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We are always looking for ways to improve our fans on-line experience, and, to this effect, have now introduced free access to all the interesting articles which have featured throughout the years in The Malta Baby & Kids Directory publications.



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 Baby Swimming - The Many Benefits

Swimming classes with mum or dad are a fun activity promoting

bonding and attachment and providing a great multi-sensory

experience. It is also extremely rewarding for any parent

to watch their child’s progression and enjoyment.

The benefits of regular baby

swimming are many:

1. Water awareness, confidence and

lifesaving skills - Lessons teach respect

for water and water safety techniques.

2. Bonding & attachment – Baby swimming

is a very intimate experience focusing

on quality time, fun learning activities,

positive reinforcement, building

trust and strong relationships.

3. Physical Independence and Self-

Awareness - A baby can move about

independently in the water learning

balance and coordination. The

motion and sensation of the water

gives unique self-awareness.

4. Confidence and Self Esteem - Praise

and recognition of achievements and

learning new skills boost a child’s

confidence and self-esteem.

5. Healthy Life Style - Getting into a

good active lifestyle early on will set the

ground for your child’s future and will

become the norm in future years.

6. Language Development –The use

of word association and specific

repetition is a core part of our teaching

methods and helps your baby to learn

many activity related meanings.

7. Brain Development – The multi-sensory

experience and variety of activities stimulate

learning, encourage brain development and

function and build emotional intelligence.

8. Social Skills – Various forms of group

interaction instills good social skills,

team work and independence.

9. Health Benefits - Swimming strengthens

the heart and lungs, improves muscle

development, and increases stamina

and promotes better co-ordination.

10. Improved Sleep & eating patterns – Children

who swim will often sleep and eat better.


Babies can start swimming at 2 months


 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here 


Communication in families 

 Words by Steve Libreri – Social Worker and Parent Coach


Communication within the family is nowadays an important consideration. In an era of technology which is supposedly intended to eradicate all potential barriers to communication, communication breakdown sounds like quite a paradox. However, the frequency of reports and complaints by parents and caregivers about their dissatisfaction with regard to communication issues, suggests that this is in fact a real challenge faced by many families.



Difficult communication seems to be the cause of many family problems. Serious attention to this problem is therefore of utmost importance in order to achieve a positive family experience. When children are young, they absorb the cues given by their environment. This puts considerable responsibility on adults to teach by example and model behaviour.


The ultimate investment in child wellbeing is time and attention, as these give children the reassurance that they are cared for. Time for, and attention to, children also guarantees a sense of nurturing, protection and security. Being still inexperienced, children begin to make sense of the world and form the first rules and ideas about the world through their exchanges with their parents. Therefore making positive plans and interacting with children in a caring way will certainly help in teaching them that their parents are there for them. A steady relationship will form the basis of all communication in the future. So as parents, make your investments early. If your children see you as present and caring, they will reciprocate with a degree of trust necessary for future exchanges.





 Building a Safety Net 


This article was written by Andrew Azzopardi, consultant for Malta Foundation

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat….the list of social media sites is already very long and as time goes on, it is bound to get longer. Parents need to involve themselves in their children’s online lives to help guide their progeny through the ever-changing cyber-world.

MCA’s latest study ‘Children’s Internet Use and Parents - Perceptions of Their Children’s Online Experience’, states that 99.4% of children in primary and secondary schools have access to the internet and 78% of children look to their parents for information related to the internet. has developed 6 golden rules to guide parents. 

The keystone to putting the six golden rules into practice is laying the groundwork for an open and honest dialogue with your child. This means your children will be more likely to turn to you for support or advice if they find themselves in an uncomfortable, difficult or scary situation. This open-door policy is the best first line of defence to keeping your child safe online.

You should show an interest in the websites and social media platforms your children use and take the initiative to use the internet and learn about the latest technologies, apps and platforms. Platforms like are a useful tool for parents to support and simplify this type of research.

Online activity should be approached very much like real life; discuss the benefits and dangers of the internet, ask your children about what they do to keep themselves safe. Sometimes they might not have even thought about safety and having a straightforward but stress-free chat about it can raise their awareness without alarming them unnecessarily.

For more detail on each of the 6 Golden Rules, please visit is an initiative born within the Vodafone Malta Foundation, as part of Vodafone Group initiative Digital Parenting. 





The Faces of Child Abuse

Words by Daniela Farrugia Camoin

BA, MA Youth and Community Studies and Personal Performance Coach Founder of Positive Parenting Strategies

Child maltreatment is certainly not a new phenomenon.  Unfortunately it has existed since the beginning of recorded history.  Even more unfortunate is that it is on the rise across the globe.  We often associate child abuse to broken bones and bruises.  In other words, to visible scars.  Yet other than physical abuse there are other types of abuse, which more often than not go unnoticed because the scars are not as obvious.  This type of abuse includes emotional and sexual abuse and neglect.  All abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual or neglect leave deep, lasting scars which children carry with them  into  adulthood  and  beyond  the  time  they  were  actually abused. No individual should turn a blind eye to child abuse.  It is important to break the cycle when we find out that this is actually happening.  The earlier abused children get help, the greater the chance for them to heal and not let the abuse inflict lifelong problems such as lack of trust  and  relationship  difficulties,  trouble  regulating  emotions  and feelings of being  ‘worthless’ and ‘damaged’. There are a number of common myths surrounding the tragedy of child abuse.  Society tends to think that child abuse does not happen in ‘good’ families.  However, statistics show that child abuse crosses all economic, racial and cultural lines.  Another very common myth is that the majority of child abusers are strangers to the child – yet the very sad truth is that most abusers are family members or people who are very close to the family.  Children who have been abused do not always grow up to be abusers.  Whilst the chances of the cycle repeating  itself  is  a  strong  possibility,  most  survivors  indeed  grow into  strong  adults  who  have  a  strong  motivation  to protect  their children  against  what  they  went  through  and  become excellent parents.


Daniela Farrugia Camoin



Facebook: Positive Parenting Strategies


Mobile No.: 99922137 






Understanding anger and supporting children to manage it constructively


In their development and growth, children often find themselves in stressful circumstances.  Frustration is a challenging and critical component in a child’s developmental growth, which if not overcome, will often manifest itself in outbursts of anger. 

We live in a culture where so much emphasis is placed on performance, achievement and on delivering quick results. Sometimes this is experienced as peer pressure, even more so in school.  If children are not taught constructive ways to express anger and frustration they frequently act out aggressive behavior in order to express their feelings. It is important to acknowledge that anger is a valid emotion. It informs us that something is not quite right and it is fundamental for children to know that it is acceptable to feel angry, otherwise they may turn their anger onto themselves, causing self-harm. As adults we may need to learn to listen to our children more and encourage them to manage their emotions in a way that supports healthy functioning.  

Anger is a form of distress that combines physiological and emotional arousal and often leads to conflict. Anger also controls other emotions like fear, sadness and shame that children find difficult to cope with.  Such a state of being influences their social and emotional well-being and has a direct impact on learning.  When a child is in distress, it is difficult for him or her to learn. We need to teach them how to regulate their emotional state before they can be open to respond positively or to assimilate information. 

Children thus need to develop skills that support them to manage their anger, such as learning to

- take time out

- move away from the zone of conflict

- breathe; breathing exercises help the child calm down and regulate his/her physiological state of arousal

- count to ten; this also helps to calm down and delay acting out

- become aware of where the child’s anger tenses up the body, such as in the hands, feet...

- find a positive way to release the pent up energy, like bouncing a ball or going for a run...

- find an adult or a friend to talk to

- be honest about feelings

- imagine ways that would help resolve conflicts 

- think of a good solution 

It is important to acknowledge and support their positive thinking as this will also reinforce their positive behaviour. Often, children are angry at themselves as they believe that they are the cause of our disappointments. We need to reflect on how anger is managed within the family system as well as at school since children mirror adult behaviour. If we are not too hard on ourselves and accept that we sometimes fail then we give children permission to tolerate their own failures. Our role as parents and educators is to provide a safe space where we can challenge and support them to learn and to develop into mature adults. In a constructive environment, children may surprise us with positive ways they develop to manage their anger.

Anna Fenech holds a MA degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and is a Gestalt Psychotherapist. She is also trained as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor with children and young adults. She works in different settings and also runs a private practice working with children and adults.   






Modern trends in Holy Communion Parties


Lately, the Maltese appear to be veering away from the traditional ,large ,over-the-top ‘wedding’ style parties which were a fashionable way to celebrate their children’s First Holy Communion a few decades ago. The new millennium has seen a backlash against the rising cost of first Holy Communion celebrations locally. Nowadays, in a collective attempt to curb the traditional enthusiasm for pomp and ceremony which normally surrounds this Christian milestone, schools are increasingly encouraged to organise a collective party on their premises. This not only aids in cutting costs for the parents of the second year students; it also encourages a sense of camaraderie amongst those involved in the event planning. The families of the child who is celebrating their First Holy Communion generally bring their immediate family to the joint party; then the parents tend to arrange a tea party directly following the church ceremony, for close family members to attend. More often than not, this takes place at home, and would last a couple of hours, since the parish generally organises First Holy Communion ceremonies on Sunday afternoons, during the school term. There would still be a couple of parents who organise lavish First Holy Communion parties individually, but these are in the minority. In this case, then customarily the entire class would be invited, along with cousins and a few friends of the child in question. Popular venues include indoor play areas, such as Playzone and Romparound, theme parks like Playmobil and activity venues –bowling, for instance. In this way, the child in question receives plenty of gifts, not necessarily religious. The children who have been invited get to run around and waste their energy, whilst their parents enjoy a rare opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea. The incentive to reign in the excessive enthusiasm surrounding First Holy Communion events comes directly from the local parish priests. One particular church in Gozo had the children wear matching cloaked gowns over their outfits, in an attempt to discourage meringue style dresses and mini groom suits in an attempt to remind participants to dwell on the true solemnity of the occasion. Announcements during Mass, in the run up to the big day, raised awareness that fascinators, hats, strapless dresses or miniskirts would not be an acceptable dress code for the mothers of the youngsters. Despite the popular tide turning away from massive celebrations, many families buckle under the pressure of conversations on the church steps regarding the outfit, and find themselves getting swept away in the excitement of the Holy Communion rush, in spite of themselves. At the very least, previously blasé couples will go out and buy new outfits for themselves and their offspring, and order a cake and catering for their family gathering in order to celebrate.  Party  venues  and  animators  have  suffered  because  of  this  contemporary  tendency  to  pool Holy Communion parties’ together-resulting in less individual bookings for them. Since most schools tend to host the party on their own grounds, thus saving on cost, conventional party venues  are  finding  innovative  ways  to  encourage  individuals  to  host  their  First  Holy Communion  parties  at  their  site,  by  offering  early booking  discounts  .The  Parent  Teacher Association often spends a large portion of their budget on animators, as ,after all,this is a party for children and the purpose of the festivity is for the children attending to have a lot of fun. 

For school based First Holy Communion parties, the services of large animation companies which cater for big groups of children are often utilised. Bouncy Castles,magic shows and high energy organized games are very popular with children of this age group. Catering, complete with staff, cutlery and crockery are outsourced which ensures plenty of refreshments for young and old alike. First Holy Communion communal parties normally follow a brief procession, followed by Holy Mass.  In short, Holy Communion parties in Malta have come a long way from the stuffy church hall, filled with aging relatives, during which the bored celebrant would receive a multitude of religious icons and Holy Bibles. Nowadays, those families concerned are focussing more on the religious significance of the occasion, and less on outdoing one another through outlandish celebrations. Long may it continue!

 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here





Traditional Maltese 1st birthday parties

Of the many Maltese traditions, few have survived as successfully as the ‘Quccija’.   Before this, the word ‘Quccija’ referred to a more morbid tradition the Maltese had, that when a family member died they would donate food to the poor to commemorate the deceased.  It is not clear how it changed into the joyful tradition that it is today -  a celebration of a child’s first birthday when relatives and family friends are invited and, besides the usual party fare, a game is played in which the child’s future is predicted. It has been practiced in this way since the 18th Century.   Objects representing different professions, trades or lifestyles are placed on a tray or in a basket and the child crawls towards them.  The first object which the child picks up is said to predict that child’s future.  In the past the selection for boys was quite different to that of girls however the more modern ‘Quccija’ would include many of the same objects. 

Boys used to be presented with tools for traditional trades or professions or even a character trait.  If he picked up corn, for example, it was a sign of a liberal personality, an inkstand or pen meant his profession would be that of a notary or lawyer, if a carpenter’s tool then he would be likely to become a carpenter. There were also usually some coins to indicate wealth. 

For girls the objects tended to be a needle representing a seamstress, cooking utensils, an egg which represented fertility and also money which in those days would probably have meant making a good marriage.

In both cases there was always a religious article for example rosary beads which would indicate that the child was inclined towards a spiritual vocation.

