Page 1

RRP $7.50 (incl GST)

SUPPORTING PARENTS THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS

FEBRUARY 2017 – MARCH 2017

276

Earthquake! Family resilience in emergencies

Cuddles

and kindness Help children cope with disasters

Read

the fine print What to do the labels mean?

Feel good

about yourself Transitioning back to work

Creating

connections The first three years are crucial

ALSO INSIDE:

The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc

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


CONV ERT IBL E CA R SEAT

lu exc siv o et

RE A RWA R D

FORWA R D

B O OST E R

su itab l e from b irth to 1 8 kg

su i ta b le f rom 10 kg to 30 kg

s u i ta b le f ro m 18kg to 4 5 kg

• m a d e in u s a • certif ied to approv e d standards • 3 in 1 carseat • • ava i l a ble in 3 c o lo u rways • quickfit harne s s • 3 p os ition recline • • s i d e im pact p rotectio n • 2 i ntegr ate d cup holde rs • & much more !

SHOP ONLINE AT WWW.BABYFACTORY.CO.NZ


Great parents grow

great children Arm yourself with knowledge as you grow as a parent by taking part in one of the Parents Centres programmes that run nationwide. These fun and informative programmes aim to assist  parents with the various ages and stages of their children, giving them the knowledge and skill sets to be effective. The programmes are well supported by volunteers within each Centre as well as invited speakers who are knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics. As well as providing antenatal classes, Parents Centres also offer core parent education classes which include:

Conscious Parenting – Parenting with Purpose

This programme encourages parents and caregivers to consciously look at parenting styles and to consider how some are more effective than others.

Conscious Parenting – Magic Moments

Teaches how to use effective non-physical methods of discipline, and encourages parents and caregivers to build strong and caring relationships with their children, while still giving clear boundaries.

Music and Movement A fun, interactive, and developmentally stimulating programme for little ones and their parents or caregivers.

Tinies to Tots Discover more about your child as they transition to independent toddler – the course covers the introduction of play and how it stimulates learning, a focus on keeping your baby safe, introduction of new foods, prevention of tooth decay, and a whole lot more.

Return to Work

Developed to meet the specific needs of parents returning to paid employment, this programme is a practical guide covering topics like Early Childhood options, insurance and banking, breastfeeding, and tips for reviving your career. This programme is proudly supported by Porse and Au Pair Link. To find out more about the classes on offer in your area visit: www.parentscentre.org.nz

Baby and You Learn all about the exciting yet challenging early months of parenthood: feeding and sleeping, infant care and challenges, baby massage, and plenty more.

Moving and Munching This wide-ranging programme explores diverse topics like safety-proofing in the home, intellectual and social development, solids, healthy attitudes to food, and much more.

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

1


Photo Credit: Rohan Hubbard from Wellington. Jo Frances Photography www.jofrancesphotography.co.nz

Special Features

Features

Earthquake!

Great parents grow great children.......................................... 1

Managing the risk........................................................................... 8–11

Cuddles and kindness

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

Donna Eden....................................................................................12–15

Capture your hugs Taking a GREAT cover shot.........................................................16–18

Good, clean fun

Product pages.................................................................................6–7 A fun family meal My Food Bag kitchen...................................................................28–29

Ben Tafau.........................................................................................20–23

Make time to swim with your baby..............................24–26 Read the fine print What do all the labels mean?....................................................34–36

Breastfeeding: A solid start Lisa Manning..................................................................................30–31

Follow the cues when weaning.......................................32–33

Pack your bags Jess Bovey.......................................................................................46–49

Feel good about yourself Transitioning back to work.........................................................50–52

Choosing childcare................................................................54–59

Sunshine myths...............................................................................38 Parents Centre Pages.............................................................39–43 Find a Centre....................................................................................44

Creating connections Dr Simon Rowley..........................................................................60–63

Changing the world from the bottom up..................66–67

Playing it safe.............................................................................64–65 Birth story Our joyful gift.................................................................................68–71

Directory pages.........................................................................74–75 Shopping Cart...........................................................................76–79

Rohan: Light of our lives Bernadette Hubbard.....................................................................72–73

2

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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


SUPPORTING PARENTS THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS

FEBRUARY 2017 – MARCH 2017

276

Finding new ways to be strong

Earthquake! In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, even with the best will in the world, emergency services will not be able to get help to everyone as quickly as needed. It is important to plan to look after yourself and your family for three days or more in the event of a disaster. We have some useful tips to help you to manage the risk posed by natural disasters.

Feel good about yourself Transitioning back to work after having a baby is a big move. Once you’ve sorted out childcare and you have your date set for returning to the workforce (paid, that is) then there are all the contingency plans to put in place. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are practical tips that can help to make life easier, before, during and after the transition back to work.

Creating connections These days we understand much about how a child’s brain develops. The neurobiology of infant brain development and some of the recent advances in our understanding of this topic mean we now realise just how important the first three years are in a human’s life.

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

Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Fax (04) 938 6242 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e–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

Taslim Parsons Ph (04) 233 2022 x8804 Mobile 021 1860 323 t.parsons@parentscentre.org.nz

Design

Eden Design

Proofing

Megan Kelly

Printer

Image Centre Group

Publisher

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

ISSN 1173–7638 www.kiwiparent.co.nz

Where were you when the earthquake struck on November 14? We were asleep at home when the shaking jolted us out of bed. It was clear this was more than the usual Wellington wobbles. We made it to the door of our room en route to our granddaughter’s bedroom before that shaking was so bad we had trouble standing. Just as the first earthquake subsided there was another – sharper – jolt as the second quake hit. Although the entire event lasted for only a minute or two, it felt like forever. When the shaking subsided, we quickly checked to make sure we were all OK, then the pets (dogs didn’t even wake up!), then our neighbours. We clung to each other, not wanting to move more than an arm's width away. And checked our phones. If the earthquake was so bad for us, we hoped the epicentre was nearby, otherwise it would be unimaginable for those on top of the action. Within seconds we knew the earthquake was centred near Kaikoura and we had not had the worst of it. Kia kaha Kaikoura. There were texts to family and friends – you OK? We’re OK. I love you, stay safe… We started getting messages from overseas; the news spread quickly around the world that New Zealand had just suffered a 7.8 earthquake. Then the risk of tsunamis became apparent. Cars clogged suburban streets as they crept up hills away from the menacing ocean. Through the night the tremors continued, keeping everyone awake and on edge, fearful of what we might see when daylight broke. I have a tendency to be over-controlling in the face of danger, I want to make sure all my family is close by – within arm's reach if possible. I stock up on food and do ‘stress baking’ – if the house smells of chocolate chip cookies and new bread, we can cope with anything! I become hyper-vigilant and sensitive to every little tremor – an aftershock or the wind? Or a large truck passing by? I just want to mother everything better again. We were always going to publish something in this issue on family resilience for natural disasters to mark the anniversary of the Christchurch earthquakes, but the article grew into a bigger feature on the back of the November quakes. How do you keep your children calm when your own heart is racing? How do you manage the risk to your family that natural disasters pose. How do you cope when everyone is looking to you to be strong but you feel so small and vulnerable inside? Emergencies bring out the best in communities. We share, and take care of each other. I love the way the Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura just opened their doors to locals and visitors alike, cooking for up to 1200 people a day. I love the way people looked out for each other and acted selflessly. I love that we just go on with it and started rebuilding our broken homes and cities. And, as parents, I love the way we can dig deep and find new ways to be strong. Leigh Bredenkamp

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

3


letters to the editor Congratulations to the top letter winner, Sarina Dickson from Addington, who will win a prize pack from Alpha Keri.

Top Letter prize Hydrate and protect your skin with the ultimate Alpha Keri prize pack. Includes 400ml soap-free Body Wash, Supple Skin Shower & Body Oil and Hydrating Body Lotion, Micellar Body Cleansing Milk and the decadent Anti-Cellulite Body Scrub and Body Butter to help reduce the visible signs of cellulite and improve skin firmness. Range valued at $110.

Top letter

Dear Scared Mama, Written the day after the earthquake, November 15, 2016 So this week isn’t what you had planned, is it? You probably already had the grocery list half formed, the nagging feeling you’d forgotten someone’s birthday, and had just remembered you hadn’t got around to removing whatever had died under the passenger seat as you drifted off on Sunday night. But now some days have passed, that thing is still mouldering in the car, it’s too late to send a card, and there’s no way you’re going to the supermarket today, it’s too far from home right now. There’s no space in your head for any of that trivia now anyway. Now your focus lies elsewhere. Your mind, and with it your body, is far more concerned with any unfamiliar sound, keeping your children in arm’s reach, and obsessively checking GeoNet. If you thought you were tired before, you’re shocked at the new level of weariness that has settled into your bones. Your teeth begin to hurt, you unclench your jaw and it passes. Sometimes you forget a word, especially one often used, and wonder if this time you really are losing it. You suddenly have a deep understanding of what the expression ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ means, except it’s not falling shoes you’re worried about, it’s the bedroom mirror, or the wardrobe… or the roof.

4

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

“They take their cue from you,” people will say, helpfully. While you’re using everything you’ve got to hold it together, no-one will let you forget, as if you could, that you have to hold them together too. You’ll cry some hard, hot tears in the bottom of the shower and feel homesick for last week. “They take their cue from you”? Well, tomorrow they might get something better than that, tomorrow they might get to see their strong Mama lose her shit in the middle of the supermarket, and in the chaos find her feet again and move through her fear to a few moments of something more familiar. You’ll need more cups of sweet, strong tea, more naps and a lot more Alexander Skarsgård. More sticky-warm, chubby-armed hugs, more talking about it, more gentleness with yourself. You might need a top-up, a lie-in and a gingernut. From one Mama to another, this too shall pass. In his warm, sleeping breath on your neck, it will pass. In a topless shot of Ben Affleck, it will pass. At the bottom of a glass of pinot, it will pass. And while you’re waiting, we wait with you. In the collective noun of Motherhood up and down the country, we’re all holding our breath. I think we’ve got this, and if it gets worse…we’ll mother our way through that too.

Best wishes from Christchurch, Sarina Dickson, Addington


The way we were An extract from 'The Trouble With Women' The Story of Parents Centre New Zealand By Mary Dobbie Published by Cape Catley Limited. The era of drugs had arrived [1940s–1950s] and soon new combinations were to appear and be put into general use. The routine administering of drugs now became part of normal management of a maternity case and subject to the inflexibility of the hospital system. Patients had little choice in the matter, whether “blotted out” for the final stage of labour in one hospital or firmly enjoined to make less fuss in another. There were still hospital matrons of the old school who held sedation to be weakness and who preferred not to call the doctor until birth was imminent. The doctor might be in charge of the case but Matron was in charge of the hospital. In some private maternity homes, calling the doctor neither too early nor too late became a matter of special concern. Either way, he was likely to complain. Patients might ask in vain for their doctor during labour, and in second stage be told not to push because he had not arrived yet. New Zealand midwives caught in this trap were rarely guilty of head-holding, that practice common in the USA at the time. The baby was held back by pressing a pad against the perineum or by crossing the mother’s legs, to ensure that it would not be born before the doctor arrived. But this practice did occur in some private maternity homes – Helen Brew [a founder of Parents Centre] had experienced it. In the 1940s and early 1950s there were still very few books available to explain to women how their bodies worked or the nature of labour and the delivery of an infant. Women’s magazines did not touch on such subjects. New Zealand suffered from a puritanism which banned the publishing or importing of books containing any diagram of the male or female reproductive systems, unless for medical purposes. Such books were weeded out by the Customs Department. Bookshops were wary of displaying educational books about human reproduction. The result was that women who did not understand their own reproductive processes placed themselves gratefully in the hands of doctors and hospitals. They were thankful for the white-uniformed people who officiated over their prone and frightened bodies, and they were far too intimidated to complain if the treatment lacked humanity. 

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

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

5


product information page Worried? Got a little worrier in your family or classroom? Beautifully illustrated and written collaboratively by a teacher and registered psychologist, The Worry Bug books contain engaging stories with peer-reviewed lesson plans and family exercises to support children, and their teachers and families, through times of change, worry and stress. www.theworrybug.co.nz

Huggies® Little Swimmers® Disposable Swimpants Huggies® Little Swimmers® Disposable Swimpants have easy-open sides to make poolside changes a breeze for worry-free water play. Featuring adorable new designs with Disney®/Pixar® Dory, Nemo and Hank, they’re sure to provide hours of fun this summer! RRP is $13.99 www.huggies.co.nz

Tummy Calm homeopathic wind drops Tummy Calm is a natural homeopathic remedy for infants, toddlers and children. It provides rapid relief for digestive pain, wind and upset stomachs. „„ Stimulates self-healing „„ Great tasting „„ Effective in nine out of ten infants/toddlers “My 2.5 year old had suffered with tummy issues since he was a baby. Now I give him Tummy Calm once a day and all his bloating, constipation and pain has disappeared! My only regret is not discovering this product sooner.” www.coliccalm.co.nz

6

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Aquamamma® hydration product Aquamamma is a hydration product specially formulated to help meet the hydration and electrolyte needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Nappy Disposal System

It contains a small amount of folic acid, tastes great and is easy to drink, and may help you keep hydrated even when you’re feeling nauseated. Aquamamma contains only 2.5g sugar and 47 kj/100mL per 100mL, is low in sodium, free from artificial colours and sweeteners, and comes in a BPA-free bottle. This means you can enjoy keeping hydrated with aquamamma daily. www.aquamamma.co.nz

Relax anywhere with ZURU’s super comfy Air Chair ZURU’s Air Chair is the hottest outdoor accessory to take to the beach, camping or park this Summer! The first ultra-comfortable air lounger that can be taken anywhere with ease and filled in seconds. ZURU’s Air Chair is rip- and water-resistant whilst still being light and compact. Suitable for all ages but adult supervision recommended for children under 12 years. Fill and Chill anywhere in seconds. Comes in three colours – blue, red and black – and a bonus carry case is included. www.zuru.com

Proven protection from germs & odours ^

100 times more effective at odour prevention than nappy sacks Unique twist and lock system wraps each nappy in a fresh portion of film Multi-layer film provides an exceptional barrier to lock away odour Anti-bacterial protection is present in the film and not the other components of this product.

Commercial size also available For your nearest stockist visit

tommeetippee.co.nz

0800 726 436


Earthquake! Photo: Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management www.civildefence.govt.nz

On November 14, just after midnight, New Zealand was thumped with a huge 7.8 earthquake. Again. This time it was the poor people in Kaikoura who felt the full brunt of nature's might, but shockwaves travelled far, causing damage, distress and even loss of life. Our country lies smack on the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates and there are literally thousands of earthquakes in New Zealand every year. Most of them are either too small or too deep to cause us harm. But as we all know, a large, damaging earthquake can happen at any time, and can be followed by aftershocks that continue for days or endless weeks. We are also vulnerable to other disasters, such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods and storms. In November 2016 we had something of a trifecta when the earthquake triggered a tsunami alert – and then followed up with a major storm which caused floods a day later. All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives. Many disasters will affect essential services we take for granted – like electricity, phone coverage, food and water supplies. They can also disrupt your ability to travel or communicate with each other. You could be confined to your home, or forced to evacuate your neighbourhood. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, even with the best will in the world, emergency services will not be able to get help to everyone as quickly as needed. This is when you are likely to be most vulnerable. It is important to plan to look after yourself and your family for at least three days in the event of a disaster. We can’t always prevent bad things happening – but we can take steps to manage the risk.

Get a plan Stan Get your family together and agree on a plan. Knowing what to do helps ease fears about disasters, and can help you respond safely and quickly when a disaster happens. You can get a copy of a household emergency plan and checklist from your local council, or download a copy from www.getthru.govt.nz.

