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Getting lost

… and finding ourselves in Rotorua

Technology and tamariki

Empowering dads … to enjoy the outdoors with preschoolers


Organising the family home

Summer with Simon Gault Family favourites from Simon Gault

The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc


Mana Parents Centre Antenatal Class

CALLING ALL MIDWIVES!! Pregnancy, Childbirth & Parent Education career opportunities

Due to our growing numbers, Parents Centre NZ Inc. have opportunities for midwives interested in facilitating our parenting programmes, including Antenatal, Baby & You and others. 46 Centres across NZ Contracted positions with flexible facilitation hours Support from the national support centre Career paths and professional development opportunities History and integrity Established and highly respected programme Opportunities to work at a national level on projects advocating for parents, families & midwifery services.


Contact Liz Pearce to find out more: e.pearce@parentscentre.org.nz


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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 29 March 2020. 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.

Cover photo: Senjuti Kundu, Unsplash


In this issue

Getting lost and finding ourselves in Rotorua

Letters to the Editor....................................................... 4

Dr Natalie Flynn and Amber Older............................ 8–12

Product pages................................................................6–7

Technology and tamariki

Becoming a grandparent

Keryn O’Neill..................................................................14–19

Denise Ives.....................................................................34–38

Empowering outdoor dads

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

Dan Clearwater.............................................................20–24

Get sorted Steph Knight..................................................................26–29

Within arm’s reach Keep children safe around water............................30–32

Ask a Ask a Childbirth Educator: Infant massage

Find out about Parents Centre..............................45 Integrity, range and innovation Duck Creek Press..........................................................60–61

Paint a pet Resene creative team.................................................74–75

Maria Stevens...............................................................46–49

Our funders...............................................................76–77

Getting back on track

Our partners..............................................................78–79

Judith Yeabsley..............................................................50–53

Take care of yourself Mikki Williden................................................................54–59

Birth story: Learning to go with the flow Kaitlyn Wislang..............................................................62–65

Running away SKIP.........................................................................................66

Summer with Simon Simon Gault...................................................................68–73 2

Find a Centre...................................................................44


Giveaways..........................................................................80 Below: Tauranga Parents Centre




Haere mai! Welcome!

Getting lost and finding ourselves in Rotorua | pages 8–12 Two mums discover that every mini-break cloud has a silver lining – in spite of hunger, fatigue or poor navigation skills. They find that their silver lining was the chance to role model the traits they want most to instil in their boys (and by extension, in any kids, of any age): confidence, caring, respect and humour.

Technology and tamariki | pages 14–19 Our babies are surrounded by rapidly advancing technology. It’s easy to forget that not long ago, when we left the house, no one could contact us! These changes have many advantages. Information is more freely available than it has ever been. But many parents wonder how this technology affects babies and young children. It’s a whole new world they find themselves in.

Empowering outdoor dads when the kids are very little | pages 20–24 The fear of losing the freedom to get into the mountains is common among many keen outdoor parents when they are expecting. But rather than just waiting to see if that perceived ‘fate’ became reality, one dad proactively decided to adapt to this new life chapter and embrace the opportunities that it held.

Kiwiparent. The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc. Since 1954. Editor Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e–borne.co.nz PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150

Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–borne.co.nz

Advertising Sales Catherine Short Ph (04) 233 2022 x8805 c.short@parentscentre.org.nz

Design Hannah Faulke edendesign.nz

Proofing Megan Kelly

Printer Caxton Design and Print

Subscriptions info@parentscentre.org.nz


Publisher Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Ph (04) 233 2022

Kiwiparent is a publication of Parents Centre NZ and reflects the philosophy and values of the organisation. Information contained in the articles is consistent with our transition to parenting programmes provided through our 46 Centres. Articles published in this magazine may be reproduced providing they are used for noncommercial purposes and written permission has been provided by Parents Centre. ISSN 1173–7638

Nearly forty years ago, my husband and I took our baby, three suitcases and a whole lot of optimism, and left South Africa to make a fresh start in New Zealand. Our reasons for leaving were significant enough to uproot us from the security of all we knew and loved to travel to the other side of the world in search of a place where we could raise our family in a way that allowed us to live out our values. I still remember those early months after arriving in Auckland in the early 1980s with a toddler and a new baby on the way. We were so delighted to be here. It was little things that caught us by surprise – familiar fruit and vegetables called by unfamiliar names, so much greenery, so many sheep, houses made from wood... Some things still make us laugh. We had to get used to intersections with traffic circles instead of robots (yes, traffic lights were called robots in South Africa – this gave rise to several hilarious complicated conversations when we first arrived and asked for directions). Then there was the bewildering issue of what Kiwis meant when they asked you to bring a plate to a supper. Was supper the same as dinner, and were you supposed to bring a plate for each member of the family? Should you offer to bring cutlery and glassware as well? It took one embarrassing visit for us to realise that being asked to bring a plate meant one plate containing food to share. When you were asked to tea, that often meant an evening meal – not for a cup of tea and a scone. Being sociable was a minefield for newcomers. But for us the transition was not too onerous. We shared a common language, we came from a country that was also in the southern hemisphere, many of the laws and the cultural context was familiar. I am sure we would have had a much more challenging time if we moved somewhere where the language, religion and social conventions were different to what we were used to. I remember how welcoming people were and how much it meant to us when we were accepted and included in our community. A kind word and a warm invitation means everything when you are a newcomer. Migrants and refugees have been on my mind recently as we confront the first anniversary of the Mosque tragedy on March 15 when 51 Kiwis lost their lives, including two preschoolers. Many came here for a better life; they deserved a better future. For those lucky people that manage to come to New Zealand from every corner of the world, nau mai. I hope your lives here are rich and full of potential, and that you find peace and acceptance so that you can raise your children to be the best that they can be.

As Salaam Alaikum Leigh Bredenkamp

The magazine of Parents Centre



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- po-tiki have struggled with the Hutt Valley and O midwife availability and resourcing, raising fears women and babies could be harmed. For over four years, the College of Midwives has been negotiating with the Ministry of Health to achieve fair and reasonable pay for community-based midwives and it is critical that we now resolve this.

It’s time to push Midwives have been left with no choice but to appeal to the public for help and support. We need you to back midwives so that politicians can hear our voices. The continuity of midwifery care we have in New Zealand is recommended by the World Health Organization as the best way for pregnant women to receive their maternity care. However, neglect by successive governments over many years has meant the pay and working conditions for the community-based midwives who offer this care have been eroded, even though their role has become more complex. Their pay does not reflect the work that they do, and the support they receive is inadequate. Throughout the country, birthing centres and communities had reduced their maternity services, and the struggles have closed some smaller birthing centres. Maternity services in Lumsden,

Midwives are leaving the workforce. It's not that they don't love the work that they do, and they're absolutely committed to it, but their working conditions are just becoming unsustainable. They're not paid fairly and properly for the level of responsibility they have. If nothing changes, more midwives will leave the profession. Our campaign, called #backmidwives, was launched in December. It includes a petition – open until March 2020 – calling for the Government to revise its funding model for community-based midwifery services. We urgently need your help to encourage politicians to prioritise maternity care by putting in place an updated funding arrangement that pays community midwives fairly. Please support our message by signing our petition and sending a digital postcard to the Minister of Health. Visit www.backmidwives.org.nz to learn more. New Zealand women, babies and wha-nau will thank you for it. Alison Eddy Chief Executive, New Zealand College of Midwives

Parents Centre is super excited to be able to announce that, after much hard work and persistence, we now have a Diploma in Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenting with ARA Institute of Canterbury. This is a two-year, part-time, distance learning programme that will equip graduates with the skills and knowledge to facilitate and deliver Transition to Parenting - antenatal programmes. These programmes are the DNA of Parents Centre which is the largest provider of such classes in New Zealand. We welcome you to consider this career if you have a passion for these topics, and for working with adults.

www.ara.ac.nz 4


are you baby ready? Check the back seat Parents and caregivers are being urged to double-check the back seat, especially during summer. The temperature inside a car can become lethal, especially for an infant, in as little as 10 to 20 minutes. There are some simple things parents and caregivers can do to prevent heatstroke tragedies. Make sure your child is never left alone in a car „ M ake it a habit to open the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind. Place an item that you can’t start your day without in the back seat – laptop, phone, handbag, etc. „ A sk your childcare provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled. „ C learly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to everyone thinking someone else removed the child.

Make sure children cannot get into a parked car „ K eep vehicles locked at all times, especially in the garage or driveway. Ask neighbours and visitors to do the same. „ Never leave car keys within reach of children. „ Teach children to honk the horn if they become stuck inside a car. „ I f a child is missing, immediately check the inside, floorboards and boot of all vehicles in the area very carefully.

Additional safety tips Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute. „ I f a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own but may not be able to unlock them. „ I f you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 111 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible. „ B e especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or on holidays. This is when many tragedies occur. „ U se drive-through services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for fuel at the pump. If you are concerned about anyone having trouble dealing with the heat, call the GP, Healthline on 0800 611 116, or if it is an emergency, call 111. 

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Beco 8 from The Sleep Store Designed for you to wear your baby any way you want, this ergonomic baby carrier is a combination of all the features your heart could desire. From infancy to toddlerhood, wear your little one facing in, out, on your hip or on your back. The Beco 8 is similar to the super-popular Beco Gemini but is bigger and has a 20kg weight limit. The Sleep Store kindly provide Beco Carriers to all our Antenatal Education Classes for carrier training and Parents Centre members get a generous 25% discount off several baby carriers at The Sleep Store. www.thesleepstore.co.nz

Why are more Baby On The Move customers choosing Unimom? We have been helping mothers express more milk, faster, with Unimom. Our quieter, comfortable pumps mimic your baby’s suck for better milk let-down. Free from BPA, phthalate and lead, they’re affordable, durable, easy to use and easy to clean. With fewer fiddly parts and a fully closed backflow protection system, our pumps are the most hygienic on the market and trusted by health professionals throughout New Zealand. You can find Unimom Products at all our Baby On The Move stores nationwide. www.babyonthemove.co.nz



Plane Pal The Plane Pal pillow has revolutionalised family travel, with thousands of kids sleeping peacefully whilst their parents enjoy the journey. Now family travel has become even easier with more great travel accessories: „ P acking Pals™ turn a shambolic suitcase into brilliant baggage with each family member’s clothes in their own separate mesh cube. „ W aterproof Packing Pals™ for your liquids and creams save you from packing disasters. „ P ram Pals protect your precious buggy from damage in transit. Check out Plane Pal NZ's full range online. www.planepal.co.nz

Summer bums never looked so cute! Huggies has just revealed limited edition Summer Designs across their Huggies Ultimate and Ultra Dry ranges. Deck your bub out and be the envy of the beach, park, or backyard BBQ! Each jumbo pack from sizes 3 to 5 features a unique and playful twist on the coolest summertime prints with your favourite Disney® characters. Find the Huggies Summer Designs nappy range at your nearest supermarket nationwide. Be quick – these designs are for a limited time only and we expect them to fly off the shelves! www.huggies.co.nz

New Johnson’s CottonTouch range CottonTouch is our first and only newborn skincare range blended with cotton. Our scientists were inspired by cotton fabrics beloved for being soft, absorbent and breathable. Using a very finely milled cotton, a formula was perfected that was gentle enough for the youngest skin. Babies' skin is up to 30% thinner than adults', so it needs ultra-gentle and delicate care. Cotton Touch range provides: „ water-based lotion blended with cotton „ p rotects delicate skin from day one (protects from dryness) „ ultra-light, absorbs quickly „ h ypoallergenic & clinically proven to be gentle on newborns „ no added parabens, phthalates or dyes. www.johnsonsbaby.co.nz

The magazine of Parents Centre


Getting lost and finding ourselves in Rotorua



There is something liberating about two working mamas ditching their partners for the weekend and taking their young boys on a road trip.

Liberating … and challenging We discovered liberation and challenge in equal measure during a recent minibreak to Rotorua, the North Island’s adventure capital. “We” are lifelong friends who met when our American-born parents bonded in Dunedin in the early 1970s. We both now live in Auckland where, as luck – or maybe genetic disposition – would have it, our two nine-year-old boys are also BFFs. We also discovered that every minibreak cloud – be it from hunger, fatigue or poor navigation skills – has a silver lining. In our case, that silver lining was the chance to role model the traits we want most to instill in our boys (and by extension, in any kids, of any age): confidence, caring, respect and humour. More on how we imparted said life lessons shortly. Back to the minibreak. With the help of Destination Rotorua, we were in for an all-ages, family, friendly weekend of adventure, adrenaline and indulgence. From communing with baby kiwi and swinging into the sky, to luging down a mountain and walking through a volcanic valley, we rightly anticipated that we’d spend little time in our lodgings at the Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park.

Which brought us to our first challenge: where the heck is our cabin? After a long drive from Auckland, we were looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Guided from Auckland by the dulcet tones of our Scottish GPS, we were mildly concerned when that soothing voice advised us that our lodgings within the holiday park could not be found. We were on our own. Mild concern became full-blown panic when we came face-to-face with the downside of digital dependence – having to read a campground map! As darkness fell, tensions rose, and two boys began bellowing from the back seat, “Just get us there, NOW!” Rather than add fuel to the heat in the back seat, we each took a deep breath, counted to 4.5 and turned to humour. “What did the zero say to the eight?” “Nice belt!” “I once tried to join a club for the directionally challenged … but I couldn’t find the meeting!” To our relief, wails of despair turned quickly to gales of laughter. Eventually, after mastering the art of threepoint turns in a seven-seater people mover, we found our spacious two-bedroom unit. Nestled in native bush, it was clean, quiet and comfortable. We had made it – safe in body, if not entirely sound of mind.

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Adventure and wonder The next morning, we made our way to Rainbow Springs, a kiwi hospital and hatchery that also boasts a conservation walk filled with nosey native birds, streams teeming with freshwater trout, and The Big Splash, a Disney-style boat ride that culminates in drop down a 12-metre flume. In the hatchery, we witnessed the miracle of new life: a close-to-hatching chick was using its beak to crack open its shell from inside the egg. We also watched a scientist examine one- and two-day-old kiwi chicks, gently cleaning their eyes and beaks, and teaching them how to feed. Our kids learned why kiwi birds are referred to as “honorary mammals”; turns out, chicks hatch from an egg but have umbilical cords attached to the yolk. After a gestation period of two months, mama kiwi give birth to up to two eggs, each equivalent to a 16kg (35lb) baby. There were two spontaneous cries of “Ouch!” as we each reflected on our own babies – tiny in comparison – being born. A different kind of wonderment existed across the road at New Zealand’s only Trick Art Gallery. Think trompe l’oeil with a difference. The gallery comprises room after room of 2-D artworks that somehow become 3-D when photographed. Created by three South Korean artists, the larger-than-life paintings provide serious fun for kids of all ages. For more than an hour, we photographed ourselves plummeting headlong down skyscrapers, moonwalking, and swimming with dolphins. Eat your heart out, VR! Next up, a spot of amphibious sightseeing with the Rotorua Duck Tours. A genuine WWII amphibious vehicle is a great way to explore Rotorua’s historic buildings and the many creatures who live on, in and around the Blue Lake and Lake Okareka.

