Organizing Thursday: Car Seat Travel Tray

When we booked a flight to visit relatives in England this summer, I wanted to find something that would stop my son’s Legos, crayons, food, etc., from falling off the tiny airplane tray table. I spent way too much time reading Amazon reviews, and this product was the closest to what I wanted — it has its own bag, a detachable strap (in case we wanted to use it in the car one day), and handy pockets. Most importantly, all four edges were high enough to keep things from rolling off. The trade-off was that there was no good way to actually attach it to the tray table (which was an option for a couple of others). I MacGyver-ed a solution, however, by adding two of these velcro straps to the bottom of the tray (using more velcro), which made it possible to secure the tray to the tray table by wrapping the straps around it and fastening them. I’m so glad we had this on our two 7-hour flights, and I would definitely recommend it (for road trips, too). Car Seat Travel Tray


  1. Violet says:

    My 16 month old son is many months into a clothing-change fighting phase. He doesn’t seem to have any sensory processing issues, just really hates getting clothes (and diaper) on/off – full on tantrum, basically every time. We’ve started letting him sleep in his clothes instead of pajamas, and unless it’s insanely cold, I let him walk to daycare without a jacket.

    My time with him is so limited, I wish it would be happier – any tips on how to get through this?

    So far, I’ve tried talking to him about what’s going to happen, singing, getting him to participate (sometimes he’ll pull his head through a shirt once his arms are out when I’m taking a shirt off), using a special toy, and even a little video about changing clothes (and I’m normally big into avoiding screentime). I have a book about getting dressed coming soon. Nothing’s made a difference.

    • Maybe you’re giving in too much? My daughter is going through something similar and the more we try to accommodate her, the more stubborn she becomes. What seems to work better is to just change her quickly. The tantrum, if it happens, usually stops quickly enough and being consistent and regular about it seems to have lessened them. Giving in just makes it worse. I make concessions only for things that don’t matter like if she wants to wear one jacket vs. another or I might say “okay, we can put this on outside” and then she’s more likely to do it when she feels the cold. With diapers sometimes a distraction also helps – like I might give her a book to look at while I change her. Sometimes I sing “hands up, baby, hands up” to get her to change a shirt. But the biggest thing is to just be firm and consistent.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Agreed on this. My husband often tries to negotiate/distract/reason with her when she objects to changing/carseat/whatever, whereas I just give her a heads-up and then calmly do it. And she settles down much faster for me than for him.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        Yup. When my kiddos go through phases where they object to changing clothes and diaper changes I explain that this has to happen (we can’t leave you in a messy diaper, it would hurt your bottom; we need to put on pants to go visit Grandpa) and then just do it, using gentle, physical restraint if necessary. I think it helps them get past it quicker when they realize that this is non-negotiable and resistance is futile.

        Take comfort in the fact that these phases pass. When I get frustrated with phases I always reassure myself that it will pass (i.e. when he is in high school, he will not still want to sleep in bed with us).

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’m sorry; that sounds really tough. Here’s what we do, though it sounds like you’ve tried variants on this already (our daughter is 18 months and she’s been anti-changing for the last 3 months or so).

      1) Give a warning (“in one minute, I’m going to pick you up and put you on the changing table”)
      2) When possible, give a choice (“ok, it’s time to get your diaper changed. Do you want your socks on or off?”)
      3) Pick her up, hold her for a minute and give her some extra affection before putting her down on the changing table (I find it’s often the transition out of playing that’s the toughest, so often she needs a second to adjust).
      4) Tell her what’s going to happen (“I’m going to say ‘1, 2, 3’ and then put you on the changing table.”)
      5) Say 1, 2, 3 and put her on the changing table, all while remaining super super calm, even if she fusses.

      Basically, it’s the EXACT same routine every single time (in general she responds really well to routine). The 1, 2, 3 seems to have helped a lot — it gives her extra time to transition and prepare for what’s coming. We use the same approach for the carseat (which she also dislikes) and since we adopted it, it’s reduced her fights by about 80%. She’ll still often do a quick fuss but she gets over it very quickly.

      Good luck!

    • I just read this the other day – would you be open to trying this strategy?

      “My time with him is so limited, I wish it would be happier” – I’m feeling this so hard right now. Our 15 mo has a mild daycare cold + maybe teething + we were away this weekend and he’s adjusting to being home, and this morning was the first morning since last week he wasn’t completely upset the whole time.

    • What do they do at daycare? They do have to change at least his diaper every couple of hours, surely. My son also went through an anti-changing phase, though it was milder. For diapers, I would hand him a toy (‘Here, hold this for mommy!’) or toys in quick succession, and sometimes that helped. I’d just calmly do it (and pin him down if I had to). Hang in there, it does get better!

    • sympathy. says:

      So, I have a 15 month old. She abhored diaper changes- would writhe, kick, scream, the works. Then about 10 days ago, she all of a sudden started recognizing when she’d wet or soiled her diaper. She comes over and gestures to her diaper and says “dup?” (diaper). And then, if I get a diaper (or have her get one), she sits down and waits for me to lay her down and straight up ENJOYS the diaper change (lays still, smiles).

