Positive Support for your Parenting Journey

What we do


About us


At Green Bean, we are firm believers of the old African Proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child", it forms the basis of our mission statement and is central to everything we do. In our modern society, we have lost that sense of 'village' and we know from personal experience that parenting can be isolating and lonely, and that our parenting instincts are often undermined by the modern pressures of our busy lives. 

The Green Bean is our ‘village’, our attempt to address the balance, a place were parenting can be simple and instinctive, a place to explore different parenting ideas and be supported with evidence to make informed choices, to get ongoing support in following through with those decisions, to receive kind, warmhearted encouragement and genuine love from like-minded parents. And a place for children to grow and develop surrounded by toys made from natural materials that encourage open-ended play, activities that feed their curiosity and creativity.

Get in touch



Online Community


APUK Wantage

We have a thriving online parenting support and social community. Of course, you can't receive a supportive hug over Facebook but virtual support when you need it and nobody else is awake can make a massive difference.  

Visit our Facebook group to see what's happening.

Green Bean Canteen

We have a dedicated food group that is all about real food, nutrition and generally living in a more environmentally conscientious way. We also facilitate a regular organic food and household products wholesale order through Infinity Foods allowing us to buy in bulk, save pennies, and reduce packaging. 

Visit the Canteen on Facebook for more information.

Green Bean Marketplace

The Green Bean Marketplace: A place to encourage our Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ethos. 

Come and see what's available.

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Baby & Toddler Group


The Green Bean Monday Meetup is a lovely, warm and supportive session for parents/carers and their children of all ages to attend. The emphasis of the group is natural, gentle parenting and we are affiliated with Attachment Parenting UK, but we are so much more than just an Attachment Parenting Group. There are lovely toys to play with, sensory play, crafts to enjoy, educational resources to browse as well as a very well stocked sling and book library. Most importantly it's a great place to meet other lovely families with similar parenting values. We have a fantastic venue with lots of space for the bigger little people to run around in, as well as a safe and cozy corner for the little ones to explore or just lounge about in. There is always homemade cake and a great selection of teas and coffees available.

The group takes place every Monday (except on UK bank holidays) from 9:30am to 11:30 am and is held at King Alfred's District Scout Hall, Wantage (OX12 8ES). There is car parking in front of and behind the hall.

Prices are £3.50 for family entries on the day or £10 a month (payable on or before the first Monday of the month).  We accept cash or PayPal and prices include tea/coffee & homemade cake.


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Pregnancy


Parenthood begins well before our babies are actually born. Pregnancy offers a time to actively prepare for the birth of your baby and for your new life as parents. Karolina is a Katharine Graves Hypnobirthing (KGH) qualified and fully insured hypnobirthing teacher and offers a variety of antenatal options from private hypnobirthing classes, to drop in, weekly pregnancy relaxation classes. Hypnobirthing techniques will empower you to make the best decisions throughout your pregnancy and during the birth of your child, giving you the knowledge AND confidence to birth you baby calmly and comfortably. Karolina's holistic approach combines antenatal education, guided relaxations, fear release and confidence building exercises with lots of practical techniques to prepare your mind and body for the birth of your baby and life beyond.

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Slings & Babywearing


Karolina is a Slingababy trained and fully insured Sling Consultant with over 6 years experience, offering one to one tuition and interactive workshops as well as facilitating regular sling library sessions. With access to over 70 different slings and carriers suitable from birth to preschool age, it’s the most comprehensive sling library in South Oxfordshire. Keep up to date with where we will be by subscribing to our Facebook Events Page.

The use of woven fabric wraps or slings has been documented in many cultures throughout human history. Babies need and expect to be carried, it's a baby's primal expectation and our primal instinct to meet this expectation. Carrying a baby, whether in arms or in a sling, meets so many of a baby's most basic needs....warmth, security, skin to skin contact, which in turn helps to regulate their temperature, their breathing and their nervous system and also your milk supply. Being carried in a sling also resembles being back in the womb...warm, quiet, dark, the sound and smell of their mother or father, the gentle rocking movements as you walk around. A sling is such a wonderful tool to help babies transition to their new surroundings on the outside. 

A sling is also a wonderful mode of transport for older babies and toddlers, where they can explore the world from a secure place. And there are so many benefits for you too..... hands-free to eat, drink, play with an older child, easier to get around than with a buggy, a lovely way to bond, the list goes on!

Today, slings have evolved and as well as woven fabric wraps there are many other different styles of sling on the market, including more structured buckle carriers. There truly is something for everyone.

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Breastfeeding


Here at Green Bean we support all methods of feeding your baby but also understand how difficult it can be. It's definitely a rollercoaster and an adventure with a different path for everyone. Megan, a mum of 4, has breastfed all her children and experienced varying difficulties along the way. Her experience has led to breastfeeding becoming a strong passion of hers and she is always happy to talk about the highs and the lows. She is currently a peer supporter having completed the Baby Cafe Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Training and, as a result of being an NHS employee (OT), has also been able to complete the NHS Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Management course which is attended by some Health Visitors and Community Nurses etc. This year she plans to start additional training with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers and to attend their conference in June. Ultimately she would like to train to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

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Positive Discipline


Positive Discipline is a discipline model used in parenting, that focuses on the positive points of behaviour, based on the idea that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviors. You can teach and reinforce the good behaviors while weaning the bad behaviors without hurting the child verbally or physically. Parents engaging in positive discipline are not ignoring problems. Rather, they are actively involved in helping their child learn how to handle situations more appropriately while remaining calm, friendly and respectful to the children themselves. Positive discipline includes a number of different techniques that, used in combination, can lead to a more effective way for parents to manage their kids behaviour. Through APUK, we offer an accredited Positive Discipline online course which will help you understand your children’s behaviour (as well as your own) and equip you with some valuable techniques. Contact us for a referral code.

