Everyone Thursday: Avin Crossbody Bag

Did you find your bag preferences changed after the diaper bag stage? I still tend to prefer hobos and other one-shouldered bags, but I could see how a lot of moms might prefer a crossbody bag or even backpacks for a more equal distribution of weight. (Or one girlfriend was just noting that she really only carries her lipstick, phone, and ID right now!) But if you are like me and carry at least three snacks, a pack of Eye Found It cards everywhere you go, and at least one small truck, of course, this crossbody bag looks great — it’s on sale at Nordstrom for $136, down from $228, looks big enough to fit most stuff, and comes in three colors.   Vince Camuto Avin Crossbody Bag

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  1. Question for you guys: what are your favorite apps your school uses to help you feel connected to your school and your child’s day/education? What runs so efficiently you can’t imagine life without it? So far I’ve heard of ClassDojo, Snapseed… SignUp Genius… shared Shutterfly pages… what else do you like? (Working on an upcoming story for CMoms and wondering how big a variety exists among different school systems.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Our school uses FreshGrade. I actually hate it because I don’t want the teachers taking/uploading pictures of the kids – just focus on teaching and send a written note in their backpack if there is an issue. I don’t need to see a class picture of crazy hair day or the word of the week collage. There’s been a few good articles how about kids today are much more appearance aware because they are photographed with smart phones so frequently. I wish school was a safe space with no photography.

      • POSITA says:

        We really enjoy using the pictures as conversations starters with our 3 yo. She usually can’t tell us what she did at school if we ask generically, but she pours out info if we ask about a specific activity. We find them to be super helpful.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think it’s an age dependent thing. My daughter is in elementary school so she can definitely tell us what happened in a day and is definitely aware of when she is photographed – lots of posed pictures.

    • Montessori daycare
      HiMama app

    • mascot says:

      Our school (small, private, K-12) has its own school app (Blackboard platform) that has the school academic/athletic calendars, lunch menus, staff directory etc in addition to a website. There’s also a web portal (Haiku learning) that we can log into for grades, classroom pages, student directory and maybe homework information for the older kids. They have a school sponsored FB page and many of the grades have their own FB pages that parents set up. We use signupgenius to staff/supply class parties. I feel pretty well connected with the various platforms.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My Bright Day. The teachers log meals, diapers, photos, and notes (like “Needs diapers” or “Toddler was very chatty today”).

      I love seeing photos/videos of my kid during the day. I’m always a little sad when daycare doesn’t upload them.

      • POSITA says:


        My biggest comment is that the app is only as good as the input provided. We find that nap, food and diaper info is often incorrect.

      • ChiLaw says:

        Same, our BH uses My Bright Day and I love it. Husband and I will text like “oh wow looks like a long nap” or “she actually ate the carrots?!” — it really does help us feel connected. And I *love* the live-ish photo updates (I notice we usually get them all at nap time, of course).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My daycare uses DailyConnect. I like it. When she was a baby, the app showed every time she had a diaper change, feeding (and how many ounces), sleeping, blowouts, and pictures. I also noted the last feeding, wake up, and diaper change before daycare drop off, so we could coordinate the “diaper change every 2 hours/feeding every X hours.” As she moved to toddlers, there was less logistical information and more “we did an art project!” notes. That has continued into preschool. I kind of love knowing what she’s doing in class, and it helps me know what kind of questions to ask when she gets home and what skills she is working on.

      We get 3-5 pictures a week (unless one of the floaters is in the preschool classroom, and then we get ALL THE PICTURES). The only pic that I complained about was one showing kiddo on the potty – I don’t want anyone snapping pics of her on the potty (or naked, which I hope never happens at preschool).

    • ElisaR says:

      My Goddard school uses the Tadpoles app – I am pretty happy with it but my son is still a baby so there is not a lot of communications besides “Send more diapers” from the school. I do love all the pics/videos I get though. And I can download them to my device which is nice.

    • My daycare doesn’t use any apps. They take photos throughout the year and then give us a scrapbook at the end of the year or holiday time. We also get a classroom note to take home every day that describes what they did. I’m perfectly happy with that because I’d rather the staff not be on their phones and my son just LOVES the scrapbook and asks to look at it all the time.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        That is awesome. Our app used to link to a photobook printing service, but there were so many pics that I didn’t want to wade through all of them. My kiddo would love a scrapbook – she still pulls out the birthday card her teachers made for her first birthday with a bunch of pictures.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Our daycare doesn’t use any apps either. They take pictures of the kids doing their activities, and then print them out (on their color copier or similar, nothing super high quality) and put them up on the door or classroom wall as a poster/display, or alongside whatever the project was (for instance, photos of the kids planting seeds next to the newly planted pots on the windowsill). Then when they take the display down they’ll put the photos in the kid’s file, and give us a stack of these photos every few months or so.

        One of the teachers was into photography as a hobby, so she took a lot more pictures and at the end of the school year she let us know that if we dropped off a labeled flash drive she’d give us all the photos of our kid. I really appreciated that, as I am *terrible* about taking photos myself.

        Our public schools don’t use any apps/services that I’m aware of. The high school uses Powerschool for grades, and they might have some type of communication portal through that, I’m not sure. But otherwise they pretty much do things the same way as the daycare – paper newsletters occasionally, and photos posted on the walls sometimes.

    • Our daycare just started using the Brightwheel app. We do check in/check out, the daily log is kept on the app, and photos are uploaded. I was a little sniffy at first (what’s wrong with old fashioned pen and paper?), but I love it. Especially the photos-I’m not sure I would’ve wanted them in the infant room, but now that my kiddo is in the toddler room, I love being able to see that the class went on a “field trip” or the art project or snack time where they’re sitting at a table together and learning to be civilized. For me, it’s a little boost during the work day and affirmation that, for us, kiddo going to daycare is so much more beneficial if it were us together at home.

      FWIW, I live in Silicon Valley and Brightwheel was selected and rolled out by a parent committee. No idea how it compares to other apps out there, though!

    • Marilla says:

      Our daycare occasionally sends out pics to a group chat on WhatsApp of all the parents in her classroom. No apps. Other than that we get a weekly log sheet home but it’s definitely not super accurate (i.e. it always says she naps for 2 hours, but the verbal report is sometimes only 1 hour).

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Ugh, the inaccurate nap reports kill me. My kiddo needs to go to bed an hour earlier if she doesn’t nap. Daycare always records a nap, and half the time her regular teachers have left by the time I pick her up, or her dad forgets to ask, so I don’t know whether the report is accurate or not.

