MamaMagic Milestones Issue 24

Page 1

Yummy start to Solids


Guest Editor

Kwanele Mbobo

Gender Reveal Party Ideas

Sporty Kids =


Stop the backseat bickering


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Contents IN THE SPOTLIGHT BICKERING IN THE BACKSEAT How to cope with kids arguing in the car.


FIVE THINGS TO DO BEFORE BABY ARRIVES Baby moons, love letters and pregnancy privileges.


CHOOSING THE BEST DAYCARE FOR YOUR CHILD What questions to ask when choosing a daycare for your little one.


MOMS IN BUSINESS Successful working moms share their secrets.


A N T E N AT A L 1 0 1 WHY ATTEND ANTENATAL CLASSES? Antenatal classes grant you access to experts who can answer all your parenting questions.


WAYS PREGNANCY CHANGES YOUR BODY From upping your shoe size to eyesight problems.


GENDER REVEALS 101 Party poppers, light sabers and sorting hats, ideas for gender reveals.


THE POWER OF SLEEP Why sleep is important for new moms.


BA BY STARTING SOLIDS How do you know if your baby is ready to switch to solids?


5 MOTHERHOOD MYTHS Being a mom comes naturally.


MOMS IN BUSINESS Successful working moms share their secrets.


J A N UA RY – AP RIL 2020

TODDLER DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES IN YOUR PRESCHOOLER The final part of a three-part series explaining the development milestones that your toddler will go through.


7 IMPORTANT VEGETABLES FOR YOUR TOT Brussel sprouts, tomatoes and spinach.


PREPARING FOR PLAYDATES Top tips for taking your child on a playdate.


EMBARRASSING TODDLER HABITS Coping with your toddler’s temper tantrums and biting.


F A M I LY TIPS TO START YOUR CHILD OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT AT SCHOOL Talking about their new school can ease your child into the new school year.


THINGS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME A dad reveals some of the parenting lessons he wishes his dad taught him.


COOKING UP A STORM WITH YOUR KIDS Easy recipes to try with your child.








6 – 11


20,34 46,56



ACTIVITY Make a beautiful bunny.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR CITY Cape Town * Jozi & Pretoria * Durban




J ANUA RY – A P RI L 2020

Editor s Letter Welcome to 2020 … a new decade of parenting

The start of a new year is often daunting, especially because you have to plan for the whole family; as expected, back to school, back to work and back to routine, requires so many boxes to be ticked. I must admit I feel blessed to be present at the start of a new decade, to support my children as they grow. In this rapidly changing world, this decade will bring a responsive change in parenting style to ensure that the foundation we give our children affords them the tools to live a fulfilling life. With Milestones magazine in your hands, you are definitely off to a good start, with all the assistance you need in your parenting journey. We are pleased to welcome Kwanele Mbobo (@xhosamomunplugged) as our Guest Editor of this issue. Kwanele is a single mom to a beautiful baby girl who turns two this year! I’m confident that Kwanele has the Terrible Twos covered; her graceful, patient nature will stand her in good stead. Kwanele’s shares her experience on how she deals with the challenges and triumphs of being a single mom. Most importantly, she loves everything about motherhood and is determined to continue doing it ‘all’. Happy Parenting!

Follow me on



Be the best at mommying

I’m Kwanele Mbobo, mom to a beautiful 17-month-old baby girl. I juggle between motherhood, blogging, writing, entrepreneurship and having a full-time 8-5 job that I completely enjoy in the advertising industry (It’s a mouthful I know, but I make it work). I’m super excited about this issue of Milestones as it has many tools for moms to arm themselves and get the advice they need to be the best at doing what they do best – mommying. Being a first-time mom, I was super nervous about everything (literally everything!). As a modern mom, why attend antenatal classes on Page 21 speaks about antenatal classes and why they are important for new moms. There’s also some good advice on Starting solids on Page 36. They are both definite reads for nervous Nellies like me. When I’m not doing the other many things I do (including chasing a toddler with a spoonful of food), I’m over at writing my heart out and telling other parents that failures are okay. Some of these failures include spending money on things you actually realise you didn’t need (sigh). On Pages 24 and 39, I share some of my favourite products and I explain why. I hope these help you to make better purchasing choices. Lastly, on on Page 72, I share something a little bit personal about the realities of raising a child as a single parent. This one is quite close to my heart. Hope you enjoy the read!

Blog: Follow me on

@Xhosa-mom-unplugged @xhosamomunplugged

Kwanele Mbobo GUEST EDITOR

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF – Projeni Pather PRODUCTION & EDITORIAL – Tennille Aron SALES – Marita le Roux CREATIVES – Berna Hancke-Coles COPY EDITOR – Mandy Collins PRINTING & DISTRIBUTION – Novus Print ACCOUNTS – Rebecca Seima CONTRIBUTORS Dr Laura Markham, Dr Jo- Marie Bothma, Dr Enrico Maraschin, Carey Haupt, Donna Bland, Julie Perks, Klara Jonker, Kerry McArthur, Lisema Matsietsi, Michelle Nortje, Priyanka Naidoo, Yashmitha Padayachee, Teixeira Murray, Tami-Jade de la Guerre, Kwanele Mbobo & Tennille Aron. PHOTO CREDITS Anthea Smith Photography, Shutterstock, Supplied.

Meet the Cover Star

MamaMagic Milestones is published by Exposure Marketing.

On 17 October 2018, a baby girl was born at Waterfall Hospital. Her name, Aadhya, means ‘first creator’ in Sanskrit and she lives with both her parents in Gauteng. Aadhya is a gentle and loving little busybody whose favourite toys are a little lamb and Barney (she has one in every size and Barney goes everywhere with her). This happy bunny breaks into a dance at the sound of music anytime and anywhere. Aadhya enjoys running barefoot on the grass, playing catch, and can be entertained for hours during reading time. 1694528

Cover star: Aadhya Photographer: Anthea Smith Clothes: Model’s own

Anthea Smith Photography I’m Anthea, born and bred in Cape Town, and now living with my family – husband and two teenagers – in Centurion, Gauteng. My love for travel, sun, sea and beautiful landscapes has had me clicking away on my camera from a young age. I have always dreamt about owning my own photography business and can now say I’m living my dream. I specialise in wedding and lifestyle photography, and thoroughly enjoy capturing the pure innocence and delight of a child.

082 660 1188 Printed by

A division of Novus Holdings

PHYSICAL ADDRESS – 46 Waterford Office Park, Waterford Dr, Fourways TEL – 011 465 8955 EMAIL – © Exposure Marketing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without prior written consent of Exposure Marketing. While all reasonable precautions are taken to ensure the content herein is accurate and balanced, the editor, proprietors and publishers cannot accept any responsibility for loss, damage or inconvenience that may arise from or in connection with the content of this magazine. Exposure Marketing has the right to make alterations to any material submitted, and cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage of any material submitted to the publication. All prices quoted were correct at the time of going to press, and may vary from shop to shop. MamaMagic Milestones Standard Competition Terms & Conditions Eligibility: 1. Competition entries are open to South African residents only. Competitions are not open to employees of Exposure Marketing or Baby City, sponsors, their immediate families and agencies. Cost: 2. Each SMS entry costs R1; free minutes do not apply. Readers may SMS an entry as many times as they wish. Rules: 3. Prizes will be awarded to the first entries drawn at random and received before the competition closing date. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.4. Winners will be notified by telephone, email or post to arrange delivery of the prize. 5. Winners must be willing to be photographed for possible publication in the MamaMagic Milestones magazine or the MamaMagic website or social media platforms, free of any fee. 6. All prize values are correct at the time of going to print. Prizes are not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. 7. Prizes awarded are the responsibility of the competition sponsors. 8. Prizes must be claimed within one year from date of issue they appear in and cannot be re-issued should they expire, or resent if they are returned. 9. We reserve the right to forward contact details of entrants to the competition sponsors. 10. All entrants agree to receive further promotional material from Exposure Marketing and the competition sponsors. If, ayou do not want to receive further communication please Printed by division of Novus Holdings 1234567 ensure that you unsubscribe to any email newsletters or SMS that you may receive. 11. Participation in this promotion constitutes acceptance of these rules. Any violation or attempt to violate any of the above rules will result in the immediate disqualification of the transgressors. General: 12. Exposure Marketing, its employees, directors, representatives or agents will not be liable for any loss or damage incurred of whatsoever nature and however arising. 13. Exposure Marketing reserves the right to terminate1234567 this competition immediately and without notice should it be challenged, stopped or declared or become unlawful.

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Share YourStories Huge expo fans We went to the MamaMagic Baby Expo in Cape Town last year. This is the third year that we have been there, and each time I am so glad that we go. We really save a lot of money by bulk buying there, and being parents who have gone every year, we feel the savings. Not only is the event very well organised, as we went from the different stages (unborn baby/baby to toddler) our needs changed, and it was nice to know the event and Baby City cater for this need. Highly recommended to all upcoming and current parents. Marguerite Scheffer, Cape Town

Great savings at expo My family, in-laws, fiancé and five-month-old baby have been to MamaMagic twice this year. Our first experience was so amazing that it would be a waste not to visit them again. All of the exhibitors were very friendly amd we were introduced to so many new products, services and baby

clothes ranges. I definitely would advise any moms- and dads-to-be to visit this expo when they can. The expo shows you which products you need for your baby and which brands are more affordable, or if you’d like to buy something more ‘fancy’ for your little one, you’ll find options too. You can also save some money with some of the many specials the expo has. Junandi Meyer, Johannesburg

A slice of heaven I would not want to miss an opportunity to express my gratitude for the Johannesburg #Mamamagic exhibition. Being a first time mom, I was pleased to find everything I needed for my hospital bag and everyday essentials for my baby. Baby City is a like a small heaven for an expecting mama like me, because you find everything there, at great prices and with wonderful service. Alicia Mathye, Johannesburg

Win a R500 Baby City Voucher

Email your letters to or send us reviews on our social media pages . In this issue, Marguerite Scheffer wins a R500 gift card with compliments of Baby City for her review.

Win a Baby Dove Hamper valued at R300 Baby Dove’s range of products helps provide your baby with skincare that goes beyond mildness and restores essential moisture. Whether it’s a tear-free shampoo during baby bathtime, or a soothing lotion after, Baby Dove gives you the confidence that you’re doing the best you. The hamper contains Baby Dove Lotion, Head to Toe Wash, Shampoo and Wipes.

Send an email with your name, surname, cell number and address to along with the answer to this simple question below to win the hamper. For more information, visit

Question : Name 3 Baby Dove products...



@mamamagicsa EMAIL:

@MamaMagicSA mamamagicsa WEBSITE: #mamamagic


Cape Town Regional Finalists Parents are constantly on the lookout for new products that will make their parenting journeys smoother. Here are a few products to look out for. These products were the regional finalists at the MamaMagic Baby Expo Cape Town from 1 – 3 November 2019.

Feeding Finalists

BEAR Pure Fruit Yoyos

A delicious snack for toddlers 12 months and older. They have no added salt and are a source of vitamin B1 and Iron among other benefits.

RRP: R11.99

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

ARDO LilyPadz

RRP: R489.00 (Set of 2 )

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

MamaMoo Maxima Breast Pump

RRP: R150.00 (per set, includes 2 x spout lids.)

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Hands-free silicone breastpump that makes pumping milk affordable, effortless, pain-free and hands-free.

RRP: R295.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Silicone sippy cup lids universal size turns any cup into a sippy cup.

RRP: R35.99

Mom’s Essentials Finalists

Re-usable silicone breastpads designed to prevent breastmilk from leaking through constant application of pressure to the nipple.

Little Foodease Silicone Sippy Cup Lids

Nestle Cerelac Puffs

Made from only real fruit and vegetables and never any fruit concentrates.

Play Finalist

MooMoo Play Apron

A wipeable, comfortable waterresistant coverall made especially for art, water and messy play.

RRP: R190.00 (print options) R150.00 (plain options.)

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Baby Essentials Finalist

Wow Babe Cleansing Cloth

A super soft cloth that cleanses and removes all impurities without using any chemicals

RRP: R90.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

* RRP - Recommended Retail Price

In association with

JHB WINTER 28 - 31 May

Ticketpro Dome




Durban Expo Centre


Ticketpro Dome

28 - 30 Aug

30 Oct - 1 Nov

26 - 29 Nov

Everything you need for your parenting journey. Produced by


Joburg Summer Regional Finalists Parents are constantly on the lookout for new products that will make their parenting journeys smoother. Here are a few products to look out for. These products were the regional finalists at the MamaMagic Baby Expo Joburg from 28 November – 1 December 2019.

Safety Finalist BabyWombWorld Jumper Baby 3-in-1 Infrared Ear and Forehead Thermometer

Using the latest 2019 Advanced-Sensor Lens, you will be able to get the best accurate temperature reading within seconds.

RRP: R595.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

PATCH Bamboo Bandages

The world’s first natural, hypoallergenic and compostable wound care solution.

RRP: R100.00 per tube

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

BabyWombWorld 3.2” Video Baby Monitor with Audio and Night Vision.

An all-in-one video baby monitor that will allow you to keep an eye on your baby while you are around the house or visiting friends.

BabyWombWorld Video Baby Monitor and Nanny Camera with Call Back

Stay in touch wherever you are with the new and advanced BabyWombWorld Baby Monitor and Nanny Camera with Call Back function.

RRP: R1 295.00

RRP: R1 595.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Parent’s Choice Nursery Finalists GroLight 2-in-1 Night Light and Bright Light

The GroLight adapts your existing light to an adjustable night light. It’s easy to use and no plug socket is required.

RRP: R299.00

Snuggletime Healthtex Mattress with Nanotect

Anti-mosquito, anti-bedbug, anti-dust mite, anti-fungal and more importantly anti-bacterial and broad spectrum microbial protection mattress.

RRP: R499.99



Thank you

Feeding Finalists

Happy birthday!

ǗȟǡǽǛ 谢谢

NUK Evolution Magic Cup

The NUK Magic Cup lets babies drink like the big kids. The 360° drinking rim encourages and helps drinking from any edge.

