We recently collaborated with Jess Roberts from Learning from Luke, on a campaign she is driving for Down Syndrome Awareness - Jess has the cutest little son called Luke who has Down Syndrome. Please read this enlightening and incredible story below as Jess shares she journey with us, enjoy!
If there is one sentence that we as first-time parents never in our wildest dreams expected to hear it was “Your child has 99% chance that he will be born with Down Syndrome”.
I had never even met a person born with Down Syndrome and our entire world was turned upside down and inside out with the utterance of these words from the neonatal specialist.
Jon and I knew however once these words had been said that we would be keeping our child. Call it gut intuition, call it a leap of faith, or call it a feeling of deep and profound love and connection towards our unborn first child, but we knew that he was ours and we knew that he would be life changing.
We vowed that we would do all that we could to ensure that our child was welcomed with open arms into this often hostile and scary world. We vowed that we would do every last thing that we could to show him each and every day how wanted he was and how we chose him to be ours. We pledged that we would do everything in our power to showcase to our family, to our friends, to our community and ultimately to the world the beauty, joy and light of our son. We wanted to educate, we wanted to create awareness and we wanted to shout from the rooftops the love that we felt for our son.
Two and a half years on and this is still our pledge.
When Luke was born I started a blog and an Instagram page to deal in a selfish way with a myriad of emotions that I felt and was attempting to process. Looking back I would never have believed that that little blog would have had over 30 000 views and our Instagram page @learningfromluke would have over 5000 followers.
It fills my heart with an incredible amount of joy to know that we have reached, educated and touched that many lives, and that we do so on a daily basis. It is only through the exposure, through the education and through the awareness of our beautiful children that the world will ultimately become a kinder, more inclusive and more aware place, and this has been our ultimate goal.
October which is Down Syndrome Awareness Month holds an incredible amount of importance for us and this year I wanted to do something meaningful and close to my heart.
Luke has been a brand ambassador for a number of local brands, and having been in the fashion industry for the past nine and a half years, clothing has always been a big part of my life.
My dream for Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2018 was to showcase beautiful local brands, modelled by beautiful local children born with Down Syndrome, shot in a beautiful local location and by one of the best local photographers.
On the 26thof August on the North Coast of KZN this dream came to life and the #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS campaign was born. 8 families, all with children born with Down Syndrome came together, dressed in their respective local brands and the resulting pictures taken by the talented Derryn Schmidt were nothing but pure, pure magic. Derryn so accurately captured the pure love, the pure joy and the pure light that our kids exude.
The idea behind the #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS campaign is that our children born with Down Syndrome can be anything and do anything that they put their minds to. They can be brand ambassadors, they can be models, they can be trendsetters – they can be anything that you and I dream of and more. Our children are not defined by their diagnosis and they are more alike you and I than different.
My dream with the #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS is to start a movement. A movement whereby us as a family, us as a community, us as a nation and indeed us as global citizens stand up, with a collective voice and say YES. YES to kindness, YES to inclusivity, to awareness, to love. YES to not only embracing differences but to celebrating them. YES to dreams, dreams so big that they scare the hell out of us. YES to the future and YES to our children being able to be whatever they want to be.
Thank you to Kerryn and KAPAS for so readily jumping at the chance to be involved in my dream. You went above and beyond. Thank you for embracing this movement and for being part of the change that we want to see in the world.
It seems to be a rule of nature that children get sick outside of pharmacy hours. It can be anything from a sore tummy to a scraped knee but once it happens you are always grateful if you have the right things to stop the tears and help everyone to get some sleep again!
Here are a few ideas of things to keep stocked in your medicine box, obviously these are only suggestions and this blog serves in no way as medical advice especially for more serious sicknesses. This is more of a guide of things you can buy so that you can be prepared next time your child is in discomfort so that you don’t find yourself Googling 24 Hour Pharmacies at 11pm on a Saturday night.