        And then her regular teacher the next day pulls me aside and says that she seems “tired” lately and we should try to get her more sleep at home. Can’t win.

    • EB0220 says:

      We’ve had two schools that used Tadpole and really liked it. Our current daycare for #1 uses Preschool 2 Me, which is fine too. Kiddo #2’s montessori daycare has an ipad for pictures but still gives paper/verbal daily updates. I do like the app because it means that husband and I both get the same info at the same time. It was particularly nice when he was traveling and he’d get updates and pictures about our kiddo’s day. That really helped him feel more connected while he was away and I liked that I wasn’t in charge of updating him.

    • EBMom says:

      Our child’s school uses Artsonia to upload her art, and you can buy little items with the art on them (with a portion of proceeds going to the school art program). It is nice website, but not something that I can’t live without.

    • PrettyPrimadonna says:

      My daycare uses LifeCubby and I really enjoy checking in on my DD throughout the day.

  2. For those who work out in the morning, what time do you wake up? What time do you go to bed? And what time to you get to work?

    • Running Numbers says:

      I wake up between 4:55 and 5:00AM. Leave at 5:10AM to meet friends to run from 5:15 – 6ish. Home by 6:15. I shower and am ready close to 7 on a perfect day. Sometimes Son wakes up at 7. If it’s one of those days, I like to be able to help him get ready. Otherwise, he sleeps until after I leave at 7:30. My husband is home with him most mornings. I try to go to bed around 9 but I am usually asleep closer to 10. I get to work by about 7:50.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I like to take a 6:30 am spin class. I try to go to bed around 10:30, but no later than 11. My alarm goes off at around 5:40-ish because I like to drink a cup of coffee before I exercise.

      Class ends at 7:15. I try to get out of the door by around 8:45. My commute is about 25-30 minutes, so I’m in the office at around 9:15.

    • ChiLaw says:

      I get up once/twice/three times (it depends) a week at 5, to the gym by 5:15, but I have to be home by 6 so I can shower and get kid out the door by 7. I am almost always in bed by 10:30, regardless of whether it’s a 5 am wake up or a 6 am wake up the next day.

    • Get up at 6, leave for preschool drop off around 8:15, get to work around 9:45 (this makes me sad reading it), work 10-6, get home around 7, go to bed in theory at 10, in practice 10:30-11.

    • Twice a week I’m up at 4:45, meet friends at 5:15, work out until 6-615. Get home, DH is already up, we and the kids out the door around 7:15; we pack all bags the night before. I only hit the gym at work on Mondays, because that’s just one more bag I have to pack. I get to work 7:45, and leave at 4; admittedly I shave a few minutes off but I take work home every day. In bed around 9; kids go down at 8.

    • EBMom says:

      I know this wasn’t what you asked, but I wanted to chime in to say that you have to do what works for you and your family. I am a night owl. My child is an extreme early bird. I have tried to go to bed earlier and get her to bed later but it really only helps so much. I have done some research and this really seems to be something that is genetic–it will likely always be hard for me to go to bed early and get up early, with the opposite applying to my child. So while I would love to get in a morning workout because that would work best for my schedule, it just isn’t going to happen because I need to be prepared to get my child out of bed at 5:30am and getting in a workout before that makes no sense for me. I used to beat myself up about it because I thought it must be a matter of willpower to get out of bed that morning, but I realized I had to work a little bit with my biology. To expect myself to get up extremely early is just stupid and it doesn’t make me a failure or lazy or lacking in willpower. I have plenty of willpower in the afternoons and the work record and achievements to prove it. I am not just not a morning lark and never will be and that is OK.

  3. Angry Illama says:


    My 2.5 year old has recently started hitting and spitting. The spitting started out as blowing rasberries when he was frustrated and has evolved into actual spitting. Yesterday he was at a play place and apparently started hitting some bigger kids, my 4.5 year old grabbed him so he couldn’t hit anyone and to protect him from being hit back. When the nanny reprimands him and moves him to time-out, he will hit and spit at her. We’ve been putting him in time-out when he hits and spits, we tell him hands are not for hitting, no hitting no spitting, but he persists. I am at a loss for what to do. For what its worth, I do not believe he acts like this in nursery school (since I haven’t gotten any calls or emails from the school), only when he is home with us and the nanny. Recommendations?

    • Our kid went through a spitting phase at age 3-4. We did very short time outs, which kinda worked. Eventually she stopped when she went to preschool. She also stopped picking her nose then, so we attribute it to social pressure.

    • AnonMN says:

      we totally went through this phase that has thankfully ended. For us we did time-outs when out in public, but while at home we left the room and let him know that we did not like playing with someone who was hitting/spitting/etc. He never responded well to time-outs, but this “rejection” of being in his presence worked really well (I had a little baby at the time though, so it was easy to walk away)

      I think just being consistent with the immediate discipline (no warning for violent offences in our house) and it should pass eventually.

  4. This is about sleep and crying it out – if you disagree with CIO as a sleep training tool, please just move on and don’t comment. I’m looking for people with similar experiences. I’m a longtime reader and I’ve never posted. Let me say upfront before I say what’s happening– we’re going to the doctor tomorrow, so I don’t want/need medical advice. Please also note – I know he is young. His physician thinks he is large and strong enough to do this and doesn’t need night feedings, so please do not suggest that I’m starving my baby or that he’s too young.

    Son is almost 11 weeks old. He is a happy and easy baby (to the extent any baby is easy…). We are working on the Tribeca Pediatrics method of CIO – basically do your routine, say goodnight, come back in the following morning. We’ve been doing it correctly now for about 10 nights and our son is still crying in the middle of the night for long stretches and waking up very early. Ex: Goes to bed at 7:30, sleeps until 12, cries for 15-20 minutes, goes back to sleep until 3:30, cries for 10 minutes, wakes up for good at 4:45. Not only is this not long enough for him, it’s obviously hard for me to listen to him cry for those stretches every night and not go in. The method is supposed to work in 3-5 nights, though obviously for some babies it takes longer. For my friends who have done this, it’s worked fine and they haven’t had these extended night cries.

    So far we’ve been really disciplined about not going in to comfort him, but last night I gave up and went in during the 3:30 cry, fed him, and let him sleep with me for another 3 hours. Basically I’m just wondering if this is abnormal from other people who have done this. He wakes up every morning happy and ready to play FWIW. Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer words of wisdom or similar experiences with CIO.

