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Mama FOR STYLISH LONDON MUMS

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

THE STYLE ISSUE MODERN MUM FASHION with Eimear Varian Barry

Keira

ISSUE ONE | £3.95

TINY TRAVELLER

Hip hideaways from i-escape

WONDER WALLS Interior tips with Ashlyn Gibson

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

The face of baby charity Tommy's

KNIGHTLEY Actress turned mum

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BO O NOWKING FO R 20 16

Discover blissful baby & toddler friendly holidays Everything that parents need for stress free getaways in luxury villas and 5* resorts Call us on: 0800 014 2770 or email: enquiries@totstotravel.co.uk

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MAMA MAGAZINE

Contents Febr uar y March

Mama FOR STYLISH LONDON MUMS

THE STYLE ISSUE MODERN MUM FASHION with Eimear Varian Barry

Keira

FEBRUARY 2016 | £5.00

TINY TRAVELLER

Hip hideaways from i-escape

WONDER WALLS Interior tips with Ashlyn Gibson

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

The face of baby charity Tommy's

KNIGHTLEY Actress turned mum

On The Cover Sophie Ellis-Bextor for Tommy's Campaign and Seraphine

Agenda

13 WHAT’S ON

Dates for the coming months

18 ONLINE/OFFLINE

This month's best books and apps

20 MIND GAMES

Creative learning in early childhood

25 NEW BABY CHECKLIST

Essentials for the new arrival

Style

44 CONCRETE PLAYGROUND Modern togs for your mini minimalist

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50 STYLE THE BUMP

With Eimear Varian Barry

56 MODERN MUM STYLE

Inside Pippa Vosper's wardrobe

Health & Beauty 60 BEAUTY NOTES

Mother-to-be massage at M by Montcalm Hotel spa

62 FITNESS NOTES

The power of pregnancy yoga and top sportswear products

66 FOODIE FOCUS

Baby's first recipes from Ella's Kitchen

3

Interiors

70 NURSERY NOTES

The best baby buys put through their paces

72 CREATIVE SPACES

Wonder walls from Ashlyn Gibson

76 THE MAKING OF US

The mamas behind Oli Ella

Tr a v e l

95 TOTS TO TRAVEL

A stress-free Spanish retreat

96 TINY TRAVELLERS

I-escape kids' top destinations

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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Mama FOR STYLISH LONDON MUMS

CONTRIBUTORS

Some of the mamas who helped to create our first issue share their earliest memories and their take on the best thing about being a mum

EDITOR HELEN BARON CONTRIBUTING EDITOR APPHIA MICHAEL COMMERCIAL MANAGER KATIE AMPS ART DIRECTOR RAY SEARLE SENIOR DESIGNERS PAWEL KUBA, PHIL COUZENS PRODUCTION MANAGER STEWART HYDE FINANCE DIRECTOR ALEXANDRA HVID MAJOR ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR TAMSIN LUCK

APPHIA MICHAEL

PA TO THE DIRECTORS MARIANNE MCFADDEN

My earliest memory is the smell of coffee from the percolator that my parents used to put on every morning before work. I love being a mum because it feels like the most natural thing in the world to do! @apphia____

DIRECTORS GREG HUGHES, ALEXANDRA HUNTER

Fashion & Lifestyle journalist

MANAGING DIRECTOR SHERIF SHALTOUT

For editorial enquiries please email: helen.baron@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please call 020 7704 0588 or email: katie.amps@zest-media.com

STEPH DOUGLAS

Founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers

My earliest memory is having a bath with my siblings and someone pooed in it… it’s likely it was me. The best thing about being a mum is the bond with other women and the realisation that we’re in this together. @steph_dontbuyherflowers

Subscriptions are available simply by emailing christina@zest-media.com You can receive an online subscription for FREE or a postal subscriptions for 12 months, £30 respectively (to cover postage and packaging). Please email us with your preferred option and details.

Part of the

ZEST MEDIA PUBLICATIONS LTD 197-199, City Road, EC1V 1JN T: 020 7704 0588 ZEST-MEDIA.COM

SYDNEY THORNBURY

CEO of Blackheath Conservatoire

My earliest memory is being carried in a backpack by my father in an antiVietnam War demonstration in New York. And the best thing about being a mum is watching your child becoming her own person. conservatoire.org.uk

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Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

Fo l l ow Us O n T wi t t e r @ABSOLUTELYMAMA Fa c e b o o k ABSOLUTELYMAMA In s t a g ra m ABSOLUTELYMAMA P i n t a re s t ABSOLUTELYMAMA

26/01/2016 16:13


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19/01/2016 12:06


MAMA MAGAZINE

We l c o m e

Editor's Letter A curated collection of stories, inspiration and insights pertinent to the modern mum

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his very first issue of Absolutely Mama is especially dear to my heart. With a one year old baby myself, I've barely left motherhood's starting line – and yet I sometimes feel I've taken in more information in the last year than in the ten years preceding it. It's a steep learning curve, and there's no way around the crash-course that is being a first-time mum. The aim of this magazine is therefore not to preach and prescribe (or proscribe, for that matter). There's plenty of that elsewhere. We want instead to explore and celebrate real mothers and the motherhood experience – and to cater for mums without being mumsy. It's not just about new products to buy (though there's fun to be had in that, for sure) or which medical expert says what (though

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you'll find up-to-date opinions in these pages). Our intention is rather to present a curated collection of stories, inspiration and insights pertinent to the modern mum. No matter how we dress it up, motherhood isn't easy (and bringing a new magazine into the world while dandling a baby of substantial heft on one knee is a whole other kind of tricky). But the rewards are worth all the effort and energy we expend. Enjoy the issue.

Helen Baron Editor

@hel_bow

helen.baron@zest-media.com

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 16:13


LITTLE BOOTS Amy and Ivor

From Amy & Ivor come this season’s soft-soled wonders in a cool selection of colourways and new shapes. The two-tone urban moccasins are our pick of the month. Prices start at £38; amyandivor.com

SOCKS UP

Ka-Boomshop

UP & AWAY

Keep chubby legs warm in these cute-as-a-button knee socks from Mini Dressing. Boasting a handy non-slip grip, choose from the brown or grey racoon variations, grey snakes or blue bears. £9; ka-boomshop.co.uk

Bon Bon Ballons

All balloons are not made equal, as these sparkle-filled stunners show. Set up by mum (to baby Sam) Rebecca Moyster, Bon Bon Balloons specialises in bespoke party pieces with beautiful handmade streamers. Prices for a decorative string balloon start from £35; bonbonballons.com

e d i t o r ’s

PIC K

BRITISH BIRCHER Cuckoo

Want a superfood-packed breakfast to-go? Look no further. Cuckoo’s muesli creations are all natural, low GI and only 280 per pot. Made with real fruit pieces, our favourite flavour-way is the apricot and madagascan vanilla. cuckoofoods.co.uk

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10 Things we

Absolutely Love

HIGH LIFE

Noa and Nani

Make bedtimes an exciting adventure for wayward sleepers with the new Christopher treehouse cabin bed from online children’s bed boutique Noa & Nani. A great space-saving solution and heaps of fun. £399; noaandnani.co.uk

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MAMA MAGAZINE FRESH PRINTS Bobo Choses

Bobo Choses manage to surprise each season with their consistently fresh and inspiring collections. After a rather more demure AW15, SS16 sees the return of bright bold colour evocative of an intuitive, spontaneous approach to painting. You’ll find still-life prints, Fauvist pears and painterly stripes. cissywears.com

TOP COLLAR

Magnet Mouse

The genius thing about these beautiful rompers from purveyors of beautiful baby clothing Magnet Mouse, is not just the whimsical poppy frill collar but the signature magnetic fasteners – forget fiddly poppers, you'll be able to close the nappy flap during a sideways somersault! £17.95; magnetmouse.co.uk

EGG-CELLENT Ensmallable

BONNIE BABY

Briar Handmade

Introducing our new favourite online shop. Briar Handmade is dedicated to making the most charming heirloom bonnets we’ve ever seen – colourways include rustic charcoal, ivory linen and a gallic navy. briarhandmade.com

Oeuf NYC continue the playful element in their SS16 collection, made by a cooperative of Bolivian women. Who doesn’t want to dress their baby as a cute animal or faun? cissywears.com

HOT FOOT IT Liberty

To mark the 60th birthday of Miffy, Etiquette Clothiers have collaborated with Dick Bruna’s iconic rabbit on these limited edition socks including a baby bundle gift-set, kids crew socks and knee high-socks and adult cashmere midcalves too. That’s happy feet all round. £18; liberty.co.uk

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BUNNY LOVE

Mamas and Papas

Fifi Lapin is back with a new collection for Mamas and Papas. The range for baby girls features geometric shapes contemporary designs and blush pinks feature but our favourite piece has to be the quilted jacket in blue. We love it’s cute ‘paisan’ style and chic bunny motifs. £29; mamasandpapas.co.uk

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T H E U LT I M AT E COLLECTION

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Agenda Mama

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

MEET THE MUM MAKER

Talking shop with Young Soles (Page 26)

Art

ATTACK Creative learning and early childhood development (Page 20)

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BABY SHOW

The event returns to the capital offering amazing discounts on the latest baby and infant essentials from over 200 exhibitors including brands such as iCandy, Stokke and Philips Avent. There will also be talks from parenting experts and a complimentary creche, so you can take in the show in peace. Royal Victoria Dock, E16; thebabyshow.co.uk

25/01/2016 16:24


BRING YOUR OWN BABY This month’s pick of the regulars

BABY LOVES DISCO

A daytime party for parents with babies, toddlers and young children, with DJs spinning top tunes and retro classics from the Seventies onwards. Parents can drink cocktails while the kids make the most of facepainting, inflatables, bubbles and dancefloor games.

babylovesdisco.co.uk

BIG SCREAM AT ELECTRIC

~ ONE FOR THE FAMILY ~

CIRQUE BERSERK

circus FUN

Screenings for parents, carers and babies under one take place at Portobello on Mondays and Shoreditch on Tuesdays. Take advantage of the plush, spacious seats and catch up with the blockbusters you’ve missed since the new arrival.

electriccinema.co.uk

The Peacock Theatre, 8-24 February

Showcasing the finest in traditional thrills and skills, Zippo’s Cirque Berserk! brings circus artistry bang up-to-date in a West End spectacular. The international cast of over 30 acrobats and aerialists (with no safety harnesses), dancers, clowns and stuntmen comprise a troupe of true circus artistes, whose ‘big top’ experience guarantees unique, edge-of-the seat theatre.

triobellendenroad.co.uk

Portugal Street, WC2A; cirqueberserk.co.uk

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TRIO CAFE

From storytime with puppets and instruments to Move ‘n’ Shake Splish Splash Under the Sea, Trio Cafe runs pre-schooler sessions on weekday morning from 9.45am to 10.45am. The kitchen serves up delicious dishes from independent, locally-sourced suppliers.

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MAMA AGENDA

THE UGLY DUCKLING

Little Angel Theatre, 5-7 February oin the adventures of this famous misfit duckling in Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale of transformation, brought to you in Thingumajig’s house style — beautiful puppet characters, live music and captivating story-telling. Children can be admitted from age 4.

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~ TOP CRECHE ~

BLOOMSBURY BEGINNINGS

❖ Babies and children under 4 are only admitted at the All Ages performance (Sunday 11am); littleangeltheatre.com

DON’T MISS

IMAGINE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL Southbank Centre, 10-21 February magine Children’s Festival returns taking over the Southbank during half term with a packed programme of events spanning theatre, dance, music, theatre and installations alongside readings and workshops with some of the UK’s top children’s authors.

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❖ Suitable for children of all ages; southbankcentre.co.uk

Bloomsbury Beginnings combines a parents’ workspace – hot desks, free wifi and equipment hire – with a DBSchecked crèche supervised by DBS-checked, bi-lingual, experienced staff. Benefit from the Parent-cubator - a unique prgramme helping parents create start-ups with support from a network of parent entrepeneurs and enjoy There discounted member rates for three-hour sessions. bloomsburybeginnings.org

~ EXHIBITION OF THE MONTH ~

COSMONAUTS: Birth of the Space Age The Science Museum, Until 13 March ind out how Russia became the fi rst nation to send machines and men into space, changing our view of the cosmos forever. Explore the historical, cultural and spiritual context of Russian space travel including poignant testimonies and memorabilia belonging to some of the biggest names in

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spaceflight and discover the deeply personal stories of the pioneers who kickstarted the spaceage. Full of pioneer spirit and technological wonder, this blockbuster exhibition features the most significant collection of Russian spacecraft ever seen in the UK. ❖ Running until 13 March; sciencemuseum.org.uk

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Mama’s

SHOP WE EAT SLEEP LOVE

Eat Sleep Love is a new boutique in Blackheath run by nursery consultant (and mama to two young boys) Laura Slater. An appointment-only showroom that carries select items from leading contemporary brands such as Kidsmill and Leander (Dutch and Danish designers respectively), it is also one of the few stockists of Moodelli, the modular baby furniture company. All the items a mama needs in those first few busy weeks are here, from breast pumps and baby linen to hospital bag essentials. And there’s the added bonus of knowing every product has been tried and tested by Laura herself – she stocks only products she can personally recommend. The service is great for both first-time parents and those adapting to their growing family: you can book an appointment for anything from advice on the best double-pushchair on the market to inspiration in preparing or changing up your little one’s room.

Pictured: Leander Baby Bed, £749; eatsleeplove.co.uk

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OFFLINE

Making Faces

Jacky Bahbout & Momoko Kudo

magination gets immersive in Making Faces, where kids complete a series of fun illustrations before tearing out each page and planting their own mush in the picture. Little ones can play at being pirates, monsters and other weird and wonderful characters. Better fetch the camera.

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Thames & Hudson, £8.95; thamesandhudson.com

Offline/ Online

That’s My Hat

Anouck Boisrobert & Louis Rigaud

hapes are at the centre of this interactive 3D story, in which a little boy chases his lost hat through a pop-up city colourfully constructed from circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. A great introduction to the geometric building blocks of art and design, and a fun tale to boot.

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Thames & Hudson, £14.95; thamesandhudson.com

Our roundup of the best new books, apps and websites for mamas and little ones

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MAMA AGENDA

Paper Zoo

PAPER ZOO

Oscar Sabini

craft-based game in book form, Paper Zoo shows children how to create a series of colourful animal collages – including a hippo, crocodile and roaring lion – from patterned and printed paper. At the end of the book, your animal gang poses for a group photo. Beastly good fun.

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Thames & Hudson, £14.95; thamesandhudson.com

ONLINE Laundrapp

Nighty Night HD

eteran mums know that those first few weeks with a newborn don’t leave much time for chores – so thank goodness for Laundrapp, the app-cum-laundry service that collects and delivers, 24/7. Just ship a load off for cleaning and get back to gazing at your new addition.

n interactive bedtime story featuring spoken narration and soothing ‘sleepytime’ music, Nighty Night sees little ones turning off the lights in the barn and putting the farmyard animals to bed. A lovely way to foster a bedtime ritual that encourages kids to embrace sleep.

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Laundrapp Ltd, Free to download; available for iOS and Android devices.

A

DOCTIFY

Fox and Sheep GmbH, £2.49; available for iPad.

Wanna

Bay for parents: an app that lets you buy and sell all that barely used (and premium quality) kid-related stuff you bought and loved only to see quickly outgrown. Less waste, more bargains and destined to be big.

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Alphabetics

Wanna mobile Ltd, Free; available for Android devices.

Patrick & Traci Concepción with Dawid Ryski

orget traditional ‘A is for Apple’ alphabet books – Alphabetics is an exquisitely illustrated smorgasbord of alphabetical entertainment that uses outrageous alliterative sentences to teach kids their A to Z. Sample entry? ‘Daisy the diver dares a death-defying dip with dinosaurs.’

WANNA

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Gestalten, €14.90; shop.gestalten.com

nother one for the mamas: Doctify is an inspired new website that aims to connect you with relevant, respected healthcare professionals. Described as ‘Uber for healthcare’, the site allows you to book appointments, write reviews and even speak with an online GP to get a referral.

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Doctify Limited, doctify.co.uk

LAUNDRAPP

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Doctify

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 16:31


MIND GAMES Creative learning and early childhood brain development – or why you and your toddler should splatter paint together Words: SYDNEY THORNBURY CEO Blackheath Conservatoire

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hat this article isn’t about: (1) ‘The Mozart Effect’. Sadly for parents who strap CD players to their power prams, there is no conclusive evidence that classical music makes babies smarter. (2) ‘Super-babies’ – unnecessary, all babies are super enough already. (3) Parenting Guilt or Pressure. The fact that you’re even reading this article shows you’re a good parent. Your child will be fine. I promise. All of that being said, as both a parent and the CEO of The Conservatoire in Blackheath, I can’t tell you how much I encourage you to make creativity an active part of your child’s life. All sorts of research demonstrates how creative play (art, music, drama etc.) helps young children to develop cognitively, socially and academically. The most exciting research involves brain development and how the important neural pathways in babies and young children grow. There are three great videos on YouTube from Harvard (google ‘Experience Builds Brain Architecture’). As they say in the neuroscience world (although I am not a neuroscientist, much to my mother’s disappointment), ‘The synapses that fire together, wire together’. We all have a basic genetic blueprint, but it’s the experiences we have as young absolutely-mama.co.uk

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WE CONTINUE TO GENERATE SYNAPSES ALL THROUGH OUR LIVES children that shape how strong or weak our brain architecture for all future learning, behaviour and health will be. The connections that make up this

architecture proliferate at a rapid pace when we’re young. Our experience and environment dictate which circuits and connections get more use. Connections that are used more grow stronger and more prominent. When you marry this to all the documented evidence around the benefits of creativity (check out EarlyArts.co.uk), you’ll understand why I’m a big fan of creative play. But that’s not all! In addition to developing synapses, being creative with your child is fun! In fact, it’s so much

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MAMA AGENDA

IT’S THE EXPERIENCES WE HAVE AS YOUNG CHILDREN THAT SHAPE HOW STRONG OR WEAK OUR BRAIN ARCHITECTURE FOR ALL FUTURE LEARNING, BEHAVIOUR AND HEALTH WILL BE fun that it doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything worthy, even though you are. And guess what? All the evidence points to the fact that we continue to generate synapses all through our lives. So when you’re playing creatively with your child, your brain is firing away building new connections too. The Conservatoire offers a range of high quality and super popular Early Years classes in art, music and drama. But creative play is something you have to do under the guidance of a professional. It’s not. I mean, if you went to art, music or drama school, fantastic, you’re ahead of the game and now have an unbelievably captive audience for your performances. But if you didn’t, I promise you can do this at home! I’ve asked three of our Early Years tutors to suggest some of their favourite ideas. If the ideas seem simple, it’s because they are. Sometimes in the rushed and exhausted lives that we lead, we can forget that it’s the simple things we take the time to do with our children that matter most.

ART Sue says:

Use bath crayons to draw on tiles while in the bath. This encourages children to become aware of what they’re doing and to gradually gain control before moving to different materials. Gradually introduce various tools like sponges for putting in the paint, stencils etc. Rather than asking ‘What is this?’ make observations that will encourage children to develop their ideas; ‘I can see dots’ or ‘Is that a yellow triangle?’

MUSIC Klio says

Use an area where you don’t have to worry about making a mess. Messy is fun, helps experimenting and enhances learning!

DRAMA Jo says:

Introduce lots of ‘peekaboo’ stories about characters that keep appearing and disappearing, a delight for the young! Use stuffed animals to tell and enact something in your child’s life that day: ‘Alan was painting and “splash!” The colour fell onto the floor.’ This will boost children’s confidence and enhance awareness of the outside world. Repeat familiar stories and build them up with your own ideas, together. Avoid ‘controlling’ the plot. Encourage development by saying ‘Yes, and…’ a lot.

