Accessory Tuesday: Tali Bow Ballet Flat

I don’t think we’ve featured Cole Haan’s Tali shoes here before, although we’ve featured them at Corporette. They’ve been around forever and they’re still bestsellers for the brand. They come in little wedge heels as well as these ballet flats; sometimes they have a bow, sometimes they’re open-toed, etc. If you’re looking for a great, comfortable ballet flat, note that these are very highly rated at Zappos, where they have 205 reviews (71% of which are 5-star). They’re available in black, navy, beige, and an ivory/black print, and in sizes 5–11 in three widths. Right now they’re on sale at Zappos for $119, down from $170. You can also find them at Amazon, where there are tons of options, as well as NordstromCole Haan Tali Bow Ballet

Psst: Check out our roundup of the most comfortable ballet flats!

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Took the baby out and about for the first time today (we have been on loads of walks but no car journeys), he napped for most of it. We went to a cafe with a garden so he had his feed al fresco.

    We have all been doing really well but looking forward to a bit of extra help when my parents arrive on Thursday.

    • EP-er says:

      I’m go glad things are going well! Enjoy the tiny portable age — they really are great travelers when they are so young!

    • Marilla says:

      Congratulations on baby Cb’s arrival! Glad things are going smoothly :) Lunch in a cafe with a garden sounds lovely for both baby and mama.

    • Katala says:

      Yay! Early outings are so so fun. Sigh, makes me want one more :)

  2. Amelia Bedelia says:

    My girls have the worst reaction ever to mosquitos. They get giant, deep welts that often last for days. It’s incredibly painful for them, and Benadryl doesn’t seem to help that much. I spray them down with Off before we even step outside for a moment, but it isn’t really helping. they often get 4 and 5 bites just after a few hours at the park.
    can anyone recommend a better bug repellant?
    can anyone recommend a better treatment once they get bitten?


    • At Little HSAL’s 18 month appointment earlier this year, her pediatrician recommended Avon’s Skin-So-Soft as being better for little kids than most bug sprays, but what’s funny is that’s also what my mom used on me 30+ years ago. So maybe try that? I’ve never dealt with welts, but we always used After-Bite on our mosquito bites.

      • Spirograph says:

        I grew up doused in Avon Skin-So-Soft, too!

        We use the new iteration – Avon Bug Guard, and especially like the wipes for the kids. I’m more confident I didn’t miss a spot when I wipe them all over vs the spray.

      • Amelia Bedelia says:

        LOVE IT – will try immediately. thanks.

      • EB0220 says:

        Me too! The smell takes me immediately back to my childhood.

    • anne-on says:

      Try a cortisone cream and cold compresses on the bites/welts themselves, as well as benadryl before bed if they’re really bad. The off deep woods wipes are great IMHO – less to inhale than the spray and I just find my kiddo tolerates the wipe better than the spray.
      This may sound weird, but if you think they’d tolerate it, the CosRX acne pimple master patches are GREAT for small skin wounds as well – they really help absorb the crust and can keep it from drying out overnight and turning into a crusty welt from middle of the night scratching. Just FYI – if you do that the skin needs to be totally dry and free of creams, otherwise they won’t stick (and the come off totally painlessly, not like a band aid).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My pediatrician recommended Sawyer spray/lotion for as a repellant (it’s picaridin). I’m not sure there’s much you can do post-bite, though. My daughter recently had an insane reaction to a bug bite (swelling, and the spot was firm) and we called to ask about treatment and the ped recommended cold compresses.

    • Same here. I’ve been using the skin so soft wipes with Picardin, but regardless of what we use, the kids always get bitten!
      For aftercare, our Ped instructed us to give Zyrtec every night to reduce the scratching (and resulting risk of infection). Topically I’ll use cortisone on particularly angry spots. And pure zinc cream (like diaper cream) also helps dry up some less itchy welts. The dermatologist also recommended a specialty bandage (duoderm) which is helpful to cover spots, but it is expensive and has to be special ordered. Of all these things, stopping the scratching with Zyrtec seems to be most effective.

      • anne-on says:

        FYI – the Cosrx patches I mentioned are hydrocolloidal, so if the spots are small they serve the same purpose. Band aid brand blister bandages are also hydrocollodial and stay on beautifully (at least for me) through showers/hand washing/etc. so may be an option.

      • Amelia Bedelia says:

        never thought of Zyrtec. thanks!

