I love finding good stuff. I think it’s the feeling ‘normal’ women get when they find a killer pair of shoes or a designer dress at a bargain price – a bit of a rush, excitement and sheer joy. That’s how I feel when I find something that I think is just straight up GOOD. And that’s how I feel about the Eco Kids Planetmagazine*.
As a home educating family, I think this magazine is particularly useful, but at the same time I think it’s great for any child who might enjoy watching Animal Planet – and in fact most children do, given half a chance.
Eco Kids Planet Magazine is aimed at 7 – 11 year olds, but my six year old enjoys reading through them too though she needs some help at some parts of it, and finds it a little wordy in parts – not a problem for someone who doesn’t have to concentrate on every word, I think.
Each magazine deals with a specific area of geography. Issue 11 was The Eastern Himalayas, and Issue 12 was India for example.
Within the general scope of the country there are different articles exploring things like the wild life, or specific things within that region. For example, in the Himalayas region, there’s a discovery article for Incredible Animals, an article on The Mystery of the Yeti, Honey Hunters of the Himalayas, and an interview with a snow leopard.
In the India issues, there’s a feature article on the Mighty River Ganges, an interview with a Bengal Tiger, an article on animals of the Ganges, an ancient folk tale from India and a Jungle Book ‘Fact & Fiction’ article.
Each issue also has activities like colouring, cut and play activities, crosswords and a science or nature project.
There are even pull-out posters, with world maps or animals or board games and so on.
From start to finish each magazine will probably keep a child busy for an hour or two, but obviously these are really only starting points – you could get them to read The Jungle Book, or do a project on what they’ve learned, or whatever is age appropriate and takes your fancy.
It looks like the next issue, Issue 13, is on Scotland, which is fantastic for us as there’s an easy ‘link’ there, with it being a country they are already familiar with, so it’s an easy starting point. And there’s an article on unicorns, so that’s an easy win.
I love this magazine for the same reasons I loved the StoryBox magazine from the same publisher – there’s no ‘free’ tat that comes along with it, the paper is decent quality and these feel like books you can put on the shelf and refer to again and again, but they provide bite-sized bits of information, so not as overwhelming as an encyclopaedia might be. There’s no advertising, except for the magazine itself, and the paper is FSC certified and even the ink is biodegradable vegetable ink.
Eco Kids Planet also has a current offer on where you can pick up 3 magazines for £6, with their direct debit offer. There are no extra upfront payments, no need for renewal notices, and you can cancel at any time. The magazines are normally £3.50 or subscribe and save £8, paying £28 for 11 issues with the code ISSUE11 here.
We really think these are a valuable, enjoyable and thoroughly worthwhile subscription.
I was given a year’s subscription in exchange for a review. Opinions are honest and my own.
My husband didn’t have a very good birthday this year. For a variety of reasons, including me having to work and Aviya not being in a great mood, his day pretty much sucked. So, I’ve decided that we were going to use Father’s Day this year to make up for it!
There are two gifts on my list for hubby for this Father’s day: A wooden watch from clockmaker JORD and a big hamper of Thornton’s chocolate.
Of course Father’s Day can be all about handmade gifts, but I thought we’d push the boat out this year, so let me tell you about the star attractions.
JORD Wooden Watches
(Click on the image to visit JORD)
My husband isn’t huge on jewelry, but a decent watch is pretty nice, and can make an arm feel rather official and important, I think. It looks good too, so when I saw these JORD watches I knew I wanted one (for him, of course!). They are just so unusual and beautiful!
JORD watches are made from woods: bamboo, maple, sandalwood, blackwood, cherry, and teak. The glass is made from scratch-proof blue film glass. Each one of these gorgeous watches is hand-crafted from natural materials making each one truly unique.
Even the cleaning instructions just feel so natural and ‘clean’ – you mix olive oil and lemon juice and apply the mixture to a cotton cloth.
It took me ages to decide which one I thought my other half would like most, versus what I liked most, but in the end I think I found the perfect one – and on the off chance he reads this before Father’s Day, I’m not telling you which one it is!
I must say quite honestly that I got a lot more than I expected with this JORD watch. I don’t think I expected it to be so ‘finished’, polished, sophisticated and just simply beautiful. For $120/£72, I am just blown away by it! Shipping in the US is free, but to the UK is an added $20 First Class.
Worth every penny, as far as I’m concerned.
Thornton’s Best Dad Hamper
My husband has a sweet tooth so sugary, it often gets him in trouble as he sneaks treats from the kitchen, so I know that a box of chocolates will never go amiss. But if that’s the case, five bits of chocolate will positively make his day.