      But if she does NOT ask for a diaper and I go to change it? My god the wrath. I pin her down and give her a toy (the best one is if I let her pull wipes out of the package).

      Similarly, she loves going outside. So if I tell her it’s time for socks and shoes, she brings them to me with the worlds biggest grin. But if we’re upstairs and I need to change her clothes for some reason OTHER than immediately going outside she runs at the speed of sound around my house trying to avoid me. She hides under the crib. She goes limp and refuses to be picked up. She tightens her arms at her side to make it impossible to put a shirt on.

      Godspeed, mama. I feel you. My other children were NOT like this!!

      • sympathy. says:

        FWIW if I ignore her or don’t immediately change her diaper (sometimes she’s BARELY wet), she harasses me incessantly and starts to throw a fit. I’m taking this as a sign that like my other kids, she’ll be ready to potty train early and just having a bit of patience but man, is it ever annoying.

        She also has a “cute” habit of pulling tiny pieces of toilet paper off the roll and pretending to wipe her bottom with them. Adorable until you have to pick up a billion .5″ pieces of TP from every bathroom in the house. So…careful what you wish for :)

    • I wrote this post a little over a year ago. In addition to the advice you’ve already received, one thing that helped with my son was giving him an activity and then praising him for doing that (while changing his diaper). At 14-18 months or so, it was clapping his hands. A little later, singing “Wheels on the Bus” or “Row Row Row Your Boat” helped. Now, we often let him turn around or stomp his feet a few times before he has to be still for a diaper/clothing change.

      16 months might be a little young, but we also sometimes let Kiddo pick out one small toy to hold while he gets a diaper change. Often, he’s already playing with his cars, so it’s an easier transition from play time if he can hang onto one car.

  2. AnonMom says:

    I am officially having a meltdown. Our families live far away and at this point no one can help. Our friends have either grandparent help or the mom stays at home. For some reason, I always compare myself to others and it seems everyone is happy and I am the worst mom in the world for leaving my child with a nanny.

    Where do I find friends who are working moms? I need someone I can relate to. Sure a working mom and a stay home mom are both mothers but it is not the same. I have gotten some subtitle comments from some SHAMs: “DS was always with family”; “I chose family over career”; “I know I am doing the right thing by raising my child” etc..

    Any Chicago corporettemoms on the forum? I would love to meet.

    • You’re not a bad mom. It’s just really hard and our culture does not have enough support systems in place. I am also the ONLY one of my friends who works full-time, has a husband who works full-time, and has kids. It’s really hard. I’m not in Chicago but I feel you. Solidarity and good vibes to you, my friend.

    • Chicago corporettemom says:

      I think there are quite a few of us! Would love to do a meetup at some point/weekend playdate?

      • AnonMom says:

        That would be lovely! How do we get in touch? Do I just post my phone number? :))

        • Chicago corporettemom says:

          email me at my anon account – leone beach park at g mail dot com

          my next two weeks are rough but I’ll free up after nov. 5 and could plan something for us/any other Chicagoans interested here.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I’m not in Chicago but I also wanted to let you know that you are absolutely not a bad mom!! I highly doubt everyone is as happy as they present themselves on social media or whatever, and it’s so awful how we seem to get into these mommy wars instead of trying to support each other. Parenting is hard enough as is.

      Our society (assuming you’re in the U.S.) is still designed for one working spouse and one stay at home spouse and it doesn’t have to be that way!! Lots of other societies are structured differently and the kids turn out perfectly fine. Until things change, just know that you are doing awesome and you’re providing for your child every bit as much as SAHMs (maybe even more, as you’re exposing your kids to a bigger village of love and support).

      Daycare parents are a great support resource. I have also found my coworkers to be great resources for support – they work, obviously, and a lot have older kids which is helpful to see the future.

    • You are paying a professional to professionally watch your children. They get the advantage of the focus, consistent routine, and commitment that the entails. I am totally sure that daycare does a MUCH better job giving my child a stable, predictable, fun, enriching day than I would if I stayed at home. Not that I’m not super important to her; I am, but I just wouldn’t be giving her those things were I home every day.

    • I’m in the NW suburbs. Deep in work hell this month but open to emailing. Post an email address and I’ll send you a note.

      Finding other working moms (or two-parent-working households) was the number one benefit of my daycare. The world is not set up for us, and the mom takes the brunt of it. Those shared glances of defeat during drop off in the morning was like medicine for my soul.

      Also not everyone is happy. Most are barely hanging on. It’s just that most of the two-parent-working-households are too busy and too exhausted to post much about that part.

      • AnonMom says:

        I live in the NW part of Chicago so maybe we are close. Please send a note when you have time (imeearalATyahooCOM) and maybe we can meet/chat sometime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just wanting to let you know that you’re not alone. I’m blessed to be in a law office where it’s about 60% female lawyers and 90% of the women are working moms. I literally do not know any SAHMS, except a couple in my daughter’s first grade class.