In a modern Quccija there is no limit to the variety of objects which could be presented to either a boy or a girl.   Here are some ideas for what you can put on you child’s quccija tray, but do not feel can use your imagination:

Calculator – accountant

Computer mouse – career in I.T.

Credit Card – banker

Musical Instrument – musician

Book – journalist/author

Chalk – teacher

Ballet Shoe – Dancer

Ball (or any other piece of sports equipment) – sportsman

Comb or brush – hairdresser

Lipstick – beautician/makeup artist

Paintbrush – artist


So for your next child’s first birthday party try out this Maltese tradition.  You never know it may predict your child’s future!


 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here




    Pregnancy & Birth    

 Maternity Bag Essentials

Labour bag
• Your medical record chart
• Birth Plan
• Two cotton nightdresses or pyjamas
• A light dressing gown, socks and slippers
• Tablet and headphones
• Bottled water, drinks and snacks for you and your partner
• Relaxation materials - books, cards, games…
• Camera, spare batteries and an extra memory card
• Hairbrush
• Facial mist spray, facial wipes, face cloth and hand towel
• Massage oil/lotion • Cooling water spray
• TENS machine if you choose to use one for pain relief
• Shower gel/shampoo
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Maternity pads
For baby
• Cotton wool
• Newborn nappies x 3
• Babygros
• Vest
• Hat
• Cardigan
Hospital bag for mum
• Two nursing bras
• Nightshirt or t-shirt - front opening for breastfeeding
• Disposable underwear
• Breast pads
• Three packs of maternity sanitary towels
• Toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, facecloth
• Nipple Balm and healing Compresses
• Make-up bag • Hairbrush and travel hairdryer
• Money for buying snacks, magazines etc Maternity bag essentials The following list includes all the essentials that you and your baby will need during your stay in hospital
• Clothes for in hospital and for going home, loose comfy maternity wear and comfy shoes • Mobile phone and charger
• Intimate wipes
For baby
• Car seat
• Three baby gros
• Three vests
• Baby blanket
• 24 disposable newborn nappies
• Nappy cream
• One roll of cotton wool
• One pair of socks or booties
• Hat
• Jacket or snowsuit (depending on time of year)
• Muslin squares
• Scratch mitts
• A going home outfit: hat, all-in-one suit and blanket
Going home • Your partner or somebody else can bring a car seat for the baby to travel home in. (In most countries the hospital will not let your baby go home without this)



 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!



What I need to buy or borrow checklist


For the nursery

• Cot and mattress

• Moses basket/crib

• Linen (sheets, blankets, etc.)

• Changing mat/table

• Wardrobe

• Chest of drawers

• Play mat

• Baby bath

• Night light

• Baby monitor

• Musical mobile (to hang over cot)



• Cotton sleep suits

• 3 x sleeping bags

• 4 cotton vests

• 1-2 two-piece outfits

• 2-4 cardigans

• 4-6 pairs socks/bootees

• 1 pair gloves/mittens (for winter)

• 1 snowsuit (for winter)

• Muslin clothes/ bibs

• 1 hat

• 1 pair soft shoes/ booties


Essential supplies

• Disposable or washable nappies

• Baby wipes, cotton wool

• Nappy bags

• Barrier cream/petroleum jelly

• Breast pump

• Bottles

• Steriliser


For travelling

• Pram/pushchair

• Rain cover and cosytoes

• Car seat

• Baby carrier/ sling

• Travel and changing bag

• Travel cot



 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!




                                                                                  The Stages of Pregnancy – Month by Month



Mother & Baby

1st Month

• Embryo implants in uterus

• Embryonic cells start specialising in function

• Brain and spinal cord start to form

• Heart starts beating

• Embryo is size of grain of rice

by the end of the month


2nd Month

• Breasts enlarge and

become tender

• Pressure on bladder

causes increase in

frequency of urination

• Vaginal secretion


3rd Month

• Morning sickness

may stop

• Increased appetite

• May have mood swings

4th Month

• Abdomen bulges

• First kick

5th Month

• May feel more energetic

• Needs frequent rest

• Uterus feels heavy

• May have leg cramps at night

6th Month

• Discomfort due to size of bulge

• Back pain can be eased by exercise

7th Month

• May experience false contractions

(Braxton Hicks)

• May develop stretch marks on

breasts and abdomen

8th Month

• Frequent urination

• Breathing may be laboured

• Tires easily

9th Month

• Ready for labour

• Increased urination

• Needs plenty of rest

• If contractions experienced –

refer to doctor or midwife



2nd Month

• Embryo almost 1 inch long

• Brain and spinal cord almost complete

• Limbs and all major organs start to form

3rd Month

• Embryo is now a fetus

• About 3 inches long

• May respond to sounds

• Heart beat audible by a doptone

4th Month

• May move and kick

• Lanugo and vernix develop

• Umbilical cord thickens

• Sex can be determined through

ultrasound imaging

5th Month

• Fetus almost 30cm long

• Maximum length and weight gain

by baby during this month

• Period of increased activity

• Respiration and urination begins

6th Month

• Skin wrinkled

• Movements more vigorous

• Responds to sound

• Baby considered viable

7th Month

• Weighs just over 1 kg

• Finger prints and all organs developed

• Movements decrease

8th Month

• Fully formed

• Moves into birth position – head down

• Lanugo reduces

9th Month

• Fully grown – ready to be born

• Lungs fully developed

• Body fat regulates temperature


• Immune system developed

 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the b



Pregnant? Nothing fits anymore?


Enjoy your pregnancy, feel and look good by the way you dress. Think about it: clothes for expectant mothers are designed to adapt to body shape. If, say, you usually wear size 12, the likelihood is that, shoulder-wise, size 12 would still fit. Maternity wear is designed to grow comfortably as the body shapes up in stages during the pregnancy.

Avoid wearing clothes in larger sizes which are not specifically designed for pregnancy. Apart from the fact that they are not attractive, they could also be harmful. Over-sized jerseys and blouses tend to droop down from the shoulders, cling to the bust and lift up round the belly. Similarly extra large trousers pull down at the back when you are sitting and put pressure on your belly.

Timing. No particular rule applies as to when to change to  maternity wear, however most women feel uncomfortable in their old clothes around the beginning of the fourth month of the pregnancy.

Bras during pregnancy and breastfeeding. These are ideal and specifically made to fit and support the breasts from the onset of pregnancy.. They are adjusted according to the changing body shape throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. The breasts begin to gain weight, change shape and size so avoid buying under-wired or padded bras as this could cause discomfort. It is very important to be measured with the help of expert advice in this field to ensure proper support and comfort. You would also be saving money because you do not have to buy new bras every so often. Our shop offers professional fitting services free of charge.

Wardrobe. One’s life-style is personal, which is why it is convenient to find all your maternity clothing needs for any occasion under one roof at very convenient prices– be it everyday wear, special occasion or for work. Take your time to see that clothes and bras fit properly and do seek assistance from our professional, experienced sales staff.

Light exercise. It is always advisable to exercise even during pregnancy. Our shop also stocks maternity gym wear and swimsuit. Seek professional advice from our staff to feel comfortable during this nine-month journey.

Night-wear is specially designed to offer total comfort during pregnancy. This includes front-opening maternity nighties designed to be used in hospital during and after delivery and for breastfeeding.

Information. Various websites offer a myriad of information. We suggest you visit the Antenatal Unit at Mater Dei Hospital and ask for a free copy of the magazine for expectant mothers called ‘’You’re Pregnant’’. It is full of information for women having babies in Malta and Gozo. It also includes the hospital list and the forms required to apply for “Parentcraft classes”.

Special Delivery, The Maternity Shop
Tel 21484075 / 21489322
(Facebook logo) Special Delivery Maternity


To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





Postnatal fitness and wellbeing

What you need to know


  • Allow your body time to recover. It has undergone major physical changes during pregnancy and childbirth. If you start exercising too soon or too intensely you can put unnecessary stress on your pelvic floor and core muscles in general, which may lead to complications later on. Allow 6 to 8 weeks or even more if you had a Caesarean-section and get the go-ahead from your doctor before commencing exercise.


  • Regardless of whether you are an athlete or new to exercise start slowly and increase gradually. Walking is a great way to start and will get you outdoors. If you want to take a group class, find a class taught by a postnatal exercise specialist who will focus on strengthening the core muscles and minimizing stress on muscles.


  • Listen to your body and be careful not to overdo it. Your body needs time to heal and some women may take longer than others but that is fine; it is your body and your journey. If you have a leaky pelvic floor, a Diastasis Recti (tummy gap after pregnancy) or if there is pain anywhere, seek help and guidance from a professional dedicated to women's health, and resolve these issues before focusing on losing weight. Do not even tolerate occasional leaks when you laugh, sneeze, cough or jump as this may get worse with age.


  • No sit-ups, crunches or planks for the first several months after childbirth because these put too much stress on your core muscles and are not effective for rebuilding core strength.


  • Yes you are busy and tired, but do not let your needs become less of a priority. You need your health and sanity now more than ever! Sleep when you can; your body needs rest to recover. It also needs essential nutrients to help it heal; so what you eat really does matter. Eat real food, avoid junk or processed food and drink plenty of water.


  • As long as you drink plenty of water, exercise won't affect your ability to breastfeed. But you might want to avoid exercises that make your breasts sore or tender.


  • A postnatal massage will not only give you time to relax but will also help your body to heal, especially mothers who had a caeserean-section, have Diastasis Recti or pelvic floor dysfunction.



Fitmums Malta


Fitmums Malta

37, EB Vella Street, Mosta; Tel. 79618760; fb: Fitmumsmal


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





You are pregnant - Congratulations!


Developed by experienced midwives and pharmacists, our products are made from plant-based oils, which are easily absorbed by the skin, being similar to the skin’s own natural oils. All of Weleda’s products are free of synthetic fragrances, colours and preservatives. We never use raw materials derived from mineral oils, such as petroleum or paraffin which form a film over the skin rather than care for it.

 Baby Calendula

Protecting and caring from the very beginning

Nothing is more precious to you than your child. You want the very best care and protection for your little one; so skincare that has been specially formulated for the young skin of babies and children is essential. As your child’s delicate skin is thinner and more permeable than your own, products that are free of synthetic preservatives, fragrances and colourants are the natural choice. Weleda Calendula Baby Care is 100% certified natural, so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your baby’s skin is being truly protected and effectively looked after.

The Baby Calendula Range includes: Cream Bath; Shampoo and Shower cream; Nappy Change cream; Body Lotion and Baby Oil.


Trust your intuition and mother nature

Stretch Mark Massage Oil with sweet almond, arnica and wheatgerm oils works gently, delivering intensely moisturizing essential fatty acids that keep your skin supple and protected from drying.

Perineum Massage Oil is a pure, natural formula that nourishes and prepares the skin for birth. A massage with this mild composition relaxes the perineum area and keeps the skin in the birth area supple and flexible.

Nursing Oil 50ml Nursing Oil is a gentle natural formula created for a nourishing and soothing massage of the breasts prior to nursing. Pure, natural essential fennel, caraway and marjoram oils are traditionally used to support healthy lactation and stimulate free milk flow.


Available from:

Casa Natura Sliema

Good Earth Balluta Smart Complex

Nature & Spice Tarxien

Sattva San Gwann

Shanti Mosta

Natur Qala, Gozo.


Trade Enquiries:

Tel. 21414473,

Mob. 99804293,



 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!






Does your baby needs a sleep coach?

All children can have the gift of a Good Night’s sleep....and so can their parents!


Whether your newborn baby is exhausting you by keeping you up all night; a once-great sleeper is now struggling to sleep; a vacation in a new time zone has messed up bedtime or your toddler simply never learned to fall and stay asleep easily. Your health and your family’s wellbeing may be suffering.


Sleep Consultants training includes the basics of neuroscience, nutrition, breastfeeding, stimulation, behavioural therapy, psychology and other sleep related topics. The focus is on how these facets relate to sleep for infants and toddlers

Good Night Child Sleep Consultants are professional
s and undergo strict screening and education process and are specialised in all issues about sleep when it comes to babies and children. 


They do not follow one particular methodology, because what works for one mum might not work for another. This includes a holistic approach support for expectant mothers, parents of newborns, toddlers and even school-ready children.


Sleep consultants advise a start-to-finish solution for you and your family! Their services include private consultations, consultations via Skype, workshops and seminars. You will receive a personalized sleep plan (each child is different) and follow-up support.


A well-rested child makes for a healthy child, and a happy, healthy family.


To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!






On your way to becoming a parent?


Hopefully this sets you on the right path.