    • mascot says:

      It sounds like this particular method isn’t working for your baby at this particular time. Perhaps take a break from this for a few weeks and try again when he is a little older. We took a slightly different approach for all night sleeping. We did a dream feed around 11pm and that seemed to cut his tendency to wake up as much between 1 and 5 a.m. Otherwise, we pretty much left him to his own devices and didn’t go in at the first cry. We didn’t see consistent results until closer to 14 weeks.

      • Thank you.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yes, I was just about to say the same thing. It could be that your son is simply not ready yet. We did CIO at 14 weeks. At that point my daughter had been consistently only having 1 wake up per night and had slept through the night on a handful of occasions so I felt confident that she could actually sleep through the night without needing to eat.

        FWIW, Tribeca Pediatrics says that you can do CIO as early as 8 weeks but they really just recommend doing it sometime before 6 months because after that point it gets more challenging as the baby becomes more aware. You can certainly wait past 6 months too, they just say it’s harder.

        • Anonymous says:

          This. I don’t know anyone who’s had it work at 8 weeks. Sometimes I wonder if they just started recommending that to get publicity for themselves as they are the only ones who recommend to start at 8 weeks. Around 4-5 months seems to be more successful in my circle.

          • +1 we did it just after 5 months and it worked great for us

          • Anononymous says:

            We didn’t do CIO (though I 100% support it) but our kiddo started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks. But so did I and I’m guessing it’s somewhat genetic. I know two other people who’s babies started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks, but both attributed it to swaddling.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Yep. My daughter didn’t start sleeping through the night until around 12 weeks.

        I don’t have a problem with early sleep training and night weaning, but 10 weeks old might be just a tiny bit too young. I’d re-try in a couple of weeks.

        Also agree with the 4-5 month window. We for-real sleep trained at 5 months and it stuck for good.

    • Running Numbers says:

      My anecdotal advice only is that I would be more apt to go in and comfort him but would stay firm on not feeding him or letting him sleep with you. I’m all for not going in every time a little one cries. My son slept through the night very early, probably around the age of your son. He’s 17 months now and when he wakes up, we’ve found that it’s usually quicker to go in, do what we call the hug and plug, (pick him up, reinsert pacifier, tell him we love him, put him back down), and he’ll settle down. We can usually tell if it’s a cry that will build up or if we have a chance of him getting himself back down.

      I admire your discipline with following this methodology. You may find some success adapting it your unique little person and what you’re comfortable with doing. Personally, I would be worried about feeding him because I think that trains him to want/need to eat at night. We’re also very firm on keeping baby out of our bed. He doesn’t know what he’s missing because he’s never been there! YMMV

      • I agree with this. We generally found that putting a hand on the back, shhhing, and maybe singing a lullaby was pretty helpful, so you might try those as opposed to picking baby up.

    • Thanks so much for all of the very thoughtful replies so far. I really appreciate it. Keep them coming.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I’d say he might still be legitimately hungry and that’s why he’s up so early. Could you try doing just one feeding? We kept the one feeding till closer to 6 months but otherwise did cry it out. This also meant my husband could take her to daycare in the morning without having to give a bottle.

      • Or a dream feed when you go to bed (11ish)? It’s worth a try.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, it is possible that while technically he doesn’t “need” to eat in the middle of the night, there is growth spurt that happens around 10-14 weeks where the baby legitimately does need to eat more frequently. Especially if you are nursing – growth spurts serve as a way to get your body to increase it’s overall milk production, and if you try to skip the middle of the night feeds you may struggle with being able to produce enough milk to keep up with his needs.

        The other advice I’ve seen that I think works well is to start with a more narrow window for when you enforce CIO/no feedings and then gradually increase it. So for now, CIO/no feedings between midnight and 4 am. Then in a few weeks/days, extend that to 10 – 5, etc.

        Last, many doctors define “sleeping through the night” as either midnight to 5 am, or as 6-8 straight hours. So expecting 12 straight hours at this point might be pushing it a bit far. Perhaps if you viewed putting him down at 7:30 as putting him down for the last nap of the day (instead of as “bedtime”), it might reframe this as workable?

        • I honestly feel like you are right on track. That your baby can put himself back to sleep in 10-15 minutes sounds fine to me. It’s not unusual for a baby to wake up slightly between sleep cycles, and those may fade away if he is ready to sleep those long stretches right now. (Also, I wonder if he’s peeing when he wakes up at those times and the wet diaper is uncomfortable until it gets all soaked in? My daughter hated feeling wet – the nurses even noticed it when we were still in the hospital!)

          The only comment that I have is that I agree with Meg Murray that you may be expecting too long of a stretch. 7:30-4:45 sounds about right for me at that age – I can’t imagine a baby going much longer without eating. If I recall (and this was 3.5 years ago now), my daughter slept from about 9pm to 6am at 12 weeks, after a major cluster-feeding session from about 6-8pm. If you want to sleep in later, the only thing I can think of is either having bedtime be a bit later or trying to do a dream feed before you turn in. (Dream feeding didn’t work out for us.)

          • Anonymous says:

            +1 to the 9PM to 6AM after cluster feeding. Both my kids did that stretch.

          • EBMom says:

            Weissbluth is pretty strong on CIO (he also suggests the goodnight routine and don’t go in until morning method), but even he says that some breastfed babies still need 1 nightfeeeding, usually around 4am, up until about 9 months. Dreamfeeding did not work for us.

            I also agree with all the others. This method doesn’t appear to be working right now, so mix it up a bit or wait a few weeks. Babies change so fast.

    • We did CIO very successfully at a little over five months. I would wait. You have several sleep regressions ahead of you and will likely have to retrain anyways. FWIW at five months we were able to sleep train him with one night of ferbering. That was all it took.

      He is a big dude and could sleep through the night before but I think it took a little longer for him to really know how to put himself back to sleep.

      • ETA: I think at 11 weeks he might not be hungry but might still need comforting, if that makes sense. When CIO works, it works fast. I was a big believer in early sleep training (daughter was sleeping through the night at 12 weeks with no training from us) but for my son I do think waiting until a little over five months was best for everyone.