- A standard first aid kit. You can buy these in various forms from anywhere like Clicks or Dischem but the good thing about them is that they equip you with the basics to deal with things like cuts, scrapes and burns. Have a good look through the contents so that you know what you have and remember to have a peek every few months to make sure that you replace anything that’s been used.
- A good thermometer, preferably with an electronic reading. There is not much that is as scary as a small person with a very high temperature and you need to make sure that when it strikes you can monitor it properly so you know when you need to take them to a hospital.
- A medicine dispenser. A child wriggling in pain is not easy to coax into taking medicine and you don’t want to battle scooping spoonfuls all over their unhappy little face. There are various forms of dispensers from dummies to syringes, have a look a look at what would suit your child best based on their age and habits.
- Something for sore tummies. A little person with an upset stomach is not a happy little person so make sure to have a few remedies at your fingertips. Buscopan is a good one as well as (???)
- Something for pain/temperature. There is a lot that can be said for pain relief, especially for someone who is small and doesn’t understand why they feel so terrible. So make sure you have a good pain killing option in your arsenal such as Calpol or Panado (???). There are also good suppositories which can act faster than oral medicines.
- Something for soothing the skin. Playing outside is wonderful but remember to protect those soft little skins while they’re out there. Anything from insect bites to sunburns can cause a lot of discomfort so make sure you have something to help soothe the burn. Whether it’s an antihistamine like Anthesan or a calming aloe-vera gel, sometimes the very act of some TLC from mum or dad already helps the itchiness go away.
- Plasters. You will be amazed at how many things can be fixed by a plaster – and not just cuts and scrapes. From a bruised toe to a bruised ego, small people love the special treatment of these sticky problem solvers. In fact we would advise carrying a pack in your nappy bag/hand bag as well for whenever small disasters strike. Just remember not to leave them lying around otherwise they will certainly all be opened and stuck around your house…
So there you go, this is just a basic guide so if there is more you need to stock up on then go ahead. Just remember to check dosages and expiry dates on medicine and most importantly, keep it all out of reach of little fingers.
Kapas Baby #forlittlepeople
We would like to introduce another guest blogger, Daniel Sherwin from Dad Solo.
Daniel is a single dad raising two children, a 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son, in Portland, Oregon, USA. Daniel writes from a dads’ perspective about his experiences as a single parent and hopes to be an inspiration to other single parents.
A New Reality: Adjusting to the Challenges of Single Parenthood
Parents today face challenges that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. Drugs, the cost of education, debt, and gun violence are enough to dissuade anyone from having children. Imagine those same problems multiplied times two for single parents who have to adjust to life without a helpmate or someone with whom to share difficult decisions about child rearing. Single parents have to help their children adjust to a new life without having mom or dad around. It’s no picnic for parents either. The adjustment is made harder for them because divorce or separation can be emotionally devastating and financially crippling. It’s no wonder that single parents suffer from inordinately high levels of depression and the looming fear that they’ll fail their kids.
The day-to-day family problems remain much the same, but the cost of providing for children can quickly overwhelm a single parent who’s struggling to make ends meet. In many cases, a single mom or dad needs to take on a second job just to keep food on the table and the lights on. Helping kids with homework, getting them to and from sports and other activities, and providing emotional support is a lot to deal with even for parents who can get by on one income.
Raising a child today costs an estimated quarter of a million dollars through age 18. Often, parents who think they have a good handle on the financial aspect of child rearing find themselves at an absolute loss in the wake of a divorce. Even if you’re a wizard at saving money and making do with less, there’s not much you can do when it’s just you, especially if the cost of your divorce has left you strapped. For people who just aren’t good at managing money, or whose ex-spouse handled the financial side of things, figuring out how to stretch a dollar can really ratchet up their stress level. And yet having to do it all yourself can force you to learn how to make it work (the Internet is an excellent source of information on how to be a better budgeter).
