Everyone Thursday: Hidden Pocket Scarf

The handy thing about wearing a heavy winter jacket is that you have pockets to stash your stuff if you want to go somewhere without taking a huge bag (or even a smaller one), but as spring arrives you’ll be relying more on pockets in pants and dresses. (At least, I will!) Another option to consider:  A lot of Etsy sellers make scarves with hidden pockets, like this one from seller Amboo. They’re designed especially for people who are traveling and want to keep their passport and money close at hand, but they’re also great if you want to run out to the library and keep your card on you, or you don’t want to lose your gym card, or you want to keep a $20 on you in case you need it. These are always a good option for spring and some have fun prints. Hidden Pocket Scarf

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. Anon in NOVA says:

    OoooOOOooo I’ve never heard of this! Though I’m still stuck looking for somewhere to put my cellphone(s). That’s a pretty pattern, though! I like that the pocket has a zipper, otherwise I’d constantly be checking my scarf pocket to make sure my card was still in there!

    • I don’t get this concept. You still need something to carry your cellphone and keys. So it just… adds bulk and weird corners around your face?

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree. I think it makes sense only for the purpose of carrying a back -up $20 (or local currency or credit card) + small ID card when travelling in case you get robbed/lose your purse. I don’t see how this doesn’t hang strangely or look odd if there’s a passport etc inside.

    • avocado says:

      I use a FlipBelt when I am going for a walk at lunch or working out and I want to have my phone, cards, cash, and/or keys without having to carry a purse. I also like the running shorts with wide knit waistband and a zip pocket at the small of the back. I have some from Zella and I think Lululemon and Athleta make similar styles.

      For quick errands, I would not use a scarf like this because of the weirdness and weight issues. I just grab my purse on the way out the door.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I’ve been considering a scarf like this every since I saw it suggested for places that only allow clear bags – like stadiums or the Women’s March. I was considering the Sholdit, which has a slightly larger pocket (8×9, vs only 5×5 on this scarf). But I haven’t actually purchased one yet, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it.

      Separate but kind of related: what do you do about keys at work when you are wearing a dress or pants without pockets? I’m in a new office where I can wear dresses again, but my office door locks behind me, so I have to carry at least one key whenever I step out to go to the restroom, etc – and minimum 2 keys plus my ID if I’m going elsewhere in the building or another building. Do I just need to suck it up and get a lanyard or something similar? I don’t really want to have to carry a wristlet, etc if I’m just running to the ladies room, especially since there is nowhere clean to set it down. In my dream world I’d replace or tailor all my dresses to have pockets, but that isn’t happening anytime soon.

      One day I forgot and knew if I carried my keys in my hand I’d set them down and lose them, so I safety pinned my keyring under the ruching at the waistband of my dress – a little awkward, but better than having to fish them out of my bra or something similar. Any McGuyver tricks/hacks to suggest? Or not completely fugly way to wear a lanyard or other key carrying device with at least 2 large beat up brass keys on it that you need to access to unlock multiple doors a day?

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        You might have to get a lanyard. However! I tend to wear big, colorful, lightweight scarves knotted about an inch above where my lanyard connects to my ID, and you really can’t see the lanyard — so that helps with the whole “ruining the outfit” thing.

      • One of those twirled stretchy things you could put on your wrist/arm when you go to the restroom? I would probably use a wristlet for longer trips, though (somewhere else in the building, other building, etc.). When I worked somewhere that I was frequently going to meetings in other buildings, I liked to have some basic stuff on me at all times–phone, $20, ID–in case there was a drill or actual emergency and I wasn’t able to get back to my office for a while.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Yes, I think I need to just suck it up and pull out the wrist thingy or lanyard. Honestly, the lanyard in and of itself isn’t the part I dislike – its the dirty looking, ugly keys in the middle of my chest that makes me cringe most of all. If it just had to hold an ID badge, I wouldn’t mind so much, but the keys are a necessity since part of my job is being the keeper of the keys that open all the doors very few other people have a key to.

      • Butter says:

        I use a wristlet that has my keys, phone, and ID in it/attached to it, and take it everywhere. It pops in and out of my larger purse, and seems easier than carrying keys/phone individually. (And hangs from the hook in the bathroom so doesn’t get gross.)

      • Lanyard. It’s ugly but functional. If I don’t wear it I lock myself out.

        • I love my gryffindor lanyard that I bought at universal. It is extra wide so it looks more like a tie, easy to find in my bag by feel/sight and I get compliments on it from people who don’t even recognize it as an HP reference. I carry it everywhere and it still looks good after almost 7 years. This is the closest I could find for sale right now. Wizarding World of Harry Potter Gryffindor Striped Tie Pin Lanyard https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RJ4SME6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_YFXYybDZA0CWG

  2. Ladies – just wanted to share, esp. with anyone who has experienced any “guilting” over putting their kids in daycare. My baby is home, mostly because it worked out that way due to long wait lists in our area. An older woman I work with has not let a week go by without asking me when baby AIMS will finally get to go to daycare so that “she can be with other children!” You would think she is currently being cared for by wolves. I realize this person is batty and probably just trying making conversation, but I wanted to share here because I’ve been told by other friends with kids in daycare that they get the other version of this convo which is “I just can’t imagine leaving a small baby to be in daycare all day.” Lesson of the story is you can’t win, so do what works for your family. But jeez, some people have no common sense or tact.

    • avocado says:

      [email protected] if you do, [email protected] if you don’t! The eternal conundrum of the working mother.

    • Anonymous says:

      My mother does this to me and it is infuriating.
      Me: I’m looking at daycares for the baby.
      My mom: DAYCARE! OMG. You can’t put a 12-week-old in daycare!
      Me: Ok, I’ll look into nannies then.
      My mom: Ack, no! You can’t trust your baby with a nanny. What if you hire someone irresponsible and they shake your baby to death?
      Me: Um, well, it’s pretty much daycare or nanny unless you want to come watch her…
      My mom: Oh I couldn’t possibly do that, I’m much too busy enjoying my retirement and traveling all over the world.

