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RRP $7.50 (incl GST)


APRIL 2016 – MAY 2016


How big

is your carbon footprint? Waste-free parenting A home for the future Get busy in the garden


Should we be worried?

Maybe baby Should we try for number three?

Seeing into the future

Children’s vision development


for me… Before you turn the key

Challenges, concerns, celebrations A neonatal journey


The magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Parenting tips • Childbirth • Dad's Blog • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health

® Registered Trademark Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © KCWW. © Disney. †Terms and conditions apply.

HUGGIES® Nappy-Pants now come with new MOTIONFLEX® - improved soft, stretchy side panels and flexible leg elastics that move with your wriggly baby, maintaining a snug, comfy fi t day and night. Together with wipes, they’re endorsed by Plunket, so you know they work best together for a happy, comfy groover. And they’ll love the fun, new Mickey and Minnie designs.

Join the HUGGIES® Baby club and go into the draw to WIN a 6 month supply of HUGGIES® products† at

A leaf out of nature’s book There is no doubt that both cloth and disposable nappies have an impact on the environment and there is no point pretending otherwise. That said, most things we buy from the supermarket affect the environment in some way. The important question then becomes what are we doing to minimise the impact our products have on our planet? One way Huggies® Nappies has chosen to be involved as part of the solution is through our support of Envirocomp, the world’s first disposable nappy composting plant. The journey began in North Canterbury in 2007. Karen and Karl Upston, parents of two and keen recyclers, embarked on a mission to develop a way of turning nappies into compost. With the help of local business HotRot, they set about designing a prototype unit. In a five-month trial that exceeded all expectations, 450,000 nappies were composted, and the need for a commercial composting facility was identified. Thanks to Huggies® Nappies, who saw the combination of Kiwi enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit, Karen and Karl were provided the support to be able to set up a commercial venture. Today Envirocomp can process more than 1,300 tonnes of nappies, incontinence and sanitary products per year; the equivalent of around 8 million nappies. This helps mums and dads who choose disposable nappies feel that they can do their bit to minimise waste to landfill. This has been great news for parents who really care about the effect disposable nappies have on the environment. Huggies® Nappies and Envirocomp offer a practical alternative that allows parents to divert nappies away from landfills and back into the land. That’s why in May 2008 Huggies® Nappies and Envirocomp won a Green Ribbon Award for Making a Difference to Household Sustainability.

A leaf out of nature’s book Composting is a natural process that occurs everyday on the forest floor and in most plant environments, when waste from animals and plants goes back into the soil. The HotRot in-vessel composting technology used by Envirocomp mimics this natural process. Nappy products are shredded, along with the green waste, as they enter one end of a continuous process. They then move gradually down the vessel and the waste decomposes to produce compost. The nappies must reach specific temperatures to eliminate any pathogens. This compost can then be used in many ways: for non-food agriculture, leisure areas and other general composted areas like in landscaping at aged care facilities.

What makes a disposable nappy suitable for composting? The middle of a Huggies® Nappy is the absorbent part, made from a mixture of wood pulp and super absorbent materials. These materials enhance the moisture-holding potential of the final compost product.

Where is the service available? The Canterbury plant was so successful that another opened in Wellington in 2012 and, to meet growing demand, the Canterbury site was expanded in 2014. The long-term goal is to bring peace of mind to ecoconscious consumers all over New Zealand. 

To find out more about composting your nappies with Envirocomp visit

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Photo Credit: Saiusi Ale from Wellington. Jonathan Cutts Portraits

Special Features


How big is your carbon footprint:

A leaf out of nature’s book............................................... 1

Going green Kate Meads.............................................................................. 8–11

A home for the future Tessa Johnstone..................................................................... 12–15

Getting your hands dirty

Letters to the Editor............................................................. 4–5 Product page............................................................................ 6–7 Sleep tight.................................................................................. 16

The Palmers team................................................................. 18–20

Zika – Should we be worried?....................................... 22–23 Shared parenting

Super supporters.................................................................... 24–25 Give them a solid start – Lisa Manning................... 30–33

Ben Tafau....................................................................................... 26–29

Maybe baby Kristal O’Neil................................................................................. 36–38

Kid friendly curry – My Foodbag kitchen.............. 34–35 Parents Centre Pages........................................................... 39–45

Seeing into the future Ravi Dass....................................................................................... 46–49

Doing your bit to change the world Chris Ottley................................................................................... 54–57

Understanding empathy

Check for me before you turn the key...................... 50–53 I love what I’m doing – Judy Coldicott.................... 58–59 Find a centre............................................................................ 74

Kerstin Kramar............................................................................. 60–64

Our daughter has hip dysplasia Jen Insley....................................................................................... 65–67

Directory page......................................................................... 75 Shopping Cart......................................................................... 76–79

Challenges, concerns and celebrations Our neonatal journey – Larina van der Werff...................... 68–71


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Giveaways.................................................................................. 80


APRIL 2016 – MAY 2016


Something momentous happened at the end of last year. World leaders from 195 countries – including New Zealand – came together to attend the Paris climate conference. Together, they adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming.

How big is your carbon footprint? At the Paris climate conference in December 2015, 195 countries, including New Zealand, adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming. So what does this mean for Kiwi families? Several articles in this issue look at practical things Kiwi families can do to contribute towards a cleaner, more sustainable world for our children. We invite you to read about waste-free parenting (pgs 8–11), making your home more efficient and sustainable (pgs 12–15), getting busy in the garden (pgs 18–20) and reusing baby products (pgs 54–57).

Challenges, concerns and celebrations When she was only five months pregnant, Larina van der Werff suddenly went into labour and delivered a tiny boy weighing only two pounds (890g). And so began their neonatal journey as every day brought heart-stopping challenges as well as great joy over small triumphs. Larina shares her story as her family spent two months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as Eli struggled, improved and finally grew strong enough to thrive.

Kiwiparent – Since 1954 the magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Editor

Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Fax (04) 938 6242 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e– PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150

Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–

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Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Ph (04) 233 2022 Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher. Advertising in this magazine does not imply endorsement by Parents Centres. Generally material in this publication may be reproduced provided it is used for non-commercial purposes and the source is acknowledged. However, written permission must be sought from the editor. Kiwiparent is proud to support the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981.

ISSN 1173–7638

Among a raft of goals, the governments agreed to strengthen their societies ability to deal with the impacts of climate change. The earth’s climate is affected by human activities – things like driving cars, burning coal, farming and felling trees produce greenhouse gasses. These build up in the atmosphere and end up trapping the sun’s heat – greenhouse gas levels are higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years and our climate is changing more rapidly than ever before. Globally, each of the last three decades has been warmer than the past. This doesn’t just mean we get more summer days! Scientists have recorded glaciers shrinking at an alarming rate, our oceans becoming warmer and more acidic, and sea levels rising. In New Zealand, the main risks have been identified are sea level rise, flooding, wild fires and droughts increasing in severity. This will take an awful toll on families throughout the country. Reducing our emissions can produce many benefits – fuel and energy efficiency can reduce costs to businesses as well as households. Renewable electricity generation creates opportunities, while moving to a lowcarbon economy will make us less vulnerable to volatile oil prices and supply disruptions. Importantly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions can lead to improved health, environmental and social wellbeing, as well as improved erosion control and water quality. This has got to be good for us and our children. At the time of writing this article, a dreadful cyclone has just ravaged Fiji. While the scale of the damage is yet to become clear, many families have lost everything and entire communities have been flattened. Communities across the island group will need help to meet urgent sanitation and hygiene needs, water supplies and other daily essentials. In the aftermath of a cyclone there is damage to infrastructure, and water supplies are at risk as stagnant water increases the risk of waterborne diseases. There are real concerns that Zika will spread as mosquitoes breed. In this issue we look at ways families can reduce their carbon footprint by doing small things one day at a time. Cut back on waste, compost, don’t drive if you can walk, recycle… these are all things we can do at little cost. In the words of the inimitable Dr Seuss: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." Leigh Bredenkamp

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letters to the editor Congratulations to the top letter winner Natalie Cameron who receives a $100 Palmers Gift Voucher.

Top letter

Bouquets… Ahh, finally, after getting little miss 11 months down for a much needed sleep, she’s getting over a cold and teething, I had managed to sit down to read the latest copy of Kiwiparent magazine. Ironically enough, I was reading the article “How to stress less and feel calm again” and had just finished the paragraph with the words “…instead we need to turn inward and do what we can to put ourselves more at ease.” Yes, I put my hard earned cup of tea down, knocked it over and drowned the table, my magazine, myself, chair and carpet in tea… Sigh. And I realised it’s that simple sometimes. I got up, poured a new cuppa, got the handy towels out and within five minutes I was sitting down again writing this letter and thinking how helpful getting Kiwiparent is, not always for the specific articles but just reading other peoples stories, knowing we’re all doing our best with our own individual challenges and like those who have gone before, we will also get there. So enjoy your life, your child, and the mess, remember that not much lasts forever, although I may need to re-read this at 2am!

Natalie Cameron

And brickbats I’m just writing to express my disappointment at the “Emotional first aid” column in the latest Kiwi Parent. Why the magazine would devote two pages to homeopathy is beyond me. As I understand it, science has proven that homeopathy is at best


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Top letter winner Palmers are your garden and outdoor living experts with over 50 years’ experience helping Kiwis grow great gardens. Visit us online or at one of our 16 stores in the North Island. 0800 PALMERS (0800 7256377)

no more effective than a placebo. The last thing I’d want to encourage a stressed new family to do is spend money on snake oil. I really enjoyed my Parents Centre antenatal classes in Lower Hutt, and have made a bunch of good friends there. But by shying away from discussions of vaccination and promoting homeopathy, the organisation is aligning itself with fringe and dangerous views rather than sensible, science-based thinking. I’m sure I speak on my whole antenatal group’s behalf by saying we would rather read two pages about the science-backed benefits of vaccination, or a robust debate about the varying views on tongue ties, than homeopathy.

Andrea O’Neil, Wellington Childbirth Education Manager, Liz Pearce responds: “Parents Centre is founded on the principles of giving parents access to a wide range of quality information so as to enable them to make informed decisions in their roles as parents. Not only is education our primary service, it is what makes our organisation strong – Parents Centre is the largest provider of Childbirth Education in New Zealand for over 63 years.”

In August September of 2015 (issue 267) we published an article by Dr Nikki Turner from the Immunisation Advisory Centre entitled ‘Understanding Vaccines and Immunisation’. Thanks for the suggestion about covering tongue ties Andrea – we will feature this as an article in the June July issue of Kiwiparent. Watch this space! – Editor

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Kids and crayons Towards the end of last year, testing identified traces of asbestos in three of 21 randomly selected crayon products available locally, but authorities stressed the risk to consumers is expected to be low.

Even though the risk to the consumer is considered to be low, parents or caregivers with concerns about their crayons were recommended to check with the supplier. “If you are still concerned we recommend that you stop using the crayons and dispose of them in your rubbish.

Testing commissioned by the Ministry of Health confirmed the presence of asbestos in three of the 21 products designed to appeal to preschoolers available in New Zealand.

“Agencies are in agreement that, while it is currently legal for products to contain asbestos, it is not appropriate for children’s products, such as crayons, to contain asbestos." The Ministry for the Environment is consulting on a proposal to ban the import of asbestos-containing products to New Zealand. Crayons are regulated by the Environmental Protection Authority, but currently asbestos is not specifically prohibited from being used in them. However, if the ban is introduced, it will apply to all products, including crayons.


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The research suggests the asbestos may be used as a binding agent in the crayons, like talc. Talc and asbestos are similar in composition and form in the same locations. “This can lead to natural crosscontamination and this is believed to be the reason asbestos is being detected in some crayons,” the statement from the Ministry of Health said.

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product information page Better sleep for baby with SNUGBAGS unique NEW design! This clever new diagonal zip sleeping bag is 100% unique and combines the best features of both a front-and side zip sleeping bag in one! The diagonal zip starts as a front zip and turns into a full length side zip, no shoulder domes to wriggle out of, a seat belt slot for easy transfers and it opens flat for quick and easy nappy changes. Exclusively made in New Zealand using only NZ merino because of its superior quality – SNUGBAGS sleeping bags are our top pick!

Travel safely with Infasecure car seat from the Baby factory The Infasecure Kompressor Treo car seat will grow with your child from birth to around four years of age. It will accommodate your child rearward facing to approximately 30 months and then convert to forward facing until your child is around four years. It features a new active fabric, which is cool, comfortable and hard-wearing. Exclusive to Baby Factory. RRP $449.00.

Breastmates – flattering designs at affordable prices We love the new range of maternity wear from Breastmates – flattering designs, vibrant colours, warm fabrics, and affordable prices. Breastmates owner Franny McInnes has designed these styles herself after seeing that customers wanted maternity clothes that could be worn for longer than nine months, so all styles have secret breastfeeding access and flattering drape for post-baby tummies. Prices range from $49–$89.


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Toddler pillow – low profile and all natural When your toddler starts to sleep independently and it’s safe for them to sleep on their side, they may be ready for a pillow! Adult pillows pose a safety risk and there are few natural alternatives on the market. At Natures Sway we’ve made a special low-profile pillow suitable for your child to use from around 18 months. Made with our clean New Zealand bonded wool and special Organics fabric. Comes with its own made to measure brushed cotton pillow-slip.

Nappy Disposal System

Honeywrap – a natural alternative to plastic gift fairis ad honeywrap1.pdf 1 28/01/2016food 3:07:44wrap. PM Honeywrap a natural reusable Made with colourful organic cotton and a beeswax mix, it perfectly shapes around your food and dishes keeping it fresh for longer.

Handmade in NZ by three mums who were looking for an alternative to plastic wrap and a way to make a difference. Reusable for up to a year, wash with cold water and a mild soap. As an exciting addition each pack includes wildflower seeded paper to plant, thus providing a food source for bees.


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Going green Waste-Free Parenting


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

As the world becomes more reliant on disposable products, it is important for us to stop, think and re-evaluate our own choices. When we were kids there was no such thing as a roadside rubbish collection because there was no excess packaging or waste from products that we purchased. Our parents shopped at the local butcher who packed the meat in paper, the baker put the bread in a paper bag, families grew their own fruit and veges and most of the products we buy now didn’t exist. In a very short space of time we have become the ultimate consumers without a thought to the impact our choices are making on our earth. We simply fill our bin every week roll it to the kerbside and the contents disappear like magic. Many of us have the best intentions and think we are doing well, but most of us are not really up with the play of how things work these days.

I want to share with you some of the simple, non time consuming things you can do to leave this planet something your children – and their children – can enjoy, not fix. I had no idea what a landfill was and had never considered the fact that nowadays we throw away lots of toxic products that can’t just be turned back into the soil and disappear. Once I leant about how it all actually works I was horrified at the fact that our son would grow up and have to live on a planet that we were successfully filling up with junk. You only have to look at the plastic ocean and see where the planet is heading.

I can honestly say we were masters in the production of waste with our small family. We:

So we started to change. I want to share with you some of the simple, non-time-consuming things you can do to leave this planet something your children – and their children – can enjoy, not fix.

over-purchased fresh foods and produce and threw half of it away.

Ready to recycle?

recycled glass but nothing else.

