Family Friday: Kimono Bodysuits

Kimono bodysuits were some of my favorites for those early wobbly-baby-head months — I just felt like it was SO much easier to get my boys into them without having to pull a shirt over their head. (Of course, you can also go the way I went and just keep your kiddo in footed pajamas or a swaddle+diaper for that time too). With my first kiddo it seemed very hard to find kimono body suits and I wound up paying a TON for them when I did find it — like upwards of $20 for a single bodysuit. So I was thrilled (well, for those of you with small babies or baby showers to attend, at least) to see that Uniqlo had a TWO-PACK of kimono bodysuits for $9.99.  Say what? Nice. BABY CREW NECK LONG-SLEEVE BODYSUIT

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  1. Gift ideas for an upcoming birthday party for a little boy turning 3? We don’t know the kid well (class party), and the party is “sports themed” and at a playground. I’d like to spend $20 or under. Right now I’m thinking of a play-doh set or a bubble machine. It has to be something I can buy on Amazon Prime.

  2. I had so many handmedowns that I didn’t buy any onesies but if I had, I would have bought kimonos exclusively, my little guy screams when something gets pulled over his head. I would have also bought multiple packs of gap socks so I didn’t have to match them.

    We did the first round of vaccines today (did not realise it would be three separate needles and an oral vaccine) and while he screamed during it, he was fine by the the time we walked out the door. I also met someone in the waiting room who had a baby the same age and we exchanged numbers (horrifying my English husband).

    • Cornellian says:

      The vaccines are combined in the US now. I wonder why they’re separate stuff. The oral rotovirus stuff is basically my kid’s favorite drink. He’s had two doses now and always cries when there is none less.

      Sometimes I think I should move back to Europe long term, but my insistence on striking up conversations with strangers and smiling at them is so deeply engrained in my personality I don’t think I’d make it.

      • Yeah, it was pretty brutal. I’m totally chatty and sometimes find the UK to be isolating. Luckily my city is heavy on foreigners so I’m not a total oddball.

  3. I keep hearing about Uniqlo (mostly on this site, ha). What is the quality like?

    • Blueberry says:

      Very good for the price, in my experience. My mind was blown when I finally found thick enough t-shirts for my boys at a decent price, as opposed to the tissue-thin stuff you find at Carters, for example. They have great basics for grown-ups too — I like their t-shirts and wool sweaters.

    • Uniqlo devotee here. Quality of both kid clothes and grownup clothes is excellent for the price. Best for basics like t-shirts, sweaters, and baby PJs. Light-colored kid clothes can stain if you’re not quick with the Oxiclean (ask me how I know)…

    • Really nice fabrics and good prices, but not a huge variety.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Also a big fan of Uniqlo. Kids clothes are heavy-duty and the adult stuff is great too. My husband wears only Uniqlo button-down shirts and T-shirts, and I am a big fan of their “leggings pants,” rayon work tops, and bras. Also I wore pretty much nothing but their button-down flannel shirts while nursing.

      I actually ordered the kimono onesies featured above a few months ago…thus far they are the first (and only) thing I’ve bought for my January baby-to-be.

    • Katala says:

      I just bought onesies (not kimono) and leggings for my giant 9-month-old and I’m extremely happy with the quality. Really nice fabric especially for the price. The leggings hold their shape vs carters/gap that get super saggy. Onesies have nice little features like a different color middle snap and inside stitching for solid colors. Anything to make getting that guy dressed faster is a win in my book!

      • For your giant 9 month old – is he/she long? I have such trouble finding things for my long dude.

        • Katala says:

          He is, but he’s more chubby than long. The 12-18 month size at uniqlo fits him, except for the mesh onesies that are a bit too tight on the arms. The kid better start walking soon so I can put him in t-shirts because he’s about to size out of all onesies!

          I will say the 12-18 month leggings fit chunky thighs but are too long, so those might work really well for a long guy.

  4. Anon in NYC says:

    Loved these style of onesies when my daughter was a newborn. Her wobbly neck freaked me out!!

  5. Follow up from Pre Natal Screening Tests says:

    Wanted to let everyone who offered advice on my ob office who didn’t want to schedule me before 13 weeks know that I got in to see a nurse yesterday, and now have an appointment with the genetic counselor next week, which they require before scheduling any testing. So I anticipate I’ll have to put my foot down at that one to make sure I get the tests within the allowable time frame, but at least progress. Thanks again to all for the helpful comments. FYI, at least at this practice, if you are over 35, they offer the 11-12 week NIPS screening (Maternity21) and the more invasive but definitive CVS as options for the first trimester; later options were the amnio, and AFP – a blood test for spinal issues, along with ultrasounds.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      That definitely sounds more on track with normal practice. I’m glad it seems to be working out and that you got in to at least see a nurse/specialist!

  6. I could use some advice. When our baby first came home, Hubs was super helpful – we even traded night feedings (baby is FF) for the first six weeks or so. Now baby is 7 months, and Hubs has completely leaned out. I can’t even get him to wash his own dishes (not an exaggeration: I have washed every dirty dish for the last two days). Last night I asked him for dates on a trip I really want to take (our first out-of-state trip since baby) and he blew up and said I was nagging him, then gave me the silent treatment all night. I’ve noticed he gets very upset when I consult him about decisions lately: he won’t answer me and tells me to stop talking about it (even small stuff like “should we send one food pouch or two to day care?”) I plan to talk to him about possibly being depressed, but any other advice? I want to listen to “how not to hate your husband after kids” but we share an Audible account and I feel like if he found out I was listening to that he would lose it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the newness of the baby has worn off, and your H is disappointed that he no longer gets 100% of your attention, ever. You can try to fix this on your own, but I would tell your H to man up and figure out what his problem is, because he’s treating you like dirt and acting like a sullen teenager. He’s your partner. The baby years don’t last forever. He can’t hate you through them and then expect your relationship to go back to normal when your kid turns 3 (or whatever other random milestone you want to put there).

      • +1. Tell him to get over himself, he’s an adult in the house and he’s half responsible for the life he created, so he needs to figure his ish out. If he thinks he needs professional help, then you’ll help him get there, but in the meantime he figures out a way to contribute. Sulking and acting like a baby only works for one person in your family at a time, and the spot is currently taken by the 7 month old over there.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      How long as this been going on (since 6 weeks? or just a few weeks?) Has anything else in his life/work changed recently? Is he under greater stress at work? Men can experience something akin to PPD, too.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh man, I support the Audible plan wholeheartedly. But then, I’m divorced, so a maybe not a great authority on marital relations….

    • OP here. Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I guess I should have specified: I am pretty sure he needs help, but I’m just not sure how to ensure that he gets it. This is a guy who went to war so he thinks he “should be able to handle” having a kid but he’s clearly not. He’s had some minor (but weird) health problems lately, and his job is stressful. Do I just say “look we’ve been through a lot this year; why don’t you go talk to someone” or do I need to give him an ultimatum? Have any of you successfully gotten your significant others to seek help?

      • Anonymous says:

        If he’s a veteran, would something like this help:

        Being able to handle incredibly stressful situations (like going to war) doesn’t mean you can’t find anything else in life hard.

      • Anonymous says:

        also, if he’s not open to going alone, maybe you could do something together to get him comfortable with seeking help:

        • NewMomAnon says:

          One caveat on this: if one or both spouses are struggling with mental health issues, couples therapy is going to be a lesson in frustration. It’s better for both spouses to start their own therapy, and then come together once they have some insight into their own issues. If he won’t go, I would suggest the OP find her own therapist.

          • Anonymous says:

            I didn’t suggest couples therapy, it’s a parenting workshop. Might be good for him to relate to other people struggling with adjusting to parenting. Less scary to take the first step if you don’t have to go alone. If he’s a vet, then his peer group will likely not be big about talking about feelings and struggling (based on my own experience). Because the expectation is to be tough and handle things. Being around others who are struggling may help him realize it’s okay to find parenting hard.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        I have done the “giving spouse an ultimatum” on mental health issues. It’s only somewhat helpful, and probably not long-term helpful. For someone to really benefit from the help, they have to see that THEY have a problem and feel motivation to get better. Kiddo’s dad was confident that I was the only one with a problem, and he was great at saying all the right things in therapy but not making any strides on self-improvement outside of therapy. He was also medicated but resented the medication, so he would tell the psychiatrist whatever he thought would convince the doc that the meds could be reduced or dropped.

        Does he have any guy friends, preferably vets themselves, who have struggled with transitioning to fatherhood or struggled with mental health issues and who might be able to talk with him? Or any female friends who can casually drop in some of the things they struggled with after having a baby, and some of the resources they used? This is so common, I think a lot of guys don’t realize that they are in good company.

