Friday, 26 October 2012

Backward is the way forward

I don't remember who or what first pointed me in the direction of Extended Rear Facing (ERF) car seats. It's not the most exciting topic for today's blog post but it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. (Such is the fast paced excitement of my life).

Car seats are a slightly controversial topic because it involves safety and noone likes to have their choices questionned. Every parent wants to pick the best and safest options for their child and I'm not here to judge anyone for those choices. One major issue in choosing to go with an ERF seat in the UK is that they are priced from £200-400! Conversely, you can pick up a fully compliant forward facing car seat for £60-£100. Annoyingly, if you buy an equivalent ERF seat in the US, they are similar prices to our forward facing seats. It seems fundamentally wrong that a type of seat which is proven to reduce road deaths should be priced at a point which is unattainable for a large number of parents. Sometime, someday, somehow, it would be great to see a change in the UK legislation on rear facing car seats which would help to reduce the prices but for now, I just want to help raise awareness.

So here's the facts: The law in the UK is that babies must use a rear facing car seat until they are 9 months old or weigh 9 kgs. In Scandanavia and, more recently, some US states, it is now standard for children to stay rear-facing until they are much older (as late as 4-5 yrs in some cases). The reason is simply that, in a frontal collision, a child is five times safer in a rear facing seat. Children are still growing and developing and the force of an impact affects them in a different way to an adult - a rear facing seat cushions those forces and they are proven to reduce child deaths.

If you can afford to consider the ERF seat option and want more information, take a look at which has all of the background and also a list of UK stockists (sadly few and far between). And whether you're going for forward or rear facing, we had a really great experience with, based in Milton Keynes. They have a large range of all car seats and will spend a lot of time with you to work out the best option to fit your car.

Safe and happy driving x

Sunday, 21 October 2012


When did the little newborn that I brought home those months ago get so big? When did he find time to outgrow five lots of clothing? And learn to roll? And sit up? And eat? Every day Little Monster makes me smile with some new trick, whether it's a new sound or a new way to play with a toy. It never fails to amaze me how much he manages to cram into a day.

This weekend has been a weekend of change in Little Monster's world. He has migrated to a new car seat. He's going in an Extended Rear Facing (ERF) seat which can theoretically carry him up to around 6 years old. Whether we all survive that long with him rear facing is another discussion...but we're happy this is the safest option for him long term. If you're in the market to upgrade your baby's seat and want to know about ERF seats, there's some great information at

Little Monster also cried for solid food for the first time. I thought he had cried for solids a week or so ago but wasn't sure. Today was the first day that he's rejected a bottle in favour of food when he was hungry. This is really scary. I find it so hard to fit meals in...the eating of them, let alone the preparing...and to find a repetoire of things that he can eat. I guess I'm going to have to spend a lot more time figuring it out! Here's the little guy trying to get my phone when he should be eating:

Lastly, and most significantly in my little world, Little Monster said mama for the first time. I don't think he knows mama is me...but he's made such big changes in his speech recently, I can't wait for the first real word to pop out!

It's strange to feel melancholy at only 8 months in, wondering where your baby went. But I guess the thing is, he's not so much a baby anymore. And that's exciting and sad all at the same time.