Family Friday: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition

My older son has been loving the hardcover illustrated versions of the Harry Potter books, and it’s kind of funny to have to wait for the illustrated books to come out because I’m old enough to remember waiting in the summers for the new books to come out as J.K. Rowling wrote them. There’s also a Kindle in Motion version — Kindle in Motion books include art, animation, and video features. That sounds really cool for my son as well, and maybe he’d like that when he reads them by himself — right now we’re reading them to him. It’s been fun to reread the books with him because I haven’t read them since the initial mad dashes to finish before everyone would be talking plot points at the water cooler. The Kindle in Motion version is $10, and the hardcover is $25, although it’s currently out of stock at Amazon. It’s also $25 at BN.comHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition

Have you guys starting reading Harry Potter to your kids yet? Do you have opinions on when you’ll let them read Books 4 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and onward, once characters start to die and the stories start to get darker? I’m not going to let him read the fourth book or see the movie until he can read the first three by himself. I’d love to hear what you guys are doing. (Common Sense Media has a very helpful Harry Potter Age-by-Age Guide.)

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Ideas on how to best respond?

    My daughter is three. There’s a parent at her preschool that walks with a cane and has a very pronounced limp. The other day we were walking behind the parent, and my daughter kept giggling and saying the parent was “silly.” For some reason, I had no idea what to say to her, so I basically just distracted her with a trip to the water fountain.

    I want/need to do better the next time she says something like this! If I could go back in time, I probably would have said something to let her know that we all have differences that make us unique. Is that age-appropriate? Should I add something about how some folks need extra assistance in certain ways? I know that she means no harm, but I definitely want to use these moments as learning opportunities for her.

    • Anon for this says:

      My 3 year old attends a school that has a large portion of students with varying disabilities, and some use different kinds of mobility devices. When she comments on them, I just say, “Some people use [canes] to help them get around,” and she seems to be satisfied with that. As far as the “silly” comment, I would probably say that it’s not silly it’s a just a way that some people get around, but I wouldn’t dig in too much because I could see my kid pushing back and dancing around singing “SILLY SILLY SILLY” or something at the top of her lungs because that’s how she is. Maybe read “It’s OK to Be Different” by Todd Parr as well.

      • We talk a lot about differences and how they are cool. One of my kids has an obvious birthmark. One had to get glasses as a baby. I have to take special medicine. DH has a different job. Everybody is different, and that’s fun! So when they do things like point out the hand tremors of a friend, I try to connect it back to that discussion. “Yes, we are all different! Just like you have a mark on your forehead all the time, his hands shake all the time. That’s what makes you cool!” And that’s usually enough to end the conversation, or derail it into ways the kids at school are different too.

        I would suggest talk about being different at home, in lots of conversations, and using lots of different examples. We use things like a family who has different colored hair, or having allergies, or whatever comes up. As the kids are getting into preschool age, we’re expanding the concept to be “we’re all the same AND we’re all different, and both of those things are cool” so now if we talk about the cool differences, we also try to find a way we’re the same. “Yes, Conrad has food that smells different at lunch. That’s cool! What is the same about you and him?” (We’re both 5, we both live in [city], we both have a mom who works in an office.) “Wow! That’s a lot!” The more you practice at home, the more you will be able to reflexively say it in public, and the more your kid will understand the concept.

        • I want to gently push back on this as a person with disabilities who grew up around this “everyone is different!” talk. I found it very frustrating, and it definitely caused me not to trust the adults who used it a lot. It was just so obvious to me at a very early age that, come on, my disabilities were profoundly different than someone having red hair. I think a lot of kids know this, and trying to teach them that disability is like some inconsequential appearance issue or minor health inconvenience is well-intentioned, but won’t actually work, and also stops the conversation at a really superficial place. Instead of actually talking about disabilities and how many people have them and how most of them have tools or skills to deal with them, which is much more useful and, frankly, answers the questions kids actually have.

          • Mama Llama says:

            Thank you, it’s really valuable to hear your perspective. Do you know of any resources (books, shows, websites etc) that you think would be useful to parents and kids on this issue?

          • anon, would you feel similarly if a parent compared a cane/wheelchair/other device to glasses? Like, “you know how mommy needs glasses to help her see? John’s mommy needs a cane to help her walk.” I realize that doesn’t reflect the vast differences between using glasses vs. a wheelchair or the like, but I wonder if that’s a more age-appropriate way to compare.

          • Thanks for your perspective! We started this on the advice of our ped, because my kid’s birthmark is huge and dark and right on her face, and kids were cruel/curious about it as soon as they could talk. (And it was also recommended by the ophthalmologist working with my other child.) We absolutely don’t want to cause anyone frustration or discomfort, so we’ll research some other ways to deal with this. Thanks!

        • mascot says:

          This. We did a lot of simple statements about how people’s bodies may all work differently. I feel like I read something (maybe on the backfiring of racial color blindness?) that talked about how kids start sorting their world at a young age based on like and different and how we need to acknowledge both. If we gloss over it and don’t acknowledge the different parts, then they think that something is wrong with the different parts/people because nobody talks about them.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Does she watch Daniel Tiger? There’s a character (Price Wednesday’s cousin) who has leg braces and uses a walker. There’s a little jingle too (“in some ways we are different, but in so many ways, we are the same”).

      I’ve watched that episode a lot lately.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        I’ll have that stuck in my head all morning now. Also, how did people parent before Daniel Tiger?