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Sing! The parent or carer’s voice has extraordinary power for children. Remember, lots of children start singing before they begin talking. Choose songs for everyday routines, like bathing, washing hands or going to sleep. Children will associate a song with an activity and everything will flow better. Create a sound corner or board where the children can add objects. They don’t have to be musical instruments – find things that make different sounds, such as a bottle of water, pots and pans, keys etc. There is no right or wrong when exploring instruments. Mirror your child’s sounds and then add something of your own, creating a musical dialogue. The point is to explore together.

The Conservatoire is an independent music, art and drama centre located in Blackheath, London. Founded in 1881 by William Webster, the Grade II listed buildings form one of the oldest surviving purpose-built multi-arts complexes in London. The Conservatoire provides art, drama and music courses for ages 0 to 100. For more details, head to conservatoire.org.uk FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 16:32


Our new arrival from birth to booster

Ultimate protection with a full steel frame and extended rear facing use

uk.diono.com

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MAMA AGENDA

Mama's

04

Moodboard Founder of La Coqueta (and proud mama of five), Celia Munoz shares her inspirations

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1. I loved the Paradella dress from the La Coqueta AW15 collection because of its simplicity and versatility. It’s like wearing a Chanel dress but a lot more affordable. It can be worn for a very special occasion but also dressed down with some beautiful cosy knitwear. 2. We travel a lot and have been very lucky to have visited some incredible places. Rural China would be one of my favourite destinations because of its diversity and because it’s a great place for children. We have fantastic memories from our trip there two years ago and would definitely go back. 4. My most treasured possession is a really memorable Christmas gift that I

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the work of Hendrik Kerstens. I am completely in love with his work Cover, which I have at home.

got from my daughter Flavia. It was the first drawing I ever got from her and it sits on the wall in my off ice. I will cherish it forever.

6. I am always inspired by my five beautiful children, who all wear my clothes. I choose the fabrics I like and create pieces with each of my children in mind. Robert Doisneau is also a big inspiration for me, I love the way he truly captured the essence of children’s fashion post WWII.

5. A lifelong ambition is for my husband and I to reach our nineties in good health and to enjoy having lots of grandchildren around us. 3

My favourite piece of art is The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck. This was the first piece I went to see when I first got to London back in 2001. Apart from being a beautifully detailed piece (you can tell what every garment is made from), I love the fact that there is so much mystery around the meaning of it. A more affordable piece would be

7. My style icon would definitely be Carolina Adriana Herrera. I love the boho style she gives to an extremely chic aesthetic. @lacoquetakids

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MAMA COMPETITIONS

WIN A CYBEX PRIAM WITH LUX SEAT WORTH £790!

Win a multi award-winning Cuddledry ‘handsfree’ baby bath towel worth £29.99 If you’ve ever struggled to lift a slippery baby from the bath and into a towel you’ll appreciate just what a juggling act it can be! Cuddledry’s unique, apron-style design keeps you dry and leaves both hands free for safer lifting, making bath time easier and more enjoyable for you and your baby. Made with pure cotton and supersoft natural bamboo, the Cuddledry is silky soft and super warm, with a generous, cosy hood – ideal for snuggling and cuddling your little one dry. cuddledry.com

The PRIAM not only looks beautiful, it is also the most complete and coordinated 3-in-1 travel system available. The PRIAM’s frame allows it to be used as a pushchair with carry cot, a travel system with one of the award-winning CYBEX car seats and, later, as a luxurious forward or rear facing buggy. Available in seven gorgeous colours, and with a comprehensive range of accessories and add-ons, the PRIAM can be tailored to perfectly suit your family’s needs. cybex-online.com

Win a £100 Hatley voucher to spend online or in the store The international clothing brand and longtime favourite of celebrity children such as Suri Cruise, Seraphina Affleck and Apple Martin, has announced the launch of their new store in London’s Chiswick High Road. The brand new boutique, located on Chiswick High Road, showcases the company’s popular kid's rain gear, swimwear and pyjama collections, as well as their latest line of women's and kid's daywear. You can view the full collection at hatley.com/en_uk/

Win it!

We are delighted to offer one lucky winner the chance to win the multi-award winning SnüzPod 3 in 1 bedside crib by Snüz, which has fast become the UK’s number one bedside crib, because it allows you to easily comfort, settle and feed your baby without having to leave your bed, bringing you closer and ensuring both you and your baby have the very best night’s sleep in the safest environment. Even better the winner can select a crib bedding set from the all new gorgeous Designz Collection, which includes a reversible blanket and a matching set of two fitted sheets made from super soft, 100% cotton. Worth £203.95 snuz.co.uk

TUTAKIDS

Win an £80 voucher to spend online at Tutakids, the multibrand online clothing shop for little ones. Catering for trendsetting babies, boys and girls, the range offers something for every occasion, including pretty party dresses, dashing dungarees, luxurious baby all in ones, cool boy jeans to cute flower dresses. Sensibly stylish, the fashion forward pieces have a designer feel although they are just as easy on the wallet as they are on the eye. tutakids.co.uk

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Metanium are giving away 5 Melobaby All-In-One Nappy Wallet and Change Mats (rrp £35) plus a sample of Metanium Everyday Easy Spray Barrier Lotion. The Melobaby changing bag holds everything you need for a quick nappy change, as well as doubling up as a changing mat! Double-action Metanium Everyday Easy Spray Barrier Lotion protects and moisturises the skin to help prevent nappy rash (ideal to keep in your changing bag). The handy spray format is easy to use – 2 sprays should be enough to protect the skin to form a thin protective layer. Pat around the area to maximise coverage. No need to rub in. metanium.co.uk

SNUZPOD

Get lucky and win some fabulous products by visiting our website absolutely-mama.co.uk/competitions

absolutely-mama.co.uk

METANIUM

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SNOOZESHADE

We are delighted to offer one lucky winner the chance to win a SnoozeShade Original Deluxe, Car Seat Deluxe and SnoozeShade for travel cots worth £109.97. SnoozeShade is the UK’s leading range of sun and sleep shades. The best-selling brand was the UK’s first sleep solution for prams, buggies, pushchairs, car seats and cots. It was designed by a British mum to help babies get the sleep they need when out and about. Thanks to its protection of UPF50+, SnoozeShade blocks out 99% of UV rays, as well as protecting babies from wind, chill, light rain and even snow - making it a year-round must-have. snoozeshade.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 17:33


MAMA AGENDA

Th e

Ne w B a by

Checklist with Emi Ozmen-Prendergast

Columnist, founder of @mumanddadlife, mum to Silver aged 3 and Spike aged 6 months

Emi's

Top 3 Mama Essentials

MONKI Drawstring bag, £10; monki.com

MICHAEL KORS Camo Tote Bag, £248; michaelkors.com

THE FABULOUS FLEECE COMPANY Sheepskin rug £60; thefabulousfleececompany.co.uk

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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What did you enjoy most about being pregnant this time? Was the experience different with your second? I had a totally different experience this time round. It took us a long time to get pregnant with Silver; I am a worrier anyway so was just in a state of constant fear with Silver’s pregnancy. I was determined to enjoy it the second time round. Even with awful sickness for months and a two year old to run round after, I really enjoyed being pregnant with Spike. I'm not one of those people who doesn't look pregnant – I had a comedy size bump with both of my babies which I loved (always wearing inappropriate clothing that showed it off!)

anything now. I feel like I say “be gentle” to Silver about 40 times a day and just when I think she's been too rough I look over and Spike is staring and grinning adoringly at her, so I think I need to learn to leave them to it! Any advice to share about pregnancy? Salt and vinegar Walkers crisps if you get sickness! San Peregrino if you crave the fizz. Go to the cinema, have dinner out and sleep as much as you can if it's your first. Involve the other children in the process of it’s not your first (what size fruit is the baby today, how much have they grown this week). Invest in big brother and sister books and a present that the new baby brings home for the older sibling.

How are you finding being a mum of two – is it a game-changer? It's definitely twice the love but twice the tiredness! Those moments when they're both screaming and you have to laugh or you'd cry too! My husband is a musician and has just been on a 6 week tour of America. Being alone with a newborn and a toddler and juggling a business from home has definitely tested every fibre of my patience at times but it's also shown me I can do

And what's an important piece of advice for new mums? Keep a sense of humour wherever possible. Each awful phase passes so quickly. After three months you'll see through the fog. Don't compare your baby to others. Cry. Stare at them constantly. Take videos. Get ready as soon as you wake up, then you're ready

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for anything. Ignore routine, just feed them. And Ignore everyone's advice! What's the best way to connect with other new mums? Did you feel a need to do this second time around? I hated the baby groups but it’s like dating; you lock eyes with a 'normal' over the room then steal them from the group and never have to go back! I found dads were unwelcome at these groups which was why we set up Madlife, because when my husband was at home he would want to hang out with us too. We do events for the whole family – it’s anything but 'sit and have a coffee and moan about parenting.' It's about still being able to hang out with the same people you did before, it’s just a bit different with kids – but still amazing and fun. My husband and I definitely laugh a million times more than we did pre-Silver and Spike!! When they're bigger the park, the soft play, the library are all perfect places for when you just need to leave the house and have a chat with some other parents. With Spike it's been different because life still revolves around taking Silver to preschool, ballet, drama etc, but luckily lots of the friends we made first time around are on their second or third so he has an automatic group of little mates ready for him! madlife.co.uk @emiozmen

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 17:37


DOING the

We get the lowdown on babies, business and the worklife balance from Louise Shill, founder of luxury children’s shoe start-up Young Soles Interview Helen Baron

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MAMA AGENDA

Business When and why did you get the idea to start Young Soles? Shoes have been my passion right from an early age, when I used to make paper shoes with my mum from a few sheets of tatty paper and a reel of sticky tape. I’ve followed a career in footwear design, developing footwear around the world for various companies, but I really had my heart set on working for myself. After my daughter arrived, I became frustrated by the lack of choice on the high street for classic styles for kids. While there is a wealth of sensible school shoes, sneakers and sparkles, I wanted to be able to buy simple yet cool-looking kids’ shoes. I’m hugely influenced by British heritage brands and retro styling and could see that there was a definite gap in the market for higher-end designs for children. My

business, Young Soles, was launched last year as a result.

What has the experience taught you? I’ve quickly had to get used to being out of my usual design and development comfort zone as I embrace the many different roles involved in running a business. Working for myself has given me a great deal of flexibility, which is a luxury lots of working mums don’t have, but it’s a challenge getting the work-life balance just right – and it’s important to take time out too.

I’M HUGELY INFLUENCED BY BRITISH HERITAGE BRANDS AND RETRO STYLING AND COULD SEE THAT THERE WAS A DEFINITE GAP IN THE MARKET FOR HIGHER-END DESIGNS FOR CHILDREN Have you thought about doing shoes for adults too? Matching pairs for kids and parents? We recently increased our sizes up to a UK 5 (38) in our brogues, T-bars and sandals after countless requests from mums. And now that we’ve tapped into the emerging ‘mummy and me’ trend, we may increase these sizes further in the future.

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Have you always been interested in heritage and retro designs? I’ve always found that vintage and heritage styling offers the perfect treasure trove of inspiration. I love iconic British brands such as Grenson and Liberty, and admire their traditional approach to design. I like to borrow from childhood memories, music or a particular style movement for my own collections. In fact, the Young Soles signature ‘Rosie’ is inspired by a T-bar shoe my brother wore as a child. How influenced are you by music? And does it play a big part in your kids’ lives too? I’ve been greatly influenced by a mixture of Eighties and Nineties music for Young FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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MAMA AGENDA

passions in life. I hope that by building my own business I can show my daughter that if you work hard, you can achieve anything that you put your mind to. I’m of the philosophy that a happy parent equals a happy child, so getting the balance just right is essential.

Soles collections in the past. For the AW15 photoshoot, we chose The Smiths This Charming Man as our theme and shot it in a beautiful flower shop in Sheffield, creating a wonderful autumnal colour palette. We have a great vinyl collection at home and since my daughter loves to dance, there’s always music on in the house.

What’s next for the Young Soles brand? Would you consider working with other products? Having launched last year, we hope to go from strength to strength and continue this fantastic momentum. This year we are introducing soft baby/first walking shoes to the range in our signature T-bar and brogue styles. I’d love to collaborate with a clothing or accessory brand in the future – ideally a British brand with the same ethos as Young Soles.

How do you style your own child? I like to keep it simple and will mix up contemporary clothing with vintage pieces. Young Soles shoes complement a variety of outfits, from skinny jeans to pretty floral dresses. It’s a great feeling when people stop us in the street and ask where my daughter’s shoes are from. What’s the most important thing to remember when designing shoes for young kids or toddlers? There are many elements to consider when designing shoes for little ones. Our designs are focused on what’s most important for growing feet: lasts that follow the shape of the foot with a wide toe and narrow heel, soft uppers and linings that mould to the contours of the foot and finally, a lightweight and flexible outsole so that kids aren’t weighed down. Keeping designs simple yet ‘on trend’ is also important, ensuring the shoes are versatile and work with many different outfit options.

@younssoleslondon youngsoles.co.uk

Has setting up your own business made it more of a challenge to balance work and life as a mum? It’s always tough when launching a new business. Balancing work and family life is a constant challenge, especially at the start when you have to put many hours into building your business up from scratch. I will always be a mother first and foremost, but I also feel it’s important to follow your

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MAMA PROMOTION

Got the bottle The new Tommee Tippee design that takes the trial-anderror out of bottle feeding

or a first-time mama, finding the perfect baby bottle can be a bit of a minefield. Every bottle on the market seems to have some essential feature your little one can’t be without – so how do you know which to buy? Many mums end up working through several brands and models before they discover one that works for them. Add a colicky baby to the mix and this process of trial-anderror becomes emotionally as well as financially draining – which is what prompted market leaders Tommee Tippee to design Ultra, a revolutionary

F

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new bottle that brings together every feature and benefit you could want in one striking design. Ultra is the next step in bottlefeeding: a durable, ergonomic bottle with a flexible, super-soft silicone teat that mimics the breast and enables an easy, efficient latch for baby. Switching between breast and bottle is no longer an issue because the two are so alike – and new Secure Seal contouring ensures that baby doesn’t gulp down lots of extraneous air along with the milk, helping to control painful wind and colicky symptoms. A real plus is the subtly angled

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position of the teat, which allows for a more upright feeding position while letting baby drink easily to the very last drop. Together, these innovations in latch, seal and flow make the Ultra bottle the last word in bottle design – and the first choice for savvy mamas. The Tommee Tippee Ultra bottle is available in 150ml and 260ml sizes and in packs of 1, 2 and 3 bottles. Priced from £8.99 to £19.99. Available at boots.com. For more information, visit tommeetippee.co.uk.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 17:49


Oh

Mother where art thou? She's one of the most significant actresses of her generation, but motherhood might be Keira Knightley’s biggest challenge yet Wo rd s Ka re n A n n e O v e r t o n

A

way from the spotlight, last year was a very big one for Teddingtonborn actress Keira Knightley. She recently became a mother to daughter Edie, an experience she has since described as being “f***ing extraordinary”, her film career has gone from strength to strength, and off the back of her Oscar-nominated performance in The Imitation Game, she is set to make her Broadway debut in a revival of Thérèse Raquin. She is understandably delighted with recent events, but humbly so, in that coy manner for which she is known. The girl who once played Sabé, the decoy queen to Natalie Portman’s Padmé Almidala in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, has grown up. It is over a decade since Bend it like Beckham was released, and Knightley is finally being recognised for her excellent acting ability. From her role as Elizabeth Swann in The Pirates of the Caribbean series, which made her name global, to other flicks such as Love Actually in 2003, Pride and

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Prejudice in 2005, Atonement in 2007 and The Duchess in 2008. Her most recent release is biographical disaster drama Everest, in which she plays a small but key role as the pregnant wife of one of the guides who died on the tragic expedition.

BECOMING A MOTHER TO EDIE WAS F***ING EXTRAORDINARY Based on the true story of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster – in which eight people lost their lives after the mountain was engulfed by an unremitting blizzard – the film makes for a nail-biting drama and a heart-breaking finale. In the film, Knightley is Jan Hall, the

wife of Rob Hall, a dedicated mountaineer who lost his life when he refused to abandon a fellow climber on the descent. Having met eachother on an Everest climb in 1990, Jan Hall was an equally experienced climber to her husband. Tragically, two months prior to losing Rob, Jan gave birth to their daughter Sarah. One particularly poignant scene shows a distressed Knightley talking over satellite phone to her onscreen husband as he struggles to battle the mountain’s blizzard. “I read several books about the climb and its impact on the survivors and it’s one of those terribly tragic stories which also says a great deal about the human spirit,” explains Knightley, while we discussed how she prepared for the role. She also spent time with the real Jan Hall to ensure she told their story as acurately as possible: “Jan has climbed Everest seven times since and she’s such a wonderfully open and strong woman.” Though most of the action in Everest takes place during the climb, the contrast between the men on the mountain and

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MAMA AGENDA

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MAMA AGENDA

the quiet anxiety of Knightley’s portrayal of Jan Hall is what brings the reality of such a tragedy home. “Rob and Jan lived a very intense relationship and their love story is so beautiful and inspiring,” she says. “Those conversations they had are some of the most fundamental and dramatic scenes in the movie and it was such an important experience for me to be able to do them.” While the story of Everest, and the role Knightley played, is truly sad, in real life she couldn’t be in a happier place. She married Klaxons musician James Righton in 2013, and claims it has settled her and given her unrivaled confidence in who she is and what she wants from life. A change from the deep anxiety she suffered from during her rise to fame in her twenties. “It was overwhelming,” she says. “It was hard for me to understand and make sense of everything that was going on. I lived for some years in between London, where I still live, and Los Angeles. During that time my life changed completely. It became a nightmare to even take a walk. People were screaming my name and I was constantly followed by photographers everywhere I went. Now I know how to handle those situations and I feel much more at ease with myself. It’s one of the positive sides of growing older and maturing in life.” When we spoke, Knightley was living in New York with her husband and daughter while rehearsing for her first Broadway show,

Thérèse Raquin, and she was adamant that London was still her home. She was in fact born in Teddington, Richmond upon Thames, to an actor-turned-playwright mother and an actor father. The legacy and close connection to the theatre set her on this path from the tender age of six, when she first signed with an agent. After a small role in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, it was her part in the 2002 film Bend it Like Beckham that really grabbed the film industry and the public’s attention. Very soon she was lauded as the new ‘It Girl’ of Hollywood, and conseqentually film offers began pouring in, from Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, a performance which earned her first Academy Award nomination; to machine-gun-toting bounty hunter Domino Harvey in Domino. Despite her burgeoning