This is something we can all do better. When I first started to consciously recycle I recycled everything. If it had a number on it, it went into the recycling bin.

put our food waste in the rubbish bin or down the waste disposal. filled our landfill bin every week and never thought any more of it. We never knew we could do things differently. My memories of the tip was going with mum and dad once a year to get rid of our excess rubbish or things that were broken and no longer fixable. It wasn’t a bad place. A bit smelly….sure, lots of seagulls and a guy who used to go through everyone’s rubbish and take out anything he could repurpose or reuse. It seemed that eventually someone threw some grass seed on the pile of rubbish and planted a few trees and tadaah ….a new hill was born.

BUT…I had no idea that you had to clean it first. I cringe at the amount of products we put into the recycling bin that still had food in them or milk bottles that had a bit of milk still lurking in the bottom. It wasn’t until I took a tour around a recycling plant in Palmerston North that I realised I had good intentions but most of my recycling was probably going to landfill any way because it was dirty and, worst of all, probably contaminating other products around it as well. I also had no idea that a lot of the recycling in New Zealand is actually hand-sorted. Eeewwwww yuck! I realised I was not the only one who was not washing out my recycling properly during the tour. But I was determined to make a concerted effort to make sure everything was washed out and prepared to be recycled in future. Recycling is really important! So many of the plastics, glass and metals we throw away can be turned into another product which extends the life of the materials used. It also means we don’t need to produce more non-biodegradable products that will eventually fill up our landfills unnecessarily. Not all areas recycle all plastics or products though. The best way you can find out is to contact your local council to see what products can and can’t be recycled. I try to make a conscious effort not to purchase a product if it can’t be recycled. Instead we look for an alternative product or brand that has a recyclable or reduced amount of packaging.

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Reducing the waste

What can you do?

This is best practise. Reducing the amount of waste you purchase or produce is the best thing you can do.

Be aware of the amount of unnecessary packaging you bring home from the supermarket every week.

When you are purchasing a product, consider how much waste is included with it. Is it unnecessarily over packaged? Do you need to buy two courgettes on a non-recyclable polystyrene tray with non-reusable plastic wrap around it? Or could you simply buy the two courgettes without any packaging at all? We started being more aware of the packaging that was included with all of the products we were bringing in to our home. We also started looking for other items that would reduce the amount of waste we were actually consuming. We began to grow our own fruit and vegetables. This was a great way of reducing the amount of vegetable waste we produced because we would only pick what we needed and then leave the rest fresh in the garden. We invested in a compost bin and worm farm to take all of our green waste. Any peelings – the stalk of the broccoli, the end of a carrot, skins, apple cores and any other kitchen waste except meat – was composted or fed to the worms. We also noticed that often we cooked too much food and created unnecessary food waste. In the early days with a baby we came to the conclusion that we could turn the extra food into baby food by whizzing it up with a bit of hot water and freezing it. The list is endless of the ways you can reduce waste but awareness of what you are actually producing is a great start.

10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Choose items with less packaging. Ask yourself, do you really need that bag or could you take your own reusable bags? Take your own containers to the butcher so you don’t have to take home unrecyclable meat trays. Making your own baby food is a great way to save money and produce less packaging waste too. You will be surprised how far a few vegetables will go.

Reducing the amount of waste you purchase or produce is the best thing you can do. Reuse as many everyday family items as possible. Look for reusable products….You use them multiple times so they don’t produce unnecessary waste and you will also save money too. Products like Tupperware have been around for years but there are so many new exciting innovative products around these days! A couple of years ago I was introduced to beeswax wraps. These replace the plastic wrap you use in the home. You use them over salad bowls, cover the end of your block of cheese, to cover left-overs and you can wrap your sandwiches or crackers etc in them. One of the other things I have become a huge advocate for is reusable menstrual products. While this is somewhat of a taboo subject for many women, I love talking about it. Personally I was

converted to a menstrual cup about 10 years ago and I would never go back to conventional disposable products. Let me tell you they are worth considering. I recently read an article that said that the average woman will spend around $16,000 on menstrual products in their life time. I can think of plenty of good uses for that money. Cloth nappies are also beneficial to use – even if it is only one every day. The modern cloth nappies are simple to use, don’t need any folding and you can throw them in the wash with the babies clothes at the end of the day. They will save you money and every time you use a cloth nappy another disposable doesn’t go to landfill. Here are some simple things you can do to cut down on the waste your family generates: Invest in a reusable coffee cup so that you don’t use disposable coffee cups. Opt for reusable produce bags at the supermarket. Try cloth nappies just when you are at home. Use reusable baby wipes – a cotton cloth and water works brilliantly. Buy reusable swim nappies. Try a beeswax wrap to cover your cheese. Consider whether reusable menstrual products are an option for you.

Now I travel the country helping other people see how changing the way we think and making a few subtle changes at home can make a big difference to our waste situation. I run workshops for 35 councils around New Zealand. When you come along to a workshop you take home a pack of goodies to help you get started that is partially funded by your local council. 

Find out more from your local city council or visit

Kate Meads Kate (also known as The Nappy Lady) openly confesses that she was previously an ultimate consumer. Over the past 10 years she has slowly changed the way she and her family live. Kate runs workshops for councils all over New Zealand telling her story and sharing her knowledge of waste and how we can reduce it in our busy modern lifestyles. She is a trusted source of advice and information because she does not sell anything, she simply educates and promotes commonsense choices.

Buy reusable breast pads.

Waste-free parenting for the future The whole concept of Waste-Free Parenting has become my purpose in life. My full-time job is to help educate other families and show them how it is possible even if you are a super busy time-poor family, that with a little bit of effort and thought you can make a difference to the future of the planet. I encourage people to take more responsibility for their households’ impact on the environment. If we don’t change the way we do things or the way we are living, our children will have a huge mess to tidy up after us. Often I hear people say they don’t have time. I am a full-time working mum with a full-time working husband – if we have created a life that is now sustainable, I am sure you can as well. We have two raised bed gardens, a compost bin, two worm farms, a home orchard, we grow fresh herbs and we have become conscious consumers. It has not happened overnight but we have taken one step at a time to make changes in our lifestyle that ultimately has ended up turning us in to a sustainable household. Are we perfect? Heck no! We still have luxuries we like, we don’t have zero waste (yet) but we work on it the best we can every day.

Encourage healthy eating, help save your family money and reduce your carbon footprint! Kai Carrier has an extensive range of pouch products designed to meet your family’s needs. All products are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, microwavable and reusable. Fill your Kai Carrier with any combo of fruit, veges, poultry, legumes, meat, grains or dairy. Use anywhere, any time; bike rides, camping, boating, travelling, picnics, tramping or in kids and adults lunch boxes.

A home for

the future

It was March when we brought our first baby home to our 100-year-old Wellington brick villa – light, warm and with a constant stream of well-wishers it felt like a good place to be. But as winter crept in, I started to notice the cold drafts, and the leaky, cold windows, the thin curtains, the old gas heater that kept breaking. Without a kid, and with a mortgage to pay, we’d been ‘put on another jumper’ kind of people – now we were worried parents wondering if all those merino layers were enough to protect against the cold and damp or if our baby would end up in hospital with a respiratory infection like some of her cousins had.

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

So I put another jumper on both me and baby, and then called Sustainability Trust, who gave us a free home energy assessment. They looked at everything from the ceiling insulation to the flow of our showerhead, and then secured a draft stopper on the front door before they left. It was a small but important way to make us feel like we’d already started to make our home warmer and healthier. We were lucky to have financial support from our family to buy some important stuff straight away – we got ceiling insulation where there was none, replaced our old heater with a heat pump and got the right heaters for the bedrooms. We were also left with other to-dos: re-do the putty on the windows, put in draft-stopping around the windows

and doors, stop the HRV system from sucking out our warm air at night. Once it was all in, I thought – why didn’t we do this sooner? Here I was worrying about whether or not I really ‘needed’ a change table and how many onesies to buy, when I should have been worried about the four walls we were going to house our first born in. Our house is now noticeably warmer and drier and, although we’ve still got a bit of work to do before next winter, I don’t feel worried my house is going to harm my baby’s health. The other bonus is that our power bills have dropped massively – which must mean we’re also using less energy, which makes me feel a bit greener.

I reckon all parents-to-be should put a home energy assessment on their list of things to do before baby comes – a warm, dry home is so important to our tiny little family members, and it can also save money when dropping down to one income.

Continued overleaf...

Tessa Johnstone Tessa is a new mum and journalist who happens to now work for Sustainability Trust – but she would have said all those nice things about the Trust even if they hadn’t given her a job after this experience.

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Up to 50% of heat can be lost through inadequate ceiling insulation. If your ceiling insulation is less than a large hand-span height then it’s unlikely to be performing well. Many houses our assessors look at have under-performing insulation due to it being old, damaged, or dislodged. You can check it yourself using the hand-span test.

Combatting weepy home syndrome Many New Zealand homes suffer from weeping windows and musty damp conditions as homes have not always been constructed to deal with the cold and wet conditions that prevail in winter. You know the signs – pools of water on window sills, mould appearing in airless places and that musty, damp smell that permeates the air. For many of us the solution might be to invest in a ventilation system to blow dry air from the attic into the home as an attempt to blow the moisture out of the building. These can work however there are side effects not often discussed and there could be simpler methods to deal with internal moisture issues before looking to complex mechanical solutions.

Things to try before investing in expensive ventilation: Install a ground vapour barrier below the home: exposed soil could be breathing up to 35 litres of water a day into your home. By installing thick black polythene on the soil below the home will prevent this moisture from evaporating into your home. It’s supplied and installed from $8 per metre and does an amazing job at drying a home. Drying washing indoors can release up to 5 litres of water per load into the home. This moisture sits on the walls and carpet where it helps heat leak away from the building. If you have to dry clothes inside quite often it may be a good idea to invest

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

in an externally vented dryer. This is a controlled use of power that will ultimately help you create a warmer pad. You can even buy moisture sensing dryers to reduce power consumption. Bathroom extraction is key. A bathroom should have an extractor at least 125mm in diameter that is vented to the outside of the home. Be sure to use it every time you shower and keep the bathroom door closed after showering to stop the steam moving into the rest of the house. If one can’t be installed ‘shower domes’ often help cap steam. Running a wall mounted bathroom fan heater during the shower will also help prevent the steam from condensing on colder surfaces. The bathroom extractor can then remove even more steam while it’s airborne. Heat your home! Condensation occurs when the air temperature is so low it can no longer support the moisture it holds. This results in moisture dropping out of the air and condensing on colder surfaces such as un-insulated walls and windows. This moisture then acts as a ‘bridge’ for heat to escape so rooms can become even colder. Running regular efficient heating when you can will help reduce condensation and will create a drier home. Bedrooms should be 16°C at night and living areas should be 18–21°C for best comfort and health. Aim for bedroom heaters with digital thermostats to provide more accurate control and affordable bills. Well planned central heating is also a great idea if you’re looking for a more permanent solution. Insulate the home: if your ceiling insulation is less than a hand-span thick you probably need a top up layer of insulation to retain heat. Heat is your

Did you know? Hot water heating accounts for around 30% of your energy bills and can cost the average household around $700 a year. Traditional incandescent and halogen downlights are dramatically inefficient. 95% of the power they use gets converted to heat, not light. These kinds of lights are hot! This means that large gaps must be left around the lights when you insulate your ceiling which significantly increases heat loss from your home. LED downlights are 90% more efficient than traditional downlights, run very cool and last up to 93,000 hours (that’s 42 years).

best friend when combatting damp and mould. Likewise floor insulation will also reduce cold air infiltration to the home. Cook with lids on. If you boil and cook with lots of steam and the kitchen extractor sounds like a jumbo jet or you don’t have one then cook with lids. Your food will also cook faster and use less gas/power in the process. Mechanical solutions can work however if you have damp issues it’s always best to focus on finding the source of moisture and deal with it there. Periodic regular heating is also a must in the battle for a warmer, drier home. If you’re at the stage of making investments into your home it’s often a good idea to book and assessment with a Home Performance Advisor. They can help steer you through the actions your home may need to become the winning comfortable cosy nest it was always meant to be. 

For more healthy home tips visit

Jonny Parker Jonny works for the Wellington-based Sustainability Trust as the Business Development Manager and Home Performance Advisor. He is pictured here (top right) measuring the moisture level in an internal wall during a home energy assessment.


Every parent knows that sleep is essential for everyone – especially for baby. During the first years of life, the brain is most elastic, grows fastest and is most responsive to the outside world. This critical period is just when infants spend the majority of their time asleep.

Sleep has important cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural benefits: It plays an important role in baby’s brain maturation, learning and memory It helps baby retain existing memories and create new ones It helps improve baby’s social skills, including the ability to form relationships and relate to others

Experts recommend a consistent routine before going to bed. The sleep–wake cycle is regulated by light and dark and these rhythms take time to develop, this is why many newborns have irregular sleep schedules. The rhythms begin to develop at about six weeks, and by three to six months most infants have settled into a regular sleep–wake cycle Before-bed routines help make sleep times and wake times different and distinguishable, and help your child to self-regulate their sleep patterns. Having a consistent, calming before-bed routine can help infants settle down, fall asleep and sleep through the night.

Try these before-bedtime activities to help baby settle down to a good night’s sleep: A warm bath

In fact, when baby sleeps better, parents feel less stressed and more confident in their ability to manage their busy lives.

A soothing massage

During the first three years, many parents worry about their baby’s sleep patterns. The most common areas for concern are their child’s difficulty falling asleep and – of course – waking during the night.

For more information on infants sleep visit:

Studies have shown that setting good behavioural patterns during infancy and toddlerhood are highly effective in helping the whole family sleep well.

Developing brains thrive on routines Consistent routines provide the two key ingredients for learning: relationships and repetition. Daily routines in general lead to more certainty and therefore less stressful environments for young children and help parents feel more competent.

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Quiet activities to wind down, such as singing a lullaby, or reading a book.  At Parents Centres, we believe in sensitive, responsive parenting and we endorse flexible sleeping routines that are responsive to babies and family’s needs. We know that secure attachments, understanding and responsiveness mean the best outcomes for growing great futures for our children.

Liz Pearce, Childbrith Education Manager, Parents Centres

The Role of Sleep in Happy, Healthy Baby Development ADVERTISEMENT

Sleep has important cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral benefits Sleep plays an important role in baby’s brain maturation, learning and memory,1 helping to retain existing memories and create new ones. 2-4 Sleep also helps improve baby’s social skills, including the ability to form relationships and relate to others. 5,6 Babies who sleep better have been shown to be more approachable and adaptable.6 Improving babies sleep has been shown to improve maternal mood.

