Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Extended Rear Facing

I've had car seats on the brain for some time. Rear facing car seats to be more specific.

                                                         Sahar at 7 months

My daughter is in a infant to toddler rear facing seat that goes up to 35lbs or approximately 15kg, at the moment she is 11 months old  8.6 kg's and 69cm ( 19 lbs and 27 inches), with her first birthday fast approaching I have no intention of putting her forward facing, I have decided to hold off as long as possible.

How long? I can't say at this exact moment, time, height and weight will account for some of the decision but I am thinking somewhere around her 3rd or 4th birthday.

I know what your thinking, crazy right? but is it really?

More and more people are leaning towards extended rear facing, country laws are slowly adapting to this mentality in order to keep children safe and save lives.

European countries like Sweden extend rear facing until the age of 4, and countries like Canada, America, and New Zealand although allowing you the option to turn you child rear facing at 1 are now recommending that age be 2 and are putting in place laws to side those recommendations.

This change is due to the amount of injuries and even deaths that have been sustained to children in forward facing seats, a child is less likely to be seriously injured in a car accident if rear facing.  A child facing forward may have their arms, legs and head thrown violently forward which can cause them to break or even sever their spinal cord.

                            The video above shows the difference upon impact at 50km/ hour.

Common questions about extended rear facing that I have noticed with friends and well surfing the net; 

Aren't my child's legs too long, wont they me uncomfortable?
Unlikely, children are flexible and generally comfortable with bend or crossed legs, also many rear facing seats are slightly reclined which may actually be more comfortable if they fall asleep their heads are less likely to flop forward.

I won't be able to see my child what if something were to happen?
If something were to happen you would have to pull over anyway, if you insure there's nothing your child is able to choke on and if foods are given have low risk of choking, if its a really big concern you could always have someone sit in back with the child.

Won't their legs break in a collusion? 
I have not been able to find anything regarding children breaking their legs however what I have read is that it would be incredibly unlikely and although it is possible better then a broken neck.

My child is already forward facing they will put up a fuss if they are rear facing?
I actually read this question the other day online and am unable to find the site, however remember reading that its normal for children between 18-36 months to go through stages of independence, regardless I still think a little fuss is well worth the peace of mind.

In the end I won't think less of anyone who continues to keep their child forward facing, to each their own, but evidence shows it is a much safer way for your child to ride.

A few useful links;


Parents all want to do whats best for their little one, but if you child is under 4 why not take a second look at rear facing?

Also, random and unrelated

Back on the blogging bandwagon, have a million things on my mind I would love to share, but it is midnight NZ time and 11 month old who not only wakes early but wakes often .. so, Milk Face, over and out ..

Something is better then nothing

So after months of fighting with the moving company, I am happy to know some of my stuff will actually make it to New Zealand. How much? Not much, a few boxes and over $3,000 later, it was a hefty life lesson I will be paying off for quite some time and a lot lost.

I will most likely be getting some of my daughters personal belongings, but its exciting and nerve racking that I won't know exactly what until it gets here. I am praying that a few of my favorite sappy sentimental things will make it, but it not 'c'est la vie.'

This horrible, emotionally agonizing event taught me one thing at least, my dad is always there when I need him - going above and beyond his parental call of duty. He's always been like that so I shouldn't have expected any less of him, having said that my biggest grievance really is all the stress and finical burden that he often under go's for me, but hey maybe one day I will be able to repay the favor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Held Hostage

Exactly 2 weeks ago, my eight month old daughter Sahar met her father for the first time in the Dunedin Airport. To my surprise and elation it was love at first sight, I was nervous considering she has been making strange quite a bit the weeks leading up to our move.

When I got pregnant I knew it, I had never been so sick in my life  - well I didn't know it, I thought I had the flu and the pregnancy test was obviously just mocking me.

I ended up being hospitalized 3 times severely dehydrated, no matter what I did, or what medication I was on I couldn't manage to keep anything down - If I ate, or drank no matter how little I was sick - even if I didn't eat or drink I was sick. After racking up a few thousand dollars in medical bills in New Zealand I decided it was time to go home to Canada, and thankfully I did because I spent the remainder of my pregnancy incredibly ill.

Sahar was born and I had never felt better - her father was going to join us in Canada, or this was the initial plan, how ever it wasn't finical fees-able with me not working. Him coming over meant not only did we have to pay for him to apply for a visa but that he'd have to give up what has proven to be a stable job in a recently unstable economy.

