Page 1

RRP $7.50 (incl GST)


JUNE – JULY 2019

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

Welcoming quads! An amazing birth story in Timaru

Set your baby up for life The first 1,000 days last forever

More than just baby talk Talk is brain food

Healing the broken Talking to children about trauma

The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc




Subscribe & win

Subscribe or renew your subscription to Kiwiparent and go in the draw to WIN a Philips AVENT 4-in-1 Healthy Baby Food Maker valued at RRP $329.99! 1 years subscription to Kiwiparent (6 issues) is only $45 delivered to your door.

Visit z n . o c . t n e r a p i kiw be i r c s b to su


Effortlessly steam, blend and serve healthy homemade baby meals with the Philips Avent 4-in-1 Healthy Baby Food Maker. Terms & conditions Subscribers must be New Zealand Residents. Offer ends midnight 31 July 2019. Only one entry to The and magazine of Parents Centre 1 Inc. prize draw per subscriber. Gift not redeemable for cash. Random winner drawn contacted by Parents Centre NZ Kiwiparent is the magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc.

Photo © Kirianna Winiata

Special Features


Be a star for the day

Letters to the Editor .................................................4–5

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

Set your baby up for life

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

Nathan Wallis................................................................12–15

Your right to feed your baby............................36–38

More than just baby talk

Parents Centre Pages

Alison Sutton.................................................................16–20

Conference 2019..........................................................39–43

Connecting to our culture

Find a centre....................................................................44

Loralee Pope..................................................................22–24


Putting wha-nau at the heart of celebrations.......26–27

Fussy eaters Catherine Henderson..................................................28–34

Compassion and kindness Niki Ismael......................................................................46–47

Find out about Parents Centre..............................45 Starting simply with Te Reo

Reo Pe-pi ........................................................................60–61

Winners from the last issue.....................................77 Our partners..............................................................78–79 Giveaways ........................................................................80

Healing the broken Keryn O’Neill and Sue Younger................................48–53

Birth story: Huge and amazing Kendall Macdonald......................................................54–59

Pick the perfect paint Resene creative team.................................................62–66

Staying warm and toasty Kathy Fray and Stine Smith.......................................68–73

Welcome home James Beck....................................................................74–76



Birth story: Huge and amazing | pages 68–73


JUNE – JULY 2019


Celebrating our diversity

Set your baby up for life | pages 12–15 The early days of a child's life set the groundwork for developing into an emotionally secure and well-rounded adult. Infant and child development expert Nathan Wallis takes every opportunity to reinforce the importance of those early years. Nathan presented at the Parents Centre Conference in May and talks with us about the importance of the first 1,000 days.

Connecting to our culture | pages 22–24 During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth Papatu-a-nuku. Throughout Matariki we learn about those who came before us. Our history. Our family. Our land. Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year.

Healing the broken | pages 48–53 Our hearts go out to the many people who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, to the injured, to those who lost loved ones, and to all who witnessed the horror. We are shocked, sad, and disbelieving. Our children and babies are listening and watching too. They will be picking up on the stress their communities are feeling, and they will be closely observing the ways we all react, so how best can we meet their needs?

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 Catherine Short Ph (04) 233 2022 x8805

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.

March 15 will be forever remembered as an infamous day in Aotearoa. A stunned nation watched the tragedy in Christchurch unfold as people of all ages were slaughtered whilst worshipping in their local mosques. Our hearts broke. The images of that dreadful day have become iconic, shocked families desperate for news, our Prime Minister, wearing a hijab comforting the bereft and modelling strength and empathy, the small floral tributes that grew into mountains of flowers and tokens of love and support placed outside every mosque in the country. The overwhelming sense of the nation coming together to reject all forms of racism and extremism as we tried to make sense of the utterly senseless. Two beautiful preschoolers were caught up in the assault – Mucaad Ibrahim, who was just three, died on that awful day, and little Alen Alsati survived horrific injuries and is slowly recovering in Starship Hospital. They could have been any one of our children. This should never have happened. In the words of Wellington artist Ruby Jones, whose artwork became a symbol of a nation’s grief: “This is your home and you should have been safe here.” Aroha mai. I’m so, so sorry. But out of the awful sorrow of that day, we saw communities come together to support each other. Also, we began hard conversations about things like freedom of speech, gun laws and racism. We will work together to build a stronger, safer and more inclusive nation because this is what we owe our children. Matariki is a time of year when we celebrate wha-nau – we learn about our history, our family and our land. It is also a time when we celebrate our diversity. All the things that make us Kiwis – our language, culture, spirit and people in all the glorious spectrum of who we are in our special part of the world. In the days following the massacre, haka rang out around Aotearoa and overseas – a resounding rejection of extremism and a vehement show of respect for the victims. We are all Kiwis and we are one people. They are us. Ma-ori author Witi Ihimaera spoke about the spirit behind the hakas. “Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora! Our message is clear. You do not do this to our people. You will not do this again.”

ISSN 1173–7638

Kia pai tou tatou Matariki


As Salaam Alaikum

Caxton Design and Print

Leigh Bredenkamp

The magazine of Parents Centre



to the editor

Top Letter

Congratulations to the Top Letter winner Hannah Bowen from Cambridge who will win a prize pack from Natural Instinct.

Top letter prize 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.

Bonanza for parents in Cambridge Cambridge Town Hall saw queues waiting for doors to open and was bustling on the morning of Sunday 10th March for the Cambridge Parents Centre annual Bonanza. This year the event was more popular than ever with 24 tables hired to families selling pre-loved items, local businesses selling fantastic products, and businesses and not-for-profit organisations offering a range of services for families with young children in the area. This event is a major fundraising event for Cambridge Parents Centre, and this year raised just over $508 which will go a long way to helping it continue to run free and subsidised quality education classes and support for local families. “As well as it being a great chance for families with young children to support local businesses and see what is out there in our community for them, it’s a perfect opportunity to get the clothes and equipment they need at low cost,” said Sally Hastie, event organiser and Parents Centre Committee member. “Cambridge Parents Centre would like to thank all who came along and helped make it such a lovely, social, successful morning.” Hannah Bowen, Cambridge Parents Centre Photos (top left & right): Jo Vipond (Co-president and CBE convenor), Hannah Bowen (Co-president and postnatal education coordinator), Sally Hastie (marketing officer). 18-month-old Ellis happily waiting with his new teddy whilst his Mum and Gran pick up some awesome bargains. © Envisage Photography.

Thanks for all your work Tas Many readers will know Taslim Parsons from Parents Centre facebook posts, our electronic newsletter and of course the annual Auckland Baby Show. Tas left Parents Centre in April after six years working at managing strategic partnerships as well as advertising for Kiwiparent. Tas has made a huge contribution to our organisation on many levels and we will miss her talent, energy and drive – we wish her all the best as she moves to the next phase in her career. Heather Hayden Chief Executive, Parents Centre New Zealand



What a line up! Parents Centre Conference 2019 highlighted the importance of ensuring high quality, research based and ongoing best practice education for our talented band of Childbirth Educators (CBEs).

Nappy Disposal System

As well as gaining information from the plenary sessions from experts in the first 1,000 days, the CBEs also attended sessions where they learnt from experts in their field to add value and quality to antenatal classes. Bronwyn Sweeny presented on maternal perinatal and early infant sleep. She emphasised that new mums be taught to ‘prescribe’ sleep for themselves – in other words give permission to themselves to sleep; it is as important as water, food and air. Quality sleep reduces anxieties, potential PND, supports breastfeeding and allows for easier management of unsettled babies. Liora Noy spoke about anxiety during pregnancy – while some anxiety is normal, for 15–35% of women symptoms become severe enough to impact on day-to-day lives. Anxiety and PND is a reality for many women and normalising this is a huge step toward management and recovery. Liz Childs discussed pelvic health – continence, treatments, the importance of and when to refer, as well as pain and pain management. 60% of women in pregnancy have some incontinence – getting support and help to manage antenatal incontinence will reduce such issues postnatally. Louise Tanguay from The Sleep Store provided a Beco Gemini baby carrier to each Centre so that CBEs have a resource to safely demonstrate to parents the use of baby carriers. Baby wearing supports responsive parenting and is a life-saver to help parents settle baby. Eva Neely talked about the importance of sourcing quality research to support the information that is provided in classes. Research can come from a wide range of places and it is important to ascertain if it is qualitative or quantitative research. Eva discussed home birth, specifically the need to let parents know that this is an option and to understand it is a very safe option for a healthy, well, uncomplicated pregnancy. You can read more about our conference on pages 39–42.

Liz Pearce, Parent Education and Operations Manager

Proven protection from germs & odours ^

100 times more effective at odour prevention than nappy sacks Unique twist and lock system wraps each nappy in a fresh portion of film Multi-layer film provides an exceptional barrier to lock away odour

What the CBEs had to say "The speakers were excellent – all leaders in their field – even before arriving at conference I had heard of most of the speakers and was so excited to have the opportunity to hear them speak – I wasn't disappointed!"

Anti-bacterial protection is present in the film and not the other components of this product.

“Such good presentations reaffirming the importance of the village/antenatal connections that we make through our classes.” "Great to have more info about this critical area; signs of anxiety prenatally, helpful ways of engaging and opening the conversation." "What a line up! Well done, there must have been so much work that went into this weekend. A great success. Look forward to the next one!"

Commercial size also available For your nearest stockist visit

0800 726 436

The magazine of Parents Centre




The Day-1-Baby Heirloom Layette "The best investment I ever made!” – Stacey, Mum of three. The Day-1-Baby Heirloom Layette is specially created by renowned midwife and author Kathy Fray, with international award-winning Roots & Wings merino. Timeless luxury in 100% organic NZ merino wool, to keep your newborn at the perfect temperature. Designed to be handed down through your family. The Layette consists of: 1 bodysuit: base layer 1 jumpsuit (or romper): second layer 1 beanie to preserve body heat Optional luxury: merino swaddle wrap

Breast pads are a breastfeeding mum’s must have item! Philips Avent's new range of breast pads are ultra-thin, breathable and ultra-absorbent with a triple layer, leak-proof design to keep you dry and comfortable day and night. The honeycombed textured top sheet is silky soft and comfortable against your skin. The thinner contoured shape of the breast pad helps make them invisible under clothes, and they are individually wrapped for your hygiene so perfect for on-the-go. Available in packs of 24, 60 and 100, grab a box today from leading pharmacies and baby retailers.

Stretch marks don’t have to be a fact of life It’s been a favourite of expectant mums for 20 years and here’s why: Bio-Oil Skincare Oil can help prevent stretch marks from appearing. Just apply twice daily, and revel in your changing body! Enjoy plenty of vitamin-rich foods like carrots, kumara and leafy greens to naturally boost collagen. And try Bio-Oil Skincare Oil – it works to keep your skin supple as your body grows. RRP from $18.00 for 60ml. To find out more visit:



Cadenshae – Activewear for Nursing Mums "Cadenshae's range of stylish maternity activewear allows you to live your day-to-day life as a busy Mum with ease. All our bras, tops and cosy hoodies give you the freedom to feed your baby when and where they need it, while our leggings keep both pregnant and postpartum tummies incredibly comfortable and secure. So, get out there! Go for a run, a walk, go to that CrossFit or yoga class, and know Cadenshae has you covered ... literally."

Woolbabe Duvet Sleeping Suit At The Sleep Store you’ll find the beloved Woolbabe duvet sleeping bags have grown legs. And they are running out the door! The retailer is struggling to keep up with demand, with some colours of the Woolbabe Duvet Sleeping Suit (RRP $159) sold out in days. Currently available in Tide, Midnight and Ko-whai, there are also new designs on their way, which are being eagerly awaited by customers who’ve missed out! Just like the Woolbabe sleeping bags, they are thick and soft, featuring the same top quality and Woolbabe’s attention to detail. Designed for a room temperature of 14 to 22 degrees, you can vary the warmth of pyjamas used underneath and pull the long cuffs down to cover cold toes. Good luck getting your little one out of their snuggly warm suit come morning!

The magazine of Parents Centre


Worth capturing, because there’s nothing like a hug



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

RRP $7.50 (incl GST)




RRP $7 .50














Meet the Huggies CovM erestar e Huggt the Coveries Beyond Star




Meet the winners of the Huggies cover star competition




Meet the Huggi winners of es Cover the Star com 2018 petitio n You are not alone Get help – you matter Dads struggle too Adjusting to change

baby blues

Wh normaat is l?

Identi fyi with aty ng and hel pical dev ping chi ldren elopm ent

Wheezy kids

Have your


Get childhood asthma

under control

Mes marvsey is llous Dads rock! Sow g the sin eeds Embra

ce spr

g it as


and connected

Babywearing – a modern

twist on an old practice

ing and

play out




a stay-a


e Dad



a love of nat ure The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand

Inc Parent ing tips • Childb irth • Dad's Blog • Breast feedin g • Lifesty le • Family health

Th e m ag az

in e of Pa re nt s

Ce nt

Total prize package over $10,000

re N ew

Zeal an

d In c

on the cover of Kiwiparent

Put your photographic skills to use and enter the 2019 Coverstar photo competition! 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 $10,344.73!

And, at the end of this magical day, the winner will receive all the images from the photo shoot on a memory stick. As if all this was not enough, the winner will also receive six months’ supply of Huggies products including:

24 packs of Huggies nappies bulk packs

This is what the judges are looking for: E xpressions that capture happy baby moments e.g. warm-hearted “happy eyes”

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

S howing 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 the week commencing 22 July 2019. The lucky winner will be a star for a day with: Flights to and from Auckland (if necessary) Transfers to and from the airport

10 packs of Huggies change mats

8 packs of Little Swimmers Swim Pants.

Entries open at 10:30am on Monday, 27 May 2019 and close at 10:30am on Friday, 28 June 2019.

Professional photo shoot in Auckland

To enter, simply visit the competition post hosted on the Huggies New Zealand Facebook page. In the post comments share ‘a photo of you and your bub sharing a Hug’.

Lunch and snacks

Hair and make-up by a professional stylist Wardrobe styling

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


A hug is


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 babies begin to grasp their surroundings moment to moment, a hug alone can literally make them feel more comfortable in their own skin.

Terms and conditions

Entries open at 10:30am NZST on Monday, 27 May 2019 and close at 10:30am NZST on Friday, 28 June 2019. To enter, entrants must locate the competition post hosted on the Huggies New Zealand Facebook page and share their photos in the Post Comments.



