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The Art of Raising an Empathetic Child WHY YOU SHOULD SAY NO TO SMACKING INTERVIEW: Cricketer and Mum Sarah Elliott


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My Child magazine and are wholly owned by Cre8 Publications (ABN 70 141 165 675). No other parties or individuals have any financial interest in the company or in My Child or My Child contains general information only and does not purport to be a substitute for health and parenting advice. Readers are advised to seek a doctor for all medical and health matters. The publisher and authors do not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of an action taken by readers in reliance on the recommendations set out in this magazine. Reproduction of any material without written permission by the publisher is strictly forbidden. We cannot accept responsibility for material lost or damaged in the post or for any unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders.


february 2017 | mychild

Baby Carrier One The ultimate ergonomic edition The Parallel Line Design is a sign of a genuine BABYBJĂ–RN product. february 2017 | mychild



Now that the craziness of the holiday season and school holidays are behind us, it’s time to take a breath, exhale deeply and get ready for another busy month. I can’t get over how hot it’s been this summer and welcome a cooler Feb (hopefully). I have spent countless hours at the pool and beach this summer and my toddler has loved this heat more that what I have. I will always be curious as to why kids don’t seem to feel the heat the way us adults do? I suppose when you have a maid that is constantly ensuring that you are hydrated and have plenty of cool snacks like frozen oranges, ice cold watermelon and the occasional frozen yogurt there would be no reason to complain :) Anyhow, I just hope that we don’t have another record breaking month of heat as I think I may melt away.... The team at mychild have been busy little bees getting this latest edition ready for you. We are excited by this month’s is positive parenting issue. We have some great articles that cover Why you Should Say NO to Smacking your children, How to Deal with Power Struggles and The Art of Raising an Empathetic Child, plus we have you covered from pregnancy to relationships with even more amazing articles like What to eat after Birth, How to Co-Sleep and Not Panic, How to Deal with your Swearing Toddler, Where have all the school librarians gone , plus All the usuals, interior, reviews blog and much more can also be found in this issue too. We also were lucky enough to speak with the amazingly talented Sarah Elliot and how she juggles motherhood with professional cricket and this month’s real read is beautiful so make sure you check it out!

Until next month

a c n a i


Bianca and the mychild Team xxx


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c i t e h t a p Em CHILD

By Genie Price It should be on every parent’s agenda to want to teach their children how to care for and respect others, and for many, it is a dream come true to see their children reach such a milestone that is displaying empathy. Wouldn’t you want to teach your child about the art of empathy? If so, how do you teach your youngling?

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WHAT IS EMPATHY AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Empathy is a complex concept and a difficult skill to master. One which you just don’t “get” given. At its simplest, it is - instead of ‘feeling for’ someone, you are ‘feeling with’ that person as if you are experiencing it yourself. Understanding and showing empathy is the result of many social-emotional skills that started developing in the first years of life. Such skills brought about by the processes involved in securing relationships and maintaining friendships and identifying yourself as a separate individual from someone else. It is not always easy or even possible to emphasise with others all the time – and for toddlers, it cannot be expected to happen, however by building on from these skills, you can start to work towards placing the essential stepping stones to reach your goal. Ultimately the goal is to have raise children who are mindful of others and not only accept diversity but nurture it’s growth also. Research states displaying empathy towards others prevents bullying and other cruel behaviours. This is confirmed by Harvard Universities’ Richard Weissbourd and Stephanie Jones who insist that empathy is “at the heart of what it means to be human”… who go on to discuss it’s necessity in nurturing strong personal and professional relationships and displaying ethical behaviours. Being empathetic can help: • Build positive connections with others • With acceptance of diversity and culture • With respecting others emotions and


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how to respond appropriately • Create a positive, caring environment Toddlers aged 18-24 months are more likely to start displaying empathetic responses. It’s at this age where toddlers develop “theory of mind” and first realise that they have their own thoughts and feelings, and that others around them have their own identity also, which may be different. Making this age an ideal place to start creating the masterpiece. PRE-REQUISITES TO DEVELOPING EMPATHY: In order to start gaining deeper knowledge and meaning towards being empathetic, your child will need to: • Understand that they are a separate individual from another • Understand that others have different thoughts and feelings from him • Recognises common feelings that most people experience - happiness, surprise, anger, disappointment, sadness, etc. • Can identify which response might be appropriate or comforting in a particular situation - such as offering his friend a favourite toy or teddy bear when upset HOW CAN YOU HELP? As adults, we recognise the world is a cruel place, and for most, the aim of parenting is to instil life-long values and beliefs in their children. This is in order to help contribute to a more positive society as children grow and develop. Parents should consider the following suggestions as for ways to increase their child’s empathetic nature. ROLE MODEL APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOURS All children, especially infants learn by imitation. Therefore, to help establish a culture of empathy, you need to display

behaviours you want your children to see, and therefore learn. • Use positive language and actions which are empathetic in nature • Comfort your own and other people’s children when they are hurt • Show your child that you “feel” sad when someone is hurt. Talk about these feelings with each other • Join in on fundraising events or donate time to a community project and get your children to join in (as they get older) PLAY GAMES THAT ENCOURAGE COOPERATION AND CONSIDERING OTHERS – • Play games in pairs or as a family unit - this will help your children to understand co-operation and turn taking, which in turn encourages patience also USE “I” MESSAGES – • Using communication that uses the word “I” a lot will help your child develop self-awareness – “I don’t like it when you hit me because it hurts.” SUPPORT CHILDREN TO DEVELOP POSITIVE FRIENDSHIPS – • Give your child support in social situations. This will help them to develop an awareness of their own feelings and that of others • Encourage positive interactions at these times and any other times where groups or peers are present • Guide them to praise others, and recognise another child’s strengths HELP YOUR CHILD TO UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN FEELINGS AND THAT OF OTHERS – • Ensure that your child understands what is happening to their bodies and that of others when they are sad, happy, or angry.

• Help to validate these feelings by talking to your child at these distressing times - explaining that some actions and language used can negatively affect others - “How would you feel if……?” RECONSIDER THE WORDS “I’M SORRY”• We often insist that our toddlers and young children say “I’m sorry” as a way for them to take responsibility for their actions. However, toddlers especially don’t fully understand what these words mean. While it may feel “right” to us, for them to say “Sorry”, it doesn’t necessarily help toddlers learn empathy. A more meaningful approach is to say “Ella is hurt, shall we see if she is ok?” BE PATIENT: As with any art form, practice makes perfect. • Practice patience at the times your child is learning all the while still empowering them to make discoveries about themselves throughout the process • All toddlers and children will learn in their own time Although other species have the capacity for empathy, the human ability to relate to another person’s feelings and to even act on it is what brings us together, spreads humanity and makes our world a much nicer place to live. The goal for every parent should be to sanction our young to form positive connections and to forge friendships and love. It is through empathy, where we understand each other’s experiences and are more prone to help each other. Who wouldn’t want that for the future of their young?

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By Jana Angeles

Having a baby is one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever undertake in your life. From the expenses, giving up particular leisure activities and cutting out hours of your social life, raising a little human will change your routine of how you live and most importantly, the priorities you have now that you have a growing family. There are some important things you need to discuss with your partner before having a baby. Depending on your readiness, you need to allow yourselves to be open with communication and listen to each other’s wants and needs. february 2017 | mychild


By being flexible and honest, you’ll both be on track when your baby arrives. Of course, there needs to be a discussion on particular things before you start planning on having a baby. While some people will want to ‘jump the gun’, you might want to start having these important conversations now rather than later. FINANCES Babies take a lot of hard work and time when it comes to raising them and one of the biggest factors is the amount of financial stability you and your partner have. From formula feed to nappies to childcare, raising a baby isn’t cheap and if you both aren’t working full-time, you may want to consider saving first. Discuss with your partner how you will budget your finances from now on when you are trying to have a baby. Review all your expenses and cut out all your wants to a minimum. Save all you can until your baby arrives. TIMING SEX OR ‘WHATEVER HAPPENS’ SEX? Most women want to plan on having a baby depending on their fertility cycle. Men on the other hand are quite relaxed and normally opt out for the ‘whatever happens’ type of sex. Of course, you and your partner will have some time disagreeing on how you will approach the method of having a baby. Meet each other halfway and see what options are best for you both. Planning ahead is always a good idea but sometimes the element of surprise can be exciting for parents-to-be. See where the road takes you! WORKING THROUGH RELATIONSHIP ISSUES If you and your partner are having a rocky relationship over the past couple of months, it’s time to really consider whether both of you are ready to have a baby. It’s important to work through your issues before committing to parenthood because the last thing you want is for current issues to boil during and after the pregnancy. If


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both of you are willing to make it work, see a relationship counselor so you can patch things up. As with any type of commitment, working on yourselves comes first before committing to a baby. Try your best to not bottle up any issues and find ways to move past them. MATERNITY AND PATERNITY POLICY WITHIN YOUR WORKPLACE Obviously when the baby arrives, you need to take time off work to take care of your little bub. Before thinking about getting pregnant, review your workplace’s maternity and paternity policy and work out when you want to take leave specifically. It’s also good to consider options like daycare when you and your partner are ready to go back to work. Be sure to review the day cares and remember to secure your spot early (recommended during pregnancy) so you don’t have to be added to the dreaded waiting list! CHORES Chores are going to increase once you have a baby. With nappy changes, feeding time and bathing time, there’s less time to lounge around the couch and more work that needs to be done. Be sure to discuss

with your partner how you will be sharing the load when it comes to chores. Alternate days when it comes to washing dishes and laundry and learn to be proactive when it comes to mess. The mess will only get worse once your baby begins to grow up! RELIGION Religion is a topic you must discuss with your partner especially if your religious views aren’t the same. Make sure you talk to each other and try and keep an open mind while hearing your different perspectives. Obviously being together despite differing religious views has helped you in the relationship but when it comes to a baby, it’s a unique situation. Will your baby be christened? Will they go to a public or religious school? Due to the sensitivity of the topic, we recommend that this topic is discussed first before any other subject matter! SACRIFICE OF ‘ME’ TIME Having a baby means giving him/her your undivided attention, meaning there’s less ‘me’ time for the both of you. You and your partner should discuss options on how you will implement ‘me’ time during your hectic schedules. If you’re both introverts,

we understand how important having some down time to yourself can be. Let a good friend or family member take care of your bub if you need some hours to yourself. But also remember the madness that comes with a baby never ends in the first few months. We hope you find ways to stay sane in the meantime! LANGUAGE If you and your partner know a language or two, discuss what primary language you want to talk in while raising the baby. There are lots of benefits when it comes to raising bilingual children, especially when it comes to their brain development. TIME TO MOVE TO A NEW PLACE? Although a tiny baby won’t take up much room at first, it’s time to consider whether or not you and your partner should move to a new home. Start thinking about the kind of environment you want to raise your child in. Do you want a backyard? Are you happy with an apartment setting? Are you planning on having more than one child? There are many questions to ask each other when it comes to having a baby. The last thing you want is to have a baby in a confined space where there’s no room to move. Be practical when it comes to space and work out the timing of when you want to move out. Though the discussion topics above will take a lot of time and negotiation, communicating them early on will better you and your partner’s relationship. Whether you’re planning to be parents-to-be or wanting another child in your life, being honest and listening to each other’s wants and needs is important. Having a baby is an exciting journey for any parent so it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the unexpected when the situation arises. How you deal with the challenges with your partner will only strengthen your relationship, boosting each other’s confidence in raising the baby.

