Budget Thursday: Knot-Front Top

We featured this top last week over at Corporette, based on a reader recommendation, and if you’re looking for a really affordable top for work, this one is hard to beat. It was originally $30 but is now as low as $8.99 (!) at Kohl’s. It’s machine washable, and according to readers it’s great to wear under a blazer. There are a zillion colorways in regular, petite, and plus sizes, including some prints (some that look nice, and some you may need to try on in person…). (Try this link or this link to see all offerings in all colors and size ranges.) Pictured: Dana Buchman Knot-Front Top

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. Sleepless nights and zombie days says:

    Baby sleep! My six month old has started waking in the middle of the night for two hours at a time- flinging her pacifier around, yell crying, but not opening her eyes. We plan to move her into her room this weekend. She still nurses 1-2 times in the middle of the night, and the timing of that does not seem to affect the timing of the two hour-ish bout of yelling. As of now our strategy has been to trade off who lays next to her and tries to put the pacifier back in her mouth so she’ll be quiet and sleep peacefully- while I think we both want her to settle herself, when she’s so loud next to us in the middle of the night, what we want more than that is just quiet. We had tried to transition her out of her Merlin sleep suit, but she flailed and didn’t sleep and woke up angry and crying in the morning instead of her normal smily self, so we put her back in it last night and while the two hour middle of the night yelling continued, at least she woke up smiling and seemed to sleep better around that. Is this normal? Did anyone else go through this? I feel so helpless in the middle of the night when I don’t know what to do to settle her and we’re both really struggling on lack of sleep.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it gas? My kids always struggled around 6 months as their bellies adapted to new solid foods. One isn’t allergic to green peas but I can’t give them to him because he will be up all night with gas pain. My oldest can’t eat quinoa or she gets the same problem. Keep an eye on her diet and see if there is a trigger there. When it is gas, picking them up and holding them in ‘froggie’ position like when they were little seems to to help. Fennel tea also helps gas. Use fennel seeds in a loose tea holder to make tea for yourself to drink. It will pass through to baby when you nurse. I got the tip from my SIL who is a pediatrician in Europe. Apparently it’s a super common advice for nursing moms.

      • Sleepless nights and zombie days says:

        Maybe? We’ve only started her on baby oatmeal so far (our ped really pushed it for the iron), but I think daycare gave her a bigger serving yesterday than she has had previously. But you’re right, the timing does make sense for that.

        • Sleepless nights and zombie days says:

          Ha actually my husband just reminded me that she was doing it this weekend too, before we gave her oatmeal. My days are blurring together!

          • Can she roll over yet? That was a game-changer for us, though the period right when it started was rough as he hadn’t quite mastered it. Removing the suit might help her get on her stomach if that’s where she wants to be. Also, anecdotal so YMMV, we had similar experiences around 5-6 months, and that’s when we moved him to his crib in his own room….and he instantly slept better. And, once I figured out how to adjust the sensitivity on the baby monitor so I wasn’t awakened by the sound of him blinking, I slept better too. Good luck and hang in there!

    • AwayEmily says:

      That sounds really frustrating and exhausting.

      I would give removing the Merlin suit another try… I bet she’ll get the hang of it after a few nights once she figures out the self-soothing techniques that work best for her. After we took our daughter out of the swaddle she switched from pacifier to thumb and also developed an adorable ear-rubbing thing to calm herself down. She also started sleeping on her stomach, and she slept much better that way.

    • I’m thinking the problem maybe the removal of the Merlin suit. We use the Zippadee Zipp when we transitioned out of a swaddle (or in your case a Merlin suit). They’re nice because there are a lot of sizes so baby can wear them for a long time. LO wore one until he decided he didn’t want to anymore, about 18 mo old. Because he was old enough, we didn’t have any transition problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      If she’s not opening her eyes she’s probably still asleep and dreaming. Move her to her own room stat.

  2. Frozen Peach says:

    Good morning everyone! I’m back at work after being really sick for a few days. Antibiotics are beautiful things. Nothing like feeling good again when your body’s been down and out.

    My LO’s second birthday is coming up in a few weeks. We are planning to have a special dinner with her grandparents on her actual birthday (a weeknight), and then take her on a special outing with both of us over the weekend to celebrate. Looking for ideas for that outing. Also, we have lots of friends our age (mostly childless) who are going to miss the party we threw her last year. But I just don’t have it in me to put together a two year old birthday party that is mostly adult guests. How have you handled this with your littles’ “aunties”? I was the first of my friends to have kids, so my kiddo has a half dozen at least.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t put together a birthday party for a two year old that’s just adult guests. Your childless friends probably don’t really want to come but may feel obligated because birthdays are big milestones. Could you invite some or all of them to join the weekend outing? That’s more interesting than sitting around watching a toddler open presents and they’d probably feel less obligated to come, since most people view a trip to the zoo as more optional than a birthday party.

