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Bumper Christmas gift guide

Mum & nanna dynamics



Which way is up?

best position for baby and you


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


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Editor’s column

H Up up and away… let your imagination soar with this beautiful vintage hot-air balloon from Oliver’s Twisty Tales. The large balloons are $156.95. Pick them up from oliverstwistytales.com.au.


ello, let me introduce myself. Over the years I have worked in various magazines from fashion to travel and now to children. I have travelled the four corners of the globe and have decided to let the dust settle around my feet so with my three wonderful girls we have set up home again in Sydney. It is an exciting time for My Child magazine as we increase our digital presence so you, the reader, can thumb through our pages any time of the day or night and get all of our news all the time. Scarily, it is only four weeks till Christmas and if you are like me you will probably have left your Christmas shopping until the last minute, so we have put together a gift guide for you to find those special presents – and you don’t even have to leave your home! From the team at My Child magazine we wish you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful festive season.

Sa m

Cover shot Our December cover was photographed by Amanda Gulser of Jelly Baby Photography in Melbourne. Amanda specialises in beautiful creative newborn photography and you can contact her on 0457 009 997 or by emailing amanda@jellybabyphotography.com.au.

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120 120

50 42


contents COVER STORIES 26 66 78 90 96 112 84

An issue of inequality in education! Homeopathy explained Nanna no-no! Nappy know-how Christmas Guide Toddler health Help with ezcema


42 Back in Black Monotone and fun 44 Talking Design Equira 46 Interiors report Pastel Pretty 50 Interiors my space Mr Luka’s Big boys room 56 Cooking Time for pud! 62 What’s in Store


58 Subscribe for free! Win one of five 12 Editor’s picks Ergobaby Ventus Carriers worth $209 14 Bits & bobs News & reviews each 20 My 5 favourites Gillian Rose from 80 Register now! To enter Danish by Design shares her top product the My Child Excellence picks Awards 2015 22 My business Meet Michelle Kuramochi, owner of Little M who imports innovative products into Australia




Behind the label Minihaha

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mychild | december 2014


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130 16

contents PREGNANCY & BIRTH Give back pain the boot How to make back pain managable. Best position for labour How to…get a massage Third trimester exercise? Shopping

70 74 87 88 92

BABY & TODDLER 94 107 109 110 116



12 PRESCHOOLER & BIG KIDS 124 Stranger danger! Danger from Cyberspace 130 Shopping 132 News A new app for kids to film and make their own movies 134 Game on! How to make games fun and fair


Shopping 30 News Teaspoon vs tablespoon which one 34 is correct for medicine dosage How to… choose a highcair Taking a trip How to travel with toddlers What’s hot for bare bots with so many nappies to choose from!

mychild | december 2014

Family matters Parents Disagree The witching hour in some homes you can set your watch to it.

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

Available at:

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

november 2014 | mychild





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

CONTACT 61 2 9446 1614 mychildmagazine.com.au


My Child magazine and mychildmagazine.com.au are wholly owned by Little Blue Dog (ABN 611 996 81 521). No other parties or individuals have any financial interest in the company or in My Child or mychildmagazine.com.au. My Child contains general information only and does not purport to be a substitute for health and parenting advice. Readers are advised to seek a doctor for all medical and health matters. The publisher and authors do not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of an action taken by readers in reliance on the recommendations set out in this magazine. Reproduction of any material without written permission by the publisher is strictly forbidden. We cannot accept responsibility for material lost or damaged in the post or for any unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders.



mychild | december 2014

Stay close to the heart of your home from any room with a VTech Safe & Sound baby monitor. Refined audio and full-colour video bring you every smile, giggle or sigh, so you can rest assured your little one is sleeping safe and sound. Find out more at auphones.vtech.com



mychild | december 2014

Join the ‘VTech Baby Monitors Australia’ Facebook community facebook.com/auphones.vtech

my child promotion


shopping online for pregnancy, baby and kids’ ge

just for mums koolamandesigns.com.au babynappybags.com.au newbeginnings.com.au loveloops.com.au metromum.com.au littlesilverprints.com.au manthaandyou.com.au healthymummy.com.au lassig.com.au thestorknest.com.au

baby care difrax.com.au pigeonbaby.com.au medela.com.au yourcheekymonkey.com.au essentialbabyneeds.com gelpack.com.au bambooty.com.au keepmecosy.com.au peapods.com.au stokke.com

eco friendly earlybirds.com.au masterandmiss.com.au ittybittygreenie.com.au moltex.com.au ettitude.com.au babyluvdesigns.com.au naturaltransition.com avidiva.com.au raindropsandlollipops.com.au petitarmoir.com.au



mychild | october 2014

out & about babybjorn.com.au gear4baby.com.au haggusandstookles.com.au hugglebabycarriers.com.au bumbo.com.au tooshcoosh.com.au fridge-to-go.net.au hugabub.com limetreekids.com.au bambooty.com.au

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

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


ear? give these great sites a go!

baby fashion oishi-m.com plumcollections.com.au puretots.com.au brightbots.com.au maxandtilly.com.au angelfishdragonfly.com.au skiptomylou.com.au buddhababy.com.au gaiaorganiccotton.com.au littlefrenchy.com.au

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

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

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

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

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

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Your little one will have a heap of rainbow fun with Charlie the monkey, $38. He’s handmade too. Head to downthatlittlelane.com.au Reve de Pan’s sweet wooden car rattle, $35 from revedepan.com, fits perfectly in baby’s hands. Girls will blossom with this Mooce Forever dress, $49.95 in sizes 2 to 7, at mooce.com.au. Sewn by hand, this Argentinean cat by Babyssimo, €21.90, is a cool dude! See en.babyssimo.de. Chief Red Cloud by Bang Bang Kid is a classic plastic indian in a unique size. He’s £110 at thekidwho.eu. Hang ’em high with a peg rail by The Contemporary Home, £24. You can get it at tch.net. With fun slices of colour, this pie chart rug, $499 by Donna Wilson, is made from super soft lambswool. Visit littleville.com.au.

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Ted & Toot is a designer children’s clothing boutique that specialises in “modern vintage” handmade overalls (check out their Whimsical Critter range), bags, pinafores and more. Triple stitched, fully lined and with quality buttons and snaps, these Christmasinspired overalls are $49 each. Available through tedandtoot.com.au.

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BEST BOOKS One Night Share this traditional Northern European folk tradition. which tells the story of the farm animals who saw the birth of Jesus miraculously given the gift of speaking in human voices. This miracle has been repeated on every Christmas Eve ever since (Omnibus Books, hardback $24.99). Santa’s Busy Reindeer Read aloud this rhyming story of Santa’s reindeer and all the things they get up to before their busiest day of the year. The presents are all wrapped and the sleigh is packed, but 10 of Santa’s reindeer still have a great deal to prepare. The delightful illustrations have hidden numbers to look for in every scene (Scholastic, hardback $16.99). Ten Christmas Crackers Sing along to the tune of 10 Green Bottles as an Aussie family counts down to Christmas. From 10 Christmas crackers ready to pop to one last present underneath the tree, there’s a load of singing fun to be had (Hachette, paperback $14.99, ebook $11.99)!



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If you love handmade, all those beautiful, unique, intricate items made with love, care and attention to detail, then you need to visit Handmade Cooperative. As both crafters and mums, these ladies love artisan products and want to pass on their love of handmade to their children – and other people’s children for that matter. They are devoted to bringing you the latest products for kids out in the Australian handcraft marketplace. www. handmadecooperative.

loves Matched with his own little toy snowman, this cute Christmas moose by Aussie studio Indie Art & Design is super cuddly for little kids and big kids at heart. He’s $39.95 and available from indie.com.au.

SANTA FUN RUN Set the stage for the silly season with this year’s Variety Santa Fun Run. Held on Sunday December 7 in capital cities across Australia, the aim is to fundraise for kids who are disadvantaged, sick or have special needs. What’s more, you can also get dressed up in a special lightweight Santa suit – cotton shorts, top, belt, hat and beard will all be supplied – to ‘hohoho’ your way along the 5km route. Everyone is welcome, including children. Find out more at varietysantafunrun.com.au.

the only calming device that delivers soothing white noise directly to baby, at the safe 75 decibel level as recommended by The Children Hearing Institute in New York.


With Aussies spending $789 million on unwanted gifts each year, it may be worthwhile remembering all the children who don’t receive anything this season. Christmas can be a heart-breaking time for those affected by abuse, neglect, homelessness or poverty. To find out how to donate gifts and/or cash or to fundraise for Barnardos Gifts for Kids, head to barnardos.org.au/giftsforkids.

Another innovative safer sleep product from the makers of the

Ideal for: breastfeeding, parent and child bonding, reducing parental and child anxiety and relaxing baby by mimicking familiar sounds experienced in the womb

scan to find out more www.gro.co.uk

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ideas | bits & bobs

MUMMY BLOGGER OF THE MONTH Mums Take 5 is written by Aussie mums and good friends Bel Hamilton and Nic Kennedy. Bel is an busy wife and mum based in Sydney. She has three very active children, two sons aged 11 and six and a daughter, two. She can usually be found creating magic in the kitchen, running around after kids or trying to get fit at the gym. Nic is a FIFO wife and mum and has two kids, a three-year-old daughter and a son, two. Nic loves her semi rural lifestyle, working in her family’s busy floristry business in Perth and renovating her house. Here Bel tells us about the blog. How did you first get into blogging? I started Mums Take 5 nearly six years ago as a journal. As people started to read and ask for more, I was keen to keep going but couldn’t do it all. Being a stay-at-home mum is a full-time job so I asked my friend, Nic, if she’d join me on the blogging journey and we haven’t looked back! Tell us about your blog We grew out of our blog very quickly and had a custom site made. We had to write plans and schedules to keep on top of the sudden growth. It’s been a great learning curve and we’ve loved building our community. We’re just normal mums too! We have washing waiting to be folded and probably cereal in our hair. We want to create this little space where mums like us can sit down with a cup of coffee (hot if they’re lucky), have a quick read and be inspired with something for dinner, a kids’ craft concept or a gardening idea. The tagline for our blog is “Taking five minutes for myself” – as all mums should do every day – but we don’t always get to it. Although Nic and I have such different lives, we are both actively



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involved in our communities – schools, sporting teams, playgroups etc. We are very close friends but with very different interests and lifestyles. We work off each other – getting excited and inspired by what the other is up to. How do you find the time? Our families take priority so blogging is often at night. We both have kids at home – no daycare or nannies – so we just get little bits done when we can. It can be a balancing act but when you love what you do, you find the time. What do you love about blogging? Our community. We have made some fabulous friends through our blogging; most we’ve never met in person! Our readers and followers are so supportive and encourage and inspire us, and the blogging community is amazing. Any advice for beginners? It isn’t as easy as it looks so be prepared. Plan ahead and learn your technical skills – it’s much cheaper, faster and easier to have the ability and understanding yourself. Back-up and protect yourself online and remember the world can see your blog. Make decisions before you start on how much of your children, family and private lives you are going to share. Which is your favourite blog post? Our Lego cookies post is our most popular but as it’s December our Christmas crafts and kids’ crafts are what we are working on right now. You can see them here: mumstakefive.com/ index.php/craft-learn-play/christmas.

Leander remarkable furniture “To design quality furniture for children, one has to see the world through their eyes and understand their need for safety and opportunity to develop.� Stig Leander, founder & designer.

Phone: 03 9588 0999 info@danishbydesign.com.au www.danishbydesign.com.au




Aeroplane pinboards $129.95 each by Al+Em alandem.com.au



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Arbonne skincare I love that all of the products are plant based and not tested on animals. Using this range has made such a difference to my skin and I just adore my consultant, Delia MacKenzie. Head over to delia. myarbonne.com.au.

Al+Em pinboards These cool feltfinished boards, which I discovered earlier this year, are made from recycled milk bottles in Australia. They’re decorative and practical and can be cut into any shape you like.

D’Affinois French soft cheese Oh, my goodness, heavenly! Quite expensive and probably not good for me but it’s a real treat. Get it from some supermarkets and good delis.

Leander Chair Although my kids are now in their teens we still have their (high) chairs in the house. Used daily at their desks and the piano, they also act as spare chairs when extra guests come for dinner. Got to love something that’s so practical and of such a beautiful design. See danishbydesign.com.

Minskat Copenhagen handbags This is a brand-new range by two Danish sisters, one based here and the other in Copenhagen. Min skat means “my darling” and my bag has become a favourite possession (obsession?) Sheer luxury. Check out minskatcopenhagen.com.

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MESH RING SLING $51.95 by Sukkiri



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s a long-haul flight attendant for the past 15 years, Michelle says she sees so many amazing products around the world that we don’t have here in Australia. After becoming a mum of two she decided she wanted to launch a business that focused on the importation, distribution and retailing of products that are ethically manufactured and in a league of their own when it comes to design, quality, function, innovation and style. Michelle named her business after the two “little M’s” in her life: her daughter Marly and her son, Maicah.

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE BUSINESS? I’m the director of Little M but am still involved in everything, and my work and home life are juggled throughout the day. After getting my kids off to school, I liaise with our wholesale customers and our sales agent, Wholesale Baby. Then I pick and pack our daily orders and respond to customer emails and telephone enquiries. We aim to provide our customers with an outstanding level of support – both before and after they purchase. Currently,

the business is in a huge growth period and we are systemising everything further to ensure we don’t miss anything! We have just opened a retail showroom in Kingscliff, NSW, where we also run our wholesale warehouse operations from the back.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTS? I import practical products for practical parents and all are ethically manufactured. Plus they are of high quality, innovative, functional and stylish. Our brands include Cheeky Chompers, SUPPORi baby slings, Sukkiri mesh ring slings and many others. With UK brand Cheeky Chompers, the creators identified a gap in the market for an attached teething product from their own experiences with picking up and resanitising teethers and losing countless teethers with their own dribbling babies. So they designed the Neckerchew using the best fabrics and materials that they could source. Proudly manufactured in the UK, the Neckerchew has been stringently tested to meet Australian regulations and is made >

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ideas | my business

CHEWY TEETHING BIB $19.99 by Neckerchew

within an Oeko-tex certified factory that has been voted ethical consumer manufacturer for the last five years. Another great company that I work with is Lucky Industries, which is the oldest and most trusted baby carrier manufacturer in Japan. Founded in 1934, the company prides itself on being pioneers of the baby industry with ongoing product development, research and testing. The company itself and its products show a true commitment to the safety and comfort of babies. Products include the SUPPORi baby sling and Sukkiri mesh ring sling.

WHAT’S NEXT? I plan to have our Neckerchews and SUPPORi slings on shelves across Australia and New Zealand. Mums contact us every day wanting to know where they can go to buy our products.