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february 2017 | mychild

WHERE HAVE ALL THE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS GONE? BY JULIA FERRACANE As a child, the school library was a haven of peace and tranquility for me. A place to escape the noise of the busy schoolyard, build my own imaginary world and transport myself to far, unknown places beyond the middle-class suburb I lived in. It’s where my love of reading was first nurtured and where I learnt to access and navigate information technology and research independently. With the help of my school librarian I learnt that reading was not something I needed to master, but something to be enjoyed. Now as a mother of two children who is making decisions about which school to send my six year old son to, I have been utterly dismayed at the number of schools I have considered sending my child to, who do not have a dedicated school librarian on staff. A 2013 QUT study published in the Curriculum and Leadership Journal identified a direct correlation between fewer teacher librarians and a reduction in student literacy levels right across the board. Furthermore, Softlink’s 2014 Australian School Library Survey, reported a staggering 25 percent decrease in schools employing school library staff. Despite a significant boost in education funding over the last five years, the performance of Australian students in literacy has flat lined. Preliminary data from this year’s NAPLAN tests reveal negligible improvement, leaving teachers overworked, parents frustrated and politicians scratching their heads. The decline in teacher librarians in our schools (especially state schools) could account for one of the reasons we are seeing such dismal

literacy rates. A 2011 Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools investigated the issues of role, adequacy and resourcing of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia. The Committee Chair, Amanda Rishworth MP, noted valuable contributions they make to educational outcomes in schools right across Australia. However, the inquiry also found school libraries under-funded and specialist teacher-librarian positions in decline, with the report also speculating that the trend may be associated with “current budgetary constraints and competing needs in schools”, along with “a limited awareness of the educational value of libraries and teacher librarians”. “The perceived value of teacher librarians has suffered erosion and become undervalued at a time when the skills they offer in information seeking and management are increasingly needed,” Amanda said of the inquiries findings at the time. The investment in technology rather than teacher librarians and books to ‘revolutionize’ teaching has failed schools and our students. Kevin Rudd’s ‘Digital Education Revolution’ may have placed new computers on desks but it did little to transform teaching except to become not much more than a fancy chalkboard. By viewing literacy as a mere educational target, we have completely undermined the importance of school librarians in promoting it as a life enhancing pleasure.

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So, what other optons are there for parents and teachers who understand the value of literacy and want to engage their children in a love of reading, both at home and at school? Next time you visit your child’s school, investigate the library, is it well stocked? Is there a dedicated teacher librarian on staff? As a parent, I think it is vital to make our voices heard when it comes to our children’s education. We need to make our school principals and committees understand the value in having a school librarian on staff. Every child no matter where they are from should have access to books. Thankfully there are companies that are responding to the needs of teachers and parents. One such company is online specialist book retailer The Kids’ Bookshop. With 12 hours on call access and fully trained teacher librarians on staff, The Kids’ Bookshop is fast becoming the online teacher librarian we all need. With a carefully curated list of books, the search engine allows you to search a range of categories including age, interests, budget and format. On a daily basis, it answers calls from exacerbated teachers who have had the role of teacher-librarian thrust upon them, without having any experience. “Teachers have a big workload and often fall back on well- known books to recommend to students or to study in class, there is nothing wrong with those books but they don’t necessarily engage this generation of children. We help them choose the right book for the right child.” Furthermore, The Kids Bookshop provides professional development workshops for teachers and librarians about book selection and invite teachers and librarians to come


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along to meet children’s book authors and to discuss ways to positively use books in their classrooms. “Having that expert readily available to advise teachers on literature that enhances curriculum is a vital resource for student development…”, Erin explains. “This was the impetus for starting The Kids’ Bookshop – we wanted to fuse the experience of a local bookshop with the expert knowledge of a teacher librarian so that we can help recommend books that are perfect for different curriculum areas, individual children as well as supporting children who may be going through various crises at home or who have learning difficulties.” I’ve since found a school with a great library and librarian on staff for my child, it doesn’t mean my job as a parent is done by any means, it just means that I know that he will have access to a range of books to further peek his interest and allow him to become a more empathetic, aware and interesting human being. As bestselling author and eternal supporter of librarians and library’s, Neil Gaiman aptly puts it “I see libraries and librarians as frontline soldiers in the war against illiteracy and the lack of imagination.”

Visit the for more information and all the latest news.

Julia Ferracane is a Melbourne writer and Boss Lady at Saint Copy PR & Management. When she isn’t crafting PR campaigns for women in business she’s trying to get through her books to read list while tripping over two sticky monsters, 3, and 6 who keep her well and truly on her toes!

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february 2017 | mychild

A MIDWIFE’S TIPS FOR WHAT TO EAT AFTER YOU BIRTH YOUR BABY Written by Alice Vandyke Having a baby is one of life’s greatest gifts and joys. For most of us, once baby arrives, we have a tendency to get so wrapped up in their needs that we forget about our own. Making sure that you look after yourself after birth is just as important as your birth plan. Having a recovery plan in place should include what to eat after the birth of baby and will help you get back to being you as soon as possible so that you can care for your new bundle.

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I have put together a list of my top recommendations for looking after yourself, at a time when you are solely focused on your new little being in the world! These recommendations should help with your recovery and make sure that that you’re looking after you. Eat regularly Now that you are feeding your baby on the outside, instead of the inside, it can be tempting to forget all about your own needs. But please remember from day one: You cannot look after your baby if you have not looked after yourself. If you are exhausted, hungry, dehydrated and weak, you will be no good to your famil y and you deserve to be well looked after, just as much as your baby! During these early days, it can be most manageable to eat small regular meals when you get the time. Snack on smoothies, muesli and yoghurt (add some chia seeds), soup, pieces of fruit, trail mix and dried fruit. IRON STORES During pregnancy your body creates a lot of extra blood to pump through the growing uterus, as well as to allow for blood loss at birth. This can lead to a normal decrease in Haemoglobin (Iron) during pregnancy and postnatally. Many women have an excessive amount of blood loss at birth these days, due to the increasing interventions in birth and rates of caesarean sections, which is why its so important to focus on replenishing your Iron stores. I recommend visiting your local health food store and investing in a high quality Iron Supplement. Nutritionally, there are a lot of ways to boost your Iron stores


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back to normal. It is well known that red meat is a very high source of Iron, however if you are a vegetarian or vegan it can be more challenging. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, as well as pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), lentils and beans should be your go too. Combining these Iron rich foods with a vitamin C sources will contribute to the Iron absorption. FIBRE Constipation is not something anyone wants to be struggling with after giving birth. Regardless of whether you have had a vaginal birth or a caesarean, you are no doubt worried about the pain of going to the toilet. Preventing constipation is of particular importance post-caesarean. The best way of managing this worry is getting straight on to your high-fibre foods, drinking plenty of water and fresh juices and if possible, walking as much as you feel up to doing. Stay away from white bread and pasta and stick to a moderate amount of wholegrains. Metamucil is also a great addition to your daily routine. I know that sugar is getting a wrap for being as toxic as poison these days, but at this time you have my complete permission to chug down some freshly juiced fruits. Not only is this great for fibre, its also good for your hydration. Whole fruits and vegies are just as important. HYDRATION Its super important for your whole body’s functioning to keep well hydrated, but also of greater importance for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding literally sucks the nutrients out of you and its your job to look after yourself as well as that little sucker! Make sure to drink a few litres of water per day.

DAIRY/CALCIUM Numerous studies have shown that you need to up your calcium intake whilst breastfeeding to prevent bone degeneration. This is easily done in the form of dairy. However, if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, I recommend upping your calcium intake in the form of broccoli, tofu, nuts, seeds and salmon. (Note: I do not recommend soy milk due to the links to premature hormonal changes and breast cancer). HOT CHOCOLATE Possibly not the recommendation you expected?! Okay so this is not study based, although I think if I decided to conduct a study I’d have a fair few willing participants! Postnatally one of the factors we midwives consider vital is boosting

your Oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is the love hormone which helps to create your bond with your baby and keeps you happy and loved up. Hot chocolate (all chocolate really) boosts your Oxytocin levels, dairy and calcium, hydration and happiness overall! Looking after self and making sure that your eating right after baby arrival will help you with your recovery. By following these simple recommendations, you’ll not only help your body get the nutrients that it needs, you’ll also be feeding your baby what they need to thrive. Remember a health happy mum is a healthy happy baby.

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february 2017 | mychild

Co- Sleeping Options HOW TO CO-SLEEP AND NOT PANIC!! By Caroline Bagga

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Co-sleeping is when you share the same sleeping space with your child. There are different ways that this arrangement could work:

of emotional and developmental benefits – making their baby feel safe, secure and loved.

• Bassinet/cot in the same room as the parents

ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES TO COSLEEPING? Like everything related to parenting, there is a wealth of (usually conflicting) advice out there about what you should and should not do. If you do choose to cosleep you can find yourself a real target for criticism which can make you panic and start to doubt your choices.

