Family Friday: Magformers Standard Set

I don’t think I’ve ever done a roundup of some of my kids’ favorite toys, but as we’re heading into the holidays, I wanted to highly recommend Magformers. One of our former nannies got them for J when he was really young, and both kids have loved playing with them for years now. They’re durable, and they’re versatile, because you can go from just having fun with them (and, say, building diving boards, which is what H likes to do right now) to making really complicated things. There are different sorts of sets (robots, log cabin, etc.), but we just have the standard ones and the boys love them. Magformers Standard Set

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  1. Anonanonanon says:

    These are very cool!
    We got magna tiles when my son was 6 or so and I wish I had known about them sooner. He still plays with them at least a a few times a week (he’s 7.5). That’s partially because they’re one of the few toys I allow to be stored in our main living area (since they can go in a nice basket with a throw blanket over top, and no one has to know there’s toys in there). He creates all sorts of structures, and I’d imagine the ones you posted would be great because they have openings, which makes it easier to get little action figures etc. into the structures for imaginative play!

    • Even my 11-month-old loves magnatiles (she likes that they make a noise when you shake them, and she likes crashing down things we build). They are the best toy! For both kids and for parents. We anticipate being able to use them for years.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        They really are, I’m so sad we didn’t get them when he was younger. My second is on the way and we’ll definitely expose her to them when she’s young!
        Those magnetic wooden blocks that are out there seem really cool too, though I wonder if it would confuse a baby? Like they would think all blocks stick together etc. and get frustrated with confronted with “regular” blocks?

    • Momata says:

      My kids like this brand better than the magna tiles for that exact reason. My daughter is always making houses for her bugs.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I wonder if these are compatible with magna tiles? He would love to be able to add “doors” to his structures I’m sure.

        • Anonymous says:

          We have knock off magna tiles from Amazon and some of the square pieces have a cutout. I think they are PlayMags brand? Pretty sure they would be totally compatible with Magna Tiles.

      • we have a cheaper version from Discovery Kids and they are great! A little heavier/ more substantial than the magnatiles and good for littler kids for that reason. IMO Magna Tiles brand work better for giant structures like bigger kids can work on.

  2. It’s within the normal range for my twins not to be crawling yet at 9 months, right? All the babies we know seem to have started crawling at 6-7 months and everyone seems shocked ours aren’t yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. I have three kids including twins. Oldest crawled at 5 months but didn’t sit until 10 months. Twin A crawled at 6-7 months and sat around the same time. Twin B sat at 5 months but never crawled, he was a bum scooter. My nephew was also an early sitter who bum scooted and didn’t crawl. Kids are super variable. I would only be worried if they don’t roll or otherwise try to move themselves around. Lots of tummy time can encourage crawling but some kids never crawl.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Totally normal.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Mine didn’t start crawling until ~ 10 months, and then it was still a pull and drag thing for a few weeks because she finally had access to plush carpet when we were visiting family.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My single kiddo didn’t crawl until she was about 10 months or so. Didn’t roll till about 8 months. Didn’t walk on her own without cruising / holding our hands until about 15 months. Unless you feel like there are other areas of concern (i.e., not being able to sit up independently or refusing to put weight in their legs when you’re holding them up, for example), I’d say that it’s totally normal.

    • I think pedis get concerned if they aren’t by 12 months. My daughter started a week before her first birthday. She’s a very active, and not surprisingly, stubborn 3 years old now. Totally normal and no cause for concern! Actually, enjoy having a non-mobile one while you can!

    • Anonymous says:

      Some kids never crawl. My friend’s daughter did this gorilla butt-scooting thing until she learned to walk (which was tragic because the butt-scoot was the cutest thing ever!)

    • farrleybear says:

      Totally fine. Our kiddo didn’t crawl until about 10.5 months, and we were repeatedly reminded that some kiddos skip this step. He was also a late walker, so that may be a possibility that’s also totally fine:)

  3. Feeling guilty says:

    Husband is away for an international work trip, and my in-laws picked up our 4 and 1 year old last night for a “vacation” at the grandparents house until Sunday (obviously my in-laws are the best people in the world). I feel like I should miss them, but I have to say, it was really nice to eat breakfast without anyone throwing things on the floor, get dressed without having to listen to the Dinosaur Train song, and not have to lug 25 lbs of baby/baby stuff to daycare this morning! But I do feel guilty that I’m not missing them…

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not feel guilty at all. Taking time for yourself is important! Sounds amazing. So jealous!

    • Don’t feel guilty! I find that the longer I’ve had between breaks, the longer it takes me to “miss” my baby. Enjoy your independence! Take a bath! Drink wine! Get coffee with friends! Write your in-laws a thank-you while you have two free arms! You deserve this. You’ll miss them before you know it. Have a fantastic weekend.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Don’t feel guilty! When I know my child is with people I can trust to take care of him and that he is safe, loved, and having a good time I feel the same way. Plus, it’s good for your kids to enjoy being with other people. What if something happened and you were in the hospital for a week or so and your kids had never stayed with anyone else? It’s good for them to get used to it! :-D

    • biglawanon says:

      This is totally normal. Toddlers and babies are draining, and I didn’t enjoy those times at all. Signed, mom of 4 boys who likes quiet time and tidyness

  4. Taking stuff to daycare – what’s the best way?

    I have an in home provider with only two other kiddos so I have tons of flexibility. I could bring all the milk, food, diapers, and extra clothes once a week if I wanted. Or, I could bring in stuff every day.