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. 

(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.

Valid entries will be judged on the basis of their relevance and creativity and judging will be done by Resolution Media.

An affectionate hug aids in the development of interpersonal relationships and can can promote feelings of devotion and trust. Newborns are neurologically wired to stop crying when held and, particularly in infancy, a hug-induced reduction of stress hormone, cortisol, can even encourage more restful sleep.

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.

Winners of the 2018 Coverstar photo competition

The magazine of Parents Centre


Set your baby

up for life Interview with: Nathan Wallis The early days of a child's life set the groundwork for developing into an emotionally secure and well-rounded adult. Infant and child development expert Nathan Wallis has a huge following of parents and takes every opportunity to reinforce the importance of those early years. Nathan presented at the Parents Centre Conference in May and talks with us about the importance of the first 1,000 days.



“Early childhood is where it’s at in terms of brain development.” – Nathan Wallis

The first 1,000 days of a child's life can shape the kind of grownup they turn into, so what are the most important things parents can do to give their child the best possible start?

Nathan's first bit of advice to mums is look after yourself when you're pregnant. "You want baby to be so blissed out and relaxed that they don't have to worry about too much. Instead baby can put their energy into becoming a thinker. And that's when you lay the foundation for intellect and empathy and other tools to adult well."

What happens in baby’s brain? The human brain is amazing. From the first few days of conception our brains begin to form from cell tissue. As the fetus develops, layers of

“No one knows your baby better than you.”

neurons in the brain start to develop. They send out axons to meet each other and become connected – then start to communicate with each other. As baby grows this process continues, and from the moment of birth, experiences interact with our genes to switch on new connections in the brain. Thousands of connections occur as baby develops synapses in response to their new environment.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


“Only adults can adult, but kids are really good at being kids.”

Each different sensory experience modifies the thousands of surrounding neurons and this is how our baby’s brain becomes wired. The quality and types of experiences we have in those precious early years lay the foundations for later development and health. Nathan says a close attachment to a consistent caregiver is absolutely vital. “The connections that occur with a healthy attachment relationship are best made within the first 1,000 days. If this doesn’t happen, there are more likely to be problems in many areas in later life as the child grows up unable to establish firm trusting relationships.” Lack of early attachment has been shown to lead to poor social competency, more difficulty learning



“Drown those toddlers in love, let them think for themselves and don't stress too much.” at school and worse outcomes in teenage years. But, when a child is nurtured, played with, sung to, cuddled and lovingly stimulated, they are programmed positively. This sets a child up for life. If their experiences are negative, then the hardwiring that takes place retains all that negativity including the emotional memory of those experiences.

“When baby is born, they are hardwired to immediately look for their primary caregiver,” explains Nathan. “Their optimum focal point is 30cm – the distance from their eyes to the eyes of the adult holding them. From the last trimester, baby will recognise their mother’s voice and the voices they hear often from within the womb, so talk to baby as soon as they are born – your voice will be familiar.” Touch is the first sense to come on line, so holding baby and stroking them is a powerful form of communication. This close relationship forged at the time of birth sets the blueprint for all future relationships – so be responsive and pile love all over your new baby. “Trust your own intuition and learn to listen to your baby. If something

Switched on or switched off Our genes are not a static blueprint; they can actually alter with experience in the sense that they can be ‘switched on’ or ‘switched off’. Nature and nurture operate together to fashion our brains. This process occurs throughout our lifetime but it occurs at a much faster and more intense rate in childhood. Touch is the first sensory modality to come ‘on line’ and has been labelled the ‘mother of all senses’. Smell, taste, balance, hearing and vision follow in that sequence, and it appears that each sense needs to follow the sequential pattern for complete development. The type, the frequency, the intensity and quality, the order, and the number of experiences will all have an impact. Dr Simon Rowley MB ChB FRACP (Paediatrics) is Consultant Paediatrician, Auckland City Hospital and a Trustee of Brainwave Trust Aotearoa

feels bad – don’t do it. If it distresses you to let your baby cry, pick them up. No one knows your baby better than you.” Nathan stresses that, to a baby, the outside world doesn’t matter – their parents are their world. ”Your face, voice and touch mean more to them than anything else,” he says. “The more secure this relationship is, the better the outcomes are for your child.”

Smother them in love As your baby grows into a full-on toddler, encourage independent thinking and don't obsess over cramming facts. “Smother them in love,” Nathan says. “And encourage them to think for themselves. Try not to stress too much and enjoy this time – it doesn’t last very long.

”Some of the behaviours that could be seen as ‘difficult’ in babies and young children – not sleeping through the night, being easily distracted and disruptive at times – can be the very things that give them an edge as an adult.”

fit your own oxygen mask first before looking after others. This applies to parenting as well. If you have not taken care of yourself, you will not be in a good state to look after your family. Self-care is very important to be able to parent well.”

Nathan also believes that parents shouldn’t buy in to the myth of perfection. “No one is perfect, in fact it is our imperfections that make us interesting. If you have friends or online acquaintances who project a constantly unrealistic image, get new friends and follow people who know how to keep it real. Surround yourself with good people who will support you and build you up.”

Nathan’s top parenting tips

Remember your oxygen mask Nathan suggests new parents should keep in mind the safety briefing rules when you fly: “In an emergency, you are told to always

F irst and foremost, simply enjoy your baby. T he relationship between you and your baby represents 99% of their development. Y ou are the number one world expert on your baby. S pend as much time in face-toface interaction with your baby as they can tolerate. D on’t sacrifice your well-being for your baby, take care of yourself.  Article by Leigh Bredenkamp

The magazine of Parents Centre




More than just

baby talk

Interview with: Alison Sutton Alison Sutton from Talking Matters is on a mission to encourage parents and caregivers to talk to their babies and children. She believes oral language in the early years is an equity issue, as some children start school with the oral language we would normally expect of three-year-olds. Alison spoke at the Parents Centre Conference in May and she shares her passion for raising language-rich children with Kiwiparent readers.

Science tells us parents used to do the right thing instinctively – sing to baby, read to them, constantly stay close together in an environment where interaction and language were purely instinctual and very natural. This was very important to baby and laid down the foundation for their developing their own language skills. Alison says talk is brain food. “Sing, play, read and interact with your child. Don’t dumb things down – your little one learns more than you think, as their brains are sponges soaking up information around them.”

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Make the most of opportunities to involve children in extended conversations and quality interactions.

Changes to modern family structures mean that some children are missing out. Many families live away from their extended wha-nau in big cities with fewer opportunities to mix with others. Screen time can eat in to interaction time, families are under more pressure and the stresses pile up. Sometimes busy adults end up talking to, not with, their children. Most families are keen to support their children’s learning but don’t always know the speed at which babies learn nor do they fully understand the power of language to shape their little one’s lives and future opportunities. Even among experts, the value of home languages in building communication and literacy is not always acknowledged – and it is increasingly important as more families are culturally and ethnically diverse. Oral language is the basis for reading and writing, yet there has been less focus on oral language in policy, funding and professional development.

Does talking really matter? “Absolutely,” says Alison. “The research is clear. We know that children’s early experiences shape their overall development and ability to learn. The first 1,000 days are particularly important for building the capacity to love, learn, think and communicate. Interaction and talk help shape a child’s brain and influence their social, emotional and intellectual capabilities throughout their lives.



Talk is important in whatever languages families use – it doesn’t have to be in English. For babies and toddlers, the language (or languages) of their family matter most of all."

Talk is free! Talk is free and every family does it – and every family is capable of gifting even more language to their child. “Quite simply,” Alison says, “if you want your child to be smart – talk to them!” Alison believes you can’t start too early. “Before your baby can speak, learn to watch them carefully – they are communicating with you by facial gestures, cries and non-verbal sounds. Talk to your baby, sing to them, chat out loud, the language will surround them, and they will be soaking it up.” The key thing is to notice and respond to your child – follow their lead and talk about the things that interest them. “For example, if your child loves playing with trucks, sit next to them on the floor and talk with them,” Alison says. “Talk about the big yellow truck with six wheels. Ask who will be driving it, where it will go, what it will pick up, etc. In this way you will extend their language and vocabulary. You are, in fact, directing what they learn.” Alison says the key is to be intentional and to aim high. Children are learning faster and are capable of so much more than many of us expect. “Take part in to-and-fro talking, singing, storytelling – talk-accompanied playing and doing are all critically important if a child’s thinking and language is to flourish.” Different families and communities will have a range of approaches that fit their language, culture, values and their circumstances. It is important to speak to them in their heritage language. “If possible, introduce a second language to your little one,” Alison suggests. “Bilingual

babies have bigger brains – they will be at an advantage as they grow if they can speak and understand more than one language.” Alison says that if you want to tune in to your children – start with what holds their interest and follow their lead. “Talk more often – talk with them for longer and encourage them to talk to you; describe everyday things and everyday objects. Chat to them about what you and they are doing. Every moment is potentially a talking moment.”

Alison’s tips for a language-rich home Gift your children 'juicy' new words – expand on the words they know. If the word seems too hard, use it and explain, rather than avoid it. Encourage your child to talk and take turns – backand-forth conversations make a big difference and help your child to feel as though their opinions are valued. To really develop their brains, children have to participate and contribute as well as listen. Ask fewer questions – questions don't add knowledge.

Gift additional words to build children's understanding of ideas and concepts. Talk to them – praise their efforts and learn to relate to their interests; expand and talk everywhere. This is simple, free and easy. You have the power to make a real difference. Read books every day – the language in books is different from everyday conversation and expands their understanding of the world. It is never too early to read to babies. Books also help build the bond between child and reader and help the child get ready for reading when they are older. Sign songs and waiata – whether it is a lullaby to soothe a fussy baby or a lively action song with enthusiastic toddlers, surround our children with song. It will help to teach vocabulary and communication skills. And it is fun! Limit digital media – don’t let the TV or smart device become a babysitter. No device can substitute for human interaction. Article by Leigh Bredenkamp

Say Goodbye to Baby Woes! Up to 70% of babies suffer the distress of gas and gastric discomfort. Colic Calm & Tummy Calm is an all natural allergen free homoeopathic formula that provides rapid and effective relief. Works even in the toughest cases! Soothing support for Wind | Colic | Upset Stomach Available nationwide from selected pharmacies Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your health professional. TAPS: PP1133 The magazine of Parents Centre

For more information and a stockist near you, visit


Talk over time It’s never too early to talk, read and sing with your little one. Here is some information about how children learn to communicate as they grow.



Two years

Birth to two months Your baby will be born ready to communicate Turns head towards sounds



Coos and makes sounds


Four months B abbles with expression and copies sounds they hear

Tip: Share your family’s stories, songs/ waiata and poems and give your child space to join in.



Tip: Interpret the sounds your tamariki make and respond with loving touch and words.





Tip: Give your tamariki plenty of time to speak. Focus on what they’re saying, not how they are saying it.



Nine months

Twelve months Uses simple gestures like shaking head ‘no’ or waving ‘bye bye’ Tries to say the words you say Tip: Describe everyday routines – listen and respond to their communication attempts.


Eighteen months Starts to use lots of common words – e.g. ‘milk’, ‘teddy’, ‘more’ Understands simple phrases – e.g. ‘where’s your drink?’, ‘shoes on’.

A sks a lot of what, where and why questions to find out new information

Tip: Talk with your child about exciting things that have happened to them when you weren’t there. Also talk about exciting things that are going to happen, to encourage talking about the future. Let your child choose books to share with you.

Tip: Describe what your baby is looking at – e.g. ‘red, round ball’.


Four years

E njoys simple jokes – even though their jokes may not make sense to you

Understands ‘no’ M akes a lot of different sounds – e.g. ‘mamamama’ and ‘babababa’


Follows instructions with two or three steps

C arries a conversation using two to three sentences

Takes part in to-and-fro interactions by making sounds

Tip: Read books to your baby every day.

Three years

T alks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time

Six months

Responds to their name

S ays sentences with two to four words Follows simple instructions

Tip: Respond to your baby’s first smiles and gurgles – they are talking to you and want you to talk too!


P oints to things or pictures when named



Five years U nderstands and uses more concept words such as ‘tallest’, ‘same’, bigger’, ‘medium’ Generally uses complete sentences I s able to take turns in much longer conversations Tip: Look for opportunities to increase the number of different words your child uses, particularly around new experiences. Try to use a wide range of naming and describing words. 

Tip: Sing and do the actions for action songs and waiata.

Find out more 20


Need help installing your child restraint? We know installing a child restraint isn’t the easiest thing to do, so we’ve created a series of videos to show you how to correctly install your child restraint and fit your child in it properly. Videos are FREE and available online:

DID YOU KNOW – Child under 7 years old? Must legally be in a child restraint – Child under 2 years old? Best practice says keep them in a rear-facing child restraint – Child over the age of 7 but under 148cm tall? Best practice says keep them in a child restraint – The type of child restraint to be used depends on the age, height and weight of your child.

FOR MORE HELP Always follow the instruction manual that came with your child restraint Contact a child restraint technician. You can find a list of registered technicians in your area here The magazine of Parents Centre 21



Arana Dulcie Teitei Wairau. Photo Š Kirianna Winiata.


to our culture My name is Loralee, I am of Pa-keha heritage. My husband’s name is Te iwingaro. He is New Zealand Ma-ori. We had always discussed that raising our children with a strong connection to their Ma-ori identity was going to be very important to us as a wha-nau. - rana, is connected to Our daughter, A several iwi through her whakapapa, she can whakapapa back to Nga-i Ta-manuhiri, Rongomaiwahine and Nga-i Tahu. - rana’s full name is A - rana Dulcie A Teitei Wairau. She was named after her grandfather (my father). I was pregnant with her when he died of cancer and she unfortunately never got to meet him. My father was a very important person in my life and I wanted her to be named after him. His name was Allan. We also wanted for her to have a Ma-ori name, - rana – which is why her name is A the Ma-ori name for Allan. Although - rana is traditionally a name for A tama (boys) we felt it was the perfect name for our wee girl. Dulcie is the only part of her name that is in te reo pa-keha. Dulcie was the name my father always called me. He never referred to me as

Ko Loralee toku ingoa, ko pakeha ahau. Ko Te iwingaro ta-ku hoa rangatira. Ko Wairau ma-ua ingoa wha-nau.