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I truly don’t know. We sing Daniel Tiger songs all the time. My daughter sings them to herself (and her friends!). She told me that one of our classmates missed her mom and was crying, so she sang “grown ups come back” to her. When I asked her if it made her friend feel better, she said no because her friend was still crying, so she sang it louder. lol

    • Not sure how you feel about the Tiger, but there is a Daniel Tiger episode where they introduce Chrissie, who walks with leg braces and crutches. Here’s a link:

    • NewMomAnon says:

      A close friend has an autistic sibling, and I’ve become more aware as an adult how much they want it to be out in the open and have a conversation about it, instead of having the disability treated as a secret. When kiddo asks about somebody’s disability, I try to explain what I know about the disability and be open about what I don’t know. If the person seems open or interested in my answer, I’ll try to loop them into it and ask them if kiddo can ask more questions.

      We have a neighbor with a prosthetic leg, and a blind neighbor who uses a cane. I’ve explained that our neighbor with the prosthetic has a “special leg” and kiddo has asked him about it (it’s bright orange and he wears shorts all the time; he is definitely not trying to hide it). I explain that the cane is how our blind neighbor “sees” where he is going, and suggested that she say hi to him when she sees him so he knows that she’s around.

      I don’t know if that’s the best approach, but kiddo seems to make a lot of friends by being curious, so I’ll probably keep going that way.

    • Thank you all for the feedback. Lots of good suggestions for me to incorporate, both at home and in the moment.

  2. lawsuited says:

    I think I’d address the walking more directly, as a general statement about being unique may go over a toddler’s head. Something like, “That parent walks differently than you do but it’s not silly. Some people walk differently and that’s okay.”

  3. Redux says:

    I’ve posted here before about the admin assistant in my department making snarky comments about my work hours. I work 4-days in the office and am always the last one to leave, apart from my director (but his day starts later than mine). I am not in the office on Fridays, though I usually work about a half-day from home. (One of my earlier posts was about how this was supposed to be a day off, but instead has turned into a work from home day). I have left early precisely once in the last year, and the admin made some rude remark that really stuck with me. Anyway, yesterday, as she is leaving just before 5 we had this little exchange, with my annotations:

    Me: Bye, have a good night! See you Monday.
    Admin: Oh, right. Monday. Because you don’t work on Fridays.
    –>Ok, she is the admin assistant, it is part of her job to know when I am in the office, there is so surprise factor here– she is not just remembering that I don’t come in on Fridays, so what is the point of this other than to provoke my defense?
    Me: Well, I work, I just don’t work in the office.
    Admin: It must be hard working with two little kids to watch.
    —> So, you’re saying I’m lying that I work on Fridays?
    Me: My kids go to daycare.
    Admin: Oh, I thought you stayed home so you could be with your baby.
    —> There is no good answer here.
    Me: Well… there are several reasons for it.
    Admin: I’m sure there are. Anyway, have a nice weekend.

    I am really stewing about this and probably need to be talked down. I feel like each of her responses is a provocation, then a pivot to another one. It’s hard to convey tone, but believe me when I say it was snarky, though not aggressive. I felt really challenged.

    My work schedule is very off-the-books as the official HR policy is no working from home (my manager, to whom the admin and I both report, ok’d it). The admin herself is on some sort of flex schedule that I do not know the details of because she takes classes during the day (we are at a university). I have no idea how she is working full-time and attending 3 classes, but it does not really affect my work and so I feel like it is none of my business. I have never asked her or the manager about it and don’t really want to unless there is some reason that I need her there when she is in class. But also, my general attitude is that flex scheduling is a positive thing and I support it, and have no intention of challenging it or knocking it down.

    Should I have handled this interaction differently? Do I need to ask her about it? Do I tell our manager? We report to the same person but I am well above her in the chain of authority and responsibility, fwiw. If this were an isolated incident I would try to let it go, but it has happened enough times that it is now A Thing. She has a problem with me working from home on Fridays and I don’t know what it is, but it’s getting under my skin so I feel like I need to figure it out. Either a way of shutting it down or a way of addressing the underlying issue. Ugh, help.

    • This sounds super annoying but since you don’t report to her and your boss is ok with your schedule, can you just ignore her? Like in the conversation about, after she says “Oh, right. Monday. Because you don’t work on Fridays.” can you not respond (maybe laugh to yourself about not working on Fridays) and walk out the door? I get wanting to respond but it seems like you are not going to win this conversation with her.

      • Redux says:

        One of the awkward things about our exchange is that she stands in my doorway. So, I can’t walk away. And in the several times we’ve had a version of this goodbye, she brings up “see you monday.” Like she’ll say, “see you tomorrow– oh wait, Monday.” When that happens, I try to just say, yep, have a good night and tuck into my computer. Sometimes it works.

    • My initial response is murder. Putting that aside, because she has brought this up multiple times, I would shut it down. I wouldn’t reference being out on Friday (or seeing her Monday, whatever) because that probably triggers her, but next time she mentions it I’d say something like “You bring this up a lot. Yes, I work from home a half day on Fridays. We all benefit from flexible scheduling so I’d appreciate it if you stopped making comments about it.” I think you can do that once and then straight-up ignore her after that if she continues.

      • Mama Llama says:

        I like this.

      • 2 Cents says:

        +1 to the murder reaction lol. That would be mine too. Maybe instead of calling out “see you Monday,” just truncate it as “see you” or “have a good night.” If she mentions something about Friday, you can say “if there’s something you need, you know I’m working and available on Fridays” or whatever. But how annoying. And I agree with the comment below that she probably isn’t really putting in her full-time hours, so she’s immediately suspicious of someone else with a “different” schedule. (It’s like my Old Boss who wasn’t working when she was at home, which was 75% of the time, so she was suspicious that I actually WAS, even though I had the completed work to prove it.)

