Absolutely Mama Jan/Feb 2017

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JA N UA RY / FEB R UA RY 2 01 7 I S S U E S I X • £ 3 .9 5


Dream Team

Winter Warmers Hearty recipes from


Stella McCartney Kids meets Smallable

the Chiappa sisters

Art of the


Marion Deuchars' beautiful books for children



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Stay cosy in the season's stylish essentials

ISSN 2398-8711


9 772398 871005

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with the

New Cosatto Wow

Anna with Wow. The ultimate pram and pushchair. Shown in Fjord. See the full collection at cosatto.com

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Unisex baby wear, made in Britain.

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m am a / welcome

contents JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2017



Dates for the coming months

30 STRAIGHT TO THE ART The beautiful books of Marion Deuchars


36 KEEP CALM AND COSY Adaptable winter style solutions


A life of design with Petra Gardefjord of Minimocks



Business and babies with Avery Row


Stella McCartney Kids collection for Smallable


64 BEAUTY NOTES Tried & tested: Genue DNA testing

67 NEW YEAR, NEW HAIR Josh Wood's 360° approach to beauty

72 WINTER WARMERS Hearty recipes from the Chiappa sisters



3 of the best early-bird deals


An Apulian adventure for all the family


An enchanting, child-friendly trip to Florence




Suzy Hoodless' shares her interior inspirations




A nursery tour with contributing editor Apphia Michael

With Molly and Moo

Must-haves for the littles in your life


Boarding school for 7+

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olivier baby and kids


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m am a / welcome




New Year, New Addition

his year has been a big one for Absolutely Mama – and for me. I started 2016 with a 10 month-old daughter and a fledgling magazine. The former is now 22 months old, a curly-headed dynamo fuelled by little more than milk, curiosity and a desire to perform; the latter is now a year old and (I think) one of the most exciting family lifestyle titles in the country. I hope our focus on new ideas in design and style for little ones has inspired you. Of course, minimalist nurseries, ethical baby clothing and handmade wooden toys aren’t the be-all and end-all, but if you’re lucky enough to be able to take a more considered approach to your consumption (and all parents are consumers

to some extent, let’s be honest), I hope we’ve helped to showcase some of the amazing new products and possibilities that are out there – particularly those created by creative, entrepreneurial, independent mamas who have built businesses inspired by their own experiences and families. I’m off to welcome 2017 with another baby – my second daughter, due in January. Until then, have a happy New Year – see you on the other side!

Helen B ar on ED I TO R

@hel_bow helen.baron@zest-media.com Januar y / Februar y 2017

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Editor: HELEN BARON Contributing Editor: APPHIA MICHAEL Commercial Manager: KATIE AMPS Marketing & Events Manager: NEFELI KRITIKOU Art Director: PHIL COUZENS Senior Designer: PAWEL KUBA Mid-weight Designer: EKREM YILMAZ Designer: REBECCA NOONAN Production Manager: CHRIS COUCHMAN Finance Director: ALEXANDRA HVID Major Accounts Director: TAMSIN LUCK PA to the Directors: MARIANNE MCFADDEN Directors: GREG HUGHES, ALEXANDRA HUNTER Managing Director: SHERIF SHALTOUT For editorial enquiries please email: helen.baron@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please call 07535 482 213 / 020 7704 0588 or email: katie.amps@zest-media.com For media partnership enquiries please call 020 7704 0588 or email: nefeli@zest-media.com Part of the


197-199 City Road, London EC1V 1JN, UK zest.london

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.

F o l l o w U s O n Tw i t t e r @A B S O L U T E LY M A M A F a c e b o o k A B S O L U T E LY M A M A I n s t a g r a m A B S O L U T E LY M A M A P i n t e r e s t A B S O L U T E LY M A M A

absolutely-mama .co.uk

Absolutely Mama Official Charity

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10 things we Absolutely


Rear View •Te l l t a i l s •

A surprise smash hit for this UK-based startup, these lovingly crafted animal tails will add colour to your little ones’ imaginative play. And they make them for adults, too... Wicked Wolf Tail, £20; telltails.co.uk

New Kid •Mini Stylin•

This sleek new online boutique carries a fi ne range of fashions for littles from some of the best modern brands around, including Jax and Hedley (pictured) – as well as some cool nursery accessories. ministylin.com




•Wo l f & R i t a x J C d e Castelbajac•

Spring style for littles doesn’t come cuter than this – a collaborative capsule of contemporary pieces featuring arty prints and a fun bohemian aesthetic. Très chic. Available at scandimini.com

Look Out

•Fanny & Alexander•

These dinky toy binoculars are crafted from guatambu and incense woods, and make the ideal gift for budding explorers and kids with a taste for adventure. £39; littlegoldie.com


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Small Wonders


•Smalls x The Bright Company•

Smalls and The Bright Company have collaborated on this top, featuring the latter’s famous moonface motif on one of the former’s luxe merino wool short-sleeves. £44.50; lovemysmalls.com


Winning Point •A Mini Penny•

The only thing we love more than a narwhal is a narwhal small enough to hang around our neck. Perfect porcelain jewellery for mamas and minis. £18; aweatheredpenny.co.uk

A purchase you won’t regret: Meminio make beautiful memory cases and albums in which to store precious objects, photographs and memorabilia from your family life. An amazing gift. Memory Cases from £120; meminio.com

Hot Stepper

• A m y & I v o r x C i s s y We a r s •

For a limited time, the acclaimed shoe designer and trendsetting boutique are offering five kinds of made-to-order footwear for littles in cool colourways of nude, platinum and black. We want. From £42; cissywears.com; amyandivor.com

Little Prints •Hugo Loves Tiki•

One of the most playful brands around has amped up the colour and fun by adding mama sizes to much of its range of cool kids' clothing. Just add Spring... hugo-loves-tiki.myshopify.com

Time & Space •LEGO•

Mini Star Wars obsessives will love this amazing alarm clock, which takes the form of a giant LEGO Star Wars stormtrooper – and is fully poseable to boot. Epic. £17.99; johnlewis.com Januar y / Februar y 2017

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NEW! Baby Carrier One Air www.babybjorn.com The Parallel Line Design is a sign of a genuine BABYBJÖRN product.

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FANTASTIC MR FOX • Ly r i c H a m m e r s m i t h • 25 January - 19 February

What better way to mark the centenary of the legendary Roald Dahl's voice than with one of his best-loved creations brought to life? This retelling features marvellous music and 'gloriumptious' set design for ages 7+. lyric.co.uk


Best new books and our app of the month


Amy Ransom on the fourth trimester


Marion Deuchars' beautiful books for children

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What's On

Three shows for under-fives and a magical way to celebrate Chinese New Year

Glitterbugs Discover Children’s Stor y Centre Until 15 Januar y

A special 20-minute show dedicated to the under-threes, glitterbugs sees little ones enter a wintery cave to discover the sparkly but shy glitterbugs. discover.org.uk

Lego Friends London Wetland Centre Throughout Januar y

Follow the LEGO brick trail to discover the species at the WWT, where incredible 1.5m model animals sit alongside their real life cousins. wwt.org.uk


ENB's Cinderella From 6 April onwards Touring nationwide

Everyone’s favourite rags-to-riches story in a beautifully adapted ballet version for children aged three and upwards. With a narrator to help the young audience follow the story and a shortened version of Prokofiev’s ravishing score, this is the perfect introduction to the magic of ballet, performed by second-year students of the English National Ballet School. ballet.org.uk 16


Imagine Children’s Festival South Bank Centre 9-19 Februar y

Imagine celebrates the power of the imagination to help children flourish, and this annual fortnight of events is designed to inspire littles' creativity. southbankcentre.co.uk


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m ama / age nda Last Chance


~ Glide around beneath the twinkling lights of an impressive 40ft Swarovski-adorned Christmas tree and marvel at one of London’s most breathtaking buildings. The Natural History Museum provides a dramatic skate setting, especially when lit up at night. If you don’t fancy the ice yourself, watch the action from the warmth of the Cafe Bar and open-air balcony where hearty treats and boozy drinks are served daily. nhm.ac.uk

DANCE WORKSHOPS Royal Academy of Dance 5 March

Magic Lantern Festival

ittle ones aged 3 to 11 can enjoy one-off dance workshops at that most venerable of institutions, the Royal Academy of Dance, next Spring. Kids will learn a scene from a famous story or ballet – Romeo & Juliet is one of those mooted – and present it to parents at the end of the session. Classes are streamed by age, spaces are limited and it's not expensive, so early booking is most definitely advised. Visit the website for details. rad.org.uk


Chiswick House and Gardens 19 January - 26 February

elebrate Chinese New Year with the Magic Lantern Festival. The month-long event will feature a fascinating combination of the traditional and the modern, with virtual reality experiences, live theatre and myriad special performances. The highlight of it all is the lantern show: over 50 spectacular light installations in all colours, shapes and sizes. Look out for the giant fire rooster... magicallantern.uk


3 Shows for Under 5s


Little Angel Theatre Until 29 Januar y


The tale of a baby penguin living in the inhospitable Antarctic, this heartwarming production is suitable for children aged two and up. A last chance for some snowy festive fun? littleangeltheatre.com

Babe, The Sheep-Pig Polka Theatre Until 5 Februar y


The classic kids’ novel comes to the stage with plenty of thrills, laughter, stunning puppetry and original music. An enchanting and often hilarious winter warmer for kids and adults alike. polkatheatre.com

The Bear

Rose Theatre Kingston 12-15 Januar y


Pins and Needles bring to life a classic Raymond Briggs story in a mesmerising showcase of puppetry, music and storytelling. An unforgettable experience. rosetheatrekingston.org

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Transforms from rocker, to high chair to nursery chair or rocking chair

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m ama / age nda C U LT U R E R O U N D U P


Last chance to see the season's best kids' shows

Southwark Playhouse Until 8 January



tale about growing up and finding acceptance, Kiki’s Delivery Service is based on the acclaimed novel by Eiko Kadono. The story follows thirteen yearold witch Kiki, who must move to a new town and use her magical powers to earn a living. She exploits her broomstick-flying abilities to launch a delivery service – but bad weather and boy trouble make her first year away from home a testing experience. Magic and adventure for kids aged seven and up – be sure to catch this if you enjoyed the Studio Ghibli film of the same name.  southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

Lyric Hammersmith Until 7 January


n the wake of last year’s memorable Cinderella, The Lyric’s annual panto returns with Aladdin flying into Hammersmith on his magic carpet for some festive fun in true W6 style. Fresh for 2016, the show will be full of colourful characters, live music, lots of laughs and of course the magical Genie. Awardwinning comedian Vikki Stone will play Abanazer, joining Karl Queensborough who returns to the Lyric stage as Aladdin after playing the Prince last year. Expect a contemporary twist on the original story, plus lots of West London humour.  lyric.co.uk


Peter Pan Olivier Theatre Until 28 January


irector Sally Cookson brings her wondrously inventive Peter Pan to the National Theatre after a sell-out, critically acclaimed run at Bristol Old Vic Theatre. When Peter Pan, the leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow during a visit to London, headstrong Wendy helps him re-attach it. In return she is invited to Neverland – where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. Exploring the possibilities and pain of growing up, it’s a riot of magic, mischief, music and make-believe.  nationaltheatre.org.uk Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  19

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Online / Offline The very finest new books and our app of the month Words Helen B ar on


If your little ones love picture-books, why not help them create one of their own? Innovative new company Doodle Nest will send you a special box in which to ship them examples of your kids’ own artwork – which they’ll professionally photograph, lay out and publish in the form of a hardback keepsake you can all treasure. From £135; doodlenest.co.uk




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The Liszts

Kyo Maclear & Julia Sarda

What will happen when someone new seeks to join the list-obsessed Liszt family – someone who isn’t on any of their lists? A whimsical and wonderful tale by acclaimed author Kyo Maclear and first-time picture-book illustrator Julia Sarda, which somehow manages to combine The Royal Tenenbaums with An Inspector Calls.  £12.99; foyles.co.uk


Jérémie Fischer & Jean - Baptiste Labrune

The Storm Whale Slipcase

A cut above the usual picture-book fare, The Night Watchman tells the strange and suspenseful story of the eponymous ‘guardian’, tasked with ensuring nothing disturbs a slumbering city. A tale of love and betrayal brought to life by thrilling illustrations and well-chosen words.  €19.95; gestalten.com

app ofth mon


Benji Davies

If you’re not already a fan of the Storm Whale books, now’s the time to get involved. Two award-winning stories featuring beautiful painterly illustrations and a deeply affecting message, they’ve recently been reissued in a special slipcase – the kind of thing your kids will treasure all their lives.  £16; waterstones.com


MY BODY Antje Helms

A fascinating exploration of human anatomy, beautifully illustrated and expertly pitched for younger readers. This book is sure to engage kids’ natural curiosity and make them more at ease with their physical selves. And who knows, perhaps it’ll be their first step on the road to becoming a world-class surgeon.  €19.90; gestalten.com

This app and its associated gizmo will help a lot of parents rest easier as their kids grow and get more independent. The device in question is a cute kids’ watch that features several kinds of tracking (from GPS and Wi-Fi to Mobile-ID), remote voice monitoring and even the ability to receive phone calls – so you can keep an ear and an eye on, and speak to, your little ones wherever they are.  £119.99; watchugps.com Januar y / Februar y 2017

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CISSY WEARS Meet the tastemaking Nicola Eyres - the mama-of-four behind the cult lifestyle store


What do you think makes good design for littles? What do you look for when sourcing new suppliers? Simplicity and elegance. I look for items that are fun but functional, that are simple but which work. I want the things we sell to work together like a capsule collection that can be added to and grown. You’ve gained a reputation in the industry for ‘enabling’, for inspiring, for blazing a trail that others follow. In a world where every idea can be instantly and endlessly circulated, how do you continue to set yourself apart? I don’t look at what anybody else is doing. If I can’t see when people are ripping me off , I can’t get upset by it anymore. I know that if I’ve found a product I love, I brought it on board for my own reasons and not because somebody else has it. I’ve been told by brands that during their buying meetings, other stores actually ask them what Cissy Wears ordered, and I’ve had people follow me at trade shows with notebooks. I think what I do works because I am so true to myself and don’t try to follow others (in fact, quite the opposite). If you can’t think for yourself then you’ll always be two steps behind those that can. Also my background is in fast-paced marketing so I have the skillset to manage my business in a modern, social media age. Bringing personal skills to a business will make it more successful than starting a shop because you like buying clothes for your kids.