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I want to be able to give everyone the chance to see how easy the SUPPORi makes carrying a baby around – there are no fandangle straps or ties, instead pure simplicity and comfort by design – and for every bub with sore gums to

“I want to be able to give everyone the chance to see how easy the SUPPORi makes carrying a baby around…” have a Neckerchew from their local baby shop, chemist or department store. I’m also keen to to systemise my business more and automate it more so it will allow me to operate from anywhere in the world. * Visit littlem.com.au, facebook.com/cheekychompers ausnz and facebook.com/SUPPORiAusNzBabySling.

made in the uk

Cuddle and chew I’m attached to you

Join us at

8 cheekychompers.com.au * mychild | december 2014

Chewable Comforting Stimulating Attached Washable




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n the US, and similarly here in Australia, if you are a child from a poorer family today, you face two extra disadvantages in your family life that the poor in the Great Depression typically did not experience. Firstly, the parents’ relationship with each other is likely to be much less stable than that of those of better-off parents. In the past, the differences in stability across the classes were much less pronounced. Today’s increased relationship instability for the poor – relative to the well off – is an extra burden for their children, an additional limitation on their access to income, social capital and time with their birth parents. Secondly, the parents’ relationship with their child is likely to be distinctly different from the way today’s better-off parents interact with their children. University-educated parents are investing much more time plus a higher proportion of their income on educating and

developing their children than their well-off counterparts did in the past. In comparison, poorer, typically less well-educated parents have not made a parallel shift. They tend to carry on with a more traditional, less proactive approach to parenting. Parents who are university educated seem to recognise more profoundly the importance of high skills in the globalised labour market and are preparing their kids more intensively than is the case with their less well-educated peers. These two factors are quite disastrous for inequality. There is already a well known and widening income gap between rich and poor. However, the increasingly different family life experienced by the children of the poor looks likely only to compound that disadvantage. It is reducing still further the children’s opportunities for social mobility, particularly in a world where education is vital to getting ahead economically. >

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in my view

STABILITY Let’s take the stability issue first. Universityeducated parents are typically waiting until they are older and financially settled before marrying to have children in fairly stable relationships. At the other end of the income scale, kids are tending to be born to younger parents who are less likely to be married and, more importantly, whose relationships are less stable. Parents, in short, are having children before they have settled their partner relationship. This means these children’s relationships with the adults in the household are often unstable – they may experience multiple partnership changes during childhood and considerable complexity in household arrangements. There are considerable costs of such change. For example, in a household whose kids have several fathers, some men may be reluctant to pay any child support. A father may feel that, because another man’s child lives there, he can’t control how his financial contribution is spent. Likewise, mothers may hinder access to children fathered by ex-partners. So, whereas fathers in intact parental relationships are spending much more time than in the past with their children, they are often spending much less time, or perhaps none at all, when separated from the mother. In short, in unstable households, there are disincentives for parents to operate in a way that maximises the use of their time and money in favour of the children.

THE “MARRIAGEABILITY TEST” Why are less educated parents having children in less stable partnerships? Partly because the sexual revolution of the 1960s removed the shame of falling pregnant outside marriage. In addition, economic changes have been at least as important. Unskilled men seem less “marriageable” in traditional terms. Men without university degrees have experienced declining income and



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employment opportunities as well as reduced job security in a period when women’s earnings have risen along with their qualifications. So it has become much harder for many men to pass the “marriageability test” of earning as much, plus a bit more, than his would-be wife.

“Men without university degrees have experienced declining income and employment opportunities as well as reduced job security in a period when women’s earnings have risen along with their qualifications” There are, thus, fewer incentives for a woman to wait until the right man with good earning potential comes along. As a consequence, in the US we are seeing, for example, poorer African American men being shut out of family life. Some are reacting by opting for a hyper-masculinity. There is a lot of mistrust of the opposite sex among men and women of the lower educational groups. There is more domestic violence, more drug and alcohol use and a lot more incarceration.

PARENTAL TIME FOR KIDS Added to this is a different appreciation between the social classes of the inputs that children need for the modern age. University-educated parents are spending more time with their children even when they are working – reading with them, having meals with them. Although mothers were at home more in the past, they were not doing things with their children. Today, working mums – and dads – are giving up leisure and spending high-quality time with their children. In families where parents are less well educated, children are often getting less father time, because fathers are not around after

separation. Mothers, often on their own – and trying to earn for the family as well – simply don’t have the time, energy or skills to make up the deficit.

WHAT CAN BE DONE? What can be done to address these additional disadvantages for the children of less well-off parents? It would help to delay parenthood until relationships are more stable. Also good access to contraception is necessary but not sufficient in itself – there need to be additional incentives to bear children later in life. Women need opportunities to get well-paid work – hence the current attention in the US to improve childhood education. In some European countries such as Sweden, postnatal benefits are related to years spent at work. In these countries, women have been successfully incentivised to delay motherhood until they have sufficient access to these benefits. We are also seeing evidence that, in such countries, co-habiting relationships are more stable than in the US, although not as stable as marriages. Something also has to be done for poorer men. What has happened to them in the last 30 years has been a disaster for the family. They used to be able to bring home the bacon and, now, many can’t. They need to be able to bring something to the table – in terms of income. But perhaps we also need to raise both the skills and the social status of men in childrearing. Within the constraints of our globalised economy, we must tackle issues within family life that are depriving the poorer children of access to parenting, income, social capital and educational skills. If we fail, it is difficult to see how we can successfully challenge rising inequality and diminishing social mobility. * Sara S McLanahan is a professor of sociology and public affairs. This is an edited article from the Child and Family Blog. Visit childandfamilyblog. princeton.edu for more informative stories.

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ot long ago experts recommended that parents should always agree on issues related to the upbringing of their children. The experts said it was not good for children to receive one message from the mother and another from the father. Part of their reasoning was that many of the interactions between parents and children were ongoing power struggles, therefore parents had to present a united front. Today we know better. There is only one aspect of the past that makes sense, namely



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the idea of parental leadership. If leadership is left with children they do not thrive – neither do they develop as healthy human beings.

PARENTS ARE DIFFERENT The notion that children need parents who are in absolute agreement is outdated. The fact is that parents are different. They have different backgrounds, different personalities and different genders (mostly). They might agree on the basics, nevertheless their individual differences will show in their

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family matters day-to-day interactions. This cannot – and should not – be otherwise. The only other option is to nominate one of the parents as the “boss”, however this reduces the other to assistant, maid or perhaps servant – and, even so, uniformity is impossible. The fact is that children are fully capable of living with their parents’ differences. They will

Children will always benefit from having a father and a mother who feel comfortable about themselves as parents and who truly accept each other’s differences. not feel unsafe or confused as it was once thought. One might wonder why children initially were given two parents if they had to be identical, agree on everything and act as one. However, parents do need to agree on one thing, namely that it is all right to be different. An interesting aspect of parenting is that we automatically end up doing many of the things we did not like about our own parents. We all do it – even though we try hard not to. There is no point in blaming each other or feeling guilty about it. There is, however, a good reason for stopping it – instead of trying to justify it. When parents’ individual differences lead to arguments and conflicts it is a good idea to consider your own upbringing and share this with your partner. It will prevent unproductive discussions about the right way of being a mother or a father. Instead, you will be able to work out what kind of parent you are and perhaps why this is so. The focus of discussions about upbringing should not be about who is right or who is wrong, but about the best conditions for the children. Children will always benefit from having a father and a mother who feel comfortable



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about themselves as parents and who truly accept each other’s differences.

PARENTS DISAGREE There is a difference between being different and disagreeing. Disagreeing is really about principles, theories or ideologies. Disagreements are often about “right” and “wrong” opinions and attitudes. The ultimate aim is inevitably to highlight that we are “right” and the other is “wrong”. It is not good for children to grow up with this role modelling.

ATTITUDES & ACTIONS When it comes to upbringing, we often present our attitudes after we have acted. Most parents are against violence against children. If a parent has felt hopeless and desperate often enough and ends up hitting their children, they have two options. Firstly to slowly adopt the attitude that it does not harm children if they are smacked occasionally – after all, it is the children’s own fault. This is how many parents justify their actions. The second is to seek help to control their actions. The first option is inappropriate but understandable. It is difficult to cope when we constantly do things we do not really want to do. One coping mechanism is to turn a “wrong” into a “right”.

THEORIES The world is full of theories and ideas about upbringing. They all tell parents what to do in various situations and different types of conflicts. However, it is not a good idea to follow any of this advice too closely, especially while your children are young. This is because they are generalisations: at best they refer to an average child and they certainly do not take into consideration your individual child. You also need to remember that many of these theories have been

developed by academics and educators. This means they might be suitable for the use in institutions but they are rarely about relationships between parents and children, and none of them take into consideration the complex reality of your particular family. It is more important for parents to consider and discuss the general values and principles they would like to be part of their family, and leave the pedagogical theories for when you need to select a daycare centre or school. Some theories quickly become dogmatic ideologies. This is dangerous, especially when they become more important than the people involved. Then we are approaching a totalitarian system – no matter how loving and child-friendly the ideologies might seem. It can only ever offer parents some kind of security. The children will always end up as victims.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Ironically, our children are so dear to us that we often become both irrational and unreasonable when we interact with them. This is the way it is – and it is perfectly alright. When an argument or conflict is over, we can take a more level-headed look at things. Then it is time to enter into a sensible conversation about the actual content.

It is more important for parents to consider and discuss the general values and principles they would like to be part of their family Parenting is like a mixed bag of lollies. There are bits of our own upbringing, various parenting theories and attitudes – combined with our individualities, differences, disagreements and a desire to get things our way. Therefore, it is a good idea to go through some kind of structured discussion:

• what do I stand for and why? What does my partner stand for and why? • are our discussions about our children or are they really about something different? • do my actions correspond with my ideas? • what is the real problem: the child or us as parents? • what kind of expert advice is available relating to this particular problem? • can we agree on doing some things differently?

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY… Bringing up children is like any other aspect of family life. It is a mutual process where everyone learns from each other. It is no good for parents to agree that something is right if the children react negatively – become unhappy and are constantly frustrated, aggressive or sad. Then the parents must take another look at their attitudes or theories until the children regain their happiness and zest for life. It is not pleasant – neither is it good – for children if their parents are constantly insecure, perplexed or opinionated. This makes the children feel lonely, isolated and ignored. It is perfectly all right to have certain values and thrive with these – as long you are prepared to accept that other members of your family do not feel the same way. Regular arguments and power struggles between parents make children insecure, anxious and make them feel guilty. If your family functions like that, it is a good idea to seek professional help for the sake of the entire family’s wellbeing. It is silly to argue over what is right for so long, that things go seriously wrong. * The FamilyLab book Raising Competent Children (Rockpool Publishing, $24.99) is available in most bookstores and baby shops. To read 10 pages for free visit familylab.com.au in Eu

rope No. , ov 1 bes er 50 ts 0,00 eller 0 co pies so


A new way of developing relationships with children


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mychild | december 2014



he baby healthcare sister in the clinic located near me used to refer to this time as the “mothering hour”. At my best friend’s house they called it the “grizzle zone” and to this day she puts her survival down to arrowroot biscuits and gin. At our place it’s known as the “witching hour”. It’s that special time every day when absolutely nobody is happy – especially me. The Witching Hour happens between 4.30 and 6.30pm so technically it’s two hours of misery. In winter it’s grey and chilly and you wish you had remembered to bring in the clothes earlier. In summer it’s hot and humid and the sun won’t drop behind the garage for another hour. It’s the time small babies are in a muddle. They’re hungry but too tired to enjoy eating. They’re tired but too hungry to sleep. They’re damp and crotchety and want you to cuddle them and make dinner at the same time. Toddlers are all of the above, only more so. They stamp and shriek and hit people, and do

not like that program that’s on the television. They want the other one. No, not that one – the one with all the fish in it! You know – the f-i-i-i-i-i-s-s-h! Then suddenly, at 5.15pm, toddlers collapse sobbing in sad little heaps and fall fast asleep. But they can’t sleep now, can they? Because, if they do, they’ll never sleep tonight and you need them to sleep tonight because tonight you want to go to a movie or the parent-teacher evening or out to dinner. Or maybe you just want to collapse in a sad little heap and fall fast asleep. Whatever the reason, toddlers cannot sleep between 4 and 6pm. They have to be fed and bathed. Of course, bathing and feeding makes them feel good, makes them feel great. In fact, it makes them feel wide awake, but now it’s time for bed. Go on, tell them. I dare you. The Witching Hour is when eight-year-olds remind you that you promised you’d make a cake for tomorrow’s canteen and they need >

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family a Where’s Wally? costume for the Book Week parade. The Book Week parade is tomorrow also. They told you last week. Can’t you remember anything? Ten-year-olds use the Witching Hour to explain they have to have the rainforest project in tomorrow and that the only green texta has gone dry. And, oh, they left the research book at school and now there is something wrong with the internet. Did you remember to pay the account? Fifteen-year-olds, on the other hand, are not very demanding during Witching Hour. They have absolutely no idea why Mr Parker wants you to come and see him. He teaches commerce and is always going off his brain about one thing or another. If they were you, they would just ignore him. During Witching Hour, 15-year-old boys sprawl on the sofa in dirty sports gear with their footy boots on the coffee table and chant a kind of tired mantra. ‘What’s for dinner?’ ‘Chicken curry.’ ‘We always have chicken curry.’ ‘No, we don’t.’ ‘I hate chicken curry.’ ‘No, you don’t. You had it last week.’ ‘I told you we always have chicken curry.’ In my experience, 15-year-old girls generally spend the Witching Hour on their mobiles. They don’t like chicken curry either. One Witching Hour, when the kids were small, I went outside to scream or water the garden, or maybe both. I can’t remember now. When I worked my way around to the front of the house, I found the MOTH (the Man of the House) sitting in the car reading the newspaper. He looked very guilty indeed. He explained that when he found himself home earlier than expected he usually stayed in the car until he reckoned the worst of the crying and shouting was over. ‘It’s safer that way,’ he said, cheerfully. This is probably not the sort of thing to tell



mychild | december 2014

a woman with a garden hose in her hand. Now that everyone’s a bit older, the Witching Hour’s quieter, but still, I’m never quite ready for it. I would like to skip the bit where I plod in carrying bags of groceries, struggle over the school bag and sports gear that’s been dumped in the hallway, and sift through the pile of flyers and bills on the kitchen counter. I can never decide which frozen lump to defrost and I’d rather bypass the dishes in the sink, the clothes still flapping on the line and the chopping board covered with crumbs and melted cheese. I shouldn’t complain, though. It’s good to be home. I can hear the MOTH backing the car over someone’s bike and there’s Jack wagging his tail from the forbidden depths of the MOTH’s favourite armchair. Now is the time of day to climb into the prehistoric tracksuit and the daggy slippers not allowed out in polite society. I can nibble the fag ends of other people’s late afternoon snacks while getting dinner ready because, as you and I know, other people’s leftovers have no kilojoules. And if things get too bad, I’ll talk to the dog. Dogs don’t know the meaning of the Witching Hour. Jack’s just happy to be here. And so’s my “bad baby” Ruff Red. ‘What’s for dinner?’ ‘Chicken curry.’ ‘We always have chicken curry.’ ‘No, we don’t.’ ‘I hate chicken curry.’ ‘No, you don’t. You had it last week.’ ‘I told you, we always have chicken curry.’ Pass the gin, would you? * This is an edited extract from Family Matters: Laughter and Wisdom from the Home Front by Pat McDermott (Allen & Unwin, $29.99), on sale now. Pat McDermott is a regular columnist at The Australian Women’s Weekly. She has three daughters and two sons, one of whom is known as “Ruff Red”.

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

Available from www.nuk.com.au

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SUZY PRINT SUNDRESS $42.95 by Bebe by Minihaha



mychild | december 2014



oanne started her business from scratch 20 years ago and has been the managing director ever since along with every role in between! With two teenage boys, Jamie and Noah, keeping her busy throughout that time, she has worked extremely hard to make the company the Australian and international success it is today.

WHEN DID YOU LAUNCH YOUR LABEL? I launched the company in 1994 having just moved here from living in Bali for five years prior to that. We have five brands, Bebe by Minihaha, Fox & Finch Baby, Fox & Finch, Tahlia by Minihaha and Sophia by Minihaha, which were all launched over the last 12 years. We owned other brands before that, which unfortunately no longer exist. I was inspired by the creative and exciting products that were available in Indonesia. Over the years my labels have evolved into their own signatures but, initially, being able to sell a range so different to what was already in the market here was my motivation.

TELL ME ABOUT THE TEAM? We have 20 full-time staff, who all contribute to creating our beautiful ranges each season. We have two designers, Jennifer and Jodi, who are responsible for all of our brands, and two design assistants as well as a strong production team. Our Victorian customers are serviced at our head office by our sales team of Susan and

Jacqui. Our warehouse is also housed here and efficiently run by our warehouse manager, Tom.