• An Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, where the baby has their own space attached to your bed – like a sidecar • A mini bed within your bed – such as My Little Bed • Sharing the same bed Co-sleeping might happen at daytime or night-time. It might last all night, part of the night, or just for those delicious, early morning sleepy snuggles. It might be just mum and baby co-sleeping; mum, dad and baby; or it might be the whole family. Interestingly, 80% of Australian parents admit that they have their baby sleep in their bed with them sometimes during the first six months of their life. SO WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO COSLEEP? Usually it’s for practical reasons – it’s easier to nurse and re-settle so both mum and bub get more sleep (yay!). But there are other benefits too…SIDS and Kids recommend that your baby sleeps in a cot in the same room as the parents for the first 6-12 months of their life as this lowers the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents) for your baby. Many parents choose to co-sleep because


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Common concerns are that co-sleeping is not safe; you’ll squash or suffocate your baby, or they’ll fall out of bed. Other nay-sayers will tell you that you’ll never get your bed back or your baby won’t learn to become independent. So let’s look at these concerns. IS IT SAFE? Safety is obviously the most important factor to consider. Studies show that mothers intuitively protect their baby while asleep, keeping them in the crook of their arm, therefore protecting them from being squashed or falling out of bed. Likewise, babies intuitively snuggle towards their mother’s breast while asleep, therefore staying away from the suffocation hazard of pillows. It is not recommended to co-sleep on the same surface (ie. share a bed) if you smoke, take drugs, other sedative medication or alcohol which causes heavy sleep, or are extremely obese. There are other guidelines to consider too, which can help to make co-sleeping

safe for bub. SIDS researcher and Director of the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University Dr. James McKenna, has published Safe Co sleeping Guidelines which you should familiarise yourself with ( safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/). And of course, it is recommended to follow the general SIDS and Kids safe sleeping guidelines, such as sleeping your baby on their back and keeping their head uncovered. (https://rednose. WILL I EVER GET MY BED BACK? Generally children will want their own bed by age 2-3. In the scheme of things it’s such a short period of time so just relax and enjoy it while it lasts! After all, whoever heard of a teenager wanting to sleep with their parents?! If you find you are co-sleeping beyond 2-3 years and one, or both parents wants to reclaim your bed, you can make gradual changes towards this new arrangement – for instance going shopping for a new ‘big’ bed or moving them into a different bed in the same room. WILL MY BABY BECOME DEPENDENT ON ME? This is possibly the funniest objection to co-sleeping. Babies by their nature ARE dependent on you – for everything! Some schools of thought say that in fact the opposite is true – if your baby feels secure in their attachment to you, they will go on to start to spread their wings sooner.

co-slept with one child for many years, and yet their next child didn’t sleep properly until they were moved into their own bed in their own room! The most important thing is to do what’s right for you and your baby – and to be open enough to realise that it’s ok to change things if they’re no longer working. What’s right at one time - or for one child - might not be right at another time, or for the next baby. If co-sleeping is something you want to try, as long as you are creating a safe co-sleeping environment for your baby you should feel confident to go ahead.

Caroline Bagga is mum to 3 beautiful girls, age 5, 2.5 and 6 months. When she is not co-sleeping with her girls, she is helping women to have a healthy, active pregnancy. Caroline is founder of Mother Nurture Yoga, Sydney’s leading pregnancy yoga school, offering pregnancy yoga and pilates classes, retreats and DVDs. Find out more at

1. Rigda RS, McMillen IC, Buckley P 2000, Bed sharing patterns in a cohort of Australian infants during the first six months after birth, J. Paediatr Child Health 36: 117-121.

Obviously each child and each family is different. Some mums will say they have

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I’m Australian Too Mem Fox and Ronojoy Ghosh It’s not every day (or even year) a new book by Aussie favourite, Mem Fox, is released. But this month, you can look forward to a delicious new read from the author of Possum Magic, Where Is The Green Sheep? and many other childhood classics. Released to coincide with the celebration of Harmony Day, I’m Australian Too is a celebration of Australia’s inherent multiculturalism, complemented with joyful, vibrant illustrations from Ronojoy Ghosh. I’m Australian Too has been written for children aged 4 and over, and carefully depicts how many people from many different places have come across the seas, to make Australia home. This is a fantastic introduction to the different cultures your children will come across as they grow and Mem Fox again demonstrates why she is Australia’s most highly regarded picture-book author.

ABC Love Christiane Engel Written for pre-school children, this beautiful, interactive book is a simply wonderful way to not only introduce your child to the letters of the alphabet, but also to important concepts such as love, acceptance, affection, values and warmth. With playful, rhyming text, ABC Love pairs each letter of the alphabet with a word that will help your child discover new or different ways to express and show love and share kindness. They will learn what makes them – and you – feel loved, and consequently learn to pass this feeling on to the special people in their lives.

Busting! Aaron Blabey Mem Fox’s new release is joined this month by another Australian heavyweight in the picture book genre, Aaron Blabey. The author of Pig The Pug is back again, this time with a new character, Lou. And Lou is BUSTING for the loo. Unfortunately for Lou, there’s a bit of a queue. What on earth will Lou do? With echos of Dr Seuss, this new story from multi-award-winning picture book creator, Aaron Blabey, is written in faultless rhyme and accompanied with illustrations that are just as hilarious as the words that fill each page. Suitable for children aged three and up, this is a great new addition to your Blabey collection, and one your child will be sure to love.

This Is A Serious Book Jodie P arachini, illustrated by D aniel Riel ey Of course, with a title like that, you know that this is definitely NOT going to be a serious book. In fact, it’s gloriously silly: no matter what the author does to create a serious book, a series of animals stop at nothing to thwart her efforts. In this raucous adventure, you’ll meet a cleverly illustrated donkey in a flowered hat, a laughing zebra and a hissing snake, not-to-mention a few cavorting monkeys who are up to no good. The first picture book from editor Jodie Parachini, This Is A Serious Book has been written for children aged two to five.

ABC Love is a lovely twist on your regular ABC book, and one that the whole family can engage with.



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There was a time when I thought I had complete control. Over anything and everything. I always turned up on time or actually early for appointments, catch ups and just about every other gathering. Leaving the house was simple. A night out was easy and rather quick to organise, even at the last minute. Planning was....well there was no fuss me anyway! And then....I had children. Everything changed. Not all necessarily in a bad way but I have definitely altered the way I do things. Leaving the house tends to happen in a mad yelling rush about shoes, nappies and of course running late! Organising a night or even a day out, with or without the girls in tow, generally happens months out from the event itself. And anything impromptu, well it’s usually a higgledy piggledy mess, but you get that. More often than not these days I’m left thinking what the hell have I done??!! Life really was uncomplicated before. It wasn’t really that busy either. Lucky I love my girls right?! More than life itself, most of the time, haha! On a serious note though, aside from their father, they are, hands down, the best thing to ever happen to me (awwwwww!). But I will never repeat that statement on a bad day, which is pretty much every second day at the moment.


february 2017 | mychild

Catching mummy in frazzled moments is what my cheeky girls seem to do best. I swear the minute I step outside to hang washing out, all hell breaks loose. Emptying poppers all over the floor, climbing on top of and then falling off coffee tables, running into walls... and that is just the one-year-old!! As for Miss I know Everything (also known as Izzie) she’s a little more, shall we say daring, when it comes to testing Mummy these days. She likes to hide herself or hide things thinking I won’t work it out, but Mummy knows, Mummy always knows, or at least pretends she does for the sake of appearance (haha!). There are so many parenting styles and everyone has their own way of dealing with things. I think I like to call mine “crazy mummy who sucks at everything and makes it up as I go”. Yep a bit of a mouthful but I’m sure you get the picture. At the end of the day as long as the kids are still alive that’s the main thing, right?! I can’t always say the same about my own sanity!! I had one of those moments recently where I had to be serious and try not to laugh. I had to adult, for want of a better word. It was 6pm which in our house means it’s time for a bath, but just as I was about to turn the big square box off, Peppa Pig comes on. Those who know me well, know I’m not a huge fan of young precious Peppa. Even writing about that show makes me twitch. But to add insult

to injury Miss Izzie points her finger at me and says “don’t you turn Peppa off Mummy”. I was gob smacked. Torn between wanting to yell and then laugh, I had to walk away and compose myself. Needless to say both Miss Izzie and Peppa won on this occasion.

have brought into my life, there are many things they have both taught me. I just wish my brain wasn’t so scrambled so I could remember them all. Maybe one day when I walk into a random room, they might come back to me…..

That’s not the end of animated characters taking over in our house...we have also now discovered Frozen, oh yay! By discovered I mean “we” have to watch it every single day, usually multiple times if I’m willing! Yes, I know I’m lucky we have made it this far without enduring the madness that is the icy world of Anna, Elsa and friends. But like many other parents, I’m happy to oblige if it buys me a few minutes of peace! I just wish that I could now let it go (haha!)!

I guess more importantly we.....well me then.... really shouldn’t stress the small stuff (I really need to remember that when I am losing it at 2am and 3am and 4am for the hundredth time) they really are only little for such a short time. Then we have to deal with hormonal crazy teenagers, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that freight train!! For now, I’m going to keep enjoying those spontaneous little hugs, they make everything better.

But despite the disruption, chaos and unpredictability that my beautiful girls

It’s always fun, entertaining and sometimes just plain silly in our house! For more of our adventure head over to my page

february 2017 | mychild




february 2017 | mychild


By Jana Angeles When it comes to power struggles, we often struggle with setting some boundaries when it comes to our little ones. Maybe it’s because they have this ability to have their way whenever they look at us with their cute eyes or maybe it’s the temptation of letting them be happy, giving us peace from all the tantrums that could potentially happen. Our limits are tested and believe it or not, it’s okay to get upset over our child’s actions, especially if they are unaware of their impact.

february 2017 | mychild


We deal with this constant battle of power struggles but are unsure of our roles in authority. How do we fix this grey area of “rules” and “power”? What can we do to make things fair for our children and for ourselves? PROVIDE THEM WITH OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM RATHER THAN ASKING THEM YES/NO QUESTIONS

Giving them options to choose from can better their decision-making as opposed to answering yes/no questions. This will be a lot easier if you’re in your child’s bedroom, giving them two sets of outfits of clothing to choose from rather than their whole wardrobe. At least you’re giving them options to choose from rather than having it their way when it comes to picking things to their liking. IF YOU SAY “NO” TO THEM, DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND BUT DON’T LET IT BE A DEFAULT ANSWER EITHER There comes a point in time where you’ll no longer be the nice parent and that’s when you start saying “no” to things when your child requests something. It’s important we stick to our guns and never lose sight of the things that we believe in. There’s so much temptation that goes on especially when it comes to changing our minds. Our children can be very convincing when they’re not even trying. If you say “no” to something, emphasise why to your child and give them reasons, but also don’t let it become a default answer either. Allow your child to grow and be involved in their selfdevelopment by saying “yes” to things too. O F F E R U P A LT E R N AT I VE S T HAT I S ACCEPTABLE FOR THE BOTH OF YOU When you say “no” to something, this may be the be all and end all for your child.


february 2017 | mychild

There is nothing more heart wrenching than rejection and the last thing you want is for them to throw a hissy fit towards you if they don’t get what they want. Reach to a compromise and offer some alternatives they can take up on when you’re doing things. For example, if your child is inclined on cooking with you, when you’re preparing the ingredients, give some to them so they are able to participate in cooking with you. Not onl y will they be able to get a sense of your trust, but they will value the thought of compromising with other people and the option of alternatives in the first place. There are instances as parents where we deal with power struggles from time to time. There comes a point where it’s embarrassing to not be able to set some rules for your child to follow and it also makes room for more tantrums to deal with. It’s okay to feel frustrated and being unsure what to do when it comes to showcasing some authority to your children. You’ve just got to remember that setting some ground rules is important so your child is able to adapt to behaviour that is kind and respectful to themselves and others. Dealing with power struggles is the norm but you don’t have to go at it alone. Talk to your partner, your family or friends and learn from each other’s ways. Learn to grow and accept the challenges of the near future. Until then, don’t get too comfortable when your child starts having “selective hearing” and is talking back to you. Know where to draw the line and never allow yourself to be in the position where you no longer can control your child. Your actions matter more than you know.