8

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

A household emergency plan will help you work out: „„ what you will each do in the event of disasters „„ how and where you will meet up during and after a disaster „„ where to store emergency survival items and who will be responsible for maintaining supplies „„ what you will each need to have in your getaway kits „„ what you need to do for members of the household, including pets „„ how and when to turn off the water, electricity and gas at the main switches in your home or business „„ what local radio stations to tune in to for civil defence information during an event „„ how to contact your local council’s civil defence emergency management office for assistance during an emergency. If life or property is threatened, always dial 111. Ask the civil defence emergency staff at your local council about your community’s warning system, and the location of public shelters. It is also useful to learn first aid and how to deal with small fires.

The biggest barriers When asked what the biggest barriers were to getting prepared for a natural disaster, many answers focus on the challenges of having an emergency kit – things like maintaining it, the cost of putting it together and worrying that your kit was going to be inaccessible because of damage. And people always ask the same questions – what you should put in your emergency kit and where you should keep it? Jason Paul from Wellington Regional Emergency Office (WREMO) shares the things that he keeps in his emergency kit.


“My emergency kit is stored in a big wooden box with a steel lid on it,” says Jason. “It’s an old box, built in the 50s, but it’s really sturdy – it might get a little bent out of shape in a quake, but it’s not likely to break enough to squash all my supplies, because of the wooden framing. It has lots of compartments in it for keeping all the things I might need in an emergency. There’s a bit that’s got my food and cooking equipment in it, another compartment for storing clothing and bedding, and another has my camping equipment, and another little compartment where I store the toilet paper.” “Wow!” you say. “Your kit must be huge!” Yeah, it’s the size of a house. Literally. Because it is my house.

Tsunami If you are at the coast and experience any of the following: „„ feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more „„ see a sudden rise or fall  in sea level „„ hear loud and unusual noises from the sea „„ move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can.

Kerry McSaveney is an Emergency Management Advisor – Community Resilience with WREMO. She explains that she doesn’t have an emergency kit, but she does have a house full of everyday things that she can use in an emergency. “My tinned food lives in the pantry where I use it all the time, so it gets used before it expires,” Kerry says. “I always restock before I run out, and I usually have four or five tins of the things I use most often on hand. My bedding is on my bed or in the cupboard in the hall along with my camping stuff. I have lots of spare clothes in my bedroom (in the floordrobe). Spare toilet paper is behind the toilet and tools are in the shed, along with the battery-powered radio I listen to while gardening. “The only things I have that are specifically for emergencies are my first aid kit (which I end up using embarrassingly often), as well as a grab bag with a change of clothes, and a toiletries bag with extra meds and stored water. I have a 200L emergency tank outside, as well as three or four old 1.25L soft drink bottles with water that I keep in each cupboard.” Kerry recommends storing scanned copies of important documents online, along with digital copies of all your precious photos. She also keeps a bottle of water in her car, along with a small first aid kit. “When we ask people if they have a kit, they often say no, but when we asked if they have items that people would normally put in a kit, somewhere in their house, the answer is often, ‘of course.’” “If you have those items, you don’t really need a kit, you just need to know where to find them,” says Kerry. “If part of my home is damaged, I can probably access the things that are in the other parts of my house, and if I had to evacuate the whole building in a hurry because of catastrophic damage, I’ll grab my bag and the cat, and get out.” Kerry believes her community is her biggest asset. “Most importantly, if I have nothing else and everything is lost, I have friends and neighbours I can rely on to help me out.”

WHEN THE GROUND BEGINS TO SHAKE DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquake knocks you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.

DROP

COVER

COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

HOLD For more information contact the Civil Defence Emergency Management office at your nearest council or visit

www.getthru.govt.nz

Getaway Kits In some emergencies you may need to evacuate in a hurry. Everyone should have a packed getaway kit in an easily accessible place at home and at work which includes: „„ torch and radio with spare batteries „„ emergency water and easy-to-carry food rations such as energy bars and dried foods „„ first aid kit and essential medicines

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

9


„„ essential items for infants or young children such as formula and food, nappies and a favourite toy „„ change of clothes (wind/ waterproof clothing and strong outdoor shoes) „„ toiletries – towel, soap, toothbrush, sanitary items, toilet paper „„ blankets or sleeping bags „„ face and dust masks „„ pet supplies.

Make sure your car is ready Plan ahead for what you will do if you are in your car when a disaster strikes. In some emergencies you may be stranded in your vehicle for some time if you are trapped in a flood, snow storm or major traffic accident. Keep a few essential emergency survival items in your car. Store a pair of walking shoes, waterproof jacket, essential medicines, snack food, water and a torch in your car, as well as things your children might need, like nappies and wipes. If life or property is threatened always dial 111 for Police, Fire or Ambulance.

Small community steps up Kaikoura welcomed its first baby just one week after the earthquake. Local midwife Bernie Thomas says one of her clients gave birth to a baby boy, at the local birthing unit on November 21. The mum stayed in the town because she really wanted to have the baby in her own community, with friends and family. “In fact, most of my clients whose babies are due shortly have made the same decision,” Bernie says. “They want to stay with their homes.” Since the earthquake and aftershocks, Bernie worked around the clock to care for local mothers and babies as the only midwife in the Kaikoura community providing the vital service. Bernie was asleep at home when the earthquake struck. The force of the quake was so strong, her bed moved from one side of the room to the other. “My immediate thought was to get dressed because no one needs to see a naked midwife. I fell down the stairs trying to get to my 90-year-old father who has dementia.”

10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

A truck took her to the hospital where a pregnant woman needed to be seen, and Bernie was able to have her father admitted to the hospital so she could start work. And work she did, through the night “helping anyone who presented”. The next day Bernie started visiting the women on her books, two of whom had newborn babies. She continued visiting and making contact with women during the week and helping to distribute supplies including water, nappies and hand sanitiser. In between times she helped at the hospital and cleared up at her own home. Bernie has had many challenging roles in her career, including a period working for the Flying Doctor service in Australia, but says the earthquake was unlike anything she has ever experienced. “I have called on every one of my skills as a midwife and a registered nurse,” she says. “In fact, we all have. It’s quite phenomenal what we can and have achieved together as small seaside community.”


The Worry Bug Everything is going to be alright The earthquakes that struck Christchurch had a huge impact on families and became the catalyst for Sarina Dickson and Julie Burgess-Manning to join forces to help children deal with their anxieties. Together they formed The Worry Bug, producing resources inspired by the children of Canterbury. Each day, I found Maia at the end of the school driveway, waiting for me. One day there was a knock on my door and another mother told me she had found Maia there at lunchtime, and was concerned about her. She didn’t feel safe at school; three years and five house-moves later, she was still struggling with the fears from February 22. And she wasn’t the only one. With a background in teaching and behavioural special needs, I was constantly aware of the needs of my family and the children around us. Every day in the playground we spoke with parents who were managing the same issues – bedwetting, behavioural issues, difficulties with focus, fear of the wind or the noise of trucks, managing change, and mostly, separation. There were kids sleeping in their parents’ beds, parents in their kids’ beds, whole families in the lounge. There were earthquake kits in hallways, no swimming or ballet lessons, bedtime stories were lost in the discussions about EQR and what needed fixing. That other parent happened to be a psychologist, Julie Burgess-Manning, and she became my business partner. Our mission was to try to make a widespread impact on the long-term mental health outcomes of this earthquake generation. We chose the medium of stories with therapeutic exercises. These resources could not just be delivered in a box, they needed to be presented by people who cared about the children, knew their needs, and could tailor the learning to the child and their family. We thought up the idea of ‘home and school scaffolding’ – using a triangle of close relationships (teachers and parents) to implement the ideas we were offering. Then we set about getting funding. The Ra-ta- Foundation, Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust and Red Cross supported the production of two books in English and Te Reo. ‘Wishes and Worries’ for use in the classroom, and ‘Maia and the Worry Bug’ for use at home. ‘Rising Tide/He Tai Pari’ will hit schools soon, designed for older children and less focused on quakes, more on developing resilience. The new quakes have made us think about how we can prevent issues that Christchurch children struggled with, years on, and about how more interventions could help. We thought our run was over – but it turns out there’s a sequel.  Sarina Dickson

Resources to support children, their parents and teachers through times of worry and change “I think the book would benefit any family experiencing any kind of difficulties that come with change. It’s colourful, with exciting animations that will keep the attention of young kids. I think it’s a lovely story that can help give kids the words they might need in order to explain if, and when, they feel anxious, or when they notice their parents have become anxious.” Kate Cherven, Programme Engagement Specialist, Mental Health Foundation “Even though Wishes and Worries is intended as a classroom resource, it was an easy night time read, engaging, beautifully illustrated and the content was affirming. The author is adept at being able to turn the principles of cognitive and narrative therapy into a compelling story.”

K Higginson, Information Resources Specialist, Mental Health Foundation

“I recommend this book for anyone who is struggling at home or school. It’s all about building up courage to not be afraid to show everyone who you really are. It’s also a message that you shouldn’t be afraid and you should just give things a go. And if it doesn’t turn out you can always try again.”

Bronte, age nine years

/TheWorryBug

www.theworrybug.co.nz subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

11


Cuddles

and kindness Advice for keeping kids calm and comforted during the quakes

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


We are all feeling pretty shaken by November’s quake and aftershocks, especially our little folk who don’t have the same understanding of events that we do. Schools, kindergartens, and Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres were closed, and lots of us worried about friends and wha- nau and stayed glued to the news and social media. Try to stay as calm as you can during aftershocks, as it helps your littlies stay calm too. Feel free to share the news that nobody likes earthquakes, and it is normal to feel a bit frightened by them. The next step is reassurance. How do we comfort our little people? They may have some weird and wonderful theories about what has happened – our three-year-old was convinced it was his sister’s tummy rumbling. As a mum and as an ECE teacher I would suggest reassure and be honest, gentle and kind (though to be fair, I say that about almost everything).

They might need extra support. Make sure that you are giving them the cuddles and time that they need. If it makes you all feel better to stay close, then do so! If they need to spend a night or two in your bed to make you all sleep better, then do it. As long as it is safe – remember to use pods to co-sleep safely with infants. Our family coped with aftershocks curled up together on the sofa, snuggling and watching Night at the Museum.

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

13


Often sleep and toileting regress when children are stressed, so stay calm and gentle and know that it is normal and will pass. Children who are usually reliable may have toileting accidents if they are distracted and not picking up on their usual ‘needing-to-go cues’. It should return to normal fairly quickly. Our little one is a bit frightened of aftershocks so needs company on the way to and from the toilet. This is totally reasonable and I will be trekking the hallway with him for a day or two. It might mean extra night wakes and a little more reassurance at bedtime – again, this is normal and will pass. They will be full of questions and may be frightened and anxious. They will also pick up on the fear and anxiety of adults around them. Kids are really perceptive. They can figure out what is happening, so don’t feel that you have to try and hide your feelings. Just talk about it with them in a way that isn’t scary. It’s okay to admit you are a bit jumpy because you don’t like earthquakes! Some of our little folks have experienced some really scary sights and sounds, or have had to evacuate from their homes. Keep them informed about what is happening and why. As much as you can, provide clear factual answers and explanations. There is support for children who have experienced trauma and someone at your evacuation point will help you know how to access them. It’s important not to overload your kids with information that they might not need or want. But if they do have questions, they may ask again and again, so just keep answering. They are trying to work it all out in

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Don’t make promises you can’t keep – they need to trust you so don’t tell them there won’t be another one. their heads so they might need that key information repeated a number of times. They aren’t trying to wind you up, just to understand! It is okay to tell them if there is something you don’t know. You might be able to find out together. If they ask what will happen if another earthquake strikes, tell them. Talk about drop, cover, and hold so they have some knowledge and power about what to do. And of course, reassure them that you will keep them safe. If they ask at bedtime what will happen if there is an earthquake in the night, tell them that you will come and check on them, that you will help them to drop, cover, hold and that they are safe and warm and you are here. If they ask about what happens if there is an earthquake at school or kindy, reassure them the same way: to drop, cover, and hold, that the teachers will look after them and keep them safe, and that you will come and get them. Be mindful of what they are seeing and hearing on social media, television and radio. They will be busy


making ‘working theories’ so make sure the information they are receiving is the kind you would want them to have. If it’s scary for us to see or hear then it will probably be scary for them. Feel free to turn off or restrict media to just adults. In the days following an earthquake – or any other natural disaster – keep routines as normal as possible. There is a lot of comfort in routine and predictability. Take care of each other, check on your neighbours and wha- nau, and take care of those little peeps.  There are some great resources for parents about dealing with trauma at: The Skylight Trust skylight.org.nz and the Ministry of Health www.health.govt.nz

Donna Eden Donna has been an ECE teacher for 20 years. She currently works with infants and toddlers, and thinks we could all learn a lot from them – especially about speaking out when you don’t agree. She is a lesbian, feminist, badass, and mama of two awesome children with the best sweetheart ever. She works hard to practise kindness, fairness and mindfulness every day.

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

15


Capture your hugs Tips for taking a GREAT cover shot

16 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


In the March–April issue of Kiwiparent we will launch a photo competition supported by Huggies Nappies to find a perfect cover model – with the winning entry receiving a full photo shoot, nappies and heaps of other prizes. You also get to see yourself and baby on the cover of Kiwiparent magazine! We are looking for images that show loving connections – parents, children, siblings, pets – those special moments that illustrate closeness and attachment. To get you started, here are some tips from the experts to help you on your way.

photo Credit: Photography by Kirsten www.photographybykirsten.co.nz

Timing is everything This is probably the most important tip of all. Timing. You know what times would work best for your kids. Are they rested? Have they been fed? If you are planning a little photography time, plan the time around their schedule to get the best results.

Get down to their level If you want to capture the world from their perspective, be prepared to get down and dirty. You will absolutely love the shots you can capture from this angle.

Prepare to play When are most children at their happiest and most relaxed? When they are playing. Play time will give you the best opportunity to capture your child’s natural joyful expressions.

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

17


Fill the frame Fill the frame with your subject. If the subject is your child, make sure they are the focal point.

to you! Nice! So, snap away… then snap some more. You can never capture enough where kids are concerned. Look through the images and pick out the best – the best expressions, the best moments, the best light… then let the rest go. 

Remove distractions Remove any distracting items from the shot that will take away from your subject – and remember to cut down on the clutter in the background.

Capture the moment When photographing babies and children, you’ll be getting the workout of your life while trying to keep up with them, especially when shooting outdoors. But it is worth it to capture the natural expressions of wonder. Eye contact is a great asset in a cover shot, so try to get your little one looking directly at you.

Make them sparkle Have you noticed photographs of kids where their eyes are full of life and sparkly? Those are the reflections of light that appear in a person’s eyes in photographs. To achieve this, you will want to face your subject towards a source of light, like a window or the sky. If your baby is sitting on the grass outside, try standing above them so they are looking up to you with the sky behind you.

Snap to your heart's content Thank goodness for the digital age – cameras can shoot a million pictures that you can delete later at no cost

18 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Remember to do a face check (oranges are terrible in teeth!! and vegemite in the corners of mouths, I won't mention noses...). Also do a clothing check – I always suggest to clients that big cartoons on t-shirts (super heroes, Dora, Frozen etc) draw the eye away from their children, and if it’s a photo that goes on the wall in 10 years time, they may be really sick of that t-shirt! Kirsten Walsh, photographer


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

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

There’s nothing like a hug.

