Feeding Tuesday: Dishwasher Safe Divided Plate

dishwasher safe divided platesMy eldest is in that phase where none of his food can touch (and he also eats about a third of the foods he used to eat when he was an adventurous toddler), and I’ve just kind of decided to lean in rather than wringing my hands over it too much.  I bought some beautiful BPA-free plastic divided plates a while ago that say they’re dishwasher safe, but my new thing is that I want to wash anything plastic by hand. This just meant that the fancy plates were never free, or it felt like my husband and I were doing the dishes all of the time.  So I went on a hunting expedition, and found these shatterproof glass plates from Corelle — with divided portions. They come in 8.5″ plates as well as 10.25″ plates, and they come out beautifully in the dishwasher.  They’re $7 per plate over at Amazon (with bulk discounts available — 6 plates for $30, for example); Corelle.com also has them for $6, but if you buy 4 you save 30%. Another bonus: they’re really thin plates, so they take up much less room in the cabinet. Score.  Corelle Livingware 8-1/2-Inch Divided Dish



  1. Am I naïve to think you can just use regular dishes with children? I was raised with nice “real” dishes my whole childhood and we had some break but no more often than I break wine glasses or whatnot as an adult. I actually still have some of my dishes still as an adult and they are lovely and have lots of happy memories attached. I am hoping I can use them with my child now. I understand this means I won’t just be able to leave her unattended to eat and will have to teach her to be more careful, but is this really impossible? I sort of hate plastic dishes, even nice ones, so hoping that my plan will work.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I’m in the same boat. We used plastic (I know, the horror!) divided plates and bowls from the grocery store baby aisle until about age 3. Now we just use our normal dishes. We’ve not had any breakage yet (knock wood). We do still require sippy cups for outside the kitchen drinking, but otherwise, our 3 yo uses all the same stuff as we do.

    • pockets says:

      My daughter went through a stage where she signaled that she was done eating by throwing her plate off her high chair. And even if she isn’t intentionally throwing the plate, she does sometimes bump the plate with her elbows or whatever and send it falling to the ground. I’d highly recommend shatterproof plates.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I recall doing the same. Currently (10.5 month old) I just dump her dinner straight on the tray but I’m hoping to use real plates once she’s older, maybe 3 or 4? Honestly, my husband breaks so many dishes that a few accidents from a child are the least of my concerns.

    • anne-on says:

      I think it depends on your kid. Mine was not a thrower, and we sit with him as he eats (either to read a book, or now cooking while he sits at the island to eat). So, we’ve pretty much always used real plates, with the exception of kiddie forks/spoons, and plastic drinking glasses/straw cups. But its nice to have one less ‘kid’ thing in my house.

    • Agree that it depends on the kid, the dishes, etc. We use kid stuff for both kids because my youngest (2.5) is a thrower, hitter, etc. (she expresses frustration in physical ways) and my oldest (5) is careful but would be devastated if he broke something. We have started using real plates (the ones I used as a kid and we use everyday!) with the oldest as he has gotten older and gained an increasing sense of his own body and motor skills.

    • Spirograph says:

      My 1.5 year old dumps her plate immediately onto her high chair tray, so most of the time we just cut out the middleman and serve her on her tray. The 3 year old insists on having a “really really big plate like mommy,” so we bought Corelle in a similar pattern to our stoneware — kiddo only gets the Corelle. My kitchen is tiny; I have one stack of dinner plates and one stack of salad plates in the cupboard and no space to spare for divided plates, so they get what they get.

    • I don’t leave my 16MO son unattended to eat, and I try very hard to teach him to be careful, but he nevertheless will drop (sometimes throw) his bowls / plates on the floor, or bang them hard on the table or counter. Most of the time he still eats directly off the high chair tray, but I do want him to get the practice using plates and bowls, so for now, plastic / composite it is. Daycare puts the lunches on paper plates, but I don’t want to do that at home. If he were eating off a real dish, I would feel like I would have to hold it down for him while he eats and take it away if I had to get him more milk or whatever. Not sure how well he could learn with that level of hovering.

    • Artemis says:

      I have lots of cheapo plastic dishes from Target, etc. for two reasons:
      1) the designs are really fun and I buy them when I see ones my kids would like
      2) both my 6 year old and 3.5 year old are expected to clear and capable of clearing their own dishes from the table at the end of a meal. My 6 year old I trust to carry a real plate carefully, but with my 3.5 year old that’s asking a lot, and I’d rather him learn to do it independently and spill some food on the way than hover over him while he sort-of does it with a real plate.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I decided that the level of anxiety I would feel over kiddo carrying/using breakable dishes over a tiled kitchen floor wasn’t conducive to a healthy meal time atmosphere. We both walk around the house barefoot, and the potential for glass shards getting lodged in little feet was not acceptable to me.

      We use Corelle (not divided, just regular) and have not had any breakage or other incidents.

    • We’ve always used regular dishes for our now 4 year old. Have used white ramekins (glass) extensively for bowls for fruit etc and they work well. Used small glass glasses for drinking since age 1 (think large shot glasses – whatever Alabama Slammers served in during my college days!!!) and haven’t had issues. She is a Montessori kid and they use glass in the classroom, no sippie cups, etc so we did the same at home. Most restaurants have small glasses at the bar and no need to cart around sippie cups.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a 2 and 4 y/o and have normal dishes. They’re just cheap white plates but they are ceramic.

      We do plastic cereal bowls though because those slip into the floor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, we had Correllware when I was a kid. Philosophy-wise Montessori believes that using real dishes (and helping kids clean up broken ones) teaches kids to be careful and gentle.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      We use real dishes. We have restaurant quality dishes (Homer Laughlin, made in USA, makers of Fiestawear although we have a neutral/plain line), Duralex Picardie glasses (tempered glass, the 3 oz are great for the very little hands, then 8 oz). We have some mini flatwear (Oneida, I believe), but we mostly use the salad plates and dessert spoons that came with our regular set once they outgrow the infant spoons.