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        Ugh, this would annoy me so much too. It sounds like she is either intentionally trying to make you feel insecure about your hours or is just clueless about her words and is just saying whatever pops in her head. I’m not sure that defending yourself (which you don’t need to do – you have your manager’s approval and you’re getting your work done) will do much for someone who is this insecure/unaware. I’d try this comment that HSAL suggests and then just ignore her.

      • Redux says:

        Ha, yes, I think murder is not a viable option. I really like this suggested script, thanks. I am usually pretty straight-shooting, but something about this particular situation leaves me flustered. Thanks for these ideas.

    • It sounds an awful lot like she is insecure about something…perhaps not actually working full time while taking 3 classes.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Ew. I let things like this get to me waaaaaay more than I should. This sounds like the sort of situation askamanager would have great resources/a script for if you dig around the archives. She answers questions like this all the time, and I find the fact she includes specific examples of language you could use to address it very helpful.

    • Tfor22 says:

      I think there is a small chance she might have forgotten what day it was and was processing out loud. I have to say, this happens to me all the time. It sounds like you are both extremely aware of, and sensitive about, this issue. I like the script above on how you are both benefiting from the flexibility and trust shown by your director.

      When I have the same negative reaction to a person consistently over time, especially when it is basically the only kind of feeling I have towards them, I try to figure out what I can do to shift things. Do I need to get to know them better? Can I apply a little kindness to the situation? I am not saying you should do this, just explaining how I try to rein my reactions in.

      • Redux says:

        I really try to be gracious about these things, recognizing that there is a possibility I’m either reading it wrong, or that there is some other reason I don’t know for this person feeling vulnerable. It’s good to always keep in mind, thanks.

    • I would totally shut this down in the moment. “You keep bringing this up. [Manager] doesn’t have a problem with my schedule. Is my schedule affecting your work in some way? If not, please don’t comment.” Then let your manager know next time it happens.

      I worked a dumb schedule for a while, where I had to go into the office for 4 hours. My co-worker would say things like “Enjoy your vacation time!” as I was leaving. I explained to her that it wasn’t vacation, as I wasn’t actually paid, and she stopped saying things like that. (But has continue to say lots of other dumb things that get under my skin. We’ve all got one in the office!)

      • Walnut says:


      • Redux says:

        It really does seem like there’s one in every office! At my old job one of my colleagues who had a real hardest-worker mentality used to say, “Packing it up early, huh?” any time he saw me or anyone else leave.
        He once said this to me at 7:45pm. It was super annoying, and I realized, a tick of his.

    • Oh my god, do we have the same admin? I’m also at a university and WFH one day a week, against our official policy but ok-d with my boss. Every week, my admin sings to me, “Enjoy your day off tomorrow!” and I have to clench my teeth and reply that I work remotely. Ugh. I try not to let it bother me but it totally does.

      • Redux says:

        I feel like part of this is discomfort at a power dynamic. She and I are about the same age and I have an advanced degree and a salaried job with a flex schedule. (But see above, she has a special arrangement, too!). Argh, there is no good answer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you describing my admin? I have two advanced degrees and she only graduated from high school, but we are exactly the same age. She refuses to do any work for me and once told my boss that she was qualified to do my job.

    • I’m kind of a stone cold B about this kind of stuff, so my approach isn’t for everyone, but after a couple rounds of this I’d likely say, “Jill, we go through this routine every Thursday. Is there something you want to say to me about my schedule?”

      And let her fill in the awkward silence that follows. She’d get the message.

  4. Betty says:

    I am done with this week. DH has been in a much warmer locale for a conference since early Monday, and my mom (my back-up childcare) is off saving the world (kidding, but only kind of– she’s doing Doctors without Borders stuff in a third world country). Kids and I have braved freezing rain and 2 hr delay, a farm animal falling and breaking her leg thus leading to her needing to be put down, and, of course, I have a cold. To top it all off, last night as I was trying to get our most stubborn dog to actually go to the bathroom when it was 9 degrees out, I heard an animal or something walking around the backyard. I freaked and ran in front of the bulldog, who sadly was not fast enough to make it into the house before I slammed the door and locked it. I know it was just a fox or skunk but I did not sleep well (the bulldog was let back into the house, eventually).

    • Ugh, sorry! It is Friday, though. Treat yourself!

    • Oh man, when DH gets back you get a whole day off. Like sleeping in, go get a massage, lunch with a friend kind of day off.

      Do you work outside of your house in addition to having farm animals? Tell me what that is like! I have a fantasy about getting goats and chickens but also I am a lawyer with a 45-minute commute and two daycare-aged children. So… I should totally do it, right?

      • Thanks! I would be happy with a night of sleep not interrupted by a cold or concern that there is something nefarious lurking outside the house.

        I work full-time as an in-house attorney for a company in the insurance industry. I work from home 2 days per week because my commute is easily 45 minutes each way. DH is an elementary school principal who works more than full-time in a school district about 30-45 minutes away from our house. We have two young elementary aged kids.

        We board three horses, have 3 cattle (soon to be 2 :( ), 20ish chickens and DH wants to get pigs this spring (to which I said a firm NO). The chickens are super easy to take care of but the horses and cattle require daily tending. My understanding is that goats also require daily tending. In warmer months (above 20 degrees) I do the morning chores, and DH does the evening. The winter is our quiet time, and the summer is when we do most of the tending, caring and maintenance on the farm. DH has about 4 weeks off over the summer and an additional 4 weeks of a much lighter schedule, so he uses that time to repair barns, fences, try and create solutions to random problems.