    • We didn’t do a party at 2, for kids or adults. We did a family + close friends 1st b’day, and then did a friend party at 3 because she had a bunch of daycare and preschool friends by then and we had just had a baby so figured she needed some special attention. For our second kid, we did the friend party at 4.

      In lieu of a party, we’ve done a family adventure. Ideas:
      -day at the zoo (cute pics, nice weather, maybe get a souvineer)
      – aquarium (for bad weather) + restaurant (if she likes them/ is behaved.) we took our older kid to the aquarium and then shake shack after and it was the Best Day Ever
      – amusement park geared for kids- sesame place or the like. We did this for our second when she turned 3, since our older one was 5 1/2 and they both LOVED it. Birthday girl wore a crown and birthday shirt.
      – waterpark or great wolf lodge type place (if not warm enough for water park)

      I wouldn’t go anywhere requiring more than an hour drive, or that couldn’t accomodate naptime.

    • mascot says:

      Invite your friends to the special outing or a gathering afterwards. Think zoo, and then we all meet up some kdi for tacos, or we are doing a picnic in the park, everyone bring a dish to share. They probably miss the opportunity to all get together.

      • Anonymous says:

        + 1 to the picnic in the park. Pick up a couple sandwich trays + grocery store cake + bubbles wands. Bring a few blankets for everyone to sit on. Kid can run around while grown ups take turns blowing bubbles and eating cake.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I ended up having a small, family-only-plus-one-bestie party for kiddo’s second birthday. I think it worked great. We had plenty of good breakfast food, two cousins + kiddo running amok, and adults hanging out in the kitchen/living room drinking coffee and catching up. Very low key. Oh and then there was cake!

      For outings, picnics are a HUGE hit with our 2 year old — but it’s a little tough to make sure she gets enough in her because parks are so exciting! So I’d think about really tempting and filling foods. If your friends live pretty close, saying, “we’ll be at the park from [time] to [time] with coffee/donuts or drinks/sandwich stuff” would be really low key, and kiddo won’t feel too cooped up. I like that idea.

    • I got talked into a party for our 2-year-old. We invited DH’s family and 2 other couples we’re very close to, and it ended up being 25 people, so not small, and mostly adults (3 toddlers and 2 infants). We decided to do breakfast because it’s Kiddo’s best time of day, food was easier and cheaper, and it let everyone stop by and then move on with their day. It actually was pretty nice. We kept it pretty casual, served buffet style, set out donuts from the beginning (instead of cake), and let the kids play in DS’s room or just run around. We sang to Kiddo toward the end of the party, but we did not have him open presents in front of everyone. That turned out to be a good call because when he did open presents later, he wanted to play with the thing he had just opened for a while instead of opening everything all at once.

      Even though it went pretty well, I probably would not host a party of mostly adult friends and family for a 2-year-old if it were totally up to me.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      Thanks all! I love the idea of a low-key picnic where friends could come hang but without pressure of a full party. Honestly, I have no idea whether my friends would actually want to come– except that several of them really seem to enjoy shopping for gifts for her because tiny things are cute and they don’t have nieces and nephews. These friends have already asked for the date of her party to save on their calendars…

      But yeah, kiddo doesn’t have many friends yet, and a party just isn’t my speed this year. We are zoo members and go a lot, so trying to come up with something a little different/more special. Thanks for the ideas!!

  3. JayJay says:

    Vent. Sorry in advance.

    I’m tired. And exhausted to my bones. My husband is out of town this week. I’ve had a pinched nerve in my neck the past three weeks that’s caused intense, non-stop pain. Finally had an MRI this week and should find out what it is next week. I have a muscle relaxer, but I can only take it late at night because it makes me so tired that I can’t work/care for kids.

    And, earlier this week I found out that my otherwise-healthy young Dad was unexpectedly diagnosed with a terminal illness. In the next few weeks we’ll find out whether he has years or months to live, but that was obviously a shock for my family and my mom, especially. It’s been a completely crazy week at work (we have a major, major deliverable at the end of this week), so I’ve barely had time to process.

    I know the week is almost over and I’m going to survive it, but I’m just. so. tired. And sad.