I think having four children – boy, girl, boy, girl – has allowed me to stay on top of trends in a more hands-on way. I do wonder about how I will be able to immerse myself into things so fully when my children are older. You need them to wear it, feel it, complain about it, grow out of it, to understand how it all works. I defi nitely am more aware of the ethics of manufacturing etc but I would say that’s from being immersed in this industry rather than because of my children. I appreciate the thrill some people feel for cheap, fast fashion, but I’ve learned to look down the chain and understand what that means for the person at the bottom. I’m a fi rm believer in karma so in terms of my day-to-day business I try to do the right thing by everyone. You’ll be amazed by how many people don’t. It’s a real shame how many people try to rip small, hardworking business owners off. You achieved a major milestone with a Christmas concession in iconic London department store Liberty’s fi rst childrenswear department. How did that feel? Was it a roaring success and what’s next for your lovely boutiques? Well, the good news is that we will be staying at Liberty for a little longer than originally planned. I’ve got a lot of soulsearching to do over Christmas. Despite all our success it’s been a terribly difficult year and I want to take a step back and decide what really makes me happy. I’m eyeing up a new retail space, looking at global franchise and launching our own label. I just need a bit more time, coffee and free hands!


What’s the best thing about working in retail? Well, I love Christmas, and for me Christmas starts in July and lasts six months! NICOLA WITH HER TWO GIRLS, CISSY AND NICO

How do your own children inspire what you do? Do you think you feel the ethical imperatives of doing business more strongly?



Januar y / Februar y 2017

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The Fourth


Exploring why new mums need continued support Words: Amy Ransom



ince having my three children, aged seven, four and two, I’ve frequently felt we don’t support new mums well enough in our society. You get the most care and attention when you have your first baby, but even this is minimal. Beyond the first baby, you’re very much left to your own devices. We laugh now about our mothers staying in hospital for 10 days when they had us but, actually, was it so ridiculous? I wonder whether we’ve since gone to the other extreme, where it’s almost a competition to see how quickly you can birth a baby and be back on your feet. My first hospital stay was a mere 12 hours long. My second was like some sort of drive-through. My baby was born at 4PM and I was home by 8PM having a curry. I thought it was empowering back then – ‘a new baby won’t stop me’ – but now, looking back, I think it was odd. It certainly did nothing to help me make that transition to being a new mum. Are we sending out the wrong message, when what we should be doing is encouraging new mums to rest and slow down? My third baby was a home birth and my experience couldn’t have been more different. Because I didn’t have to be discharged from anywhere, I spent the first 48 hours in bed. Resting. Feeding. And eating. I didn’t leave the house until day five and that trip only lasted 30 minutes. With my first baby, on the other hand, I went for a stupidly long walk on day three and was barely able to make the journey home, my stitches were pulling so much. It was with my third that I discovered the glorious fourth trimester and learned about the first three months of a new mum and baby’s life together, which suggests we nurture our babies as we did in the womb, rather


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than agonising over why they won’t settle, alone, in their cribs. It was a revelation to me and, amidst my post-natal depression diagnosis, stopped me from going completely over the edge because I could remind myself it was okay to let my baby sleep on me – the world wasn’t going to end if he did. It was a stark contrast to my two daughters, who I can now admit were raised too obsessively on Gina Ford, a ‘routine’ of timings you realise is actually one most babies and children eventually fall into, to some degree, anyway.

I could remind myself it was okay to let my baby sleep on me

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For Some ‘Me Time’ For ForSome Some‘Me ‘MeTime’ Time’

Because Because youyou can Because youcan can

you are to breastfeeding Medela aretohere to support you. you. When When you When are committed to breastfeeding Medela areMedela here support you. youcommitted are committed to breastfeeding are here to support Medela’s unique 2-phase breastpumps to express morein milk in less Medela’s unique 2-phase breastpumps enableenable youenable toyou express more milk lessmilk Medela’s unique 2-phase breastpumps you to express more in less timeother than than otherother pumps you can some special moments with with family and and time than pumps so pumps yousocan enjoy some special moments with family and family time so you enjoy can enjoy some special moments friends. Calma the innovative feeding solution supports baby to switch fromfrom breast friends. Calma the Calma innovative feeding solution supports baby to switch from breast friends. the innovative feeding solution supports baby to switch breast to bottle and back. Details on Medela’s full range be at www.medela.co.uk to bottle and back. Details on Details Medela’s range can becan found atbewww.medela.co.uk to bottle and back. onfull Medela’s full range canfound found at www.medela.co.uk

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I wrote about the fourth trimester on my blog and the response was astounding

I wrote about the fourth trimester on my blog, Surviving Motherhood, and the response was astounding. Mums wrote to me saying they wished they’d known about it earlier. Kirstie Allsopp retweeted my post and BBC News invited me on to discuss it. An obstetrician got in touch to say he would be introducing it into his clinic that day. I couldn’t believe something that had been so liberating for me was such a secret. All new mums deserved to know about it. I wrote several more posts on my blog, including The New Mum F*cket List, which was shared by Giovanna Fletcher and crashed the site. There was always a lot of response and relief but most mums were coming to the posts when it was too late to really

benefit. I wanted new mums to have access to this information earlier, when they were pregnant or as soon as they had their babies. I thought about distributing a leaflet via maternity wards, but this proved complicated. So I decided to produce something myself. My 16-page leaflet grew into The New Mum’s Notebook, a 304-page sanity-saving journal launched in September 2016. The New Mum’s Notebook is intended to be a new mum’s companion, to reassure her (no matter what ‘round’ she’s on) that she’s doing an amazing job. It’s about establishing realistic expectations and supporting and encouraging a new mum in however she chooses to raise her baby – because no new mum needs more advice she can’t process. I’ve written it, overseen the design and manufacture and am now storing 3,000 copies at home while doing the marketing, PR and fulfi lment. There are days where it’s overwhelming balancing it with everything else and I’ve quickly learned I need to consciously take myself away from it, otherwise my poor kids might never eat again. But it’s exhilarating doing something I believe in and every time someone places an order my heart flutters a little, as I realise this is something others believe in too. My hope is that the book helps a new mum navigate that uncertain first year of motherhood while letting her know she’s never alone: there's an army of mums behind her who feel the way she does. The New Mum’s Notebook is on sale online, priced £20 plus £4.25 p&p. Gift messaging is available. thenewmumsnotebook.co.uk @survivingmotherhood_ Januar y / Februar y 2017

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iCoo iCoocreates creates iCoo creates unique unique unique solutions solutions solutions to toenrich enrich to enrich family familylife life family life

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Absolutely Mama: What is Hope for Children? Maurielle Maupoint: We are an international charity that passionately believes every child has the right to a happy, healthy and positive childhood. We currently work in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines as well as here in the UK. Unfortunately, almost half of the world’s children are vulnerable and living in poverty, and we want to change this by making a safe and fulfi lling childhood a reality for more of them. Most importantly we want to give children hope for a better future. AM: How, when and by whom was the organisation founded? MM: It’s an amazing story actually! Hope for Children was founded with the vision and passion of one man, Dr Bob Parsons OBE, in 1994, with just £5,000, working out of his front room! He desperately wanted to help those children who fell through the gaps left by both society in general and some of the larger charitable organisations. Last year, thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters, whether climbing mountains, running marathons or holding coffee mornings, we were able to transform the lives of over 37,000 children and their families! AM: What’s the idea behind the Big Playdate event? MM: The Big Playdate is an exciting new project for parents with children aged one to five, encouraging them to spend quality time

We were able to transform the lives of over 37,000 children and their families

MM: The funds raised will be used to improve children’s access to education and healthcare and to empower their families to support themselves while developing their confidence and self-esteem. £25 can buy three birthing kits containing everything to support the clean and safe birth of a child and avoid the transmission of HIV/AIDs from a mother to her newborn. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Jet2holidays, we are offering the chance to win a 4-star family holiday to the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife. To enter the prize draw, parents simply need to host the Big Playdate and send the funds by 31 January 2017. So get hosting!

with their children. As a busy mum myself, I really understand the importance of finding time to do that. Our activity pack provides parents with the key items they need to host a Big Playdate including invites, craft activities, games and recipes. The pack is free to order from our website and is designed for up to five children. We are asking parents to invite their children’s friends and in the process raise funds by charging a suggested £5 for each child. AM: How do people get involved? How will the funds raised through the Big Playdate be used to help children?

hope-for-children.org @hope_for_children Januar y / Februar y 2017

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rtist Marion Deuchars' CV spans everything from stamps to window displays, menu designs, food illustrations and book covers. In 2011 she published her fi rst art activity book for children, Let's Make Some Great Art and its instant success led to two more. Her covers for Penguin's George Orwell novels won the V&A's book illustration award and her longstanding collaboration with Carluccios has made her work familiar to many. Born in Scotland, she studied at the Royal College of Art and now works from her studio in north London.

Pendle Harte: You have provided illustrations for everything from stamps to menus via newspapers and book covers. How do you tailor your style to different needs? Marion Deuchars: A new commission is always an interesting challenge for me to make some new artwork. I like that I don’t always know what it will look like, that it will be a surprise in some ways. I have to think beforehand; should it be type-led? colourful? serious? I try to produce artwork that I think suits the subject best rather than have a one-style-fits-all approach. I start all projects by playing with different materials as a way of coming up with ideas and direction. PH: Your art books for children have so much character and enthusiasm. How did they come about? Tell us about the new one. MD: The books have all grown from my fi rst book Let’s Make Some Great Art. It was like art school in a book, so the subsequent ones are the result of doing the many exercises in the book. My latest one, Art Play, is the





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Our new arrival from birth to booster

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


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PH: What is your favourite kind of commission? MD: One that takes me to a place I don’t know. Milton Glaser says that ‘we should work towards the unknown’ and I completely agree. PH: What other artists and illustrators do you like? MD: I love seeing the greats. London has had so many fantastic exhibitions recently, from Matisse to Hockney. I also love looking at ancient art like Aztec. The British Museum is an endless source of inspiration. At the same time, I’m always looking at contemporary art and illustration. There have also been some great contemporary exhibitions recently, Ai Weiwei and Carsten Holler to name a few. I try to get to as many exhibitions as I can. PH: What is your typical working day like? MD: Walk the dog, walk the kids to train station, Pilates class, walk to work. I average a 25-hour working week, which is never long enough but it’s all I can do if I want to achieve a nice work/family life balance. I work in a shared open-plan studio with 24 other creatives. It used to be a Victorian shoe factory. It’s a nice place to go every day. I have lots of space and can make a mess. It’s nice to have lunch at a table that’s not my desk, it’s good to ask for advice when I need it.


I think the process of making and doing is as important as the end result most accessible of all my books. It’s based on how I approach all of my work, which is first and foremost to play. I think the process of making and doing is as important as the end result and this book tries to celebrate that. It’s a book for the very young and old. PH: How would you describe your style? MD: I use a lot of hand lettering, but I also love to draw and paint. I use mainly conventional materials like paper, pencil,

PH: What are you working on next? MD: I’m working on another picture book for Laurence King as a follow up to Bob the Artist, which will be released next autumn. We also have plans to make a number of Bob the Artist toys and gifts including Bob Dominos.


paints, and scissors… It's always hard describing your own style, but I receive many comments about my 'effortless' feel – I work hard at that. PH: How did you come to be an illustrator? When did it start? MD: I studied at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee. The first year was about trying everything from ceramics to photography to painting. By the end of the year we had to decide what to specialise in and I chose the Illustration and Printmaking department as it seemed to be where my work was heading.

Art Play by Marion Deuchars (Laurence King Publishing) is out now.

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16/12/2016 11:25

wildandgorgeous.co.uk Notting Hill, London W11 2AJ 020 7229 5855 Primrose Hill, London NW1 8UY 020 7586 1552 ILOVEGORGEOUS.indd Mama Ad Sept.indd 1 1

09/08/2016 08/08/2016 10:10 15:12



•Orla Kiely• We’re loving the boldly retro flavour of Orla Kiely’s AW16 collection, featuring mid 20th-century shapes and earthy ‘Land Girls’ hues reinvented for the contemporary woman. Infused with a very British femininity and enchantment, these clothes make Winter more magical. orlakiely.com

47 • GRAPHIC DETAIL An interview with Mini Mocks

49 • THE MAKING OF ME Business and babies with Avery Row

56 • THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT Stella McCartney Kids for Smallable

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16/12/2016 11:36

Keep calm and

COSY UP Intelligent, adaptable winter style solutions for mamas-to-be


(right) Florence crop top in Iris blue, £72 and knickers, £35; (above) Josephine bra £65 and knickers, £32; available at nineinthemirror.com

36  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

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m ama / fashion edito r




From a selection stocked at mothercare.com


Made of supple, super-soft cotton, jersey is both flattering and supremely comfortable, whether lounging at home or legging it around town. S I X ST U D I O

Grey Jersey Tank Top, £45; nineinthemirror.com R I P E M ATE R N IT Y

From a selection stocked at mothercare.com J U ST P O LLY

The 'Zoe' White Shirt, £55; justpolly.co.uk



Black Onesie, $258; hatchcollection.com

Stay adaptable in fluctuating temperatures with clever, easily removable layers: a stylish, slouchy knit in a grown-up grey or soothing neutral shade will provide both warmth and versatility.


Invest in some high quality lingerie and loungewear basics from labels like Six Studio and Storq: you’ll be laying the perfect foundation for the rest of your winter ensemble. For pregnancy and beyond.


Black Nursing Bra, $42; storq.com


Eleni Dress, £59; justpolly.co.uk

m usvte ha

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mama / fashion




STYLE Nine In The Mirror


issoni lends its signature stripes to this column dress, cut from stretch knit to flatter a growing silhouette when pregnant. Colourful stripes are woven with metallic threads to give a sheen that makes a standout piece for any special occasion. Long-sleeved, it's the perfect trans-seasonal piece for expecting. Versatile, stylish, perfect.


