venerdì 30 gennaio 2015

    As far as thermometers are concerned I don't know if my approach is paranoid or it is a normal behavior.
Anyway what happened to me is as follows: when my son was two months old we suddenly realized that vaccines were going to be in our future! 
We then started reading and looking for information and, obviously, I came out of that period really worried about vaccines.

If you, like me, read information about vaccines and side-effects you know what I'm talking about. I don't want to dig deeper in this topic. Just say that we eventually decided to choose the mainstream path and vaccinate our son.
This said there was a problem I did not want to approach the conventional way: the fever.
Everyone, doctors included, told us that we should control our son in the first 24-48 hours after the vaccine. What they said is that we should have checked if he had fever.
Easier said than done!
How am I supposed to measure the temperature to a little baby that keeps moving and completely relies on me, without terryfing him?
The answer is straigthforward: take a rectal thermometer, immobilize your son and check the temperature from time to time...what!!!??? I'm sorry but I completely disliked the idea of torturing my son only to prevent some eventual problem.
Luckily enough a friend talked to me about: ThermoFocus

The ThermoFocus thermometer measures infra-red emissions from every object is focused toward. Infra-red emission is related to the temperature of the object.
In this way this thermometer can calculate the temperature emitted by the object. The same is true for a human body. When you want to measure the temperature of your son you simply need to grab ThermoFocus and handle it close to his forehead (you don't need to touch his forehead). The temperature is measured almost immediately.

On the web site you can find detailed instructions in order to use it properly. Don't worry the instructions are super-easy. The only thing you must consider is that, given the measurement method, this thermometer is able to react to little variations in temperature between different areas of your body.
Moreover the 'normal' temperature can vary from person to person. This are the reasons why it's strongly suggested to take a set of measurements on all family members when you're not ill. In this way you can understand what is their 'normal' temperature (usually measured in the middle of the forehead).
Once you've done this calibration with your son, you will be able to check if the temperature is rising in a couple of seconds at any time. You only need to put the thermometer close to the centre of his forehead and the display will show the measured temperature.

All of this will happen with no tears nor torments for your son. We used it widely and I'm completely satisfied about it.
To be completely safe we bought a traditional thermometer too so that we can double check if needed: once that Thermofocus measure a temperature increase you can always think to measure it also with the traditional thermometer.

Summarizing Thermofocus helped avoiding many Alessandro's tears. I must admit that measured temperatures often differ from the ones measured with the traditional thermometer but Thermofocus never missed a temperature increase. Then we never failed to realize when any of our sons was going to have fever.

Lately our 3 years old toddler considers Thermofocus a toy and enjoys using it to measure the temperature of his 8 months old brother as you can see in the pictures below.


venerdì 19 dicembre 2014

At the very moment in which we had to choose a bed for Alessandro I received a clever advice from a friend of mine. She suggested me to buy one with at least one completely flippable side!

I then looked for beds with at least this feature.
Few of them satisfied this request: many had a movable side with two fixed positions:
1- completely up
2- mid-height

Few of them had a side that could completely disappear below the bed. This feature allows:

- you to lay beside your son/daughter when he/she is scared or simply wants you to stay close to him/her. You can lay your head next to him/her
- him/her to climb on the bed on his/her own when he/she will be able to do it
- let you lean your baby on the bed when he/she fell asleep somewhere else.

Other features I suggest to look for in a bed are:
1) a drawer below the bed, just to gain a little bit of room for linen
2) tough wheels, possibly with wheel locks

We eventually chose a bed by FoppaPedretti with one side completely flippable thanks to their patented mechanism.
When you pull up the side the mechanism is a little bit noisy. They should have solved this issue before patenting the mechanims, in my opinion.
It's not a big issue, after all. I mean that our son never woke up before of that noise.

It's easy to move the bed because the wheels are resistant and tough. The drawer is spacious and can fit easily linen and towels.
The bed has a little toy on one side made up of a set of colourful wheels. Alessandro enjoyed it and learned the colours with those wheels.

We bought the bed here: CullaDelBimbo and we chose it based on "value for money" analysis. It was the less expensive between those that guaranteed a certain quality of materials and having the functionalities I described in this post.