      Sometimes people talk up their own choices because they are not confident in them. You’re a great mom. And you are raising your child.

    • Not in Chicago, alas, but I totally, completely feel you! Massive hugs. Sometimes it feels like everyone has grandparent help; in our case, one set of grandparents is across the country and the other set isn’t even in the country. I’ve sort of organically found a network of working-mom friends through weekend baby swim classes and chasing down people with running strollers (ahem) and once, randomly chatting with another mom at the park…

      Also, people will say a lot of stuff – it isn’t really about you, it’s about them and trying to justify their choices. Sometimes it’s the real deal and they genuinely believe that staying home is right for their family. Sometimes they were forced out of the workforce for financial and economic reasons and there’s some cognitive dissonance they need to tackle by making such comments. Hang in there!

      • NotinChicagounfortunately says:

        Not in Chicago either, but I also completely feel you. I work for a 50+ person team and I’m the only female in a front office role. It’s nuts how all the guys I work for have wives that stay home. You are doing AMAZING for your kid(s). You’ll have something for yourself as your kids grow and it makes you such a rockstar for balancing everything that you are. Your kids will appreciate it so much too as they grow.

        Also, I firmly believe most women who quit to stay home are not as happy as they make it seem. I know if I stayed home, my daughter would be watching a lot more TV and NOT eating these perfect meals and I doubt most SAHM are providing that for their kids. You know that the time you do spend with your kids is such quality time when you work, or something you are constantly aware of.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          To further reinforce your second paragraph, when I was a (miserable) SAHM for a few years, my child probably got the same amount of direct, meaningful interaction (playing games, looking him in the eye and listening to his thoughts, etc.) as he does now that I work full-time. Simply because being in a house all day means your house requires A LOT more cleaning, so I was constantly cleaning/grocery shopping/meal prepping/taking care of bills etc. all with poor kiddo in tow. Now that I work full time (and am married to someone else) there’s two adults to take care of those things and they can be done during lunch breaks etc., so even though I work full-time my son gets direct attention a couple of hours a day.

    • Sympathy. says:

      Gross. I was a FT 60+ hour/week working mom until recently. I got laid off and built a consulting practice, where I work about 15-20 hours a week.

      Despite being a SAHM in practice (kids go to daycare and preschool part time, and we have a babysitter when needed, but I’m home with them a LOT), I do not really click with the SAHM crowd. It’s not my jam. I don’t enjoy crafts with the kids, playdates where I have to stay are a huge challenge for me, and I hate volunteering at the schools (but am happy to do it when needed). I don’t do pinterest-y birthday parties. I detest that I am now the default parent, because I need to be and I’m the one home. DH and I used to be 40/60, with him picking up more work because I traveled so much.

      I envy all working moms I know, except for the fact I know how hard it is to make it all work and be away from the kids as much as some are (I’m talking being away for 60+ hours). My brain hurts sitting around with the other moms at dance class listening to the Town Drama. I do not go to MLM parties. I do not go to 2-3 exercise classes per week with the same group of moms.

      • AnonMom says:

        Thank you all for the encouraging words. It feels good to know I am not alone. Big hug to all!

      • ElisaR says:

        man those 2-3 exercise classes per week are really the only reason i (sometimes) want to be SAHM

    • Anonanonanon says:

      You’re not a bad mom! I used to feel the same way, I had my first full-time working mother experience as a single mom (with no family in the area), and the first time my son was in a school that experienced weather closures/delays I was DROWNING. I got the courage to ask the other working mothers in the office what they did with their kids on those occasions, thinking they’d have the magic solution, and had family in town who could help. I felt so alone and like such a failure for not having a support system in place, i definitely cried that night! It’s funny what gets to you!

      FWIW, I’m remarried and having another and we can’t afford a nanny in our HCOL area, so our child will be in a (licensed) in-home daycare. I’m jealous of the moms with nannies! You’re paying a professional who truly enjoys children to give your children one-on-one attention!

      I was a SAHM during my first marriage and honestly it was miserable. A nanny probably would have done a better job than me simply because I was so depressed I was gonig through the motions. All my SAHM friends LOVED it, which made me feel insanely guilty. I only had to see a therapist twice, he basically said “of course the women you’re around feel that way, because they’ve chosen to stay home. Plenty of women choose to work and there’s nothing wrong with that. You just don’t know them, because they’re at work all day”. For some reason that was all I needed to hear!

      I wish I was in Chicago, I’d totally meet up with you!

      • ElisaR says:

        i don’t want to bash nannies because i know there are some really good ones out there – but don’t sell short daycare! there’s something to be said for curriculum, schedules and socialization that happens at day care. so even though you are making the choice due to affordability – i think it’s a choice that has its own benefits!

    • Just want to chime in that you are not alone. In Kiddo’s short 2.5 years, we seem to have been through every possible childcare arrangement. The first year, DH and I both worked like crazy, and we had a nanny. The second year, I was unemployed (so semi-SAHM) for 6 months, although Kiddo went to daycare. Then DH and I were both employed for a while, although I was in a more sane, lower-paying job, with Kiddo in daycare. Now DH is unemployed/picking up some contract work (so semi-SAHD), and Kiddo is still in daycare.

