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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
My 3 week old has been waking up every hour at night, but he can sleep 3-4 hour stretches during the day. Any strategies for getting him to sleep longer at night?
Try to make the difference between day and night as obvious as possible. At night, put him right back to sleep after feeding, don’t talk/interact at all, keep the room really dark, only change diaper if there is a poop (use an amber nightlight to minimize blue light). It’s also worth letting him fuss for a few minutes at night to see if he puts himself back to sleep. During the day make sure he gets some sunlight.
He will figure it out! They start producing their own melatonin at around two months, and that helps a lot. Good luck.
This time is so tough, but it gets better. Hang in there, mama!
He’s jetlagged, essentially. All the standard jetlag cures should work – lots of time outside during the day, not making the room especially dark for daytime naps, making the room super dark and quiet at night. Melatonin would probably help too but I assume that isn’t advised for a kid that young.
Is it possible your baby is uncomfortable at night? I ask because last fall our then-3 month old woke up every hour during a cold snap, because we didn’t realize how chilly his bedroom was getting. I would definitely talk to your pediatrician about this, as he/she may have other good ideas.
I don’t think a pediatrician is going to say anything other than yup, you got yourself a newborn.
Just sounds like reverse cycling to me (sorry!!!). Definitely lots of sunlight, blinds open during the day. Does he nap somewhere different during the day than sleep at night? On you, in swing, boppy lounger, etc??
One additional thing to try is not letting him sleep so long during the day. I would make sure he is eating at least every three hours during the day.
Irish Midori says
This bra looks super comfy, but I’m kind of giggling at the model with her earrings and lipstick. If I’m wearing that bra, I’m definitely wearing neither of the other things…
And the sort of s*xy parted lip and pulling back the bra… ummm yea that’s definitely how I felt/looked right after having a baby… hahaha
Is she about to feed a baby or make one?
I have to post another “HA!” because I’m actually still laughing…
Here is a fun question – How to make a party at a play gym extra fun? We are having my kid’s 5th birthday party at a play gym. We have usually had her parties at our local park where we brought everything and they were a lot of work and stress because we were always worried about the weather. So, having it a play gym takes away all of that…but I still want to personalize things a bit. Having it at a gym, where you don’t have to bring anything seems too easy, ha! I was thinking of bringing a few decorations and maybe giving away walking balloons. Any other fun ideas?
Bless you, and do it if it makes YOU happy, but the kids are not going to care; the excitement is in the play gym. The whole point (to me) of having a party at a place like this is so that I don’t have to bring anything extra! Walking into the party location with nothing but a cake, and leaving while someone else cleans up the mess is glorious. Helium balloons as decorations that double as favors would be plenty.
Thanks! I forgot to mention, that yes, this is for me. Kid will have a great time, regardless. I guess I am so used to parties being so much work, that this feels like cheating. And the gym feels a little impersonal.
I like the balloon idea. I’d get cute plates and napkins for the table and call it a day. You wanted to make this easier on yourself, so do it! Truly, the kids are NOT going to care.
Irish Midori says
You could focus your planning instinct on the cake/treats? It’s a good excuse to play with icing decorating. I recently made my first attempt at homemade buttercream icing and was amazed at how easy and delicious it was. Or one year I messed around with learning fondant icing, and made like 30 fondant pokeballs to go on cupcakes when we were having an otherwise phone-it-in birthday party for my son. It was a little nuts, but actually turned out to be a fun little art project for me.
Let it be easy
This IS a fun question! And a good idea to do it at a gym-type place so that all the “extras” are optional (ie if you run out of time you don’t have to feel bad).
Some fun things I would consider (chosen more because they would be fun for me to do, not because they would necessarily be the biggest hits with kids):
– solid-colored helium balloons plus fun stickers (maybe letter stickers, too?) so that people could personalize their balloons.
– bringing one of those little instant camera things so you could take photos and then give them to the kids
– jelly bean station where kids can pick their own mix of colored jelly beans, and maybe a fun container to put them in
We had Kiddo’s party at a play gym a year ago. I made cupcakes because I enjoy baking. I also brought iced coffee for the adults, which made it more fun for the adults who brought their kids.
Will you invite me to your parties? :)
Same. Cupcakes and iced coffee is my dream kid party!
At that age I found taking kiddo to party city (or helping them amazon shop with me) for what “kind” of party they wanted was fun. Lego party? Lego backdrop for photos, lego plates/cups napkins/lego cupcake stand/lego themed balloons/lego goody bags/lego thank you notes, etc. Beyond that (which, btw, the party place will set up for you, just bring tape maybe) we brought a cake, made goody bags and called it a day.
Travel with 15 mo old says
We’re headed to Florida on Thursday from Boston. Direct flight – DH, DD (15 mos) and me. Two questions:
1. How do we survive the flight? I’m thinking screen time (which she never gets typically so she should be very captivated, but she’s also unfamiliar with headphones…) and food to bribe her until she falls asleep on the flight down. On the way back we’re flying midday so I fear I can’t depend on a nap. We’re on JetBlue if that matters.
2. Car seat: We are bringing the convertible need the carseat to get from airport to hotel, which is a 20 min ride. Beyond that, the resort is large enough and has dining options enough that we don’t have to leave (in theory). We are not renting a car. Still, if we wanted to leave the resort lugging the convertible carseat around seems ridiculous.
We’d have to strap it into an uber, carry into a restaurant, and then strap back into an uber. When we had the infant seat it was way less cumbersome and popped into the stroller. What am I missing, or is this just a fact of life for this age/carseat size?
Do you still have the infant seat, and is it still safe to use for your 15 month old? When we traveled with a 13 month old, we used the infant carseat (he was a pretty standard sized kiddo).
We have also had very low-to-moderate luck requesting a taxi with a carseat. They usually bring the wrong size for our kid (last airport trip with our 18 month old he brought a booster seat… we ended up taking our own car and putting it in airport parking).
Additionally – and of course the least safe way – is to travel without a carseat for the ride to the restaurant. I’ve definitely taken uber/lyfts without carseats for short durations (15 minute rides, no highways?) with my kids.
That’s odd. My very average size kid outgrew the infant seat at 10 months, so it doesn’t seem implausible at all that most 15 month olds are too big for them.
I think taking a very young toddler in a car without a carseat is insane, not to mention illegal in all 50 states. We’re not talking about a borderline safety practice, like turning a carseat forward-facing when ideally it should be rear-facing, or skipping the booster seat for an elementary schooler who should technically have one but will likely be fine with a seatbelt. Holding a child on your lap means they’re totally unrestrained and will go flying at the slightest bump (even a 10 mph collision) and I believe buckling them in is even worse as the seatbelt is not at all set up for toddlers and may decapitate them in an accident.
I have 3 kids, and the youngest is 15 months. we live in Boston and visit my parents in FL regularly. You will be fine! We also visit relatives in Colorado and that flight is SO MUCH WORSE. FL is not even 3 hours :)
Tips: get the cosco convertible carseat. it weighs basically nothing. Or just order an uber with a carseat to/from hotel and to/from any restaurant. Know, though, that it will likely be FF only (which IMO is fine but to each their own for risk tolerance). If your kid likes the carseat, i’d recommend bringing it AND schlepping it onto the plane (tell me you bought a seat…if not, buy a seat!). 15 months was the hardest age to contain kids on board (too fold for sleeping/holding, too young for screens). Being in the carseat really helps.
With jet blue, just keep feeding her snacks. My 15 month old isn’t much for screen time per se but loves pictures / movies of herself and our family. Expect a lot of peek a boo with (hopefully) friendly neighbors, walks up and down the aisle, playing around in the bathroom (my kid loves the tissue boxes…sorry Jet Blue!), eating snacks, etc. And do bring the carseat if at all possible.
