Postpartum Tuesday: Oogiebear Ear and Nose Cleaner

oogiebearWOW: there are a TON of new products to help when your baby has a cold.  I remember being amazed at how TINY my boys’ little noses were, and how bad I felt if they got so stuffy they couldn’t sleep. At the same time, MAN did they hate the sprays, the Snotsucker, the Boogie wipes — and half the time whichever instrument of torture I selected wouldn’t even get the job done if I got my squirmy baby to sit still long enough.  SO: To add to your arsenal, there are new things the kiddo will inevitably hate, but hopefully will get the job done for you — including the pictured Ear & Nose Cleaner from Oogiebear, which is kind of a teeny plastic spoon that you use to clean their nose and ears, apparently. (There are also a number of nose cleaning tweezers!) The Oogiebear ear and nose cleaner is $9.95-12.95 at BuyBuyBaby and Amazonoogiebear Ear & Nose Cleaner

(L-all)

Comments

  1. JayJay says:

    Ugh, Halloween on a Monday is terrible. My kids were all kinds of awful this morning. I knew y’all would understand.

    • avocado says:

      Yup. Mine was trick-or-treating with friends whose parents decided to keep them out an hour later than planned. This is going to be a loooong week.

    • anne-on says:

      Yuuup. We cut off trick or treating at 6 and got my son to bed at a decent hour and he was still a total mess this morning. I feel worse for the teachers than for us though…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep. Plus I stayed up till freaking 1:30 am (eating stolen candy) to finish the work I missed due to leaving “early” for trick-or-treating. Everyone is feeling *awesome* today.

      …Worth it though! The kids had a blast!

      • This is me. Exhausted from working late because I left early to trick or treat. (Our town does it from 3-7!!! Insane!!!) I tried to limit the candy without spoiling the fun, but apparently didn’t do enough because this morning was AWFUL.

        Their poor poor teachers. My poor poor coworkers.

        • Spirograph says:

          3-7?! My neighborhood starts at 6-6:30ish and wraps up around 8:30-9 for the older kids. We only lasted an hour…but it was a fun hour. Not great timing for preschoolers.

    • Ha! I was just about to post a question about “how do you deal with it when your kid refuses to put on pants and has a tantrum about going to preschool,” but it sounds like we might be dealing with post-Halloween hangover too!

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Awful over here. It was cute when she woke up, looked outside the window and said “Trick or treat all done”. It went downhill from there. Floods of tears at drop off. Not helped by her being home yesterday getting over the tail end of a cold.

      Also adding to the annoyance, work doesn’t seem like they are grasping the concept of ‘reduced hours’ and my husband continues to think ‘reduced hours’ at a law firm means I only work 20 hours a week.

      And my tummy hurts from too much candy last night.

    • Yep. Another awful morning over here.

    • Spirograph says:

      I tried to bribe the kids with one piece of candy in the car on the way to school if they were really fast and cooperative getting ready (since we slept in by about 45 min)… It seemed to work until we got to school and they hadn’t finished the candy and threw a fit about leaving it in the car for later. Sigh. Post Halloween hangover indeed!

      • Anonymous says:

        My kids got ahold of their baskets which I had stupidly left in sight and within grabbing distance. The nearly 2-year-old chewed through a packet of M&M’s to get to the candy inside, and the nearly 4-year-old went running into the family room with his basket. I heard a crash, and then he came out saying, “Mama, I’m sorry for something I did.” Turned out there were peanut M&M’s all over the room. I’m not really sure how this all happened because I was within about 10 feet of them the entire time. Laughing through my candy hangover over here.

        • CPA Lady says:

          Bwahahaha, oh my gosh, that is hilarious.

          CPA toddler went trick or treating for the first time last night. It went surprisingly well. I think I’ve created a monster though, because she has discovered Kit Kats and she would most certainly eat them for all meals going forward if she could.

          • AnonMN says:

            LOL, another newly formed KitKat fan in my house. He said “There is a cat in my belly, a tasty, tasty cat” hahaha

          • Another first time trick-or-treater here! Toddler took a huge bite out of a mini Almond Joy and discovered…that he didn’t like chocolate with coconut in it. Hilarity ensued: he grabbed a wet wipe and used it to wipe off his tongue. He does loooove fruit snacks, it turns out.

