Page 1

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JUNE – JULY 2018

Have your hug on our front cover! Enter the 2018 Huggies cover star photo competition

Clinging to life with tiny hands Hope in the neonatal ward

More than just words Learning te reo inspires pride

Positively pregnant New app supports well-being in pregnancy

Don't wait for summer

Teach children water safety throughout the year

The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc



25% off our placement fee for all Parent Centre members. Simply use promo code: PARENTSC25 *terms and conditions apply IS CHILDCARE ON YOUR MIND? If you’re looking for flexible and affordable in-home childcare then speak with our friendly team to find out more! Au Pair Link is NZ’s largest au pair agency connecting experienced au pairs with Kiwi families nationwide. What is an au pair? Au pairs provide a live-in form of childcare and provide a unique cultural and learning experience. When we think about what an au pair offers a family – it’s much more than a job. An au pair joins your family to bond with the children and provide one-onone care, love and stability in the place which matters most – your child’s home. What we offer? • Fully screened, experienced au pairs to choose from via our online database • Personalised educational resources for your children • Weekly playgroups and outings for your children and au pair • Orientation and child first aid training for your au pair • Round the clock support from a qualified early childhood education teacher • Cultural experience for the whole family • Access to WINZ and 20 Hours ECE subsidies

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As a caregiver or parent of young children, the topic of childcare has most certainly crossed your mind. There are many options to choose from such as day care, kindergarten, home-based care and au pairs. In 2017 alone, Au Pair Link had hundreds of au pairs join Kiwi families in just the Auckland region. So why are families choosing an au pair as a childcare option? An au pair is a young person from abroad employed by a 'host family' to care for their children. Au pairs provide a live-in form of childcare and provide a unique cultural and learning experience. An au pair joins your family to bond with the children and provide one-on-one care, love and stability in the place that matters most – your child's home.

Au Pair Link Operations Manager Morgan Holyoake says, “When you compare having an au pair to the cost of sending your child to a day care centre, au pairs are truly an affordable option, as well as being very flexible. Typical weekly costs start from $260 per week and can go up to $470 per week, depending on hours of childcare or type of programme. This weekly cost does not increase with more children, which makes having an au pair unique to all other forms of childcare.” With the ability to choose and negotiate your hours with your au pair, it’s a great option for busy working families, that don’t always work a 9–5 job. Au Pair Link is New Zealand’s largest au pair agency, bringing au pairs from all over the world into New Zealand homes. Through their service, families are able to connect with pre-screened au pairs, read their profiles and arrange video meetings to make sure they’re the perfect match. Families also have access to 20 hours ECE and WINZ subsidies, local playgroups, events and on-call teacher support. 

The magazine of Parents Centre


Cover photo: Kate McManus, aged 10 months. Photo courtesy of Water Babies, photographer Anna James.

Special Features


Have your hug on our front cover

Letters to the editor....................................................... 4

Huggies cover star competition................................. 8–10

Clinging to life with tiny hands Katie Salter.....................................................................12–17

Product page..................................................................6–7

Keeping your home warm and healthy

The magic number five

EECA energywise.........................................................18–23

Pinky McKay..................................................................34–37

More than just words ‑ learning te reo

Splash class

Nichole Brown..............................................................24–27

Water safety resources.....................................................31

Be the change

Parents Centre Pages............................................39–43

Papa and Mama...........................................................28–30

Don’t wait for summer Kelly Williams................................................................46–49

Time to focus on each other Katie Sievers..................................................................50–53

Positively pregnant

Find a centre....................................................................44 Find out about Parents Centre..............................45 Partners pages..........................................................76–77 I’m not listening! SKIP.........................................................................................78

Leigh Bredenkamp.......................................................54–57

Winners from the last issue.....................................79

Family faves ‑ recipes


Jay Wanakore and Sarah Chas..................................60–63

If the shoe fits Tim Lilling........................................................................64–67

Microbiome miracle Research Review..........................................................68–70

Flu fighters.................................................................72–74


The way we were............................................................. 5



JUNE – JULY 2018


Nga Mihi o te tau hou Greetings for Matariki Time to focus on each other | pages 50–53 Have you ever thought about stopping work and traveling full-time? Read about the Sievers family who set themselves the goal of bieng retired at 30 – and made it! They planned to have a decent break to spend some quality time together as a family, but that idea has snowballed into traveling full-time. Read more about their adventures as they explore the world with two young children.

Positively Pregnant | pages 54–57 Until recently, there have been apps for everything from baby names to timing contractions – but nothing about the emotional and social side of pregnancy. Read more about a new app called Positively Pregnant which has been developed in New Zealand, for Kiwis, to help parents use the time during pregnancy to reflect and prepare for a physically and emotionally healthy family.

Microbiome miracle | pages 68–70 The skin is the largest organ of your body and is a complex and diverse microscopic landscape. Most babies get their first big dose of microbes at birth when they travel through the birth canal. They then pick up even more from their mother while breastfeeding. These early microbes are hugely influential as they help shape the immune system, the digestive system and even the brain.

Kiwiparent. Since 1954. The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc Editor


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

Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Ph (04) 233 2022

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

Advertising Sales Taslim Parsons Ph (04) 233 2022 x8804 Mobile 021 1860 323

Design Hannah Faulke

Proofing Megan Kelly


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 Printer Image Centre Group

Our future is in their hands I wrote this editorial on International Maternal Mental Health day – a perfect time to reflect on what it means to be a mother in 2018, here in New Zealand. Maternity is getting its fair share of publicity at the moment. Not only is our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, due to give birth in June, but Green MP Julie Anne Genter, is due to follow suit a few weeks later. I wish them both the absolute best as they find out about the joys and challenges of motherhood. It will be an exciting and life-changing time for them and their partners – it is for every parent. Midwifery is also in the news at present as the reality of pay and conditions for midwives hits the headlines. Midwives and supporters marched to parliament to ask politicians to hear their requests for help. Midwives who work in the community – not in hospitals as DHB employees – can earn far less than the minimum wage because of the way the funding works. There are widespread claims of midwives being driven from the profession or overseas. They are simply exhausted and find that they cannot make ends meet. Of course, a dispirited and dwindling maternity sector is bad news for families. We have a fantastic system that places mother and baby firmly at the centre. Decision-making includes the mother and partner with midwives working in partnership to guide mother and baby throughout the pregnancy and birth process – and look after them for around six weeks after the birth. You only have to read about the birthing environment of the 1950s on page five to realise how far we have come. Birth used to be directed by the medical profession, women were not consulted or given a say at any stage, let alone (God forbid) having the father involved. Our maternity system is a far cry from many other models around the world where the mother is rushed into hospital to give birth in unfamiliar surroundings tended to by people she has never met before. Our system is the envy of other countries – so we need to get on to fixing the funding model. All mums deserve to give birth tended by a midwife who is well educated, supported and resourced. There can be nothing more important than taking care of our most vulnerable, and you don’t get more vulnerable than a newborn baby. Midwives literally hold our future in their hands and we need to take care of them. Leigh Bredenkamp

The magazine of Parents Centre



Top letter prize

to the editor

The winning letter receives the complete Natural Instinct face care range, truly natural skincare products with active anti-ageing plant-based ingredients and 100% free from over 400 potentially harmful ingredients to you and the environment. Available from leading pharmacies. RRP $102.

Top letter

Congratulations to top letter winner Anna Robertson-Bate from Lower Hutt who will win a prize pack from Natural Instinct.

Update on PPL

What have they been getting up to in Balclutha?

I’m member of the Lower Hutt Parents Centre and enjoy reading the magazine. I just wanted to let you know about a correction to the article you published on Paid Parental Leave (PPL) in the April/May edition of Kiwiparent.

Turn to page 41 to see what Nicola Law and the team from Balclutha Parents Centre have been doing!

Previously the legislation said that a person had to have worked for the same employer for six months to be eligible for PPL. But the good news is that now the law has changed to allow people who have worked for the past six months for the same or different employers to be entitled to PPL. I worked full time for the twelve months prior to having my baby but changed employers when I was 20 weeks pregnant. I was still able to apply for – and receive – paid parental leave.

Anna Robertson-Bate, Lower Hutt









0800 600 998


The way we were An extract from 'The Trouble With Women' The Story of Parents Centre New Zealand By Mary Dobbie Published by Cape Catley Limited. Most who aspired to a natural childbirth were frustrated [in the early 1950s]. It was not that the method failed them. Rather it was doctors and nurses whose attitudes were negative, scornful and intimidating. The idea that a woman might ease her labour by relaxing her body was acceptable enough. But that she might know enough about the course of her own labour to express opinions about it – even attempt to control its course by breathing in a special way and delaying the use of drugs – this was taken as a criticism of nursing and obstetric knowledge. It was not taken well. Angered by what they saw as an attempt to over-simplify their special knowledge and question their routine practices, not to mention penetrating the mystique of childbirth, doctors and nurses were less than sympathetic. The age of consumerism, of parents as consumers with opinions and rights, was inconceivable. The prospect of having a husband present in the room of his labouring wife was particularly repugnant. Christine Cole-Catley recalled the eminent obstetrician in 1950, chosen because he lived nearby, who recoiled from her with the tart dismissal, “Indeed not – never heard anything so extraordinary!” Dr T F Corkill, senior obstetrician at Wellington Hospital, past president of the Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and a member of the Nurses and Midwives Board, had made no secret of his views. He did not approve of a lay organisation meddling in professional matters, and he had no time whatsoever for natural childbirth ideas. Christine Cole had led a small delegation of mothers to ask him if he would permit his patients’ husbands to support them in the first stages of labour. “We were careful to stress that we were asking this just for first stage labour, not the birth, and we assured him that all the men would have attended classes so that they’d know how to help. We spoke in what we thought was the most unassuming and conciliatory way possible – we’d even practiced what we’d say,” Christine recalled.

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“But Dr Corkill was so outraged that when he spoke he actually stammered. He said, ‘You’re nothing but a bunch of c-c-c-communists!’ “As this was the time of the Cold War and McCarthyism in the United States, he was using the most damning of accusations.” Dr Corkill's influence was far reaching. In addition to his seniority on the O&G Society and the awe he inspired among nurses because he had written a textbook for midwives in training, he was an examiner for the Nurses and Midwives Board. He also had been an honorary physician to the Plunket Society’s Karitane Hospital in Wellington. The Director of Nursing, Miss Flora Cameron, was known to hold this doyen of obstetrics in the highest regard. 

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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.



The magazine of Parents Centre




Fussy Foods Fussy Foods is a raw vegetable paste that you can add to most meals your fussy eater likes. With no colours, no numbers and no preservatives, it’s just packed full of natural nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Imagine being able to give your little (or big) one, a heap of veges and protein without them even knowing, seeing, tasting or detecting it, AND without any effort or time invested from yourself. Add it to anything from spaghetti bolognese to muffins and pizzas.

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SplashSave The SplashSave water safety pack enables you to teach your little one water safety starting in your own bathtub. Designed for newborns to 5-year-olds. Get your pack and use the code PCNZ to get a 30% discount.



Micro Stroller by Silver Cross The Silver Cross Micro Stroller from Baby On The Move is both stylish and hassle-free. It is suitable from birth, durable and is perfect for on-the-go parents. It includes a rain cover, foldable bumper bar and shopping basket, and weighs just 7.5kg. RRP $279

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Worth capturing, because there’s nothing like a hug



® Registered Trademark Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © KCWW

Have your hug on the

cover of Kiwiparent

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R 2017 –



ER 2017


Meet the Huggies

Cover sta


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Put your photographic skills to use and enter our Cover Star photo competition!


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We want to see images that show loving connections – parents, children, siblings, grandparents, pets – those special moments that illustrate closeness and attachment. If your image is selected as the winning photo, you will receive a prize package worth over $8,000!

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As if all this was not enough, the winner will also receive a years free subscription to Kiwiparent and six months supply of Huggies products including:

24 packs of Huggies nappies bulk packs

What the judges are looking for: Expressions that capture happy baby moments, e.g. warm-hearted, “happy eyes” The connection between baby and parent/ caregiver, e.g. eye contact between baby and parent, loving touch Candid everyday moments, e.g. playing at home, a bit imperfect (not contrived), relaxed, comfortable The winning entry will receive a photo shoot with a professional photographer, with an image to appear on the cover of Kiwiparent, and potentially, within the October/November issue as well. The photo shoot will take place in Auckland during the week commencing 24 July. The lucky winner will be a star for a day with: Flights to and from Auckland (if necessary) Transfers to and from the airport Hair and make-up by a professional stylist Wardrobe styling

Huggies Baby Wipes (four pop-up tubs and six 240s refill packs)

10 packs of Huggies change mats; 8 packs of Little Swimmers Swim Pants

Entries open at 10:30am on Monday, 28 May 2018 and close at 10:30am on Friday, 29 June 2018. To enter, simply visit the competition post hosted on the Huggies New Zealand Facebook page. In the post comments the entrant should share ‘a photo of you and your bub sharing a hug’

Professional photo shoot in the Ogilvy office in Auckland Lunch and snacks And, at the end of this magical day, the winner will receive all the images from the photo shoot on a memory stick.

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The magazine of Parents Centre


A Hug is essential for human survival

It’s a universal language and the first one that humans learn. The very act of hugging releases oxytocin (known as “the bonding hormone”), a process beginning immediately after birth. But the benefits of touch are not just for baby. Skin-to-skin contact reduces the stress level for mum too, allowing her to be more attentive and receptive to her baby’s needs. As creatures beginning to grasp their surroundings moment to moment, a hug alone can literally make them feel more comfortable in their own skin. An affectionate hug aids in the development of interpersonal relationships and can promote feelings of devotion to and trust in mum. Newborns are neurologically wired to stop crying when held, and particularly in infancy, a hug-induced reduction of the stress hormone cortisol can even encourage more restful sleep. Hugs have been part of Huggies® Nappies’ DNA since 1978 when Kimberly-Clark employee Boyd Tracy thought to combine the words ‘hugs’ and ‘babies’, and came up with a brand name that communicated how the nappy “hugged” the baby’s shape. 

Terms and conditions (Full Terms and Conditions available online) Entry is only open to New Zealand residents who are aged 18 years or over. Employees of the Promoter and their immediate families, participating suppliers and agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible to enter. Entries open at 12am NZST on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 and close at 11.59pm NZST on Saturday, 30 June 2018. To enter, entrants must locate the competition post hosted on the Huggies New Zealand Facebook page and share their photos in the post comments. Valid entries will be judged on the basis of their relevance and creativity and judging will be done by Resolution Media.



Huggies New Zealand will comment on the winning entries to notify the winners. It is the responsibility of the winner to check back on the post to determine if they are the winner, and to send an email containing their contact details within 7 days of the Promoter’s post which announces the winner. For privacy reasons, the Promoter will not contact the winner by private message to notify them of their winning entry. If for any reason a winner does not contact the Promoter to provide their details within the time stated above, then the prize will be forfeited and the Promoter may choose to judge additional entries.