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february 2017 | mychild




february 2017 | mychild


Founders of Bella Buttercup, Jaimee Masters and Chloe Blanchette (32 years) are design enthusiasts, best friends and business partners. Having known each other for over half of their lives now they have been through many of life’s milestone moments together, which eventually resulted in them building a business together. Initially Jaimee was living in London and with a brief trip home to New Zealand whilst awaiting a visa, found herself with a lot of free time on her hands. With a background in fashion design she put her skills to use and designed and handmade a gift for a pregnant friend who was having her baby shower. This then became the first version of their opening product, the Baby Bundle. The few months spent back home patiently awaiting her return to London meant word started to spread and by the time she left she had her first order for an online store. february 2017 | mychild


Days were spent sewing trying to fulfil the order right up until the moment she left to get back on the plane to London. From that moment, she knew she had an idea on her hands worth pursuing, but with a return to the UK and a job in the Fashion Industry already secured it was a few years before Bella Buttercup would fully come to fruition. Being best friends meant that naturally after Chloe had gotten engaged in New York, she popped across to London for Champagne and celebrations with Jaimee and with the exciting task of asking her to be her bridesmaid. The two girls spent many a day together exploring the delights that London had to offer and one-day found themselves wandering through Notting Hill discussing their future and plans, that’s when they discovered the shared desire to build a business. Chloe an Interior Design graduate, was already developing a business plan for a very different venture, but from that moment a penny dropped and both ladies knew they could work together to turn the Bella Buttercup concept into a fully-fledged business. The first six months was spent learning a lot about how to manufacture a product from the first stages onward, Chloe and her husband travelled overseas armed with handmade samples and went and met with suppliers and manufacturers who thought they could produce the perfect product to allow them to sell to a wider audience and meet the demand for the product. A supplier was found and Jaimee then took a trip to Australia where herself and Chloe could work together on their first project, this involved choosing colour palettes for the Baby Bundles and creating a look book to send out to stockists. This was the first experience of what it would


february 2017 | mychild

be like for the duo to work together and they both loved every minute of it. At that time, Chloe was pregnant so the two were venturing into rather unknown waters, with little knowledge of parenthood behind them. But they were both armed with determination to succeed and a strong business concept that was quickly turning into a reality. Within four months of visiting Chloe in Melbourne, Jaimee had packed up her things and moved there, which allowed them to work together more easily on Bella Buttercup. When they first started the business, Chloe worked part time in another company and Jaimee full time elsewhere. This meant that both entrepreneurs had to quickly learn how to juggle a small business on top of their already busy lifestyles. With the first drop of stock arriving close to her due date, Chloe could not stop and take the rest that a pregnant woman should, being so busy trying to bring Bella Buttercup into the world at the same time as her own baby. These days the ladies have progressed from the original Baby Bundle and now have developed many more products which have broadened the collection. Many of these products are now inspired by Chloe’s little girl Eva who is now three years old. Through being a mother Chloe often see’s products currently on the market that she feels they can improve upon, hence a new product idea is born. The three words they believe describe their style are ‘Scandinavian, delicate and luxurious’. Classic styling, high quality materials and affordability are the hallmarks of Bella Buttercup’s beautiful, functional pieces. The range now includes everything from play bars to change pad covers, pram liners, nappy clutches, wooden and silicon toys. Such style and functionality reflect

contemporary trends while maintaining a timeless quality that gives each piece heirloom status. Jaimee and Chloe’s experience in the fashion, interior design and the retail industry has proved invaluable when it came to sound strategic planning that saw the business flourish and expand. Both are actively creative and ‘like to share roles of design, product development, sales and marketing. They collaborate on ideas related to brand identity, day-to-day logistics, relevant markets and strategic direction. The support they have for each other is noticeably fierce. ‘We treat our partnership like a relationship- you need to it nurture it, make time for each other and talk through ideas regularly and always ensure to have a lot of communication.’ A lot of what they do has also been self-taught from sourcing suppliers and getting sample through to photography for the collections and approaching wholesale stockists alongside selling on their own website. At times throughout the last two years they have recruited a business mentor to help them to think differently about the next steps and how to overcome certain hurdles that many small businesses encounter. Bella Buttercups fast growth and development as a brand has again seen a change of rhythm for each of their lifestyles more recently. They are both well practiced in the art juggling jobs and having the strength to move forward even when it feels hard. ‘Don’t wait for opportunity, create it!’ says Chloe. Being a mother and having a business has been trying at times, however Chloe states that whilst she is still trying to work out the art of balancing work and motherhood, it’s always important to remain kind to yourself. ‘Our days

never go to plan so I suggest a more casual plan and be happy with what you do to get done,’ says Chloe. I do try and manage work and motherhood by keeping being a mum as just that, and then work as work. There are some cross overs but I’ve learnt that I’d rather Eva see me working hard at what I love and hope that in the future she does understand what it is all for.’ Things of course have become easier as time has gone on. Now into their fourth year of business they have been able to take on more permanent roles within the company, Chloe in more of a fulltime capacity, alongside being a mum, and Jaimee now working on Bella Buttercup next to her part time job (rather than still being fulltime last year). One of the best things they say is ‘having the flexibility as a business owner to work around our lifestyles and family commitments’. Chloe still manages to have two days spent with Eva during the week and makes work fit in alongside that. Its clear family values are important to them both as well as adopting a new-age approach to business that allows for flexibility and an honest approach to what is important in life. When the girls do find that things get busy and sometimes stressful they like to remind each other of their favourite mantra ‘Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses’. They are both sometimes all too aware of how easy it can be to forget to enjoy the success of what they have managed to achieve in both the business and their lives so far. Heralded as one of Australia’s most revered baby and children’s brands, the brand celebrates a curation of Scandinavianinspired Playbars, dollhouses, accessories and décor, as well as a soft quilted collection of pram liners and change table covers.

february 2017 | mychild


Each of the girls were passionate about creating creative and modern spaces where children (and their dreams) can grow and so the brand captures a sense of Love. Life and Luxury. All decor is fresh and contemporary and helps to modernise a nursery, and at the same time complement, (and flow harmoniously) with the balance of the home. ‘It is of the upmost importance to us that we create products which are both stylish and functional’. Cleverly, the Play Space and Little Space change mats both contain a water-resistant layer, which helps to stop spills ruining floors as well as creating a barrier for baby when used on damp surfaces such as sand and grass. Often, when designing they are looking at what technology they can incorporate together with high quality fabrics to create a superior functioning product. And of course, with backgrounds in fashion and interior design it is necessary that the products are aesthetically pleasing and can work back beautifully within the home environment. The girls at Bella Buttercup have produced a suite of treasures for all your decoration and gifting needs. It’s a business born from an appreciation of colour, craftsmanship, form and above all functionality to produce a treasuretrove of baby-décor that delivers effortless but well-considered style to your sweetie’s space. And, what does 2017 hold for Bella Buttercup? The duo team have a creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit and in 2017 have plans to keep bringing exciting new items to the market. The success of the Play Bar and toy collection means that they will be working on further


february 2017 | mychild

expanding their toy range. ‘We have found that parents love that our Play Bar is a stylish feature within the home and that the toys can be interchanged as their baby’s development needs grow and evolve’. They also state that there has been a return to parents wanting more natural toys for their children such as those available in their wooden range, ‘There has been a definite move towards eco-friendly and natural baby products rather than the disposable plastics that have been at the forefront over the last few decades’. ‘Parents like the idea of a more aesthetically simple product, which requires the use of imagination from their child through exploration and play’. They are also working on the development of a ‘Build Your Own Play Bar’ set to become available on the website, this would allow customers get to go through different stages of choosing their preferred bar itself, toys and accompanying mat and trial virtually to view different colour combinations. In January 2017 they are also excitedl y launching two new colours to the Bella Buttercup Quilted Collection. They have found that there is a want for baby products that are not just the typical baby colours, but are design pieces that mum and dad can appreciate and want to leave out in the home. Keeping within that ethos, the two new colours are a sophisticated palette featuring the likes of Marl Greys and Natural with a pop of vibrant Midnight Blue. They also have a new line which is also launching in late January as part of the popular Quilted Collection, this is still top secret and is yet to be announced, watch this space!

february 2017 | mychild




february 2017 | mychild

Why you Should Say


to Smacking Your Children BETTER BEHAVIOUR WITHOUT THE SLAP By Jana Angeles There are moments in your life where being a parent will throw you many challenges. These challenges will anger you, frustrate you and will oftentimes make you second guess your strategies when it comes to positive parenting. As we’ve mentioned several times before, parents aren’t perfect but that doesn’t mean there are times where we want to lose our minds when our children are not listening to us. It becomes more and more difficult once our child starts to annoy and disobey us for whatever reason. Some days, it’s hard to look past that and it makes us question how we ended up so disappointed in ourselves to get to that point. Violence is never the answer towards our children so if you think that smacking is a temporary solution to “set things straight” with them, you’re thinking wrong. So why should you say no to smacking?

february 2017 | mychild


SMACKING WILL TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THAT VIOLENCE IS SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE Parents often forget how influential their actions are towards their children, so showing any form of violence will make them think it’s socially acceptable to hit others when they are angry or frustrated. When we want our kids to adopt good manners and respectable behaviour, we should be self-aware on what actions we showcase and how they influence them as individuals. SMACKING WON’T FIX THE PROBLEM There are no positive outcomes that come out of smacking your child. Despite its efforts of keeping your children out of trouble, it won’t fix the problems you’re having with each other if you’re not allowing yourselves to listen or talk with your children. Smacking only encourages them to avoid conflict when they make a mistake. SMACKING LOWERS THEIR SELF-ESTEEM Smacking is degrading for children because it showcases power over them. Having parental authority can be a grey area for some as smacking can be seen as a way to let children know they’ve done something wrong. Smacking puts your child in the position where they are weak and vulnerable and taking advantage of that can make them feel uncomfortable. This can lead to low self-esteem in the future if smacking is used consistently as a form of discipline. As you can see, smacking does not benefit your child in any way shape or form. Though it may be an easier option for parents, it doesn’t fix anything and will prevent you and your child from forming a positive relationship. There are ways for parents to avoid smacking their children and these tips below will help you manage your thoughts and feelings if you feel like there’s no other alternative!


february 2017 | mychild

• Suggest time out for your children: sending them to their room can help them collect their thoughts and think about what they’ve done to upset you. • Go to the bathroom: if you feel like you’re losing your cool, go to the bathroom and take deep breaths in and out. Try and remain calm, maybe even scream a little if you feel like it. • Cut TV time: cutting down screen time, as a consequence, can teach your children how to respect you. Imagine going days without the TV? Neither can they. • Spend more time as a family outdoors: maybe the reason why your child is acting up is because they’ve been seeking attention from you? Getting out of the house and doing something as a family can help them realise the true value of family time. • Cut processed foods: junk food especially products containing sugar can be harmful to your child’s health. Encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables. This can provide a chemical balance in your child’s brain especially and will give them the daily nutrients they need to grow. • Have realistic expectations: remember that parenting requires baby steps and that there is no perfect way to raise your children. Be patient and considerate of your child’s feelings and praise them when they show progression towards positive behaviour. Though smacking has been something parents have done back in the day, it’s important to consider the alternatives. How you react as a parent, especially towards the disrespectful behaviour your children, matters in the future. We should all aim and implement positive parenting strategies to better ourselves as parents while also raising confident and respectful human beings.


by parents

Real parents inspire everything we create, from pushchairs and clothing to highchairs and furniture.







