Sunday, 23 August 2015

“The Carseat - Maxi-Cosi Pebble & EasyBase2”

When I was pregnant with J, I chose a Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix carseat in Tango Red (2010 Collection) and a Maxi-Cosi EasyBase2 (since my car didn’t have IsoFix, but I wanted the convenience of a base). I had the carseat with an Ecru colour summer cover (that’s cream to you and me) and a matching Tango Red Footmuff for the colder weather. My review for this can be found here.

This time around, though my car (updated since then) doesn’t have IsoFix, I decided to get a new carseat. The Maxi-Cosi Pebble can also be used on the EasyBase2, so I chose this model, and after much deliberation I decided to go for the 2015 Limited Edition Denim Hearts colour. Once again, I have a summer cover (Cool Grey) and matching Denim Hearts Footmuff for the colder weather. I love the fact that Maxi-Cosi do carseat footmuffs for the infant carrier carseats, as you can be confident that baby is warm enough without risking their safety; the harness goes into the Footmuff, allowing you to tension it correctly around baby, then zips up over the top of the harness. You should never put a child into their carseat wearing a winter coat or snowsuit, as this will prevent the harness being correctly tensioned to keep them safe in the event of an impact. I love the Denim Hearts design because it’s great for boys or girls – a stonewash denim blue colour, with soft grey trim and bright orange details along with cream colour hearts stitched into the fabric. The headhugger for the Pebble is in soft grey fabric (it feels like t shirt material)

The Pebble is a Group 0+ carseat, which means its suitable from birth to 13kg under R44-04 standard (for rear facing use only).  The EasyBase2 is suitable for use with Pebble or CabrioFix carseat models. As this was previously used in my old car, I had to re-confirm suitability for the base in my existing car, and as there is a fake floor I contacted Toyota to discuss with them. The Pebble is FAA approved for use on board aircraft, and is suitable for babies from birth to 13kg. (Note: Baby becomes too tall for continued use of the carseat if their head crowns over the top of the carseat shell)

The Pebble handlebar should always be locked in the upright position for use in the car, as it forms a rollcage around baby in the event of a rollover accident, and it also distributes the force of a side impact across the bar, rather than jolting baby. As well as that, it has two other settings – the second of the settings is at the halfway point, meaning easy access to baby but the shape of the carseat itself allows for the carseat to be rocked; the third setting is right down, again allowing easy access to baby but this one preventing the carseat from rocking at all.

The Pebble has memory buttons, which means when you use it in combination with a Maxi-Cosi or Quinny chassis you can push the buttons and they’ll remain unlocked to make it easier for you to lift off the chassis. Remember though if you do use your carseat on a chassis the recommendation is that baby remains in the carseat for a maximum of 2 hours before having a minimum of 20 minutes out of the seat to allow them to lie flat / wriggle freely / stretch out. I like the convenience of the carseat being able to go on the chassis I use, but I only use it this way for quick journeys, if I’m planning on being out for a long time then I would have an alternative from-birth option available. Likewise, if your car journey is going to be more than 2 hours you should plan for stops along the way to allow baby some time out of the carseat.

The Pebble has an integral sun canopy which is stowed away under the lip of rubber around the edge of the seat to keep it safe. When you want it, just peel back the rubber and pull out the sun canopy, then use the hooks to attach it onto the carry handle.

The Pebble has a circular headhugger which can be easily adjusted from small to large size as required for the best fit of your baby; The lumbar support cushion keeps the seat size small for newborns but can be removed once required to provide more space for baby. The harness has innovative stay-open design which makes it much easier to get baby in and out of the carseat.

The quality of this product is apparent – the fabric is good quality, it is well designed with lovely finishing touches and it feels and looks like a product of high standard. You can be confident of the safety of the carseat, and added to this the ease of use, whether fitting with 3 point seatbelt or using a base, and the fact it can be easily added to a wide range of chassis for use as part of your travel system, and I think this product is an all round winner. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

“There’s A House Inside My Mummy”

Upon discovering I was pregnant, I was keen to help J understand what this meant not only for once baby was born, but for the duration of pregnancy – why I would be more tired than normal, the growing bump, etc, and I needed a child-friendly format for him to understand.

My cousin had already experienced this as her younger child has just turned a year old. I was talking to her about it and she recommended a book called “There’s A House Inside My Mummy”. I found it on E-Bay and purchased it on her recommendation. It arrived a couple of days later and I am pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.

With colourful images and simple language, the book was ideal for helping explain to J what was going on. As the language was easy to understand, J was able to read the book himself, often choosing to read it to me and Daddy P, as well as asking for it to be read to him.

After reading it I would ask him whether he had any questions, or whether there was anything he hadn’t understood, which helped generate questions from him and discussion about the pregnancy including any concerns or worries that he had. It turned out that J had a big thing about me being poorly while nobody was at home to look after me (when Daddy P was at work and J was at school) and this lead to a few mornings of him becoming very upset when I dropped him off to school as he was worried I would be poorly at home alone. The book helped me to explain to him that it wasn’t that I was poorly-sick as he understood it, but rather I was poorly due to the changes going on in order for the baby in my tummy to grow (I had horrendous morning sickness up til 20 weeks that wasn’t limited to mornings only and I was being sick frequently throughout the day – the only time it paused was when I was asleep) I didn’t want him to blame the baby for making me sick, but at the same time he needed to understand it wasn’t that I was unwell in the sense of the word that he understood it to mean. At 20 weeks I was prescribed anti-sickness medication from the GP which resolved the situation.

