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ISSUE FOUR | £3.95


We can be

HEROES Retro comic book style

MUMMY BOOTCAMP in Greek island paradise

Meet the NOR-FOLK

In graphic detail with Fiona Burrage



The Good Life with Cerys Matthews


UPDATE The best Autumn looks from Nine in the Mirror


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S M A L L S PAC E S Soho - a brand new nursery range with a unique changing station and plenty of storage for even the smallest of nurseries. The first ever one-touch changing station simply folds out when you need it and folds neatly away when you don’t. The Soho wardrobe has flexible hanging space and the cot transforms easily into a first bed for your little one. No compromise on design, style or quality. However small your nursery, you can still dream big with Soho.

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The unique changing station, easy as 1 - 2 - 3 Explore more at


12/08/2016 12/08/2016 16:19 15:03 Notting Hill, London W11 2AJ 020 7229 5855 Primrose Hill, London NW1 8UY 020 7586 1552 ILOVEGORGEOUS.indd Mama Ad Sept.indd 1 1

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m am a / welcome

contents S ep t ember / Oc t ober 2 0 16




Dates for the coming months


The latest releases from Flying Eye Books


Cerys Matthews' Good Life Festival


Positive parenting from Hollie de Cruz



Must-have Autumn looks


Masterpeace Coat from

46 WE CAN BE HEROES Retro comic-book fashion


Talking business with Jem & Bea


67 BEAUTY LOWDOWN How to beat postnatal frizz


Mummy Bootcamp in Greek island paradise





At The Chapel

A day of feasting with Skye McCalpine and Celia Muñoz Healthy family-friendly recipes


84 BLUSH IS THE NEW BLACK A modern twist on pink


Deonne Rowland's vintage nursery



An Umbrian adventure


Put to the test: the latest carseats



with Nicola Eyres, owner of kids clothing boutique Cissy Wears


Sharp stuff for cool kids



Oppidan Education on how to choose your child's first school

September / October 2016

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Made by mums to help make parents’ lives that little bit easier




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e dito r



Mini Rodini Sweater, £34 and Sweatpants, £34;




Back to school

he cycle imparted to life by the academic year seems to stay with us into adulthood. September will always bring with it that ‘Back to School’ feeling. In this issue, Oppidan Education advise on how to choose a school for your child at ages 5, 8 and beyond. It’s back to work, too, as the European holiday season draws to a close for another year. I’m put in mind once again of the sore need for flexible working situations – a topic that’s never far away when interviewing so many working mothers and mumpreneurs for this magazine. Check out our interview with Leo Wood from Playpen, who is putting flexible childcare on the map. September, of course, is also about fashion. Our shoot this issue

features our contributing editor Apphia Michael looking stunning in new AW16 styles selected from the amazing range at Nine in the Mirror. The collections are a godsend, suitable for (but not limited to) preand postnatal mamas not willing to ditch their style credentials during or after pregnancy. There’s also a great deal of fun to be had with our kids fashion shoot this month, which takes its inspiration from comic book iconography past and present. Enjoy the issue!

Helen B ar on ED I TO R

@hel_bow September / October 2016

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The parents who helped to create this issue share what Autumn means to them


@cissywears Autumn is my homegirl. Best fashion, best colours, best food, best temperatures. Those Indian summer days and blankets over your knees at night. Everyone feels invigorated after a long lazy summer - back to school with the best intentions and with Halloween and fireworks to look forward to... but we haven’t quite reached the crazy over-excitement of Christmas.


Editor: HELEN BARON Contributing Editor: APPHIA MICHAEL Commercial Manager: KATIE AMPS Director Of Events And Partnership: THIAGO ALVES Art Director: RAY SEARLE Senior Designers: PAWEL KUBA, PHIL COUZENS Mid-weight Designer: EKREM YILMAZ Designer: REBECCA NOONAN Production Manager: STEWART HYDE 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: For advertising enquiries please call 07535 482 213 / 020 7704 0588 or email: For media partnership enquiries please call 020 7704 0588 or email: Part of the


@theyesmummum Autumn for me is a time for winding down and tying up loose ends. It offers an opportunity to reflect on what the year has brought along so far, what I can park and what I need to give a bit more attention to. I celebrate my birthday in October so it’s a time when I feel happiest, especially when I get a chance to connect and enjoy to the simple pleasures that nature gives us at this time. The changing colours and climate remind me that the world keeps turning and serve as a healthy reminder not to get caught up in the little things.

ZES T MEDIA PUBLICAT IONS LT D 197-199, City Road, EC1V 1JN T: 020 7704 0588 Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

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


@oppidaneducation Autumn for us at Oppidan Education is a new beginning. Many see New Year or Spring as times to turn over a new leaf, but in education, September heralds the start of a new academic year and all its opportunities. In work, sport and friendships, it all kicks off with Autumn.

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LOVE 10 things we Absolutely


SKATER GIRL Cuddle Up •Molly and Moo•

New baby gifts don’t come much softer than this. Head to Molly and Moo for sweet, beautifully made (and, crucially, modern) muslin and swaddle blanket designs. Prices start at £15;

Monster Stomp •Fendi•

The new kids’ footwear range from Fendi features luxury materials and fun motifs like monster eyes and lightbulbs – ideal for little ones with big imaginations. £250; 12



London-based brand ABC123Me makes some of the hippest kids’ clothes we’ve seen. The looks are low on branding and high on street style – which puts them at the top of our list.

Got Rhythm •Kids Concept•

A classic kids’ toy in a contemporary colourway, this wooden drum is perfect for little drummer boys (and girls) determined to march to their own beat. £24.90;

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Blow Up

•Bubblegum Balloons•

Mama Chic

Don’t skimp on Halloween: grab some of these natty (and customisable) balloons from online boutique Bubblegum Balloons. They also do floating eyeballs, if that floats your boat. From £30.60;


Having a baby doesn't have to mean frumping it up all Winter, and this knit dress from Seraphine is a case in point: sleek, stylish and comfortable all at once.


If your babes are going to stick stuff on your walls, make sure it’s stuff worth looking at – like HAM wall stickers, which feature the hyper antics of some real funny bunnies. £55, available at

Family Business •Margherita Missoni•

Another Italian fashion house shows a flair for kidswear as Missoni heiress Margherita Missoni launches her bohemian-style, flower-bedecked collection for John Lewis.

Skull Candy

Goody Two Shoes

Is there a better (and scarier) way to mark Halloween than with this grey skull sweat from Danish brand Molo? Nothing beats a bit of spooky streetwear. £40;

We love these moccasins designed in consultation with professional podiatrists. Babies should walk barefoot as often as possible, so they come broad with deep-toe boxes; plenty of wiggle room for first walkers. From £45;


•Bimble Shoes•

September / October 2016

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•Maggie & Rose• This family members’ club features souped-up soft-play, treehouses, an arts and crafts studio plus a bar and cafe for parents. With outposts in Chiswick, Kensington and even Hong Kong, is there a better place to keep both adults and kids amused?

24 • CERYS MATTHEWS Family festival fun


Leo Wood on starting Playpen


How to practice positive parenting

September / October 2016

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Crystal Palace Park, permanent exhibition

The most famous dinosaurs in London are the couple of dozen Victorian statues dotted around Crystal Palace Park.

don't miss ~ THEATRE ~

The Gruffalo

DINOSAURS: MONSTER FAMILIES The Horniman Museum, until 30 October

Discover a gentler side of the 'thunder lizards' in the amazing Horniman's even more amazing exhibition. From £4;


Lyric Theatre, Until January 2017

Julian Donaldson’s iconic picturebook comes to life in a riot of song, laughter and adventure, as The Gruffalo hits the West End stage. This globally acclaimed production, designed to be suitable for kids aged 3 and up, takes audiences on the thrilling journey of the tale's famous protagonist, a little mouse alone in the deep, dark wood. What will he find? And will it gobble him up? From £14.50;




Mini-golf reimagined as a prehistoric adventure, with large-scale dino models looming over you as you putt. From £7;

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& BREATHE POST-NATAL Manoir La Croix de La Jugie, 2-8 October

refuge from everyday life where babies (and partners) are welcomed, this & Breathe Post-natal jaunt sees young families decamp to a French farmhouse for a week-long retreat involving healthy eating, personal training sessions and lots of fun. The surroundings are idyllic and the wellbeing elements are led by experts. A great way to unwind alongside your partner and little one.  £1750 for two adults and a child under 18 months;


Nomad Cinema presents



Jack & The Beanstalk Lyric Hammersmith, 24 September

Little ones will love this: a puppet-filled retelling of the classic folk tale, featuring magic beans, a boy called Jack and of course, a smelly old giant. Watch Jack scramble up the fantastical beanstalk – only for adventure to unfold. For ages 3 to 7, with performances at 11am and 1pm.

Victory Park, East Village, 16 September

njoy Disney-Pixar’s CGI spectacular Inside Out in fi ne al fresco style, as the always brilliant Nomad Cinema brings its travelling big screen to Stratford’s Olympic Park – one of our favourite family-friendly London destinations. Doors are at 6pm for a 7.30pm screening – bring warm clothes and a picnic, but please, no glass.  £5.50;




Maggie & Rose 1 Essex Place Square, Chiswick 58-60 Pembroke Road, Kensington en years in and going strong, Maggie & Rose remains the only members’ club focused on providing luxurious fun for all the family. We love both the Chiswick and Kensington branches, complete with high-end leisure facilities (treehouses! soft play!) for littles and superb dining


and relaxing options for grown-ups. And we can’t wait to check out the Hong Kong iteration, with its incredible roof terrace. So it gives us great pleasure to wish them a very happy 10th birthday. The only bad news? There's a sixmonth waiting list for membership.  September / October 2016

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


Our selection of the season’s best launches



➻ Reinventing cleaning


t's unusual for bankers to become dry cleaners, even in the present economy. And it's also unusual for a dry cleaner to be pleasant, let alone actively inviting. Blanc is different – in fact it's completely unlike any other dry-cleaning establishment. The story? You couldn't make it up. Charming Frenchman Ludovic Blanc was getting through a lot of shirts in his job as vice-president of JP Morgan when he got to thinking about cleaning, and fretting about the nasty chemicals all his shirts were being exposed to. There had to be a better way, he thought, so he quit the bank and embarked on an apprenticeship with a dry cleaner in France. Arming himself with knowledge about environmentally sound products and methods, and boosted by his fi rm ideas about customer service, he launched West London's Blanc, a service for time-poor and environmentally aware Londoners. Imagine the smoothest process – an email telling you your dress is ready! – and the utmost care and attention to your garments, and dry cleaning can become a pleasure, not a chore. Now for a few more branches... 

➻ 150 years • Penguin


n celebration of 150 years since the birth (in Kensington) of Beatrix Potter, Penguin Random House has commissioned new artwork by five fashion designers. Henry Holland, Orla Kiely, The Rodnik Band, Preen and Cats Brothers have come up with a diverse collection of covers – we love Orla Kiely's hedgehogs for The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, pictured above. Notting Hill-based Preen's work for The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin is another favourite.  #beatrix150



ne Sunday a month there's a fabulous family cinema club at the Soho Hotel, preceded by a buffet lunch. A special kids' spread includes mini burgers, dinky fish and chips and ice cream, while for adults there's Prosecco – after which everyone can sink back into the comfortable seats in the luxuriously appointed screening room with a bag of popcorn. The club resumes this Autumn with a special showing of Pixar's Finding Dory (25 September). Tickets are £20 per person, the buffet is served from 1pm and the fi lm starts at 1.30pm. 

September / October 2016

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Our favourite new releases from Flying Eye Books f lyinge


➻ Follow the narrator as he outlines the evidence that his dad – who is generally so normal and unhip – used to be cool. Inspired by the curiosity many modern kids must feel about their parents’ colourful former lives (the tattoos! drums in the cupboard under the stairs!), Keith Negley’s vibrant, angular illustrations deftly reimagine everyday parental pursuits as the frolics of a rock star. £11.99

MARCEL Eda Akaltun

Marcel is a French bulldog who lives in New York City with his adoring (and adored) human. Marcel loves his cosmopolitan life with all its familiar routines – so he’s perturbed when a new human enters the picture (quite literally). A whip-smart and humorously modern tale about building new relationships – with a charming new protagonist who’s sure to become a bookshelf favourite. £11.99



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Smart About Sharks

Owen Davey

➻ Shark facts: possibly the two most gripping words in existence. Is there anyone who doesn’t want to know everything they possibly can about the oceans’ most terrifying and fascinating family of fish? Which means everyone will enjoy this artfully written book and its treasure trove of naturalistic yet playful illustrations. £12.95


Do You Hear What I Hear?

➻ Another outing for Keith Negley’s signature brand of sharp-edged illustrations and clever, pop-culturereferencing meditations on modern life. This time around, it’s tough guys of all stripes who get the treatment, as Negley shows us ninjas, bikers, superheroes and more shedding tears and showing their feelings. Lighthearted and warm-hearted, just the way we like it. £11.99

Helen Borten

➻ Designed to alert kids to the richness and texture of the sounds that surround them in everyday life, this book is not just educationally inspired; it’s cleverly designed to render those same aural experiences in visual form. It’s also written with a knack for crisp, clear description that’s sure to help many a little one develop their writerly talents. £12.99


Wild Animals of the North Dieter Braun

➻ An amazing illustrated encyclopedia of the wildlife of the northern hemisphere, from America in the West to the easternmost reaches of Asia. Here you’ll fi nd polar bears, roe deer, lobsters and butterflies depicted in a fierce, subtly geometric style with oodles of atmosphere and character – plus all the knowledge you need to ignite a naturalist fi re in your little ones. £20

➻ A real beauty, this: the story of a wolf pack roaming the eponymous valley in New Mexico way back in 1892. When a British naturalist with a specialist knowledge of wolves is hired by cattle-ranchers to trap the head of the pack, a compelling story unfolds – a story with much to say about our stewardship of the natural world. Created entirely in colour pencil, the illustrations are nothing short of stunning. £14.99 September / October 2016

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A new hotspot for Battersea mamas


144 , Northcote Road , SW11

➻ Mamas & Papas continue to surprise us in the most pleasant of ways. Rather than sticking rigidly to a dull corporate formula, the marketleading baby brand and purveyor of all things family-related is offering something a bit more locally focused (and entirely original, to our minds) at its latest store. Situated

at 144 Northcote Road, the heart of Southwest London’s so-called Nappy Valley, the smaller scale boutique offers an expertly selected range of well-loved baby and parenting products alongside – and this is the really exciting bit – regular yoga, fitness and wellbeing classes from independent fitness studio Frame.

