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AUSTRALIA’s BEST PREGNANCY, BABY & PARENTING MAGAZINE ISSUE 38

* november 2014

ONLINE UPDATE

Educational games for kids

fashion

TOILET TRAINING

BEST EVER

how-to GUIDE

with

Baby settling techniques

HELP

10 Maternity

top tips

HAY FEVER! managing the

“terrible twos”

ARE YOU READY TO

wean? WHAT TO

EXPECT

after

BIRTH

Baby number two after PND // Colic advice // Shop in peace


growing babies organically. Made with love for your baby, the nature baby range always respects the best ethical and environmental practices. With a fresh modern take on all the essentials you will need for your baby, our range includes 100% certified organic cotton and merino wool baby clothing, sleepwear and bedding. A luxurious botanical skincare range for mothers and babies and unique toys to inspire the imagination.

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mychild | november 2014

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Editor’s column LISE TAYLOR

W loves Newly hatched in Australia and originating from Argentina, these kooky Etelvina fabric chooks, $44.95 each, are designed to store all of those pesky plastic bags for re-use. They are available at sunspots.com.au.

ell, here’s some big news! After nine wonderful years publishing My Child I have sold the magazine. Our October issue was my last as owner and this November issue is my last as editor. However, I’ll be staying on for a few months in an editorial capacity as the new owner, Sam Rees-Jones, settles in. Sam has 20 plus years magazine experience and I know she’ll not only do a great job but make My Child even better! You can welcome her by emailing sam@mychildmagazine.com.au. Thanks so much for all of your support over the years and I wish you and your families the very best! I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next but I’m keen to work part-time and be there after school for my son, Duncan, as he heads into his teenage years. And my favourite read in this issue? The My Life story And so I rest (page 24) about labouring – and living life – on your terms. Enjoy!

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122

107 119 57

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contents COVER STORIES 28 100 106 110 116 126 130 134 136 148 152

Managing the “terrible twos” Baby number two after PND 10 top tips Maternity fashion What to expect after birth Colic advice Best-ever baby settling techniques Are you ready to wean? Shop in peace Toilet training How-to guide Help with hay fever! Online update Educational games

ideas 12 14 18 20 22

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Editor’s picks Bits & bobs News & reviews My 5 favourites Kylie Mowbray from Nic-nac shares her top product picks What we love about... Anorak Grobag My business Meet Franny McInnes from maternity and breastfeeding/ bottle-feeding store Breastmates

mychild | november 2014

style 44 48 52 56 58 62 66 70 76

Behind the label Cake Lingerie Behind the label Nature Baby High tee Fun and funky t-shirts Board rider Bright beach basics for bubs Girl guide Playful fashion for summer Interiors report Sunny days Interiors my space Sail away! Party Batgirls & bandits Cooking Fruity fun!

win! 78 Subscribe for free! Win one of 10 gift vouchers from Havoc Denim worth $100 each 80 Register now! To enter the My Child Excellence Awards 2015

COVER Photography Michelle Young


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95

74

64

62 12 60

contents PREGNANCY & BIRTH 86 90 94 98 100 106 110

News Mum’s health & wellbeing News How to increase your bub’s IQ, all about the placenta & panic attacks Shopping How to… get enough iron PND plus? Having a baby after PND Focus on fashion 10 tips to looking fab What to expect after expecting Find out what happends with post-birth recovery

BABY & TODDLER 114 118 124 126 130 134 136

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News Get in shape, colic & dad guilt Shopping How to… cope with a new baby Settle, petal! Settling techniques for bubs Are you really ready to wean? How to… shop in peace Time for toilet training? The best time to toilet train and how to go about it

mychild | november 2014

12 preschooler & big kids 144 146 148 152

News Ways to get the kids outdoors, angry children & taking holiday snaps Shopping Hay fever, help! Using nutrition to reduce your child’s hay fever symptoms Game on! Discover the best educational online games for children

family 24 28 32 36 40

My Life And so I rest Family matters How to take a positive approach to the “terrible twos” Eco chat Environmental engineer Laura Trotta asks why we’re ruining our environment with water-bottle waste Pardon my French! The “problem” with giving birth in France Helping kids after divorce Helpful tips on how to manage your children


s m u b g n savi Wipes BUY Red Nose Baby ORE & HELP US SAVE M BABIES’ LIVES

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or buy online at aussiewipes.com.au & check out our great promotions! Selected IGA & Super IGA Stores only. Selected range available in Big W.

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PUBLISHER

SAM REES-JONES

EDITOR LISE TAYLOR ART DIRECTOR & STYLIST SAMANTHA CAMPBELL ONLINE EDITOR JORDAN VON HAGAN NEWSLETTER EDITOR & WRITER EMILY JAY writer & sub-editor

HANNAH SAUNDERS

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES editorial@mychildmagazine.com.au CONTRIBUTING EXPERTS YVETTE ADAMS, JULIE CLARK, STACEY DEUTSCHER, DR CHRISTOPHER GREEN, HEATHER IRVINE, DR JOHN IRVINE, JESPER JUUL, CATHERINE KNOX, WENDY MAK, BENISON O’REILLY, SEANA SMITH, SEAN TONNET, LAURA TROTTA, HAYES VAN DER MEER, KELLY WINDER

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY iStock ADVERTISING DIRECTOR SAM REES-JONES m 0426 790 398 e sam@mychildmagazine.com.au

CONTACT 61 2 9446 1614 mychildmagazine.com.au PO Box 163 Cherrybrook NSW 2126

MY CHILD IS PRODUCED & PUBLISHED BY LITTLE BLUE DOG ABN 611 996 81 521

My Child magazine and mychildmagazine.com.au are wholly owned by Little Blue Dog (ABN 611 996 81 521). 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.

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night light to

bright light

The Grolight transforms a normal overhead light or lamp into a night light and bright light in one. Providing a comforting glow for young children and the perfect amount of light to check on your baby without waking them. Ideal for: breastfeeding comforting young children toilet training night time checks

scan to find out more

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november 2014www.gro.co.uk | mychild 9


my child promotion

THE BEST IN WEBSIT

shopping online for pregnancy, baby and kids’ ge

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toys/parties/gifts thebabyshowershop.com.au misskikiofcherryblossomlane.com happylittlehippos.com.au brightstarkids.com.au babyvegas.com.au zimmerjee.com.au tinypolkadots.com.au donnerandblitzen.com.au papereskimo.com.au novelgifts.com.au

sweet dreams snugglebum.com.au louandolly.com bambinipronto.com.au sleepywings.com.au babyo.com.au babydonkie.com.au merinokids.com.au marquise.com.au ergopouch.com.au alfredandmaize.com.au


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Gifts/fun/learning solvejswings.com donnerandblitzen.com.au maxandella.com.au brainychild.com.au littlebeba.com.au thebabyshowershop.com.au uberkate.com.au vtechkids.com.au urbanbaby.com.au moowoo.com.au

nutrition/feeding qubies.com.au fridge-to-go.net.au wholekids.com.au philips.com.au/avent raffertysgarden.com onlyorganic.com.au waterbuddies.com.au boobiebikkies.com.au cheeki.net.au losebabyweight.com.au

Children’s fashion koolamandesigns.com.au platypusaustralia.com nestling.com.au babydonkie.com.au designchild.com.au purely4kids.com.au eternalcreation.com eenimeeni.com tinytribe.com.au naturebaby.com.au

GO NATURAL bambooty.com.au littleinnoscents.com.au motherscorn.com.au mambinoorganics.com.au ittybittygreenie.com.au merinokids.com.au kidsecostyle.com.au littleeconest.com.au naturebaby.com.au aromababy.com.au

smart interiors leafydreamsnurserydecals. com.au speckledhouse.com.au siroccohome.com.au petit.com.au myfirstroom.com.au thelittlekidzcloset.com.au stuckupkids.com.au danishbydesign.com.au 41orchard.com.au

october 2014 | mychild

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ideas

editor’s picks ALL KINDS OF PRODUCTS CROSS lise’s DESK EACH DAY. HERE ARE a few of her favourites

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Now that’s new! This fun Teddy & I matching bib and bandana gift set for pre-walker babies is $18. Head to madeit.com.au. Add a splash of colour to your child’s room with a few Pasta Amore cushions by Sack Me!. Pick them up from sackme.com.au for $35. Stay organised in style this summer with the luxury leather Nova Harley Brisbane change bag. Buy it for $480 at novaharley.com. Aren’t these Charlie Cruise canvas slip-ons great? So easy and practical. Available for $29.95 in sizes 21-32 at walnutmelbourne.com. Terry T-Rex is the perfect companion to inspire creative play within your child. Purchase one for $68 at ladedahkids.com.au. Bub will have sweet dreams in this beautiful Kalon Caravan Cot, $1,195 from kidostore.com. Isn’t Elephant Bunny adorable! Available for $19.95, he’ll keep your child feeling safe and comfy at night. Visit countryroad.com.au.

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Little Bo peep fell fast asleep And dreamt she heard them bleating, When she awoke, she found it a joke For they were all still a f leeting!

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ideas

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dream weaver

PRODUCT

OF THE MONTH

Flatout Frankie’s flat-pack cardboard toys, priced from $23 at kartongroup.com.au, are created with graphic white water-based inks, have great eco credentials and even fold up for storage. Check out the range of dolls, pirates, planes, castles, unicorns and more at flatoutfrankie.com.

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ideas

BITS&BOBS

BEST BOOKS Hurry Up Alfie Gorgeously illustrated, Hurry Up Alfie by Anna Walker (Scholastic, hardback $19.99) tells the tale of alligator Alfie, who’s keen to get to the park but keeps getting distracted. Quirky and clever, it offers an amusing look at typical toddler behaviour. Alligator in an Anorak This is a learn-your-ABCs book that challenges reality. If you’ve never come across a rhino in a rocket, an elephant in an eggcup or a giraffe in galoshes, pick up a copy of Alligator in an Anorak by Daron Parton (Random House, hardback $19.99) today! Orion and the Dark Created by up-andcoming author and illustrator Emma Yarlett, Orion and the Dark (Scholastic, paperback $14.99) is an ideal picture book for littlies worried about monsters and other nighttime nasties as they discover how Dark helps to ease young Orion’s fears.

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mess mate!

Wipe your little one’s messy face and dirty fingers with Aussie Wipes, the only Australian owned and manufactured baby wipes. And the bonus? They’ve partnered with SIDS and Kids to launch Red Nose Baby Wipes, for which five percent of sales are directed to funding vital research into stillbirth. Get them from aussiewipes. com.au in travel packs, unscented and scented. They are priced from $4.50.

loves Tsumiki means “building block” in Japanese and this gg* Tsumiki Building Block House, £85 from thekidwho.eu, will inspire your budding young builder to create some innovative structures. The set includes 41 high-quality beech wood pieces in gorgeous soft colours.


A NATIONAL DAY TO GET NUDE! Now in its fifth year and held in November, National Nude Food Day is designed to raise awareness around the importance of “nude food” – in other words, minimising waste and NUDE promoting healthy bodies and FOOD a healthy planet. This year, over two million students are anticipated to participate and there are over $5,000 worth of prizes up for grabs. To get your school involved and download a school resource booklet, visit nutritionaustralia.org, and to play your part why not make these healthy chip alternatives from the Nude Food Recipes guide for the kids to snack on. Serve them with dips such as hummus, tzatziki or tomato salsa. Alternatively, serve cut-up celery, cucumber, capsicum, snow peas or carrots. Pita crisps Cut pita bread into wedges, sprinkle with reduced-fat cheese and place in a moderate oven for 10 mins or until crispy. Mountain crisps Cut the bread into wedges and bake in a moderate oven for 10 mins or until crispy. Carrot chips Peel then finely slice carrot and gently mix in a bowl with 1tsp oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 7-8 mins. Allow to cool and crisp. Beet crisps These require a longer cooking time at a lower temperature. Peel whole beetroot and cut into thick slices. Gently mix in a bowl together with 1tsp oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking tray and bake at 150°C for 45-50 mins. Allow to cool and crisp. Tortilla dippers Cut the tortilla in half and then into three or four wedges. Lightly spray a small pan with oil and cook on both sides until crisp. November 2014

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IDEAS

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My favourites Kylie Mowbray, owner of Nic-nac, collects the most wonderful products for babies, kids and grown-ups to sell in her online gift store!

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Our super-size Nic-nac teepee It’s big enough for my daughter and I to be in together. We fill it with teepee cushions and a pillow roll, get in there and read books together. It’s such a gorgeous snuggle zone!

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My Light They create amazing, highquality Australian-manufactured night-lights. We have a green one with our daughter Clover’s name on it and it’s gorgeous. I have bought more for friends, and they even made us a personalised Nic-nac light with our logo and everything! Clever company. See mylight.com.au.


THIS PAGE: GARLAND $29.95 by Nic-nac nic-nac.com.au

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My Thermomix I’m addicted. I’ve had it for 10 months and haven’t had a day go by where it hasn’t been used. I should be a seller for them, I rave about them that much!

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Converse Chuck Taylors I have been wearing these since I was 14. I have a ridiculously awesome collection in different colours and love to wear them all winter long. It’s too hot where we are to wear them in summer, which is a shame.

Our new cloud cushion The cream is my favourite but we also do it in grey. He’s smiley, with big wide eyes and very beautiful, soft rosy pink cheeks. He’s perfect on the bed or couch and is so cuddly!

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IDEAS

What we love about‌ ANORAK GROBAG BABY SLEEP BAGS

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or the first time, The Gro Company has collaborated with UK brand Anorak to create a special new Grobag collection. An iconic homeware design company, Anorak is stocked by leading retailers around the world, including Harrods and Selfridges. Four fun, outdoorsy new designs have been produced for the Grobag sleeping bag, including Rolling Hills, Kissing Rabbits, Kissing Squirrels

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(pictured here) and Trundling Tractor, which has won over 30 major awards and is well known worldwide for its quality and safety. Made from 100 percent premium cotton, and available in sizes 0-6 months, 6-18 months and 18-36 months, these great Anorak Grobags come complete with bespoke packaging and are priced from $64.95.* Visit au.gro-store.com to view the range.


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IDEAS

PEACH FRILLS CAMI TOP $64.90 S-XL by Mothers En Vogue

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My business Franny McInnes is the owner, operator and designer of Breastmates, a company dedicated to providing quality maternity and breastfeeding/bottle-feeding products

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reastmates was created in 2004 as a small hobby business that sold items such as breastpads through Trade Me and eBay. This was so founder Franny McInnes could earn extra money while on maternity leave. Now the business has expanded to include a wealth of other products, such as maternity fashion and feeding equipment.

What inspired you? As a new mum, I realised there were no other maternity stores that focused on breastfeeding. Some of the advice I received from baby stores was really bad, and there were no maternity shops that offered breastfeeding support so I’ve slowly expanded my business to cater for this. When my second baby came along, things didn’t go as planned and he was fed a mixture of “boobie juice” and formula. At the time I was struck by the struggle and judgement bottlefeeding mums go through, and their guilt trip! So my business has evolved to support all new mums, regardless of how they feed their baby. And I stand by this philosophy. As my business has grown, I’ve been working on my own maternity and breastfeeding designs to increase the range. It’s fantastic to be able to control the design, quality and production myself – it’s my reputation on the label! Breastmates has become a well-known and popular brand. I’ve slowly grown my website

and product designs, and have built up trust with customers just by treating them the way I would expect to be treated. The success of my business has been through a lot of hard work, late nights and heart over many years.

tell us about your team I have three part-time workers who assist with packing the orders and customer service. We operate the business from my garage, which has been converted into a warehouse.

What do you enjoy most? The feedback from customers is the best thing, when people reply back or send me photos of themselves wearing my designs and saying how glad they were to find my website, or hearing feedback that someone has been reading our articles about breastfeeding or bottle-feeding and finding them useful.

How is your company different? We have a philosophy to really care about our customers and provide them with information and support. Our business is more about this than trying to sell them stuff.

your start-up business advice? Start! Don’t just sit around talking about it. Make it happen. * For more information visit breastmates.com.au.

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MY LIFE

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And so I rest Two births and yet Two very different stories. Second time around, Kate Rogers, a short-listed entrant in our My Child/Parenting Express writing competition, laboured on her terms

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o I sigh, staring at you. ‘Sleep,’ they tell me, ‘rest while you can.’ However, my mind is whirring at the same rate as your beautiful, perfect heartbeat. So I stare – you are so perfect, and I feel on top of the world.It is this moment that I prayed for. Your arrival was perfect. I look upon the watercolour pictures I drew in an attempt to encourage my mind to relax earlier in our pregnancy. They line the walls, previously with hope of things to come, but now they are like a statement of victory. That woman sitting in the birth pool with her husband and midwife by her side, grinning at the infant in her arms… that is me! I did it. I really did it. Ecstasy rushes over me again – or is it yet another dose of oxytocin warming my veins – I don’t know, but I smile regardless.

The story of your big brother’s birth was frightening. It took me past his first birthday to be able to share it with others. I was young, naive and too trusting in other people. But we survived. And I vowed that next time would be different. And it is. My little man, your story could not be more different. Fear was not a part of this pregnancy, just an overwhelming sense of calm, a desire to prepare, a need to know myself and feel the love of those around me. I used art to say all the things that I couldn’t verbalise. Paper filled with colours, blue in the calm days, red and black in the days where my insecurities were taking over. But each drawing came back to one thing, you, the centre of my universe, the being growing inside of me: the reason for my journey. >

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my life Your daddy is the strongest, most amazing man you will probably ever meet. He stood by my side when others told me I was crazy to decide to welcome you at home instead of at a hospital. He learned what I needed from him, and he learned what you needed too. On your journey to enter the world, your daddy worked tirelessly. He rubbed my back, stroked my hair, held me as I stood leaning into him, moaned with me, filled my bath – and all while speaking to you and telling you how excited he was to meet you. Although you don’t have a grandma, little one, there were women there to support me too. A midwife and a doula – I think they are just other names for angels. They arrived when you were getting closer. The excitement in the room was growing. The warmth and love in the room was evident. We

“Your daddy is the strongest, most amazing man you will probably ever meet. He stood by my side when others told me I was crazy to decide to welcome you at home instead of at a hospital” were ready to welcome you. I sunk down into my birthing pool, shut my eyes and sung to you. I sung to God. I sung to remind myself to enjoy the experience. I felt so strong and so connected to you, my little one. Just as it was nearly time for you to join us, I opened my eyes for a moment. I looked around. The candles were glowing, the room smell of

READ ON…

Look out for more great stories in future issues. Head to mychildmagazine.com.au or check out the Parenting Express website at parentingexpress.com.au.

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lavender oil, and the pictures I had painted during our pregnancy were all around me.

“They may say ‘rest now’ but I am too in awe. You are perfect. And I did it. I did it all by myself, on my terms. I am a woman and I am strong and perfectly made” I smiled, and those who were there with me smiled back. I felt safe and calm in my little cocoon. I was watched and protected. It was time to meet you. I breathed deeply, felt the energy running throughout my body, and then welcomed you into the world. Your daddy’s hands were behind me, and they caught you ever so gently. I turned around and your Daddy moved you into my hands, then together we lifted you out of the water and into our world. Welcome, little one. You are loved more than you know. You don’t cry; you simply look around. You are ready to suckle. You make your way across my chest to feed. We sit, staring at each other in amazement. Everyone is silent. I want your daddy and I to be the only voices you hear. And so we talk to you. We tell you we love you. I tell you how proud I am that we did it, and how glad I am that you are here safely. You feed, you watch us. Soon, we emerge from the warm, safe cocoon of the pool. I take you to our bed, and we sit, staring. They may say ‘rest now’ but I am too in awe. You are perfect. And I did it. I did it all by myself, on my terms. I am a woman and I am strong and perfectly made. You have taught me so much already, little one. I feel invincible. I am a mother. This is what life is about. Now I will rest, because I know that my strength comes from peace. But I hope this elation lasts. Forever. *


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FAMILY MATTERS

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Not so terrible? This issue, FamilyLab family therapist Jesper Juul and Hayes van der Meer recommend taking a positive approach to “the terrible twos”

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round the age of two, young children begin to express a new kind of longing that encompasses a desire for greater autonomy as they search for independence from their parents. As we all know, this can be a time of much frustration for the parents – and perhaps even more so for the children. Suddenly, the beautiful parent/child harmony and closeness is lost. In the US this period is often referred to as “the troublemaker twos” while in Australia we know them as “the terrible twos”. The labelling probably stems from the need of some “experts” to explain a cause and place the blame – on the child. However, it is not that simple. Many factors come into play, including a child’s development during their first two years, the parents’ ability and willingness to adjust and the quality of the interaction between the two. For the child’s first two years the parents have done everything. This is an important responsibility and gives them a deep sense of connectedness and value: they know everything and are absolutely indispensable. Being needed on such an existential level and able to give so much love to another human being is one of life’s most enriching experiences. However, around the age of two, every child develops a desire to try things by themselves.

