Family Friday: Boys’ Iron Knee Blend Plain-Front Chino

Here’s a question for the readers, for those of you whose kids wear uniforms to school: What’s your favorite place to buy them? The store I always see them at is Lands’ End — they have a bunch of these “Iron Knee” plain-front chinos, and they come in four colors in sizes starting with Little Boy 4–7 (in regular, slim, and husky) and going all the way up to adult sizes (regular and long). So if you’ve got a kid who’s tough on their pants, these Iron Knee Blend ones can be a lifesaver. They’re $25–$40 (some color/size combinations on sale). School Uniform Boys’ Iron Knee Blend Plain Front Chino

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  1. Cornellian says:

    If you’re my coworker, this may out me, but I just ran into a junior associate who works for me. She (lovingly) told me I looked like a zombie, and asked me if I wanted my dress zipped up (as I never zipped it when I left the house 90 minutes ago).

    When is this week over??

  2. Dutch Wonderland says:

    Any moms here been to Dutch Wonderland? We’re thinking about going in November for the winter wonderland season. Looking to book an overnight stay near the park, but not sure where to stay – any recs?

    • POSITA says:

      We went a year ago and had a fabulous time. The park was empty enough (August) that our 2 yo could ride the rides over and over and over without having to get off. No lines anywhere. The made the whole day tantrum-free. It was great.

      We stayed at the DoubleTree. There is an indoor zero entry pool with a kiddie slide that is great. They also had a free pre-bedtime ice cream sundae bar that was a huge hit with the kids.

      • POSITA says:

        Oh, we also went on a buggy ride with Abe’s Buggy Rides while we were there. Our buggy driver was fantastic. He told lots of stories, including having two sets of surprise twins amongst his 13 kids. He let our 2 yo hold the reins and drive the buggy which made her vacation. Huge hit.

      • Amelia Bedelia says:

        What other tips do you have? I was thinking of doing this in early September with my 3 yr old and 18 mo old, but then thought I was crazy! can I make 3-4 days of it?

        • POSITA says:

          We also went to a petting zoo with lots of barn animals near Lancaster. It was fine, but my parents have a farm so it wasn’t anything new for the kids. It was also 105 degrees outside, so that probably also decreased my enthusiasm. I can’t recall the name of where we went, but there are a few options.

          I’ve heard good things about touring the Turkey Hill ice cream factory, though I haven’t been there myself.

          Dutch Wonderland lets you do a weird ticket split thing where you can go in advance the evening before your official day at the park. It’s a great way of stretching out the experience with out overwhelming the kids. We did a couple of hours one night and a few hours the next morning. It was plenty.

          Be aware that Lancaster is very religious (duh!) and almost everything is closed on Sunday.

    • I Love You More Than Carrots posted a review of Dutch Wonderland (may have been sponsored) a few years ago after taking her 2 and 4 year old there. I will dig it up and post it in a reply.

    • Lancaster!! says:

      I’m super excited to see this post! This is my area!

      I would not stay anywhere on the Route 30 strip. I would take a look at the following: – this is minutes away from Dutch Wonderland, just minutes off the highway and very easy to navigate. – this is another beautiful hotel with great proximity to food. If you’re interested in beer, The Fridge is right around the corner with plenty of craft beer and pizza. – newer and popular. This more in the heart of downtown so plenty of restaurants nearby.

      I have stayed at the first 2/3 I mentioned and that was before kids, but I imagine you would be fine at any of these places.

      Also, check out Root for amazing vegan food, even if you’re not vegan. My kiddo loves anything served there, especially tofu bites.

    • Lancaster!! says:

      I’m super excited to see this post! This is my area!

      I would not stay anywhere on the Route 30 strip. I would take a look at the following:

      Cork Factory Hotel – this is minutes away from Dutch Wonderland, just minutes off the highway and very easy to navigate.

      Lancaster Arts Hotel – this is another beautiful hotel with great proximity to food. If you’re interested in beer, The Fridge is right around the corner with plenty of craft beer and pizza.

      Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square – newer and popular. This more in the heart of downtown so plenty of restaurants nearby.

      I have stayed at the first 2/3 I mentioned and that was before kids, but I imagine you would be fine at any of these places.

      Also, check out Root for amazing vegan food, even if you’re not vegan. My kiddo loves anything served there, especially tofu bites.

      • POSITA says:

        We stayed at the Lancaster Arts for a wedding and it was a really bad experience with the kiddo. Not kid friendly at all. Tiny room. We literally had to climb over the PnP to get to the bathroom. No bathtub. Breakables in the lobby. Loud neighbors also woke up the kid. No pool.

        The whole wedding party was staying there for the wedding I attended and the hotel was universally panned. After a plumbing leak, the bride and groom spent a couple of hours in the lobby waiting for a new room on their wedding night.

        • Lancaster!! says:

          Well that’s a bummer. I stayed there shortly after they opened on New Year’s Eve, so very different experience all the way around. My vote is for Cork Factory then!

    • Aw, I’m from Lancaster and love to see the DW love. I grew up with the granddaughter of the original owners (before they sold to Hersheypark) and one of my best childhood memories is going to DW with her and we had some sort of special wrist bracelet where we could get free food anywhere in the park.

