matthews Sales Director Heidi Vambeck

Tell us what you think of Maternity & Infant Family’s new look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and online at maternityandinfant.ie

At Maternity & Infant Family we’ve channeled all this sunny positivity into an issue that’s packed with feel-good ideas for a truly fun summer. There’s ideas for great family days out – cultural, sporty, relaxing – and incredible road trips, a cool weekend away in Kilkenny that will thrill all ages and the chance to win a brilliant family adventure of your own in Wexford’s lovely Ashdown Park Hotel.

Of course, we tackle the big issues too that occasionally worry us as parents. Toxic friendships, gender stereotyping, grandparents who don’t know how to say no, and the bizarrely complex world of the children’s birthday party circuit. (Who would have guessed birthday invitations could be such a hot topic!) Mum of three, Orla Neligan, reveals 21 brilliant budget-saving tips for the back to school onslaught while blogger Ciara Attwell shares her delicious recipes for fussy eaters (and they’re super quick to whip up!)

Social Media Manager Sara Perez Email: jillian@maternityandinfant.ie or write to Maternity & Infant Family, Ashville Media Group, 55 Park West Road, Park West, Cherry Orchard, D12 X9F9. Tel: 01 432 2200 www.maternityandinfant.ie All rights reserved. Every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. The publishers can not, however, accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Reproduction by any means in whole or part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. © Ashville Media Group 2018. All discount, promotions and competitions contained in this magazine are run independently of Maternity & Infant Family. The promoter/advertiser is responsible for honouring the prize.

Our style pages are packed with gorgeous holiday looks for the whole family, including the kind of fab maternity gear you won’t want to give up after baby is born. Family life may be busy, and, at times, frustrating, but we’re here to ensure it’s lots of fun too! Have a wonderful summer.

Jillian Jillian Editor

Contributors

Jenny Branigan is owner of Total Physio in Sandyford (totalphysio.ie) and has been a physiotherapist for 18 years. Jenny frequently represents the profession on air, including stints as physio contributor on the Mooney Show and Marian Finucane. Former Team Physio for the Irish Women’s National Football team, she has lectured on UCD’s Undergraduate Physiotherapy programme. Jenny is mum to Jamie and Holly. On page 28 she writes about why you may need physio during pregnancy.

Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist, writer and public speaker with over ten years’ experience as a mental health professional. Much of Stella’s counselling and teaching work is with parents and young people. She is the author of the bestselling book Cotton Wool Kids and her latest book, Bully-Proof Kids is out now. Turn to page 26 to read her thoughts on toxic friendships and the role you can play as a parent to help your child.

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SUMMER | CALENDER

4 - 8 J U LY

6 - 8 J U LY

1 4 - 1 5 J U LY

FÉILE BRIAN BORÚ, CLARE

CITY SPECTACULAR, DUBLIN

CITY SPECTACULAR, CORK

Clare celebrates Ireland’s most famous High King, Brian Boru, the founder of the O’Brien clan, with drama workshops, pond dipping, a bog hunt, fishing lessons and a children’s art competition. feilebrianboru.com

Ireland’s biggest free summer festival includes hundreds of shows, workshops and activities across Merrion Square. International street performers, delicious street food and a pet area are also on the cards. cityspectacular.com

Ireland’s biggest free summer festival includes hundreds of shows, workshops and activities across Fitzgerald Park. Expect international street performers, street food and a fun fair, guaranteeing a brilliant day out. cityspectacular.com

1 9 - 2 2 J U LY

2 2 J U LY

T H E F E ST I VA L O F C U R I O S I T Y, D U B L I N

FA I RY TA L E F E ST I VA L ,

Dublin’s international festival of curiosity is a cultural feast of science, arts, design and technology. Always excellent and engaging fun, it’s ideal for curious and creative minds of all ages. festivalofcuriosity.ie

2 8 - 2 9 J U LY

B R AY A I R D I S P L AY, WICKLOW

Over 40 aircraft, parachute teams and helicopters will fill the skies over Bray at Ireland’s biggest air festival. A fun fair, craft market and live music are also on the cards. brayairdisplay.com

Your Family Calendar

KILKENNY

Beat 102 103 hosts their annual Fairytale Festival at Woodstock Gardens, Inistioge, Co Kilkenny with a fairy trail, archery, bouncy castles, storytelling, arts and crafts, and lots of fairytale characters to meet. beat102103.com 3-4 AUGUST

SPRAOI

O ur p ic k of the b e s t s umme r e ve nts a nd fun fa mily o u t i n g s

Waterford City’s street festival is a cultural feast with a street performances, street art, live music and sprÓG, a dedicated children’s programme presented by Garter Lane Arts Centre with many free events. spraoi.com

3-6 AUGUST

11-12 AUGUST

2 8 - 2 6 A U G U S T

SCARIFF HARBOUR F E ST I VA L , C L A R E

P L AY ST I VA L , D U B L I N

NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK, NATIONWIDE

Scariff Harbour Festival in Co. Clare is a long weekend of family fun, music and outdoor craic and all for only €5 per person. Expect lots of family friendly events including Fishing for Kids, Fun Zone, kids art workshops and more. scariffharbourfestival.ie

Ireland’s new festival for kids and parents takes place at Airfield Estate in Dundrum, Dublin 14, celebrating positive play and the power of the imagination with a range of hands-on games and themed play universes. playstival.ie

Enjoy some of the 2,000 events across Ireland celebrating Ireland’s cultural, built and natural heritage, from performances, exhibitions, festivals and workshop to tours and family activities. heritageweek.ie

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NEWS | SUMMER

F R E E FA M I LY

FUN Did you know that on the first Wednesday of every month many heritage sites that normally charge admission are open to the public for free? Kids under 12 already go free, but now you and the grandparents can pop in too. Not all OPW sites are included, but you’ll get a great day out at places like Wexford’s John F Kennedy Arboretum, Marino Casino and Athenry Castle. See heritageireland.ie

immediate family News + views + advice + fun

On the triple A trio of California sea lion pups are good enough reason for us to put Dublin Zoo top of our summer outings list. The latest additions are the offspring of busy dad Niko and proud mums Florence, Seanna and Cassie!

WILD

THING

We’re wild about this animal-print gear from JojoMamanBébé. The ultimate gift for any little animal lover. Safari-print shirt, €14, jungle-print dress, €20 at jojomamanbebe.com

Editor’s

PICK

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BUS STOP

SUMMER | NEWS

With almost 140 million customers carried last year, safety awareness is high on the priority list for Dublin Bus. The company has launched a new customer awareness video which is especially useful to show to school children that take the bus. The video highlights simple things we do every day, such as safe queuing at bus stops, using the handrails at all times, being more aware of the surroundings, especially when standing and moving around the lower saloon. dublinbus.ie youtube.com/ dublinbusnews

How sweet are t h e s e t i n y T- b a r s i n soft silver leather! From €12.99 at dottyfish.com

DADDY

COOL

Good news for dads! Razor brand Gillette recently appointed former footballers Eidur and Arnor

BABYSOFT Irish designer Alison Mc Evoy makes gorgeous ethical kids clothing in organic cotton. Her collection of luxury unisex clothing is for babies from 0 to three years of age and includes super soft bibs, leggings, hats and blankets. Prices start at €17 and you can shop online at aamcevoy.com

Gujohnsen to talk about what being a father means to them and the importance of role models in modern day society.

SW E E T DAY O U T

The campaign is underpinned by a new study

Nestlé has partnered with over 50 venues

commissioned by Gillette which reveals Dads to be

across Ireland to encourage families to

Ireland’s favourite role model.

spend more time together. Their new

The survey of 2,000 men found that over three quarters of Irish people say their father is the person

‘Kids Go Free’ on-pack promotion on Smarties, Rowntree’s or Milkybar runs

they most look up to; above celebrities, sports stars and film actors. It also

until April 2019 and means you can use a

revealed that, aside from fathers, the most likely father figure would be mums

unique code on the wrapper to get a free

(18%) followed by brothers (15%).

kids ticket when buying a full priced adult

67% of dads surveyed said the thing that would make them happiest this

ticket (or two child tickets for the price of

year would be spending time with their kids, with 31% saying it would be being

one). The offer extends to everything from

taken out for a meal. Additionally, more than a fifth (23%) said they wished they

aquariums, family fun farms, castles and

had spent more time with their Dad when they were younger.

kayaking to horse riding.

The research also found that while the typical view of the best things we can do with our Dad – such as watching sport (46%) and enjoying a good family dinner together (63%) – may not have changed, it’s these activities which dads

Hello, campers

value the most. Furthermore, the research reveals that almost two fifths of us

If your kids are always making

(41%) either want to, or already have, followed in our father’s footsteps.

tents at home with blankets

Eidur Gudjohsen says: “In a world where technology and social media are so

and bed clothes, why not

prevalent in our lives, it’s really important that we don’t forget the importance

simplify things with the

of spending time doing things together, such as playing or watching sport, or

real deal. Smyth’s sell

even just sitting down to a meal. Having a positive role model is so important;

this cute teepee for

whether that’s a sports coach, teacher or, in my case, my ad.”

€69.99.

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COMPETITION | SUMMER

WIN

a 2-night ‘create your own family adventure’ break for 4 in Ashdown Park Hotel

T

he Ashdown Park Hotel in Gorey is encouraging you to Power Off and Connect with their Create Your Own Family Adventure packages for families. The four-star hotel is perfectly located in the heart of the Sunny South East, allowing you to spend a day at the beach, explore the many visitor parks and attractions in the area or to simply kick back and enjoy the pool and kids’ club. Family adventure breaks include tickets to well known visitor attractions, adventure parks, pet farms, watersports and more! There are lots of beautiful beaches nearby and Gorey town is great for a relaxing afternoon, with its cafés, boutiques,

restaurants, traditional pubs, art galleries and bookstores. Full and half board breaks are available. To celebrate the launch of this year’s Create Your Own Family Adventure, Maternity & Infant Family has teamed up with Ashdown Park Hotel to offer one lucky reader the chance of winning a fantastic 2-night break with one dinner and tickets to a local family attraction for a family of four.

HOW TO WIN

To be in the draw for this amazing prize, simply answer the following question: Where is Ashdown Park Hotel? Email your answer & contact details to competitions@maternityandinfant.ie with ASHDOWN PARK in the subject line. Or send a postcard with your answer and contact details, marked ASHDOWN PARK, to Maternity & Infant Family, Ashville Media Group, 55 Park West Industrial Park, Park West Rd, Cherry Orchard, Dublin 12,

Prize includes 2BB1D for 2 adults and 2 children and a family pass for 4 to a local attraction. It is subject to availability, non-transferable and not valid during Easter, New Year, Christmas and Bank Holidays. Closing date for all entries is September 10 2018. Competition is not open to employees of Ashville Media Group or Ashdown Park Hotel. No cash or gift card will be awarded in lieu of stated prize. Winner will be selected at random from a draw and will be contacted by phone. Competition entrants must be resident in the island of Ireland. One entry per person. Competition is also subject to all usual terms and conditions.

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S U M M E R | J U S T F O R YO U

Just for you DOWNTIME

THEHOTLIST

BEAUTYSPOT

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Tut ti f r u t t i e a rr i n g s , € 1 2 at A cces s o r i ze

S U M M E R | H OT L I S T

CN D Vin y l ux polish polishe es, €11.95 e a ch G r ac e l y n co ra l to te , € 5 4 a t o l i v e r b o n as. co m

F l o r al h al te r n e c k , € 1 8. 5 0 at Li p s y

S um m er espadrilles, € 45 a t Office

Editor’s

PICK

The

Hot List Time to raise the mercury and add some sunshine to your life. Millie ruffle dress, €115 at H o u s e o f Fr as e r

R e f i n e d c at e y e s u n g l as s e s ,€ 2 0 at M ar k s & S p e n c e r

S u e d e t te co rk w e d g e s , €32 . 99 a t N e w Lo o k

V by Ve r y co l o ur bl o ck bikin i, € 42 L it t l e wo o ds Ireland

Pap e r b ag rope tie s h o r ts , € 1 3 at Pe n n e y s maternityandinfant.ie

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DOWNTIME

DOWNTIME | SUMMER

Latte lover looking for an upgrade? You need Nespresso’s Lattissima One, specially designed for single servings, with zero milk wastage. It’s compact, good looking and easy to use, with a single button that prepares your favourite coffee, frothing fresh milk into your cup.

B e c a u s e i t ' s O K to p u t y o u r s e l f f i r s t , o n c e i n a w h i l e

€249 nespresso.com

your perfect

beach kit Who says beach time is all about the kids? Cut a dash in totally tropical swimwear that flatters. 1. COOL SUNGLASSES For those days when you can’t find your expensive Ray Bans pull on a pair of fashionable tortoise shells. We love these cats eye pair, €10 at Dorothy Perkins. 2. A COLOURFUL TOWEL Rest your head and catch some rays on a soft, super-sized bath towel, like this ice pop one, from a selection at HomeSense. 3. A KILLER BIKINI We fancy cavorting

about in Lipsy’s tropical print Alice balconette bikini. Top €37, briefs, €22.50 at next.co.uk 4.MORE COMFORTABLE WITH A COVER-UP? Choose a glamorous swimsuit in this summer’s hottest tropical print. Accessorize’s Bird of Paradise swimsuit, from €40, hits all the right notes.

2

1 4

3

5

5.HANDY FLIP FLOPS Cheap and cheerful thongs for happy feet, €4 at Penney’s.

bags of style Never underestimate the value of a generously proportioned beach bag. Here’s a few of our favourites to pack

€12 TK Maxx

Editor’s €46 Bohemia

PICK

€20 Accessorize

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S U M M E R | I N S TA M U M

@sisters_and_sons B l o g g e r s a n d s i s t e r s , K e r r y a n d Ta r a g r e w u p i n c o u n t y D o w n and gave birth to Zac and Sam six months apart. Why d id you st a r t you r b l og? We started Sisters & Sons not long after Sam was born. We were both on maternity leave and realised how lucky we were to have each other to ask questions about motherhood, but also for company and support. Kerry was already a keen Instagram user and we discussed the idea a few times and felt we had something to share. I also had a really positive birth using hypnobirthing and wanted to share my experience as you hear so many awful ones which is the last thing an expectant mother needs to hear. I’m all about positive mental attitude when it comes to birthing.

Do you both share similar tastes? We have similar tastes on most things, but Kerry is more trend focused where as Tara would be more traditional. How co o perative a re the boys at pho to time? It very much depends on what mood they are in! If they have had decent naps that day we are onto a winner. Bribery tactics and plenty of singing and dancing goes on behind the camera to get their attention. What ’s the ha rdest thing a bo ut being a pa rent? The unexpected wave of guilt: As full time working mums we have a constant battle with guilt for fear of not spending enough

time with the boys. A close second would be the lack of sleep in those early days. Favo urite ways to h ang out? Being outdoors with the boys, whether for a short walk to the farm or Castle Espie Nature Reserve, to feed the ducks and grab a cuppa and tray bake while the boys enjoy soft play. In the summer months we are lucky enough to spend some time out on the boat on Strangford Lough. We are looking forward to seeing the boys faces this season as they are a bit older and can enjoy it more. Another local spot the boys love is Delamont Country Park, really close to us just outside Killyleagh. The park is fantastic and they love the train. maternityandinfant.ie

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B E AU T Y | S U M M E R

Skincare investments to turn back time, chosen by Odharnait Kiernan

rewind and I

reset

t’s true what they say, that we never really appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Never has a truer word been spoken than when we look at the skin we were born with. The skin we innocently plastered with make-up in our youth, neglected cleansing after nights out (no – a baby wipe doesn’t count) or slathered in baby oil to bask in the summer sun. Of course our diet, genetics and environmental factors also play a huge role in our skin sensitivity and overall health. But, short of a time machine, what can we do to breathe new radiance into our skin?