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DENIM Combine function and form with the New Year’s most stylish denim looks


nine inth e mirr or.c om

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Logo denim jacket £750 Paige Skyline maternity jeans £211

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Faded denim jacket – 7 for all mankind £400 Current Elliot – The Boyfriend Jean £221 Cream sweater Iro £150

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Wool Trench Joseph £795 Cream sweater Iro £150 Current Elliot – The Boyfriend Jean £221

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Stripy Sweater Maje £229 Paige Skyline Skinny Maternity denim £211

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Paul & Joe Bolivia Sweater £240 Paige Skyline Skinny Maternity denim £211

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16/12/2016 11:59

w Ne ner n sig De lectio e l l Co vailab ! A

Clever little things that keep baby socks on!

w No

...try our award winning range of innovative baby products!

www.sockons.co.uk absolutely SOCK ONS.indd mama full 1 page2.indd 1

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m a ma / style

also collaborated on more graphic printwork – your collaboration with Cooee Design for example – and you recently teamed up with Kelli Murray of Rylee and Cru on an amazing range of kids accessories...

PG: I get so inspired by fashion, interior design, the kids, nature... I could seriously come up with something new every day. I’m always looking for new collaborations! It’s a great marketing tool and I get to know the fantastic designers this industry has to offer. Last year I did a collab with Tinycottons, that was huge for me and we are good friends still.

Graphic Detail Q




Absolutely Mama: How did you start designing baby shoes? It seems like such a niche thing to get into?

Petra Gardefjord: When I started making moccasins in 2013, I was at home with my second child Liv. I had just been given a sewing machine from a friend of my dad’s and I had time to start practicing. I’ve never taken a course or

anything! Fortunately Liv was an easygoing baby and slept a good two to four hours per day. I started with leggings for her and went on to moccasins since no other shoes fitted her. Like a lot of babies, she had very chubby ankles! AM: How do you keep coming up with new designs? You’ve

AM: What’s the most fun thing about your job? PG: I love my job because it has given me so many new friends first of all! I find the whole ‘mumpreneur’community that has grown over the past years so empowering. All my Insta-mamas are giving so much energy on a daily basis! Another thing that I also love is seeing a product emerge from my thoughts on to the table, ready to meet a new owner. AM: And the most challenging?

PG: The most challenging might be that I’m alone with all the decisions. I have people working with me but being your own boss can be difficult at times too. But mainly just fun, I couldn’t have it in any other way. AM: You had another baby within the last year (you’re a mama of three); how do you keep up with work and keep bringing out new, exciting products? PG: This year has been a bit crazy to be completely honest. I took on more retailers last Spring at the same time as having a newborn. Now he’s a toddler and I can’t bring him to work because he’s not content to just watch me. It’s a mess! But I think the mess is a part of me. I couldn’t live without it. There is no such thing as life balance; I take every day as it comes hurtling towards me! minimocksshop.com

@mini.mocks Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  47


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m a ma / style

Absolutely Mama: How did you and your business partner [Helen Wetz] meet? Fiona Chow: Helen and I met over 12 years ago when we were working in New York. Back then, in the heady days of busy careers by day and cocktails by night, we bonded over a love of sushi, fun nights out, travel, and all things to do with interiors. We have remained great friends ever since and both ended up back in our hometown of London. AM: Why did you decide to take the plunge and set up your own business? FC: Prior to Avery Row, I was a sleepdeprived, stressed banker. Towards





Everything else pales in comparison to how much I love my children the end I was feeling unmotivated and thinking there had to be more to life than this. My desire for a career change coincided with Helen wanting to start her own business, something she had dreamed about for a while, and like many mumpreneurs, she felt it was the right time to give it a go. We met for a coffee and by the time we left we knew exactly what we wanted to create. The idea for Avery Row was born out of our love of textiles and wanting to create a certain look and feel that we both loved – soft geometric patterns in a colourful but calm palette. We had been inspired by designs and interiors from our travels abroad but had found it hard to recreate them back home when we were decorating our own houses (nine house moves between us on our last count). AM: Do you see it as a positive that your business and personal lives are so interconnected? FC: I love that I run my own business and even more so that it is in an area – motherhood – that I am experiencing to Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  49

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m a ma / style

the fullest right now. It makes me even more passionate about ensuring our products are both practical and beautifully designed. Having your own business means you never really stop working, whether it be checking out the newest trends, attending events with fellow mumpreneurs or gathering inspiration when you are out and about. I really enjoy every aspect of it. It also means you are your own boss and since having a baby, I am so grateful for the flexibility it gives me.

Having your own business means you never stop

AM: What’s been the most challenging thing so far? And how have you managed the company with a new baby in the mix? FC: Hands down it has to be working on an all-day photo shoot and then exhibiting at The Baby Show three weeks after giving birth to my first baby, Zoe. I remember turning up to set up our stand for the Baby Show with Zoe and being told ‘no children allowed’. The next six hours were spent trying to get everything set up as quickly as possible while running back and forth to Pizza Express around the corner where my mum was watching

her so I could breastfeed on demand! It was tough as I had no idea what I was doing being a new mum, but I have the most amazing support network in my husband, family and Helen. These two events were one-offs and now with Helen holding down the fort we catch up on a regular basis with calls every other day. As Zoe is still sleeping most of the time, I’ve been able to check my emails and manage parts of the business FIONA CHOW, MAMA TO such as the social media ZOE, AGED 3 MONTHS side easily with my phone. It definitely makes the night feeds pass really quickly!

AM: What’s next for Avery Row? FC: We’ve recently launched our collection of fitted sheets for both cot beds and Moses baskets in six fun designs, as well as a range of handwoven baskets. The fitted sheets are something that we had wanted to produce from the very beginning, as we found nice printed baby bedding really hard to fi nd in the UK. We have had so much fun designing the prints ourselves, it’s been really hard to narrow it down to six designs. Our baskets are Fair Trade and handwoven by a talented cooperative of artisans in Kenya using strings of dried sisal plant, a sustainable and environmentally friendly product. In these communities, weaving is a craft skill that has been passed down through the generations and helps to support local communities. Our goal is to continue adding to our existing collection of stylish and practical nursery accessories with more products launching in 2017!



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16/12/2016 12:02

6 of the best

Chunky Knits


3 5





Wrap up in sheepskin and the finest natural fabrics from Minimalisma


•April Showers by Polder•

A new brand offering a collection fi lled with playful, girly treasures – including dinky bracelets, long socks in block colours and this ruffle-neck top in sumptuous pink. Alice Top, £74; scandimini.co.uk


1. Fub Sweater in Ecru/Grey, £61; scandimini.co.uk 2. Misha and Puff Popcorn Cardigan in Nutmeg, £96; scandimini.co.uk 3. Harlequin Jumper, £68; waddler.co.uk 4. TAO Peasant Cardigan, £100; scandimini.co.uk 5. Kalinka Rusian Cardigan in Seashell, £84; scandimini.co.uk 6. Pierrot Jumper, £68; waddler.co.uk




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d Br ancus Fo

•Little Eleven Paris•

Maximum style points to Little Eleven Paris for this miniature sheepskin coat, the kind of versatile statement piece that could easily last for, and be enjoyed by, multiple generations. littleelevenparis.com

Minimalisma The products and brands to bookmark


•Scamp & Dude•

A collection designed to bolster kids’ confidence, clothing features ‘power activation’ buttons and superhero slogans – and is backed up by two very cool and quirky comforter accessories. scampanddude.com

A FANTASTIC BEASTS •The Animals Observatory•

Laia Aguilar’s incredible SS17 collection for TAO is will soon be available at Cissy Wears. Dreamy designs for littles who like to wear their imaginations on their sleeves. cissywears.com

Team Players •Mini Rodini x adidas Originals•

he childrenswear trailblazer has teamed up with the global sportswear giant for a yearlong collaboration that will see Mini Rodini prints and patterns splashed across classic adidas designs. Nice.  minirodini.com


new entry for your little black book of trendsetting kids’ brands, Minimalisma was started in 2011 with a view to producing clothes for babies and little ones that are at once beautifully luxurious and durable. Rooted in the minimalist tendencies of Scandinavian design – and headquartered in Switzerland, a country renowned for the precision engineering and lifelong reliability of its products – Minimalisma realises this goal by using only the finest natural fabrics: wool, alpaca, silk, cotton. Designs are pared-back yet pretty, traditionally inspired but decisively up-to-date, exhibiting both a fine feel for texture and an appreciation of the subtle detail – especially in the thermal vests and leggings. The stretch and flex built into the garments, meanwhile, ensures they outlast many months (or indeed years) of childhood rough and tumble. Little surprise, then, that Minimalisma has been all over our pages (and screens) the last couple of seasons – a rise to prominence we feel is sure to continue as more mamas experience the brand’s trademark balance of style and substance.


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16/12/2016 12:21

Are you looking for a reliable & experienced Bilingual Nanny or Domestic Staff in London or Overseas? WORLDWIDE NANNY is a Premium Domestic Staff Recruitment boutique serving essentially the UK, Europe and the Arab States of the Persian Gulf placing our skilled, competent and qualified Nannies, Maternity Nurses, Governesses, Housekeepers, Private Chefs and Butlers within International Families. Our services include Permanent and temporary placements. WORLDWIDE NANNY uses a very rigorous screening process in order to give peace of mind to our valuable clients. Every candidate introduced to our clients has been personally interviewed before being put forward to any position. At WORLDWIDE NANNY, our mission is to provide a tailor made bespoke service to each client, based on their needs, expectations and standards. You are in good hands with WORLDWIDE NANNY and we will ensure you are happy, relaxed and feel cared for.

+44 (0) 20 8611 2607 contact@worldwidenanny-uk.com www.worldwidenanny-uk.com


15/12/2016 15:32

m ama / fashion

employing highly skilled sculptors, jewellers and glass artists to create the finest possible examples of this type of work, marketed to a very discerning clientele.

Lasting Impression Q




AM: You are leading experts in fine lifecasting and the company is fast becoming an international one. What makes it different? AS: The sheer quality and range of products that we create is what separates us from the rest. We work with families to design and create pieces that are utterly unique and deeply personal; and partly as a result of these collaborations, our range just keeps growing. Composition and design is key – our pieces can be displayed as artworks of real merit or worn as beautiful jewellery, real family heirlooms. The casting itself is great fun for the family too: I pay home visits, so everyone is relaxed, all members of the family get involved and really enjoy the experience. All of Wrightson & Platt’s international casting artists are customers turned agents. I had my children’s feet cast by the company when they were tiny and just fell in love with the concept and attention to detail. AM: Who are your regular customers and what sort of feedback do you get from them? AS: Many of our clients come from the private maternity hospitals such as The Portland. We regularly work with royalty, A-list celebrities and other wealthy families who choose us because we’re the best in the business. The feedback is always incredibly positive; as Stella McCartney put it, ‘They say it all goes so fast and it really does! I’m so happy I asked you to make casts of all my newborn babies’ feet – they are among my most precious possessions.’

Interview: Helen B ar on Absolutely Mama: You’re in the memento business – do you think there’s a greater demand for items of lasting personal value and meaning in our increasingly digitised, disposable age? Amanda Scruby: That’s a very good point. The pieces we create capture very particular moments in time in a uniquely tangible way that you can’t achieve with photography, for example. Our customers see them as lasting reminders of the tininess and sheer perfection of their little ones’ hands and feet. And I do think there’s an increasing demand

for great craftsmanship and traditional artisan techniques that is a response to the disposability of today. AM: What inspired you to create such intricate and personal products? AS: The original idea came from seeing the marble sculptures that Queen Victoria commissioned of her children’s hands and feet at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The founders of the business were both British artists and saw an opportunity to bring real artistry to this type of service,

wrightsonandplatt.com @wrightsonandplatt Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  5 5


16/12/2016 12:24

The FUTURE’S Bright ~

Spotlighting the new collaboration between Stella McCartney Kids and smallable.com

Cat T-shirt, £44 Feline Jersey Shorts, £49

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Lion T-shirt, £44 Cat Swimming Shorts, £58 Cat Swimming Costume, £58

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Lion Sweatshirt, £58, and Jersey Bermuda Shorts, £49 Perforated Star Slip-ons, £96 Feline Jersey Dress, £61

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Feline Sweatshirt, £61 Jersey Bermuda Shorts, £49 Perforated Star Slip-ons, £96

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16/12/2016 12:12

Feline Sweatshirt, £61 Feline Jersey Shorts, £49

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16/12/2016 12:13

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•Z a kti • We’re loving this fast-rising brand’s new ‘Generation Z’ line of kids’ activewear, encompassing stylish and colourful clothing that’s still well-suited to outdoor pursuits and wintry weather. Practicality with a side helping of modern style. zaktiactive.com


Revive postnatal hair at Josh Wood Atelier


How a saliva swab can trace your ancestry


Hearty recipes from the Chiappa sisters

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8 of the best

Micellar Waters


4 7


3 6



Skin saviours and the latest tummy butter for pregnancy stretchmarks


Photographer Sarah Moon and François Nars have collaborated this season to produce a holiday collection with a difference. Think ethereal femininity meets a futuristic metropolis. We want all of it. narscosmetics.co.uk



1. Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water, £24; elemis.com 2. Dior Instant Cleansing Water, £26; dior.com 3. Madara Micellar Water, £12; feelunique.com 4. Avene Eau Thermale Micellar Lotion Cleanser, £12.50; feelunique.com 5. By Terry Cellularose Micellar Water, £43; spacenk.com 6. Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Petals, £14; spacenk.com 7. Ren Rosa Centifolia 3-In1 Cleansing Water, £13; renskicare.com 8. La Roche Posay Effaclar Micellar Water, £12; lookfantastic.com




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m ama / liv ing


Moa's range of organic bath products are both beautifully fragrant and gentle enough for sensitive baby skin. moa.london

GENEU Selfridges


Words: Pendle Ha rte



A tint foundation made for skin that lacks firmness, the hyaluronic complex plumps fine lines and wrinkles. It doubles as an SPF too. Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint SPF15, £50; net-a-porter.com


• D r. D e n n i s G r o s s •

This oil-free cream holds up to one thousand times its weight in water, keeping skin firm and smooth while maximising hydration. Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion, £51; net-a-porter.com


rganic shea butter provides the base for this omega-packed body butter, designed to protect your skin from all the stretching and flexing of pregnancy. It's beautifully scented, too, so your skin will be fragrant as well as feeling rejuvenated, supple and soft as silk.  Mama Mio Tummy Rub, £23.50 for 120g; mio.com



ealthy eating and early nights are all very well, but your actual chances of ageing well lie in your DNA. This is the position taken by Geneu, which produces skincare designed specifically to work with your unique combination of genes. 60% of skin ageing is inherited, leaving just 40% to be influenced by lifestyle. Free radicals are chemicals produced in response to environmental factors and they can be thwarted by natural defences found in our cells known as antioxidants. Meanwhile, our natural collagen resources are degraded over time by our DNA. Geneu has devised a special DNA test and questionnaire, involving a swab and a few (not too intrusive) lifestyle questions, in order to determine an individual's unique skincare requirements. My results? Amazing, actually. For one, I am deemed to be 'living a healthy lifestyle', and furthermore my 'antioxidant protection enzyme is exceptionally active.' I still need products, however, and my bespoke personalised serums arrive in a stylish gunmetal dispenser case, with instructions on how to combine them. Now, a few weeks on, I am certainly noticing a difference. geneu.com

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Sleep time guard & play time companion We have put a lot of love in creating Whisbear – The Humming Bear. The shushing device – that we prefer to call the Whisbear’s Heart – emits sound similar to what your baby remembers from safe and cosy environment of the womb. That is why Whisbear supports the transition from prenatal to postnatal life and helps babies settle and fall asleep. The Heart is armed with CRYsensor, an innovative technology that automatically enables soothing sounds if your baby wakes up and cries, to bring peaceful sleep back. Whisbear not only guards your baby’s sleep but is also a great playtime companion. We have used rustling elements in his ears and easy-to-grab legs along with contrasting fabrics to encourage sensory and fine motor development of your baby through exciting play!