    • For an actual helpful response, you could take your kids to my childhood grocery store, Oregon Dairy. Why would you take kids to a grocery store? They have a playground, a petting zoo, albino deer, baby calves, the best ice cream EVER, and a country restaurant where you get a free donut and milk with your breakfast. There is also a train that rides around the top of the restaurant and is very amusing to my son.

      There also used to be animatronic chickens that cluck with the push of a button near the egg section, but I am not sure if that still exists.

  3. Camping with toddlers! This weekend we’re taking our 2-year-old camping for the first time. We’ll be with two other families who have kids aged 1.5-3. I swear there was a thread about camping here or on main s!te, but my best Google-fu can’t dig it up.
    1. What am I forgetting to pack?
    2. What are your favorite camping recipes?

    It’s car-camping for one night at a large, well-equipped public site; we have tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, camp stove, utensils, mess tins, wipes, bug spray, sunscreen, and clothing.
    All kids still nap. Probably asynchronously (Murphy’s law of gatherings with multiple children).
    One family is pescatarian, two are omnivorous.

    • Momata says:

      1. A big RV mat (cheap on [email protected]) so the main underfoot area isn’t just dirt. Head lamps. Glow sticks. Trash bags, including small ones for stinky diapers.
      2. Make chili ahead of time (one veggie and one meat) and bring in a dutch oven. Wrap dutch oven in foil (so it doesn’t get sooty) and just heat up on the fire grate. Cut a baguette and slide in garlic butter and wrap in foil to make it crusty and melty!

    • Fun! We are yet to take our 2.5 year old camping but really want to. Please report back on how it went!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I just took kiddo camping solo a few weeks ago. Here were some things that saved us or would have made our lives easier:

      Newspaper and kindling to light a fire (did not have these, greatly missed them); matches or a lighter
      Citronella candles
      Ear plugs/eye masks, especially for the kiddo – she woke up with the sun at 5:30 am
      White noise app for your phone
      Downloaded cartoons/Disney Story Central podcasts in case kids wake up before the campsite “quiet hours” end
      Extra power pack for the cell phone
      A two-pack of paper towels

      And for food – I brought s’mores fixings, a jar of peanut butter (to spread on the graham crackers), a pack of hot dogs, and a bunch of fruit. My family also liked to make foil packs of red potatoes with garlic, herbs and onions, and put them on top of the fire (coat foil with cooking spray or oil first). I bet you could put salmon on cedar planks over the fire…but you’ll need a good cooler. Quinoa salad with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil is a favorite picnic recipe; corn and bean salad might be another good one.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        You’re such a fun mom. When I was a single mom I never would have had the energy to take my kid solo camping by ourselves! You’re a superwoman!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Camping recipes:
      -I got some sticks on amazon called “mallo-me” or something similar, and they were perfect for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. they were long enough to keep my kid comfortably far from the fire.
      -If you think you’ll go a lot, invest in a couple of pie irons. These are great for making anything from grilled cheese to more fancy things like apple pie. Last time we went, we made “Pizza pockets” for dinner by lining it with pizza dough, putting pizza sauce and cheese and pepperoni inside. I also used “just add water” pie crust and some cinnamon to make delicious pie crust, and put canned apple pie filling inside, and we had warm apple pie pockets for dessert. Would also possibly be good for making cornbread in (again with just-add-water mix). I want to try using just-add-water blueberry muffin mix and seeing if it will make a blueberry muffin square. You definitely spray these with cooking spray before you put anything in and/or line them with foil.
      -Do you have a camp stove of any sort? If you made grilled cheeses with the pie iron and could easily heat up canned tomato soup that could be yummy for small kids.
      -Also, with toddlers, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring pre-prepared things like pasta salad etc. Don’t let people make you feel like it’s not “authentic camping”.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        We got a battery operated portable fan and that was nice to have in the tent. Kept kiddo cool and provided some white noise.

        A pop up hamper from the dollar store- I put a trash bag in one and use for our trash (It’s annoying to just leave a bag laying around to shove trash in, and there’s never been trash cans at our well-equipped national park sites), and I put another right outside the tent to throw shoes in so there’s no shoes in the tent.

        While you’re at the dollar store, grab glow sticks. My kid loves to have them in the tent with him when I put him to bed before we go in there.

    • 23 Weeks says:

      Wipes. Baby wipes are magic when camping (dirty hands, dirty utensils that fell on the ground, wiping off picnic tables). You’ll probably bring some, but make sure you have extras!

      If kiddo is potty training, we found bringing the small potty to be very helpful for peeing at the campsite and not having to navigate grownup toilets.

      • 23 Weeks says:

        Also, expect not to sleep. Kiddo was 2.5 when we took him this summer and he was a wreck. It also doesn’t get dark where we are, so … YMMV (and I hope it does).

    • Thanks all! You guys are pros. (NewMomAnon, you’re a rockstar!) Glow sticks are a great idea. I camped a lot in HS, college and after with DH, but that was more of the ambitious hike-everything-in-on-your-back multiday-trips sort of camping, down to the ramen noodles, dried food, and hard cheese. With toddlers – different beast.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’d love to hear advice as well. My DD is younger but we’d love to take her camping when she’s 6-7 months old. My big question is sleeping arrangements!