The flight will be just fine! At this age I found showing the kids pictures on my phone + looking at the airline magazine + lots of snacks would do it. They couldn’t keep the headphones on for the tablet yet. I would avoid the screen if you’re hoping she’ll fall asleep but if she doesn’t…snacks. :)
For the carseat we got a cheap strap on Amazon for carrying around a convertible seat attached to our rolling bag. By far the best way to transport it. They really are annoying to carry around and install. We always a) rent a car and a seat b) borrow a seat from family if we are driving around with family members c) don’t drive. I also agree that the Cosco convertible seat is the lightest…that’s what most of the rental car companies use. It’s lightweight but I have always had a really difficult time adjusting the straps to YMMV.
Ugh LO is about 2 months old and I’m already dreading going back to work (which is at least a month away!). As a Fed, i was able to take more time with #1, but I burned up so much leave that I have less paid time now. And I feel like my baby and I are just bonding more now with smiling, etc. And I know I won’t get this time back. :( I know I wouldn’t be happy staying at home permanently, but this is sooo hard.
Sorry. Hope you can enjoy your last month of leave. Parental leave in this country is not compassionate.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
+1 to this. It is so terrible how far behind we are. 6 months would be so fantastic for babies and parents alike.
OP, sending you love and hope that soak up these last weeks.
So sorry-it’s so hard. Have you thought about all of your options? I ended up taking an extra 4 weeks unpaid and it was worth it for me, but I know not everyone has that option.
Fellow Fed says
Fellow Fed here. Could you extend your leave, but set your schedule so that you’re on leave one week and unpaid the next? People are shocked to hear the fed govt offers no paid parental leave. It’s awful. And, sadly, I don’t think that will change anytime soon.
Former Fed here, if I had stayed I would have been in your situation for #2 (I took 6.5 months for my first, basically burning through all the leave I had saved up over 10+ years of federal service). I think someone introduced a bill to cover paid parental leave for Feds, but it has a snowball’s chance in h**l of passing, sadly.
Lana Del Raygun says
I’m sorry! I was not feeling ready to go back at all after two months either. Can whoever’s taking care of LO text you pictures during the day? That helps me a lot. (So many of my friends thought feds get paid family leave and it was so demoralizing telling people over and over again that I was on my own to hoard SL/AL.)
It seems like I’m in perma mod around here and it’s so frustrating. My posts go up almost instantly on the other page. What gives.
If this sees the light of day faster than my other post, how do I travel with a 15 month old in a convertible car seat? Is it just a giant PITA and we should just stay at the resort? We won’t have a car (flying to FL). TIA.
By a Cosco Scenera Next – super lightweight, easy to take on the plane if you want to, and easy to install in Uber/Lyft/cabs at your destination. If you want to leave the resort a lot though, consider getting a rental car because then you can leave the seat installed for the duration of your trip, which is nice.
Thanks! Looks like I’m likely to get a few years of use out of it? We need it for this upcoming trip, but DH’s family lives a plane ride away so as long we can use it through the toddler years I think I might just get it on Prime today.
You should get a couple years out of it and even if you don’t, it’s really cheap for a carseat.
It’s usually much cheaper from Walmart than on Prime, if that’s an option for you. It’s not generally much good as a forward-facing seat because kids outgrow it by torso height, but my 40th percentile 2.5-year-old is going to fit rear-facing for at least another year, if not more, so you can get a couple years of out it.
I thought the torso height requirement was only for rear-facing? For RF their head has to be even with or below the top of the shell but for FF their head can be above the shell. There is an overall height requirement for FF (43″) but it’s not torso specific. My kid outgrew it RF at 1.5 years old, but we’re still using it FF.
And yes we got it at Walmart, I think it was $35.
Late reply, but what I meant by torso height is that the straps need to be above the kid’s shoulders and the top strap slot is pretty low, so most kids who are too tall to RF by the 1-inch rule are also too tall to FF because their shoulders are above the straps.
+1 on the Scenara Next. It is extraordinarily light and both my 16mo and 2.5 year old found it quite comfortable.
we travel with 15 month old twins in convertible car seats. i personally am not comfortable with the cosco scenera next and we already have 4 car seats and did not want to buy 6, so we use our peg peregos. if we just had one kid i might do this differently, but with our two our routine consists of kids in stroller, which mom pushes. mom and dad each wear back pack with stuff. dad pulls carseats in bags (we purchased bags that can be rolled as opposed to the ones you wear on your back). going through security is not fun bc the car seats come out of the bags, the kids go in their carriers briefly (can’t walk yet), but then we all make it through. you might call me crazy, but i am also not comfortable checking our car seats in case they get lost, so i gate check. when we land, DH takes car seats to rental car place and installs them and picks up car, while i wait with kids and luggage and then DH comes back to get us. it is always a bit stressful and exhausting, but both of our families are a plane ride away so we dont really have a choice
We also have toddler twins and I can’t imagine traveling with anything heavier than the sceneras, so I’m impressed you figured out a way to make it work with other seats!
Honestly, with just one, unless you have one of the crazy heavy car seats (Diono comes to mind), I’d just travel with what you have but buy some sort of contraption for rolling it. We have the Britax roller, which actually turns the car seat into a stroller if you want to go that route. We only have one child and have never found taking our regular Britax to be that much trouble. I mean, you’re already taking a car seat.
I’m thinking more for if we want to leave the resort for dinner in an Uber… it has to come into the restaurant with us and then there’s no opportunity to walk around after without lugging it around (Chicco ZipFit). I guess I didn’t think this scenario though before booking a resort on the beach but 15 mins from town. Oh well – ya live and ya learn.
The Scenera Next will make your life easier. It’s less than 10 lbs and pretty easy to quickly install and remove.
FWIW, we did an all-inclusive when kiddo was 2.5 and never left the resort. Mostly because dealing with stuff like this was exactly why we needed a vacation.
We travel a lot and we mostly do city vacations where we can walk/public transit everywhere except the airport or all-inclusive resorts where we stay on the property for meals. If we’re going somewhere that doesn’t fit in either those two categories, we rent a car and leave the carseat installed in it. That’s what I’d do in your situation, fwiw. Even the Scenera is annoying to take with you into a restaurant.
Can you rent a car? If you think that you will want to leave the resort, it would be a lot easier to have your own car and just leave the car seat in the car.
Hotel has an on-site rental so we may just rent one for 24 hours to give us some freedom and save from having to pay for parking. As always, advice from the Hive is most appreciated.
OP, that sounds like a great solution! Enjoy your vacation. :)
Do you ever feel like momming must be easier for everyone else than it is for you? I have a 3 year old and a 10 month old and just feel like I’m drowning every day. It feels like a miracle I survive. And I’d say it’s because I have a demanding job, which is true, but honestly I find it harder to make it through the weekend! I dream of a weekend day without my family, which makes me feel horribly guilty. I love them but the majority of the time I find it a real struggle to get through the day with my patience and sanity intact. Sometimes even making it through the morning before my nanny arrives is a challenge and I find myself counting down the minutes. But clearly other people have it easier, lots of people stay home every day and even plan on having more kids. what am I doing wrong? did I just wait to have kids until I was too old and set in my ways? How do I improve my attitude?
Irish Midori says
You’re not alone. I feel you so hard. That was a super-hard age for me, too. If it’s any comfort, just because one age isn’t your jam doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the kids more at a different age. Now that mine are 9 and 6, I like parenting a lot more. Toddler years aren’t for everyone.
I understand why weekday mornings are hard trying to get everyone out the door, but what do you not like about weekends? I’m not being snarky, just trying to understand the nature of the issue better. Are you still feeling like you’re bossing people around all the time? Or is it not having any time to yourself? I am pretty hands off with my kids (13 months and 3.5) on weekends – we don’t ever really make them go anywhere at a particular time (exception is if we’ve RSVPed to a birthday party or something like that) so we let them take as long as they want eating, getting dressed, etc. Frequently it means they’re still in jammies at noon, but whatever, it makes the day a lot more pleasant for everyone. We also give our 3 year old some screen time on weekends, and she still has a “quiet time” even though she rarely naps now – both of those things give DH and me time to ourselves.