While this is a completely natural development, it does mean that the parent/child relationship changes. The child is trying to break free and many parents struggle with letting go of the beautiful feeling of being needed and being of such loving value. As this development is natural to the child, it is in fact the parents who might find it hard to cope with that transition.

the “INDEPENDENCE YEARS” For some parents “the terrible twos” come as a relief and for others it is difficult to let go of the total power. What happens between the child and their parents depends on the parents’ ability to adapt. Power struggles will develop if the parents only reluctantly let go of their total control without being able to appreciate the child’s desire to fend for themselves: Child: ‘I want to pour the milk!’ Parent: ‘You can’t do that. You will spill it on the table. Let me do it.’ Child: ‘I want to!’ Parent: ‘I’ll do it… Ooops! Look, you made me spill it. You are too young, I told you!’ The parent’s assessment is most likely spot on. There is at least a 50 percent chance that the child cannot pour the milk properly and will spill it. However, the interaction is not >

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family matters about who is right or who is wrong. It is about creating space for the child and supporting the process of learning. Kids are small geniuses when it comes to learning. They continually try out things that are just a little bit too hard for them. Children learn this way, so parents need to allow them to experiment – without helping, unless the child asks for it.

A move TO RECONNECTION While the child is busy disconnecting from the parents, the parents have a great opportunity to reconnect with each other. Every time the child attempts to do something independently, the parents can smile and look forward to a bit more time and energy for each other. The success depends largely on how parents mentally approach the child’s search for their independence. If they worry about “the terrible twos”, then things will most likely be exactly that. If, however, parents approach these years with a sense of excitement and relief, they will become the “years of independence” – for the children as well as parents. When a child suddenly says they want to do something by themselves, parents will be wise to support them and offer assistance: Child: ‘I want to pour the milk!’ Parents: ‘OK! Let’s see how you go.’ When the child spills: Parent: ‘Ooops! You almost made it. Would you like some help?’ Child: ‘No, I can do it!’ Parent: ‘Sure, I can see that you are learning how to do it.’

CHALLENGING SITUATIONS When it comes to getting dressed before leaving the house, many parents justify their “helpfulness” by explaining why there is no time for learning: ‘We have to catch the bus’ or ‘Dad has to get to work on time.’ If this happens often it is a good idea to take more time to let the children learn and develop. Nevertheless, it can be challenging when

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children need to get dressed. Let’s look at two typical examples and how to deal with them without blocking their natural development: Boots When a child wants to wear thongs on a wet day there is no point in arguing or using your power to make them wear boots. Just say: ‘Look, I’ll put your boots in your bag, so you know where they are if you need them.’ This teaches the child to sense the weather and dress appropriately on their own terms. Shoelaces When the child wants to tie their shoelaces, there is no point in doing it for them. You could say: ‘It’s wonderful to see you trying. Will you let me know if I can help?’ This teaches the child that it is alright to try new things and, most importantly, that it is OK to ask for help when needed. It is important to understand that neither of these interactions violate the child’s integrity but actually occur on a level of equal dignity. Of course, a little bit of extra time is required – but in the long run, much time, hassle and conflict will be saved. And both experiences will prove to be very useful later in life. The fact is that there will be times when things do not go according to plan and parents are in a hurry. In these cases they simply need to acknowledge the child’s desire to learn and apologise for being in a hurry: ‘I understand you want to do it yourself and I am pleased about that… but today I am so busy that you must allow me to do it for you. Is that OK?’ Nine times out of 10 the answer will be a compliant: ‘Alright then.’ Parents will lose neither their power nor importance in the child’s life by creating space for this vital learning. They will, however, allow the child to develop naturally – and in the long run will gain a little more time and space for themselves and each other.* These, and many other issues, are dealt with in the European bestseller Raising Competent Children (Rockpool Publishing, $24.99). For details email info@familylab.com.au. in Eu

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ECO CHAT

On tap! My Child columnist and environmental engineer Laura Trotta asks why we are ruining our environment with water-bottle waste when our tap water is so good

E

arlier this year the City of San Francisco upped its eco cred by announcing a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles of 620ml or less on any city property, except for at sporting events. This move not only positioned the city as a leader in environmental issues, but it was a real step towards trying to achieve the city’s target of disposing zero waste to landfill by 2020. While the announcement was met with mixed reaction, the message was clear: our love affair with bottled water needs to end. Australians, like our American friends, are huge consumers of bottled water. We have the luxury of quality tap water, possibly the best supply in the world. Yet, despite this, a recent Choice survey showed that one in 10 households choose bottled water as their main source of drinking water. The scary thing is that at current bottled water consumption and plastic recycling rates, around 373 million plastic water bottles (or 16 bottles per person) are disposed to Australian landfills each year. That’s a pretty shocking statistic given the bottled water industry only really launched in the 1990s! 

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Not all used plastic bottles are recycled or make it to landfill either. Clean Up Australia reports that plastic bottles are among the 10 most common rubbish items picked up on Clean Up Australia Day. Many small animals can easily get trapped inside plastic bottles; they are hazardous to wildlife both on land and in our waterways. Add in the emissions from manufacturing plastic bottles and transporting bottled water from supplier to consumer, and the environmental cost of bottled water quickly stacks up. Rather than buying water when out and about, it makes sense for you and your kids to carry a reusable water bottle, such as one made from stainless steel. I can remember precisely when I started carrying a reusable water bottle around with me. It was the mid 1990s and a friend gifted me a 1-litre Sigg water bottle for my birthday. I was in my first year at university and, unlike school, which had several water foundations (or bubblers as some people call them) drinks at uni were purchased from the cafeteria, pub over the road or brought from home. >


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eco chat My Sigg went with me everywhere and I had no hesitation filling it up with tap water as required. I simply couldn’t justify buying water, when what came out of the tap was perfectly fine, extraordinary in fact. At the time I lived in Melbourne and was studying environmental engineering, a course where we learned about water treatment and distribution systems, and actually visited the closed catchments that provided the bulk of Melbourne’s drinking water. I knew I was lucky to be drinking possibly the best quality potable water of any city in the world. Since then I’ve lived in Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia, and have continued to drink tap water in all these locations. With the exception of Townsville (which was a bit too chlorinated for my liking), I never found the need to filter the supply. Through my profession I have sampled and analysed the quality of the drinking water in every location I have lived and I know firsthand how each supply consistently exceeds quality specifications in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. So why then, when most Australian towns and cities boast first-rate tap water, do 10 percent of Australian households prefer to buy their water in individual portions? Convenience? What could be more convenient than always having your water bottle on hand and being able to refill it from a tap throughout the day? Status? This one’s more likely. You only need to think about high-profile sports stars drinking their bottled water of choice to back this one up. At almost 2,000 times the price of tap water, bottled water is expensive. Quality? Tap water throughout Australia is superior to water that has been stagnant in a plastic bottle for who knows how many months. Of

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course, if you live in an old house with ageing pipework, it makes good sense to filter your supply, but this is the exception to the rule. Fluoride concerns? Fluoride is added to some of our drinking water supplies as a public health measure for reducing the incidence of cavities. Fluoridated drinking water is provided for 70 percent or more of the Australian population and its concentration is governed by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. These Guidelines mirror the World Health Organisation Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality 2006 and recommend a health-related guideline value (maximum concentration) of 1.5mg/litre for fluoride. A proportion of society avoids tap water due to concerns around fluoride concentrations. Exposure to excessive consumption of fluoride

“It’s about time we all saw Australia’s ordinary tap water as extraordinary!” over a lifetime may lead to increased likelihood of bone fractures in adults. Like exposure to any compound or substance, dose (a function of concentration and volume consumed) is the key. The small concentrations of fluoride in our supply have been established to be high enough to provide protection for our teeth, yet low enough to not cause adverse health impacts. Nowadays I live in one of the few towns in Australia that does not fluoridate its supply and know of plenty of kids here who have tooth cavities by kindergarten age, my son included. Whatever the reason for drinking bottled water, our environment needs us to break this habit. It’s about time we all saw Australia’s ordinary tap water as extraordinary! * Laura Trotta is an environmental engineer, a mum and the founder of Sustainababy. She is passionate about guiding parents to lead a sustainable lifestyle. Visit sustainababy.com.au.


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family

Pardon my French! When american author Susan Biggar gave birth to her second son while living in France, she came across some confronting “customs”!

B

eing pregnant in France, Land of the Svelte, puts an enormous strain on even the sturdiest self-image. As a very tall woman, I already find most French women are about the size of my leg, though much more elegant. In fact, from youngest to old, slender elegance oozes from them, rather like so many Catherine Deneuves. I recite, Big is good, big is fine for a pregnant woman, and cling to the mantra like it is scripture. My obstetrician’s office is located in an urbane Parisian arrondissement, in a building fit for a prince, not a medical practice. The waiting room is furnished exquisitely with nineteenthcentury antiques; heavy, brocaded curtains and worryingly delicate Louis XV-era chairs. ‘Madame Biggar?’ I look up from the Vogue magazine I am reading to see a man in his 60s, meticulously manicured and handsome. He’s wearing an immaculate, pinstriped three-piece suit, which instantly strikes me as quite unsuitable for the

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practicalities of obstetrics and gynaecology. ‘Oui. Bonjour,’ I say, shaking his hand and following him into his office. In contrast to the traditional waiting room furnishings, his desk is one enormous piece of clear glass, like something out of an investment banker’s office. I remind myself he’s helping me have a healthy baby, not a healthy portfolio. We begin the usual first appointment interrogation. My French is still infantile but I have memorised a collection of pregnancyrelated words and am now overconfident about my ability to communicate. The doctor asks all the standard questions about age, medical problems and previous pregnancies. He then lobs out a question, which includes an unfamiliar French word. ‘Excuse me?’ He repeats the question for me but I still can’t place the word, but try to suppress my growing alarm. ‘Je ne comprends pas.’ I don’t understand. >


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family He gives me a look bordering on pity and repeats himself very slowly. I strain and concentrate to pull this word ‘pipi’ from my memory, but nothing comes. I shake my head apologetically. There’s a long silence while he stares at me helplessly, at a loss to explain the mystery word to an ignorant American. Finally, he rises and gestures for me to follow him down the hall. He opens a door at the end of the corridor and points inside to the toilet. ‘Avez-vous besoin de faire pipi?’ Do I need to go to the toilet? Oh, I am such an idiot! But does a sophisticated man like this really call it pipi

“My monthly low-modesty appointments prove to be excellent preparation for the birth. On the day it all begins, I’m left stark naked…” (pronounced pee-pee)? It’s like discovering that the Prime Minister says wee-wee. The appointment, now agonisingly long, moves on. The doctor asks me to undress. I look around for the changing room and only then notice an examination table sitting a few feet behind my chair. Apparently this is the changing room. No screen or cover-up sheet. I conjure up confident pregnant body images – Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair – as I begin to undress… My monthly low-modesty appointments prove to be excellent preparation for the birth. On the day it all begins, I’m left stark naked on a hospital examination table, unnoticed as the medical team hurries around me preparing for the birth. I’m largely unfazed by the total loss of modesty. But my poor husband, Darryl, is shuffling his feet and glancing around as if searching for a spare tablecloth to toss over my massif of exposed flesh. When the doctor decides that I will need a Caesarean – because the baby is exiting face-

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first – an anaesthetist is called. According to two of the nurses and my midwife, this is not just any ordinary anaesthetist: he is drop-dead gorgeous. The strengths of his attributes, and which of the other staff may have access to them, are tossed about the room by the staff in a Parisian rendition of Grey’s Anatomy. Soon the young, tanned god saunters in, receiving a unified clucking of approval from the women. He nods to the nurses and midwife, a brief acknowledgement to his fan base, then approaches the side of my bed. Even from my in-labour-with-husband-present perspective I can appreciate that he’s startlingly attractive. And, astonishingly, he’s shirtless, wearing only the bottom half of his scrubs. The incongruity between his sculpted chest and my shuddering stomach and varicose veins is painfully obvious, and too much for my American modesty so I finally demand a sheet. Once the god has finished dressing and the women have recovered, I’m wheeled down to the operating room where once again things are not what we expect. Darryl sits above my head, nervously brushing hair out of my face, eyes firmly fixed on the top end of the table. A small curtain is hung just north of my breasts, presumably to protect us from the unfolding scene below. Though after a soothing squirt of morphine they could take the baby out of my ear and I wouldn’t protest. ‘What’s happening now, Darryl?’ ‘I can’t see anything; the curtain’s blocking my view.’ ‘Then stand up and have a look.’ He stands so briefly it’s as if his legs have buckled when bearing weight. ‘They’re cutting.’ Five minutes later. ‘What now?’ He takes another lightning quick peek. ‘They’re still cutting.’ He’s beginning to sweat in this ice-cold theatre, either because of my personal ducted heating system or, more likely, the length and immediacy of the cutting process. Later he


describes it as watching a butcher snip through layer upon layer of taut chicken skin. I don’t mind the poultry comparison so much as the fact that it takes nearly 20 minutes to saw through so many layers of… uh, stuff. Unfortunately, this is when things get a bit mucky. My calm and cool obstetrician begins to raise his voice uncomfortably at the midwife and gorgeous anaesthetist. After some minutes of anxiety we understand the problem: they have misplaced the baby. Now I’m sure I am medically naive, and I suppose it’s possible that my particularly tall frame provides more hiding places than the average petite French woman, but I really don’t think keeping tabs on a baby should be that difficult. Thirty seconds later the doctor seems to be yelling at me when he says, ‘Push, push hard!’ I throw a confused look at Darryl: the mother is not meant to push in a Caesarean. Before I can respond, the midwife and anaesthetist step past Darryl, moving him aside as they jostle for space around the table. They place firm hands on my stomach and literally push the lump of baby south towards the groping hands of my doctor. Maybe we should just open the doors, holler down the hall and invite the receptionist and cleaner to help. This rather slapstick approach fails. Eventually a vertical incision is added to my substantial horizontal one. Several moments after the second incision is made, the doctor smiles weakly, relieved, as he holds up a large, slippery baby for all to see. He is beautiful and he is here. This is how our second son, Oliver – with his thick, dark curls and long, curving fingers – enters our lives. * Susan Biggar is an American who fell in love with a New Zealander then went on to travel the world – and have two boys with cystic fibrosis. This is an edited extract from her memoir The Upside of Down (Transit Lounge, $29.95).

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FAMILY

Helping kids after divorce Author Karla Lee says children are the forgotten victims of divorce. Here she offers helpful tips on keeping the lines of communication open

K

arla Lee’s parents separated when she was nine years old and for the next 17 years she struggled with understanding why this took her life on a downward spiral. After seeing a counsellor, she managed to get on top of it all and decided to write books to help parents and stepparents understand how children feel. Here she answers some common questions children ask.

Why are you getting a divorce? Understand that every child, at whichever age, will only be able to take in a certain amount of information, but the truth is essential. It is very important that you also tell them this is between you both and that it’s not their fault. Tell your child you have both tried to work through things together but it hasn’t worked out, and this was the last thing you wanted to

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happen. Tell them nothing has changed with your love for them, that they are still just as important to you. Also let them know you are there if they ever want to talk or share their feelings with you both.

Aren’t you happy being together anymore? Tell them you are finding it difficult to be together at the moment, that you are trying to work through things. Let them know that this is something you both (as adults) need to work through. Let your child know they make you both very happy, and this will never change.

Do you still love me? I can’t express how much you need to reassure them of this. You may think it is strange that they would ask or think this but they can. >


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family This is their family so their feelings need to be taken into account as well. They may feel that if you no longer love their other parent, you may also feel the same with them.

they may feel very unhappy about all of this but you need to understand that this is a major adjustment for them as well.

Will we still be a family?

Don’t allow your children to feel the pressure of choosing. As adults you really need to put your personal feelings aside and see what is in the best interests of your children. If you don’t get along treat your relationship like a business. Make a choice to understand that you both had your children together and right now (despite how you both feel) the last

Let them know you will still be a family, but it will just look a little different. Explain you will both be doing different things at different times with them, but you will both make a great effort to keep things as normal as possible (this should include after-school hobbies or sports). You need to be patient with your children here as

TIPS FOR POTENTIAL STEPPARENTS

When entering an already established family with children, remember the children may be very sensitive to their mother/father dating. Children have gone through a traumatic experience and the thought of someone coming into their home to either replace the parent who has left or just the fact that they may take their parent’s attention away can make them defensive at first.  It’s best not to try too hard to impress the children. Give them time to get to know you. Don’t ever try to replace the parent who has left. They only want you to be their friend. This way you will find that your relationship should move along a lot smoother, but at first you may have to work at it. Try these tips: • Be yourself at all times – they want to know you for who you are. • Don’t try to impress them by buying things for them. Let them see the real you.  • Don’t shut the child out because you want to get closer to their parent. You knew before you entered the relationship that children were involved so try to include them on some of your dates. You may be

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Who am I going to live with?

surprised at how much fun you all have. • Be respectful that the child may want some personal space with their biological parent. If you honour the child’s request to give them time with their parent, they may not be so jealous of you spending time with their mummy/daddy.  • Spend quality time alone with the children. Find out what sports they like or hobbies. Take time out to get to know them and get into their world for a while.   • Respect your new partner’s ex-spouse. This is very important for the child.  • Don’t ever speak badly of the parent who is not living with them. Sometimes it’s best to put yourself in the other parent’s shoes to see how you would like it if they were talking like this about you? If the child wants to talk to you about their parent just listen, but never talk badly of them even if the child does. The next day the child will love them again. A child’s love is unconditional.  • Give the children your full attention when they are talking to you. Eye-to-eye contact is very important. Always remember to be patient with kids you are getting to know. They are trying to adjust to something they probably never thought they would have to go through. 


thing they need is you both fighting and acting in an immature manner. Tell your children you will work that out, and that they don’t have to concern themselves with it. If they are older, I would sit down with them and ask them how they feel and what they are thinking. Teenagers can be quite annoyed with all that is going on and if you shut them out totally it could become a major issue later on. Ensure they’re happy with the arrangements and tell them that you will both see them as much as possible (this, of course, is not possible in all circumstances). If one parent has just left or abandoned your child, I still recommend you try your best to see this from your child’s perspective. Explain to them that no matter what has happened, you and your partner love them; that perhaps the parent who has left is trying to deal with their own personal issues but you know in your heart that even though it doesn’t feel like they love you, they do. Protecting children is important. They need the stability and security of knowing who is still in charge. That’s you.

Will you call me every day when you move away? It is so important to make the effort to call them every day if you are the parent who has moved out of the home. If you make a time each afternoon for you both to chat, the children will feel loved and important to you. Becoming slack in this area will only suggest to them that they are no longer important. Don’t make this mistake.

Will you ever get back together? If you are not sure, tell them that. If you know there is no hope, don’t give them hope. If you are not sure you can say, ‘At the moment we need to have this time apart, and we can’t promise you anything. We just want you to know we are here for you no matter what happens.’ Never make promises you cannot keep; children don’t forget.

If I stopped being naughty and fighting with my brother/sister would you be together? Tell them you did not separate because of their behaviour and make sure they fully understand this: ‘Yes, sometimes we may be upset with you, but you are not the cause of this separation.’