WHAT HAS BEEN MOST CHALLENGING FOR YOU? Initially, the most challenging thing was the fact that I was new to Australia (I was born and raised in England) and had no experience in running a wholesale business. With trial and error I learned what worked and what did not in terms of everything from commercial styling to cash management. It was a long hard grind before we were running profitably and successfully but I never stopped working very hard and would never take no for an answer!

IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU WISH YOU’D BEEN GIVEN? I wish I had been told not to be ashamed to seek help financially in order to grow quicker if you truly believe in your product.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? I really love it when we receive all of our new season’s samples and see how beautiful they are – it takes a good six months of working at minute and intricate details to ensure we get the perfect collection, and seeing it all come together at the end is so satisfying. Being able to be around babies and kids during our photo shoots is always wonderful, too, especially as we use a lot of our models from one season to the next – it is lovely to see them grow up. >

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fashion | behind the label


both by Fox & Finch



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WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WORKING FOR YOURSELF? Being able to be flexible with my working hours and, especially when the kids were younger, being able to meet their needs and not feeling pulled between a job and family.

HOW IS YOUR LABEL DIFFERENT? We focus very much on what is in high fashion at the moment from both colour and styling perspectives. We are very influenced by the European fashion trends but have our own style that has taken years to refine.

HOW DO YOU MARKET THE LABEL? We have a very strong collection of retail stores that we sell to, including David Jones, Myer and Baby Bunting, as well as over 300 boutiques across Australia and New Zealand. We also sell through a distributor in Japan who does trade shows to promote our brands, and we recently launched Facebook and Instagram pages, which are growing strongly. We advertise in selected magazines as well as being asked for product for editorial in a number of magazines throughout the year.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? I hope to continue as strongly as we are now with our brands and continue to build on the excellent reputation we have as a company to both our retailers and the general public.

ANY ADVICE FOR OTHERS WANTING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS? Be ready to give it everything you have and to work incredibly hard for a long time before the rewards are truly obvious. Use all the resources you have on hand and try and get some advice from a mentor or someone who is working in the same industry to help you along the way when things seem really tough. * To find out more visit minihaha.com.au, facebook. com/minihahaandhiawatha and instagram.com/ minihaha_hiawatha.

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JULIETTE BLOUSE $59.90 & NO IMITATION SHORTS $59.90 2-14 both by Sudo sudo.com.au



mychild | december 2014




5 6 4





3| BONNIE DRESS $32.95

28-33 by Clarks clarks.com.au

3-7 by Milky milkyclothing.com.au

4| BUCKET HAT $32.95



XS-L by Acorn miltandjoe.com.au

3-4 by Munchkin & More munchkinandmore.com.au

1-8 by Kukukid

7| ZIPPY SKIRT $49.95


9| PANDA TEE $39.95

2-10 by Minti littlepinwheel.com.au

00-1 by Kapow kapowkids.bigcartel.com

3-7 by Missie Munster munsterkids.com.au

1| SEQUIN SINGLET $29.95 3-7 by Ouch ouchclothing.com.au


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mychild | december 2014



ccording to owner Muriel, Exquira is always on the lookout for new product ranges in Australia or from overseas that Australian parents would love to get their hands on, and now, with the innovative Sleep Rumbler, they have found another winner for Australian parents!

TELL US ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THE DESIGN During the first six months of life, babies have an amazing transition to make from the womb to the world. During pregnancy, every baby was comforted by the sensation of the rhythmic beat of their mum’s heart, the natural swing of her walk and the sensation of her movement. Recreating the same familiar and comforting motions of the natural womb environment once baby is born can help settle them to sleep but how can you do this? The solution is in the Sleep Rumbler, a unique Australian-designed stroller mat made from TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) that provides a natural rhythm to soothe babies into a restful state.

WHO DESIGNED IT? The Sleep Rumbler (patent pending), $69.95, was designed by Australian sisters Leanne Stone and Lindley Jones. The idea was born of the desire to settle a baby without having to leave the house, drive while tired or push a pram in bad weather! The sisters wanted mothers to have access to that same settling motion in the comfort of their home and, even better, to be able to take that solution anywhere.

HOW DO YOU USE IT? The movement of the stroller wheel across and over the ridges of the mat provides the infant with rhythmic, pacifying sounds and vibrations that help to settle them. The Sleep Rumbler is already being used in hospital maternity wards and/or emergency departments and has found its way into the consumer market. It is now rapidly becoming a must-have product on baby checklists. * Visit exquira.com.au, facebook.com/sleeprumbler or kidslifestyle.com.au to find out more information and to place an order.

Visit exquira.com.au

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mychild | december 2014

HICCUPS FLOWER GARDEN QUILT COVER SET $89.95 by Linen House linenhouse.com.au

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interiors | report




5 7 6


13 12



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2 3 4



BUNTING $46 by Wholehearted wholehearteddesigns.com.au

SILLY GIFTS GYPSY CHANDELIER €69.95 by Trendstyle trendstyle-online.de

THREE LITTLE CLOUDS WALL STICKER £19.95 by Koko Kids kokokids.com BOXER ART PRINT $18 by Wallfry wallfry.com LOVE CHAIR $495 by The Family Love Tree thefamilylovetree.com.au

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

TOWNHOUSE VINTAGE CHEST OF DRAWERS £440 by Artisanti artisanti.com AZTEC TEAL CUSHION $59.50 by LIfestyle Home & Living lifestylehomeandliving.com.au


10 14

MILLY HEART CUSHION $39.95 by Marie Claire Mini linenhouse.com.au BIG WAVE CUSHION $75 by Littlephant wattlebird.net.au THE OLLIE TABLE LAMP $179.95 by Cranmore Home cranmorehome.com.au

JACQUELINE CHEST $4,950 by French Heritage houzz.com

MARSHMALLOW FELT BALL RUG 100CM $399 by Happy as Larry Designs happyaslarrydesigns.com


LOVE NEST BED HEAD $495 by Nest Emporium nestemporium.com.au

PASTEL SHADOW BOX $269 by Bloomingville roomandbloom.com au

GRADIENT THROW RUG $39.95 by Bambury bambury.com.au

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interiors | my space

• I always endeavour to create a room that’s a reflection of the child who will live in it. Every child is different…



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n turning her son Luka’s nursery into a “big boy’s” room, Svjetlana wanted to reflect his spirit, explaining, ‘We are a happy, family orientated bunch of people and Mr Luka is definitely the spark at the heart of our family’s energy. He is a curious, amazing and spirited child. When Luka isn’t running amok, he enjoys toy cars, blocks and riding his bike.’ So she went for something modern and colourful but childish at the same time.

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION? When creating rooms and working with my clients, I always endeavour to create a room that’s a reflection of child who will live in it. Every child is different in their wants, needs, likes and dislikes, and therefore every room should be different. When creating Luka’s room, I wanted something happy and vibrant, just like Luka, but at the same time simple, so that sleep time doesn’t turn into play time.

HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT SELECTING THE COLOUR SCHEME? I went for a clean and crisp foundation, then used white furniture and layered some colours and textures on it.

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE? Being an interior designer, I had carefully planned and organised every step of the way before Luka was even ready to move to a boy’s bedroom. There were, of course, a number of adjustments along the way, simply because I came across an amazing business that did handmade designs and couldn’t resist using their products. The first step was deciding on the furniture. I opted for simple lines when it came to the choice of bed and for a modern boyish look I chose white IKEA metal drawers. I just love wall decals, and for everyone who can’t take a plunge when it comes to using >

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interiors | my space

wallpaper, wall stickers are your next and best option. I’ve used black and middle gray triangle wall decals from Wall Effect. The last step, and the one that was most fun, was layering the colours and textures – choosing prints, garlands, bedding and all the other knickknacks that would tie Luka’s room together and make it into his favourite spot. It took us few weeks to complete and now it’s a work in progress as I constantly add cute items that I find along the way. The final result ended up costing just over $900.

WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS? These are the metal drawers from IKEA and an OMM Design lion print. They’re the two pieces that really stand out, but at the same time fit perfectly with the rest of the room.



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TELL US ABOUT LUKA’S REACTION He really liked it! I think he was surprised at what a colourful room it became, as opposed to the neutral nursery he’d had beforehand.

DO YOU HAVE A DESIGN MANTRA? Keep it simple, but at the same time don’t be scared to use colour, and when it comes to kids’ rooms, don’t be scared to use lots of it.

WHAT’S NEXT? I will be constantly updating Luka’s room with small finds until he is ready for a teenager’s bedroom – I’m hoping by then he will let me design one for him! – and in the meantime, I will be designing nurseries and rooms for my amazing little clients. * Visit littleinteriors.com.au to find out more.

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INGREDIENTS 1 cup sunflower seeds ¾ cup sulphur-free raisins ¼ cup sulphur-free cranberries 1 teaspoon mixed all spice ½ teaspoon orange zest 100g coconut yoghurt 1 small pomegranate, deseeded



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METHOD • In a food processor, combine all the ingredients excluding the yoghurt and pomegranate. Pulse until it comes together into a chunky crumb. • Roll equal-sized balls of the mixture with wet hands and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden. • To decorate the puddings, place a small spoonful of the coconut yoghurt on top and dress with pomegranate seeds.


Try to shop for dried fruit without any sulphur preservative (it’s often in the ingredient list as 220). This preservative has been linked to asthma, irritability, mood swings and many behavioural problems in children.

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

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SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF FIVE ERGOBABY VENTUS CARRIERS WORTH $209 EACH Receive My Child magazine direct to your inbox every month! Our digital format allows you to interact with informative articles, scroll through for great shopping and fashion trends, read and share inspiring stories, party ideas and more – all with just the click of a button. Better still, by signing up to our free digital magazine you have the chance to win one of five Ergobaby Ventus Carriers worth $209 each! Inspired by the Latin word for wind, the

Ergobaby Ventus Carrier features a 3D-mesh panel and moisture-wicking mesh lining for the ultimate in ventilation and breathability so both baby and parent stay cooler. Durable, lightweight and super cool – the Ergobaby 3D-Mesh Ventus Carrier is the perfect companion for any adventure. To find out more about the carrier visit ergobaby.com.au/carriers/ collections/performance-collection. Check out other great products at babesinarms.com.au.


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

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

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



mychild | december 2014

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Register now!

~ 2015 ~ Excellence Awards 2012

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


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

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

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

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



mychild | november 2014

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

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

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

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Produced in gorgeous teal patent leather, this Nappy Clutch, $49.95, is very multi-functional. In fact, you can fit all of your nappy change items, including nappies, change mat, creams, wipes and nappy sacks, in the one place. The bonus is that the clutch also fits perfectly into each Total Bag Envy nappy bag. This makes nappy changes super easy – why not hand it to your partner so they don’t miss out! Plus, if you buy a clutch with a nappy bag, you can get it for only $29.95. Visit totalbagenvy.com. au to view their big range of bags.

This unique flexible Toilet Trainer by Bumbo gently hugs your toddler’s bottom, providing secure, comfortable seating and instilling a sense of confidence. Children who identify the similarity to the Bumbo Floor Seat transition even easier into using the toilet. Made of a soft, flexible polyurethane foam that is easy to clean, it’s $34.95 and comes in pink or blue. See exquira. com.au for stockists.



Totally natural and with no added sugar these Banana Milk Rusks by Rafferty’s Garden, $3.89 for a 100g pack, will help ease teething pains while aiding in the development of your baby’s healthy young teeth. Plus as baby starts to discover their hands, the easy-grip rusks assist with the development of their motor skills. For your nearest store and more info see raffertys garden.com.

Introducing the latest limited-edition Martin print nappy from the BumGenius Genius Series, $28 and available at thenappylady. com.au. With a breathable waterproof outer and soft suede inner fabric, which draws moisture away from your baby’s skin, they’re great for your little one. See more of this range and a host of other baby products at The Nappy Lady.



mychild | december 2014



All-in-one is the solution for busy little ones, which makes this Organic Care Kids 3-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo & Bodywash, $3.99 by Nature’s Organics, ideal. Wash away the dirt and grime with an “all over” solution that’s enriched with vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5. With a fresh watermelon fragrance, added apple extract and a tear-free formula, your children’s skin and hair will feel soft and smooth. Plus it’s free of petrochemical cleansers, parabens and more. See natures organics.com.au.

This beautiful Dotty Days quilt cover set with love heart and owl embroidery includes a cute owl-shaped cushion. Designed by Whimsy to add a touch of imagination to little girl’s rooms, the set comes in single and double options. Prices start at $99.95. For stockists take a look at whimsykids.com.au.



Keep your children’s hands warm and their ice pops cold with Zipzicle neoprene holders, $7.99 for a pack of four. Available in brilliant colours – navy blue, bright pink, bright green and purple – they make it easy to push up the ice pop while eating without taking it out of the holder. Plus they’re simple to clean – just hand wash with warm soapy water, rinse and air dry. Get them at thekidsdepot. com.au.

Offering high-quality maternity and baby care products, the Mater range has been co-created by midwives from the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals and mothers. These Newborn First Weeks nappies, $11.99 for a pack of 24, have been made from ultra-soft materials that protect baby’s skin by quickly absorbing liquid and keeping baby dry. They have been developed to provide a smaller higher-performing nappy for babies during their first weeks. For more information and to see all of the range head over to matermothers. org.au.

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news | wellbeing

THE ANTI-DIET BOOK In her new book Change the Way you Eat: The Psychology of Food nutritionist Leanne Cooper argues that dieting doesn’t work. In fact, she says 95 percent of dieters are unsuccessful over the long term. So what’s the best thing to do? Leanne recommends taking ownership of your eating choices with an aim for lifelong change. Here are some of her tips to losing weight: • We need to stop being unkind to ourselves, stop the restrictive diets that leave us feeling worthless at times and do something that actually works. • Avoid that feeling of going without – being deprived often works against us and being hungry leaves us vulnerable to poor choices. Eat small regular meals and swap all or part of the unhealthy stuff for better choices. • Consider which major area of your eating habits lets you down then review which small changes you can make to amend this. However, don’t take on too much as doing so is a recipe for failure. • Change your environment to set yourself up for success. Walk a different way around the office to



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avoid the tea-room biscuits, drive a different way so you don’t go past the bakery, change your table scape so you don’t use big dinner plates or serving platters or utensils. Sometimes it’s the little things we overlook that can give the greatest results. • Push the unhealthy stuff to the back of the pantry and fridge to make it harder to get at them. Bring the good stuff to an easy-to-access place. • So you can keep a visual track of exactly how much you have eaten don’t let the wait staff in cafes and restaurants clear your table. • Sit at the table that is furthest from the buffet. • When dishing up, plate food low and flat and avoid mounds. • Leave a small amount of food on your plate to avoid it being refilled for you. You can pick up a copy of Change the Way you Eat: The Psychology of Food (Exisle Publishing, $29.99) at change thewayyoueat.com.au.



1800 651 456




ue to their gentle action and the fact they are mirrors of substances that exist in nature, homeopathic remedies are generally safe to use during pregnancy and for birth. There are remedies that can help ease heartburn, alleviate fear, keep nausea at bay and get things moving when you’re overdue. Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine that powerfully stimulates the body’s innate healing mechanisms to reinstate health and wellbeing. The founder of modern homeopathy is a German physician, Dr Samuel Hahnemann. Back in the late 18th century, he set about proving his theory that disease represented an imbalance in the body’s vital force (immune system), and that only a small stimulus was required to restore balance in the body’s natural defences. Hahnemann developed homeopathic medicine by proving his theory that if large amounts of a substance caused symptoms of illness in a healthy person, then small doses of that same substance could cure an ill person who has similar symptoms. This theory is called the “law of similars”, often referred to as “like is cured by like”, and forms the cornerstone of homeopathic prescribing.