Routines help babies learn The developing brain thrives on routines. Studies show daily routines in general lead to predictable and less stressful environments for young children and are related to greater parenting sense of competence and improved daytime behaviors. 9,11

Why experts recommend a consistent before bed routine

Sleep problems are common, especially in the first three years.7 Difficulty falling asleep and night wakings were found to be the most common sleep problems during infancy.7

The sleep-wake cycle is regulated by light and dark and these rhythms take time to develop, resulting in the irregular sleep schedules of newborns. The rhythms begin to develop at about six weeks, and by three to six months most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle.10

There are a number of treatment strategies for bedtime behavior problems and night wakings in children, including behavioral management techniques, parent education, and medication. Studies have shown that use of behavioral (non-pharmacological) therapies for sleep problems are highly effective during infancy and toddlerhood.8

Before bed routines help make sleep times and wake times different and distinguishable, supporting the child’s ability to self-regulate their sleep states.11 A consistent bedtime routine gives baby the opportunity to fall asleep in a relaxed, calm and secure state and get better sleep overall. The more frequent the routine, the better the sleep outcomes.12

Sleep problems are universal

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Simple strategies to help parents at Bedtime Recommended routines include a warm bath, a soothing massage, and quiet activities to wind down, such as a lullaby, or reading a book.13 In a clinical study, a 3-step bedtime routine was proven to help baby fall asleep faster and sleep longer.13 A routine that includes multisensorial stimulation through a warm bath followed by massage is a simple behavioral intervention for improved quality and quantity of sleep in babies.13 Better sleep outcomes are associated with a consistent before bed routine. The earlier the routine is started the better.12 1. Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh, et al. “A role for sleep in brain plasticity.”Developmental Neurorehabilitation 9.2 (2006): 98-118. 2. Stickgold, R. (2005). Sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Nature, 437, 1272–1278 3. Friedrich, Manuela, et al. “Generalization of word meanings during infant sleep.”Nature communications 6 (2015). 4. Seehagen, Sabine, et al. “Timely sleep facilitates declarative memory consolidation in infants.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences112.5 (2015): 1625-1629. 5. Curcio, Giuseppe, Michele Ferrara, and Luigi De Gennaro. “Sleep loss, learning capacity and academic performance.” Sleep medicine reviews 10.5 (2006): 323-337. 6. Spruyt K, Aitken RJ, So K, et al. Relationship between sleep/wake patterns, temperament and overall development in term infants over the first year of life. Early Human Development. 2008, 84: 289-296 7. Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “Cross-cultural differences in infant and toddler sleep.” Sleep medicine 11.3 (2010): 274-280. 8. Morgenthaler T, Kramer M, Alessi C, et al. Practice parameters for the psychological and behavioral treatment of insomnia: an update. An American Academy of Sleep Medicine report. Sleep. 2006;29:1415–19. 9. Fiese BH, Tomcho TJ, Douglas M, Josephs K, Poltrock S, Baker T. A review of 50 years of research on naturally occurring family routines and rituals: cause for celebration? J Fam Psychol. 2002;16:381–90. 10. Sheldon, Principles and Practices of Pediatric Sleep Medicine, 2nd Ed., Ch 3, 2014; 19-21. 11. Staples, Angela D., John E. Bates, and Isaac T. Petersen. “IX. Bedtime Routines in Early Childhood: Prevalence, Consistency, and Associations with Nighttime Sleep.” Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 80.1 (2015): 141-159. 12. Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “Bedtime Routines for Young Children: A Dose-Dependent Association with Sleep Outcomes.” Sleep 38.5 (2014): 717-722. 13. Mindell JA, et al., A nightly bedtime routine: impact on sleep problems in young children and maternal mood. Sleep 2009;32:599–606.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc 2016

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hands dirty

Getting your

Composting for families Composting is a traditional method of recycling waste. Any organic material – kitchen scraps, plant material, lawn clippings, weeds, seaweed, wood ashes, straw and animal manure can be used. The process involves soil micro-organisms breaking down the waste into a nice, sweet smelling crumbly “soil”. Kids love getting their hands dirty so composting is a great way to introduce them to gardening. By getting involved they can see how easy it is to recycle scraps, watch the decomposition process and see the benefits their homemade compost will bring to the garden. Start with choosing a compost bin that suits your situation. There are many reasonably priced plastic or wooden compost bins available. Just make sure it has a tight fitting lid to keep unwanted vermin at bay and to keep the rain out. Choose an area of soil to place your bin where it is sheltered from the sun, wind, and rain and don’t place the bin on concrete as this prevents air, water and worm movement. To start, break up the topsoil where your bin will be placed and add chopped-up coarse garden material

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Only use material from healthy plants in the compost heap. Diseased material and invasive plants like dock seed heads, dandelion roots, couch and oxalis should not be used as they may survive the composting process to re-establish in the garden later. Avoid putting food scraps of dairy products, meat or bones into the compost heap. to improve aeration and drainage. Air and moisture are very important for the microorganisms to break down the organic material. If there is not enough moisture, water will need to be added, but take care not to over-water. If there is too much water the compost will be sloppy, smelly and will compact down. Build up the compost in layers making sure you include coarse garden and follow with layers of vegetable peelings, grass clippings and plant material. Sprinkle each layer with lime, blood and bone or compost activator. This will speed up the decomposition process. Then add a layer of soil on top of this and repeat the process until the compost bin is full.

After about two weeks, the composting material will cool down. Turn the compost over with a spade or garden fork to increase the aeration and speed up the composting process and water can be added if the compost is dry. Depending upon the time of year, compost can be ready any time from two to five months. The compost is ready to use when it has cooled down completely and does not get hot after turning over. If the compost still has heat in it and is applied to the garden it can do damage to young plants. Compost should be crumbly, dark brown to black in colour, with a pleasant earthy musty smell. Spread it around flowering plants, vegetables, ornamental shrubs and roses, working it into the soil.

What you can add to your compost: Egg shells Coffee grinds and tea bags Fruit and veggie scraps Leaves and small garden waste Egg cartons and cardboard Newspaper Seaweed Weeds without seeds Wood ash Manure

Continued overleaf...

Enter the draw to win a $100 gift card from Palmers Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm April 29, 2016. Winners will be published in issue 272.

How to start a worm farm A fun way to involve kids in the garden and to recycle your kitchen scraps and garden waste into a nutrient rich, natural fertiliser for your garden is to start a worm farm. Identify a container for liquid collection. On top of this place a bin which has holes in the bottom, this is the first working tray. Add a couple of layers of newspaper across the bottom and then an 8cm layer of bedding material such as peat moss or aged compost to start the worms off. Start by adding up to 500g of worms to the bedding material and cover them with a blanket. Worm blankets are available in store. Allow the worms a few days to settle into their new home then add a handful of food scraps to their surface feeding area as well as some paper towels, egg cartons etc., and place the worm blanket back on top. Keep the carpet and worm food materials damp, watering approximately one litre per week. Place your worm farm in a cool dry area of the garden away from the hot sun.

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The worm population will gradually increase and will self-regulate at around 12 months. Continue to feed regularly rather than in large amounts, up to around six litres of waste per week. When the first working bin fills up with vermicast (worm poos) place another working bin on top and continue with feeding into the second level – the worms will start to move upwards. When this fills add the third working bin and only feed in this layer. When the third working bin is full you can use the first working tray of vermicast on the garden. Place the empty bin back on top, this rotates the layers of the worm farm. 

FACT: 50% of family waste could be turned into compost for the garden



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should we be worried?

The start of 2016 heralded a spate of media coverage about the Zika virus prevalent in Latin America and the Caribbean, largely because of the international focus on Brazil in the lead up to the Olympic Games. While the virus itself is rarely fatal and most people who are infected have no symptoms at all, the virus is linked to serious birth defects.

Children with microcephaly may have facial distortions, developmental disabilities, short stature, difficulties with balance and coordination, speech problems and seizures.

In October 2015, Brazil’s Ministry of Health recorded an unusually high number of cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with small heads and incomplete brain development. Brazil is investigating 3,500 cases of microcephaly when it usually has 100 to 200 such cases per year.

The New Zealand College of Midwives reports that there is ongoing concern about the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the impact of Zika infections on pregnant women and their babies. Cases of Zika virus have been reported in Africa, southern Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas

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Zika infections have been confirmed in New Zealand, with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research reporting five and 35 laboratory-confirmed cases in 2015 and 2014, respectively. These involved patients returning from Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and New Caledonia.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health is recommending women delay travelling to Zika-affected countries

and the virus appears to be spreading throughout tropical and sub-tropical areas. Here is some general information, but if you are pregnant and have concerns speak with your midwife for more detailed information.

Although this is alarming, additional international research is necessary – and is already under way – to determine the link between Zika virus and foetal damage.

What are the symptoms and who is at risk?

Until more is known, the Ministry of Health recommends that women who are pregnant – or plan to become pregnant – consider delaying travel to areas with the virus present. If travelling in Zika-infected areas, women who are pregnant should consult with their midwife or doctor and take all precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus infection causes a mild disease (with the possible exception of in pregnant women, as discussed below) and in most cases no particular action is required. However, as Zika infection may cause a rash that could be confused with more serious diseases such as measles or dengue, these more serious diseases do need to be ruled out.

Symptoms can include: low-grade fever (between 37.8°C and 38.5°C) joint pain, notably of small joints of hands and feet, with possible swollen joints muscle pain headache conjunctivitis flat, red rash with small bumps

Don’t get bitten Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed. Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant and nursing women and children older than two months when used according to the product label. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under three years of age.

post-infection weakness and lethargy, which seems to be frequent.

If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.

More rarely, symptoms include digestive problems (abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation), small ulcers in mouth or on tongue, and itching.

Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).

The incubation period for the virus is typically 3–12 days, and, while there is no specific therapy for a Zika virus infection, acute symptoms usually clear up within four to seven days.

Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes that are most active during the day and anyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito is potentially at risk of infection.

Zika virus and pregnancy There are concerns that pregnant women who become infected with Zika virus can transmit the disease to their unborn babies, with potentially serious consequences. Reports from several countries, most notably Brazil, demonstrate an increase in foetal birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes in babies whose mothers were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.

Use bed nets as necessary.

If you are pregnant and develop a rash, red eyes, fever, or joint pain within 14 days of travel to a Zika virus infected country, please consult your health care provider and let them know your travel history. Remember, if you have any concerns, talk to your midwife or doctor for the most up-to-date advice. 

For more information and to check for updates as they become available, visit:

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Super supporters

Top tips for labour support people

(…yes, that’s you – partner, parent, grandparent, friend…) Contribute to pregnancy and parenting education classes Around 30–38 weeks, you’ll get lots of practical info like how baby’s developing, the birth process and breastfeeding. Check out or a District Health Board funded class in your area.

Exhale… Breathing through the contractions with her as they get stronger will help slow the pace. Remember what you’ve both practised.

Trying different positions in labour Encourage moving around as much as she can, helping her get into different positions – but don’t be surprised if she wants to change again.

Back rub time Use firm circular motions over the lower back, use the heel of the hand, add a little oil or talcum powder and you’ll be providing much needed relief during labour.

How do I know? Is she in labour? If she starts to get considerable pain in her lower tummy, even it is not coming and going... talk to your LMC about when to call for labour support. They’ll often advise to try and stay put at home for the early stages of labour.

Have I got my keys…? Does the hospital have parking arrangements? Do you have your cell phone (and charger)? Or money for the hospital pay phone. Who will look after the kids during labour? It’s worth planning ahead!

100% commitment

Visit the ladies

Once you’ve committed to support her, make sure you’re providing unwavering support, encouragement and practical help.

Encourage visits to the toilet at least every hour, and be a chaperone!

Keep talking!

Lip service Encourage sipping a little water or sucking some ice between every contraction.

24 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Good communication about the impending birth is key to playing an active role – learn some technical terms (like cervix, transition, perineum) so you’re not baffled by science on the day. 

Become a super supporter Join a Parents Centre childbirth education class Our classes provide information and support that mums, dads, partners and support people will need on their parenting journey; it’s not just for mums! Childbirth Educators who facilitate the classes, ensure partners feel at ease and that the content is equally useful and relevant to both. Our childbirth education classes provide information, skills and practical advice for support during pregnancy, during the birth and when baby arrives. There are opportunities to learn practical skills such as dealing with nappies, bedding, bathing and soothing. You might be surprised to find out that your knowledge can help to establish successful breastfeeding for mum! It's also important to know about the roller coaster of postnatal emotions that new mothers may encounter and understanding how babies tick will make those more challenging moments when baby is unsettled so much easier to respond to and soothe.

More ‘Top 10 Tips’ can be found on the website for The New Zealand Pregnancy Book (NZPB):

Visit The New Zealand Pregnancy Book online at The website includes a searchable preview of the book, fantastic photos and feedback from the NZPB community, links to friends and Facebook and much more!

The website includes a searchable preview of the book, fantastic photos and feedback from the NZPB community, links to friends and Facebook and much more!

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11/04/14 10:15 AM kiwiparent 25

Shared parenting Becoming a single dad was by far the biggest challenge I’ve faced to date, and it was a devastating event that changed my life. So many emotions at this time can overwhelm you – heartache, pain, confusion, panic, fear, feeling like a failure, and more – but in my mind, the most important thing that you need to do is to confirm the parenting arrangements for your child(ren) with your former partner as soon as possible. If the timing isn’t right to have that discussion straight away, at least decide for yourself what you want in terms of how often you want to see your child(ren) and start working towards that end straight away, whether you signal that from the outset, or wait for the right moment to discuss it with your former partner.

Shared parenting – my primary objective from day one I always knew that in the event of my relationship ending with my daughter’s mother, I wanted 50/50 shared care of my daughter, and I made my intentions clear to my former partner from the beginning of the separation process. I was fortunate that I did not have to go through the court system to confirm this, and I realise that for many dads this may not be the case. I can’t make many suggestions for those dads who are

26 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

about to go through that process, except that it is important to state clearly what you want from the beginning and then try your hardest to achieve that outcome.

Hint: Find the secret support power-ups One suggestion I would make is to find out what services and support you are eligible for when going through a separation process, and take advantage of these where appropriate. For example, when I went through my separation process at the start of 2013, the Family Court in New Zealand provided separating couples with a number of free sessions with a counsellor for final reconciliation attempts, or to help them come to an agreement on final terms of separation and care/co-parenting arrangements. The services and support available will obviously vary depending on where you are in the world, but it would be wise to find out as much as you can about what support you can access and make full use of it where possible. You might also be eligible for free and confidential counselling sessions or other forms of support through your employer, so talk to your manager or human resources department to see what you are entitled to (or check out your company’s website/intranet for direct contact details if you don’t feel comfortable letting anyone at work know). Even if you are not

entitled to any support, you may want to pay for or share the costs of a professional who can act as a mediator to help determine final agreements which are fair and agreeable for both parents.

Why shared parenting? For me, a shared parenting arrangement was a nobrainer, but a lot of people were (and still are) surprised when I tell them that I have shared care of my daughter (especially to those who think that the male stereotype of one who avoids responsibility of their kids is the rule). Working full-time and having shared care of your children is no walk in the park, and the easier option appears to be having less contact time with your kids so that you can get back on your feet, find time to relax and be yourself etc., especially if you’re working a fulltime job. One of the reasons why you might want to go for shared parenting is that in situations where there are no safety concerns or ongoing conflict between the parents, children can benefit from having significant contact with both of their parents. I wanted to make sure that I was always there for my daughter as she grows up.

