Author

Freelancer

Browsing

If you’ve ever thought about putting your children in music class, you should definitely consider it. The benefits of children learning to play music extends to their physical, social and emotional skill!

Music researchers have found that the musical intellect of an adult is largely developed during the first five years of life. The first three years of a child’s life are fundamentally the time of the most growth physically, verbally and emotionally. Music stimulates, educates, helps concentration and soothes the soul.

Music stimulates, educates, helps concentration and soothes the soul.

Infants who are exposed to music with assisted movement will remember and later demonstrate their learning when they reach the age of independent movement and speech. Toddlers who are struggling with single syllable words will often sing complete phrases and those learning to walk spontaneously begin to dance.

Early Learning Music (ELM) offers enjoyable, educational music classes for children aged sixteen months to eight years, and beyond. They are designed to help children develop physical, emotional, social and musical skills in a fun environment full of singing, moving, dancing and playing percussion instruments. The classes are sequential and follow a developmental program that is suited to the needs and capabilities of each child.

The fun and stimulation of participating in ELM music classes for children not only supports children’s learning in general, it also develops children’s creativity and imagination.

 

The first three years of a child’s life are fundamentally the time of the most growth physically, verbally and emotionally. Music stimulates, educates, helps concentration and soothes the soul.

The classes are run by highly qualified, trained teachers who use their extensive knowledge of child development and music education to design programs specific to the needs of the children in each music class.

ELM is a Kodaly music school and a member of the Do-Re-Mi association of Australia. As children grow, so too do the Do Re Mi music classes. They move through the levels in a natural, sequential way, adding to and expanding on the true development of a child.

Operating at Scotch College in Swanbourne, ELM aims to immerse children in a musical world of discovery, while parents are taught how to enrich their child’s musical journey.

ELM strives to help families develop an appreciation and love of music that can be nurtured and shared, and last a lifetime.

If you’d like to find out about enrolling your child in a music program with ELM please email ELM@scotch.wa.edu.au

As we are approaching a cold winter, what a better way to share some Traditional easy made chicken soup. An old family favourite, the ultimate cure for anything.

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Chicken soup for the soul really does take on a whole new meaning.

Traditional chicken soup

Prep: 15 mins 

Cook: 4hrs

25 mins for the 25 kreplach (dumplings)

10 mins for the soup

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken bottoms (drumstick and thigh)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 zucchini
  • 6 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. salt, or to taste
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 parsnip
  • beef bones with meat or chicken
  • table spoon pepper and salt

Method:

    1. Peel the carrots, sweet potato and onions. Leave the peel on the zucchini.
    2. Cut the vegetables into chunks, not too small.
    3. Put all ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn it down to a very low simmer, and cook for 4 hours.
    4. after 10 minutes skid off the scum that surfaces
    5. Refrigerate the soup overnight. The fat will rise to the top and harden, so you can easily remove it.
    6. After you remove the fat, reheat and serve the soup.

 

 

Optional: dumplings to go with the soup. 

Kreplach (dumplings)

Small dumplings filled with ground meat, mashed potatoes or another filling, usually boiled and served in chicken soup, though they may also be served fried.

Method for pastry:

    1. In a bowl add plain flour and egg mix with water to form dough.
    2. Add flour if it’s too sloppy.
    3. Add more water if it’s dry and keep mixing.
    4. Roll into a ball wrapped in plastic.
    5. Refrigerate for half an hour.

Method for filling the dumpling:

    1. Cut up beef meat and chicken meat taken from the bones chopped finely.
    2. Add fried onions stirred with chicken or beef meat.
    3. Make pastry into squares, add mixture.
    4. Fold over small square pastry, press down to seal.
    5. Two other points are bought together and sealed.
    6. Poach in water, later add it to the soup.

 

Time to serve

    1. Get a warm dish and add a few dumplings.
    2. Cover kreplach with chicken soup.
    3. Season to taste.
    4. Garnish with dill and presto. The ultimate cure for anything
    5. Wine companion : Australian wine.

 

NOTES:

  • soup keeps for several days in fridge.
  • Kreplach is best eaten after cooked.

 

 

Recipe provided by Shalom Greenwald.

Shalom Greenwald, 35, is a jack of all trades who has traveled extensively and has a wealth of experience in many areas. Currently a law student, he lives in Melbourne with his 6-year-old daughter Sarah.