The first 6 months of her life I had moved into a quaint little one bedroom, I never thought a house littered with a colourful abundance of baby things would be so pleasing to the eye, I had set up her toys and bed just the way I liked them. She started to show favoritism to certain items and toys and we fell into a good schedule.

My dad had come to stay with me for a bit, it was cute to watch them together, I could tell she loved him. On occasion I'd go visit my sister, it was nice having family near by considering I had spent most of the past few years in New Zealand, and the ones before that in Toronto roughly 6 hours away.

However having said that, Sahar still hadn't met her father, it had been almost a year since I left New Zealand and decided it was time for us to go back.

Financially I wasn't sure how we'd go back, but we needed to - my husband had already missed out on so much. My sisters FiancĂ©e was kind enough to offer to lend us the money, after a lot of thought and talking to my husband we knew that things would be extremely tight but we could manage to pay him back a little every month, and he didn't seem to worried when we discussed that actual amount of time it would take us to repay out debt.

Things for the most part, seemed cheaper in Canada. I thought I'd explore the idea of having my furniture shipped to New Zealand. I also like the idea of not getting rid of everything my daughter had come to know and enjoy, that I'd keep her surroundings somewhat familiar.

I decided if it was too expensive I could just send over the bare essentials either by unaccompanied baggage or something along that lines.

I found a site that wanted a very detailed and itemized list of what I owned my details and where I was going - I filled it in, and it was sent off to different company's that then replied to my inquiry with quotes.

At this point Sahar was seven months old, I had just received her birth certificate  could go ahead with her passport. I had also noticed ticket prices had dropped by a whopping $500 and figured I better grab one fast, and at that moment my moving date was set.

I had corresponded with a few companies, most quoted me between 3-6 Cubic Meters, and everything was done base on the mass not the weight. I figured a cubic meter is 1 meter wide, by 1 meter tall, by 1 meter long. So when I measured my living room at 3 meters long by 2 meters wide by 2 and a half meters tall i figured 3 cubic meters would do it, since everything I owned could easily fit in that one room.

I responded to all the quotes, I had planned to go with a company, but they were taking forever to get back to me. Euro Transport located in Montreal, Quebec Canada had sent me a curtosy follow up based on a quote they had sent me for 6 Cubic Meters at $2700 - It said that was all inclusive minus the cost of insurance if I choose to insure, so packing, moving shipping, a door to door service. I thanked them for the quote and their time but mentioned based on the list I had sent people I was getting quotes for 3 cubic meters, and told them everything would fit in my 3 by 2 by 2 and a half living area. They quickly responded with a 3 cubic meter quote beating the competitors. 

They were quick, courteous and had competitive pricing, what could go wrong - so for $1600 I could move my couch, chair, 2 seater table and chairs, some kitchen odds and ends, my bed, Sahar's dresser, crib, chair all her toys and enough clothes that I wouldn't need to shop till she was two. I was so excited. 

When it came time to pack my bags, I wanted to pack everything - I kept telling myself you dont need her hospital bracelets your stuff will arrive in New Zealand in 50 days give or take, sonograms they will get ruined, why take bigger clothing she can't grow that much in 2 months. 

The packers came, they had 90% of my things packed and ready to go in an hour - they proceeded to take several long, lengthy breaks and didn't end up leaving my place till 5 hours later, it was so drawn out it made me worry, I was a bit more worried when I noticed a lot of items in drawers and cupbords weren't packed and were going to be left behind, but I shrugged it off, I was going to see my husband in a few days, Sahar was going to meet her father.

The time came for me to leave, It was so hard to leave my family - I love being back in New Zealand but wish they were close by so I could go visit them, so I could take Sahar to see them, I was so close with my Zaddie (Grandfather) growing up it broke my heart that Sahar wouldn't get the chance, god knows when we'd be able to afford to visit of bring family over to visit - But I was also close with my dad, and Sahar needed to have the chance to be close with hers.

The trip went really well - really long - but well.

He took her from me at the airport, and refused to give her back till the car seat was in the car and we were leaving the airport. She really enjoys him its sweet.

Everything seemed to be going off without a hitch, everything was paid for, we were settling in, I had already decided where every piece of my furniture would go, I had set up Sahar's room in my mind and couldn't wait to get our things. I didn't mind that we were sitting on a floor, had no tv, no table, no furniture - things would come eventually, and we were together thats what mattered.

I woke up a few days after arriving in New Zealand to a email for Euro Transport asking for another $5000 canadian dollars - I had just finished paying them $2300 it was more then I had expected to pay, but I figured it was done and I was getting my things, Sahar's things.

I was wrong.

