How to introduce your newborn to your fur-babies

How to introduce your newborn to your fur-babies

introducing your dog to your newborn

How to introduce your newborn to your fur-babies!

WORDS: Ros McDonough, Hello Baby! Midwifery

Christmas is a time of year people often think about adding a pet to their family. While this should never be an impulse or surprise purchase, the summer months or school holidays can be a great time to get to know a new pet.

The RSPCA even has a fabulous guide to help decide what breed of dog might suit your family and to work through the decision-making process of dog ownership.

Having said that, we love our dogs and cats and they are very much a part of our family, but some couples worry about how their pets will respond when they bring a new baby home for the first time. In fact, this is a big reason why many people re-home their pets, however, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Understandably, we are concerned with how everyone will go when there is a change. Who is going to be ‘top-dog’?

There are some practical things we can do to make the transition easier for everyone!

  • Practise walking your dog with the pram before baby arrives, so that you and your dog are both comfortable negotiating the pusher, before adding in the unpredictability of your baby!
  • Find a sound grab of a baby crying and play it to your pets at a low volume. Gradually increase the volume over time so that your dog becomes acclimatised to the sound of a baby crying. This will help to reduce the anxiety of trying to soothe a crying baby and your stressed dog at the same time.
  • Your dog or cat has an amazing sense of smell, so make sure you involve their nose. If you can, have your partner take some clothes home from hospital after you’ve given birth for your pet to smell, this will certainly smell different to the pregnant you. And offer your dog/cat a used baby blanket or clothes (or nappy) to smell before you bring the baby home too. They can start to know baby’s smell too.
  • Mumma, when you come home after the birth, have your partner hold babe so that your pets can greet you without babe in your arms. They will have missed you and will want to say hello. You will certainly have a changed fragrance compared to pregnancy, according to your dog.
  • If you’re worried about cats jumping onto baby’s bassinet, try quarantining a room for babe that’s out of bounds for heat-seeking cats (they’re attracted to babe’s warmth). Or try door guards prior to the birth to find one that works for you.
  • Give your pets space to come and meet baby in their own time. Don’t try to force anything.

You know your pets best, but the general advice is to never leave babies and pets together unsupervised. If they can’t be actively supervised then they should be securely separated. Chat to your vet for some more specific advice, or check the resources on We Are Family | Introduction (nsw.gov.au)

I’ll leave you with a fun fact: Children of dog-owning families have a 13% lower chance of developing asthma than non-dog-owning families (Fall et al 2015)… having a dog is good for your gut microbiome! Who knew!!



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Good Clean Fun | Organik Wellness & Co Skincare for babies, kids and tweens

Good Clean Fun | Organik Wellness & Co Skincare for babies, kids and tweens

organik wellness

GOOD CLEAN FUN | Organik Wellness & Co skincare for babies, kids and tweens

With over 11 years in the beauty industry, Lena Wilkinson knows skincare. 

Moreover, as a mother of two herself, she understands the importance and needs of children’s sensitive skin. 

After the birth of her own children, Lena struggled to find an Aussie brand that offered safe, gentle skincare for kiddos, using non toxic ingredients. Inspired by her own daughters, she had a vision to create a space within the beauty industry that encourages natural beauty… using natural products! While on maternity leave with her second daughter, Lena decided to take the leap and use her wealth of knowledge in the industry to create an Aussie skincare brand she was confident other mothers would learn to know and trust.

lena wilkinson organik wellness

We chat with Lena about how Organik Wellness & Co is different and why it’s so important to choose the right product for the soft, sensitive skin of our tiny tots and tweens! 

Tell us about the different products Organik Wellness & Co offers for bubs and kids. 

Organik Wellness & Co is a natural and organic skincare brand designed specifically for children.  We specialise in skin care products for babies, kids and tweens, with a small range also available for mothers.

We have skin care for newborns, such as our award-winning baby bath soak, through to our newest range, a simple 3-step skin care routine for tweens.

organik wellness baby skincare

How is skin care specifically designed for babies and kids different from what we might use as adults?

Children’s skin, especially babies and younger kids, is structured differently. The epidermis (outer layer of skin) is 20-30% thinner, meaning it is more sensitive and fragile than adult skin, which is why a lot of younger ones experience dryness. 