 

This Christmas marks the fourth anniversary since 7 year old Jarvis was diagnosed with cancer. Make a Wish foundation has been valuable in offering joy, hope and the chance to feel like a regular kid, for many children like Jarvis.

#WorstChristmasEver

It was only a couple of days before Christmas 2014 when Jarvis’ parents took him to the doctor for blood tests. He’d been feeling out of sorts, lethargic and falling asleep all the time, and they’d noticed bruises on his legs that weren’t healing.

Just two hours later, their GP rang and told them to go straight to the hospital where the team from Ward 3B were waiting. While their instincts told them something was wrong, the truth came crashing down as they arrived and saw the sign – Ward 3B was the children’s cancer ward.

At just four years old, Jarvis was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

The diagnosis came on Christmas Eve, and Jarvis started chemotherapy the same day.

For the whole family – Jo, Ben, Jarvis and his two little brothers – it quickly became the most desperate Christmas ever.

Every parent’s worst nightmare

Jo and Ben did their best to stay strong for their three boys – with their youngest just 16 weeks old at the time. However, Ben remembers feeling completely overwhelmed: “I was just walking through the ward, pushing the pram with the other kids, and it was all just a bit of a blur.”

In the months that followed, Jarvis began an intense course of medical treatment including daily chemotherapy and high dose steroids. However, the life-saving regime took a huge toll on his health, leaving him listless and often withdrawn. He gained around 40 percent of his body weight due to the steroids and was almost unrecognisable. His muscles also weakened to the point that his parents had to carry Jarvis between his bed at home and the hospital.

As Jo remembers, Jarvis hated going in for treatment. “He’d be crying and saying ‘please, don’t take me….’ He was old enough to know what was coming.”

Over the next three and a half years of treatment, Jarvis missed out on many of the things other kids might take for granted – from school and swimming lessons to birthday parties and playgrounds.

During this incredibly tough time, Jo and Ben felt they had to ‘bubble wrap’ their son.

His incredible wish

Through cancer support groups, Jo and Ben heard about Make-A-Wish® Australia and applied for a wish mid-2017. As a keen reader, Jarvis wished for a very special treehouse, much like the one in his favourite book, The 13-Story Treehouse.

As the #WishForce team quickly discovered, Jarvis’ treehouse had to be somewhere a young boy could escape his day-to-day cares, enjoy some quiet time, and let his imagination roam free. Of course, it also needed a veranda, a rock-climbing wall and its very own flying fox!

Construction began earlier this year, with Jarvis watching on excitedly as his vision came to life.

Today, visitors to the family’s home will find a two-storey treehouse taking pride of place in the backyard – with a good-natured seven-year-old playing with his brothers and friends inside.

Jarvis is now doing his best to put the years of cancer treatment behind him – and while it will be five more years of regular blood tests before he’s completely in the clear – thankfully, his chances of a full recovery are strong.

For Jo and Ben, the impact of their son’s wish journey is clear – it has allowed him to become ‘a regular kid’ again.

“Experiences like this give everyone hope and give kids who’ve missed out and faced a lot of adversity a bit of happiness. That’s very special – and so important,” says Ben.
Bake-A-Wish for kids like Jarvis

Each year, thousands of Australian children are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For their families and the kids themselves, life is put on hold while they learn to cope with and in the best cases, beat their illness.

Which is why a wish is so important – with the power to calm, distract and inspire sick kids at the time they need it most.

You can help bring more incredible wishes to life in 2019 by joining Make-A-Wish Australia’s largest ongoing fundraising campaign, ‘Bake A Wish’.

It’s a piece of cake, and whether you choose to arrange a dinner party with family and friends or an afternoon tea – every dollar raised means more unique and life-changing wishes coming true for sick kids like Jarvis.

Visit www.bakeawish.org.au or call 1800 032 260 to find out more, pledge your support and access your free fundraising toolkit.

So you’ve finally got a weekend off but not quite sure what to do with the time? Here are a few family fun Easter activities.

Go For A Bush Walk or Bike Ride
Being in nature can reduce fears, stress and lower blood pressure. By being outdoors children can experience and explore their senses by smelling different flowers and touching rocks and plants. Simply going for a walk is a good way to get exercise while enjoying peaceful scenery.

