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Spring 2015

Nat Bass chats family & fashion

WIN tickets to The Wiggles!

Special feature

Having a Baby?

Birth story real life

Tips for vegies & kids



Kids & meditation








TRENDY BAMBINI This season’s hottest trends for babies.


STYLE ME PRETTY Your mini fashionista’s spring style guide.


THE BOYS CLUB Style your little man in the season’s coolest looks.


FASHION NOW Styling spring’s best trends.


10 28


20 TRADING PLACES Nat Bass chats fashion, family and working in a ‘fickle’ industry. 25

THE WIGGLES BIG SHOW The Wiggles BIG SHOW + CinderEmma! Tour is bigger, bolder and happier than ever!

FUNNY MUMMY 26 TRAINING DAYS  Ari shares the joys of having a child obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine.


REAL LIFE 28 A WISH FOR MARLEY Cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia – a realisation newly separated Perth mum of two, Kerrin Hampson, found herself facing.

PARENTING 34 FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CHILD Renowned parenting expert, Kathy Walker, discusses strategies to help your child grow up to be a happy, resilient teen.

COMMUNITY 38 MEMORIES AND DUST Australian mum of three, Ann Marie Bradstreet, reminisces about what Syria was, recalling its magnificence and the hospitality of its people, and reminds us these families of Syria are in fact homeless.

INTERNET PICKS 42  Our selection of websites offering great products for your family

DAD’S WORLD 44 MANSCAPING MADNESS Gary reveals a vainer side of growing older.

PREGNANCY & BIRTH 46 BIRTHING FREYA Amy Hannaford shares her beautiful story of giving birth to a baby girl at home.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


73 SPECIAL FEATURE 50 PREPARING FOR BABY We’ve created a guide to make sure you’re ready for the arrival of your bundle of joy.

50 69

SPIRITUALITY 66 TEACHING KIDS TO MEDITATE  Meditation is a great tool for children to find peace and balance, assisting them in dealing with stress, restlessness and anxiety.



69 BODY LOVE Dietitian, Kate Bullen, talks about the importance of maintaining a positive body image for our children’s self-esteem, confidence and sense of wellbeing.


SCHOOL READINESS Here are some tips to help your little person prepare to start school.

REAL LIFE 76 TICKED OFF Nine-year-old boy, Scott Gerini, faces a serious health struggles from what his family suspect is the highly contentious illness, ‘Lyme Disease’.

FOOD AND NUTRITION 80 WARNING: CHILDREN AND VEGETABLES DON’T MIX Why toddlers become averse to vegetables; plus strategies for getting them to eat more greens. 82 DIRECTORY


Natalie Bassingthwaighte. Photo: Nikole Ramsay/The Grace Tales.

80,000✱ Average Net Distribution per issue.

Produced and published by Offspring Magazine Pty Ltd. ABN: 95 159 474 245 Website Editorial enquiries Advertising enquiries Phone 02 4326 1178 Mobile 0415 267 414 Subscription enquiries

Managing Editor Kate Durack Contributing writers Ari Chavez, Gary Ausbruch, Kate Bullen, Ngala Parenting Education Team, Brooke Evans-Butler, Elise Papamihail, Claire Armstrong, Tania Connelly, Amy Hannaford, Bess O’Connor, Tanya Vaughan. Graphic Designers Steven Lillywhite, Anna Drake and Anjie Rivero Printed by Offset Alpine Printing

✱ Circulation: 130,000 copies per editions across Melbourne, Sydney and Perth (Melbourne due to be CAB Audited in March 2016).

Distribution 130,000 copies distributed in Sydney (50,000 copies), Perth (30,000 copies) and Melbourne (50,000 copies) by paid subscriptions and for free at selected locations. Also available online via

This publication has been independently audited by the Circulations Audit Board.

Audit Period: March 2015 - September 2015


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Offspring magazine is an independent magazine published quarterly by Offspring Magazine Pty Ltd. Opinions represented are not necessarily those of the publisher. Offspring magazine contains general information and does not claim to substitute for health or parenting advice. All content is subject to copyright, and may not be reproduced without permission.

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spring 2015

This spring edition marks six years since Offspring was conceived and it’s our best edition to date.


pring for me is special. It marks

stuff) all the while raising two toddlers.

when travelling in a ‘genteel’ and ‘majestic’

the anniversary of birthing my

It’s a great article by Ari Chavez, “Trading

Syria, that is no more. And now – a very

third (and most demanding) baby,

Places” (p. 20).

different Syria. A Syria that now has 16

Offspring. While this child will not feel

Another highlight for me of this issue is

million people in need of help urgently.

impelled to scream ‘You’re The Worst

the advice provided by Deepak Chopra’s

Mother in the World!’ in the Coles check-

centre in California on how to teach your

out aisle, it is implicitly more demanding.

children to meditate “Teaching kids to

only half of our readers each donated $100

It’s been six years now since I created

meditate” (p. 66). I love to meditate. In

that would equate to $20 million. This

Offspring Magazine, while in a hazy, sleep-

fact, I credit my (reasonable) health-life

could improve real families’ lives.

deprived state after

balance to having

These people are desperate. The good news is, I’ve calculated that if

Please support our recommend charities

having yet another

a two-hour daily

who will ensure your $100 (or more!) helps

sleepless night with


these people find security www.unicef.

an around-the-

healing routine., or

clock breastfeeding

Dietitian, Kate

16-month-old toddler.

Bullen’s, “Body

The decision to

Love” piece (p. 69)

could also be a great discussion point with

create Offspring was

is very important for

the kids for learning about compassion.

a lightbulb moment,

me, having a daughter

Here is a really helpful article about

and one of which I

in an image-saturated

talking to children about the Syrian Crisis

wasn’t willing to let go,

world. As a woman, I

Donating to help Syrian families in need

despite the challenges. And

have my own body demons and


sacrifices. ‘Having it all’ is the

this is a poignant reminder for


Holy Grail, but elusive. It’s

me of the imperative of fighting

always sacrifices as a parent:

them for my daughter’s self-

well as what we’re delivering regularly on

whether they are career,

image, as well as my own.

our new website www.offspringmagazine.

family, money, or even a sense of having

We have loads more exciting and

one’s own identity. For me it’s been a social

informative articles for parents in this

life, among other things.

edition, but I have to say my favourite piece

I think, balance is the goal, not ‘having

I hope you enjoy this Spring edition as and in our e-newsletter for which you can sign up free. And please don’t forget to enter our

is “Memories and

competition to win

it all’, but this can be just as elusive.

dust” (p. 38), in which

tickets to the Wiggles

I reckon it’s really about what you’re

Australian mum-

concerts – such a treat!

prepared to go without.

of-three, Ann Marie


And despite lots of self-doubt over

Bradstreet, describes


the years, and sacrifices my family has

her own experiences

made, this is one edition of which I’m particularly proud. In fact, I think it’s our best edition yet. What I love about this edition: Our interview with Natalie Bassingthwaight. Wow, this girl is FUN. She just exudes creativity and energy; creating her fashion

If only half of our readers each donated $100 that would equate to $20 million to directly help Syrian families.

label, Chi Khi, (plus loads of other celebrity 6

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Photo: Hilary Adamson,

Editor’s note

our contributors

ARI CHÁVEZ COLUMNIST has had work published in Australia, England, Japan and Singapore. She has a delightful toddler, Gabriel, who was born with coffee in his veins. She is currently completing her first novel as part of a PhD project.

ELISE PAPAMIHAIL FASHION & STYLE is Mummy to Chloé and Olivia and is a passionate stylist and fashion writer, embracing the latest trends without compromising on timeless style.

LETITIA ROWLANDS JOURNALIST Letitia worked for daily newspapers for 20 years covering a wide variety of topics but since becoming a mother five years ago, her writing has focussed on family and parenting topics. Letitia lives in Sydney with her husband and two young sons Hugo and Jasper and enjoys a freelance career writing for magazines and websites.


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

GARY AUSBRUCH ACCOUNTANT/COLUMNIST is financial controller for a Perth-based mining company. He has had columns published on the challenging subject of the lighter side of accountancy, and has written for SBS TV. He is married to Sue and has two young children, Ella and Sebastian.

NICOLE COX JOURNALIST has worked in print and online media for 15 years in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Now she has the most adventurous job of her life - mum to energetic toddler, Matteo. Nicole says the flexibility of freelance journalism allows her to combine her two loves, motherhood and writing.

CLAIRE ARMSTRONG JOURNALIST of eight years across a range of publications and mother of two beautiful girls. She has a passion for all things parenting and a love of sharing stories about the parenthood journey.

DEVON PLUMLEY MIDWIFE believes her work is most satisfying when she can empower a woman and her partner to birth their baby naturally; and the new little human being thanks his mummy with a squeal!

KATE BULLEN DIETITIAN runs au and is mum to three young children. Kate has translated her love of all things online to providing expert nutrition coaching online – it works well for anyone who is busy! Kate’s passion lies in making healthy eating simple and enjoyable.

BROOKE EVANS-BUTLER JOURNALIST has written for home improvement, bridal and women’s lifestyle publications, but says Offspring enables her to combine writing with her new favourite hobby, being a mum to her boys Caleb and Jonah.

JANE MILLINGTON INTERIOR DESIGNER has over 15 years’ experience in all facets of the design industry including Interior Design, Styling, Sales and Business Development. Jane specialises in colour design and styling of children’s bedrooms and nurseries with her biggest fans being her two children, Samson and Liv.

COLLEEN WILLIS TRAVEL WRITER has roamed the world for many years on her own and with her husband and daughter, Rebekah. During this time, Colleen has been a teacher and an award-winning travel advisor for Australia and overseas. Colleen will guide you through family travel the way she knows best!

TANIA CONNOLLY JOURNALIST Tania Connolly is a freelance writer who has been published in a variety of magazines. Her passion is people and sharing their inspirational journeys. With a husband and two teenagers life is hectic but she wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

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Trading Places Nat Bass chats fashion, family and working in a ‘fickle’ industry. BY ARI CHAVEZ


atalie Bassingthwaighte has an upcoming photo shoot, for which she must have presentable nails. So she’s doing this phone interview in a Melbourne nail salon, and feeling guilty about

her fellow travellers. “I feel sorry for the people next to me,” she says. “If I get too

loud, they can tell me to leave.” Thanks to unreliable mobile phone coverage, some drop outs and a bit of indiscreet, “can you HEAR me?” back and forth, Nat decides that she, and the other customers, would fare better if she hovered out the front of the salon with a halfcompleted manicure. “Hang on,” she giggles, uncomfortably, “I am going to walk out so I can concentrate. It’s always really embarrassing having someone sitting next to you listening to your answers.” It’s a surprising admission for the actress, television personality and ARIA award winning recording artist, who found nation-wide success with the role of Izzy Hoyland on the TV show Neighbours in 2003, and the electro-pop band Rogue Traders in 2005 with the song, Voodoo Child.

Chi Khi clothes, which were inspired by Nat’s children, Harper (5) and Hendrix (2), are a study in monochromatic hipster style.


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Nat is particularly focused on making the garments ageappropriate, citing discomfort with some of the revealing outfits that some brands market to very young girls.

Photos: Nikole Ramsay/The Grace Tales. Photos: Nico Bernadi. (behind the scenes of the fashion shoot).

Bassingthwaighte, or Nat Bass, as she is affectionately known, is in the business of being publically scrutinised, most recently on the wildly popular television show, X Factor, where she was a judge for

however. Characteristically, she confirmed her surprise departure from X Factor with the cheerful announcement, “some exciting things in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share with you all. Watch this space.” One of those things is the expansion of

four years before leaving the show

her clothing brand Chi Khi (pronounced

earlier this year.

cheeky), her unisex range of children’s

A firm favourite with audiences,

clothes for ages zero to seven. The brand,

Nat acted as a type of Mumma Bear

while a passion project for Nat, is also part

to the entertainment hopefuls who

of a broader strategy she and her husband,

performed on the show. An industry

Rogue Traders band-mate Cameron

veteran, who has experienced

McGlinchey, have employed to ensure long-

her fair share of knockbacks, she

term financial security. The commercially

understands the casual brutality of

savvy couple now have a burgeoning

the entertainment industry.

portfolio of business ventures.

“In this country it is hard,” she

“We decided quite early on, you never

says frankly. “There are not a lot of

know in this industry whether you are going

options out there. It’s nice to still be

to be flavour of the month anymore, so we

in the industry.”

started investing in property, pubs and now

Nat has not only remained in

Chi Khi,” she explains. “We were trying to be

the industry, she maintains a

smart with the money, I guess.”

dizzying schedule of

Chi Khi clothes, which were inspired by

commitments including

Nat’s children, Harper (5) and Hendrix (2), are

an appearance on the

a study in monochromatic hipster style.

Neighbours 30th Reunion

“I’ve never really been a girly girl, so for me

show earlier this year, a

it’s perfect,” she says. “Most of the stuff we have

stint as a judge on New

is unisex so it suits my personality. The clothes

Zealand’s X Factor, a recent

are so nice to wear. We have blends of bamboo

performance with her old

elastin, some bamboo jersey, bamboo cotton, our

band, Rogue Traders, and a role

knits are one hundred per cent cotton. It’s such

in the Ten Network’s upcoming

a nice fabric on the skin, it’s great for babies with

telemovie about legendary racing

sensitive skin. It’s a bit of a luxe fabric, I won’t lie, but

car driver Peter Brock. Nat will play

it’s great for the babies, great for the environment and

Brock’s girlfriend, Julie Bamford.

it feels nice.”

Acting and singing are not the only pursuits keeping Nat busy,

Chi Khi’s striking palette and hip unisex designs are a point of difference in an overcrowded market, which perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


The entertainment industry can be so fickle. You’re always waiting for the phone to ring. This way, I’m the one that’s in charge.

typically delivers pink and frilly for girls and skulls and monsters for boys. Nat is particularly focused on making the garments age-appropriate, citing discomfort with some of the revealing outfits that some brands market to very young girls. “I still think kids should be comfortable and not look like they are trying to be thirteen, yet still have a cool edge about it – you know what I mean? I don’t think it needs to be tarty or too fitted… there are a lot brands out there that…it’s just not appropriate for kids to be wearing those kinds of clothes. Our clothes are fashion forward, I would say, as far as trends go, but they’re still playful and comfortable so that the kids can run around in them.” Nat may be the very public face of Chi Khi, but she has a team behind her that works on the design and execution of the garments. The final say, however, is hers, a fairly novel experience for someone used to slogging it out in the entertainment industry, her future usually determined by casting directors or producers. “It’s great to call something your own. Also, the entertainment industry can be so fickle. You’re always waiting for the phone to ring. This way, I’m the one that’s in charge. “We have quite a big team now. Everyone often thinks that

“I’m the Creative Director and the people we have behind the designs are just amazing. They come to me with some amazing

I’m the designer and the actual fact is that I created the brand,

drawings or inspiration or pics, and I’m like, ‘love that, love that,

so the name and the identity of what Chi Khi is. I wanted to use

love that, not sure about that’ and then they go and work up a

bamboo fabrics - that came from me. I wanted to create a brand

number of pieces and come back to me over a number of months,

that was along the lines of a monochromatic palette, definitely,

and we eventually cull it down to the picks of the season. So I do

but then branch into some colour down the track but always have

get the final say, which is good!”

that as a core part of our identity, and for it to be unisex. That’s my vision for it.