When developing skin care specifically for children, we make sure that we use nourishing natural ingredients such as oatmeal, calendula, coconut, and avocado oils.

organik wellness skincare tweens

Part of your business vision is taking care of and giving back to the earth – tell us about how Organik Wellness does this. 

We care deeply about the planet and creating a business that gives back to nature. That’s why we have partnered with One Tree Planted and will plant a tree for every order placed!

We have also joined the eco-packaging alliance with our eco-friendly packaging supplier, where products are compostable, recycled and reusable!  Our ink is now soy-based and toxic free!  

Our packaging is recyclable and reusable, and we will be stocking refill pouches in the near future.  

organik wellness skincare for kids

Your products are all locally made. Why is it important to you to have an SA made product? 

We love supporting local and by making our product in SA we hope to support other SA families by producing jobs and building our local economy.  

We make our products in small batches so our consumers can have the benefits of a longer shelf life of their products once opened. Our products are also blended, filled and labelled during this process, all here on the Fleurieu Peninsula!



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Ripe for the picking @Lenswood Pick Your Own Orchard

Ripe for the picking @Lenswood Pick Your Own Orchard

apple picking at Lenswood

Ripe for the picking @Lenswood Pick Your Own Orchard

We’ve all heard the saying “fresh is best”, and never a truer word has been spoken when it comes to the humble apple.

Whether it’s a Gala you’re craving, a Red Delicious or a Granny; if Pink Ladies are more to your taste or you’ve got a hankering for a crisp, fresh Fuji, there are over nine thousand apple trees at @Lenswood Pick Your Own, with different varieties of apples available across the season.

Purchasing the 23 acre slice of Lenswood from sixth generation apple growers was part of a tree change for Emily and Chris Shipway, who were looking for somewhere amazing for their children to grow up. The property truly has become the apple of their eye, with the couple getting engaged in one of the apple rows, and then saying their I do’s in the next row over.

The apples don’t fall far from the tree

Now raising their family on the orchard, Emily and Chris want to give others the unique experience of picking apples on a farm, along with the simple joy of biting into a piece of fruit straight from the tree.

“We want people to be able to see where their food comes from and learn about the mammoth effort it takes to grow something as simple as an apple,” Emily told us. “Apple growers are always fighting to create the perfect ‘store bought’ looking apple, but we want people to know that if an apple has a little dent or imperfection… it doesn’t mean it won’t taste perfect”.

“We also wanted to create a destination made for exceptional and happy memories.”

…not to mention the chance to soak in those magnificent Adelaide Hills views, as well as offering couples a beautiful place to stay, celebrate or even get hitched themselves.

oick your own apples lenswood

The Shipway family have also made sure their orchard truly offers a family friendly experience, with easy onsite parking that’s both pram and wheelchair friendly, onsite amenities, as well as tractors and farm equipment on display for the kiddos to ooh and ahh at…and a cheeky coffee for the parents!

@Lenswood also offer mid-week group experiences and school tours. See website and socials for times as availability is seasonal.

lenswood apple picking

Pick, Play and Stay

Watch this space, because luxury, couples accommodation is currently under construction within the @Lenswood orchard. The team are lovingly converting the old pickers accommodation into the perfect place for that much needed alone time for Mum and Dad. We’re talking 54 square metres of heaven, including a double sided open fireplace, freestanding bath overlooking the orchard, double shower, full kitchen and of course those incredible views stretching as far as the eye can see.

Glamping tents are also on the way, offering a completely unique accommodation experience on the property!

pick your own apples lenswood

Pick your own apples

Picking season @Lenswood starts in late February and runs until late May. $5 entry fee (including all you can eat apples) for adults, $2 for children (under 4’s free). $5 per kg for picked fruit.

122 Harris Road, Lenswood


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Three unique worlds await at Santa’s Wonderland

Three unique worlds await at Santa’s Wonderland

santas wonderland

Three unique worlds await at Santa’s Wonderland

The excitement builds. Magic and laughter are just moments away.

Some arrive in hushed awe, while for others, the exhilaration is almost palpable, because no experience brings the joy and delight of Christmas quite like Adelaide’s very own Santa’s Wonderland.