      • +1. CIO stuck at 5.5 months with literally 1 night of “training.” 12 weeks definitely would have been too early for us, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

    • Anonymous says:

      We also go to TriBeCa and tried their method and didn’t work for us. Similar experiences. We tried again a while later, around 4 months, and it worked then. Good luck – this is hard.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve yet to meet anyone who it worked for at 8 weeks. A couple of friends left the practice after because they felt the practice was pretty pushy about using this specific method.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m in Chicago and go to Weissbluth Pediatrics (son of Weissbluth method creator), which is a similar practice to TriBeCa. They said that we could start at 4 months, but we hit a big regression and found that it worked better at 5.5 months – it took about 5 days for my twins then and they were big enough to go from 7 PM – 6:30 AM without a feed. At 12 weeks, we would still do one feed overnight if they woke after 1:30 AM. I know this time is super tough, because it feels like the sleeplessness will never end. I was going crazy at 12 weeks. But you are super close! My girls are 20 months old now and sleep from 8 PM – 7 AM and basically have since 5.5 months, with a few bumps in the road.

    • Marilla says:

      In my experience he’s probably still too young – you both might be getting better + more sleep if you fed at least once during the night for a while longer. Especially if you’re nursing vs bottle-feeding (they just don’t stay full for as long on breastmilk from what I understand. But my baby was hungry (actually hungry) and nursed at night for much longer, every baby is different, etc.

    • For those of you who have had success sleep training, where do your kids sleep? With my first, he was in our room for the first year, and we had zero success getting him to sleep through the night until he was in his own room. I’m pregnant with #2 now and I would really like to sleep train earlier. Is part of the secret having them in their own room earlier?

      • CPA Lady says:

        Yeah, CPA infant started sleeping in her crib in her room immediately. She never slept in our room. I started out with both of us in the living room. Her in the pack n play and me on the couch, since I’d had a c-section and couldn’t climb into my really tall bed. I think that lasted about 2 nights, then she was in her crib every night going forward. She doesn’t seem to be a serial killer or anything.

      • Anonymous says:

        We did about 8 months in a crib in our room and then moved the crib into the nursery. Took a few nights to adjust. I think because the crib moved with baby, it wasn’t as much of a change.

        The 6 months in a crib in parents room recommendation has been around a lot longer in Canada so that was the reason they started off in our room. So much easier at night to nurse if I just had to scoop baby out of crib, nurse and put baby back without standing up.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We had our kid in a bassinet in our room until about 8 weeks when she outgrew it. Moved her into her own room/crib and sleep immediately improved (I think she went from 2 to 1 wake up). Our pediatrician said that getting her into her own room would help a lot with improving her sleep because she was waking up enough to sense our/my presence and then she would actually wake up. So, I’d say the doctor was accurate on that point. After about 6 weeks of that, we sleep trained.

      • Walnut says:

        We did about six weeks in a rock ‘n play in our room and then moved him to the crib in his room.

      • PinkKeyboard says:

        Mine moved as soon as I went back to work. I leave very early in the morning (approx. 5:30) so she was waking up and my husband then couldn’t get showered and ready when she was up and ready to party. So we sleep trained at about 4 to 4.5 months after she had been in her own room for a few weeks.

      • FTMinFL says:

        We tried moving little guy to his room around two weeks hoping that he would sleep longer stretches there, but had no such luck. Getting up and going to his room was much harder on me than having him in our room, so we brought him back and ultimately spent most of his first six months in our bed (Hi, Type A FTMinFL who swore she would never bedshare! Isn’t parenting humbling?!). Because little guy was LITTLE our pediatrician wouldn’t support night weaning until six months. At 6.5ish months we moved him to his room, night weaned (~2 weeks) and did CIO (2 nights!).

      • Katarina says:

        I did some CIO with my first still in our room at 4 months. It worked temporarily, but at 6 months he was waking up really early, and we had to move him out of our room.

        My second started STTN naturally without CIO, while still in our room. I did wait until he was really crying to get him, more than a whimper, but I always got him if he was really crying.

      • Late to this thread. We did CIO around 4 months (and Baby was a premie, so equivalent of about 3 months). Baby slept for the first 4 months in a bassinet in our bedroom. Our pediatrician specifically recommended moving Baby into his own room before sleep training. We spent one week on the transition to Baby’s own room, going in and comforting when he cried and feeding at the times he had eaten before. Once he was comfortable in his own room and only waking up to eat, we started sleep-training. We used the modified CIO, going in at 2 minutes, 5 minutes, then every 10 minutes. It worked within one or two nights for us. If I recall correctly, Baby was sleeping 11 hours straight at that point.

    • Momata says:

      I also submit that he is not quite ready. My expectations at that age would be a dreamfeed when you go to bed and another feeding at around 3.

    • Have you read the tension increaser/decreaser theory on Ask Moxie? My oldest never ever responded to CIO. We tried multiple times, even having a night nanny come in and do it perfectly for us for TWO WEEKS and it didn’t work. The pediatrician finally just said CIO wasn’t going to work for her and let her do it on her own. At 12 months, she magically decided she wanted to sleep at night and has only woken up while sick – she’s 4 now. I know that’s super disheartening, but I think some kids just don’t have the temperment for CIO. My youngest took to it like a dream at 5 months and has been great other than regressions, so don’t lose all hope.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We CIO (same method as you) when she was nine weeks and it took two nights — so yes, this is a different experience. Don’t know if this is relevant, but by the time we did it she had already gotten down to only one feeding a night (between 7pm and 6am), so it was really only one “wake-up” that she had to cry herself through.

      Good luck, and it sounds like you are doing everything right. It must be really frustrating.

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      I’m not familiar with the Tribeca model; we used Weissbluth’s modified CIO. I would respond to crying in the middle of the night only if it last longer than a few minutes. Essentially I would check diaper, reswaddle (we were still swaddling at that point), and turn the Sleep Sheep back on. I kept lights off and noise to a minimum. I feel like the white noise from the Sleep Sheep was my child’s sleeping magic bullet.

      I seem to remember a regression between 4 & 5 months that caused very early wake-ups and light sleep cycles that results in late night wake ups. I concur that waiting a little while and trying again might be appropriate. I tried dream feeding when the early wake-ups started and my little guy was completely uninterested. I basically had to wait it out and make sure my spouse was willing to bear some of the responsibility of early mornings/middle of the night wake ups.

    • shortperson says:

      we did CIO around 14 weeks but that was just to stop all the effort in getting her to fall asleep. when she woke up hungry i still fed her 1-2 times a night until 9 mos, but i think she would have dealt starting at 6 mos. but again, in the middle of the night, after she ate, it was CIO, no rocking, singing etc. it worked for us. she learned to go right to sleep and we’ve never had the extended bedtime ritual problem. at 9 mos i just stopped going in and after 2 nights she stopped crying at night. my kid is a big eater with a huge appetite (as a 2 yo regularly eats 3 eggs for breakfast) and i think she really needed to eat at night as a little baby.