‘Dad up’ now to prevent future heartache Keep in mind that the choices you make at the beginning of your separation may affect your future access rights. It may seem like a good idea to have less access to your children initially so you can get through that tough transition phase, especially if you have other responsibilities such as a full-time job, or have to find a new place to live. However, if you end up having to go to court to decide the care arrangement for your child, any initial care arrangements (even if intended to be temporary), may affect the final decisions by family courts/authorities. A friend of mine, who was one of the first people I turned to for advice during my separation process, went through the court system to decide the care arrangement for his daughter. Unfortunately, his lawyer provided him with inaccurate advice that he could forego custody of his child initially (as he was living and working in a different city from the mother) and change the care arrangement at a later date. When he tried to make changes to the care arrangement later on, he found out that he had in fact given up custody of his child permanently, and it was entirely up to the mother’s discretion whether the care arrangement could be amended (which she decided she didn’t want to do). So now he is stuck in a situation where he has limited access to his daughter, and he has to pay a significant amount of child support to the mother, even though he would prefer to have his daughter more often than he does. So when it comes to care arrangements, it’s best to start an arrangement you intend to carry on with in the future, even though it might be tough in the outset

while you’re going through the transition into 1 Player mode and taking care of your other responsibilities.

Can you do it? Yes you can… “You gotta believe!” One of the barriers to men assuming significant responsibility for raising their child is that men are generally seen as not being as ‘natural’ parents as women. Sure, there are differences in the way men and women do things, and men don’t usually spend time talking to other men about becoming parents, choosing baby names etc., but I believe that this is a limiting perspective that disempowers fathers from their roles as parents, and short-changes children from benefitting from their father’s love and guidance. One of my friends (who separated from the mother of his child before birth and was trying to negotiate more time with their baby) was told that one of the reasons he couldn’t spend more time with the baby was because he couldn’t breastfeed. This was hugely disempowering for him as it’s biologically impossible for him to do so, yet there are options that could have been explored to help him spend more time with his baby at such a crucial time in her development (such as the mother expressing breast milk for when the baby was with the dad, or using baby formula instead of breast milk).

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When my daughter was on the way, to be honest I was pretty much clueless…my friends laughed that I didn’t even know how to hold a baby properly (and I looked ridiculously awkward trying to hold other people’s babies)! But the funny thing is that I found I adapted to my new role as a dad very quickly, basically because I had to! There was no time to muck about. Right from day one you have to get stuck in and just do it. Yes, you’ll make mistakes and many things will be awkward initially, but you learn and adapt, and things get easier. So don’t underestimate your ability to be a great dad on your own. Yes, it’s tough, and it takes a lot of time and effort, and you’re constantly learning as your child grows. You may have to sacrifice time spent on other things like sports, socialising etc., at least in the shortterm. But I found that the rewards far outweighed the costs, and that when I eventually got the hang of parenting in 1 Player Mode, I was able to work out ways to work those things back into my life. Put in the time, talk to your parents, talk to other parents, read books, do the research, but most of all, believe in your ability to become a great dad.

The best power-up you can have in 1 Player Mode Finally, if you’re anything like me, one of the most significant benefits of sharing parenting is that it is your children that will help you get through this time the most. At the end of the day, all of your efforts are for them, and no matter what I went through in those early stages of my separation and transition into 1 Player mode, my daughter’s smiles, hugs and kisses made everything worthwhile. And even though it was a mission and a half working full-time, travelling for work, and looking after my daughter four nights a week, I treasured the time I had with my daughter then and now, and wouldn’t settle for anything less. It’s possibly one of the toughest things you’ll ever do, especially if you are still learning to be a parent yourself, but it’s definitely worth it in my book.

Ben Tafau Ben is the author of The 1 Player Dad Strategy Guide and He’s a single dad with shared care of an amazing 3-year-old daughter, and writes about his journey playing the parenting game in ‘1 Player Mode’ in Wellington.

28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

A word of warning about counsellors Make sure that you find a counsellor that you’re both happy with, otherwise you run the risk of a less-than-satisfactory outcome for one or both parents. I’ve had experiences with both good and bad counsellors, and the ones that aren’t working can actually make things worse rather than better. I realise you won’t always have the luxury of time to shop around for counsellors (as was true in my case), but this is such a crucial part of the separation process that it’s important that the right person is involved. If it’s possible to do some research on potential counsellors beforehand I’d highly recommend it, because the wrong person can add significant layers of stress to an already stressful process, and can have a significant impact in your life moving forward. Some things you might want to look at include: If they have experience working with separating couples involving children If they use any particular counselling techniques or methods, and if you think these will be appropriate in your situation How they structure their counselling sessions, and what their plan may be for your sessions. 

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Give them a solid start

When our daughter Maia was about five months old well-meaning people suddenly started enthusing about introducing solids. It came as a bit of a surprise to me initially – simply because we’d had a tricky start to breastfeeding and it felt as though things had only just settled down. I was in no hurry to give my baby ‘alien matter’ as I thought of it. But other people were. And when she continually pushed spoons away and showed no real interest in mushy bowls of baby rice well past six months, I couldn’t help hearing the other voices even though I knew she was thriving on my milk. This went on for several months. I tried all sorts of mashed-up homemade concoctions to no avail. I do wish someone had told me back then about the advantages of letting a baby eat appropriate food from a parent’s plate; so called 'baby-led weaning'. To this day Maia doesn’t like sloppy food, in fact she likes to see exactly what she is eating and she doesn’t like things touching! Looking back I feel I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy. Over the decades the age at which health professionals have recommended solids be introduced has varied greatly. During the first half of the last century it was about six weeks! Can you imagine? When I was born, over 50 years ago, it was about four months.

30 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

The World Health Organisation says: ”Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond.” And, by and large, most other leading organisations in the US, UK and Canada, agree that six months is the time to start solids. But it’s not an exact science. Even at an early age, babies sometimes watch eagerly as your fork goes from your plate to your mouth. And this is one indicator that your baby is starting to be interested in eating like you. But there are a lot of other signs that can help you know when your baby is ready. If your baby is sitting up unsupported and can reach your plate, grab a handful, put it in their mouth, chew, swallow and reach for more – it is a sure sign your little one is ready for solids. One of the best bits of information I’ve seen comes from the wonderful book Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

“Maybe you’re thinking that other foods would help your baby sleep through the night. Not according to research. In fact, your baby might sleep less well because of the indigestion that too-early solids or


formula can cause. Babies sleep through the night when they are able to, which sometimes happens at around six months, but not because of the solids.”

And it goes on: “His insides are designed to be ready for solid food once his outside has developed enough for him to eat it on his own.” Of course this doesn’t mean that some things won’t end up in baby’s mouth sooner. But if you’ve noticed your little one pushing things back out with their tongue, well that’s a defence mechanism to protect the digestive tract from anything foreign in the mouth. If you’re worried about choking be reassured that your baby’s gag reflex is an effective defence mechanism; designed to eject food pieces too big to swallow. Your baby’s pincer grip (the ability to pick up objects with thumb and forefinger) naturally develops at about eight months, so the chances of your baby putting tiny things like raisins in their mouth before they are able to handle them are slim. Nevertheless you’ll want to be close at hand during early meal experiences anyway. Waiting until six months also allows your baby’s digestive enzymes to be up and running thus reducing the risk of allergies. So if baby can eat

unassisted as well, it makes sense that around six months is the time to start.


If I’m honest, I wish I’d waited longer with Maia. All that fuss about baby cereals, which after all have little nutritional value, would have been avoided. If I’d just let her eat from our plate, when she was ready, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so stressful for me. So what starter foods can your baby eat from your plate? Most soft or stewed fruits, avocado, cooked vegetables, hummus, slivers of chicken or fish (watch for bones obviously!). Very quickly it’ll be much of what you are cooking for the rest of the family; a well-balanced and varied diet with foods as close to their natural state as possible. It sounds easy enough but if you need some good ideas, check out the 50th anniversary edition of La Leche League’s Mothering Time Cookbook. It’s packed full of some easy to prepare and nutritious meals and snacks – and a third of the price of other recipe books. Visit for information. Oh and a word about iron and breastfed babies. I repeatedly heard that Maia needed solids because she wasn’t getting enough iron from my milk. True, breastmilk doesn’t contain a lot of iron but it isn’t supposed to because it is very readily absorbed. Feeding your baby too much iron will end up feeding the wrong bacteria in his tummy.

Introducing making life simple for mums who express Our Express and Go range makes everything easier. By using a single pouch to EXPRESS, STORE, WARM and FEED, there’s no need to transfer breastmilk between bottles so you’ll never lose a precious drop!

Continued overleaf...

Quick reference guide to introducing foods Age Around 6 months

Suitable foods


Milk feeds

Gluten-free iron-fortified cereal i.e. rice

Pureed into a smooth paste with breastmilk

Still relies primarily on breastmilk

Mashed into a soft and lumpy consistency, similar to the texture of cottage cheese

4 or more milk feeds per day

Vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, avocado, parsnip, broccoli, peas, potato, zucchini, cauliflower, beans Avocado Cooked/mashed fruit such as apple, pear, banana, paw paw, rockmelon

7ish months

Working up to three meals a day and adding of texture Iron-enriched rice cereal should be used by 6 months Baby yoghurts or plain natural acidophilus yoghurts which are often more nutritious and have less additives Increasing variety of vegetables first, then fruit (not citrus fruits or tomato), corn, beetroot, peas, capsicum, turnip, parsnip Increasing variety of fruit – strawberries, mango, blueberries, watermelon, plum, star fruit and custard apples Brown and white rice cooked until soft Use of feeding cups over bottles Offer water regularly over the day Fish

Continued next page...

Lisa Manning Lisa is a former TV journalist and presenter. She is married to the British actor John Rhys-Davies with whom she has a ten-year-old daughter Maia. Lisa is an at-home mum and La Leche League Leader in Pukekohe.


Suitable foods


8ish months

Babies develop a swallowing reflex for Introduce coarser foods lumpy foods A teaspoon of almond, linseed, sunflower or hazelnut meal (powder) added to mashed foods for protein and essential fats

Milk feeds 3–4 milk feeds per day

Thoroughly cooked brown and white rice Vegetarian proteins such as tofu and lentils

Tasty meals, healthy babies

Cheese (cheddar has low amount of lactose) White meat such as fine pieces of chicken or turkey Lumpy food Start with gluten-free cereals such as corn, millet, rice, buckwheat, tapioca and quinoa – try buckwheat and rice noodles before pasta Around 9 months

Baby starts chewing and moving food around their mouth Nut spreads (caution with allergies) Work in gluten-containing foods

‘Finger foods’, grated cheese, finely chopped meat

About 3 milk feeds per day

Expand on cheeses (cottage etc.) Red meat such as lamb mince Finger foods – grated cheese, vegetables fruit

Introducing your baby to a variety of fresh foods from an early age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy habits. Philips Avent offers you a range of food preparation solutions, including the unique combined steamer and blender and the versatile food storage system. First steam fruit, vegetables, fish or meat and then simply lift and flip the jar over to blend it, no

Vegetables, thin slices, grated Peeled and seeded fruit

transfer of food required.

Beans Cereals, couscous, semolina, tapioca, pasta, noodles etc. 10 months

Eggs (cooked egg yolk first) Well-cooked red meats Small amounts of milk, soy milk, nut milk, oat milk in foods Stews, rissoles, casseroles, sandwiches, etc.

11–12 months

Other legumes (kidney beans, butter beans, cooked legumes, soy beans, tofu)

12 months+

Most foods the family eats including whole eggs, milk etc.

Scrambled egg yolk

3 milk feeds per day

Finely chopped or minced meat

Weaning from breast or bottle if wished from 12 months

Pasteurised milk (from 12 months)

Whole foods except nuts

Water is best fluid

Enrol in a Moving & Munching programme especially designed for parents of children aged from around four to 12 months.

Try a

kid-friendly curry

This mild, kid-friendly curry will be a hit with the whole family. It is quick and easy to make and you can control how spicy you make it by adding more chilli powder (or omitting completely, if desired). Make double the tikka masala spice mix and keep it in the cupboard for next time you make this recipe! This is also great as a dry spice rub, sprinkle a little on chicken or fish and pan-fry.

34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Chicken Tikka with Spinach Rice and Pea Cucumber Salad Ready in: 30 min Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 20 min

Gluten free, freezes well, spicy (if using chilli)

Spinach Rice 3 cups steamed basmati or brown rice 4–5 handfuls baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil (optional)

Chicken Tikka 600g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, diced 2–3cm 1 brown onion, thinly sliced 3½ tablespoons tikka masala spice mix (see right) 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger Zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons oil 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce Juice of ½ a lemon ½ cup cream 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened yoghurt

Pea Cucumber Salad 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted ½ telegraph cucumber, cut in half lengthways then sliced 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened yoghurt (optional) To Serve ¼ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt ¼ cup chopped mint and coriander leaves

Tikka Masala Spice Mix Mix together 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, ½ tablespoon ground coriander, ½ tablespoon ground turmeric and a good pinch of chilli powder or cayenne powder (optional). Make extra and keep in an airtight container or jar for next time you make this recipe.

BRING a full kettle to the boil.

1 2

Start by cooking the rice to go with the meal. While rice is cooking, prepare the curry. In a large bowl combine chicken, onion, tikka masala spice mix, garlic, ginger, lemon zest and salt. Heat oil in a large fry-pan on medium to high heat. Brown chicken and onion mixture for about 5 minutes or until chicken has browned and onions are soft (chicken does not have to be cooked through yet).


Add tomatoes, sweet chilli sauce, lemon juice and cream and simmer for 3 minutes or until reduced slightly and chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir through yoghurt.


Place peas in a medium, heat-proof, bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for 1 minute, then drain. Toss with cucumber, mint and yoghurt (if using), season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Fluff up cooked rice with a fork and toss through spinach and butter/oil, if desired.

TO SERVE: Spoon some spinach rice, chicken tikka and salad onto each plate. Top with a dollop of yoghurt and garnish with herbs. 

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Maybe baby One child was great, two a no-brainer... ...but a third? Naturally, I’ve been obsessively Googling for the last few weeks. The internet and Facebook are full of parents asking the same thing. How do you know? When do you stop? Seems that there are many out there wondering if their family is truly complete. In the 2013 census, 36.7% of families in New Zealand say they have two children (unchanged from 2006). However, the number of families with three or four children has decreased since 2006. Just 6.1% of families have four or more children (Statistics NZ). With economic strain and multi-family households featuring prominently in the social landscape, adding to a family brings with it a raft of considerations.

The ‘bling’ The dilemma of adding to a family in the modern world raises the issue of how healthy your bank account is looking. Is your home spacious enough? Can the bills be paid? What about extra-curricular activities? Will you need to trade-up the car, or heaven forbid, get a family-wagon? Blended families and step-families may be hit hard in the finances department – while you may be longing for that second or third child, your partner may already have kids with an ex-partner. This has implications for family budgets and child support. Meanwhile, educational costs are increasing dramatically, with parents aghast at the ‘need’ for an iPad instead of good old pen and paper. Living on one income can

36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

contribute to stress levels, thus can be arduous. Many cannot afford to be out of the workforce for another year or so. Delaying returning to work can affect career progression, or can even mean not having a job to go back to at all. Daycare costs can influence this decision, either supporting or ruling out working depending on your wage.