HOW ARE REMEDIES MADE? Homeopathic remedies are primarily based on minute amounts of natural substances – common plants, herbs and seeds, common metals and their salts, minerals, animal sources such as insects and snake venoms, and other organic matter. Some remedies, called nosodes, are made from diseased tissue, however none of the tissue actually ends up in the remedy so there is no danger of catching a disease from it. The substances used in the homeopathic remedies are first soaked in alcohol to extract their essential ingredients. This initial solution, known as the “mother tincture”, is diluted in alcohol or distilled water, and shaken. One drop of the mother tincture will be successively diluted to create several potencies (strengths) of the remedy and impurities are removed. After each dilution the remedy is shaken to “potentiate”, or to energise, the medicine, which makes its properties more powerful. It might seem paradoxical, but as the solution becomes more diluted, the remedy becomes more effective, and has a stronger therapeutic effect. This is called the “law of infinitesimals”, which states that medicines are more effective when used in smaller doses. This is because >

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pregnancy & birth it is your body’s natural defences that are stimulated to fight the illness, rather than the substance itself.

CHOOSING A REMEDY In classical homeopathy, a practitioner works with you to determine your “constitutional remedy”, a deep-acting single solution that improves your level of resistance to illness and can enhance your everyday wellbeing. Usually one remedy is prescribed for a given time. In acute situations such as illness, childbirth or accidents, self-prescribed homeopathics can


Anna Hopley used homeopathy throughout her pregnancy and during the birth of her daughter, Millie, under the care of a good friend, a qualified homeopath based in London, UK. Throughout my pregnancy I took the course of homeopathic tissue salts as set out in The Gentle Birth Method by Dr Gowri Motha (Harper Collins, $40). She recommends taking three remedies daily, which vary during the months of the pregnancy. All are designed to address different things, for example the baby’s brain or bone development, or the skin elasticity of the mother. I had a very straightforward and happy pregnancy, and I believe the tissue salt program helped me. I wanted to use homeopathic remedies during my labour as I was keen on having a natural birth without the use of medical pain relief if possible. So a homeopathic birth kit provided me with the basics. My homeopath devised a labour kit with a detailed manual of instructions for my husband (me being somewhat preoccupied during labour!), and some further remedies for birth and postbirth useage. As soon as labour started and contractions progressed, we began to use the birthing kit.

be used very effectively, and in many cases multiple remedies are taken together or in quick succession. To get the best results, you need to pinpoint the remedy that is most similar to your current emotional and physical symptoms. If you are uncertain which remedy would be best for your condition, combined homeopathic preparations will often contain the one ingredient you need and the others shouldn’t have an effect as they won’t match your symptom picture. In normal circumstances, if you give the wrong remedy, nothing will happen.

Once in hospital, the remedies were given more frequently. Arnica was alternated hourly with other remedies such as caulophyllum (to strengthen contractions and assist in dilation), kali phos (for exhaustion), kali carb (for back pain) and aconite (for restlessness or fear). Rescue remedy was used frequently! I had a relatively short, active labour (six and a half hours) with no pain relief before our daughter was born. The midwife who assisted me was fascinated by the kit, which my husband would routinely delve into, and other staff waited while we administered baby arnica prior to Millie’s vitamin K injection. Despite having the drug-free natural birth I hoped for, I suffered postpartum haemorrhage. My husband had popped out and I was resting so when I was being urgently treated for the haemorrhage, there was nobody to administer the remedies used for bleeding such as secale. However, this was the only case where I was unable to use the remedies. I used them postnatally to address issues like cracked nipples and exhaustion. Since then, I still use homeopathic remedies for Millie as a first step for any illnesses prior to or in conjunction with conventional medicine. In my opinion, homeopathics are a great tool for pregnancy, birth and beyond.

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HOMEOPATHY & PREGNANCY Homeopathy can be useful during pregnancy to relieve ailments such as morning sickness or constipation, and alleviate anxiety or fear. Working with a homeopath, you can find the right remedy for your specific condition. For example, when it comes to morning sickness, ipecac would be best for constant nausea with dry retching that is not relieved by vomiting, whereas nux vomica is more effective when nausea is accompanied by retching and is eased by vomiting. If your baby is overdue and an induction seems imminent, caulophyllum has been shown to be successful in establishing labour, while pulsatilla has a reputation for turning breech or transverse babies (should not be used in the first trimester). Some common pregnancy ailments and their homeopathic remedies include: • backache with a dragging down feeling: sepia • constipation with dry, hard stools, along with a craving for salt: nat mur • flatulence after fatty foods: carbo vegetabilis • heartburn: nat mur, nat phos and nat sulph • varicose veins: bellis perennis and pulsatilla • violent vomiting with diarrhoea: arsenicum, aethusa and veratrum alb. Ensure you discuss the specific dosage and frequency with your practitioner. Remedies to avoid during pregnancy include cocculus and thuja, which are contraindicated.

HOMEOPATHY & BIRTH In childbirth, there are a number of effective remedies that can be used to help deal with problems such as slow dilation of your cervix, pain, excessive bleeding, exhaustion or nausea from an anaesthetic. Your homeopath will advise you on the use of these remedies. As part of your preparation, ensure your partner or support people are familiar with your homeopathic birthing kit, and can make choices of remedies accordingly. Don’t forget to include a copy of your remedies chart for



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quick reference. Here are my suggestions for a birthing kit to be used throughout labour: • aconite for fear • kali carb for backache • arnica for before and after delivery • belladonna for contractions that come quickly then disappear suddenly • caulophyllum for exhaustion • chamomilla for intolerable pain and backache • gelsemium for heaviness with pains extending around to the back • cimicifuga for feelings of wanting to give up • pulsatilla for fear of being alone • kali phos for physical or emotional tiredness • rescue remedy – to be used at any time. Most of these remedies will also be useful for treating childhood ailments and other conditions, so your kit will not go to waste.

USING HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES Remedies are available in powder, pill or liquid forms and there are no therapeutic differences between these preparations. One dose is either one tablet or pill, or three to 10 drops. Tablets and pills should be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve, then after 30 seconds, chewed and swallowed. Oral liquids may be taken directly under the tongue and held for 30 seconds before swallowing or added to water and sipped slowly. Oral remedies are best taken at least 10 minutes away from eating and should not be taken for at least 30 minutes after alcohol, spicy foods, tobacco or toothpaste. Store remedies in a cool dry place away from sunlight, strong-smelling substances, chemicals and electromagnetic fields such as mobile phones or microwaves. Although there aren’t any conventional side effects, if homeopathics are taken unwisely and repeated when no longer needed, the symptoms for which the remedy was originally taken may return. This is involuntary “proving” of a remedy. Stop taking it and symptoms will usually abate. If they persist, they are often antidoted by drinking black coffee or peppermint tea. *




ackache… we all know it’s one of those not so great perks of pregnancy. It can be as minimal as sore muscles at the end of the day or it can stop you dead in your tracks, white-knuckling the back of the couch. Many women think they need to bear their back pain because that’s just what happens during pregnancy. However, I’m here to tell you some great news… you don’t have to put up with it and there are some super simple ways to avoid or minimise back pain during your pregnancy.

WHY DOES MY PREGNANT BACK HURT SO MUCH? Back pain, hip pain, tailbone pain… these are all directly related to your pelvis and the lower back. During pregnancy, the ligaments that hold your spine and pelvis together become as loose as a goose. That’s because the pregnancy hormone relaxin is softening up your ligaments

in preparation to allow your pelvis to open up and let that baby out. This is perfect when you are 40 weeks pregnant and ready to roll, but not so great when you have to function normally each day without feeling like you’re falling apart at the seams.

“During pregnancy, the ligaments that hold your spine and pelvis together become as loose as a goose. That’s because the pregnancy hormone relaxin is softening up your ligaments in preparation to allow your pelvis to open up” The best way to minimise your back and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy is to avoid certain movements and activities. Here’s a list of activities to steer clear of and things to do to keep your pregnant back healthy. >



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MY NUMBER-ONE RULE Act like you are wearing a tight miniskirt at all times! Keeping those thighs together during daily activities can save you a lot of pelvic and lower back pain. If you can remember this one rule you’ll safely cut out all of the “criminal” behaviour that will give your back grief.

“If you must lift your child, sit down then have your child climb onto your lap before you stand up. It is also important to take more time getting into the car and let your toddler DIY with climbing” AVOID Sitting cross-legged on the floor This opens up the pelvis far too much when you have loose ligaments during pregnancy. Stretch your legs straight out and cross them at the ankles instead. Taking long strides Your pelvis has extra mobility during pregnancy and sometimes it can get stuck at its end range. Take short choppy strides when you’re walking hills as your stride length increases on hills. Taking stairs two at a time Never do this. Excessive pelvis and pubic symphysis mobility is required. Sleeping in the stride position During sleep time, your muscles relax and sleeping in an asymmetrical stride position causes the lax ligaments of your pelvis to creep to their end range. Your pelvis can get stuck there and therefore taking that first step in the morning will really hurt. Breaststroke kick This makes your sacroiliac joints move excessively, which can irritate them as they are already hypermobile. Lifting up your children (if this is possible) Bending and lifting toddlers is about the most stressful thing you can do when you have a sore back and unstable pelvis. If you must lift

your child, sit down then have them climb up onto your lap before you stand up. It is also important to take more time getting into and out of the car, and let your toddler DIY with climbing into the carseat.

BE CAREFUL Vacuuming Walk with the vacuum cleaner instead of lunging and bending. Better yet, let your hubby do it! During sex This is the same as breaststroke – think out of the missionary box if your lower back pain is worse after sex. Getting out of the car Keep that miniskirt on and swivel out of the car seat. Picking up toys Don’t squat with feet wide apart – knees must stay together because you are wearing a miniskirt!

TO DO Core strengthening exercises Exercise such as swimming, pelvic floor strengthening and Pilates are fabulous for your back and pelvis during pregnancy. However, if any of the activities listed above in the “avoid” section cause you pain, then yoga would not be the best form of exercise for you. You will benefit more from strengthening exercises instead of flexibility exercises during this time. Physiotherapy If, after following the list of pelvic precautions here, you are still suffering from pain, remember that there’s absolutely no need to put up with lower back and pelvis pain during your pregnancy. Make sure you seek out a physiotherapist who treats pelvises and get a little hands-on care. We all require a tune up every once in a while and the condition is absolutely treatable. * Body Beyond Birth is an online postnatal exercise and nutrition program created by Becky Dyer and Jackie Steele. Their mum-friendly 20-minute-a-day program helps women take care of themselves and nurtures them back into shape after having a baby. Head to bodybeyondbirth.com to find out more about the program.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nicole Proy of Mockingbird Photography


T H IN K ING WOM AN’S website

For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby

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s you hit the last trimester of your pregnancy, you’ll probably start to wonder what you can do to make your labour shorter and easier. Well, did you know that the way you sit, work and even travel all have an important part to play in your labour? When your baby is in its most favourable position for delivery, it has its back leaning towards your tummy, slightly to the left or the right, its limbs facing inward and its head down. You may hear your midwife refer to this as the anterior position. When your baby’s back is lying against your spine, this is called the posterior position. It may seem a minor point, but your baby’s position has an impact on the type of labour you will have. If your baby is anterior, the chin can tuck into the chest and the smallest part of the baby’s head can fit snugly onto the cervix, which then dilates as a result of the pressure.

Progress through labour is usually consistent. If the baby’s spine is against your own, it’s chin cannot tuck into the chest and so the fit between your cervix and your baby’s head is not snug. Because of this the baby can’t usually deliver in this position. Problems that may arise include back pain

“When your baby is in its most favourable position for delivery, it has its back leaning towards your tummy, slightly to the left or right, its limbs facing inward and its head down” in late pregnancy and in labour. You may also experience strong Braxton Hicks contractions. The body’s way of turning bub around before labour, these often feel like the real thing. >

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birth Unfortunately, because of the uneven pressure on the cervix, pregnancy may go over the due date. Sometimes the membranes also rupture early. If so you will need an induction if you aren’t contracting.

In this case you can clearly feel the limbs and you are usually having a lot of back pain. If you are still not sure, ask your midwife at your next check-up.


It is important to remember that your body is incredibly efficient and can often manage to sort its own problems out by turning the baby, but it’s good to understand what’s happening. New Zealand midwife Jean Sutton and antenatal educator Pauline Scott have written a book entitled Understanding and Teaching Optimal Foetal Positioning (Birth Concepts, $49.95). They state that women can take an active role in determining the position of their baby before birth. Sutton says, ‘Women need to be taught how to do optimal foetal positioning exercises by their midwife so they can deliver normally.’ They discuss how the frequency of posteriorpositioned babies has increased, and that this is mostly because of our lifestyle. Unlike the 1960s, we may spend much of our leisure time in an armchair, more time travelling in cars, and labour-saving devices have eliminated the need for physical work for many. Women will

When you go into labour and your baby is in a posterior position, it can often turn by itself, but this increases the time that your labour takes, along with the level of back pain. These births can end in forceps deliveries or Caesarean sections, either because the mother is tired or the baby has not turned and can go no further. In some rare cases, the baby can stay in the posterior position. When this happens, the baby is looking up at the ceiling when it is born, descriptively termed “face to pubes”. Midwife Donna Brooking explains, ‘There does seem to have been an increase in posterior labour and a lot of the interventions now encourage women to lie down.’ Brooking recommends using mobility during the birthing: an all-fours position and rocking from side to side, sitting on a birthing ball or a straight-backed chair, and climbing stairways if they are available. However, she points out that, for a variety of reasons, some babies are just not going to turn. This is when intervention is necessary and the outcome of your beautiful baby is more than recompense. However, if it’s possible to help your body perform its major miracle unaided, it makes sense to try.

IS MY BABY POSTERIOR? How will you know if your baby is posterior? Firstly, take note of where you are feeling the kicks. If they are positioned off to either side of your tummy, or towards the back, and your tummy feels smooth and concave, this indicates that the baby is probably in the right position. If the baby’s kicks are directly in front and your tummy has a saucer-shaped appearance dipping around the navel, it may be posterior.



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“Brooking recommends mobility during birthing: an allfours position and rocking from side to side, sitting on a birthing ball or a straight-backed chair, and climbing stairways if they are available” often work late into their pregnancy, sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Plus when you sit in an armchair, your knees are usually higher than your hips and this causes the weight of the baby’s spine to swing around towards your back. However, if you change your posture during the last six weeks of your pregnancy you may be able to change the position of your baby. The worst that can >

birth happen from this focus on posture is that your baby’s position remains unchanged, but your backache is substantially relieved. Activities that will help to place your baby in the best position for labour are: • watching TV on a dining chair, even turning the chair around and leaning over the back • leaning over a beanbag • sitting on a lounge with a pillow placed under your bottom • lying down with one leg forward, and a pillow to support the tummy • sitting on a fit ball if you are working at a desk • using a pillow in car seats so that your knees are lower than your hips • swimming and yoga – but avoid deep squats • pelvic rocking for 15 minutes every day, if you can. This involves getting down on all fours and rocking from side to side. If you have steps, climb up and down them in a sideways position. To have a chance at turning the baby, it will take more than a few minutes a day. It involves checking your posture at all times and doing some daily exercises. During the last six weeks choose upright postures where your knees are lower than your hips. With constant vigilance you may succeed in changing or preventing a

posterior baby and shortening your labour. Acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic and shiatsu are also sometimes used to help turn a posterior baby so you may also wish to contact your local practitioner.

