Everyone Thursday: Convertible Backpack

Sole Society 'Reed' Convertible BackpackI mentioned my favorite backpack for babywearing yesterday, and linked to this gorgeous but slightly splurgey backpack on Corporette a week or two ago, so I thought I’d mention this much more affordable (but also convertible) backpack today, here.  Whether you’re babywearing, prefer to use a backpack with kids so your hands are free, or are trying to get more exercise in by commuting to work by foot or bike — there are a tons of reasons why backpacks are great for moms, and we’re lucky that it’s a trend right now there are a zillion styles to choose from.  I’m still drooling over the one from Bendel’s, but a commenter mentioned this one as a similar look, and for $55 I think it’s great.  It’s available at Nordstrom in chambray and emerald ($27, final sale) at Sole SocietySole Society ‘Reed’ Convertible Backpack



  1. I’m sure these are useful, but I can’t get past my own (totally personal and unreasonable) hang-up that these remind me of the mini-backpacks that were all the rage in the 90s and maybe early 2000s. Too many negative memories.

    • Anonymous says:


      Also bucket bags.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Same here. Backpack/purse hybrids just aren’t my thing, I don’t think I will ever like them, probably due to the mini-backpack thing.

      If I’m going to carry a backpack, it’s going to look like a straight up backpack, similar to what my son carries to school every day, and would be one that I could pass of to my husband if we were alternating carrying a kid or pushing a stroller or whatever.

      Although the one Kat mentioned yesterday (the Mosey) wasn’t too bad – I preferred that one to this one.

      But hey, I’ve definitely reached the “you wear what you want and I’ll wear what I want, and as long as I can’t see any inappropriate bits of your body I don’t really care” stage in my life.

  2. NewMomAnon says:

    Daycare advice needed! A few weeks ago, I noticed that one of the floater teachers was watching YouTube videos on an iPad with the toddlers in my daughter’s classroom. I mentioned it to the head of the center, and she said that it was not acceptable and that there was no screen time allowed in toddler classes. She said she would talk with the teacher.

    Last night, I picked up my daughter and the same teacher was sitting on the floor with a video going on the iPad again. To be fair, it was a video of a book that the kids love, not just random YouTube videos. But I would much rather that she actually read the book to the kids.

    I’m also struggling because I just don’t trust this teacher very much and I can’t put my finger on why. She isn’t a native English speaker, and I wonder if I’m just struggling to connect with her? I haven’t felt like that with any of the other teachers at this center.

    • I’d mention it to the center director again. Even if it was a book, if the rule is ‘no screens,’ then there should be no screens, no matter what’s on them.

      I’m reading your comment to mean that you have concerns about some unintended bias influencing your view of her since she isn’t a native English speaker – and this is worth considering – but on the other hand, rules are rules. If she isn’t following a rule even after she’s been disciplined about it, what other rules she may be ignoring (hand washing after diaper changes, etc.)? While you don’t want to make this a bigger deal than it is, you also don’t want to ignore your gut about these kinds of things.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Thanks, I am concerned that I’m biased, and I am concerned that the reason she lets the iPad “read” to the kids is because she isn’t confident in her reading skills. I hate to knock somebody for that. I will let the center director know again.

        • If part of her job is reading to the kids and she is struggling with that, then it’s okay to “knock” her for that. People need to be able to do their jobs. What’s not fair is being upset that someone’s English isn’t great when they’re in a job that doesn’t require good English skills.

  3. Weaning says:

    I’m planning to call the pediatrician about this, but has anyone weaned their child to whole milk before 1 year? I have a work conference the week before my child’s first birthday. I’d like to be done pumping by then – or at least only pumping at night. My question is whether anyone has experienced supplementing pumped milk with whole milk around 11 months, as I’d prefer not to rely as heavily on formula during the transition. Also, any transition tips? Do you just start dropping bottles, and adding whole milk? My child does great with solids, but still drinks between 25 and 30 ounces a day (he’ll be 11 months next week).

    • We started doing half and half bottles around 11 and a half months (half whole milk, half formula). Then straight to milk on his first birthday. It wasn’t a big deal, and the pediatrician did approve the whole milk (because daycare required approval before 1 year). The only problem we ran into was that my son refused to drink whole milk out of sippy cups. So if anyone has a solution to that problem I’d love to hear it!

    • My supply began to wane around 11 months and I did not feel like introducing formula just to switch to milk a few weeks later, so supplemented with whole milk and it was not a problem at all.

      • My supply began to wane around 11 months and I did not feel like introducing formula just to switch to milk a few weeks later, so supplemented with whole milk and it was not a problem at all.