3. Lightweight and velvety, Shiseido Essential Energy Day Crème SPF20 helps retain moisture and boost the skin’s natural responses, €59.

COMPLAINT Dry, Dehydrated Skin

6. Neostrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads is a favourite for home peel treatments, clearing out blocked pores and resurfacing the skin’s texture, €47.20.

1. Bioderma Moisturising Cleansing Milk. Hypoallergenic, paraben free and smooth as silk on the skin, this cleanser refreshes while removing make-up, €12.50. 2. Perk up dehydrated tired skin with Avène Physiolift Serum, a blend of two types of hyaluronic acid that targets fine lines and loss of skin firmness, €35.

4. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15 is infused with Vitamin E, C and Shea butter, allowing dryer skins to benefit from a longer wearing foundation, €38.

COMPLAINT Combination Acne Prone 5. A little gem to clarify and tone with eucalyptus oil, Aldi Lacura Hot Cloth Cleanser, €4.99, sells out fast.

7. Super smart Thalgo Marine Gel Cream eliminates toxins and debris that builds up on the skin. Great for hydration too, €38. 8. Oxygenetix Foundation is hot news, as it doesn’t aggravate break-out prone skin. It’s 24 hour wearing, sweat proof, SPF 25 and water

resistant. Best of all, it promotes healing of acne prone skin, €50

COMPLAINT Aging Pigmented Skin 9. Handmade in Ireland, The Jo Browne Cleansing Facial Balm cleanses and removes all make-up and grime. It’s packed with 8 essential oils to nourish and promote collagen production, €34. 10. Promising to restore replenish and restructure the skin, Dr. Levy R3 Cell Matrix Mask is a triple threat to aging with a cocktail of multi vitamins, anti-oxidants and hyaluronic acids complex, €85. 11. Rumoured to be as good as Botox, Boots No 7 Line Correcting Serum is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of lines by up to 5 years, €49. 12. The height of luxury, La Prairie Essence Foundation, €175, combines their exclusive cellular complex caviar water with technologically advanced pigments. An indulgent splurge.

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beauty spot

S U M M E R | B E AU T Y

Ensure your make-up bag is summer smart with the per fect edit of sunshine essentials, writes Odharnait Kiernan SUMMERSKIN

1

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue hydrating gel crème SPF 30 is packed with New humectants that boost the from Aveda, skin’s hydration levels by 21% check out Pure after 1 week. The perfect Nourish-Mint Lipsticks, amount of coverage for creamy, long wearing lip summer skin, €31. colours in 23 shades. Botanical waxes and organic oils allow 8 hour wearing without feathering and there’s a cooling mint sensation in every application, A beautiful hybrid €22 each. of coverage and protection, Avène Mineral Fluid Tinted SPF50 is also water-resistant. Also available in compact, €21.

JLOGLOW Fresh from her collaboration with Inglot, the queen of glow has brought us crushed pigments in metallic tones to embellish the eyes and skin. Used wet or dry with a flat brush, €20.

2

THEMASQUE

While salty sea hair has a certain appeal, dry brittle hair does not. With that comes LOreal’s Solar Sublime. A rich masque to replenish the hairs nourishment after a day in the sun. The ultimate sun protection for hair, €19.50

3

Bioderma Photoderm Tinted Protective Crème SPF50 reinforces protection against hyperpigmentation, especially during pregnancy. It evens out the skin’s complexion with a medium coverage finish, €16.50.

TRENDING

A subtle way to embrace the boho trends of summer. CND Vinylux have released a seasonal four-piece collection of nail varnishes. Best bit? They’ll last 14 days, €11.95 each.

BRONZE&GO GO

H O L I DAY SCENT

Erdem for Nars Loves Me Blush €31.50

Clarins Bronze & Blush Compact, € 4 7.

Isadora Fa c e G l o w Bronzing Wheel €21.95

To m Fo r d Soleil Compact in Nude Glow €90

Jo Malone London Tropical Cherimoya Cologne. Bursts of pear, passion fruit and creamy tonka bean. Holiday memories in every spritz, €47.

Editor’s

PICK

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F E AT U R E | S U M M E R

the cereal boxes. Prepare as much of the lunch box as you can the night before. Fill beakers and bottles; peel carrots, wash fruit, etc. 4 MANAGE THE HOUSEWORK Empty your dishwasher every night so it’s ready for tomorrow’s dirty breakfast dishes. Load your washing machine before going to bed. If you set the cycle as soon as you waken up, you may have time to hang out a wash before the school dropoff. Have a place for everything and encourage your kids to familiarise themselves with these spots. This will prevent a mad scavenge for missing shoes, coats, bicycle helmets, or car keys when you’re dashing out the door.

the seven secrets of a

happy home Yo u ’ l l s t a r t t h e d a y l e s s s t r e s s e d i f everyone gets out the door on time. Ensure homely harmony with these seven tips. 1 THE EARLY BIRD Once small kids get up it can be impossible to find a quiet moment to get yourself ready. Combat this by getting up fifteen minutes ahead of everyone else. Use the extra time to enjoy an uninterrupted shower and to do your hair or make-up in peace. Now you’ll feel ready for action! 2 ROUTINE & RITUAL Young children love routine. They perform best when they know what to expect so make mornings as predictable as possible. Ensure everyone is washed and dressed, with their shoes on, before they eat

breakfast. Keep toothbrushes in the downstairs WC so that last minute cleaning can be done with ease. Corralling a troop of small kids up the stairs to clean up after breakfast can take much longer than you’d imagine! 3 BE PREPARED Take a half hour in the evening to organise everything you’ll need in the morning. Pack crèche bags with nappies, wipes and changes of clothes. Ensure school bags contain all homework safely packed away. Check your kitchen notice board to see whether any sports gear is needed. Set the table for breakfast and take out

5 PROJECT CATWALK Leave your child’s uniform on a single hanger every night so they don’t have to rummage for missing ties or a clean shirt when they’re half asleep. Leave out underwear and socks for younger kids too. Apply this organisation to babies’ and toddlers’ wardrobes, and ensure your little crèche-goer’s ensemble is all picked out, from their jacket to their tights. You’d be amazed how much time can be lost trying to locate stary footwear or little matching socks! 6 HOUSE RULES Children have no concept of time and get easily distracted. If you’re racing the clock you’ll need to minimise diversions that can make everything run late. Television may seem like a good way to keep the kids quiet but more often than not it sucks them in and drowns out your request for them to put on their coat, grab their school bag or clean their teeth. (TV can distract adults too, so stick to the radio for your news updates, and you’ll get more done.) Computer games and handheld consoles are just as bad, and should be banned in the morning rush. 7 CHEAT THE CLOCK Tell yourself you need to be at the school 15 minutes earlier than you do. Aim to leave the house at 8.15 even though you don’t really need to leave until 8.30. This 15-minute cushion will prove invaluable when you encounter those last minute inevitabilities that can make everyone late. Think dirty nappies, spilt juice on a clean uniform, baby’s breakfast on the floor, lost car keys, missing shoes or an early morning tantrum.

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SUMMER | PREGNANCY

Pregnancy BUMPNEWS

BABYGEAR

THE6BEST

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PREGNANCY | SUMMER

A GOOD INVESTMENT Award-winning maternity and nursing lingerie brand, Bravado Designs, has expanded its Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra range with the addition of two new feminine colours. The bestselling nursing bra is now available in a pretty pink and crisp white. Made from luxurious, supple fabric, the bra moulds to your changing shape ensuring it’s extra comfy and supportive. There’s removable cups to create a smooth finish, one-handed open and close nursing clips, and a full drop-down cup enabling skin to skin contact and effortless breastfeeding access. €35 from bravadodesigns.com/uk and Jojo Maman Bébé.

pregnancy news

Keep it simple and comfy with soft and snug nursing tops. Mothercare’s ribbed nursing vest with poppers, €13.99, is the per fect staple.

Snooze fest SHORT STORY Boohoo’s maternity over-thebump denim shorts look great! They have a cosy stretch band up top that keeps your bump comfy and covered, allowing you enjoy your summer legs, €27.

PERFECT MEMORIES When baby’s napping take time to chart his or her development with a baby jourmal that records all those little milestones you’ll soon forget. Kilkenny stocks the gorgeous Busy B Baby Journals, €25.95. The perfect keepsake.

We’re unlikely to want to take this cute sleep suit off baby! Bluezoo, €10, at Debenhams.

Editor’s

PICK

BAGSOFSTYLE An absolute classic, this is one baby changing bag you won’ t find cramping your style. Orla Kiely Baby Sling bag, €160.

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S U M M E R | F E AT U R E

meet the

parents Is there a right time to go and meet a new baby? There sure is, argues mum G e r a l d i n e Wa l s h

B

abies are far too adorable to resist with their new-born smell and squishy fingers and toes. Who doesn’t want to be one of the first to greet this tiny human being and welcome them to the family? But wait. Slow down before you go knocking on the door. Are mum and baby ready to see you yet? They say it takes a year, or possibly more for mum to recover from pregnancy and birth. Once mum’s home from the hospital, she is in a very raw state, both physically and emotionally. She’s exhausted, probably sore and somewhat overwhelmed. The sweet smelling new baby is in a flourish of eat, sleep, poop and desperately in need of mum and dad’s arms. Unless your friend, sister or cousin has specifically said, “Yes! Come one, come all and feast your eyes on bubba!” then it may be best to wait until the new parents say they are ready to welcome visitors. A baby has a funny way of turning a house upside down. Mum and dad will need time to get their head around their new baby before they are able to welcome anyone into their home. FIRSTLY, IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S US Don’t be offended if mum and dad have asked you to give them a few days or weeks by themselves with the baby before you visit. It’s not that they don’t want to see

you. The upheaval and learning curve of having a brand new baby is exhausting and emotionally draining. They will need some time to get used to their new bundle and figure out how to manage the gurgling, pooping ball of cuteness. When you do finally get the go ahead and the front door is on the latch for when you arrive, remember these rules for visiting that beautiful newborn. DON’T ARRIVE EMPTY HANDED Bring a lasagne! Or even better, leave it on the doorstep and ring the door bell before hopping back in your car. Not everyone has the time or the energy to stock up the freezer before baby arrives. A home cooked meal may be more welcome than you! Or if your culinary skills are less than desired, when you pop round for a visit, be sure to bring some essentials so the new parents don’t have to run to the shop for the little things like teabags or coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. And for that matter, don’t leave empty handed either. Bring the bins out on your way or a load of ironing to help mum and dad out in those first few weeks of getting to grips with having a new bundle to look after. DON’T PICK UP THE BABY Newborn babies are somewhat fragile and sensitive. No, they won’t break in your arms

but your perfume, shampoo, or detergent can aggravate their tiny lungs and skin. Unless mum and dad say it’s ok, leave the little bundle where she is. Mum may have just gotten her settled after an hour’s crying marathon or she may need that micro nap. If baby is happy, then leave her as she is. And if she cries, don’t pick her up to soothe her. That’s mum and dad’s job. All a newborn wants is her parents, no matter how much Auntie Ann loves them. And please don’t kiss her or touch her little face. In fact, if you don’t mind, wash your hands if you do get a cuddle. LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME As amazing as your kids are and how well behaved they may be in the home of the new baby and her sleep deprived parents, their germs are most certainly not welcome. The immune system of a newborn baby takes some time to toughen up and they won’t manage tackling the ordinary coughs and colds spread around crèche like your little darlings can. Keep your kids away until the baby has had a chance to catch up with this messy, germy world. DON’T STAY TOO LONG If you’re planning to visit the newborn, stick to the cardinal rule: don’t stay any longer than an hour. Mum and dad need time with their newborn. They don’t particularly need to be entertaining guests. And when you are there, make your own cup of tea and clear up after yourself. BE HELPFUL And if you plan on staying a little longer than the appropriate short visit, don’t spend your time sitting on the couch making your way through the Cadbury Fingers. Be helpful. Fold the dozens of onesies that hang on the radiator. Clear up the dishes, or better still, wash, dry and put them away. With the million and one chores a new parent has to do, there are a million more that simply won’t get done because, as we’ve said, babies take up a lot of mum and dad’s time. Anything you can do to help, will always be remembered and welcomed. maternityandinfant.ie

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SMALL WORLD | SUMMER

B E LT U P A recent UK study revealed that 34 per cent of some 2,000 parents have allowed their children to travel without a suitable child restraint and one fifth have perched their child on a cushion instead of a suitable seat. Most worryingly, the study revealed that parents do not know the dangers of a child using the car seat belt alone. Over half surveyed were unaware that a child under 135cm tall can slide under a standard car seatbelt in the event of a crash, and 36 per cent do not know that a car seat belt can cause serious injuries if the vehicle stops suddenly or is in a collision. One fifth admit to having ‘squeezed’ kids into a backseat containing four or more passengers. Always have your car fitted with the correct child seats and avoid any danger by travelling with the extra clever Mifold, an incredibly compact child restraint that will keep older children safe in the car on unexpected quick trips in secondary cars, like car sharing or on playdates. askformifold.com

Stokke’s sleek Scandi design is beloved the world over, but now they’ve gone one step further with the irresistible Caring Collection of accessories. Designed for the nursery, seating and bathing in 100% organic fabrics, look out for fitted sheets, merino wool blankets, Tripp Trapp cushions (their iconic highchair) and plush hooded towels.

smallworld Little things to make a big difference SUNSAFE

BRIGHT IDEA A NO-SPILL LIGHT-UP SIPPY CUP FOR BEDTIME? YES, PLEASE. SUITABLE FOR 4-MONTHS UPWARDS, LITECUP’S 360° RIM MEANS KIDS CAN DRINK NATURALLY FROM ANYWHERE AND FIND IT IN THE DARK! €12.95

Brilliant for holidays, Cuddeldry’s cute protective poncho features patented technology that offers SPF 50+ UV protection. Perfect poolside attire. A super soft blend of bamboo and cotton the towel has poppers under the arms which can be done up to create a loose ‘sleeve’ and help keep the towel in place. €24.15 at cuddledry.com

Snooze time Sleep expert (and M&I Family writer) Lucy Wolfe has launched a dreamy range of natural products to aid sleep and reduce anxiety. Containing essential oils, a natural decongestant, they help to relax muscles and improve sleep quality and duration. The Body and Bed spray contains aloe vera, lavender, cinnamon, camphor, vetiver and chamomile while the Relaxing Rub contains lavender, cinnamon, camphor, vetiver, chamomile, eucalyptus and clove. Gentle enough for baby’s skin and perfect for tired mums and dads too, €16.99 each or €30 for both plus p&p from sleepmatters.ie/ sleep-throughproducts/

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SUMMER | 6 OF THE BEST

6 of the best Pushchairs and strollers for dads and mums on the run

ICANDY PEACH Double trouble on the way? Not with the newly reimagined iCandy Peach, a stylish and smartly designed pram that can carry two children on the one frame with a single pushchair footprint. Our pick is the satin Damson, which looks great in single, double or twin mode. Single pushchair from €913.

