Wifey had to work late a couple of nights last week. My job was to fetch Timmy from his grandmother’s, bring him home, read him a story, wash him up, brush his teeth, offer his last feed of milk and put him to bed.
Storybook time has always been a little tough. He’d want to snatch the book and flip/fold the pages – refusing to let me read to him. If I held fast to the book, he would get off the bed and go exploring on his own.
So this one evening, he was being particularly restless. He was just about to climb off the bed when I told him that if he did that, I would put him in his cot. He looked me in the eye as if to challenge me, and dismounted. I pulled him back on the bed and we repeated the exercise. This time, just as his feet touched the ground, I swept him into his cot. He started wailing as I left the room.
I went to the kitchen to get the kettle going for his milk. I must have been gone 30 seconds. I got back to the little sobber and asked him if he still wanted a story. He nodded and I carried him onto the bed. There he sat patiently and listened attentively to a Peter Rabbit story – all 10 minutes of it. I gave him his milk and he went to sleep.
The following couple of nights have been brilliant. He sits there, sucking his thumb, or laying down looking at me while I read.
This evening, midway thru a chapter on Mr Jeremy Fisher, wifey came home. I heard the tinkle of the keys first, and soon he heard something too. So I said, “Guess who’s home? Go find out!” He crawls to the edge of the bed, turns around and looks at me for permission. I say, “Go!” and he hops off to find his momma in the living room.
Parenting lessons for me. I’ll see for a few more nights, but for now… success!
Timmy was born with an undescended testicle. His pediatrician said to give it until he was one year old to come down by itself but it didn’t – so day surgery was needed. The pamphlet we got gave info on how to explain to a child and to calm him – not a one year old. So here goes – my tips.
Fasting is so the stomach is empty during the procedure. General anesthesia causes nausea, so any retching would not produce undigested food and choking risk.
Schedule the surgery 1st thing in the morning. His regular night feed at 2300hrs, and next morning at about 0830hrs. Surgery was scheduled for 0800hrs. He was out until about 0930hrs. I thought he would be famished once out of surgery, he wasn’t. He was REALLY cranky.
Once old enough, most children and adults would take some time coming to from anesthesia being groggy but calm. Babies just get angry because of the unfamiliar sensations and surroundings, etc. Well, ours was! He refused to be put down on a bed. We ended up carrying him for the next couple of hours. If you use a baby carrier such as a Baby Bjorn, Beco, or Ergo, bring it and use it.
His regular diaper bag, including change of clothes, spare diapers etc.
Spare clothes for you too.
Reading material or something to entertain yourself with. There will be a lot of waiting.
Once he’s calmed down and was more alert, it was time to give him some water. If he tolerated that for 10 minutes, then milk. He didn’t – threw up water on me. Yay for the spare T-shirt.
We waited another half hour, then fed water again. He held on to that for 10 minutes.
We then gave him a full feed of milk. Mistake! Threw most of it up on his momma. We were then told later that we should have offered a partial feed; then give more if he wanted more.
Top tip: Fill your milk powder dispenser with a third of a feed.
Timmy takes 180ml of water with 3 level scoops of milk. Instead of filling up the dispenser with the 3 level scoops, fill each compartment with 1 scoop. Voila – partial feed.
We waited another half hour before trying it again. This time, we gave a partial feed by estimating how much should come out from the dispenser.
The last step was to remove the catheter from his hand. He didn’t like that very much – but I don’t have tips on how to manage that except just speaking to him calmly.
We got home mid afternoon and we all had a good long nap. He was still cranky in the evening when we brought him out for dinner.
Don’t forget the paracetamol – we were told 150mg 4 times a day. Timmy seems to be coping fine with just 2 or 3 doses a day.
Shipping was a flat €80, and as an opening offer, they offered a free Axkid Keezone front facing booster seat (15-36 kg). Woot – 2 for 1 – snap it up!
Opening offer – that set off some alarm bells that this was a relatively new set up, but I went ahead. The order was made 4 Apr 2012….