          • Lol! My toddler discovered he did not like York Peppermint Patties and pulled a big glob of it out of his mouth. Half ended up on a neighbor’s walkway (sorry neighbors), and half ended up in DH’s hair. Fun times!

    • Halloween hangover indeed, for everyone. The five year old seemed to still be on his sugar crash; the three year old couldn’t understand why bite size snickers are not a breakfast food; I have work to make up tonight; my husband went from dealing with our angels to an entire school full. At least I can sit in the quiet with my coffee and contracts that don’t argue back.

    • You know who else is wearing their cranky pants? A lot of people over on the main s i t e. It’s not even noon and there are already two “rip each other’s throats out” level arguments. Sheesh. Chill, people.

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        *Casually pops over to lurk and enjoy the drama from a safe distance*

        Thank God for the moms s!te.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Wow. I remember having that much energy to expend on vitriol directed at strangers on the internet. I think I’m happier now….

      • JayJay says:

        Amen. It’s not even worth wading in over there right now. Candy hangovers, indeed.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        Candy hangover, that’s what happened over there.

      • Definite candy hangover. Gosh, I wish I had that much free time and energy to expend on being pissy.

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        hahahaha I enjoyed checking that out. Agreed- can’t imagine having the energy to get that worked up over those topics, or really most topics, posted online

    • Another bad morning here. We slept in, which meant DH had to rush to get ready for work and couldn’t help get Toddler ready. Toddler seemed to be doing OK at breakfast but then had a tantrum over pants and another one over shoes. Last night we went over to grandparents’ house and just walked around the block and trick-or-treated at 2-3 houses, but I am exhausted. I only had 2 pieces of candy and one glass of wine, but I have the biggest Halloween hangover.

      • Why do toddlers fight pants so much?! I don’t get it. That and sleep. If I could wear the stretchy, comfy pants my toddler gets to wear and take a nap everyday after lunch, that would be absolutely lovely.

        • LegalMomma says:

          +100 to this. I am so over any pants that are not stretchy. Also, looking forward to Sunday solely because of my opportunity to nap (H is playing in a golf tournament with my Dad, Mom is taking kiddo) and possibly my last “me” day for a while as baby is due to arrive this month.

          • Katala says:

            Oh this sounds so nice. I have 3 months to go (and agree on stretchy pants, already :) and must plan for a day like this. I hate giving up time with kiddo (and H) but a day to lay around, take a bath, watch whatever I want, nap where I want… yes.

    • Meg Murry says:

      My kids were moderately good, although every time I turned around my 4 year old had another piece of candy in his mouth last night. Our downtown (stores, library, etc) did T-o-T from 4:30-6, then the town from 6 -7 . My MIL took the youngest downtown, then we took them both out from around 6:15-7:00. And surprisingly, the 9 year old didn’t fight too hard about doing homework.

      And then the 4 year old woke up at midnight crying that his mouth hurt … great. Lucky for me, for once he wanted Daddy, so he took him off to snuggle on the couch. I sometimes get canker sores after too much sugar and/or acidic food, so I suspect that was what was up.

      So overall not too terrible – but I suspect the poor teachers will be ready to kill them all shortly.

      • avocado says:

        They had homework on Halloween? Even my kid’s homework-happy teacher knew better than to assign homework yesterday. And sports practice was canceled.

        • Meg Murry says:

          They have homework packets due mid-week, so he either had to do it on Halloween or this weekend when we also had Halloween parties. It was slightly less than usual, but he still needed to do some of it because he has sports tonight. And they also have a “what you don’t complete during class time becomes homework” policy, so I think one of those worksheets was from too much excitement for him to finish it in school.

          But I suspect there will be even more that didn’t get finished today that will be homework, so I’m not looking forward to tonight.

    • Actually hung over and exhausted. My 4 yr old threw a fit when I informed him he was wearing his (2 year old) brother’s pants, and refused to change. So he is wearing those at school today — seriously too short. Along with half of his costume and his PJ shirt. Good luck teachers!

