MamaMagic Milestones Issue 25

Page 1

Potty Training


Is my Breastfed Baby Getting Enough Milk? Meet our

Guest Editor Mari-Louise Candiotes


“ Working from home? ”

exercise for preggy moms Managing your family’s Covid-19 anxiety FREE ISSUE 25

In association with

New Dates

30 July - 2 August

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Everything you need for your parenting journey.


TODDLER THE BENEFITS OF SPORTS Sports can help boost your child’s self-esteem.


TAMING TODDLER TANTRUMS How to deal with your toddler’s outbursts.


POTTY TRAINING 101 A complete guide to potty training your tot.


6 THINGS MY TODDLER TAUGHT ME DURING THE CORONA VIRUS Stay active, maintain routines... are a few lessons my toddler taught me.


F A M I LY A N T E N ATA L 1 0 1 MIND THE GAP BEGIN LET THE GAMES Jugglingfun thebaby diverse needs of children Simple, shower games to play.of different ages. WHAT TO EXPECT FROM BABY’S FUN FAMILY FIRST TESTS ACTIVITIES Activities during From eye that testsconnect to heartfamilies tests, what are the lockdown. first tests that my newborn will have?

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WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT LOCAL? BEGINNERS GUIDE TO EXERCISING How doesPREGNANCY buying local impact you? DURING What exercises should preggy moms do and what to avoid.

64 26

IN THE SPOTLIGHT MANAGING ANXIETY DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS Coping mechanisms to help your kids handle this stressful period.


SURVIVING WORKING FROM HOME Parent-tested tips for working at home with kids.


PARENTING IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE How has social media changed your parenting style?


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BA BY BEST WAYS OF ADAPTING TO YOUR 33 NEWBORN Breathing strategies and other ways of coping with having a new baby in the house. SHOULD YOU LEAVE YOUR BABY “TO CRY IT OUT?” Does self-soothing really work?


CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? What hearing milestones can you expect in your baby’s first year of life?


BABY IT’S GETTING COLDER OUTSIDE Tips to prepare your baby for winter.









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ACTIVITY Create a pasta necklace.


MOMS IN BUSINESS Successful working moms share their secrets.


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





TODDLER THE BENEFITS OF SPORTS Sports can help boost your child’s self-esteem.


TAMING TODDLER TANTRUMS How to deal with your toddler’s outbursts.


POTTY TRAINING 101 A complete guide to potty training your tot.


6 THINGS MY TODDLER TAUGHT ME DURING THE CORONA VIRUS Stay active, maintain routines... are a few lessons my toddler taught me.


F A M I LY MIND THE GAP Juggling the diverse needs of children of different ages.


FUN FAMILY ACTIVITIES Activities that connect families during the lockdown.


WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT LOCAL? How does buying local impact you?








18,32 46,58



ACTIVITY Create a pasta necklace.


MOMS IN BUSINESS Successful working moms share their secrets.


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




A P R I L – JU LY 2 0 2 0

Editor s Letter Moms and dads, we salute you!

Who would ever have imagined that we would be in ‘lockdown’ as a country and the world over! We have to keep pinching ourselves to believe it, and every morning as we rise, the reality settles in again. As crazy as these times get in our efforts to keep our little ones busy, it is this shared journey that brings us together and makes us stronger. I have seen the most remarkable soldiers among our parenting community, the brightest troopers, despite the challenges, making each day count. I am so glad to have Mari-Louise Candiotes from @justamamma, as guest editor to share her journey with us through this issue: with three little girls, she shows us how to keep it real, cherish the priceless moments, and reminds us that life is even more rewarding when you embrace being ‘just a mamma’. Stay safe, stay strong!

Follow me on



Aim for great, not perfect

I always knew I wanted to be a mom and I dreamt about having a big family. I, however, didn’t give much thought to the details and falling pregnant with our first was the most amazing surprise. Keeping active and doing some of the exercises as mentioned in the exercise and pregnancy article on page 26 made carrying our girls and the 25kg extra far easier. I do however wish I had known more about newborn life and what to expect. The pieces on adapting to your newborn on page 33 and newborn tests on page 24 would have given me a better understanding and peace of mind during those early days. Something I did learn very early on, and a final thought I’d like to leave with you is an affirmation I regularly repeat to myself: “ There is no one way to be a perfect mom, but you’ll find a million ways to be a great one.” That’s exactly why I love blogs and publications just like MamaMagic Milestone, filled with so many helpful topics for every stage of parenting. The taming toddler tantrums on page 50 will be going straight onto our refrigerator for everyone’s benefit. Just remember to be confident in your parenting style and abilities: your children are yours for a reason.

Mari-Louise Candiotes Blog: Follow me on

@justamammablog @justamamma @justamamma


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, Donna Bland, Kerry McArthur, Marjolein Vosloo, Michelle Nortje, Potso Mpandawana, Priyanka Naidoo, Puseletso Tsotetsi, ,Yashmitha Padayachee, Tami-Jade de la Guerre, Mari-Louise Candiotes & Tennille Aron.

Meet the Cover Star Syla Rain Hammes was born on 26 April 2019 and her name means ‘heavenly’. She lives with both her parents and older brother in KwaZulu-Natal. Syla Rain is a breath of fresh air, her smile lights up a room and her infectious laugh keeps you coming back for more. Syla loves to dance, swim, get dirty and has a favourite soft toy called Kiwi. She absolutely adores her brother, who can be a little on the rough side, but don’t let this sweet face fool you: she is a tough little one and stands her ground. Independent, cheeky and downright lovable are just a few traits this little girl portrays. Known as ‘Syla the smiler’, she’s the apple of her father’s eye, the partner in crime to her big brother and the best friend to her mommy. 1694528

Cover star: Syla Rain Hammes Photographer: Chantelle Marais Photography Clothes: Model’s own

Chantelle Marais Photography I’m Chantelle from Chantelle Marais Photography, a wife, and mother to two beautiful children aged four and seven. I have a home-based studio in Amanzimtoti, Durban, and specialise in newborn and baby photography. As a little girl, one of my fondest memories was looking through the large stacks of photo albums my mother kept. These images not only documented our existence and milestones, but something much deeper. After my daughter was born I became a fulltime photographer, because I knew right away that I wanted to create these amazing and precious memories for new families. In the last few years I have received many accolades for my images, and in 2019 I won the Admired in Africa award for Newborn Photographer of the Year.

PHOTO CREDITS Chantelle Marais Photography, Shutterstock, Supplied. MamaMagic Milestones is published by Exposure Marketing. 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. 076 184 2426

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Introducing the 2019 MamaMagic Product Awards Winners! Parents and parenting experts spent hours judging parenting products from around the country and these are the products that have outshone the rest! We are sure you’ll love them as much as they did!

National Winner & Safety Winner

MiniKit by Dr Carmen This on-the-go first aid kit for parents and caregivers has been designed and created by a mom-doc with years of accident and emergency experience. Each kit contains a range of thoughtfully selected items geared towards common childhood injuries.

RRP: R395


Category Winners Baby Essentials Winner Angelcare Mini Bath Support

provides optimal support, comfort and safety when bathing your baby.

RRP: R399.99


Mom’s Essentials Winner BiddyKins Backpack Nappy Bag

Superior quality ‘backpack’ style nappy bag.

RRP: R450.00


Travel Winner

Maxi-Cosi Jade Carrycot

Sleep, slide and go – The Jade. The healthy carrycot for safe and cosy journeys.

RRP: R4 750.99


Feeding Winner

Tommee Tippee Super Cup

is the world’s first toddler– proof cup. It is an open top cup that won’t knock over.

RRP: R149.99 – R169.99


Parents’ Choice Winners Parent’s Choice Mom’s Essentials Winner MamaMoo Maxima Breast Pump Hands-free silicone breastpump that makes pumping milk affordable, effortless, pain-free and hands-free.

RRP: R295.00

Parent’s Choice Feeding Winner 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 Baby Essentials Winner

Parent’s Choice Baby Essentials Winner

Training Pants by Mom & Bab

Tommee Tippee Breastlike Soother

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

RRP: R499.00(Pack of 3) Visit

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

RRP: R139.99 (Pack of 2)


Parent’s Choice Play Winner Tiny Love 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


Parent’s Choice Parent’s Choice Mom’s Essentials Winner

MamaMoo Maxima Breast Pump Safety Winner

Hands-free silicone breastpump that makes pumping milk affordable, effortless, pain-free and BabyWombWorld Jumper hands-free. Baby 3-in-1 Infrared Ear and

Parent’s Choice Travel Winner

RRP: R295.00 Forehead Thermometer

BabyWombWorld Compact Travel Baby Stroller and Toddler Pram The most compact and versatile baby stroller you will find.

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

RRP: R595.00


RRP: R2 995.00


Parent’s Choice Play Winner 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

Parent’s Choice Nursery Winner 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.

Parent’s Choice Nursery Winner 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


RRP: 4299.99

Visit * RRP - Recommended Retail Price


Helping children cope with anxiety DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS WHILE YOU’RE STRUGGLING TO WORK FROM HOME AND KEEP YOUR FINANCES AFLOAT, DON’T FORGET THAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE ANXIOUS TOO. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST MICHELLE NORTJE HAS SOME TIPS TO HELP THEM COPE. The current global pandemic has had a huge impact on how our families and societies function. There have been multiple changes in how we experience our social, schooling, working and travelling experiences. The nationwide lockdown has led to a loss of normal routines in meeting with loved ones, going to school, working with colleagues and enjoying holiday times. These numerous adjustments most certainly have emotional repercussions as well, for both parents and children. It is important to prioritise and protect our mental health during such

uncertain times. Here are a few ways to help children cope with anxieties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. Help explain terminology around Covid-19

Children will overhear our adult conversations about the pandemic, or will hear snippets on the news. It is important that they understand what some of these big words and descriptions mean. Try to give your child an age-

appropriate explanation of what a virus is and how to keep safe. For example, you may tell the child that a virus is something that can make us feel sick, but is so tiny we cannot see it. We need to wash our hands often to make sure we can stay healthy.

2. Explain the importance of handwashing

The current focus on hygiene can be used as a helpful opportunity to teach children about how to wash their hands thoroughly. Often children want to rush through this so that they can get back to playing or eating. It


is important to show and model for children how to wash their hands properly, making lots of foam and getting into all the grooves.

3. Limit social media and news access for children and teens

Limit the amount of news your child is able to access about the virus on social media or the television. There is a lot of false news circulating about the pandemic that only serves to worsen our experiences of panic. Instead, focus on only getting updates from reputable and scientific sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and factchecking other information that may be shared with you before sharing this with your children.

4. Set up a new routine and schedule

Children thrive in structured and safe environments. They are used to the structure of their school day, divided up into periods by the sound of the school bell. Creating a new routine is helpful for both you and your children. Feeling in control of one’s daily actions can build up a sense of empowerment. For example, it is still important to go to bed and wake up at the same time even though children don’t have to be at school at a certain time. Sleep routines can easily be thrown out amidst anxious feelings, and poor-quality sleep exacerbates a low or anxious mood.

5. Have fun

Amidst all the anxiety-provoking news and reports, changes to routines and lockdown protocols, we also need to create some balance for ourselves and our children. We can still try to make time for light-hearted activities. Children learn through play, and also

use play as a space to make sense of and process their tricky feelings. Play board games, play in the garden if you have one, build puzzles, read books, draw pictures, have movie nights, involve children in cooking simple meals, build Lego, do jumping jacks…

6. Take a time out

Some parents may be trying to juggle working remotely from home while still maintaining their household chores and caring for their children’s educational and play needs. This can be an overwhelming and exhausting task.

It is important to prioritise and protect our mental health during uncertain times. If you have other family members living with you, it can be helpful to take turns to care for the children while the other gets some work done. It is also important to be realistic about productivity over this period where it may not actually be possible to get everything done!

7. Use technology to connect

For those of us who are fortunate enough to have access to internet and technology, this can be used as a way for children to still feel connected to those they care about. There are many video apps available for children to connect and chat with their school classmates and their other family members. This is important to manage feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially for those who may not have siblings.

8. Reflect and normalise your child’s feelings

If we can name the feeling for our child, they are more able to manage it. Labelling and acknowledging your child’s emotional states can allow them to feel more in control of their experiences, rather than feeling like their emotions are controlling them. By validating your child’s worries or concerns they are also more likely to talk to you about them and receive the comfort and reassurance when they need it. If they do not have this space to make sense of their feelings, they may be more likely to act out their anxieties in other behaviours (tantrums, neediness, wetting the bed, etc.).

9. Gratitude

Many of the things on this list of tips assumes one has access to technology, and a home to retreat to in such a time of unsafety and worries about our health. Many people in our communities do not have running water to wash their hands, or they do not have spare change to buy their children art supplies and puzzles to stay busy.

If we can name the feeling for our child, they are more able to manage it. A positive psychology tool we can use to help manage our worries is a gratitude journal. Each day sit together as a family and share two or three things each family member is grateful for. This can help children focus on those things around them that they value and love. Compassion, kindness, appreciation, patience and empathy can be very healing in the face of illness, worry and loneliness.



Kids at home but you’re trying to get work done?

MANY ARE FINDING THAT WORKING FROM HOME ISN’T AS MUCH FUN AS THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE – ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE KIDS. DR LAURA MARKHAM HAS SOME IDEAS TO MAKE IT A LITTLE LESS CRAZY. Kids shrieking, whining, interrupting your Zoom meeting to ask if you’ll wipe their bottoms. If you’re trying to work at home with kids off school because of the coronavirus pandemic, you’ve already discovered that begging and even threatening kids to be quiet doesn’t work. What does? Meet your child’s developmentally appropriate needs for connection before you ask them to play independently. Stock up on interesting activities. Be realistic about how much supervision they need. And have a backup plan to handle

emergency bathroom calls before you go into your Zoom meeting. Some top parent-tested tips:

1. Trade off shifts if you have more than one adult home

If you’re lucky enough to have two adults at home, trade off so that each of you gets some time to concentrate, so you can get your most important (or interactive) work

done. Save routine work that can be interrupted for those times when you’re on duty. That might mean one of you gets up earlier to concentrate, and the other stays up later in the evening. When you do need quiet, be sure to communicate that in advance to your parenting partner, so they don’t initiate a game of roughhousing just when you’re starting your conference call.

Retraining kids to play independently can take some time.


2. Fill your child’s cup before trying to work

Give them some attention first – but still don’t expect that you’ll be able to work for long periods. During the times of the day when you’re “on duty” with your child, expect to interact. Children who are home without their usual routines and friends will need help from adults to structure their time. But if you make it a point to fill your child’s cup with connection, and then get them busy doing something they love, you’ll find that you can gradually stretch out the length of independent play times. Just expect that most of your work will get done after young children are in bed.