HOW YOGA HELPED ME TO HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL, VIRTUALLY PAINFREE BIRTHS My name is Caroline. I’m Mum to three beautiful girls – Samaira age 5, Alysha age 2.5 and Indira age 5 months. I’m also a yoga teacher specialising in Pregnancy Yoga, and I’m passionate about helping women to have a healthy, active pregnancy and an empowered birth experience. I am honoured to be able to share my story here in the hope that it may inspire, educate and empower other women. While all three of my pregnancies have been kind to me, with no complications, my first labour and birth was less than ideal and left me feeling disappointed and disempowered. I educated myself a lot after the first birth and I believe it is thanks to that, and my yoga practice, that led me to go on to experience two beautiful, virtually pain-free births.


february 2017 | mychild


february 2017 | mychild


I’ll start by tell you about the first birth… During my first pregnancy I was working long hours in a demanding office job. I didn’t stay particularly active and put on 20kg, which was quite a bit considering I was only 50kg to begin with! I spent the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy relaxing at home and catching up on movies. While it seemed like a good idea at the time I’ll tell you later why this worked against me. I was really hoping for a natural birth. I felt ready for the challenge and prepared. In hindsight, my preparation and understanding at the time of birth and the hospital system was not deep enough. My due date came and went and the hospital started talking to me about induction. They agreed to let me go 10 days over but when nothing happened I reluctantly went in for an induction. I felt uncomfortable in the hospital environment and didn’t want to be there. The hospital made me stay overnight and I didn’t sleep, so I started the labour feeling exhausted already. The contractions were strong but I was labouring in my back. Remember all that sitting back watching movies? Well afterwards I realised that that had contributed to a posteriorpositioned baby ie. her spine was against my spine so I felt all the contractions in my back and I couldn’t relax my body in between contractions. Anyway, long story short, the labour went on for 19 hours and after taking more pain relief than I’ve ever had in my life, including 3 failed attempts at an epidural, I agreed to an emergency caesarean. The whole experience scarred me in more ways than one and I swore that the next time things would be very different. I trusted my body and knew that I was capable of birthing my baby, but felt that the hospital system had let me down. Fast forward 2.5 years and the birth of my second daughter, Alysha, was exactly as I had hoped it would be, helping to heal the wounds left from the first time. The birth was blissful, beautiful, calm, free of drugs and


february 2017 | mychild

interference, and yes, virtually pain-free! Before even thinking about getting pregnant for the second time, I researched my birth options extensively. I found that private hospitals had a very low Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) success rate, while many public hospital birth centres would only accept the lowest of low-risk women. Having had a caesarean, I didn’t fall into that category anymore. So after more research, talking to midwives and persuading my husband we settled on having a home birth. For me, the benefits far outweighed any risks – the level and continuity of care from my midwife, being in my own environment where I felt comfortable and safe, away from any pressure to intervene with the labour or delivery meant that the hormones would flow and my body would be able to do its job. I engaged Jane, an Independent Midwife, who works with a team of five other homebirth midwives around Sydney. Through Jane I was lucky enough to be introduced to an Obstetrician who supported my home birth choice and would be my OB should I need to transfer to hospital. This was important to me because obviously I didn’t want to take any risks with my own or my baby’s life, but if that scenario happened, I knew that I wasn’t going to have to go and fight for my wishes in the hospital as he was completely supportive of my wishes. I also researched health insurance policies – at the time there are were two providers that I found that offered rebates for home birth so I signed up with one of them in time to serve my 12 month waiting period. During the pregnancy, I stayed active by practicing daily pregnancy yoga and meditation to prepare my mind and body. This helped to alleviate the back pain and sciatica I had encountered with my first pregnancy and also meant I put on less weight. Importantly, the yoga also helped with Optimal Fetal Positioning – getting my baby into the right position ie. head down

with her spine facing outwards. I was very keen to avoid another posterior labour. My yoga practice helped me to become more confident in listening to my body and trusting my intuition. I understood how the hormones worked during birth and so using yogic techniques I was able to stay calm and relaxed to allow the oxytocin and endorphins to flow (the body’s natural painkillers). I learnt how to breathe properly during labour and to move in ways that helped my baby enter the birth canal in the way she needed to. During my meditations I worked on releasing my fears and negativity from my previous birth experience so I didn’t carry them into this birth. I found a wonderful acupuncturist and osteopath who I visited regularly in the last trimester. I also engaged a doula – which is a Greek word meaning ‘mother to the mother’ or ‘woman’s servant’ – basically a non-medical birth support person who would be there to provide encouragement and support. Closer to the end of the pregnancy I wrote my birth affirmations, created a beautiful birth space with an eco birth pool, candles, crystals, aromatherapy oils and flowers, and hung a birth mandala that I painted. This might all sound quite hippy and alternative to you, but it just helped to get me into the right headspace for giving birth. Everyone prepares in their own way. With my first birth I had put more effort into being prepared in a practical way – things like having the nursery set up and the birth announcement ready to go. What I realised is that you need to be prepared both physically and emotionally – and a lot of that preparation happens at a deeper level. My due date came and went but I remained positive that I would go into labour spontaneously. I kept practicing yoga and meditated using images of flowers opening and visualised my baby being born. At 1am on Monday 26 October – 5 days after my due date – I woke with contractions. I lay in

bed timing them for some time and found they were coming approximately every seven minutes and lasting for 40 seconds. I got up to see if they still continued and they did. For some reason it seemed really important to me to clean the house (which was already spotless!) so I did that for two hours before going back to bed. At this point the contractions were still mild but I needed to move with them so I set up a bed in the lounge room so I didn’t disturb the rest of the family who were still sleeping. At 6:30am my daughter Samaira woke up and came and lay with me and stroked my back and head while I was having contractions. At 7.30am I texted Bernadette, my doula (birth support person) and Jane, my midwife to let them know that the contractions had started. The plan was for Bernadette to come for the whole of the labour and Jane to come once the contractions got stronger. However, by 9am the contractions started to slow and became more spaced apart. I called Bernadette again and said not to come just yet. It was really interesting to see how just anticipating that small change to the situation impacted my labour. I rested in bed for another hour then went for a walk to get things moving again. The contractions picked up and I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees circling my hips and breathing through each surge. By 2pm the contractions were intense and lasting for one minute so I called Jane who arrived at the same time as Bernadette. Again – the contractions slowed down and after doing some monitoring we decided that Jane should go home and get some rest. She said that as soon as the sun goes down the labour would hot up again and she was exactly right! While Samaira and my husband had an afternoon nap, Bernadette gave me a massage and worked on the labour trigger points. By 5pm the contractions were coming strong and fast and by the time Samaira woke up I was vocalising loudly during each contraction. At 5:45pm my waters broke with a pop and

february 2017 | mychild


big gush, followed by a show. We called Jane to come back. I wanted to get in the birth pool so we started filling it but it took a while and wasn’t ready until just before 7pm, by which time I was in transition and the contractions were coming one on top of the other. It was such a relief to finally get in and be soothed by the warmth of the water. Samaira had had moments of brilliance – bringing me a drink, cuddling me, stroking my face and saying “you can do it Mummy”, but by this time, she was quite distressed by all the noise so we made the decision to send her to her grandparents. I started to feel the urge to push and Jane said to go with it, and quickly called Robyn, her support midwife who was coming in case she was needed for the delivery. It had all happened so quickly and I couldn’t quite believe I was ready to push but after some coaching from Jane and Bernadette I let go and surrendered to the urge. Robyn stepped in and breathed with me during the contractions, helping me to vocalise deep into each push while Jane monitored baby’s head coming out and guided the shoulders through. We had realised just in time that the baby was coming soon and got Samaira back to witness her little sister, Alysha Grace, come into the world wide eyed and smiling. Throughout the birth Jane closely monitored the baby’s heartbeat, but otherwise let me labour in peace without a single drug, internal examination or other instruction. She quietly worked around me while I was free to move and be in whatever position felt right. I spent some time in the pool cuddling Alysha but because the cord was short it was pulling on the placenta so I needed to get so we could monitor the bleeding. We also wanted to see if the baby was a boy or a girl which we couldn’t do because the cord was so tight. It was hard to know exactly how much blood I had lost but we guessed around 900ml so we decided I needed a syntocinon injection to stop the bleeding and get the placenta out.


february 2017 | mychild

The placenta was a beautiful heart shape with the cord attached in the middle, like a tree. I had some tearing which required stitches and was feeling dizzy from the blood loss but otherwise completely elated – I had done it! I lay on the sofa bed cuddling my girls while Alysha had her first feed. Jane, Bernadette and Robyn cleaned everything up and looked after me, feeding me soup and toast. Robyn took the placenta home to make it into capsules which are rich in nutrients especially iron to help with post-birth recovery and milk supply. I felt so very blessed to have such a beautiful, healthy and happy little girl and extremely grateful for my amazing birth team whose level of support before, during and after the birth went above and beyond. The experience was amazing, and so very different from the first time. The pain was very manageable, it never even occurred to me to ask for pain relief. While I chose to give birth at home, I do believe that a beautiful, blissful, calm birth is also possible in a birth centre or hospital environment – given the right preparation and support from your care providers. Fast forward another 2 years when I gave birth to my third daughter, Indira. Once again, the pregnancy had gone smoothly although I’d really felt the tiredness this time with two children already to look after and running my own business full time. There had been a lot to get ready with the business in order to find ‘the clearing’ that I craved ready for the birth. A couple of days before I went into labour, things had started to fall into place and I felt ‘ready’. Indira’s birth was another planned home birth. Everything had gone so well last time that I felt confident and excited about the birth. Once again, we felt well supported by our wonderful private midwives, Robyn Dempsey and Jane Palmer, and I trusted my

body implicitly. This time I had decided that I didn’t need a doula or back-up Obstetrician. The onset of labour was again heralded by a cleaning frenzy, after which I decided to do some yoga nidra (deep relaxation, also known as yogic sleep!), meditation and visualisation. I’d been saving my special “Meditation for Induction” until I felt ‘ready’ and it felt like the right time to do it. I had used it in my previous pregnancy to start labour, as well as with some of my clients, so I knew it was a powerful meditation. It involves going into a state of deep relaxation, releasing any fears and visualising the cervix opening, the baby descending and the birth unfolding. After doing this I fell into a very deep sleep and woke up at 3pm exactly, jumping out of bed quickly as I felt my waters break! So exciting – I knew that we were going to meet Indira very soon! I felt a slight period-like sensation but no contractions. I was so glad I’d had that rest after my manic cleaning earlier in the