      We had people over last night, and a bunch of us hung out at my house handing out candy and drinking wine. We had kids coming until almost 10, and then I slept terribly (drinking before bed does that to me, why am I so old). I feel exhausted and haggard, AND tomorrow I’m supposed to go to a fancy dinner thing and all I want to do is sleep. in comfy pants.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      OMG, I didn’t even think about Halloween hangover. I guess I lucked out – my daughter asked to be done with trick or treating after about half an hour, had the sugar zoomies for about 15 minutes, and then passed out until 6 am this morning. Somehow was super helpful and sweet this morning, got herself dressed, and “helped” me prep dinner in the crock pot for tonight.

      She is pretty sure we are doing more trick or treating tonight, and has already told me what her costume will be (a tiger doctor with a tutu, as you do). So maybe the disaster is coming.

      • Ha ha, mine too! We went for about 45 minutes and then my son was like — I am tired of walking and I have enough candy, can we go home now?

  2. Blueberries says:

    Freemie users: which parts (if any) do you put in the dishwasher? Have you had any problems as a result?

    • I put all in the dishwasher with no ill effects. Caveat being: I did not use freemie for an extended amount of time or as my primary pump.

    • Anonymous says:

      I put all in the dishwasher (top rack) without any problems. Also didn’t use it as my primary, but they probably went through the dishwasher at least a dozen times without any issue.

    • Blueberries says:

      Thank you both!

  3. anne-on says:

    For anyone with a GapCard – their friends and family sale starts today and today (Tuesday) you can add on the 10% in store discount. Otherwise known around here as the day mommy buys ALL the Pjs for 60% off since they never.freaking.go.on.sale.

  4. Tis the season I guess. We’ve had a cold running through our house for more than two weeks now. Not only has everyone gotten it, but my kids are now on round two! I thought using the Swedish snot sucker on infants was awful. Nothing compared to using it on a feverish two year old at 3:00am. Said two year old also was very unhappy with me trying to change the sheets in his crib (because he’d thrown up red children’s Tylenol all over them) and expressed his unhappiness by pelting me with toys while I was trying to keep the non-vomity toys out of the vomit so he’d at least have his favorite bear to sleep with when I was done. There is no rage like a ragey sick toddler. At 3:00am. Luckily his brother, who was feverish and crabby all weekend, woke up bouncy and happy and ready to plow through a plate of eggs. Better one sick toddler than two I guess.

    • Spirograph says:

      I’m sorry, I’m sure that wasn’t a pleasant experience, but it’s hilarious. I almost snorted my (third cup of) coffee at the image of a toddler throwing toys to defend his vomit-y castle in the middle of the night. I hope they’re both healthy soon!

      • No, I agree it was hilarious. I forgot to mention that he was also screaming bloody murder and yelling “seep sack seep sack” (sleep sack) because he wanted me to put him back in his sleep sack so he could go to bed. But was also totally ragey about me trying to put his pillowcase in the laundry. I mean you haven’t lived until a three foot tall person in a diaper and t-shirt, swinging a Munchkin owl light, is screaming in your face and throwing Elmo toys at you in the middle of the night.

    • anne-on says:

      So, we swore off the nose-sucker after holding my then 2 yr old down to use it on his horrendously congested self. Afterwards he promptly vomited all over the place as apparently the suction? sensation? overall mucus-y grossfest in his head? was just too much for him. Good times.

      • I’m not convinced it works any better than saline spray plus this boogie bear thing/boogie wipes. Also abandoned the snot sucker.

      • I refuse to use the snot sucker and always have. It grosses me out, and our son has always hated it. DH uses it sometimes, but I suspect that the snot sucker led to the beginning of the tantrums over diaper changes and getting dressed, which occur in the same place that medicine is administered.

      • Also gave up on the snot sucker when kiddo got big enough to violently object. We’ve had decent luck using the nebulizer with just saline (no meds) – the steam is enough to loosen up all the congestion so it comes out on its own, and he tolerates 5 minutes or so of the nebulizer if we turn on the tv.