  5. Uniforms – Walmart’s George line is the best, the quality is surprisingly really good and it holds up well to constant washing. Children’s Place and Old Navy also have good basics. Typically the pieces are less than $10 for an outfit (pants + shirt, or dress). I’ll buy outer pieces like sweaters and jackets from the uniform shop so they have the official school logo.

    Also, make sure to buy the unisex clothes. Most schools have a uniform closet to hand down pieces to incoming families or kids who suddenly size up, and unisex is a lot easier to pass down to siblings and then the closet.

  6. I’m in Houston with two toddlers. Not worried about flooding damage where we are but many, many days of being cooped up… just venting!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Woof. You have my sympathies! Glad you guys will be safe. You didn’t ask, but I wanted to share some indoor ideas.

      If you don’t already have them at home, can you run to the store and get art supplies and stickers? That would be heaven for my toddler. Another thing she likes to do is to scoop/play with dry beans. I take those bags of 1 lb beans and dump them into a container and let her have at it. Two containers, a measuring cup or spoon, and it’s gold for a while. I posted a few weeks ago (Aug 9) about indoor science experiments with a toddler – the ideas were great! Also, maybe you could set up a scavenger hunt of some sorts (my daughter loved our very small Easter egg hunt). Or maybe an obstacle course (take all the pillows off the couch and put them in a circle and they can’t touch the ground) or build forts.

    • mascot says:

      Glow sticks would be fun. Dollar store should have some.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Glow sticks are great for kids in power outages as well, which you unfortunately may face.

  7. What are your thoughts on nannies that brig their kid along? I can see how this could be an advantage or at least a neutral if you have one kid- built in socialization.

    I’ve had 3 women with kids <1 year apply for our nanny position for our 2 kids (1 and 4). It seems like coming to nanny 2 kids and bringing a 3rd dilutes the attention each of my kids gets, makes outings harder (do I pay for the 3rd kid at all museums? Whose car is used? Is there even more liability if she puts her infant in my car? How do outings work when there are so many nap schedulers?!).

    I've asked these questions and was told it's "never been an issue before." I am going to pass and look for a better fit but was curious if this is common or just someone looking for a different situation? I was also surprised that they were not discounting the rate/salary expectations for the perk of bringing along their kid.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      In my area, I don’t know of anyone whose nanny regularly brings their kids along. It might happen occasionally, with permission, but it’s definitely not an every day thing. And I agree that I would be concerned about your increased liability if something were to happen in your house/car.

    • We had this situation, and it didn’t end up working well for us (my 4mo and 2yo plus her 1yo). She was someone we knew personally, so I trusted her 100% with by infant, but it did seem a lot harder for her to take care of all three kids, espcially because her kid was really needy. I can see this working well with older kids or if someone only has one kid, but it ended up being complicated for us. They couldn’t drive anywhere. Her parenting stlye was different than ours, and its hard to mold your style when your kid is there too. Her daughter required to be held for naps, so everyone would be exausted if one of them didn’t nap. My 2yo struggled to share his toys. And my house was always a disaster (understandable when you have 3 kids under 3 to watch, but I often wondered if it would have been different with 2 kids instead of 3)

      We did get a discounted rate though, I thought this was pretty standard if they were bringing their own kid.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can speak to this from the kid’s perspective, as this happened when I was little. I was in kindergarten (5 yo) and had a younger brother (2). Our nanny adopted a child mid-year and started bringing him to our house when she brought him home. It was tough. Obviously, this was compounded by it being a slightly older child who had been adopted (and who didn’t speak the language well yet), but it really didn’t work well. I have memories of watching a lot of TV and having to share my toys with someone that I didn’t know when all I wanted to do was play by myself in my room. My mom (who never says anything about my childhood really) commented recently that it was a tough time in her mind.

    • POSITA says:

      We had good luck with this. Our nanny had a kid the same age as our oldest (3 ish). Her daughter was normally in school, but would come along for holidays and breaks. When she was there the two older kids would play independently, which freed the nanny up to play with the baby. Our nanny said it was a lot easier watching all three than just my two alone, and I believe her. With just my kids, our older one spent most of her time pestering the baby and competing for the nanny’s attention.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’ve interviewed a few who want to bring their kid and always turn it down. I would DEFINITELY expect a DRASTIC rate reduction if they were bringing their child, though. That’s crazy that it sounds like this person wasn’t offering one!

      • None of the 3 did! They were all middle to high for our market rate. I didn’t really negotiate because I realized in each case it wouldn’t work for us, but I was absolutely expecting “Well I typically charge X but since I would be bringing along my child, I’m looking for X-Y.”

    • My nanny (when I was little) used to bring her niece along. But we were older (probably 2 and 8, and the niece was 6), so it was always kind of exciting when it happened and not a drag. I considered hiring someone with a baby to watch my two elementary school-aged kids – eventually she backed out and went back to being a daycare teacher because she didn’t want to drive them all around. I think it would be hard given these ages.