RRP: R139.99

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Munchkin Miracle 360° Wild Love Sippy and Trainer Cup

Burabi Formula Milk Maker Plus

A Wi-Fi enabled smart device designed to accurately prepare milk from formula, safely in an energy sufficient manner.

The Miracle 360° Wild Love Cup features critically important and wellloved species. 100% recycled and recyclable packaging.

RRP: R5 600.00

RRP: R135.99

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

HungrHippo™ 2-in1 Bib & Apron

Grippo™ 2-in-1 Placemat & Plate

Perfect for messy play, painting projects and haircuts too.

Suctions to clean, flat surfaces and promotes independent feeding.

RRP: R220.00

RRP: R330.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Parent’s Choice Play Finalist Tummy Time Mobile Entertainer

Inspired by babies’ fascination with mobiles, this engaging toy replicates the experience while extending their essential and healthy tummy time development.

RRP: R500.00

* RRP - Recommended Retail Price



Joburg Summer Regional Finalists Parents are constantly on the lookout for new products that will make their parenting journeys smoother. Here are a few products to look out for. These products were the regional finalists at the MamaMagic Baby Expo Joburg from 28 November – 1 December 2019.

Mom’s Essentials Finalists

BabyWombWorld Seamless Hands Free Breast Pump Bra Designed for easy feeding and ultimate comfort.

RRP: R345.00

+ Parents’ Choice Finalist

BiddyKins Backpack Nappy Bag

Superior quality ‘backpack’ style nappy bag.

RRP: R450.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Purely Yours Ultra Double Electric Breastpump

Includes the FDA-approved closed system double electric breastpump, 3 flange sizes, 6 storage bottles, breastmilk cooler and carry bag.

RRP: R5 200.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Travel Finalists BabyWombWorld Compact Travel Baby Stroller and Toddler Pram

The most compact and versatile baby stroller you will find.

RRP: R2 995.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Cybex e-Priam

Revolutionary smart technology meets luxurious design in the e-Priam- the first e-stroller by Cybex.

RRP: R25 000.00

Hipporoo® 10-in-1 Multifunction Baby Carrier

Designed with parents’ spine in mind, these baby carriers are highly functional and super comfortable.

RRP: R2 200.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Maxi-Cosi Jade Carrycot Sleep, slide and go – The Jade. The healthy carrycot for safe and cosy journeys.

RRP: R4 750.99


Baby Essentials Finalists

BiddyKins Cleansing Cloth This amazing cloth cleans,

exfoliates and freshens skin.

RRP: R75.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

Nipper Clipper Baby Manicure Set

Tommee Tippee Breastlike Soother

Training Pants by Mom & Bab

Made from super soft natural-feel silicone, this soother flexes and stretches just like mom.

100% cotton with a water resistant lining to absorb accidents and prevent leakage.

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

RRP: R139.99 (Pack of 2)

NUK Space Soother

Nipper Clipper is the world’s first baby nail clipper with a safety spy hole.

The new NUK Space Soother has been specifically designed for babies’ particularly sensitive skin.

RRP: R299.00

RRP: R134.99

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

RRP: R499.00(Pack of 3)

Happy Nappy Wetsuit

A 1mm thick neoprene wetsuit with full faecal leak protection.

RRP: R500.00

+ Parent’s Choice Finalist

* RRP - Recommended Retail Price



Bickering in the Backseat: How to cope on the way to school



It’s finally the first day of school. Your children are so excited, they took forever to fall asleep last night. They struggled this morning over what to wear. They barely picked at that healthy breakfast you got up early to make for them. Their excitement is tinged with nervousness, naturally. And who better to take it out on than their brother or sister, sitting next to them in the back seat? Mason: “I wonder what Mrs Jones will be like. Is she strict?” Savannah: “She’s mean. All the kids say so.” Mason: “Oh, no! I hope she’ll like me.” Savannah: “She won’t. Nobody likes you.” Mason: “They do, too! Last year, Mrs Wright liked me!” Savannah: “That’s because you’re a goody two-shoes. And they don’t really like you.” Mason: “Mom! Do people like me? Mom: “Of course they do, Mason. Savannah, stop being mean to your brother. Please, let’s everybody be nice and have a nice drive to the first day of school.” Savannah: “I’m just telling the truth.” (Makes a nasty face at Mason) Mason: “You meany!” (Shoves at Savannah) Savannah: “Mooommmmm! He hit me!” Mom (Yelling): “Okay, that’s it! No iPad later for either of you. And no more talking! If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!” Before you realise it, you are yelling. By the time they get out of the car, the kids are sullen. Your plans for a peaceful start to the day just evaporated before your eyes. Backseat bickering can completely ruin your morning.

Luckily, there are things you can do to turn the tide when the tone gets tense in your car. Let’s rewind this script, but first, our guiding principles:

Every home needs a few clear rules about how people in the family treat each other.

1. Calm yourself

It’s natural to get angry when your children are mean to each other. But indulging your temper just adds fuel to the fire. Instead, remember that your goal is restore a sense of safety for both children. So take a deep breath and remind yourself that there’s no emergency. Your tone will be warmer and more soothing, which gives you a chance to calm the storm.

2. Connect with both children, using empathy

Most of the time, kids bicker when they’re worried, bored, or still angry about something that happened previously. If you can address the real reason, you can stop the fight before it starts.

3. Set limits and enforce family rules about kindness

Every home needs a few clear rules about how people in the family treat each other, and “We’re kind” is one of the most important. Interrupt unkind remarks to set a clear standard for civility. All children will get angry at each other – conflict is a part of every human relationship – but they can be encouraged to express their needs and wants without attacking the other person.



Of course, when you set the limit, stay kind yourself. Children learn from our role-modelling how to handle the problems they have with other people. And they’re more likely to follow your limits if you can stay connected while you set them.

4. When possible, defuse tension by using humour

When kids are anxious, they tend to lash out. Take the edge off their worry by getting them laughing, which transforms their body chemistry, reducing stress hormones and increasing “feelgood” neurotransmitters. Of course, you don’t want them to feel ridiculed, so first empathise with their concerns. Then, say something so silly they can’t help laughing, or make yourself the object of the humour, so they’re not laughing at each other. This also helps your children work through the universal fear that they themselves might get laughed at. How to put that all together? Let’s rewind.

Indulging your temper just inflames the storm. Mason: “Mom! Do people like me?” Mom: (Taking a deep breath and intentionally calming her voice) “Mason, it’s natural to be a little worried on the first day of school. You had a great year last year with Mrs Wright. She really loved having you in her class last year. (Empowering him by helping him see that he has the capability to shape his own experience) You can make it

a great year this year in Mrs Jones’ class, too, even though there will be new things to get used to.” (Setting the limit and empathising at the same time) “Savannah, I hear you saying things that could be hurtful to Mason. I wonder if you might be a little worried, too. The first day of school is hard on everyone. I would love to hear how you’re feeling about starting Grade 4.” Savannah: “Mom, I’m just telling the truth. Some of the teachers ARE mean.” Mom: “I understand that not all the teachers are as nice as Mrs Brown from last year. But all of them want to help you learn. It sounds like you might be a bit nervous about what YOUR new teacher will be like.” Savannah: “Mom, Grade 4 is hard. They give you lots of homework. That’s what all the kids say.” Mom: (Empathising and reassuring while encouraging Savannah to share more concerns) “It could be worrisome to hear that from the other kids. Don’t worry, you did fine with your homework last year, and I will help you to manage your homework if it feels hard for you. What do you know about your teacher?” Savannah: “Mr Moore? The kids say he’s funny. But Mom, what if he’s mean?” Mom: “That’s scary to think about, but honey, he could turn out to be great, your favourite teacher of all. We just don’t know yet. It’s okay to be a little worried, but why not hope for the best? I have an idea for both of you. Why don’t we all take three deep breaths, and make a loud ahhh when we let them out? That will calm us down. Then you can go into the school feeling more relaxed and hopeful.” Mason and Savannah: “Mom, you’re weird!”

Mom: “That’s me … the optimistic weird mom! Do you think I should come into the school and sit and do my deep breathing in the front hall? Would that calm everyone’s first day jitters? I could Ohm loudly, like this: Ohmmmm ...” Mason and Savannah (laughing): “Mom, that’s crazy! Don’t you dare!” Mom: “Okay, I won’t do that. But let’s do it now ... three deep breaths. I want to hear your loud ahhh when you let your breath out, okay? Can you two work together to make a louder noise than me?”

Set a limit on the mean teasing without scolding. Notice what Mom did here to turn this around? She set a limit on the mean teasing without scolding. She empathised with both children, even the one who was starting the fight. She got them laughing to defuse the tension. She gave her kids a tool to manage the emotions that were otherwise driving them to fight with each other. She even got a little teamwork going! If you’ve never done this before, you might want to put a short cheat sheet in your car that says: Calm yourself. Connect with both children using empathy. Set limits and enforce family rules about kindness. Get your kids laughing by saying something ridiculous. It takes practice, but you’ll see immediate results, and you’ll gain confidence over time. You might even find yourself putting up the same cheat sheet in your kitchen!

Ed’s Though





All I’m going to say is sleep, sleep, sleep, because wow, that becomes a thing of the past.



Write a love letter and romance your spouse

Mama, you’ll be writing pages and pages full of sentimental messages to your baby in beautiful journals, keeping locks of cute curls and first toys, blankets, and slippers in wooden keepsake boxes stacked to the roof! You’re slightly, okay fine, let’s be honest, severely obsessed with savouring every precious moment of pregnancy, and your little human’s first years of life. That’s okay, welcome to the club, we won’t judge you. Just remember: it takes two to tango and if it wasn’t for your first love, this new love wouldn’t be here. Take a moment to write a letter to your spouse. Make sure they know how much you love and appreciate them. Assure them that although it may feel like you’re out-ofoffice for the first few trying months, you promise to “return” at some point. If you’re an overachiever, write a few! Dispense them before baby is born or when times are rough. It may sound silly, but when you’re too tired to talk, these love letters will be solid gold.


Flaunt that bump and love your body

It doesn’t matter if you’re 10kg, 20kg, 30kg heavier... No matter how much

pregnancy weight you gain, we all feel like a minibus at one stage or another, but I promise you, you’re being too hard on yourself. The “glow” might actually be you perspiring, but no-one else has noticed. You’re a queen! A life-bearing goddess! Botticelli’s Birth of Venus personified. Own it, gorgeous.


Take full advantage of all the pregnancy privileges!

You’re growing a human! It’s hard work! You need to take advantage of every pregnancy privilege. You deserve it mama, and besides, these expire after nine months, so you’d better use them now. Take that front seat on the Gautrain. Sleep in, nap every chance you get (naps are actually survival during the first trimester) and never pass up a foot rub! Never! Also, don’t feel guilty about those random midnight feasts: pregnancy cravings are a thing.


Be spontaneous!

I know, you may not feel like it, but soon you’ll have a new director in charge. One who thrives on routine and schedules. An impromptu ice-cream at your favourite spot or late afternoon drive somewhere beautiful to enjoy sundowners, an unexpected Friday braai with friends or catching the 10pm movie may not be as easy to maneouvre anymore. Before kids, we take the unexpected, unplanned and spontaneous for granted.



Lastly, babymoon! This is our number one. Whether it’s a week or weekend away, local or international, plan a trip, just the two of you. One last holiday before your life changes forever! Use this time to forget about the world. Soak up your love, your bond and the amazing journey that has brought you to this new chapter of your love story. That’s it mama. Now get onto this to-do list: you won’t be sorry and if you only end up doing a few, don’t stress... The best is yet to come! Parenthood is the most incredible adventure.



Choosing the best


for your child

IT IS DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE A GOOD DAYCARE CENTRE FOR YOUR LITTLE ONE. YOU WANT TO BE SURE YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR TODDLER IN THE BEST POSSIBLE HANDS. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND PLAY THERAPIST, DR JO-MARIE BOTHMA HAS SOME TIPS ON WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A DAYCARE CENTRE. Daycare for young children should meet very high standards of care as well as nurturing your child’s development. The early years are a crucial time in a baby and young child’s life. In fact, daycare experiences set the tone for future learning. You want a facility that will help your baby as he or she grows into a toddler and then preschooler, to reach physical milestones appropriately, develop social skills, build relationships with teachers and other children, figure out how to regulate emotions, get the hang of potty training, and importantly, enjoy exploring the environment and what it has to offer.

Registered daycare centres need to comply with a list of national norms and standards. The search for the right daycare can become messy and finding the ideal match is a little like finding the right spouse. Sometimes you meet a few frogs along the way. Most parents start their search with location, convenience and cost

and although these factors can set some parameters that every parent needs to consider, the decision should be based on much more. Instead of going through trial-anderror and kissing all those frogs, here are some important considerations.

Word of mouth

Often fellow parents can tell you the real story behind the glossy pamphlets, stock picture social media pages and designer websites. Try to keep in mind that when it comes to the facility your child will be spending the greatest part of their waking day at, you need to be looking for glowing reviews and not the typical ho-hum testimonials. Once you have identified a few possibilities, your search should become more intelligent, and registration requirements should be explored.

Development’s hotline.

Compliance with basic national norms

Registered daycare centres need to comply with a list of national norms and standards. These standards include, among others, adequate space and ventilation, detailed teacher-children ratio limits, a safe environment and drinking water, hygienic and equipped toilet facilities, access to refuse disposal services, hygienic area for food preparation and storage, measures for the separation of children of different age groups, as well as action plans for emergencies. Parents should almost think of themselves as ‘national-norm officials’ and check for these basic standards upon their initial visit to the daycare.

Daycare registration Plan your visit South African law requires that all daycare centres (or early childhood development centres) should comply with registration if six or more preschool children are taken care of on behalf of their parents for any part of the day or night. You can confirm your child’s daycare registration by calling the Department of Social

Whether you first phone the daycare to arrange for a visit or whether you arrive without notice, make sure to put aside enough time for you to observe the natural flow of the facility. Check out the classrooms and the grounds and try to imagine your child in the setting. Are the toys and outside equipment in a good


condition, clean and would your child find them interesting and challenging but not overwhelming? Does the playground and the equipment comply with the South African National playgrounds safety standards? Aim to assess the entire facility through the eyes of a child to determine if he or she will feel comfortable and happy there. Pay attention to the other children during your visit. Do they seem happy, engaged and comfortable in the environment? Even when visiting a school the main aim of the teacher taking you around should be the children. Does she attend to their needs while you are there? Teachers should be relaxed and engage in meaningful conversation with children. Look for teacher interactions that are respectful, warm, and ageappropriate and that happen at eye level.