      • We hadn’t been using it but Twin A spent the last 4-5 nights and naptimes waking up hourly, coughing and crying and being generally a snotty mess. The on-call nurse at the pediatrician’s recommended using a snot sucker and saline to clear him out before putting him down. He fought both like he was being tortured, fought the Tylenol, resulting in sticky red syrup all over his chest, in his hair, and all over me. Soooo when Twin B woke up coughing similarly and crying similarly and also a snotty, miserable mess, I attacked with the snot sucker, saline, and Tylenol before he was awake enough to fight properly. That probably is why he wound up throwing it all up. And probably why he was so angry about his crib. Sorry, kid, I’m trying. Did I mention that I was sick myself at the end of last week, when A was starting round 2 with this cold, and that Mr. TBK was traveling? It’s been super fun times at the K house.

        • MDMom says:

          Oof. The one favor you can do for yourself: pick up some dye free Tylenol asap. Cvs has a generic one. I hate that bright red stuff. Hope it gets better soon.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          What delivery vessel are you using for the Tylenol? My daughter started fighting the medicine syringe that came in the infant Advil/Tylenol, and was super curious about the little measuring cup that came with my cough syrup. I switched her to the big kid Advil and now she gets really excited about using the measuring cup, so it’s no problem. Which is just to say – experiment with your medicine delivery system.

    • Horrendous in the moment, no doubt, but hilarious with a bit of time and space?? Here’s hoping tonight brings more rest and less vomit. My then two year old screamed bloody murder at me after puking on my face in the middle of the night (note: never hold child above you in bed who complains of a sore tummy) when I made us both take a shower. No, cupcake you cannot climb back into mommy’s vomit encrusted bed with vomit in your hair and now mine. Godspeed.

    • ‘Tis the season to be sneezy: we have a 3pm pediatrician’s appointment for the cough that’s been going on for >1 month now. Somewhere during that month we were puked on in the middle of the night, too. It took a turn for the worse last week (hello green boogers) and last night there was a middle-of-the-night fever…

      • MDMom says:

        My 17 month old has had running nose and cough (1 related middle of night vomiting incident) for 2 weeks and intermittent low grade fever for 1 week. Getting molars too. His whole class is snotty and coughing and it’s only November 1! Ugh.

  5. Where are the best places to look for Halloween decor on sale? I just did some damage at my local CVS but I’m sure there must be more, and my GoogleFu is failing me. (Grandin Road has good prices but crazy shipping fees, boo.)

    • octagon says:

      Our local Michaels had everything at 70% off.

    • mascot says:

      We got a giant gargoyle for our porch last year at home depot post-holiday. Craft stores are good for sales too. Pier One has a lot in their sale section.

    • Pottery Barn Kids. Not the best prices right now but give it a few days, esp. with a 20% off clearance coupon & free shipping (sign up for emails). They have great costumes too.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      For the last 4 years, I have scoured stores for Halloween decor on sale and have come up with a grand total of one thing. It seems that demand outpaces supply.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Same here. I try stalking websites for holiday decor on sale after the holidays, and have come up with basically nothing. I think that the stores sell so far in advance that there’s really not much left after the holidays (though that seems impossible!) I do better finding things right before Christmas or Halloween – like, on October 30.

  6. Anon for this says:

    Curious how everyone would handle this situation. A friend of mine told me her daughter, who is in kindergarten, has been invited to a classmate’s house for a play date on a couple occasions (the dates never worked so no play date has happened yet). Someone posted the s*x offender registry on our neighborhood page prior to Halloween and she noticed the classmate’s dad is a registered s*x offender due to a conviction of 3rd degree s*xual assault of an adult from 5 years ago. Nothing is available online about the conviction so she doesn’t know the circumstances behind the conviction. What would you do in this situation?

    • I would ask the parents of the friend about the circumstances that led to the dad being on the register. They know he’s on it. They know people can see it. It’s terrible that people wind up on it for things that are ultimately not that bad, not dangerous, and that happened a long time ago. (Although assault is different from, for example, public urination). They probably worry that their child will have no friends because of this and might welcome the opportunity to explain.