    • Worked for us says:

      It has worked wonderfully for us. When our oldest was 2.5, we hired a nanny who had a 1 yr old. Now our oldest is nearly 8, her oldest is 6.5, our youngest just turned 5 and her youngest just turned 3. They play (and fight) like siblings and our families are super close. However, it takes a very specific type of person to be this nanny. She did a great job of getting all kids on the same nap schedule and finding activities that were appropriate for all ages. The concern about it causing less attention for your children is valid, but it does ensure that all day is spent in child-centric activities. I know nannies who load up their charges and head to Target, post office, lunch with friends, etc, but with 4 kids, all day every day is spent learning and playing. As they got older, kids all got enrolled in the same part-time preschools, week-long science camps, etc to minimize drop off/pickup chaos.
      I can see many cases where this wouldn’t work but for our family, it’s been ideal.

  8. A couple of months ago, I posted about a disastrous beach vacation and said I wanted to just stay home until Kiddo turns 5 or something. Well, that lasted about 3 months, and we went to Nashville to visit family and watch the eclipse last weekend. It was wonderful! Kiddo did really well in the car (about 7.5 hours each way), and I was super proud of him. Our family member’s house was comfortable, fun and safe for a toddler, and Kiddo being just a few months older helped. We had fun hanging out with family and had a chance to check out a few of the sites, and the eclipse was awesome! For the first time since Kiddo was born, I got home feeling relaxed, not like I need a vacation from my vacation.

    So the moral of the story is, You can do it!

    Now I’m dreaming up future trips that are probably way too ambitious :-) And now I want to go back to Nashville every summer.

    • Marilla says:

      Yay! Sounds like a great vacation. I had the same reaction to our family eclipse trip this week – it was tiring but went really well, daughter was a total trooper and had fun exploring, and I’m already planning our next family trip! Having a comfortable home base is so essential for a good vacation.

  9. First time mom says:

    Did you interview pediatricians? My OBGYN told me to, but I don’t really know what to ask and I feel awkward “interviewing” a doctor who obviously has way more expertise than I do. My hospital’s pediatrics practice has two locations, one at a clinic less than a mile from my house and one about 10 miles away (at the hospital where I will deliver). The clinic near my house has only one doctor that is accepting new patients so I’m inclined to go with him for convenience, but maybe that’s a terrible plan.

    • October says:

      I didn’t, both because I didn’t want to add yet another thing to my pre-baby plate and because it felt awkward to me. Since I knew I’d be bringing baby to the ped shortly after birth, I figured I would use that visit to suss out the doctor and if I didn’t like her, then I’d switch before the baby’s one month appt. You see the doctor so many times in those early months (esp if baby is small and they make you go every few days for a weight check), so there’s time to switch to a new practice if you don’t like the vibe. If you do choose to interview, I’d say that most important factors are that the doctor seems competent and makes you feel comfortable asking questions, and that they are more or less on board with your view on potential “controversial” topics, like breastfeeding, vaccines, etc.

    • avocado says:

      In my experience, interviewing pediatricians might be a good way to rule out those who are absolutely a terrible fit, but it’s not sufficient to identify those who are a good fit. Actual appointments with an actual child are a much better way to assess fit.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Nope. I knew I was supposed to but never got around to it. There is an army of pediatricians that rotate through the hospital, so I picked the pediatric practice closest to our house (good call on my part) and they just had whatever pediatrician was on call rotate through. I was in the hospital for several days so I met a few of them and just picked one. I’ve been very happy.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Also, the pediatric clinic we go to has about 10 doctors on staff, and my kid’s doctor is so popular that he never has last minute appointments. So while my kid was sick about 15 times in her first year, I only saw her doctor for regular well visits. We’ve seen 5 or 6 of the doctors at that office for last minute sick visits and I’ve been happy with all but one of them. So it might not even matter who your kid’s doctor is, because if you go to a big practice, you’ll get whichever one has a last minute opening when you need it.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We did, but only met with one practice because we liked them and didn’t feel the need to look for other doctors. They actually had an weekly open house of sorts during post-work hours. We didn’t ask much, but we were concerned with how they handled vaccines (this was during the most recent measles outbreak so, did they accept unvaccinated patients, how do they handle a kid with a suspected measles infection, etc.), how they handled antibiotics (we didn’t want our ped to push unnecessary antibiotics), and how open they were to alternative medicine (like kiddie chiropractor stuff). We wanted them to be really practical, not rigid or set in their ways, and not alarmist. And of course we wanted them to be convenient to home/work, have decent hours, and ideally have weekend sick hours, and a 24-hour phone line. She showed us around their offices, and it was all really straightforward and not awkward! I certainly wasn’t quizzing the doctor on her knowledge or anything like that.

      Maybe you can call the practices and see if they have a similar “meet the practice” session coming up, or if they’d be willing to set some time aside post-work?

    • Sortof. We pretty much knew which practice we were going to be seeing. DH grew up in the area where we live, and his former pediatrician is still practicing. And a family member’s best friend is also a pediatrician there. They offered interviews, and I made an appointment because I have some social anxiety, and I wanted to be comfortable asking for help if we needed it. I was happy I did–I felt very comfortable with the doctor and the practice, I asked some questions about decisions we’d have to make right away (e.g., circumcision), and they gave us a copy of Heading Home With Your Newborn. As it turned out, we ended up having to take Baby into the pediatrician before the typical first appointment, and in the middle of all that stress, I was happy to know where to go and have met the doctor before and that they knew my insurance info.