The legal factor
The ideal divorce scenario is for both parties to reach an amicable settlement and to cooperate in a friendly manner in the best interest of their kids. Unfortunately, it often doesn’t happen that way. If, as is often the case, child custody court doesn’t bring things to a swift conclusion, the relationship between parents, and between parents and children, can become very difficult. If there are extenuating circumstances involved, such as drug or alcohol abuse or charges of domestic violence to consider, the case may drag on for months with no resolution. The most lasting scar is the residual anger and ongoing emotional retribution that can go on for years and cause permanent psychological damage to the children. Family counseling can help make things better, but only if both parties are willing to try.
The new family dynamic that results from divorce or separation makes for a tough transitional period for everyone. If the kids are in the custody of a parent unaccustomed to being the disciplinarian, they may challenge mom or dad because this new role is inconsistent with the way things were before the divorce. As difficult as the situation might get, it’s important to maintain your authority. Consistency is the key; work to set a consistent, healthy routine for your child; keep your home as welcoming as possible and free from clutter; and, as much as possible, stay on top of things like homework and household chores.
Meeting the challenge of single parenthood takes a lot of courage and patience. It’s a new role for you, one you’ll have to grow into, just as your kids have to adapt to their new circumstances. Fortunately, children are resilient and usually adjust quickly even to the most difficult situations. Remember try to remain calm and try to understand that things will be difficult for a while.
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash.
We would like to introduce our first guest blogger; Chandelene from Spaghetti & Coco.
Chandelene is a vegan mom of two; a 7 months old boy and 2 ½ year old girl. In her free time she loves experimenting with new recipes and promoting the vegan lifestyle. Chandelene has very kindly shared a few words, along with a delicious vegan recipe and gorgeous photos of her adorable son, Chrido who is dressed in his Kapas Baby clothing.
Picnics in the Forest
The thing about life is, that it goes by in a flash. One moment you are holding this precious new-born in your hands and the next; sleep-deprived, messy bun, puffy eyed and your newborn is teething, sitting, crawling, standing and somewhere in the blink of an eye this fresh new life becomes a tiny human.
They grow, they play, they explore. They make our hearts stand still a few more times than what we’d like to count. In the very same moment, they catch our eyes and make our hearts swell ten times bigger than what we ever thought possible - with pride, love and adoration.
This life, this precious, teeny, little life, is made up of small moments that come together to form a little person. We get so caught up in the sleepless nights, worrisome days, doctors’ visits and growth charts that we forget to stop and appreciate this time, this second.
Mamas, Papas, stand still.
Put life on hold and take some time out with your kids. Join their crazy, beautiful, imaginative world where; a tree becomes a forest, a small patch of water, a lake and a leaf, the most beautiful sailing boat you have ever seen. Play in the sea. Build a puzzle. Have a picnic and soak up the precious moment that is now.
Pack a picnic basket, fill it with snacks; some for baba, some for mama and dada. Keep it healthy. Live long. Appreciate yourself. Appreciate them and let’s give a second to the little people.
We filled our basket with mini Falafel burgers, oasted bread fingers, Tahini-free humus, apple, pear and spinach puree and some peanut butter and oat cookies for mommy and daddy.
Mini Falafel Burgers with oven baked Falafel patties
Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein. They have so many health benefits and taste delicious, especially in Falafel. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food that originated in Egypt. Honestly, I could easily live on Falafel alone and you could make so many different varieties of this dish that you will never tire of it – or maybe that is just me!
To make it a bit healthier, I prefer to make an oven baked version of this usually deep-fried dish.