    • Sabba says:

      I really like picaridin repellant, it seems to work better than Deet. The Avon Bug Guard products use picaridin, as do some Sawyer products. I like the Avon wipes and the Sawyer lotion because I don’t like my child breathing in the sprays. When we are going into really buggy areas, I double up by using the lotion on all exposed skin areas and then also spray my child’s clothes with a picaridin spray and let her put them on after they are dry. Avon Skin So Soft is a very mild repellant, but it isn’t going to do much in a really buggy area–make sure you get the Avon bug guard if you are going for heavy protection.

    • EP-er says:

      Long sleeves, long pants… which isn’t a great solution when it is warm outside! I also like the wipes for little kids, too.

      In addition to giving oral allergy meds, Benadryl makes a topical cream that seems to work well to reduce the itching & swelling.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I get terrible reactions to mosquito bites too, so I did some research recently. I’ve found that if I have several giant welts, I need to take oral Benadryl the first day and use cold compresses and hydrocortisone. It’s also helpful to cover the welts so I don’t scratch; scratching makes the itching last longer. After the first day, I apply Benadryl topical ointment and hydrocortisone regularly throughout the day.

      Apparently, in children this is called “skeeter syndrome” and it often happens when a kid is bit by a new type of mosquito for the first time. They should grow out of it…but then, here I am still dealing with it, so I dunno.

      A friend recommended using “drawing salve,” which apparently can be found at most major drug stores, so I might try some of that next time.

      • +1. It may be an old wives tale or placebo effect, but my family uses antiseptic salve to treat cuts and drawing salve to treat bites (and acne). I (and now my kids) get huge welts from mosquito bites, and drawing salve clears them up faster and with less itching. I hope my kids grow out of it some day, but I’m 35 and still waiting to grow out of mine…

      • Amelia Bedelia says:


      • I get terrible, swollen, long lasting reactions to mosquito bites as well. Definitely take an oral antihistamine for a few days (I take it at night to manage the drowsy side effects). I also like the Cutter MD After Bite stick for after-bite treatment, which you can get on Amazon for like $4.

    • Need a cool name says:

      I like the Repel lemon eucalyptus insect repellent. I think I bought it at REI.

    • Katala says:

      I find tea tree oil (several drops mixed with a bit of coconut or olive oil) helps dry up the bites and reduce itching.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you sure you’re using OFF with DEET? Recent studies have shown that catnip oil is a great insect repellent ( it!) but it can be hard to come by/apply.

      Also, where do you live? Brown mosquitoes give me bites, but Aegypti give me welts. You may want to find out from your local health department what you have and what their policies/procedures are for getting rid of them. (Esp. Aegypti which can carry West Nile and other diseases.) A concentrated neighborhood policy may help too (can you bring in dragon flies / encourage people to clean drains/ remove standing water in neighborhood, etc.)

      Are they taking oral Benadryl or are you using Benadryl cream? Try switching or using cream during the day and a dose of the liquid at night.

      My mom always used meat tenderizer on our bites when I was a kid, but I think they changed the formula, since it no longer works, but it’s a thought.

  3. Eclipse crazy? says:

    We are close to the eclipse path, but not in the exact area of the totality. However, we are still close enough that there is significant danger of eye damage if you were to look directly at the sun during the approx 4 hours the eclipse is happening. Daycare said that it would not allow kids out during the eclipse. However, they appear to think that only applies to the period of the greatest occlusion (like when it would be dark if we were in the path of the totality). Am I completely off base to think I need to pull my kids out and keep them home just in case daycare goes off the rails and lets them play outside during the approx 4 hours of the eclipse? I can’t tell if I have just fallen prey to the news story hysteria over eclipse glasses, or if this is really something I should worry about.

    • Spirograph says:

      Gently, I think you might be overreacting a little. Are daycare-age kids really going to notice the eclipse? I feel like, unless someone tells them this is a cool thing that is happening with the sun, they’re going to play as normal… which probably doesn’t involve looking at the sun.

    • Marilla says:

      According to my husband the eclipse nerd (he’s been doing lots of reading in prep for our trip to see the eclipse next week), really young toddlers are unlikely to look up during the eclipse and so it’s not really an issue. I guess depends on age? I plan on bringing a hat and an extra pair of eclipse glasses and making a pinhole camera to distract my daughter (under 2) and will be keeping an eye on her throughout. If your kid is older it may be more of an issue and I would ask daycare to keep them inside for the whole afternoon.

      • Spirograph says:

        I am jealous you’re traveling to see it! We planned a vacation to a non-totality place months ago; it didn’t even occur to me that it would coincide with the eclipse until too late. I have glasses ready for our 80% eclipse, though, and we’ll probably also do a pinhole camera for the 2 year old.

        I hope you have clear weather!

        • Marilla says:

          Honestly I agreed to the trip just because it’s so important to my husband – but I’m starting to get excited too :) As long as my daughter will sleep in the PnP we’re all good!