I decided on the Best Dad Hamper (£27.99) because there’s enough chocolate variety there to keep him treasure hunting for a while, but there’s not so much that I need a bigger size of jeans at the finish line for his expanded waistline (or worse, mine if he decides to share!)
Thornton’s have some amazing offers on their chocolate hampers from time to time, so definitely one to keep an eye out for. Our chocolate hamper contained a Milk Chocolate Beer Mug plaque, a milk, dark & white Classics box (which may or may not actually make it to Father’s Day as I see it looking at me every time I open the cupboard, despite being hidden in a drawer!), a smashing box of Assorted Special Toffee and not one, but two bags of chunky Dark Chocolate Caramels. The box of truffles has the hand-iced message ‘Worlds Best Dad!’ which completes the ultimate gift for him. It all comes wrapped in brown organza, with a chocolate ‘tag’ for icing his name on too.
This would work perfectly well as a gift hamper, but there’s so much of it that we will probably split it into treasures for him on Father’s Day.
I am in love with a lunchbox, totally. You know those ads on TV where someone has something that makes everyone else look at them like they’re so cool? This is that product. Every time I use it on our day trips, the people with me tell me how brilliant it is, and they are right. And the sad bit? This awesome product is a lunchbox. The Flatbox-LunchBox, to be precise.
The Flatbox-Lunchboxis a machine washable, heat resistant lunch bag that converts into a placemat providing a clean surface with each use. You can pop your lunch in it, and when you sit down to your picnic, unzip all four sides, opening it up entirely to make a mat on the table, floor, grass, or wherever you’re eating.
If you don’t want to fold the whole bag open, but just want to get something out, you can just open one of the four zips partially like with any bag, but you can also open one side all the way – a great way to keep blustering sea sand out of your snacks.
The bag itself is large enough to hold quite a bit. On a day out we might put a bowl full Bliss Balls, two bananas, two clementines, 2 reusable yoghurt pouches, some sesame snaps – and that would leave quite a bit of space.
When you get back home, you can quite easily pop the whole bag in the washing machine with your clothes from the day to make sure it’s clean and ready for the next day. We tend to keep our Flatbox-Lunchbox filled with tubs so we don’t have to wash it to get food off it every day, but we have had it dropped in the mud, and had it on the beach, as well as having a drink spill out in it, and it’s super easy to wash and dries quickly too, good as new.
Another really handy feature is the handle. It’s big enough for an adult hand to hold comfortably, and I tend to unhook one side of my handbag, and hook the handle through it – saves me carrying another item around all day.
I don’t get excited about a lot of products, but this one has slotted right into family life, and is used a number of times a week. It’s really brilliant.
Before Aviya was born, I put together a list of books to help prepare Ameli for the whole home birth and childbirth thing. This list has increasingly grown and grown, as I’ve found new books to add to our resources, which I now often loan out to friends about to have their second babies. Separate to the issue of the actual birth, however, is that of adding to the family, as this is something children – especially first or only children – aren’t really prepared for. While Ameli was lovely with her sister, I think it came as a bit of a shock to her when she didn’t leave when the rest of the family went back home! As such, I’ve now separated the two lists, so that there’s a great resource for those who need to help prepare siblings for the arrival of a new baby, irrespective of the manner or place of birth.
My New Baby is a cardboard book, definitely aimed at younger children. There aren’t many words, and it isn’t a story as such, but rather, random sentences, like “This bed is bouncy! Is the baby hungry?” or “I’m getting dressed. Is Baby clean yet?” and so on.
The book opens with mother, father, older sibling (which could pass as a boy or a girl) and baby in bed. Baby is breastfeeding and daddy is playing with the older sibling.
Later you see baby nursing again while OS eats a plate of finger foods, and on the next page, baby is in a sling while OS walks, with the words ‘I love walking. When will Baby walk like me?’ below it, so there are attachment parenting themes throughout, but it’s not alienating – baby is also carried in a bucket car seat, and cries during a nappy change before being put into a Moses Basket to sleep.
It’s a very simple book, and it doesn’t deal with the birth of the baby at all, but only with there being another baby.
The thing I liked most about the book is that because it is so simple, we can adapt the words and the story to suit our needs. We called the older sibling Ameli, and we talk about each picture. For example when the baby is nursing, we talk about how our baby will nurse from Mama, and Ameli will have to share. She turns to me and points at my breasts saying “Baby will have milk”. So, she gets it – (interestingly, she was amazing with tandem nursing once her baby sister was born).