You will need the following:
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Then pulse a few times until they have broken down, but the mixture is still quite rough. Form small round balls (size depends on the size of your burger buns) and press flat (about 1cm high). Bake for 25 min on 200ºC.To serve
- 400g tinned chickpeas (drained, rinsed and dried)
- 1/2 red onion (roughly chopped)
- 1tbsp crushed garlic
- large handful of parsley
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- zest of half a lemon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- large pinch of salt & pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Mini Burger Buns
- Vegan Mayo
- Red Cabbage
- Balsamic extract
- Olive Oil
- Sliced Roasted Aubergine
- Baby Spinach
Toast buns in a toaster or on a pan and spread with a generous layer of vegan mayo. Next, add a slice of roasted aubergine and your falafel patty. Finely chop the red cabbage and mix with balsamic extract, olive oil and salt. Lastly, add your red cabbage mixture and baby spinach leaves.
The great thing about this is, for the baby-led-weaning parents out there, your baby can enjoy the Falafel with you!
Thank you Chandelene for the inspiration and amazing recipe.
Kapas Baby #forlittlepeople
Wikipedia, our old friend, could not have summed this up better: “Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people."
With a “local is lekker” flavour to this blog, the Kapas Baby team, firstly, wants to wish you the happiest of Heritage Days this Sunday, but also to encourage you to take some time out this weekend to give your little people a taste of your heritage so we have come up with a few ideas for you:
Cook something delicious and specific to your culture. Let your kids; learn an old family recipe, chop, peel, lick the spoon and get stuck into heritage flavours that you grew up with.
Plant something indengious. There is something so wonderful about spending time in a garden with your little ones; appreciating nature, catching up in a technology-free zone, and it could be the start of a great family tradition (especially if you are planting a tree).
For the braaiing-kind of families – this is a no-brainer. Get the family around for Sunday lunch and get stuck into a good old fashioned braai.
Branch out and explore another culuture. Plan something out of your comfort zone and introduce your kids to a new type of culutural activity or a totally new meal.
Just for fun. Teach your little one a new greeting in honour of respecting someone else’s culture and mother tongue.
Read something tradtional. Sink your teeth into a bed-time story from the “good old days”, something with a real tradtional ending.
Whatever you decide to do this Heritage Day, make sure your little people feel that extra bit prouder to be South African! Give them a chance to learn something new and enjoy our unique country; cultural diversity, flavoursome foods, and opportunities to explore the best of our South African outdoors.
Kapas Baby #forlittlepeople
Nothing beats a Spring clean; out with the old and in with the new. Spring also brings with it, a new mindset, a burst of energy and a sense of wanting to get organised and do something a little fresh and creative - whether it be in your home, with your babies or in your working world.
In most parts of South Africa, it is warming up a little and the shorts and dresses are starting to make an appearance so at the forefront of ‘getting organised’, we have a great suggestion; get your babies’ clothing sorted. Just Plastics, Game and places alike, sell clear, roughly 56 litre, storage boxes which make the most ideal storage space for your little people’s ‘outgrown’ clothing. This size storage box is tried and tested and also fits beautifully into a cupboard, stacked one on top of each other.
Gather up the batches of clothes into their correct size groups, box and label accordingly; newborn, 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-12m and so on. This will also be a great opportunity to “cull the herd” of clothes that won’t serve a purpose for the next baby (if you are planning on another one). If you are feeling super energetic then do this with the toys too.
Spring also delivers some delicious seasonal fruit, so we thought it would be a great idea to make your own ice-lollies. Cut the fruit up into manageable bite size pieces and get your little ones to help drop them into water to freeze. Not only is it a fun activity but also a great way to get your child to eat fruit if they are a tad on the fussy side at this stage.
Whatever puts a spring in your step this season, take a look at our new collection. A collection that is inspired by the warmth of Spring and the soft, beautiful sunshine. A time to be outside, with your feet on the grass or your hands in the sand.
For little people who want to be comfortably stylish in locally made, 100% cotton baby clothing. A collection created for dazzling little girls and dapper little boys. Penguins. Whales. And little fish. That’s what it’s all about this spring!
Kapas Baby #forlittlepeople
With the up and coming public holiday tomorrow, allow us to voice a political opinion or two as most South Africans are unaware of why we memorialise the 9 August every year.