The Chi Khi range has expanded to include skincare products to calm sensitive skin, again inspired by Nat’s children both of whom have suffered from skin irritation, particularly when they


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

For me it’s about making them great human beings, to see the world in a beautiful way, to really like themselves, to love the world around them, to care about it, to care about others and to have good manners.

were younger. While Nat is well past those hazy newborn days, she can clearly remember the early chaos that post-birth hormones and sleep deprivation delivered. “It is the biggest jolt to the system,” she says. “The first one, I think, is harder because you really do not know what is about to hit you! It’s sleep deprivation, it’s constantly figuring out why they are crying. But in the long run, the bigger picture, it’s a pretty mind blowing experience. “The first time I left the house, I forgot that I needed a nappy! I just took the baby. I was at the first Maternal Health appointment and I didn’t have a nappy and I was like, ‘Ooooohhhh, that’s right, I need a whole bunch of stuff before I leave the house. I was completely sleep deprived obviously.’” Despite the early challenges that all new parents experience, Nat waxes lyrical about the experience of being a mother, the changes it has wrought and how her perspective has shifted and settled.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


The children’s father, Cameron McGlinchey, the far less public face of the high-profile couple, is clearly one of the reasons for Nat’s ongoing success. “I feel like we are a really amazing team, and we actually always say that to each other. We work so well together because we respect one another’s aspirations, we get behind one another’s achievements. We just support one another one hundred per cent,” she says. “It’s not always easy because our careers can take us here, there and everywhere but I feel like we always talk through different options, we are very communicative, it’s what makes our family “I think that as soon as I became a parent I came into my own,” Nat says. “Your whole world shifts. First of all, they need you so much, and they become obviously more important than anything else you’re doing. It’s all about the kids. Once you have kids it’s all about them. In a good way! “I think I’ve realised that there are more important things to life, you know? You can get so caught up in your career, and I’ve

work.” With Chi Khi expanding and more acting jobs in the offing, is there anything else Nat can jam into her schedule? “I just want to keep going, and keep exploring and keep challenging myself, and see what I am capable of as a woman, as a mum as a sister as a daughter,” she says, emphatically. I feel like life is about experiences and if we don’t take risks

always been a driven person, but now what drives me is my children

sometimes, where is the excitement? I’m like, what can I do now,

and wanting them to have the best life that they could possibly

what can I achieve with my life?”

have. That’s not monetary, or any of those things, for me it’s about

Stay tuned.

making them great human beings, to see the world in a beautiful way, to really like themselves, to love the world around them, to care about it, to care about others and to have good manners. “So I think all of my energy is – it feels like that’s the main priority now. So anything I do, or any decision my husband and I make about our careers, it’s always about them first – whether it will be the right thing for us as a family and how it might affect them or won’t affect them. “I look at my daughter now, she’s five and I’m like, ‘You’re us! We made you and you’re a person!’ It’s so surreal to say that. It’s something I really cherish. It’s really hard, don’t get me wrong, it’s really hard being a parent, but it’s something that is more rewarding than anything else. “When they are having a tantrum though, I definitely don’t think that – ‘Wow, I made you!’ – I think ‘Aaaaghhhhhh, Daddy made you! You are exactly like your father right now!’”


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

It’s not always easy because our careers can take us here, there and everywhere but I feel like we always talk through different options, we are very communicative, it’s what makes our family work.

WIN az


fa w.


eb For your chance oo gk .c o ri n to win, simply LIKE m / O ff s p Offspring Magazine’s Facebook page & visit Offspring Magazine website and sign up for our enewsletter. c

21st November Perth Arena 5pm Your chance to win 1 of 5 Hot Potato family passes (premium) to the show!


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The Wiggles BIG SHOW + CinderEmma! Tour is bigger, bolder and happier than ever!


ffspring has the inside scoop and we can reveal that this all new, all singing, all dancing, sensational stage show will include some very exciting new additions. Blue Wiggle Anthony explains, “This year we have two really special performances planned for every concert – it’s two shows in one! Part one will be a high energy mix of all The Wiggles songs that everyone loves to sing and dance along to, with all of our Wiggly friends Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword. “And then after an intermission we reveal part two - an all-new set and a brand new show, the CinderEmma! Fairytale.” In addition to this vibrant, unique show, local children from each city will be included in the show as dancers. Yellow Wiggle Emma is delighted, “We are so excited to not only be performing for children all over Australia, but now we’ll have the chance to dance on stage with them too! I’m looking forward to rehearsing with them, and no doubt learn a few new moves from these talented children”. Dancing will indeed be one of the many highlights of the BIG SHOW! spectacular, with styles from Irish dancing, contemporary, jazz and ballet. Combined with bold, bright new costuming, this show is really set to dazzle. To find book tickets to the BIG SHOW visit

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


FUNNY MUMMY with Ari Chávez


efore I had a child I lived in blissful ignorance of Thomas the Tank Engine. Heck, I probably didn’t even know

what a Tank Engine was and I. DID. NOT. CARE. But now I have a son with a particular affection for trains, Thomas is a relentless daily feature of my life.

I think I may be a disappointment to my son regarding the Thomas side of things, because my knowledge of Thomas and Tank Engines, and locomotives in general, is so embarrassingly minimal that even his five year old self can see through it.

And then they turn up when you’re doing your shopping at Coles, with the child imprisoned

I think I may be a disappointment to my son

in the trolley, while you’re

regarding the Thomas side of things, because my

trying to work out WHAT THE

knowledge of Thomas and Tank Engines, and locomotives


in general, is so embarrassingly minimal that even his five year


old self can see through it. I do try, but I do fail. That is the crux of it.

LUNCH TOMORROW? And there they are, a little toy Thomas and

I don’t have a problem with Thomas, per se. He seems to spend

his gazillion friends, hanging around near the shampoo for cripes

his time beetling around the countryside learning tedious Life Lessons as far as I can ascertain. What I have a problem with

sake. And the Child, who is one hundred per cent wired to spot exactly

is that Thomas has so many goddamn Friends – we’re talking

what you do not want him to, at exactly the wrong time, inevitably

A-Birthday-Party-Every-Weekend kind of numbers. And some

yells, “WHO IS THAT, MAMA!?”

Friends aren’t proper Tank Engines, but some other kind of

Of course the initial strategy is always to try and bolt for the dairy

thingamajig that hangs around the rail system (don’t ask me for

section. Trouble with the Child is that if you attempt a redirection he

details – I have enough of that with the Child). There also seems

just yells his question louder. And, gosh-darn it, he can keep yelling

to be random tugboats and excavator thingies. Maybe? Don’t

it all the way to the checkout at ever-increasing decibels. It is better,

quote me on that.

in my bitter experience, to put on lid on it then and there.

The problem with Thomas having so many friends is that they all have names, and many of them have numbers, and some of them have letters, and the whole darn gang features in various books and DVDs, and odd things on YouTube such as the Thomas 26

the Tank Engine Rap.

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

So, inevitably, I stop the trolley and say something like, “Well, that looks like Thomas to me.” And the Child, suspicious, looks at me and says, “Not Thomas, Mama. Who are the other ones. TELL ME!”

It is a test, of course, one I continue to fail. I don’t know who all the other berloody Tanks-Or-Something are. I know some names, but I don’t know who they belong to. Generally I take a stab in the dark, and hope for the best. “I think it’s James and Harold,” I say brightly. “Let’s go and get some yoghurt. You can choose.” “It’s not James and Harold, Mama!” the child says scornfully. “Harold is a helicopter and James is number 5.” “Oh dear,” I say. “Well, never mind. Let’s go and get our yoghurt shall we.” “It’s Edward and Henry and Gordon and Percy and Toby and Ryan,” the Child states. “Gordon is number 4.” He always looks a bit sad at this point, so of course I feel impelled to try and improve my Thomas pedigree, and the only way I know how to do this is to bring up The Fat Controller, who is thankfully a person, with an unenviable and possibly discriminatory name, not an engine, and therefore

And the Child, suspicious, looks at me and says, “Not Thomas, Mama. Who are the other ones. TELL ME?

someone I remember. “Can you see The Fat Controller?” I ask. The Child’s eyes light up. I got a name right! “Yes, Mama! He’s right there next to Edward!” I shoot a sideways glance at Edward for his number. “Well, there you go,” I say. I lean forward and whisper in the Child’s ear, “and did you know that Edward is number 2?”

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring




for Marley

By Claire Armstrong Photos: Krystle Ricci

There are moments in life when something so big, so dramatic occurs that the life you once knew is irrevocably altered. Learning your toddler has cancer has the ability to do just that. It takes profound fighting spirit to take your child on the journey through chemotherapy and remission experiencing setbacks and side effects and come out the other side positive and thankful. But this is exactly what one mum has done.


earing the words “your child has cancer” is something

“Marley had been able to walk from 11 months old. When he

no parent ever wants to hear, but the sad reality is that

stopped walking, that was scary. I took him to Princess Margaret

cancer kills more children than any other disease in

Hospital, our local children’s hospital. But again, there was no

Australia. A realisation newly separated Perth mum of two, Kerrin Hampson found herself facing on July 2, 2010.

answer,” she says. “I was frustrated. I started to think it was me, that I was crazy.

The cheerful and unassuming Perth librarian sits across from me in a small, well-lit meeting room and poignantly describes her hatred of the month of July, the diagnosis anniversary clearly a painful memory.

To me Marley was obviously ill and no-one could tell me what was going on.” Finally, after Marley had been ill for four weeks and steadily declining, Kerrin went to collect him and his brother Morris (2.5

“He had been sick for what seemed like forever,” she tells me

years) from care and found him listless, feverish and refusing to

of her son Marley, who at 14 months old started displaying vague

eat. Exasperated, she packed her floppy-haired little boy into the

symptoms of chronic tiredness and loss of appetite.

car and drove him to Fremantle Hospital Emergency Department.

“I thought maybe he was going through some kind of growth

“To me he looked sick. And the nurses obviously suspected

or development pattern, that he was tired and behaving out of character for normal reasons. Then my dad noticed a swollen lymph node at the back of his neck and the fevers started – fevers that Panadol couldn’t settle. This was the first time I took him to my regular doctor. By this stage he had been unwell for over two weeks. But we were sent away with no explanation.”

something too because they arranged for

I was frustrated. I started to think it was me, that I was crazy. To me Marley was obviously ill and no-one could tell me what was going on.

Kerrin considered glandular fever or Ross

He gave him the once over and admitted us straight away. They did a blood test that night. This was the first time a blood test had been ordered.” The next morning a group of doctors came to explain they had sent off the blood samples to rule out Leukaemia. Kerrin recalls that it had been her dad who had first mentioned

River Virus due to the family’s proximity to a local Lakeland as

Leukaemia as a possibility but she had shrugged it off thinking

possible illnesses plaguing her once cheeky and lively toddler and

kids don’t get cancer and all the media reports about lifestyle

spent hours searching online for answers. She returned to the GP

choices and genetics just didn’t apply to their family.

but the outcome was the same. Then, Marley stopped walking. 28

the paediatrician on call to come and see us.

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

The results came back positive.


be stabilised with blood and platelet transfusions before treatment could begin the following Monday. Kerrin has since been told that given his age and the advanced stage of the cancer, Marley would not have lasted much longer without Kerrin and Marley were ambulance transferred - because he was deemed too fragile to be driven - and admitted to PMH. “We were taken down to the basement of the hospital, ward 3B – kids haematology and oncology – and put in a room,” she steadily recounts the moments her world spun of its axis. “We were immediately surrounded by doctors and nurses and all sorts

medical intervention. Marley was officially diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – standard risk. He was 15 months old. And so began the daunting, relentless and tumultuous fight for Marley’s life. “He was a very sick little boy on admission, with more than one virus, plus the cancer ravaging his body,” Kerrin describes. “He

of test were planned and I signed so much paperwork I can’t even recall. “I has just been told my child has cancer, my brain was not

Red Balloon The

working. But they bombarded me with information. And the only thing I got out of it was that, in Australia, the successful cure rate for Marley’s cancer after five years was 95 per cent. That was good but I didn’t know how to process it.” Kerrin admits much of that time is a blur. She remembers it



was a Friday when they arrived at PMH and Marley needed to






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perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


was so lethargic they were able to place his cannula without struggle.” “I will always be indebted to blood donors. The difference in him after he received the blood was amazing. I lost count of the amount of transfusions Marley needed over the course of his treatment but it would be easily more than 10, maybe as high as 20.” The decision for Marley’s treatment was to be a three part process - induction to shock his little body into responding to treatment followed by consolidation to reduce the number of leukaemia cells in his body. If the leukaemia remained in remission after the first two phases, maintenance therapy would begin. Steroids were a big part of the initial treatment causing Marley to experience rapid and significant weight gain and an insatiable hunger. “He always had food in his hand!” she jokes. Time seemed to take on a new meaning at this point, sometimes getting through the next five hours was as terrifying as the prospect of fighting this invasive disease

As a single parent, Kerrin recalls the time Marley endured his treatment as very solitary and overwhelming… Financially, emotionally and physically it was draining and unrelenting.

for the next five years. The first six months

chemotherapy every day during that time. Kerrin explains because boys are at higher risk for relapse than girls, the doctors favour giving them several more months of treatment. Kerrin admits Marley coped well with most of his gruelling treatment from the port implantation, chemotherapy, nasogastric

of Marley’s treatment were devoted to the induction and

tube, the lumbar punctures, antibiotics, IVs and transfusions.

consolidation processes. The remaining time, almost three years,

There were only a handful of times the chemotherapy made him

were dedicated to his maintenance phase with Marley receiving

violently sick, mainly due to missed anti-nausea medication.