    • That just sounds impossible. I’m so sorry. You’re right – you will survive. You got this. You husband is back soon and can pick up even more than he normally does to help you out right now. Hugs.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is so hard. All the internet hugs!

      If it is at all possible, take the afternoon off. Leave the kids in daycare and do something nice for yourself (could be just a three hour nap). If you can’t take this afternoon off, what about tomorrow or even just tomorrow afternoon?

    • Oh hugs. This is hard.

      Make sure that you find time to chat and connect with husband even though he’s on the road. I find this really helps me feel less alone especially when I’m struggling. Otherwise it can feel like you against the world, which is what it sounds like for you this week!

    • Anonymous says:

      If there was ever a time to throw money at a problem, the time is now. Sounds like you need all of your working hours to work, but when you get home, could you hire a babysitter to help you with the evening duties so you could relax a little bit more? If you don’t have a regular babysitter that you trust, could you reach out to your network of mom friends(if you have one), explain briefly the stress you’re under the way you did for us, and ask if one of them could help you arrange someone that they trust? I have thought to hire a babysitter for things like this (albeit not as bad!) but haven’t had the wherewithal to hire someone, because that felt like just as daunting of a chore as just getting through the evening on my own. Maybe a friend could take that part of the task off your plate??

    • NewMomAnon says:

      As a single mom, my approach to weeks like that is to team up with other families (invite your family over for dinner with them!) or cut every corner. There are weeks we eat prepackaged deli trays for dinner and my house goes to h*ll. And I spend a lot of time texting/calling friends and family after kiddo is in bed, if I have time.

      Meditation and journaling help with the anxiety (sometimes).

      Hugs. It’s going to be a rough go, give yourself some room to be less than perfect.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I am so sorry about your Dad. And that you’re in actual, physical pain. And that you’ve been solo parenting this week. All of that is really, really hard. Hugs.

    • Spirograph says:

      All the hugs. Each of these is hard on its own, dealing with them simultaneously is an awful lot. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope your husband can give you some time and space to process however you need to when he returns, and that you get the neck pain resolved soon!

    • JayJay says:

      Thanks, everyone. This board is so supportive.. Husband has been great (as much as he can be long-distance) through this week, and told me to go schedule a massage for myself this weekend.

      I love this community.

  4. Also if you post your nearest city maybe we can give specific ideas?

  5. MLM talk….

    I have two friends who recently got into these (one essential oils, the other makeup). I’m fine ignoring random people from high school who try to sell me stuff, but what’s bugging me is that these two women had amazing full time careers and were killing it. Then they decided they needed more time with their kids, and within a few months… were MLM salespeople.

    I feel icky that I look down on them for this, as it’s every mom’s decision whether to work or not etc. But it feels so money-grabby, and I also have read really awful things about how these companies prey on SAHMs.

    Do you guys just suck up, go to parties, and buy some token thing? Or is that just asking to be inundated more? Like I said, I really like these women and want to continue the friendship. Do I need to change my (admittedly condescending) attitude about MLMs?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My cynical take on MLM – I’ve had friends and family get into various MLM roles, and everyone burns out after a few months when it’s clear that they are going to end up with tons of product but very little take home cash (or negative cash….). I prefer to accelerate the decline of their MLM ambitions by purchasing nothing from them, declining offers to attend their “parties,” and if pressed, gently say it’s “not in the budget” right now.

      I see the allure – walking away from a career is hard, being a SAHM is hard, shifting the relationship from dual incomes to dependent on husband for income is hard. MLM seems to offer a middle ground in which you don’t need to pay for daycare but still earn some of your own spending money. But it never works out like that. Empathy is key.

      • Anonymous says:

        + 1 to empathy. I wouldn’t buy from the MLM but I would continue the friendship and drop the judgment. They’ll either be one of the rare people who excel or they will drop the MLM and focus on being a SAHM. I think MLM are so popular now because it’s ‘easier’ to do it via social media and online ordering/shipping vs. door to door or paper catalogs years ago. Minimal effort, something to occupy your brain other than mom stuff and if you end up with fun money, great. They’re all a scam but I understand why they are appealing in the beginning so I try not to judge friends who are trying it out. But I also don’t support by buying product either.

        • This is a good take on it, thank you.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you want to avoid MLM talk when you do socialize, I find it works best to plan an ‘active’ get together vs. brunch/lunch. Like paint-nite class, or new fitness class where there’s less chat or we can chat about the activity. I also try to talk more about kids/hobbies and not so much about my own work, because that reduces the chat about their MLM ‘work’.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to empathy plus not buying. I’m always busy during the events or not looking for a new whatever. I still get together with them. (None of my MLM people are the types who can’t shut it off).