    • I’m a huge fan of extinction CIO, basically exactly what you describe. For us, it did work in 2 days. I think you are doing yourself a bit of a disservice by pretty much shutting down all the advice that actually answers your question. I think your issue is that your baby is not ready and still needs a night feeding, and if it were me I’d allow one feeding in the middle of the night and practice CIO the remainder of the night. It’s totally normal for kids to need a night feeding as late as 9 months old. For us, we did CIO around 6 months with no night feeding, and it worked in 1-2 days.

      Also, you can’t go in. If you are going to do CIO, you can’t go in. You go in with the best of intentions, but it just teaches them to cry more.

  5. Anon in NYC says:

    Just to comment on bag preferences, I love cross-body bags. I liked them before a kid, but I feel like my appreciation for them has grown. It’s so nice to have my hands free and not be concerned about my purse slipping off my shoulder at all.

    • Agreed – it feels safer, too, like it would be harder to get my purse snatched (husband is always concerned when we’re doing touristy stuff in Europe). I have a nice Tory Burch crossbody that I got years ago and use constantly.

      Zippered top is key, too – which this bag seems to have. Because if you wear it crossbody you will inevitably be swinging it behind your back like a messenger bag and I’d be worried stuff would fall out without the zipper.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I also love cross-body bags, esp. for casual/going out wear.

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      +1 to all of this.

  6. Some perspective, please. Little TK just went in for his 3-year old well check, and his height has dropped from the 50% to the 5%. They ordered a ton of tests (for celiac, growth hormone deficiency, took an x-ray for ‘bone age,’ a bunch of other things.) I’m freaking out, of course, but also know that my brother was a super-late bloomer (grew another foot after the age of 18) and this may end up being nothing at all.

    Anyone else have their kid go through similar testing? Happy endings to share? I’m trying to keep myself from googling all of the worst case scenarios …

    • Are you confident that the measurements were accurate both times? With my squirmy kids, I always take the data with a grain of salt. And 50% to 5% might not be all THAT big in actual size at that age. My fraternal 3-year-old twins measured 45% apart in height (50% and 95%)–one is definitely taller than the other, but they’re both, you know, 3-year-old sized. My 50%-er dropped from 70 to 50 in 6 months.

      • This is a good point. We switched pediatricians when my son was 4 1/2. Right before we switched the first pediatrician said he dropped from the 85th percentile to the 60th percentile for height from his 3 months to 4 month appointment at they were watching him. The next week when we went to the new pediatrician he was back in the 85th percentile. The new nurse said they had probably just messed up the measurement at the old pediatrician’s office.

      • They did check and recheck the height measurement three times today because it seemed so low, and then the doctor himself did an additional height check to confirm. Little TK has measured at 50% pretty much since birth.

        He doesn’t seem extraordinarily small to me compared to his classmates. Weight has stayed around the same percentile.

        I am hopeful he’s just on the edge of a growth spurt, and will grow a bunch over the next 6 months (assuming the 8 blood tests being running today don’t show anything abnormal).

      • Ugh, that reminds me of when my son was tiny and the dr was worried about weight gain, and I could never get him weighed on the same scale from one visit to the next. They knew each exam room’s scale was slightly different, so it seemed like way too much was riding on the lack of calibration.

        TK, good luck – it sounds like your doctor is being appropriately cautious, but it could be absolutely a normal fluctuation.

        • I think our doctor switched from owning a few weight carts on wheels to one stationary table for this reason – accurate testing. Even when we measure height on the door frame at home it seems to fluctuate a bit because they never stand with their heels in exactly the same place.

    • I was born in the 90th percentile for weight and from about a year until I hit puberty was around the 5% mark. And I have spent the rest of my life on the lower end of overweight, but perfectly healthy :) They didn’t do much for testing back then, though. My mom and my pediatrician seemed to think it was NBD.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      What has his typical height percentile been? My kid fluctuates between 60-80 percentile for height, but since she’s been fluctuating for her whole life, nobody bats an eyelash.

      I’ve also noticed that her percentile fluctuates depending on how close she is to or past a growth spurt. Which is just to say – tests are good, but also make sure you’re scheduling a follow up measurement within the next 3-4 months in case he’s just on the cusp of the next spurt. If he’s often been in the 20-30th percentile, and he had his last measurement just after a growth spurt, and this one came just before a growth spurt…that fluctuation might be on the very edge of normal.

    • mascot says:

      Also are they using the same growth chart? Measuring him the same way (standing, no shoes)? The difference in 5th and 50th is only 2 inches or so. Even small variations can throw it off.

    • ChiLaw says:

      According to the scales at the doctor, my kid didn’t gain *any weight* between 12 and 18 months, or something. She went up a clothes size though! So she was definitely, clearly growing. I was, of course, in a f-ing tizzy, but no one cared; not her doctor, not her nurse, not her grandfather (a doctor), etc. They were like “eh, scales! she’s so healthy looking!” and I got over it. And she’s fine.

    • EB0220 says:

      My 2 year old had a huuge drop recently when they measured her standing instead of lying down. When they repeated the measurement with her lying down, it was a huge difference and back to the usual percentile.

    • Hope I’m not too late! We are going through this with my daughter. Until 6 months, she was solidly 50% for height. Right at 6 months, she dropped below 0% She’s now 2 years old, and she’s been holding strong at around 5% for approximately 9 months now. She has an endocrinologist, and we also saw an endocrinologist at Johns Hopkins for a second opinion.

      Almost immediately after the big drop in percentiles, they did an MRI of her brain and pituitary, as growth issues can apparently be caused by tumors (not trying to scare you…they said you’d usually see other signs as well, such as vision problems, if a tumor is the cause). Thankfully, her MRI didn’t show anything of concern. According to both doctors, growth hormone is extremely difficult to measure in small children, and results can be inaccurate. We’ve had it checked with a basic blood test several times, and it’s very, very low, so she likely has at least a partial deficiency, but they aren’t giving her a diagnosis yet. They can do a growth hormone stimulation test, but that requires spending the day in the hospital with an IV (they give stimulating medications and draw blood numerous times over the course of several hours). That’s likely in our future, but they’re waiting until she’s a little older. At this point, she’s not being treated with any hormones. She’s growing little by little, and she seems to be holding steady at her new percentile, which is encouraging. As of now, we simply monitor her growth carefully, see her specialist every three months (she also has hypothyroidism, so the endocrinologist treats that as well), and monitor her physical and intellectual development, both of which are great! I always ask them to measure her multiple times to make sure we’re getting an accurate height.