September / October 2016

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woman Renaissance




erys Matthews is one busy lady: programmer and presenter for her ratings-smashing BBC Radio 6 Music show, roving reporter for TV’s The One Show, numerous writing projects, a second radio show for the BBC’s World Service and the main carer for her three children (Glenys, 12; Johnny,11, and Red Owen, 6). You’d think that was enough but – unsurprisingly for a woman with more energy than an Olympic hopeful – she’s adding another trophy to her cabinet, as owner of the award-winning (yes, another award, to go with her MBE and St David Award for contribution to culture) Flintshire festival The Good Life Experience. Move over, Michael Eavis: there’s a new festival icon in town. Started in 2014 by Matthews, her husband Steve and friends

Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, The Good Life Experience is now in its third year and, while still in its infancy, Matthews’ youngest baby is coming on a treat. Recently named one of the best festivals in the world by Condé Nast, this boutique weekender is certainly one for the diary, packed with an eclectic array of music from around the world, ethically sourced food often cooked on open campfires, plus leatherworking, axe-throwing, vintage fairground rides, ‘mass sing-alongs, comedy, abseiling, poetry, butchery displays, literature, endless how-to talks, a café run by and for children, a gin palace…’ Matthews takes a breath, the list far from exhausted. ‘The Good Life Experience is all about the good things in life,’ she says, ‘like the thrill you get from rolypolying down a hill, reconnecting with nature, just feeding the imagination.’


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Given enough freedom, children make their own entertainment

Never short of imagination herself, Matthews is a selfconfessed ‘big kid at heart’. Creating the line-up for her own festival is a dream come true. In fact, ‘all roads have led to this,’ she says. ‘With everything that I’ve done, I just thought “if you have this platform, use it”. We’re not putting this on as a money-making scheme, we’re putting it on because we like the company of likeminded people that are curious about the world. It’s great value for money, totally and utterly un-patronising, filled with the passionate people I meet doing my job. Being a huge

festival fan, I felt like there was room for a different kind of festival, one that was bespoke, without the corporate, money-making feel. There’s scope to enjoy the physical aspect of things like offering people the chance to try out new skills because I know that’s what I like. I don’t want things for my birthday and Christmas anymore, I don’t have room in my house [for anything]. I prefer experiences. And that’s how it started...’

For Matthews, one bonus is that she’s able to wear two of her many hats at the same time – mum and festival owner. ‘The best feedback I got was from my world-weary, very cynical, SnapChat- and WhatsApploving 12 year-old daughter, who said to me on the Sunday after the last weekend – with straw in her hair and sweaty, rosy cheeks – "that’s the best weekend I’ve ever had. And she spent the weekend building straw slides for the other kids at the festival to slide down the hill, that was her invention. You can put on all these attractions for children but at the end of the day, given enough freedom, they make their own entertainment.’ For families nervous about taking their brood away to a festival for the first time, Matthews advises trying the smaller events on offer. ‘Ours is a good one to try first! It’s a small, manageable site, a safe space.’ But beyond festival choice, the biggy is to ‘pack weatherappropriate clothes. Mainly though, just go with an open mind. The thing I’ve always loved as a performer is to encourage the inner child and don’t plan too much. I used to love it just wandering around the festival and seeing who you’d bump into and which music sounded the best on the breeze, then going towards it.’ Matthews’ outlook is aptly summed up in the piece of advice she thinks most important to offer fellow parents: ‘I’m in charge’. She’s travelled the world, taken her career to unexpected places and learned to like the person in the mirror. Similarly, she knows what she likes when it comes to her kids and her home life. ‘It’s chaos, absolute chaos – but when they’re not in the house and that silence descends, that’s bonkers.’ The Good Life Experience Festival of Food, Music, Craft and The Great Outdoors takes place 16-18 September at Hawarden Castle, 8 minutes from Chester by car. Tickets are priced from £69 (all children go free). September / October 2016




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* Saving is based on the standard on-the-door ticket price of £20. To book by phone call 0871 231 0844. Calls cost 10p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Advance Box Office closes midnight 20/10/2016. £2.20 transaction fee applies per booking. For more information on the products featured visit

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Absolutely Mama: Why did you decide to set up PlayPen? Leo Wood : When I went on maternity leave, I already had experience running my small, independent coworking space in east London. Once I had a child and knew I wanted to go back to work freelance/ flexibly, I realised just how much of an issue flexible childcare – and the lack thereof – is. I wanted to set up a workspace which also offered a dropin crèche along the lines of Third Door in Putney and Officreche in Brighton. At the moment, I’ve found a great site for a pop-up version in St Paul’s Way Community Centre. AM: Had you worked in childcare before? LW: I have no professional experience in childcare but being a mum is quite a good crash course in understanding the childcare market (and existing gaps and challenges). I’m not directly responsible for the childcare with PlayPen. We are so lucky to have an existing crèche on site already, which is run by fantastic staff from the local Matchbox nursery and which we hire out on a weekly basis. AM: Why do you think there aren’t there more initiatives like this? Are the rules and regulations a barrier to entry? LW: It's not the easiest business to make financially sustainable – and it is essentially two businesses (childcare

and workspace management) rather than one. Also, running any sort of nursery/childcare facility is extremely arduous and challenging with all the (necessary) Ofsted regulations. That said, I do think that this sector is growing and I’m excited to see similar projects popping up and other really

Being a mum is quite a good crash course innovative childcare initiatives happening across the country. I’ve recently started mapping these projects as an aid to help parents who might want to use a service such as ours but who aren’t based in east London. Of course, such workspaces with childcare need to be local to each family: people can check for more info. AM: What benefits do parents get from the service? LW: Flexibility is of course the primary benefit. As parents you

don’t need to make much of an advance commitment and can 'drop in' to PlayPen on the weeks where it suits, assuming that there is availability. Our prices are also affordable. We charge £15 for a 2.5hr session, which works out at £6 per hour for childcare, which feels pretty reasonable particularly with the perk of our flexibility. We are also starting to build a network of mums/parents who all work on really broad and creative projects. We haven’t yet formalised this network or networking opportunity but might well do in the future. AM: What (if anything) do you think government could do to support initiatives like PlayPen? LW: It’s definitely not an easy fix but a few more funding programmes to support early stage, innovative childcare schemes (whether that is a workspace with childcare or another business idea in the childcare sector) could really help get a few more projects off the ground. I also think that by supporting the needs and rights of parents (and others) to work flexibly, the government would be able to help develop the sector more generally – from which the entrepreneurs will take their advantage!

Play pen starts again from 8 September; September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:02



POSITIVE p a ren t in g


efore having my son I was working in a very maledominated environment at a big corporate design agency. I worked really long hours, juggled stress and fun in equal measure and lived for the weekend. My pregnancy was completely unplanned, and I found that all quite frightening as birth was so far off my radar at the time. Then I stumbled upon the concept of hypnobirthing about halfway through my pregnancy and even though I was cynical at first, it became a real game-changer. It made me realise that women’s health and birth education in this country is really poor and that so many women feel scared because they don’t know what’s happening in their bodies. Understanding the physiology and hormonal responses to birth means women can put themselves back in the driving seat and have an experience that is positive rather than frightening. 28


My other gripe with birth education is how onesize-fits-all it often feels. When I started teaching I was adamant that my focus would be on supporting couples to understand birth, have the tools to work with their bodies rather than against them, and to make informed decisions with confidence. No two births are ever going to be the same, and to me it’s very important to equip women with the tools for a positive experience rather than a perfect one, which was very much informed by my own son’s birth. I had planned a candlelit home water-birth with my husband and midwife by my side. The reality unfolded amidst a snow storm, in a brightly lit hospital theatre with ten people around me, uncontrollable shaking, no feeling from the waist down and a scar I still can’t really feel. Yet my son’s birth was calm, positive, and the most empowering experience of my life and I knew from the moment I held my baby I wanted to be involved in spreading the word of such an empowering movement for women. That’s what inspired me to quit my job, get my hypnobirthing qualification and set up London Hypnobirthing.

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I think women are reverting to more natural birth options because we are becoming more empowered and educated in general. I think many women are beginning to question the over-medicalisation of a normal physiological process, especially when they feel rushed or not listened to, and this is pushed forward when they hear their peers talking about positive birth experiences rather than horror stories. Our focus must be on normalising childbirth and putting the power back in women’s hands rather than dumping her into a conveyor belt system where she feels passive and out of control. When women are moving towards this in every other aspect of society, it seems appropriate that it should apply to birth – the most primal female experience – too. There’s also the very obvious concept of preparation as power. If you were running a marathon, taking a driving test or going for a job interview you’d put loads of time into preparing, and I think women are realising that 'winging it' isn’t really the way to go for the most transformative moment in their life. Knowledge is power – every time.

I do think we risk falling into a place where we glorify the idea of being busy at all times though FROM HYPNOBIRTHING TO YESMUM

We use a lot of positive affirmations in hypnobirthing as a way of ditching the embedded fear we have around birth and reprogramming the subconscious mind with positive messages about the experience. When we change the way we think, the way we experience things changes and I see this every day in my work with women (and myself). I really wanted to apply this to the next stage of the journey and create a tool that mums could take with them through to motherhood, helping to continue all the positive, mindful work they’d enjoyed in pregnancy. That’s when the idea of the September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:04


Tickets from £15

‘IT’S GLORIOUS.’ The Daily Telegraph on Cinderella

18 Nov - 24 Dec



The Observer

The Upcoming






‘a cracker of a show’

The Sunday Times

The Mirror

Based on the book by Raymond Briggs Adapted by Pins and Needles Published by Puffin Books Copyright Raymond Briggs

Tickets £10 | 020 8741 6850 LYRIC.indd Full Page.indd1 1

A Lyric Hammersmith and Pins and Needles Production

Registered Charity, No. 278518

16/08/2016 14:05 13:09

m ama / age nda

You don’t need to start a business to be a boss.

YESMUM cards was born. I thought I’d just make 50 packs and see if any of my clients wanted to buy them, as well as giving some to friends to try out. They were more well received than I ever could have imagined, and it just goes to show how much we need this kind of simple positive reinforcement in our lives. When I put them on Instagram I had loads of people tagging their friends and saying 'we need these' and it kind of took off from there. I now have six ranges for mothers, pregnant women, kids, entrepreneurs, people on a wellbeing/ health journey and humans in general, and ship to every continent on a daily basis.


Running my own business is amazing and testing in equal measures. I feel genuinely privileged to do something I love every single day but the sheer amount of work and responsibility can be

overwhelming at times. I have to wear all the hats, from teaching and studio logistics to finance, admin, bookings, social media, design, print buying, marketing – crikey, it makes me a bit nauseous just writing the list! I hate how much I’m on my phone/laptop at times, but I’ve recently started renting some office space and taken on an assistant which has been brilliant. Having another pair of hands/brain and separate spaces for my work self and home/family self has been pivotal for my wellbeing, my family and the productivity of my business. Another obstacle has been learning to work more strategically. I’m an ideas person and it’s pretty much a given that I’ll wake up at least three nights a week with an idea I’ve got to implement. The key has been learning which ideas to take forward and which to park. I think a lot of people see entrepreneurship as a constant stream of new ideas but in reality, execution is everything. There’s a real movement of women starting their own businesses at the moment and it’s ridiculously exciting to see all of these incredible ideas, products and voices coming from a historically unrepresented sector of society. I do think we risk falling into a place where we glorify the idea of being busy at all times though, and I worry that women who choose to be at-home mothers feel like being a mother isn’t enough. It is enough. It is SO enough, and if you want to start a business, do it because you’re insanely passionate about it, not because you feel you should be doing more. You don’t need to start a business to be a boss. @theyesmummum September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:05



LBL.indd 1

11/08/2016 17:20




• Nine in the Mirror • This brand – and this model, our very own Contributing Editor, Apphia Michael – are having a moment. Designer maternitywear at its most chic and stylish, check out our exclusive shoot in this section.


The latest looks from Nine in the Mirror

46 • WE CAN BE HEROES Comic-book style for littles

61 • MEET THE NOR-FOLK Life and design with Fiona Burrage

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:06

6 of the best




Baby bags, cutting edge brands and footwear to fall in love with


34 6


BAG IT UP •Storksak•

The Storksak range of luxury maternity and changing bags just keeps getting bigger and better, with sizes and designs for every occasion and every mama. Check the website for the new vegan range.


1. Fred Backpack, £39; 2. Stella McCartney Bang Backpack, £91; 3. L’Uniform x Bon Point Satchel, poa; 4. Stella McCartney Kids Tiger Backpack, £120; 5. Vans Old Skool Backpack, £23; 6. Urban Junk ‘I Bite Too’ Mini Backpack, £24;




17/08/2016 12:09

m a ma / style

d Br ancus o F

JAPAN GARDEN • O w a Yu r i k a •

A highly directional girlswear label that blends cutting-edge, contemporary London style with the time-honoured artisanal tailoring of Japan, this is one to watch.

Young Soles A spotlight on the baby brands we love


The rejuvenated Kenzo is all about high impact fashion: not least the current kids' collection, which sees modern, versatile streetwear adorned with cartoon graphics and bright block colours.


Restrained, timeless and wonderfully luxurious, this cult French brand has fi nally come to London as part of Harrods' revamped children's department. We'll be fi rst in line...

ON BALANCE Caroline Bosmans

e can’t get enough of Swedish brand Caroline Bosmans and look forward to each new collection with bated breath. It’s hard to pick this season’s favourite but this cardigan just might be the yin to our yang – your favourite little fashionista is guaranteed to love it. €125;


t's been a real pleasure to watch this fledgling London brand take flight over the course of 2016, with mama and founder Louise Shill starting to corner the market in classic styles for contemporary babies, boys and girls. The aim of Young Soles was always to take timeless footwear shapes – the fisherman sandal, the Derby, the desert boot – and reimagine them for the modern child, using the best materials and a grown-up's eye for good design to improve upon the (let's be honest) tacky and underperforming stuff so often found in kids' shoe shops. Designed in East London and made with care in Europe, the shoes are hardwearing yet supple, so that they mould to little ones' growing feet. They also feature a stylistic simplicity and attention to detail (even when enlivened by all-over zebra patterns or Liberty-print laces) that ensures they run streets ahead of the competition. Highlights from the current collection include monkey boots in nude pink and classic T-bars in soft grey. We're big fans. And so should you be. @youngsoleslondon

September / October 2016




17/08/2016 12:10

Valentino Coat, £1;915, Joseph Top, £125, Joseph Skirt, £145 The Hepburn Wonder Pram, £1,500; cosattocom

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_FASHION SHOOTindd.indd 36

17/08/2016 12:14

new WAVE

Timeless yet contemporary Autumn looks from Nine in the Mirror Photog raphy: G eo rge Cheval ier L ewi s Mod el & S tylist: Ap p hia M ic hael

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_FASHION SHOOTindd.indd 37

17/08/2016 12:15

Maje Grenat Oversized Coat, £450 • T by Alexnder Wang Jumper, £265 • Minimalisma Baby Jumper, £178; Sophie & Co Baby Trousers, £178; • Socks, stylist's own

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_FASHION SHOOTindd.indd 38

17/08/2016 12:15

Joseph Top and Skirt, and shoes as before

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_FASHION SHOOTindd.indd 39

17/08/2016 12:15

Joseph Coat, £525, Jumpsuit by Malene Birger, £315, Cosatto Hold Carseat in Space Racer, £145;

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_FASHION SHOOTindd.indd 40

17/08/2016 12:16

Coat as before, T by Alexander Wang Sleeveless Jumper, £315 Jumper (worn underneath), T by Alexander Wang, £265

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_FASHION SHOOTindd.indd 41

17/08/2016 12:16

ENJOY 15% OFF* ONLINE WITH THE CODE MAMA15 London Stores: 45 Marylebone High Street, W1 I 179 Kensington High Street, W8 I 102 Northcote Road, SW11 Leeds Store: Victoria Quarter, LS1


Absolutely Mama_Full.indd 2 SERAPHINE.indd 1

*Offer is available on orders over £60 until 31/10/16. Excludes sale items, baby wear and the bump kit.