If you are a first time-parent, or if you have other children, each pregnancy is a unique journey which leads to new questions, curiosities and lessons. But truth be told, the first experience remains unique and carries with it a sense of novelty which is unparalleled in later pregnancies. Everything is a first and it all feels somewhat overwhelming. The best advice is to surround yourself with resources that could assist you in answering your queries. It is always useful to seek the counsel of other parents or professionals who can offer valuable guidance in your time of questions. Some television programmes are excellent sources of information. Reading material is equally as necessary. In fact, the book you are holding is another brilliant source of knowledge. It is my hope that this very article gives you the push towards the end that you need. You may also wish to refer to an excellent online resource which is available on Facebook, namely Parentopedia. This is an online forum, operated by a group of professionals at Willingness who encourage conversations between parents. It is a useful online resource where parents can post questions and receive valuable guidance about their issues by parents and professionals alike. As you create your portfolio of resources, remember that it is normal to feel uneasy at this time. It is a time of formation for you. Remain inquisitive and ask questions. The more you ask, the better prepared you will be.


Steve Libreri (Msc HRM (Leicest.), BA (Hons) Social Work (Melit.), Dip PT (Open College of Exercise). Social Worker, Parent Coach and Manager of Kin Services and Childminders by Willingness.



To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!



                                        Cosmetics to Avoid During Pregnancy



Maltese women know very well how to care for their hair, make-up and nails. It is important too that pregnant women are aware of what cosmetics they should avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

We all love pampering ourselves, so let’s keep doing that even when we have a baby developing inside our body. 

Being pregnant does not need to mean nine months of staying in, because of weight gain and ‘mask of pregnancy’ (dark splotches on facial skin). We can try to control our weight and to even the colour of skin. With the right help it does not take too much work.

Be careful what creams you use during pregancy and check that none of them contains retinoid or salicylic acid which might harm developing baby, cause birth defects and pregnancy complications. Everybody should remember that every cosmetic that is applied on the skin, is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the placenta which feeds baby.

I am sure we all want to protect our babies, now we should learn what ingredients to avoid to prevent pregnancy complications. Stay away from these:

Retinoid is a type of vitamin A that is used in anti-wrinkle and acne treatment products. Salicylic acid is used to treat skin disorders, including acne, and you can find it in a number of skin products, such as cleansers and toners. 

Soy can make the ‘mask of pregnancy’ worse, as can oil of bergamot which is in many organic products.

When choosing the right sunscreen we should check if it contains oxybenzone, which might interfere with hormones in the body, and nano-sized ingredients, which are potentially linked to reproductive and developmental problems.

Make a list of forbidden ingredients and shop for cosmetics always carrying the list with you, so you can check which product is safe for pregnant women.

When you get pregnant you might need to put away cosmetics that you have been using so far, they might sensitize, irritate your skin and what’s worse harm developing baby. Anti-wrinkle creams, acne treatments products or anticellulite creams that contain caffeine

should be banned in this special time, that pregnancy is. Scents of certain products might become unbearable for you, so choose products with very gentle scents.  This emerged from research performed by  Leslie Baumann, professor of dermatology at the University of Miami and author of ‘The Skin Type Solution’. 

During pregnancy use only cosmetics designed especially for pregnant women, with extra gentle flavour composition and without allergens.

 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





 5 things to do on maternity leave after your baby’s born:


Massage is one of life's simple pleasures, and research has shown that baby massage can help babies grow better and behave better. It’s known to help babies who suffer from colic and it is thought to increase the baby’s immunity to illness. Massage helps babies breathe better and stimulate their senses, assisting in brain development. While massaging baby you both release the hormone oxytocin, which is the feel good hormone. This skin-to-skin connection is known as the therapeutic touch and helps parents and baby communicate better too, without saying a word. It's also a great way for dad to get in on the baby-bonding act. This is one of the simplest ways to calm your baby and, perhaps, even you. A gentle massage prior to bedtime every night is a lovely way to introduce a routine and prepare your baby for a good rest. Enrol yourself for one of these baby massage courses. For more information see Pregnancy & Birth Section, Massage & Complimentary Treatments 


Babies love the water and they can be introduced to swimming as early as six weeks. When newborns are exposed to water, they make automatic swimming movements. Also, early swimming helps develop a baby’s personality and decreases the chances of developing a fear of water. Swimming is great for their physical development as the water allows a baby to use their muscles without the constraints of gravity. The time spent in the water allows for a great bonding opportunity for both mum and dad! When a baby is younger than 6 months they will need to swim in a pool heated to a minimum of 32 degrees. Buy disposable swimming nappies or a reusable water one. See Sports Activities, Swimming 


Play classes are a great way to encourage your baby’s social development, along with their mind and body. A vital activity for a child's development and learning is interactive play & floor time with their parent or primary caregiver. Play classes provide age-appropriate fun and creative stimulation for infants, toddlers and preschool children, your child will turn play into rich learning and you will enjoy this special bonding time together. These classes are very social and provide lots of new friends for both children and parents. There are a variety of classes from playing classes to music focused ones. So pop along to a few until you find the one which works best for you and your baby. See Pregnancy & Birth, Yoga, Activities Section, Mother & Baby Clubs, Baby sign language


Exercise is a great way to lift your spirits. There are classes suitable for new mums that accommodate baby in stroller. This environment can help with your confidence as you are with other women at the same stage as yourself. The exercise routines are designed for a post natal body focusing on increasing your stamina, toning your muscles and burning excess ‘baby fat’. Yoga and Pilates classes are available for both mother and baby and these are usually suitable from the time your baby is 6 weeks old – apart from being a great way for the new mum to de-stress, exercise also improves the baby’s digestive health and sleep. See Pregnancy & Birth, Exercise Pre & Post Natal pg xx, Yoga pg xx. Where money is tight, you can always put on your runners, pack the buggy and find other mums in your area to go walking with at no cost. It’s a perfect chance to spend time with baby while you exercise - guilt free! See Days Out Section, Public Parks & Gardens, Picnic Areas, Activities Section, Nature Walks 


There isn’t much choice but if it floats your boat and you decide to go to the movies it no longer has to be an ordeal and potentially fitting in between feeds. You can go with your hubby or a group of other mums. These ideal shows should have dimmed lighting and a lower volume so that it is a calmer environment for little ones. Since the movies cater for babies, crying during the screening is not an issue. Baby changing facilities are provided on site. Screenings are generally in the mornings on a weekday. While ticket prices are usually lower than general admission prices these also include a variety of freebies. These events are a great social gathering for both parents and babies alike. See Activities Section, Cinemas 

Finally don’t forget to register on our official website for upcoming events for new mums in Malta.




 5things to do on maternity leave before your baby’s born:


 You’re about to introduce the most time-consuming ‘project’ you’ve ever worked on into the equation, so maternity leave is the perfect time to indulge yourself and do things before the birth of your bundle of joy. 

Apart from keeping yourself in condition for your baby’s sake during pregnancy, in the months before the baby is born you should pay special attention to your teeth, skin, breasts and blood circulation.

1. An expectant mother can get so involved in her coming baby’s welfare that she forgets to look after her own teeth. During pregnancy, it is very important to do this, and to have a dental check. See Health Section, Dental Surgeons.

2. Many expectant mothers worry about being left with permanent “stretch marks” on the skin after childbirth. It is possible to help the skin to stretch more easily during pregnancy, and so reduce the chance of permanent marks afterwards. Oil and massage techniques starting in the fifth month of pregnancy are beneficial. See Pregnancy & Birth Section, Massage & Complimentary Treatments 

3. To keep your breasts in condition throughout pregnancy, you will need a well-fitted bra and a routine of care for breasts and nipples. Get used to handling your breasts and nipples before you have a baby to feed. See Pregnancy & Birth Section, Breastfeeding 

4. When you stand still the downward pressure of your baby may interfere with the flow of blood in the pelvis, and all the way back through the thighs and legs to the feet. This can increase the risk of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. You can reduce the effects of this pressure by moving about. Circulation can be improved generally through light exercise. See Pregnancy & Birth Section, Exercise Pre & Post Natal 

5. Very few people are adequately prepared for the consequences of an accident or emergency with their children. It is not just a question of knowing where the plasters are kept, but more a matter of deciding what to do. Parents do not like to think of their child being involved in any mishap, which is why the subject of first aid is often put off until tomorrow. This is a natural reaction but avoiding the subject does not reduce the chances of having to cope with it. See Health Section, First Aid & Safety pg 




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          Days Out          


Educational Outings for children during the Summer Holidays

The long Summer holidays provide parents

in Malta with the perfect opportunity to

increase the quantity, quality and benefits

of outdoor, cross-curricular experiences for

their children. Outings and activities can

be thoughtfully planned, allowing children

to learn, refine and assimilate skills and

knowledge. Parents can act as mentors,

delivering highly personalised instructional

content, encouraging collaborative

discussions and inspiring further research.


The choice for learner-centred outings

is endless and children can be actively

involved in knowledge acquisition in very

simple ways. By visiting a small traditional

village bakery and a fully-fledged industrial

bakery, children may not only learn about

the process of making bread but will

appreciate local traditions and debate

the effects of industrial machinery and

new manufacturing processes. A visit

to the Xarolla windmill in Żurrieq would

provide a different spin by shedding

light on the process of flour milling. Use

the windmill to extend the children’s

learning by delving into the physics of

forces and discussing renewable energy

sources. The theme of recycling could

also be tackled through a visit to a local

glassblowing factory followed by a DIY

recycled marble run. This is a fun and

inventive way to encourage engineering,

problem solving, physics and creativity.


A visit to a dairy farm allows children to

experience first-hand the daily operation

of safe milk production and the care dairy

farmers give to their cows, providing the

perfect opportunity to discuss the effects of

pasteurisation as well as essential nutrition.

Cultural awareness and competence are

key skills that may be cultivated during

a scavenger photo hunt in Valletta.

Provide children with a list of photo

missions designed to challenge their

creativity, improve their observational and

photography skills, as well as encourage

them to appreciate our capital city’s

architecture. The National Library Malta

is a place where children can come into

contact with old, historic books and

documents and also tour the historic

building to learn more about paper

conservation and library etiquette.


On a luzzu to St Paul’s Islands, rugged

rocks, serene seagulls and the early

morning stillness may be observed

along the Xemxija coast before a

refreshing dip in the clear water.

Exciting activities can also take place at

home using limited resources. Cooking,

bed making, towel origami, napkin

folding, gardening and sugar craft help

to develop smart home and hosting

skills. The home may also be the right

place to encourage mutually beneficial

relationship building between generations.


Workshops, such as kite building using

only flour and water for glue, kite paper,

bamboo sticks, masking tape and

crochet string will allow the younger

generation to learn how older adults

played through significant productive

activity, resulting in meaningful social

connections and engagement.


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





Malta Tourism Authority list of events









 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





Malta Tourism Authority list of events


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





Humorous and easy-to-read

What better way for young readers to learn

about the history of a place than to ask the

protagonists of such history? This is what

the books published by Heritage Malta

do. They call to the stand the people who

left their mark on our colourful history.

The latest addition ‘Valletta - My City, My

Story’ is told by none other than Grand

Master Jean Parisot de Valette. Written in a

humorous and easy-to-read way, De Valette

takes us back in time to Malta, exactly after

the Ottomans left the island. Although there

is great euphoria at this unexpected victory,

we are also reminded of the devastation

and loss such great battles leave behind.

This book starts from where we were

dropped off in another Heritage Malta

Publishing children’s book ‘A Bird’s Eye View

of the Great Siege’, which recounts, from a

variety of protagonist’s point of view, the

different episodes that make up the fourmonth

battle that was the Great Siege of

Malta. Together with the Directorate for

Learning and Assessment Programmes

within the Ministry of Education and

Employment, the latter publication has

also been issued in Maltese under the

name ‘L-Assedju l-Kbir... Farka, Farka’.

Should you wish to go back to the very

start, however, with a book that gives a

comprehensive view of the whole history of

Malta, then we suggest you first read ‘L-Ewwel

35,000,000 Sena ta’ Ħajti’. Although this first

volume falls within the historical fiction genre,

the names, dates and events mentioned are

all historically correct, and is ideal for those

who want to indulge in a brief and light read.

Written in Maltese it is the kind of book that

can be enjoyed by both adults and children.

Heritage Malta publications can be purchased

from the respective Museum Shops run by the

Agency and from leading bookstores in Malta

and Gozo. For further enquiries feel free to

contact us on


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





Most Popular 'Children Friendly' Restaurants in Malta and Gozo


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!




8 reasons to catch the bus with your children

When is the last time that you travelled by bus? If it’s been a while, you may have heard that all buses are now air-conditioned and fully-accessible with low floors. You may be looking for a reason to give the buses a try, so here are eight reasons to catch the bus with your children.

 1. It’s cheap!

With their own personalised tallinja card, children aged between 4 and 10 only pay 25c per trip, while children up to four years of age travel for free. Adults and students pay 75c per trip with their tallinja card, so a return trip with the personalised tallinja card will cost only €4 for a family of two adults and two children.

2. The children get their own card!

Cheaper travel is not the only benefit of using a tallinja card. If your youngsters are aged between 4 and 10, they will get their very own personalised card with their name on it. Hand it to them just before boarding the bus and watch them feel all grown up as they validate their card on the ticket machine, paying their own fare.

