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Terrible Toddlers Survival Guide for Terrible Toddlers



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february 2018 | mychild ISSUE 77 - FEBRUARY 2018



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My Child magazine and mychildmagazine.com.au are wholly owned by MyChild Magazine (ABN 79 167 787 662). No other parties or individuals have any financial interest in the company or in My Child or mychildmagazine.com.au. My Child contains general information only and does not purport to be a substitute for health and parenting advice. Readers are advised to seek a doctor for all medical and health matters. The publisher and authors do not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of an action taken by readers in reliance on the recommendations set out in this magazine. Reproduction of any material without written permission by the publisher is strictly forbidden. We cannot accept responsibility for material lost or damaged in the post or for any unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders.


february 2018 | mychild

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Letter Hi Everyone, How is Feb upon us? I swear that it was Christmas yesterday. I know that having kids makes time fly, I just wish I knew how to slow it down a little. We have had a busy month at My Child, we have moved to new premises and are loving how light and airy our new place is. There is nothing like quiet like change to get you motivated with new ideas and goals. We will have a few announcements mid year that are sure to excite you all. So, I can totally relate to this issue. Max is a terrible two year old and boy is she testing the boundaries. I love my child, but I would love to be able to sleep through this stage and awake up when she is almost 4 (I hear that Threenagers are just as bad a Terrible Two’s and Max is turning 3 next month). Lately she has decided that she wants what she wants and be warned, don’t get in her way! I am not a tough parent, I’m actually pretty patient and I really value the relationship I have with my toddler, but this month she has tested my resolve more than I really care to admit. I have taken up the use of the naughty step which only makes her turn into a little angle for the 2 mins she is placed on the step and then there are the cuddles, sorry for being naughty and bam – she get’s off that step and is back to her “I want” ways straight away... Universe give me strength. Now let’s take a look at what’s in the Feb Issue. This month is Terrible Toddler month. We have a bunch of articles to help you navigate this terrible phase like Terrible Toddler Behaviour: Is This Normal?, Terrible Toddler Phases, Survival Guide for Terrible Toddlers, Am I To Blame For My Toddler’s Behaviour? and How to Tame a Terrible Toddler. We also have a great selection of other reads: Is Spacing your Pregnancies a Good Thing?, What To Do When Childbirth Doesn’t Go As Planned, Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding During The First Week, Six reasons you need to nurture the music in your toddlers’ life, The Homework Struggle… Juggle!, Making Time For Family and How To Reconnect With Your Partner All the usuals, interior, reviews blog and much more can also be found in this issue too. Until next month

Bianca xxx

Bianca and the mychild Team xxx


february 2018 | mychild



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TERRIBLE TODDLER BEHAVIOR IS THIS NORMAL? Written by Jana Angeles Terrible toddler behaviour can get out of hand for us parents. Like us, kids can’t control their emotions and they can get happy one minute and upset the next. Toddlers are meant to chuck a tantrum here or there, crying over something small and insignificant. It’s a challenging journey to get through this terrible stage, and you’ll be glad to get it out of the way once they move on to the next phase of their development.


february 2018 | mychild


february 2018 | mychild


The good news is terrible toddler behaviour is a completely normal stage. Though your sanity may not be intact at times, you can take a deep breath and know that this isn’t going to last forever. You can also learn that your toddler’s behaviour is contributed to a number of things. There are some factors to consider when trying to understand the normalcy of terrible toddler behaviour: THEY FEEL OVERSTIMULATED When your toddler is young, they are exposed to so many new things. If you consider yourself the adventurous type, exploring constantl y can lead to meltdowns from your child. Of course, it’s always great to take them outside of their normal comfort zone but it’s important to slow down and take regular breaks with them as much as you can. Meltdowns are a normal reaction and this just means your little one doesn’t know how to deal with this feeling of overstimulation; they are just trying to let you know to slow down. SELF-CONTROL DOES NOT EXIST TO THEM You’re in this scenario where your child keeps throwing the ball when you ask them not to. You’ve told them twice and nothing has changed. This is because during the toddler stage, your child’s brain hasn’t gone through the maturing stage, so it’s unlikely for them to listen to you when they do something they enjoy a lot. Of course, it’s important to set some rules and boundaries for your child but also remember that you have to be realistic about the outcomes. Placing high expectations can shatter your idealised world of how you want your child’s behaviour to be, so keep in mind that selfcontrol does not exist to them.


february 2018 | mychild

THEY SHOW DRAMATIC EMOTION As mentioned before, toddlers are not able to control how they feel. Whenever they’re crying hysterically or throwing tantrums, we often assume that they only do this for attention-seeking purposes or the fact you’ve been spoiling them too much and have let them get what they want too easily. Compared to us, toddlers

are not able to regulate their emotions. It’s important to consider that showing dramatic emotion could also mean they simply can’t control how they feel so they just let it all out at once! THEY ARE HUNGRY OR TIRED Do you find yourself getting angry over no reason when you don’t eat or sleep for a

while? It can be summed up that toddlers feel this too and it’s much harder for them to communicate this unless they have a meltdown or have a bit of cry. Ensure that your toddler is well fed throughout the day, feeding them nutritious meals while also getting them into the routine of naps during those lazy afternoons. This can help so much if you’ve found that your children are extremely restless and are constantly misbehaving. THEY LACK CONSISTENCY IN THEIR LIFE You are in control of your child’s diet and schedule and if you’re feeling like your patience is wearing thin, it could be because they lack a proper routine. Children need to have a predictable schedule when it comes to food or how they sleep, so their reactions of being upset is normal when they’re out of their routine. They’ve prepared for the expected and didn’t get it: it’s confusing and can be upsetting. It’s okay if they’ve been occasionally in the naughty books for a while. As much as we all love to stick to a proper routine, a new day brings a new set of challenges to overcome. Terrible toddler behaviour is made up of a number of different factors. Our list doesn’t even scratch the surface because of how complex it can be when it comes to the reasoning behind our children’s behaviour. All we can do is try our best to accommodate their wants and needs for them and encourage good behaviour. It’s okay to feel like you suck at the parenting game when your toddler is throwing a tantrum in public; all you can do is exhale the negativity and find the best solutions for the chaos that happens during this development stage.

february 2018 | mychild


IS SPACING YOUR PREGNANCIES A GOOD THING? Written by Jana Angeles Spacing your pregnancies is an individualised decision for all families. Not many people realise this but most families have different perspectives when it comes to planning the second or third child. We may have career goals to reach, our job or living situations might have changed or the fact we want to spend an equal amount of care when it comes to our kids. As parents, we don’t want either sibling to feel jipped, preventing the inevitable jealousy that may drive them apart. We have the responsibility of making the choice of how long we should space out pregnancies.


february 2018 | mychild


february 2018 | mychild


It’s beneficial to have a plan to allow time for our bodies to heal and recover from a recent pregnancy. Society has a hold over us when it comes to having kids so don’t feel pressured to follow what is seen as the “norm”. You can only plan for another child when you’re ready to do all the sleepless nights, the terrible twos and more all over again. In this article, we address the pros and cons of spacing your pregnancies and look thoroughly at the options on the years apart your children can have. LESS THAN 2 YEARS Pros • You’ll be able to raise the kids together, making it less demanding for you to repeat the cycle of breastfeeding, nappy changing, etc. Some often wish they had twins or triplets just so they could equally do all the duties at once instead of waiting for a couple of years. • They will be in-sync when it comes to activities. The children will be able to play similar games and have about the same learning stages in their development. They will also be able to go through the milestones together instead of separately, reducing the anxiety of going at it alone. • Though raising two kids with a small gap can be draining for the account, there are plenty of out-of-school activities that do special discounts if you enroll two or more children. Cons • It will be very intense and at times stressful in raising two kids that have a small gap. You will have to master the art of multi-tasking and keeping on top of things as a parent. • It will seem like your kids will be coordinating tantrums, crying and toilet accidents on the regular, making you feel like you can’t catch a break. • It could put a strain on married couples.