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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Marley was excited to become the 2014 Ambassador for the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation and attend multiple events, fun runs, mass street dances and charity balls. Photography by Daren Kelly.

challenges cancer treatment brings. She coped with the situation because she had no other choice. At home she was juggling the needs of the household and another young child. Meanwhile, her full time job had to be put on hold as she took unpaid leave. Financially, emotionally and physically it was draining and unrelenting. She understatedly recalls the time as being ‘quite hard’. Kerrin is nothing short of modest and resilient. “The thing that made things easier at home was that the kids were so little. The boys didn’t have expectations of me as a parent or jealousy towards one another. I think

How you can help: > D  ONATE BLOOD Every blood donation helps to save three lives, with the majority (34%) of donated blood going to people with cancer;

if Marley was to be diagnosed now the boys are older it would have been an entirely different and more difficult experience.” Kerrin has this amazing ability to find the positives in any situation. Thankfully his age also worked in his favour during treatment response and Marley never experienced a relapse. But three

Call the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to find out if you are eligible to donate or to book an appointment on 13 14 95 or visit

years is an incredibly long time for such a little body to take


bone marrow which had stopped working. And while his story is a

chemotherapy. Marley finally finished treatment in August 2013, a month earlier than protocol due to issues with neutropenia and his

The Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation relies on the generous support of the Western Australian community to continue its vital research.

success story and his doctors don’t believe they will ever see him

Visit to find out more.

attending bi-monthly oncology appointments and regular heart

back on the ward, the story doesn’t end with his remission. His treatment has accounted for half his life and he is still checkups due to a known side effect of a particular chemotherapy

Although anticipated, it was still difficult when his hair fell out and it has never regrown quite the same, it is now sparse and curly. And Marley got sick far more than other patients, catching any cold and flu going around which landed him back in hospital and in isolation. During treatment Marley also developed blood sugar issues, which have since gone, but resulted in some scary incidents bringing him out of anaesthetic and also saw him collapsing and blacking out at times. He also has a lasting, relentless cough from bacteria in his lungs for which he is still seeking treatment. By February 2013, Marley was two and a half years into treatment and at the encouragement of his doctors began Kindy at the local primary school. His first day of school was less than two months after he woke up on Christmas morning in hospital, in isolation, due to yet another infection. His school enrolment added a further dynamic to family life and another constant source of concern that he would contract an illness from his young classmates. A simple cold can kill a child with a severely compromised immune system. Kerrin explains the agonising anxiety when Marley’s little body stopped fighting the way it was supposed to towards the end of his treatment and he became an in-patient more and more, sending around whispers of potential relapse. As a single parent, Kerrin recalls the time Marley endured his treatment as very solitary and overwhelming, simply being pushed along by life, forced into a new routine focused around hospital and specialist visits, test results and the endless worrying

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


drug. Marley has been left with some behavioural issues possibly due to the chemotherapy that was pushed into his spinal fluid to save his brain from cancer. He also sees an Occupational Therapist weekly to assist with socialisation and to give him strategies to help with a constant fidgeting. There is also the heightened possibility of learning difficulties which will be assessed as Marley grows up.

Buy a gold ribbon in September and be part of Children’s Cancer Awareness month.

Kerrin and her boys spend a great deal of their spare time raising awareness of childhood cancer. Photography by Daren Kelly.

“This September will be two years off treatment. I feel like I have come through

I remember being told that if a child has to have cancer then Marley’s is the best cancer to have. But to me that is a flawed notion, nobody should get cancer, definitely no child.

the other side like a grief process. I am only just getting to a point that I am not worried about a relapse. It is really hard not to worry,” Kerrin says. “I look at him now and wonder who he would be if he actually lived his toddler years like a normal healthy child and who I would be as a mum if I had never had a child with cancer. It is hard to think about and has been hard to accept that I can’t change things.

“But Marley having cancer has changed my perspective on life and definitely taught me to be grateful and appreciative of what I have. I had always taken it for granted that my kids would grow up healthy.”

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These days Kerrin and her bright and lively boys spend a great deal of their spare time enjoying being together and giving back to the community. Marley become the face for the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation in 2014 in the same year that older brother Morris decided for his 7th birthday in-lieu of gifts he would ask for donations for the research foundation. Marley is now well enough to get out on the field and play football in a local team alongside his big brother and also participates in Little Athletics. He is quite the sportsman. The young family is also about to see Marley’s Make A Wish come true with a trip to Victoria to experience the majestic snow fields. Although Kerrin shares a private joke that she is not so keen on the snow aspect of the trip but the thrill on the boys’ faces and the lifelong memories that will be created act as her lure. “I remember being told that if a child has to have cancer then Marley’s is the best cancer to have. But to me that is a flawed notion, nobody should get cancer, definitely no child. My wish is a cure for childhood cancer. I hope one day my wish comes true too,” Kerrin says with conviction. “His journey has been long. He has made friends with other little kids on the ward that never went home again; that isn’t right, but he’s come out the other side with so much strength and empathy. I hope his future is bright and he achieves all he wants in life and any side effects from his treatment are taken in his stride. His cancer has taught us to live for each day, each moment. We don’t take anything for granted.”


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth


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Do you want your child to grow up to be a happy, resilient teen? Offspring catches up with renowned parenting expert, Kathy Walker, about what you can do now to help that happen.


et’s face it – saying life is busy when you are taking care of

intelligent teen. She calls it ‘future proofing’. “We are

a young child is an understatement. Each day is a juggle

spending more time on electronic devices and in Australia

between swimming and ballet lessons, playgroups and

we have increasing rates of suicide and depression,” she

visits to the library, toilet-training and trying to get them to eat

says. “I felt that anything we can do early in life, the

a balanced meal (when will they eat a vegetable without it being

better…future proofing is about prevention rather

disguised with cheese?).

than cure.”

Everything you do for your child, you do to make them happy and to give them the best start in life – but have you started

So how do you ‘future proof ’ your child? According to Kathy, parents need to be

thinking about how you will equip them to deal with future

proactive in helping their children create strong

challenges, such as peer pressure?

relationships to instil self-discipline, learn

It seems like a long way off, but a stern word about

emotional intelligence, master mindfulness

responsibility the first time your teen asks for your car keys is too

and a sense of self, and develop resilience

late to shape them into a young adult that makes good decisions.

– all of which are very important skills and

Leading parenting expert Kathy Walker and author of Future Proofing Your Child says by establishing boundaries and by being a good role model, parents can equip their children, from a young age, with the skills and qualities to become a happy, resilient and emotionally-

qualities to have when they reach teenagehood and beyond (when they are likely to be exposed to stressful situations). Kathy says all parents focus on making their children happy, however, things like setting boundaries, learning

(Parents) want to give their children many opportunities but they then end up overscheduling so their children don’t have the opportunity to selfentertain. 34

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

about disappointment and frustration (such as realising they cannot win all the time or missing out on something they want to do), being able to make mistakes and solve

Kathy Walker

problems, and having time to ‘be bored’ can all help your child learn develop qualities that will be invaluable for them in the future. For example, one example Kathy says by respectfully saying no to some requests (she says many parents don’t like saying no to their children for fear of them missing out), children can learn: l

We don’t always get what we want when we want it.


We can feel frustrated, angry and disappointed but we will

get over it. l

We can’t manipulate people with our emotions.


It is okay to say no to someone.

(Source: Future Proofing Your Child by Kathy Walker, Viking, 2015).

One of the most common mistakes, she says, is when parents overschedule their children because children need time to play to learn, discover and make mistakes – but she says having time to be bored is a good thing! “I have been working with families for over 30 years and all parents want is the best for their children, but they don’t know how to say no,” she says. “They want to give their children many opportunities but they then end up overscheduling so their children don’t have the opportunity to self-entertain – and self-entertaining is so important. In life, you have to look after yourself, and if the pattern early in life is that every minute is scheduled, then you don’t get that opportunity to initiate your own ideas.”

Kathy says all parents focus on making their children happy, however, things like setting boundaries, learning about disappointment and frustration (such as realising they cannot win all the time or missing out on something they want to do), being able to make mistakes and solve problems, and having time to ‘be bored’ can all help your child learn develop qualities that will be invaluable for them in the future.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Parents need to be proactive in helping their children create strong relationships to instil self-discipline, learn emotional intelligence, master mindfulness and a sense of self, and develop resilience.

Kathy says you don’t have to be the perfect

“Remember that you are models for

parent – but it is important to be reflective

your children,” she advises. “One example

as parents and take on strategies to keep

I think of is going to a restaurant and seeing

communication open with your children

every member of the family on an electronic

and create a strong relationship – which will

device – the kids are watching their iPads

make your child feel valued and secure.

and the parents are on their phones, so no

Then hopefully this will mean that in the

one is communicating with each other. You

future, your child becomes a teen that keeps

need to spend quality time together to keep

communicating with you and will come to

communicating with your child.”

you with any worries or concerns.

To help future proof your child, Kathy

Limiting screen time is an important aspect,

provides the following top tips: To create strong relationships with your child

according to Kathy, who says long periods


of screen time can promote isolation. “Just

– Spend quality time together.

because children have the skills to work these


devices doesn’t mean they have the maturity


to use them,” she says. “I wouldn’t let a toddler


For self-discipline – Follow through with To learn emotional intelligence – Parents

use an iPad. For older children, I would set a timer so they have a

need to acknowledge a child’s emotions.

set time to use them. They need to communicate in the real world


and get outside and play.”

all rush too much and we need to remember that children are not

To master mindfulness – Learn to slow down the pace of life. We

mini adults – they weren’t designed to work at adult pace. l

To develop resilience – Let children make mistakes. It is

important to sometimes let kids make discoveries for themselves. Kathy Walker’s latest book, Future Proofing Your Child, RRP $32.99 (Viking) is available now.



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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Kathy’s top 3 tips for parents: 1 Really listen to your children. 2 Always end each day with love. 3 Never discipline when you are angry.

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UNICEF/Georgiev: A distressed Syrian child rests on the shoulder of the man carrying him, on the border with Greece

OXFAM/Hanin Al Halayal and her baby in Lebanon

Memories and dust By Ann Marie Bradstreet

Photos: International Federation of Red Cross/Ibrahim Malla

More than four years on, and the conflict in Syria shows no signs of ending. Over 16 million Syrians need help urgently. Many are seeking shelter from the fighting and the cold in damaged buildings, while others have become refugees in neighbouring countries.


rriving at LaGuardia Airport in New York in early 1998 my proudly tattered sweat-stained passport was disdainfully perused by a humourless immigration

officer. A page documenting my visit to Syria the previous summer prompted a brief yet terse interrogation. Why had I gone to Syria? What was the purpose of my visit? I replied honestly, “….Just having a look around”. The Official looked at me as if I were deranged and challenged the unlikely response. “It’s a beautiful country, I had a lovely time.” I felt, by his blatant expression, showing equal parts of derision and surprise the decision had been made that he was faced with a harmless idiot and the matter was let to rest. I sailed through customs and onto my next adventure. Travelling in Syria was a less perplexing notion, however, to the steady throng of 90’s Backpackers and other World Adventurers, whom like me, trailed through the Middle East from Greece, Turkey and down into Egypt and onward. To us, a Syrian sojourn seemed perfectly natural. I regularly bumped shoulders with plenty of other interlopers treading the same route, a large propensity being Australian and New Zealanders. Given that most


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

of us had attended the Anzac Day ceremonies in Turkey, the path to Egypt felt, in many ways like a rite of passage. Syria was an unexpected jewel in a trip that proved transformative for me. It served as a mysterious back-drop to the evolution of some significant friendships that took shape as an intimate travelling posse drew softly together. Relationships formed in which I grew, changed and became better. I was a chrysalis, coated with the charm of grand colonial buildings, rooms with soaring ebony French Doors and crisp white sheets, elegantly serving as basic accommodation. Haunting morning calls to prayer befuddled our youthful habit of sleeping-in. Hot arid days were

UNICEF/ Alessio Romenzi: A young Syrian boy standing where his tiny home stood before it and the entire camp, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley burned down through a simple cooking fire. A child died and many more were severely burned LEFT: UNICEF/Georgiev

soothed with rich tangy lemon sorbet from roadside vendors, their fruits hanging like garlands from carts ready to whip up a fresh juice quicker than you could say Boost Juice. Creamy chickpea paste patted and plucked by nimble expert fingers from large vats, plied and fried into delicious falafel balls, blanketed in plump flat bread and tabouleh, we had our fill.

their erupting party.

Sticky windows of baklava and endless

Courteous gentlemen

malls of lingerie shops lined Damascus

escorted us through city

streets. Lacy satin garments sometimes

parks practising English

glinted through the seams of black burqas as

in earnest.

women leaned in to scoop up a fussy child or reach for market wares. Genteel hostel staff dispensed herbal remedies for upset tummies and gently guided our upcoming adventures. Musicians masqueraded as backgammon playing coffee scoffers before breaking open their circle to invite us into


My heart wrenches for the Syrian people fleeing with their babies in their arms, bloodied and desperate, being refused entry at freshly barbedwired border crossings.

The majestic golden ruins of Palmyra, accentuated by the colourful rich hues of Bedouin nomads and their decorated camels, emanated ancient stories and Persian poetry, whispering with the desert wind. Studs in denim lapped up their youth from rooftop rooms with a ceiling of stars and an oasis their carpet. Gum trees were everywhere,

registered Syrian Refugees as of 17th September 2015

> 4 ,086,760 Registered Syrian Refugees as of 17th Sept

2015 According to UNHCR reports. (United Nations High Commission for Refugees).

> 4,086,760 registered Syrian Refugees as of 17th Sept 2015 > 2.1 million registered in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq

Aussie arbols content and flourishing, as were we in the intoxicating gracefulness that was Syria. A Syria that is, heart –breakingly, no more. My memories no doubt read something like an Oriental Romance but they embody the essence of my experience of Syria. I was a carefree 20 Something, blissfully ignorant and unaffected by any political situation or social fracture. Had I been less naïve, I might have paid attention to the fact that Syria was still ruled

> 1.9 million registered in Turkey

under Emergency Law, its citizens stripped of their democratic

> 24,000 registered in North Africa

rights since 1963 when The Ba’athist Party had taken control of

> O  f this number less than 10% have managed to seek

the country after a succession of shaky post war governance.

safety in Europe. Of that 10%, 43% have been accepted by Germany & Serbia.

> 40% by Sweden, Hungary, Austria, Netherlands, Bulgaria > 17% All others > A  ustralia last year accepted 4,400 with a pledge to 12,000 more.