      Ultimately, the Hopkins doctor explained that some kids just have a big, unexplained drop and then follow the new percentile from that point forward without the need for treatment or intervention. That made me feel much better.

      Good luck! I know it’s scary to hear anything out of the ordinary when it comes to your kids. Hopefully your kiddo is just settling into a new percentile and there’s nothing else going on.

  7. For those of you with yards, any recommendations on backyard play structures? Outdoor toys? We have a toddler and a baby and want to get something.

    • Water/sand table, swing, bubble mower

    • My 2 year old loves the bubble mower! He also likes things that we use back there. He has a rake, garden ho, broom, dust pan, wheelbarrow. Balls are good. He would probably love a water table but I don’t want to exacerbate the mosquito problem. We also have a playground within a quick walk of our house so I don’t feel the need to get a playscape. But he can entertain himself quite well with what we have.

      • rakma says:

        Our Little Tikes water table gets emptied everyday–it doesn’t use that much water to fill up, and has an easy plug to drain. DD1 will also play with it with out water, so on cooler days or days I just don’t want to deal with the hose, it still gets use. We have the pirate ship one.

    • POSITA says:

      Water table for sure.

      We built a big swingset and, while the kids (3.5 yo and baby) play on it a bit, they really prefer going to a playground with other kids and more to look at. I think they’ll like it more once they get bigger.

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      Sandbox – ours is populated with dump trucks and excavators.

      We like our Scuttlebug for our 2 YO – we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it, and it’s convenient to fold up to take with or store.

    • shortperson says:

      we put in raised beds and our 2 yo is obsessed with them. she goes outside every day to check on the carrots she planted two months ago (and are nowhere near ready to eat).

  8. We are starting solids soon with our almost 6 month old baby. We have the high chair but I am lost and confused about what utensils I should buy for him. I have seen baby spoons ranging from $1 to $20. Can you please share your favorite spoons, plates, mats, storage containers, freezer containers, bibs, pots, etc? We have the Vitamin and I plan to use it for making purees.


    • rakma says:

      We started with the Gerber rubber tipped spoons, moved to the Munchkin soft tip infant spoon, and when DD started feeding herself, She’s still using that set at age 3, so I’d say it’s worth the $20 investment.

      [Ed. note: Link was deleted because it was broken, sorry!]

    • POSITA says:

      We found silicone ice cube trays that we love. They make the perfect sized cubes for the affordable grab and go snack containers. They also come with spoons. Links to follow.

    • stainless everything as much as possible. unbreakable, won’t leach chemicals, easy to clean (and sterilize if needed), won’t discolor or crack. you only need spoons to start with. here’s some of what we use (still going strong and DS is 4+).



    • CPA Lady says:

      We loved these little utensils called “num num dips”. I think that particular brand is not carried on amazon anymore, but there are similar options. It’s a very short, easily grippable paddle type thing that babies can dip in things like yogurt or guacamole. It doesnt have an up or down side like a spoon does.

    • When my son was really little we liked the metal spoons coated in rubber/plastic – made by Gerber I think? They were hand-me-downs. I liked how tiny and shallow they are. We had some NUK pastic bowls with a lid that we still use, and IKEA kids’ plastic bowls. For storage I think we just used our regular tupperware (tiny 1/2 cup gladware containers are useful) and occasionally when I made homemade baby food (always an epic fail that my son would not eat), I froze it in ice cube trays and then put the cubes in ziploc bags in the freezer.

    • ChiLaw says:

      For feeding kiddo, we used the “munchkin silicone spoons” — I liked how soft they were. For feeding herself, she used hands only for the first six months or so, then IKEA or the “re-play utensils” recycled thingies.

    • Chi Squared says:

      We use the Oxo Tot spoons. I think in a few months (my son is 10 months), we will move the baby to either the semi-disposable take and toss utensils, or gerber baby toddler utensils.

      We use regular rubbermaid plastic or glass containers to freeze baby food. I used the Oxo Tot ice cube style trays to freeze portions of purees for my first, but only one round – the puree-only stage goes by really quickly! Now we use them for homemade pesto. After the initial introduction phase (1 new food every 3 days), we started roughly pureeing/chopping our food with an immersion blender for the baby. It has the advantage of being able to adjust the texture of the food week-by-week as baby got used to eating.

      We use Bumkins bibs, and I found the summer infant tiny diner portable placemat useful for going out to eat (otherwise, baby puts his mouth on the table/tablecloth – ick!). We also have Jeep clear splat mats under each high chair.

    • Momata says:

      Silicone ice cube trays for freezing purees, Munchkin spoons, THE NUK MASH AND SERVE (I had two and used each of them every day for things like banana, avocado, baked sweet potato, etc). I didn’t like the plastic-tipped metal spoons referenced above because I think the handles are too thin and the edges too . . .pointy? firm? I thought the Munchkin handles were easier and more comfortable for little fists.

      • yes to silicone trays for freezing puree — don’t bother with the baby-specific ones. tovalo makes ones that are 1-inch cubes that work splendidly and are cheaper than the baby-branded type

    • Anonymous says:

      One of my favorite baby items ever was a silicon bib that has sort of a pocket in front to catch fallen food. You can find these on Amazon.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Wait, when ARE babies supposed to start learning how to feed themselves? When are they capable of it? Mine is 11 months and we pretty much just give her finger food so she hasn’t really practiced using a utensil….maybe she should?

      • Walnut says:

        We just started giving my 16 month old utensils.

      • Same as Walnut – we just started last month with utensils (at 15 months). She’s still not good at it, and usually she holds the fork in one hand and picks up her food with the other, but I figure she’ll get there. I really love the Re-Play silverware and divided plates.

      • anon mom says:

        I don’t know. My 2 year old is actually way better at (and prefers) utensils than my almost 4 year old.

    • Anononymous says:

      We started purees at four months (kiddo actually showed signs of “readyness” a couple days after her three month appointment, but the doctor hadn’t told us what they were). I’d bought lovely wooden spoons and bowls, but she needed the tiny gerber silicone coated spoons (6 pack at Target). We’ve always used our dessert dishes for her , though at 1 year she started having some meals on our salad plates and in cereal bowls (we just have Homer Laughlin diner quality plates, but wooden floors). For her first birthday we got her c*cktail silverware from World Market. She can feed herself off a fork or spoon, but can’t scoop herself. And I use the little butter knives ALL the time (they are easy to pack in a lunch bag for spreading hummus on crackers on a Saturday).