        • It’s ironic – what caused the latest blowup is my suggestion that we go visit some friends (also vets) who recently became parents. I will plan to talk to him about how he’s had a lot of changes in his life lately and maybe we need to explore our options for dealing with it. I certainly agree that he needs to seek help/understand that he needs help for this to be effective.

          • Anonanonanon says:

            The vet issue complicated seeking help, at least it did for my ex husband. He was very confident it would somehow go in “his file” and he’d be unable to use guns anymore and therefore his career/life would be over. Does your husband possibly have that concern?

          • mascot says:

            Ugh, I had a friend who was pretty sure she had PPD, but was reluctant to seek medication because she was also a reserve pilot for the military. It was very frustrating.

      • Several ideas for the treatment-resistant depressed spouse. All are predicated on the idea that some treatment is better than none – none are based on best case scenario:

        – He might be more comfortable talking to a GP than a specialist or therapist, and if necessary you can start with that.

        -Make an appointment for him with a doctor and just tell him when and where to go – don’t leave it up to him. Particularly if he is depressed, doing the research and making decisions can be really overwhelming. (So it would probably be a good idea to stop asking him for advice about minor decisions where you don’t need his input right now – you OUGHT to be able to do that but if he is really struggling it would be a kindness to take this off his plate).

        -When you talk to him, start from a place of vulnerability and compassion – I miss the old you, I can tell you are hurting, I’m having trouble figuring out how to be there for you right now, etc. You can always escalate to ultimatums but there is no reason to start there since they can backfire.

        -If this doesn’t work, you could try couples counseling – I agree it isn’t the best if he is the one with a mental health problem but it is probably better than nothing. You can make it about you – frame it as, I can tell I’m not being the wife you need right now, so let’s go get some help.

        Good luck to you! I know it is really hard not to resent a spouse in this situation so in case this is helpful to you in feeling compassionate (not that you don’t seem compassionate because you do): it’s possible parenthood is triggering some serious issues from his childhood or past – he is not necessarily just being a selfish jerk.

        • Thanks – this is really sweet and these are helpful suggestions. I am trying to be compassionate but caring for two people is weighing on me. I want him to get help. I also sympathize with him possibly feeling like “whoa this is hard and the weekends aren’t recharging me.” It’s a scary place to be.

          • Sending massive hugs. My son’s first year was so hard for our family. If nothing else getting your own therapist might be helpful so at least you have a place to vent and have someone asking how YOU are doing.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I divorced my veteran husband over these issues, so take it with a grain of salt, but mine definitely had PTSD he refused to seek treatment for. He didn’t acclimate well to civilian life, and became very overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and decisions. It manifested in other ways as well, but generally just a high level of cognitive fatigue that set in very quickly. He could not function beyond getting up and going to work and coming home. That took everything he had out of him. He ultimately refused to admit that that is not normal and acknowledge that literally almost every other adult in society is dealing with “life” when they get home from work (running errands, playing with kids, shuttling kids to activities, making sure stuff is packed for the next day, household chores, etc.) and needed all weekend to recharge. He genuinely thought these were unreasonable expectations and refused to seek help. I really hope you can convince him to seek help and to see that this is a very tiring period of life, but one that other other parents are going through/coping with, and if he is unable to handle it he needs help.
        Big, big hugs your way. THis is so so so SO hard.

    • mascot says:

      One thing we learned (repeatedly) in that first year is that everything does not need to be a group decision and every task does not need to be done exactly the same way by both parties. My husband would get decision paralysis about things that I thought were minor (dressing the kid in the right clothes). I would get super frustrated when he wanted me to approve each step in the process because if I had wanted to pick out the outfit or the veggie for the meal or whatever, I would have done so. So maybe also have some discussions about committee decisions.
      The irritability does sound like something else could be going on so definitely bring that up with him.

    • I came here to thank the person who recommended “How Not to Hate Your Husband” – I didn’t expect to like it, but I absolutely loved it! And it was laugh out loud funny. It is worth ordering and I think it could be really helpful for you.

      I gave my husband an ultimatum to see a counselor for mental health issues. He was a complete poop during my difficult pregnancy and 3 months after the baby was born. Unlike your husband, when confronted, he would tell me straight up that thought he was depressed and that I needed to be more understanding of his poopiness. I told him that if he thought he had a problem, he needed to book an appointment with a counselor stat, and that I would accept no more whining until he had taken some tangible steps to address whatever problem he thought he had. I also told him that if he was going to continue to treat me like dirt we would end up divorced. (This was not an idle threat – he realized that, and it scared him.) He saw a counselor – just a few times, but it sparked a gradual turnaround of his attitude and ultimately our marriage.

  7. This was mentioned on the main site the other day, but check whether the book is available from your public library via one of their apps (Overdrive, etc.).

    I’m sorry your husband is being a jerk to you.

    • I want to write a companion book called “How Not to Have Your Wife Hate You After Kids” that basically boils down to 1) don’t be a jerk 2) pitch in and do half the baby stuff, plus half the house stuff. probably more than half, until the baby is a year or two old. 3) stop whining and do it anyway. baby poop is gross for everyone, vaginas don’t make you magically like wiping butts.

  8. Scrooge? says:

    I’ll preface this by saying that gifts aren’t my love language, but I do care a lot about getting it right when I’m gifting to others. I spent an entire evening buying birthday gifts for four of my little nieces and nephews, all of whom have birthdays in the next few weeks. Every year, I stick to a theme to keep it equal and avoid weird comparisons between the kids. These are kids I know well and love dearly, but coming up with good ideas for kids who aren’t my own is … hard? When I’m buying for my kids, I know exactly what they like, what they need, and what will get used vs. tossed aside. I’m way too aware of my siblings’ preferences to not receive a bunch of toys (which I’m fine with). Every year, I end up being the Practical Aunt and still question whether I got the balance right. This year, each kid is getting a colorful fleece pullover in his/her favorite color and a book. Last year it was art supplies.

    The emotional labor involved is ridiculous. Will the kids like it? Will my siblings be OK with it? Will my nasty sister-in-law immediately re-gift it or just plain lose it? (Probably.) And why doesn’t my husband have to deal with any of this? The answer: He’s an only child.

    I have read way too many snarky, complainy, sanctimonious blog posts about kids and gift giving, so now I second-guess everything. Is there anyone else with stupid hangups about gift-giving occasions? I care deeply about getting my people stuff they love, but it’s a lot more pressure than fun. It doesn’t help that we have 12 birthdays between Oct. 1 and the holidays, so it’s one loooong season of gifting.

    • Also Scrooge! says:

      Are you me??? Gift giving stresses me out so much. I always joke (sort of) that if my family does not tell me exactly what they want, they aren’t getting anything. I’m also really sensitive to waste and I hate the idea of giving something that someone doesn’t love and/or find useful. And I feel really awkward when receiving gifts too so I wish gift giving just wasn’t a thing. My wonderful, sweet mom just never gets it right and I really wish she would just save her money.

      • Scrooge? says:

        YES, THIS.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        When I was in college (read: far away from home, living in student housing, with no storage), my mom gave me pieces of a huge set of fine Christmas china for Christmas every year. She stopped the year I finally bought a house after my first job. Jokes on her; all of that china is now in her basement. WHY????

        • Walnut says:

          I’m picturing a fine china serving platter packed to the gills with jello shots out of the cafeteria sauce containers right now.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I have had the same issues with my brother and SIL’s kids (three of them, all two years apart). I have spent hours going thru Lego kits on amazon for the two boys looking for things that were ‘equal’ in terms of parts, price, and coolness for Christmas. So I hear you. And birthdays are all a month apart.

      Now they do amazon wishlists, which was great for a few years. I usually had a price range and bought either one thing or a few things that fell within that range. It’s gotten trickier lately because the older two (boys) have put BB guns and very violent video games on their lists. Even if my brother and SIL are okay with that, I’m not. But now that they are older, we’re hitting gift card/money territory.

      What about subscription boxes of activities?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      What about magazine subscriptions you can renew each year, or memberships to something (zoo, museum, etc) for each family? Or, honestly, my 3 year old went nuts for a Target gift card at Christmas (seriously, it was the Best Thing Ever).

      Otherwise, you could arrange a “date” with each kid (or even multiple kids at a time) instead of a gift. Theater, sports, a fancy dinner, zoo, children’s museum, science museum. There are lots of possibilities.

      • Katala says:

        Haha, my 2 year old would LOVE a target gift card. He’s only been to target once but he got a high value toy and potty rewards/bribes. totally remembers where they came from and asks to go to target still, months later.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Kiddo’s gift card was $10. It took her 2 hours to spend it. The Target employees kept walking past us chuckling.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          oh my god my 2.5 year old would DIE from joy if someone gave her a target gift card. she has two quarters and a nickel in her piggybank right now and she sometimes tries to get things by offering to buy them “with my monies.”