        This was a couple years ago so the details are fuzzy, but I think I just mixed breastmilk and whole milk together in varying concentrations over the course of a week or two. I mixed them cold, and it was never a problem. KellyMom (which I do take with a tablespoon of salt) accepts the approach: “It is sometimes helpful to mix increasing amounts of cow’s milk with your expressed milk to help baby get used to the taste. Many dietitians see nothing wrong with adding some flavor (such as strawberry or chocolate) to cow’s milk.”

      • Philanthropy Girl says:

        This is me. My supply has been terrible since about 9-10 months, and LO has been self-weaning since around 11 months (he just turned one year). We started supplementing with goat’s milk first, since it is supposed to be easier to digest, and now that he’s hit one year we’re starting whole milk instead.

        I still pump twice a day, which is combined into one bottle at lunch time, along with solid foods. Milk is given by bottle (we’re still working on sippy cup use) at morning and afternoon snack. LO has dropped his dinner time nursing, so he gets a cup with a little bit of milk along with supper. He’s handled the transition like a pro, although he wants his bottle warm (he will drink cold milk out of a cup, but not out of a bottle).

        Good luck!

    • Katarina says:

      I waited until 12 months, but went more or less cold turkey from warm breast milk in a bottle to cold cow’s milk in a straw cup. There was a temporary decrease in milk consumption, but it normalized after a week or so. It was still slightly lower, but he was eating more real food.

  4. anne-on says:

    Question for those who have traveled with older toddlers. My son is 3.5 and we’re going down to Disney in FL in a month. I’m leaning towards doing the cares harness for the plane itself and gate checking our car seat (I’ve heard too many horror stories of car rental places not having car seats even if you reserve them). We’re also going to gate check our umbrella stroller. Am I crazy for not putting my older toddler in his car seat in the plane? I think he’s going to be too wriggly and it’ll just be a total PITA. Any advice welcome!

    • We just flew cross-country with our 2 year old and didn’t bring his car seat on board. (We also checked it, for the reasons you mention). It was great! He stayed in his seat (mostly) and I think he enjoyed the freedom to look out the window, play with toys on the tray table, and stretch out a bit. I think he would have been fine in his car seat, but I think he had a better time without being buckled in.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      We just finished a trip with my 1 year old to and from Eastern Europe and did not bring the carseat. She LOVED being in the actual seat, and I really think it made her behave better not being so confined. That being said, she DESPISES her car seat, so that may impact our decision and her behaviour. I wouldn’t hesitate to travel that way again, though.

    • We have flown several times (including to Disney!) with our young children. We have never used the car seat on the plane. We stressed the importance of staying seated with the seatbelt fastened when the light was on, but allowed our kids to move around when the light was off. Planes are so cramped now, I’m pretty sure that in the car seat there would have been no way to avoid kicking the seat in front of us!

  5. I’ve never tried the harness and I always do the car seat because my kid is used to be strapped down in his car seat for long periods of time, sometimes really long (road trips), and I think he’s more likely to accept it in his car seat than in some new, less restrictive contraption.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We are probably going to start TTC in about a year from now, so I realize this question may seem a little premature to some of you. It’s about moving with kids.

    Right now we live in a city that we moved to so that I could attend school, and it’s a city we like. No family here, or nearby. I’d call our current city a 7/10 on our “if we could live anywhere” scale. However, there are many other US cities that would be 8, 9, or 10s for us. I’ve always imagined myself moving around quite a bit into my mid-30s (we’re late 20s), and while DH isn’t as gung-ho about that as I am, he could get on board. There are several cities that I would still like to live in, at some point. The thought of staying in one city (and even moreso our current city) for 20+ years just isn’t that appealing to me.

    However, I remember the kids that moved to my town from another city in elementary or middle school, and I remember feeling bad for them, assuming they felt like an “other”.

    Some complicating factors: I’m mostly likely going to be getting the next level of education in my field in 2-3 years from now, and there isn’t currently a program in our state (much less city) that has the specialty degree I am leaning toward. So, we might end up moving anyways, potentially to a temporary city for school (not one we would want to live in permanently). By the time of that program, we would hopefully have already had the kid. We also would like to buy a house in the next few years (would like to buy one while kid is still young), but of course wouldn’t want to buy one we would be in less than 5ish years.

    So, I guess what I’m asking is– how much of a big deal is it to move your kids? At what age does it really start affecting them (missing friends, possibly having education transfer issues)? Does anyone else have this wanderlust I can’t seem to shake?