TUX BY BABY ELEGANCE Ultra lightweight and compact, the new TUX by Irish company Baby Elegance, has a carry handle that makes it super easy to manoeuvre. Perfect for travelling, it looks good and is suitable from birth to 4 years, €189.

NUNA PEPP NEXT Nuna Pepp Next’s flatfold design makes it a great space saver, especially as it stands upright for easy storage. Good looking and smooth, it’s clever design means it can be pulled along like a wheelie case when not in use. Add in the three-position reclining seat and this a is a stylish and good value purchase. €215 from nuna.eu/uk/

SILVER CROSS POP2 With a fully reclining seat, suited to new-borns, and a weight capacity of 25kg, this Silver Cross stroller is deceptively hardworking. A fully extendable hood, lightweight chassis and shopping basket make it a solid choice. €199.99 at Smyths Toys

MAXI COSI LAIKA

DOONA Fed up of the hassle of taking your pram in and out of the car? Imagine a car seat that becomes a stroller with one click of a switch. Doona, is just that, a revolutionary car seat with integrated wheels that makes dashing into the shops or petrol station easier than ever before. Just ask Coleen Rooney, Conor McGregor and Russell Brand, who are all converts. It’s brilliant for jumping in a taxi too. €370 at Mamas & Papas

Ultra light and compact, Maxi-Cosi’s Laika stroller comes with a lie-flat padded seat and attachable soft carrycot. Streamlined and comfy, its agile frame offers one-hand folding and is suitable for use from birth to 3.5 years. €274.99

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S U M M E R | PA R E N T I N G

Parenting PARTYPOLITICS

DADLAND

TOYBOX

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SURVIVING FLIGHTS with young children 1. CHOOSE NIGHT FLIGHTS But only if they overlap with children’s normal bedtimes. Kids are good at staying up late, especially when they are excited, but it’s unfair to expect a young child to stay up until midnight without getting cranky, especially if you will be waking them up again in a few hours’ time. If you are flying long-haul night flights are recommended, as children can go with their natural sleep pattern with relative ease. 2. TAKE A FAVOURITE SOFT TOY Or a blanket that conjures up bedtime at home. Airline seats aren’t very comfortable but teddy or blankie can make children feel instantly content and more inclined to doze off, even during daytime flights. 3. TAKE A BAG OF TRICKS Be prepared to entertain your kids all through the flight, if necessary. Pack a bag full of small toys and books that can be produced at a moment’s notice. Sticker books, puzzle books, colouring books and crayons are all cheap, and will help pass the time with ease. 4. DON’T LET THEM EAT CAKE Sugary snacks have the ability to silence restless children – albeit temporarily – though are, essentially, energy boosters. Avoid sweets and chocolate at any cost, as these lead to

sugar highs followed by energy dips. Instead, pack Ziploc bags or mini lunch boxes with grapes, carrot sticks, raisins, crackers and rice cakes. (If they’re not used to these healthy snacks, start introducing them now.) 5. DOUBLE UP Kids spill things on planes. Parents spill things supervising kids on planes. Nappies leak. Kids have accidents when the Fasten your Seatbelt sign is on. All reasons to pack extra clothes for the whole family. Pack a plastic bag too for soiled items and always take more nappies and baby food on board than you think you’ll need.

parentingnews Bed time stories and high flyers

ANEWLEAF Bedtime stories are such an important part of a child’s day and are proven to aid development, bonding and calm stressed little people. Many parents admit it’s a favourite part of their day too, as it allows them quality one-on-one time away from the distractions of life. Our favourite reads right now are the Little People, Big Dreams collection from Quarto books. Celebrating great women, the books are colourfully illustrated and draw young readers into the world of challenges and triumphs faced by inspiring young girls who became extraordinary women. Titles include such luminaries as Agatha Christie, Ella Fitzgerald and Amelia Earhart. €11.99 each at good bookshops and Kilkenny stores.

Grub’s Up! We’ve all been there. Sitting in a restaurant having a nice meal when junior goes into meltdown. A recent survey carried out by thetaste.ie reveals that 75% of Irish diners feel parents should leave a restaurant if their child is crying continuously. At the same time, 80% said there should be more child-friendly restaurants in Dublin. When asked if children should be allowed in restaurants at night time, nearly 60% of the 2,000 adults surveyed said that it depends on the restaurant, with just over one fifth believing children should only be allowed in restaurants until 7pm.

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Pa rty S U M M E R | F E AT U R E

S C I T I L PO

If you’re new to the kids’ party circuit you might be surprised to learn about the unwritten rules of the 21st century birthday p a r t y.

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school and seems very happy. His parents aren’t Irish, and I mention this because part of me wonders if this is the reason for his lack Seasoned party-guest-bringing parents will know the sheer of party invitations. expense of the birthday circuit. With gifts costing on average €15, I wonder how many cliquey Irish mums and dads are guilty of you can expect to spend at least €150 a year on attending ten congregating at the school collection every day without making birthday parties. If you’ve three party-going kids, you’re looking any effort to include the new Irish in our chats. at a minimum spend of €450 on birthday I wonder if this little boy’s experience is typical presents in one year. Doesn’t that seem mad? of many foreign national children in our school Happily, it looks like good sense is THE BIG system. prevailing with many parents now writing QUESTION The last thing any parent wants to do is something similar to the following: “No need cause hurt by excluding a vulnerable child. for a gift, but, if you wish, then €5 towards WE ASKED: It’s for this reason that some primary schools a trip to the toy shop would be lovely.” PARTY BAGS: LOVE have stepped in. Many have introduced This is perfect for so many reasons. THEM OR HATE policies that prohibit the distribution of party Firstly, it saves parents a fortune. THEM? invitations during school hours. Instead, Secondly, it can be a nightmare to find the parents must make an effort to meet the time to visit a toyshop during the week and, YOU ANSWERED: invitees outside the school grounds to hand when you get there, you then have to stress out the invitations. That way no-one’s nose is about what to choose. I have a Marmite relationship rubbed in it if they haven’t made the A-list. Thirdly, it allows the birthday star to go and with them. I steal some of By contrast, I know of at least one Dublin the treats from the bags. My choose a more significant gift rather than child does be stuffed after school whose policy states that if you decide receiving a selection of smaller presents they the party but I also have a to invite one classmate to a party, you must may not necessarily appreciate. drawer full of pencils and also invite the rest of the class. Admittedly Should you go down this route on your own rubbers and bubbles. classes are on the smaller side, but this might children’s invitations, be prepared for some @ E I R E _ M U M M Y feel like a big ask for some. resistance. And not from the kids. My favourite solution is when a school, or One parent new to the party scene wrote: I took the kids strawberry picking and they then went class rep, gives out a list of parents’ names ‘No need for any gifts, thanks!’ on her son’s home with a flower pot that and phone numbers for everyone in the class invitation only to find herself coming under I’d painted with strawberries at the start of the year. This allows play dates scrutiny. Some parents RSVPed questioning on the side, a packet of seeds and parties to be organised under the radar whether they could still bring a present, with and a piece of cake… both and avoids any children being left out… one mum going so far as to chastise her. “You cheap and cheerful. although it doesn’t solve the problem of the can’t deprive kids of a present on their @ child who is routinely left out. birthday,” she said before declaring that her T H E N A K E D M I D W I V E S  son would be bringing a gift along to the party I hate them. Sweets to rot on Saturday. The mum had no problem with their teeth or potential PA RT Y BAG S her son receiving a handful of presents – she choking hazard for younger Nowadays a loot bag is de rigueur at children’s just didn’t want him getting 15 in one sitting. siblings. Plastic to rot the birthday parties, usually stuffed with a Happily, most respected her wishes and environment. Don’t want to selection of lollipops, sweets, crisps, bubbles rocked up with nice cards on the day. Of sound like a killjoy but surely and a small novelty gift or two. Children are the party and party food course, her five-year-old son didn’t know any should be enough. so used to these parting gifts that there’s a better, and was pleased as punch with his @ S O L I D S TA R T. I E palpable sense of disappointment if parents celebrations. Did he go looking for a stash of don’t cough up. At first they seem like a cheap presents afterwards? Absolutely not. enough investment – how much can a balloon Should you wish to hop on board the €5 and packet of crayons cost? – yet some train, it’s worth suggesting on a class parents go to town on them, filling them with WhatsApp group when the kids go back to pricier little gifts and toys. school (or start school) in September. Once a few parents are on Puzzles, mini gliders, bouncy balls, scented rubbers, hair clips board it will help set the standard for everyone in the classroom. and dinky toys have all been known to find their way into upscale party bags, alongside fancier snack upgrades too. This, of course, THE GUEST LIST goes down exceptionally well with the children, but less so with If your weekends seem taken up with carting your little ones from some parents. birthday party to birthday party, the thought probably won’t ever If your idea of a party bag is a simple slice of birthday cake and have occurred to you that some children don’t go to birthday a balloon, then I strongly suggest you go with this. If you’re more parties. And I’m not talking about unruly kids that you’d do anything details oriented and fancy theming the contents or splashing out, to avoid your little darling mixing with; I’m talking about really then go for this too. After years of party bags – both giving and lovely, well mannered kids who, somehow, don’t get a look in. receiving – this seasoned party-goer and party-thrower is happy I was shocked recently to learn that a child in Senior Infants only to report that the most important aspect of the party bag isn’t went to his first birthday party in March. He’d gone all through the contents, it’s simply the fact that the kids receive a parting Junior Infants and halfway through Senior Infants without a single gift on their way home. invitation. By all accounts he’s a lovely little boy who mixes well in PRESENT AND CORRECT

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S U M M E R | F E AT U R E

Party

TREAT

We tried... SIÚCRA’S SUMMER FRUIT & YOGURT ICE POPS N o t h i n g ta s te s b e t te r o n a h o t s u m m e r d a y than fresh-from-the-freezer homemade ice p o p s . T h e s e k i d - f r i e n d l y t r e a ts a r e m o u t h w a te r i n g l y d e l i c i o u s a n d s u p e r r e f r e s h i n g , h e l p i n g y o u c o o l d o w n t h i s s u m m e r. W h a te v e r f l a v o u r y o u f a n c y, b e s u r e to t r y out these homemade ice pops around your house this season.

MAKES: 4 ice pops

40g Siúcra Icing Sugar 200g fruit, trimmed & washed 175g Greek style yoghurt

2 te a s p o o n s v a n i l l a b e a n p a s te Also required: plastic cups, lolly sticks cling film

1. Sieve the Siúcra icing sugar into a large bowl. 2. Blend the fruit in a food processor and then pass through the sieve into the bowl with the icing sugar. This will remove the seeds. 3. Stir in the Greek style natural yoghurt and the vanilla bean paste and mix well. 4. Divide evenly between four plastic cups. 5. Cover the cups with cling film. Make a small slit with a sharp knife in the middle of the cling film and then insert the lolly stick. 6. Freeze on a flat surface for a minimum of 4 hours. 7. Remove from the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to eat them. Once they have melted slightly remove the cling film and then remove from the plastic cups.

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friend or

FOE?

To x i c f r i e n d s h i p s o f f e r v a l u a b l e l e s s o n s to our children – even if they’re hard for us to watch from the side lines, writes psychotherapist Stella O’Malley

T

he arrival of a toxic friend into their child’s life can make parents feel horrified and yet such friendships are quite common in childhood. Indeed, many children are learning valuable lessons as they learn to navigate the complexities of a difficult friendship. Parenting is a long game and parents are better off ensuring that their children are learning from their experiences instead of getting in the way of the golden teachable moments. If parents try to get in the way of their child learning how to handle the toxic friend they may merely be postponing and prolonging this painful lesson. Some friendships can slowly move from being a lovely friendship to a friendship blighted by power, criticism and toxicity. Initially parents can be quick to dismiss their children’s hurt as imagined or even paranoid but then, as the evidence mounts, the parents then have to turn and face the difficulty of a toxic friendship in their child’s life. Very often these families have become entwined in each others’ lives by the time the friendship goes sour and so one family might be keen to pull away while the other family are left scratching their head wondering what is happening. Although honesty is often the best policy it really isn’t helpful to charge over to the parents with a long list of terrible deeds that were done to your innocent child. It is much more helpful to relate one specific incident which has resulted in your child feeling a bit distressed. It is not essential to argue who said what or when – your child

CASESTUDY Susie was a lovely ten-year-old girl whose mother, Emma, came to me in distress as her daughter was friendly with a girl who treated her badly. No matter how badly her power ful friend treated her, Susie would delightedly trot back into place once the friend was nice to her again. Eventually Emma agreed with Susie that they would silently bestow ‘black marks’ to the frenemy every time she treated Susie badly. After 20 black marks were counted, Susie had built up a better awareness of the pattern and became less impressed with her toxic friend’s behaviour. Susie eventually befriended another girl, Heather, who was also being mistreated and they began to stick together in the schoolyard – much to Emma’s delight. As Euripides said, ‘Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness,’ and, over time, Heather and Susie became great friends.

feeling distress is enough explanation for a reluctance to have a play date – and standing your ground without falling into the drama of it all can be very empowering to you and your child. Of course this is not even a tiny bit easy – and very often it is extremely difficult. But then, as Winston Churchill pointed out, ‘Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes you must do what is required.’ WHEN THE TOXIC FRIEND HAS CAPTIVATED YOUR CHILD It is most important that your child knows that you have their back; if your child knows that they have your full support then they can better handle life going wrong. After establishing your loyalty and commitment through words and deeds, it can be very helpful for your child to be taught about the dynamics of relationships. Some friendships are easy and some are challenging, but this doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater; it just means instead that we need to be a bit more wary of some people than others. The more the parent teaches the child about the psychology behind the dynamic, the easier it will be for the child to understand the situation without blaming themselves. It’s a tricky situation and it will take time to resolve but if parents can explain to their child the psychology of the situation they will have provided their child with emotional insight that will last them the rest of their lifetime. Children are often very resistant to hearing any negativity about their beloved friend and so the parent may choose to focus on explaining how certain friendships turn sour without ever mentioning their friend. Examples from the parents’ own childhood can work wonders as the child learns about different dynamics without feeling threatened. Another way to approach your child’s toxic friendship is to point out the dynamics within the friend’s family – for example, the parent might say that they have noticed that ‘Sarah’ is often criticised by her big sister and often criticism is like a game of pass the parcel and it gets passed on to others. And so ‘Sarah’ might be more critical to others after her big sister criticises her.. This gives your child the opportunity to examine ‘Sarah’s’ pattern of behaviour without necessarily condemning her. It can be effective when parents subtly prepare their child for the next blow-up. Telling your child not to be friends with the

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all-powerful ‘Sarah’ is unlikely to work; however, you can prepare them for the next row by being the mature adult who is keenly aware of the ebbs and flows of the relationship. There are often signs that another blow-up is coming and you can point these out to your child as they happen. When your child has learned to read the signs leading up to a blow-up then they have learned a certain level of emotional intelligence that will help them in future relationships. It is helpful when parents calmly point out the pattern of behaviour. Kids tend to live in the moment so it is the parent’s role to point out the pattern that exists in this friendship. It will be easier to do this if, at first, you point it out concerning another friend and not your own child. The parent needs to be calm and gentle – impassioned sermons will turn your child against you and not their powerful friend! Ask thoughtprovoking questions and try to keep your tone curious and open-minded – you will defeat the point of the exercise if you are accusatory. ‘I wonder does Sarah treat Heather differently to how she treats the others?’ ‘How do you think Heather feels around Sarah?’ ‘Why do you think Heather keeps trying to be friends with Sarah?’ ‘Why do you think Sarah speaks meanly about Heather now that they’re fighting?’ ‘Now that Sarah and Heather are friends again, do you think it will last this time?’ There is little parents can do to prevent their children from getting dealt some difficult knocks, however parents can do something much more valuable than prevent suffering – they can help their children grow and develop from any suffering that they do experience. It is the parents’ role to help their child grow from whatever experiences they face. If posttraumatic growth occurs after a difficult friendship then the child can emerge from it stronger, wiser and more aware of the complicated nature of life.