Cook Food
Have your kids experiment with foods or help them make Easter Egg cookies. Cooking with kids builds motor skills and promotes involvement by asking questions and following instructions. As we move into colder weather cooking warmer meals such as soup and pies can be nourishing and comforting. Here is an easy recipe for Easter Egg Cookies.

Easter Craft
Craft allows kids to develop collaborative skills, while promoting creativity and self-expression. Get out the pencils, paints and coloured paper and allow your kids to create images of Easter. They could make or paint Easter Eggs, baby chicks or the Easter rabbit.

Have A Family Movie Night
Why not sit down and enjoy the night with your family by watching a family movie. Watching a movie together is a great way to bond and spend time with your children and partner. A few Easter movies include Hop(2011),Rise of the Guardians(2012) and The Dog Who Saved Easter(2014). This would also be a great time to eat the rewards from the Easter Egg Hunt or cooking adventure.

Self-regulation is the latest buzz word; it is frequently mentioned in newspapers and across a range of media but what does it really mean? And how do parents foster self-regulation in their children? Kim Johnson and Rosemary Redden, of the Ngala Education team, explain.

Contrary to common belief, self-regulation is more than just self-control. It is self-directional and encompasses the ways we interact appropriately with others, how we use initiative and how we develop the self-motivation to learn.

It encompasses the regulation of emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Babies develop self-regulation through close relations with parents and receiving sensory-stimulating opportunities.

Toddlers view parents as a source of help, using strategies to get adults to respond and assist them to orientate themselves in new or challenging situations. Toddlers begin to put words to their emotions, to learn the concept of emotions and to interact with others. Parents can help their child interpret the actions and emotions of others by putting words to actions and feelings. Children form their own thinking from their experience with others. For example, rough and tumble play can help them learn when to stop when someone has had enough.

Children learn by absorbing information in their surroundings before age three and by their third or fourth year they begin to ask why. They begin to learn cause and effect in social situations and in patterns of behaviour. A child’s impulse control and wilful emotions will become more practiced resulting in thinking before acting. Learning impulse control is critical to brain development at this time; learning this later delays mastery of self-regulation.

By the age of six, children are capable of expressing their feelings, acting deliberately, planning, and controlling aggression both physically and relationally.

PARENTING IMPACTS

The experiences children have through interacting with their parents plays a central role in developing brain systems toward self-regulatory behaviours.

Parenting styles that are warm and responsive allow children to focus their attention and tune in to parents showing control of their own behaviour (first inkling of patience!).

The four main parenting styles are:

  • Indulgent or permissive – less demanding and more responsive, lenient and not requiring mature behaviour. Creating a family dynamic to help children explore their own self-regulation and to avoid conflict.
  • Authoritarian – less responsive and more demanding, expecting compliance without question, providing structured environments and establishing clear rules.
  • Authoritative – demanding and responsive, assertive but not restrictive or intrusive. Providing a supportive environment for learning alongside with clear expectations and allocations of responsibility.
  • Neglectful or uninvolved parents are low in both demands and responsiveness, in extreme cases rejecting and neglecting the essential needs of children.

 

Parenting styles have three primary dimensions:

1) Behavioural control – developing strategies that openly monitor behavioural expectations, establishing rules and limits that provide boundaries for managing behaviour.

2) Warmth – creating a supportive environment for self-expression, encouraging a child to participate in individual, group and community activities, and to form close attachment relationships.

3) Psychological control – being intrusive and overprotective, creating a sense of dependency in a child by implementing constraints, interrupting or ignoring the child, and manipulating a child both emotionally and psychologically.

The main difference between the authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles is the dimension of psychological control, with authoritarian parents expecting children to accept judgments or values without question, and authoritative parents being more open to give and take.

According to researchers, the authoritative parenting style is one of the most consistent predictors of self-regulatory competence from early childhood through adolescence into adulthood. This form of parenting effectively helps a child acquire the self-confidence and esteem necessary to face life’s challenges.