      • Goodness, what did your parents do with you when you were a baby then?

        It’s true though. You can’t win, so the best thing to do on this front is ignore and do you.

        • Anonymous says:

          My mom had the most unicorn situation ever. She’s a university professor and she got tenure before I was born and then took a 3 year unpaid leave of absence when I was born and when she went back to work she managed to schedule her teaching hours for when I was in preschool and worked from home the rest of the time. So I literally never had a nanny, never went to daycare, had my mom at home 100% of the time I wasn’t in school and my mom was a working mom who was a trailblazer and role model (she’s in a STEM field and was one of only a handful of tenured female faculty in the entire US in her sub-field when she first got tenure). It was awesome for her, but the problem is she thinks everyone should do exactly this and doesn’t recognize it’s not an option for 99.99% of the world, including me.

      • This is totally my mom too! She acts like I’m leaving my son at prison by taking him to daycare, but then today she was at a coffee shop eavesdropping on two nannies who were complaining about their jobs, and feels compelled to live text the entire conversation to me. Her idea of working parenthood would be for me to work from home WITH my son home with me the entire time.

      • LOL.

        My MIL pays her other DIL to be her assistant (both personal and helping with MIL’s business), which of course allows DIL to bring her kid to work, work from home, etc. Then MIL has the nerve to say sanctimonious things like, “Other DIL just couldn’t leave her baby with someone else.” Well, she could if she had bills to pay.

      • My dad had the gall to suggest I stop working when my son was born. Its been over 2 years and Dad’s lady friend still makes comments about my working. Get over it people. My son is happy and healthy.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh, it can be even more fun – my kiddo is at an urban, diverse daycare owned by a large national chain and I’ve had other *working moms* at my office say things like, “I could never leave my child THERE! It’s [dirty, out of control, poorly run, has so much turnover, etc.]!”

      • Punch them. Punch them right in their smug faces.

        A friend has two children at a chain daycare that has some sort of state program for scholarships/reduced tuition. One of the other moms wants to pull her kids out because the “scholarship families just don’t care about education.”

        • OH MY GAWD. Literal jaw drop at that comment.

        • anne-on says:

          What the ever loving F***? Seriously? I would have totally lost it on them.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          OMG, I would’ve had some choice words for that parent. I’ve seen scholarship parents begging to wash the floors to cover their tuition contribution for a week.

      • lucy stone says:

        What a load of junk! I have a friend from college who runs one of these centers and she has a masters in early childhood and I wish I loved my job with the passion she loves hers.

  3. Butter says:

    Here’s a light question – does anyone have a bean bag and like it? I’m thinking about getting one for my toddler. I’ve seen a ton of the tiny stuffed armchairs but like the idea of something really soft since he’s at the age where he propels his body with full force into most objects. Are these still a thing, and any recs on where to buy one?

    • anne-on says:

      Potterybarn kids has loads of these. I really like the oversized anywhere chairs – I can sit in one with my 5 yr old, and his older cousins can also sit in it with him and read. Very sturdy, but wait for a sale or ask for it for a birthday/holiday?

    • avocado says:

      My kid has a large beanbag chair from Land of Nod. She got it when she was four or five and has not used it as much as we expected. It encourages very slouchy sitting, and she prefers to sit on her bed against a pile of pillows to read. It also takes up a lot of floor space. It looks very nice, has held up well over time, and has a cover that can be removed for washing.

      • avocado says:

        Also, the tiny armchairs from PB Kids and Land of Nod are plenty soft. The inside is all foam, no frame.

        • I got one like this from Target. Haven’t compared it to the more expensive ones but it works fine.

    • I looked into bean bags too, couldn’t find any good ones, and settled on the PB kid chair. My kids LOVE it. It’s huge, even the regular size, especially now that I have 2, but they drag them everywhere and launch themselves into it and turn them over to make a fort and use them as stepstools and the list goes on. Perfectly soft and very versatile.

      There was a cool bean bag that unzipped into a bed. I considered that for a long time, but apparently super lumpy even as a bean bag, and worse as a bed. And that was the BEST reviewed one I could find. I’m sure there are cheap versions at Walmart or Target or something, but I couldn’t see spending $40+ for something that would likely fall apart after 6 months of kids banging it up.

    • Running Numbers says:

      I actually bought my husband a huge adult bean bag chair from Wayfair. It has a removable, washable cover and it’s a huge hit in the playroom. Son can throw himself on it, we can throw him on it and adults can relax there while we watch kids play.

    • We have some floor pillows and the inflatable IKEA ladybug. They don’t get a lot of use, but they aren’t actual chairs.

  4. When do kids stop napping? I am trying to figure out Fall preschool for my 3 year old. He will be 3.5 when preschool starts. We are on the waitlist for every preschool’s morning session, but there are openings for the afternoon sessions. Right now he naps from 1-4 when he is home about about 1-2:30 or so when he is at daycare. Could he be ready to be napless by the fall?

    • Anonymous says:

      My daughter was 4 before she stopped napping. Even after she stopped napping, generally she needed quiet time in the afternoon. What time are the afternoon sessions? If it’s 12-2 then it will probably be fine as he could have a short (less than one hour) nap afterwards.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably not, but you never know. My kid stopped napping at a little over 3.5, but most of the kids in his class still do at 4.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think it can really vary. My nephew is 5 and is just dropped his nap. My friend’s 3.5 year old is starting to drop his nap.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        +1 My 4 year old still naps and I could easily see him napping at 5 as well. Really depends on the kid.

    • EB0220 says:

      My kiddo stopped around 4.5. She still needs the nap, really, but the other kids in her class have stopped napping and mine doesn’t want to miss the fun.

    • Llama mama says:

      Total crapshoot. My kid stopped napping at 2.5, cold turkey. But she started going to bed a lot earlier, and now and 3.5 she still sleeps 7/7:30-7/7:30.

      She started preschool at 3 and in her class, about half the kids nap and the other half don’t. A lot of it depends on family dynamics and bed/wake time- the kids that are the youngest and stay up later to 8/8:30 and have dinner at 6:30 still nap. The only children often don’t nap anymore.