    • Hugs! Gift giving is harrrrrd and my mom is a scrooge so I got zero training from her – I actually have to fight the urge to be scroogey myself when giving gifts. FWIW, I think art supplies and hoodie plus book are great gifts! I tend to find one thing that’s a hit and then give it over and over (to different people – not the literal same thing year after year, ha!) I also point-blank as if there’s anything they want/do not want. Maybe it’s annoying but it makes my life easier. 12 birthdays in the next three months is a lot! Can you get them all carboard boxes? It seems like kids universally love those things.

    • Yes, I have a tendency toward anxiety and exhaustively researching all options and gift giving tends to bring this out in me. At some point you have to just pull the trigger. Give yourself a time limit and refuse to revisit your decisions. As my husband says, the greatest enemy of a good plan is a perfect plan. Worst case scenario: you got a mediocre gift. That’s really okay; the universe forgives you for not being a mind reader. If the parent thinks poorly of you for doing something nice for their child, they have a real problem – its not you, its them.

  9. AwayEmily says:

    Small success story: we switched my 18-month old to a new daycare on Monday, and today for the first time she didn’t cry at drop-off! This is a big contrast to the last switch we did (about 2 months ago), where she cried every morning for almost a month.

    I truly credit this to the magic of ROUTINE. Based on advice I heard on this site, we walked her through what would happen over and over and over again, at least 3x before school started each day (“We’ll go up the stairs to the school, say hello to Pam at the front desk, walk down the hall to your classroom, go inside, hang up your jacket”…and so on). Every time included lots of reassurances that I would be back to get her in the afternoon. And it really did seem to make a difference — I think it gave her more understanding about what was going on.

    • JDJDTX says:

      Thank you for sharing this story. We are about to switch daycares, and I am definitely having some anxiety about the move. Thank you for the ideas on the routine – I will start implementing that this weekend!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Since this is a clothing post, this seems like a timely question…
    Could anyone who has had winter babies share an estimate of what kinds of clothes I need and how much, and what the baby should sleep in in the winter months? There’s so much cute stuff online but I’m totally overwhelmed by what to buy and don’t want to purchase a bunch of cotton footie pajamas if what she needs is fleece or whatever. And general guidelines of how much baby needs of each thing and how much to buy in newborn vs how much to buy in 0-3 months would be appreciated. My family tends to make big babies (I was over 8.5 pounds and husband was almost 10) although of course I know family history is not definitive. We keep our house relatively warm in the winter but DH and I also sleep under an imitation down blanket that is very warm and I know the baby won’t have any blankets on her.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I would say…wait and see. I totally understand the desire to prepare but in the era of Amazon Prime, you can just see what happens. Every time I try to buy clothes ahead of time I end up getting stuff I don’t need.

      Also keep in mind the baby will probably be swaddled for the first two or three months, which keeps them super warm. And don’t over-buy swaddles, either! See what kind your baby likes and then you can order more of that one.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^this, this, all the this. With my first (7.5 years ago) I prepared a lot and didn’t have a great grasp on what I would need, simply because there’s no way to until you actually meet/see this little human!

        I’m so excited Amazon Prime exists now. I’m only buying enough stuff to get us through the hospital and a few days after. To satisfy my need to buy cute things (since I’m having a girl this time!) I bought some baby legwarmers in fun patterns/designs since they are sized to accommodate a wide range of baby legs, and will buy some cute hats etc, but will largely wait to start ordering most clothes until the kid is here.

        I AM adding halo sleepsacks to my registry, because those things are a life saver. I’m so glad someone gifted me one with my first! Also, regardless of gender, gowns with the mittens for their hands and elastic at the bottom. So much easier to pull those up and down for diaper changes/cord care etc. than to deal with footies. I’m not buying any footies before baby comes.

        Also, don’t neglect to prep for yourself! Last time my own needs were an afterthought and I really regret it. This time I ordered a cute delivery robe with snaps in the back for epidural etc. (yes I know i’ll bleed all over it, but let me bleed all over something pretty darnit!), and I bought some maternity nightgowns with matching robes. The nightgowns also accommodate nursing so will be good post partum. The website has the option to add matching baby gowns so I did, which is what we’ll use in the hospital :)

        • Heh, my little girl hated gowns from infancy. Even my mom (who had all my old nightgowns stashed for JUST THIS OCCASION) admitted it in fairly short order. All footies, all the time. She still can barely sleep in a long tee or a nightgown–it’s gotta be pants/shorts/footies or just her pull-up. She’s 3. Kids are so weird.

          I know people prefer the snap-ups because you can just undo the bottom but we still found zip-ups to be faster, even if we had to throw a (clean) cloth diaper or burp rag on her chest to keep her warm while we changed her diaper. September baby, YMMV.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      In the very beginning, I think you keep the baby in footie PJs so much of the time that it’s not worth buying a ton of stuff other than PJs. Sure, buy some cute stuff too, but don’t go nuts. I would have no more than a pair (like 2) of newborn footie PJs, and then more in the 0-3 range. I would buy cotton rather than fleece (fleece can aggravate eczema), and you can always layer with sleep sacks/swaddles. If your daughter is small enough to need newborn clothes, that is the perfect opportunity to tell grandparents to go to Target and pick up a few more items.

      In terms of how much to buy, I think that depends on the ease/your tolerance for doing laundry. I had a late spring baby and didn’t have laundry in my apartment building so I bought more things because I didn’t want to do laundry more than 1x a week.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        How much to buy may also depend on your little one’s spit-up and blow-out tendencies. Kiddo usually went through 3-4 outfit changes a day due to…fluids, as well as a change from “night” clothes to “day” clothes. If I had tried to do laundry once a week, we would’ve been looking at 25+ sleepers and 5 or so Halo sacks. I think we ended up with about a dozen sleepers and 3 Halo sacks, and did baby laundry every couple days.

        • Yeah, during the first few weeks (months?) we only did baby outfit changes due to fluid situations … no night/day changes since they were pretty much wearing pjs all the time anyways. Usually there would be an incident at least every 24 hours so baby never went too long in one sleeper. So that’s one way to cut down on laundry :)

      • Blueberry says:

        +1 on the footie PJs. I was never able to get my winter babies’ socks to stay on.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I second AwayEmily. Also, wait and see what you get from baby showers and gifts (including gift cards). We got enough clothing and blankets that I bought nothing until we hit the 4-6 month sizes. I wouldn’t buy any newborn size clothes; the 0-3 month clothes were only a little big (like, roll up the sleeves) the day she was born. She got maybe 2-3 weeks out of the newborn sizes.

      I had the hardest time keeping socks on kiddo in the winter, so we did footed sleepers during the day almost exclusively until the warmer months. I liked the snap ones, kiddo’s dad liked the zip ones. Kiddo also ran hot and had delicate skin, so we never used the fleece ones. We used a side-snap shirt and Halo sack for night time.

      Some things you don’t need for baby: winter coats or snowsuits (can’t use them with five point harnesses, so you’ll probably end up using blankets); winter boots, wipe warmers.

      • I agree that our bunting was kind of useless, even in the frigid Midwest, because of the carseat issue. It might’ve been useful for being outdoors for long periods, but definitely not for daily use.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Oh, and kiddo was a January baby. We used cotton sleepers and kept the house at about 70.

      • Counterpoint: we lived in the city and our September baby spent her first winter in her one-piece bear suit (aka bunting or one piece) all-day-every-day because I hated carting the stroller up and down our walk-up’s steps by myself, we never drove anywhere, and I wore her in an Ergo for 8+ hours a day (ah, colic). Winter coats/snowpants/winter boots, however, are dumb for a small baby.

    • My November baby practically lived in fleece sleepers for first 3 months of his life. Also, it’s a super practical option and the prints are adorable. At night, we layered a regular onesie underneath for extra warmth. I would skip the cotton sleepers, honestly. We used them a ton with a late summer baby but they weren’t that useful for a winter baby.

      When he wasn’t wearing a sleeper, I mostly used long-sleeve onesies and stretchy pants during the day. There are so many cute “real clothes” options, but I found them kind of fussy and stiff for everyday wear.

      Quantities are hard to gauge, but I would plan on having newborn options around. Consignments are full of practically brand-new stuff because they don’t wear it for long, but when they need it, they need it! My first babe was in newborn sizes for 7 or 8 weeks and I had almost nothing because everyone told me to size up to 0-3. I still remember the panicked Target run on our way home from the hospital because this kid had no clothes. I wouldn’t recommend that approach. Second babe was in newborn clothes for only 2 or 3 weeks. So, it really depends, but I would have at least 3-4 days’ worth on hand. You’ll probably be doing a lot of laundry anyway.

      Most kids stay in the 0-3 month range for a long while, so I’d feel more comfortable stocking up in that size.