3. Beat the traffic!

Everyone hates being stuck behind the wheel in traffic, and this stress in this situation is multiplied when your children are bickering in the back seat. Buses are not immune to traffic, I hear you say. If the cars are stuck, so are buses, unless there is a dedicated bus lane. However, by taking the bus, instead of playing referee while keeping your eyes on the road, you can enjoy better quality time with your children.

4. See the world through your children’s eyes!

Children are continuously pointing out the different things they see, which we can very often miss while we’re driving. Travelling by bus with children can change the mundane into an adventure, as you get to experience the views through your children’s eyes. Be prepared to answer all sorts of questions, as each trip will intrigue the children in a different way.

5. Don’t worry about parking!

Once you arrive at your destination, all you have to do is gather your belongings and get off the bus safely with your children. While the trip might have taken longer due to the number of bus stops along the way, the time you save looking for parking more than makes up for it, especially if you’re visiting places like Valletta, Sliema, Mdina or Bugibba.

6. Experience Valletta!

Our capital city has loads to offer. From culture to entertainment, fast food to fine dining, there is something for everyone in Valletta. Getting to Valletta by bus is easy, with over 50 routes connecting Valletta to all the towns and villages on the island.

7. Explore new places

With over 2,000 bus stops around the island, there is a wide and varied choice of places to visit. Take route 109 to Bahrija, for example, to explore the countryside, or route 74 to see the Blue Grotto. Routes going to and from remote locations around Malta are very often less busy than others, and offer some spectacular views. Download the tallinja app to find your closest bus stop and use the journey planner to find the routes to your destination of choice. Travelling by bus has never been easier.

8. Go green!

By taking the bus you will be reducing the number of cars on the road, which in turn leads to less traffic congestion. You will be reducing your carbon footprint and setting a good example for your children. Show your children that you care about the environment by choosing green ways to travel.

Before you know it, your little munchkin will be a teenager, coveting independence. By taking your little ones on the bus, they will grow accustomed to the public transport system, learning about bus stops, interchanges and all the information that will make them confident bus users as they grow older. We can all do little things to change our future – catching the bus with our children is one of them!


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!





Heritage Malta

Heritage Malta Student Membership Scheme encourages students to get to know about the history and cultural heritage of our country


In its efforts to increase accessibility to all museums and sites, recently Heritage Malta launched a new membership scheme open to all Primary level students. The demand for Heritage Malta’s Student Membership Scheme is very encouraging and applications are still open for those interested.

The Student Membership Scheme was launched with the collaboration of the Ministry for Justice, Culture, and Local Government and the Ministry for Education and Employment.
The Heritage Malta Student Membership Scheme is meant for students at primary school level and will serve as a test for future projects. The scheme provides free entrance to Heritage Malta sites (except the Hypogeum) to all primary school students. It also offers a 50% discount on the entrance fee to up to two adults accompanying a student. Cardholders can benefit also from discounts at museum shops and activities or exclusive events organised specifically for members.
The Heritage Malta Student Membership Scheme instils interest and encourages students from a very young age to get to know about the history and the cultural heritage of our country. Apart from that, this scheme enhances the family bond as it stimulates an ideal family recreational activity.
 All those interested may apply online at

 Head Office


Ex Royal Naval Hospital


Triq Marina


Kalkara KKR1524




Tel: (+356) 22954000


Fax: (+356) 21222900


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!







Hospital Bag

 Ensure you have everything you need for your little one’s arrival with our hospital bag edit. Shop carefully for selected unisex essentials and multipacks that are easy to care for and gentle on your baby’s skin, as well as discover our new Dreamskin® range to protect delicate and sensitive skin.

Organising your baby’s wardrobe can be stressful, especially when you’re starting from scratch. An 8 piece starter set is perfect for newborn babies and will make a lovely present for baby showers and christenings. The set includes two sleepsuits, two bodysuits, two sets of mittens, a hat and a bib. Made from pure cotton that’s comfortable against delicate skin, the set includes all of baby’s essentials.

  Muslin squares are a daily must have for your little one. Made from pure cotton for extra softness, they come in an assortment of stripe and rabbit print designs, and plain white. They are fully machine washable and tumble dryer friendly for week-to-week convenience.

 Bodysuits are ideal everyday basics when dressing your little one. Made from pure cotton for a comfortable feel, our long sleeve bodysuits are tumble dryer friendly for added practicality. Featuring nickel-free press stud fastenings to prevent irritation, and envelope necklines to make dressing easy

 As a baby’s skin is often subject to irritation and sensitivity, our DreamSkin® technology is specifically designed to soothe the skin and help the baby sleep soundly. Made from pure cotton which is gentle against baby’s skin, our soft sleepsuits incorporate DreamSkin® technology to protect delicate and sensitive skin. The sleepsuits also feature press stud fastenings through the centre for easy dressing.

 Just like us, your little one will need a supply of socks from day one. Cotton rich with added stretch, our comfortable socks come in single packs as well as a practical pack of five with fold down trims.

 F&F is an international fashion brand for Men, Women and Kids at affordable prices.







 Mums... Pamper Yours


Moms are busy ladies and unfortunately, pampering is usually the first thing they sacrifice when they're swamped. Myoka Spa Breaks are the perfect way to rebalance the body and revive the soul. The best thing for busy moms to do is to take a little time out of each day to dedicate to themselves and their well-being. Some spa treatments are not as time consuming or expensive as one would think. We think that manicures, pedicures and massages are some of the top treatments for moms because they fit their lifestyles. When you are recovering from your baby's birth, a massage, facial or other treatment can truly lift your spirits. Mummy-to-be massage People have espoused the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy since at least 3000 B.C. but the  practice  for  pregnant  women  and  their  newborns is  a  fairly  new  discovery  for  many women. Pregnancy massage can bring relief to some of the most common complaints of pregnancy including heartburn and indigestion, hemorrhoids, morning sickness/nausea, sinus congestion, high blood pressure, and varicose veins.  Inner peace relaxing massage This  Massage  relaxes  muscles,  increases  circulation  and  lowers  stress  hormones, bringing  relaxation  and  stress  relief.  All body systems appreciate treatment after nine months of change, culminating with the delivery of the greatest miracle in life. Adding myofascial release and craniosacral therapy reaches deeper into the body for more complete healing.  Postpartum depression is a more serious, longer-lasting condition that affects 10-15% of mothers.  Studies show massage to be beneficial for treating postpartum depression.


Leading light massage Residual body aches from pregnancy are normal. Adding breastfeeding and childcare can intensify arm, shoulder and back pain. Massage is an effective holistic approach that relaxes muscles and relieves pain without medication.  Lymphatic drainage massage Body fluids need to find balance after pregnancy, in which there was an increase of about 50% in fluid volume.  This Massage increases circulation and lymphatic drainage to facilitate elimination of excess fluids and waste products. Massage helps hormone regulation, which also decreases swelling. Continue your high fluid intake for healing and lactation, even though you may still have swelling.For more info about our spa treatments please call the Myoka Lotus Spa on 21 370 163. We will assist you to design package around your budget and concerns ;-)







My Malta


Claire Bonello is the mother of a 5 year old girl and a mischievous 3 year old boy. Claire is a lawyer and a newspaper columnist with The Sunday Times of Malta. She lives in Sliema, close to the sea and her favourite haunts. 

Around the Island with Claire Bonello

Here are Claire’s suggestions for great family outings.

Sightseeing: ‘One of my favourite places is the Chinese Garden in Santa Lucija. The children are fascinated by the set-up and the Oriental décor and there’s a lovely lawn to play on. The garden is closed off to traffic and children can be monitored at all times making it safe.’


Eating Out: ‘A very convenient place to grab a pizza or good salad is Amigos in Sliema. Besides serving excellent food, the atmosphere is laid-back and casual making it kid-friendly.’

Days Out: ‘The recently-opened Ta Qali Adventure Park makes a great day out as there are loads of different swings, climbing frames and water features to keep my children occupied.’








Brain Health

The developing brain:

Did you know that there are over 100 billion

nerve cells in the human brain? During

development we “prune pathways” to help us

grow & learn. Different stages of childhood

are key to left and right brain development

which leads us to becoming healthy, purposeful

adults. Current scientific research has

demonstrated how we can effectively enhance

our brain’s ability to function by using proper

stimulation at the current point in time.


Neuroplasticity & Purposeful Play

Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to

change and adapt. Developmental milestones

are monitored during the early years to

ensure our children are growing properly.

Although infants are quite young for

“therapy/exercises”, there are many “games”

we can play with them to help improve

development of the nervous system.

Unique “games” we play serve a purpose in the

development of your young ones by activating

nerve pathways in the brain and spine. Training

enhances performance of neurotransmitters

thus improving quality of function.


St. Anthony’s Clinic @ Hilltop


Childhood Neurodevelopment



- Autism

- Sensory Processing Disorder

- Dyslexia

- Cerebral Palsy

- Dystonia

- Spina Bifida

- Traumatic neurological insult

- Genetic / Neurological disorders


Posture & Spinal Health

Posture is too important not to talk about!

Our spine protects and supports the nervous

system. Postural Distortion Pattern’s may

contribute some of the following conditions:

- Bedwetting

- Ear Infections

- Asthma

- Constipation

- Sleep disturbances

- Headaches


About us!

Our doctors are primary care providers

who specialise in spinal health and

clinical neuroscience with National Board

certifications in the United States which

includes physiotherapy and radiology. Our

therapies are safe, effective and non-invasive.


Consultations are available for

patients traveling from abroad.


For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here








 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here







FAQ's about children's teeth

                                                                                                        ASK THE DENTIST



A very small amount of toothpaste recommended for the child's age group can be used as soon as teething starts. A soft toothbrush for applying this, combined with a regular daily routine, goes a long way towards establishing positive lifelong oral hygiene habits 


This is quite simple really- sugar is public enemy No1. While it is relatively easy to identify sugary foods, it is less straightforward to recognise foods with hidden sugars in them: almost all processed and preserved food, sauces such as ketchup and barbecue sauce, frozen vegetables, fruit juices - including those which declare "no added sugar", and also all carbohydrates which are broken down by saliva into sugars. 

While it is impossible, impractical and even unnecessary to eliminate sugar totally from a child's diet, it is imperative to limit the number of times teeth come into contact with sugar during the course of a day. Identifying foods with hidden sugar in them should be relatively easy to achieve 


When a tooth is knocked out of its place completely, acting speedily is essential. Do not rinse the tooth but place it in fresh milk and call the the dentist immediately. Should milk not be available, place the tooth between cheek and gum. Generally permanent teeth can be treated and fitted back in their place. The dentist can decide whether to re-fit baby teeth or not, usually depending on how close the tooth is to being changed. If it cannot be re-fitted, the baby tooth can easily be used for stem-cell harvesting 


Start them early! Children can be taken for their first check-up as soon as the first baby teeth are through. For most, these early checks serve as familiarisation visits and the child will never associate their dentist with discomfort. They also serve to inform parents about the state of oral hygiene of their child. Where discomfort is already present- toothache, accidents etc -, it is imperative to avoid negative statements "this won't hurt a bit......" and encourage the child throughout any procedures "you'll feel better soon...."

Dr Joseph Xuereb - Savina Clinc - Dental and Implanatology Centres - Victoria, Gozo, SkyParks Buisiness Centre, Malta International Airport



How do I know if my child needs braces?


Children should usually start having regular dental checkups from the age of two. Screening for tooth and jaw abnormalities is introduced gradually as the child’s development progresses and your dentist will know if and when your child needs to be referred to an orthodontist for assessment.


How young is too young to start considering braces?

 Most corrective treatment for tooth abnormalities is initiated after the child has changed all baby teeth to permanent ones – around the age of 10-11. Imperfectly aligned teeth are normal as teeth are being changed, since permanent teeth are growing into a limited space in a young jaw that only catches up as the child develops. Some braces that influence jaw growth and help correct misaligned jaws may be started as early as six years of age.


What are the different kinds of braces?

Removable braces are simple appliances that help correct mild tooth position problems. Fixed braces in their various designs are the standard of care when more important malocclusions (tooth and jaw imperfections) are being treated. Functional appliances are usually employed to treat developmental jaw abnormalities and some habits (such as tongue thrust) at an earlier stage than other braces, and in many instances are followed by further orthodontic treatment.


Should braces be considered only for aesthetic reasons?

While aesthetics are the primary reason for the demand for orthodontic treatment, braces help correct or prevent many other issues, such as chewing abnormalities, speech development problems, and possible future complications related to an unbalanced bite.

How long will my child  be wearing braces for?

Typically, orthodontic treatment takes between 1 and 3 years, depending on the severity of the original situation.

Is it ever too late to consider braces?

The earlier orthodontic treatment is commenced following the establishment of permanent dentition, the shorter the duration of treatment will be. However, there is no upper limit to the age at which orthodontic treatment can be commenced.