      I do think at 3, an afternoons only preschool might be hard. Even my kid is at her freshest in the morning and still needs a quiet activity/mental break in the afternoon (even if it’s just TV from 3-4).

    • Totally depends on the kid. My oldest happily napped until right before he started kindergarten at 5.5. My daughter, who is 3.5, naps some days and not others.

      Things I would think about for an afternoon program: Can your kiddo do a late morning nap? Does the program offer a period of quiet rest? I would ask the school/program how the afternoon kids handle it.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I think it also depends what he’s doing the rest of the day. If you have a nanny coming to your house and he can sleep in until whenever, that might be more compatible with afternoon preschool – but if you have to get him up and out of the house every morning to go to childcare early-ish, that could result in a cranky mess.

      I also think it depends on whether you are talking about a 2-3 day a week program or whether it would be every single day. Do you ever skip naps on weekends, and does it make him a cranky bear, or just a little tired and ready for bed early?

    • My 3 year old never napped at preschool but did at daycare (he was in full-day preschool 3 days/week). On daycare days he fell asleep much later at night. He started preschool full time and dropped the nap entirely by 4, but some of his 4 year old classmates still do. It really varies.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      We literally had to break my son the summer before he turned 6 in August and started kindergarten. He didn’t nap every day but napped/rested 4 or 5 days a week. Kindergarten wears him out and he still takes a rest on the weekends. But my daughter is 3.5 and is starting to drop her naps.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      My oldest quit napping around two…

  5. NewMomAnon says:

    Time change question. We had gotten into a decent bedtime and nap routine before the time change. Since the time change, sleeping and toileting is just a mess. Kiddo (age 3) used to be asleep by 8, but now it’s closer to 9:45, even though we’re starting bedtime at 7:30. She used to take a 1.5-2 hr nap at preschool, but hasn’t napped all week. To make matters worse, I think it’s thrown off her p**p timing, which used to be just before bedtime; she’s been constipated all week, and trying to work things out at bedtime, which delays bedtime further.

    I also set her OK to Wake clock half an hour back (from 6:30 to 7) because I thought she was waking up prematurely; now she’s regularly sleeping until 7:30, and if the clock didn’t turn green, I think she’d sleep until 8.

    Any suggestions? We have black out curtains that are very effective (I can get her room super dark even for mid-day naps), so it’s not a daylight issue.

    • Llama mama says:

      How about starting the bedtime process earlier? Longer baths, maybe an extra story, add a song- make sure she’s really relaxed before actual going to bed.

    • FTMinFL says:

      This has been a doozy of a stressful week for us due to the time change, too. Monday and Tuesday evenings were chaotic disasters as schedules changed, so Wednesday I decided I was just done. We walked to little guy’s favorite burger place down the street and had an enjoyable dinner on the patio watching for trucks driving by. We leisurely walked back home and read books until he got sleepy and went to bed easily. I wasn’t stressed, he wasn’t stressed, and it seems to have reset us in terms of sleeping/eating/attitude/toddlering schedules. Maybe just go into survival mode for a week and wait for things to settle down? Good luck. If nothing else, you have all my commiseration.

    • Anonymous says:

      So I think you should pick one problem, address it, and kind of ignore the other one. I personally would pick the p00ping problem, as I think that’s a bigger problem. I would add prune juice to your LO’s diet (gerber sells single-serve apple-prune juice blend that my LO loves), feed her lots of berries (and maybe pouches), and make sure the constipation thing doesn’t get worse. The sleep will regulate on its own, imo, and there isn’t much you can do about it. I think you’re doing all the right things with starting bedtime at 7:30, having the OK to wake clock set for 7am, etc., but I don’t think there’s all that much we can do to force our kids to sleep. Consider that she may also be getting sick, which could be throwing off her sleep schedule. Good luck mama, this is rough!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        We’ve been doing fiber gummies and adding pear juice and canned pears/peaches. She used to guzzle prunes but now won’t touch them – the purees in pouches are a great idea though, I’ll have to pick some up. I’ve also ground up flax seed and added that to her peanut butter (shhh). We’ve also put a hard line that she can’t have milk until she drinks a cup of water or juice. It’s been helping, but it seems like the urge doesn’t strike until after lights out….and that throws fuel on the fire of her 3-year-old bedtime delay tactics.

        • Anonymous at 12:10 says:

          I hear you, and I’m also divorced with a 3-yr-old daughter, so I know how crucial that lights-out time is. However, i think you should ignore the bedtime problem for a bit. Just make it Not A Thing. Then she can’t use it as a power play, and hopefully the p00ping will also resolve (with diet changes). Also consider giving her dried fruit (apricots are decent for constipation too).

  6. Momata says:

    Piggybacking off yesterday’s post: can we talk about yelling and the chaos that is dinnertime with two toddlers? I try so hard to do family dinner probably 3-4 nights a week (Saturdays, Sundays, and twice during the week). DH and I end up yelling and having to enforce a time out (3yo) or putting the 19mo old in a booster seat (which he hates because 3yo doesn’t have one) probably 75% of those nights. The kids just turn into total mess monkeys (throwing food, climbing on the table, getting down and running around with sticky hands). Trust me when I say we do not permit any of this behavior. How do you all keep the peace, both external and internal? I feel like it isn’t too much to expect that everyone sit and eat their food – am I wrong? We read books to keep them entertained.

    • Curious about this too, after reading all the posts yesterday where people said kids were required to sit at the table even if they didn’t like the food/want to eat/finished what they wanted. Niece and Nephew sound like Momata’s kids; they scarf their food in about 10 seconds and then have zero patience to sit around while the adults eat.

      SIL resorts to giving them seconds of whatever it was they actually liked from the meal (usually pasta or bread) to keep them occupied or just leaving her food unfinished and getting up with them.

      How do you not have this situation? DH and I always talk about it and we certainly don’t remember being allowed to do this as kids, but we also don’t remember being toddlers. Maybe it just takes time until kids are old enough to sit through a meal?