        And I fully agree about burn out. It doesn’t usually last long, IME. The one person I know who has done it long term does it because she uses the product and gets a seller discount if she sells a relatively small amount to other customers (who basically ask her for product), so she’s pretty chill about it. Well, aside from the one person who went ALL IN and ditched everyone else for MLM friends.

    • You absolutely do no need to chance your attitude about MLMs and you need to make take your position on parties early on and stick to it, but you can continue to try to see them outside of the MLM context if they’ll let you.

      “I can’t attend the __ party, but I’d love to meet up for lunch sometime.”

      ” I don’t need to buy any ___. We’re going to the water park next week, want to join us?

      If you get pushback, remember that you aren’t the one being rude by refusing to participate in a scam – they’re being rude by conditioning your friendship on your contributions to their hobby.

    • CPA Lady says:

      MLMs are the worst. I have an extremely negative and condescending attitude about them and the people who join them too. They are predatory towards vulnerable women and awful and insulting to actual small business owners and entrepreneurs. The worst thing is how they manage to insult both SAHMs and full time working moms in one fell swoop with their attitude of “I could never work outside the home like those uncaring harpies because I love my children but I didn’t want to be a complete drain on the household’s finances like women who don’t work at all!” Uh, way to insult everyone. Is that the way you sell a $34 candle? It is not.

      THAT SAID, I still buy R&F from a friend because 1. I like it and 2. she was a major rock for me during an extremely difficult time and I know she’s struggling financially because her only source of income is selling $100 face lotion. All other MLM pitches I completely ignore.

      Also, I’ve done a bunch of people’s taxes where the wives are doing this kind of thing on the side and I have never seen a single one that actually makes a profit, so I’m guessing the majority of those glossy facebook posts about how their income made some exotic vacation possible are just straight up lies.

      Sometimes I feel like pitching my services like these MLMs do just because I find it hilarious. Like repeatedly posting about how “life changing” it has been to become a CPA and how my income skyrocketed! And then hounding my friends over and over and over to use my services or offer referral bonuses for helping me “grow my business” And post obviously photoshopped before and after photos of fake tax returns with lots of emojis.

      • I laughed out loud at your idea to pitch your services with a mock-MLM style campaign. I would totally hire you.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m really enjoying it, plus comments below.

          Each grant comes with a FREE TOTE BAG!!!!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Wow…if I could find a way to turn my law practice into an MLM model, I could make so much money….”You too could be FABULOUSLY WEALTHY if you buy $5,000 of law products from me and then sell them to your friends at a markup!” My law products would be “made in China” translations of the U.S. Code, a set of form court and government filings (not customized for local court rules, natch), and the bindings will all fall apart in six months. Maybe I’ll sell them in multiple scents, with embroidered initials!

      • This is hilarious.

        The market is also so saturated at this point… on one of the invites half the people that replied were like, “Oh I already buy [competing MLM product]”. There’s really only so many candles, leggings and essential oils one person needs.

        • CPA Lady says:

          And not only is the market saturated, but the pool of customers is limited when the products are so expensive. I’m (admittedly) cheap/frugal, but I think it’s a rare person to be excited about spending $40 on a bottle of face wash.

        • avocado says:

          And don’t most of the people who would buy this stuff sell it themselves?

      • Anonymous says:

        “The worst thing is how they manage to insult both SAHMs and full time working moms in one fell swoop with their attitude of “I could never work outside the home like those uncaring harpies because I love my children but I didn’t want to be a complete drain on the household’s finances like women who don’t work at all!” Uh, way to insult everyone.”

        Yes, this!

    • When I was in my early to mid 20’s I went to all the parties and would buy a token thing, but the last few years I have ignored all MLM requests pretty hard. I have several close friends who have gotten into MLMs either as side gigs or they are SAHMs who do it on the side. I completely ignore all the group adds, requests, FB messages and remove myself from the groups. If it comes up when we are in-person (which it rarely does) I tell them I am not interested or that I tried the product previously and wasn’t a fan. Luckily none of my friends are persistent in person, although many of them repeatedly host events/add me to groups on FB and I just continue to ignore them. I have defriended acquaintances on social media who turned their accounts into 100% advertisements for their product, although thankfully none of my close friends have done this.

      • This. I used to go to the first party and buy a token item once, and then decline all others. These days, in my mid-30s with 2 kids, I tend to decline.