    • ElisaR says:

      i did interview my pediatrician – but I can see why it was a little unnecessary. I think important questions are about obviously controversial topics (vaccines, unnecessary antibiotics) and also just basic office logistics. After 2 ER visits with my son (thank you croup) and a few weekend ear infections – I am very happy that my practice has ample after-hours options. After-hours is a huge plus for me at this practice. Kids get sick at weird times.

      I had a similar situation where only one doc was accepting new patients – I think it’s fine. If you go for sick visits you wind up getting whatever doctor is on call (those ones not accepting new patients) – only see our doc for well visits.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      No, but I wish I’d looked at the following aspects of the practice as a whole before choosing with my first:
      -friendliness/professionalism of the admin staff (if the person answering the phone is rude and unpleasant, you’re not going to have a great experience)
      -Hours of operation, including if there’s weekend hours (I used this more often than I realized I would. If my kid was tugging at their ear Friday, I’d usually wait until Saturday morning to go in rather than take off work. Maybe I’m awful, but I do have leave left!)
      -Ask if there’s TRULY same-day-sick-appointments. My first practice never had any and I ended up having to use urgent care whenever my child was sick
      -If you get flu shots, do they run a flu shot clinic where you can run in and get it, or do you have to make a whole appointment to do that? also, will they offer them on weekends?

      That’s all I can think of for now

    • Blueberry says:

      Many places have tours for expecting parents — maybe call them up to see if they do that. Word of mouth should actually help more if you know other parents in your area. Other major factors are (1) especially depending on your part of the country, are policies regarding vaccines — do they cater to anti-vaxxers or do they kick them out of the practice? (2) Whether they have same-day appointments and after-hours or weekend appointments.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I did and planned to use him as our ped but then ended up switching about 2 months in over a disagreement in breastfeeding. My son was small but continuing to gain weight and he was pressuring formula all the way. It happened that the formula rep was in the office and he sent her in to try and convince me how great her product was. I found a new dr and never looked back. I didn’t interview ones at this practice and luckily was very happy with the one I was assigned to. I think the biggest things to look for – (1) breastfeeding vs formula debate; (2) vaccines (this practice requires you to be vaccinated which I liked); and (3) general treatment. Our dr is very laid back and takes a wait and see approach over here is an antibiotic for a cold approach. I think it also helps that he has children about the same age and I will routinely ask him – what would you do or what did you do and he will answer honestly even if it isn’t his “doctor” advice.

    • Our pediatrician did a group tour/interview thing once a week or so, so we went to that and asked a lot of questions about the practice. I did not interview individual doctors.

  10. goingback says:

    A few pumping logistical questions:

    1) How would you structure pumping times if going back after 16 weeks? I’m thinking wake-up, feed baby at 6:00-7:00 am, based on when she gets up, pump at home or feed at 8:15, leave house at 8:30 am, pump at 10 am, pump at 12:30, pump at 3:00, leave office at 4:45 pm and feed baby at 5:15 pm. I’ll be able to pump in my office and plan to put a mini fridge in there, so if I need to pump more, should be okay, but would love to get your thoughts.

    2) Dumb question, but should I take 6 bottles each day for my 3x pumping and just 2 pumping parts and just put in my mini fridge between each session?

    2) Also, I have no idea how much baby drinks. She feeds on demand, usually every 1.5-3 hours day and night. When I pump now on the other breast after feeding her on one, I get anywhere from 1 to 3 oz, but that seems to vary a lot based on the time of the day etc. I’m thinking to be safe, I will start pumping 3 days before i start working and try to leave 10-12 oz that first day? She HATES everything from the freezer, so I feel like the milk I pump has to stay in fridge for that first day.

    Ugh, so confusing. Pumping logistics seem overwhelming, but good news it that we’ve been doing bf bottles since week 3 and so far so good on taking a bottle atleast. I have no issues doing a bit of formula too if needed too..

    • POSITA says:

      Response below. If she hates milk from the freezer, check for a lipase issue. You may need to scald your milk.

    • I had a roughly similar schedule – pump at 10, 12.30, and 3. Up to that point, baby was largely BF on demand, and we were able to transition into daycare with a half day, then a full day, using a stash I started when he was born by pumping the side he didn’t drink from (I got maybe 2oz each time). If we didn’t have to dip into the freezer stash, one day’s pumped milk would be used for the next day, and I froze any full bottle he didn’t drink on a given day. Milk pumped Friday is good in the fridge for the following Monday.

      I just used one set of pump parts, and rinsed them and put them in a ziploc bag in the fridge between pump sessions. At the end of the day I’d take them home and wash everything.

    • I pumped 3x a day when I returned to work at 12 weeks. We did a feeding at wakeup, then I pumped 3x a work, fed upon return from work, then nurse as usual. We also were doing feed on demand, and I was really concerned about how much to leave, too. I learned from our BFing center that basically they’ll consume the right amount of milk in 24 hours, so it’s not a hard science with exactly how much to leave at home. Once you pump at work you’ll have a good idea of how much to leave. At one point my son being fed too much at home and I worked with my caregivers to cut him to three 4 to 4.5 oz bottles a day because my supply was being affected. To be aware of things like this, I found it helpful to track my pumping duration and output in a spreadsheet.

      I pumped into Medela bottles and brought six bottles per day in the beginning. I kept extra bottles and lids at work. I put my pump parts in the fridge and took home at night to wash in teh dishwasher.