      • anne-on says:

        My kiddo eats slowly, but perhaps you can do some of the same ideas we do in restaurants? Encourage quiet singing of songs, talk about things they enjoy (we point out the colors in the room, the birds outside, make up silly rhymes together, make up silly stories, etc.). Basically, we don’t have very normal adult dinner conversations, but it does help keep kiddo entertained and enjoying (instead of fighting) sitting at the table.

      • I’m one of the ones who requires sitting at the table. I think a couple things helped us:

        1) My almost-4 year old JUST got out of his booster. He had to “earn” it by sitting still in the big chair. If he left the table, booster came back for the next meal. The almost-2 year old is still in hers and will be until she can earn it too. It’s been this way since birth, so they don’t know anything different about dinnertime – you just sit in your booster until Mom says you can get up.

        2) I sit at the table and talk to them constantly. Basically, it’s 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted mom attention. I don’t get up and do dishes, I don’t check my phone, TV is off. I ask a few questions and just let them babble at me. Sometimes they babble at each other. If they don’t have much to say, then we take turns making up a story or singing songs or talking about the weather outside. I hear a lot of the daycare gossip this way, and it’s actually fascinating to me. (Elly’s mom said heck. That’s a bad word. Did you know Aiden’s dad has a different bedroom than his mom now? Teacher A said Teacher B is annoying. What’s annoying? I don’t like Teacher A. She’s mean.)

        3) I don’t worry about messes. They each get a napkin to wipe up spills, but if it gets on their clothes or table or floor, oh well. We do a bath and pajamas after dinnertime anyway, so it’ll all get washed up soon enough. My floors and table have a layer of sticky that will likely never go away, but oh well. This is my season in life.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you. This is really helpful, specifically the part about booster seats.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Life hack; I swapped out regular paper and cloth napkins for cheap washcloths from Target. I keep a big stack in the kitchen and a bin for the ones that need to be laundered. They are more absorbent (for the frequent beverage spills), and I can wet them down a bit for more thorough hand and face cleaning.

        • Momata says:

          We also sit there with them, even on nights that aren’t family dinner, and read books / talk about toddler stuff. They start off hangry and “I don’t like this” and “I don’t want to eat” and crying. Then once we convince them to take a bite, they get on a roll and eat their entree and vegetables for about 5 good minutes. Then they start losing steam and misbehaving – but happily at this point – at which point we break out the fruit which redirects them to keep eating until they are full. Then once they get down, they’re done with dinner. They have to ask to be excused, wipe their hands, and clear their plates. But the first five minutes and the last five minutes are enough to drive me insane.

          • It sounds like the hangriness would be a good thing to try to resolve first. Late afternoon snack?

          • Momata says:

            They get up from nap at 3 and we do family dinner between 5 and 5:30. I am not sure how to get a snack in there that doesn’t ruin their appetite. 19mo goes to bed at 7 so I’m not sure we’ve got time for a 3:30 snack and then a 6:30 dinner…. do we?

          • I think you could do a 3:30 snack and a 6 dinner, that’s the schedule my kids are on.

            I think you need a reset. Explain that they’re getting bigger and now that they’re Big Kids there’s a new dinner plan so everyone can eat together.
            – Change up who sits in which seats.
            – Bring back the boosters. Find ones with buckles.
            – Explain the new timing – snack after nap and then dinner a little later.
            – Explain any new rules, like say, they don’t have to eat everything but we ALL sit together until everyone is done.
            – Add a new rule that makes them happy or is silly. Something like “we always start with an animal noise” or “after prayer we practice whistling” or whatever. If you go out to eat often, you may want something less disruptive like wiggling noses or licking elbows or something.
            – Be consistent in the new rules. They’ll push to see if you’re serious, so make sure you and DH are on the same plan for consequences. After a few days or weeks, they’ll likely cut down on the pushing. They might do it every so often, just to see, but not nearly as often as they’re making you crazy now.

        • Thank you! these tips make sense.

    • Running Numbers says:

      I do the dinnertime routine solo most nights and I find my attitude and tone make a huge difference. I also just won’t tolerate fighting. If son wants to fight the high chair, I give him a break and try again in a few minutes. Enthusiasm and general joy go a long way with him. I imagine it’s a different beast with two who play off of each other.

    • anne-on says:

      So, to go against the grain from yesterday’s posters, we don’t do family dinner during the week. My kiddo eats around 5:30, and most nights my husband isn’t home until 6:30 at the very earliest. I feed my child at our kitchen island and I either talk with him while I cook our dinner (and give him tastes of ingredients/our dinner) or read books while he eats. After dinner he helps clean up, and then plays quietly. While we eat our dinner he can watch a show, then its bed time routine.
      Family dinner is only feasible for us on the weekends, when there are two parents to help prep food/wrangle kiddos. Even then, its still hard sometimes. I think the key is picking your battles – do the best you can.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I tend to agree. I’m not sure if it’s different for slightly older (3 yo) children, but at our 15 or 18 month appointment our pediatrician basically told us to pick our battles when it comes to mealtimes. If she’s fighting sitting in her high chair and throwing food and would prefer to stand at the counter to eat, let her do that. If she wants to eat a bite and then run around, let her do it. I can’t imagine it would be too different for a 3 year old.

        My friend has managed to get her 5.5 and 3.5 year old to sit down for meals, but the meals are short and very kid friendly. The last time I was there I think it was like, fruit + chicken noodle soup. The kids maybe ate 1/4 cup of soup and a few pieces of fruit and then begged for a few tortilla chips (which she gave them). Dinner lasted no more than 15-20 minutes.

