Thursday, 28 March 2013

Rear facing rules

Car seat conundrums! Anyone else had any? Myself and papa bear had been researching for two solid months trying to look for the bestest and safest seat for baby bear. To be honest, car seats have been in my thoughts since carrying Essie as a little bean in my belly. We started off though with a capsule, lent to us by some lovely friends who'd had a little boy just short of a year earlier. This rear facing baby capsule kept us going until now.. eight and a half months. The intention was to move seats at around six months..usually how long these capsules last, but it's taken forever to choose and luckily we had nine kilos to reach (500gs to go!) before the capsule was no good. The good news... we found our new seat. The better news... we're really happy so far.

After lots of digging on the net, we decided that we wanted to stay rear facing for as long as possible, which is apparently something like five times more safe than forward facing. This is where the first problemo started. Here in Australia the rules are that we only have to keep our babies rear facing until six months old. There are different lobbies trying to get the government to change this to 12 months, but as of yet it's not come in to fruition  So, as a reflection we couldn't find any seats that rear faced beyond approximately 12 months of age. In the UK they recommend keeping babies rear facing until 18 months, the US have recently increased to two years old, whereas some European countries and Sweden recommend rear facing until at least four years of age.

At first we did try and work with what we had available here and brought a seat, but we didn't feel comfortable and so ended up returning it. Round two and our next purchase, after hours more research, was the Britax Max-Way. This is an extended rear facing car seat which we imported from a retailer in Sweden, It was a bit scary buying something so important online and without being able to test it out in our car, but we had such brilliant advice given to us by CarSeat's founder, Håkan Svensson - who gets hundreds of emails everyday from parents. Håkan's a busy man and am sure was very pleased the day we brought our seat and my line of questions stopped. Håkan's advice and fantastic knowledge, plus further reading from other parents like us in multiple forums, helped us to make the final decision and buy our seat.

So the reasons we choose and so far love the Max-Way:
  • It rear faces until 25 kilos, which means Essie will be able to use it until approximately five years of age or 115ish cms tall. 
  • It's compact, doesn't take up too much room - so great for small cars. We have a Suzuki Grand Vitara which is a small 4WD, but it fits perfectly.
  • It has built in head support with an integrated harness, so you don't have to rethread the straps manually as your bubba grows
  • Seat cover is so easy to remove and clean. I know this, as I spilt some food on it, the day it arrived... d'oh, but whipped it off in a flash and was just as easy to put back on.
  • It has an upright and a semi recline position. We did however buy an additional wedge which allows an even greater recline angle. I wanted this, just to avoid any head slumps when sleep travelling
  • It's simple and not too heavily padded, so hopefully less overheating, but still comfortable
  • So easy to put the bubba in and take her out
  • Anchors down securely in the car and feels sturdy, with hardly any movement at all
  • It passed the Swedish Plus Test, up to 25kg earning the mark Test Plus Gold. This is considered one of the most rigorous safety tests in the world. Apparently only three seats have passed this, in this weight category.

Here's some piccies...

Max-Way with head rest fully extended

Clever little holes to place straps in, to keep them out of the way when you put baby in the seat
Close-up of strap 'pocket'
Max-Way with head rest on lowest setting
Clips to keep seat cover in place

Swedish Test Plus Gold

Yesterday was the first road test and it was ace. We have a big road trip coming up, so will report back how it goes when we're back. So far though, so bloody good!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The verdict: Little bit iffy at first, some funny faces pulled, but almost polished it off (good sign I'd say), with one teeny teaspoon left for me.

First beetroot, ginger and carrot purée with coconut oil (see last post): 7 out of 10. Not bad for the first taste. Only another 15 taste tries before we're on to a definite winner.

:) :/ :)

Beautiful beets

Hey good looking, what you got cooking? Well, funny you should ask. I won't bore you with Essie's daily menu but if I'm cooking up anything new and fairly interesting I'll let you know. And today is one of those days. I recently purchased a new cookbook. You know how I told you I love a recipe. So this one, a friend at playgroup first mentioned and then I kept seeing it on Facebook. The book? Jude Blereau's Wholefood for Children. I picked mine up from The Book Deposity, as it was the best price I could find a few weeks ago and with free delivery.

