18th April 2017

My final thoughts on classes at Heguru Centre Dubai

18009230_10158589291200607_1312326789_nIf you didn’t catch my first post about the classes we have been attending at the Heguru Centre Dubai, you can find it here – and it’s well worth a read to understand the concept of these ‘Right-Brain Education’ classes, which take place in Motor City.

Wilfred has been attending the classes every week on his morning off nursery – and we’ve now got to the end of the six-week trial, so it’s time for an update.

And honestly? I am so amazed by these classes and the ways they can clearly help children visualise and think, that I have decided we are going to continue with the classes (despite my collaboration with Heguru Dubai coming to an end). With such a busy work and family schedule, that’s quite rare – but it’s testament to the fact that I really believe in what it’s doing…

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So why am I impressed?  

So let’s rewind to late 2016, when Heguru asked if I’d like to trial the classes with Wilfred. I had a look into Heguru and was fascinated by the science behind ‘Right-Brain Training’ – but I have to be honest, I was kind of unconvinced it would work. Especially with my wild child, who would much rather spend his time dashing around the garden or a giant soft play.

In early 2017, I went to a taster session at the centre – and it was my first glimpse of Heguru in action. Seeing flashcards flashed for a split second, the teachers talking incredibly quickly, the kids only getting 60 or so seconds for every task…. I was once again intrigued, but baffled – but I told myself that I would give it a chance anyway, bring Wilfred for six weeks, and then we could return to the soft play areas instead.

So imagine my surprise when we started the classes and we both started to really enjoy it. It was fast-paced and a bit comical at times – but as the weeks ticked on, I found myself looking forward to it each week. Parking the car outside, walking in the sunshine to class, and then spending an hour with Wilfred as he took part.

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I started to see some changes in Wilfred after about class 3 – so the mid point in our trial. He started to recognise the tasks that were about to take place – and he was quicker at completing them. He loved the physical challenges the best, like fitting wooden shapes into spaces on paper, tracing letters, and matching colours to a diagram on the wall. But I also noticed him paying attention more as the weeks went on – sat listening intently to a song about a fresh water salmon, trying to sing along to a Chinese song he remembered, and watching the flash cards in silence.

But the real clues that it was working came outside the lessons… When we were in the car and he suddenly blurted out ‘NO U-TURN’ when he saw the sign he remembered from class. When he looked at the pieces of apple on his lunch tray and suddenly stacked them so they looked like three Burj al Arabs… When he was eating a pancake one afternoon, then ripped it up into pieces, laid them on the table, and then blurted out ‘Eurasia, Africa, Australia, South America, North America, Antartica.’ I was truly staggered.

It was like he was getting triggers visually as he went about his day – triggers to remember things, create things, and learn things. The right side of his brain was obviously waking up – and it was really fascinating to see.

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So what happens now?

Well, I’ve decided we are going to continue and see where it takes us. But not only that, Stanley is going to come along too. Stanley (my eldest child) is quite academic and keen to learn anyway – so I am expecting to see results even quicker.

I’ll be updating you all on how we are getting on every now and again – so keep an eye on my social channels. And in the meantime, head over to the company’s website here – http://hegurudxb.ae/ 

 

In collaboration with Heguru Dubai



22nd March 2017

Why we love Baby Sensory Classes…

17440175_10158447600015607_651619191_nRewind to January 2013, when my first baby was 9 months old. I was looking for something to do with him – to entertain him and to get myself out the house – and I stumbled on Baby Sensory, which had just arrived in the UAE. I’d done a few trial lessons when I was back in the UK when he was a smaller baby and we’d both loved it – it appealed to my own love of textures and colours and he had loved the bubbles, balls, toys and music. We carried on every week until he was 13 months old.

When I had my second baby, I never got round to attending classes. It crossed my mind several times, but I had nobody to look after his big brother – now a toddler – while I was attending. I felt quite sad about that and vowed to head back to classes if I went on to have a third baby.

So when Mabel arrived – now with her older brothers at nursery and school in the morning –Baby Sensory was back on my weekly calendar. We’ve now been attending for a whole term (in the 0-6 month age group) and her face lights up as soon as we step into the room. Just like her older brother did, she loves the familiar songs, the fun props, the lights and the bubbles.