Comprehensive questions

You can gain much valuable information while visiting the daycare, but more detailed answers are only gathered by talking directly to the staff and principal. Write down your questions beforehand to ensure that you walk away with a clear picture of what is offered. Your questions could be about the daycare’s philosophy on education and discipline, vaccination policy, their emergency preparedness, the adult-tochild ratio, caregiver qualifications and experience, PDP driver licence holders and the staff turnover. It is considered best if children can stay with the same caregiver for at least a year. Caregivers that come and go make it hard on children. A healthy balance between qualifications, first aid credentials and experience should be available between the totality of teachers at the facility and not just localised to one teacher. Engage in conversations with your

child’s prospective class teacher to learn about day-to-day activities, social and cognitive goals for the children, extra programmes being incorporated into the curriculum and how problem behaviours are handled. If your child will be staying for the full day it is important to find out more about their sleeping and feeding arrangements and ask to review the menu.

Aim to assess the entire facility through the eyes of A child. It is sometimes only possible for other parents with children at the daycare to answer honestly about the facility’s effectiveness with regards to communication to parents and how issues such as misbehaviour, difficult parents, sick children, overall quality of care and food allergies are dealt with.

General security

A good daycare should have policies in place for the collection of children. If a parent cannot for some reason pick up their child, does the school have a system in place that allows a trusted friend of family member to do so? How is this system implemented? More importantly, can anyone walk into the facility or is it safely fenced off? Security cameras become an almost non-negotiable measure that all daycares should nowadays have in place. Many parents forget to enquire about whether criminal background checks are done on newly appointed staff members.

Red flags

Sometimes warning signals do not come in the form of obvious or concrete evidence that children are not being properly cared for. Often a gut feeling

that something is not right carries a lot of weight. Subtle analyses of listless and unengaged children or overly tired or anxious children are more than enough reason to arrange for another visit and reassess the atmosphere again. Staff members who yell at children or even just spend most of the time talking at children instead of with them is also a major reason for concern. Parents should be careful if the daycare presents with a lack of predictable structure to the day. Inside activities, creative time, sensory play, the encouragement of symbolic play, outside play, unstructured play, cognitive activities, arts and crafts, gross motor and fine motor activities should all be incorporated into a flexible but evident programme each day. Floor time, singing and time being set aside for story time are ideal components of a typical and healthy daycare environment. Another red flag that many parents do not know of is that of a too clean room, child or teacher at the end of the day. Although facilities should not compromise on hygiene, children explore, create, investigate and play. After a whole day of doing that it is normal to find floors dirty with little footprints and toys scattered over the carpet. Even if a daycare ticks of all the boxes on a written list, parents should never ignore their intuition. If something does not feel right, it usually is not right. Make sure you kiss and then pick the right froggie that suits your family best and invest in your preschooler’s future by not choosing a daycare facility light-heartedly.







How would you describe yourself? I am a caring, family person (that includes some close friends), trying to be grounded and humble with strong ethics and beliefs, a perfectionist in some ways and a great lover of nature, especially the ocean. I truly believe in balance, equality and respecting each individual for who they are – everyone has their own battles each day. I love icecream and to laugh until my cheeks hurt.

How did the idea for your business first come about? As a first-time mom who left my profession to raise our son on the farm, I was able to attend to my other passions in life: kids, their development and nature. During the first few weeks of our adventures, I realised that a normal diaper/baby bag didn’t work for us, and that is where the seed for a more practical and functional bag was planted. I wanted to design and make a bag that would fit my everyday life. I found that a backpack type of bag works very well on the farm, going to town or travelling, because my hands were free and I could carry the essentials with me. The question was, what material would I use to make the bag? I came across a mom of two who has her own business making products from recycled plastic bottles – I fell in love with this concept of retrieving plastic bottles out of our landfills and surroundings (reducing plastic in our environment). It helps employ South Africans, who do the whole process, collecting the plastic bottles, cleaning and

Klara Jonker with husband, Jantjie and son, Philip

Our days with our kids are few, so choose wisely to make the best contribution you can.


processing them, all the way down to the compression of the fabric, resulting in this lovely felt-like material that looks and feels amazing. Soufi the name is the nickname my dad called me as a child and still does. He had a great influence over who I am today and for the respect I have towards nature. He is still an inspiration to me and that is why I chose the name for my business.

is your secret to being a Q What successful working mom? my heart close to what is really important in A Keeping life and keeping my eye on what my end goal is.

has becoming a mom Q How changed you? a mom really shifted my focus and outlook A Becoming on life and forced me to bloom in another way, trying to make a change to our environment and kids.

is the most difficult thing Q What about being a working mom? my profession to attend to my son. That was A Ia left hurdle I had to cope with mentally. But now with

Soufi, it gives me purpose, and I do not really have any struggles with it. My logistics are just sometimes a problem, because I am far away from everything, so I do not always have cellphone reception and sometimes when I really get busy I need someone to take care of my son. But in these cases my parents really help me.

advice do you have for Q What working moms? lose yourself, your happiness or compromise A Never what is really important to you and your family – it is

Klara with husband, Jantjie and her son, Philip at a birthday party

not worth it. Our days with our kids are few, so choose wisely to make the best contribution you can. Give firstly to your kids, family and then to society. Keep the balance!

Klara enjoying a concert with son, Philip



s Saads Abraham

Ruth Brouwer

Lettie Siphiwe Tshabangu

Carissa Pillay



Ed’s Though




You can never be fully prepared for motherhood, so take all the lessons you can get.




Times have changed, and the first place anyone turns to when they have any question these days, is the internet. However, when it comes to pregnancy and parenthood, the best advice you can get is still from the experts themselves, who have seen and been through it all. Attending antenatal classes gives you access to childbirth educators as well as parenting experts who can answer all your parenting questions. While googling facts about pregnancy and birth can provide you with general information around these topics, speaking to an expert at an antenatal class helps you to get information that is tailored to your specific situation. Another concern with parentsto-be looking for information on pregnancy and birth online is the plethora of facts and opinions available, which can often lead to confusion. And that confusion often leads to fear and anxiety – instead of reassurance. Being able to talk face-to-face to a childbirth educator who is familiar with the smallest details of childbirth and childcare, can help parents-to-be feel less anxious and more excited about the birth process they are about to undergo. Antenatal classes provide uncomplicated, necessary information to parents-to-be, and are a safe space in which to

discuss concerns. When attending antenatal classes, couples are made aware of the different birth options and where they would best achieve them. In recent times, women have traditionally given birth in hospital, where they were cared for by an obstetrician/ gynaecologist.

The educator will also cover all aspects of birth, natural delivery and caesarean section. However, nowadays we have the option of delivering our babies in hospital, birth centres or even in the comfort of our own homes. Women also have a choice as to who will be their primary caregiver – a midwife or an obstetrician/ gynaecologist. Couples are also given practical tips and taught coping skills for the birth. Some of these may include relaxation, breathing, massage and different labouring and birthing positions. You will learn things like the benefits of a doula and who she is in the birth setting. The educator will also cover all aspects of birth, natural delivery and caesarean section. She will give you the pros and cons of each type of delivery, based on the latest evidence-based research and her experience. She will also talk about pain medication available during birth

and when to use them. This can be crucial if you are trying to avoid a caesarean section. Your childbirth educator will help you write a birth plan, so that your wishes around your birth are respected.

Beyond birth She will teach you how to care for your newborn and cover subjects like umbilical cord care, bathing and soothing a crying baby. She will explain the benefits of skinto-skin care (kangaroo care) in the early days. You will be shown a demonstration of different feeding positions and the basics of how to latch a baby onto the breast. You will be taught about the benefits of breastfeeding and have all your questions answered relating to it, such as, “Can I continue to breastfeed once I go back to work?” or “Which breast pump should I choose?” or “How do I store my expressed breastmilk, and how long will it last?” or even, “How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?” These are questions that are best answered by a professional with years of experience and knowledge on the subject. An experienced educator will be able to talk to you about the latest research and treatment options available for different baby ailments, like colic and reflux, what they are and why babies develop them. And of course, this information is available online, but again, there is so much information that it may be daunting for a new mother and the information may not include the realities of the condition.

Fathers and friendships Another aspect of attending childbirth education classes is

the friendships that are formed, often life-long friendships. Knowing couples in the same stage of life as you can be reassuring and help you realise that you are not alone. Moms can meet for coffee with their little ones and may even start a support group together. Couples who have attended classes report being more confident and ready for the birth and the care of their newborn. The reality is that most men don’t research all the things that pertain to birth – they wouldn’t know where to start. Attending classes with their partner not only gives them knowledge, but gives their wife/partner the reassurance that they are not taking on birth and parenthood on their own. Dads become empowered to become more involved and have the confidence to do so. Most men report feeling left out while their partners are pregnant. Antenatal classes are the ideal way to include them in the process and help them feel useful.

How to choose an antenatal class When choosing an antenatal class, think about what you hope to gain from attending the course, so that you can find a class that best suits you. Look at classes being given in your area to prevent having to travel too far. Decide what sized class you’d be most comfortable attending. Look at what the course covers and whether it relates to the type of birth you hope to achieve and any other aspects you may like to learn. Most classes are six weeks in duration and are held in the evening. Others may be a weekend workshop or something similar. Chat to other moms and ask where they attended. Nothing beats word of mouth. In short, do your homework and find a class that you will enjoy most.

You will be taught about the benefits of breastfeeding and have all your questions answered. You will build a rapport with your childbirth educator and nothing compares to the personal touch of having someone with the expertise to answer your questions or concerns, even after you’ve delivered your precious newborn.

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MOM’S FAVOURITES Guest editor Kwanele Mbobo shares her favourite products for making a mom’s life easier.

Avent Nipple Shields

If it wasn’t for nipple shields, breastfeeding would’ve been much more painful. They helped alleviate the pain that comes with breastfeeding in the first few months and once my breasts were used to the sucking, I stopped using the shields and there was no more pain.

Angelcare On-The-Go Nappy Bags Dispenser

This is just cute and great for travelling. It’s small and the bags have a germ-fighting antibacterial coating. Anything that eliminates germs is a mom’s best friend.

Tommee Tippee Breast-Like Soother

Soothers are the best – they keep babies calm and occupied. Sometimes babies just want things in their mouths, and soothers help solve that problem.

Pigeon Breast Pads

Leaking breasts are not fun and non-absorbent breast pads are even worse. These were very reliable and comfortable when I was still breastfeeding.

Dove Rich Moisture Nappy Cream This cream’s texture is amazing, making it very easy to spread on baby’s bum.



7 ways pregnancy

can change your body



1. The dreaded droop Most women and their partners welcome the fuller breasts that come with pregnancy, but your bust may still change shape as the hormones settle after giving birth. “Dormant fat tissue gets replaced by functional tissue in preparation for breastfeeding, and once you stop breastfeeding, this functional tissue atrophies because it’s not being used for breastfeeding anymore,” says Kim. “Sadly, once the breasts droop they will not perk up again. This is known as ptosis: the stretching of the ligaments and elastin that hold the fatty tissue in place.” What a bummer! Thank goodness for push-up bras.

2. Learning to live with Bigfoot Nothing beats shopping for shoes, but you may be in for a shock when your size no longer applies. “Most women will increase their shoe size by at least half a size during pregnancy, because of relaxin,” says Kim. “Relaxin is important as it helps ligaments and bones in the pelvis to relax in preparation for childbirth, but this also impacts the rest of your body including your hands and feet. The changes in your foot size are almost always permanent, especially in width, even if you lose weight.“ So don’t rush out to buy shoes just yet, wait until after birth to see how the size of your feet have settled. At least you have some fun shopping to look forward to that doesn’t involve nappies!

3. Patching things up with your skin

4. Grin and bear it

5. Eyes right

Have you heard the saying, gain a child, lose a tooth? Well, it’s true. Our gums are more sensitive during pregnancy and may not go back to normal. Yikes! “During pregnancy, gums are enlarged and prone to bleeding,” says Kim. “Added to that, acid from vomiting (morning sickness) can wear away at the enamel of the teeth, and cause it to be brittle and porous. Hormonal changes also affect the bacterial population of your mouth and so good dental hygiene must be a priority to avoid any damage and or loss of teeth. Stay on top of your oral health routine.”

You no longer see clearly – even when the rain has gone... No, you aren’t imagining this, your eyesight has, in fact, changed. During pregnancy, hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all affect your eyes and your eyesight, but once baby has been born and the hormones all settle, your eyesight defaults to what you had before pregnancy. “Water retention, for instance, may slightly increase the thickness and curvature of your cornea,” says Kim. “It’s a small change, but it could affect whether your glasses or contacts still correct your vision. For this reason, optometrist opt not to do any new consultations until three months postpartum.”

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You are pregnant and you are glowing – and growing! The many hormones in your body are making your skin shimmer with happiness, but you’ve also noticed weird dark patches of skin also emerging. What’s going on? “There is the linea-nigra, a dark vertical line that runs over the belly, plus the unwanted darkening of the neck, underarms and bikini area, all because of an increase of melanin during pregnancy,” says Kim. “The darkness will most likely fade over time, but for many this can last for years and so one needs to be more vigilant of the sun and ensure a good skincare routine, especially on the neck and face. Be sure to stock up on SPF 40, or 50 even, as the African sun can be very harsh.”



6. Very cross veins Some parts of pregnancy can be downright weird and uncomfortable, and varicose veins are one of them. Unfortunately, pregnancy can increase the appearance of varicose veins behind your legs, and even on your vulva and inside your vagina. But wait, there’s more! When these sore blue veins are found on the rectum they are referred to as haemorrhoids and are very uncomfortable. However, try not to panic, these veins almost always subside after you’ve given birth, and it’s just because your growing uterus is placing pressure on the circulation in the lower part of your body. “Moms need not worry too much, as there is great relief in pressure after the baby is born and so the varicose veins and haemorrhoids can settle within six to twelve months of giving birth,” says Kim. “With regular exercise and wearing supportive clothing, varicose veins can be managed. It’s always important to watch your diet during pregnancy and a diet high in fibre will greatly assist constipation and your veins in the lower abdomen.”