      • The reality is someone can run to the store and buy you clothing in a pinch, so I wouldn’t stock up ahead of time. I tend to have big babies (I was not big), but my first was early (4 weeks, 7lbs at birth) and my MIL just went to Carters and picked up a few footed sleepers.

    • avocado says:

      I had a big winter baby who lived in cotton footie PJs during the day and a cotton elastic-hem baby nightgown with a fleece Velcro swaddler at night for the first couple of months. The nightgowns make nighttime diaper changes easier. Outdoors she wore a bunting and/or I put a heavy blanket over the car seat.

      You can add a hat and a onesie under the PJs if baby seems cold, but mine seemed to run hot and objected vociferously to hats.

    • Anonymous says:

      Canadian with 3 winter babies.

      I used a onesie + cotton sleeper + halo fleece sleep sack swaddle. Swaddling keeps them nice and warm. I don’t like the flame retardants in children’s sleepwear so I avoided fleece sleepers. When baby was really tiny I often did cotton socks under the cotton sleeper or wool socks over during the day. Baby lived in sleepers 24/7 for the first few months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Onesie, cotton footed pyjamas and Halo Fleece SleepSack Swaddle. Swaddling keeps them toasty. I found cotton sleepers better for their skin than the fleece sleepers which can aggravate eczema. I often put wool socks over their feet then out of the sleepsack and sometimes added a little sweater.

    • rakma says:

      2 winter babies here, and they both needed different wardrobes. DD1 was in 0-3 months from the start, mainly fleece pjs, I didn’t bother much with outfits in the first few months.

      DD2 was in newborn size for almost 2 months, 0-3 for about a month, and then in 3-6 for a long time. She was tall, so once she stopped curling up her legs, everything was too short on her. She also mainly wore cotton, because she was the sweatiest baby I’ve ever seen, the fleece made her so hot.

      I’d have a couple options in the newborn and 0-3 size on hand. You can always keep the tags on the smaller stuff and return it. (This is a great thing to ask people who want to help in those early days, my Mom was always more than willing to run to a store for a return or to pick up something.)

    • Cornellian says:

      If you’re asking for a concrete list, I had a baby this January, and this is what I would have (if I were doing it over again):

      -5 0-3 month cotton footie PJs
      -2 velcro Sleepsack swaddles
      -2 hats
      -2 hoodies (it sounds silly but you can add an extra layer over their head for trips outside)
      -5 kimono onesies
      -2-3 pairs of pants

    • I think you are going to get a lot of different opinions, and that is because every baby and parent is different. We never used fleece PJs (two winter babies but they had sensitive skin so needed cotton), but did use the warmer swaddle sleep sacks for night time. My large babies never wore newborn clothing and moved out of 0-3 months by 6 weeks. I had a huge preference for those baby gowns when they were little, so they primarily wore that for the first 6 weeks unless we were going out.

      That being said, I would buy 2 of each variety (two footed sleepers, two gowns, two kimono onesies plus pants) and then decide which one you like best in the first few weeks. Buy a couple of cute outfits that you love, and then go from there. You will likely get shower gifts to supplement and that will be a good starting point.

      • Katala says:

        This is a good idea. 2 of whatever you like will get you through 1 blowout/leak/spitup so you can wash the other which will probably be fine for a day or two while waiting for Prime orders to arrive.

        I never used fleece for my kiddos. I felt like it was too hot with the swaddle and also had too much static. I didn’t usually change for day/night, just after bath or when clothes got dirty. For my first, I liked gowns but hardly used them for #2 and did more footed sleepers. You’ll be able to figure out quickly what you like/how big your baby is and stock up.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Kiddo was born in Chicago in January, but we didn’t get a ton of use out of baby winter clothes, to be honest. She DID wear a bunting thing, but mostly she wore footie pajamas and a ton of blankets. She has always run hot, so she could sleep jammies and a swaddle. I remember it wasn’t until she was like a month old, and I started going to mom meet up things, that I learned (1) that there is supposedly a difference between baby day-clothes and jammies, and (2) that people don’t take their babies for walks in the cold (a mom said, “i’ll be so glad when it’s spring and we can take them for walks outside!” and I was thinking like, “uh, you just put a ton of blankets on them in the stroller, no?!”)

      We did make her wear a lot of hats though. Teeny tiny hats <3

  11. Anonymommy says:

    On a preliminary in-house recruiter call regarding a position for a very large corporation, I think I undershot the salary range. Perhaps by $10-20K. Is there anyway to gain back that ground?

    • Yes. When it comes up again, or if they offer your initial ask, you say “In light of what I’ve learned about the responsibilities and bonus structure, I’d need something closer to $X-Y range for this role. Is that within the range?”

    • March says:

      Yes, with the caveat that it may pull you from the pool. But only if you are inaccurate about your under-shooting (eg. if they’ve budgeted $150k and you said $120k and you come back with $150, that’s one thing– but if they budgeted $120 and you said $120 and come back with $150k you’d better have one awesome resume and justification for wanting more.)

      Story time: I had a role on my team budgeted at $100k. I had a team of like, 30 people, so my exact budget for this role was flexible but I’d settled on $100k given the level of seniority. If I hired a more junior person, I’d call it a “Associate [title]” and pay $85, or “Senior [title]” and pay $120 and adjust the responsibilities up or down based on the hire. But the role was posted as just Title. Candidate came in with the experience of somewhere between what the role required and a well-qualified Associate [Title]. She told HR she was looking for $90-100k. Ok, fine, we’d talk to her. After talking to her, her qualifications put her very firmly at the low end of experience for a [Title]; I went back and forth with HR and my team, and we ultimately offered her $95k. HR told me she wanted to negotiate, so I expected her to come back with maybe $100k. She asked for $115, saying she believed it to be in line with the role. I called her up and wanted to understand where she got her numbers, since I know the industry and know we pay top of market. Apparently her “friend knew someone at the company making $115 for this role.” I had to explain salary bands, years of experience etc. and told her she could look forward to making that at our company in a few years, but not with her current background, and that our offer was firm.

      I was super glad when she declined the role, ended up hiring an amazing candidate 3 weeks later who was thrilled to be making top of market for the role. Heard via HR that the original candidate came back wanting the role but at that point, no thanks.

  12. ElisaR says:

    Ugh, Hanna Andersson sends me an email advertising 25% off everything — and their site has been down for 2 hours. I feel like they cannot get their act together lately – this is after I had 3 pairs of their pjs break zippers and got attitude when I brought them back to the store….

    • I ordered from HA once and I swear I never will again: I ordered two items, one of which was backordered 3 weeks. Item arrived SIX weeks later, no explanation, no apology, no refund on their outrageous shipping. Second item, which was not backordered, never arrived at all. I should call them and complain but I’ve decided it’s less effort to keep shopping Gap clearance. No more Hanna for us.

      • Anonymous says:

        I had a very similar experience — items didn’t arrive for 4 weeks, one of the items was cancelled by HA, and they didn’t do anything about it when I called to follow up after 2 weeks. I ended up returning everything.

    • yup, new HA is a no go for me. Their quality and customer service has really gone down, which is sad bc I used to love their PJs

  13. How do get a two month old to nap without sleep training?

    I decided he needs to start being on a loose schedule (at least, eat/play/sleep and take real naps in his crib instead of on me/in a swing/in a carrier etc). So I did some reading and I’m trying it out but everything says no sleep training before 4 months.

    Ok so do I put my two month old down in the crib and he magically falls asleep?

    The only way I can get him to sleep is pick up/put down which… is sleep training. Or modified Ferber (going in and shushing/patting when he fusses).

    I’m confused :/

    • Anonymous says:

      why don’t you want him to sleep in a swing? Honestly at that age babies rarely want to sleep alone by themselves in a room in a crib. They want snuggles and movement even when asleep.

    • mascot says:

      The EASY schedule worked pretty well for us, with the caveat that naps didn’t have to be in the crib. My child napped like a champ in his swing and slept at night in the crib. We’d even drive around a little bit longer to extend a car nap. We let daycare handle getting him to nap in a crib and even then, he took a lot of weekend naps in non-crib places. By the time he had outgrown the swing, he already had a lot of nap in the crib practice under his belt, so that transistion wasn’t too hard. Perhap focus on the schedule first and then work on the nap location.

    • If you don’t want to let him nap in the swing (which I understand), can you try putting him to sleep with the swing (10 minutes) then moving him to his crib to nap? It’s not sleep training, but it’s less time and effort than pick up/put down. Full disclosure: this worked for putting our LO in his crib at night, but not for naps. I’m not sure why. He’s 7 months now and sleeps/naps in his crib just fine. Good luck!