11/08/2016 16:55 17:53 12/08/2016


m a ma / style


Autumn's essential pick

PARKA LIFE Seraphine

➻ There aren't many pieces you can trust to take you through pregnancy and beyond, but the parka is one: simple, classic and with an evergreen edge thanks to its retro, rock 'n' roll credentials. No surprise, then, that French maternitywear specialists Seraphine have placed their clever 3-in-1 parka

firmly in the foreground of their new campaign. With the Winter months fast approaching, this coat has a removable faux-fur lining to ensure you stay cosy – and it's a cinch to remove it for warmer days. What's more, a detachable front panel allows you to easily fit a baby in a carrier or sling inside the coat post-birth. Nice.

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:17


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16/08/2016 11:04

m a ma / style CARREMENT BEAU AW16

edito r



TINYCOTTONS Knitted Cross Trousers, € 52,50 TAMBERE Vermillion Crewneck Sweat, € 39,17

THE ANIMALS OBSERVATORY Faded TAO Shark Worker's Sweat, € 49,17

MADEMOISELLE À SOHO Dusty Pink Clouds Cardigan, € 90,83

MADEMOISELLE À SOHO Dark Grey Smock, € 70,83

THE ANIMAL'S OBSERVATORY Faded Mammoth Sweatpants, € 56,67

BUHO Marl Fleck Jules Coat, € 70,83 CARREMENT BEAU AW16

BONTON Camel Backpack, € 53,85

MADEMOISELLE À SOHO Ochre Trousers, € 57,50


THE ANIMALS OBSERVATORY Rooster MC T-shirt, € 32,50

AUTUMN SLEEVES Earth tones and seasonal shades from the new collection at Smallable

BOBO CHOSES Glasses All Over Beanie with Pompom, € 29,39

BOBO CHOSES Organic Cotton Glasses Long Sleeve T-Shirt, € 29,39

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:21

we can be

HEROES Presenting super-powered style for littles, as AW16 takes inspiration from comic-book iconography past and present Pho tography: G errard G ethings Styling: Helen B ar on

Models: Lola and Lotte Harte and Jarvis Gethings

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 46

17/08/2016 12:41

Lotte wears: Stella McCartney Kora Striped Dress, £74; Little Eleven Paris Superman Sweater, £43; Urban Junk Bam Mini Backpack, £24; Lola wears: Molo Yellow Magnus Slogan Sweatshirt, £40; Stella McCartney Nina Jeans, £74; Converse, White Leather Chuck Taylor All-Star Sneaker, £35; Stella McCartney Rocket Backpack, £74; Marcel Wanders for Cybex Hausschwein, £200;

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 47

17/08/2016 12:41

MSGM Black Star Dress, £115; • MSGM Black and Pink Star Cape, £244; Simonetta Mini Cooker Bag, £178; • Bat mask, as part of a set with wings from Numero 74, £36.50; Converse Sneakers, as before

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 48

17/08/2016 12:44

Jarvis wears: Stella McCartney Comic Scout Stickers Puffer Jacket, £95; Sweetpants, Loose Fleece Trackpants, Red, £59.95; • Fendi Monster Slip-ons; £235; Marcel Wanders for Cybex Hausschwein, £200;

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 49

17/08/2016 12:44

Little Eleven Paris Wonderwoman Hoodie, £48; • Someday Soon Maurius Sweatpants, £45; iCandy MiChair, £250; • Personalised Superhero Confetti Balloon, £30.60;

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 50

17/08/2016 12:42

Molo Bat Print Romeo Sweatshirt, £35; • Sweetpants, as before • Sweetpants, as before Superhero Walker Balloon. £19.95;

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 51

17/08/2016 12:42

Little Marc Jacobs Jersey Printed Dress, £56; • MSGM Black Star Dress, £115; Little Eleven Paris Rush Bomber, £125; • Converse Sneakers, as before iCandy MiPeach Royal Doll's Pushchair, £180; • iCandy MiChair, as before

MAMA_Sep-Oct16_SHOOT_v2.indd 52

17/08/2016 12:43

Exquisite clothing for a new generation of little Britons Made in England

lwl_ad_mama_20160609a.indd 1 LWL.indd 1

09/06/2016 17:29 19:37 13/06/2016

T he V ie w Fr om . . .


As the celebrated kids’ fashion trade show returned to Florence we got the inside scoop on this year’s hottest brands

Karl Kids karl .com

Kidswear with a high fashion edge, as befits the hallowed name on the label: street styles in monochrome and denim blue, enlivened and lightened by the presence of angular, playful print motifs.



MAMA_Sep_Oct16_PITTI BIMBO.indd 54

17/08/2016 12:48

m a ma / style

Billie Blush

available at

Fun but always feminine, the Billie Blush collection for SS17 features rainbow brights, flouncy skirts, flamingo prints and lots of sequins: in short, everything a little lady needs to feel like a technicolor princess.

Carrement Beau available at

The epitome of Gallic sophistication – but for kids – Carrement Beau’s SS17 offering understood the beauty of simplicity, with dresses for girls in demure dairy shades and slim trews and polos for boys in classic French blues.


Chloe is renowned for its hip, feminine take on transatlantic bohemianism and the girls’ range for SS17 is no different, with fun, floaty hippy dresses and Seventies-referencing dungarees leading the style charge.

Il Gufo

The Italian luxury label’s SS17 collection is definitely something to look forward to, with a vibrant nature theme that takes in equatorial forests, tropical colours and wildlife across elegant, enchanting pieces for girls and boys alike.

Scotch & Soda

High sheen and metallic prints, romantic embroideries and ‘toxic colour contrasts’ made the forthcoming Scotch R’belle and Scotch Shrunk collections playfully eclectic – but always on the right side of chaotic. September / October 2016

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m a ma / style





Absolutely Mama: Where did the idea for Jem + Bea come from? We’re old school friends who found ourselves plunged into the baby world together. After spending our twenties in London, we ended up living back in our home town and met for regular playdates and nights out, which led to conversations about baby bag frustrations – and whether we could make our dream bags a business. We wanted to create bags with the same designer look and quality materials as a luxury handbag, but with all the practical bits and bobs you need in a changing bag, for parents who love accessories and want to keep their style identity as well as being a parent. The bags are centred around simple, modern shapes with a luxury edge and made from handpicked leathers and materials. AM: Was starting a business difficult? Did you have relevant experience? Getting the collection up and running was relatively easy as Rebecca had the relevant supplier contacts and design experience, having previously worked in the fashion industry as an accessories designer. Difficulties came in areas that we weren’t so knowledgable about, like web design, taking September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 12:57



Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity Registered Charity No. 1067412


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

12/01/2016 14:13

m a ma / style

product to market, shipping logistics and VAT! But by talking to friends and family we were able to get lots of free advice, tips and recommendations before making any potentially expensive decisions (or mistakes!) about products or services. AM: What action have you undertaken that’s been pivotal to the business? Taking the plunge and going to our first trade fair very early on was pivotal. We found out about the Harrogate Nursery Fair from

Taking the plunge and going to our first trade fair very early on was pivotal to the business

a chance conversation with an exhibitor at The Baby Show and at that point we were only in the early sampling stages. The next fair was in the following month but we knew we had to show at this fair as it was only once a year. With this deadline looming, it really focused us and we managed to get everything from the branding to the final samples done in under a month, ready for the show. There we met many of our stockists who are still stocking us today – including John Lewis. Having such

a key department store take an interest so early on was a real boost and we knew we’d made the right decision to launch the brand and get the product out to market when we did. AM: Could the government be doing more to support small businesses? Yes, definitely. When you look into funding for a small business it’s such a minefield and nowadays the government-backed loans for small business are still quite limited and very high in interest. However, there is lots of advice available and many online business seminars giving great advice about importing, VAT and how to write a business plan.

AM: What’s the most challenging thing about being your own bosses? Not really having much time to yourself! It helps that there are two of us, so we can lean on each other when one goes on holiday, but the emails still keep coming and you can never really switch off as there’s always lots to be done between us. However, I think this is often the case, even for bosses with 100+ staff! When it’s your own business it’s difficult to switch off because you can’t help but be passionate and want it to succeed. The fact is, if we don’t do it, it won’t get done – so we are pretty disciplined and just get on with it. AM: What do you enjoy most about your work lives? With four kids between us, having the flexibility around when and where we work really helps. We also love the exciting stage at the beginning of the season when we’re designing and researching; we can let our creativity run wild! Collaborating with bloggers and brands is also really fun and rewarding. AM: Is there anything you would do differently if you were to start again? Probably get a fulfilment house sooner!! We started out packaging and sending bags from our homes but, given the size of the product, space quickly became an issue and we were prisoners in our own homes waiting for the courier to arrive. We forgot what colour our flooring was for months!


September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:45

TB8732 Cuddledry Apron 300x230mm_Layout 1 05/06/2015 12:40 Page 2

Part the Cuddledry of products for bath, and beach Part of theofCuddledry familyfamily of products for bath, swimswim and beach Part of the Cuddledry family of for products for bath, swim and beach Part of the Cuddledry family of products bath, swim and beach


15/08/2016 15:48

m a ma / style

HB: What did you do before starting Nor–Folk? FB: I was Client Director of and co-ran our design consultancy, The Click Design Consultants, in Norwich with my husband (and our Creative Director) Bobby and team. Our agency specialises in branding, so I spent eight years working with other brands and shaping their futures. One day I had an epiphany and thought, we could do this for ourselves. HB: What inspires you and what do you aim for in design? FB: My life and everything around me – it could be something my son says, something I see, a colour. I never sit down with the objective to design a new product. I am always subconsciously designing, styling shots and writing copy in my head. For me, design and photography go hand in hand and I strive for absolute clarity, and a meaning that resonates/connects with people.

Graphic Detail Q




HELEN BARON: Why did you become a graphic designer? Fiona Burrage: From an early age I liked information to be organised and displayed neatly. As I went through high school I grasped how important presentation was if it was to to be persuasive and emotive. I’ve always thought about the end user/customer/ teacher and realised the more I tried,

the better my results. I always strive to do better with everything I do; I’m never satisfied. When I graduated from Norwich School of Art & Design, I went into account management and studied marketing in my spare time, followed by project management. I’ve brushed up on my photography since uni and those collective skills are invaluable for what I do now.

HB: What's the best thing about your job? FB: Getting paid to do what I want. There is a lot of hard graft, I’ll never pretend otherwise, but it’s my choice and that’s exciting. I’ve made so many friends and contacts since setting up the business. I’ve got an incredibly supportive network, for which I'm immensely grateful. HB: Where would you like to take the company next? FB: I want to refine and improve. I'm about to automate systems, which will will free up my time to be more creative, approach people I want to work with and most importantly have some quality time to spend with my son Stanley. With the people that I am fortunate enough to work with, I'm hopeful I can grow the business faster than I could do alone. I’ll never compromise on quality but I’d love a wider offering for adults. The future looks exciting.

@nor_folk September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 13:06

Country Kids Resort Luxury Family Resort in South of France

Fully Regulated Crèche from 3 months old up to 12 years old – Babysitting Nights - Secured & Safely Fenced-in Grounds – Petting Farm – On & Off-Site Activities - Café/Bar & Shop – Onsite Chef - Only 7 Luxurious Accomodation – Heated Pool – Jacuzzi - SPA The best place for Kids fun, Parents relaxation and Quality family time all together For full details contact Laure & Sylvain !!!

+33 6 77 54 56 00

CKR.indd 1

16/08/2016 12:52



•Rude Health Cafe• A welcome addition to London's healthy eating scene, this King's Road cafe specialises in fermented, sprouted, cultured and activated foods and drinks. Head to the website for the brand's own drinks, shakes, cereals and more.


How to beat post-natal hair blues


Celia Muñoz and Skye McCalpine

77 • FEEDING THE FUTURE Healthy family recipes

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 13:08

8 of the best

C LAY M AS KS TRILOGY Mineral Radiance Mask, £19.50;

LIZ EARLE Deep Cleansing Mask, £15.75;



Reflexology for morning sickness and a massage oil that soothes baby to sleep

DIPTYQUE Multi-use Exfoliating Clay Scrub, £44;

KIEHL’S Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, £21.50;


CHANTECAILLE Detox Clay Mask, £70;

SISLEY Radiant Glow Mask with 04 Red Clay, £73;



MALIN + GOETZ Clarifying Clay Mask, £38;

Most hair breakage occurs when we sleep. SILKE London has come up with an ingenious (and pretty) turban to protect and repair hair, rebalancing greasy roots and dry ends overnight. £45;

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Goddess Skin Clay Mask, £45;



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m ama / liv ing


The latest Ayurvedic range from Aveda – Tulasara – is focused around the Radiant Facial Dry Brush and Oleation Oil; the latter is applied after exfoliating with the brush to achieve a natural glow. Brush, £27 & Oil, £38;


at The Refinery Wo rd s : Hel e n B ar o n



Ease baby into gentle reveries with this calming massage oil from Aussie brand Milk & Co. Perfect to use before bedtime or at baby massage class. £10.50;

SKIN DEEP •Tiny Rituals•

This new skincare collection celebrates Baby – transforming those small habitual routines into meaningful moments. Natural ingredients of sweet almond oil and rice milk are gentle on the skin and can be used by mamas too.


f all the great products made by Aesop, this handwash with notes of mandarin, lavender and rosemary is our absolute fave. Handy (ahem) to have around after the bejillionth nappy change. Resurrection Aromatique Handwash, £27;


good massage therapist is hard to find. Hard being the operative word. There's nothing more distressing than a therapist who can't access those seemingly impenetrable knots and stress-related aches and pains. Even moreso in pregnancy, when therapists too often use light and ineffective strokes. Not so with therapist Amy Moffat, who practises at new boutique health studio The Refinery and is adept at applying deep tissue techniques to relieve muscular tensions, even in pregnancy. Moffat is well aware of the bodily changes taking place over the nine months of pregnancy; if mothersto-be suffer with oedema (swelling in the ankles and wrists) she can use lymphatic drainage techniques to alleviate symptoms, while stimulating acupressure points can help to relieve leg cramps and morning sickness. She'll even show you how to replicate some of the treatments yourself, at home – including pericardium 6, located three finger-breadths below the wrist of the inner arm, between two tendons. Fluctuating hormones, a changing centre of gravity and an adaptive walking gait all add increasing pressure to joints and muscles; moreso if it's not your first baby. If you haven't already, pregnancy is the perfect time to get better acquainted with massage.