JAN [HALL] HAS CLIMBED EVEREST SEVEN TIMES SINCE HER HUSBAND DIED The Imitation Game, 2014

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Rouge Coco Campaign, Chanel

acting career, Knightley has a reputation for shying away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. When she was dating Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend from 2005 to 2010, the pair were often photographed around London shielding themselves from the flash of the paparazzi camera. Rarely seen on set without a book in her hands, Knightley is an avid reader and has a slew of authors who she follows “with a passion.” She also starts every day by reading a newspaper to make sure she is up to date on current affairs. Knightley has also become a fashion icon. She’s graced the cover of many magazines and is the face of Chanel’s fragrance, Mademoiselle. One of the most recent adverts sees Knightley zoom around Paris on a motorcycle in a beige Chanel jumpsuit. She has jumped from the rigs of pirate ships and hunted dangerous criminals, but Keira Knightley is as human as the rest of us. As she prepares to grace Broadway in her inaugural performances, she is filled with nerves. “I wanted to experience going on stage, performing live and being part of that world in every sense,” she says. “I was very attracted to the idea of being a part of this play, that is based on the novel by Emile Zola, which is a magnificent work. Also, my father has always been a great lover of theatre and still goes to see as many plays in London as he can. He enjoys watching actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, who takes time away from making movies so he can perform on stage. But I have to admit that I have some fear of taking on this role, particularly as we get closer to the opening. I’m preparing very hard for it!” ◆

absolutely-mama.co.uk

25/01/2016 17:51


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18/01/2016 18/01/2016 11:51 11:27


BACK IN THE GAME Mum

Diary

Don’t Buy Her Flowers founder Steph Douglas on babies, business and the return to work

I

had a year off after both my babies before returning to my old job in a part-time role, managing big brand and sponsorship projects. I remember feeling like I was supposed to dread it, because everyone gives you sorrowful looks when you mention your maternity leave is coming to an end. It did feel very strange leaving my firstborn, and I definitely spent the first couple of weeks trying to compose myself on the train while wanting to sob to the other passengers, ‘This is such a big deal! I’ve left my baby with practical strangers!’ But after a year I think I wanted something of my old life back – it signalled an end to that hugely unknown period of newborn-dom and the start of a phase where my brain had capacity beyond babies. I wanted to know what had been happening in the world. It made things feel a bit more balanced at home with [my husband] Doug, and choosing lunch and going to the loo on my own became massive perks too. Going back a second time felt much harder, mostly due to the logistics of getting two children up and ready and having double the chance of someone having a coat-refusal meltdown or being called to fetch a sick child. I once worked from home with a poorly

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MAMA AGENDA

Mabel who wasn’t allowed to go to nursery. I managed to join a whole conference call accompanying her to the toilet without anyone realising. I can’t pretend that work after babies doesn’t feel different. I so wanted to fit back into the career-driven-ambitious-youngwoman mould. Having babies doesn’t change your life, after all. Except it does. Not all in a bad way either; I remember sitting in a meeting where an agency was presenting an image and they’d changed one tiny letter and everyone was getting very passionate and enthused and I wanted to laugh. It seemed so minor and I suppose having some time out from that world (and birthing an actual human) does give you perspective. It doesn’t mean you do your job any less well. If anything it means you can better tell the difference between what is important and what is office politics and guff. I think a lot of women become better at getting things done after giving birth. I did find it hugely reassuring to return to my old job (as opposed to starting a new one). Being in a familiar location with people you know is comforting while everyone at home adjusts to the brave new world. The actual work is a breeze – you’ve done it before and you can do it again, and your brain hasn’t melted since having kids. Every woman I’ve spoken to after returning to work has agreed, it’s the logistics that take the most getting used to. You will inevitably end up running to pick your child up before the nursery closes. The location of your childcare is fundamentally important, as is your choice of footwear. It was going back after Mabel when I started to think I needed to find an alternative way to work. I’d had the idea for Don’t Buy Her Flowers and once I started looking into it, I knew I had to do it. Running your own business does give you flexibility – I don’t have to let someone know I’ll be in late because of the nativity play, or feel guilty for arriving all sweaty at 9.05am. But the reality is that you’ll never work harder. It’s all-encompassing and you’re never finished, especially when you’re

IT ISN’T A CASE OF CHOOSING BETWEEN WORKING FULLTIME OR BEING A STAY-AT-HOME MUM ANYMORE

Steph with her husband Doug and kids Buster and Mabel

growing a business, so it’s really hard to switch off. In hindsight I’m glad I went back to my old job while my babies were small before attempting to do my own thing. The absolute key point is that it will be different for everyone and everything. Your circumstances, your employer, your partner’s job, childcare options. I knew I wanted to be around for the kids because we don’t have any family living locally and being an hour away in town wasn’t working for us. None of the options is easier than the other, and it riles me when people try to pitch which woman has it harder – working, stay at home, mother, not a mother. We’re all just trying to find our way in a world that has changed significantly from that of our own mothers.

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The good news is there are far more options available than occurred to me before I had kids. I know women retraining, doing project work, freelancing, working full-time, part-time, working from home. It isn’t a case of choosing between working full-time or being a stay-at-home mum anymore. I started my business when my youngest was two and can’t imagine how stressful it would have been to do it with a newborn. We might have to work another thirty years so it’s okay to pace ourselves. There are definitely options – and rather than motherhood signalling the end of your career, when the time is right, it could very well be the beginning. @steph_dontbuyherflowers dontbuyherflowers.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 17:53


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07/01/2016 09:38


MAMA AGENDA

Mother Mother

to

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts on babies, business and power politics

issues and giving women the confidence to effect change in their personal decisions… but on a wider level, in terms of the pay gap and the issue of maternity leave, there is still a long way to go for women to be truly equal in the workplace.

HELEN BARON: At what point did Mumsnet become successful? JUSTINE ROBERTS: It depends what you mean by successful – traction with readers was quite instant but we couldn’t pay anyone for the first six years. HB: Did you always intend for the organisation to be politically active? JR: I think it was a natural progression for us to support the discussions that our users were having. Politicians realised that we are representative of a large voice in society and that it's worth listening to what we’ve got to say. It’s been satisfying to be able to provide information on issues like miscarriage care. Look at the Gordon Brown webchat [Gordon Brown answered Mumsnetters’ questions while still Prime Minister, in 2009] – we bent his ear then that was a great thing. HB: Several high profile women – including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington – have published books touching on women’s dual roles at home and in the workplace. Which mums inspire you? JR: I think there are lots of famous women out there, like the Sheryl Sandbergs of this world who are incredibly admirable, but I get inspiration from the mums’ stories on Mumsnet, ordinary women battling against great odds and difficulties to make decent lives for their families. You can talk about role models – and I include myself in this – but often they’ve had every advantage going. What’s truly inspiring is the women

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POLITICIANS REALISED THAT WE ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF A LARGE VOICE IN SOCIETY who go out of their way to help each other, a woman with a child who needs additional or round-the-clock care and still manages to be cheerful and to offer help and advice to others. Most of the women that the general public see as role models have had an awful lot of back-up; it’s the woman who struggles on her own, with no money or no support and plenty of demands on her time because of family circumstances – it’s cheesy to say but they’re the ones who should be celebrated. HB: The digital generation has ‘revived’ feminism, but what does this translate to for women in real terms? What has it meant for pregnant women and mothers – and what improvements can be made? JR: I think digital has made great strides in getting people talking, highlighting certain

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HB: Do you think women prefer to set up ‘mummy’ businesses rather than returning to their old careers because they tend to provide more understanding and flexible working environments? JR: Yes, I know of women who have had to put their families on hold and almost pretend they didn’t exist in order to get to the top. Certainly for me, flexibility is the key thing when talking about a family-friendly employer – it means not having to do unnecessary hours so women can’t see their children, it means being able to have some time off to see the school play. There’s enough pressure when you’re working – having a family is such a juggling act – that an understanding employer is what everyone really needs and if women don’t have that, they’ll drop out [of the working world] altogether. HB: Why did you set up Gransnet? JR: I think it was this idea that a collection of people didn’t have a noticeable collective voice. There was an opportunity for that older generation of women to get together and help each other. HB: What do you do when you’re not doing Mumsnet things or just ‘being a mum’? JR: That’s a hard one. I’m a football fan and support Liverpool, so I love going to matches... but to be honest there’s no real gap any more between work and not work, there’s not much time left after work and family and seeing friends. Does that sound sad? mumsnet.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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URBAN

STREET POETRY

CYBEX PRIAM PRIAM’s classic, simple frame belies a surprising diversity of combination and equipment options. In it, you will find everything that a young family needs in the early years both for everyday use and travelling. WWW.CYBEX-ONLINE.COM

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style Mama

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

Style the bump

with Eimear Varian Barry (Page 50)

Dress like a

MODERN MUM

BABY LOVE

Pippa Vosper's Life in fashion (Page 56)

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor is the face of the #justforlove collaboration between maternitywear brand Seraphine and baby charity Tommy’s. The pop singer and mum of four sports the Love t-shirt, designed for mums, mums-to-be and supporters of the charity. Tommy’s hope to raise £2m to open a clinic dedicated to preventing early miscarriage. £29; seraphine.com

25/01/2016 17:55


Mama’s

6 of the best

FASHION NOTES

PULLOVERS

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Pyjamas, pullovers and Minna Parikka bunny-ear shoes for baby's first steps

PUMP UP THE JAM ~Panda and Ping~

Bedtimes just got a lot more fun with Panda and Ping, purveyors of stylish kids pyjamas and bed linen. All products are lovingly made in Britain from ecologically friendly fabric and feature colourful animal designs – from dancing giraffes to flamingos and toucans. pandaping.com

’s

PICK

1 LUNCHPACK MOUNTAIN SWEATSHIRT, £27; lublue.co.uk 2 PETIT BATEAU PULLOVER SWEATSHIRT, £52; tippytoeskids.co.uk 3 OEUF NYC BAMBI HOODIE, £147; tippytoeskids.co.uk 4 LITTLE ELEVEN PARIS FATHEX SWEATSHIRT, £46; busyandtheboy.com 5 QUINN & FOX MESSY HAIR DON’T CARE SWEATER, £40.95; busyandtheboy.com 6 BEAU LOVES RAGLAN JUMPER, £32; monkeymccoy.co.uk

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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MAMA STYLE

TRIED & TESTED

THAT’S DARLING ~Amaia~

Garms don’t come much better than the timeless collections by independent, award-winning brand Amaia. You’ll fi nd old fashioned knits, baby bonnets, and whimsical designs inspired by the Spanish tradition of mixing and matching your childrens’ clothing. amaiakids.co.uk

MINNA PARIKKA

SUPPORT ACT ~Lorna Drew~

Fight the frump with this Catherine maternity lingerie set in an attractive midnight blue. Contrast stitch panelling combines with the finest silk satin and lowerline briefs to accommodate a growing bump. Suitable for pre and post pregnancy, the adjustable clasp allows for three sizes for a maximum comfort fit. £35; lornadrew.com

First shoes for fashion focused mamas and babies

T SHAPE UP ~Belly Bandit~

Recommended by doctors, doulas and most importantly - lots of satisfied mamas, Belly Bandit shapewear uses medical-grade compression technology to support and sculpt your post-pregnancy figure. A cut above the competition. bellybandit.co.uk

FEET FIRST ~Hippychick~

he gorgeous new baby and toddler shoe range from Hippychick is available in a choice of 16 fun designs. Each pair is handmade in the UK from sustainably sourced, soft and breathable leather – which allows small feet to grow naturally and freely. ❖ £18.50; hippychick.com

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❖ £85; the-mini-edit.com

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. he Mini Edit is a UKbased e-boutique that brings together exclusive and hard-to-find clothing from some of the world’s most exciting childrenswear labels, including Stella McCartney Kids, Marcelo Burgon, Very French Gangsters and The Runaway Design Collective. Avoiding the ‘same-old, same-old’ feeling that blights less imaginative childrenswear websites, The Mini Edit carries a more dynamic and diverse selection of brands while staying coherent, consistent and bang on-trend. We owe our favourite new discovery to them: Finnish label Minna Parikka, whose Baby Bunny collection updates the classic baseball trainer with adorable rabbit-ear tongues. Available in pink, black or shiny silver super soft leather, they’re the perfect shoe for wascally wabbits ready to take their first step (or hop, as the case may be). Leporid sass? Sounds perfect for Spring.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 17:56


GET A LIFT & TIGHTEN UP! UPSIE BELLY™ Support for your back and growing baby belly

BELLY BANDIT ® Shrinks and tightens your post pregnancy belly, waist and hips

From pregnancy support to post pregnancy compression, Belly Bandit® provides what moms need...when they need it. WWW.BELLYBANDIT.CO.UK ENTER THIS CODE DURING CHECKOUT TO RECEIVE 5% DISCOUNT ON ENTIRE ORDER: BWDMM1603 Offer valid until 31/3/2016

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MAMA STYLE

LA COQUETA Matienzo Baby bloomer, £34; lacoquetakids.com

PAZ RODRIGUEZ Ivory Pram Suit with booties, £110; childrensalon.com

MINI RODINI Organic Mittens, £19; childrensalon.com

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PICK

LA COQUETA Herringbone dungarees, £42; lacoquetakids.com

LES ENFANTINES Boys Navy Blue Babygrow, £113; childrensalon.com

STELLA MCCARTNEY Leopard Print Romper, £42; alexandalexa.com

Baby, it’s cold outside Layer up this season with our pick of the best (and most stylish) baby buys

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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LES LUTINS Pink Capuchin Cape, £116; tippytoes.co.uk

TOBIAS AND THE BEAR Just Call Me Fox leggings, £16; tobiasandthebear.com

NATURE'S PUREST

MINI RODINI Big Dot Onesie in red, £48; busyandtheboy.co.uk

STELLA MCCARTNEY Smudge Cardigan, £91; stellamccartney.com

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LA COQUETA Navia Baby Romper Suit, £52; lacoquetakids.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 17:58


E R C N CO GR O Y A L P s g o t n r e d o m l t o s i o l c a w m The nethe mini mini for l Michae ia ewis : Apph alier L v e h Stylist C rge er: Geo elle Lewis h p a r g Photo Tallis B Model:

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E T E R ND U O R

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Hat: Mini Rodini, Jacket: Kenzo, Dress: Chloe, Tights: Falke, Shoes: Dr Martens All from Alex and Alexa AlexandAlexa.com

25/01/2016 17:59


Hat: Beau Loves from Kidsen (111 Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3NS, kidsen.co.uk), Bomber Jacket: Beau Loves from Monkey McCoy (monkeymccoy.co.uk), Furry Dress: Caroline Bosmans from Abacus Kids (abacus足-kids.co.uk), Socks: Child.Ish from Abacus Kids (abacus-足kids.co.uk), Shoes: Dr Martens from Alex and Alexa (AlexandAlexa.com)

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Cream jumper (top layer): Bellerose from Elias & Grace, 158 Regents Park Road, Primrose Hill, London, NW1 8XN (eliasandgrace.com) Grey sweatshirt (underneath): Hartford from Elias & Grace Black skirt: Bonton from Elias & Grace Furry leggings: Caroline Bosmans from Abacus Kids (abacus-足kids.co.uk) Gold boots: AKID from Kidsen, 111 Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3NS (kidsen.co.uk)

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Hat: Mini Rodini, Dress: Chloe, Tights: Falke, Shoes: Dr Martens All from Alex and Alexa (AlexandAlexa.com)

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Grey sweatshirt: Hartford from Elias & Grace, 158 Regents Park Road,, Primrose Hill, London, NW1 8XN (eliasandgrace.com) Grey oversized t足shirt (underneath): Morley from Elias & Grace, Leggings: BANGBANG Copenhagen from Abacus Kids (abacus足-kids.co.uk) Socks: Child.Ish from Abacus Kids, Shoes: Dr Martens from Alex and Alexa (AlexandAlexa.com)

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25/01/2016 18:00


Feel Flows Instagram mum of the moment Eimear Varian Barry takes maternitywear to a chic new level with the help of Hatch at Net-a-Porter

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Lily Satin Twill Dress by Hatch, £320

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Finding the right car seat takes time. Our complimentary Personal Shopping appointments offer fitting demonstrations and expert advice on finding the right seat, plus useful information on all your pregnancy essentials. Book in store or online at mamasandpapas.com/personalshopping There’s 10% off when you attend your Personal Shopping appointment.*

Bring this advert along and quote ABSOLUTELYMAMA.

*10% discount applies to purchases made at your in store Personal Shopping appointment, when you present this voucher. Offer ends 31st March 2016. For full terms and conditions, see website.

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Racerback Faille Jumpsuit by Hatch, ÂŁ280

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25/01/2016 18:02


Cape printed poplin maxi dress by Hatch, ÂŁ320 Available in the UK exclusively at netaporter.com @eimearvarianbarry

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25/01/2016 18:03


Notting Hill, London W11 2AJ 020 7229 5855 Primrose Hill, London NW1 8UY 020 7586 1552

www.ilovegorgeous.co.uk I LOVE GORGEOUS.indd 1

19/01/2016 17:03


MODERN MUM STYLE Ex ID and Vogue stylist, owner of fashion boutique RSPV and mum to Astor, three, Pippa Vosper nails how to dress like a mum without being mumsy

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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MAMA STYLE

How would you describe your style? For day I live in the classics - crisp shirts (white or denim), cashmere sweaters, slim-fit jeans and I throw on one of my Céline or Chanel blazers if I’m heading out to a meeting. For evening events when I have time to prepare, I’m far more adventurous; my go-to designers are Antonio Berardi and Dolce & Gabbana, their fabric and cuts are just so flattering. How has your style changed over time? How do you mix high fashion with the practicality of being a mum? Before having my son, my looks were far more intricate and I would live in heels; now I’m very much about the classics... and flats! My old wardrobe, which I have since parted with, was full of structured, form-fitting pieces; now I need to feel comfortable. I still consider each look I wear, but just can’t spend a day in a dress that barely allows me to breathe! I’ve stuck with a fitted look which allows for more movement. A great pair of Saint Laurent jeans, teamed with a classic fit sweater (generally from Céline or Ralph Lauren) and blazer is a perfect look to take me from a meeting to an evening work event – the key to lifting such an understated look is a great bag and colourful shoes. Who is the RSPV woman? Every woman! Since opening my store in April, I have been surprised at how varied my clients are; from lovely London shoppers who

BEFORE HAVING MY SON, MY LOOKS WERE FAR MORE INTRICATE AND I WOULD LIVE IN HEELS; NOW I’M VERY MUCH ABOUT THE CLASSICS... AND FLATS! want the classic pieces, to actresses/singers and their stylists who now come in at the beginning of each sale to buy the red carpet looks. As my designers change once a month (we hold one designer’s sample sale collection per month) I’m finding I now have treasured regular clients and also those who are excited to buy pieces at 90% less than retail.

so adventurous, a mid-tone grey). Be daring with your winter coat choices – wearing black all the time is going to affect your mood; consider a beautiful pattern or bold colour and see how much this lifts you through the dark days. @pippavosper

rspvstore.com

Who are some of your favourite designers and why? Since reaching my mid-thirties I find that I gravitate towards bolder pieces! In my twenties I really only wore black and navy. Dolce & Gabbana runway collections are incredible, as are Valentino, they really separate themselves from any other designer. For day I mix the impeccable cuts from Céline with Frame Denim, along with a little Chanel and a lot of Isabel Marant. What do you wear in the colder months? Oversized chunky knit sweaters for day teamed with ankle -skimming jeans. My way to avoid getting cold ankles is to wear thin knit socks in a striking colour (or if you’re not feeling

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Family Club And From To 8Old Years Old FamilyFor ClubParents For Parents And Children Children From 0 To 0 8 Years

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Café Play-area Classes Classes for for mothers, babies and toddlers Café Play-area mothers, babies and toddlers * * After-school classes for 4-8 yrs old Birthday party venue * After-school classes for 4-8 yrs old* Birthday party venue

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Tel: 020 7586 9871

Tel: 020 7586 9871

22/01/2016 11:45


Health Mama

FEBRUARY 2016

&Beauty

Witness the fitness

Exercises for pregnancy (Page 62)