Keeping it together Parenthood is joyful, but isn’t always a bundle of laughs. It can test even the strongest relationship. Resentment and disconnection can result from the polarised roles of stay-at-home parent and breadwinner. The question of whether your relationship can cope with the addition of another child is of great importance for many families. If you are already suffering from a lack of couple time, what is the impact if you have even less, and will your relationship survive? Social and family support can influence the decision. If Nana and Granddad can babysit every weekend and you are both committed to putting in the effort, your chances of time together are greatly increased. We have two young children, with about a twentymonth gap. Things are easier now. Goodbye to nappies, messy food, and hello to sleeping through the night (well, mostly). It can feel as if there is barely enough time in the day to give the kids you have enough attention, let alone another one! Some couples are more than happy to go back to the baby days, whereas others cannot bear the thought of those chaotic days and nights.

For me, the prospect of another pregnancy is more daunting than dealing with another precious baby. Looking after toddlers and suffering migraines and nausea is not exactly enticing. On the other hand, nine months is not a long time in the grand scheme of life and I’m sure our other two would be overjoyed at a new brother or sister. There are times when partners just can’t agree about trying again. This is a challenging situation, as regret and resentment can result whether you decide to go ahead or not. Ignoring your partner’s feelings on this won’t get you anywhere. My advice is to communicate and work though pros and cons as best you can together. Talk to people who have done it. If things don’t go your way, dealing with grief about this is very real, consuming and confusing. If need be, seek extra support or counselling.

Sweet, unpredictable life The Zika virus reminds us of just how fragile and scarily fickle reproduction can be. An array of external factors can influence whether going for another is right for you. Worrying about the environmental impact is a (highly admirable) consideration for some couples, especially after already having a child or two. A bout of postnatal depression, a traumatic or premature birth, or illness can also be a game-changer. The dilemma is more acute for those of us who have had trouble conceiving with previous children or have a history of miscarriage. Who knows how long it could take to end up with a babe in arms?

Continued overleaf...

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Remember, even if you have made a decision that your family is complete, life is gloriously unpredictable. Some mums I’ve spoken to have had an overwhelming urges for babies, babies and more babies which faded dramatically over time. And we all know someone who has gone for a third, hoping for a boy; only to end up with another girl. In addition, a break-up can force you into a position of wanting other children when you thought you were done (but with someone else).

Little ray of sunshine The allure of another bundle of joy, cheeky grins, and cuddles in the morning can override all of the practical considerations and challenges. It’s described by some as a strong sense of 'I just don’t feel finished' or 'I can see another child here'. To add another sibling to the ‘gang’ can also be very attractive. Sure – logically it may not make much sense to have another baby. However, if you are left with a nagging feeling that will not settle, and are reluctant to give away your baby things, there is a good chance you would like another shot at the baby game. Feel free to ignore those that have something to say about your family size (“but you already have one of each”) or people urging you to have another when you know you are done.

38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Your journey is unique and it is you who has to live with regret, or cope with a larger brood, and feel at peace with your family size. There is no doubt about it; children are priceless, amazing and life-changing. So to all those in the same boat as me – good luck. It’s not an easy process but you will get there in the end. Keep talking, keep Googling. Remember that sometimes the wisest decisions are based on nothing but your inner voice. Listen to your heart and gut instinct. It won’t let you down. 

Kristal O’Neill Kristal is a Registered Nurse with a Masters in Nursing (Hons). She has worked extensively in both clinical and teaching roles in mental health and has published research on the transition to parenthood. Kristal currently works in a maternal mental health service supporting mothers and babies.

Parents Centre Educating and supporting parents through the early years. Antenatal – pregnancy and childbirth education. While these are certainly not all the things do, we are justifiably proud of delivering fantastic classes around the country! Parents Centres New Zealand was founded back in 1952 largely through the critical need to improve antenatal education and birthing practices in this country. We have achieved plenty since then, including: Successfully advocating for fathers to be allowed to be present during labour and birth Establishing the practice of babies 'rooming in' with their mothers and not being banished to a nursery Promoting breastfeeding as being normal and the best form of feeding for babies and supporting the World Health Organisation (WHO) code for this

In this section Parents Centres Annual awards Strategic partnership programme Spotlight on antenatal classes Celebrating mothers

Perhaps you could be interested in becoming a Childbirth Educator or a Centre volunteer? The Childbirth Education diploma level five course with Aoraki Polytechnic is completed through distance learning, so can be undertaken from anywhere in the country. The opportunities for volunteers at Centre level are many and varied – simply contact your local Centre or check out our website to find out how you can become involved.




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And the winners are… Parents Centres Annual Awards for 2015 In December last year we announced the winners of our three annual awards which recognise the outstanding services our Centres deliver to members and to their wider communities. Recognising and rewarding our teams and individuals is a really important part of what we do and one of the highlights of my work each year. I would also like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, committees

and Centres for everything that you do in your Centre, with our members and in your community. Parents Centres wouldn’t be Parents Centres if it wasn’t for you – parents working for parents in the community. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! Nga- mihi Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand

The Chief Executive Officer Award for Innovation

national process and constructively work with us to help us determine what we can do to support Centres and our members.

This is awarded to a Centre in recognition of the things

This is a strong and innovative Centre who consistently deliver back to their members and work tirelessly under strong and encouraging leadership to meet the needs of families and communities. They truly deliver against our objective of building community.

they do and the services they deliver that navigate change in their community. I have watched this Centre grow over a number of years, have seen how they look at different ways of serving their community and – most importantly – focusing on what their community needs before they consider innovative ways of meeting those needs. This Centre has also taken time to feed into the

From left to right: Peta, Sonja, Brooke, Janina, Hannah, Belinda, Chris (CBE), Rosie, Lynaire, Kate

40 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

I am thrilled to announce that the winner of this year’s Chief Executive Award for Innovation goes to Brooke Fryer and Mana Parents Centre.

The Chief Executive Officer Award for Childbirth Education

Upper Hutt Parents Centres committee members

The Chief Executive Officer Award for Excellence This award is presented to the Centre that shows all round excellence and stands out as having gone over and above for their Centre, members and community. While this award for 2015 is awarded to the Centre, it is important that I make mention that this is in recognition of the committee for 2015 led by Charlotte Harris. This committee has undertaken responsibility and have taken accountability for a premises and the financial commitments that come with this. They have most importantly accepted accountability for making their Centre the best it can be within a number of confines and legal obligations. They have successively overcome a multitude of barriers and have given of themselves tirelessly and selflessly to ensure the Centre succeeds and remains as a hub for their community. This year I am proud to present the Chief Executive Officer Award for Excellence to Charlotte Harris and Upper Hutt Parents Centre.

In July 2014 Thames-Hauraki Parents Centre closed, however Parents Centre still had a DHB contract to deliver childbirth education (CBE) programmes to this region. After discussions with Kyra van de Wetering, Waikato DHB and the National Support Centre, it was agreed that Kyra continue to deliver CBE classes with support at a National level. For a relatively inexperienced CBE, Kyra took this challenge in her stride in a very pragmatic, sensible and practical manner. Due to the challenging geographical reach this contract covered, Kyra had considerable travelling in order to meet the obligations of the contract and needed to be flexible when organising courses to best suit the needs of the community. She advertises, markets the classes, takes bookings, completes the DHB documentation and has developed excellent community networks. We have had complete confidence in Kyra’s ability, organisation, dedication and professionalism. We have been able to support and guide Kyra from a National perspective, while at the same time feel at ease knowing that she is putting in 100% effort. She is a loyal Parents Centre CBE and holds true the philosophies and all that the organisation stands for. Parents Centres Childbirth Education Manager Liz Pearce says: "When Thames-Hauraki Centre closed in 2014, we knew we still had pregnant couples in the community needing our classes. Our local CBE, Kyra stepped up. Kyra continued to offer these valuable classes by becoming a ‘one-woman’ band! What’s more, she did this professionally and very competently. Fantastic job, Kyra!” This year we are delighted to award the Chief Executive Officer Award For Childbirth Education to Kyra van de Wetering.

Brooke Fryer and Viv Gurrey

Upper Hutt Parents Centres members at the Hutt Maternity Expo

Kyra van de Wetering

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Thinking strategically As a not-for-profit organisation, strategic partnerships and alliances are essential to our organisation and enable us to fund the work we do as well as provide resources and benefits to our Centres and most importantly our membership. When entering into these partnerships we ensure there is a philosophical alignment between our organisation and the company. My job is to find, develop and evaluate a possible partnership. Approach the organisation, develop a proposition and then present it. Should we be successful, we pull together deliverables on both sides and develop a contract. When evaluating a partnership, we look at the benefit to ALL centres from the partnerships in the form of products, resources, education and fundraising opportunities We seek to develop partnerships with credible organisations in order to continue to attract members, deliver our services and be commercially viable. We continue to refine and collaborate on aspects of partnerships, such as roadshows and ongoing education for our members and committees.

If there’s one thing we know about, it’s making life easier for growing families. We’ve been linking loving au pairs from around the world with Kiwi families since 2006. We understand that the decision on who looks after your most precious little ones is not one that is made lightly when you choose to return to work. We pride ourselves on offering quality early childhood education in the place where learning really begins – your home. Our comprehensive support network is always there for you and your family, and together with Parents Centre we look forward to helping families across New Zealand in returning to work when that time comes. Casey Muraahi, Au Pair Link

I’m very proud to work with such great partners, they really do go the extra mile in ensuring that we can give our centres and members a great service and range of information and products.

Taslim Parsons, Business Development and Social Enterprise Manager, Parents Centres New Zealand

BPA Free &with Re-useable I feel privileged to be partnered such a fantastic organisation as Parents Centres. Centres offer support and education to families all over New Zealand from pregnancy and through the crucial first few years. The knowledge and advice shared by the incredible volunteer facilitators is factual and provides you with an opportunity to make your own informed choices. Kai Carrier developed from an idea I had when my youngest daughter was just eight months old, and is designed to make feeding fresh homemade food on the go easier and more affordable. I am so grateful that Parents Centres want to share my products with all who attend their courses. I am committed to working alongside Parents Centres to support the work that they do.

Kylie Matthews, Kai Carrier

42 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

My Food Bag works with Parents Centres New Zealand because we’re dedicated to helping families solve the ‘what’s for dinner tonight?’ question. My Food Bag takes the hassle out of feeding the people you love, with fresh ingredients and simple recipes delivered to your door. Every week, Nadia, our chefs and nutritionists dream up wonderful new dinner recipes in our Development Kitchen. We get up early and hit the markets to find you the freshest local New Zealand produce, meat and fish. We then pick and pack your Food Bags and deliver them to your door. Simple. Healthy. Delicious. Nadia Lim, My Food Bag

How bad was it? An extract from The Trouble With Women: The Story of Parents Centre New Zealand By Mary Dobbie Published by Cape Catley Limited. For those Christchurch women [in the early 1950s] who wanted so much to experience a natural birth and knew themselves capable of it, for those who wished to feed their babies on demand and to give them the close, loving care from birth that naturally followed – to be in charge of their own motherhood, as it were – there seemed only one course left. This was the drastic step of “turning the clock back” and arranging home confinements. To almost all Christchurch obstetricians this seemed impossible madness. Good obstetrics meant hospital care; this was their training and also their protection. A doctor who agreed to a home delivery would be held totally responsible by his colleagues if anything went amiss. It was a risk that few were prepared to take. Enid Cook, who had helped Fern Every [a Christchurch mum], was now a schools doctor and so was not available for private practice when Helen Brew [one of the founders of Parents Centres New Zealand], now pregnant with her third child, told her of her determination to have a home confinement. Dr Cook found her a cooperative doctor in Lyttelton, however, and an English midwife. It proved a longer first-stage labour than with her previous child, the head being in the occipito-posterior position, but Helen coped easily with the first stage contractions into the last hour, “when from time to time I had discomfort severe enough to prevent the previous complete bodily relaxation”, as she wrote in her contribution to Bevan Brown’s book The Sources of Love and Fear. “During contractions I required utter stillness, any movement being most disturbing.” Second stage labour was a different picture, and soon accomplished as she pulled on Quentin’s

[her husband] forearm, held above and across her chest, and got a purchase for her feet on a length of toweling stretched firmly across the bed. “As the strong contraction swept over me, I bore down on a large ‘held breath’, and the water broke under the pressure. The baby’s head followed immediately. I took a small secondary breath as I felt the head about to crown and bore down gently with a feeling of complete control. I felt a momentary sense of great stretch as the head crowned. Then I took another quick breath and the rest of the baby was born effortlessly. My husband called out that we had a boy. I hardly noticed this, however, as I held my seven pound baby (still attached to the cord) and comforted and loved him and felt utterly content and happy in the wonder of it all.” It had been a powerfully moving experience. It would change the course of her life. When the doctor arrived, the baby was already fed and asleep, and the two older children were tucked in beside their mother, admiring their new brother. Helen said, “It was a pity that the doctor who, like so many skeptics, was in sad need of practical education in the methods of natural childbirth, missed the demonstration.” When she telephoned Enid Cook the next day, she was still alight with her experience. She was feeling fine – ready to stomp the two islands in the cause of natural childbirth.

Look for a short extract from this iconic book in each issue of Kiwiparent. It details the struggle women and men had to persuade hearts and minds to adopt a less medicalised approach to childbirth and child rearing in the 1950s.

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Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centre’s renowned parent education programmes.

This month: Spotlight on

antenatal programmes Many incredible changes occur to a woman’s body when she becomes pregnant. The wonderful thing is that it all happens without conscious thought. For example, the baby’s fingernails begin forming without mum looking up developmental stages and thinking ‘this week it’s nails!’ How incredible is that? So, why attend antenatal (pregnancy and childbirth) programmes or classes if a growing baby happens without a textbook or instructions; surely birthing and breastfeeding will be the same? The answer is ‘yes, it is’. Giving birth is a natural physiological event, as is breastfeeding. In this modern world, however, we are no longer surrounded by birth and breastfeeding in the course of our lives. For many women the first experience they have of birthing is when they give birth themselves. This is not helped by the media’s widespread portrayal of birth which is often far from reality. Sadly this leaves some lacking in confidence and the mother lacking in the knowledge required to trust her own body. This is where antenatal – or childbirth

44 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

education – programmes can be a lifeline for couples who want well researched, up-to-date information on the basics of childbearing. Parents Centres antenatal programmes cater for all situations, including when labour doesn’t go to plan and trouble-shooting for times when breastfeeding can be challenging. Information is power and, in an often medically-oriented birthing situation, this knowledge is empowering for both parents. Many parents also find it extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to take time out of their busy lives to dedicate a couple of hours a week to planning for the birth of their baby. The ‘coffee groups’ that follow on from the class series become a lifeline for some. To network with other parents at the same stage of life, experiencing similar challenges and joys, is confidence boosting and very rewarding. The programmes are run by qualified professional Childbirth Educators who are skilled in knowledge and in facilitation, to ensure that your experience of antenatal classes is fun, interactive, valuable and informative. Go to to find out about antenatal classes running in your area.

Let’s celebrate… mothers All mums are exceptional! So this year, to celebrate all the wonderful Kiwi mums out there, we ran a competition on our Facebook page asking readers to nominate someone they thought was an amazing mum. The winning entry was sent in by Emma Dalby nominating her friend Kathy Pahl: I’d like to nominate Kathy Pahl as an amazing mum. She had four young sons, the first two of her brood she raised on her own while studying. She’s since added another two, and hopes to have another. She’s starting back at study this year towards a degree in psychology. I have never met anyone with as much determination, perseverance and dedication with everything she does. She is a natural mum, working with her boys who are all polite and well mannered. Kathy always puts her children first and is always there if her friends need her, she is an absolute star. She never seems to put herself first, I would love for her to win this prize pack, she definitely deserves it!

