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Pushchairs and potential Attachment issues...(23 Posts)
This is possibly a stupid question but I seem to be obsessing about it a bit at the moment so any comments/advice would be much appreciated! We have a young birth son and are hoping to adopt a second child who is likely to be under a year old as ds will only be 3 when we are (hopefully) approved. Because we already have a child we have most of the kit that we will need for a second, but I'm worried that our forward facing pushchair is unsuitable for an adopted child. It actually comes with a rear facing bassinet but as our ds grew out of this at about 5 months I don't imagine we will be able to use it. I'm very aware that we had 5 months of bonding with our bs before we moved him onto the pushchair setup, and it seems contradictory to me to try and build a good attachment with an ac but then put them in a pushchair with no opportunity for eye contact etc. every time we leave the house. I'm up for using slings and things but I'm not that big and I found carrying my ds that way very difficult from quite early on.
My dh is very resistant to the idea that we might need to purchase a different pushchair but I can't stop worrying about it. My only other option is to use a car seat attachment which would be rear facing, but I never did this with ds and don't know realistically how long this would be suitable if the ac is nearer a year in age. Also you're not meant to put babies in cars seats for too long which would rather limit our options. I used to go on long walks with ds when he was little and would like the option to do the same with an ac if possible- especially as my natural inclination is to spend every day with other mums/children and I gather that's not the best idea with an ac in the first few months...
So- what do you think? Am I massively over thinking this or is it a genuine concern attachment wise?
I don't know anything about adoption, so I can't comment on the need for a parent facing pushchair, but wanted to let you know that they don't need to be expensive!
Me sister and I both have Loola pushchairs and love them. You can google yourself for all the features, but they go for around £60 second hand on eBay. Between us we've bought three this way for various reasons and all three are still going strong.
So if it's something you want, even just for the early days with your adopted child, maybe DH would be persuaded I it was only a £60 outlay and then stick it back on eBay?
I hope someone who knows about adoption comes along soon to comment on the bulk of your post and that all goes well with your adoption
I am so glad I'm not the only one stressing about this! We already have a double for Ds1and ds2 but we're expecting dd to come to us over the summer and our double is forward facing so I want to get a city select so ds2 and dd can face each other and dd can face me..... It seems so silly but probably the only thing I can worry about at the moment that I can actually so something about!
I second the rec for the loola - had this for ds1 and I loved it- it folds really small too with the seat unit on it. Unfortunately mine made an untimely demise in an aeroplane hold!
Can I also recommend a different sling if you didn't like the one you had before - I carried ds1 in an ergo for a long long time and ds2 is now carried in a Tula which is so comfortable that sometimes I take him out with me just because I can use it! Also connecta, boba and Manduca are all supposed to be good.
I don't know yet whether the parent facing makes a huge difference but I do know the carrier will so if I were you is try that first.
Thanks sandboy- I've been eyeing up some second hand ones on eBay for a while now but DH is not convinced. He was very particular about the type of pushchair we got first time round (wanted it to look rugged and outdoorsy) and as most of the parent facing ones are more suitable for the shops than the beach he is very anti changing!
The whole thing is academic really as we are a long way off actually purchasing anything, not knowing the age of the ac etc., but it would still be interesting to hear others opinions!
Thanks soap nuts- I think there is a sling library in my area so I should really get in touch with them and investigate the different options. I had a baby Bjorne carrier before, a baba sling and later a hip seat. Loved the baby Bjorne but didn't really get on with either of the others...
Ps. Had a look at the loola- looks like a perfectly fine option to me but DH would absolutely loath it!
* researchbookworm* I do not think you are over obsessing, I think you are right. You are not the only person with a DH who is adverse to sending money!
"Back-facing pushchairs: what are the advantages?
Rear-facing strollers are generally used from birth to around 9 months. Making eye contact with mum and dad is key to baby’s wellbeing, and being rearward-facing means that he’ll hear your soothing voice, which he’ll find comforting. He’ll also get more attention as you’ll naturally bend over to talk to him and kiss him. And he’ll be more protected from the outside world, which baby can find over-stimulating.
From your point of view, meanwhile, it will be easier to check on your little one and see that he’s not too hot or cold, and whether he’s asleep or awake."
If you like walking a lot I would definitely go for a rear facing one and keep your old one as once he is a bit bigger and more secure it may be good to face outwards at least sometimes.