7. Eau d’pregnancy Hormones are such crazy littler buggers, and once again we get to blame them for the heightened release of body odour. This smelly side of pregnancy is actually nature’s cool way of making sure your baby knows its mama right away. Just think about how wondrous it is that your baby knows you are you, knows when you leave a room and when you enter it, long before they can “see” you, all due to your unique smell. “Tons of hormones are racing around your body and this brings imbalances and makes women more vulnerable to body odour,” says Kim. “Also, as you become bigger, carrying more weight, you have more insulation and so you sweat more. Sweat by itself does not smell bad, but once it hits the bacteria on the skin, it picks up a smell. Usually it’s not a stench, so don’t worry. And as your hormones settle, the smell settles too. But if it doesn’t, it just means you are able to spoil yourself with some new fragrances. Score!”

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How can dads get more involved? It is important for dads to spend as much time bonding with their little ones as they can. Paediatrician and father of two, Dr Enrico Maraschin, explains the role of fathers in the birthing process as well as how dads can be more involved in their baby’s lives.

What is a dad’s role in his baby’s life? The father is vital to the physical social and psychological wellbeing of a child from day one. Never underestimate the impact that a father can have on the mental development of their baby.

What can dads do to be more involved in the birthing process? Fathers need to be part of the birth plan. Together with the mother they should discuss the options of normal vaginal delivery versus caesarean section. In some cases, there is no choice, so being informed about what will happen is essential. The father should also be present in the birthing room or theatre to support his partner throughout the birth. Fathers may opt to cut the umbilical cord of the baby and they are also invited with the baby to the nursery for their first bath.

What can dads expect in the hospital room during birth? During a normal delivery Mom will remain in a ward in labour ward. She will have monitors attached to her abdomen to monitor the baby’s heart rate throughout the labour. Remember that a normal delivery

takes time. For first-time moms, it can be as long as 12 hours. A nursing sister/midwife will be assigned to her and will check on her throughout the process to see how the labour is progressing. Only once she is fully dilated (10cm) will she be moved to the delivery room. If you have chosen for an obstetrician to deliver the baby, then the doctor will be involved to deliver the baby. In some cases you may have opted for a midwife to see you through the whole process, in which case there will be no need for the obstetrician.

Fathers need to be part of the birth plan. If Mom is having a C-section, then things will be a lot different. A C-section means going to theatre, where the obstetrician will perform the procedure, and there will be an anaesthetist who administers the spinal block or anaesthetic. A paediatrician will also be present to take care of the baby as soon as it is born. The father is welcome in the theatre and may offer support

throughout. He can also cut the cord and hold the baby after it has been checked by the paediatrician.

Why is skin-to-skin so important for Dad? Holding your baby naked against your chest improves gut integrity in the baby. This is because healthy microbes from the father’s skin move to the baby’s skin and finds their way into the gut. The baby also responds to dad's heartbeat, smell and body temperature. This soothes the baby, improves the bond between the father and baby and gives Mom a break. Depression in fathers is being recognised more and more. Bonding with your baby reduces the chances of depression in fathers.

How do dads do skin-to-skin with their baby? Fathers can simply hold the baby naked with nothing but a nappy on against their naked chest. Cover the baby with a blanket once on the father’s chest. He can do this at any time, while watching TV or relaxing on the bed. It doesn’t matter how or where it is done, but the benefits are fantastic when it is done.


Gender Reveals 101

WHEN YOU’RE PLANNING YOUR GENDER REVEAL PARTY, YOU MIGHT NEED SOME INSPIRATION. TEIXEIRA MURRAY SHARES SOME IDEAS THAT ARE SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN, AND DON’T REQUIRE TOO MANY SPECIAL SKILLS. Jenna Karvunidis, an American law student and blogger, was the first to plan and post about her ‘gender reveal’ more than 10 years ago. Since then it has become a real trend among parents who cannot wait to creatively reveal their blue or pink status to their friends and family, of course ensuring that the whole affair is social media worthy. Falling pregnant is the beginning of very exciting times for any parent, but these days the excitement around

The cake

A cake is still a firm favourite at gender reveal parties. And why not? Other than serving its purpose of indicating boy or girl, who can say no to some yummy cake? Cake is also a cost-effective option as it serves as ‘food’ for your guests as well. You can even save more if you make the cake yourself and use pink or blue food colouring for the inside of the cake, with a gender-neutral icing on the outside. Variations extend to cupcakes or cake pops with pink or blue coloured centres.

the gender has become a huge cause of amusement for the expecting parents, their friends, and family. Don’t, however, confuse the party for the actual baby shower. A gender reveal party of the announcement is usually just that, a way to announce the sex of the soon-to-be-born baby in a fun way. Though Jenna Karvunidis writes that she was probably not the first to have a gender reveal, it was probably one of the first to be publicly shared as she did on her blog. At the time

The light-sabers

she made a simple cake and used pink frosting to reveal the baby girl they would be welcoming soon. Gender reveals have become so popular that even gynaecologists get in on the action by writing down the gender and placing the sacred information in a sealed envelope, at times keeping even the parents in the dark, which of course seriously helps the ‘surprise’ factor. Most times this envelope is handed to the baker or a trusted individual helping to organise the big moment.

Star Wars fans, here’s an idea for you. Order some LED light-sabers online and watch in amazement as the light-sabers light up either in pink to announce your Princess Leia or blue to announce your little Luke Skywalker. What fun?


The balloons

Having blue or pink helium balloons explode from a neutrally wrapped box, can cause great excitement as well, particularly if the reveal is a surprise for the parents-to-be. Alternatively, you can get one big opaque balloon filled with either pink or blue confetti, that once popped will reveal whether it’s a boy or a girl. Always double-check that the right colour is hidden away.

The smoke bombs

If your gender reveal is doubling as your pregnancy photo shoot, why not do it in real style? Have your guests gather around you in an open space – outside would be best – and get someone to let loose a huge smoke bomb in either pink or blue. Colour magic at its best, and perfect for pictures.

The party poppers Do you love confetti and the drama it brings? Well, gender reveal party poppers could be just the things. Hand them out to guests and have a count-down until everyone pops their poppers at the same time, revealing either pink or blue confetti.

The piñata

A fun and prolonged way of finding out boy or girl, is a gender reveal piñata. Filled with pink or blue sweets (wrapped) will surely bring much entertainment for all involved. Pink or blue coloured confetti can also be used. Perhaps Dad could be the one to bang away at the piñata if it causes too much exertion on the mother-to-be.

The drink

Here’s a fun and different way of revealing your baby’s gender. Try a mystery mix or powdered food colouring mixed into bottles of water all at the same time. High quality, allergy-safe food colourant will work best here.

The sorting hat

Perhaps you are a Harry Potter fan, who likes the idea of the sorting hat deciding whether you will have a boy or a girl. Find a big sorting hat and gather your friends and family around the hat to reveal what’s underneath – perhaps a pink pair of baby booties, or a blue baby blanket. (Any baby item in either pink or blue will do!)



The Power


Not only do new mothers get less sleep overall, but their quality of sleep is also limited due to frequent interruptions and being more alert in expectation of the baby needing them. Different babies will have different needs and temperaments and it can be difficult for a new mother to learn and adjust to her baby’s demands for feeds and sleep. And these routines may shift as a baby grows, is teething or is not well. But it can be a great bonding process for mothers and babies to become more in sync in these sleep-wake cycles.

Why is sleep important?

Deep sleep is a vital part of our ordinary daily biological needs. It allows the brain and body to restore themselves, and to regenerate their important hormonal and neurotransmitter systems, and for tissue growth and repair. In general, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Less than this can lead to sleep deprivation, which can have severe emotional and physiological implications on the body.

Emotionally, sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability as well as low self-esteem. Physically, loss of sleep can have severe health implications such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions or compromised immunity.


Sufficient restful and quality sleep is essential for us to feel alert and present. Being alert is even more important for a new mother, who has to be able to concentrate and focus on the needs of her infant. Feeling sleep deprived can make it incredibly hard to focus, remember important steps, make clear decisions or plan ahead. A loss of sleep makes it incredibly tricky to remain a present, available and thoughtful parent consistently.

Lack of sleep creates a lot of physical stress on the body. Lack of sleep also creates a lot of physical stress on the body. A new mother is recovering from either a natural birth or a tough surgery if she had a C-section. She is also likely to be producing breast milk. These physical processes can be taxing, and sleep is needed to help the body to heal and produce healthy milk. Lack of sleep can impact on one’s mood and emotional well-being. A new mother who is sleep deprived is more likely to become irritable, frustrated, easily overwhelmed and anxious. These difficult emotional states can feel unbearable for new mothers and it can have a huge impact on their self-esteem and sense of being a good-enough mother to their child. Sleep deprivation, if not addressed and managed, is also one of the risk factors for developing post-partum depression. Sleep is therefore vital as a protective measure for a mother’s mental health. Finally, a mother who is sleep deprived has fewer emotional and physical resources available to offer to her new baby. Attachment is such a key process in the first few weeks

of a baby and mother’s relationship. This attachment process can be hampered by a lack of sleep and the resulting low moods.

A few tips on how to get more quality sleep

Ensure you have enough support: New mothers need assistance with chores such as cleaning, cooking or taking other siblings to school so that while their baby is sleeping, they too can take a nap. Sleep hygiene: Try to control as many factors around your own sleep routine as possible, so you can fall asleep easily and maximise your sleep time. These rituals may include a warm bath, a cup of tea or listening to soothing music. Nutrition: The body can function more optimally with the correct fuel. Eating regularly and eating a variety of healthy, nutritious foods can aid sleep, mood and energy levels. Have realistic expectations: Newborns will naturally wake in the night every three to four hours to feed. This is part of their natural cycle. This may, of course, differ slightly between babies. Having realistic expectations as a new mother can make the change less frightening. Guide your baby: New infants do not have the full capacity to settle themselves and require support from a parent in order to feed, burp, settle, soothe and sleep. Being aware and in touch with your infant’s unique needs and rhythms can help these transitions between sleep-wake states. Learning about your baby’s response to swaddling, different holding positions, light

and temperature sensitivity and other preferences can impact on the ease of sleep-wake patterns. For example, some babies may struggle with the transition between light and deep sleep and may need additional support through that phase. Other babies may need a darker space as they may have a more sensitive response to light. The Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) is a wonderful tool used by professionals working with newborns and parents, that helps parents understand how best to support these transitions in their babies (https://www. offerings/nbo-and-nbas/). There are several infant mental health practitioners (psychologists, doctors, nurses or social workers) trained in this model in South Africa ( If a new mother is better able to understand her baby’s sleep needs, she will be better able to support these needs and also be able to establish a better sleep routine for herself.

Sleep deprivation is a risk factor for developing post-partum depression. Managing with sleep deprivation is by no means an easy task for a new mother. There is also no one-sizefits-all approach. However, whenever trying to decide how best to approach this, it is important to keep the needs of both baby and mother in mind, as it is in strengthening and supporting both that we can best ensure a happy and healthy future.



Marelisna Geldenhuys Pretorius

Charlotte Choshi

Rene Henrico

Candice Akkers



Probably the scariest time in a baby’s life. You’re worried about baby choking and how to change things up. Allow yourself to make mistakes and before you know it, you and baby will be having chicken together.

Ed’s Though






Starting solids is such an exciting milestone. Your little one has survived solely on milk until now, but requires additional nutrients from foods to continue growing. There is a lot of information available for you to use to guide you on this journey but I hope in this article to give you options and ideas to assist you during this very exciting time. I say ‘exciting’, as often the introduction of solids can cause much stress and anxiety but I wish to encourage you that with sufficient planning and hopefully, this article, you’ll feel empowered to guide your baby through this next phase of their growth, and to ensure healthy food habits throughout their life.

If they don’t like the new food the first time, keep persisting. The term ‘weaning’ is often used, however I think of weaning as stopping milk and replacing it with foods. This only occurs around 12 months, but you are encouraged to continue breastfeeding for as long as possible and can also continue with formula milk feeds after 12 months.

How to know when your baby is ready for solids

The ideal age to start your baby is when they show signs of readiness, which is often around six months. The aim is to ensure baby’s digestive system is ready, so often when the internal

readiness stage is reached these external signs will be displayed. Able to sit on their own (not supported). Has no tongue thrust, and is therefore able to swallow (purées can also sometimes override this, so make sure baby is taking nicely from a spoon and you are not forcing it in). Has very good hand-eye co-ordination and is therefore able to bring food to their mouth.

Signs often mistaken for readiness Baby is hungrier than usual (remember that babies at four months often go through a growth spurt. If you’re breastfeeding this allows your milk supply to increase with the increased demand from your baby, so by introducing solids your breastmilk supply will be affected. You want your baby to sleep through the night – don’t we all – but prematurely giving solids before they are developmentally ready isn’t advisable. Also, waking up more at night is not a sign. Chewing fists. Solids are required generally around six months, which can coincide with babies’ increased iron and protein needs. Besides nutritional needs, babies have sensory requirements fulfilled by enjoying solids, so prepare to have mess and playtime around meals.

Kitchen tools

Now that you’ve established your baby is ready for solids, you’ll need a few items to help you. I would recommend you try to

make your own foods, so you’ll need a steamer, blender and some ice cube trays and some storage bags. To reduce waste, try to get reusable silicone bags if possible. You’ll also need a bowl, spoons (often one for baby and one for you) and bibs, as well as a high chair or seating option for baby that they are sitting independently in.

Starting solids

I would recommend still offering breastmilk or formula to baby at least 30 minutes before offering solids. Remember that at first, the solids are just a tiny taste to get them used to a new sensory experience, so the milk is still their primary source of nutrition. I would recommend starting with something bitter and less delicious, as these foods are not as well accepted as sweeter foods such as carrots, fruits and butternut, for example. Getting them used to more bitter vegetables is preferable, to ensure they are accepted better. Offer a tiny taste on their lips first and then allow them to suck the tip of the spoon to get their next mouthful – try not to spoon food directly into their mouth.