      Good luck with everything!

    • Cornellian says:

      A couple thoughts:

      1) Schedule makes sense to me, but I ended up pumping an extra time a few days the first week back, mostly out of fear. Most days now I can get the 12 oz my son drinks in two pumping sessions, but I would definitely be conservative starting out.

      2) that’s what I do. I also have pacifier wipes (cheap replacement for pump wipes!) that I wipe them off with.

      3) I would have quite a bit more than 10-12 oz ready for the first day. I would like to have 16 per day the first couple days, although my son usually drinks more like 12 (occasionally 14 or 16). It’s possible you will have issues pumping exclusively during the day and only be able to pump, say, 8 when you know baby will drink 12 the next day.

      I am also open to formula, but would really try not to supplement unless you’re committed to doing it every day. If you give her formula during the week and don’t pump as much as she’s eating, you will have issues on the weekend when you try to EBF and your body has learned to make less milk.

      • Cornellian says:

        To be clear, I am not trying to judge you for using formula, I just mean that it’s hard to supplement with formula 5 days a week and expect your body to pump up the supply on the other 2 days a week.

        • CPA Lady says:

          Yeah– As someone who supplemented all week long on purpose, i also supplemented on the weekend, which was great, because my husband could take the baby and feed her formula when I wanted to get out of the house alone.

    • October says:

      Re: how much – look into “paced feeding” for breastfed babies and be sure your caregivers are on board. Baby can go through too much milk if s/he is fed in the normal “tip the bottle up and encourage baby to guzzle” way. I’d say that ~4 oz bottles are a good size to leave, and assume baby will eat that much every 3 hours, give or take. Start off with a little extra so you have a cushion is baby is very hungry that particular day.

    • Butter says:

      A few things:

      -I wasn’t a big producer so I only took 4 Medela bottles to work because there was no way I was pumping more than 16oz while I was at work. I’d combine the first pump into one bottle, then same with the second, etc., so always had enough for the day.
      -Because I was able to keep my pump parts in the fridge, I only took them home on the weekends to be washed. Judge away, but not cleaning pump parts M-F was AMAZING, and kiddo never seemed effected by my laziness. I would just do a quick rinse in the sink at the end of each day and then throw them back in the fridge.
      -I had the little Medela cooler and icepack and so just kept the milk in my office throughout the day (icepack kept things cold enough), but would store my pump parts in a wet bag in the fridge. I had a couple of fun prints, and it looked just like other people’s lunch bags.
      -I did a middle of the night pump after the 3am feeding for about six months to get enough, until we started supplementing with formula and I dropped those pumps.

  11. POSITA says:

    For a 3x a day pumping schedule (which you may or may not need. If you have plenty of milk, you may be able to drop to a 2x day schedule)

    Feed at wake up.
    Pump as soon as you get to your office or during the drive there
    Pump while you eat lunch (noon-ish)
    Pump 2ish hours before you leave the office
    Feed baby soon after pick up
    Feed before bed

    Send four 4 oz bottles for the baby, knowing that they may only need 3 depending on the length of your day. An unused bottle can be saved to be used first the next day.

    For a 2x day schedule, pump around 10 AM and 2:30 PM.

    Put pump parts in a tupperware container in the fridge between pumping sessions. You only need one set. You can pour milk to combine pumpings. I usually needed 5 bottles. Pump 1 was too big to fit in one bottle. Pump 2 combined into one bottle. Pump 3 reused the refrigerated empty bottle from pump 2 and a clean bottle. Combine pump 3 to fit four full bottles into Medela cooler.

    • Momata says:

      This is exactly precisely 100% what I did. Good luck – you’ve got this!

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Seconding the only getting by with 2 pumping sessions at work, depending on our supply. My schedule when I went back at 16 weeks both times was:

      – feed one side at wake up
      – pump the other side (and a little on the feeding side) while eating breakfast or doing makeup
      – pump both sides at 11-ish (sometimes while I ate at my desk, sometimes not)
      – pump both sides at 3-ish
      – feed baby immediately after pick up
      – feed before bed

      I would do the pump and feed at wake up, as that was when my supply was highest by far. And I ultimately blended the midday pumping sessions into one around noon after a couple of weeks back both times.

    • +1 to all this, but I think I used to combine the milk into larger 8oz bottles sometimes – mostly because I had some hand me downs and it was easy – and sometimes pumped into those. I also quickly dropped down to 2 pumps a day and occasionally just 1 in a pinch. I never pumped at home; I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed to pump as often as I would nurse. But I was lucky with supply.

  12. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    Anyone have experience with baby led weaning & daycare? Our 5 month old will start daycare next week and we’re planning to do BLW instead of traditional baby food. I’m wondering how this will work at daycare where they may or may not be aware of this approach (it’s also Spanish immersion so not all staff speak English). Of anyone has advice on this or has done it successfully, I’d love to hear your experience!

    • Cornellian says:

      I did what V said. My 7mo gets one serving of a veggie puree at daycare. He gets that on the weekends, plus offerings of whatever baby-friendly food we are eating (some banana, oatmeal, whatever).

      I don’t know if daycares really work with BLW because it’s more work, they don’t have infinite food choices, and it is higher risk in terms of choking, etc.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yep, we did purees at daycare until my daughter was about 7 or 8 months, and then we started sending in solids.

