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4 foods to help boost your child’s immune system!

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With winter now in full swing protecting your kids immune system is integral to helping them avoiding the cold and flu season.

Typically our immune system does a wonderful job of defending our bodies against disease. Every day we come in contact with many potential illnesses through human interaction, holding hand rails and even food. Our immune system is on call 24/7 to safeguard us against these dangers.

“The immune system is made up of the tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes and vessels, bone marrow and the spleen,” says Dr Ryan Harvey of House Call Doctor.

“It is comprised of antibodies, white blood cells and other chemicals and proteins which attack pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.”

While we may not often pause to think about how we can help our immune system out, ensuring it is functioning to its full potential is vital. Luckily, there are some easy and natural ways to help give your immune system a boost.

If your little one has come down with the sniffles a few times already this year it might be time to look at their diet and the role food plays in supporting their immune system.

 

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables

    “In order to maintain a healthy and functioning immune system fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, are key,” says Dr Harvey.

    Green leafy vegetables in particular are rich in nutrients that help boost the immune system. “Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of iron,” says Dr Harvey. “This helps with the production of white blood cells and antibodies which fuel your immune system.”

    When it comes to getting kids to eat green leafy vegetables it’s often easier said than done. Try sneaking them into delicious smoothies.

  2. Fresh fruit

    “Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins is important to overall health and immune function,” says Dr Harvey. “This includes lots of colourful fruits which are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and water.”

    The added bonus is that most kids enjoy the taste of fruits, making it easy include more in their diet.

    The best fruits for immune health are:

 

  • Kiwifruit - high in vitamin C and vitamin E

  • Blueberries - high in vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants

  • Papaya - high in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A when eaten

  • Strawberries - high in vitamin A and vitamin C

  • Oranges - high in vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre

  1. Garlic

    Garlic has been hailed since the dawn of time as a miracle working food. “Garlic contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties,” says Dr Harvey. “These help stimulate the immune system and increase the production of antibodies.”

    Raw garlic is most beneficial for health as heat and water can activate sulphur enzymes which diminish antibiotic affect. However, adding garlic to the kids favourite pasta dish may still offer some benefits.

  2. Probiotics

    “Foods rich in ‘good’ bacteria, such as yoghurt, can help strengthen the immune system,” says Dr Harvey. “They also help the body digest nutrients in other foods.”

    It’s not yet fully understood how probiotics affect the immune system but studies have identified a connection between the immune system and gut bacteria.

    If you have a fussy eater on your hands there are some other tips Dr Harvey suggest to help give their immune system an extra boost:

  3. Get adequate sleep

  4. Exercise regularly

  5. Teach them to was their hands thoroughly

 

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Simple tips to keep your kids healthy and active!

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 Exercise is a fundamental activity for maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. For kids, these activities should be enjoyable and and incorporated every day in a way that does not make it feel like a chore.

“Regular exercise has a myriad of health benefits for a young and developing body,” says Dr Tony Tanious of House Call Doctor.

“These include maintaining a healthy weight and fitness level, strengthening muscles, developing new skills, honing coordination and even bonding with others through team sports.”

While most little adventurers relish at the thought of running, bike riding and playing with friends, there are some simple tips to help keep your kids healthy and active.

 

  1. Make it a habit

    “It only takes 30 days to make a habit,” says Dr Tanious. “Set your family a goal for exercise and healthy and try it out for 30 days. You will find it soon becomes second nature.”

    This could be anything from going for an afternoon walk together every day, ensuring you eat nutritious meals for dinner each night or getting the recommended hours of sleep per night for 30 days.

    Small changes to your diet and daily routine can have a tremendous impact on yours and your children overall wellbeing.

  2. Try team sports

    Team sports are an excellent way to get little bodies moving and to foster relationship and personal skills.

    “Team sports are highly beneficial for young children,” says Dr Tanious. “Not only do they provide an outlet for activity, they encourage friendships, personal development and teamwork.”

    This doesn't have to be limited to team sports like netball, football or basketball. If your kids aren’t particularly interested in these, they could participate in swim classes, dancing or gymnastics. While they aren’t directly team related they still encourage social interaction and keeps them on their feet.

  3. Ditch the tech

    While it may seem impossible to ditch technology in today’s world encouraging kids to get outside rather than play on their phones or laptops can help keep them active and healthy.

    “Limiting your child’s access to smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices before bedtime will assist with a good nights sleep and may encourage them to be more active during the day,” says Dr Tanious.

    “Electronic devices disrupt the bodies melatonin levels, which is the hormone responsible for the natural sleep and wake cycle.”

    Instead of playing on devices before bed try reading books to wind down for the evening. During the day try to keep them busy outdoors as much as possible.

    “Simple things like teaching your children to grow their own vegetables or encouraging them to help out in the garden will keep them active,” says Dr Tanious. “Spending time outdoors will also increase your child’s vitamin D levels, assisting with energy, mood and overall wellbeing.”

    Remember to practice sun safety when spending time outdoors and keep hydrated.

  4. Get the whole family involved

    Kill two birds with one stone by including exercise in quality family time. “Making exercise enjoyable for kids is one of the best ways to foster a life-long positive relationship with working out,” says Dr Tanious.

    Working out can be fun for the whole family! Family fitness can be as simple or complex as you like. To keep it simple try a nice bike ride on the weekend, swimming, a mountain climb or just a walk around the neighbourhood.

  5. Make nutritious foods fun

    It’s not uncommon for kids to turn their noses up and vegetables but they don’t have to be boring or bland. “Making nutritious foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, fun can make encouraging healthy eating easier,” says Dr Tanious.

 

        Here are some tips to make nutritious foods fun:

  • Make faces and shapes from food

  • Make it bright and colourful

  • Use fun names for the vegetables and dishes

  • Encourage your kids to help in the kitchen

  • Try growing your own food

 

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Health benefits of having a childhood pet!

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If you’ve been considering adding a four-legged friend to the family, or are just looking for an excuse to love your pet a even more, it turns out they have a positive affect on children's health.

While stress is something that affects most adults at some point in their lives, what is largely unknown is that stress can also affect children.

“Stress is often a result of what we should be doing, versus what we are actually doing,” says Dr Ryan Harvey of House Call Doctor. “Therefore, it can affect anyone at any time - including kids.”

It may be confronting to hear that your child could possibly be stressed throughout the day, but there is some good news. Engaging with their furry friend can help.

A recent study found that children who pet their cats and dogs when stressed have lower cortisol levels.

“Cortisol is a hormone produced in response to a stressful situation or event,” says Dr Harvey. “The lower the cortisol levels, the less stressed individuals are.”

Just one pat of the neighbours dog won’t do, the study found that the levels of cortisol varied greatly depending on how much the child engaged with the animal. The more they played and petted their cat or dog, the less stressed they were.

“Understanding how stress functions early in life is crucial to preventing stress in adulthood,” says Dr Harvey. “The way we learn to deal with stress in childhood has lifelong consequences on our emotional health and wellbeing.”

If that’s not enough to earn your pet some extra dinner, or to convince you adding to the family is a good idea, the power of pets extends further. Whether you prefer cats, dogs, birds, mice or lizards there are a number of health benefits to owning a pet:

 

1. Increased cardiovascular health

Owning a pet can have an immense impact on your cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. This can be beneficial for the whole family.

Scheduling regular walking times of your dog can also help keep the family fit and active which is essential to overall well-being.

 

2. Boosts your mood

If you feel happiest around your pet this doesn’t necessarily make you a ‘crazy cat lady’. Science has proved that regular contact with animals boosts your mood.