      I grew up using Corelle, which is also a great choice. Much lighter weight and less expensive.

  2. Recommendation on books/etc. to introduce toddler to being a big brother/sister? says:

    We are expecting our second child in December, and I am looking for book recommendations or other ideas on how to introduce the idea of having a sibling to our toddler, who is 2 and 3/4 now and will be 3 and 1/4 when baby arrives. I’m picturing some age-appropriate books that we can read with him on what it is like to be a big brother or sister and where babies come from, but am open to any suggestions on how to share the news with him and talk about his questions and concerns. TIA!

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      Daniel Tiger! There are a lot of helpful episodes.

      • pockets says:

        Yes, I think Daniel Tiger (spoiler alert!) gets a sibling in the second season, and many episodes are on how he reacts to that.

    • Carine says:

      Hello in There!: A Big Sister’s Book of Waiting was a big hit with my eldest, who was 3.5 when our second was born. I really liked that it shows the mother’s belly and the baby inside growing larger with each page turn, and my daughter loved lifting the flaps to see what the baby was up to. The illustrations are cute. It was different from the other “new baby” stories we read and more interactive, so I’m still recommending even though you’ve got a big brother-to-be. You could just improv the title if that’s an issue!

      We also had Joanna Cole’s I’m a Big Sister, and there is a brother version for that one. Lola Reads to Leo is another big sister character but very sweet, in that she tries to read stories that will cheer up the baby when he cries (teaching that you can help! Babies cry! A lot, but it’s just how they tell us they need something). It also speaks to any fears that parents won’t be there for the older child in the same way–the parents make sure to still have storytime with just Lola at the end.

      We also did the gift exchange at the hospital and she still shows off the gift that “the baby” gave her, telling everyone “this is my present from [baby’s name]!”

      Congratulations! I am happy with our kids’ age difference; they’re adorable together. She is so proud and helpful, and he thinks she is hilarious! Instant entertainment whenever she’s around. It’s really fun.

    • I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole
      The New Baby by Mercer Meyer
      My New Baby by Rachel Fuller
      Best Ever Big Brother by Karen Katz
      All of these books focus on how babies can’t do the same things big kids can do. My oldest seemed to really fixate on that idea and “get it” with enough repetition.

      We did a lot of talking about relationships. I’m your mom, you’re my son, Uncle is my brother, etc. Pointed out friends who had brothers and sisters.
      Both kids were c-sections so we talked about how doctors took oldest out of mom’s tummy and when baby is big enough, doctors will take him or her out too. Showed the scar and talked about how mommy grows the baby first.

      • Forgot to add the gift from the baby part. I really hesitated on the present idea, but Baby got Oldest a real working camera (VTech Kidizoom). Since everyone else was taking pictures, Oldest loved getting to take his OWN pictures and be in charge of something. He still loves it and shows off the gift from Baby.

        • Meg Murry says:

          And on the flip side, my son was a little older, but he loved picking out a stuffed animal that was from the same line as his favorite stuffed animal/lovey, to give to the baby in the hospital. They are 9 and 4.5 now, and both of them will point out “This is the tiger BigBro gave to LittleBro when he was born, it’s just like BigBro’s leopard” pretty regularly.

          Letting him pick out an “I’m the big brother” t-shirt and corresponding “I’m the little brother” onesie was also cute and fun.

          Note: when I say “pick out” I mean “show him 3 or 4 different choices on the internet and heavily steer him toward my favorites”

        • Edna Mazur says:

          My SIL got her son a kiddo digital camera around that age. Unaware, he had taken her picture when she came out of the shower. She had to do some quite deleting on the fly when visiting her in-laws.

          Just saying, go through the pictures occasionally as young kids don’t necessarily know what is and is not appropriate to photograph, and then show Grandpa.

    • I understand that it’s out of print, but I really liked “Our New Baby” for this with my son, and it seemed to really help him get the idea. You can still get it here: http://www.amazon.com/First-Experiences-Baby-Priddy-Books/dp/0312493096/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1464108919&sr=8-8&keywords=our+new+baby

      I like that it used real pictures (rather than cartoony or animals) and gave a good idea of what to expect (kicking, mommy and daddy go to the hospital, baby is noisy or sleepy, big brother helps with baby) without getting into too much detail or making it sound scary. My son seemed to really like it.

  3. Peppermint Patty says:

    Wondering what you all do to keep memories for kiddos from Kindergarten on up. I have saved a ton of artwork and school papers, certificates, etc. from this Kindergarten year. I’m tempted to scan everything but I don’t know if I will ever find the time. And I find when I do scan things I put them in a folder in my computer never to be viewed again. Do you have a memory book? A box? Just looking for some good ideas so I can get rid of some of these papers!

    • I’m prety ruthless about the papers that come home. It is so overwhelming! At the beginning of the school year, I buy an accordion file. As papers come in, I file them — either in the accordion file (class photos, report cards, special reports/hard work) or the recycle bin (worksheets, scrap drawings, etc.) Then at the end of the year, I go through the accordion file and cull more. What seems important in October might not make the final cut as May papers come in. Then the whole thing gets a rubberband and filed. It is probably still too much stuff to keep, but at least it is organized!

    • Meg Murry says:

      For the certificates, try to take a picture of Kiddo with them when they come in, and then you can pitch them (or pitch all but the very most impressive). My son has a bulletin board in his room and he hangs up his favorite of the certificates and we encourage him to pitch the old ones as new ones come in (he gets at least 1 per month).