> USA 1,500 in total. > Israel, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia - 0

Perhaps I would have noticed some disharmony, taking into account that the key figures of the Ba’athist Party were of the Alawite minority and that seventy percent of the population were Sunni Muslims. Maybe the musicians in Damascus and I would have talked politics and they would have told me of the harsh censorship to their craft, but there was no such talk, instead they tried to teach me how to play a little tablah drum. I was not impeded by any political unrest and my safe and happy interactions with the Syrian people remain fond memories of a

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


UNICEF/ Hazou Safa, 14, fled violence in Syria two years ago and lives in Kawergosk refugee camp in northern Iraq

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, assumed rule winning an election in which he ran unopposed. Optimistic hopes for reform on his appointment were dashed and by 2004 there were obvious stirrings of civil unrest. During the Arab Spring of March 2011, The Free Syrian Army, a rebel force supposedly fighting for a free secular Syria, staged Author: Ann Marie Bradstreet with her family

an uprising against the Assad government and civil war broke out. Most commentators agree that

genteel folk, impeccably mannered in their sophisticated cities and hypnotic deserts. The borders of modern day Syria had been fashioned together after the First World War and ruled under French Mandate until 1945. After Syria had joined the United Nations, a war-weakened France relented to Syrian Independence. A period of political instability followed until The Ba’athists gained

the current situation in Syria is complex

These people have nowhere to go and I can’t reconcile to the concept that it has nothing to do with me. I’m a mother, a parent, a human being.

a formidable foothold in a 1963 military

Army, reputedly backed by the Obama government has since collapsed and ISIS has filled the void in the conflict with a more brutal agenda. The United States have begun air strikes with Australian support over the country in a bid to subdue ISIS, which now control key strongholds throughout the country.

coup. In 1970 Hafez al-Assad headed the government until his death in 2000, after which his son, current

and hard to decipher. The Free Syrian

ISIS cannot be disassociated with the events of 2003, when The United States and their allies, including Australia, invaded Iraq under the dupe of Weapons of Mass Destruction and deposed Saddam Hussein; what followed

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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

is a well-known if confusing tale of hollow victory, chaos and decimation culminating in a frightening brand of terrorism. A teetering imbalance between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims and a rage against global invasion led to a combustion of conflict and its embers lit up the dry tense tinderbox of The Middle East. Syria has not been spared. In 2001 I met an Iraqi journalist called Hani who had fled the Hussein regime. He was working as a trolley collector for Woolworths. In 2007 he travelled to Syria to visit family who had sought refuge there, like so many other Iraqis fleeing the war. I haven’t seen him since and I fear for his family and for him, in case he decided to stay. The images of Syrian cities razed and ancient ruins bombed and looted sadden me beyond words but it is the faces of the people carrying their children desperate for a safe place to go that I can’t erase from my mind. My heart wrenches for the Syrian people fleeing with their babies in their arms, bloodied and desperate, being refused entry at freshly barbed-wired border crossings. Hungary has shut its borders and The Croatian Serbian border has also closed. Europe’s generosity has run out. Neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon are filled to the brim. Saudi Arabia along with the United States and Russia seem agreeable to supplying weapons which sustain the devastation, yet are far less willing to give safe haven to the throngs of common people whose viability for peace has been wrested from them. These people have nowhere to go and I can’t reconcile to the

How you can help: > THE RED CROSS On average, Red Cross Red Crescent is helping a staggering 3.5 million people in Syria every month in practical, lifesaving ways. To donate to the Australian Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal go to

> UNICEF You can support UNICEF’s work for Syria’s children: Donate directly at Buy a UNICEF Inspired Gift at The gifts most needed are those that prevent the spread of disease. Choose from categories like ‘disease prevention’ or ‘clean water and sanitation’. Challenge themselves and bring people together to raise money. We’ve had extraordinary physical challenges, trekking and even simple bake sales and workplace morning teas to raise money for children. Visit donate/fundraising to learn more. For example, one team is doing a clean out of their wardrobes and organising a wardrobe sale to support UNICEF’s work for children in Syria and the surrounding countries taking refugees.


To support Oxfam’s humanitarian response the public can donate to Oxfam Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal by calling 1800 034 034 or visiting  

“You’ll wish you went to school here.”

concept that it has nothing to do with me. I’m a mother, a parent, a human being. The image of the little boy who washed up drowned on the Turkish beach was a picture I never wanted to see, the familiar curve of his darling innocent little head dredged up the love I feel for my 18 month old when I watch him sleep. The anguish embedded in empathy I felt for his parents was confronting.

18 month Olds - 18 Year Olds Step inside and take a look at your child’s future

A refugee is someone fleeing life-threatening circumstances and yet so often they are treated with suspicion and fear. Rejected and turned away, the choices become more desperate, the risks become perils. The suffering closes in and hope becomes vague and they begin to change. The old give up and turn inward and the young get angry. Rejection, fear and greedy opposition is not what the decent people of Syria deserve. At this moment they deserve compassion, respite, healing and an understanding of the political undertakings which have brought innocent people to this

(08) 9387 5050

desperate point. And they need somewhere to go.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring



Our internet picks SHOPPING online is fun and convenient. Now there is fantastic range of fashion items and great buys for the family. However, looking for good-quality sites can be overwhelming with such a large number from which to choose. Finding your way around can be daunting! We’ve provided a few good Australian sites, including a couple from WA, which offer a great range of stylish, beautiful and practical items to help point you in the right direction. You can now find the gorgeous little boutique store, Aster & Ruby in WA at Dolphin Quay, Mandurah. Filled with handmade and unique products from across the globe for Mum, baby and anywhere in between, it is a store not to be missed. Shop 5 Dolphin Quay, 37 Dolphin Drive Mandurah Ocean Marina

Free shipping for Offspring readers Enter the promo code SHIPFREE Tinc is a funky new range of kids stationery, gifts, bags, gadgets and gift sets. A UK brand, that has recently been brought out to Australia to brighten up your desks and school bags, available exclusively online. Its a little bit of British, but a whole heap of fun, funky and cool products that kids aged 4 to 104 will love. Tinc can even be your go-to shop for birthday party bag needs. Whether you need to stock up for christmas, buy for kids birthday parties or prepare you little ones for school, you’ll find everything you need at Tinc.

FREE SHIPPING on orders over $75 Teesh provides simple and colourful accessories for mums and their princesses. Their products range from necklaces to customised bookmarks. They make the perfect birthday gift or stocking filler. • Free standard shipping Australia wide • 30 day return policy

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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Australia’s favourite family lifestyle magazine is now online! Brand New for 2015!

Come celebrate with us as we launch the new look for Offspring Magazine online! Sign up for regular updates and promos with our FREE newsletter! • Read our latest edition online. • Stay up-to-date with the latest in important parenting information and enetertaining and inspiring stories of real parents from the Offspring website. • Check out our new online advertiser’s directory and connect with all of the amazing businesses featured in Offspring Magazine. Are you a business looking to reach a wider audience? Contact us to find out about our great value advertising options.

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with Gary Ausbruch

Manscaping madness Gary reveals a vainer side of growing older.


the hair (he probably heard it bang on the floor) and pretended to wash my hands. I contemplated myself in the mirror intently. I hadn’t

t started with one rogue eyebrow hair. I could see it out of

been too worried about

the corner of my eye as I tried to focus on the computer

the odd grey hair or

screen at work. I positioned my face to get a better reflection

wrinkle before,

in my office window and tried plucking it with thumb and


index finger, but it was still too bright outside to see properly

accepting that

and I couldn’t isolate it. Now quite obsessed, I hurried to the

these things were

bathroom and moved in nice and close to the mirror…

all part of the ageing

Got it!

process for most people

The thrill of a successful pluck quickly gave way to the utter

in their fortieth year of

shock of what I saw. I shook my head in amazement as I stood

life. But this was different.

and stared at this thing in the palm of my hand. A THREE

This eyebrow hair was the

CENTIMETRE eyebrow hair stared back at me.

clearest symbol yet of the dark

Another guy came in to the bathroom and I quickly dropped

side of ageing.

I also think I’m at the age now where my kids are at a perfect age from a parents’ perspective – old enough to have some independence, but young enough to not hate you. The fact is, I have always considered myself someone who looks younger than his age. Not by heaps, but just a bit, and I guess I wear this as a bit of a badge of honour. A just reward for trying to keep fit and eat well, and undertaking some fundamental grooming activities. Clearly these activities Footy Fundamentals aims to prepare our kids for the future. Footy Fundamentals is a carefully planned and structured toddler AFL program, which encourages your active toddlers to develop their fundamental movement skills in an AFL environment, using AFL equipment. Active parent involvement is required in all of our toddler AFL programs. The progrAm works Across Three Age groups TIGER CUBS (2 yrs to 3 yrs)

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hadn’t included eyebrow plucking up until now. But The Eyebrow Incident opened my eyes (which were now clearer in both the physical and metaphysical sense) to the level of work required from this point on to maintain any semblance of physical youth. That night, under closer self-examination, to my dismay I discovered a thatch (or perhaps it was more of a thicket? Or even a hedge?) of hairs growing out my right earhole. Weirdly, just my right one. But I guess I should be happy to accept small wins. Given the ageing process was now clearly taking hold, it got me thinking: was it worth even continuing any mirage of physical and grooming activity? Those sit-ups I did a few times a week, what was the point? I’d never had much of a six-pack even at my fittest, so the


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

chances of any abs miraculously popping through now were basically zero.

many stupid things as I used to. I also think I’m at the age now where my kids are at a perfect

And I could feel my knees deteriorating each time I

age from a parents’ perspective – old enough to have some

went for a run these days. Soon I would have no choice

independence, but young enough to not hate you.

but to swap running laps of the local lake to walking laps of the local swimming pool. But before getting too depressed, I knew I should be looking at physical decay as part of the bigger picture. That

It’s surreal to think that I now have kids who are doing the things I remember as my earliest memories. I can so clearly remember walking with my mum in the snow for the first time, going to my first football game with my dad, or getting in trouble for using a swear word I didn’t know the meaning of. It dawned on me that this stage in life was an ideal time to focus on creating happy family memories for my kids, because

ageing actually

now they’ll start to take these memories with them through

does have some

life. Of course I couldn’t plan exactly which memories they

surprisingly good

held on to, but I could focus on sharing experiences with them,

aspects to it.

both big and small, that we could look back on when I was

I am certainly

actually the old guy walking laps of the pool.

wiser now than I was even just a few years ago, and I don’t just mean that in the all-important Trivial Pursuit sense. More that I simply don’t do or say as

But as I type, my focus shifts back to something else, and my mood turns bleak once again. I see a dark cloud sitting just above my field of vision. One that must be moved on before I can move on, and feel physically, emotionally and spiritually free. Thankfully, I’ve stolen my daughter’s mani-pedi set, so a mirror and tweezers are never too far away.

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Freya Photos: Melissa Sheed

I tried to focus on sleeping, when all of a sudden I was hit by an almighty contraction which sent me writhing off the bed. It seemed to last for ages.


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Amy Hannaford shares her beautiful story of giving birth to her baby daughter at home.


woke suddenly on Monday morning at 2am after a vivid dream. I went to pee and noticed mucous with dark

red blood. I couldn’t sleep, but went back to bed and rested for a while. I felt fine, but during the course of the morning had more blood and mucous. I called my midwife, Olga; she let me know that my Group B Streptococcus screen had come back positive. I understood that for the antibiotics to be effective, I needed two courses three to four hours apart during

I climbed into the pool and the contractions seemed to melt away

midwife) arrived, they were almost non-existent. Olga did an internal examination; she thought I was maybe 1-2cm, and that the cervix was still

active labour.

posterior, but very soft. I think I was

At around 5pm the tightenings started to become more regular. When Nick

playing on my mind. Half an hour or so

expecting this, but it was still very difficult

arrived home from work the tightenings

later I thought that the tightenings were

to hear.

were still hanging around, although they

regular enough to call Olga and put her

weren’t any stronger and I felt as though

on standby. Another hour passed and not

me to lie down and sleep, given that I had

they might not eventuate into anything.

much had changed, but the contractions

been up since 2am. I complied, but as soon

But I asked him to blow up the birth pool

were still hanging around, so I started to

as I heard their cars drive away I burst into

as a precaution.

think that maybe I was going into labour.

tears. After a bit of a cry, I tried to focus

Nick called Olga but the tightenings

on sleeping, when all of a sudden I was

I felt a bit anxious that if I was going

I told everyone to go home. Olga told

into labour, I needed to give my midwife,

started to become less frequent, and by

hit by an almighty contraction which sent

Olga, time to get here, and that was

the time that Olga and Heidi (student

me writhing off the bed. It seemed to last for ages. I crawled to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet, and noticed that I’d had a huge show. A few minutes later I had another contraction, and then another. I started to shiver uncontrollably and my teeth were chattering. I stumbled out into the kitchen and Nick wrapped his arms around me while I shivered and cried. After maybe 20 to 30 minutes of intense contractions, I instructed Nick to call Olga and Heidi and they returned to the house. Olga whispered to me that I was definitely going to meet my baby tonight. She suggested that I hop into the pool, and I asked her to do another internal examination, which now indicated that I was 5cm dilated. I climbed into the pool and the contractions seemed to melt away. They were so easy and so far apart that I vaguely

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


worried that I had again stalled the labour. A second midwife, Laura, arrived and I heard Olga updating her quietly. I could sense Nick and Heidi sitting close by. Heidi was going to be the main caregiver during the birth, which was great because she had been with me since the beginning. My waters still hadn’t gone. After what

I felt someone wrapping a sheet around my belly, and was instructed to lean into it like a sling, which I did. Immediately I felt relief, and a gush of fluid trickled down my legs.

water, and I tried to walk around in an attempt to help my baby change position. With each contraction, the odd pain in my pelvis would return, and I started crying out that I couldn’t do it. Thoughts of calling an ambulance

seemed like ten contractions, I had a

started to cross my mind. I had a moment

contraction that caused me to grunt

of desperation, and wondered why, after


pushing my giant son out so easily, this

When the next contraction flowed

‘little’ baby wasn’t budging. It was then

through, I got an urge to push, so I did, and

that Laura whispered into my ear that

felt my baby’s head move down a bit, but

she’d like to try something that might help

not quite as much as I expected. I asked

the baby reposition itself.

Olga to check me, and when she did, she

I felt someone wrapping a sheet around

told me that I was indeed fully dilated and

my belly, and was instructed to lean into it

that my membranes were still intact. It

like a sling, which I did. Immediately I felt

was then that something changed.

relief, and a gush of fluid trickled down

With the next contraction I pushed

my legs. Nick whispered that he had me

again, and felt my membranes go. And

and so I went with it, and started pushing

with that, I was hit by an overwhelming

with the next contraction. I felt my baby’s

pain in my pelvis. I was hit with another

head come down and start to crown. With

contraction, and then another, and had to

the second contraction I pushed her head

fight the urge not to push. It just didn’t feel

out easily, and then controlled any urges


to push as she rotated. With one last push,

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The contractions started to slow, and Heidi and Nick helped me out of the

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she was out, and Heidi passed her to me through my legs. I held her to my chest and just squatted there for what seemed like forever. One of the midwives suddenly remarked on how clever the baby was, and I realised that she had attached herself to my breast and was sucking happily away. I had let down as she was born, and this had dripped onto her face. Her cord pulsed for quite some time after the birth, so

One of the midwives suddenly remarked on how clever the baby was, and I realised that she had attached herself to my breast and was sucking happily away.

we were wrapped in towels and I sat on the floor feeding her until the cord stopped pulsating and Nick cut it. The breastfeeding helped the placenta to release, and I pushed it out after only 22 minutes. I still had my baby wrapped to my chest and feeding happily and once the placenta was out I encouraged her to pull off and we checked between her legs to learn that we had a baby girl, and we named her Freya.