    • We have received a huge amount of help around meal times from our registered dietitian whom we see because our son has Celiac’s Disease and Crohn’s Disease. We do meal time as a family every night (and two-three nights per week it is a one-parent job). My kids (3 and 6) both get what we get for dinner (although it is frequently deconstructed). Regarding getting them actually at the table, one of the biggest things for us is eating early enough that they are not super tired or hungry. Once they pass that point, all bets are off. If we know we are not eating until later 6:30 or later (so most nights), we have the au pair give them a snack around 4:30. Most nights, I also end up with a kid in my lap and my husband may as well. Once we are actually sitting down, dinner time isn’t long. If I feel like my son hasn’t eaten much and says that he is ready to leave (they have to ask to be excused from the table or they get plopped back in their seat), we set a timer for two minutes. Most nights, he will eat a bit more before the timer goes off. We don’t make them hang out for the full-time that it takes the adults to eat, but they are not allowed to have dessert until everyone has finished eating and we have cleaned up. If the kids are being crazy monkeys, one of the biggest things that helps us is to turn off all other noise, even the radio/iphone for music, we light “candles” (battery operated) and turn the lights a bit low. It helps everyone mellow a bit.

    • avocado says:

      Do they start acting up while they are still eating, or only when they’re done? When our daughter was under 2 she was strapped into a booster. After that we allowed her to ask to be excused when she was done eating, but by age 3 she had become such a slow eater that she was always the last one finished anyway. With kids under 3 or maybe 4 I probably wouldn’t require them to sit at the table once they’ve eaten as much as they really need.

      • Momata says:

        We don’t make them stay at the table once they are done. But their shenanigans before they are done are really, just, ugh.

        • shortperson says:

          how about kicking them off of dinner when they start up and no more food that night? we did that twice and it’s been fine since. it was a tragedy at the time. granted we have one child who’s pretty cooperative. but if they are hungry they should be motivated to be allowed to eat.

          • Momata says:

            We do take away their food after one warning. But there’s a lot of “if you throw food again you lose your dinner. if you crawl on the table again you lose your dinner. If you get down again you lose your dinner.” They do lose it after the first warning but usually they just find a different way to act up.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh, Momata, that can be easily fixed! When everybody sits down to eat, say, “You know the rules. If you break them, you get your dinner taken away.” Then, no warnings, no discussion, just no dinner!

          • Momata says:

            Duh. I think this will help a lot. Thank you!!

    • EB0220 says:

      I started putting on relaxing music on Spotify when we get home, and that seems to help a little. We don’t use time-outs in any other circumstances, but if our kids are acting up at the table they are dismissed. They get one chance to play quietly near us. If they can’t do that, they are sent to their room. It doesn’t happen very often, though – maybe once every few months. Also, maybe if one of them helps with dinner they’ll be less likely to get into it with each other? We do eat early – 6 at the latest – otherwise they get really melty.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      One thing that has been really invaluable to us for breakfast (which is our problem meal) is getting kiddo (just over 2) involved in the prep. She has a drawer she can reach stocked with cups, bowls, plates, spoons, and little single-serving portions of cereal in reusable containers. She’s usually pretty pumped to go to her drawer and get her stuff. Then she gets a pitcher of milk from the fridge. I have to put her in her high chair, but then she pours the cereal in the bowl, inexplicably pours the milk into the cereal container and *then* into her bowl, and eats pleasantly for a few minutes.

      At dinner, we offer her what we’re having or leftovers of what she likes (husband is in charge of cooking, so i don’t fight him on the no-special-meals thing) with a heavy sprinkling of “ok if you don’t like it, don’t eat it!” and if she fusses, she gets out of her high chair and goes to the living room, we close the baby gates, and the adults eat together.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ours are strapped into booster seats until they are 4 years old. We use the Tripp Trapp style highchairs. I don’t find they have the self control to stay sitting at the table before age 4. We always cook something that at least 2 out of 3 kids will like (homemade chicken noodle soup, pad thai with rice, roast chicken and sweet potato fries, slow cooker beef stew, whole wheat pasta with jar of pasta sauce and frozen meatballs tossed in, pizza – frozen/homemade/take out – these all take less than 30 minutes to get on the table.

      We always eat as a family. If anything gets thrown, plate/bowl removed and they get one bite of food on their tray. If that gets thrown, food goes away for 5 minutes and we try again with one bite. If that’s thrown, they are done – have to wait until other kids finish before they can get up. We do allow them to get up when they are done. No alternate meals made except they can have a piece of toast with wow butter (peanut allergy) and a glass of milk. Must try number of bites equal to their age from the main meal before being allowed toast.

      Letting them ‘help’ cook has a big influence on their interest in eating (toss carrots in pot). They are always more willing to eat when they helped make/serve it.

      • Momata says:

        Thanks. Maybe we need to go back to boosters but I just think they would both absolutely lose their minds, especially the 3yo who has been out of it for over a year now and doesn’t sit in a high chair at restaurants.

        • Anonymous says:

          Try the Tripp Trapp style chairs – you can get Safety 1st or other brand ones for cheaper. Because they transition to a ‘real chair’ they don’t seem like a high chair as much. You could put younger child strapped in with the tray to eat and 3 year old strapped in at the table to eat so the three year old doesn’t feel like it’s a baby thing.

  7. Momata says:

    Also – my MIL gave me a Tile. I am not sure what to put it on. I have a system for keys and wallet, and have find my phone set up. How do you all use yours?

  8. First World Problems says:

    Experienced working moms, please help!
    After being waitlisted for daycare since last spring, DS was finally accepted by 2 daycares this week. I’m at a loss which one to chose.

    Option 1: Directly at my office, via my employer. 1 hour commute from home (15 minutes walk plus 45 minutes high speed train) in another city. No outside playground. Bilingual via immersion program in both my husband’s and my first languages. Closes for 3 weeks in summer and 1 week around New Year’s. Start date would make it necessary to extend my already generous 12 months maternity leave by one month.

    Option 2: Via DH’s employer. 15 minutes from home (5 minutes walk plus 10 minutes subway) and 20 minutes from DH’s office (but both DH’s and my commute are in the opposite direction). No set vacation times, but kid has to be out of daycare for 4 weeks total each year, agreed upon in advance at the beginning of the year. Bilingual via teachers visiting in the afternoons. Outside play area. Would need to extend my mat leave by 2 months.

    Both DH and I work similar hours and do not travel a lot for our jobs ( maybe 2 days per month).