DON’T FORGET It is important to remember the following points, for the sake of your kids: • kids feel your pain, as they are also hurting • don’t assume they are OK

“Don’t allow your children to feel the pressure of choosing. As adults you really need to put your personal feelings aside and see what is in the best interests of your children” • ask them if they would like to talk (or make sure you are ready when they want to talk – be an open door) • don’t bad-mouth your ex – this will come back to bite you later • if you have a close relative they would open up to, maybe try that or a counsellor • stick to your boundaries. Don’t go soft because you feel guilty about the divorce • keep up their normal routine (it helps them). • don’t brush things under the carpet and assume all is OK – talk to them now • put them before a new partner; they need you more right now • love them, love them, love them. * Karla Lee’s books Please… Don’t Go! A Child’s Perspective on Divorce (written for teenagers, parents and stepparents) and Is It My Fault? A Child’s Perspective on Divorce (written for primary-school aged children) are both available in e-book or paperback formats for $12 each at karlalee.com.

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fashion

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Behind the label We asked Tracey Montford, the creative director of maternity lingerie label Cake Lingerie, what it takes to run her business

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fashion | behind the label

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perating for over six years now and based in Sydney, maternity lingerie label Cake Lingerie is run by Tracey Montford, a mum of two boys, nine-year-old Ethan and Carter, three. Tracey was inspired to start it when she was pregnant with Ethan in her early 30s because she found the lingerie at the time to be unflattering and matronly.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU OFFER?  Cake Lingerie designs and manufactures beautiful maternity/nursing bras, sleepwear, swimwear and organic reusable nursing pads for a global market. Our range consists of luxurious basics and fashion garments which have been designed to support and nurture a woman’s changing body, including contour bras, flexible wired bras, seamless transition bras, bras for a fuller figure/bust, bras for a petite frame, non-wired bars and a range of chemises and PJs.

TELL US ABOUT THE TEAM We have wonderful designers who have had children so understand the need to create great maternity undergarments. We also have sales, customer service and marketing teams along with a great warehouse team who ensure our garments are sent out in a timely manner. We work with sales agents around the world too.

WHAT HAS BEEN MOST DIFFICULT?  My partner and I started Cake Lingerie from our garage. Growth pains, cash flow and expansion have been the most challenging aspects of getting the business to this point. The best part has been seeing the success – our unrelenting belief in the brand has been instrumental in overcoming difficulty.

IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU WISH YOU HAD RECEIVED?  We were confronted with a number of people to begin with who were negative and less than encouraging. These people truly helped us

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drive forward as we used this as motivation. The advice I always give is to believe in your concept and ensure you have sufficient cash flow and the means to bring more on as needed. You’ll probably need twice what you initially budget for so be prepared for that and have contingency plans in place.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST?  I love being creative and especially love seeing a concept come to life – from ideas to drawings, samples, production, photo shoots, packaging and in-store to customer testimonials. I also love that I’m my own boss so have the freedom to attend school events and do school pick-ups. I work during school hours and then again when the children are in bed. My business gives me the flexibility that I would not normally have if I were working for someone else.

HOW IS YOUR BUSINESS DIFFERENT?  Cake Lingerie has a number of competitors in the global market. The difference and one of the reasons Cake Lingerie has become so successful so quickly is that we are innovative. We have developed a strong brand around listening to our customers and recognising trends in the marketplace. We never copy our competitors, although we do look at what exists and think about how we can improve on it.

HOW DO YOU MARKET THE BUSINESS?  We work with PR teams around the world who are wonderful at getting us coverage on TV, in magazines and on mother and baby sites. We are also big believers in the power of promoting through social media and bloggers. Word of mouth is key to growing a successful business.

WHY SHOULD MUMS SHOP WITH YOU? Our collections are designed by mothers for mothers and we understand what a new mum

needs. All our products have been specifically created for the different stages of pregnancy and for breastfeeding. Our products have the edge because of their quality and workmanship, their superior support and fit, and their value for money. We also offer excellent customer service, have a broad product range and our packaging is gorgeous. In addition, our label is available from many boutique stores along with our own online store.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? Cake Lingerie is currently going through a rebranding and restructuring exercise. The label will become a sub-brand under the Cake Maternity umbrella. Cake Maternity will be your one-stop shop for beautiful, well-crafted garments and products for mothers. Our new website recently went live and we have just launched CupCake nursing pads. In addition, we’ll be launching Rosewater swimwear for mothers in February 2015, so watch out for it! In the future, we hope to make Cake Maternity a globally established, trusted brand for both pregnant and nursing women.

ANY ADVICE FOR PARENTS KEEN TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS? My advice for people starting a business is to: • research the market first • identify that you have a unique concept and one that provides a point of difference from your competitors. • invest what you can afford • shop around for cheaper deals • avoid loans, as financial freedom will put less pressure on you and your family • believe in yourself – you will come across a lot of people who will have negative views and will not be supportive. Belief and the determination to succeed will put you in a very powerful position. *

To see the latest collection visit cakelingerie.com.au

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fashion

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Behind the label Directors of organic baby clothing label Nature Baby, Georgia and Jacob Faull, explain how they went about establishing their eco-friendly company

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n 1998, Nature Baby founders Georgia and Jacob noticed the choice of clothing items for babies was very limited, and of those on the market, most were made from synthetic materials. What began as a quest to purchase organic products for their own family quickly grew to launching a successful fashion label creating clothing made from eco-friendly fabrics. ‘We found that, like us, other parents wanted their children to grow up in a pure, beautiful, chemical-free world,’ says Jacob.

ABOUT THE COLLECTION All of the items in the Nature Baby range are produced using organic fibres, making the collection ideal for babies with sensitive skin. As Georgia explains, ‘Because we see babies as precious and sensitive to their surroundings, all Nature Baby products are carefully selected for quality, purity and design, and are produced in a way that cares for the earth and it’s workers so it’s a win-win for everyone.’ However, when they launched the label, one thing they hadn’t expected was the amount of consumer education that was needed about the benefits of natural products. ‘For example, when we first started selling organic Merino wool,’ says Jacob, ‘people were very suspicious of wool. They thought it would be itchy and hard to care for. Now people recognise what a wonderful, versatile fibre it is.’

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS Georgia and Jacob find that running an ethical business is good for the soul: ‘It’s heartwarming to be able to sell what you believe in’, Georgia says. ‘You know it’s good for everybody and it’s satisfying to be a part of social change.’ Another bonus is the creativity required. ‘As business owners, you have the freedom to imagine things the way you want them to be,’ they explain. ‘Plus we appreciate our talented team of creative and strategic thinkers who are passionate about what we do.’ It’s no wonder much of their marketing is via word of mouth. They also work with magazines, bloggers and individuals they believe in because being active in their idea of a community is important to them.

FUTURE ENDEAVOURS Currently Georgia and Jacob are enjoying their recent successes selling through J.Crew in the US and David Jones in Australia – and learning from the experience. ‘We hope to continue to nurture our brand,’ they say. ‘Our business, as with retail, will evolve and that is very exciting.’

ADVICE FOR NEW BUSINESS OWNERS They recommend thinking outside the square and to avoid replicating other’s ideas, saying, ‘Also do something you are really passionate about – you’ll reap what you sow.’ * november 2014 | mychild

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fashion | behind the label

“Because we see babies as precious and sensitive to their surroundings, all Nature Baby products are carefully selected for quality, purity and design�

For information call 1800 240 358 or head to naturebaby.com, instagram.com.naturebabynz and facebook.com.NatureBabyCommunity

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fashion COMPARE

high tee a wardrobe staple with timeless appeal, tees come in all shapes and sizes so give some of these funky options a go!

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UNICORN $34.95

BANDANA DOG $29.95

00-8 by IdT.ee idtee.com.au

0-2 by Tumble ‘N Dry tumblendry.com.au

2-14 by Havoc Denim havocdenim.com

00-2 by Fox & Finch axelmeetskoa.com.au

ROCK & ROLL $29.95

BRAVE BEAVER $39.95

EMBROIDERED $22.99

FRUIT FACE $34.95

0-2 by KaPow kapowkids.bigcartel.com

86-128cm by Kukukid alittlebitofcheek.com.au

3-5 by Munchkin & More munchkinandmore.com.au

0-3M by Munsterkids munsterkids.com

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~MADISON~ • 5 SMALL POCKETS • 2 LARGE ELASTICATED POCKET • KEY FOB • KEY CHARM • AVAILABLE IN RED OR YELLOW

www.totalbagenvy.com.au

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FASHIOn

board rider hit the surf in bright, beachy basics that will keep the kids cool – in more ways than one!

THIS PAGE: SURFboard romper $26.95 000-1 by Milky milkyclothing.com.au

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1| RASH VEST $29.99 0-5 by Billabong

2| SINGLET $22.95 3-24M by Fox & Finch

3| SUn top $49.95

billabong.com.au

billylids.com.au

1-7 by Escargot escargotkids.com.au

4| SUNGLASSES $32.50 by RosamboBaby

5| BOARDSHORTS $28.80 6M-4 by For Baby & Up

6| CAp $19.95 by Hootkid

petit.com.au

forbabyandup.com.au

hootkid.com

7| swim shorts $18.95 00-7 by Plum

8| SHOES $74.95 4-6.5 by Clarks

9| SHORTs $29.95

plumcollections.com.au

clarks.com.au

0-12M by Nature Baby naturebaby.com

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FASHIOn

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GIRL guide sunny summer days call for graphic prints and playful textures. mix it up with hip accessories for fashion flair

THIS PAGE: DRESS $30.95 2-8 by Dandelion dandelionkid.com

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fashion

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1| SKIRT $45.95 3-7 by OUCH

2| SANDALS $49.95 2-10 by Skeanie

ouchclothing.com.au

skeanie.com.au

2-14 by Havoc Denim havocdenim.com

4| SUNGLASSES $14.95 by Hootkid

5| SANDALS $74.95 4-8 by Clarks

6| BUCKET HAT $32.95 S-L by Acorn Kids

hootkid.com

clarks.com.au

acornkids.com.au

7| DRESS $59.95 5-8 by Minti

8| My First VOLLEY $20 1-6 by Volley

9| TUTU LEGGING $24.95 000-2 by Milky

iloveminti.com

volley.com.au

milkyclothing.com.au

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3| TEE $34.95


Summer 2014

AVAILABLE AT

DAVID JONES, MYER

& LEADING BOUTIQUES NATIONALLY

www.minihaha.com.au november 2014 | mychild

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INTERIORS REPORT

Sunny days BRIGHTEN UP your BOY’S BEDROOM WITH A mix OF MELLOW YELLOWS AND GRADIENTS OF GREY FOR A FUN AND FRIENDLY FEEL

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pasta amore single quilt cover $149 by Sack Me! sackme.com.au

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interiors report

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GET THE LOOK

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oslo single duvet set $150 & zigzag cushion $50

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follow the leader canvas $495 by Penny Farthing Design House

pennyfarthingdh.com.au

both by Scout scoutlifestyle.com moose perspex dome clock $64.95 by Micky & Stevie mickyandstevie.com.au sandy bunting $24.95 by Hiccups linenhouse.com.au rhino stroller organiser $31.95 by 3 Sprouts coolkidz.net.au mini triangle quilt us$85 by Olli & Lime olliandlime.com crochet light $40 by La De Dah Kids ladedahkids.com.au diagonal print rug $130 by The Design Hunter thedesignhunter.com.au penguin rolly stacker $29.95 by Janod hartandheim.com.au circle bedside table $470 by Lilly & Lolly lillyandlolly.com.au zooty zebra $19.95 by Jole Home jolehome.com.au you are my sunshine rug $399 by Happy as Larry Designs

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happyaslarrydesigns.com

indoor bean bag chair $365 by Lujo lujo.com.au big kids stool $99 by The Family Love Tree thefamilylovetree.com.au blanket box $3,495 by Chesterfield House chesterfieldhouse.com.au

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Interiors MY SPACE

Sail away! When designing Alec’s nursery, Belinda Nihill from Nest Design Studio was asked to create a serene, beach-inspired theme

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interiors | my space

• My style is clean, modern and sophisticated, however I like my designs to have elements of fun in them too!

PHOTOGRAPHY vellum studios

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• They wanted a nautical-inspired nursery With 15 years of interior design experience behind her, Nest Design Studio owner Belinda Nihill specialises in designing nurseries and bedrooms that are both functional and goodlooking. And no wonder – she has three young ones of her own!

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?  My clients wanted a nursery designed for their son, Alec. As they live close to the beach they were keen to create a serene, nautical-inspired space. The room is very calming – there are lots of lovely soft blues, creams and greys, with texture to add interest.

HOW DID YOU SELECT THE COLOURs?

• This nursing chair is a key element ideas and products that will fit their brief and then narrow it down and create a design board for them. Each design is totally individual and prepared just for their little one.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO finish? Once my client receives their design it provides them with the opportunity to create the room as their budget allows.

WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS? These have to be the fabulous cot from Incy Interiors and the nursing chair because they hold the room together. Both look lovely but are also very practical.

The room is very little so the colour scheme was quite restrained to keep the space looking as big as possible. Blue was the main colour used but in subtle ways.

DO YOU HAVE A DESIGN MANTRA? 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE?

WHAT’S NEXT?

When I’m designing for my clients, I ask lots of questions so I can get a good gauge on what they like, what they don’t like, their family’s hobbies and so on. From there I start gathering

I’ve just had our third baby, so I’m focused now on having some design downtime… as well as finishing off his nursery! * Visit nestdesignstudio.com.au to find out more.

My style is clean, modern and sophisticated, however I like my designs to have elements of fun in them too!

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PARTY

Batgirls & bandits Zoe’s fifth birthday party theme kept both the girls and boys happy says her mum, Thetis Sardo

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party

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• Cupcakes with little fondant crosses

L

ucky for Zoe, her mum is party stylist Thetis Sardo, the owner of Sooti Event Styling + Design. As Zoe is a May baby and they live in Melbourne, Thetis held the party for 30 children indoors. ‘The weather in May is always cold and quite unpredictable so I’d always intended to have a theme that would work well indoors,’ she says, adding, ‘Zoe is into superheros and playing bandits at the moment so we decided to combine them both and Zoe came up with a “Batgirls and bandits” theme so both boys and girls at the party would be happy!’

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE? Zoe’s favourite colour is bright pink so that decided the colour scheme. Then I organised the invitation, which was created by Li-Ann from Ham & Pea. She is one of my best friends and has been creating my children’s invites for many years now. Li-Ann knows my style perfectly. I told her I wanted a monochrome, sleek and simplistic look, and her first design was the one. Once all of that was confirmed, I based the whole party and theming around it. Doing it

this way makes a party easier to organise. Then, about three weeks before the party, I started organising and purchasing what was needed and making lists.

TELL US ABOUT THE KEY ELEMENTS Once I’d worked out the theme, colours and invitations, the main things to organise were the decorations, cake and some party ideas. To decorate, I scattered honeycomb balls created by my friend at Leo & Bella over the floor and across the children’s table. There was also a giant black number-five balloon with tassels. Star cutouts were taped to the walls and scattered around the children’s table too. Simple! Our cake and desserts were both made by Kerry at Cuppy & Cake. I sent Kerry my design board and invitation, and she came up with a gorgeous and simple design that complimented my backdrop and looked perfect. We had maskshaped cookies, cupcakes with little fondant crosses and the cake was delicious. The kids each had their own lunchboxes, too, which were a simple white colour and had a sticker on top. The table was kept minimal >

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party

• We had the cutest little pink bubble chairs

• Ham & Pea designed Zoe’s invitations

in block colours for the plates, cups, napkins and then a stripy straw for the drinks. We also had the cutest little pink bubble chairs from Tiny Tables & Chairs.

DESCRIBE ZOE’S REACTION

DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTY TIPS?

Stick to a simple theme, pick two colour combos, which will make it easier to get products from discount stores, and don’t over-think or overload the party. Simplicity is the key when it comes to hosting a kids’ party and not blowing your budget. • Everything was inspired by the invitations

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photography oy photography (oyphotography.com.au)

Zoe was smiling from ear to ear all day! * To find out more about Sooti Event Styling + Design and the suppliers visit sooti.com.au, facebook.com/ cuppyandcake, hamandpea.com, leoandbella.com.au and tinytablesandchairs.com.au.


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COOKING

Fruity fun! Berries are in season and this delicious dessert from Stacey Deutscher at A Healthy Mum is fun for kids to help make too

FRUIT PLATTER  PREP TIME 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 200g plain yoghurt 2 tbsp raw honey 1 punnet blueberries 1 punnet strawberries 1 punnet raspberries 200g green grapes

COOKING TIME 0 minutes

SERVES 6

METHOD • Pour the yoghurt (I recommend coconut yoghurt) into a serving dish and lightly stir the raw honey through. • Place the fruit onto the skewers and then plate for serving. TO SERVE Dip the skewers into the yoghurt and enjoy straightaway.

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NUTRITIONAL TIP

Berries are a great lowfructose, high-antioxidant nutrition powerhouse fruit to include in your family’s diet. The protein and healthy fats in the yoghurt will help to fill you up and ensure the spike of sugar from the berries is kept low.

Stace loves to create healthy recipes the whole family can enjoy together. She is an accredited health and wellness coach with years of experience in the kitchen developing recipes for both personal and corporate clients. Jump over to ahealthymum.com to view her long list of healthy recipes and to download her free e-book, 10 in 10 Breakfasts, or visit her on Facebook at facebook. com/ahealthymumpage or Instagram at a_healthy_mum.

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SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! For your chance to win one of 10 Havoc Denim gift vouchers WORTH at $100 each Receive My Child magazine direct to your inbox every month! Our digital format allows you to interact with informative articles, scroll through for great shopping and fashion trends, read and share inspiring stories, party ideas and more – all with just the click of a button. Better still, by signing up to our free digital magazine you have the chance to win one of 10 Havoc Denim gift vouchers worth $100 each! The spring/summer collection by well-loved Aussie brand Havoc Denim is taking a walk on the wild side this season, with fun being a trademark

feature. Created from quality pre-shrunk and pre-washed fabrics for an ultra-soft feel, and with meticulous garment engineering to ensure the clothing’s timeless wearability, Havoc Denim is for kids who dare to be different! This season’s collection also boasts a range of bright hues and one-of-a-kind prints in white, pink, yellow, orange, green and purple. My Child especially loves their new digital-print embellished tees teamed with their fun printed shorts. Take a look at havocdenim.com to find out more and to purchase!

CLICK HERE to SIGN UP

• ENJOY Australia’s best parenting mag • DELIVERED straight to your inbox

• SHARE with family & friends • NEVER miss out on a great read!

Terms & conditions Prizes will be sent by post approximately six weeks after this offer closes on November 21 2014. In the instance where a prize company forecloses or is unable to fulfil a prize commitment, My Child will not be held liable for reimbursements in the form of cash or subsidiary prizes. These circumstances fall outside the bounds of My Child’s responsibility as the giveaway promoter. If your details are not provided for prize fulfilment within five working days of notification of win, your prize will be forfeited.

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MY CHILD PROMOTION

Register now!

~ 2015 ~ Excellence Awards 2012

Calling all businesses! Register now to be in the running for our Excellence Awards 2015

EXCELLENCE AWARDS

We are excited to announce that we are calling for entries for our My Child Excellence Awards 2015. Now in their fourth year, these reader-voted awards recognise marketleading products, fashion labels and stores in the pregnancy, baby and children’s categories. Celebrating Australian and New Zealand businesses, they offer a fantastic opportunity for companies – no matter whether big brands or small businesses – to showcase their achievements. VOTING Readers will be offered the opportunity to vote on the entries by way of a “New Baby Shopping Guide” that will run in the March 2015 issue of My Child. The shopping guide will also be promoted via the My Child site, newsletters and social media pages.

ELIGIBILITY For companies to be eligible to enter, their products must be available in Australia and/ or New Zealand at September 23 2014 and for the duration of the Awards. Please note that only manufacturers and distributors may register products – not retailers.