    • October says:

      I don’t have direct experience with this, but since babies don’t “need” food that young, can you limit food to home for the first few months while s/he gets the hang of it, and skip food at daycare? So, start BLW at home til about 8/9 months, and then start sending appropriate finger foods in with her/him? If s/he’s already comfortable with table food at that point, daycare may be more amenable to allowing it.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. Our 5 month old just started purees and we’re limiting her “solids” to dinnertime with us. They don’t need solids 2x/day until 8-9 months old.

  13. Given the higher choking risk associated with BLW, I sent purees/yogurt/applesauce to daycare even while we were doing more adventurous foods at home. I also preferred to hold off sending any solids to daycare until we moved to two meals a day. I trust my daycare fully but with first solids, I wanted 100% attention.

    Check out CanDo Kiddo’s baby led feeding. Lots of great ideas.

  14. Maternity workout T-shirts? says:

    Any recommendations for loose-fitting maternity workout t-shirts? I don’t love working out in tank tops and all the t-shirts I’ve found are either fitted with ruching, terrible material, or both. Why must everything be bump-con?
    I tried just going up a size on my normal T-shirts but they were so huge in the shoulders and underarms. TIA!

  15. AwayEmily says:

    I know that there are a couple of other commenters out there in that awkward stage of pregnancy where maternity clothes are too big but regular clothes are too small, so you just feel like a gross sausage all the time. Ugh. anyone found good solutions, preferably ones that don’t involve buying new clothes? I’m looking for both work and weekend options. I know the belly band is an option but it’s such a pain when you have to go to the bathroom every 45 minutes (I’m 19 weeks).

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a little ways behind you (16 weeks) and living in loose dresses at work. I don’t think I’ve worn pants in two or three weeks, since my regular pants are all way too tight at this point and maternity pants are too big. It’s warm in my part of the country so at home I just wear a t-shirt and underwear.

    • ElisaR says:

      I did utilize the belly band for this period – but it was a pain to use when chasing after a toddler and putting him in the car. I found wrap dresses good for that “in between” period and also pants with elastic waistbands (nic and zoe, old navy and eileen fisher were the ones I had). I did start wearing maternity pants soon with my 2nd pregnancy. At times they were a little gappy on me (just made up that word). But I quickly started filling them out….. also loose flowy tops from Loft or Joie (from nordstromrack) were helpful in bridging the gap.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Wrap dresses are a great idea! I may have one in the back of my closet somewhere. And maybe I just need to up my peanut butter intake until my maternity pants will stay up…

    • Buy some tops 1 size up from your normal size – you will wear them postpartum. And maybe pants too.

    • Old Navy shift/swing dresses. I bought my normal size or one size up, depending on the reviews, and they were generously cut enough to accommodate a growing but not yet really there yet bump/boobs. Plus, I think I got most of them for under $20/each.

    • Start buying maternity clothes. You’ll need them soon enough anyways.

    • Katarina says:

      I liked underbelly maternity pants and regular skirts with a stretchy waist, along with flowy shirts a size up. Ann Taylor was good for the skirts. I also used these things postpartum. If you are 19 weeks you are probably close to wearing regular maternity clothes.

  16. Gaga's Mom says:

    (Reg poster, going anon for this so as to not completely out myself)

    A fun thread, inspired by the main board. Do you have made-up words or mispronunciations you learned from your kids that have populated your regular vocabulary? What are they?

    The best is that my daughter named herself Gaga. I think it started because she had trouble pronouncing her name, but she had “mama” and “dada” so why not call herself Gaga? But she was suuuper insistent about it as she got better at talking. I remember weeks where basically all she said was “GAGA HAVE IT?!” when she wanted something. Now her teachers and classmates call her that too. When I come to pick her up from preschool there’s a chorus of, “Ga-ga! Your mom is here!”

    The other one I like is “hostable” (sort of rhymes with huxtable) for “hospital.” I think I like it because hospitals are a little scary, and giving it a more singsongy name takes away some of that.

    • Ahhhh, I love Gaga. Is it anywhere close to her actual name?? My son is 13 months and really only says mama, dada, and yaya (for his sister’s name – it’s actually pretty close to her name). But my stepdaughter (Yaya) used to call people “silly goosers” and we still use that one, even though she is now 11!

      • Gaga's Mom says:

        Aw, “Silly Goosers” is so cute!!!

        This week I was trying to get Gaga to understand nicknames, and I asked her, “what do we sometimes call you?” and she said “oh! silly goose!!!” I said, “well, OK, yes, but don’t we sometimes call you Gaga?” and she said, “I call *myself* Gaga.” Perceptive, that one.

        Gaga is nothing like her real name, but she consistently subbed in the “g” sound for “sk” sounds, which is what her name starts with. So something scary was “gary” and her BFF Sky was “guy.”

    • Clementine says:

      I love this! We accidentally taught our son his name was ‘Baby’. That’s been fun to un-do…

      The one that we’re finding has crept in is ‘Ama’ for water (possibly a combo of agua and water but I don’t know?). ‘Hand me the Ama please’ is now what husband and I will say back and forth when we mean ‘pass me kiddo’s cup.