Prize pack includes: $200 of Neutrogena Skincare $100 Hotmilk voucher Kai Carrier Pouch Pack + 5 sandwich bags valued at $50 Baby Beyond Nappy Bag valued at $129 $50 voucher from Fingerprints Jewellery

Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome Kiwi mums! We asked the competition winner Kathy Pahl what her priorities are as a mum. She responds: My friend Emma Gates entered me into the Kiwiparent Mothers’ Day competition and I was amazed to hear that I won. It totally took me by surprise but that was so cool and lovely of her. I have four boys aged seven and under and people quite often tell me I'm crazy or feel sorry for me. To be honest though, although life is hectic at times, I love it and wouldn't change my family for the world! I guess you could say we are attachment parents, we breastfeed, co-sleep and baby wear etc, just whatever feels natural to us and keeps mum and baby happy. I feel sure that contributes to the laid back easy going natures of the boys.

From the Kiwiparent team

One thing I always want my boys to know is, that whatever they do or want to be I will support them in that. I want them to know they have options in life and that hard work and perseverance can get them anywhere and the only thing that can hold them back is themselves. But most of all I just want them to be happy.

We think you sound like an amazing mum Kathy, we hope you enjoy the great gifts to help you celebrate Mothers’ Day! The Kiwiparent team

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Seeing into the future

Understanding children’s vision development

For many of us, our eyesight is something that is both incredibly important for day-to-day living, and yet not something we give a lot of thought to. And it’s the same for our children’s vision – we know it’s important, but many of us are not aware exactly how children’s eyes develop as they grow, nor when we may need to seek additional advice. In this article, I share some of the key developmental milestones your child will go through, as well as some things to look out for. As an optometrist who has specialised in working with children, I feel an improved understanding of children’s vision could really help as children move through their pre-school years and into schooling.

Early days – how your child’s eyes develop From birth, your baby is working on developing the muscles and skills to control her eyes so she can start to see clearly. During the first week of your newborn’s life, your midwife or doctor will do a full examination, which includes testing for some basic eyesight functions. This will usually be done by shining a light into baby’s eye to check for a red-reflex. This screening aims to pick up any health conditions that may need addressing by an eye specialist, such as cataracts. This is really important as the baby’s eyes capture an image that is transferred through a wire to the back of the brain (the occipital lobe, where vision is processed). If there is anything blocking the

46 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

If you do have any doubts or lingering worries about your child’s vision, getting a professional check can be a good idea. — Ravi Dass, Optometrist

path it can decrease the quality of the image and make it a lot harder for the brain to process what it is seeing.

this point. (In cases of amblyopia or lazy eye, the eyes may track in different directions or cross over one another).

From one to three months

Between three and twelve months

In the first month, your baby will be able to briefly fixate on bright lights and faces.

Your baby will start recognising your face (this is quite an exciting stage!) and reacting to it when they see you, and further develop their ability to focus on near objects. At around six months they should be able to start focusing on objects in the distance, and it is thought that colour vision is developed by this stage.

This is all about muscle control, getting the two eyes to start working together. The vision will generally be limited to about 20cm when they are born, but during the first month they will tend to quickly develop their sight – this includes hand-eye coordination, tracking moving objects, and focusing onto interesting objects (like you!). By three months, your baby should be able to easily lock their eyes onto near objects, and the eyes should be aligned in all directions of gaze by

When your child is between seven and twelve months they may be crawling and starting to be aware of and developing their spatial awareness with their body – for example you may start noticing that they are able to grab objects with their thumb and forefinger.

Good hygiene, good health Sterilising is all about protecting your baby from harmful bacteria. Research has shown that it can take your baby up to a year to develop the same kind of immune system as adults. Steam sterilisation is quick and effective.

Continued overleaf...

From one to two years Most of the necessary parts of the eyes and vision should be fully developed by this stage, including depth perception (3D vision).

Making sure everything is developing as expected Formal vision screening takes place at birth, and again as part of the B4 School checks. Between those times, your Plunket nurse or Well Child provider will ask you questions about your child’s vision that are designed to pick up any potential problems. For example, at age two to six weeks, your Lead Maternity Carer will be checking to see whether your baby can do the following: close their eyes against a bright light stare at people’s faces when they are up close

By the time of the three to four month assessment, babies might also be looking at their own fingers. By five to seven months, they may be able to follow a slow-moving, bright-coloured object with their eyes; reach out for toys and other things; and hold objects firmly and look closely at them – and so on.

Additional signs to watch for Some other indicators to watch out for when tracking your baby’s vision development include: One or both pupils have an unusual or white appearance. This may be noticed in photographs There is persistent watering or discharge from the eyes One eye appears to be turned frequently or the eyes do not seem to move well There is extreme sensitivity to light or glare The head is consistently tilted/turned to one side

turn towards light

The child holds books/puzzles at very close range or sits very close to screens

smile at you without being touched or spoken to.

The eyes do not look the same.

48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

If you or your Well Child provider have any concerns at all about your child’s vision, the first step will be to discuss those concerns together. Your Well Child provider may refer you on to your family doctor, or an eye specialist. The bottom line is, if you do have any doubts or lingering worries about your child’s vision, getting a professional check can be a good idea. The New Zealand Association of Optometrists recommends that children have their eyes examined at six to twelve months, again at two to three years of age, before starting school, and then through their school years as indicated by vision screening or school performance. For younger children, the Paediatric Society of New Zealand advises you to take your baby or child for a full eyetest if certain ‘warning signs’ are recognised, including premature birth (gestation of 36 weeks or less); development delays; or family history or signs of strabismus (turned eye), amblyopia (lazy eye), or strong glasses at an early age. As with many things in life, early identification and intervention is key for children’s vision. Many early eyesight problems can be resolved with early treatment – even if your child does need glasses, the range of options is so much greater these days. The next national vision screening isn’t until well into your child’s school years (in Year 7, at age 11–12), so it’s a good idea to continue to monitor your child’s vision, so they can thrive at school as well.  Find out more

Ravi Dass Optometrist Ravi Dass is a co-founder – with wife Stephanie – of Mr Foureyes and the Foureyes Foundation. The couple are currently registering the Foureyes Foundation as a charitable entity. Its purpose is to work with children in lower decile schools to help identify and provide glasses to New Zealand kids who need them. For every pair of glasses purchased through, a pair is given to the Foureyes Foundation to give to a child in need. More information can be found here:

Check for me before you turn the key On average, five children are killed each year after being run over in a driveway in New Zealand and every two weeks someone’s treasured child is hospitalised with serious injuries received the same way. Most children injured are toddlers, and – tragically – the driver is usually a parent, close family member or neighbour. The devastating impact of these events on families cannot be overstated. Children who are most at risk are typically between one and three years of age. The awful reality is that parents and close relatives are most often at the wheel. “Often the injuries children sustain from run overs are so severe, that they die on the scene. For children that do survive, they frequently have permanent disability or long-term injuries,” explains Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

While driveway accidents happen more frequently during spring and summer, it can also easily take place during autumn and winter when it gets dark earlier, so always, always be vigilant no matter what the season or the time of day. Accidents are most likely to occur at busy family times – when people are going to work, heading out to do the shopping or school run, or are simply distracted when catching up with family and friends.

“If you have small children in the family – particularly if they are between one and three years of age – or you live in an area with children, it is important to know what to look out for. Driveway accidents can be prevented if parents can identify a risky driveway, and follow the key safety messages – check, supervise and separate.”

There are some key characteristics of risky driveways, so be particularly alert if any of these indicators fit your property: A long driveway A driveway in a quiet road or cul-de-sac A driveway that also provides pedestrian access to the

50 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

house – there is no separate pedestrian pathway A driveway leading to lots of parking – cars need to be moved around to make room or allow vehicles to leave A driveway with no physical barrier – like a fence – between the driveway and outdoor play area.

Check: Count the kids before you manoeuvre. Make sure they are belted safely in the car or in a safe place with an adult. Understand how big the blind zones are around your car. Driveway run overs can happen driving forward and reversing. Keep cars locked and don’t let children use driveways as play areas.

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The hearT of your home jusT goT bigger. Since 2006, we’ve been matching experienced au pairs with Kiwi families, providing quality care for our most precious new arrivals. With an average of 1300 hours experience working with children under five, our au pairs help create a safe place where your little one can grow in their first few years. As parents ourselves, we

work with your au pair to ensure baby is giggling, gurgling and growing the way a healthy little person should. If they’re smiling, we’re smiling. Join our family online and you’ll be able to view our candidate profiles, send contact requests and even send a job offer when you’re ready. With Au Pair Link, it’s all taken care of.

Because we’re all about making life easier for new Mums and Dads, we offer 25% off our placement fee to all Parent Centre members. Simply use the promo code PARENTC.

Join our family today at or call us on 0800 AU PAIR (287 247)

Supervise: Ensure a responsible person (not a group of kids) is actively supervising toddlers and young children.

Keep doing what you love with a

Tula Baby Carrier

Late afternoon and early evening are particularly risky times. Special efforts are needed then to make sure children are safe.

Separate: Consider how to separate children from all areas used for driving. You might need to install a childproof gate at doors or exits that lead to driveways. Infants and toddlers should have safe, fenced play spaces. If you’re visiting someone’s house, park on the road instead of the driveway. If you’re expecting visitors, ask them to park on the road or put up a barrier to stop them parking in the drive.

Make children aware Preschoolers are pretty smart – children as young as three can learn to be aware of the danger if they play on a driveway. Talk to your child about the risks – place a favourite toy or two behind the car and get them to look in the driver’s rear view mirror to see if they are visible. This way you can introduce the concept of the blind zone where the driver cannot see a small child. Encourage them to come up with a list of actions they can take to keep themselves and their friends safe, perhaps they could paint pictures of themselves playing in safe areas at home.

Some ideas are: Build a Lego® house, garden and driveway with a toy car in it. Have children put green flags on areas where it is safe to play and red flags for dangerous areas. Take a safety walk to nearby homes. Have your child identify the places where it would be safe for them to play. Ask they to say why these areas are safe. 

Safekids have 'Check for Me’ photo frame key rings available free of charge. Anthony Rola, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Safekids, explains:

Perfect from birth to 20kg Front and back carry Available in a baby or toddler carrier Handmade in the US Available in a range of gorgeous prints Available at selected retailers. Distributed by Nestling Group Limited.

“We encourage parents to place their child’s photo in the key ring, so there’s an emotional reminder to walk around the car and make sure children are in a safe place and supervised by an adult, before getting in and turning the key.” You can order your key ring from

PREVENTING DRIVEWAY RUNOVERS Ten things to think about

5 20 % % 68 17 49 13 % 32 11am


children are killed each year

more than

(One child admitted to Starship Hospital a fortnight)



2 3


before lunch and dinner

hospitalised a year.

12 noon







are danger months with kids outside and house doors left open

Run overs can occur in either direction


other relatives

of drivers are the victim’s parent









% 0-2 years old of children run over


aid parking but don’t always prevent driveway run overs

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: Human Factor: small children and drivers Vehicle Design: all have blind zones front, side and rear Built Environment: long or shared driveways and lack of separate pedestrian access increases risks

CHECK FOR ME BEFORE YOU TURN THE KEY Before you get in, always walk around the car and check for children. Separate play areas from driveways with fencing and gates. Supervise children whenever cars are moving.

5th Floor, Cornwall Complex, 40 Claude Road, Epsom, Auckland 1344, New Zealand | P +64 9 630 995




Doing your bit to change the world

Reusing items and reducing waste has been at the very heart of what Pregnancy Help does for the past 40 years, as has providing much needed practical support to families through the mobilisation of people in communities caring for and helping each other. The Pregnancy Help Nappy Banks (Nappy Bank NZ) were born out of the shared visions of Pregnancy Help and Kate Meads (Waste Free Parenting with the Nappy Lady) to both provide support to families and to make good environmental choices through increasing accessibility to reusable nappies as an option for them to use.

54 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

From July 1st 2014 to June 30th 2015, Pregnancy Help provided 9222 reusable nappies to families in eight centres across New Zealand (Auckland, Taupo, Taranaki, Central Hawke's Bay, Greater Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill). If each one of those reusable nappies was used just 100 times (which isn’t really a lot of nappy changes at all in the life of a baby) then those 9222 nappies would have saved 922,200 disposable nappies from going into landfills. At the same time as providing those 9222 reusable nappies, Pregnancy Help also provided 76,676 items of baby and children’s clothing, 5632 items of baby bedding, 1410 items of maternity clothing, and 459 bassinets (these are loaned for a period of approximately four months and returned to us).

Banking from the bottom up Much like banks involving money, the Nappy Banks operate via a system of deposits and withdrawals. Nappies are donated to the banks (deposits) and are then provided to families who want to use them (withdrawals). Once families are finished using the nappies they are donated back to the Nappy Banks for other people to use (starting the deposit and withdrawal cycle once again). There is no cost at all for the nappies (and they are not intended to replace hire kits available from other sources). Our communities have embraced the concept enthusiastically – donating us nappies, sharing their knowledge about nappies with us, and accessing nappies from the banks to use. One of the many choices that parents make is about what kind of nappies that they’ll use – disposable or reusable. Using reusable nappies full-time is a great choice but we’d also like to say that it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. We’ve found that a lot of the families that we’ve provided nappies to through the Nappy Banks find that a combination of both reusable and disposable nappies works well for them. Every single reusable nappy change means that a disposable nappy isn’t going into a landfill so it all helps to make a difference. We’ve found that accessing some reusable nappies through the Nappy Banks has been an ideal way for families to try reusables out and that often they’ve ended up using them more than they thought that they would, because they found that they were so easy to use (and it wasn’t hard work at all to wash and dry them). In the wake of the Climate Change Conference (COP21) and the historic agreement signed in Paris where leaders from 196 countries agreed to limit global warming by well below 2°C by the year 2100, with a target of 1.5°C , many people and families are asking themselves “What can I do to help make a difference?” They recognise that governmental policy needs to be backed up personal choices and actions, so are keen to “do their bit” to contribute to the changes needed. Babies and little people go through a lot of nappies, clothing and equipment in their first few years of life and more and more parents are making the decision to use reusable nappies and to reuse clothing and equipment (based not on not having the resources to buy everything brand new, but based on reusing items being good environmental practice).

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More information about the Nappy Banks and other services provided by Pregnancy Help can be found at or Pregnancy Help/ Nappy Bank Branches can also be contacted: Auckland: 09 373 2599 3rd Floor, 33 Wyndham St, Auckland Taupo: 07 377 6071 32 Northwood Rd, Taupo

Greater Wellington: 04 232 5740 139B Main Rd, Tawa Christchurch: 03 385 0556 349 Woodham Rd, Wainoni

Taranaki: 06 765 5042 4 Romeo St, Stratford

Dunedin: 03 455 5892 South City Mall, South Dunedin

Central Hawke's Bay: 06 8566877 Waipukurau Plunket Carseat Rental Rooms

Invercargill: 03 215 6720 34 Forth St, Invercargill

56 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

What families say Alison One of my big loves for reusable nappies is not having to fork out huge amounts in my weekly budget, nor worrying that I’m going to run out of nappies by the end of the week. I was also never looking for a place to dump my disposable (my dirty nappies are always coming home with me lol). I used to carry a snaplock bag which I could put dirty/wet clothes & nappy in and not worry about smell or leaking (I kept a change of clothes in the bag until needed).