Baby's

FIRST FOODS Recipes from Ella's Kitchen (Page 66) H&B OPENER.indd 83

WILD SIDE

Henrietta Norton has spent her career formulating products for the vitamin and mineral market. Author of two books, Take Control of Your Endometriosis and Your Pregnancy Nutrition Guide, she set up Wild Nutrition to offer maximumabsorption food-grown supplements. @wildnutritionltd wildnutrition.com

25/01/2016 18:11


Mama’s

review

M SPA

BEAUTY NOTES

Hot new products, luscious locks and the ultimate mother-to-be massage

DOE-EYED

~NARS x Erdem~

Think ahead and start channeling SS16's hottest beauty looks. A favourite of ours comes from make up artist Val Garland, who gave the models tea stained eyes and creamy skin at Erdem’s SS16 show. narscosmetics.com

at M by Montcalm Hotel, EC1

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-Spa is the tranquil new hot-spot for City slickers in and around Silicon Roundabout. It specialises in evening away worries, knots and wrinkles – and if, like me, you happen to be pregnant, there’s a Mum-to-Be massage on the treatment menu too. After popping on disposable knickers (akin to those so famously sported by Bridget Jones), I was ready for a blissful 80 minutes of pure indulgence. Cue a pregnancy scrub involving scrumptioussmelling blackcurrant seeds and Himalayan salt crystals (only the best for bump); this, my friends, is the secret to super-soft skin. After showering off the blackish-purple slather, I’m smooth as a baby’s bottom and ready for my therapist to get stuck in, kneading out all the unwanted muscle tension that’s been building these last few weeks. A heavenly mixture of argan oil, geranium, rosehip and lavender lulls me into a zen state. Admittedly, having my exposed bump rubbed was a novel, if not quite odd, experience, but at a time in my life where my body does feel somewhat alien, I was able to let go and feel calm and relaxed. A dip in the Versace-tiled pool afterwards was the icing on the cake. Now I

❖ £130, mbymontcalm.co.uk

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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MAMA HEALTH & BEAUTY

8 of the best

COCONUT OIL

LUSCIOUS LOCKS ~R+Co~

R+Co is a collective of the most rule-bending hairstylists in the industry. Dedicated to formulating products without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil and petrolatum, all are vegetarian, cruelty-free, gluten-free and colour-safe. The Bel Air collection is particularly good for damaged, stressed and frizzy hair. £23; spacenk.com

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FRENCH FANCY ~Sophie La Girafe~

The maker of legendary French teether Sophie La Girafe has diversified into eco-certified, vegan and organic skincare products, which are already proving a hit across the Channel. The starter kit provides an introduction to the new line, with four products suitable for babies and mums alike. £14.99; boots.com

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ANCIENT REMEDY ~ Pommade Divine ~

Traditional French Pommade Divine is a multi-purpose beauty balm formulated to treat numerous ailments (in the old days it was used to sooth cradle cap and nappy rash). Its natural ingredients make it perfect for both adult and baby use. £20; liberty.co.uk 06

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SHOCK WAVES

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PICK

~Maria Nila~

reshen up your look with these colour block and pastel natural shades from Swedish brand Maria Nila. Vibrant but 100% vegan, with non-permanent colour pigments, they add oomph with minimum effort. ❖ €29; marianila.com

01. PALMER’S COCONUT OIL FORMULA, COCONUT OIL HAND CREAM 60g, £1.60; boots.com 02. PUREOLOGY COLOUR FANATIC 200mL, £14.35; feelunique.com 03. RMS BEAUTY, LIP SHINE IN ‘SACRED’, £22; net-a-porter.com 04. UNIQ ONE, ALL-INONE HAIR TREATMENT, £7.90; justmylook.co.uk 05. KIEHL’S, AMINO ACID SHAMPOO 250mL, £16; kiehls.co.uk 06. THIS WORKS, DEEP SLEEP BALM 10g, £12; boots.com 07 DR JACKSON’S COCONUT MELT, £10; drjackson.co.uk 08. TIGI BED HEAD, COLOUR GODDESS OIL INFUSED CONDITIONER 750mL, £24.25; feelunique.com

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25/01/2016 18:12


8 of the best

FITNESS PRODUCTS

Mama’s

FITNESS NOTES Workouts that work up a sweat and empowering pregnancy yoga

NIKE PRO FLOW WOMEN’S TRAINING GLOVES, £22; nike.com

LOSE IT ~Koral~

BOBBLE MAGENTA BOBBLE SPORT, £9.99; waterbobble.uk

Using Lycra's compression technology, LA-based activewear brand Koral design fashion-forward sportswear that defines and flatters your body. Versatile, sophisticated and cool, you'll hit the gym with of confidence, ready to get fit. koral.com

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PICK

GEM&I CELERY SWEATSHIRT, £72; fashercise.com

ADIDAS ORIGINALS PHARELL WILLIAMS DEAR BAES T-SHIRT, £30; netaporter.com

SWEATY BETTY Christmas trainer liners, £6; sweatybetty.com

LUCAS HUGH Nordica Crop in Midnight Ice-braker, £155; hipandhealthy.com

NIKE Free Cross Complete Training Shoe, £80; nike.com

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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MAMA HEALTH & BEAUTY

BUMP IT UP

Classes Guide

~Frame~

Debunking the myth that you should exercise less when pregnant, fitness studio Frame offers prenatal and postnatal classes guaranteed to make you sweat (rather than perspire lightly) – and a new branch of the gym has recently opened in King’s Cross, adding to the Shoreditch and Queen’s Park outposts. moveyourframe.com

SALTY AND NAUGHTY

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~Seed and Bean~

Creamy, sweet and slightly salty, this Cornish sea salt and lime bar is seriously moreish. Thankfully each Seed and Bean flavour is also available in 85g so you won’t be able to overdo it. Unless you really want to, of course. £2.49 for 85g; seedandbean.co.uk

CRISP UP ~Inspiral~

You wouldn’t expect it, but, these savoury coconut crisps are inspired by summer BBQs and flavoured with smoked paprika and a twist of lime, along with the cheesiness of nutritional yeast. inspiral.co

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PERSONAL TRAINER

’s

PICK

~Elvie~

eak bladder? Work on your pelvic floor muscles; simply pop in place and record your LV strength score using the app and game while doing kegels for just five minutes a day. ❖ £149; elvie.com

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any women take up yoga wanting a good stretch; after a few classes they find they feel more energised and have a stronger connection to their babies and bodies. The stretches help to release tightness and tension from the muscles, but the breathing techniques work on a deeper psychological level to release fears and bring a sense of calm and clarity to the mind. Insomnia, sciatica, hip pain, rib pain, back ache, SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) headaches and anxieties can all be drastically improved or disappear altogether with regular practice. Pregnancy yoga reminds women that they instinctively know how to move their body. The classes highlight breathing techniques and positions for birth which empower women with the mindset to deal with whatever turn their birth takes. Using the movements and breathing techniques learned during the classes can encourage the body to relax and open, supporting the labour, speeding up contractions and assisting and facilitating the whole labour process. Additionally the recovery after the birth will be better for women who are fit and healthy from yoga practice throughout pregnancy.

❖ taraleeyoga.com

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PREGNANCY YOGA; WHY DO IT?

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 18:13


Mama’s

8 of the best

MELAMINE PLATES

FOOD NOTES

01

Nutritious pre and post natal delivery diets we love

MEALS ON WHEELS ~The Pure Package~

03

The Pure Package is the only delivery company in the UK to offer healthy gourmet meals with pregnant women in mind. Providing essential fats and nutrients, the balanced (and, importantly, tasty) dishes and snacks can be a bit of a life-saver at a time when it’s important to pay special attention to your diet. From £29.95 a day; purepackage.com

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PICK

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01. BUDDY AND BEAR NOM NOM NOM PLATE, £7; neighbourhoodstore.co.uk 02. DONNA WILSON FOX AND BALLOON PLATE, £6.90; donnawilson.com  03. BOBO CHOSES BANANA PLATE, £8.50; rowdyroddyvintage.com 04. BOBO CHOSES RED APPLE PLATE, £8.50; rowdyroddyvintage.com 05. DONNA WILSON BANANA PLATE, £6.90; donnawilson.com 06. BECKY KEMP FOR SKETCH INC PLATE, £20; thekidwho.eu 07. INGELA P ARRHENIUS BEAR PLATE, £6; thekidwho.eu  08. Helen Dardik Cat Plate, £6; thekidwho.eu

absolutely-mama.co.uk

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MAMA HEALTH & BEAUTY

TRIED & TESTED

EASY AS PIE ~ Tr i t t o ~

Changing the way you eat, Tritto is a London based food delivery service providing fresh, healthy meals to you in the comfort of your own home or office. Choose from either no prep dishes or those that need a quick microwave or flip in the pan: they’re all as delicious as each other. tritto.com

READY, STEADY, COOK ~Béaba~

Babycook Solo by BÉABA is a neat, 4-in-1 device that cooks, blends, defrosts and reheats, all in one nifty machine that you’ll be proud to keep on your countertop. With a gentle steam cooking process that’s easy to use (even single-handedly), food can be cooked from scratch in less than 15 minutes. £109.99; beaba.com/en

Radisson Blue Edwardian Hotel Mercer Street Words PENDLE HARTE

BABY SPICE ~for aisha~

for aisha has launched a new variety of baby pouches designed to 'introduce a world of variety', specially formulated for 7 months onwards. Made with certified British halal meat and packed with natural goodness, pouches comes in six scrummy flavours enhancing taste and texture and expanding teeny taste buds. Available in Tesco, Asda and Whole Foods Markets. £1.45; foraisha.com

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PICK

THIRSTY WORK ~Babycup~

ecommended by dentists and orthodontists to help prevent tooth decay and poor jaw development (which can be caused by sucking from spouts or seals), we love these handy 'fi rst cups'. Made in Britain and BPA-free, they look good and do good. ❖ £7.99 for four; babycup.co.uk

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nyone taking their tots to the fabulous Matilda The Musical this winter must book in for the special accompanying tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel on Mercer Street, opposite the theatre. The musical-themed menu features an assortment of sandwiches, scones and desserts. Adults and children alike can enjoy the menu’s decadent layered chocolate cake, fruit scones with clotted cream and preserves, and classic cucumber finger sandwiches among other teatime treats. For grown-ups, there are also elderflower and prosecco jelly shots and mini bagels with Scottish smoked salmon. The children’s menu comes with a few delicious extras, such as candied newts and apple mojito mocktails, plus a mystery Matilda gift. All children – revolting and otherwise – are welcome.

❖ radissonblu-edwardian.com/ mercerstreet

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MATILDA TEA

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

25/01/2016 18:14


Kitchen Capers Recipes

The First Foods Book is the brainchild of the good folk at Ella’s Kitchen, and covers every step of the weaning journey from six months to one year. Packed with more than 130 scrummy recipes, it contains everything from veg purees to full meals – and each dish has (of course) been rigorously tested, ensuring it meets the Ella’s Kitchen nutritional standard. Photography JONATHAN CHERRY

What you need

Shake-it-up scrambled We’ve crammed loads of extras into these scrambled eggs to make them especially delicious. Our little taste tester at our photoshoot gave them a massive cheer! absolutely-mama.co.uk

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10g / ¼ oz unsalted butter 1 tomato, deseeded and diced 1 spring onion, very finely chopped 2 tablespoons no-salt, no-sugar canned sweetcorn, drained A large pinch of Chinese 5-spice 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons whole milk Small pitta bread, warmed and cut into fingers, to serve

What to do

the butter in a small saucepan • Hovereatahalfmedium–low heat and cook the tomato, spring onion and sweetcorn for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.

the 5-spice. • SBtireatintogether the eggs and milk in a • small bowl or jug. dd the remaining butter to the pan and, • Awhen melted, pour in the egg mixture. a low heat, stirring and folding • Ctheookeggsovercontinuously until scrambled. • Serve with fingers of pitta bread.

Eggy variations

Instead of the sweetcorn and Chinese 5-spice, you could add some cooked peas and a little fresh thyme or basil. Or, shred a few baby spinach leaves and cook with the tomato and spring onion (leave out the sweetcorn), and stir in a pinch of mild curry powder.

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25/01/2016 18:15


MAMA HEALTH & BEAUTY

Ruby Red mini-muffins The bright colour of these muffins makes them irresistible to little hands. Best of all, the sweetness comes from beetroot and carrot, so there’s no need for any naughty ingredients! What you need

55g/2 oz unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing 140g/5 oz plain flour ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 large egg, lightly beaten 150ml/¼ pint natural yoghurt 30g/1 oz feta cheese, grated 1 small carrot, peeled and grated 100g/3½ oz cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), patted dry and grated 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves

What to do

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas • Mark 5. Grease 20 holes of 1 or 2 minimuffin tins.

 ift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking • Spowder into a large bowl and stir until combined, then make a well in the centre.

Beat together the egg, yoghurt and • melted butter in a bowl, then gradually

• •

pour into the dry ingredients and add the feta, carrot, beetroot and thyme. Using a wooden spoon, stir together gently but thoroughly until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin holes, then bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until risen. Leave to cool slightly, then cool completely on a wire rack. Ella's Kitchen: The First Foods Book, published by Hamlyn, £14.99; amazon.co.uk

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Simply suits some babies better

Made from whole milk with far less processing Forms soft curds in the baby’s stomach, aiding digestion Available at stockists below, and also nationwide from selected health food stores and pharmacies by order if not already in stock. Simply quote ‘Alliance’ to your pharmacist for delivery within 24 hours.

Call 0800 328 5826

Email enquiry@nannycare.co.uk

Visit nannycare.co.uk

IMPORTANT NOTICE *NANNYcare® Follow on milk is only suitable for babies from 6 months, to complement breastfeeding or the start of weaning, as part of a varied and balanced diet. It is not intended as a breast milk substitute and is not suitable for babies under 6 months. It is recommended that NANNYcare Follow on milk is used only on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist,or other professional responsible for maternal and child care,based on your baby’s individual needs.NANNYcare Growing up milk is for young children between 1-3 years as part of a healthy balanced diet. Goat milk formula is not suitable for infants with a cow’s milk protein allergy unless directed by a suitably qualified healthcare professional.

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12:31 21/01/2016 16:00


Interiors Mama

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

Mumhack:

Wonder walls with Ashyln Gibson (Page 72)

King of the

COT Top nursery products (Page 70)

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IN MY CRIB

We’re big fans of Houseology, so imagine the excitement at discovering their furniture range for babies and children. From stylish high chairs and nursery furniture to beautiful bed linen and accessories, the collection suits even the smallest of style enthusiasts. houseology.com

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6 of the best

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NIGHT LIGHTS

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Mama’s

NURSERY NOTES A bed fit for a cowgirl and the sweetest nightlights in dreamland

TO A TEE PEE ~Cuckooland~

We’re cowgirl/boy crazy for this teepee bed from Dutch designer Woood. The beautifully crafted design is ideal for creative playtime while also offering a comforting and secure place for slumber. Head on over to the website for further inventive bedtime solutions. £399; cuckooland.com

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1 DIY LIGHTBOX, £30; thismodernlife.co.uk 2 CASE STUDYO CLOUD LAMP, £125; miniobjectsofdesire.com 3 LITTLE CLOUD LAMP, £139; miniobjectsofdesire.com 4 FOREST & CO BUNNY NIGHT LIGHT, £5.95; notonthehighstreet.com 5 MIFFY XL FLOOR LAMP, £149; miniobjectsofdesire.com 6 ICE-CREAM LAMPS IN BLUE AND WHITE, £12; thedandykid.com

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MAMA INTERIORS

BUNK UP

cherry picked

~ O e u f N YC ~

Moving to a ‘big kid’ bed is an important milestone. Celebrate it with the Perch toddler bed from super cool, eco-friendly brand Oeuf NYC. Its compact footprint leaves plenty of room for play and the clever configuration options allow for a loft bed and stand-alone twin, transforming the space in creative ways. Prices start at £360; nubie.co.uk

FROU FROU ROCKER CHAIR The best baby buys put through their paces

WHITEOUT ~Piccoli and Co~

The Eliza cotbed takes inspiration from the elegance of 18th century French furniture, with delicate carved details and tapered legs. It comes in two colours, antique white or French grey – and because each bed is crafted by hand, no two are exactly alike. £890; piccoliandco.com

ALL CHANGE ~Budtz Bendix~

Changing tables can often be a clunky addition to the nursery. Not so with this genius bit of kit from Budtz Bendix. In minimal white or grey, it’s durable and practical but will fit seamlessly (and stylishly) with the rest of your home. €469; ensmallable.com

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HOME GROWN

PICK

~Memories of Growing Up~

❖ Also available in Frou Frou Pink, Gentle White and Aruba Blue. LEVO Baby Rocker in Frou Frou Blue, £170; nubie.co.uk

all Tape solves the problem of recording your child's growth on a wall or door that is then left behind when you move. Simply mark measurements on the lightweight, ultra-portable tape. ❖ £10.99; memoriesofgrowingup.com

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his is our investment buy of the month. Beautifully crafted by French brand Charlie Crane, the chair comes with a light, curved wooden frame made from eco-friendly European beech (buying for babies needn’t mean buying tacky plastics). The Liberty-esque flower-print seat cushion (which affixes neatly but securely with Velcro) is 100% cotton, and there’s a padded strap to keep wriggly babies from rocking themselves out of their comfort zone. Machine washable and super manoeuvrable, it’s suitable from newborn to seven months. The natural rocking motion soothes and comforts baby and the portability means you can easily keep her near. (HB)

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

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Wonder Walls Turn your back on blank nursery walls with advice from Ashlyn Gibson, leading the charge in the art of contemporary wall décor for kids and adults alike

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Photography BEN ROBERTSON

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alls, like the pages of a book, can be used to tell a story about your family. All too often I see empty expanses of wall that are crying out to be used. Quite aside from hanging beautiful wallpaper or making a colourful statement, there are limitless practical uses for walls that go beyond the purely decorative. In our home, we use one of the walls in our living room as a giant scrapbook where we display the things that we love. It’s a snapshot of our lives at a particular point in time: our favourite books are propped up on two rows of simple white Ikea picture ledges. My daughter Olive and I use picture hooks originally designed for wall mouldings to hang favourite pieces of jewellery. In the spaces between, we stick postcards from friends, birthday cards, notes and tickets from holidays and festivals. It’s a riot of colour and it makes us happy – it’s as simple as that. Wallpaper can also make a big impact, giving a room an instant infusion of mood and atmosphere.