      • Frozen Peach says:

        +1

      • Anonymous says:

        I would have a hard time trusting a sex offender’s version of the story about their conviction. Shades of Brock Turner’s Dad and ‘they just drank too much’. Can your friend search his name in local newspaper’s website which might have reported about the conviction?

      • Except they might lie if it was in fact something that would cause parents to not ever allow their kids over to play with classmate. So they’ll worry that their child will have no friends because of this and might welcome the opportunity to lie.

      • MDMom says:

        Agree. You should ask, but obviously know they have motive to lie about it. Its still appropriate to ask directly and give them a chance to explain. Then you can Google to get more details ( your state may have case search system so you can even get file number from there and go to courthouse to look at it if you really want to know ). I would have serious reservations about sending my kid to their house unaccompanied. But If I were considering it based on their version of events, I would pull case file/news reports (if any) before making decision.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I know it’s judgmental, but I don’t think I could send my kid alone, and I know I wouldn’t want to be alone with a registered sex offender without having more information. I would try to set up a playdate at a park or a public place with the expectation that each kid would have a parent in attendance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would not allow my kid to go over the house. Set up a meet up at a local playground if necessary instead.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Ok, second part of advice: in my state, the neighborhood is notified if a Level 3 offender (the category deemed most likely to re-offend) is moving into a neighborhood. When a Level 3 offender moved into my parents’ (suburban, affluent) neighborhood, there was a TON of concern in the community; opinion pieces were published in the local newspaper, there were websites set up protesting his arrival, etc. That was 10 years ago and I can still find a lot of it on the internet. So, you should google the person’s name and see what you can find. (That is, assuming this isn’t a dense urban area with a lot of registered sex offenders – I know in DC it would have been ridiculous to notify the downtown community because there were so many offenders coming and going all the time).

  7. Frozen Peach says:

    I want to get our 18-month old a large assortment of play food for Xmas. Can anyone recommend brands or brands to avoid? The KidKraft is tempting on Amazon, but I am very nervous about safety because I know my kid will be gnawing on these things.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have a question about taking baby home from the hospital in the middle of winter. Baby will have to be outside to get to car and to get from car into the house. Is the best plan to use blankets for warmth, or should we try to get some type of jacket? I have heard warmer jackets for infants aren’t always a safe bet in the car seat, because then the child cannot fit as snugly when they are so small. Any recs on types of warm blankets? I am talking about Christmastime in Chicago for reference as to how cold it could get. Thanks.

    • mascot says:

      Some sort of fleecy cover for the infant carrier like the JJ Cole Bundle me, perhaps? The top part zips off so kiddo doesn’t roast in the car.
      Most hospitals let you pull up to the front for maternity discharges so you probably won’t be outside all that long for that part.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t do this. The Bundleme isn’t safe for carseats.

        Dress baby in regular clothes/sleeper plus thin fleece suit with hood or sleeper (old navy has them). Buckle baby into carseat. fold up a fleece blanket and tuck it around baby under the arms and around the feet.

        Get a shower cap style car seat cover. Cozy Cover is one brand but there are others- has a flap that can cover baby’s face if it’s really stormy and windy. https://www.amazon.com/Cozy-Cover-01710-Black/dp/B008EJSM04

        • Anonymous says:

          This is the old navy suit we use. http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1040655&vid=1&pid=226867032

          Covers hands and feet but barely thicker than a fleece sleep. Just do a long sleeve onesie and pants underneath.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can you elaborate? I’ve used this in car seats and didn’t realize I was doing something wrong. I would have suggested this.

          • Anonymous says:

            The Bundleme has fabric that goes under baby between the baby and the car seat. That’s fluff that can be dangerous in an accident because it prevents the car seat straps from being tight enough. The Car Seat Lady post belong also discusses it I think. Jolly Jumper makes a different ‘shower’ cap style one that’s okay because there’s no fabric behind the baby.