MANUALLY TURNING A BABY You may have heard of manually turning a baby. This is done for breech babies (babies with their feet down) or babies in the transverse lie (lying across the uterus). It is not required for babies in the posterior position as the baby’s head is down. Breech and transverse positions are more serious, especially in first-time mums. It is for

“To have a chance at turning the baby, it will take more than a few minutes a day. It involves checking your posture at all times…” these positions that an obstetrician may want to manually turn the baby. Usually done under light anaesthetic or sedation, this has some big risk elements and is not always successful. *


• Squat with your feet flat and a straight back, supported by your partner so you can throw your pelvis forward, helping to lift the base of the spine out of the way. • Kneel on your hands and knees. You can shift your weight between your hips. This makes the pelvis uneven and allows the head to move through. • Birth stools should be more than 45cm from the floor so you can arch your back. • Walk up stairs rocking from side to side or stand with one leg elevated.


• Lying on your back or sitting. In these positions the coccyx curves inwards, making the space between it and the pubic bone smaller. • During the second stage, lying on your back and lifting your legs increases the curve of your pelvis and creates an uphill course for your baby.

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race yourselves, ladies, but here’s some information than might blow you away: up until 11 years ago, the Bugaboo pram didn’t exist! And get this: the digitally screened baby monitor wasn’t even mainstream until around 2009! Actually, if you can imagine it, there are far more important changes in recent years than that – 15 years ago smacking was still being advocated by some child behaviour “experts” to help parents manage their kids. Parents could only visit their sick children in hospital twice a week until the 1960s. In the 1950s only around five percent of fathers attended their child’s birth. Mums were advised to put babies to sleep on their tummies in the 1970s, and in the 1950s and 1960s formula feeding had had so much positive press that around 60 percent of babies were exclusively bottle-fed. When we become parents, we can get caught in believing that whatever we do now must be “right” – automatically labelling any previous generation’s parenting approaches as “unsafe”,



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“dangerous”, “unhealthy” or just plain wrong! Remember when Grandma mothered the way she did, it was with the best of intentions. When we declare her methods as “unsafe” we only leave our mother or mother-in-law in a position where they have to either:

“Mums were advised to put babies to sleep on their tummies in the 1970s, and in the 1950s and 1960s formula feeding had had so much positive press that around 60 percent of babies were exclusively bottle-fed” • admit to putting their much-loved child in danger – and who would want to do that, or • deny that there was any danger in the method and “poo poo” the latest research, describing it all as, ‘Nonsense, because you turned out just fine!’ So it’s probably best if you avoid pushing >

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baby her into this thorny corner. This is all about acceptance. Acceptance that: • you are doing the best you can do given the knowledge that you have • you did the best in the past with what you knew then • and remember – the current way we parent will one day be “outdated” too – let’s hope our children don’t criticise us too much for it. Here are 30 reminders for you both.



ENTER WITH CAUTION If you’ve been trusted with a set of keys to her home, use this privilege wisely. She really doesn’t want you in her home when she’s not there – even if you have the best of intentions for being there.

must live as you do. As TV personality and psychologist Dr Phil concisely suggests, ‘You are a guest in their marriage and a guest in their home. You have to fold into their rules and lives if you want to be welcome there.’


REMEMBER HER VULNERABILITY Keep in mind that there is no topic more sensitive to a new mother than “Am I doing a good job?” Always take this vulnerability into account and choose your battles very carefully. If in doubt, say something you think might make her feel better about herself, never worse.



THINK FIRST Be careful you don’t turn your own mothering experience into “the glory years” where you seem to have forgotten being overwhelmed, frightened and unsure yourself. Don’t be the nanna who declares she soothed all cries within seconds or whose baby slept through the night from day one. Even if it’s true – honestly, what are you going to get from sharing that information other than a newbie mum who feels she’s a floundering failure in your eyes.


SUPPORT THE PARTNERSHIP No baby is better off with warring parents. If your grandchild’s mother is in a good relationship, help it stay that way. If there are any issues, support them to get some help, and hold your tongue if you need to. Don’t be the wedge that drives them apart.


GIVE WARNING Don’t drop in without calling first and give adequate notice, particularly if your last unannounced drop-in was met with an unenthusiastic response. IT’S HER BABY Maybe you do know more about a newborn baby than she does but that’s not the point. To be the best mother for her new baby she needs to feel connected and confident, which means you need to step back and allow her to do it her way and tell her she is doing well. Hard to do, but important. SHARE THE LOVE, NOT THE ADVICE. Time and time again, research shows new mums want and need emotional support from their mothers and mothers-in-law far more than they desire practical advice. And avoid giving “unsolicited advice” (that is, advice she hasn’t asked for). Mothers across the world are united in viewing this type of advice as being quite unhelpful.


HER HOUSE, HER RULES Remember that what is right for you and the rules you live your life by are quite acceptable and fabulous, but don’t get caught out in thinking that she



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FIND YOUR OWN TRIBE Grandparents need their tribe as much as a new mother. Keep up your own friends and make new ones through websites dedicated to linking you up. The better connected you are, the easier any moments of frustration will be


USE TECHNOLOGY Get savvy with the online world. Try: grandparentsaustralia. org; grandmagazine.com; aarp.org; grandparenting. org; grandparents.com and grandparentsapart.co.uk.

Don’t forget too that your grandchildren will grow up assuming everyone can communicate by email or text message, so work on your Facebook profile, and figure out how to be a “Granny tweeter”. Unless you keep up, you’ll end up missing out on a key way to connect with your grandkids in the future.



REMEMBER IT COMES FROM LOVE OK, so her behaviour annoys you – big time – but deep down she’s probably doing it because she loooves your baby. She’s just a little preoccupied right now on what she needs and has forgotten that it’s actually your needs that are important if your baby is going to be best cared for.


SET SOME WORRIES ASIDE Despite any of her apparently delusional attempts for the baby to love her more it won’t happen. The love between a mother and child is not breakable by any of nanna’s try-hard tactics.

“Time and time again, research shows new mums want and need emotional support”


THIS COULD ALL BE A BLESSING Unless nan is abusive, all behaviours can usually be cast in a positive light if you dig really deep. Sometimes really, really, deep. So, if she’s the grandmother type who chooses to be missing in action, then perhaps it’s for the best: who needs someone around who doesn’t want to be there? If she’s a little over-the-top, then who knows when an emergency might require her ability to “just take over” for a little bit? It’s easy to see the negatives, but better for all if we can try and see the positive too.


STAND UP FOR YOURSELF Nanna’s needs are important but not more important than yours or your family’s. You have the right to

run your home and care for your baby in the way that best suits your family’s values.


GUIDE HER BEHAVIOUR Research has told us this for years – everyone changes faster if they’re told what to do rather than what not to do. So let her know the roles you’d like her to have – helping you with the grocery shopping, making a few extra lasagnas, popping over so you can have a nap…


RALLY YOUR PARTNER Particularly if your issues are more with his mother than yours, he needs to step up and be assertive. If you’re the only one asserting the ground rules, her mind starts to believe he doesn’t agree with you. Stay a team. No nanna can conquer a confident couple!


GET SOLUTION FOCUSED Think “having a conversation” rather than “hoping for an ESP connection”. To get solutions, you have to be clear on the concerns. So present them to her: be civil but be definite. Talk them through and come up with clear solutions that help to sort out your roles.


DON’T LIMIT THE “LOVE OPTIONS” So nanna drives you crazy. Problem is, your baby might end up thinking she’s the bee’s knees. A child is better prepared for this crazy world with maximum love connections, so only limit their contact if you have exhausted all other avenues. Perhaps the baby’s dad can spend time with baby and nanna instead of you. You might only see her every… century.


KEEP HER INFORMED Most nannas aren’t twits. Most want what’s best for baby too. Give her credit for what she is likely to know – remember she did have at least one baby herself! But when her knowledge base is a little outdated, give her brief handouts on important facts and research regarding how to care for your baby. >

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DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF So she fusses more than you do. She swaddles the baby differently too. Try not to create mayhem over minor matters. Your baby will suffer much less from adjusting to minor differences in care techniques than from a family who has declared internal warfare.



IT’S NOT A COMPETITION You can both be amazing mothers, even if you do tend to do things differently.


“BEING FAMILY” DOESN’T PERMIT “BEING RUDE” Don’t make the mistake of treating strangers with more kindness than your kinship network. Your family deserves respect and politeness at the very least.


ACCEPT INDIVIDUALITY RATHER THAN JUDGING DIFFERENCES You are not the same. You never will be. No two people are. You deserve to be you, and so does she. Noone is better than another. Just different.


CHOOSE TO FORGIVE Hatred is unhelpful at best and destructive at worst. Adjusting to your new roles brings stress. Stress brings errors – in behaviour and in communication. Give each other some grace and some space when needed. And use the word ‘sorry’ when necessary – grown-ups regularly forget they can use that word too.


NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A KIND WORD In the heat of relationship friction, a kind word is like a cool glass of tonic. Heart rates get lowered, tensions get tapered and emotional wounds are mended.


SORT OUT YOUR ISSUES Being adult is about taking responsibility. If you’re needy, anxious, demanding, depressed or require psychological shifting, do something. As soon as possible. For everyone’s sake.



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“In the heat of relationship friction, a kind word is like a cool glass of tonic. Heart rates get lowered, tensions get tapered and emotonal wounds are mended”


LEARN SOMETHING NEW Most people know things that you don’t. Chances are if you take the time to learn about each other’s values and behaviours, you’ll probably be more tolerant of your differences.


SAVE YOUR ENERGY Anger at each other helps you by making you feel… umm… angry? Not much else. If you’re hurt, work it through and then let it go. Let the people and places that inspire you take up your brain space, not issues that just rile you up.


SOMETIMES RELATIONSHIPS NEED A HEROINE This means one of you has to “woman up” and be the wiser person. One of you has to make the first move, be the first to compromise in order to heal the relationship. Swallow your pride and be that person. Think about what the future could hold, particularly for your young baby, if you don’t manage to sort out your differences.


NURTURE YOURSELF Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to fix a relationship with someone else. But you can always nurture the relationship with yourself. Use your kind words and take some deep breaths. Love who you are and seek connections with those who do love you, even when others don’t. * This is an edited extract from The Birth of the Modern Mum by Heather Irvine (Jane Curry Publishing, $24.95). For more information about the book and to purchase it head over to janecurry publishing.com.au.

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

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

Natures Organics Pty Ltd

www.naturesorganics.com.au november 2014 | mychild

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mychild | december 2014


ne of the most common conditions affecting babies and children is eczema. Symptoms include itching, dry skin, redness, oozing and swelling. It can appear anywhere on the body, but particularly behind the ears, the folds of the knees and elbows, and on the hands and feet. Eczema is usually an inherited condition passed along the genes and forms part of the atopic group that includes asthma, sinusitis and hay fever. For many people, during the course of their life, they can travel the atopic march; journeying from eczema as a baby, to asthma as child, followed by sinusitis and hay fever when they reach adulthood, with flareups of all previous conditions also possible. Following are some suggestions that may help treat and prevent childhood eczema.

OAT BATH An oat bath is extremely soothing and healing for babies with eczema. Simply fill a stocking with a few handfuls of rolled oats. Tie off one end and allow it to soak in the warm water. Use instead of soap. The milky white exudate contains a substance called avenine, which is calming for sore and itching skin. After the bath, you can leave the fine layer of oat milk on or rinse it off with water. Dry then apply a healing cream or lotion. Ensure you keep your baby’s skin well moisturised.

THE GOOD OILS Rather than using a mineral baby oil, try out coconut oil or jojoba oil, which have similar pH properties to the skin’s own sebum. Also very effective is squeezing on the contents of a capsule of evening primrose oil – massage onto the skin after bathing.

PROBIOTICS A mile of research shows that probiotics can be helpful at preventing and treating eczema among babies. One study found the babies of women who fitted the atopic profile and took

a probiotic supplement during pregnancy had a lower incidence of eczema. Probiotics can also be taken while you are breastfeeding and even by your baby. Probiotics including bifidus and Lactobacillus GG can be mixed into expressed milk or formula, or made into a paste and applied to the nipple before feeding. For pregnant and breastfeeding mums, eating food with natural probiotics including good-quality yoghurt, unpasteurised miso, kimchi and kefir will also help prevent and treat eczema in the newborn.

SCRATCHING Eczema is usually itchy and even the tiniest fingernails are able to scratch and break the skin, causing an increase in bacteria and fungal organisms. This needs to be treated as well. Tea tree oil and calendula are two herbal remedies that are just the ticket for eczema. Both help heal skin, reduce inflammation and itching, and possess antibacterial and antifungal properties. A couple of drops of tea tree oil can be added to the bath water along with oat milk. Calendula flowers can be made into a strong tea, cooled and likewise added to bath water, or applied directly to your baby’s skin. There are several creams and lotions that contain these remedies along with other healing agents including aloe vera, zinc, manuka honey and lavender oil. Popping cotton mittens on your baby to minimise scratching is also very helpful, particularly at night. Seeing a tiny child with sore and itchy eczema is distressing for all concerned – parents and child. It is good to know there are some natural remedies that can help reduce and prevent symptoms of childhood eczema. * Mim Beim is a naturopath and author of several books, including her recent release, Natural Remedies: An A-Z of Healthy Cures for Well Being (Rockpool, $29.99). For more information, including about Mim’s Beaming With Health herbal tea range for a variety of health conditions, visit beamingwithhealth.com.au.

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If you’re breastfeeding, no matter how much you eat, the quality of your milk will remain the same! However, if you aren’t getting the right nutrients, your body will “steal” yours to give to your baby, so it’s important to eat well. Here are a few “super foods” to help prevent this happening.


With the Tripp Trapp Newborn Set, $229 by Stokke, there’s no need to put your baby’s pod on the table or the floor – baby can now be part of the family at meal times. Created for interaction from birth and ergonomically designed to ensure your newborn baby is comfortably cradled, the set is an addition to the Tripp Trapp Chair, $329, and lifts your bub up to the height of the table. Having baby at the table and at eye level ensures they are able to spend quality time with the family. The fabric covering is machine washable and attaches to the Tripp Trapp Chair, so as baby outgrows the set they will progress to the adjustable chair, which will last well into the future. See exquira.com.au for stockists.



mychild | december 2014

Salmon Not only is salmon rich in high-quality protein, but it’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which are good for your baby’s development.

Blueberries Blueberries are are filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, along with being a great source of vitamin C and vitamin K.

Eggs Yes, the simple egg offers a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Opt for DHA-fortified eggs to boost the level of this essential fatty acid in your breastmilk.

Oranges Oranges and other citrus fruits are excellent breastfeeding foods, since nursing mums need more vitamin C than pregnant women.

Q&A Is it safe to have massages while pregnant? Massage is healthy and enjoyable during a normal pregnancy. However, as massage is not appropriate for some conditions, your therapist will want to know about your general health and your pregnancy. Give as much information as you can and always tell them about any changes. Remember, any condition you have now affects two people, one of whom is very small.

You will be comfortably supported with pillows or cushions during your massage and may even find yourself lying face down for the first time in a while. In later pregnancy you can get a complete massage comfortably supported in a side-lying position. You will be draped with a sheet everywhere except the part of your body being massaged. Ask for a lighter drape or less heat in the room if you are too hot. Be sure to ask any questions you have about massage in general or your session in particular. Tell your massage therapist if anything feels uncomfortable or if there are areas that you would rather not have massaged (for example your abdomen). Polly Wilkie is a natural therapies expert. Visit careclinic.com.au for more information.

More than just nappies!