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The discussion that needs to happen

 How to engage with technology as a family

  There can be no argument about the pervasiveness of technology in today’s world. Whether at work, school or home – it is everywhere. And as technology evolves, it becomes ever more accessible and affordable. The advent of touchscreen devices has done away with the need to read letters on a keyboard or to have hands big enough to grab a mouse. Children are essentially ‘born ready’ to engage with technology. All they need to do is point and touch.


But as parents, we also know that technology can present huge challenges. We are happy when a tablet or phone acts as a pacifier, but complain when children do nothing but play on their devices. We might invest in educational apps, but do we follow up to see what educational progress the child is making? Is more technology always better?

 When family time is essential,the automatic reaction seems to be to ban all electronic devices. But is this the only way? How can we make the best use of technology? Do we need to focus on the skills that children learn at school, or do we also need to make sure that parents are not lagging behind? Are games like Minecraft just games, or can we use them in fun ways that the whole family can enjoy and learn from?

 These are just some of the many questions that will need to be discussed. We cannot escape this – whether we are children, teachers or parents. The question is not about whether we need to find new ways to engage with technology, but simply about how and when to do so. At EasyPeasy Coding we strive to find the most innovative answers to these questions.



Gems of Malta 


  Words by Yolande Kleinjan   

Four years ago I moved from the Netherlands to Malta with my husband and two sons (they were 6 and 9 at the time). The first summer I explored the island, together with my two sons. They had, after all, a never-ending summer of 3 months! As a semi - tourist we visited all the usual places. But I wanted to do different stuff, go out, feel nature, have long walks, go hiking, exploring beaches, sneaking through caves and looking for fossils. I wanted to discover the beauty of Malta, far away from the crowds and off the paved roads. Having said that, walking is surely the best way to explore. ''The feel of a country under your fingertips, against your cheek, through the soles of your feet - this can only be done by walking''.




Spring for me is the favorite season of the year. But be aware! Before even noticing it, hot summer is already around the corner. It can happen that you change your winter wardrobe into summer wardrobe within one week. So we have to enjoy spring as much as possible. Mtaħleb is for us the best place to enjoy spring, it is one of the highest points on the island and is situated by the cliffs at the North West of Malta. The area is covered with beautiful red, yellow, pink flowers. This is the perfect place for the kids to find amazing fossils. There are many cliff sites in Malta, but what is special about Mtaħleb is that there is a gorge (small opening in the cliffy rocks) from where you can descend down the cliffs by the sea.





It is quite exciting as you walk close to the edge of the high cliffs of Malta. Fishermen are trying to catch some fish with  their long fishing lines all the way down to the sea. We love to have a picnic here.  A picnic with an amazing view and a breathtaking sunset.




During summer we are most of the time enjoying sailing. But even in summer there are days when you prefer to stay ashore. This is an ideal time to explore Gozo.  You don’t need to walk far to find the path which leads you to Mġarr ix-Xini.  The walk is truly breathtaking. Starting the walk from Mġarr fishing hamlet, past the Gozo ferry, you wlll find a path under Fort Chambray bastions. All the way towards Mġarr ix-Xini you find a really beautiful gem of nature, sea, flora and history. My boys love to play around the Mġarr ix-Xini tower and the gorgeous beach beneath it. In Mġarr ix-Xini you will find a lovely small restaurant where you can enjoy fresh fish, while the kids are exploring the valley or are swimming in the crystal clear blue water. When you still have some energy left you can continue going uphill to Ta’ Ċenc wilderness. You can enjoy the breathtaking views of the islands and the highest cliffs in Gozo. It is full of lizards and even sometimes we meet a shepherd with his flock. The path will eventually lead you to Xlendi bay, where you can take the bus back to Mġarr. 





In autumn when it is not too hot anymore and it starts to get a bit greener, one of our favorite spots is the area around Girgenti. In this area you will find so many aspects of beautiful Malta.  Park your car at Buskett Garden, where the kids can play around. Then follow the road which leads to Clapham Junction. Here you can find the pre-historic cart ruts, which is quite interesting for the kids. Every time we try to figure out how they were created. And I can tell you they come up with some interesting theories! But so far no one has ever found the answers for these cart ruts, only questions. In this area we also found a big cave, where it is paradise for the kids to play around. From there you can walk along the Roman Quarries towards the beautiful green valley of Girgenti. A lot of food we eat on this island must come from this fertile valley. In autumn the air is drenched with orange fragrance. Oranges and lemons are all around you.  When the kids are still not tired you can climb the Laferla Cross, which is situated on the highest hill in Malta. You can find our names next to thousands of other names marked at the base of the statue. 




 As we live in the South of the Island, we love to go out for an afternoon in the area around St. Peters Pool. One of Malta’s best kept secrets is the Delimara area, just off the  picturesque fishermen’s village of Marsaxlokk. This swimming spot is the  perfect example of an unspoiled beach and an excellent place for snorkeling. There is not even a kiosk where the boys can moan about snacks or drinks. It is called a pool because it looks like a natural swimming pool carved into the rocks. But the area is not only perfect for swimming, it is also great for hiking. When it is too cold for a swim we love to walk from Marsascala to Marsaxlokk and visit the famous market on a Sunday morning. The countryside between the two harbour towns of Marsaskala  and Marsaxlokk, provides some of the most spectacular walking tours in the South of Malta. On our explorations we found the Tas-Silg archeological site, which is not accessible for the public, the Victorian Tas-Silg Fort, now  a dogs' home, St. Paul's Battery, where we were able to make out where the large guns had once been placed to protect the bay and a very difficult to reach deserted (stone) beach, which is an adventure in itself for the kids.

I’m really honoured that I can share my favorite spots with you, but please promise me one thing when you visit them. Be mindful of these spots and keep them clean. Looking forward to meet you somewhere!

 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here




Supporting your child's emotional growth

As a parent the first and most important aspect of your child’s emotional and psychological growth is the internal journey of self-awareness you embark on yourself.  The more emotionally literate you are as a parent the more you are capable of offering your child an emotionally stable environment. This is a journey and a very exciting one.  If in the past you have had limited interest in your own emotional and psychological development, now is the time to start your journey. Parent your child with self-awareness and knowledge. This article is designed to give you a glimpse of what may work for you and your child in the first three years, the most crucial years of development. It will highlight some essential tips which can support your parenting skills and the development of your child within the emotional and psychological realm.

Prenatal phase 

Make this time a relaxed and happy time for yourself and your unborn baby.

Talk to your friends and family about your experience as an expectant mother.

Talk to those who really want to hear about your experience.

Listen to music which is elevating and calming and makes you “feel good”.

Touch your baby frequently, talk to your baby and sing to it. Although your baby is still unborn he or she still has sensations.

Come up with a pet name or a real name (if you know the baby’s sex) for your baby so you can start referring to him or her with that name rather than using “it”. Or simply say “baby”. 

Tell your baby that he or she is a wanted and loved child (even when circumstances are unfavourable). Even children given up for adoption are often loved deeply by someone other than their biological parent.  

The prenatal phase is often a more intensive period for a mother than it is for a father because of the physical changes taking place. Speak to your partner about these changes and if your partner is absent or unavailable share this information with someone who you know will be excited to hear it.

Birth – one year  

Your baby is born. Seek as much support as you can whether this is paid or voluntary. At this point mixed feelings towards parenting are common so make sure you get the help you can in order to be well for your child.

Ritualize the birth of your baby. Welcome your baby with phrases such as “Welcome to Earth”, “You are a wanted and loved baby”, “We are happy to have you”. This will set the pattern for the relationship between you and your child.  Although your child may not be using words at this stage, he or she is still taking in your gestures, non verbal expressions, tone of voice and other emotions present in his environment.

Hold, touch, cuddle, cradle, have eye to eye contact and spoil your baby as much as you can. There is no such thing as spoiling a child under the age of 12 months.

Sing to your baby. Sing songs which connect you positively to your baby and which you enjoy singing. They can be anything from nursery songs to pop music to film music.

Be around for your child.  Job opportunities demanding long hours out of the house can wait but your child’s development cannot wait.  

One to Two years

Your child is more verbal now so you may feel more inclined to use words yourself. Make it a rule in your family that words used are gentle, kind, respectful, considerate and clear.  

At this stage the need to discipline starts to emerge. Take time to learn how to use discipline effectively rather than simply trying to not do what your parents did to you. Look for books, internet sites and audio visual material that can support you in disciplining effectively.

Avoid advice from well meaning friends and relatives. You will have to find your own respectful style of integrating discipline in your family life.

Firm but kind and Love and Logic are in, Do as I say and For your own good are out.

Praise your child for their achievements (scribbling, saying a new word).

Appreciate your child’s physical qualities and be specific when doing so (“I love the way your little toe curls in this way”).

Avoid discussing your child in his or her presence and try to avoid the subject when other adults say “Is he/she a naughty boy/girl?” This is labelling and unnecessary to one’s growth.

Name calling and swiping statements can be avoided altogether. Make it a rule to always be positive towards your child. Start sentences with that’s … rather than you are … in order to form a habit of always talking about behaviour and action and not about the person.

Two to three years

Keep the pattern of speaking positively to your child, using a regular tone of voice, plenty of smiles and lots of reasoning and bargaining.  

Avoid shouting and spanking altogether.

Touch your child’s body only when expressing love or for safety and never in anger. The way you treat your child’s body is the way he or she will treat it as an adult. If you have difficulty controlling yourself and find yourself hitting your child seek professional help.

Keep reading books and consulting professionals when things seem to puzzle you.

Seek support of other mothers. Go out with them to gardens, parks, play areas and chat about how you feel. 

Take breaks by meeting friends for a walk or a coffee while someone else takes care of your child.

At this stage it is important to demonstrate to your child that you know how to take care of yourself so leave him with someone he or she likes to be with and tell your child that you are going out for a short while to have fun with some friends.  Avoid doing housework while your child is cared for by someone else.

If possible do something for yourself once a day. This can be a walk, a coffee, a film or anything else that makes you feel good.  

A happy parent makes a happy child and so it is important that you regard your happiness as a top priority. Even when you are invaded with anxious and negative thoughts start telling yourself positive things that work for you. 

Speak to your child about interesting and wonderful things in the world, remembering that this is the start of his or her journey.

Avoid exposing your child to excessive TV viewing, video games, news and other such stuff.

In the presence of your child avoid discussing tragic events that happened to neighbours or other people as your child is not intellectually prepared for this and will misinterpret it. Missing children, house theft, dying parents and the like are what children’s nightmares consist of – they are best left in the realm of dreams and not brought into reality. Gently stop people from talking about such things in the presence of children by non-verbally signalling to them that the child is around.  


 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!




Tax Deductions for Children's Cultural & Creative Courses


Fees paid for Children’s Cultural & Creative Courses

If your child is under sixteen years of age you may be entitled to a tax deduction. If the cultural or creative course is registered with the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts you can claim a deduction against your chargeable income for the amount of  fees paid up to a maximum of one hundred Euro. Forms can be downloaded from and  For more information you can contact the Inland Revenue Department on freephone 8007 2297.

Ħlas fuq attivitajiet kulturali u kreattivi – Tnaqqis tat-Taxxa

Jekk it-tfal tiegħek huma taħt is-sittax-il sena, tista’ tkun intitolat għal tnaqqis fit-taxxa. Jekk l-entità kulturali u kreattiva li fiha jattendu t-tfal hija rreġistrata mal-Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, int tista’ tingħata tnaqqis fuq il-qliegħ taxxabbli fuq il-ħlasijiet imħallsa sa massimu ta' mitt Ewro. Il-formoli jistgħu jiġu mniżżla minn u Għal aktar informazzjoni tista’ ċċempel lid-Dipartiment tat-Taxxi Interni fuq freephone 8007 2297.  

 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here 




Top free places to go with the kids  

as voted by Kate de Cesare, Claire Bonello and 4 kids 


Yummy Mummies Kate and Claire manage to juggle work, kids and, of course, not forgetting, their husbands. As busy parents we all know that time spent with the kids is precious time not to be wasted but savoured. Kate and Claire have been gallivanting across the country with their kids on behalf of the Malta Baby & Kids Directory and have come up with their list of favourite places to go with the children and lo and behold, all without spending a penny!  Try them out and see what you & yours think.

1. Buskett - ideally not on a Sunday - but especially in spring, autumn or a sunny winter day... it makes for a great 'adventure' for the kids and gets them walking a little - they can climb trees, count tadpoles, run about and picnic in a very nice picnic area. It’s safe and large enough to make each trip slightly different. A great place for children to delight in and parents to relax and unwind.

2. San Anton Gardens - a beautiful classical garden with lots to see including cats, turtles, ducks, various fountains... area in front of the steps to the palace is nice for a picnic... lovely place to walk and for the kids to run around, shaded and safe.

3. Independence Gardens - convenient - has some shady bits... kids love the cat bit and the fountain bit... they can ride bikes, play on the swings... can have a coffee after and the kids can run about.

4. Golden Bay – a super destination – children everywhere have always loved building sand castles… just take care to cover them with high factor sun screen in the searing summer months.