february 2018 | mychild

Things like laundry, constantly cleaning the house and having limited time to spend nights without the kids can make you feel like you’re spreading yourself thin. 2 TO 4 YEARS APART Pros • You can pace yourself when it comes to looking after the kids. It’ll feel like you’ve had enough break to compose yourself for your next child and to go through the responsibilities of raising a newborn again. • You and your partner will feel like you have time for yourselves. It’s less demanding for you because you can divide your attention to each child much easier. You can also squeeze in a couple of date nights on the regular. • Works well if you’ve taken maternity leave and gotten back to full-time work after the birth of your first child. You would’ve had

time to save money on expenses for your next child, taking two to four years gap. Cons • It’s tough raising a full-grown toddler and a newborn baby. It can be exhausting trying to meet the demands of both, especially if they’re in a completely different stage of their development. • You will struggle getting back into the routine of raising a newborn after a couple of years. The transition will be much harder if you go back on maternity leave, especially if you’ve been working for a while. • Sibling rivalry can occur. Your eldest child can feel left out, especially in the first few weeks of your newborn needing extra attention. FIVE YEARS OR MORE Pros • You have given undivided attention to each child. No one will feel jipped when

it comes to your care because you were able to raise each child until they have started schooling. • You get to know each child as individuals and really understand their personalities. Having more than five years gap allows you to keep yourself focused on each child when they reach new milestones. • Your eldest child can be a huge help when it comes to assisting you in raising your newborn. Cons • Takes even longer to adjust because you’ve gotten used to the routine of raising your first-born. It feels like an even longer commute between each child. • You will struggle with prioritising time for each child. You may need to sacrifice missing out on important school events because you’ve had to stay home trying to calm down an upset baby. Your eldest will feel jealous and frustrated over this. • The eldest child may feel obligated to take on some babysitting duties. This can get in the way if they’re a teenager trying to juggle school work, a social life and their hobbies. • Not ideal for mothers in their 30s as later pregnancies can lead to higher risk of health issues for either parent or newborn. Overall, it’s entirely up to you when you should plan for your next baby. Remember to always do your research and plan carefully when it comes to your lifestyle and what demands you can meet for yourself. It is completely okay if you have career goals you want to achieve first before having your next child or if you’re ready to have your next child in 1-2 years after your firstborn. There is no right answer but be sure to look after your health first and take cue signs from your body to prepare for the next pregnancy.

february 2018 | mychild




february 2018 | mychild

Survival Guide for Terrible Toddlers Written By Jana Angeles We all need a survival guide when it comes to life. There is no “by-the-book” schemes for parenting unfortunately, but with a little support, you can get through anything. Having toddlers can be terrible but there will be moments where you will enjoy being with them, treasuring the family time and making memories. The only way you can survive is to keep learning when it comes to the game of parenting. We all want to know how to survive the toddler phase, so how can we get through it in one piece?

february 2018 | mychild


TEACH THEM ABOUT CONSEQUENCES There will be consequences for the actions of your toddler. If they do something that upsets you, they need to learn the concept of time out and be removed from certain privileges. It’s easy to feel like the evil one when it comes to this but as parents, we need to draw the line when your child is doing the wrong thing. This is only the way to teach your kids from right and wrong; they should realise that you are doing this for their own benefit. ASSIGN RESPONSIBILITY Just because you’re doing things around the house doesn’t mean your child should get away from helping you out with chores. Teach them how to be responsible by picking up after themselves, putting toys away or helping you sort clothes appropriately for laundry. Assigning responsibility gives them the independence and the opportunity to learn that helping others is important. It will also teach them things such as initiative, organisation and confidence. SLEEP IS A PRIORITY When our children are not sleeping, it affects their focus and routine for the day. If you’ve been letting them stay up a few nights a week, this may be the cause of their terrible behaviour. Nap times are important because it allows your child to switch off from all activities and avoids their crankiness. It will also give you more time to work on other stuff while they are snoozing. Make sleep a priority and tuck them into bed at a reasonable hour. It not only benefits you but it will also boost their mental and physical health as well. PRAISE THEM Though our toddlers can be terrible when it comes to their behaviour sometimes, we must give them credit for the times they are


february 2018 | mychild

good! This will encourage positive habits from your children such as being courteous, listening and attending to your needs and treating others with respect without being asked to. Praising your child will keep them in check and can help them recognise the impact of their actions to other people. It will also stop their terrible behaviour for a while. It also feels good to praise your children when they do the right thing. HAVE PATIENCE Raising toddlers isn’t an easy task and we don’t expect you to get rid of their terrible behaviour immediately. Sometimes society puts pressure on us to have the “picture perfect family” but that’s an unrealistic goal. There will be long days of repetitive tasks or telling your child not to do something for the third time. You will also feel tired and uninspired because nothing is going like you planned it. It’s okay to feel like this, you just need to have patience. Over time, your child will begin to adapt good behaviour. You just have to remember they are on a different spectrum of maturity. It’s true: they are too young to understand everything, so you have to give them time. Also, stop being hard on yourself. Surviving the unpredictable behaviours of your children can be overwhelming for parents. You want the best for your kids but you’re also frustrated that they’re too stubborn, won’t listen and are doing things that make you feel like the worst parent. Behind all the mess, tears and tantrums, you’ve got to realise that they’re little humans, just figuring life out like the rest of us. It isn’t so much about surviving but it’s also about being able to experiment and prepare for change. You don’t know what to expect and everything will come to you as a surprise. In other words: you will get through it, it’s just a phase.

february 2018 | mychild


SO, IT’S MUSIC MANIA AT YOUR HOUSE? SIX REASONS YOU NEED TO NURTURE THE MUSIC IN YOUR TODDLERS’ LIFE Written by Genie Price Peanut butter and jelly, shoes and socks, rain and mud puddles - are all important joys in a toddlers’ upbringing. While all those aspects are significant, just as much as the alphabet, counting and recognising shapes is - music and movement also play a substantial role in the expansion of the young mind.


february 2018 | mychild


february 2018 | mychild


From as early as birth, there is music present in many aspects of daily life: theatre and dance, television and movies as well as celebrations and ceremonies. Even at home, parents instinctively use song - nursery rhymes and music to help soothe and calm their children, helping to quickly establish trust and security and promote the musical culture of the lives of many. So, is music an important part of your toddlers’ daily life? And if so, why? The answer is yes, and in more detail – we discuss below.


LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: Just as infants long to walk and run, your toddler yearns to absorb, to imitate and to increase their vocabulary - through speech. When music is introduced in both an educational program as well as the home setting, the benefits towards speech development are endless. And, because music is perfectly designed to engage the auditory senses, it helps to train your toddlers listening abilities – introducing them to pattern and predictability, new words and their meanings, as well as new sounds, all the while - developing their language skills.


PROMOTES EARLY MATH CONCEPTS: Maths!? But my toddler is only two years old! That’s right. Early math skills are promoted through engaging in musical experiences. How? Well, whether it be the lullaby you sing to bubba at night, or the spontaneous groove in the car, the counting, patterns and repetition, the tone and pitch of music are all prerequisites to learning about early math.


february 2018 | mychild

Although your toddler may not know it right now, they will soon come to use these skills in the classroom.


SUPPORTS MOTOR DEVELOPMENT AND COORDINATION: Music evokes movement and helps the body and mind work together. Trust me, your toddler will thank you for allowing them to explore a combination of music and dance. They will bounce, jump, spin and move in a way which feels natural and enjoyable to them. Music will enable your toddler to strengthen their motor skills, find their centre of gravity and encourage coordination, it will also nurture the muchneeded art of self-expression and creativity.


PROMOTES CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION: Because music has come to evolve over many decades, along with it, is the ability to be freely creative and expressive. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein “Dance like no one is watching” is exactly what your toddler will do when they hear the sounds of music. These sounds will motivate your child to move at their own will - making this their own creative experience. No one can tell them how to “feel” the music, this will instinctively happen. The creativity and imagination of their own evolving mind - will take over and what you will see is an experience which involves plenty of expressions.


LIFTS MOODS AND DECREASES STRESS: What is the first thing you do as an adult when you are feeling down? Aside from eating a big block of chocolate, the next best thing, for many – is to listen to music. Studies indicate that listening to music is a mood enhancer and can decrease levels of stress. As soon as pleasurable music is heard, even if it’s Grandma’s husky voice signing a bedtime lullaby, the dopamine levels in the brain are increased, and while you think that your toddler is too young to notice, you’re wrong. The word itself, is not important, however, the direct result of this increase is better moods and decreased levels of stress.


MUSIC ALLOWS FOR SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS: Toddlers love to sing and dance and whether they be at home on their own or as part of a school or church group, valuable life skills are being developed, such as: working together and relating to others within a space.

See, music is known to contribute to the overall health and well-being of your little one. Through musical experiences you can nurture sensory exploration, strengthen body awareness and gross motor and more importantly so, exposure to music for your toddler will mean expansion of the mind. With benefits like this, wouldn’t you want music as part of your life? About the Author: Hiya, my name is Genie. Originall y from New Zealand, I now reside in Western Australia, from where I bring you a wide variety of writing, enabling me to encompass my passion for both earl y years’ development and writing in one! With over 14 years in the earl y years’ sector, I completed my Degree in Earl y Years Education in 2013 and later went on to complete the Australian Diploma in Children’s Services also. Writing for me is a hobby and I enjoy the topics that MyChild offers, so I look forward to bringing you some new and exciting articles in 2018!

You can be sure that wherever a toddler is getting their groove on, adults are not far behind because music is in most cases, a common ground for the ma jority of us, toddlers included. Music is also a well-known avenue for which beloved songs, rhymes, and dances can be passed down from one generation to another. Be it our own cultural music or the new Ed Sheeran song – Perfect, music is a social activity which involves family and encourages community participation.

february 2018 | mychild


Book Reviews


february 2018 | mychild

february 2018 | mychild


Book Reviews MAISY GOES TO THE BOOKSHOP Written & Illustrated by Lucy Cousins Maisy and her friends enjoy a lovely morning together at the local bookshop, browsing the shelves, listening to story time, and sharing all the wonderful books they find. Lucy Cousins’ signature bright, colourful illustrations bring the familiar characters to life, and draw readers into the fun and excitement of their experiences. This is a delightful story to introduce children aged 2-4 to the wonders of losing oneself in a book, and the power that books have to transport us to different times and places.