        Working two full-time jobs plus having a small farm has been an… adventure. There are times where it really maxes us out logistically, like when a farm animal gets out of its fence and stands on the side of the road scaring people during the workday or an entire weekend is spent repairing a fence. In the spring, summer and fall it is lovely and we both enjoy it. The kids are old enough now that they can be left alone in the house while we do 30 minute farm chores. So long answer, but it is totally doable and I love the contrast of being a corporate lawyer during the day and a farmer in the morning/evening!!

        • Thanks for talking this out! We live in a semi-rural area where this is possible, but most people I know who do this work part-time in some fashion, so it’s great to hear you still like it even with a full time job. I think we probably underestimate the amount of time it takes to do daily chores (daily!) and haven’t even begun to think about things like barn repair. We don’t know how to repair barns, ha! Maybe we’ll just stick with our big garden for now.

        • Anonymous says:

          I just want to say thanks for this! I left biglaw a year ago to move to a smaller market and now have three sheep, two goats, and assorted chickens plus two young kids and a full-time law practice. I agree – the contrast of being a lawyer by day (I have a general business practice now) and a hobby farmer in the morning/evening and on weekends is wonderful!

          We’ve been in our house-with-barn-and-animals set-up for less than a year and are still figuring out all of the maintenance that is involved. I have barn and kid drop-off duty in the morning and my husband, who works 7-3, handles pick-up and evening barn chores.

          Yes, goats require daily tending but its pretty minimal and they are so much fun, it’s absolutely worth it.

  5. We have the first couple of these, and they are great!

    I made my daughter read the first HP when she was 8. I knew she would love it. Her favorite books were Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz. She did love it, and I let her read all the books at that point. She has since read them all probably dozens of times each and is a little obsessed, which is fun to watch. She’s even branched out into research and books about J.K. Rowling, about the United Kingdom, etc. I think this is totally a “know your kid” thing. My daughter gets scared at Disney movies, but she was fine with these books. She doesn’t love Chamber of Secrets because of the snake, so she doesn’t re-read it, which is fine. I let her figure it out and just made myself available to discuss, and we had no issues. My son (her twin) has also read all the books several times, but he has slightly less obsession with them. He loves the genre though, so he’s branched out into Percy Jackson and other similar series. Again, he started with these around 7-8.

    • Tfor22 says:

      Any other book recommendations? My son, who is now 12, loved all the Percy Jackson books too. But for some reason we can find very little good fiction for him to read right now. Last night he started re-reading a Gordon Korman book. Not spending time reading is really starting to hamper his writing.

      • I like series, because you know who the characters are. Series recommendations for your son: Eragon, His Dark Materials, Abhorsen. Riordan also has a series with Egyptian gods, instead of Greek gods.

        • Also the Red Rising series, Illuminae series, the Lunar Chronicles, Divergent, the Young Elites, Legend series, Maze Runner series, the Grisha verse by Leigh Bardugo, and of course Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

          Sarah J Maas has the Throne of Glass fantasy series, which is great, but probably more appropriate for an older 15/16 teen.

      • My stepdaughter is 11 and also tore through the Percy Jackson books. She really liked A Wrinkle in Time so I’m hoping she will get into the other L’Engle books (we’re trying that now). She didn’t get into the Redwall books as I thought she might – maybe too young for your son, but I loved them in junior high. Has he read The Hobbit and the LotR trilogy? They are too dry for my SD, sadly. Can you tell I’m trying to get her to read all my childhood favorites?

        • I’m so sad when my son doesn’t like the books I loved at his age. There’s always the next kid who will adore Witch of Blackbird Pond. (Or so I tell myself.)

          He wasn’t into A Wrinkle in Time, but did like the Phantom Tollbooth! I had aspirations of reading The Hobbit aloud during the week long Christmas break, but life got in the way.

      • Everything by Rick Riordan. I second the recommendation for the His Dark Materials series. The Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan. The Chronicles of Narnia if they haven’t read those yet. Everything Roald Dahl. Fablehaven.

  6. avocado says:

    I was afraid the Harry Potter books would be too scary and give my kid nightmares, so I wouldn’t let her read them when she was really little. In second grade her friends started reading them and she begged until I gave in. I was surprised that she didn’t find them scary. She read them all that year and loved them, even the later ones that I thought were boring.

    The usual rule in our house is that you must read the book before watching the movie (we make exceptions for some older books where the movie helps spark the kid’s interest in actually reading the book, such as Pride and Prejudice). My husband watched some of the movies with her as she finished the books, and found a couple of them to be so violent that he actually turned them off. Now that she’s older we let her watch all the movies if she wants to, but she doesn’t really care for the movies and prefers the books.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      We’ve done the first 3 books, but I stopped there and decided he needs to wait a bit for the 4th. I remember things getting much darker with the 4th (Cedric Digory dying, the Deatheaters, Voldemort rising again, etc.) and it has a lot of more “adult” themes (racism- the idea of “pure blood” etc.) that I’m just not ready to get into with a 7 year old, at least not in the context of a wizard book.

  7. Great post on work life balance says:

    I really love Austin Kleon’s newsletter – it reminds me there are creative people out creating things – and today he linked to a post he’d written on work-life balance. It includes a great poem. Anyways, I thought it would resonate with many of you, as it did with me.

    • Thanks! That really drove home, to me, the gender differences in assumption about creativity and work-life balance. There’s nothing mystical or magical about the ‘women’s’ way of making – there’s nothing stopping men from doing it too – but also imagine what else women artists and writers of the previous era could have done if they were given a choice to do it for 8 hours uninterrupted!