Being with and regularly exercising pets increases serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. These are the happy, loving and calming hormones which circulate our body. Higher levels of these can increase our general mental health.

 

3. Strengthens the immune system for children

It may seem odd but research has shown that children who grow up with dogs are 33% less likely to develop related allergies. Overall they found children exposed to animals at a young age have stronger immune systems.

 

4. Encourages responsibility

Owning a pet is a big deal. It’s not all cuddles and wet kisses, there is a lot of work that goes into looking after another life.

“Owning a pet provides an excellent opportunity for children to develop a sense of responsibility early in life,” says Dr Harvey. From changing kitty litter to bathing, brushing and feeding, there is a lot to be done.

Encouraging children to look after their pets can help teach responsibility and empathy for another living being.

 

5. Great caregivers

Somehow our pets just know when we are feeling under the weather. Being curled up on the couch surrounded by a wall of snotty tissues is made infinitely better when there is a furry friend there with you.

 

 

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We Talk ABC Reading Eggs With Jules Sebastian!

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We recently got to speak to the lovely Jules Sebastian from Tea With Jules about motherhood, her and Guys charity and her recent partnership with ABC Reading Eggs.

 

Thanks Jules for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us today, we really appreciate your time.

 

Speaking of busy, you’re a stylist, TV presenter, blogger, trained make-up artist, and have your own YouTube show TeaWith Jules. You’re also married to Guy Sebastian - one of Australia's top music artists, and a mum to two beautiful boys. If that's not enough you also run a charity, The Sebastian Foundation, with Guy. I am exhausted just saying all that! Tell us how you manage it all?

 

I think prioritising is a huge one. You can only do what you can do. Even if things don’t get done that day, do it on another day and just give yourself a break. For me that’s a recent lesson, just to chill out with myself. I know when I go to bed at the end of the day I’ve done my level best to achieve everything.

 

Talk us through what a typical day is like for you?             

 

So no different to a lot of other mums really – I get Hudson ready for school and Archer ready for day care. After that my day’s taken up with work and various projects. Then it’s school pick up time. In the afternoon we may spend time in the backyard – the boys love jumping on the trampoline. Then it’s dinner time and getting the boys ready for bed.

 

The boys really love us reading to them at the end of the day when they’re nice and calm and need that winding down time. I find Reading Eggs is also a nice thing for Hudson to do before bedtime especially if I’m by myself and I’m reading Archie a story or having a shower! It’s a relief knowing he’s doing something educational. I’ll check in on him doing it from time to time, but he’s mostly fine to navigate it himself.

 

How do you find balance between work, following your passions and family life?

 

I try to take a bit of “me-time” in my day. I will have a cup of tea, watch Netflix and try to get through the 485 books I have next to my bed! It also sounds a bit teenage, but I have started writing in a journal as well, just five minutes each day. It’s like a gratitude journal. However if I could have a dream day, I’d go get a massage, have brunch girlfriends, watch a movie, walk in the sunshine and just chill.

 

So what are you currently watching and reading?

 

I just started watching Jane the Virgin and I also like Suits, The Good Wife and documentaries. I’ll also be interviewing author Jenny Valentish soon for Tea with Jules so I’m reading her book Woman of Substances about addiction and treatment.

 

Your son Hudson started school this year, do you have any tips for parents who are wondering if their child is ready for school?

 

Hudson was four on the first day of school in February and turned five a month later. Knowing he would be one of the younger ones in the class, I really put a lot of time and thought into trying to figure out whether he was ready for big school.

 

So I talked to a lot of friends who are teachers as well as his preschool teachers to get their opinions. I’d advise any parent who’s unsure about this issue to do the same. In the end we went with what we felt was right as well as the advice of his teacher who said if we held Hudson back for another year he might get bored as he’s a bit of a bright spark and handles himself really well in social situations. It was the right decision as he’s done so well, and really loves going to school.

 

Yourself and Hudson recently have partnered with the award- winning ABC Reading Eggs program that encourages children to develop and early love for reading in preparation for school? What is it that made you want to sign up with Reading Eggs?

I think it’s just great for young kids as it’s a really good online program, I’m so glad I discovered it! I think as a parent technology is one of those things you have to keep an eye on, so it’s wonderful that this is something kids can do online which is also educational and helps prepare them for school and continues to help after they’ve started.

 

Hudson likes how the program is easy to follow and gets really chuffed about how much he can now recognise words. He’s really motivated to go through the online books and all the activities and likes the competitive nature of going up levels and getting rewards. He loves it – he thinks of it as a great game!

 

What does Hudson love about reading eggs?

 

Mostly the element of it being competitive. Whenever he climbs up another level he’ll come and tell me about it. He just loves that sense of achievement and seeing the characters dance at the end of each task, it’s a fun affirmation for him.

Four years ago yourself and Guy set up a charity The Sebastian Foundation, can you tell us how this came about, and what is it that the charity does?

 

With our own family feel so blessed and lucky to have two beautiful healthy boys so we really wanted to create a charity which focused on families and give back to others. We support communities, groups and initiatives which benefit children and empower women whilst taking a stand against domestic violence.

 

For example, we’ve donated sleeper beds to The Children's Hospital at Westmead so that families can stay together through treatment and have plans to improve several domestic violence crisis accommodation centres to make them feel more like a home.

 

How can someone get involved or donate to your charity if they want to help?

 

By checking out the website www.thesebastianfoundation.org

 

We can imagine that you and Guy both have full on schedules, being parents keeps you busy enough, let alone all the other stuff you both do. What do you both do to unwind and stay connected to each other?

 

You could just go on and on and on with life after kids and not connect. So it is important to make time together, but it doesn’t have to be a big event. Sometimes we just catch up together at the end of the day and chat when the kids are in bed, or watch a move on TV together.

 

What's next for you? Are you working on any other exciting projects?

 

I’ve always got things in the pipeline. So aside from my usual projects, I’ll also be speaking at an inspiring upcoming event in Avoca in September called She the Change which aims to connect women change makers, entrepreneurs and creatives with their purpose and value the role they have to play in making the world a better place.”

 

Reading Eggs Video  

And finally just for fun!

 

What is the best thing about being a mum?

 

Can I be really evil and say bedtime?! No, apart from that, hearing my kids laugh.

 

If you had to choose another career what would it be?

 

A pilot.

 

Favourite holiday destination?

 

Paris because we went there on our honeymoon and I love it.

 

Listening to right now?

 

I just love pop. Guy is so mortified by my music choices. At the moment I’m obsessed with 2U by David Guetta featuring Justin Bieber. Honestly, I’m not normally into Bieber!

 

One food you could never give up?

 

I want to say chocolate and cheese however I’ve been on a health kick so I haven’t eaten either of them in two months. But don’t worry they’ll be back.

 

Thanks Jules for taking the time to chat with us today, we really appreciate it. We look forward to seeing yourself and Hudson in the up and coming campaign with ABC Reading Eggs.

ABC Reading Eggs also have a FREE trial right now, learn to read in 5 weeks for FREE!

 

You can connect and follow Jules here:

Face Book

Instagram

Website

Charity

 

 

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Baby Led Weaning – Is It For You?

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Starting solids; it’s such an exciting time in your baby’s life! Finally your little one is going to start getting a taste for the good stuff – one slobbery, awkward, half-spat-out mouthful at a time. If you’ve done any research at all on the matter, you know that there are two camps when it comes to starting solids – good old-fashioned purees, and the newer baby led weaning craze.