ME TOO Written by Erika Geraerts & Charl Laubscher, Illustrated by Gatsby Just in time for Valentines Day, this simple, beautiful book is a celebration of love, friendship, and valuing the people who mean the most to us. It is about understanding what we look for in others, and finding people to share our lives with who bring fun and adventure to the relationship – and who appreciate the importance of eating dessert for breakfast! This really is a charming book for all ages, and will be enjoyed as much by parents as it will be by their children. 26

february 2018 | mychild

FIREFLY HOME Written by Jane Clarke, Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup This is a wonderfully interactive book to read aloud, asking the listeners to take part in Florence the firefly’s journey as she tries to find her way home. We are encouraged to close our eyes and make a wish, trace the firefly’s loopy path with our fingers, call out to her, and finally to blow her a goodnight kiss at the end of the story. Readers aged 2-6 will be engaged by the dreamlike illustrations and gorgeous colour palette. They will love following Florence on her adventure, and delight in helping her find her friends.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR? Written & Illustrated by Eric Carle and Friends This is an exploration of colour, written and illustrated by fifteen of today’s best-known picture book creators from around the world. Each page delves into a different colour, giving an insight into why particular shades, specific to our lives, can become our favourites. The variety of styles of both words and pictures from all the different artists makes this an interesting and absorbing read for children aged 3 and up, and brings our attention to the beauty of the colours all around us.



www.busybookworms.com.au february 2018 | mychild


Am I To Blame For My Toddler’s Behaviour? Written by Jana Angeles It’s natural instinct for us to assume that we are responsible for our children’s behaviour. Besides, we are around them 24/7, 7 days a week so the only factor that can contribute to their behaviour is us, right? It depends on the circumstances and how we are as people. Obviously, all parents have different parenting styles and how we manage to balance our lives with our kids can seem impossible. It’s not so much about raising the perfect child it’s about being able to teach them how to own up to their mistakes and become responsible adults of the future. We don’t realise how much power we actually have over our children. But what happens if you feel like you’ve lost control? Are you really to blame for their behaviour?


february 2018 | mychild


february 2018 | mychild


YOU GET CAUGHT UP IN DISTRACTION There’s no such thing as balance in life but we want to achieve it. We all desire to keep balance in check when it comes to our family, but sometimes, life can get distracting and we get too caught up in our own responsibilities. When was the last time you properly spent time with your child? Have you made effort recently? If you’re struggling to remember the last time you had a proper catch up with your child, it’s time to clear out your schedule and make some happy memories. If your toddler has been super restless or misbehaving lately, maybe it’s their way of getting your attention from you doing important adult things.


toddler has been misbehaving for a while and you aren’t sure why, ask yourself when was the last time you played with them? We get consumed by our smartphones and our daily lives, replying to emails and not learning when to switch off. When your child is asking you to be a part of something, do it. It’s important to stay relevant in your child’s life - this will create an unbreakable bond that will last forever. As parents, you don’t want to be forgotten and left in the shadows when it comes to your child’s life. Be there when they need you and never stop learning about them. Take interest in their activities and be a part of it.

YOU AREN’T A GOOD ROLE MODEL Having vices as an adult can do more damage to people who care about us. Gambling, drinking and smoking are things that we do at times when we’re feeling stressed about life and want a little escape from reality. Not only that, if you frequently travel for work and go on long periods without being present in your child’s life, you may have let them gotten away with a lot of things. Being a good role model doesn’t mean having to be there every step of the way. It’s about sacrificing your vices and finding time outside of work to spend time with these tiny humans. They are not going to be young forever; like you, they will grow quickly and be out of the nest in no time. Remember to be the best version of yourself and soon, you will start to see your children model this.

YOU HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS Placing expectations on your children is unhealthy. Maybe it’s the parenting style you were used to growing up, helping you keep motivated when it came to achieving milestones and outstanding grades. It’s important that you don’t have high expectations and encourage your child to try their best. Nurture and recognise their own talents; if you find that you were more academic but your child has found a creative side, take cues in their behaviour and see what activities they could do to help grow. High expectations can lead to your toddler being frustrated, leading to unhealthy perfectionistic attitudes and low selfesteem if not met. Embrace your child’s personality and you will find them much happier and healthier when it comes to their wellbeing and confidence.

YOU’RE NOT ATTENDING TO YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS Toddlers don’t have homework to do but they do spend a lot of time in childcare/ prep school doing fun activities and preparation for the schooling years. If your

Your toddler’s behaviour all contribute to a number of factors so blaming yourself entirely isn’t justified. Remember, you’re still learning day by day about parenting, so if you recognise you’ve been off your A-game lately, own up to it and change it!

february 2018 | mychild

february 2018 | mychild



“Treasured” moments I love being a mum. No really, I do. I know I joke about it a lot but it’s something that means the world to me. I just don’t always like some of the “fun” that comes along with it. I often think how am I doing as a mum? Good? Great? Maybe not so good when I yell for the millionth time in a day. I figure my girls are still breathing so it can’t be all bad, right?! Everyone has angelic children like me, don’t they? Where they do as they’re told, listen and are just all round the best children on the planet? I can hear you all laughing, either at me or for me it’s perfectly fine, I’m used to it, you know, children and all.

I often wonder how mums out there cope with a tribe of kids. And by tribe, I mean three or more kids! There are days where I almost need matchsticks to hold my eyes open and some kind of energy boost to get me through the day and that’s only with two. Mind you, I’m one of those lucky mums whose ‘adorable’ children stopped napping at the age of two and 18 months respectively. Yep my two are on the go, allllllllll day. Before you ask, no most nights they don’t sleep through the night either. You really can’t have it all, but you can hope for the best even when you expect the worst. Is it bad that most days feel like the worst around here? Haha! Kids definitely run their own show (especially my two!!) and know how to work their magic on you, no matter how on the ball you think you are. We’re still smack bang in the middle of attitude central too. The age of four teamed with a “terrible” toddler is certainly not ideal and I fear it’s not going away anytime soon. I anticipate that I will get a “break” for a few years before I encounter the pure joy that is teenage hell. I’ve been assured that the ‘best’ is yet to come. Isn’t it funny how you feel like the worst is behind you with every stage you survive and yet it’s really only an appetiser for the main course. Although I’m often reminded (usually after a horrible night) that the days may feel long but the years are short and I really should make the most of them. Yep thanks mum, always the pleasant reminder! Plus, she likes to say (quite a lot actually) that everything my girls throw at me (sometimes literally), I also did to her. Karma is it mum? On a sentimental note I know I just want to be the best mum I can be and I don’t always feel like I do it right. I love my


february 2018 | mychild

babies (they always will be no matter how old they are) and I know they love me unconditionally, they don’t have a choice really (insert evil laugh here). I have an awesome relationship with my mum, well I hope so anyway, and I can only do my best to ensure the same for myself and my girls. Maybe a little less yelling and more “nice” mummy might be the way to go? That is until all hell breaks loose again and again. See, always anticipating the worst! I guess as mums we’re all looking for that reassurance we’re doing ok, that we have made all the right choices even if they felt wrong at the time. I know I have made bad decisions, who hasn’t? Knowing we can’t always be the “good guy” when raising children certainly makes it harder when you doubt yourself and your parenting. But it’s important to remember (and I’m far from an expert and probably should take my own advice) that our kids aren’t going to remember all the bad stuff. Who am I kidding?! Of course they will and likely point it out whenever they see fit to embarrass you as much as possible. But always have a contingency up your sleeve, it’s likely you’ll have plenty of ammo to use as well. Modern technology in the form of “cute” videos and photos should do the trick, haha!

If you feel up to some more light-hearted reading, jump on to shereeechlin.com and read about the rest of the disasters/fun stuff/every day joys of life I encounter on a regular basis. It might just make you feel better about your own parenting or at least give you a laugh anyway!

Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding During The First Week Written by Jana Angeles There are so many emotions after the first few days of childbirth. You’re nervous, scared, excited and thrilled to be able to take care of your little human. For most of us, it’s a new journey that we’re about to embark on and we’re not sure how things will pan out; all we know is, it’s easy to feel misguided at times, especially in these trying moments of adulthood. Our children will challenge us to be the best parents we can be, but ultimately, we have to remember that we aren’t perfect.


