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The Switch

So after we hit the one year mark, The Mommy and I decided to keep LTD’s car seat rear facing. While the recommendation says after one year you can flip it to forward facing and our doctor signed off on it, we kept it rear facing after The Mommy did some research and saw some scary info regarding crashes. The good news was that the little guy didn’t even know it was possible to flip his car seat around to face front. So we let it ride so to speak. However, in December, right before our trip to visit the Grandparents, we pretty much had no choice but to finally turn the seat around about four months shy of our two-year goal. LTD’s legs were starting to curl up against the back seat and it was getting harder and harder to actually put him the seat. After a brief discussion about how our baby is growing up wicked fast we switch the car seat around to face front.

LTD’s first reaction to his new found view was one of confusion. He literally had no idea what was going on. The look on his face was priceless, but a little sad as there was no clear way of explaining to him that everything would be all right. Thankfully, once he got used to seeing the world from our point of view, he settled in and took in the sites of the road. The downside of the flip was that he could no longer use the backseat to rest his books and toys on and he no longer reads books in the car as so much as throws them. The front facing car seat is a lot easier to get him into and since we bought baby seat covers he hasn’t done too much damage with his kicking (it helps that he removes his shoes and socks mere seconds after the buckle clicks.) I’m happy we waited as long as we did to keep him safe, but I’m pleased I can see his face in the rearview mirror too.

Regulators Tighten Scrutiny of Baby Sleep Products

Check out this article on baby sleep safety and products from the New York Times by Andrew Martin. Click here.

Medusa Strikes Back

Before LTD was born I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about childhood development. Traditionally, I divided kids up into two categories, I used to ask them if they liked Superman or Batman and if they didn’t understand what I was talking about then they were in category one and if they said, no dude, we love Wolverine then they fell into the other category. However, I did have a small awareness of the differences between babies, toddlers and first graders. Turns out I was pretty far off the mark. I really just thought all the tantrum behavior didn’t start until kids were two. Turns out it starts pretty early. What is my point? LTD loves pulling hair. Yours, mine and his own. He just loves it.

The thing about LTD’s hair pulling is that he doesn’t do it only when he is angry. Sure, he pulls when he is pissed and upset, but the truly annoying thing about his hair pulling habit is that he does it when all systems are normal. Of course in the nothing is every easy department, his hair pulling ritual seems to be mostly reserved for other toddlers. The outcome of these exchanges, when I can’t stop them in time, results in the kid crying and a parent giving me judging look. Sometimes they say, oh don’t worry about it, my kid does it too, but you know what they mean is, you are a monster and you are raising a monster. In the end there is very little I can do about it, like a lot of issues it seems the answer is, they will grow out of it. Until then I must remain ever vigilant.

I Say, Hats Off to You Sir and Good Day

As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know LTD is always picking up new patterns of behavior with great side effects ranging from frustrating to funny. His latest falls into the first category, frustrating. It seems the little guy doesn’t care to wear his hat when outside to protect his dome from the harmful rays of the punishing sun. Most of the time he wins the battle because we aren’t really in the sun all that long and I try and fight the battles I can win. However, when we are walking the dog or at a playground the back and forth begins. Walking the dog is especially fun since he is in the backpack and when his hats hits the ground it forces me to make some hard decisions. I’ve tried to get the hat back on his melon without taking him down from the backpack and I’m not gonna lie and play the hero, I can’t do it. Which leaves me with the choice of either stopping and fixing everything and hope the dog doesn’t see a squirrel in the process or admitting defeat and trying to stay in the shade. Oh, and I know what you’re thinking, why not use the velco strap? Well, the kid loves Velcro so much he rubs it against his tongue before he whips the hat to the ground. The only real question is, do they make motorcycle helmets that will fit a 16 month old?

Walker, But No Texas Ranger

We interrupt Product Review Wednesday for two very important reasons. One, Beyond the Car Seat is going on a much needed vacation and will resume after the Independence Day holiday. Secondly, something amazing has happened. Something that has been in the making for about a month now, but the other day it finally happened. LTD walked. For a long time now he has been cruising and as I watched him I observed that he had all the basic components of walking down he just couldn’t put it all together. However, the other day I was sitting on the couch and LTD was cruising towards the end of the couch. I looked over and the little guy had let go of the edge and walked three feet before falling on his butt. I was shocked and said out loud, did you just walk, did that just happen? I panicked and thought about grabbing the camera but realized I would never be able to capture the image by myself, so instead I called The Mommy to fill her in and share my excitement.

At first he would walk between the couch and the coffee table, but now if given a straight away can walk for a nice length before toppling over like a businessman after St. Patrick’s Day happy hour. I won’t lie to you and say the kid is in anyway graceful. In fact he has mastered the full on Frankenstein effect. The good news is that he pretty much falls on his bum and the villagers have stopped chasing him around with torches. Recently, I watched him get up, stand and walk from the middle of the room without the aid of something to lean on. Over the course of the last 15 months, the daily routine sometimes make me forget I am a first time father and raising a human is an amazing experience. Seeing LTD walk for the first time made me realize that The Mommy and me are doing okay at this parenting thing.

Hey, Genius, Nice Bum

Loyal readers of Beyond the Car Seat have long known that we use Bum Genius cloth diapers on LTD’s bottom. Well, I think it’s about time for a follow up piece. We have been using the diapers for over a year now and they have held up pretty well. Only one diaper and one insert began to fray or lose stretchiness. The company has a very clear policy with easy steps to follow in order to return and get free replacements. The washing hasn’t been too big a deal and I am now a true expert at assembling them relatively quickly. I sit in his room and put them together while he takes them out of the basket and flings them everywhere. He also tries to eat them which is great ammo for when he is a teenager. When he brings a date home I can tell her that he used to eat his diapers.