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 13:15

“One of the top 5 teachers in the UK today” Evening Standard ES magazine

r ve 0 ! O ,00 old 0 s 10 Ds DV

Tara Lee’s Bump, Baby & Beyond

Yoga for pregnancy, preparation for labour and support after the birth.

Tara Lee’s

20 2 DVD Boxset • Suitable for beginners and all levels Oc % o to ff b u m er w ntil am it En a2 h co d o 0 de f Also available as individual DVDs TLY.indd 1



Approved by specialist women’s health physiotherapist Sinead McCarthy “One of the top 5 teachers in the UK today” Evening Standard ES magazine

Suitable for beginners and all levels

15/08/2016 15:51

m ama / liv ing

SMOOTH OPERATOR How to beat postnatal frizz Words: Helen B ar on


o be clear, this is a hair clinic, not a hair salon; my appointment followed a long year of frustration with postnatal frizz. The frizz was always there but it seemed to get worse after the last glut of oestrogen had died down. My trichotherapist takes one look at my pouff y, sticky-up baby hairs and asks if I’ve been straightening them. The answer to which is, out of desperation, yes… so she runs me through the basics: ➻ Don’t use straighteners every day: it doesn’t help with breakage, and dry and damaged hair is more difficult to deal with. I’m given advice on how to take care of my hair using Philip Kingsley products instead. ➻ Use the elasticizer first (it increases absorption of moisturising properties), then moisturising shampoo and conditioner. You don’t have to use too much conditioner (a common misconception), just use it effectively: on the frizzy bits and at the ends.



➻ Use a comb to brush knots through with the conditioner, not (as I have been doing) a Tangle Tweeze, which takes too much hair in one go and is more likely to rip or damage hair. Refresh your scalp with Philip Kingsley scalp toner. ➻ Don’t rub your hair with the towel (and never wring it dry); pat your hair dry with the towel instead. ➻ Never use the hottest setting on the hairdryer – use a paddle brush with air holes to gently dry the hair and smooth down frizz before finishing with products from the PK Prep range. My treatment doesn't leave my hair over-styled (in the past, stylists have literally forced my hair into shape with heat). Instead, it feels like silk – and as my trichotherapist shows me, the paddle brush doesn't have a single hair in it. Result.


Philip Kinglsey specialises in treating pregnancy or post-partum hair loss and can advise on how to deal with individual problems related to fine or thinning hair.

September / October 2016




17/08/2016 14:10

9 of the best

SWIMWEAR JETS BY JESSIKA ALLEN Luxe High Neck One Piece, £115;

PRISM Santa Margarita Top, £122; Hollywood Bottoms, £95



Strengthening your pelvic floor and looking after children's teeth

SWEATY BETTY Competition Swimsuit, £70;

LISA MARIE FERNANDEZ Farrah Long Neoprene Maillot, £315;

KORE Minerva Swimsuit, £249;


OCEAN COUTURE Bannerfish Sports Top, £79 and Bottoms, £42;

ODABASH Honolua Zip-Front One Piece, £226;

This Aussie maternitywear brand goes from strength to strength, with our latest fave piece being this athleisure classic: a grey hoodie in soft, stretchy fabric.

SEAFOLLY Mesh About Cap Sleeves Swimsuit (right); £113; Jungle Out There Tank Bikini (left); Top, £67; Bottoms, £44;




17/08/2016 14:17

m ama / liv ing

ho w to

STRETCH OUT • Te n P i l a t e s •

A long-established studio with six branches, the prenatal classes on offer at Ten Pilates are structured around the significant changes in the body during pregnancy, providing an effective workout through to full term.

Looking After Your Children’s Teeth by Dr Sameer Patel HUNGER PANGS •Hangry•

Feeling hungry? Fight against hungerinduced rage – otherwise known as hanger – with these yummy health-food bars made from dried fruits, oats, nuts and seeds. Specifically formulated to keep your body and mind balanced.


A clever solution to the common problem of occasional, embarassing 'leaks', Innovotherapy uses electrical signals to stimulate and strengthen the pelvic floor and bladder. £249;


B e t t e r Yo u D L u x P r e g n a n c y

daily vitamin D spray that guarantees optimal absorption and avoids the need for vitamin D tablets – which are just about the worst thing for a mama-to-be suffering from terrible morning sickness. No more gurgling tummy simply for topping up on one of life's little necessaries: result. £9.95;


 Use a circular motion when brushing and don’t press down too hard. Children aged three and up should only use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. For milk teeth, use a specialist toothpaste and soft brush.  As soon as your child’s teeth start to touch they should begin flossing. Practice the flossing technique with them to ensure effective plaque removal, going deep in between the teeth to dislodge any plaque.  Dairy products are great for keeping the enamel in teeth strong. Although milk is great for growing bones and teeth, the sugars in it will cause tooth decay as your child sleeps, when saliva glands (which break down bacteria), temporarily stop working. Try to avoid milk before bed when your child is old enough to go without.  Go for regular check-ups and at least once by the age of two.  Water is the best drink possible for children as it is pure and helps wash away bacteria from the mouth. Steer clear of fizzy drinks as these are full of sugar and harmful to teeth enamel. Be aware of hidden sugars, such as in fruit juice or ready meals.  Thumb and dummy-sucking are a very common habit for younger children but as permanent teeth develop, it will likely cause teeth to push outwards, resulting in the need for orthodontic work. Try to encourage your children to stop as young as possible.

September / October 2016




17/08/2016 14:17

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m ama / liv ing


Stay abreast of your health and wellbeing with the Jawbone UP3 activity tracker, which offers advanced analytic reports on everything from sleep quality to heartrate via a beautiful smartphone app. From £129.99;



The power of Omega 3 and the latest family activity tracker



New to South Ken is Squirrel, a health food venue perfect for faddy eaters since staff will happily substitute ingredients to cater for all requirements. 11 Harrington Road, SW7;

Make mealtimes fun (and instil good table manners) with this darling five-piece cutlery set from Maileg. Dishwasher-safe and presented in a delightful box if intended as a gift. £29.95;



The benefits of Omega 3 by Henrietta Norton of Wild Nutrition ➻ Omega 3 is a polyunsaturated fat and the term ‘essential’ means that it can't be synthesised in the body; it has to come from our diet. Omega 3 fats contain two fatty acids, known as DHA and EPA, which are crucial to children’s health from conception through to adolescence. They support the development of the brain, eye and nervous system during foetal growth as well as handeye coordination, concentration

and intelligence during childhood. In fact, studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids can play a therapeutic role in a treatment plan for ADD/ADHD and mood disorders in children. The body also uses these fatty acids to make hormones and to support the immune system’s control of inflammation. Build a plentiful supply of Omega 3 in your child’s diet through:

 Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel or sardines – three portions a week minimum.  Nuts and seeds (ground with meals or slow roasted as a snack).  Organic eggs and, to a lesser extent, green leafy vegetables.  A fish oil supplement can also work very effectively.

@wildnutritionltd September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:24

... ive r e ff rece * O d and REE e it ce F ly m i L a pla NTHitions app d ok MOand con o B E *terms N O

Join us for

Enrolment Week

12th-16th September

With Busy Bees, you never miss a WOW moment! We go further to keep you connected to your child’s learning. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in our activities to learn more.





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16/08/2016 14:44

m ama / liv ing

Cooking with


LA COQUETA'S Celia Muñoz AND FOOD WRITER Skye MCALPINE SHOW THEIR CHILDREN HOW TO COOK HEALTHILY Absolutely Mama: How did this culinary partnership come about? Sky McAlpine: Celia is a dear friend and we love doing things together with our children. We thought it would be really fun to spend the day cooking with the children and then all sit down to a meal together. Celia Muñoz: Skye and I are very close friends. We met through our work and feel that we have so much in common that we always try to find angles that allow us to work together again. We are both mothers of young children and Skye suggested cooking with my children and her little boy, which I thought was a superb idea and so much fun! AM: Why is it important for children to see what goes into their food and how it’s put together? SM: I want my son, Aeneas, to learn that food isn’t just nourishment for the body – there is so much more to it. It is nourishment for the soul, it is memories and nostalgia – and cooking and eating together as a family is a huge part of that. CM: We live in a world where everything – through the eyes of a child, at least – comes out of a supermarket. When I was little, I saw cows being milked, fruits being picked, wine being made… Living in London made it harder to see these things. I want my children to see where food comes from: they get to appreciate the goodness and importance of the ingredients a lot more…


September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:36

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07/04/2016 13:23

m ama / liv ing

AM: What are some ideal things to bake and cook with children? SM: I find that hands-on cooking works well – so making pastry, where you knead the ingredients together with your hands and roll it out, or making fresh pasta dough, for example, are great for doing with children. Recipes where the children can get their hands dirty are great – as are very simple recipes where you can hand them the ingredients and let them take the lead. CM: My children love making tarts: baking, cooking and preparing medjool dates with almond butter. My husband and I love seeing CELIA IS MAMA TO FIVE CHILDREN the delight on their little faces when cooking something they like… they stare at the food and can’t help but put a finger in and lick it as if it was the first time they tried it. AM: Skye, can you tell us a bit about the recipes you have chosen to cook today? SM: The zucchine and tomato tart is a go-to recipe of mine – it’s the kind of thing that I will toss together for lunch or supper at the last minute. It’s a great thing to make with children, because I find they really enjoy rolling out the pastry and they can let

their imaginations run wild when it comes to arranging the slices of tomato and zucchine. As for the ice cream, again it’s a very simple recipe, but it’s also one of Aeneas’ favourite things to eat, so I thought it would be fun for him to try to make it, too.

AM: You are both creative women, albeit in different fields. What do you admire in each other? SM: I am always in awe of how seamlessly and gracefully Celia balances the demands of a full-time, creative career with being a wonderful hands-on mama to her five children. She makes everything seem

Thomasina Miers

Camilla Barnard


possible and is a huge inspiration for me. CM: There are so many things I like about my friend Skye… I admire her talent and sense of reinvention. I love her character and the fact that she never has a bad word for anybody; she’s always willing to help and listen. She’s just a great friend with many talents: food happens to be just one of them. AM: How do you make cooking engaging for your children? SM: I think it’s mostly about what you cook – I always say that I love to cook because I love to eat, and I think it’s no different for children. I find that if the children are excited to eat something, they tend to really enjoy making it too.



Recipes where the children can get their hands dirty are great

Lily Davis

@thedetoxkitchen @skye_mcalpine @lacoquetakids September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:37

Fun French Lessons Innovative immersion programme Highly recommended by BBC, Time Out, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express

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15/01/2016 17:14 17/08/2016 12:27

m ama / liv ing

~ Fairy Wand Shortbread Cookies ~ Children love treats on a stick and these fairy wand biscuits are no different. They are delicious on their own or you can always spread a bit of Un-Nutella (recipe on page 36 of the book) on them!


• Coconut oil (melted to grease) • 1 cup/250g coconut oil • 1/2 cup/120ml maple syrup • 2 cups/300g gluten-free plain flour (sifted) • 1/2 cup/90g rice flour (sifted) • FTF Raw Berry Jam (recipe on page 160 of the book) METHOD


1 Preheat oven to 300F/150C. 2 Brush 2 baking trays with melted coconut oil to grease. 3 Use a hand mixer to beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together in a bowl until creamy. Mix both flours. 4 Add the combined flour slowly, beating on low speed until almost fully combined. 5 Mix the dough together in a bowl with your hands, then knead on a lightly floured surface. 6 Flatten dough with a rolling pin before cutting out stars or hearts with a cookie cutter. 7 Bake the shortbread for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. 8 Keep shortbread on trays and set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. 9 To finish your fairy wands, coat 2 shortbread cookies of the same size with FTF Raw Berry Jam, then press together with a popsicle stick in between.

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:46

The perfect starter kit for new arrivals Authentic Finnish baby boxes - can be used as a Moses basket and includes over 50 essentials for baby and mum • Indoor clothing • Hygiene products • Outdoor clothing

• Mattress • Bedding • Toys

Gender neutral Scandi design #ekatotbabybox w w w. e k a t o t . c o . u k

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HALILIT.indd 1 13/06/2016 16:38

05/08/2016 16:00 17/08/2016 12:27

m ama / liv ing

~ Avocado Tuna Roll ~ Kids love sushi rolls! They are a fun meal or snack. Choose from different fillings and rice options.


• 1.5oz/40g glass jar of tuna in olive oil • 1/4 ripe avocado • lemon wedge • 1 nori sheet • 1/3 cup/80g sushi rice (cooked) METHOD

1 Mash up the tuna and mix in the avocado. 2 Season with a small amount of salt and a squeeze of lemon. 3 Cut the nori paper into 2/3 of a piece. 4 Place the nori

~ Banana Oat Pancakes and Un-Nutella ~ This yummy scrummy dish will have your kids fighting over the last bit. The oats in these pancakes are filled with fibre and the bananas are rich in potassium. The cottage cheese is loaded with protein and calcium making this a delicious and perfectly balanced first meal of the day. Better yet, they are so easy to make!

paper on a sushi mat. 5 Put a thin layer of cooked rice on the nori paper, leaving space at the end of the paper. 6 Press the rice firmly into the nori paper. 7 Add the avocado and tuna mixture in a line down the centre. 8 Lift the side of the mat and roll to seal the edges. 9 Use your hands to roll the shape and properly seal the cylinder shape of the sushi roll. 10 With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 0.5in/2cm slices.