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february 2018 | mychild


The first week of parenting is something we’ll remember for a while and everything will feel new and unfamiliar. For mothers, breastfeeding is one of the first few things they do as new parents. Breastfeeding allows them to nurture their children and feel close to them from skin-to-skin contact. What we don’t realise is, it’s a crucial time for us to allow bonding to start with our babies and being able to feed them is an experience like no other. Yes, it’ll be painful at times but seeing that small face and carrying that bundle of joy will warm your heart in so many ways. We sometimes set expectations for ourselves when it comes to the first few weeks, but remember that all mothers may not be able to breastfeed due to personal circumstances beyond their control. Here are some of the things you need to know about breastfeeding during the first week: THE FIRST FEEDS In most cases, most mothers would have experienced breastfeeding straight after birth. A newborn immediately seeks out the mother’s breast if skin-to-skin contact has occurred when they’re born. It helps to know that breastfeeding your newborn helps your uterus get back into its original shape and normally the delivery of the placenta is what triggers the breast milk to come in. You’ll expect the milk to come within 2-3 days. Prior to this, your baby will be getting their nutrients from the colostrum. Colostrum is a sticky, yellow-like substance that your baby consumes before breast milk. Think of this as an opportunity to practice attachment and positioning for breastfeeding. However, for some mothers this may not be the case. It isn’t too late to keep


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encouraging skin-to-skin contact with you and your partner. It does help encourage breastfeeding slowly but surely! KNOWING WHEN YOUR BABY IS HUNGRY There are a few signs to look out for when your baby is hungry. It’ll become instinctive once you get the hang of breastfeeding, but in the first week or so, it’ll be a learning curve you’ll have to undertake with your bub. Don’t wait to breastfeed when they are wailing in tears - you’ll have to calm them down first before giving your breast. Ensure that they are calm and collected when you attempt to start breastfeeding again. Some signs to look out for are: • Their mouth is open • They are moving more • Making sucking noises or sucking on their fist/fingers • Turning their head to the side as if their looking for your breast In addition, it’s normal to be feeding your newborn 8-12 feeds in 24 hours and some can last up until an hour. Your body will automatically know how much milk to produce when the feeds become frequent and consistent. Though this can seem overwhelming and demanding for new mothers, remember that this is only shortterm. Keep yourself hydrated and get plenty of rest when you can. THE CORRECT LATCH TECHNIQUE If you have any concerns about having the correct latch technique when breastfeeding, be sure to consult with your midwives and lactation consultants when you’re at the hospital or during home visits. Using the incorrect technique could lead to painful, cracked nipples and this may cause your baby to receive a seldom supply of breastmilk.

Here are the signs you should look out for when your baby is well-attached for breastfeeding: • Your baby’s chin and the tip of their nose is touching the breast • They are close to your body and are facing you • Their lips are curled outwards • When they are attaching, their mouth is open-wide If your baby is still not latching properly, attempt to take them off your breast and try again. If still unsuccessful, be sure to seek proper advice and tips from your midwives and lactation consultants so they can provide helpful guidelines when it comes to breastfeeding techniques. HEALTH CONCERNS Sore nipples • Having latch issues during breastfeeding can cause the breasts to become painful due to the extra friction. You can take paracetamol 40 minutes prior to your next feed so the effects of the medication will kick in. • Avoid washing your nipples with soap as this can cause irritation. • If breastfeeding has become too painful for you, another alternative is to express milk from a breast pump. Do this until your breasts are completely healed.

amount of breastmilk. • If your baby isn’t putting on weight or not wetting their nappies enough, talk with your local health professional and share your concerns. Conflicting advice and having zero confidence • It’s overwhelming receiving advice from different sources. The best way is to talk to midwives, lactation consultants or friends who have breastfed. • Be well-informed and do your own research. • Don’t feel like you should be swayed into breastfeeding, especially if your body cannot handle the physical demands of it. • Be polite when people share their own judgements of what you’re doing. They’re entitled to their own opinion but do your best to keep calm even if you don’t support their own views. • Remember that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. There are alternative arrangements to feeding. Do not feel guilty about not being able to. Nobody is perfect. Surround yourself with positive people and never let the negativity of others bring you down.

Concerns about supply • If your baby is constantly wetting their nappies, you are on the right track when it comes to breastfeeding as they are getting enough nutrients during their feeds. • Watch your baby show signs of hunger instead of keeping watch of the clock! • If your breasts have stopped swelling and you’re feeling energised, this usually means you are producing the right

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Terrible Toddler Phases Written by Jana Angeles Terrible toddler phases are something we all dread at some point. It’s not easy having to manage a little personality and it becomes even more challenging when they go through certain phases. In this article, we address all the different ones you would come across while watching your little one rule the world. It’s a battle parents deal with on an ongoing basis. It’s definitely taught us a couple of learning curves along the way about parenting and the challenges we have to anticipate in the future.


TOILET TRAINING Toilet training can be described as a special kind of phase for all parents. You’re beginning to transition your child from using nappies and pull ups to flushing the toilet after they’re done with their business. There comes a point where there will be accidents and unexpected spills in the bathroom or living room floors. It’s not a glamourous task to teach your toddler how to toilet train and it can be difficult if they’re quite stubborn about not sitting still. Have patience and a sense of humour in this phase; you’ll thank yourself later! WANTS TO BE CARRIED ALL THE TIME When you’re new parents, it’s exciting being able to hold your bundle of joy. You even love the idea of holding them forever. But, what happens when your toddler suddenly wants to be carried all the time?


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How do you keep your sanity from the demands of this little trooper? All of us don’t like the idea of ‘spoiling’ our kids so we must encourage walking despite the attitude they give us. Remember that you and your partner can back each other up when you know you have a hard battle to overcome. WHEN ‘NO’ BECOMES THEIR FAVOURITE WORD This is probably the worst one out of the toddler phases. Saying ‘no’ just becomes a habit to them - how terrible! How do they even know what the word means? Why don’t they love us anymore? These are the questions that are running through your head. Do your best not to get offended and convince them to say otherwise. You just have to keep fighting until they do eat those vegetables they hate or if they’re overdue for a bath. Healthy eating and proper hygiene is a must - they’ll thank us in the future for it! LEAVING THE CRIB When you’re up watching your favourite TV show until 2am in the morning, it’s very unlikely for you to be up early in the morning doing things. As parents, you have to do the stuff you love ‘after-hours’ - meaning once you put your little one to bed and lights are out! As they grow older, toddlers become cheeky in their own way and start to leave the crib, waking you up mid-dawn and asking you for the bottle or a quick cuddle. Have patience, maybe get to sleep earlier because those early wake ups are going to be so common, you’d probably want to pull your hair out! THE OPINIONATED CHILD Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right? When your toddler starts to babble

out sentences, that’s when the real trouble starts! If you’ve found that they’re starting to share an opinion or two on everything you say to them, it’s time to put your foot down. Even if it starts to become annoying, respect your child’s opinion but also provide feedback that allows them to grow and think about other perspectives. Besides that, allowing them to have an open-mind will help them form stronger opinions that make sense to themselves. THE PICKY EATER You’ve cooked some delicious salmon for the family and some healthy side salad as the superfood sidekick. Once you plate it all up, your toddler starts yelling and screaming, demanding that the food that they only want to eat is potato chips and chicken nuggets. Alarm bells start ringing in your head because you don’t know what to do and you find yourself having your own meltdown instead. Dealing with a picky eater can be tough work but with a little persistence, you can encourage your toddlers or even trick them into eating food that’s good for them. You just have to be clever about the routes you take when it comes to the food chain! The phases mentioned above are your typical toddler behaviours you’ll come across. Even if you feel like you’re going insane, just remember your little one is not driving you mad on purpose. They are just being kids, showing a little personality and chaos to add to the balance. Always remember your friends and family will support you even through these trying times. No matter what phase you go through, you will learn so much and overcome each challenge with strength and encourage positive parenting.

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Learning Manners Matters Written By Tina Clark I’m a writer of stories predominantly set in Africa, so I know that my readers expect that they will experience a different culture to their own when they pick up a T.M. Clark book. As I write this, I’m on holiday in Europe, experiencing different cultures in each country. We’re fortunate that we can travel by choice, and that we enjoy the experience of travelling as a family. My, now adult, sons are relatively well travelled, and I’m happy to say that they’re as interested in learning about other cultures as me as we make our way around. I believe this is a learnt behaviour. LEARNING TO EXERCISE CONSTRAINT In Australia, we have strict anti-smoking laws. During this holiday, we’ve found the ratio of smokers to nonsmokers extremely high, and not only that, it isn’t in their ‘culture’ to be considerate about where they smoke, or who’s face the smoke lands up in. It distressed us all to see smokers with small children in cars, but then we had to remember that there are different laws in each land we travel to. Both my kids have commented on how lucky they are to have been brought up Australian – not that we were smokers, but that others couldn’t smoke in the spaces near them.


We’re on their soil; we try not to react, to keep our cool and not demand they put out their cigarettes when they’re lighting in a non-smoking zone. Acknowledgement and respect that their culture is different to ours.

abundance of food. (Temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility all rolled into one experience. I guess for the adults; there was a bit of chastity practised too at those parties.)

LEARNING PATIENCE We’ve also been fortunate to spend time in Disneyland, Paris where we witnessed a few ‘darlings’ become ‘demons’. Demanding and unreasonable – wanting their toy now! (Have to admit here, there were a few times I would have loved to have done the same thing, but as an adult, I’ve learnt to show some restraint and practice patience!)

But in this day and age, in a modern urban time, how do we teach children these same lessons? Hunting is now mostly a taboo, and don’t mention gun laws…different time, different culture.