5. Chinese Gardens in Santa Lucija – This is a quiet spot of green amongst the hubbub where parents can relax while their children play safely and clamber on the rocks within the Chinese pagoda.

6. Kennedy Grove - Not on a Sunday, but during the week when the world & his wife isn't there! It’s fun for the kids to play in the grass and climb trees and it has a nice picnic area. Not a huge space but very pleasant.

7. Swings outside Mdina – A good place to romp before indulging in chocolate cake at one of the Mdina cafes. 

  For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here




Baby Development 


Many of us spend the majority of our lives thriving to improve our communication skills for professional and personal reasons.  

As our children grow older, we will spend many hours helping them to develop good communication skills and supporting them in situations where they have misunderstood others or been misunderstood themselves.  

During the vital first year, when the brain is developing more than any other time there is so much we can do to help our babies develop vital early communication skills. Babies learn, develop or acquire language through sensory experiences that involve verbal interactions with adults.


Early nurturing is so important. Babies have an amazing capacity to learn, but because parents or practitioners may not know what to look for, skills and capabilities may go unnoticed. One of the most exciting advances in child development has been the discovery that babies actually learn before they are born. Even more amazing is the fact that during their first year, babies learn more than at any other time in their lives. Babies are so clever, and their first year of development offers parents and practitioners a significant and remarkable opportunity to enjoy the learning potential of these incredible beings right from the start! 

By the first birthday, the baby's brain has doubled in volume as a direct result of the trillions of connections made between the brain cells. This is the importance of introducing a rich variety of sensory experiences at every possible opportunity. Dr Lin Day (PhD, Dip. Ed, BSc, PGCE, M. Phil.) 

Claire Savona ~ Baby Sensory Malta

  For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here




My Malta


Married to Robert and the mother of 2 wonderful children – Kristina 14 and John 7, Andrea forms part of the Malta Baby & Kids Directory and team. Andrea is a dedicated and inspirational mother and when not taxi-driving the kids to their various activities her passion is preparing jams and chutneys or baking and cooking using the freshest ingredients purchased directly from the farmers in her neighbourhood in the quaint village of Qrendi. 

Around the Island with Andrea Critien

Here are Andrea’s suggestions for great family outings.

Sightseeing: ‘I wouldn’t mind taking the kids on all the latest and fancy sightseeing excursions, however there’s always a budget to adhere to so we try to include sightseeing spots in our nature walks, our adventurous picnics or exciting camping trips. Living in Qrendi is a blessing; there are so many awesome sights and plenty of nature walks to choose from. My absolute favourite one is Blue Grotto/Wied Babu promenade in Żurrieq, Ħagar Qim, Mnajdra, Maqluba, Qrendi, where we walk along the recently refurbished Wied Babu promenade down to Wied iz-Żurrieq and, weather & budget permitting, we catch a luzzu trip to the Blue Grotto and nearby caves. Otherwise we stop at one of the many cafés then carry on our steep walk up the promenade to Ħagar Qim and down to Mnajdra temples, take a rest on the rocks then pursue our trek until we reach the deep natural crevice, Maqluba, in Qrendi.

‘On a balmy summer’s night we enjoy a walk along the Senglea waterfront which has amazing views of the restored Valletta Waterfront Pinto Stores and Fort St Angelo just across the water then we proceed through the city’s narrow streets. We sometimes either take a boat ride around Grand Harbour or just around Senglea and Vittoriosa creek.’

Eating Out: ‘We rarely eat out as both Robert and I enjoy our cooking and love to entertain both family and friends. However if I had to choose where to eat out, I’d definitely pick Palazzo Parisio for a lavish tea time treat. We also enjoy Fontanella in Mdina or Bobbyland in Dingli for hot chocolate and cake. Pizza would have to be at Margo’s in Mistra Bay, apart from being really tasty the surroundings just complete the perfection. On summer weekdays we either nip down to Wied iz-Żurrieq or enjoy a pizza down at one of the many pizzerias at the Senglea Waterfront, were John can talk to people while they’re fishing or watch football on the big screens. However when we’re eating out with my large family (17) we tend to eat at tal-Kaptan at the Valletta Waterfront which is great for kids as the aquarium inside keeps them entranced for quite a while, at least until the food arrives at the table.’

Days Out: ‘We’re blessed with a mixture of places on the island. In summer we enjoy scrambling down to one of Selmun’s or Mellieha’s hidden beaches that fortunately can only be reached on foot or by boat. Sometimes we catch an early boat to Comino to swim in the Blue Lagoon before the crowds arrive for the day, then we walk across the island and stop for a swim at various bays, and perhaps hire a pedal boat to explore the caves – you can choose to take packed lunch or you may have snack at the hotel cafeteria.

‘In the Autumn/winter the boots and anoraks come out and we go on long country walks in Qrendi, Siggiewi, Fomm ir-Riħ or on warmer days we enjoy picnics in Mtaħleb, Miżieb, Manikata, Buskett, depending on the weather.  

‘We also enjoy flying our kites at Ta' Qali or Ħal-Far on very windy days. There are also the Wirt Artna or Heritage Malta Sites that hold regular open days of their various sites and when possible we try to take advantage of these events. 

‘There’s no excuse not to go out in Malta, we’re lucky to have great weather, short distances and a wealth of natural and historical venues to visit. We refer to regularly as events are updated daily and there are so many to choose from! Your weekends with the kids will never be the same again!’

 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here




Ideas to keep kids active 


Get adventurous and become a Dolphin or Cub, Guide or Scout. Guiding and scouting are an Education for Life. They complement the school and the family but fulfil those needs not met by either. They develop self-knowledge, the need to explore, to discover, to want to know. Their non-formal education programmes are full of progressive activities based on the interests of girls, boys, young women and men. Activities in contact with nature, a rich learning environment where simplicity, creativity and discovery come together to provide new adventures and challenges. (Activities – Adventure Clubs section)
With encouragement at home and at school, children progress rapidly from the scribbles and paint blobs from their playgroup days to more skilled forms of creativity, such as painting pictures and constructing models. So assist their imagination and guide your child to express their inner self through one of the many art and craft or ceramic sessions available.  (Activities – Art & Craft section)
Kids look forward to bath time so why not try a bath bomb session. Whilst a fun activity that creates a useful product, making bath bombs can be a lesson in science – the fizzing reaction is the same type of reaction that occurs in carbonated beverages. (Activities – Art & Craft section
Children simply love stories. Story time is an exciting time for children who are always ready to have their imaginations stimulated. Refer to the animated reading sessions listed in this directory. For the more intent readers with an insatiable appetite for books head down to your local library or Malta’s Public Library in Floriana. (Activities – Libraries section)
Most toddlers and kids enjoy playing with musical toys such as xylophones, whistles and drums, so enrol in one of these joyful classes. It is toward the end of primary school that a child takes up music seriously so choose a music school that can advise you on choosing the instrument to which your child is best suited. (Activities – Music Lessons section)
Dancing improves muscular control and co-ordination in young children and can be fun. Malta has an amazing number of dance schools to choose from. Read through our dancing pages … (Activities – Dance section)
Playing and acting are physical accomplishments developed by toddlers and are used in more skilled and interesting games as a child grows up. Imitation is also a part of development and a child expresses this by dressing up and acting a part of their own mind.  Check out classes available in Malta. (Activities – Drama section)
With the Mediterranean surrounding the Maltese Islands it provides some of Malta’s most popular playgrounds. If water is to be enjoyed in safety children must be completely at home in it. All children should learn to swim. Swimming promotes health and gives great pleasure. It is inexpensive, can be enjoyed by everyone and can open the door to numerous exciting activities such as sailing, surfing, diving, canoeing, water skiing, water polo, competitive swimming and more. As swimming is not always taught in schools it is up to parents to help their children to learn to swim. (Sports Activities - Swimming section).





Some basic first aid tips



Minor cuts, scratches and grazes


-      Wash and dry your own hands.

-      Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable gloves.

-      Clean the cut, if dirty, under running water. Pat dry with a sterile dressing or clean lint-free material. If possible, raise affected area above the heart.

-      Cover the cut temporarily while you clean the surrounding skin with soap and water and pat the surrounding skin dry. Cover the cut completely with a sterile dressing or plaster.


Severe bleeding


-      Put on disposable gloves.

-      Apply direct pressure to the wound with a pad (e.g. a clean cloth) or fingers until a sterile dressing is available.

-      Raise and support the injured limb. Take particular care if you suspect a bone has been broken.

-      Lay the casualty down to treat for shock.

-      Bandage the pad or dressing firmly to control bleeding, but not so tightly that it stops the circulation to fingers or toes. If bleeding seeps through first bandage, cover with a second bandage. If bleeding continues to seep through bandage, remove it and reapply.

-      Treat for shock.

-      Dial 112 for an ambulance.

Remember: protect yourself from infection by wearing disposable gloves and covering any wounds on your hands. If blood comes through the dressing do not remove it – bandage another over the original. If blood seeps through both dressings, remove them both and replace with a fresh dressing, applying pressure over the site of bleeding.


Objects in wound

Where possible, swab or wash small objects out of the wound with clean water. If there is a large object embedded:


-      Leave it in place.

-      Apply firm pressure on either side of the object.

-      Raise and support the wounded limb or part.

-      Lay the casualty down to treat for shock.

-      Gently cover the wound and object with a sterile dressing.

-      Build up padding around the object until the padding is higher than the object, then bandage over the object without pressing on it.

-      Depending on the severity of the bleeding, dial 112 for an ambulance or take the casualty to hospital.

The above are only guidelines and are in no way a substitute for a thorough knowledge of first aid.

The source of this first aid for bleeding is from St John Ambulance, Malta.



 To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here!







 Traumatic injuries to children's teeth

                                                                      AT THE DENTIST


It is an unfortunate fact that children of
all ages can suffer injuries to their teeth
during the course of their daily activities.
Injuries can start as early as the first teeth being
present in the mouth. Falls or cot injuries may
affect newly erupted teeth by loosening them,
intruding them into the gum, losing them
entirely or fracturing them. Mild mobility
after a fall usually resolves itself with no
consequences. Intrusion of the tooth into the
gum can, on occasion, result in nerve damage
with resulting infection and eventual loss of
the tooth. Even if the tooth is not lost, post
injury, teeth need to be monitored regularly
for evidence of necrosis and infection since
this can result in damage to the enamel
structure of the underlying permanent tooth
Fractures of the tooth crown are more
common in older children. If the damage
is slight, the tooth can be repaired invisibly
and painlessly, but more severe damage,
with the fracture line close to the nerve
chamber, needs to be monitored prior
to any repair work being carried out.
Should the nerve be exposed, urgent
attention is required to preserve some
of the nerve tissue in order to allow the
immature root to finish developing
Severe injuries may also result in fragments
of root remaining embedded in the lips. It
is essential to trace all broken fragments
and if this is not possible, x-rays of the
lips should be taken especially if there is
swelling associated with lip laceration.
Very occasionally a tooth may be avulsed
completely from its socket. This can occur
in contact sports, falls or accidental blows.
Here, urgent intervention is imperative.
The tooth should be rinsed with fresh milk
or even just bottled water and transported
to the dentist inside the child’s mouth,
between the gum and the cheek.
As always, practising prevention is always best.
Advising children of the consequences of rough
play and respect for fellow players is critical.
Children playing contact sports should be
fitted with custom-made mouth guards. These
have been shown to reduce dental fractures
drastically and may be the best prevention
 for lifelong consequences to a child’s smile.






A day in the life of… Andrea Cassar


Where do I begin!! My days are very hectic but I wouldn’t want to change them for anything in the world.


My typical day starts at 6 am. My alarm goes off and every day I realise that I didn’t get enough sleep. Yet sleeping that extra 20 min is not going to change anything so I cuddle up with the kids - who during the night have ended up in my bed - and wake them up with lots of hugs and kisses to get them up in a good mood.


I get up, and start dragging them out of bed for showers… while my husband prepares the lunches. We get the kids ready - Isaac for school, and Eve to come with me to the office. I shower quickly, dress and get my make-up done hoping that my tired, puffy eyes will smooth out by the time I get to work.  Every morning it’s a struggle between getting to work at a decent time and eating breakfast with the kids.


For some reason it feels that in the morning the clock ticks faster than usual, and no matter how much I prepare the night before, I’m always running late… 

I bundle both kids into the car and hit the road to try to get to Isaac’s school in time.

His school is on the other side of the island, so it takes me an hour in traffic to get there. After I drop off Isaac in Birgu, I head to my office in Marsa where I start my long day…  

 At work I am blessed with the flexibility of having a baby sitter to take care of Eve so that she’s still around me, which relieves some of the guilt of not spending the whole day with my little one.

My day at the Shipyard is full, then at 1.45 my alarm goes off to collect Isaac from school and we head back to the office where home work is done and we all have lunch together while I continue with my work. After, we all head home to meet daddy.