True baby led weaning (or BLW to those in the know) involves giving your baby zero purees at the start, and allowing their very first food experiences to be with whole pieces of food that they can pick up, taste and explore for themselves. The focus is less on making your baby eat something new, and more on allowing her to discover food at her own pace – and if that means for the first few weeks all she does is pick things up and smush them between her fingers, then so be it!

There is an entire movement of Mums singing the praises of baby led weaning, so when you begin your research, be prepared for lots of loud and proud opinions, and brags about 7-month-olds eating table food. Take these with a grain of salt though, as ultimately the decision depends on what you are most comfortable with.

What are the benefits?

BLW enthusiasts claim that babies who learn to eat solids this way are doing it on their own terms, and will therefore be more willing to try new foods as they grow older, resulting in less picky eaters. While we can’t say for sure that this is a totally accurate claim, it is true that babies generally prefer picking up, tasting and experiencing new foods themselves far more than being force-fed purees without having any control over the situation, and so may take to solids more willingly this way.

What foods are good to start with?

Foods that are soft and easy to grip work best at first. Think baked sweet potato “chips”, banana, long strips of avocado and very ripe slices of pear. Once baby has the hang of these, more foods can slowly be introduced.

Will my baby choke?

This is the number one concern of parents considering baby led weaning, and it’s a valid one! It can be daunting handing over a piece of baked sweet potato to a tiny human who has never experienced swallowing anything more substantial than gulps of breast milk or formula. However, babies are equipped with a gag reflex that is much further forward than ours, protecting them from swallowing things that are too big for them to manage. Your baby will almost certainly gag in the beginning, but this is a normal tool that will allow him to bring the food back forward and continue chewing and sucking on it until it is a more manageable, swallowable size. It’s all a learning experience, though it can give you a fright at first!

Can I start BLW after trying purees?

Purists will quickly point out that true baby led weaning starts on day one, and not after trying purees for a few weeks. However if you find that purees aren’t working out, there is no reason why you can’t change your approach and start implementing some baby led weaning tactics.

Is it ideal for everyone?

Nope. The decision is entirely yours. In your research, you will no doubt come across people who passionately support BLW, as well as some who violently oppose it. Try not to be influenced by people’s opinions, and instead use the facts to make an informed decision that you are 100% comfortable with.

The main thing to remember when it comes to baby led weaning? Patience is key. Your baby has suddenly had a whole new world of experiences open up to him, and getting food into his tummy isn’t going to be his number one priority. Don’t worry though; once he has the hang of eating, there will be no stopping him and he will soon be enjoying meals alongside the rest of the family.

 

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Celebrating Midwives With Medela!

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I met my Mid wife when I was 30 weeks pregnant, I actually had intended on hiring a midwife earlier but every time I mentioned to someone that I wanted a mid wife I was looked at as if I was going to have a backyard birth.

As it was my first pregnancy I didn't really know which way to go, I knew I wanted a calm as possible birth, natural and if possible at home. To some this may be scary especially for a first time mum, but it's how I had always envisioned my pregnancies. So at 30 weeks I finally bit the bullet and decided not to let outside influences affect my decision, my husband I agreed that we would meet with one and see how things went.

My first appointment with my mid wife, was actually beautiful she did all the things that I would normally get done in a hospital visit, but she took time, she placed her hand on my belly smiling as if I was bringing one of her own family members into the world, I automatically felt at ease with her. She explained the whole process in a kind and gentle manner and I couldn't help but feel connected to her after one visit, besides feeling like I connected with her I also felt really secure that she knew what she was doing.

Not only did she help with the planning and birth but she was also there after the birth to help me with breast feeding and adjusting to being a new mum. Using a mid wife might not be for everyone but I am glad that I followed my gut and used one.

Medela recently showcased the survey they conducted with 7,800 Australian mothers to better understand how midwives supported them on their motherhood journey. You also would have seen the interview they conducted with a few mums in this clip, to show how everyone’s experience is different.

 

 Medela is not only a leading global producer of technologically advanced breast pumps and vacuum technology. They also conduct a lot of research and provide education to the community and breastfeeding mums. Medela have been reaching out to the community through various exciting innovative programs assisting breastfeeding mums. Medela are excited to extend their support of mums through their new mobile app MyMedela, their free blog site and education for mums and health professionals.

 

Medela have also been kind enough to offer a $100 Medela voucher to their store www.medelastore.com.au To enter In 25 words or less let us know how did a midwife support you during those first few days of motherhood?” Please email your entry to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Competition closes 10th August, 2017. 

 

www.medela.com.au

facebook.com/medela.au

Instagram @medela_au

#MedelaAU #CelebrateMidwives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Things Your Son Needs To Hear You Say

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Are you raising a boy? Me too! If your boy is anything like mine, you’ve got your hands full! Imparting wisdom might not come easily in between the scraped knees, the squashed bugs, the dirt that gets into every nook and cranny on the daily, and the inherent need to climb every tall thing they encounter. But when they’re not tearing up the house and trying to ride on the family cat like it’s a pint-sized pony, our boys are listening to us. They may not always acknowledge it, but their little brains are soaking it all in as they form their ideas of the world – so the words we speak to them are integral to their development. Here’s what we should be imparting on our little lads:

  1. “You’re so smart”

When boys are young, it can be easy to focus on their physical attributes as that is where a lot of their energy is focused. From toddlerhood, they’re busy testing their physical capabilities and limitations, while their female counterparts are generally focusing on language development and problem solving – so it can become easy to cheer them on when they kick a goal or win a race, but might seem less natural to applaud the way their minds work. Make sure they know that they’re worth more than their ability to catch a ball or run around an oval.

  1. “It’s OK to cry”

It’s widely known that older generations of men were taught to suppress their emotions because crying, or even showing signs of distress, were considered weak and feminine. As a result of those bottled up feelings, male depression has become more and more prevalent. Stop the cycle and encourage your boy to cry when he needs to let it out.

  1. “I love and respect you”

For boys (and men), respect is as much a sign of your love for them as your hugs and kisses are. It’s important for them to feel loved, and it’s important for them to feel heard and appreciated.

  1. “Calm down and breathe”

I don’t know what it’s like to experience a testosterone-fuelled rage, but I do know that there are thousands of stories out there of men whose anger boiled over and in an instant someone was hurt – a partner, a child, a friend, a stranger. While I’m not suggesting that a simple suggestion to “breathe” is the be-all, end-all of anger management for men, it’s a starting place for boys. Make sure your son is equipped with coping mechanisms for his anger when it strikes.

  1. “You don’t have to be good at everything”

Boys (particularly our sweet little alphas!) are driven to win. They want to be the best at everything, or at least really good. So when they find themselves struggling with something, they get frustrated and are likely to give up on it – then beat themselves up over the failure of it all. Make sure they know that not only do they not have to be good at everything they try – it’s not humanly possible!

  1. “You are brave”

Bravery is a big deal for boys – so it’s important that they feel acknowledged when they’re being brave. Of course, just as they need to be able to cry, they also need to know that it’s OK not to be brave – but having their bravery recognised helps to affirm it.

  1. “You are handsome”

Sure, boys are often happy to wear the same muddy jeans and ripped T-shirt every day for a week if you’ll let them, but deep down, of course they want to look good (or at least passable). Yes, a nine-year-old boy will probably outwardly groan if his mum regularly tells him how handsome he is, but a teenage boy who has made the effort to dress nicely for a school dance needs to hear it – it will really boost his confidence.

  1. “You can play with dolls if that’s what you like”

Gender-specific toys are becoming a thing of the past because parents are realizing that a baby doll isn’t going to cause their son to be less of a man when he grows up. Who would have thought!? In fact, it turns out that boys grow up to be Dads just about as often as girls grow up to be Mums. So if your boy chooses to play with a doll over a dinosaur, embrace it! I promise it won’t harm his development.