In a society where instant gratification is increasingly becoming the norm, how do we teach our children good old fashioned patience? I’m a child of the 70’s, and was brought up with the saying ‘patience is a virtue.’ Granted I didn’t really understand exactly what I was being told back then, and it wasn’t until I looked it up recently that I learnt that this was actually one of the seven virtues identified by Pope Gregory on his list of seven deadly sins in 590 AD: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. In days gone by it was preached that practising these virtues would protect you against temptation from the seven deadly sins. So, it appears that all these virtues are learnt behaviours, and as a parent, it’s my responsibility to ensure that I have taught my kids ‘good manners’ so when they go out into the world, they’ll be viewed as ‘nice people’. NEW WAYS TO LEARN I was brought up in rural Africa, many of these virtues were taught to me as life skills, e.g. If you want food you need to go out and hunt it, and then you invite your neighbours and friends around and share your


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JOURNEY EVERY TIME YOU READ TOGETHER Exposure to different cultures doesn’t have to be in the form of actual travel; you can journey each and every time you read. Books of different cultures expose our children to the world, and to the wide variety of people, whose ways are different to our own, and with life lessons of their own to share. Books play a considerable role in helping us not only entertain, but educate our children. Most children love being read to, so why not make your special reading time functionalliterature? Consider, escaping into a book with your child. Explore different cultures and experience exposure to all the different ways in which you can help create awareness of ‘the virtues’. Remembering that, they need these ‘social graces’ to get through life as functioning adults within our own societies. Tina is a writer of Adult and Children books. Her latest adult book is Child Of Africa, available in all good bookstores Her picture book is Slowl y! Slowl y! Also available in all good bookstores You can visit her website at www.tmclark.com.au



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Making Time for the Family Written by Lance Green Time is a funny thing… how did we get to this point of going bald and changing nappies while getting used to the smell of poo? Family is important - we all know that. It’s hectic trying to run errands, work full-time and be able to handle all the “manly” stuff around the household, but hopefully us dads are doing a good job and keeping our partners happy everyday.

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PRODUCT REVIEW Our children are our most prized gems and of course, spending every minute with them is the dream; we must make it our priority everyday to be involved in some capacity. Reading stories, feeding them the right meals and having a laugh is what makes us feel like awesome parents, but how do we juggle everything when it comes to making time for family? KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK BUT KNOW WHEN TO QUIT While it’s important to provide a roof over your head, food on the table and being able to spend money on the newest gadgets, it’s easy to feel like you’re chained to your work. You may need to travel a lot for your job and you lose communication with your family due to different time zones. You stay back late at the office more than you’re supposed to because you’d rather grab a few beers with your mates instead of spending time with your partner and kids. Though it’s perfectly normal to strive for financial stability, remember that a paycheck is nothing compared to the time you spend with your family. Quit your job if you can’t arrange a flexible work schedule for your personal life. Allow yourself to be present when it comes to them. GO ON A DATE ONCE IN A WHILE As much as we love our little kids, it feels so good to be able to spend one on one time with your partner. Let’s be real: if you stop watching them for a second, they’ve run off with the fairies. Nonetheless, if your schedule can make it work, have a date night with your partner and do something fun. Go to the movies, see a new play and grab some dinner afterwards. You’ll be able to discuss concerns with each other and be able to reminisce about the past. It’s also a great way to reconnect after feeling


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like there’s been no time to relax from the hustle and bustle of life. FIND TIME TO RECHARGE It’s easy to get caught up in life’s distractions, but how do you keep up when the marathon you’re running isn’t easy to complete? Finding time to recharge is important for our health and sanity. Whether it’s taking a long, hot shower or attending to our plants in the garden, it’s important to look after our own wellbeing and embrace the downtime. It also helps having a bit of silence and not have any kids yelling down your ears for the last few hours. Total bliss! REMEMBER HOW MUCH THEY LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU

Although you will go through hard times, your family are there for you through thick and thin. There will be moments in our life that will bring us down and sometimes all you need is to hear a lame joke from your partner or seeing your children take their first steps. Though we take these moments for granted, it’s important to not lose sight of your family. Value their time, make countless memories and return the same love and support they give you. LEARN TO BE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF Having a dad bod is not cool (or so they say), but hey, all you need is confidence in yourself to be happy. You may not have the perfect body or career, but if you learn to appreciate the other qualities you have, you start feeling good about yourself.

Having self-esteem or mental health issues is not fun because you go into the state of withdrawal from everything, including spending time with the people you care about. Of course, this is unintentional but if you ever find yourself feeling depressed or have symptoms of anxiety, get help immediately. Your family care about you so your happiness is a big priority too. Having a family rules. Whether you’re sad or happy, they are always going to be there for you every step of the way. When you find yourself struggling to make time for them, make arrangements that let you make it possible. We only have one life to live and having a family is one of the best parts of it.

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How to Tame a Terrible Toddler Written by Jana Angeles

Toddlers all have their individual personalities. For tiny humans, they have so much power over us - they don’t even realise it! We’ve become accustomed to their needs and wants on the regular and we’d feel terrible if these weren’t met, leading to the inevitable meltdowns that could be heard through the paper thin walls of our homes. Taming a terrible toddler doesn’t mean there are quick fixes in improving their behaviour. With a little patience, understanding and effort, we can find ways to settle them down once and for all. We are not made to be perfect parents. Parenting would be a lot easier if we were exactly that. Otherwise, all we can do is learn as we go in this strange journey and hope for the best! Here are things you can do to tame your terrible toddler…


PINPOINT ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKE THEM FRUSTRATED The little ones we raise all have energy levels that triple ours. Obviously, we are cautious about safety and would rather stick them in the corner for their own good, reaching a sense of calm in the household and avoiding any breakages. For a child to remain mobile, this could lead to many meltdowns as they aren’t getting what they want. Most toddlers that are happy need a proper routine in place meaning they need to be fed and sticking to a predictable sleeping schedule. It’s important to recognise the habits of your little one and pinpoint anything that makes them peaceful. It’s only a matter of time we can compare this behaviour to their usual terrible moods. THEY ACTIVELY WANT TO EXPLORE There’s no use confining your toddler to one space. This is unhealthy for your child’s development. Being at this stage, you should be out and about, going to parks or fun attractions aimed for children. It can be easy to feel lazy and have no motivation to do things with our kids. The responsibilities of adulthood can be overwhelming but we must make time. Make time for your toddler and help them use their senses by taking them somewhere unfamiliar and exciting. It can help them feel calm and recognise a new level of content with themselves. LET THEM FINISH THEIR TANTRUM Like us adults, it’s best to keep our emotions out than keeping them in. Having toddlers throw the occasional tantrum can be their way of seeking our approval or attention. The best thing you can do is let them carry on until they are


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finally finished. If this doesn’t happen and you’re in a public setting, remove them from it and take them home. Save the embarrassment of getting stares from people and just deal with your child’s behaviour at a familiar setting. DON’T GIVE IN TOO EASILY It’s tempting to give everything to our children. We are programmed into being overly generous and it makes us feel like we’re good parents. Although this is great for the odd occasional treat, avoid spoiling your children. Though this can cause your toddler to go haywire, don’t feel obligated to give in all the time. Let them learn that they can’t have everything for themselves and that patience is key when it comes the occasional toy or sweet treat. If we give in too easily, our children won’t bother listening to us unless we give them something in return. Not only is this an extremely draining expense to the bank account, your child will focus on the materialistic things in life and not learn about the values you should be teaching them while they’re growing up. It can also break bonds between you and your child, making it difficult to reconnect with each other throughout your relationship. Taming a toddler looks easy from the outside but as parents, we are struggling to improve their behaviour constantly. There’s no use beating ourselves up or feeling guilty over their behaviour. They are children and compared to us, they have a limited sense of understanding about the world and their own wellbeing. Give them the time and space, teach them a thing or two about being calm. Meet them halfway and don’t be afraid to jump in if things get too out of hand.

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The Questions most new parents ask…

Midwife Cath, BabyLove Nappies Spokesperson and Maternal and Child Health Expert Becoming a parent is not just about the birthing process, that is the start of the journey! With 43 year’s experience in pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and children, I often get asked questions from anxious and concerned parents, and I’ve included the top things new parents ask. WIND CREATES ANGST The number one concern from parents is about “wind”. Yes, just plain old wind, but it causes so much angst amongst new parents. Babies are very noisy and squirmy, especially at night, and that is quite normal. But if it’s your first baby you can think something is terribly wrong when your newborn sounds like an old man in pain! Most babies will burp by themselves, but you can also assist the natural function of burping, wind (both ends), hiccups, and squirming, by gently rubbing your baby’s back while they are upright over your shoulder. The wind will release naturally


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without you needing to pat their back with force, or for hours on end. Sometimes putting the baby on their tummy and gently massaging their back is all they need to burp. SLEEP!?! The second most common question is “Why doesn’t my baby sleep all the time?” It’s usual for parents to think babies feed and sleep, because they do in hospital, but when a baby is home this can change. Some parents wonder if they have the right baby!! If the baby is well, full term and at a healthy weight the main reason they don’t’ “settle” is because they are hungry. Remember you cannot overfeed a baby but you certainly can underfeed a baby. The way to determine if the baby is getting enough to drink is they must be – 1. Gaining weight 2. Having a very wet nappy at every nappy change.