 I put food in the oven and spend the rest of the evening playing with the kids and spending quality time.  After I cuddle up with the kids in bed, to make sure they are fast asleep, I start my preparations for the next day.

 One thing that never changes is the nonstop pace of holding down a career and a household.

By 9.30pm I try to watch a movie, but according to my husband I usually crash out on the sofa only to wake up and realise the movie I’ve been longing to watch is over…

 In truth my days are very varied. On top of it all, I somehow manage to fit in my television series ‘Liquorish’ as well as other multiple activities, working at night and from home whilst the kids are sleeping. Its crazy… but it works!!






Deciding on childcare 


Deciding on Childcare - Where do I start?

Choosing the right childcare may seem like a daunting task, especially if it is your first time. In today’s society, where it is becoming increasingly common for mum to return to work after maternity leave, having to rely on childcare is not an easy decision. Trust your instincts and carry out some research into childcare  centres to help you make an informed choice.

What are the carer-child ratios?

According to the national standards for childcare provisions the following ratios apply;

Age birth - 12 months - 1 carer to 3 children

Age 13 months - 24months - 1 carer to 5 children

Age 25 months - 36+ months - 1 carer to 6 children! 

Is there financial help towards my childcare costs?

Yes, there is! The government introduced a free childcare scheme in April 2014, whereby qualifying parents are entitled to free childcare based on the condition that both parents are either working or training. Application forms and a list of registered centres can be found on For further information and eligibility contact or 2598 2174 / 2598 2772.

What will my child be doing in childcare?

Apart from being fed and changed he/she should be in an environment that stimulates his/her development. It is important that children at this age are shown adaptive prosocial skills by learning the concept of being kind to others and sharing. A childcare centre that promotes such social behaviours prepares your child for kindergarten. Ask your childcare centre about the ways in which they promote prosocial behaviour. ! 

Will they learn anything?

Of course they will! No matter what age your child is, they predominately learn through experience, social interaction and play. Ask your centre if they promote educational aspects to play. For example, do they introduce key themes through crafts or activities? Perhaps the introduction of colours through a block sorting activity. When children are exposed to themes through the use of play they are more likely to remember the theme as it was an enjoyable positive experience ! 

Mrs Georgina Fardoe 

MSc Child & Family Psychology

Childcare Centre Manager

Orange Tree Childcare Centre


Sqaq Il - Hofra, Gharghur +(356) 2713 4813  +(356) 9977 2080







Free childcare to help families achieve a work/life balance



 The Free Childcare for All scheme, is a budgetary measure for 2014, announced by the Ministry of Finance and implemented by the Ministry for Education and Employment.  The Scheme started  in April 2014, with more than 95 % of the registered child care centres applying to form part of it. New child care centres opening in Malta and Gozo are also registering to be part of the scheme.  The primary aims of the scheme is to both provide a more equitable and affordable provision of early care and education to all children irrespective of financial means and social background as well as to increase the active participation of females in the labour market. The proposal has already proved a success with childcare centre providers prepared to invest in facilities and expand. The educational aspect of the initiative would be given priority, so that children enjoy a stimulating educational experience to serve as a stepping stone for their future educational attainment.

This initiative represents one of the Government’s major economic reforms, and through it, the Government is both increasing the female participation in the labour force, and also strengthening the country’s skills as the initiative is also available to those parents seeking to further their education.

Actions set out in this scheme include:

·   Families with both parents in full-time or part-time employment or in education will benefit from free childcare.

·    Parents will benefit from the equivalent  of their working hours as well one hour daily for commuting, together with an additional 10% of their working hours in childcare services per month.

·      Parents who are students studying on a part-time basis will be entitled to 20 hours while those studying full-time will benefit from 40 hours.

Application forms and a list of all childcare centres registered in the scheme can be downloaded from the website For further information on the scheme and eligibility please contact us on or 2598 2174 / 2598 2772.


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Temper Tantrums in Kids


Temper tantrums are considered an essential part of child development which are expected to emerge during the toddler period (18months -3years). This period is a time of intense physical growth accompanied by increased activity. During this developmental stage, the child is expected to establish a distinct self that is separate from her parents. This explains why the child starts to assert herself where her favorite word becomes ‘no!’. Apart from the need to take more control over herself, this behavior may also stem from the frustration caused by an incomplete and unbalanced development of expressive language skills when compared with their more complete receptive language skills.

Toddlers tend to understand complex sentences however they are still very limited with regards to their communicative ability which many times does not exceed 2-3 worded sentences. Although temper tantrums are notorious to parents as their authority is being seriously challenged, if parents remain firm and in control the toddler will leave this stage with a secure relationship with her parents, trusting them to establish boundaries. How to cope with temper tantrums Address the behavior as soon as it starts without getting angry or giving in to your child. Say to your child, "When you stop crying we'll talk about it and see what can be done."   Then walk into the next room. Show love. It's okay to hold your child if she comes to you during a tantrum and she's too young to be left alone, but don't respond to what she wants until she calms down. Get some privacy. When in public ignore any glares you get, take your child to a private corner to wait for her to calm down. Tell her, "I'll sit down with you until you stop screaming." If she doesn't stop crying or screaming after three or four minutes, take her home. Parents need to learn how to deal with their own frustrations and anger in an effective manner. "Monkey see, monkey do." Have realistic expectations. Expecting a toddler to remain seated and sedate during church service or while in a fancy restaurant will only lead to frustration for both age groups.

Help your child find the proper verbal way of expressing their frustrations. ("I know you are mad that I won't give you more time on the swings, but it is time to go home and eat”) Preempt and Plan ahead. For example, "We have to stop watching TV when the timer rings for the second time.” This gives the child the opportunity to assert some control over the situation and develop an alternative approach to a frustrating event. Toddlers crave control. Allow simple choices that you can live with. For example, "Do you want some apple or banana at lunch?


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Baby Sign Language 


From the moment babies are born, they start to communicate by using sound and
natural gestures.  Baby Sign Language exploits this natural ability of babies and uses sign language to encourage two-way communication between parents and babies, before the babies can talk.
Baby Sign has been steadily gaining in popularity worldwide and has many benefits to
both the parent and the child.  As these benefits are becoming more widely recognized, more and more parents and childcare professionals are signing with their babies... so what is it all about and how can you get started?
The Deaf community has always signed with their children, so "baby sign" has always been around.   But more recently people have started to discover the benefits of using baby sign with hearing babies.
Research has shown that by using baby sign language with hearing babies before they can talk, you can increase IQ, self-esteem, communication skills, parent/baby bonding, and decrease tantrums and frustration.  With all these benefits, it's no wonder that baby signing is gaining popularity.
Baby sign language is based on adult sign language but with more flexibility so some signs are changed to make them easier for little hands to copy.  Everyone can enjoy the benefits of baby sign as it is very easy to learn and fun to practice.
Many people are still weary of baby sign language because they think it is a fad or only for deaf children.  Some people even think that by using signs you will somehow delay your baby's speech development.  All of these misconceptions have been proven wrong by extensive research carried out in America.  In actual fact using baby signs helps your baby develop communication skills and speech earlier that non-signing babies.
Just think - babies start to communicate from birth.  They start by using eye contact and facial expressions and as they gain more control over their bodies they may wave or clap hands.
By about 6 months your baby will have developed the motor skills needed to make signs, by 7-8 months your baby's memory will have developed enough to use the signs consistently.  However, your baby's vocal muscles will not have developed enough for comprehensible speech until about 18-24 months old!  That means you could have been communicating with your baby a whole 18 months earlier!
•         You can start signing with your baby at any age - some parents start from birth.  A good time to start is around 5 months.
•         Your baby will probably sign back between 6-8 months, when his memory will have developed enough to store and use the signs regularly
•         Babies need 4-6 weeks to learn their first signs and to start to copy them back to you, so you will need to be patient.
•         Once a baby has learned his first signs, he will learn the next ones more quickly.
•         Baby signing does not delay speech - quite the opposite has been proven to be true.
•         By signing with your baby you are giving him the very best start in life, by giving him tools that allow him to communicate his needs to you without unnecessary crying and frustration.
•         Increase your baby's IQ
•         Improve your baby's language and communication skills
•         Strengthen your parent/baby bond
•         Reduce tantrums and frustration
•         Build your baby's self-confidence and self-esteem
Sylvana Brannon




The notion of child-care 


Children deserve the best possible care for their well-being and development. It is imperative that safe and developmentally appropriate children’s services are available to promote the holistic development of children and their families. 
The traditional aim of a child care centre is to provide a place for working parents to leave their children during working hours. However in actual fact, childcare centres cater for the formative years of a child s’ life. In this regard, the facilities aim, and are indeed obliged to provide an educational programme as well as a safe environment conducive to the well-being and education of, as well as emotional development of, the child. 
The promotion of such child care centres is being taken on the realisation that the sustainability of a country’s economy and social fabric depends on a strong work force where qualified, skilled and competent workers are given opportunities to find employment while at the same time start a family and enjoy family life. Thus, child day care centres provide the peace of mind for parents that their children are in good hands, in a safe and stimulating environment whilst being nurtured by qualified carers who are aware and have a sound knowledge of children’s development and needs. 
An intelligent and balanced use of child care is shown to benefit the child but one cannot adopt a one size fits all situation. Child care should be seen as an extension of parental attention, in fact it should serve as a continuation of what parents or primary care givers are obliged to provide at home. Frequent meetings with the provider as well as discussions on what works best for the child will guarantee that the child’s stay is a happy one.
These centres are filling the gap which traditionally was fulfilled by the grandparents who acted as the primary babysitters. However this trend is on the decrease due to the fact that the grandparents themselves might still be of an employable age. Apart from helping in reaching a work-family balance, childcare research has shown that high quality care can impact positively upon children's intellectual, linguistic and social skills.
As with any other service, child care needs to be regulated and monitored to ensure that the set standards are upheld. The Welfare Services Assessment Unit (WSAU) within the Department of Social Welfare Standards has been entrusted with the inspectorate role. In fact the WSAU inspects, monitors and assesses child day care services. The centres are expected to apply for registration with the Department which provides the necessary guidance. This registration procedure is intended to reassure parents who choose Registered Child Day Care Facilities for their children that the facility is striving to operate according to a set of established standards in the best interest of their children. 
In Malta, the publication of the National Standards for Child Care Facilities in 2006 was intended to ensure a better, safer and healthier environment for children. Prior to 2006, childcare provisions were not regulated, thus, the purpose of regulation and the setting of standards for this particular sector provides quality assurance for children attending such facilities and reassurance for their parents.
The level rating for the qualifications and the occupational standards for child carers and managers relates to another very positive recent development. This was launched by the Ministry for Justice, Dialogue and the Family together with the Ministry for Education and Employment so as to ensure that qualified persons are working within the centres as required by the 2006 National Standards. One can appreciate that the well-being of children cannot be left to chance and although the providers do have a leeway in the way they operate the facility, it must be kept in mind at all times that such services are being given for the benefit of the ultimate beneficiaries, that is, the children.   
Currently, there are 67 registered facilities, 47 of which are privately owned, 4 are run by the Church, 7 which are public-private partnerships and 9 Foundation for Educational services (FES) centres provided by the government which also provides means testing and thus caters for families with low incomes. The notable increase in registered child care centres reflects the demand for such centres as well as the measures taken in order to meet these demands. With this objective in sight, national funds as well as European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) have been made available to these child care centres to improve their services as well as encourage new ones to start operating.
Government’s commitment is to promote a view of childhood as an important phase of life in its own right and not just as preparation for adult life. Children must be allowed to live in the present and to realise their full potential. These are the aims underlining the National Children’s Policy which shall be launched shortly by the Ministry of Justice, Dialogue and the Family. The objectives outlined centre around the child as the holder of rights, and a subject liable to vulnerability. Ultimate success can be realised if children themselves feel the positive change.
Dr. Sandra Hili Vassallo – Director DSWS




Measuring up to our siblings 


We are born into our family and the relationships within weave the fabric of life. Children learn social competencies and social norms through their interactions with parents and siblings and family life becomes a complex, dynamic experience that has a direct influence on how they feel about themselves. The need to feel loved and to belong is innate – it is a primal need for every individual. For young children, the developing self is fragile and is easily damaged. The way a child sees himself or herself deep inside depends on the way significant people in their life react to them. Initially, their self-esteem forms in relation to parents, caregivers and siblings and sibling rivalry is inevitable. They tend to compare themselves to the more admired and favoured sibling. Our role as parents is to provide a ‘secure enough base’ that becomes a platform for future relationships. The family becomes the safe playground where they learn to feel competent, valid and to tolerate difference. It is the quality of our relationships that matter. Children want to feel loved and love is also spelt T-I-M-E. Balancing out time with each child individually also helps them feel validated. There is less need to compete for attention, thus reducing sibling rivalry. Meeting a child’s emotional needs helps him/her overcome potential feelings of inferiority. Challenging behaviour can occur when too few emotional needs are being met, such as the need for
Every child’s needs also depends on his/her experience in the moment and when caregivers are attuned to such needs, the child feels seen and met. On the other hand, emotional withdrawal can be devastating. Children who feel loved and secure are better at forming healthy relationships. They feel less threatened, are more confident to explore new things, are less likely to be bullied or be a bully and more able to say “No” to peer-pressure when they are older.  
Anna Fenech holds an MA degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and is a Gestalt Psychotherapist.  She is also trained as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor with children and young adults.  She works in different settings and also runs a private practice working with children and adults.  