For three weeks in December, the Jubilee Pavilion at the Adelaide Showground is transformed into a spectacular world of snow, ice and Christmas celebration.

And with its array of rides, activities and entertainment – all included in the entry price – it’s easy to see why Santa’s Wonderland is the hottest festive season ticket in town.

Each year, the event is arranged into three distinct themes.

santas wonderland

santas wonderland

Traditional Christmas Land

Traditional Christmas Land is inspired by the great customs of the festive season.

Beautiful Christmas trees and giant nutcracker dolls line the entrance, which opens out to reveal oversized sleighs and golden reindeers, creating the perfect backdrop for family photos. Mrs Christmas is nestled by her hearth, and delights kids with Christmas stories. Then it’s off to ride  one of the special North Pole reindeers, and think about what to write at the North Pole letter station. For the very little ones, a band of cheeky elves are there to help out, before little hands carefully post their letter to Santa in the express post box to the North Pole.

santas wonderland

santas wonderland

Ice Wonderland

Ice Wonderland is, as its name suggests, the coolest place to be. It’s packed full of activities, including the exciting toboggan slide and an awesome ice rink complete with skating elves to offer a helping hand.

This is the realm of the beautiful Ice Queen who welcomes all, from her glistening white sleigh. From here, visitors make their way through the illuminated bauble walk, which, with the life-sized polar bears, penguins, arctic foxes and towering Christmas tree, makes for more breathtaking photos.

santas wonderland


Candyland is where the sweetest memories of all are made. It’s bursting with colourful interactive zones and loads of family fun.

Here, families can buy fairy floss, toffee apples and gingerbread, before the little ones work off that energy on the jumping castles all while exploring some of the Christmas Pageant floats up close. When it’s time for some calm, the Christmas bauble stop is a chance for kids to personalise their own bauble for the tree at home.

Last, but definitely not least, Candyland is home to the main stage with live entertainment and of course, the most important part of all – an appearance by Santa himself!

santas wonderland


Jubilee Pavilion
Adelaide Showground, Wayville
Friday 3 to Friday 24 December, 2021

Morning 10am – 1pm
Afternoon 2pm – 5pm
Twilight 6pm – 9pm



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Parenting with soft eyes and warm hearts

Parenting with soft eyes and warm hearts

parenting with soft eyes and warm hearts

Parenting with soft eyes and warm hearts

WORDS: Mark Le Messurier

Mark is a teacher, counsellor, public speaker, and the author of 16 publications. He works in private practice in Adelaide as a mentor to children and adolescents, and as a coach to parents. Mark is the recipient of SA Senior Australian of the Year (2022).

To begin my relationship with you I have a gift. It isn’t one you can touch, but I’d like you to carry it in your mind, forever. It’s a kaleidoscope with the power to offer an emotionally connecting set of parenting attitudes and skills I describe as using our “soft eyes and warm hearts”. Gently twist it, and it shifts your understanding from one perspective to a different and more insightful one.

soft eyes parenting

Creating wonderful possibilities

I think of family as an intricate, dynamic, messy, and beautifully chaotic world. Not as a ‘happy Instagram family’ or one characterised by ‘picture-perfect obedience’. Family exists to protect and nourish…but the living in it is not always easy. When one of us is not doing well, none of us are. When we take out the kaleidoscope, twist it, engage our “soft eyes and warm hearts” we create wonderful possibilities from the chaos of family.

Let me explain how this might look in real life. What about the inevitable moment when you must intervene and call one of your children on an unsafe, careless, or selfish behaviour. In this moment, do you lead by lovingly reaching out, placing a reassuring arm around them, and warmly bringing them closer? Might you kiss them on the head, even if they’re a teen, and say, “oops, that didn’t go so well. We’ll talk later. Hey, what can you do to fix things for now?”

Later, you will follow up. In the meantime, by connecting with “soft eyes and a warm heart” you have buoyed your child’s composure, kept their dignity, freed them from shame, and left them in a malleable position where they are more likely to feel a little regret and might want to make changes, rather than being forced to.

soft eyes

Changing gears in our parenting

Now you are beginning to get a glimpse of the sacred ground I want to build with you. Cultivating this style is not easy. It demands practice and refinement and will feel uncomfortable for those who received harsh words, force, and punishment to be controlled in their formative years. My invitation is to coach you to change gears, and feel affection for your child, when they are being stubborn, argumentative, even oppositional. This is what they need if we want to create trust and loyalty in our relationship. It is a call for us to be at our most respectful when, sometimes, they are at their least.