You might find your baby is ready for solids sooner than others. When baby is full they will close their mouth and turn their head away; this is their sign that they are done, and you need to stop feeding them. By overriding their sense of satiety (feeling of fullness) you will create unhealthy



eating behaviours that will follow them into adulthood. Remember, solids are not their primary source of nutrition at this stage, so don’t worry if it they’ve only consumed a small amount.

Also remember that we can offer foods made in a variety of ways – not just steamed. Try roasting, baking or sautéeing to offer different textures and flavour profiles.

Your attitude to mealtimes ensures success

Unsuitable foods

Remember to keep mealtimes distraction-free and have a relaxed attitude to the introduction of foods. Keep mealtimes fun and interesting and, where possible, once baby is having more meals during the day, let them eat at the same time as the family. Role modelling is so important for your baby to learn about family culture, mealtimes and also how to use cutlery. Don’t introduce new foods when you are feeling stressed, as you may affect baby’s acceptance, but remember it can take anywhere from 10-15 times for baby to accept a new taste. If they don’t like the new food the first time, keep persisting and offering it to them again.

Foods not suitable for baby are cow’s milk and anything with a choking hazard like popcorn and nuts, as well as honey, sugar and raw or undercooked eggs and unpasteurised cheese. Salt is a mineral that babies cannot tolerate well due to their immature kidneys, so foods with added salt, as well as gravies and stock powders, salted biscuits, cured meats, bacon, chips, ready meals and takeaways are not advisable.


As far as allergies, go there is new research to indicate introducing allergens earlier, however if you have a strong family history of allergies it is recommended that you speak to your doctor or dietician first.

Final note All babies develop at different rates, so you might find your baby is ready for solids sooner than others, but you do need to introduce by six months. Each solids journey is an individual journey and if you choose to use purées or try baby-led weaning, or a combination of both, all are perfectly fine for baby.

Getting them used to more bitter vegetables is preferable. Just keep a relaxed approach to introducing food and don’t stress about nutrition before nine months. Before that it’s about sensory interaction and tastes. Breastmilk or formula are still baby’s number one source of nutrition. After 12 months your aim is for baby to be eating the family’s diet, so work on exposure to as many foods as possible before then.

For specific advice and guidance for your baby, speak to a registered dietitian in your area who has a special interest in paediatrics. To find one in your area go to

MOM’S FAVOURITES With so many baby products on the market, it helps to know what works for other moms. Guest editor Kwanele Mbobo shares her favourites.

Dr Brown’s Hard Spout Insulated Cup

It’s strong, can fall a million times but doesn’t break, and is decorated with pretty cartoon characters to spark your little one’s imagination.

Comfort Pure Fabric Softener

This has an amazing fragrance for baby’s clothing that lasts quite long.

Johnson and Johnson Detangling Spray This is a life saver when you need to comb out a baby’s thick afro.

Joie Mimzy High Chair

With my child being such a busy bee and her appetite constantly fluctuating, the high chair is really a necessity. It keeps her still, allowing me to focus on trying to make mealtimes fun, instead of worrying about her fidgeting or running off.

Kiddylicious Snack Range

These are the perfect healthy go-to snack items when your little one starts learning to chew. They are also a great way to get them to learn to feed themselves.


5 Myths


In the competitive world we live in, too many women believe that in order to raise well-balanced children, they’re going to have to be perfect moms. These and other myths are usually the result of online research, their perception of their partners’ expectations, and what they’ve heard from family and friends. Let’s look at a few motherhood myths that often cause women to feel inadequate and unworthy as mothers.

Myth 1: Being a mom comes naturally

With the arrival of your newborn comes the expectation that you will instinctively know what to do. While this may be true for some women, it is not necessarily true for all. Some new moms even find that bonding can take time. This may be due to a traumatic birth experience, relationship difficulties or fear of not being a good enough mother. It can be very distressing for

a mom to feel this way, and she will need the support of her loved ones. It is also often assumed that breastfeeding will happen without hesitation or concern. Again, this is not always so. In my experience, more women need assistance than not. It is a new skill that both you and your baby will need to learn together. With the correct support, it most often can be successfully accomplished. If in doubt, seek out a lactation consultant to assist you.

A crying baby can cause parents tremendous anguish. Another aspect that requires time and patience is knowing why your baby is crying. A crying baby can cause parents tremendous anguish, especially when they’ve investigated every possible cause. Remember, getting to know your baby and understanding what they are trying to communicate to you takes time. There is nothing wrong

with your parenting skills. You are learning, like every other mother before you, so be kind to yourself.

Myth 2: Asking for help is a sign of weakness

No! Have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, it really does. Having a good support system is vital for the wellbeing of a young family. Regardless of what form your support comes in, make sure that you have people around who can help to care for you while you are adapting to your new role. Women who ask for help are less likely to suffer from depression and feel more confident in their new role.

Myth 3: Postnatal depression is somehow your fault

There are many causes for postnatal depression (PND), e.g., biological, psychological and social factors. These factors may include birth trauma, breastfeeding difficulties,


sleep deprivation, social isolation, relationship difficulties, financial stress or even previous mental health issues. Very often, a mother will not realise that she has PND until several months after the birth and may even deny the fact because of guilt or shame. Understanding that there is treatment available for PND and absolutely no shame in it, may help women with this condition to get help early. Remember, it really does take a village.

Myth 4: Mothers who stay home to take care of their children do nothing all day

Being a mother is a fulltime job, whether you have a career or not. Many moms have said that their

friends or husbands believe that they sit in front of the TV all day or spend their time shopping. Unfortunately, this misconception leads to the belief that Dad is the only working partner in the relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth for a stay-at-home mom. Many people can’t afford domestic help these days, so besides household chores, a mother spends the day feeding, changing and entertaining her baby. If she goes to the shops, it’s usually to replenish groceries and other necessities, baby in tow.

Myth 5: Good moms focus all their attention on their children

There is no doubt that having a newborn in the house is a fulltime job that requires a lot of attention.

However, taking a little time for yourself and for the other people in your life, does not make you a bad mom. In fact, I believe that in order to raise a respectful child with good boundaries and to keep a happy household, this is imperative. It may be something as simple as taking an uninterrupted bath or spending some alone time with your partner on the couch. Many men report that their partners spend all their time focused on the children, leaving them feeling neglected. Let your partner help you when he’s home, so that you will have more time and energy to spend with him at the end of a long day. Ultimately, we all want to be the best parents we can be. Trust yourself and surround yourself with people who will uplift you and support you in your journey into parenthood.


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It all begins with Purity.




did you decide to become a Q Why Transformational Life Coach? 10 years in my corporate job, I started my A After own coaching consultancy aimed at unleashing

the potential of young aspiring professionals, and also targeted to moms in the workplace. When I became a mom last year, the entire trajectory of my life changed. I had a very traumatic birth and almost lost my daughter. This life-changing event made me re-evaluate my life, and I decided to live a more impactful and intentional life, one where I could be more flexible and available to my baby and my passions. I also decided to further my studies in coaching while still on maternity leave. I returned to my job when Eden was six months old and worked for a whole year until I plucked up the courage to leave and follow my passion, which is empowering people to live within their purpose and to really seek to live their best lives.

are your secrets to being a Q What successful working mom? believe in knowing your why, and you will keep A Igoing. There are days when I am so tired between

breastfeeding, grocery shopping, meetings and preparing dinner for my family, but I would say my biggest motivation is being a living example to my daughter that anything is possible and hard work really is so rewarding.

Priyanka Naidoo


becoming a mom Q Did affect your work? When I returned to A Definitely. my corporate job, I negotiated a flexi-work arrangement, extracted breastmilk twice in my breaks and still met all my deadlines in record time. Being a mom has definitely made me work more effectively.

was the hardest Q What part? The “mom guilt� that we feel A when we leave home to juggle

the many roles we play as women. I decided to leave that guilt behind, as my daughter will always pick up on my energy. So when I am home we spend quality time together, just pure mom and baby time.

advice do you Q What have for working

Mrs South Africa 2019 Top 10 Finalist with her husband, Shershen and daughter, Eden.


Plan a date A Benightkindwithto yourself. your hubby. Enjoy the good, the exhausting and everything in between. Never settle for a career you are not happy with, because that unhappiness filters down to your family. You can design the life you want for your family. Leave the guilt behind, and soak it all in because they grow up so fast and remember, that you, Mama, are doing a great job.

Connect with Priyanka

Q How do you destress? I love reading, travelling with my A husband, long walks with my

Blog: Follow me on

@somethingaboutpri @awaken_sa Priyanka Naidoo with husband, Shershen and their daughter, Eden

family in nature and baking with my little bug.



Tabassum Essop

Ashley N Tarryn Debideen

Yashika Itwari

Alexis Domijan



Development milestones in your preschooler

THIS IS THE THIRD ARTICLE IN OUR SERIES ABOUT BABIES’ AND TODDLERS’ DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES. IN THIS INSTALMENT, KERRY MCARTHUR LOOKS AT WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR PRESCHOOLER. As a reminder, every child goes through a process of learning and mastering particular skills, such as sitting, walking, talking, skipping,

and tying shoes. Children will reach these developmental milestones during usually predictable time periods.

In our previous articles, we discussed the first four areas of development, and will be discussing in more detail the last area, which is social and emotional development.



Children develop skills in five main areas of development. Here are the first four: 1. Cognitive Development This is the child’s ability to learn and solve problems. 2. Speech and Language Development This is the child’s ability to both understand and use language. 3. Fine Motor Skill Development This is the child’s ability to use small muscles. 4. Gross Motor Skill Development This is the child’s ability to use large muscles.

Social and emotional development This is the ability to interact with others, including helping themselves and exerting self-control. This type of development would include a 10-month-old baby waving bye-bye or a five-year-old boy knowing how to take turns in games at school.

What can you expect? 1 – 2 years old:

Less wary of strangers Helps to pick up and put away toys Often imitates adults’ actions in play May have a tantrum when things go wrong if they are overly tired or frustrated.

2 – 3 years old:

Shows signs of empathy and caring e.g., comforting another child Continued use of physical aggression if frustrated or angry Temper tantrums are likely to peak during this year Impatient, finds it difficult to wait turns

Likes structure and routine and battles when taken out of this.

3 – 4 years old:

Understands taking turns but not always willing to do so May have the occasional nightmare and is scared of the dark, monsters, etc. Often talks to themselves Engages in make-believe play Shows affections towards other children who are younger

4 – 5 years old:

Outgoing, friendly and can be overly enthusiastic Moods change rapidly and unpredictably Boasts, exaggerates and “bends” the truth Shows pride in accomplishments Insists on doing things independently, but gets frustrated when problems arise Name calling and taunting are often used Establishes close friendships, beginning to have “best” friends.

Every child goes through a process of learning and mastering particular skills. What are the typical skills children learn at different ages? We know that our brains are not fully developed at birth. It’s amazing to think that a baby’s brain weighs about one quarter of what an adult’s brain weighs. This means that during the first few years of life, the brain will grow rapidly, as children absorb what is happening around them, learn a variety of new skills and reach new milestones.

When should I be concerned? Every child will develop at a different pace and depending on their unique environments, you will see a different set of skills develop. You may have heard people say things like, “He was walking before he turned 10 months, much earlier than his older brother,” or “She didn’t say much until she was about two years old and then we couldn’t keep her quiet!” A languagerich home may develop a child that speaks quickly, however having older siblings who do the talking for you will may result in speech developing later on.

A baby’s brain weighs about one quarter of what an adult’s brain weighs. There are definitely blocks of time when most children will meet a milestone. For example, children can learn to walk anytime between nine and 15 months of age. So, if your child is 13 months of age and not yet walking, there is no need to worry if he is crawling and pulling to a stand. However, if you have a child 15 months of age who is not yet walking, it would be a good idea to talk with your child’s paediatrician to make sure there aren’t any medical or developmental problems since age 15 months is outside of the normal “window” or time frame in which children learn to walk.

What can I do to help my child? Remember that both genes and environment will have an influence on how your child develops. Not every home is the same, and each brings its unique


flavour to development. The best thing you can do as a parent is allow your child to develop at their own pace. Stop comparing them to their siblings, cousins or friends. Educate yourself on the development windows, so that you know what to expect, and where you have stopped seeing consistent improvement or development or if the general window has passed, consult your paediatrician for advice. Play, play, play. Children learn through play: language, muscle control, emotions and social

interactions are all learnt through play. Model acceptable social interactions, speak a lot and play with your child. Encourage and praise your child. Don’t harp on what they can’t do, rather focus on what they have achieved. Surround your child with love. A happy child is a confident child.

Don’t harp on what they can’t do, rather focus on what they have achieved.

Parting thought Stop worrying about the “firsts” and start appreciating the “lasts”. What I mean is, the firsts will always be there and they will be obvious, the first time she walked, the first time he talked, the first time she fed herself. What about the last time she needed “uppy”, what about the last time she wanted you to feed her, what about the last time he said “lellow” instead of yellow? You never realise it is the last time until it isn’t there anymore. Appreciate your little one in every phase – you never know when you won’t have a little one anymore.



7 vegetables most important

for your toddler

GETTING TODDLERS TO EAT VEGETABLES CAN BE TRICKY, SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL GET SOME BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! REGISTERED DIETICIAN CAREY HAUPT HELPS YOU TO PRIORITISE. Being a toddler is serious business – you need to play, learn and grow. Introducing vegetables into your toddlers’ diet as one of their starting foods is a great way to get them to learn about different tastes, textures, colours, and shapes while giving them important nutrients that will support growth. Some vegetables are easier to introduce from the beginning than to try and teach a teenager. But they are a vital part of a healthy diet, packed with nutrients and fibre that are important for growth, immunity and a healthy digestive system (no more constipation).

Peppers are high in vitamin C. When a toddler starts solids, they need to experience a large variety of foods because this will help them build a good relationship with food. They will learn to eat foods

that have different textures, tastes, shapes and colours, which are all important for sensory development. The more exposure they have to variety, the better the acceptance of different foods. The following are my top seven vegetables to introduce to your toddler because they are packed with nutrients, different colour, textures and tastes. Another advantage is that they can be prepared in different ways, which helps you to include them in your family meals.