• Coconut oil for cooking • 1 1/4 cup/200g gluten-free rolled oats (you can also use whole oats, but keep in mind these contain gluten) • 4 eggs • 1 scant cup/100g cottage cheese • un-Nutella (recipe on page 36 of book), cinnamon, banana or berries for garnish METHOD 1 Blend the ingredients in a food processor. 2 Heat a non-stick pan at medium heat, then add coconut oil to the pan. 3 Pour ingredient mixture into the heated pan by the 1/4 cup/60ml. 4 Cook until you see little bubbles that stay popped (roughly 2 to 3 minutes per side). 5 Serve with Un-Nutella, a sprinkle of cinnamon, banana slices or fresh berries. September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:47


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

CYBEX.indd 1

13/06/2016 18:10



•Nidi• Nubie always carries the latest and greatest in kids design, and our latest crush is on Nidi. Makers of kids’ furniture with a strongly European flavour (and lots of playful touches), we love the Woody range of wardrobes and playroom tables (one with integrated pen pot).

82 • NURSERY NOTES Interiors products we love


Because blush is the new black


Colour inspiration from Deonne Rowland

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 14:50

6 of the best



4 5



NURSERY NOTES Modern design brands we love and 6 of the best chairs




Send little ones off to the Land of Nod in some timelessly endearing pyjamas from My Little Shop – for ages two and up.

1. Mum and Dad Factory Rattan Chair, €89; • 2. Ok Design Acapulco Mini Black Chair, £162; • 3. Vitra Panton Chair in Light Pink, £110;  4. Blue Hay Little Nobody Chair, £84.15; • 5. Oeuf NYC Animal Playroom Chairs (set of two), £212; • 6. Vitra Eames Elephant in Ice Grey, £135.15;




17/08/2016 14:55

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d Br ancus o F

•Fanny & Alexander•

Founded by mother Delfi ne Aguilar, Fanny & Alexander creates what it calls ‘utterly analogue’ toys; beautifully crafted objects and activity kits that act as a counterpoint to mass-produced plastic merchandise.

Numero 74 A spotlight on the baby brands we love

FRESH PRINTS •Wo n d e r & R a h •

Glam up those nursery walls with an original print from these illustrative icons – graphic representations of your little one’s initial are a specialty. £15; /wonderandrah

T AND SO TO BED •Nobodinoz•

Your babe will be glad to leave the cot behind if there’s a toddler bed like this to replace it – European quality from top Spanish children's brand Nobodinoz. €373.62;

Blinking Marvellous Pixistuff

f the various handmade treats available at this independent online store, these eyelashes are our favourite: available in range of cute colours and fi nishes, including classic baby blue, they’re perfect stationed above a cot or toddler bed. £14.99;


his brand swept through on-trend nurseries this year, capturing (or perhaps helping to create) a renewed fascination with natural fabrics (especially linen, the more rumpled the better), muted colour tones and understated, timeless designs. Though headquartered in Italy, Numero 74 products are handcrafted in Thailand by a self-managed collective of Thai women – meaning the provenance of the collection is as ethical as the products themselves are stunning. We were first alerted to the company by its amazing bedding, including baby sleeping bags in powder-pale linen and super-soft , night-black blankets embroidered with golden stars. The aesthetic is classically cosy – even cute – but never clichéd or childish. The Numero 74 nursery is elegant above all things, with sweet touches such as tassels and pixie hoods keeping things playful amid all the subtlety and restraint. Our current favourite? Adorable bath capes in earthy shades of grey and rose. Not the cheapest of accessories, but the quality is sky-high and the design, flawless. Kids’ bathrobe, €37;

September / October 2016




17/08/2016 14:57

ma ma / i n te r i o r s

Blush is the

NEW BLACK It’s pink, but not as you know it. Absolutely Mama puts a modern twist on a classic nursery colour by Helen B ar on



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Opposing page: Hanging

Cradle in Dark Grey, €189.95; m am a / inte riors

Wonder and Rah Kissing Bunnies Print, £15;

This page: Mori Mountain Blanket, £55; Cotton Ram’s Head, €69.95; Numero 74 Fitted Sheet in Dusty Pink, £32, and Summer Quilt Blanket in dark grey, from £38;

September / October 2016

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Puppy Magis, £86.70; Coco Lapine Kētos and Mountain ABC Prints, €42.50 each; 86


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Cloud Cushion

A cute way to add a little character and comfort to your baby’s crib, Donna Wilson offers a range of beautifully handmade and illustrative cushions in lambswool. This simpler design takes things back to basics and comes in blue, grey and pink.  £62.50;

Get The Look

Puppy Magis

This simple, shapely puppy is sure to inject a bit of structure and fun to your nursery. The dalmatian version pictured here keeps things light while adding a darker accent thanks to his black spots. And if your little one tries to clamber on top of it, don’t fret: it’s designed to be used as a chair.  £86.70;

Peach Wool Unicorn This beautiful and elegant wool

Mixing minimal monochromes with a touch of pink

unicorn’s head, made by Dutch studio Fabels Out of Vintage, does exactly as its talented designer, Lauri, intends – evoking the spirit of traditional tales while catering to minimal design mores.  €69.95;

Hanging Cradle

Plaster pink can be beautifully brought to life by darker hues. This hanging cradle by Dutch boutique Little Hedonist is crafted from wool-cotton and bamboo and is available in a deep, calming grey. It will gently swing your newborn to sleep – and looks great with just a sheepskin for a mattress.  €189.95;

Graphic Prints We’ve long admired the graphic, monochrome prints of Belgian

illustrator and stylist Coco Lapine (aka Sarah). Her Kētos (Ancient Greek for whale) and Mountain ABC designs are sophisticated alternatives to more childish variations you might see elsewhere.  €42.50 each; September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 15:00

Chase the


How to employ vintage colour in the nursery by D eonne Rowland

Sleeping area: This was designed to evoke a feeling of sleepy summer with decorative flourishes such as the house book light, flying swallows and Eos goose-feather ceiling pendant. The beds are Caravan Divans in pink by Kalon Studios. The girls each have a Camomile London hand-quilted blanket, with the different shades of golden and deep rose echoing the colours of the rainbow cushion.



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Reading space (left): Children’s rooms should ideally also provide space for quiet time and encourage reading – the more books can be displayed and made accessible, the better! A selection of small seats encourages the girls to sit and spend time here. Study nook (below): With Elsie now at school and starting to concentrate on homework, it was important to build in a versatile area for the girls to study and make and play. This area was built to scale around the two Nofred Mouse Chairs, with all the girls’ arts and crafts supplies and stationery tastefully stashed away in Normann Copenhagen wall pockets. I designed two bespoke vintagestyle cupboards for further hiding-away of all the busy bits and bobs that naturally go along with children’s rooms.


s a children’s interior designer, I’m used to being given quite open briefs and working with those to create schemes that both parents and children love. Here, the brief was a rainbow theme, but I didn’t want to go down the usual route of bold, primary colours. My client was open to me sourcing some vintage items of furniture for the room, so I wanted to employ a complementary colour scheme. I opted for a rainbow colourway with a vintage feel – heavy on deep blue and mustard, with accents here and there in dusty pink, hazelnut and crimson.

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 15:08

Dressing room: Like most girls, Annie and Elsie love dressing up, so part of the brief was to create an area where all of their favourite dress-up costumes, dresses and treasures could be kept. The centrepiece here is a 1960s rattan and oak dresser that was specially shipped from Brittany. The rainbow banner – also from Oeuf NYC and due to be released this Autumn/ Winter – completes the look.



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Caravan Divan

This little bed is one of the most appealing examples of modern children’s design I have come across yet. It is shaped like a traditional divan, or day bed, but shrunk in scale for children. Constructed from solid American maple wood, in a clean, unfussy style, this is a truly heirloom-quality piece to cherish and keep.  £995;

Get The Look

Knitted Rainbow Cushion

While perhaps better known for its clever, minimalist children’s furniture, Oeuf NYC also produces beautiful knitted décor – and its latest collection is its best yet. The pieces have a nostalgic, vintage feel and range from these rainbow cushions to knitted vegetables and mouths.  Price TBA;

Hand-quilted blanket The love and care that goes into

Deonne Rowland mixes modern and vintage to dreamy effect

these blankets is irreplaceable: they are plush and warm and wrap round children like a great big hug. Modelled on a traditional eiderdown, the blankets come in a range of vintage shades, from golden to plaster pink, and are perfect for mixing and matching.  £81 (for cotbed size);


o r’ s


Eos Pendant

Made of goose feathers, this pendant brings a feeling of softness and calm to children’s interiors and provides a warm, diffuse light. Use as your main, statement light or go for a smaller size with a long flex and ceiling hook for a bedside or study light.  £199 (for large size);

Mouse Chair There is a fine line between sweet and twee in children’s design, and these little chairs are firmly on the right side of it. They are a simple but inspired idea and bring fun and functionality to children’s rooms.  £145; September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 15:09


15/08/2016 15:50



• F a m i l y Tr a v e l S h o w • Olympia once again plays host to the glorious Family Travel Show – a treasure trove of ideas for anyone seeking a holiday where kids aren't just allowed, but actively encouraged. 1-2 October, adults £8, under 16s go free;


An Umbrian adventure


Mama bootcamp, Greek-style

105 • AT THE CHAPEL Divine luxury in Somerset

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 15:12

TURQUOISE.indd Turquoise Mama Full1 Page Ad - Family Travel Show 2016 OL.indd 1

15:58 15/08/2016 12:19

m ama / tra vel

NIGHT OFF •Villa Guru•

Luxury villa specialist Villa Guru this year launched a ‘Night Out Nanny’ service across all of its Ibiza properties – meaning you can relive your wild youth on the White Isle confident that your littles are happy, safe and close at hand. Check availability and prices at



Nanny services, Welsh valley rentals and three coastal escapes COTTAGE INDUSTRY


ll hail this new Avalon slip-on, created by TOMS in collaboration with Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Program to benefit sub-Saharan youth at risk of AIDs. And they're available in adult and child sizes – so you can do some ethical mini-matching on holiday.  From £25.99;

Sugar & Loaf


his new(ish) provider offers lovely holiday rental properties across Wales and the Wye Valley – not least the Old House, situated close to the west coast and offering accommodation that's cosy, traditional and very tasteful.  £409 for 3 nights in October;


3 UK Coastal Escapes

Little Cottage

• Cornwall • A luxurious take on the coastal getaway, Little Cottage is anything but – it's actually a large modernist masterpiece perched on the beautiful, windswept strand that is Praa Sands. From £2200 for 3 nights;

Featherdown Farms

• Countrywide • A network of independent farms offering family-friendly glamping and a taste of the working farm lifestyle, Featherdown is a true pioneer – and a sure bet for a holiday ripe with natural beauty and animal encounters. Midweek short stays from £199;


• West Wales • Simple, rural living in a range of accommodations, from dome tents to cabins, on the beautiful West Wales coast. Guests are encouraged to muck in, learn new skills and enjoy huge communal feasts. From £300 for 3 nights in October; September / October 2016




17/08/2016 15:16

Comfort zone





he mere mention of ‘familyfriendly hotels’ normally sends a small shiver down my spine. I fancy myself an intrepid traveller, a wild adventurer. Not for me the all-inclusive ease of a babyfriendly bolthole. Silly me – if only I’d known about Villa Pia I might avoided ten years of stressful, scratchy experiences with wailing toddlers on uncomfortable hot beaches. When I told a friend I was going to ‘some kiddie-friendly place’ in Umbria, she said: “You’re not going to Villa Pia are you?” in the sort of hushed reverential tones normally reserved for religious idolatry. This is the effect that the hotel has on in-the-know breeders. Its online testimonials heave with grateful parents proclaiming: “I actually had a holiday!”

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Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Villa Pia has grown from small beginnings into a 25-room hotel in the hilltop village of Lippiano on the Tuscan/ Umbrian border. The main building is a 15th century country manor house, flanked by two converted barns, located on a steep hillside directly below an 11th century castle. The views of farmland and rolling hills, cypress trees and hazy purple mountains go on forever. The house is as beautiful as you would imagine: cool, dark rooms, wrought iron railings, painted shutters and wisteriacovered terraces. But there’s more to it than this. Many hotels look good but they don’t have the slavish following of Villa Pia. We met guests there who have been four, five, even eight times – their children growing up with annual trips to the hotel. From the moment we descended the drive into the main courtyard, we knew

Testimonials heave with grateful parents saying ‘I actually had a holiday’ we had arrived somewhere quite different. It was like arriving at a brilliant house party that was already in full swing. Mums and dads were lolling in deckchairs while little ones took over the play equipment in the courtyard and crowds of older children dashed around playing imaginary games. The bell then rang for lunch and everyone helped themselves to a resplendent buffet

before grabbing a seat and chatting to whoever was next to them. Our first experience was much like the rest of our week. Villa Pia has all the fancy trimmings of a five-star experience but none of the formality. This makes for a lovely atmosphere but the serious secret of Villa Pia’s success is that it is the very definition of ‘family friendly’. Morag and Kevin, who bought the property in 1997, raised their three children here. They understand the needs of children and, more importantly, their pie-eyed parents. Everything at Villa Pia has been developed to keep children happy and occupied, and give their parents a proper break. Children need space and Villa Pia has five acres of it. There is endless space for the kids to play freely in complete safety. The swimming pools are cut into the hillside; lying on a lounger there feels surreal. Someone cleverer than me September / October 2016

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described it as “like swimming in a picture, as if someone has imposed a Hockney on a Piero Della Francesco landscape painting.” The pool for the little ones is blood-warm and deep enough to be both safe and fun. Our five year-old barely left it all week. And just when you really want to be left alone to read, Villa Pia comes up trumps. It runs cooking and art classes for children, craftily timed for after lunch, so as that second glass of wine kicks in, your little darlings skip off to make pizza or cardboard guitars, leaving you with the blissful chance to snooze for a couple of hours in the sun. Then there is the glorious food for which Villa Pia is rightfully lauded. Meals are served by a small but prodigious army of ladies from the village in chef’s whites and cloche hats. Breakfast is a buffet, served in the converted barn. Lunch is a grand buffet spread – if you like lots of different, delicious salads, from roast vegetables, to lentils, melanzane parmigano (every day!) and pasta in every conceivable form then you will understand why I still miss the Villa Pia lunches. Dinner is in two parts – the children are all fed together at 6pm on friendly fare such as cheesy pasta, sausage and chips, pizza. Parents reconvene at 8pm for drinks followed by a decadent four-course meal,

There is endless space for children to play in complete safety with wines and coffee a plenty. If your baby monitor doesn’t reach the dining room Villa Pia will provide you with a babysitter so you can have a guilt-free grown-up evening. For some of the newer mothers we met, this was their first taste of freedom in months. And here we get to the crux of it. Villa Pia has guests returning again and again because it is the staff that make it. Paola, Aniko and Alessandro make each and every person feel like they are at home.