Facing our fears Like us, you’ve probably heard the hype about Skyline Rotorua. But you might not know about the characterbuilding opportunity awaiting you and your kids at the top of the gondola: the Skyswing. Triggered by a handheld rope, the three-person, gravity-defying swing drops like a bomb from 50 metres in the air before soaring 150kph in two seconds above Lake Rotorua. Here, the power of role modelling came to life. In the name of showing two boys how to face their fears,



one brave mama strapped herself into the Skyswing. The other mama modelled an equally valuable trait: the ability to resist peer pressure and keep her feet firmly on solid ground.

The next morning, we farewelled our accommodation (with a final visit to one of the campsite’s three playgrounds) and drove to Rotorua’s Jurassic Park – aka Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

Being the Skyline Rotorua, Skyswinging is followed by mountain luging which, in turn, leads to dinner. Any snobbery we might have secretly held about buffet dining was quickly dispelled when we were seated in the bustling Stratosfare restaurant. To our right, mountains bathed in crystalline early evening light; to our left, mountains of fresh seafood, locally sourced meats and produce, steaming Asian dishes, and a veritable rainbow of desserts. As the boys downed mocktails and the mamas sipped pinot noir, we fully believed the Skyline hype.

If dinosaurs still roamed the earth, they surely would be wandering through Waimangu, where geysers spray, steam steams, sulphur farts and babbling creeks exceed boiling point. The world’s youngest geothermal valley, it’s simultaneously prehistoric and eerily alive. Following an hour-long valley walk, we took a cruise on Lake Rotomahana, once home to the Pink and White Terraces. These geological phenomena were hailed as the 8th Wonder of the World – at least until 1886, when they disappeared from sight in explosions so powerful, they could be heard from Auckland to the South Island. There is debate as to whether the terraces still exist below water level, but thanks to the Waimangu app, visitors can see what the original site would have looked like.

Bed beckoned, but we had one more treat in store: the Redwoods Treewalk – Nightlights tour. Imagine 28 wooden bridges, each suspended 20 metres in the air between, above and deep inside a forest of giant Californian redwoods. Each bridge leads to a magically lit dell featuring multitudes of dancing fairy lights, lanterns seemingly hanging in mid-air, or laser images of wide-eyed morepork projected onto tree trunks. Amazingly, not a screw or nail is used in the creation of the world’s longest living tree walk. To our environmentally aware boys, this fact earned the Treewalk four massive thumbs up. We were equally impressed by how family-friendly the attraction is. Infants up to 10kg can experience the tour snuggled inside prams made specially for crossing the bridges. To date, the age of visitors has ranged from 18 months to 98 years.

In pursuit of dinosaur territory Mothers hate to wake sleeping children – but when adventures call, even the sleepiest must rise and shine.

Every good mini-break deserves some downtime – and what better place to relax than the family-friendly Polynesian Spa? We made a beeline for the Deluxe Lake Spa, which boasts geothermal pools ranging from 36–41 degrees. It also features a plunge pool, the perfect spot for the not-so-brave mama to redeem her mana and face her fears of icy water. A high-five from the boys turned the full-body chill into a heart-warming thrill. We finished our visit in the warm waters of the Family Pool, where our boys joined a throng of happy kids splashing, diving and careening down the water slide. And so we headed home to Auckland – tired, wired, and quietly proud of the way we had each dug deep, met challenges and discovered the joys of liberation. We might have lost our way a few times but fundamentally, we felt proud of what we had found – in Rotorua and in ourselves … except for the map reading.

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Our top tips for Rotorua Blue Lake Top Ten Holiday Park The boys say: Great playgrounds for kids of all ages! The mamas say: Clean, comfortable, quiet. www.bluelaketop10.co.nz

Rainbow Springs The boys say: The flume ride is as good as Disneyland! The mamas say: Make sure you see those baby kiwis. www.rainbowsprings.co.nz

Rotorua Duck Tours The boys say: It was fun blowing duck whistles and driving into the water! The mamas say: Bring extra layers – it can be windy on the lakes. www.rotoruaducktours.co.nz

Smart mothering tips for smart travelling An APPLE a day keeps the meltdowns at bay (for everyone) Anticipate – be ready to respond to a range of feelings from excitement and hunger to anxiety and fatigue. Plan – know what triggers you to feel stressed and plan to breathe through it, build in downtime. Provide – have healthy snacks and water on hand. Laugh – humour saves the day (especially when you’re laughing at yourself). Enjoy – it’s not always easy, but savour these moments with your kids. They grow up fast!

Skyline Rotorua The boys say: Everything at the Skyline is awesome! The mamas say: The luge is great for adventurers of all ages (adults can ride with kids) and there’s an easy walking path down the mountain if you don’t want to luge. Children need to be a minimum of five years old and at least 110cm tall before they can experience the Sky Swing. www.skyline.co.nz

Skyline Stratosfare restaurant The boys say: Luge Rider and Sky Swing mocktails are the best! The mamas say: Go for the fresh food, extensive wine list and the best views in town. www.skyline.co.nz

Rotorua Treewalk The boys say: This place is like magic, and we loved the ruru holograms! The mamas say: Be prepared for a queue, but the wait is worth it. www.treewalk.co.nz

Dr Natalie Flynn Dr Natalie Flynn is a registered clinical psychologist and a mother of three. She is the author of the bestselling book, Smart Mothering (Allen & Unwin, 2019). Natalie works in private practice, specialising in maternal psychology.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley walk and Lake Rotomahana cruise The boys say: It felt like we were in the land of dinosaurs! The mamas say: Download the app before you arrive so you can use it on the boat ride. www.waimangu.co.nz

Polynesian Spa The boys say: We loved going from hot to cold and back again! The mamas say: Enjoy the chance to start and finish a conversation while your kids play in waters of paradise. www.polynesianspa.co.nz 



Amber Older Amber Older is a writer, editor and communications professional with an international background in print and broadcast journalism and production. She lives with her son and their cat.


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The magazine of Parents Centre


Technology and tamariki

Our babies are surrounded by rapidly advancing technology. We absorb ever-changing information technology into our lives at a breakneck speed. It’s easy to forget that not that long ago, when we left the house, no one could contact us! These changes have many advantages. The article you’re reading now was largely researched, written, edited, and designed on multiple devices. Information is more freely available than it has ever been. But many parents wonder how this technology affects babies and young children. It’s a whole new world they find themselves in.

Changing times In 1970, children began watching TV, on average, when they were four years old. Now, many children are using digital media from four months old, or even younger. This is one example of many changes in the way we are using media. Wha-nau viewing habits have changed over the years too. In the early years of TV, families tended to have one TV that they watched together, now many wha-nau have multiple sets, and children are more likely to be watching alone. Of course, it’s not just about TV. By the time they turn ten, it’s estimated that children have access to five different devices in their home. Many newer technologies are portable, meaning they can go wherever children and parents go. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are pervasive. They provide connection to people and information on an unheard-of scale, which is different from earlier forms of technology.



In the US, for example, the percentage of two- to fouryear-olds using mobile devices rose from 39% in 2011 to 80% in 2013. That’s quite a shift in a short space of time. Here in Aotearoa, more than three-quarters of four-year-olds are using electronic media at home on weekdays.

What do children actually need? Although technology is changing, what children need hasn’t changed. Before we look into how screen use can affect children, it’s worth quickly revisiting what we already know about what children need to develop in healthy ways. Children learn through their relationships and experiences. When these relationships are positive and their experiences rich and interesting, they are laying strong foundations for many areas of their development. When we talk about rich learning experiences in the first few months and years, these may be things adults take for granted. Watching the wind move through the trees, splashing in a puddle and helping in the kitchen all provide stimulation to many of the senses and involve the body in the three-dimensional world. Two-dimensional screens don’t offer this richness of sensory experience and human interaction. There is nothing that can replace parent-child interactions and the value of real-world exploration and play. Things

that are repeated tend to be strengthened in the brain, whether it’s repeated attempts at walking, learning waiata or being comforted when upset. Research tells us that children need loving, interested adults interacting with them and involving them as they go about their day. They also need quiet time. Contrary to what some people think, children don’t need to be busy doing something, or being ‘entertained’ all the time.

Some things to consider When it comes to thinking about screens and our tamariki, there are many variables that make a difference. These include the age of the child, the content they’re engaging with, and the amount of time they spend using screens. And of course, any screen use is occurring in the wider context of tamariki and wha-nau lives. Here’s what we know:

Age makes a difference We are learning throughout our lives, and the experiences we have affect the way in which this development will unfold. The impact of this is greater at some points in our development than others, with early experiences often having a greater influence

on brain development than those occurring later in life. While some experiences support children’s healthy development, others can get in the way, making healthy development less likely. Age makes a difference in many areas of development; what’s beneficial, or at least not harmful, at 50 years isn’t necessarily the same at five years, or five months of age. Learning a new language as a toddler is a very different process from learning one at 35. When it comes to technology use, this remains important. Young children aren’t able to tell fantasy apart from reality. From around three years, children can learn from some media when and if it’s appropriate for their age and development, and if a parent or other adult is engaged in the activity with them. Earlier than this, there doesn’t seem to be any benefit, but there are some risks of harm.

The dose or amount of use matters It’s not just screen use, but the amount of time spent on devices that influences children’s development. For example, higher levels of screen use at two to three years of age were associated with poorer performance on developmental milestones a couple of years later. The research often refers to this as a dose-response effect, meaning that the outcomes vary depending on the amount of exposure. When something poses a

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Although technology is changing, what children need hasn’t changed.

As with all areas of child development, individual differences exist. Some children may be more affected than others by screen use. For example, children who are aggressive or from aggressive families tend to be more affected by media violence than are other children.

How can screens affect tamariki?

risk of harm, the more exposure one has, the more likely they are to have adverse effects. A little bit may well be completely harmless. But overuse can cause harm. The word ‘dose’ may make you think of medications, and indeed the analogy is useful. A small dose of paracetamol when it is appropriate can help everyone sleep. A larger dose can be very harmful indeed. So, what does this mean in everyday terms? Well, a child using technology occasionally – and usually for short bursts – is having less exposure to screens than a child using screens every day for a couple of hours, or even longer. Less screen time means less chance of undesirable effects. More screen time means a greater chance of poor outcomes. Restricting screen use can be very challenging for parents. When babies and young children are cared for by others – perhaps they attend ECE or are looked after by grandparents – it’s worth considering how much screen time they are having across all those places, and how many of their waking hours are screenfree. Regardless of quality, too much screen use can be harmful.

Content matters The content that tamariki are watching, or interacting with, matters. If they are using screens, it needs to be appropriate for their age. Content that’s intended for older children can lead to increased fear and anxiety when viewed by younger children. Even content that is intended for a young audience can be distressing for some tamariki. Alongside the burgeoning technology, content has been changing over the years too. It’s become more violent and fast-paced. Neither of these changes are beneficial for tamariki.



Screen use can affect children through both direct and indirect pathways. Direct effects relate to the content tamariki are seeing or using. What programme are they watching, or what’s on the app they’re using? Examples include their reactions to scary or violent content. Is the content intended for young children? Children can be affected by what they see. The indirect pathway refers to the fact that time spent using screens reduces the amount of time available for more developmentally beneficial activities, such as playing and talking with wha-nau. In other words, time spent using screens means children are missing out on opportunities to develop skills in a number of areas.

Benefits of technology New media has benefits, of course. But these depend on several factors including the child’s age, whether the media is used with a parent, and, of course, the content of the media.

FaceTime, Skype etc. Many wha-nau use live video chatting apps, such as FaceTime or Skype, to keep in touch with more distant relatives who might otherwise not see each other often. An advantage of these is the ability to see the person, including their facial expressions and body language. These apps have the potential to support the development of relationships between children and wha-nau. Pe-pi and toddlers need parental support to understand what they’re seeing. Because this use of technology promotes relationships, is usually brief, and involves adult support, it’s considered fine for babies and toddlers.

Touchscreen apps The ability of touchscreen media to engage children can be helpful in some situations. For example, they

It’s not just screen use in itself, but the amount of time spent on devices that influences children’s development.

are being used more often to distract children undergoing anaesthetic and other medical procedures. So, this seems appropriate, as they would not otherwise be playing outside or at home with wha-nau. Again, these things are probably fine in small doses.

But it’s educational, right? In 2015 there were around 80,000 so-called ‘educational’ apps marketed for children in the App Store, which were largely untested. Companies know that claiming educational benefits means they’re more likely to sell their products. Parents are wise to be sceptical about the many apps that claim to be educational. Reviews of these apps indicate that most are of low educational value, tend to target rote learning of things like ABCs and colours, and have had virtually no input from people who understand child development. If media is being used, it’s been suggested that in the first two or so years the apps that may be useful are those that support parent-child communication (such as sharing pictures) or connections with wha-nau members, such as Skype with a grandparent.

Will they be ‘left behind’ if they are not always on a screen? Sometimes people think children should use technology from a young age, as otherwise they might be ‘left behind’ later on. While it’s understandable that parents don’t want their child to miss out, it’s worth knowing there is no research to support starting early. It’s interesting to note that many of those involved in creating this technology limit their own children’s access to it. In fact, the research to date suggests that tamariki who use screens from a young age are more likely to be the ones missing out – on the real-world opportunities and interactions that will support their development.

Areas that can be negatively affected Sleep Sleep is necessary for survival, and inadequate sleep is associated with a variety of poor health effects. In the early years, sleep is important for early brain development (and usually welcomed by parents!).

One of the ways in which technology use can impact babies and young children is through poorer quality and quantity of sleep. In particular, screen use before bed, as well as having devices in bedrooms overnight, can delay and disrupt sleep throughout childhood. It’s not only viewing shortly before bed that can affect sleep; the overall amount of viewing throughout the day matters too. A study of children at two and four years old found that as their daytime television viewing increased, they slept less at night. The good news is that when children’s viewing decreased, over time they had more sleep. There are several mechanisms for these effects. Blue light from screens can suppress melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. This impact of screen use affects people of all ages; parents as well as their tamariki. Other ways in which media use can affect sleep is through later bedtimes after evening media use, children being quite stimulated so falling asleep later, as well as the effects of watching violent content.

Language Back when television and DVDs were the main media young children used, a number of studies found children were more likely to have language delay, particularly

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The longer babies and toddlers spend using handheld devices, the more likely they are to have language delays.

the more difficulty they have turning them off as they get older.

if their viewing began early and occurred regularly. More recently, similar findings have emerged in relation to handheld devices. The longer babies and toddlers spend using handheld devices, the more likely they are to have language delays. During the important early years, when so much development is occurring, one of the most important things that helps healthy development is interaction between tamariki and caring, interested adults. Screens cannot provide this critical interaction.