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


Good clean fun Perception and reality

20 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


A little while ago, I took my daughter to Junglerama  (an indoor kids playland place). It is one of my favourite things to do with her, as it’s a great excuse for me to play with her on the giant jungle gym frames and all those inflatable toys I was barred from in my 20s on the flimsy excuse that I was “too old” for them. We were jumping around on the bouncy castle when a little girl about the same age as my daughter asked if she could play too. I said “sure”, there was plenty of room for her on the bouncy castle as it was just us at that point, and I figured she’d just bounce around and do her own thing. After bouncing around with us for a minute or so, she asked if we wanted to see how to climb up the inflatable slide. It was a bit of a random question but I looked at my daughter and asked if she wanted to go, and she was keen so I thought, “why not?” She’s usually just hanging out with me when I have her on the weekend so it would be nice for her to play with other kids. We went to the big inflatable slide and the little girl who invited us over was climbing with another friend, so my daughter and I slid down with them a few times and they were all having fun. I thought, “Cool, they’re having a neat little random friendship moment,” and I tried to see out the corner of my eye if the parents of the two little girls were around but didn’t notice anyone immediately obvious. I hoped that, if they were watching, I didn’t look like this weird creeper guy. After a few more rounds of sliding I was getting tired, but also conscious of the fact that this may look a bit dodgy so I told the girls I needed a break (which I did – kids and their energy levels!) and tried to divert my daughter back over to the bouncy castle.

Are all men potential abusers? The perception and reality in male–child interactions.

However, the two little girls followed us and wanted to keep playing. The grabbed my hands in a ring-a-rosie circle and wanted to jump around with me. My internal conversation started getting really worried now – physical contact with strange children initiated by them! Arrrgh! My looking-like-a-creep-o-meter was going crazy by now, but at the same time I was thinking, “Ok, there’s nothing dodgy going on here. These kids just want to play and it’s nice for my daughter to have someone else to play with when we’re hanging out…”

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

21


However, the ‘looking-like-a-creep’ feeling won this internal debate so I tried to whisk my daughter away under the pretence of getting some lunch. But the girls wanted to play tag. “Tag?” “Yeah, you chase us, you’re in!” My daughter was already off running with them, so I thought “bugger it” and half-heartedly (ok, probably two-thirds-heartedly) chased after them. All the time I was thinking that I was going to get accosted any minute by their parents – and I wouldn’t have blamed them for doing so at all. We ended up playing this game where they all threw pit balls at me while I tried to shoo them away. This new game took place out in the middle of the play area so I was hoping by that point the parents of the two little

22 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

girls could see that I wasn’t some weirdo creeper. Look, I brought my own daughter with me! I’m a legit parent! I finally managed to find a break in our game and asked my daughter if she was hungry. As soon as the answer was in the affirmative, I took my cue to escape this innocent-yet-uncomfortable situation and get us some lunch. Part of me was relieved that was over, but at the same time I questioned why I was feeling awkward in the first place, given it was all innocent and harmless fun. Being a male and a single dad, I’m very aware of how other parents, other people, and society in general may view an adult male interacting with kids like this. I know too that, as a father, I’d be watching pretty closely if my daughter was playing like that with a stranger – not that there’s much of a risk of that happening with my clingy daughter!


But at the same time these are the perspectives that can cause men to shy away from roles like teaching, especially early childhood teaching, and this limits the number of male role models kids will engage with in their schooling years. As a member of the community, and one who can feel a bit isolated in the parenting space, I don’t know whether I’m supposed to be more ‘on guard’ and shy away from situations like this, which I think could ultimately be detrimental to both my daughter and myself. A few days after this happened, I put the question out on my blog’s Facebook page to other dads and parents, asking for their perspective and whether they’ve had any similar experiences. The responses were interesting – and there were more than any other post on the page to that date. Some parents spoke of either themselves or their male partners being in similar situations, and having the same issues of feeling uneasy or worried about the perceptions of others that something dodgy was going on. Some suggested solutions for managing these situations, such as locating the parents straight away (which can be tricky if they’re off somewhere else) or explaining to your children that you can’t play with other children as a rule. While these are the ‘safer’ options, I feel that these place the burden of proving ‘safety’ on men and reduce the spontaneity of an innocent play situation.

Other issues were raised: does it close off certain experiences for your children? Does the media and/ or society portray interactions between men and young children in these situations as something to be suspicious of (while acknowledging the reality of the dangers out there)? And does it punish dads and other males for being actively engaged with their kids and others, and does it prevent men from pursuing careers where they would be caring for children, such as childcare/teaching, due to the risk of this kind of perception? I’ve only been in the parenting game for three and a half years now (and over two of those in 1 Player mode) so my experience in this area is admittedly a bit limited. If you’re a dad (or a male in general) have you been in this situation before? How did you feel about it, and what did you do? And if you’re a female/mother, have you been in this situation? What are your thoughts? 

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

Stunning, real family portraiture

Wellington based family and wedding photographer www.photographybykirsten.co.nz and www.stevensandwalsh.com kirsten@stevensandwalsh.com subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

23


Make time to swim with your baby

24 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


New data shows that many Kiwi dads are getting involved in swimtime with their babies. And the experts say it sends a powerful and positive message to New Zealand’s littlest swimmers that water safety is important for both mum and dad. A recent Colmar Brunton survey revealed that 37% of swim-time with children aged under three involves dads, with the balance involving mainly mums. But the same survey also revealed that only 2% of respondents were aware that men made up more than 80% of drowning fatalities in New Zealand. Dr Kevin Moran, a lecturer in Physical Education at the University of Auckland and a board member at WaterSafe Auckland says: “We have a drowning toll in New Zealand that delivers a stark reminder every summer about the vulnerability of men in New Zealand water. The toll also points to the need for improvements in the way men assess risk in water.” Kevin says swimming and water awareness lessons for littlies in the arms of either mum or dad is a great place to start as it helps families make more realistic assessments of risk for the safety of the whole family. It also helps children lock in important water safety messages from an early age. With an estimated 150,000 Kiwi babies aged under three taking part in swim-time with their families each year, Safety Advisor for Plunket, Sue Campbell, believes that parents are the best role models to drive home positive safety messages to their little ones. “It’s great to see that so many dads are involved in swim-time with their babies. It demonstrates a good level of awareness of the importance of water familiarisation and safety. Swim-time is a wonderful opportunity for dads to interact with their children. Plus there is the added value of time together – fun, discovery and social interaction,” she says.

For the third consecutive summer, Huggies® Little Swimmers® Swimpants have arranged to give 4,000 babies under 18 months old a free pair of swimpants for their first swim or water confidence lesson in 2017. While water safety organisations speak with one voice about the need for ‘active supervision’ of children by parents in and around water at all times, Kevin has studied New Zealand parents’ view of what that actually means.

What ‘supervised’ really means Kevin published a paper entitled ‘Watching Parents, Watching Kids: Water Safety Supervision of Young Children at the Beach’ in 2010. The study looked into how children in New Zealand, aged from five to nine years, were supervised at the beach by their parents or adult companions. He found that almost a quarter of caregivers studied simply did not provide adequate supervision. Of the 130 caregivers found to be failing to supervise properly, one-third lay on the beach sunbathing, over a quarter talked to others, and 27% used their cell phones. In an earlier study, Kevin found there was no significant differences between male and female self-reported supervision, but male caregivers were more likely to rate their children as good swimmers and less likely to estimate a high risk of drowning for that age group. Sue explains that young children are invariably attracted to water. “They move quickly and quietly. They are

It only takes 60 seconds and around five centimetres of water for a child to drown. Water Safety New Zealand

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

25


curious and want to explore this interesting environment. So we have created a simple checklist to help parents clearly understand what supervision of children around water involves.”

Can you answer YES? If you can answer yes to all of these questions you are helping keep your children safe in and around water: „„ I never leave baby alone in the bath, not even for a second. „„ I don’t expect older siblings to look after baby in the bath, it’s an adult’s job. „„ The paddling pool is always emptied after use.

The good news – and the bad

long care. One child who dies or is hospitalised from near-drowning is one child too many.”

Water Safety New Zealand recently published their 2015 report, which revealed that hospitalisations for children aged under five from nonfatal drowning have dropped to the lowest level since records began. While this is great news, the report also reveals that, tragically, the three preschool fatalities recorded were considered to be preventable.

Jonty believes that New Zealand’s zero fatalities target for under-fives by 2020 is within reach as long as messages about supervision of children in and around water are delivered to new parents consistently and clearly, ideally before their baby is born or soon after.

CEO Jonty Mills says the tragedy and impact when a child drowns, or is hospitalised after near-drowning are immense. “Preventable fatalities can leave families with permanent emotional scars, and being hospitalised can leave children with damage so severe they need life-

„„ Our swimming pool has a fence around it and a gate that closes and latches automatically. „„ We always stay with our young children when they are in the pool area. „„ Ponds, troughs and other areas water collects are fenced or inaccessible to young children. „„ We always stay close to our children around water, keeping them within arm's reach . „„ We have a system where the adults take turns being the minder of the children when there are families together around water.

26 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

“Preschoolers usually drown when a child is allowed out of sight – and reach – of a caregiver. It can be in the bath, paddling pool, bucket, or in large bodies of water like a lake, river or the sea,” Jonty says. “So the best advice of all is to keep under fives within arm’s reach at all times.”  Find out more www.watersafety.org.nz


subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

27


A fun

family meal Tacos make a fun, family meal that kids (and adults) love. Place all the components in bowls in the middle of the table and let the kids assemble their own tacos to get them involved.

28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Fish tacos with mango, coriander, tomato salsa and Mexican salad Ready: 25–28 min Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 18 min Serves: 4–5 per serve Gluten-free, dairy-free (omit sour cream and butter) Energy 2647kJ (624kcal) Carbohydrate 53.4g Protein 32.8g Fat 31.5g

Salsa 1x 425g can mango, drained 3 tomatoes ½ red onion Juice of 1 lemon ½ cup roughly chopped coriander leaves

PREHEAT oven to 180°C. Bring kettle to the boil.

1

To make salsa, cut mango flesh into small cubes, dice tomatoes, finely chop red onion and combine all in a small bowl. Mix with lemon juice and coriander.

2

Rinse quinoa well. Place in a small pot with salt and boiling water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for 3–5 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.

3 4

While quinoa cooks, roughly chop lettuce, thinly slice avocado and red onion.

5

While fish cooks, heat taco shells in oven for 5–6 minutes. Combine salad ingredients.

Salad ½ cup red quinoa Pinch of salt 1 cup boiling water 1 iceberg lettuce 1 avocado, stone removed ½ red onion 1–2 tablespoon chopped coriander

Fish Tacos 600g white fish fillets ¼ cup white flour 1 teaspoons Cajun spice mix 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 12 taco shells ½ cup of sour cream

„„ Use gluten-free corn tortillas and gluten-free breadcrumbs to turn this into a gluten-free meal. „„ It’s recommended we have fish at least 1–2 times a week; this recipe, using crumbed fish, is a great way to introduce kids to fish. „„ Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Using a little bit scattered

Pat fish dry with paper towels and cut into large fingers. Combine flour, spice mix and salt in a dish, and coat fish well. Heat oil and butter in a frypan on medium heat. Fry the fish in two batches for 1–2 minutes each side, or until just cooked through. Set aside.

TO SERVE: Put everything in the centre of table. Let everyone build their own tacos; place a couple of pieces of fish into each shell and top with salsa and sour cream. Serve with salad on the side.  throughout a salad is a great way to introduce people (including the little ones!) to it. „„ Avocados are in season now and super-nutritious. They’re packed full of healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, including folate (avocados are a very good source of folate). Nadia Lim

DELIVERING BAGS

kiwiparent

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz – OF GOODNESS

29


Getting a

solid start

When our daughter Maia was about five months old, well-meaning people suddenly started enthusing about introducing solids. It came as a bit of a surprise to me initially, simply because we’d had a tricky start to breastfeeding and it felt as though things had only just settled down.

food, in fact she likes to see exactly what she is eating and she doesn’t like things touching! Looking back, I feel I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy.

I was in no hurry to give my baby ‘alien matter’ as I thought of it. But other people were. And when she continually pushed spoons away and showed no real interest in mushy bowls of baby rice well past six months, I couldn’t help hearing the other voices even though I knew she was thriving on my milk. This went on for several months. I tried all sorts of mushed-up homemade concoctions to no avail.

Over the decades the age at which health professionals have recommended solids be introduced has varied greatly. During the first half of the last century it was about six weeks! Can you imagine? When I was born, yes, 50 years ago, it was about four months.

I wish someone had told me about the advantages of letting a baby eat appropriate food from a parent’s plate; so called “baby-led weaning”. To this day Maia doesn’t like sloppy

The World Health Organisation says: ”Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate safe complementary foods while

breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond.” And, by and large, most other leading organisations in the US, UK and Canada agree that six months is the time to start solids. But it’s not an exact science. Even at an early age, babies sometimes watch eagerly as your fork goes from your plate to your mouth. And this is one indicator that your baby is starting to be interested in eating like you. But there are a lot of other signs that can help you know when your baby is ready. If your baby is sitting up unsupported and can reach your plate, grab a handful, put it in her mouth, chew, swallow and reach for more – she is ready for solids. One of the best bits of information I’ve seen is in the wonderful Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

GET SUPPORT IN MANY WAYS MEET breastfeeding mothers CONTACT a trained breastfeeding counsellor READ a book from our library BROWSE our website JOIN for Aroha magazine BUY books and leaflets DONATE to help La Leche League help more mums like you

30 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

help@lalecheleague.org.nz | facebook.com/LLLNZ

|

lalecheleague.org.nz


N EW

“Maybe you’re thinking that other foods would help your baby sleep through the night. Not according to research. In fact, your baby might sleep less well because of the indigestion that too-early solids or formula can cause. Babies sleep through the night when they are able to, which sometimes happens at around six months, but not because of the solids.” And it goes on: “His insides are designed to be ready for solid food once his outside has developed enough for him to eat it on his own.”

are slim. Nevertheless you’ll want to be close at hand during early meal experiences anyway. Waiting until six months also allows your baby’s digestive enzymes to be up and running, thus reducing the risk of allergies. So if he can eat by himself as well, it makes sense that around six months is the time to start. If I’m honest, I wish I’d waited longer with Maia. All that fuss about baby cereals, which after all have little nutritional value, would have been avoided. If I’d just let her eat from our plates, when she was ready, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so stressful for me.

BECAUSE EVERY DROP OF BREAST MILK COUNTS

So what starter foods can your baby eat from your plate? Most soft or stewed fruits, avocado, cooked vegetables, hummus, slivers of chicken or fish (watch for bones, obviously!). Very quickly it’ll be much of what you are cooking for the rest of the family; a well-balanced and varied diet with foods as close to their natural state as possible.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that some things won’t end up in his mouth sooner. But if you’ve noticed him pushing things back out with his tongue, well that’s a defence mechanism to protect his digestive tract from anything foreign in his mouth.

It sounds easy enough but if you need some good ideas, check out the 50th anniversary edition of La Leche League’s Mothering Time Cookbook. It’s packed full of some easy-to-prepare and nutritious meals and snacks – and a third of the price of other recipe books. Visit LLLNZshop.org.nz for information.

If you’re worried about choking, be reassured that your baby’s gag reflex is an effective defence mechanism, designed to eject food pieces too big to swallow. Your baby’s pincer grip (the ability to pick up objects with thumb and forefinger) naturally develops at about eight months, so the chances of her putting tiny things like raisins in her mouth before she is able to handle them

Oh, and a word about iron and breastfed babies. I repeatedly heard that Maia needed solids because she wasn’t getting enough iron from my milk. True, breastmilk doesn’t contain a lot of iron, but it isn’t supposed to because it is very readily absorbed. Feeding your baby too much iron will end up feeding the wrong bacteria in his tummy. 

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

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

tommeetippee.co.nz subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

31


Follow the cues If you think that your baby is ready to start solid foods there are a few guides to follow. Offer solids when your baby is most relaxed and happy. Give the milk feed first (until they are eight or nine months old) and offer solids as a ‘top up’. Try a half to two teaspoons first and gradually increase the amount until baby is having about three to four teaspoons at a meal.