The prize, or any unused part of the prize, is not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash. The entrant confirms that their entry is their own original work and not copied in whole or in part, and that the entry does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party. By submitting an entry, the entrant grants the Promoter and its affiliates, agents and representatives an exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, worldwide license to use, edit, reproduce and exploit their entry by all means whatsoever (including, without limitation,

in print and electronic format) for any purpose. All entrants agree that the Promoter may re-post their image entry including on the Promoter’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts and the Promoter’s websites. The Promoter’s decision is final and the Promoter will not enter into any correspondence with entrants other than the winner(s) in relation to this Promotion or the prize. The use of any automated entry software or any other mechanical or electronic means that allows an entrant to automatically enter repeatedly is prohibited and will render all entries submitted by that entrant invalid.

The first hug they ever feel is from you. Make sure the second hug feels just as good.

Every hug is doing your baby the world of good. You might not know it but hugging can lower their heart rate, help them relax and encourage brain development. Hugs can also help release oxytocin - the bonding hormone. HUGGIES® Nappies understands the power of a hug. That’s why we’ve designed our nappies to hug your baby gently with the Triple Protection of our unique GENTLEABSORB® layer, stretchy, Pocketed Waistband and soft, Breathable Cover to help keep precious skin perfect. They are clinically proven to help prevent nappy rash, and together with HUGGIES® Fragrance Free Wipes, are endorsed by Plunket.

There’s nothing like a hug. ® Registered Trademark Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © KCWW.

The magazine of Parents Centre


16th July 2016, Daisy at 6 weeks old (equivalent to 29 weeks), having Kangaroo cuddle with mum whilst on CPAP



Clinging to life with tiny hands

Our first wee girl, Ila, was born at 31 weeks and three days back in 2011 and we spent five weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We were so well assisted and set up by all the staff to have a baby that ‘fed well, slept well and did well’ as one of the older and most experienced nurses used to say to us repeatedly! After Ila, a few years of recurrent miscarriages and much heartache, my eighth pregnancy finally became exciting once I’d reached that magic 12-week mark. Then things began to get worrying when my cervix began shortening around 16 weeks. I had one cervical suture, which unfortunately failed to stop my body preparing for labour, and then a second or ‘rescue’ suture a few weeks later that also couldn’t stop things moving along. I ended up in hospital at 22 weeks and five days with contractions. The neonatologists said that I could get my first steroid 12 hours prior to being 23 weeks because our baby was growing steadily and on the 50th percentile. We were told of the scary statistics for survival and how they had only recently even begun resuscitating babies at 23 weeks. Just 12 hours after having my second steroid on the first day of my 23rd week my waters broke. I managed to have a full 24 hours of magnesium sulfate infusion (to help baby's brain development) and things settled until I reached 23 weeks and two days, when I went into full-blown labour. I was to have a caesarean section as baby was sitting transverse, but needed to wait for a theatre as it happened to be Queen's Birthday weekend, so minimal theatres were operational with skeleton staff rostered on for the public holiday. Contractions were in full swing and nerves were starting to fray by the time we were admitted to the theatre at

about 7pm that Saturday night. After our precious baby girl was safely birthed, the amazing team set about trying to intubate her – no mean feat considering the smallest tubes they had were too big for her tiny airways. Words can’t describe the fear Neil and I both felt in theatre, but the incredible team managed to get a vent tube inserted and our wee girl we named Daisy was wheeled past me on her way to NICU.

A lucky room After a very fretful time being stitched up and then in recovery, worrying all would be ok with our precious girl, I was finally wheeled off to see her. As I entered room eight in the NICU I recall saying in my hazy medicated state that we were in a lucky room! The feeling of quiet and calmness in NICU is a clear memory for me after the bright action of the theatre. The nurses helped position me in my bed (still affected by the epidural) to allow me to put my finger through the incubator door for my first touch with Daisy. To have this miniature but perfectly formed little human being wrap the tiniest of fingers around mine was pretty overwhelming. As I said goodbye to go to my ward, I caught sight of this tiny fist shooting straight into the air. Someone mentioned Mohammed Ali had died that day but Daisy had been born and she was to be one hell of a fighter too! The following days and weeks were harrowing, with extreme highs and lows. Throughout it all, the NICU staff remained steady and became increasingly amazed at how well Daisy was doing. The constantly alarming monitors and softly spoken voices were the main noises, with remarkably quiet evenings. The emotional stress was somehow helped by this steady constancy.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


The babies who go through NICU have to have the strength and a ferocity to take life by the tiniest of hands and hold on and hold on.

Photos left: Top: 29th June 2016, Neil’s first kangaroo cuddle with Daisy on day 25. Middle: 4th June 2016, the day Daisy was born, Katie’s/mums first touch of her daughter Daisy (after being in theatre post birth). Bottom: Daisys big sister Ila (then four-years-old) helping bake one of the weekly cakes to take into share with NICU staff and fellow families. Photo right: 16th July 2016, Daisy at six-weeks-old (equivalent to 29 weeks), having Kangaroo cuddle with mum.

Celebrating Daisy’s milestones We were inspired by previous babies' stories on the corridors of NICU and decided very early on that each week was so massive and such an achievement, we would mark it with a wee celebration. So, every Saturday, we brought a cake in that I would usually bake the Friday evening with our older daughter Ila. Somehow little rituals like this really helped with our journey. After two weeks, Daisy’s eyes opened – they had been sealed shut like a wee puppy when she was born – first one opened in the morning, then the other that afternoon. After three weeks Daisy successfully transferred from the ventilator to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine(CPAP) where she did more work of breathing on her own. This was huge as the time on the ventilator had been so stressful. Daisy’s care was intensive. Her heart, lungs and various blood levels were constantly watched with many other tests carried out on a daily, often several times per day, basis. She had countless heel prick tests, at least six blood transfusions, brain scans, x-rays and so on. After about eight weeks in lucky room eight, we were moved to the next level (Level Two). This was fantastic progress, but also scary for us as we had adjusted to the ‘way of life’ in Level Three and made good friends with our wee roommate, or her parents at least! I was in tears when they said Daisy would be moved, but we were hugely supported and encouraged by the NICU team and soon became comfortable in our new room. There, things seemed to happen quickly – Daisy progressed to a heated cot so could wear clothes for the first time, she began breastfeeding and even had her first bath!



All of this meant we felt like we could do more as parents and the nurses were wonderful in supporting us – especially when we were cack-handed! After a few more weeks we were moved to the PIN – the Parent Infant Nursery where the focus was ‘feeding and growing’. We were there for less than two weeks before we marked Daisy’s 100 days in NICU – cue more cake.

An unexpected trip home Two days later (102 days in NICU), that night I was in the parent room on my own as Neil was at home with Ila and all of a sudden I realised that this hugely intense, long journey of NICU was nearly over. We ended up going home the day before our planned discharge when we were caught on Level Five trialing Daisy on her portable oxygen when a fire broke out in the hospital! It wasn’t safe to get Daisy back through the smoky corridors to NICU, thus we had a ‘premature’ discharge home. Again the team were completely on board and supportive of this – (of course we checked before we just took off home with her!), but they were all very reassuring. Part of us felt sad that we didn’t get the chance to say proper goodbyes although, once we got home, we had the ongoing care of the fantastic home care nurses for almost six months because Daisy needed to be on home oxygen. They took our calls to answer questions readily and came for extra checks when we were worried. We cannot thank them all enough, we are truly, forever grateful.

reached the magic point of viability (now for some considered 23 weeks). During those first few harrowing weeks Daisy was constantly desatting having brady desats, apnea alarms were going off, and her blood levels were all over the show. In premature babies, apnea and bradycardia often happen together, along with low blood oxygen levels. First, apnea occurs and the baby will stop breathing. Because the baby isn’t breathing, blood oxygen levels fall and the heart slows down in response to the low blood oxygen levels. A low blood oxygen level is often called a desaturation or desat. It’s hard to put into words the state of constant angst, that was only helped by the encouragement of the NICU team and of course the unwavering love and support of our incredible friends and family.

Our record-breaker Daisy is a bit of a record-breaker. We understand she is one of the youngest babies ever to have been born and survive at Auckland Hospital NICU. While breaking records on a sports field is great, breaking records for being the youngest baby is pretty scary! There were many difficult parts of the journey through NICU but the hardest of all revolved around the constant fear that the ‘good progress’ wouldn’t last. That it was part of the ‘honeymoon period’ and that hopes were being raised that would inevitably be dashed. We all worried that Daisy wouldn’t survive or – if she did – she would be substantially disabled either physically, mentally or both.

The hardest thing of all

We have to admit too, after the high of finally coming home, going into ’the newborn’ phase having had four months of stress was pretty bloody tough!

Without doubt, the hardest part of our NICU experience was worrying we were going to lose Daisy before she

It is so difficult to put into words the gratitude we have for all our amazing friends and family as well

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Our most special moments Katie: Probably holding Daisy for the first time at day 11 and seeing her first smiles! Neil: The first kangaroo cuddle was incredibly special and a never-to-be forgotten moment. It was also very special to see Daisy cope so well with the transition from the ventilator to CPAP – to see her lungs doing a bit more of their own work. This was a transition that made me think she could really make it!

Everything else is pushed to the side when you have a child who needs medical help and nothing tears at your heart like a baby or child in need. NICU/Starship give those who would have no chance the best chance possible chance and ALL support – no matter how large or small – makes all the difference to these precious lives.

Photo: Cheeky Daisy April 2018 (about 18 months).

as the fantastic team at Starship. They brought a personal touch to such a difficult and challenging time. As a parent you are far from clear-headed and not at your best during this time. You are consumed by worry and trying to hold everything together, and you can easily become overwhelmed. The wonderful team at NICU/Starship brought a humane touch that made the experience bearable. The team made all the difference and I am not sure how we would have got through it all without them.

What our neonatal journey has taught us Hope and gratitude. To all the very worried and anxious parents, Starship means hope that there is a chance to survive and live, hope that it may be alright in the end. Gratitude, thanks and appreciation that we are so lucky to have this amazing resource committed to helping each child and family’s journey be as positive as possible. To us, NICU also means family, because without them helping keep Daisy alive, our precious little family would not have been complete. We believe every baby’s journey is special, every child is special and should be treated with tender loving care. The babies who go through NICU have to have a strength and a ferocity to take life by the tiniest of hands and hold on and on. They need every minute bit of support from every avenue as they start out in a life which seems to dangle by a thread at times.



Daisy had her monthly check with her neonatologist in April and she was extremely happy to see her walking and physically very capable – she loves climbing and swinging on anything she can find! Daisy can also understand simple instructions, like “let’s go get your shoes on, we’re going out now” (she loves shoes!) and communicating well, albeit not yet many understandable words! She is on the 50th percentile for her height and weight for her corrected age and the 25th for her actual age so we are thrilled! Daisy is not a fabulous eater but is a bright and happy, largely easy-going wee girl who's cheeky at times. I am happy to say she sleeps super well – perhaps this is one of the benefits of starting out with such good NICU routines! 

Katie Salter Katie is a Hand Therapist and has been part of the group of private hand therapy clinics called Hands On Rehab since 2004, prior to which she worked as a physio at Middlemore Hospital, on the North Coast of NSW and as a hand therapist in Sydney. She is currently working on property projects with her husband Neil while she is a mum to six-year-old Ila and almost two-year-old Daisy. In her spare time Katie is passionate about healthy food, loves the beach, baking, running and the gym.

Tiny nappies for tiny babies Our smallest pre-term babies spend their first days, weeks and sometimes months in NICU nurseries. About 4,300 babies are born pre-term in New Zealand each year, some so delicate that a nappy is the only clothing that is permitted to touch their premature skin. Liz Metz, General Manager of Kimberly-Clark New Zealand, says the Kiwi team is pleased to be able to offer their smallest-ever nappies to NICU wards in hospitals around the country for the first time. “Our Nano and Micro Premmie Nappies are worn by the tiniest babies, so we take time to produce them and do so with extra care,” Liz says. “We shut down our production lines in the United States to inspect, fold and pack each nappy by hand. So when a neonatal nurse at an NICU in New Zealand opens a pack,

we know they will see the name of the quality control person who inspected those nappies inside the lid of the pack. We want the very best for these special babies.” Dr Deborah Harris NNP PhD has been practising at Waikato Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit for more than 20 years. “Improving outcomes for babies and their families is a primary focus for all those caring for our low birth-weight babies,“ Deborah says. “We are excited to have the new Nano and Micro nappies at Waikato Hospital, as it’s difficult to find nappies to fit our smallest fragile newborns.” These tiny nappies are specially designed for babies with birth weights under 1,500 grams. The Nano nappy (pictured left) is for babies weighing under 900 grams and the Micro nappy is for babies weighing between 900 and 1,500 grams. 

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FEBRUAR Y 2018 –

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Tiny tummies

Taking care

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Contact Taslim Parsons 04 233 2022 ex 8804 The magazine of Parents Centre


Keeping your home

warm & healthy

Part one of a two-part feature on ways to make sure your family home is warm and toasty for the winter months. In the next issue of Kiwiparent we will take a look at the wide range of heating options – particularly those best suited to child-friendly houses.

Daylight saving has finished and the endless balmy summer weather we enjoyed has been replaced with shorter days, longer nights and cooler temperatures. With so many wooden houses in New Zealand, heating and insulating the family home is a big priority – especially when you have vulnerable babies and lively preschoolers. The latest BRANZ House Condition Survey published late last year found that about half of all Kiwi houses lacked proper insulation, which contributed to making our homes damp, mouldy and cold. Young children are particularly vulnerable to these conditions. Paediatrician and children’s health spokesperson, Professor Innes Asher, says children get sick because of illness related to living in temperatures of only 8–10 degrees centigrade. There are three essentials that work together to create a healthy, energyefficient home – keeping your home warm, ensuring your home is dry and airing it out regularly. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum temperature of 18 degrees in our homes, so installing good insulation, draught-stopping and selecting the right type of heater make achieving this easier.

Dry it out Damp homes can be bad for our health and promote mould and dust mites, so minimising moisture sources is key to keeping your home dry. These simple tips will help keep moisture at bay in your home: Eliminate avoidable moisture. Dry washing outdoors rather than indoors.



There are three essentials to creating a healthy home – keep your home warm, keep it dry, and air it out regularly. Extract moisture by using extraction fans (vented externally) in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. Air your home regularly. Open doors and windows to create a cross draught, or use a ventilation system. Keep your home warm. Insulation and heating improve ventilation effectiveness and reduce the risk of mould growth on cold surfaces.

