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Everything you need to know about mums, babies and toddlers

Catherine Harper
10 Jul 2016 | 02:32 pm
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3 ante-natal classes to try

The Doting Doulas

If group classes aren’t your thing, Andrea at The Doting Doulas will bring the info to you at home, at a time to suit you. She’ll cover all the regular topics and tailor info to your specific needs, and you can choose from a one-off session or a course. www.thedotingdoulas.com

Healthbay clinic

A team of western midwives run the ante-natal classes at HealthBay on Al Wasl road, covering everything from how to tell you’re in labour to your options for pain relief. They also have IBCLC-qualified lactation consultants, so if you’re hoping to breastfeed, they’ll point you in the right direction. www.healthbayclinic.com

Baby senses

Midwife educator Cecile de Scally’s four-session prenatal education packages cover what to expect during labour and birth, as well as vital info on newborn feeding and sleeping, and how to manage baby when you get him or her home. www.babysenses.me

Two peas in a pod

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Handmade brand My Mummy And Me has launched a new range of comfy trousers available in both toddler and mummy sizes so you and your little lady can match. Priced from just Dh95, the trousers come in a light viscose fabric perfect for hot summer days. www.facebook.com/mymummyandme

Keeping up supply

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Who needs an excuse to eat brownies? Nobody, but the fact that Couture C4 brownies boost milk supply is always a good reason to indulge! The handmade treats contain a host of galactogogues – ingredients known to increase milk supply – and taste simply divine. Order online at www.facebook.com/CoutureC4 or call 050 917 1799.

Breast-friendly bottles

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Breastfeeding mums who’d like baby to take an occasional bottle of expressed milk, or who combination-feed, might like to check out the new Mimijumi range now available at My Organic Baby Shop (www.myorganicbabyshop.ae). Designed to mimic the human breast in colour, shape and texture, the bottles have a similar milk flow rate meaning baby can use the same latching on and sucking technique learnt at the breast, reducing the risk of nipple confusion and difficulties switching between breast and bottle. Prices from Dh79 for a bottle and Dh44 for a replacement teat, with different sized bottles available.

Stay safe

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Make sure you and anyone caring for your child knows what to do in an emergency with a first aid course from Health and Safety Solutions Middle East. Courses can be held at the training facility in Business Bay or – for a minimum of six people – in the comfort of your home, and are available in multiple languages. www.hss-me.com

It’s all about the numbers

81 babies are born in Dubai every day*

105 boys are born for every 100 girls

19.1% was the increase in births in Dubai from 2009 to 2014

*Dubai Statistics Centre, 2014

Rub-a-dub dub!

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If you’re struggling to settle baby or looking for new bonding-time ideas, consider baby massage; proven to help calm babies and aid mum-infant bonding, and there are plenty of places offering courses around town. Check out www.loveparentinguae.com, www.thedotingdoulas.com, www.healthbayclinic.com and www.bumpsandbeyonddubai.com.

Making it official

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Celebrating a new arrival? Make sure you’re clued-up on what to do to make baby an official resident!

UAE law gives you 120 days from the date of baby’s birth in which to process his or her residency visa, which you’ll only be able to get once you have their official passport. Don’t fret if you need to travel urgently and haven’t managed to have the visa stamped: a trip to Immigration with all the baby’s relevant documentation will get you an exit permit so you can leave en famille. Get more info on UAE visa formalities at www.dubai.ae

Stay on schedule

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Many insurance providers don’t cover vaccinations for babies and children, so if yours doesn’t, consider registering your little one for a government health card. This means you can access your local government clinic for free-of- cost vaccinations until your child reaches five years old. All you’ll need to do is visit Latifa hospital with your child’s documents (and your own), as well as a copy of your DEWA bill so the staff can work out which clinic you should use, then call the clinic for an appointment.

A helping hand

It’s a fact of parenthood; night-times can be the worst. If you’re at the end of your tether and need some sleep, help is at hand in the form of maternity nurses who’ll stay the night and take over when you need them to. Try www.emirateshomenursing.ae or www.sublimehomecare.com.

Booster ban

Take note; backless booster seats could be banned in the UK over fears they don’t provide anywhere near enough protection in a crash. Consumer group Which? carried out a study that discovered regular boosters weren’t much better than only a seatbelt in an accident, and recommends parents use only high-back boosters for adequate side protection.

Buckle up backwards

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Did you know children under the age of four are five times safer travelling in rear-facing seats in cars than in forward-facing? This is advice published in the British Medical Journal’s article on car seat safety, while the American Association of Pediatrics also recommends rear-facing at least until the age of two. Reputed Norwegian brand BeSafe is now widely available in the UAE – find your nearest stockist on www.besafe.com – or, for a wider selection, you can try online resources including www.carseat.se and www.babycare.nl to have a seat delivered here. Find more info and advice on www.rearfacing.co.uk.