Buy online at www.whisbear.co.uk


04/04/2016 09:39

m ama / liv ing

NEW YEAR, NEW HAIR, NEW YOU Want to hit the reset button on your postnatal hair? Words: Apphia Michael


aving birthed two tiny humans in the space of two years, I’ve found myself lumped with a mane of unruly postnatal hair – the literal fall-out from a combination of fluctuating pregnancy hormones, hair loss and annoying fuzzy regrowth. It's a lot for my stylists at Josh Wood Atelier to tackle. Josh Wood is one of the best colourists in the business, a hair maestro with a fiercely loyal, jet-set clientele. He's known across the board as the ‘King of Colour’, and when his team aren’t developing trends, working with brands on catwalk shows or with beauty directors for the pages of fashion magazines, they can be found at his eponymous atelier. It’s a grooming wonderland in which cutting-edge hair styling works in harmony with complementary services such as in-chair manicures and pedicures, brow styling, expert body treatments and facials from Sisley and Aurelia. There's even cosmetic

lighter colour the next time I see her, if desired. Starting with a root-drag tint to cover my white hairs, Danielle proceeds to highlight my hair with a freehand balayage technique, leaving a darker root for a subtle regrowth effect. After a wash and a head massage, an application of gloss toner is combined with an olaplex hair treatment, which works from the inside out to repair the disulphide bonds in hair damaged during the chemical process. I’m then whisked upstairs to the ‘Groom Room’, the atelier’s dedicated cutting and styling floor, to see Sophie, who cuts my hair

Hats off to Wood for creating a 360-degree approach to beauty in his atelier. dermatology and trichology from the likes of Dr Vali and Hair Medica. Thankfully, my stylist Danielle doesn’t balk when she sees the sorry state of my hair. She simply asks me about my lifestyle (busy), how often I can realistically expect to go to the salon to maintain my hair (once every six months) and what I want to achieve from today’s session (blonde, please). The last answer concerns Danielle because I have naturally almost-black Asian hair. Explaining why she feels a deep brown hue would be better for the health and general upkeep of my hair, Danielle suggests taking a more gradual approach, starting with a rich cappucino tone for this appointment and working towards a

into a mid-length bob; all the while, in-house manicurist Wendy has been lovingly tending to my nails without me having to leave my seat, applying this season’s latest chromeeffect silver polish to fi nish off the look. Hats off to Wood for creating a 360-degree approach to beauty in his atelier. joshwoodcolour.com Januar y / Februar y 2017




16/12/2016 12:36

New Soothe sensitive skin naturally with Weleda White Mallow The fragrance free products in our baby care range, with organic white mallow for hyper-sensitive baby skin, gently wrap your infant’s skin in a calming protective layer. Carefully selected natural ingredients help soothe the skin and reduce irritation. Available from Boots, Weleda.co.uk and leading independent health stores and pharmacies. In harmony with nature and the human being. To find out more visit www.weleda.co.uk

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m ama / liv ing

STRETCH OUT •Boob Design•

We're pretty excited about this: a young British brand creating mama-centric sports and leisurewear for pregnancy and beyond. Be sure to check out their range of stylish, versatile and nursing-friendly yoga gear – it might be just what you've been looking for. boobdesign.com


HEALTH NOTES Discover a new sportswear label... and your ancestry!



What’s that? Tights that use infra-red technology embedded within the fabric itself to reduce the appearance of cellulite? And that also provide innovative compression for mamas who may need it during or after pregnancy? Intelligent fashion, just the way we like it. £49.90; item-m6.co.uk

Get littles interested in brushing their teeth with Foreo’s innovative, silicone-bristled electric ISSA Mini toothbrush, which offers enhanced dental hygiene as well as increased comfort: the silicone construction means fewer germs and no prickles. Hooray! £85; foreo.com

•Item M6•


Tr i e d a nd Teste d - L i v i n g D N A


his inexpensive test uses a DNA sample from your saliva to shine a light on your ancestry. You may think – as I did – that there are no surprises in your family’s backstory, but your genes may tell another story entirely. Simply order a kit, send your saliva sample back to Living DNA’s

state-of-the-art lab, create your online profile and hey presto! Sooner than you’d think, you’ll be treated to a fascinating clamber up your family tree – which is probably a lot taller and more contorted than you could possibly have imagined. Living DNA offers up to three times the detail of other tests, so you can see your ancestral line (maternal

for women, paternal and maternal for men) snake across up to 80 regions worldwide, including 21 in the British Isles. Even better, your initial payment covers lifetime membership, so your results will be updated as the research underpinning them is refined. Riveting – and a great thing to explore with kids. £120; livingdna.com Januar y / Februar y 2017

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16/12/2016 12:42

A delicious alternative to your pregnancy & breastfeeding supplement

nutrimum Pregnancy Bars are fortified with Folic Acid* and Vitamin D at the levels recommended by the Department of Health for all women during pregnancy plus DHA (Omega 3). nutrimum Breastfeeding Bars are fortified with Vitamin D at the levels recommended by the Department of Health for all women while breastfeeding plus DHA (Omega 3) and Vitamins B2 & B6.

Available in the Mother & Baby section in selected Boots stores, online at Boots.com or via order and collect. Also available from Mothercare, Tesco and Ocado.

*The Department of Health recommends 400μg Folic Acid for all women during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.


22/01/2016 11:36

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REAL FOOD FAST •Daylesford to Go•

Daylesford has launched Daylesford To Go as part of their Eat To Be Healthy range. For an energising lunch, a Stay True Protein Bowl combines grilled chicken with a peashoot and mint salad, plus coconut mint pesto and beetroot relish. Yum. daylesford.com



Graphic tableware, superfood heroes and good food to go


Kallø have created these moreish, chocolate-covered rice cakes as a healthier, tasty alternative to sweet treats. Made with wholegrain brown rice and finished with a perfect dusting of coconut flakes. £1.89; available at Waitrose


A design so cool it’s already well on the way to becoming iconic, the Cooee mouse pops up on graphic tableware, wall prints, bookends and more. We love. Prices vary; cooee.se

Superfoods for babies by leading children’s cookery author and food expert Annabel Karmel


op superfoods that will help ensure your little one is getting all the goodness they need in their diet from an early age: Avocados Bursting with nutrients, melt in the mouth and perfect for weaning. They’re rich in monounsaturated fat (the ‘good type’ of fat) as well as vitamin E, which boosts baby’s immune system. Kale This culinary superhero is filled with essential nutrients

and vitamins. It’s high in iron and vitamin K, so it’s great as part of a puree combo. Salmon Fish in your baby’s diet is so important: healthy fats contained in oily fish encourage growth as well as the development of your baby’s brain, nervous system and vision. Oily fish such as salmon is a great source of Omega 3 fats. Broccoli These mini trees are a powerful source of vitamin C and

also contain beta-carotene, folic acid, iron, potassium and anticancer phytonutrients. Mix it with a sweet-tasting vegetable like sweet potato or butternut squash. Blueberries Jam-packed with vitamin C, they can help fight off colds, so are an essential ingredient for your baby. annabelkarmel.com @annabelkarmel Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  7 1

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~ Leek, Potato and Parsnip Soup ~ Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Serves: 6 -8 TO B U Y:

• 2 parsnips • 2 sweet or white potatoes • 2 leeks • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock • fresh herbs to season, such as parsley, or kale crumbs STO R E - CU PB OAR D E S S E NTIAL S :

• 1 onion • Salt and pepper, to taste

~ Sweet Potato Crustless Quiche ~ Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25-30 minutes Serves: 6 -8 TO B U Y:


Peel and roughly chop all the washed vegetables 2 Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan, pour over the stock and bring to the boil 3 Simmer for 20 minutes 4 Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly 5 Blitz with a stick blender until smooth, or leave some chunks if preferred 6 Remove a portion for baby, then season to taste with salt (for toddlers and adults), pepper and some fresh herbs or kale crumbs, if desired 1

• 1 large sweet potato (approx.. 350g-400g), washed and peeled • 150g leftover cooked meat • 100g feta or any hard cheese • 300ml single cream STO R E - C U P B OA R D E S S E NTIA L S :

• Olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste 4 eggs • A handful of kale crumbs or fresh herbs M ETH O D :

1 Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees/ gas 4 and grease a 20cm shallow pie dish with olive oil. Slice the potato very thinly, either using a mandolin or by hand, and place in a bowl 2 Toss the sliced potato in a little olive oil and season with salt (omit if serving to baby) and pepper 3 Layer the sweet potato across the bottom of a pie dish and around the edges to form a base 4 Cut the meat and cheese into small cubes and layer on top of the sweet potato. Beat the eggs and cream together, then add the kale crumbs 5 Pour the mixture gently into the prepared pie dish 6 Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set – don’t overcook as the eggs may scramble 7 Leave to cool slightly before serving. Also delicious served cold!

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~ Fish Pies in a Mug ~ Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 20-30 minutes Serves: 4 TO B U Y:

• 600-700g fish (salmon, white fillet or smoked haddock) • 300ml crème fraiche • Zest and juice of one lemon • Fresh parsley (you can also use dill or thyme) • 1 packet of pre-rolled puff pastry, approx. 320g STO R E - C U P B OA R D E S S E NTIA L S :

• Salt and pepper, to taste M ETH O D :

1 Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees/ gas 4 2 Cut the fish into approx. 3cm chunks 3 Mix the fish with the crème fraiche in a medium bowl 4 Add the zest and juice of the lemon to the fish 5 Season with the herbs, remove a portion for the baby, then add salt and pepper (for toddlers and adults) and set aside 6 Use the top of a mug to cut out discs of puff pastry and set aside 7 Pour the fish mixture evenly into 4 ovenproof mugs 8 Place a pastry disc on top of each mug 9 Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the pastry is golden.


~ Chicken Pot Pie ~ Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40-50 minutes Serves: 8 TO B U Y:

• 2 medium sweet potatoes • 450g chicken breast (or cold leftover chicken) • 1 leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped • 2x250g tubs of ricotta • Grated nutmeg (optional) • 8 handfuls of frozen peas (165g) • 165g draind tinned sweetcorn STO R E - C U P B OA R D E S S E NTIA L S :

• 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling • Herbs of your choice (e.g. thyme sprigs, parsley, etc.) • Salt and pepper, to taste • 1 tablespoon butter • 200ml milk

1 Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/ gas 4 2 Wash the sweet potatoes and grate with skins into a bowl 3 Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the herbs and put to one side 4 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a frying pan 5 Add the chicken cubes and leeks and cook for 10 minutes, then remove from heat 6 Mix together the ricotta and milk and place the ricotta mix, cooked chicken and leek, frozen peas and sweetcorn in a large ovenproof dish. Stir gently to combine 7 Top with the grated sweet potato and drizzle with olive oil 8 Bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbling and crispy on top 9 Remove a portion for baby, then season the rest with salt, pepper and nutmeg if using.