WINNERS Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for each category, along with the overall winner, will be decided by the highest number of votes and will be announced in My Child’s June 2015 issue. Winners will also receive an awards badge and the right to display this on their marketing material.

INFORMATION PACK Prior to registration, it is essential that you read the My Child Excellence Awards 2015 Information Pack. This includes information on categories and eligibility along with full terms and conditions. It can be downloaded via the My Child Excellence Awards banner on the home page at mychildmagazine.com.au.

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Categories OUT & ABOUT Favourite Pram Favourite Stroller Favourite Baby Carrier Favourite Portable Chair/Booster Seat Favourite Baby Travel Product Favourite Baby Travel Cot Favourite Children’s Travel Product NURSERY Favourite Cot Favourite Change Table Favourite Nursery Decor Product BREASTFEEDING Favourite Breast Pump Favourite Breastfeeding Product FEEDING Favourite Highchair Favourite Baby Bottle Favourite Baby Feeding Product Favourite Baby Feeding Utensil Favourite Baby Cup Favourite Baby Food Storage Product BABY CARE Favourite Teething Product Favourite Baby Haircare Product Favourite Baby Skincare Product Favourite Baby Bath Wash

Favourite Baby Bath Product Favourite Baby Wipes Favourite Nappy Brand Favourite Nappy Rash Product Favourite Toilet-Training Product Favourite Baby Safety Product Favourite Health Product Favourite Baby Thermometer Favourite Baby Care Product SLEEP Favourite Swaddle/Wrap Favourite Sleeping Bag Favourite Baby Sleep Aid MUMS Favourite Nappy Bag Favourite Mum’s Product TOYS Favourite Baby Toy (0-18 months) Favourite Children’s Toy (18-36 months) Favourite Educational Product FASHION Favourite Baby Fashion Label Favourite Children’s Fashion Label ONLINE STORES Favourite Mixed-brands Online Store Favourite Own-brand Online Store Favourite Fashion Online Store

TO ENTER Entries must be registered by means of the online entry form available on the My Child site at mychildmagazine.com.au. Simply click on the My Child Excellence Awards banner on the home page and then follow the instructions. Registration costs $40 for each individual entry and must be paid by credit card or Paypal at registration. Registration closes at midnight AEST on Friday December 19 2014.

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MY CHILD PROMOTION

WHAT’S IN STORE

Milk it

Nibble & dribble

Boobie Bikkies, all natural and organic superfood cookies created by lactation consultant Pinky McKay, will boost your energy and support your milk supply. They now include gluten- and dairy-free bikkies, too. Priced from $25.95 per pack, grab a free sample at boobiebikkies. com.au.

Make teething a messfree experience with the Neckerchew fully reversible and absorbent Chewy Dribble Bib, $19.99. The Neckerchew combines the dribble bib with an attached chewy teether designed to soothe sore gums. Made from soft jersey cotton with an absorbent middle layer to lock moisture away from the chest, it comes in 12 patterns including Dino Friends, Uni-Stripe and Flutterby. See littlem.com.au.

On the lookout

Hands free

Keep a close eye on your baby from any room in the house with the VTech BM3500 Safe and Sound baby monitor, $189, which includes pan and tilt video and audio. You can hear every sound your baby makes and watch every step they take from up to 300m away. Rest easy knowing that your bub is sleeping safe and sound without having to disturb them. Head to vtech.com/au/tel and check out their range of video and audio monitors.

Designed to give you freedom of movement while keeping your baby close to you, the Budu Baby Carrier is comfortable and stylish for both you and your baby. Priced at $299, it is made with natural breathable, absorbent and antibacterial bamboo fabric and vegetable-tanned leather. With wide padded shoulder straps, you can position bub facing you or forward. Visit budu.com.au.

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Tidy tots A one-stop shop for all types of nappies, The Nappy Lady stocks a large range of eco and chemical-free baby products, including disposable nappies, modern cloth nappies, cleaning products and skincare ranges. The BumGenius cloth nappies feature a breathable waterproof outer and soft suede inner fabric, which draws moisture away from your baby’s skin. Priced at $28, head to thenappylady. com.au.

Listen up! Keep your little one safe with the VTech BM2000 Safe & Sound Audio Baby Monitor, $69, which features DECT technology for good connection and clear sound without interference. The unit includes five lullabies with a five-level volume setting, a nightlight and a temperature sensor. The parental unit runs on rechargeable batteries lasting for up to 14 hours’ monitoring and an LCD for room temperature monitoring. Head to vtech. com/au/tel for more details.

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what’s in store

Back to nature

CLEAN SCENE

Inspired by nature, NUK has designed these glass bottles from the First Choice range, which come in two new colours, Bamboo and Sand. Available in 120ml for $17.95 and 240ml for $18.95, the bottles have an orthodontic silicone teat designed to train your child from birth to coordinate the jaw, tongue and lips. It strengthens the muscles and prepares your baby’s mouth for teething, chewing and speaking. Find out more at nuk.com.au.

Visiting public toilets when travelling can be a more pleasant experience with these SeatEase covers, priced at $3.25 for a pack of 10. Made from flushable paper, the seat covers provide the comfort of separating you from the public toilet seat. Grab a pack for increased hygiene when you’re out and about at bluelinehygienics.com.

Nourish & nurture

Lather up

Created from a blend of certified-organic and wild-harvested ingredients that have been enriched with regenerative oils, butters and extracts from flowers, fruits, nuts and seeds, the Belly & Breast Balm by Miessence is designed to promote renewal, elasticity and suppleness for your skin. It also eases itching and prevents underlying tissue damage. Safe to use during and beyond your pregnancy, it’s available in 125ml, $45, from miessence.com.

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Offering high-quality maternity and baby care products, the Mater range has been co-created by midwives from the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals and mums. This Baby Wash for newborns through to toddlers, $13.99 for 500ml, is a lightly foaming cleanser for the skin and scalp, and has been specially formulated for sensitive skin. The formula is gentle and tear-free and will help to keep your little one’s skin soft. Purchase it and other products in the range from matermothers.org.au.


directory

An organic range of health and beauty products that won’t cost the earth or your health. Spend $150 or more on your initial Contact Lindsay on order to get 20% off this and all future orders. 0434 644 353 www.naturalbeauty.miessence.com

SIT WITH EASE PROTECTED ON A HYGIENIC BARRIER • RECYCLED PAPER • BIODEGRADABLE AT WOOlWORTHS & INDEPENDENT SuPERmARkETS, TOIlET PAPER AISlE

www.bluelinehygienics.com

Keep cool

this summer With ZipZicles •Reusable icy pole pouches •BPA, PVC and phthalate free

www.dearlittledesigns.com october 2014 | mychild

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NEWS

MUM’S WELLBEING GET THE balance RIGHT

Going organic buying FOOD ON A BUDGET

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HOW TO BE HIP!

In her new book, How to be a Hip Mama Without Losing your Cool (Hardie Grant Books, $29.95), UK author Jenny Scott takes a light-hearted look at being a mum. With a funky design and interviews with “the world’s coolest mums”, it covers everything from honest birth stories and getting stuff done to sexing up and fitness motivation. This is the book to read about embracing being a mum without losing your sense of who you are.

Every moment counts…

Even though you have a baby or young children, your time together as a couple is still important to maintaining your relationship. As your child gets older, arrange to leave them with a trusted friend or relative and go out for a few hours.

written By hannah saunders

With the benefits of eating organic foods selfevident, the big question is how to afford it when you’re on a budget. We asked the founders of Consume With Care for their tips: • buy when on special and in season (and freeze any excess) • make your own kale chips, museli bars, smoothies and juices • avoid pre-washed and ready-to-eat fruits and vegies – they can cost twice as much! • eat out less – it’s cheaper to eat organic meals at home • purchase packaged organic goods in bulk when on sale • buy local as it can be significantly cheaper • join or start a local organic co-op so you can buy larger quantities at discount rates • head to farmers’ markets at the end of the day when they often drop their prices • keep chooks for fresh eggs • grow your own food – herbs are easy! Visit consumewithcare.org for more ideas.

Plan your time, build routines and fit some youtime into your week with the OTi Organiser. A stylish “wellbeing” diary, the OTi lets you plan your meals and exercise and keep track of your to-do list. As co-founder Emily Larsen says, ‘Just writing it down and having something to refer to can make all the difference.’ Get yours from oti.net.au.


NO. 1E D

T RU S TTIVE SENSI RY D LAUNN BRA D

sensitive & natural

Baby Range Specially formulated product range for your little treasure’s skin without the use of nasty chemicals.

*Source: Nielsen, Units (’000) MAT to 7/7/13

Natures Organics Pty Ltd

www.naturesorganics.com.au november 2014 | mychild

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news | mum’s wellbeing

5 fitness tips for your brain Dr Roger Landry, preventive medicine physician and author of Live Long, Die Short, US$19.95, says looking after your brain ensures healthy ageing in years to come. Here are five ways to care for your grey matter: Exercise regularly Physical activity is associated with a surge of substances that stimulate brain growth. Continue to learn new things The brain needs constant stimulation to retain the pathways

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that it already has and to develop new ones. Learn to chill out Chronic stress rots your brain, destroying cognitive function. Find what gives you joy and take regular mental breaks. Disconnect Know when it’s time to unplug those devices for a while. Eat healthily Choose fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, fish and whole grains, and limit meats and high-fat diets. Visit livelongdieshort.com to purchase the book.

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Several studies show eczema sufferers may have a reduced risk of developing skin cancer

Quick MUMMY MAKE-UP

Always in a rush? Try these ideas to looking great when you just don’t have the time: Mineral make-up Only taking a few seconds to apply with a big brush, mineral face powder gives good coverage, evens out your skin tones and adds colour. Blusher Again, quick and easy to apply – and even better if you use a proper blusher brush. Mascara Adding a few coats of mascara is an easy way to enhance your eyes. Lippy Apply some clear or pretty coloured gloss to add some sheen and moisture and finish your look.

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TRACK AND ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS WITH i’MFIT ACTIVITY TRACKER MOTION.

Perfect for busy Mums of all ages and fitness levels wanting to track their physical activity and performance.

TRACK ACTIVITY AND MONITOR SLEEP

> Tracks all daily activity

The i’MFIT Activity Tracker is intended to help you keep track of time, date, steps taken, calories burnt, distance travelled and the duration of your exercise. The Activity Tracker also monitors the time and quality of your sleep and includes a silent wake alarm.

> Tracks all daily activity

DOWNLOAD THE APP FOR APPLE OR ANDROID DEVICES

I’MFIT ACTIVITY TRACKER SYNCS WITH: • iPhone 4S/5/5C/5S • iPad 3rd Gen/4th Gen/Mini/Air • Samsung Galaxy Series/S3/S4+ • Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart Ready devices

ONLY $99

incl GST and Delivery

www.imfit.com.au

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NEWS

PREGNANCY&BIRTH MYTH BUSTER!

Myth: Having a miscarriage makes it harder to conceive. Fact: Miscarriage, which occurs in around 25 percent of confirmed pregnancies, does not affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant. The problem is with staying pregnant.

ivf update

New independent research into IVF of 25- to 44-year-old Australian women reveals:

34% 85% 48% 32%

believe falling pregnant is easy

believe there is a social stigma associated with seeking IVF treatment believe seeking treatment means you have failed as a woman

IN FULL SWING Super supportive for pregnant women and nursing mothers, Swingz n Thingz hanging chairs, $175 with free delivery Australia-wide, are made from Australian hardwood timber, stainless-steel hardware and fade-proof, rotproof marine canvas. Able to be fastened to any strong hanging point and available in a range of colours, they hold up to 200kg and are great for kids too. They are also available with footrest, neck pillow and drink holder accessories for $235 at swingz.com.au.

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say the stigma is because women can feel responsible and guilty – even when it is their partner who has the fertility problem! Find out about the new Bump IVF clinic in Sydney’s Mosman at bumpivf.com.au.

BEST FOR bump

Available in three tasty varieties – Apricot and Almond, Cranberry Hazelnut and Oat Berry – BetterBump snack bars are designed to enhance pregnancy and support lactation. Purchase a box of 12 for $42 or take up a monthly subscription at betterbump.com.au.


CLEAN SCENE

Make visits to public toilets a more pleasant experience when you are travelling with these Seatease covers, priced at $9.95 for three packs of 10. Manufactured from flushable paper, the seat covers are designed to provide the comfort of separating you – and your kids – from the public toilet seat. Grab a pack for increased hygiene from bluelinehygienics.com.

Difrax Soothers

Increase your bub’s iq

An essential nutrient to take during pregnancy, iodine produces a hormone that regulates mental and physical growth and development. An inadequate intake in adults leads to goitre and abnormal functioning of the brain and thyroid gland. However, a deficiency during pregnancy can affect a baby’s normal brain development by up to five to 10 IQ points and have a negative impact on their nervous system development too! To increase your intake, up the seafood, eggs, brewers’ yeast and iodised salt. You’ll need about 220mcg a day while pregnant and require up to 290mcg when you are breastfeeding. If you require a supplement try a product like Fabfol, $24.95, which contains essential nutrients folic acid, iodine, iron and energy boosting B-group vitamins to support you along with the healthy development of your growing baby. Fabfol is also vegetarian friendly, and Kosher and Halal certified. Visit fabfol.com.au for more information.

The unique butterfly shaped Difrax Soother is designed to allow free breathing through the nose.

Difrax Soother

Difrax Sterilising Egg

Difrax S-Bottle

www.difrax.com.au

Follow us on facebook.com/ DifraxAustralia november 2014 | mychild

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news | pregnancy & birth

5 FACTS ABOUT THE PLACENTA 1 2 3

centre is the thickest and it weighs around 500g. Nourishment For nine months the placenta feeds and nourishes the foetus. Oxygen and nutrients are supplied to the baby through the bloodstream, and carbon dioxide and waste products are returned for excretion. Performance It makes a number of hormones in large quantities, including oestrogen and progesterone, and serves as the conduit through which substances carried in the bloodstream can be exchanged between mother and foetus, while ensuring that the blood never mixes.

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26% of women utilise no pain-relieving methods during their labour 92

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mychild | november 2014

written By hannah saunders

The placenta is an amazing organ. Joining mother and baby, it evolves from the same sperm and egg cells that create the foetus. Development It begins to develop at eight to 10 weeks into the pregnancy by growing onto the muscular wall of the uterus, and is attached to the foetus by the umbilical cord. Appearance It can be described as a pancakeshaped organ and is maroon in colour. Dimensions The placenta grows throughout your pregnancy and at full size averages 22cm in length and 2 to 2.5cm in thickness. The


Q&A I’m pregnant with my third child and am very excited but over the last year I’ve been having mini panic attacks. What can I do? Panic attacks can come on suddenly, with the panic building and reaching a peak, and can last for up to 30 minutes. Symptoms include heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, chest pain, shortness of breath, choking sensations, nausea, dizziness, chills and hot flushes. Some easy-to-implement strategies are to avoid aspartame (951), caffeine, alcohol and sugar, reduce the chemicals you use at home, and eat fresh organic foods. Homeopathic remedies include Kali Phos; Ignatia if you are oversensitive and highly emotional with dramatic mood swings; and Aconite for great fear and panic, agitation and restlessness. Teas like chamomile, lime and linden flower are soothing. Supplements like calcium and magnesium, S-adenoslmethioneine (SAMe), N-acetyl tyrosine, phosphatidylserine, acetyl L-carnitine, and most of the B vitamins can help the body to produce more serotonin, which helps the brain function, relaxes the mind and relieves depression. Your practitioner may also suggest strategies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, neuroemotional techniques, hypnosis and counselling. Polly Wilkie is a natural therapies expert. Visit careclinic.com.au for more information.

Difrax S-Bottle

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Difrax Microwave Steriliser

Difrax S-Bottles

Difrax Soother

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Follow us on facebook.com/ DifraxAustralia november 2014 | mychild

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shopping

PREGNANCY&BIRTH calling all babies

Carry all of your bub’s bits and bobs in this stylish Arizona Nappy Bag by Boowiggie, $249. Made from saffiano leather, which is durable, scratch resistant and easy to clean, it has a zipper closure and double handles. Featuring an insulated bottle pocket and padded change mat, it is designed with lots of pockets and comes with a complimentary wet bag, worth $9.95, for storing any wet items. Available at boowiggie.com.au.

The best phone for you and your bub is the jChews Smartphone, $12. Made from BPA-free silicone and soft on the gums, it’s safe for bub to sink their teeth into, ideal for teething tots and is avaiable in a wide selection of colours. For the little one with a sweet tooth, the Chocolate Bar is a guilt-free and fun alternative too. Ideal for all stages of chewing, visit jellystonedesigns. com to view the full range of fun and funky teethers.

slip, slop, slap

it’s a bonus!

Protect your skin this summer with the nongreasy and non-whitening SPF30+ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen by Oasis Sun, $39.95 for 250ml. Formulated without any nasty chemicals, colours or fragrances for people with sensitive skin and suitable for the whole family, it can be worn under make-up and contains 94 percent natural ingredients including jojoba oil, shea butter and vitamin E to protect against wind, water and sunlight. You can purchase it from naturebaby.com.

Used as a carry chair or in conjunction with Chicco strollers as a travel system, the Chicco KeyFit Plus infant car seat is both practical and multifunctional. Priced at $449, the seat is suitable for babies from birth to nine months. While the top tether anchor strap has been fixed to the seat for greater convenience when fitting the seat, it provides comfort and safety for your child. Explore the range and much more at chicco.com.au.

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written By emily jay

On the go


easy change

urban stroll

Keep change time simple with the B.box nappy wallet, $34.95. The built-in refillable wipes compartment is designed with dual access so you can grab them from inside or from the external hatch for quickly cleaning little fingers. It also features plenty of room for storing two disposable nappies or a spare change of clothes and includes a change mat. Available in a funky range of patterns and colours, it’s also BPA-, phalate- and PVC-free. Head to bbox. com.au to find your local stockist.

Designed for parents who live life on the fly, the Bugaboo Bee3, $949, for newborn babies to toddlers has an easy-to-carry lightweight bassinette and an extendable sun canopy. The unique seat grows with your child, too, extending, reversing and reclining with just a few easy clicks. Plus the one-piece fold with seat makes it simple to collapse, carry and store in tight spaces. Find out more and check out the rest of the range at bugaboo.com.

out & about

safety first

Whether you’re looking forward to taking your new bub to the beach, for a picnic in the park or if it’s for playtime at home, the Central Park chevron outdoor blanket, $79.95 by Skip Hop from bloomandgrow.com.au, is what you’ll need. Spacious and lightweight, it is compact and can be carried on the shoulder or converted into a backpack. With a water-resistant canvas backing, it also includes an insulated cooler bag, which can hold food and drink.

The new ISOGO car seat system by Maxi-Cosi is compatible with ISOFIX, the international standardised fitting system for attaching car seats without the need of the lap sash seatbelt. Instead it uses lower anchorage points that are in the gap between the upholstery, making it easier to lend to family and friends. This Hera Convertible car seat, $529, is suitable for newborns up to four-year-olds. See maxi-cosi.com.au.

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shopping | pregnancy & birth

Pretty practical

sleep assistant

With an oriental bird print on cream mesh, Hot Milk’s Serenity nursing bra, $69.12, and bikini brief, $29.72, make a gorgeous matching maternity set. The bra has one-handed drop down cups for easy breasfeeding plus they’re non-wired with soft cotton lining for good support and comfort. Visit hotmilklingerie.com.

Settle your child into a sleepy state with the SleepRumbler, $69. You simply push your baby’s pram back and forth over the rumbler, which works as an aid to teaching babies to self-settle. Available from kidslifestyle. com.au in brown, green or red, it’s easy to carry with you when you’re out and about or to use at home while relaxing with a cup of tea!

bundle up

time to transition?

Ensure bub sleeps safely and peacefully with the Ergobaby Swaddler, now available in whimsical elephant print and soft mint green. Designed to support your child in an ergonomic, physicianrecommended “frog leg” position, the swaddle is escape-proof and easy to use. The two-pack is $69 at babesinarms.com.au.