    • I guess I don’t get the hysteria. Kids play outside every day without looking up at the sun. Don’t they understand that intuitively? The teachers should explain that the only time they can look at the sun is during the total occlusion part (the two minutes of total darkness) and that will be safe with their naked eyes. The teachers can tell them specifically when that is. The rest of the day, they shouldn’t look at the sun, just like every single other day.

      I don’t get this. I also don’t get the calls to hoard supplies and check on the elderly. What am I missing – why are people treating this like an apocalypse?

      • Perhaps a dragon is really eating the sun and we all need to bang on pots and pans and drums to scare it away!

        Oh wait.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously. I’m stocking up on bottled water and canned food because I’m worried about nuclear war with N. Korea. I had no idea people were doing that for the eclipse. I went to the total solar eclipse in Hawaii in the early 1990s. It was the coolest thing ever, and I don’t understand why people would think it’s an apocalypse.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I thought about this, but then realized that unless I have a gun, stocking up on water and canned food probably won’t help me in my red niche of a blue state….and if I have a gun, then I won’t have such an urgent need to build my own supply of water and canned food. But I won’t buy a gun, so I’m probably better off stocking up on a lethal dose of something in case of apocalypse.

          • Anonymous says:

            just have to say, I enjoyed following your logic. :)

          • Anonymous says:

            That’s silly — you should have two weeks of food and water no matter where you live / what’s going on, because if ANYTHING happens that’s how long it takes the Red Cross to get places and start feeding people.

      • The concern is that most people are naturally deterred from looking at the sun every single other day because it causes pain/excessive blinking/etc. During the eclipse (partial or total) the brightness will be substantially reduced so there will not be that natural deterrent to look away. One could look directly at the sun without feeling the immediate brightness overload – the rays would still be damaging the retina of the observer, but the observer would not feel the deterrent effects that would usually attend sun-viewing.

        It may be something that, depending on the age, could be explained and deterred, but it could also be something that strikes a child as unique and prompts them to stare, potentially damaging their vision permanently. Most ophthalmologists I’ve seen comment on it have said you need to use approved glasses to view it, no exception for the total occlusion phase, but it’s possible I missed a detail on that and would be curious to hear if there’s a consensus on allowing viewing during the total occlusion.

        • But I do agree that the apocalypse-like treatment is strange and unwarranted. I’m concerned about eye safety, but that’s about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      This seems like a massive overreaction. Looking at the sun during a partial eclipse isn’t worse than looking at the sun normally. Your kids know they shouldn’t stare up at the sun on a bright, sunny day, right? Why would they look at the eclipse? I don’t think they’re going to notice or care unless daycare teachers are talking about it, and then presumably the teachers will be telling them not to look at the sun.
      (And fwiw during totality, you actually CAN safely look at the sun without protective eyewear. The sun is completely blocked out during a total solar eclipse. You need to be very careful to look away before totality ends though.)

    • Anonymous says:

      So this question now has me all worried because when I called our daycare they were very nonchalant about the whole thing and made me think I’m ridiculous. BUT, a friend of mine is married to a pediatric ophthalmologist and she said that our concerns are very well founded and there are significant risks with kids looking at the sun during the eclipse, even with the glasses. I’m not an expert, but he certainly is. So now I’m wondering whether I need to keep my kiddo home from daycare on Monday to ensure his eyes are protected. Sigh, the things about which I worry never end.

      • Maddie Ross says:

        I don’t know about where you are, but the eclipse is during naptime at my child’s daycare. I am assuming that even those that don’t nap won’t be out and about during it…

  4. Marilla says:

    I have these Cole Haan flats as my work shoes – I keep them at work most of the time and they are comfortable and good quality. I occasionally wear them on my commute home and often wear them for 20 minute walks around downtown (e.g. to and from briefings or to a lunch/coffee date).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wearing a version of these right now. I’ve worn them at work for 6 months and they’re holding up really well

    • I have these too! Although my office is casual, I needed a professional-looking flat for client meetings when I was too pregnant to wear heels. Such flats were surprisingly hard to find, but this did the trick, and can work for casual outfits too.

  6. Older dog advice needed. Y’all, our 12 year old mutt who has always had a super hearty appetite has suddenly stopped eating. This is the second day of it. He seems otherwise normal and was running around in the yard and barking. He did get up on the couch to sleep yesterday while we were all at work, but I can’t tell if it was because he didn’t feel well, or just a crime of opportunity (we usually cover it with pillows while we’re gone, but didn’t do as good a job covering it yesterday). Tell me I’m worried for nothing…

    • I think it’s too soon to worry. You’re right to be observant and to monitor this. Give yourself another day or two before you really worry though. Maybe add a little something delicious to his dinner tonight and see if that does it? My dog sometimes doesn’t seem to be into his food but some chicken mixed in always brings out his appetite.