Perhaps the smartest step The Mommy and I have taken in using the cloth diapers is to use an insert. Right now we are using Bambinomio Liners and they are wicked wide and capture most of the poo. Of course some days he just wrecks the things and I have to hose it off into the toilet. That’s right folks the fun never stops here at Casa de LTD. At the end of the day, we have saved money by not using disposable diapers and we help The Mommy Earth in the process.

Snip Snap

So LTD’s hair was getting a little a out of control and I had begged The Mommy to cut it. She wanted to wait with her thinking being, after the first haircut he wouldn’t be a baby anymore. I could see the logic in this and also wasn’t gonna win a fight about it anyway, so I backed off from coiffure action plan. However as the weeks passed LTD’s hair began looking a little like something from that infamous Nick Nolte mug shot. The Mommy conceded that the time was right to give the little guy a small trim. After she consulted her crew and the World Wide Web, The Mommy instructed me to pick up some simple hair-cutting scissors and a bowl (just kidding).

The night of the operation, our friend Nikki came over to take pictures and provide moral support so The Mommy’s hands wouldn’t shake. After dinner, with the little guy belly full and still trapped in his high chair I distracted him while The Mommy began her audition for a job at SuperCuts. She lightly wetted his hair and then employed a trick she learned online, she took a chunk of his hair twisted it and then cut the ends with the goal of preventing an uneven look. She left the back alone, but don’t worry folks we are a few months away from mullet territory. The whole thing didn’t take very long and LTD exhibited good behavioral control during his de-Samsoning. The end result looked good with LTD looking like a proper young gentlemen. We saved his hair for the baby book and were psyched we didn’t spend a ton of money on taking him to one of those kid hair cut places. However, now his hair has almost grown back and it might soon be time for another trim. We’re thinking of installing a barber pole at the front entrance.

Would You Mind Turning Off the Hose?

As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know all to well, LTD is not in daycare. His lack of exposure to other kids on a daily basis has resulted in him never really being sick. The streak is over. Or I should say, the streak of him not getting a cold is over and the streak of stuff coming out of his nose has begun. Thankfully, this all happened a few weeks ago and now that he has recovered I am able to speak about the traumatic things I’ve seen for the first time.

The first sign of trouble was when LTD started have coughing fits, sounding hoarse and running a slight fever. He was also not exhibiting good behavioral control like he normally does. It was clear to The Mommy and me that he was not feeling 100 percent. Thanks to our awesome pediatrician’s office having walk in hours, I took the little guy in for a quick check up. We didn’t wait all that long and after listening in the doc determined that it was either croup (or as I call it kennel cough) or a cold, but nothing serious. He told me to watch and see for the next day to see what developed. Well, it turns out he did in fact have a cold as his cough went away and the mucous started. LTD soon looked liked every sick baby cliché in the book. We are talking gross. The doc told us to use Tylenol for the fever, engage the cool air humidifier and use the steam from a shower if necessary. Unfortunately, the cold’s symptoms and discomforted seemed to mostly manifest itself during the night which made for some tired days. All in all it could have been worse with LTD feeling better after a few days even if his nose ran like it was getting paid to make mucous. The Mommy and I have survived the first real cold and assume the little guy won’t get one again.

Did You Check on Him?

During the first year of LTD’s life not only did The Mommy and I follow the rules of the back to sleep movement we also didn’t have anything in his crib. Now that he is almost 14 months he is making up for lost time by having Pooh, Mr. Shark, and his super soft blanket in his bed. He digs his newfound luxury pad and wants to be on the literal MTV Cribs. There is only one small problem with this new arrangement. I constantly check on him when he is asleep. A year is a long time to observe one pattern of behavior and even though I know he is fine, I can’t help but check.

The stupidest part of my checking up on him, is that for the time both he and I are asleep no one is checking on him. It is what I like to call the illusion of security. However, he is our first kid and in the end I can chalk it up to anyone who asks as me not needing an excuse to see my boy.

What do I Look Like an Elephant?

Year One Week nears its conclusion with perhaps the biggest new development resulting from LTD’s one year check up with the pediatrician. As our visit wound down the subject of food came up and he told us that, “all bets were off” in terms of what the little guy could now eat. Of course the one thing that he stressed was still a big no-no was peanuts. Don’t worry the kid can still play with Snoopy and the gang, what were talking about is the ballpark snack and soul mate of jelly. He added that we could introduce LTD to every other nut out there including filberts, because technically Peanuts aren’t nuts they are legumes.

Armed with our new eating orders life has changed for the family. It no longer is such a big deal to always pack food for the little guy as he can eat off of our plates. Of course that practice is easier said than done in terms of how much still ends up on the floor. We have stopped buying jars of baby food and started using a lot more containers to hold his chow in the fridge. Another interesting practice has cropped up with LTD spitting out foods that he has eaten and like already. For instance, sometimes he will eat a grilled cheese and other times out it goes and on to the floor. The Mommy and I try to analyze the phenomenon, but we have reached no conclusions, as it doesn’t seem to matter if he feeds himself or we put it in his pie hole for him. When it comes to feeding the little guy we have learned to only count on one thing. If I have Dairy Queen it must be shared.