The bed we bought is the model named: Rollino. I did not find it on Here below I added a similar one I found.

sabato 29 novembre 2014

Me and my wife did the same errors with the HighChair as well. We first tried a traditional one and only after finding out that it was really uncomfortable, we decided that we needed something better.
We started the weaning of Alessandro with a traditional HighChair.

We had our kitchen half occupied by the HighChair: impossible to put the baby close to the table during dinner and, when not used, it was not possible to move HighChair partially under the table as normal chairs.

The worst thing was the distance between us and Alessandro during lunch and dinner.

Obviously I already had eyed the solution: Tripp-Trapp Chair by Stokke but to get convinced we needed to experience the disadvantages of other choices.
Then when Alessandro started using his own Tripp-Trapp he was already 8 months old.

The best thing about Tripp-Trapp Chair is that you can put it close to the table as a chair thus having your son at your table with you. He will be at your same level and the meal will be a moment together from the very first days. Your baby can eat directly at the table, with his own dish and he is not forced to eat using a tray.
The amount of space occupied by Tripp-Trapp is much less than other HighChairs, though still a certain amount of space is needed.

Tripp-Trapp changes its configuration depending on the age and dimensions of the baby, becoming a different kind of chair depending on the specific period of life of your child.

For toddlers less than 2 years old you can use the 'baby set' in order to prevent them to fall down.
The 'baby set' is made up of a seatback and a front stand (both made in plastic). The front stand is what prevents them to fall down forward.
It works like the seat of a stroller, with two holes for the legs.
Once you remove the baby set (between 2 and 3 years depending from your child), the Tripp-Trapp obstructs less than a chair.

For newborns you can buy a 'newborn set'. I cannot talk about it because we did not use it. We did not consider it useful for us.
As far as the baby set is concerned and the associated cushions (unfortunately sold on their own) we found it very useful and user friendly.
We always left Alessandro on his HighChair with no fear of him falling back.
As soon as he was able to he started climbing it on his own, using the footrest as a step to reach the seat.
Now that he is 3 years old he use it as his own chair. It helps him having his eyes at the same height as ours and allows him to do whatever we do during the meal.

Here I attach few photos of the HighChair with and without babyset (the baby set is the green part).

sabato 25 ottobre 2014

As far as baby baths are concerned, I'm pretty sure about what to suggest: the Tummy Tub baby tub.
Since when my wife was in the hospital after our son's birth, I noticed a picture of a Tummy Tub and I read its description and usage.
I talked with my wife but me and her were not completely persuaded. So we chose to give a try to a 'classical' tub at first. We tried two of them: an inflatable one and a very expensive one by Ok Baby. With both of them we had no success: our son kept being half under the water and half exposed to cold air. We tried adding more water but he almost drowned. Two persons were needed in order to wash him properly and he always cried and got cold.
We then bought a Tummy Tub and immediately all those problems disappeared.
We're still using it now with our second child who is a very suspicious baby. Even with him the Tummy Tub has been a great success!
For those who don't know it the Tummy Tub is a bath tub with the shape of a bucket but with a counterweight at the bottom and an indicator for the right water level.
The water keeps being warm for a long time and our kids would stay there for hours. They say that kids feel like in the womb in there. I don't know if it's true but both my children appeared to feel very comfortable.
Our Alessandro was so relaxed in there that once he fell asleep and a couple of times he pooped in it!
It's important to read carefully the instructions and always keep a hand under his chin until he is not old enough to keep up his head on his own.
Few pictures will tell you much more than my words.
Alessandro starting from 3 months:

Andrea (his little brohter) at 4 months:


mercoledì 17 settembre 2014

During last Spring, when my son was 2 years and 6 months old, a friend of mine talked to me about balance bikes.
 I already had noticed few of them in toys shops but I had considered them no more than toys.
 When my friend talked to me I realized, instead, that many other models existed that were not toys at all. All the opposite: they where real bikes, specifically thought to help babies learn to balance on two wheels without the pedals being an impediment.
To cut a long story short, I had a quick look at the web and I very soon found the following website:

Here you can find reviews of almost all the most famous bike models. You will find there also comparative tables. It's not only a matter of technical details but of pragmatic evaluation of pros and cons of each model by experimenting with bikes and kids.
My choice has been very easy, starting from the reviews on this website: I bought a FirstBike.