My Buddy Tag

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This clever safety device helps keep track of your little one via your smartphone thanks to BlueTooth technology. Dh179, in silicone, Velcro and terrycloth, from www.bigonchildren.com

“My son was comfortable wearing the terrycloth tag on his wrist but I was a little concerned about him taking it off. The panic button is very loud, which is great. I haven’t tried the water alert yet, but it’s a good feature as my son has autism and is very attracted to water.” — Donna Van Vuuren, 38, mum of two (aged 9 and 19 months)

“I’d rate it ‘five out of five’ for ease of use – it couldn’t get simpler and it sure does work. We’ve been using the Velcro band everywhere, from the grocery store to playdates as it relaxes the helicopter mum in me. My daughter loves to wear it too thanks to the bright colours.” — Navita G. Hakim, 33, mum of one (aged 3)

“My favourite feature is that it uses GPS to track and can specifically locate my child in case he is ever lost. The only downside is the size of watch, my son didn’t like it on his wrist so in the end I attached it to his tennis shoes.” — Susana Demore, 33, mum to Luca, 3.

Don’t lug it here… HIRE IT!

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If you have friends with kids coming to visit during the summer, tell them to leave the bulky baby gear at home as it’s oh-so-easy to hire everything that’s needed, thanks to Dubai Hire4Baby. The brainchild of Dubai-based mum of one (with another on the way) Josette Naiken, the popular service means visitors can get their hands on everything they need during their stay without risking their beloved stroller getting beaten up on the aeroplane. From the popular Evenflo Babysuite 300 Travel Cot from just Dh78 for three days’ hire to the Maxi Cosi Tobi toddler car seat from Dh111 and the Baby Jogger City Mini from Dh146, you can find it all and more at www.dubaihire4baby.com.

Skip Hop sippy cup

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Charlene Stubbs, mum to Peggy Broad, 10 months, reviewed the Skip Hop Zoo Stainless Steel Straw Bottle, Dh90, Db Babies.

First impressions: “I liked the size as it’s bigger than a sippy cup but small enough to fit in a day bag. The colours are great for Peggy too, as I’m not really into pink.”

Clever features: “We love the foam-type padding around the flask as it’s easier for Peggy to grip. The clip lid means it’s good on-the-go and simple enough to pop open to reveal the straw. ”

Cute appeal: “We’re big into bumble bees in our house so this design is a perfect fit.”

Easy to clean? “Much easier than our last one as it doesn’t have those hard to reach places around the mouthpiece.”

Any niggles? “The flask features a fabric velcro strap so it can be attached to bags or the side of the pram, but it’s not really big enough to wrap around anything. Ideally this would be made of a plastic material so it can be washed and it would also be longer and sturdier.”

Why we rate it: “Peggy is well into the weaning stage, so anything that encourages her to drink water gets a big thumbs up from me! Stepping up to a flask with a straw makes her feel like a very big girl.”

Where do you shop for baby?

70% of our readers go to mall-based big names including Mamas & Papas, Mothercare and Babyshop

25% pick up essentials from major hypermarkets such as Carrefour, Geant and Hyper Panda

50% shop online; dbbabies.com, 6ambabies, mumzworld.com, babysouk.com, littlesouq.com and thebabyboutique.com all got a mention

A virtual mum’s world

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Let’s face it; being a mum can be hard work! But there’s support out there, especially with the phenomenal rise of social media, and you might find it helpful to link up with other mums online to chat, ask for advice and share tips and experiences. Facebook has a wealth of UAE-based mummy groups such as British Mums Dubai, UAE Mums, Dubai Mother & Baby Club and Mums & Bumps Dubai, as well as location-specific groups including Marina Mums and Arabian Ranches Mums. There are also groups with specific purposes, such as Breastfeeding Mums Dubai and Dubai Babywearing. Long night feeds might be the ideal times to get online and check it all out!

Dress up your bump

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Maternity fashion brand Seraphine, which counts Kate Middleton, Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani as fans, has opened its first store in the Middle East at Dubai Festival City Mall! We had a sneak peek and loved the collection. www.seraphine.com.

Kerb appeal

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Sure to be a hit among the style set, the fashionable Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan Geo Stroller, Dh4,410, knows how to make an entrance. Made from a soft fabric with a striking Geo print, the four-wheel-drive buggy is super easy to manoeuvre. Plus, it’ll take you from the newborn days right up to when your tot is four years old (up to 20kg) thanks to the cosy bassinet that can later be replaced by a two-way toddler seat. You can also hook it up to a carseat with adaptors and add a stroller board for older kids. Comes with a matching satchel bag, footmuff and grab bar. Exclusive to Db Babies, visit www.dbbabies.com.

It’s time to boogie

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Got a little one who loves music and movement? Turn this into an educational activity with Boogie Babies. The popular Dubai-based programme offers courses at a variety of locations around town, or even private classes in your home, and uses a variety of props such as a giant parachute, stuffed toys and instruments to get babies and toddlers moving through a concept known as educational kinesiology. All the songs are well-known children’s numbers so there’s no excuse not to join in! Additional locations are being launched soon and there’s some exciting news on the horizon too. www.boogiebabies.org

Catherine Harper

Catherine Harper