        I did attend a few in the last 3 years after I moved to our current town and wanted to make some local friends – now that I have those friends and see them regularly in a non-MLM context, I’m starting to decline again.

        I hate MLMs and hate their predatory practices, so I struggle a bit with supporting them. But at the same time, it really is one of the best ways to meet adult women right now. I met a couple neighbors through a few parties and it makes a huge difference in my world to know 1) people within walking distance of my house 2) moms with teenage kids, aka babysitters, and 3) SAHMs who are up on all the school events and PTA committees and can keep me “in the loop” even though I work more than full-time.

    • Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

      Spin-off of this: Does anyone know a real success story of an MLM? Not just a Facebook post, but a real person who achieved that white Lexus/pink Caddy/exotic vacations/private school tuition? I hate MLMs and what they have done to some of my former friends (they became all-consumed, only hang out with others who drank the kool-aid) so I’m very curious. There are tons and tons in my community.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know (went to college with one of the kids) a few people at the tippy-top of Herbalife. It’s pretty fascinating to watch…it’s a family affair (dad, dad’s brother, son (30s), daughter-in-law).

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a friend who sells Isagenix who I believe is legitimately making thousands of dollars every month – like enough to replace her six-figure job. I don’t really know how to make sense of it. The annoying thing is that I’d love to try the products — I believe there’s something there — but I am so turned off by MLMs that I don’t want to support it. And I know that the only way the product is affordable is if I sell it too, which I definitely don’t want to do… it’s frustrating.

      • Meg Murry says:

        There is one local Mary Kay saleswoman that I think has really actually made it big in the organization (as in Pink Cadillac level) and made a good living for herself – but I’m pretty sure she was in sales before she started at Mary Kay and could have been a kick-a$$ salesperson/businesswoman for other non-MLM businesses, like a pharma rep or similar.

        However, she’s been doing it since the 80s, and most of her money is made because she is at the top of the pyramid of people she has recruited (I think they call it her downline), and she gets a bonus whenever she or one of her people under her recruits someone to sell. We also live in a LCOLA, so even a high 5 figure income goes a long way here.

        I also know a few people that have managed to combine MLM work with other part-time flexible jobs to patch together a decent income – and a few people with large extended families where they will all get together and place just enough of an order every year to maintain one person in “active” status in order to get the product discount, but they don’t really sell the products beyond that.

        MLMs kind of made sense in my area for a while because we didn’t have any decent shopping options, so you were ordering so much out of catalogs, etc, why not order it from your friend rather than the Sears/JCPenney/etc catalog? But now with the ease of Amazon Prime and other online shopping plus shopping options expanding rapidly, it really doesn’t make sense to buy MLM anymore.

      • Midwest Mama says:

        I know a few BeachBody coaches who make a decent income every month, and one of my high school classmates earned the Lexus (?) and recently a five figure bonus through Thrive. Crazy.

        The other thing I find insulting about the MLM schtick is….I like my job! I don’t want to “have the freedom” to “do whatever I want” and “stay home with the kids.” I like working outside the home. I like my job. My kiddo loves school and daycare (she’s in part-time preschool). So there. Ha!

      • Thisperson1 says:

        My mother sent me a couple canisters of freeze dried sausage for Christmas – apparently there’s an MLM for Dooms Day Preppers as well. Since that’s the first Christmas present we’ve received in years, it almost counts as a success story…

      • CPA Lady says:

        My aunt has gotten multiple (at least three I think?) pink Cadillacs and has knocked it out of the park with Mary Kay. She was a SAHM in a wealthy suburb of a mid-sized city in Ohio starting in the mid-90s. Both her sons were popular athletes at the local high school and she had tons of well-off mom friends who loved makeup. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

    • CLMom says:

      Question: do you think the internet/social media has changed the stigma? Or did career women feel the same way about Tupperware and Avon years back?

      • This is a great question – I definitely think Avon and Tupperware have better reputations as 1) good quality products and 2) not being predatory companies.

        But to your point the social media adds to the snake oil aspect of these MLMs. Back in the day no one was posting clearly photoshopped before and afters with Avon or Mary Kay, or claiming that it literally changed their life in such a public, over the top, ridiculous way.

        I think it makes me roll by eyes because they must know that the products actually aren’t that amazing/better than others – like the thread above about trying to market our corporate jobs that way, it just sounds so ridiculous applied to anything other than oils and mascara and leggings.