Recipes reproduced from Baby at the Table,: A 3-Step Guide to Weaning the Italian Way by Michela and Emanuela Chiappa (Penguin), £16.99; penguin.co.uk thechiappas.com @thechiappas

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16/12/2016 13:00

Lili, Jade and Nina New from Nattou

www.hippychick.com 01278 434440 Absolutely HIPPIE CHICK.indd Mama ad 13-10-16.indd 1 1

13/10/2016 13/10/2016 14:25 19:20



•Leander• We're not saying the design isn't intelligent – because clearly there's serious know-how behind it – but a cot doesn’t have to be clever when it’s this beautiful. Featuring a unique angled design and amazing build quality, this is a new benchmark in bedtime style. Linea Cot, £425; huggle.co.uk

78 • NURSERY NOTES Posters and products we love


By interior designer Suzy Hoodless

82 • STAY NEUTRAL A new palette for the nursery

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6 of the best




NURSERY NOTES Modern design brands we love and six of the best posters

45 3


Loaf’s new Little Loafers home furnishings and accessories collection offers lots of Scandistyle quirk and character – we love this mountain-themed bedroom in all its pioneering glory. Prices vary; loaf.com


1. Marta Badblay Animal Poster, €34; martabadblay. tictail.com  2. Wonder and Rah Dinosaur Print, £15; notonthehighstreet.com  3. Michelle Carslund vs Émoi Émoi ‘La Ville est Belle en Famille’ Poster, €28; en.emoi-emoi.com  4. Amayadeeme Bunny Poster, €18; peekandpack.com  5. Fine Little Day Pirum Parum Poster, £29.50; scandimini.co.uk  6. Miniwilla Supergirl Poster, £24.50; scandimini.co.uk




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d Br ancus Fo

• J ä l l & To f t a •

A clever crib with integrated rocking/nursing chair that converts to both a cot and a very cute toddler bed. Practical and stylish – and could save you money in the long run. Rocky Crib, €1,250; jaelleundtofta.com

Mahabis A spotlight on the brands we absolutely love


Snuggle alert: this new, Bath-based label makes beautiful sleepwear and bedlinen for little ones and their mamas. Choose from a range of tasteful, print-based designs. From £24; sleepydoe.com

A TABLE TALK •Oliver Furniture•

Nordic oak of the palest, most understated hue makes this table and matching chairs a welcome addition to almost any modern interior. Grown-up style for kids. PingPong Table, £229 and Chairs, £175 each; nubie.co.uk

Go Glamping Djeco

his easy-to-assemble play-tent from Djeco is ideal for indoor camp-outs, with a bright harlequin design and roll-up door. Littles will love having a den of their own to play and nap in – and it's a great place to store piles of cuddly toys and all that other stuff that won't seem to stay put-away.  £49.99; crafts4kids.co.uk


London-born success story, Mahabis is like the Apple of slippers – taking a tired product, filtering it through a masterful design process and emerging from the other end with a hugely desirable item that seems (at least to a certain kind of style-savvy individual) both essential and luxurious. The product in question is the slipper. A Mahabis slipper is a thing of surprising practicality – not to mention minimalist beauty. Wearing its Scandinavian influence proudly, it is made of pure sheep’s wool finely crafted to be warm, cosy and never, ever sweaty. It has a special elasticated bit to keep the heel of the slipper from getting trodden down and it looks great on the foot – something no other slipper has ever quite managed. Moreover, it’s versatile: you can literally ‘flick on’ special synthetic soles and wear your Mahabis on the street. Best of all is the fact that you can now get Mahabis for little ones, meaning your babes can tear around the house in something more stylish, comfortable and (probably) safe than the novelty soft-toy slippers purchased by your well-meaning in-laws last Christmas. Result. From £49.


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16/12/2016 13:05

It’s time to decorate the perfect space for your little bundle of joy. But what to choose?

Linea by Leander® is a children’s furniture range that embraces the beauty of solid craftsmanship while empathising with your need for unique features. Every piece of furniture in the range is tailored to make parenting a little easier. Without compromising on great design. Furniture available in oak, beech and white. Prices from £ 249.- Textiles available in several colours. Prices from £ 32.Find retailer: www.leander.com/contact/find-retailer

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is my new shed, a ship lap timber construction with a sedum roof and veranda with a log store. Also, my daughter’s bedroom, pictured.

MY HOME Designer

SUZY HOODLESS shares her favourite things

s uzy ho o dl ess .c o m • @s uzy ho odless


is the Ile de Re, France. A mainly car-free island off the north-west coast inhabited by Parisians looking for lowkey beach escapes.


is the Independence Palace, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Designed in 1962, the architecture and interior are amazing.



is my Jeff Koons puppy. I love the scale of the balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces.

is Frits Henningsen. The wing back chair is the best chair ever produced, a design classic, well-known now, relatively difficult to find and sadly enormously expensive.


is Iris Apfel. Her use of mixing prints is genius and totally unique to her, she has her own rules and is in a total class of her own.


is my Bridgitte Bardot picture by Gerald Laing. A black and white print with coral circle overlaid, I love the colour, iconic image and simplicity of this piece. Jansuar y / Februar y 2017

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16/12/2016 13:06

Stay NEUTRAL Our Contributing Editor moves on from monochrome in this exclusive nursery tour ~ S ty l i n g: Ap p h i a Mi ch a el Ph o t o g rap hy: G e orge Ch e va li e r L e wi s

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On the floor: Mouse Chair, €175; nofred.com Wooden Toy Box (customised with wall paint), £84.90; kidsconcept.com • Cotton Knit Rabbit Toy, €45; ooh-noo.com • Grey Teepee, £119.90; kidsconcept.co.uk On the bed: Roof Toddler Bed, €1,100; kutikai.pl • Dotty 'Buttons' Duvet Cover, €120 and Pillowcase, €34; ooh-noo.com Numero 74 Beige Duvet Cover, from £79; bobokids.co.uk • Numero 74 Dark Beige Futon Quilt, £59; bobokids.co.uk On the wall: Normann Copenhagen Wooden Stick Wall Hooks, £16; thismodernlife.co.uk • Grey Wool Wall Hanging, from £38; infantartclub.bigcartel.com • Magnetic Wallpaper (customised with wall paint), £47.50 for a 63.5cm x 265cm roll; sistersguild.co.uk • Animal Kingdom Wooden Magnetic Toy Set, £59.50; sarahandbendrixkids.com • Pink Paper Globe (mounted onto magnetic wallpaper), £10 for a set of 3; littlelulubel.com • House Doctor Pipe Wall Lamp, £68; sistersguild.co.uk Engel White Felt Confetti Garland, £10.50; sistersguild.co.uk • Cam Cam Copenhagen Quilted Playmat in Nude (used as wall hanging), £62; themodernnursery.com

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Rafa-Kids XL Shelf, €445; rafa-kids.com Neo Mammoth Wooden Twist Toy, £19.90; kidsconcept.co.uk • Wooden Stacking Ovoids by Toto, £30; thismodernlife.co.uk Pink Time Capsule Treasure Tin, £8.50; thismodernlife.co.uk • Wooden Duck Stacking Toy, Wooden Dog Stacking Toy, both £9.50; sarahandbendrixkids.com • Nobodinoz Wooden Ice Cream Stand, £60; mollymeg.com Mouse Table, €201, Mouse Chair, €175; nofred.com • Four Leaf Puzzle, £22; sarahandbendrixkids.com • Maileg Angel Wings, £24; sistersguild.co.uk • Elephant Wall Animal Head; fionawalkerengland.com

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Numero 74 Doll Moses Basket, £46; bobokids.co.uk • Lady Doll (in basket), £25; sarahandbendrixkids.com • Numero 74 Mustard Yellow Tatami Mat; bobokids.co.uk • Wooden Pull-Along Bear in the Car, £11; sarahandbendrixkids.com • White Wooden Alphabet Blocks, €48.50; ooh-noo.com

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Moulin Roty Children's Blackboard, £79.95; cottage-toys.co.uk • Normann Copenhagen Wooden Stick Wall Hooks, £16; thismodernlife.co.uk • Grey Wool Wall Hanging, from £38; infantartclub.bigcartel.com • Numero 74 Mustard Yellow Tatami Mat; bobokids.co.uk Roof Toddler Bed, €1,100; kutikai.pl • Numero 74 Dark Beige Duvet Cover, from £79; bobokids.co.uk • Numero 74 Tatami Futon Quilt, £59; bobokids.co.uk • Wooden Toy Box (customised with Farrow and Ball paint), £84.90; kidsconcept.co.uk

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A toddler bed that doubles up as a house will provide hours of fun and stimulate your child’s imagination, all the while getting them to enjoy their sleep space too.  Roof Toddler Bed, €1,100; kutikai.pl

Get The Look

Warm, natural tones point the way forward for nursery style @ap p hia_ _ _ _

Toy Chest

Create a neutral tonal effect by painting furniture the same colour as the walls. This white toy chest by Kids Concept was painted in Farrow & Ball’s Dead Salmon shade.  Wooden Toy Box, £84.90; kidsconcept.co.uk

Minimalist Hanging Shelf

What better way to get your child to make a bedroom their own than with a personally curated wall. Rafa-Kid’s XL shelf, measuring in at a generous 140 x 70 cm, has tonnes of space to for endless display options. Encourage them to fill it with books, toys and picture frames.  XL Shelf, €445; rafa-kids.com


Whether it’s used as a quilt, blanket or play-mat, your little treasure will thank you for this soft futon quilt by Numero 74, made from 100% cotton and traditionally dyed in the most gorgeous muted shades.  Futon Quilt, £59; bobokids.co.uk

Magnetic Wallpaper Instead of a garish notice board, mount a square of magnetic wallpaper and

paint it the same shade as the wall to create a tasteful, pared-back surface for your child to display drawings and notes with the help of magnets.  Magnetic Wallpaper, £47.50 a roll; sistersguild.co.uk; Animal Kingdom Wooden Magnetic Toy Set, £59.50; sarahandbendrixkids.com Januar y / Februar y 2017

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Bed Frame from Creative Furnitures Odette Swan Wall Head, £65; bobbyrabbit.co.uk Replica Eames Elephant Chair, £175; connox.com Customised Stella Chair and Desk, £120; my1styears.com White Wall Shelves, £10; ikea.com Numero 74 Star Garland (around bedframe), £22; en.smallable.com Gold Toadstool Table Lamp, £32; bobbyrabbit.co.uk Rose in April Star Cushion, £28; bobbyrabbit.co.uk

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16/12/2016 14:24

Star POWER An enchanting nursery from the interiors blogger behind Stella & the Stars ~ S tylin g: E mil ie Jac o b


16/12/2016 14:25

White Dollhouse Bookcase, £25.59; argos.co.uk

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Rowen & Wren Bookshelf

My 1st Years Personalised Desk

This lovely desk and chair set is made of quality wood, is very easy to assemble (it comes flatpacked and takes literally three minutes to put together), has an integrated plastic pot to store crayons and can be personalised (for free) with your little one’s name on the back of the chair.  £120; my1styears.com

Rowen & Wren’s Baa-Baa bookshelf is such a playful storage solution, a great alternative to traditional shelves – and it makes bedtime reading much more fun, with books accessible even to younger kids.  Baa-Baa Book Shelf, £92; rowenandwren.co.uk

Get The Look

Creating a kids’ room with both style and a sense of fun... s tell a an dthes tars .n et • @s tell aan dthes tars

Mini Tent

This miniature version of a children’s play-tent is ideal to store toys and hide the mess after a full day of hard play! The mini tent comes with a carry handle (ideal for kids to move around) and a storage bag, and can be packed away easily at the end of the day.  Toy Tent, £45; bobbyrabbitkids.co.uk


I fell in love with this collection of painted wooden letters from This Modern Life. I like the mix of lowercase and capital letters, the bright colours... and they’re a great way to personalise a room without breaking the bank. £2 per letter; thismodernlife.co.uk

Elephant Chair I added a touch of pink to the otherwise grey scheme with a replica

Eames elephant stool. It’s a clever piece that can be used either as a toy or as a decorative item – and it’s also suitable for outdoors.  Replica Eames Elephant Chair, £175; connox.co.uk

Januar y / Februar y 2017




16/12/2016 14:25


14/10/2016 16:10



•Wilderness Safaris• Offering up to 65% discounts for children aged 17 and under, Wilderness Safaris is opening up Africa’s natural heritage to more families than ever. Youngsters get ‘Bush Buddy’ packs containing all manner of fun, useful stuff to accompany their explorations. wilderness-safaris.com

96 • A FINE ROMANCE The sweet life in Southern Italy

100 • A FAMILY AFFAIR How to do Florence with littles

105 • ELMLEY NATURE RESERVE Tranquility an hour from London

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ISLAND LIFE •Beaches Resorts•

With everything from roaming Sesame Street characters and a huge waterpark to a teen disco, this all-inclusive Turks & Caicos resort might just be the most family-friendly travel destination we’ve yet seen. Truly something for everyone. beachesresorts.co.uk



and three early-bird family deals FAMILY FRIENDLY


id & Coe is basically an AirBnB designed expressly for families – and offering hand-selected properties you actually want to stay in, rather than huge numbers of hovels you have to waste time sifting through. Sign us up!  kidandcoe.com

on't forget your PJs! Cyberjammies' new 'Stephanie' woven long-sleeve pyjamas have arrived in time for Spring/ Summer with a floral print. Made of a super-soft cotton and modal mix for a heavenly night's sleep. £45;  cyberjammies.co.uk

Kid & Coe




3 Early Bird Deals TO BOOK AHEAD

VILLA EROS Stay at this Santorini villa during March, April or May and save 20%, so long as you book before the end of January. Sleeping ten, the villa’s lofty perch and breathtaking views make it perfect for yoga classes, which can be arranged on booking. Check theluxurytravelbook.com

PORTO ELOUNDA GOLF & SPA This Cretan resort boasts a world-class golf course and incredible spa facilities alongside The Ark kids club, where youngsters can enjoy a host of fun cultural and sporting activities. Check sovereign.com

IKOS OLIVIA Five-star luxury meets an all-inclusive, family-friendly ethos at this idyllic resort on Greece’s picturesque Halkidiki coastline. Guests can relax with a massage or indulge in all manner of sport, leisure and entertainment options. Check sovereign.com

Januar y / Februar y 2017

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or a while there, it seemed Italy had fallen out of favour with the arbiters of travel trends, but in 2016 it came back in a big way, with seemingly every man and his iPhone pitching up to Instagram the Old Country’s manifold cultural and culinary delights. For most of Italy, this represented a simple (and anticipated) return to form: the likes of Rome, Florence, Como, Milan – even fair Verona – were never likely to be out of the spotlight for long. Not so Apulia, the long, slender strip of land that runs down the heel of the Italian boot. Long associated with agrarian poverty and a lack of big-city razzle-dazzle, the region had long been neglected by travellers. After a brief flash of interest in the early noughties, it might easily have faded back into obscurity. And yet, in one of those paradoxical outcomes

that are coming to define the digital age, it’s Apulia’s relative obscurity that has seen it surging back to prominence, as a new breed of traveller – one that prizes authenticity and hungers for the new – realises that it’s here, in this least loved corner of Western Europe, that real discoveries can still occur. Another factor in the resurgence of love for Apulia is the powerful regional identity that infuses everything from the food and the people to the architecture. Masserie are a great example: these traditional farmhouses, typically built of local stone around an airy courtyard, have been reinvented for the contemporary age, with a small but growing number of owners employing modern amenities and contemporary design to entice travellers – especially families and groups of friends – looking for a luxurious base from which to explore the region.