  1. “Your hard work will be worth it”

The society we live in today is a convenient one in a lot of ways. There are short cuts, hacks and products to make all kinds of things quicker and easier, from Thermomixes to dry shampoo. I mean, we can run our entire lives from behind the screen of an iPad. Hard work can easily become a foreign concept, especially to younger generations. Teaching our sons the value of hard work now is essential for their future tertiary studies, jobs, relationships and house-keeping… because there are just some things that can’t be short cut-ted!

  1. “Tell me more”

Women can talk your ear off if you let them, but men aren’t always as forthcoming. Whether they’re talking about something good, something bad, something hard, or something funny, they don’t fall over themselves trying to provide every last detail. Teach your son the art of expressing himself, his ideas and his emotions adequately by prompting him with questions that show him you’re listening, and that what he’s saying is important.

Raising a boy (raising any child, for that matter!) is a wonderful privilege, but one that comes with so much responsibility. Offer the above words to your son, and he will reap the rewards throughout his entire life, raising him to be the best man he can be.

 

 

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The Reason Why I Let My Kids Have Unlimited Screen Time!

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We are a pretty high tech family, my husband's background is in I.T and tech and I work full time in social media and online, so to say that we are tapped into some sort of device at any given time would be an understatement.

Our kids 5 and 7 also love technology, I love that my 5 year old can pretty much work most devices easily.

It's no secret that technology is addictive, I mean you only have to look around you at any given time and you are sure to see someone looking at their phone. I use to feel super guilty that our kids were being raised in a world where it seems everyone is locked into some sort of device over engaging, interacting with other people and outside activities, but the truth is, it's the way the world is going.

Teenagers now can spend 20 minutes taking the perfect selfie to upload to social media and I am sure in 20 years time when we don't even have to leave our homes for anything we will be longing for the days when our kids chased Pokémon's and took selfies. My era was lucky in the fact that we had a childhood pre internet, where our kids now have been raised with the internet and have never known any different.

My kids also go to a school that promotes technology, at any given time they can send me a video recording or take a photo of their work that I can log into see it. In addition to traditional schooling they also do a lot of work on ipads and know how to navigate google and the internet, probably better than most adults do.

I never really had an issue with my kids being on technology but I definitely had an issue with them not wanting to do anything else but be on technology, I felt like I was going a bit bonkers when I would ask my children to hop off a device as it was always followed by a tantrum, it was also a real struggle to get them to play outside, do homework, chores or anything else for that matter.

I knew something had to change, It wasn't until my husband said jokingly one morning, oh let them have as much tec time as they want, that's when a penny dropped.

I thought yep that's what I am going to do, I am going to let them have as much tech time as they want provided that they did the following.

I put together a chart that had everything on it that they needed to do before they could touch any device, this included, Ipad, computer, my phone, and TV. I spoke to them and told them that they could have as much technology as they wanted and it was actually up to them how much time they got to spend on their favourite devices,  but they had to make sure that everything on the following list was ticked off first.

 

In mornings they had to:

Breakfast

Clean teeth

Get dressed

Make bed and make sure room is neat < this doesn't have to be perfect just done.

Lunch and bag packed

Shoes on

Hair done

As soon as this is done my kids are free to go on ipad, computer, tv phone etc.

 

In the afternoons they have to:

Read / homework

Unpack bag

Uniform in wash or hung up if not dirty.

In summer 30 - 45 mins play outside

Bath/shower in winter they have bath soon as they get home.

This is normally all done before 4.30

After that they are allowed as much tech until 6pm dinner, at this time we all put tech away, my husband and I put our phones up until kids are in bed.

 

We have never done tech at night so they don't know any different as far as going on it after dinner, I like this to be a wind down time for them and we normally read, talk or sometimes play a game.

I swear this has been the best thing I have done in a long time ha! My kids get up at 7am every morning  and we leave the house at 8.20am and they at least have 30 mins screen time in the mornings, this is because they know if they don't move they don't get screen time. Even when I have trouble getting them out of bed, all I have to say is you won't have much screen time and they normally jump up < and to be honest most times they are already up and dressed before my alarm goes off.

I have found by giving my kids the feeling that the are allowed as much time as they want provided they have done everything really makes them more responsible, again my issue was never the time they spent on the devices but the fact that it would take them forever to get anything else done. I don't ask for perfection with their jobs etc but they have to have a good go at it.

The key is to follow through, if my 2 don't do what's on the list they don't have any tec that day, and yes they cry and carry on but normally the following day they are back ticking off that list ha!

On the weekends we are pretty cruisey with tec time in saying that we do get out and do a lot of family stuff. We do plenty of outdoor activities, both my kids do karate, swimming and gymnastics and we regularly cook and play sport together, so it's not all technology, but in the era we now live in, tec is not going anywhere so for us it was good to find a balance sooner rather than later.

This is what I have found works for us, do you have any tips for tech time in your house?

Oh I should also add that although we let our kids use technology we are well aware of what they are watching or playing :)

 

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Our Top Tips For Cooking With Kids!

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Most kids love to cook and although it can be a hassle for parents to let them help in the kitchen, it is surprising just how quickly kids can learn and be quite helpful.

My 7 and 5 year old can cook basic things like eggs and pikelets and they have a good understanding of kitchen safety, I love seeing the joy on their faces as we cook.

Below are our top tips for cooking with kids:

Expect a lot of mess, believe me if you tell yourself from the beginning that it is going to be messy then you are less likely to lose patience, there will be the odd bit of flour or a cracked egg on the floor, I try to remember that all messes can be cleaned and that teaching my kids how to cook is more valuable than a clean kitchen. In saying that I also teach my kids to tidy up after themselves, if they spill something they need to have a go at wiping it up < and yes sometimes this makes more mess haha!

Explain things, take your time to explain what utensils are used for, what certain ingredients do and why we measure and weigh things, you will be surprised how much your child will retain the information and how spot on they can be when it comes to measuring. It's also good to cover food hygiene.

Let them touch and taste what they are making, this is not only fun for them but it teaches them about different flavours and textures, ask them questions like do you think this is sweet enough? Do you think its thick enough? kids love having control over a recipe.

Be prepared, get all the ingredients out ready with the recipe, if your child is able to read get them to guide siblings in what steps to take.

Be prepared for imperfection, odd shaped biscuits under cooked cup cakes are all part of learning, if something doesn't work out try and problem solve what the issue could have been and even get your child to make a note on the recipe for next time. If we have messed up a recipe I always revisit that recipe and see if we can perfect it, it is a great way of teaching the kids to keep trying and they love it when it turns out right.

Have fun, before to long you will most probably have teenagers who won't want to go anywhere near a dish haha so enjoy the time with your little ones in the kitchen, not only are you teaching a great life skill but you are also creating amazing memories with your kids.

And always make sure your kids are supervised in the kitchen, this is pretty much a no brainer :)

Some easy recipes I cook with my kids are:

4 ingredient cookies, I give the kids the dough and they can spen ages cutting out cookies.

Anything like ball recipes like these ones: White chocolate balls!

Cupcakes and muffins

 

Do you have any tips to add for cooking with kids? Leave a comment on our face book page :)

 

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Memorable Mum Moments with Curash™

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Anyone who has more than one child knows the struggle of siblings squabbling. Seriously I love being a mum but if there is one thing I can not stand its hearing my 7 and 5 year old argue and whinge at each other, it always ends in tears and normally they are mine ha!