3. Be clear about expectations with your workplace

If you’re expected to do professional work from home, stay in touch with your boss about how and when you expect to get things done. Your boss knows that you and everyone else now has kids to deal with and will cut you

some slack, especially if you answer communications in a timely way AND set reasonable expectations about when you will get to things that are asked of you. Reduce your own stress level by not over-promising.

4. Make sensory bags and boxes

I highly recommend working in advance to make sensory bags and boxes to keep your child busy while you’re tending to a new baby. They’re also invaluable for short periods of time when you absolutely need your child to let you focus on work. You can find lots of suggestions online to make simple sensory bags or boxes for kids of all ages. For toddlers, use lots of duct tape!

5. Facilitate independent play

Most of our children don’t know how to play independently, because their lives are so structured and they’re addicted to screens to manage free time. But there’s another reason. Since they were babies, we’ve interrupted

Reduce your own stress level by not overpromising.

their play. (Think about how we grab the rattle away from a happily playing baby and shake it in her face to show her how to do it!) So retraining kids to play independently can take some time. But there things you can do to encourage it. Here’s one of my top tips. Every day before you need to work and your child will have some “free play” time, set aside 10 minutes to admire your child as you watch them play. That’s right: ADMIRE. Set a timer. Say ”Soon we will have free play time, while you play whatever you want and I do a little work. But before we do that, let’s take 10 minutes so I can watch you play. I LOVE to watch you play.” Then, turn off your phone. Get other children busy with something else. Sit and admire your child while he or she plays. Consciously pour your loving attention into your child. Comment so your child knows that you’re really present, but resist judging, teaching, or making suggestions. Instead describe: ”You’re adding a bridge to your train track,” and empathise with your child’s excitement: ”That engine is going so fast!” Your admiration is filling your child’s cup, but you’re also validating your child’s play as something that your child knows how to do, that is of value. Over time, your child will begin to pursue deeper play.

6. Use screens reasonably

I am not a fan of screen time for children. But this is an unprecedented and highly stressful moment, and I don’t think any parent needs to feel guilty right now about using screen time as a babysitter. What better use is there? So relax your standards and don’t feel guilty for a moment. That said, to keep screens from taking over your child’s life, try making a schedule that includes specific times when screens can be used (Clue: When you need to get on the phone for work!)



And do put some energy into helping your child use screens in ways that will inspire the mind, replenish the spirit and combat isolation. Why not set your child up online to: Read a book to Grandma. (She can babysit from afar!) Have a playdate with a friend. (They can chat while they do art together. Older kids can play chess with each other.) Take a virtual tour of a national park or art museum. Start an online book club. (This will take some supervision from you but is great to help children connect with friends and feel less isolated.) Play fun online math games or do some other educational app. Learn to draw with a drawing app. You get the idea. There are so many possibilities. It’s worth investing a little time up front to buy yourself time the next day.

7. Coach your child – and give them something to look forward to

If there’s no other adult present and you need to hop on a call for a minute, set your child up with an activity. Set a timer next to them and show them that until the timer beeps you will be on the call. Tell them that if they have an emergency, they can stand in the doorway of your office and wave, and you will help them. Then, review various problems they might have. How can they solve each problem themselves? Which ones count as emergencies? Promise them that AFTER the timer goes off, you will do something fun together. After your call, lavish attention on your child. Tell them how impressed you are that they were able to use their inner strength to solve their own

problems and not interrupt you during that critical work time. Then, get them laughing and do something fun and active together. It takes hard work for your child not to interrupt you, and you need to make that work worth it for them. Keep the times short at first and don’t expect that things will always go smoothly. You almost certainly will need to hop off calls sometimes, so warn your colleagues in advance. But every time you and your child are able to pull this off, your child is building inner resources and self-discipline. Soon, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done, even with your child nearby. And you’ll notice that your child is developing the ability to focus deeply as well.

Children who are home without their usual routines will need help to structure their time. Most important of all? Your attitude. Give yourself some grace and don’t expect to be working at your usual capacity. Years from now, when your child looks back, they won’t be thinking about your conference call. They’ll be remembering how close they felt to you during this difficult time.

MOM’S FAVOURITES Guest editor Mari-Louise Candiotes takes us through the top five things that make her parenting journey easier.

Mama Noo nursing bra and maternity underwear A woman should always be wearing pretty underwear, just for herself! And even more so while carrying, feeding and caring for her babies.

Hansel & Gretel Leather Diaper Backpack When you’re a mama of more than one, you need to have your hands free and these stunning leather diaper backpacks are the best! Stylish, comfortable, durable and with so many pockets and space to fit everything you need.

Yummy Maternity capsule wardrobe I wore my Yummy Maternity garments during pregnancy, after birth and they are still my favourite leggings. You won’t find softer fabrics or more versatility - a must in every mama’s closet.

Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast pump Being a working mom of three meant I had to spend time away from my babies. This breast pump helped me build a massive milk stash in no time.

Instax Portable Printer An odd choice to some, but definitely a must in our home. I use our Instax SP 3 printer weekly, printing all the precious memories captured on our phones. These squares are probably my favourite treasures and the easiest way to document our girls’ growing up.

Parenting in the





The world that we are parenting in is very different to when we grew up. Our parents had to take photos and wait to print them, they needed to write journals and complete baby books. In today’s parenting world, everything is instant, but it has had a global effect. What we put out there cannot be taken down, parents are influenced by trends and environment, advice is taken from online forums, Facebook and Google instead of the aunts and grannies. Communication has changed enormously. How we get and consume the news is significantly different, and sharing information with friends and family is easier, but not without danger. How do we traverse this minefield of social media while keeping both ourselves and our children safe?

You are creating a digital history for a human being that will follow him or her for the rest of their life. Children’s verbal and physical development have decreased over the last few decades, largely attributed to the increase in children using screens as playtime instead of being outside, climbing, running and problem solving. Social relationships are not being formed and interpersonal communication has all but ceased in the face of social media. When last did you write a letter or pick up the phone instead of sending a text message or writing on someone’s timeline?

A child’s brain is still developing and is malleable, and with every new notification or distraction, attention gets divided. Attention is critical to creativity; it keeps their little minds focused, which helps with problem solving and engagement. In a 2010 survey of children in the US, it was found that 90% of children have an online presence by the time they are two. This is purely from parents sharing their lives – a phenomenon known as “sharenting”. “First, you are creating a digital history for a human being that will follow him or her for the rest of their life. What kind of footprint do you want to start for your child, and what will they think about the information you’ve uploaded in future?” – AVG technologies, published on Business Wire on 6 October 2010. It’s certainly an important question to consider.

How has it changed our parenting? We stop and think, but not in a good way. Instead of enjoying their first word or the first time your son runs a race, you stop and wonder if this is Facebook-worthy, or if you can you fit it into a TikTok video. We don’t just enjoy for the sake of it anymore. We’re constantly seeking social gratification for precious moments that don’t require it. In that small moment of reaching for your phone you can miss an important step in your child’s development. We constantly compare. Thanks to social media we are constantly seeing what your sister, cousin or friends are up to, what their children are achieving, who is speaking, singing or dancing first. You can’t get away from

it. Whenever you open your phone it is there, taunting you. It steals our time. Have you noticed how many times you pick your phone up? Have you logged the number of hours you spend scrolling through social media, blogs or status updates? It’s an endless pit. Keeping a track of your social media use will surprise you to see exactly how much time you’re spending scrolling mindlessly versus what you could be spending your time on. Balance is key here. It doesn’t mean you have to give it up cold turkey, just manage your time and invest more time in your children! Bragging and oversharing becomes our habit. Nowadays, all our moments whether private or not, land up on social media sites. We are all proud of our children and we want people to know it, but moderation is key. There is a fine line between pride and egotism. There’s a fine line, and in return our children could become hungry for fame, gratification and social praise – they want to see themselves, what we say about them and how many likes they have received. Through social media we are losing the art of communication and relationship building. We are forgetting to spend time in the moment instead of being behind our phones, but it’s not all bad. We have connected with more friends and family than was thought possible. People who wouldn’t have otherwise communicated after losing touch have suddenly become closer, we can share our lives with them without waiting for family reunions. Information is at our fingertips. Connections are easier and plans can be made instantly.


Tips for safe and general use

Understand all the applications that your children use. There are a myriad of apps available, so make sure that you have installed them yourself and you understand all the nuances of the app before allowing your child to play on them. Set rules for screen time. It is recommended that children aged from two to five are limited to one hour per day (TV, cell phones and tablets combined). Make sure that all your social media has good privacy settings, set up a fake profile that you do not connect to and use this to test your active profile as often as possible to ensure that your

photos and updates cannot be seen. Be a good role model: if you are on your phone all evening, don’t expect your child to do anything different. Screen time does not equal alone time. Engage with your child by playing with them, encourage them to share this time with you, and show an interest in what they are doing, as this will alert you to anything you need to be concerned about. Create tech free zones, keeping mealtimes and bedrooms free of technology. Switch off the TV during family time and encourage face to face time. Build relationships and talk to one another. Remove geotags (location) from

your photos. This will avoid anyone being able to track you via your posts. Avoid the names of your children and posting pictures of them in their school uniforms or against any recognisable landmarks.

How do we traverse this minefield of social media? The basic rule of thumb is to assume that with everything you post there is an element of risk. Treat every interaction as if you were walking through sand – you leave a footprint and an echo of who you are and where you have been.


MAGIC MOMENTS “ Pregnancy announcements.”

Mari Botha

Shikara Ramdas David

Kayla van den B er


Yolandi Joubert



Let the games begin! Simple, fun baby shower games to play BABY SHOWERS TAKE MANY DIFFERENT FORMS, AND A GAME OR TWO ALWAYS MAKES THE OCCASION MEMORABLE. YASHMITHA PADAYACHEE SHARES HER IDEAS OF THE BEST GAMES TO PLAY AT A BABY SHOWER. The principle behind baby showers has been around for thousands of years. Women from a particular village or community would come together to offer advice, support and gifts in celebration of the anticipated arrival, and the revolution of a woman into a mother. These celebrations can be noted throughout history and civilisations, from ancient India through to the Victorian era. The baby shower as we know it first reared its pretty little head in the late 1940s and ’50s, shortly after WWII, when the “Baby Boomer” generation set in. Modern baby showers have morphed into a relatively big deal, and planning the perfect baby shower can be a pretty daunting task. They can range from simple at home do’s with friends and family, to epic, show-stopping, wedding equivalent affairs that are catered and themed. Traditional baby-fixated fun and games have remained an essential part of the proceedings. In the never-ending sea of online information, here is a concise and helpful list of games you can consider including if you are hosting a baby shower.



You do what with it!? You will need A few confusing baby products or gadgets. How to play Guests are asked to guess what each product is, and what it is used for. Winner The most correct answers.

Guess the baby You will need A cork or message board and drawing pins; string and tiny pegs can be used as an alternate. Pen and paper for guests. Preparation Arrange for each attendee to bring along a baby photo of theirs.

How to play Number the photographs and make note of which photo belongs to which guest, before pinning them up. Ask guests to have a look at all photos and guess who they belong to. Winner The most correct answers.

Ice Ice Baby You will need Small plastic babies, available from most party shops. Ice cube tray.

Sweets in a bottle You will need A large plastic baby bottle or glass jar with a lid. Lots and lots of sweets. Jelly Babies, Milk Bottles, Dummies, etc.

Preparation Place a baby in each space of the ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze. How to play After all the guests arrive add an ice cube baby to each drink and hand them out at the same time. Winner The baby that is ‘born’ (defrosts) first.

Preparation Fill the bottle with sweets, but keep count!

Baby love Songs

How to play Guests are asked to guess the number of sweets in the jar. Winner The correct answer, or whoever is closest, wins the jar.

You will need Pen and paper for guests.

The price is right You will need An assortment of baby products ranging from toiletries to clothes and even equipment. This can be part of your gift, borrowed or from the expecting mom’s stock-pile of items. Pens and paper for guests to write on. Small cards for you to write down the possible prices of items. Preparation Arrange and number a few items. Write out the prices of the items but place them randomly off to the side. How to play Guests have to try and guess what each item costs. Winner The most correct answers Variation - You could just have a list of items, but a visual display is more interactive and fun.

Top tip Decide well in advance if you will be giving out prizes and keep a few extra handy just in case. Prize ideas can include lip balms or hand creams and gourmet sweets or snacks.

Preparation None How to play Ask guests to write down as many songs with the word ‘baby’ in the title, within a time limit. Winner The most correct answers. Variation - Guests can be asked to list nursery rhymes instead.


It’s all fun and games until it’s not

Some games just aren’t as fun as they promise to be and some can even border on gross and even insensitive. Be mindful of how a game could be received by the parents-to-be as well as the guests. If it isn’t fun, what’s the point? Some games that may have outlived their fun factor include: Guess the candy bar/baby food – melted baby food or chocolate in diapers. Funny maybe, but also gross. The ‘Tummy Measure Game’ – guys, I think she knows she’s big right now. Anything wasteful – keep things ecofriendly and avoid games that create waste of single use items such as emptying out a pack of wet-wipes or popping balloons.

Top tip Purchase a small or medium-sized notebook and pass it around for guests to write down well-wishes, hopes, dreams and valuable advice to Mom, Dad and the little one. Guests without children can share what they most admired about their parents.

Who’s your daddy

Gone are the days where baby showers are strictly for moms and their female friends. Co-ed parties that include Dad and some of his ‘bros’ are part of the modern movement. Keep in mind that co-ed parties may take on more of a ‘family social’ vibe and might not be the best setting for an overkill of baby hysteria games. Here are a few games that can make our male counterparts feel a little more included. Diaper change race – get dads to race against each other while changing a nappy on a doll or teddy. Milk chugging – half fill some baby bottles with milk or juice and get dads to chug it. (Hard to do through a tiny teat.) Bath-tub bounce – Sort of like beer pong, but ping pong balls into a baby bath-tub. Baby shark – No, you do not have to sing or listen to the song. Think tossing peanuts into someone’s mouth, but with gummy sharks or other sweets. Name that nursery rhyme – recite a line of a rhyme and have guests guess the title.

Top tip Have a couple of ‘less’ active games on stand-by, in case the crowd isn’t exactly what you expected. Baby shower bingo and crossword templates are easily downloadable and printable. A baby shower is meant to be both fun and functional. Babies need a lot of love, but they also need a lot of things. You can help the new parents along by asking guests to bring along a pack of diapers or some wipes to help them on their way. There is always the desire to outdo a previous party or be entirely unique with the programme, but at the end of it all, the point of the baby shower is to show support to the expecting couple and literally shower the parents-to-be with love affection, attention and gifts that will come in handy once the little bundle has arrived. You know the mom well enough to deliver a shower that will make her feel loved and have your guests leaving satisfied and happy.