Women’s Day commemorates the march of 1956 where thousands of women stood together “to petition against the country's pass laws that required South Africans defined as "black" under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport … that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation, and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era. … [To date,] National Women's day draws attention to significant issues South African women still face, such as parenting, Domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, unequal pay, and schooling for all girls. It can be used as a day to fight for or protest these ideas.” – Wikipedia
So this year Kapas Baby chooses to honour women all around South Africa who are fighting for better futures for our children and who are doing everything in their power to create an upstanding nation for our little ones.
As mothers, you do your very best to instill values and respect for others in your little people and we so appreciate the hard work that goes in to it. We know that it may be an uphill battle at times because the resistance comes in many shapes and sizes; ‘teething tinies’, terrible twos, testing threes and on it goes but the persistence pays off. Your commitment to your babies, your friends, your partners and your community is such a great reminder of how powerful women are when we stand together and support each other.
Tomorrow, we celebrate you and the fights you fought to get to where you are in your life; all the trials and tribulations and the sacrifices you made to be the best parent you could possibly be. We look forward to a year ahead of strong women, powerful convictions and motivation where it matters the most; our little people.
“As a woman, ask yourself, what are you prepared to take a stand for today, if not to help yourself, then perhaps to help other women more vulnerable than you? Women’s Day is a reminder of that.”
- Nikki Bush
We are offering you all 10% of our entire shop in celebration of Women's Day, please use the discount code 'CELEBRATEWOMEN17' on checkout.
Kapas Baby #forlittlepeople
A large part of the beginning stages of parenting is about entertaining, so when the weather plays up the panic sets in. Bad weather brings long hours of being cooped up inside and no activity seems to withstand the toddler boredom so we have put a little list of homemade indoor activities to entertain your little person indoors. In no particular order: -
Drawing & Painting. Clear the decks, stick the newspaper down and get drawing. This will also be a great opportunity for you to get rid of any unwanted paper to scribble / paint on the back of.
3 Cups & Ball. Hide the ball under one of the cups and shuffle them. Get your child to find the ball.
Plastic Slide & Cushions. If you have a plastic slide outside bring it indoors and create a fun little padding area with cushions. This will entertain your toddler for quite some time.
Reading & Books. You will be surprised at how long a child can be entertained for with a few books. For the toddlers try and get hold of books with flap ups, sensory elements and bright colours.
Peanut Butter Play Dough. Google the easy Peanut Butter Play Dough recipe (deliciously edible) and get your little one to help you make it. Then find interesting shapes to use as cut outs.
Musical Instruments & Sing Alongs. Bring out the old favourites likes Humpty Dumpty and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and get creative with musical instruments (pots and pans, wooden spoons and plastic tupaware).
Build a Fort. You know you are in for a little tidy up afterwards but this is always fun indoors. Sheets, pillows, tables and chairs – build a maze to your fort.
Obstacle Course. As an add value onto your fort, give your little person a fun challenge and design a danger-free course around the lounge to the fort.
Hide ‘n Seek. Run and hide and make sure there is lots of shrieking when your little one finds you. This makes it ten times more entertaining for you too.
Sorting. Kids love to sort so get creative on this one. Sort spoons, tupaware, washing or even toys. Put a few containers / boxes on the opposite side of the room and get your toddler to collect from you and drop in the different containers / boxes.
Make a Texture Box. Gather up a variety of things around your house and glue them in a box. Paper, pasta, sponges, bubble wrap – whatever you can rally up to make an exciting box of textures.
Baking. Bake something fun that requires a lot of stirring and mixing and tasting. You can even do a smaller mixture just to entertain your toddler well the main event bakes in the background.
These activities should have you covered for a day indoors but if you aren’t up for homemade ‘in’tertainment then do a little research to find out child-friendly venues that are close by. Kids zones are always an easy option and some of these spots have child minders too so you can enjoy a cuppa while your toddler runs free.