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It's Apulia's relative obscurity that has seen it surging back to prominence with a new breed of traveller – one that prizes authenticity and hungers for the new

We were fortunate enough to stay in one of the very finest: Masseria La Spinetta, a modern-built home inspired by classical Roman designs. Completely surrounded by walls of pale stone, the gated entrance leads to a courtyard alive with fountains. Around this space are arranged four of the five bedrooms, including a master suite with a dressing room that we used as a nursery for our little one. Elsewhere you'll find a cosy lounge area beneath high, vaulted ceilings; a large, open-plan dining room and kitchen; a utility room, and a final bedroom suite with a four-poster bed. We were instantly impressed by the unpretentious elegance of our new home-from-home, its traditional Apulian style enlivened here and there with well-chosen contemporary art and furnishings from the Indian subcontinent. But the best was still to come. Masseria La Spinetta is surrounded by gardens; in the warm light of Apulian

high summer, they’re something to behold. The sound of falling water drifts through the foliage to where you relax, poolside, on a sun lounger or day bed, taking in the drone of bees in the herb garden or the calls of birds among the olive groves. The lawns are immaculate, the pool-house is stocked with all manner of inflatables and toys – for when the kids aren’t busy bouncing on the sunken trampoline or playing badminton – and there’s even an outdoor kitchen complete with fridge, wood-fired pizza oven and a long dining table. We spent a happy evening refining our pizza-making abilities with the aid of dough provided by a local chef (sourced by the villa’s brilliant concierge, Irina).

But Masseria La Spinetta is only the jewel in a much larger crown, and Apulia offers much to explore. In this respect, the guide written by the masseria’s owners was invaluable. It gave a comprehensive overview of the delights both in the immediate area and further afield: delights such as Cesarea Santa Terme, a splendid town of Art Nouveau palazzos clinging to a cliff over the Adriatic; or Lecce, a regional centre packed with baroque monuments and sites of historic interest. There are beaches aplenty for those more inclined to lay back than to stretch their legs, and the masseria even has bicycles suitable for the entire family. One highlight of our trip was a drive to Ostuni, a whitewashed village an hour to the north that gazes out across the Apulian countryside – and home to some truly great restaurants and gelateria. The truth, though, is that Masseria La Spinetta was hard to leave for long. Its clever layout, which means guests feel neither segregated nor squeezed-together, the beautiful decor and a host of little luxuries made it a pleasure to return to after a day out. Which means there’s plenty more of Apulia to visit next time: lucky us.  Prices from €4,500 a week in low season, including daily maid service, concierge and sales taxes. masserialaspinetta.com

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K O F 7 BO OW 1 N 20

Discover blissful baby & toddler friendly holidays

Everything that parents need for stress free getaways in luxury villas and 5* resorts

Call 0800 014 2770 or visit www.totstotravel.co.uk

TTT.indd 1

17/10/2016 09:37

A Family Affair

Thought Florence was strictly a grown-up holiday destination? Think again. Our Contributing Editor enjoys a family weekend in one of Europe’s most enchanting art cities Words Apphia Michael

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Our secret weapon to is the Four Seasons Hotel


hen it comes to city breaks, Florence has the formula bottled. Rich in history, this cradle of the Italian Renaissance dishes out a heady combination of iconoclastic art, stunning architecture and an ever-evolving gastronomic scene for culture vultures who flock in their droves to feast on masterpieces such as Brunelleschi’s dome, Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. With all this haute culture on tap, you’d be forgiven for thinking it might be better to leave the kids at home. Indeed, a quick Google of whether Florence is child-friendly gives the impression that it caters to more grown-

up tastes. Admittedly, any place that has more than one million artworks from the Renaissance can run the risk of coming across as a little ‘intellectual’. But with a little faith and a more relaxed approach to sightseeing, the small but perfectly formed capital city of Tuscany can be incredibly accessible for kids. We went in the mid-July heat, armed with a handheld fan and a blank, open itinerary for a short two-night break. Defying the naysayers on Google, we were accompanied by our three monthold baby and three year-old toddler. Our secret weapon to combat the highseason crowds and any potential toddler meltdowns is the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, a glittering urban oasis tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets and museums, which immediately

appeals to our parental sensibilities with its generous 11-acre botanical gardens (one of the largest private gardens in the city), expansive outdoor pool area and wellequipped children’s playground. Spread over the fifteenth-century Palazzo Della Gherardesca and La Villa, a sixteenthcentury former convent building, the Four Seasons in Florence oozes Old World charm, backed up with the modern luxury you would expect from a five-star hotel. Children are treated like VIPs here, with welcome treats, child-sized bathrobes and

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The city’s central zone is traffic-free, making an exploratory walk at sunset with the children an absolute breeze complimentary children's toiletries waiting for each mini guest in their rooms. Babysitting can also be arranged on request, which is handy if you fancy pottering down to the hotel’s Michelin-starred Il Palagio restaurant for dinner. What’s more, the hotel runs a weekly children’s programme where daily activities and workshops such as cooking lessons, treasure hunts, storytelling and even fresco painting sessions in the garden (taught by a Florentine artist) can be enjoyed. Walking around the hotel’s breathtaking 15th century courtyard lobby, we know we’re onto a winner when our usually overly energetic daughter stumbles into the chapel overlooking the courtyard and is stunned into silence by its beautiful frescoes. Art and history can be found everywhere here as both buildings have undergone meticulous restoration, making you feel as if you’re guest for the night in a living museum. La Villa, its ‘hotel within the hotel’, which has its own reception, concierge and dedicated butler service, features first-floor frescoes and wall paintings and is also home to an impressive ballroom, formerly a church

but now restored to its 19th century glory. Of the resort’s 116 individually decorated bedrooms and suites, Florentine art and craftsmanship can especially be seen in the opulent Presidential Suite in La Villa and the Gallery Suites in the Palazzo Della Gherardesca, which all retain features of the building’s original architecture. The hotel’s central location set us up perfectly for some leisurely sightseeing on the way to dinner – we were only about a fifteen-minute stroll from attractions such as the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, the city’s main square. Incredibly, the city’s central zone is traffic-free, making an exploratory walk at sunset with the children (avoiding the midday tourist crowds in the process) an absolute breeze. Of course, a trip to Italy’s art paradise wouldn’t be complete without a visit to

a museum. We all know the Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia, but the former alone requires at least three hours of dedication and let’s face it, children get tired. Smaller museums offer little ones a more immersive experience – the Museo dei Ragazzi at Palazzo Vecchio, once a Medici residence, has a museum dedicated to children and offers daily activities for families. There is also the Stibbert Museum with its dazzling array of armours, the Galileo Museum, a sciencelover’s paradise and Museo Leonardo Da Vinci, which gives children an inspiring peek into the great inventor’s work. Our three year-old was happiest exploring the cobbled backstreets and riding the quaint vintage carousel on Piazza della Repubblica (which runs all year round). Unsurprisingly, she loved the simple pleasures of taste-testing ice creams in the city’s many gelaterias during our trip – Grom and Gelateria La Carraia were firm favourites. We enter full relaxation mode on our last day with a mother-daughter pamper session at the resort’s state-of-the-art spa, which offers a special kids and teens treatment menu and the option to hire out a private spa suite for both mums and kids to be looked after together. City breaks are famously fun, but who knew they could be relaxing too? For rates contact fourseasons.com/florence

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m ama / tra vel


he 3,200 acres of open marshland upon which Elmley sits has been a nature reserve for over 40 years, and a national nature reserve – with all the additional special protections the designation implies – for 25. This means that new development within the reserve is kept to a minimum, and must be of the low-impact, sustainable variety – a challenge to which Georgina and Gareth, the land’s current stewards, have risen with aplomb. They’ve created a series of English-built shepherd’s huts and strung them artfully along a strip of land beside their own farmhouse.


Elmley National Nature Reserve Sheppey, Kent Words: Helen B ar on


ou can’t stay in your hut all the time when such incredible, sweeping views beckon you from the (in our case) floor-to-ceiling windows. Elmley may be located in the (curiously picturesque, to be honest) shadow of industrial Kent’s smokestacks, but the reserve is famous for its flora and fauna. Wander along the sea wall, down through the marsh and you’re likely to spot rabbits, hawks and all manner of other birdlife. Waterfowl gather by the ponds, we spotted two hares and a tawny owl before we’d even parked our car and our little one loved her close encounter with the farm’s rather beautiful cows.



ur shepherd hut was amply catered for with power, hot running water, heating, a kitchenette and en suite bathroom. Each hut also has its own distinct, tasteful decor – from the serene Scandinavian stylings of Vanellus to the cosy, rusticated cabin feel of our Saltbox. There’s a cavernously magnificent Victorian barn-cum-communal games room (perfect for weddings) if you fancy a sociable hour or two mingling with other guests; if not, simply unwind on your hut’s supremely comfortable bed with a wonderfully woolly hot-water bottle and exquisite views for company.


Stay at Elmley National Nature Reserve from £100 per night. Photography: Robert Canis, Rebecca Douglas and Loopy Gibbens.



@elmleynature Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  1 05

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is here to help!

We all know how unpredictable babies can be!

Even if you follow a regular routine, no two days are the same, and there are certain trigger times1 when your baby may be more prone to nappy rash 1.Morris H, The bottom line on nappy rash, British Journal of Midwifery, September 2012, Vol 20, No 9, pages 540-543


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•Little Green Sheep• Get snuggly with baby sleepwear and bedding from Little Green Sheep’s new ‘Wild Cotton’ range, featuring some distinctly British, totally cute woodland prints and supersoft, organic fabrics baby is sure to love cuddling up with. From £15; littlegreensheep.co.uk

108 • NEW BABY CHECKLIST Essential picks by Molly and Moo


The products new mums can't live without

118 • THREE OF THE BEST Tandem buggies tried and tested

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Absolutely Mama: How long has Molly & Moo been going? How did you fall into products for newborns? Jemma: The idea for Molly & Moo first came about in February of this year and we went on to launch our first product in July. It seems funny to think that we haven’t had an anniversary for the brand yet, because the last few months have been a complete whirlwind and just as with having children, it’s almost impossible to remember a time without Molly & Moo in our lives! Lucy: The brand came about on the back of a chance conversation with Jemma regarding a shared frustration. When we were at home with our babies we’d both found it so hard to find beautiful baby neutrals in the sea of pink, blue and cutesy options that were available to us. It was frustrating and Molly & Moo is our reaction to solving that issue for those parents who want to parent without having to compromise on their style.

New Baby

CHECKLIST Jemma and Lucy, founders of Molly & Moo, share they key items on their new baby checklist

AM: How have you found the experience of setting up your own business while juggling motherhood? Lucy: Honestly? Exhausting and fraught with stress, but it’s also completely exhilarating and one of the most rewarding things that we’ve ever done! It’s an emotional rollercoaster. The good days are the best of days and the worst days make you want to go back to bed, pull the duvet back over and start again tomorrow. And that’s where having a fantastic business partner who is as passionate about the brand as I am is worth its weight in gold, because we can pick each other up and dust ourselves off, and then share in our successes like no one else can. Jemma: I agree wholeheartedly with everything that Lucy has said, I don’t think I could have done this without a business partner on the same wavelength.

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a confidence that I didn’t have before having Leo – having children has given us the courage to put ourselves out there and take a risk on starting Molly & Moo. Of course, the business also benefits from our finely honed multi-tasking skills that every mother seems to gain when they give birth!

Sometimes the children run rings around us and we have to work late into the night because we both also work part-time in finance during the week and are managing all aspects of the brand single-handedly. It’s easy to feel that we’re spreading ourselves a little thin, but ultimately Lucy and I are in this because we love Molly & Moo and want to create a better future for our families, so that drives us on.

The good days are the best of days AM: What strengths do you think motherhood/parenting brings to business? Jemma: At our core our most important role is as mother to our children, Lucy to Leo, 4, and myself to William, 6, and Molly, 2. We’ve been through the sleepless nights, felt the utter exhaustion and experienced the hormone-driven tears firsthand, so we understand babies and know what a parent would look for and what they can’t live without. Lucy: I’d say that motherhood brings with it a more rounded and authentic perspective, and

BBHugme These BBHugme pillows provide essential support for a good night’s sleep with bump – then double up as a nursing pillow once baby arrives! shop.bbhugme.no


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Oliver Cot A beautiful cot is a necessity for any nursery and we’ve long been fans of this brand for great quality and stylish design scandiborn.co.uk

Molly & Moo Beau Bunny Hooded Towel Made from super-soft and highly absorbent cotton, this towel is ideal for snuggling baby after a splish-splash in the bath mollyandmoo.co.uk

AM: What’s an important piece of advice for mothers wanting to grow their family as well as a new business? Lucy: To any budding mumpreneurs, I’d say to carefully consider whether you want to go it alone or find someone to share the journey with. For Jemma and I, finding in one another a like-minded business partner has enabled us to grow the brand without compromising too much on family life. Having a business partner also brings a new perspective and skills to the party. Obviously lots of mums go into business very successfully on their own, but for us, Molly & Moo simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support of one another. We’re so excited about what the future holds.