Old fashioned service with expert advice

Natural skincare ranges Chemical-free cleaning products Chemical-free baby products december 2014 | mychild thenappylady.com.au * 107

news | pregnancy & birth

THIRD TRIMESTER EXERCISE As long as you are not at risk of delivering a preterm baby, exercise is safe to do in the third trimester. However, always pay attention to your body’s signals. Even if you are used to doing highimpact or moderate exercise, you should always discuss it with your doctor or midwife. As you move along through your pregnancy your tendons and ligaments are preparing for your baby’s imminent birth so they are more relaxed. It is therefore important to avoid lifting heavy weights and, whatever your exercise level, scale

back if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. You could try prenatal yoga classes or brisk walking instead. Keep in mind, too, that there are certain exercises that are not safe or comfortable to do anymore, such as stomach crunches, so switch to standing pelvic tilts or lying on your side or on your hands and knees instead, concentrating on bringing your navel towards your spine. Exercise is good for the body and mind but ensure that you keep safe. Visit fitpregnancy.com for more tips and ideas.

A little exercise in the third trimester will help you feel fresh and energetic 88


mychild | december 2014


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


> Tracks all daily activity

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

> Tracks all daily activity


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

ONLY $99

incl GST and Delivery


november 2014 | mychild

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CHOC BUBBLES NAPPY $35.95 by Cushie Tooshies cushietushies.com.au



s a parent you have to make a lot of decisions and a big one is which type of nappies to use. Over the past 50 years the variety has gone from cloth to disposable to modern cloth. More recently, compostable



mychild | december 2014

nappies have landed on the market. As with everything else there are pro and cons with each option – it’s all a matter of choice and lifestyle. Here we offer some basic pros and cons that will help you decide.

DISPOSABLE NAPPIES Pros Easy to use A handy all-in-one product, they are compact and easy to carry around. Convenience You don’t need to wash anything or use any special treatments. You just throw them away once they are finished with. Effectiveness They have a tight snug fit and are very absorbent. Because of this they tend to leak less than cloth or cloth/disposable hybrids. Cons High cost Depending on how old your baby is and how many changes per day you require, they can be expensive. If you are using about 5,000 nappies over three years, you are looking at between $3,000 to $4,500. Environmental impact Disposables take over 250 years to decompose and it is estimated that five million tons of disposable nappies are deposited into landfill each year. Chemical use To make them super-absorbent, these nappies contain sodium polyacrylate, which can cause an allergic reaction.

MODERN CLOTH NAPPIES Pros Potential cost savings Modern cloth nappies can be expensive for the initial set-up, but in the long run they are a lot cheaper. Less irritation Nappy rash depends a lot on the individual baby and how often nappies are changed and cleaned. However, natural cotton fibres breathe more easily, so babies do tend to experience less nappy rash. Reusability They can be reused for second or third children. Fun Modern nappies are bright and colourful.

a soiled nappy around, which you have to do so you can take them home to wash them. Cost If you tumble dry them after washing then your costs increase. Ineffectiveness Modern cloth nappies can leak more than their disposable counterparts.

COMPOSTABLE NAPPIES Pros Easy to use Depending on the type and brand, compostable (biodegradable) nappies can be as simple to use as disposable nappies. Hybrid nappies might need more effort – similar to an advanced cloth nappy with a disposible liner. Less environmental impact Compostable nappies are made from post-consumer materials that are designed to break down quickly in the right environment. Some products can decompose within a couple of months. Easy to travel with With the exception of a few brands, they are good for going out and about. Cons High cost They can cost the same or more than disposables, depending on the brand. Ineffectiveness They can leak a bit more than disposable nappies since they do not contain high-absorbency additives.


Deciding between modern cloth, compostable or disposable nappies really does depend on your preferences, finances, baby’s comfort and health, and your concern for the environment. Some parents combine two or three types, using modern cloth or biodegradables at home and disposables when they are going to be out all day or travelling. There are so many choices available on the Cons market so it’s best to try a couple of different Learning curve It takes time to learn how to put types of nappies until you find what works for modern cloth nappies on and how to wash and you and your baby, since you are going to be sanitise them efficiently. using them for about three years. It may also Inconvenience They are difficult to travel with be worthwhile asking other mums about their as they are bulky and it’s not too nice carrying experiences with different types. * december 2014 | mychild

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This 100 percent natural calming Baby Oil, $24.95 for 100ml, is vitamin rich and nourishing but still gentle enough for baby’s delicate skin. Actually a liquid wax (known as wax esters), the “oil” is compatible with baby’s skin and can be used to deeply moisturise, soften and soothe. See thejojoba company.com.au..

Expressing milk is easy and convenient with the MAM Breast Pump, $69.99. This manual pump has been developed with real attention to detail and it can be adapted to meet individual needs. The adjustable funnel with soft breast pads and suction controller makes it simple to use too. Head to babynest. com.au for more info.



Whether you pop this gorgeous Rock-a-bye Cradle, $195, on the verandah, in the garden , in your lounge or beside your bed, it will gently float your baby off to sleep. Designed for bubs from newborn until they are sitting up, you simply give it a gentle push to settle even the most reluctant sleeper. The mosquito net is an additional $30. See swingz.com.au for swings for adults and children alike.

Look and feel fabulous in Milk & Love’s stylish range of organic-cotton breastfeeding basics. Whether you’re nursing one or two babies at a time, you’ll love the soft fabric of this Must Have Breastfeeding Tank Dress, $75.95. The added inner lining makes breastfeeding comfortable, discreet and easy! The Must Have collection is also available in singlets, tanks and tees, and the range of colours is gorgeous. Stock up on your breastfeeding wardrobe at milk andlove.com.au.



mychild | december2014

PANTS TOO TIGHT? Are you ready for maternity jeans, maternity pants or maternity skirts? The Belly Belt by Fertile MInd, priced at $24.99 and available in onesize-fits-most, will allow you to wear all of your favourite clothes. Simply button the Belly Belt into the fly of your regular pieces and they instantly become maternity wear – no sewing and no fuss. The Belly Belt even works with slide-fastening pants and skirts, with a hook and eye fastening on two of the belts. Plus there are three modesty panels to cover up any gaps. Also check out the Belly Belt and Bando combo for $45 at fertilemind.com.au.

MESS MATE! Wipe your little one’s messy face and dirty fingers with Aussie Wipes, the only Australianowned and manufactured baby wipes. And the bonus? They’ve partnered with SIDS and Kids to launch Red Nose Baby Wipes, for which five percent of sales are directed to funding vital research into stillbirth. Get them from aussiewipes.com.au in travel packs, unscented and scented. They are priced from $4.99.

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

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

M 0414 260 110

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shopping | pregnancy & birth




Don’t go out without this 600ml stainless-steel Insulated Diamonds water bottle, $24.95. The double-wall vaccum will keep your drinks cool for up to eight hours and the straw is included. These colourful bottles are BPA free, and have no inside lining or toxic free inks so they are safe for you and your kids. Visit cheeki.net.au for plenty more options to choose from.

How about this? A limited-edition Australian-inspired soother! Designed to allow free breathing through the nose and priced from only $6.95, Difrax soothers can be recognised by their butterflyshaped shield. They have been developed in four sizes too. Find out more at difrax.com.au and visit kidslifestyle.com.au to purchase.



What better way to keep your baby close to your heart than with an Ergobaby Wrap, $129? Very simple to use and the perfect companion in those first months and beyond, they’re made from soft, stretchy cotton and you can wear them in a range of comfortable carrying positions. Find out more at ergobaby.com.au.

A safe and effective way to destroy harmful bacteria, the NUK Electric Steam Steriliser, $139, sterilises up to six baby bottles and their accessories in only 12 minutes using no chemicals (just add water). It is thermostatically controlled and switches off automatically, making it safe and economical to use too. See nuk.com.au for more information.



Transform any seat at home or out and about into a safe chair for your young child with the Minimonkey Mini Chair, $39.90. Made from 100 percent cotton, it can easily be thrown into the washing machine and is ideal for littlies aged six to 36 months. It features a three-point buckle too. See kiekaboo.com.au.

Bubbabags is known for their unique nappy bags for mums and this spacious Double Duty style, $110 by Kalencom and available from bubbabags. com.au, quickly converts from a messanger bag to a backpack. With a waterproof matte finish, it’s also easy to clean.


mychild | december2014


THIS PAGE: CUDDLEDEER $75.00 From David Jones



mychild | december 2014



december 2014 | mychild

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gift guide




7 10


9 1| SNAILS NAILPOLISH Safe & washable

2| TRINNY PLAYSET Fairy Castle playset $ 49.95.


by thestorknest.com.au

by Petit.com.au


Fun for the whole family $59.95. by Klop

4| MOOVER DOLLS PRAM 5| LASSIG LELA DISH SET Everything a little girl In pink and blue $35.00.

could wish for, $149.95.

by DanishbyDesign.com.au



mychild | december 2014

by Lassig.com.au


Hours of entertainment $69.95.

by Mocka




12 11



Handmade and great range from $195.00.

Fun roller and activity board $59.95.

by Swingz and Things

by Entropy.com.au

9 WOBBLE TOWER Natureal, chunky &

colourful $34.95.

by Nature Baby

10| STORYTIME DOLLS 11| BUTTERFLY STACKER Bring your stories to life Bright and colourful $39.95.

$49.99 each.

by Tiger Tribe.com.au

by Entropy.com.au


Wooden game $29.95.

by Tiger Tribe.com.au december 2014 | mychild

* 99

gift guide



16 17



22 13| ICE CREAM HEIGHT CHART Measure your little ones as they grow $28.00.

14| SPONKY AND FRIENDS Pram Toy $19.95.

15 HANDMADE RIPPLE BLANKET Rainbow inspired and made

by The Amazing Baby co

by Corby Tindersticks

in the shade $89.99.

by OBDesigns

16| SPONKY AND FRIENDS Play mat $69.95.

17| ZOO PACKS Just perfect for Pre-school $18.

18| COTTON BIBS That come in pink or blue


by The Amazing Baby co

by SkipHop.com.au



mychild | december 2014

by Lassig






23 19| PINK AND GOLD Geo Soft Activity Cube $27.00.


Naturally safe and chemical free $29.95.

by Love Mae

22| NEWBORN GIFT SET Perfect for a boy or a girl $49.95.

23 |KNITTED TOYS Beautiful assortment of

24| WHIMSICAL COLLECTION Divine bamboo organic

cuddley toys from $13.95 each.

clothes $ 46.95.

by Ouch

by Nanny Pickle

by Babee and Me

by TinyTribe.com.au

21| UV PONCHO Protect baby from the harsh

sun $65.0.0

by thestorksnest.com.au

december 2014 | mychild

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gift guide



32 31


25| TAIL LIGHTS Unique floor lamp with a soft

26| BABY MOBILE Hot air ballon kit for you to

27| BABYPRINTS ORNAMENT Capture your babies

glow $59.95.

make $48.79.

by Mocka.com

by Button Face

handprint $12.95.

by Pearhead.com

28| WALL FRAME Babyprint keepsake.

29| CONSTRUCTION TOY 3O| SUPER SKITTLES Great for bigger kids $499.00. Six superhero-themed

From $24.95.



by Pearhead.com mychild | december 2014

by Engino.com

skittles $47.00.

by Newbies.com



28 33


36 35



Keeping little backs strong $1245.00.

Jam packed full of practical features $99.

by Kalencom

by Ergonomics.com


Perfect bag for the busy mum $164.95.

by Total Bag Envy

33| BABY MONITOR Always stay close to your little

one $179.99.

by V-Tech.com.au

35| MINI SQUIDS Protect little eyes with

36| TEEPEE Hours of outdoor fun

these stylish sunnies $39.95.

by Eyetribe.com.au

$99.00. by Mocka.com december 2014 | mychild

* 103

gift guide


38 41

42 46 44 45 37| LITTLE CAFE Coffee making at home $ POA.

by kaleidoscope.com.au

38| MAYA BATH TOYS Bath fun $19.99. by ABC4Kids.com

40|NECKERHEW No more dribbles $ 19.95.


from $ 115.00.

by Homegrown

by LittleM.com.au 104


mychild | december 2014


Cocool Bootie and beanie set $29.99.

by MerinoKids.com

42| PETIT ROSHAMBO Wonderful gifts for anyone Stulish sunnies $34.95. by Petit.com.au

39 40




43|ANNABEL KARMEL 44|PEPPA PIG Making feeding time easier Block wagon and game

45| SNOWFLAKE BOOTS Non-slip gripped sole boots.

from $11.96.


by Nuk.com.au

by ABC4Kids.com


$ 29.9. by Attipas.com.au

47|FILIGREE TREES 9cm Asylum Dalek Figure $17.00. Simple and classic $85.00.

48| STRIPES AND FRECKLES Beanbag in Blue or Pink $99.00.

by ABC4Kids.com

by Applicata

by Bellaslittleones.com.au december 2014 | mychild

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Trostisar Cuddly Strips, $6.95, are soft plush plasters that provide comfort for cuts, bites, stings or bumps – even loneliness, sadness or when a child has a tummy ache to encourage them to stroke their tummy better. However, if there is a wound, always protect it with a bandaid first then place a cuddly plaster on top to calm your tot. Find out more details at exquira.com.au.


An ocean of bath toys fits inside the Boon Whale Pod so they can be easily stored and left to drip-dry. Kids love how it playfully scoops up water plus parents will appreciate the removable scoop, which makes bath time clean-up fun and easy. Priced at $59.99, the pod is ideal for storing and organising bath accessories. See boon.com for stockists.



mychild | december 2014

New preggy app

Is this your first time being pregnant? Or maybe your third or fourth, but you’re still unsure which vitamins you should be taking and how much you should be eating? Pregnancy+ is the midwife in your pocket – and boasting 100,000 users in Australia this year, it is also the number-one pregnancy app! With the ability to be customised for each parent or grandparent, you’ll never be secondguessing what’s going on. The app offers advice on diet, exercise and labour, and with a doctor’s log, you won’t forget an appointment again! In addition, there’s a comprehensive guide for all of the stages – just what you need to make your pregnancy even more special. As a free download, this app is for all expecting parents.

ergobaby ergobaby


Q&A Should I be using a teaspoon or tablespoon to give my toddler medicine? Parents who measure medication dosages in teaspoons or tablespoons are far more likely to make errors than those who use millilitres, says new research published in Pediatrics. According to the study, about 40 percent of parents dole out incorrect dosages, and those who measure in teaspoons or tablespoons are twice as likely to make mistakes than those who measure in millilitres. One reason is because terms like “teaspoon” and “tablespoon” inadvertently endorse the use of kitchen spoons, which vary greatly in size and make it difficult for parents to measure their child’s dose of medication accurately. To ensure that you pour the correct amount for your child every time: • when giving instructions about your child’s dose, request that your doctor or pharmacist use millilitres • never use a kitchen spoon for medications • request a standardised dosing instrument from your doctor or pharmacist if you don’t have one at home (note that an oral syringe is considered the most accurate instrument for measuring medications) • before giving your child medication, double check that your measurement matches what the instructions say.


3D-Mesh Ventus

Go Far, Stay Close... and COOL! Inspired by the Latin word for wind, this carrier features a 3D-mesh panel and moisture-wicking mesh lining for ultimate ventilation and breathability so both baby and parent stay cooler. Durable, lightweight and super cool – it’s the perfect companion for any adventure.