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Preparing for baby By Brooke Evans-Butler By Brooke Evans-Butler

Finding out you are having a baby is without a doubt one of life’s most exciting experiences – but it can also be overwhelming when you start thinking about everything you need to do before you welcome your bundle-of-joy into the world. Fear not, the Offspring Preparing for Baby Guide will Convertible Car seats help keep you on track. Convertible Car seats start off as rearward facing child restraints, then once


marker, the car seat can be turned around

Travel checklist

This is a very important job to tick off

as a forward facing seat. These are a

Car restraint

the list – after all, you cannot bring your

handy and often economical option,

baby home from hospital without a car

because the one car seat can be suitable


for your child from birth until they are

months must use an approved child

available that are suitable from birth until

 aby carrier/sling (this can be a B good option for those times you don’t want to use a pram – some mums find carrying the baby in a sling is also great for around the house).

restraint that is rearward facing. Your

eight years.


Kidsafe advises children under six

options include:


around four years old, with car seats also

Remember – It is not only important to have your baby in an approved restraint – it is imperative the car restraint is fitted

Pram Liner Pram rain/sun/insect cover

facing child restraints. Many parents love

do this (you don’t want to be working out

them for their ease-of-use, and some

how to install the restraint in the hospital

 rolley cover (great for comfort T and to protect your baby from trolley germs when you go shopping).

brands offer a complete ‘travel system’,

carpark). All car restrains will come with

Baby on Board sign

whereby the capsule can be moved from

installation instructions but for peace-of-

the car to a specially-designed pram, so

mind it is great idea to get pay a small fee


you don’t have to disturb your baby when

to have your car seat properly installed

you are out-and-about. It should be noted

and checked by an authorised fitter –

that these capsules are only suitable from

some Kidsafe locations offer this service

birth to about six months of age.

or can point you in the right direction.

Capsules are dedicated rearward


baby’s shoulder reaches the appropriate

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

correctly. Give yourself plenty of time to

Portable cot (optional) Nappy bag


pram for when you go to the shops, it will not be a good choice

You might think you are buying a small car when you look at purchasing a pram. Indeed, there are many features to consider –

to get a pram that is so wide it is difficult to fit down the aisles. • Consider features. Do you want a reversible handle

and the price can also range drastically (with some prams costing

so you have the choice of your baby facing


towards you or away from you? This can be a

So, what do you want in a pram? It is important to consider how

handy feature if you want to face your baby

you will be using the pram before you go shopping.

away from sun glare or wind – or simply

Consider the following:

so you can look at your gorgeous

• Check that the pram you buy is suitable for newborns and that the pram meets Australian Standards. Like all baby equipment, safety is very important. Ensure that the pram has a five-point harness and tyre brakes. • Do you want to run/exercise with your pram? If so, check where you buy your pram that the tyres are going to be suitable. • Are you planning to use your pram mainly for getting

baby as you push the pram! •

NAPPY BAG Goodbye tiny clutch or sleek

handbag and hello nappy bag! Never fear, gone are the days of the ghastly bulky nappy bag (there are

around shopping centres? If so, a pram that features a basket

now a range of design options and

underneath can be handy for storage.

some look like designer handbags). However, the baby bag is an essential item when you go out-and-about with your baby. Consider the following: • The style – yes, of course style is important! This bag will essentially replace your handbag so ensure you are happy with the look. However, remember that other people are likely to be using this bag too (for example, your partner or the grandparents).

• Is this your second child – or are you expecting twins or planning on having children close together? If so, a double or twin pram might be the best option (or look at prams that have added options, such as a toddler seat/or skateboard attachment). • Remember some accessories can make a big difference! Buy a rain cover and sun cover just in case. Another great option, which can be just as much a fashion statement as a practical accessory, is a pram insert/cover, which makes the pram much easier to clean if needed. • How easy is the pram to fold down/put up? Try it out at the shops when you buy. • Size matters. Check that the folded pram will fit into your car boot. It is also important to consider the size of the pram

Pregnant? Congratulations! Questions? Let us Help... Navigating the Maze Having a baby can be both exciting and scary. Many of us have no idea about tests, birth choices, all those mysterious aches and pains, what to eat, how to exercise, how to parent more than one... It’s a maze! Help is at hand at The BumpWA. We are a unique government-funded not for profit organisation providing pregnancy classes, midwifery advice, lactation consultations and post-natal support groups. First baby or fifth, we specialise in listening to you and helping you decide what is best for your circumstances. Whatever your question, big or small, we are just a phone call or a click away. We look forward to meeting you soon!

p | 9498 6033 •

depending on the intended purpose. If you mainly want your

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Disposable nappies checklist

compartment for bottles. Once you have chosen your nappy bag


include: a couple of outfit changes for


baby, hat/beanie, bibs, nappies, wipes,

Wipe warmer (optional)

hand sanitiser, scented nappy bag, age-

Odour neutralising bags Nappy bin (optional)

• Get two baby bags if possible. It is

feed? Many baby bags feature an insulated

MCN nappies checklist

appropriate toy, nappy rash cream, bottle/ formula, dummy (optional) and a change of top for mum in case you are the one that ends up messy after a feed or nappy change.

CHANGE TIME Changing nappies is something you

handy to have one to use and one


do a lot when you have a newborn, so it is

that is packed and ready to go in the

important to have everything you need to

second car, ready for babysitters or

W  ipes (either cloth or disposable)

just in case of last minute outings.

Nappy liners

• A baby bag that comes with a travel/ inbuilt change mat is very handy. • Check that the bag is easy to clean – inside and out. • Ensure it has enough storage. You don’t want to overload your baby bag, but some easy-to-access pockets/zips can be a good feature.

make this task a simple one. The first decision to make is if you want

Night-time boosters ‘Wet bags’ (to carry dirty nappies in) N  appy bucket (for nappy storage between washes) A  ppropriate washing powder (such as Rockin’ Green)

to put your baby in disposable or cloth nappies.

Disposable Disposable nappies are very convenient – no washing, drying or folding required. You can get nappies easily from most shopping centres and when it comes to change time; you just chuck out the dirty nappy and put a

• Are you planning to formula


new one on your baby. Easy!

Modern cloth nappies are so easy to use. With either press studs or Velcro, they are easy to change (no sharp and fiddly nappy pins). They are also easy to take care of. You store the dirty nappies in a dry bucket (no soaking required), until cleaning time, when then they are simply washed in the washing machine. Disposable liners are available – giving you the option of simply flushing solid waste straight down the toilet. They are also suitable to wear at night – with boosters available for heavy night-time wetters. TIP: Even if you are planning on using MCNs for your baby, buy a packet of disposable nappies for the early days/weeks. Newborn babies can go through many nappies (and an infant first

Mums without mums Many mums are raising young families without the support or presence of their own mother. The city’s free fortnightly mums without mums group provides a chance for women in similar situations to share their stories, support each other and talk about raising their children over a tea or coffee. The group is facilitated by a local volunteer and is open to all, regardless of where you live. When: Where: COST:

Tuesdays fortnightly from 10.30am to 12pm (except during school holidays) Lords Café, 3 Price Street, Subiaco Free

For more information, or to attend, please contact the city on 9237 9317 or email


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

bowel movements, Meconium, is very sticky) so using disposables even for the first few days can be good option so you don’t have any extra washing while you are recovering from the birth.


Sleep time A bassinet is an ideal sleeping place for a baby in the early weeks/months. It is much smaller than a cot and if on wheels can easily be moved around the house during the day and then beside your bed at night. If you do not want to purchase a bassinet as it will be only be used for a short amount of time, bassinets can be hired. An alternative to the traditional bassinet or Moses basket is a ‘Baby Box’ from the Baby Box Company. This product stems from the tradition in Finland where mums-to-be were given a box of

baby essentials. As well as housing clothes and

pillows, doonas, soft

accessories for the baby, the box that the goodies

toys, cot bumpers or

came in is used as a sleeping place for the baby

lambswools in the cot.

(without the lid of course), with a fitted mattress handy option.

The cot Walk into a baby store and you could be overwhelmed by the number of cots to choose from – it’s not a simple choice

An infant sleeping bag

IKEA STUVA cot with drawers $349

making this specially designed box a very

is a handy option – and ensures your baby stays covered (because they cannot kick it off ) and


without the need for

Kidsafe recommends babies sleep in their own cot or bassinette in the same room as you for the first six to 12 months.

blankets, it is a good way to ensure your baby’s head and face remain uncovered. It is important if you are using a baby sleeping bag that the

between timber and white! Some cots may have clever storage options and drawers. Some may have the option of converting into a toddler bed or a day bed. It is important to ensure the cot you choose meets Australian Standards – and that the cot mattress is clean and fits snugly.

correct size is chosen and the correct weight for the season, so your baby doesn’t overheat. Remember to buy a couple of good quality mattress protectors to protect the mattress in case of late night nappy leaks.

Furniture A change table is not essential, but many parents find them handy. They are also a good height, especially for mothers who


have had a C-section, because you do not have to bend over a bed

Cot mattresses can vary in size – so check the measurements of

or low surface to change the baby. If you don’t want a dedicated

your mattress before you buy sheets and then buy at least two sets

change table, you can get a change mat for on a set of drawers.

– one for the cot and one in the wash.

Or portable baby baths that double as a changing facility are also

TIP: Safe sleeping: SIDS and Kids does not recommend using

handy. Regardless of whether you get a change table or not, it is

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IKEA SUNDVIK Changing Table & Chest of Drawers $199 important that everything you need to change your baby (nappies/wipes etc) is within reach

Bottle feeding checklist

and that the baby is never left unattended for


any amount of time in case the baby falls.

Bottles and teats

Storage is important for any room – and remember, your baby is going to grow! A tallboy is a good option for any bedroom (but remember to fix it to the wall to prevent

IKEA ANTILOP Highchair with tray $29.99

Bottle brush Chosen formula Formula dispenser

it tipping over). A toy box is also a great


addition to the nursery to store toys or even

Bottle warmer (optional)

linen, but ensure it is a safe toy box, with soft-

Feeding pillow or wedge

closing lid to prevent pinched fingers, so it is a safe addition to the room as your baby grows. Although, again not essential, a feeding chair is handy in the nursery for late night feeds and cuddles.

Décor You don’t have to have the baby’s room complete and perfect by the time they are born (many parents choose to keep the baby’s

Bottle feeding There are many formulas on the market, so talk to your health professional about how to choose the right option for your baby.

Starting solids A high chair is also an important feeding tool (but not

cot in the parents’ room for the first year), but the décor available

something your newborn will need until they start solids, so this

is just irresistible!).

can be a later purchase). As with all other baby equipment, safety

A theme is a great way to bring a room together and looks very

the most important feature. A great tip is for whatever highchair

effective – but you don’t have to go overboard. You can introduce

you are considering – imagine how easy it would be to clean if it

colour or animal/pattern theme simply by adding a few well-

was covered in spaghetti bolognaise. Always go for the easy-clean

chosen key elements – perhaps some wall art, linen in your chosen


colour/theme a floor rug or accessories on a shelf. Personalised options are a great addition to the baby’s room – and now with so many online options, no matter how unique your

Accessories Depending on your feeding choice you will need bottles (don’t

baby’s name is, you can order custom-made décor – from canvases

overstock on these before your baby is born – many babies take

to their name for the door.

to certain bottles and teats so you may go through several brands

FEEDING Are you breastfeeding or formula feeding? Your essentials will differ depending on the feeding option that is best for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is very convenient – the milk is always the right temperature and you can feed your baby anytime, anywhere. 54


When your baby starts solids, invest in a ‘mess mat’ to go under the highchair. It will catch most of the food the baby drops, and will save you time cleaning the floor.

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

before settling on one. If you are breastfeeding, consider breastmilk storage containers, so you can freeze expressed milk if needed. Storage cups or special freezer bags are available. When your baby is ready to start solids, stock up on baby bowls and spoons (there are spoons available that change colour if the food is too hot, which is a clever safety option).


Bath time checklist

BATH TIME Newborns don’t need a bath every day, but many parents like to give their baby a bath every night to make it part of a

It can be very easy to go overboard when it comes to buying baby clothes. However, remember this is a very popular

Baby bath (optional)

gift item (so you are bound to get

 ath support B (optional)

some from excited friends and

 aby body wash/ B shampoo (optional)







Wash cloths

Mittens (for

family when your baby is born).

in the hospital

 afety products (such S as slip mats and tap covers)

to stop baby scratching

relaxing pre-bed routine.


Baby baths are available; however you can bathe your baby


in a sink or laundry trough. A water thermometer is essential (Kidsafe says 38°C is the

Remember to choose something special

recommended temperature for bathing young children). However,

to bring your new baby home from the

it is also important for a parent to check the water temperature as

hospital in. It is a very exciting day (and

well as checking the thermometer to prevent accidental scolding.

lots of photos will be taken) so definitely

There is no need for fancy bathing products as newborns can be bathed in plain water, but again, some parents like using specific products to establish a familiar routine.

take a super-cute outfit to the hospital with you.

LEKA comfort blanket with soft toy $6.99 IKEA


perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


FOR MUM Don’t forget another very important person to prepare for – the mum! Ensure you have everything for the birth and your hospital stay.

Toiletries Maternity pads are must for the hospital bag – take a couple of packs. A packet of breast pads is also a good idea (even if you are not planning on breastfeeding, your breasts might leak after birth, so it is best to be prepared). Of course, you will need the usual basics including deodorant, lip balm, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, brush/comb and toothbrush and toothpaste. Remember some little luxuries, as they will help you feel a bit better when you are recovering from the birth. A rich hand cream or beautiful body wash can make you feel great.

Clothes It is also important to pack appropriate clothes. Most of us will

Aromatherapy oils Lip balm Refreshing facial mist  ENS machine – these can be hired and offer T another pain-relief option if you prefer (ask your hospital if they supply or hire these)  omfortable nighty/t-shirt that you don’t mind C getting stained Lollies Some snacks for your partner/birth support person

Hospital bag checklist Pyjamas/nightie Maternity bra/singlet Underwear

not walk out of the hospital looking like Kate Middleton after the

Maternity pads

birth of Princess Charlotte; you will still probably look like you are

Comfortable clothes (yoga pants, track pants)

about five months pregnant. So leave the pre-pregnancy clothes at

Comfortable slippers

home and pack your trusty maternity clothes and comfy yoga or track pants. If you are planning to breastfeed, packing some nursing tops or a nightie that has buttons down the front for easy feeding is a good idea.