Air it out Did you know that the average New Zealand household can produce over eight litres of moisture a day? Good ventilation is essential for removing excess moisture from your home and for maintaining air quality. Air your house a few times a day with wide open doors and windows to create a cross-draught – even in winter. This will quickly replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, and remove moisture. Ventilating your bedroom overnight is also important for a better sleep by maintaining air quality, reducing excessive moisture and the risk of mould. Keep a window slightly ajar – just a finger’s width should be enough in winter. Use security stays, bolts or latches for peace of mind. During cold winter nights, use an electric heater on a low thermostat setting in your bedroom. To avoid problems with condensation, ventilate when you turn off the heating, for example before you leave the house in the morning and just before you go to bed. Use extractor fans that vent to the outside in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry, as these are the main

moisture-producing areas. Fans should not vent into your ceiling space. Make sure extractor fans are:

it is less than 12cm thick (it should be thicker than the height of the ceiling joists).

the proper size and location for the type of room – undersized fans or ducting will be noisy and ineffective

it doesn’t cover the whole ceiling

turned on before having a shower or bath, and that the bathroom door is shut – leaving the bathroom window open slightly allows air flow and will improve the extractor fan’s effectiveness left running after a shower or bath until most of the moisture has cleared, with the bathroom door shut and the bathroom window open

it has gaps in it, or places where it is squashed or tucked in. You need to remove the old insulation and start again with a new layer, if: you find that it is wet or damp in some areas you find that it has been damaged by rodents, possums or birds.

Insulate it

Also check there are safety gaps between insulation and heat sources like recessed downlights, chimneys, flues or extractor fans for fire safety.

Good quality insulation helps keep the heat in during winter – and out during summer – which makes your house easier and cheaper to heat properly, and much more comfortable and healthy to live in and raise a family. The priority for insulating your home should be ceiling and underfloor first, followed by the walls.

The amount of insulation you need in your ceiling depends on how cold it gets in your area and on the thickness and condition of any existing ceiling insulation. If you are building a new home, your insulation must meet the current building code – and experts recommend going much higher if you possibly can.

cleaned regularly.

Up to the ceiling Hot air rises, so it makes sense to start at the top. If your home already has ceiling insulation, check that it hasn’t been damaged or moved and that it is up to current standards. Climb a stepladder and peek through the hatch of your ceiling into your roof space to see if you have insulation. You will need to add a top-up layer if you have insulation with these problems:

If you have a multi-storey home, only the upper ceiling between your home and the outside needs to be insulated. You don’t need to insulate the ceiling between floors except above or below unheated rooms like laundries, workshops or garages. There are two common types of ceiling insulation: bulk, which fits between or rolls over ceiling joists, and loose-fill, which is blown in.

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DIY checklist If you’re going to install ceiling insulation yourself then there are some things you should think about.

99Ceiling space – does your

Bulk insulation Bulk ceiling insulation comes in two types – segments, which fit between the joists above your ceiling, and blankets, designed to be rolled out across the top of the ceiling and the joists. Blanket insulation covers ceiling joists and prevents extra heat loss through the timber joists. When you’re topping up existing insulation, it can be easier to install blanket insulation than segments because you can just roll it over the top of what’s there already. But, be aware that insulation that covers ceiling joists can make it harder for a person to move around the ceiling space. If you install segments between joists, you need to put in higher R-value insulation to make up for the heat that gets lost through the timber. The R-value is a measurement of the insulation’s effectiveness – the higher the R-value, the more effective it is at preventing heat loss.

Loose-fill insulation Loose-fill insulation is blown into the ceiling. It can be an option if there’s not enough space in your roof to move around and install bulk insulation. Otherwise EECA Energywise recommends using bulk insulation (blankets or segments). Loose-fill safety, effectiveness and durability depends on the quality of the material used as well as the installer’s equipment and experience. As it can settle or

move around over time, the insulation can get into contact with the roof or roof underlay and cause moisture problems.

Down under the floor Check your underfloor insulation to make sure it hasn’t shifted over time, and that there aren’t any gaps. There are three things you are likely to find: Bare floorboards and no insulation – in which case you need to get some fitted. Foil-based product – if it’s held in with metal staples, don’t touch it as there’s an electrocution risk if the staples have pierced electrical wires and the whole lot might be live. When checking or removing existing foil insulation, always turn off the power supply to the house or get an electrician to help you if you’re not sure. If the foil is well-fitted and in good condition, then it’s probably doing the job. But if it is ripped, parts of the foil are missing or there are gaps, it needs to be replaced with bulk insulation. Retrofitting or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings is now banned. Bulk insulation includes rigid polystyrene sheets, or softer products like polyester, wool and fibreglass. Check to see that any bulk insulation is tightly fitted against the underside of the floorboards with no gaps or pieces missing. If any has slipped or fallen out, you should replace it. You may need clips or other fittings to hold it in place.

house have a ceiling space? If not, it could be tricky to install, but it may still be possible to put insulation in your skillion roof (a steep, flat roof with a distinct pitch) or cathedral ceiling.

99Existing insulation – a quick look in your roof space will tell you if you have any insulation already. If there is, you’ll still want to check what state it’s in.

99Leaks and electrical

issues – check your roof and any plumbing in the roof space for leaks. Check that your electrical wiring and installations are in safe condition as it is best to fix any issues before insulating.

99Insulating around heat

sources – having the right gaps between ceiling insulation and heat sources like recessed downlights, chimneys, flues or extractor fans is important for fire safety.

99Safety – as with all DIY

projects, there are safety considerations. Make sure you read and follow the Health and Safety advice. If you’re not sure, get a professional to install the insulation for you.

New Zealand Standard NZS 4246:2016 contains everything you need to know about installing insulation. It’s easy to follow with lots of colour pictures, and it’s free to download from

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F E E L I N C O N T R O L A S YO U M O N I TO R YO U R C H I L D ’ S F E V E R The magazine of Parents Centre



Check for dampness While you’re under your floor, check to see if you have excess moisture in the ground. If your soil isn’t a dry dust, or you’ve got damp or musty smells under your floor or in your house, you may have a moisture problem. If you have an enclosed basement, it should be ventilated through gaps or vents in the enclosed perimeter walls. Uncover any vents that may have been blocked by paint, soil, plants or barriers to keep pests out. If the ground is still damp, you can install a ground vapour barrier. This will simply stop the moisture from moving out of the ground, into the air and up through your floor.

Choosing under floor insulation There are two main types of underfloor insulation: bulk and foil. EECA Energywise recommends using bulk insulation which can be made from polyester, wool, polystyrene, fibreglass and a range of other materials. In most cases, bulk underfloor insulation products are friction-fitted between the floor joists. This means that they are held in place by one edge being folded down to spring against the joist. Otherwise clips



or other fixings such as staples and strapping are used. When you are choosing an effective bulk insulation product, look for one that is: intended for installation under suspended floors an R-value of at least R1.4 the right width for your floor joist spacing (this can vary, so you may need to measure between all joists) compliant with the Standard AS/NZS 4859.1 – so you know the insulation works as it says it does (look for the label on the insulation packaging) installed hard against the underside of the floor – there should be no air gap between the bottom of the floor and the top of the insulation able to perform in your home – if your subfloor space is not fully enclosed, you need something that has been tested in windy conditions. Foil used to be the most common material used for underfloor insulation in New Zealand. Because of safety concerns, retrofitting and repairing foil insulation is now banned as there have been five reported deaths in New Zealand caused by electrocution associated with foil insulation. If you install or repair foil under an existing house you face the risk of being electrocuted. These risks are heightened when you install foil

under the floor because of low light levels and limited space. When checking or removing existing foil insulation, always turn off the power supply to the house. The effectiveness of underfloor foil depends on how well it is installed. The air gap between the floor and the foil needs to be well sealed, which is tricky to do. Any air movement between the floor and the foil will reduce its effectiveness, as will dust settling on the foil over time, which reduces its reflectivity. Foil insulation can also be damaged easily, e.g. by wind or cats.

Now check out the walls Once you’ve insulated your ceiling and underfloor, wall insulation is the next most effective step for reducing heat loss. It’s difficult to check and install wall insulation in existing houses without taking the lining or cladding off, so if you’re renovating, take the opportunity to do it. Bulk insulation comes as segments or blankets. Segments (or biscuits) are pre-cut to small standard pieces of insulation whereas blanket products are available in rolls. To put bulk insulation into existing walls you’ll need to remove the wall lining or cladding. When you remove the wall lining, check the wall for any leaks, and the presence and condition of any wall underlay (building paper) and electrical wiring. Bulk insulation can be made from various materials including polyester, wool, and fibreglass. Whatever material you opt for, a good wall

You might be eligible for installation funding Grants are available for ceiling and underfloor insulation through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes for low-income owner-occupiers and tenants. But get onto it quickly, as this initiative is due to finish by the end of June 2018. You may qualify for a grant if your house was built before 2000 and you own and occupy your home. You will also need to have a Community Services Card (CSC). Grants are also available for low-income households and tenants with high health needs if your income is just about CSC level and you have high health needs or you are referred by the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Homes programme.

insulation product should meet the following criteria: intended for installation in walls correct thickness highest R-value possible for the thickness of your walls right width for the stud spacing in your walls compliant with the New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4859.1 (on the insulation packaging). Look for insulation that is as thick as your wall cavity, with the highest R-value possible. If the insulation is thicker than the wall cavity, it will need to be squashed and will be less effective. For most wall insulation materials, the highest R-values available for 90–100mm thick wall cavities are in the range of R2.5 to R2.8.

Installing wall insulation Injected or blown-in insulation is pumped into existing walls through small holes in the cladding or lining. It can be made from various materials such as urea formaldehyde foam, wool or fibreglass fibres or polystyrene beads. Before putting any type of insulation into existing walls, it’s important to make sure the wall cladding is weather-tight and there is a good wall underlay behind the cladding. This is difficult to assess without opening the walls, so you might need to consult a registered or accredited building surveyor before you consider injected or blown-in insulation.

Injected or blown-in insulation should not be installed into any drained and ventilated wall cavity (especially brick veneer), otherwise moisture problems are likely to occur. There are two ways of installing injected or blown-in insulation into walls. The preferred way is to do this from the inside, as it keeps the exterior cladding and the wall underlay intact. But, be aware that you might need to redecorate! If you decide to go in from the outside, it will be less disruptive, but it creates a higher risk to the weather tightness of the cladding and damages the wall underlay. Thermal imaging cameras can be used to check whether all wall cavities have been fully filled with insulation. It’s easy to miss cavities, as many older houses have irregular wall framing.

This article was prepared with the assistance of EECA Energywise. 

Returning to the paid workforce?

The Return to Work programme offers practicalities, information and tips to prepare for returning to the paid workforce. Early Childhood Education choices Parental guilt & seperation anxiety Negotiating flexible working house Contact your local Parents Centre for more information on the Return to Work sessions scheduled for the year.

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The magazine of Parents Centre


More than

just words Learning te reo Ma-ori with my daughter



Photos © Sarah Marshall Photography

Shoes inside. That was my ultimate act of defiance against my mother’s tongue. Wearing shoes inside. It might not seem like much, but inside I felt like I was screaming rebellion at my skin. I would rush in the door after work and pretend to be too busy to remove my shoes, while enjoying the feel of marching around my home with shoes on indoors. I would get the biggest rush telling visitors that shoes inside was fine in a pitch so phony I didn’t even recognise my own words. Because we do not wear shoes inside. We have grown up knowing that shoes stay at the door. In ramshackle piles on the concrete steps of the mahau, on wooden shelves outside the front door at the home of our Koro, shoes were not to be worn inside the home. It’s not just about paru, dirt, dust.

The outside, the forecourt, the surrounds of the wharehui, belong to Tu-matauenga – the God of War. The inside of the wharehui belongs to Rongo, our God of peace. The dust of war should not be brought into our house of peace. We carve our wharehui in the likeness of our tupuna, our ancestors. The tekoteko, the maihi, the ta-huhu, and the heke represent the head, the backbone, the arms, and the ribs of our ancestors. We pay respect to our tupuna by removing our shoes in their house. Wearing shoes inside made me feel white, clean, powerful. Because outside of our home, the people I saw on TV, in the ads, in the media, were all white, all powerful, and all wore shoes inside. Before I could reclaim my reo, I had to start before the words. I had to go all the way back to my Mama, to our Marae, to our whenua, and rebuild the respect I had

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


tarnished with my desperate need to thrive inside a society that systemically disadvantages Ma-ori. So there, in that smoky ka-uta, I spent the last few days of my life in Aotearoa listening to my Mama. She sang, and she explained. She coaxed words out of me that my heart could not forget, and she filled in the silence that my years of rebellion against my whakapapa had created. There was no lecture, no telling off for all the years I had pushed our Ma-oritanga aside, and no want of an apology. Just the poetic flow of her flawless reo, and the cackle that came with it. Recently I sat down with my tama-hine, whom I homeschool while we are travelling, and began to work through her pepeha with her. She wants the opportunity to mihi one day when we return home, and she embraces learning te reo side by side with English.

The living connection to a whakapapa But you can’t just learn the words like it’s a high school speech competition, because these words are the living connection to a whakapapa that dates back to generations when we had no written language. You can’t simply learn the words. You can learn the labels, like awa and maunga, but to speak of your maunga you must understand how and why you are bound to these places. Unlike my Ma-ma- – my taonga – my fluency will come from books. I admit to wasting my chance of learning more from her when I was growing up because I listened to the silence that told me that te reo and kaupapa Ma-ori would close the doors to success for me. I remember spitting almost those exact words in her face while wearing a button-up blazer that made me feel more powerful that her. She was wandering barefoot through her patch of kamokamo, singing as she went, checking on each bright yellow flower and blessing it with her waiata. I was wrong. Because there is more to te reo than words. This is something I feel so deeply now. After years of stamping out anything that connected me to te ao Ma-ori, after pretending to not know my iwi when I filled out doctors’ forms, and butchering any place names I could, my daughter – with her little golden face and her thirst for knowledge, has reignited my love for our reo. My daughter is Ma-ori. She knows it because she hasn’t heard the world tell her otherwise. I won’t let that happen to her as it did to me. So if she is Ma-ori, then I am Ma-ori, and I will journey with her to learn together. She proudly announces that she is Ma-ori to everyone we meet. She counts the swooping crows tahi, rua, toru, wha-, she takes any chance to slip the few words



and phrases she knows into conversation, and she invites people to her marae despite living thousands of kilometres across the sea.

Her pride is my inspiration Her pride of her heritage inspires me to open up and share. We went walking with friends recently and while we were walking I told the girls the pu-ra-kau of how Maui slowed the sun, a story I have never told, and didn’t even know I remembered. A teacher once told me that the best way to know if you’ve understood something is to teach it to another. If you can explain it for them to understand, then you understand. And this is true for te reo. Teaching my tama-hine how to korero reinforces my knowledge and love. Sometimes she gets frustrated for not understanding, and her furious face takes me right back to being on our marae, sitting at the back, angry and bored because I couldn’t understand the korero of the kaumatua. Everyone would laugh – except me. Then they would look sad and sullen – all except me. The next time my baby and I sit along the wall of our tupuna, we will both laugh, and we will both sigh, and when it comes time to stand and waiata for our kaikorero, we will stand with our fellow wa-hine toa, and we will waiata together. To learn two lines of her pepeha took us an hour. More important than the words are the story that they tell. And like me, she ever forgets the words, these stories will be her way home, where we will leave our shoes at the door. 