ASK THE EXPERTS – Sponsored Editorial

IS my breastfed baby

getting enough? Breastfeeding can be tricky – and you might be worried about whether your baby is getting enough breastmilk in. Doula Donna Bland addresses this concern. One of the most frequently asked questions I get from new parents is how to tell whether their breastfed baby is getting enough milk. To truly understand the answer, I always start with educating parents on the basics of a baby’s digestive anatomy. A full-term baby is born with a stomach about the size of a marble or a blueberry. This means that babies don’t have the ability to drink large amounts of milk, regardless of whether it’s breastmilk or not. By day three, your baby’s stomach has increased to the size of a walnut. After 10 days, the stomach is now the size of an apricot, and by a month old, the stomach is around the size of a large chicken egg. After the delivery of your baby and its placenta, breastmilk called colostrum is made available for your newborn. This milk is often referred to as “liquid gold”, because although low in quantity, it is extremely high in nutritional value. In the first few days when colostrum is present, a baby only needs about a teaspoon (57ml) of breastmilk. In the past, mothers were advised to feed every three to four hours, but with the help of evidence-based research, we have come to better understand how newborns should be breastfed in order to thrive. An very interesting fact is that one teaspoon of colostrum is equivalent to six teaspoons of mature milk. Due to the low quantity of colostrum in the early days of breastfeeding, we encourage moms

to feed frequently, even if baby only drinks for a short time. This encourages stimulation of the breasts, which is the best way to increase milk supply. The more regularly your baby is at the breast, the more milk you will produce.

One teaspoon of colostrum is equivalent to six teaspoons of mature milk Within your baby’s first week of life, breastmilk changes from colostrum to a transitional milk, preparing for the mature milk that is usually available after about two weeks. These two stages produce higher quantities of breastmilk, but the consistency, colour and properties within them are different to the colostrum that your baby first drank. This does not mean however, that they are inferior in quality. Each stage of breastmilk adjusts to your baby’s needs. Interestingly, when a baby is actively suckling at its mother’s breast, a message is sent to the brain for the body to produce a cocktail of hormones in order to make more breastmilk available to the baby. After a minute or two, a milk ejection reflex or “let down” happens. This is a surge of breastmilk made readily available for baby’s consumption. Research has shown that a mom can have as many as seven milk ejection reflexes in one feed, depending on the length of the feed and how actively her baby is drinking. It has also been

documented that the average milk ejection reflex produces around 35ml of breastmilk. So, if a baby is at the breast, and the mother has three milk ejection reflexes in that time, for example, her baby may drink as much as 105ml of breastmilk. Another important aspect to bear in mind as a result of these milk ejection reflexes, is that 80% of the breastmilk your baby receives is produced during a feed. The best advice I can give is: Spend time skin-to-skin with your baby. Breastfeed your baby regularly (try not to go beyond three-hour intervals in the early days). Make sure your baby is latching well. Listen for swallowing sounds. Look out for wet nappies (the norm is five or more wet nappies a day). Look after yourself. Make sure that you are getting enough rest, eating a nutritious diet and keeping yourself well hydrated. Have your baby weighed every couple of weeks. Trust your instincts. And if you’re still unsure or need some assistance, find a lactation consultant who can assist you on this wonderful journey.

By day three, your baby’s stomach has increased to the size of a walnut.

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Newborn Tests THERE ARE A RANGE OF TESTS THAT A DOCTOR MAY PERFORM TO ENSURE THE WELLBEING OF YOUR BABY. PAEDIATRICIAN DR ENRICO MARASCHIN TAKES US THROUGH THEM. Tests on newborns begin a while before the baby is born – during the initial stages of pregnancy. Once baby is born, further tests will be recommended. Together these tests provide information to your healthcare provider and ensure that your bundle of joy is properly cared for. Let’s consider the most important tests.

During the pregnancy

Blood type: A test to establish mommy’s blood type is necessary so that if an incompatability exists between the mother’s blood group and that of her baby, medical intervention can be taken. A negative blood group (Rhesus factor) may lead to incompatability with a foetus in the second or subsequent pregnancies. If there is such an incompatibility, the mother may develop antibodies causing damage to the foetus or loss of the pregnancy. Knowing this ahead of time will give the doctor the opportunity to administer medication to prevent the mother from developing antibodies.

Genetic Abnormalities: A mother’s blood can be tested to screen for genetic abnormalities of the foetus. This is a major step forward as potential genetic abnormalities can be identified early on. Ultrasound: The obstetrician will also perform ultrasound examinations on the foetus to make sure that the foetus is developing well. Through this process, your baby will have been checked extensively before he or she is even born. Blood test: To screen the mother for her general health and for possible infections that could affect the pregnancy.

We are now able to test a baby’s hearing at birth.

At birth:

Thyroid function (TSH): Blood is taken from the cord to conduct a thyroid function test. Thyroid hormone

is an extremely important hormone, which regulates both the growth and development of the baby. Unfortunately problems related to thyroid can only be detected clinically a lot later in life. This means that without the thyroid test, damage may already have been done to an individual with thyroid problems. For this reason, tests are performed immediately at birth so that intervention can be instituted and growth and developmental delays can be stopped. Blood group: The baby’s blood group is established from the cord blood. The Rhesus incompatability has been discussed above. ABO incompatability may also result in severe jaundice. The doctor would be alerted to this if the mom is O blood type, but her baby is A, B or AB. Paediatric checks: Following the birth a paediatrician will examine the baby as follows: Systems: The baby is examined head to toe, and a deeper examination


of the systems such as the heart and lungs is performed. Should any abnormalities be detected during the examination, further investigations would be required. These may include a referral to sub-specialities within paediatrics, blood investigations or radiological investigations of the baby.

Our goal is always to keep babies healthy. Congenital dislocation of the hips: This condition requires treatment soon after birth since delayed treatment can lead to a lifetime of hip problems. If the paediatrician is concerned about the hips, an ultrasound will be performed. Referral to a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon may be necessary. The paediatrician will also check for abnormalities of other bones. This will include examination to exclude clubfoot or abnormalities of the spinal column. Any of these abnormalities will also require a referral to a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon for further treatment. Heart: Another condition that needs to be excluded at birth is a condition called coarctation of the aorta. With this condition, there is an abnormality of the aorta, which does not allow enough blood supply to the lower body. The paediatrician will examine the pulses in the groin to determine whether adequate blood supply is reaching the lower limbs. An oximeter checks the oxygen levels in the upper and lower parts of the body, which may also help identify this condition.

Other recommended tests

Eyes and ears: A lot of learning that happens in humans is heavily reliant on

the fact that your baby can hear and see well. With technological advancement, we are now able to test a baby’s hearing at birth. An audiologist will place a probe in the outer ear of your baby. The probe transmits a sound that echoes in the inner ear. Hearing abnormalities of this nature may be due to fluid behind the eardrums following the delivery, or there can be more permanent abnormalities to the hearing mechanisms. Abnormal findings of these tests may require a referral to an ear nose and throat specialist for more indepth evaluation. Your paediatrician should also examine the eyes to exclude possible cataracts. Should any abnormalities be detected, a referral to an ophthalmologist will be necessary. There are tests for eyesight that are available from six months of age. These tests have a very good pickup rate for most abnormalities of the eyes. Metabolic Screen: There is an optional test available called the newborn screen or the metabolic screen. This test is designed to detect up to 24 inherited disorders. Inherited disorders have the ability to harm your baby before signs of the disorder are even visible. Early screening alerts the paediatrician to the presence of an abnormality and action can be taken quickly if necessary. Should the parents opt to perform this test, a heel prick is performed at 48 to 72 hours of life. This screening test does not necessarily confirm the presence of one of these rare disorders. Should the screening test come back positive, more directed and more specific tests are often required to confirm such diagnosis. Bilirubin: This test checks for jaundice levels. A baby with jaundice becomes excessively sleepy and struggles to feed. Babies with high jaundice levels may require phototherapy. In severe cases

they may require an exchange blood transfusion. Your paediatrician may ask for the jaundice level to be checked even once your baby has gone home. Phototherapy can be done at home. A nursing sister will visit baby at home, set up the lights and monitor the levels.

Neonatal ICU

The tests mentioned above would be performed on infants that are normal at birth. Should your baby be admitted to Neonatal ICU (NICU) for further treatment, additional tests may be performed. Blood test: This will be done to exclude infection. Chest X-ray: To exclude a chest infection. Cranial ultrasound: Premature babies are at risk for brain bleeds. A cranial ultrasound may be performed to exclude a bleed. The presence of a bleed would require follow-up, but your paediatrician will guide you on this process.

If the paediatrician is concerned about the hips, an ultrasound will be performed. The goal of paediatricians – and the tests we run – is always to keep babies healthy and keep them with their parents. Technological advances in testing have been explosive, and the outcome of both normal newborns and pre-mature babies gets better every year. Most paediatricians have a “when in doubt, sort it out” approach, because the unfortunate flipside to this saying is that “if you wait, it could be too late” – which is why testing of this nature is so important to ensure we can keep your baby safe and healthy.



Ed’s Though




Staying healthy and active during pregnancy didn’t just help me carry our girls. It also made recovery far easier. Today we still exercise as a family, hoping our girls adopt this healthy lifestyle too.


in shape during



You’ve just started a new eating plan, or better yet, a new training plan, and you find out that you are expecting. The first thing you might think is: I don’t want to gain weight, or how am I going to lose all that baby fat?

To exercise or not to exercise

You are now probably considering cancelling your gym membership because you are pregnant and can’t carry on with your training plans. Well, I’m here to tell you to think again! Exercising during your pregnancy is actually beneficial for you and baby. Gone are the days where we were told not to exercise because we were expecting. Medical professionals are now advising women to continue to exercise in

their pregnancy as it’s said to help with labour, post-natal recovery and has many other benefits. “But how will I do this?” you ask. “How do I stay in shape or keep active in my pregnancy? And how do I make sure that I am doing it all correctly and not harming myself or baby in the process?”

Exercising during your pregnancy is actually beneficial for you and baby. First, I believe one must make a conscious decision to have a healthy pregnancy, and once you’ve done that, you can start implementing

actions and goals to get you there. You can start off as simply as making a pregnancy vision board, or jot it down in your journal. After you have done all the mental processing, you can start with the physical. Given the rapid bodily changes you’ll go through, you need to be careful and mindful of the exercises that you do so that you don’t hurt yourself or prematurely induce labour. Remember, the point is to stay active and healthy and not to lose weight, because that will not be good for you and baby. There are some guidelines you must follow when you are pregnant and want to exercise – whether you’re already exercising or not.

The Golden Rule

The golden rule to responsible


training throughout your pregnancy is to start training when you are not pregnant. Make exercise a lifestyle and part of your day-to-day routine. Exercising before you conceive makes it easier for your body to adjust to the changes when they happen. Furthermore, if you have exercise as a routine, you will be more determined and disciplined to continue working out. Scheduling your exercise session will ensure that you stay on course.

Pilates classes help to teach you how to engage your pelvic floor correctly.

Doctor knows best

Whether or not you were exercising already, a non-negotiable is going to your doctor to get clearance for exercise. Your doctor needs to do all the checks and ensure that you are fit as a fiddle to start or continue with training. Get a copy of this clearance letter so that you can present it at the gym or to your trainer if they ask. Once this is done, you can look at your options.

Get a professional

I would highly recommend getting a personal trainer to assist you at least three times a week. Having a qualified professional will help to remove the guesswork from your programme and set your mind at ease that you’re doing appropriate exercise. Ensure that your chosen personal trainer has the right qualifications, experience and at best, pre- and post-natal certification. Another

alternative is to search for local momto-be classes in your community. These are great for overall support during your pregnancy.

The Solo Workout Plan

If you choose to start training on your own, then I would suggest doing this: Research: Find out what type of exercises are good and safe for you and baby. The internet is filled with good training advice. Schedule your workouts. Train at least three to four times a week, making sure you include cardiovascular and strength training on specific days. Start easy and gradually; go for a 30-40 minute walk, not jog, unless you were a runner before. If you are new to all this, then keep it to light brisk walk where you can still maintain a conversation. For comfort, especially as you progress in your pregnancy, I would also recommend the recumbent bike for cycling and not an upright bike. This is a bike where you can rest your back, and your legs are extended in front of you. Aim for 40-60 minutes of moderate intensity workouts. Don’t over-exert yourself. The aim isn’t to tire yourself out. Include resistance training with extra weights such as dumbbells or machine-assisted exercises. I would highly suggest you use machines that you know how to operate. Try not to start anything new unless you are with your trainer. Where possible, attend Pilates classes weekly. These will help

in teaching you how to engage your pelvic floor correctly. This must form an essential part of your training regimen. You can also take part in swimming, be it attending a swimming classs at the gym or adding 30 minutes of light swimming into your routine. This is a great low impact exercise and will benefit you immensely. Remember to pick the right swimwear for your changing body.

Remember it is non-negotiable to go to your doctor to get clearance for exercise.

What to avoid:

Avoid high intensity group classes at the gym as they are not personalised and you might do exercises incorrectly as the instructor is paying attention to the other 15 people in the class. It might also cause you to overheat, which isn’t good for you or baby. Once you enter into your second trimester, avoid exercises that need you to be in a plank position or include lying down on your back and doing sit-ups and crunches. We want to avoid these because they increase or exacerbate diastasis recti, which is a midline separation in your abdominal muscles. Avoid contact sports. Avoid heavy lifting, more so if you have not done it before. Avoid any activity or exercise that causes pain and/or major discomfort.




Warm up:

Marching on the spot: 2 sets of 20 repetitions Air squats: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions Shoulder rolls – front and back: 3 sets of 20 repetitions (10 front and 10 back) Modified high knees: slow and controlled, 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Main session Plié squats 2 to 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. Stand with your feet apart, make sure they are slightly wider than your shoulders, point your toes out like a ballerina, at about 45 degrees. Make sure you are comfortable and you have balance, then gently lower yourself down, bending your knees and sitting back into a squat, keeping your back straight. Squeeze your glutes, then come back up and repeat. If you need more balance and support, you can hold onto a couch/chair or door handle.

Bird dog 2 to 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Start in an all-fours position with the wrists under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Lengthen the right leg back straight off the floor and the opposite arm (left arm) straight forward off the floor, maintaining a neutral back and not arching or over extending. Return the leg and arm slowly to the floor and repeat on the opposite side. Hold the leg and arm in the air for three to five counts and slowly release. Remember to breathe continually and not to hold your breath during this.