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I’ve reviewed lots of baby classes in Dubai, but this is the one that I love the most. I just love the way that every lesson is different and so carefully planned out – baby mountains created from mounds of different fabrics with interesting textures for them to crawl over, space-themes with a darkened room and hundreds of twinkly lights for them to watch and hold, underwater themes complete with bubbles, fish and swathes of blue fabric to recreate the water… For me, it beats baby classes where every class follows the same formula – as if I’m bored, I’m less likely to take her every week. And Baby Sensory is anything but boring.

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Baby Sensory UAE hold classes all over the city for babies under 13 months old – and when they get older, they can join Toddler Sense Classes, which are very similar but include more physical activities.

More details and a weekly calendar is online here –  www.babysensory.ae – and the classes definitely come with the Mum of Boys & Mabel approval!



18th March 2017

Is a UK Boarding School The Right Option for Your Expat Child?

reasonswhyschoolfriendsarefriendsforlife2_1430990228When the UK agency ‘Boarding Schools and Colleges’ got in touch with me (an agency providing advice on UK boarding schools to families living overseas), I knew it would be of interest to a fair number of my readers. After all, educating our children is a hot topic in expat circles – and I know the Dubai/UK secondary school debate is always in my mind, even though it’s a way off for my family (Stanley is about to turn 5).

I’m a big believer in the value of a UK education – especially when it comes to getting into the top universities around the world – and whilst we personally have no intention of still being expats when our kids reach secondary age, I have very close family members who attended boarding school from a young age (aged 8, if my memory is correct) and I therefore I have a very open mind towards this kind of education 

How can the agency help you?

If your family is getting close to secondary age education and you have considered boarding school in the UK, this agency can advise and help you.

The agency know boarding schools in the UK very, very well – and they can make recommendations, offer guidance on the whole process, and advise based on their own visits and experiences.

Considering a UK boarding school for your children?

You won’t be the first, as 27,000 students travel to the UK to study at independent schools every year. It’s a safe, secure environment for your children, which ensures an excellent education for your children.

It isn’t just the quality of the education either, but the excellent pastoral care and extra curricular activities that your child will have access to. I personally love the idea of my kids being able to play outside throughout the entire year, rather than enduring the scorching summer heat throughout their teenage years – and the thought of them playing cricket, rugby, and football all through the year is definitely appealing.

That’s not to mention the extremely strong friendships that boarding school environments offer – friendships that usually last lifetimes.

UK boarding schools are steeped in history and tradition – and I grew up hearing about “old boy” and ‘old girl’ societies that become a real help with our children head out into the job place too.

It is a huge step – and as a mother, I understand that wholeheartedly – but seeing the results of a boarding school education for myself in my cousins (and they will love me saying this), I know it’s a safe, nurturing environment that excellently cares, educates, and prepares them for adult life.

If you are considering it for your own children, head over to www.boardingschoolsandcolleges.com  for more information.

 In collaboration with Boarding Schools and Colleges



15th March 2017

Wilfred tries: Classes at Heguru Centre Dubai

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 14.05.55If you follow me on social media, you will be aware that Wilfred (my middle child; aged three) has started weekly classes at the Heguru Centre Dubai (located in Apex Atrium Building in Motor City – very close to Extreme Fun, for those that have visited there).

We go together once a week, on his morning off from nursery – and after only 4 weeks of attendance, I’m starting to see a big difference in his concentration, enjoyment, and participation. And to be totally honest, I was a bit sceptic at first – but I am now seeing the benefits, so it’s time to tell you about it!

So what is it all about?

Let me explain. In the 1960′s, Dr Roger Sperry performed split-brain learning studies revealing distinct differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. His findings inspired new techniques for enhancing learning by tapping into both sides of the brain. With these scientific principles in mind, Heguru created their own teaching concept for Right Brain Education which enhances learning ability so that children are able to absorb new information quickly and easily.

Now spread internationally, Heguru classes are suitable for kids below the age of 6 – generally those in nursery, pre-school (KG or FS in Dubai), or home school. The methodologies have now won praise globally – and come to Dubai as a tried and tested formula. It is worth noting that the Heguru Centre Dubai is KDHA approved too.

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What happens?