Stella O’Malley’s new book Bully-Proof Kids, practical tools to help your child grow up confident, resilient and strong (Gill Books, €14.99) is out now.

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reasons you may need physio during pregnancy with Jenny B r a n i g a n MISCP Pregnancy changes the body. Not everybody responds to these changes in the same way. Past injury history, previous pregnancies, and daily movements patterns all influence how you cope with these changes. Check out these 10 reasons why pregnant women see their Chartered Physiotherapist: 1. Growing breasts may cause rounded shoulders, increasing pressure on the neck. If you have a history of neck pain, this posture can flare up old symptoms. Women with sitting based jobs, and who drive long distances are more susceptible. 2. The thoracic spine (upper spine) is prone to stiffness, with pregnancy related postural changes often causing pain to move, cough or even deep breathe. 3. Lower back pain is quite common due to forward pelvic tilting to accommodate the growing bump, and decreased support as abdominal muscles stretch. In the third trimester all ligaments relax in preparation for birth, which further reduces lower back stability, especially when chasing toddlers.

joints, groin or thigh. You are more at risk if you had PGP during a previous pregnancy. 6. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms include fingers, hand, wrist, arm or even shoulder pain. Other symptoms include tingling, numbness, or burning in the hands and fingers. It is most common from the third trimester onwards and usually settles after birth, as pregnancy swelling subsides. 7. Left side lying with knees bent and a pillow between them balances the hips and pelvis, maintaining good spinal alignment and eases sleeping discomfort. Place a small pad under your bump in lying from the second trimester. 8. Rib pain is common when an expanding bump increases pressure on the rib attachments to the thoracic spine. It can make sitting or prolonged driving quite uncomfortable. 9. Feeling clumsy and unbalanced is the result of your centre of gravity slowly changing as your bump grows. Avoid heels which makes this effect more pronounced and could increase your risk of falling.

4. Contrary to popular belief, you are not more prone to sciatica when pregnant. Many women actually have pelvic girdle pain and not sciatica. Check in with your Chartered Physiotherapist to find out what is causing the pain.

10. Most women develop some bladder weakness, usually during the third trimester. Bladder weakness usually resolves within a few weeks of the birth. If you still have leaking at 6 weeks after delivery, contact a Women’s Health Chartered Physiotherapist for help.

5. Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) refers to pregnancy related pelvic pain. Symptoms include pain or stiffness in the pubic joint, lower back, sacro-iliac

Pain is not a normal part of being pregnant. Call your local Chartered Physiotherapist for help with pregnancy related pain.

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S U M M E R | DA D L A N D

DADLAND “He can’t wear pink! H e ’ s a b o y… ” Stay-at-home dad, Benny Finlay, on perspective on gender neutrality

I

’d consider our little country to be quite liberal and forward thinking in many respects; from our openly gay Taoiseach to our yes vote on samesex marriage. So why oh, why do we have such an issue with kids and gender neutrality? Don’t believe me? Post a picture online of your son wearing a pink princess dress and watch the ‘fun’ unfold in the comments below. As a man, I’m supposed to be the one who says, “He can’t wear that, it’s pink. He’s not a girl?” or, “My son won’t play with dolls.” It’s what society seems to want me to say. I don’t agree, though. Let kids be kids, let them play and have fun and have favourite things no matter what colour or perceived gender roles are attached by others. I’m happy to announce my little man’s favourite colour is pink. (He’s very happy to announce it too, by the way). It has been his favourite since he grasped the concept of having a favourite. Did I think he’d ‘grow out of it’? Yes, if I’m honest. I suspected the pressures of his peers would sway his judgment. Am I delighted he’s stood firm and unresolved in his choice of favourite colour? Again, yes. He’s made his choice and you must deal with it. The problem, if you perceive there to be one, is yours, not his. He just likes a colour. He had a choice to make and he made it. Am I worried about teasing and

bullying because of these choices? Yes, of course. What parent wouldn’t be? He’s put himself out there, made himself ‘different’. He has a pink room, a pink hurling grip and helmet, a pink bike, he’s attracted to pink sparkly T-shirt’s and clothes. What’s wrong with that? Am I, as a parent, ‘setting him up for a fall’ by enabling him against societal norms.

He has a pink room, a pink hurling grip and helmet, a pink bike, he’s attracted to pink sparkly T-shirt’s and clothes. What’s wrong with that? What’s so divisive about pink and blue? They are just colours, after all. Who actually decreed that one was feminine and one masculine? And why do we have to play by these people’s rules? Let’s make no bones about it, it’s the adults making the assumptions, not the kids. There is no more loved toy in a creche or Montessori than the ‘play kitchen’ until someone tells the boys they shouldn’t be playing with it.

Look I get it. Society, in general, seems to have accepted these colours as ‘gender-related’ and the consumer message is reinforced on a daily basis; pink princess dresses for the girls and blue tracksuits with ‘masculine’ images like dinosaurs, trains or footballs on them for the boys. We’re the ones buying these things. We, as a society, are driving the sales and reinforcing this gender division. It starts before the child is even born. We’re in an age of gender reveals on social media. Grannies eagerly awaiting the news of the child’s sex, knitting needles in hand, both pink and blue wool at the ready. The dye is set from before they are even born. So, is the ‘gender neutral movement’ preferable? I think they’ve probably gone too far, too. I understand their rationale in calling for toys and clothes to be unisex, but to me, it doesn’t really work that way. It’s akin to scrapping blue and pink and making a case for yellow for all. Choice should be facilitated, options available, and children accepted for whatever they like. It’s the mindset of society than needs changing, not the labels on the clothes or toys. I will always teach my kids that they can be whatever they want to be both now and, in the future. For me, gender equality is far more important an issue than gender neutrality.

Benny Finlay quit his job as an auctioneer in 2016 to concentrate on bringing up his 2 beautiful children in Waterford. He felt their childhood was passing him by and wanted to spend more time with them as they grew. He’s been telling dad jokes, making puns and sharing the inside track on what it’s like to be a stay at home dad in Ireland on Daddypoppins.com and social media ever since. He’d love you to pop by and say hello.

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F E AT U R E | S U M M E R

Want your say?

Continue the discussion online, on Facebook at maternityandinfant and on Instagram at @maternityinfantfamily Tell us what YOU think!

Confessions of a

Grandmother LICENCE TO SPOIL?

Grandparents can overstep the mark without even realising it. From offering parenting advice to spoiling the children, there’s a wrong and a right way to do things, obser ves this s a v v y g r a n d m o t h e r. 32 maternityandinfant.ie

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S U M M E R | F E AT U R E

Grandparents can overstep the mark without even realising it. From offering parenting advice to spoiling the children, there’s a wrong and a right way to do things, obser ves this s a v v y g r a n d m o t h e r.

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n a changing world the role of the grandparent has been reshaped dramatically. Many are working full time and have to find space for these new little people in their lives. Others have too much free time and step in, often smothering the infant and new parents with love and an overload of advice. Often children are inherited from previous relationships and suddenly instead of two – there are three sets or even more in this blended mix. It’s a real bonus if you get on and like each other. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t – you can always make special time to do things with the kids together. Grandparents learn on a trial and error basis and, as a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea for us to cast our minds back to when ours were small. When you were sleep-deprived, the house a mess, the laundry basket overflowing, the dishwasher unemptied and the beds unmade, what was your worst nightmare? Your mother or mother-in-law popping in unannounced, looking around disparagingly and starting to tidy up? Logically, that was all you wanted: a housework fairy to add some order to your disordered life and someone to hold your child and make things better. But in those post-partum days such generosity was probably interpreted as interfering and judgmental. Try to remember these feelings before dishing out your vast knowledge to the next generation. There are ways of doing things and stepping back is as important as rushing in like the fire service. Trends change and it’s important not to start every bit of advice with ‘In my day we always…’ However, it’s as these little bundles of joy grow and develop their own personalities that grand-parenting becomes more joyous for many. But that’s not always the case. Grandparents need to be diplomats, especially in times of conflict. We’ve all heard stories of heartbroken grandparents who never see their grandkids again after a break-up, divorce or re-marriage. Yet it’s in times of crisis, and in these war zones, that the older generation should be there as a back-up, not becoming another gap in the little ones’ world. It’s also our duty not to single out any one for special attention, no matter how charming, funny or talented that one may be. Another no-no is never trying to outdo the other grandparents when it comes to presents and treats. We’ve all seen the scenario of the competing grannies/granddads – one trying to surpass the other and/or trying to buy favours

THE BIG QUESTION WE ASKED: Do your grandparents spoil your children? Have you ever had to ask granny or granddad to please stop buying so many gifts? YOU ANSWERED: “Mine spoil him with time.” @QUEENMEABH “I thought about asking them to stop after this past Christmas. After discussing it with my husband, we decided it is our job to teach our kids to be appreciative and grateful. Who are we to cut someone off from blessing them? We do try to ask for experience gifts, like museum passes and dance classes, to keep the playroom from bursting open.” @ T H AT R O G E R S FA M I LY “I have asked my mum to stop bringing sweets and cakes to my daughter but it is impossible and at the end of the day, it is love where this comes from so no harm done.” TRACEY ENNIS “A grandparent-grandchild relationship is so special. Children know it’s different from the relationship with their parents. If they are spoilt by a grandparent then it’s because they realise how amazing and special childhood is, something you don’t have the chance to see that when you are in the midst of parenting and trying to teach your kids the rules. Grandparents are entitled to break them! If my parents were around I wouldn’t stop them. Anyone with a grandparent who is active in their lives is lucky.” @LALAANDBEA

with the grandkids. There’s nothing to be achieved by trying to upstage them with bigger and fancier presents. Let a bit of common sense prevail here. Look at the whole picture – some grandparents have lots of grandchildren that they have to buy for. They may not be as flush with money either. Being first to book Disney on Ice or panto tickets doesn’t actually count when it comes to measuring love. Spending time with someone does. A gran of my acquaintance lives a road away from her two grandchildren. Every week she buys some item of clothing for the children – a seven-year-old with over 20 pairs of shoes and a genuine Burberry coat. Hello? What planet did she fall off? And what message is that sending the poor child? This same gran has never had the children for a sleepover or offered to babysit. Another makes an entrance on special occasions laden down with fancy boxes and ribbons, which are soon discarded as her twin granddaughters open their very expensive designer dresses. These are usually only worn once, as the girls prefer to be in jeans and tops like all the other kids. Another gran I know makes, and has made, enormous Christmas stockings for each of her ten grandchildren. She shops all year round to fill them, and not at Dealz either. They all get around 25 gifts in each along with a card with money inside, so that they can buy themselves something they’d like. Now what’s what I call OTT! Of course, all kids expect treats from the older family members and so it should be. But as they grow it’s the things you did together that they’ll remember, not the value of their presents. It’s the things you laughed at. The broken egg that dribbled down the front of the cupboards as you made cakes together, the water all over the floor as you watered plants together, the suds chasing each other across the landing from putting a whole bottle of bubble bath in the sink and leaving the tap running. There’s no manual out there for how to be a good grandparent. Yet, of all the human conditions, being the granny, granddad, or grandchild is the nicest and most rewarding of all relationships. It’s full of unconditional love, wonder, trust, security, laughter and nonsense. It’s very precious. It allows the adult be childlike again and the child to feel special and grown-up. The magic doesn’t happen overnight. It can’t be bought. It evolves from pure love and respect and it takes time. maternityandinfant.ie

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TOY B OX | S U M M E R

Seashell sandbox, €24.50 at Heatons

Donnay beach set, €4.19 at Heatons

Editor’s

PICK

Pineapple beach towel, €15 at TK Maxx

Kids’ picnic bench, €35 at Heatons

Beach ball €5.99 at Heatons

su Ma th m k e m et g e h ar r e to de da mo y th n a s st e n wi of b d th l ea d f o ch ay un ng tr i ip n s

Donnay bowling set, €5 at Heatons

TO BO Y X

Circular orange towel, €10 at Flying Tiger

Wicker picnic h a m p e r, € 9 9 . 9 9 a t HomeSense

Editor’s

PICK

Olsa swing set, €240 at B&Q

Beach tennis set, €3 at Flying Tiger

C h a d Va l l e y O u t d o o r wooden tension tower game, €29.99 at Argos

Flexi football goal set, €14.99 at Smyths Donnay Catch Ball, €3 at Heatons

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SUMMER | STYLE

Family Style BUMPSTYLE

H O L I DAY ST Y L E

KIDSSTYLE

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M AT E R N I T Y | S U M M E R Nursing vest with poppers, €13.99 at Mothercare

maternity

STYLE Relaxed holiday looks that are fresh and breezy LOOK ONE

LOOK TWO

LOOK THREE Shades bus knitted tank top, €65 Fo l l i Fo l l i e

Ticking dress, €49 JojoMamanBèbè

Katerina dress, €38 Isabelle Oliver

Te r c e l t o p , € 2 1 Peacocks Tr i l b y h a t , € 2 5 Accessorize J by Jasper bag, €38 Debenhams

V b y Ve r y b a m b o o bag, €42 Litttlewoods Ireland

Zadie stretch jeans, €47 Isabelle Oliver Ta s s e l e a r r i n g s , €6.99 New Look

Editor’s

PICK

Ta s s e l e a r r i n g , € 1 4 Accessorize Mel sandal, € 67 Office

Ta s s e l s a n d a l , € 9 Dorothy Perkins

E n j o y t r a i n e r, € 1 4 5 Dune

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S U M M E R | H O L I DAY S T Y L E

E

green shoots Effortlessly chic looks for a holiday with tropical vibes SUMMER ACCESSORIES