Nichole Brown Nichole is a single ma-mawith deep connections to both Ngati Porou to the east, and Nga-puhi in the north, currently living in Queensland, Australia. A freelance copywriter, she shares her adventures with her daughter on their blog, Emmy & Me.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Be the


Words to my son Be the change you wish to see in the world, my son. I would love to say I was the first person to say this, my boys, but it has been said by many people. It is something that I have believed in since you came into the world. It still amazes me how much my world changed since you boys came along.

You can change the world You have all the power to change the world. I have seen so many people pass up the ability to influence others, and therefore believe there is nothing that they can do to change something they truly believe in. The truth that I believe in is that the power is completely in your hands. We give this power to others, to celebrities, politicians and other personalities. It is definitely true that they do have influence and it has always been my dream to see these people help us to focus on what is truly important. But this is not always the case. This means, my boys, that we are responsible for this change. Be the change, my boys, love deeply, care for others, care for our animals, pick up rubbish, respect our earth, know the truth about where things come from, understand consumerism, live a life of value, of adventure and understand that within you is the only version of your true self. These are some of my values, that guide me to walk my own path and to be the change I want to see.



because home-made is best for your baby

Be the change you wish to see in the world, my son Gandhi spoke these words many years ago, and through my life they have always resonated with me. Change starts with us, my boys, and you have the ability to affect others. Our world needs us to start these changes. I hope these words guide you as they have guided me. They remind me of what I want you boys to see from me, as I imagine you standing with me as I go through moments without you. One day I hope you will discover a lot earlier than I did, that the true you is inside you, it is the only voice that will matter in your world. Be the change you wish to see in the world, my boys. Never a miss a chance to let someone know that you love them, or let them know you care. I can’t tell you the number of times that I think about this, or something touches my heart and lets me know that life is precious.

I feel this goes even further sometimes, as I think about the importance of being thoughtful and genuinely caring for another person. It feels like too often we don’t see each other, but in some way we are all connected.

2 compact baby food freezing trays with lids. 1.2L capacity for maximum storage recipe e-guide with 27 recipes for starting solids and beyond

When you get older, you will look back on these words and understand the way I feel today.

I love you Three words, my son, but probably three of the most important words you have in your vocabulary. There are other words like 'I’m sorry' that hold just as much importance. Never miss the chance to let someone you love know you love them. These are not words to hold back from someone. The reality of life as I have learnt is that life can change in a second, so don’t miss that chance to let someone know you care. 'I love you,' is so similar to a smile. It comes with very little cost to you. To say these

words to someone you love, means the world to them. When I grew up we didn’t say these words a lot, but I tell Koro (my papa) every time I see him now that I love him. It is weird for me, as this man, who was such an image of strength for me as a child, looks vulnerable when I say those three words to him. I know he appreciates it every time.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Your world can change in a second I am not here to scare you, my boys, and that’s not the intention of this. But I have to let you know that your life could change in a second. So value every moment. Always let someone know you love them. Even if you are angry. If you love them make sure they know it. Over the last few months, I have seen so many moments that have broken my heart. I have felt emotionally moved by articles from people who have lost everything, or who have found out that a family member is sick. This has happened around us on so many occasions and it is heartbreaking. It is one of the reasons why I encourage you boys to live by these words below. I don’t know if someone else has said them. They probably have, but as I wrote them it reminded me of the importance of life and the world around you.

Appreciate the people you love All too often I take the people I love for granted. I miss the opportunity to let them know that I care and there is never a wrong moment to tell someone how much they mean to you.



I’ve missed too many moments in my life to let someone know that they’ve meant the world to me. That how they made me custard squares every time I would arrive at their home meant so much to me. (I love and miss you, Grandma.) To make sure that I am thankful for the smallest things that someone I love does for me like making my favourite dip, or being there when I need them, or just ringing me to let me know they are there for me. (Thank you for always caring, Mum.) Appreciate every person in your life, my boys. Never miss a chance to say I love you. With that I want to say: I love you, Mama. I know that I miss so many opportunities to tell you I care. I have held these words from you when I have been angry when I know it is wrong. You are my world, you have created the happiness in my life You’ve supported me to become the person that I am today. I am sorry for missing opportunities to let you know I care. I love you, Mama, to infinity and beyond (I had to add that for Rakeiora). Arohanui Papa and Mama 

Mama and Papa live in a small semi-rural, coastal town south of Auckland, on a small block of land along with their many animals – dogs, cats and chickens. They value and cherish their Ma-ori culture and in as many ways as possible, try to share this with their boys through everyday life. Ensuring they learn their language is very important to them, to guide them well for the future. They believe in looking after the Earth (Papatuanuku) and all living creatures, and aim to live as sustainable a life as possible. Healthy living is a family priority and they try to be active and eat good, nutritious food (most of the time of course!) Mama and Papa love being outdoors and experiencing new places. More than any 'toy' or gift, they believe this is one of the most important things they can give their boys – time together exploring, living and learning. They have a blog, where they share their adventures and lessons for their boys.

Build confidence

in the water

Our partner, Splashsave, recently featured on One News talking about preventing drowning from occurring. Splashsave have been working alongside Water Safety New Zealand, Plunket and Parents Centre to spread the message that drowning is preventable through knowledge and this is a great way to start your child’s water education. For years the only solution for parents teaching their child to swim was through a traditional Swim School, or parents taking their child to the pool on the weekend hoping that they would learn something. The great news is that Splashsave have developed a learning pack that will help parents reduce the barriers to their child becoming water safe. Splashsave has a clear message – parents can take control of their child’s basic water safety skills and make it a fulfilling and fun experience for both parent and child. “We want all parents, regardless of if they buy the pack or not, to take their children to the pool” says Phil Waggott developer of the program “The basics are all around confidence and that is easy to build – all you have to do is give your child a positive experience in the water and their confidence will grow”. Once your child has the basic confidence the other skills, such as floating on their back and kicking, are easier to learn, giving your child more success in the water and making them more water safe all while just playing in the water in a structured way. By taking your child to the pool more often you will see their confidence grow. The Splashsave pack has been

designed to give you the confidence that you are “doing the right thing in the pool”. It gives you simple goals and simple ways to achieve these goals so that every time you are in the pool playing with your child they are learning vital life skills that could one day save their life. Water Safety New Zealand, Plunket and Parents Centre all back Splashsave in its mission. We want parents to rise to the challenge and start teaching their own child the basics so that the drowning statistics we see every year start to decrease. 

As a Kiwiparent subscriber you can pick up your parents pack for only $35+PP instead of the usual $49+PP by entering the code PCNZ. Visit and take control of your child’s learning today.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Help fight Flu this winter.

Get your Flu Shot. Influenza Vaccine is a prescription medicine. Ask your Pharmacist for benefits and possible risks. Flu Shots available for those aged 13 years and older.

If you are 65 and older, or pregnant you can get a FREE Flu Shot at selected Unichem and Life Pharmacies.



Together we're New Zealand's Pharmacy. Members of the Green Cross Health Group.

The Pill

is now available from your Pharmacist*

Run out of your Pill & can’t make an appointment?

Away for the weekend & left your Pill at home?

Ask your Pharmacist how to access your Pill without a prescription. We care about your health & well-being. Before providing you with your Pill, your specially trained Pharmacist will need to check a few things: • You have been prescribed the Pill by your Doctor in the last 3 years • You are aged 16 years and older • A few health checks & questions to make sure your Pharmacist can safely provide the Pill to you. A service charge applies. Special conditions apply. In some cases your Pharmacist may need to refer you to your Doctor.


The magazine of Parents Centre

Together we're New Zealand's Pharmacy. Members of the Green Cross Health Group.


The magic

number five




You are totally exhausted, you are recovering from growing and birthing your beautiful baby. And no, baby doesn’t sleep ‘all night’ yet. The first five fact is that, in infant sleep studies, ‘all night’ is defined as just five hours. If even five uninterrupted hours sleep sounds like a dream come true and the pressure to ‘teach’ your baby to sleep for much longer right from the early days has you doubting your mothering skills, your milk supply and your baby’s ‘goodness’, take heart. Your baby isn’t being naughty if they wake every couple of hours through the night wanting a feed. Check out these five very important things you need to know about night-time feeds – they will settle all those niggling doubts and help you believe in yourself, your baby and your boobs.

1. Breastfeeding at night will boost your milk supply Prolactin, the hormone that influences your milk-making capacity, is at its highest levels overnight, especially in the very early morning. Research studies show that the more your baby sucks over a 24hour period, the higher your serum levels of prolactin. This means that not only will your baby get more milk when he breastfeeds in the wee small hours, but you will be maintaining your levels of milkmaking hormones around the clock (no hormonal dips that can gradually affect your milk supply). Also, because your milk supply is regulated on a supply and demand basis – the more milk you remove, the more your body is signalled to make – your milk supply will be

more robust in the longer term if you respond to your baby’s needs for night feeds. This is especially important in the early weeks and months as your breasts are undergoing more development of prolactin receptors that will encourage better milk production for longer.


2. Breastfeeding at night will help your baby develop his circadian rhythm Your newborn won’t be able to distinguish night from day for a few months because she doesn’t yet have a circadian rhythm. Your baby won’t produce her own melatonin, a sleepinducing hormone that is released at night-time for many months. However, your evening and nighttime breast milk not only has melatonin but other proteins that will help your baby fall asleep more easily – this is why most young babies fall asleep quickly after a night-time feed. It’s also thought that the melatonin in your night milk will help your baby establish her circadian rhythm (day/night cycle) and start stretching out her night-time sleeps sooner.

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!

3. Breastfeeding at night will boost your baby’s brain Evening and night-time breast milk is rich in tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid that is a precursor to

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


“Suddenly I am absolutely loving motherhood. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to this magical journey – there are no words to thank you enough.” - Emily 36


• Best Selling Baby Care Author • Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) • Certified Baby Massage Instructor • Keynote Speaker

serotonin. Night-time breast milk also has amino acids that promote serotonin synthesis. Seratonin is a vital hormone for brain function and development that makes the brain work better, keeps one in a good mood and helps with sleep cycles. We now know that ingestion of tryptophan in infancy leads to more serotonin development, creating the potential for life-long well-being. So, instead of wishing your baby would just ‘sleep through’, it can help to try and consider night milk as ‘smart milk’ and see those snuggly night feeds as priming your baby’s brain for long-term health and happiness.

4. Breastfeeding at night could delay your periods Frequent suckling at the breast – day and night – can delay ovulation and the return of menstruation for six months or longer (Woohoo!). This delay in getting periods means that your body can recover the iron stores that were depleted during pregnancy. So, although you are waking to feed your baby, you are healing your own body and getting back your mama mojo as you nurture your little one. Some women can go up to two years without a period while breastfeeding, although other women are less fortunate and find their periods return after just a few months of breastfeeding. Delaying your return to fertility and postponing periods is more likely if your baby relies completely on breastfeeding for nourishment and for all of his sucking needs – frequency of sucking makes


the difference to your hormonal response. This means exclusive breastfeeding day and night, no dummies or bottles, breastfeeding for comfort and keeping baby close/ co-sleeping so you can notice and respond to feeding cues promptly.

Get your own copy of NZ’s best-selling guide to childbirth and newborns - now completely revised and updated.

5. Breastfeeding at night will help you get more sleep While you may think breastfeeding will mean you get less sleep, one study of over 6000 women showed that infants who were breastfed in the evening and/or at night slept an average of 40–45 minutes more than parents of infants given formula. And while you may think 45 minutes isn’t a big deal, try doing the maths – 45 minutes every night over just one month (multiply by 30 nights), could really have an effect on your energy levels and daytime functioning. So snuggle up, turn the clock to the wall and stop counting how much sleep you may be missing. Instead, relax, breathe in that beautiful baby smell and try to see these night breastfeeds as an investment in your child’s well-being and your own, and the precious connection between you. 

Milk Supply Top Tips For top tips to boost your milk supply, download our FREE ebook ‘Making More Mummy Milk, Naturally’ from my website www.

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Pinky McKay An International Board certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and ex-Parents Centre mum, with a busy private practice in Melbourne, Pinky is a best-selling author with four titles published by Penguin Random House. She is a sought-after media commentator as well as a guest and keynote speaker at seminars for health professionals and parents in Australia and internationally. Pinky writes for a number of publications around the world.

The magazine of Parents Centre


More comfort, more milk When you are comfortable and relaxed, your milk flows more easily. That is why we created our most comfortable breast pump yet; sit comfortably with no need to lean forward and let our soft massage cushion gently stimulate your milk flow.

Comfort breast pumps



In this section The best sleeping position when you’re pregnant

Educating and supporting parents through the early years Did you know that Parents Centre New Zealand has been delivering antenatal (pregnancy and childbirth) education classes around the country since 1952? This was largely driven by the critical need to improve antenatal education and birthing practices in this country. We have achieved plenty since then, including:

News from around the Centres Centre of the month awards Spotlight on Baby and You Classes Find a Centre

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 initiating unlimited hospital visits for parents of sick children establishing the only diploma-level course specialising in antenatal education in the country. We have an awesome team of expert Childbirth Educators (CBEs), all trained to diploma level, and all passionate about the importance of quality childbirth education. We’ve been educating parents for well over 60 years, and believe that, with the right information, birthing and parenting choices sit firmly with you. Knowledge is empowerment, enabling you to have control over what is the start of the most incredible journey of your life – becoming a parent. Parents Centre is also active at a national level, advocating for parents to receive the best possible information to help them make the best decisions for their families. On page 40 you can read about the national advisory group that is currently working on producing a public awareness campaign focusing on good sleeping practices when pregnant. Liz Pearce, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Education Manager, represents Parents Centre on this group.

Photo: Balclutha babies at the Under One Monthly morning session.

You can also learn more about the stellar work being done by volunteers in Ashburton and Alexandra Parents Centres who have taken up the challenge to keep their Centres thriving and relevant for their communities (page 42). The opportunities for volunteers at Centre level are many and varied – from helping out at the A&P Society Giant Pumpkin Competition in Balclutha to running Return to Work seminars in Wellington (page 41), there is something for everyone. Simply contact your local Centre or check out our website to find out how you can become involved. 