The best way I can describe it is that it’s like a lesson – but at a very high speed. The teachers talk fast, the flash cards are shown for a split second, and the kids get very short periods of time to complete tasks. In the first lesson – of course – the kids are a bit perplexed and barely even start their tasks before it’s time to move onto the next.

As a parent, I found it all quite funny and didn’t think Wilfred would manage to keep up for a second – but as the weeks went on, I noticed his concentrating increasing, his tasks speeding up, and his understanding of the flash cards sinking in.

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Take one particular task, for example, where the kids are shown a pattern of colours for a few seconds and then asked to shut their eyes and visualise it in their minds. After a few more flashes of the pattern on the screen, they are then given a colouring sheet and pencils and asked to mark the colours on each section with a tick (using just the image in their mind, as it is now gone from the screen).  On the first week, Wilfred just wanted to colour the pattern red (his favourite colour). On the second week, he started to understand but still only managed one section. By the third and fourth week, he understood what he was supposed to do and is starting to tick the correct colours. It’s really quite fascinating to see.

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In another task, the children are flashed a number of road signs. One of them is ‘No U-Turn’. Wilfred just stares at the teacher and I have no idea if it’s going in – but in the car last week, he suddenly piped up ‘Look Mummy! No U-Turn! Like in class!’ – so it must be going somewhere!

Let’s keep things real though, as it’s definitely a work in progress. Sometimes he fancies lying down in the classroom and ignoring what’s going on, sometimes he refuses to get up and dance, and sometimes he refuses to do the tasks and colours in rainbow colours instead. But that’s OK, as all the kids in the class are the same – but little by little, I’m seeing him get more involved and get more enjoyment from it too.

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When does it take place?

There are classes throughout the week, both in the morning, afternoon, and at the weekend – and your child will be grouped with children the same age to keep the tasks relevant to age.

If you want to find out any more details – or chat to the team behind Heguru Dubai in person, they will be at the School and Nursery Show this weekend (free to attend). You can find out details about that event here – https://www.theschoolshow.ae/

For all further details, head over to the company’s website here – http://hegurudxb.ae/ – and I will be reporting back after we’ve completed six full weeks with my final thoughts

 

In collaboration with Heguru Dubai



20th February 2017

We test: Anti Grabbity Balcony Safety Strips

16831632_10158303930435607_303171762_nWhat’s our biggest priority as parents? Our children’s safety, of course – and that’s why living on the 21st floor with an accessible balcony has been a big worry for me for the past 5 years. In fact, I was so terrified that the boys would somehow topple over the balcony, that I completely blocked it off – quite literally, with a large plank of wood that made it impossible to slide open the door. The door stayed locked and they simply weren’t allowed out there, which meant we never got to enjoy the balcony either – and whilst that was well worth it for peace of mind, I often wondered if there was another way.

And in November last year, I found it.

Let me introduce Anti Grabbity; a prickly, textured strip that fits along the top of your balcony railing to prevent hands from grabbing hold.

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Totally ingenious.

After ordering the strips and receiving them to my door a week or so later (the company use a courier company), I tested them by trying to put my whole weight on them. It’s pretty much impossible – it doesn’t hurt when you touch them lightly (so no little hands will be damaged if they reach up to investigate), but they will dig painfully into hands if any weight is applied, meaning they would find it very, very hard to heave themselves up. This – as you can imagine – is very, very reassuring.

For so many families in Dubai living in apartments, they offer the perfect solution to making a balcony safe. The transparent strips are virtually invisible to the eye, meaning your view is never obstructed and the aesthetics of the building aren’t altered – yet the ingenious spikey design will mean little people stay firmly behind the rails.

In fact, the strips are so effective that the company recommend them to hotels too, to prevent accidents on balconies, and to cruise liners, to prevent anyone going overboard – and also recommend them for use inside the home, placing on the top of chest of drawers to prevent little climbers. Now I’m living in a villa, I have quite a dangerous shelf that the boys could climb on over the stairs, so I am going to put a strip on there to stop them pulling themselves up.

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The strips come in three types – curved, semi-curved, and flat, so they will work on any type balcony. And the clever inter-locking design means it will fit any size of balcony (you simply measure the length before ordering) and fixed by either ties (if you have space under the rail to loop it through) or through glue dots (if there is no space underneath). When you receive the strips, instructions to affix them onto the balcony are included – and it’s very, very easy.