“The Ergobaby Carrier offers optimal support for the wearer and optimal spinal and hip positioning for a newborn (using the newborn insert). Babywearing encourages parents to enjoy an active lifestyle and reduces a baby’s time in prams and car seats. Ergobaby is a great start for new life!” Dr Jacey Pryjma - Well Kids Chiropractor - drjacey.com.au

ergobaby.com.au 1300 725 276 december 2014 | mychild 87 ergobaby.co.nz +61 3 6240*4001

news | baby & toddler

FOCUS ON: CRADLE CAP When it’s just on your baby’s head, cradle cap is the nickname for seborrheic dermatitis. If your baby has it, she probably has dry, pink patches on her head and some waxy, scaly peeling. Cradle cap is noticeably different from other infant rashes because of its waxy texture and its location – on baby’s scalp, forehead, eyebrows, ears and/or behind the ears, but not on other parts of the body. It’s pretty run-of-the-mill. Cradle cap is most common when your baby is two to four weeks old and typically resolves by her first birthday. There really isn’t a known cause, however many babies with cradle cap experience dandruff as older children and adults. Using baby oil or ointment and then brushing

with a soft brush can help to remove the scales. In severe cases, your baby’s paediatrician may recommend a dandruff shampoo and (rarely) they may suggest using a low-dose steroid cream to resolve any severe redness. Washing your baby’s hair every few days with a gentle shampoo may help prevent cradle cap. Don’t worry if baby does get it though as it won’t bother her, and it will most likely slowly clear up over the next few weeks or months. Some mothers treat it with olive oil, smoothing it on with a cotton ball and leaving it on for 15 to 20 minutes before gently combing out the flakes with a soft brush or fine-toothed comb. More often than not the condition should clear up on its own. If it doesn’t see your doctor.

Did you know… most babies are born with blue eyes! However, by six to 12 months of age, the pigment is activated by your baby’s genetics (blue, brown, hazel and so on) 88


mychild | december 2014


HOW TO… CHOOSE A HIGHCHAIR HIGH CHAIRS ARE ESSENTIAL, BUT WHICH TYPE IS BEST FOR YOU? BABY PLANNER AMANDA JEPHTHA OFFERS SOME SUGGESTIONS Fixed. Folding. Table-clamping. Convertible. Highchairs cater for every scenario imaginable. So which do you actually need? PLENTY OF SPACE Fixed highchairs tend to be more stable, durable and comfortable than their counterparts, but can be awkward to move around. Most can be height adjusted and recline to accommodate newborns. Others, like Stokke’s Tripp Trapp, morph into adult chairs. However, not all have trays. SHORT ON SPACE Many highchairs fold flat for easy storage. Cheaper models tend to be flimsy – double check that the legs are well splayed and lock in place. Again, not all have trays. Table-clamping highchairs provide comfort with a space-saving design. Without legs, this type of chair attaches to the side of a table with strong clamps. A GROWING CLAN Some highchairs are durable and designed to be long lasting… others aren’t. If you plan to expand your family

1 2 3 *

mychild | december 2014

by two or three, it’s better to spend more in one go and get a good-quality highchair than spend less on many cheaper imitations (which will probably work out more expensive in the long run). Some safety bars and seat spaces are adjustable in both a vertical and horizontal direction – handy for when your baby grows. THE TRAVELLING NOMAD Lightweight versions of the table clamp are a breeze to transport and wash, yet supportive enough for regular use. Highchair harnesses strap your babe to almost any chair, although they’re not as supportive as the table clamps. No matter which throne you choose, make sure it’s simple to clean. In addition, don’t even consider a highchair that doesn’t have a crotch strap/bar and safety harness (ideally, a five-point design). Your young baby will learn and grow in the highchair so consider your decision carefully before taking the plunge! *





mychild | december 2014



et’s be honest, if you have a baby or toddler in the house, Christmas time is more about the parents and family time than the kids having a break from school. There is no better way to enjoy this time than by taking a holiday together and getting away from the routine and stresses of everyday life. With Christmas gifts and decorations hitting the shelves already, now is the time to plan. There are savings to be had when you book in advance, which also takes away the stress of trying to find last-minute availability. Here are my tips for making travelling with your little ones an enjoyable experience for everyone.


BUY TRAVEL-THEMED GIFTS Buy the kids fun but practical Christmas presents that they can take away – beach balls, books, hats, a cuddly toy etc. This helps get them excited and lets them know in advance some of the fun activities they can look forward to.


PLAN AHEAD If you have a baby, plan your car drives or flights to coincide with their sleep patterns to minimise tiredness.


TRY TODDLER TACTICS If you have a toddler, let them help pack their daypack. It makes them feel grown-up and adds to the sense of adventure. If long travel times are ahead, add a few small gifts to their bags and

let them unwrap one every few hours to break the boredom. It also provides great motivation and rewards for good behaviour.


STOCK UP If you are going to a developing country, stock up on basics like sunscreen, formula, wipes, hand sanitiser, medicine etc. They won’t necessarily be readily available.


WATCH OUT FOR FREEBIES Look for hotel specials and holiday package deals where kids stay and eat for free, and childcare facilities and free child-friendly activities are available.


ENSURE THERE’S A KITCHEN Apartments with basic cooking facilities are ideal for feeding your children and they give you more space to relax once the little ones go to sleep.


ENCOURAGE TASTE TESTING Get your toddler to try at least one new type of food each day. It is all part of the adventure and experiencing new things – they might even discover a new vegetable that they like.


BE FLEXIBLE Most importantly, be flexible and remember this holiday is all about you. The more you enjoy it, the more your kids will and there will be plenty of future holidays where they will try and call the shots. * For details on TravelGiver visit travelgiver.com.

december 2014 | mychild

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mychild | december 2014



oddlers seem to be constantly catching something. Colds, coughs, sniffles and even fevers are common. Here we look at what to do about some routine conditions along with more serious illnesses.

DOCTORS & MEDICINES When your child is feeling under the weather, there’s only one thing you want to do: make them feel better as soon as possible. But it can be hard to know what kind of medication to give and when. Knowing you have good medical care for your child can put your mind at ease, and choosing a good doctor ahead of time can save you a lot of worry. However, if you’re not happy with a doctor’s diagnosis or advice it’s OK to want a second opinion or to consider changing doctors.

COMMON HEALTH ISSUES Mild illnesses are part of growing up – there’s not a whole lot you can do to help your child avoid them. But if you’re ever worried about

your child’s health, there’s no harm in asking a health care professional for advice. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most common health issues experienced by Australian children. Allergies Allergies occur when your child’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment (allergens) that are normally harmless to most people – such as food, insect

“Mild illnesses are part of growing up – there’s not a whole lot you can do to help your child avoid them” stings or bites, dust mites, animals and pollen. Many children have non-food allergies to ordinary things in our homes and environment too, such as to pets, dust mites, insects, and grasses, weeds and pollens. Researchers estimate that only six to eight percent of children have food allergies. Food intolerances are more common, but they’re >

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toddler not the same as allergies. If you’re not sure why your child is having a reaction, and there’s a possibility it could be caused by a food allergy, it’s best to consult your doctor. Asthma One in five Australian children suffers from asthma. It can sound like a whistling wheeze when your child breathes out. If you think your child has asthma, see your doctor about a management plan.

SIGNS OF SERIOUS ILLNESS The signs of serious illness in a toddler are the same as for babies. Illness can quickly worsen so call your doctor if you’re worried: • drowsiness (they are less alert than usual) • decreased movement or lethargy (they are less active and just want to lie around) • breathing difficulties • poor circulation (they look paler than usual – or even blue – and might have cold hands and feet) • poor feeding • not much wee (fewer than four wet nappies in 24 hours).

WHEN IT’S URGENT Seek urgent medical attention if your child does any of the following: • vomits green fluid • has a convulsion (a fit) – if this happens, try not to panic – gently place your toddler on their side, allowing them to move freely • stops breathing for more than 15 seconds • has a lump in the groin area (a hernia) • has a rash on their legs • has a high fever (a temperature of more than 38°C).



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Bladder infection Also called a urinary tract infection, this issue is more common in girls than boys. You might notice that your child needs to wee more often, is irritable or has a mild fever. Treatment is with oral antibiotics, so see your doctor. For girls, wiping front to back will prevent most bladder infections. Chickenpox This virus causes itchy red blisters on the body. Chickenpox is contagious, so you will need to keep your child away from other children until the last blister has healed over. The easiest way to avoid chickenpox is to have your child immunised – the vaccine is offered free at 18 months of age. Colds Colds are the most common cause of illness in children. Fluids, comfort and rest are usually the best remedy. Croup This is caused by a virus and usually comes after a cold. The main symptoms of croup include a barking cough, hoarseness and noisy breathing (particularly when breathing in). These symptoms tend to be worse at night. Most cases of croup don’t need treatment and can be managed like a cold. Sometimes, though, the symptoms can cause breathing difficulties – in this case, you should seek immediate medical attention. Vomiting & diarrhoea These illnesses are common in toddlers because little kids tend to put everything (including dirty fingers) in their mouths. Because young children can easily become dehydrated when they’re unwell, offer your child small amounts of clear fluid regularly until the vomiting or diarrhoea passes. You could try water or oral dehydration fluid (or flat lemonade diluted 1:4 with water if your child won’t drink water alone). If you are worried your child isn’t getting better, ask your health care professional for advice.

HEALTH TIPS FOR TODDLERS Make sure immunisations are up to date  Immunisation protects us against bacteria and viral nasties, such as measles and diphtheria, which are potentially serious – and even life-

threatening. Immunisation is considered to be essential protection for your child. Toddlers can be immunised by a GP or at a baby health centre at 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. The Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement is payable only once you have followed the immunisation recommendations.

“The easiest way to avoid chickenpox is to have your child immunised – the vaccine is offered free at 18 months” Don’t give unprescribed medications Normal household medicine can be deadly to toddlers. That’s why it’s important not to give any medication to your child unless it has been prescribed for them by a doctor. Some herbal remedies can also be dangerous, so it’s best to check with a doctor to be safe. Keep the air clean Second-hand smoke can cause serious health risks to non-smokers.

If someone in your house smokes, you can protect your child by making sure people always smoke outside. Avoid using chemical household sprays, like insect repellent or cleaning products, when your toddler is there. Have good hygiene Hygiene is important for anyone taking care of children, and is one of the most effective ways we have to protect ourselves – and others – from illness. Hygiene is especially important if you’re taking your toddler swimming. Beforehand, wash your child thoroughly (especially their rear end) with soap and water to avoid germs getting into the pool. * See raisingchildren.net.au/a_z_health.aspx for other common health issues that might affect your toddler. This information is sourced from the Raising Children Network. Supported by the Australian Government, this is a resource for parents of babies to teenagers. Visit raisingchildren.net.au or connect on facebook. com/RaisingChildrenNetwork, twitter.com/RCN_AUS and plus.google.com/+raisingchildren.

Pure Tots

Beautiful handmade crochet toys, clothes & accessories

Designed for newborns to 12 years, with a focus on using 100% organic fair-trade cotton, Pure Tots offers beautiful handmade, eco-friendly crochet toys, accessories and clothes – all created in Western Australia. Our range brings you old-world charm with a modern twist.


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TADPOLES $22.95 EACH by Cushie Tooshies cushietushies.com.au

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shopping compare | nappies



ONE SIZE $19.95

by Cushie Tushies cushietushies.com.au

by TotsBots totsbots.com.au

by BumGenius darlingsdownunder.com.au

by Pea Pods peapods.com.au




PIKAPU $29.95

by Bambooty bambooty.com.au

by Green Kids greenkids.com.au

by Baby BeeHinds babybeehinds.com.au

by Pikapu thenappylady.com.au


AQUA SWIM $19.95



by Baby BeeHinds babybeehinds.com.au

by Cushie Tushies cushietushies.com.au

by Pea Pods peapods.com.au

by Itti itticom.au


TADPOLE $22.95



EASY DRY $24.95



UPANT $23.95

by Bambooty bambooty.com.au

by Baby BeeHinds babybeehinds.com.au

by BumGenius darlingsdownunder.com.au

by Eenee eenee.com.au

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SAVE $1000’s per child • EnVironmEntAlly Friendly EASy to Use • BAmBoo Absorber Included

onE SiZE with adjustable leg elastic!


100% bamboo liners

• Flushable • Antibacterial • 100% Biodegradable

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BABY&TODDLER GOING ON AN ADVENTURE? From the moment your baby is born, there is nothing you will enjoy more than holding them close. Designed to grow with your baby from birth to toddler (3.2kg with Infant Insert to 20kg), this newly released purple Ergobaby Ventus Carrier, $209, offers front, back and hip positions. Durable, lightweight and super cool – the Ventus Carrier is the perfect companion for any adventure. Head to ergobaby. com.au for more information.


LIGHT UP YOUR WORLD Bring the joy of the great outdoors to your little one’s nursery or bedroom with this beautiful Into The Woods fabric children’s table lamp, $99.95, which features a white PVC backing with a colourful printed fabric design around the circumference of the lamp shade. When it’s turned on, it illuminates the beautiful scene of children playing in nature with a gentle glow. The whitewashed timber legs create a solid base and the lamp is 25cm in diameter and 32cm tall. To see all of the designs check out bellaslittleones.com.au.



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An innovative swaddling jacket, Sleepy Wings, priced from $29.95, allows your baby to sleep snugly in an arms up or down position. There is enough stretch in each jacket for comfort so you know your baby will be safe and with summer here it also prevents overheating as there aren’t too many layers. Discover more info at sleepywings. com.au.

SO SPOTTY Splash into Summer with the launch of SOOKIbaby Swimwear. Designed with long hot Australian Summers in mind, with Ultraviolet UPF+50 protection and carefully curated swimwear styles, this collection will have baby swimming Like A Funky Little Monkey. $32.95 from SOOKIBaby.com.au

SOFT & COMFY With a new improved nappy design, Bambo Nature eco nappies, $17.95 for a newborn pack, ensure maximum freedom of movement for baby. Plus with easy-lock resealable stretch tape tabs for comfort, extra elastication along the back waist for a snug fit, leg leakage barriers and more, there’s a lot to like! To check out the range head to thenappylady.com.au.

QUICK CHANGE The new 100 percent GOTS-certified organic 365 Sleepybag by the Sleepy Company is the only interchangeable baby sleeping bag that can be configured to adapt to all the different seasons, ambient temperatures and your baby’s changing needs, thanks to its patent-pending design. Go to sleepycompany.com for more information and to pre-order for $160.


Chicco’s Polly Swing Up, $299, is a specially designed swing for newborn bubs to play and relax in a raised position. It features an ergonomically shaped booster cushion with an integrated wedge to ensure your new baby is laying in the correct position along with a double layer of padding to provide a snug fit for their head. Plus the cushion can be adjusted to two different heights to adapt to baby’s growth and the booster can be completely removed when they need more room. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, you can find out more about it at chicco.com.au.

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shopping | baby & toddler

KEEP IT TIDY Be it bear, camel, monkey, owl or racoon (or loads more options) these fun animal storage bins by 3 Sprouts will help your kids to clean up their act. Made from a cotton canvas, the bins are tough enough to hold whatever you throw in them – they’re even handy for storing laundry, toys or books – but cute enough to complement the bestdressed home. If space is at a premium they are easy to fold down and pack away when they’re not in use too. These bins are a great gift for kids of all ages. For other handy storage and organiser ideas plus bath products and more head to 3sprouts.com.

NATURALLY NUTS Forget all those nasty chemicals that you usually wash your clothes with and try SoapNuts instead! Available from soapnuts.net.au at $6 for 100g, $9.90 for 200g and $23 for 500g, they are 100 percent natural. Also known as wash nuts or soap berries, these are “nature’s soap” because the pods contain a very high percentage of saponins, a surfactant that removes dirt and oils from clothing when placed in contact with water. They can be popped into your washing machine instead of detergent and fabric softener, and will leave your clothes clean, soft and without scent.

NO MORE FIVESECOND RULE Keep your baby’s pacifier from falling on the ground with the PaciGrip pacifier leash by BooginHead. Priced at $5.50 and with lots of styles to choose from, they’re compatible with all types of pacifiers – and washable too. See booginhead.com.



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CARE PLUS Made from organic bamboo muslin and designed to help your baby or child feel safe and settled, Inspired Mother My Luvvie comforters, $19.95, come in different characters! Visit inspiredlivingaus. com for details.