Hold baby comfortably while you feed them or sit them in a baby high chair. Use a small teaspoon and put the food in the middle of their tongue. Try one new food every few days. If they don’t like the food the first time, wait a few days and try again with a smaller amount. It might take up to 15 tries! Your baby is ready to start solids (usually around six months) if they: „„ can hold their head up „„ sit with less help „„ often put their hands in their mouth „„ easily open their mouth when the spoon touches their lip or as food approaches „„ can keep food in their mouth and then swallow it, instead of spitting the food out „„ show signs of chewing movements. The best foods when your baby is starting on solids are plain, soft, smooth things like cooked and puréed vegetables or fruits without skins, and iron-fortified infant cereal/ baby rice. At around seven months, your baby is ready for mashed foods, finger foods and new flavours if they: „„ can sit without support „„ can pick up and bring food to the mouth „„ probably have some teeth „„ are learning to bite and chew. Now is a good time to introduce mashed well-cooked fruit and vegetables, mashed cooked egg, soft cheese (such as cottage cheese), custard and plain yoghurt (without added sugar). Remove stalks and ‘stringy bits’ from foods like silverbeet, pu-ha and bok choy.

Parents Centre Moving and Munching programme that covers weaning, first foods and healthy attitudes to foods. www.parentscentre.org.nz

32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Offer finger food in pieces that can be easily picked up by baby – soft fruit and vegetables like ripe banana, well-cooked pumpkin, toast fingers and thin slices of cheese. Continue to purée cooked meat, fish and chicken.


Between eight and 12 months your baby is ready for more textures and lumpy foods once they:

Once your toddler is one year old, they are ready for many different spoon and finger foods if they:

„„ are learning to crawl and may pull themselves up to stand

„„ can easily use their hands and fingers to feed themselves

„„ can bite well and can chew soft lumps

„„ can hold a cup with two hands and drink from it

„„ are interested in a range of foods and textures

„„ have molar teeth starting to appear (the larger teeth at the back of the mouth, which are used to chew and grind food)

„„ need some help to eat. Try mashed vegetables mixed with minced or finely chopped tender cooked meat, chicken, kai moana, egg or slightly mashed cooked legumes. You could also add chopped up noodles or pasta or whole rice. Add chopped soft fruit to yoghurt or custard as well as breakfast cereal – porridge, wheat biscuits and infant muesli. You could also introduce slightly firmer finger foods such as soft ripe fruit or soft cooked vegetables, grated raw carrot and apple, toast fingers and puffed crisp bread.

„„ can bite through a variety of different foods and chew well. Your toddler’s growing independence means they will enjoy breads – pita, re-wena, chapatti, buns, rolls – cut to a size they can easily hold and eat. Offer them finely chopped salad vegetables – lettuce, cucumber and tender, finely chopped lean meat, chicken, seafood and egg along with a variety of cereals (remove very hard foods like whole nuts or hard dried fruit).  Find out more www.healthed.govt.nz

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

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

For free tips, ideas and recipes visit www.infantfeeding.nz subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

33


Read the fine print What do all those labels mean? All parents know that babies and toddlers have a thirst for exploration that knows no bounds. Keeping them safe at home may seem relatively simple, but hidden dangers can lurk among ordinary household products you use every day.

Detergents, fuels, bathroom sprays, garden sprays, spa and pool chemicals – even cosmetics and toiletries – can be harmful if not used or stored correctly. “The best way to keep yourself and your family safe is to read the product label,” says Fiona ThomsonCarter, General Manager for approving chemicals at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA is the government agency that sets the rules for safe use of chemicals in New Zealand. It decides on applications for the release of hazardous substances under the relevant Act and assesses the benefits, risks and costs of hazardous substances to safeguard people and protect our environment. “Even products that claim they are natural, organic or environmentally friendly can be harmful: the best advice we can give is to check the label so you’re comfortable with the contents before you buy,” Fiona says. Labels will often include words that alert you immediately to their harmful effects. Flammable, Caution, Warning, Danger or Poison, and phrases like Keep out of reach of children, or Use only in a wellventilated area indicate the product can be harmful. If you have any of these in your home (and you probably do), ensure they are stored out of sight and well out of reach by storing in a locked cupboard or up high where children can’t reach them. Remember also that children learn new skills all the time, and a storage space that was safe when your little one was two, may not be so safe when the three-year-old works out how to climb on top of a chair to gain extra height to explore! Fiona encourages adults to make sure to always check the label carefully. “Our goal is to keep people and our unique environment safe. Make it yours too, by knowing what the symbols mean and always following the label directions.”

Cosmetics and toiletries Hair dye, sunscreens, soaps, deodorants and other cosmetics and toiletries can contain ingredients that are classed as hazardous. Before using any cosmetic or toiletry product, read the label to check if there is anything special you should do to keep safe. For example, some products will warn you not to get the product in your eyes. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label, and use the product only for what it was made for. It can be dangerous to use products designed for one

34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


body area on a different part of the body. Remember, baby’s skin is very different to adult skin so their needs are particular. Their skin is thinner, it absorbs and loses water more quickly, it has less natural moisturising properties, and the precious immune system is still in the process of developing. Infant skin barrier protection is essential in the two first months of life, so make sure to always use a mild cleanser which will have the least impact on the barrier function of the skin, and won’t cause drying or irritation. It should also lower allergy potential. It’s also a good idea to patch test products to find out whether a product is likely to irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction when it is applied to a larger area. Apply a small amount of the product to a small area of skin, like the underside of your wrist. If a reaction, such as a red mark or rash, appears then it’s best not to use that product on that person.

„„ putting toiletries and cosmetics away as soon as you’re finished using them „„ making sure they are the first thing you store when you get home from the supermarket „„ keeping your handbag, where cosmetics are often found, off the floor and out of kids' reach. New Zealand has strict rules to make sure all cosmetics and toiletries are safe. The rules include children’s ‘toy’ cosmetics and face paint. Most cosmetics made by reputable brands and sold by reputable suppliers know the rules and stick to them.  „„ Only buy cosmetics from retailers you know and trust. „„ If you are in any doubt about the safety of a product – don’t buy or use it. „„ If the label isn’t in English, doesn’t list the ingredients, batch code and NZ importer and manufacturer contact details, the product isn’t compliant with the rules.

Storing cosmetics and toiletries Cosmetics and toiletries seem safe because we use them every day – but they could make a child very sick if they were to eat them. Protect kids in your home by: „„ storing toiletries and cosmetics in a locked or secured cupboard „„ keeping them up high – aim for at least the shoulder height of an adult

„„ If you have an allergic or other reaction to a cosmetic product stop using it immediately. If the reaction is severe, get medical help from a doctor. Some products may also have ‘At-a-Glance’ symbols that warn special precautions should be taken.

Continued overleaf...

IRON

ESSENTIAL FOR MUMS & BUBS

Pregnancy is a beautiful time but can take its toll on your body. Iron is an essential nutrient needed for energy, healthy blood and optimal immunity – your baby needs iron for these reasons, too. “Lean red meat, like beef and lamb, are excellent sources of iron. Serve lean beef mince with chopped tomatoes and spaghetti for a classic bolognese or puree with steamed kumara for your little one” – Nutritionist, Emily Parks

WORLD IRON AWARENESS WEEK IRONWEEK.CO.NZ 1-7 MAY 2017

recipes.co.nz kiwiparent 35

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –


Know what the symbols mean Internationally used symbols indicate the level of harm a product may cause if not used or stored correctly.

Flammable products

Moderate health effects

Indicates that the product contents are flammable. May be found on hairspray, turpentine, and some paints. Keep these products away from lighters and other sources of direct heat and/or flame.

Contents could cause rashes, induce sleepiness or affect your breathing. Washing powder and some cleaning agents may include this symbol.

Fire accelerants (oxidisers)

Products with this symbol can cause long-term and serious health issues. Petrol, fire-starters and DIY products may include this symbol.

These will feed fires and explosions. Pool chemical labels may include this symbol. Keep them well away from heat sources and other flammable substances.

Chemical burns (corrosive) Oven, drain cleaners and other strong cleaning products can be corrosive, cause severe burning and eye damage. Wear gloves and safety glasses when you use them.

Pressurised containers Gas bottles containing CO2 for making soda water may include this symbol. Keep gas bottles out of direct sunlight, and store them in a well-ventilated area.

Serious health effects This means product contents may be fatal if ingested or in contact with your skin. Think about whether you really need to use these products.

36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Long-term health effects

Environmental harm These products, such as garden sprays and pool chemicals, can harm the environment. Follow the instructions carefully to limit their impact. 

For more advice call The Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON). If a person is not breathing or is unconscious, call 111 immediately. Find out more www.epa.govt.nz/saferhomes www.facebook.com/EPAsaferhomes


Hendrix, Auckland

Marley, Rotorua

Mia, Queenstown

Matteo, Dunedin

No Harsh Chemicals No Added Parabens Hypoallergenic Made especially for your baby’s delicate skin

150618

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

37


Sunshine

myths

I won’t get sunburnt on a cloudy day. Wrong: You can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day. This is because UV radiation can get through light cloud cover, so unprotected skin can still be damaged.

I can tell by the temperature if I will get sunburnt. Wrong: Heat from the sun is caused by infrared radiation, not UV radiation. UV radiation can still be high even on a cool day, when infrared radiation is low.

I'm windburnt, not sunburnt. Wrong: Your windburn is actually sunburn caused by UV radiation. The wind may make you feel cooler but UV radiation can still be high on a windy day.

Sunscreen blocks out all UV radiation. Wrong: No sunscreen filters out all UV radiation – you still need to limit your time in the sun, and cover up, no matter what sunscreen you’re using.

Wearing a t-shirt in the water will protect against sunburn. Wrong: A wet t-shirt may offer only half the protection it does when it is dry. If you are going to be in the water, a rash shirt and sunscreen is a good form of protection – or even better, a full-body wetsuit. 

38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Prepared with input from the Cancer Society of New Zealand https://wellington.cancernz.org.nz


In this section Volunteers – the lifeblood of Parents Centres

Start at the source – the new Early Pregnancy Programme

Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer!

Auction a great success

A volunteer is an exceptional person. They are someone who is socially conscious and well aware of the benefits that go with giving something of themselves and their time without needing payment as a reward.

‘Tinies to Tots’ parent education programme

Volunteers are undoubtedly the lifeblood of Parents Centres around the country. We 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. Time and again we see that our volunteers are people who are full-time parents, have paid jobs to undertake as well as many other commitments, yet they still manage to find time to volunteer for their Centres within their communities. On the following pages, read about the launch of the brand new Early Pregnancy Programme which will be great for Centres as it will help volunteers to connect with families in their community early on in their pregnancy. Parents Centre’s proud history has been built over six decades by volunteers working for the rights of parents. To all of our volunteers who have been before, who are with us now, and who will join us

To locate a Centre near you and to find out more about programmes running in your area visit:

www.parentscentre.org.nz

in the future, Parents Centres are thankful for your input and honoured to work alongside you for the betterment of parenting in New Zealand. Go to www.parentscentre.org.nz to find out more about volunteering for your local Parents Centre.

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

39


Start at the source

and change a generation For almost 65 years Parents Centre have been providing education and support for parents throughout their amazing parenting journey. Our parenting programmes continue to evolve to ensure they meet the changing needs of parents and provide up-to-date, quality, researched information. Through this continual drive to support parents, Parents Centre has recognised a gap and a significant need for education, skills and knowledge to be made available and shared right at the beginning of pregnancy. In response to this need, we have developed our Early Pregnancy Programme. This programme has been designed and developed to meet the specific needs of parents who are in their 12th–24th week of pregnancy. There is so much conflicting – and sometimes scary – information out there. Early pregnancy is a time when parents have considerable questions, and yet only see their Lead Maternity Carer once a month; this often results in parents turning to Dr Google, and getting answers with varying degrees of accuracy. Early pregnancy is an ideal time to implement positive health behaviour and lifestyle changes – improved lifestyles can affect short- and long-term health outcomes for mum and baby. Research has shown that information on pregnancy-related topics at childbirth education (antenatal) classes would be better delivered much earlier. The main focus at antenatal class tends to be managing and coping with labour. Early pregnancy is also an essential time for understanding and effecting parents’ rights as a consumer of the maternity system.

40

Implementation of this programme supports Parents Centre’s key strategy – to start at the source and change a generation. We pride ourselves on facilitating stimulating debate, and encouraging critical and inquisitive thinking in an inclusive and supported environment, where parents become equipped to make informed decisions that are the right choices for their family. Bringing parents together early in their journey with Parents Centre offers huge benefits for everyone. It provides the opportunity to make early connections and to grow support networks with other parents from the moment they take their first steps in the Parents Centre door. Early membership through local Centres entitles families to so many benefits – discounts, education and support. A growing membership strengthens our organisation locally and nationally – from this pool comes our amazing and dedicated team of volunteers throughout New Zealand who make all of this possible. We are incredibly proud of the journey Parents Centre has taken over the decades, and this pride continues as we explore beyond the norm and open doors to further support parents during this remarkable yet challenging and sometimes scary time. Watch this space – this is an awesome programme. Liz Pearce Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parent Education Manager

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


A quantum leap Launching our new Early Pregnancy Programme is a huge achievement. As we enter our 65th year of delivering services for parents we build on our foundation of navigating change for New Zealand families as we engage our communities. In mid-2016 the operational strategy to develop the programme was endorsed by our governance body alongside an inspired parent education strategy. We believe that this is a tool that will allow us to start at the source and change a generation. This represents a quantum leap for Parents Centre and for antenatal education in New Zealand. Our strategy for the Early Pregnancy Programme is to nurture, enable and inspire parents to implement healthy pregnancy behaviour and lifestyle changes so as to create a positive influence for their child’s and the family's future.

informed and qualified decisions about their pregnancy and the future for their family. Parents Centre believes that parenting is everything and that great parents grow great children. This is the beginning of that lifetime journey!

We know that this will be good for parents as they will receive quality information and support at the time when they need it most. It will be good for Centres as it will help them to connect with families in their community early on in their pregnancy. It is also good for Parents Centres across the country, growing our education programmes and our membership will strengthen our ability to advocate for constructive change for families, and allow parents to make

Viv Gurrey Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc.

Building the ‘village’ I am excited about the launch of the Early Pregnancy Programme. Parents often start their pregnancy journey with many questions and look for support – it can seem a long time to wait for childbirth classes. Often they use Google to try and be guided to quality information. As a community, the value of having something like the Early Pregnancy Programme means that parents can engage in the process much sooner. By being able to start thinking early about healthy pregnancies, maternity care and parenting, they can lay the foundations well before they get to the last trimester. Not only will it have those personal benefits but by doing these classes earlier in their pregnancy, they start building the allimportant "village" of other pregnant parents that can become friends and support for life.