Please warm up + drink lots of water Take breaks when you need to Don’t push yourself Remember: you are awesome + you are doing a great job


Kegels Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic floor muscles stretch like a muscular trampoline from the tailbone (coccyx) to the pubic bone (front to back) and from one sitting bone to the other sitting bone (side to side). These muscles are normally firm and thick. To find your pelvic floor muscles, imagine you are trying to stop a stream of urine and then start it again – that’s the movement you’re after. Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for five to 10 seconds. Release and repeat. Do this 2 to 3 times a day.

Clam This exercise will be performed on the floor, and you can use a pillow to help with keeping your spine neutral. Lying on your side with your head resting on your arm, and knees bent as if in a foetal position, place your top hand on the floor in front of you to help you stabilise. Your hips will be stacked on top of the other, ensure that you keep a neutral spine (not arching your back) and pelvis. Gently and slowly open the top knee aiming for a 90 degree angle while keeping the feet together. Once open then gently lower the knee to start position. Do 3 repetitions of 12-15 per side.

Wall push-ups Stand facing a wall with your arms straightened out in front of you on the wall and feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure your arms are just wider than shoulder. Bend your elbows and lean forward until your nose and chest almost touch the wall. Reverse the movement and push yourself back to the starting position. You can do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Cooldown session

Light cardio or brisk walk for 10-15 minutes and stretch. Learn to listen to your body; there will be days where you just want to sleep and rest. Remember to keep hydrated even though this might result in a lot of trips to the loo. Remember, you are growing a human, so take it easy and enjoy the journey.




PUSELETSO TSOTETSI TALKS TO TENNILLE ARON ABOUT MAKING IT IN A MAN’S WORLD, WHILE STILL BEING A GREAT MOM. Starting a construction business is no easy task, especially for a woman, but Puseletso Tsotetsi managed to start her own construction company, all while she was pregnant with her first child. A decade and three kids later, this 30-year-old has managed to run a successful construction company, while raising her three beautiful children. She shares some of her secrets with us.




Tell us a bit about your role in your company? I am the founder and managing director of Lefalaka Construction. I studied film and television production for four years, but when I was pregnant with my first child in my first year of college, I registered a company with the aim of starting to make money to support my child.

and honest with myself about what it is I can and cannot do.

is the most difficult thing that Q What you have experienced as a working mom?

my third child was born, a few weeks later A When he was hospitalised, and that was difficult for me

because I had to work from hospital. Trying to be strong while watching him suffer and being mentally stable enough to continue working was a difficult experience. I was in hospital with my laptop and life pretty much had to go on.

Q Do you have any hobbies? I enjoy reading, journaling and listening to podcasts A to de-stress. My most enjoyable hobby right now is

creating #momlife #momboss videos and sharing them on YouTube.

How did the idea for this company first come about? I went for the construction business because it was what I saw my parents doing. I saw how the business changed their lives and wanted to do the same for myself now that I was having a child. My mother encouraged me and helped me step by step to register the business. She also served as my mentor from 2010 and then my boss, because I thought it was important to learn first before putting myself out there for clients of my own.

Was it difficult starting up your own business and raising children? It is very challenging. In the beginning, with just one child it wasn’t bad at all, but now with three children it does require me to be very strategic

Puseletso Tsotetsi

The blessing of time is my favourite thing.


is your favourite thing about Q What being a working mom? an entrepreneur it is definitely that I am able to A Asbe there for my children a lot of the time. I have time

for extra-mural activities, homework (even though I don’t particularly like it) and I am always there for emergency doctors’ appointments, because younger kids do get sick often. So I’d say the blessing of time is my favourite thing.

are your secrets to juggling Q What work life and mom life? Basically, the most important things for me is to have A a good family support system that I can always ask

for help from. Writing things down, and having lists for just about anything are vital, because with three children it can be very easy to forget important things. Lastly, I no longer over-commit myself. My priorities have become much clearer and my family is right at the top.

Amogelang Leruele (10), Kgosi Leruele (4) and Moagi Leruele (1)

you have any words of wisdom Q Do for the working moms out there? everything else that is important around us, we A With cannot forget ourselves. We come first and doing the

things that we love outside of our children and work matter as well. Do not ever miss an opportunity to do something for yourself. Every single week!

is the motto that gets you Q What through your day? is a funny one for me. I’m always telling myself A This that it will get easier as they grow, although a friend of

mine has told me that each phase has its challenges and it doesn’t really get easier, it just gets different. I’m still holding on to my words that it will get easier with time. Another thing is that love heals. No matter how heartbroken or low I feel, I like to look at my kids while they sleep at night and that always puts a smile on my face. Loving them makes a lot of things okay.

Puseletso Tsotetsi and her 3 children, Amogelang (10), Kgosi (4) and Moagi (1)


MAGIC MOMENTS “ Baby’s first visit to the beach.”

Hestine Calitz

Michelle Farinha

Rochelle Sasha

Monique Mackaku



best Ways of adapting to a





Ed’s Though




Looking back, those newborn days went by too quickly. Prioritising and accepting help was definitely key in making things a whole lot easier.

Whether you’re a new or experienced mama, it’s a fact that having a newborn transforms your world. Let’s leave the obvious things like poopy diapers and midnight feeds aside for now – let’s delve into the real emotion that new mothers experience when this precious little bundle of joy comes into the world.

your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Hold your breath to the count of three. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach. Practise this calming breath at least five times a day for several weeks. Use it during times of panic, stress and overwhelm.

arrives? This is a tricky one and we often feel obliged to have the extra help, or to have family stay for an amount of time to help. This may differ culturally, but the time-frame must be discussed. The moment you start feeling overwhelmed or stifled in your own space, you need to address those concerns with your visitors/family.

You will find some moments a bit overwhelming – this is normal. Let’s look at some practical strategies to help you adjust to your new chapter.

2. Important versus urgent

5. Communicate

1. Practise breathing

You may think I’m talking about the typical hee-hoo breathing that we see in the movies … No, not that kind. I’m talking about mindful breathing: it is a scientific fact that slower, calmer breaths send signals to the brain that release chemicals that put you at ease and in control.

Slower, calmer breaths send signals to the brain that release chemicals that put you at ease. By mindfully shifting/changing your breathing rate and pattern, you can stimulate the body’s natural relaxation response. What is mindful breathing? Take a long, slow breath in through

Everything is important. Start managing what is urgent versus important in your day. You just have to literally take your foot off the accelerator, because the stress will create anxiety for you and the baby. I hear you saying there’s just not enough time and before you know it, the baby will be here! Truth is, everything that will need to get done will be done before your adorable little sweetcheeks is here.

3. Delegate

Assign roles and responsibilities to your spouse/partner/mom/nanny – this allows others to support you and you can also know that you have people you can lean on.

4. Set clear boundaries

Are you willing to answer work calls if you are on maternity leave? If so, the moment you do, the expectation to be available will persist and you will feel like you are still working. How many people will be staying at your home to help you and/or visit you when the baby

So it’s Day 3 – we all have either heard about this day – where the milk comes in and you may have an emotional meltdown. Warn your significant other or family about this, and then allow yourself to cry! You just brought a human into this world – you are amazing! Many new moms may battle with expressing their mix of emotions – joy, elation, fear, frustration, anxiety. You need to allow yourself some time to process this huge milestone. Be patient with yourself and let others in your environment know what you need and when you require support.

6. Be present

Constant talk about the birth and arrival of the baby actually shifts your current focus into the future – the future where the baby is here, every weekend, and any conversation you have is centred around the baby and what still needs to be done. You also need to enjoy this journey and mentally prepare for this transition as much as possible. Being present for the now, and intentional about the future arrival will centre you. A mother’s hormones are changing, and

your body is growing and changing at an incredible pace – self-care is very important for you and the baby. A few minutes of quiet time journaling or sipping a cup of tea will bring you a sense of “me-time” in your day.

7. Limit negative comment/opinion

Be intentional about the people you have around and the comments you receive and consider as true during this time. Your parents, friends, colleagues will always be the “experts” on parenting because they have been there before. You need to focus! Don’t spend energy arguing or entertaining negative conversations. These negative emotions will create a ripple effect of tension for you and your baby. Simply apply Step 1. Tell yourself you are amazing and are doing a great job – because you really are.

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Should you leave your baby to

“cry it out”? A COMMON SLEEP TRAINING TECHNIQUE IS TO LEAVE BABIES TO CRY THEMSELVES TO SLEEP – FOR HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES. DOULA DONNA BLAND EXPLAINS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TAKE THIS APPROACH. Leaving a baby to “cry it out”, simply means letting a baby cry alone for as long as it takes to self-soothe or to fall asleep. Crying is how babies communicate with their parents. It is normal for babies to have bouts of crying, but prolonged crying and lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on a household, and sometimes action needs to be taken to resolve the problem. We need to look at this topic in context to a baby’s age, however, because a newborn’s needs are quite different to that of an older baby or toddler. Newborns are born with the expectation of the equivalent of an external womb. Having their needs met quickly, being fed on demand and held constantly is all part of this. The result is a content baby with good brain and body development. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), often defined as skin-to-skin care, has almost become the norm after birth. This is when your baby is placed belly-down, directly on your chest, wearing only a nappy. It has been proven to be effective in reducing the risk of mortality,

Distress in infancy can cause damage to the synapses in the brain. particularly among pre-term and low birth weight infants. It can be effective in bonding and improving breastfeeding outcomes. It gives the baby a sense of comfort and assurance that they will be loved and cared for, especially seeing that they have recently undergone such a sudden and drastic change of environment. In certain cases, if a baby or mother needs medical assistance, they may be separated for an extended period after the birth.

In this case, a baby may cry uncontrollably, communicating that they want to be reunited with their mother. If the baby is left to cry for long enough, they will eventually give up and stop crying, thinking they have been abandoned. Neuroscience has recently proven that allowing babies to “cry it out” can harm them in the long term, causing neurological damage and weakening their immune system.


The physical effects

Babies’ brains develop quickly, particularly in the first year of life. Distress in infancy can cause damage to the synapses (connection network) in the brain. Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, is released during stressful situations. In adults, higher and prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream, impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, irregular blood pressure, blood sugar imbalances and inflammation response may be experienced. In extreme cases, neurons within the baby’s growing brain can be damaged or fail to connect due to high levels of distress. Disordered stress reactivity may also be established in the body through the vagus nerve, a nerve that is connected to multiple systems in the body and which plays an integral role in their functioning. The digestive system is an example of one of these systems and may result in colic symptoms in a baby, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in a child or adult.

Responsive care

Responding to your baby before they become distressed is known as responsive care, and helps the body and brain retain a sense of calm and good health, reassuring the baby that they have not been abandoned. Interestingly, a baby that is tended to and soothed when they are scared or upset, will

later be able to self-soothe more easily, with a higher level of ease. This is because the baby soon learns that their mom or dad (or other caregiver) will respond quickly, if they are in need. Babies who are left to cry in isolation, “shut down”. They fail to thrive, they don’t meet their growth milestones, they stop feeling and they stop trusting. This can create feelings of mistrust towards the world they live in and relationships they ‘re part of, resulting in a lack of selfconfidence and self-worth.

Early stress is toxic for lifelong health. Unfortunately, deficits as a result of regular distressing experiences, may only be detected later in life. A child may demonstrate signs of learning difficulties or have difficulty in relationships of any kind and may even grow up showing signs of aggression or violence. This is largely due to selfregulation being undermined. In contrast to this, good responsiveness to the needs of a baby is related to intelligence, empathy and a lack of aggression or depression. In other words, early stress is toxic for lifelong health.

Sleep training

Sleep training has become a popular way of dealing with an infant who won’t sleep through the night. In sleep training,

babies or toddlers are given time to fall asleep on their own, but are not left to do so for indefinite periods. One of the parents is always around, giving a limited amount of time before re-entering the room and assuring their child that they are not alone. While this may be necessary to keep everyone in the house sane and functioning, a preferred sleep therapist will only recommend trying this method once your baby is six months or older. I would only advise that you attempt this method once you have consulted a professional and they have confirmed that this approach would be conducive to your baby’s wellbeing. Becoming a parent for the first time can be overwhelming, and is uncharted territory for most people, but thanks to an abundance of evidence-based research, parents have more information available to them than ever before.

Prolonged crying and lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on a household. If, at any stage, however, you are feeling unsure of how to deal with any particular area of parenting, I would recommend finding professional assistance to help you feel equipped and confident about your parenting techniques.



Can you hear

me now?


Babies begin to hear sounds from as early 18 or 19 weeks, while they are still in their mommies’ tummies. As a baby grows, this hearing becomes more fine-tuned to hearing different types and pitches of sounds, and this has a direct effect on speech and language development. Here are just a few of the hearing milestones you can expect your child to reach from birth to their first birthday. It is important to remember that as children don’t all grow at the same rate, not all children will reach these milestones at the same time.

In utero Babies begin to hear sounds from as young as 18 weeks when their ears develop in utero. At first they hear sounds within the womb, such as the mother’s heartbeat, and later on, they are able to hear certain sounds coming from outside of the womb. Therefore, expectant parents are encouraged to talk to their developing babies while still in the womb, so that they can become familiar with their voices before they are even born.

0 – 3 months Although babies born at full term

have fully developed ears, they don’t yet have the ability to hear and understand all types of noises, for two reasons. First, a newborn baby may still have fluid trapped in their middle ear, which can make hearing a bit more difficult for the first couple of days. Second, when a baby is born, the parts of the brain that are responsible for hearing and speech are not fully developed, and therefore an infant three months or younger doesn’t possess the ability to interpret and understand certain sounds. This ability will develop as the infant grows older.

Not all children will reach these milestones at the same time. From birth to three months of age, these are the speech and hearing milestones that you can expect your baby to reach. Your baby will: react to loud sounds with startle reflex. be soothed and quietened by soft

and familiar sounds or voices. recognise and respond to familiar voices such as their parents’ voices. be awakened by loud voices and sounds.

4 – 6 months At 4 months, the areas of the brain responsible for hearing and interpreting sounds become more mature, and these are the milestones you can expect. Your baby will: Turn in the direction of a new sound. Start to respond to changes in the tone of your voice. Take notice of toys that make a sound and start paying attention to music. Begin to make sounds, such as, “ooh”, “aah”, and “ba-ba”. Begin babbling.

7 – 11 months At this age, your baby’s hearing and language skills develop quite rapidly.


Here are the milestones to expect, your baby will: Respond to his or her own name, a telephone ringing, or someone’s voice, even when the sound is soft. Start to enjoy playing games like peekaboo or pat-a-cake. Understand common words that are used quite often such as, food, cup or bye-bye. Make babbling sounds, even when alone. Start to respond to requests, like “stay there” or “come here”. Look at things or pictures when someone talks about them.

12 months By 12 months your baby should be able to respond to their favourite song and may even start using simple words like, “mama” or “dada”. At this point, your baby’s hearing has developed quite significantly and this has a great impact on their speech development too.