I find the word “settling” really “unsettling”, as newborn babies are either awake and hungry or fed and asleep. If they are squirming and crying, they need to be fed. You don’t need to feed babies by the clock – respond to your baby’s basic needs. Remember you will not ‘spoil your child’ if you love and hold your baby close… in addition to feeding them too! HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHANGE THE NAPPY? Nappies need to be changed frequently in the newborn phase. A baby tends to have a bowel action often and it’s really important to change the nappy to keep your baby clean and comfortable. When a baby is drinking a large volume of breast milk they can have a poo before, during and after every feed, so it’s essential to change their nappy frequently to prevent a sore bottom. A FEW TIPS ABOUT CHANGING NAPPIES – • Make sure the nappy is fitted snugly – not too loose or too tight. Nappies not being fitted correctly are a key cause of leakage • Change your baby’s nappy in between breastfeeds • Always use a nappy suitable to your baby’s weight • Use a gentle baby wipe. Remember babies skin is delicate so choose wipes that are dermatologically tested and free of alcohol and fragrances.

RED MARKS ON SENSITIVE SKIN Parents often worry about red marks left on the skin from a nappy. It isn’t going to cause long term harm to the baby and no cream is necessary. My advice is to check you are not fitting the wrong size nappy to your baby, and choose quality nappies. There are many different nappies to choose from so read the information on the package and look for the following: • Supportive gathers that prevent leakage • Soft and comfortable material • Soft on the legs to help prevent red marks • A snug and comfortable fit that is suitable for your baby’s weight and age. My advice to new parents’ is don’t overthink the newborn stage and don’t log onto countless websites and blogs, as you will end up confused and anxious, or both! My mantra is Food Love Warmth – feed the baby, keep the baby close to you, and wrap the baby! I want to keep parenting simple, but most importantly, enjoyable. About Midwife Cath Midwife Cath – Cath Curtin – is a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labour and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting. She has delivered over 10,000 babies throughout her 42-year career. Trained and fullyqualified as a nurse, midwife and maternal and child health nurse, Cath has an incomparable depth of experience. Her book, The First Six Weeks, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2016.

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february 2018 | mychild

What to do when childbirth doesn’t go as planned Written by Karli Steenkamp When you find out that you are pregnant, it is one of the most exciting times in your life. Many women love to plan every aspect of their pregnancy including the birth. A birth plan is important to prepare you and your partner for what will happen. You probably read up on articles, went to antenatal classes, spoke to your obstetrician or midwife and you have made a decision about how you want your baby delivered with all the options you had. It can be a nerve-wrecking experience for some, but you are at least prepared for what is going to happen. Or so you thought…. Childbirth doesn’t always go as planned and this can leave you with many mixed emotions.

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Having a birth plan means that you have looked at all your options. You have decided either to have a caesarian or natural birth, where and how. But babies can be very temperamental and there is many factors that can have an effect on your childbirth not going as planned. These can be high blood pressure, premature contractions, your baby being breech or any other health risks. All of these are out of our hands as parents. There is nothing you could have done differently to have a different outcome. There are many mothers that have set their heart on a natural birth and ended up with a caesarean and being absolutely heartbroken. It is normal. It can be very frightening to hear a doctor tell you something different than what you planned for. Maybe your baby will be born earlier and you are not ready? You planned a natural birth, but need an emergency caesarian? You planned a caesarian but your doctors are worried about your baby’s heart rate? All these factors can lead to you feeling sad, disappointed, frustrated, angry, guilty or even traumatized. It is normal to have these mixed emotions. It will be ok. Nothing will change the decision of the doctor. They know what they are doing. Your child is being born and you want to try and enjoy every moment of it. Tell your partner how you feel, your emotions and what you need from them and how they can support you. Together you will get through this, they are also panicking because this are not going as planned. Rely on each other to get through this and meet your beautiful baby.


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In some cases the baby needs extra medical attention which can stress parents out. Or your baby needs to stay in hospital after you leave, as in many cases of premature births. This can be very traumatic. Talk about it. The more you open up about your feelings and the birth the easier it will get. People will know how to support you. If you do not feel better after a couple of days, it might be necessary to speak to your doctor, midwife or even a psychologist. You might be suffering from post natal depression which is not your normal baby blues. It is important to have a birth plan so that you are prepared for what happens. However have a plan B as well, things doesn’t always go as planned in this stressful life we are living. Be ok with your plan A and plan B. Speak to your doctor about plan B so that you know how it will work if you have to resort to that plan. Talk to your partner about both so that both of you are familiar with the plans. Pack your hospital bag ahead of time so that you are ready for the unexpected. Remember you are in good hands, doctors or midwifes deliver babies on a daily basis, they’ve got this. Childbirth is a special occurrence in your life that you share with your partner. Try not to set your heart solely on one plan, so that you are prepared for anything. Be brave and remember you are not alone. References: Seleni Health Direct: Pregnancy birth & baby




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2018 NOMINATIONS EXTENDED TO 20 FEBRUARY Go To www.mychildmagazine.com.au february 2018 | mychild


The Homework Struggle.. Juggle! Written by Madeline Mitchell The new school year has begun and so has the dreaded homework! For many families homework is a constant battle between parents and their children to get the homework completed and completed on time! The arguments, the excuses, the procrastination and the overall frustration experienced in the household leads many parents to ask the question “Is there any benefit to homework?


february 2018 | mychild


february 2018 | mychild


The answer is ‘yes’, depending on the quality and relevance of the homework. Homework is a great opportunity for children to reinforce and consolidate their learning from the classroom. It should be an opportunity for parents to see what their child is learning at school and offer minimal assistance when necessary. The big question is how to get your child to complete their homework on time and still juggle after school commitments such as sport training, music lessons and general household events! Like many aspects of a child’s development, the key to ‘stress free homework’ is routine and reward! Much easier said than done, I know!!! Trial a few techniques throughout the school year and adjust your strategies as necessary. Here are a few simple tips to help you establish some valuable homework routines and rewards in your household: • Set a day/s and a time and try to stick with it! For example on Monday and Tuesday from 3:30-4:15 this is homework time! • Negotiate with your child a before and after homework activity or routine for example ‘When you get home from school you can have afternoon tea and 30 minutes free play before you do your homework’. ‘After you finish your homework you can have 30 minutes on the iPad’ etc. The time before and after homework is part of the routine. • Be realistic about timeframes. It is usually more beneficial for a child to complete their homework over a couple


february 2018 | mychild

of shorter sessions rather than one longer session. This is trial and error and will depend on the individual child. • Establish a ‘workspace’ where your child completes their homework. Try to make this space the same each time your child does work from home. It should have a decent desk and chair, natural light and be uncluttered. A desk in the corner that is covered in books and papers is not a stimulating learning environment! • Avoid allowing your child to procrastinate. This turns homework into a longer and more painful event then it needs to be. Get it done and then you’re done! • Offer assistance when necessary but avoid ‘doing’ your child’s homework. If the homework is too hard for your child to do without assistance then you may need to mention this to the classroom teacher. • Remember the ‘Three P’s’ – patience, persistence and praise! • Negotiate rewards with your child for completing their homework on time and to the best of their ability. Hot tip when negotiating a reward… remember that homework is a weekly occurrence! You don’t want to be buying a new iPod every week! Something small and inexpensive will work just as well! • Call upon reinforcements if necessary. Utilise any extra help you have to assist in homework sessions and getting it completed. • Try to avoid showing your own ‘dread’ of homework. Stay positive and make sure you say positive things to your child regarding their homework. • Remember that homework is a great opportunity for children to consolidate

concepts covered in the classroom. Talk to your child about their homework and try to make it an enjoyable learning experience. It’s always a great idea to check in on your child and see what they are doing for homework. This is a great opportunity to see what they are working on in class and give you a bit of insight to how they are tracking. If homework is a constant battle, week in and week out, it might be worth investigating if the actual homework is too hard. Homework that is too hard has a negative impact on a child’s confidence and the workload become a chore.