Loralee. So this was another taonga - rana, to honour I wanted to give A my father. The Teitei name is from Te’s side of the family. Teitei is the name - rana’s Tı-puna. She was a of A strong-willed woman who was a chief’s daughter. The Teitei name is important among the women - rana’s whakapapa. in A I work for Oranga Tamariki, so not only was it important for my wha-nau but also for my mahi that I learn more about Ma-ori culture and te reo.

Te iwingaro is a teacher at Haeata Community Campus and is a role model for many Ma-ori youth in the community. - rana was born, we chose When A to use the traditional Ma-ori way of tying the umbilical cord. Muka ties have been used in traditional Ma-ori families for centuries. Te’s job was to get the muka (striped flax) from the garden and and when she was born, he hand-tied the umbilical cord with it himself.

Learning te reo together - rana was just six weeks When A old, we started learning te reo through Te Wa-nanga o Aotearoa. I had one three-hour class every - rana came with me week and A to all the classes as I was breastfeeding her. She also attended the weekend Wa-nanga with me and the Noho Marae stays. I am now completing level five in te reo Ma-ori with Te Wa-nanga o Aotearoa and Te has also been a student of Te Wa-nanga o Aotearoa. He is currently studying his Masters degree in Indigenous Studies through Te Whare Wananga, specialising in Hauora (Ma-ori wellbeing). We all try to ko-rero in te reo as much as we can every day. We are still learning and are not yet fluent.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


- rana attends a bilingual preschool A called No-ku te Ao. She has been a student there since she was just - rana learns to eight months old. A speak te reo at Noku te Ao and she has achieved a number of certificates for her progression in her reo. We want her to be fluent in both te reo and English. - rana loves to waiata in te reo. A In the lead-up to Matariki, No-ku te Ao teaches the students all about - rana likes the legends of Matariki. A to waiata the names of all the stars, in a song she learned at No-ku te Ao. She learns about tending the mara (garden) and each student gets a little plant.

Celebrating Matariki As a wha-nau we celebrate Matariki by joining our Ma-ori community as much as possible. Our community have celebrations, where everyone comes together for waiata, haka, hangi and to celebrate the new year. - rana have attended the Te and A local festivals every year together. - rana and her Pa-pa- often spend A time in the garden at this time of - rana year learning about planting. A partcularly loves to pick the cherry tomatoes from the garden when they have grown ripe. We have many pukapuka (books) - rana in te reo and I will read to A in te reo every night before sleep. - rana also likes to watch Dora A Matatoa (which is Dora the Explorer dubbed in te reo Ma-ori on Ma-ori television). - rana to learn about We encourage A the tikanga of our whare also. For example, She knows not to noho (sit) on the te-pu (table) and not to - rana wear her hu- (shoes) inside. A knows how to introduce herself in te reo. - rana’s Koro and We have photos of A other Tı puna hanging in the home, - rana has learned “ko wai?” and A She knows who they all are and we want her to know their importance to her and her whakapapa as she grows up.  Article by Loralee Pope



Photo © Kirianna Winiata

YOU’VE PUSHED YOUR BODY TO THE LIMITS… Involuntary loss of urine is a common occurrence that many women experience some time during and after their pregnancy. The good news is that your pregnancy incontinence is likely to be temporary and is entirely manageable. POISE® Products are designed to help you through. You got this. You got Poise.

FREE sample at

Trademarks of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. or its affiliates. ©KCWW

you got

The magazine of Parents Centre


During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth Papatu-a-nuku. Throughout Matariki we learn about those who came before us. Our history. Our family. Our land.

Matariki Putting wha-nau at the heart of celebrations

Matariki signals growth. It’s a time of change, a time to prepare, and a time of action. It is a time when we acknowledge what we have and what we can give. It celebrates our diversity of life – culture, language, spirit and people. Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year.

Explore the outdoors Matariki is a time to learn about the natural world. Wrap up warm on a clear night and look up at the stars – see if you can find Matariki. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood and get to know the names of its streams, rivers and trees. Listen to the birds and see if you can name them. You can also create an edible garden. Growing your own veggies, fruit or herbs is simple and satisfying. It’s a fun way to keep active, eat well and learn about seasonality. You may be able to offer some helping hands at a community garden in your area. D evelop a recycling plan for your home, school or local area. L earn the names of the trees and plants in local forests and reserves. Learn which plants you can eat, and which help to heal. D raw up a plan for a spring garden and start to gather the seeds and seedlings. Plant native trees and shrubs.

Learn your whakapapa (genealogy) Matariki is a time to learn about your wha-nau and a time to remember those who have passed on from this world to the next. A focus on our whakapapa gives us a better understanding of who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. It is also a great way to bring wha-nau together to share stories and knowledge.



Start your own whakapapa chart or book. O rganise time to bring grandparents and grandchildren together to share stories. Record oral histories on tape or video. L ight a candle to remember loved ones who have passed away, or to farewell unwanted memories. C lear the weeds from wha-nau graves and tidy up the cemetery.

Did you know? In Ma-ori Mata Riki means tiny eyes and Mata Ariki means eyes of God. Traditionally, the visibility of Matariki determined the coming season’s crop. The brighter the stars, the warmer the season and therefore a more productive crop. It is still seen as an important time for the family to gather and reflect on the past and the future.

O rganise an iwi, hapu- or wha-nau gathering to learn whakapapa.

Takoha (gift or donation) Matariki falls at the end of the harvest and was therefore a time of plenty. The kumara and other root foods had been gathered. With the migration of fish such as moki and korokoro, Matariki was a time for bountiful catches. Other foods had been preserved and the stores were full, so it was a time to share and present offerings to others. Prepare a gift for the needy in your community. F ind something you can spare and give it away to somebody who needs it. Volunteer your time to a project. Gift something to your community or to a stranger. D o something for somebody who will not be able to do it for themselves. D evelop a gifting plan with your community for your marae or community group.

It is important for children to learn the skill of cooking. During Matariki, tribal traditions and teachings were traditionally passed from one generation to the next. Now is a great time to get together with children and teach them to prepare recipes that have been passed down as favourites in your family.

Get involved People gathered together during Matariki to survive the winter months. Many events that take place throughout Matariki such as kite-making, storytelling, dance performances, arts and crafts. Keep an eye out for events in your community and enjoy spending time with your wha-nau and friends. M ake a wish for the new year when you see the new moon. Call wha-nau and friends together to see the new moon and celebrate the new year. Organise a concert for the Matariki new year.

Give to a charity organisation or a sports club.

Hold a dance or throw a party.

D onate some food from your shopping to the foodbank.

P repare a feast to farewell the old year and see in the new one.

Enjoy a mid-winter feast with friends and wha-nau Traditionally, Matariki is a time to share kai from the pa-taka, the storehouse, harvested from past seasons. It’s too cold for planting, so it’s a time to relax, feast, and enjoy good company. Acknowledge the value of healthy kai as a taonga for achieving well-being. Try your hand at cooking with traditional vegetables include ku-mara, taewa (Ma-ori potatoes), kamo kamo, taro, puha and uwhi (yam).

Build a kite and fly it on the first day of the new year. 

Organise a neighbourhood ritual Come together with your community for a Matariki ritual that uses fire and warmth, food, reflection, hopes and dreams, stories, nature, and games.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Fussy Eaters

Ways to inspire young palates

I remember chatting with a friend a few years ago. She likened feeding her toddler to psychological warfare. She set the scene of her and her 3-year-old son eyeballing each other as they unblinkingly passed a cherry tomato back and forth across the table. She lost the battle (daily) but eventually won the war. One day she gave her son a cherry tomato and he just popped it into his mouth and that was that. She shrieked and jumped around like a madwoman, while her son, who had forgotten about not liking tomatoes, didn’t get what the excitement was about. You can’t help but laugh, as it’s every parent’s story, and it almost makes you wonder if fussiness is some form of ‘rite of passage’ for toddlers. Children decide to turn away food for reasons that span from the sublime to the ridiculous – like the cucumber touching the carrot, or that you used the yellow plate and not the green plate (apart from Tuesdays as then it’s the other way around). It can be frustrating, amusing and bewildering at the same time. It can also be stressful, especially if the behaviour persists for a prolonged period and you become unsure if your children are getting

enough nutrients. Teaching your children to appreciate and enjoy wholesome food is arguably one of the most important jobs you as a parent have when preparing them for a healthy future. However, when us parents struggle to find the time to cook meals from scratch during the week, it's tempting to fall back on processed snacks or meals that you know your child will eat. This is further compounded when their little taste buds adapt very quickly to additives like salt, sugar and artificial flavours – which in turn can lead to rejection of real food. Children, like adults, can tend to prefer processed foods

Continued overleaf... 28


The magazine of Parents Centre


15% OFF To give it a go, we’re giving readers of Kiwiparent 15% off their first order. Just enter promocode “Kiwi15” when you order your first meals from

once they get used to them. This is because they have higher quantities of sodium and sugar to create more flavour. Manufacturers also use food additives to improve texture, colour and flavour to make their products more appealing, which again sends us on a path away from what real food should taste like. So why do we as parents tend towards buying processed foods and snacks? Because it is convenient! Because we don’t have time to bake for hours every week! Because we are juggling a hundred things at once and have to grab food on the way out of the door to the playground. Because they are often cheap, and this is a very expensive time in our lives. Because some manufacturers make us believe the foods are healthy when they aren’t. The most important thing to remember in all of this is that although children quickly get used to processed flavours, this can be reversed. Children can also be taught to understand what is healthy and what isn’t, what is good for them and what is not so good for them. Therefore – even though navigating the fussy behaviour can be tough and challenging – I want to help you maintain your perseverance



by giving you seven tips to help you through the fussy stage.

Start by making it easier for yourself My top tip is to have easy and simple wholefoods ready to go. The following are all foods that can be prepared quickly (or just grabbed on the way out): Chopped fresh fruit Nuts and seeds (but be mindful when serving this to younger children) Boiled eggs

wholefoods. Some good examples that have worked for me are ‘strong like your daddy’, ‘fast like a cheetah’ or ‘as smart as an astronaut’. Explain that they need to eat healthy foods if they want to grow big and strong like their heroes.

Set it straight Explain what healthy foods are and aren’t. Explain that the less healthy foods like chips and lollies don’t make you big and strong. Ask your children what they think of different foods and get them to identify if they are healthy or not.

Avocado on thin pieces of bread Sliced veggies & hummus A few Tot’s Pantry meals in the freezer for when you’re short of time and your children are hangry!

Set clear rules around mealtimes and stick to them. Such as:

Find a common goal

N o snacks for an hour before mealtime. If they complain they are hungry we can explain that it is ok to feel a bit hungry before a meal.

Like the rest of us, when something seems a bit hard and you’d rather not do it, finding some good motivation is a terrific strategy. Use something or someone that your child aspires to be as key inspiration for them to eat

T here is no alternative. That is their dinner, and if they won’t eat it, that is fine but there is nothing else (we don’t want to force foods and risk negative associations).

Free expert sleep advice & New Zealand’s best infant sleep & parenting essentials to help your baby sleep. Shop our online store today.

Crane humidifiers & Marpac white noise

Walk the talk If you follow a good and healthy diet, your children will be way more inclined to eat healthier foods. If they are turning their nose up at some food, make a fuss about how delicious you think it is. Feel free to say that all their heroes also love this food, and then stand up and tell them how big and strong that food just made you.

Junior MasterChef Involve your children in the cooking and prep, or at least the fun parts of it. Children usually love helping out and feeling like you need their assistance. This also gives them ownership of the food that’s being served. Be warned, things will get very messy. Just keep reminding yourself that this is great for their food journey so a little bit (hah!) of extra cleaning will be worth it.

Have fun with food Present food in a funny and cute way that will help capture the interest of your children. Make their initials out of peas, or a smiley face with the food on their plate. Cut the veggies into fun shapes. Carrots can turn into a lion and cucumbers can easily be a snake! We don’t want

to rely on this being a standard but every now and again it is fun to do.

Don’t give up Keep offering your children foods. Just because they turn something away once, doesn’t mean they won’t ever eat it. Also, don’t assume that your children won’t like certain foods. My daughter Charlotte loves pickled onions and sauerkraut! Even the most unexpected foods can be enjoyed, don’t be afraid to give it a go! Lastly, don’t blame yourself if your children aren’t interested in a certain food for a while – you are doing a great job! If you try some of these tips I’m confident you’ll see a change in the way your fussy eaters approach their meals. I probably don’t have to mention all the research that points to the benefits of wholefoods for growing bodies, but let that serve as an inspiration to persevere with your quest to expand your children’s palate – not a prompt to feel guilty. We are all busy, and for the days that you don’t have time to prepare meals, know that having Tot’s Pantry’s meals in your freezer is a good solution. I make them just as you would in your own kitchen, no preservatives or food additives, just wholesome goodness that only takes minutes to heat up.

Continued overleaf...

100% Merino onesies blankets & sleepsacks

Specialist range of carriers & accessories

Award-winning bedding & sheets

GET YOUR FREE eBOOK Get our 68-page Guide to Newborn Sleep free, use code FREESLEEP. Just one of our Parents Centre members exclusive discounts available now at The Sleep Store, flip to the inside front cover for info.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese



Our range of meals are simple and beautifully made for children. One recipe in particular – our Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese has been designed specifically for the fussiest of monkeys. The sauce is silky smooth and there is not a veggie to be seen (but they are there ;)) We are very happy to share our recipe with Kiwiparent readers.

1. Heat the oil in a pan and add chopped onion and garlic. Saute for a few mins until soft but not brown.

3 eggs

2. Add the cauliflower, carrot, parsnip, veg stock and milk. Cook until veggies are almost soft.

1–2 spring onions, finely diced

3. Cook the macaroni as per packet instructions, drain and set aside.

1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

This quantity makes 5 Tot’s Pantry meals, so you can pop some in the freezer for another night.

Ingredients 5ml Grapeseed Oil 30g onion 1 clove garlic 150g cauliflower florets


1. Preheat the grill to 200 degrees Celsius.

6. Add grated cheese and stir through until it has all melted.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add grated cheese, veg and raisins (if using). Stir through the paprika.