I think it can be used as quite a useful tool later on too – reminding Ameli to put her own jumper on, like the girl in the book, while Mama dresses the baby, and so on. I also like the fact that though I think it’s obviously a girl on the cover, which works in our favour, you could get away with it being a brother, I think.
I Love You, Alfie Cub is a stunningly illustrated book about a little fox cub, Alfie, whose mama has a new litter of pups – twin girls. Mama Fox explains that the twins will take up a lot of her time and need a lot of love and care. Alfie is kind of excited about having new play mates, but by the end of the first day, they haven’t even grown yet! (I so relate to this. Ameli’s first question about her sister was ‘Can it walk? – at about 2 minutes old!)
Alfie’s Mama is tired, and falls asleep without reading him stories. She doesn’t play with him as much, and she is always busy with the twins. He fears that she has run out of love for him, so he spends the day looking high and low for love. A friendly frog reminds him that he still has love, so he can share his love with his mother. Alfie has an idea and sets about making a play space for his sisters.
The last few pages of this book make my eyes well up with tears. Seriously, I get so emotional. Alfie realises that his mother loves him, and she reminds him that she will never run out of love for him.
I Love You, Alfie Cub is so incredibly beautiful, it’s one of my favourites, it’s sweet, and it lays the foundation for older siblings to say that just because Mama is a bit busy right now does not mean that she doesn’t love or has replaced them.
Part of the “Mama, Talk About” series from Toni Olson,Mama, Talk About Our New Baby is about a young boy who, with the help of his mother, learns what life will be like after his sister is born. It is beautifully illustrated, and serves as a wonderful guide for parents to help them introduce older children to the concept of a younger sibling. In comparison to many mainstream books, it provides a beautiful introduction to the attached family and helps prepare siblings for life with a new baby.
There are a lot of subtle things in this book, like the toddlers bed pushed up next to the parents’ for an authentic family bed. In the explanation of what life with a new baby will be like, there’s a lot of inclusive language, like “You can come cuddle with us and meet your sister” or “Some days we could all nap together”.
There’s a mention and image of tandem feeding, although it’s not called that, folding up reusable nappies (called diapers in the book) and both baby and toddler are rear facing in their car seats. There’s even a picture of Mama wearing the baby and big brother “wearing” his baby, and another of daddy wearing the toddler in a back carry with Mama carrying baby in a ring sling.
I think this is truly one of the most all encompassing Attachment Parenting books for new babies – perhaps the word is definitive, it’s the definitive book for introducing toddlers to the concept of a new sibling. It is an expensive book at US$18 or AUS$15, but I must admit I wish I had it before our baby was born, and I will be holding on to it and treasuring it to loan to many friends in the years to come.
It would be great if it were easily found in the UK, but I’d go so far as to say it was it’s worth importing.
This is a lovely story too, especially if the new sibling is a little older, used to being an only child, and able to talk about emotions with some understanding.
The Magic Basket opens with Amy crying on her bed because she doesn’t want to become a big sister. Her mother brings her a piece of cloth, which opens up into a blue magic basket. Amy puts her hand in the basket, and out comes a feeling – curious – who guides her through how to explore her feelings. Being curious he asks her what she was doing when her mother came in, and next thing you know, another feeling – sad – comes into play. Curious and Sad help explore her feelings of worry about why her parents want another child, and help her realise that maybe they’re not trying to replace her, but ‘add to’ her. It’s a really lovely message, actually, and the transformation that comes from realisation and understanding is very sweet.
READER SUGGESTIONS OF BOOKS TO PREPARE SIBLINGS FOR THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW BABY:
I asked my Facebook followers for their recommendations of books, since I can’t possibly buy them all. Here’s what they recommended:
There’s house inside my mummy – Giles Andreae “A gentle and tender story of a little boy waiting for his new brother or sister to arrive. Told with humour and a simple rhyming text, this is the perfect picture book for all expectant brothers and sisters.”
Will There be a Lap for Me? – Dorothy Corey “Kyle misses his time on Mother’s lap while she is pregnant but is happy when the birth of his baby brother makes her lap available again”
The New Baby (Usborne First Experiences) - This book is designed to introduce young children to unfamiliar situations in an amusing and friendly way. It features Stephen Cartwright’s delightful illustrations, providing lots to look at and talk about. It provides an ideal starting point for young children and adults to discuss first experiences.
- This book looks amazing. It’s the perfect book for introducing a young child to to the concept of where babies come from and how they grow. This is a great book to share and discuss all the changes going on inside ‘mummy’s tummy’.