How can you help your baby’s hearing?


measured. If your baby has any auditory problem at birth, then this test should pick it up. Long delays in achieving hearing, speech or language milestones might be cause for concern. However, always bear in mind that not all babies’ speech and language develops at the same rate. If you are concerned about your baby’s hearing at any point after this test, you should consult your healthcare professional as soon as possible.

What can cause hearing problems?

There are certain conditions that can affect your child’s hearing. Recurrent ear infections or the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear (glue ear) can cause your little one to have difficulty hearing. In this case, an ear, nose and throat specialist would be recommended, and they would insert grommets into your baby’s ear. Grommets are tiny tubes that are inserted into the ear drum to keep the middle ear open and to allow air flow into this part of the ear.

Helping your child develop their hearing and language skills can start from as early as before birth. Playing music and reading to your child are great ways to start introducing these skills. Your baby will respond to all kinds of music, so don’t just stick to children’s music, you can even play some of your favourite songs. Talking to your child from the time they are still in utero and continuing this throughout their first year of life, in particular, is also a great way to get them familiarised with your voice and help them hear new sounds. Babies will mimic what they hear around them, so never stop talking to them. Singing nursery rhymes to your infant is also a great way to help them develop their speech and hearing.

When should you be worried about your baby’s hearing? Just after birth, all babies undergo a screening test to check their hearing. To test the cochlear function (testing how the baby receives and processes sounds) of your baby’s ear, a probe that transmits sound is placed in the outer ear of the baby. Sounds are played and the response to these sounds is

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Carewear for Babies & Kids

MOM’S FAVOURITES Guest editor Mari-Louise Candiotes shares her favourite baby products.

Chewbar Superfood Bar for kids New to our list but with a busy little one at primary school, these bars are magic. Our eldest grabs one on the go in-between afternoon activities and my mama heart feels assured her body is being fuelled with goodness!

Pure Beginnings Baby Skincare No compromise! We are keeping any and all nasties away from our girls’ skin thanks to this amazing organic skincare range. They have it all, even the best smelling wet wipes.

Ewan The Dream Sheep None of our girls took to a pacifier so we needed an alternative to calm them down before bedtime or when they felt overstimulated. For three babies in a row, Ewan’s soothing white noise/music combo worked like a charm! Ava still sleeps with hers.

Owgels Portable Ultrasonic Nebuliser Convenience is key, especially with sick kids. The Owgels Portable nebuliser is small, silent, lightweight, very effective and super easy to use. We even take ours along on holiday or I pop it into the diaper bag. Easy!

Ubuntu Baba Babycarrier Forget about the stroller, be sure you have a baby carrier! UB is our trusted brand of choice, as they’ve done so much research on babywearing, ensuring that their carriers are safe, comfortable and won’t harm your baby’s natural development in any way.


Baby it’s getting colder outside

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT THE SUN RISES A LITTLE LATER AND THE EVENINGS ARE GETTING CHILLIER? WINTER IS COMING AND IT’S TIME TO PREPARE FOR IT, EXPLAINS YASHMITHA PADAYACHEE. Babies lose heat more rapidly than adults, and they can’t regulate their temperatures like adults can. They depend on external factors, such as their clothing, to warm them up. In order to keep your little one safe during this season there are a number of aspects to consider, especially once the lockdown is over and we start going out again. These include baby’s age, your location and the intensity of winter in your area. Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting ready for winter.

Layers of love

Layered clothing helps to trap warm air, helping to keep your little one warm. The rule of thumb should be that baby has at least one layer more than you when you are going out. Be mindful to not use material that is itchy, or which will cause sweating or skin irritation. Use a vest or longsleeved spencer as an under-layer, preferably in a soft cotton material.

Layered, light, breathable clothing is ideal. Must-wear items include socks, gloves and a beanie, when you do eventually go out after the lockdown. You lose heat via your feet and head, and the same goes for babies – except they do so even faster and more easily.

You lose heat via your feet and head, and the same goes for babies. Babywearing can be a great way to use your body heat to keep baby warm, or if your baby is in a stroller, drape a light receiver over the canopy to create a ‘curtain’ that will protect them from cold air flowing directly onto their face. Also try to walk to not walk into the wind. Keep checking to see that your

baby doesn’t overheat or that they need another light blanket. Be careful of overheating your baby: heat rash is common during winter.

TOP TIP Keep in mind your location. Winter in the Western Cape is considerably harsher than in KwaZulu-Natal. Bear that in mind when purchasing winter clothing. Layers can be removed or added to adjust to weather changes.

Always moisturise

Any good skincare routine includes a moisturiser. Keep an eye on your little one’s delicate and sensitive skin. Colder weather causes baby’s skin to dry out, so use baby oils and extra moisturising creams to keep their sensitive skin well moisturised. Dry skin can be itchy and cause discomfort for baby. Remember fragrance-free is always best, as it is



less likely to create an allergic reaction. Limit the number of baths, duration of baths and be sure to use warm and not very hot water as all these factors can contribute to drying out baby’s skin.

Those born in winter love nothing more than a warm hug from their nearest and dearest.

Happy home

When indoors, don’t be tempted to raise the temperature needlessly. Too much heat is as harmful to baby as too little, and will contribute to drying out the air and exposing your little one. To combat the drying out and keep air moist, use a humidifier. Some humidifier brands allow the use of essential oils that can help should your little one develop a stuffy nose. Please consult your paediatrician before use, as some oils may be harmful. Once baby is a little more active you will find that they often kick off their blanket at night. Use a sleep suit or sleep sack to keep them fully covered and warm.

take precautions and increase their immune booster intake. Make sure you are all eating well and drinking plenty of water. When you’re a new parent, winter takes on a new meaning and can be daunting. Don’t be afraid: mother knows best, so keep calm, trust your gut and pay attention to how baby reacts. If nothing else, the best part of winter is a viable excuse (not that one is needed) to keep baby closer to you. There is nothing more comforting or rewarding than snuggles with your little one. It’s the ideal time to bond as a family. Trust me, I’m a winter baby too.

TOP TIP If you don’t already have an emergency kit in your car, it’s time to pack one. A change of clothes, wet wipes and an extra blanket should suffice at first. You can amend the kit whenever necessary. (Irrespective of the fact that you’re probably carrying around half the house in a nappy bag).

TOP TIP Chunky coats can hinder seat belt straps from firmly holding baby. When travelling strap your child in first before covering with a warm blanket.

Healthy living

Along with the decrease in temperature, winter brings with it an increase of viral and bacterial flus and colds. Our babies and toddlers are still busy building up immunity, so getting ill can turn nasty quickly. Consult your physician with regards to baby safe immune boosters for the season. Avoid packed malls or shopping centres with baby, which is easy enough for now. Outings should take place where there is plenty of fresh clean air. There’s no shame in asking sick family members to distance themselves from baby while they recover. This is especially important now, to prevent your little one or yourself from contracting Covid-19. Don’t neglect yourself during this period – take care of your own health too. Colds often spread from one family member to the next, so the entire family should

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ENTREPRENEUR MARJOLEIN VOSLOO TALKS TO TENNILLE ARON ABOUT HOW SHE MANAGES TO KEEP ALL OF HER BALLS IN THE AIR. When Marjolein Vosloo first made a simple pair of shoes for her toddler from a leather offcut in 2005, she could never have dreamed that this would be the beginning of a successful new business venture. Since then her brand, Pitta-Patta, has become one of the most popular kids’ shoe brands in the country. She explains how she managed to raise three children aged 15, 12 and 8, all while making her company the success it is today.

is Marjolein Vosloo? Q Who I am a very loyal, hard-working and creative I love being with family and friends. I like a A person. good laugh, watching a good movie and enjoying a good cup of coffee with my hubby.

Q What work do you do? I am the owner of Pitta-Patta Shoes. I run A production, administration, customer liaison, etc. us about how you started Q Tell your business husband and I shared a dream that I would A My be a stay-at-home mom and raise our children.

It seemed like an impossible task, but our hearts were set on achieving this dream. When our daughter was one year old and crawling like crazy and just starting to toddle around, we had to replace her shoes. At that time finances were very tight and we had to take all the cash we had to buy our daughter a new pair of shoes. On the way to the baby shop we stumbled across a shop that sells and repairs leather jackets and that’s when I got this brainy idea of making

Marjolein Vosloo

Success rarely falls out the sky. our own shoes for our princess. The shop owner gave us a small piece of leather and off we went back home to embark on this new journey.

has helped you to be the Q What successful working mom that

A Persistence and perseverance. Success rarely you are?


falls out the sky. It’s more of a ‘what you sow, you will reap’.

you think Q Do becoming a mom has made you better at your work?

work and mamahood have A Both their pros and cons and they influence each other. I have learned it is all about balance, and that balance looks different in different seasons.

are your Q What struggles as working

work is good and I’m a A Hard preacher for hard work, but I do


dislike it when it steals too much time from my family, faith and rest.

Marjolein Vosloo and her kids

do you de-stress Q How after a long week? fingers on my A Ilefthavehanda fewandgreen love to work in the garden. I de-stress by going on my weekly date with Konrad, my husband. We have made some good changes that will free me up from this year to have more time for myself and family.

advice for Q Any working moms? your focus on what is most A Keep important. You can always make

more money, but you can never get the time back that you lost by not spending quality time with your family. There are different seasons and it takes guts to embrace each one and know that they will all come to an end. Strike while the iron is hot, and that goes for our kids and business.

Marjolein Vosloo and her kids


MAGIC MOMENTS “ Best friends.”

Leeora Andrews

Nikita Damonze

Mamakhutso Lebogang

Wendy Du Plessis



Sport has been such a big confidence builder in our home, for all our girls, no matter their ability.

Ed’s Though




The benefits of


SPORT HAS A GREAT MANY BENEFITS FOR YOUR CHILDREN, BEYOND EXERCISE, WRITES DR JO-MARIE BOTHMA, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND PLAY THERAPIST. Sports are so much more than just learning how to master a specific set of skills and to be part of a team. Sports are a set of life lessons and children growing up without the opportunity to enjoy those are at a real disadvantage. It is not only the very popular team sports such as rugby, netball, hockey and cricket that can benefit your child. Solo sports where the main focus is more on the individual, such as martial arts, horse-riding, gymnastics, tennis, golf and, for instance, swimming or dancing can be just as beneficial to your child’s mental, physical and social development. The benefits listed below can be attained by participating in either team or solo sports.

Health benefits

Children who play sports are more likely to be physically fit, less likely to be overweight, and show improved sleeping patterns. In fact, many children who are physically active typically remain at a normal weight throughout

their childhood and increase the possibility of having a healthy weight and a love of physical exercise to carry over into their adulthood. This, in turn, lessens the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Enhanced motor skills and improved co-ordination are other great benefits of taking part in sports. Research findings support a causal link between physical activity and both motor skills and cognitive development in preschool children. Therefore, there seems to be a positive correlation between academic success

Statistics show that children can also reduce their stress and depressive feelings.

and taking part in sports in general.

Psychological benefits

It would be almost impossible to take part in sport without learning very basic life skills such as time management. Children come to understand the first steps of planning a day (a swimming lesson happens after naptime),



planning ahead (tennis happens every Wednesday) and how to prioritise one activity over another (missing out on Karate practice in order to attend a friend’s birthday party). Experiencing joy when winning or ‘getting something right’ and coming to understand and deal with the disappointment of losing or striving to master a specific skill in a particular sport are all valuable skills needed throughout life. Parents can assist their children through the processing of so many different feelings. They can help a young child to navigate their feelings and experiences through the first starter stages, the hard work phases, as well as the successes and disappointments. Statistics show that children can also reduce their stress and depressive feelings by taking part in sport. Some sports will allow for the development of leadership skills, while almost all sports will aid in the development of selfdiscipline and self-motivation.

Social benefits

A report compiled by the Human Sciences Research Council in 2016 stated the decreased likelihood of children abusing substances when they are older if involved in sports from early on. As many children also develop a sense of belonging, their self-esteem increases. Children can also develop self-confidence as they learn about themselves and their abilities. Sports do not just teach children the fundamentals of playing, but also

instil respect for authority and rules. Children learn the consequences that come with not following the rules. They are taught to respect their coaches who guide them. They also learn good sportsmanship and to treat their opponents respectfully.

A good age to start

Toddlers around the age of two to three years may be beginning to get the hang of many basic movements but are too young for most organised sports. At this age unstructured free play is usually best, such as running, tumbling, throwing, catching and swimming. If your three-year-old is showing a passion for a specific sport don’t discourage it, but aim to focus on introducing the sport and the skills needed for the particular sport in a playful manner and in a child-friendly environment.

Enhanced motor skills and improved co-ordination are other great benefits. Children at age four to five are instinctively active and mostly enjoy the outdoors. It is a great idea to make use of this developmental chapter in your child’s life and try to encourage time outside and the learning of basic sporting skills such as throwing and kicking a ball, skipping, jumping,

running and pedalling a tricycle or a bicycle. Some preschools may also offer introductory sessions in many solo and team sports where the main aim is not of a competitive nature and the focus is more on having fun and becoming familiar with that specific sporting arena. This is a good age to develop hand-eye co-ordination and a basic understanding of rules for games and sports. By the age of six or seven, children are physically better equipped to participate in sports. They have longer attention spans, their vision has improved and they begin to develop an awareness of the rules. While some children are motivated by competitive play and eagerly participate with the aim to win or to achieve, many are not ready for the increased pressure until 10 or 11 years of age. At this age most children have matured vision, better co-ordination and balance and the ability to understand and recall sports strategies. They are typically ready to take on complex skill sports.

Avoid common mistakes

In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world, parents and coaches run the risk of overdoing it. There is a big difference between encouraging active lifestyles, introducing a variety of different sports, and flooding your child’s programme to the point of them having no free time to just be children. The golden rule will be to ensure that


young children participate at a proper rate and that parents and instructors keep their expectations realistic and age appropriate. This is usually individually based and should be considered uniquely. What might be good for one child may be too much or too little for another.

If your three-year-old is showing a passion for a specific sport don’t discourage it. A child’s temperament plays a big part in this and where one child will happily take part in all their school has to offer, another child might experience anxiety and feel overwhelmed with more than one sport activity per week. Another important factor to consider when it comes to sports is that of encouragement. A child’s perception of a sport activity can greatly be impacted either positively or negatively by the way a parent or coach cheers them on along the way. Too much encouragement that mimics a feeling of forceful obligation can render a child numb and turn them completely off. Parents can have such a strong influence in the experience their child has of sport and they should consciously be aware of that.