In between the fights and tantrums there are plenty of nice mum moments though and I witnessed one today. I couldn't here much noise coming from their bedrooms and normally that isn't a good sign, so I went to check on them to see what they were doing. Before I got to the door I could hear them talking to each other about their Dolls, I peeked around the corner and saw they were dressing their dolls with about 30 Curash™ baby wipes spalled out around them, they had been playing babies and cleaning their dolls with the wipes. It seriously was the cutest thing to watch < even if they were wasting the wipes. To see their natural little mothering instincts come out was so sweet to see. Obviously my kids love Curash wipes as much as I do!

We have been using Curash™ products since we first bought home my eldest daughter 7 years ago and have found their products to be the best on the market.

We love how they have a complete range of products to care for babies skin from top to bottom. And given that they have been providing expert skin care advice for 35 years, it puts my mind at ease when using it on my little ones.

We love that the baby wipes are specially formulated irritant free wipes for extra sensitive skin. Soft, strong and gentle on your baby’s skin, they also come in value and bulk pack varieties.

Curash™ Fragrance Free baby wipes are developed with your baby’s delicate skin in mind and the makers of Curash™ ensure they’re:

  • Ideal for Newborns
  • Irritant Free
  • Dermatologically Tested
  • Soap and Paraben Free
  • Thick and Soft
  • Alcohol Free and pH BalancedAdded benefits include:
  • Curash™ Fragrance Free baby wipes are paediatrician and dermatologist tested, making them perfect for giving your baby a complete clean after each nappy change.

They also:

  • Help protect against nappy rash
  • Pop-up wipes – grab with one hand, so you always have a free hand to keep hold of your little one.

 

You can find out where to purchase Curash here!

curash.com.au facebook/curash

 

 

@curashau

#CurashLovesYou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Megan's Miracle Babies

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After what I thought was an uneventful pregnancy with my first baby in 2006, I was told at an appointment that he was very, very sick and if there was any chance of saving him he needed to be delivered immediately, and that he was. Angus was born at 28 weeks and 2 days gestation due to severe IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) he weighed a tiny 790 grams. After 12 weeks of ups and downs in the NICU he came home, only to return to the NICU 10 days later where he required a tracheostomy which he had for 11 months. Angus had some complex health problems for his first 18 months due to his prematurity and when he was 15 months old he had a complete reconstruction of his trachea.

When he was 2 years old we decided that we were brave enough to try for another baby. Unfortunately that journey continued for the next 19 months. A miscarriage and IVF treatment and then miraculously we fell pregnant naturally. Things never felt right. I was on medication to try to avoid another premature birth, which was not to be the case.

On the 18th April, 2010 our angel baby Hamish was born at 19 weeks. Hamish had passed away sometime before he was born due to being severely growth restricted. Our hearts were broken and we had a little boy who couldn’t comprehend that his brother had gone to heaven before he even got to meet him.

Immediately we started to try again. Then another miscarriage. 9 months later I was pregnant again. I had problems from the start and at 19 weeks I was told that this baby would not make it. How could I lose another baby? I was offered a termination. I refused. Week after week my baby held on surprising all the specialists, who to this day are still amazed that he made it. At 24 weeks my waters broke and I was admitted to hospital. After many weeks and daily ultrasounds, the baby was struggling.

Saxon was delivered in October 2011 at 28 weeks and 4 days weighing 846 grams. He spent 16 weeks in hospital and then was home on oxygen until he was 6 months old. He completes our family. I have 2 earthly angels and 1 heavenly angel. I still yearn for another baby, but acknowledge just how lucky I am to have my 2 miracle boys.

 

 

 

Visit https://www.miraclebabies.org.au and support Miracle Babies for the Month of May. 

 

 

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10 Things Your Daughter Needs To Hear You Say

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So – you want to raise a strong, brave, empowered, independent daughter. That’s awesome – as her parent, you are in a pretty great position to do that through your parenting style, your actions and your words. There are some words that can have significant power in your daughter’s life, and it’s important that she hears them not only from teachers, mentors, friends and peers, but specifically from you. Build your daughter up to be the very best version of herself by speaking these words over her:

  1. “You’re a good person”

Girls rely heavily on others’ opinions of them, and there is a swarm of nasty (not to mention unfounded!) comments out there waiting to attack her character as she grows older and more impressionable. Other peoples’ negative opinions can become a self-fulfilling prophesy if they’re not balanced with more truthful reminders of her goodness. It may seem obvious, but she needs to be assured that she is inherently good in order to believe it.

  1. “You have amazing ideas”

Give power to her ideas and let her know that they are unique and valuable from an early age. Girls who believe in their ideas become women with initiative and self-confidence.

  1. “You know the answer to this problem

Sometimes, girls know the answer to something but need a little push to commit. Encouraging her to practise committing to a solution now will teach her to trust her instincts and decision-making as an adult.

  1. “You’re really good at this”

Acknowledging your daughter’s natural talents validates her abilities and encourages her to continue honing her skills. She is constantly going to face people who she perceives to be better than her, so it’s essential to instil the belief that her own abilities are not dependent on being the best; that she is absolutely talented regardless of how talented others might be too.

  1. “I love you”

Some families have these words constantly on their lips, but others go with the notion that actions speak louder than words, and though unspoken, everyone knows that they are loved. And yes, most of us know that our parents love us, but the words “I love you” are extremely powerful to hear all the same. Teach your daughter that your love for her is unconditional by ensuring that you say it regardless of her behaviour, emotional state, grades or achievements.

  1. “I’m proud of you”
    Throughout her childhood (and hopefully beyond!), you are one of the people she is going to most want to impress. When you see that she has worked hard to achieve something, acknowledge it. Let her know you’ve seen the effort she has put in, and tell her that she has done well.
  2. “It’s ok to make mistakes”

It is very common for women to become perfectionists who beat themselves up over mistakes and perceived failure. Don’t let your daughter fall into that trap! By helping her believe that mistakes are just a normal bump in the road, you are raising her to pick herself up and carry on rather than dwell on the things she does wrong. Plus, by accepting her, mistakes and all, you become an unequivocally safe place for her to run to if she is ever in trouble.

  1. “You don’t need to follow in my footsteps”

Because she doesn’t. She might have your eyes, but she’s her own person with her own interests, talents and passions - not a younger, fresher-faced carbon copy of you. Sure, she may love the idea of taking on the family restaurant someday, or of growing up to be a lawyer just like you, but if she doesn’t – it’s not a personal attack against you. It’s simply a sign that you have raised a strong, independent daughter.

  1. “I wouldn’t change a thing about you”

It is important for your daughter to be comfortable to be herself around you, always. Don’t set impossibly high standards for her, and don’t compare her to siblings or friends. Simply let her know that she is perfect and wonderful in your eyes. Allow her to flourish in her own skin, not feel like she’s constantly disappointing you.

  1. “You are beautiful”

It’s no secret that when it comes to their appearance, girls are ridiculously hard on themselves. Girl as young as six are looking in the mirror and critiquing the way they look compared to their peers and the images of young women in the media. No doubt you see your daughter’s unique beauty better than anyone, so help her to see herself through your eyes.

Imagine living in a world in which an entire generation of women grew up with the unquestioning understanding that they are strong, uniquely talented, equal individuals. Parents of girls, it starts with you! Your words have power, so speak them wisely and intentionally, and raise your daughter to see the amazing person that she is.