Every month a new picture shows how big baby is and how far along a timeline (featured at the foot of each spread) baby has moved. The real attractiion of the book is the ‘life-size’ nature of the drawings, giving mother and child a fantastic opportunity to really explore what is happening, how big baby is in context to everyday objects and what baby can hear or indeed eats!
What’s in Your Tummy Mummy?by Sam Lloyd - There’s something inside Mummy’s tummy. I don’t know what it could be. Perhaps it’s a buzzing flea or a chimpanzee? It’s getting bigger every day and Mummy won’t tell me. But you can lift the flaps to see! A wonderful and fun story for young children about a new addition to the family from much-loved author and illustrator Sam Lloyd.
Welcome to the Essential Parenting Collection, the biggest online collection of Mindful Parenting products! This digital bundle offers a wide array of eProducts, including eBooks, audiobooks, eCourses, workbooks, audio, coloring pages.
The Essential Parenting Collection is offered at $49.97/£30.45/AU$55.78, fractions of the retail value of $751.48/£457.98/AU$838.86.
We have divided the products into 5 categories. Scroll down the page to learn more about ALL of these wonderful resources.
Each mini bundle is available for $19.97/£12.17/AU$22.29
It’s everything I know about conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. And I know a lot! I mentored hundreds of parents in childbirth classes when I was a Birthing From Within Mentor and in labor as a Certified Doula. I have also been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 14 years, specializing in pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. And of course, my sweet Penelope, my oh so wanted, but oh so difficult baby (now almost 4!) has taught me a thing or two as well.
This ebook is just good, fast, easy-to-understand information about everything you absolutely must know as you begin your journey to motherhood. I am giving you all the juicy tidbits and lessons I have learned from working with pregnant couples for the past decade as well as my own experiences with being pregnant and a new mom.
It’s everything I have ever told friends or clients, plus some things I wish I had known before getting pregnant with my daughter and other things I will do differently if I am blessed with another baby.
I have also included advice from my team of writers at Mama and Baby Love and some from other bloggers that I love, like The Pregnant Chicken, Code Name: Mama, Mother Rising, Dou-la-la, The Homeopathic Pregnancy, Naturally Knocked Up, Mommypotamus, and more.
As usual around here, I tell it straight, no beating around the bush or sugar coating things, which of course means there are a few curse words, but it’s a funny read. You will laugh out loud, I promise.”
The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try To Sell You, And How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line.
Jennifer Margulis, audiobook, retail value $20
Why does the USA have among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the industrialized world? Why do pregnant women who plan to breastfeed receive “free” samples of infant formula from American obstetricians? Why are American newborns given a vaccine at birth against hepatitis B, a sexually transmitted disease? This eye-opening work of investigative journalism exposes how our current cultural practices during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of a baby’s life are not based on the best evidence or the most modern science, revealing how American moms and their babies are being undermined by corporate interests.
The only hypnobirthing program by Board Certified Doctor; hypnosis mp3s, scripts, nutrition guide, birth music; less than half the price of most hypnobirth programs.
With all three Birth Relaxation Kit™ hypnobirthing programs you will overcome anxiety and fear so you can give birth confidently, feeling empowered and relaxed. You can enjoy a shorter, more comfortable and even pain-free birth!
Why Hypnosis For Pregnancy and Childbirth?
We are dedicated to serving moms and moms-to-be seeking an empowered, safe and more comfortable childbirth experience. We Are On A Mission to empower you with real tools to birth confidently and without fear…And the movement is rapidly growing as thousands and thousands of women are successfully using hypnobirthing and self-hypnosis for birth, pregnancy and motherhood.
Simply Natural Pregnancy is a back-to-basics eBook for mothers who want to “go green” but are overwhelmed and stressed by all the alternatives available. Using concise information, actionable but powerful baby steps, and resources for digging deeper, Simply Natural Pregnancy is a transformative tool for every expectant mother.
Bundle purchasers will receive three months of unlimited access to four types of yoga classes and all membership bonuses! Your physical alignment plays a vital role in your pregnancy, labor and delivery, but very few prenatal exercise programs teach moms to restore healthy alignment. Each Stay-at-Home Yoga class is designed to provide you with both information and exercises to restore natural alignment, reduce pregnancy aches and pains and prepare you for a natural birth.
The colic solution is an ebook to help new mothers with colic symptoms in their babies. I have detailed my experience with colic three times over, and given examples for what to look out for and how to start applying some tried and tested relief methods.
Every baby is different, unique, not one solution will work for every baby. That is why my ebook has many suggestions, angles of approach and views. One WILL work for your baby!
You will sleep again and you will be able to finely drink that cup of HOT tea or coffee that has been eluding you for weeks! There is light at the end of the tunnel.