Whatever you do you can also make sure you stop often to chat to him/her on walks and explain where you are and what you are seeing together etc.
Good luck. Exciting times.
First of all, congratulations on adopting. I thought I'd wade in with some thinking points-
(caveat, I am a sw who works in adoption and a mum who has a rearward facing buggy!!)
1. we have a britax bsmart 3 which is rear and forward facing, we got ours for Â£190 new but there are cheaper. perhaps look St that with a buggy board?
2. la's have the ability to give an allowance and your reasoning for a new buggy is a good enough one for that
3. Realistically (and don't flame me), you are not going to have acting baby placed with you unless you are part of 'fostering to adopt' so bare that in mind with regards to size of buggy.
I think the fact you are worrying about it shows you are completely ready for lo and understand their needs!
talk to your sw. explain your concerns and they can help.
Good luck, where are you in the process?
Our AD was just 12 months on placement and we bought a pushchair that could be rear and front facing. I do think that it did help with bonding etc and the more opportunities for eye to eye contact the better. Like other posts have said you may get an allowance. We did not get an allowance for this but did get our daughters car seat paid for.
Very interesting to hear feedback from one in the know! We are just beginning stage 2 so still v early days to be thinking about this really. I gather that different LAs recommend different age gaps between any ac and existing children, but ours are saying a minimum gap of two years, so I reckon by the time we are approved plus a bit of a wait to find the right match etc that that would give us an upper age range for the ac of 18 months, and (don't worry I'm not going to flame you), I'm very much expecting that a match will be towards that upper age limit!
As a result I'm just not sure the car seat option will work as our bs grew out of his one at about 18 months.
It would be great if there was some funding to help us address this nearer the time, although convincing my DH that we need a new one is more of an issue. We have both loved using our existing pushchair and it was v expensive so it is a bit galling not to be able to use it for a second child! The britax b smart is much more up dh's street so I'll show him the link.
Thanks for all your comments :-)
I had a loola and loved it There's nothing stopping you getting both? Who will be main carer, you or DH? You could keep the one you have and buy a second hand loola (incidentally if you are near Warwickshire, I had one which I gave to a friend to sell when I left the country but not sure if she managed to sell it - if it's still going you can have it for free!)
The babasling and hip seat aren't great in terms of slings. Actually the baby bjorn isn't either, but usually the baby is so small when using it that it doesn't matter. But I think if you try out some other slings - some places have weighted dolls or if you have a toddler currently! - I'd try out some soft structured carriers for back carries, you can use them on the front as well.
I too stressed about the rear facing pushchair - in the end I got two a more substantial convertible forward/rear facing and a lighter weight normal pushchair both second hand from charity shops and ebay - I think one was £15 (like new!) and one was about £20.
DS was 11 months when I met him and (for long reasons I won't go into now) I couldn't use a pushchair until he was 14 months so used a sling up to that point and quite a lot after that as well. So I would investigate differnt slings - I used a very substanitial one (it was huge!) with a big wide padded waist strap as I have a tendancy to bad backs and it was fine until DS was nearly 2. But then he was premmie and very tiny.
I tried the rear facing pushchair and it was a complete disaster because I just couldn't manoevre the thing so we pretty much used the small pushchair all the time.
a) who knows because who knows how big/old your new DC will be
b) who knows because you don't know what your DC will be used to and whether you can even keep them in a pushchair for long (DS hated it)
c) that your DH needs to get a grip if he thinks the most important thing in this scenario is controlling how suitable your pushchair looks! (I'm slightly amazed that he's got anywhere in the process with that attitude)
d) I wouldn;t spend any money upfront as you may well end up with a very expensive hall ornament.
How much time do you envisage with DC in the pushchair - if you don;t drive or go for very long walks then more important that DC can see you, if you're talking about a 10 min walk somewhere then out of the pushchair to sit on the grass and play then I don;t think 10 mins of pushchair time is going to dent the rest of the day.
To be fair to DH we haven't discussed this officially with anyone yet, and I'm sure that if our SW agreed rear facing was necessary he would be prepared to change. He has already acknowledged that it is a v different scenario to when we had our ds, but I think he is hoping that we can adapt our current pushchair in some way to make it work and I'm not sure that that's realistic. (I would also love to be able to continue using our current pushchair but not sure how).
The main issue I have is that it's 30 minutes walk into town so if I went in and did 30 minutes shopping it would be a minimum of 1.5 hours in the pushchair for dc which seems like quite a big chunk of the day...