      Ikea also has good toddler silverware. But don’t overthink it. You’ll just end up with a lot of [email protected] you don’t really need.

  9. MLM etiquette question (yeah, I know). I’ve been invited to an MLM “party” and while I usually would just skip it, the host is a friend I’d genuinely like to see. Is it rude to go just for the food / company if you definitely won’t buy anything? The items are way above my price point. If it matters, my friend is not the “consultant,” just the host. (I do try to make other plans with this friend, but we have a lot of trouble getting our schedules to line up.)

    • Unfortunately I think you’re expected to buy something if you go to the party. Which company is it? Maybe we can help you find something cheap but useful.

    • Are you close enough with the host to pose this to her directly? “I’d love to see you – but I’m not interested in any of the merchandise. Should I still come, or should you and I just schedule something for a different date?”

      Not rude to go and not buy. I think it’s rude to offer a ‘party’ that you’re intending to profit from.

      • Good idea – I think I can just ask her. Thanks! (And yeah, I see the irony in me worrying about being rude.)

      • Meg Murry says:

        You could also offer to bring something if that makes you feel less rude. This totally depends on personality – in my circle, showing up with food or wine is always appreciated, but I know my aunt considers it an insult to her carefully planned out meal/event to show up with something and gets huffy.

        I’m of the opinion that showing up with a bottle of wine (or other favorite treat of the hostess) would forgive not buying stuff from the MLM party. But you have to at least fake it a little and flip through the catalog (without making any snarky comments), and be aware that you probably won’t get much time with the hostess. If you are friends with other people that would be there, I’d go – but if not (and you don’t feel like sitting around making small talk with her friend’s neighbor’s sister-in-law), I’d skip it but propose another concrete time and place to get together.

    • Momata says:

      I would just say I can’t make it but offer up concrete alternate times to see her.

    • CPA Lady says:

      If any of y’all read scary mommy, they had a hilarious article on there the other day about lularoe.

    • Ugh, can I just say how much I hate MLMs? I legitimately do not want to buy any of these items. I would not, under normal circumstances, buy these items.

      But it’s so awkward! One MLM friend even got her husband into the game with this weird shaming post on Facebook about how if your friend opened a restaurant, you’d eat there. Right… because I eat. At restaurants. I do not need leggings with hamburgers on them. I feel like they are both judging me though for not buying her stuff. Ugh.

      • layered bob says:

        Right there with you. Hate them so much!

        We actually do have a friend who opened a restaurant! And we have never eaten there! Because it is not to our taste and out of our price range, although it is by all accounts a very good restaurant. So even if the analogy worked it doesn’t mean I am somehow obligated to support my friends’ businesses. I mean, they don’t bring me their legal work… (biglaw M&A so I am not to their taste and out of their price range! ;-) )

    • Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

      I have done this many times, but always explain prior to the party host that I would not be purchasing anything . I also bring a bottle of wine. Please note “many times” because for a long time after I moved back to my hometown, these were the only invitations I received, so depressing and I now hate MLMs!!!

  10. dc mom anon says:

    DC to LAX trip coming up with DH and our two year old. We have done the trip several times with nonstop flights only. This time around I found a flight that is 100$ cheaper if we throw in a 45 minute stop in the middle of the trip. Is it worth it?

    • avocado says:

      Where are you changing planes? 45 minutes is very tight, so tight that I will only do it if I am traveling without my family and my connecting flight is not the last one of the day. Some airports are worse than others. DTW in particular is a long walk if you come in at the end of the side without the shuttle. It also makes a difference how quickly you deplane. Some airports are really slow (DTW again) to get the jet bridge out. Weather also matters–there are lots of delays at ATL on summer afternoons for thunderstorms.

      Short version–it is risky. I would be really hesitant to do this, even with an older kid.

    • 45 minutes is super tight, once you add in boarding 30-minutes early, the long de-plane process, and going to the bathroom/diapering. And if you like to board early (I don’t; it’s more time of confined space). If it’s longer I would do it so kiddo can get some energy out!

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally have found stops to be useful in breaking up long flights with my son, although it does introduce another opportunity to get delayed/lose bags/etc. I agree a 45 min layover is tight with a kid though. Are there later flights if you miss the connection? If there are frequent flights for the 2nd leg, and if you are prepared to really hoof it through the airport (are you bringing a car seat? carry-ons?), I think I would risk it. But I am super cheap and can never get nonstop flights to where we need to travel anyway.

    • Kindergarten boy says:

      risky but it depends on the stop and your tolerance for missing connections. For the D.C.-LAX connections there is a good chance they would hold up the LA bound flight if lots of people are coming from the delayed D.C. Flight.

      In terms of kiddo it might be worse bc that is too short a time to get the benefit of a layover (stretching legs, a fun meal, etc) and just seems stressful rushing. But if $300 is a big deal for your budget do it. I think at this point in my life I would spend the extra to just get where I’m going.

    • Not worth it. I’d worry about the car seat transfer getting lost from one plane to the next then showing up at destination and no way to leave. This has happened to me. Stuck in SLC for an extra night until seat made its way there and onto by outbound flight.

    • ChiLaw says:

      Yeah I’m anxious when it’s just me changing planes with a 45 minute layover. (Ask me about the time I had to zigzag around the Phoenix airport looking for somewhere to pump while also trying to make a tight connection. Tears in a bathroom stall.)

  11. DH Retiring/SAHD? says:

    For those of you with SAH spouses, what’s the division of responsibility like and how old are your kid(s)?

    My husband is eligible to retire soon with a small pension, healthcare, and a reasonable, but not amazing, 401K. He’s older than I am and in law enforcement, so can retire earlier than average. We have one pre-school aged child who is in full time daycare, live in a HCOL area, and I have a job that pays well, but is stressful and not all that work-life friendly.

    He’s burnt out and wants to retire, but probably do something part-time — not sure what though. In some ways I’d love to not be the primary parent/person in the house, but in others it’s daunting to be the primary source of income. I’m also not sure if his ‘staying home’ would actually make my life easier. Child would probably still stay in daycare/preschool, but for fewer hours — we don’t have a lot of parttime options that are any less expensive as far as I can tell. To be honest, that’s

    Of course we need to run the numbers and he really needs to decide if this is what he wants to do, or is just a nice daydream. Just wanted to see how other people make this situation work.

