In A Fix

19 Sep

Why did I buy a Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix ISOFIXBase again? I love the one-click installation that the ISOFIX gives you as it’s made nipping in and out of the car so easy. However, you get this advantage with some of the other cheaper models out there… The reason I paid more for the FamilyFix is the fact you’re told it’s the only base you’ll need from birth to 4 years.

However, it turns out that’s only the case if you buy one particular car seat.

As ACM is fast out-growing his first car seat I’ve been researching the next stage up. It seems most of them have their own fitting mechanisms. The only car seat that does seem to be compatible with the FamilyFix ISOFIXBase  is the Maxi-Cosi ‘Pearl‘. It looks great, but it cannot be fitted with seatbelts or any other mechanism. So, if you want to transfer the seat into another vehicle, you have to transfer the FamilyFix ISOFix as well which is  a bit of a fandangle.

Another thing: as you don’t take these ‘big boy’ car seats in and out of the car as much as you do with the newborn ones, the case for the FamilyFix ISOFix does not appear to be a very compelling one to me…

So, before you buy, please learn from my mistake and have a think…is it worth it?

As for me, I’ll let you know which car seat I plump for as soon as I make up my mind! Ooohhh should I go for black or black?

JK

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Baby Proofing

17 Sep

The time has come for themummyyears to think about how to make our houses safe for the boys so we thought we would share our experiences with you.

Each house throws up different challenges and dangers. So, where to start?

  • Stair Gates: ACM has three steps into his bedroom, so we have opted for a Stair Gate at the top of his steps.  You don’t need one on every door – just work out the most strategic places for them – ie. at the bottom of your stairs and in their bedroom so, if you’re upstairs, you know when you pop them in their room they’re safe. When it comes to Stair Gates it’s tricky to recommend one brand – we would advise that you be guided by the size of space rather than style.
  • Room Dividers: HTC lives in a flat, but has a reasonable sized alcove in his kitchen so we lay foam tiles on the floor and put up a room divider to create an area for him in which he’s safe and can’t go near cupboard drawers and doors. We went for the Lindam Safe and Secure Playpen (http://www.lindam.com/product/play-pens/baby-play/safe-and-secure-play-pen–white.html) which can be a playpen, room divider, safety gate and hearth guard (not for use when fires are lit). For ACM, meanwhile, we opted for a Stair Gate across the kitchen door making it a no-go baby zone unless he is in his highchair.
  • Breakables: The lounge is a slightly trickier room to tackle as we do like a nice vase of flowers at floor level, but as us adults are still in charge, we’ve decided on a compromise. For the next couple of months we have put breakables out of our reach, but have left a few non-breakables at floor level so we can practice the word ‘NO!’ if the boys are headed that way.
  • Hazardous Substances: It’s time to start putting the bathroom cleaner away properly either in a cabinet out of reach or right back in the kitchen along with any other chemicals. This is the one cupboard we would recommend having a lock on.
  • Blinds: Double check your blinds as they should be fitted with a quick release snap on the chord. If not, fit a small hook half way up and start looping the cord out of the way.
  • See It From Their Perspective: A great idea is to get down at baby level and have a look see what suddenly looks interesting to them and dangerous to you! As tempting as it is to remove everything don’t – children have to learn, so although you may have a frustrating period of time when all the DVDs spend their time on the floor, but be consistent with your discipline and they will start to lack appeal. A good idea (if you have a lot) is to remove some of them so you are not spending too long picking them back up ten times a day!
  • Sharp Edges: For sharp corners, sticky protectors are an option, but they don’t last long with two big burly boys who like to use them as teething toys. Use a piece of foam and attach it securely yourself instead…we know, it’s not pretty, but it’s better than a trip to A&E.
  • Sockets: If you have exposed sockets, make sure you use sturdy covers or cover with furniture. We prefer to simply turn nightlights off as small hands can’t remove them.
  • Cot: If your tiny tot is starting to pull themselves up don’t forget to lower your mattress in the cot.
  • Toy Check: Remember to do a toy audit every so often – they do break and you don’t always notice so keep an eye out for spiky corners and jaggy bits.

Tackle each room separately but thoroughly and you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief in no time. Please let us know if you have any other top tips or tricks!

Can’t Remember Your Last Night Out?

14 Sep

 

 

 

well, it’s time themummyyears helped refresh your memory!…

For some parents the arrival of a new baby marks the end of a social life, but with a bit of planning and confidence, you can still enjoy a good night out…the only difference being your hot new accessory isn’t the latest Mulberry but the latest UPPAbaby model!

From week three we had one evening a week were we would carry out HTC’s normal bedtime routine…only instead of putting him in his cot we popped him in his pram, waited for him to go to sleep, then headed off to whichever restaurant we were testing for pram friendliness that night.