Jess I have used cloth nappies from newborn to about age one with all three of my children. It has never been about fashion for me, although there are some very cute modern cloth nappies! For me it has been a way of reducing my family’s carbon footprint on the planet. I am aware that the climate is being changed by mankind, and it is up to all of us to reduce the change in ways that fit in with our lifestyle.

Zahra I always feel guilty using disposables and I’ve gone back and forth between cloth and disposables for both my girls. I mainly used cloth but sometimes without a dryer and the damp cold winter days just didn’t dry them as fast as I needed and I’d put them back in disposables for a catch up. I hated thinking about how long it took disposables to break down and how I was contributing to a ever building landfill.

When we used cloth I loved that I wasn’t spending a ton on nappies on our fortnightly shop and I realised how easy they are to care for. Another big bonus is I never seemed to have as many issues with my girls getting their clothes soiled in cloth, it seemed to contain everything really well when fitted properly. If cloth nappies are cared for correctly they can last for ages and several children. It’s also important that people don’t over soap them when washing or use nappy creams that will not wash away cleanly as this can cause leaks, smells and a breakdown of the material. Many soaps and creams leave behind residue that can effect their performance. Stains and smells easily come away with a soak and some sun. Sun is a cloth nappy's best friend – it can help you avoid too many costly hot wash cycles, bleach out stains naturally and kill bacteria. The more sun the better regardless of season.

Ildico I really liked the fact, that with the nappy bank, I was able to borrow different types of reusable nappies, to see what would suit my little boy best as he had chicken legs and found often the nappies weren’t firm enough, so being able to trial different brands, I was able to work out what worked best, so when I went to buy my own I knew what was going to work best for us. So by borrowing from the nappy bank, I saved both time and money. Thanks nappy bank!!

Toni They are really cute. Overall they are cheaper to use than disposables. No need to budget for disposable nappies with the groceries if you use cloth full-time (and even if you don’t there is less going out every week to cover the times you do use cloth). Very easy to use, poop is not a problem, as long as you have access to a toilet. So many different styles to choose from you are bound to find one that works for you and your child. If starting out get a few different types and brands as what works well for me and my baby might not work for you. Take into consideration drying times, you don’t want to run out in the middle of winter when things invariably take longer to dry. The sun is your friend for drying nappies, it removes stains and the UV light kills any nasties hiding in the nappies. 

Chris Ottley Chris is a parent and grandparent and has been involved in Pregnancy Help for 12 years. She cares passionately about the work Pregnancy Help does and the impact that it makes. She also feels strongly that people are the taonga of the organisation – the people that are helped and the people who contribute so that help can be provided.

Conscious parenting – want to know more? Check out upcoming programmes at your local Parents Centre: Browse through the resources here: Join ‘Conscious Parenting’ pages and groups on Facebook Research online and read, read, read!

Homeopathic remedies

Iwhat love I'm


Each year, the College of Natural Health and Homeopathy offers a scholarship for study to Childbirth Educators or volunteers working for Parents Centre. Jo Spies was the first recipient of this scholarship for homeopathic study in 2013. She is now a year 4 student and will graduate with her Diploma at the end of 2016. Jo lives in Brisbane with her husband and four children where she immerses herself in a wide range of natural health support endeavours. Judy Coldicott, South Island Coordinator and senior tutor at the College, interviewed Jo to see where she was at with her study and the use of homeopathy.

What was it that prompted you to apply for the CNHH/ Parents Centre homeopathy scholarship? I grew up as a child with my mum using a lot of homeopathic remedies so I have always been interested in how they work and wanted to study more about it. Although it was an awkward time for me when I first read about the scholarship (I was pregnant), I decided that if it was meant to be, it would be. And it was!

How much did you know about homeopathy at the time? Well, I thought I knew a bit, especially from a symptom basis of prescribing (matching the most appropriate remedies to the presenting symptoms) and I had some successes when prescribing the remedies. Now, though, I realise I knew nothing and didn’t use the remedies as well as I could have. My mind has really expanded over the last three years.

How have you found the study? GREAT! I have really enjoyed it. The course has a great mix of ‘challenging’ and ‘not too hard’ and the tutors make it easy for us. I love the learning. It’s a flexible

58 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

course and there always seems to be an option – whatever’s happening, there is flexibility within the course and lots of support. The tutors are awesome and I love attending the sessions. My first two years, I was attending but when we moved to Australia I had to do some distance learning. This is done on an online learning site and means I can complete my Diploma with some trips back to New Zealand for classes when it works in.

How much do you use homeopathy? Every day! I use it with my children all the time. It is the main medicine, along with supplements, that we use in our home. Our children have not had antibiotics and we don’t use paracetamol. When you first start using remedies for ailments, there can be some self-doubt; “Do I know enough?”… “Is this the right remedy?” but we have seen some remarkable changes in the children when they have needed homeopathic remedies.

How does homeopathy integrate with your other health interests? As a doula, I find I use homeopathy for birthing women all the time. I have seen some immediate and clear responses to the remedies during the births I have been present at. I take my kit of remedies along and

have made up and provided kits for other doulas and midwives. I used homeopathy recently during the birth of my son when different situations arose. Examples of these were to encourage my contractions, which slowed down at one point, to calm me when I got a fright and to stem bleeding after birth.

What have been your greatest ‘discoveries’ or ‘aha’ moments with homeopathy? Definitely the responses I have seen in other people. I now have quite a cluster of people I am treating, as an emerging homeopath, and some of the results are very exciting.* Recently I treated a woman suffering from antenatal depression and anxiety along with some persistent thoughts. Three to four days after selecting and prescribing a remedy for her, she phoned to say she felt like a completely different person, that she was not plagued by the persistent thoughts and that she felt safe again. Another example was a woman who I treated during her pregnancy. She had always suffered from severe eczema since childhood and, although I told her that it might take some time to gain a result with such a longlasting complaint, she had cleared up within six weeks of the initial prescription. As with all holistic homeopathic treatment, the remedy choice was based on her family background, her own tendencies and her personality. She was thrilled!

Where do you see this study taking you and what lies ahead? Currently I have an amazing mentor here in Brisbane who I can sit in with and observe and who oversees my cases. This is part of completing my study as a distance online student. We are adding an office on to our house so that in the first instance I can work from home, especially while my baby is small. I have a colleague who is a chiropractor and we hope to combine our businesses in the future. I guess things will just keep

growing. I love what I am doing and it amazes me no end. There is still a part of me that goes “WOW!” It blows my mind to see the results people are getting.

Do you have any advice for other Parents Centre members who might be thinking about applying for one of these scholarships? DO IT!! Apply! It’s manageable even if you are just starting out, have a young family or find a baby or two crop up during your study. If you really want to do it then the rest will happen.

*All senior students undertaking study with CNHH have a supervisor who oversees and approves prescriptions and processes related to consultations. 

For an overview of Jo’s other interests, or to contact her, visit

For further information about the scholarship offered by CNHH for homeopathic study, please contact

Judy Coldicott RC Hom Judy practices as both a homeopath and reflexologist from Pleasant Point in South Island’s rural heartland. She is a senior staff member for the College of Natural Health and Homeopathy, primarily involved in curriculum matters and student support. Judy’s passion is to make homeopathy user-friendly and accessible to the general public and she loves to inspire people of all ages to feel confident in its use.



60 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

In New Zealand and around the world, societies are wrestling with issues that challenge our views of compassionate and caring societies. Bullying and insensitivity using digital media has risen and indicates a worrying lack of respect for the victim and also for each other. So, when do children learn how to value the feelings of another person? And how do we, as parents, help them to develop a sense of empathy? Understanding and showing empathy is the result of many social-emotional skills that develop in the very first years of life. One of the most important milestones is establishing a secure, strong and loving relationship with you as parents. Feeling accepted and understood by you helps your child to develop a firm foundation so they can learn how to accept and understand others as they grow.

From six months on… At around six months, babies begin to use social referencing. This is when a baby will look to a parent or other loved one to gauge his or her reaction to a person or situation. For example, a seven-month-old will use social referencing when new people arrive, or new people will approach them – especially if you try to leave them with others or in a new situation. The parent’s response influences how the baby responds: they will respond to your tone of voice, facial expression, body language, and touch. This is why parents are encouraged to be positive and reassuring – not anxiously hovering – when saying goodbye at day care, preschool or kindy. It sends the message that ‘this is a safe place’, these people are great to be with, and ‘you will be okay.’ Social referencing, or being sensitive to a caregiver’s reaction in new situations, helps babies understand the world around them. For many years to come, children

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will use social referencing to assess whether a situation or person is safe, whether they need to be worried, and, if so, how much.

your kids, a well-crafted story draws children into the lives of the characters and helps them learn to see the world differently.

When a child is between 18 and 24 months of age, they develop a theory of mind. This is when toddlers first realise that, just as they have their own thoughts, feelings and goals, others have their own thoughts and ideas, which may be different from theirs. At around the same time, they learn to recognise themselves in a mirror. This shows that your child has a firm understanding of them self as a separate and unique person.

Notice your children’s feelings, describe them, and empathise with them. Talk about these feelings and help children learn to use words to describe their inner experiences. Show your child that it is ok to show a range of feelings towards you, particularly anger. Speak about it and acknowledge these difficult emotions.

So, how can you cultivate empathy in children? First or all, start with safety and security. Fear interferes with the development of empathy so learn to set limits at home with respect and love. Establishing regular routines builds a sense of predictable security for children and also helps them practice self-regulation skills – these skills are the foundation for empathy. By learning to calm themselves, regulate emotions, delay gratification, persevere, and stay focused, children develop the skills which allow them to look beyond themselves. Tell stories that help children see the world from the perspective of others. Read great children’s books with

Relationships are so important. Help children build relationships which inspire them to trust and care for others. It is important to model empathy yourself. Notice the lives of others, talk about your experiences practicing empathy, and be honest about the times you forgot to act with sensitivity to others’ feelings. Explore with your children how they can show empathy and practice with them. Involve them in being empathic towards others in practical ways, for example you could say: “let’s take this cake over to Mrs Neighbour because she has just come home from hospital”; or "let’s get Little Jonny an ice pack to make his knee better, he bruised it so badly when he fell off the swing”.

Continued overleaf...

62 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

What is empathy? Empathy is the ability to imagine how someone else is feeling in a particular situation and respond with care. This is a very complex skill to develop. Being able to empathise with another person means a child: Understands they are a separate individual. Understands others can have different thoughts and feelings to them. Recognises common feelings that most people experience – happiness, surprise, anger, disappointment, sadness, etc. Is able to look at a particular situation (such as seeing another child cry when being excluded from a game) and imagine how they, and therefore their friend, might feel. Examples of smaller children is seeing their friend

have an accident (eg, falling over, having a cut or bruise, or generally just crying, the reason does not need to be apparent to the very young ones). 1–3 year olds will respond as they have learnt themselves, eg, stroke on the cheek, kiss, cuddle, bring their friend something special, eg, cuddlies, blanky. Can imagine what response might be appropriate or comforting in that particular situation, such as giving a kiss, bringing them something special or giving them a comforting hug.

Learn to say sorry

year-old to be sorry straight away and make their friend

Adults need to be patient; empathy takes time to develop and it cannot be forced. It is not helpful to force the issue: “you have to say sorry to Jonny now because you pushed him over; unless you say sorry to Jonny you will not get your toy back,” is unlikely to help the situation. Little kids do not always understand what ‘sorry’ means and why they have to say precisely that. If we force it, then the “I am sorry” becomes meaningless, and is not a sincere response. In addition, they then also dislike the parent for making them say it.

took their most favourite toy. It doesn’t matter that they

To help children learn how to take responsibility for their undesirable actions and learn empathy, help them identify the other child’s feelings, connect the feelings and reaction to their action, and then most importantly help them take responsibility in practical ways. “Now look Jonny, little Miss Muffet is rubbing her knee and she is crying because she hurt her arm when you pushed her over. Let’s ask her if she is ok and what we can do for her to make her feel better.” Saying sorry is often also not what the hurt child wants, as that won’t necessary make them feel better; they might just want the perpetrator’s favourite toy for five minutes to make up for it! It is good to have realistic expectations of your child’s developmental ability; you simply can’t expect a three-

64 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

feel better for pushing them over, although the friend weren’t playing with it at the time. In their eyes it is still their most favourite toy that is not to be touched at ANY TIME BY ANYONE ANYWHERE. Moral development goes through stages and we need to be realistic in our expectations if we want to nurture our children accordingly. But that’s another topic, for another issue. 

Kerstin Kramar PGDipClinPsych, NZCCP Kerstin is a clinical psychologist. She lives in Wellington with her husband and three children aged one, three and thirteen that she adores. They get her thinking about babies and teen parenting at the end of every day. She has worked as a psychologist with kids, teenagers, and families; special interest: general parenting, moral/empathy development of children/teens in foster care, attachment, parenting and autism.

Our daughter has

hip dysplasia? Eva’s story My daughter Eva was officially diagnosed with hip dysplasia at about five months of age. Our Plunket nurse noticed her bum was a bit wonky at three months – her leg creases were not even/matching up. At four months we had an x-ray and were given a referral to see a specialist at Starship Children’s Hospital. We learned at this appointment that her left hip socket was very shallow, it wasn’t yet formed enough to hold the hip in place and therefore could easily dislocate. The right side wasn’t quite as bad, but not ideal either. Eva had never shown any sign of being uncomfortable or in pain, but this was obviously one of my first queries… I was relieved after hearing that this wouldn’t cause her pain at this age and children generally aren’t bothered by the instability of the hip. But she did have to wear a harness for around eight months. I feel like I’ve stumbled my way through so many different emotions since this unexpected chapter of motherhood began. There were a lot of tears in the beginning. The first week was hard, for all of us. Eva only took a couple of days to adjust to being harness-bound and I think it’s become the norm for her now, so much so she will probably miss it when it comes off! Nappy changes were a bit tricky at first, with straps in the way and no

picking up by the legs allowed. But you get so many chances to practise, it didn’t take long before the process became automatic. I feel like 90% of the time it’s business (motherhood) as usual for me. Once that first week was over I realised this journey was manageable and probably wasn’t going to be too bad.

It’s that pesky other 10% that gets me down every now and then… The check-up appointments when I go in a little too optimistic, expecting good news but not always hearing it. The odd occasion when we’re hanging out with other babes of a similar age and I’m reminded that my girl is limited in how she can

Hip dysplasia, developmental dysplasia of the hip, DDH, clicky hips… If your baby has developmental dysplasia of the hip, or DDH, it means their hips are unstable. This can be because the socket of their hip joint (the acetabulum) is not deep enough, or the ball part of their thigh bone (the femoral head) is in the wrong position in the socket.