      You know what? Each arrangement had some major benefits, and each has been hard in its own way. When we had a nanny who became like a member of the family. She was amazing with him (yay for paid professional with one-on-one attention) and basically told us what to do. But of course, DH and I both worked all the time and missed Baby and each other and both got pretty burned out.

      When I was unemployed, I learned that being a SAHM is a ton of work, especially if it comes with major lifestyle changes like ours did (I did all the cooking, cleaning, errand running, and childcare outside of daycare). But I got to know my kid as he was developing a personality. I also was able to be home during all the times he was sick (like every week) and experienced an ear infection pretty much every time. (He eventually had tubes placed.)

      Now that I’m working, and DH is unemployed, I probably have the best work-life balance I’ve ever had. I have a normal 9-5:30 job, with rational bosses, and DH takes care of a lot of the childcare and housework. And our daycare is amazing–I’m astounded at the variety of activities they do, and at the patience of the teachers, and how sweet the other kids are. But there are still struggles. Kiddo is majorly favoring DH and rejects my company very adamantly, which makes me feel like I’m the world’s worst mom. (Rationally, I know it’s normal, and I’m told he asks for me when I’m gone, so there’s that.) Some nights, I also find it challenging to come home at 5:30 and still be “on” until Kiddo goes to bed–it’s like I have to tap into another reservoir of emotional energy and be there for him (and my husband) when all I want to do is crash on the couch after working all day.

      I’m not sure anyone gets through without sometimes feeling like they’re drowning. But you’re a good mom.

  3. ifiknew says:

    Any thoughts on washing pump parts once a week if stored in the fridge constantly? It sounds kind of gross, but I don’t think there’s any real risk of contamination, because I have a mini fridge in my office and the parts would stay in there constantly and I’d just rinse it out at the end of the day, rather than taking everything apart, washing in hot water with soap daily etc. I have the spectra so I know there are fewer pieces than for the Medela, but it would still be a nice time save.

    Would love to get anyone’s thoughts. Thanks so much!

    • Butter says:

      I did this and it was amaaaazing. I would wipe them down with a paper towel immediately after using, throw them in a ziplock, and throw them in the fridge. Brought them in on Monday, and home on Friday to be washed. Cut down on so much stress and panic about packing everything in the morning.

    • Newbie Momma says:

      Probably would be fine, but I like having a new set of parts every day. I just bought five sets –store in the fridge throughout the day, and then put in the dishwasher at end of day. If I’m feeling very rushed and/or lazy I’ll leave the parts in my home fridge and won’t put them in dishwasher until the weekend, but I don’t reuse them. I also have 15 nipples (I use Kinde bottles) for day care and a bunch of reusable baby food jars so I don’t have to wash anything until I run the very full dishwasher over the weekend.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t go a full week but I did go three days. MTW then TF so I only needed two sets. Kept in the fridge in a Ziploc in between.

  4. BK anon says:

    Hi all, late in my second trimester here and really starting to feel achy feet by the end of the work day. I’m thinking insoles may be the way to go, to avoid spending a lot on new shoes. Any recs? Or is this just a matter of going to the drug store and picking up any pair? TIA!

    • avocado says:

      I have high arches and swear by Superfeet; they have also been effective for my daughter’s flat feet. There are different styles for different types of shoes and depending on whether you are going to remove the original insoles or leave them in.

      In your shoes, so to speak, I would also feel no shame in wearing athletic shoes in the office or Danskos in court, but YMMV.

      • bluefield says:

        Second Superfeet – I have flat feet and I use the blue. It’s worth going to an actual store and trying on a bunch of sizes to see which ones feel best – you can cut them to fit.

        You can also try getting shoes with arch support – I like Vionic (some cute-ish styles) or Trask (ugly-cute)

    • ElisaR says:

      Also a suggestion – I brought in a little footstool that is now under my desk. I find elevating my feet (even just on the little stool which isn’t more than 18 inches i’m guessing) while sitting at my desk makes my feet feel good longer throughout the day…..and nobody is any wiser since they can’t see it under my desk….

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^this. I started complaining that my feet/legs are swelling this time around (also I’m 8 years older than last time which probably doesn’t help) and the doc recommended getting a foot stool. It’s made a huge difference with the amount of swelling/aching I feel at the end of the day.

    • BK anon says:

      Thanks, everyone!

  5. AnonMom says:

    Any Chicago moms on the forum who would like to meet? Where do I meet and make friends with working moms? All of our friends have either grandparent help or the mom stays at home. I got some subtile comments all leading to the fact that I am a bad mom who cares more about her career than her child. I feel that I am losing my mind.

  6. So, I might be pregnant again. DH and I decided I wouldn’t go back on birth control after my period came back with our second, because we are open to a third and if we do it, wanted to get it over with.