Sport Activities 

Fees paid for sports activities - Tax Deductions


If your child is under sixteen years of age you may be entitled to a tax deduction. If the sports activity entity your child attends is registered with the Malta Sports Council you can claim a deduction against your chargeable income for the amount of fees paid up to a maximum of one hundred Euro. Forms can be downloaded from  an or collected from Cottonera, Marsa and Tal-Qroqq Sports Complexes.

Ħlas fuq attivitajiet sportivi – Tnaqqies tat-Taxxa Jekk it-tfal tiegħek huma taħt is-sittax-il sena, tista’ tkun intitolat għall-tnaqqis fit-taxxa.  Jekk l-entita’ sportiva li fiha jattendu t-tfal hija irreġistrata mal-Kunsill Malti għall-Isport, int tista’ tingħata tnaqqis fuq il-qliegħ taxxabli fuq il-ħlasijiet imħallsa sa massimu ta’ mitt Ewro. Il-formoli jistgħu jiġu mniżżla minn u jew inkella jinġabru mill-Kumplessi Sportivi tal-Kottonera, tal-Marsa u tal-Qroqq.

The Inland Revenue Department has recently issued a booklet outlining various deductions of fees paid in relation to:

1. School fees paid to private independent schools and/or kindergarten centres   

2. Fees payable for the services of a facilitator 

3. Fees paid for child-care services 

4. Fees paid for sport activities

To check whether your school and/or childcare centre are registered and to see if you are entitled to the above deductions, phone IRD Call Centre, Tel: 2296 2296 or Freephone: 8007 2297 or visit website

Id-dipartiment tat-taxxi nterni, reċentament ħareġ ktejjeb li juri it-tnaqqis ta’ ċerti miżati mħallsa li huma relatati ma’:

1. Miżati ta’ skejjel imħallsa lil skejjel indipendenti u/jew Kindergarten centres

2. Miżati mħallsa għas-servizzi ta’ facilitator

3. Miżati mħallsa għal servizzi ta’ child-care

4. Miżati mħallsa ghal għal attivitajiet ta’ sport 

Biex tiċċekkja jekk l-iskola jew childcare centre tiegħek hijiex irreġistrata u biex tara jekk intix eliġibbli ghal għal dan it-tnaqqis, ċempel IRD Call Centre, Tel:  2296 2296 jew Freephone:  8007 2297 jew żur is-sit

Malta Sports Scholarships were launched for persons wishing to specialise in training in a sports discipline or academically in a subject related to sports. Everyone can apply for the scholarships, including young persons. Where a child still attends obligatory education, they have to make separate arrangements to continue with their schooling in a school in the country where they would be studying or training. Application forms may be downloaded from or an email sent on

Malta Sports Scholarships gew imnedijja għal persuni li jixtiequ jispeċjalizzaw fit-taħriġ f'xi dixxiplina sportiva jew akkademikament f'suġġett relatat mal-isports. Kulħadd jista ' japplika għall-boroż ta' studju, inklużi persuni żgħażagħ. Fejn wild għadu jattendi edukazzjoni obbligatorja, huma għandhom jagħmlu arranġamenti separati biex ikomplu bl-edukazzjoni tagħhom fi skola fil-pajjiż fejn huma jkunu ser jistudjaw jew jitħarrġu. Formoli tal-applikazzjoni jistgħu jitniżżlu minn jew tista’ tibghat tibgħat email fuq sportsscholarships.mede @

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 Low back pain during pregnancy. Can osteopathy help? 



What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a manual medicine which is widely practiced throughout the world. In the UK, an estimated 30,000 people consult an osteopath every working day. Most of the ailments presented to the osteopath are of a musculoskeletal nature, which include chronic back pain, neck pain, tension headaches and general stiffness.

Do expectant mothers suffer from back pain?


It has been shown that about 76% of expectant mothers report episodes of back pain throughout their pregnancy, and that many seek the opinion of an osteopath. Treatment and followups by an osteopath have been clinically shown to improve outcomes with back pain during pregnancy, particularly in the case of those suffering from sacroiliac joint dysfunction and pubic symphysis dysfunction.




What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction and how is it treated? Pregnancy brings about hormonal changes in the body to enable it to carry the child and for delivery. Relaxin is a hormone specifically produced to soften ligaments, allowing the pelvis to become more mobile (lax) to accommodate the growing baby. This increased ligamentous laxity can bring about undue strain on joints and ligaments, particularly the sacroiliac joint (you can feel this over the ‘dimple’ on your lower back). Manual manipulative treatment (such as that performed by an osteopath) can address imbalances in the pelvis, improve weight distribution and allow the joints to function properly.



Where can I find a qualified osteopath in Malta?

 Osteopaths are required by law to have a warrant to practice in Malta. The Council for Professions Complementary to Medicine (CPCM) regulates the profession. A minimum B.Sc. (Hons.) qualification in Osteopathy is required in order to be able to practice. Osteopathy Malta Clinic in Ta’ Xbiex houses highly experienced, UK qualified osteopaths. For more information, please visit or email


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                                                                Mission Statement


To protect the right of the child

To foster an optimal start in life

And to encourage the mother’s right to achieve it

A lot is being said and done about this very emotive subject. Some argue that breast is best, while others argue that it doesn’t matter, as long as they have given birth to healthy babies. The choice is theirs, and it should be respected.

 For those who are still unsure about the advantages of breastfeeding, the following information highlights some of its benefits – both for the baby and the mother – based on recent research.

Apart from being the perfect food for the baby because it is so easily digested, breastmilk contains antibodies which protect babies from various allergies and infections such as gastroenteritis, as well as chest, urinary and ear infections. It also reduces the risk of diabetes and some childhood cancers, decreases the likelihood of obesity, high blood pressure and cardiac disease in later life, improves cognitive development, and works on mouth/jaw development.

The uterus contracts during breastfeeding, thus helping the mother’s shape return to normal at a faster pace. Breastfeeding also reduces the chance of ovarian or breast cancer and helps bone density in the mother.

Breastfeeding saves money, since breastmilk is free. Furthermore, it saves time and is proven to be more convenient for busy mums, as it involves no heating or sterilising.

Apart from having the right to decide whether to breastfeed her infant or not, a mother also has the right to be given the correct information.

If you would like more information or require support to make an informed choice about your feeding method, the Association of Breastfeeding Counsellors (as a branch of Cana Movement) can help. Call our association on 9983 7170, send us an email on charmainegalea@ or find us on Facebook.


The Purest Ingredients for a New Beginning

 thanks to Weleda Mum & Baby Range



Since it was established, Weleda has pursued objectives which sprang from its founding principles. Its products are intended to support people in their personal development, in maintaining, promoting and restoring their health, and in their efforts to achieve physical well-being and a balanced lifestyle.


Skin as delicate as your baby’s, needs very little intervention to become the priceless natural shield needed for life. Treat dry, chafed or irritated skin, cleanse little bottoms, or enjoy a soothing massage together with the simplest of all formulations. Light organic sesame oil and extract of organic calendula are all we need to offer you this treasure. Softening, warming, calming and relaxing – for tender moments with your little one from the first day


To create a perfectly gentle wash that works for babies, we put in a lot of thought. Formulated with beneficial ingredients like extract of organic calendula, the wash helps to gently lift dirt, leaving skin soft, hair easy to comb and baby’s own scent intact. Sweet almond oil prevents dryness, and the soft lather doesn’t sting baby’s eyes. No tears, no tugs, no roughness – just a clean, sweet-smelling, wriggly baby.


Organic calendula, the humble pot marigold, has exceptional anti-inflammatory properties, and is used in our Calendula Baby Care products. In our hard- working Nappy Change Cream we blend calendula and chamomile extracts with sweet almond and sesame oil, making a rich cream to reduce redness and gently care for the nappy area. Skin-friendly lanolin and zinc oxide provide a barrier against damp. Midwives agree we’ve been offering an exceptional product for nearly 30 years!


And for Mum: Perineum Massage Oil An all-natural oil to help you prepare for the birth of your baby. Perineal massage enhances skin’s flexibility, protecting against tears and cuts during childbirth.



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Should you have a Birth Plan?


When it comes to having a baby, does the expectant mother have a right to choose the way she would like to have her baby? Truly, what are her choices?

It is common knowledge that encouraging the pregnant couple to make a Birth Plan helps them to shoulder parenting responsibilities in the future. To be able to make choices, they need to become knowledgeable about what happens during the birth, claim ownership of the situation and be able to participate in decision-making with the support of their caregivers. Space needs to be given should a couple not like what is being offered to them, and then if necessary, they may ask elsewhere for a second opinion and even opt for another system that appeals to them better.

Ideally, true choices lie in different systems that are made available. One should be able to choose the people who will care for them, the place and the management of birth. It is one’s right to ask pertinent questions with regards to statistics, safety and methods used. This depends on whether the pregnancy is considered low-risk or high-risk. The plan needs to be flexible to cater for instances when the outcome takes a different route than expected.  

Some of the topics that offer choices are best discussed during pregnancy, hence the importance of education early in pregnancy. There are many options and whether one prefers a natural, non-medicated birth or a medically assisted delivery, a Birth Plan is the perfect tool to having one’s desires met as much as possible. Here are some choices to consider:

•        Place of Birth: Home, Midwife-led Birth Centre, Doctor-led Private hospital or Public hospital

•        Due date:  Labour starts naturally or induced?  What kind of induction – natural vs medical?

•        Intervention:  Monitoring- continuous vs intermittent, vaginal exams, stripping of membranes, rupture of membranes, episiotomy?

•        Presence of support persons: partner, doula, family, other qualified persons

•        Pain relief: Medical vs Natural.  When to offer? Epidural, sedative, tranquillizer, narcotic, / relaxation & breathing techniques, birth pool, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, acupressure,

•        Comfort choices:  privacy, mobility, positions, room temperature, shower, birthing ball, dim light, music, hot water bottle, ice chips, aromatherapy, TENS,

•        The Birth: Pushing, delivery by mother/father, cutting chord delay, skin-to-skin contact, silence, placenta

•        Cesarean: total anesthesia, epidural, incision, presence of partner, hospital stay.

•        After the Birth: Breastfeeding, formula, bottles, pacifiers, photographs

•        Hospital stay: single/shared room, short (hours) or long (days) 

Personalising your birth makes it tailor-made for your wishes.  This helps make your birth experience a memorable milestone in your life you do not want to forget!




Marianne Theuma I.C.C.E. is a qualified teacher, childbirth educator and an experienced Doula. She directs “In The Family Way”, a school for parents based in Marsascala, where various parenting courses, parent clubs and other activities are held regularly. For more information visit Website: or phone 21636735.


                                                              To read this, and many other interesting articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here! 




                                                                  Baby Shower Editorial 



I noticed that many articles are only in one section. Do I have to add the articles in the missing section?


The modern Baby Shower traces back hundreds of years to when people would bring helpful gifts to new mothers. Although there was no actual party, it was only a matter of time before these little celebrations evolved into baby showers as we know them today.   

A theme adds a special element to the party, be it storks, angels, teddy bears, traditional colours signalling the gender of the baby or simply something fun or whimsical. Deciding on a theme is the first step to take before choosing invitations, decorations, and even food.  

Shaping or cutting your treats & sandwiches into rubber duck or teddy bear shapes is another great idea to give your party food that special touch. 

Table decorations could be anything from matching plates, cups, napkins to baby decorated confetti, plastic pacifiers & feeding bottles filled with jellybeans or sweets. You can also add banners & hanging decorations.  

And when it comes to gifts, no baby shower would be the same without having a baby shower diaper cake.    

Diaper Cakes or Nappy Cakes are skilfully made up from useful baby items, including Diapers, Blankets, Clothes, Bath Products, Booties, Bottles, Soothers, Soft Toys, Socks, Pacifiers, in fact anything you can think of that would be useful for a new born.   

Diaper Cakes are becoming so popular because they are original & great group gifts. Baby shower hostesses love them because they are a cute and impressive centrepiece for the party & they can be decorated to match any theme you have chosen for your shower.  

Baby Shower favours are a great way to thank your guests. Candles, soaps, and bath salts are just a few ideas to give as favours. If you would like to get creative, some nice baby shower favours to make are cookies & cupcakes.  


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Malta Baby & Kids Directory is created by mums for mums and childcarers.
Lisa Grech is the founder of the Malta Baby & Kids Directory and website. Together with Denise Briffa and Crysta Darmanin we combine work on the publication and website while bringing up lots of children (seven between us!).

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