Hints and tips

Here are some easy and practical tips for how to help young children thrive

and enjoy participation in sport: Select some appropriate sport opportunities for your child. A very social and busy child might enjoy active and team sports such as hockey or rugby. A quiet and more subdued child might prefer individual and less competitive sports and parents might select golf and ballet as alternatives to explore. Draw on your own support network and coping skills to help manage the demands of juggling your child’s weekly sport schedule with their school programme, as well as your own work responsibilities. Parents should ideally aim to take turns to play taxi, supporter or coach during the week. Grandparents often do not mind getting involved, and being part of a lift club can save time. Be responsive to your child’s needs and have reasonable demands for their participation. It is not only not financially feasible to enrol your pre-schooler in all the activities the school has to offer, it is also not mentally healthy to do so. Anticipate the emotional demands of competitive sport and develop strategies to manage your own responses. If you are a very competitive person by nature, beware of not overwhelming your child and unconsciously putting pressure on them to excel beyond what could be expected. Adapt your parenting support as well as involvement to fit your

child’s developmental stage. Sit next to the swimming pool during lessons, cheerfully clap your hands and blow kisses to show support while your little toddler is learning how to become comfortable with water. Kindness and easy-going encouragement are key. Build and maintain healthy relationships with your child’s coach, officials, other parents as well as the other little players. It is so much more comforting for your child to see you laughing and getting along with everyone. You may want to think carefully before encouraging your young child to focus on one particular sport only because this could stop them from fully testing their skills and discovering other activities they may enjoy. Remember children change as they grow and your little one might show a keen interest in martial arts one year, only to switch to tennis by the next year. That is completely normal. Keep monitoring their level of enthusiasm and never try to persuade your child to continue with a sport they clearly don’t enjoy, whatever age they are.

If you are a competitive person by nature, beware of not overwhelming your child.


TODD L E R I’m making a note of these tension relief tips. They will come in handy for all of us!

Ed’s Though





Educate yourself When you know your toddler’s temper triggers, you can work to avoid them. For example, do not go to the shops with a hungry child. Call off the playdate if your child is feeling tired.

Well done for sharing so nicely today!

Don’t let tension build up Teach your child from a young age to get rid of pent-up energy before things explode. Exercise, special family time (such as eating dinners together), alone-time (such as paging through a book or colouring in), as well as relaxation activities (such as breathing deeply or watching the clouds move in the sky) and enough healthy physical contact (massage, tickles, rough and tumble play) are all ways to do this.

Educate your child Talk to your toddler about his emotions. Teach him the words he needs to explain how he feels, and talk on his behalf if he is still too small to voice his own needs. “John, I think you are very tired and then everything just feels like it’s too much to handle. We can play again after a nap.” Learning and talking about emotions can restore a peaceful atmosphere. Allow for an environment where emotions are acceptable.


Figure out what works Each child has his own temperament. While it may work very well for some to go to their favourite quiet place (like a tent inside their room) and read a book or play with lavender-scented playdough, others might need something more active to get the anger out. Running fast outdoors, yelling into a pillow, or jumping on the trampoline might be better options. The reality is that children need a healthy alternative to vent their frustrations – and parents need to teach them how. It is not good enough to just tell them to stop shouting, hitting or yelling. It is better to teach them ways to deal with their frustration. Praise his efforts Let your toddler know you’ll always be there for him; praise his little successes. If you see your toddler sharing without asking – let him know that you have seen it and tell him how proud you are.

Choose tasks where she can experience success Remember that they are in the phase in their development where they learn to develop their own will. Choose tasks with that in mind and let them experience some power and feelings of control. Let her pour in the bubble bath, or choose her own pyjamas. Small experiences of control lessen frustration levels and make her feel independent.

I Love You Always!



Techniques for successful


NAPPIES CAN BE A REAL BIND, BUT THE PROSPECT OF POTTY TRAINING IS PRETTY DAUNTING TOO. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND PLAY THERAPIST DR JO-MARIE BOTHMA TAKES AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT TECHNIQUES YOU CAN USE TO POTTY TRAIN YOUR TODDLER. A few years ago, when I was in the middle of potty training my son, I took him to a public restroom in a big shopping mall. It was a busy Saturday, with many people waiting their turn. After we were both finished, we walked out to wash our hands and he loudly said: “Did you poop, Mom”? Pretty embarrassing. I tried to move him along, but he insisted on knowing. It was what he was always asked. I had a few smiling at me, and some reassuring nods from other moms, and it reminded me again how at some point in time we are all in the middle of figuring out how best to help our children become ‘potty-wise’.

The right age to start

Although I have heard of parents announcing that their 20-month-old successfully stays dry during the day,

that is most definitely not the norm, and should not make any other parent feel like a failure in any way. Also, just because your child’s playschool has a goal of potty training all two- to three-year-olds, does not mean that all of them will be ready to train at the same time.

Children should only start potty training when they are ready to do so. What paediatric science does tell us without any uncertainty, is that children should only start potty training when they are ready to do so. A review of the available literature during the past 50 years reveals a steady increase in age of attainment of daytime bowel and bladder continence from approximately 24 months in the 1950s, to 36-39 months

in the late 1990s. The main reasons seem to be the luxury of good quality nappies, as well as different parenting practices. Current literature suggests that the average age when parents can expect little girls to stay dry during the day is only at around 32 months. Little boys can be expected to stay dry during the day at around 35 months. Remember that these are mere averages, and some toddlers do achieve success a little earlier and some a little later. Dr Barbara Howard, a toilet training expert and paediatrician from Duke Children’s Hospital in North Carolina states that parents need to realise that children cannot control these body functions until they are neurologically and cognitively mature. Chronological age is therefore not the only determinant of a child’s readiness to potty train. Mental, neurological and cognitive age would be better predictors. Research has furthermore identified several readiness skills (see the table below) that children need to master before they are in fact ready to start training. These skills form the foundation for successful potty training, and when parents can tick off this list, it would be correct to assume that their child is now ready to start learning how to become pottywise.

M ILES TO NES So, based on research it is not so much the ‘right age’ that determines when parents or schools should expect to start training, but more whether children have mastered the necessary readiness skills mentioned below.

Global readiness skills

Specific readiness skills

Achieving motor milestones: sitting, crawling and walking.

Bladder control (for example: staying dry for two hours at a time or having a dry nappy after a nap).

Understanding and using of potty words.

Indicates a physical need to go.

Shows an interest in using the potty and sits on potty when placed for five minutes.

Stays bowel movement free overnight.

Tells during or after a bowel movement in their nappy.

Physical awareness (for example: showing discomfort with soiled nappies).

Positive relationships with caregivers.

Instructional readiness (i.e., indicating a need to urinate).

Desire to please. Identification with and imitation of parents. Desire to be autonomous. Once toddlers are ready, they can also learn to accomplish middle and late potty training skills. See below.

Middle potty training skills

Late potty training skills

Flushes toilet alone.

Uses a regular toilet and not a plastic potty.

Washes hands.

No bowel movement in nappy.

Pulls training pants up and down.

Tells before having to urinate or bowel movement. Stays dry during the day. Stays dry overnight. Enters the bathroom to urinate or have a bowel movement.

It ’s t ime t o t ake t he kids out .



Ten things to do during potty tra ining

1 A healthy and loving relationship between the toddler and parent (or teacher) is important, because potty training can set the tone for communication with the family. Some children use elimination as a good way to communicate unhappiness and stress. Some use the potty training phase to manipulate others. If parents or schools carry out this training in a coercive way it can set off negative reactions that may affect a child’s mental health. Toilet training is particularly ripe for power struggles because it is so tied up with toddlers wanting to have control over their own bodies. It is therefore important to approach toilet training matter-of-factly and without a lot of emotion. So, if you are starting to see power struggles developing over potty training, it might help to take the pressure off and stop any training for a little while until your child shows signs of readiness again. Begin potty training from the moment the child is born. Talk to an infant during their nappy change by saying: ‘You are wet’ or ‘Let me make you comfortable and change your nappy, you made a poo’.

Do not look disappointed. 2

Aim to make nappy changing times fun and pleasurable. Sing a song while changing your baby’s nappy and be sure to end it off with a cuddle and a kiss before going on to the next activity. Try to not pull faces or show disgust at soiled nappies as they grow older. Older babies might indicate or ask their parents to change their nappies. Always reply very positively and reassuringly and say something like: “Sure, my darling.

Let’s go and clean your bum so that you can feel better.” 3 Most babies follow their parents everywhere once they start walking around. Let them join you in the bathroom. Often children train themselves later by modelling an older sibling or parent. It is also witnessed in schools. Toddlers tend to train earlier because they see the older children in their class using the toilet and they want to join after a while. 4 Once your toddler shows readiness skills, move him or her out of nappies into training pants or cloth underwear. One effective way to know that neurological maturity is taking place is to ask your little one to urinate in the water during bath time. Be patient during the first attempts. It will take them some time. Once they have managed to urinate on instruction a few times during bath time, you can try to remove their clothes and put them on the toilet while you run the bath and ask them to wee in the toilet so long, while you are getting the bath ready. This is not intimidating and usually works very effectively to take off any pressure. Success during attempts like this should give parents an indication whether their children are ready for potty training. 5 Some parents use potty chairs, which is less intimidating. Others prefer making use of the adultsize toilet and add smaller inner seats or little steps and handles to make it more accommodating. Do whatever suits your family and toddler’s needs and preferences. Schools usually have toddler-sized toilets installed in bathrooms. 6 The next step would be to take your child to the bathroom every one to two hours or so during the

day. It sometimes works well if you offer them something to drink and then take them to the toilet within minutes of doing so. Apart from regularly taking your child, you should also take them the moment you recognise their need to go. Parents know their children and can often anticipate when they are about to have a bowel movement. 7 Sit with your child in a noncoercive way and sing songs, read books or tell stories. Best practice would be to sit flat next to them on the bathroom floor and appear relaxed and in no rush. Give them at least five minutes before getting them dressed again. If they have not managed to produce some evidence during that time, chances are slim that they have a need. Do not look disappointed and definitely do not be angry about a no-result-activity. Act very matterof-fact and say something like: “Seems like there is nothing that wants to come out now – let’s get dressed.” Do not be surprised if they wet their underwear a few minutes after leaving the bathroom. That is normal. 8 Choose when you start with potty training cleverly! Do not start with this process if, for instance, you are going through a particularly stressful time at work, moving house or are about to deliver the trainee’s sibling. Patience is the key and any frustration experienced by your child will be taken personally and can make a child feel insecure and sabotage your potty training attempts. 9 Make a big hoo-ha every time your child succeeds during those first few days or weeks. Do the Macarena if you must, pull silly faces, phone a friend, call the other siblings to come and have a look or take a picture of the evidence and


send it off to daddy as proof (yes, I know – what parents will not do nowadays!). You should make a big thing out of those first successes, because they are a pretty big deal. However, once you are sure that your little one does, in fact, have some control over this potty training business, stop making such a big fuss. Anger or disappointment when it is not going well or overwhelming joy when it is, gives some children the knowledge that this is something you badly want for them to do. Refusing to do so can then become a powerful way for your child to feel in control. 10 Star charts can be used to visually show them how many successes will lead to a bigger hoo-ha, such as a nice treat somewhere or a small present. Again, these kinds of rewards may encourage progress in the short run and could be valuable ice breakers. The concern, however, is that for some children the pressure of success in the form of rewards creates anxiety or feelings of failure when they have potty accidents. Another risk is that the continued use of reward charts can lead certain children to expect rewards for almost anything. If parents do not attach such a huge amount of meaning to potty training, most children are more likely to follow their own internal desire to reach this important milestone. Therefore, the bottom line is to aim for a healthy balance of excitement and mundanity during this time.

The b ig no-no’s during potty tra ining

Never shame a child during this process for either not managing it or for having an accident. Be prepared that there will be little wet pools in your house for a while. Stay cool and do not treat the accident as some sort of an emergency.

Say something such as: “Oops, you did not see this one coming. Let’s quickly clean up and get you dry underwear.” This is part of the training, and will happen more in times of stress or excitement or when the child has had little sleep. Luckily pull-up nappies make it easier now and can be used when you are out and about. The overall goal is for a child to experience potty training as an accomplishment. Your child should never be made to feel like there is something wrong with them for not managing the task.

until your child is four or five years old, or even older. Even when children are toilet trained, they may have some normal accidents (when excited or playing a lot), or setbacks due to illness or emotional situations.


Potty training can be a challenge, but with the help of prizes, siblings, and a few good songs, it can be easier (and funnier). Like most other developmental phases, this too shall pass.

Night-time control usually comes much later than daytime control. Complete night-time control may not happen

Aim for a healthy balance of excitement and mundanity.



6 things my children taught me during


Families across the world are slowly becoming more accustomed to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time of writing, most schools, places of public gathering, and nonessential businesses are closed, and parents are faced with helping their children adjust to this new normal. It helps knowing that many are in the same boat. It is, in fact, almost reassuring to read stories of how other parents are currently coping, and to then duplicate some of the suggestions into one’s own household. There is also some comfort in sharing successes online for others to read and possibly inspire. The thing is – we are all pretty much new to the principles of self-isolation, social distancing and lockdown. Except for those in countries that are a few weeks ahead of South Africa, everyone treads on unfamiliar territory and we are all learning as we travel this unusual road. I have fixed my eyes on trying to find what experts had to say about bringing up children under pandemic circumstances and how to survive lockdown as a working family. And while doing so, I have almost missed

completely what children can teach us. It would be a pity if we overlooked what our children can bring to the discussion table. This is what I’ve learned: 1. Stay active I can remember feeling very concerned after the realisation kicked in that 21 days of lockdown could become rather challenging. I was overwhelmed and felt caged in. At the same time, I was racking my brain to think of ways to juggle home schooling, an online practice, household chores and keeping everyone happy.

Staying focused on what is possible makes the situation better. While brooding about all of these, I could not come up with creative ideas, as there were giggles and hopping noises coming from the corridor outside my home office. I was forced to investigate. My children were having a bunny race all through the house. I initially wanted to warn them about heads getting bumped, but instead

I ended up having a shot at bunny hopping myself. I cannot remember when last I felt so alive, refreshed and connected with those around me. Half an hour later my head was thinking straight again and lockdown did not seem that dreadful anymore. With many exercises apps and online videos, there is no excuse to not stay active. 2. Establish and maintain

a daily routine The extended coronavirus school holiday was barely a few days old when my seven-year-old entered the bathroom one morning with a pen and paper in her hand. She insisted on my help so that she could plan her day. I was halfway working conditioner through my wet hair, and a formal written contract to how we should spend our Saturday was not high on my priority list. The more I tried to explain to her that we could just chat about our plans for the day, the more adamant she became on writing it all down. She wanted to know how to spell ‘breakfast’ and ‘storytime’ and ‘dollhouse play’. The real deal is that most children – whether they are planners or not – find some regularity and rhythm in their daily routine as very comforting.