    My period has been back for 7 months, and has been super sporadic (30-45 days between cycles, then a super light flow or a crazy heavy one lasting for weeks). Last time I got my period was 9/1–i THINK. I bled for like 2 days a couple weeks ago and assumed at the time it was my period starting–then it just stopped. I’m tired all the time, and feel vaguely nauseous.

    Time for a pregnancy test, I guess. I hate, hate, hate being pregnant. I don’t want to *be* pregnant, so I’m dreading a positive in that sense, but I do actually want a 3rd kid, so there’s that. Rip off the band-aid and what not.

    • Anonymous says:

      AHhhhhhh!!! I’m excited for you. My husband and I are trying for a third, even though we aren’t talking about the fact that we are trying — I think emotionally, my husband wants a 3rd kid but doesn’t want to admit he wants one? Anyway, that is irrelevant to your post, except that i also hate being pregnant, but my youngest is a lot older than yours. I think (hope?) (am trying to tell myself) that this time will be different b/c it is surely our last time. My husband is all about the big V, so once it takes, we’ll be shutting it down for good. I hope it is the same for you — a lot of lasts there, which may make the hard parts easier, and I’m already far enough away from being pregnant that I miss it.

      • If I am pregnant, mine will be 4 3/4 and 23 months when this potential child would be born. Slightly closer than I thought, but all 2 years apart in school. I was thinking more like a fall/winter 2018 child if I had my choice so there would be 2.5 years between them all, but hey, we said we were open to the option…

    • PregLawyer says:

      Go get a test now and let us know the results!

    • OCAssociate says:

      The bleeding could have been implantation bleeding – you should take a test! And report back immediately. :)

    • Artemis says:

      Hey internet stranger, can’t wait to find out your news! I too wanted a third kid and I too hated being pregnant and was NOT looking forward to it. Had to give myself a LOT of pep talks to gear up for it.

      Now I have a third kid. She rocks, and was totally worth it. :) My family is done. My husband got snipped and I finally feel “free” of the pregnancy/nursing corridor. It’s glorious. You can do it!

    • Walnut says:

      I’m only two periods past giving birth to my second. I’m already contemplating kid #3 because I haaaaaate my period, the cramps, pms, etc. Somehow joining the 3 under 3 crowd seems like the better option. HA.

    • Do it and if it is positive it will give hope to all of us trying. I will no longer believe my two day periods and have to test monthly (as if I don’t already).

  7. Delta Dawn says:

    Any suggestions for a Halloween costume for an almost-two year old (23 months)? I got him an adorable pumpkin outfit thing, but it’s one of those big stuffed ones, and he refuses to wear it (“No pumpkin, Mama”). Last year he was a duck, but he haaaated every second– it was another one of those stuffed animal looking ones where you zip them in and the hood is the animal head. He cried the entire five minutes he wore it, but I must say the pictures are hilarious. Anyway, I should have learned that he won’t wear a full-on costume– so I think I should do something that feels, to him, like regular clothes. I don’t think he’ll really wear a hat. Any ideas?

    • 2 Cents says:

      My friend dressed her son as Paul Bunyan — checkered shirt, jeans, boots (all he already owned), plus a fake ax (plush?) she stuck in a backpack he liked to wear. He looked really cute, and it was like a regular outfit for him, so no fussing.

    • mascot says:

      Have you looked at dress-up clothes? Pretty sure my kid was a pirate at that age. Also, firefighter costumes have come a long way and have built in reflective stripes that make them perfect for halloween- that’s what he was for the next couple of years. All of those costumes have gotten extensive use in the dress-up box.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Costume PJs? Carters has some cute ones. Bonus that they can be used again.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My kid is going to be a doctor – precisely because all she needs to do is wear a doctor coat and nothing has to go over her head. We’ve been talking it up for weeks now. Maybe something similar? Doctor, firefighter, construction worker (a little vest)?

    • Strategy mom says:

      Construction worker? Helmet is optional.

    • My kiddo (2.5) also won’t do real costumes, so I try to find things that are more like regular clothes.

      Last year, I dressed my 1.5-year-old up as a race car driver. I bought him a rain coat with a race-car driver theme from Carter’s (it was red and had a checkered stripe across it), and I put some checkered tape down a pair of blue sweat pants. He has a Lightning McQueen push car that my mom bought from her neighborhood list serve, but of course, last Halloween was the one night of the year he wasn’t interested in his car.

      This year, I’m dressing him up as the Man in the Yellow Hat. I bought yellow pants and a yellow button down, and I’m going to make a hat and tie (god willing, I am not a crafty person). He has a stuffed Curious George too.

      You could try any classic “people” costumes–fireman, pirate, doctor, etc.

      My BIL and SIL are dressing their family up as the Tiger Family — toddler in a red sweater, baby in pink sweater, Dad in blue, mom in pink floral shirt, everyone with some tiger ears.

    • We made my son a mouse costume out of a warm hoodie (attach ears to hood and tummy to front made from felt) that he wears with plain matching sweat pants and a tail that is attached to a belt (also homemade). He hates costumes/dress-up and has worn this 3 years in a row. You could make a lot of animals in a similar way.