I think it’s the constant requests/demands for attention, my son wanting me to play with him while the baby is crying due to endless teething, my son throwing a fit because he can’t get the duplo guy to fit in the duplo car and the baby about to crawl off the edge of the sofa. son then pulling every belonging I own out of my closet while I am putting baby down for nap. Etc. Just too many demands on my attention for me to possibly be on top of things, mass chaos, someone always seems to be crying, stimulation overload.
I just want you to know that I could have written this comment myself verbatim. Solidarity.
I totally get this on weekends. It seems counter-intuitive, but I actually find it much easier to deal with my kids when they are out of the house. Put the 10 month old in a babywearing device, throw a water bottle and a small snack in your purse, and head to a playground, library, museum, or just to run some errands. The novelty entertains the kids, and the change of scenery makes me feel less trapped.
Definitely take a mental health day to yourself and leave the kids with the nanny, and also try to work out some you-time on the weekend with your partner. We do things as a family when we’re out and about, but DH and I tend to trade off kid duty when we’re at home on the weekend. Like, I’ll take the kids to the playground while he enjoys his coffee, then he’ll let the kids to the grocery store while I go for a long walk. You both need some breathing space. Kids are exhausting.
Oh, and +1 to CPA lady below. It gets easier when they are a little older. My youngest is nearly 3, and it is a game-changer when they are old enough to play together without close supervision!
CPA Lady says
Maybe you just don’t like having *little* kids. I had a really hard time with it and felt like a monster. I posted on here a few years back saying I wished I could work more and see my child less because the less time I spent with her the better a mom I was able to be.
But I read something about how different moms enjoy different ages more or less and that made me feel better. And it has come true for me! My daughter turned 4 and I love it. The older she gets the more I love it. For the first time ever I had a feeling like I wanted the weekend to be longer so we could hang out and do more fun stuff together. She’s so cool now. Spending time with her is really interesting and enjoyable. This is what I thought it was going to be like going into it — I knew the toddler years were going to be hard. I love kids but I have a really hard time with toddlers/pre-schoolers. I bet you’re a mom who is going to love having older kids. Which means you’re in the really hard part right now.
Also, you should take a day off during the week and leave your kids with the nanny and go somewhere by yourself in silence. Like a long spa day. It’s so so magical. You can’t pour from an empty cup and it sounds like your cup is really empty right now.
+1 to this.
anon in brooklyn says
CPA Lady: I’m in the same boat—really struggling with my 3 year old and have since the beginning. I pretty much read this blog just for your comments that encourage me that it will get better and I will like parenting more.
So Anon says
I loved tiny little babies and not so much with the toddler phase. Now that my kids are getting older – elementary school – I find it so much fun. My son and I are listening to Harry Potter on the way to and from his weekly OT appointments, and it is so much fun to listen to and talk to him about the books. And we are reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe together at night.
Plus – My son is a morning kid and is now able to get up on Saturday mornings, turn on the tv for himself and his little sister, grab a granola bar and let me sleep until eight. It is glorious.
um yes. i feel this way all the time. i have twins, no local family, DH has a demanding job, but i honestly don’t. until fairly recently i DREADED the time i was alone with the kids. now that they are a bit older it has gotten a bit easier, but for the life of me i do not understand people who want to have 3, 4,5 kids, etc. this past weekend i was at an event with some other parents of multiples – one mom said they didn’t hire any help at the beginning and i know this was not her intention, but that made me feel horrible – we had a night nurse and i literally could not have survived without her. this other mom said she does not really need a lot of sleep – i personally do need sleep. i think that some people are just wired differently than others and find different things hard/easy/stressful/low stress. i personally could not handle the unpredictable schedule of a super demanding job (tried it once). when i stop to think about it sometimes i do feel badly that i couldn’t hack it because i know i am smart enough – but you know what – different people have different strengths and abilities and the saying that comparison is the thief of joy is oh so true. so that other mom didn’t need help in the beginning with her twins, but i did – doesn’t make me a ‘worse’ or ‘weaker’ person – or maybe it does, but i’m too tired to care :-) . hang in there! and yes – take a day off when you have the nanny so you have some time to yourself. and where is your DH all weekend? i also used to kind of dread weekends but now they have gotten a bit more fun
Mrs. Jones says
I feel you. I felt that way until son turned 4.5, when it started to improve dramatically.
It can be very overwhelming! Sometimes when I picked up my daughter up from daycare I would cry on my way home because I was so beat. Can you plan ahead to get a couple hours to yourself on the weekend? I know it can feel like another thing to arrange but plan to give yourself a window of breathing time when you are out of the house and away from the chaos. Even just tell your spouse you “have work to catch up on” and go to a coffee shop by yourself it that makes it easier for you to escape for now. Framing it like a necessity helps you actually get a break.
I agree with other posters that it gets easier as the kids get older. My kid is 4, and it’s SO much better. But even now, I often find myself with an extremely low tolerance for certain completely normal kid things.
One thing that helps me is to find activities I enjoy with my kid. I do not enjoy unstructured play. I do taking Kiddo places (even the grocery store/regular errands), reading, going on walks, and doing more structured activities like puzzles and board games. Also, with 3-4 year olds, you CAN set some boundaries, and you’re still a good parent. It’s a process, but I’m teaching my 4-year-old that he cannot interrupt at the dinner table, he cannot climb on me unless invited to, he sometimes has to play by himself or let me set him up with an activity at the kitchen table (while I view and comment from the kitchen), etc.
Finally, take one weekend day away from everybody and go sit in silence if that’s what you need. Also, try to regularly carve out some quiet time for yourself. Wake up early and enjoy the quiet before the rest of the family wakes up (or stay up late), take a lunch hour and find a quiet cafe, put some books on hold at the library and spend some time browsing or reading while you’re there, book a manicure at a spa that also provides access to a sauna/steam room, attend a meditation class, drive the long way home, etc. It helps me SO much to find ways to steal a little time back.
I could have written this post OP!
I have no suggestions, but I feel you. (I think maybe it’s because i’m over 40 and my friends with these babies are younger…. but that’s probably not it).
my kids are pretty easy but i still need a break on the weekends. we have had a regular sunday afternoon babysitter since second was born. the kids are used to it and enjoy their activities with her. it saves my mental health to know i have a few hours i can do what i want with. sometimes it’s work, sometimes it’s just organizing my photos in a coffee shop by myself, or a yoga class. it is $$$, but now that little one is almost two i can see the end in sight. i think in another year i wont need it anymore.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I’m a little late to respond but I am right there with you, with a 3 year old and an almost 10 month old. I do feel like weekends are harder in a lot of ways – there’s a level of unpredictability with small kids that just isn’t there with my job. It is true what they say about the highs being higher and the lows being lower with little kids. There are always cute moments with my kids on the weekends, but there are also lots of tantrums, screams and just general chaos that is hard for me. I think a lot of it is just the season and everyone is right, they will get older and will probably get easier.
I also think that the little kid years are the stage of life when people need the most help but have the least amount of resources to get this help (financially or travelling to family for help). I truly think that help is essential, and this idea of doing it all yourself and loving it and rocking it is just an illusion that does disservice to most parents who are struggling in the trenches.
Guys, I’m in a total funk these days and I am trying to snap out of it and be productive at work. Does anyone have a pandora or spotify playlist that is fun and will help me get motivated?! Other tips to un-funk myself are welcome :)
I like K-pop when I need energy at work. I usually just pull up a youtube playlist of top songs, but BlackPink sings some of my current favorites.
Lizzo!! So bouncy and fun.
stuck in limbo on the mainpage, reposting here
A member of my team (I am this person’s direct supervisor) has been out for a few days taking care of a spouse who needed emergent, major surgery.
I have already given blanket okay to take whatever time is necessary, leave with no notice and just text me when they can to let me know they’re gone for the day/an hour/whatever, and offered linkages to our employee benefits people for anything else that’s needed.
Thinking of sending a Panera Gift card? I don’t know that flowers would be needed or appreciated and I can send the Panera card via email. FWIW, I don’t really know the spouse and this is a staffer who is my parents’ age.