7. Stir the sauce through the pasta and serve.

35g drained and rinsed cannellini beans

This was my go-to when I was back at work and bringing my son James home at 5pm after a full day at daycare. I was in my first trimester with Charlotte and we would both come home dog-tired and very cranky! This omelette is ready in less than 10 minutes but was always happily eaten by James.

150g macaroni pasta

For 2 serves (mum and toddler).


25g raisins (optional)

5. Use a stick blender to make the sauce super smooth.

25g parsnip

225ml veg stock

pinch of paprika


Quick Frittata for kids

50g cheese (we use Colby)

½ courgette grated

4. Add the beans to the sauce and cook for a further 5 mins.

65g carrot

100ml milk

100g cheese (we use Colby for its mild taste)

3. Heat oil in a medium/small frying pan and gently fry the spring onions for a couple of minutes until softened. 4. Pour in egg mixture and cook gently until the base has set. 5. Place under the grill and cook for a few more minutes until the top is golden and set. 6. Slice into wedges and serve with salad veggies or broccoli and peas.

Kumara and chocolate bliss balls I often have a batch of bliss balls in my freezer ready to drop in a lunchbox or have as a snack. I always look to add veggies to as much as possible, so I love this recipe, as do my children. Makes about 30 bliss balls:

Ingredients 1 cup orange kumara, peeled, diced and boiled until soft 1 cup dates 1 cup shredded coconut 1 cup peanuts 1/4 cup cocoa powder zest of 1 orange 1 tablespoon orange juice 1 teaspoon cinnamon You can use extra coconut for rolling the balls at the end, but I find that my children don’t go for that, so I leave it out.

Method 1. Put all ingredients into a food processor. 2. B litz until combined (pushing the mixture down occasionally if it sticks). 3. U sing a tablespoon, roll the mixture into small balls. Wet hands make this much easier. 4. Roll balls in coconut to coat (optional) 5. C hill in the fridge for at least half an hour before eating, or freeze and allow to defrost before eating.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Ways to re-educate children to enjoy non processed foods Turn it into a rule to never order children’s meals as they tend to be deep-fried and not include veggies. Get a normal meal instead and split it between your children or ask for a smaller serve. I ntroduce your children to the joy of sharing food by making platters of fruit, veggie sticks and hummus for when they have friends over. Seeing their friends eating the food will serve as encouragement. T ry not to give them snacks that come in a wrapping. Keep it simple and give them fruit, nuts and veggies as snacks for their lunchbox. I nclude them as much as you can in the cooking, preparing (and even growing) of food as it will make them more appreciative of what’s being served. L astly, keep it positive. Focus on what’s good about wholefoods and how it will make them big and strong! 

Catherine Henderson Catherine is the founder of Tot’s Pantry and a busy mum of 2 young children. She knows how challenging the fussy phase can be, and she knows how much pressure mums put on themselves. This is why she developed Tot's Pantry meals: to give busy parents a great alternative to processed meals, and something they can serve their children without feeling guilty. She is qualified in childhood diet and nutrition so understands what growing bodies need to thrive. Tot’s Pantry has been going for 3 years and is fast becoming NZ’s go-to brand for healthy kids meals.



More comfort, more milk When you are comfortable and relaxed your milk flows more easily. Our breast pumps are designed so you can sit comfortably, with no need to lean forward. Our silky, soft massage cushion stimulates your milk flow mimicking baby’s suckling.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Your right to

feed your baby




Breastfeeding in public It seems that there is widespread support in New Zealand for breastfeeding in public. A study out of the University of Auckland published at the end of last year found that most Kiwis – an impressive 75 per cent in fact – were positive on the topic. Using the nationwide New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study, a team of researchers led by Yanshu Huang found only a small minority – 5 per cent – opposed breastfeeding in public, with men more likely to be opposed. "There hasn't been much research conducted in New Zealand until now when it comes to people's attitudes to public breastfeeding,” says Yanshu. “It's quite important to know how the public view breastfeeding in general." In New Zealand, about threequarters of newborns are breastfed from birth, however, that figure drops below 60 per cent by three months of age. This, coupled with an existing lack of data, inspired the research team to find out whether social attitudes played a role in creating a barrier to breastfeeding in public. While this was the first time such a large number of Kiwis had been surveyed on the topic – 19,000 in total – Yanshu said there had been previous studies focused on the experiences of Kiwi women. "In the past, there have been studies that have looked at mothers' experiences in terms of breastfeeding in public. These papers have suggested that women experience embarrassment with public breastfeeding. I think we need more research in terms

of women's actual experiences of breastfeeding in public." Study participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement "women should avoid breastfeeding in public" using a scale of one to seven.


"Our results were comparable to similar Western nations in terms of support for breastfeeding in public," Yanshu said. Along with her research team, she recommended that future public health initiatives continued to work towards fostering support for women who choose to breastfeed in public.

Understanding your rights as a breastfeeding mother Breastfeeding discrimination is illegal in New Zealand If you are treated unfairly because you are breastfeeding or expressing breast milk, it is a form of sex discrimination under the Human Rights Act. The Act says it is illegal for someone to stop you breastfeeding at work, where you are studying, on public transport, in government departments, in public places, and in restaurants and shops. The Human Rights Act lists all the areas of public life where your right to breastfeed and express milk is protected.

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!

Stopping a woman from breastfeeding at work is against the law You have the right to breastfeed your child or express breast milk at work. Your employer and you

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


should find ways you can do your job and have regular breaks to express milk or breastfeed. While there is no specific New Zealand law that says your employer has to pay for breastfeeding breaks, international labour standards say breastfeeding breaks at work should be paid.

What you can do if you have been discriminated against W rite down the time, place, and the name of the person who discriminated against you because you were breastfeeding or expressing milk. T alk it over with someone you trust, to help you decide what you want to do. E xplain that it is your right to breastfeed your child and to express breast milk. I f it happened at work, discuss the problem with your manager, a human resources person, your union delegate or someone else who can help solve the problem. Suggest ways that



your employer can support you to do your job while you are breastfeeding. R ead the Department of Labour’s guidelines for employers. C ontact the Human Rights Commission to get more information about your rights and to make a complaint about discrimination.

If you decide to lay a complaint If you decide to make a complaint of discrimination with the Human Rights Commission, you will be offered free help which may include:

Apologise N ot discriminate against people because of breastfeeding in the future C omplete a training or education programme C ompensate you for hurt feelings and/or losses Provide a reference D evelop, or review, workplace policy and practice to support breastfeeding at work. 

Find out more

A dvice on how to resolve the situation yourself

Human Rights Commission

Information about your rights

0800 4 YOUR RIGHTS (0800 496 877)

Informal intervention M ediation – this may involve letters, phone calls, or meetings. This support may help to solve the problem. For example, the person who discriminated against you may agree to:

Department of Labour 0800 800 863

In this section Conference 2019 Celebrating success ‘Conscious Parenting Programmes’

Conference 2019 – Enriching the first 1,000 days In early May, Parents Centre brought together volunteers and childbirth educators from Centres across the country for our National Conference. This two-day event in Wellington was themed ‘Enriching the First 1,000 Days’ and included speakers who are leaders in research and knowledge about this topic. Our audience were captivated!

“Great speakers, lovely to learn new stuff, reiterate learning of old stuff, catch up with old friends, put faces to people who were previously just names. What a great organisation we are – go us!” – Julia Oldroyd, CBE

We would not have been able to host this conference without the support of our amazing sponsors – we are sincerely grateful for their generosity and commitment to parents in New Zealand:

Parents Centre has been around for 67 years, and as a national organisation with 46 Centres spread from Whangarei to Balclutha and Gore, it was important – not to mention loads of fun – to bring our organisation together. This conference gave volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills, better understand their roles, and to support, nurture and enrich the amazing work our volunteers do in their communities. Volunteering brings huge rewards and Parents Centre volunteers join their local committee to give back to their community, to share experiences, add value, learn new skills, and most of all to have fun! It was so important for members to have this conference to network with other Centres and attendees, to reignite their passion and connect as a national organisation. Our volunteers are an incredible breed of dedicated and passionate parents and Parents Centre continues to thrive today because of these hard-working, inspiring people.

2019 Parents Centre National Conference made possible with generous support from

We hope you enjoy reading about our Conference and join with us in celebrating the well-deserved winners of the awards! 

The magazine of Parents Centre


From the moment of birth, experiences interact with our genes to switch on new connections in the brain. Each different sensory experience modifies the thousands of surrounding neurons and this is how our baby’s brain becomes wired.

Enriching the first 1,000 days Conference 2019 offered plenary sessions for both volunteers and childbirth educators (CBEs) to attend, followed by breakout sessions, where the volunteers upskilled in areas such as marketing, finance, grants and partnerships. CBEs had more antenatal topic-specific workshops around topics such as maternal and baby sleep, babies' amazing brains, critiquing good research, home birthing, maternal well-being and pelvic health. It is important that CBEs regularly receive quality upto-date, robust research and information so they can disseminate these messages to families in our classes. This ensures information is consistent across the organisation and complements messages they receive from their midwives. In the evening, we transformed into Star Wars characters for our gala dinner! Being the 4th of May, we decided on a ‘may the force be with you’ Star Wars theme where we reached for the stars to celebrate success with the 2019 Parents Centre Awards – read more about these on page 42. After the formalities, we threw on our dancing shoes, let our hair down and boogied to the fabulous sounds of Retro Diva.



Why the first 1,000 days? Parents Centre is particularly passionate about the first 1,000 days. Understanding the importance of this period can have an enormously positive impact on future generations. How a baby is nurtured, responded to and loved during their first 1,000 days from conception, has been wellresearched and documented as having a profound and significant effect on the remainder of the child’s life. In healthy families where babies have warm, supportive and responsive interactions, little ones thrive and learn that they can count on family to provide a healthy and safe environment. They feel safe, secure and settled. If a young child is surrounded by anger and aggression, and the relationship is neglectful, unsupportive and uncaring, the baby tends to be more vulnerable to poor mental and physical health outcomes into adulthood.

“Just wanted to say what an awesome weekend Dunedin Parents Centre had. We learned a heap of stuff to take back to our centre and was nice to put some faces to names. Thank you so much to Parents Centre for putting this all together for us, I feel it was much needed!” – Gemma Todd

Encouraging and empowering parents to be confident in their parenting skills and abilities so that they trust their instincts and respond sensitively and appropriately to their babies, supports a strong and healthy parentchild relationship. The quality of the relationships with parents and caregivers, especially in the early years, are key drivers that influence us for the rest of our lives, both in terms of our sense of self-worth and in our relationships with others. The most rapid development humans encounter throughout their life is in the first 1,000 days. This is a critical window for learning to see, talk, walk, think and develop empathy. Research has shown that spending time with your baby and child, having oneon-one uninterrupted time together to talk, explore, and interact, makes a huge difference to the child’s IQ at age three. At Parents Centre we are in a privileged position to meet parents at the very beginning of their parenting journey. Providing quality information and encouraging parents to make an informed decision gives Parents Centre huge pride, as we help to shape New Zealand’s future. 

What the delegates had to say:

“Lovely and inspiring to meet so many motivated, knowledgeable and generous hearted people. Thank you for all the efforts to put it on” “Thanks for your passion and engagement for the good of the organisation. I feel much more comfortable that you are concerned for the grassroots and working to upscale skills of volunteers” “Such an amazing conference! Thank you! Every speaker was brilliant. Being surrounded by such amazing women on mass has been incredible.”

The magazine of Parents Centre


Gore Parents Centre

Parents Centre national conference awards Volunteers make New Zealand what it is. The contribution each and every one makes by being part of Parents Centres has a significant impact on strengthening their local communities. Each year, we recognise individuals and Centres who have made an outstanding contribution in their areas. The following winners were selected from an outstanding field of national volunteers and Childbirth Educators. Cheryl Macaulay Board award – Gore Parents Centre Chosen by Parents Centre Board

Sponsored by Huggies

This rural Centre has a big heart. Gore has a small but capable committee who work tirelessly to be proactive in their community. They are so dynamic that people travel up to an hour from rural areas with young babies to be there. They are an amazing representation of what a Parents Centre is in the community and have a very high profile.

Daniel is well known to many and always ready to pop up on Facebook to share an idea, suggest an answer or a process or a joke. Daniel understands what Parents Centre stands for and understands about being part of a national organisation. He has a ‘can-do’ attitude and a reaffirming, reassuring manner. Daniel’s flair for technology has created some awesome IT solutions and shortcuts for Centres.

Childbirth Educator of the Year – Nikki Power

Volunteer of the Year – Gemma Todd

Sponsored by The Baby Factory

Sponsored by Baby on the Move

Nikki is about to enter her 25th year of facilitating classes for Parents Centre. She has integrity and credibility as well as being humble, modest and unassuming, and is the perfect recipient for this award.

As well as the role of President, Gemma has held many roles across the Centre. She went through the redevelopment of the Centre’s Toy Library, steps in to cover CBE administrative tasks, looks after Parent Education classes, started a playgroup, and recruits new committee members. She has been the driving force behind this Centre to keep it running.

Childbirth Educator of the Year – Tania North Sponsored by The Baby Factory Three different Centres have said that Tania is funny, engaging and her feedback is fantastic. She has been fully immersed in her Centre as a committee member and the Centres said they would be lost without her. Tania fills in when people are away or when a Centre needs a CBE, she facilitates Baby and You classes and is influential in forming life-saving Parents Centre coffee groups.


Volunteer of the Year – Daniel Mapletoft


Centre of the Year – Bays North Harbour Sponsored by Phillips Avent This Centre runs like a well-oiled machine. The committee has a real passion for families, supporting them and ensuring their Centre helps them along their parenting journey. The community know that they are there to support them and are just an email or phone call away. 

Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centres renowned parent education programmes.

This month the spotlight is on:

‘Conscious Parenting Programmes’ How we approach parenting may very well determine how our children ‘turn out’. We all consider at times how we would like our children to be as adults. It takes a bit of thinking and action on our part. As parents we must give some conscious thought to how we react in certain scenarios, how our behaviour impacts on our little ones, and how we can effectively communicate with our children in a way which doesn’t result in negative behaviour.

Magic Moments A three-week programme focusing on: Communication with children Engaging and co-operation with children Disciplinary techniques Routine and structure Understanding children’s expressions of feelings

Parents Centre runs two Conscious Parenting Programmes – Parenting With Purpose and Magic Moments. These parent education programmes are designed to give Kiwi parents techniques and insights on how to parent in a conscious way.