The five important elements across parenting styles that are conducive to developing resilience and self-regulation are:

  1. Availability – the foundation for children to learn to form trust in relationships starts with parents responding to their baby’s needs, as well as providing the security for their child to outgrow the dependency of infancy and confidently explore the wider world and its many challenges.
  2. Sensitivity – being aware as a parent of their child’s individual and unique perspective and encouraging their child to form his or her own feelings and opinions, even if they are different to their own.
  3. Acceptance – being child-centred and valuing the experiences and knowledge unique to their child.
  4. Co-operation – creating opportunities for children to contribute and be effective as children learn to make an impact on their environment. It is possible for parents to be on the child’s ‘team’ to work together solving problems and promoting the various competencies the child has. Success brings confidence to take on challenges and measure risks.
  5. Family membership – promote feelings of belonging and being significant to others.

 

INTERACTIONS – FAMILY ENVIRONMENT OF DISCIPLINE

The environment of the community and family within which a child is raised affects the self-regulation processes the child develops. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity; family and community environments that are resilient have more self-regulatory systems in place from which individuals can learn. Family conflict is inevitable and some dynamics are higher in emotion due to the temperaments of the individuals in the family. Studies have found that it is not the heat of the family conflict, but how it is resolved, that impacts a child’s ability to regulate in conflict.

Discipline of children affects the self-regulatory development of children. While 90 per cent of parents have used smacking at least once, studies find that any kind of physical discipline negatively effects self-regulation.

A parent’s ability to redirect a child’s attention away from the source of distress and re-engage the child in an on which to activity is the most basic, and an important, self-regulatory skill.

Timeout is often given as an alternative disciplinary tool, however time in with the child or staying in the vicinity of an upset child calms them faster than isolation.

 

CONCLUSION

Being able to self-regulate lays the foundation for many complex tasks and ways of thinking. Individuals are unique in a multitude of ways: physically, brain maturity, temperament and personality. Experience of the world from infancy onwards shapes our self-regulatory abilities.

Researchers now suggest that intentional movements assist a child’s brain to work more efficiently. Sport, music, stretching and slow, measured movement assists all bodies to self-regulate better, often by influencing breathing first and foremost, enabling the brain to calm, and thus to better process complex thoughts.

Parents who are skilled at interpreting their child’s signs, building learning upon current strengths and abilities, taking cues from the child’s perspective in play and respecting their rhythm of problem solving enhances their child’s capacity to learn self-regulatory behaviours.

Regardless of gifted ability or disability, circumstance and cultural differences, the best predictor of positive child behaviour is parental confidence in their own knowledge, acceptance of their child and having a warm relationship with them.

Ngala’s motto of ‘parenting with confidence’ aims to assist you parent your children positively and confidently.

Ngala Helpline 9368 9369.

To book into Ngala Understanding Guiding Children’s Behaviour workshop go to www.ngala.com.au

 

Now I’m not one to try to compete with a fictional character. Except when I am…

In actual fact, some may argue that Mummy Pig isn’t only a better mother than I am; she’s also a better wife, a better woman, nay, all round human being.

Except… that she’s not.

A human being that is.

All those other things she most definitely is.

I know, I know…say it isn’t sow! But [naturally], I have irrefutable proof in the form of ridiculous examples I’ve come up with while I lie awake at night trying to distract my brain from convincing me I have a disease that I need to Google.

Aaaaaand here they are.

1. Mummy Pig is chill AF

Unless there are some missing tapes somewhere [#piggate], there is no record of Mummy Pig silently mouthing “fuck youuuuuuu” behind Peppa’s back [even though Peppa is without shadow of a doubt an obnoxious little gobshite].

Mummy Pig doesn’t flip her lid about repetitive singing of the bloody bing bong song in the same manner as I have been known to have emotional breakdowns over “Let it Go”.

She never gets salty with Daddy Pig and his lazy bastard ways; not even one time have I heard her turn around and say to Daddy Pig, as he lounges on his recliner in front of the TV eating his feelings away “FFS are you shitting me??”

Mummy Pig never has muddy puddle laundry related overreactions. The type of overreactions that may well be my life legacy. Although I would hazard a guess Mummy Pig is using name brand laundry liquid [not powder] and probably sprays and soaks before a wash cycle. It just makes sense, because Mummy Pig sure as shit doesn’t take the lazy way out. [Stage whisper: like I do]

Mummy Pig doesn’t over analyse or obsess over George’s inability to say anything but “grr dinosaur”. Should George be going to a speech therapist? Does George have sensory processing issues? Is George gluten intolerant? Is George taking the piss? We’ll never know! Because Mummy Pig DGAF; she breezily disregards George’s glaringly obvious delays and doesn’t freak the fuck out that he’s only been saying two words FOR. LIKE. YEARS. More power to you Mummy Pig . You are so chill you practically require a microwave defrost.