The magazine of Parents Centre


The best sleep position when you’re pregnant All parents want to do the very best they can to keep their babies safe and well. For quite some time the advice to pregnant mums has been to sleep on the side and we now have solid research that backs this. From 28 weeks – the last three months of pregnancy – women are encouraged to start their sleep lying on their side and not on their back. The research shows that it doesn’t matter if it is on the right side or the left side, as long as it’s not on the back. Of course sometimes mums find themselves on their back, and the message then is to roll back onto the side and go back to sleep. Why start your sleep on your side? Generally the deepest sleep is the first sleep, so by starting on the side you’re more likely to have the majority of your sleep in this safer position. Parents Centre, along with a number of other key stakeholders, are part of an advisory group developing resources and a campaign to disseminate these messages to pregnant mums and their family and friends. Tiredness during pregnancy is a common complaint and it’s not surprising; growing a human being requires a lot of energy, especially if you’re trying to live life as you did pre-pregnancy. Getting comfortable for a good night’s sleep during pregnancy can be a challenge. Here are a few tips: There are some excellent pregnancy pillows available for sale, or use normal bed pillows to encourage side sleep – put a pillow between your knees to reduce backache, and a pillow at the small of your back can help prevent you from rolling onto your back; but it might mean there’s little room left in the bed for your partner, let alone the cat who might want to sneak onto the bed too! Ensure you have had plenty of fluids, particularly water during the day, despite the frequent need for loo stops!



Exercise each day – a swim or a walk are great ways to exercise during pregnancy. Reduce stress and anxiety – seek professional advice if this is difficult to resolve yourself. Adopt visualisation and relaxation techniques. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol. Listen to your body and take a power nap when you feel the need. Go to bed and turn out the lights when you’re tired; not once the movie has finished, or after you’ve read “just one more chapter”! Recent research studies in New Zealand, Australia, Ghana and the UK have demonstrated that women who go to sleep lying on their backs after 28 weeks of pregnancy have an approximate threefold increase in risk of stillbirth. Public awareness campaigns have been launched in the UK and Australia to advise women to settle to sleep on their side in the last three months of pregnancy. Here in New Zealand, we are also developing a public awareness campaign with funding from Curekids and endorsement from the Ministry of Health. A NZ advisory group has been convened with national representation from relevant stakeholders, including Liz Pearce, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parent Education Manager from Parents Centre. “It is enormously important that we provide parents with correct, research-based information,” says Liz. “It is an honour to be part of this advisory group as we work together to further support parents to keep their baby healthy and safe.” We hope that an initial resource will be available at the end of June to coincide with the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee’s national conference in Wellington.  By Vicki Culling

Community support in Cambridge Cambridge Parents Centre was delighted to win the 2018 Community Day from the staff at the Good P.A. Based in Te Awamutu, the Good P.A (www.thegoodpa. usually provide virtual assistant services for small businesses throughout New Zealand, but, for one day a year, they close their doors and donate their time to a local organisation. Chantelle Good, who started the company in 2015, says “…We love being a part of our local Waipa community and are passionate about helping out wherever we can. This year the team decided that, from all the applications, we would be able to provide the most help to Cambridge Parents Centre.” On the 24th April Cambridge Parents Centre welcomed the team from The Good P.A. “The extra help enabled us to organise, tidy and update the rooms and will ensure the numerous families, babies and children who use them each year have a lovely environment to learn and interact in” said Jo Vipond, Co-president of Cambridge Parents Centre. “The help from the Good P.A was incredibly valuable as it has also helped reduce our Committee of volunteer’s to-do list so we have more time to devote to providing and expanding the range of classes and support we provide for local families”.

R2W evening in Lower Hutt Late in March, Lower Hutt Parents Centre ran their first Return to Work session. Centre President, Rose Thomas, says the vibe on the night was great, the group of women all clicked and discussions flowed freely. “Having a parent panel was fantastic and the two ladies that came on the night were very passionate and are keen to help out again,” says Rose. “One works in HR and the other used to be on our committee. Our evening ended up being almost two hours long with plenty of discussions about hot topics. It was a great event and I'll be happy to run it again in a few months. We were lucky to be able to offer this course free of charge thanks to our partnership with Porse.” Excellent work, Lower Hutt!

Mixing it up down south Balclutha Parents Centre has just started running an Under One’s morning monthly session – the first one was a huge success with around 25 mums and babies turning up!

Loud and proud in Taupo This amazing giant electronic billboard has pride of place on the main road in Taupo and is a fantastic way to promote Taupo Parents Centre. Centre President, Rebecca Attenborough, says they have a twelve-month contract with the City Council who operate the billboard. “We regularly change the images and advertise classes and events we have coming up.” Great initiative, Taupo!

“Some of the mums were new to Parents Centre,” says Balclutha Centre President, Nicola Law. “We are looking forward to holding another one in May.” Nicola says they also attended the A&P Society Giant Pumpkin Competition. “We ran a bake stall to raise funds for our Centre and made $220. Again this was very well received and super successful – we also had lots of comment about how much fun our committee seemed to be!” Love what you are doing, Balclutha! 

The magazine of Parents Centre


Congratulations to the Centre of the Month Award winners He aha te mea nui o te ao. He ta-ngata, he ta-ngata, he ta-ngata What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people. (Ma-ori proverb)

March winner Ashburton Parents Centre As is common with not-for-profit organisations, volunteer numbers can be cyclic. Ashburton Parents Centre is no exception. Ashburton was one of the Centres who were DHB-funded for their CBE classes and, when that funding stream stopped, competition in a small town meant they could no longer offer CBE classes as they would need to charge for them.

February winner Alexandra Parents Centre Alexandra Parents Centre have had some changes on their committee with a few long-standing members leaving or taking on smaller roles. They have a new President (Shelly) and a new secretary (Clare) and the whole committee have been working hard at planning successful events in their community. The held their annual teddy bears picnic and train ride in February which was a huge success – in over 30 degrees heat! It was a great day for all the community, young and old. They had more families attending than the last few years and made nearly four times more than last year with non-member entry fees, even running out of sausages on the barbecue! Congratulations, Alexandra, and well done for putting on such a successful event!



Such was the reputation of Ashburton’s CBE classes, people continued to make enquiries, however now having to charge for classes, and having limited volunteer capacity to get them up and running, the centre discontinued offering them. Without their classes, they were reliant on other activities, such as play groups, to keep their purpose. Early last year there was talk of the Centre closing. Their committee number was small, energy levels were low and enthusiasm waning. With the support and ‘can-do’ attitude of life member Debbie Jell, the Centre rebuilt. Like attracts like, and, rather than begging for volunteers to join the sinking ship, they encouraged people to join through their positive attitude and welcoming manner. Late last year, these fresh and passionate volunteers decided by hook or by crook they would find a way to start offering CBE classes again – and find a way to make them free. And they did! With the support of CBE Amy Wilcox, who travels from Christchurch to deliver the programme, and huge support from the committee, they are now offering quality classes for free and the Centre is once again thriving. What an amazing turnaround, Ashburton! 

Each edition of Kiwiparent will profile one of Parents Centre's renowned parent education programmes.

This month the spotlight is on:

‘Baby and You’ “Early parenthood is a life-changing experience into which we all go unrehearsed.” The ‘Baby and You’ programme follows on from antenatal classes and offers sound tips and strategies as you begin your remarkable journey into parenthood. In your newborn child, you have a very special little individual who will grow and develop with your care and guidance. Contributing to the growth and development of your child can be hugely rewarding. To see your baby smile, play and grow – so helpless and dependent – can be an extraordinary experience. You will have feelings of tenderness, closeness and a sense of awe at the miracles of ‘first milestones’ – smiling, crawling, steps and games. But with a new baby comes uncharted waters. Your tiny bundle may rule the entire household through her routines, sleep patterns and behaviours. This can be very challenging. Many parents, particularly new mums, find the information and support in the ‘Baby and You’ programme extremely helpful in managing the challenges, and making the most of the rewards, that a new baby brings into their life. Parents Centre believes strongly in the strength of support networks in getting through – and enjoying – those early months. Firm friendships are often formed between course participants, through shared experiences and understandings. Discussion topics include issues around postnatal realities, identifying physical, emotional and relationship changes.

well-meaning advice about feeding? There are often very simple strategies for coping, and discussing issues as they arise is often the first step to successful feeding. Discovering that other new parents experience similar difficulties or have the same questions can be hugely supportive. Babies grow quickly and they go through a variety of stages. ‘Baby and You’ explores the first three months of your baby’s life and gives practical information about stimulation for babies, age-appropriate toys and the key milestones of your baby’s growth. The programme also recognises the heavy demands babies have on parents’ time and attention. It is common for parents to feel a loss of independence, a huge lack of sleep and worries around employment and financial changes. Included is a section on self-care strategies for parents – it’s a challenging time and let’s not forget to meet the needs of mum – and dad! 

Participating in the ‘Baby and You’ programme will give you the much-needed tools over those first uncertain months to enable you to grow in confidence. Your baby, and you, will benefit enormously.

Baby and You classes are proudly supported by Johnson & Johnson and Philips Avent.


For example: what are some successful infant feeding practices? How do you handle other people’s often

The magazine of Parents Centre


Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 47 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area, or go to:

North Island Auckland Region 1

Bay of Plenty





Bays North Harbour


Hibiscus Coast




Auckland Region 2

New Plymouth

Auckland East



South Taranaki


East Coast North Island


Central Hawke's Bay

Auckland Region 3

Hawke's Bay

West Auckland

Central Districts

Central Auckland

Palmerston North

East & Bays







Lower Hutt




Upper Hutt


Wellington North


Wellington South

South Island Northern South Island Nelson Marlborough Greymouth Canterbury Region Ashburton Christchurch Timaru Oamaru Southern Region Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Gore Taieri



Great parents

grow great kids

Arm yourself with knowledge as you grow as a parent alongside your child, by taking part in one of the Parents Centre programmes that run nationwide. Having a new baby is a time of significant change – your brain is working overtime with questions and your body is going through amazing changes. It's quite a journey. Parents Centre has been supporting parents for 65 years. Become a member of Parents Centre and we can support you too! You’ll get access to quality pregnancy, childbirth and parent education that will help you gain invaluable knowledge on your pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting journey. It’s a great way to meet other new parents who are on the same journey as you. They often become lifelong friends. You get support through coffee groups that meet on a regular basis, and ongoing education programmes to help you navigate the stages of pregnancy and parenthood. With 47 Centres nationwide, we provide many opportunities for social engagement for both parents and children. Many of our Centres offer playgroups and music classes, and these are a great way to learn with your children while you get to socialise with other parents at the same time.

You also gain skills and experience that will be a real asset when you decide to rejoin the workforce. We look forward to having you join our Parents Centre family and supporting you on your parenting journey! Early Pregnancy – a special programme tailored for your 12th to 24th week of pregnancy. Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parent Education (Antenatal) – essential information to prepare you for childbirth and early parenting. Baby and You – practical and sensible tips and advice for enjoying and making the most of those first months with your newborn. Parenting with Purpose – consciously focusing on how you want to parent and how your child ticks. Return to Work – advice for preparing and returning to the paid workforce. Magic Moments – strategies for positive communication and discipline with your child. Moving and Munching – exploring baby's first foods and developmental stages.

As a Parents Centre member you will receive loads of free giveaways and samples, as well as special discount shopping days, and discounted products and services exclusive to Parents Centre members. Who doesn’t love freebies and discounts!

Music and Movement – stimulating music activities for your baby and toddler.

Many of our members gain so much from being a Parents Centre member that they want to ‘give back’ and become volunteers for their local Centre, ensuring that new parents can continue to benefit from the skills, knowledge, friendships and support they’ve received. 

Tinies to Tots – positively encouraging your emerging adventurous toddler.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Don’t wait

for summer

As the evenings start to draw in and the weather turns ever colder, heading to the swimming pool with your baby or toddler may not be top of your winter activity list. But think again! What could be nicer than cuddling with your baby in a toasty pool as the temperature drops outside? Despite the days becoming chillier, swimming still provides one of the best forms of exercise for both you and your baby, and it’s just as perfect for cold winter days as it is for hot summer ones. Just half an hour of swimming will provide your baby or toddler with a complete workout – including the benefit of exercising muscles they’d never even find on land. It’s great for enhancing their confidence and awareness, as well as helping to improve eating and sleeping patterns. And, of course, learning to swim could one day save your child’s life. The main thing to consider when taking very young children swimming is that the water temperature needs



to be cosy warm. This means 32°C for babies under 12lbs or 12 weeks, and 30°C for everyone else. The good news is there’s no minimum age to start your baby swimming, and they don’t need to have had any immunisations before they go. If you’re worried about temperature, it’s worth popping your child in a wetsuit as this will increase their body heat by at least one degree. If you do use one, remember to put it on at the start of the session: it’s easy to take it off if your baby gets too hot, but once they start getting too cold, putting anything on them at that stage will do little to make them warmer. And don’t forget, keeping little ones warm is a serious consideration. The body can lose heat up to 25 times faster than on land – and a baby’s surface area is considerably greater in relation to its size than an adult’s. Once you’re in the pool, keep your baby gently moving all the time: bouncing across the water, swinging them round, singing nursery rhymes as you go. You’ll find they respond really positively, especially as they’ll love sharing such special one-to-one time

It is vital you keep little ones warm. Their body can lose heat up to 25 times faster than on land – and a baby’s surface area is considerably greater in relation to its size than an adult’s.

with you. However, if your baby’s still very small, don’t be surprised if they don’t appear to be remotely interested in what you’re doing at first, as there’ll be lots of other stimulating things attracting their attention! Alternatively, if the thought of going to the pool on your own is a bit daunting, you might want to consider joining a baby swimming class. There are plenty of different classes on offer, ranging from drop-in ‘splash’ sessions to fully structured courses, like the awardwinning programme run by Water Babies. We see no drop in attendance during the winter months. Obviously, for those already on the course, it’s just term-time as usual. But we also see plenty of new parents coming along, even when they have to wrap-up warm to get there. In fact, many tell us that it’s lovely, getting into a steaming warm pool (generally at bathtub temperatures), whilst the rain pours down outside. The warmth of the water helps to nurture a cosy, intimate environment which really enhances the

bonding experience between parent and child. Parents often say how much the lessons have helped with both their baby’s and their own confidence. They find the experience fantastic for reasons that go way beyond the actual half-hour class. Lessons are also great places for meeting other new parents and building up a support network: everyone’s together, having fun – but crucially, still learning potentially life-saving skills, under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Tragically, drowning is the third-biggest cause of accidental death among children under five worldwide. Learning to get to the side, hold on, get out and/or swim could save your child’s life one day, so we teach vital safety techniques from birth. Over the years we've been incredibly proud to share the credit for having helped save a number of children's lives – young children who’ve fallen into canals, swollen streams, private swimming pools, and survived, thanks to the skills they learnt.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Children should be encouraged to learn at their own pace. Allow them time to experience the water and gain confidence in one aspect before progressing to another.

fishponds or fountains that hold water around them can be dangerous. Closer to home, ordinary baths in the bathroom can be very unsafe for young children if they are left alone, and a laundry tub or kitchen sink full of water isn't out of reach for an adventurous toddler Which is exactly what happened with one-year-old Artemis, who has been swimming with Water Babies since she was just eight weeks old. Living on a yacht at Wellington’s Chaffers Marina, her parents were keen for her to start professional swimming lessons as soon as possible. And it was lucky that she did, as it was thanks to the skills she learned with Water Babies that she managed to save herself when she fell off the pier where their yacht was moored into the cold waters of Wellington Harbour. So, well worth the effort of shrugging off the winter blues, wrapping up warm and braving the weather to get to a pool. And just think of all the fun you’ll have with your water baby next summer. Whether in a paddling pool in the garden, or a swimming pool somewhere exotic, there’ll be no stopping them! Whatever you do this winter, make sure you pack in plenty of water confidence time!