Apparently a cubic meter is not 1 meter tall by 1 meter long by 1 meter wide - they said I had 12 cubic meters of stuff. My stomach sank, how was this possible, I gave them a complete list of what I owned, a complete list! I even mentioned how big the room was that all my stuff would fit into, the packers came, they packed - could no one have had said, hey by the way theres no way in hell you will get this all into 3 cubic meters.

I was confused, and worried - every dollar my husband makes is allocated, every dollar - buying a ticket to New Zealand - spending $2300 to move all my stuff here - every dollar is gone from every paycheck, whether its rent, food, repaying debt. Now they want another $5000 USD - My stuff isn't even worth that, not to mention the New Zealand dollar is lower then the Canadian and USD.

I called Euro Transport, I was kind of confused how this could happen - I spoke with a man names Amed - I was kind and curtious I told him I wasn't sure how it came out to 12 cubic meters, before I could finish my first sentence he jumped down my throate
"Madam do you know how to measure?? Obviously not! Do you know what a cubic meter is, I don't think you do, its simple, super simple, you obviously don't know what your talking about, its a standard washing machine, 3 cubic meters (laughs)  no you have much much more then that!"

I told him I no longer would like to deal with him, to refer me to his manager, he continued to be rude and jump down my throat, I was too upset and confused I was not going to play his little game. I was told the manager was not there.

Three days in a row I tried to get a hold of a manager thats never around, left 3 messages, no responce, no call, no email - I felt helpless.

My dad is in Canada, but over 3 hours away, he works 2 jobs, not as simple as just going there, he called for me and didn't get anywhere.

If I measured wrong, thats my fault, but why did they never correct me? If I would have known I would have given things away, sold them so we could afford to buy new, brought Sahar's keep sakes,the outfit I brougth her home from the hospital in, brought her Pram (Stroller) and bedding, how did this happen?

I asked if I pulled all the furniture out, all of it apart from my daughters crib and toy bins which came apart and packed flat, just shipped them, the boxes of her clothes, toys, my TV and her Pram if they could send it. I dont care about my table and chairs, I will continue to sit on the floor for get the couch, my bed means nothing to me - I just want my daughters things, set up her room like I pictured in my mind, have her toys, her keep sakes, the rest I  could careless.

I mean again if I would have known I would have never packed my furniture, I would have given it to family, sold it, just brought what we needed, just brought Sahars things.

He just got back to me the other day they said taking out all the furniture would bring it down to 4 cubic meters and that it would cost $3200 - I still can't afford that. I also don't understand how 6 Cubic meters only cost $2700 (USD) but 2 cubic meters less was $3200. 

Again they want more money ..

I feel like they are holding my stuff hostage, my memory's, things that are sentimental and can't be replaced, they have them, I should have brought them, but they have them.

I can't borrow more money, I can't afford to pay people back, I don't want money from people , I don't even want my stuff, garbage it, but I want my daughters things and I'm not sure at the moment how I will do that.

EuroTransport Intl.

Euro Transport


Tell your friends, and have them tell their friends - don't give them your business, for all you know they may just end up hold your child's possessions hostage

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Social Parent

Webpages, Google, Facebook, Twitter .. the list is endless.

Parents these days have a tool that many may have only dreamed of years ago - Social Networking.

Yes the Facebook mummy.

It can distract us, but it can also be a grate source of help, an outlet, an online parenting hotline almost.

It's 2 am and you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed your poor little one is teething - you Facebook it, and with in minutes you have words of encouragement from other mothers in your social network, even advice.

No one wants to phone up a relative, friend or ask a neighbor, especially not at 2am - but with social networking we have a whole network of parents that can put in their two cents.

This very obviously can be both good and bad, we all parent different, we don't want to offend but we may not like what people suggest or what they think or feel about our parenting style - this of course is only natural, we open ourselves up to both positive and negative aspects of online parenting. However think of the positives and be thankful for this generations unique parenting tool.

Our generation has the ability to compare situations, share advice, and be an emotional crutch when others need us.

We can post pictures, share our stories, ask questions and offer advice to others.

By doing all these things we allow insight into our world and have insight into others ... and I mean don't pretend your not just as curious to see what some random parents house looks like after a long day! Regardless be careful not to reveal too much, we often forget the world can be a cruel and judgmental place.

It can be hard to understand the vision and direction that some people take parenting and otherwise. Likewise remember not to be too judgmental, everyone does what they feel is "right", so unless a parent is saying or doing something that harmful, destructive, dangerous physically, emotionally or something down right stupid, be that support you would want other parents to be.

Parents want to do the best they can but were human, its ok to ask for advice no one is expected to know everything, parenting is trial and error.