1. Tomatoes

I absolutely love tomatoes; they are available all year round and so easy to include in meals. They have lots of flavours, can be eaten raw as slices, boiled in stews or even roasted. Tomatoes have beta carotene, vitamin C and an antioxidant, lycopene, which is important for your eyes.

2. Broccoli

I absolutely love giving broccoli or “little trees” to my kids. I find that is it a very easy food to introduce as they can be steamed until they are soft and

eaten as finger food. Broccoli can be used in stews, roasts, salads or just steamed. The texture of broccoli is great, as it can be lumpy, crunchy or mashed until smooth. Broccoli is packed with choline, calcium, and cancerfighting phytonutrients.

3. Carrots

Carrots are an absolute must. Not only are they available all year round, but they are so easy to prepare. You can serve them raw with a hummus dip, steamed, in stir-fry, roasted, add to stews or even grated and added to mince. They are full of beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. Sadly vitamin A deficiency is still high in South Africa, so include as many orange vegetables in your diet as possible.

4. Spinach

There’s a reason Popeye eats spinach – it is a great source of iron and vitamin B. Both are important for growth and muscle development. When serving spinach, try to include an animal protein or a food


rich in vitamin C. This will help to increase the absorption of the iron from the spinach. During that same meal avoid milk and tea as they will reduce the absorption of the iron. When you are cooking spinach remember it does not have to be boiled to a soft, mushy goo. Try frying it in a stir-fry or adding it to an omelette.

5. Peppers

The lovely thing about peppers is that they have a natural sweetness and such a beautiful colour. They are super easy to prepare as finger food or to add to onion and garlic as a base for a sauce. Peppers are high in vitamin C.

6. Brussels sprouts

I am sure you are thinking absolutely not, no way, never Brussels sprouts! Normally I would agree, but I have learned never to boil them. They are amazing sautéed with garlic and lemon juice. And nutrient-wise they are great, as they are packed with folate, vitamin C and potassium.

7. Butternut

A South African specialty! I can’t imagine growing up in South African and not having butternut on the menu. This vegetable gem has fibre, beta carotene, and potassium. It is so versatile that you can even add it as a pizza topping, include it in lasagne, roast it, mash it, boil it, stir-fry it and eat it raw.

Brussel sprouts are amazing sautéed with garlic and lemon juice. The above vegetables are my top seven, but that does not mean that other vegetables are less important. Try to include as many different vegetables as you can, as the more a child is exposed to vegetables, the more they will learn and benefit from them. Enjoy eating your vegetables with your children and they will see how you eat them and copy you.

Ideas for incorporating more vegetables into your toddler’s diet: Breakfast:

Egg (omelette, scrambled egg or fried) Add spinach/kale, tomatoes, onion and bell peppers Add tomatoes to continental breakfasts.


Raw or steamed vegetables that go nicely with different dips are broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, baby tomatoes, cucumber, celery or mushrooms.

Added to full meals:

Diced onion, tomato, carrots and peppers can be used as a base for any sauce. Grated carrots and diced tomato can be added to mince, meatballs or lasagne. Thin slices of butternut can be used as a layer in lasagne.

Vegetable as a serving:

Butternut (roasted, mashed or boiled). Carrot (raw, steamed, stir-fry, boiled, roasted or mashed). Brussels sprouts (cooked with garlic and lemon juice but never boiled). Spinach (part of a salad, steamed or as part of a filling).


Add a vegetable to smoothies for colour, flavour, and nutrients.




Perfect timing Choose an appropriate time – both parties should be fed and rested before meeting up. It’s just as important to keep a check on the time: too long and they could get tired of one another; too short and they may just be getting to know one another when it’s time to part ways. One-and-a-half to two hours should suffice.

They are so happy after nap time!

Expect parallel play Don’t be alarmed if you notice that your toddler is not engaging with the other child. At this young age toddlers will often opt to play alongside one another. This is called parallel play and is a perfectly normal developmental step.

Location, location, location It will be wise to choose neutral territory for the first playdate, where neither toddler feels in a position of power; for example, a visit to a petting farmyard or a picnic in the park, with plenty of space to run amok and release all their energy. However, if the playdate is going to be at your home, be sure to check with the parents with regard to their child’s food allergies, and any particular dislikes.


Sorting out sharing Suggest that your toddler put his ‘most favourite’ and new toys away. No matter how much you prep him about the importance of sharing, there is a huge probability that he will not want to share everything, which inevitably leads to tears. Ensure that there is always a parent close by, but there is no need to hover. If there is a little spat, give them a chance to sort it out, but be ready to intervene if things get out of hand.

Well done for sharing so nicely today! Two’s company Initially it may be a good idea to keep the playdate down to two children. Once your toddler has done this a few times, the numbers can be increased.

Thank You

Manners go a long way Remind your toddler about the importance of good manners. “Please” and “thank you” go a long way in endearing children to adults. Reinforce politeness in the stages leading up to the playdate so that it does not seem like a new concept when it is needed the most.

Timing is everything It may be a good idea to warn your child when the playdate is nearly over. When the time comes to leave, make it a quick goodbye and leave, otherwise you will most certainly have tantrums and tears.




“Hey, Mummy! Is this the annoying lady you told Daddy about?” she says, pointing to my boss. Hands up if you’ve been there and had to hide your face in shame. Kids really do say and do the darnedest things. Here’s a mini list of some of those cringeworthy public moments and how we should aim to deal with them.

She said what?!

Kids are listening, always listening. Their sharp, inquisitive minds are lapping up everything you say and do. So be careful of what you say in front of them, and most importantly, who you speak about in front of them. This is one where prevention is better than cure. Rather avoid gossiping, or even speaking about sensitive adult topics such as finances or health, or other more inappropriate subjects in front of your toddler. The chances of an embarrassing public remark will be so much smaller.

Avoid gossiping or speaking about sensitive adult topics in front of your toddler. While we all painstakingly drill good manners into our toddlers day and night, the fear of impolite behaviour is a constant threat. Like little helicopter mommies, we find ourselves reminding them to greet, thank, or apologise where necessary. Sometimes they drop the ball and the little reminder is all that is needed to keep them in line. Keep in mind kiddies can get grumpier and less likely to remember their manners when they are tired or hungry.


Tiny Temper Tantrum

They call it the Terrible Twos and it can come with many tiny temper tantrums. Some children’s temper tantrums last all the way up to five years old, while other toddlers don’t go through these tantrums at all.

Kids really do say and do the darnedest things. Sometimes these tantrums happen at home and sometimes they can occur in a public setting, which can be extremely embarrassing for any parent. Dealing with this can sometimes be to our detriment, because it may mean leaving a store with half the shopping not done, or ending an outing sooner than was planned. However, it is important to teach your child that these tantrums do have consequences. It is also important to teach your child that tantrums are not the only way to express their feelings, but there are other more appropriate ways to express themselves. For example, you could say, “I know how frustrated or cross you are. It is tough to be tired after such a long day. Mommy gets upset then too! Mommy will help you to rest when we get home.” Just remember that tantrums should never be rewarded. Handing them a treat or toy to get them to behave is a sure path to madness, and possibly bankruptcy.

Have a bite

For the love of all things tiny, has anyone figured out why toddlers like to bite each other? If you’re the mommy of the biter, the first thing you should do is apologise to the victim, and hopefully try to get your little one to do the same. It is important to make him realise that

biting hurts and is not how we should behave. Please don’t demonstrate this by biting your child. So here are a few tips on how you should react to these and other similarly embarrassing incidents. Just don’t walk away and pretend the child doesn’t belong to you, just in case the thought does cross your mind!

Keep calm and carry on

It is important to constantly remind ourselves of where our toddlers are in their emotional and cognitive development. Between the ages of two and five, most children have learnt the use of their language skills, but don’t possess the ability to inhibit what they say: this will only develop in the early school years. Remember that it is natural for small children to speak their minds, ask challenging questions and say embarrassing things. A cool and calm demeanour will go a long way in dealing with what is sure to be the first of many incidents. Don’t add to the panic and mayhem, as this will only make them giggle. Tackle it logically: if he shows you a booger from a freshly picked nose, hand him a tissue.

Have a chat

There’s no shame in accepting the embarrassment and tackling it head on. A simple “Honey, that’s not a nice thing to say. We will talk about this when we get home,” (followed by the infamous mom stare) can hopefully defuse the immediate embarrassment. Some incidents may require a more firm conversation, and an explanation of why this particular behaviour cannot be tolerated. Children feel more empowered when they are aware of a situation. Communication at home is

also important: prepare your kids before putting them in a potentially embarrassing situation. For example, let them know if you are going to a new friend’s house for supper, and ask them not to fuss over the food. I t might also be helpful to have a chat with the new friends to make them aware of the age-appropriate behaviour they can expect from your toddler.

Be consistent

Don’t make promises you’re not willing to follow up on. If repeated behaviour means no screen or device time, or no visits to a favourite play spot, then this consequence needs to be put into place. Don’t allow a habit in one venue and not another. It is difficult for younger kids to distinguish between these different sets of rules and the uncertainty can cause confusion. Public judgment and the presence of other parents with their own parenting styles can sometimes pressure us into not reacting the way we should or usually do. But persevere and you will reap the rewards … eventually.


No, you don’t have to register at a store closest to you or swipe a card when you fill up with petrol. But a nice reward chart to keep track of each day that went by without an incident is a nice visual motivational tool. Be mindful of when you should and shouldn’t reward behaviour. Bad behaviour should never be rewarded, nor should we inculcate an environment where every single good deed means a treat or toy. Always keep their behaviour in perspective. Everything is a learning and growing opportunity. Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favour.



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Ed’s Though




School is a big step for both mommy and baby: the experience is scary and exciting. Learn with your child, so you can both support each other through the process.

Tips to start

your child off on the right foot

at school

GOING TO A NEW SCHOOL IS EXCITING, BUT IT CAN ALSO BE NERVE-WRACKING FOR BOTH PARENTS AND CHILDREN. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND PLAY THERAPIST, DR JO-MARIE BOTHMA SHARES SOME TIPS TO MAKE THE TRANSITION EASIER. There is true magic and excitement about the beginning of almost everything in life. Most memories of your first house, your first car, walking through the doors of your first job, unpacking your clothes in the cupboard at university in your first year and even going back to work after the longer December holidays, are highlighted with exhilaration and anticipation. New beginnings and fresh starts often hold the promise of growth and hope. As parents we should aim for our children to have many happy and wonderful childhood memories of those ‘firsts’ of everything. The first bath, the first spoon of pumpkin, those first steps, and most definitely the first day at school should ideally hold absolute delight or at the very least curious interest into what the future holds.


Here are a few handy guidelines to assist in the process of making that happen when it comes to the first day at school, or even going back to school.

First day at nursery or primary school Talk about it Some children will want to talk endlessly about all there is to talk about their new school. Answer your child’s questions (even if it is for the 100th time!) and keep on explaining until you can see that they feel more at ease. Some children do not talk that much and it would be best then to ask them general and safe questions such as: “What do you think you will enjoy most?” or “What do you want to do after I have picked you up from school?” Remember that the way we talk about our child’s school will shape their view and expectations. Choose your words carefully.

Visit the school before the first day Most schools encourage a visit to the classroom and teacher before the first drop-off day. This helps to curb the nerves (for both the parents and the child!) and allows for the answering of important questions. It is usually also a very relaxed encounter and teachers are less preoccupied, and children can roam around the classroom and school grounds to get a feel for everything. Many children feel excited after this visit and have a better idea of what to expect. It is also a great idea to hand in all those extra school supplies or finalise last minute admin or financial matters so that you can focus on your child on the first day of school. It is very difficult for a little child to cope with their emotions on that first day if the parent is kept busy filling in forms

or talking about logistics while all they want to do is look into your eyes and hold your hand for that last minute encouragement.

Make new friends early Try to take advantage of the longer holiday before the new school year and arrange for a few playdates, or attend a church or sporting activity where your child can meet and even make friends who go to their new school. It is so encouraging to see familiar faces on that first day.

Talk about what you will do first when they wake up and act out how you will say ‘goodbye’. Stock up on school supplies Nothing makes anyone feel more at ease than being prepared. Choose and buy all school clothes and supplies well in advance. Let your child help you to sort them out and pack them carefully. Wear the school clothes and take the new shoes for a walk. Allowing your child to select supplies such as their pencil case or lunchbox might help them to feel more involved, in control, and confident about the matter.

Replicate the first day You might not want to get dressed up in school clothes and drive all the way to school just for fun, but it might be worth it to have a practice run and determine how long the drive to school will take on a weekday. It is also a good idea to mentally rehearse or even role play the first day. Your child can be the teacher and you can be the student. They get to play out the idea of school and deal with emotions that they might not find easy to talk about. Talk about what you will do first when they wake up and act out how you will

say ‘goodbye’. Brainstorm what you think will happen after you leave and tell your child what you will do while they are busy with their first day at school. Make sure that they know you will think of them during the day and try to plan something nurturing when you do pick them up. Taking your child through a mental trial run of their first day will help make the first day of school less daunting.

Take your child to school the first day Taking your child to school on the first day, especially if they are in preprimary or primary school is always a wise decision. Although there might be a lift club or bus arrangement for the remainder of the term, the very first day should be different from the rest and should set the tone that the parent is available.

Be actively involved It is a fact that involved parents have happier children at school. Get to know your child’s friends and the other parents and play an active role at your child’s school. Volunteer where you can and offer your resources where needed to make your child’s school the best learning environment possible.

Check the vitals Sleeping patterns and eating habits can change during an adjustment phase. Ensure you and your child get plenty of sleep in the weeks leading up to the first day of school and especially in the first weeks during the adjustment. Sleep deprivation can adversely affect mood and academic performance. The same can be said for an unhealthy diet. Filling lunchboxes and family dinners with take-away foods or foods low in nutrients is also risky. No one can cope or function at their best if their bodies are running on empty.