West Auckland Parents Centre is keenly anticipating the launch of the Early Pregnancy Programme developed by Parents Centre New Zealand. It's a great way for pregnant families in our local community to access quality information and support during what can be an exciting but scary time. Not only will it benefit mothers, but also expectant fathers who often have limited access to support and information until nearer the end of the pregnancy. President, West Auckland Parents Centre

Nicola Mapletoft Childbirth Educator

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

41


Auction supports volunteers We have just wrapped up Parents Centre New Zealand’s inaugural online auction fundraiser. We are delighted with the success of the auction, raising almost $5000. Funds raised will contribute to the cost of our national support team. This team supports all of our volunteers to keep our Centres running smoothly, delivering services to local parents including new and revamped parent education programmes, finance support for treasurers, help with grants and fundraising initiatives, plus plenty more. The auction that generated the most bids and interest was a two-night farmstay experience which sold for $706. This was won by a dad who wanted to surprise his family with some time ‘away from it all’. Our Centres had the opportunity to participate in the auction by sourcing an item and keeping the proceeds locally, while benefiting from the nationwide marketing of the auction. The farmstay auction was raising money for Upper Hutt Parents Centre. President Kathryn is delighted with the early Christmas present for the centre, a much needed boost to their funds. The generous Recaro capsule and car seat package from Baby on the Move raised the most money, almost $1,000. Tickets to the ASB Classic and an Interislander travel voucher were also popular items. I would like to thank our partners and all those that donated items or experiences for the auction. Please support these businesses that gave generously to us: „„ Baby on the Move „„ MediaWorks „„ My Food Bag „„ ASB „„ Interislander „„ The Kiwi Arthouse Gallery „„ Dreamboat Books „„ Auckland Adventure Jet „„ Wellington Phoenix „„ Kapiti Heliworx „„ Cherry B Events „„ Studio 88 We are looking forward to making this an annual event with an even bigger and better auction in 2017! Kim Black, Funding Manager, Parents Centre New Zealand

42

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


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

This month the spotlight is on:

‘Tinies to Tots’ The ‘Tinies to Tots’ programme follows on from ‘Moving and Munching’ and is designed for parents whose little ones are growing out of the baby stage and becoming a toddler (from around 10–18 months). As your baby starts to grow and develop, the type of play and stimulation they need changes. The ‘Tinies to Tots’ programme explores types of play and how they can assist in your baby’s development. Careful consideration is given to age-appropriate toys, games and activities. The programme allows for the sharing of ideas with other parents, which you may find is a supportive way of exploring ways of interacting with your own children. Also covered are safety aspects in and around the home. To the little one who is beginning to explore the world around them within their home environment, there can be a number of opportunities for them to be faced with hazards – large and small. Identifying hazards, ensuring baby equipment is safe, and understanding ways to prevent injuries are other aspects discussed.

Nutrition is explored, including learning about ideal foods and the right time to introduce particular foods to toddlers. The importance of a young child having a balanced diet, the benefits of extending breastfeeding and learning about allergies and introducing new foods all part of the discussion. Along with nutritional learning comes caring for new teeth, and sound advice on this. The ‘Tinies to Tots’ programme will introduce you to speakers who are expert in their fields, and who can give you information that will help you make important decisions for your child as they grow from a “tiny” to a “tot”. 

Contact your local Centre through www.parentscentre.org.nz for details of programmes running in your area.

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

43


Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 48 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area, or go to:

www.parentscentre.org.nz

North Island Auckland Region 1

Bay of Plenty

Whangarei

Tauranga

Waitemata

Whakatane

Bays North Harbour

Rotorua

Hibiscus Coast

Taupo

Onewa

Taranaki

Auckland Region 2

New Plymouth

Auckland East

Stratford

Papakura

South Taranaki

Manukau

East Coast North Island

Franklin

Central Hawke's Bay

Auckland Region 3

Hawke's Bay

West Auckland

Central Districts

Central Auckland

Palmerston North

East & Bays

Wairarapa

Waikato

Wellington

Hamilton

Kapiti

Cambridge

Lower Hutt

Putaruru

Mana

Otorohanga

Upper Hutt

Morrinsville

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

44

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Your pregnant body never stops. A pregnant woman’s heart works up to 50% harder. It’s one of the many reasons you’ll need to keep more hydrated. aquamamma® has been specifically developed by an Australian Obstetrician for your amazing pregnant, birthing and breastfeeding body. With added folic acid, low sugar and low calories, it’s healthy hydration that also happens to taste great. Get hydrated at aquamamma.co.nz and leading pharmacies.

CH-0147 06/16

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

45


Pack your bag Hospital bag essentials

I thought I’d write for all you first time expectant mums out there as – if you’re anything like me – you’ve been trawling the internet for checklists on what to take with you to the hospital. I found so many lists, but lots were outdated or told me to pack stuff I didn’t end up needing. Now I am pregnant again (baby is due in April!) I have pulled out my old lists and I’m thinking about what to take with me to hospital. I repacked my hospital bag a thousand times – seriously, just ask my partner! I put so much emphasis on having cute/stylish clothes for baby to come home in, and while he did look pretty bloody adorable in his fox outfit, appearance really didn’t matter as I had a million other things to think/worry about – like a baby. If you’re like me though, take one cute outfit and that can be what baby wears for the announcement photo.

46 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

I would recommend taking enough clothes etc to get you and baby through three to five days. That way, if you end up having a long stay, you’re more than prepared. In saying that, I was in for three nights (four days) and I’m pretty sure I wore the same clothes for a most of the time. Yes, Mum, I changed my underwear. I will say in advance, I am super-anal so took everything whether or not it was ‘needed’. It’s better to be overprepared than unprepared, right? Right, I’ve broken this down into five separate lists.


Maternity pads – believe me, you’ll need ‘em. The hospital supplies you with ones that resemble a large single mattress but I found the maternity ones better if they have wings. In saying that, I was rolling two pads up (hospital ones) until I came home. Once the bleeding died down I swapped over to the maternity liners. Nursing bras – if you’re planning on breastfeeding, take sports bras with no underwire. I don’t think I’ll ever wear a bra with underwire again, haha. Labour clothes – if you don’t want to get stuck in a hideous, unflattering hospital gown, pack some clothes you’d like to labour in. It all happened pretty fast for me, so I ended up in a long singlet; it covered my lady bits while walking around the room (some dignity) but also meant the midwife and others could do their thing. Slippers and dressing gown – a lot of people say the hospitals are hot but I personally found it bloody chilly! PJs – invest in a good pair of maternity pyjamas, you will make good use of them. Phone/tablet/charger – you are going to want to hop on social media to let everyone know how amazing your baby is! Reading material – hell, ain’t nobody got time for that – I know I didn’t. Snacks – I took barley sugars, gummy snakes and Powerade. All of which got demolished during late nights feeds the following days. Essential oils – if this is your thing it can help you to feel calm and mask the hospital disinfectant smell. Your own pillow – hospital ones are s.h.i.t – make sure you use a bright pillowcase so you don’t forget it when you’re in a rush to get out of there!

Toiletries: For you: Comfortable clothes for after the birth – I took slouchy yoga-type pants and a nice baggy top to hide my newly acquired pooch. Trackpants will become your friend. Socks – your feet can get surprisingly cold. Nana undies – the higher the better, especially if you have a c-section, you don’t want ones that rub on your stitches. Buy a pack of nana gruts super cheap so you can chuck them after you leave hospital... or keep wearing for months after like me. Toilet paper – the hospital stuff is like baking paper and that’s the last thing you want to be dabbing on your lady bits. You can also get those amazing hoohah wet wipes. I used these once I got home (up until about eight weeks when I got up the courage to wipe and not dab).

I went and raided local suppliers for all those mini travel bottles: „„ Shampoo and conditioner „„ Hairbrush, hair ties and a headband if you want to ensure your hair is out of your face „„ Toothbrush and toothpaste „„ Deodorant „„ Lip Balm „„ Moisturiser „„ Soap/body wash „„ Breast pads „„ Nipple cream „„ Hand cream „„ Medications you may need

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

47


I also took some BB cream – I could not be bothered with full-on makeup but this made me feel, and look less like a zombie when it came time for visitors

„„ Light blanket or muslin for swaddling

An antiseptic healing lotion is great if you have a vaginal birth – this stuff was amazing the weeks following, I chilled it in the fridge in a shot glass then syringed it onto my lady bits. You could always make a heap up in a pump bottle but I found this awkward as hell and it just ended up everywhere but on my hoo-hah.

„„ Singlets

„„ Merino onesies – some people prefer gowns as they’re easier for late night changes

„„ Leggings „„ Woollen cardigans „„ Baby wipes and nappies „„ Wool blanket

For partner/family/ support person: „„ Camera (make sure you charge your battery or take spares) and don’t forget a big memory card! „„ List of people who need to be contacted after the birth if you’re not up for doing it at the time „„ Snacks/drinks „„ Change for the carpark/food etc

For baby: „„ Hats, booties, scratch mittens (you can also use socks)

48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

„„ Capsule or carseat – the hospital generally check that you have this on discharge. I packed all newborn clothes but our little guy was quite small so ended up in prem clothes for a week or two once we came home even though he wasn’t prem. If you think or know you’re having a wee baby then I would take a couple of prem suits just in case.

Backup bag in the boot of the car: „„ Two spare outfits for bubs „„ Extra blanket/swaddle in case other gets soiled „„ Extra nappies/wipes


Big sis. Role Model. Superstar. How’s that for multi-tasking?

„„ Change of clothes for my partner plus toiletries „„ Camera charger „„ Ladies, leave a towel in the car if your waters break at home and you have a wee (haha) drive to the hospital. I know I am bound to have forgotten things – email me with your ideas on hello@newmumclub.com and I will add to the list. 

Jess Bovey Jess is a 29-year-old mother of one based in Wellington. She manages a social media agency by day, blogs by night, and is also a professional photographer. A self-proclaimed serial over-sharer, Jess will always say it how it is. www.newmumclub.com

Join the Au Pair Link family today and gain access to:

• Our online system with hundreds of prescreened au pairs • Full support from our team of qualified early childhood teachers • Organised weekly playgroups, monthly activities and events • WINZ and 20 hours ECE subsidies • Free first aid training for your au pair

25% off our placement fee for all Parent Centre members. Promo code: PARENTC

*terms and conditions apply

Join our family today at www.aupairlink.co.nz or call us on 0800

AU PAIRkiwiparent (287 247) 49

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –


Feel good

about yourself

Transitioning back to work

Going back to work after having a baby is a big move. Some parents are heartbroken at having to leave their precious baby in the care of others, others relish getting back to a job they find stimulating and energising. Most parents feel a mixture of emotions, with nervousness and excitement both making an appearance. Once you’ve sorted out the gnarly issue of childcare and you have your date set for returning to the workforce (paid, that is) then there are all the contingency plans to put in place. How will you manage the fraught morning rush, drop-offs and pick-ups, what to do if (when) your baby falls ill, have you figured out dinners you can make in advance? The list seems endless – and can be overwhelming. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are practical tips that can help to make life easier, before, during and after the transition back to work.

It’s all down to planning You probably know this already, but it comes down to planning and preparation. Plan your return date carefully – if possible try to have a shorter week when you first start back so you can ease in. It will be more manageable for you and the rest of the family. Scope out your new route – when do you need to leave the house if you have to drop baby at a centre before going to work? Are there traffic pinch points to consider? Make a list of everything you need to take with you for baby and for yourself. A peg board in a prominent place is useful so that you can find somewhere to stick newsletters, invitations and important bits of information so everyone can see them. You will have to plan for sick days. It’s pretty much a given that every child who starts at childcare will pick up an infection of some kind within the first few weeks – and usually pass it on to the rest of the family as well.

50 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


If possible, agree with your partner or another family member that they’ll be able to step in for the first few sicknesses, and take the pressure off yourself.

The confidence dip Aside from the practicalities of childcare and the frantic new routines at home, it can also be a difficult to transition back into the workplace. Many parents find their confidence takes a dip when they go back to work after having been home for a few months. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to fit back in. It can help if you stay in touch with work during your maternity leave, so you don’t feel too out of the loop. Try to meet with colleagues for lunch occasionally or have a coffee with your boss before going back. Then give yourself time to settle back into your pre-baby life. Try to keep a low profile at first so that you have a chance to read emails and get familiar with the world of work before people start to look for you again. They managed without you for months so another day or two won’t hurt.

Getting it right at home

If you’re feeling a bit lost, especially if there are new projects or processes in place, this is your chance to ask questions, to admit you need more information. You’ve been away for months, so nobody will be surprised that you are out of touch and need an update.

Become super-organised and get everything ready the night before – lunches, outfits for children, nappies, the favourite cuddly, clothes for yourself – anything that you will need to take with you when you leave the house. It just takes the pressure off a rushed morning.

Over time, most parents evolve their own strategies to make life easier, and you will too. While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, these things have worked for other mums and dads.

Continued overleaf...

DISCOVER HOME SHOPPING AT ITS VERY BEST...

20%* OFF Exclusive Kiwiparent offer...

USE PROMOTION CODE KP2017

Valid on orders of $50 or more before 31 March 2017.

*Terms and conditions: Offer valid until midnight 31 March 2017. Promotion code KP2017 must be used at the time of purchase to activate the offer. Offer excludes gift cards and top ups, NEXT, Spanx merchandise, Breast Cancer Cure merchandise and personalised gifts. Minimum spend must be in a single transaction, and excludes delivery charges. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion, or be applied to previously processed orders. Offer valid for use once only, and only by its original recipient.

kiwiparent

E Z I B U Y. C O subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz – M • 0508 500 500

51


Plan out the family meals for the week ahead and batch cook at the weekend – things like casseroles, stews and curries are best eaten the day after they are made – or buy a slow-cooker. Store up some easy-to-prepare recipes that won’t keep you or your partner tied to the kitchen and pop a few meals in the freezer as back-ups. It is a good idea to look for shortcuts – get a cleaner if you can manage it, shop for groceries online, and stock up on essentials like socks and underwear for the kids, so that if you haven’t managed to tame the laundry mountain it won’t cause Monday-morning stress.

at work – just keep it to work and home until you find your groove and have some routines bedded in. There will be plenty of time to build the social life back in later. Treats make life a little sweeter: go for a walk or a swim, watch a movie, read a book, take a bubble bath or get a Friday night take-away or Saturday afternoon treat from the bakery. Whatever will make you feel happy and a bit pampered. Connect with others in the same situation – other parents trying their best to balance work and home.

Multitask at lunchtime When you are on your lunch break, there are things you can get done to free up more time at home. Take a few minutes to do your online shopping and banking, and other things like book medical appointments or Plunket visits.

Did you know? There are only six main body types: „„ Pear „„ Rectangle

Don’t overdo it

„„ Hourglass

Going back to work after maternity leave can be exhilarating, but it can also be challenging and exhausting. You need to look after yourself, in the midst of taking care of your family and doing your job.

„„ Oval

Get as much sleep as you can: staying up late on Facebook or watching a movie on Netflix might be fun at midnight but it won’t help you cope with an early start and fractious kids in the morning.

There are plenty of ways to learn how to dress for your body shape – Ezibuy has some great ideas on how to look fabulous for your shape.

Try to make space to relax: don’t plan big nights out or commit to too much for the first couple of weeks back

52 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

„„ Inverted triangle „„ Diamond

www.ezibuy.com/shop/nz/ find-your-body-shape


There is nothing quite as therapeutic as being with people who are walking the same path as yourself. You may find tips that you can try, or share things that have worked for you. It is great to know you’re not the only one juggling. And most of all, give yourself a break. If you need to leave the TV on for a bit longer so that you can have a cup of tea and catch your breath for a few minutes, do it. If you need to promise something enticing (definitely not a bribe!) to a preschooler in the midst of a meltdown so that you’re not late for work, the world won’t end. No one is in this for the parenting prize – it’s not a competition. Sometimes it is OK to just muddle through and simply take the path of least resistance.

in what you’re wearing you’ll feel better about your shape and won’t spend all day worrying about how tight an item feels. It may be obvious, but check out what your coworkers are wearing – this does not mean you should dress identically and lose your individuality, but it is about helping you to feel as though you fit in and belong. Don’t go corporate if your workplace has a casual vibe, don’t wear jeans if everyone else is in a suit. Most stylists suggest you invest in a good haircut that is easy to maintain (you will find it hard to get time to do a lot of styling in the mornings) and looks smart and professional. Remember, unlike your wardrobe which can be changed, you wear your hair every day.