Have fun but be safe at home Every year many young children drown in or around their own homes. Even though the weather is too cold to go to the beach, there are still many ways little ones can be at risk of drowning. A small child can drown in quite a small amount of water, in a bucket of water or a shallow bathtub. Some children live near creeks or the ocean, while others live on farms where there are unfenced dams to store water. In towns and cities,

You can encourage water confidence from soon after birth. Bath time can be a gentle way to introduce your baby to water. Being supported in warm water can be a wonderful experience and you can help baby to investigate how water tastes and feels. Trickling water over their face and floating (with the head well supported) is a great start to water play. It is not long before baby should graduate from a baby bath to the family tub, where there is more room to be gently pushed along to enjoy the sensation of moving through the water. Bath time should be fun – happy, relaxed and safe! Make sure to stay with children all the time they are in the bath and take the phone off the hook so you won’t be tempted to answer if it rings. Pull the plug out and keep it out of reach when bath time is over, or you are interrupted by something you cannot ignore. Make sure to warm the bathroom, especially during winter – but ensure any heater is safe and out of reach of water splashes. A rubber mat on the bottom of the bath is useful to prevent scary slips and slides. Support your baby in different positions in the water, and gently pull them along the bath on their front and back. It is best to limit bath time to around 10 minutes – babies lose body heat very quickly – and have a warm towel ready to wrap the child in after bath time. As they grow older, give your children time to play in the bath before starting the more serious task of washing. 

Kelly Williams Kelly is the Director of Water Babies Wellington. She is an experienced swimming instructor who believes children should learn to swim from as early as possible so they can have fun, bond with their parents or carers and have the best possible chance of surviving if they fall into water.



Useful tip: Small children are attracted to water wherever it is, even inside washing machines! Make sure that the lid is closed on a top-loading machine and that sinks around the house have the plugs out and are kept in a place where small, curious fingers can’t find them.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Time to

focus on each other Last year my husband and I were able to retire and are now travelling full-time with our two children.

Mark and I set a massive goal when we were young – to be retired at 30. And last year, although a few years late, we made it! The goal wasn’t to never work again – we both genuinely enjoy the challenges and opportunities that go hand in hand with working, be that in paid employment, as a business owner or an investor. But we wanted to have the choice and the financial freedom to not have to go to work. To not have to go to work each day is our definition of retirement. Our plan was to just have a decent break, a month off somewhere warm by the beach and



spend some quality time together as a family. However, that idea snowballed into travelling full-time. For us it was an opportunity to spend more quality time with our children and not always be rushing. It was a conscious decision to set aside this time to focus on each other, our little family and our health, rather than keep working toward bigger financial and material goals. We really wanted to try and push and challenge ourselves to live a different life, to learn to live with less and find happiness in experiences not things, and to start creating family values and traditions that will set us up for an amazing

and meaningful life together. It is a dream come true, not just to be able to travel, but to have this time to spend together and with our girls – that is what makes us truly grateful.

A huge adventure Mark and I have never travelled before, so it has been a huge adventure and a lot of learning. At the time of writing this article, we have been travelling full-time for over eight months. We have two suitcases, a small backpack each, a travel pram plus Lillie’s travel cot – a massive change from our old life. We started our travels off slowly in Hawaii – we were chasing summer

Mark and I set a massive goal when we were young – to be retired at 30. And last year, although a few years late, we made it!

We have found that travelling fulltime is very different to being on holiday, particularly as a family – we can’t be as adventurous or as frugal as if we were travelling alone. It was something we did discuss before we left – and it’s an ongoing discussion. How were we going to be successful at travelling full-time?

and felt it would be an easy, familyfriendly place for us non-travellers to start. Plus nine hours was really the furthest we wanted to fly with two young kids! We stayed for nearly a month in Hawaii, spending most of our time on the smaller outer islands – Molokai is still one of our favourite places. Since then we have travelled through Central America, starting in Mexico and making our way south through Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. We have also done a cruise in the Caribbean, house-sat on an island in the Seattle Harbour and had an awesome time staying with Mark's family in Washington State – thank you, Aunty Claire.

Everyone has a different definition of success. We have had a very busy and often stressful decade but particularly the past five years. So, for us, success equals happiness and sometimes it’s a juggle to keep the whole family happy. We travel slowly and that is often hard for Mark and me, as by nature we are both pretty full-on – we love the outdoors, being active and squeezing the most out of every moment. However, we have accepted that our family cannot do every activity every day, scrap the routine, eat lots of takeouts and treats, keep swiping the credit card and then figure it all out when we get home. Accepting this has made our travels a lot easier. We travel slowly, trying

to stay at least a week in each place, and we do not ping-pong all over the globe. Most weeks we will do one or perhaps two big activities, but generally we stick to the same routine every day and eat nearly all of our meals at ‘home’. We stay in apartments or holiday homes, usually in local neighbourhoods, as it is much cheaper and a kitchen is very much a necessity for us. I am very passionate about our health and I believe a huge part of our health is what we eat. This also means we get to experience what it is like to actually live in the countries we are visiting. Lillie naps at home most days. This works well and means we are home for lunch, can prep dinner and everyone has some downtime out of the midday heat.

Mixing with locals We do a lot of free and easy activities, exploring the area, taking short walks, and we are always at the local park or playground with the kids or spending a few

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hours at a nearby beach. We have enjoyed getting to know the places we have visited for more than just their tourist hotspots. A parent at the playground, is a parent at the playground, in any country, and it has been humbling to have been shown a glimpse into so many different people’s lives. I genuinely didn’t know if we were going to make it this long and, if we did, that we would want to keep going, but we have absolutely loved our travels so far. Of course there have been lots of tough moments, tears and a few travel fails – we missed our second flight! We miss our friends and family and we have all had a few meltdowns. We remind ourselves that life at home and/or work can be super tough at times too and that being a parent is hard work, no matter where you are. A few highlights of our travels so far have been swimming with manatees and sharks in Belize, hiking to the Kalaupapa Settlement (the old Leper Colony) as well as the Haiku Stairs, both in Hawaii, learning to surf in Costa Rica, exploring the Cenotes Caves in Mexico, touring Alcatraz in San Francisco and watching the planes land over Maho Beach on Saint Martin. Our most special memories are those of the girls, the simple everyday fun we have together, and watching them thrive in different situations. Poppie’s confidence has grown immensely, she boards the plane and finds her row and seat herself now, and she ordered and paid for her own meal at the zoo the other day. Poppie used to cry through every swimming lesson but is now an amazing little swimmer, she learnt to snorkel in a lagoon in Mexico and even hopped in with the sharks in Belize! Lillie has learnt to walk on beaches on the other side of the world and some of her first words were in Spanish. While she didn’t hop in with the sharks, we couldn’t keep her in the boat when we swam with manatees. Both girls were in the water with us – that was really special! We are so grateful for these memories we are making together. Possibly our favourite part of travelling has been meeting people



Some of the highlights of our travels include swimming with manatees and sharks in Belize, hiking in Hawaii, learning to surf in Costa Rica, exploring the Cenotes Caves in Mexico and watching planes land in Saint Martin.

from such different backgrounds to ourselves, learning about their lives and embracing their cultures. The girls have loved being immersed in the Spanish language and we have a family rule with new food – you don’t have to like it but you do have to try it. Often the hardest part is leaving the places and people we have fallen in love with. We are excited to be back in New Zealand for a few weeks, and able to travel in our own country. We will be doing a full tour of our beautiful homeland over the coming weeks – we can’t wait! 

Katie Sievers Katie is 34 and Mum to two young girls. Prior to travelling, Katie and her husband lived in Orewa, Auckland. Katie is passionate about health and wellness, she loves the outdoors, staying active and to laugh and have fun. Since retiring last year, Katie is focused on finding more ways she can give back as well as both inspire and help others to succeed.

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Supporting well-being in pregnancy and beyond

Pregnancy: awe-inspiring, overwhelming, life-changing Pregnancy, especially the first, can be a roller coaster of emotions, sensations, choices, and visions of the future. There are so many messages about what (and what not) to do, eat, plan, even think. There are changes in relationships – two become three, the baby becomes the big sister, grandparents swoop in. In New Zealand, families often include a mix of cultures and expectations, and a baby on the way brings this into focus. And decisions to make: which Lead Maternity Carer (LMC)? Where to birth? Gender… to know or not to know? Name? Ceremonies? Cot or cradle or wahakura? Childcare? All this amounts to the classic definition of stress: disequilibrium and the need to find a new balance. Of course, stress is not bad – what would life be like without change and growth? But change, stress, destabilisation is a challenge, and pregnancy naturally gives us a period of time – nine months – to prepare for this new life. And now, there’s an app for that!

Positively Pregnant: the app Up until recently, there have been apps for baby names, for learning about baby’s growth and pregnancy signs and symptoms, logging diet and weight, timing contractions, even some meditations for pregnancy – but nothing about the emotional and social side of pregnancy. Positively Pregnant is a smartphone app set to launch in 2018. It was developed in New Zealand, for Kiwis, to help parents use the time during pregnancy to reflect and prepare for a physically and emotionally healthy family.

Positively Pregnant helps parents to figure out what works for them to manage stress, keep on track with good health habits, and to connect with the people, activities, and ways of being that will help them to navigate challenges using their values and the most effective strategies for well-being. Positively Pregnant was developed by a team at the University of Waikato, led by Clinical Psychology Graduate Programme Director Dr Carrie Cornsweet Barber. Carrie became interested in stress and anxiety in pregnancy when her own journey to motherhood started off with two miscarriages, then a pregnancy which was rudely interrupted by apparent preterm labour, a hospital stay, and then bed rest for two months at home, hooked up to gadgets and medications, looking out the window and trying not to worry. The baby is now 24, and Carrie is in the late stages of a long gestation (this one more like four years) of Positively Pregnant, an app for New Zealand mothers-in-waiting. As you would expect from an app that has been developed in a university psychology department, the content of Positively Pregnant is based on research, clinical experience, and the theory and values of positive psychology: Recognising and acting on our strengths and values contributes to both individual and community well-being. W e all have different combinations of strengths, values, challenges, and resources. If we know ourselves, we will have the best chance of choosing a path that will work for us and for our family.

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I t does take a village to raise a child, and to nurture a wha-nau, and our connections with other people and with the places where we feel safe are important foundations for healthy wha-nau. T here is no one-size-fits-all recipe for living – people need to try out different ways of thinking and doing, and find out what works for them. It takes a village to make an app, too. This one has been shaped by clinical and community psychologists, midwives, antenatal educators, computer programmers, software designers, and the feedback of 88 women from around New Zealand who participated in a pilot of the first version of the app in 2017. Mums – even those in the still-to-be Mum stage – often focus a lot on taking care of other people, and less on taking care of themselves. We can be stretched thin, solving big and little problems, paying attention to the needs and reactions and wishes of all sorts of other people. Positively Pregnant encourages women to take some time during pregnancy to reflect and take stock, and to test out some different ways of taking care of Mum. The goal is to figure out what works best, to strengthen connections for support, and to think and talk about some of the big and small choices that come along with parenting.

What’s in it? There’s a lot in this app. That’s because people are different, and need different things – so some parts will be relevant to some parents, others to different ones. Positively Pregnant contains four types of components: K now Yourself: interactive assessments to take stock of one’s own strengths, resources, stressors, coping strategies, support systems, health behaviours, thinking style, and emotions



Conversations: queries for conversations with the partner, wha-nau, LMC, or for individual reflection on topics such as birth planning, household chores, financial plans, and child-rearing beliefs, traditions, hopes and plans. Do Something: activities that promote healthy stress management and are tailored to the interests and experiences of the user Find Out: brief information about 30 topics having to do with the psychological aspects of transition to parenting, with links to online resources for services and more information Being local, this app considers and addresses some of the unique characteristics of the New Zealand context, such as Ma-ori tikanga, experiences of migrant families, and New Zealand services and supports for parents. Feedback from the “Know Yourself” assessments is based on New Zealand research, and provides links to online and in-person resources for New Zealand families.

When and how can I get it? In 2017, 88 women from the Waikato and around New Zealand tested the first version of the app and participated in a pilot study. Their feedback is now being incorporated, and the plan is to launch the app, free in New Zealand, in September 2018. It will be available for both Android and IOS. Watch for word of the launch, ask your LMC, or check up on progress on Facebook @positivelypregnantapp! By Leigh Bredenkamp

You deserve to feel better Depression and anxiety in pregnancy Doctors used to think that women were protected from depression during pregnancy. They bought into the cultural myth of the blooming, contented pregnant woman – and missed a lot. We now know that women can and do experience depression during pregnancy, as well as the more well-known postnatal depression. Growing Up in New Zealand, an ongoing study of a large cohort of babies born in 2010, found that almost 12% of pregnant women were experiencing symptoms of depression.

Anxiety can also colour the experience of pregnancy – especially with all the birth horror stories and dietary rules that women are subjected to. Ups and downs – teariness and worries – are normal and common in pregnancy. If those downs stay down, though, so that you can’t experience joy, and often feel hopeless, filled with doubt, and unable to concentrate, it’s time to talk with your LMC or GP, because you may be experiencing depression.

medication – and it is important to find things that help, for you and for the baby. Excessive anxiety in pregnancy is also miserable, exhausting, and increases risk for both mother and baby for health and emotional problems later on – so pay attention to these things, and reach out for help, just as you would if you had an infection or high blood pressure. Take care of your mind as you would your heart, and your baby: you are all connected, and you all deserve to feel better. 

Depression can be treated in a variety of ways – not necessarily

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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!



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faves By Jay Wanakore, Sarah Chase. Published by Penguin, RRP $45.00

Jay Wanakore and Sarah Chas are best known as crowd favourites from My Kitchen Rules NZ. They are also parents to three young children and have developed a range of delicious healthy food that can be whipped up when the team is hungry and time is short! With three children under ten, they know how hard it can be to keep everyone happy and healthy. With the use of readily available whole foods, and an emphasis on clean eating, they know how much can be achieved on a budget, with minimum fuss. They have published a book ‘Jay & Sarah: Fresh and Affordable Family Food’, which features a range



of family feeding tips including snack ideas for kids, healthy breakfasts, tasty salads, delicious dinners, guilt-free sweets and desserts, as well as suggesting a range of dressings and sauces to spice up your meals. Jay and Sarah also offer suggestions on how to encourage your children to eat healthily – no mean feat! Their book includes useful tips on the essentials you need to keep stocked up in your pantry as well as your fridge and freezer. It teaches you how to plan and prepare meals, make smart choices when buying food and how to pack food to keep it fresher for longer. They share some of their favourite recipes with Kiwiparent readers.