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MAMA INTERIORS

Photographer Emma Donnelly wanted to add a wow factor to her seven year-old daughter Agnes’s room. ‘I chose a bold and graphic design,’ she says, ‘that felt like a good compromise between girlish and modern.’ I can still remember the owl-print wallpaper that I had in my room when I was growing up: I used to invent stories about the characters before I went to sleep. If you hunt around, you can still buy original wallpaper from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies that is unlikely to pop up anywhere else. There’s a vast range of wallpaper designs and styles to choose from. Some have been designed especially for children but will appeal to the whole family. That said, there’s no need to limit your choice to children’s designs. Many wallpapers aimed at adults have a style and sensibility that will also

IN OUR HOME, WE USE ONE OF THE WALLS IN OUR LIVING ROOM AS A GIANT SCRAPBOOK WHERE WE DISPLAY THE THINGS THAT WE LOVE

capture a child’s imagination and may well have a longer-lasting quality. The wallpaper that illustrator Silvia Pogoda chose for her own bedroom wall didn’t need changing when it became 18 monthold Leo’s nursery. ‘It is such a beautiful design that it has universal appeal,’ she says. ‘It’s a jewel and Leo loves it.’ Floral designs and woodland scenes are dreamy and a good bet for a bedroom. Childrenswear designer Aneta Czaplicka looked for something with an intricate design that five-year-old twins Kaya and Zuza wouldn’t tire of. ‘I imagined something beautiful and intricate,’ she says. ‘I picked wallpaper with butterflies, birds and flowers. My girls were fascinated when they saw it for the first time.’ Cleverly designed wallpapers can also evoke an interesting theme without being overly prescriptive. A print of cacti and cowboy hats is more inspiring than a ‘tell-it-all’ wallpaper and leaves plenty of scope for a child’s imagination. Striking geometric designs can be interpreted in different ways by different people. I loved

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MAMA INTERIORS

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talking to Olive about the wallpaper in our old house: she saw an infinite number of shapes and her favourite colour changed almost every day. Textile designer Mia-Louise Mailund Smith wanted to use the walls in six year-old Herbert and three yearold Huxi’s bedroom in a playful way, saying, ‘I chose a bright yellow stripe wallpaper that reminded me of a circus tent.’ Largerthan-life panoramas can provide a magical backdrop for both sleep and play. If you’re not yet ready to go the whole hog, smaller wall stickers make wall decoration a doddle. Graphic shapes such as raindrops or spots give a room a modern edge. Children love stickers, so ask them to help or, better still, give them a wall of their own to decorate. Kids will bring a more spontaneous and less rigid sensibility to design. And don’t limit yourself to the walls: simple flat-pack wardrobes and drawers can become unique pieces of furniture when adorned with stickers. Life-size wall vinyls can become a focal point for all sorts of imaginary games. From bold retro-inspired trees to elks, teepees and dreamcatchers, they can create a mood that encourages a spirit of creative adventure. Teacher Maiken Poulsen chose an unexpected vinyl for three yearold Kamma’s bedroom: ‘I wanted to move away from a stereotypical princess theme, so I chose a pirate ship. The plain white wardrobe doors made a great surface and it has turned that wall into a much more inspiring space.’ A chalkboard-painted wall is ideal for an unused

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FLORAL DESIGNS AND WOODLAND SCENES ARE DREAMY AND A GOOD BET FOR A BEDROOM

1. These small neon triangle stickers give a graphic edge to Elin’s room. The beauty of them is that you can keep on adding new shapes and colours. You could even carry on until you have created a Jackson Pollockinspired sticker wall. 2. I like things to have a dual purpose. House plants not only inject colour and life into a nursery, they also act as props for storytelling and imaginary play. I grew up surrounded by such a huge selection of house plants that we used them as a jungle hideout. The parlour palm (charmaedorea elegans) shown here is an easy house plant to grow; it’s also fairly inexpensive and suited to indoor life.

or overlooked space. It can become a family calendar as well as a place for spontaneous drawing sessions and scribbling notes. You could take it one step further and use magnetic chalkboard paint to create an even more versatile surface. Once you start looking at your walls in a new and inspired light, you can bring your home to life in easy, original and unexpected ways. @olivelovesalfie This is an extract from Creative Children’s Spaces by Ashlyn Gibson, published by Ryland Peters & Small. All images by Ben Robertson. © 2015 Ryland Peters & Small

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3. There is an incredible variety of wallpaper designed for children’s spaces, meaning you can pick designs that reflect your little ones’ personalities. Children love the anarchic act of drawing on wallpaper, but if your sense of freedom doesn’t quite run that far, there are some great compromise solutions out there. This C-60 Colour-Me wallpaper from Mini Moderns is the perfect choice for hip young musos. 4. Wall stickers or decals are quick and easy to apply and offer a creative alternative to wallpaper. Some are permanent, but there are lots of designs that are removable. They can be used to great effect to create a mood or to define a space. If you adopt the same spirit as Magosia, a wall sticker is just the starting point for an ongoing collage: she looks out for bird stickers to perch on the branches of this jolly red tree. 5. Rows of Ikea picture ledges provide a base for changing displays of your favourite things. Finding items that fit the constraints of a narrow ledge becomes a game; miniature plant pots containing small cacti are the perfect size and bring a sense of the organic world into a vibrant display. 6. Don’t limit your imagination to only decorating walls. Built-in cupboards often cover such large expanses of space that they lend themselves really well to vinyl decals. The wardrobe doors in Kamma’s bedroom have become one of the room’s most playful features.

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LOVE YOU...

BESPOKE JEWELLERY WITH FINGERPRINT ENGRAVING FINE CASTING OF BABY HANDS & FEET Telephone 020 8769 4757 enquiries@philippaherbert.co.uk www.philippaherbert.co.uk

Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity Registered Charity No. 1067412

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Borne is a collaboration between Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

12/01/2016 14:13


Making

The

Us Us

of

by Chloe and Olivia Brookman, founders of modern home decor brand Olli Ella

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e started off as a nursing chair brand in 2010, almost by accident. I was expecting my first baby and couldn’t find a chair to fit the eclectic look of the nursery I was creating, so Olivia and I designed and had made locally a modern, eco-friendly nursing chair (now named “The Da-da Glider”). Following this we had a flood of requests from expectant friends to have one made for them. Olivia and I decided to launch a brand of British-made modern nursing chairs, which we called Olli Ella, a combination of our first and middle names. Within a few months we were stocked at Harrods, and a few months after that, had opened up a second manufacturing facility in Australia! In 2011 we launched our Manchester range, which has grown into soft goods, textiles, storage and home decor. The experience has taught us to be very comfortable making mistakes and treating each one as a valuable lesson in business. And it's taught us to have fun, trust our instincts and never stop moving. The work/life balance is more about juggling than anything else. Our families and company have grown in a big way over the past couple of years so it's always exciting, exhausting and exhilarating. We both try to have a ‘no work’ policy when spending time with our kids, but it’s not always possible. On particularly busy weeks, we make sure to set aside at least one full day where mobiles are out of sight and emails remain unanswered.

OUR FAMILIES AND COMPANY HAVE GROWN IN A BIG WAY OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS SO IT'S ALWAYS EXCITING, EXHAUSTING AND EXHILARATING

Kids products are fun, inspiring and challenging all at once. We design with our own families in mind, so it’s exciting when our products do finally make it out of production and into our homes. The nursery represents all of the love, excitement and dreams that we have for our new babies so contributing to that magical process is a wonderful feeling. We love Instagram and we’re really flattered to see how willing our customers are to share their beautiful and inspiring family spaces.

Travel has always been a huge part of our lives. Growing up between London, Los Angeles and Sydney, we were exposed to different cultures, accents and climates. This fostered a great sense of curiosity and adaptability and is something we both try to impart to our children. Travel also plays a huge part in our collections. We draw inspiration from the colours and textures that we come across on our voyages, from the luxurious hand-spun woollen rugs in Morocco to the incredible craftsmanship of woven goods in Asia.

We’ve always been very interested in the arts. We also own a gallery together specialising in twentieth century works, so it’s been part of our lives for a long time. Launching Olli Ella has been very different, of course, to owning and running a gallery; but it’s incredible to be in an industry where we are able to work with such beautiful materials and creative people, and to be driven to challenge ourselves daily to create products to make people feel more, well, at home in their homes. olliella.com

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Shop with us: in centre | at home | on the go

Enjoy free panda-monium this half term Get set for lots of fun. Sign up at intu.co.uk/bromley Š 2016 Intu Properties plc

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Essentials Mama

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

You wear it well

A guide to baby carriers

(Page 62)

6 of the best

BUGGIES Inspiration guide (Page 66)

BACK TO BLACK

The iCandy Peach is remade in iconic urban style with the new Designer Collection Black Edition, celebrating the much-loved stroller’s fifth anniversary. Featuring the famously lightweight frame, superb manoeuvrability and a host of handy accessories, it's a juicy little number. £1,100; icandyworld.com

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Call The Park Club MediSpa team on 020 8743 1900 and book your FREE consultation. Parking available at The Park Club MediSpa The Park Club, East Acton Lane, Acton, London W3 7HB

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MAMA ESSENTIALS

6 of the best

BUGGIES How to choose the best buggy for your growing babe

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Greentom

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reentom brings to the market the world’s first 100% recycled pushchair. Stronger than metal, the Greentom Upp frame is made from 5.6kg of recycled and bio-based materials – and get this: the fabric seat is made from 62 recycled soft drink bottles! The four-in-one Combi can be used in four different ways from birth to four years; at £449, you can’t say fairer than that.

❖ £449; toysrus.co.uk

STORAGE Britax Smile

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he Britax Smile features that all-important spacious shopping basket for your much-needed essentials. An ideal urban choice, other notable features include 3M Scotchlite™ reflective stripes for use in low light (useful if you ever walk baby to sleep), a smooth suspension system, multiple recline positions (including carrycot) and car-seat adaptability. What’s more, the air-filled rear wheels ensure a comfortable and smooth ride even on bumpier surfaces.

❖ £590; britax.co.uk

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DESIGN - Cybex Priam ~

contemporary stroller that pays homage to design legends Ray and Charles Eames, the Cybex Priam – the first travel system from the world-leading car-seat brand – is officially the coolest new buggy on the block. Striking design combines with versatile hybrid wheels to suit all surfaces (even sandy beaches). And if you thought it couldn’t get any cooler (literally), you can even get optional ski attachments for snowbound adventures ❖ £790; mamasandpapas.com

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OFF

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MAMA ESSENTIALS

LUXURY

Silver Cross Surf

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wo heritage icons combine in the new Silver Cross Surf – a collaboration between the veteran pram-maker and those exemplars of British luxury, Aston Martin. This outstanding pram system combines a magnesium alloy exterior and sumptuous interior like nothing you’ve seen (on a buggy, at least). Beautiful down to the last detail, it’s an opulent model – and outstanding even by Silver Cross standards..

❖ £3,000; harrods.com

RUNNING

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Bugaboo

he Bugaboo Runner functions as a complete jogging pushchair (including seat and adapters) as well as an add-on accessory for Bugaboo owners. From nine months, you can jog with your child facing you or looking out. So what’s the difference from a regular stroller? Air-filled tyres and an extra-responsive suspension system, a speed-control brake on the handlebar and a fixed, three-wheeled base – which makes for the lightest possible steering. ..

LIGHTWEIGHT - Uppababy ~

he agile, forward-facing Uppababy G-Luxe is suitable from three months onward. Strong points include a removable, washable fabric seat-pad, one-handed recline and adjustable footrest for baby’s comfort. At just under 15Ibs, it can easily be carried with the accompanying shoulder strap. Importantly, it’s easy to fold, there’s an extendable sun shade (no faffing about with sun umbrellas) and a cup-holder is included. We love it in slick Jake black. ❖ £194; johnlewis.com

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❖ £583; bugaboo.com

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YOU WEAR IT WELL

If you’re considering investing in a baby carrier but can’t decipher the mei tais from the ring slings, read on for a handy guide to parenting’s most natural mode of transport Words CLAIRE GREEN

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elebrities make it look effortless and it’s the ultimate expression of natural parenting – but the sheer choice of babywearing products and information available today can be overwhelming. Let’s start with the benefits. Babywearing is convenient and allows you to get on with daily life. Carriers are a practical alternative to bulky travel systems and come into their own for tube-hopping, negotiating shopping crowds or jet-setting with luggage. ‘Wearing’ your baby is said to promote your ability to read cues and increase understanding and communication. It can facilitate better breastfeeding and milk production, aid babies’ digestion by keeping them upright – and premature babies that are held more are known to thrive. Of course, one by-product of transporting baby about your person is increased fitness. Ditch the personal trainer (temporarily) and enjoy a brisk walk with your bundle of joy; just make sure that you always bend at the knees to prevent dropping baby and to protect your back. And remember, baby carriers aren’t just for mums! They’re a truly universal product, meaning dads and other caregivers can get in on the act too. If you still need convincing, remind yourself that the more babies are held, the less they cry. Converted? Here are your options...

fo r

FIRSTN-S BO R WUTI WRAP™

The revolutionary and award-winning Wuti Wrap is perfect for the first nine months of a baby’s life, when comfort and security are all-important. The thoughtfully designed hybrid stretchy wrap is made from a unique, breathable material that stretches both lengthways and crossways. The innovative combination of both woven and stretchy fabrics ensures it’s super-strong and flexible – ideal for wrapping baby in. £49.99; wemademe.com

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MAMA STYLE

CHOOSING YOUR CARRIER

Most widely available carriers fall into the following five types: 1. Wraps – Typically, long lengths of fabric wrapped and tied around both baby and wearer. Simple but can take some practice at first. Highly versatile and comfortable for long periods. Most newbies start with pre-tied stretchy wraps. 2. Ring slings – A length of material with two rings sewn into one end. Fastened and adjusted a bit like a belt. Worn over one shoulder, they allow baby to be worn on your hip or front. 3. Pouch slings – One of the easiest types to wear, this is a tube-like sash of fabric worn across one shoulder. Unlike a ring sling, it’s not adjustable – but it is very simple and easy to use. Allows carrying in a number of positions. Not normally recommended for newborns. 4. Mei Tais – A traditional Asian carrier, a mei tai consists of a large piece of fabric shaped to fit around baby’s body. Long fabric straps are attached at the top and bottom. The bottom straps tie around the wearer’s waist and those at the top cross over the wearer’s body, brought forward across baby’s bottom and tied again around the waist. It can be worn front or back, is suitable for all wearers and great for even weight distribution – meaning you can wear them for longer. Perfect for babies with good head control (and even toddlers). 5. Buckle/Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) – Typically with padded waists and shoulder straps and can be worn front or back. Perhaps the type you’ll see dads wearing most, they tend to be more neutral in colour. Great for long periods of carrying but if you’re sharing you’ll need to perfect the art of readjusting the straps and buckles. Normally suitable from three months. When choosing your carrier, you’ll need to take into account your vital stats, budget and who else might be using it. Don’t be led by aesthetics alone – and be prepared to do some research. The main thing to remember is the TICKS code for safe babywearing:

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RS TODDLE

• Tight • In view at all times • Close enough to kiss • Keep baby’s chin off their chest • Supported back

HIPPYCHICK HIPSEAT

Specifically designed to address one of the root causes of adult back pain, the hipseat provides a firm shelf for the child to sit on and supports their increasingly heavy weight from underneath. Instead of twisting the spine, the parent's back stays straight and the child is tucked into the chest, providing comfort and security for both adult and child. From £39.95, hippychick.com

Sling libraries and meets are a great way of trying before you buy and have the added social benefit of meeting other mamas. To find a sling meet or library near you, check out slinginglondon.co.uk or babywearing.co.uk. Many NCT branches hold sling meets and libraries too – check nctorg. co.uk for details. Happy babywearing!

PAO PAPOOSE™

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For a four-month old, We Made Me’s fo r flagship Pao Papoose is a must. The newly unveiled three-in-one soft-structured carrier enables parents to carry baby in three different positions: front-carry in both forward-facing and parent-facing positions, and back-carry. Not only is it versatile, it’s also been carefully designed to support the most advanced and ergonomically correct forward-facing sitting position. £89.99; wemademe.com

PRESCHOOL CONNECTA

BABY

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[PRE-ERS SCHOO L

Connecta’s Preshool size is suitable from around 3 years of age. The Preschool Connecta is ideal for children who still want to be carried occasionally and provides an easy and comfortable option for those who have outgrown the a toddler carrier. £130, connectababycarrier.com

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www.meenymineymo.com

Personalised Wooden Train: A beautifully made toy that can be pulled along, taken apart and rebuilt with the integrated tools £20

Personalised Learn Alphabet Jigsaw: Best Selling & Award Winning Gift! Learn through play with this phonetically correct educational puzzle. £15

Personalised Organic Babygro: An exceptionally cute personalised romper featuring a stegosauraus by Meenymineymo. £16

Personalised Wooden Plane: A hand-painted wooden plane. A great gift to keep forever. Perfect for New Baby & Christenings. £20

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS “The train is beautifully made and is very robust and perfect for an 18th month old” - TRAIN DEC 2015

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“Lovely quality product - perfect for a christening gift” - PLANE OCT 2015

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Follow us

“Fabulous product, arrived quickly and beautifully packaged. Highly recommend!” - ROMPER JULY 2015

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“Great gift and quality” - PUZZLE JAN 2016

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@ meenymineymo

Email:info@meenymineymo.com Tel: 01425 540060

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MAMA ESSENTIALS

GEORG JENSEN Aquamarine Toy Figures, £85; skandium.com

MESDAMES & MESSIEURS Draughts, £18; mollyandthewolf.com

MILLER GOODMAN Mini Shape Maker, £20; mollymeg.com

Toy Box 10 wooden wonders to wow little ones

ROCK & PEBBLE Pear House, £80; mollymeg.com

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PICK

by HELEN BARON

ROCK EWE Rocking Sheep, £348; rowenandwren.co.uk

HAPE Sushi Set, €25; ensmallable.com

WOODEN elephant, £15 naturespurest.co.uk ALDIS CIRCENIS Riga Roo Rocking Horse, £150; theconranshop.co.uk

POP OUT & PLAY Dinosaurs, £9.95; mollyandthewolf.com;

ROSENDAHL Puffin, £99; skandium.com

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GATCHA GATCHA Bingo Machine, €58; en.smallable.com

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Safety First Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), offers tips and advice to parents buying their first car seat

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uying a car seat for your little one is one of the most important purchases you will make as a parent. A properly fitted car seat is designed to secure your baby and absorb impact force. A seat belt on its own will not properly fit your child until they are at least 135cm (4’6”) tall, although it’s best to wait until they are 150cm (5’) or taller. It's illegal to carry your baby on your lap while in the car. Don’t worry if you've found the process head-achingly confusing; choosing one isn’t straightforward, particularly after the introduction of regulation 'i-size' child seats last spring. f the seat carries an “E” mark label (an E • Ifollowed by a number) then you know it

has been passed for use in Europe. Seats that meet the current regulations will also have an “R44” or “R129” label. All new seats from reputable retailers will carry these – if you see anything other than these markings then beware! There are many different types of child seat available, but the important thing to

•

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Joie

NEVER BUY A SECOND-HAND SEAT. YOU CANNOT BE CERTAIN OF ITS HISTORY remember is that the seat must be suitable for your child’s weight and size, and be correctly fitted in your car according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

must be carried rearward-facing • Binabies a “Group 0” seat – for babies weighing

0-10kg (up to 22lbs); a “Group 0+” (more common) is for babies weighing up to 13kg (29lbs), or an i-size seat. The latter is based on the child’s height rather than weight, and is designed to keep children rearward-facing until they are at least 15-months-old, and to provide better protection from side impacts. Once your baby exceeds the maximum weight for the seat, or they are at least 15 months old if they are in an i-size seat, you can either move them into a forwardfacing seat or use a combination seat that starts rearward-facing and becomes forward-facing.

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MAMA ESSENTIALS

TOP 3 CAR SEATS DIONO

Radian 5 Group 0-2 car seat from multi-award winning brand, Diono. The Radian 5 is set to revolutionise the car seat market, allowing parents to make sure their precious cargo is as safe and comfortable as possible when they’re on the move. Age: newborn – 7 years. RRP: £295. Retailers include: Precious Little One, Baby Security, Direct To Mum & Hello Baby uk.diono.com

CYBEX

Cybex Cloud Q

about how you will use the seat. For • Think example, if you are likely to be constantly

• • • well as making sure the seat is suitable • As for your car, it is equally important to

make sure it can be fitted securely. Child seats are either fitted using the car’s seat belts or, if it’s an ISOFIX or i-Size seat, by being slotted into the ISOFIX points built into the car. Not all child seats fit into all cars, so check before you buy. Do your research – take time to look through manufacturers’ catalogues and websites, and assess seats in shops. Magazines such as Which? and What Car? conduct tests, and you can also check the European New Car Assessment Programme website (euroncap. com) to see if your car model has been tested. If possible, choose a seat that scores highly in these tests.

taking it in and out of the car, a lighter seat, or one with a base that remains in the car, might be preferable. Ask the retailer if you can try your chosen car seat out before you buy. Only buy from a retailer with staff trained in fitting. Avoid buying online or by mail order unless you are 100 per cent sure that the seat is suitable for your child and will fit your car. Never buy a second-hand seat. You cannot be certain of its history – it may have been involved in a crash even if it looks fine, or it may have internal damage that is not visible to the naked eye. Quite often instructions will be missing, and secondhand seats are likely to be older and not designed to current standards. Finally, when securing your baby, remember to remove coats or pramsuits first – the harness needs to be close enough to baby's body that you can only fit two fingers underneath the straps. Any more than this will affect the seat's ability to restrain baby effectively in the case of a collision.