    • I would suggest taking him to the vet after 48 hours of not eating anything. My younger dog recently stopped eating but was otherwise normal. We waited about 3 days, and brought him in — by then, he was acting a bit lethargic as well and just seemed “off,” although he was still drinking water, going on walks normally, etc. He ended up having to be hospitalized and was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. Had we waited, it could have been much more serious. My dog wouldn’t eat anything — even his favorite “yummy” treats, chicken, etc. As others have said, just stay observant/keep monitoring him.

    • mascot says:

      It could also be related to mouth pain. My 12 yr pig in fur spaniel went off her hard kibble for a bit so we started feeding her wet food which she scarfed down with her usual vigor. Once her mouth started feeling better, she switched back to her dry food.

    • Is he drinking? How are his BMs/peeing? Can you call the vet?

      It’s tough. My girl lived to almost 16. With older dogs it’s just tough – everything is tough!

  7. I need bedding advice, please. Kiddo (20 months) started really fighting the sleep sack earlier this summer, so we abandoned it and in the warm months that’s fine. As it gets cooler, though, the problem is LO migrates all over the crib during the night while sleeping, so the blanket that starts out being useful is gone within 10 minutes. Is the solution just really warm pjs? I don’t see how blankets will be useful until like kindergarten at this rate….

    • AwayEmily says:

      Ours (17 months) has never tolerated a sleep sack. We layer instead. The Carters fleece footed ones are super warm, and you can always add a onesie underneath. I also think kids are comfortable with a much wider range of temperatures than adults are. We don’t have A/C and we are cheap with heating, so she has slept happily in temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 (with fewer or more layers as appropriate). I, on the other hand, complain if it varies within like three degrees of my preferred temperature.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Yes, warmer PJs (like fleecy ones) can help. We also started using a blanket around 2. She would sometimes (well, almost always) migrate out from under it, but she was also big enough to get it and get mostly under it if she was chilly. And somewhere between 2 and 3 for us the nighttime migration settled down a bit and she slept more like an adult (in one general place in the bed, mostly under the covers).

    • PregLawyer says:

      We just do long-sleeved pajamas for our 26 month old. He asks for the blanket each night so I put it over him, and then within 30 minutes he’s wriggled free. I’m just letting it go. I figure that eventually he’ll have to learn how to pull the blanket over him. For what it’s worth, his sleeping hasn’t really been affected — he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night crying because he’s cold.

    • Thanks, all! Kiddo generally runs super hot but every so often surprises me by waking up cold (like last night, I think), so trying to have strategies to head it off at the pass so we don’t all lose sleep as it gets cooler! Off to check out pj options…

      • Clementine says:

        Just as an idea: we often do double PJ’s when it’s cold. So we do the knit cotton tops and pants with a fleecy pair of footed PJ’s on top.

  8. I live in Seattle and, like most bigger cities, getting into a daycare is hard (or so I’ve heard). When we found out I was pregnant, we put our names in at the daycare at my husband’s company and the daycare in my building. 5 weeks prego and I sent out 2 applications, which seems insane. I’ve now gone to the doctor, seen the heartbeat, and are feeling a little more comfortable getting on a few more lists. I’ve already decided I want to focus on daycares near our house, so that my husband and I can share drop off/pick up duty. Two of the daycares require a visit before you can get on the waitlist. My husband was planning on taking a few days off this month said he can go tour the facilities. My question – why questions should we be asking? What did you look for? What do you wish you did differently? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • AwayEmily says:

      Ask to speak to current parents of infants! I really wish I’d done this at our first daycare because then maybe I would have figured out that while it was a great place, it wasn’t the right fit for us.

      The biggest issue for us with infants was napping. Do they let them nap on demand or are they going to try and get them on a schedule? Either is reasonable but it is annoying if they do the opposite of what you want. Personally, I would also look for a daycare that groups younger (ie, non-mobile) infants in a separate room from older ones (there was a great thread about this earlier, with most respondents agreeing with that advice).

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I would definitely recommend a daycare near where you live – there was a thread a while back on pros/cons of daycares near home and daycares near work and near home won out. We looked for ones that were walkable from our place and picked one that is on the way to our public transit spot, so that one of us drops off before work and then goes to the train, and the other picks up on the way home from the train. Cost was somewhat of a factor but everything is so expensive here that a few hundred dollars a month isn’t that big of a difference!