  8. Nosleep says:

    Guys – just so tired today. I have an 8 month old, my first. She has never slept longer than 2-4 hours at a time since she was born. We coslept until 6 months and after a lot of crying over 2-3 weeks, she is now sleeping in her crib for 3-4 hour stretches. Every night, she sleeps at 7 and I walk over and feed her at 11, 2:30, and 5 and then most days bring her to my bed because she sleeps until 7:30 rather than 6:30 if she’s in her bed.

    I AM SO TIRED. My husband is totally willing to help, but the one night he went in, she screamed at the top of her lungs and would not settle, ugh, so we haven’t tried again.

    I’ve tried doing a dreamfeed, she wakes up regardless at those times. We try feeding her a lot during the day, but she just spits it up if it’s too much. Bedtime is feed, bath, book, sleep, trying to eliminate the sleep-suck association, but it hasn’t helped with the night waking. We got rid of the pacifier at 5ish months, hoping it would help her sleep longer as she’d wake up so so often trying to find it.

    She rarely nurses for long like less than 5 minutes usually, so I’m not sure how to do the timed feed less.

    She is super active and on the cusp of walking, so I don’t know if its just personality. She has SUCH a strong suck association. She is also super attached to me / has stranger anxiety if it’s anyone beyond her tribe (parents, and grandparents). I don’t know if any of that plays into her night waking.

    I feel like CIO is my only option, but ugh, the CIO in the middle of the night is just horrendous and given how long it took for her to sleep in her crib, I’m so afraid of 2-3 weeks of crying again. Any night weaning stories from these types of babies?

    Just feel like all I’m doing is just surviving and I don’t know how I have such a horrible sleeper (8 MONTHS ugh).

    • Momata says:

      Ugh, this sounds awful. Solidarity, sister. Some brainstorming:
      – What about reintroducing the paci now that she is bigger and more able to find it herself? Maybe a wubbanub so it’s easier for her to find? Maybe lean in to the sleep-suck association instead of trying to break it.
      – Does she have a lovie? If not — I had great success outsourcing some attachment to an Angel Dear lovie. I would stick the head under my bra strap and kiddo would play with the fabric part while he nursed. He became extremely attached to the lovie and still uses it to selfsoothe/go to sleep. I think 8 months is old enough to have a lovie in the crib, SIDS instructions notwithstanding.

    • Anonymous says:

      First of all, I’m sorry and this really sucks. My first was a bad sleeper and it is rough
      Second, please try the sleep training. CIO has many modifications (and it isn’t just let them cry forever, but schedules of when you go in to check on them etc.). As long as the baby isn’t in other pain (teething, sick, etc) it should take hold within a week or so.
      Third, when you can, try to introduce the baby to others. Maybe take a baby music class together. Baby will benefit from being around others. Also, she will get used to your husband going in. You just have to keep trying.
      Fourth, if she likes the paci, put like 6-7 in her crib. Whatever works!
      You can do this! This is so hard. But try it and I hope it works/improves. Solidarity mama!

    • No good CIO advice, but tremendous solidarity! Your daughter sounds an awful lot like my son – not a great sleeper, super active, snacked all night (and was low-ish on the weight percentiles so I figured I ought to feed him to at least keep up with all the crawling and standing, plus he ate all day as well), was furious if my husband went and got him, and instead of having an attachment object…I was his attachment object. CIO was impossible – we live in a 1br apartment. Oddly, for someone who was so angry and demanding all night, he was and is completely sunny during the day.

      To survive, we just coslept. If you can expand the sleeping area (king bed/ stick a twin bed between your bed and the wall etc) that might help with the middle-of-the-night wriggling. Unfortunately I existed in a slightly sleep-deprived rage-haze until we weaned completely, and even that was a furious battle as he is as stubborn as I am – it’s like we’re related or something.

      Somewhere in early toddlerhood, he went down to 1 wakeup a night; prior to that, 1-2 wakeups was a *good* night. Now at 2.5 he sleeps through the night! regularly! In his own bed in our room! The other night I even saw him sit up, reach for his sippy of water, take a drink, put it back on the nightstand and go back to sleep on his own!

      PS: fist bump and hang in there. I’ve been there, I get it, it is miserable, but you can take a little perverse pride in the fact that you are way tougher than many people.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      OK this may not be the advice you’re looking for and others may disagree… but it sounds like you’re in survival mode so I’ll just admit what I would do. I would go back to the pacifier. Put a bunch in her crib so she can find them. Even if she’s waking for a bit to look for one, it sounds like once she finds one she can self-soothe. Maybe your husband can give it to her and she’ll associate his presence with getting the pacifier and will stop screaming when he tries to comfort during the night.
      I know it’s kind of a Band-Aid, but at 8 months it’s still about survival and getting some sleep and keeping everyone not-divorced and employed.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        OK I didn’t see everyone else’s replies before I suggested this, I’m glad to see others suggest going back to the pacifier… it’s good to know I’m not too off-base since I’m expecting #2 in 4 weeks!

        • For a second I thought you were the OP and I was like WOW you are expecting #2 exactly 9 months after #1?! ;)

      • PregLawyer says:

        Clip the pacifier to her pajamas. That way it’s always easy to find. The pacifier is your friend – you don’t need to worry about weaning off it until at least 18 months.

    • Leatty says:

      Another vote for reintroducing the pacifier. My 7 month old used to cry if she lost her pacifier in the middle of the night, but she is now old enough that she can reach/roll around to find one in her crib. When we put her down at night (and after any night wake ups), we put one in her mouth, an extra in her hand, and a third nearby. She seems to really calm down when she has a second one in her hands. We also tried giving her a toy in her crib (plastic, not plush), but that doesn’t work as well as the second pacifier.