    • Anonymous says:

      I take photos of most of the artwork and hang the more attractive pieces on a clothesline-type display system in the playroom, removing old pieces as they start to fall apart or things get too cluttery. Stuff that doesn’t get hung up is recycled. Some of the art photos make it into the family photo books I make on Shutterfly, but I’m currently three years behind on that. Certificates go in the kid’s scrapbook, along with concert and theatre tickets, recital programs, printed photos from school and team picture days, sports scorecards, etc. School papers are filed in an accordion file until report cards come out, then recycled. I do have a set of wide, flat cardboard boxes where we keep a few of the most special pieces of artwork and the best pieces of writing from school. She also has a couple of her best paintings framed in her room, partly because they look pretty nice and partly so I didn’t have to spend money on wall art.

    • Artemis says:

      I keep school photos in an old-school 3-ring binder photo album with plastic page covers of varying sizes so I can have all the photos in one book no matter the size. I do as some above do and have a decorative board in the kitchen where I post their artwork temporarily until new stuff comes in/it gets ratty and if we’re not saving it, it goes into recycling. I especially use the board to display holiday-themed art throughout the year, free decorating!

      Otherwise, I have a plastic storage box for each kid. Into that goes their saved artwork. They are actually scrapbook page boxes so they hold quite a lot without taking up too much space. My personal rule is that I keep anything with a handprint or footprint on it because it shows their creativity and their growth. Other than that, I pretty ruthlessly discard unless kid tells me it’s special or a funny story or sentence w/ accompanying picture.

    • My parents downsized recently, and my mom had a trunk full of momentos and artwork from when I was a baby through about preschool. We went through it together a few months ago, and honestly, we looked at everything once and then threw it all out. There were a few funny things (a book for the letter “F” with the first picture being a “finger” that looked like flipping someone off) and a few weird things (a hospital bracelet that elicited the response “Oh, that’s from when you almost died!”). Overall, though, my impression is that my parents did not need to keep that sh*t for 30 years through 4 different houses.

    • Anons says:

      Frame one or two of your most favorite things. Scan/photograph what you feel you need to. Send a piece to grandma or grandpa if they will truly enjoy it. Toss the rest.

  4. I know most people here have little kids, but for those with school aged children, does this ring true to you? (Link to follow.) I’m going to get into so much trouble as my kids get older. First CPS is going to be at my door for letting them walk to the store. Next I’m going to row with their principal over school silliness. (I realize this isn’t about the school, but the concept of lots of parental volunteering at school at all irks me, as does scheduling things during the work day. My mom could never take time off from work for these things, and it made her feel unwelcome at my schools and excluded by the SAHMs.)

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Ugh, this just makes me rage-y.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        That story makes me feel heartbroken. It’s not just the income gap, it’s the effort those moms have gone to just to accentuate that they are elite. That reflects so much insecurity and wasted energy….

        I remember my mom (a C suite working mom at a large national corporation) setting aside a couple times a year to volunteer in my classroom, and making time to attend PTO meetings. I remember her serving as co-chair of the PTO when I was in high school. It never occurred to me that she was doing something revolutionary. Just gonna wipe the dust out of my eyes here….

        Companies should know this. How little effort would it take for a company to give working folks a half day each semester to volunteer for a school event? Heck, don’t even limit it to parents. Encourage people without children to volunteer in schools too.

    • Meg Murry says:

      There is a bit of truth to this in my life, although not as much so. For instance, this year the school changed the lunch provider, and a handful of parents were up in arms about how unhealthy it was. And yes, it wasn’t ideal. But it was the parents at the top 10% of the income scale who were making the biggest deal about it, while meanwhile 50% of the school gets free or reduced lunch – and none of those parents were at the PTO meetings (or if they were they weren’t speaking up). Some compromises were struck, but the elite parents didn’t want to listen to the principal and guidance counselor about the fact that last year’s lunch provider often had kids throwing out entire trays of untouched food, and that may have been the only real meal the kids were served that day – and hungry kids are not going to be doing their best in the classroom – and that this year kids were getting excited about options like having a choice of veggies, and the elite parents could either not let their kids buy the lunch or counsel them that they could buy option A but couldn’t get option B when that was nachos.

      But yes, overall it’s a hard balance between advocating for what is best for my own kid (advanced math! Spelling homework other than the same worksheet format every week!) vs what is best so the teacher can help all of the kids from the advanced students to the struggling ones without burning out. But I do try to put my foot down at PTO events that aren’t inclusive to the whole population, and in our community there aren’t a ton of show-off-y SAHMs – the volunteers tend to be part-time or freelancing parents, and get put to work on real volunteering activities like reading one-on-one with kids or helping with a math workstation or just being an extra pair of hands in the classroom.

    • Just some thoughts. says:

      Our public school had an amazing 5K the other weekend that generated literally about $50,000 in fundraising. 4th or 5th year in a row at that level.

      Meanwhile, there is another elementary school in the same district literally blocks away that really suffers from lack of funding, poorer student body, parents less able to give time OR money (and probably lack skills to do so at such a high level). I am thinking of NOT volunteering at my kid’s school and volunteering there, even teaching English would be helpful… my kids’ school is overrun with TheMomSquad. Oy.

      The other thing that is a topic in our public school is CONSTANTLY being asked to give $, time, etc. EVERY MONTH. And do you give for teacher’s birthdays? if so, how much? Because this is a topic that generates fights.

    • pockets says:

      The SAHMs also have the time to figure out who the “good” teachers are and then nag the school to get their kids into that class. They can then spend the time “advocating” for their children to get better grades (i.e., convince a teacher to round up an 87 to an A) and generally get the best conditions for their kids. Working parents are at a real disadvantage there.

    • Anonymous says:

      This article doesn’t ring true (rich parents dominating volunteering to the detriment of poor kids) because our school is ridiculously homogeneous. We only have 7% on free or reduced price lunch.

      The SAHM v. working mom thing is a huge problem in our district. Volunteer opportunities for mothers are limited to weekly obligations during business hours (e.g., reading with kids for one hour per week), serving as room parent, or cooking food for regular teacher appreciation events. Dads are invited to take a single day off of work and volunteer for the entire day, and are treated as heroes. They get special t-shirts and photos with their kids in the yearbook. Parents are also expected to attend events during the workday, and to pick up their kids from chorus practices, play rehearsals, student council, etc. in the middle of the afternoon because these events run late and after-school program vans only pick kids up at the official dismissal time.