 

 

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A special Miracle Baby

A special Miracle Baby

My husband and I were due to have our son Byron on the 2nd of February 2013. Just after Christmas in 2012 I went for my 30 week check up and was rushed to hospital straight away as my blood pressure was high and I had way to much protein in my urine sample, upon arrival at Rockingham hospital W.A  I was transferred to King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth CBD about an hour and a half from where we were living. My husband is Navy so we both lived somewhere with no family support as they were on the other side of Australia. 

They then discovered that I had severe preeclampsia and that  Byron was shunting blood through his brain and he had actually stopped growing 2 weeks prior, they told me I had to go in for an emergency c section straight away as the preeclampsia will stop once he is out. 

Byron was born and I briefly saw him then off he scooted in NICU and myself upstairs, I remember the conversation with my husband going into the C section, I said to him " no matter what, never leave his side " lucky for me my mum got a red eye flight and was there to support me.

I went up to my room and kept begging to go see my baby, they told me that once I could feel my legs again I could go down and see him. 

My last set of Obs where done before I could go down and see Byron and next minute it turned into an emergency and I was rushed to ICU, my blood pressure had sky rocketed and they were worried that I was going to go into cardiac arrest. My husband Don was caught in between 2 worlds, he had a son in NICU and a wife in ICU. Lucky for him everyone in NICU was extremely welcoming and helpful and my husband put up his hand because I was in ICU and did the skin to skin ( as seen in one of the photos ) because I wasn't there to. He knew all of everything that was going on and all the NICU staff made sure he felt comfortable and calm and knew what was going on every second of his time there.

Byron was gorgeous, he was just small, he held his own temperature and he was breathing fine. He weighed in at 1kg then dropped a bit of weight. 

After 3 days I finally got to go to NICU and meet my gorgeous little boy, he was perfect.  We had problems with Byrons weight for about 8 weeks, he was tube fed for 7 weeks and I remember every night at midnight going to weigh him and finding out he had lost 10grams and just breaking down because it took 4 days for him to put on that 10grams, then I also remember celebrating when he had put on 20grams. It was such an emotional rollercoaster, I made some life long friends including staff throughout our time there. 

Byron is now 4 he is still a little fella for his age but he is strong, he is strong at heart and in his mind. 

He has the best sense of humour and everyone falls in love with him.

Yes he still has ups and downs and still gets hit pretty hard when it comes to viruses a bit more then the bigger kids do.

But nothing puts him down, ever. 

  

 

Visit https://www.miraclebabies.org.au and support Miracle Babies for the Month of May. 

 

Thank you to Melissa for this personal story. 

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The Most Popular Baby Names For 2017!

The Most Popular Baby Names For 2017!

With 300,000 babies born in 2016 there were sure to be some new and unique names, but did you know the most popular names where actually more traditional, with 2,145 boys being named Oliver and 1,817 girls named Charlotte.

There were however a few new names that we had never heard of and according to  McCrindle  these are the most popular baby names for 2017.

Most Popular Boys names for 2017!

1 Oliver 2145

2 William 1696

3 Jack 1666

4 Noah 1439

5 James 1269

6 Thomas 1254

7 Ethan 1193

8 Lucas 1148

9 Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson1087

10 Lachlan 1022

11 Mason 1019

12 Alexander 1017

13 Henry 1012

14 Liam 992

15 Charlie 991

16 Max 983

17 Harrison 964

18 Leo 961

19 Samuel 929

20 Hunter 894

21 Jacob 866

22 Isaac 860

23 Hudson 854

24 Benjamin 851

25 Cooper 849

26 Oscar 842

27 Levi 836

28 Harry 786

29 Joshua 781

30 Xavier 777

31 Elijah 763

32 Ryan 726

33 Archer 700

34 Archie 691

35 Riley 662

36 Sebastian 653

37 Harvey 652

38 George 634

39 Daniel 618

40 Jayden 601

41 Logan 584

42 Patrick 579

43 Finn 568

44 Lincoln 561

45 Flynn 549

46 Nate 540

47 Eli 537

48 Edward 520

49 Tyler 508

50 Aiden 507

51 Theodore 502

52 Arlo 492

53 Jordan 490

54 Hugo 485

55 Luca 482

56 Connor 480

57 Kai 474

58 Michael 470

59 Zachary 470

60 Austin 442

61 Angus 440

62 Louis 438

63 Ashton 434

64 Joseph 429

65 Luke 402

66 Blake 398

67 Hamish 392

68 Owen 391

69 Matthew 391

70 Beau 386

71 Nicholas 383

72 Dylan 374

73 Chase 368

74 Jake 366

75 Carter 354

76 Jasper 350

77 Charles 336

78 Caleb 330

79 Adam 321

80 Muhammad 320

81 Toby 313

82 Nathaniel 311

83 Felix 295

84 Sonny 270

85 Nathan 249

86 Ryder 247

87 Darcy 246

88 Dominic 243

89 Christian 237

90 Spencer 234

91 Fletcher 221

92 Gabriel 215

93 Ali 206

94 John 193

95 Lewis 193

96 Maxwell 182

97 Marcus 180

98 Hayden 169

99 Vincent 164

100 Parker 153

 

Most popular girl names for 2017!

1 Charlotte 1817

2 Olivia 1632

3 Mia 1401

4 Ava 1397

5 Amelia 1375

6 Isla 1203

7 Sophia/Sofia1163

8 Chloe 1115

9 Grace 1082

10 Emily 1076

11 Evie 1072

12 Sophie 1032

13 Lily/Lilly 1017

14 Ella 977

15 Isabella 953

16 Zoe 951

17 Ruby 937

18 Harper 935

19 Evelyn 919

20 Ivy 890

21 Matilda 866

22 Scarlett 786

23 Lucy 778

24 Sienna 761

25Isabelle/Isabel760

26Maddison/723

27 Willow 713

28 Georgia 698

29 Aria 659

30 Emma 649

31 Zara 641

32 Hannah 634

33 Eva 620

34 Mila/Milla 610

35 Layla 554

36 Abigail 551

37 Audrey 531

38 Violet 463

39 Alice 439

40 Piper 434

41 Savannah 407

42 Ellie 406

43 Annabelle 398

44 Stella 392

45 Imogen 392

46 Jasmine 388

47 Mackenzie 376

48 Madeleine/Madeline373

49 Elizabeth 363

50 Alexis 356

51 Maya 356

52 Poppy 350

53 Phoebe 349

54 Penelope 349

55 Frankie 343

56 Sarah 334

57 Eleanor 333

58 Hazel 326

59 Summer 325

60 Emilia 321

61 Chelsea 315

62 Addison 314

63 Anna 305

64 Harriet 298

65 Claire 297

66 Indiana 294

67 Billie 288

68 Eloise 288

69 Ayla 286

70 Bella 283

71 Paige 279

72 Lola 277

73 Elsie 272

74 Eliza 271

75 Jessica 269

76 Rose 269

77 Aurora 268

78 Eden 261

79 Daisy 239

80 Ariana 224

81 Olive 219

82 Bonnie 210

83 Alyssa 203

84 Hayley 198

85 Thea 195

86 Victoria 187

87 Holly 185

88 Aaliyah 180

89 Charlie 176

90 Quinn 174

91 Molly 162

92 Heidi 158

93 Eve 148

94 Aisha 143

95 Lara 141

96 Peyton 138

97 Florence 119

98 Alexandra 108

99 Brooklyn 98

100 Sadie 97

 

 

 

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Give Your Opinion And Go Into The Draw To Win $1000 With Café Study!

Give Your Opinion And Go Into The Draw To Win $1000 With Café Study!

Café Study is looking for mums and mums -to - be that would like to give their opinion and feedback on a wide range of products, from parentling, entertainment, travel and general lifestyle products. The best part is by simply giving your feedback you will be rewarded with points that you can redeem for cash or vouchers and its FREE to join.