A first time mom reflects on her journey of breastfeeding twins. “Don’t judge your entire experience based on the first three months,” she cautions, as she shares the challenges faced during the ‘fourth trimester’ and beyond. Part memoir, part manual, Mercedes shares her story as well as suggestions on what gear to buy (and what to skip), recipes, links for further reading and a printable feeding log. Topics include: positions for tandem feeding twins, pumping and milk supply, and scheduling feeds vs. feeding on-demand.
Oxytocin Parenting — Womb through the Terrible Twos.
Susan Kuchinskas and Bryan Post, The Post Institute, retail value $0.99
Did you know that a child’s ability to love and connect is shaped after birth? The way you parent your child actually influences the way her brain cells wire together to form the circuits she’ll use in social situations throughout her life.
A key to forming healthy relationships is the oxytocin response. Oxytocin is naturally released inside the brain when we feel safe and can open to intimacy and connection. The oxytocin response probably begins to develop in the womb, is influenced by the birthing process and then continues to develop in the first three years of life. It’s shaped by the love and care a baby gets in this period.
This book is valuable reading no matter how old your child is. Parenting understanding of oxytocin and advice for all ages (works with spouses too!).
Lauren Wayne, Hobo Mama, 154 pages, retail value $11.97
Babywearing gives you a convenient way to carry along a little one, keeping your child engaged while allowing you as the parent or caregiver to continue with the routines of life — walking, using your hands for tasks, and even breastfeeding — while keeping your child secure.
This book is a Babywearing 101 class, giving an introductory overview of babywearing, along with troubleshooting ideas for special circumstances. We’ll talk about the benefits of babywearing, types of common carriers, how to babywear safely, pictorial how-tos for how to tie and wrap the most popular carriers, tutorials for making your own carrier, and a list of helpful resources for information and support on your babywearing journey.
Whether parent, teacher, grandparent, or nanny, this book will help you see the importance of not only your role as parent or caregiver, but the relationship, too. Changes in your approach, words, and tone can have lasting beneficial effects in your relationship with a child and on that child’s behavior as well.
Juno Magazine (e-magazine), 1-year subscription: 4 issues, retail value $24.74
JUNO promotes a natural approach to family life that inspires and supports parents as they journey through the challenges of parenting. We have an ethos based on conscious parenting, sustainability, social justice, non-violence and a commitment to personal growth and spiritual awareness and share fresh perspectives in this fast-paced technological world, creating a non-judgemental community for those who are keen to follow “a natural approach to family life.”
Written for girls aged 9-14 introducing them to the menstrual cycle in simple, soulful language, taking the form of a gentle, meaningful initiation into womanhood.
Reaching for the Moon incorporates stories, real womens’ experiences of their first periods, and answers girls’ most burning practical questions about periods and their bodies in a loving, age-appropriate way. This is the guide that empowered and caring mothers, aunts and godmothers want for the girls in their lives.
Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers
Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, Post Hypnotic Press, audiobook (13 hrs 42 mins), retail value $26
A psychologist with a reputation for penetrating to the heart of complex parenting issues joins forces with a physician and bestselling author to tackle one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time — peers replacing parents in the lives of our children. A phenomenon they term peer orientation, it refers to the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour. Peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; its effects are painfully evident in the context of teenage gangs and criminal activity, in tragedies such as in Littleton, Colorado; Tabor, Alberta and Victoria, B.C. It is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident – as do the solutions, none of which are impossible or even costly to undertake.
“The Drama Years is a great overall primer for anyone with a young teen girl in there life. And the girls will love it too! I will highly recommend it to the parents, teachers, and girls I work with.” (Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes)
The Drama Years is the definitive guide to the pressures that middle school girls experience every day. Speaking to parents of both middle school girls and high school girls alike (and the girls themselves), it is packed with the voices of middle school girls, who share their experiences, anecdotes and thoughts on everything from stress to body image, from frenemies to getting along with parents. Throughout the book, high school mentors share their own similar experiences—and offer parents advice for how to help their girls survive this tricky time.
Our culture has strict rules for acceptable behavior for men and women. But what about kids who fall outside the boundaries of prescribed roles? This book is a guide for parents in the practical application of Gender Neutral Parenting – a parenting style based on respect for a child’s self-identity and providing latitude in exploring their own version of gender and gender expressions.
There is an abundance of resources available which tell parents why traditional parenting practices are not optimal, but few help parents learn what to do in place of traditional practices. In this book, we’ll discuss the principles of positive parenting, and then we will go through more than 40 scenarios to show you what it looks like when these principles are put into action.