With interchangeable accessories, NUK’s First Choice Bottles are designed to assist with the transition from breastfeeding to independent drinking. The two bottles with teats – 150ml for $9.95 and 300ml for $10.95 – feature a medium-hole teat suitable for milk and formula, while the 150ml Training Bottle, $13.95, has a continuous flow spout. Go to nuk.com.au.

the comfort carrier

Suspended sleep

Keep your baby close to you with the cotton Minimonkey Dynamic baby carrier, $159.90. Suitable for babies up to 18kg and with four different positioning options, it has a waterresistant outer and comes in four stylish colour combos. See kiekaboo.com.au.

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Combining Scandinavian design and function, the Leander Cradle, $339.95, creates a cosy swaying nest and is the perfect first bed for your newborn. It can be suspended from a hook in the ceiling, or from the tripod, $199.95, and is fully machine washable. Add the canopy, $79.95, for style and added comfort. Take a look at danishbydesign.com.au.


Sleep tight knowing you will be right there when your baby needS you.

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PREGNANCY TIPS

HOW to… GET ENOUGH IRON Avoiding iron deficiency in pregnancy helps with the health of you and your baby. Hannah Saunders reports With a new US study revealing a possible link between iron deficiency during pregnancy and autism (particularly for women aged over 35 or those who suffer from conditions like obesity, hypertension or diabetes), along with a proven association with pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies, ensuring you are getting enough iron is imperative. Iron is required to make the red blood cells that carry oxygen to your baby and placenta. It is used to make your baby’s blood supply and to increase your own (yours will increase by almost 50 percent during your pregnancy). However, iron deficiency is common in mumsto-be, with many deficient even before they fall pregnant, and can lead to symptoms such as tiredness, loss of concentration, unhealthy hair and skin plus a low resistance to infection. It is also a precursor to anaemia, which leads to fatigue – not something a new mum needs. Here’s how to increase your intake through

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your diet (supplements can lead to constipation, which should be avoided during pregnancy):

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Choose the best sources Eat lean red meat, fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, egg yolks, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit and dark, leafy greens. Some plant foods contain iron, however it is not as well absorbed as from animal products. If you are vegetarian you will need to increase their intake.

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Combine with vitamin-C rich foods To increase the absorption of iron-rich foods eat them at the same time as foods like orange juice, tomato or capsicum.

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Avoid coffee, tea & chocolate Avoid consuming caffeine at the same time as your iron-rich meals as it hinders or decreases iron absorption. Calcium and zinc supplements can have the same effect. *


Maxi-mum benefits for you and your baby Swing maxi & Calma

The new double electric breastpump Swing maxi offers proven advantages: gain more milk with a higher energy content in less time. Thanks to the innovative breastmilk feeding solution Calma, switching from breast to bottle and back to the breast has never been easier. Benefit from precious time to care, relax and enjoy the most peaceful moments with your lovely baby. www.swing-maxi.com

Learn more about our Breastfeeding solutions at www.medela.com.au, and join the ‘Medela Australia’ Facebook community

“Pumping and feeding made easy with the medelaMe iPhone app, available on the App Store for free!” october 2014 | mychild

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PREGNANCY

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PND plus? If you experienced postnatal depression with your first baby, moving onto number two can be a big concern. Here Catherine Knox, Benison O’Reilly and Seana Smith offer their expert advice

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he decision to have another baby is always a big one – regardless of whether or not you have experienced postnatal depression (PND). Bringing a new life into the world is a wonderful privilege but it also comes with costs attached – financial, emotional and physical – just as any lifelong commitment does. And if, for you, pregnancy and motherhood have been more about tears and anxiety than the contented bliss that you expected, the thought of having another baby may be particularly worrying. Some women may be so scarred by their previous experiences of PND that they will decide not to have any more children, and that’s an understandable choice. However, many other women and their partners will want to add to their family and here some of their concerns are addressed.

THE RISKS OF RECURRENCE If you’ve previously experienced PND are you at increased risk of recurrence with your subsequent babies? The short answer is yes. One study found that women who experienced depression after their pregnancy had a much higher risk (41 percent versus 12 percent) of developing PND after a subsequent pregnancy than a group of controls (women who had no history of depression). This was a small study so it’s probably not worth getting too hung up about the actual numbers, just be mindful that you do have a greater risk of developing depression and anxiety with your next baby than you would have if you’d never had problems before. That’s the bad news. The good news that we can glean from this study is that you may not necessarily go on >

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pregnancy to develop anxiety and depression with your next pregnancy. What’s more, if you plan your second or third baby carefully you can do a great deal to reduce that risk further.

PLANNING & PREPARATION Think back to what was happening when you first developed PND. For example: • did your family have enough money to live relatively comfortably? • was your relationship with your partner a healthy one? • did you have a well-developed network of family or friends who you could call on for practical and emotional support? • did you have a good GP? • did you have a trusted counsellor who you could talk to? • did you have a clear understanding of the demands of motherhood? • did you know how to ask for help? For most of you the answer to at least one of these questions will probably be no. If you are planning to have another baby what you need to do is make sure the same problems aren’t all present the second time around. Easier said than done, you might say. Of course, life is messy and we can’t plan for everything, especially when it comes to home finances, but if you can approach your next pregnancy with a support network in place, a doctor who understands your history, and some forewarning of the signs of depression and anxiety, you will still be in a better place than you were the last time around.

HOW LONG TO WAIT? To reduce the chance of PND recurring it is recommended that you wait until you are recovered before trying for another baby. “Recovered” is, of course, a subjective term, but women who have emerged out the other side of depression often describe it as feeling like their “old self” again. The people around you, including partners, family members, and

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professionals such as counsellors, will also generally be able to sense the change in you. How long this will take is variable. In the study mentioned earlier, three to six months postnatally was the average time to recovery, but a substantial number of women may still remain depressed after one year. PANDA suggests waiting six to 12 months after you’ve been successfully weaned off antidepressants before trying to conceive.

HOW YOUR DOCTOR CAN HELP If you haven’t already done so, we recommend you talk to your doctor about contraception, so that if you do have another baby it comes when you’re completely well, and your life circumstances are more favourable. If you accidentally fall pregnant before you have fully recovered from a bout of anxiety and depression, you will need to work closely with your doctor and counsellor to manage >

WHAT IF PND DOES RECUR?

Yes, that is a possibility. You may plan everything to the nth degree, but when baby comes still find yourself subject to the same low moods and anxiety you thought had gone away. It appears there is a small group of women for whom PND may be genetic and possibly hormonal in origin. However, even if this does happen, you will still be in a better place than you were last time around. If you’ve planned ahead, you, and the people around you, will be able to recognise the warning signs quickly and know that you need to obtain some assistance, and soon. The sooner you receive treatment, the faster your recovery will be the second time around. And that’s good news.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nicole Proy of Mockingbird Photography

The

T H IN K ING WOM AN’S website

For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby

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pregnancy your condition, as this may become more challenging. This is important as untreated or inadequately treated anxiety and depression during pregnancy may have negative effects on the developing foetus.

IF YOU’RE TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS Contraception is especially important if you are taking an antidepressant. While most of the current information that is available about antidepressants and birth defects is reassuring, the decision on whether or not to remain on an antidepressant throughout your next pregnancy should be a carefully thought out one, not one that is forced upon you by circumstances. Unfortunately, when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy, it’s very common for women to stop taking their antidepressants abruptly. This rarely pans out well. A US study of 200 pregnant women with a history of depression found that women who discontinued their antidepressant were five

“Unfortunately, when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy, it’s very common for women to stop taking their antidepressants abruptly. This rarely pans out well” times more likely to relapse than women who maintained their antidepressant throughout their pregnancy. In addition, of those women who discontinued their medication, six out of 10 found it necessary to reintroduce taking their antidepressant at some stage during the pregnancy. Therefore, if you are currently taking an antidepressant and are planning another baby, it is very important that you have a detailed discussion with your GP or psychiatrist about the risks and benefits of continuing treatment. Don’t rely on the internet or well-meaning

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friends as your sources of information. If, after weighing up all the pros and cons, you elect to discontinue your antidepressant medication before trying to conceive, make sure you are weaned off it slowly under the supervision of a doctor. Your doctor should also arrange to see you regularly before, during and after pregnancy to closely monitor your mood, and possibly arrange some talking therapy for you as an additional safeguard. You may wish to talk to your doctor about recommencing medication soon after the delivery of your next baby. In this situation your doctor may suggest you use one of the antidepressants preferred in breastfeeding. Alternatively, you may elect to bottle-feed (either choice is OK). However, the main issue with this approach is that antidepressants can take several weeks to reach their maximal effect and you could be left without any cover during a vulnerable period. For women experiencing ongoing problems with anxiety and depression it may not be possible for them to stop their antidepressants, yet they may still desire to have another baby. For those who elect to continue medication, regular check-ups with your obstetrician or midwife and a detailed 19-week ultrasound can help provide some peace of mind.

IF YOU’RE NOT TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS Even if you’ve recovered sufficiently so that you no longer require antidepressants – or, alternatively, you never took them in the first place – this doesn’t mean that you won’t need close monitoring by your GP during and after your next pregnancy. It is recommended you check in with your GP regularly before and after the birth. Your obstetrician or midwife should also be made aware of your history so that they can keep an eye on your mental and physical wellbeing, help plan a birth that is as controlled and


supportive as possible, and ideally organise a longer stay in hospital after delivery to make sure you’re OK. Having regular contact with a child health nurse during the early weeks after delivery may also prove beneficial.

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED That’s the medical side. Here are some ideas to help you reduce your chance of developing anxiety and depression again, or at least to help reduce its impact: • having realistic expectations of motherhood • getting some pre-emptive psychological help and counselling if necessary • enlisting practical and emotional support in the early months • self-care – getting enough sleep and doing the things you like • ensuring the people around you understand what PND is, and what it looks like • if your relationship with your partner suffered the last time around, investing in some couple counselling may also be wise. In summary you need to have a plan. Shoshana Bennett, an author, counsellor and PND survivor, recommends sitting down with your partner (or if you don’t have one, a close family member) and actually writing a plan, which includes: • an honest discussion of your hopes, worries and fears (and those of your partner) • a list of warning behaviours, specific to you • a list of respected professionals to call upon • a list of support people and what they will be doing to assist you • even a sleep and duty roster. PANDA has produced a fact sheet called Having Another Baby After Depression, which tells women’s stories of having another baby after PND. Visit panda.org.au. * This is an edited extract from Beyond the Baby Blues by Catherine Knox, Benison O’Reilly and Seana Smith (Jane Curry Publishing, $39.95). Available from janecurrypublishing.com.au.

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PREGNANCY

Focus on fashion Try these 10 top tips from personal stylist Wendy Mak to looking and feeling fabulous during pregnancy

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“Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you need to channel a ‘sack dress’ as your fashion mantra” fantastic throughout pregnancy and beyond. It is only fairly recently that there has been much in the way of quality and fashionable brands available in Australia, and while there is plenty of advice available on how to buy the best bra, belly belt or pram, there’s not much

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information on fashionable maternity wear. No-one is telling expectant mothers how to translate the latest fashion trends into the world of maternity dressing. How do you piece it all together into a great look? How can you take an outfit from day into night? Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you need to channel a “sack dress” as your fashion mantra. In the same way that dressing well makes us feel confident and stylish in our day-to-day lives, the same should apply to expectant mothers. There are an increasing number of gorgeous maternity collections that don’t look anything like traditional and boring maternity wear. Here are my top 10 tips to keep you looking stylish throughout your pregnancy.

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TAKE YOUR TIME Recognise that your body shape will change over the next nine months – and by multiple sizes – so don’t buy everything the minute you find out that you are having a baby. Purchase a few staples and then wait for your shape to evolve, and add >

photograph mothers en vogue dress from milkandlove.com.au

hese days you can wave goodbye to feeling rather less than glamorous in traditional maternity clothing and say hello to feeling like a confident and – dare we say it? – sexy mum-to-be. The world of fashion for maternity is changing rapidly, largely fuelled by mums who have experienced frustration in trying to dress well while pregnant. These mums have gone on to create clothing lines, retail shops and other products and services designed to help other women look and feel


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pregnancy more accordingly. Or, even better, seek out quality clothing in natural fabrics that can evolve and mould to your changing shape and last you right through pregnancy.

so you will have a great idea of how they will look on your body. Plus they can be delivered straight to your door and great sizing details are supplied at the click of a finger.

pick ACTUAL MATERNITY WEAR Invest in maternity wear that’s designed with the pregnant body in mind. Many women buy only standard items, which are just a couple of sizes bigger than their normal size, and think that “will do”. However, often the result can be ill-fitting clothing that’s uncomfortable to wear. Non-maternity pieces can work, but these need to be carefully selected to ensure that they can accommodate your expanding chest and belly.

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INVEST IN QUALITY ITEMS The thought of it being “just nine months” means we often sacrifice quality and style for a few extra pennies in the wallet. However, there is value

“To regulate the body’s temperature, layering will help to keep you warm, or cool, as you require” in buying quality clothing. It can take time to get back in shape after the birth and you may need to call on your maternity wardrobe again for baby number two or three or four, so buy pieces that will really last. And while we know you won’t believe this when you are in the middle of labour, after baby number one, chances are you will want baby number two!

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TRY OUTFITS ON Don’t fall into the trap of not trying items on. It’s amazing how much better things look on you than limply lying on a hanger that clearly doesn’t have the ample bosom you currently have to carry the outfit. But if you’re flat out and just don’t have time to try things on, the best solution is to try online retailers. Pictures are taken of the clothes on pregnant models or mannequins

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BUY A GOOD BRA While on the topic of bosoms, invest in three very good bras – two in a nude shade and at least one in black at a minimum. This is especially applicable for those of you who experience a really big increase in size. Your breasts need to be firmly supported – especially if you want a flattering silhouette. As the foundation to every outfit, bras should fit well and also provide advantages for nursing requirements. LAYER, LAYER, LAYER To regulate the body’s temperature, layering will help keep you warm, or cool, as you require. The trick to layering is to start with a simple, wellfitting base layer. A comfortable tank top over maternity leggings is a good start. From there you can throw on a short-sleeved top and then a long-sleeved cardigan. Finish with a scarf. Look out for brands that use natural fibres in their clothing so each piece will breathe and thereby help regulate your body temperature.

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MIX & MATCH Another trick to help make layering and creating a mix-and-match wardrobe easier is to look for most of your “base layer” maternity wear – items like leggings and pants along with tank, plain and long-sleeved tops – in neutral colours such as blacks, browns, creams, beiges, whites, greys and charcoals. This doesn’t mean your outfit has to be dreary. You can punch up your look by picking two to three of your favourite “accent” colours and using these in key pieces or accessories, such as jackets, knits, scarves, shoes or bangles. Because most of your maternity wardrobe will mix and match as it will be in neutral colours, you then only need to worry about the one or two statement pieces and accessories that you need to consider wearing.


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DON’T FORGET TO WEAR ACCESSORIES I hound my non-pregnant clients to ensure that they “finish” their look with some suitable accessories, and the same rule applies here. Accessories complete an outfit, and while this may not be the gorgeous belt you might have used to cinch in your little waist or the now impractical stilettos, you should try not to forget accessories entirely. Necklaces will draw attention to your ample bosom – and why not enjoy it while you have it? Bangles (stack on a few) are always a fun way to express your individual taste, and a long scarf will help cover a little rounded belly especially in those initial, awkward “is she or isn’t she pregnant” days.

Stylish Breastfeeding & Maternity Wear

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SHOP ONLINE Want something different? Online retailers often have access to more top-line local, hard-to-find and international brands that create beautiful pieces of clothing and will set you apart from what’s available in the chain stores. Many also have very good return and exchange policies in place, so you can feel confident in your purchases.

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make your own “LIFESTYLE PIE” This is a useful tool for all women to complete, whether they are pregnant or not. Draw a circle and create a pie chart of your “life”. Think about your lifestyle and how much time you spend at your workplace, doing household chores, going out to more formal dinners and events, at the gym, and at casual social events like the movies and lunches, and map this out. This will help to guide your purchases and what proportion of your clothing should be maternity wear for work, social events or the gym, and so on. If you spend 40 percent of your time at work, then you know you should not be making 70 percent of your purchases corporate maternity wear. * Visit Wendy Mak’s The go to Guide for Women Entrepreneurs at wendymak.com.

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BIRTH

What to expect after expecting You’ve read all about what to expect during your delivery but what about your post-birth recovery? Essential Baby’s Brooke Wells reports

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Avoid lying on your back Not only does lying on your back put all of the weight of the baby and your uterus on your back (which is not great for blood supply), but your uterus contracts forward, so you’re not working with gravity – you’re working against it. At all costs, avoid positions where you’re lying on your back during labour. Instead, choose upright, forwardleaning positions where possible. It’s OK to rest on your side if you need a break – but just keep off your back. Reclining should also be avoided where possible, unless it’s for a break.

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Consider hiring a doula Some women and/or their partners worry about having an extra person in the room during the birth. However, a doula is a trained birth support person who has the ability to change the birth couple’s experience from a painful, stressful event to a more relaxed, highly supported one. In fact, studies have shown that a doula is more effective than hospital staff or the mother’s friends or family due to a support trifecta she

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can provide that’s unlike anyone else: she is known to the woman, she is trained and she can provide continuous support – meaning she won’t leave the mother’s side. Doulas not only build a relationship with you and help to educate you before the birth, but they have learned many skills to help you cope with pain. This includes comfort measures for the mother, specific tools for coping with pain, positions to help move baby when he or she is in a tricky or painful position, and how to help everyone feel at ease. Studies have shown that women who use a doula use less pain relief and are more satisfied with the birth. Dads feel more satisfied with their role too. A doula supports the mum’s partner so he can better support her.

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Reduce the fear factor When we’re fearful, we tense up. When we’re tense, we don’t breathe deeply, our body is tight and we are more susceptible to pain. So how do you combat the fear? The best things you can do for yourself (and your partner) to prevent fear is >


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birth get informed and educated with good-quality information and surround yourself with good support. This includes obtaining independent birth education, reading books, hiring a doula or independent midwife, joining pregnancy or birth groups that are supportive of your choices, considering attending some Hypnobirthing or Calmbirth classes, and ignoring horror stories or spending time around negative people.

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Aim for a calm birth environment Things that can cause a stressful birth experience can include a noisy environment, a doctor or midwife with a bedside manner that is lacking in some way, or having a lot going on

“The team around you need to be able to rally together, getting you through your toughest moments in labour, and to protect your needs in labour” around you. And as we have said, stress causes tension so you’ll end up not coping as well with the pain. Ensure you’ve chosen great support people so that these things don’t happen. The team around you really need to be able to rally together, getting you through your toughest moments in labour, and to protect your needs in labour. A woman in labour cannot hold together her birth support team.

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Try to avoid induction Sometimes an induction becomes necessary due to the health of the mother or baby, in which case it is very important that you trust your doctor and make the decision that’s best for you. However, if there is no urgent medical need and you can avoid an induction, your body will be able to labour in a more natural way. While it can be lifesaving for some, being medicated with a drug that was designed to really ramp the labour up to get the baby out quickly can be quite painful for many women.

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I would not say all, as I have worked with a couple of doula clients who have required an induction with Syntocinon, but not asked for pharmaceutical pain relief. But many find it challenging. Syntocinon or Pitocin is for those who need to get the baby out now, and you are committed to doing what it takes to get the baby out once you’ve started. This will involve other interventions, so weigh up whether the risks are worth it for you. Your decision is yours and yours alone.

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Research your natural pain-relief options Where possible, it’s best to start with natural pain-relief options rather than medical ones – some are particularly effective. After attending births, it’s been surprising to hear what has helped my clients best cope with pain. One told me how the simple action of breathing with her made a massive difference, because it gave her something to focus on. Another explained she was so happy to hear me suggest getting into the birth pool, because she wasn’t sure if it was too soon (it’s more effective as pain relief later in labour). Once she got in, she relaxed and baby was born soon after. Natural pain-relief options can certainly help relieve pain.