      The only parents who are successful at advocating for their children are the SAHMs who volunteer on a regular basis. My kid was diagnosed as exceptionally gifted (99.9+ percentile) and receives the same non-existent “services” as kids in the 90th percentile. She is bored to death and is beginning to develop bad habits because she is not challenged, but nobody cares because she is getting As with zero effort, aces the state tests and raises the school’s stats, and doesn’t act out in class. Meanwhile, the perennial “volunteer of the year” can get her kid placed with any teacher she wants.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, and, yes, I also fear that someday CPS will show up at my door because I allowed my kid to walk to the store by herself.

        • Meg Murry says:

          I used to fear CPS calling because I let my kids walk to school or play in the yard. But we got more phone calls from neighbors the day the stupid chicken was too close to the road than the day my 4 year old was out playing in the yard and I didn’t realized he’d slipped out when he was supposed to be napping. So YMMV :-)

        • this happened very, very close to my neighborhood. You may have seen it reported in the national news last year as the family being investigated by CPS because a 10 and 6 year old were reported walking home alone from the local playground. The second time, the police allegedly just kept the kids and did not notify the parents for hours because of the previous CPS involvement.

          • I live in NoVA and this incident scared the daylights out of me. I would TOTALLY let my kids do this! (I mean, they’re 2 now, so no, but a 10 yr old?). I babysat other people’s children when I was 11. I certainly was fine taking care of myself at age 10. And could probably have supervised a 6 yr old sibling on a short walk, too.

          • Anon for this says:

            Ughh. I was trying so hard to let this go because I know a lot about this particular incident. Just keep in mind that the media reporting of this is so one sided because cps can’t talk to the media, even to correct blatantly inaccurate statements. If you’ve ever had personal knowledge of something reported in the media, you know how things can easily be portrayed in a misleading light. No one is “taking your kids” because an otherwise engaged parent let a kid walk to a nearby store. It’s just not reality. Don’t worry about it. There are plenty of things to worry about in this world but big bad cps isn’t one of them. At least not for engaged, educated, affluent parents in dc metro.

          • I don’t have personal knowledge of this case, but friends of mind have had CPS called on them for things that very much did not put their children in danger. True CPS didn’t take my friends’ kids, but even if CPS itself isn’t a risk, people who are convinced that the world “isn’t the way it used to be” (uh, yeah, actually it’s a lot safer than it used to be, a lot lot safer) and are too eager to report others are a risk.

          • Anonymous says:

            Just coming to the attention of CPS is a huge negative for a family, even if the kids aren’t taken.

          • Anon for this says:

            Sure. I wouldn’t want my kid interviewed by cps either. I get that. Just saying it’s not, in the grand scheme of things, worth too much worry. And it’s a delicate line to walk, because assuming you aren’t going to have the community report with perfect accuracy, isn’t it better to over report than under? Better to subject some kids to unnecessary interviews than to ignore reports that were, in retrospect, red flags? It’s impossible to know if a report is worth investigating without actually investigating it. It’s very easy to sit back and criticize in hindsight, based on one biased side of the story. Very hard to actually do the job of cps, wading through thousands of reports to identify kids actually at risk. CPS doesn’t appreciate over reporting either; it makes their job more difficult. But they also can’t very well tell people to stop reporting. I’m just saying the risk of your kids being unjustifiably taken by cps or actually harmed by a cps interview are pretty small and, in my view, worth it compared to the alternative of ignoring more reports (you have seen plenty of those stories in the local media too over the past few years, after something tragic happens) or discouraging the community from making them. Most people who make these community-based reports are well intentioned, and most people are very reluctant to call cps or police, which is how stuff like penn state happens.

            I get why no one wants to be investigated by cps, I just think this fear of cps is overblown and fueled by some very misleading clickbait stories. Kind of like the general fear of strangers…

          • +1 to the overzealous reporters. For the Maryland family, I definitely got the sense that they were defiant and almost goading cps/police after the first time their kids were reported in order to make a point about their parenting philosophy. I give them credit for raising h3ll, but probably not the route I would have taken, even though I am on board with the free-range thing. I totally get that CPS is obligated to investigate, and the police are obligated to follow their own protocol, and I believe neither substantiated any wrongdoing, but I hate that members of my community are so eager to report a couple healthy kids walking on a busy street (with a sidewalk! at a time of day when it’s reasonable for kids to be outside!) as “endangered.”

    • hoola hoopa says:

      First off, notice that you don’t mention whether your father was able to take time off of work.

      This is so far off from my experiences. For reference, my children attend a school with a range of incomes (homeless to solidly upper middle class). Yes, most parents who volunteer are above the mean, but they also are not at all like the author describes here. The school and parent organizers definitely stay focused on what the kids want and how to be open to all families. For example, all events are free and there are free shuttle buses for families without transportation. The heavy volunteers (think: PTA board members) are generally middle class, but you see a wide range for smaller commitments (ie, two hours on picture day, one day field trips).

      • hoola hoopa says:

        And, since the topic seemed to steer towards SAHM vs WOHMs, that hasn’t been a huge issue for me either. Yes, the frequent volunteers are SAHMs without pre-school aged children. But by no means is our PTA or volunteer pool dominated by families with a stay at home parent. For example, our entire PTA board works at least part time, most work full time. I’ve found that age of kids is a bigger determinant than work status, actually. I actually find working parents of young children have an easier time volunteering than SAHPs with younger children, because they have childcare during the day. There are also lots of ways to volunteer outside of work hours (staff evening events, fundraising, etc).