Is there a Panera at the hospital? If so, that sounds great (if not, seems kind of random unless you know they love Panera?). I totally don’t think this is necessary, but it is very kind.
There’s a Panera at the hospital and also one close to the neighborhood my staffer lives in.
I was trying to think of someplace that offers a fairly wide variety of food that they could get as takeout. Any other ideas?
Since Panera is at the hospital, I think that is a great idea. Are you in DC (I know that WHC has a Panera, but I imagine many hospitals do!)? If so, you could check out Galley, which does meal delivery that is pretty good and feels a bit healthier than a lot of takeout options. But really I wouldn’t hesitate to do Panera in this situation, and again, really kind gesture.
Would you take a double-stroller to Disney World in November for a 6.5 and 4 year old? They haven’t used strollers in ages (even when they were babies, we only used them occasionally). But I’m thinking that it would be much easier to use to hold stuff (particularly since the weather might be unpredictable), and if we use a single, the kids would probably fight over it (also, our single is almost as big). Plus, we expect to be out and about at pretty much all hours. But I just keep thinking that they seem old for a stroller.
Yes, I would bring or rent a double Bob. If you bring it the first day and never use it, then you now know what you know. it’s nice to hold all the things.
Definitely not too old for a stroller — Disney is a ton of walking, and it’s hot (even in November, potentially). I wouldn’t do Disney without one with any preschooler, to be honest.
Her oldest is 6 and a half!!!
Yes, and her younger is 4… a preschooler. So I recommend using a stroller.
CPA Lady says
Just an FYI, they have recently changed the size rules. You can’t bring a stroller that is more than 31″ wide and 52″ long. I 100% think bringing a stroller is a good idea. The parks are huge and if your kids are not used to walking, it is going to be really helpful. It’s also helpful to have a place to put all your stuff. There are tons of stroller parking areas throughout the parks too.
Absolutely not that’s way too old for a stroller and it will be inconvenient. I’d have them both walking and I wouldn’t plan to be out and about at all hours, it’s not an appropriate expectation for little tots. We do early morning rides, lunch at 11, fast passes around 12, and then go back to the hotel for pool and naps. And then head back out for a fun dinner and a couple hours exploring.
If you try to do Disney full bore 8am – 10pm with small children you’ll be one of the sad broken families barely staggering off the bus to their room at night while everyone cries.
+1 – I have no specific experience with Disney, but this is still how we travel with our 5 year old: breakfast, morning excursion, lunch, down time at hotel pool/beach, early dinner and walking around before home for bed. She doesn’t need to nap, but she does need down time and couldn’t be out of the hotel all day.
Eh, we did Disney full bore with them a few years ago, and it was fine (and we’ve done other things like that since). My kids have just never been all that tied to a schedule. I’m sure that’s best for some families, but I definitely can’t see us heading back to the hotel early afternoon for a nap.
We’re going in Feb with a 4 year old and not planning to take a stroller. We might fly with her cheap, Cosco umbrella stroller and leave it in our hotel room. So if day one is a disaster, we can take it on day 2 and 3. Gently, I think you just need to tell your kids to suck it up and walk. And you need to learn to travel with less stuff. If you need a double stroller to haul all your crap, you’re kind of doing it wrong. One small backpack that you and your partner can switch off carrying should be all you take.
Yes completely agree. And if they can’t handle a full full day of walking, then you have them rest.
CPA Lady says
Something I’m always telling my daughter is that different people do things different ways and that’s okay.
I’m not sure why you think there is only one right way to do things and if someone else does it differently it’s “wrong”. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. It’s all up to personal preference and knowing your kids. Some kids need schedules. Some kids need naps. Some kids can just chill in a stroller and then be good to go til 8 pm. Some kids would fall apart if they spent more than three hours in the park at a time. We all have different situations, so I’m not sure why anyone would think there is only one correct way to do things.
FWIW, there are reasons to carry more stuff. We went to Disney with vegan relatives, and they brought in all the food they were going to eat for the day in a big (heavy) backpack. We were very grateful to have the stroller, even though we left it parked most of the time.
Oh. My. Goodness. She asked us for input!!! What is the point of doing so if not for feedback? No one was mean or rude.
To be fair, she asked “tell me what would you do,” not “tell me what I should I do.” That’s an important difference — saying “you need to tell your kids to suck it up and walk and you need to learn to travel with less stuff” is very different than saying “I would tell my kids to suck it up to walk and I have learned to travel with less stuff.” It’s not a huge deal and I’m sure you meant it well but I think being ordered to do stuff can feel a bit jarring (at least it is for me).
It is not a big difference. It is pointless tone policing against women trying to be helpful.
Mrs. Jones says
If you’re planning to do Disney as you describe, I’d bring a stroller. A friend of mine who grew up near Disney and knows the parks well took his 2 small children, and they logged 7 miles of walking in 1 day, after he planned an efficient route around the park. You could probably get away with a single stroller and set rules on how/when they switch off. A single stroller will be easier to deal with in crowds.
Back when my daughter was almost 4 we did Disney with no stroller, and for us it turned out to be a lot easier than dealing with a stroller would have been (although we did have to carry her out of the park at closing time).
TL/DR, I don’t think you need a stroller.
Granted, not as much walking as Disney, but we did an amusement park recently with 3, 4.5 and 6 year olds, and no stroller. They all just walked, and DH and I took turns carrying a backpack with misc stuff including water bottles that we refilled throughout the day. We were AMAZED, but we got through the day without basically no whining until the very very end when we were already on our way back to the car. We did 10-3 with a break for lunch, and ice cream a the end of the day. They passed out in the car on the way back to the hotel and napped for a bit longer once we got back, but were ready to go again in a couple hours. We went to the pool instead of back to the park, but we would have been fine to go back to the park at night for lights/fireworks show a la Disney.
Have you tried pushing one and/or both in the stroller lately? A 4-year-old plus a 6.5-year-old is a lot of kid to push.
That was my thought too…I can’t comfortably push my 4 year old long distances. DH can. But I can’t imagine either of us being comfortable pushing two of her for miles and miles.
Agreed! I would try going for a walk in your neighborhood with both of them in the stroller as a test run. I know that I definitely would be unhappy / worn out by pushing a 4 and 6 year old all day.
Also, I would make sure your 6 year old still comfortably fits in the double stroller. Don’t want to bring the double only to find out that your 6 year old doesn’t quite fit and thus never wants to sit in it.
What about bringing just a regular stroller, and then they can take turns walking?
The regular one is huge and super-heavy, so I actually think the double is just as easy. I hadn’t thought about them being hard to push, though (though I’m could have my husband do most of that). We probably need to pull it back out and take a good look at how they fit in it.
You could try without and rent a stroller if it seems necessary.
I’m finding it unwieldy to do daycare drop-off with my sort-of walker (she wants to walk but isn’t very stable) and my giant work tote bag. I’m thinking about getting a smaller cross body bag so I could be hands-free and able to bend over without the bag swinging around wildly. Any recs? It needs to be big enough to hold a 3 oz tube of sunscreen, since I like to reapply sunscreen to her hands after washing her hands at school. I also need to have my access card ready to swipe in and out and frequently wear work clothes without pockets so a separate pocket for that would be a big plus (I hate having to dig around in a big bag looking for it).
I love my Briggs and Riley backpack for my work bag. Completely hands free and looks sharp — I get many compliments on it.
MZ Wallace cross-body bags would fit the bill for this. They have amazing exterior pockets and organization.
I sort of think we need more information. Are you walking to daycare drop off and then work? So, no car available to you? Does this bag need to carry all of the stuff for your day? Or are you driving and just need it to carry the sunscreen and card?
Cross-body bags swing around weirdly for me too. Backpack all the way.
You need to sucks it up and get a backpack. Add a small crossbody bag for the things you need access to.