    2) seems the logical option, but I am suddenly having second thoughts about DS being an hour away. DS will be 13 or 14 months when starting daycare.


    • Anon in NYC says:

      I would choose Option 2. I commute with my kid (21 months) on the subway during inclement weather for about 15 minutes. I would not want that to be 45 minutes. Some days she’s an angel and a cute toddler that people smile at, and then on other days she’s a hell beast that is physically strapped to my chest.

    • avocado says:

      Option 2 for the outside play area and convenience. My daughter attended day care near my office, which is a 60-minute drive from home, from infancy until she started kindergarten. This was the best choice for us because it was by far the highest quality care available. It was also the least expensive option, but once I started traveling for work those savings were quickly eaten up by backup care. Travel was horribly stressful because some of our backup care arrangements turned out to be unreliable, and she hated all of the backup places. This arrangement made it impossible for me to drop her off at day care and work from home when I was sick. It also meant that I had to do all drop-offs and pickups, pick her up whenever she got sick in the middle of the day, fulfill all volunteering requirements, and stay home with her when she was sick. When she entered kindergarten near our home, my life became immeasurably easier.

    • anne-on says:

      Option 2. If you’re sick are you going to commute all the way into your job to drop her off? Closer to home is also closer to your pediatrician I assume? Don’t underestimate how often you may have to pick up and go directly from daycare to the doctor’s with a sick kiddo in their first year. It also puts more of the burden on DH…which in my experience will encourage him to be a more active participant in things like sick child pick-ups, dropping off/picking up.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        This is so true. My first year of having kiddo in daycare has resulted in SO MANY “please get her within the hour” calls that lead to a pickup and going right to the pediatrician.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Option 2, for sure. Our usual “commute” is less than 10 minutes, but we had a 45 minute commute for a few months when kiddo was 6-15 months old. It was no fun. She hated being immobilized when she wanted to move. Both of us were often sick and needing frequent visits to the doctor both for the first visit and the follow up(s), which required a mid-day daycare pickup, commute to the doctor, and sometimes a quick return to daycare.

      If baby is at your office, that means anytime you have to leave the office (for mid-day travel or to go home sick or go to an offsite meeting), you have to bring baby with you or someone has to arrange backup childcare. You will never be able to work from home because either the kiddo will be with you, or with a babysitter in your house.

    • EB0220 says:

      Option 2 FOR SURE. I have one child at onsite daycare at my office (only 20 min from home) and one kid near our house and it’s amazing how my husband has become much more of the default parent for the kid near home, whereas I am definitely the default parent for the kid at my office daycare. Also, as a previous poster mentioned, you do NOT want to have to go all the way to work to drop her off if you’re WFH or sick.

    • First World Problems says:

      What’s really bugging me is that option 2 would add another hour/ day away from home for us (2×15 minutes for dropoff and the same again for pickup). In practice, does the more convenient location and possibility to split dropoffs/ pickups outweigh having less time for quality time with kiddo, dinner etc?

      Also, we’re definitely an example of how an extended mat leave and very limited paternity leave turns mothers into the default parent. I hadn’t even thought about the positive impact a daycare away from my work could have on DH’s “duties”…

      • This was tough for me because I initially went “Option 2, for sure”, then saw it was in the opposite direction of both your commutes. Neither option is great, but I still think 2 is the way to go. I think if your child can spend that extra time at daycare instead of commuting with you, you’ll both be happier. Your husband will likely have to be the emergency pickup, though, since they usually want you there within the hour and it sounds like you wouldn’t make it. Don’t underestimate the benefits of splitting dropoffs/pickups for the reasons mentioned above. Same with the outdoor space – fresh air is so important, even with a good indoor play area.

      • Anonymous says:

        Option 2 because of the outdoor space.

        Do you have to take the extra 2 months? Can DH take at least part of that time?

        I’d suggest he does both drop off and pick up and you can be responsible for daycare bag prepping/supper prepping.

    • I think the outside play area would be a deal breaker for me. I can understand not wanting to be an hour away, but that commuting time may or may not be quality time spent together. And, in my opinion, active outdoor play is super important.

      • EB0220 says:

        Yes, after thinking about this a little more, I agree. My kids are BEARS when they can’t go outside due to weather. No way would I want that every day.

    • CLMom says:

      I have a similar situation to Option 1, except I drive the hour-long commute. Here are the pros/cons about the location:

      Pros – extra time with baby when I visit at lunch; you get to know the daycare staff; if there is an emergency (i.e. earthquakes here) then baby won’t be stranded; extra time with baby during commute (even at a year old, hearing her babble in the backseat was just precious, when she’s older I hope to have conversations); ease of pickup/drop off

      Cons – taking a day off sick means no childcare (this is a big con when you have a fever and feel wretched); the commute can be tough on bad days (but there aren’t nearly as many as I expected); hubby can’t help with any daycare pickups/drop offs

    • PatsyStone says:

      I would go with your gut. I have basically a #1 situation. I don’t mind commuting so much (granted, in my own car), as he’s older we talk and sing and stuff on the way home and it’s fun. We’re getting to be really good at the Moana soundtrack. We ride in silence in the morning (neither of us are morning people).

      The number one downside for me is that all drop-offs and pick-ups fall on me, unless we arrange otherwise far in advance. And that’s really a lot of work. Also, when I work at a University so when I have the day off, like tomorrow for our 1 day spring break holiday, the childcare center is closed. That said, if we have a second one I would do the exact same thing since I like the school so much.

  9. So we don’t do family dinner (toddler and a baby) and I feel like we get more quality time with the kids without it? Nanny does dinner at 5:30 before we get home, then when we get home we go play outside, do a project, mess around, then bath and bed. I’d rather do this fun stuff with them than dinner – then we eat dinner after they are down. On weekends we do all meals as a family, and we sometimes take them to a restaurant one night a week, so I know they can sit down for meals with us and be good.