HEALING HANDS These award-winning, therapeutic positioning pillows are ergonomically designed to help parents and their babies bond with each other while they’re in hospital or apart. The Zaky, $81.95 for one or $143 for a set of two, provides a sense of protection for young babies. Go to thezaky.net.au for details.

CHAIR WITH FLAIR Tiny tots want to be a part of the family at the table but they also like to move. This Leander high chair, $299.95, is slightly springy, giving them a natural sense of freedom of movement. The safety brace and back are designed to ensure a correct ergonomic sitting position and the brace can be adjusted without using tools. Perfect for the growing child. Find out more at danishbydesign.com. au.

DRIVE ON Wrapped in a toy shape, Rugmobile baby blankets, $19.95 each, are available in super soft motorbike, train, helicopter and truck styles. Great fun for your little one, they are sized at 100 x 85cm. and are available at annabel trends.com.



At eco brand Naty, the health of your child comes first, which is why Naty by Nature Babycare nappies are based on natural materials with fewer chemicals. Plus they’re unbleached, contain no latex or fragrance and are hypo-allergenic so your baby is healthy. Priced from $13.95, head to naty.com for details and thenappylady.com.au to purchase.

We all want minimal interaction with our nappy pail and this 100 percent handsfree Diaper Dekor Plus, $119, is the answer – no stuffing, twisting, pushing or prodding necessary! Simply step on the pedal. Head to diaperdekor.com to view all the colours.

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s a parent, one of your primary concerns is your child’s safety. While some dangers – a hot stove, traffic or an electrical outlet – are quite easy to explain, others such as sexual assault can be more difficult to talk about. You may be afraid that you will frighten your child, not know how to explain the subject or know where to start. You may also not want to recognise that your child could become a victim of a crime. You may feel as if your child would tell you if they were ever harmed or felt unsafe. You could feel that child sexual assault is something that would never affect your family.

“STRANGER DANGER” IS THE WRONG MESSAGE We used to teach children about “stranger danger”, but studies have shown that most sexual assaults, between 85 and 95 percent of them, occur at the hands of someone known to the child and their family. Unfortunately,



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the realities are that one in five children will experience some form of sexual harm before they reach the age of 18. Keeping your children safe from child predators sounds like a scary proposition, but it doesn’t have to be. To protect your children, you must equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to avoid risky situations and give them an understanding of their right to protect their own body. Teaching children personal safety helps them learn to identify their vulnerabilities, while devising strategies to both protect themselves and get help if they are unable to cope alone. It is never too early to sow the seeds of personal safety. Unlike the outdated “stranger danger” messages, the emphasis is on learning communication skills, problem solving skills and assertiveness. Children who are empowered and who are confident within themselves are less vulnerable to sexual assault and are best positioned to keep themselves safe. >

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The basic principles we need to teach our children are: • to trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feelings • to say no to adults if they are feeling unsafe and unsure • that they own their bodies and know about their private parts • that nothing is so yucky that they can’t tell someone about it • that if they feel unsafe or unsure to run and tell someone they trust. By teaching “touching safety”, you will not scare a child or make them afraid of good healthy touching. You will be giving your child skills to stop bad or confusing touching. Children feel good knowing they can help themselves. Teach them that: • it is never OK for grown-ups or older kids to touch their private parts (explain there may be times when it is necessary then give an example you are comfortable with) • if someone touches their private body parts, or asks you to touch theirs and to keep it a secret, tell an adult right away • if the first person does not believe them, tell someone else – keep on telling until someone believes them • anytime they feel mixed up about a touch, tell the person to stop and then talk to a grown-up they can trust.


Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure is a range of products developed by Bravehearts Inc and designed to assist in teaching children to keep safe in a non-confronting, fun and interactive way. Resources include a CDROM, activity book, DVD, CD and more. Go to bravehearts.org.au. Prices start at $10.



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TIPS TO PROTECTING CHILDREN There are a number of key steps parents and carers can take to build resilience and protect children against sexual harm: • Inform children that it is wrong for adults to touch them inappropriately or engage them in sexual activity. • Encourage your children to feel comfortable telling you anything, especially if it involves another adult, and to identify other trusted adults they can talk to in confidence. • Learn all about the people who your child is spending time with. • Knowledge is power. Teach your children about their bodies and the correct language to use when describing their private parts. Emphasise that those parts are private. This will make them more at ease if they need to tell you about a touch that made them feel uncomfortable. If a child has been taught a word like “garage” or “golf stick” to describe their private parts, a disclosure may be missed. • Be an active participant in their activities. You will have a better opportunity to observe how the adults in charge interact with them. If you are concerned about anyone’s behaviour, take it up with the sponsoring organisation. • Listen to your children. Pay attention if they tell you they do not want to be with someone or go somewhere. This may be an indication of more than a personality conflict or lack of interest in the activity or event. • Notice when someone shows one or all of your kids a great deal of attention or begins to give them gifts. Talk to your children and find out why the person is acting in this way. • Teach your kids that they have the right to say no to any unwelcome, uncomfortable or confusing touching or actions by others. Teach them to tell you immediately if this happens. Reassure them that you are there to help and it is OK to tell you anything. • Be sensitive to any changes in their attitude or behaviour. Encourage open communication and learn how to be an active listener. Watch

out for small cues and clues that something may be troubling them, because children are not always comfortable disclosing disturbing events or feelings. This may be because they are concerned about your reaction. • If your children do confide problems to you, strive to remain calm, non-critical and nonjudgemental. Listen compassionately to their concern and work with them to get the help they need to resolve the problem. • Practise basic safety skills with your kids. Make an outing to a mall or park a teachable experience in which they can practise checking with you, using payphones, going to the toilet with a friend and locating the adults who can help them if they need assistance. • Be aware of safe internet practices. Teach your child never to give out their last name, address or phone number to a person on the internet and never to meet internet friends in person without a parent’s supervision and consent. Parents should help children choose a screen name that does not disclose any

information about their location. Also teach them not to post pictures with identifying information, such as a school uniform. • Always keep computers in a public area of your house – not in a child’s bedroom. If you need multiple computers for multiple children, use laptops with wireless internet. • Remember there is no substitute for your attention and supervision. Being available and taking time to really know and listen to your kids helps build feelings of safety and security. • Also remember that in the vast majority of cases children are molested by someone they know. Your efforts to keep your child safe must be informed by this fact and not focused only on the danger that strangers may present. Young children respond well to personal safety education and tips, and these should be revisited often. We can teach our children about water safety and not make them fearful of the water. We need to do the same when it comes to personal safety. *

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Turn these brightly coloured cubes to make six different farm animal pictures. Presented in a solid box, these Djeco 4 Cube Wood Farm Boxes, $19, will help children with their early learning experiences. Suitable for two years plus. Visit educationaltoysonline. com.au to purchase.

Designed with long hot Australian summers in mind, this SOOKIbaby Gone Fishing boy’s coverup for the beach and pool is priced at $53.95. There’s also matching shorts and a long-sleeved rashie to help protect your child from the sun. See rosiepose.com.au.

PEN PAL With all of our modern technology, we are never too young or too old to enjoy receiving a letter. This Dear Little Letterbox by Dear Little Designs can sit on a shelf or you can attach it to the wall and place some decals around it. Each letterbox comes packaged with little envelopes, a notepad, coloured pencils, sharpener, stickers and wall-mounting supplies. Available in five fun colour options for $39.95. To see them all pop over to dearlittledesigns.com.



Your wee princess or budding cowboy will love having a Mocka teepee, $99.95. Suitable for year-round use, both inside and out, these kids’ play tents will be an instant hit, plus there are eight great styles to pick from. Get them at mocka.com.au.

Have your child’s shoes ever gone missing? With shoe labels from My Name Label it’ll never happen again! They are priced at only $15 for a set of 12 and you can design your own – plus there’s free delivery Australia wide. You can order them at mynamelabel.com.au.



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The zombie Nerf wars continue! With a quickload slot, this Hasbro Nerf Zombie Fusefire Blaster, $42.90, has light-up ability and includes five glowin-the-dark discs for striking enemies. Get it and more fun toys at yogee.com.au.

Kids just adore animals and a brightly handpainted zebra or giraffe stool will look fabulous in any room. Visit pinkcoyote.com. au to enquire about prices.

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With the Kids Story Builder, your youngster can create their own exciting and personalised stories with real photos and voices simply by using your phone’s camera to get the visuals then letting their imaginations run wild as they record their story with the microphone. Next they can type up what was spoken and play back the story for laughs. You can get the app here.

BE A busy bee

This gorgeously designed book includes a 123 fun activities to do with children. Try these ideas out: Ice-cube painting Add drops of food colouring to water in an ice-cube tray and freeze. A few hours later you’ll have “water crayons” for drawing on paper as they melt. Try freezing paddle pop sticks into the ice cubes to help with painting. Car washing Anything involving water is fun, especially on a warm sunny day. Grab a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and get to work making those toy trucks and cars shine. The older children can even help wash the family car. Outdoor cubby Kids love to hide and cubby houses are a childhood rite of passage – and can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Try using a sheet draped over chairs or a tree branch, or an old shower curtain threaded through a hula hoop. Get Busy Little Kids by Neva Elliott (Jane Curry Publishing, $19.95) from janecurrypublishing.com.au.



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GAME on!

Online games are the perfect way to build the skills that teachers say are most important for children aged from three to seven. Preschool, kindergarten and first-grade maths and reading skills are all covered in this set of free educational games for kids. Make screen time matter and let them learn while the are having fun. Head here for free online educational games.


THE BENFITS OF excercise

When most adults think about exercise, they imagine working out in the gym on a treadmill or lifting weights. But for kids, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they play handball or tag during recess at school, at dance class or soccer practice or while riding bikes. Kids who are active will: Have stronger muscles and bones and have leaner bodies because exercise helps to control body fat. Be less likely to become overweight, decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and possibly lower their blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, children who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges – from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

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Q&A My eight -year-old son doesn’t like the rules and boundaries we set for him. He challenges everything we ask him to do. Is this normal? This is the age at which children start to think logically, so logical natural consequences are the best teacher. This is also the age at which their brains can see things from other points of view. Reasoning can be used to some effect but bear in mind that their reasoning may not agree with yours. As they get older and their mind starts to manage their behaviour, so the management of their behaviour has to make sense to their mind. Their mind has to be engaged with reality-type choices and options, for example, ‘If you help me then I’ll have time to read you a story but if you don’t then I won’t be able to.’ Charts are still useful but at this stage a significant shift is occurring; what parents say matters less and less, and what their mates say or think matters more and more. Rewards and punishments that take into account that they have a capable brain that needs respect and which acknowledges their peer approval needs will be most effective. Children can be involved in setting up the rules, so consult them, respect them and deliver logical consequences, good or bad, depending on how they’ve handled their own rules. It’s very hard for kids to disobey their own rules. Dr John Irvine is a child psychologist.

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ollow the rules” sounds like an order. But if you’re a gamer, you know that a game’s rules pose an exciting challenge: what can I do within these limits that nobody has done before? The following gamer’s guidelines apply to every sort of game – including life itself.

LEARN THE RULES When you’re young and everything’s blurry and shapeless, your first job is to discover the rules. An adult hides behind his hands, and then he springs out and shouts, ‘Peek-a-boo!’ You laugh, and then he does it again. After a while, you realise that the joke here is that he does it the same way every time – that the hiding precedes the peeking and booing. Running through the grass screaming is fun, but it’s not a game. If you add a simple set of rules to your play – first, hide, then shout ‘Peeka-boo!’ – you get a new kind of fun. A game called Peek-a-boo.



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ENFORCE THE RULES On the playground, a PE teacher might lay down the laws of various games: ‘That’s against the rules’ or ‘Here’s how you play Four Square.’ But children can teach each other the rules, too, by explaining to each other how to survive a game of dodgeball, say, or win at Scrabble by always going for triple-letter scores. Even with a game as complicated as baseball,

“The better you get at playing a game the more important it becomes to enforce the rules” most children don’t sit down and read a rule book – they learn to play it it as they go. When the baseball coach isn’t there, the players keep each other in line. If you’re a gamer, then you never break a game’s rules. Instead, you try to play the >

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big kids game – within the rules – your way. You learn which tactics work well and then, just when others think they have you figured out, you switch everything up and surprise them. You keep a straight face when you’re holding a winning hand of cards (or a losing one!). The better that you get at playing a game – whether it’s soccer or Apples to Apples or two-player Skylanders – the more important it becomes to enforce the rules. If you break the

rules, you break the game. But stick to them, and you can win fair and square! There’s no more satisfying feeling.

MODIFY THE RULES Although gamers don’t break a game’s rules, they know it’s quite OK to modify the game – sometimes to the point where it becomes a new game. If you’ve ever lowered a basketball net to help smaller kids compete or changed



Gaming encourages you to develop skills and expertise by practising a thing over and over. More importantly, it challenges you to teach yourself how to do something. Although we live in a “throwaway” culture, gaming is all about hacking, modifying and improving stuff you already own. If you don’t like the way a game works, instead of tossing it out you can make it work better. Active games not only help you improve your coordination and develop agility and flexibility, but they also build self-confidence. There is no more enjoyable way to get and stay fit than to run around playing a game. Games exercise your imagination and develop your problem-solving skills –

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plus they encourage you to hack, modify and improve your own mindset and behaviour. They make you resilient and determined; you have to develop “grit.” Why bother? Because developing grit helps you to become independent. Gaming teaches you to actually do what you say you’re going to do. What are you good at? What motivates you? What makes you happy? Gaming teaches you the answers to these important questions: not just who you are, but what makes you tick. Gaming teaches you your environment is modifiable. You realise that everyday life is a puzzle to be solved: the more difficult the obstacles, the more fun you’ll have figuring out how to beat them. Sharing games with others – teaching and learning the best strategies – is rewarding. Whether you win or lose the game doesn’t matter. Why? Because although gaming is competitive, playing a game is always a collaboration between the players. Jumping in and making mistakes is the fastest way to learn how to play a game. Not worrying about being perfect, and just trying your best, is known as “fun failure”. Each time you play a game, you enter a world in which grown-ups aren’t in control. When it comes to games, there are no teachers or coaches – it’s up to you, with a little help from your friends.

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the “house rules” in Monopoly to share the wealth from the Free Parking space, or used the specialised dice or figures that came with one game in order to create a completely different game, then you’re a gamer. A few years ago, someone invented a version of Noughts and Crosses where you’re playing on nine grids at once and with that one simple change, a boring game for little kids became interesting again. Pay attention to how your fellow players act, react, struggle, fight and have fun. Game designers do this all the time, when they’re “play testing” a new game. If the rules feel too easy, a gamer tightens them up; if they’re too frustrating, a gamer gives people new options.

REWRITE THE RULES A gamer understands that when a game’s rules aren’t working, cheating or quitting doesn’t help. If the rules aren’t fair – when the same person or team wins the game every single time – then stop everything and write some

new rules. For example, the game of chess has changed over the centuries. The rules that we take for granted in everyday life – about how to wait in line, for example – were invented at some point in the past. sA gamer understands that it’s important to follow these rules when they’re fair, and when they make life enjoyable and rewarding. But a gamer also understands that sometimes life’s rules need to be modified, even rewritten. As a gamer, you already know how to step up and demonstrate a better way. Whether in your backyard, at school or in life generally, think about the rules of the game and propose changes to the unfair ones. If you can convince others to agree with your new rules, then everyone can come out a winner. * This is an edited extract from Unbored Games: Serious Fun for Everyone (Bloomsbury, $19.99) by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen. See bloomsbury.com/au.

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And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes, or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr Seuss



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Profile for My Child Magazine

My Child Magazine December 2014 Issue  

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

My Child Magazine December 2014 Issue  

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

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