Might you want to become a facilitator of Parents Centre’s Conscious Parenting Programmes? Visit our website to find out more about facilitation training and opportunities through Parents Centre. 

Parenting With Purpose

A 12-hour programme designed to give parents an understanding of some of the following: U nderstanding the causes of stress in adults and children and identifying useful strategies for reducing these Strategies to engage children’s participation T he differences between positive discipline and punishment

“Parenting with Purpose has been invaluable as it makes us think about how and why we parent. There are many new things to learn and new ways to approach different situations.” – Christchurch parent “Group discussions and sharing is such a valuable part of this course.” – Auckland parent

Encouraging self-esteem

The magazine of Parents Centre


Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 46 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 Whanga-rei Waitemata Bays North Harbour Hibiscus Coast - newa O

Bay of Plenty Tauranga Whakata-ne Rotorua TaupoTaranaki

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


Waikato Cambridge

Wellington Ka-piti


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 46 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



& Kindness

As Salaam Alaikum / Peace be unto you 46


My name is Niki, that is the name my mum and dad gave me when I was born. My name is also Aiysha, which is the name I chose for myself when I became Muslim over ten years ago. My husband’s name is Aiyaz, and his parents and extended family live in Christchurch. We are the parents to Laith (whose teacher is Whaea Carole), and Malih (whose teacher is Ms Kansas). On Friday March 15, 2019, Laith and Malih’s Dada (grandfather) was in the mosque on Deans Ave, at prayer, when the man came in and started shooting. He survived and escaped, and we know we are very lucky to have him still with us. I asked to talk to you so I could say thank you on behalf of my family. All your support has been amazing and has made this time a little more bearable. My family wants you to know how much we have appreciated all your efforts. Every text, email, message and smile is noticed. You are noticed and you are all special to us for the aroha you have given. And now my family wants you to know that we return that aroha. We promise now to keep you safe, to stand up for you, to shelter you in your time of need. We are you and you are us and all of New Zealand hurts together.

Learn to use your superpower Our Prime Minister has said compassion is our only way forward. Now we all ask, “What more can we do?” My family believe what we need to do now is live every day with kindness. Kindness is our superpower and we need to use our superpower every day to keep out the darkness. We want you to gather all of the compassion and kindness you have given our Muslim people and now

But it is vital that we learn how to share these thoughts and feelings without using mean words or hurting hands.

When you clean your teeth before bed each night, look in the mirror and send that kindness so it bounces off the mirror and covers you.

And finally, the most important person you need to use your superpower on is yourself. We want you to gather up all your kindness you have given others during the day and bring it back to you to recharge. So, when you clean your teeth before bed each night, look in the mirror and send that kindness so it bounces off the mirror and covers you. We believe having a strong sense of kindness for yourself is key to being able to spread it wide and far each day to others.

As Salaam Alaikum May peace be with you spread that as wide as you can. Spread it to your family, your siblings your friends, your school and your community. It is OK to feel anger, disappointment, and jealousy. It is so good to be different and have your own opinions.

Thank you 

Niki Ismail Niki is a registered social worker who lives in Wellington with her husband Aiyaz and children Laith and Malih. She gave this speech to Laith and Malih’s school soon after the terrorist attack in Christchurch and we are grateful to have the opportunity to reprint it.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Healing the


Coping with trauma



Kia hora te marino Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana Kia tere te ka-rohirohi i mua i to- huarahi – May peace be widespread May the sea glisten like greenstone May the shimmer of light guide you on your way Our hearts go out to the many people who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, to the injured, to those who lost loved ones, and to all who witnessed the horror. Many of us are grappling with what has occurred. We are feeling shocked, sad, and disbelieving. Of course, our children and our babies are listening and watching too. They will be picking up on the stress their communities are feeling, and they will be closely observing the ways we all react, and what we do to cope. So, what is known about the ways in which children are affected by stress? How can we best meet

their needs? Children and young people have a range of feelings after a traumatic event, just as adults do. They might feel angry, sad, scared, worried or numb. Some children feel guilt or shame, even though they have no responsibility for what has happened. If this happens, adult reassurance that they are not responsible is helpful. It may seem obvious, but feelings and reactions will differ between different children, even if their experience has been similar. For example, two classmates in the school lockdown may have very different emotional responses. Neither will be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, just different. Of course, the way some children will react will be easier for adults to understand and handle than others.

The important role that parents and other adults play in supporting children in difficult times does not mean there is one ‘perfect’ or ‘right’ way of doing things. Being there and doing our best to support our children is more important than ‘getting it right.’ Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


The way in which children and young people are affected by trauma and its aftermath depends on many things. These include: T he extent to which children were exposed to the events, either by being directly involved, or watching the events online. T heir age. While people of any age can be affected, younger children are typically more vulnerable. H ow closely they are connected to what’s occurred, for example, were they or family members directly involved? T he way adults around them are feeling. T he way in which adults around them are coping. W hat other stressors they have been exposed to in their life, before and after the terror attacks. W hile not true in all cases, some children might act out or ‘externalise’ their distress, while others might become quieter and more withdrawn. Children benefit when parents and other adults can put aside their expectations of how a child ‘should’ feel and accept how each individual child does feel. Also, let’s remind ourselves that being told ‘Don’t worry’, ‘Cheer up’, or ‘Calm down’ has never really helped us, and is unlikely to help our children.

What should we look out for? While there are many ways children can show stress, these are a few common examples:




Join u and

D ifficulty concentrating or taking in new information. This may mean they are not doing as well on their school work as they usually do. D oing things that felt fairly easy prior to the trauma may take immense effort afterwards. Children may appear to lose skills they’ve previously mastered e.g. using the toilet.

benefits. It helps them be calm. It helps provide them with a sense of ‘connection’ to their parents. They need to know they’re important. Crucially, it’s often in these quieter and more relaxed times with parents that children may feel able to ask questions, share how they’re feeling, or ask for what they need.

Difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Children seek support in a variety of ways; sometimes this will be direct, such as saying “I’m really angry” or crying. With other children it will be subtler; perhaps they want to be physically close to their parents more often than they were before or want help with things they used to do by themselves.

C hanges to eating e.g. loss of appetite or eating more.

Play is their tool

It is important to note here that there may be no outward signs of stress, so that makes it difficult for all of us. At this time, we should spend time with and support children even if they are showing no signs of stress. The timing of people’s reactions to events can vary considerably. For some, their distress may be obvious very quickly; others may be taken by surprise by the strength of their reaction after some time has passed.

Spend time together and do things they enjoy Children of all ages need time with their parents and support people when they can have their full attention. Many adults will be seeking support and company at this time and children feel this need too, probably even more than adults. Hanging out together and doing things children enjoy has many

Children use play to work through what’s happened. Play is one way they make frightening events more manageable and understandable. It gives them an opportunity to express and process their experiences, feelings, worries and hopes. Let them play. Give them lots of time for unstructured play. Play with them, letting them lead the play.

Do they want to talk about it? It’s great when adults recognise when children do need comfort, or to talk about what’s happened and how they’re feeling, but it’s equally important to be able to see when a child has had enough, and to support them to move on when they’re ready. For example, children may talk or ask questions about what’s happened and then suddenly change the subject to “What’s for lunch?” or a game they want to play.

alth o ers e w a in h oth t i w s t benefi e Fre

Connect with parents at your stage, discuss with others, find local babysitting and coffee groups!

Access a wealth of helpful resources – TIPS, INFO, PRODUCT REVIEWS, CONTACTS, NEWS & more

Interact and ask questions, give answers, share your story or knowledge with forums.

Receive entry to prize draws, free product samples, plus relevant info emails through each stage.

Win $2500 over

ducts of pro

E n e r o n li n


Simply go online RATING EB


S mall daily events may lead to a much bigger reaction than would previously have been the case, e.g. responding angrily to friends or family. When we already feel under stress, we can seem to overreact.

e r a h S f

Continued overleaf...


The magazine of Parents Centre


under stress, and children feel this especially.

While this can take us by surprise, it probably means they have enough information or reassurance for now and are ready to move on to something else. For now. There is a lot for our young ones to process; they are likely to come back to it, over and over again. Let them decide when.

How are you feeling? The way adults are feeling themselves has an impact on the way children in their care adjust. Babies, children and young people pick up on the feelings of those around them, people such as parents, siblings, friends and teachers. Babies in particular are so much more aware of, and affected by, the way those caring for them are feeling than many people realise. Babies feel stress a great deal, as all is new and unknown to them, and this can be overwhelming. Babies and young children ‘outsource’ their calming down to those caring for them. If those adults are stressed, they need to be aware that their babies may also feel stressed and will need soothing. If children sense that the adults in their lives are struggling to cope they may not share their feelings, in order to avoid burdening their parents further. It is natural that adults, too, are struggling with these events. Where possible, having strong support – from family, friends, community members, and/or appropriate professionals



– will be helpful, not only for the parents' own health, but also to enhance their ability to care for their children. If children feel that adults are supported by others, they are more likely to seek support for themselves.

Understanding stress and the brain The stress response is essential to survival; it’s the way in which we deal with threat and is often known as our ‘fight or flight’ response. Under stress our bodies undergo a number of changes; heart rate and blood pressure increase, and various stress hormones are released, including cortisol. In order to have the energy to do all this, a number of other bodily systems that aren’t needed for immediate survival shut down. This includes our higher (more rational) cognitive functions. While the whole brain works together, many parts of the brain do have specific functions. When we are calm, the areas of the brain involved with our emotions work in a balanced way with those involved with our thinking. Under stress this balance changes, with the emotional parts ruling us more than the rational. We have all struggled to think rationally when we have been under stress, when we’ve been hurrying, or when we’ve been scared or anxious. We can all be ‘unreasonable’

Adults and children both have stress responses. However, adults’ higher brain functions are usually more established, which should enable them to better handle their emotional experience through reasoning. In children and young people, these functions are still developing. In fact, it’s not until our mid-twenties or thereabouts that we reliably access this part of the brain. As a result, babies, children, and teens facing threat or stress have fewer resources to draw on. Therefore, they need more support. In other words, the emotional parts of the brain are more likely to dominate, without the usual input from the more thinking parts. This is one of the reasons why children’s emotional reactions to traumatic events are likely to be stronger than adults, and why they can have greater difficulty handling their feelings. Both real and perceived threats can lead to the stress response. Even though the threat has passed, children may feel unsafe in other situations, triggering their stress response with all its effects on their brain and the rest of their body. Again, we have all experienced feeling ‘jittery’ and ‘on edge’ long after an actual threat has gone.

If they feel understood, they’ll be less stressed Sensitive caregiving actually helps children better regulate their stress hormone production. This means they are less likely to be adversely affected by ongoing exposure to higher stress hormone levels. It’s worth noting

He waka eke noa We are all in this together

though, this doesn’t mean children won’t still have some reaction to what’s occurred. It’s just that we can help them deal with it better. This can help them practise dealing with stress throughout their life.

Just be there and do your best The important role that parents and other adults play in supporting children in difficult times does not mean there is one ‘perfect’ or ‘right’ way of doing things. Being there and doing our best to support our children is more important, than ‘getting it right’.

Children’s ability to cope with both what is happening now and the extent to which they might be affected in the future depend on them having safe, supportive and dependable adults who can provide the support they need.

Get empowered peace-of-mind with your own copy of NZ’s No.1 best-selling Birth & Babies book since 2005!

This can be extremely hard when their parents, teachers or other important adults are themselves struggling to deal with what has occurred. Every single one of us have a role to play in contributing to an environment in which those affected have the opportunity to heal. 

Sue Younger

Feel Childbirth confidence with your own copy of my FREE download guide to Labour and Birth

Sue is a Brainwave Trustee. She is a writer and film-maker. Her first novel was published in 2016. She has directed a number of social documentaries on a wide range of topics, winning several awards. Sue makes many of the video clips used in Brainwave seminars.

Keryn O’Neill Keryn has a BA (Education & Psychology), MA (Psychology), and Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Psychology. She is passionate about the opportunity Brainwave provides to share evidence-based information about children’s needs during the very important early years. She loves the learning her role involves and then sharing her knowledge with others, both through writing and training opportunities.

Bit unsure of the difference between correctly dressing a 1-Day-Old versus a 1-Month-Old? Own the perfect award-winning organic merino outfit for your precious brand new Baby

The magazine of Parents Centre



& amazing



Last year, New Zealand welcomed the first quadruplets born here in 20 years. Quinn, Indie, Hudson and Molly were born at Christchurch Women's Hospital on August 15, at 28 weeks and four days, to Kendall and Josh MacDonald, and big brother three-year-old Brooklyn. Kendall shares her extraordinary birth story with us. After welcoming our first son in January 2015, I was very quick to say I was never going to do that again. It was traumatic to say the least, but we were also let down by people we trusted. On the eve of my induction date, 41+5 days, I finally went into labour. I went from zero to a hundred in a couple of hours, screaming in agony with contractions every minute. Our midwife was adamant I shouldn't go to hospital until I was 5 cm dilated, however I remained at 1 cm for hours. Against our midwife's wishes, we finally decided to go hospital, and soon after we arrived, we welcomed our son Brooklyn via emergency C-section – after his heart rate stopped and we were told to expect the worst. Everything combined – big baby, breach, past due date and so on should have been a clear indication that I should have had an earlier induction or an elective C-section, but our midwife believed everything would work out when the time came. As it turned out, everything did work out and Brooklyn was born healthy, but I hate to think what would've happened had we stayed at home and not taken our initiative and gone to hospital when we did. One week later, I became very ill very quickly. We asked our midwife to come around as we were told she was

Photos: Taken just before my C-section (left). All four babies snug in their double incubators after graduating from nicu, ready to be transferred to Timaru (Top).

our first point of contact for any problems regarding me or Brooklyn, but over the phone she prescribed antibiotics for mastitis. Late that afternoon, my husband asked her a couple more times to come around as my temperature had reached 41 degrees and I was delirious. She immediately sent me to hospital where they found my organs had started to shut down – it was believed I wouldn't make it through the night as I had toxic shock syndrome caused by some placenta being left behind after my C-section. Weeks later after recovering from a long stay in ICU, and despite everything that had happened and swearing I would never do that again, I immediately wanted to start to try and have more children. I know it sounds crazy, but I loved being Brooklyn's mum so much, I wanted to do it all over again.