It’s pretty daunting going back to work after having a baby, so it’s important for you to feel comfortable about your look. For many women, the hardest part of getting back to their job is getting dressed, as it is easy to become self-conscious about postpregnancy bodies.

Accessories can make a drab outfit into something fabulous but be aware that they draw the eye to particular parts of the body. If you want to hide a bit of a tummy, don’t put a big buckle on it. Rather, use accessories to draw attention to the part of yourself you like the most. A stylist's trick is to build your outfit around your shoes if you want a coordinated look – so shoes are pretty important.

If you can’t fit back into your pre-baby wardrobe, fashionistas suggest buying two or three key pieces that fit your current shape and mix with maternity wear or looser clothing for comfort – if you feel good

Whatever you do choose to wear, the key thing to take into account is comfort. Dress like ‘you’ in clothes that fit and flatter (whatever your shape) and you’ll feel better and more confident. 

Dress for success

DISCOVER HOME SHOPPING AT ITS VERY BEST...

20%* OFF Exclusive Kiwiparent offer...

USE PROMOTION CODE KP2017

Valid on orders of $50 or more before 31 March 2017.

*Terms and conditions: Offer valid until midnight 31 March 2017. Promotion code KP2017 must be used at the time of purchase to activate the offer. Offer excludes gift cards and top ups, NEXT, Spanx merchandise, Breast Cancer Cure merchandise and personalised gifts. Minimum spend must be in a single transaction, and excludes delivery charges. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion, or be applied to previously processed orders. Offer valid for use once only, and only by its original recipient.

E Z I B U Y. C O M • 0 5 0 8 5 0 0 5 0 0


Choosing a

childcare

centre

54 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


to detail may mean the difference between a well-run centre and a poorly run centre. You might assess how the teachers interact with the children, with one another – and with you. Are you made to feel welcome when you arrive? Do the teachers greet you or smile? A centre is often only as good as its teachers and its management. You could have the most beautiful centre with all the bells and whistles, but if the teachers are unhappy and not passionate about their jobs then it is like an empty present. Often you are able to get a feel for these things when you visit a centre, but it can be hard to notice the finer details when you don’t know what to look for and you are already so overwhelmed at the idea of placing your child in care. But it is important to take your time and not rush this important decision.

Part one of a two-part series that looks at childcare options. In this issue we take a look at childcare centres. It can be a daunting task finding the right childcare centre for your child – the thought alone is often scary enough! You have spent all this precious time with your child and know them better than anyone, and now you are asked to leave them in someone else’s care. The process of finding the right centre can be the hardest part. Once your child is settled in a centre it is likely that they will begin to really enjoy their time in care, form new special friendships, and develop wonderful early childhood memories. Over the years the stigma of early childhood being no more than a ‘babysitting’ service has steadily declined. Centres these days offer amazing educational programmes and experiences for children, whilst providing a caring and nurturing environment for children to grow and develop. The right ‘fit’ in a centre can mean different things to different people. Some parents may place their importance on the atmosphere or the child-to-teacher ratios, while others may be more concerned with fees or location. It is a very individual choice, and sometimes the deciding factor is simply that the centre just ‘feels’ right.

Be sure to compare centres and ensure you get a good understanding of your options. If your child is with you on your centre visits, be sure to watch them and read their reactions and emotions. How are they responding to this new environment, and to the teachers and other children around them?

Transitioning into care Once you have chosen a centre, your child’s transition into care should start with ‘settling in’ visits before their official first day in a centre. These are short visits to the centre where you will stay with your child during their time there. How many of these visits there will be can vary from centre to centre, but in general, the more opportunity you have to settle your child into care, the easier the transition will be. During these visits with you present, your child will slowly learn that it is a safe environment. Ideally, you will want them to start exploring away from you and interacting with the other children before you have to leave them by themselves at the centre for the first time. When you are carrying out settling visits be present with your child, however, try not to jump in and do things for them, or conversely try and push them to venture away from you. Your child will do this when they are comfortable, irrespective of their age. If you are comfortable and relaxed, the chances are your child will be too; if you are stressed and anxious then they are more likely to pick up on this and mimic

There are some key indicators you can look for to make sure that you are selecting a high-quality childcare centre.

What are your first impressions? Take a look at how the children are behaving. Is the boisterous, active child being stimulated and engaged? Is a hurt or sad child being responded to and acknowledged appropriately? While for a first time visitor any centre may seem as though it is loud and busy, the attention

After a child has been left in care a few times with swift and honest goodbyes, they will learn that although you are going, you always return. Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

55


your emotions. Try instead to talk to the teachers and interact with the other children if they initiate it. Eventually your child will come to understand that this is a safe environment and a fun new place where they are valued and respected.

Let it go When it comes time to actually leave your child, whether it is for a short period or for the whole day, most teachers recommend the best thing to do is to say goodbye, and not to try and sneak away. If you suddenly leave your child while they are happily off playing, it is likely that at some point they will seek you out. Your child may then become panicked when they realise that you are no longer there, and this is likely to cause prolonged stress for your child and can create a feeling of abandonment. So it is important to address your child before you leave and to tell them that you are going, but that you will return. Try to make it positive, even though it can be difficult for you emotionally – if you are sad that you are leaving then your child will pick up those vibes and also be sad. Also, try not to be upset if your child simply says goodbye and then happily skips off; this is a great sign that they are happy in your chosen centre and feel comfortable and secure – they will still be happy to come home with you at the end of the day.

56 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Once you have said goodbye it is important to then leave, even if your child is crying and begging you to stay. While this may be devastating, to go rushing back to your child is sending them mixed messages and will only confuse them and make the situation more difficult. Often, a child who cries when their parent leaves for the first time is seen to be happily playing with other children in no time. The more the act of leaving is drawn out, the more upset a child – and parent – can get. After a child has been left in care a few times with swift and honest goodbyes, they learn that although you are going, you always return. Soon the tears will subside and if you have chosen your centre well you may soon find it hard to get them in the car to take them home! At the end of the day, the best result is that you are happy in your decision, and your child is too.

Questions to ask the Childcare Director/Supervisor „„ How many children are enrolled and what is the teacher-to-child ratio? Judge the number of children enrolled in relation to both indoor and outdoor space. „„ How do teachers manage conflict between children? How do they guide the children’s behaviour? „„ Will any staff member have primary responsibility for my child?


„„ What are the qualifications and experience of the staff? Are staff registered teachers? Qualified and registered staff should hold the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or higher. Have all staff working with children been police vetted? „„ How is the centre operated and organised? Are parents included in the governance of the centre? „„ What is the daily schedule? Is it flexible or rigid? Are the children able to rest when they are tired or only during set times? „„ Is the timetable able to be altered to allow more time for interesting happenings? The flexibility of the schedule is often related to the number of staff available. „„ What happens if a child becomes ill during the day? Are there facilities for the isolation of a sick child? The Early Childhood Regulations (2008) require the exclusion of any child suffering from any infectious or communicable illness, and any child taken ill must therefore be removed from the centre as soon as possible. „„ What medical or first aid training do staff members have? Staff should have current first aid certificates. „„ What are the arrangements in case of an accident or medical emergency? „„ What are the rest and sleep provisions? Does each child have a bed or bedding? „„ What are the arrangements for children who wake early or do not need a sleep? „„ What types of meals and snacks are provided? You will need this information in order to plan a balanced diet for your child each day. „„ What is the fee structure? Parents may be eligible for a Childcare Subsidy. „„ Is there a fee if a child is absent due to parents’ holidays or a child’s illness? „„ How are children introduced to the centre? Can you stay with your child for a while? „„ Is the centre a member of Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa / NZ Childcare Association? The Association promotes a high standard of early childhood education for children in childcare services. „„ What information can the centre provide that will help with the enrolment decision?

Entrust your child to the safe, lov ng care of our family-owned childcare centres Since 1972, we’ve provided more than full and part time care and education for babies, toddlers and preschoolers - we’ve provided a Kindercare family. And we’re here for you, to keep your child safe, share their discoveries, guide their enquiry, ensure they’re ready for school and most of all, fill your child’s days with love and fun. Our Kindercare team have a warm welcome waiting at a centre near you…

Babies Toddlers Preschoolers

Find out more from the New Zealand Childcare Association 0800 CHILDCARE (244 532), info@nzca.ac.nz

www.nzca.ac.nz facebook.com/NZChildcareAssocation @NZChildcare

Continued overleaf...

www.kindercare.co.nz 0508 KINDERCARE subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

57


Build the relationship with child and wha- nau This is my view on how parents and kaiako (teachers) can help with a better transition for preschoolers of all ages beginning to attend a centre, kindergarten or start homebased care. Have as many visits as possible so that your child can become familiar with their new environment, routine and the kaiako. It is also vital that the kaiako talks in front of the child with their parents. This helps the child to see that their wha- nau and this new person are building a genuine relationship, where the child will see laughter, listening and a reciprocal relationship starting. I believe this will help the child to feel less anxious and scared. I believe that building a relationship with the child and their wha- nau is the most important part of any child’s life. If you have wha- nau where ESOL (Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages) is involved then you will need to pay close attention and spend more time with these families. This will ensure you build a positive and trusting relationship where they can come to you at any time knowing that you have their best interests at heart and know that you will never make assumptions or judge them. Secondly, parents you need to korero (talk) with your child about what is going to take place, inform them about what is going on. Also give them reassurance that preschool will be fun and you will be going home to do boring things such as doing the washing and cleaning the house. This way the child will know that they will not be missing

58 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


o ur ow Y Circle r G Join us

&

As adults, we feel these emotions too, and your child has the right to feel these emotions and genuinely show them. But talk to your child, comfort them as they go through this process. They are genuine individuals who are still learning how to control their emotions. So don’t feel embarrassed. When it is time to leave them, try to incorporate your child’s interests, maybe start them on an activity such as construction with the blocks, or music with the shakers. You can encourage their literacy by reading a book – even better a book that they really like such as one about dinosaurs, which is usually a favourite! I am a mother of two and both children are complete opposites. My first child would cling to me when I dropped him off, so I stayed for ten minutes and then I would have to leave for work. But I remember my child standing at the window crying for me. I would feel like the worst Mum in the world. I would park the car around the corner and have a cry myself before heading to work … late. But once again, parents and wha-nau, this is how it is supposed to be. After a week of this I noticed that my son was starting to understand the routine and he knew that his Mum or Dad would always be there to pick him up at the end of the day. So my advice is to be patient – it will only get better. I believe you need to have continuity. When things get difficult, don’t think that keeping your child at home will help. When you go back to the centre or kindergarten your child will be starting at day one again.

I believe that we should tell our children what emotions we are using. This will help them to recognise the emotions that they are experiencing and they will learn how to deal with it. For instance, use words like angry, sad, proud, scared, shy, happy, and lonely because this will help the child to communicate their feelings to others in a more positive way. When you are looking for a centre, kindergarten or other form of education for your child, ask your friends about their experiences. They will be honest with you and will give you a heads up on what to expect. Think about location, especially if you have more then one child to drop off each morning – try to find a location that’s going to be fuel-efficient and easy for you. Surf the internet to find places and also check out their Facebook pages. Then go for a visit, because this is when you will use all your senses to know if this environment feels right for you and your child. These are my own personal views and thank you for letting me share my thoughts. I hope that this information is useful, and good luck to all our future citizens of the world and their wha- nau. 

fts e n e b of h t l a e rs a w h othe

w it

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

Access

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

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

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

Win $250c0 ts

er

of produ w! -enter no

S

Rebecca Hansen, Invercargill

Winner of the Certificate of National Excellence for her outstanding contributions to Community Engagement in the 2016 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards.

all Free!

Connect

ov

Remember if your child is upset, crying, angry, or shy at first THAT IS OK!! It will pass.

When your child does do something amazing give them heaps of praise and tell them how proud you are. This will help build their self-esteem, and they will feel confident and proud in knowing that they can do anything.

nline o o g y impl

www.bounty.co.nz RATING EB

CE L

out on anything and they learn that they would rather have fun with their new friends.

Y EA R S

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

59


Creating

connections The first three years will set your child up for life

60 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


These days we understand much about how a child’s brain develops and how it is affected by experience in either a positive or negative fashion. This development starts before birth and continues through the teenage years when adolescence adds further complexity to the young person’s development. The neurobiology of infant brain development and some of the recent advances in our understanding of this topic mean we now realise just how important the first three years are in a human’s life. The key to understanding the link between early childhood experience and subsequent behaviour is in the age-old nature versus nurture relationship. There is a complex interplay here that is at the core of human emotional development and behaviour.

The mother of all senses Touch is the first sensory modality to come ‘on line’ and has been labelled the ‘mother of all senses’. Smell, taste, balance, hearing and vision follow in that sequence, and it appears that each sense needs to follow the sequential pattern for complete development. The type, the frequency, the intensity and quality, the order, and the number of experiences will all have an impact.

Our genes are not a static blueprint; they can actually alter with experience in the sense that they can be ‘switched on’ or ‘switched off’. Nature and nurture operate together to fashion our brains. This process occurs throughout our lifetime but it occurs at a much faster and more intense rate in childhood.

The neurons ‘talk’ to each other via these connections and our brain becomes wired as axons and dendrites, or spider-like projections, reach out in all directions within the brain. They send their messages electrically with the help of brain chemicals.

From the first few days after conception our brains begin to form – from rudimentary cell tissue. As the fetus develops, in the brain, layer upon layer of nerve cells (or neurons) migrate to their ultimate anatomical positions. They send out their axons to meet each other and become connected, enabling communication with each other. The organisation of our brain in this way is primarily genetically determined.

Larger distances are covered by the formation of long projections called axons, which can form nerves. Most nerves are eventually coated with myelin or white matter, which enables very rapid transmission of information. Myelin is particularly vulnerable to certain toxic insults in development, especially excess cortisol. In most areas of the brain this process of ‘connectivity’ or synapse formation and subsequent myelination occurs over the first two to three years.

In later fetal life, and particularly from the moment of birth, experiences interact with our genes to ‘switch on’ our connections. Thousands of new connections occur as we develop synapses in response to the environment we find ourselves in. Each sensory experience modifies and ‘sculpts’ the thousands of surrounding neurons, and in this way our brain becomes ‘wired’. This process occurs regardless of the post-natal environment but the subsequent pruning and refining of the pathways is environmentally determined. All drugs – including alcohol – that the mother ingests, will be received by the fetus. Many of these can have direct harmful effects on the brain. In addition, there may be less obvious but equally important effects on brain connection formation that will cause behavioural issues such as attention deficit and hyperactivity.

After this time there is a process of pruning where only the pathways that are being used frequently are retained and the brain becomes a more efficient and less complicated structure in terms of its neural pathways. Those connections that are not frequently being used are lost. The more mature brain is less sensitive to experience and less likely to change. It becomes harder for new patterns to develop. We are ‘hardwired’ according to the quality and amount of experience we have in those formative early years.

“When a child is nurtured, played with, sung to, cuddled and stimulated positively, he or she will be programmed in a positive fashion. This type of experience sets a child up for life.”

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

61


“The connections that occur with an attachment relationship need to be made within the first 18 months before the window of opportunity is lost.”

Wiring the brain There are critical and sensitive periods in brain development during which rapid changes take place, and after which it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to re-capture those developments: learning a musical instrument is a good example of this. Attachment to a consistent caregiver is another. The connections that occur with an attachment relationship need to be made within the first 18 months before the window of opportunity is lost. If this fails to occur there are likely to be problems in many areas in later life as the child grows up unable to establish firm, trusting relationships with other humans. Lack of early attachment has been shown to correlate with poor social competency, lower teacher ratings of educational competence and other outcomes in teenage years. The experiences essential for activating neurons and promoting synapse formation need to be the right ones. When a child is nurtured, played with, sung to, cuddled and stimulated positively, he or she will be programmed in a positive fashion. This type of experience sets a child up for life.