If you’re noticing that the homework is constantly too hard then you definitely need to have a quick chat with the classroom teacher to ensure that this same level of difficulty isn’t experienced in the classroom. Attitudes are reflected in learning! Try to keep a positive spin on things and remember the benefits of developing lifelong learning skills! Madeline Mitchell, primary school teacher and owner of Hi iQ Tutoring in Bondi Junction offers these simple ‘Homework Helper’ ideas to assist parents in the homework battle! Madeline Mitchell www.hiiq.com.au

february 2018 | mychild


HOW TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER By Karli Steenkamp Being parents are a wonderful gift. It can be a smooth ride or a rocky rollercoaster. No two days are the same. Some days you feel victorious and overjoyed because your toddler finished their food, which makes this day not a good one but a great one. Other days you might feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Every day has its own challenges and victories and during these it is easy to neglect the one person that is with you and keep you sane 2 o’clock in the morning when your child wants to watch television. You and your partner are probably too busy in life that we forget to live. One can easily drift apart, but it is never too late to reconnect with your partner.


february 2018 | mychild


There are many ways to rekindle the flame between you and your partner. It is important to remember that you two had each other before you had any children and that is the relationship that needs the most nurturing. It is much trickier to look after one another, because you assume that the other one understands that you are busy and life gets in the way, however there are a few easy things that one can try that will make the world of difference. Not everything will work for everyone; it all depends on your personalities and circumstances. LISTEN TO EACH OTHER Probably one of the biggest fights between couples are about feeling like you are not listened to. After a days’ work, it is a rush to get dinner on the table, get kids bathed and ready for bed, do household chores, you name it. Both of you have your hands full. Between these activities you are trying to tell each other about how your day has been with a screaming toddler running away because he or she doesn’t want to bath. Sounds familiar? You need to make a point of listening attentively to what the other one is saying, to give the necessary support for whatever they are going through at work. Don’t nod your head and not take in what is being said, but listen with meaning. MAKE TIME FOR ONE ANOTHER Amidst all the chaos, find time to do something together. Do it every day. It can be anything. If the kids are in bed, have a cup of coffee together or watch your favorite show. If the kids are still awake try cooking together, work in the garden or go to a park for half an hour where kids can play while you two have an actual conversation or even just sit in silence appreciating one another. Find something both of you is comfortable with and enjoys. EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIPS GO HAND IN HAND Except for the physical relationship it is important to rebuild the emotional relationship too. What initially made you fall in love with each other? What did you regularly do or enjoyed pre-kids? Do it again. Find a babysitter or take a half day at work now and then. Go on a date just the two of you. If you bring back the fun in your relationship you are halfway there. If you are on a budget, have a picnic, it


february 2018 | mychild

doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Go out for lunch or watch a movie. You can even go to a spa. Do something different as often as possible. Set the dates up in advance so that both of you can plan around it and make the necessary arrangements. On the other hand intimacy is just as important. And this is the challenging part. You have to make time to look after the physical relationship. Where it will fit into your routine is the difficult part, but it is also a good stress relieve, so make sure you do it. IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT There are many little things, but by no means unimportant, that you can try to reconnect. • Make your partner feel that they are your number one. They must feel like they are being understood. Ask their opinion about important matters and go with it. Trust each others judgments. • Make them feel special by writing a note or leaving a special message. • Kiss and hug each other when you greet. Physical contact helps to spark the flame. Hold hands when walking or sitting on the couch. • Say ‘I love you’ every single day. • Leave the past in the past. Don’t bring up old fights. • Complement each other on a daily basis or send a sexy text. • Never be too proud to apologize when you are wrong or said something mean. Whether you as a couple decided to try to reconnect or you are trying this by yourself, have the courage to put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone. Your partner will see and appreciate your actions and reciprocate. Everyone is different and you need to figure out what will work for you. You won’t see result over night, but your efforts will pay off. Start enjoying live with your partner and not just merely surviving. References: Readers Digest – Sari Harrar Psychology Today – Clifford N Lazarus happyyouhappyfamily

february 2018 | mychild



1.0 TOG Plum Swaddle Suit in Sketched Zebra rrp $29.95

1.0 TOG Plum Swaddle Suit in Sketched Bunny rrp $29.95

2.5 TOG Plum Jersey Sleep Bag in Sketched Bunny rrp $69.95

2.5 TOG Plum Jersey Sleep Bag in Sketched Zebra rrp $69.95

2.5 TOG Plum Pod in Blossom rrp $39.95

2.5 TOG Plum Pod in Sketched Zebra rrp $39.95

3.0 TOG Plum Walker Sketched Bunny rrp $74.95

3.0 TOG Plum Walker in Polar Bearrrp $74.95

1. 2.5 TOG Plum Sleep Bag in Sketched Bunny & Sketched Zebra rrp $69.95

3.0 TOG Plum Walker in Sketched Zebra & Sketched Bunny rrp $74.95



february 2018 | mychild


KIDS fashion

february 2018 | mychild



february 2018 | mychild







Carter’s Striped Hi-Lo Tee $15.00 rrp Carter’s Easy Pull-On Bow Short $15.00 rrp Glitter Mary Jane Crib Shoes $18.00 rrp OSHKOSH.COM.AU

&US Graphic Flower Tee $14.95 rrp Boho BabeBiker Jegging $20.00 rrp Walnut Melbourne Classic Mj $19.00 rrp DAVIDJONES.COM.AU

Shirred Bodysuit $54.95 rrp Tassel Jelly Sandal $29.95 rrp




Dance Short Sleeve Tutu Dress $34.95 rrp BONDS.COM.AU

Mirage Non-Leather Suede Shoes $29.99 rrp BETTSKIDS.COM.AU


Stella McCartney - Chuckle T-Shirt Feeling Crabby $62.00 rrp Fendi - Yellow Jersey Legging in Rumi Print $93.00 rrp Manuela De Juan Stephanie Sandal LMBAMBINI.COM.AU

Catimini Broderie Anglaise Lace Tank Top $73.00 rrp Catimini Embroidered Jean Shorts $73.00 rrp Billieblush Flower Sandals $65.00 rrp MELIJOE.COM/AU

SPLURGE february 2018 | mychild






Radicool Kids Rad Tribe Tee $18.30 rrp Radicool Kids Surfer Shorts $26.99 rrp LITTLEGENTSSTORE.COM.AU

Freycoo Chance Sneakers $20.00 rrp





Santo Short $29.95 rrp Tribe Tee $19.95 rrp INDUSTRIEKIDS.COM.AU

Buddy Spurt Navy Shoes $24.95 rrp KIDSGOTSOLE.COM.AU

Polo Tee $34.95 rrp Denim Pull On Pant $49.95 rrp Prewalker Brogue $35.00 rrp PUREBABY.COM.AU






february 2018 | mychild

Quicksilver Classic Punch Waves - T-Shirt $29.99 rrp Riders Jnr By Lee Kick-back Short $38.47 rrp Puma 2 straps INF Boys $49.95 rrp

Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton blend Fleece Coverall $69.00 rrp Bobux SU Trackside Sports Shoe Airforce $70.00 rrp

Embroidered Dress Shirt $79.00 rrp Denim Trousers $79.00 rrp Tilburg Boys Boot $72.50 rrp



february 2018 | mychild




february 2018 | mychild


interiors Leah Shannon is a designer and owner of Parade and Company, a lifestyle brand specialising in decor for children’s rooms. She has 15+ years experience in design and a passion for creating children’s spaces that inspire, educate and spark the imagination.

february 2018 | mychild



Credit: Catharine Verrills, @paperandlilies

february 2018 | mychild

Wallpaper $46.00/m rrp mrperswall.se

Canopy $219.00+ rrp growingfootprints.com.au Garland $27.00 rrp growingfootprints.com.au

Tassel Basket $49.00 rrp dutchwarehouse.com.au

Stool $99.00 rrp thefamilylovetree.com.au Bedding $139.00 rrp canningvale.com

Bunny $69.00 rrp alimrose.com.au

Dolls Bed $100.00 rrp whimsywoodsdesigns.com

Rug $239.00 rrp thefamilylovetree.com.au

Picnic Basket $38.00 rrp thesmallfolk.com.au february 2018 | mychild


Art Print $29.00+ rrp winteravenuepress.com.au

Elephant Head $189.00 rrp designstuff.com.au Moon Garland $39.00 rrp luxebabylove.bigcartel.com

Hudson Cot by Babyletto $699.00 rrp tinitrader.com.au

Bunting $29 rrp designstuff.com.au

Bear Cushion $59.00 rrp homelycreatures.com.au

Blanket $190.00 rrp waverleymills.com

Wooden Blocks $146.00 rrp woodenstory.pl

Rug $109.00 rrp belleandcoliving.com.au 88

february 2018 | mychild

Storage Cases $129.00+ rrp belleandcoliving.com.au

Credit: Catharine Verrills, @paperandlilies

february 2018 | mychild




february march 2016 2018 | mychild | mychild


february 2018 | mychild



BUBBLE FOAM Bubbles, bubbles everywhere! These are bubbles with a twist, literally! Bounce them, roll them, squeeze and slice. How big can you make your bubble foam? What fun shapes can you master? With your magic gloves, discover a new world of bubble craziness. Our verdict Who doesn’t like to play with bubbles?! But these aren’t just any normal bubbles. Make sure you throw on the ‘magic gloves’ to turn your bubbles into multiple or separate bundles of fun. Turn it into a competition with the kids to see who can create the biggest or best bubble foam creation. This one can get a bit messy or even slippery so make sure you do take it outside. Countless hours of entertainment for big and little kids.


rrp $15.95 Available from www.seedheritage.com


february 2018 | mychild


TALKING UNICORN Be careful what you say around this delightful little creature. It has a cheeky habit of copying exactly what it hears with a quirky voice to boot. It might have cute pink hair, a sparkly silver horn and sparkly eyes, but this mischievous little bundle will make you sound silly in no time and have you repeating words just so you can hear them in its funny highpitched voice.

ages. Unicorns are definitely the in-thing at the moment and this gorgeous, albeit quirky and funny little toy, is one worth having in your collection. And a little side bit of fun, you can create some crazy hairstyles as well! It will cheer up your grumpy kids (or less favourite family members) in no time. But parents be warned, it repeats EVERYTHING, so mind your p’s and q’s and those occasional swear words too!