Along with reading the book and talking about it, I also encouraged J to feel the bump so he could feel his baby brother kicking, he came with me for a couple of the scans (I had quite a few done!) and he helped me choose things for the baby so he felt involved. I got him a top to wear once baby was born – “Worlds Coolest Big Brother” – and a gift ‘from baby’ which he was given the first time he met the baby. It helped him feel more involved, understand what was going on a lot better, and I’m proud to say that (so far) we’ve had no issues with him being jealous of baby, or getting worried about anything to do with the pregnancy / baby coming home. In fact, he tells me on a daily basis that the baby is “so sweet” and “so cute” and he asks whether he can hug the baby several times a day (unless there is a dirty nappy involved, in which case he will simply announce that he is “outta here” as he scoots off through the door of the room without a backward glance.)

I highly recommend this book for parents expecting another baby – it’s really good and even if you won’t get further use out of it once this baby is born, you know you’ll be able to pass it on to family or friends expecting their second (or third, or fourth ….) or drop it into a charity shop when you’re done so another family can enjoy it.

Definitely one of the best, most read books in J’s (vast) collection. Five out of five from us!

Peace N Love,

Mummy P

X x x 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

“A Bump Called Bob”

The morning of my 20 week scan, I was still in two minds about finding out whether bump was a girl or a boy. We never found out with J, and I still remember the moment clearly when Daddy P saw (after he was born) and said to me, “You were right” – and I don’t remember clearly a whole lot else about that time. It was exhilarating and exciting to wait to find out, and part of me wanted to do that again this time round.

However, on the other hand, part of me wanted to find out. If bump was a girl, I would get rid of all (most) of the bits I’d held onto from J and get a new-born wardrobe tailored toward her. Being able to tell J about his baby brother, or baby sister, whichever way round it was, would make it easier to discuss things with him and get him more used to the idea before baby arrived. He would be able to help me choose things specifically for baby.

Right up until the moment the lady started the scan I hadn’t made my mind up but then I thought to hell with it, I’m not going to do this again and I didn’t find out last time so let’s do it differently this time round and I said to her if it’s possible to tell me I’d like to find out.

Bump had different ideas. The 20 week scan, as you know, is an anomaly scan, so the sonographer needed to find certain things and tick certain boxes to confirm all was OK. Bump wasn’t in the right position for her to find and check all she needed to, nor was bump in the mood to let us in on the secret of whether J was going to have a baby brother or a baby sister. After 45 minutes of scan, the sonographer gave up and booked me in for another scan at 22 weeks. I left feeling pleased all was OK so far as she could tell, a little nervous that she hadn’t been able to confirm what she needed to, and a little disappointed that I still didn’t know bump’s secret.

The next appointment was on a date when J was on holiday from school. Daddy P and I made the decision to take him with us, to include him in the pregnancy as much as we could, to let him see baby and understand a little more. Unfortunately we were delayed getting into the scan to start with, so J had become bored and difficult at the wait, despite the fact I’d deliberately taken a little back pack for him with cars, little books to read and sticker books. We got into the room, and it was the same lady, so she started off and we were laughing and chatting and the atmosphere was relaxed.

To begin with, it held J’s attention, but once again bump was in an awkward position and the sonographer still couldn’t see what she needed to. She asked me again whether I wanted to know the secret, and I said yes, if it was possible. She smiled and had a check.

At that point J became bored of the scan as it had been going on for a little while and he wasn’t as interested as I had hoped he would be. He got off Daddy P’s lap and wandered off past the end of the couch I was lying on and where the sonographer was sitting and he went straight to the computer on the desk in the corner. Once he realised that at that end of the room was quite interesting he didn’t want to go back to Daddy P and the situation escalated quickly with J and Daddy P having a stand off about J doing what he was asked. In amongst it all, the sonographer looked at me and said, “I’m not sure, because the cord is between the legs, but I think, most probably, boy,” And despite the fuss of the two boys I already had bickering in the background I felt my heart burst.

The sonographer still hadn’t been able to check all she needed to, so the scan continued. J continued making a fuss, so Daddy P ended up having to take him out of the room. The room was nice and peaceful and she looked carefully and managed to see everything she needed to as bump shifted around. She checked again and said to me, “Yes, that’s a better view, I’d definitely say boy,”

While J’s meltdown only escalated, that’s a whole other story I won’t go into here, but for the rest of the day all I could think of was this second precious son I carried and all the overwhelmed feelings of how would I cope with two sons, and how wonderful two sons is, and how brilliant that my boys would have almost exactly five years between them, and how scary to go back now to the new-born days when J is an independent child now who likes to do as much as possible for himself. When I put him to bed that night, I asked him what he thought about the news that he was going to have a baby brother.

He threw his arms round me and told me he was very pleased about that, because he wanted a boy baby. We spoke about it for a little while and then, since Daddy P and I had already discussed names, and the fact that we couldn’t agree on a boys name, Daddy P asked J what he thought would be a good name for his brother.

J scrunched up his face and thought for a moment, then replied, “Bob.”

And so the nickname for this bump was born. This is Baby Bob.