Turns out that their regular supplier stuffed it up and the package ended up stuck in Malmö, Sweden for about 20 days. Re-contacted them, and they resent the package via UPS a week later. The package arrived 3 May 2012, all 24kg of it – in a big hunk of package.
From the amount of UPS tape on the package, I suspect that it’d been busted open somewhere along the line, and the styrofoam headrest of the Keezone was broken.
I sent an email out to them the next day. They responded to say they’d fix it – but its now been a month, and no word yet. They have however, changed the terms on their website to say that the 1 for 1 offer is only valid in Europe due to freight costs.
The Kidzofiz is now attached rear-facing via ISOFIX. The foot-prop is extended, and tether straps fastened. The seat is rigid – in all directions, unlike some of the other seats I’ve seen in the shops.
Timmy didn’t like it much at first, but seating isn’t negotiable. He adapted after 2 days or so.
We’ve used it for a month, and I can say I’m very happy with it. The car has become smaller – I can’t carry as many people and the front passenger area is quite cramped. The self adjusting harness is a great innovation and very difficult to get wrong. Installation was quite easy.
We’ll figure out the booster situation when we come to it…..
Timmy is about 7 months old, and at 9kg, very nearly reaching the usable lifespan of the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix he’s been traveling in. We don’t have the Maxi Cosi ISOFix base, so I’ve been strapping him in and out the car using the belt. Group 0’s almost done.
So now we’re in the market for Group 1, or a Group 1-2 seat.
Most seats are affixed to the vehicle using seat belts. But belts can stretch and fray, especially with the seat in place semi-permanently. ISOFIX is a 20+ year old standard that has vehicle manufacturers weld 2 hoops of metal behind the rear seat cushions. A child seat with the ISO attachment points allows it to be directly linked to the vehicle chassis, and simplify the installation process.
The caveat is that ISOFIX in its current form (and as I understand it) allows for it to hold fast (in a crash) 15kg of child seat, and 18kg of child – which is the limit of the Group 1 seat.
According to Britax’s catalogue, the ISOFIX equipped Group 2-3 seats uses the seat belt to secure the child to the car – so the ISOFIX and the seat belt holds them past the weight limit.
Mothercare Singapore only carries 3 ISOFIX models – Maxi Cosi Pearl, PrioriFix, and one other. Prices start at $800 as of last weekend. I decided to explore importing a Britax through perhaps Amazon.co.uk and Borderlinx. This was the shipping quote I got. What the Fwoah!
The Britax TriFix is the latest model, due out this month (Feb 2012). It’s front facing, ISOFIX only and uses a top tether. Top tethers are typically on the back side of the rear seat, or the rear parcel shelf. On my car it’s on the trunk nearer to the rear bumper. This will significantly decrease the amount of boot space available.
Some more reading on the internet revealed that rear-facing car seats are the safest. They are slightly more complex to install – and require tether straps and a foot prop. The Swedes recommend Extended Rear Facing (ERF) seats for children up to 4, or longer. CarSeat.SE will also globally ship a child seat for €75 Euro per seat.
So maybe Timmy will get to remain rear facing for several more years.
My current requirement?
Seat belt installation – just in case I have to use the seat in another car.
Combination front and rear facing
Group 1 – 2 so we can depreciate this over longer
I’m currently drooling over the Axonkids Kidzofix, a relative newcomer to the car seat manufacturing scene, but run by very serious and experienced guys. Watch the video, its got tons of install options and clever features like automatic tightening tethers and automatic headrest height adjustments.
The worry of course is, its lack of support in this part of the world, I can’t touch it before I buy it and possibly the lack availability of spare covers and such. If I do my conversions right, yeap – about the same prices as purchasing locally. But for rear facing AND for ISOFIX. Not bad.
If we eliminate ISOFIX from the wishlist, then a Britax Multi Tech 2 would fit the bill.
If we eliminate ISOFIX and forward facing, then a Maxi-Cosi Mobi would be a go.
I’m reading The Children’s Book of the Bible to Timmy – the old testament – the Book of Samuel, about how the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenent, then returned it because it was just too much trouble. Timmy starts crying cuz he’s hungry. Mommy comes in and exclaims, “Holy Cow!” So wrong on so many levels…