day. There was a definite air of excitement in the house. We topped up the birth pool with air and started preparing dinner so we could get the girls fed and into bed. The plan was to have the girls at home to witness the birth. We had been talking about the birth, reading children’s story books about birth, watching birth videos on You Tube and practising making birth noises so they would be familiar with what was happening. But I had also packed a bag for them in case it became too much (or in case the birth didn’t go as planned) so they could go to their grandparents’ house. As it was late afternoon and contractions hadn’t started, we just kept going with the usual evening dinner routine. By 4:15pm contractions started very gently and I knew it was going to happen that night. While Kapil fed the girls dinner I spent some time alone in the bedroom, listening to relaxing music, timing the contractions and working through each contraction by circling my hips kneeling on all fours. I also used the

february 2017 | mychild


‘humming bee breath’ – a yogic breathing technique which is great for relaxing the mind and calming the nervous system. Contractions were 5-7 minutes apart. This was a really special time for me as I was able to enjoy the sensations and be very present in the labour. It all felt very manageable and dare I say it, enjoyable! The girls came into the room after dinner and we made a little video for Indira, with them saying how much they were looking forward to meeting her and practising their ‘birth noises’ with me! At 6pm I helped Kapil to get the girls changed and into bed. By this time, I had to pause to circle my hips during contractions and although it was still quite manageable I was looking forward to having some alone time again to focus on the labour. By 6:30pm the girls were in bed and I ate some dinner then went into my birth space and lit the candles. Contractions were now 3 minutes apart and lasting 40 – 50 seconds. I texted Tara, our birth photographer, asking her to come over and we started to fill the birth pool. She arrived half an hour later and helped us to fill the birth pool – the hot water had run out so Kapil was busy boiling the kettle and pots of water on the stove. I also texted Robyn, our midwife, telling her that I’d like her to come as the contractions were getting stronger. At 7:30pm Samaira got out of bed. She said she was too excited to sleep so she came and gave me lots of beautiful cuddles, did some colouring in on her pregnant goddess pictures and chatted with Tara. She was my little doula – stroking my head, bringing me water and giving me lots of encouragement! I got into the birth pool and enjoyed a nice break from contractions for 5 - 10 minutes. I relaxed and focused on my birth affirmations on the wall. I started wondering if I’d got in too soon and perhaps it had made the labour slow down. Then I saw the headlights of Robyn’s car arrive and as she came to the front door I had two enormous contractions, one on top of the other. My back felt uncomfortable


february 2017 | mychild

now and I became agitated that there was not enough water in the pool as I wanted the warm water on my back, so Tara and Kapil topped it up with more water. Robyn started asking me some questions about how I was feeling and what had happened so far. She later told me that she didn’t think I was very far along because I was chatting away and laughing with her in between contractions. Although I was fine in between contractions, the contractions were intense and long now and I began to feel a bit overwhelmed. My back was quite uncomfortable at this point too. I knew I had gone through transition and it would be time to push soon. I felt like it was all happening too fast and I hadn’t had the chance to really focus and enjoy being in the zone as much as I had wanted to. I kept telling myself to calm down, surrender and relax my body with every breath out. That, combined with Robyn’s soothing words telling me I was ok and stroking my back really helped me. This feeling didn’t last for long though and just 20 minutes after Robyn arrived I started feeling a strong urge to push. I remember feeling a rush of adrenaline hit my body and I kneeled up high on my knees, roaring loudly during contractions. I knew I was fully open and she was coming! Robyn called Jane, our second midwife so there would be two of them there for the actual birth. I was pushing for less than 20 minutes, moving through contractions, leaning forward over the side of the birth pool. I had planned to catch her myself so I came into a modified half squat with my right leg out to the side. The top of Indira’s head felt like velvet and came out easily in one push. Samaira came closer so she could see her sister clearly. Kapil hadn’t quite realised that the baby was half out and while we were waiting for the next contraction we all had a laugh when he caught up, realising that she was nearly here and seemed so surprised! Indira was born into my hands with the next contraction at 8:28pm. It was an amazing moment. I felt so empowered to

have birthed her and catching her myself was a big highlight. Indira had her first feed in the birth pool and was already sucking strongly! After 20 minutes we moved onto the sofa bed next to the pool and continued feeding while we waited for the placenta to arrive, which came naturally at 9:15pm. The previous two births I had had a haemorrhage and lost a lot of blood but this time there was very limited bleeding which I was really happy about. There were strong after pains though so I was given a hot water bottle and took some arnica and Panadol. Alysha was now awake so she came out to meet her little sister and we all had some snuggles on the sofa bed. Kapil clamped the cord at 9:30pm and Samaira was given the honour of cutting the cord which she was delighted about. Indie was weighed, measured and dressed. She was a teeny tiny 2.86kg! The room was warm and dimly lit and Indie was very calm and relaxed the whole time. I had a second degree tear so Robyn put in some stitches then I had a quick wash before going to bed, with Indie snuggled up close. It was so relaxing and lovely to be in bed in my own home. I was grateful that the birth went so well again and I felt on such a high. Indira was born 5 1/2 hours after my waters broke, and just 1 1/2 hours of full labour. Again, I would honestly say that the labour and birth was virtually pain-free and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I feel blessed to have all three of my beautiful babies and grateful to have received such amazing support. I am especially grateful for my yoga practice which I wholeheartedly believe was the reason I was able to have two beautiful birth experiences.

february 2017 | mychild



february 2017 | mychild




Swearing is part of our daily lives for some of us. Whether it’s feeling frustrated or upset over something, swearing takes a kick out of a vocabulary and accurately describes how we feel sometimes. Though some of us might like to chuck in a couple of inappropriate words here and there, we must be wary about the type of language we use around our toddler. As they grow older, the “grace period” in which they are unable to talk will catch up eventually to us in some way or another. As parents, we have to be conscious about the words we use around our children because dealing with a swearing toddler can only get worse if we aren’t aware of their negative impact.

february 2017 | mychild


WHY DO CHILDREN SWEAR? Oftentimes children swear to explore their vocabulary. Saying rude words is their chance of experimenting with a particular language while also having the desire to understand what they mean. In this case, sometimes children say swear words to get a reaction from someone or they just want to express feelings of frustration and sadness. WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE IF I HEAR MY CHILD SWEARING? 1. Ignore them: One of the most effective ways to handle when your child is swearing is to completely ignore it. Pay no attention to them when you hear something out of the ordinary. They may be saying that particular word to seek attention from you. Do your best to “forget” about what they said. 2. Stay calm: Getting angry or frustrated at your child won’t do you any favours so remaining calm when your child is swearing encourages a positive attitude from you. Remember to not take it personally and do your best to understand where they’re coming from. 3. Teach your child what those words mean: Sometimes you just need to sit down and talk to your child about swear words. Allow them to learn other words that aren’t offensive when it comes to expressing their feelings of hurt and despair. 4. Correct their pronunciation: Sometimes children say swear words while trying to sound out other words in the vocabulary. Simply correcting them can make all the difference. ARE THERE ANY FURTHER ACTIONS I NEED TO TAKE? There are further steps to take if you feel like your child isn’t straying away from swear words. Here are some ways where you can improve the ‘swearing’ situation for your toddler:


february 2017 | mychild

Discuss what words you want to be said within the household. When grandparents, other relatives and friends come over, mention what words you’re allowed to say around their children. Sometimes other words such as ‘damn’ are forbidden to be said so give people a heads up on what appropriate language people should use. • If you’re so used to swearing as a force of habit, try and use alternative words to express your anger. Say statements like, “I feel upset/angry etc” as a way to let people know how you feel without the vulgar language. • Show praise towards your child when they stop saying swear words. Encouragement will help them stick to this behaviour. • Be aware what films or TV shows they’re exposed to on a daily basis. Be especially careful with PG rated things. Sometimes there are words that may seem inappropriate for parents used in children’s films and TV shows. MY CHILD KEEPS SWEARING. WHAT DO I DO NEXT? • Teach your child how to deal with their anger and frustrations a different way. When they become agitated, show them alternatives to how they can remain calm. • Let them know it’s okay to feel upset over something but also tell them there are appropriate words to use when expressing negative feelings. • ‘Flip’ and ‘shivers’ are examples of words they can use instead of swearing. You can also make up your own funny words as an alternative too. Swearing is something most of us do on a daily basis but sometimes, there’s a time and a place to use foul language. Remember to be conscious of your words when you’re around your little ones. Don’t be afraid to speak up when it’s necessary and set boundaries with language if you feel you need to.

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Sarah Elliott has cultivated a successful career in cricket. Since the start of her cricket days, she’s was always of the mindset of “wanting to represent Victoria” and through that, her passion formed surrounding the sport of Cricket. Sarah was just 19 when she started her career and hasn’t looked back since. Being a professional athlete has had its challenges, but Sarah hasn’t shied away and instead has come out swinging, no pun intended. She is considered one of our batting superstars and her stats are certainly are testimony to that. Sarah has achieved some great success in her career, but what we love most about this Aussie Superstar,


february 2017 | mychild

is the love she has for her 2 boys and her drive for not giving up her dream to be the best athlete she can be. Though motherhood has kept her busy, Elliott still returned to the sport even after having children, mentioning that she “wasn’t quite done yet” with her career and “there was still some stuff she wanted to achieve.” When she’s not busy running the field, Sarah is a busy mum of two just like most of us. Being a hands-on mum, she juggles all different kinds of tasks during the day through the craziness of motherhood and does this without any hesitation with the grueling schedule she has. Most of us wouldn’t be able to keep up with this pace, but Sarah seems to do this without making it look difficult as we are sure it can be.