    • Can’t comment from experience yet, since DS is only 10 months and no moves yet. But my job usually requires me to move every two years. From seeing others in my field, it seems to be a piece of cake to move with a baby; a bit harder but still doable with a toddler (with daycare friends) and get increasingly difficult as they move through school. I think it’s worth trying to stay in one place during high school, but pretty ok before that. Also, other people say their kids have an easier time in schools with higher turnover, so they aren’t the only “new kid,” if that’s something that’s possible to scope out ahead of time. But – it also depends on the kid, and how outgoing they are.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I see two parts to your question – how easy is it to move with toddlers logistically, and how easy is it on older kids to move them mentally/emotionally. From the toddler standpoint, it can be challenging physically to move with a toddler because of packing, listing houses, house hunting, etc. But toddlers are malleable and as long as they have their parents and their toys, I think they adjust. Changes caregivers can be a headache (nanny hunting, finding a spot in a daycare), but it’s by no means unusual, even with people who do not move. With older children, I cannot really comment from the parent-perspective since I have young ones, but I moved states in middle school and for me it was very hard. I went to school with the same kinds from preschool through middle school and moving to a bigger city with a less vibrant public school system was challenging. I probably should have moved ahead a grade academically when we moved, but I was definitely not ready socially to have done so, so I never quite fit in. Middle school is just hard though, and I know I will do everything in my power not to move my children during those years.

    • mascot says:

      We moved cities with a our child at 20 months and then lived in 3 different places (rentals before we bought) over the next 12-14 months. Aside from the logistics pain of packing/moving with children and pets underfoot, it was fine. There were a couple of sleep disruptions, but those were short-lived. Now that we are in elementary school, it would be harder to uproot from school friends and the neighborhood.

    • Anonymous says:

      We moved with a 5 year old, a 2 year old, and a baby on the way. While moving is easier with fewer people and less stuff, it was not so inconvenient that I’d plan my life around it. No regrets. The kids did fine, and my husband and I retained our sanity.

      My husband’s family moved several times during his childhood (similar to military family), and based on his experiences and his older sibling’s experiences, he was insistent on being settled by the time our oldest was in middle school – ideally by kindergarten. Our oldest had to switch schools after her first year, but they did fine.

    • We moved when I was 4, 7, and 11. It was never really a big deal. Honestly the idea of going to school with the same kids K-12 sounds totally foreign to me. While I can see the benefits, the trade-off is that being the new kid now and then will make your kid more resilient, more empathetic to outsiders, improve his/her ability to make friends and be outgoing, and realize that change isn’t a bad thing in itself.

    • I moved 15 times before I was 12, and I turned out fine – not a pack rat, open to new experiences, adaptable. So there’s that.

      On the other hand, I just did a cross-town move with a toddler, and it was an enormous PIA, even with help from in-laws, etc. When both parents work, there just isn’t much time left over for finding a new home, selling the old one, meeting realtors and repair people, talking to the bank, packing / labeling everything, coordinating the movers, and entertaining baby during move as well as while everything gets unpacked. It may be easier as kids get older and can help with some parts of this.

    • Meg Murry says:

      One thing that no one else addressed is that having kids is hard, and having a good support network is key to making it all work. If you move every few years, that also means finding a new support network, whether that is friends, family members, or paid help like nannies/babysitters/mothers helpers. Not to mention the other pains of moving that multiply, like buying and selling houses, or finding places to rent, packing up stuff, finding new jobs, finding new dentists/doctors/hairdressers, etc.

      I am in no way saying that your idea of moving every few years is a bad one – its just the opposite of what I prefer. We moved to the area where our families live, and the level of support we get from that (having a Grandma available to do daycare pickup when we are running late, being able to borrow a car from my brother-in-law when mine is in the shop, etc) is a major reason we choose to live where we do.

      That said, I don’t think you are going to screw up your kids permanently if you move them around once they are older. I do, however, think you need to make sure you and your husband are on the same page about this so that one of you doesn’t wind up resenting the other for moving or for making the other stay put. And remembering that you can plan all you want, but life sometimes has a way of throwing wrenches in your plans (what if you can’t find a job in one of those dream cities? or what if your husband can’t? Or what if you decide partway through your degree that you hate the field? or a million other what-ifs?) that you just have to roll with.

      There are also people out there who homeschool their kids while they travel around the country (there are a lot of blogs about this) and the kids seem fine and to enjoy the adventure. So to each his/her own, I don’t think you will scar your children for life, as long as you aren’t evil about it (oh look, junior is finally making some friends, guess we better move again as part of my evil plan to ruin his life, hahaha – somehow I don’t think that actually happens with normal, non-abusive parents).

      • No, but my grandparents moved just before my mom’s senior year of high school. Don’t do that. Even if it’s a fantastic job.

    • Moving with kids says:

      Thank you all for your replies, this was very helpful and reassuring. It’s good to know that we can move around until they’re at least in elementary school with no (social) issues. Those are what I was most concerned about, less so the logistics of moving.

      Good points about finding schools with high turnover rates, and about having a support network. Also, it’s really good to hear about all of the benefits that can come out of moving around as a kid.