    • Hey, I’m sorry you are going through this. If the suck association is that bad, you may have to keep a 4am or 5am feeding for awhile. But obviously that would be much better than where you are. On CIO, read up on different methods and pick the one that resonates with you and stick with it. Baby 411 has a one page overview of different methods.

      I’ll also share why we did the full-on CIO with no checks even though some parents think that’s cruel. It was actually the easiest and gentlest method for my baby that worked with the least amount of crying. She was stubborn and she was smart. We quickly realized that Ferber checks were going to take a LOT longer and result in a lot more crying than if we just left her in her crib and came in at the intervals–our presence just worked her up more, but she would decrease in tension the longer we were gone. So we looked at our calendars, picked a good time, made sure she was healthy, and just buckled down and did it. The middle of the night wake-ups were the worst, but if I recall they were the ones that went away the quickest. They require the most resolve, however, so you and your spouse need to be 100% committed to your method. Know yourselves. If you are going to feel better being able to see the baby, get a video monitor. If you are going to do better waking up, grabbing a glass of wine, retreating to a quiet corner of the house and turning the monitor down really low so that the crying can just barely be heard and then go back to bed when the baby falls asleep, then do that. If your spouse can take the monitor and you put in headphones and jam to music, then do that.

      I know CIO can be controversial, but at the end of the day, you do what works for you and your baby and sometimes the “easy” or gentle methods just don’t work. Sleep is important. The only thing more important to the human body than sleep is water. It is important for you and it is important for your baby.

      And if you have money, I have never heard someone regret hiring a sleep consultant. I have a few friends that just needed the clarity of a plan that they put together with the consultant, along with the moral support if you have one come to the house and help you implement the program. Good luck!

      • btw your comment on my post the other day seriously saved my sanity. I keep reminding myself that this internet stranger survived and I can too!

        This community is so helpful.

        • Sabba says:

          So glad! Our sleep journey seemed so much more difficult than most, I was so jealous of my friends that just did 3 nights of Ferber and had a baby that slept happily through for 12 hours because nothing remotely like that happened for us. So I always want to chime in if there is a chance that I can help. You can survive! It does get better! I saw that you moved nursing back in your routine, so I hope maybe that helps a little since it helped us. It is so hard because it seems like different things help different babies and it can be so bewildering when your baby doesn’t respond to the common advice.

    • mascot says:

      +5 for introducing a pacifier, lovey, or both. Once past the newborn phase, my kid was a solid meh on the pacifier until we hit about 7 months (teeth! crawling!) and then he wanted one. So we put a bunch in the crib and he was able to find one and self-soothe. FWIW, we didn’t have many issues later on slowly banishing the pacifier around age 2 or 2.5. Focus on what you and your kid need now.

    • My son was the exact same way. I finally took my peds advice and let him cry for one feeding a night, so basically I started with the one in the middle, let him cry (only took about 10 minutes) and he was sleeping through that one in 2-3 nights. Then I let him cry for the earliest one, same pattern. Toughest one was the early morning wake up – stopped feeding him but he still wakes up at 5/5:30 and he’s about to be two. But, at least by the time he was 1 he was sleeping 7-5 straight through. I thought there was no chance he’d stop crying if I ignored him for hte middle of the night feeding – turned out I was wrong. He didn’t need to eat, I’d just trained him to wake up then by going in as soon as he stirred. Anyway – hopefully the feeding by feeding approach I took will be more manageable then full cry it out!!

      • Nosleep says:

        So so helpful, all of you guys. Thank you so much. I love the trying the CIO one feeding at a time. I will start with the 2:30 feeding. I’ll also definitely consider the lovey and pacifier again.

        On another note, for the stranger anxiety – she cries (it’s worse if she’s tired) when she even SEES someone new. Sometimes it’s not bad, but other times she’ll melt down if we’re talking to someone at the park for example that she doesn’t know. We just applied for MDO type programs when she’s about 16 months in the fall and I am VERY anxious about she will adapt. Did anyone have a child like this? She’s been this way since she was 3 months or so. Our moms care for her during the day.. we’re around new people a bunch, family friends, friends come over, we go out to eat etc. I don’t know. I will definitely try a baby music class as someone mentioned above.

    • I asked a similar question earlier this week and these wise ladies gave me many awesome tips – so maybe check back for that (I think it was Monday?).

      If nothing else – solidarity! I’m right there with you. For me when I timed the feeds and realized we were already at 3-4 minutes, I felt very confident he was not crying out of hunger. I spent a few nights keeping the 3 feeds I was doing really short (pop him off AS SOON as he got sleepy/comfort sucking) even if that meant some protesting.

      Then just last night I decided to get back to being firm on two feedings max, and I encouraged these to be full feedings – gave both sides, tried to keep him awake. I’m working to make his first feeding at midnight, so yes, there was crying from approx. 11-12 last night. Because I am an actual zombie, I gave DH this first shift and I went downstairs to sleep where I couldn’t hear him. I would recommend this (going somewhere you cant hear the crying and sleeping) if it’s been awhile since you’ve had more than 2 hours of consecutive sleep.

      I also moved nursing to the VERY beginning of night time routine, as recommended on here.

      Not ready to declare victory, but for me knowing he wasn’t crying out of hunger and coming up with a plan to reduce the feedings helped.

    • Anonymous says:

      This shouldn’t be all on you. Get your DH way more involved. You get up M/W/F nights. He gets up T/Th/Sa nights and you can alternate Sunday nights. Sleep with an eye mask and ear plugs so you can sleep through him putting her back down. If you are nursing, he can bring you the baby, you nurse in bed and he puts her back in the crib. If you’re not nursing then you get to just sleep through. Yes she may cry at first when he’s the one that gets her, changes her or tries to resettle her but she’ll get used to it and easier than CIO. If he’s not getting up half the nights then you should at least have both weekend mornings off so you can sleep until noon on those days. Babies tend to attach strongest to whoever spends the most time with them, so this will only continute if you’re doing all the nighttime parenting.