Children’s names (and yours) are learnt in jiff y and the staff work quietly and constantly to make sure you feel at home. A note of caution: guests are governed by the school timetable so during term time expect pre-schoolers. We were there in half term and the dominant age was six to nine. Our 12 year-old was slightly adrift – apparently the older children are there in July and August (along with 30c-plus temperatures). So plan accordingly. And if you are an anti-social sort, not given to pitching in and chatting, Villa Pia is not for you. If you do want to drag yourself away from the drinks room, there is loads to do in the surrounding area. This is Pierro Della Francesca country and his Madonna del Parto hangs in nearby Monterchi and his Legend of the True Cross – considered one of the Renaissance’s finest works – is in Arezzo. But unless your five year-old is alive to the charms of an early Renaissance master (ours most certainly wasn’t) I suggest you stay put at Villa Pia and do very little. The kids were brilliantly entertained which meant we could do what most exhausted parents really want on holiday… precisely nothing. I highly recommend it.  There is still availability at Villa Pia for September and October. Prices for adults from £550 per person per week; for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years, from £240 per week. Villa Pia, Lippiano, 06010 MSM Tiberina (PG), Umbria, Italy, +39 075 850 2027,; September / October 2016

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Trunk Show Oliver Tomalin OF LOVE BRAND & CO TALKS TRUNKS, SHORTS AND CONSERVATION Interview Pendle Harte

Pendle Harte: Which came first, the elephant trunks or the swimming trunks? Oliver Tomalin: I have loved elephants since being a kid and the risk of them becoming extinct inspired me to start Love Brand & Co. In 2010, some elephants arrived in London in the form of brightly painted sculptures. The campaign really struck a cord, being a lover of elephants and art. Until this point I was not aware elephants were so worryingly close to extinction. At the time I was designing summer shoes and I felt there was a gap for a new mens’ swimwear brand. So later that same year, my then girlfriend (now wife) Rose and I set about creating our first collection of swimming trunks that would help raise awareness and funds to save elephants from extinction in the wild, a concept we coined Trunks for Trunks. PH: How does Love Brand work – what happens to the profits? OT: The ‘Love’ in Love Brand & Co. is about loving life and saving wildlife. Our mantra is to love life to the full, but to do so responsibly. It is up to us to protect the natural world and its biodiversity, so our children can also enjoy the wondrous

We are saving elephants, one pair of swimming trunks at a time variety of life on earth. Our donations are based on revenue, rather than profits. Currently we donate 5% of our revenue to three inspirational charities, Elephant Family, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Tusk Trust. All of them tirelessly working to protect and conserve elephants and other endangered wildlife. Instead of retrofitting social responsibility, our brand started with this cause in mind. This is represented in our logo of two elephants coming together to form a heart. We are waving the flag for these forgotten wild animals and plan to help save them, one pair of swimming trunks at a time. PH: What successes have you had? OT: This year is Love Brand’s fifth birthday. We are very proud of our contribution to conservation and our successes so far

as a emerging designer brand. We have launched our London store in Chelsea at 5 Park Walk and our Barbados beach store in St James and we have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. PH: What’s your best-selling product? OT: Our bestseller is definitely our original product, the Classic Swim Short. Our fabric is really soft and fast-drying. There is a lot of consideration going on in the design, like the tusk-shaped hardware on the end of our drawstrings, symbolising our commitment to elephants. Our Classic Swim Shorts come in sizes for both men and kids, so families can match. This season we have a collection of marine inspired prints including my favourite design, ‘Double Take’, which is a Sea Horse print and in the negative spaces there are Orcas. PH: What is your background? OT: I have an artistic background and read Architectural Design at university. It is really cool to now be doing something that involves design, being entrepreneurial, travel and helping wildlife. Love Brand & Co. is really an amalgamation of all the things I love. PH: What’s next for Love Brand? OT: This summer we have new things going on in Ibiza, St Tropez and Porto Cervo as well as pop-ups happening with a bunch of exciting brands on Portobello Road. Later on, we plan to open our next beach store location and also introduce some women’s product. The last five years have been incredible and eye-opening, so we are excited to discover where the journey will lead us next. @lovebrandclub September / October 2016

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ituated in the northwest Aegean, Skiathos is neither as chic and expensive as Santorini nor as quaint and picturesque as nearby Skopelos. But what it lacks in renown it makes up for in effortless charm. We arrived in June, when the season is still to warm up. Not in terms of weather, you understand – Skiathos has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, which meant temperatures were happily settled in the top twenties with only the occasional high cloud drifting across a wide blue sky. No, the season hadn’t warmed up in terms of tourists: high summer’s annual influx of eager sun-seekers

from Russia, Italy and Britain, who turn the island into what many refer to as the ‘straight Mykonos’. Delightful, I’m sure – but we were happy to see the quieter side of Skiathos: a beautiful, relaxing bubble with just enough going on to occupy us physically and mentally – and to let us feel that we really deserved that afternoon glass of rosé. No corner of Skiathos is more than a short bus ride from Skiathos Old Town, a pedestrianised cobbled street lined with restaurants, bars and boutiques. But the real draw is the huge number of beaches: the island has more than sixty, some of which are only accessible by boat or dirt track. We stayed at the Princess Skiathos Resort, where we were lucky enough to find the spotless Paraskevi beach mere metres from our balcony. Princess Skiathos is a sprawling yet beautifully polished modern resort with perfectly maintained gardens and friendly staff always ready with a smile – even when our seventeen month-old was careering through the dining room leaving a trail of destruction behind him. Though there are larger ‘family suites’ available, our double room, complete with wide balcony with sea view, felt grand enough for the three of us (initially at least). Though perhaps if we’d foreseen the midnight teething sessions our son had planned for midweek, we might have gone for a two-room option to allow for some tag-team parenting. Back in those carefree Days Before Babies I never imagined I’d want anything more from a holiday than a blazing sun and an open bar, but times have changed: these days I like an activity. And that’s where Princess Skiathos really comes into it’s own, because the resort allows you to walk that delicate line between doing something and doing nothing with perfect ease. Picture this: it’s mid-morning and the sun is shining. Your kids are pummelling the bejesus out of a giant inflatable dolphin at one end of the pool as your partner watches from a sun lounger. It’s your downtime. Do you (a) head

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to the sea for a peaceful, corestrengthening aqua yoga session? Or do you (b) pop to the spa, where an expert pair of hands will transport you to inner peace via a full body massage? Perhaps you (c) get yourself out of the sun and into the air-conditioned kitchens, where the hotel’s professional chefs will teach you how to create a local dish from scratch? Or maybe you (d) book the kids into the creche and have some quality time with your loved one, lounging under a gazebo as you tuck into a healthy brunch? The answer, of course, is (e) all of the above – because they’re all part of the Princess Skiathos three-day ‘Mummy Bootcamp’ programme, which offers a daily fitness activity, wellness brunch, cooking class and

Here you can walk the line between doing something and doing nothing two spa treatments from £192 per person. You can even create your own schedule – concierge Alexis is a mine of information and of course, this programme is available to all interested parties, not just mums. For animal lovers and those

wanting to get out of resort mode, there’s horse riding at the Riding Club of North Sporades with the lovely Oriana, a former THE PRINCESS SKIATHOS professional show-jumper POOL AT DUSK and the most patient of tutors. Suitable for all ages and abilities, this is perfect for those rare cloudy days. Also just ten minutes from Princess Skiathos is the Skiathos Dog Shelter, funded by donations from visitors, where you can pick a pup that suits your dog-walking experience for an early morning stroll and a canine cuddle because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love that? Our son was giddy with excitement until we passed a large road-digger that stole his heart. There in a nutshell lies the fickle nature of children. One thing kids won’t be fickle about, however, is the Princess Skiathos creche – a gift from heaven that took our holiday from an 8 to a 10/10. Organised, well run and packed to the brim with toys, activities and healthy snacks, the creche is suitable for little ones aged six months to four years (there’s a kids' club for over fours, staffed by some of the friendliest childminders imaginable). When I arrived at the creche to pick up our toddler, he made his feelings about leaving abundantly clear with an almighty tantrum. The only downside of this upside, perhaps – but one very much worth our while.

 For more information about Princess Skiathos Resort, contact, tel: +30 2427 049731. For the Riding Club of North Sporades, email , tel: +30 2427 029395 For the dog shelter, visit September / October 2016

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m ama / tra vel THE HOTEL

t the Chapel has one of those stories. Founders Catherine and Ahmed stumbled upon the building by chance during a trip to the tiny Somerset village of Bruton. They were looking for a new home in the country; what they found was a derelict Methodist chapel in need of a great deal of TLC. They transformed the crumbling nook into a marvellous modern residence. Years later, they decided to turn their visionary home into a hotel – so now the building boasts an on-site bakery and restaurant as well as eight exceptionally lovely rooms.


At The Chapel Bruton, Somerset


ree wi-fi, great cocktails, comfortable chairs and a generally relaxed atmosphere reign within the hotel’s Clubroom, which vies with the sun-dappled terrace as the premier spot for a little countryside r and r. And there’s free parking too, in an enclosed spot a short walk from the main building.

Words: Helen B ar on



h, Bruton! What a wonderful surprise this little village is to the first-time visitor: cute enough to decorate a tourist’s teapot and surrounded by rolling fields, yet still amply blessed with cosmopolitan delights. Not least the world-class Hauser & Wirth gallery of contemporary art, a brisk tramp across the fields, and trend-leading design boutique Caro (, five minutes from the hotel.



t the Chapel is locally (and indeed nationally) renowned for the quality of its fare. The coffee and treats available in the bakery put most of London’s hipster bread-slingers to shame, while the family-friendly restaurant serves top-notch grub of a creative yet unpretentious bent: think wood-fired pizza and locally sourced specialties prepared with a dash of Mediterranean flair. Oh, and it’s situated within the chapel itself, with huge windows, lush views and contemporary art to ogle.


 Rooms start at £125 per night. Cots can be provided. High Street, Bruton, Somerset;

September / October 2016

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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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•iCandy• The new iCandy Peach Midnight Edition is inspired by eveningwear and fine jewellery. Sophisticated but not showy, with dazzling rose gold chassis accents. From £1050 for stroller with seat and carrycot;

108 • TOP CAR SEATS Our roundup of the best brands


With Nicola Eyres of Cissy Wears


The latest and greatest baby kit

September / October 2016



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S ilver Cros s S implicit y


ith a dual focus on safety and ease of use, this Group 0 car seat – which includes superior side impact protection, a large sun shade and a handy wedge-shaped seat cushion for newborns – is a cinch to fit. Whether you're using a seatbelt or ISOFIX connections, it's straightforward to secure and has a five-point harness that can be loosened or tightened with one hand. Compatible with Silver Cross Surf and Wayfarer strollers, too. A breeze and perfect for that first trip back from the hospital.  £135;

7 of the best

CAR SEATS Absolutely Mama rounds up the latest and most innovative car seats to hit the market





Nuna Rebl


n object lesson in how to tick every box (and then some), the stylish Nuna Rebl is suitable from birth to age four. It features top-notch side impact protection thanks to patented 'tailortech' memory foam technology, newborn inserts to ensure maximum comfort and security, a sevenposition headrest and easy, oneclick installation using the ISOFIX connectors. It can also be installed using a seatbelt, the seat rotates 360 degrees and it comes in four tasteful shades, from coffee to caviar. Goodlooking, but with some superior stuff going on under the skin.  £395;

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S i lver C ros s Q u antu m


he Rolls Royce of child car seats – or rather the Aston Martin, as that's the car marque upon which its styling is based – the Quantum is a Group 1 seat with a vegetable tanned leather finish. But the looks are just the start of the story: the seat also boasts a patented 'shock absorber automatic tensioning system', which uses hydraulics to reduce the impact of a collision while also employing a mechanical tilting system to keep your child secure. The result? Up to a 30% reduction in impact. Impressive.  £649;




esigned to cater for your kiddywinks from the earliest days to 12 years of age, the Graco Milestone starts out as a rear-facing Group 0 seat and ends up a forward-facing Group 3 bad boy with a special high-back booster for total support and travelling comfort. The harness system has a special no-rethread design to avoid unnecessary fiddling, while the the ten-position headrest can be adjusted in tandem with the harness – and with just one hand. A steel-reinforced frame completes the picture – and helps keep your little ones from harm.  £179.99; 4



Graco Milestone






D iono Radian5

he first of its kind, the Diono Radian5 is a car seat that caters for your tinies from birth all the way up to seven years of age. It can face forwards or backwards (the latter being the safer option, of course) and has a steel and EPP foam construction that makes it both super strong and comfortable. It's also a little narrower than many car seats, without compromising on space for baby – which means it won't be so cramped in the back seat of your car. Add to that a lifetime warranty, and you've got one very tempting option...  £295;

Cosat to Hu g


his car seat doesn't believe in going quietly – as evidenced by the fresh, fun fabric options that help define its unique style. A group 1, 2 and 3 seat for kids from 9-36kg (that's approximately 9 months to 12 years), the Hug comes in a range of striking prints including this flowery tropical version, and features an anti-escape harness to keep mini Houdinis in their seat. Of course, it's protective too, with extra side-impact cushioning, while the five-position recline keeps things comfy.  £210;

5 7


Cybex S irona

C 7 2

ybex are the leaders in their field, and this seat shows why: it offers superb collision protection and superior comfort for kids of up to four. It can be connected using a seatbelt or ISOFIX system and – this is the good bit – it rotates 360 degrees, meaning your little one can face forward or backward. It also reclines for a comfortable ride – and even better, it can be turned to the side for easy entry and exit. No more swinging struggling toddlers into their seat at a right angle.  £375; September / October 2016

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Women shouldn't be afraid to say that they rely on other people to help out

New baby


Nicola Eyres, mama of four and owner of cult homewares and kids boutique Cissy Wears, shares the key items on her new baby checklist

Absolutely Mama: You've just had your fourth baby, congratulations! Do you enjoy being pregnant? NIcola Eyres: I actually really do! I’ve never struggled in pregnancy as I have no sickness, no swelling, no pain... I’m a bloomer. I’ve been very lucky in that sense. I would keep having babies if I could. AM: How do you manage being a mum to so many alongside being a successful business owner? Do you run a tight ship? NE: This really made me stop and think. I was going to say no, that we are pretty chill and just roll with it. Then again I’m not sure if that’s true. Sometimes it feels so stressful I want to cry and scream. Sometimes it gets so out of control I find that I go into a zen-like state. Maybe I should say we run it with relaxed military precision. I’m just good at planning and being able to adapt. I also have an amazing husband who, despite having a difficult and hugely stressful job, does all the work in the morning – breakfast, packed lunches, school run – and who, no matter what time he comes home from work, September / October 2016




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1 will always clear up – and spends weekends doing the laundry. We are a very tight team – the kids are amazing at helping and I have an incredible childminder. I don’t think working women should be afraid to say or feel guilty about the fact that they rely on other people to help out. AM: How has your experience of motherhood changed with each new addition to the brood? NE: The first child throws up most of the learning curves because they are the one experiencing things for the first time; as do you, alongside them. Each child is so unique that no matter how much you think you know it all, they will always find a way to throw you off course. You can use your past experience to help with the next child – but you can never expect it to work second time around! Our first child is so emotionally intense that the simplest of things can easily become a huge situation. We couldn’t leave him with a babysitter – even a close member of family – until he was about six. Our second child

Sleepyhead Helps the transition from arms to cot by keeping the baby snug, so they don’t startle from being put down. £110;


Design Letters Baby’s First Book A rare stylish keepsake for all your precious early memories. £40;


Bugaboo Bee The essential city buggy - stylish and lightweight, with plenty of room underneath and the all important coffee-cup holder. Starting at £429 for the chassis;

spoiled us by being a self-settling, through-the-night sleeper from a matter of weeks. She didn’t cry until she was about 18 months, never made a mess and is so well-behaved… almost scarily perfect. The third was dreadfully refluxy, he literally couldn’t be put down until he was 10 months old… and then turned into this absolute wild child. The fourth – well, she seems like an old soul. She has a humour about her for sure, but she feels like my soulmate. What I’ve learned most is how much your heart can expand to allow each one in. There is no favouritism, I simply love each one in their own way.