Banana pancakes These pancakes are a staple in our weekly menu. Not only are they good for breakfast, they are also great in the kids’ lunches. If you don’t have time to stand around and watch them cook in the pan you can bake them in a muffin tray for 15–20 minutes. They are super easy to make and the banana sweetness is a treat. Serves 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free 4 bananas 6 free-range eggs ½ cup coconut flour (or 2 cups gluten-free flour and 2 eggs) 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence 1 tsp cinnamon coconut oil or butter, for frying fresh fruit and pure maple syrup, to serve 1. Mash the bananas with a fork until no lumps remain. Beat in the eggs with the fork, then add the flour, baking powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until you have a smooth batter. 2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to low heat. Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter to the pan. 3. Drop 2 tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot frying pan. Cook for 2 minutes, flip the pancakes

over and cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Top with fresh fruit and maple syrup, and enjoy.

Superfood salad This beautiful, vibrant superfood salad is packed with lots of colour, textures and delicious flavours. The more colourful fruits and veggies you have in your meals, the more nutrients your body gets. Beetroot and carrots are high in fibre and antioxidants, which boost your digestive system, and the seeds give you a good dose of vitamins, making this the perfect salad to keep you energised and feeling fuller for longer. Serves 6 Prep time: 15 minutes

Dairy Free (if you don’t use feta), Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegetarian 2 beetroot, canned or fresh ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or juice of 1 lemon)

2 carrots, peeled and grated ¼ cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds, toasted ¼ cup raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dates (optional) handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped (optional) 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette dressing 75g feta, to garnish (optional) 1. If using canned beetroot, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside. If using fresh beetroot, peel and cut into small pieces or grate. 2. In a bowl, place vinegar or lemon juice, grated carrot and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Add raisins, cranberries or dates and chopped coriander, if using. Pour over dressing and toss together. Carefully mix through the beetroot. Turn onto a serving platter. Garnish with crumbled feta, if you like.

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3. Form the mixture into 10–12 palm-sized patties. If you want an extra crunch, sprinkle over some panko crumbs, breadcrumbs or desiccated coconut. 4. In a large frying pan placed over a medium heat, pan-fry the patties in the oil until the outsides are golden and the insides are heated through, about 4 minutes each side. 5. Serve the patties with a green salad or steamed veggies. This recipe goes perfectly with our hummus, sweet chilli mayo or guacamole.

Banoffee pie Banoffee pie has to be one of our all-time favourite desserts. Crumbly biscuit base, rich caramel centre topped with sliced banana and fresh cream . . . what’s not to like? No-one can resist a good slice of pie! Serves 6 Prep time: 30 minutes Set time: 1 hour

Dairy Free (if you don’t use butter or dairy cream), Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Wheat Free 1 x 360g can freshwater tuna, drained

We visited family in Australia when our daughter was one and they served us something similar to these as a snack. We enjoyed them so much we changed the recipe up a bit, using a kumara base rather than potato and adding a few extra flavours. We haven’t stopped making them since! They are delicious and easy to whip up when you’re in a hurry. You can even save a few in the freezer for a later date.

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 cups desiccated coconut

1 egg

1 cup raw almonds

sea salt and black pepper

2 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted

1 cup panko or breadcrumbs or desiccated coconut, to coat (optional)


Serves 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

Dairy Free (if you don’t use breadcrumbs), Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Patties 2 large kumara, peeled and diced



Tuna and kumara patties


1 1/2 cups dates

1 cup dates

2 tbsp cooking oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar or pure maple syrup


2 tbsp coconut oil or butter

1. Place the kumara in a large saucepan of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 8–10 minutes. This brings out the natural sweetness of the kumara.

1/2 cup coconut cream

2. Drain the water from the saucepan and mash the kumara. Add the tuna, spring onion and egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix gently to combine.

Filling & topping 3 bananas, sliced into rounds 1 x 400ml can coconut cream, left in the fridge overnight; or dairy cream, whipped, to serve (optional) 2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder 2 tbsp coconut sugar or pure maple syrup

J AY & S A R A H

1. Chop both lots of dates (for crust and caramel) into halves (remove any hidden pits), place in separate bowls and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for 10–15 minutes or until dates are deliciously tender, then drain all the water from both bowls and set dates aside. Reserve the liquid for use in other dishes. 2. In a food processor, blitz together the desiccated coconut, almonds and first quantity of dates until a crumb begins to form. Add in the coconut oil or butter, blending until well combined. 3. Press the crust mixture evenly into a greased 30cm tart tin or baking dish, ensuring it is packed in tightly. You want the same thickness all around with at least 1/2 cm depth to prevent the crust from breaking or cracking. Place this in the freezer while you prepare your filling. 4. Combine the coconut sugar or maple syrup and coconut oil or butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir using a silicon spatula until dissolved, then simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the coconut cream and stir until well combined. Whisk gently, allowing the caramel to thicken. 5. Mash or blitz the second quantity of dates in a food processor and pour in the caramel sauce. Once the caramel has combined, set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. 6. Take the pie crust from the freezer and lay half the banana slices over the base. Pour all the caramel over the bananas – the mixture should almost


Jay&Sarah_TXT_FINAL.indd 177


reach the edge of the crust. Place the remaining banana slices on top of the caramel. Return to the freezer to set. 7. Leave the pie to set in the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve straight from the freezer with whipped coconut

cream or dairy cream, if you like. You can spread this over the top of your pie or have as an accompaniment on the side. Dust with cacao or cocoa powder and a drizzle of maple syrup or sprinkle of coconut sugar. Store in the fridge for a week – if there are any leftovers! 

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If the

shoe fits

Children’s feet need room to grow Check your child’s foot size regularly, because children’s feet grow up to three sizes per year.

Some useful advice Measure the feet in the afternoon, because they will become wider and longer during the day. Your child should be standing instead of sitting during measurements, as this also affects the size of the feet.

Did you know that almost twothirds of children are wearing shoes that are too small, and that this can cause serious and irreversible foot deformities? A survey published earlier this year found that up to 50 percent of all children are still wearing shoes that are too small, meaning that when they grow up they are much less likely to have healthy feet.



Ill-fitting children’s shoes can lead to foot deformities and other health issues. A young child’s feet are soft and malleable and their sense of touch is still developing, which means they often do not notice when the shoe is too small. Where adults would feel pain right away, children can force their feet into the shoe without even feeling a thing. Often, children don’t realise when the shoe is pressing against their toes.

To measure, place the foot on a tape measure and measure it from the heel to the longest toe. The measurement from the heel to the longest toe is your child’s shoe size. Always measure both feet: differences in length are common. A difference of 6mm in length is quite normal, but this corresponds to a whole shoe size. Always make your shoe purchases according to the longest foot! Check for measurements every two months – because children’s feet grow amazingly fast!

Perfect Shoe Size Foot length + Wiggle room = Shoe size. A "wiggle room" of 12–17mm is perfect.

When should I buy the first pair of shoes? Babies’ feet are partly cartilage (like the ear), taking years to turn into bone. Feet that are rapidly changing can become shaped by the shoes rather than forming naturally. The wearing of stiff shoes restricts the body’s natural movement – this means the foot can’t bend and this changes the shape of the child’s developing foot. This then creates faulty movement patterns further up in their legs, back and neck. Shoes diminish the information that feeds from the sole of the foot into the lower back, a data stream that establishes good posture right through the whole body in relation to the ground below us. Toddlers keep their heads up more when walking barefoot. With less need to look down as information is gathered through their feet and delivered straight to the core

Between the ages of three and six, children’s shoe sizes usually only last for five months before they need the next size up.

muscles around the spine, this increases stability and safety. Toddlers who wear shoes need to look at the ground more. They get faulty information from their shoes so they need to use their eyes to look down to establish their position. With winter approaching, keeping children’s feet warm and dry is important. Look for socks with the grippy bits on the bottom, or soft and unsupported well manufactured and fitted shoes that allow your child’s foot to flex. But whenever the situation allows it – let them go barefoot.

Wiggle room Children’s shoes should fit well. Most parents know what to do when buying children’s shoes and especially look for enough “wiggle room” for the toes in the shoe. But did you know that 12 to 17 millimetres should be added to foot length? That is how much space your child’s foot needs to be able to roll in the shoe while walking and running around. The growth of children’s feet is not only very individual, but also very rapid. Children’s feet, especially

Continued overleaf...

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For more information and a stockist near you, visit


Shoe size guide Age

Length of foot in cm

US shoe size

EU shoe size

12–15 months


4 / 4.5 C


15–18 months


4.5 / 5 C


18–21 months


5.5 / 6 C


21–24 months


6.5 / 7 C


2–2.5 Years


7 / 7.5 C


2.5–3 Years


8 / 8.5 C


3–3.5 Years


8.5 / 9 C


3.5–4 Years


9.5 / 10 C


5 Years


10 / 10.5 C


infants and toddlers, can grow by one inch between the ages of four and six years. Prefabricated shoe size charts, therefore, do not have to match the development curve of your child’s feet. It is better to measure the actual size of the foot regularly yourself, than relying on an average shoe size chart by age. Whoever thinks that shoe size information on shoes is always right, is wrong. There are no mandatory international standards



for manufacturers, which leads to significant deviations. International research company found 91 percent of the shoe sizes indicated did not match the internal length of the shoe and are smaller. This makes it hard for parents to rely on the correct indication of shoe sizes, so it is safest for them to measure for themselves. Even if the shoe looks sweet and is the correct size according to the manufacturer, it does not always mean that the shoe is the right choice for your child.

So, what is the perfect shoe size for my child? Experts suggest that the new shoe should be longer by roughly 20mm based on the inner measurement of the larger foot. If you deviate from this advice and buy smaller shoes, you may just find that you have to get new shoes for your child again soon. It is also best to go shopping for shoes in the afternoon because feet become wider and longer over the course

of the day. Also, remember that different manufacturers have very different sizing. Try several models with your child and let the salesperson carry out an additional inner measurement.

What kind of shoe is best? Stiff shoes are an ordeal for feet: It is not only small shoes but also stiff ones that hinder the development process of a child’s foot. Whether your child’s foot can be squeezed into the shoe is not a good guide, because their feet are so soft and malleable that they can fit in all sorts of shoes. Consequential damage such as sinking and bending feet occur as a result, as well as postural defects and back injuries. Children’s shoes should not hinder your child’s footsteps, but leave free space for their feet to move. Shoes should allow room to breathe: Only a foot bed made of leather and natural materials is suitable for children’s shoes.

This is because the sole lets the foot breathe and can prevent it from sweating. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, make children’s feet sweat. In order for the child’s foot to develop healthily, it not only needs freedom of movement but air as well.

Is it okay to wear used shoes?

Check to make sure that it has an intact inner sole. If the inner sole has been severely deformed by the foot of the previous wearer or if they have seriously worn out soles, the shoes should not be worn. But, if there are well-preserved shoes available in the right size for your child, you will not only save money but also the environment. 

Used shoes can be worn and offer a great opportunity to save money.

Tim Lilling Tim is a Project Leader at BlitzResults – an interactive educational website with a focus on consumer topics and health. BlitzResults aims to help 100 million people live responsibly in the face of our planet’s dwindling resources and improve their personal well-being.

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The skin is the largest organ of your body and is a complex and diverse microscopic landscape. Your skin is a sprawling countryside made up of hills and valleys, nooks and crannies, smooth areas and rough surfaces. In each region, there will be a variety of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes making themselves happily at home. Differences in skin temperature, texture, thickness, humidity and chemistry all help to determine which kinds of microbes will thrive. Similar parts of your body can host surprisingly different microbiomes – the microbiomes of left and right hands are different. One hand may be sweatier or oilier than the other, and the two will often touch different objects and so will pick up different microbiomes which can take up residence.

Microbiomes are built from birth While you inherit your human DNA from your parents, your microbiome is much more complicated. Most babies get their first big dose of microbes at birth when they travel through the birth canal. They then pick up even more from their mother while breastfeeding. Early microbes are hugely influential as they help shape the immune system, the digestive system and even the brain. Being exposed to bacteria before birth could be deadly for a fetus. So for nine months, baby grows in a warm, wet and sterile safe zone – the womb. Since the fetus can’t eat or breathe, it gets everything it needs from its mother’s blood, including oxygen and nutrients. But, after nine months, to get from the womb to the outside world, most babies make their way out through the birth canal. This is a massive day for baby (and mother) as well as microbiome, because the birth canal is chock full of bacteria. During that journey, a newborn baby gets completely covered with bacteria, and this has the very important job of kick-starting a brand new microbiome.

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The early years Perfected by thousands of years of evolution, breast milk contains the exact nutrients a baby needs – and this includes the right bacteria, too. Breast milk doesn't feed just baby, it also feeds the baby’s microbiome. These bacteria, and others that feed on breast milk, jump-start the baby’s immune system and digestive system, help prevent infection and even affect brain development. Those clever early microbiomes train the body’s immune system to attack other potentially dangerous microbes but leave harmless ones alone.

Infant skin microbiome Baby skin is smooth and perfect. But the function of the skin certainly changes as it moves from the wet environment in utero to the realities of a relatively dry life after being born – some crucial transitions happen at birth. Lawrence Eichenfield, Professor of Paediatrics and Dermatology at the University of California, says that recent microbiome research has really contributed to greater understanding about infant skin. “New techniques have broadened our perspectives on microbes living on our skin. “A baby enters the world from a sterile environment, and microbial colonisation begins immediately after birth. Over the first few months of life, the infant's skin grows amazing microbial communities which play an important part in developing the baby’s immune system. “In the course of studying microbiomes, we look at skincare practices and their impact on infant skin,” says Lawrence. “A broad set of factors influence skin care and function. For instance, bathing and soaking can have significant impacts on the skin. If you bathe and do not moisturise afterwards, you actually dry out the skin. There have even been questions over whether having overly clean skin might be a bad thing.



Lawrence says that it is best to try not to do too much damage to the skin in the name of cleanliness, as we do not want to strip the natural defences. Steer clear of harsh cleaning, as you want to avoid anything that is too drying on fragile infant skin. “We know that some lotions and cleansers can harm skin barrier function. In children with established atopic dermatitis (eczema), it is very important to moisturise them after bathing to keep the hydration present in the skin. “There are many products available on the market for taking care of infant skin,” Lawrence says. “I have personal concerns about some of the organic skincare products, because they have chemicals that are untested in them, which can cause allergic contact dermatitis. I have seen products that have organic almond and macadamia and certain oils that we know can create more problems with contact allergy over time. It is difficult to read labels, since they contain so many ingredients. I think the general rule is that it is best to stick with products that have been extensively tested.” 