  8. To BK Anon: I forget the name of the brand, but my CVS has a machine that you step onto to see what kind of foot you have then recommends what type of insole you should get. Super easy and worked better for me than just standing in the aisle, looking at all the different types of insoles, and getting one that I thought might fit the shape of my arch. Not as good, of course, as getting custom insoles made by a podiatrist

  9. Strategy mom says:

    Baby #2 is coming next week or the week after – I really want to video our son meeting baby 2 for the first time. Debating getting a $200-300 camcorder – should I do it or is an iphone good for a longer video? I have only taken 1 minute videos on my phone in the past. Was thinking camcorder would be good for Christmas too.

    Thoughts? If you are pro camcorder, I’d love to know if you have a suggestion for one in particular.


    • Anonymous says:

      We bought a really, really expensive camera for our second, and we’ve never used it. We should have been honest with ourselves (I hate having crap hanging off my shoulders when I’m carrying a kid), and we just aren’t going to pull it out. the iPhone is always right there, and has an auto-back up. So three years later, you will be able to look back at pics, even if you never ever ever do anything with them.

      • Strategy mom says:

        This is so me….I will never ever ever do anything with all of our photos

      • +1. We did the same, and also never used it. The camera/video qualities are pretty good on our Androids, and they’re auto-backed-up, so the special camera just seems like overkill. We’re just trying to document their lives, not produce arthouse quality prints, so the phone seems just fine.

    • We have an expensive digital camera with a video function (but not a dedicated camcorder). We take photos with the nice camera pretty often, but we always use our phones for video. We may think, “Oh, we’re going on this nice outing,” and grab the camera, but 99% of the stuff we video is at home, when we grab our phones and start videoing before we miss whatever silly and hilarious thing Kiddo is doing.

      Also, the new iphone cameras are really nice. My dad had an iPhone 8 when i saw him a couple weeks ago, and I was really impressed with his photos. If you’re up for spending $200-300, maybe buy a new iphone if you haven’t already? (Of course, that would be the price if you’re eligible for an upgrade, not the actual price.)

      • Upgrade says:

        Can you explain that a little more? I’m eligible for an upgrade but was told the iPhone 8 will still cost $800– the upgrade only gives me the option to put it on a monthly payment added to my bill, rather than buying the phone outright (which I’d rather do anyway). The upgrade doesn’t lower the cost of the phone at all. Can you tell me how yours does?

        • Anonanonanon says:

          ^different phone companies. Verizon switched from discounting phones during upgrades (which is how they used to do it) to making you essentially finance the entire retail cost of a phone. It stinks.

    • my 2 cents — just enjoy the moment. take some photos or short iphone videos after the kids have a little time together. we got great pics of DS1 with a huge smile on his face holding DS2 even though it wasn’t the first time he saw him (he saw DS2 in the recovery room with me after surgery, though i’m pretty sure he wasn’t meant to be back there!) all that to say — the excitement isn’t so fleeting that immediate documentation is vital. kid 1 will care more about having you share the moment than about looking at a video of it later, and you or another family member will miss out if you are behind the camera.

  10. Legally Brunette says:

    My 2.5 year old often complaints that his legs are hurting. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night sobbing because of the pain. Anyone experience this? Are growing pains a thing??

    • Anonymous says:

      Growing pains are absolutely a thing. Try giving him some advil – should be done in a couple days, but if it lasts longer, contact your pediatrician. Particularly in legs, the bones, muscles, and tendons all need to grow at the same time and can cause significant pain if (when) there’s an imbalance.

    • Sympathy. says:

      Yup. My 4 y/o has had this since around 2.5. It’s her feet, not her legs, but she screams in agony. It never, ever happens during the day–just at oh, 2-4am.

      Usually what helps her is rubbing the foot, putting on a sock (i think this is just a routine that is comforting), and giving tylenol. We tell her her feet are growing and then in the morning she measures them :).

      It comes and goes but it’s real. And my sister had the same thing when she was a kid and vividly remembers it. I apparently had it once in a while but not enough I remember.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      Thanks for the responses, this makes me feel so much better! So Advil it is.

  11. nosebleeds says:

    Has anyone dealt with frequent nosebleeds in your kids, and have you been able to find a permanent solution? My son has always had nosebleeds but now that fall has finally arrived in DC (and it’s a cooler and dryer), he has gotten 4 nosebleeds in 3 days. It seems very excessive. Most have been in the middle of the night and the amount of blood has been alarming — blood gushing out, not a trickle.

    Has anyone gone to an ENT to get the hole in the nose cauterized? We already do the humidifier and vaseline near the nostrils at night. Is it a good idea to see an ENT at this point?

    • Be careful jumping to cauterization. My spouse had it done as a child and it (1) didn’t stop the nosebleeds; and (2) permanently destroyed a large chunk of her ability to both smell and taste. Life destroying? No. Kind of sad to realize that she can’t enjoy food the way most people do? Yeah.