Molly & Moo Quilted Play Blanket Our generous quilted play blanket offers plenty of space for baby’s kick-about time and is a wonderful addition to any nursery mollyandmoo.co.uk


Levo Baby Rocker We just love these rockers – they’re super comfy for bubbas and fit perfectly with your home interior thetipi.co.uk

Januar y / Februar y 2017



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More then just a nursing pillow... A wonderful place of comfort and security for your baby

HushCush nursing pillow is designed to provide comfort and support when nursing, soothing or just cuddling an infant. The sleeve stays securely in place, allowing you to hold the baby close, in tummy-to-tummy position for optimum comfort. It helps to maintain a good breastfeeding position for a healthy latch. Your baby’s head is supported above tummy to aid a healthy digestion. Small and discreet, the HushCush nursing pillow is perfect to use at home, on the go or when traveling with your baby. Now available at www.hushcush.uk Selling at £29.95


17/10/2016 11:38

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Human Rights

IN CHILDBIRTH Read our exclusive extract from chapter one of this powerful and incisive new book By Rebecca S chiller


n 6 October 2013 I caught my second baby as he slid out of me. There he was, my newborn son. The misshapen head that often characterises vaginal birth. The still-separate plates of his soft skull moulded to the shape of my birth canal. There was no point being made, no ethos being followed, no agenda. Just life happening. A huge experience in my life. The first in his. It was very quiet in the half-second until he cried. Just my husband and me, somewhat shellshocked, alone in the house. Then he opened his mouth and eyes looking for my face. My personal kaleidoscope had turned and all that was in view was the two of us. For a birth in the UK mine is unusual. No one told me what to do or what not to do. Like 48 million women around the world each year,


according to Save the Children, I had given birth without a skilled attendant. Unlike the majority of them, I had an independent midwife racing through the countryside towards me. In contrast to two million women each year across the world I was not completely alone. Twenty minutes before I gave birth I turned to my husband and said: ‘It’s going to be just you and

me.’ Out of nowhere, minutes after labour had started, my body was efficiently spitting out the baby it had kept safe until its ‘due date’. I felt a little afraid as the world shifted inside me at an incredible pace. I knew the baby was fine, but I wanted my midwife and doula by my side to look me in the eyes and tell me I could do this impossible task. I didn’t plan it this way. He came twisting and turning through my pelvis into the world. Everyday, staggering, amazing and awful all together. This was something that happened to me and him. In ways he is unaware of, his birth may shape parts of his life. In more obvious ways, it will be marked on my body and woven into my personal narrative. As a mirror to society, childbirth, the attitudes to it, practices around it and experiences of women going through it, reflect the progress that has been made in advancing women’s rights. This reflection also Januar y / Februar y 2017  |  111


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shows us that there’s still a long road ahead. But right then I wasn’t looking in the mirror. I was gently holding a little purple body against my skin and stroking his damp face. A birth is as private as you can get. My baby’s birth. My birth. Ours. His. Mine. Childbirth and human rights have taken time to find each other, despite the fact that our humanity, and the rights conferred on us by it, is ignited in the moment our mothers push us out of their bodies. It is hard to be confident about freedom and safety when we are born in a context of disrespect, abuse or neglect. However, the rights of individuals in childbirth are not simply reflective of broader attitudes. They are fundamental to protecting our freedoms, and both birth and feminist campaigners are beginning to see how powerful getting it right or wrong in birth can be. Researching this book, along with my wider work supporting women and campaigning, has convinced me that we cannot progress a women’s rights agenda without tackling the particular rights within this unique experience. After all, birth can only happen to someone with female reproductive organs, and 84 per cent of women get pregnant and give birth at some point in their lives. Lynn Paltrow, of the US organisation National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), believes that ‘advocating for pregnant women is advocating for all women and their human rights’. After all, she continues, ‘It is women’s capacity for pregnancy that is used as the excuse for differential

treatment.’ Whether or not pregnancy and birth are on our individual radar, the position of women in society – often playing a different and lesser role in political, social and economic arenas – stems from this capacity. Our ability to become pregnant is the root excuse for treating women as secondclass citizens. The punishments, control, surveillance and barriers to full and equal participation in society are imposed disproportionately, says Paltrow, on those who are vulnerable for economic, racial or other reasons. They face more physical and emotional dangers within the pregnancy and childbearing process, which are reflective of, intertwined with and in some ways propel the difficulties they face in their other interactions with society. Getting it right in the birth context could provide a strong platform from which to assert how vital it is that all women are treated as humans at all times, with the rights this should afford them. By contrast, childbirth also

provides the perfect opportunity to undermine those rights. Looking across the developed and developing world it is clear that the broad spectrum of women’s freedoms is undermined daily in birth. If we don’t value their experiences in an act that is particular to them, we make it an easy access point for those who seek to disrupt feminist progress. Assumptions that would be challenged in other contexts seem to persist in

We must see human rights in childbirth as fundamental to protecting reproductive freedoms

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childbirth. The spectre of foetal rights is an ill-conceived yet easily wielded tool to distract from punitive measures that target vulnerable pregnant women strategically to undermine women’s rights more broadly. An anti-woman culture promotes an antagonistic discourse around birth and motherhood. It turns our eyes from serious back-pedalling on basic reproductive freedoms, and exploits the emotive experience of identity and mothering to our disadvantage. There is much to be concerned about and I am not being hyperbolic when I say that what is happening in the US to women’s reproductive rights, often via the back door of undefended birth rights, is terrifying. There is also much cause for hope, with grassroots action rising up to meet top-down recognition of these issues with some real effect. To succeed, we must all see human rights in childbirth as fundamental to protecting the entire spectrum of reproductive freedoms. At the heart of this is a question about the statement that is frequently the mantra of contemporary, developed world birth: is all that matters a healthy baby? Say it often enough and perhaps it becomes true. Pregnant people say it when explaining their birth choices. Some doctors and midwives lightly tack it o to coercive discussions. Friends and family say it, often in consolation, after a difficult birth. In the moments after my

Advocating for pregnant women is advocating for all women and their human rights. It is women’s capacity for pregnancy that is used as the excuse for differential treatment son’s birth, it was all that mattered to me. Of course, it is true in many moments for many women. There’s little research on the matter, but Mary Nolan, professor of perinatal education, believes that most women who decide to continue with their pregnancies are driven to keep their babies safe. Be it biological programming or cultural conditioning, in most circumstances women are determined to see their babies happily into the outside world. A healthy baby may be all that matters to them in certain moments. Yet when I, in my immediate postbirth, mammal-like state, had zoomed in entirely on my new son, it was in

an important context. When I say ‘my healthy baby was all that matters’, I am leaving out much, expecting it to be taken as read. That I am incredibly privileged in so many ways. That I had consented to the sex that conceived the baby. That I had access to contraception if I had wanted it. That I decided I wanted to continue with the pregnancy and had access to free, safe abortion if I hadn’t. That I lived in a country that offered me free, expert maternity care should I want it. That I could, just about, afford to pay an independent midwife when I realised the system might not work for me. That I would retain autonomy to make the decisions that I felt were best for me, my baby and my family. That no one would intentionally hurt me while I was in labour, or threaten me, or bully me, or take me to court and strap me against my will to an operating table and cut me open if I declined a suggested course of action. That after my baby was born I would be cared for, offered support, have access to life-saving drugs in case of haemorrhage. That I would matter. The myth that ‘a healthy baby is all that matters’ needs to be unpicked. It cannot be left as read because, where the assumptions go unchallenged, a frightening and reductive world begins to appear. A world in which so many individuals cannot expect all the things I have listed above, and where backwards steps in women’s rights to freedom and justice are being made, often couched in the flawed logic of protecting the unborn but failing by their very nature to do so. I want to say that a healthy baby is not all that matters and that, resoundingly, it all matters. Human rights in childbirth matter.

Extracted from Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter by Rebecca Schiller, published by Pinter & Martin, £7.99 Januar y / Februar y 2017




16/12/2016 15:34






Must-haves for the littles in your life



L i ewo o d

These washcloths are the perfect pals for splashing around with – and they may even distract your toddler from messing with the bath taps. A panda for us, please!  200 DKK; liewood.com



Goatmi l k NYC

Baby thermals are having a moment and it's no wonder, when separates as cuddlesome as this are lighting up some of our fave boutiques.  Ribbed Baby Top, £24; lilbeans.co.uk

Words Helen B ar on

4 5



Vild Hous e of Lit tle

Luxury basics for the under-twos, crafted from soft organic cotton, featuring crisp tropical prints or beautiful block colour designs – we’re already big fans of this contemporary brand.  vildhouseoflittle.com


These tasteful dummy clips safeguard baby’s dummy whilst providing them with chewing relief. And they're designed with FDA-approved foodgrade silicone.  £10; nibbling.co.uk




The Evolu high chair combines a clean contemporary design with versatility: it can be used as a regular high chair, a breakfast bar high chair, or low chair, therefore growing with your child.  £257.14; en.smallable.com

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6 1



The anti-tat revolution steps up a gear with these simple, practical and very stylish teethers from new Brit brand UKI.BE, available in a range of cool colours.  £10.99; ukibe.co.uk



Baby M ORI

New gift packages from the brand include Sarah and Bendrix Kids' toys. Choose from a pyjamas, blankets, or a swaddle and receive a bonus wooden duck, rabbit or pull-along dog too.  babymori.com



This forward-thinking brand does a fine line in sleep accessories – including this clever, cosy swaddle blanket, which converts to a sleeping bag for older babies.  £38.95; ergopouch.com



Rachel Riley


Taking cute to a whole new level, this pixie hood from Londonbased luxury kids brand Rachel Riley will keep little ears toasty in chilly weather. Comes in pink and blue.  £35; rachelriley.co.uk


Fis he r Pr ice

Who doesn’t love CBeebies’ pre-school bunny, Bing? These talking Bing and Sula dolls are great for little ones – seriously cuddly and they sing songs at the push of a button.  £32.29; amazon.co.uk

Januar y / Februar y 2017



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safe hands

Feel reassured with the SAFE test. Non invasive prenatal testing at Ultrasound Diagnostic Services. LEADERS IN ALL ASPECTS OF PREGNANCY SCANNING FOR OVER 35 YEARS www.uds.uk.com ultrasound@ultrasounddiagnosticservices.london 020 7935 2243


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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.

01403 272143 | hazel@connoisseurtravel.co.uk | www.connoisseurtravel.co.uk


16/12/2016 10:31

mama / essentials


A fun-looking, hygienic potty that converts to a step to aid in toilet training your little ones? Such a good idea – which is why it’s a must-have for parents of toddlers. £39.99; kiddicare.com


Top-notch baby kit designed to make parenting easier


Peppa Pig-loving pre-schoolers can now enjoy a new range of educational toys guaranteed to help with communication and numeracy skills. Choose from a laptop, tablet, flip-and-learn phone or an ‘alphaphonics’ fun-bus. Peppa Pig’s Alphaphonics Campervan, £19.99; trendsuk.co.uk

SLEEP EASY •ErgoPouch•

Another fi ne sleep accessory from Aussie brand ErgoPouch, these super-soft bamboo cotton jersey sheets are made with in-built stretch to fit everything from a baby’s cot to a single bed and are perfect for sensitive skin. £29.99; ergopouch.com




double breast pump can save you valuable time and energy just when you need them most – and in our experience, Medela is the best brand on the market. The Swing Maxi is a fine example of their range, a doublepump with a powerful motor that cuts expression time in half while increasing milk yield by up to 18%. It’s also comfortable, thanks to a unique two-phase suction system that mimics the way a baby latches and increases its hold over time. When you’re done pumping, milk can be stored in the Calma bottles provided, and all parts of the pump (aside from the motor, of course) can be sterilised in the microwave. Reliable, easily portable and extremely simple to use, this pump saved me anything up to 2 hours a day over a single-pump – nothing to sniff at when you have a newborn to take care of. Highly recommended.  £239; medela.co.uk


•Design Letters•

The good folk at Design Letters have turned their Arne Jacobsen-inspired talents to something new – a monochrome bib featuring the great designer’s iconic typeface. £12.95; meandbuddy.com

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I CANDY PEACH BLOSSOM ot for nothing is iCandy renowned as one of the world’s premier engineers of premium strollers. The stylish single-seater Peach chassis, compatible seat unit and carrycot come in a range of tasteful shades. Even better, with the addition of a couple of simple adaptors, the solidly built and astonishingly manoeuvrable stroller can handle two seat units, carrycots or compatible car seats at once. Opting for the tandem setup, whereby your little ones sit one in front of the other, means that the Peach keeps its neat, cityfriendly single-seater footprint – though clever design means that there’s ample space between both occupants, whichever of the 30+ possible configurations you choose. Sheer quality is evident in every strut, wheel and button, as well as the large basket. What’s more, after removing the seat units, the whole thing folds down neatly – and will fit into the boot of the average hatchback. Worth every penny.  £955 for chassis, two seat units, raincovers and adaptors. £1300 for chassis, two carrycots, raincovers and adaptors; icandyworld.com


3 of the best


Having twins? Going from one to two kids? Ease in with our top three double buggies 11 8  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

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his stroller stands out from the crowd by virtue of its adaptability: simply put, it converts from a traditional single-seater travel system to a comfortable, stylish tandem buggy in just a few clicks (providing you have the correct adaptors). In addition, it allows you to transport a third child using a cool ‘Piggyback’ skateboard-style device that clips on to the rear of the chassis. For parents of twins with an


or those unafraid of adding a little extra width to their stroller, the Cybex Twinyx is a sterling double buggy in the side-by-side format. Yes, that can make it harder to get through some (very narrow) doorways, but this is not a hulking monstrosity that will take up the entire pavement. In fact, it’s designed to be as compact as possible and, at only 11.5kg, is pretty lightweight to boot. Unlike many ‘umbrella’ style double buggies, it’s also suitable from birth, with separate recline controls for each seat and a lie-flat option for newborns. Special suspension ensures a smooth ride while the XXL extending hoods provide UV50+ protection. Suitable for littles up to 15kg, it may not last quite as long as some double buggies, but its compact fold and lower weight could go a long way to reducing your stress in that first year or two – especially if you’re a city-dweller with limited storage space at home.  £395 including raincover; uberkids.com


older child already on the scene, this could be a life-saver. Other features include a large basket, one-handed seat-recline, a huge (and very reassuring) UV-protective canopy on the compatible carrycot and (of course) the ability to switch between multiple configurations in a moment or two. One thing to note: if you pair a carrycot with the UPPAbaby Rumble Seat (their name for their new, improved seat unit), the carrycot has to take the frontmost position while the Rumble Seat is closer to whomever is doing the pushing – this might come as a surprise to some. But with a chassis as sturdy and strong as this, there’s little reason to worry – and it could be a good way of ensuring a little valuable face-time with a toddler or older child. Available in a range of juicy colours, the Vista Duo is a double-buggy setup that’s about as versatile and highend as they come.  £1069.98 for chassis, one seat unit, one carrycot, two raincovers, two sun-shades, two insect nets, car seat adaptors and one set of Duo adaptors; kiddicare.com

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Sonia runs a Childcare and Domestic Staff Agency, helping families based in the Uk and Overseas find highly skilled and reliable staff. worldwidenanny-uk.com Q Are you looking for a Nanny to take care of your little ones ? A Start with writing a thorough and in-depth job description; it is essential to start your Nanny search. Try to identify what is important to you and your family. Do you need an experienced and


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qualified Nanny? Or do you need more kind of a “big sister” to look after your school-aged children? Figure out what would be the working hours. What would be the exact duties? Ask family and friends if they could recommend a reliable Nanny living in the same area as you. If they don’t know anyone, use an agency which could help go straight to the point. Once you receive the CVs select the candidates you wish to interview. Meeting the candidates is crucial as you will get a more specific idea about the presentation, eye contact, interaction with your child etc… don’t miss out on any details. Once you have shortlisted the two best candidates, ask them to come over for one or two days' trial. It is the best way to observe the candidate’s behaviour and test them on the role. You should also check their background. All candidates should be able to provide a DBS or a Police Check from their home country. Ask the candidates to provide you with two references that you can check yourself. Prepare a list of questions in advance. The nanny search process isn’t always easy to handle. If you follow these steps thoroughly, that should help you find the right nanny for your family.

wipes or your baby recentlyneeding antibiotics. There may be red patches on your baby's bottom, or the whole area may be red. Their skin may look sore and feel hot to touch, and there may be spots, pimples or blisters. Most mild cases of nappy rash can be easily treated with an ointment from your pharmacy and a good skincare routine, but if you are worried always seek the advice of a healthcare professional.