Labour bag checklist

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

 oiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, hairdryer, T shampoo, body wash, lip balm) Book/magazines Camera

Things ‘down there’ can be messy, so take comfy black underwear that you don’t mind throwing out afterwards. If you have a caesarean, ‘granny undies’ or full briefs are best; they sit

My First Year Milestone Belly Stickers $11.95

higher so will not rub against your new and sensitive caesarean wound. Remember the bed socks! It can get cold in hospital, so take bed socks, comfy slippers or slip on shoes (note that your feet may swell after birth so take something comfy).

Cake Lingerie Blue Berry Robe $99.90

TOYS A newborn baby certainly doesn’t look like they need copious amounts of toys, but there are some good basics to have as your newborn grows. • Comforter – Many parents like to introduce a comforter/ blankie (just ensure it is used under supervision and not in the cot/bassinet). • Play mat – An easy-to-clean play mat is a good investment, which can be used from even the early days to encourage the

Cake Lingerie Sherbet maternity bra $69.90

all-important tummy time. • Mobile – A colourful, musical mobile is great to encourage your baby’s interest. Place it above the change table to distract your baby at change time. • Wrist and ankle rattles – These are great toys, which teach your baby about cause-and-effect (I shake my leg and the rattle makes a noise!). • Books – Read to your baby from the earliest days. There are so

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many wonderful baby books – so start building a collection for your baby and make reading a book a part of your daily routine. • Bouncer – You can get basic bouncers or top-of-the range, which include all the bells-and-whistles including calming vibrations and music.

KEEPSAKES Your baby is tiny for about a second (it goes too quickly!) so ensure you create some keepsakes to remember this very special time. Photography - Many hospitals offer

Birth Announcement Frame $34.95

a photography service and this can be a great way to get some very special pics

to be able to take to the hospital.

when your baby is so brand new. Another

Capture your baby’s tiny, perfect

option is to hire a newborn photographer

finger prints, hand prints and

to do a photoshoot (ideally within your baby’s first two weeks). Photographs are such a special keepsake and can also be used to make birth announcement cards or to send to family and friends. Print kits – inkless print kits are available, which are handy

footprints. You can then make them into a special canvas or put them in your baby’s record book. Baby record book – A baby record book is great to remember all of your baby’s important firsts and milestones. Remember to fill things out as they happen (because they do grow so quickly).

A Riverlands journey now will give your child an advantage later Children learn best when learning is directed at their own pace, in an environment specially designed to fit them. It becomes their learning, their way in their space. No wonder our graduating students leave with a reputation for a love of learning. We’re in the beautiful Swan Valley with families from near and far. We can take your children from 1-3 years in our Playgroup, and from 3 years through to Year 6 graduation, and they can start at any time. Why not start today? We have limited vacancies in all classes so find us today and come for a personal tour.

The School that Kids and Parents Love

299 Arthur Street, Dayton, WA 6055 Phone: 08 9250 6444 Fax: 08 9250 6333 Email:


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

CALL US TODAY! 1300 888 611

AT HOME Before you go into hospital, organising a few

keeping pets out of the baby’s room or on the

things can make your homecoming less stressful.

furniture). When the baby

Food – Stock up the freezer so you and your

has been born, bring home

partner can spend less time in the kitchen and more

a blanket the baby has been

time gazing at your precious newborn. Make things

wrapped in so your dog gets

that are nourishing, easy-to-reheat and that can

familiar with the new scent

be cooked in bulk, such as casseroles and hearty

is often recommended.

soups. Remember to also freeze some snacks (very

Enlisting the help of some

handy when hungry strikes during late feeds), such

friends or a dog walker/

as sausage rolls and fruit muffins. If budget allows,

pet sitter to take your dog

there are also various home delivery services,

on extra walks or give some

which deliver home-style meals to your door.

extra attention during the

Cleaning – When you are recovering

early weeks is also a good

(especially from a c-section) housework will be


very low on the list of priorities. If you don’t have a partner or

Siblings – A new baby

family close by to help, organising a reputable house cleaner

can be a big adjustment for

(even just to do the floors and the bathrooms) is a good idea, if

an older child, so make some

budget allows.

preparations to help ease the

Medicine cabinet – Ensure the medicine cabinet is stocked

change. Organising some

with the essentials to prevent late night dashes to the chemist.

special outings with friends

Include a digital thermometer, baby saline nasal drops and

or grandparents for your older child is a great idea when you are

Baby Panadol (but ensure you check the age and dosage

busy with the new baby. If you have a toddler, organising a box of

recommendations before use).

quiet toys and activities (such as building blocks, books and arts

Furry friends – Is your furry friend prepared for the arrival of your new baby? Preparations are best to start early (such as

and crafts) are handy to get out when you are feeding or settling your newborn.

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Classes available for children from age 2 up to professional level Classes available from age 2inup to professional level Nurturing the for all children round performer jazz, tap, hip hop, Nurturing the all round performer in jazz, tap, hip hop, acrobatic, classical acrobatic,classical ballet, lyrical, vocal and musical theatre ballet, lyrical, vocal and musical theatre and boys only classes. and boys only classes. •Under direction of creative director Leanna Del Basso • Qualified teachers • 30 years experience in the industry

45 Edward St, Osborne Park Phone 0412 777 202 45 Edward St, Osborne Park Phone 0412 777 202

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Organic cotton feather blanket $44.95

Organic cotton jersey sleeping bags $59.95

Cathy and Debbie Garbin have both worked with new parents for many, many years (yes they are sisters too). They have a passion to see new babies get the best start in life. A happy healthy baby grows into a happy healthy child who becomes a happy healthy adult. Today almost everyone wants to breastfeed their baby because they know it’s best. Sadly for some it’s not that easy initially and conflicting advice doesn’t help this. Debbie and Cathy provide a private home visiting service (with a strong evidence base) to new parents to help with all things breastfeeding. They also hire out breastfeeding weigh scales and hire/sell breast pumps.


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Organic Cotton Jersey Swaddles $39.95

My Little Hands Organic cotton baby wear created for stylish and eco conscious parents mylittlehandsaustralia

Breastfeeding basics Medela provide some important factors to understand about breastfeeding What is normal when it comes to breastfeeding? Many women are often confused by all the information they are given when they become pregnant, and that only seems to increase once their baby is born. It can be really confusing and sometimes stressful to know how best to look after their precious new bundle.

In order to make more milk mothers just need to feed or express more frequently, and to reduce their supply they feed less.

brain to make sure mothers produce this feed again tomorrow. Therefore a mother’s milk supply can continue for as long as they want or need it to. In order to

How do new mothers learn to breastfeed, or learn what is ‘normal’? Society doesn’t live in tribes with other

make more milk mothers just need to feed One of the most common reasons

or express more frequently, and to reduce

women report for choosing to stop breast

their supply they feed less. A simple, but

feeding or to start introducing infant

clever system!

women anymore, and it is rare to actually

formula is the feeling that there is not

see a baby attach onto the breast as often

enough milk for their baby or they think

women are covered up when they feed

their baby is feeding too often and that

their baby in public. So how can women

their milk supply is not satisfying enough.

Western Australia looked at babies from

Studies show that about 95 per cent

one month to six months old and showed

learn to breastfeed? This is why breast

What is normal? A recent study from the University of

feeding can be challenging at the start

of the female population can produce

us that there is a big difference in how

for many women, this is ‘normal’ and it

enough milk for their baby. The breasts

often breastfed babies feed.

is OK. Mothers will learn gradually over

are amazing, they work on a supply

• On average babies aged 1 – 6 months

the first few weeks and will eventually feel

and demand system. Every time a baby

confident and happy breast feeding.

breastfeeds, it sends a message to the

old will feed between 4 - 13 times every 24 hours. • Babies drink between 54ml - 234ml at each feed. • Two thirds of babies up to 6 months old feed at night. • 20 per cent of a baby’s total food is drunk between 10pm-4am • In the first month your baby and breasts are laying down the foundations for you to produce lots of milk, so babies will need to feed a minimum of 6 times in 24 hours. • Around 4-6 weeks your breasts will feel less full, this is also normal. Don’t panic that your supply has disappeared! For more information about what is normal for breastfeeding babies:

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring





When Dani and Pete received the news that no parent ever wants to hear they were grateful they’d taken out an insurance policy from the day their first son was born. Miles’ life was saved by his brother Jasper’s cord blood stem cells.


blood was an insurance policy for our children’s future health. We have two beautiful little boys, Jasper 8 and Miles 6. On Monday morning, 17th August 2009, I received news that no parent ever wants to hear. Miles, then 10 months old, was suspected of having a rare form of leukaemia known as JMML (Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukaemia). JMML is a cancer of the blood and is found in infancy or early childhood. It is fatal if left untreated and the only treatment is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. Miles’ only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant. Pete, Jasper and I were all tested to see if we could donate our


bone marrow. At this stage we told the doctors that we had stored

n November 2006, my partner Pete and I possibly made the

both Jasper and Miles’ cord blood. Would this help? The doctor

smartest decision of our lives! It was when we decided to store

was pleasantly surprised and confirmed it was great news! I

the cord blood of our children with Cryosite, a private cord

remember feeling like we had won the lotto. Since the nightmare

blood bank we discovered at a parenting and baby expo. We were

began, we had felt totally helpless, now maybe we had done one

expecting our first child, Jasper at the time..

thing right that could potentially give Miles a

Collecting and storing the cord blood from the placenta at birth meant that our babies could benefit from stem cell advancements in the future. Stem cells are cells in the blood or bone marrow that are capable of producing all mature blood cells including both red and white blood cells and platelets. There are current studies showing

better chance of survival!

Our two children often stun adults with the story of their ‘superhero blood’ that came together and now they can fix everything!

the potential for stem cells from cord blood to repair damaged spinal cords, or to help stroke or liver failure patients. Cord blood is also widely used to treat leukaemia and several other types of cancer. Pete and I felt that storing the cord 62

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Early October, it was confirmed Jasper was a match for Miles. What a magic moment!!! This meant we would be able to use Jasper’s stored cord blood to treat Miles. Having the cord blood meant Miles would have a pure source to go to transplant – reducing the likelihood of infection post transplant. We had the ‘golden ticket’ to give

Miles the best possible chance of survival! Once the transplant was complete there was a long, 120day rejection countdown. Miles had his up and down days, but

overall with the cord blood and our quarantine boot camp, we were extremely lucky to avoid any major infections through the transplant period. It was fantastic. Miles was recovering extremely well and left the hospital after just 8 weeks, not the usual 6 months. We had broken hospital records! Miles is now completely drug free, which is hard to believe as he was on 45+ medications at one point. Now his overall health, weight and growth are all going along spot on. He is the most social little boy who sings everywhere he goes and has the most amazing outlook on life. He is very aware

We had the “golden ticket” to give Miles the best possible chance of survival!

of what happened to him, and understands that tests must still be done from time to time. In fact, it really is quite magical to hear the two brothers talking about the transplant. Miles often asks Jasper to remind him about what happened because he was only very young and doesn’t remember all the details. The two of them often stun adults with the story of their ‘superhero blood’ that came together and now they can fix everything! We have learnt from this experience to take life one day at a time, that there is nothing more important than family and no one really knows what is around the corner. Appreciate every second! I would like to appeal to everyone to become bone marrow donors and for new mums, please make the effort to store your cord blood as an insurance policy for your child’s future health.

Onslow Road Pharmacy


aving a baby is a very exciting time in your life but it can also be quite daunting, especially if it’s your first. The team at the Onslow Road Pharmacy, situated in Shenton Park, are experienced professional pharmacists as well as being parents themselves. During your pregnancy, it is important to get advice on what supplements to take and also what medicines and supplements are not recommended in pregnancy. The pharmacists at Onslow Road Pharmacy are a wealth of knowledge on vitamins and, of course medicines. Breastfeeding can be a tricky time for many new mums, and lets not forget the dads, as they are often the ones out hunting for products and advice to support their partner at this time. Ointments to soothe sore nipples, shields to help attachment, breast pumps and breast pads are just some of the products you may need in those early days of breastfeeding. Onslow Road Pharmacy

also understands breastfeeding is not always possible, so they are there to offer advice and products for formula feeding also. Being open 7 days a week, even public holidays, from 8am-9pm means anytime lactation and feeding issues arise, pharmacists can be contacted, in person, or by phone. Everyone loves to spoil their new baby, so as well as health products, Onslow Road Pharmacy also offers a range of gorgeous products such as Aden & Anais and Toshi. Swaddles, sleeping bags, blankets, onesies and more are always available. One situation many new parents find themselves in, is travelling with a baby.

Whether it be by plane or car, the staff at the Onslow Road Pharmacy can offer advice on making the journey itself more comfortable as well as enjoying your time away as a new family. Many products used as an adult, or even older child, are not appropriate for very young children, so it is always important to discuss with a health professional what options are available. Examples are travel sickness and diarrhoea relief, where advice should be sought on management. Open 7 days a week, with convenient free parking, the Onslow Road Pharmacy would love to help you with having a baby.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Playbar RRP $270.00 comes with toys

Sweet Creations The Play Bars modern, contemporary design compliments the home interior, so you don’t ever have to put it away! The natural wood elements and soft colour tones look great together. Each Play Bar comes with eight toys; four wood and four silicone, which your baby will love. These have been individually designed to amuse, educate and entertain. The textural elements and use of colour help your baby learn and develop through different senses such as touch and sight.

Bubbaroo Bubbaroo is a trusted Australian baby sleepwear brand. Bubbaroo’s Joey Pouch Swaddling Bag was the original Australian swaddle on the market and was developed by Nicole Cassey after her experience with her first born in 2004. The Joey Swag Baby Sleeping Bag range is innovative with chic unisex appeal in keeping with current trends. The Joey Swag range all have a travel system and are available in 7 colours, 4 weights/TOGs and 4 sizes!

Bubbaroo is Australian based, owned and operated committed to dependability, integrity and customer service. Bubbaroo is a boutique identity that’s small enough to retain personal connection.


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Uncomplicated nutrition

Bellamy’s Organic take the guess work out of feeding your family convenient healthy food and snacks.


safety. So, no, they’re not pretending to be Grandma’s kitchen: it’s not possible. But they think she would like their passion

here is a lot of uncertainty around

that they look for, and use, the same

because, for Bellamy’s, a pure start to life

the concept of ‘organic’ when

quality foods as you would if you were

embodies uncomplicated nutrition. The

it comes to food choices and

doing it yourself.

best they can get, prepared as simply as is

decoding what organic certification means

practical without chemical preservatives

for you and your family.

and additives.

In a nutshell, choosing certified organic food provides the assurance of feeding your child a product that hasn’t been produced with harmful chemicals at a

Not every mum has the time to prepare her own baby foods and healthy snacks.