Fast forward three years… Three years later, after one miscarriage, and still no baby, I was in a very dark place. My whole life revolved around one purpose of having another baby, it defined everything I did. Thankfully I finally had a positive pregnancy test after using Clomiphene, medication to help ovulation as my body wasn't naturally ovulating. Imagine my surprise that during our third scan it revealed my husband and I were expecting quadruplets!

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Photos (left to right): 1. Hudson with Dad Joshua and big brother Brooklyn. 2. Holding Quinn and Indie.

For a quadruplet pregnancy, I had few problems, except for the final weeks where I was so big and uncomfortable, but it was physically and mentally challenging. We were living in Timaru, however all our care was two hours away in Christchurch under their fetal medical team. We were always told from the very beginning that if this pregnancy was viable, at 25 weeks I would need to move to the Christchurch’s Ronald McDonald House, right next to the hospital in anticipation of the arrival of our quadruplets. The hospital was very organised and had everything planned out, from theatres, staff and paperwork, whether I went into spontaneous labour, or got to 32 weeks at which point I would have an elective C-section. That was if I didn't encounter any problems with the pregnancy; if I did, I would have had an emergency C-section. I reached 28 plus three days, and I thought I still had weeks left to go, however that night as I settled down in bed, I could not get comfortable. Brooklyn and Josh were both asleep already, but I was tossing and turning. When I sat up in bed, I looked at my stomach and could see the outline of four babies – it was surreal. It turns out my stomach was contracting and every time it did, I could see where each baby sat in my stomach. When I really paid attention, I realised this was happening every minute, and lasting for about 30 seconds. I knew I was contracting but I was in denial. I had absolutely no pain so thought it was a false alarm so decided to wait for another hour. I eventually woke Josh and he thought I was crazy for not rousing him earlier and calling our midwife. I rang her, playing it all down and she told me to go the hospital, just to check and make sure. I arrived at the hospital fully expecting to be tucked into a bed within an hour – but it was soon established that I was in full blown labour and these quadruplets would be arriving very soon.

Learning to let go and trust At that moment I broke down crying and shaking. Throughout my whole pregnancy we had been prepared for the possibility that things would not work out well. We never knew what the outcome would be, and we didn't know whether we would leave with even one baby let alone the full set of quadruplets. Our whole lives were to be defined in the next wee while, and my emotions were crazy. Would there be grief or joy, or even a mix… I had to let go and trust everyone around me. It was 2:00am, so the hospital called in all the staff necessary for the birth. Like I mentioned earlier, this was all planned months ahead, so each baby had a NICU consultant, a doctor and two nurses, while I had my two midwives plus a hospital midwife, the C-section team and the anaesthesiologists. As there were more than 40 people involved, two babies would stay in one theatre room with me, while two would be taken to the theatre next door and Josh would go between each room. Once they made the call it was all go, I thought I would still have at least an hour or two to adjust, however everyone arrived within twenty minutes, barely giving me time to catch my breath. I was worried it was all happening too quickly, we didn't have time to stop and think, it was so chaotic and such a blur. I thought I had weeks left and we hadn't chosen girls' names yet. I wasn't ready but before I knew it, I was in the theatre getting a spinal block. Unlike Brooklyn's breezy spinal, this was the complete opposite. It took five attempts and I was screaming in pain. It took longer to get the spinal in than it did for all the staff to arrive to hospital. Josh was left in the hallway, listening to me scream, thinking I was having the babies. Once the spinal block finally went in and they laid me down, I crashed and my blood pressure dropped – I was drifting in and out of consciousness.

Continued overleaf... 56


The critical hours after birth

On Mother’s Day, a new Member's Bill was announced by Louise Upston that will enable all women to receive up to 72 hours of funded postnatal care at the maternal facility of her choice and establishes a ring-fenced maternity fund to support this entitlement. Member’s Bills go into a ballot and are only debated by Parliament if randomly chosen. Mothers Matter spokesperson, Dame Lesley Max says this proposed policy is a positive step in acknowledging that the hours after the birth of a baby are critical to the mental and physiological health and wellbeing of a woman and her baby. “As a society we have been undervaluing the significance of the postnatal period. Giving birth is similar to running an

ultramarathon and the journey to being a new mother should never be underestimated. While for many women this is an exciting time, it is also a time of extreme vulnerability and apprehension. Currently women are entitled to receive up to 48 hours of postnatal care, however mothers are not able to choose where they receive this care – this choice sits with the local District Health Board. “The “3 Day Stay” policy will not only provide a woman more time, it will allow her to choose the maternal facility where she receives this care, regardless of the type of birth,” says Lesley. Mothers Matter is concerned that many women are going home hours after giving birth and there is very low awareness about the long-term benefits of receiving this care. “While we understand that some may wish to leave this care early,” Lesley says, “a new mother should never feel as

though she has to go home before she is ready. The postnatal care a mother receives, provides her time and space to recover and, if she needs it, a helping hand to form the right loving bond and attachment with her new baby – setting them both on a positive lifetime trajectory. “If we truly want New Zealand to be the best place in the world for our families,” Lesley says, “we need to start at the very beginning of a child’s life, by fostering a loving parent-child relationship. Bonding and attachment are a journey, not an event and we all need to work together to value the importance of those first hours – the health and wellbeing of our families depend on it.”

Mothers Matter is an advocacy group for postnatal care.

The magazine of Parents Centre


On top of that, I began to vomit, which was not ideal while I was numb from the shoulders down with my stomach muscles cut open. All I really remember was a nurse yelling, "She's dropping, she's dropping too low, someone needs to fix it." I was scared and honestly felt like I was dying. Josh was finally let into the room, but I just couldn't talk. Once I stabilised, I still wasn't great, but I was just trying to focus on staying awake. At 2:29am we welcomed quad A – the doctor said there was a baby, but I couldn't hear any crying. I thought she was gone but they reassured me she was alive, but her lungs were just too small to belt out a good cry for me to hear.

Four babies in four minutes One by one, quad B, quad C and quad D were born in a whirlwind of four minutes. I just kept asking are they OK, are they OK. The staff tried to keep me calm and talk me through everything that was happening. I heard someone say they were going to put the babies in a plastic bag each, but I couldn't imagine why they would put them in a supermarket bag, because, barely conscious, that's all I could imagine. To my relief they told me they were actually hospital grade plastic bags designed for prem babies to keep them warm!



I was still very ill, trying to take on all the updates I was receiving. They told me quad D, the last born, was the biggest, while quad A was doing the best. Quad B was the smallest and quad C was needing the most help. It was very hard, I was trying to be in the moment and look over to the two babies, A and C beside me, but there were too many people, and I barely caught a glimpse of quad C, our son. I was still vomiting and starting to feel the effects of all the anaesthesia and blood clot medications – I started to uncontrollably shiver. Before I knew it, as each baby started to stabilise enough for the shift, they were taken up to NICU. Once I was finished with the C-section, I was taken to recovery, leaving our son in theatre still being worked on. The next few hours I lay in recovery. I was still struggling with all the effects of medication, and in the first hour I was trying to overcome shock and could barely speak. I tried to sleep in hope that when I woke up I would feel better – and to pass the time before I could go meet my babies. I would fall asleep for only a moment before waking up again. I was running on pure adrenalin as I hadn't slept a wink the night before. We were slowly given information about the babies, but it was hard to understand what they were talking about. This baby was intubated, while that baby was

on CPAP. Another baby was on BIPAP and another was on a certain level of oxygen. We had no idea what they were talking about and no idea how our babies were actually doing. Would they be OK, would they survive? I just wanted to be with them.

A slow recovery I took longer to recover than normal to be well enough to be taken up to NICU and in hindsight, I wish I waited because when I was wheeled up there in my bed, looking back I don't remember anything. It was 6:00am, and all our babies were spread throughout room one of NICU and there were people everywhere still working on all the quads. I could hardly see them as they were all in incubators and I could barely move enough to have a good look. The babies were all covered in tubes, masks, headgear, wires and monitors with alarms constantly ringing out. It was hard, but this was just the beginning of our NICU journey.

properly. I couldn't believe it, I had four babies. They were tiny but perfect and for the first time I knew that, unless something went drastically wrong, things were going to be OK. Overall, we spent ten weeks in the NICU and four weeks in our local SCBU. There were many ups and downs, and a lot of one step forwards with a few steps backwards. Some days were very tough, and I am very grateful to be on the other side of it all. Our quadruplets – Quinn, Indie, Hudson and Molly are now nine months old. Although we feel the effects of having premature babies at times, they are all thriving and have completed our family. 

I went up to my room on the ward in the hope I would get a chance to sleep because I was so tired but hours past and I couldn't sleep, even for a minute – while Josh slept like a baby. There were too many emotions racing around, so many questions and uncertainties.

Things were going to be OK Later that day, although I was in immense pain and could barely move, I went back up to meet my babies Photos: First time all together at eight weeks (left). All four babies snug in their double incubators after graduating from nicu, ready to be transferred to Timaru (top). At Easter the quads were eight months old (right).

The magazine of Parents Centre


Starting simply with

Te Reo

Bilingual publishing house Reo Pe-pi (translated to mean baby lanugage) is the much loved baby of Dunedin ma-ma--Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson. The talented pair create beautiful board books for Kiwi wha-nau. Little ones love these pukapuka for their charming illustrations. Parents appreciate the durable construction. Wha-nau can enjoy simple learning while sharing a cuddle and a story. Reo Pe-pi aid the aquisition and use of English and Te Reo Ma-ori with interchangable, simple sentences and fresh new words.The image on this page is from Reo Pe-pi’s upcoming third series ‘Toru’! “Lovely bilingual board books – great to see. I’m enjoying practising my reo!” – Kate De Goldi “Tino rawe! Super fun for learning!” – Anika Moa



Kanohi – My Face Reflecting pe-pi’s sweet first game. Use Kanohi to learn the parts of pe-pi’s face together with some simple Te Reo Ma-ori.

“Kei hea to- ihu? Where’s your nose?”

Kararehe – Animals Kararehe introduces us to the all-important pe-pi vocab of everyday animals! Animal noises are of course optional.

Ka-kahu – Getting Dressed Ka-kahu teaches one of the most useful things for young wha-nau members to know. Learn how to dress for Te Reo Ma-ori success.

Reo-sources! Reo Pe-pi also offer an ever-changing range of bilingual stationery and learning resources. Check out their gift cards and bilingual colour crayons! And annually a limited edition calendar.

Nga- Ahua – Shapes Official Gift to the Royal Wha-nau! Find the shapes hidden in our kiwiana illustrations. Learn the shape of things, in both English and Te Reo Ma-ori!

Nga- Tae – Colours Storylines award winner! Nga- Tae reveals our wonderful insect characters. Tamariki will love the vibrant illustrations and the challenge of guessing in colour!

Te Kaute – Counting Practise your bilingual counting skills and have fun finding all our favourite toys!

“Tahi, Rua, Toru, Wha-…”

The magazine of Parents Centre


Pick the

perfect paint



A pristine home quickly becomes a battleground once the kids arrive so be sure to choose your paint wisely. When preparing for battle, you need to be ready for anything – and renovating a family home is no different. But how do you know where to start? Which colours will show smudgy finger marks? What are the best washable paints? How can you discourage children from drawing on the walls? Is it possible to eliminate toxins during and after the DIY process? To ensure all your bases are covered, here’s a basic list of things to think about before picking up a paintbrush.

Clean up your act First up, let’s address the elephant – or baby – in the room. When it comes to choosing paints with babies and toddlers in the picture, body fluid is no joke. Your best bet is to choose a durable, washable paint. Not so long ago, oil-based paints reigned supreme against waterborne paints when it came to durability; but now, waterborne enamels combine durability with washability. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen has an abrasion-resistant finish which means it can be easily cleaned, and the reduced sheen minimises the appearance of marks and scratches. Perfect for little hands, toy-throwing and fluids of any kind. If your existing waterborne paint finish is sound, all it usually needs is a good clean with Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner and you’re ready to repaint. No primer or sealer needed. Gloss paints are usually reserved for trim and cabinetry. When going for gloss, semi-gloss formulas are less shiny while still offering good stain resistance and are easy to clean. Opt for Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss when kid-proofing your joinery.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Handy hint Grey can hide stains better than white

Safety first Keeping the kiddies safe is a top priority when DIY-ing, so choosing a paint that allows them to stick around during and after the painting process is crucial. Another bonus to using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is that it’s low odour. However, it’s still a good idea to keep the space well-ventilated with windows open while you’re working. The biggest hazard when using waterborne paints around children is their natural curiosity to want to play with the paint. Allocating them a small section if they are big enough, arranging with a friend or family member to take them out for the day, or having someone allocated to be on childminding duties is the safest way to keep curious hands out of your paint pot. To make sure the paint is also eco-friendly, look for the Environmental Choice programme mark on Resene paint containers.

Colour me happy White might be a popular and easy go-to colour for living areas of the house but keep in mind that you’ll



be doing just that – living. Handy hint: grey can hide stains better than white. A neutral tone that goes with just about anything, grey also gives the impression of space and instantly opens up a room. Try Resene Eighth Stonewashed, Resene Quarter Baltic Sea or Resene Silver Chalice. For a modern twist, try painting skirting boards a complementary shade of grey. Go with Resene Grey Seal to keep it light and silvery or Resene Suits for a darker charcoal. Yellow also pairs well with grey and is perfect for neutral nurseries. Try pairing a faded mustard like Resene Thumbs Up with Resene Grey Area or buttery Resene Chorus Line with purple-toned Resene Sixth Sense. If you’re into a more feminine look, pale, rosy pinks like Resene Shilo are very on-trend right now and add a warm touch to living areas while still hiding smudge marks. Accessorise with some metallic details painted in Resene Rose Gold.