For more information see our website, www. childcarseats.org.uk, which has all the information on types of seat, choosing and using seats, fitting, the law, and related issues such as carrying other people’s children.

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The Cybex Cloud Q Plus, Autumn Gold infant car seat sets itself apart as a perfect symbiosis of phenomenal protection and a new kind of travel system for outstanding safety. Thanks to a lie-flat position the infant car seat turns into a carry cot outside of the car. This innovative travel system is complemented by a telescopic linear side-impact protection, a near-flat lying angle also inside the car and an XXL sun protection with UVP50+. The 11-position height-adjustable headrest simultaneously changes the harness length and sitting angle and the infant car seat grows with the child. RRP £240 cybex-online.com or mamasandpapas.com

JOIE

Introducing Joie Every Stage™, the ultimate transporter designed and engineered to make growing up easy from birth to 12 years. Four seats in one, Every Stage™ adjusts, adapts and protects through groups 0+, 1, 2 and 3. Thanks to its AutoAdjust™ technology, the head rest and side wings grow up and out simultaneously, ensuring maximum comfort for growing riders all the way up. RRP £200 joiebaby.com

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“ The clever, yet simple design allows the child to be held closely and securely to the parent’s body, in a comfortable, hip-healthy position. ” Dr Rosie Knowles MRCGP Sheffield Sling Surgery & Library

Visit our Boutique in the market town of Godalming - Just 45mins by train from London Waterloo.

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1 Hotlist MAMA ESSENTIALS

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1. BAG S OF STYLE Keri Kit specialises in luxury leather maternity bags. The limited edition collection is stylish yet practical, with internal (wipe-clean) removable organisers that include a dummy and key holder as well as two bottle holders. Jasper Zebra Bag, £360; kerikit.com 2. AWESOME ATTIRE Gender-neutral togs and a monochrome palette are becoming increasingly popular, as seen in the collections of Tobias and The Bear. Their unisex designs feature fun motifs including woodland creatures, acorns and monsters – and the prints are available on bedding too. Perfect for chilly days (and nights). £16; tobiasandthebear.com 3. BAG IT UP Make tidying fun with the new range of paper storage bags from Stockholmbased brand Tellkiddo. Ideal for any room, these delightful bags merge functionality with playful design, offering the perfect accessory to accompany parents through the rough and tumble of childhood. £14; nubie.co.uk

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it doesn’t have to mean your style credentials take a hit. en.emoi-emoi.com

4. TOP TEETHER Baby accessories don’t only come in awful day-glo colours. These dummy clips by Nibbling safely guard your baby’s dummy whilst providing them with chewing relief during teething. They come in a minimal white and grey colourway and are designed with FDAapproved food-grade silicone. £11; nibbling.co.uk

6. IT’S A WRAP Kimono wraps are a hit with mothers of newborns. This one from new baby and kids clothing wear company Tuta Kids doubles as a babygrow with feet. Their collection features a unique mix of quality styles, sumptuous materials and signature details. Mini stylistas will also love the cute dresses, stylish jackets, playsuits and everyday essentials made from heavenly fabrics for maximum movability and comfort. G&B Babysuit, £37; tutakids.co.uk

5.COOL CASUAL This limited edition range from cult French fashion brand émoi émoi include sweatshirts for the kids but also mum and dad. Fashion functionality is key as a parent; fortunately the collection is enough to prove that

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7. BABY BUNDLE Shower a new mama-to-be with this delightful package from Little Maldod. The tasteful treats include Miffy milestone cards, a wooden bunny rattle, a personalised vest, bunny-printed muslin cloth and Buddy & Bear egg-cup. There’s even a hand-lettered card from Lovely Little Person. £35.95; littlemaldod.com 8. SLEEPY HEAD This collection of baby sleeping bags from My Baby’s Name Is has become a firm favourite with design-savvy parents. Made from 100% ethical & organic cotton, they're super-soft and way cooler than anything else on the market at this price. Even better, there isn’t a pastel pink or a bunny print in sight. £39.95 with free delivery at mybabysnameis.com

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Travel Mama

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Brighton Rocks

An overnighter by the sea (Page 105)

Happy

HOLIDAYS Hip hideaways from i-escape (Page 96)

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...AND RELAX

Tots to Travel specialise in baby and toddler-friendly family holidays. From 5* luxury European resorts such as Daios Cove and Domes of Elounda to the best in cosy UK cottages, they’ve cherry-picked the best destinations for travelling with young children. totstotravel.co.uk

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ACCOMMODATION

ots to Travel have visited and hand-selected the accommodation at Villa Maria to make sure that each villa is baby and toddler friendly and meets the appropriate safety standards. From the one-bedroom Poco villa to the threebedroom villa with a private pool, you’ll find enclosed gardens, Jacuzzi covers and safely fenced pools so that the kids can run around without mum and dad having to keep a constant worried watch over them. There’s also lots of play equipment and toys to keep children entertained.

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Stress–free Getaway

Villa Maria

Experience blissfully stress-free family holidays at Tots to Travel’s flagship destination, Villa Maria THE RESORT

ocated on the southwest coast of Tenerife, Villa Maria is a five-star luxury resort with stunning mountain and sea views and 300 days of sun each year. Fortunately, Tots to Travel know that holidays with babies and toddlers are about more than a beautiful, sunny destination: they’ve hand-picked only the most childfriendly villas at Villa Maria to ensure a stress-free holiday – from the blissful champagne breakfast to the Tots Essential Kit, which provides over 20 must-have baby items to make your holiday easier.

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THE AMENITIES

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THE DAMAGE Accommodation at Tots to Travel, Villa Maria Resort ranges from £171 per night for a onebedroom Villa Maria Poco in low season to £536.09 per night for a three-bedroom Villa Maria with private pool in high season. The nearest airport is Tenerife South, about 25 minutes away by car. Visit totstotravel.co.uk or call 0800 014 2770 to speak to a family travel expert.

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t’s impossible to run out of things to do at Villa Maria, with a choice of three shared pools (which are heated to 28 degrees in the cooler months) and an outdoor play area for hours of outdoor fun. The additional free-to-use play room is open from 9am until 9pm every day and is packed full of toys to play with when the kids need a break from the sun. There’s no trouble when it comes to food either, as Villa Maria has a restaurant and pool bar on-site as well as room service with child-friendly food and a kids menu, plus a mini mart for essentials and snacks. And of course, if you fancy a night off to truly relax, you can arrange for babysitting – which is provided by qualified British nannies.

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Tiny Traveller

Hip hideaways specialists i-escape.com/kids have over 900 destinations ideal for those with babies and toddlers in tow. Kids Collection Editor, Nadine Mellor suggest some of her favourites... absolutely-mama.co.uk

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GF r aAn Sc e C O N Y or a laid-back holiday immersed in glorious rolling countryside, stuffed with enticing markets and scattered with historical cities, try this less-visited and thus more unspoiled corner of Southwest France. Known for its ‘douceur de vivre’ (sweet life) due to the sunny weather and gastronomy (think Armagnac and wine), Gascony is found to the south and east of Bordeaux and borders Lot to the east, the Pyrenees to the south and the Atlantic to the west. Fly in to Pau, Lourdes, Bordeaux or even Biarritz, pick up a car and meander through its innumerable charming byways. Parents of smaller fry generally prefer to self-cater for flexibility, which is a delight in this foodie region, and to have secluded surroundings for

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PUGLIA IN THE HEEL OF ITALY’S BOOT OFFERS A FAR LESS CROWDED ALTERNATIVE TO TUSCANY AND THE AMALFI COAST relaxing instead of worrying about fellow hotel guests. In these respects, hippy-chic spot The Gascony Farmhouse is perfect. An hour’s drive from Pau and Lourdes, at the southern end of the region, the farmhouse is perfect for a three-generation holiday (there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms) or for two families to vacation together. You get views across the bucolic 15-acre garden to the Pyrenees, a toddler-proof pool and a full range of equipment including toys, books, garden games, toddler trikes, plastic crockery and cutlery, cots and a high chair. There’s also a small playground and wooden house, interconnecting bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, kids satellite TV channels and a playroom (plus a PlayStation if you’re bringing older kids). There’s even a nature reserve nearby. Prices from £240 per house per night self-catering (sleeps 8); i-escape.com/thegascony-farmhouse

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PI t aUl yG L I A taly is an obvious choice for families with smaller kids (pasta! locals who love children! gelato!), although the popular parts are often overrun with tourists. Oft-likened to Cornwall for its long, wild coastline, strong regional identity and out-of-the-way charm, peninsular Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot offers a far less crowded alternative to Tuscany and the Amalfi coast. Expect authentic peasant cuisine, quaint stone cones (known as ‘trulli’) popping up in villages and fields, Roman ruins, olive groves, Baroque towns, plenty of sunshine spring through autumn and glorious Adriatic beaches. Families with younger kids often like the concept of staying somewhere which has lots of creature comforts and plenty of facilities on tap, for a hassle-free holiday.

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Borgo Egnazia, under an hour equidistant from both Bari and Brindisi airports, is just such a one-stop shop. This brilliant familyfriendly resort comes with beautifully designed rooms and villas laid out villagestyle as well as four restaurants, four pools (including a shaded kids pool – the worthy winner of the Best for Water Babies 2013 in i-escape’s Best for Kids Awards), a heavenly destination spa, tennis courts, golf course and a superbly run Kids Club for offspring from eight months upwards. Babysitting and a host of baby and toddler equipment (from car seats to changing tables) are available, and the excellent Zoo Safari is just down the road should your child tire of the Beach Club. Prices from £157 per room per night B&B; i-escape.com/borgo-egnazia

AP o Lr t Gu gAa l R V E he Algarve needs no introduction as a super family-friendly holiday spot; most folk head to its southern coast, characterised by sandy beaches, golf courses and throngs of people in the summer. Instead, head an hour west from Faro airport away from the central belt to reach the windier west coast, which is protected as a National Park, popular with surfers and has amazing cliffs above fine, unspoiled beaches. Just inland from the coast and north of historic port Sagres is rustic, rural ecoretreat Muxima, set in a 28-hectare cork

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and eucalyptus forest and whose charming owners, Jorge and Sofia, genuinely love having families to stay. They’ve created seven colourful, African-inspired rooms and suites with kitchenettes in an old farmhouse and outbuilding (each with its own terrace). Big sociable buffet breakfasts are included in the rates and the nearest food shops are less than five minutes away. There’s a fun outdoor playground with Wendy house, boxes of toys, playroom, farm animals to befriend and an ecofriendly swimming pool with a shallow end. Kids’ paraphernalia available to borrow includes baths, pushchairs, potties and nightlights. Such a serene environment and only minutes from the sea.

THERE ARE WONDERFUL BAYS AND BEACHES AT EVERY TURN

Prices from £81 per room per night B&B; i-escape.com/muxima

CJ a Am aRi cIaB B E A N f you’re after a more exotic vibe and a slice of island life yet want a safe, relaxing holiday, this beguiling Caribbean country will deliver. The topography is varied: a rugged interior, the lush east coast, the more touristy north contrasting with the less-visited and drier south – and there are wonderful bays and beaches at every turn. There’s no language barrier, locals are friendly, the tropical weather is consistently warm (so families not tied to school holidays can visit year-round) and you’ve a choice of airports in Kingston and Montego Bay. Although the flight time is around nine hours, the return journey is overnight and some families travel via Miami or New York to break up the journey and add another destination for a once-ina-lifetime trip. Most flights are to Montego Bay on the north of the island and Culloden Cove, a stunning staffed villa with its own private sandy beach, is just an hour from the airport. Ideal for family parties of any size and shape, it sleeps up to 12 in three bedrooms in the main house plus two bedrooms in a self-contained cottage in the grounds (for grandparents, teens or another family). You can also book just two, three or four bedrooms for reduced rates, which include cooking and cleaning by the lovely

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staff, so parents can properly chill! Kids will have a ball in the extensive gardens with an infinity pool, gazebo, hammocks, al fresco dining, outdoor games and a paddling pool. Board games, two baskets of toys, cots, high chairs, nightlights and car seats are all supplied for babies and toddlers. No wonder this won the Best Newcomer 2014 in i-escape’s Best For Kids Awards. Prices from £333 per night based on use of two bedrooms (sleeps up to 4) on an accommodation-only basis; i-escape.com/ culloden-cove

MM o rAo cRc oR A K E C H orocco’s former imperial city, rich in history and culture, is an easy jaunt from Europe: you’re on the same time zone so no jet lag, flight time is around 3.5 hours from London and a host of airlines fly there. The city offers excellent shopping in the souks, vibrant colours, compelling street life and delicious food. And when the bustle becomes too much, retreat to your cool riad or head outside the city walls to a beautiful desert hideaway.

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MAMA TRAVEL

With 3.5 acres of lush flowering gardens and at only 20 minutes from the airport, Fawakay Villas is one such welcoming rural retreat, created and run by convivial British owners who have four kids of their own – so really understand the needs of families. There’s a choice of three twostorey villas with their own plunge pool, which you can take in their entirety, by the villa or by the suite. Kids will love the shallow heated pool (there’s also an adult pool), the small playground, donkey, peacocks and small dogs. There’s an allday snack menu as well as a kids menu, while picnics can be provided for day trips. DVDs, toys and books are available to borrow and children are welcomed with a gift of Moroccan pyjamas on arrival. Another Best for Kids winner (for Families Large and Small).

Prices from £150 per room per night B&B; i-escape.com/fawakay-villas

THE SOUTH COAST G A L L E IS A MUST-VISIT FOR FAMILIES THANKS TO I ITS MILES OF UNSPOILED BEACHES Sri Lanka

f you’ve always longed to visit India but are daunted by the distance and hassle, consider this truly beautiful tropical isle, which encapsulates the sub-continent in miniature. Travellers can discover perfect beaches, tea plantations in cool forested hills, ancient Buddhist culture, unspoiled

jungle and a host of wildlife, and the island can be explored in two to three weeks if desired. Families generally travel at a slower pace but could still enjoy an unforgettable beach holiday, as well as exploring the interior without too much trouble. Hygiene is pretty good, so as long as you follow a few sensible guidelines, there’s no need to worry about getting ill. Flight time is ten hours direct from the UK or 14 if flying via the Middle East. Outward flights are overnight. The south coast is a must-visit for families thanks to its miles of unspoiled beaches such (Unawatuna and Mirissa are among the best) backed by small fishing villages and palms. There’s also the historic fortified city of Galle, which became the largest port under Portuguese rule and is now a world heritage site. Why House is a cute boutique hotel with a restaurant, verdant gardens and large frangipani-fringed swimming pool, located just 10km south of Galle and 5km from Unawatuna. Families can either stay in suites in the main house (which sleep four; the kids get an ante room) or take the fully staffed beachfront villa a few minutes away, which can sleep up to eight and has its own saltwater pool, bar and pavilion. There are free cots, extra beds, babysitting, bottle warming and family DVDs. Toddlers would also enjoy visiting the nearby turtle hatchery. Prices from £140 per room per night B&B; i-escape.com/why-house ❖ All the family-friendly properties featured can be booked at i-escape.com/kids

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available at

Are you looking for private midwifery care at home or in hospital?

Why not come and visit us on stand G40 on 19-21 February 2016 at the ExCel London Baby Show We can chat about packages available and also answer any pregnancy related questions you may have. Working with:

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For fully personalised packages please contact us now on 0800 3800 579 or email info@ukbirthcentres.com to discuss how we can help you.

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MAMA TRAVEL

THE FOOD

he hotel is not short on fine dining options, with Restaurant Jérôme Blanchet leading the culinary charge. French haute cuisine is served in its vaulted dining rooms or en terrasse, while the neighbouring 40k Bistro is a little more informal but no less foodie (its name is derived from the fact that all ingredients are sourced from within 40 kilometres of Crillon – a testament to the bounteous nature of the surrounding landscape). Food and drink is also served all day at La Grange, the perfect spot from which to soak up the sun between dips in the pool.

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Crillon Le Brave

In need of a quick getaway? Absolutely Mama unearths Provençal peace at this picturesque French retreat Words HELEN BARON

THE ESTATE

ormerly the country residence of a Parisian family, the guest rooms at Crillon Le Brave occupy seven beautifully aged buildings strung across a beautiful Provencal hillside and connected by bridges, alleyways and quaint courtyards. Flanked by olive groves and vineyards, each newly renovated room looks out over the garden, pool and terraces and is blessed with sweeping views.

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THE DAMAGE Nightly rates at Crillon le Brave are available from €290/£240 per room per night for two people sharing including breakfast. To book, email reservations@crillonlebrave.com or telephone +33 (04) 90 65 61 61; crillonlebrave.com absolutely-mama.co.uk

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rillon provides easy access to nearby vineyards, lavender farms and sleepy French towns that spring periodically into life with bustling antiques markets. Cycling enthusiasts flock to the area’s scenic cycling routes, making pilgrimages to the famed Mont Ventoux (now a UNESCO-acknowledged Biosphere Reserve); ask the hotel about their organised cycling weekends. Those in pursuit of a more leisurely stay can enjoy tennis and golf, a boules court and the fabulous mini-spa – small, but as luxurious as they come.

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OAKFIELD PREPARATORY SCHOOL Educating Boys & Girls aged 2-11 for over 125 years OAKFIELD: Where children are encouraged to be the best that they can be. REGISTER NOW FOR 2+ & 3+ 2016 ENTRY OAKFIELD ISI REPORT MAY 2014 “Children in the EYFS setting receive an outstanding start to their school careers and the provision of children’s well-being is outstanding” Contact us for 2+ & 3+ September 2016 entry: Direct Line: 0208 655 7691 Email: admissions@oakfield.dulwich.sch.uk www.oakfield.dulwich.sch.uk/admissions

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CONNOISSEUR TRAVEL

Experience your own u nique tailor made worldwide lu xury family holid ay.

Having specialised in family holidays for 13 years we are passionate about our job and clients. We pride ourselves in being the ultimate specialists in this area of travel. We cover worldwide destinations and can recommend the best family-friendly properties offering luxury, time out for parents and plenty of fun for children. Our approach is very honest and advice given will always be unbiased. If you need help deciding where to take the family on holiday then why not contact us to help guide you through the planning of your holiday.

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MAMA TRAVEL

THE FOOD

illed as a ‘restaurant with rooms’, the hotel’s main offering is The Set, with ever-changing seasonal menus from chefs Dan Kenny and Semone Bonner. There’s also The Set of Scales – a more casual diner serving up the catch of the day and fish sliders with beer. Breakfast is top-notch, with all the trimmings you’d expect - avocado toast with poached eggs and a decent flat white made with small batch coffee.