Accessorize

Beach bag, €18.10 TK Maxx

GREEN& BLACK Halterneck, €20.50 Next

Cateye shades, €9 New Look

Culottes, €35 Wa l l i s

Floppy hat, €20 Accessorize

Pina Colada hoops, €12 Accessorize

Editor’s

PICK

TAKE 3 SHOES

Off-the-shoulder dress, €19.99 H&M

Loupe slide, €105 Dune Tassel sandal, €45 Office Leopard sandal, €33 Office

PRINTS&PATTERNS Bikini top, €34 bottoms, €22 Marks & Spencer

Palazzo trousers, €12 Penneys

Alice playsuit, €40 Lipsy Dress, €19.99 H&M Kimono dress, €35 Wa l l i s

Halterneck, €28 M&Co

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B A BY S T Y L E | S U M M E R

romping home Sweet summer rompers for kicking about in the sun

FOR HIM

Mothercare

J by Jasper Conran r o m p e r, € 1 4 . 4 0 Debenhams

FOR HER

R o m p e r, € 1 7. 9 9 H&M

Jungle dungarees, €21 JojoMamanBébé

Jumpsuit, €16 M&Co

SUNSUIT

Powell Craft dungarees, €34 childrensalon.com R o m p e r, € 1 4 . 9 9 H&M

ACCESSORIZE

Wo l f i e + W i l l o w b a b y s h o e s , €34.95 Kilkenny

Chambray sunhat, € 7. 7 5 Mothercare

Editor’s

PICK

Hugo Boss jellies, €55 Littlewoods Ireland

B u n n y r o m p e r, €24.99 Mothercare

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S U M M E R | H O L I DAY S T Y L E

water world Day at the beach or hitting the pool? Get ready for some waterside action in the cutest swimwear and accessories

FOR HIM

M&Co

FOR HER

Banana trunks, €10 F&F

Swimsuit, €13.75 Cath Kidston

Bluezoo swim shorts, €16 Debenhams

Swimsuit, €16 Monsoon

Polo Ralph Lauren, €63 childrensalon.com

Swimsuit, €8 Penneys

TAKE 3 SUN SUITS

Suit, €28 JojoMamanBébé PlayShoes sun protective suit, €38 childrensalon.com Dinosaur suit, €13.99 Heatons

Editor’s

PICK

Ria Sunsafe surf suit, €25 Monsoon

Suniva bikini, €43 childrensalon.com

PARTYANIMALS Board shorts, €13 Mothercare

Bluezoo swimsuit, €20 Debenhams

Board shorts, €12.15 Cath Kidston

Swimsuit, €12.99 H&M

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KID STYLE | SUMMER

sunny side up Mix pretty pastels with sunshine yellow for a holiday look that’s irresistible MELLOW YELLOW

Mothercare

GO GRAPHIC Kylie skort, €19 M&Co

To p , € 6 . 9 9 H&M

T- s h i r t , €14.99 H&M

C a t T- s h i r t , €41 childrensalon.com

SIMPLE SHORTS T- s h i r t , € 6 Heatons

Shorts, €19 Monsoon

J by Jasper sandal, €32 Debenhams

#floorshow Cute and colourful sandals your little one will love

Ice lolly dress, €16 Heatons

Birkenstock, €17 childrensalon.com

PRINTS&PATTERNS PRINTS& Cap, €6.99 H&M

Fo i l T- s h i r t , €9.99 Mothercare

Editor’s

PICK

Guess zip-up, €51 childrensalon. com

Polo Ralph Lauren T- s h i r t , € 3 2 childrensalon. com

Striped dress, €24.99 Mothercare

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SUMMER | KID STYLE

summer camp Comfy and cool pieces for a colourful summer BOYS IN BLUE

Penneys

GO GRAPHIC Banana shirt, tank top, €9 F&F

J by Jasper shorts, €20 Debenhams

Dinosaur hoodie, €16.99 M&Co

T- s h i r t , € 1 1 . 5 0 H&M

MATCHPOINT T- s h i r t , € 1 1 M&Co

W h a l e T- s h i r t , €12 shorts, €10.50 H&M

TAKE 3 SHORTS

Khaki shorts, €12 Heatons J by Jasper, €22, Debenhams Shorts, €13.99 Mothercare

PRINTS&PATTERNS

Editor’s

PICK

Chinos, €16 Marks & Spencer

Polo Ralph Lauren T- s h i r t , € 3 3 childrensalon. com

Sweatshirt, €14 Marks & Spencer

Tr i l b y, €10.50 M&Co

Check shirt, €34 Mothercare

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AC C E S S O R I E S | S U M M E R

back to school Make back to school (or back to crèche) extra fun with cool backpacks, colour ful stationery and the cutest of lunch boxes.

THINKDRINK!

Large Spiderman triton bottle, €4.50 at Heatons

Fo l k D o v e s v a c u u m flask and cup, €18.13 at rexlondon.com

Thermos stainless steel cold cup, €21

LUNCHTIME

Flamingo Bay bento box, €8.50 at rexlondon.com

3 D D a r t h Va d e r l u n c h bag and bottle, €10 at Heatons

Coloured lunch box, €5.70 each at Flying Tiger

3D Hello Kitty lunch bag and bottle, €10 at Heatons

Minnie Mouse combi lunch set, €5 at Heatons

STATIONERY

Kawaii Kool rainbow pencil case, €5.68 at Paperchase

J e M ’A p p e l l e Fa b u l o u s large notebook, €11.50 at Paperchase

Harry Potter pencil case, €3 at Penneys

Cocktail pencil case, €3.40 at Flying Tiger

SCHOOLBAGS

A5 Soundwave Printed Notebook, €6.99 at TK Maxx

Editor’s

PICK

Shark backpack, €6 at Heatons

Kids Zepher Penguin day pack, €17 at Regatta

Ta n H a r r y P o t t e r Satchel, €16 at Penneys

Animal backpack, €8 at Flying Tiger

Flamingo backpack, €25 at GettingPersonal. co.uk

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SUMMER | LIVING

Lifestyle FA M I LY K I TC H E N

FA M I LY H O M E

FA M I LY T R AV E L

Olli Ella See Ya wheeled suitcase in Rose and MInt, €67 each

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K I TC H E N | S U M M E R

family kitchen The heart of the home, turn your kitchen into a welcoming space with nourishing meals, time-saving gadgets and laughter in abundance

ROSE TINTED

KITCHEN The old-meets-new styling of this kitchen cabinet is just beautiful. This bi-fold countertop in lovely Old Rose is from Neptune’s Suffolk collection, and makes for perfect kitchen storage, from €1,680. The 7- drawer base can be ordered separately for €3,340. See neptune.com for Irish stockists.

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S U M M E R | K I TC H E N

NUTS

ABOUT YOU Nut butters are a great way to give kids energy, whether spread on bread and crackers, as a dip with raw veggies or even for baking nutty treats. Aldi’s new The Foodie Market range includes smooth and crunchy peanut butter, €2.49 each, and smooth almond butter, €2.99, all made from 100% nuts and free from artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives.

Distract fussy eaters with this engaging dinner melamine dining set, €15 rexlondon.com

IN THE

PINK Thinking of updating your tableware? Marks & Spencer’s cool Trbeca range is on trend with its modern shapes and ombre styling. Pieces start from €3 for a cereal bowl.

GET YOUR OAT S Porridge is the ultimate breakfast food and best way to start you and your family’s day. Flahavan’s new Overnight Oats offer a ready-made mix of delicious Irish oats with apple, raspberries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Ready to enjoy straight from the fridge, just add milk, apple juice or water the night before and pop it in the fridge. Next morning they’re ready to eat (with the Flahavan’s folk suggesting a dollop of natural yoghurt the next morning for an even tastier start to your day.)

MACARON

MAGIC

Don’t be deceived by the cute colours. Béaba’s baby feeding ranges are highly rated and strike a balance between smart technology, usability and aesthetics. The award-winning Babycook is an easy to use 4-in-1 food processor, which steams in just 15 minutes preserving vitamins and minerals, blends, defrosts and re-heats food. The Babycook Limited Edition Macaron, €137, see

WELL BREAD RUSSELL HOBBS NEW PASTEL COLOURS+ APPLIANCES INCLUDE THIS CUTE HEAVENLY BLUE TOASTER, €39.99.

Editor’s

PICK

beaba.co.uk for stockists.

Selfie time Suitable for babies over 6 months, Oxo’s new Silicone Self-Feeder encourages self feeding. Small

TIME FOR TEA Most parents know the power and pleasure of a good cup of tea. Upgrade your experience with one of these good looking kettles.

perforations in the silicone top sieve food safely while allowing baby to suck away on everything from banana to fruit purées and fresh strawberries. €12.60 from Amazon.

JUNIOR DIY

1

Cookworks copper kettle, €29.99 at Argos

2

Smeg kettle, €139.95 at Harvey Norman

3

Dial kettle, €40 at Next

Best-selling baby food author, Annabel Karmel has teamed up with NUK to create a bright new range of feeding aids ideal for weabing. Food cube tray, €9.89, masher and bowl, €8.46 and ice lolly mould, €9.89.

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RECIPES | SUMMER

recipes for fussy eaters Mum and blogger Ciara At t w e l l ’ s everyday recipes for the whole family

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SUMMER | RECIPES

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’m Ciara, mum to seven-year-old Aoife and four-year-old Fintan. Originally from Ireland, I now live in the UK with my husband and children where I run the website My Fussy Eater. Since starting my blog in 2014 I have had an overwhelming response to my recipes and my tips and tricks for making feeding kids a little easier. There is nothing more heart-warming than receiving messages from other mums and dads telling me how their kids have gobbled

up one of my dishes. Most people are surprised when I tell them that I am not a natural cook. I spent my student years living off pasta and jars of tomato sauce with the odd bit of minced beef or chicken thrown in if I was feeling flush that week. Working long hours in London in my twenties meant I ate out a lot or relied on supermarket ready-meals. Even when my daughter was born in 2011 I never really embraced home cooking. I went back to work when she was six months old and she was weaned by our fantastic childminder at the time, who had her eating everything including curries, stews and all kinds of vegetables by the time she was eight months old. The shock came when I left my job and we moved out of London a year later. Aoife went from eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at the childminder’s, to me preparing all her meals and snacks. I took for granted all the hard work that our childminder had done with weaning and introducing Aoife to a wide variety of different foods. She gradually became more and more fussy, not helped by the fact that I was then pregnant with our second child and living pretty much solely on a diet of beige food! When Fintan was born in January 2014 my appetite for normal food came back and I set about trying to improve the whole family’s eating habits. I started www.myfussyeater.com and began sharing the recipes I was making, along with little tips and tricks that were working for us to improve Aoife’s picky eating. Slowly her diet improved and she began eating a wider variety of foods. Now, at the age of seven, we still struggle to get her to eat certain foods or to try new things. As lovely as it would be, there’s no quick-fix cure for fussy eating. The subject of food and feeding is something we have to focus on as parents from weaning right up to their teenage years, but at the same time it shouldn’t dominate family life and cause unnecessary stress every day.

2 eggs 100g cream cheese 6 0 g g r a te d C h e d d a r cheese 50g plain flour

s a l t a n d p e p p e r, to ta s te crisp lettuce leaves, to s e r v e

350g skinless chicken

c r è m e f r a i c h e , to s e r v e

1. Mix together the eggs, cream cheese, grated cheese, flour and chives in a large bowl. Add the chopped chicken and season with salt and pepper. 2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to transfer 4 portions of the chicken mixture to the frying pan. Press down with a spatula and cook each fritter for 4–5 minutes on each side until they are cooked through. 3. Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with kitchen paper and cook the remaining mixture. 4. Serve immediately, in lettuce ‘cups’, with crème fraiche for dipping, or leave to cool at room temperature. 5. The fritters will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

LOADED NACHOS These loaded nachos are a regular Saturday night treat in my house. My kids love how f u n t h e y a r e a n d i t ’ s n i c e f o r u s a l l to s h a r e food out of one big dish. P R E P T I M E : 1 0 m i n | CO O K T I M E : 1 7 m i n S E RV E S : 4

3 l a r g e to r t i l l a w r a p s

50g Cheddar cheese

1 tbsp olive or v e g e ta b l e o i l

1 r e d p e p p e r, h a l v e d , deseeded and finely diced

CHEESY CHICKEN FRITTERS

1 ts p g r o u n d c u m i n

M y d a u g h te r i s n ’ t a m a s s i v e f a n o f c h i c k e n b u t s h e l o v e s t h e s e c h e e s y c h i c k e n f r i t te r s . They make the perfect finger food for lunch served with some raw veggies on the side.

1 ts p s m o k e d p a p r i k a

S E RV E S : 4 ( m a k e s 8 f r i t te r s )

1 tbsp olive or v e g e ta b l e o i l

1 tbsp chopped chives

500g lean minced beef

P R E P T I M E : 7 m i n | CO O K T I M E : 1 6 - 2 0 m i n

b r e a s ts , c u t i n to s m a l l pieces

1 y e l l o w p e p p e r, h a l v e d , deseeded and finely diced

1 ts p g r o u n d c o r i a n d e r

1 0 c h e r r y to m a to e s , q u a r te r e d

1 / 2 ts p m i l d c h i l l i powder

2 spring onions, finely diced

1 / 2 ts p g a r l i c p o w d e r

sour cream, chopped fresh coriander and lime w e d g e s , to s e r v e

1 5 0 m l b e e f s to c k

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RECIPES | SUMMER

M y Fu s s y E a te r : A Real Mum’s Easy Everyday Recipes for the Whole Fa m i l y

€8.99, (Blink) out now.

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or foil. 2. Stack the tortilla wraps on top of each other and cut the stack into 8 triangles, as if you were cutting a pizza, to make 24 triangles in total. 3. Brush both sides of the tortilla chips with a little oil and place them on the baking trays (if there’s not enough room on the trays you may have to bake them in batches). 4. Bake the chips in the oven for 5–6 minutes, turning them over halfway through. You want them just turning crispy but not too brown. 5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the mince and fry for 4–5 minutes until browned. Add the spices and garlic powder and mix well. Add the beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes until the stock has reduced right down.