The writing’s on the wall Anyone with small children will tell you kids, pens and walls don’t mix, but who can bear to deprive a child of the wonder of drawing? That’s where chalk walls come in. Allowing children a set wall space to scribble to their heart’s content will discourage them from taking to walls around the rest of the house, right? Well, let’s hope so. The best thing about today’s chalkboard paint is that it comes in a whole spectrum of colour choices. Resene Chalkboard Paint is a waterborne finish that can be tinted to a range of Resene colours to create a chalkboard. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen can also be tinted and used as a chalkboard finish or be wiped clean with a wet cloth if your chalk artist happens to wander. Jackie Jones of Jackie Jones Interior Design says it’s easy to change a chalk wall once your child gets sick of scribbling. “My daughter had one whole chalk wall she used for studying notes, and friends would write her messages on it or I would write ‘clean your room’,” says Jackie. “Last year, she decided she’d outgrown it. Painting over it meant using a couple more coats than usual, but you’d never know it had been under there.” She suggests using Resene Quick Dry undercoat rather than going straight in with a base coat to get better coverage. Keep in mind that white chalk won’t show up on lighter colours, so you need to make sure you have a good contrast between your wall colour and your chalk.

Continued overleaf...

Let your ideas loose all over your walls with Resene Write-on Wall Paint.


! g n i t i r w

Simply apply over your existing light coloured wall paint. Then once dry and cured you can use whiteboard markers to write all over the wall without damaging the surface. And when it’s time to delete an idea just grab a soft cloth or whiteboard eraser, rub out the marker and start again. With Resene Write-on Wall Paint there’s no limit to your ideas.

The magazine of Parents Centre

0800 RESENE (737 363)


Magnetic attraction While chalkboards take care of the scribbling, magnetic paint will eliminate the need for pinning and sticking – the culprits that create those pesky holes and tack marks on your nicely painted walls. Even better, you can do it all in one. By using Resene Magnetic Magic as the basecoat and two topcoats of Resene Chalkboard Paint, you can create a custom, colourful and versatile magnetic chalkboard for your child to get creative with. This cheerful bedroom (pages 62 and 63) allows plenty of space to get creative on these chalkboard clouds in Resene Alabaster. The blue sky walls are in Resene Seagull, the sun shines in Resene Gorse and the floor grounds in the look in Resene Spinnaker. The desk is painted Resene Shakespeare while the stool and bedside table are in Resene Jelly Bean. Styling by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Melanie Jenkins. Resene Lustacryl in Resene Rocket, Resene Blue Jeans, Resene Bright Spark, Resene Hi Jinx, Resene Ragamuffin and Resene Cotton Wool was used to give this set of drawers (page 65) a fun and durable finish for a firetruck-loving child. The walls are in Resene Gull Grey and the timber flooring is stained with Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash. Styling by Leigh Stockton, image by Bryce Carleton. Wallpaper can provide a highly washable wall surface to help keep smudgy fingerprints at bay. The Resene Jack and Rose 2 Wallpaper Collection is sweet enough for a nursery, yet neutral enough to complement the rest of your home décor and classic enough to keep up for years to come (pages 64 and 66). 

Looking for more inspiration? Visit your Resene ColorShop or for plenty of ideas to create a family-friendly home.



Research shows that going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy halve your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back. Why should I go to sleep on my side? Lying on your back in the last three months of pregnancy (from 28 weeks) presses on major blood vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and oxygen supply to your baby.

Is it best to go to sleep on my left or right side? You can settle to sleep on either the left or the right side – any side is good from 28 weeks of pregnancy.


FROM 28 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY Research shows that going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy halve your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back. Why should I go to sleep on my side? Lying on your back in the last three months of pregnancy (from 28 weeks) presses on major blood vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and oxygen supply to your baby.

Is it best to go to sleep on my left or right side? You can settle to sleep on either the left or the right side – any side is good from 28 weeks of pregnancy.

But what if I feel more comfortable going to sleep on my back? Going to sleep on your back is not best for baby after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Most women find side sleeping is more comfortable in pregnancy, especially in the last three months.

What if I wake up on my back?

But what if I feel more comfortable going to sleep on my back? Going to sleep on your back is not best for baby after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Most women find side sleeping is more comfortable in pregnancy, especially in the last three months.

What if I wake up on my back? It’s normal to change position during sleep and many pregnant women wake up on their back. The important thing is to start every sleep (daytime naps and going to bed at night) lying on your side and settle back to sleep on your side if you wake up.

What is the risk of stillbirth if I go to sleep on my back? Stillbirth in the last three months of pregnancy affects about one in every 500 babies. However, research has confirmed that going to sleep on your side halves your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back.




warm & toasty

Dressing infants for colder months Antenatal classes, YouTube videos and Google searches may help parents-to-be to get ready for childbirth or teach them how to change a nappy. But one thing that is rarely covered well, is giving parents a thorough understanding of preventing neonatal cold-stress. Even for older babies, winter can be potentially hazardous to their health – unless the parents dress them adequately – because their body’s ability to regulate its temperature is far less efficient than adults. The best way for babies to avoid convection heat loss is being in what is termed a ‘thermally neutral environment’ – a nursery/household temperature of between 17°C – 22°C. This is especially important when transferring a newborn from birth to postnatal care facilities (or home) within 24 hours of birth – full-term newborns are rarely able to shiver (to warm their bodies up). This makes them extremely vulnerable to heat-loss, even from simply breathing in cool air. So, if your baby needs to leave the warmth of a hospital maternity ward, then do remember to pre-warm the car’s interior before putting baby into it to drive anywhere!



At home, fan heaters tend to produce ‘dry’ air, and gas heaters tend to produce ‘wet’ air. So, our personal favourite heaters for maintaining an ambient newborn environment are electric oil-filled heaters or heat pumps with their automatic thermostatic temperature controls. If there is a heater in baby’s room, leave the door ajar so it doesn’t get too hot and there is sufficient air flow.

Newborns are vulnerable, thermallychallenged human beings As soon as your baby is born, they go from having spent the previous nine months in water of 37°–38° degrees (the equivalent of a lovely hot spa pool), to suddenly breathing in air that is typically in the low 20s. The drastic change in temperature often shocks them into a first inhale – which is a good thing – but from that second on, they can instantly begin to lose heat through radiation. On top of that, brand new babies are wet, so they rapidly lose body-core heat through evaporation. Then, if the towels and blankets used to dry and wrap them are not pre-warmed, baby will also lose bodyheat through conduction (by touching cold items – including their mother’s cold skin if she has been in a chilly C-section theatre). Young babies have a large surface-to-mass ratio. This means that, in comparison to adults, they have three times the amount of skin to potentially lose heat from (mainly their head) in relation to their small body mass that needs to produce heat – so they rapidly lose heat to the environment. In fact, a newborn’s “heat-loss area” (their head) is one-quarter of their body – in comparison to us adults whose heads are just one-tenth of our body. Most babies have little or no hair, which means a newborn without a hat is the equivalent of adults being nude to our nipple-line, with our heads shaved. Brrrrrr. A new baby’s skin doesn’t have the layers of fat under it like we do to keep the body warm, which is why newborns looks ruddy-red – it is because their skin is thinner. Additionally, it is normal during the first few days for a newborn to lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight … so they become even more vulnerable to cold-stress over their first couple of weeks. In young babies, signs of hypothermia (low body temperature) include rosy cheeks and lethargy, which can easily be mistaken for a bonny contented sleepy baby. But what is actually happening is their metabolism has escalated requiring, increased oxygen and glucose

As a general rule, use your common sense; if you’re feeling cold, your baby will be too. Babies don’t have the ability to regulate their temperature as we do, and by checking between baby’s shoulder blades you’ll be able to determine if you need to add or remove a layer. If it feels clammy, baby is too hot, if cool to touch, add a layer. When you’re making up a warm and cosy bed for your baby, always remember to consider all safety aspects to reduce the risk of SUDI. For full information on keeping babies safe in bed refer to and the Ministry of Health Liz Pearce, Parent Education and Operations Manager, Parents Centre New Zealand

to step up their heat production. If the situation continues for hours or days, these babies can struggle to feed well, and potentially fail to thrive – often with loving, caring, devoted parents who just have no idea their newborn is simply cold. The real question ends up being not “which newborns are cold-stressed?” but “what newborns manage to maintain an ideal core body temp despite so many odds against them?” According to the World Health Organisation one of the most important steps in keeping newborns warm is appropriate clothing. As a midwife on birthing suite, Kathy Fray has seen many parents bringing inappropriate clothing for their newborn, especially not enough layers, ill-fitting hats, synthetic fibres, and poorly-sized outfits the baby ‘swims’ in.

So, what is appropriate clothing for a newborn? Correct sized clothing that provides a perfectly snug fit for a day one baby. “Newborn”-sized clothing is actually designed to fit a baby for one to three month olds, and optimally at around four to eight weeks when baby’s have typically gained one to two kilos and grown several cm in height. What fits a newborn is very different to what fits a thriving two-month-old. Babies do not stay the same size for three months!

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


head, so it doesn’t easily fall off, or slip and cover baby’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Does it really make a difference what fabric or fibre I use for my baby? Heck yes! And it can be a jungle to navigate what is best for your vulnerable wee newborn, and your older baby as he or she grows.

Merino outperforms all other fibres when it comes to looking after your baby: Fibre

Merino wool

“Normal” sheep wool



Soft against the skin




Temperature regulating







Moisture control – absorbs and evaporates any spills leaving baby warm and dry



Correct natural fibres that actively work to support baby’s core temperature

Fire resistant



UV protecting




The cute designer garment you received at your baby shower may not be the best choice for your day one baby to wear next to their skin. It might be perfect by six to eight weeks of age, when baby is over five weeks and over five kilos, but not on their birth-day.

“Whiff” resistant – spills will not smell as bad


Self-cleansing – so you can relax on the washing



Proven to improve baby contentment


Improved sleep


Also, babies spill feeds and leak moisture outside their nappies, so synthetics and cotton will leave your baby wet and cold. You need a fibre that keeps your baby warm even when damp and will push the moisture away to evaporate into the air.

Reduces risk of SUDI


Reduces allergies



Easy to wash








Natural stretch and elasticity for movement and comfort




Best for autumn use




Best for winter use



Best for spring use




Benefits needed by babies

Recommendation: Invest in your newborn having the correct size clothing to wear on their birth-day and for their first one to three weeks of life – and don’t believe that the label “newborn” means it is suitable for a day one baby – most aren’t.

Recommendation: Invest in your newborn being surrounded in natural wool fibre. Merino, especially, has proven to be the best amongst wool fibres due to its unique features. The fibres are a lot finer than normal wool, which means it’s far smoother against the skin (not itchy or scratchy). These fine, but durable, fibres actively work with your baby’s skin to protect them and keep them warm, even when wet.

Properly fitted merino hat Unless it is warm during summertime and your baby has been born with a big mop of hair, newborns should wear a good-quality, well-fitting, soft stretchy merino woollen hat at all times. Recommendation: A soft merino beanie, designed specifically for brand new babies, is ideal – and it’s critically important the beanie fits snuggly around the




1 At the Cambridge Maternity Hospital in 1979, Scott and Richards found that low-birthweight babies gained an extra 10g a day compared to babies that weren’t on Merino 2 1979, Scott and Richards also found that babies sleeping on Merino settled more quickly, cried less and fed for longer periods. Parents of infants who were sleeping on Merino also reported a stronger sense of parent-baby bonding. 3 One cause of SIDS is overheating in babies. Merino temperature regulates much better than any other fibre and will work with your baby to keep at the best temperature.

Not all merino is equal Have you ever wondered why some merino is so much cheaper than others? As it turns out, it may not be the cheapest solution long-term, or even the healthiest for your baby. Merino is made from the protein keratin, just like our hair and nails. You may have noticed that in periods of stress or not eating or sleeping well, your nails tend to break frequently, and your hair loses its shine. The same goes for wool fibres. Many sheep-farming countries engage in controversial mulesing (removing folds of skin from the tail area of a sheep) and chemical dips, which work well for the farmer’s profit but not for the quality of the wool. This type of farming allows cheaper Merino to enter the market, but with low quality fibres that also have been soaked in chemicals. This results in garments that will quickly fall out of shape when washed, then turn thin and scratchy, not providing the benefits that you would expect. However, when the sheep live under healthy conditions, with clean nature, good grass, and little disturbance from humans, it directly shows in their wool fibres. They are more elastic, don’t break easily, and have a natural shine. New Zealand merino sheep have the great advantage of living in our country with an abundance of space and natural food, and where procedures like

mulesing and chemical dips are illegal. So, you are more likely to get high quality merino when you choose NZ wool. Remember, if the merino wool garment price-tag is cheaper than you expected, then chances are it won’t be the quality you expected either.

What should my baby wear over the cooler months? Keeping babies warm during winter is critical, for the repercussions of a hypothermic baby can be serious. However, a baby’s age also impacts on the strategies of warmth required. Babies really fall into three categories:

Neonate (newborn, zero to six weeks old) Regarding air temperature and newborns, our best advice is to think of a baby as thermally-challenged, because although newborns have a little natural protection against the cold, they are not able to protect themselves against the side effects of inhaling low air temperatures. Newborns need a consistently warm room temperature of 17°–22°C for the first month or so, until baby’s body has started to fill out with improved levels of insulating fat.

Non-mobile baby (non-crawler, one to nine months old) The golden rule with non-mobile babies is always one extra layer than an adult. So, if say you have a t-shirt and sweatshirt, then your baby needs a singlet, onesie and done-up cardy; or if your bed needs one blanket, then your baby needs two. Also, non-crawlers in cool air consistently need a hat; and in cold air they need a thicker hat covering their ears, plus booties and perhaps mittens.

Continued overleaf...

The magazine of Parents Centre


*Can’t be applied if other discount codes are used. Valid till June 30th 2019.

We are lucky in New Zealand to have magical merino wool grown right here. For many countries in Europe and in the States, people can’t believe how it ticks all their boxes of what they want in a fabric. Once they try our wonder-wool they get hooked. Merino is the absolute best for newborns, babies, toddlers and children.

Mobile baby (crawling, eight to twelve months)

When you take baby out of the home, make sure they wear a well-fitted thin merino wool beanie.

The use of skeletal muscle for the actions of crawling metabolically creates body heat, so these infants can be dressed similarly to an adult, with the added precaution of a hat to maintain heat – unless they have a big mop of hair and the temperature is warm.

A common misunderstanding is that it’s best for baby to have a cotton singlet or top layer next to skin. This was true back in the day of itchy woollen jumpers, however, we now know that soft wool is the best fibre we can put next to skin, and we have superfine soft merino.