      Some questions we asked: Ratio of infants/teachers, toddlers/teachers – it’s regulated by the state here and we wanted to make sure they followed this. How they handle different nap schedules for infants, feeding schedules, etc. Whether the teachers have early education training and first aid training. What sorts of activities they do throughout the day – for infants, it’s mostly whether they are affectionate and engage the babies. How communication with parents is handled. What their food schedule is for the older kids. We toured one where they would have provided all the food from toddlers on, but the one we picked just provides the snacks and we still have to provide lunch. That is my biggest issue with our current place – having to still provide food. Otherwise I’ve been really happy with this place – love all the infant teachers, love the director, love the location (this is key, I think, as long as you’re in a decent state with regulations).

      Congratulations! Take advantage of that tax savings account through your work too for daycare – it’s not much in the yearly cost of daycare but it’s something at least.

      • PregLawyer says:

        So I’ll be the lone voice of dissent on location of daycare – we picked one close to work and it has been awesome. We get more time with our kid because we spend the commute time together. I never have to worry about getting to pick-up on time. And when he was an infant I could go see him and nurse during my lunch. BUT, our daycare is literally 2 blocks from my office, and my husband and I commute to work together. I suppose this would be different if you and your partner have to go different directions for work.

        • Anonymous says:

          +1. My husband and I work on the same university campus and love having our children in daycare here for all the reasons you mentioned. We’re almost never working at home without the kids, which seems to be the big advantage of a daycare close to home.

    • PregLawyer says:

      The struggle is real. I just found out when I was looking at daycare for my second that people in Portland regularly put their names on wait-lists before they’re even pregnant. So yeah, that sucks.

      My biggest questions for daycare:
      1) When do you open and close? What restrictions, if any, are there on drop-off and pick-up times?
      2) When is the facility closed? For inclement weather, do you follow the local public school district, or do you have your own policy? (In Portland, if the daycare follows the Portland Public Schools closures, it’s a problem. This last winter, because of the snow, PPS was only open for ~ 7 days in December. Yikes.)
      3) How does the daycare handle difficult nappers? This is up to you and your parenting style, but for me it was important for the daycare to have a proactive approach to getting my bad napper on a schedule. I wasn’t really down for the “react to the baby’s needs” attitude at some places – or when they say that they’re just going to “do what you do at home.” Well, my kid is with you guys 5 days a week. I’d much rather you develop a routine here and we can then implement it at home.
      4) Food – especially once your kid is eating solids. Typically you will have to bring all b-milk or formula from home, but it’s really great if they don’t make you bring solids or other meals.
      5) Outdoor facilities? Sometimes hard to come by if you’re in an urban area, but also check to see if they do walks to the park, field trips, etc.
      6) Dedicated parking for pick-up and drop-off? Strollers and carseat storage?
      7) Check about their safety precautions.
      8) Sick policy: I think the typical approach is fever-free for 24-hours, and then otherwise your kid can pretty much stick around (unless they have some obvious infectious disease). Some places are stricter than that, though.

      I’ll try to see if I can think of any more.

    • BTanon says:

      You’ve gotten some really great suggestions already – all stuff I wish I would have known to ask as well. A couple more I can think of:

      – For infants specifically, how much time the infants spend in bouncers/swings/other baby “holders”. Obviously they’re not going to be held by a caretaker the entire time, but my infant spent a ton of time on his tummy which was great for his development as compared with my friends’ experience at another facility where they felt like their kid was often parked in a bouncer.

      – If it’s important to you, procedures around breastmilk storage and feeding, such as whether they are willing to store frozen milk to use as needed.

    • Sabba says:

      Absolutely send your husband to get on the waitlists, but I recommend doing visits yourself when the decision will become final. The questions here are good, but each daycare definitely has a “vibe” to it. One daycare we toured looked great on paper and had all the right answers to our questions, but I really just did not feel right about the infant care providers that we met during the tour. It just wasn’t the right place for us, although I can’t point out any specific reason. My husband thought it was fine, although with some questioning admitted that he did not like the providers we had met there as much as we had at other facilities. I guess I am saying that gut instinct matters, assuming you will have a choice between facilities.

      Also going to add to not panic about it if you don’t have a spot open for awhile. We went on waitlists right away, and a spot didn’t open at our favorite daycare until right before the baby was born. After all that, we ended up getting a nanny instead of sending her to the daycare she had chosen (based on our baby’s very difficult temperament and my work schedule), which was a decision that was only made two weeks before I returned to work. We lost our deposit, but some other baby nabbed that spot at the last minute. So the waitlist situation can change very fast, especially for infants.