Check out our variety of winter wear; tough enough for the outdoors and perfectly comfortable for a day indoors.
Kapas Baby #forlittlepeople
You just can’t beat the perfection of a newborn; they are born into this world so perfect and so pure. The first time you settle them into a bath, you become so aware of how many firsts your little baby is going to experience in their life.
On the topic of firsts, we recently started stocking Pure Beginnings so we thought it appropriate to do a little piece on baby skin care; just enough to get you started as a first time mom.
Bathing a newborn for the first time is quite a daunting process. Most of you would have attended an antenatal class where they do a demonstration on a doll. As helpful as this is, it is a whole new ball game when it is a wriggling, crying little baby so we recommend inviting one of your “mom-friends” over when you bath your baby for the first time and they can show a few tricks to it.
You could also have a nurse give you a demonstration on your baby before you leave the hospital but just to bear in mind that The World Health Organization advises delaying your baby's first bath for the first 24 hours to allow for the Vernix (the waxy white layer most babies are born with) to play its part in acting as a anti-bacterial layer for your baby’s skin. Because of the role of Vernix and the sensitivity of your baby’s skin, some moms don’t like to bath their babies for the first week or two, until the umbilical chord has dried out and fallen off, but rather sponge bath them.
As newborns are not very active at this stage of their lives, it is recommended by experts to only bath your newborn 2-3 times a week to prevent their skin drying out. Some parents on the other hand, prefer to bath their babies daily because it gets them into a little routine. Whichever approach you take as a parent, it is definitely advisable to use tear-free shampoos and fragrance-free creams. Drum roll … Pure Beginnings.
This is why we chose to stock Pure Beginnings – they just seem to have checked all the newborn skin care boxes:
- They use ultra mild surfactant that doesn’t strip moisture from your baby’s skin.
- Their product focuses on encouraging the beneficial bacteria on the surface of the skin and maintaining the normal pH of Skin.
- It also supplements with a prebiotic food source that only the beneficial flora can feed on.
The added perks of Pure Beginnings is that their product is rapidly biodegradable so great for the environment and the they use recyclable packaging.
Environment. Check. Best for baby’s skin. Check.
We have a range of Pure Beginnings products to choose from and whatever your preference about bathing, you can rest assured that this product has your baby covered; from bum creams to sensitive baby wash, you absolutely can’t go wrong.
If you have any questions about the range, don’t hesitate to contact us.
To view the full range of products, please click here.
Kapas Baby For Little People
The Kapas Baby team do something a little different around Father’s Day. Although we definitely love to celebrate the dads and all that they do for our families and little people, we like to acknowledge the rest of the team too.
We think about all the moms out there who don’t necessarily have a wingman to rely on and so for this reason we prefer not to box up a day to single out one parent, but rather use those days to salute the captain of your ship.
Parenting comes with many a thunderstorm, and the urge to want to jump ship, every so often, does wash over us. However, the significant moments that we witness in their little lives really do seem to make the ‘vysbyt’ worth all the sacrifices you have made to date.
On the Youth Day front, as your baby becomes a toddler and then a little ‘mini you’, you think about how much that tiny brain has absorbed and how incredible the human mind and body is. You also think back to the moments when other parents used to say to you “enjoy this, they grow so fast”. And before you know it, the cliché has hit you like a tsunami and you are marking down the celebration of yet another Mother’s or Father’s Day.
Being a mom/dad is a spectacular journey and rowing the parenting boat definitely does get easier, so take some time this weekend, to really soak up the sun with your little ones. Make the most of their little characters and have a good laugh at the personality traits that are now starting to shine through from your side of the family. Before you know it, they will be rowing their own boats!
So to all the captains (moms and dads) revel in your parenting successes of your little people on Friday and of course … Happy Father’s Day for Sunday!
Kapas Baby | For little people