Monthly Archives: June 2014

Please be seated

“Car seat” was on the list of things to investigate during our last visit to the Baby Show back in February. I had a vague idea that Group 0 got too small at around 9 months old and you were then supposed to move to a forward-facing seat, so although Pip was only 7 months it seemed like a good plan to see what was out there. As it happened, we were encouraged by two separate experts (at Maxi-Cosi and Britax) to use our current car seat (which as it turns out is actually Group 0+, so lasts a bit longer – till around 15 months) as long as we possibly could. The reasons for this seemed to be twofold:

  1. Rear-facing infant car seats are safer in general;
  2. New safety regulations are currently being phased in, so we should wait and buy one of the new, safer seats which are rear-facing until age 4.

As you do, we then forgot about the car seat thing for a while. We don’t really drive much and I have in fact only ever driven twice since having Pip; both of these were 10-minute hops to the garage down the road and one of them didn’t even involve him at all as my parents were coincidentally staying so babysat him. This hasn’t been a conscious decision (as in, “OMG now I am a mother I am incapable of getting behind a wheel”). It is more a combination of several things, such as our daily activities involving 90% walking and 10% public transport, and the fact that Mr Cath prefers to drive so unless we are going on a particularly long road trip, which we haven’t done since becoming parents, he does it all.

baby on board

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Mind the gap

Recently, more and more people have been casually mentioning/joking about the “Next One”.

Pip has only just turned 11 months old, but is bigger than most of his contemporaries, including many who are walking (he’s still 98th percentile for height) and I think my well-meaning commentators are starting to see him more as a toddler, i.e. old enough to be a big brother.

age gap

While understanding that conception is a miracle and we are incredibly fortunate to have been blessed with one child, it is fun to speculate about when the next one might arrive – if it does, of course. Just because we have little or no control over this doesn’t stop me wondering… it’s like being pregnant and fantasising about whether the bump is a boy or a girl.

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Red red wine, stay close to me

Ah the heady days before baby, when I could have a few large glasses of wine after work, share a bottle with a meal or finish the night with a wee dram or two; a sudden withdrawal from alcohol was always going to raise suspicions of pregnancy in those around me.

Luckily while pregnant, I just went off the stuff. From occasionally actually craving a glass of wine, I went to not being bothered by it – I would have a sip of Fred’s tipple just so I knew what I was missing, but that was enough. I was paranoid that Elphie would be born with fetal alcohol syndrome as a consequence of the extra drinks I had at Charles and Laura’s wedding following a negative pregnancy test that I mistakenly thought had put me in the clear. Fetal alcohol syndrome has a number of nasty growth and mental retardation symptoms alongside facial abnormalities like the below courtesy of an article by Warren, Hewitt & Thomas. There is speculation that Jade Goody and George W Bush shared these facial characteristics but I’ll leave you to play Dr Google on that one.

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Nature girl

In case you missed it, here’s an article in the Metro about a new trend in reality TV shows based on birthing in the wild after one woman gave birth in a brook in the US almost entirely unassisted.

The video (below) shows the birth in its entirety and the whole thing is quite amazing with her three other daughters wandering around in the background playing in the brook and her seemingly breastfeeding the youngest in a gap between contractions.

The warnings over the “graphic” nature of the video all over the Metro article are quite fascinating. Is a woman giving birth something we should consider graphic like pornography or extreme violence? Watching these other children happily observing the process makes that description seem perverse.

But then again, probably not one for your tea break at work…

Top marks

As tempting as it is to continue the holiday theme and regale you with Pip’s tropical adventures, I’m going to save that for another time and instead tell you about something rather less glamorous but just as exciting: teeth.

While we were away, Pip cut his first tooth and surprisingly it was a top one. I don’t know any other babies whose top teeth arrived first – I can’t find any statistics on how common this occurrence is but it does seem to err on the side of the unusual. It’s quite funny that Pip has been teething for what seems like about six months (I wrote this post back in November!) and when one finally arrives it is not as expected. I had been monitoring his lower gums for so many months – feeling them practically every day – that the top ‘uns really crept up on me. There had been two whitish lumps on what looked like the outside of his gums for a while, but I didn’t realise these would actually manifest themselves as teeth so soon!

top teeth

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