    • My youngest gets them — as did my brother & I, and my dad. At 5, she is really good about handling them now. We sent in lots of boxes of Kleenex to school this year! I did call the pediatrician when we were getting several/week, including one where I got a call from day care becasue they couldn’t get it stopped. She asked about unusual bruising (none) and bleeding at the gums (none.) Since both of those were negative, she gave this advice: humidifier in the room at night, saline spray up the nose often, and Vaseline on a q-tip up the nose. This is especially true for you because there was probably one spot that was irritated & now keeps scabbing over & breaking open again.

      I grew out of them in high school, for what it’s worth. Also, Biz or Oxy Clean really helps with the blood stains.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Are you putting the vaseline inside his nostrils? When I was on accutane as a teen I got a lot of nosebleeds because the inside of my nose became so dry. I found that aquaphor (not vaseline) inside my nose worked really well to keep the area hydrated and reduce nosebleeds.

      • nosebleeds says:

        Thanks — that’s probably the issue, I’m putting it right under the nostril and maybe slightly inside but not much. I will try Aquaphor too!

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Oh yeah, you have to completely coat the inside of the nostril. I bet that will help a lot.

    • what helped most for us was Ayr saline gel in the nose (use a qtip).

  12. Hi ladies, sorry for this weird threadjack that’s not even about kids, and on an embarrassing topic at that – but if your body is newly and poorly digesting something to which it’s not accustomed, do you keep going with it to get used to it, or stop? I’m trying to be healthier, so have been eating beans for lunch every day this week. But – I’ve been horribly bloated and gassy, to the point of it being painful. Do I continue, so that my body gets to it? Or just quit so I’m not in pain?!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I take Gas-X in the moment. I would reduce your bean intake for the time being (cut it out entirely to get back to neutral), and then slowly add beans back into your diet. There are ways you can prepare dried beans to reduce some of the gas-causing effects (pre-soaking them and discarding the water, for instance). You could also try other legumes, like lentils, chickpeas, or black beans. They have less of an effect on me.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you aren’t used to eating a bunch of fiber, suddenly adding it can be hard on your system. I’d dial it back and work on a slow increase. Maybe try some Beano or digestive enzymes supplements as well to help with the transition. I also swear by daily probiotics, independent of focusing on fiber.

    • Thank you so much, both! Great advice. Also, Anonymous – what probiotics would you recommend?

      • Anonymous says:

        I like the CVS version of the RepHresh Pro-B. Its marketed as being beneficial to women’s health. It isn’t as rough on my stomach as some of the others I have tried.

    • ElisaR says:

      I would just ease into a major change like that – going to beans everyday could really throw your system. I would take gas-x and then maybe do an every other day approach going forward (if it’s not too too bad) – or even mix in some other types of food.

    • Thisperson1 says:

      Also, if you’re using canned beans, be sure to rinse them really well. I eat a lot of fiber but definitely have bloating and gas if I forget to rinse.

  13. Anonymous says:

    First trimester here and meat is not appealing. What are your favourite vegetarian recipes? I have the oh she glows cookbook and have a few favourites in there, but looking for others!

    • newly pregnant says:

      I’m in the same boat. Except nothing is really appealing. I’m not puking and I do get hungry, but then the thought of actually eating most foods makes me feel ill. I usually LOVE cooking and the thought of preparing food (touching it, cutting it up, etc.) makes me queasy. I bought avocado to try to make avocado toast, but it looks like I’m going to end up throwing it away. I can eat food if it is put in front of me, but cannot prep it. Hopefully I will still have healthy children if i only subsist on saltines.

      That being said, this is a recipe I love and made a few weeks ago for some guests before I had this aversion: . I kind of cheat and buy pre cut onions and celery and if I do not feel like cutting sweet potatoes, I will sub butternut squash because that is easy to find pre cut. You can always make some eggs on the side for protein.

      This recipe is also pretty easy and freezes well:

      There are lots of good recipes on this site (the blogger just had a baby as well!), but my husband and I both really liked this one. Trader Joes now sells frozen spiralized carrots, which is what I used

      • Turtle says:

        This is me, too. I’m 4 days away from clearing the first trimester (hallelujah!) and only get nauseous when I don’t eat but the idea of eating makes me feel sick. Glad to know I’m not alone on this…. I feel like such a crazy person 99% of the time.

        • newly pregnant says:

          i’m glad to know i’m not alone either! Today at lunch I finally ate some realish food (mostly carb based, but a few veggies and some chicken) and felt so ill after, but I was queasy and hungry before. It feels like a lose-lose situation. i’m still pretty early (only 6.5 weeks), so I still have a ways to go. Hoping for you that your nausea clears up once you hit the 2nd trimester!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      It’s soup weather for me. I love Tyler Florence’s Roasted Tomato Soup (food network). I personally like to use a mix of chicken and beef stock for the base, but I think it would also be good with vegetable broth if you can’t stomach the idea of even using a meat broth.

      Also, this soup is on my menu for next week:

    • Edna Mazur says:

      I recently stumbled across the skinnytaste Quinoa Fiesta Enchilada Bake. Loved it and it was GREAT leftover as well.