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Balconies terrify me – and whilst the boys still weren’t allowed out on the balcony without me, having these strips gave me peace of mind that if they did work out how to open the door to get out there, they wouldn’t come to harm.  And wow – you really can’t put a price on that.

Special Offer – Free Delivery to the UAE for a limited time, for orders over $100.

Head to www.antigrabbity.com to buy online (prices are in Australian Dollars, with prices starting at just $19.95 (about 56 AED).



9th February 2017

On My Wishlist: Pumpuli Baby-proofing Magnetic Lock Set

16683289_10158247864445607_451898443_nMabel has learnt to roll – and whilst I know it’s still a while until she’s bombing around the house like her brothers, the step from lying flat on her back when I pop her down to being somewhere else when I return is enough of a reminder about what is to come.

Her brothers were quite good at home as toddlers, but there were always quite inquisitive about the kitchen cupboard. I bought packs of  ‘baby proofing’ sets, but they could still break into the cupboards. I remember fixing one triumphantly one day, before Stanley crawled straight in and yanked it open again. They were ugly, annoying when I needed to get inside, and really not that efficient. So when Wilfred was a baby, we just didn’t bother as we’d already rearranged the cupboards.

And now I have a matter of months before Mabel is into those cupboards soon – and with he boys past the age of exploring, we’ve got a bit complacent with breakables in easy-to-reach places. This is why I absolutely love the sound of Pumpuli Magnetic Lock Sets. Basically, baby proofing has got clever – and they are definitely on my wish-list to make sure she stays out of our kitchen cupboards.

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And here’s why I love the sound of them:

1) They are easy to install. Being a bit of a DIY-phobe, I love the idea that you simply affix the adhesive to the drawers or cupboard – no drilling or holes required.

2) They are very strong. The company promises that the locks will keep even the most curious children out and away from harm. You hear that Stanley? We needed this when you were a baby.

3) There is an off switch. I vividly remember how annoying it was when I wanted to get into a cupboard and I forgot the clasps were on there – so the fact you can instantly change them to unlocked when you want to get inside is a big plus point.

4) They are invisible. Praise be – a big bonus after the ugly white locks that I’ve used in the past.

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So where did the idea come from for Pumpuli Magnetic Lock Sets? Ali and Anko – founders of Pumpuli – and originally from Finland, and the idea for the company was born from the unique approach to family care in the country. The duo seeks out clever products that will ensure a healthy environment for children to grow – and the first is this ingenious baby proofing solution.

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Pumpuli Magnetic Lock Sets are £19.99 each and include 4 locks, 4 catches, 2 keys and 2 key holders. They can be used on cupboards and drawers up to 25mm thick. 

For more information or to buy online, visit www.pumpuli.co.uk

 In collaboration with Pumpuli 



7th February 2017

5 reasons why we loved Global Village (especially during Kid Fest!)

16522865_10158235139285607_1586586341_nI’ve lived in Dubai for 6 years now – but I’ve never set foot inside Global Village. I’m not the only one either, as a quick survey amongst my friends revealed that very few had ever visited. So yesterday, after being told about Kids Fest (which is running every day at Global Village until 25th February), I thought I’d bite the bullet and head over with the boys – and after the best afternoon in a very long time, I just wish we’d done it earlier.

We arrived at 4pm, which is the time the park opens, and stayed until 7pm. This gave us plenty of time to wander around the different areas, watch several shows, enjoy lots of the kid’s activities, and eat their pick of food for their dinner – and we got to watch the sun set (which is amazing by the way – the sky is so beautiful!) If your kids are a little older (or better at staying up past their bedtime), the kid’s events continue until past 9pm. We visited on a week day and it was fairy quiet. I was worried about it being too busy and losing the boys, but it really wasn’t. It was very manageable on my own with two boys and a buggy. It’s a huge place with lots of open spaces, so it has to get very busy before you notice the crowds.

So what is Global Village? Put simply, it’s an entertainment park built around a large central courtyard, with each country from around the world (or a good proportion of them) having their own pavilion to sell traditional goods, food and drink. There are also central stages to watch shows, an area filled with fairground rides for thrill seekers, and plenty of street vendors selling food and drink. And during February, Global Village are running Kid Fest – which means you get all of the above, with the addition of regular kid’s entertainment and activities to keep them busy and happy throughout your visit.