2. Mummy Pig doesn’t have vices

I mean for all we know. Maybe there is a bit of netflix and swill happening of an evening…

But do you ever see Mummy Pig refusing to acknowledge anyone until she’s had her morning coffee?

No.

Do you ever see Mummy Pig sitting down binge watching episodes of I’m charcuterie get me out of here, or The Baa-chelor or Oink is the new Black?

No.

And Mummy Pig is never too busy looking at her instagr-ham to respond when a small person says her name forty six times in a row or repetitively asks her the same question [only louder] that she’s already answered five times in the space of twenty four seconds.

Although, pretty sure if Mummy Pig did have instagr-ham she’d be posting insufferable daily photos of Peppa and George’s bento playgroup lunch boxes. Because; obviously.

3. Mummy Pig does it all

Mummy Pig isn’t “just a mum”my pig, she also brings home the bacon… so to speak. [chortle chortle]

Whilst we aren’t privy to what she actually does in her work from home capacity, given the amount of time she spends on her computer, I’d like to wager that she’s a mummy blogger. One with more followers than me, loads of lucrative sponsorship deals [probably Lorna Jane who STILL have not been in contact to initiate discussions about my as yet unconfirmed entirely hypothetical brand ambassador role that I made up for myself ] and a shit ton of social media shares. And yet still she somehow manages to stay as cool as the proverbial cucumber when Peppa breaks her computer!?? [See also: Mummy Pig is chill AF].

When George has cold, Mummy Pig doesn’t just ship him off to playgroup anyway with a conspiratorial pat on the back, a bit of Panadol and a nose-blowing-away of the evidence like the rest of us. She calls an at home doctor and nurses George back to health with watchful rest and cool flannels and.. I dunno, Happy Mrs Chicken [noodle] soup or some other shit I wouldn’t do if my kid had a cold because he threw his rain hat off outside after I specifically told him not to.

4. Mummy Pig is supportive

Mummy Pig agreed to buy a house on a hill FFS. Clearly this was Daddy’s idea.

Speaking of which; Mummy Pig also isn’t having an affair with manly, capable, always seems to show up everywhere they go Mr Bull. [To be fair, nor am I having an affair, but my husband isn’t as inept as Daddy Pig. Mummy Pig married down].

Mummy Pig is also totally supportive of Peppa’s codependent relationship with Suzy “the snake” Sheep, despite the fact that Suzy is the worst best friend who ever best friended.

5. Mummy Pig is confident

Mummy pig feels confident in a bikini on the beach. You never see Mummy Pig inching towards the waters edge with her towel around her waist until she can throw herself into the freezing water in a torturous half a second desperate modesty plunge so no one on the beach sees her.  I suppose why wouldn’t she be confident when she’s somehow managing to shove fourteen boobs into one itsy bitsy teeny weeny bandeau bikini top. #madskills #whenyougotitflauntit

Nor is Mummy Pig intimated by her multi talented mummy friends; not even helicopter flying, bus driving, dental nursing, recycle centre operating, train driving, [probable tax evading] librarian Miss Rabbit. Mummy Pig doesn’t have to be all things to all people. Mummy Pig is enough. 

So there you have it. I mean, I’ve presented the [extensive] evidence. Take it in people. The proof is laid out in front of you. And when all is said and done, quite frankly Mummy Pig commands more attention than I do in my own home. When my kids hear Mummy Pig, they come running. The same cannot be said for when I’m hoarse and blue faced with silent rage that I’ve called them for dinner eighty nine times and they still haven’t shown up.

But I mean, whatever. It’s no big deal. Mummy Pig shmummy pig. I’ll take it all with a pinch of salt. And thyme. For five hours in a moderate oven…

When you think of family, what comes to mind? Do you think of your parents? Your own children? Siblings or cousins? Family can mean blood ties, but it can also be the people that you choose, something that you build, and can be defined in terms of the people you love and who you know will love you no matter what.

When people think of family they don’t usually think of foster care. But children and young people in foster care can be in the most desperate need of love and acceptance – the things we usually find in our families. Children enter foster care through no fault of their own, simply because their birth family is unable to look after them.