This is a total first world problem and I know I’m lucky to have a child who sleeps so well overall. But I need a lot of sleep myself and am really struggling now that my almost 2 year old is down to only sleeping ~11 hours at night instead of 12-13. I need a minimum of 9 hours of sleep, which really means closer to 10 hours of rest, counting my own bedtime routine and the time it takes to fall asleep. And I need to get up before my kid to get ready myself so when she’s awake I can focus on getting her ready. I’m going to bed within an hour of her bedtime (which means that after doing necessary post-bedtime chores, I have no time to myself) and I still don’t feel like I’m getting enough rest. I never thought I would be way more sleep-deprived with a toddler than I was with an infant, but I guess in some ways it makes sense – they get older and sleep less and parents have less time to sleep too. Does anyone have advice? Or just assurances that this will get better when she’s older (maybe I can knock out the chores pre-bedtime once she can play more independently?) But also she’ll sleep even less as she gets older, right? Ugh.
Do you have a spouse who can take on getting ready time? If not, I think the answer is you need to sleep less. You shouldn’t need 9 hours and you’re not going to get it for a while
Needing 9 hours of sleep isn’t outside the norm, and if less than 9 hours has her feeling sleep deprived, I don’t think telling her to sleep less is really helpful.
I’ll accept that I may not be able to get 9 hours, but I won’t accept that I “shouldn’t need it.” Sleep expectations for young and middle aged adults are 8-9 hours. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Multiple doctors have told me needing 9 hours of sleep is completely normal and not indicative of a medical issue. And I’ve had full blood/thyroid workups for other reasons that were normal.
Yep. 9 hours of sleep puts me in 100% optimal condition for the entire day.
Can you adjust your morning routine so there are parts that you can do when she’s awake? I’ve found that as long as I shower, I can do the rest of my routine with company, or with a kid playing independently for 5 or 10 minutes. I moved my makeup to the downstairs bathroom, so I can do that after I get them set up for breakfast.
Also, my morning routines are totally pared down at this point. 5 minute make up routine, work uniform, 10 minute shower. I can be ready to go in 20 minutes, 25 if I decide to dry my hair. (Would I like to spend a little more time on this, and maybe look a little more polished? Not as much as I want those extra 20 minute of sleep)
Are there parts of her morning routine you can reduce? Send her to daycare in PJs, breakfast pouch on the way to daycare, send a weeks worth of supplies to daycare so you don’t have to pack a bag every morning (I’m assuming that she’s leaving the house, because if you have in-home care I’d skip as much of the getting ready as you can)
There’s probably no single answer to this but a couple of small ideas:
– OK to wake clock for the kid to make her getting-up-time consistent (and maybe buy you an extra half hour in the morning)
– Maximizing your sleep hygiene (no devices for an hour before bed, etc) to ensure you fall asleep as fast as possible
– Figuring out a regular schedule with your partner to allow you to catch up a bit every other day (eg, he takes mornings and/or does evening chores on M/W/F).
– I don’t know what your post-bedtime chores are, but can you outsource more of them or move to a weekend?
You may have to get ready in the morning when your toddler is already awake if you want more sleep. Do you have a space that she could play safely in the morning while you take a quick shower? My daughter is still a baby, so I don’t have any advice about the toddler years, but I do understand where you’re coming from needing a lot of sleep. I do too. I don’t get up before my daughter does, ever. I sleep until she wakes up and then I give her a bottle and get her dressed, then I put her in her crib with a couple toys while I go quickly shower. Then I get her and let her play on the bathroom floor while I finish getting ready. I realize this might not be possible with a toddler, but maybe some variation of it? Otherwise I don’t see anywhere else in your routine where you could get more sleep if you’re already going to bed as early as you can.
This. My 2YO typically sleeps from 10pm (okay, more typically 11 – serious FOMO for that one) until 8:30ish (with one wakeup for molars these days) and takes a 1-1.5 hour nap. She’s always been on the lower end of sleep needs. We get up together and she putters in and out of the bathroom or watches a show or movie while I shower, and then she just plays and wanders around while I get finish getting ready.
agree. waking up to get ready before my kids wake up is ideal but it doesn’t happen because I need as much sleep as I can get. I’m probably getting around 8 hours. I could certainly do better with 9 but as you mentioned – it’s too tough.
I have 2 little dudes and somehow I get ready while they are awake. Sometimes even blowdrying my hair. It gets hectic but that’s how it is these days.
No advice but some light at the end of the tunnel – I need the same amount of sleep and now that my 2.5 has dropped his nap, he sleeps an hour earlier and I get it!
Chapter book recommendations? says
My 4.5 year old loves chapter books with some pictures. She’s obsessed with Betsy Tacy and has also enjoyed Ivy and Bean, Princess in Black, and recently Junie B Jones. Betsy Tacy and Princess in Black were great, but after reading Ivy and Bean with her I found myself having to explain what “dork” meant and talk about why she’d play tricks on her sister. I love that she’s loving reading these but any recs for other early chapter books (she prefers aimed at girls stuff) where the main characters are well behaved? I feel like such a prude even writing this. Or maybe I just embrace the real world?
Separate question – she’s not showing interest in learning to read herself. Should I be pushing easier (non-chapter) books as more helpful in that regard? I think she likes the more involved multi-day storylines with chapter books and that’s why those have been winning recently, if that makes sense.
Oh my goodness me yes please let your child read normal books! Her love of reading is such a gift don’t crush it with boring spiritless books. She is 4.5, she does not need anyone pushing her to read by herself, loving books and stories at this age is perfect.
Aww I don’t think Betsy Tacy and Princess in Black are spiritless! But I get what you’re saying.
It’s sort of like how after my kids watch Peppa Pig they tend to make fun of my DH more. But I think the benefits of having fun reading do outweigh any negatives, I get what you are saying.
oh I don’t either! I thought you meant Betsy and Tacy were too naughty (I mean, they do go over the hill and Tibb is saucy lol). She might also like All of a Kind Family.
Oh they do go over the hill! Haha, I guess they are naughty but they don’t call names? And their tricks on their sisters are a little more tame? Maybe the slight naughtiness is why my DD loves them, but I think it’s more that she likes reading about little girl friendships.
Bean’s a little evil genius in some of her books. I mean, I love her, but I don’t want one of my own.
Will definitely check out All of a Kind Family.
Definitely read her more complicated books and don’t force her to stick to boring books as a punishment for not being able to read on her own yet. She’s 4! She’s not supposed to know how to read.
Keep on keeping on! Your kid sounds awesome and the social/emotional benefits of hearing complex narratives and stories far outweigh any tiny advantage conferred by early reading.
Cool. We’ll keep on. It’s also my favorite part of my day with her. She really loves the “boring” Betsy Tacy and Princess in Black books too! Just was hoping for a few more that are a little more in that innocent vein… I sometimes laugh at Ivy and Bean myself, so going to just embrace those I think.
My 4.5 year old son loves Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol. Not aimed at girls, I suppose (the two main characters are boys) but I don’t think there’s anything objectionable about the characters’ behavior. Some of the ghosts are a little scary, but (spoiler alert!) they are all nice and everything gets resolved at the end. He also likes Wind in the Willows, and the Minpins is a longer story that we usually read in two sittings.
No advice on the second question. He’s shown no interest in learning to read that I can tell. We just try to model reading and give him free access to lots of books (and we let him stay up after we read to him so he can “read”). But I think it’s most important to let them choose what books they want to read/be read to them so that reading is primarily fun. That’s why we haven’t pushed “learning to read” – so afraid it will backfire, and I LOVE reading so much I want him to share that love.
I found that books where the characters are being mean are a good way to talk about how to treat people. We talk about mean words and what is nice and not, and it’s a pretty low stakes way of observing meanness and calling it out.
Agreed on not pushing the reading yet. DD is 5, and we’ll sometimes pick a word that she will ‘read’ in a story, and when I get to that word I stop, point, and she says the word.
This is a good point too. I do think having touch points to discuss things at home is helpful.
Anecdotally- my husband was not allowed to watch movies like the Parent Trap or tv shows like the Simpsons because the kids misbehaved in them. I think he felt like he missed out on having a healthy environment in which to push boundaries, and has grown up having a lot of anxiety about following rules and proper behavior. So I agree that exposure to “bad” behavior in literature is a good discussion point.