62 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

If they are negative, then the hard-wiring that takes place retains all the negative connotations, including the emotional memory of the experience. This includes triggering the physiological and somatic sensations that accompany a negative experience, such as a smack or witnessing family violence. Therefore if a child is repeatedly smacked, put down, ignored or abused they may become ‘hardwired’ for these emotions and after two or three years it becomes more difficult to change. Lack of stimulation or neglect – lack of positive input – can be equally devastating. The connections will be weak or may never develop. When negative interactions occur in infancy, the physiological associations that accompany the experience include the release of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. This has been described as a ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction. Unfortunately cortisol, although a crucial hormone in normal amounts, when secreted at inappropriate times and at much higher levels can interfere with the developing brain and there may even be structural changes occurring that are irreversible, along with loss of myelin. The brains of chronically deprived and abused children have been shown to be smaller than normal. The evidence for the link between early childhood experience and subsequent brain development comes from a number of sources and is still accumulating. Neuro-imaging techniques, animal studies, autopsy findings, and blood analysis of hormones can all support the hypothesis.

Your brain develops throughout life Up until recently the focus has been on the brain changes occurring in the first few years. Brain development continues at different rates in different


areas throughout life. Functional and structural MRI scans are showing us just what the extent of this brain development is, particularly in late childhood and adolescence. It seems that there is a burst of neuronal activity, with increased connectivity and subsequent pruning of lesser-used connections similar to that which occurs in the first three years, in the prefrontal cortex, corpus callosum and in other parts of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain that controls ‘executive functioning’ or reasoning and judgment. Prior to 15 or 16 years of age we tend to make decisions based on our emotional (‘gut reaction’) rather than our rational thinking. This is based in the amygdala where emotional values are processed. Functional MRI scans show that teenagers use this part of the brain when making decisions. From the early teen years there is a transfer of decision-making to the prefrontal cortex where decisions are more rational and objective, and consequences are thought through. The prefrontal cortex denotes social behaviour and knowledge, and allows us to control impulsive behaviour. At the same time, the corpus callosum (the bundle of fibres connecting the two sides of the brain) changes and grows. This allows problem solving and creativity to develop and assist us in planning. Throughout adolescence we slowly become more reasoned, and our decision-making reflects the fact that we are using this important part of our brain in everyday life. Impulse control, planning and an understanding of the rules of conduct become incorporated into our thinking. There is a sex differential with boys lagging two or three years behind girls in this developmental process. The implications are huge. Teenagers are not the same as adults in their ability to think rationally or make sound judgements – the teen brain and the adult brain are both anatomically and physiologically different. The forces that shape this adolescent brain development are still unclear. Obviously this is biologically driven as part of puberty, but just how important environmental factors such as nutrition, parenting, education, physical activity, peers, drugs, infections and many other factors are not yet fully understood.

What is cortisol? While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response be activated so the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress. Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects.

What is abundantly clear is that a baby’s brain is unique and precious. The way it develops will determine who he or she will become. While genes may establish a child’s potential, it is day-to-day experiences that will help your child to fulfil their potential. And most of your baby’s brain actually develops after the birth, and in the first three years of life. 

Dr. Simon Rowley Simon is a neonatal paediatrician at National Women’s Hospital, as well as working with children of all ages in private practice in Auckland. Simon’s concern for the health and well-being of our children led him to become a trustee for Brainwave as well as a presenter. His clinical experience, depth of medical knowledge and relaxed friendly manner make him a popular speaker to medically oriented groups as well as at conferences, seminars, and talks to parents and caregivers.

References Fergusson D (1998). Christchurch Health and Development Study; An Overview and some Key Findings. Social Policy J of NZ 10:154-176 Fergusson D, Horwood L (1998) ‘Exposure to Interparental Violence in Childhood and Psychosocial Adjustment in Young Adulthood’. Child Abuse and Neglect 22: 339-357 Fergusson D and Woodward L (1999) ‘Maternal Age and Educational and Psychosocial Outcomes in Early Childhood’. J of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 35 (3) 287-96 Fox et al Child Development January/February 2010 volume 81, no.1 p 28-40 ‘How Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Influence the Development of Brain Architecture’

Peter Huttenlocher; Developmental psychology, vol. 16, 1999 ‘Dendritic and Synaptic Development in Human Cerebral Cortex: Time course and Critical Periods’ Ronald Prinz. Prevention Science. Vol 10 No 1 March 2009 ‘Population Based Prevention of Child Maltreatment: The U.S. Triple P System Population Trial’ Silva P and McCann M. ‘An Introduction to the Dunedin Study’ in Silva P Stanton W (eds) (1996) From Child to Adult Oxford University Press New Zealand Auckland How poverty of experience disrupts development

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

63


Playing it

safe

There are awesome toys available for kids that will challenge and extend them – and encourage them to be active and expand their skills. While sensible risk-taking is an important part of childhood, there are some things to bear in mind when you encourage your child to use their new bike or skateboard.

According to Safekids director Ann Weaver there is a sharp rise in serious child injuries during the holiday and summer periods – these include injuries caused by trampolines, bicycles and other popular gifts. “Parents should also be aware of products that could be harmful to children under five years of age,” Ann says. “Things such as household items that are powered by button batteries, or small toys that are choking hazards.” Below are six safety questions that you should ask about your children’s toys.

Is it age-appropriate? Always check the packaging to see if a toy is suitable for your child’s age. REMEMBER – if it’s small enough to fit inside a 3cm hole, or has loose parts that can, it is a choking hazard for children under three.

Does it meet NZ standards? Safety standards ensure products meet minimum safety requirements. The following products sold in New Zealand must meet local standards (look for the “S” mark): child restraints, scooters, safety helmets, toys for children under three years old, children’s nightwear, household cots and bicycles.

Is it under recall? Make sure the product is safe or has not been recalled. You can check at www.recalls.govt.nz.

Can you install it correctly? You must assemble trampolines and bicycles correctly – get it wrong and your child risks injury. Follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions, and if in doubt, get a professional to help. Some specialist bicycle stores can also assemble and fit bicycles for their customers.

Does it need a helmet? By law, you must wear a helmet when cycling. It’s also a good idea for a child to wear one when skateboarding and scootering. When worn correctly, helmets reduce the risk of severe brain injury by as much as 74%.

Are the button batteries secured? Many household items – toys, cameras, watches and other everyday products – are powered by small lithium batteries. These can cause serious injuries when swallowed or inserted in the nose or ears. Ensure battery compartments are secure. If you suspect a child has swallowed a battery, take them to hospital immediately. For more safety tips, visit www.safekids.nz

64 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


„„ Check the scooter regularly: clamps are tight, wheels spin freely and the brake is not cracked or loose. „„ Helmets should sit level on the head, with the straps done comfortably up and snug under the chin. „„ Knee and elbow pads need to fit well enough to stay in place in a fall. If using the footpath, stay close and talk your child through the challenges: „„ Stop three scooter lengths back from driveways and crossings to be well clear as you check for vehicles.

Safe scooting tips Preschoolers need adult supervision when and wherever they scoot. „„ Avoid gravel, wet surfaces and raised edges – small scooter wheels need dry firm surfaces. „„ Improve balance by placing their front foot as far forward on the deck as possible. Get them to change feet every so often to improve strength and balance.

„„ Plan routes so you can use pedestrian crossings or controlled intersections where possible. Get your child to dismount and walk across with you. „„ Use the kerb drill. Look and listen, let any vehicles pass, look and listen again then cross quickly looking each way for traffic. „„ When footpaths are crowded, slow down or get off and walk. Thanks to Greater Wellington Regional Council for help with these tips. For more info, visit education.nzta.govt.nz, and search for “scooter safety tips”. 

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

65


Doing your bit to

change

the world Reusing items and reducing waste has been at the very heart of what Pregnancy Help does for the past 40 years, as has providing much needed practical support to families through the mobilisation of people in communities caring for and helping each other. The Pregnancy Help Nappy Banks (Nappy Bank NZ) were born out of the vision to both provide support to families and to support families to make good environmental choices through increasing accessibility to reusable nappies. In the past year the Pregnancy Help Nappy Bank (Nappy Bank NZ) provided 8,562 reusable nappies to families in eight centres across New Zealand (Auckland, Taupo, Taranaki, Central Hawke's Bay, Greater Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill). If each one of those reusable nappies was used just 100 times (which isn’t really a lot of nappy changes at all in the life of a baby) then those nappies would have saved 856,200 disposable nappies from going into landfills. As well as providing reusable nappies, Pregnancy Help also provided 83,582 items of baby and children’s clothing, 4,566 items of baby bedding, 1,512 items of maternity clothing, and 426 bassinets (these are loaned for a period of approximately four months and returned to us).

Banking from the bottom up Much like financial banks, the Nappy Banks operate via a system of deposits and withdrawals. Nappies are donated to the banks (deposits) and are then provided to families who want to use them (withdrawals). Once families are finished using the nappies they are donated back to the Nappy Banks for other people to use (starting the deposit and withdrawal cycle once again).

66 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


There is no cost at all for the nappies (and they are not intended to replace hire kits available from other sources). Our communities have embraced the concept enthusiastically – donating us nappies, sharing their knowledge about nappies with us, and accessing nappies from the banks to use. One of the many choices that parents make is about what kind of nappies they’ll use – disposable or reusable. Using reusable nappies full-time is a great choice but we’d also like to say that it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. We’ve found that a lot of the families that we’ve provided nappies to through the Nappy Banks find that a combination of both reusable and disposable nappies works well for them. Every single reusable nappy change means that a disposable nappy isn’t going into a landfill so it all helps to make a difference. We’ve found that accessing some reusable nappies through the Nappy Banks has been an ideal way for families to try reusables out and that often they’ve ended up using them more than they thought they would. They found they were so easy to use and it wasn’t hard work at all to wash and dry them.

More information about the Nappy Banks and other services provided by Pregnancy Help can be found at www.pregnancyhelp.org.nz www.facebook.com/nappybanknz

Pregnancy Help/ Nappy Bank Branches can also be contacted: Auckland 09 373 2599 3rd Floor, 33 Wyndham St

Greater Wellington 04 232 5740 139B Main Rd, Tawa

Taupo 07 377 6071 32 Northwood Rd

Christchurch 03 385 0556 349 Woodham Rd, Wainoni

Taranaki 06 765 5042 4 Romeo St, Stratford

Dunedin 03 455 5892 South City Mall, South Dunedin

Central Hawkes Bay 06 8566877 Waipukurau Plunket Carseat Rental Rooms

Invercargill 03 215 6720 34 Forth St

In the wake of the Climate Change Conference (COP21) and the historic agreement signed in Paris, many people and families are asking themselves, “What can I do to help make a difference?” They recognise that governmental policy needs to be backed up by personal choices and actions, so are keen to “do their bit” to contribute to the changes needed. Babies and little people go through a lot of nappies, clothing and equipment in their first few years of life, and more and more parents are making the decision to use reusable nappies and to reuse clothing and equipment for environmental reasons. 

Rest Easy with Touchwood As parents we want to keep our babies safe, day and night. Our range of nursery and children’s furniture have always met the highest safety standards (Australia/New Zealand Safety Standards 2172), making Touchwood cots some of the safest on the market. So if you want beautifully crafted, long lasting nursery and children’s furniture that lead the way in safety, design and quality, choose Touchwood. With Touchwood, not only will your baby sleep better at night, so will you.

Cots are available in leading retail furniture and baby stores nationwide. Children’s bedroom furniture can be purchased online or at our showroom at 98 Main Road, Tawa.

kiwiparent

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz – www.touchwoodfurniture.co.nz

67


Our joyful gift Hannah and Justin share their thoughts on the birth of their first baby. Ethan was born 11 August 2016, a healthy 9pd 3oz.

68 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Hannah’s story I didn’t know what to expect as first-time parents. What would giving birth be like? How would I feel as a mum? How would I cope with the tiredness? We had some glowing reports of what it was like to have children but most of the comments that stood out, from well-meaning experienced onlookers, painted a picture that sounded more burdensome than joyful. With Ethan being our first baby, it was difficult to know how long the labour would be until the time came. We had left the sex as a surprise right to the end and it was well worth the wait and reward. I knew there was a baby in there…somewhere(!), but until he or she came out, I couldn’t comprehend that we were about to meet our little one. Parent Centres Childbirth Education Classes were very helpful for preand post-birth. In labour I tried not to think about the length of time but focus on one step at a time, contraction by contraction. The deep birthing pool was fabulous and was used most of the time, as were the steady flow of cold flannels from my husband! The only concept of time I really had throughout is when I heard the Air New Zealand plane landing at the nearby local airport and thinking to myself it must be about 7am. Normally a quiet person, I did not expect how much noise I would make in labour. Afterwards I felt sorry for anyone outside the door – hopefully I didn’t scare them off having children! In the moment, of course that was the last thing on my mind. When the moment came to push, I didn’t expect how hard you needed to push. It was a beetroot-red-faced type of effort! Even at this stage I still couldn’t comprehend what we were about to experience. When our baby FINALLY came out, I’ll never forget the euphoria of relief, surprise and joy all at once. Suddenly here was a baby, OUR baby, lying on my chest making a funny cough-

like cry (it makes me teary even now). I was agasp with joy and my husband was – well I’m sure he’ll tell you – overcome with emotion. Born at 10:50am, we were blessed with a lovely healthy boy. Ethan means ‘strength’ and was the only boy's name my husband and I both liked before he was born. Ethan was strong and big from birth so the name turned out to be a divine pick.

Being a Mum As we have got to know our son over the weeks and months, I didn’t anticipate experiencing so much joy in having him. Yes, there have been some moments where I have been tired and felt angry that I had to clean up another dirty, leaky nappy. However, there have been many more times where my eyes have welled up in pure joy looking at OUR Ethan, watching him smile, or seeing him learn a new motor skill. It makes me laugh at the thought of how silly we must look as parents, making faces and gaga noises, phone cameras out at the ready, all in an effort to capture a reaction from Ethan. I now understand why parents love their kids so much! Having a baby is overwhelming at the beginning but it’s not as daunting as I thought it would be. Yes, we were tired – tired from the emotions of meeting our new baby, the energy it takes to give birth, the recovery on the body – including being up all night from labour, the overwhelming feeling from so many lovely congratulation messages to reply to and the adjustment to sitting on a couch for such long periods of time breastfeeding. Afternoon sleeps were a lifesaver to keep a bit of sanity along with the many home-cooked meals we received from friends and family. Another hot tip was learning from the midwife to change the nappy in between feeds, rather than at the

Continued overleaf... subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

69


end of the feed, to help baby go back to sleep in the middle of the night. I’m certain this contributed to having better sleeps for mum much earlier on! Overall, the tiredness is there, but you cope, learning to take things easy and enjoying soaking up the new moments.

As a young guy, I knew that one day I’d probably have kids but it seemed like one of those far-off days in the distance, like a teenager at school told about leaving home, study, their first job, marriage, a home of their own (perhaps a touchy subject given the NZ property market). However, the rest of that list? These key life checkpoints just happen, don’t they?

Ethan is nearly four months old as I write. We have a long way to go, but we absolutely love being mum and dad. There’s nothing like the delight of your own child. You can enjoy someone else's, but boy is it different having your own. The life of a child is definitely a gift from God, full of love, joy and reward.

So, I spent much of my twenties and most of my thirties travelling and trying adventurous outdoor activities. A friend once said, ‘Does anything scare you?’ as I got off an adrenalin ride not too bothered. Little did she know, there was something that scared me when I dwelled on it.

Justin’s story

As a self-assessment I don’t think I’d be out of line saying I was reasonably caring and responsible. Of course, I wasn’t perfect but you would have thought on paper I would be totally fine with children and a good father, especially as an ex-primary school teacher.