    Am I crazy? Should we be doing dinner with the toddler? When did you guys start doing dinner together? I think the nanny thing really informs our approach obviously… It’s just that we both get home at 6 and COULD do dinner together, we just kind of choose not to?!

    • We do what you’re talking about a lot in the summer. Or we will throw together some PB&J and go spend the evening picnicking/swimming at a lake near our house. Those are some of my favorite times together as a family. (Said wistfully under 12 inches of snow…)

    • October says:

      We started at about 18 months (same time we switched to a booster seat so he was physically at the table with us). I think it’s helped a lot with getting him to eat a variety of foods without the struggle of us “feeding” him. It’s definitely hectic, but overall I am glad we made the switch.

      That said, I am also 12 weeks pregnant and was needing to eat dinner earlier myself (instead of waiting til he was in bed), so that helped spur the shift. And we still feed my son separately on Friday nights, and then my husband and I make pizza and eat after he’s in bed — we need that one night a week of dinner + TV relaxation.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think you do you. It sounds like you have a good system going right now. We don’t do family dinner (yet) either because of bedtimes. My daughter goes to bed too early for us to really eat with her. But one of us with sit with her while she eats and we’ll talk to her and read books to her, and afterwards we’ll have some play time. It’s still quality time.

      • Absolutely agree with this. If what you are doing works for you, then go with it. The biggest reason we put an emphasis on family dinner is my son’s health issues. I need to see what he is eating, how he reacts (because sometimes it hurts him to eat but he does not quite have the ability to connect the two right away and I see it on his face), and how much he is eating.

      • Agree. Keep doing what you’re doing if it works.

    • I think “you do you” is exactly what I needed to hear. You guys are the best.

  10. A really fun thing to do is take a vacation where you’re away several nights from your 8 month old, then make sure you get back on Daylight Savings Time day. The next step is to have your regular child care cancel at the last minute because they are stranded out of town due to snow, so your baby is watched by four separate entities over three days. It’s extra fun when you have to leave work early or during the middle of the day to transport your baby from one place to the other.

    Observe how his nap times no longer follow rules! Watch him drink twice as much pumped milk per day than he normally does! Enjoy the fact that he now wakes up an hour earlier than usual! Thrill to the experience of apologizing and gratefully thanking everyone helping you out this week! Race home an extra time because while you packed all your pump parts, you forgot the actual pump that you took on vacation! Ignore the 150 emails that you have not had time to get to because you have had meetings all week when you’re not moving the baby around!

    Please, please be Friday soon. Please.

  11. Rainbow Hair says:

    Here’s a related wardrobe question (the answer might be “big colorful scarf”) but what do you do when you’re at a meeting and the name tags are supposed to clip onto your shirt pocket or blazer, but you’re a woman wearing a high necked dress? That’s pretty much what I always wear to conferences and it’s appropriate for the setting except I have to have the name tag like way up by my head, and it’s awkward. Surely there must be a work around?!

    • M in DC says:

      Bring your own lanyard to clip the name tag to?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I carry my own lanyard in my briefcase for exactly this reason. Mine is shorter than most conference lanyards (because I’m short and don’t like having people look at my stomach to read my name), and has a clip on the back so I can clip it to my jacket pocket if I’m wearing a jacket.

      Also, consider where you want people looking for your name. If it’s clipped up by your face on a high-necked dress, then people are looking at your face while reading your name. That seems *better* than having people gaze somewhere around your b**bs while reading your name tag, no?

    • rosie says:

      If it’s the mingling/networking portion where people are standing around, I clip it to the shoulder strap of my purse. Sorry that doesn’t help for the seated portion.

  12. No DST blues? says:

    Am I the only one who is celebrating DST and the lovely sunlight-til-7 right now? Does it really mess up schedules that much? I mean, my son is a toddler who can’t tell time, and sleeps the same amount each night. We tired him out on Sunday afternoon, proceeded with bedtime maybe 15-20 minutes later, and all was fine. In fact, he’s slept through the night for the whole last week, the first time that’s happened in his life!

    • Anonymous says:


      Daylight Savings Time is THE WORST with children. I grew up in Arizona, where we don’t have it and worked with kids all through college. I was extremely sensitive to it. Basically any class with children in it is garbage for two weeks in the fall and a week in the spring.

      Sounds like you need better curtains in your kids room in the morning for this summer!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha, I’m loving it. DS isn’t going to bed too much later than he was last week, but is sleeping in super late because we never adjusted him. He didn’t wake up til 8:15 today. Amazing.

    • EB0220 says:

      Well I love it. We can go to the playground after work! The kids sleep later because the sun doesn’t wake them up at 5 am! Sure, they resist going to bed a little bit but that’s workable. I hate the change and think we should stay on DST all the time.

    • Don’t get cocky, he’s listening and plotting ;)

      I do like having it lighter later, once the transition is over. And I would also love to be on DST year-round.

      • avocado says:

        I would like to have DST in the winter and not in the summer. In the winter I’m already driving to work in the dark, so it wouldn’t matter whether the sun came up an hour later, and if the sun went down an hour later it might be light for at least part of my drive home. In the summer I would like it to be totally dark before we go to bed.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I don’t know if it’s the crap weather, the (thankfully short) bout of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease kiddo had, or that I’ve been slammed at work, but I generally love DST and adjust without a problem, but this time it’s been a beast. I feel like I’m constantly running late and we’ve all been incredibly sluggish in the morning.

      Leaving work when it’s light out and Kiddo sleeping past 6:30 have been major bonuses.

  13. lucy stone says:

    Bottle strike number 2 over her. My daughter has drank less than 10 oz of milk the last three days at daycare. She did get another 4 oz every day mixed in with cereal and her purees, but this means we are nursing for hours at night. She’s 7 months. Is this a teething thing? I’m going to try another brand of sippy cup tonight.

  14. lucy stone says:

    Bottle strike number 2 over here. My daughter has drank less than 10 oz of milk the last three days at daycare. She did get another 4 oz every day mixed in with cereal and her purees, but this means we are nursing for hours at night. She’s 7 months. Is this a teething thing? I’m going to try another brand of sippy cup tonight.