      • ElisaR says:

        I totally agree – the “vibe” is very important. I toured several places and when asked why I selected our current place, it was all about the feeling I got. I’m not sure the “right” questions would have led me there (for example, I thought video access to my baby was what I wanted but this place doesn’t have it and it’s really not an issue). There’s not substitute for meeting the teachers and being in the space to see what works.
        I also agree with the spot – our spot didn’t open until a few weeks before my son was to start. I was planning on having my mother cover for a month until the official spot opened, but luckily it all worked out…… people cancel last minute a lot and spots do open up.

    • EB0220 says:

      For what it’s worth, I recommend making a final decision after the baby is born if possible. You may not know what kind of parent you’ll be, and therefore what is important to you, until after baby arrives. For example, with my first I was going to try breastfeeding but didn’t know how it would go. It went great and I was completely dedicated to continuing with breastfeeding after returning to work. I didn’t even know that there were differences in how you feed breastfed and formula-fed infants before baby arrived, so I didn’t know what to ask.

      • Sabba says:

        I agree with this, especially if you have the money to hold a spot at more than one place if you are still deciding between two. If they have a waitlist, they will fill it quickly, so don’t worry about being deceptive.

    • Another BigLaw Parent says:

      All of the questions above are great. The one extra curve ball I asked was “have you ever been sued or threatened to be sued?” If they said yes, I would have asked what the circumstances were. (They said no; they also said I was the only parent that asked that question — hurrah for lawyers.)

      You may also want to look up the license number at the state agency and see if there have been any complaints/violations in the last 12 months.

    • Thanks everyone. Your suggestions were really helpful. It’s nice to get some anonymous advice right now since we haven’t told anyone (except a few bartenders around town who I’ve asked to make me a virgin drink when they take my order, so that my coworkers and friends don’t suspect anything).

  9. Elmo Uh-oh says:

    Y’all I feel terrible. My 20 month old has discovered a love for Elmo. We limit screen time so we ordered him a little stuffed Elmo so he’d stop pointing at the TV and begging “Emmo! Emmo!” all the time. I scooped a package off the porch this morning and opened it in the car on the way to work– it was Elmo. LO was with me. I got excited and gave it to him. He loved it and refused to relinquish it before daycare. Adorable.

    I called DH to tell him how cute it was, and he is SO SAD that I gave it to LO without him there to see his reaction. And I feel so bad! I totally should have waited! But I got so excited and I knew he would love it, and I wanted to give it to him, and now I feel so awful! Also super pregnant right now which might be contributing to how bad I feel about it. But I cant believe I didn’t wait to give it to him with DH. Someone make me feel better please? I am seriously tearing up at my desk. Over Elmo.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Aww, there will be so many milestones and surprises. This one probably seems important because it’s one of the first times kiddo is aware of a thing like that. I wouldn’t worry too much; there will be holidays, and birthdays, and exciting things to see on trips, and new bikes, and first cars. I think as a parent, we need to relish the things we can be present for and not put too much weight on things we miss.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      lol, these are definitely pregnancy hormones. Just remind yourself that your 20 month old will still be really excited about Elmo this evening and will probably tell your husband all about it.

    • How does your kid feel about Cookie monster? Or what about getting a different Elmo toy? We have a puppet my daughter loves and use it to talk to her in a fairly terrible, high pitched Elmo voice.

      I can totally relate though. This weekend, Mr. AIMS very proudly told me about how he took baby AIMS out for her first pizza and how she loved it and blah blah and without thinking I blurted out, “I’ve taken her for pizza before, it’s bread and cheese, of course she loves it” .. oh well. Your husband will get over it when he sees your little one hugging the elmo at home tonight and you will have plenty of new memories to come. Don’t worry.

      • Elmo Uh-oh says:

        YES!! Just ordered a Big Bird for DH to give him. Brilliant. Thank you all for making me feel better!

  10. POSITA says:

    Personally I wouldn’t get too wedded to anywhere right now. Get on lots of lists but plan to come back and spend lots of time once you have a spot. We wasted lots of time talking to schools where we never got in.

    At this point, I think the best think you can do is to just get a feel for the place. You haven’t met your baby and don’t know exactly what kind of parents you’ll be. As a number 1 point, I’d look for engaged and happy caregivers. I want to see teachers talking to and engaging with kids in a positive way. I want to see happy kids who look comfortable in their environment. I want to see a facility that is clean and kept up. After that, you get into more matters of preference.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      This. At this point, I would go by “feel” mainly and put your name on any list that “feels” good to you. You have plenty of time to do more investigation as it gets closer. And to determine the reality of which places you can get in to. If a place doesn’t feel like it will work for you (and frankly, you’ll know – and it could be all sorts of different things), just don’t even bother paying the money to get on the list.