 

Sign up before December 31st 2017 and you will also go in the draw for $1000, sign up CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

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Responding to tantrums with gentleness

Responding to tantrums with gentleness

As a toddler-mum, I am no stranger to tantrums. It seems that with every passing month of toddlerhood the tantrums are becoming longer, more intense… and harder to deal with. It’s part and parcel of parenting a toddler, I know this, but when I’m in the thick of those banshee wails and that angry, frantic flailing of limbs – I panic. Every time. I cannot reason with this tiny, ticked off little person. I cannot convince him to stop. I can’t even bribe him. His tantrums usually end with both of us reaching emotional exhaustion.

Recently, I noticed some blog posts and articles popping up around the place suggesting a patient, gentle response to tantrums. I wasn’t convinced. Cooing softly at a scrunched up, red little face didn’t sound like smart parenting to me. Treading softly around him and giving him what he wanted in order to keep his screaming to a minimum didn’t appeal either. To be honest, the whole gentle response thing seemed more like pandering and less like parenting.

Then I witnessed a gentle response in action.

I was on my way into a Café, and walked by a mum standing beside a crying little girl on the footpath. It was a tantrum in full swing, and I readied myself to issue the empathetic knowing smile, waiting for the inevitable huffy, “Stop crying! You’re being silly! I’m going to count to three! We’re going home right now!” You know, those standard panic-buttons we hit when the tantrums strike in public.

Instead, the mum sat down beside her, looked her lovingly in the eyes, and spoke to her gently, “I’m here. I know you’re upset. It’s okay. When you’re done crying, we can go back inside together.”

Did the little girl instantly stop crying? Of course not! When it comes to tantrums, there’s no magical off-switch. But the tantrum didn’t escalate, either. Mum and daughter sat together, waiting for the storm to pass.

Tantrums are based on:

-        Anger

-        A sense of injustice

-        Sadness

-        Fear

-        Uncertainty

None of these are pleasant feelings, and toddlers deal with them the best way they know how. They don’t have the ability to rationalise, and they don’t have a full grasp on perspective. So when they throw themselves on the floor in a full-blown tantrum, it’s because the world is ending. It seriously is. What I have learnt about responding gently and patiently when my toddler cracks it, is that it’s not about giving into whatever hair-brained idea has derailed him this time. It simply means being a soothing, safe place for him the whole time, so that when he stops for a breath, I’m there, loving him and cuddling him and telling him it’s okay. This is a stark contrast to the angry, fed-up, impatient mum he might have dealt with before – and I know which option would help me cheer up if I were in his shoes! Plus, as an added bonus, I find that concentrating on an intentionally gentle reaction actually keeps me calm in the face of a tantrum. His tantrum may not end any sooner, but it does end better – for both of us!

Here are my tips for keeping your cool and responding to tantrums with gentleness:

-        Pause. Breathe. Shake off any frustration that has started to build.

-        Avoid using phrases such as “Stop this now!”, “You’re being silly!” and “Don’t do that!” Instead, focus on responding with “I’m here”, “I know you’re upset” and “It’s not nice to feel angry, is it?”

-        Don’t try to rationalise with your toddler. Don’t try to distract him. All of his focus right now is on the big emotion he’s experiencing.

-        Get down to his level – standing over him when he’s feeling vulnerable can be intimidating

-        Be patient. Ride the waves and be ready to cheer him up when the screams turn to whimpers and he begins to listen to you once more.

-        When he moves on, you move on – don’t dwell on the tantrum or the reason behind it.

Gentleness isn’t generally our default response when it comes to tantrums, but with practise it can become second nature. Give it a try – see if it makes a differenc    

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Introducing the next generation of skincare adapted to each skin type by Mustela®.

Introducing the next generation of skincare adapted to each skin type by Mustela®.

 

One lucky parent can win a Mustela pack simply enter HERE

New scientific research reveals each baby is born with a specific skin type and need. Introducing the next generation of skincare adapted to each skin type by Mustela®.

Mustela® is the first skin care company globally to embark on a research program that analyses the physiology of babies and children’s skin from outer layers of the epidermis all the way to the deepest epidermal layers. Using advanced, non-invasive imaging technologies and the development of the world’s first reconstruction of babies and children’s skin, Mustela® researchers discovered that a baby’s skin is most fragile between birth and age of two and scientifically demonstrated babies each have different kinds of skin with different needs, deserving of its own care.

The breakthrough insight shows children are born with either: Normal skin that needs to be hydrated daily; Dry skin that needs to be hydrated and nourished, and Extremely dry/eczema-prone skin, subject to extreme dryness and sensations of itching, that needs to be hydrated, soothed and replenished daily. With this insight, Mustela® developed patented specific natural ingredients - clinically proven under dermatological and/or paediatric supervision - to be effective for each type of skin.

The ingredients in the new range include:

  • For Normal skin: Avocado Perseose®, a patented natural ingredient that deeply hydrates skin epidermis, protects the skin barrier and preserves the cellular richness of the skin.
  • For Dry skin: Avocado Perseose® and a dermo-nutritive complex that deeply nourishes the skin.
  • For Extremely dry eczema-prone skin: Avocado Perseose® and a patented natural ingredient, Sunflower Oil Distillate®, which replenishes and soothes eczema-prone skin.

Already an established brand with a global cult-like following (number 1 baby dermo-cosmetic brand in Europe), Mustela® has taken the range to the next level with this new generation of hygiene and skincare products adapted to all skin types from birth onwards. Products available, priced between $7.95 - $34.95 rrp, include Foam Shampoo for Newborn, Gentle Cleansing Gel, Body Lotion, Face Cream, , Vitamin Barrier Cream, Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath, , Travel Set, No Rinse Cleansing Water and fragrance-free skincare products like Stelatopia Emollient Cream, Stelatopia Cleansing Cream and more.

The baby skincare expert for over 60 years, Mustela® guarantees safety from birth onwards and is committed to minimising environmental impact with eco-designed products that are conscious of people and the environment at each stage of their life cycle. With a priority given to ingredients of natural origin, there are no parabens, phthalates or Phenoxyethanol. Light textures and delicate fragrances add to the appeal.

The new Mustela® bébé-enfant *range is available in Chemist Warehouse, Babies "R" Us, Amcal, Chemmart Terry White, Priceline, and all good pharmacies. To make it even easier for parents to work out what skin type is right for their baby, Mustela® has created an online 2-part skin diagnosis questionnaire. With Mustela®, it all starts with skin.

And for one lucky parent we have a Mustela pack up for grabs simply enter HERE

You can find out more about Mustela here: www.mustela.com.au

 

 

 

 

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GIVE AWAY - 1 X - Tend Sleepsuit up for grabs

GIVE AWAY - 1  X - Tend Sleepsuit up for grabs

 GIVE AWAY - 1  X - Tend Sleepsuit up for grabs ENTER HERE 

I love this sleep suit as my son hates blankets and is a little too big to wear a sleeping bag. I can never find the matching tops and bottoms for pyjamas either - so this is the perfect solution! 3 kids and I finally have the solution for my 3rd child! 

Today was the first day this school term that I have looked half decent at school drop off, you see for the past couple of weeks my 3 year old has been climbing into bed with us at all hours of the night, sleeping on me with limbs I didn't even know he had haha. As any mum who has little ones climb into bed  with them knows that you don't get a lot of sleep at all, if you are anything like me you roll out of bed in the morning, rush around to get kids ready for school and its not before you are dropping kids off and talking to other parents that you realise you didn't even brush your hair ha!