My kids (4 and 6) absolutely loved Charlotte’s Web, if that helps. I’m not sure if it’s entirely well-behaved, but they also really liked the Sideways Stories from Wayside School series (which I also love).
But I’ve been sort of dismayed at some chapter books I’ve picked up, too. I need to find more. I haven’t read any of the ones you mentioned, though.
Boxcar Children is also good
My 6 and 4 year old love the Dory Fantasmagory book series by Abby Hanlon. Dory is not very well behaved, but both kids found her antics hilarious.
layered bob says
My four year old also loves Betsy Tacy. Here are some of her other favorites that we find OK (with contextualizing/discussing) from a behavior perspective:
EB White – Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, Trumpet of the Swan
Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie and Farmer Boy (content warning for domestic violence and serious racism, also we are going to wait on the rest of the Little House books because I think they get darker/more complex as Laura gets older)
My Father’s Dragon
The Mercy Watson books read all together so they’re like chapters in a longer narrative
Lana Del Raygun says
Wait, what’s the domestic violence in the Little House books? I don’t remember this at all.
layered bob says
There is a TON of spanking, switching, whipping, etc. and particularly in Farmer Boy implication that some of the characters are abused at home, and that other characters ought to have more physical punishment. The later books had more overt domestic violence towards adults as well.
As a family that doesn’t spank, my kids were perplexed by why all the parents and teachers in the books are so keen to hit their kids and my daughters went through a phase of pretending to whip their baby dolls with jump ropes and laces from their lacing beads, which was kind of disturbing to me but I’m a believer in the therapeutic power of play so I didn’t make a big deal of it and they’re over it now. My Father’s Dragon also has some of this.
Lana Del Raygun says
Oh gotcha, I thought you meant between adults, which I don’t recall. Thank you!
I just explained that the stories happened a long time ago and that at that time, people didn’t believe that it was wrong to hit and that spanking was their version of a timeout. Now we understand that hitting is harmful, so we have timeouts instead. We never had any issues.
My 4 year old loved the Mercy Watson books. Now he’s really into the Magic Tree House books. Neither is really aimed at girls.
Magic Tree House, and the A-Z mysteries? Maybe some of the older Beverly Cleary books – like Soacks? This is also what librarians are made for – we had the same issue at 5. We also skipped the Tales of a Fourth Grade nothing series around then, lots of not great language that was over my kid’s head at the time.
If your daughter is reading Betsy Tacy on her own, she’s way beyond the Magic Tree House. Here are some books my daughter enjoyed around that age and reading level:
Laura Ingalls Wilder (will require some contextualization)
the Fancy Nancy chapter books
the Tuesdays at the Castle series
the Stella Batts series (these are so uncontroversial that they are actually pretty boring)
the Boxcar Children
the original Nancy Drew series
Humphrey the hamster
Ivy and Bean
Shel Silverstein poems
Oh, I missed the part about these books being read to her–I thought she was reading them on her own. My recommendations were for solo reads, although some of them would work as read-alouds. Read-alouds we did at that age included
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Winnie the Pooh
Anne of Green Gables
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
A Wrinkle in Time
The Magic Tollbooth
This is making me nostalgic for the days of reading aloud before bedtime!
Sorry, it’s the Phantom Tollbooth, not the Magic Tollbooth.
Lana Del Raygun says
* = especially since she likes Betsy-Tacy
* All of A Kind Family
* Little House (at least the early ones)
The Magic Tollbooth
* Beverly Cleary (mostly the Ramona books but don’t sleep on The Mouse and the Motorcycle!)
* Little Women
Narnia (start with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; I really like the Pauline Baynes illustrations)
anything illustrated by Garth Williams
The Hobbit (get the original Tolkien illustrations)
* Lois Lenski (Strawberry Girl, Blue Ridge Billy, etc; apparently this is her “regional” series; skip Indian Captive tbh)
I thiiiink some editions of Laurence Yep’s Golden Mountain Chronicles are illustrated
* Eleanor Estes
Lana Del Raygun says
OH HOW COULD I FORGET Swallows and Amazons?!?! Lots and lots of really excellent pictures, children having wonderful adventures!
I don’t have any suggestions for your first question. As far as teaching reading, which I agree that you don’t necessarily need to start et, I picked out a few “baby books” (sandra boynton and other similar ones) for my son (also 4.5). They are short and simple enough that we can sound out the words together. Once he has them memorized, he loves “reading” them to me. But each day is hit or miss. Sometimes he’s patient enough, and other times he isn’t. And sometimes I can bribe him to read for screen time.
Regarding your second question, Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read is effortless magic.
maternity spanx? says
Hope I’m not too late for this – my doctor recommended maternity spanx to me based on an increase in pelvic pressure lately (not first kid, this is common, not a health issue, thanks!). Does anyone have these or had success with anything other than the belt? I don’t want to be readjusting all day. thanks.
i was pregnant with twins and found them very helpful. i didnt buy the spanx brand, just something online with decent reviews. i had a band i used when i wore pants, but used the spanx when i wore dresses
Anyone willing to disclose how long it took them to get pregnant? I feel like all I ever read and hear from friends is it took months to years.. Trying to frame my expectations so my period isn’t such a bummer every month.
Gently, it takes how long it takes. From one month to years. If you are under 35 most fertility doctors will see you at a year of trying. Over 35 some will see you at 6 months.
The first time it took us one month (which I hear is very much a statistical anomaly). We’re trying now for number 2, and it’s been 8 months with no luck, but we’re also exhausted parents of a toddler who ends up sleeping with us most nights, so the frequency and timing of the things that get you pregnant isn’t always ideal for getting pregnant. I’ve stopped getting my hopes up and am trying not to convince myself that every PMS symptom is more than it is.
6 months the first time (which ended in a miscarriage). We started trying again immediately, and it took another 8 months before I got pregnant again.
Took exactly one year for me. I was 31 at the time, so was just about to start thinking about fertility consults when I got the positive. I have long and fairly irregular cycles, so it made timing challenging. I have 3 close friends who got pregnant soon after me. One got pregnant the first month, one took about 6-8 months and one took about 3-4 months. So we were all over the spectrum for normal.
Obviously, it really varies. I will say that I think people who are having problems talk about it (at least online if not in person) and people who get pregnant easily tend not to talk about it as much because it can seem braggy or smug. I had geared myself up for TTC for a long time (and possible miscarriages) based on reading this page and a few other pages geared towards TTC/babies. It was a huge shock to me when I got pregnant the first month we didn’t use protection, especially since we thought we weren’t “trying” in the timing sense and my husband was out of town on work travel mid-month when I expected I’d be ovulating. I was less surprised when it happened on the second kid, but still a little surprised because I was 36 then and people act like your fertility falls off a cliff at 35. All my close friends conceived relatively easily in their early to mid-30s, with many getting pregnant the first month or two. And the statistics do kind of support this (80% of couples conceive within 6 months). But if you’re one of the unlucky ones, then the statistics are no comfort.
I think this is right. At 37 with Kid 1, I got pregnant month 1. At 40 with Kid 2, pregnant month 2. I know I’m lucky and have so many friends struggling, so I don’t really talk about it.
Agree with this. 1 month for 1 child. 32.5 years old.
i agree. After being a long time reader of this page I was really freaked out to start trying. I was 37 years old. I made an appointment right after I returned from my honeymoon with a fertility specialist. Turned out I was already pregnant. So it took me….. negative time to get pregnant. And I don’t talk about it too much because I know it’s painful for others. My second son at age 39 was also an unexpected pregnancy. I thank my lucky stars each day it worked out this way for me and my DH.
OP here- This is why I ask. I know it is extremely difficult for many people, but it’s not helpful to only hear those types of stories.Of course there is a spectrum, but it makes me more optimistic to hear from people who had an easy time.
I agree with this, though I have a friend who constantly talks about how fertile she and the other women in her family are (she got pregnant on first/second try at 35 and then again at 37, and has a sister who had her third baby at 43), and it’s SUPER annoying.