            The shower cap ones need to be unzipped entirely or removed once in the car to ensure proper air circulation for baby. But they are really great in a place where it is super windy and snowy and you don’t want wet snow blowing directly into baby’s face.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      You can get things like the JJ Cole Car Seat cover that is fleecy and fits over the car seat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jackets are NEVER safe for a child to wear under a seatbelt. Always always do blankets, hats, mittens, booties, etc.

    • senior associate says:

      You cannot ever use a serious jacket on a baby (or kid) in a car seat. http://thecarseatlady.com/warmandsafe/

      The answer is layers, like a tight fitting skull cap and then fluffier hat, tight mittens and fluffier mittens, ditto socks.

      Maybe that 7am infant thing too.

      • Patagonia and LLBean make a type of down jacket that can work in car seats. The test is to put your kid in the car seat without the jacket and make the straps appropriately snug. Put the jacket on and see if you are required to loosen the straps to accommodate the jacket.

        This is a major issue in the area where I live. Winter temps are routinely in the single digits for a couple of months, and there is just no way to keep the car continuously warm or to swathe an older child in blankets all the time.

    • POSITA says:

      Look for a JJ Cole Bundle Me that will fit an infant car seat like a shower cap. (Nothing should go under the baby.) Then dress the baby in a short sleeved onside as an undershirt and a pair of fuzzy footed PJs. Add a hat and you’re done. No blankets needed.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Similar climate here and had a February baby. Never used one of the covers since I heard it was a SIDS risk so would put a light blanket over the handle to block the wind when necessary (so like a tent). If using an infant carrier, bring that inside so it is warm, tuck blankets around kiddo, put a nice warm hat on, and baby will be just fine.

    • Jolly jumper makes a great shower-cap type cover:
      https://smile.amazon.com/Jolly-Jumper-CarSeat-Attached-Weatherproof/dp/B005LVNS4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478018885&sr=8-1&keywords=jolly+jumper+car+seat+cover

      You can leave the flap open if you’re concerned about air flow. This actually kept kiddo warm; before we got it we just used blankets until we realized he was always shivering.

      • Butter says:

        We used this one for our early February baby. People used to comment on how jealous they were of him in his little pod. We did onesie, pants, socks, hat, Jolly Jumper and were good to go.

  9. Anon’s question made me realize that I do not check the s3x offender website as a matter of practice. Should I be doing this? My kids are still very young, so playdates only happen under adult supervision, but I don’t think we are so far away from drop-off playdates.

    I had thought to ask about guns in the house, but hadn’t thought about this extra protection.

    • Katala says:

      No advice, kiddo is too young, but wondering how you bring up the gun issue? We moved fairly recently to a very gun-friendly area so I know we need to deal with this. What do you ask/when and what type of answer are you satisfied with?

      • LegalMomma says:

        Haven’t had to do it yet, because kiddo is too little for play dates. That said – I grew up in a household of hunters and plan to use my Dad’s storage method as my threshold for what I consider “safe”. No pistols or smaller guns in the house – hunting rifles only. Completely unloaded at all times, guns stored separately from all ammo, which was kept locked up and hidden (needed a code to get into lock box – I still don’t know it). Guns were also locked up (in fact, I don’t even think our friends knew my Dad had them – their parents may have).

        As to how to ask my plan is to be very straightforward. Something along the lines of “I am so glad kiddo is going over to your house to play, thank you so much for having her. Before she does – do you have any guns?” If the answer is “yes” – then ask how they are stored/ what type /etc.

        • avocado says:

          I always ask in a sort of apologetic tone, “Sorry to have to ask this, but you know, these days…. Do you have any guns in the house?” I have never had anyone answer yes (we live in a gun-friendly area and once had a window of our house shot out, but kiddo seems to make friends with kids from non-gun-owning families). If someone answered yes, I’d ask about storage of guns and ammunition, expecting them to be locked up separately.

          Since she was a tiny tot, we’ve taught our daughter that if she ever sees anything that looks like a gun, even if she thinks it’s a toy, she is to leave the room and tell an adult immediately. She has handled and fired BB guns at camp, is familiar with basic gun safety rules (treat all guns as loaded all the time, don’t point it at anything you don’t want to put a bullet through, don’t put your finger inside the trigger guard unless you are going to shoot), and knows better than to touch a gun unless she has been told to do so by an adult. It’s the other kids I worry about.