Well-being and behaviour Devices such as phones and tablets are increasingly being used to help manage children’s behaviour. While this might seem to work in the short term, if this happens often, they may be missing opportunities to learn to manage their range of emotions, potentially increasing social and emotional difficulties later on. It might not be fun, but when parents support their pe-pi or tamariki with their feelings (rather than handing over a phone or tablet), they’re building their relationship and providing valuable learning opportunities that will support their child’s development. From time to time, using media may be an understandable strategy to avoid or reduce distress. But most of the time babies and children need support to develop other ways to be calmed and learn to calm themselves, without relying on screens to do this. The ability to handle the range of emotions develops over many years, however, the foundations for this are laid in the first few years of life. Like other skills, such as walking, this doesn’t just ‘happen’ but develops over time, with support and plenty of practice. If a screen is used to distract them when they are feeling ‘big’ emotions, they are not learning to deal with these emotions. In addition, habits that start early can affect later behaviour. It seems that the more tamariki use screens when they’re young,



Some children become very distressed when parents ask them to stop using the device. It’s easy to see how this could escalate, with parents wanting to avoid such distress, thereby leading to more and more screen time. The newer technologies are potentially addictive because of their interactive nature and because of the reward tamariki feel as something happens when they touch the screen, and dopamine is released in their brain. A large study found that children who had more screen time were more likely to face a number of issues with their psychological well-being than children who used screens less often. These included often losing their temper, difficulty making friends, less curiosity, struggling to calm down, trouble finishing tasks and less self-control. Early well-being is associated with later development, and those with poorer well-being are more likely to experience issues such as depression or aggressive behaviour later in life.

Parental use When we’re thinking about technology it’s not only children’s own use that can affect them, but also that of their parents and wha-nau. There’s a growing body of research looking at parental mobile use and possible effects on interactions between parents and their children. While many parents are using phones at times, research indicates that when they are often using their phone they are less likely to be interacting with their tamariki. Parents are also likely to be less sensitive and responsive to their child’s needs when they’re using their phones, with some either missing their children’s attempts to interact or reacting in hostile ways. Both mothers’ and fathers’ own screen use and parenting practices regarding screens influence their children’s screen time. For example, if parents use screens during mealtimes, their children tend to have more screen time over the week than parents who keep mealtimes screen-free. A new term has been coined – technoference – referring to everyday interruptions in time spent together due to mobile technology devices. We’ve known for a while that background television tends to interrupt parent-child play.

Parents are wise to be sceptical about the many apps that claim to be educational.

Unsurprisingly, recent studies suggest parental mobile technology use also affects the way in which parents interact with their children. Children learn an awful lot from watching what their parents do. As many parents know – what we do seems to matter more than what we say! Parents are huge role models for their children, especially while children are young. Parents who are unable to resist checking new messages and feel they are using their phone too much, tend to have tamariki with more difficult behaviour. There are a number of possible reasons for this. A study of families eating out noted that when adults were using their devices, some of the children’s behaviour would escalate as they tried harder and harder to interact with their caregiver. The research on parental technology use is in its infancy, but there is no shortage of research showing the importance of parent responsiveness for children’s social and emotional development.

Keryn O’Neill Knowledge Manager Keryn has a BA (Education & Psychology), MA (Psychology), and Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Psychology. She is passionate about the opportunity Brainwave provides to share evidencebased 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.

Many unanswered questions For our youngest children there are many potential risks to their health and development from any type of screen use, especially with frequent or lengthy use. There are many unanswered questions about the impacts of the newer technologies, and research on its effects can’t keep up with the rapidly expanding developments in technology. That’s not likely to change anytime soon. Something else that isn’t changing though, is what tamariki need to develop well. We have a wealth of knowledge about what tamariki need to thrive. We also have enough information about screen use to suggest that when it comes to our precious pe-pi and tamariki, we should proceed with caution.

Find out more Brainwave Trust aims to educate everyone involved in the life of a child about the importance of early experiences on brain development and their lifelong impact. Brainwave’s vision is that all children in Aotearoa New Zealand are valued and nurtured so they can reach their potential. www.brainwave.org.nz

The fully referenced version of this article is available at brainwave.org.nz/category/allarticles 

The magazine of Parents Centre




Empowering outdoor dads

...when the kids are very little

I’m sure that fear of losing the freedom to get into the mountains is common among many keen outdoor parents. It's certainly a meme which some ‘friends’ like to rub in your face when you announce that you’re expecting. But rather than just waiting to see if that perceived ‘fate’ became reality, I proactively decided to adapt to this new life chapter and embrace the opportunities that it held. I didn’t realise it at the time but figuring out how to be an outdoor Dad would give me huge satisfaction, many interesting challenges and a realistic way to reclaim the part of my identity which I feared I’d lose.

It can be lonely as a mid-week dad on duty My wife earns the main income in our family, so once she went back to work, I had plenty of dad-on-duty time on my hands. It seemed to be the thing to do, so I signed up to a few ‘mums and bubs’ type events and activities. I went to swim classes, buggy-pushing groups, baby music classes and coffee chats. Although I was (generally) accepted by the mums, I have to admit I was a little bit frustrated. To me, free time is best spent away from civilisation on nature's own terms, with a challenge (however big or small), a raised heart rate and real decisions to make. Yes, our new baby went on plenty of semi-urban walks on the local tracks, but I was itching to reintroduce ‘proper’ trips to the mountains back into her parents’ lives.

good at, to empower me as an Outdoor Dad. Whilst Mum was the undisputed expert on most parenting topics, I appointed myself chief in charge of baby-tramping skills development, equipment modification and family motivation. Mum was happy for me to be the child-carrier; she hadn’t yet regained her confidence keeping on her feet in rough or uneven terrain. Being the ‘first choice’ for a family task, especially one that I really enjoyed, was hugely empowering. Trying to figure out how I could adapt our existing skills and gear to this new set of

Becoming a baby-tramping pro In the early days, walks without Mum could only ever be the length between feeds. Bottle feeding certainly had its ups and downs for Dad (and bub). I’ve since talked to many other dads who’ve agreed; not having breasts is extremely frustrating! But rather than succumbing to the feelings of inadequacy of not having the equipment to help that little person, the best strategy was to focus on the things I was Left: Time for a snack! Right: Heading to a rock bivouac for the night, at 7 weeks old. Aspiring National Park

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Top to bottom: 1. G  et practice with and take the clothing and equipment to ensure little ones are protected from the environment. 2. I've spent a lot of time in and around mountain rivers, so I can assess when it is reasonable to be near them with my daughter. 3. Backcountry nappy change on our first overnight tramp as a family. Facing page: Get a good raincover for your baby carrier. Test it with a hose at home and practice putting it on efficiently.

circumstances ignited the excitement of the challenges that I had been missing. Right from the start, I prioritised baby-wraps, then front packs and finally backpacks over buggies. I knew that the future I hoped for included a child who was comfortable being carried whilst walking, and a dad who was fit enough to carry her up hills. As I did the many nappy changes of each day, I contemplated how I’d manage a change in the hills, noted how many nappies I’d need each day, and stared with dread at the size and weight of the used nappies we’d have to carry on an overnight tramp. I adapted our front pack and my tramping pack so the two would fit nicely together and be comfortable for both Dad and daughter. When it was time to soothe her to sleep, we practised using that gear so we both became used to it. Even very young children are pretty heavy tramping accessories. Every little trick of ‘ultra-light tramping’ was dredged up to keep my load under control, plus it gave me a good excuse to buy a lightweight three-person tent! I even designed a little folding box made from a real-estate sign to be a ‘safe sleep space’. So, by the time we did our first overnight trip as a family, I felt we were about as prepared as we could possibly be. Recruiting another family from our antenatal coffee group, we set off to a nearby hut with a six-week- and twelve-week-old. Although we took a tent as a precaution, because it was off-season, we had the hut to ourselves. The little ones just slept, fed, pooped, cried, wriggled and farted like normal, and the parents enjoyed the satisfaction of achieving a successful family tramping trip.

The breakthrough: finding other outdoor parents There’s nothing like the camaraderie of being in the hills with others, and I knew I needed to find more like-minded parents to share these experiences. And I needed to find more outdoor dads, to talk about dad stuff (ok, and maybe some general outdoor/ bloke stuff). So, I decided to take the bull by the horns, and start up the ‘Babes in Backpacks – Wanaka’ Facebook group.



It was pretty clear that there were lots of other likeminded parents out there; within a few weeks the group had grown rapidly, and we’d been on our first few walks. During the weekend trips, an occasional father showed up, but on our group’s midweek walks I was the only one. The other mums didn’t bat an eyelid as they merrily described all manner of birth story and feeding dramas that would make any single male faint. Clearly me being a bloke was not an issue; I was a parent who loved being out in the hills and that made me an equal. Being accepted alongside other primary caregiving parents is incredibly empowering. The motivated mums became my new friends, and together we spent many happy months regularly traipsing up and down mountains, big and small, with our little ones along for the ride.

Don’t dismay, outdoor dads; it gets easier!

six months is a big step forward. This, combined with the transition away from milk, means day tramps with just dad and daughter are achievable. Not necessarily huge distances, but spending time in the hills together, rather than at home or confined to a buggy on a path. Maybe you full-time working dads can build up to taking the little one-off Mum’s hands for a day on the tracks one day soon? Develop your skills with Mum along as ‘backup’ before you go without her; start with small trips and build up slowly. There’s nothing like ‘going solo’ to develop your confidence and to force you to learn. Without Mum to ‘rescue’ you from an upset kid, you’ve got to figure it out for yourself. It's hard when you can’t solve it, but it makes you determined to try new things and learn how.

What’s the worst that can happen?

I know that dads who work full-time jobs don’t have the hours in the week to gain as much hands-on parenting practice as I’ve been fortunate enough to have. Even if all the other parenting tasks are daunting, or don’t seem to be clicking for you as a dad, you can always find comfort in the stuff you can be good at (being an awesome tramping dad!).

If you plan sensibly, you should be able to give things a go and the answer to “what’s the worst that can happen?” shouldn’t scare you. Maybe you have to cut your trip short, maybe the little one is a bit sad for a while, or perhaps you have to walk back partially covered in poop because you didn’t bring quite enough wipes… Giving yourself the space to ‘fail’ with minimal consequence is the perfect way to learn, and if you’re failing regularly, it probably means that you’re regularly embracing the opportunity to try something new!

The good news is, as your baby grows up, things get a little easier. Going in the backpack child-carrier at about

What does planning sensibly look like? Having the clothing, equipment and supplies to cope with the

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Left above: Learning about packrafting on a calm day, a few meters from shore. Left below: Even at 2, theres still plenty of carrying happening!

unexpected, such as a change in the weather, extra poops, a twisted ankle for Dad. Budget extra time for attending to the needs of your little person during the trip. Be conservative with weather assessments. Choose destinations and environments for your trips where you have the personal skills and experience to be totally comfortable. (You need to have plenty of spare brain-space available for ensuring your little one is happy and safe.) Finally, when you do spend a happy day on the track with your baby, and away from Mum, the satisfaction of being a competent outdoor dad to your little person is immense. Our little girl has now enjoyed many trips to the hills; whether just with Dad, the whole family, or in the company of other families. She’s been given a foundation of resilience and adaptability and a chance to develop a love for exploring New Zealand’s wild places. These days, at the age of two, our little girl can be quite a capable self-propelled tramper, although the child-carrying pack usually earns its keep on longer trips. There have been plenty of challenging moments along the way, but it has been a heck of a ride so far! I’m looking forward to embracing my future as a parent. 

Dan Clearwater Dan works part time for the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand (FMC). A non-profit federation of outdoor clubs, FMC is currently promoting ‘Family Tramping’. Visit www.wilderlife.nz/family-tramping to view more articles and resources for parents.



NEWBORN TO TODDLER F I N D YO U R B E S T C A R R I E R In partnership with Parents Centres across New Zealand you can now learn how to use a baby carrier safely and securely with the excellent Beco Gemini baby carrier. Parents Centre members can also get 25% off full price Beco or Boba newborn, infant or toddler carrier at The Sleep Store. Further details of all The Sleep Store Parents Centre exclusive offers can be found on the webpage above. Sign up now, go to www.thesleepstore.co.nz/content/parentscentre and get our latest Beco and Boba discount codes emailed to you.

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instagram.com/thesleepstore The magazine of Parents Centre



sorted Tips for living a more organised life ‌with kids!



Babies and children bring a lot of love and joy into our world. They also bring a lot of stuff! Being organised with children can require a bit more effort than pre-kids, but believe it or not, it’s not impossible. There are a few steps you can put in place that will take a bit of pressure off and make daily life function a bit more easily. But first, make sure you give yourself a break – you have kids. Getting to the bathroom on your own is now a mission! You may also work, have other children at different ages and stages, be running on little to no sleep, and no doubt have other commitments that take up your time, energy and headspace. All these things impact the state of your home and your capacity to maintain it on any given day. Take a moment to note all the things that you’ve got going on in your life and realise that not everything is going to be perfect all the time. And that’s ok.

rooms in our home, and the people we have in our home. It’s very difficult to feel calm and relaxed in a room that doesn’t have any clear surfaces, or where you are surrounded by piles and piles of stuff. Sometimes your brain and your eyes need a break from the visual clutter too.

What’s not ok is how clutter can impact our physical and emotional state, and our well-being – and sometimes we don’t even realise. Clutter can be stressful and overwhelming. It can be exhausting. It can limit the way we function in our home, the way we use the

Start with bite sized chunks. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, just focus on one pile, or do one shelf at a time. Don’t look at the room or the house as a whole, because it might make you close the door and walk away again. Baby steps and bite-sized chunks are the best way to tackle clutter!

So, take a moment amongst the madness, take a breath, give yourself a pat on the back, and see if any of the following tips can help you get more on top of things. If you don’t have capacity for all of them, maybe a couple will resonate.

If you’re a list person, start at your front door and do a walk-through of your house. Make a list of everything you see or want to do in each room, and just start working your way through the list, at your own pace. Set a goal of how you want your home to look and feel, and make decisions with that goal in mind. Don’t bring anything into the house that doesn’t fit with that goal. It might be small, like you want to get hooks on the wall for coats and bags, or it might be big, like preparing the house to sell. Whatever it is, be conscious of what you want and how you’re going to achieve it. It's ok to let things go if they don’t fit with your lifestyle, the style of your home or they are an unwanted hand-me-down then it’s ok to let them go. There is no need to feel guilty for passing on something that you don’t use or love.

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when you have the same things in the same place. And of course, everyone will know where those items live. Beware of bargains. I have had lots of clients who have filled their house with stuff they don’t need, only to get so stressed by it, they end up selling it for half what they paid or donating it. Think twice about what you bring into your house. It is only a bargain if you really need it!