        • avocado says:

          Back in the day, I think at least Tupperware and maybe also Avon filled a gap in the market. If I recall correctly, there weren’t many alternatives to Tupperware for resealable plastic containers, especially in the late ’70s and early ’80s. When Rubbermaid started to become commonplace, Tupperware still produced a wider variety of shapes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t go and feel zero guilt about it. Looking down on women who have left the workforce is snobby. Looking down on women who have chosen to leave the workforce and are now essentially begging their friends to give them spending money is not snobby. I truly think being a SAHM is a great worthwhile thing, but it’s a choice that has trade-offs like all choices, and I’m not going to buy stupid junk I don’t want so my friends can feel like they’re “employed.”

    • This article comes to mind every time I read one of the MLM discussions here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december/divine-rise-of-multilevel-marketing-christians-mlm.html?share=lOjmtIedUllGB9L5N%204caAY5LUGVSFMe&paging=off

      +1 to empathy but also not enabling.

  6. NewMomAnon says:


    Kiddo’s last day at old school is tomorrow. I’m sure it’s the right decision to move her, and I’m 85% sure the new place is fine, and kiddo was way more comfortable visiting it than I expected. But a part of me is hysterically concerned about little things (the school is so…privileged? But the facilities are so dumpy. And the lead teacher is seriously an SNL spoof of an ’80s preschool teacher, who has the same first name as a woman my dad had an affair with when I was a kid).

    It’s going to be OK, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re moving schools at the end of the summer (first opportunity for a spot t0 open) and it cannot come soon enough. It’s definitely going to be ok. The decision to change schools is never one to be taken lightly and if it’s come to the point where you’re changing, like so many things in life, taking a risk on the unknown can be so worth it if the known isn’t working for you.

      When my kiddo has a good day, I definitely question our decision. But when things are a bit rough (which is more often than not these days), I’m glad we’re at least trying something new. Maybe it’s not the solution. But I tell myself that at least we’re trying something. And that makes my mama heart feel better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ditto. You didn’t make the change on a whim.

      Change is always nerve wracking and IMO there’s no perfect spot either so I’m always jumpy waiting to find out ‘what’s wrong with New Place’. And kiddos need ~30 days to transition, so there’s the impending feeling of all those hard mornings.

      Tomorrow is our last day at current daycare, too. My husband is going back to SAH, which is super and exciting, but this week/month has been so emotional. I can’t wait for it to be over!

    • Anonymous says:

      (1) why’d you change?
      (2) if I remember correctly, your kid is about a year behind mine in age (2.5/3?). My 4 year old has been in 3 daycares and now preschool. Her first 3 schools do not even register in her memory unless I explicitly put them there. “Hey! Look! That’s where your old school is. Hi, old school!” She remembers none of her teachers, and only 2 of the kids (and that’s because they still socialize).

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Changed because of teacher turnover, constant difficulties meeting state ratios, and a rotating mess of floaters left unsupervised with my daughter’s class of 3-year-olds. I am absolutely positive it is time to leave the old center, even though there are teachers there that I will miss.

        My kiddo is 3. She is really social, and remembers everything (she recently ran through a litany of all the times I made a “mistake” and was able to go back at least a year). The highlight of her day now is when her infant or toddler teachers come to say hi to her in preschool. She is very excited about the new school in part because two of her friends from her old school go there, and she misses them. So I think she will remember the old school for a while at least, and we’ll have to stop by the old school’s playground to say hi to her old friends sometimes. But I’m sure she’ll adapt, and she is very excited about it.

        • As someone who has been in your situation, your only regret will be why you didn’t move her sooner. She will be great.

          • avocado says:

            +1. In my kid’s sport there is a saying among parents that once you start thinking about switching clubs, it means that you should have switched a year ago and your only regret will be not switching sooner.

    • avocado says:

      It will be great. For what it’s worth, we used four different day cares (one for ages 0-4, one for private K, and two backup facilities), and the nonprofit center with the dumpy old building was by far the best. We had the same experience with after-school programs–she hated the fancy franchise and loves the one in a somewhat rundown indoor sports complex. As long as it’s safe, it will be fine. The people are what matter. Good luck with the transition!

    • AwayEmily says:

      It will be okay!! Trust your instincts. We switched my baby’s daycare a few months ago because I wasn’t super happy with it. But I didn’t HATE the old one, I just didn’t LOVE it….and just before she switched I had all those same thoughts of “oh god why am I messing with a perfectly adequate situation?” But my instincts were totally right, and the new place is way, way better. You made this call for a reason, and it will be better (maybe not immediately, but a few months from now you will be so relieved you did it).