  15. rosie says:

    Laundry hamper recommendations? We need a new one for our bedroom (2 adults–I have a separate basket for delicates/hand wash so don’t necessarily need something with multiple sections, but open to it), plus one for baby’s room. Laundry is down 1 flight of stairs, so nothing too heavy. Whenever I browse, nothing really seems quite right, so hoping you all will have some suggestions.

    • Betty says:

      I can’t offer what to get, but from experience, I would stay away from anything that can collapse. I thought it would be great if my hamper (for my stuff) was one of those college-dorm type ones that could be folded up and put away. What ends up happening is that I launch my clothes at it in the morning/evening rush (when it is set-up), the thing collapses around my laundry but I don’t fix it, and then I end up with a heap of laundry on top of my collapsed laundry hamper at the end of the week.

      • rosie says:

        Tell me about it. We currently have one with tent poles that are supposed to tuck into the upper corners of the metal frame at the top, but they always pop out, so the thing is already falling over before clothing that is tossed at it finishes the job.

    • The Sterilite or Rubbermaid white plastic hip-hold ones with handles are classics for a reason. Presumably this is tucked away in a closet somewhere so looks don’t matter and it’s all about function. I’ve never found a laundry basket that functions better than those things. You can get the square version for kids since you’ll have to do their clothes more often, and it’ll take less space.

      My purchases decision-fatigue got a lot better when I accepted that not EVERYTHING has to be Pinterest-worthy in my house. Especially not something as utilitarian as a laundry basket.

      • Momata says:

        Yes, this! (My kids may be animals but I’ve at least got laundry hampers down.)

      • avocado says:

        I like the plastic hip-hugger baskets because they are the most functional for carrying clean laundry that has already been folded.

      • rosie says:

        This sounds like a shorter basket (and I have one that is similar that I use for clean laundry, although probably need to upgrade to heavier duty)–or no, it’s taller? I definitely want utilitarian, but I almost feel like sometimes that is harder to decide on…like I could get a matchy matchy set of something and I would know how it would look, but how would it function? (Or am I the only one with this issue?)

        • To me, utilitarian means I only care if it functions. Matchy matchy is not a concern. So I buy the “Standard” in that category and be done with it. Like I buy Rubbermaid laundry baskets. I buy whatever kleenex or toilet paper is on sale regardless of pattern. I buy Prego or Ragu brand spaghetti sauce.

          I literally refuse to spend precious brain power trying to decide if 15c/oz of Classico spaghetti sauce is better quality than the 10c/oz Prego. Or whether I need a collapsing or tower or short or tall laundry basket. Or whether Kleenex is better than Puffs. I just don’t care. It needs to get my laundry from closet to washing machine and back again, and that is all I need.

          We have too many choices in life. I try to only worry about the ones that matter or bring me joy.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        We use different variations on the plastic Rubbermaid ones — ugly, but serviceable.

        The baskets (rather than the hampers) are also useful for pre-packing – I go through the kid’s room and put everything she needs for a trip in a basket, then pack it up later when she’s asleep — I also inevitably pull out a few things in a feeble attempt to avoid over-packing.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        Oh, also, avoid anything wicker with a liner that ties in. My H had one of those — drove me nuts — the liner wouldn’t stay in place and clothes would snag on the wicker.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 for sterilite laundry baskets! We have a ton of them.

        But I think OP was asking specifically for hampers.

    • Anonymous says:

      From the looks of it, I like the ikea klunka ($10). But I bought an ikea basket with a lid, as a stationary one for our bedroom, and I have utilitarian ones in the kids’ bathroom that i use to collect the laundry before doing a load or two.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a couple from The Container Store and I LOVE them. They are cute, hold up to the kids playing with them, and sturdy but lightweight (we also go up and down two flights of stairs). Looks like they may not have them any more, but they are very similar to the Sorting Hamper except in different colors.

      Also from TCS, the Ivory Rectangular Basketweave Hamper is really, really darling in person. It truly looks like wicker but is strong and light. Highly recommend.

      We have a large wicker one with a lid and liner in our master (from Target, many years ago). It’s attractive in the room but we transfer the clothes to a laundry basket because it’s stupid heavy and awkward to go up and down stairs.

    • I’ve got two which exactly fit a load of laundry – one for things that go in the dryer, one for things that hang up. They are these felt buckets – not originally intended as laundry baskets but the size is perfect. It’s a good visual cue when the laundry needs doing.

  16. We use the IKEA ones with wheels, and an actual bag inside (big nylon bags like laundromats sell). We are wheeling ours down the hall to the laundry room, but you could easily just lift the bag out of any stand you like and leave the stand upstairs. IKEA blue bags with the long straps are also good for carrying laundry.

  17. Txmomma says:

    Hi everyone, I’m due in June (In Texas) and was gifted some baby clothes. Most are short sleeve body suits, but I have 4 long sleeve 0-3 month bodysuits. Should I gift the long sleeves to a friend in Boston that just had a new baby? I just don’t know if long sleeve body suits (even if we stay in AC at home) are too hot for a summer baby in Texas…

    I was also gifted some baby hats. Do babies wear hats in the summer at home or should I gift that to my friend in Boston as well?

    • October says:

      I would hang on to the body suits. Depending on how cool you keep your house, you could definitely use them — plus baby’s legs would be bare, so s/he won’t be too warm. Don’t underestimate how many baby t-shirts you go through! For the hats… are they nice outdoor sunhats, or the little cloth things that often come with outfits? I have a whole stack of never-used outfit hats; your friend also probably received enough :) For going outdoors in the summer, a sunhat is a good idea, but you probably don’t need more than one.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d keep them. You genuinely will likely use them in A/C. One of my three ran warm and was a June baby, but we still used some newborn long-sleeves. And another of my kids always wanted to be really bundled up.

    • shortperson says:

      depends on your AC situation. i would just keep it and if you dont end up using it give it to someone else. you will have other friends w babies next winter.

  18. TxMomma says:

    So helpful, thanks so much to you both.

Speak Your Mind