What do you do when your child acts out? How do you tell a child “No” without triggering a power struggle? This booklet teaches you to set healthy boundaries, interact with both warmth and authority and create cooperation and closeness.
Simple guidance for developing healthy attachments with your child from conception to age two, for raising a child who laughs lots, loves big, and learns exceptionally.
Taking a look at raising your baby from a neurological point of view, Bryan Post’s latest book will help by providing parents with what he calls “seven gifts of parenting softly.” It is guaranteed to provide insights you may have never considered. A perfect gift for new or expecting parents!
Following on from ‘Why Does He Do That?’, A Survival Guide suggests relatively simple ideas that, although they do not offer a ‘quick fix’ or a miracle cure, are easily implemented and can be very effective.
Your kids are your pride and joy, but sometimes conflict arises and it can be overwhelming. You lose your temper when you don’t mean to. In this guide, I break down an interaction into 5 manageable pieces, making your issues easier to define and act upon effectively. There is not a one-fits-all solution, so you have opportunity to customize your Cool Down and Help Strategy. This is about knowing your individual triggers and your individual child and getting on a path to a strong and peaceful relationship.
Parenting kind of crazy? The Sane Parenting Challenge is a six week journey to transform how you respond when parenting feels intense. Each week you are invited to incorporate a simple, yet effective practice into your life to gradually begin choosing your response when parenting feels crazy so you can experience more ease – and still keep the joyful crazy parts that only parents can understand.
Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper, Post Hypnotic Press, audiobook: 8 hrs 11 mins, narrated by Michael Puttonen, retail value $20
“This beautifully written, meticulously well-researched book is a godsend for parents and professionals in search of clear, reliable, and up-to-date information about all facets of parenting and caring for transgender children. Combining real life experience with the latest research, Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper have written an indispensable guide that will save lives and empower families to ensure that transgender children receive the love and support they need to thrive.” — Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
The Liberation Parenting Program is a multimedia e-course that helps parents to do the inner work needed to move through blocks that keep them from sustaining relationships with children that are grounded in trust, respect, and freedom. Using tools for transformative learning, parents will experience greater wholeness and connection for themselves and support the children in their lives to do the same.
Parenting can blindside us when it pushes our buttons from how we were treated as a child. “Calm Authority for Fathers” is an easy, relaxing way to harness the latest scientific finding: the more you can make sense of your own past, the healthier and more successful you child will be! The bonus: It cultivates an inner calm and self-possession that’s essential for effective parenting, and that makes most discipline issues evaporate before they ever appear.
As a Divorce and Parenting Coach and Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, Rosalind Sedacca shares valuable advice, tips and insights for divorced parents on helping children cope with divorce and transition after divorce with the best possible outcome. She helps parents understand the emotional effects of divorce on children and how to protect their children from hurt, anxiety and long-term damaging consequences. Learn how to co-parent more effectively and become aware of your child’s needs at differing ages and stages during and after divorce.
Many of the materials used in household items can leach chemicals into the air that we breathe and onto our children’s delicate skin, causing problems and health issues that can affect your family’s quality of life. This eBook will help you identify the ‘nasties’ in your home and give you ideas on what you can easily do to replace them or reduce their effects.
This is a 15-page coloring book with line drawings by Joni Rae Latham. The drawings depict a story done in coloring pictures of a nursing toddler who still spends much of his/her day breastfeeding, and the new baby that is suddenly in the house.
Unfortunately, it’s all too simple for my husband. It seems he can’t get his head around water + essential oil = powerful cleaner, and he prefers to use commercial cleaning products when he cleans anything. (Which he does, and for that I’m grateful enough to not kick up too much of a fuss.) Unfortunately he’ll pretty much always go for the cheapest thing he can find, which I’m pretty sure correlates directly with exactly how bad it is for the environment, and for the children and us, breathing it in or absorbing it through our skins.
Whenever he’s been cleaning, I have to open windows to let the toxic fumes out.
So when I was offered a variety of Method cleaning products to review, I thought that sounded like an ideal place to look for a good compromise.
Method use plant based solvents and surfactants that are non-toxic and biodegradable to pack a cleaning punch.
Today I decided was a good day for some serious housework, and embarked on a seven hour deep cleaning – late spring, actually summer – clean. I started with the Method Multi-surface cleaner and decided to really put it to the test, using it on mirrors, laminate flooring and even the walls and I can tell you straight up, I’m impressed. It cut through all the marks and sticky stains and everything with no added effort on my part. Ameli cleaned her art table herself – it definitely does what it says on the tin, as it took all the crayon marks off with a 3 year old’s strength behind it. Not bad at all.