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UK Getaway

Artistic Licence Mama swaps London (and motherhood) for Brighton for the night Words HELEN BARON

THE HOTEL

THE BAR

rtist’s Residence mixes a relaxed stay with easily the best decor among Brighton’s hotel offerings. Spanning two guesthouses in typical Regency style, you’re put in mind of a cool private members club. Ascend the rickety (but romantic) old stairs to find 23 rooms that are all furnished slightly differently, and all to a high standard – we’re treated to a top floor suite with roll top bath (cool tiles included), comfy leather Chesterfield chair and Doris Day tinkling away in the background. Boutique at its best.

he cocktail bar is a delightfully inebriated nod to tropical holidays – a rum-soaked shack assembled from salvaged wood from Brighton Pier. Residents and tourists alike flock here for the pun-tastic concoctions that are as entertaining as they are heady. Plus there’s a killer view of the sea.

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THE DAMAGE Rooms start at £170 per night; check for weekday offers. 33 Regency Square, BN1 2GG; artistsresidence.com

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ou can’t beat Artist’s Residence for its central location – near The Lanes and The Royal Pavilion, it’s perfect for whatever brings you to Brighton, whether that’s a night out with the girls/lads or simply a little salt sea air. Brighton remains the South’s most boisterous and brilliant of getaway destinations - London by the sea.

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Resources Mama

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

Positive eating during pregnancy (Page 121)

Ask the

Experts Bringing out baby for the first time (Page 111)

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EXPRESS SERVICE

Choosing to express breast milk gives you freedom and flexibility – but it can be complicated and time-consuming. Express and Go from Tommee Tippee is an award-winning system which lets you use a single pouch to express, store, warm and feed – so no more messy transferring between bottles. Complete Kit, £74.99; mothercare.com

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It’s those simple things that makes us smile. The Comotomo Bottle is made of medical grade silicone, making it the closest thing to breastfeeding in a bottle. The soft, flexible texture (it has to be squeezed to be believed), anti-colic vents, wide-mound design, along with the soft silicone nipple, helps your baby seamlessly transition back and forth from the breast to the bottle. We think they’re quite the mummy’s little helper!

www.comotomo.com

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MAMA RESOURCES

What To Expect And What To Do When Things Go Wrong 1. Correct latching is very important. If your baby is latched on correctly, breastfeeding should be pain-free, your baby should suck deeply and rhythmically and he should settle well after feeds. 2. Sore nipples are not part-and-parcel of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding should not hurt – if it does, this is an indication that your baby is latched on badly. This will make his sucking less effective so he will find it harder to get enough milk, which may result in him being hungry and unsettled – even after long feeds. Try to find a midwife or feeding counsellor who can show you how to improve your latch. 3. If your baby can't latch on, give him a helping hand. If your baby is not opening his mouth wide and/or you have very large breasts, you can help him latch on by using the balls of your fingers to squeeze your breasts gently on either side of the areolae. This should make your nipple protrude and make latching easier. 4. Settling after feeds. If your baby is crying a lot and/or not settling after feeds, don't assume this is normal. Hunger is the most common reason a baby cries. It could also be that your baby is suffering from a problem such as reflux, which requires treatment. 5. Don't be afraid to use breastfeeding aids. Nipple shields are there to help if you are suffering from sore nipples or latching problems, and you can use a breast pump to express milk so that others can help with feeding – many dads enjoy giving the last feed of the day with a bottle, while you benefit from an early night. By following this simple advice, I hope you’ll find it easier to get breastfeeding underway. But if you’re still struggling, my books and DVD (Breastfeeding without Tears) cover all the common breastfeeding problems in much greater detail, explaining and demonstrating how to latch the baby on, which nipple shields and breast pumps to use and so on.

Clare Byam-Cook is the author of What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding....... and What if You Can't?

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Ask The Experts

Simply the

Breast Breastfeeding expert Clare Byam-Cook on the politics and practicalities of breastfeeding

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ou might think that as a breastfeeding specialist I would wholeheartedly endorse the mantra ‘Breast is Best’, but sadly I don't. This is because I feel very strongly that there is currently far too much pressure on women to breastfeed and not nearly enough expert help available if/when a mother experiences problems. Despite statistics continuing to show that approximately 50% of mothers give up breastfeeding within six weeks, saying that they found it too painful or difficult, mothers are still being taught that it is very rare indeed for a mother to be unable to breastfeed. This leads to some obvious questions: are these mothers not trying hard enough? Are they not getting the right help and advice when they need it? Or is it simply untrue to say that every mother can breastfeed? In my experience, it’s rarely a lack of effort by the mother that causes her to stop breastfeeding. I do of course promote breastfeeding as being the ideal way to feed a newborn baby – and I recommend that every mother should plan to breastfeed her baby – but I also think we should be honest about the fact that it isn't always as easy as everyone makes out. Many mothers sail through breastfeeding and gain all the health benefits that goes with it. But others find it difficult to

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the extent that it might become detrimental to their mental or physical wellbeing to continue. My view is that if these mothers cannot find expert help to resolve their problems, they certainly shouldn’t blame themselves if they give up breastfeeding. One example of breastfeeding going wrong is provided by its relationship to postnatal depression. A study of 10,000 British women showed that mothers who wanted to breastfeed their babies and then found they couldn't were twice as likely to suffer depression in the following weeks than mothers who always planned to use formula milk. The study also showed that the lowest risk of postnatal depression was among women who planned to breastfeed and were successful. The clear message from this study is that breastfeeding is good – but only if it goes well. I think we need to give mothers a more realistic view of breastfeeding. Instead of sending out the message that it’s natural and easy and every mother can do it, antenatal classes should discuss all the common breastfeeding problems that many mothers experience and teach what to do if it goes wrong. The key to successful breastfeeding and happy motherhood is to do your research before your baby is born. Ask your friends which books and feeding aids (such as breast pumps and nipple shields) they found most helpful and ask whether they can recommend a good feeding counsellor in your area. And don't assume that all breastfeeding counsellors are good at what they do – some are really nice and give lots of support, but if they don't fix the problem you should consult someone else!

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

26/01/2016 12:05


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MAMA RESOURCES

The more relaxed you are, the calmer your baby will be .1. Try to time your outing for when your baby is content. That way he'll be able to nap or enjoy the views, sounds, and smells of the outside world. After a feed or nappy change is often a good time. 2. Add or take layers off as needed when you're out and about. He may need a blanket and a hat while out in his pushchair, but if you go into a warm house or shop, unwrap him for a while. You can check your baby's temperature by feeling his forehead. Newborns often have cold extremities, so don't assume your baby is cold if he has chilly or blue-coloured hands or feet. 3. Sunlight is healing to the skin and provides vitamin D to strengthen bones and immunity, but of course the sun can also be very damaging, particularly to babies’ sensitive skin. Cover your baby's skin when he's in direct sunlight with light, loose clothing and a hat – and avoid having him in the sun at all between 10am and 3pm, when its rays are at their most damaging. 4. Exposure to other people, particularly those who are unwell can expose your baby to unwanted germs. Try to stay away from anyone who is sick and limit the time you spend in crowds. If anyone wants to hold and cuddle your baby kindly request that they wash their hands first. 5. Babies can become over-stimulated in busy public places, exposed to increased noise, smells and bright lights. Taking your newborn out in public can also cause your own anxiety levels to rise. Take someone with you until you feel more confident. The more relaxed you are, the calmer your baby will be. You can expect your newborn to be a little unsettled after an outing – even going to a mothers' group in the early days can be challenging. If you're going to take your baby out for more than an hour or so, pop a few extra things in your bag. Bring nappies, wipes, extra clothes and any feeding accessories you may need.

Katie has been a practising midwife and health visitor for over 13 years and is iCandy’s resident expert; icandyworld.com

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Ask The Expert

Bringing out Baby iCandy Midwife and Health Visitor Katie Hilton on venturing outside with your new baby for the first time

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lot of parents worry about taking their baby out and about for the first time. However, if you are well prepared and your baby is healthy there’s no reason not to take your baby outside. Getting out can be beneficial for both of you and can contribute to development of a routine for both you and your baby. Social interaction is also positively associated with a reduction in postnatal depression. When planning your outing, try to have it coincide with a time when your baby is likely to happy and content. This will most likely be after a feed; he will be in a good mood and most probably ready for a nap. If you are planning on venturing out for a longer period of time, you will want to be well prepared. Stock up your change bag with a supply of nappies, wipes, spare clothes, feeding equipment and something to entertain your baby such as a rattle or cuddly toy. When venturing out, be sure to dress your baby appropriately for the temperature: if the weather is slightly cooler, cover your baby’s hands, feet and head. As a general rule, dress your baby in the same number of layers you would wear, then add a jacket or blanket to be extra sure your baby will be warm enough. During summertime protect your baby from the sun with sunscreen, a sunshade and lighter clothing. So now you’re all ready to venture out of the house, how will your baby travel? Whether in a carrycot or pushchair with a fully reclining seat, it’s important that your baby lies flat. Laying your baby flat on their back is beneficial for a number of reasons related to spinal development and breathing. First, let’s look at spinal development.

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Adult spines are ‘S’ shaped, and feature four slight curves that assist with balance and flexibility. Babies are not born with ‘S’ shaped spines; instead they have a long ‘C’ shaped spine. This is why babies appear curled up, because gravity has not yet lengthened and altered their spines. The ‘S’ shape develops as your baby grows. Newborns need to lie flat until at least three months of age to support and protect their backs. Once able to hold the weight of their own head you can slightly raise the back of the pushchair, but wait until your baby can sit up fully by himself before using a pushchair with a more upright position (roughly around six to eight months of age). Pushchairs are only suitable for young babies if they have a fully reclining seat to allow the baby to lie flat. The iCandy Raspberry is ideal to use from birth as it features a fully reclinable seat allowing you to protect your precious newborn’s back. The second option would be to consider a travel system with a carrycot. A carrycot will allow your baby to lay flat whilst out and about and protect your baby’s spine. You can then switch over to the pushchair attachment when your baby is ready. This option is also particularly useful if you are looking for a carrycot that you can use for overnight sleeping. All iCandy carrycots are suitable for overnight sleeping. A great option while your baby is young! As your baby develops and grows older, he will be interested in all the new experiences outside, the sounds, smells and new people. This experience will also be good for your baby’s social and emotional development.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

26/01/2016 10:02


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19/01/2016 16:39

26/01/2016 11:36


MAMA RESOURCES

Treating scalds and burns Ask the Experts

Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life on what to do if your baby is burnt or scalded

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n most emergencies involving babies, a parent or childcarer is likely to be present on the scene and best placed to offer immediate assistance. It’s therefore strongly recommended that all parents attend a First Aid course so they know what to do in a medical emergency. NOTE: The following information is designed to prompt your memory and should not be used as a substitute for proper training. First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any

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diagnosis made or actions taken based on this information. More than 500 children under five are taken to hospital every week because of burns and scalds – the majority of which are caused by hot drinks. Crawlers and toddlers are most at risk. A hot drink remains hot enough to scald a baby or young child for 15 minutes after it has been made. Burns are particularly serious for small children and babies Children don’t yet have the reflex to move away from something hot. Their skin is up

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to 15 times thinner than that of an adult and consequently offers less protection. The damage is therefore more severe and because they have a smaller body surface area a burn is likely to cover a larger proportion of the body. The greater the area covered, the more serious the injury and impact for the child. Burns are frightening and the pain and damage caused can be devastating. Knowing what to do immediately someone is burnt can radically reduce the amount of pain and scarring experienced and can often lead to a full recovery without hospitalisation.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

26/01/2016 10:03


MAMA RESOURCES

What do I do if my child is burnt or scalded? The most important, basic rule is that all burns should be treated immediately with cool running water. Follow these steps to treat a burn or scald: 1. Immediately, but extremely carefully, remove loose clothing covering the burn. Do not take clothes off if there is any risk that the skin beneath has stuck to them or blistered. 2. Put the affected area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes (ideally longer). Remember you are cooling the burn and not the casualty. 3. Keep the casualty warm and dry and watch for any signs of shock. 4. Phone an ambulance, particularly if a large area is affected or if the skin is broken or blistered, and keep the area under cool running water while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. 5. A burn is measured using the size of your hand – which is roughly equivalent to 1% of your body. Therefore a burn measuring just the size of a 50 pence piece or a postage stamp can be very serious for a baby or small child. 6. Burns to the hands, face, feet, genitals, airways or a burn that extends all the way around a limb are particularly serious. 7. Keep the burnt area under cool running water until the paramedic arrives. NEVER: 1. Remove anything that has stuck to a burn. 2. Touch a burn. 3. Burst blisters. 4. Apply any creams, lotions or fats. 5. Apply tight dressings, tapes or use anything fluffy. Always get burns assessed by a medical professional. Dressing a Burn 1. A burn should never be dressed until it has been cooled for at least 15 minutes. Covering a burn reduces the risk of infection and reduces pain by covering exposed nerve endings. 2. If a child is burnt and the burn is bad enough that you need to dress it, phone an ambulance and continue to cool the burn under running water. The paramedics will assess and dress it. 3. Cling film is a good temporary dressing. Ensure the burn is thoroughly cooled before dressing it. Discard the first couple of turns of cling film and place an inner piece loosely over the burn. Plastic bags and sterile non-fluffy dressings also make useful dressings. 4. It is highly recommended that you attend a practical or online First Aid course to learn how to help in a medical emergency. 5. The best way to be prepared for action in an emergency is to attend a practical First Aid course.

For more information please visit: firstaidforlife.org.uk or contact emma@ firstaidforlife.org.uk 0208 675 4036

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The physical and psychological damage from a serious childhood burn can last well into adulthood.

Kitchen safety

Basic prevention is key

store cleaning chemicals and dishwasher tablets (which are hugely corrosive and can cause serious damage). • Use a kettle with a short or curly flex and keep it very clear of little hands. Keep chairs and stools at the other end of the room so that children are not tempted to climb up to otherwise out-of-reach areas. • If microwaving food or milk, thoroughly shake and mix before giving it to your child as microwave heating results in hot spots which can burn.

• Hot drinks are an obvious cause. Always •

think before putting your hot drink down and ensure that your little one is unable to reach it. Never breastfeed while drinking a hot cup of tea or pass a hot drink near children.

Bathroom safety

• Always use a bath thermometer and check • • • • •

the water carefully before you let your little one get in. Always run cold water first and then hot, so that the bottom of the bath is not overheated. Never leave a running bath unattended. Ideally, have a bath tap/shower attachment with a thermostat installed to prevent the temperature changing mid-wash if someone else in the house uses a tap. Bleach and cleaning chemicals are very strong alkali that can quickly burn; ensure they are safely out of reach. A heated towel rail is at a perfect height for a little one and hot enough to remove their skin. Turn them off while your children are little.

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• Always use the rear hob on your cooker and turn pan handles away from the edge.

• Fix sturdy cupboard door locks where you

Other dangers

• If swallowed, button batteries can burn through

a child’s oesophagus. Check that they are securely screwed into their toys and be careful of batteries contained within greetings cards. • Curling tongs, hair straighteners and irons remain incredibly hot for a long time after they have been unplugged. Always keep them and their flex well out of reach. • Radiators should be encased in a radiator cover. • Outdoors, keep children away from barbeques (even when you’ve finished using them) and be particularly vigilant around bonfires and fireworks.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

26/01/2016 10:03


15 MINUTES THAT COULD CHANGE YOUR BABY’S LIFE Your unborn baby will be part of the first generation to live beyond one hundred. Chances are, they will need stem cells to stay healthy. These powerful cells cure disease, heal damage and could even be used to grow new organs. They are the future of medicine. Umbilical cord blood is the richest source of stem cells your baby will ever have and we can help you save them in the few precious moments after birth.

It is quick, simple and completely safe

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19/01/2016 09:45


BANK IT Cord Blood Aware on the growing trend of ‘blood banking’ – preserving a sample of your child’s stem cell-rich umbilical cord blood

ots of us have been there: throwing something away without realising how valuable it is. Unfortunately, every single day expectant parents unwittingly allow their baby’s umbilical cord blood to be disposed of. This amounts to over 65,000 litres of blood from 99% of UK births each year: the sheer scale of the waste is enormous given that this precious cord blood, destined for incineration, has life-saving capabilities. Why is cord blood so special? Umbilical cord blood contains millions of important stem cells. These stem cells can be used to treat over 80 serious conditions of the blood and immune system, including leukaemia,

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anaemia, lymphoma and neuroblastoma. What is perhaps even more exciting is that cord blood has huge potential for use in regenerative medicine. There are currently over 5,300 clinical trials investigating the application of stem cells to treat a multitude of different diseases, and some scientists believe that cord blood could one day offer therapies for currently incurable conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and brain injury. Thankfully, the chance of getting one of the blood and immune-system diseases mentioned above is very low, however the chance of a person requiring a regenerative treatment is predicted to be as high as one in three. The precious stem cells in cord blood

FUTURE HEALTH BIOBANK

Future Health Biobank were the first private family bank in the UK to specialise in the processing, testing and long term storage of cord blood and cord tissue. Since then, they have been entrusted with over 100,000 samples from more than 65,000 families worldwide. They pride themselves on going the extra mile and place their customers at the heart of their business, always. They are dedicated to providing a seamless process from collection to long-term storage, and offer a wealth of added benefits. For more information, please visit futurehealthbiobank.co.uk or call 0115 967 7707.

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26/01/2016 10:03


MAMA PROMOTION

CELLS4LIFE

Cells4Life is the UK’s largest cord blood bank, with more UK samples in storage than any other. Founded in 2002, by doctors and scientists looking to safeguard the futures of their own children, everything about our unique service has been designed for one purpose – to provide babies and families with the best protection available for their long term health. More cells mean more, or better treatments. This is why Cells4Life has developed a unique, patented processing and storage technology that delivers more stem cells than any other. Get you free Cells4Life Information Pack today at cells4life.co.uk/mama or call 01444 873950 to secure a healthy future for your baby.

will play an important part in this, yet they are routinely thrown away. Unlike other sources such as bone marrow or peripheral blood, the stem cells from cord blood can be safely and painlessly harvested. Cord blood collection takes place after birth, once the cord has been cut – and since the cord blood is harvested from the umbilical cord and placenta after the third stage of labour, the collection takes place in another room so as not to disturb bonding between parents and their new baby. How can you store cord blood? It can either be donated to a public bank, such as NHS BT, or stored for the exclusive use of the baby and their family in a private bank.

PUBLIC BANKING

ublic banks release the cord blood that they have been donated to patients in need of a stem cell transplant; or else they use it for research. For a cord blood unit to be used in a patient

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therapy, it has to meet two criteria: is it a good enough biological match for the recipient? And, does it contain a high enough number of cells? The chance of finding a good enough match often depends upon the ethnic background of the patient. For Caucasian patients, the chance of finding a match can be relatively high, whereas for ethnic minority or mixed race patients it tends to be much lower. This is largely down to the demographics of the donations currently available. Once a match has been found, doctors look at the number of stem cells the cord blood unit contains. A certain threshold has to be met before a sample is deemed to contain enough cells to be useful; the more stem cells available, the better. Currently, the UK does not have enough cord blood donations to meet the demand across all ethnic groups and unfortunately the number of hospitals at which donation is an option has been declining – it now stands at just 10 NHS locations around the UK.