Elliott has built a life around sport but none of that would have been possible without the support of her husband, family and the loyalty of her Cricket Australia Family. She’s able to take the kids on the road with her when she can, (that in itself would be challenging to most of us) and loves that she hasn’t had to choose between the career she loves and the job she was born to do. She says that her career works well with her husband’s work schedule and training sessions don’t interrupt family time with her two adorable kids. Because she’s only required to train outside of business hours, she’s able to put her kids to bed by the time she works in her dream job. “It’s still a juggling act”, she explains. Her role as a mother and a sports star requires her to balance many different things on a regular basis but Elliott’s biggest achievement she’s accomplished is “raising two happy and healthy” babies. Describing that as “extremely lucky” to have. She enjoys spending time doing the activities that her kids love and says “it’s a great way to bond with them”. This down to earth mama is indeed an inspiration and proves that even having sport as a career doesn’t mean it’s impossible to be a mother. Through her instincts, she has maintained an image she can be proud of through the leadership and teamwork experienced in cricket and the way she’s been raising her kids. We asked Elliott if she were to retire tomorrow what she’d do, “Sleep for a year” was her first response and which is completely understandable and she’d definitely could use some more “me time” and a chance to read more books if she could. But for now, cricket and her family are her two main priorities and she couldn’t be happier! february 2017 | mychild



february 2017 | mychild


WHY KIDS NEED AN ACTIVE FATHER IN THEIR LIVES By Genie Price THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE ALL-IMPORTANT ROLE OF DAD Becoming a dad is one of the most defining moments in any man’s life. Not only does it often turn you into a selfless individual, but it also means you get to play a critical role in helping shape a new life. And, while almost any man can father a child, there is so much more than meets the eye when considering the all-important role of being a dad.

february 2017 | mychild


HOW DOES BEING A DAD INFLUENCE RELATIONSHIPS? That’s right dads, you are important and science tells us that your contribution to your newborn’s life, is greatly received. Although right now you may not recognise that singing lullabies is significant – it is, because between birth and five years old is where 90 percent of a child’s brain development occurs, and at lightning speed. Every sight, smell, sound and sensation makes an impact on your child. And, long before they even step foot into a classroom, your childs’ neurons are building networks, cognition is exploding, language is developing, and foundations are being laid for a lifetime of learning, which you have been part of. These early experiences are the first of many connections that your child will know, and it’s those patterns that affect their future, how they feel about themselves and others and how they develop later in life. So, what are the benefits of being an engaged father to your children? 1. PROVIDES YOUR CHILD WITH A POSITIVE MALE ROLE MODEL: Humans are social animals, ones who learn by imitation and modelling the behaviours of those around them. In fact, all primates learn the art of survival and how to function successfully in the world - through social imitation and interactions with others and babies are no exception. Although not every person your child will be exposed to will meet the “appropriate”


february 2017 | mychild

role model category by your standards, being social is still important and the point is that you can be a role model at any given time. Your child needs you to be an engaged father who takes the lead and promotes positive behaviours in order to help him establish a sense of self, and by you setting the most important and proper example for him from the start, this can be achieved. 2. ESTABLISHES CLEAR BOUNDARIES: TRUST: If you are a father who establishes clear and consistent boundaries and discipline from the get-go, you will help to build a strong foundation of trust. When you are a consistent influence in your child’s’ life, he will develop an appreciation that your actions are not only predictable but that your presence can be trusted and in turn, you become a reliable source of comfort, support and reassurance. 3. HELPS NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS: As Dads, you want your child to be social, to make friends and be confident within their future relationships. By being an affectionate, supportive and involved father, not only do you continue to build trust, but you also contribute significantly to how your children will relate to others, particularly so, between friends and family and spouses. As a “present” father figure, you will notice benefits in your children such as: For girls: • They will (more commonly so) grow to look for stable, kind and loving relationships in their spouses

• Nurture their own identity and be more emotionally grounded with higher selfesteem For boys: • They may have better grades and perform better on an academic level • They are likely to display a stable and continued sense of self-awareness and are less likely to display criminal behaviours as they grow 4. ESTABLISHES YOUR CHILD’S MORAL DEVELOPMENT: Children need a moral compass to guide them when they face difficult moral choices. Fathers, like mothers, help children to develop a sense of right and wrong that serves as a foundation for establishing moral character. Having both parents to confirm either, is hugely beneficial. 5. SUPPORTS VARIED PERSPECTIVES AND HEALTHY GENDER IDENTITY: Both boys and girls benefit from having healthy role models from both sexes. Research points out that mothers and fathers socialise with their children in different ways. Offering not onl y varied philosophies and perspectives, but as a father, you can help your child, especiall y your sons, to develop a healthy sense of what it means to be a male. And because we know that men and women differ in their parenting styles and that one style is not necessaril y better than the other. We can see that it can be healthy for children to be exposed to these different perspectives on life. So Dads, don’t be afraid to share your “deep and meaningful philosophy

of life” with your newborn, as one day, they just may see things your way. WHAT’S IN IT FOR DAD? 1. A HEALTHIER HEART: A recent study conducted by Stanford University involving 135,000 married men over a ten year period, found that married men with children are 17% less likely to suffer cardiovascular related diseases. The belief is that men who father children and are active participants in their lives are more physically active, which is good for heart health. 2. REDUCTION IN “BAD HABITS”: A longitudinal study presented by The Oregon State Institute of the US showed men who fathered at either a young age or who were deemed “at risk” made significant adjustments in their lifestyles once their children were born. The study suggests that once these men became Dads, they were considered a role model and a “father figure” – which led to many men giving up bad habits for the benefits of their children. 3. EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: The same study by the Oregon Institute of US indicates that as a Dad, you may experience positive effects on your mental health. It suggests that once the initial adjustments to the new baby are made – you may start to feel better about not only family life, but work life also. This bond you are beginning to develop with your child helps you feel confident, and develop a sense of belonging and purpose, and you may even feel as though you are contributing to something bigger than life itself and that is - someone else’s. The role you play as a father is often overlooked. And, whether you be a

biological father or a stepdad, you have an equally significant role to play in helping to shape your children’s lives. Not only will your presence strengthen your child’s cognitive, language and social development, but it will also support their overall academic achievement and self-esteem. You will contribute to your babies’ self-awareness and to your teen’s life’s perspectives. Right now, you have a unique opportunity to educate your children on valuable skills that will enable them, and more importantly, you will shape, guide and coach another human being to be the best that they can be as an adult. So, make a commitment to be an active father. Your children will greatly benefit from your involvement in their lives.

NB: Ngala offers a variety of resources for new and existing fathers, including parenting programs to help you transition into fatherhood. To find any item of interest, please follow the link below. References: estream. aspx?FileID=14 – The hidden benefits to being an invol ved father, Kate Foggarty and Garret D. Evans, The University of Florida (2004).


february 2017 | mychild


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By Genie Price From the moment your first child is born, you become a teacher. Although not a formally qualified one, whether you like it or not, you instantly become your child’s first and most influential coach. From day one, your child will look to you for so much in life, and what you do matters more than what you say. They watch how you spend your money, how you treat others and more importantly - how you care for them. They will use your actions as a guide to make sense of the world around them and to develop skills to take them further in life as they grow. Research indicates no amount of formal teaching can compare to the influences you have on your offspring, who you teach every day, - by word and by example. And, with the early years being the most significant stage in life, in order to develop your child’s sense of security, social awareness and confidence in learning, the time to do that, is now. Here we talk about the importance of taking on the role of parents as first teachers and how you can give your child a head-start. Being your child’s first teacher is easier than it sounds, and with it, comes huge benefits, such as: HELPING TO DEVELOP SECURE AND TRUSTING ATTACHMENTS: John Bawlby, a British psychologist and founder of the attachment theory, states that by nurturing the mother: child attachment - you give your baby an optimal foundation for life. A foundation which not only builds trust and a willingness to learn but also gives them a healthy sense of self-awareness and consideration for others.

february 2017 | mychild


This form of attachment helps to provide a secure base for your child to explore the outside world, and it also helps them predict that as a parent, you will be there to support them. Throughout Bawlbys studies he identified many children who displayed secure attachments with their parents. He attributed this attachment to children being more readily able to adjust to life at school. The same study indicates that predictable and consistent routines, similar to those established at home, gives a child a sense of love, safety and assurance and encourages the ability to socialise and relate to others well.

has been linked to children’s positive social behaviours. Your child will learn to understand his or her emotional and physical needs can be met through responsive parenting. However, controlling responses to situations, on the other hand, has been linked to negative social behaviours. Your child will be its own unique person. To encourage social skills, a one-size-fitsall approach is not enough. Fine-tune your parenting by carefully observing your child’s personality, their strengths, and weaknesses. Then provide the level of behaviour control, discipline style, and degree of freedom that works best for them -- all the while showing love and support. HELPS ESTABLISH VALUES AND MORALS:

On the other hand, an insecure attachment relationship is one that fails to meet the need for safety and understanding, leading to confusion about oneself and difficulties in learning and relating to others in later life. HELPS DEVELOP EARLY SOCIAL SKILLS: Aside from forming a secure attachment with you; as parents, being your child’s first teacher helps develop social skills. Children do learn by imitation and that can include learning from peers in social conditions, the same as in a “classroom.” But your home is as good as any formal schoolroom to deliver results. Some parents believe that they contribute little more than genes towards personality and behaviours, however, recent studies confirm parenting in the home plays a vital role in foundation learning and social adjustment outside the home. For example warm, responsive parenting


february 2017 | mychild

Mum and Dad, you are the key teacher of all moral values and attitudes that your babies and children will later display. It is you that your child will look up to in everything they do. Respect, kindness, honesty, courage, perseverance, self-discipline, compassion and many more values can be foundered from home. As parents, you should want to instil these kinds of values in your children and by doing so you protect them from potentially negative societal influences. By nurturing respectful values and morals you will also lay the groundwork for your child to understand right from wrong and to contribute positively to society. HELPS DEVELOP EARLY NUMERACY SKILLS:



The crucial skill of literacy is learned at a very young age. By three or four your child can understand and use language spoken

around them without any formal teaching. From the time of birth, talking to your child has a big impact, from the first babbles – talking and exchanging words is important to language development and you can take advantage of this learning-sensitive time by, • Reading aloud to your child – point to words and symbols throughout the book. Encourage your child’s interest and a positive experience. • Talk to them about everything and ask questions - from your surroundings your child will learn words associated with things that are familiar to them and their world. For example, name what you see in the house, as you ride in the car and as you shop in stores. Research suggests that by encouraging the above, will critically enhance your child’s language abilities and ensure that they become good readers and confident communicators. HELPS DEVELOP EMOTIONAL AWARENESS: Children will learn to understand and express their emotions through you, their parents. As babies, through to infancy and beyond – your child will look to you for emotional support when they feel pained or stressed. After the infant stage, your child will begin to notice how you handle your own emotions, as you are considered their emotional role models. For example: when certain emotions are appropriate, what to call their emotions – happy, sad and how to respond to the emotions of others. If you can start to teach

these skills, you will encourage the growth of emotionally healthy and morally sensitive children. Bawlbys research shows the positive outcomes that result from secure attachments having been formed and suggests that it leads to emotional stability, higher self-esteem, independence, empathy, compassion and resilience later in life. What this means Mum and Dad, is that preparing your child for life-long learning starts the minute you bring that wee bundle home from hospital and that their education doesn’t begin when they go off to kindergarten or in a formal classroom. It begins in your home. Regardless of whether you take on full responsibility for your child’s academic careers, you are still considered a teacher, a mentor and guide. The time you contribute to your child and their early education is valuable. Every time you sing the ABC’S or help your child with her homework, or teach them how to ride a bike, to cook or do laundry – is educating them and the lessons learned at home, for good or bad, are the ones that stick. Make them matter. Your children will appreciate it someday.