    • My son has always used “ba-lounce” for balance. I think it came because he was combining the words balance and bounce, but it just stuck. My husband and I use it all the time with the kids, but I said it to another kid at the park the other day “oh wow, you are balouncing so well” and she looked at me like I was crazy, haha.

      • Gaga's Mom says:

        Ha I love it when they come out at the wrong time! I’ve definitely used “hostable” when I shouldn’t have. And I am sometimes like “omg the people at this store are going to think I named my child Gaga!”

    • At 2+, kiddo has (sadly) outgrown these, but they’ve been my favourites so far:

      Heligoggy – helicopter
      Fickits – ‘fix it’
      Soyayaya milk – soy milk

      And for a time, because of the Laurie Berkner song ‘Victor Vito’, he called burritos ‘Victor Vito’…

      • Anonymous says:

        We had “helitaco” for helicopter! And “parado” for pierogie, and “bluebellies” and all manner of other bellies for berries. And right now “sunscream” for sunscreen.

    • CPA Lady says:

      My kid says “I’ll be ROOT back” rather than “I’ll be right back”, so now we all say it. And she’ll say “got-for” rather that “forgot” “mama we got-for get my blanket!” so I’ll occasionally say that too.

    • mascot says:

      My school aged kid calls memory cards (like what you stick in a tablet or computer) “remembory cards.” We’ve corrected him several times, but its kinda cute.

      • Gaga's Mom says:

        I love that because it’s like… not wrong. Memory, remembering, it’s all kinda the same.

    • Carine says:

      Cute! In our house:

      Rabbliolis – ravioli
      Babe-ing suit – bathing suit (loved this one! You are totally a babe in that suit!)

    • funny baby says:

      this will out me to people who know us – my daughter speaks very clearly but very clearly switches consonants on syllables – the ones we find ourselves using as well are beezra/zebra, kichen/chicken, and baterwottle/waterbottle.

    • Chi Squared says:

      Our daughter named herself “good girl” at first. Oops! We have also adopted her “hanitizer” for “hand sanitizer.”

    • When I was a kid, bar bars were granola bars. More specifically, the quaker peanut butter and chocolate chip ones in the solid orange packaging.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo uses the term “yestertime” to mean any time in the past. Last Christmas is yestertime, and so is last Saturday, and so is yesterday morning. I accidentally used it on a conference call last week…Me: “We were talking yestertime about Action Item A.” Opposing counsel: “do you mean last Wednesday?” Me “Oh, yes….”

  17. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    My phone is acting up so not sure this will post in the right spot but thanks for the advice on blw, everyone! I think we’ll try to just do it at home for a while to avoid any issues. I also want to watch him closely with the choking risk!

    • AwayEmily says:

      Another option if you wanted to do BLW at daycare would be to only send very soft things (sweet potatoes, bananas, hard boiled egg yolks, avocados, super ripe pears) and then do “scarier” foods at home. We were not a BLW family (basically the opposite — I cut up her blueberries until she was 16 months old because I am a crazy person), but I actually always felt like my kid would probably safer in a choking situation at daycare than at home since daycare has multiple adults around who know CPR/Heimlich/etc.

  18. Hit me with your best ideas for school snack for 20 kindergarteners. We have to supply every 4 weeks through the school year starting next week. Snacks must be nut free, not homemade, moderately healthy, preferably individually portioned or easily allocated into small portions (e.g. Dixie cups). Refrigeration is available. My preference would be something that can be purchased at Costco the weekend before our week.



    OMG I already am packing lunches, providing headphones, labeling stuff, sharpening pencils, bringing in egg cartons, making sure a red shirt is clean on alternating Fridays and NOW THIS.

    • October says:

      I am outraged on your behalf. How about a box of clementines and some cheese sticks?

    • AwayEmily says:

      holy crap that is a lot of requirements. My ideas: baby carrots, whole grain crackers, babybels (you can get those in bulk at Costco) or cheese sticks, clementines, GOLDFISH (mmmm goldfish), yogurts. Also I bet you will get more ideas if you go to Costco and browse the aisles? I feel like they always have new convenience foods I’ve never heard of, including lots of individually packaged produce that’s marketed for school lunches.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Yeah, one of those giant gallons of gold fish, or a few bags of baby carrots, and ALL the side eye.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      That’s insane. I agree about all of the thoughts above. One thing that you might be able to find is pre-sliced apples (or apples, if the school is willing to cut them up).

    • Whisps? There are cheddar ones now at our Costco. I’m not sure they’re healthy, but they’re a step above potato chips and cheetos, IMO.

      Fig Newtons. Applesauce cups. Squeeze yogurt. The “healthy” or “natural” kind of fruit roll-ups.

      • Pirate booty, fruit leather (basically natural fruit roll-ups – target sells a box of 25 for $7 or something like that), popcorn, raisins (individual boxes!)

    • shortperson says:

      we usually sign up for a monday or tuesday and get a big bag of something at the farmers market. could do grapes but our school cuts fruit so often get a big watermelon, apples or cucumbers. and then pick up crackers and cheese at trader joes. i try to go slightly adventurous — everything or gorgonzola crackers, feta, mozzarella balls, etc.

  19. These are good ideas, thanks! Off to Costco today for round one (and to feed the kid free samples).

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