Be patient There might be a transition phase in the beginning where your child might not be entirely themselves. This should not last more than a few days or two weeks at most. If signs of stress continue after the initial transition phase it would be best to talk it through with your child’s class teacher. Signs of stress could include your child refusing to go to school, having temper outbursts, emotional meltdowns (out of character), suffering separation anxiety, and changes in sleeping and eating patterns. A few changes here and there can work wonders to target the sources of your child’s discomfort. If you notice signs of distress even after addressing it with the school, it might be a good idea to arrange for a visit with a psychologist or school counsellor.

Preparing to go back to school

You might not think that there’s much you can do to make your older toddler or primary school child feel more prepared or at ease at the beginning of a new school year, at their old school. However, most children experience some form of unpredictability and parents can help to change that sense of unsettledness into a feeling of readiness and stability. Even though you might not need to buy everything from scratch, it is always a good idea to plan and then buy school supplies and extra or bigger school clothes in advance. This does not only apply for the goods that need to go to school, but also for the study environment at home. Maybe your child has outgrown the dining room table as a study place, or younger siblings or even a new baby interfere with focus time. Allow for adequate time before the year kicks off to plan, buy and organise your child’s new learning space that they will be using for the year. Do not wait

until the year has started to try and sort out last year’s old school clothes or dilapidated corner desk.

Children can roam around the classroom and school grounds to get a feel for everything. If your child ended the previous year on a low note, make a list of the contributing factors and try to minimise the potential ongoing impact into the new school year. For instance, it could help to identify a few new friends if your child battled socially the year before. Playdates during the holidays or mindful conversations on how to make and keep friends will help them to go into the new year with more social skills than before. A few sessions with a play therapist or counsellor can also help to identify underlying issues or equip your child with skills to handle bullies or other social troubles better. If your child struggled academically, there’s no harm in meeting with your child’s class teacher a day or two before school starts. It is a wonderful opportunity for your child to see that you and the teacher are planning to work together to address difficulties from the very beginning. Helping your child to set both shortand long-term goals once school has started is also a proactive step. Even young children can learn how daily or weekly planning help to increase productivity and overall enjoyment when working towards achievements. Planning can also help your child to schedule a day or week in a convenient way. It often also lessens anxiety and saves time for more activities inbetween the daily school programme, where families can connect with each other.

If you are not convinced, try a twoweek experiment, where you don’t plan anything during one week and just let things happen and slide. Then use the next week to help your child plan their daily routine in advance, prioritise school projects, sort the whole week’s sporting gear on a Sunday evening and set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier each morning to allow for some relaxed chatting at the breakfast table or a slower drive to school. You will definitely see and feel the difference. Try to add something new to the year in the form of sport, volunteer work or a cultural activity. Children can have a myriad of talents and adding or replacing an extramural activity can sometimes help your child grow and develop in a whole new way.

What to do if the first day didn’t go that well

A little extra TLC might be a great finish to the first day of school irrespective of whether it went well or not. Make it your priority to stay positive. There is nothing that will help your child to maintain a positive attitude toward their school more than your positive attitude.

Wear the school clothes and take the new shoes for a walk. Of course, you should discuss your child’s fears and address their failed expectations, but reassure them that the year will be great and that most children find it a little stressful in the beginning of every year. Nothing is more reassuring to a child than knowing that their parent will be there for them every step of the way.


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Things I wish my father had taught me SOMETIMES THE WAY WE ARE RAISED ISN’T NECESSARILY THE WAY WE WANT TO RAISE OUR KIDS, REFLECTS LISEMA MATSIETSI. I recently received a video via social media that was meant for laughs. In the video, a five-year-old overturns his birthday cake after being angered by one of his family members during the birthday song, while one family member held the camera to capture this special moment. The singing that is. Little did they know what was about to take place. In hindsight, it really was no big deal to the little boy. It was his birthday and he wanted to blow out the candles! One woman, possibly his mother, curbed him from accomplishing this by blocking his mouth for a split second, and so he overturned the cake.

I wished my father had taught me to just be in the moment. I had pins and needles running down my body as I saw this. It made me reflect on what might have gone

wrong. Could it be that the little five-year-old boy needs anger management classes or is this just a typical day in their family’s lives; how the family behaves behind closed doors? We all do and say things we wish not to be known/seen in public, which are only said or done by our kids during family gatherings. I grew up listening to hip-hop and watching nothing but action movies. The TV was constantly running in my house – I called it “my crib” back then. TV dinners, endless visitors, video games, you name it. I was just a little boy and to me, this was absolute bliss. Until I grew up and had kids of my own! You know the phrase “monkey see, monkey do”? It all made sense for me when my house was filled with guests, the TV was constantly running, Xbox was what we reached for as soon as we got back from work/school, and our phones were constantly going off with social media notifications. We were all in the same house, but we weren’t present with each other.

It was during moments like those that I wished my father had taught me to just be in the moment. Forget the TV, don’t invite people over, switch off the games/phones, and just be present with each other. I pondered about changing almost everything I loved in order to raise my kids in an environment much better than the one I grew up in. This was like entertainment fasting for me and it made me a whole new man. We reached an agreement and my wife and I took a life-changing decision regarding how we raise our kids. TV dinners have been replaced by intimate family dinners around our dining table, everyday gaming has been replaced by family board games and tennis practice outside. Daily takeaways changed to meal plans accompanied by weekly grocery shopping. Hip hop music in the car


has now become 101 Dalmatians, and most importantly, the atmosphere at home is completely incredible. We have become better listeners, a much stronger team, and become just about as functional as a welloiled machine can be – considering there’s a one-year-old toddler around the house who won’t take no for an answer. I now cherish slap chips Fridays, family movie nights/days, and video games challenges because they have become a part of our family traditions and not just regular days in our lives. We are unapologetic about our change in lifestyle and we hope that someday our kids will look back with smiles on their faces when they think about their childhood days. I especially hope that they will understand that even though we didn’t give them every single thing they asked for, we were always there and present for them. “You have made it if your kids’ upbringing is better than yours.” – Nas (the rapper). I now understand that this has nothing to do with the gifts we splash out on for our kids, nor the private schools we take them to. It is rather about the quality time you spend with them. This is what I wish my father had taught me. I remember my father bringing home toys for us during December school holidays. We were the first in our village to ride BMX bicycles. We watched a TV powered by a car battery, and it was the size of the modern-day tablet. My oldest brother reminded me recently about how he used to charge 20 cents for his friends to come and watch TV at our home. We were never short of gifts and toys for the December holidays despite our family not celebrating Christmas. It was one of a few times my father came home from the mine, and I guess he brought us joy the only way he knew how – with gifts.

The way we lived then robbed us and our parents of the privilege to be with each other. It sold us on the beauty in buying gifts for family and being the first in the village to have things. Sadly, the ideology still persists to this day, but we are making a conscious effort to change that in our household. I am very grateful that I was able to realise very early on – when I started my family – that the greatest treasure is spending time with your kids.

We have become better listeners, a much stronger team.

The little hide-and-seek games, chasing each other around endlessly, building towers out of toilet paper rolls, and the occasional board games (that I always seem to lose) are what make our house a home. Seeing the kids beaming with smiles and laughter, even through the exhaustion of running around, makes it all so much more worth it. And no, I am not saying I am the perfect father who has it all figured out. The truth is that there are days when we are all really tired from the day’s adventures and cuddles on the couch while watching Barbie for the millionth time is all we can do. And this is okay too, because truly there will always be time to catch up on work and other things, but our little ones won’t stay little forever.




A Beautiful




Step 1: Gather all your supplies . A few paint colours, paintbrush, glue, scissors, googly eyes, paper, and a paper plate.


Step 3: Fold your paper plate in half and then cut it, so that you have two half circles.


Step 5: Cut bunny ears from the other half of the paper plate. Using the paper, cut out smaller bunny ears that will be used for the inside of your bunny’s ears, as well as a small triangle that will be used as the bunny’s nose. Then paint your paper in a different colour to your bunny.


Step 2: Flip your paper plate upside down and paint it with the colour of your choice.


Step 4: Take one half of the paper plate and shape it into a cone.


Step 6: Add the finishing touches. Glue the small bunny ears onto the centre of your big ears and then glue those to the back of your bunny. Stick your nose and googly eyes onto the bunny and draw a little mouth and some whiskers.


Cooking up a storm


Cooking is a life skill that everyone should have. Starting at a young age will help develop a love for this and a foundation to build on. Don’t think that your child is too young to learn – it is never too early to engage with your children in the kitchen. Children learn through using all their senses: touching, tasting, smelling and listening are all involved in cooking. Over the years studies have shown that the best way for children to learn is to simply do. By experiencing and doing they will learn faster and retain more.

Benefits to having your child in the kitchen A picky or hesitant eater is more inclined to eat food that they have prepared rather than food that has been given to them. Unfamiliar food can be daunting, so allowing them to

explore foods through cooking and using their other senses will help them build positive associations with food. There are so many different things that can be taught while cooking, such as maths concepts. Counting, measurement and fractions are easy ones to figure out and use. In fact, maths can be found all over recipes, from adding ingredients to working out how to measure them.

Spend time discussing favourite foods and different ways to cook them. Science is an integral part of cooking and baking. A simple concept that can be taught is how temperatures

affect different food, but there are also concepts such as discussing how food can help to make us healthy versus food that makes us unhealthy. Teaching hygiene in the kitchen is an important part of the experience, so start this young and it will become a habit. And remember that safety comes first. Teach basic safety by showing your child how to hold and manipulate kitchen tools safely, along with oven and stove rules based on their age. Never allow them to remove hot items from the stove without assistance.

Ideal jobs From a young age, children can already help with some simple jobs, and as they get older they can be given more responsibility. Some ways they can help are: stirring pancake batter

MILESTONE S tearing lettuce for salad adding ingredients assembling a pizza helping you ‘read’ a cookbook by turning the pages.

Allow picky eaters to explore foods through cooking. What can you cook? Choosing what to cook should be the easiest part of this activity. There are so many options, from no bake items to food that needs cooking or baking. Spend some time discussing favourite foods and different ways to cook them, and allow your imagination to flow.

Method Heat oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the butter in a bowl and beat it with electric beaters until soft and creamy. Beat in the sugar, then the egg and vanilla, and finally the flour to make a dough. If the dough feels a bit sticky, add a little bit more flour and knead it in. The dough can then be rolled into balls and flattened with a fork or rolled out flat and cut out with cookie cutters. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are just brown, leave to cool for five minutes and enjoy.

Cheesy Straws

Some basic ideas are:


Easy biscuits

1 packet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge (this can be found at most grocery stores) ¾ to 1 cup (185ml-250ml) hard cheese e.g. parmesan or aged cheddar

Ingredients 200g soft unsalted butter 200g castor sugar 1 large egg ½ teaspoon vanilla 400g flour

Method Heat the oven to 180°C.

Line a baking tray with baking or parchment paper. Dust the counter with ¼ cup (60ml) of the cheese (just sprinkle it all over the place). Place one sheet of the puff pastry on the cheese. Top with another ¼ cup (60ml) of the cheese, and roll this out until about 5mm thick. Fold the pastry in half and sprinkle with another ¼ cup (60ml) of cheese, and roll this out again to about 5mm thick. Cut into strips about 6cm wide – you don’t have to be too precise, as this will depend on your preference, but they need to be at least 15cm long. Twist each of these strips of pastry by twisting the opposite ends to give them a spiral look, and place them on the lined paper. Gently press the ends down to make them stick to the paper, as this will stop them from uncurling. Chill for about 10 minutes and then bake for about 15-25 minutes, until crispy and a golden brown. Cool and serve.

Lemon pudding Ingredients 1 tin condensed milk (397g) 250ml fresh cream Lemon juice (this will depend on taste but start with 3 tablespoons) 1 packet of tennis biscuits 1 tablespoon butter

Children learn through using all their senses.

Method Crush the tennis biscuits and mix together with melted butter, press this into a pie dish or similar container, set aside. Whisk the cream until thick, add the condensed milk and stir in the lemon juice, and keep adding lemon juice until you are happy with the taste. Pour into the prepared dish and cool in the fridge. Decorate with fruit, lemon zest or shredded chocolate, or leave it as it is.



My favourite places GUEST EDITOR KWANELE MBOBO TAKES US ON A TOUR OF SOME OF HER FAVOURITE FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACES AROUND DURBAN. Having a toddler is exciting. They are constantly on the go and ready to try out new things. My biggest challenge as a first-time mom was that I didn’t know what a child-friendly place looked like. I constantly gave myself reasons why I couldn’t take my child anywhere, until I found spots in Durban that could be fun and comfortable for me and my baby.

Suncoast Casino Suncoast Casino recently extended its facilities, adding a whole new side that includes a beautiful collection of restaurants that cater to all kinds of tastes, and a mini water park that’s perfect for little ones to splash in while Mom and Dad sort out the food orders. What’s most amazing about this area is how the restaurants are built in such a way that parents have a full view of the mini water park from the tables, which alleviates safety concerns. You can enjoy a meal while watching your toddler splash away in their swimsuit. Suncoast Boulevard, OR Tambo Parade

Spur Steak Ranches I’d be doing you a complete injustice if I didn’t mention Spur. Not only is it a restaurant that I enjoyed most of my childhood birthdays at, it’s one of the few places that publicly promote and support breastfeeding moms. Spur has always been my family’s favourite and seems to be my daughter’s favourite too. Their Play Canyon areas have attendants who will make sure all children are safe and taken care of. Some branches even have screens that show activity at the play area so parents also have a full view of where their children are at all times.

uShaka Marine World uShaka Marine World is one of Durban’s biggest fun stops and another exciting place to take toddlers. My biggest concern with theme parks has always been how big they are and whether my child is safe, but with uShaka, I know the kiddies’ areas are not easily accessible to everyone, and they are small enough to make any parent feel at ease. They offer various kiddies’ activities and even cater for kids at their Wet ‘n Wild areas so your little one can splash away at the slides designed for children six years and under. 1 King Shaka Ave, Point

Mr Funtubbles Gateway Another favourite is Mr Funtubbles. Not only is it filled with all kinds of fun activities, it caters for everyone, regardless of age. There are rides for toddlers, boys and girls, and fun things to do for adults. It is the perfect place to spend time with your kids and do things that you and your children can enjoy together. What I mostly like about Funtubbles is that it is a safe, all-weather environment because it is indoors. So whether it’s raining, hot or snowing, children can still have unlimited fun. Shop E051, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, 1 Palm Blvd, Umhlanga Ridge, Umhlanga

Durban Botanic Gardens For a more intimate outing (as intimate as a toddler can get), I love having a nice picnic at the Botanic Gardens. Not only is it a calm environment to engage your toddler in fun conversations without life’s distractions, it is also an excuse to make fun snacks to pack and enjoy together. What we all can agree on is that toddlers love being busy and involving them in the snack-making process can keep them excited and feeling involved. 9A John Zikhali Rd, Berea


What s Happening in Your city


PlayDate Superpark is

an indoor extreme activity play park and has something to keep the whole family entertained. There are mazes, a high line course and a little city with slides for the little ones to enjoy. Parents can enjoy a bite to eat at the café, which has a variety of delicious light meals to choose from, while their little ones play. There is also a game arena that features air hockey, mini golf, target throwing and racing for those older than 10 years. Cost: 1 hour – R85, 2 hours – R150, all-day pass – R200 When: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 19:00 Where: The Watershed, Jubilee Hall, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Info: Call 067 028 0738, email or visit

Save the Date!