    • Yes soup!!! A good minestrone soup, in a giant pot, that you will eat for days. A good vegetarian chili, with whatever ingredients you love. A cheese-and-fruit platter. A good quinoa with butternut squash dish – this is the recipe we use.

    • Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is my favorite cookbook. I’m not a vegetarian, but at some point decided that I’d eat a healthier diet if I focused on cooking vegetables properly as much as I focused on cooking proteins. I have the old edition, but the new one is probably even better. There’s a quinoa recipe with cumin-lime vinaigrette that’s amazing. There’s also a recipe for goat cheese enchiladas with mole sauce that I love.

      Also, not what you asked, but I practically lived off dosas from my local Indian restaurant when I was pregnant and couldn’t even think about meat.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        I’m Indian and love dosas normally, but while pregnant all I wanted was a cheese sandwich and potato chips. :)

    • I ate a lot of noodles in peanut sauce while pregnant. Preferably cold.

    • Anon. says:

      If you’re still there, this is late in the day but this old Smitten Kitchen recipe absolutely got me through many may tired evenings. Still does – I can’t believe this site entry is 9 years old. So easy. So good.

    • We got Blue Apron this week and all the recipes were veggie. The black bean and kale enchiladas were delicious – you can google or improvise a recipe, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. Trade Joe’s has a good enchilada sauce if you’re feeling like a shortcut.

      Other veggie go-tos for us:
      – whole wheat spaghetti and a simple tomato sauce with fresh herbs (I just saute garlic with olive oil and add a can of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 20 min.). When I feel more ambitious I turn the tomato sauce into a putanesca by adding olives, capers, lots of parsley and 2-3 anchovies.
      – roasted veggie with lentils or quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds and some kind of cheese (goat or parm) optional
      – polenta and whatever. Currently I like taking an eggplant, baking it in the oven in large chunks, sautéing with a can of tomatoes and baking on top of the polenta in the oven with a bit of cheese. You can omit the baking and the cheese if pressed for time. The eggplant can also be made ahead of time so you’ve got a quick veggie supper
      – Smitten Kitchen has a delicious and addictive Sweet Potato/Brocolli Miso Bowl recipe

  14. Back to work blues says:

    I am returning to work from maternity leave next month and feel very anxious about it. I will be going back full-time to a busy, unpredictable schedule. Whenever I think about returning or see emails pop up on my phone I get this surge of anxiety. Any tips for staying present so I can enjoy next few weeks?

    • bluefield says:

      Turn off the email notification on your phone.

      • PregLawyer says:

        Yep, I did this about 9 months ago. Life is so much better now.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        +1 to this. Can you actually cut off the e-mails to your phone and set a time each day you will check and respond to e-mails from your computer for the next month? This is good practice for setting boundaries once you return to work.

        Also, my job was busy and unpredictable pre-child. You can create boundaries, even if it feels impossible.
        You will figure it out. I now set limits like “I will not work or check e-mails between 5-8 on the weeknights I am doing kiddo evening routine” and “I will check work e-mails only at the following times on weekends: 8 am, noon, 8 pm” and “I will do everything in my power to avoid weekend phone calls, and if I cannot avoid them, I will take them only between 10-11:30 in the morning (playground hours) or after kiddo goes to bed.”

      • bluefield says:

        I posted too quickly – I want to add that if you feel like you must check your email every day, set aside 1 hour once or twice a day specifically for email at specific times (say, 11am and 6pm). Check your email during that time, reply to what you can, and then set it aside. You’re on leave – giving up 1-2 hrs a day for email is more than sufficient.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Also, it’s OK to be anxious about going back to work! Totally normal. Just go one day (or one minute) at a time, realize that you’ll make mistakes, and that the work world is more forgiving than you probably know (or it’s not and you’ll find a new gig because life is too short).

      I also tried to find little things about my job that were better than being home with a newborn – eating a hot lunch with silverware, talking to other adults about interesting topics, going to the bathroom alone, a consistent daily routine, listening to a podcast while I pumped, a special hand lotion I kept only at the office, etc.

      • ifiknew says:

        I was you a month ago. I’ve been back for exactly a month. I felt the SAME way when people would copy me on emails saying I would be back soon, BUT I have shocked myself by how much I have enjoyed being back at work. It felt so so so much more overwhelming when I was at home, than when I was just in the groove working. It has felt so much more manageable than I could ever anticipated a month ago, even with my child not sleeping and waking up every 2 hours etc.

        +1 to all of the above on the interactions with co-workers etc. I didn’t realize how much I missed it and using my brain etc.

  15. NewMomAnon says:

    OMG, it’s my busy season and I already feel like I’m holding on by my fingernails. January is soon, right?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Just around the corner! (I’m due at the end of february so I’m not necessarily viewing that as a positive thing work-wise!)
      My busy season concludes at the end of October, almost there! Of course once that’s over it’s time to address all of the things I added to my calendar/put off for “after the busy season”. Sigh.

  16. for bk anon says:

    Your feet are hurting because of the swelling. Try some compression socks! I promise your feet will feel a million times better!

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