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Using a harness Some babies may need to be treated for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) using a harness. The harness may be called a Pavlik harness. The harness is a brace used to help babies’ hips develop in the most normal way. It has straps that are fastened around your baby’s legs and held up by shoulder and chest straps. The harness holds your baby’s hips and knees up with their legs apart, which is the best position for their hip joint. It means their thigh and pelvic bones are in contact and helps to strengthen their hip muscles and ligaments while they are developing.

move. The sunny summer days where I want to let her feel the sand between her toes and take her for a swim in the sea. Not being able to cuddle her or see most of her body without velcro in the way (I now have a very strong aversion to velcro!). And the lack of clothing options… Your midwife, doctor and Plunket nurse will examine your baby for hip problems at birth and several times during their first months of life. If a hip problem is suspected, your baby will have an ultrasound scan of their hips. If baby is six months or older, they will have an x-ray. Babies with a higher risk of DDH (due to family history, breech birth or other womb factors) will usually be offered an ultrasound scan at about six to eight weeks of age But strangely enough this particular issue has turned into an interesting new venture for us. There’s often not much warning about what lies ahead, when you go to that first appointment. After hearing about quite a few experiences that others have had, I believe most of the time we’re not told that we may be leaving with our little ones in a harness or brace. I was lucky enough to have had a quick chat with a friend, whose daughter had been through the same thing at a similar age to Eva, so I was prepared enough to avoid a serious meltdown. We have had to keep the harness on her 24/7, no baths or swimming and no clothes to be worn underneath. Because her legs are held up and out, this means it’s a bit challenging to find clothes that fit nicely. My mum (patternmaker and seamstress

extraordinaire) came to our rescue and created a handful of merino ‘gowns’ – fabulously stretchy and also wide enough to accommodate Eva’s new found froggy legs. As she went into the harness at the start of winter she pretty much just lived in these for a few months. It wasn’t until it started getting warmer that we started thinking uh oh, these aren’t going to work in the heat. So mum and I found some cool cotton fabrics and designed a few styles to work over the harness, including a lightweight romper, dresses and bloomers. Fun and functional were what we were going for. The first samples worked really well on Eva and it was so nice to have the option of dressing her up for outings again, something I didn’t think I would ever be that bothered about. We realised that we had an opportunity to help out others in similar situations – turning the frustration and disappointment around the lack of clothing into a positive, and hopefully bringing some sunshine to the wardrobes of our fellow hippies. And so Moonu was born. It’s been great to have this project to focus on while Eva has been in he harness. And I hope we can continue to provide more clothing options for other hipsters long after Eva has finished her treatment. There have definitely been some positive outcomes from our experience with hip dysplasia so far. I have learned so much about something I knew nothing about, there have been new opportunities come my way and lovely new friendships.

Yes, it’s true that ‘it could be worse’ and yes, it is a ‘fixable’ condition. Staying positive is a great idea, but I also believe we need to allow ourselves to not be ok and be sad sometimes, if that’s how we feel. We shouldn’t feel guilty about feeling that way because we think others have it worse. This is probably applicable to many of the challenges of parenthood! It is important to know that there is support out there if it does get to be too much. Sometimes just having a chat to someone else who has been through it, having that understanding and reassurance is all you need. Harness Heroes NZ is a Facebook support group for parents of babes with hip dysplasia. It has been a fantastic group to be a part of during our journey, so much valuable advice is shared. They also have a range of helpful equipment/ accessories to borrow if needed. Most importantly it’s a great place to get support from fellow parents.

In a month’s time we get to take off our little hipster's harness (yay!), after eight months of full-time wear. She will be 14 months old. Two weeks later, we go back to Starship for an x-ray and check up. I’ll be quietly nervous I’m sure. I can’t wait to see her stretched out (I wonder how tall she is?), and to give her a bath and watch her splash around. She’s been scooching around for a few months now, something that I wasn’t sure she’d be able to do in the harness. I’m looking forward to seeing what she gets up to next. She is super flexible in her legs, something that I hear is common amongst hipsters. Sideways splits are an everyday occurrence. We’ve had lots of comments about a promising career as a gymnast, you never know though she might prefer yoga.  Jen Insley

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Challenges, concerns and celebrations

Our neonatal journey

Life in our house was noisy, crazy and busy. I was in my second trimester with our third baby, I was still trying to come to terms with how a third child could ever survive alongside his two boisterous brothers who were two and four years old). But I took comfort that there were still nearly four months to go… or so I thought!

no time for steroids or surfactant to help prepare his immature lungs. There was a constant flurry of activity around me, the room was suddenly full of people and all I could think about was how I wasn’t even remotely prepared to go through the labour pains that were suddenly storming my body! Within 40 minutes I went from ‘pregnant with the possibility of ruptured membranes’ to ‘Sheesh, there’s our baby! I guess we should start thinking about a name...”

One late November morning in 2012, I had a routine follow-up scan to get the missing shot of our baby’s face (this was the fourth attempt), but obtaining the face shot quickly paled into insignificance when the sonographer saw how low my waters were. The light bleeding I’d been having for the previous two weeks had been masking ruptured membranes and infection (which came first we’ll never know). A gynaecologist appointment was made for that afternoon, I had an inkling that perhaps my husband should make it to this appointment, and he dutifully took time off work to meet me and my midwife there.

Getting thorough the next few months

Within 10 minutes of arriving I had an enormous bleed and began contractions within minutes. The obstetrician was on his way and the neonatal team was promptly given the code red, this baby was coming! I transitioned into second stage labour so quickly that there was

68 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

We were naive; I knew babies were viable after 23 weeks so I wasn’t as worried as perhaps I should have been. We live in Palmerston North, and thank God I went into labour in the only place in the city that could have supported our baby’s life. But it wasn’t a place that could get him through the next couple of months. Our two pound (890g) baby boy was wired up, lined in and plugged into beeping, flashing, life-saving equipment. Wrapped in plastic to protect his fragile skin, his face was flat and remarkably undefined. His bright red, translucent fingers wrapped perfectly around the tip of my index finger, tiny, intricate, fearfully and wonderfully made. His eyes were fused shut but

moved rapidly as he slept. A few hours of preparation led to a helicopter ride with his dad to his new home in Wellington Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I followed the next day. It was a tearful goodbye to our older boys – they too had no warning that their life would be totally turned upside down. We are forever grateful to our parents and siblings for filling in for us where we weren’t able to, to do this without family support would be so, so hard. Life at NICU was transforming. We were put through a crash course in human biology and how to care for our NICU baby. Every day brought new challenges, concerns or celebrations. We watched our baby writhe in pain and sleep in blissful ignorance. We read his charts and followed his progress. We became vigilant and paranoid around hygiene and germs. My life was organised around the clock – three-hourly expressing, six-hourly cares, two to three hour long cuddles – and on the good days, saying good night and leaving my baby in the care of the nurses until morning. Day in, day out. But he grew. He started tolerating. He improved. And eventually the day finally came after two months where he was well enough to send home to Palmerston North Hospital, such a happy day!

A huge transition At nearly 34 weeks (his gestational age) Eli was flown back to Palmerston North Hospital, and what a huge transition this was! In Wellington I had grown used to being just across the road at the Ronald McDonald House. If there was an emergency I could be there in minutes, it was easy to get there for all his cares, and late evening visits were quite feasible. Now at home, I was so thankful to be available to my other two boys, but it was also extremely exhausting; my time and energy was stretched very thin! A trip to hospital required babysitters and took a lot longer, I was driving to and from hospital around four times a day after breastfeeding was established, so there really wasn’t much time for anything else! Family, friends and our wider church family were such a wonderful support; we had people offering to clean the house, tidy up the garden, mow the lawns, cook us dinner and a loyal few who would drop everything to support

me with babysitting when I had to zip up for the next lot of cares. These people were invaluable, if you’re in the journey, let people help you and don’t be afraid to ask for help; people I barely knew were only too happy to do their bit in supporting us, sometimes they just needed an invitation. Understandably, Neonates in Palmerston North was a different ship. There were still the basic hygiene steps but things were very different to what I’d grown used to in Wellington. Nurses and specialists did things differently, they saw him at the age he was rather than what he had been. Slowly we had to remove the layers of cotton wool and expose our baby to the big bad world (within the confounds of an incubator and locked neonatal ward!). Day by day, the change became easier, priorities changed and transitions become inevitable. It was wonderful to start the process of breastfeeding at 34 weeks (gestational age), and around 37 weeks he came off oxygen and his feeding tube soon followed.

If you’re in the journey, let people help you and don’t be afraid to ask for help; people I barely knew were only too happy to do their bit in supporting us, sometimes they just needed an invitation. It is hard to know the toll it took on our other two children, I was no longer fulfilling the role I had been doing before Eli’s birth. Other people were taking them places and interacting with them, and they were spending considerable time in other homes. Our fouryear-old’s behaviour was difficult to manage at the best of times, but after he told another mum at Playcentre that “Mum’s never coming back” we realised how significant this upheaval had been on him. Remember to talk openly to you older children as they can make some surprising interpretations out of the situation they’ve been put in.

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at –



We returned to Wellington NICU for a bilateral hernia repair where he briefly lapsed back on to oxygen support. After 123 days in hospital Elias was discharged, free of oxygen support and tubes and with a rather courageous leap, he soon became exclusively breastfed! What a joy it was to take him home, life was able to return to a more reasonable pace, I could enjoy breastfeeding in the comfort of our home, and share more of his cares alongside my husband and family.

An impossible ask Keeping our house free from coughs and colds was near impossible. Our oldest had just started school and our second just started preschool, I was not going to consider home schooling! Sure enough Eli got sick too. Thankfully, he coped as well as any newborn with most of the colds he caught over that year. It wasn’t until he was around nine months (his actual age) that he caught his first bout of croup. A long scary five days in hospital led to serious questions being asked. By the time he was 11 months old he was wheezy all the time, and his voice was strained and weak. We were flown up to Starship Hospital to investigate a “mass” under his vocal chords. It turned out his airways were severely restricted by seven cysts on and around his vocal chords. Cysts like this are common in intubated patients, which he needed four times in his early days at NICU. Over the following year, Eli underwent five procedures to remove these cysts, but he now vocalises well, and has a much healthier airway. Although we’ll have a follow up appointment in a year’s time, we expect this to be the last of his big hurdles! Elias, now three, is active, happy and opinionated. He runs around, tackles (and is tackled by) his two big brothers, climbs to great heights, follows instructions and communicates effectively (through sign, gestures and a scattering of words). He melts my heart every time he notices someone in tears, he’ll gently pat their head and follow up with a cuddle, if a toy’s been stolen off them, Eli will find another one to bring them. His hands and feet still bear the mark of every cannula he endured, every heel prick he received, faint lines where he wore his leg cast for two months and a long dent where his long line was inserted. I look at these with pride; our boy has been through so much, but through all of this, we are forever thankful to the lifegiving facilities and expertise that the NICU provided, and the caring and supportive role the Neonatal Trust played, connecting parents and being a listening ear during this extremely emotional and stressful time. We still keep in touch with a number of parents that shared this NICU journey with us through a Facebook page; I’d highly recommend this if you’re in the middle of your NICU journey, these parents can truly understand the journey you’re on, we share in our celebrations and are supported through our trials. Thanks to God, and these outstanding facilities, we now have a precious, healthy little boy that warms our heart daily.  Larina van der Werff

70 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Charlotte's journey Think you understand stress and anxiety? Can you imagine waiting 100+ days before getting to take your baby home for the very first time? Charlotte, pictured in the image, arrived 16 weeks early.

Some key stats from Charlotte's journey to give you context: Born 23 weeks and 3 days gestation Weighed 650 grams at birth Charlotte spent 132 days in the NICU before going home for the first time Took 47 days to reach 1kg in weight 26 days on a ventilator 220 days on oxygen support 9 blood transfusions 200+ hours of ‘kangaroo cuddles’ First bath at 57 days Weighed 2.8kg when discharged

I held her for the first time when she was two weeks old. She weighed less than 500 grams at that point and was in pretty bad shape. It was a scary experience, but very special. Once her condition became more stable her dad and I would take turns giving her kangaroo (skin to skin) cuddles each day.
 – Charlottes mum. The Neonatal Trust exists to support parents going through the stress and anxiety of a neonatal journey. We do this in a number of ways: 1. We help parents to get through what is a very stressful and traumatic time, including providing and co-ordinating support, information, and other practical help.

with her friends.

2. We assist neonatal units in practical ways such as purchasing or contributing to the cost of equipment and funding for neonatal staff to further professional development.

1 in 10 babies are born premature in New Zealand.

3. We support neonatal-related medical research.

Charlotte is now a happy, healthy 11-year-old who enjoys running, school and spending time

That’s one every 90 minutes. Many more full-term babies have illness and/or complications that require specialist care. Every year in New Zealand over 5,000 babies spend time in a neonatal unit.

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72 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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Each baby base is worth $99.95

LOGO Pump anytime, anywhere, and around anyone

Freemie Freedom Deluxe Set – includes concealable collection cups, two sets of breast funnels (25mm & 28mm) and the electric (240V AC) Freedom Pump with smoothly adjustable suction – all for hands-free single or double pumping. RRP$395.00

WIN 1 of 4 Lamington Newborn Starter Packs

Win a Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender

Made in New Zealand from fine Merino Wool, Lamington Socks are renowned for staying up and staying on. An essential item for every new baby, these award winning socks are a great substitute for booties. Prize includes three pairs from our Newborn Naturals range. RRP $37.95

Introducing your baby to a variety of fresh foods from an early age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy habits.

The Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender is ideal for preparing healthy, homemade baby meals. First steam fruit, vegetables, fish or meat and then simply lift and flip the jar over to blend it, with no transfer of food required. Makes creating tasty, healthy meals easy. Available from leading baby retailers and department stores. RRP $250.

Be in the draw to win one of 2 newborn Bonds gift sets from Tiny Turtles Bonds make fun, stylish clothes designed with bub in mind. Wonderfully soft and comfortable, perfect for everyday wear. Tiny Turtles stock premature to 3 years and have a great range including the Iconic Wondersuit with a safe/protective two-way zip making dressing simple, with fold over mittens for hands and feet. Check out their everyday essentials such as cute leggings with soft tummy bands, bodysuits, coveralls and more. Prize includes the latest release Bonds Wondersuit of your choice, a unisex coverall and a cute tee with a combined value of $80.

80 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

2 meal time prize packs to be won Make mealtime fun with Porse In-Home Childcare. Enter the draw to win one of 2 prize packs including feeding bowls, spoons, cup and a copy of Healthy Family, Happy Family: The Complete Healthy Guide to Feeding Your Family”. Each prize pack is valued at $75.


The product most recommended by doctors for pregnancy stretch marks. Colmar Brunton, 2014

“Bio-Oil’s just one of those products that’s always been a staple in my bathroom cabinet. When I fell pregnant I began using it daily as part of my routine. It feels like it’s sort of deeply moisturising so that everything’s got a bit of give. I mean I’m not a scientist so I don’t know how it works but it feels like that. I used it every day for my bump and I haven’t got one stretch mark so I guess that’s proof in the pudding.” Sarah with Finlay

Bio-Oil® helps reduce the possibility of pregnancy stretch marks forming by increasing the skin’s elasticity. It should be applied twice daily from the start of the second trimester. For comprehensive product information, and details of clinical trials, please visit Bio-Oil is available at pharmacies and selected retailers at the recommended selling price of $20.45 (60ml). Individual results will vary.

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82 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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