The predictability provides a sense of control. She noticeably became energetic and confident as we worked together to fill a piece of paper with carefully selected activities in some flexible order. We drew small pictures next to words that were too long or difficult for her to read, and soon her younger siblings were interested in designing their own weekly draft of what they would like to do.

There is no excuse to not stay active. We made sure to add a space where everyone had their own quiet and uninterrupted time, as well as some time to connect with friends virtually, and practise sport. The mood in our home changed from that moment forwards. We were a family with some control in the middle of a world of chaos. Daily or weekly planners help children to stay occupied, to feel safe and attempt to keep up with their schoolwork as best as possible. It can even make parents feel better knowing that they are now more prepared. Living in lockdown conditions is never easy, but staying focused on what is possible makes the situation better and reassures everyone in the family that all will be okay. 3. Limit television viewing

and social media As I was reading out the total infection count for my husband one morning around the breakfast table, my preschool son looked up from his toast and spoke one sentence that made me stop right in my tracks. “Mommy, why do you talk so much about this germ?” His words echoed for a while and then my husband also curiously gazed at me for an answer. There is power in knowledge, and for most this brings a sense of

control. I was definitely not obsessed with the pandemic, but lately the topic had directed most of our family conversations. While it is important to be informed, it should not steal your everyday pleasure and rule your daily thinking. 4. Create your own joy I have always appreciated sitting down in the late afternoons with a cup of tea to watch my children playing. During the lockdown I had even more opportunity to do so. Time and again I have witnessed that with very little available, children can create an entire afternoon full of pure joy. From ‘baking’ with playdough to constructing a tent with towels – all was aimed to do something pleasurable. Children manage to use their creativity to not only bring happiness to themselves but to others as well. It is important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react in stressful events. Even though we should acknowledge some level of concern, it is wise to do so without panicking or catastrophising. Creating joy in everyday tasks can help children to lessen their anxiety and worries. This can in turn build resilience and even contribute to the development of emotional intelligence. I flagged that inside my mind and tried to find at least one general activity every day that could be twisted in some way to become more joyful. One of our favourites is now when the whole family brush their teeth together before the children’s bedtime. We share different toothpaste and check to see whose teeth are the brightest afterwards. 5. Do not lose sleep and

do not skip meals I made the mistake one morning of quickly cramming an online consultation session into an already jam-packed day. I did not sleep well the night before and skipped breakfast in the morning rush. I had a throbbing headache during the consultation and

suffered through one bad parenting moment after the other during the rest of that day. In hindsight it should have not surprised me. There are not many things as volatile and erratic as a toddler who missed their afternoon nap or experienced a spell of low blood sugar – except, maybe, a tired and concerned parent who neglects their own basic needs. It reminded me of the flight attendants explaining that parents should first put on their own oxygen mask before helping children and vulnerable others. 6. Sometimes having a meltdown is the best

thing that can happen We have all witnessed it: children losing themselves in a fury of crying, shouting and sometimes even dropping to the floor or stamping their feet. I had one of those days.

Creating joy in everyday tasks can help children to lessen their anxiety and worries. I was worried and bone-tired. The children were unco-operative and on a mission to challenge all general house rules. By 10am, I knew I was going to lose it. I left the children playing with blocks in the living room and for a few minutes had a quiet meltdown of my own in the bathroom: sobbing, miming angry shouts in the bathroom mirror and even throwing a tissue on the floor. It was a great relief, and just enough to get my frustration out. Ten minutes later I was sitting on the floor next to my children building a tower with them. I guess we are never too old or clever to learn – even from our own children.



“ Baking up a storm with the kids.”

Aimee O’Neill

Paige Roman

Melanie Loretta W


Simoné Berry








Trusting our girls to help with chores has made my life a whole lot easier and our home much calmer and cleaner.

Ed’s Though

Melanie has three children: Jeremy (11), Lila (6) and baby Joshua, who is five months old. She is currently still on maternity leave, but is dreading the month ahead, and unsure of how she will cope with all three children when she is back at work. Her partner, Mark, was only given two weeks’ paternity leave, and with a third child, their finances are too stretched to hire a nanny. Melanie and Mark know that they will have to find new ways to meet their children’s diverse needs while still running a household and meeting the demands of their job. This little scenario is not too far from the reality of many working parents. There is a constant juggle to manage the entirety of a family system: finances, homework, being on time for school, chores, grocery shopping, extra-murals, work deadlines and birthday parties every weekend. The list seems endless. Parents can often feel so overwhelmed that they may struggle to address each child’s unique developmental needs.

Some older children enjoy feeling productive and needed within the family system. Melanie and Mark, in the short case study above, have three children who are each in very different developmental stages. When Melanie was at home, she had a bit more time to consider how each of them might need her in distinct ways. Having overarching household rules are necessary, but knowing each child’s different developmental capacities and personality is helpful. It helps you




to ascertain how much support each child needs to fulfil and understand those rules and boundaries. For example, Melanie’s newest addition Joshua, is only five months old. By now he is able to roll over and sit with some support. Lately he has also been having longer babbling conversations. He might be starting to try out different solid foods. Joshua is also showing lots of interest in what his parents and siblings are doing around him. In order for Melanie and Mark to best support Joshua they need to make sure the home space is safe enough (obstacle-free from the older brother’s Lego scattered everywhere!) as he begins to learn to crawl. He also needs his caregivers to be nearby and engage with him through talking, tickling and describing the world around him. This requires Melanie and Mark to be constantly supervising and being engaged. On the other hand, Lila is six years old and has entered a different stage of development. She is an affectionate child and is always excited for school, but she can also be quite demanding of attention and wanting her needs met immediately. She also takes quite a while to get ready in the mornings as these are complex tasks for her still. She is struggling now that Joshua is getting more of the attention, and she is no longer the ‘baby’. Melanie and Mark are having to ensure there is a routine and consistency for Lila to still feel safe and kept in mind. She has to have rules around playtime and bedtime explained, sometimes several times! She also needs some extra help to keep organised, especially with the new stressors of ‘big school’. This requires Melanie and Mark to really be on top of reminding Lila of her new responsibilities while also

being encouraging and praising her attempts. Last, Melanie and Mark need to still keep their 11-year-old, Jeremy in mind. He is able to be a bit more independent now, but he is also feeling quite self-conscious as his body grows and his thinking becomes more complex. He wants to engage on more tricky topics about the world around him. He is also grappling with the intricacies of negotiating friendships or the budding ideas of girlfriends.

Knowing each child’s different developmental capacities and personality is helpful. With Jeremy, Melanie and Mark need to take a completely different stance. They are supporting their son to grow up in a balanced way: with rules and some freedom and privacy to try out new thoughts or ways of being. They are also helping him to learn from his experiences and sometimes his mistakes. As you can see, Melanie and Mark are really having to do some mental and physical gymnastics to jump between each child’s needs and trying to meet each of them them where they are at on their developmental journeys. Here are a few tips to smooth the expected bumpy road. Have as much family time as possible: Having a joint space where all family members can connect and be together helps everyone to be aware of and respect each other’s unique


needs. Dinner time around the table and age-appropriate games are just two suggestions. Let the older children participate and feel useful: Some older children enjoy feeling productive and needed within the family system. The older child may want to be included with the new baby by holding him or reading to him for a short while, while mom or dad need to get the dinner ready. Ensure that chores are part of the routine: With three children with unique needs a parent needs as much time as possible to get each child to school and extra-murals. One doesn’t want to waste time on the ordinary day to day tasks of bed-making, setting the dinner table, brushing teeth or getting into pyjamas. Making a chores list with pictures and instructions for each child, for each day, is a helpful strategy to remind children what needs to be done on a daily basis, without (hopefully) having to nag or remind too much. When children know they get extra time for play and togetherness if all their chores are completed, they are more likely to be co-operative. Don’t forget your own needs: Parents often spend so much time caring and nurturing their children that they forget about their own needs. Remember that one cannot pour from an empty cup! Take a few minutes each day, once the chaos of the evening has subsided, to have a cup of tea, read a few pages of a novel, listen to some music or have a relaxing bath. Finding the time for these simple treats may be tricky, but it is also very necessary to be able to remain present and thoughtful for one’s children.

Where possible ask for support: Remember that there are other parents going through similar struggles and juggles. Arrange lift clubs, have play dates where you can have some adult conversation and the children can still play safely, cook in bulk and freeze meals to make dinner times simpler or create a schedule

on the fridge so that you don’t have to remember everything that needs to happen in the week. Being a parent is an exhausting, but rewarding experience. Don’t let the stress of being the perfect parent get in the way of just enjoying getting to know your kids and, oftentimes, learning from them.



Fun family activities that don’t require technology to enjoy during lockdown BEING STUCK TOGETHER WITH YOUR FAMILY IN YOUR HOUSE CAN HAVE AN UPSIDE. MICHELLE NORTJE PROVIDES SOME INSPIRATION FOR FUN ACTIVITIES THAT DON’T REQUIRE TECHNOLOGY WHEN YOU JUST WANT TO FOSTER A GREATER SENSE OF CONNECTION WITH YOUR FAMILY. Technology has become such an integral part of our everyday lives, that imagining our weekly routine without it seems bizarre. But, as valuable as technology has been in making parts of our lives simpler and more efficient, it can also sometimes get in the way of ordinary relating, and can affect the quality of the time we spend with our loved ones. Television, laptops, cell phones, video games and social media apps can become all-consuming! Loadshedding has perhaps been a necessary reminder that we do not need electricity or technology to build better relationships. Here are a few ideas on how to make

the best of our time and experiences with our families and friends without needing electricity or technology.

1. Reading Reading together with mom and dad can be a very special experience for children. Children often remember experiences that differ from the monotony of their usual weekly routines. Reading with your child is not only valuable for their language development, but is also such a meaningful way to strengthen a bond.

Games and tech-free play are a way of providing fun learning spaces.

2. Storytelling traditions Passing on family stories and tales is a wonderful way to help children understand the richness and depth of their family history. We can often get so caught up in what needs to get done each day, that we don’t always have time to reflect and talk about the past. Children can develop a deeper understanding of their ancestors and the kinds of traditions that came before them when parents share stories about their upbringing or even their parents’ upbringings. Paging through the family photo albums can be a


Each family member gets a turn to tell a magical story. touching experience for children. It also allows them to understand how quickly the world around them is changing and growing.

Board games, card games, puzzles, arts and crafts and Lego building are a great way of practising turn-taking, strategy, patience, perseverance, planning, creativity as well as critical thinking.

3. Stretching your imagination 5. Have a braai Another fun idea to help build your child’s imagination, vocabulary and capacity for self-reflection, is to have storytelling competitions. This also allows children a space to free associate and to make sense of their experiences during their days without you having to ask too many questions. To start off your storytelling competition, you might want to write a few themes or topics (e.g., my favourite animal, the biggest fright, my magic wand, my worst day etc.) and place them in a hat. Then each family member gets a turn to tell a magical story. You will be amazed at what big ideas little minds can create! You might even want to make the story into a play, where dressing up can make their stories come alive.

4. Games Modern children can often be found glued to their screens playing a variety of games, but it is recommended that preschool and primary aged children only spend 20 minutes to an hour on screen time each day. Games and tech-free play are a way of providing fun learning spaces without relying on technology to provide the entertainment. Games that do not require any kind of electrical component can still be enjoyed as a family.

Instead of relying on our kitchens and stoves, having a simple braai can be a valuable parent-child activity. There are many steps in this process that can be elaborated on for children of different ages. Fire safety, building a braai, how to use matches, healthy food preparation and learning about the effects of heat can be both educational and fun.

6. Outdoor explorations Being outdoors if you do have a garden is a wonderful experience for children and families to learn about their external worlds without needing to rely on too much technology. Night time for example, offers a fun opportunity for star gazing, learning about star constellations, the phases of the moon, and the other planets in our solar system. This might mean parents will also have to do some research beforehand as well! During the day, take time away from the television set to go for a walk in the garden or bird watch. You can teach your child about the names of different flowers, have a sword fight with some sticks or play ball. There are endless options for outdoor games and sports. This way, children are learning about nature and their surroundings while

also building muscles and keeping fit and healthy.

7. Create a techfree room or time slot You may begin to realise how much time you and your children actually spend watching TV or playing games on a tablet! Going tech-free (even for a portion of one’s week) may start to seem more appealing and valuable. You may want to try having one room in the house where no technological equipment is allowed, or having at least an hour a day when there is no technology in use. This way, we come to see that we actually have lots of quality time that we can spend with our families, that easily gets sucked up by technology! We certainly cannot live without technology anymore. However, being confined to our homes all day, does provide us with a good opportunity to connect with our family without technology.

Reading with your child is valuable. But it is also important to remember that humans have social needs to connect, play, interact and learn through experience and doing. If we are able to create a useful balance between technology and more simple ways of being, we may notice we can create homes with less tension, rushing and disconnectedness.



Why we should


local manufacturing

GUEST EDITOR MARI-LOUISE CANDIOTES LOOKS AT THE PROS AND PROS OF SUPPORTING LOCAL BRANDS. Shop small, support local. These are the current buzzwords appearing all over social media. But why is local manufacturing important to our country and its citizens? Why should we support local? Aren’t there enough international brands producing exactly what we want and at a price we can afford? The majority of South Africans would actually like to support local if they could, but there are many reasons why they don’t (or perhaps I should say cannot) support local manufacturers. Some of these include: Locally manufactured products are too expensive. There are no locally produced options for the product that I am looking for. The product quality and service level of local brands are substandard. Locally produced products aren’t readily available. All of the above may seem like fair excuses, but what if I told you that in fact, you are the reason for these

shortcomings? Throughout the ages, drought has been one of the most devastating and invasive disasters for all living things. Water is our most important survival resource. How does drought happen though?

The natural evolution of a well-supported manufacturer is to improve its manufacturing capabilities. Picture yourself sitting next to a beautiful lake on a lovely summer’s day. You look out over the water and all you see is paradise. However, hidden from view is the natural evaporation of water. Little by little, water evaporates up into the air. This process continues every minute of every day, non-stop, but because it’s so slow no-one notices any changes. Now imagine that no rain falls into that lake for two years … Disaster!