      • POSITA says:

        It really is impressive how you just know. I walked out of one place about 10 minutes into a tour because I knew I’d rather quit my job and live in a box before I’d send my child there. It did not feel right at all.

        Do be aware that many of these lists verge on scams. I asked one place how long it had been since they let a non-sibling infant in off of the waiting list. They told me it hadn’t happened in the 6 years that they’d worked there. There are other places that I got on a list a 6 week pregnant and my 4 yo still hasn’t gotten a spot. It turns out that they don’t follow the list and just let in people at their whim. I don’t have the time to swing by with coffee for the teachers on a regular basis until my kid gets a spot. It’s just crazy.

        • Agreed, trust yourself. I left one tour early, the place was not a good choice for me. A friend now sends her kid to the same place. She is happy with her choice. Trust your instincts.

        • Katala says:

          Yep, agree it’s scammy. You’ll probably need to call repeatedly to have any chance of getting in from the waiting list, and unfortunately that won’t necessarily work. For a place like Seattle, my understanding is you take what you can get (of acceptable options, of course). So maybe tour with the idea of striking places you definitely don’t like, rather than picking your favorite to avoid the disappointment of not getting into #1 at the right time.

        • CPA Lady says:

          Also, if you have any friends who are parents, they can usually tell you the vibe of at least several. I asked all the moms of small children at my office and ended up getting into one that had rave reviews but looked kinda like a dump to me. I never had a bad feeling about it, it just wasn’t new and shiny like some of the other ones I toured.

          And now that my kid is there I sobbed reading the invitation to “graduation” email this year even though my kid won’t be graduating for a few more years… I just love it so much and it’s such a wonderful, tight knit, loving environment. The thought of her leaving there to go to school makes me so emotional.

  11. Baby proofing hacks? says:

    My 6.5 month old is crawling all over the place, and this morning tried to tug on a electrical cord and made a bee-line for a separate outlet. So (past?) time to baby proof. We’re in a rental that we will be in for, at most, one more year though. I also solo parent a lot. Any good advice or hacks? I’m thinking about just getting one of those baby pens and calling it a day — and keeping an eagle eye when he’s not in the pen. He’s at daycare during the day. Is that impractical?

    • If your kid is interested in the outlets, getting those covered is easy enough. If you have stairs you need a gate at the top, but we didn’t install a gate on the bottom – during the brief period she wanted to climb up the stairs we just blocked it off. Definitely get a cabinet lock for anything breakable/poisonous. Otherwise, I think a lot of babyproofing stuff is unnecessary.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We ended up basically making our living room 100% babyproofed (and gated off both entrances) in our rental. This was super useful for when one of us was solo parenting and had to cook or run to the bathroom, or when we just didn’t want to chase her all over the place. In the other rooms we did only minimal babyproofing. I think it’s a lot easier to get away with that when they are in daycare all day. A baby pen would probably accomplish the same purpose…but you know your baby; would he tolerate that kind of confinement? Some will, some absolutely will not.

    • So I think some of this depends on your kid. We didn’t do any baby proofing as such. We moved some lamps that could have come crashing down, we tried (and failed because it kept coming off) to put a bumper on a sharp bed corner, and generally just kept an eye on our kid and used common sense. My daughter has never been interested in sticking things into outlets though and usually listens when you say no, don’t touch, or whatever. She also used her pacifier pretty heavily at that age so she never wanted to put everything in her mouth. We honestly did more to puppy proof when our dog was little. But I think it is really child specific.

      • For situations where you’re on your own we used one of those infant exersaucers or a swing. It was good for 5-10 minutes of “go do X”

    • Since you are in a rental, instead of putting locks on cabinets you can just empty out anything that would harm them from the ones they can reach. If all you leave in them is towels and plastic Tupperware, they can make a mess but they won’t hurt anything. If you have a 2 story home the child gate and the bottom of the stairs is a must. If you have tall furniture that can tip and a TV on a stand, you should anchor them, and if you have blinds or curtains with string cables those have to bee tied up out of reach. You will have to get the holes for these patched when you leave, but that cost is offset by the risk of injuries that can happen.

      • Spirograph says:

        Agree with this. Here’s my baby-proofing. 3 kids have survived so far!

        Cabinet locks: 3 kitchen cupboards: the one under the sink that has cleaning stuff, and the one (two doors) that has glass bottles for rice wine vinegar, olive oil, etc. We have the “permanent,” push down to open, ones that screw into the cabinets, and honestly I can’t imagine anyone would complain about that in a rental if you removed them before you moved out. But know your landlord, I guess.