Being organised isn’t about buying fancy storage items. Wait until you have done the decluttering and sorting. Chances are you won’t need anything extra, or you will already have something that you can use or upcycle. Even adding simple labels to containers is a game changer – you can get your kids to write or draw their own picture labels. Responsibility and ownership are a big deal for the little ones. Give everything a home. Everything that you own, give it a home. Use labels, lists, colour coding, baskets, tags, schedules, whatever works for you. It’s much easier to put things away when they have a place to go to. If it doesn’t have a home, designate one for it, then



start putting things back in their rightful place when you are done with them. Simple. Make it a habit and things will start to change for the better. If everything has a place to go back to then it’s much easier to tidy up, and everyone can do it. Get the kids involved the earlier the better, so that regular decluttering won’t phase them. We know they love to make a mess, but if it’s easy for them to tidy up then they’re more likely to do it. It’s not only helpful for you but it’s good for them too. You might be surprised how much the kids love helping tidy up when given the chance! Organise like with like. It’s much easier to keep an eye on quantity

Quick and regular smaller sessions and daily maintenance make the whole lot seem more manageable. A five- to ten-minute clean-up / declutter each day can help you keep on top of things. Set a timer if you need to, or even put some music on to make it more fun. Give the kids a task each and create a routine for the family. Doing a quick clean up before bed each night makes waking up a bit more pleasant. Less is more. Teach the kids that they don’t need to have huge piles of stuff to be happy. With less stuff, they can find things more easily, and the best part is that the less they have, the more they play with, because they can see it and access it more easily.

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Less Mess = Less Stress Being organised means so much more than just having things looking neat and tidy. It means being able to find what you’re looking for when you need it, saving you time and energy. It means you can get out of the house on time or have people over any time. It also means you will be much more productive in all areas of your life because you will feel calm and relaxed, and you won’t feel the stress of clutter around you.

And remember, it’s just stuff. We live in a world where some people have nothing, and others have so much that it causes stress. This stress can be physical and mental – remove the layers of excess that add clutter to your home and feel the load on your mind also lighten. Less Mess = Less Stress. And if you need any more convincing, the very clever Deepak Chopra once said that ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos’. Good luck! 

Gentle on hard-working breasts

Steph Knight Steph is a Professional Organiser and Director of Less Mess Ltd. Steph is a mum of two and lives in Wellington. She has run Less Mess for almost 9 years and during that time has helped many different people in many different situations declutter, get organised and enjoy their homes more. www.lessmess.co.nz

tommeetippee.co.nz The magazine of Parents Centre 29

Within arm’s reach

Keeping tamariki safe around water

When Kiwis think of water they often think of fun times in the sun. With the days getting longer and the temperature rising, most New Zealanders' thoughts turn to summer and having fun around, in, on or under the water, at the beach, river or lake. They also think about keeping their children safe around water. This summer, Swimming New Zealand asks us all to think about keeping our families safe around the water. We are an island nation with over 14,000 kilometres of coastline, and over 65% of the population live within five kilometres of the coast. There are 3,820 lakes and 180,000 kilometres of rivers crossing the country, meaning the majority of New Zealanders are within 30 minutes drive of a major waterway. In 2017, seven under-fives fatally drowned in New Zealand. A further 26 children were hospitalised



for at least 24 hours as a result of drowning-related incidents. Of the seven preventable fatalities, five were in home pools. In 2018, this number has reduced to three fatalities, but three lives too many and three families shattered by a tragedy. A recent survey commissioned by HUGGIESÂŽ Little SwimmersÂŽ Swimpants found that 45% of Kiwi adults recall a frightening water experience from their childhood. Those parents who had water scares as children were shown in the survey to have heightened awareness of the need for children to have positive water experiences and lessons at a young age. Of those who recalled a frightening water experience, 84% believed it was very important for children to learn survival skills for their lifelong benefit. Huggies teams up with Water Safety New Zealand, Parents Centre New Zealand and swim schools every summer to support water safety for children.

"Keep your precious ones within arm’s reach around water." Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Central Pulse and Silver Fern netballer and Water Safety New Zealand ambassador

Ways to keep babies and toddlers safe around water Build confidence from an early age Advocates agree that education around water safety needs to start early. Water confidence and familiarisation can begin as soon as a baby is born. Bath time is a great opportunity to have fun and learn foundation aquatic skills, attitudes and behaviours, while also being an awesome environment to stimulate the senses and to develop fundamental movement skills. Introduction to showers at an early age usually assists in water confidence, as the child gets used to feeling water splashing on their face and making a lot of noise. A child that has developed respectful, comfortable confidence with the water at home usually copes well when introduced to the pool. Swimming is a core life skill and all New Zealand children should have the opportunity to learn to swim.

The team at Water Safety New Zealand and water safety ambassador Ameliaranne Ekenasio have this advice to share.

Constant active adult supervision at all times Always keep babies and toddlers within arm's reach around water. It takes less than a minute for a child to drown. In 2017, seven under-fives lost their lives in preventable drowning incidents.

If you're in a group, have an active adult supervision roster Don't rely on older children to supervise younger ones in, on or around water. Constant active adult supervision is required at all times.

Identify water hazards in and around the home Ensure your pool is properly fenced and complies with the safety requirements under the The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 and has properly working

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safety latches. Empty water from unused paddling pools, buckets and containers after use and ensure you have a safely fenced play area. Also, when on holiday check for water hazards and ensure pool gates are secure and locked at all times.

Use your Water Safety bathmat at bath times Water Safety New Zealand works with Plunket to supply bathmats to new parents to keep our toddlers and babies safe at bath time. The bathmats stop your child from slipping and reinforce the message that you should NEVER leave your baby or toddler unsupervised in the bath, even to answer the phone.

Avoid distraction Put your phone away when supervising children around water. Their lives are in your hands and their safety requires your full attention. A child can drown in the time it takes to read a text message.

Life jackets Life jackets are essential on a boat, must fit snuggly and have a crotch strap. They should be worn whenever your child is around water, as accidental immersions are a leading cause of preventable drowning fatalities in New Zealand. 

“Parents are right to want their babies to have positive water experiences at a young age. We are surrounded by water here in New Zealand, and support the work being done to help make lessons more accessible. The most important water safety message when it comes to underfives is constant supervision. They should always be within your line of sight and within arm’s length for toddlers when in or around water. It takes less than a minute for a child to drown.” CEO of Water Safety New Zealand, Jonty Mills

Teach your children water safety behaviour As soon as they are old enough to understand, teach your children things like: ‘Never go near the water unless you’re with a grown up’. It is important our children are taught that while water is to be enjoyed, it must also be respected. It is imperative they are taught about the risks and dangers associated with water-based activities.



For more information www.watersafety.org.nz www.huggies.co.nz/parenting/child-safety/water www.splashsave.co.nz

W O N K r e v e n u o y e s u O G Beca o t g n i o g e r ’ y e h t when

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Designed for use in water - the unique absorbent materials won’t swell, and the easy open sides make taking them off after the swim fun is over, easy. The magazine of Parents Centre


Grandparents support breastfeeding mums

A new baby on the way? Congratulations! Of course you are going to want the very best for this new member of your family, as well as for your grandchild’s parents. No matter whether you are becoming a grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent, great-aunt or -uncle for the first or the fourth time, you will be feeling very proud and excited about having an important role to play in this little person’s life. You might know the baby is going to be breastfed. Perhaps breastfeeding isn’t something you know much about, or maybe you didn’t breastfeed your own children. It’s likely that lots of things have changed since you had your babies. Perhaps they were born in a different country, your children may have a different lifestyle to your own, perhaps they have partners from different cultures, religious backgrounds or speak other languages – it can be a lot to take in! And now there is a new baby too, you might find you have even more different ideas!

After the baby is born In the first few days after birth, a baby will want to breastfeed every time they’re awake. At this point in time, a mother may only have time to feed the baby, eat and sleep. This is normal and a mum and her baby will want to spend all their time together. The mother needs to be close to her baby at all times in order to feed often, and the



hormones of a breastfeeding mother means there is an intense emotional and physical connection between mother and baby. By meeting her baby’s needs immediately, a mother helps her baby to develop a secure attachment with her, which helps baby to grow into a confident child.

Why breastfeed? Breast milk is normal – human milk is made for human babies, formula milk is artificial. Although formula milk is adequate for babies, it is not equal to breast milk. Breast milk contains many things that cannot be made in a factory: living cells, antibodies, hormones, active enzymes. Breast milk changes to meet the growing needs of the baby and the environment the baby is in. If the baby or mother is exposed to an illness, then the mother’s breast milk will contain antibodies to help protect the baby. Breast milk changes throughout the day and contains flavours from the

mother’s diet. Formula just can’t do these things – it is a static product. Human babies are born with immature brains that need to grow rapidly, whilst physical growth is much slower. Breast milk contains all the ingredients necessary to achieve this. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, is designed for the fast physical and muscular growth required by calves. Even in the modern western world we live in, babies who are fed formula milk are more likely to be hospitalised due to illnesses such as gastroenteritis, and are at higher risk of developing diabetes, cancers, obesity and other modern diseases as children and adults.

Baby-led attachment and skin-to-skin In recent years, research has shown that babies have an inborn ability to move and attach themselves to their mother’s breast – baby-led attachment. Whether the baby

Fun Fact! Did you know that research is based on five hours of unbroken sleep being considered as “sleeping through the night”?

is born in hospital or at home, it is likely that the baby will be placed on the mother’s bare chest immediately or soon after birth, and allowed to spend some time resting and getting to know his mother – this is called skin-to-skin and helps to triggers the baby’s natural reflex to feed. You will often see baby bobbing their head around, falling, crawling or even throwing themselves towards their mother’s breast. The baby uses their sense of smell and their cheeks to help find their mother’s breast. These instincts remain strong for several months after the baby is born. The baby’s sense of smell is the most developed sense at birth, so it is important for baby and parents to stay close in the first 24–48 hours to get to know each other – the smells of other people can be confusing at this time, and you may find that for the first day or two, new parents don’t want anyone else to hold their baby… including you.

This may feel frustrating and unnecessary to you as a grandparent but try to remember it is only for a day or two and then you have a whole lifetime of cuddles and fun to enjoy. Perhaps you can stay close by and give the new mother and father a hug while they hold their baby until the time is right for you to have that precious, first cuddle.

Feeding on demand New breastfed babies often seem to be feeding often, with little thought of routine or spacing feeds. This could be quite different to the way you were shown to feed your baby, especially if formula was part of your baby’s diet. In the early days, a mother’s milk supply is mainly controlled by hormones. Over a few weeks this gradually switches to being controlled by the breasts. The process of supply is managed based on how much milk is removed from the breast and how often. It’s important to feed to meet the baby's demand, as this allows the

breasts to work to produce milk to match each individual baby’s hunger and feeding pattern. As baby grows, they may go through phases of feeding more often for a day or two. This is the baby’s way of telling the supply process that they are hungrier and need more milk to meet their growing needs. The breasts respond to the increased demand by increasing the quantity of milk being made. When you think of how this supply and demand process works, it’s easy to see why many women in the past found a four-hourly feeding routine could lead to milk supply not being adequate to meet their baby’s needs. If your grandchild seems to need feeding often, you can help support your daughter-in-law by encouraging her to trust her body’s ability to nurture her baby and feed as often as she needs to. You might be able to help by putting on a load of washing, cooking meals or helping with older siblings.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Sleep is precious Having a new baby is very tiring, as you will remember yourself. All babies wake at night and often continue to do so for several months or longer. Breastfeeding at night helps maintain milk supply, helps with bonding and can be a time for quiet, peaceful breastfeeds. Hormones produced in breast milk and by the mother herself help baby and mum get back to sleep more quickly after breastfeeding. Encouraging a new mum to sleep or rest during the day when her baby naps is a good way for new mums to catch up on a little rest in the early days and weeks. This can be hard for many new mothers to do, but if you are able to help with keeping the house clean and tidy, doing some shopping and cooking, then it can be easier for your daughter (or daughter-in-law) to rest when her baby does.

Bottles/pacifiers The action of breastfeeding is quite different to the sucking action when using a bottle or pacifier; some babies are confused by the different

sucking action. It is better for the baby and mum if breastfeeding is well established before considering giving bottles or other teats. Once the baby is breastfeeding well (usually after a couple of months), then it may be possible to give the baby a bottle of expressed breast milk. If a baby is encouraged to suck a pacifier to settle it can lead to less milk being taken from the breasts, leading to a reduction in milk supply. Many mothers choose to soothe and comfort their baby by breastfeeding rather than with pacifiers. Being able to offer the breast as a way of comforting and soothing an upset baby or child is a wonderful parenting tool that many mothers come to cherish as time goes on.

Feeding in public These days women can feed their baby pretty much anywhere they want to. Once a new mum has had a bit of practice feeding her baby, it is quite possible to feed comfortably while out and about, however, it can be a daunting prospect the first few times! If the new mum feels she has your support, then she will feel

comfortable feeding in front of you and other family members. Once your daughter (or daughter-in-law) feels ready to go out with her baby, you could offer to go with her to give her some moral support while breastfeeding in public. Mothers usually notice as soon as their baby starts to show feeding cues and are able to start feeding before their baby becomes upset. This means that most of the time people only notice a mum and baby snuggled up together – often they don’t even realise the mother is breastfeeding.

If mum finds breastfeeding hard, encourage her. Breastfeeding may not be easy at first but it is worth it! Continued overleaf...



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.

www.philips.co.nz/avent www.facebook.com/Philips.Avent.NewZealand

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There are many things that grandparents or other close family members can do to support breastfeeding mothers: „ Offer to help with the other children – read them a story or play with them. „ Help around the house – do the dishes or the grocery shopping. Hang out the washing, do some cleaning or make the school lunches. „ If mum is finding breastfeeding hard going, encourage her. Breastfeeding may not be easy for every mother at first, but it’s worth the effort! „ Help mum to get the rest she needs by offering to help with the baby, but know that some mums prefer to keep their baby close at all times. You could offer to bath baby or burp them after

a feed – and don’t forget to help with nappy changing! „ Aim to make at least the first ten days after the birth a ‘babymoon’ for the new mother – free from cooking, cleaning and childcare, unless she chooses.  Denise’s mum and her daughter

For more information Find out more about breastfeeding from your local La Leche League group – they are just as happy to talk to grandparents (and other relatives) as well as mums of new babies. To find your local group, visit: www.lalecheleague.org.nz

New mums and the baby blues Many new mums have what is often called 'the baby blues'. It's quite normal for new mums to feel emotional and be more sensitive than usual in the early days, but it does usually pass within a couple of weeks. However, if you are concerned that a new mum is struggling more than usual, or you have concerns about postnatal depression, talk to her and encourage her to discuss it with her midwife, well-child nurse or GP. Getting help early is really useful in these situations.