        Also, be thankful that there are parents who are able to be more involved than you. Get to know them. Talk to them about what’s happening in the classroom, at the school, and in the PTA. You can get your input though them; you’ll also learn a lot, too. (Instead of bemoaning that the SAH ultra-volunteer knows which teacher to request, ask them!)

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh, the SAHM ultra-volunteer is a friend of mine and I have already asked her which teacher to request! I rely on SAHMs for nearly all of my information about what goes on at school. I do appreciate the moms who volunteer weekly. It’s just that the school administration will only listen to the parents they know personally, and the PTA/volunteer system is set up to fit 1950s families (who constitute the vast majority of families in our attendance zone).

      • My father wasn’t in the picture. It had nothing to do with gender norms. I was raised solely by my mother.

  5. Two thoughts: On the one hand, yes, it drives me batty when our school schedules things during the work day and the few times that I have managed to attend an event at 10am on a Wednesday, the overwhelmingly present population is SAHMs. I live in an area where dual parent working families are more rare than the 60% national figure, so I feel like the constraints of dual working parents are not taken into account a great deal. On the flip side, my husband is an elem school administrator, so I hear it from his perspective as well: Many times the schools cannot keep teachers outside of a certain number of hours that are all reserved for teaching, so it is impossible to schedule events (e.g. concerts) for the evening because they cannot require the teachers (or custodians or other school personnel) to attend and those school personnel have their own families and events to attend. That being said, I have zero problems going to the school administrators and saying that certain things don’t work for our family and most other dual parent working families.

  6. Hi – we’re expecting our first in July and trying to plan a bit for the first months. I have a tight-knit extended family who all lives nearby and will be dying to meet the baby, but also respectful of whatever time-frame we request. My parents will stop by regularly to help for the first couple of weeks. When should I suggest that my aunts, uncles and cousins come by to meet the baby?

    • This is so personal, but I didn’t mind having visitors at the hospital and in the first couple weeks at home. If you like these relatives (which it sounds like you do) and they are respectful, I’d probably tell them that you’d like to wait-and-see about hospital visitors, but they can probably stop by in the first week if you’re feeling up for it (and they get their Tdap shots – make them get their shots!)

    • Meg Murry says:

      For aunts, uncles, cousins, etc I’d tell them that you’re hoping everything will go well and that you’d be able to invite them to meet the baby a little while after you get home from the hospital but to please wait until you call, and please don’t come to the hospital. And then tell your parents that when/if they call to announce the birth that they make sure they are just saying “the baby is here!” not “the baby is here come see her!’

      Is this the first baby of your generation? If not, can you ask your siblings or cousins how it went down with the family when their kid was born? You may find that there are one or two aunts that need to be handled more carefully to avoid them parking themselves in your hospital room or living room for hours or days at a time. Or that one family member will explicitly wait to be invited while the rest of the family just shows up, and that family member will be offended to be left out.

      Are your parents also nearby? It might be easier to have them host a weekend BBQ where you can stop by with the baby, let everyone see him/her, then leave again rather than have a constant stream of people in and out of your house.

      Have a code phrase with your husband and/or mother (or family enforcer) that means “get these people out of my living room NOW”. With my first I wound up cooped up in a stuffy upstairs bedroom attempting (and failing) to b-feed while my living room was full of family. With my second, I told my husband that when I said “I think baby is getting hungry” that meant to get rid of everyone in the next 10 minutes (he could invite them into his office, to the front porch or patio, but out of the main living space) so I could comfortably b-feed with my feet up in the comfy chair in the living room (and that H was to circle around and check on me, not to leave me alone for hours with the baby). I’d sometimes invite my mother, MIL, sister or very close cousins to stay in the room with me – but I couldn’t get the hang of b-feeding without being pretty much topless, and I wasn’t going to do that in front of my dad, FIL or BIL.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Oh, and in my family we give the person with the newest baby the option of hosting the next family party (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, whatever) – but the whole family sweeps in and cleans the house in advance and then shows up with the food already cooked and disposable dishes, so that way the new parents don’t have to leave the house with an infant and worry about packing all the diapers, spare clothes, etc. Some families like that option, others would rather just show up at an event for an hour or so and then split again, and others opt out of the family party altogether.

    • Spirograph says:

      For my 2 cents: You shouldn’t suggest anything right now, because you have no idea how you will feel after your baby is born. You might have an “easy” birth experience and feel up to visitors the first week at home, or you might be physically recuperating from a hard labor and/or not in an emotional place where you want anyone around. If they’re local, I don’t see why you need to plan in advance at all. Ask them to let you see how things go and adjust to your baby and schedule – you’ll tell people when you’re ready for visitors.

      Regardless, you should insist that anyone who wants to see your baby in the first few months get a TDAP booster.

    • I think it depends on how your delivery goes/what your baby is like. Babies generally sleep a lot so it’s easy enough to have people over in the beginning, the only thing that was a little tricky to work out is your nursing schedule. I tried to have the baby fed right before we had visitors and preferred it when they cleared out in 2 hours so I could nurse baby again in peace and quiet. But you can always go with the baby in the other room for a few or nurse with others there if you’re comfortable.
      As far as friends visiting, I found it very easy to entertain and have people over basically any time before the baby was 3 months and trickier thereafter because she had more of a schedule and would be more sensitive to noise. I’d say if you have childless friends who want to come hang out, invite them over sooner than later. The trickiest visitors for me were kids – because 1) they want to touch/hold the baby all the time and they are the most likely to be sick and 2) all the little kids I know wanted to watch me nurse. I was okay with #2 but i can see how it would be annoying to someone else and as far as #1, I just designated someone else to be a hand washing monitor and watch the kids generally. For two friends whose kids are always sick, I tried to wait till the baby was older to meet them and, fwiw, these friends completely understood.

    • Due in December says:

      It may depend on your baby (I know, not a helpful answer). If your baby is ultra-colicky at first, you might be overwhelmed.