  9. I love these books! We have been buying/reading them as they come out, then watch the movie. We started when my son was almost 8, as we were taking a trip to Universal Studios to see the Harry Potter lands. He didn’t want to read The Chamber of Secrets for the longest time because of the spider illustrations…. but he made it through & we were able to take him to see the movie on the big screen. We still haven’t watched the third movie. They are intense, but I think that when the next one comes out he’ll be in 5th grade and will be able to handle it. I like the way that it parcels out the fun, and allows the kids to grow in between book like the Harry & the gang.

  10. Thanks for the all the great responses yesterday about my risk of twins question. Now I have one more follow up question if you will be so kind to indulge me.

    Did anyone have unexplained infertility and have success with IUI or IVF? If so, which one?

    I’m embarking on IUI but if that fails, I’ll probably go straight to IVF rather than multiple rounds. That said, it’s very odd to me to be “unexplained.” I don’t know how the interventions are supposed to work if we don’t know what issues we are bypassing. There’s no way to know if anything could work if we don’t know the real issue. Thanks!

    • I did not, but I think the stats are that roughly a third of infertility cases are unexplained. And I do know more than one couple who had success after an IUI or IVF (and at least two who had no problems getting pregnant with #2 after an intervention with #1).

    • Unexplained infertility here. 6 rounds of IUI failed. Moved on to IVF (after 6 IUIs insurance covered IVF) and got pregnant the first time with a single (5 day) embryo transfer.

  11. So I’ve read the advice to have new baby ‘give’ older kid a present… how does one actually do this? Bring gift to the hospital? Have it at home? fwiw, my oldest is 2 so gifts are still a shaky concept even if they come from actual gift givers.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      We did this and had the gift at home. Big kiddos stayed at grandparents while I was in the hospital. We got home a little before them and just got the gifts out them and pointed out what their baby got them. IMO, especially for a two year old, there is enough exciting stuff at the hospital (a bed that moves, a snack room, big sibling sticker, elevators!!!!), a gift might get a bit lost then and also you have to schlep it around.

    • My first was newly-turned two when my second was born. We did not do a gift for two reasons: 1) I did not have the energy to think about and coordinate a gift and 2) I had heard another mother talk about positioning the baby as the gift to the family. The baby is the thing to get excited about – make a big deal about “her baby.” That said, my son got to eat two donuts at the hospital when he came to visit and he still talks about it, so you can definitely do just a very small/easy treat.

      • Katala says:

        This is so cute, and what my kid would probably remember. #2 came 3 days early and less than 1 month after we moved into our house, so even though I had grabbed some stuff at target with the intention of giving at as a gift from the baby, it didn’t happen. #1 was 20 months old and really didn’t seem to know/care what was going on. It was helpful to pull out the little target items as we needed to entertain him during winter when the baby couldn’t go outside.

  12. Mine was just over 2 when baby came. We took the present in the hospital bag, and then when she came to meet Baby, we gave her the gift “from” him. (It was a Vtech kid’s camera, on recommendation from here, plus a “Big Sister” ribbon thing for her shirt.)

    Surprisingly, she really latched onto the idea that he had given her a gift. Even to this day, 3 years later, she talks about the camera HE gave her. She felt a part of all the picture taking, she got a ribbon that meant all the nurses fawned over her big sister status, etc. It also helped that she kept going to daycare during my leave, so the teachers really talked up her special status – most of the kids in the 2 year old room are getting siblings so they know how to handle it – and made a big deal over her cool present from her little brother.

  13. New Mom says:

    I’ve been back at work 3 weeks now after a 12 week maternity leave (so my son is 15 weeks). He didn’t sleep last night because of a cold/congestion so I didn’t sleep. I was basically a zombie this morning and proceeded to forget his milk when I took him to daycare this morning. After initially freaking out and arranging for my husband to come home and deal with everything so I could still make it to my first meeting of the day I realized I might need some tips. So I’m reaching out to ask for any tips from experienced moms on how to stay on top of things, not forget the essentials, etc.

    • Mama Llama says:

      After being totally absent-minded my whole life, I have learned to rely on mental checklists whenever I leave anywhere to avoid our whole system crashing down. Now I never leave the house without doing my “phone-wallet-keys-badge” checklist, actually touching each item. When I do daycare drop-off it’s the same thing. I will be honest, these became ingrained after a few horrible snafus, but they’ve been working well for a while now. Sometimes I can’t believe how responsible I’ve become compared to how I was before.

      • Mama Llama says:

        Oh, I will also add that this gets easier as your child gets older. You stop pumping, stop sending bottles, stop sending diapers, and things get much more streamlined.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 for checklists. If they work for surgeons and airline pilots, then I am not going to discount them. Put a post on the door, your purse, the car if you need to. If you can leave any duplicates or back-up items at daycare, do that as well.

        • Mama Llama says:

          Duplicates, yes! I try to create back-up systems wherever I can. When I was pumping I always had an extra set of bottles and parts that lived in my desk. I hide spare keys. I have an extra metro card that I store in a different spot from my usual metro card. For every essential item I try to think through what will happen if I forget it and how I can make a back-up plan.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I did/still do everything the night before. Kid comes home wearing backup clothes? Pick out a new shirt/pair of pants as soon as I get home and put it with my stuff so I know to bring it in. I put all the milk in bottles the night before. I put the bag I needed to pack them all into in a very obvious spot (for me, it would be near the coffee maker).