It's nice to share your successes and failures and I'm sure 10 or 20 years ago parents would have killed for the parenting network we have today.

Open, honest discussions. Pictures of our successes failures and amusing moments make this generations parenting quite different to say the least.

The negatives? A lot of parents are overly distracted - Children have to compete with technology for their parents attentions, parents constantly looking at their phones, computers and other devices and missing those quickly fleeting moments in a young child's life. It's so easy to be distracted by the world around us let alone technology.

For the most part I do believe the Positive outweighs the negative, what do you think? 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

No-Cry Sleep Solution

I started reading 'No-Cry Sleep Solutions', not because I am so hung up on getting my daughter to sleep through the night, if she wakes 2-4 times thats fine, but waking every 20-40 mins is probably just as bothersome to her as it can be to me on occasion.

What I love right off the bat is this book reaffirmed what I had been thinking all along, that night wakings were normal.

Babies have sleep cycles just like adults but theirs are much lighter and they shift through them quicker then we do.

 Often we wake and shift a pillow or roll over, same concept, except babies don't know how to just roll over and fall asleep and on top of that a lot of babies who are breastfed, bottle fed or rocked to sleep wake up with an added shock factor. I loved the example she used "You fall asleep in your nice warm bed, comfortable, your favorite pillow, then all of a sudden you wake up on the cold kitchen floor - you couldn't just roll over and fall back to sleep could you, you'd wonder how you got there and you would would want to be back in your cozy bed but be somewhat fearful you'd wake up in the kitchen again" (paraphrasing).

Babies are emotional beings, when left to cry it out they feel abandoned and can't comprehend why you are ignoring their cries.

 Parenting is a 24/7 job not a 12/7 job and its not like any of us were unaware of that. Some babies naturally sleep deeper then others thus having lengthier sleeps, and a lot of parents assume if one baby can sleep like that why can't all babies, but ever babies body functions differently.

I can't imagine how a baby left to cry it out feels, alone, scared, confused ..
They eventually give up in complete despair and sleep fairly well due to exhaustion, this is something biological our body does to help us cope with stressful situations. It has been proven that babies left to cry it out will have to go through that more then once, on a vacation, if they become sick, it ruins their sleeping pattern and thus they have to cry it out again. - Some babies left to cry it out become physically ill from it other babies cry for hours on end for countless nights - how on earth could a parent do that to their child? I'm sorry from my view point, its heartless to say the least.

I hate to sound judgmental, but way to detach yourself from your child emotionally. A lot of parents who allow their children to cry it out say it isn't that bad ... but for who?

Its a lazy excuse for allowing your child to lay there tired, scared screaming until hes too tired to scream, they look around feeling hopeless wondering why no one is coming. As if somehow the only sure fire way to get you baby to sleep is to but them through a great amount of physical distress, sounds selfish to me.

You will spoil her some say, better then feel I'm neglecting her needs emotionally. I want her to know I am there for her no matter what, my job is to meet her emotional and physical needs regardless of the time.

It is our job as parents to nurture them and make them feel safe and loved.

No one truly knows what the effects the cry it out method has on babies since they are all very different and other lifestyle factors will also mold them as people, but crying it out just doesn't seem to be in the child's best interest at all, hence why I bought the book.

Now to just finished reading and hope it give me some more insight and useful strategies to help my daughter sleep better and longer.

Wondering what I will do in the even it doesn't work, well I will keep doing what I'm doing, because thats my job, and she will be a teenager before I know it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh Sweet Sleep

I truly believe sleep deprivation is a learnt skill, one you can master, live with ... only on occasion it will sneak up on you, but for the most part is completely manageable.

Once upon a time, not that long ago, a very short lived time but one that truly existed, my daughter woke up only twice a night - like clock work she was down at 7 up at 11 up at 3 and then up at 7.

More recently shes ;

down at 7
up at 7:30
up at 8:00
up at 9:00
up at 9:45
up at 10:30
up at 11:30

and so on and so forth .. until of course play time at 5 or 6 am.
It was like the moment she turned 6 months old she would only nurse to sleep and the majority of the time it's not for reasons related to hunger, and no I won't let her cry it out.

My sleep means much less then the emotional well being of my daughter, so I will never conciser letting her cry it out.

Personally I feel it breads insecurity, loneliness and a negative association with bedtime, a baby trusts that if they cry you will be there for them.

Keep in mind though, to me crying and 'fussing' are two totally separate animals.

 I know I need to do something for both of us - she associates sleep with nursing, she also refuses to nap unless nursed, it's a new thing but I know I have some how helped lead up to it.