Also, my mirrors were amazingly clean. Seriously, I still look at them every now and then just to remark on how clear they are.
Next up was the bathroom.
Normally, I leave the bathroom to my husband and his industrial cleaners, because, well… because.
Tonight, however, I put the girls in the bath, and took to the sink and toilet to see how Method would handle it. A couple of sprays from the Eucalyptus Mint Method Bathroom Cleaner actually brought the sink to a gleam I haven’t seen in a while. There’s no residual chemical lines or soapiness or anything. I’m quite impressed. The taps actually sparkle. With that I’m equally impressed, especially because normally getting them to shine involves a dry cloth and some shining.
One thing it doesn’t do is remove lime scale, but then it’s not a lime scale remover, so fair dues.
The toilet cleaner is really nice too, although not a miracle worker. Let’s just say a friend’s little boy left traces of his visit a few days ago, and it still needed a toilet brush. The bowl does pretty much sparkle though, so I’m not complaining.
The best bit though, is that it took me a couple of minutes while the girls were bathing to clean everything, and it looked like I had put loads of time and effort into scrubbing, which I really didn’t.
My husband is the regular kitchen cleaner in the house, and he gave the Kitchen Cleaner a good rating. He thinks it had a nicer fragrance than his regular product, which was very strong and chemically, but worked as effectively. He also mentioned that it seemed to make everything shine more than he was used to, which I thought was great! He also used the all-purpose cleaner to clean one of the metal trays that had been used to roast potatoes, and he was quite happy with how easily it cut through the grease.
The fact of the matter remains that while these products are made from plant derived ingredients, they still undergo more chemical treatments than my water and essential oil, so I think for the normal mopping up after the children things, I’ll probably carry on using my own products, but for deeper cleaning, and for whatever my husband cleans – and for windows and mirrors – we’ll actually be sticking to Method now. At around £3 a bottle, they’re also quite affordable.
I’m really pleased, because it means we can bin the toxins he has hidden on a high shelf in the study, and we can instead come to a compromise of home made and Method, which sees us both happy.
*We were sent these products to try. Opinions are my own.
I am such a fan of Galt Toys, that I could, quite frankly, feature their products every month and not run out of things Iove for both Ameli and Aviya. This week, however, it’s an Aviya toy that we’re raving about: The Galt Playnest
At only 12 weeks old, we’ve no where near gone through the full potential of uses of the Galt Playnest, and we’ll have plenty of use out of it still, but I’ll tell you what we love so far.
The Farm Playnest is an inflatable donut covered with bold, bright and colourful washable nylon cover. Galt says that it’s suitable from birth, and depending on your use of it, tend to agree.
With Aviya, I’ve put a thin pillow in the hollow of the ring and put her on her side to sleep during the day while we’re in the living room. I’ve also been using (and in fact recommending in baby massage class!) the playnest for tummy time from birth. Because you can put the baby at an angle, they can have gentle pressure on the belly while still having somewhere to rest their heads*.
Aviya’s been holding her head up pretty much since birth, so it’s been easy for us to do. Also, since the ring is inflatable, it is soft against the belly which I think would be ideal for babies who ‘don’t like’ being on their tummies* (they don’t like it because they’re not used to it. If put on their tummies from birth, most babies will prefer it as a sleep position as it continues their natural womb like positioning.)
I’ve also used it without the pillow for her to lean back on so that she can look around and be part of what’s going on in the room. I particularly like that if Aviya slides over to the side, she can’t fall off anything, like the sofa. It’s a nice, contained, safe space, and because she’s not flat on her back or in the same position for too long, I don’t have to worry about flat head syndrome either*.
I was a bit concerned initially that it would pop if Ameli tried to get on it with her sister, but after a few weeks of both of them in the playnest, and her bouncing in, out and on it, I no longer have that fear. It’s pretty sturdy and stands up to toddlerhood.
As for activities, we’ve not had to pay too much attention to what it offers yet, as Aviya’s not there yet, but it does have things like a squeaker in the duck bill, crinkly ‘flaps’, a squishy pig’s nose and fluffy sheep’s head. I think for a younger baby, I’d prefer it to have arches as at the moment there’s not much on it to entertain her, but then, she is 12 weeks old! As she gets older, sits up and becomes more engaged in her environment, I think she’ll love the playnest and I’ll love the security it offers.
On a slightly different note – I was concerned this would have a playpen feeling, like she’d be trapped in it, which I wouldn’t like. Having it inflated and in use, however, I don’t think that will be the case at all. It’s not something that could be used to ‘contain’ a crawler, so it should definitely be used with adult supervision, especially if you have a cuddly toddler and a baby and especially if baby is sleeping in it.