Denise Ives Denise is a La Leche League leader based in Dunedin, where she has lived for 10 years since leaving England. She is also a qualifed Breastfeeding Counsellor, having completed a diploma in England with the University of Bedfordshire and National Childbirth Trust. Denise founded The Breast Room® in Dunedin, a drop-in breastfeeding support clinic where parents can go for free one-to-one breastfeeding support. Denise has two children aged 26 years and 16 years, and a 5-year-old granddaughter. Denise enjoys walking her dogs, playing clarinet, reading and knitting.

In this section Blown away by support in Rotorua Smashing it out of the park in Tauranga Childbirth Education Classes

Volunteers – the lifeblood of Parents Centre

Photo: Marlborough Parents Centre

What is a volunteer? Basically, it is someone who is socially conscious. It takes an exceptional person to recognise the benefits that go with giving something of themselves and their time, sharing their skills without needing payment as a reward. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Parents Centres around the country. We simply wouldn’t exist without the extraordinary enthusiasm and energy of so many generous and proactive people nationwide. Volunteering is rewarding, skill-building, good for communities and, let’s not forget, it can be great fun! It fosters a strong sense of belonging and community connection.

Photo: Ashburton and Timaru Parents Centres

Time and again we hear that our volunteers are people who are full-time parents, have paid jobs as well as other commitments, yet who still manage to find the time to volunteer for their local Centre. It’s heartening to see the wide number of benefits that volunteering brings. These include career opportunities, the ability to expand a CV for returning to the paid workforce, friendships, personal and professional growth and, often, the overall satisfaction that comes from being able to contribute to other parents and their families.

Photo: Lower Hutt Parents Centre

Read the stories on the following pages of inspirational volunteers who are making a huge contribution to their communities in Rotorua and Tauranga. If you are not already enjoying the benefits of volunteering – why don’t you have a go? Your local Centre will welcome you with open arms! To all our volunteers who have been before, who are with us now and who will join us in the future, Parents Centres New Zealand is thankful for your input and honoured to work alongside you to support parents throughout New Zealand.

To locate a Centre near you and to find out more about volunteering with Parents Centre, visit: www.parentscentre.org.nz 

The magazine of Parents Centre


Blown away by the support Our journey started early in 2019 when we renewed our contract for the local provision of childbirth education and early parenting classes. We found we had been significantly over delivering in terms of the number of classes we had been putting on. This meant we were running at quite a loss and this was not something we could sustain. We discussed this with the DHB and agreed what were able to provide based on the funding; a 40% reduction in the number of classes. We are very proud of the service we offer and have an incredible educator delivering our classes. We discussed increasing class sizes but we had no more capacity in the rooms we were using. A lot of time was spent researching venues, but we struggled to find somewhere that was large enough, plus open in the evenings and weekends when our classes run. Safety was a really important factor as we wanted our clients and educator to feel safe when they left in the evening. We started to look at commercial leases. Our budget was tiny; a lot less than anything that was advertised, but we came across something at the lower end of the scale and hoped we might be able to negotiate. It was in a poor state of repair, with peeling plaster, no carpets and awful retrofit showers. It had potential though. The space was great; there were two large rooms, each with a kitchenette and toilets, and there was amazing light. The property had been vacant for a long time; it just needed care and attention. The agent informed us that the advertised price was ex GST, something we had not even considered, and excluded service charges. The total cost was now twice our budget!



We made an offer The agent suggested we make an offer, so we discussed it as a committee and put something together. We outlined who we were and what we did, we told them why we needed our own venue. Not only did we need a bigger room, we also needed a home; somewhere our committee could come together and feel like we belonged, and a sense of permanence we had not had for years due to regular venue changes and being split between places. We told them our budget and offered to do the place up a bit; applying for funding to paint, carpet and remove the showers. We were blown away with the response. They offered us the space for an amount we could afford, plus gave us free rent for 12 months if we carpeted and painted the property. The agent also waived his fee. We were amazed! We drew up fantastic terms with a move-in date three months later, with access to do work in between. Grant applications started in earnest – we were successful with our full application to Pub Charity for re-carpeting the rooms and putting vinyl in the bathrooms.

Photo far left: (Danielle Auld), Steward Edward (Chair of Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust), Jo-Anne La Grouw (trustee of Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust), Alice Waitoa (Childbirth Educator), Angela Smith-Bigwood (our secretary, Jordan Dodwell (our treasurer).

We received part funding from the Lion Foundation for the repaint, the landlord put us in touch with the firm who removed the asbestos and repainted the ceiling (at the landlord's expense). They agreed to repaint everything for the funding we had received; an amazing discount! We were successful in our application to Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust for funding of the fit-out. As we'd not had our own place before, we needed everything from cutlery to chairs, and a clock to hang on the wall! It was a mad rush to buy everything we needed in time for our self-imposed deadline of the start of term four; as we had free rent, we really wanted to make the most of it! We made it, and moved in. Our Playgroup is still run from the local community centre as there is a large outside space and playground there, which we were not able to replicate in our centre. All our childbirth education and early parenting courses now operate from here, and we have had great feedback from our funders, network and clients. We have also had a strategy meeting and a committee meeting there, so have properly moved in!

operating in similar fields, in the hope of making it a real Parents Centre. In the meantime, we have a clean safe space to deliver our courses and we have a home for our committee and our members. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way; from the agent to the landlord and funders – their support has enabled us to finally have our own space. ď Ž Danielle Auld President, Rotorua Parents Centre

So much more we can do Now that we have our own space, there is so much more we can do. We have plans to broaden our course offering in 2020 and we can also put on smaller hottopic or information evenings without worrying about covering costs. We are incredibly proud of our space and will look to offer use of it to other organisations

The magazine of Parents Centre


Photo: Tauranga Parents Centre Member benefits include swimming lessons

on engaging with the community in a meaningful way, to ensure Tauranga Parents Centre was a valuable and helpful resource for all parents. With the support from the National Office, we have grown our Centre exponentially over the past year. A highlight was holding our open day for the community, which over 400 people attended. We have also increased our membership, attracting more members in the last few months of 2019 than we had for the whole of last year. These memberships now offer terrific benefits to families, including a home-cooked meal and batch of breastfeeding cookies delivered after baby has been born, and additional discounts (as well as the national ones) from local businesses. These include 50% off swimming lessons, a cheap coffee and donut combo at a beloved local cafe, a discount with the toy library, and many more savings. We introduced a sponsorship scheme within our Centre, allowing appropriate businesses to advertise and hold information workshops for members and interested local families, while financially supporting our Centre. We now facilitate postnatal coffee groups which allow mums and babies to reconnect with their CBE and have an informal get together to debrief, connect and engage with other parents, while getting additional help and support from our Committee if needed. We have initiated affordable and regular Infant CPR and First Aid classes to encourage every parent to be firstaid trained for their family. And we have been building the foundations of great relationships with other groups and initiatives within our community, including attending important hui to help influence outcomes for local families, as well as creating shared opportunities to introduce new classes together.

Smashing it out of the park in Tauranga


In the lead-up to Christmas we took part in some wonderful events, including the Giant Advent Calendar run by Downtown Tauranga, and decorated one of the City Council community trees on the waterfront, so our Centre embraced the wha-nau aspect of Christmas. We ran the gift-wrapping station at a local mall and partnered with a primary school to create Christmas cards for local dementia-care rest homes, in a combined effort to practice manaakitanga and give back to the community. Finally, we were a collection point to support Little Sprouts – a volunteer-run charity dedicated to ensuring that all Kiwi babies get the best start.

We've been a busy Centre! At the beginning of 2019 we were staring down the barrel of closing and working remotely, in an effort to lower the rising running costs and offset our diminishing committee.

All in all, 2019 was a very busy year for us, with lots of challenges that we smashed out of the park! We are now focussed on continuing to grow our Centre in 2020, with an eye towards becoming a truly invaluable resource to every family in Tauranga. ď Ž

After being elected as President following an early AGM vote, I set about recruiting a wonderfully talented and eclectic group of strong women to join our committee. These women have been invaluable in resurrecting the Centre, with a renewed sense of energy and a focus

Jenner Ballinger-Judd President, Tauranga Parents Centre


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

This month the spotlight is on:

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

plan and trouble-shooting for times when breastfeeding can be challenging. Information is power and, in an often medically oriented birthing situation, this knowledge is empowering for both parents. Many parents also find it extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to take time out of their busy lives to dedicate a couple of hours a week to planning for the birth of their baby. The ‘coffee groups’ that follow on from the class series become a lifeline for some. To network with other parents at the same stage of life, experiencing similar challenges and joys, is confidence boosting and very rewarding. The programmes are run by qualified professional Childbirth Educators who are skilled in knowledge and in facilitation, to ensure that your experience of antenatal classes is fun, interactive, valuable and informative. Go to www.parentscentre.org.nz to find out about antenatal classes running in your area.

Childbirth educations classes are supported by Huggies. 

Parents Centres childbirth education programmes cater for all situations, including when labour doesn’t go to

The magazine of Parents Centre


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


North Island Auckland Region 1 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 Thames-Hauraki

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 47 Centres nationwide, we provide many opportunities for social engagement for both parents and children. Many of our Centres offer playgroups and music classes, and these are a great way to learn with your children while you get to socialise with other parents at the same time.

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

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

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

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

www.parentscentre.org.nz 

Tinies to Tots – positively encouraging your emerging adventurous toddler.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Ask a Childbirth Educator

Infant massage

Infant massage is an age-old tradition in many areas of the world, especially the African and Asian continents, indigenous South Pacific cultures and the former Soviet Union. It is a traditional practice passed down from generation to generation. Newborns have a well-developed sense of touch and your baby’s skin is their largest organ. More of baby’s body is devoted to the sense of touch than to any other sense. Touch with your baby begins with skin-toskin as soon as possible after birth. This involves placing your baby on your chest to facilitate close contact between you and your baby and we naturally stroke and cuddle them. My first experience of infant massage was 17 years ago when my first child was a newborn and I attended an introduction to infant massage class as part of a Baby and You course at the Christchurch Parents Centre. From that class, I then took my son along to an infant massage course over a five-week period. I did the same with my twins two years later.

I guess that’s when the seed was planted. In 2018 I chose to train with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM). IAIM is the largest and most experienced infant massage organisation in the world, with a presence in more than 70 countries. IAIM’s work, dating back to the 1970s, is supported by current scientific and medical evidence.

Why should you attend a baby massage class? While there are many books and videos available on infant massage, learning along with other parents from a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) is a more hands-on, interactive and personal experience.

The strokes are taught one by one so you will feel comfortable and confident that you are doing them correctly. CIMIs also help you understand your baby’s responses and can help answer any questions you may have about touch, bonding, attachment and other topics. During an infant massage class, you will also benefit from the interaction, knowledge and experience of other parents. I offer a five-week course of approximately 90 minutes each class to teach parents a whole-body massage with their baby. It can take time for babies to learn to accept new touch and massage techniques, so out of respect for the baby the massage is introduced in bite-sized chunks that the baby can tolerate, and the parent can remember. By the end of the five-week period

All IAIM infant massage instructors, throughout the world, receive a comprehensive programme of practical and theoretical training. IAIM Certified Instructors of Infant Massage (CIMIs) share the belief that every baby deserves respect, tenderness, warmth and a listening heart. Infant massage is a communication process that parents and babies share which promotes these values. (Source – IAIM website)



parents feel well supported to massage their baby at home.

Comments from some of the parents after attending a course “The pace is just right! Lovely warm, friendly environment for the babies and mums.” “Loved spending time bonding with baby, nice to catch up with other mums as well. Great to learn a new skill.” “(We liked) the progressive nature of the days building up to full body massage.” “Learning all about different strokes and connecting more with my baby boy. He relaxes more and loves touch and eye contact.”

„ P romotion of bonding and secure attachment

Parents may find that infant massage helps relieve:

„ Verbal/non-verbal communication

„ Gas and colic

„ D evelopment of trust and confidence

„ Growing pains and muscular tension

„ Use of all the senses „ F eelings of love, respect, and being valued Each massage may stimulate: „ Circulatory and digestive systems „ Hormonal and immune systems „ Coordination and balance

„ Constipation and elimination

„ Teething discomfort „ Cramps Massage promotes relaxation which may be shown through: „ Improved sleep patterns „ Increased flexibility and muscle tone „ Regulation of behavioural states

„ Learning and concentration

„ B eing calm and being able to calm themself

„ Muscular development and growth

„ Reduction in stress hormones

„ Mind and body awareness

What are the benefits of using infant massage with my baby? Both research and anecdotal evidence from families have shown that there are many ways that babies and families may benefit from infant massage. Interaction during infant massage may include:

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Parents from my classes have noticed benefits including: “Definitely helps with relaxation. The stomach/ colic massage helps a lot with wind. Face massage helped with nasal congestion.” “Lovely way to interact – this has coincided with Mac becoming more interactive.” “More relaxed. He’s quite a tense baby.”

Research studies also show many benefits from Infant Massage Neonatal Units In Neonatal Intensive Care Units there is evidence that infant massage has beneficial effects on preterm infants in the NICU, including shorter length of stay; reduced pain; and improved weight gain, feeding tolerance, and neurodevelopment. For infants who experience painful procedures, are exposed to the stressful NICU environment, and are separated from their parents, infant massage has been promoted



as a method to reduce stress and promote bonding.

gradually develop a nurturing routine that will last a lifetime.

Great for partners

Follow your baby’s cues. Look for signs that your baby is in the “quiet alert state” to massage him/ her. Your baby will look calm, gaze at you, be happy to lay still, have open body posture, or reach out towards you. As you learn your baby’s cues, you will know when it is the right time.

Infants were given massages by their fathers for 15 minutes prior to their daily bedtime for one month. By the end of the study, the fathers who massaged their infants were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and more warmth during floor-play interactions with their infants.

Settling to sleep Infants and toddlers with sleep onset problems were given daily massages by their parents for 15 minutes prior to bedtime for one month. Based on parent diaries, the massaged versus the control children (who were read bedtime stories) showed fewer sleep delay behaviours and had a shorter latency to sleep onset by the end of the study. Forty-fiveminute behaviour observations by an independent observer also revealed more time awake, alert and active and more positive affect in the massaged children by the end of the study.

Infant massage can be very helpful for babies who have experienced challenges in their lives. It is a wonderful way to strengthen the communication between parents and their children. It’s also never too late to start.

When and how often should I massage my baby?

When can I begin massaging my baby?

It is wonderful to have massage be part of your daily family routine. Depending on your baby, they may be receptive in the morning, after a bath or before bedtime. Or they may be only open to accepting massage on her legs at one session, may like tummy massage during a nappy change, and like the whole body at bath time.

You can begin massage during the first few weeks after birth and then

Many of the benefits are increased with regular daily massages.