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Turn a posterior baby Many women who have posterior babies (where baby’s spine is against the mother’s spine) find “back” labour to be challenging. This is because on top of the normal labour pain, they feel strong back pain. However, there are several things you can do about a baby who is positioned this way. As a preventative, look into optimal foetal positioning, which can help encourage baby into an anterior (front) position. This involves simple positioning activities and tools and tricks – for example, when you sit, sit in a way that your bum is above your knees, which changes the position of the pelvis. You might like to find out if the centre you


ergobaby ergobaby

TM

NEW

are birthing at offers sterile water injections, which can take away all the back pain for some women, and a significant amount for others. It doesn’t work for everyone but it’s a fantastic, natural option. If your centre allows you to bring in your own acupuncturist during labour, this is another way to help with back pain. Keep active in your pregnancy as best you can. Even a 30-minute walk every day at your own pace will help your body, mind and your birth. Keeping active during labour – changing positions and working with your pelvis – will help to keep baby turning and moving until he or she is ready to be born. Acupuncture is also a great option for turning babies, as well as general pregnancy wellbeing and birth preparation. Osteopathic and chiropractic check-ups are worthwhile too to make sure your body is aligned and primed for birth. It’s definitely worth booking yourself in with experienced practitioners to prepare you for the best birth possible.

Swaddler

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Stay hydrated Not drinking enough water and being dehydrated can cause problems in labour, because when you are dehydrated, your uterus doesn’t contract as efficiently. Every single cell in your body relies on water to function properly, and when you don’t have enough, things start to break down – even your energy levels, concentration and focus can suffer when you’re dehydrated, regardless of whether you’re in labour or not. You don’t have to throw back a heap of water; little sips often are ideal. Make sure you have bendy straws in your birth bag so your support team can offer you drinks easily without you having to hold the cup. If you place a piece of tape across the cup to hold the straw in place, this can help stop the straw from moving around while you are trying to drink. The little things make a big difference. * Kelly Winder is a doula (birth attendant), the creator of the BellyBelly website and a mum. Check out bellybelly.com.au for more informative articles.

Sweet dreams for you and your baby The innovative Ergobaby Swaddler provides a soft, breathable and flexible swaddling option for your baby. Unique ergonomic features keep baby’s legs in the correct ‘frog-leg’ position and secure the arms close to the heart to ensure your baby sleeps longer, safely and more peacefully. Sweet dreams for you and your baby. 1

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WATCH SLEEP MAGIC HERE!

“At last, a swaddler appreciated by babies, parents AND paediatricians. I recommend it wholeheartedly. And most of the babies I have seen in the Ergobaby Swaddler are asleep. That says it all!” Dr Howard Chilton - Author of ‘Baby On Board’ - www.babydoc.com.au

Leading neonatologist, Sydney’s Prince of Wales Private Hospital and former Director of Newborn Care, Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women

ergobaby.com.au 1300 725 276 november 2014 | mychild 113 ergobaby.co.nz +61 3 6240 * 4001


NEWS

BABY&TODDLER

Early EXPLORER Light THE night Suitable for use from four months of age, the award-winning, ergonomically designed Food Feeder Plus by Kidsme, $16.95, offers a brilliant way to get your baby exploring new tastes without the risk of choking. Doubling as a teether and with the case included, you can head to brightsparkenterprises.com.au for stockists.

Night Light, produced by Johnson’s Baby in partnership with Tresillian, is a new online resource for sleepless mums. Only activated in the evening, the site has been developed for mothers seeking advice when they can’t call family or friends. You can check it out at nightlight.johnsonsbaby.com.au.

Littlelock’s tempered-glass baby food containers are not only strong and look great, but they can go from the fridge to freezer and microwave to dishwasher – plus in and out of your nappy bag – without spilling or leaking. Available in sets of three and priced at $24.95 for 120ml and $29.95 for 210ml sizes, they’re available in three colours from littlelock.com.au.

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A 12-week online fitness program with three levels available, Body Beyond Birth offers tailored Pilatesbased exercise programs designed by mothers for mothers. Comprising coaching, nutrition guides, workout videos and an online community for you to connect with, and requiring a commitment of only 20 minutes a day, it is priced at one payment for $150 or three payments of $60 a month as a launch special. Visit bodybeyondbirth.com for more details about the program.

written By hannah saunders

FORGET those Get IN SHAPE nasty TOXINS!


Q&A Why don’t fathers feel the guilt that mothers do over caring for their baby? I don’t believe this is strictly true. Men can and do feel guilty about whether they are “doing” their parental role responsibly and well. This is particularly in families where there is a desire by dads to be engaged and active fathers. Issues men face in relation to guilt tend not to be the feeling part, but the expressing part. More importantly, women face cultural and community pressures to “get motherhood right” or suffer perceived or real criticism. Simply flick through news articles or research papers on parenting. In nearly all cases you’ll find the focus is about mums, their roles and what they may or may not be doing that reflects good parenting standards. You don’t often see articles that criticise dads for feeding their kids the wrong food. Women are constantly barraged with messages to act a certain way. I don’t doubt this has the potential to cause a lot of guilt for women. I’m presuming your question reflects your experience with someone in your life, perhaps the father of your kids? If so, it is important to talk about these feelings with them. Discuss what your experience of his actions is like for you and try to open positive communication around parenting. Sean Tonnet is a family relationships therapist.

Hand-illustrated furniture for your child. Designs inspired by you to create magical spaces for your child!

pinkcoyote.com.au facebook.com/pinkcoyote.com.au

M 0414 260 110

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news | baby & toddler

FOCUS ON: COLIC Studies reveal 60 percent of parents reported their babies had suffered from colic. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the most frequent reasons why parents seek medical attention for their infants in the first few weeks of their life. Colic is a pattern of persistent crying in a healthy baby that can’t be explained. It most commonly occurs from two weeks of age, peaking at around six weeks and disappearing at three or four months. Many articles and research reports have been published about colic, yet little is known about the condition. Some experts say it’s a developmental issue relating to the digestive tract, others that it is a result of stress that parents pass onto their baby or that it can be blamed on abdominal pain or allergic reactions.

Colic can be distressing for parents. It can lead to exhaustion and a sense of helplessness, interfere with parent and child bonding, lead to strain in a marriage and contribute to postnatal depression. It’s important though to remember that it is normal for babies to cry and that this has nothing to do with parenting skills. Since it’s not exactly known what causes it, the best first step is to check with your paediatrician to make sure there is no medical cause for the crying. If your baby is healthy, try keeping a diary to see if there is a pattern to the crying, and burp your bub more often if you think it could be gas related. Other popular approaches include gentle rocking, carrying, swaddling and massage, or changes to diet, routines and locations.

Did you know... Babies have more bones! When they are born, babies have 300 bones. During their development, bones fuse together, evolving to 206 in adults. 116

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Collection The NUK Baby Rose & Blue Collection is made with love. Coordinate your favourite accessories with the NUK Baby Rose & Blue Collection, especially designed for those bundles of pink and blue. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing all NUK products meet the highest quality standards. For the best start to life.

Available from www.nuk.com.au

and all leading pharmacies

NUK AUSTRALIA ,PO Box 5199 Chittaway Bay, NSW 2261 | NUK is a registered trademark of MAPA GmbH/Germany

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shopping

BABY&TODDLER in training Transition your baby from a bottle to a cup with the BPA-free 220ml MAM Transition Trainer cup, $12.99. Featuring a soft spout for a comfortable progression from a bottle and easyto-hold handles for good grip, the trainer cup is also spill-free and ideal for children aged six months and above. Choose from blue, pink or green. To purchase and view more of MAM’s baby and toddler range head to babynest.com.au.

light the night Fill your baby’s room with a soft glow at nighttime with the GroLight bayonet fitting, $29.95, which simply fits into normal overhead lights or bedside lamps. Used as a nightlight, it offers an adjustable amount of light, making it ideal for breastfeeding, to check on baby without waking them or for toddler toilet training. Also available is the GroHush, $59.95, a unique portable baby calmer. It transmits soothing “white noise” directly to your baby so only they can hear it. With a choice of three sounds, it will help relax your baby. You can buy both from au.gro-store.com.

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Introducing your bub’s new best friend, the Take Along Buddy Cookie Monster, $24.95, by Jasnor. Suitable from birth, the Cookie Monster is Sesame Street’s favourite cookieeating character. This plush buddy is a fab travelling partner and with his dangly limbs and soft fur, he makes a cuddly companion. Find the Cookie Monster and more of his fun friends at shop. abc.net.au.

written By emily jay

monster mate


bamboo bottoms Made from bamboo for absorbency and natural antibacterial protection, Pea Pods reusable nappies provide up to four hours protection. This Denim Print one-size, $19.95, uses a graduating sizing system to ensure a perfect fit at every stage of your baby’s development. For extra absorbency just add a night booster. See the range of colours and patterns at peapods.com.au.

cloud nine Durable for everyday use, the Houndstooth cot blanket by Little Bonbon, $69.95, is an ideal first throw, providing comfort for your bub. Available in blue or pink and machine washable, the range also includes the Crisscross blanket, $59.95, and Clouds blanket, $59.95, both in pastel hues. Little Bonbon products are made from soft cotton with timeless design. Go to littlebonbon.com.au.

ride away Designed to develop your child’s balance and co-ordination in preparation for riding their first bike, the Mocka Police Bike, $79.95, is naturally propelled forward by your child’s running motion. Suitable from two years, it is made from birch with rubber tyres and is lightweight to carry. See the range, including the Mocka Ninja, $79.95, and Mocka Missy, $79.95, at mocka.com.au.

rugs & more Brighten your child’s bedroom or play room with a handwoven Butterfly rug by Australian company Armadillo & Co. Made from wool, this colourful, fair-trade rainbow-spectrum design is available in two sizes – 1.4m x 2m for $595 or 1.7m x 2.4m for $860. Check it out along with a selection of stylish interiors products for babies and children, including furniture, soft furnishings, decorating items and linen at myfirstroom.com.au.

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shopping | baby & toddler

nappy no more

my first bowl

It’s easy to twist, trap and eliminate odours with the Munchkin Nappy Bin, $79.99, as the Hygiene Vent uses bi-carb soda to neutralise, not just mask, the smell. The pail comes fully assembled and includes three refill bags, each holding up to 250 nappies. A full cartridge of bi-carb lasts up to 90 days. Head to bubs. com.au.

Let your little one feed themselves with the Difrax toddler and baby bowl, $12.95. It’s designed with a raised edge for easy scooping, while its sturdy shape provides stability. Combine it with the Difrax toddler and baby cutlery set, $8.95, which includes a fork and spoon. Head to kidslifestyle.com.au.

Prop up

no mess

Boppy has designed the ergonomic Nursing Pillow, $99, to support you and your baby in the best position for breastfeeding. It has a “miracle middle” insert so that it keeps its shape over time and is suitable for tummy time, to help bub learn to crawl and as a nest to sit up in. Go to chicco. com.au to find out more about it.

Catch your child’s mess with the Soft Bib, $19.95, by BabyBjorn. It has a deep spill pocket, is easy to clean with a damp cloth or in the dishwasher, and it is suitable from four months of age. The soft neckband is gentle and adjustable too. Go to babybjorn.com.au.

mark the milestone

top it off

Add a card when taking photos of your baby and you will never forget when your little one first ate solid food, took a step or said ‘ma-ma’! With 30 beautifully designed cards with all of the major “moments”, Milestone Baby Cards, $29.95, are a great way to capture all of your baby’s “firsts”. Go to kidslifestyle. com.au.

During your pregnancy dress up or down with the Zahara Applique Tunic, $64.90, by Breastmates, which is available in sizes XS to XL and in colours dusty turquoise or acorn brown. Created in 2004 by New Zealand mum, Franny McInnes, Breastmates offers a range of maternity and nursing clothes that are stylish, affordable and practical. See breastmates. com.au to view the collection.

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get steamy Ensure bub’s bottles are safe with NUK’s Vapo-matic Electric Steam Steriliser, $139. Sterilise up to six bottles and accessories in 12 minutes without the use of chemicals. It’s thermostatically controlled and switches off automatically. Go to nuk.com.au. 5 NEW COLOURS

pure washing A dermatologically tested laundry liquid for top- and front-loading machines, Purity Sensitive leaves no harsh chemical residue. It’s now available in a bulk 4L size for $13.99. Get it at Woolworths nationally.

on the go The Squirt by Boon, $14.95, is a handy reusable baby food dispenser. Simply pack the food into it and feeding becomes easier and messfree. Available in blue, green, orange and pink, it’s BPA-free and great for on the go. Available from Baby Bunting, Toys ‘R’ Us and Bubs Baby Shop.

Birth

~ 12 months*

~ 4 years*

*Ages stated are used as a guide only

Soft & gentLE Soothe your baby’s delicate skin with Tri Nature’s Soothing Lotion, $15.95 for 250ml. This nourishing cream protects and hydrates with natural essential oils of chamomile and lavendar to calm unsettled little ones. Suitable for use from six weeks to adulthood. Purchase from trinature.com.

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ready to play

bub in the tub

Ted & Toots chevron overalls, $49, feature adjustable straps and snap fastener sides, making nappy changes and toilet training easy. There’s also a snap fastener crotch on the infant sizes. Available from tedandtoot.com.au in sizes 0-4.

Keep your bub’s skin soft with Milk Baby Bath Time Wash 375ml, $12.95. A naturally derived bath wash, it will gently clean your bub. Finish off with the Moisturising Qweam 150ml, $9.95, a non-greasy moisturiser formulated to rehydrate their sensitive skin. Head to milkandco. com.au for details.

toy time

keep ’em close

Store away your baby’s toys in the Pink Coyote Toys on Parade toy box, $396. Imaginative and individual, Pink Coyote products are designed and manufactured in Australia by caring artisans, before being hand painted to your design. Available at pinkcoyote.com.au.

Woven Wraps Australia provides a range of high-quality wraps, mei tais, ring slings, soft structured carriers and accessories for baby wearing. Hug your bub with the Stony Opal wrap by Little Frog, $86, available in blue, gray and green at wovenwraps.com.au.

easy feeding

clutch everything

Made with bamboo, this Slouchy Pleated breastfeeding top by Mothers En Vogue, $79.90, is lightweight and flowing. The side seam breastfeeding access allows you to breastfeed on the go with ease and it is available in cloudy peach pink, ecru, ming green and slate, in sizes XS to XL. Head over to milkandlove.com.au to see the wide range of bamboo and organic cotton nursing clothing.

The Vanchi Change Pod, $49.95, is designed to fit all your baby’s essentials, along with a wallet, phone, car keys and lippy, when you don’t need a full-sized nappy bag. It includes a waterproof change mat and detachable strap. Available in black or tan, you can get it at vanchi.com.au.

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nappies of note You’ll know you’re buying the best when you purchase Mater newborn nappies because they’ve been developed by Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, the first maternity hospital in the world to develop them. With 80 percent of babies too small for traditional newborn-size nappies it’s important to get the size right. The 24-pack of Newborn First Weeks nappies are $11.99 and the 28-pack of Newborn nappies are $12.99. Also available are Infant, Crawler and Toddler options. Visit matermothers.org. au for stockists and online ordering.

chew time? Pick up a Cheeky Chompers Chew Pack, $55, and comfort your baby while they are teething! Combining the Neckerchew, a chewy dribble bib with an attached soft chewy teether with great “bite” for massaging sore gums, and the Comfortchew, an attachable teething comfortor with tags, the pack is your essential teething solution. For other practical products for babies, including water slings, adjustable carriers and portable high chairs, visitcheekychomopers.com.au.

ECOLOGICAL FUR PRODUCTS FOR ALL AGES

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BABY TIPS

HOW to… cope with a new baby TRY THESE TIPS TO MAKING THE TRANSITION TO MOTHERHOOD AS EASY AS POSSIBLE. hannah saunders reports

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Accept help If someone offers to help you out – accept it! People volunteer to do so because they care about you and your baby, not because they think you’re incompetent. If your mother-in-law offers to vacuum, let her. Friends and family often like to feel useful. You don’t have to be a martyr. Timing is everything Arrange suitable times for people to visit if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing worse than a heap of relatives showing up if you’re having breastfeeding difficulties or having to play house when you’re still in your dressing gown at 5pm with a screaming newborn. Make life easy Don’t feel that you are responsible for entertaining guests. Place the tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits out with a few mugs and make it clear (politely) that they are welcome to help themselves.

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Same old, same old A new baby is an addition to your life, not the complete alteration of your life, so keep going out for dinner, catching up with friends, having BBQs and so on. Social contact is really important to maintain your sanity as a parent, so catch up with friends and family regularly. Lean on me Join or create a parent’s group. It’s great to have a good laugh (or a good cry) with people who understand exactly how you’re feeling – especially when you’re having a bad day. ORGANISE YOURSELF During the first six weeks, ensure that you arrange all of your paediatric and obstetric follow-up visits and a visit to your local early childhood nurse. This is a great way to ensure that your little one is developing well and gives you an opportunity to ask questions. *

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BABY

Settle, petal! Having some trouble getting your little one off to sleep? Here Clinical psychologist Heather Irvine shares her settling techniques for new babies

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ust like there’s not one song that makes us all want to launch into air guitar antics or one movie star who makes all of our hearts skip a beat, the same approach of vive la difference needs to be applied to settling techniques for our babies. The basic premise for settling is this: when the distress is higher, use maximum settling interventions but for lower distress, use as minimal intervention as possible. So, if you put your baby into their cot and they fuss, then probably a few rocks and patting will be enough. If they’re really distressed, it’s time to use more interventions, including picking them up and waiting until they’ve calmed down before starting the settling routine again. The techniques below are methods I have found to be effective from a combination of my own work, plus that from Dr Harvey Karp, Beth Macgregor and Annie Gethin, and advice from places like Tresillian and Karitane.

DEVELOP REGULAR BEHAVIOURS Have a few regular behaviours that your baby can learn to associate with sleep. For “day sleeps”, this might be the act of swaddling

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itself. It could also be the reading of a story, the playing of some soothing music or some gentle rocking in a room that is slightly darker than the rest of the house. At night-time, you might want to add in a bath time, or you may want to breastfeed in a darkened room as a cue that it’s time to get a good night’s sleep.

KNOW THEIR TIRED SIGNS Get to know your baby’s tired signs. These could include: weird-looking facial grimacing, yawning, fussing, sucking, staring, inactivity, turning their head away or to the side, jerky movements or becoming more active, rubbing eyes, clenching fists, squirming or crying. Responding as quickly as possible to your baby’s tired signs can stop your baby from becoming overtired and distressed. It prevents your baby getting themselves (and subsequently you too) into a state of distress that requires lots of effort to calm. If your baby has started to settle into their own routine throughout the day and you can start to predict what time he will get tired, you can begin to utilise your bedtime routine (sleep association behaviours). >


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baby

CALM YOURSELF

START ON THEIR SIDE OR STOMACH

I don’t know who wrote the phrase How can my baby be calm if I’m not? but I love it, and it has always helped both me and all the mothers I know and work with to get themselves into the right head space before they even try settling their baby. Here is a quick technique: Breathing Slow it down and focus on the out breath, saying ‘calm’ to myself as I breathe out. Imagining myself handling the situation in the way I want to, including being calm and patient. It also includes imagining myself putting my baby down if my own distress gets too high. Relaxing my body – tense it up and then let it loosen again, dropping my shoulders and gently rolling my head backwards and forwards. Permission to put my baby down and take time out to resettle myself if I get too worked up. Soothing self-statements such as We can get through this or This crying will end. It might take a little while, but it will. It always does.

So many mums have told me that their baby just would not settle on anything other than their side. It’s not uncommon and it is thought that this position triggers the calming reflex by imitating the position they loved when they were in your uterus. In contrast, laying a baby on their back may trigger their falling reflex, which can make then feel insecure. But lying babies on their side is only a brief method for soothing and settling, and once your baby is calm, they need to be rolled onto their back for sleep time to prevent SIDS.