References: research-to-policy/practice/parents-are-achilds-first-teacher NB: To understand more about attachment theory and attachment parenting please visit- attachment.html

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february 2017 | mychild

february 2017 | mychild


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february 2017 | mychild


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Leah Shannon is a designer and owner of Parade and Company, a lifestyle brand specialising in decor for children’s rooms. She has 15+ years experience in design and a passion for creating children’s spaces that inspire, educate and spark the imagination. 92

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february 2017 | mychild


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february 2017 | mychild



february 2017 | mychild

Dream Catcher Feather, Dreams, Love $50.00 rrp featherdreamslove.

Personalised Wall Plaque Arlo and Co $35.00 rrp

Adventure Banner Made by Mee and Co $45.00 rrp madebymeeandco.

Acorn Art Print Norsu Interiors $79.00 rrp

Pear Cushion Big and Little $35.00 rrp bigandlittle.

Wolf Pillow Henry and Pop $32.00 rrp henrypop.

Credit: Tahnee Pownall, @allaboutparker

Wood Wall Feathers Zilvi $25.00 rrp

Jute Rug Aldi $49.00 rrp

Canopy Numero 74 $219.00 rrp

FoxWall Plaque The Ginger Kids Co $25.00 rrp thegingerkidsco.

Log Side Table Mocka $99.00 rrp february 2017 | mychild





february march 2016 2017 | mychild | mychild


february 2017 | mychild







A sandy, dandy teddy, Bumbly Bear is simply scrummy. A ruffly, fluffy fellow with an extra-long, vintage-style snout, he’s a classic bear with a modern twist. His large head and tummy and chunky feet make him just the chap for bedtime hugs. With those tufty ears and that chocolate-drop nose, he’s a bear necessity! Our verdict Super soft and oh-so-cute, you would be hard pressed to find a baby or toddler that wouldn’t swoon over this cuddly companion. Jellycat’s Bumbly Bear has small arms that are the perfect size for little fingers to wrap around, and his plump bottom makes sitting upright no problem. Perfect for both boys and girls, there’s no denying the benefit of your child having a plush toy to look after.


WIND UP WALTZERS Wind them up and watch them waltz across the floor! With four assorted waltzing dancers available in beautiful ballroom attire, these clever couples are truly captivating. Our Verdict Before you wind up your dancers, make sure you have plenty of table or floor space available, as the minute they get started, they really go for it! They spin around all over the place, and really inspire kids to hit the dance floor themselves, leading them away from the TV. The only downfall of this product is that it makes a rather annoying buzzing noise; some wind-up music would have been a good addition to accompany this cute product.


february 2017 | mychild

childs FROM A VIEW

3/5 LUCKIES YOU COMPLETE ME JIGSAW HEART You Complete Me is a rare thing; a gift that is genuinely romantic, but also understated, classy and unusual. You Complete Me is a heart shaped jigsaw made from beautiful heat-stamped wood, packaged loose in a soft touch box. As the giver, you build the jigsaw, turn it over and write a special message on the rear. Once the message is penned, the jigsaw is broken up and returned to its box to be presented to the person who has stolen your heart. The lucky recipient then makes up the jigsaw, completing it with the central heart shaped piece and turns over to read the message written just for them Our Verdict There’s no denying the sweet, kind-hearted nature of this toy/gift. But while it’s a nice idea to gift this beautiful heart puzzle to your child, or for them to give to one of their friends or sweethearts, the heart is really more of an adult concept. The plain wood colours don’t engage the child, nor does the fact that once gifted it isn’t really something to play with. This item is best used as a nice activity/ present for your child to give to someone else.


JELLYCAT BASHFUL BLOSSOM SILVER BUNNY MEDIUM Blossom Bashful Silver Bunny loves flowers so much that she wears them on her paws and ears! She’s happiest of all when rolling through the buttercups and whizzing down hills!


I love my pretty bunny. She comes to bed with me every night, and I don’t like it when mum forgets to bring her with me when we go to nanna’s house. I did get her dirty outside, but mum washed her in the sink and now you can’t even tell, she’s still fun to cuddle. Our Verdict This Easter-themed toy is the perfect gift for children that are too young to get chocolate from the Easter Bunny. Her flower-patterned ears are perfectly on-theme, without making her look out-dated after Easter. Your child will be grateful for the long-lasting gift, and it will encourage them to not over indulge over the holiday period.



february 2017 | mychild






february 2017 | mychild

roasted sweet potato, kale, poached egg and almonds 0.05 Prep 0.25 Cook

Servings 2

INGREDIENTS • 300g peeled sweet potato, cut into 1cm thick rounds •

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

75g trimmed kale, coarsely chopped

2 eggs, poached

1 tablespoon natural almonds, chopped

METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place potato on prepared tray. Lightly spray with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden and tender. 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add kale and stir until just wilted. 3. Divide the potato among serving plates. Top with the wilted kale mixture and poached eggs. Sprinkle with the almonds.

Photo: Guy Bailey

february 2017 | mychild


roasted sourdough sweet toast potwith AND ALMONDS nut butter, banana and blueberries 0.05 Prep 0.10 0.25 Cook 0.05

Servings Makes 124

INGREDIENTS INGREDIENTS • peeled sweet potato, cut into 1cmtoasted thick rounds • 300g 2 slices wholemeal sourdough bread, • virgin olive oil • 12 teaspoon teaspoonsextra nut butter • garlicofclove, thinly sliced • 1Pinch ground cinnamon • • • • •

75g trimmedsliced kale, coarsely chopped 1/2 banana, 21/4 eggs, cuppoached fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon natural almonds, chopped

METHOD 1. Preheat Spread toast ovenwith to 200C/180C nut Sprinkle forced.with Line a baking trayTop withwith baking paper. Place potato on cinnamon. banana and blueberries. prepared tray. Lightly spray with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden and tender.

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2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add kale and stir until just wilted. 3. Divide the potato among serving plates. Top with the wilted kale mixture and poached eggs. Sprinkle with the almonds.


february 2017 | mychild

Photo: Guy Bailey

roasted egg andsweet cucumber pot AND ALMONDS turkish roll 0.10 Prep 0.25 Cook 0.05

Makes 324

INGREDIENTS INGREDIENTS • 4300g peeled Free sweetRange potato,Eggs cut into 1cm thick rounds • Australian • 1/4 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil • cup (70g) Greek-style yoghurt • 11 celery garlic clove, thinly sliced • stick, chopped finely • • • •

trimmedwholegrain kale, coarsely chopped 275g teaspoons mustard eggs, poached 42 Turkish Rolls, split

1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced lengthways

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

• •

1 tablespoon natural almonds, chopped 30g baby rocket leaves


1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place potato on METHOD prepared tray. Lightly spray with olive oil. Roast 1. Place theminutes eggs in aorsaucepan of cold and for 20-25 until golden and water tender. bring to the boil. Cook for 4 mins. Refresh under 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in athe large non-stick frying cold water. Drain. Peel eggs and thinly slice. pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and 2. Combine the egg, yoghurt, celery andaromatic. mustard cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until in a medium Season. Add kale andbowl. stir until just wilted. 3. Divide Place the bases on a work surface. Top with theroll potato among serving plates. Top the egg mixture, cucumber, springeggs. onion withrocket, the wilted kale mixture and poached and breadwith tops. Sprinkle the almonds.

Photo: Guy Bailey

february 2017 | mychild


chicken, bacon and pineapple puzzle sandwiches 0.15 Prep 0.10 Cook

Makes 4

INGREDIENTS • 2 teaspoons olive oil •

4 shortcut bacon rashers

4 slices White Sliced Bread

4 slices Wholemeal Sliced Bread

20g soft butter

1/4 barbecued chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded

2 tablespoons barbecue sauce

20g baby spinach leaves

4 drained canned pineapple rings

METHOD 1. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon for 3 mins each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. 2. Spread one side of each of the white and wholemeal bread slices with butter. Place the white bread slices on a clean work surface. Top with spinach, bacon, chicken, barbecue sauce and pineapple. Place the wholemeal bread slices, buttered-side down, over the pineapple. Use a puzzle cutter to cut shapes from sandwiches. Alternatively, cut into squares to serve.


february 2017 | mychild

chicken kiev with broccolini and beans 0.10 Prep 0.35 Cook

INGREDIENTS • 700g pkt Chicken Kiev •

1 bunch broccolini

200g green beans, trimmed

1 cup (120g) frozen peas

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons olive oil

METHOD 1. Cook the chicken following packet directions. 2. Meanwhile, combine the broccolini, beans and peas in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and stand for 3 mins. Refresh under cold water. Drain. 3. Drizzle the broccolini mixture with oil and sprinkle with lemon zest. Season. 4. Divide the broccolini mixture among serving plates. Top with the chicken Kiev.

february 2017 | mychild


pumpkin, brown rice and spinach salad 0.10 Prep 0.30 Cook

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS • 1 cup (200g) brown rice •

1/2 (about 800g) butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces

1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil

1 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan

1 garlic clove, crushed

120g pkt Australian Baby Spinach

1/3 cup (25g) flaked almonds, toasted

METHOD 1. Cook the rice following packet directions. Drain well. Set aside to cool completely. 2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the pumpkin on the lined tray and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Season. Gently toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, for 25-30 mins or until golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool slightly. 3. While the pumpkin is roasting, place the mint, parmesan, garlic, 1/2 cup of the spinach and 1/4 cup (20g) of the almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining oil in a thin, steady stream until the pesto is well combined. Season to taste.


february 2017 | mychild

4. Place the rice, pumpkin and remaining spinach in a large bowl. Add half the pesto and gently toss to combine. Transfer the rice mixture to a large serving bowl or platter. Drizzle with the remaining pesto and sprinkle with remaining almonds.

easy blueberry tarts 0.15 Prep 0.15 Cook


125g blueberries

1/3 cup (80ml) orange juice

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 teaspoons cornflour

2 x 150g pkts Make At Home Tart Shells

300ml thickened cream

Blueberries, extra, to serve

METHOD 1. Place the blueberries, orange juice, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 6-8 mins or until the blueberries just soften. Combine the cornflour and 1 tablespoon of water in a small jug. Add to the blueberry mixture and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool completely. 2. Divide the blueberry mixture among the tart shells. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Place in a sealable plastic bag. Cut off 1 corner and pipe the cream onto the tarts. Top with the blueberries to serve.

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february 2017 | mychild


croissant french toast with strawberries 0.05 Prep 0.10 Cook

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS • • 1 Australian Free Range Egg •

2 tablespoons milk

Large pinch ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

10g butter

2 Bakery Croissants, split

1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream, whipped

100g fresh strawberries

1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup

METHOD 1. Whisk the egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium bowl. 2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place the croissant halves in the egg mixture for 10 secs to soak. Cook the croissant halves for 3 mins each side or until lightly browned. 3. Place the croissant halves on serving plates. Top with the cream and strawberries. Drizzle with the maple syrup to serve.

All recipes sourced from


february 2017 | mychild

february 2017 | mychild


t x e n r u o r o f t u o k Loo e u s s i y l h t n mo t a s u t i s i v o s l a and WEB






february 2017 | mychild

My Child Magazine February 2017 Issue  

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