Like others have said, it was easy for us so I don’t talk about it unless specifically asked by a friend. For our first when I was 28, first try. Our second at 31, 2 months. We realize how lucky this is and how much others struggle so it can seem braggy when we obviously can’t control it.
Agreed. I was 35 and husband was 39 and I got pregnant the first month without protection. I was not tracking ovulation, we just had s*x regularly.
A year the first time, exactly one incident the second.
Ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one who got pregnant from “one incident.” In my case, it was with my husband, but I do have a friend who got pregnant at 39 after a one night stand.
+1 took us 7 months of trying at the right time for our first kid, one incident for the second!! Literally offered to get Plan B and DH was like “there’s no way you got pregnant from that”. My 2 week old is sleeping upstairs right now
Kid #1: 3 months
Pregnancy that I miscarried: 9 months
Kid #2: 12 more months of trying after the miscarriage
Let’s just say my issues after Kid #1 came as a big surprise.
So Anon says
In my late twenties, it took a year with IUI to have our first child. We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. For our second, I geared up for a year plus going back to ART. It took two cycles to become pregnant.
It happened on the first time we tried. Same thing happened to a close friend of mine.
It took me 2 months, but I was taking Clomid because I (and my doctor) already knew that I only ovulated a few times a year.
32 years old with regular cycles–off of hormonal birth control for four months before we started trying. Pregnant after 3 months of trying. I lost that pregnancy at 18 weeks. Retained some tissue and needed a D&C. Pregnant again 2 months (2nd cycle) after that. I used the cheap ovulation test strips from [email protected], and they really worked for me. I had very low expectations of getting pregnant quickly both times, but it was still agony to get my period each month. I let myself feel those feelings and treated myself to things that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do/have if I got a positive test.
My sister was first try. I was 30 months with surgery and other fertility-related interventions. My other sister was IVF.
It happens when it happens, ad it may not happen at all. You have to be ready for the possibility that it happens on the first attempt, but know that there are resources and a community out there should it take longer and intervention is necessary.
Age 38, one month, no fertility treatments.
First off, I am lucky. That’s the easiest way to win the lottery – be lucky. But I don’t take any medications, never went on the Pill, run about 4-5 days a week but never to the point of messing with my body, and had tracked my cycles for about a year before TTC. The cycle tracking showed a good luteal phase (about 11-12 days), regular ovulation when I wasn’t stressed, and regular cycles.
It’s a myth that the Pill messes with your fertility. At most, it may mask symptoms that would otherwise indicate issues (long cycles, etc.), but it doesn’t make you less fertile. Don’t give people that idea.
While many women start ovulating immediately after they stop the Pill, there are a lot of women who take upwards of a year to resume normal cycles. Given that many women don’t focus so much on ovulation as on menstruation, everything can seem normal but in fact not have gotten back to normal yet.
yeah I agree. I was on the pill for 17 years and as I stated above…. surprise pregnancy at 37.
Honestly not to be harsh but this response at 12:20pm sounds kinda pretentious. You got it right the first time. You were lucky. That’s it.
“surprise” isn’t quite accurate. I was off birth control (after 17 years) at that point so I knew it was possible.
“Honestly not to be harsh”
You know that what you said is quite harsh (really, it’s hard to respect you after that). Why do it?
Anon at 2:11 why don’t you come up with a better name? Your comments are just mixing in with all the other trolls. It’s hard to respect me?? Really??
I’m not the Anon above but I don’t think it’s tr0lling to point out that starting a sentence “Honestly not to be harsh” doesn’t make the harsh sentiment contained therein any more kind.
+1 to tracking cycles. I got pregnant on the first month of trying with both pregnancies (first at 31, second at 35) after tracking my cycle with basal temps (per Taking Charge of Your Fertility). Like PP, very lucky to not have problems conceiving – grateful for that, and I don’t talk about it much. But I also felt that if I did have problems, my cycle tracking would be good information to have if/when I had to see a specialist.
Oh, and I was coming off the pill the first pregnancy, and off a hormonal IUD the second. I tracked cycles for 2-3 months prior to trying to conceive both times.
Congrats on never taking an Advil but that had nothing to do with your fertility
Ooooh, someone’s in a nasty girl mood.
But just in case you actually think that medication doesn’t affect fertility, here ya go: https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/pre-pregnancy-health/how-medications-can-affect-your-fertility/
Thanks for this. I tend to worry about women who take antipsychotics while TTC.
I got pregnant twice after coming off the pill, after one cycle (ie had one period and then got pregnant). There is at least anecdotal support that you are hyper fertile immediately after coming off BCP.
Me: I got lucky but taking care of my body helped.
Women here: KILL AND DESTROY!!!!!!
Anyone care to explain what deep-seated psychological issues they are venting on me? :) :)
Maybe your pathological smugness?
Taking this as a serious question…I have no idea where the Advil comment came from, but I think the broader (and very rational) sentiment is that you really have little to no control. There are plenty of people who “take care of their bodies” and struggle to conceive. Implying that healthy habits can make or break fertility ignores the experiences of many who struggle with infertility and is not a sensitive approach.
But she didn’t take care of her body and then get pregnant AT another woman. She was saying (I think) that she was lucky but she might have had less luck had she engaged in behaviors that the medical community advises dropping ( smoking, not exercising, whatever) before TTC.
Poster who got lucky, same here. It is OK and I am happy for you.
+1 to rosie’s comment. Statistically speaking, smoking, not exercising, etc impair one’s chances of conceiving. But it’s impossible to tell whether an action by a single individual actually helped that individual conceive any faster.
I’m with you. Yes, I got lucky. However, being a healthy weight, not smoking, not drinking much alcohol, exercising regularly, etc. certainly didn’t hurt. I think there is evidence that being over- or underweight, drinking a lot, etc. can all impair fertility. There is a lot of luck involved and nobody said otherwise. But people who take care of themselves shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that they take care of themselves and that may have helped them conceive quickly.
Anecdotally, I believe your mother and sister(s) if you have them can provide some info about what you might expect. My mom warned me that women in our family are “scarily fertile” (this was actually part of a “use birth control” talk when I was a teenager, lol) and sure enough I conceived very easily in my late 30s. I do know people who have had a different experience from their moms and of course men can contribute to a couple’s infertility problems, but I think it is fairly common for women to have a similar experience to other women in their family. Especially with respect to your age – if your mom had a child late and/or went through menopause late, that is a good sign for you having a baby at an older age.
yes i was an accident when my mom was in her 40s and with that knowledge i was super careful about birth control. sure enough it took me two months of trying with each baby.
+2 my mom, sister, and I have all had unintended pregnancies. They can also tell you a lot about your labor. Usually but not always true, of course. But my mom, sister, and I all went full term or over and labors were fairly quick with easy pushing stage.
I was well into AMA territory (39 when we started TTC). I got pregnant 2x in five months (one m/c and one chemical pregnancy) and then, because I’m super risk averse, went straight to IVF at 39.5. Had my healthy child at 40.
At 29, 8 months or 6-7 cycles after coming off the Pill (I have long cycles and was somehow mis-tracking for the first few months). At 32, one cycle. I don’t like to talk about it for fear of coming across as somehow bragging, but it is literally nothing that I did (apart from, you know, the act of attempting to make a baby). And likewise, there is no shame in taking longer, or getting technological assistance for a very common human issue. I once saw the advice on here that for every month you get your period while TTC, put $X away in a jar and at the end of Y time (a year?), use it to treat yourself well – take a getaway vacation, or buy something nice for yourself. Basically, TTC can be a cakewalk, and it can also be hard and frustrating, so be kind to yourself.
On places like this s1te I have always heard people talking about how on average it take at least 3 months, but it worked for me on the first and lots of my friends/family were pregnant within the first try or two. About half of all births in the US are still accidents, so yes, it can take time, but for lots of people it takes no time at all. I used ovulation strips so it was very easy for me, I kind of wonder if part of what takes so long for some people is that they’re not ovulating when they think they are.
“I kind of wonder if part of what takes so long for some people is that they’re not ovulating when they think they are.”