    • I think two months is too young for a real schedule, but you can actually start to “give them opportunities to fall asleep in the crib” (which is how my ped euphemistically puts it). Basically the pick up / put down method. With DD, I waited 3 minutes until I picked her up again. Repeat for an hour or for an entire afternoon. I would be a crazy person when my husband came home from work. But after a week, she was sleeping in her crib. It won’t solve the problem of wildly inconsistent nap times, but it’s still real progress.

      At two months I think you are just entering the territory when babies start to learn cause/effect. If he’s a young two months, and doesn’t know any better, then you don’t have to be consistent with your sleep training. You can basically do the pick up / put down method whenever you feel like it, and stop whenever it’s driving you bonkers. (Note: this is not true for older babies, unfortunately.)

      Does he sleep in his crib at night? How often does he wake up?

      • “Repeat for an hour or for an entire afternoon. I would be a crazy person when my husband came home from work. ” Haha yes! This was me yesterday. It took an hour both times but he slept SO WELL. Ok sounds like I am on the right track.

    • avocado says:

      You don’t? When mine was an infant I was never able to get her on a schedule, and she would only nap when she was being held or was in motion. The only “schedule” we had was the nighttime schedule that she came up with herself–eat constantly from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., then sleep. She didn’t have a feeding schedule during the day until she started day care at 4.5 months and had no choice because she had to eat when I walked over to feed her, and she didn’t have a nap schedule or nap in her crib until she was almost 1. Day care established the nap schedule and taught her to nap in her crib by insisting that they lie in their cots during nap time. If we’d had to establish the nap schedule for ourselves at home, there would have been lots of screaming involved.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      At around 1-2 months, I realized that I was keeping my kid awake for too long, and that was preventing her from falling asleep easily. I started putting her down more frequently and it helped a lot. Check out these links: and

      I found that I would have to give her 10-15 minutes to fall asleep. She occasionally got a little fussy, but if I waited she always fell asleep. Other tips: make sure the room is dark, and use a white noise machine. Around that age I also started singing the same song to her every time I needed to comfort her/get her to sleep, and that helped.

    • I would wait until at least 3 months before worrying about the swing. If the swing works, use the swing. I can see why you don’t want to have to hold the baby for every nap but 2 months is really young to worry about Bad Habits. Naps started to consolidate and get longer and more predictable around 6 months, before that it was kind of a mess for us. The upside is you don’t have to plan your life around being home at naptime right now, so take advantage of that if you can. Let the baby sleep in the carrier, stroller, etc. – go out and entertain yourself!

    • AwayEmily says:

      Also — if you want to sleep train before 4 months and you think your baby is healthy/ready for it, then it definitely can be done. You know your baby best! We did CIO at 9 weeks inspired by reading this and hearing about friends who had good experiences with early sleep training. We also got the okay from our pediatrician before trying it.

      The nighttime sleep training worked immediately (within two nights) and within a few weeks it trickled down to naps (we did not CIO for naps; we’d try to let her go to sleep on her own but go in if she needed help).

      This approach is definitely not for every kid or every family, but I just wanted to say that even though early sleep training isn’t common it is possible — so, something else to consider.

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s no evidence that this is safe or healthy for babies that young.

        The advice of a trendy NYC doctor should not counterweight the recommendations of Pediatric associations in every single western developed country.

        • AwayEmily says:

          I think one of the things that makes this site great is that there is such a diversity of parenting styles on everything from sleep to discipline. I’ve definitely learned a ton and love the open and supportive tone. Especially in light of that, it is really hurtful of you to assume that I am just “taking the advice of a trendy NYC doctor” without considering the effects on my baby and thoroughly reading the peer-reviewed academic research on this topic.

          As it happens, I am myself a doctor (though not a pediatrician) and did a lot of reading and research before coming to the decision to sleep train when we did. We also discussed it in depth with our pediatrician. Like with many parenting decisions, from co-sleeping to breastfeeding to discipline, there is a lot of evidence — often some that conflicts — and we are all just doing our best to sift through it and make the decision that is best for our children. Let’s assume the best of each other, okay?

          • Anonanonanon says:

            I think you did a great job of sharing something that you spent time and effort to look into and that worked for you and your family, while stressing that every baby/family is different and there’s no one-size-fits all approach. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, AwayEmily :)

          • Anonymous says:

            Could you post some of the research with respect to the issue of extinction sleep training between the ages of 2 months and 4 months?

            It’s my understanding that there is none. And for whatever you have found, all pediatric societies in the western developed world do not seem to have found it persuasive.

            I understand that this website often represents a wide variety of views. But as a doctor, I would hope that you would see it is irresponsible to represent something as a viable option when it is contrary to all public health advice.

          • AwayEmily says:

            I’m not going to get into a long link-posting back-and-forth. And in any case, I don’t think *anyone* should be making decisions based on links cherry-picked and posted in an internet comment section. I think the OP should solicit advice, do her own research, consult with her pediatrician, and make the decision that she and her partner feel is best for their family. And it sounds like she is doing exactly that, which is awesome.

            And thanks for everyone who chimed in to support me. It sucks putting yourself out there and then being made to feel like a bad parent, so I really appreciate it.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            To back up AwayEmily – my kiddo was a terrible sleeper, usually not sleeping more than 20 minutes at a time unless someone was holding her, and my ped raised sleep training at around 2 months. Not full on “leave kid alone crying for hours,” but 15 minutes, go in, 15 more minutes, etc. I wish I had listened to her, but I was fully in the throes of some “attachment parenting” folks throwing fire and brimstone predictions at me (which….why?! why were they so invested in controlling my parenting techniques without investing even curiosity into my actual human needs? It still puzzles me.).

          • +1 to AwayEmily. We have largely managed to avoid sleep training judgement for the 2+ years of this community and I appreciate that greatly
            I also used Tribeca Pediatrics and while we waited closer to 4-5 months for CIO, I trust their doctors and practice. It may not be the right solution for all kids and families, but it worked great for my now 3 yr old twins.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’ve been here since CMoms started and there has always been lots of judgment towards anyone that dares to point out when recommendations are inconsistent with ALL pediatric associations in the developed world. CIO is one thing. Extinction CIO at 8 weeks is something entirely different.

        • +1

          I didn’t night wean at 8 weeks but we did start letting my son put himself to sleep for naps, which involved crying. “Sleep training” means different things to different people.

          • Sorry I was trying to plus one AwayEmily. Be nice!

          • ElisaR says:

            I want to +1 AwayEmily too! I didn’t find her comment irresponsible at all and appreciate incorporating other opinions…… Anonymous please go take a yoga class or have a cup of tea and relax.

    • Thanks – what started this initially was trying to get him to sleep earlier and him fighting it SO HARD. All his naps had also been short & accidental – falling asleep in a baby containment device or while nursing. When I read up on how to get baby to sleep more in general, it sounded like this behavior was actually because baby is TOO tired (not bc he’s ready to only nap once a day and then a couple random 20 min chunks). So I started reading about how to get baby to nap and – here I am.

      He sleeps pretty well in his bassinet and wakes every 2-3 hours to feed which seems normal to me and I’m not looking to mess with that. I do think since I’ve been trying to get him to sleep more he has about 100% less awake crying/fussiness.

      I was just confused how a schedule even works on a tiny baby. Guess the answer is, it doesn’t and accidental naps are ok? Maybe trying to get one long crib nap via PU/PD word be all I should hope for?

      • Anonymous says:

        At two months, most naps are about the same length. One big nap usually doesn’t come into play until they are older. Babies don’t really have a schedule at this age. Falling asleep nursing is normal and healthy. Just work on transferring into the swing if he falls asleep on the nursing pillow. A swing on low often got a 1-1.5 hour naps out of my babies. He still needs to eat every 2-3 hours anyway so an hour at a time is the most you’ll probably get.

        If you teach him to sleep only by himself in his crib, you are then tethered to the house. I vastly preferred a baby who would sleep in car seat bucket seat or a stroller or a baby carrier so I didn’t have to be home for a strict nap schedule.

        • AwayEmily says:

          Yeah, my baby didn’t really have a nap schedule at 2 months either. she definitely had pretty standard awake times (ie, she couldn’t stay up more than 90 minutes or so) but not an actual nap schedule.

        • Interesting, the thing with my little guy is when he gets down for a nap in the crib or bassinet, it usually is 2-3 hours, just like it is for him at night. Naps in other locales vary widely but tend toward 40 minutes if I’m lucky. But getting him down in the crib without sleep training (or at least PU/PD) seemed impossible to me, hence my question.

      • All my babies napped after nursing or in a stroller/chair/being worn. I didn’t think of that as accidental; that was just their schedule :). Or unschedule. I think babies that young tend to sleep when they need it…

        • Maddie Ross says:

          +1. I actually love the relative “unscheduledness” of early infanthood. I got very lucky and both of mine were basically sleeping through the night by 8 weeks, but naps were totally random. In a swing. In my arms after nursing. On their belly on the floor while they were supposed to be doing tummy time. Honestly, until they get down to only needing two naps a day (one am/one pm), I liked the go with the flow method.