In NSW there are over 20,000 children and young people in need of care, but fewer than 13,500 households authorised to provide it.

Stretch-A-Family is a Sydney-based foster care agency that’s always looking for new foster carers to keep up with this need. They provide full training and ongoing support to all their foster carers.

“Biology doesn’t really come to mind when I think of family,” says Paula*, a foster carer with Stretch-A-Family. She cares for her 5-year-old biological daughter, Emma*, and 18-month-old foster son, Will*.

“I asked my daughter what family means to her and she said being kind to each other and loving each other,” says Paula. “Emma has loved Will ever since she laid eyes on him. They play and laugh together and have their own way of communicating. She tells everyone that he’s her brother.”

Some people worry they could not love a child that was not their own, but the experience of countless foster carers shows that it is love that makes a family. Some people worry that they would get ‘too attached’ to be able foster but, paradoxically, that is exactly what children in foster care need!

They need to learn how to attach, they need that connection, they need to know they are loved and accepted. For an adult, knowing that a child may only be in your care for a while can be scary, but imagine being a child and not knowing if anybody loves you?

Foster care is about doing the best thing by the child – loving them – no matter how long they are in your care.

“What I love about being a foster carer is knowing that I’m making a difference in Will’s life,” says Paula. “It’s also shaped my and Emma’s perspectives in a positive way. She’s learnt that not all kids have stable homes and has built an understanding of the world outside herself.”

Could you broaden your definition of family wide enough to open your heart and home to a vulnerable child?

There are different kinds of foster care, and there is a type to fit in with your lifestyle and household commitments. Some children stay in foster care for only a few weeks until extended family can be located to take care of them. Some children stay in foster care till they are 18 and become independent. And some children in foster care can be adopted by their carers to become legally part of a new family.

Stretch-A-Family is happy to help you think through what the best option would be for you and your family. If you have a spare room, and the willingness to help, their team would love to hear from you!

Find out more today, or give Stretch-A-Family a call during office hours on 9569 6933

*Names & picture have been changed to protect privacy

Whether it’s your first or your third child there is no reason not to continue travelling during your pregnancy, be it for a romantic babymoon before baby arrives or essential for your work.

9 tips for travelling while pregnant’ originally appeared on bubhub.com.au.  This article was written for bubhub by Keri Hedrick of BabyGlobetrotters.net.

Here are 9 tips to see you on the road and in the air for healthy pregnancy travel.

1. Travel during your second trimester
Of course, you can in theory travel at any point in your pregnancy up to a point; you will however find that travelling during your second trimester is likely to be the most comfortable. In a healthy, normal pregnancy, most of the morning sickness that many women suffer during the first trimester should have passed and the risk of miscarriage significantly decreases after 13 weeks. You may still feel physically well enough during your third trimester to travel, but run into restrictions with airlines.

2. Know your airline rules
Every airline has their own rules about when they will take an expectant mother. As a general rule most airlines will require a doctor’s letter after 28 weeks to show that you are fit to travel and from 36 weeks (single pregnancy) or 32 weeks (multiple pregnancy) they may refuse you to fly. This does vary by airline and can vary by length of flight.

Rather than risk finding yourself stranded, make sure you get a letter from your doctor or midwife within 10 days of flying to ensure your safe passage, there AND back and read the airlines rules carefully, including any code share arrangements that may differ from the airline you booked with. Also check that the dates in your letter are written in full, i.e. 9 October 2015 not 9/10/15 which could easily be mistaken in some countries as 10 September 2015.
Another common concern of air travel is whether it’s safe to pass through airport security screening. I cannot authoritatively tell you that it’s perfectly safe, but if you do have any concerns, you are within your rights to request a pat down rather than walking through a screening device.

3. Get comfortable in the air
Always try to ask for an aisle seat (and even better the bulkhead!). If they can’t help you at check-in, plead your case on the plane with the cabin crew and neighbours; nobody wants to be constantly clambered over by the large peeing lady. Now might also be the perfect chance to treat yourself to a cabin upgrade, get that extra leg room and relax while you can.
All flyers should heed some basic health advice when in the air but it is especially important when you are pregnant to stay hydrated, do circulation exercises (consider wearing pressure socks), get up and take regular walks and eat regularly (ie. bring a little bag of healthy nibbles with you to be sure).