USE A SWADDLE The gentle pressure of being wrapped is really calming for most babies. But when swaddling becomes loose, it can also result in maximum baby distress as they engage in ninja warfare with their muslin. In his video Dr Karp models wrapping using traditional swaddling wraps but if it feels like you require the skills of a Japanese origami expert to master his methods, try some of the more modern takes on this ancient tradition, which mimic a swaddle, but are easier to use. Remember though that swaddling needs to be gradually reduced over time. We need our babies to steadily adjust to a world where we don’t swaddle them. From a safety perspective, too, as babies start to roll around and undo their wraps, there is also some chance they might become entangled. For this reason it is recommended to stop using a wrap at around four to six months of age and, instead, tuck your baby into their sheets firmly or use an infant sleeping bag.

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USE ‘SHHH’ SOUNDS Shhhing babies reminds them of what they heard in your uterus. Keep in mind that the sounds in utero could have been as loud as a vacuum cleaner for your baby. Try placing your mouth five to 10cm from your baby’s ear when you make the ‘shhh’ sound and make sure it’s loud enough to match the sound of your baby’s crying or they won’t hear it. While it can look strange, this is not saying ‘shut up’ to your baby, it’s telling them in a language they understand that you’re right there with them helping them deal with their distress.

TRY GENTLE MOVEMENTS In our uterus, unless we were sitting down, our babies were moving about as we were. So when we use forms of rhythmic moving, it imitates the jiggling they felt and activates the calming reflex. With baby in the bassinette, you can hold them with one hand on their side while the other gently sways it. If you need to, rock them in your arms until they settle again, but try to get them back into the bassinette (with one hand holding them on their side and the other rocking it) before they go to sleep.

ASSIST THEM TO SUCK Because the sucking movement also triggers a calming reflex, many new mothers also get “sucked” into feeding the baby every time they


cry. Sometimes it works out OK, but for others it can start a disastrous pattern between a baby and mother which causes a great deal of long-term problems for them both. Don’t forget, your finger or a dummy can also help to stimulate the calming reflex and settle your baby. The aim is not to get them to sleep with any of these items (including your breast – unless you are aware of the long-term potential problems this might cause). So if you use dummies, avoid letting your baby go to sleep sucking on them. Only use them to calm the baby and then employ one of the other techniques to get him to sleep.

DIFFERENTIATE NIGHT FROM DAY Remember that your baby has virtually been in the dark for the past 40 weeks. Adjusting to the idea of night and day is as hard for them as making sense of their different types of crying is for us. So the only way they’re going to figure out that night is for more sleep and day is for less is if we teach them. Using the sleep/feed/play cycle is essential for this to happen. Always feed somewhere bright in the day and get some activity happening soon after. Conversely, if your baby wakes during the night, keep activity to a minimum. Change or feed your baby in the dark and don’t play with him. Your little one will start to get the message that you’re pretty boring during the night, so they might as well just go back to sleep. Note that some experts warn against making eye contact at night, but this needs to occur on a case-by-case basis. Certainly if bonding is an issue for you I would advise against avoiding eye contact. If you’re heavily bonded with your baby, then reducing eye contact is unlikely to be a problem for you both. Keeping the room dark stops this really being an issue anyway. * This is an edited extract from The Birth of the Modern Mum by Heather Irvine (Jane Curry Publishing, $24.95). Visit janecurrypublishing.com.au to purchase.

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BABY

Are you really ready to wean? for many women the decision to wean their child can be a difficult one. Here doula Kelly Winder suggests asking yourself these six questions before you start

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ome mums find deciding to wean is an easy decision, however there are many who find it to be much more difficult. If you have an older baby or toddler, or if you’re feeding the last baby that you have planned to have, it can be a little more difficult than you expect. Throw in hormones, stress and lack of sleep and you can be at an awful stalemate, not knowing what to do. Stopping and starting may confuse your baby or toddler, so how can you decide what you need to do, considering both yours and your child’s needs?

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Don’t make any decisions when you’re tired Mummy brain is something many of us are all too familiar with. If you’re not getting quality sleep, no matter who you are, you’re going to be feeling tired, scattered, not thinking to the best of your abilities and unfocused. Especially if you’ve had a really

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exhausting night, it can be tempting to want to throw it all in. Maybe the time is right for you to start weaning, maybe not, but a decision made under the fog of sleep deprivation or a particularly bad night could leave you feeling full of regret. The aim is to make a conscious decision that you are truly at peace with, so wait until you’re feeling a bit more alert.

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Don’t make any decisions when you’re emotional Guilty! I’ve been there a few times. All of my three babies have been breastfed into toddlerhood, and toddlers can be particularly strong-minded – they know what they want and they aren’t happy if they can’t have it. Couple that with being tired and having a toddler paw at me all day, I burst into tears and “decided” I had to wean – as soon as possible. Of course, this wasn’t the most logical decision: you can’t just quit gently and easily >


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baby if you go cold turkey. I realised I was overtired and emotional, and had to give myself some rest so I could calm down. I allowed myself to revaluate how I felt in the morning, to work out where to from there. Every time, I saw that I was overreacting from being tired and emotional.

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Don’t make any decisions due to peer pressure As your baby gets older, more people start asking you when you are going to wean. It’s so not cool to hear, but it happens. It’s so easy for some mothers to give in to other people’s personal blueprints of how long babies should be fed but what about yours? You have to live with your decision, not them. You’re going to possibly live with regret or sadness that you didn’t get to have the full extent of the breastfeeding relationship that you thought was right for you and your baby. Years later, who is going to care? You don’t have to wean if you don’t want to.

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Don’t make any hasty decisions When you’re feeling down or tired or any other unpleasant emotion, don’t jump to a quick conclusion. Tomorrow, the next day or even next week, you might feel much better. You might find that your bubba was teething or coming down with an illness, so all this constant feeding that was going on has slowed down or stopped. Some life changes could result in them seeking all this extra comfort, for example a house move, stress in the home or a separation. If there is one thing I’ve learned to trust well, it’s my child’s signals. They love to be happy, to play, to be independent, but they also love to be connected to you for a source of love and comfort – the one thing they’ve always known and counted on. You can’t just cut that off and expect it to go down well, and not just for your toddler, but for you too. There will no doubt be tears and struggles and you may just give in, confusing your baby or toddler even more.

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If you take the time to think logically and with intent, you will work out what’s right for you, and you can start to devise a plan to slowly wean your baby with love.

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Don’t do it alone Making difficult and upsetting decisions shouldn’t be endured alone so talk to supportive family and friends, or if you feel unsupported, join the BellyBelly weaning support forum where there are plenty of other mums who value breastfeeding and are also ready for their weaning journey. You can also contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association for support and advice.

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Be aware of post-breastfeeding depression Something that has started getting more exposure is post-breastfeeding depression. Although you may be thinking, Oh, great, another label or condition that we don’t need, the fact is that when mums stop, the high levels of hormones needed for breastfeeding take a significant dive, which may leave you feeling a little blue. It’s another reason why you should set up support before you start to wean. Inform your family and friends that the decision to wean is a difficult one for you and you would like them to know in case it becomes an issue.

and finally… At the end of the day, no matter what your decision is, it should be one that you feel very comfortable with when you’re in a relatively peaceful place emotionally. Ideally you’ll have loads of support, but if you don’t, seek it out, because it is there and every mother deserves to be nurtured and supported – especially after the epic journey from pregnancy to birth and then breastfeeding. Well done for a beautiful breastfeeding journey, no matter how long or short it has been. Good luck! * Kelly Winder is a doula (birth attendant), the creator of the BellyBelly pregnancy, birth and baby website, and a mum. Check out bellybelly.com.au  for more informative articles.


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TODDLER TIPS

HOW to… SHOP IN PEACE Kirsty Newbury and Susan Clarke help take the stress out supermarket shopping with these seven tips Let’s face it, taking the kids to do the grocery shopping (we’re talking children, trolley, highstress stuff) is generally unavoidable. That is, unless it’s done late in the evening after the children are in bed, when you’d much rather sleep, or you purchase your groceries online. If it sometimes seems all too hard, here are some ideas to help make trips to the shops as bearable as possible: Before you leave, write your shopping list together and ask your child to draw some pictures next to each item, helping them to identify the word. Once at the shops, give the list to your child to hold. Ask them to help you find the items on the list and place them in the trolley. Encourage them to count how many of the items you need and, for older ones, to see if they can read the item’s label. Children as young as 11 months old can identify a familiar label on a product – even if they can’t read the words yet.

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Bring some dried sultanas and encourage your child to eat one as you collect each item on your list. See if they can tell you how many sultanas they have eaten along the way! Take along paper and pencils and ask your child to draw their favourite products. Play a game I-spy to find your shoppinglist items. Try a colour matching game by asking your child to find products that are the same colour as the one you have selected. Avoid “bribing” your child to behave by buying treats. This can cause long-term issues, with your child expecting to be bought a treat every time you go shopping. Instead, reward them with a special activity or your time, such as a play at the park on the way home. They will learn that being well behaved while you are out is essential, not something that is negotiable through buying treats. * Visit ourlittletreasure.com.au for more ideas.

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Time for toilet training? Paediatrician and parenting expert Dr Christopher Green explains the best time to toilet train your toddler is when they are ready for it – NOT BEFORE!

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ven though every child is different, there are basic stages of development that they all pass through. The process of voluntary control a toddler needs to acquire in order to become toilet trained evolves over time, and there is no way to hurry it along. When it comes to toilet training your toddler it helps to know what lies ahead so you don’t have unreasonable expectations for the toddler or yourself. Most toilet-training difficulties today are caused by unrealistic expectations and misleading advice. Below are the stages that children go through on the road from nappies to toilets: • At around the age of 18 months, the toddler begins to realise when he is wet or dirty. • In the months that follow this developing awareness, he makes another discovery – he becomes aware of his toileting needs before the event rather than after. • Between 18 months and two, there is a great breakthrough – bladder training. There is, however, one unfortunate flaw: although a warning is sounded, the child’s alarm system is only adjusted to tell of the impending puddle five seconds before it arrives. • By the age of two, the amount of warning

has increased and the toddler can start to notch up a few successes. At about this time bowel control will also become established, though occasionally in some children it occurs before bladder control. • By the age of two-and-a-half years, more than two-thirds of children will be dry most of the time. The majority can take themselves to the toilet and handle their pants without too many mistakes. • Even after the age of two-and-a-half, when most children are bladder and bowel trained, the whole procedure is still surrounded by a great sense of urgency – the child needing to go “now” rather than when it suits the parents. • From two-and-a-half years night-time wetting also starts to come under control. The child makes it through some nights dry, with interspersed periods of dampness. • By three-and-a-half, the toddler will make his first attempts to wipe his own bottom, although it will take a further year before the operation is at all reliable. At this point, toilet training can be declared complete. In toilet-training development, there is a great variation from child to child. There is a strong relationship with family history, and >

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toddler parents with late bladder training, especially at night, often find that their kids have similar characteristics. Girls tend to become trained slightly earlier than boys, possibly because of their slightly advanced development, different anatomy or they may have a more compliant personality at this age.

TOILET-TRAINING fundamentals While gaining control over their bladders and bowels is a very natural process that can’t be hurried, you can help your toddler along by sticking to a few simple rules. Success will be hard won until you embrace these four truths:

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A child must know the difference between the feeling of wet and dry before he can be bladder trained You are wasting your breath trying to convince a youngster that he should have done his wee-wee in the toilet when he is quite oblivious to the fact that he has just done it in his pants. Understanding the feeling of wet and dry is where it all starts.

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A child must first learn to sit on the toilet before he can learn to open his bowels Sitting on the toilet or potty is the first step to performing, as the child learns the association between this activity and toileting. Seagulls may be able to do it as they fly over Sydney Harbour but little humans need to be firmly in place if they are going to hit the target.

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A child must be able to produce some dry nappies at night before you can expect a dry bed If their nappies have been consistently wet every night, it stands to reason that if you remove them, the bed will become wet every night too. Before beginning night training, the sign to look out for is dry nappies.

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Relaxed kids find toileting easiest Forcing kids causes tension and this leads them to clamp closed all bodily openings. Don’t hurry – things will go quicker if you go slower.

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BLADDER TRAINING Of the three phases of toilet training – bladder, bowel and night training – most parents start with this one. You can commence a bladdertraining program sometime around 18 months of age, when little kids start to realise when they are wet. They don’t like the feeling, and you can spot this new sensation by the funny walks or fidgetiness of the toddler with a wet nappy. By the age of two, the toddler develops a sense of urgency and a little warning is given before he needs to go. The bladder-training plan has a dual-pronged approach: first, to introduce the new activity of sitting on the potty and make it rewarding; second, to make a connection between the toddler’s newfound awareness of the urge to empty his bladder and sitting on the potty. Over the next few months we want to develop a habit, where the child will eventually take himself to the toilet when he needs to go.

THE BLADDER TRAINING PLAN • Firstly, buy a potty and get them used to sitting. We are trying to build an association between the urge to go and sitting. • Swap daytime nappies for training pants. These pull-up style pants are a cross between nappies and underpants, providing protection from leaks while giving the toddler training in using underwear. • Every time you see the warning signs, dash to the potty, yank down the training pants and deposit the toddler. During the day, try to catch the toddler before he wets himself. • Encourage the toddler to sit regularly on the potty or toilet each day. To harness the power of toilet timing to our advantage, doing so before or after mealtimes is a good routine to establish, and also before leaving the house or coming in again. Sitting together when Mum or Dad goes to the toilet is another way to encourage the activity. • When the toddler is sitting on the potty, drop subtle hints of encouragement. Be patient; >


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toddler the day will come when they surprise you and themselves. • If something happens, reward them with praise. The reward provides the reinforcement they need while learning this new skill. If the toddler does nothing but sit there happily, reward his effort and good behaviour. If you keep this up consistently, in a matter of days or weeks you’ll have a reliably trained child. • If you find you are getting nowhere, stop and try again when the toddler is a month older. Don’t force: time and maturity can make all the difference.

POINTS TO REMEMBER Check the toddler is old enough to start training by ensuring they know the difference between wet and dry – before 15 months, they tend to be unaware. As already discussed, 18 months is really the earliest age to consider commencing bladder training. Two years is an even more realistic age to begin, and if you wait until two-and-a-half years, you will find it all slides into place. The older the toddler is, the fewer headaches for their parents. Most toddlers will be enthusiastic and keen to oblige but a few with a negative streak will use toilet training as an excuse to exercise some power. Remember, forcing is a complete waste of time. If they rebel by refusing to sit, don’t reward this behaviour with attention. Pull up the training pants, put their clothes back in place and get on with life. Training pants are of great benefit given the precarious state of toddler urgency. If your best Berber can cope, try progressing straight to regular underpants, but you may have to take advantage of carpet cleaning specials. A few children are very comfortable in their nappies, and see no need to advance to this next stage of toileting. For these children, a change to underpants is on the cards. As the winds whistle up from Antarctica, the chill factor of wet undies increases in the nether

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regions, bringing icy feelings to sensitive bits. This jolting move out of their comfort zone is usually enough to speed up the training. If you are frustrated that your toddler is getting nowhere, remember that there aren’t any children refusing to use the toilet by the time they are at school. It may seem to you that this stage is taking forever, but we are generally talking about a few months of everyone’s lives.

BOWEL TRAINING The principles of bowel training the toddler are the same as bladder training. The main one is that the child has to be comfortable sitting before anything can happen. And like with bladder training, we are trying to get the child to associate the urge to go with sitting on the toilet. Generally, I suggest beginning bowel training around the age of two, when voluntary control starts to be established. Though there are many different ways of bowel-training a toddler, in my experience there is only one way that is really effective, as long as it is not started too early and not pushed too hard. I call this the “sit and wait” method. It is really just a large chunk of good, old-fashioned common sense.

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Get the toddler to sit happily and regularly on the potty or toilet At this point in time we aren’t even trying for a deposit, we just want to increase the interest in sitting. The mood should be positive and encouraging. If you have already been bladder training, this step should be easy. Aim for three sits a day, preferably after meals when the stomach is full. Twice a day may be enough for some kids. The toilet-timing reflex means that the bowels are stimulated to empty, although by the age of two this has weakened. However, it still has a little power and it helps to harness what you can. The secret to success is to make this activity fun by, say, reading them a story. Maybe at >


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COMMON QUESTIONS My three-year-old still isn’t toilet-trained. What should I do? This is one of the most common questions from parents of children this age. These parents often feel that they are the only ones who cannot toilet train their toddler. ‘What have I done wrong?’ they cry. The truth is they have done nothing wrong and thousands of other parents are in exactly the same boat. Perhaps the child is just not ready. Even though the average toddler is ready by this age, the nice thing about toddlers is they aren’t average. If you resort to pushing, then there will only be a clash of wills. In cases like these we have to remember our goal of a well-trained child, instead of focusing on the problem. The best thing you can do is back off, suspend all attempts to train, and regroup. Put all failures and any fights behind you. Once calm has been restored you then have to start again from scratch, focusing just on sitting, without any pressure on a result. Gently and cunningly build up a happy, positive sitting habit.

Are there any reasons why I shouldn’t begin bowel training? There are some situations where beginning a training plan is not the wisest idea. Parents often want to get training out of the way prior to the arrival of a new baby or before going on an overseas trip, but the toddler’s body is not governed by these outside timetables. Also, if the home is in turmoil, with visitors, illness or family tension, you will have more success if you postpone training until the dust settles.

How often should my toddler open his bowels? Parents’ concern over what goes in the feeding end of their child is rivalled only by worrying about what comes out at the other. They need

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reassurance that, though it is best for bowels to open every day, this does not always happen. An eminent doctor once said that the normal toddler’s bowel habit was between five times a day and once every five days. This may be a rather extreme view, but it is probably quite sensible. Whatever is a regular pattern for your child is what’s important. If you’re concerned, see your doctor to determine if all is normal.

My toddler only opens his bowels once a week. Does he need a laxative to help him along? Bowel patterns can be regulated through diet, through fibre content, the hydrating effects of adequate water intake, fruit consumption and even eating various spices. If you feel the need to give your child something to help move his bowels, check that he is getting enough water during the day and try increasing his dietary fibre. Always check with your doctor before giving your child a laxative.

what if my child is constipated? Some children are born with a “sluggish” bowel and always tend to be constipated. Others become constipated as a result of bad toilet habits; still others have problems that started following a feverish illness. Constipation can lead to a vicious circle in which the more constipated they become, the more difficult it is to pass a motion, and the more reluctant the child is to give it a try. If the constipation is associated with a small tear in the anal margin, the resultant pain may cause a major problem of withholding. As there can be a medical reason behind constipation, it is worth discussing it with your doctor. As mentioned above, diet plays a big part and making small changes like offering the toddler more fruit can loosen things up.


this age the child doesn’t understand the finer points of the story, but he certainly understands being the centre of attention. To encourage more of the desired behaviour – sitting – you have to reward the toddler when it happens. Keep the toddler glued in place with attention while they are sitting and praise his efforts. When it is obvious he has had enough, let him get on with life. Don’t make a fuss of any refusal to sit; this will only reinforce unwanted behaviour.

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Gradually increase the length of time that the child sits The length of sitting time depends on the child. Some active toddlers find it almost impossible to sit for two minutes, while others are content to remain in an almost meditative state for most of the day. Keep his attention focused for longer by diverting him with activities such as singing, counting or reading. Remember, toddlers have very short attention spans. Keep a special book or activity game in the bathroom just for use when sitting on the toilet or potty. Know when to call it quits. If there has been no sign of action after a few minutes, then there is little point in prolonging the process.

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Once the sitting habit is firmly established, it’s time for business Engage in a little psychology. The aim is to get the child’s brain to focus on bowels and bowel motions, when there are so many other things for them to pay attention to. Drop gentle hints to get him thinking positive thoughts about a bit of action: ‘Big two-year-old boys do poos in the potty. If you do, we could give all the nappies away and get grown-up underpants, and Grandma will be so proud.’ When the big event does happen, make a fuss. Bring out the marching band you have stashed away for just such occasions, and let off some fireworks. At this age soft rewards of fuss, attention and praise work wonders. Call Dad at work so your toddler can tell him the

earth-shattering news. This may seem a bit over the top but it works. If you are getting nowhere, wait a few weeks and try again. Sometimes all that is needed is for the toddler to become a month older.