Drought, in essence, occurs when there is less rain, than evaporation for an extended period of time. Now, back to local manufacturing. When goods are imported, money leaves the country to pay for those goods (evaporation). Money flows back into the country when goods are exported (rainfall). The difference between exports and imports is referred to as the trade balance. It is negative if imports exceed exports (more evaporation than rainfall). Just as a prolonged period of water evaporation without any rain causes a drought, so a prolonged period of negative trade balance creates an economic disaster (no money left). The most severe impact is seen in local employment. Jobs become less and less available as more goods are imported. An ever-weakening local currency comes next, due to the principle of supply and demand. Demand for a currency increases when you sell in that currency. Exports represent sales for a currency. Thus the less you export the less demand there is for that currency. Lastly, local products become more expensive as demand for the locally


produced good decreases. Local manufacturing is one of the best ways we can keep our money in our country, provided the manufacturer spends the money it receives on local resources. The natural evolution of a wellsupported manufacturer is that they are able to increase their volumes and thereby create efficiencies through improved processes, setting up assembly lines and reducing material costs when buying in bulk. All these benefits filter back into the pockets of their customers, who pay less for products as efficiencies improve. The natural evolution of a wellsupported manufacturer, is to improve its manufacturing capabilities so that it can start exporting. And that brings “rainfall” to South Africa, which will benefit all South Africans in the long term. We all dream of a South Africa

where there is enough for all to make a decent living, a place where there is work for all who want to work and a sense of pride when we say, “I am a South African!” Supporting local manufacturing helps the country move towards this dream.

When goods are imported, money leaves the country. So, next time you consider buying something, ask yourself: “Do I want to be part of ‘rainfall’ or ‘evaporation’? You have the buying power to make a difference. Whatever you decide today will have a lasting impact on your kids too – let’s not create drought for them.

Some of my favourite local brands to support:



Create a




Top Tip! You could also make little bracelets, wrap your necklace around your arm to create a stacked bracelet effect or you can create a much longer string that you can loop over your head a few times to create a strand of necklaces.


Step 1: Get all of your supplies together. Paint – you can choose to do one or two colours depending on your child, or all the paint colours you can find. Paintbrushes – use bigger brushes for smaller toddlers and smaller brushes for older toddlers to help with fine motor skills. Macaroni or penne – there are a few different types on the market but for smaller toddlers try to find short macaroni with a larger hole in the middle. Age appropriate scissors. String.


Step 3: Cut the string to the correct length. Ensure that once you’ve made the necklace and tied a knot, it will still be able to fit over your or your child’s head.


Step 2: Paint your pasta – allow them to use this craft to explore what happens when different colours are mixed and have fun with it.


Step 4: String the pasta onto the string and tie a tight knot at the back.


OUR favourite places GUEST EDITOR MARI-LOUISE CANDIOTES SAYS HER FAMILY LOVES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PRETORIA’S AMAZING WEATHER ALL YEAR ROUND, SO MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, YOU’LL FIND THEM OUTSIDE. Raising a family in Pretoria is like living in a small town, but with big city perks. There is simply so much to do and see!

The Grove Mall Ten Pin Bowling, Ice skating, bumper cars, laser tag, Safari Sam indoor play park for young kids, the best movies in town, great local and international shops, loads of places to eat PLUS a Fournos bakery and the only Paul’s Ice Cream currently in Pretoria! All this fun in one spot. Cnr. Lynnwood & Simon Vermooten, Equestria, Pretoria

The Fun Room

happen weekly and the Pretoria Botanical Gardens host monthly events as well. We have also become regulars at various dog parks such as Paws in the East, Great Dane Park, and the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve.

Irene Dairy Farm Irene Dairy farm is part of Pretoria’s heartbeat and has been around since 1895! It’s stunning and both my husband and I have fond childhood memories of visiting the farm. Now we get to make brand new ones with our girls too. Nellmapius Drive, Irene

This has to be Pretoria’s number one indoor play venue for kids. The equipment is clean and maintained regularly. The staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful and I can never resist swimming in the massive ball pit or sliding down the three-storey slide with our girls. Waterkloof Corner, Cnr. Main Street and Crown Avenue, Waterkloof, Pretoria

Wolwespruit MTB and Trail Park



Need I say more? I’m sure by now every parent in South Africa knows about Bounce. I wish we had trampoline parks growing up! Thankfully at Bounce all ages from three years old are welcome to play, and boy, do we play! I’ll be wall running any day now. Menlyn Maine, Level 2, Central Square, Amarand Ave, Waterkloof Ext 2, Pretoria

Another outdoor escape in the city: zip-lining with the kids. Pretoria actually has three Acrobranch branches. We usually visit either The Big Red Barn or Rosemary Hill, seeing as both of these have great dining options too. Big Red Barn even has a pottery studio, Clay Café, onsite, which makes for another fun family activity.

Dog Parks and Food Markets We can’t resist a market or any outdoor event for that matter. Hazel Food Market and the Pretoria Boeremark

Load in the bicycles or hiking boots (even the fur babies) and spend the morning exploring the breathtaking trails at Wolwespruit. Afterwards we lunch at PLTFRM, their family and dog-friendly restaurant. The food is amazing and so are the views. 501 Jochemus Street, Cul de sac, Erasmuskloof, Pretoria


What s Happening in Your city

VENUES The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness centre allows visitors to experience some of Africa’s wonderful wildlife and bird species in the great outdoors. Meet Gerry, the centre’s hand reared giraffe and interact with a host of other animals including tortoises, ostriches and a porcupine. Bring your picnic baskets and enjoy a day out in the nature with some of its most interesting creatures. Cost: Adults: R55, Children (2-15 years): R35 (no card facilities – cash only) Where: c/o R304 and R101, Stellenbosch When: Monday – Sunday, 09:00 – 17:00 Info: Call 021 884 4506 or visit

Green Point Park is a great public facility to take the kids for a day out. There is a fitness park for cycling as well as a play park with jungle gym equipment that children can enjoy playing on. Pack a picnic basket and spend some time bonding outdoors. There is also a tea garden on the premises for those of you who don’t want to pack a picnic basket. Where: 1 Fritz Sonnenberg Rd, Green Point, When: Monday – Sunday: 07:00 – 19:00 Info: Call 021 444 4258 or email

Blasters Family Restaurant is a place where parents can relax with a good meal knowing that their children are happy, entertained and safe. This restaurant is situated in the Brackenfell in Cape Town and has a fantastic kids’ corner that is sure to keep children entertained for hours. Where: Cape Gate Decor Centre, Belami Drive, Cape Town When: Sunday - Monday, 10:00 – 18:00; Tuesday – Thursday, 09:00 -20:00, Friday – Saturday, 09:00 – 22:00 Info: Call: 021 981 7555 or visit

The Foodbarn Restaurant has a menu filled with delectable treats for the whole family. Plus, there is great entertainment for the children, including a kiddies’ play area with a jungle gym, seesaw and more. Where: Noordhoek Farm Village, Corner Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road, Noordhoek When: Lunch, 12:00 – 14:30; Dinner Tuesday – Saturday, 19:00 – 21:30 Info: Call 021 789 1390 or visit

Lemon-Butta Willowbridge is a delightful Mediterranean restaurant in Tyger Valley’s trendy Willowbridge Shopping Centre. Choose from a menu of fabulous sushi, seafood or meat dishes. There is also a great kiddies’ menu with a wide variety of foods for your little ones to choose from. Where: Shop G54, Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, Carl Cronje Road, Tygervalley When: Monday – Saturday, 11:30 – 22:00; Sunday, 11:30 – 21:00 Info: Call 087 153 2588 or email


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 see their much-loved dinosaur, Barney, on stage daily. One lucky mom-to-be will also 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: 30 October – 1 November 2020 Where: CTICC Info: 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

Ri’Stretto Al Fresco Cucina, situated in the heart of Morningside, is a great place for a fun family day out. Enjoy a delectable dish while your children play in a safe environments. Choose from a variety of Mediterranean and Italian dishes that are sure to satisfy your tastebuds. Where: Corner Cullinan Close and Rivonia Road, Morningside When: Monday to Saturday 08:30 – 21:00, Sunday 08:30 – 17:30 Info: Call 011 783 1090 or visit

Willow Feather Farm is a wonderful outdoor venue where children get to enjoy nature at its best. The farm is home to a number of animals including alpacas, miniature cows, sheep, potbelly pigs, goats, swans, ducks and geese, which your children will have fun interacting with. There is a tea garden where parents can relax with a nice cup of coffee and a snack. Alternatively , you can also order one of the farms picnic baskets and have a picnic outside among nature. Cost: Entrance fee R40/person (Children under 2 enter for free), Pensioners R30/person, Booked parties and functions R30/person Where: Portion 37, Doornkloof East, Corner M57 & Sterkfontein Ave, Irene, Pretoria When: Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 17:00 Info: Email or visit

The Lemon Grove Coffee Garden and Kiddies Playground is an outdoor restaurant with a fantastic kiddies play area. Grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat and watch your children play. There is also a yummy kids’ menu filled with delicious treats for your little ones to choose from Where: 246 Jean Avenue, Centurion When: Monday – Saturday, 09:00 – 16:00, Sunday 09:00 – 15:00 Info: Call 083 275 3898 or email

The Purple Cow restaurant is a great family restaurant in Midstream Estate in Centurion. Have a great meal and great fun at a great price. On occasion, the restaurant hosts movie nights for the whole family. Where: Ground Floor, Midfield Clubhouse, Midway Boulevard, Midstream When: Monday – Sunday, 07:00 – 23:00 Info: Call 072 128 9374 or visit https://


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 see their much-loved dinosaur, Barney, on stage daily. One lucky mom-to-be will also 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: 30 July – 2 August 2020 Where: Ticketpro Dome, Joburg Info: Visit

DATE NIGHT IDEA Learn to make gin together at the Inverroche Gin School at the Indaba Hotel. After carefully selecting your unique ingredients and botanicals for your gin, they all go into a specially-crafted copper still, and the distillation process gets underway. Where: Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre c/o William Nicol Drive & Pieter Wenning Road, Fourways Info: Email or call 011 840 6600/011 840 6610

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



MonkeylandKZN is a free-roaming, multispecies primate sanctuary situated in the Dolphin Coast region of KwaZulu-Natal. This new sanctuary opened to the public in April 2019 and offers tours during which you will see many species of primates including capuchin monkeys, ringtail and black-and-white ruffed lemurs, buff-cheeked gibbons, squirrel monkeys and black howler monkeys in a forest environment. There is also a pizza restaurant, outdoor children’s play area and environmental cinema on the premises. Cost: Adults: R300, Children (3 – 12 years): R150. Under 3 years: Free Where: Salt Rock Road, Dolphin Coast When: Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 17:00 Info: Call 032 004 0178 or visit

22 Jump Street is a safe indoor entertainment centre that is sure to keep the whole family entertained. This centre features a trampoline park and gaming arcade that will keep kids active and busy for hours. It is also a great party venue. Cost: 1 hour: R100, 2 hours: R150, 3 hours: R200 Where: Shop 239, Ballito Junction, Leonora Dr When: Monday – Thursday: 09:00 – 21:00, Friday – Saturday: 09:00 – 22:00, Sunday: 08:00 – 21:00 Info: Call 032 586 1772 or visit

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 see their much-loved dinosaur, Barney, on stage daily. One lucky mom-to-be will also 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 August – 30 August 2020 Where: Durban Expo Centre Info: Visit

Prep Room

is a quaint little coffee shop with scrumptious food, delicious coffee and fun activities for the kids. Situated at Glenwood Preparatory School, this restaurant offers pizza and waffle-making classes for kids, as well as an outdoor play area. Where: Bath Road, Glenwood When: Monday – Friday: 06:30 – 17:00 Info: Call 072 114 3531 or visit

DATE NIGHT IDEA Daruma Umhlanga is a Japanese restaurant with authentic Teppanyaki style food. Enjoy a delicious meal and take in the romantic ambience that this restaurant offers. It is perfect for any date night. Where: Pearls of Umhlanga, 6 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga rocks When: Sunday, 12:00 – 20:00, Monday, 12:00 – 21:00, Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 22:00 Info: Send an email to

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


Being a mama to three girls GUEST EDITOR MARI-LOUISE CANDIOTES SAYS SHE AND HER HUSBAND ALWAYS WANTED A BIG FAMILY: A MESSY HOME TURNED UPSIDE DOWN AND INSIDE OUT WITH LOVE AND LAUGHTER. HOWEVER, SHE NEVER EXPECTED TO BE A MAMA TO ONLY GIRLS. Glitter, impromptu tea parties, plays, and rock-n-roll performances, any excuse to dress up! There’s never a shortage of giggles and cackling in our home. but raising three girls is so much more than just pink, fluffy dreams. Our little ladies are fierce, future girl-bosses ready to take over the boardroom or race track, whichever they set their minds to.

We are born with an inherent capacity for selflessness, compassion and service, immeasurable strength and endless perseverance: traits that should be nurtured and celebrated, not exploited or seen as weak or wrong. Raising women has made me proud to be a woman.

Life’s busy, overwhelming at times, LOUD, and somedays you can’t help but want to run for the hills. But that will never happen – not with the blessings our three girls bring.

Juggling different schedules, keeping up with work demands, making time for friends and family – it all seems impossible, because finding that elusive perfect balance simply doesn’t exist. When you are outnumbered you need to be resourceful. Planning, organising, learning to say no and prioritising aren’t just life skills anymore, but necessities! This is how I ensure I put our family first.

Our girls give me confidence Looking back at my 20-something self, I had many insecurities, mostly regarding body image. Whether it was my ears, my untoned arms, the way my hair never curled just right … I picked myself apart, looking for flaws. I lacked confidence, not knowing my own strength and beauty. I didn’t understand true beauty until I saw my own “flaws” reflected in our girls. Sharing traits that bothered me with our daughters made me realise the insignificance of them and how true beauty dances in our unique flaws. Those parts of us, so strange, so different, so special, so perfect, are only a part of us.

Our girls show me who I am Having a girl is like having a little mirror that reflects parts of womanhood you’ve long forgotten or take for granted. Seeing our girls grow and develop gives me a newfound appreciation for the wonder our female bodies hold.

Our girls teach me what matters most

Our girls bring us closer together Parenting will throw you more than a few curveballs: unexpected illnesses, midnight trips to the ER, educational challenges, developmental problems, financial strains … you name it, we’ve been through it. These are moments that test you mentally, emotionally and physically. In those moments I have learned to grab hold of my husband, crumbling in his arms so that I can safely pick up the pieces and be strong again. And the same applies for him. Each testing experience has been a building block for a stronger marriage. Mari-Louise Candiotes lives in Pretoria with her husband and three daughters aged eight, five and almost three. She blogs at, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your parenting journey.

As our family grows, so do I I have achieved so much more because I am a mom, not in spite of being one. I am a completely different person than the one I was before I was a mom. I look at the world in a different light and each of our daughters teaches me lessons I need to learn to become the best version of myself. They are my greatest motivators, my cheerleaders and biggest fans (may that last forever). I may be raising our girls, but they are returning the favour, moulding me into a woman. I could not have dreamt up a more wonderful family and I would not trade any moment (the good or the bad) for anything else. I love being a girl mama – the only thing that could possibly be better than raising three girls, would be adding a fourth little person to our clan.

Everything you need to welcome your baby home at South Africa’s leading baby hyper.

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South Africa’s leading baby hyper