      Otherwise, I’d suggest having extended family come by around 1-2 months, maybe right after 2 months if you are worried about vaccinations (the baby will be done with major vaccinations after the 2 month pediatrician appointment). That gives a month or so to figure out feeding, etc. (like, if you are breastfeeding, you don’t want people around if you will feel uncomfortable essentially topless, which is how I rolled until baby and I mastered the feeding thing).

      For my baby, and a lot of babies, there is a ton of daytime sleeping going on in the first 1-2 months, so it is easy to pass the baby around to be held, people can coo and whatever. Around 3-4 months, she became much more awake, alert, and wiggly, so she takes more focus, hates being cradle held (unless being fed), and in some ways is more of a “handful” for those unaccustomed to holding babies.

      But be flexible, maybe suggest people get in touch with you at X time and go from there?

    • MDMom says:

      Tell them to wait to to hear from you. You just have no idea how you will be feeling. No need to commit to anything now.

    • This is so help – thanks. This is the first child of my generation. I hadn’t heard about the TDAP booster. Do you really insist everyone get that? It’s hard to imagine some family members being willing to do that. For how long do you insist that?

      • I am pretty laid back about most things, but I was maniacal about the TDAP booster. It’s to protect the baby against whooping cough, which is unfortunately making a comeback (and can make babies very, very sick). I think babies get vaccinated for it around 2 months, so I had a bright line that anyone who wanted to visit before that had to be up-to-date on their vaccine. It’s the same vaccine as tetanus so a lot of adults are up-to-date, but there’s no harm in getting a booster. If someone balks at the idea, they can wait until later to meet the baby, no big deal.

      • October says:

        I struggled with this, and where we landed was making sure the people who would have the most contact with the baby (the grandmothers) had their boosters, and letting it go for others. Caveat is that we are not in an area with known whooping cough breakouts (so if you’re in California, you may want to be more diligent). Also, if you have the booster during pregnancy, it’s supposed to transfer some immunity to the baby for the first few months.

        People should really be getting this booster every 10 years for the tetanus protection anyway…maybe use that as a selling point?

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Yes, yes, yes. Insist on it until baby has the first Tdap vaccine at 2 months. There has been a big increase in pertussis cases among babies, and it’s so easy to prevent (and really dangerous for little ones). I offered to pay for my brother and SIL to get the boosters (shouldn’t have worried, they did it without me even asking).

        They should ideally get the vaccine a few months before your due date. I didn’t get any push back when I asked family if they had had the booster. Ask your OB for specifics; there is a cutoff date, and if someone has had a booster since that cutoff date, they don’t need to get another one.

      • Clementine says:

        So this is a really really hard one. We really, really did insist, and an amazing percentage of people happily complied (including a bunch of friends, people from church, etc!). We had a preemie at the beginning of winter so it was even MORE essential to us.

        That being said, I have a family member who is firmly pro-disease (we don’t use the term anti-vac). This person and their pyrogeny staunchly wouldn’t get any. We were put in a place where we had to basically decide whether or not to let kid know their cousins and ultimately decided to just let it go. We did keep preemie away from direct contact said disease vectors until they had their shots, but I also got a TDAP while pregnant, so babe had some level of protection already.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I love the term pro-disease. Thank you for that.

          And I guess I lucked out that all my pro disease family lives far away and didn’t see my kiddo until she was 18 months old, at which point I figured she had sufficient immunity to ward off their germs.

          • Spirograph says:

            Me too! Maybe if we can rebrand it, people will come to their senses? My pro-disease family also lives far away, and my kids haven’t encountered them yet. Sad from a get-to-know-your cousins standpoint, but good for their health.

          • Love that praise too! Unfortunately there’s one pro-disease elderly family member in my family (her 40 year old unvaccinated “kid” lives far away)

      • layered bob says:

        my MIL gave us a really hard time about our statement that she would get a Tdap or she wouldn’t see the baby. And then one day she saw a full-page ad in her AARP magazine, targeted at grandparents, saying that they should get a Tdap so they don’t kill their grandchildren, and the next day she sent us the vaccination record showing her Tdap booster. I was very happy to have AARP back me up on that :-)

        I was also a stickler about having people wash their hands (properly!) before they hold the baby. Yes, babies need exposure to germs… eventually.

        • YES! My in-laws saw this AARP ad as well and they stopped protesting the Tdap shot. Good work, AARP magazine.

      • The only people who got the booster for us were me, Mr. AIMS, his parents and my mom. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do it and I wouldn’t ask – if I was concerned, I would just limit baby’s’ exposure to the un-boostered.
        According to my doctor, it’s really only people who will spend lots of time being close with baby that you need to really worry about. FWIW, anyone with small kids probably had one recently anyway. The way I see it is you can’t protect against everything – am i not going to take her outside because I can’t ask the waitress at our local diner to get a booster? what about my neighbor who wants to stop in to see the baby, should I ask him to get it? I did ask people if they were feeling sick to wait to come by and I made everyone wash their hands. It was fine.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Same. Grandparents and our siblings, but not extended family unless they were going to be around my child regularly.

      • Anonymous says:

        I really, really insisted for both sets of parents and my own siblings, but they were happy to do it. The only sticking point was our niece with strongly anti-vac parents who live in a community of like-minded people, who came to visit for a week with my MIL when my son was about 4 months old. I didn’t even try, because I think he’d had at least the first shot by then, and I knew it would be a non-starter and didn’t want it to be a reason for either of them to cancel the trip (they live really far away and rarely visit). Niece was too young to be holding the baby much anyway, and sleeping arrangements had her on a different floor from the nursery, so I just limited myself to venting to my mom and my husband before their visit.

      • YES! I didn’t have any rules except this one. Visitors must have TDAP. Because pertussis is on the rise again, some relatives had already gotten the booster just in the normal course of preventative care. For others, their own doctors recommended it when they said they were going to be visiting newborns (fwiw these were grandparents — my MIL and my dad were both advised by their doctors to get the TDAP when they said they were expecting grandchildren).