  7. OMG Teething! says:

    So, I was congratulating myself on my luck in having a baby who rarely shows any symptoms of teething. She is 1 1/2, has four teeth on top and four on the bottom, and got her first molar a month ago. No problem…

    Until now she is a cranky drooling sleep-deprived baby and I feel so bad for her and also so bad for myself! I’ve ignored tips and tricks until now and would love advice!

    She has a Sophie to sleep with, we are of course medicating with Tylenol and/or Ibuprofen, and becoming more lax in regards to foods (basically letting her survive on bananas, scrambled eggs and milk if that’s what she feels like). Not doing anything else. Thoughts on how to further alleviate her discomfort?

    • Ask your own pediatrician, but Oragel. The real stuff. Once a day. My FIL (a pediatric specialist) cornered our pediatrician (a family friend) at a party and basically wore him down until our pediatrician admitted that once-a-day Oragel wouldn’t harm Kiddo, regardless of its current disfavor.

    • Is it possible something else is going on, like hand, foot and mouth causing sores in the mouth?
      If it is just teething she must be getting all of the rest of her molars at the same time or something, so maybe it will pass and you’ll be done. My son never seemed very bugged by teething, or at least not right when the teeth were breaking through.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yep. My daughter got all 4 of her 1 year molars at once, so it wouldn’t surprise me if your LO is getting a few in at the same time.

  8. Blueberry says:

    Fun game: Help me figure out where to take a family vacation! One week, at some point over the late spring or summer. 4-year-old and 2-year-old. 2-year-old is very much over the hiking backpack but doesn’t have the stamina for anything but a very short hike. I’m pregnant, so wine country tours are probably out. We like exploring interesting cities, but museum-hopping and nice dinners are obviously harder with little kids. We live near DC, and reachability by car or by air is a plus. We’re really open to anything in North America, South America or Europe, so long as there is no Zika. Any fun ideas?

    • Denver/ Colorado Springs. That was my plan for our family vacation this summer, but it’s not going to work out this year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rive Del Sole resort in Tuscany – on the beach and kid friendly – lots of cute towns and yummy food nearby – fly direct DC to Rome and then it’s like an hour drive I think.

      Banff/Calgary – zoo in Calgary, dinosaur museum in Drumheller. Banff is a short drive and Lake Louise is close as well. Great spa at Fairmont Banff Springs – get DH to occupy kids for a few hours so you get a half spa day.

    • Spirograph says:

      This post is totally going to out me, but whatever. I have a 2 and 4 year old, too, and we’ve decided we’re not doing elective air travel until everyone is old enough to walk with their own carry on through an airport, and sit in a car booster seat. Accordingly, our upcoming vacations from the DC area are:

      Some east-coast beach. Eastern Shore / Delaware, whatever
      Poconos and/or Hershey Park
      West Virginia (for hiking, rafting)

      If you’re more ambitious about taking kids around a city, and don’t mind longer travel, I’d head down to Georgia. Savannah for relaxation and city-exploring, or Atlanta (Coke museum, amazing aquarium). There’s good, relatively flat, hiking and it shouldn’t be TOO hot if you go before July.

      There’s lots of nice, low-key stuff around the Great Lakes, too. Toronto is great, and you can swing by Niagra Falls. Cleveland has a great Science Center with kid stuff + Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mackinaw Island and nearby mainland in Michigan is fun, but probably better once your kids can bike. Rochester, NY has the Strong Museum which is basically kid heaven, the George Eastman (Kodak) house, and a nice little downtown area. And Lake Ontario has surprisingly nice beaches with no waves, good sand, generally non-threatening for kids (but it’s chilly!).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Maine? Portland or Bar Harbor/Acadia (or a mix of both)?

      • Anonymous says:

        I love Acadia but I’d save it for when kids are able to do more hiking. You will really miss a lot of the sights if you can’t do hikes that are at least a couple of hours long. Sounds like a city destination would be a better fit for OP’s family right now.

    • Can I interest you in Pittsburgh? We’ve got a great zoo, great museums (Carnegie Science Center and Carnegie Museum of History are both great for kids), Kennywood (family amusement park), Sandcastle (water amusement park), a bit of a drive gets you to Idlewild (perfect for little ones), and we’ve got the National Aviary – if there isn’t anyone afraid of birds in your family (my husband is a bit skittish with birds, and we sometimes have to quickly leave the rooms where they fly around free).

      • Also, Phipps Conservatory – which is gorgeous (and where I got married!) and has some fun kid activities, too.

        • And a wonderful Children’s Meuseum. If you like baseball, Pirates games are low key and a blast.