    • I think that before I went into any situation like that I’d want to have a really honest conversation about expectations. Just so you go into it on the same page. I don’t think it matters what you come up with (chores? cooking? emotional labor? taking the kid to activities? who does what?), as long as you’re both good with whatever you come up with.

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      My husband is home full time with our toddler. He freelances during hours I am typically home to be with our son.

      DH pays all the bills, does the laundry, the cooking and most of the cleaning. I take care of things like scheduling doctor’s appointments, banking errands, insurance policies, etc… I also do most of the picking up/tidying. We grocery shop together and we evenly divide outdoor chores. I carry a lot of the emotional labor more out of my desire to be involved. DH takes LO to playgroup during the day, supervises outdoor time and mealtime. I do bedtime, library visits, crafty things. In general, DH does middle of the night wake ups and early morning wake ups so I can get enough sleep for work.

      As the working spouse, I try to reflect on the fact that if I were the one at home, I would still expect my husband to help out. This gives me a reasonable frame to consider the ways I can best make sure our house runs smoothly while making sure my husband carries an appropriate amount of responsibility.

      We’ve had to reconfigure expectations a few times to find the thing that works. like Anon @ 1:52, start out with clear expectations and the understanding that what looks good in theory may not work in practice and you will need to revisit.

    • ChiLaw says:

      My situation is not unlike yours, except that my husband isn’t retired, he’s just not working. My kid is 2 and in daycare that overlaps with my work day — so he doesn’t really “stay at home with the kid.” (But daycare is ridiculously cheap and so so so good for her.)

      H’s biggest job is making it easy for me to do mine. (I wish there were a less princessy way of saying that.) That means he is always available for childcare things when I need to travel; he does all the house logistics (getting quotes on gutter repair, deciding whether we are replacing or repairing the washing machine, organizing the linen closet, dishes/laundry/cooking/groceries); yardwork; staying home with a sick kid… etc.

      I don’t do a ton of housework when I get home from work, or on the weekends. I like to do my own laundry for delicate stuff, so I do that. He leaves my other stuff folded in the closet and I put it away. He handles his laundry and the kid’s and household linens, though I’ll do a load on the weekends while we all hang out. I pick up toys and wipe down gross surfaces as it comes up, and do at least 1/2 of the diapers. I cook maybe one meal every 2 weeks, and I load the dishwasher maybe twice a year. Sometimes I do a deep clean of the bathroom, or spend a weekend morning organizing the garage. I do all the craftsy/creative daycare things, like valentines. He feeds the pets and takes care of the litter boxes. He does the stuff I find moderately gross, like dealing with the compost and the cloth diapers.

      My two complaints: (1) I wish we had more money (duh, but I also feel really lucky that we can pull this off); (2) I don’t know how to navigate asking him to do a particular thing that I really could do, but don’t feel is my ‘job.’ Like this week has been hectic, and I had NO clean underwear, but a ton of newly purchased, waiting-to-be-washed undies sitting in the laundry basket. And I kept hoping he’d wash them, but kept coming home to laundry not being done… which obviously I should’ve just said “I’m out of underwear, can you do my laundry today?” or washed them myself. Well, I did the latter. But anyway, the point is that I feel some awkwardness around making those requests.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      My husband is home with the kids. Oldest one is now in kindergarten and youngest goes to preschool 2 days a week. My husband does the car stuff (gas, oil, tags, tires) and all house and yard maintenance and errands like post office and dry cleaning. He does lots of the laundry but I put up all the clean clothes. He does almost all the cooking and most of the grocery shopping. I try to clean up the kitchen and keep my stuff picked up and we share kid stuff pickup.

      But I do all the planning – gifts, most play dates, Valentines, changing out winter to summer clothes, buying kids clothes, teacher gifts, doctor appointments, etc.

      Sometimes I get upset when I come home and the house is crazy messy and he decides to sit and read a book for an hour but he does a great job at really interacting with the kids so I let it go or pick up myself. I also travel a good amount with my job so he’s on full time duty a couple times a month.

      And we have a housekeeper that comes twice a month. We couldn’t live without that. It lets us mostly just pick up and not spend tons of time scrubbing floors and bathrooms.

      Sometimes when I try to do something that he normally does (like grocery shop) he reminds me that is his “sphere” and that has become our running joke but it had been helpful. I want to do everything and he reminds me that we divide things up for a reason.

  12. small rant says:

    To the two men sitting back to back with me in a luncheon with their chairs pulled back from the table twice as much as mine is–when someone needs to get by in between our chairs, you move in. This 29-week pregnant lady is having none of it. And unless you want me to puke on you, stop tapping my chair with your foot.

  13. Been there, done that says:

    To the new mom who posted about supply issues Wednesday — just saw the post, so posting my reply here in the hopes that you will see it!

    The comment that the presence of breastmilk is what is important, not the absence of formula, is so true. I had supply issues that never worked themselves out, despite pumping, lactation cookies, mother’s milk tea, those expensive all natural pills — everything! After four weeks I stopped pumping, since it was making me miserable, and reconciled myself to supplementing with 8 oz of formula a day (4 2 oz bottles after breastfeeding, scattered throughout the day — I think that we we increased the number of 2 oz bottles when she got closer to 6 months). Pumping was taking away precious sleep and bonding time, and I just hated the being milked feeling. The other stuff may have made some minimal difference, but it was hard to tell.

    Others have given good advice on increasing supply, but let me just say — please do not drive your self crazy over this. Stop pumping and sleep! Every mom I talked to who had supply issues said some variation of “I wish I had started supplementing earlier and worried about it less.” The fact that you are on this site makes me guess that you are a high-achieving woman who is used to working hard for what she wants. For me, supply issues were my first sign that this might not apply as well to parenting as it did to my work life. Be kind to yourself! Hard work does not solve everything in the parenting realm.

    Last thought — one major upside was that I went back to work at 5.5 months, I did not have a single bit of angst about giving my daughter more formula. My friends who had been exclusively breastfeeding up until that point at some point couldn’t pump enough, and went through the same “ack I’m using formula” agonies that I did, just months later! Even worse, some of their babies refused to take bottles because they had never had them, leading to lots of stress. So at least you are getting over that hump early, and can go back to work knowing that your baby will happily guzzle formula like a champ. It will save so much stress in your transition back to work.

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