        Baby gate: one of those tension rod types, not permanent, that we use to block the basement stairs when baby is roaming free. Sometimes we situate it to keep him out of the kitchen, entirely (basement stairs are in the kitchen).

        Outlet covers: we’re not perfect with this, but most outlets have covers. All the unused ones in the nursery do

        Furniture anchors: Baby’s dresser and giant flat screen TV are anchored

        Generally, we tucked cords behind furniture, put the strings on the blinds on top of the window, checked the bathrooms and nightstands for medicine that might have been tucked in a drawer, moved the towels to the bottom of the linen closet and the liquids and first aid kit to the top, and made sure the scissors were out of reach. But that’s really it. Granted, we don’t have a ton of breakable stuff or sharp corners in general, but I tend to think a lot of the babyproofing is overblown. The baby’s not really going to be roaming free with no supervision in your house, so you really just need to protect him from things that can cause grave damage either silently or faster than the 30 seconds it would take you to come running from another room and intervene. My whole house is basically “babyproof” in that sense.

    • TCOYF Help! says:

      Started writing a response and my computer froze (ARGH). You can buy cabinet locks that use the 3M sticky technology – they use a magnetic “key” to keep the cabinet closed and you don’t have to drill any holes. Bought them on Amazon. Same with sticky “straps” that can be used to keep drawers closed. The baby jail (as we call it – the baby pen) is key to be able to get anything done and doesn’t have to be secured to anything – just ensure there’s nothing dangerous inside it. Good luck!

  12. dc anon says:

    do you have any nursing tank recommendations for the larger busted? i have the ones from target and h&m but they give me tons of cleavage. i would like more coverage up top.

    • That’s tough. I didn’t mind the cleavage from my Target-brand nursing tanks, but I feel like all the ones I tried were pretty low-cut. Maybe the Bravado ones that are bra-sized? I was around a 36G/H. The Glamourmom one looks like it might come up higher, but that could just be the picture.

    • I got some Bravado ones and IIRC the coverage was decent, but the support was minimal. I switched to underwire nursing bras (Anita) before my son was a month old I think. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

    • ElisaR says:

      yes the target ones were VAVAVOOM on me. I found better success with Motherhood ones I bought at Buy Buy Baby. Although they were still more revealing than I would have liked.

  13. PregLawyer says:

    Why is the DockATot SO EXPENSIVE? It’s $260. Isn’t it just a big pillow with edges?

    • I don’t know but it’s $165 at target, which is still expensive but less so?

      • PregLawyer says:

        Ah, I was looking at the huge one. Still, that seems so expensive for a pillow.

        • Agree. FWIW, I didn’t have one and it never occurred to me that we needed one.

          • PregLawyer says:

            Same. A friend had it on her registry. I suppose some people do co-sleep for a long time, so maybe you could get some good mileage out of it, but . . . our first was in a bassinet for maybe 4 weeks? Then we just plopped him in the crib. Any of these $250 newborn sleepers seem like such a splurge to me. (Although I really really want the Halo Bassinest for number 2. Maybe I can find a used one somewhere).

    • My cousin got one and from what she said about it, she didn’t seem to love it anymore than I loved our RnP.

    • shortperson says:

      they are also not safe for sleeping. i dont understand why ppl are into this.

      • October says:

        +1 But the rock n play is also not recommended for sleeping and no one seems to follow that rule :) Simple, cheap bassinet and then a crib at 4 months worked perfectly fine for us.

      • This. I think Dockatot itself recommends that baby is observed at all times when in it. Unless something is marked a bassinet or crib (with those words exactly) in the US, it is not made for safe infant sleep. So given that its use is so limited, it is really crazy that it is so expensive!!

    • Anonymous says:

      There are a million Dockatot knockoffs that are way cheaper.
      I think they’re pretty unnecessary to begin with but I would never in a million years spend a hundred dollars for a brand name one.

    • Someone gave us the Snuggle Me Organic (same concept) and I was totally underwhelmed. Baby hung out in it like 3 times. The person spent $250 between the pillow and accessories, which I felt badly about, but not badly enough to cart a giant pillow all over the house.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      We had a Safe and Secure Cosleeper for like $30, and based on what I know about sleep safety, it’s way safer (not cushy, mesh edges).

    • Anonymous says:

      My mom actually just made me a big pillow for the baby when I mentioned the Doc-a-Tot. It’s like 18 by 24 and has four ties (like a tied quilt) in the middle to make an impression. Baby slept on it for day time naps for MONTHS (only daytime in living room when she was observable). Now she’s a toddler and uses it as a foor cushion or a doll bed.

      So yeah, it’s a big pillow and it’s useless when you’re done with it. (Hah!)

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