      • Lurker says:

        I have a question about this. According to my online medical chart, my TDAP is overdue. My primary and gyno know I’m TTC and neither has recommended I get my booster. I just mentioned this the other day to a nurse friend (I would have asked the doc but didn’t see that it was overdue until after my appointment) and she said they probably want to wait until I’m pregnant so that my baby gets some of the benefit of my booster. Fair enough. But, my best friend has a 5 month old and my other close friend is pregnant. I’m worried I’m putting their baby’s at risk without a booster now. Can I get a booster now and when I’m pregnant? My gyno has already told me I need to stop being so clinical and relax a bit. (I’ve asked her a few very technical medical questions. I’m an attorney but work with medical records all day so I have a bit more of the lingo than most.) I’m afraid they will be put off by my question when she knew my TDAP was overdue and didn’t tell me to get it. Thoughts?

        • layered bob says:

          yes, as far as I know there aren’t really restrictions on how often/how close together you can get the Tdap (I am not a medical professional etc. etc.). Even if you get one now you will still get another during your third trimester – as I understand it, that one is for the fetus (this is not a technical explanation). And so you will get a Tdap with every pregnancy, even if they are spaced close together.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I know they like to give an expecting mom a booster a few months before she is due, because there is a big spike in the immunity bugs (yes, that is a technical term) about 2 months post-vaccine, and that spike carries over to the newborn. That’s why they will also give you the flu vaccine at that point in the pregnancy, even if it isn’t flu season.

          Whether you can get a booster now and get another one later…I dunno? Probably? Have you asked if there are risks associated with getting the vaccine early in the TTC process? Also, I don’t think your immunity drops to zero just because you hit the 10 year mark on the Tdap. If you’re a few months overdue for the booster, you’re probably OK as long as your last shot was the Tdap and not the one they used to give before the Tdap, which didn’t include the pertussis vaccine.

        • I was up-to-date on my Tdap and they just gave me another one when I was pregnant.

      • profesora says:

        I asked everyone who was going to stay with us after the baby arrived to get their shots (flu & TDAP). We even paid for some of them. When BIL’s girlfriend showed up after saying “I never get sick” & not getting flu shot she was told (by my husband) that she would not be holding the baby, and she immediately went and got it.

        I did not ask friends who were stopping by to get shots (most have little kids & probably had them) but I did ask everyone to wash their hands before coming in contact with the baby.

    • I agree with being flexible. I didn’t mind close family in the hospital, but once we were home, Baby had some jaundice, and we had a difficult time establishing nursing/pumping. My parents and in-laws were a huge help, but we would not have been able to handle anyone who expected to be treated like “company.” After Baby was on a regular eating schedule, and DH went back to work and my parents left, I was thrilled to have anyone and everyone come visit! (But I had been on bed rest before the birth, so I was pretty lonely by that point.)

    • FTMinFL says:

      From recent experience, I’m going to echo what others have touched on – wait until you feel like you’ve got a handle on breastfeeding (if that’s the feeding route you plan to take). We didn’t have any significant issues, but getting the hang of it was still difficult for me. For some reason everyone’s default response when baby starts fussing is, “he’s hungry!” and that was enough to make me fly into a rage in those first two weeks.

      If we are fortunate enough to have a second, there are a few things I would like to do differently. The first is no visitors in the delivery room. It was just my parents with whom I am very close, but that hour or so went by so quickly and I wish our new family of three had kept it to ourselves. Second, I’m going to allow only those people I am very comfortable seeing the non-sugar-coated me in the first two weeks. I was a hormonal mess days 4-14ish and having visitors was overwhelming. After two weeks, though, bring on the visitors! It was nice to have something/one to look forward to during maternity leave.

  7. EB0220 says:

    Who recommended the blog Lag Liv yesterday? I’ve read three posts today and cried twice (dog, 3rd baby)! Thanks for the rec (I think?)! Except that now I’m feeling even sadder that my husband really really doesn’t want a 3rd kiddo.

    • I have been following her for at least 8 years and have always enjoyed.

    • Haha that was me. Her posts usually are not so heavy, especially not right in a row. I really appreciate her perspective on working motherhood.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why have I not known about this blog until now? I also had a 2007 baby as a 2L! I am hooked!

  8. Another pregnant anon says:

    Wondering if anyone out there has been able to juggle pumping at work with somewhat rigid work schedules. I regularly have depositions at other offices and have little to no control over the scheduling. Has anyone out there been able to make it work with just two pumping sessions during the day? Also, if anyone has any books/articles/blogs that they have found helpful about this, that information would be greatly appreciated. TIA!

    • CPA Lady says:

      This doesn’t answer your exact question, but is related to it– when I had an infant, I worked in a cubicle. The pumping room was across the building, and I needed to bill at least 50 hours a week during tax season. Spending an hour + a day in the pumping room was not going to happen. So I didn’t pump at work. At all. Ever. But that didn’t mean I didn’t get to nurse my daughter. I nursed her in the morning, right when I got home from work, and when she went to bed. I also nursed on the weekend. She got formula during the day at daycare.

      So I just wanted to let you know that even if you cant work out a schedule where you can pump much or at all at work, it is still possible to nurse.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I made it work with one most of the time. I scheduled it as close to the middle of the day as possible so I could combine with lunch (which made it easier for depos/meetings/court). If I knew I couldn’t do it mid-day (lunch meeting for instance) I would pump earlier and again later. (So like 10 and 3.) I didn’t have supply issues though, so it did afford me some flexibility. At this point, before you really know how it’s going to go, I think you just need to keep an open mind be ready to roll with the punches.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’ve done two pumping sessions since day 1 of returning to work (at ~4 months) after nursing on demand during my mat leave. In the beginning it was a little challenging because I returned to work with a huge oversupply so I became a little uncomfortable going about 4 hours between sessions. In the first few months I used pads in my bra to avoid leaks. My supply eventually regulated (somewhere around maybe 6 months or so), and only in the past month or so (10+ months) have I noticed a decrease in my supply. Of course, the decrease could be linked to my daughter’s increased intake of solids and hormones, not the 2x/day pumping sessions.