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Book Library


We have a well stocked parenting book library which is free to borrow from and covers a variety of topics including: Positive birth, hypnobirthing, parenting support, breastfeeding, weaning, sleep, diet & lifestyle, baby & toddler activities, education.
Donations are always welcome.

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Wellbeing


Wellbeing is something we at Green Bean believe strongly in promoting to our parents. As the saying goes, you can't pour for an empty cup! As our job as Mothers and Fathers is to ensure our children's wellbeing is taken care of it can be to the detriment of our own.
Green Bean not only has an in house coach, (available for 1-2-1 sessions) but regularly discusses and promotes ways in which we can take care of ourselves.

We will be running workshops throughout the year from creativity to relaxation with an opportunity to make time for yourself and your interests.

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Hannah


Married to Rob and Mum to Ben aged 4.

I was initially interested in reusable nappies which is how I discovered The Green Bean but I also found the joy wraps and babywearing and the more nurturing, gentle style of parenting appealed to me. It wasn’t until I really went with my instincts that I felt much more confident in my parenting journey. The Green Bean community helped me with that.

We attended meetings for a few years until Ben started pre-school but I remained very much active in our facebook community.

In 2017 I started training to become a Personal Life Coach but as time went on during my training, I became very aware of how Mums needed support. From posts in our online community and having coaching sessions with Mums, I saw that Mums felt lost and didn’t have the support to thrive and to put their needs first sometimes. Also from my own experience of overwhelm and loss of identity that some of us experience with Motherhood I wanted to create something that would help Mums to get through the difficult days. It made me realise just how passionate I am about the well-being of mothers like me.

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Karolina


I co-founded The Green Bean in Wantage, Oxfordshire soon after the birth of my first daughter Zosia, 6 years ago. I am now mum of two free spirited little people and wife to their Dad, Matt. The Green Bean was born from my own need to find other like minded parents, a support network, a ‘village’! I didn’t like that I was increasingly feeling pressure to parent in a way that didn’t sit right with me and I was fairly certain I wasn’t alone. I needed the support and reassurance that a gentle and respectful parenting style could be a reality, I wanted to see what this looked like for other families. I also wanted to provide that reassurance and support in return. 

My parenting journey has led me to become a Sling Consultant and a Hypnobirthing Teacher, but before that I worked as a biomedical research scientist. Having children significantly changed my priorities and my expectations of parenthood, but the scientist in me still needs to see good evidence to support and inform my decisions. My parenting style is completely contrary to what I expected and my children teach me new things about myself every day. It’s certainly been a journey of self discovery and not always an easy one. It has been made easier though by being able to share the highs and lows with the wonderful community that The Green Bean has become.

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Megan


I'm Megan, mum of Peter (7), William (5), Élodie (2) and Joey (7 months) and wife to Andrew. I first met Karolina at a sling meet in South Oxfordshire and then later, when she was doing her babywearing consultant training my second child and I were her case studies to assist with learning back carries. Not long after, we moved to Grove and I began to attend Green Bean sessions. When my 3rd child was born I began to help out more often at meets and from there I became a co-facilitator and did my babywearing peer supporter training. I'm an Occupational Therapist (though currently on maternity leave) and love getting to know people and their families. Being part of The Green Bean gives me such a sense of purpose and I feel privileged to be sharing such special times with those I meet. It really ignites a passion inside me to help others find their way and trust themselves but also to enjoy this journey we are all on! I also realise that sometimes things can be harder than we hope and so breastfeeding is a special interest of mine and I am a trained breastfeeding peer supporter. I would love to further this and train as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) within the next year or so in order to better support and enable mothers (and fathers) in this small but significant part of parenting. I believe in the power of 'the village' and have experienced first hand the magic and heart warming essence of this and how much it is needed. It drives me everyday to reach out and offer what I can.

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Green Bean


At Green Bean, we are firm believers of the old African Proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child", it forms the basis of our mission statement and is central to everything we do. In our modern society, we have lost that sense of 'village' and we know from personal experience that parenting can be isolating and lonely, and that our parenting instincts are often undermined by the modern pressures of our busy lives. 

Mothers make so many sacrifices to keep on top of that business. One of the sacrifices women make is time, time to nurture themselves, time to reflect on their own journey through motherhood, time to ‘fill their cup’.Another sacrifice mothers make is their intuition! Life is so busy that they don’t have time to listen to that inner voice and at the same time they are bombarded with information, guidelines, advice - often not in the best interests of their children, but in the interests of their ability to continue with their busy, multitasking lives. 

As a society we have lost our ‘village’. Families are often separated geographically and work commitments can prevent nurturing communities from developing. Mother’s have very limited support, physically and emotionally. With the recent closure of the Children’s Centres, this lack of support is even more apparent.

The Green Bean is our ‘village’, our attempt to address the balance, a place were parenting can be simple and instinctive, a place to explore different parenting ideas and be supported with evidence to make informed choices, to get ongoing support in following through with those decisions, to receive kind, warmhearted encouragement and genuine love from like-minded parents. And a place for children to grow and develop surrounded by toys made from natural materials that encourage open-ended play, activities that feed their curiosity and creativity. This stuff is all so important and creates a nurturing environment for children and their families to thrive and enjoy parenting.

We strive to make The Green Bean a welcoming and non-judgemental space for all members of the family and we hope to welcome you soon.

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