      • If you think the baby could be overtired, I would focus on giving him an opportunity to fall asleep–whatever works for him–after he’s been awake for about 1 hour, or maybe closer to 90 minutes, during the day. How long he stays asleep is up to him.

        There is nothing more crazy-making than baby sleep books!

        • That’s a good point – similar to the above advice about “giving him the opportunity to fall asleep” (wherever that is) and trying to do that at somewhat regular intervals.

          I did go crazy on the baby sleep literature and was suddenly paranoid I’d been keeping him awake for hours inadvertently (since duh, he’s a newborn, I wasn’t keeping a detailed record, I’m just trying to keep him alive and maybe shower once a day).

      • Anon in NYC says:

        My comment seems to have been eaten, so my apologies if it posts twice. I found that the trick to getting my 1-2 month old to nap was to put her down for a nap much more frequently. We were accidentally keeping her awake way too long!

        Check out preciously little sleep DOT com (“are you keeping your baby awake too long”) and baby sleep site DOT com (“baby naps chart”) — they were lifesavers!

      • Scheduled baby naps are just really hard at two months. but if you can get your little guy to fall asleep in his crib for naps, I think it might translate into some benefits at night. Every 2-3 hours just sounds like too much waking up for that age unless he is small for his age. I think you should be getting at least a four hour stretch. he probably doesn’t know how to go back to sleep in his crib by himself so he alerts you to help him do that :).

        • Yeah, he’s close to dropping the first night feeding and has done it a few times. I wasn’t trying to mess with his night sleep yet but definitely hope that getting him down in his crib more consistently could help with that!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think two months is a little early for sleep training. I wasn’t able to get a good schedule going until my twins were four months. I would wait until then to get concerned or really try sleep training. At two months, they were sleeping in swings/rockers, which I desperately needed for downtime. I was worried about the transition to the crib, and bad sleeping habits in general, but it ended up being not too bad (with one being easier than the other – I think it is child specific). What I think you can do now is get your child on a feeding schedule. We fed every four hours around the clock, on a schedule. If you can do this, I think a good sleep schedule will naturally follow.

  14. Everlong says:

    I have a toddler and a newborn so I think some of my rage might not be justified. Please tell me that. One set of grandparents texted this morning asking to come over at 7pm tonight. You know, right when we start the bedtime routine. We have told them this numerous times. I said that no, they couldn’t come over then. They offered to come earlier, but they work so they can’t feasibly come over until dinnertime. They do not offer to bring dinner and I’m not in the mood to provide it. Furthermore, when they do visit, they pay no attention to either child. They brush off my toddler when he tries to show them a toy or talk to them. I can’t handle it right now. Venting? Sympathy? What do you do with family that act like they want to be involved but are draining?

    • avocado says:

      Your rage is justified.

      Can you give them a time to come over during the day this weekend instead of tonight? Can they meet you at the park this weekend where they will have no choice but to interact with toddler?

    • AwayEmily says:

      TOTALLY JUSTIFIED. I can’t even deal with the cat meowing for food during bedtime, much less selfish grandparents.

    • I think you’re totally justified, but you could also just order pizza. (I have the opposite problem, which is that my in-laws insist on cooking dinner at my house and then they leave the kitchen messy and don’t clean up. I find that ordering pizza heads off that issue. My in-laws are involved otherwise, though, so I am not really complaining.)

    • Absolutely justified. (This is my family, too…) They can’t barge in and then be useless. Give them a time that does work for you on the weekend.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This happened with my (EX!) in-laws a lot when my first was born. They wanted to come over at 7 or 8 pm when baby was asleep and I had class the next morning (I had to go take the last class needed to finish my degree starting 1 week after child birth) and when I said no they would be so ugly about it! It was for exactly the same reasons though. They wanted to come over and have me make/serve them coffee, not put their cups away, eat food and not put the plates away, and not even hold the baby. It was the worst and it’s been almost 8 years and I’m honestly angry just thinking about it now.

      My argument used to be this: an open door policy is for family. family does not expect to be catered to or have meals served to them, family comes over to pitch in and help. If you’d like to be treated like a guest and served refreshments that is fine, but you will adhere to guest standards, which includes reasonable visiting hours and asking before you come over.

    • I don’t know if you need to be rageful unless they ignore your calm decline, “I’m sorry that isn’t a good time for us. We’d be happy to see you at x time” and pick a time that really works for you. It may be 2 weeks from now. You do not owe them a visit today just because they asked. You will probably feel better if you give up on the dream they are going to remember when is good for you, and just respond the same way every time they ask. You can say no! Hold firm!

    • Anonymous says:

      Whether or not it’s justified, I dealt with the same thing last weekend. My in-laws at least planned their visit, but once they arrived, my MIL left early, and my FIL sat in the kitchen and discussed business with DH. Ugh—you came over here to “see Kiddo.” You don’t get to talk business with DH on a Sunday afternoon.

    • Rage is justified.

      “Why don’t you pick up [one kiddo] and take him/her to dinner? Be here by 5pm at the latest.”

      Or, if they can’t get there in time for dinner, how about “That timing won’t work but I’m sure Kiddo would love it if you took him out for [ice cream/pie/dessert]- could you swing by to get him/her around 6 and have him back by 7?”

      Or, “Today won’t work but if you come by tomorrow I’ll order us pizza.”

  15. first timer says:

    So I just found out I was pregnant and find all of the information on what chemicals to make sure are not in your facewash, body lotion, sunscreen, etc. so overwhelming and confusing, particularly when I get to CVS and try to remember all the rules and then read the mile long list of ingredients. I’m so freaked out I’m going to use the wrong product and harm our baby. Is there a list (maybe even on this site – I couldn’t find it), of pregnancy and breast feeding friendly toiletries? Or does anyone have any product suggestions?

    • Maddie Ross says:

      (a) Do not be freaked. With the exception of retinoids (which even then really fall into what I’m going to say next), it’s really an issue of better safe than sorry. And an issue of you would need to use a lot of something before there could even be a minor issue. Don’t stress. Most OTC products are fine – especially if they do not include acne fighting products or wrinkle fighting products. Go back to basics. (b) If you are really freaked, order products that are specifically designed for pregnancy. I tried the Belli products with my first. The face wash was great and lotion a bit thin, but otherwise fine.

      FWIW, with my second, I stopped using Retin-A but made no other modifications. Both kids turned out just fine.

      • I stopped Retin-A but kept my facewash with 2% salacylic acid.

      • Katala says:

        +1 to all of this. For a simple list, no retinoids (a no-no) and no AHA/BHA (a maybe and probably fine, but easy to avoid). To go a little farther, try more organic/natural lines, e.g. burt’s bees, yes to, acure. You could look at Whole Foods or Thrive market (online). Focus more on products that stay on your skin longer (moisturizer, sunscreen).

        It’s very very unlikely you will harm your baby in any way with beauty products. And congratulations!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Cetaphil is always a safe bet. I like their face wipes too for lazy mornings/after pregnancy vomiting :)

    • I like Paula Begoun’s advice, which is low on the woo scale. (Unlike Environmental Working Group, which I find highly alarmist).

    • ElisaR says:

      Don’t be freaked out – it’s really really hard to hurt your baby (as evidenced by the millions of trainwrecks that have birthed wonderful humans over the course of history). It’s especially unlikely that you will hurt your baby with facewash…..

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Another thing to remember is like… it’s just going on your skin. Sure, stuff gets absorbed through our skin and into our bloodstreams and all, but at a pretty tiny rate. Say you moisturized with a 2% retinol moisturizer, what teeny tiny bit is getting soaked in? I mean, don’t do the things that aren’t safe, but remember that it’s not black and white.

      (I get the anxiety. I cried my face off when, 4 months pregnant, I learned that I wasn’t supposed to have been eating pate. I had probably had it twice, and I was sure I had ruined my baby. Nope, she’s great.)

  16. Elementary School? says:

    Without getting into details, my husband and I are looking at potentially getting custody of a 7 year old for (undetermined amount of time). We both work and have a 2 year old in FT daycare.

    What do you do for the time between when school gets out and when you get home from work? I (naively) thought ‘oh! there’s an afterschool program! kid will just go to that and I can pick up at 5. Well, apparently there’s a lottery to get in and there’s a months-long waiting list.

    What’s the answer here? Do I hire a sitter for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week? Do I have her take the bus to someone who does in-home child care? Do I ask the family across the street if we can do a nanny share for 10 hours/week?

    • avocado says:

      Many day cares have after-school programs that pick up at the school. In our area, some martial arts and soccer programs also have after-school programs. The Y is usually another good option. You could start by asking the school if they have a list of programs that pick up students.