      • The Heinz History Center is AWESOME with 2-3 year old kids too (probably older too but I don’t have any of those).

    • Sarabeth says:

      This might not be far enough for you, but we are going to Folly Beach, outside of Charleston, with the idea that we can mix up city days and beach days. And get a babysitter for a few nights to that the adults can go eat yummy food while the kids sleep.

      • Sabba says:

        We went to Folly Beach last year and splurged and rented a home right on the beach. We were only there 4 days, but it was a great time and we never felt a need to leave. We just went out on the beach or the porch during the day, cooked meals in our kitchen (with some delivery/take-out), and relaxed. Very low key.

    • New Orleans. Family destination despite the reputation. So much to do for kids — worth a look at least.

    • Blueberry says:

      Thanks, lots of great ideas here that I would never have thought of! (Plus fun material for day dreaming at work.)

  9. Narrow baby/toddler shoes? says:

    What brands run narrow or better yet come in narrow? My first 2 kids had fat chunky feet so all my hand-me downs in the right size (3/3.5) are way too big. The only shoe I’ve found that fits this baby’s feet is old navy- which is terrible in terms of actual shoe/support (before she started walking it was more decorative vs functional). My other kids’ sausage feet never fit into old navy so I knew to start there :-).

    • My kid had fat little sausage feet too, and we had a pair of Gymborees that I had to give away – try those?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Maybe look at Momo Baby?

    • skinny shoes says:

      I’m not sure how small they come, but my skinny kids with skinny feet wear size 5 in Nikes and we were told that Nikes run narrow. We love them!

    • I think Amazon actually allows you to search for shoes that come in narrow widths. Maybe start there? Nike runs narrow. Stride Rite makes a few shoes in narrow. Also, tie shoes tend to be more adjustable than velcro.

    • avocado says:

      We had luck with Saucony, Asics, Pediped, and surprisingly Stride-Rite for skinny little feet. My hypothesis is that Stride Rite regular sizes run narrow because wide sizes are available.

    • October says:

      I feel like Carters may run narrow. My wide-footed baby outgrew our Carters sandals in width way before length (and then I smartened up and went with other brands). They have a big selection of surprisingly cute shoes.

    • Nikes run narrow for sure. My oldest with fat feet couldn’t wear them, but they’re perfect for my daughter with narrow feet. I’ve also had good luck with New Balance and Stride Rite’s regular width for her.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually the newest research is super flexible, no support is best for developing feet. Old Navy is the only brand like that that runs less than $60.

      • I need something with a protective sole for outside though. Otherwise she’s just going to be barefoot or in robeez or whatever. But the old navy stuff with a real sole is rock hard and awful. Unless I’m not seeing all the options?

  10. Florida says:

    We are meeting grandparents in Orlando in a few weeks but DH and I are brining the boys (10 months and 4) down a few days early for some family time without the grands. We are flying jntonirlando but we’re thinking of going west for a few days (2-3). Should we make Tampa our base camp? I have no agenda, just find playgrounds near the ocean, have picnics, etc. we won’t do Busch gardens.

    I know st pete/Clearwater is on the ocean but it adds anouther 30-45 min to our drive and we’re not planning to be at the beach all day.

    Also- we’re staying on Marriott points so any Marriott property Recs in the area? And/or places things to do in the general area that a baby and preschooler would enjoy?


    • Anonymous says:

      I’d stay in downtown St. Pete. There’s a good mix of casual places to eat and places to walk and play, and you’re near (10-minute drive) some of the prettiest beaches in the area. It’s not the fanciest of places, but there’s a courtyard Marriott in downtown St. Pete that was nice when I stayed there last year. The drive from Tampa to the beach is pretty long, and traffic on the bridges and on the surface roads to the beach can be bad.

      • JayJay says:

        I agree with this. I would bet your 4-year old would love Busch Gardens in Tampa, though. I would try and make a trip there. The zoo there is actually pretty great.

    • Any reason you’re thinking West instead of East?

      The drive to Cocoa Beach from MCO is not bad at all and there’s plenty to do (one of the local parks has tons of manatees just hanging out!). There’s a Marriott Courtyard right on the main touristy strip – haven’t stayed in the Marriott but have stayed in that area and it’s very convenient.

      • Anonymous says:

        no real reason, other than it looked like a shorter drive to ocean. Cocoa beach was my other idea but I have never been that way. might think on it a bit more tonight before booking.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think the Gulf is more likely to be swimmably warm this early in the year, but maybe the Atlantic is too that far south – worth checking if you like to swim.

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