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SUMMER | RECIPES

ONE-POT SALMON LINGUINE 5 0 0 m l h o t v e g e ta b l e s to c k

I ’ m a b i g f a n o f o n e - p o t p a s ta m e a l s a n d this salmon version doesn’ t disappoint. I t ’ s s o q u i c k a n d e a s y to m a k e a n d i s a great way of making a small amount of s a l m o n g o f a r. P R E P T I M E : 2 m i n | CO O K T I M E : 1 0 m i n S E RV E S : 4

2 5 0 g s k i n l e s s s a l m o n f i l l e t , c u t i n to l a r g e c h u n k s 300g linguine, strands broken in half 400g tin coconut milk

1 r e d p e p p e r, h a l v e d , d e s e e d e d a n d d i c e d 75g baby corn, halved 5 0 g m a n g e to u t 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 shallot, diced

1. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan or shallow casserole dish and bring to the boil over a medium heat. 2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes until the spaghetti and salmon are cooked and all the stock has been absorbed, stirring regularly. 3. Serve immediately. maternityandinfant.ie

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PETS | SUMMER

family pets

In celebration of our furry friends

PACK YOUR POOCH Are you one of the 45% of Irish dog owners whose pet influences your choice of holiday destination? Nothing beats taking your dog on holidays. It not only adds to the family fun but ensures you’re not worrying about pooch missing you (or paying out expensive kennel fees.) Dogs travel for free on board Stena Line with the ferry company carrying thousands of pets across the Irish Sea every year. Dogs can travel in your vehicle or in one of the on board kennels. To help you get the best from your holiday with pooch Stena Line has compiled these useful packing tips: • PET PASSPORT • ANY MEDICATIONS THAT YOUR PET MAY NEED • GROOMING PRODUCTS • FOOD, WATER AND TREATS

• SPARE COLLAR AND LEAD • SPARE ID TAG WHICH INCLUDES ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER OF WHERE YOU WILL BE STAYING

LUXEPUPS Fancy treating your dog like royalty? Then how about splashing out on this super stylish dog bed from luxury brand Charley Chau? A mere €318, it is their premium offering, with more affordable beds starting at €57. Their faux fur blankets, €80, are pretty special too. charleychau.com

Editor’s

PICK

4 great dog-friendly cafes in Dublin HAPPY OUT, DUBLIN 3 After an invigorating walk on Bull Island or splash in the sea hit up Happy Out for a great coffee, cheese toastie and sweet treats. Dogs can pan out on the deck with a bowl of water while you and the kids enjoy the windswept views of Dublin Bay. happyout.ie THE FUMBALLY, DUBLIN 8 Laid back, spacious and serving delicious food, the chilled-out Fumbally café is especially welcoming to dogs. They’ll need to be kept on a lead indoors (there’s outdoor seating too) and there’s plenty of room for buggies too. Pooches are welcome to curl up on the couch and hang out while you all enjoy a snack or tasty lunch. thefumbally.ie DOG HOUSE BLUES TEA ROOMS, HOWTH After an invigorating walk on Howth cliffs make for Dog House Blues, right beside the DART station. The quirky al fresco dining space is styled as an outdoor ding room and serves up delicious wood-fired pizzas. There’s coffee and cakes too, if you just fancy a snack and four-legged friends are extra welcome. thedoghousehowth.com THE CAKE CAFE, DUBLIN 8 You don’t need to be a kid to get excited about a trip to Dublin 8’s cool Cake Café. Menus aren’t all sweet stuff, but their confections are the main draw for grown-ups and little ones. The sunny little courtyard is a great spot for your pup to settle in as you and the kids indulge in some delicious baking. thecakecafe.ie

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SUMMER | HOME

family home Fresh ideas for summer living

Green party... Hexagon embroidered cushion, €40 at Marks & Spencer

Wo v e n g r e e n basket, €27 at Debenhams

Set of 3 marble succulents, €18 at Next

BEDTIME

BLISS Green is a restful and calming colour, making it the perfect choice for your

Habitat Lucia double bed in fresh green. A modern classic, €295 at Argos

SLEEP IT OFF

No spare room? No problem. DFS’s Inca sofa bed converts from stylish sofa to a spare bed in seconds, €779.

Editor’s

PICK

bedroom. Layer your bed with luxe, tactile fabrics for a cosy and chic space that will look good even after the kids have messed it up! Homewares from a selection at Amara.

SWEET DREAMS Make bedtime extra fun with this cool Snurk ‘Dino’ single duvet set, €70 at Harvey Norman

HOP TO IT INSTANT EXTRA GARDEN FURNITURE FOR UNEXPECTED BARBECUE GUESTS! FROG CAMPING CHAIR, €17 AT HOMEBASE

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Lamp, €59.90 at Ta k a To m o . d e

S h a r k t o y t i d y, €31.95 at Ta k a To m o . d e

INTERIORS | SUMMER

Whale wall lamps, € 5 9 a t Ta k a To m o . d e

Editor’s

PICK

Black By Design Vita Azure Carmina lamp, €59

Circu shark s t o o l , P OA

hit the high seas

Wo o d e n l i g h t h o u s e €12.4 8, at Coastal Home

Seaside sign, €5.10 at Live Laugh Love

Set sail for a bedroom that’s nautical and nice

Canal Chair by Moooi, €850 at Chaplins Fu r n i t u r e What a catch cushion, €30 by Sophie Allport

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SUMMER | INTERIORS

Porthole m i r r o r, € 9 5 , at Coastal Home

Rope knot cushion €22.99 at HomeSense

Shark laundry basket, €121.50 at D a Wa n d a

Editor’s

String of fairylights, €16.99 at HomeSense

PICK

L E D a n c h o r, € 1 3 a t C u l t Fu r n i t u r e

Whale table lamp, €68.50 at Indie Art Design

Paper weave storage basket, €12 at Next Beach hut photo frame, €8.95 at rexlondon.com

Rodnik Shark F i n c h a i r, €508.50 at madec.com

Hello Kitty Sail Away sleeping bag, €34

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T R AV E L | S U M M E R

KILKENNY The Marble City is friendly and fascinating and a great base for exploring the county

WITH KIDS

A

compact, charming city, Kilkenny is full of beautiful historic buildings that will capture children’s imaginations. Lovely to stroll around, with parks and great cafés, a tour of Kilkenny Castle, St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tour, unusual Rothe House and the Black Abbey make a great introduction to this medieval town. GAA fans will know the might of the Kilkenny Cat’s at hurling, and the Kilkenny Way Ultimate Hurling Experience is ideal for a rainy day trip, celebrating the game, its history, skill and, naturally, the many local greats.

STAY

If the world class Mount Juliet sounds too swanky with the kids, you might feel more at home at its gorgeous little sister. Hunter’s Yard was originally the stables at Mount Juliet estate’s working farm, sleeping coachmen, stable boys and grooms as well as housing hay lofts and horses. Beautifully renovated, with a subtle horsey theme, they’ve created a bright and spacious new hotel that’s high on comfort and style. Kids are welcomed with cookies and milk in their minibar, while mum and dad will find luxury touches like coffee machines, deep pillows, cool bathrooms and lots of space.

Breakfast here is exceptional and served in the relaxed, light-flooded Hound restaurant which also doubles up as a relaxed space for lunch or dinner with a broad menu that will appeal to adults and kids. There’s a lovely pool on site and a top quality kids club catering for babies through to teens. Split into 4 age groups from 0 to 12+, it offers super age-appropriate activities including fun estate activities, like falconry, golf, horse riding and archery.

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S U M M E R | T R AV E L

WHERE TO EAT 3 FAMILY FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS HUNGRY MOOSE Fresh from having their burger voted the best burger in the whole country, this crowd-funded ‘gourmet burger house’ is run by the Rolling Stones’ one-time chef. Facebook.com/ thehungrymoosekilkenny/ AROI Serving up delicious Asian street food, including noodles, fragrant curries and home made gelato, with everything priced between €3 and €11. aroi.eu FOODWORKS Housed in a former bank, this casual bistro buzzes with happy locals enjoying good food, big portions and reasonable prices. foodworks.ie

HORSE PLAY

Given Mount Juliet’s equestrian heritage, a break here has to include some horse riding. The equestrian centre houses some of the gentlest, most placid horses, making them a super experience for a new rider. A staff member will guide the children’s mounts by the rein while you can trot alongside experiencing the magnificent country estate as its original owners would have once done. Family of 4, €50.

bunnies, get lost in a 3D maze and ride go-karts while mum and dad enjoy tea and delicious home baking. (Family of 4, €27, norevalleypark.com) For something more challenging, head to the wonderful Castlecomer Adventure Park, comprising 80 acres of dense woodland and lakes. Here, alongside the coal mining museum you’ll find a host of great activities for the whole family. Be sure to stop by the elf and fairy village and playground, or sign up for one of the adventure activities including a tree-top walk and climbing wall, boating and whizz along Ireland’s longest zipline. There’s a cafe and craft courtyard on site and prices for activities vary, though you can enjoy the park for free. discoverypark.ie

Getting there: Jillian and family were guests of Hunter’s Yard. €405 for three nights’ accommodation in Hunter’s Yard with breakfast each morning and dinner in The Hound on an evening of your choice, based on 2 adults and 2 children with complimentary access to Mount Juliet Juniors Club and use of the Health Club. Available from 25th June to 31st August. Book at mountjuliet.ie Check out visitkilkenny.ie for more ideas

COUNTY FUN

Go further afield to explore the deep, dark Dunmore Caves, just ten kilometres from the city. Guided tours reveal the history and geology of the ‘darkest place in Ireland’ and there’s an interactive museum up top. Youngsters will love Nore Valley Open Farm, a relaxed setting where they can bottle feed lambs, cuddle

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M OTO R I N G | S U M M E R

familyfaves Dreaming of an SUV but don’ t have the budget? Motoring journalist Suzanne Keane suggests the f a m i l y c r o s s o v e r.

I

deal for those wanting SUV looks on a thriftier budget, a crossover mixes the styling of a larger 4x4 with the practicality of a hatchback. In the past decade Irish families have certainly made the jump from family saloon cars to crossovers and this trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The first-generation NISSAN QASHQAI was responsible for the creation of the crossover segment and the latest version doesn’t disappoint – the Qashqai is the bestselling car in Ireland so far this year. With prices starting from €26,370 this version has been restyled to keep up with the competition and has much more aggressive looks. Standard equipment on the XE trim level includes cruise control and manual air-conditioning while an optional safety pack will get you front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and forward emergency braking. The range topping SVE model comes with 19” alloys, electric front seats, a driver assist pack with blind spot warning, moving object detection and intelligent park assist and a further optional upgrade to an 8 speaker BOSE sound system. There are 2 Isofix points in the rear outer seats and boot space is 430 litres with the seats up rising to 1,585 litres with the rear seats folded. Kids tables are available for the outer 2 rear seats. Engine options include a 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 & 1.6 litre diesels with road tax ranging from €180 to €270 and the Qashqai is available as 4-wheel drive.

If the Qashqai isn’t for you the RENAULT KADJAR is built on the same platform but offers different styling with rear robust lines and sporty shoulders. The base model Expression+ will set you back €25,490 and comes with Cruise Control, manual air conditioning and tinted windows. Step up to Dynamique Nav and you’ll get a 7” touch screen with Sat Nav, 17” alloy wheels, leather interior, lane departure warning and dual zone climate control. 2 Isofix points are located in the rear and the cabin is spacious with smooth detailing. I have driven the Kadjar across the Navarre desert in Spain, so it should be more than capable of tackling the school run in comfort. Available as a 1.2 petrol and a 1.5 diesel in two wheel drive the Kadjar also comes with a 1.6 litre diesel engine in the 4x4 model with road tax ranging from €190 to €270 a year.

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S U M M E R | M OTO R I N G

SUMMER ROAD TRIPS Pa c k a p i c n i c a n d h i t t h e o p e n r o a d o n a s u n n y s u m m e r ’ s d a y. 1. The Donegal Coastline Drive starts out in Donegal town, then heads west along the N56, tuning left in Dunkineely to take in the stunning sights from the lighthouse at St. John’s Point. Next stop is the fishing mecca of Killybegs, followed by the Glengesh Pass (R230) and the Barnsmore Gap (N15) via Ballybofey leading you back towards Donegal town. Don’t forget to stop off at the Maghera Caves near Ardara!

The 4th generation of the KIA SPORTAGE has been freshened up while retaining a distinctive Kia grille like the previous version. The base level LX trim starts at €27,995 and comes with 16” alloys, air conditioning, tinted windows and a 7-year (150,000km) warranty. Upgrading to the next level Platinum trim gets you leather upholstery, dual zone air conditioning and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. The interior of the Sportage has been hugely improved with quality materials used throughout. 2 Isofix points are located on the outer rear seats and with all seats in place the boot can take 491 litres. When the rear seats are folded this extends to 1,480 litres. A 1.7 litre diesel engine powers the two-wheel drive manual Sportage while a 2.0 litre engine is available for the four-wheel drive version with both manual and automatic gearboxes and road tax ranges from €200 to €390.

Voted Continental Irish Car of the Year 2018, the new PEUGEOT 3008 has dumped the functional styling of its predecessor and the new strong lines and fluid appearance certainly set it apart from the crowd. Starting at €26,595 the base model is very well equipped and comes with cruise control, semi-automatic air conditioning, an 8” touchscreen and tinted rear windows. Mirrorlink/Apple CarPlay is available on the next level “Active” trim along with rear parking sensors, a colour reversing camera, 17” alloy wheels and a safety pack which includes automatic emergency braking and front collision warning.

2. The Ring of Beara takes in sections of spectacular untouched scenery along its route. From Kenmare follow the R571 as it weaves along the edge of the bay through Tuosist turning onto the R574 for the Healy Pass. This wild mountain pass rises more than 300m from sea level and then drops into the village of Adrigole on the other side. The R572 will then lead you back towards Glengarriff Harbour where you can catch a ferry to Garnish Island and see the 250 resident seals.

There are 3 Isofix points in the 3008, in the front passenger seat and the outer rear seats, and the central front armrest comes with a chiller as standard. The interior finish is where the 3008 really stands out and the Mistral ‘Piedimonte’ trim feels like it belongs in a much more expensive car. The boot can take 591 litres with the seats up and 1,670 litres when they are folded flat with a maximum load length of just over 3m. Engine options include a 1.2 litre petrol PureTech while 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel BlueHDi engines are available with road tax ranging from €190 to €270 across the models.

3. Galway’s Sky Road Loop is an impressive coastal drive giving a panoramic view across Clifden bay and the many islands dotted along the coastline. On your way back to Galway check out some of Connemara’s spectacular scenery and stop off at Brigit’s Garden near Oughterard!

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F E AT U R E | S U M M E R

SavÄąng back to school

21 steps to a smart start

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S U M M E R | F E AT U R E

It may seem too early to be thinking about uniforms, school books and pencil cases but having a good back-to-school strategy could save you huge amounts on the bill come S e p t e m b e r, w r i t e s O r l a N e l i g a n

F

or your kids, shopping for new clothes, bags and pencils might seem like the best thing about going back to school, but for parents September can come with a hefty price tag as the list of essentials, from uniforms and books to stationery and extracurricular activities, grows. According to a recent survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions, one in four parents had to deny their child back-to-school supplies in 2017, with the average spend per primary school child being €1,048 and €1,401 for secondaryschool children. Hunting for deals and the right uniforms certainly sours the bittersweet end-of-summer cake. But there are ways to master your budget that will ease the back-to-school pressure. MAKE A PLAN It might feel as though you’re going back to school yourself but making a plan might just mean staying within your budget. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you have several little voices pleading with you for the Technicolor pencil case or the shoes that light up as you make your way around the shops. Make a list of everything you realistically need and don’t deviate.

I n 2 0 1 7, t h e average spend per primary school child was €1,048 and €1,401 for secondary-school children.

DO AN INVENTORY You spend a fortune on new stationery only to find a box of it hidden in a cupboard at home; we’ve all been there. Before you hit the shops, check whether there are items on your list that you already have: are there tracksuits and t-shirts that can be used as gym kit? Lunch boxes that can be re-used for another year? Copybooks that haven’t been scribbled on? This will ensure you don’t double up. EARLY AND LATE SEASON BUYS If you can wait until the end of summer the prices for items will drop significantly as school term draws nearer. Alternatively, early summer is a good chance to get an early purchase discount with many shops stocking generic uniforms from May. PRICE-MATCHING WEBSITES Online shopping is convenient for most time-pressed parents, especially when you don’t have to drag the entire brood with you. But, before you hit the ‘buy’ button, consider tracking your items with price-comparison websites such as PriceSpy.ie or shopmania.ie, which automatically search the web for competitive prices from various retailers. GOVERNMENT ALLOWANCE Families who meet certain social welfare criteria or take part in training, employment or adult education schemes can avail of the government clothing and footwear allowance which amounts to €125 for children aged 4-11 and €250 for children aged 12-17. BACK-TO-SCHOOL SWAP If your school doesn’t run its own uniform and book swap, gathering a few likeminded parents with children of various ages can reap the same rewards. Everyone brings unused or outgrown items to swap for items they need. Not only will it shave huge amounts off your back-to-school bill, but you’ll get rid of the clothes that

no longer fit and make room for next year’s wardrobe. BOOK RENTAL SCHEMES Many schools operate book rental schemes, which loan textbooks to children for a small rental fee. The school will inform you of the books that are covered in the scheme and refund your deposit whew the books are returned. SECOND-HAND If your school doesn’t have a secondhand book scheme, you can purchase them second-hand from sites such as schooldays.ie and, better yet, you can sell your own to buy new ones on schoolbookexchange.ie. It’s also worth checking DoneDeal.ie; you might even get a few bob for that abandoned slide.