For chilly air temperatures, a great investment for all infants is thermal singlets, available as a vest or body-suit, and short- or long-sleeved. These are great at keeping an infant’s torso (and vital organs) warm. When out and about in winter using the pram or stroller, then great warmth extras include a sheepskin liner, carseat-pram snuggler-bag, and a storm rain-cover.

A word of caution to expectant parents It is vital to be vigilant regarding air temperatures if transferring after childbirth from a hospital to postnatal care facility or transferring from the birth facility straight home. Hours-old babies are extremely vulnerable to rapid heat loss, even if dressed well.

Practical hints and tips Multiple thin layers are better than one thick layer – because warmth gets trapped like insulation between the layers. Dress your baby in at least two base layers of good quality merino. Add your “fashion statement” for your baby on top of the two base-layers.



What bedding should you use? The same rules apply at bedtime. Ensure the cot is draught free; lightly pre-warm the cot mattress with a wheatie-bag or similar; ensure the room’s air temperature is thermally-neutral and will stay that way overnight, and use one to two more bedding layers than you would need yourself. After the newborn phase, sleep-bags can be ideal replacements to a sheet and/or blanket. Lightweight layers of blankets can be added to the cot when your baby is sleeping. You can easily add or remove the blankets as needed. They must be large enough in size so they can be tucked in under the cot mattress. Natural fibres such as merino, cotton or bamboo work best – you do not want your baby to overheat in a synthetic blanket. Your baby should sleep, at the bottom of the cot. So, when you make the bed, ensure the sheets can only reach as far as your baby’s chest, and tuck the sheets and blankets well under the mattress. That way if your baby moves during sleep their head will not get covered by the sheets.

What about bath time? Air temperature is especially important when a baby is wet because they are then vulnerable to rapid heat loss through evaporation of water from the skin. A good rule of thumb at baby bath time, is a bath water temperature of about 37°; use pre-warmed towels; always dry baby’s head first; then after drying their body replacing the wet towels with dry towels.

What if you have to go out on a cold day? When it comes to going out to the shops or for a stroll in the pram after five or six weeks of age, on a cool day an infant generally requires at least a woollen longsleeve singlet, woollen long-sleeved stretch’n’grow onesie, booties, cardy and woollen hat (ensuring the nape of their neck is also kept warm). On a cold day, baby also typically needs a thick jacket, mittens, and shawl-wrap. And on a windy day – well, baby needs to stay at home! If the pram is forward-facing, as most modern prams are, then a windbreak pram-cover is recommended. Backward-facing prams (when parent and baby can look at each other) can be gentler on young babies, though less interesting for a toddler. Another ‘must’ in the pram in winter is a buggy-liner comfort-insert or sleeping-bag cocoon. And remember, even if your baby is a busy mobile crawling machine, when they are strapped into a pram, they still need one more extra layer than you, because their body isn’t making heat by walking.

What if you’re worrying baby is too warm? It is equally as important not to overheat babies, for infants are poorly equipped to cope with hyperthermia (high body temperature). The normal adult hyperthermic response to reduce a high core temperature is to remove some clothing, and sweating – but babies can do neither. Young babies tolerate a very limited range of temperatures – so as parents we all need to be vigilant of our baby’s temperature. If you’re ever unsure, then check their temperature. In young babies especially, ideally you want to aim for high 36s or low 37s°C.

Older siblings need looking after too A baby’s reactions to its surroundings is considerably more visible than older children’s. This doesn’t mean older children don’t have the same needs, but their bodies are simply better at absorbing the harm caused by an inappropriate fibre. Toddlers or preschoolers move around a lot more. There is a lot of running involved in little people’s lives, and a lot of stopping to explore their surroundings. This is the way they learn and grow. They need to keep warm and dry when involved in outside play. They are often not aware of the fact they need to put on a jumper, and in school they will most likely never put on a jacket unless forced to. Always put a layer of merino underneath the t-shirt. This keeps them warm, dry and protected. If you’re taking your older children into the snow, put them in merino top and leggings. You don’t have to wash it, it doesn’t smell, it absorbs moisture created during exercise, and there's no itch for them to complain about. 

Kathy Fray

Stine Smith

Kathy is a senior midwife and a bestselling New Zealand birth-babiesmotherhood author.

Stine is a merino wool garment expert and is the managing director of Roots & Wings,

The magazine of Parents Centre






I’m six months into the arrival of baby number three. We’re outnumbered and we’re loving it. We’ve gone through the process of adding another sibling to the family twice now. And while we haven’t got it all worked out, we’ve learned a few things that might be helpful as you welcome another mini-me to your tribe. One of the things I noticed early on was that most information online focused on how to talk to your older children about how babies are made. Lots of, “Here’s the ‘right’ information about sex that you need to deliver in the ‘right’ way or you’ll mess them up forever.” Okay, an exaggeration there. But it feels like people spend lots of time trying to work out how to explain where babies come from and much less time explaining to their kids why they’re having another one.

So why are you having another baby? Not everyone plans their babies. And sometimes it can be daunting and a big surprise when you find out that you’re going to be a parent. For most people, a baby is made/ created/conceived as a result of the love/connection/desire that exists between them. It’s crazy to think that out of this comes a human that is half-you, half-them. We also know relationships are tricky, and the love that existed then may not exist now. Even in that situation, the child was made because of connection and desire,

and that’s an incredible thing for a child to know. It provides a firm foundation for building a robust sense of self-worth.

So why did you have a baby? Answering the questions about where babies come from can help a child to understand the mechanics and biology of a new human, which is helpful. But helping a child to understand why you’re having a baby can give them a beautiful understanding of their own existence. Deep in their identity they can know they’re the result of love, and that this new baby is too.

Here are some questions you could ask your kid(s):

Routine matters Routine and consistency are really helpful for kids at the best of times, but especially when they are going through a significant change – like the arrival of a new sibling. Find out what your kids love doing with you and your partner, and then work as a team to keep as many of those things as you can constant while your family is adjusting. It might be as simple as making sure you prioritise really connecting with each child at the end of the day as you’re saying goodnight.

Here are some questions that you could ask: When do you feel the happiest?

Why do you think we’re having another baby?

What is your favourite place to go to with me?

What do you think is the best number of people in a family?

What is your favourite part of the day?

How do you know when two people love each other?

When do you know that I love you the most?

Did you know that you exist because of the love/connection/ desire we have for each other?

If there was one part of your day that could be exactly the same every day, what part would it be?

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


This is a time to focus on connection The best way to prevent your children from feeling ignored over the initial days and weeks of a new bundle of joy taking up residence in their house, is to make a plan. Figure out how you can structure in time to connect with them. Ask your kids what they most enjoy doing with you. After they’ve tried to get you to buy a radio-controlled unicorn or take a trip to the dairy, they’ll start to say the things that they genuinely enjoy doing with you. What they say may surprise you. Sometimes we think our kids feel more loved if we go on a big holiday, or if let them grow a rat’s tail, or if we build them a rocking horse using old beer cans. But for children (and most humans actually), it’s the little things we do that often create connection. Maybe they love the way you make toast, or the songs that you sing to them at night, or you working on puzzles with them, or you kicking a ball in the backyard, or you taking them to school. It’s the little things that you do often. When you’ve only got one kid, you and your partner can share the load. When it’s two kids, it’s a one-toone ratio. But when you hit more than two, you’re outnumbered, and



that means you must be intentional about connecting with each of your kids. Being intentional about connection doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are a few things you could do with your kids while they adjust to their new sibling: Play at the park

Go for a drive to the hills or the beach H ave a technology-free hot chocolate date at a local cafe Go swimming at the local pool Go for a walk together Go for a bike ride Change can create disconnection, but it doesn’t have to. It can be an opportunity for even greater connection, and we know that kids who feel deeply connected to their family thrive in life. 

Go to a sports game Head out for an ice cream Feed some ducks Watch a movie together Build a hut made of blankets Read books in your bed

This article was created as part of Toyota Family Journeys – Parenting Place’s partnership with Toyota.

James Beck James is the Kaihanga o Nga- Mea / Content Director at Parenting Place. James has worked as an Attitude presenter for ten years and has reached over 200,000 people in schools, prisons and workplaces all over the country. He also presents on radio and recently authored a children’s book, Eliza Loves Rocks. James is passionate about helping people reach their full potential.


Congratulations to the lucky winners from issue 289

Woolbabe Duvet Sleeping Bag Laura Albert, Timaru

10 x Kotex Maternity Pads Heidi Stedman, Wellington Lisa Faulke, Porirua Angeli Atienza, Auckland - newa Jessica Burton, O Tamsyn Arnold, Mosgiel Melissa Openshaw, Palmerston North Matt Howard, Feilding Shane Whatford, Morrinsville Olivia Mitchell, Mosgiel Amanda Patterson, Auckland

4 x Mini muff sets

Bio Oil gift pack

Stacey Wallace, Pukekohe Kylie Dennes, Lower Hutt Kathryn Ryan, Rotorua Lisa McCoubrey, Christchurch Hannah George, Napier

The magazine of Parents Centre


Our Partners Partnering to support families As a not-for-profit organisation, partnerships and alliances are essential to Parents Centre to enable us to fund the work we do and to provide resources and benefits to our Centres and our membership. When entering partnerships, we ensure there is a philosophical alignment between our organisation and the partnering organisation. We look at the benefit to all our Centres in the form of products, resources, education, and fundraising opportunities. We seek to develop both strategic and commercial partnerships with credible organisations in order to continue to attract members, deliver our services and be commercially viable. Huggies nappies fit all the above criteria and I am pleased to say the partnership between Parents Centre and Huggies is now in its 20th year. Huggies support all our parenting classes and really do go the extra mile in ensuring that we can provide our Centres and members with a range of information and products. Catherine Short, Partnerships and Advertising Manager

A word from Huggies For twenty years, Huggies has proudly partnered with Parents Centre New Zealand. We believe in supporting parents by providing the best change-time solutions and keeping baby’s skin as healthy as possible. We understand that the parenting journey brings both uncertainty and excitement. This is why we are delighted to have the opportunity to support Parents Centre, who endeavor to educate and assist New Zealand parents during pregnancy and the critical months and years following birth. Like Parents Centre, Huggies believe in community and creating an environment in which children can thrive. Chris Abbott, Marketing Consultant, Huggies

Johnson & Johnson

Philips Avent

PC member benefits: All attendees of Parents Centre CBE and Baby and You get a J&J baby bath gift pack and information on science of the skin.

PC member benefits: Supply breastpads to our members and give a $30 discount on the purchase of breast pumps.

PC member benefits: All attendees of CBE get a Huggies gift pack, attendees of Baby and You and toilet training programmes get gift packs.

Phone: 0800 104 401

Phone: 0800 733 703


Huggies online pregnancy and parenting


Supporting Kiwi parents

0800 222 966 /

Baby On The Move

The Sleep Store


PC member benefits: 20% off car seat hire for all members.

PC member benefits: 20% off selected items which are regularly updated

Phone: 0800 222 966

PC member benefits: Various discounts on decorating supplies and paints with Parents Centre membership card. content/parentscentre

Parenting Place


U by Kotex

PC member benefits: All attendees of CBE and Baby and You classes get a Poise gift pack.

PC member benefits: All attendees of CBE get a U by Kotex gift pack.

SplashSave PC member benefits: 30% discount on water safety package.

If you want to partner with Parents Centre, or would like to discuss how this may work for your business, contact Cath on:

Birthing Centre A free service to women of all ages whose pregnancy is considered low risk primary care.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Win great giveaways Be in the draw to win a Beco Toddler Geo Win a Beco Toddler Geo Teal Carrier (RRP $219) – it will be your best friend when dealing with a tired toddler! It is specifically designed to evenly distribute a weight from 10 to 27 kg in either frontor back-carry mode. It will suit your toddler from about two-and-a-half years and in size 2 pants, right up until five years old and heading off proudly to school. With its generously sized back panel and well-padded shoulder straps, the experienced staff at The Sleep Store recommend it as the mostcomfortable toddler carrier on the market. The handy storage pockets and bag mean it is ideal for managing a school run, shopping, long hikes in the bush or adventurous travels!

Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm, July 5, 2019. Winners will be published in issue 291.

Win a 60 pack of fantastic new breast pads Breast Pads are a breastfeeding mum’s must-have item and eight lucky readers can win a 60 pack of these fantastic new breast pads! Philips Avent's new range of breast pads are ultrathin, breathable and ultra-absorbent with a triple layer, leak-proof design to keep you dry and comfortable day and night. The honeycombed textured top sheet is silky soft and comfortable against your skin. The thinner contoured shape of the breast pad helps make them invisible under clothes, and they are individually wrapped for your hygiene so perfect for on-the-go. Available in packs of 24, 60 and 100, grab a box today from leading pharmacies and baby retailers.

3 packs of Franjos Lactation Biscuits to be won

Win a $150 gift voucher from Cadenshae! Complete your Cadenshae 'wish list' with a $150 gift voucher! Got a few bras already but feeling a little cold this winter? Jump online, redeem your voucher, and grab yourself one (or two!) of our gorgeous hoodies to keep you and bubs nice and snug this rainy season.



Franjos Kitchen was created by two mums, Fran and Jo, who met by chance and happened to share a passion for baked goods. Fran soon found out about the benefits of lactation biscuits, and with Jo's naturopath knowledge, they decided to make their own healthy version of lactation cookies. Now the Franjos range includes different types of scrumptious biscuits for pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as crackers and muesli – all full of delicious natural ingredients which are actually good for us! Franjos biscuits are vegan and do not contain any additives, preservatives or refined sugar, with gluten-free options available too. Enter the draw to win one of three Packs of Franjos Lactation Biscuits worth $60 each.

Learn how to use a baby carrier safely and securely. We’re proud to annouce a new baby carrier training initiative in partnership with Parents Centres across New Zealand! Every Parents Centre now has our best-selling baby carrier, the Beco Gemini available for training classes. Get access to exclusive Beco and Boba carrier discounts at The Sleep Store. See below for details.

GET 25% OFF T H I S B ECO C A R R I E R Parents Centre members can get exclusive savings on selected styles, such as 25% off full price Beco baby carriers at The Sleep Store! Sign up now, go to and get our latest discount codes emailed to you.

Best online retailer & Best baby store

Further details of all The Sleep Store Parents Centre exclusive offers can be found on the webpage above. Offers are updated regularly - sign up for our latest.

Sign up The magazine of Parents Centre




Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.