The “soft eyes and warm heart” technique safeguards a young person’s emerging spirit because we separate their behaviour from who they are, and who they can be in the future. We suddenly transport them into a precious space where they have the best chance to own their behaviour. On the flip side, when we push young people too far, too fast with scathing words and harsh actions they bunker down in self-protection mode. Their thoughts switch solely to us; our tough actions and how unjust we were. They lose sight of their responsibility and what they might do to repair the situation.

Our children are under construction

I also want your new kaleidoscope to remind you of the order of life. You are the parent, and they are your child. Their brains, bodies, and spirit are in the process of precious construction. Now it has become your time to teach the exquisiteness of being human to your children. To immerse them into our greatest assets as a species: kindness, perseverance, optimism, integrity, humility, empathy, personal responsibility, teamwork, creativity, innovation and so much more. To explain that they are beautifully unique and worth your every effort. That the atoms which merged to make them who they are, did so like never before, and will never do so again. There will never be another of them anywhere in the universe. They are a matchless creation on this fabulous blue planet. Yes, there will be all kinds of challenges ahead.

Our mission is to support them to find their goodness, their happiness within, to feel loved, to be kind to others, and be especially gentle on themselves. We want them to rejoice in their humanness. They are so much more than enough! Now is not who they will be in the future, but what we do now and how we do it, sets a trajectory for their future.

Parenting with “soft eyes and warm hearts” connects leadership, composure, strength, and kindness. Once upon a time it was thought a parent could only lead with strength, and kindness shown in the trickier moments was weakness.

If we are to shift patterns of behaviour, positively, from one generation of parents to the next please accept my gift and let’s continue to walk together.



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Design for Life by Normus Homes

Design for Life by Normus Homes

Design for Life Normus

Design for Life by Normus Homes

Home is where the heart is. There’s no place like home.

These age-old adages about the family home ring true because we know our houses are more than just the place we return to every day. They’re where our families are growing and our memories are being made; home is the place we make our own.

normus homes

Design for Life

This exciting new initiative from Normus offers flexibility to accommodate families looking to build their forever home and families living with disability in custom homes. Normus’ bespoke Design for Life floor plans offer an added element of accessibility and ease in every design.

Most people dream of living in a brand new home they have designed and built, forever, but what does that look like? How many homes these days are actually built to grow with you? To accommodate your family’s changing needs without any compromise on style?

Using 30 years of award winning experience, Normus can guide you through the important steps to creating a truly bespoke home design for your life.

normus homes

A home that will grow with you

The team at Normus design stunning custom homes that are also adaptable and capable of evolving with you and your family. By making innovative design changes today, you can enjoy
enhanced liveability tomorrow.

Having an accessible home makes sense for everyone – whether you’re a young parent pushing a pram, have aging parents or grandparents visiting or living with you, or need special accommodations for a family member living with a disability. Normus offers the flexibility to create a home that is built for people at any stage of life and ability, one that is also prepared for when life throws you circumstances you may not have expected… and does it all with amazing style.

normus homes design for life

Building a better life

Design for Life can incorporate both basic or extensive elements when designing and building a truly bespoke ‘liveable’ home.

A liveable home is designed to:

  • Be easy to enter
  • Be easy to navigate in and around
  • Be capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation
  • Be responsive to the changing needs of home occupants

Design for Life’s custom home solution is designed specially to future-proof your most significant investment – your home.

Considerations are made to heighten safety features, mitigate tripping hazards, slippery surfaces and narrow transitional spaces, as well as offering spacious rooms for added mobility; all so you can live in your home for longer, from young growing families to empty nesters wanting to age comfortably in their home.

normus icons

Experience the Normus Difference

Visit the Display Home Collection during open hours to experience the Normus Difference and discuss your new bespoke forever home with their Custom Homes Consultant.

Custom Homes Consultant 0409 888 632
Office 8363 5744

normus homes logo

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