Our Verdict For the laughter and giggles that will fill your home, this little unicorn will definitely make an impact. It’s cute, it’s fun and it really is for all

rrp $34.95 Available from – www.isgift.com

february 2018 | mychild




It’s a bonding experience of a different kind for the youngest member of the family with Step & Learn Scout. There are three play modes to choose from including letters, numbers and fun. Push Scout along and listen to him sing educational songs while moving his head, legs and tail. Walk Scout or remove his lead to just sit on the floor and play. Hear songs about letters and numbers while they scroll by on Scout’s backpack screen. Explore letters and numbers by pressing the arrow buttons and choose one to find out what Scout has in his backpack.

new friend and learning about numbers, letters and of course plenty of fun thrown in. And if walking isn’t quite on the agenda just yet for your little one, Scout’s lead is removable, making sit down play an even better option. Although at times Scout does get a bit loud and repetitive to an adult’s ears, it’s this kind of repetition which is perfect to teach young children the early stages of counting, the alphabet and short phrases. Scout would be a great addition to the family looking for a new best friend for their young children!

Our verdict A great learning toy with loads of encouragement! Kids will love walking their

Available from Toys R Us, Big W and other leading toy retailers


february 2018 | mychild

rrp $30.95

VTECH BABY TOOT-TOOT DRIVERS GARAGE Park, learn and play with the Toot-Toot Drivers Garage. This interactive garage has three floors of pretend play and learning fun. With nine SmartPoint locations, TootToot Driver vehicles (not all pictured are included) respond with different phrases, music and fun sounds. There’s an interactive lift which recognises different floors; light-up buttons, traffic lights, petrol pump, car wash, colours and a variety of musical melodies. The garage comes with a cute Toot-Toot Drivers Tow Truck that teaches the vehicle name and plays songs phrases and fun sound effects. Our verdict Another great fun and learning toy in one from VTech. It comes with vehicles (in this case just one with potential to add more), light up buttons, traffic lights and even an

electronic gate all playing a variety of fun phrases, songs and music and teaching colours, numbers and road safety. It works with other playsets and SmartPoint vehicles which are sold separately but provide potential to add to the learning experience. The bright colours, melodic sounds and phrases are prefect to grab young children’s attention, encouraging imaginative play as well as language development and the moving parts of the garage are perfect for developing motor skills. Although it may get noisy, don’t worry parents there is volume control! Just as a warning, batteries are not included so don’t forget to pick some up at the same time!


rrp $79.95 Available from Target, Myer and other leading toy retailers

february 2018 | mychild






february 2018 | mychild

february 2018 | mychild


bacon, egg and feta tarts

Photo Credit: Brett Stevens

Ingredients 0.30 Prep 0.20 Cook Makes 4

• 4 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

• 4 eggs

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

• 150g chopped bacon

• Wild rocket, to serve

• 100g feta, drained, crumbled

Method Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a tray with baking paper. Step 2: Using a saucer as a guide, cut circles about 13cm diameter from each pastry sheet. Transfer to the tray, then score a 2cm border around each circle, without cutting right through. Prick area inside border with a fork. Chill for 10 minutes. Step 3: Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until it starts to crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Step 4: Fill each tart base with feta and top with bacon, staying within the border. Bake for 8 minutes or until the sides have risen. Gently push down the pastry in the centre using the back of a spoon, then break an egg into each. Season, sprinkle with parmesan, then return to the oven for a further 5-7 minutes until the eggs are set and the pastry is golden. Serve with rocket. 98

february 2018 | mychild

brekkie crumble

Ingredients 0.10 Prep Serves 4

• 5 Arnott’s Rice cookies • 1/2 cup salted roasted cashews

Photo Credit: Al Richardson

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

• 2 tablespoons pistachios

• 4 Medjool dates, pitted

• 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

• Fresh fruit, to serve

• 1/4 cup rolled oats

• Yoghurt, to serve

• 2 tablespoons coconut oil

• Honey, to serve

Method Step 1: Place rice cookies, cashews, pistachios, sesame seeds, rolled oats, coconut oil, ground cinnamon, cacao nibs and dates in a food processor. Step 2: Process until finely chopped. Sprinkle over 4 servings of chopped seasonal fruit. Top with yoghurt and honey, if desired.

february 2018 | mychild


the ultimate bare-cupboard pasta

Ingredients 0.10 Prep 0.05 Cook Servings 4

• 375g dried lasagne sheets, broken • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)


Photo Credit: Guy Bailey

• 250g cherry tomatoes, halved • 55g (1/3 cup) pitted kalamata olives, halved • 400g cannellini beans, rinsed, drained • 100g baby spinach • Shredded parmesan, to serve

• 1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced

Step 1: Cook the lasagne pieces in a large saucepan of boiling water, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain. Step 2: Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, garlic, chilli, if using, and lemon rind in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the tomato. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Step 3: Add the olive, beans, spinach, lasagne pieces and lemon juice to the frying pan. Use tongs to toss to combine. Season. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with parmesan. 100

february 2018 | mychild

charred cajun chicken broccoli salad

Ingredients 0.15 Prep 0.20 Cook Servings 4

• 4 skinless chicken thigh cutlets • 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free Ca jun seasoning • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil • 300g broccoli, cut into small florets, stem peeled • 1 carrot, coarsely grated

Photo Credit: Andy Lewis

• 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup lemon juice • 1 tablespoon drained baby capers • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

Method Step 1: Score each chicken thigh 3 times. Place chicken on a plate. Sprinkle with seasoning and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Rub to coat. Step 2: Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill on medium heat. Cook chicken, turning, for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Step 3: Meanwhile, chop broccoli florets into small pieces. Grate broccoli stem. Place in a large bowl with carrot, onion, lemon juice, capers and remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve chicken with salad and lemon wedges. february 2018 | mychild


soy and chilli mushroom stir-fry

Photo Credit: Cath Muscat

Ingredients 0.15 Prep 0.15 Cook Servings 4

• 1/4 cup Fountain Soy Sauce

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 long red chilli, finely chopped

• 450g fresh thin hokkien noodles

• 500g mixed mushrooms, thickly sliced

• 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

• 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed, halved

• 1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges

Method Step 1: Combine soy sauce, oyster sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Place noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Using a fork, separate noodles. Step 2: Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil. Swirl to coat. Add onion. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until just softened. Add garlic and chilli. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and broccolini. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Add sauce mixture and noodles. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve.


february 2018 | mychild

thai prawns with mango salsa

Photo Credit: Ben Dearnley

Ingredients • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 0.15 Prep 0.05 Cook Servings 4

palm sugar

• 2 long green chillies, roughly chopped

• 2 tablespoons fish sauce

• 2 coriander roots, washed, chopped

• 1kg medium green king prawns, peeled (tails intact), deveined lime wedges, to serve

• 2 green onions, chopped • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped

• 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

Method Step 1: Process garlic, chilli, coriander root, green onion, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice until smooth. Step 2: Preheat a lightly greased barbecue plate on medium-high heat. Cook prawns, tossing, for 3 to 4 minutes or until pink and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. Add garlic mixture. Toss to combine. Serve prawn mixture with mango salsa (see related recipe) and lime wedges.

february 2018 | mychild


watermelon berry salad & buckwheat

Photo Credit: Al Richardson

Ingredients 0.10 Prep 0.05 Cook Servings 4

• 2 tablespoons raw buckwheat kernels

skin removed, cut into wedges

• 2 tablespoons shredded coconut

• 250g strawberries, hulled, halved

• 2 tablespoons pistachios, coarsely chopped

• 125g fresh raspberries

• 800g seedless watermelon,

• 190g (2/3 cup) natural yoghurt, to serve

Method Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the buckwheat, coconut and pistachio in a bowl. Spread the buckwheat mixture over the prepared tray and bake, stirring once, for 5 minutes or until light golden. Step 2: Arrange the watermelon, strawberry and raspberries on serving plates. Sprinkle each with a little of the buckwheat mixture and top with a dollop of yoghurt.


february 2018 | mychild

2-minute mango frozen yoghurt

Photo Credit: Mark O’Meara

Ingredients 0.02 Prep Servings 4

• 400g chopped frozen mango pieces • 1 1/3 cups Jalna Sweet and Creamy Greek yoghourt • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Method Step 1: Place the frozen mango pieces, Jalna and mint in a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times, then process on high for 15-20 seconds or until smooth. Serve immediately or spoon into plastic container and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour if you prefer a firmer consistency.

All recipes sourced from taste.com.au

february 2018 | mychild


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Profile for My Child Magazine

My Child Magazine February 2018 Issue  

At My Child Magazine, we pride ourselves on providing a Free Parenting Lifestyle publication to help you on your parenting journey! It's use...

My Child Magazine February 2018 Issue  

At My Child Magazine, we pride ourselves on providing a Free Parenting Lifestyle publication to help you on your parenting journey! It's use...