So here goes; here are the five reasons why we loved Global Village… And now is the perfect time to head down!

1. There is lots happening for Kid Fest!

Kids would enjoy a visit to Global Village at any time, but with ‘Kids Fest’ running at the park until 25th February, it’s even more fun. All the extra activities are free of charge, including face painters, balloon benders, meet and greets with ‘Angry Birds’, a brilliant bouncy castle assault course (Stanley’s favourite thing about the afternoon), interactive dance sessions, and plenty of different shows throughout the afternoon and evening to keep them entertained.

Then you have all the kid-friendly things that are always at Global Village – dancing fountains, toddler play areas, a little train ride (Wilfred’s favourite thing about the afternoon), and the shows on the main stage (my boys were stood open-mouthed in amazement at the circus show!)

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2. It’s really cheap to get in 

Global Village costs 15 AED for entry (free for children under 3). I think that makes it one of the cheapest things you can do with the kids in this city – and well worth it for a few hours of fun.

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3. The food is amazing

I loved the street with all the vendors – it was like we were walking through a variety of different cities throughout the world. You can opt for fast food instead if that is your thing (there is an area with eateries like KFC), but we wanted to walk down this street and take our pick from what was on offer. Boys chose German Jumbo Hot Dogs With Fries – and I chose a delicious Canadian Lobster Roll. We sat down by the canal with dhows sailing past and ate it as the sun set. It was a really lovely setting and the boys felt like they were having a treat. It’s all very cheap too – their meals came to 50 AED in total, while my lobster roll was 30 AED.

There are lots of fun things on offer for drinks and snacks too – make sure you head into Afghanistan, where a vendor will make pomegranate juice fresh as you wait. And if you like cotton candy, you must visit the China pavilion. A very skilled man will weave pastel coloured cotton candy into the most beautiful flowers and heart shapes. I had trouble trying not to snatch it out of the boy’s hands.

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4. The shopping is amazing

Walk into any of the pavilions and you will find stores selling authentic items from those countries. My highlight was Africa, where I found an array of the most beautiful weaved baskets and bags. I snapped up a giant woven beach bag with leather handles for 70 AED (and I probably could’ve haggled lower, but I’m rubbish at bargaining) and a multi-coloured fruit bowl for 20 AED. I need to go back soon, as I have my eye on all the baskets for my new home (literally a fraction of the price I’d find them elsewhere in Dubai). I am also tempted by the pots of pure Shea Butter that a lady rubbed into my hand (I walked away but regretted it later).

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5. Kids get a chance to see the world (without the airfare!)

But I think one of my favourite things about Global Village is the fact you have all these different cultures mixing together and having fun – and the kids can discover about new countries too. Stanley and I had lots of conversations about the different countries we were visiting, their National Dress (as there are plenty of people in national dress milling about the pavilions offering photo opportunities), what kind of food the people ate, the music they listened to, and even their climates (he asked why Afghanistan sold fur coats, for example, which led up to conversations about how cold it can get).

Obviously nothing can beat jumping on a plane and showing your children the world – but failing that, I really recommend heading to Global Village. We will definitely be heading back soon!

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Kids Fest runs until February 25th. Entry Tickets to Global Village include access to the Kids Fest activities. Global Village is open from 4pm-12am Saturday-Wednesday and 4pm-1am Thursday-Friday and on Public Holidays until the 8th of April 2017. Mondays are family days at Global Village. Visit http://globalvillage.ae/en/

In collaboration with Global Village

 

 



16th January 2017

Things I loved about Babies & Beyond!

16117967_10158126095900607_1248774804_nWe’ve come to the end of our two week booking with Babies & Beyond, so now is the perfect time to tell you about the things that I really loved about the company.

To recap, Babies & Beyond is a Dubai company that offers a pay-by-hour nanny service for little ones – right from the early newborn days to pre-schooler years. You book the nurses per hour, with a five-hour minimum booking – and the company will aim for you to have the same nurse every time to make sure your little one is settled and happy. And if you need a long-term booking? Babies & Beyond will offer you a discount to make it affordable too.