I do however have no doubt the cry it out method it works for a lot of people, just like pacifiers for others, something which Sahar would never take, my feeling is she wouldn't take well to that method, and neither would I in all honesty.

So I'm looking at alternatives, I'm thinking of purchasing a book called 'the tear free sleep solution', and see how that goes. I want bed time to be relaxed, happy, restful - not the opposite with my daughter crying in her bed which I know as pathetic as it sounds would probably bring me to tears.

I don't want her to turn into a spoiled demanding child, but can you really spoil a child with love and comfort? Thats hard for me to imagine, with Sahar anyways, I just try to do what my gut says and balance that with logic and common sense and just do my best.

I've tried a few different things thus far, putting her down half asleep, shushing and patting her and similar ideas. Lately she has little interest in her 'ocean wonders aquarium', at one point it was a sure fire snooze inducer.

I feel like I should know what to do - I know why she wont sleep without nursing, it has become her sleep que the only way she knows to fall asleep and adults and children wake on average 4-6 times or more a night, most don't remember because we are accustomed to putting ourselves back to sleep with little or no thought at all, Sahar doesn't know how to fall back asleep on her own.

Babies usually create self soothing techniques to calm themselves and at times help them sleep.
Sucking on pacifiers, fingers, rubbing or scratching surfaces like blankets or making certain humming noises to name a few - Having said that, I'm still not aware if Sahar has one other then nursing thus far.

I just wish I knew how to make nights a tad less exhausting for us both.

Does/ Did your children sleep through the night?

Do they have a self soothing technique?

Did you let them cry it out?

What tricks helped/help your little one at bed time?

I'm always open to suggestions!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Super Baby!

As if the world isn't 'go get'em' enough already, you have mothers who are constantly pushing for perfection.

Not only do they push but at times they even resort to lies and exaggeration.

I wonder, what's the point?

What do you really gain?

Is that really a healthy environment for a baby having such high expectations that you feel the need to go to extreme measures?

For awhile I had a super baby in my midst and I say this in full honesty and with not even the slightest bit of jealousy, because super mums (obviously the mothers of super babies) often assume thats what it is - but when I heard a not even 6 month old at the time could stand, walk, crawl, speak and apparently had been holding her head since birth and sitting unassisted before 3 months of age I was obviously nothing short of skeptical

 Hey ... I mean, stranger things have happened, but the likely hood of these events all taking place with no photo or video evidence was unlikely. Not to mention when ever anyone saw super baby, there was always an excuse why she couldn't put a sock in our mouths and 'stand up' to her claims .. because obviously super babies kryptonite was her jeans, or an audience of any form.

The first time I realized the measures this mother went to was when both our daughters were about 3 months old, she was literally just as super as my baby, but with a little more head and upper body control, she had told me she was breastfeed even though had made it quite clear on facebook over a month before she had switched to formula, as if it mattered to me... not to mention she must have felt awkward pulling out a bottle well I breastfed my baby - babies have to eat it matters less to me how yours does, then how mine does.

She was also always very concerned with my daughters height and weight - after passing on that information I was told the same thing I hear many times shes such and such a weight but she was losing weight. It didn't sound healthy apparently her child was 15lbs for 3 months and always in the process of losing weight, I mean I am self conscious about my weight, I'm honest, and a lot of women are, but why project that on to our children?

In the end I got to see one picture of her standing, that looked very 'iffy' to say the least holding on to the edge of the playpen, nothing around her the quote reading that the newly 6 month old was found that way after nap time, or the face she apparently was a little pro at crawling and not even one picture in the crawling position, however the piece de la resistance was the video called first steps where she held her daughters hand above her head and swung her side to side to make her "walk".

A few of my friends recently saw super baby ... she wasn't as super as the lavish claims ...

Poor child - I have no doubt she will walk before my daughter with that kind of effort and of course I can't forget super mum could run at 8 months old so super baby has a lot to live up too.

Its fine, to each their own - I no longer bother with super babies mother - truth is she found out that her daughter had the "super baby" everyone was talking about - It took her awhile to realize there was a lot of eye rolling and scarcasim taking pace.

I almost feel bad though, not only for super baby, but super mum - maybe she really feels this is necessary, maybe something is making her feel like its a race or a competition, maybe shes insecure.

I do feel bad in one respect, her feeling might have been hurt when realizing she was the on going joke - or not and just assume jealousy on our parts, none the less whats done is done 

... but in my defense how can you not poke fun at someone who claims they need to buy their 6 month old walking shoes so she can chaise the family dog ...  :-p