So in making a promise to mothers that they offer a “pure start to life”, Bellamy’s Organic is simply saying that they are trying to do the right thing. Not every

time when developing immune systems

mum has the time to prepare her own

are at their more vulnerable.

baby foods and healthy snacks. Bellamy’s

Bellamy’s Organic are proud to produce

It is also how they treat the ingredients

wholesome, nutritious, organic foods and

they use. To the best of our ability they try

drinks, for babies, toddlers and children.

to do as little as they can to their foods.

At Bellamy’s they seek out the finest

To learn more about Bellamy’s Organic visit

All their produce is certified organic

organic ingredients, staying as close to

and that’s a pretty good start, but what

home as they can, but choosing only

happens next? Well, let’s keep it real. Baby

to partner with the best like-minded

food and formula must meet the highest

producers to source the highest quality

standards of food regulations, so they

available. This is a practical step to ensure

must make them appropriately to ensure

Organic is for you.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


s d i k g n i h c a Te to meditate

By Bess O’Connor, The Chopra Centre

An increasing number of children have been showing elevated signs of stress, restlessness, and anxiety starting at a very early age. We know meditation is a great tool to find peace and balance amid our hectic lives—that’s why we enjoy our practice. How do we get our kids to love meditation, too?

Get Organised label everything!

Tumblers Kids Gym

School Term Monday - Friday 9.00am - 1.00pm Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 3.00pm School Holidays Monday - Friday 9.00am - 3.00pm Entry Prices 1-4 years $7.00 5-12 years $8.00

Birthday Parties

Riverton Leisureplex offers a range of birthday parties from Play Parties, Tumblers Deluxe Parties, Pool Parties to Super Slide Parties. To celebrate your child’s next birthday, contact the Leisureplex staff to organise a package.

Kindy Gym Classes

Kindy Gym classes for children aged 1 to 4 years. Classes involve a structured class of warm up, circuit activities, music, games and lots of fun. Kindy Gym classes include entry into Tumblers Kids Gym for free play. $10.00 per class or $80.00 for a 10 week term. Tuesday 1-2 years Thursday 1-2 years 3-4years

9.15am - 9.45am 9.15am - 9.45am 10.00am - 10.45am


School Term - Weekdays 8.45am - 12.45pm School Holidays - Weekdays 9.00am - 12:00pm Entry Prices 1½ hour sessions - $5.00 per child Multi-passes available

F drin ood an d k for s avail a p our urchas ble e at AQU AC CAF CINO E

Riverton Leisureplex Cnr High Rd & Riley Road, Riverton Ph:9231 0900


Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Name labels for everything that leaves the house will help kids take better care of their belongings and make you feel very organised. Free & Fast delivery. Real customer service.\leisureplex

Pranayama (breathing exercises)

THE BENEFITS FOR KIDS The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent

Breath is connected to prana (life-force energy) and oxygenates

Psychiatry (JAACAP) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control)

every cell in our body. Pranayama has been one of the most

published research that showed an estimated two million more

important tools for my kids’ well-being - as well as my own sanity.

children in the U.S. were diagnosed with attention-deficit/

It helps them when they are about to burst into a crying fit or when

hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between 2003 and 2012 and one

they are too excited to express themselves clearly. All I have to say

million more children were taking medication for it. What’s more

is, “Let’s breathe,” and they know exactly what to do.

concerning is - most of the diagnoses started before the age of six. A study done at the National Therapies Research Unit at the

Here are a few breathing techniques that are favourites among my kids:

Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney Australia showed significant

• Ujjayi (Victorious Breath): Explore practicing the “deep ocean

improvements in ADHD symptoms with children who were

sound” at the back of the throat, while taking deep belly breaths.

taught to meditate. The children reported improved attention Other encouraging side effects listed were: •

Improved relationships with their parents

Better sense of self-esteem

50 percent of the children that were on medication either reduced or stopped their medication completely, and still continued to improve their symptoms

It truly calms and settles their energy. Learn how to do the adult version of Ujjayi.

span and less hyperactivity.

Take a look at this playful meditation app for Kids called MY LIGHT SHINES BRIGHT developed by Deepak Chopra and The Chopra Center

through continued meditation Exposing our children to these ancient, yet practical, techniques could help them to cope better

• Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath): This is said to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain - leading to better cognitive development. I started them off with a simpler version where they hold one nostril and breathe in and out through the other, then switch sides. (When my daughter turned four, she was able to do an advanced version.) • Kapalabhati (Shining Breath): They have fun

watching their bellies as they push the air out of their

with stress and grow into living healthier lives. So how do we get

mouths while drawing their abdomen in at the same time.  Learn

our kids excited about meditating? Here are some meditation

how to do the adult version of Kapalabhati.

techniques and tips that have worked with my three children, whom are aged three, five, and six.

Become the change Children are prone to copying the behaviour of their parents. So starting them on a meditation journey can be as simple as leading by example. When your kids observe you in meditation, it sets a tone that children can learn from. When I’m sitting in meditation in the morning, my children wake up and come sit quietly with me (either on my lap or nearby) and enjoy starting their day in silence.

Practice silence Schedule a day, or even just a half-day, to dedicate to silence. Even if it’s only a couple of hours, it’ll be pure bliss for you, and a great lesson for your little ones. You can turn it into a game, “who can be the quietest?” It should be fun for them. And when you do break the silence, create a fun game or song around breaking the silence with words of love, kindness, and good intent.

Start off short and simple Many experts recommend one minute of meditation per year of age, starting at around age eight. If our kids are being diagnosed with ADHD before the age of six, we may need to start

160 Fitzgerald Street Northam, WA

earlier. The structure will depend on your child’s age and nature, which you’ll have to learn with trial and error. My daughter, who just turned three, typically stays comfortably in mediation longer than her older siblings.

Debbie Garbin 0407 447 364

Cathy Garbin 0407 778 183

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Get creative Here are a few other creative ways to incorporate meditation into your kids’ lives.

Yoga There’s nothing like doing yoga as a family. Sun Salutations are a fun and a generally easy form of yoga to practice together. These 12 poses are said to keep the energy channels of the body open and flowing properly, preventing a host of diseases. Yoga is a moving meditation, the focus is on the practice itself, breathing, and the poses. Make sure they are breathing evenly during the whole practice.

Visualisation This is a great bedtime routine. Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that brings your awareness to different areas of the body while lying in stillness. I like to put a little tweak on it for kids and have them imagine magical golden pixie dust is being poured or sprinkled on different areas of the body. It’s great for body

PREPARE A MEDITATION SPACE. Explore in nature and have your child pick a stone (earth), fill a cup with water, burn a candle (fire) and use something like a feather to represent the air element. Put the elements in the center of the room. Kids get really into this and they somehow inherently know this is creating a sacred space. Sit in a circle around the elements and begin your meditation. HAVE THEM GAZE AT A BURNING CANDLE for a period of time, this can be a meditation practice in focus and discipline (fire is interesting enough that it can hold their attention). PLAY A GAME where you place a book on their head and see how slow and mindfully they can walk to the other side of the room. The main goal here is not to force your children to meditate, but to get them intrigued and accustomed to it. Make it a fun and positive experience throughout their childhood, so they are more likely to keep it up as a practice as they grow.

awareness and gives their minds something to focus on. It’s super relaxing and helps prime for great dreams.

Sing and chant together using mantras Kids love to sing. Chanting improves focus and concentration and has powerful effects on brain development. The Gayatri mantra has 24 syllables, each of which is connected to a different part of the brain. It has been used to enhance intelligence and intuition. OM is the sound of the universe and divine intelligence: kids can connect with that! The sound can range from a strange and harmonious choir to the sound of different animals howling in the jungle. Chakra toning: Hang up a chart or painting of the chakras (the body’s seven major energy centers). Point to the chakra and have them imagine the color in that area of their body. You can also just make similar sounds that the vowels make, as in - uh, ooo, oh, ah, eye, aye and eee.

Massage Besides the vast array of health benefits that massage provides, this is one of the most awesome ways to get your kids to LOVE meditation. It not only creates body awareness, but also provides a space for a deep loving connection between you and your child. Ask them to speak up and tell you what areas feel good being massaged (more than likely, it will be their feet, hands, head and face, as most of us do). I recommend using an organic coconut oil. 68

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

y d o B e v o L

Australians spend up to one million dollars every day on fad diets that really have little effect on their weight. Changing your body image is not about changing your body – it’s about changing the way you think about your body. A few tips to help parents feel better about our bodies include: • Eating healthily to maintain strong bones and keep our heart and other organs fit. • Exercising regularly to improve self-esteem and energy levels. • Sleeping to feel rested and reduce stress levels.

Dietitian, Kate Bullen, talks about the importance of maintaining a positive body image for our children’s self esteem, confidence and sense of well being.


hat is body image? It is the way that we see ourselves, how we feel about the way we look and how we think others perceive us. Body image is so closely linked to

self-esteem, and research shows that a positive body image can really improve emotional and physical wellbeing. Did you know that only around five percent of women have the same body type that typically appears in television, magazines and other forms of media? Where do the other 95 per cent fit in? Since having my own children, I have become very conscious of the bombardment of seemingly perfect images of celebrities and presenters in magazines and, on television, and slim mannequins in shops. And of course social media – all of these forms of media impact boys’ and girls’ self-esteem. Bodies come in all shapes, sizes and colours, which is a conversation I often have with my children, in the hope that planting the seed of diversity and acceptance will help with positive body image for years to come.

Last week when my nine year old daughter told me I have a lot of wrinkles – my reply was that wrinkles come naturally as we get a bit older and I don’t mind them! Around ten years ago, Dove did a lot of research on the impact of beauty beliefs on young girls, and offered solutions to embrace a positive body image. This research showed that mothers begin to influence their daughter’s body image during the first years of life, and continue to be a big influence through adolescence.

perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Instead of labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, enjoy foods with the occasional ‘sometime’ food thrown in, such as an ice cream or afternoon tea.

Positive quotes

‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.’ (Confucius)

Let’s look at five ways that we can give our children confidence with a focus on a healthy body:

‘Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about your best friend.’

Give praise

‘Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.’

This is something that I have really been trying to focus on.

(Lucille Ball)

Generally we will comment on how people look – particularly children by saying ‘you look lovely in that dress’ or ‘don’t you

‘Roses are red, violets are blue, your body is amazing for all it can do!’

look handsome today’. Focusing on positive behaviour can help to improve a child’s self-esteem, so comments such as ‘thank you

‘You are not fat. You have fat. You also have fingernails. But you are not fingernails!’

for getting dressed so quickly this morning’ or ‘great work putting your uniform on, you should be very proud of yourself for doing that all by yourself ’ will reinforce the positive behaviour and help children to develop qualities such as effort, thinking, resilience and independence.

Listen Children love being listened to! Giving them time and space where you will be uninterrupted and giving your full attention is often such a treat for children. In today’s busy world, children need to know that their thoughts, concerns and issues are valued. All too often children will come to us with things that may seem minor to us as parents – such as an argument with a friend, but to them this is a big deal. Listening and asking open-ended questions such as ‘why do you think this happened?’ or ‘what can you do about it?’ or ‘why do you say that?’ shows children that you value what they have to say. My nine year old daughter knows that if I am busy with my other children she can just say that she needs to talk to me alone and I will make time and space available for her. 70

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Love yourself Our bodies are amazing. We grow from teeny tiny babies into young children, teenagers then adults. With many millions of changes to our bodies, there are always going to be times that our body gets blamed for something. Like last week when my nine year old daughter told me I have a lot of wrinkles – my reply was that wrinkles come naturally as we get a bit older and I don’t mind them! I could easily have told her off for pointing out one of my body weaknesses, but wrinkles are a perfectly natural part of life.

Enjoy food Children hear what we say and they also notice what we do. Children will learn their eating behaviours from us as role models, so enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods. Instead of labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, enjoy foods with the occasional ‘sometime’ food thrown in, such as an ice cream or afternoon tea. Lead by example and try a food that you usually do not enjoy. I really don’t like potatoes – I’ll eat them but I don’t enjoy them. Guess what? My nine year old daughter doesn’t like potatoes either. I am now

Did you know? > 41 per cent of children are worried about the way they look. > Research shows that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important. > Low self esteem increases the chances of developing disordered eating. > The Australian National Survey, revealed that body image was the number one concern of 29,000 males and females. > Dove research showed that 67 per cent of women aged 15-64 years withdraw from life-engaging activities due to feeling badly about their looks.

in the process of trying to encourage potatoes and it is a long and drawn out process!

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Spring Rice Salad INGREDIENTS: 2 bunches bok choy 2 capsicum, diced 200g snow peas, halved 3 spring onions, sliced 2 carrots, chopped 3 cups cooked brown rice ½ cup chopped peanuts or cashews

Chat about the impact of media Traditionally television, music and print media have been the main forms of media to influence our body image but in today’s world of social media there are many more opportunities for our children’s body image to be impacted. Three quarters of teenagers have created a social media profile which can be feeding grounds for comparison and judgement from their peers. Dove created an award-winning campaign called ‘the real truth about beauty’ and it is well worth googling the YouTube video to view and share with your children. While our children are always going to be exposed to negative messages about their body image, as parents we can lead the way

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School readiness Here are some tips to help your little person prepare to start school


warm welcome and introduction to parents who are, for the very first time, preparing a child for

Kindergarten. To many, the notion of “kindergarten readiness” can be daunting. Don’t let it be. It is simply working alongside your child’s pre-school and future Kindergarten to help little people prepare for the transition into “big school” in a way that best enables them to settle in, learn and thrive.

By Mrs Tanya Vaughan, Head of Junior School at Roseville College

In my role as Head of Junior School at Roseville, leading Anglican School for girls in Kindergarten to Year 12 and is located on Sydney’s leafy North Shore, each year I am asked by parents for ideas to help them

Taking turns and resolving issues positively by

prepare their daughter for their first day at



her/himself Caring for others and showing concern for others

Having also served as Head of School


Asking questions.

for an independent, co-educational


primary school, I know that these ideas are universal, and apply to both boys and

Ideas for parents to help nurture social and

girls. Irrespective, it is imperative to have

emotional readiness:

flexibility and acknowledge that children

1. Arrange play dates for your child, ideally with others

vary widely in their maturity at ages four and five; how should a four

who will attend Kindergarten with them

to five year old think, behave and interact?

2. Teach skills of sharing, helping, listening

The following ideas, can assist parents and carers to nurture skills and competencies in little people. The important thing is to be aware of each category and to incorporate aspects into your child’s play and activity time. This will help them view starting school positively, with a sense of excitement, and enable all members of your family to enjoy this milestone experience.



Making friends and being congenial are at the front of many

3. Set routines then surprise her/him with occasional change 4. Help her/him to recognise and respond to the feelings of others 5. Invite her/him to think of and ask questions 6. Encourage focus on a single task for a period of time.