Find out more Pados, B.F., & McGlothen-Bell, K. (2019). Benefits of Infant Massage for Infants and Parents in the NICU. https://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/abs/pii/S1751485119300704

Out & About with the Beco Gemini Cool Mesh Baby Carrier

Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A. & Hartshorn, K. (2000). Fatherinfant interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 164, 41-47. http://pediatrics.med.miami. edu/touch-research/infant-massage Field, T., & Hernandez-Reif, M., (2001). Sleep problems in infants decrease following massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 168, 95-104.

And some babies happily receive more than one massage a day. My family has used massage with our children as they have grown, and even now as teenagers the benefits are still being reaped. I can often give my daughter a face massage or back massage on those nights she is struggling to get to sleep. My three children are all competitive gymnasts and enjoy a relaxing massage to all the tight and sore muscles they seem to always have with gymnastics. Not to mention how this also provides a relaxed and safe environment and atmosphere to bring those rare moments of lovely teenage-parent conversations. And, they also know how to reciprocate – who doesn’t love a massage!

So, from that seed being planted 17 years ago, realising the phenomenal benefits of massage for my children and our family, and for all the families I have the gift of working with, I decided to train as an Infant Massage Instructor.

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I now provide Baby Bond Massage courses from my home in Christchurch. Each class has a maximum of seven parents and their baby, so it’s a lovely intimate group and everyone loves the home baking my daughter does for us every week. I just love seeing the bonds strengthen and grow between the babies and their parents, and take great pleasure in the fact that I can give these wonderful families the lifelong gift of massage. 

Maria Stevens Maria is all about babies. She trained as a nanny when she left school and worked with families in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. When she and her husband had their own family, she started volunteering for Parents Centre. Maria loved it so much she decided to train as a Childbirth Educator and has been facilitating antenatal and post-birth classes for Christchurch Parents Centre for the last ten years. Maria recently returned to nannying part-time so her life is full of teenagers and babies – and she couldn’t be happier. www.BabyBondMassage.co.nz

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Getting eating back on track

after the break



Christmas and holidays are the time for us all to relax, and not running to routines often feels like a break in itself. But then reality returns and it’s time to re-establish good habits. There are some tried and tested ways to approach food to support a child to eat competently and well, and to make feeding an easy and pleasurable experience for us.

Creating an environment conducive to eating As parents we are the key to our child’s eating. The way we approach food and feeding has an enormous impact on how confident our child becomes at the table and the number of foods that are competently eaten.

Schedules It is important to establish specific eating windows through the day, rather than allowing children to graze at will. This works on a few levels: „ everyone knows when food is coming „ y our child is likely to be hungry coming into a snack or meal „ p repared food tends to be more nutritious than pre-packaged snacks.

Family Eating as a family supports eating well. A family meal is one adult and one child, so totally do-able! If we eat at the same time, even if it’s just a few bits and pieces for us, we are modelling and we are sharing good eating habits.

Choices Giving your child some options – but not too many – is a great way to get them involved in meals. “Would you like carrots or peas or both?” is a great style of question. Choice can be introduced in other fun ways too. “Would you like to eat inside or on the picnic rug in the garden?”

Control Often giving over some autonomy is positive. Allowing your child to choose what goes onto their own plate, for example. This would be from a selection we, as the parent, have offered.

Confidence Creating an atmosphere where we are confident that our child is able to eat a variety of foods well. Being positive about what our child is capable of, maybe not today but long term, as we would with reading or swimming. Using affirmative language and actions. Then removing any pressure and enjoying mealtimes with our child.

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The key take-aways for me would always be:

Make food fun, relaxed and pleasurable. Have confidence that your child can eat more widely and act accordingly. Don’t give in, your positivity and determination will pay off.

It’s all about choice How to enable a child to eat a wide range of foods, especially fruit and vegetables. Eating is a complex process and can be very challenging for our little ones. But, there are some strategies that yield great long-term results and help ease them into the vegetable and family meal options.

Comfort The most important ingredient for increasing the number of fruit and vegetables accepted and eaten is the frequency with which we serve them. If your child sees a vegetable three to four times every week, they are far more likely to eat it than if it rarely appears. We do not willingly eat something that is outside of our comfort zone, and it takes time to build this. The more we interact with a food, the more likely we are to eat it too.

Opportunity First build a comfort level and then give your child multiple chances to eat a food. Having vegetables available throughout the day, for example, rather than just at dinner, gives additional options for take-up. Serving the vegetables first, when everyone is most hungry, can also help. Normalising vegetable uptake in the way we talk, serve and eat can be very supportive.

Change up the food If you’d like more of a certain food eaten, then giving it a makeover can increase acceptance:



Dips – use a favourite dip to encourage eating a new or less favoured food e.g. dipping carrots in honey/hummus/yoghurt/ketchup. Using a dip to get something accepted initially is a great strategy. Pairings – match an accepted food with a less favoured food. It’s often better not to go favourite with a nonfavoured though. For example, chips vs peas, chips win every time. We can also use additions to make other foods taste better. For example, cheese on broccoli, honey on roasted carrots or butter on peas. Mix it up – try using skewers/cocktail sticks/muffin tins – a different method of delivery can boost interest. Another advantage of loading up, for example, a skewer, is that it helps to increase interaction. Even pulling something off the skewer is encouraging touching and possibly smelling and some flavour trace. Super sandwiches – build, for example, a vegetable sandwich using two thin slices of carrot and a wedge of cheese, or slices of apple with peanut butter in between. If licking the favoured food from the less accepted one is all we achieve then we are still encouraging that “getting to know” a new food. Icy delights – using fruit and veg to create mini popsicles, frozen bananas for “ice cream” or freezing yoghurt to make bark. There are so many creative ways to make fruit and vegetables seem like treats. New methods of cooking – frying, grilling or roasting can turn a food into a winner. Roasted kumara wedges, kale chips and BBQ corn all spring to mind!

Slurp it up – serve less accepted foods in liquid form… purees, smoothies and soups are often easier to manage. Incorporation – adding less favoured foods in small amounts to accepted foods is often a win. For example, carrot cake, spinach in fritters, or chicken mince in potato cakes.

Behind the scenes Involving our child in trips to the market, in growing some food – even if it’s just cress on the windowsill – prepping snacks, cooking and serving all help to build a comfort level and an interest in food.

Fun with food Being allowed to play with food supports building a comfort level with it. Interacting with food away from the table can also help with sensory sensitivities. For example, using uncooked rice or beans in play or manipulating dough, pastry or even yoghurt. There are lots of fun experiments we can do with our preschoolers too. Dough rising, apples floating, freezing things and making butter from cream are all simple science exercises that are great fun.

Lunchbox solutions Lunch is not the place to experiment! Being away from home, being busy and often distracted makes kindy lunch trickier. But sticking to some simple parameters can yield better results: 1. M ake sure your child can easily get things open/out. It sounds simple but it can derail eating. 2. Think about their preference in terms of texture, temperature and colour. 3. Think small. Even a sandwich may seem overwhelmingly large. Bite-sized means graband-go too. Perfect for the busy. 4. Less can be more. Offering large quantities or many options can be overwhelming. For those who don’t eat well, this is even more important. 5. Make things look appealing. We do eat with our eyes. We don’t have to be Nadia Lim but safe

skewers, cookie cutters for sandwiches, faces on bananas or crinkle cut carrots, for example, all help. 6. Familiarity is always supportive. Even using favoured pots with a sticker on can make a newer food more comfortable. 7. Offering choices is empowering. Apple or banana, or even going to the next level and organising a packing station. Choose one food from each of these three baskets. 8. The primary objective is to have foods eaten. It’s never a positive for a child to not eat. If the tried and tested is failing, thinking outside of the box can help. Jam sandwich boomeranging? What about a mini muffin, a pancake or a croissant? 9. Boredom or food jags can creep in if we send the same thing every day. It’s important that we make small changes to keep things fresh and enable change. If we want to encourage our child to eat a certain food, then including it frequently will support this. 10. Using fun foods. There are so many ideas. Bread “sushi”, veggie nuggets, rolled up pizza, the options are endless. 

Judith Yeabsley Judith is the author of Creating Confident Eaters, the guide for picky eaters. The book empowers parents, showing them HOW to support a child to eat variety. Judith spends most of her time working with families, supporting them to get fussy eaters eating. She is also a speaker and an educator working with organisations and writing for local and international publications.

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Take care of


Preventing postnatal nutrient depletion




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Many women struggle with the after effect of childbirth and the overwhelming reality of having a little human who relies on them 24/7. The term ‘postnatal depletion’ (I first heard from my clinical psychologist friend Dr Karen Faisandier) accurately describes the nutrient state of a new mum. Whilst some women may experience depressive symptoms because of this, others feel general weariness and fatigue that is an expected part of being a mum. I recently listened to a podcast with the amazing Lily Nichols (well known for her work on gestational diabetes and diet) and her thoughts on the role of nutrients and if there is anything that can be done to mitigate these symptoms or help the recovery process, pre and post birth. From a fitness perspective, if we consider the evolutionary picture, there is a definite mismatch between the activities of adults when compared to now. In activities of daily living there was a lot more squatting, lifting, lunging and pulling as part of gathering food and providing shelter. This made for a much stronger pelvic floor and core muscles than we have now. The strength and muscular fitness of the mother during pregnancy can really influence their recovery period post-birth. In days gone by, one of the main roles of the elders at the time of late pregnancy and childbirth is believed to have been to gather the

additional calories required by the childbearing women, as it was difficult to obtain that amount of dietary energy. There was an enforced rest period post birth to help with recovery and bonding of child and mother, and this isn’t a focus in modern life, where there seems to be real pressure to get back up on your feet after a few days and get going.

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From a food standpoint, the overwhelming and all-encompassing burden of being a mother to a newborn (first or third time around) makes it challenging to prioritise the nutritious meals required.

A double whammy Childbirth is extremely energy demanding, whether you have a physiological (vaginal) birth or whether you have a caesarean section (c-section). For some, the double whammy of the intention to have a natural birth but, after 40 hours of labour, be whipped

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into surgery for a c-section likely even more so. The emotional and physical trauma relating to all of the above scenarios should not be understated, however, while guidelines exist during pregnancy for nutrition, there are no real guidelines in place for postpartum recovery. The nutrient requirements of growing another human, plus the demands of labour, leaves a woman in a very real depleted state, from a caloric and from a nutrient perspective. It is therefore no wonder that women experience exhaustion and a depressive mood post childbirth. Furthermore, upregulation of protein turnover occurs post birth (both via c-section and vaginal) to help repair and heal tissue, and as a result of increased inflammation. This will certainly increase the requirements for protein and the amino acids responsible for musculoskeletal health.

What about carbohydrate calories? It appears to be individual as to the requirement for most women. If someone develops gestational diabetes during pregnancy and has been limiting their carbohydrate intake, Lily suggests it is prudent to continue this lower carbohydrate approach post pregnancy for

six to twelve weeks and ideally self-monitor their blood glucose responses to meals with a glucometer to assess if their levels have reduced to normal range. This is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. A small drop of blood is placed on a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood glucose level. There is no optimal intake amount for carbohydrate (as it isn’t an essential nutrient, the body can make it well enough), however, a key indicator of individual requirement would be milk supply for the breastfeeding mother, and mood, energy and stress response may also be good indicators. Carbohydrate helps produce serotonin in the body and quality sources such as potato or kumara can be great for helping with mood and calming anxiety. There’s no right or wrong way, but I wouldn’t recommend a ketogenic diet for most healthy women postbirth, instead aiming for a good intake of vegetable fibre and adding a couple of serves of fruit and/or kumara or potato into the day. This may take the carbohydrate content to around 80–120g per day which is still a low-moderate amount. Quality is key.

It is well recognised that breastfeeding increases the caloric requirements of women by around 600 per day compared to prepregnancy, however there are no guidelines for an increased caloric intake post-birth for women who don’t breastfeed, which may lead to some women feeling they should immediately return to prepregnancy food intake for fear of not being able to lose the ‘baby weight’. It is reasonable to consider that, breastfeeding or not, the healing that needs to take place to recover from childbirth will require additional calories, and expectations of dropping weight quickly would ideally be put on the backburner until the body is healthy enough.

Micronutrients From a micronutrient standpoint, there is an increased risk of anaemia with childbirth and more so with multiple c-sections. The estimated blood losses during a c-section is thought to be up to 1000ml, so it is no wonder that someone may come out depleted. And, worth mentioning, there is a clinical link between anaemia and postpartum depression, which highlights the important role of iron in the brain. In addition, the sudden drop of progesterone postbirth may create an imbalance until normal levels

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Don't ignore your hunger signals. Eat until satisfied and listen to your body.

resume with the menstrual cycle. Coupled with fluctuating oestrogen levels, this is thought to be one of the major influences of mood and can have negative impacts. Finally, it can take time for the thyroid (which enlarges during pregnancy) to come back to normal size, which can trigger hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism in the short term, leading to a low mood state. Therefore, iron, iodine, selenium, zinc and other cofactors in thyroid metabolism need to be considered. Practically speaking, what steps should be taken to avoid postnatal depletion and adjust to the new additions to the family? Ideally, if possible, get strong and fit in a safe way, enlisting the help of a qualified fitness professional before and during pregnancy.



Before the birth While pregnant, for several weeks, purposely cook a meal once a week to freeze for post-birth, and make sure it’s something you are going to want to eat. Casseroles, slow-cooker mince meals, pre-cooked chicken breasts, and frittatas are all things that can be frozen, but if you don’t like the idea of thawing and eating these, then it’s not going to be worth making them. You may want to do this in the second trimester and beginning of third trimester, so you are sorted prior to the last few weeks when fatigue more rapidly sets in. This might require more freezer space, but this will help emulate the traditional ‘village’ feel of not having to do everything yourself post birth. In addition, baking low-sugar muffins, loaves and breads (if you’re a baker) and slicing and freezing will give something quick to consume when necessary, without you having to rely on processed refined foods. If budget allows, consider using a company that creates prepared wholefood meals to take the pressure off having to cook (and the temptation to buy takeaways).

Post birth Continue taking prenatal supplements and consider getting your nutrient

blood markers taken around 10–12 weeks post birth, when inflammation and hormones that are disrupted during the pregnancy and birth have had time to settle down. This will give you a more accurate reflection of any nutrients that you may be running low in. Work with a health professional such as a nutritionist, naturopath or dietitian to provide you with good advice around quality supplements, as price of supplements don’t necessarily reflect quality. Ensure adequate protein and fats at each meal, with a moderate amount of carbohydrate. If possible, avoid meals that are too skewed towards carbohydrate as these are going to cause blood sugar swings that will impact on energy levels and mood state. This is obviously problematic when also sleep deprived! Don’t ignore your hunger signals. Remember you need more calories currently, breastfeeding or not. Eat until satisfied and trust your body and the signals it is giving you. Now is not the time for Isagenix or fasting. That said, aim to eat your meals within a 12-hour window, and avoiding snacking if you get up to feed during the night if possible. This is reasonable given what we know about circadian rhythm and the potential deleterious effect of food intake later in the evening.