EVENTS MamaMagic Baby Expo Imagine a place where all your parenting dreams come true! It sounds unreal, but with more than 200 exhibitors with the best products and services, fun zones for the kids, a chance to connect with parenting experts, and hundreds of specials on all you need, the MamaMagic Baby Expo is your enchanted world. Children can join in the delight, and marvel at their favourite characters and seeing their much-loved dinosaur, Barney, on stage daily. In the spirit of making parenting dreams come true, one lucky mom-tobe will walk away with a pregnancy starter pack valued at more than R100 000 in the Pampers Premium Care Baby on Board competition. Join us at the MamaMagic Baby Expo, where moms, dads and babies abound, and the imagination knows no end. Where: CTICC When: 30 Oct – 1 Nov Info: Email or visit

MOVIE Sonic the Hedgehog is a beloved video game that

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts in association with Old Mutual will be taking place once again during the sunny season this year. These concerts take place every Sunday and will feature some of South Africa’s hottest music artists, including Micasa, Matthew Mole, Kwesta, Lady Zamar and many others. Bring family and friends, pack a picnic basket (or pre-order five days in advance from the Kirstenbosch Tea Room or Moyo Restaurant Kirstenbosch) and relax on the lawns. There will also be food on sale at the venue. Book your tickets online at Webtickets. Cost: Adults: R220, Youth (age 6 to 21 with ID): R170, children under 6 years do not require a concert ticket. Where: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town When: 24 November 2019 – 5 April 2020, Gates open 16:00, concerts start time varies 17:00/17:15/17:30, concerts end at 19:00 Info: Call 021 799 8783/8620/8773

has been turned into an adventure movie. Sonic is the world’s fastest hedgehog and together with his friend, Tom, they defend the world against evil genius Dr Robotnik, who is set on ruling the world. When: 21 February 2020 Where: A cinema near you

DATE NIGHT IDEA Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia is a beautiful restaurant situated at the top of the Constantia valley. Not only is the food exquisite, but you can also enjoy one of the best views in Cape Town. It’s the perfect place for an outing with your partner. Where: Beau Constantia Wine Estate, Constantia Main Rd When: Reservations can be made by calling between 09:00 and 17:00, Monday – Saturday Info: Call 021 794 8632 ext.1, email or visit

Please note that all details published here are correct at the time of going to print, and are subject to change at the discretion of those responsible for them.

To list your events, classes, venues & restaurants for FREE, please contact



What s Happening in Your city EVENTS

Croc City started out as a simple crocodile farm, but has grown to become a conservatory for South African reptiles. Bring the kids to see snakes, tarantulas, alligators and, of course, crocodiles. Go on daily guided tours of Croc City or watch a crocodile feeding session. There is also a restaurant with a kids’ play area on the premises to keep the children entertained while Mom and Dad indulge in some delicious food. Cost: Adults: R199, Children <1.3m: R99, Children <2: Free Where: Corner of Cedar Road and R114 , Nietgedacht 535, Chartwell When: Monday – Sunday, 09:00 – 16:30 Info: Call 083 321 1016 or 083 657 7561 or visit

Happy Island Waterworld is a fun new waterpark that

the whole family can enjoy. With plenty of fun water slides, a rain forest maze and TWO gigantic wave pools, there is something for everyone at this water amusement park. Take the kids to cool off this summer at the biggest water amusement park in Gauteng. Cost: Adults: R199, Children <1.3m: R99, Children <2: Free Where: 87 Lakeview Drive, Valley Road, Muldersdrift West Rand When: Monday – Sunday, 09:00 until they drop, or 18:00 Info: Call 010 600 3333, email or visit

The Ski Deck in Ferndale is a fantastic venue to host a children’s party. Children can enjoy sitting on a plastic bumboard and riding down a 20m ski slope. There are also trampolines, zip lines and jungle gyms, all in an enclosed garden area, for little ones to play on while parents relax, chat and enjoy the party atmosphere. Where: 74 Bond Street, Ferndale, Randburg When: Monday – Friday: 08:30 – 17:00; Saturday, 08:30 – 13:00 Info: Call 011 781 6528, email or visit

The all-things-water exhibition for the whole family is on at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre until March 2020. The Smithsonian’s H2O TODAY exhibition is full of thrilling, fully interactive exhibitions with a number of world firsts ever for a travelling exhibition. Experience 3-D waterfalls, turtles, whales and crocodiles. Cost: Adults: R60, pensioners/students/children: R40, family ticket: R180 Where: Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Helen Joseph Street, Newtown When: Monday – Sunday Info: Call 011 639 8491/8459/8400 or email

MamaMagic Baby Expo Imagine a place where all your parenting dreams come true! It sounds unreal, but with more than 200 exhibitors with the best products and services, fun zones for the kids, a chance to connect with parenting experts, and hundreds of specials on all you need, the MamaMagic Baby Expo is your enchanted world. Children can join in the delight, and marvel at their favourite characters and seeing their much-loved dinosaur, Barney, on stage daily. In the spirit of making parenting dreams come true, one lucky mom-to-be will walk away with a pregnancy starter pack valued at more than R100 000 in the Pampers Premium Care Baby on Board competition. Join us at the MamaMagic Baby Expo, where moms, dads and babies abound, and the imagination knows no end. When: 28 – 31 May Where: Ticketpro Dome Info: Email or visit for more information.

DATE NIGHT IDEA Kream restaurant is the perfect setting for a romantic night out. Choose from a menu full of delicious modern dishes created to delight your tastebuds. With its romantic atmosphere, it is an ideal place for Mom and Dad to enjoy a quiet night out. Where: Waterfall City, Magwa Crescent, Midrand When: Monday – Saturday: 12:00 – 22:00, Sunday: 12:00 – 21:00 Info: Call 010 591 0023 or visit

Please note that all details published here are correct at the time of going to print, and are subject to change at the discretion of those responsible for them.

To list your events, classes, venues & restaurants for FREE, please contact


VENUES Springside Café

is a beautiful coffee shop that both parents and children will love. Set in the heart of Hillcrest in Durban, this quaint coffee shop is situated in a beautiful and tranquil garden and is perfect for breakfast or a light lunch with the family. When: Monday – Saturday, 07:30 – 16:00 Where: 20 Springside Road, Hillcrest Info: Call 082 749 9045, email or visit

Mini Town

was first established in Durban 1969 and has become one of Durban’s most well-known tourist attractions. Mini Town gives a good impression of some of Durban’s landmarks in a 1:24 scale. Take a walk around Mini Town and see excellent models of some of Durban’s most interesting buildings. One of the most popular features of the layout is a rail network with trains continually on the go. There is also an airport complete with airplanes. The harbour scene is also very realistic and features a tug and ship travelling around the harbour. Cost: Adults: R30, Children (2 -13 years): R20 When: Monday – Sunday: 09:30 – 16:30 Where: 114 Snell Parade Info: Visit

MamaMagic Baby Expo Imagine a place where all your parenting dreams come true! It sounds unreal, but with more than 200 exhibitors with the best products and services, fun zones for the kids, a chance to connect with parenting experts, and hundreds of specials on all you need, the MamaMagic Baby Expo is your enchanted world. You will be filled with awe as you stroll down the many aisles packed with products that promise to bring magic to your parenting journey. Children can join in the delight, and marvel at their favourite characters and seeing their muchloved dinosaur, Barney, on stage daily. In the spirit of making parenting dreams come true, one lucky mom-to-be will walk away with a pregnancy starter pack valued at more than R100 000 in the Pampers Premium Care Baby on Board competition. Join us at the MamaMagic Baby Expo, where moms, dads and babies abound, and the imagination knows no end. When: 28 – 30 August Where: D.E.C. Info: Email

MOVIE Onward is a fantastic animated film suitable for the whole family. Embark on an adventure with the two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who are on a quest to find out if there is still magic left in the world. Armed with a magic staff that their father left for them, the pair of teenagers set off on an extraordinary journey. When: 6 March 2020 Where: A cinema near you

DATE NIGHT IDEA uShaka Marine World has something special for date night. The After-Dark experience allows couples to visit Africa’s largest aquarium at night. Take a romantic stroll through the viewing galleries that were designed to look like old shipwrecks, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea creatures swimming about. Make sure to call to see if this is available for the night chosen. Cost: Adults: R55, Children: R39 When: Monday – Sunday, 16:30 – 20:00 (provided there is no function on) Where: 1 King Shaka Avenue Info: Call 031 328 8000

Please note that all details published here are correct at the time of going to print, and are subject to change at the discretion of those responsible for them.

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Raising a child


WE ALL INSTINCTIVELY KNOW THAT SINGLE PARENTING IS HARD, BUT UNLESS YOU’VE DONE IT YOURSELF, YOU DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND, WRITES GUEST EDITOR KWANELE MBOBO. Single parenting has been a journey for me, a rollercoaster of emotions and many firsts for both baby and myself. Until I became a mother myself, I never really knew what being a single mother actually meant. Yes, I knew a few of them, I’ve known children raised by them, and admired them, but in reality, what we imagine doesn’t even begin to explain raising a child as a single parent and what it’s actually like. When we think about the challenges faced by single mothers, we think finances and the fact that one is actually raising a child alone in its entirety (which is a real challenge). However, what I’ve faced as a 25-year-old single mother raising a child, isn’t quite what I expected.


My daughter’s temperature was 38°C, so I called our doctor and he told us to rush to the ER. I quickly packed essentials and headed for the hospital. While she was being attended to, I was dealing with paperwork. Once that was done and it was back to the ER, I found myself sitting down, looking at my daughter and I was overcome with a sudden heavy feeling of loneliness. The room felt so big and my daughter and I, so small. I realised that maybe, just maybe, sharing this moment with someone else would’ve made this situation a tiny bit more bearable. The loneliness doesn’t come from not having support, because I have an amazing family that’s always there for me. It comes from those little moments where I look around and it’s just my child and me, which was never the future I imagined.

It’s scary Do I hire a nanny or take her to a daycare? What if she misbehaves? What if she has an illness and I cannot handle it? What if I’m a bad mother? How will I afford it? These are all questions I ask myself and need to come up with an answer to. You have a whole human to grow, teach and mentor – nothing could be scarier. More so if no one is there to make mistakes and learn with you. As a single mother you feel so much pressure to be better at parenting because you feel guilty for not being able to provide a home for your child that has both parents, even though you know in your heart that it’s for the best. The fear of failing is inevitable.

Dating As much as I wouldn’t trade my little girl for anything, just between you and me, a small voice in my head sometimes wonders how a potential partner will take the news that I’m a mom. Many women go through this challenge and thought process but don’t share it due to the fear that they will be perceived as ashamed of being mothers, which couldn’t be further from the truth. When a woman shares this challenge with me I always say to them, “If his/her perception of you changes after finding out you have a child, he/she wasn’t the one to begin with.”

THE WINS Everything has its upsides, especially being a parent. Even though it has its challenges, it’s the most rewarding job anyone could ever have.

Strong Bond The fact that it’s just the two of us means

we have time to develop a strong bond that isn’t shared with anyone else. My daughter’s love is only for me and mine only for her. I love having ‘mommy moments’, waking up to my child’s smiles and being the main person she relies on.

I make the decisions Sometimes parents have different parenting styles, which causes a lot of conflict and requires compromise to solve. This problem is eliminated when you’re the only one deciding on how you want your child to be raised. I get to decide what languages I want my child to speak, how she is spoken to, what method of discipline I use, etc. This is thrilling.

Role model By being the only parent there, you are able to model good behaviour, and teach your child that you can overcome any challenges. From a young age, this will teach them responsibility and that it is possible to live and thrive on one’s own. Without another parent in the picture, I get to be the only role model in the early years of my child’s life, thus having the unique opportunity to role model strong, ethical behaviour. Despite the challenges, single motherhood has undoubtedly been the best part of my life. Guest editor Kwanele Mbobo blogs at Xhosa Mom Unplugged (xhosamomunplugged. about being a single mom, pregnancy, children, culture, wellness for moms (both mental and physical) and all things parenting related.

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car seat

The ultimate transporter with forward facing group 1 ISOFIX install 11 stoeltjie. 4 fases. jaar. seat. 4 stages. 1212 years. • Group 0+/1/2/3 car seat • Suitable rearward facing (birth to 18kg/4 yrs) • Suitable forward facing (9kg to 36kg/12 yrs) • Side impact protection provides added security for the head, body and hips • AutoAdjust™ side wings widen as headrest is raised to accommodate growing children • One-hand, 10 position height adjustable headrest • Grow Together™ multi-height headrest and harness system adjusts simultaneously and requires no re-threading of harness • ISOSAFE connectors keep seat positioned in vehicle for group 2/3

easy installation using ISOFIX

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Share the joy at Stockists South Africa: Baby City, Babies “R” Us @ Toys “R” Us Stockists Namibia: The Baby Company Superstore Windhoek Trade Enquiries: Bambino International (Pty) Ltd. • 031 205 8309


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