The pros of this balance bike are, as shown in detail in that website:

 - The frame is not metal nor wood so it does not suffer of climate exposure (neither rain nor sun)
 - bolts are recessed into the frame so there's no risk of kids being scratched by exposed bolts.
- easy to adjust saddle height without any tool
- wheels equipped with air tires. The model I chose (special edition) comes with “Big Apple” tires
- ergonomic saddle
- optional brake possible
- good turning limiter does not subtracts to maneouvrability
- the lack of foot rests drive kids to explore the roundings instead of simply run a short distance and rest the foots.

Here you can see few photos of Alessandro at 2,5 years on his FirstBike on the road and offroad:

You must be careful and measure your kid's inseam because the FirstBike comes with minimum seat height of 14 inches. For smaller kids you need to buy the lowering kit. Read the minimum suggested height before buying (14 inches). With the 'Lowering Kit' the minimum seat height goes down to 12 inches. I did not need it so I cannot tell you anything about it.


lunedì 25 agosto 2014

If you're reading here, it means that you, like me, eventually asked yourselves which is the best and safest baby carrier of all.
If you're lucky you're thinking about it in advance and you still didn't buy any. If you didn't think in advance, maybe you bought one and you had a bad experience with it and now you know exactly what you want and what you don't want.
I will try to share my personal experience and my opinions.

I think that, in their first months, babies should lie down in order not to damage their spinal column.
This is the reason why the great majority of baby carriers where not interesting for me, being that they're suited for babies between 0 and 5 months and they suppose that the baby is wrapped vertically.
I then started using '40 settimane '. I must say that I liked it in the beginning. It seemed to be exactly what I wanted: my son could come around with me wrapped horizontally.
Unfortunately it's so difficult and uncomfortable to use that me and my son became soon annoyed by it.

After a few months I read a book. Here the link to the italian edition: Portare i piccoli 2° edizione: 35 (Il bambino naturale). I suggest this book to anyone interested in this topic. In it you will find elements of anatomy of a child, usage of baby wraps in different cultures and description of the different kinds of baby wraps available.
I then started looking for the right baby wrap for me based on what I learnt.
The author describes very well the natural position of a baby when carried and she explains how the baby is equipped by evolution in order to be good in holding onto the person carrying him. Their legs has even a different shape, well suited for embracing.
There are many baby wraps respecting the natural position of babies but most of them seemed to me uncomfortable and difficult to use.
Eventually I found ErgoBaby!

You can use it starting from 6Kg (when their back is strong enough) till 18Kg and you can carry your baby on the front or on your back or on one side.
Your kid will be tightened to you with his knees up and his back down in the most comfortable position for him/her.

We immediately bought it and our son adored it. Ergobaby baby wrap is weared like a small backpack with a belt on your hips. You will lay down easily you're son in it and he immediately will enjoy and...often he will fall asleep.

The baby's weight will be on your hips and not on your back. So you can have long walks without any trouble to your back.
Even my 45Kg wife can bring a 14Kg toddler without any problem.

Double front pocket: the orizontal one
contains a headrest for your baby.
Waterproof headrest, useful to sleep
and when it rains.
Here I post few photos of my first son when he was 2 years old (14Kg) at the seaside and
in the mountains of Italy. Thanks to Ergobaby we walked for hours without any concern.

Recently we had a second son and we found out that Ergobaby sells an adapter for newborn babies, approved from 3.5Kg. I keep thinking that it's not a good idea to carry newborns in a vertical position but...sometimes, for short distances, it's the only solution.
We found it very useful and helped with our new son who is a terrible one! Ergobaby helped calming him down.
Ergobaby Adapter.

My final word is that Ergobaby is the best choice and, as today, all my friends who listened to my suggestion are satisfied and happy with Ergobaby.

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