Keep cuddling and kissing Hugging passes along the good bacteria that lives on your skin, and kissing transfers the healthy microbes from your saliva to your baby. So, when you snuggle up to your little one, not only are you giving love and attention but you are also helping your baby develop a healthy microbiome. So have all the skin-on-skin contact you can with your new baby – it will help to ensure that they develop a thriving microbiome full of healthy, beneficial bacteria and a strong, smart immune system.



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Flu fighters Help your kids stay healthy this winter

Do your kids’ immune systems need a little extra support this winter? It’s true that the colder months can bring some truly wonderful experiences to us as parents. There’s snuggling up all cosily on the couch to watch Frozen for the hundredth time, toasting marshmallows over a ‘campfire’ on the hearth, and just seeing how cute your little ones look rugged up in their winter coats and beanies. Plus, because the nights are longer, they’re more likely to sleep late… which means you get to enjoy a sleep-in too. But what’s NOT wonderful is how much harder our kids’ immune systems have to work to help them stay healthy and active during the colder weather.

A rainbow of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables will give children many of the nutrients their immune systems need. That’s because the compounds that give these foods their colours are often the same vitamins or antioxidants that their bodies use to support immunity. However, fruits and veggies on their own aren’t enough. There are also immune-supporting nutrients in legumes (beans, peas and chickpeas), nuts and seeds, and lean protein sources such as fish or chicken.

Ensure they’re getting enough sleep There’s a link between sleep and immunity. However, what constitutes ‘enough’ sleep for children can vary quite significantly by age – and by individuals within a given age range.

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Here are five tips to give their immune systems a bit of extra support.

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Begin with a balanced diet

Nutra-Life Ester-C is a 24 hour Vitamin C for a busy life. Maintain your immune system with the Vitamin C that stays as active as you do. Nutra-Life Ester-C keeps working throughout the day for 24 hours. Now with added probiotics for digestive health.

Australian dietician Dr Joanna McMillan says, “Good nutrition provides the building blocks of a strong immune system.”

Five bottles of Nutra-Life Ester-C to be won. RRP29.90.

But what does ‘good nutrition’ actually mean?

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Our kids immune systems have to work hard to help them stay healthy and active during winter.

As a general rule, most experts agree that toddlers need around 11–14 hours each day, preschoolers need 10–13 hours, and school-aged kids do well on 9–11 hours. With the earlier sunsets, children may want go to sleep earlier. If they don’t, however, you may need to be firm about bedtimes – especially if your kids don’t nap during the day.

Make sure they’re getting enough vitamin C Of course, no list of winter immunity tips would be complete without talking about vitamin C – it’s often called the immunity vitamin for a reason. Vitamin C helps kids’ bodies by supporting their white blood cells, as well as playing a role in a multitude of other immune mechanisms. Natural sources of vitamin C are fairly common. It’s found in most vegetables and fruits, and particularly in citrus, kiwifruit, blackcurrants, and many red, orange or yellow fruits. However, it’s important to realise that vitamin C breaks down quickly – often within a few hours – so it’s very short-lived in our bodies. That means children should ideally include vitamin C-rich foods with each meal.

Consider herbal immune support Certain herbs have been shown to help maintain immune function. Echinacea (also known as purple coneflower) is one of the best known of these. Native American



healers used it for years to help people to maintain health and well-being. Today, it’s most often used to assist with winter immunity. A word of caution though, it’s important to mention that some children may be sensitive to echinacea so it may pay to check with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Give them a probiotic Many parents assume probiotic supplements just help to maintain digestive system health, but the benefits of probiotics can actually be far more wide-reaching. Some experts believe that up to 80% of immune cells are located inside the gut. That means that helping to keep your child’s gastrointestinal tract healthy plays a big role in supporting their immunity. And since good natural levels of probiotic bacteria play a supporting role in gut health, it’s no surprise that certain strains of probiotics have been shown to assist with immune function. However, keep in mind that different strains of bacteria can have very different supporting functions. So make sure when you choose a probiotic supplement for your child that the strain it provides has been researched and shown to support immunity. And of course, if you have questions about any of these natural supplements, ask your pharmacist or health store professional for their advice. They’ll be happy to help. 

HEALTHY KIDS, HAPPY PARENTS Any parent with young children knows a healthy immune system is important at all times, but particularly at daycare, school and at the local playground. Luckily, we know a healthy digestive system plays a fundamental role in supporting good immunity and general well-being.

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Nutra-Life provides premium health products that are manufactured to strict quality standards using formulations based on 50 years of experience. It also offers free access to qualified naturopaths through the Naturopathic Advice Line: 0800 268 872. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist of consult your healthcare The magazine Parents Centre 75 professional. Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd., Auckland. DA1717AS313


Helps support healthy gut microflora and a strong immune system in children. This formula contains a proprietary blend of scientifically researched strains of non-dairy, good bacteria in a Vanilla flavoured chewable tablet, in an age appropriate dose. Shelf stable, no refrigeration required.

Our Partners Why do we have strategic partnerships and alliances? As a not-for-profit organisation, strategic partnerships and alliances are essential for us to fund the work we do. They also provide resources and benefits to our Centres and, most importantly, our membership. We want to partner with organisations that are in alignment with our organisations philosophies.

Move work with many of our Centres to provide free car seat checks and installations for our members, as well as providing a great member discount on purchasing car seats.

Baby on the Move is a longstanding partner that continues to support us as a national organisation plus support many of our Centres regionally. Baby on the Move is committed to ensuring car seats are correctly fitted.

Taslim Parsons Strategic Partnerships Manager, Parents Centre New Zealand

A recent news report stated that over 70% of car seats are incorrectly fitted which is a scary statistic. Baby on the

A word from Baby On The Move Baby On The Move is a nationwide franchise company owned and operated by experienced parents. Both Directors, Claire Turner and Fena Bavastro, are parents and ex-franchisee owners. "Having children of our own, we are very aware of the obstacles that young parents may face with balancing financial interests and child safety. We are proud to work with Parents Centre New Zealand on a national level and to present the opportunity to enable our franchisees to connect with Centres in their local area to promote child safety and high quality products to Parent Centre members throughout New Zealand.” Baby On The Move’s main emphasis is on child safety and for this reason we provide a fitting-and-sitting session for our customers purchasing car seat restraints, and conduct car seat safety checks at Parents Centres events wherever possible. Claire and Fena Baby On The Move

0800 222 966 /


Johnson & Johnson For over 100 years, JOHNSON'S® baby has been dedicated to designing gentle and mild products, especially for baby. We continuously apply our knowledge and research to create innovative products with safety at their core. That's why parents and healthcare professionals around the world have trusted JOHNSON'S® baby to nurture the little ones in their care.



Philips Avent Choosing Philips AVENT means you have the assurance of superior quality products, designed with you and baby’s needs in mind. Interchangeable design features mean products can be adapted to meet baby’s developing needs. Phone: 0800 104 401

Huggies online pregnancy and parenting The HUGGIES® website is about pregnancy and parenting. Check out features such as special offers, info on sleeping and settling, plus hundreds of recipes and kids’ activity ideas! And it’s all free to HUGGIES® Baby Club members. Phone: 0800 733 703

Supporting Kiwi parents

0800 222 966 /

Life Pharmacy & Unichem Every day Life and Unichem pharmacists provide their communities with friendly professional health care and advice. With over 300 pharmacies throughout NZ, there's one of us in your community.

Reckitt Benckiser Group RB (Reckitt Benckiser Group) is dedicated to creating happier homes and healthier families. We understand that a child’s illness can be a very stressful and emotional time for parents, which is why we are passionate in supporting Parents Centre to provide tools and advice to Kiwi parents to relieve some of this stress.

Baby On The Move Specialists in quality, affordable baby products that you can hire or purchase new. Our qualified team can help you select the correct restraint. Plus if you hire or buy from us we will install your car seat for FREE! Stores nationwide. 09 839 0200

Phone: 0800 222 966

Au Pair Link New Zealand Since 2006 we've been flying loving au pairs from all corners of the globe to join busy Kiwi host families, providing quality in-home care and education for their little ones. Today we have hundreds of families enrolled in early learning programmes, and staff across New Zealand. This means our customers benefit from a personal, safe and reliable service throughout New Zealand.

Beef + Lamb Beef + Lamb New Zealand is responsible for the promotion of beef and lamb in New Zealand. The organisation is voluntarily funded by Kiwi farmers, retailers and processors, and focuses on promoting the nutritional aspects of lean red meat, including the importance of iron during pregnancy and for infants and young children. For healthy recipe ideas using lean beef and lamb, visit:

PORSE Our babies are born with the need to connect. PORSE in-home educators, nannies and au pairs provide a calm and stable home environment to nurture close connected relationships, setting the foundation for lifelong learning. Phone: 0800 023 456

The Sleep Store Since 2006 The Sleep Store has been helping babies sleep with FREE expert sleep advice and a huge range of hand-picked baby, toddler and preschooler essentials. All with excellent customer service and prompt nationwide delivery. Recently voted the best online baby store. For details on the exclusive Parents Centre offers visit: content/parentscentre

SplashSave All the tools you need to teach young ones how to remain confident, comfortable and calm around water. The pack is aimed at children from birth to six years and costs a fraction of formal swim lessons.

2 Little Monkeys 2 Little Monkeys is run by mum to three Aimee Thomsen. Based in Auckland the hats are top quality, well designed and beautiful. 2 Little Monkeys has developed a great fundraising pack for our Centres so that the sale of the hats help raise funds that go directly to Centres all around the country.

The magazine of Parents Centre


I’m not


Not listening can be frustrating for parents – but it’s also pretty normal for young kids. Here are ways to help your child take more notice of what you say. Make sure you have got their attention before you speak.

Pick your battles

Focus on getting them to listen to the really important stuff – consider letting the rest go for now.

Squat down and make eye contact. Hold their hand gently in yours. Ask for a response – can you hear me? Don’t call out from another area. Check they can actually hear you. If it’s noisy or there are other distractions around, take them to a quieter, calmer place. If you find they’re always ignoring you, you might want to get their ears checked – it’s free for under-fives.

Start by acknowledging their feelings

Give one instruction at a time – too many at once can be confusing and too much for them to remember. Also, be specific: “Please put your blocks back in the toy box” – not “Please tidy your room”. Say what you do want them to do, not what you don’t. Instead of “Don’t run in the house” you could say “Walking inside, please – you might hurt yourself if you run.”

Acknowledging their feelings first can make listening more likely. No one likes to be told to stop doing something they enjoy. Kids deal with frustration better when they feel understood. For example: “I can see you want to keep playing, but…”

When they ask you for something, acknowledge their request and say yes if you can. If you can’t, try to explain why in a way they’ll understand. And try to always give them your full attention when they want to tell you something.

Try not to expect too much for their age and stage – most under-fives find it hard to stop what they’re doing and listen. The younger they are, the more support they will need from you to learn this new skill.

Give lots of praise when they do listen

Wait until your kids come to you wanting your attention, and raise lower priority stuff with them then. Calm requests work better than loud orders – shouting raises a kid’s stress levels (and yours!) and releases cortisol, which can reduce their ability to listen.

Choices, choices Offering choices makes kids feel like they have some control and can reduce tantrums. For example, getting dressed is not an option but what you wear can be.


Keep choices simple – red socks or blue socks? If you ask them what socks they want to wear, they’ll choose the ones in the wash!


Young kids like to please. Praise the behaviour you’d like to see more of: “Kapai – thank you for putting that away when I asked you.” 


Congratulations to the lucky winners from issue 284

Phillips Avent Electric Breast Pump Rebeccal Samuels, Christchurch

Arc Assist Original Learning Tower Megan Collinson, Napier

Feast Highchair from The Sleep Store

Splash Mirror from Water Babies

Eva Novak, Auckland Daria Geurts, Auckland Charlotte M, Rotorua

Lena Weissert, Auckland Sarah Florkowski, Auckland Lara Randall, Otaki Annette Hynes, Christchurch Donna Carter, Opotiki Tim Marshall, Auckland

Nutra-Life Probiotic Prize Pack

EGG Maternity Wear

Rishell Sharma, Christchurch

Lara Payne, Auckland Miriam Kamsteeg, Auckland

The magazine of Parents Centre


Win great giveaways

Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm, 29 June 2018. Winners will be published in issue 285.

Win one of three cot quilts from Baby On The Move Suitable for babies over 12 months, this beautiful, pure cotton quality quilt is perfect for keeping your little one warm in their cot or bed. Generous size (120x100cm) with quilt thickness Contrasting powder blue and white fabrics with appliqué and embroidered detailing Machine washable at 30 degrees centigrade

Enter to win one of two Fussy Foods prize packs Three toddler pillows to be won Is your baby ready for a pillow? From ages one to five toddlers require a low profile pillow to support a healthy head position and remove any safety risks from too-thick pillows. The Natures Sway pillow is the perfect size and it’s all natural. Transition your little one to big person sleep the healthy way and you can both sleep easy. RRP $56 each. Enter to win one of three toddler pillows, each with two pillowslips.

Win a 100% merino fleece Onesie from The Sleep Store This snuggly Onesie is designed for sleep! It’s warm enough for kids who kick off their covers, so they won’t wake up cold, and it’s perfect for using with a duvet or light blankets for children who manage to keep their bedding on or who prefer to layer up. The Sleep Store Onesie is made from a soft, snuggly layer of 100% merino fleece, so its soft-brushed finish on the inside feels delicious. The Onesie comes in two styles. Sizes 6mths to 4yrs, with or without pockets. RRP $89.95.



Fussy Foods is a raw vegetable paste you can add to most meals your fussy eater likes. With no colours, no numbers and no preservatives, it’s packed full of natural nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Imagine being able to give your little (or big) one, a heap of veggies and protein without them even knowing, seeing, tasting or detecting it, AND without any effort or time invested from yourself. Add it to anything from spaghetti bolognese to muffins and pizzas. Each prize pack is worth $86.64 and contains one of the three flavours of our fresh 1kg product.

Six Splash Mirrors from Water Babies to be won Winner of ‘What's on 4 Little ones – Best Product Supporting Children’s Activities at Home 2017’. Perfect for bath time and water play, the Splash Mirror is an ideal way to create fun and enjoyment while helping little ones build confidence. Made from high-density foam, the mirror and separate float are both soft enough to be safely used in the pool or bath. Parental guidance required. Three months+ RRP $25.


The product most recommended by doctors for pregnancy stretch marks. Colmar Brunton, 2016

“It’s my second pregnancy and I’m using Bio-Oil again for stretch marks. I used it the first time around and it was amazing!”



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. Individual results will vary. Bio-Oil is distributed in New Zealand by Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Auckland.

The magazine of Parents Centre

New Packaging. Same Formulation.




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