DD would have hated facing me all the time and missing out on the world. I spent lots of time peering round the buggy hood to talk to her, though. We didn't really spend much time using the buggy - she preferred to walk (fine as long as we didn't need to get there fast!) and we generally spent our hours pootling around very locally.
I guess what I'm saying is don't assume that backwards facing is vital.
Yes DS would have struggled with 1.5 hours in a pushchair - rear or forward facing but then he really hadn't ever been in one before. I won't get into the hell that was car seats!
I think you need to get out of the mindset that what your social worker says is what he answer is... you will very quickly realise that their suggestions are based on a random sample that your DC may be nothing like and IME they won;t be definitive about what the "right" answer is anyway.
If you're going to be spending 1.5 hrs a day in the pushchair then I would keep an eye out for a suitable second hand rear facing one. I wouldn't spend a lot of money in advance and I would expect your DH to see the sense of it (in the way you've phrased it to me in your last post) without needing the SW to rubber stamp it or be precious about what it looked like. I'm not really bashing him though it sounds like it, but you really do need to start taking control of the decisions (both of you) and I'm sure he must realise that how the pushchair looks isn't even on the radar screen.
If he thinks the existing one can be converted let him try but in the meantime start researching what you want and keep an eye out on ebay, gumtree and NCT sales.
Oh and I should add that in my experience you're stressing about the pushchair because there's really very little else you can control at this phase.
FWIW, I think it's important you have a rearward facing buggy. DD was 14 months when we adopted her and had never been in a buggy (had never been outside actually) and it was very reassuring for her to be always able to see me. Also, she was behind in her language development and the times when we were walking were always great talking times when she was completely focussed on my face.
My friend lent me her buggy, a bugaboo, which has been great and I now use a maclaren forward facing one if I'm going on the bus. (dd is 3 now)
Good luck with your adoption.
Also FWIW, Dh and I argued over little details while waiting for dd. I think sometimes the arguments over little details mask the fears you both have about adopting- it was for us anyway. The argument over the buggy is something you'll roll your eyes about when you have your adopted dc.
I guess the older they are the less important it is as there are other ways to travel and interact. We have massively used our pushchair with ds though- we mostly walk or cycle everywhere instead of driving- so I'm expecting to still need a pushchair quite a lot. I'm very aware, now that my son is older and talking etc., that its very difficult to maintain any conversation with him facing away from me in the pushchair, and if the hood is up for rain/sun it's impossible. I hadn't noticed it in the same way when he was smaller but I guess we had unlimited bonding with him from birth so it didn't have the same potentially bad consequences...
We brought our DD hone in October when she was 15 months old. She had been with her FF from 5 months. In all that time they used a forward facing chair but we were strongly advised to get a rear facing one for the same reasons you cite. We ended up getting one which can face either way.
Poor thing was totally confused when she first travelled backwards, I even wondered if she felt a bit sick! She was always craning her neck to see around the back of the chair, she's such an inquisitive child, I think she found it quite restrictive. We did stick with it though and think now that it was the right thing to do. I've used forward facing a handful of times (you can access the basket far easier :-/) but don't like not being able to hear her properly or see her expression.
I have an Ergo sling, I still carry dd in it sometimes and she's nearly 4. It's been all kinds of bonding - although dd is our bc. Will be quite distraught if our ac decides they won't be 'worn'
Can I just say that my DS refuses to go in a push chair and wants to be carried everywhere - I manage to get him in it v infrequently as he wants to be held...so I end up ditching push chair most of the time and killing myself carrying him or we end up pushing his toys in the chair...
So I think what I am trying to say is - don't stress too much about a push chair. We did before and it has become a non point because he wants to be held...or go on DH's shoulders...
Thanks everyone, it's really good to hear of your own experiences in this area and get your advice. To be honest, so much depends on the age of the ac that we definitely won't be doing anything about this until we have a match (which is still a long way off at this point)! I have now had a more productive conversation with my DH about the possible options and we have agreed a plan of attack which means I can forget about it for a while- I think part of the reason I was obsessing over it was because I knew it was an area of contention for us, whereas in most other adoption related issues we are in sync.
It's also been really interesting to hear people's experiences of the various sorts of slings/carriers and this has definitely given me food for thought.
I love being able to put random questions like this up here- thanks for being such a great bunch of people and helping me out :-)
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