4. Avoid the idyllic island
While the notion of taking a babymoon to a remote island might sound idyllic, think about the practicalities – not only the isolation factor but this will either involve taking a boat or flying in a small aircraft. Medical practitioners strongly recommend against pregnant women from flying in smaller aircraft unless absolutely necessary because unlike large commercial aircraft they lack pressurisation. Without pressurisation your body has to work extremely hard to provide you and your baby with enough oxygen.

5. Beware the long and winding road
If flying feels completely out of the question, or you are well into your third trimester you may prefer a destination a little closer to home and consider a road trip. Think carefully about how far from home you want to drive and the terrain; you will likely need to pee much more frequently than you usually do (will there be sufficient roadhouse stops?) and windy roads can make you incredibly nauseous, even if you don’t usually suffer – remember how much blood you have pumping around your body working overtime; perhaps save the romantic mountain top retreat for another day?

6. Check your travel insurance
Even if you have a doctor’s letter and the airline permits you to fly, your travel insurance company may have a different policy, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign country and unable to leave if your insurance company won’t cover you to fly so read the fine print. Even if you are perfectly healthy when you take off on your adventure unfortunately things can and do go wrong en route, so know what you are covered for.

7. Research medical facilities
No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may at some point need to seek emergency medical help. Have a plan in mind if anything is to go wrong; do you know where the nearest hospital / clinics are at your destination? Can you speak the language or at least learn a few key words related to pregnancy (e.g. how many weeks you are, bleeding, pain – pointing with a pained expression only gets you so far). Take any maternity notes with you to help bring any new doctor up to speed.

8. Pick your exotic location carefully
You may also wish to defer travel while pregnant to any location that requires vaccines that involve injecting the live virus, this includes vaccines for yellow fever, typhoid, MMR, BCG. Countries which are prone to malaria should also be avoided.

9. Listen to your body
Take the cues and know when to take it easy. Remember some of the classic pregnancy symptoms, you do have more blood pumping around your body so likely to heat up and tire quicker, be wary of travelling anywhere too hot and humid, and be really careful of what you eat.
Ultimately the best advice is to speak to your doctor or midwife before you travel and discuss any concerns you might have. You may have extenuating circumstances if you are in a high-risk pregnancy where they do not recommend flying at all, but for the average, healthy pregnancy it shouldn’t be a problem.
If this is your first baby it might be the last time for quite a while that you can relax and sleep! Take every opportunity you can, enjoy your final moments together as a couple as things are about to change more than you can imagine – but there are no excuses not to continue travelling the world!

FORUM: Chat with other parents in our Travelling With Children forum section

From sharing domestic responsibilities to figuring out how to discipline your child, these familial stressors can threaten the wellbeing of your relationship and even impact the kids.

Parenting styles are a product of a person’s upbringing and so, it is normal for couples to disagree on some parenting decisions.

Here are some of the best ways to overcome these arguments:

Back-up your partner in front of the kids when small disagreements occur.
Showing your kids that you and your partner are not a unified team can undermine your authority. When this occurs, your child may think they can ‘get around’ any parenting decision you make.

Create rules together.
You and your partner should agree on specific rules, such as bedtime and when the kids can use electronics, and write them down. Show these rules to your kids and be open to any suggestions so that everyone can agree on the house rules.

Determine consequences together.
This is a common area of conflict for many couples as some parents are relaxed about discipline, preferring to talk to the children about mistakes, while other parents feel punishing the children, such as taking away electronics, is the best way to discipline. As a result, it is important to compromise and make a list of agreed-upon consequences.

Give second chances.
Every parent makes mistakes or makes a bad decision with the children now and then. When your partner screws up, don’t start hurling accusations. Wait until the children are not present, and talk calmly about the situation.

Who feels more strongly about the issue at hand?
If you and your spouse are on different pages on something and a compromise can’t be made, the parent who feels more passionately about the issue might make the call. 

Take the time to listen.
It helps couples to give each other a few minutes to discuss why a certain issue is important. If we can spend a few minutes hearing the other person’s perspective without our anxiety getting stirred up, and without trying to convince our partner into our way of doing things, defending or blaming, it is probable that you’ll be able to find common ground.