So without further ado, here are the things I loved about the company…

1. You can trust the nurses

Just like every mother, I find it very difficult to leave my children with someone I don’t know – but without the luxury of family around to help, what choice did I have when my nanny was away for two weeks and I had work deadlines nipping at my heels? Step forward Babies & Beyond with their fully qualified nurses, all licensed by Dubai Health Authority, with paediatric first aid and life support qualifications. It all reads well on paper – and my experience over the past 2 weeks proves it too. I barely had to give instructions with the two nurses we used – they were baby whispers and that was obvious from the very first day they stepped through my door.

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2. The company matches a nurse to your child

I loved the fact the company match the perfect nurse to your child, based on their previous experience. Babies & Beyond called me for a chat when I first enquired before Christmas and then followed with a questionnaire sent to my email address to get further information. For this reason, they knew Mabel’s age, how she was fed, whether she had a routine, and whether I needed any help with my elder boys too – and once they had the information, they could match me to a nurse that was perfectly suited experience-wise to my baby.  They have nurses with experience in NICU and maternity wards in hospitals, for example, which suit the smallest babies – and they also have nurses with previous experience in nurseries across the region, meaning they are much better suited for toddlers. Thanks to this groundwork before your nurse arrives, you get someone that knows what they are doing before they have even arrived.

3. You can be flexible with your booking

You can book the hours that suit YOU – whether that’s first thing in the morning until lunchtime, a full day when you are at work, or even during the night.  Even if you have a regular booking, you can enquire about changing it / adding hours to suit your schedule and the company will do their best to accommodate. I did this twice during my booking when I realised I needed a few extra hours for a meeting – and the booking was extended by two hours and confirmed via email. Life is unpredictable – and the company really seems to understand this.

4. The nurses are totally focused on your child

This isn’t a maid service – and the nurses won’t spend time cleaning your house during your booking. They are solely dedicated to childcare – and if that seems like an inconvenience, this isn’t the service for you. The company caters to parents who want a qualified nanny to give 100% of their attention to their child – and for me, this was hugely reassuring when I walked out the door. I didn’t have to worry about the nurse missing Mabel’s cries because she was hanging up washing, nor that she’d be too focused on finishing chores to play with her. I knew she would her only priority for the length of the booking – and there is something wonderfully reassuring about that. It’s well worth the money that you pay.

Babies & Beyond Nurses cost 75 AED per hour, with a minimum booking of 5 hours (discounts offered to long-term bookings). Visit www.babiesandbeyond.ae or call 04 278 9832.

In collaboration with Babies & Beyond

 



7th January 2017

We try: Babies & Beyond Baby Care Service

15934803_10158079257840607_983223524_nWhat do you do when you work from home in Dubai and your nanny decides to take a well-deserved holiday? Well after sobbing into your pillow for a few nights (and that’s not far off the truth), you look for alternatives – and that’s exactly why Babies & Beyond have come into my life this January.

The Dubai company offer a pay-by-hour nanny service for little ones – right from the early newborn days to pre-schooler years. And with every nurse fully qualified and licensed by Dubai Health Authority, with paediatric first aid and life support qualifications, I was already impressed by what they were offering on paper, so I decided to go ahead and book for 5 x mornings a week for the first fortnight of the year.

So what happened next? Once I’d got in touch with the company to ask about availability, I received a phone call from staff member Hazel. We chatted on the phone for a good 20 minutes, talking through the ages of the children, what I needed help with, where I lived, and what timings would suit us. And within 24 hours, I was emailed with details of the nurses the company could provide for me – Candie in the first week and Lhean in the second.

The CV’s of both nurses was attached to have a read through and was offered the chance for myself and the children to meet them before my booking began. As I was in the UK until a few days before the booking commenced, I declined the offer of a meeting, but I thought it was a lovely touch for mums feeling a bit anxious about leaving their little ones for the first time. I did enjoy looking through the CVs and was very reassured by both the nurse’s experience and qualifications. A few forms to fill out and sign were also attached, which gave me the chance to give further details about both Mabel and Wilfred so that the nurses would be fully aware of our situation before they knocked on my door. So far, so good – I was impressed.