To most parents, this seems one of the more obvious categories, with many already “experienced” in working through topics like separation anxiety, personal hygiene, manners and looking after their own (and others’) property.

parents’ minds when wondering how their child will adjust to school life within a group of friends and peers.

Your child should be able to: Go to the toilet and wash her/his hands independently


Your child should work towards:

Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’


Playing cooperatively with peers, older children and adults


Adjusting to new environments and routines


l l

Clean up after her/himself Look after her/his own belongings perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Say her/his first and last name, and possibly their phone number


Follow simple rules


Separate from her/his parents.


l l l

Speaking in grammatically correct sentences Listening with understanding to simple stories Understanding the nature of printed text – that it is written left to

right and has words that may relate to pictures Ideas for parents to help nurture independence and personal responsibility:

Ideas for parents to help nurture academic, curiosity

1. Teach manners in various situations, among other children

and concept development:

and adults

1. Test her/his sight, hearing and speech abilities

2. Explain simple rules and consequences

2. Read to your daughter/son. Follow words with your finger

3. Create opportunities in being responsible for choices


4. Establish an expectation of keeping her/his own things tidy

3. Count objects indicating one to one matching

5. Let her/him dress and undress her/himself

4. Play ‘I spy’ and rhyming, number and colour games

6. Encourage taking turns

5. Borrow a variety of books from the local library and supervise

7. Follow a series of verbal instructions.

constructive computer “screen time” with interactive books



With a little conscious effort, parents find this category is the easiest and most fun to incorporate into everyday life; while driving in the car, cooking or making things, and even finding specific items or counting produce when shopping for groceries.

and learning games 6. Encourage drawing using specific shapes, lines and colours 7. Offer a variety of media with which to draw and create.



In a country like Australia, and in coastal cities like Sydney and Perth, it is crucial that parents consider water survival and swimming

Your child should work towards:

among their child’s physical competencies when starting school.

Recognising letters, shapes, colours and numbers to 20

Likewise, simple life-skill competencies like how to hold pencils or

Recognising initial sounds and rhyming words

scissors, how to use a tap or zipper, or even looking left and right at a

Using a mouse and keyboard

crossing, all amount to more confidence as a child embarks on her/

Writing letters, numerals and her/his own first name

his educational journey at school.

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Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Grasp a rescue aid, if required


Float on her/his back for 30 seconds


Recover from face-down float to a standing float


Propel (by swimming, floating or paddling) for a minimum


distance of 10m, with feet clear of the bottom. Ideas for parents to help nurture physical readiness: 1. Teach correct pencil grip (attachments are available that may help) 2. Offer fine motor activities e.g. lacing, threading, drawing 3. Purchase toys and clothes that require manipulation of smaller objects such as buttons, zips, laces, and puzzle pieces 4. Play with balls and outdoor games that include running,

jumping and skipping

5. Take your child to the beach for rock hopping, digging in the sand and enjoying the waves 6. Take your child to “Learn to Swim” classes where she/he learns Your child should be able to: Hold pencils, crayons and brushes with the correct grip


water safety and basic swimming skills, and gains confidence in

the water around other children.

Use scissors with some degree of accuracy


Open and close lunch boxes, turn taps on and off, do up and undo


buttons, zippers and Velcro

It is not a school’s expectation that each item be ticked-off by the time a child starts school; however, it is important that children have

Have confidence running, jumping, skipping, hopping, climbing,


an awareness of what they are working towards and that they have a

and catching and throwing (a ball)

willing attitude in learning and improving alongside their peers. If you

Climb and descend stairs independently

have any concerns, speak with your pre-school coordinator and/or your

Enter and exit an in-ground pool safely and confidently

child’s future Kindergarten to ensure appropriate steps are put in place

Submerge under water, open her/his eyes and blow bubbles

to support and encourage children who need it.

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Photos: Mbe Photography

Nine-year-old Scott Gerini has raised more than $75,000 for Telethon’s sick children over the years but now he faces his own very serious health struggles from what his family suspect is the highly contentious illness, ‘Lyme Disease’, which medics claim doesn’t exist in Australia


n 2010, four-year-old Scott Guerini wanted to ‘help sick kids and babies’, so he decided to walk 24km, collecting donations for Perth’s Telethon along the way. “Scott’s Great Walk” became an annual event which has morphed into a 42.915km marathon, from

his father’s Southern Cross wheat farm to the local sports oval. Over the years, miners from Cliffs Natural Resources and junior footballers have joined Scott on parts of the walk, and in 2014, police escorted him with sirens and flashing lights for the last few kilometres. In five years, Scott has battled wind, rain and freezing temperatures to raise over $75,000. Ironically, Scott is now one of those ‘sick kids’. In November 2013, his mother, Nicole, noticed Scott scratching the backs of his legs with his shoes while he stood in the bush in Kings Park. The following day he complained to her of tiredness and queasiness, but refused to miss school. When he arrived home he stripped off his uniform and curled up in bed – an unusual occurrence for Nicole’s “energiser bunny”. Although he experienced cold sweats, Nicole says his temperature and breathing were normal. When she couldn’t rouse him for dinner, she became concerned. The next morning she noticed a bulls-eye rash on Scott’s swollen legs. The local chemist admitted he had never seen anything like it but told Nicole it was probably an allergic reaction and prescribed antihistamine.

In five years, Scott has battled wind, rain and freezing temperatures to raise over $75,000. 76

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Avoiding Tick Bites • Wear a hat, long sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks. • Spray Insecticide containing permethrin on clothing and shoes. • Apply Insect repellent containing DEET to bare skin (please check instructions for use on children). • Avoid brushing against long grass and shrubs. • Wear light coloured clothing to spot ticks.

Last year’s Telethon walk was extremely difficult for Scott… It’s like glass is sticking through his feet or that he’s got rocks in his shoes, those kinds of sensations. The rash disappeared in a matter of days but, according to Nicole, debilitating fatigue, daily headaches and agonising stomach pain continued to plague Scott. Other symptoms he has experienced and continues to experience, in varying degrees of severity and regularity, include loss of bladder control, 40 degree temperatures and hallucinations, dizziness, stinging eyes, a crawling sensation over and under his skin, an inability to focus, aggressive and erratic behavioural changes, tingling in limbs, numbness in fingers and hands, loss of motor skills, memory lapses, unconsciousness, tremors, nausea, anxiety and ‘popping’ in his brain. Scott also suffers from pains in his leg, chest, neck and upper spine. Within 16 months Scott underwent countless blood tests plus an MRI

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and EEG scan, and visited a range of specialists including a gastroenterologist, a neurologist, a paediatrician and finally a specialist of infectious diseases who, Nicole says, all concluded Scott was ill but were at a loss to explain why.

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perth | spring 2015 | Offspring


Nicole felt increasingly frustrated until early in 2015 when a friend suggested the possibility that Scott was suffering from Lyme Disease. Nicole admits never having heard of it, but her research uncovered a notable symptom - a bullseye rash. Armed with this information Nicole returned to the doctors but says, “Because we hadn’t travelled to the areas they believed were necessary to pick it up, they weren’t terribly concerned with the evidence that we presented to them, and the connection that it had to Lyme.” A 1994 tick research study, ‘Lyme disease: a search for a causative agent in ticks in south-eastern Australia’, which failed to find conclusive evidence of the bacteria that causes true Lyme Disease, has resulted in the prevailing viewpoint that this disease does not exist in Australia. Nicole disagrees and laments, “As with many things, a lot of the time you don’t know about something until it affects you. This is very much the case for us. I didn’t realise how many people were affected. The difficulties that they face. It’s heartbreaking.”

energy to participate in swimming lessons with his classmates.

As Scott’s health deteriorated, his absences from school

Nicole finds the more he rests, the better his body seems to cope.

increased, his school sports were cancelled and he lacked the

She says hot showers and heat packs soothe his aches and pains, and excluding gluten, dairy and reducing his sugar intake, appears to ease his symptoms.

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Scott has yet to meet someone his own age who is experiencing similar health issues and even though he’s a fighter, Nicole admits that it’s starting to affect him emotionally. Nicole says Scott has gone from a healthy child to one who never feels well and he doesn’t understand why no one seems willing to help him. This feeling propelled him to write a letter to then Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, stating, “It makes me feel worried and sad. I just want to feel better. Please, please, please help me and everyone else who is suffering the same way I am.”




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This year he has been named the Telethon Little Ambassador and, determined not to let anyone down, he completed the marathon in 11 hours and 32 minutes.

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth

Parasites and Vectors, which they believe provides “scientific will persuade the Australian Government to rethink their current stance. Nicole says that in other countries Scott’s symptoms are enough for a clinical diagnosis but very few Australian GP’s will risk their

Nicole says that in other countries Scott’s symptoms are enough for a clinical diagnosis but very few Australian GP’s will risk their reputation to diagnose Lyme Disease. She adds, “He’s got all this going on but he’s not letting it stop him. He’s still going to school, he’s still doing his walk, he is still contributing to society. It’s nothing to fear. People who have this [disease] are still people. They deserve better”. Last year’s Telethon walk was extremely difficult for Scott. Nicole says, “We had lots of rests, massages and shoe changes because of the pain. It’s like glass is sticking through his feet or that he’s got rocks in his shoes, those kinds of sensations.” This year he has been named the Telethon Little Ambassador and, determined not to let anyone down, he completed the marathon in 11 hours and 32 minutes. Nicole says, “He found the reputation to diagnose Lyme Disease. She says waiting lists to see

recovery a lot harder than previous years. [He] couldn’t even get out

a certain GP who treats over 400 patients in Perth with Lyme-like

of bed two days later to eat dinner. He was completely washed out.”

symptoms, are months long. Scott finally secured an appointment

While Nicole discusses treatments, she is reluctant to pump

in April 2015. It cost Nicole $3000 to send her son’s blood to Sydney

Scott full of drugs while his body is already overloaded, possibly

and Germany for conclusive testing which detected rickettsia and

causing other problems down the track. Scott continues his fight

bartonella with further tests pending. Nicole says, “It shouldn’t be

against the bugs that have invaded his body with the courage and

this hard to get your child healthy.”

determination that propelled him to help other ill children.

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Children and vegetables

don’t mix Community Educator at Ngala, Stephanie Fairbairn, explores some reasons why toddlers become averse to vegetables, and suggests some strategies for getting them to eat more greens.


ave you ever wondered why your once-vegetable-loving

US conducted an experiment with toddlers, looking at how they

baby turned into a vege-phobic toddler at around 14-18

interacted with non-food items like wooden spoons, metal toys and

months of age? Why does this happen, and how can we get

cardboard, compared to green leafy plants. They found that the

them back on track with their greens?

toddlers were significantly less likely to touch the green leafy items

Firstly, developmentally, toddlers have a growing sense of

compared to the other objects, and took longer to reach out to them.

independence and this self-determination can also sometimes

There is also research to show that humans are likely to possess a

affect their food preferences. They push boundaries and some tend

gene that makes us particularly sensitive to detecting bitterness

to say “no” a lot.

from our taste receptors. As children have more taste sensitivity

Scientists studying behaviour and evolutionary adaptation have proposed some fascinating possible reasons for this. In other words, how humans adapted to their environment in order to survive. Scientists have put forward the

than adults by nature of their age, adults may not taste flavours as sensitively as children. All this is very interesting, but how do we overcome the battle to get our toddlers to eat their greens? There are several

idea that babies being carried by an adult in the ancient savannah were relatively safe from harm and potential hazards, but as soon as they became mobile and independent, self-protecting behaviours had to kick in to prevent them from putting anything and everything into their mouths. This applies particularly to green vegetables. Spinach, broccoli and other green leafy veg possess a group

strategies that we can put into practice:

“You may have also noticed that there are times they eat food off your plate that they would never eat off their own, this is down to feeling safe to eat food you eat.”

of chemical compounds that provide an ‘alkaloid’ taste – think of the smell when we’ve left the brussel sprouts on too long. Plants have sophisticated defence mechanisms, like spikes, thorns, stingers and chemical poisons to dissuade from being eaten, and many poisons have bitterness as a hallmark taste whereas sweetness tends to be ‘safe’, like breast milk – hence our preference for sweet tastes. The aversion to bitter taste is heightened at toddlerhood, to alert them to potentially harmful things to eat. To test this theory, researchers from Yale University in the 80

Offspring | spring 2015 | perth


Unhelpful strategies include: l

Force feeding: You might win the battle, but you lose the

war in the longer term. l

Cheerleading! Parents who get really excited their two-

year-old has finally put the broccoli up to their mouth should not be surprised that this overly emotional response encourages the toddler to press their emotional buttons by putting it down again. It’s a great game! l

Bribing: ‘If you eat your carrots now, you get ice-cream later’ – this will tend to create a negative association that ‘I have to eat the nasty stuff


What tends to work in the long term so that we

enjoy our five vegetables and two fruit a day later in life, is for parents to be seen to role model eating a

“Remember, toddler’s tummies are tiny – appropriate servings at this age are two vegetable and two fruit a day – about the size of their own fist.”

variety of vegetables and fruit at mealtimes and snacks. You may have noticed already that your toddler copies

to get the good stuff ’. l

Telling a toddler that a particular vegetable is good for them and therefore they should eat it. You can try this strategy, but toddlers are not that easily convinced – and it may become the trigger sentence that reinforces an automatic ‘No’. Check out further information

and parenting workshops at

your actions; what you say, do, and items you use (think mobile phones!). You may have also noticed that there are times they eat food off your plate that they would never eat off their own, this is down to feeling safe to eat food you eat. l

Have a fruit bowl in the middle of the table for visibility and

accessibility. Think creatively about how you prepare and serve vegetables - cut them in different shapes, use a crinkle cutter, keep vegetables raw rather than cooked, use a dip or sauce, get your

“You’ll wish you went to school here.”

toddler to help you wash vegetables and put them on a plate. l

Be persistent and patient – it can take many times presenting the

food to your toddler before it’s accepted. l

Let your toddler help themselves from a serving plate on the table.


Grow something simple like herbs or tomatoes with your toddler –

it’s worth the effort and they learn along the way. l

Google it! If you are fresh out of ideas pick the brains of millions of others who have gone before. Pinterest and image sites are a good resource for triggering your imagination and creativity. l

Offer healthy foods and snacks. If your toddler refuses

18 month Olds - 18 Year Olds Step inside and take a look at your child’s future

to eat their vegetables, it does not mean they get rewarded with non-healthy food. l

Relax! We are working towards a long-term habit not a mandatory daily chore. Vegetable success will only come when your child gets there in his own time. l

Remember, toddler’s tummies are tiny

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Offspring Perth Spring 2015 issue  

Australia’s favourite family lifestyle magazine.

Offspring Perth Spring 2015 issue  

Australia’s favourite family lifestyle magazine.