My husband and I have tried everything to get our 3 year old to stay in his bed, we noticed that since the weather has changed and gotten cooler that he has been coming in and saying that his cold. < no matter how many blankets we put on him.

So we were pretty excited when we received the X - Tend Sleepsuit in the mail, these suits are great they have removable sleeves for the warmer nights as well. The X -Tend Sleepsuit is perfect because he is not one for keeping his blankets on, hence him coming into bed with us every night.

Well what do you know the last 3 nights he has slept through, which means I have as well, which equals a happy mum

These suits really are amazing and  they are luxurious, super-soft, certified organic cotton; no polyester, no harmful chemicals and pesticides, creating a healthier option for baby – while being super practical for parents.

The X-Tend Sleepsuit is an Australian-first invention that grows with baby! Simply extend the arms and legs of the suit once the baby is ready for the next size. Boasting handy features such as removable sleeves, hand and feet mittens and two way front zippers, it’s suitable for babies 6 months up to 7 years of age. For babies 18 months and up, a unique extra-large drop seat feature makes nappy changes or middle of the night toilet stops so much more convenient. The X-Tend Sleepsuit keeps baby safe and comfortable all night without the worry of kicking off blankets.

You can find more about X - Tend Sleepsuits here:  sleepycompany.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Miss My Husband!

I Miss My Husband!

 

“I miss you.”

I say these words to my husband far too often these days. Sure, the man gets home from work around 6 every day, watches TV with me for an hour or so most evenings, and sleeps beside me every night, but it’s not enough. Since having our son 18 months ago, our marriage has changed – in good ways, but also in challenging ways – and our quality time has suffered.

There is one other time in our marriage when this has been a problem – and it was right at the very beginning. We didn’t live together until after we were married, and within weeks of saying “I do” I realised that we were going days without connecting properly. Now that we were finally living together, we were both working on the assumption that we would just see each other all the time at home – which, in theory, freed us up to make lots of individual plans with friends and commitments to other people. But we quickly learnt that living together is not enough, and despite the fact that we were seeing each other regularly, we were not focusing enough on connecting regularly. It was our first lesson on marriage, and luckily we caught it quickly enough to change our habits before we did any damage.

Now with a little human in the Donovan family fold, we’ve fallen into the trap of taking each other for granted again. Don’t get me wrong – we’re fine, we’re happy, we’re very much in love – but still, we miss each other. That connection we’ve enjoyed so easily for over eight years now is a little harder to catch thanks to six o’ clock dinners, bedtime routines, teething, tantrums and toys all over the floor. When we flop down on the couch at the end of the day, it’s not often to spend quality time together – it’s to recover!

Does any of this sound familiar? Do you miss your husband as much as I miss mine? Here are some simple ways that may help you to reconnect.

Really talk

I can go days of building up things that I want to open up about with my husband, but never feel like there’s time to do it. I blame Netflix. Open conversation is so important in marriage though, and shouldn’t be reserved as something that happens once every few days. Go beyond the usual “How was your day?” small talk and delve deeper. Some couples have a set list of probing questions that they ask each other at the end of every day. I find it really beneficial to sit outside in our backyard when I want to have a good conversation with my husband in the evening. Something about the night sky, the lack of distraction and the openness of the space tends to foster our best chats.

Make eye contact

We can let a whole conversation slide by without ever looking someone in the eye these days – whether we’re loading the dishwasher, scrolling through Facebook, getting dressed or wrangling a toddler. Purposefully locking eyes while conversing instantly ups the connection and makes both people feel listened to and valued.

Laugh together

There is something wonderfully bonding about enjoying a laugh with someone – it aligns you for a moment and makes you feel like they just get it. Getting out of the house to enjoy a comedy show might not be the easiest when you’re deep in the throes of parenting, but watching a funny movie at home together (or heck, even dog videos on YouTube) should be equally satisfying.

Snuggle

A lack of physical connection is one of the quickest ways to grow apart from a spouse, so make sure to spend intentional time just holding (and being held by!) each other.

See a counsellor

Though I have not personally gone down the road of marriage counselling before, I have heard many people shouting the praises of a marriage ‘fine-tune’ once in a while, and it makes sense. Sometimes we need help to unpack all of our feelings before we can build our way back to a proper connection. Seeing a marriage counsellor is never a sign of failure – it’s a sign that you care about your marriage, and you want to put measures in place to protect it.

 

Our roles as parents are super important – but so are our roles as husband and wife! At the end of the day, our kids will grow up and leave home… but our spouses are in it for the long haul. Taking constant care of your relationship will help strengthen it and build a connection that will last for years to come.

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Raising Wild Kids: The Benefits of Outside Play

Raising Wild Kids: The Benefits of Outside Play

I am not an outdoorsy kind of girl. If there’s an opposite to “outdoorsy”, that is me. Indoorsy? Is that a thing? Let’s go with that. I am indoorsy. I choose dinner parties over picnics, yoga over hiking, and reading on the couch over laying on a beach towel in the sun. The sun-kissed, brown-as-a-berry skin I enjoyed up to the age of about 11 is but a distant memory. Pale and proud; that’s my jam.

For the last 18 months, this indoorsy girl has also been a mother. As an immobile baby, my son became very familiar with the confines of our home, of cafes and shopping centres, of friends’ houses and the local library. When he began walking, he was initially content with laps around the house and trips to indoor play centres. But pretty soon, he wanted more. He would stand banging on the back door, begging to be let outside. It was ingrained in him; he yearned to be outside. And so we began making trips out into the yard. Trips to the park. Trips to the beach. And my son became a wild boy.

When he goes outside, he comes alive. He runs, he tumbles, he explores. He gets dirt on his hands and knees. He sits and watches beetles in the grass. He splashes in the mud. He cries when it’s time to go back inside. And despite my indoorsy tendencies, going outside with him has become one of my favourite things.

I recently watched the short film “Canvas of my Life”, featuring the actor Jason Momoa talking about his creative childhood, and the way he is now raising his kids to be wild, free creatives. And despite the fact that it’s actually just a super-long ad for Carhartt pants, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Because for all my love of air conditioning and cups of tea, nothing beats a shot of a pack of happy kids racing through the woods and climbing rocks with big, wild grins plastered across their faces. That’s the kind of joy I want for my kid.

There are a number genuine of benefits to outside play, too.

1.     It’s active

Put a kid in the confines of four walls with a bunch of toys, and he will sit and play. Let him loose in a yard with grass, trees and dirt, and he’s unstoppable. Kids are natural explorers, and they just love to run. Being outside lends itself to active play.

2.     It’s sensory

They can smell the grass, hear the birds and cicadas, feel the wind on their face and crunch leaves beneath their feet. Outside play fully engages all the senses – yep, even picking up a handful of dirt for a sneaky taste counts!

3.     It’s healthy

They soak up some good old vitamin D, they inhales bucket loads of fresh air, and they stretch those little limbs in new ways, which contributes to their muscle development.

4.     It’s interesting

Our outside environments are subject to constant change – changes in the weather, new weeds popping up between the pavement, new leaves falling from the shrubbery. There are always holes to be dug, ants to be trailed behind and flowers to be picked. The engagement is endless!

5.     It’s confidence-building

Outside play is often quite independent, which gives kids a massive sense of self-confidence as they learn their capabilities and test their limits.

The benefits of outside play are endless, and so important for developing kids. These days I aim to get outside with my son at least twice per day – and I have to say I think I enjoy it almost as much as he does! So let’s hold that thought on my “pale and proud” skin – I just might end up revisiting that berry-brown glow after all!

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