      • Another vote for the night before. Everything goes in the daycare bag or on a dedicated space in the fridge, labeled and ready to go, daycare bag goes in the same conspicuous spot every night, and if for some reason something she needs is for instance still finishing in the dishwasher the night before, we (DH and I do this together every night unless one of us is working late) add either a physical note or an alexa reminder so I don’t forget to add it in the morning. Leave as little to chance as possible. And duplicates where possible in various places (in the car, at daycare if allowed, etc.)!

      • Anon. says:

        Yes – Do everything the night before. At our house, the person not doing bedtime is responsible for morning prep. This includes: making bottles, packing pump parts in appropriate bags, gathering any needed extras (clothes, diapers, etc). It also means putting all of today’s stuff in the dishwasher. Everything that goes to daycare daily (really just bottles and food) goes into one bag and we put the entire bag in the fridge. Daycare extras (diapers/wipes etc) are placed on the counter with my car keys sitting on top of them.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Over the weekend make up 5-7 clothing packs — put a seasonally appropriate bottom, top, and socks (and maybe a diaper) in a gallon ziplock bag. Then just grab as needed throughout the week. This also helps any one who may be befuddled as to how to dress a baby and with getting diaper bags and suitcases ready.

      • Katala says:

        This is a great idea! Once “winter” passes here and it’s no longer a question of whether it will be 30 degrees or 60 on any given day, I’m totally doing this.

    • I use phone reminders, too. I am terrible at remembering when daycare needs diapers or wipes, even though they write it down on a sheet for me. I try to remember to do it as soon as I get home, but I also use Siri to remind me at 8 a.m. the next morning so I can be sure to see it before my husband leaves for drop off.

      Of course, now my son loves to hit the button on my phone, so I turned off Siri, making it harder to remember…and forgot to send extra diapers today.

  14. layered bob says:


    where do I buy socks for a toddler (size 8 -9 shoes) that 1) are not too thin, 2) have grips on the bottom, and 3) stay on comfortably?

  15. Coming here to vent. I pulled into the 15 min parking spots in front of daycare for pickup. I happened to be talking on the phone so after turning off the car I spent a couple of minutes wrapping my call before heading in, 5 minutes tops, still in and out in well under 15 min. There is plenty of parking and never an issue getting a spot. I get out of car and another parent says “are you actually picking someone up?” I say yes, I was just finishing a call, I’m sorry if I caused any confusion (I think she was waiting for my spot thinking I was leaving – I looked while I was talking on the phone to see if anyone was waiting and it didn’t look like she was, but apparently I misunderstood). She proceeds to tell me something about how she guesses my work is more important than kid. Not working, actually talking to parent dealing with sick maybe dying relative, but not the point. I just reiterate my first apology and walk in, she follows me muttering things I don’t hear until she finally stops before opening the door to her kid’s room (it’s a large center and her kid must be older than mine, I’ve never seen her before) and says to me “I can’t believe you’re a mother. God help that kid.” WTF? In a daycare hallway? And because I didn’t jump out of my car the second I parked? It’s been a few days and I still can’t shake the emotions that elicited, basically a mix of anger, disbelief, a little laughter, and a bit of sympathy that she must have been having such a bad day that she had to take it out on me. I’m trying to let it go and move on and hoping that sharing with internet strangers will help with that process. Thanks for listening.

    • EB0220 says:

      Wow, I’m sorry. That sounds completely crazy. I mean, I get the rage over abuse of 15 min parking…but you weren’t abusing it!!!

    • Mama Llama says:

      Wow, that is a really mean and intense reaction for her to have. Completely bananas! I think you are right to chalk it up something going on in her own life that she felt the need to lash out at you that way, but, wow. I’m actually impressed you didn’t punch her or scream obscenities in the day care hallway, which is what I might have done.

      • I felt pretty proud that I managed to do nothing other than stare at her in disbelief, because those urges were definitely there.

    • Anonymous says:

      So sorry that happened to you. I feel way sorrier for her kid that the kid is going to have to go through life with a judgmental mother like that. This was zero percent about you and 100% about crazy daycare mom.

    • Sabba says:

      Over. The. Line. Wow. Nothing you did deserved that comment. Shake it off and avoid this woman in the future. You may also give her the mom death glare if you do accidentally run into her again. She wasn’t just having a bad day–anyone who can say something that mean for something so innocuous has serious issues. She is literally just a mean person and I honestly feel sorry for her kid and sorry for you that you had to deal with her even for a moment.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      WTH? Not only is that incredibly rude, it’s not like she has her kid tucked into her kangaroo pouch all day if her kid goes to daycare?

    • Anon. says:

      WTF is right. Vent away. That lady be crazy and good for you not engaging to elicit additional crazy.

    • Thanks all. I mean, I knew she was crazy, but it’s nice to hear it from others. I haven’t seen her again in the intervening days, and if I never see her again, that would be a-ok with me!

      • My jaw actually dropped reading your original comment. I am flabbergasted that someone would say things like that – it is so incredibly out of proportion to all reasonable reactions that yes, she is probably mentally ill and/or a miserable, vicious person. I’m so sorry!

    • Betty says:

      Woah! That’s so not ok. I’m seriously impressed that you didn’t lash out. After my own version of knocking that lady ran through my head, my next thought was “mean words come from a hurting place,” i.e. the phrase I use with my 6 year old.

  16. VeryAnon says:

    Thanks to everyone who posted yesterday in support. It really meant a lot to me. We’ve ignored the fight so far (oh so healthy, I know), but I’m taking the recommendations to focus on what I want to do to make my life less stressful, rather than try to fix things for him.

Speak Your Mind