Anyway I've only just started on the book, so will give some more feedback on it, once I've tried out a few more things. But, today I made and cooked for the-very-first-time-ever beetroot (roasted), carrots and ginger (steamed) and puréed with a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil. Yummo is all I can say. It tastes delicious. It was also my first time using coconut oil which according to Jude is deeply nourishing, and other than mother's milk, is one of the richest sources of lauric acid - a known antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial, it's easily digested and provides energy. Might mean Esme does turbo crawling after lunch, well she does that already, so I might be in trouble. Will let you know, how it goes down. 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Pearly whites

It was a very special day in the FW household today as not only did our little Esme bear try Japanese for the first time (the nori with steamed veges went down super dooper well) but our little bean also sprouted her first tooth. Our gorgeous little gummy bear... is no longer all gummy. Sooooooooo going to miss that beautiful, beaming, gummy smile, but at the same time felt so proud and so did papa bear on seeing and welcoming the new arrival.

Now the hard stuff starts... cleaning of the tooth. Funny how babies want to put everything in their mouths... except for when you want them too... like toothbrushes, for tooth brushing, for instance. We've sort of been planning for this though, and gave Essie a toothbrush to play with/suck/chew, to get used to it.

However, we'd been waiting to break open our new Jack and Jill ( silicone finger brush, which is brilliant. Much easier to use and to get to that teeny, weeny, pearly white.

G'night readers - I'm off to brush mine. X

Day in the life of a bubba feed

What's on the bubba food menu today? Often it's a bit more exciting than what's on ours. For breakie we' started with pear and apricot. We always keep it fruity in the morning. Decided to ditch the rice cereal and Weetbix for the next few days as I think it might be causing some blockage and we like free flowing poo in this house. Well, you know what I mean. I never give Esme too much cereal anyway, probably around a tablespoon, or 1 and a half, but I do find it's a good way to give her a bit more milk. Being a breastfeed baby I always worry she doesn't get enough of the white stuff.. there's just no way of knowing. Still, she seems to be doing good.. not a week's gone by, apart from when she first popped out, where she's not gained weight. Then we'll be lentiling for lunch, with a little yoghurt and steamed apricot for dessert, and a vege medley for dinner..sweet potato, courgette and tomato with some crumbled nori. Not tried the crumbled nori before but apparently it's a rich source of protein and has lots of lovely minerals. So, we'll see how that goes down.

Generally Essie bear is a great little eater. We try and give her lots of variety of home cooked, home steamed, home casseroled food, with some mixed-up raw fruits. We've so far avoided any of the pre-cooked stuff. In fact we, or should I say I, went a bit nuts at first and just streamed up a whole array of things from your single purées - soooooo much potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrot parsnip, swede  courgette, brocolli, peas, spinach, tomatoes with butter, pepper and then apples, pears, peach, apricot and even got all fancy on myself and made an apple and raisin compote with orange juice.. to which papa bear did say, you've never made me a compote. See I actually don't really like cooking. Well it's not that, it's just that it doesn't come oh so natural. I need recipes. Yes even for a single purée. So Essie bear has it in her to make me a better cook! Watch this space.

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Good morning y'all. I am up early and blame you. I am an early riser really, no matter what time I go to zzzzzz but I was particularly excited this morning after starting you last night. So, hello 5.45am. Maybe not early for some of you, but I coulda shoulda got another hourish of zzzzzzz's in, especially when I have a sleeping bub. Essie bear I need you to rub off on me. Maybe tomorrow...

Anyway, it's a beautiful morning here, so happy early day everyone...

Saturday, 23 March 2013


One thing you'll learn about me is that I LOVE  LOVE LOVE chocolate. I know it's naughty and I do try and be good, but mostly I'm a little bit bad.

Check out tonight's dessert, courtesy of papa Wolf. Maaaaaaaaan, I'm lucky. Please note, we didn't even need to wash up, after I licked the bowl. Don't tell Esme about this, I'm supposed to be teaching good habits. Whoops.


So, where to start? Maybe with a hello and a big warm welcome. I'm a blog virgin, I've not really read many, but I've heard they're all the craze and so thought I might join in. I have a bit more time, well sort of... to do this, as I'm a fairly new mumma to a beautiful 8-point-something-month-old little bear, Esme (ES ME as it sounds by the way, not ES MAY). So, my set up... I live with bubba bear and papa bear - my lovely fiancé Simondo in SE QLD, Australia (that's us below). Although I'm originally from England.. a born and bred Londoner. I'm used to working, so it's been quite a big turn around really going from busy working ladyee to busy stay at home mum. Anyway I love to talk, and thought some of you maybe interested in my stuff, so the dialogue begins here... <3