Final destination – Dad

For some reason that escapes even me though, I had not really found myself warming to the idea of being a parent – imagine that? A guy not desperate to have children?! I think older children seemed possible – at a push. I suggested perhaps I could pick kids up when they were all sorted out, say around five years of age? Of course, a few

70 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

unapproving looks later and I quickly realised we are not talking about toilet training a puppy that you pick up from the second-hand dog shop with all its paperwork a.k.a the SPCA. The reality was, that to me young children, babies and toddlers represented chaos, utter chaos. I could vividly picture the uncontrolled screaming and crying (which no one has any idea how to solve). I had been deeply scarred by being seated on a long-haul flight to London in a family area. I felt uncomfortable when friends would try to pass babies to me or found it hard to look excited when they announced they were pregnant. Of course, I wished them well and said all the right things but it felt a little fake as I knew, if that was me, I would be terrified. This was compounded by being told the top quotes of ‘suffering parents’. Things like, ‘Say goodbye to personal time’, ‘Just wait till you have kids’, ‘Get ready to not get any sleep’, ‘Your house will be a permanent mess’, ‘Kids suck your finances dry’, etc. These people were the worst salespeople for the collective group known commonly as ‘parents’ and what right-minded guy who had spent most of his adult life living a relaxed life at his own pace wanted to embrace such a horrendous


change? It looked like goodbye diving in Fiji, hello nappies and feeding. Shrewdly, my idea was to just delay the decision! Procrastination was an activity I had excelled at when the need and occasion arose. Getting married in my thirties solved the first part for me. Marrying a wonderful girl in her twenties helped boost the fertility timeline again, not deliberately but useful nevertheless. Being very busy renovating our home pushed that out further again until I had used up all my ‘get out of jail’ cards. There was no good excuse any longer.

Delayed domestic arrival As it happened, it wasn’t that many months later it appeared we might be pregnant, and after home tests had sunk in there was little surprise by the time the doctor gave his confirmation. To my amazement, I was relatively calm and perhaps relieved I had played my all-essential part in the initial process. Plus, we still had nine months to get ready and maybe take in a quick holiday or so, right? At the first scan, I was amazed and a little teary at the reality there was something living and moving inside my wife. It really sunk in. Nearer the time, however, the nerves returned as I knew the day was fast approaching. Then, when we past the due date, it was all too apparent we were running on overtime and the final buzzer was about to sound.

Landed Gate E I still remember Hannah struggling to sleep and getting up to have a bath to relax, a little unusual but we had both been told not to be the ‘boy who cried wolf’ (or the girl who cried baby). So, when contractions started after midnight we were keeping our cool, knowing it could be some time away yet. However, that all changed come about 2:30am when things seemed to step up a level. We gave the midwife a call at 3:15am and she agreed it was the right time to head to the local birthing unit. I’m not entirely sure how the seven hours at the hospital went so fast.

Perhaps because I was constantly sponging Hannah cool and hoping she would not endure too much or too long. I felt for her as she tried her best to push at the right times and keep on going. Then finally, I was overcome with emotion and tears as a surprisingly large and healthy boy was soon crying and snuggled into her and we were parents just like that. All the exhaustion and sleeplessness was forgotten for the joy that was in front of us. Driving out of the hospital carpark ever so slowly like I was carrying 100 trays of eggs in the back, we made our way home, only three hours after the birth and all settled in for a well-earned sleep.

Has being a dad been horrible, the end of life, tiring and draining? No, not at all. Our darling boy has brought us much joy, and like many things the fear of the unknown can be worse than the reality. Ethan is an amazing boy with a delightful smile that melts us, he has not caused us stress and his cries only cause concern not annoyance. I liked my single days and my married days too, but the best days are yet to come – the adventures of being a dad with my family, being with my son/children and helping them to grow up knowing they are so loved and mean so much to us. I know some people have difficult times in pregnancy and in caring for a newborn but it’s such a short stage, and your child’s care is worth it and gives such rewards to them and to you. I love being a dad and I know those who think they won’t might just be missing out like I could have too. 

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

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

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

71


Rohan

the light of our lives

Rohan is our beautiful cover girl this issue. Her mum and dad share her story and allow us a peek into the life of their courageous little charmer.

72 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


It was one of those moments in life when you vividly remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news, like Diana’s death or the events of 9–11. For me, I was at work and it was a cold and rainy Wellington winter's day. We had suspected that all was not what it should have been during the 25-week visit with the maternal medicine team at Wellington Hospital, when the mood from our usually upbeat specialist was not quite the same and words like nasal bone, nuchal fold and amniocentesis were being muttered in hushed tones. We quickly learned it was highly likely our baby has Down Syndrome and someone had forgotten to mention our 12-week scan had been re-examined to find abnormal nuchal fold and no nasal bone. It was an enormous shock and what was a fun time became a time of grieving for a child we wouldn’t have. After adjusting to the news a few weeks on we started to look forward again to the arrival of our child. Rohan Rose Hubbard was born on 19 September 2012, beautiful and flawless as any baby. We learnt straight away that Rohan is a headstrong girl and she was not going to be made to do anything until she was ready… cue induced labour with complications and caesarean section. Rohan was whisked away to intensive care for three-plus weeks where we were treated to a term we would learn to hate ’low tone’. Its seems it is the medical profession’s diagnosis for everything when it comes to Down Syndrome…she wont breastfeed… .’low tone’, she will have trouble crawling…low tone, her hips are likely to dislocate….’low tone’. Meanwhile we were coming to grips with nasogastric feeding, district nurse visits and sleepless nights worrying about the implications of supporting someone who may never get an education, a job or leave home…what would happen if we weren’t there? In our experience, the medical profession generally expects that there will be some physical complication with a Down Syndrome child whether it be heart, sight or hearing. When they don’t find something, you’re eagerly booked in for another appointment in a few months time to again be x-rayed, tested, poked and prodded. Over the next two-and-a-half years we battled with bowel issues. This was the one thing that didn’t get tested despite all the discussions about chronic constipation followed by incontinence. We were convinced it was dietary and concentrated efforts in gluten- and dairy-free diets, which gave intermittent help, but the constipation never ceased and we ended up in the Emergency Department a few times. Stress is a relative term. Becoming a parent is scary on its own at first but as you get used to the routines and care it feels ok. But we never quite got to the point where we had the same discussions as other parents, like worrying about teething, colds and viruses, because our life became consumed by one issue, constipation. Rohan coped with strength and acceptance. She just got on with doing what kids her age did and continued to dazzle nurses, teachers and friends with her cuteness.

In October 2015 we finally (almost by luck and a very clever nurse in ED) were put into the system to have a biopsy for Hirschsprung disease and that’s what Rohan has. Hirschsprung disease affects 1 in 5000 live births with a 4:1 ratio of boys:girls and a 40% higher chance for children with Down Syndrome. Rohan was very ill by this point and constantly getting sick as her body was literally poisoned by the state of her bowels. Another chapter of Rohan’s story is what happened with her surgeries in the following 15 months. In brief, she had a colostomy (formed for nine months to rest her bowel), needing bags on her stomach to act as the end point for her bowel movements. We battled through this time – colostomy bags are very tricky with a young child. In June her reversal surgery went tragically wrong and she went into septic shock due to a leak in her bowel tissue. She was airlifted to Starship’s ICU and spent a month recovering on the surgery ward (24B) on the strongest antibiotics available. This was a very difficult time but made positive by the absolutely superb care from Starship medical and surgical teams. We can’t thank them enough. Again we went home with bags due to the need to defunction her bowel. This time it was an ileostomy (an operation to remove the damaged part of the ileum) from the small bowel. This was the hardest period of our lives to date. The bags did not stay on and it was an all day/night job changing clothes and bedding, and Rohan did not have one night of uninterrupted sleep because of bags dislodging. Rohan now has full bowel function after a final successful surgery in November 2016. She has a huge future ahead of her, she is the most determined, positive person we know and just knocks every challenge to touch. We are fiercely proud of our girl and she continues to be the light of our lives. Her younger brother Jude is her best friend, partner in crime and protective companion.  Bernadette Hubbard

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

73


partners Partnering to support families As a not-for-profit, we rely on strategic partnerships and advertising to ensure that we can fund our programmes and deliver meaningful information to our members. Our partners, like Brolly Sheets, invest in programmes and education for our members, volunteers and educators. Many of them give our members discounts and offers to purchase.

There are a number of exciting new alliances being worked on and I'm looking forward to announcing some new partners in 2017 that offer great benefits to our members, our centres and our organisation as a whole.

We work very hard to ensure that all partnerships are collaborative and are a win/win for everyone concerned. Our partners make our work possible and we are delighted to be able to in turn support them by ensuring our members and Centres see the best products and services that they have to offer.

Taslim Parsons

Social Enterprise Manager Parents Centre New Zealand

A word from Brolly Sheets Brolly Sheets have been providing parents with big solutions for wee problems for over ten years. As Brolly Sheets founder and mum of two, I have written an extensive library of help and advice articles plus designed products to help tired mums and dads just get back to sleep faster (Brolly Sheets) or make day-time training a little less stressful with car seat protectors and training pants. Toilet training is a learned action – together Brolly Sheets and Parents Centre want to help Kiwi kids become dry day or night, through education and easy-use, comfortable, washable products to take the hassle out of wet beds and clothes. Diane Hurford

SUPPORTING HEALTHY BABY DEVELOPMENT

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

www.jnj.com

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

74 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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


supporting Kiwi parents

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

0800 222 966 / www.babyonthemove.co.nz

Baby On The Move Specialists in quality, affordable baby products that you can hire or purchase new. Our qualified team can help you select the correct restraint. Plus if you hire or buy from us we will install your car seat for FREE! Stores nationwide. Phone: 0800 222 966 www.babyonthemove.co.nz

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

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

My Food Bag Every week Nadia and her team of test chefs dream up exciting and nutritious dinner recipes just for you. We like to keep things simple, so every week (or fortnight) we deliver the ingredients and recipes right to your door. You just open your food bag and discover what tasty meals you get to cook and enjoy. Simple. Healthy. Delicious. www.myfoodbag.co.nz

Bio-Oil® specialist skincare This specialist skincare product helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. It contains PurCellin Oil™, and is it highly effective for other skin concerns, including ageing skin and dehydrated skin. Phone: 0800 804 711 www.bio-oil.com

TM

JEWELLERY NZ

Parents Centre New Zealand

Brolly Sheets For over a decade, Brolly Sheets have been providing toilet training education to parents and washable products to take the hassle out of wet beds and clothes. Brolly Sheets are the Kiwi toilet training experts – they really do have Big Solutions for Wee Problems.

Mumma Bubba Jewellery A safe alternative to costume jewellery providing relief to tender gums, these products provide an innovative solution , to teething Accessorytroubles with a range Fashion essityseasonal, ! of colourful, fashionable ec N y b Ba accessories which young babies and their mums love.

Parents Centre develops strategic partnerships that offer a direct benefit to our membership. Partnerships give organisations access to over 20,000 members, 48 Centres and our community reach of over 100,000 families. Our partners profile products and services through our childbirth education classes, parent education programmes and a whole host of other activities.

www.brollysheets.co.nz

www.mummabubbajewellery.co.nz Silicone Jewellery Free of BPA & lead Dishwasher safe

www.parentscentre.org.nz

www.mummabubbajewellery.co.nz

find us on

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

75


Shopping cart

Baby

because home-made is best for your baby

Bronzes

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

www.babybronzes.co.nz

Toddler Pillow Made of NZ wool with a hemp and organic cotton outer.

09 838 2374 • www.naturessway.co.nz

76 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


THE LATEST INNOVATION IN BREAST PUMPS

Pump anytime, anywhere, and around anyone.

Baby Banz stay-put sunglasses and sound-protective earmuffs Summer essentials for Kiwi babies and kids!

A Hands-free, Concealable Breast Pump Collection System.

Compatible

Pump

Compatible with Medela, Avent, NUK, Spectra & Unimom

Available now at

www.freemie.co.nz

www.babybanz.co.nz

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

Get

writing!

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.

0800 RESENE (737 363)

www.resene.co.nz

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

77


Shopping cart

Brolly Sheets are the Toilet Training Experts Day Time Training & Night Time Training

LE

17 6

FE

A U BR

Everything you need, plus help and advice R www.BrollySheets.co.nz 78 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

SU

M

M

E

SA

TM

RY


capsule hire from only

50

$

Capsules are installed for free two-three weeks prior to your due date. Six month hire starts on due date. Fabrics and capsules may vary from store to store. See online for more details, or a store near you.

r buy H ire o r seat a yo u r c s , a n d from uins tall we’ll R E E! it for F

2017 rates

now available Freephone 0800 222 966 www.babyonthemove.co.nz

view online www.kiwiparent.co.nz

WWW.WASTEFREEPARENTING.CO.NZ

6940M Parent Centres 60mm x 60mm advert.indd 1

subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –

kiwiparent

8/12/16 4:06 pm

79


win great giveaways

Enter online at kiwiparent.co.nz and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm February 24, 2017. Winners will be published in issue 277.

Win a pack of Little Swimmers® Disposable Swimpants from Huggies Huggies® Little Swimmers® Disposable Swimpants have easy-open sides to make poolside changes a breeze for worry-free water play. Featuring adorable new designs with Disney®/Pixar® Dory, Nemo and Hank, they’re sure to provide hours of fun this summer! Eight packs of Little Swimmers to be won by Kiwiparent readers; each one containing 11 pairs of size medium swim-pants for both boys and girls. RRP $13.99 per pack. www.huggies.co.nz

5 ZURU Air Chairs to be won! Relax anywhere with ZURU’s super comfy Air Chair ZURU’s Air Chair is the hottest outdoor accessory to take to the beach, camping or park this summer! The first ultra-comfortable air lounger that can be taken anywhere with ease and filled in seconds. ZURU’s Air Chair is rip- and water-resistant whilst still being light and compact. Fill and chill anywhere in seconds. Comes in three colours – blue, red and black – and includes a bonus carry case. Adult supervision recommended under 12 years. RRP: $39.99 each. www.zuru.com

3 Little and Sleepy prizes packs to be won As babies can only see in black and white for around the first five weeks of their lives, the Little + Sleepy range is designed to engage babies right from birth, with bold black and white graphics that babies can actually see. The kit includes the Sleepy Kiwi book, soft toy and the very practical sleep Journal for Mum and Dad – packed full of helpful tips for getting little ones to sleep and pattern pages for more visual stimulation. Prize packs RRP $55 each. www.tikitibu.com

80 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Be in the draw to win a prize pack from Brolly Sheets Summer is the time to potty train. Brolly Sheets has four pairs of Snazzipants training pants to give away, plus a car seat protector. Designed to ease the transition between nappies and undies, they give peace of mind and will help save your sanity over summer. www.brollysheets.co.nz


We help protect Kiwis big and small.

For over 40 years, Fidelity Life has been providing life insurance to Kiwis. If you haven’t already, now is the time to find out how you can protect your family’s future with a New Zealand insurer. Talk to your financial adviser or contact us and we can put you in touch with one of our trusted advisers.

Protecting the NZ way of life fidelitylife.co.nz | 0800 88 22 88 customerservice@fidelitylife.co.nz


TAPsPP5881

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

“When you look at how much your stomach is going to grow in pregnancy, you’re convinced that all that stretching has to leave its mark! But pretty much everyone I spoke to used Bio-Oil, so I began using it from about my second month, twice a day. I liked the fact that it absorbed well and left my skin looking phenomenal. Now that I know that there’s a great product for stretch marks out there I can’t keep quiet about it – I would absolutely recommend it!” Nicolette with Amy

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

Kiwiparent Issue #276 - February 2017 - March 2017  

Kiwiparent Issue #276 - February 2017 - March 2017

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you