Fa m i l i e s w h o m e e t c e r ta i n s o c i a l welfare criteria or ta k e p a r t i n t r a i n i n g , employment or adult education schemes can avail of the government clothing and footwear allowance which a m o u n ts to € 1 2 5 for children aged 4-11 and €250 for c h i l d r e n a g e d 1 2 - 1 7.

GENERIC UNIFORMS If your children are attending schools that don’t require an official jumper with school crest, supermarkets such as Lidl, Aldi and Tesco offer a range of generic uniforms for a fraction of the cost. Look out for uniform bundles, which normally include a combination of shirt, jumper and trousers, for knockdown prices. Myschooljumper.ie specialise in putting crests and logos on clothing and are inexpensive, especially when you buy in bulk.

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F E AT U R E | S U M M E R

REWARD SCHEMES In the run up to September, keep your eye on utility companies and supermarkets offering back-to-school deals. Last year Bord Gais had a 10 per cent discount on electricity along with a €75 Tesco voucher to customers who switched. Tesco teamed up with schoolbooks.ie to offer Clubcard members a chance to double their vouchers and avail of savings on school books. Check Bonkers.ie for information on household savings. AFTER–SCHOOL ACTIVITIES Just when you think you’re managing the back-to-school bill, you’re hit with the expense of extra-curricular activities. To avoid paying up front, enquire as to whether the clubs or school will allow

Yo u m i g h t w a n t to follow your f a v o u r i te b r a n d s or shops on social media networks like Tw i t t e r o r Fa c e b o o k . Many companies use t h e s e p l a t f o r m s to send their followers and fans exclusive d i s c o u n ts a n d special offers.

weekly, monthly or term payments – most are accommodating when it comes to spreading the costs. AFTER–SCHOOL ACTIVITIES Just when you think you’re managing the back-to-school bill, you’re hit with the expense of extra-curricular activities. To avoid paying up front, enquire as to whether the clubs or school will allow weekly, monthly or term payments – most are accommodating when it comes to spreading the costs.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT Our smart phones have never been smarter, with apps for managing almost every aspect of our lives. Apps such as Voucher Cloud and Spending Tracker take the hassle out of the stress of back-toschool planning, saving and buying. CHARITY SHOPS You’ll be surprised what a trawl through your local charity shop might unearth. They have become popular drop-off points with parents looking to offload uniform staples such as white shirts, shoes and textbooks and all for a snip of the price. BUY IN BULK It’s no surprise that you get more bang for your buck when you buy in bulk. Late summer is when school supplies go on sale providing you with an opportunity to buy more for less. Consider buying enough to last you throughout the school year. WORD-OF-MOUTH You can’t underestimate the power of an honest recommendation from one parent to another. WhatsApp groups and social media connections are a great way to find out the ‘best buys’ and a perfect opportunity to advertise what you need and what you have to give away or swap. SOCIAL MEDIA SCOOP If you don’t already follow your favourite brands or shops on social media networks like Twitter or Facebook, you might want to start, since many companies use these platforms to send their followers and fans exclusive discount and special offers. AFTER–SCHOOL ACTIVITIES Just when you think you’re managing the back-to-school bill, you’re hit with the expense of extra-curricular activities. To avoid paying up front, enquire as to whether the clubs or school will allow weekly, monthly or term payments – most are accommodating when it comes to spreading the costs. PACKED LUNCHES Lunch money is likely to make a considerable dent in your bank balance (€3 a day can end up being €60 a month),

Just when you think you’re managing the b a c k - to - s c h o o l b i l l , you’re hit with the expense of extracurricular activities. To a v o i d p a y i n g u p front, enquire as to whether the clubs or school will allow w e e k l y, m o n t h l y o r te r m p a y m e n ts ... money you could easily save if you made school lunches at home, not to mention they’re more nutritious since you control what goes into your child’s mouth. GO GREEN Real spoons, bento boxes, Tupperware containers all save on buying weekly plastic bags and disposable cutlery and keep your carbon footprint in check. SHOES & BAGS Shoes are one of the more costly school items, especially when you’re buying several pairs, but it is worth investing in a sturdy pair to avoid replacing them half way through the year. Sports Direct sell great-value runners and inexpensive school bags while Kildare Village has a selection of discounted stores – Clarkes, Nike, Reebok. NAME IT It seems obvious, but labeling your child’s clothes, lunchboxes and pencil cases could save you the replacement expense when it inevitably goes missing in the playground or gets left on the school bus. DOUBLE UP If you find a good deal, consider buying double. It’s no secret that children grow like weeds. Having that spare pair of runners in the next size up will be a blessing when the rubber is worn off them by Christmas.

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S U M M E R | H E A LT H

Health HEALTHNEWS

F I T FA M I LY

EXPERTADVICE

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H E A LT H N E W S | S U M M E R

ALLERGY SEASON The key to any allergy is avoidance – and this includes hay fever. If pollen is does not get in the body it cannot cause a reaction. Each child can tolerate a certain amount of pollen without reaction, however once this amount is exceeded (known as their ‘trigger level’) an allergic reaction occurs, and hay fever * Up symptoms start to occur. until six months old, Allergic rhinitis is estimated to affect babies generally breathe as many as 40% of children, with up exclusively through the nose, leading to a concentration of external aggressors in to 88% of them suffering with sleep the nasal cavity. The small size of the nose and problems and daytime fatigue. the narrowness of respiratory tracts, combined HayMax Kids is a non-drowsy with a frequent lying position, can make it difficult for parents and carers to properly clean out all allergen barrier balm that is secretions. Marimer Baby Daily Nasal Hygiene is a suitable for children and works sterile diluted 0.9% seawater isotonic solution that uses by trapping pollen before it an anatomical safety tip for gentle, non-invasive enters the body. It’s also suitable insertion, and works to gently clean and moisten the nasal cavity. It can be used over a prolonged period for pregnant and breast-feeding without risk of side effects to promote good nasal women, so can be used by the hygiene, moistening dried nasal mucous whole family. membranes, and preventing recurrent infections. Marimer Baby Daily Nasal HayMax Kids, €8.99 from good Hygiene, €9.05 from good pharmacies. pharmacies.

familyhealth

Because prevention is better than cure Newborn babies get their level of vitamin D from their mothers and, with one-in-eight people living in Ireland now vitamin D deficient, the HSE recommends that babies and infants are given 5 micro grams of Vitamin D from birth onwards. As babies grow very quickly from 0-12 months, they have a greater need for vitamin D which supports the normal growth and development of bone in children. Sun exposure helps adult bodies to make vitamin D, but this is not practical for young children. A baby’s diet is also especially low in the foods that contain vitamin D. The reemergence of rickets in infants

WHAT IS RICKETS? Rickets is a type of bone deformity, caused by insufficient vitamin D in young children, which can soften the bones and cause fractures and deformed legs. The population, as a whole, tends to suffer low levels of vitamin D due to a lack of sun, use of sunscreen and too much time indoors, which affects the body’s ability to produce vitamin D naturally from sunlight.

in Ireland in the last ten years prompted the National Policy on Vitamin D supplementation for babies. The HSE policy recommends that all infants, whether breastfed or formulafed, should be provided with the 5 microgram daily dose containing vitamin D exclusively. Baby D, from Irish healthcare company, Kora Healthcare, is an odourless and tasteless liquid vitamin D solution, that makes it easy for a baby to get their recommended daily intake of ‘the sunshine vitamin’. €7.95 from pharmacies and online.

Double cream Protect the whole family from skin damage with a powerful sunscreen.

1

Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion, 100ml, €23

2

Lacura Kids Extra Sensitive Sun Spray 50+, 200ml, €3.49

3

5 Eucerin 50+ oil control Sun Gel-Cream oil, 50+, 50ml €19.50

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S U M M E R | F I T FA M I LY

2

Nike Training Swoosh coral print bra, €42

4 1

Asics Roadhawk, €120

Timeless leggings with stirrups, €60, Stay Focussed vest, €43, both Every Second Counts

3

Under Armour Favourite leggings, €45 at Littlewoods Ireland

fitfamily

WORKIT The first step to working out is choosing comfy gym gear.

Inspire, improve, educate

Let’s go outside Sign up the whole clan for one of these summer family events and let your kids know that keeping active is fun. SUPER MILK WILD AIR RUN A family fun run featuring 10 of Europe’s biggest inflatable obstacles on a 5km course. Each runner gets a foam water gun (which they get to keep!) so you can soak each other while competing. Suitable for children aged 7 and over between July 7 and August 18. Book at wildairrun.com INFLATABLE COLOUR RUN Inflatable Runs + Colour Runs = one exciting family day out. Taking place at summer dates around the country they’re suitable for all abilities. Arrive dressed in white or fancy dress then walk, run, dance or bounce your way around the route, making your way through the colour stations and fun inflatables! Suitable for boys and girls, adults and children, runners and walkers. Adults €19.95, children €9,95 family ticket of 4, €44.95. Book at eventbrite.ie

THE RSP 5 MILE & FAMILY RUN The inaugural 5-mile race in Malahide Castle and Gardens on August 19th includes a shorter kids’ race at 12.45 on the day as well. There will be medals, t-shirts and goodie bags up for grabs and organisers promise a festival feel and fun family atmosphere. Register online at register.primoevents.com Adult €22 Under 18s €5

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Nursery at its very best

Finches Park, Longmile Road, Dublin 12 ● Tel. 01 419 7090 Airside Motor Park, Swords, Co. Dublin ● Tel. 01 897 0970 Ballyogan Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18 ● Tel. 01 426 3605

www.eurobaby.com

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SUMMER | EXPERT S

Professional advice on f e r t i l i t y, p r e g n a n c y, b a b i e s , children’s health and behaviour

MEET THE TEAM

D r Ta r a Galligan

Dr Carla Gower

Liz Halliday

Dr CoulterSmith

Dr Conor Harrity

Lucy Wo l f e

Dr Tara Galligan has been working in general practice for 18 years. She set up Marino Medical Centre in Dublin 3 in 2009, where they cater for the GP needs of the local community.

Dr. Carla Gower is a clinical psychologist who specialises in working with young people and their families.

Liz Halliday is Deputy Head of Midwifery at Private Midwives, the leading provider of private midwifery  ser vices, providing expectant women with experienced midwives who offer flexible birth support, antenatal and post natal care. privatemidwives. com

Dr Sam Coulter-Smith is a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, former Master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, and a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Royal College of Surgeons. rotunda.ie

Dr Conor Harrity is a member of the Royal College of Obstericians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. He joined ReproMed Fertility Clinics in 2017, bringing with him a wealth of experience and patientfocused attitude. repromed.ie

Lucy Wolfe CGSC, MAPSC, is a paediatric sleep consultant, Author of The Baby Sleep Solution and mum of four children. She runs a private sleep consulting practice providing knowledge, expertise and valuable support to families across the country. sleepmatters.ie

GOT A QUESTION FOR THE PANEL?

C o n n e c t w i t h u s o n Fa c e b o o k @maternityandinfant or email our editor: jillian@maternityandinfant.ie maternityandinfant.ie

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ask the

GP D r. Ta r a G a l l i g a n

I’m a new mum and am worried about m i s t a k i n g m e n i n g i t i s f o r a f e v e r. I s t h e r e a way to tell them apart?

meningitis B and C and pneumococcal disease which are responsible for a high percentage of cases of meningitis. These vaccines are part of the vaccination schedule for all children.

My daughter seems prone to ear Being a new mum can be a very exciting but frightening time infections. Is there anything I can do to and one of the biggest fears can be missing the signs of prevent them or even soothe the pain at meningitis. Your baby is likely to develop a fever at some point home until I can get her to a doctor? and for most children it is short lived and not serious. However, it is important to be aware of Ear infections are very common the signs of a more serious “ B e i n g a n e w m u m c a n b e a v e r y in young children between the cause of a fever. e x c i t i n g b u t f r i g h te n i n g t i m e ages of six months and two Fever is often the first sign of and one of the biggest fears years especially. You can’t meningitis but it is usually not the can be missing the signs of always prevent them, especially only one and the classic rash is meningitis.” if they follow on from a cold or often a late sign of septicameia flu. However there are a few or it may not appear at all. things you can do to try and reduce the risk: You should bring your baby to see a doctor if any of the • Children who use a soother after 6 months of age are at following accompany a fever: increased risk. • If your baby stops feeding or is passing less urine than usual • Babies who drink a bottle lying down are more at risk than • If your baby is under 3 months and has a fever of over 38 those who are breast fed. Celsius, is 3 to 6 months and has a fever of more than 39 • Children who are in creche or with older siblings tend to be Celsius. exposed to more infections so may be more likely to get • If your baby is excessively drowsy. infections. • If your baby has cold hands and feet despite having a fever. • Exposure to smoky environments may also increase the risk. • If your baby is blue around the lips. • Ensure you child’s vaccinations are up to date. • If your baby’s temperature is not getting better with If you child does develop earache you may use paracetamol paracetamol or ibuprofen. or ibuprofen for pain. Placing a warm or cold facecloth on the Call an ambulance if your baby is difficult to waken, has jerking ear can also help relieve discomfort. movements, difficulty breathing, a weak or high pitched cry or You should see your GP if your child has a very high fever, if a new rash that comes on suddenly and doesn’t fade with a the earache lasts more than 3 days, if there is a discharge from glass tumbler pressed against it. the ear, if there is hearing loss or if they have other symptoms The good news is that vaccinations are now available for or medical conditions that affect the immune system. 66 maternityandinfant.ie

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response and immediately shut down a potential conversation. Instead, get creative with your questions and keep them openended. He may respond better to queries such as “what was the best/worst part about today?” “What kind of things do you do at break?” Sharing some details of your own day means it doesn’t feel like an interrogation and helps you model such sharing. Don’t jump into ‘rescue mode’: As parents our first instinct is It’s understandable that you’d want to know about your son’s often to ‘rescue’ our children if they admit that things aren’t life and I commend you for your interest in how he’s getting going well. It can be difficult to bite your tongue when on at school. It can be difficult when children begin you can clearly see a solution but if he does tell to share less than before, but this does tend to you about a tough situation, don’t give advice happen as they get older and begin to pull straight away. Showing empathy (“that away from parents in favour of peers. This sounds tough”, “I can see why that made is a normal stage of development but it you angry”) and leaving space for him does require a change in approach; what to continue the story will be far more worked when he was younger may not helpful. Follow up with “I wonder what work now so perhaps some different you can do about that?” as a way of strategies may help. You say yourself guiding him to a solution without feeling that you “grill” him; I’d hazard a guess like he’s being told what to do. D r. C a r l a G o w e r that this is having the opposite effect and Be available: Your son may not want to that he is clamming up even more when he talk every day and that’s ok; respect his desire feels bombarded with questions. to process and deal with things himself but let Pick your moment: Most adults need downtime him know you’re there if he does want to talk. Look after a busy day and would hate for their partner to for signs he wants to chat; maybe he wants to talk about a start firing questions at them the minute they got home. TV programme or his football team’s latest signing. It may not be Children are no different; allow him some downtime when he gets the depth of conversation you’re looking for but by being genuinely in to process whatever has happened that day. Later, look for interested and willing to engage with whatever he brings, you’re opportunities to talk when he is engaged in another activity, maybe showing you’re an active listener who can be counted on for the drawing, building Lego or walking to school. Many parents find tough moments too. their child will often talk while they’re in the car, as there’s no If you think there may be more going on than a natural move pressure to make eye contact. away from sharing his day with you, talk to his school and work Ask the right questions: Closed questions like “did you have a together to keep an eye on him and establish if there is anything good day?” or “how was school?” will often elicit a curt one-word else bothering him.