Liver, eggs, salmon, sardines and red meat that is close to the bone all contain essential amino acids and fatty acids that are important not only for baby’s growth and development, but for mum’s brain and blood sugar. Regular inclusion of these should be a priority for optimal nutrient intake. Keep well hydrated and keep electrolytes up – a major source of fatigue is when plasma volume drops due to dehydration, therefore making the blood more viscous and increasing the work the heart has to do to pump it around the body. 

Mikki Williden Mikki is a Registered Nutritionist with a PhD in health and productivity in the New Zealand workforce. She has been privately consulting with clients since 2006 and works with a vast number of people with different health and performance goals. Nikki has a regular column in Bite Magazine and contributes to other publications. She also co-hosts a weekly endurance sport podcast called 'Fitter Radio' and has worked with some notable Kiwis at helping them achieve their nutrition-related goals.

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Integrity, range and innovation

Established in late 2010, Duck Creek Press is a specialist children’s picture book imprint of independent publisher David Ling. There are now more than 50 titles in print or in production including several in English and te reo Ma-ori and Mandarin. From over 200 submissions annually, they are chosen as books that will stimulate thought and imagination. The emphasis is on quality, adventure, warmth, humour and intrigue, and the books feature the



work of a number of New Zealand’s finest authors and illustrators. The growing list has already received a number of awards and shortlistings, and rights to well over half the list have been sold widely overseas for publication, and for radio and animation. “David Ling is a publisher of rare integrity, range and innovation, and his Duck Creek imprint has contributed significantly to the general upswing in New Zealand picture book publishing. Production values are notably high, while his authors and illustrators represent a judicious mix of established names and exciting newcomers.” Tessa Duder

The Wetter the Better Emma Vere-Jones and Lisa Allen Lily and Theo don’t want to walk to school on the stormiest day of the year, but they are in for a surprise. And so is Mum. Lots of rhyming fun.

Bottoms! Nikki Slade Robinson ‘Bottoms there, bottoms here, there are bottoms everywhere. So let’s hurrah for bottoms all, in any colour big or small.’

Why Do Cats Have Tails? David Ling and Stephanie Thatcher In this warm and amusing story, Grandpa teases his granddaughters with some very unusual answers.

The Marae Visit Rebecca Beyer, Linley Wellington, Nikki Slade Robinson A simple and lovely poetic story in English and Te Reo that shows the warmth and friendliness the children find when visiting their local marae. They have lots to learn and lots to do and have lots of fun too.

Dragons Under My Bed Kath Bee and Lisa Allen ‘Something happens in my room at night. Straight after Mum turns out the light.’ This delightful story takes ‘It wasn’t me’ to a whole new level. And you can download the song from your phone.

Muddle & Mo Nikki Slade Robinson They are best friends, but Muddle is rather confused about what type of animals they both are. Warm and funny.

While You Are Sleeping Melinda Szymanik and Greg Straight The world is a busy place, even while you are sleeping. A beautiful bedtime poem with illustrations from artist Greg Straight.

The Little Kiwi’s Matariki Nikki Slade Robinson

I Love Tomato Sauce! Nicky Sievert Presented as a little boy’s sketchbook about his family who are all crazy about tomato sauce, from the upside-down bottles, the little tubs at the local fish and chip shop to their own very secret recipes. Overall, it’s many servings of fun.

This lively tale about celebrating Matariki, the Ma-ori New Year, finishes with an explanation of Matariki – its origins, traditions and how it is celebrated today. 

Our Dad David Ling and Nicky Sievert Dad is pretty clumsy and forgetful and his cooking is dreadful. The kids laugh, but when they have problems or need support in any way, he’s the best dad in the world.

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Learning to

go with the flow Before our daughter Ivy was born, we didn’t really know what birth was going to be like. Movies and TV programmes just show your waters breaking, everyone screaming, and the baby suddenly appearing! It’s a very one-dimensional and hollow depiction of birth, as it excludes all of the possibilities and wonder it can entail. At the recommendation of our midwife, Sheryl, we signed up for Kapiti Parents Centre antenatal classes. The classes were a great combination of partners trying on a pregnancy suit, talking about our fears and excitement, and making an amazing, supportive group of friends. Being both anxious and ridiculously perfectionistic, I was determined to get our birth plan “right”. However, I couldn’t even decide what I deemed would be “right” in our birth, because every choice felt punctuated with flaws. Instead, Sheryl encouraged us to try and go with the flow and I think that helped us to have such a positive experience.

When labour began At around midnight, five days before my due date, I was struggling to sleep because of racing thoughts and not being able to get comfortable. I did progressive muscle relaxation to stop myself from panicking that I hadn't made any frozen meals yet and that I might be the first person in the world to stay pregnant forever. However, I soon began feeling sensations that radiated from my stomach to my back every few minutes. However, I naively ignored them because I knew that labour can stop and start for days for first-time mums and I didn't want to get my hopes up.



Eventually, I sat on the cool bathroom floor for what I thought was 20 minutes, but it turned out to be a few hours. Time during labour is peculiar; each moment feels like it lasts an eternity yet the minutes are actually flying by. I’d get a minute-long contraction every five minutes on the dot and so I finally let myself believe that maybe this was labour. I woke Cameron and he called Sheryl, despite my horror at it being 3:00 am. Yet she was so kind and reassuring to us even though it was an ungodly hour of the morning. We met Sheryl and our equally lovely student midwife, Abbie, at Paraparaumu Birth Centre around 4:30 am. Armed with our knowledge from binge-watching One Born Every Minute during the third trimester, we were sure it was all a false alarm. However, much to our surprise we weren’t sent home and instead were told that I was 4 cm dilated. At first I thought Sheryl was joking, so I was so happy to find out that labour was very much real and happening. At this point, we had a big decision to make. We hadn’t yet decided whether we were going to stay at the local birth centre or make the drive down to Wellington Hospital. However, I instinctively knew that things were progressing quickly and I didn’t fancy sitting in the car for almost an hour while contracting, so we chose to stay put. I am so thankful that Sheryl and Abbie encouraged us to choose what we felt was right in the moment and that we made that decision. There was no one else at the birth centre aside from the midwives, so we had the whole place to ourselves. We paced the corridors and read each poster ten times over. With every contraction, we stopped and I focused on breathing just like we had practised in our classes. I found it helpful to lean on something and breathe slowly in counts of 10.

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and Abbie helped me refocus my breathing and that’s truly what got me through. For most of the experience, I felt calm and in control of the situation. I remember thinking near the end, “Is this when I’m supposed to be doubting myself?” To be completely honest, the support of the people around me coupled with focusing on the moment meant I never doubted myself at all. At some point I got given gas, as the contractions were getting so close together and it was hard not having much of a break. The gas helped a lot too, but it didn’t do much to take the pain away. It simply gave me another thing to concentrate on, which was really useful.

The sheer intensity of it all Just what I needed As labour progressed, the contractions became closer together and more intense. Sheryl did acupressure on my lower back which provided a great relief and she also set up a diffuser with calming oils. Abbie started running the water in the birthing pool. Climbing into the pool felt wonderful, as the warm water was so soothing. No one talked much because I felt I needed to concentrate, but when I did need a distraction, we all had some good laughs. Abbie only intervened from time to time to measure Ivy’s heart rate, so I was free to move around in the pool and find what worked for me. Having a quiet, relaxed space to birth in was exactly what I needed. Thinking back about Ivy’s birth, concentration stood out as being one of the most important parts. It helped immensely to keep me calm. Closer to the end when things were getting unbearable, I lost my focus a couple of times and felt panicky. But each time Cameron, Sheryl,



Speaking of pain, the physical feelings of labour and birth are remarkable. While the pain itself was quite a story to be told, what I found most difficult was the sheer intensity of it all. I truly had no idea what my body was capable of until this point. As the pressure and burning sensations rose, it was a relief to hear that this meant Ivy would be born soon. Reaching 10 cm dilated, I can remember everything in glimpses. Breathing Ivy out, slowly and calmly. My waters breaking with a memorable pop. Abbie wiping my forehead with a cool flannel. Cameron holding my hands. Sheryl talking me through. The water. The towel beneath my elbows. Opening my eyes just a squint between the contractions and noticing the hazy morning light filling the room. It was surreal. This was such a special time for us, because we knew that these were the final moments before we met our daughter. I had been pushing for around ten minutes when suddenly everything changed. The calm atmosphere in the room vanished and there was a commotion.

"Becoming parents has been such a life-changing event and the birth was only the beginning! It’s true that birth is transformative in the most powerful of ways, no matter how your baby is born."

Sheryl instructed Cameron to lift me out of the water so that I was standing. She told me that I needed to immediately push as hard as possible. Ivy needed to be born straight away. The umbilical cord had prolapsed; an unexpected and rare turn of events which is a dangerous situation for baby. Less than one minute later, Ivy was born at 9:55 am on 23rd March 2019. Due to Sheryl’s expertise and very quick thinking, Ivy was absolutely fine. Alongside the prolapsed umbilical cord, the cord was wrapped twice around her neck and around one of her arms too. But soon she was in our arms and it was like time was standing still. Our baby was here. Our family was together. We were scared, joyful, and overwhelmed all at once during this sacred moment. Cameron got to cut the cord, and having been warned that it tends to be more difficult that one expects, he snipped it effortlessly like a pro. I was then transferred to Wellington Hospital via ambulance due to tearing caused by Ivy’s lightning-speed entrance. There was a possibility I needed general anesthetic to repair it. The traffic on the way to the hospital was bad and Ivy and Cameron were in the car with Cameron’s mum, as they weren’t allowed to come with me. It was a weird time for us all, being together so briefly and then separated. But the ambulance officers were so lovely and kind, and Sheryl and Abbie kept me distracted during the drive. Thankfully, the surgeon could repair the tearing with local anaesthetic, so I was able to return to the birth centre that night and stay there for the next few days.

Beyond amazing

angels on earth to us. They helped us with feeding, wiped away our new-parent tears, and answered our weird questions at 2:30 am. We hold the deepest gratitude for them. Their enormous compassion and dedication truly shone. Having Cameron by my side through the birth and beyond has been an incredible gift. He is immensely supportive, kind, and loving throughout this sometimes painful period of change for both of us. Watching him grow and become a dad to our daughter has been nothing short of fulfilling my wildest dreams. Becoming parents has been such a life-changing event and the birth was only the beginning! It’s true that birth is transformative in the most powerful of ways, no matter how your baby is born. Ivy has changed us. It is truly magical.  Kaitlyn Wislang, Wellington

Sheryl and Abbie, as well as the midwives at the birth centre, were all beyond amazing. They were literal

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When young kids think it's fun to run away from you it can be very scary – and stressful. Here are some ways you can help keep them safe.

Under 12 months Make it a habit to hold hands in open spaces. „ A sk them to choose your left or right hand so they feel like they have some choice. „ H ave immediate consequences ready if they do run, e.g. into the pushchair/backpack or straight home. „ M aybe use a hand-to-hand ‘stretchy’ for unsafe situations.

Over a year Avoid running-away games. „ I f running away is a regular problem, avoid confusing them by playing running-away games. Otherwise how will they know when it’s not a game?

Take the pushchair. „ I f you are going into town or somewhere there’s lots of traffic, take the buggy or pushchair along. „ C almly explain that if they start running away they will need to sit in the buggy. „ B e consistent each time you go out and soon you won’t need it. „ T alk about the buggy as a good thing – “I wish I had a buggy to catch a ride in – my legs are so tired!”

Release excess energy. „ I f they’ve been cooped up inside they are more likely to get out of control in a public space. Take them for a run around somewhere safe. „ I f it’s raining maybe enjoy a little workout together in the lounge – add some songs for extra enjoyment.



Praise them for staying close. „ G ive lots of praise for staying close – young kids like to please. „ B e specific about the behaviour you are happy with, e.g. I really liked the way you held my hand when we got to the car park. „ L et them hear you share their efforts with others too.

Try to stay calm but firm. „ Y elling “STOP” can create power struggles. If you keep yelling they may even tune out. „ I n your calm voice say, “I see I need to help you be safe.” Telling is better than yelling.

Have consequences ready. Have consequences ready and follow through immediately, e.g. scoop them up and carry them to the car if they refuse to hold your hand. They may kick and scream but getting hit by a car is worse!

18 months and over Help them learn about safety. „ W hen they are calm, explain and show them why you want them to stay close. Reinforce the safety message when you get the chance, e.g. “Look at that dead hedgehog! He didn’t listen!” „ Play the ‘stop go’ game in a large safe open space. „ Read books or tell stories about kids being safe. 

TRANSITION TO PARENTING ANTENATAL PROGRAMME Why attend a Parents Centre class? • It’s a great opportunity to meet other expectant parents who are in a similar life stage • Throughout the programme, a wide range of information is provided in a safe, fun and well facilitated group setting • The information empowers and supports parents to make informed decisions around pregnancy, childbirth and the care of their newborn baby.

Parents Centre’s expertly facilitated programmes are informative, fun, interactive and engaging! Classes are available in multiple locations around New Zealand. You will learn: • Brief overview of pregnancy topics • Choices in childbirth • Your labour journey • Managing strategies • Dad’s and partners role • Breastfeeding • Transition to parenthood • Reponsive parenting • Practical parenting - nappies, bathing, bedding etc.

y ver ce of s t n wa or t bala h ligh t a t a it cili gre lity w s” a f a e e a d l “Th e, ha actic d jok nta r n e v i p a t m n ec dge/ ness dge estio eff u e d l j u w q rte non lt no kno hea d n a fe n” afe ere I estio e s bas s d a t wh ly qu e d t n o en ea sil go cisio a “Cr ironm as a e de w hav tter ” env w e n o I n ake b tuatio e i k m i s el l ge to t my e f i d u “I wle hat s o n t k

Sound Awesome? What Now? • Contact your local Parents Centre - book early so you won’t be disappointed! Visit www.parentscentre.org.nz/find.asp • Take advantage of information, discounts, freebies and support offered through a Parents Centre membership - www.parentscentre.org.nz/joinparentscentrenow • Keep informed of the latest in pregnancy and parenting information with New Zealand’s The magazine of Parents Centre leading parenting magazine, Kiwiparent - www.kiwiparent.co.nz



with Simon



It has been six years since Simon Gault released his last cookbook and what a journey he has been on during that time. Life has served up highs and lows, including a health scare, having a beautiful daughter Hazel and opening a new restaurant, Giraffe. Following all this change, Simon has been inspired in a new way with food and now places health, family and bringing people together at the forefront of everything he does. “When I was asked to write this book, it got me thinking about summer in New Zealand,” Simon explains. “It’s about the fun times with family and friends, camping, holidays at the good old Kiwi bach, picnics and days at the beach. Summer is, for me, and I’m sure for many others, the best time of the year.” When Type 2 diabetes presented itself, Simon changed his lifestyle and eating habits, lost weight and paid more attention to his sugar intake. So while there are still plenty of hearty classics and sweet treats, there are also recipes with healthier options for those who are looking to create delicious meals that are good for your waistline.