You have to be relaxed – and not be too sleep deprived to attempt this – but it is do-able. The first night we only went to the Italian at the top of the road (http://www.papiliorestaurant.com). On the way there we decided to only order mains, and agreed that if HTC suddenly woke up and broke into a screaming frenzy, one of us would pay the bill and one would grab the pram and head for home. Luckily this escape route was not needed and we had a lovely 90-minute outing before I was exhausted and headed for home!

Not every night was such a success…on the second outing to another Edinburgh eaterie, Dantes (http://www.dantesrestaurant.co.uk), we arrived with a very wide awake baby and met relatives only too happy to see their nephew awake. I could see that he was getting over-tired (and got a bit stressed) and I had to give him an impromptu feed (which I felt very self-conscious about), but looking back, it was all absolutely fine – the other diners and the staff were very understanding and on leaving the staff commented on what a well -behaved baby he had been!

I am pleased to say we’ve managed to keep it up and now HTC happily has a regular night out without any disruption to his normal routine. I should say on return from a night out we lift him from his pram and return him to his cot where he usually stretches out, gives us a smile, and drops straight back to sleep…

So all I would say is, go on, give it a try… and keep reading for our pick of baby-friendly restaurants coming soon…

SC

Question & Answer

13 Sep

Q. Good morning! I have a little question for you…my baby is cruising now, when should I put him in shoes? Should they be soft shoes or fitted? 

Marie, Fairmilehead – Edinburgh

A.  Hi Marie – thanks for writing in to us.

As your baby is unlikely to be cruising around outside at this stage you don’t need to put them in shoes. As they curl their toes when they’re learning to walk, it’s best keep their wee feet uncovered as much as possible to help them develop and get a better grip on the floor. However, this is not always practical, so the experts at Bruntsfield show shop Maddie and Mark’s (http://www.maddieandmarks.co.uk/index_shoes.html) suggest popping them into something soft: ‘Pram shoes are perfect for that pram/early cruising stage where you need some sort of layer of protection on your child’s foot,’ they say. They recommend ones with super soft soles to allow for development – you can get ones with a rubber layer on the sole so they don’t slip on wooden floors.

However, when they have taken their first few independent steps, take them along to a children’s shoe shop to have them fitted correctly for their first shoe as it’s at this stage they’ll need something with a bit of support.

Maddie and Mark’s

 

Splish, Splash, Splosh

12 Sep

themummyyears has been swimming this week and what enjoyable experiences we’ve both had… After much deliberation Jess decided to go with Water Babies (more on that next week)…whilst I decided to give the Edinburgh Council swimming lessons at Warrender Swim Centre a go (http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_record/9670/warrender_swim_centre) .

They are getting a big thumbs up from us. The obvious plus to going down this route is the cost at roughly £4 per lesson…a big saving on some of the other lessons available.

We found Warrender Swim Centre to be extremely clean and the staff very helpful. The teacher is fantastic – she’s made a point of going round everyone in the class to find out what stage they are at and throughout the class she offered every child relevant praise and encouragement.  The content of the class was age and confidence appropriate, and by the end of the session, HTC had been under the water.

We also now feel confident to go swimming in the next week and be able to practice some of the activities we have done today!

SC

Fab Find

9 Sep

So this weaning this has been fun and everything, but at times, it all seems like a heck of a lot of hard work. themummyyears is a great believer making things easy for yourself, which is why we were so chuffed to find these Zip ‘n’ Steam Bags in Lakeland the other day (http://www.lakeland.co.uk/10777/Large–Zip-n-Steam-Bags?src=gfeed&gclid=CMvgqYbgqLICFYcKfAodU3QAPA).

Just cut up your veges, shove them in the steaming bag, and zap in the microwave for a few minutes and you have perfectly cooked crudity (with all the taste and vitamins retained) for your wee one. There’s no mess (and no washing up!) and no need for fiddling about with steamers or pots and pans.

Ok, now we’re sounding like a bad shopping channel infomercial, so we’ll leave it there… but seriously these things are fab!

Boys Rock…Part 3

7 Sep

 

Thankyou to one of our uber-stylish followers who sent in a tip for our ‘Boys Rock’ shopathon…her baby boy always looks stylish and now we know her secret: Cyrillus (http://www.cyrillus.com/en/babies.htm). This Parisian brand (need we say more?!) offers chic, classic pieces in beautiful fabrics. The best bit? As well as doing clothes for boys and girls they do things for adults too!

Whilst it’s not available in mainstream highstreet stores in the UK, the good news is that you can order online so, go on, treat yourself.

JK

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