      • Elementary School? says:

        Thank you! The Y is actually in the adjacent town and the stinkin’ rec center is associated with the (totally full) afterschool programs.

    • Anonymous says:

      We do in-school after school care. There are also other programs that pick kids up from the school and take them to another afterschool program offsite. Other parents have a high school student from the nearby high school act as an afterschool nanny. Others do the bus to in-home childcare thing.

      Does your child’s daycare have an afterschool program? Maybe ask around with the staff if they know anyone looking for a part-time childcare job – they may have a friend in an early childhood education program who is looking for a part-time thing.

      • Elementary School? says:

        Daycare doesn’t have an afterschool program, but I’m going to start looking for places the child could ride the bus straight to.

        I think that I’m going to basically just have to look at all the options and figure out what is the most sane and cost-effective. The more I’m thinking about it, the more I’m thinking we might just end up throwing money at the problem… which makes more sense then me desperation-quitting my job, right?

        • I think throwing money at the problem may be a good idea in the short term. I am extremely frugal, but very willing to throw money at problems that are unexpected and temporary. It will buy you some time to get on the wait list for the after school program or research other options that may be more cost-effective in the long term. I also will often put out a ton of feelers for stuff like this, like calling local day cares, looking for a babysitter for a couple hours, asking your neighbor about a nanny share, and assume that some won’t be a good fit/will fall through/etc.

          • Elementary School? says:

            Thank you.

            I’m also zeroing in on a neighbor who has a child who just started kindergarten at a school that has extended days. I wish I knew Mom and Dad better, but I actually know the nanny very well. I know the Nanny is now working odd hours because of the kiddo’s school schedule and I’m almost wondering if Mom would be happy to get nanny (who has been with the kid since like 6 weeks old) more hours.

    • Our PTA has a list of afterschool programs that are either held at our school and or will pick up at our school. Maybe something to investigate? The onsite program at our school filled up but our son is happy at a different one that picks up at his school.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Mine (who is 7) attends a before/after school program that a local daycare runs. This is nice because they also cover teacher work days, snow delays, etc, which you’ll need to take into consideration as well (the public school schedule is unforgiving to working parents). We drop him off at the daycare in the morning and they take him to school in a van with the other kids, and they pick him up from school as well.

      Local karate/martial arts studios offer some after school programs as well. However, they don’t necessarily have to maintain the same caregiver/child ratios as daycares because they are “instructors” not childcare providers so that’s something to consider/look into as well. And again looking into if they cover teacher work days/early release, weather delays/closures, etc.

    • mascot says:

      My kid does aftercare at school. We also have friends who hire part time nannys or sitters to cover 3-6pm each day or whatever, so yes, that is a thing that people do. Ideally, you can find a set-up where the kid can get any homework taken care of, have a snack, have some play time and maybe even get transportation to a sport/activity (perhaps easier with a nanny/sitter).

    • Without asking for TMI, if this is a child protective situation and you are essentially going to be foster parents, the state will provide $ for childcare and have slots that you can access that the general public can’t. They might get you right past that lottery.

      • Elementary School? says:

        Thank you. Without specifics, we’re in the odd situation where if the child were in full time daycare, we would be golden, but because the kid is in school I’m finding surprisingly limited resources.

    • Babyboom says:

      If you aren’t able to get a list of providers from the school call the provider you know is full and ask if they know of other programs. They tend to know about other programs, and seem to know which programs may have openings.

      Another person to try is the school counselor. This person can possibly help the kid in multiple ways and would probably like to know about a kid going through a hard time coming into the school. Although this person’s job doesn’t usually include figuring out after school care they can possibly help point you in the right direction.

      And this is where my answer kind of goes off the rails and starts making assumptions…

      If this is kinship care try and find someone who has done kinship care in your state to talk to. There is a ton of variation by state, but there are some benefits for families that provide kinship care even if you aren’t a licensed foster parent. Not all workers in the foster care system are good about telling families this. In some states you have to ask for it (and you can’t ask for it if you don’t know about it). A private foster care agency might also be able to help you – but this is also very state dependent. If this isn’t kinship care through the state (or county) you might want to talk to a lawyer. Informal kinship care can get really complicated because you don’t actually have any legal authority over the kid.

      Don’t panic and certainly don’t quit your job. You got this. You should tell your employer if that is possible or advisable. Placement of kids in your home through foster care (including kinship) qualifies for FMLA leave.

      Thanks for helping this kid out.

      • Elementary School? says:

        Thank you. Without going into details, we’re definitely exploring some of the things you talked about and it will be a ‘formal’ custody.

        The odd thing seems to be that we can get all kinds of help for full time daycare, but somehow the after school care is not. It’s also a situation where all of this might fall through and child might go to live at (other very safe, caring location that would be happy to have them) so I might be asking people to go totally out on a limb for me and then not need it.

        • avocado says:

          I wouldn’t worry too much about asking the school and other professionals for help and then not ending up needing it. Just explain the situation–there is a strong possibility that we will get custody of this child but it’s not a sure thing, and we are trying to get after-school care in place so we are ready to go should it come to pass. The school will understand, and if they don’t then who cares?

          I wouldn’t try to set up a nanny share with another family until you are sure you have custody, though. In that case another family would be making child care decisions in reliance on your participation.

  17. Laundry says:

    We’re looking to buy a condo, and also planning for kids soon — should communal laundry be a deal-breaker?

    • Anonymous says:


    • Yes. Even without kids, if I’m buying a place, I expect to be able to do my laundry in the nude if I want.

    • Anonymous says:

      i don’t think so. i have a toddler and a communal laundry room. in some ways i prefer it because i do 4-5 loads at the same time in one shot, rather than 4-5 separate loads throughout the week.

    • 100000% yes. You’ll want to be able to run a load without schlepping baby to the laundry room, leave the load for a few hours before tossing it into the dryer, toss something soiled directly into the machine, and I’m sure a million other reasons I can’t think of but those ones are big.

    • How big of a communal laundry room? We have a giant bank of washers and dryers in our basement. I could chuck in 4 loads at a time. And when I was on maternity leave that was one of my opportunities for adult interaction, with at-home parents also doing laundry.

      • +1 – we’ve never had laundry in our apartment. If the laundry room is big enough so lines aren’t forming, open at hours that work for you, and in the same building as your unit I think it is a huge plus to be able to do multiple loads at once. I would never trade this for a single washer in my apartment. I do 5 loads at a time on the weekend and it is all done in an hour. I only have to worry about it once a week. If you have an emergency situation you can always do a load during the week if the room is open early am and in the evening. If there is major schlepping involved I would think twice.

    • Anonymous says:

      It depends on your tolerance for vomit- and poop-soaked clothes piling up in your apartment.

      So, YES this is a deal-breaker.

    • Cornellian says:

      I have laundry in unit but it was broken for nearly 3 weeks when I had a newborn at peak messy stage. It wasn’t awesome, but it was doable. That said, my kid is nine months today, so maybe toddler messiness is something I don’t understand.

      I’d check out how many machines there are, etc, because it will be difficult to not be able to do laundry on demand with a kid.

      • For the most part, I think infant messiness is worse than toddler messiness. Of course we have instances of poop and vomit, and the volume is greater now, but he’s overall healthy, and it’s pretty rare. Kiddo had reflux as an infant, and we’d often go through all 3 sheets in one night. We have in-unit laundry, and I usually do Kiddo’s laundry once a week. That said, we haven’t started potty training yet, which I suppose will lead to more laundry.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think it depends on the size of the communal laundry room relative to the building. We’re buying in a building with 1 washer/dryer for 8 units, and I’m not sure how that is going to work but it’s not a deal breaker for me.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’m in the minority but I say no, with exceptions.
      I had a building with communal laundry BUT the laundry room was on every floor. I picked an apartment 3 doors down from the laundry room, and would put laundry in when my son was in bed, and took the baby monitor with me while I did. I was closer to his room then than I am when I do laundry in our townhouse now!
      The only time it was miserable was when he threw up A BUNCH from norovirus and the chunks got in the community washing machine and I had to run it multiple times on empty with bleach and scrape them out. I also had to call a friend over to watch him while I went to go put the laundry in because I didn’t want to leave him alone awake and crying while i went to the laundry. Besides that one time it was never a huge issue. Definitely not ideal, but it allowed me to get a big apartment in a great neighborhood/school district in the DC area as a single mom, so I was willing to compromise.

    • Buying? Yes. Unless you can install one in your own unit.

      You will regret this forever.

      My kids are 1 and 4. We are battling a stomach virus and I’ve done midnight laundry for 4 nights in a row.