      • Same with LegalMomma. I bumbled my way awkwardly through the first time I asked (but it was in the context of interviewing families for a nannyshare set-up, so it was a non-negotiable question). Since then, it gets a little easier. I just ask, point-blank, “We’re so glad the kids are getting along so well. Just wanted to check, do you have guns in the house?” It’s easiest when the answer is “no” of course, but I would ask the follow-up questions – “Are they locked?” “Does [your child] know where they are kept?”

        I try to put it in the same context as I would if I had a kid with a life threatening allergy. I wouldn’t let a child with a nut allergy go to a house if I wasn’t positive that the other family would treat the allergy with the same respect as I would.

      • mascot says:

        I think you just ask straight forward if there are guns in the house and how they are stored. Responsible gun owners won’t be insulted by this question. For us, all guns are stored unloaded and locked away from kids. What little ammo we have is stored completely separately. We don’t even have ammo for some of the pieces. No handguns in the house. Another thing to be careful about is knives. I’d also want those to be secured.
        We also regularly coach our son about what to do if you see a gun (don’t touch and go tell an adult) although I’m not confident that it is realistic. Too many 60 minutes hidden camera shows with kids who find a gun.

      • Katala says:

        Thanks ladies, this simultaneously freaks me out and makes me feel better. I suppose it must not be a weird question given the strong gun culture here – and if someone is insulted, that’s probably a good reason to not have playdates at their house.
        I find guns scary and guns + kids absolutely terrifying. Maybe it’s time to get myself a little more education to reduce my anxiety.

      • Spirograph says:

        I haven’t had to ask yet, but I do have a pistol in my house. It’s locked, unloaded in the gun safe, which is out of their reach in a room they don’t play in. Kids do not know that it’s there, or where the key is. The key is hidden and out of their reach (barring some major climbing that would probably break a bunch of stuff and hurt them before they reached it) as well. The touchpad code locks out and needs the key to be reset after either 5 or 10 incorrect attempts (I don’t even know the code). I’d be more than happy to explain all of that to any parent who asked. We don’t store ammo in a separate safe now, but I’ll probably insist on that when my kids are a little older.

        At a minimum, I would expect all guns to be in locked safes, stored unloaded, and kids shoudn’t have the key / know the code. We tell our kids regularly that guns are not toys and if they ever see one they should not touch and go find an adult asap, but I don’t think for a second my son (for whom every stick is a gun) would follow those instructions.

    • Blueberries says:

      piggybacking on this question–do those of you who live in super gun un-friendly areas ask? if so, any tips?

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      go to be smart for kids .org (no spaces). Has resources for how to have the gun conversation and what a gun smart home looks like.

  10. pockets says:

    Suggestions for non-book gift ideas for a 6 year old?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lego or puzzles

    • EP-er says:

      Lego Classics — just random bricks to build whatever with.

      I also like making a craft bucket at this age: construction paper, scissors, a couple rolls of scotch tape, some crayons/markers, maybe some stickers. My kids go through so. much. tape. and construction paper. I keep a roll of scotch tape hidden in my closet just so that I have some when I need to wrap presents.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      If the kid is into this sort of thing, what about a bead kit?

  11. POSITA says:

    So frustrated looking for t shirts for my toddler. Why do they all have cupcakes, ice cream, cats/dogs/bunnies, or inspirational sayings (e.g., Dream big! Be Kind! Sweet stuff!)? Is there anyone who really enjoys wearing food products on their front? Does my 3 yo really need to proclaim that she’s sweet or cute from her shirt? So weird.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I keep seeing FB ads for this store called Primary that has just basic clothes in basic colors (https://www.primary.com/), if that helps!

    • EP-er says:

      We’re not fans of logos/sayings. We can always find basics (plain, stripes, dots) at Kohl’s, Target, or Land’s End.