POINTS TO REMEMBER It may take time before you hit the jackpot. Don’t force the child or put pressure on him to perform. If you establish a regular sitting routine, remain relaxed and encourage his efforts, eventually something has to drowp into the bowl. Never suggest any anxiety, frustration or impatience on your part. If two minutes after leaving the potty empty they dirty their pants, this must be dealt with calmly, saying nothing more than, ‘Next time you may do a poo on the potty – I would be so proud.’ Remember, you can only encourage them to sit; they have the ultimate control over what happens and they know this. In addition: • make sure you have each step going smoothly before moving on • if he stalls in step one of the program, wait for him to catch up. Don’t hurry him along to the next step • relapses are very rare except in times of diarrhoea, constipation or sickness. Times like these are not the times to stick to a plan • let the child get well again before returning to the training • bowel training will not work unless the parents are fully committed and prepared to persevere with the technique. If you don’t feel strong enough to see it through right now, then wait a while. * This is an edited extract from the completely revised and updated Toddler Taming: The Classic Guide to your Child’s Behaviour from 1 to 4 by Dr Christopher Green (Random House, $34.99). Also available in e-book format. For a free sample head to randomhouse.com.au.

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NEWS

PRESCHOOLER&BIG K WE LOVE PEPPA!

Available in ezi-clip, roll-on and spray options and offering UVA and UVB protection, the Cancer Council’s new Peppa Pig SPF50+ kids’ sunscreen is bound to appeal to your kidlet! Available from Coles nationally. Visit skinhealth.com.au for more details.

HOLIDAY SNAPS

Watching TV can act as a natural painkiller for children

Did you know that the best way to get the light right for your family photos is to shoot in open shade surrounded by light? Avoid the noon sun and harsh overhead indoor lighting too. Instead aim for light which streams in at an angle. And remember natural light is always better too.

brighten up!

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BREAK THE ice

Another great eco-friendly, money-saving idea! Make your own popsicles with these reusable icy-pole pouches. BPA free and priced at $8.99 for a 12-pack, Zipzicles are ideal for fresh frozen juices or smoothies plus they’re easy to wash, refill and freeze. Neoprene holders are also available for $11.99 for a four-pack. Visit zipzicles.com.

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Make learning fun with Michael Rosen’s Good Ideas (Hachette, $32.99 paperback or $19.99 e-book). Packed with games, stories and handy tips, the book is designed to help you be your child’s best teacher. See more at hachette.com.au.


KIDS REPLACE S H O T: USED TOO R E C E N T LY

FIVE WAYS TO GET THE KIDS outdoors 1 2

Picnic/BBQ Invite family and friends and organise a “bring a plate” picnic. Cricket, soccer and frisbee are all fun games to play. Camping The kids will love getting close to nature and snuggling up in their sleeping bags. It’s an inexpensive holiday and if you can’t make it away for the weekend, how about just camping out in the backyard? Gardening Growing veggies is fun and nutritious. You don’t need a big yard – just plant in a pot and watch them grow (and don’t forget to water!). Bike riding Rediscover the fun of cycling. Check out your local council for bike paths in your area, and if you don’t all have bicycles, hire them for the day. Hit the beach Paddle in the sea, search the rock pools, build the biggest sandcastle or dig the deepest hole – there’s an endless number of things to do at the beach. Information provided by littleexplorers.com.au, a resource for families who love to be outdoors.

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Q&A Our son, four, sometimes has outbursts of anger and retaliation, becoming so angry he’ll hit me, slam doors and scream. What can I do? Your son’s at a know-it-all age and all little kids will want their own way – it takes time to learn to share, take turns, handle ‘no’ and not get their own way. And from day dot, some boys are more aggressive, pushy and domineering than others. The good news is that these outbursts are just occasional and that as your son ages he will learn to curb his anger. Try these ideas: • Keep a mental diary of these outbursts – is he tired, has he had too much excitement, could his blood sugar be low, is it only with mum? • Once you know why, choose your approach – soothing music, time to settle after being excited, a bath to unwind him or using firm cuddles to settle him. • Get dad to do some rough and tumble play with him, then get your son responding right away to you, such as, ‘John Henry, stop! Hands on head!’ Use his first and middle name so he knows you mean business. The commnd tells him what do do with his hands, not just what not to do. Dad needs to practise this to ensure your son starts to show some self-control. I’m assuming neither you nor dad are htting him in frustration or he will just copy. The good news is this problem does improve with age. Dr John Irvine is a child psychologist.

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shopping

Preschooler&big k

Make your mark

smooth move

Help your child avoid losing their belongings with personalised name labels from My Name Label. Plus they’ve now introduced three new value packs to their range: the Mega Pack, $75, Starter Pack, $37.50, and Fab 4 Pack $45. Check out mynamelabel.com.au. There’s also free delivery Australia wide!

Your child can take all their things to school or for an overnight stay in the Peppa Pig Tropical Wheelie Bag, $39.95. With a front pouch, two side pockets and easy to roll wheels, it is ideal for kids aged three years and above. Purchase from kidstuff.com.au.

play all day Boys and girls will enjoy being sun safe in Platypus Australia’s range of UV protective swimwear. Featuring UPF 50+ protection, the products are made of high-quality nylon Lycra, which is breathable and quick drying. Priced from $30.95, the boys’ collection includes grand prix checks, retro car prints and more. Explore the rashies, swimsuits, swimmers and beach wear for babies, boys and girls in sizes 0 to 14 at platypusaustralia.com.

my best buddy

branch out

Not only is Pic is a big, loveable hedgehog, he’s also great used as a cushion and for snuggles. He’s designed to improve your child’s awareness and encourage their creativity – plus he has little friends that tuck away. Created by Oops, priced at $69.95 and suitable from three months, go to cnpbrands.com.au.

Decorate your child’s room and keep it tidy by hanging clothes, jackets, hats and dress-up items from the branches of this Mocka Tree Hanger for kids, $49.95. It’s made from MDF, is 120cm high and has a wide base to make it stable. Available in red, green, pink, white and blue colour options at mocka.com.au, which specialises in contemporary furniture and toys.

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kids Magic music

roll the dice

Your child can watch, listen and learn as the Musical Farm House, $34.95, comes alive with peek-a-boo doors that each reveal a different Hello Kitty character and activates a nursery rhyme tune. See yogee.com.au.

This Ludo board game by Djeco is great fun for children aged five to 12 to play! Designed for two to four players, the objective is to race around the board to see who can get their tokens into their home area first. Priced at $19.95. See kaleidoscope.com.au for more fantastic games for kids.

animal farm

bats & stats

Let your child’s inner farmer come out with the IVI Farm Rug, priced at $159.95 for the small size and $199.95 for large. A fun environment for their favourite animals and characters, it’s also easy to clean. Head to danishbydesign.com.au to see more of the rug range, which includes Mini City, Formula 1 and Soccer options.

Your budding young cricketer will love this A History of the Ashes in 24 Bats poster from The Art of the Game. Available unframed for $190 or framed for $320. View more of these sports posters at theartofthegame.com.au.

Buckle up

Take a seat

Made from veneer plywood, the Baby Truck by Moover, $119.95, is designed to encourage your child’s curiosity and mobility development as they grow. With wheels positioned so that it can’t tip, your little one can safely ride it with their favourite toys in the cabin. It is suitable from one year of age. Visit danishbydesign.com.au.

Great for the playroom, lounge room or bedroom, the Candy Stripe Kids Bean Bag by Crashmat, $109, has been designed and created using high-quality cotton canvas. With childsafe zips and a waterproof coating, it’s available at crashmatstore.com.

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PRESCHOOLER

Hay fever, help! Family nutritionist Julie Clark talks about the power of food in reducing your child’s hay fever symptoms

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ay fever – the symptoms of which can include itchy, watery and red eyes, sneezing, a blocked nose and general cold-like symptoms – can be incredibly debilitating, especially in young children, and can understandably leave them feeling tired, rundown and miserable. As parents, we will naturally want to do anything to help alleviate their symptoms. The good news is that simple changes and the introduction of new foods to your child’s diet can make a huge difference in building up their immune system, often treating symptoms effectively and naturally.

HOW FOOD CAN HELP The itchiness in hay fever is caused by the effect of histamine on nerve endings. A natural approach to reducing allergic reactions focuses on supporting the immune system by reducing both inflammation and histamine production. There are a number of foods that contain powerful antihistamine qualities, as well as immune-boosting nutrients. Here are the ones that will build up your child’s immune system, helping to alleviate the symptoms caused by hay fever and paving the way for a much more enjoyable season for all the family.

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GINGER This root can help to slow the body’s histamine response and has great anti-inflammatory properties. Encouraging your child to consume around 1-2cm of fresh ginger per day can make a real difference. However, since it has such a strong taste, the best way to get kids to eat this is to add it to an iceblock. Here is my favourite recipe which doubles up as a healthy and refreshing treat: • in a blender add a quarter fresh pineapple, one peeled and stoned mango, one kiwi fruit (washed with skin on) and 2cm of peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger • whizz until smooth, adding water if needed • add to iceblock moulds and freeze • let your kids enjoy one of these a day! Alternatively, if they like the taste of ginger and you have a juicer, juice the pineapple with two apples and 2cm of ginger. Blend with ice and drink through a straw to protect their teeth.

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GARLIC & ONION Both of these contain the active ingredient quercetin, which is an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory capable of reducing histamine. They can also increase the production of white blood cells, which helps support the immune system. >


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preschooler The best way to get children to eat these foods is through a tasty homemade pasta sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil, add any other vegies plus a tin of chopped tomatoes and a good pinch of herbs. Once cooked through, whizz in a blender ready to use as a sauce with pasta, or spread onto toast or a pizza base.

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SALMON Oily fish like salmon contains essential fatty acids called omega 3s, and these fats contain prostaglandins, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Most kids will eat a fish finger or fish cake so you just need to make sure the fish used in either of these is salmon and you have this one covered! It is really easy to make your own fish fingers. Simply cut your salmon fillet into strips, dip in flour then egg and breadcrumbs or polenta, and bake in the oven.

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PINEAPPLE Pineapple contains the active ingredient bromelain, another food with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoy it with your children as fresh as it comes!

HONEY You have to get your hands on local honey for this to work – the theory being that consuming local honey exposes the immune system to the very pollen that can be causing the symptoms. This will help dampen the immune response as the body will be used to having it in the system. Note that honey should not be given to babies under one. TURMERIC This spice contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has the ability to reduce the release of histamine. It is also a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. You can simply add a teaspoon to scrambled eggs, when cooking rice or to any dish with an Asian or Middle Eastern flavour.

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PROBIOTICS These are healthy, friendly bacteria that colonise the gut to give the body a strong immune system. Studies have shown that children with allergies such as eczema, asthma and hay fever have very low levels of these important bacteria. The easiest way to get probiotics into your child’s diet is to simply give them one serving of “live” natural yoghurt a day. Choose brands with no added sugar and add your own fruit to make it tasty.

best TO AVOID 8 Eliminating or reducing the intake of some foods can also help with hay fever. I would highly recommend limiting the following so that your child gains the maximum benefit from the good foods you introduce: Sugar Keep refined sugar intake as low as possible as this unhealthy food really taxes the immune system. Check labels for any hidden sugars. Dairy With the exception of the natural yoghurt above, keep dairy foods low in the diet as these increase mucous production. Red meat Causes an inflammatory response. Saturated fats Also cause an inflammatory response in the body.

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VITAMIN C Vital to help control allergic symptoms, vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. All fruits and vegetables are good sources so give your child fruit at breakfast, a fruit snack, and salad and vegies with both lunch and dinner, for a good intake. As it is water soluble, vitamin C can be easily lost during cooking and canning, so buy fresh, local produce and use a steamer. * Julie Clark is a nutritionist, author and baby-led weaning expert. Her latest book, Baby Led Weaning Step by Step (Balloon View, $11.25), is the first guide to take parents through the weaning process month by month. Head to spring-nutrition.co.uk. Available from amazon.com.


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FINALLY, A DIFFERENT WAY OF PARENTING!

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BIG KIDS

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Game on! Looking for great online educational games for your kids? Try these recommendations from digital marketing expert and mum Yvette Adams

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echnology is a pretty big deal and it should be an integral part of your child’s education, but how much of a part it plays will depend on the school they go to, the other influencers in their life and the part you play in guiding them. When it comes to technology in education, some experts are concerned that it provides instant information without any requirement for creative problem solving and say that while we need to show our kids how to take advantage of Google, we also need to teach the importance of critical-thinking skills. The skill that is the most lacking right up to university is the ability to cross-reference and validate from multiple sources, not just the first source they find, in a world where most searches begin on Google. We need to train our kids with the ability to make a judgement on what opinion they wish to believe in and share. In a world of information overload, knowledge has been commoditised, and those with the best search engine position, brand or marketing prowess rise to the top of the pile. Left to their own devices, kids will indeed default to downloading and playing pretty mind-numbing games. I challenge you to take personal responsibility for this, and regularly

check which apps and games are currently installed on their device or on the device you own that they use, and remove anything you do not think are appropriate and to ensure the balance of games with education. There are many educational apps that are loads of fun while also being educational for your child. Even if the device is loaded with educational apps, it’s a good idea to ensure they are still challenging for your child and that they are not getting bored with having the same apps. Think of it in a similar way to how your daycare centre may lay out different activities each day for your child when you walk in to keep them exploring new things and keep them interested. You may even like to involve your child in this process. Sit down together and search for apps or games by age, academic topics (such as maths, spelling, reading and more) or by interests that they have (such as trucks, Disney characters or zombies). More and more often, schools are adopting educational apps and games into their day-today curriculum. On this note, it is a good idea to ask them which apps they will be using in the term ahead (or which they are currently using in the classroom) and to make an effort >

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big kids to download these onto your home device to continue the learning from school at home. Your kids may have even already been sent home with homework related to downloading and playing an app or an educational game

“Sit down together and search for apps or games by age, academic topics or by interests that they have” online. It may sound a little far out there – that is, ‘For homework, download and play an app’ – but this is the reality our children are now growing up with. For instance, one day my 10-year-old son came home with a list of maths apps he could choose to download and use for his homework. He settled on Maths vs Zombies, and he really enjoyed solving the maths equations, which resulted in him killing zombies as he went on. Whatever sort of child you have, and whatever they’re into, chances are there is an educational app that will resonate with them. Here are a few sites and apps my kids have enjoyed which I think are particularly good:

PRESCHOOLERS (UNDER 5 YEARS) Reading Eggs Kids aged three to 13 years old will enjoy learning letters, words, spelling and reading through fun and highly interactive exercises. These have been well thought out with a good mix of fun and practical learning, with each exercise quite short to keep your child and their short memory-span interested. To get started, sign up for a free trial. As your child progresses through different learning levels, they’ll be rewarded with songs, stories and even certificates you can print out and pin up at home. See readingeggs.com.au. Peek-a-Zoo by Duck Duck Moose Learn the names of animals such as alligator, chicken, cat, cow, dog, elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion, monkey, mouse, panda, penguin, pig, seal,

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skunk, walrus, zebra… and an imaginary “squirgle”! See duckduckmoose.com/educationaliphone-itouchapps-for-kids/peek-a-zoo. Beck and Bo Beck and Bo is a fun educational game for toddlers and preschoolers. Kids are invited to build beautiful, animated scenes by identifying characters, objects and animals and placing them in the environment; and, while they do that, they listen to their names and sounds! Piece by piece, they bring to life fascinating scenes, full of sounds, animations and fun, interactive activities. See avokiddo.com. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood is a fun starting point for teaching children about common topics like bedtime and bathroom routines and going to the doctor. It’s best as a shared experience, so you can help your kids relate the activities to everyday life. See itunes. apple.com/au/app/daniel-tigers-neighborhood/ id553211336?mt=8. LetterSchool LetterSchool makes handwriting incredibly easy to unravel. Just pick a letter, kick back and enjoy the show. As a bonus, kids will learn the letter’s name and it’s sound. It is an amazing, intuitive game to learn all about letters and numbers: writing, counting, phonics and more. See letterschool.com. Starfall A free site and app to teach preschool, kindergarten and first-grade children to read with phonics. It includes phonics games and online interactive books. See starfall.com. Bugs and Buttons 2 Nearly any of the Bugs and Buttons 2 mini-games could stand alone as an independent activity, but in this app you get 18 fun and engaging games that are well worth the price. See itunes.apple.com/au/app/bugs-andbuttons-2/id686968315?mt=8. Toca Hair Salon My daughter has loved this game for years. Kids use their imaginations to cut, colour, curl and style the hair on different characters, and in the process learn which tools to use to create different looks. See tocaboca. com/game/toca-hair-salon-2. Barefoot World Atlas Barefoot World Atlas


is a magical, interactive 3D globe that invites kids to explore the regions and countries of the world, discovering hundreds of fascinating features and immersing themselves in the rich wonders of our planet. Apple selected Barefoot World Atlas in 2013 as one of the 10 best apps ever made, and it has been downloaded over four million times. See barefootworldatlas.com.

PRIMARY-SCHOOL KIDS (5–12 YEARS) Free Books For roughly the cost of a cup of coffee, you could buy your child access to more than 23,000 classic books online with this cool app. If your child is tired of the books on your family bookshelf, expand their horizons. Ideal for entertaining the book worms in the family (or those who need to practise their reading in the holidays), this app features easily legible text and stunning book-cover art that will get your kids excited from the get-go. See itunes. apple.com/au/app/free-books-23-469-classics/ id364612911?mt=8. Educreations This amazing app lets you create and share amazing video lessons with your tablet or browser. Use it to teach little ones to write, or older ones more advanced concepts such as algebra and fractions. My daughter loves making her own stories on here. Check out the website for a wide range of existing lessons. See educreations.com. ABC for Kids ABC is always a favourite on the TV for the younger crowd, so why not explore what they have online? The site has colouringin activities, games and videos the kids can explore with an interactive playroom that can provide hours of fun! See abcforkids.com.au. TumbleBooks TumbleBookLibrary, Tumble BookCloud and AudioBookCloud can all be accessed via this website. TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated talking picture books that teach young children the joys of reading in a format they’ll love. Tumble BookCloud junior is for older students ready to transition from TumbleBookLibrary, and it features over 400 titles. TumbleBookCloud is

for middle- and high-school aged students, and AudioBookCloud delivers quality recordings of some of the most popular books in the world. See tumblebooks.com. National Geographic Kids An extensive site featuring games, videos, competitions, fun stuff, news and more. Something for most ages, and all educational! Head over to nationalgeographic.com/kids. Sheppard Software An American website that has excellent games in all areas of maths, but also in literacy, science, world and health games and quizzes. See sheppardsoftware.com. Learning Games for Kids Games and printables for learning areas like maths, literacy, health and science. See learninggamesforkids.com. Star Fall This site opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach kids to read with phonics. Their many online activities are perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, home school and also English language development as an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children. See starfall.com. Spelling City Fantastic for spelling and sight words. You can input your own lists and play free games based on these. See spellingcity.com. Splash ABC Watch, listen and play videos, audio clips and games. The ABC and Education Services Australia has teamed up to bring teachers, school-aged kids and their parents engaging learning resources, all mapped to the Australian Curriculum. Look out for cuttingedge games, virtual worlds and immersive digital experiences. See splash.abc.net.au. Shiny Things Shiny Things create apps for kids that are simple, engaging, innovative – and packed full of great educational content. They’ve received a few awards and certifications too. Head to getshinythings.com. * This is an edited extract from No Kidding! by Yvette Adams (The Creative Collective, $25). Available from nokidding.com.au.

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I think I can I think I can I think I can

I thought I could! The Little Engine that Could Watty Piper

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My Child November 2014 Issue 38