Jem + Bea Amber Changing Bag So gorgeous it could be mistaken for a normal handbag. Room for all the essentials, and it never clashes with your outfit. £230;

Stokke Steps Chair Suitable from newborn with its clipon baby bouncer, this seating system can bring your baby up to the family table; from £189;

September / October 2016




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The humble bib is no longer quite so humble thanks to this collection of bandana designs available at House of Bibs. Even better, they feature a waterproof inner lining. £9  |



Hous e of B i bs




HOTLIST Sharp stuff for cool kids


S nu r k


Everyone’s a ballerina in their dreams – why not choose a bedspread that makes it official? An ingenious way to encourage little ladies to go to drift off to the land of nod. €59,95 

Words Helen B ar on


4 3


O ut s ide the Lines

A cool, classic and considered new label, we love the way fun details are used to enliven more subtle pieces – like a metallic Peter Pan collar on a Breton top. 



Sapling Child

Beautiful little bums deserve to be wrapped up in something special - like these supersoft, cosy heart leggings by Aussie brand Sapling Child in muted colourways. £14 



Baby Acorn

Silver foxes adorn soft, aqua green cotton sleepsuits and accessories in the Forest Fox collection by Baby Acorn. Ideal for gifting and admirably ungendered. 

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A Spanish footwear brand, every pair of Maa shoes is handmade by master craftsmen to ensure maximum comfort and durability. Designs are bold and guaranteed to please. 



Cy be r jammi es

We heart these classic jim-jams in pink check design with turn-up sleeves. They're made from supersoft cotton and there are plenty more prints available on the website. £22.50 



Philippa Herbert

Keepsakes like no other: miniaturised casts of your newborn's hands or feet alongside gold disc charms delicately engraved with their fingerprint. Beautiful. 



Salvatore Ferragamo


The Italian superbrand turns its hand to kids' footwear with characteristic aplomb, offering natty printed sneakers, mini driver moccasins and glittery girls' pumps. 


Lara & Ol l ie

The brainchild of two Londoners, this startup creates safe silicone teething jewellery (great for baby) without being hopelessly unstylish for mamas. Win-win. £15.95 

September / October 2016

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North Bridge House Nursery, Pre-Preparatory, Preparatory, Senior and Sixth Form Schools.

Nurturing confidence and academic success from nursery to sixth form. Visit us and start your North Bridge House journey Nursery & Pre-Prep Tue 4 Oct 9:30am Tue 18 Oct 9:30am Tue 8 Nov 9:30am 33 Fitzjohn’s Ave. NW3

Preparatory Thu 6 Oct 9:00am Fri 21 Oct 9:00am Thu 10 Nov 9:00am 1 Gloucester Ave. NW1

Senior Tue 27 Sep 6:00pm Wed 5 Oct 9:00am Tue 1 Nov 9:00am 65 Rosslyn Hill NW3

Senior & Sixth Form Tue 20 Sep 9:00am Sat 15 Oct 10:00am Thu 3 Nov 6:00pm 6-9 Canonbury Place N1

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resources AB SO LU TELY MAMA


•Me & Buddy • Be the first to shop at brand new kids’ lifestyle store Me & Buddy which carries a wide range of cool, contemporary kit for parents of babies and toddlers. Choose from a cherry-picked selection of leading design brands like Storksak and Ferm Living.

118 • CHOOSING YOUR FIRST SCHOOL Top tips from Oppidan Education


Debrief with Walhampton School


The importance of posture in weaning

September / October 2016

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17/08/2016 16:21

School CHOICES A Pr e -t es t Pur gat or y

Henry Faber from Oppidan Education on how to choose your child’s first school and beyond 11 8



alf a million children educated in the private system, ever-increasing numbers of international students and rocketing school fees: we live in transitional and uncertain times for the world of private education. And yet, for those applying to oversubscribed private schools, competition for places is stronger than it has ever been. Increasingly complex pre-testing by schools at every age, and indecision and uncertainty on the part of parents, has led to a painful purgatory at 8+, 11+ and 13+, with testing challenges for students, parents and schools to get the right fit. Only ten years ago a child would have had a first choice school and a back-up. In today’s climate, parents often come to us with a list of ten

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schools from which to choose. In my experience, parents are fairly sure on what they want from a school. To preach too much on the choices available would be to teach my grandmother to suck eggs. Parents will ultimately make up their own minds, but here are some tips and tricks that might help along the way. Academics: of course exams are important, but they are only the finish line. What path do they take to encourage learning? Are classes streamed and fairly divided? Are creative interests fostered within the classroom? Prep schools need to be on their toes in leading children towards greater independence in their learning habits. The facilities: how forwardlooking is a school? Is there construction in process or in the pipeline? Schools must constantly invest in their facilities to stay ahead of the curve. Boarding life: if the school offers boarding, how modern and comfortable are its dorms and rooms? Schools will always have a shiny new boarding house to show off, but can they offer up a consistent quality of life for your child across age groups? Whether boarding or day, ask the right questions of the Head concerning pastoral care; will your children be happy and, above all else, safe? Putting to one side the bare essentials of school life and the choices on offer, the process of choosing a school must be more parent-focused than school-focused. At Oppidan we suggest practical and productive tips that will ensure your child’s school ends up being the right one. First and foremost, be proactive. Too many parents come to us too late in the day and there is little that can be done. Engage with the process early on, find out what your options are and above all, visit the

schools. I have heard long and laborious conversations, even within my own family, concerning what options are available and how they match up. Time spent theorising is wasted until parents have taken the time to visit a school and speak to its admissions team. At this point, the process really begins and the to-do list grows. Secondly, be realistic. It is essential to manage parents’ expectations in order to ensure a successful fit. Above all, this is

There is no use trying to fit a square peg into a round hole

about being fair to your child. With the right advice from your current school or a consultant, a parent should soon gain an objective perspective on their child’s suitability for a certain school. There is then no use trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and if parents aim too high or wide of the mark, their end result will disappoint. Thirdly, a list of schools should reflect variety and options. There is little point selecting five schools that all share the same assets and pitch themselves at the same academic level. Finding this variety

is about being hands-on with schools and doing your best to know them well. By understanding what is special about what they offer, you will be in a better position to create a shortlist that is varied, realistic and exciting: whichever school ends up the winner. Next, be decisive. The dithering parent is so typical of a complicated educational climate like this. Longer waiting lists and wider options do not help in leaving parents too little time to make their minds up. A decisive approach to school choices will ensure that there is calm, yet assured, action taking place. Children feel more at ease with the process, as do their parents. Finally, it is vital never to be rude about any school, whatever your personal views. Too often I have seen children infected by the harsh opinions of their parents, only to end up being sent there themselves. Children have a tendency to repeat these thoughts at school, leading to an unnecessarily cruel hierarchy of school placements in an already intense and competitive environment. This list of tips and tricks is primarily aimed at parents, to whom the great share of the work applies, but let’s not forget the children themselves. Parents will have their own idea of how much to involve their child in the decision-making process. Above all, I would advise consistency in their approach. The last thing a child needs is further anxiety. Henry Faber and Walter Kerr started Oppidan Education to offer honest advice on schools and to mentor students towards greater confidence, comfort and technique, whatever their age or ability.

Five Top Tips for Choosing the Right School by Walter Kerr Visit the school: the only way of making an informed decision about your child’s education is to go and see the school for yourself. Meet the staff, the teachers and the matrons, chat to the students about what life is like there, visit the boarding houses and see the new facilities being built. You’ll know straight away if it is the right fit. 1

Ask the right questions: aside from graduate prospects and league tables, it's vital to know what sort of education your son or daughter will be getting at that particular school. Does the school focus on independent learning? Does the teaching style transcend exam requirements? 2

Manage your expectations: it is of paramount importance to be realistic about your child’s education. Pushing them towards schools that are too academic and watching them fail to gain a place can have long-term implications for that child; be fair to them and be realistic on what is achievable. 3

Be varied in your choices: whether boarding or day, mixed or single-sex, forward-looking or traditional, having a focused ideal on the type of school you want for your child is to be supported. Try, however, to pick a diverse range of schools so that all eventualities, positive or negative, are covered. 4

Listen to your child: a child will directly or indirectly lean towards a particular school that you visit and their view must be taken into account. Children perform better in pre-tests to schools that they aspire to, and genuine enthusiasm for a school manifests itself decisively at interview. It is not something to be ignored. 5

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n independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2-13, Walhampton lies in ancient woodland on the southern edge of the New Forest, on the coast near Lymington in Hampshire. Few prep schools can match Walhampton’s setting. The Pre Prep department is a short walk from the Prep school. Parents find a happy, warm and big-hearted place where boys and girls can develop the building blocks for a lifelong love of learning. Throughout the Pre Prep we balance traditional values of respect, manners and caring for others, while encouraging children to question, to think outside the box and develop a real thirst for knowledge. With parents involved at every stage we develop independence and life skills through a well structured and stimulating creative curriculum. Classrooms are filled with creativity, colour and vibrancy with eye catching and compelling displays. In the Early Years, the school has a “learning through play” approach by developing a child’s individual interests

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Encouraging children to question and think outside the box and abilities. Each year group is provided with a wealth of opportunities and experiences in and out of the classrooms. Timetables include the expert teaching of letters, sounds and basic numeracy that every parent expects.

Importance is placed on developing a child’s character and promoting manners, kindness and the importance of children developing their own individual “voice”. As the children progress through the Pre Prep years new activities are introduced to them including one-to-one reading, daily phonics lessons, taking reading books home each day, and simple recording of maths and literacy work. Interactive whiteboards and iPads help to provide a more engaging and immersive learning experience. Children spend one morning every week at Forest School, with a wide range of activities including building and cooking over the fire, learning about bugs, beasties and team work. The children also delight in taking responsibility for managing Reception’s vegetable garden and learning about animal welfare by caring for our chickens. By the time children have reached Year One, they are encouraged to take on new responsibility and gain a greater awareness of each other and the world around us. A key difference between Reception and Year 1 is the introduction of Key Stage 1, with teaching and learning following the National Curriculum. Literacy and Numeracy are at the core of

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Pupils are encouraged to develop both the discipline of study and the joy of learning each child is inspired to have a love of nature and the outdoors. Every child is encouraged to develop a strength and depth of character so that when they leave Walhampton, they do so as confident, capable, compassionate and independent minded young people, ready to take the next steps in their

each day, with the emphasis on reading, phonics and handwriting. The children are introduced to a greater number of independent writing tasks along with the Nelson Handwriting Scheme. Activities are differentiated so each child develops at their own pace, with the introduction of subject-based and cross-curricular learning taking place in science, geography, history, art, ICT and RS. In their last year of Pre Prep, it is when we are busily consolidating skills, encouraging the children to take a questioning approach and preparing them for the future in the Prep school. We also start to gently introduce learning strategies, such as memory maps, which the children can build on as they continue through school. Walhampton provides an outstanding education from the Early Years through to Year 8. Each stage it is built on academic excellence. Pupils are encouraged to

develop both the discipline of study and the joy of learning. There is a broad and balanced education and emphasis is on the development both academically, creatively and of the sporting and individual talents of each child. The school is a distinctly happy one, where children and adults feel a deep loyalty - a place in which children can laugh, feel safe and enjoy being children for as long as possible. Taking advantage of our unique and stunning location,

educational careers and move on to senior schools, whilst promoting the importance of moral, spiritual and social values, inspired by the school’s underlying Christian ethos A unique school, Walhampton is full of talent and inspiration – a place to learn, play and forge long lasting friendships.  To find out more about Walhampton please visit September / October 2016

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any parents assume that if their child has learning needs, the independent sector, with its small classes and high staff-to-pupil ratio, is the place to be. And in some cases that’s absolutely true, even in high-pressure inner London, as long as you know where to look. Take Sinclair House, in Fulham and on the fringes of zone 1. It’s completely mainstream, yet fast establishing a reputation as a first class nurturer of academic high achievers and SEN pupils alike (and some children, of course, are both). Over the years it’s taken everything from dyslexia to communication difficulties in its stride, supporting children with sometimes extensive needs

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– but without compromising on the highly focused attention it devotes to all its pupils. But here’s the rub. Being good with SEN may be a strength – but it’s one some head teachers actively play down.

Being good with SEN is a strength but some heads actively play it down Surprising? On the surface, very. Schools aren’t exactly known for being shy and retiring when it comes to broadcasting even the most modest of successes. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that, particularly when there are other

pupils – and parents – to consider. As a society we all welcome diversity. Inclusion is a wonderful thing. Until, that is, it happens to wash up in your own child’s class, and becomes personal – then it’s a very different story. Like it or not, parents can see children with learning needs not as a demonstration of a school’s inclusivity but as a barrier to success in the super competitive senior school place race. A school can have any number of dazzling features, but even offering Quidditch with working broomsticks wouldn’t be enough without that heartwarming, expenditure-justifying list of top senior schools in the annual leavers’ destinations list, complete with a fat spread of scholarships. And if children with learning needs are felt to be sucking up more than their fair share of resources, parents can get twitchy. And there’s more to schools’ concerns than worries about over-reaching ambition.