    • MDMom says:

      I did 2 sessions a day (11 and 330) and it was fine from about 4.5 months until 7ish months, then supply gradually decreased. Which was fine. I wasn’t willing to pump more, so supplemented with freezer stash and then formula around 8.5 months. I would feed baby at around 730 am and 630 pm (plus once or twice overnight).

      If you are determined not to supplement, can you add pumping sessions during your morning commute?

      • Another pregnant anon says:

        Thank you everyone for all of the helpful comments! I am happy to see that there is some variation in the times that work for each person. I know that I will have to just go with the flow (ha) but I have heard that establishing a routine during the end of maternity leave can sometimes help establish the routine and supply for back to work. MDMom, unfortunately my commute is on a very public train…so that would be difficult. :) Thanks again everyone!!

    • Frozen Peach says:

      Your go-to books are The Milk Memos and Work, Pump, Repeat. FULL of helpful tips. No pun intended.

      I also can’t say enough good things about the medela microwave steam bags and wipes for cleaning pump parts.

    • CLMom says:

      I got the hands-free Freemie adaptor for my Medela pump. I have a long commute, so I pump while driving.

      Also, I recommend a small, manual pump. Even just 5 min in the restroom will get you extra ounces over the course of a week.

  9. Lyssa says:

    Why would you not want to wash plastic in the dishwasher? I’ve never heard of that being a problem; what’s the issue?

    • CPA Lady says:

      I dont know. Something about “chemicals”. I got the plastic plates at target for toddlers that are 79 cents. They say they are dishwasher and microwave safe, so I’m just going with it. I think some people are way more cautious than I am, though.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Yes, I think it’s about “chemicals.” Fortunately or unfortunately, those same chemicals exist in my shower curtains, plastic bags in which most food is packaged, plastic grocery bags, plastic sippy cups, the bottles kiddo used as a baby, the reusable water bottles kiddo uses now, bottles of sunscreen/lotion/bodywash, and probably lots of other things that I haven’t listed but kiddo touches/sucks on/mouths all the time. Hand washing plastic plates seems like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon…

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      washing plastic in the dishwasher is fine.

    • Meg Murry says:

      The issue is that all plastics can leech small amounts of plasticizer, and high heat can/could cause them to leech more/faster. I try not to microwave in plastic for this reason, but I don’t go so far as to not put them in the dishwasher – I don’t have time for that. But to each his/her own, I have other quirks that I obsess about that I’m sure 99% of the world would think “what? why do you care about that?”

  10. maternity leave (FMLA) says:

    For those of you who have unpaid maternity leave through FMLA, how connected were you (if at all) to your job while out? There’s part of me that thinks checking in on my email a few times throughout would make the transition back easier (and perhaps ease my mind about how it’s going while I’m out?), but part of me thinks I’d be a sucker to do it as I’m not officially an employee or being paid. Curious how other people have approached it.

    • CPA Lady says:

      You can get in trouble for working while on FMLA, I think. Well, specifically, I think your employer could get in trouble, so they really discourage it. An occasional email or phone call is one thing, but actually doing work is really strongly discouraged.

      I stealth checked my work email on my phone a few times throughout my leave, but ended up having a near meltdown over one terrible email— a number of people had worked on this client and somehow the tax return had still fallen through the cracks. Everyone who had touched the file, including me, got a horrible scathing email from the partner on the return blasting us all for our incompetence, lack of professionalism, sh!tty client service, etc. I was 100% convinced I was going to come back from maternity leave and be fired. I cried multiple times. I ended up calling one of my coworkers to ask what if anything I needed to do. It all ended up blowing over and being fine by the time I came back from leave. But I spent several days stressed out over that nonsense. If you are going to get stressed out over what’s going on at work, try to disconnect as much as possible… that’s my 2 cents.

    • I had paid leave, but I checked emails (and voicemails, which get forwarded to our inbox), probably once or twice a day. Mostly I just managed my inbox so I didn’t return to tons of very old emails. Very few things came up, but I was able to forward anything that did to the appropriate people.

    • Butter says:

      I checked my emails and voicemails throughout, and around the 6 week mark started checking in with my team once a week or so (was out ~13 weeks). For me it was much easier to stay in the loop on stuff as it developed so I could come back and hit the ground running, but I think a lot of that was due to the fact that I left prior to a huge project wrapping up, and came back just as it was launching. My transition back was very smooth, and I did a scaffolded return over the course of a month.

      That being said, I did very little work on leave beyond scrolling through emails. I think I was able to read a 5 page word doc over the course of two weeks, at which point my feedback was no longer needed or wanted ;)

      • maternity leave (FMLA) says:

        Right – I’m basically thinking I’ll scroll through emails occasionally just to make sure no one is left out of the loop. I’m concerned a bit about that as our team is extremely lean right now and while I have coverage while I’m out, we have two new staff and an admin I’m leaving behind with two open positions. But part of that is I probably need to just let go…

        • Your company may turn off your access to email and the company system while you’re on leave. If you’re an exempt employee, there are very strict requirements about when you must be paid if you perform work, and one way to mitigate that risk is to turn off email access. It’s very common.

    • I asked for a couple weeks paid leave from my employer (who officially has a “no maternity leave” policy, but I know has given a few weeks paid to other women before) and my request was denied. I was bitter about it so there was no way I was doing any work on my leave. I did two half days when I came back and had my email under control for my first full day.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      Zero, aside from sending out a ‘baby arrived’ email to close coworkers and checking in with my supervisor about two weeks before returning.

      Set up email filters and plan on spending the first day going through emails. Then spend the second day touching base with your projects.

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