M y te n - y e a r - o l d w o n ’ t ta l k a b o u t h i s d a y a t s c h o o l . H e u s e d to te l l m e e v e r y t h i n g b u t n o w h e g e ts f r u s t r a te d w h e n I g r i l l h i m e a c h d a y o n w h a t h e d i d , w h o h e p l a y e d w i t h e tc . Is there a way I can draw him out and get h i m to c o m m u n i c a te w i t h u s a t h o m e ?

ask the

Clinical Psychologist

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ask the

Is there any way I can prepare my body for giving birth?

Midwife

There are lots of different ways to prepare your body for birth, both Liz Halliday physically, mentally and emotionally. I recommend attending antenatal classes with your health care provider to educate yourself about common practices and to give you an opportunity to begin discussions around your birth plan. Hypnobirthing can be a great way to get in the mindset for birthing and helps to reduce stress and anxiety in both the antenatal and postnatal periods. Some programs concentrate on mindfulness as a key concept as well – a very useful tool in all aspects of life. Physically, a healthy diet and reasonable exercise plan can help to prepare your body ready for birthing. You can also talk to your health care provider about perineal massages to help with the physicality of birthing a baby and reducing any risk of vaginal or vulva tearing.

I have a low pain threshold but don’ t like the idea of an epidural. What other o p t i o n s a r e a v a i l a b l e to m e t h a t m i g h t help me with pain during delivery? Hypnobirthing is a great tool for birth, as it helps to change your mind set from viewing birth as painful or something to be feared, to an empowering experience. It also provides various coping strategies and works well for many women. You might consider using water in labour. A pool provides wonderful relief, but a bath or even a shower can be amazing. Some women will get out of the bath or shower after a while because they feel that they’ve been in it too long, even if it was working for them. My advice is to stay in. Heat is also a wonderful comfort strategy. A hot water bottle or heat pack can be applied to your back or lower abdomen

“ H y p n o b i r t h i n g i s a g r e a t to o l f o r b i r t h , a s i t h e l p s to c h a n g e your mind set from viewing birth as painful or something to b e f e a r e d , to a n e m p o w e r i n g experience…” giving relief from early labour cramps and contractions. Make sure the heat is comfortable for you and consider applying some light pressure as well with the use of a long scarf tied around your bump. A TENS machine may be helpful. With this handheld device, small pads are stuck onto your back and a mild electric current helps to block pain signals to your brain. You can control the current yourself – most women start off with a very low setting and increase it during labour. There is also a boost button for contractions which changes the frequency, but don’t forget to turn it off once the contraction has passed! If you’re using a TENS machine, start early in labour as the effect is cumulative, but remember not to wear it in water. Gas and air (nitrous oxide) is available to most women and will not only help with the pain but also with breathing regulation. The gas has a pain-relieving effect but being able to hear your breathing through the mouthpiece allows you to concentrate on keeping long slow breaths which help you to remain calm. Some people find that gas and air can make them feel sick or dizzy – if this happens, just stop using it and take a few breaths of normal air. The effects will clear very quickly. Some midwives are trained to provide sterile water injections into your back which work on the nerve gateways to your brain, helping to block the type of discomfort that comes from a back labour (common in women whose baby is back to back in labour). This has been shown to be very effective for many women. You might also consider opiate based pain relief. Various options are available depending on where you are birthing so your health care professional will be able to discuss them with you. It is advisable to speak to your health care professional, GP or midwife for any advice about your pregnancy.

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ask the

Obstetrician Dr Coulter-Smith

Labour requires regular contractions/ pains in order to progress. Typically, contractions need to be about 5 minutes apart so when you are getting pains lasting at least 30 – 40 seconds and there are 3-4 of these occurring every 15 minutes then it’s time to start making This is a very common question for first your way to your hospital. time parents to be. You are going to be There are situations where you should anxious and worried about your labour make your way to hospital even if you’re and this is completely normal. You may not having contractions. If you think be concerned about not making it in time, your waters have gone, if you are having or worried that you may not be in time severe pain which is not settling, if you are having fresh “ M o s t h o s p i ta l s w i l l h a v e a vaginal bleeding or n u m b e r y o u c a n c a l l i f y o u h a v e if you have noticed a reduction in concerns or if you are not sure baby’s movements what is happening.” you should seek reassurance. Most hospitals will have a number you can for your chosen pain relief. First time call if you have concerns or if you are labours usually start slowly with pains not sure what is happening. It’s good to increasing in frequency and duration. call for advice if you are worried or if In the days and weeks coming up to you are unsure what you should do. term you will have experienced tightenings and pressure from baby’s I ’ v e b e e n to l d m y p l a c e n ta is low lying. What does this head pushing down into the pelvis. mean for me and my baby? These are called Braxton Hicks Will it cause problems at contractions, these tightenings delivery? eventually evolve into the contractions associated with labour. The big A placenta situated low down in the difference between the two is that uterine cavity is a very normal finding labour pains cause pain over the whole when ultrasounds are done in early bump and not just low down in the pubic pregnancy and most of these do not area and lower back.

I ’ m i n m y l a s t t r i m e s te r a n d keep hearing of friends who went to the maternity h o s p i ta l to o e a r l y. H o w w i l l I know I’m having real labour contractions?

turn into a problem. The placenta is a large organ about the diameter of a dinner plate which attaches to the wall of the uterus and provides the baby with all the oxygen and nutrients it requires. In early pregnancy as the uterus is growing most placentae which were identified in early pregnancy will have moved up away from the cervix and won’t cause any issues. When a low lying placenta is identified in early pregnancy, it is normal to get a further scan done at about 32 weeks to recheck its position. If, on rechecking at 32 weeks, the placenta remains low, then there are certain issues to be aware of. If the placenta covers the cervix and will prevent a vaginal birth, then a caesarean section will be required. A low lying placenta can be associated with vaginal bleeding which can be recurrent and this can be an issue requiring early delivery. Following delivery after the placenta has separated it is vitally important that the uterus contracts well to prevent ongoing bleeding, if the placenta has been low lying then bleeding can be more than normal and can require special measures to treat the situation. The most important thing is to recognise the problem so a plan can be put in place. The vast majority of these situations resolve easily for mother and baby. If you are in this situation you should discuss your concerns with your doctor. maternityandinfant.ie

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ask the

Fertility expert D r. C o n o r H a r r i t y

I have been trying to conceive for over a year without success. Are there any lifestyle changes I should make to increase my odds? Firstly, it’s important to remember that 90-95% of couples will achieve a pregnancy within the first two years of trying, so even if it hasn’t happened for you yet, stay positive. It is important that you are fit and healthy in order to ensure your body is in peak condition to conceive and sustain a healthy pregnancy. Being under or overweight may negatively affect your chances of conceiving. If BMI is elevated it is normal to encourage couples to lose weight before having treatment, and we often find that some will fall pregnant naturally when they do! These are the four important lifestyle factors to focus on: DIET Reduce your intake of saturated and transunsaturated fatty acids, while increasing the amount of healthy fats in your diet – things like avocados, olive oil, raw nuts. Add more fibre to your diet by consuming whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Try to include more vegetarian sources of iron such as legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Take a multivitamin. Certain vitamins are essential for optimal egg and sperm quality. These include: Vitamin D, C, Zinc, selenium, Co10 and omega 3 fatty acids. Make sure to stay hydrated.

QUIT SMOKING This is crucial not just for your overall health but for your fertility. Research studies have shown the harmful effects of smoking on sperm quality, egg quality, implantation rates, and miscarriage, as well as harmful effects on a developing pregnancy. EXERCISE Regular exercise improves physical fitness, helps with weight loss and decreases stress levels. Aim for some form of aerobic exercise three times per week, i.e. any activity that increases your heart rate, such as brisk walking, jogging or swimming for at least 20 minutes per session ALCOHOL Excessive alcohol reduces fertility and damages sperm. Men and women trying for a baby should limit alcohol intake to no more than 6 units per week for men and women should avoid alcohol completely.

Is there an optimum time o f d a y to h a v e s e x o r a sexual position that can increase my chances of conception? There are so many myths surrounding fertility that sometimes it can be very difficult and frustrating to find the correct information. To be frank, the answer to your questions is no: neither the time of the day, nor the position of intercourse increases or decreases your chances of becoming pregnant. What is important though, is the time of your cycle

that you are having intercourse. If you have regular 28 day cycles, for most women the egg is released from the ovaries generally between days 12-14 of your cycle. We consider Day 1 to be your first full day of bleeding, so you can count from there to pin-point your likely “fertile window”. From there, the egg travels through the fallopian tubes where ideally it would be met by sperm that could fertilise it. Sperm can live in the body for approximately 2-4 days, and the egg can be fertilised for 24 hours, so even if you do not have intercourse exactly at the time of ovulation there is still a good chance that conception will occur. Fertility clinics have many precise clinical methods of predicting what time of your cycle you should be having intercourse, however there are a couple of tools you can get quite easily to help you track when the right time is for you. Firstly, consider downloading a cycletracking app for your phone. You can enter the length and dates of your menstrual cycle, how you’re feeling and other symptoms so that the app can help you ascertain when your fertile window may be. The second tool is an ovulation prediction kit, which is similar to using a urine pregnancy test. The kit looks for an elevated level of a hormone called luteinising hormone in your urine, to help indicate when you may be ovulating. Neither of these methods are 100% accurate, but are certainly a good starting point for couples trying to conceive.

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ask the

Sleep expert L u c y Wo l f e

The longer evenings are wonder ful but my toddlers really struggle with going to sleep when it’s bright outside. Have you any tips for settling them when it’s still daylight at bed time? Yes, the longer stretch is great, but it can make bedtime more challenging, especially when our children become older, more verbal and mobile too! Plus, it is lovely to be able to spend more time with the family too. I do like a more relaxed approach to sleep in the summertime, IF your child is able to tolerate a later bedtime and continues to routinely sleep through the night, adds on the extra time to the morning and mood and behaviour is relatively stable. If your child doesn’t fit that – and you will know your own child best, then often it is worth not deviating from your standard bedtime. Either way, it will be bright until 10pm+ and you will want to address bedtime before then. It can be helpful, if you already have a good bedtime process, one that your child understands and associates with going to sleep. It’s important that you invest in both blackout blinds and curtains so that you can isolate the bright night and the light early mornings. I often find that evening dimming the lights and pulling the blinds and curtains downstairs in the 30 minutes or so before bedtime, can also help signal that sleep time is coming. Even though it will be bright, your child will still be naturally tired, so creating the darker environment, having a solid, calm bedtime routine in her bedroom and ensuring that it has an ending so that the time for sleep is obvious, can all ensure that she won’t fight sleep. Even if they say it’s still bright, I always explain that bedtime happens in

the summer when it is still bright, and that it only gets dark when Mummy goes to bed now. Good luck and enjoy this lovely season.

Our happy little four-year-old frequently wakes up with bad dreams rec ently. What might be causing them and is there anything we can do to help her get rid of them? Nightmares or bad dreams are generally a normal part of development and not something to be concerned about necessarily. At this age, many families will report a bad dream at least once a week and sometimes more. When it happens, it is important to provide support and comfort helping your child to develop a coping mechanism to calm down, regulate and return to sleep. I like using the idea of the director and telling her that she can decide the ending of her dreams; turning frightening scenarios into happy ones. Of course, I would ensure that there is nothing external worrying her and if you can identify concerns that you can help her to talk about them by day and not manifest them overnight. I would be especially careful about what she is exposed to from the type of bedtime story and cartoons and television programmes by day, that can often be frightening and our children dwell on them. Even the news on the radio in the car can cause distress that then plays out overnight. Finally, I would also ensure that she is not overtired, going to bed at an age appropriate time, together with a healthy diet with avoidance of high sugar and processed food. Limit screen time and encourage more “green” time too. I hope that helps. maternityandinfant.ie

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5 MINUTES | SUMMER

Five minutes with... Yoga Teacher Lou Horgan When did you start practicing yoga? I started yoga 20 years ago and decided to train as a yoga teacher in 2002. Within a few months of practicing I knew I wanted to study more so I took off to India and then London. I didn’t think I was going to end up teaching; it was more for personal interest really.

to demystify birth for the partner, to provide them with tools that can be used in the moment.

What got you hooked? Initially I came to yoga as most women do, as a fitness and strength-building exercise. I’d seen what yoga has done to Madonna’s body and I wanted in! What has kept me practicing however has been the effect on my mind, mood and well-being.

Tell me about your classes I teach everybody, however I’m best known for working with women. Many return to my regular classes having had a few kids and a decade or so of intense parenting. They may not have practiced yoga since pregnancy and have a lovely memory of minding themselves at that time. Women’s bodies always need self-care. Pregnancy shows us that but so does the menstrual cycle, the premenopausal time and menopause. You can pretend you’re the same woman every day of the month, year, decade, as our youth-obsessed culture would want you to but, in my experience, at some point you’ve got to stop and breathe and be with yourself.

What are the benefits of yoga in pregnancy? Yoga is probably one of the best things a woman can do to support her changing body and to prepare for labour, birth and motherhood. If you can breathe deeply and move in rhythm with your body and stay less invested in your thoughts you’re really very well equipped for birth. The strength and self-connection that builds week by week while practicing yoga is so valuable through the whole transitioning time of pregnancy. Tell me about your active birth workshops. I started teaching workshops to couples after my students began asking at the end of class, “Can you just tell my partner all of that!” The birth partner’s role is so important. Women need privacy and support to progress normally in labour and usually that job is left up to someone, in most cases a man, who has no clue how to provide that support. My workshops are practical lessons in how to do that most effectively. I try

Is yoga good for stressed out parents? Yoga is great for any form of stress, however be discerning about what yoga class you chose. After 20 years in the Dublin yoga scene my observation is that it is getting hotter, faster, louder and more powerful by the year. Don’t get stressed out in a yoga class. Choose wisely!

Do you think children should be taught yoga? I’ve taught my two kids at all stages from infancy. Ideally kids are given an opportunity to pay attention to themselves from as early an age as possible. Simple mindfulness practices, feeling different body parts as they stretch and move throughout their lives can act as an antidote to all of the body dissatisfaction and disconnection they are growing up around. If you do things to support your body and mind your kids are more likely to follow. Try to show them what it is to be as opposed to always doing. Find out about more about Lou’s classes at louyoga.com.

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