Sorry, was that strident?
… and I’ve been using ovulation strips and temping for the past eight months and haven’t conceived. I have 28 day cycles like clockwork, ovulate around day 14-15 so my cycles are textbook. I’ve never had a cigarette or non-prescribed drug in my life, work out 4-5 times per week, and eat healthfully. SO. I think it’s easy to feel this way (you just need to try OPKS! Are you temping? Use a tracking app!) when conceiving is easy for you and much harder to understand just how difficult conception can be for some couples.
I think many women who don’t conceive in the first few months start using tracking methods and figure out when they ovulate even if most people don’t try any/many methods the first few months. OPKs and temping aren’t exactly some hidden secret.
This x100. Fertility is so frustrating precisely because sometimes, for some people it *is* easy – and sometimes it’s so incredibly hard. And there’s often no rhyme or reason to which it will be.
It’s human nature to want to believe that it was easy for you because of something you did, but I think the comment that the OP made about also being lucky is spot on here.
This whole discussion reminds me of baby sleep. If baby is sleeping, we want to think it’s because we put them on a schedule etc. But really it’s more luck than anything.
I think there’s a whole variety of reasons, and often it has nothing to do with ovulation timing. It’s common and normal to take some time, but also it is common and normal not to. I hear that constantly on this site. I’m not sure where the idea that people only talk about it taking forever comes from.
IF anon says
“I kind of wonder if part of what takes so long for some people is that they’re not ovulating when they think they are.” Don’t think so but thanks for the diagnosis!
it’s a fair point to make, even if it wasn’t true for you, though. I started tracking cycles (tcoyf style) when I went off the pill and, while I didn’t do OPK or see a RE to confirm, I am fairly confident I did not ovulate for 7 months. I got pregnant the first cycle I thought I’d actually ovulated. We were not trying, but rather not-preventing. Same with subsequent pregnancies. Did not ovulate until a few months after I’d weaned the baby, got pregnant first or second month I ovulated.
Irish Midori says
I missed one BC pill.
First child: 1 year
Second child: 1 month
First kid: 4 months @ age 30
Second kid: Not sure quite how to measure but I’ll say 8 months at age 32
One month for Baby #1, I was 27, turning 28 month of conception. Now trying for Baby #2, this is the first month “trying” and I’m 30. Don’t have my hopes up for this month since this was also the first month my cycle came back after Baby #1 so I have no way to say how long the cycle will be or whether I’m even ovulation.
I believe 3 months is the median and 1 month is the mode. My first two were both conceived the first month (32 and 35), and my third took four months (38). I was at a healthy weight, a non-smoker, and a light drinker, but was not working out and did not avoid NSAIDs. I did track my temperatures.
Took me 3.5 years and then finally got pregnant on our own!
Tried to search but can’t really search the comments – crowdsourcing pump recommendations!
Pregnant with #2 and wondering what everyone’s recommendation is for pumps nowadays. I had a pump-in-style for #1 which was fine, but perhaps there have been some advancements in the last 4 years. I’m not committed to any bottle brand/system either – recommendations welcome there too. (Did Medela last time, thinking about trying a glass bottle set this time.)
Spectra S1 or S2, hands down, depending on where you pump (battery vs. plug-in). More comfortable (less uncomfortable?) than the PISA and so much quieter. I can use it at work on conference calls and you can’t hear it in the background (confirmed by colleagues). I used to pump into the spectra bottles, would store at home in bottle-sized amounts in the gazillion medela bottles I had before I switched or freezer bags as needed, and then warm and pour into Dr. Brown’s bottles for feeding.
I used and liked (as much as you can like this item…) the Spectra S2 (covered by insurance) and ended up buying the Spectra S9 for about $130. The S9 is smaller than the S1 and S2 and doesn’t need to be plugged in, great for travel and taking to the office.
It’s wasteful but we ended up using the Kiinde bottle system. Direct pump bags made it so much easier. I had an oversupply so we would have been using storage bags anyway (note: I do not recommend using the Kiinde bags for freezing large quantities as they don’t freeze flat, but fine to thrown a few in the freezer).
Would recommend the Sepctra S1, which is like the S2 but doesn’t have to be plugged in. At home I pumped into the Sepctra bottles for storage and poured the milk into Dr. Brown bottles for feeding. At work I pumped into the Kiinde storage bags. Wasteful, yes, but my time is precious :)
if i had another baby i would def get the willow. my friends love it.
Emily S. says
Like you, I used the PISA for baby 1. I used it again for baby 2 for about 1 week of pumps back at work before switching to a Spectra. The medela bottles fit the spectra, if you have leftovers. I think medela has a newer pump, too. But for my money, the spectra!
I think you need an adapter (it’s cheap & easy to find) to use Medela bottles w/Spectra pump parts. Medela is narrow mouth (can use narrow mouth Dr Brown’s with Medela w/out adapter), Spectra is wide mouth (same as Philips Avent).
I’ve had spectras both kids so I can’t comment on Medela, but I’ve heard most people prefer the spectra. More speed/suction options and it’s a closed system so it’s easier to clean. No need to ever clean tubing. I got the adapters off the Big A to pump directly into medela bottles since these stored better in my Sarah Wells bag. These adapters also work with dr browns bottles. We did Dr Browns bottles which I like but are a lot of parts to clean. Going to try Avent bottles with our second because less parts.
I recently visited a friend in the States who got the Elvie pump and wow is it impressive. She pumped in a restaurant with me and no one could tell. (I could tell because it does increase your cup size) It is hands free, wireless and controlled by an app. You pump into containers so that you don’t deal with bags like the willow. I’m Canadian and took long maternity leaves so I didn’t have a need for this kind of pump. But man if I was pumping at work, this thing would seriously be a game changer. I think she bought it from the UK because it was back ordered or unavailable in the states.
Thanks, everyone! Seems like a Spectra is the majority choice and I’m pretty sure that’s covered by insurance. Quieter than the PISA would be awesome, and it sounds all-around better. (Looking for silver linings as I am dreading pumping again.)
I’m going to look into this Elvie, too, because it sounds super cool. I share an office so I’ll probably pump in the lactation room anyway just to avoid awkward transition moments, but cordless could be great for travel.
Another vote for the Spectra S2. I picked Avent natural bottles because they have the same size opening as the Spectra, so all my collection bottles (the ones that came with the pump, and the additional copycats I bought from the river store) and feeding bottles and lids are interchangeable. I find that them all matching is really convenient. My other bottle criteria were that they advertised being good for bre*stfed babies and that it had some sort of anti colic design. But there are tons of bottles out there that claim those two criteria. I figured I’d try the Avent first, and luckily baby took to them fine. The Avent natural comes in plastic and glass. I just use the plastic.
Agreed with all the recommendations here. Also, if you’re not already using white noise machine, I recommend that for night time sleeping only while you get him used to sleeping more at night. It made a huge difference for my daughter and once she was sleeping longer stretches at night we started using it for daytime naps as well.
And this is super super normal, so don’t worry too much about him having his days and nights turned around. To some extent, it’s just a waiting game. I read somewhere that very young babies like yours actually prefer to wake more at night because all the commotion of daytime (noise, lights, people) makes them a little overwhelmed and they cope by sleeping. This is normal for 6-8 weeks. It will get better– I know it’s so very, very hard waking up so much at night at this age. Hugs!
This was supposed to be for the commenter with the 3 weeks old waking a lot at night :)
Can I put in a request for not having pictures of women in l!ngerie displayed? It’s NSFW for some of us, and I work in a shared office space and don’t expect a picture like this to pop up when I load this page. Thanks!
How do I transport my daughters blanket and pillow to daycare? Bag? Some kind of tie? Dumb question, but it’s kind of a thicker quilt comforter type. She’s 2 and it’s our first time doing daycare. They provide nap mats apparently.
We use a garbage bag. We try to save it, but we usually end up using a new one each week. I know it’s wasteful but they don’t fit in any of the (large) tote bags I own.
We use a smaller blanket and pillow and use a reusable grocery bag.