“For me, summer in New Zealand really means BBQ food. I love nothing more than firing up the grill and creating casual feasts for friends and family. Sometimes people forget how many innovative meals are possible using the humble BBQ.” All recipes are extracted from Summer with Simon Gault, published by Penguin Random House NZ, RRP $50.00. Text © Simon Gault, 2019. Photography © Vanessa Lewis, 2019

Biscones These are sort of a cross between biscuits and scones. They are amazing served with butter and next level with my SG Steak Butter. Wrap them up in a clean tea towel and pack in your picnic basket. A quick note on semi-dried tomatoes: they are usually sold in oil and are plump, moist and supple. Sundried tomatoes are fully dried into a kind of fruit leather. Use whichever you can lay your hands on – it’s not a huge deal – but I much prefer the semi-dried option. Makes: 12


¾ tsp salt 150g tasty cheese, grated 100g Parmesan, grated ¼ cup semi-dried tomatoes, sliced ¼ cup black olives, sliced 150g butter, melted 1¾ cups milk

Method Preheat oven to 180°C. Oil a baking tray. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Fold in the cheeses, tomatoes and olives. Combine the butter and milk in a jug. Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour in the butter and milk mix. Mix together using your fingers, taking care not to overmix. Drop 12 large scoops of the mixture onto the prepared tray and cook in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes.

31⁄3 cups plain flour 3 tsp baking powder

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Ginger and Chipotle Mussel Fettuccine The New Zealand green-lipped mussel is an all-too-often overlooked delicacy, which can be presented in a number of delicious ways. Served in my smoked chipotle and ginger butter, this recipe is a clear favourite with my father, who years ago showed me how to dissect and remove the less desirable parts of a mussel. Serves: 6

Ingredients 2 cups white wine ½ onion, sliced 1kg mussels, cleaned 50g butter 5cm piece of ginger, finely grated



1 tbsp chipotle Tabasco sauce


500g fettuccine

1 punnet strawberries, stems removed and cut in half (or quarters if large)

Italian parsley, finely sliced, to garnish

Method Put the wine and onion in a large saucepan, place the lid on and cook until the onion is soft. Add the mussels, replace the lid and steam till the mussels just start to open. It’s important to discard any mussels whose shells don’t open.

75g black grapes, halved 1 punnet blueberries, halved 6 slices prosciutto, ripped into strips 200g mixed green lettuce leaves (e.g. lollo rosso, cos, baby gem) 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves 1

⁄3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

In a smaller saucepan, melt the butter. Add the ginger and chipotle Tabasco and set aside.

Goji Berry Dressing (recipe follows)

Remove the mussel meat from the shells, discarding the tongues and beards. Mix the mussel meat into the butter sauce, gently stirring to coat. Reheat the mussels gently in the sauce.

Goji Berry Dressing

Cook the fettuccine in a large saucepan of salted water till al dente, then drain. Add the mussels and sauce to the fettuccine, toss to combine and sprinkle over the parsley.

Hazel’s Summer Salad Why not keep a block of blue vein cheese in your freezer? In fact, any cheese for that matter. Cheese freezes perfectly and can be grated from frozen. It’s such a good trick using a microplane or fine grater to finish off a dish with grated cheese. The blue cheese over this salad is a real showstopper. Serves: 6

70g blue vein cheese, frozen

3 tbsp goji berries soaked in 2 tbsp water for 2 hours 1 tsp honey 1 tsp red wine vinegar 3 tbsp orange juice 1 tbsp grapeseed oil

Method Place the strawberries, grapes, blueberries, prosciutto, lettuce leaves, mint and walnuts in a bowl. Pour over the dressing and combine gently to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and use a microplane to grate the blue vein cheese over the top. To make the goji berry dressing, drain the water from the goji berries, then place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Simon says: When cooking anything in a pan – be it meat, fish or even cheese, such as halloumi – resist the urge to move whatever you are cooking. The heat will repel the food you’re cooking from the pan when it’s time to flip it over.

Method Place the beets in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil and cook until soft. Drain the water and allow the beets to cool. When cool, massage the skins off, cut into wedges and set aside. Dry-roast the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat – keep shuffling the pine nuts in the pan till golden, then pour into a large bowl and set aside. Place the chorizo cubes in the pan you cooked the pine nuts in, drizzle over 2 tablespoons olive oil and dust with the smoked paprika. Cook until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, 2–3 minutes. Add to the bowl with the pine nuts, along with the cooking oil in the pan. Heat a grill pan over a medium–high heat. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over both sides of the bread slices and grill the bread till both sides are golden. Rub the garlic over each side of the grilled sourdough. Set aside.

Summer Breeze Salad I absolutely love the flavour and texture combination of this salad. Halloumi is not often used in my kitchen, but it is underrated, and magically adds the squeak to this dish. Serves: 6

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus ½ cup extra ¼ tsp smoked paprika 6 slices sourdough bread 1 clove garlic, cut in half 3 ripe beefsteak tomatoes 1 cup basil leaves, torn

Ingredients 4 baby beets 2 tbsp pine nuts 1 chorizo (150g), cut into cubes



2 tbsp capers 150g halloumi orange balsamic vinegar or good-quality balsamic

Cut the tomatoes into random chunks of equal size and add them to the pine nuts and chorizo. Next add the basil and capers. Heat a grill pan over a medium heat. Cut the halloumi into 1cm slices, smear with a little extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking, sprinkle over cracked pepper on both sides and place in the pan. Cook till golden grill lines appear on each side. To serve, place a slice of sourdough on each plate, then pile the chorizo, pine nut and tomato mix over the top. Divide the beets between each plate and add the halloumi. Spoon over the juices from the salad bowl and drizzle each plate with orange balsamic.

Watermelon Mocktail These make great ice blocks, too – simply omit the soda water and freeze in fun summer ice-block moulds. Makes: 2

Ingredients 200g watermelon, seeds removed juice of 1 orange (90ml) 115g ice cubes 4 slices orange, skin on soda water 1 tbsp pomegranate arils (or pieces of watermelon or strawberries)

Method Place the watermelon and orange juice in a blender and blend till smooth. Take two glasses and divide the ice cubes between them. Pour over the blended watermelon and orange mix. Add 2 orange slices to each glass and top up with soda water. Garnish with pomegranate arils. ď Ž

The magazine of Parents Centre



a pet



Get creative and make your very own ladybug pet rock

You will need: „ Paintbrush „ T wo plastic craft eyes (available from most craft or hobby shops) „ PVA glue „ Resene Quick Dry Acrylic Primer Undercoat „ R esene testpots in the following colours: Black and Bright Red „ Small artist’s brush „ Small piece of wood (optional) „ Smooth medium-sized stone

Here's another idea

Let your imagination really run wild and create a whole crazy group of colourful rock creatures.

Step two Once the primer is dry, paint the stone with one coat of Resene Bright Red. Allow it to dry, and then paint it with a second coat. Allow this second coat to dry.

Step one Make sure the stone is clean then paint with one coat of Quick Dry Acrylic Primer Undercoat. Top tip: stand the stone on a small piece of wood to stop the newspaper from sticking to it.

Step three Using the Resene Black paint and a small artist’s brush, fill in the details on your ladybug. Paint a line down the centre of the back, a smiley mouth, and lots of black spots on each wing.

Step four Once the paint has dried, use the PVA glue to stick on the two plastic craft eyes. Allow the PVA to dry, and hey presto – your very own pet rock!

Plastic craft eyes are available from most craft or hobby shops either in store or online.

Resene kids’ art with Mark Rayner. 

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)



Our Funders Photo: Rotorua Parents Centre childbirth education class.

Funders powering Parents Centres Sixty-seven years ago, Parents Centre’s founders advocated for women to have the right to make informed choices about their labour and birth. Today, in locations around Aotearoa, Parents Centre volunteers continue to support new families. Childbirth education classes reach parents at a time when they are most in need of information and support. Right at the start of a child’s life, during pregnancy, the messages our qualified educators share with expectant parents set their baby up for the best start during those crucial first 1,000–2,000 days. Our Centres are registered charities and Parents Centre New Zealand is too. We receive a variety of funding streams to support our work: commercial partnerships, DHB funding, service delivery, membership subscriptions, donations, fundraising and grant funding. Grant funding ensures we can continue to oversee hundreds of programmes per year, reaching thousands of parents with quality education and support services. Whether a funder is helping us pay the rent and keep the lights on, contributing to a new membership database or new programme development, every dollar of funding supports our mission: positive birth experiences and informed parenting in a community where parents are highly valued and supported in their role. We are hugely thankful to each of our funders for their ongoing support of Parents Centres. Here are some of the funders that supported us over the last financial year.  Kim Black, Funding Manager, Parents Centres New Zealand



Community grants funding

One Foundation

Lottery Community Fund A significant grant from this fund each year enables us to support our volunteers in hundreds of different ways to keep their Parents Centres running. Providing training and resources, making a face-to-face visit or just being at the end of the phone to give advice, our volunteers are what makes our organisation great and our national support team put many hours into helping them provide amazing services and support in their communities.

Wellington Community Trust This trust provides a grant that contributes to the costs of delivering over 70 CBE programmes across the wider Wellington region.

Pub Charity Limited This is another long-term funder supporting both our national support centre with operational grants and many of our local Centres too.

Foundation North A quarter of our Centres are based in the Auckland / Northland region. Foundation North funds our national organisation to support hundreds of volunteers in the region. They also support some of our local Auckland Centres.

Southern Trust A grant from Southern Trust contributes to the printing costs of Kiwiparent magazine, bringing exceptional parenting information to thousands of families around the country.

One Foundation supports the costs of supervising our childbirth educators. It is imperative that we provide parents with the latest in quality, evidence-based parenting information. A good professional development programme and monitoring programme evaluations are important parts of this.

Pelorus Trust Pelorus Trust have been supporting Parents Centre New Zealand with grants for operational costs for over seven years. They also support many of our Centres with programme costs.

Blue Sky Community Trust As well as ongoing operational grants, this trust helped us out with our recent brand redevelopment.

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Our Partners Partnering to support families Parents Centre is proud to work in partnership with The Sleep Store who provide our member families with great deals. The Sleep Store have developed fabulous resources for all our childbirth educators around baby-wearing and have provided each Parents Centre with a Beco carrier to use in demonstrations. This helps Parents Centre encourage babywearing and responsive parenting. The Sleep Store sell a wide range of products for newborns through to big kids, aimed at making parenthood enjoyable from the start. As a not-for-profit organisation we rely on our partners to ensure that we can continue to deliver education and support to families across the country on an ongoing basis. Our members receive a 25% discount off a range of baby carriers and a 20% discount of a huge range of products. We are committed to working with family orientated companies and are thrilled that The Sleep Store continues to be one of our valued partners. Catherine Short, Partnerships and Advertising Manager

A word from The Sleep Store The Sleep Store has been helping babies (and tired parents) get more sleep since 2006 through our award-winning online store. We’ve been proud to support Parents Centre for many years and welcome members. Our online library of expert articles, guides and tips gives every parent free access to the information they need to help their little one sleep. Join our sleep coach curated support groups on Facebook for parents of newborns, four to twelve-month olds and children twelve months and over. Browse a specialist range which includes Woolbabe, Crane, Boba, Beco and over 100 other high-quality brands from New Zealand and around the world. You’ll find a Beco Gemini baby carrier in every Parents Centre donated from The Sleep Store’s specialist carrier range. Ask your Childbirth Educator how you can learn about the benefits of baby carrying. Choosing to shop at The Sleep Store means you are supporting a family business that’s committed to delivering the best range of infant sleep essentials and advice to tired parents and their children. Louise Tanguay, founder of The Sleep Store.

Huggies online pregnancy and parenting


Philips Avent

The Sleep Store

PC member benefits: Supply breast pads and breastfeeding information to all members.

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

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 www.philips.co.nz/AVENT

www.thesleepstore.co.nz content/parentscentre

Phone: 0800 733 703 www.huggies.co.nz


Supporting Kiwi parents

0800 222 966 / www.babyonthemove.co.nz

Baby On The Move PC member benefits: 20% off car seat hire, selected buggies and cots for all members. Phone: 0800 222 966 www.babyonthemove.co.nz

Johnson & Johnson 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.

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



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 Catherine on:



Birthing Centre A free service to women of all ages whose pregnancy is considered lowrisk primary care. www.birthingcentre.co.nz

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Win great giveaways

Enter online at kiwiparent.co.nz and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm, January 24, 2020. Winners will be published in issue 295.

Win a Rotorua break away worth $2,000

Enter to win a prize pack from Brolly Sheets

Enjoy a couple of days in popular Rotorua for you and a friend, where you will be treated to some of the best experiences the city has to offer. This trip will be tailored to your interests by Destination Rotorua and includes a night’s accommodation and some meals, to the value of $2,000.

*travel not included

Thinking about night-time toilet learning? Brolly Sheets are here to help! With a cotton top, breathable waterproof back and an absorbent middle, just place on top of your bottom sheet and when it gets wet, it only takes seconds to change! Comes with a night light – the soft glow makes it easier for you to change a wet bed at night. Prize pack contains two King Single Brolly Sheets and Silicone, Colour-Changing Night Light. RRP: $157



Go in the draw to win a Boba wrap from The Sleep Store An ideal carrier for babies from birth, and fits parents of all sizes. The simple design of this stretchy wrap, free of buckles, straps or buttons, makes it perfectly comfortable for both you and your baby. There's no time limit to how long your baby can stay in the wrap, so you may calm and soothe with your warmth, your voice, your movement and your heartbeat as long as you are both content! Parents Centre members get a discount off the full price of Boba wraps at The Sleep Store, RRP $79.95 www.thesleepstore.co.nz

Win a Huggies summertime prize pack Be the envy of the beach, park, or backyard-BBQ with Huggies Limited Edition Summer Designs range of nappies. Check out the chill-as summertime prints and Disney characters featured across the Huggies Ultimate and Ultra Dry size 3–5 jumbo packs. One lucky winner will receive 3x Huggies jumbo packs (any size) and a kids Mocka BBQ playset to keep their summer sizzling. RRP $155.95. www.huggies.co.nz



Win a set of Mini Muffs from BabyBanz Modern life means little ones are at risk of hearing damage, at home and away. Top-quality, comfy Banz ‘Hear No Blare’ Mini Muffs, made just for children under two years, will prevent hearing loss! Banz Carewear NZ is giving away four sets of Banz Mini Muffs, each worth $44.50 – choose from aqua, silver, pink or blue! View the full range online. babybanz.nz/shop

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Profile for Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Kiwiparent Issue #294 February 2020 - March 2020  

Magazine from Parents Center New Zealand

Kiwiparent Issue #294 February 2020 - March 2020  

Magazine from Parents Center New Zealand