Sara is Founder of Babycup First Cups, awardwinning mini open cups recommended by dentists from weaning onwards. babycup.co.uk



is a Registered General Nurse and State Certified Midwife. She is mum to Freddy, Harry and Jack. metanium.co.uk

What causes nappy rash? Most babies get nappy rash at some time no matter how careful you are about skincare. At any one time up to a third of babies and toddlers in nappies have nappy rash, so it’s a very common condition. It doesn't usually develop in newborns, but all babies can get nappy rash. It’s usually a mild condition which can be easily treated, but can be worrying. Nappy rash can be caused by: your baby's skin being in contact with wee or poo (stools) for a long time, the nappy rubbing against your baby's skin, not cleaning the nappy area or changing the nappy often enough, soap, detergent or bubble bath, alcohol-based baby Q A

Q How old should my child be for their first dental appointment? A The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry recommends as soon as your child gets their first teeth, and certainly by their first birthday, take them to the dentist. This will help them become familiar with the experience and also means you’ve begun a healthy life habit of caring for their oral health. It’s great to take little ones along with you or another family member for routine appointments so it becomes a place they feel comfortable in. Making it a calm visit is important, so if you have any anxieties yourself about going to the dentist see if there is someone who can be with you and help make it a positive event so your child doesn’t become anxious about it themselves. Not all babies or toddlers are keen on opening their mouth on the first visit, but don’t worry, keep it a jolly time and use it to ask for advice and the chance to demonstrate that a dental practice is not somewhere to worry about. The vital thing is to help your child become relaxed about the visits. My little ones’ first appointments mostly consisted of the dentist appearing to just count their

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teeth to a little rhyme but actually he was having a good look at the gums and what few teeth they had! As well as teeth, gums are important too, so even if those baby teeth aren’t showing, the dentist is still worth a visit. It’s great to know you are keeping a good check on your little one’s precious smile.

can be difficult to assess how seriously they are hurt and what you should do about it. Fortunately, most head injuries are superficial; just involving the scalp. This can be more alarming than life threatening, as the head and face are extremely vascular and consequently often bleed profusely! A severe blow to the head or repeated injury can cause damage to the brain and it is signs of this that people need to watch for.


HAMMET T Emma is the Founder and CEO of First Aid for Life and Onlinefirstaid.com, First Aid Expert and Author empowering parents and child carers with the skills to keep children safe and confidence to help in a medical emergency. f irstaidforlife.org.uk onlinef irstaid.com Q What warning signs should I look out for if my child bangs it’s head? A Babies and children often bang their heads as they have disproportionately large heads to their bodies and don’t tend to look where they are going. Head injuries are frightening and it

What to look for following a head injury: Call 999 or 112 if a baby or child is injured and they lose consciousness, even momentarily or if they: • won’t stop crying • complain of head and neck pain • are unable to walk normally If the child has not lost consciousness, and is alert and behaving normally after the head injury: • Reassure the child and staycalm • Control any bleeding with direct pressure using a clean, non-fluff y cloth • Apply a wrapped ice pack or instant cold pack to the injured area for 10 minutes – this will only reduce bruising and has no effect on the severity of any internal head injury. • Observe the child carefully for the next 24 hours. If you notice any worrying signs (see below), get medical help immediately. • If the incident has occurred close to bedtime or naptime and your child falls asleep soon afterwards, check in continually to look for anything unusual – in particular; twitching limbs or disturbances in colour or breathing. It is ok for your child to go to sleep however, do not confuse falling asleep with losing consciousness! Januar y / Februar y 2017

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Celebrating Toddler

Independence Help toddlers’ developing independence with new, no-junk snacks from awardwinning Organix Goodies

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he new multipacks give little explorers on the go lots of variety and the chance to choose for themselves from a fun mix of Goodies snacks. They join the award-winning Goodies line-up of 32 snack foods, including savouries, corn snacks, oaty bars, biscuits, fruit snacks, crispy bars and puffcorn, providing variety in flavours, textures and fun shapes; and convenience whatever the occasion. Research by Organix found that nearly half (46%) of mums think their toddler is a fussy eater, but according to clinical psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin, the chances are that they’re actually just becoming more independent, rather than fussy! She says: “The toddler years are a time when little ones want to start taking charge, and it’s a crucial stage in their development. For parents that can be hard, especially when it comes to food, as mum tries to do her job of feeding her little one well, and her toddler is doing their job of showing they have their own opinions”. Emily Day, Food Developer at Organix, says, “We’ve created our new Goodies packs to help toddlers’ developing sense of independence about food with a choice of flavours, textures and shapes to explore, all in convenient portion packs, so they can

choose their own little taste adventure. And we’re giving parents great-tasting snack choices for their little ones, without the junk.” The new Goodies Snack Chest contains a selection of portion-packed Goodies snacks – two single soft oaty bars in the

The toddler years are a time when little ones want to take charge

Illogical: The path to independence rarely runs smoothly or logically – so true when it comes to food. What your toddler may love one day can be refused the next! Don’t give up, chances are even if they have rejected it they may well change their minds again!

Organix Goodies. All come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a stamp of reassurance that they are made with the best organic ingredients and contain nothing unnecessary, so your little one gets great-tasting snacks without the junk. Goodies will appeal to little ones starting to develop their own opinion and wanting to choose for themselves. For mums and dads, Goodies snacks are quick and easy and a changing bag must-have when out and about. When little ones get peckish, they're just the thing to stave off a hangry meltdown and ensure there’ll still room for lunch or tea!

Doing it themselves: In the toddler years, children naturally want to learn, explore and do things by themselves. Food is a great opportunity to encourage their independence – whether through a grow-yourown vegetable pot or helping with the shopping.

The Organix Goodies Snack Chest is available at Boots priced £2.99. New mixed flavour Mini Oaty Bites are available at Boots and supermarkets priced £1.99. organix.com

7 ways to encourage your toddler’s growing independence No: Learn when your toddler is saying no and meaning it and when they’re saying no for the sake of it. For example, when tired or hungry they could say no to everything! 1

Talking: Talk to your toddler to help their language skills. For example, tell them what’s for tea, and the different foods on their plate. 2

Choices: Giving toddlers choices teaches the important skill of compromise, and helps them feel informed and able to assert their independence. Use the “Two Choices” approach. For example, at tea time tell your toddler they have two choices, 3

they can either have carrots or broccoli; or at snack time Goodies breadsticks or a mini oaty bite – which one would they prefer? Explore: Allow them to explore appropriate independence – such as a blunt knife to cut up food, a spoon to put food on their plate, making a fun food face using Goodies snacks – and remember it’s okay if it gets a little messy! 4

How much to eat? Talk to your toddler about the importance of eating a good amount of food, ask them how many mouthfuls they think they could eat. You can negotiate around this, but often what they say will be a true 5

top-selling flavours, raspberry and apple and apple and orange; a single bag of mini gingerbread men biscuits; alphabet biscuits and mini cheese crackers. Little ones will love the fun packaging too. Available exclusively in selected Boots stores, priced £2.99. To give little ones (and parents!) even more variety in the award-winning soft oaty bar range, Goodies is launching its Mini Oaty Bites as a mixed bag of raspberry and apple and apple and orange mini bites. Each mini portion is packed full of juicy raisins and wholegrain oats – the perfect size for smaller appetites, ideal for sharing on playdates and great in party bags. Each bag contains 11 x 10g mini bites and is priced £1.99. The new packs join the line-up of award-winning toddler snacks from

indication of how much they want. 6


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Be Prepared

Sending your child to board at seven is not as popular as it was, but schools have adapted, and with the right groundwork from parents, children can flourish By Eleanor D oughty


one are the days when boarding school meant that children were packed off at seven pulling their trunk behind them, only to return before university aged 18. The modern boarding school is technological, funky and full of fun – especially for those who start at prep school age. The boarding outlook has changed over the last decade. Since 2006, the number of sevenand eight-year-olds boarding at independent schools has fluctuated. According to the Independent Schools Council, which represents 80 per cent of pupils in independent schools, there were just 135 seven-yearolds boarding in 2006. This rose to 163 in 2010, but sunk to 119 by the time of the ISC’s 2016 Annual

Parents no longer send their children far from home, they want to see them

Census. Of the 74,688 boarders at ISC schools, just 4,809 are juniors. Fewer than half of these board fulltime, just over 40 per cent board on a ‘flexi’ basis – between one and three days a week – and just over 10 per cent are weekly boarders. As society has changed, through economic crises and generational divides, the boarding landscape has changed too, confirms

Will Brooks, Headmaster of Brambletye, a preparatory school in West Sussex. “A generation ago, it was common for parents to send their children to the schools that they had attended, which were often far away from home. Nowadays, parents tend to look more locally, and consequently their requirements have changed. Parents are keen for their children to experience boarding and to benefit from everything it offers, but they would like to see them more often.” This outlook has caused schools to widen their boarding offerings, introducing flexi days and encouraging weekly boarding. At Beaudesert Park School, a co-educational prep school in Gloucestershire, pupils can board with a flexi or weekly arrangement from Year 4 upwards. Almost all of them live within 25 miles of the school, explains Headmaster James Womersley. He points to the local benefits

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ur o t ou up b a Ask playgro re tu new for fu ts ns paren o i s s se sery Nur

North Bridge House Nursery and Pre-Prep, NW3

Give them an Outstanding start to school life

See our vibrant and happy Nursery School in action at one of its Spring Term Open Mornings. Book your visit at northbridgehouse.com/open or call 020 7428 1520 NBH.indd 1

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of boarding school. “Parents with long commutes and other commitments tell us that our flexi boarding helps them balance the demands of professional and family life. For many families it can make the difference between employing a nanny or not.” Whatever the style of boarding, the biggest change to all prep schools now is the advent of new technologies, says Tom Rogerson, Headmaster of Cottesmore School in West Sussex, which takes boarders from age seven. Email, mobile phones and social media have had a role in revolutionising the way parents can, and do, interact with their children while at school. “I’m a big fan of Twitter because it fills in the gaps,” Rogerson enthuses. “The cricket win is a big shouty piece A RIDE AROUND BRAMBLETYE

There are some useful preparations to do at home before term starts, however. Make sure that children have done – and enjoyed – a few sleepovers, and give them a bit of responsibility for their own kit. Rogerson requests that parents put names on everything – “Every pencil, sharpener and sock, please!” he laughs. Introducing children to a little bit of everything also helps: some garden sports, chess and singing. “Get them to talk to guests in their own house,” Rogerson adds. “Teach them to look adults in the eye and smile and engage in conversation, because that’s going to be super important.” Brooks reminds parents to prepare themselves, too. “It is usually the children who are excited about embarking on the boarding adventure, and the parents who find the concept more difficult. We never forget that it is not only the child’s first experience of boarding, but sometimes it is the parents' too.”

Mobile phones have revolutionised the way parents can interact with their children at school

of news, but what about the jam that we made on Sunday? The scholarship to Eton is a great thing, but these forms of social media allow you to paint a more human picture of the school.” Connecting children to parents is critical, through a variety of methods. His charges can email home whenever they have access to a computer, and parents are invited to matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Rogerson stresses the importance of giving parents access to their children in between times, and credits mobile technology with this. “If Jemima has just had a birthday, at the moment of birthday action and blowing the candles out, you can take a picture. The parent will have it in five seconds. That’s a big change.” Many schools also provide endless fun such as hide-and-seek in the grounds, board game nights and hot chocolate at bedtime – and if this busy timetable seems daunting to parents, Rogerson is confident that children take it in their stride. “Prep school is all about action and getting stuck in with things. That’s what seven- or eight-year-olds are like – that’s their makeup. At that early stage it suits them because they are all about doing.” His younger boarders rarely have a difficult time, he says. “They just get on with it. It’s counter-intuitive but it’s true – they just go with the flow.”


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hoosing a nursery for your son or daughter can be daunting. Parents not only have a bewildering selection to choose from in London but the choice is also inherently fraught – most are entrusting their child to carers outside the home for the first time, and that makes the whole decision incredibly difficult. So the first piece of advice I give to parents is to look around. Don’t fixate on one nursery – even mine! – to the exclusion of all else. You may have a preference but you will lose nothing by comparing several nurseries. Inspection reports, The Good Schools Guide and talking to other parents are useful starting points. But there is no substitute for visiting in person – more than once!

A school is made by the people in it What then should parents look for? The most obvious question is: do the children look happy? In my view, happy learners are better learners. Children who aren’t engaged, who aren’t motivated or playing well together will not be happy and won’t learn. There will likely be tears, especially in the first few days, but children should rapidly settle down and look forward to going. Is the nursery you’re visiting that

type of school? Can you envisage your child being impatient to go to it? Equally important is the attitude of staff. Do they greet you naturally or do you suspect it’s a performance? Do they celebrate the individual child, or are they more concerned to boast about the academic performance of the school? Ultimately, it’s a question of trust: are the staff caring and confident enough to do the best for your child? If not, walk away. Finally, look at the facilities. Do you think your child will be safe and secure? Does the nursery cook food on the premises? What are the play areas like? A word of warning, though: do not be distracted by state-ofthe-art classrooms and piles of i-Pads. Technology is not a proxy for teaching and shiny new buildings are no substitute for a good education. A school is made by the people in it, and parents would be wise to look to them first and last.

 To find out more plase call us on 020 7428 1520 or visit northbridgehouse.com

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Living your most faboulous dream

M a r c e lWa n d e r s .cy b e x - o n l i n e .c o M

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