PRIVATE BANKING

rivate banks store cord blood exclusively for the use of the child and their family. This can usually be done for a fee of between £1,500 and £2,500 including 25 years of storage. Storing cord blood privately is that it will always be the perfect match for the child that it belongs to. It even has a one in four chance of being a perfect match for any of their siblings. Storing privately means that the sample is ready and available on request and there is no chance of rejection. At present, several of the diseases that cord blood can treat may require a sibling or donor sample as cord blood from the child itself may carry the same defect that has made them ill in the first place. For many emerging regenerative therapies however, using a person’s own stem cells is the best option for a perfect match. One of the big differences between the way public and family banks operate is what

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they allow cord blood to be released for. Public banks in the UK only allow cord blood to be released for approved therapies. Family banks, by contrast, can allow families to access their baby’s cord blood for use in clinical trials, experimental treatments and emerging therapies. One of the most exciting clinical trials currently running is the Duke University cerebral palsy and brain injury clinical trial. Hundreds of parents who privately banked cord blood at birth have already enrolled their children and initial results have been promising. Ultimately, cord blood could offer the only available therapy for cerebral palsy and other brain injuries.

RAISING AWARENESS

nfortunately, in the UK many parents don't know that they have the option to store their baby’s cord blood, let alone have an awareness of the different ways in which they can. Storing it is a once in a lifetime opportunity; once discarded it cannot be replaced. Being cord blood-aware is the only way parents can make an informed decision about this unique and potentially life-saving opportunity.

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You can find out more about cord blood banking at cordbloodaware.org

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

26/01/2016 10:04


A healthy future is in your hands Like every parent, you’ll want to do whatever you can to protect your child’s future health. Now you have the opportunity to do so in a unique way by storing your child’s stem cells. Stem cells are the ultimate repair kit. Should your child face any of a vast range of health issues in later life, stem cells may be the key to repairing and restoring their good health. Future Health Biobank is the largest and most accredited cord blood bank in the UK, processing and storing more samples than all other UK banks combined. To find out more about our services and interest free payment plans, contact our customer care team or request a free information pack via our website.

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18/01/2016 15:08


MAMA RESOURCES

How to be a positive parent 1. Research breastfeeding before your baby arrives but accept that this is an art and not everyone can do it. Remain confident that you would like to be able to breastfeed but understand that many women do face problems and, if this is the case, be open to other ideas and ways of feeding your baby. 2. Allow your baby to tell you how he feels by crying without rushing to him the moment the crying starts. This is not to say leave the baby to cry – but respond within a minute or two rather than straight away. Feeling anxious about your baby crying is normal, but babies who pick up on mum being scared of their crying will then feel even more anxious themselves. 3. Talk to your baby often and with a happy tone – if your baby hears your voice and knows she is okay, she is more likely to feel safe and secure. Think of how you respond when baby is sad and rather than reinforcing the sadness, try to distract her with happy tones. Show her that mama is there for her without worrying her. 4 Giving your baby time to play on his own will help him create a sense of self but also a sense that he is okay to be on his own and grow his independence. Babies that are glued to their parents all day are not given that chance. Love your baby and cuddle often but also find time for small periods where baby can play alone – this will benefit you both. 5. Concentrate on good sleep habits from the beginning. Sleep deprivation is the biggest cause of anxiety in mothers and can be avoided early on – your baby is able to self-settle and sleep well from the first few weeks, so understanding this and working on it will help both you and baby stay calm, relaxed and content. By following this advice you will be able to create a positive and relaxed environment for your new arrival. If you are struggling to feel confident, need some advice on general baby care or help and support with feeding or sleeping, contact Heidi at The Parent and Baby Coach.

Heidi works in and around London as The Parent and Baby Coach. She can be contacted by phone on 0330 6600 204 or via her website, theparentandbabycoach.com.

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Ask the Experts

Stay Positive Parenting coach Heidi Skudder on how your approach can bring out the best in your baby

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our baby is born with his or her own little personality, which you will start to see glimpses of from very early on – as soon as baby loses those sleepy melatonin hormones and starts to become more awake and alert. Personality is important and, as we know, accounts for many traits and behaviours. But the way you engage with your baby can also have a huge influence on your baby’s temperament. In my work as a Parent and Baby Coach, I see examples of this all the time when I meet relaxed mamas who are confident with their babies – baby responds to this and is mostly content and calm. I also see lots of examples where mama is anxious about a particular issue and feels stressed by it – a great example is not taking a bottle, or not going to sleep. Babies with anxious mamas are often highly strung, cry frequently and do not feel relaxed. Your child is like a sponge, soaking up emotions from you – the way you feel really impacts the way your baby feels and can help to shape their personality and development. Having a baby for the first time is an emotional rollercoaster and the first year is full of first smiles, talking,

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crawling, walking, sleeping (or not sleeping, as the case may be) and lots of other exciting developmental stages. However, it is also a big change for you, the mama – and one that can create anxieties and cause you to feel not in control. These are all normal feelings for a first time mum but if you can control them and seek help when you don’t feel confident; if, in short, you can successfully address your worries and concerns, your baby will benefit. The first year of your baby’s life is always going to be a challenge – but it should also be very enjoyable. By making it as easy as possible for yourself, you will create a positive environment that your little one can thrive in. Use the help you have around you to give you some time out when needed, don’t feel guilty about having some ‘you’ time occasionally and concentrate on other important relationships as well as your new addition This will foster the partnership that helps you build confidence and bring up your precious baby. I find that going into parenthood with a relaxed mindset, rather than strict ideas of exactly how you want to do things, is the best way to create relaxed parents and positive environments for babies.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

26/01/2016 10:04


Expert one-to-one Parenting Support: Night Nannies Sleep Training Routine and Day Sleep Support Weaning Potty Training Behaviour Toddler Tantrums W. www.theparentandbabycoach.com E. heidi@theparentandbabycoach.com T. 0330 6600 204

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04/01/2016 11:15

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11/01/2016 17:17 26/01/2016 11:36


MAMA RESOURCES

Ask the Experts

Positive eating during pregnancy Consultant Paediatrician and Chief Medical Officer for EmbryoCare, Dr W John Fysh

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regnancy is one of the few times your doctor will recommend that you take a supplement, even if you have a healthy diet. Nutrition in pregnancy is extremely important – you only need to type this into a search engine to be greeted with page upon page of nutrition, health and wellbeing advice. Some advice – such as the need to increase your intake of folic acid prior to, and during, pregnancy – is well documented. Other advice – like the myth surrounding ‘eating for two’ – is less so. Vitamins and mineral supplements are recommended for the benefit of both the mother and the foetus. They help to avoid osteoporosis in the mother in later life and optimise growth, bone and dental growth and the healthy formation of tissues in the baby. Once you have your baby you should continue to take a supplement, particularly if you’re breastfeeding. It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all nutrients are beneficial to your health. For example, vitamin A is an important part of our diet but taking too much has been linked to birth defects. For this reason, you should avoid standard multivitamins, which will contain vitamin A in various amounts, and instead opt for supplements that are formulated specifically for pregnancy. There is no need to pay over the odds for supplements from highend online retailers; supermarket or pharmacy brands are just as effective. I would not advise dramatically changing your diet without consulting your doctor first; if you are eating a well-balanced diet already, and exercise moderately, then you stand yourself in good stead throughout pregnancy with just a few minor additions or adjustments to make. My key advice to expectant mothers would be to quit smoking, avoid overeating, and stop taking any non-prescription drugs. They are

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yourself rather than forego food. If temporarily you can stomach nothing but mashed potato, crisps or toast, have these things – and start to introduce the nutritionally packed food when your appetite improves. Listen to what your body needs and what it can tolerate. Despite the well-known phrase ‘I’m eating for two’, you should actually be aiming for around 200 extra calories per day only – certainly not doubling up your portions or increasing your intake of unhealthy high calorie foods. Lastly, knowledge is power – speak to your doctor or source information from the NHS about what foods are on the ‘banned’ list. They include – but are not limited to – uncooked fish, unpasteurised cheese, eggs and liver pâté. Be conscious of your alcohol intake and avoid it altogether in the first trimester. Again, the NHS guidelines on this can be found online. There is a wealth of information available nowadays and it is easy to become overwhelmed by it all; simply remember to be kind to yourself, eat well with nutrition in mind, and enjoy your pregnancy.

OPT FOR SUPPLEMENTS FORMULATED FOR PREGNANCY damaging habits that affect both mother and child. Speak to your doctor for support and advice if you are struggling with any of the aforementioned habits. It is common for expectant mothers to experience morning sickness and nausea at some point in their pregnancy. For some it can be mild, for others it can have a big impact on their appetite. If you’re experiencing a spell of morning sickness, don’t pile added pressure on yourself to eat specific healthy meals if they leave you feeling ill. It’s important to nourish

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MAMA RESOURCES

Are You Feeding Your Children Too Much? 1. Scrutinise the size of the portion you're serving your child. Keep an eye on the size of plates you're serving meals on too, for these are also getting bigger. 2. Do you find yourself falling into the trap of making things ‘equal' for your children in order to keep things ‘fair'? I can remember a time when my children started to count the number of chips on their plates to check that they all had been treated equally. I hadn't given my five year-old daughter the same as her ten yearold brother and had to explain that if I gave them all the same amount then it wouldn't be ‘fair'. Being fair is giving each child what's just right for them. The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears came in very handy here. 3. If your child doesn't seem very hungry for the next meal, it can be easy to think you have a picky eater on your hands when, in fact, your child might simply be getting too much food to eat. It's not unusual for children to be given snacks three times a day now, when 40 years ago it was just once. 3. If you insist your child cleans their plate and finishes everything that's on it you could be pressurising them into eating food when they're no longer hungry. This is a bad habit to be teaching them and will probably stay with them for life. 4. Check if your child's clothes are getting tight in the chest, waist or around the bottom even though they haven't outgrown them height-wise. If weight is increasing while height is staying the same, it's an indication that your child could be eating too much. Keep an eye on this for a few weeks and see if it settles with a growth spurt. Ex-Montessori teacher and behavioural specialist Alicia Eaton helps both adults and children change unwanted habits and behaviours. She's run a successful practice in Harley Street for over ten years and is the author of Words that Work - How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything from which the above is extracted.

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Ask The Experts

Weighty Issues

Behavioural specialist Alicia Eaton on changing unwanted eating habits

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rowing up in the 21st century with our excess of food – most of which is manufactured to look highly attractive but in reality is full of fattening, empty calories – is proving to be a complicated business for our children. The UK now has the highest rate of obesity in Europe, with one in three children overweight or obese by Year 6. Based on current trends, half of children will be obese or overweight by 2020. While some are growing up saddled with the health problems that come with being overweight, others are becoming addicted to their quick sugar fixes and learning that food is the quickest way to change unwanted feelings. Many parents feel, perhaps justifiably, that speaking to their children about weight is a bit of a minefield. The last thing any parent wants to do is keep nagging their child about their food intake, giving them a complex and adding to their problem, but if your child has food issues, whether they are eating too much, are unhealthily overweight or eating too little, it's good to talk, and you need to think carefully about how you would reply. Increasingly, children in the younger age groups (under-tens) are becoming conscious of their body image and it’s important to adopt a healthy attitude to food early on. As an ex – principal of my own Montessori school I know one of the most surprising features for prospective

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parents when they came to visit was our break system. Traditional nursery schools would have a fixed time for break – usually around 10.30am. But following the Montessori programme meant our children had the freedom to make their own choices about when and how much to eat. A selection of chopped fruit and milk was available throughout the morning. Each child had the freedom to choose when to take their break and sit at the little break table, which could seat just three at a time. I was aware that some children were up very early in the morning, while others could be spotted quickly finishing off their breakfast in the car. Imposing a rigorous timetable on such young children would mean some going hungry while others would be eating when they were not. I wonder how many nursery school children are eating food because they are being told to? Children are born with an in-built mechanism for detecting hunger and it's up to us adults to recognise this and trust their judgements a little more. What also surprised and occasionally concerned parents was that we allowed the children to serve themselves – they could decide whether to have large or small portions. Because this was part of our normal routine, there was no novelty attached to the system. All the children were therefore able to behave responsibly, make good decisions and listen to their own hunger signals.

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MAMA RESOURCES

Best Start The

Competition for pre-school places in London has never been hotter. But which nurseries are most popular? We round up the top ten... Wo rd s S a b i n e H o o k

n 2004 William Waldegrave told the Daily Telegraph, "The only education you need in life is Acorn and Oxford". The Tory grandee was referring to Jane Cameron's Acorn Nursery in Notting Hill as London’s then most exclusive and sought-after nursery school (where he sent all four of his children). But is it still the hottest ticket in town? Not so

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much. Acorn is certainly no longer alone in attracting high-fliers and celebrity parents; the world of London’s independent nursery schools has only grown in the last ten years. While many of the most luxurious of these nurseries are still located in wellheeled Kensington and Chelsea, the net is spreading up into north London and south of the river as well.

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The obsession with the right nursery as a crucial first step on the educational road map is not entirely overstated. While attending Acorn Nursery may not be a fast track to Oxbridge, getting the right ‘big name’ nursery can substantially help your chances of getting into some of the best pre-prep and junior schools. Parents are right to choose carefully in as much as

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MAMA RESOURCES

nurseries provide children with their first learning experiences away from home and are crucial in reaching key developmental stages. An excellent nursery will ensure children are developmentally strong in communicating clearly and confidently, being independent learners, following instructions, playing alongside others and gaining high levels of concentration and focus. These early learning goals are all the more crucial now that some of London’s most popular pre-prep and junior schools are assessing at the tender age of three and a half. The infamous 4+ assessment differs from school to school but in some particulars they are all the same and it is unlikely your little tot will be considered for anywhere if they are still sobbing on your shoulder or communicating in one-word answers. Some of the most popular nurseries still rely heavily on an official or unofficial feeder reputation for the particularly competitive schools, however these can often be overstated. Acorn Nursery is linked to Notting Hill Prep, the popular preparatory school based in Ladbroke Grove which is also owned by Jane Cameron. While Acorn emphasises that attendance does not affect your chance of entrance to the school, this is particularly convincing by the fact entrance is chosen by random ballot. Prince William’s old nursery, The Minors Nursery School, is now owned by the prolific Alpha Plus Group and this has ensured that it remains a big hitter by their established link to other Alpha Plus-owned schools such as Wetherby and Pembridge Hall School. Again the nursery firmly emphasises that attending will not increase your chances of gaining a place since the main list is decided by parents who have signed up the earliest. Attending either The Minors or Rolfe’s nursery, however, certainly won’t hurt your chances when the time to choose between two waitinglist candidates presents. Though most nurseries refuse to label themselves as feeders it is worth mentioning those that channel an impressive number of children into certain schools every academic year. Miss Delaney’s nurseries, based in Holland Park, send a high percentage of children to Norland Place every year, Puffins in Parsons Green gets a large chunk of children into Thomas's Fulham and Chelsea

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ABOVE: Harper Beckham attends the celebrity-filled Strawberry Fields Nursery in Portobello road PREVIOUS PAGE: Children at Minors Nursery school

REGISTER EARLY FOR THE TOP NURSERIES - A COUPLE OF MONTHS AFTER BIRTH CAN BE TOO LATE Pre-Prep managed to get six out of the eight available places in Falkner House’s 2015 Reception intake. This can be explained by a geographical proximity but also a very good understanding for what the school is looking for during the assessment. A lot of experienced nursery heads will also be an enormous help in fitting your child into the right environment having built up a strong network of connections through the London school scene. With the right head and well regarded nursery behind you singing your

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child’s praises there is an increased chance that even if your child spent most of the assessment day throwing sand down the back of his neighbour's jumper, he will still have a better chance then most. The title of most luxurious and celebrityfilled nursery has now been taken up by the Portobello Road institution, Strawberry Fields Nursery. This elite nursery is so exclusive they have no website relying purely on word of mouth and a nursery location hidden modestly on the side of a church hall. Well known names include the Beckham’s youngest child as well as a host of other A-list celebrities attracted to the immaculate surroundings and charismatic headmistress. The parent’s association is a who’s who of the top professionals in all fields, and competition is rife, from who has taken the school bear to the most exotic holiday location –,and who will be contributing the most impressive prize to the school raffle. Nurseries that make a point of moving children on quickly to more academic and structured learning often win big brownie points with prospective parents, who are keen to feel they are one-up on the race for school entrances. In general, Montessori nurseries will take a back seat in pushing all children into more formalised learning, and phonics and counting will only be introduced when a child is developmentally ready. In contrast nursery schools such as Broadhurst in Hampstead market themselves as early preps and focus on preparing children for the manically competitive world of high-flying North London schools. With the first influx of assessments sometimes happening as early as two-anda half years old for schools such as Dulwich Prep and Highgate Pre-Preparatory, it can feel that focused preparation and fast moving curriculums can not come too soon for some parents. Similarly, Pippa Poppins, Fulham’s most exclusive day nursery, takes children from one and boasts an impressive exit list into all the most prominent local schools. Then comes the most difficult part: how to get a place at these prestigious preschools and nurseries? Much of this will come down to strategy and organisation - early registration to a range of early years provision done simultaneously with a slew

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MAMA RESOURCES

TOP 10 Nurseries In London

St Marks Square Nursery Primrose Hill Tadpoles Nursery Chelsea

of school registrations is crucial. And by early, it really means early; a couple of months after birth is already running the risk of being put on the waiting list indefinitely. For areas of London with the most competition for nursery and school entrance (Clapham, Notting Hill, Hampstead and St Johns Wood), registrations should be collected from schools and nurseries before birth and already filled in with the majority of information before entering the delivery room. This way partners can ensure last-minute details such as the name and date of birth can be added and forms and cheques will be in the registrars' hands before two days have passed. Telephone calls immediately after birth can also help to bring the recorded registration day earlier in a school's records and therefore increase your chances even more. Sometimes the registration form is not enough and conversations with parents are taken into consideration, as in the case of the fearsomely popular Wetherby Pre Prep. Parents need to wait until all applications that month have been considered before knowing if they have gained a definite place. Since there is no assessment of the

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Pippa Poppins Fulham Marmalade Cat Clapham The Minors Nursery Notting Hill Strawberry Fields Nursery Notting Hill Miss Delaneys Nursery Holland park Chelsea Pre Prep Nursery Chelsea Broadhurst Nursery Hampstead Ready Steady Go Camden

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children before entrance, parents are effectively assessed in their place and this conversation will take place days after giving birth. There are also the rare exceptions of nurseries who will accept registration forms pre-birth; Broadhurst Nursery currently accepts registrations from the worryingly early stage of three months pregnant, so that if you waited till after birth you would be far too late to gain a place. With some London families registering for an average of five schools and nurseries at birth, the likelihood is that the majority of people on the main list will not even be taking their place – allowing more chances for late-comers. The transient nature of many London parents also works in favour of the later registrations since so many families will have re-located or moved back home between the two years of registration and a child’s first day at nursery. With registration deadlines already so early, it is a wonder that most London nurseries have so far resisted the New York trend of assessing for nursery entrance before two years of age. It may be a case of watching this space and enjoying the time before tutoring newborns becomes the norm!

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26/01/2016 10:37


MAMA MAGAZINE

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n the early days of parenthood, mother and baby are often inseparable, but as little ones grow and (hopefully) learn to rest independently, you’ll probably want some way to stay connected while you get on with all the things you’ve put aside for the last few months. Step forward the BT Video Baby Monitor 7000, which is so much more than a glorified walkie-talkie. With HD video and sound, you can hear and see your baby clearly – even the tiniest breath comes through loud and clear – and a handy thermometer alerts you if the temperature changes beyond predefined levels. The unit can also play a string of soothing lullabies or nature sounds and project a pretty lightshow onto walls or ceilings, so baby has something to distract her if she awakes wondering, ‘Where’s Mama?’ The bad side? No more excuses for not doing the washing-up…

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he ingenious Moba is the only moses basket with integrated, durable handles. Made from anti-microbial plastic, it’s washable, hygienic and hypoallergenic for babies’ sensitive skin. The material makes it recyclable, while air holes at the sides and base ensure adequate ventilation.

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