    • Blueberry says:

      I don’t think so. It’s nice to have on the same floor though, so you can rush out of your apartment to check on it for a second, etc. I had this set-up with a toddler and an infant and found it totally fine.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      When we first had our son, we had our own laundry machines and now we live in a place with a communal laundry room (decently big: 10 washers/10 dryers). So far, it hasn’t been so bad. A few things help with this: Husband takes kiddo out while I do laundry solo – I couldn’t do laundry with him. I have a set time every weekend when I do laundry, so I can anticipate how busy the room will be. I like getting everything done in the morning and not having to do laundry all weekend. So far, toddler messiness has been better than infant messiness – at least it’s more consistent now. We also have a ton of sheets, clothes, etc. so can go a week without needing to do laundry.

      I’m not sure if I would buy a place with no laundry, but for renting, it’s been ok.

      • It gets easier! I often do laundry with kiddo, who is 2.5 – I pre-sort, and hand him things to put in the washers. He loves ‘helping’.

    • octagon says:

      Laundry in the basement? Dealbreaker. Limits on the laundry room hours? Dealbreaker. Not enough machines for the residents? Dealbreaker.

      If it’s on your floor, and you could pretty much always get one, then I’d say no, assuming everything else is good with the unit.

      Remember that for resale value, it may limit your pool of potential buyers.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I rent in a building that has a single communal washer/dryer on each floor of 5-6 apartments. It’s not horrible, but I don’t feel like I can leave a load in the dryer and go to the park so we probably spend more time at home than I would like. There are times that laundry piles up because I just don’t have time/patience to hang around the house for hours at a time.

      The other thing to watch is whether they are coin-operated, or whether you get a card or something similar, and if so, how is it refilled? Ours are coin operated, with only one change machine in the building, and the change machine accepts only one and five dollar bills. It also breaks regularly. It is bad, bad, bad. If there is a card system, can you reload the card using a credit card at any time of the day? Or do you have to do it in the main office? The fewer steps you need to take to do laundry with a young child, the better.

      Paid laundry can also get expensive with a little one. When I had in-unit laundry, it wasn’t a big deal to throw a small load of pungent blow-out sleepers or vomit sheets into the washer. Now that I have to pay $1.75 for a wash load and $1.50 for a dryer load, and have to hoard quarters for every load, I cringe over little loads. And kiddo had pinworms a year ago, which meant washing her and my sheets, undies, towels, etc literally every single morning – I think I spent $30 in laundry costs in one week.

  18. Lots of daycares have after-school programs. I would call your elementary school’s office and ask if they have a list of aftercare providers.

    • Elementary School? says:

      Thank you! Somebody else also gave me a tip that the only people they’ve ever seen be able to move the afterschool program list are the school principals.

      The scenario in which this kid is coming to us is not a happy or easy one for the kiddo. I’m hoping someone may take pity on us and help us find a slot.

      • EB0220 says:

        That’s fascinating. Our local Y runs the on-site aftercare at my kiddo’s school and I think I signed her up the day before school started with no issues. Chalk it up to one of the things I love about my area…plentiful, high-quality childcare, which has not been the case in other cities we’ve lived in, so you have my sympathy. Good luck!

        • Elementary School? says:

          I had always lived in places where it was the same. Like, there was an after-school program, kids could decide to go two weeks in if their friends were doing it.

          We moved to our lovely, close in suburb, because of great schools, reasonable commutes, walkable neighborhoods, etc. Turns out that a lot of other young families did too and we’re having a bit of a boom in the district.

      • I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  19. Everlong - not threading says:

    Thanks for the assurances. I feel bad because appearance-wise, they’re trying to do the right thing and it’s better than them being absent, it’s just infuriating at times.

    Avocado – good idea about the park. We’ve done that with them before. Amazingly, it does not force interaction but it is better than sitting around the house wishing they were doing better. At least they get to enjoy being spectators at the park and there’s an easier endpoint.

  20. Pumping says:

    I typically pump 3 times a day at work — 8:30, between 12 and 1, and usually around 3:30. A couple of days I haven’t been able to do the lunch-time pump around lunch so push it around 2 p.m. I find on the days this happens I end up getting the same amount overall, and just get much more at 2 p.m. than I would at either noon or 3:30 on a typical day. I’d love to only pump twice a day on the reg. Has anyone experimented with this? Worried about supply dropping if my body got used to only two pumps but not sure that’s even a thing? Baby is 8.5 months…

    • Yes, definitely, I stopped pumping more than 2x early on, and even just did one big pump sometimes. (I did only work 8 hours though). You’re at a time when supply tends to drop anyway, so it may be hard to tell. But you are also at a point when you may start to stop caring so much about your supply :)

    • I dropped a pumping session when Baby was 6 months old, and my supply dropped and continued to drop until I couldn’t really nurse anymore by 7 months. Obviously, everyone is different, and it probably won’t go that way for you, but it happens.

    • Cornellian says:

      I think there are two concerns: supply dropping, but also blocked ducts.

      I have no problem pumping twice a day from a supply perspective, but it seems to make my ever present problem with blocked ducts (and occasional mastitis) worse. I do two sessions and aim for about 13 oz (kid drinks 12 in bottles at daycare). My kid is almost exactly the same age, and I wonder if I need to start letting my supply drop a bit so I can more comfortably do two pumps and send him with, say, 10 oz as he starts eating more.

    • I dropped to two pumps around that time with no problem. It is worth trying.

    • Anonymous says:

      I did twice a day but pumped longer at a time. So 2 sessions at 20 mins each vs 3 at 15 mins.

    • I dropped to two pumps at 7 months because we were nearing the end of nursing. The first day or two I got just as much as I did with three pumps, but then after that my supply dropped fast and I lost the amount of that third pump. It’s definitely a thing.

  21. Old Mom is so relative says:

    I had my kids (1, not quite 4) at the playground today. As we were leaving, a woman with an infant and a 2 year old came up to me and said, “I thought you were the nanny until I heard your daughter call you ‘Mom’–it’s always so hard to tell who is a nanny and who is just a young mom!”

    I’m 34 and look every year of it. I have never looked “young” or “good” for my age. I don’t have grey hair but other than that there is absolutely no question I’m solidly into my 30s.

    Gotta love Massachusetts where I was a ‘young mom’ giving birth to my first at 30, and when I went to my first appointment when pregnant with my second (at 33), I was “the youngest person I’ve seen all day” (guess she doesn’t see teens for annuals??). When I visit my southern in-laws, I am older than every other mom at the playground by 5 years.

    • Blueberry says:

      Lol, when we lived in Manhattan, folks sometimes got pretty confused about the relationship between my mom (in her late 50s — looks pretty much her age) and my toddler.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      My parents said I was old when I had my son at 29. In their time and in their country, early 20s was common for first-time moms. I can’t imagine having a kid in my early 20s – I still feel so young now!

    • Cornellian says:

      I got pregnant at 29 in Manhattan and some people thought that was super young. It’s definitely NOT young in the scheme of things, but I am definitely on the very early side of my peer group. It’s all so relative!

    • That’s crazy, and you’re right — it’s so relative. Meanwhile, I’m 37 and some of my high school classmates had children going to prom last spring! And the daughter of my 39-year-old cousin started college this fall. I thought they were c-r-a-z-y for having babies that early, but some days I’m so tired that I think they were onto something!

    • ElisaR says:

      as I drag my 39 and 11 month old self around at 32 weeks pregnant i say…… young pregnant ladies are smart. yes everything is relative… and what a nice compliment that you seem young!

      • Old Mom is so relative says says:

        I attributed it to the giant cup of coffee I’d just had, and the fact I was actually dressed and wearing make-up. Usually I’m lucky if my hair is brushed. It’s just funny because I really do look my age/older and this person was commenting that even 34 is such a young mom.

  22. Recipe PSA says:

    This Brussels sprout Mac and cheese was a huge hit with my family yesterday. It’s a little time consuming as written but there are shortcuts (buy or shred in advance the Brussels and cheeses, use lemon juice vs zest, use only cheeses in your fridge- I had grueyere, very sharp cheddar and a mild cheddar). I have no idea how well t reheats because it was inhaled.

    • Sigh. My son won’t eat macaroni if he can see pepper in it, let alone anything green. I was just as bad as a kid though, so I’m totally getting what I deserve. But this looks delicious and grown up me might just make it so I can enjoy it while he eats another peanut butter (no jelly – what do you think he is, logical?!) sandwich.

      • Recipe PSA says says:

        Ha, in my house I’d make the kids eat in the dark so they couldn’t see pepper ;) There’s a butternut squash recipe I’ve made before that’s pretty good and the squash is blended into the sauce so it doesn’t stick out. This is better, though, and pairs well with a sharp white wine.

    • To add on to the Brussels sprouts thing: this was an unexpected hit with my 2.5yo!

      I…might have added an extra tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

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