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Officially, the numbers of children with learning needs have gone down, according to the government. "I wonder where they’ve put them," says the Good Schools Guide’s SEN director Bernadette John, drily. In her experience, mainstream schools are seeing record numbers of applications from families of children with learning needs – and they can’t cope. Several well-known preps, previously known for being open to all comers are starting to impose an unofficial quota on the numbers of children with learning needs further up the school. Danes Hill, a successful prep on the fringes of London, is one of the schools to rethink its admissions policy. While it will remain broadly non-selective in nursery and reception years, the school is placing a greater emphasis on academic ability from Year Two onwards, though reluctantly so, says Head of Admissions Carolyn

Ward." With success in 13+ exams one of our primary goals, and an important parental expectation, it simply wouldn’t be fair on everyone as some pupils are not best equipped to deal with sustained academic pressure." It’s hard not to have sympathy for schools. Of course there are heads whose attitudes to special needs are (unofficially) negative, whatever the policy document says. But even in the most sympathetic of environments, catering properly for children who need extra support demands thought, resources and, almost invariably, expenditure. Parents will usually be asked to sub at least some of the costs – one-to-one lessons with a specialist teacher, for example. But some


children will need extra help at lunchtime, break or even just with moving between classrooms. Training potentially every staff member to be effortlessly versatile in adapting teaching techniques to a range of needs, though perfectly possible, is a big, pricey ask. It’s one of the reasons that more specialist independent schools groups like Cavendish Education are flourishing. Each of its four schools has a particular September / October 2016

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Walhampton Exclusive Walhampton magazines Exclusive Ad 2016.pdf magazines 1 Ad11/07/2016 2016.pdf

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interfering with the trajectories of high fliers. Indeed, being exposed to so many different characters, interests and abilities is a positive advantage for pupils’ future development. Inclusivity isn’t taught but is implicit in the way the school works, helping to foster respect and tolerance. It builds what Sinclair House describes as ‘emotional dexterity’ – a critical life skill and one that, ultimately, could benefit society as a whole. It sounds wonderful. So could Sinclair House be the vanguard of a brave, new approach to education, where pupils with



Is Sinclair House at the vanguard of a brave new approach to education? SEN specialisation, underpinned by small classes and a focus on the individual. The group’s newest venture is the Independent School in West London, which caters for dyslexic pupils who need more heavy-duty support and what amounts effectively to a bespoke education. Currently its pupils are aged from 11 to 16, but they may consider a broader age range in the future. Cavendish also owns Bredon School in Gloucestershire. Though brilliant with dyslexia, its education (boarding and day) is all-through (3-18) and designed to ensure that every child, with or without learning needs, can flourish. "Families walk up the drive and fall in love," says Doyle. "We tailor pupils’ education to find the thing that lights them up. And once they’ve found the area in which they’ll shine, they’re flying." Instead of forcing everyone into team games, for example – something that Gemma Doyle, Cavendish's Head of

Marketing, describes with commendable understatement as "often not a great fit for children with SEN," there’s a vast range of individual sports to choose from instead – all of them with equal kudos ratings. Sinclair House, too, seamlessly integrates children with learning needs. How’s it done? A lot of hard graft, coupled with great sensitivity. "We maintain high teacher-pupil ratios, so that we are able to nurture pupils’ selfconfidence and support personal academic goals and objectives," says the principal, Carlotta O’Sullivan. Small class sizes and flexible teaching also mean that lessons can be tailored and differentiated across a range of abilities, learning styles and interests. As a result, the gifted and talented can also blossom. "We have one child in Year 6 who is working towards an art scholarship and already doing GCSE portfolio level work," says O’Sullivan. And with leavers in recent years heading to senior schools including Latymer Upper and King’s College School, Wimbledon, the school’s approach is clearly not

learning needs are welcomed and made as much of as the top achievers? It’s not easy, concedes Bernadette John. “When the demands on children ramp up with the introduction of specialist teaching and with external exams looming, [independent schools] are very unwilling to consider new entrants with SEN." But with perseverance, she says, it is possible to find schools that will take a chance on children at four when they either don’t have a diagnosis or might still catch up. Some may take children with unresolved difficulties into Key Stage Two. Above all, they should be schools that look past SEN labels and relish the unique contribution that every pupil brings to the community. And as Sinclair House and Cavendish Education demonstrate, they’re rare beasts, no question - but they are still out there. September / October 2016

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Actress, new mama and founder of the luxury events company Bedazzled Events







Q How to plan a perfect first birthday party A First birthdays need careful planning. Thought needs to go into keeping the party as stress-free as possible and making sure your child’s routine isn’t completely thrown. Careful planning means happy children! I hosted my daughter's first birthday party at the brilliant venue No.11 Pimlico; it’s décor, central location and yummy restaurant make it a hit with not only the children but the adults too. It’s important to check out the venue before booking and ask some questions: Will the space work for the number of children? Is there easy access for prams? How long will the venue give me to set up? All important questions to help make your party a success. Entertainers are an important element of birthday parties, even for a 1st birthday.

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Due to the mixture of ages the entertainer included a variety of sensory activities for the younger ones with bubbles, dancing, puppets and then games for the older ones. Having entertainment at a party means that you, the hosts, can focus on your child and your guests. And then there’s the allimportant cake! I had great fun designing my daughter’s, made by the brilliant Hercules Cakehouse. The cake was bought out before the children sat down to eat, allowing for it to be cut up and handed out for dessert and wrapped up to be taken home. Memories last a lifetime so don’t forget to have photographic memories of your child’s first birthday. If you don’t have a professional photographer, try to delegate the task so that you can enjoy the event and be there in the moment. It was an utterly amazing day to see my daughter in her first birthday outfit, playing with her friends and watching the entertainer at her party – a very special day and one to remember forever.



Sara is Founder of Babycup First Cups and is on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood. Q Are baby teeth really so important that I need to think about what cup my child uses? A In short, the answer is yes, baby teeth are important. Baby teeth have a crucial role to play as ‘placeholders’, holding space for the second teeth to move into. Because the enamel is thin on baby teeth they are easily susceptible to decay and erosion, which means it really is vital that they are carefully looked after to help them stay where they are needed. It can also be very painful to suffer from rotten teeth and the emotional stress and physical pain can be a traumatic experience with lasting effects. As dental decay is generally preventable, leading dentists recommend taking all possible steps to prevent it, including giving drinks in a mini open Babycup from 6 months, as it is best for teeth by encouraging sipping not sucking and does not contribute towards decay.



Founder of Club Petit Pierrot Fun French programmes for babies & children Q Can my child becomes really fluent in a second language, if not raised in a bilingual environment? A Some parents are under the impression that a child needs to live, or be educated, in a bilingual environment to become fully proficient with an authentic accent. However it is possible, and here are some of the key elements to achieve this. Total immersion is essential for your child’s journey towards fluency, in order for them to absorb the language and to interact without inhibition. Moreover not all children will learn at the same pace and learning a second language takes time and commitment, so your child needs to be exposed to the language regularly throughout their childhood. The way your child is taught, will have a direct impact on their motivation and progress!



Anaesthetic doctor, Finnish mama to 16 month old Frida and Ekatot founder Q Why should babies sleep in a cardboard box? A Finland is known for many things – its high standard of living, leading education system and generous parental leave, but it also has one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. A long-standing tradition where the Finnish state offers all expectant mothers a “baby box” is thought to have been a contributing factor. The boxes contain many newborn essentials, including clothing, nappies and bedding.

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With a mattress at the bottom, it also becomes the baby’s first bed. Mortality rates have dropped from 65 per 1,000 in 1938, to 2.3 per 1,000 in 2015. A safe sleep environment is achieved as the baby is provided its own sleep space with a new and firm mattress. The box is light and portable meaning the little one can always nap in the same room as their parents and is also wide enough to enable supervised tummy-time.



Managing Director, Halilit & Taf Toys UK Q Are toys important for my baby’s development? A From the moment they are born babies start on a long path of learning and discovery. By introducing developmentally appropriate toys at the right stages parents can help their little ones make sense of the surrounding world. Start by

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adding a cot mobile to your little one's nursery, as the combination of hanging toys, music and movement will stimulate senses, cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence. Play mats and gyms are a great aid for physical development as the various textures and toys encourage fine and gross motor skills. Add some rattling toys to encourage their grasp plus musical toys to teach about cause & effect and also improve hand-eye coordination. Activity toys are also great when on the go – there are plenty of stroller toys and even in-car toys which are great for keeping little ones occupied whilst enhancing motor skills and senses.



as ‘feeders’ into popular junior schools, which is why they are particularly popular. As such, the entrance procedure can be fiercely competitive. The solution to all this is to start understanding and researching schools that you favour as early as possible, always keeping in mind logistics – a 20 minute car journey may sound like nothing, but in rush hour, can be horrendous. Next, it is important to look into registration date deadlines. These can differ from one nursery and pre-prep to the next. Make sure you download the relevant forms and prepare registration payments as soon as possible. Once done, you can relax a little in the knowledge you have done all that you can do at this stage for your child when it comes to thinking about schools. We understand that all children are different, which is why we always begin with an initial consultation to develop a deep understanding of your childs needs.

Founder of Mavor Associates providing educational guidance to navigate the UK educational system Q Why do parents need to think about schools for their newborns? The UK educational system offers a variety of options and it’s important to understand which option best suits you and your family. Should you favour Independent schools, this is something that you will have to consider at the birth of your child, (and in some cases, before!) The British private school sector is extremely popular, particularly in London, and is often oversubscribed. Entry to these schools is highly competitive and is often selective from the ages of 4+. Some nursery schools and pre-preparatory schools are part of a larger preparatory school or viewed



Registered General Nurse and State Certified Midwife. She is mum to Freddy, Harry and Jack. Q How can I prevent nappy rash? A Most babies get nappy rash at some stage, no matter how careful you are with skin care. Nappy rash usually starts when your baby’s delicate skin is in prolonged contact with wee (urine) and poo (faeces) in the nappy. So try to change wet or soiled nappies as soon as possible, even when your little one is sleeping. Clean the

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whole nappy area thoroughly, wiping from front to back, using plain water or alcohol and fragrance free baby wipes. Always gently pat the skin dry after washing and avoid vigorous rubbing. Try to avoid using soap, bubble baths or talcum powder. Also steer clear of tight-fitting plastic pants over nappies. Good skin care is will help prevent nappy rash. Try to leave the nappy off for as long and often as possible to let the air get to your baby’s skin. Lie your little one on a towel just in case of accidents. Most babies enjoy the freedom of not wearing a nappy and being nappy-free means less time in contact with nappy-rash causing irritants. Use a barrier cream or lotion at each nappy change to protect your baby’s skin. Your local pharmacist will be able to advise which one is most suitable for your baby. When you’re out, you may find a spray barrier lotion quicker and easier to use.



Expert Midwife and Health Visitor for iCandy, with 14 years of experience supporting parents Q Why is posture important when weaning? A When it comes to weaning your baby, starting with good posture is an essential element of feeding. It is also particularly important from a safety perspective. An ideal sitting position encourages good body and head alignment directing food from the mouth into the oesophagus and away from the airway, preventing choking. Good posture also ensures stability of the torso

to support the head and allow effective breathing, improves head control leading to jaw stability, tongue and lip control, provides security and comfort, encourages improved concentration when eating, allows for better hand to mouth coordination, encourages greater communication at mealtimes, improves digestion and encourages acceptance of new foods. Poor posture during eating can result in your child feeling tired during mealtimes, feeling discomfort whilst sitting or in a highchair which can lead to development of poor eating skills and an increasing risk of aspiration, (food or fluid going down the airway instead of the oesophagus). If young children experience discomfort during mealtimes they may develop negative associations and begin to display fussy eating behaviours. Instead, ensure

correct posture from the moment you start to wean by sitting your child in a position with their weight evenly distributed with their back supported in an upright position. Select a highchair with a footrest and feet should be sitting comfortably apart. There should be a belt to help stabilize the pelvis encouraging stability and a solid table surface. The iCandy MiChair is a perfect choice for weaning and encourages the ideal posture when weaning.



Owner - Slumbersac Ltd, baby sleeping bags, for a good night’s sleep. Q Choosing the correct sleeping bag for your baby A Many parents prefer sleeping bags to conventional bedding, as sleeping bags allow babies to move and wriggle freely without kicking off the covers, becoming cold and then waking in the night. Sleeping bags can be used from birth and are the safest way for baby to sleep. When making a choice for newborns, always check that the neck size is correct and that the bag has adjustable poppers in the armhole which will stop your baby from slipping down inside the bag while asleep. It is important to choose a sleeping bag that’s suitable for the seasons and be sure to refer to the tog guide for accurate information. The higher the tog rating (weight) the warmer the sleeping bag and never use a sleeping bag with a quilt or duvet, as it will make your baby far too hot. And for toddlers learning to walk, why not try the new sleeping bag with feet.

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BEAR HUG •Little White Company•

Maximise the cuteness with this hooded towel, featuring dinky bear ears – because freshly bathed babies should look as good as they smell. £22;


Top-notch baby kit designed to make parenting easier

BOX FRESH •Ekatot•

Based on the Finnish tradition of using cardboard boxes for newborns to sleep in, Ekatot boxes contain over 50 newborn essentials - including genderneutral, Scandi-cool clothing by Finnish designers. The perfect starter kit for expectant parents. £299;


Words : Hel en B ar o n


he Sleepcurve mattress aids your little one's precious sleep by keeping them cooler and more comfortable. The design promotes good posture and clearer breathing while reducing (and even remedying) the common flathead syndrome and reflux-like symptoms. And importantly, it does all this while allowing Baby to move his or her head freely – so you can go to your own bed certain that he won’t feel trapped or restrained. Designed by a Paediatric Cranial Osteopath with 20 years' experience studying tension in babies' skull bones, the Sleepcurve range is the closest thing possible to cradling a baby in your own arms, with all the weight-spreading and tensionreducing benefits that implies. Even better, each Sleepcurve mattress – they're available for moses baskets, cots and cotbeds – is supplied with a specially made mattress protector and two fitted sheets. A reassuring and great value purchase for anyone with a new baby on the way – or who simply fancies an upgrade.  From £69.99;



In this, her fi rst book, blogger Sophie Walker of Milk Drunk Diary offers truly useful tips for fi rst-time parents – like how to change a baby in a pub toilet. From £2.49;

A great bit of kit (not to mention stylish), the Carrier One Air is made from breathable mesh fabric, ensuring comfort for mamas and babies alike. £144.99;

•First Time Parent•


Sleepcurve Mattress


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Beautiful British Design

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