Overall, though, we love this Galt Farm Playnest.
*These are my thoughts, not Galt claims.
If you’d like to win a Galt Farm Playnest, visit the Galt website, then come back here and let me know what other Galt product you like.
For an additional entry, (which is not compulsory, and is not sponsored by Facebook and which has nothing to do with Facebook or its employees) you can likeGalt Toys on Facebook, and leave a second comment below saying you have. Also, leave a message on their wall telling them I sent you!
This competition finishes at 23:59 on 18 June and the winner will be randomly drawn. Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.
You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!
You know how every now and then, you find a product, look at it, dislike it, and then on closer inspection fall in love with it? Well, this is one of those.
The AnyBook Reader is basically an electronic-pen-slash-voice-recorder-and-player-backer. The premise being that you read your child’s favourite books while recording yourself and they can listen to them at any time, in your voice. Initially, I have a problem with this in so many ways. If used as a replacement for time with your child, for example. But, after a while of thinking about it, I realised that there are examples of where this would be wonderful – like when a parent is deployed, away on business or otherwise unavailable. It’s a great way for the non-custodial parent to still get to be part of the bed time routine, for example.
And the more I thought about its potential application in our lives, the more I loved it. I decided to try it out and came up with this: I typed up a book, and emailed it to my parents. They then read the story into their phones, recording it on Whatsapp. They sent it to me and I recorded it into the reader and just like that, Nana and Oupa can read Ameli a story from across the world.
I’ve done a little video clip to show you how it works, so watch this:
But in short, click a button, record, hold the pen to a little sticker you’ve applied and listen. There are no cables to connect, nothing to upload or download, and no new stories you need to buy or keep adding to.
In your started pack you receive 200 reusable stickers, which you can attach to each new page or to the front of the book. You also receive character stickers – faces – that we’re using to identify who reads each book. (So a book read primarily by Nana has the little face with glasses on it, and my parents have added a ‘we’re going to read a story now, so settle down and snuggle up’ type welcome message.) There are also some sound stickers you can use in stories – a cow, bell, ringing phone and so on. You can also buy another 600 stickers if you need them.
The AnyBook Reader is so simple and easy to use, and I think when a parent or other family member isn’t available, it’s perfect for keeping a connection alive.
The AnyBook Reader is available in the DPR-4000 (£69.99) model can store up to 60 hours of recordings and the DPR-3000 (£49.99)which can store up to 15 hours of recordings.
We have been shortlisted in the MADS awards as best pregnancy blog and best new baby blog. I would be so grateful if you would take 1 minute and vote or us to winin those categories.
If you’d like to win an AnyBook Reader, leave a comment below telling me the name of your favourite story that you’d like to record for your (or another) child.
For an additional entry, (which is not compulsory, and is not sponsored by Facebook and which has nothing to do with Facebook or its employees) you can likeAny Book Reader, and leave a second comment below saying you have. Also, leave a message on their wall telling them I sent you!
This competition finishes at 23:59 on 11 June and the winner will be randomly drawn. Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.
You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!
**This competition is for readers with US delivery addresses only**
Summer has finally graced us with its presence here in the UK, and it’s time to hit the swimming pool. But have you ever tried to breastfeed in a swimming costume? It’s a rather exposing and somewhat difficult experience! So, when Expressiva Nursingwear contacted me about doing a review for them, I immediately fell for the double – layer nursing swim tankini.Read more: Expressiva Nursingwear Review And $30 Voucher Competition
Have you ever gotten your baby or toddler nice and warmly dressed, just to get out to the car and find you have to either take off their warm layers so they’ll fit in the car seat, or readjust the car seat straps? Then, having adjusted the straps so that baby/toddler is safely strapped in, you want to head home again, but the sun has come out and it’s turned into a warm day and you have to adjust the strap again? It’s one of my pet irritations. It really is. Which is why the Bug In A Rug blanket from Babyrug is sheer genius.
When we’re leaving home, I put Aviya in her rug, which is what I carry her out to the car in. She’s popped straight into the car seat and off we go. While we’re out and about I can either leaver her in the Bug because it’s thin enough that she can fit comfortably into the sling with it, and because it’s design allows her to be either ‘wrapped’ or have froggy legs in the sling. When I take her out, she’s still warm and cozy, or I can take her out of the blanket if it’s warm enough, and she can go into the car seat without it on, because it’s thin enough that no car seat adjustment is required. Like I said – genius.Read more: Bug In A Rug Babyrug Review