    • Closet Redux says:

      Shop the boys’ section! Amazingly/ infuriatingly boys get trains, animals, astronauts, etc. and no cupcakes or cutesy sayings. I’ve basically stopped looking at the girls’ section for my 3 year old— the fit is basically the same and whatever we lose in pintucking at the collar we gain ten fold in affirming and interesting images. Girl clothing is garbage.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the new Target line (Kat & something?) is a little better. Still buying baby clothes, but they had a “Future Lady Nerd” onesie. Got a bunch of floral pattern tops at Old Navy too.

    • I hate that I can’t find short sleeved t-shirts right now for my toddler. We live in a warm climate and plus, last year, his sleeves were just gross with food, dirt, etc.

    • My daughter is still in baby clothes, but I got her a bunch of plain/polka dot tshirts from H&M that are holding up great.

    • avocado says:

      They are kind of pricey, but I love the shirts by Peek at Nordstrom. The selection changes frequently and usually includes tributes to scientists, explorers, artists, and/or authors.

      • AnonMN says:

        +1 for Peek. Love their girl selection, but only have expereince with the boys. They dual size 2/3, 4/5, 6/7 so the shirts fit big at first, but my almost 3 year old who typically goes through clothes really quickly has been wearing the 2/3 for over a year now. They have sales on their website (the Peek Kids one, not sure about Nordstoms) about every quarter. During the big ones you can get the shirts for as low as $10-$14.

    • Anonymous says:

      try a mightygirl.com or princess awesome (for dresses)

      • shortperson says:

        tea collection has gorgeous graphic tees for girls, especially with animals (right now she has a swan, a llama, a lion, a mountain, ok and an ice cream cone) so does jcrew — she has a girl in a chemistry lab, a girl playing soccer and a girl swimming with her dog from jcrew. we also dip into the boys sections for transportation shirts. but mostly she wears non graphic basics from primary, hanna anderson (personally the graphics there are not my taste), tea, carters, etc.

  12. Sarabeth says:

    Every year, our kids get Christmas ornaments reflecting something about their lives that year. I always have such a hard time finding good ornaments. Does anyone have any great online sources? I’m flexible about style – we have the gorgeous blown glass or metal ornaments, but we also have fabric, wooden, and plastic ones.

    • Spirograph says:

      I love this idea. We try to get an ornament from any vacation destinations, so “a year in the life” theme ornaments would be in the same vein on our memory lane Xmas trees.

      No suggestions, but if you have the event/item already in mind, I’d search Etsy.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      The Old World Christmas line has tons and tons of very specific and gorgeous options. Used to work at a store that sold them.

    • mascot says:

      We have a soft spot for Christopher Radko ornaments (or similar style) and have been trying to get one for our child each year. Some of the bigger department stores have them on sale after the holidays (Nordstrom and Macy’s come to mind). I know you said online, but don’t rule out local options. The local Catholic store and the local Christmas store here always have big sales post-Christmas sale where we can buy the nice ornaments at reduced prices.

    • I love the wooden German-style ones. Go to Kathe Wohlfahrt and look at “hanging ornaments made of wood”. They’re beautiful and intricate.

    • Anonymous says:

      I bet Etsy would be great for this. Last year we bought a hand-made wooden ornament from Palestinian organization that came to our church to raise funds. I bet there are a number of charitable organizations that sell hand-made ornaments, which would be special.

  13. Ifiknew says:

    Best place to buy halloween costumes on sale for next year? Thank you!

    • Momata says:

      Buy them right now!

    • I said this above but Pottery Barn Kids. Well made, not itchy, cute.
      TJ Maxx and Homegoods sometimes also have good options.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Ask someone with a kid 1 year older than yours if you can take their hand-me-down now so they don’t have to try to wash and store it.

      Also, FYI, for people with pre-schoolers – if you do find a place that has costumes or costume pieces on sale, this week is a good time to buy them to give as dress-up clothes for Christmas or birthday gifts. Two years ago I got a bunch of costume pieces and accessories on super sale and threw them all in a bin, and they were one of the most played with Christmas gifts that year. Hats, capes, animal ear headbands, etc were some of the good finds.

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