Fast forward to Monday 2nd January 2016 – and it was Candie’s first day with us. I had both Mabel and Wilfred at home with me that morning and so much work to do after the crazy Christmas period, which was making me feel pretty stressed. I expected to spend at least the first hour or so with Candie, explaining and showing her the ropes – but when she came, I realised I had nothing to worry about.

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Candie was exceptionally good with Mabel from the moment she met her. I talked her through Mabel’s current routine and feeding schedule and she nodded with understanding. I went to show her how to turn on Mabel’s snazzy rocking chair and she told me she’d used one lots before. I then told her about how Mabel likes to lie in her baby gym and how she enjoyed sitting up in her bumbo chair and she nodded along. She told me not to worry about anything and I felt very reassured – so I got to work at my desk.

And it wasn’t just Mabel she was good with, but Wilfred too. She managed to entertain and care for both children that morning so perfectly. At one point I glanced over and she was lying on the floor with Wilfred playing with his Octonauts, while keeping a careful eye on Mabel in her baby gym alongside. Wilfred loved her – and just before I took him out on his scooter in the fresh air for a while, he turned to her and said: “Don’t worry Candie, I’ll be back to play with you again later!”

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A few days later and Candie had Mabel’s routine down to a fine art. In fact, after the craziness of the Christmas holidays, she wasn’t really in any kind of fixed routine – but Candie managed to change that in just 5 days. I was really impressed with her knowledge of newborn babies and their needs. Take one morning, for example, when I heard Mabel grumbling in the bedroom after her nap. I looked up from my desk, wondering where Candie was, only to see them both leave the bedroom together with Candie explaining: “Mabel was just doing some tummy time!”

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I must confess that I am sad that Candie is leaving us, but I can see why she is in demand and had prior bookings – and I already know that Lhean will be just as professional when she arrives for the second week of care. And guess what? I’m no longer stressed about work and I know I will meet my deadlines over the next week, whilst Mabel and Wilfred will be expertly cared for. And you can’t really put a price on that kind of reassurance!

I’ll report back at the end of week two with my overall impression of Babies & Beyond – but in the meantime, keep an eye on my social media for details of how we are getting on!

If you’d like to book a Babies & Beyond Newborn Nurse or Childcare Nurse, simply visit www.babiesandbeyond.ae, call +971 (0)4 278 9832 or email info@babiesandbeyond.ae

In collaboration with Babies & Beyond.

 



29th November 2016

Fun at the Festive Fair – at Toddler Town British Nursery…

15281973_10157866078585607_554998808_nI don’t know about you, but we are starting to feel a bit festive. I bought some candles from Bath & Bodyworks (highly recommend ‘Winter’ if you are looking for the perfect scent), we’ve got the decorations out of storage (not up yet, but it’s a start), the diary is starting to fill up with festive things to do over the next few weeks. And it’s all because we went to the beautiful Festive Fair at Toddler Town British Nursery on Saturday, which definitely made me feel in a Christmassy mood.

I was looking forward to visiting the fair, as I know that Toddler Town does things very well – but I was still surprised by just how lovely it was. Imagine Christmas songs playing, children playing in a winter-wonderland snow park, a petting zoo, carnival games, a queue of excited children waiting to visit Santa, and some lovely market stalls (I managed to sneak a few stocking fillers into my bag when the boys weren’t looking!) My boys had a brilliant time (Mabel slept through it, of course), so I wanted to share a few more photos of the event to get you in the mood for festivities too.

But before I do that, I’ll just mention that the nursery is well worth a tour if you haven’t been before. Stanley went to the JBR location of this popular nursery (which is excellent, by the way) – but with more space to play with, the facilities at the Jumeirah branch are really quite amazing. There’s so much space, both inside and out – and what the kids have to play with there (from outdoor play facilities, to sand pits, to sensory rooms, to soft play zones) is impressive. Scroll to the bottom of this post and you will find their website link to click on and contact details.

So without further ado, here are some more photos of the lovely Festive Fair we enjoyed at Toddler Town British Nursery on Saturday… Happy (nearly) December everyone…

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Visit www.toddlertown.ae for more information – or call 04 452 8080 to arrange a tour. The two nurseries are located at Amwaj 5, Plaza Level, JBR, Dubai Marina – and at Villa No. 20, 21st Street, Al Safa (Al Manara), Jumeirah. 

In collaboration with Toddler Town British Nursery