    Which is easier in peoples experience? If I drop stuff everyday do I just use the diaper bag or should I use a separate “daycare” bag?

    I know I’ll be taking home used bottles/dirty clothes every day so I’m not sure what the 1x week option would save me, other than not forgetting things on the way out the door. Or not having to pack a bag every night.

    • This is a bit different as our son is older (15 months) but we send one diaper bag to school on Monday that stays there all week and has a full change of clothes and extra sweater. His blanket and mat cover stay there all week too. On Friday we take that entire bag home and wash the contents.

      We just drop off diapers and wipes as needed.

      Milk/lunch are in a lunchbox we take every day.

    • At our center based daycare, we kept a stockpile of diapers/cream/wipes/extra outfits at daycare and re-stocked as needed. Bottles and food went in daily. Our center also provided meals for the one year olds and older so we didn’t have to pack food for long. I think we just sent in a cup for milk. We had a separate daycare bag. The diaper bag was reserved for our use on wknds which helped me keep a consistent inventory of supplies in it.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Every in-home provider I’ve used has had a cubby system in place for the little ones, so I’d bring a bunch of stuff in and shove it in the cubby and bring more in when they reported they were running low. My son was old enough to eat the food provided by daycare by the time he started going, so I don’t have any perspective on that. I just used a canvas shopping tote to schlep everything in and reserved my nicer diaper bags etc. for myself

    • Great question: I’m interested to hear others’ responses. Our 9 month old goes to a day care center (as opposed to home care) and he has a cubby we keep supplied with: diapers, wipes, diaper cream, one extra change of clothing (including about 3 pair of socks, since we lose them often!), bibs, and any medication he’s currently taking that doesn’t need refrigeration (such as hydrocortisone for eczema or nystatin for thrush). They write down when he’s getting low on supplies so I don’t have to check daily (which I love). He also has a cabinet for food, and a spot in the fridge. Daily, we bring his diaper bag and it stays there. It contains regular outing supplies (diapers, wipes) plus: bottles filled with water (the building is old, so they don’t like to use their tap water, which I appreciate). On Monday I try to take his jarred/pouches of baby food for the whole week. I find that stuff is easier to remember once per week, plus it transfers the “what will he eat today” decision to his caretakers. If I want to give him hot cereal or an egg or banana, I bring that the day of.

      TL;DR – I like to pack bottles daily, but everything else I pretty much try to store at day care. If your day care has designated space for your little, it’s easier to bring non-perishables in batches rather than daily. That’s just forgetful me though!

    • Our 9 month old at corporate center:

      – They provide a (logo, of course) cooler bag for bottles for infants and a backpack once they graduate to the toddler room
      – We prepare bottles and put them in gallon ziploc inside cooler bag daily (I try to prep each night after dinner)
      – Every other week (approximately, they tell us when) we bring diapers and clothes to be stored in her labeled drawer. I try to remember to check her drawer on Fridays but they are great about putting notes in the cooler bag with what’s needed (onesies, pants, etc.)
      -They provide wipes, food (for infants we get a calendar and circle what we want her to eat each week), bibs, sippy cups
      We’re allowed to bring in “as many diapers as we want” they’ve said so I try to leave at least a large sleeve so we don’t have to think about it.

    • Thanks! This is very helpful as always.

  5. For non-religious families, how do you celebrate the holidays and explain them to your kids? My husband and I were raised going to church but no longer practice, and I’m more on the agnostic / atheist side now. Kiddo is 3 this year. As context, we usually celebrate Christmas as a secular / cultural holiday, meaning small tree and a few presents, nice dinner, nothing overboard. We don’t have extended family in the area and won’t travel this year. We were discussing doing pictures with Santa this weekend – we’ve done it in past years – but I can imagine that opening up a can of worms now that kiddo is big enough to ask the why questions. I don’t really have a good answer to why we take pictures with this kind of creepy old guy for a holiday we celebrate in a totally secular manner. It’s tradition? I don’t want to be a total Scrooge but also don’t plan to raise our kids in a religion, so I don’t have plans to delve into the religious explanation of Christmas. How do you guys manage it?

    More broadly, tips or resources (books? blogs?) on raising moral/ethical kids and good people outside established religion? I don’t believe religion is necessary (to raising kids, or being a good person) but also not sure how to go about this in practice.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      On there rare occasion I actually go to a religious gathering, I’m Quaker, and we largely view the holidays as secular as well.
      To be honest, I stressed about this issue as well but it never came up. I think Christmas truly is such a cultural/secular thing in America to a large extent, that it doesn’t seem weird to kids to participate in it in that spirit. It half came up one time, and I ended up tying it back more to winter solstice (which is origin of things like the christmas tree anyway) and saying that during a time of year when it is cold all the time and each day is darker than the next, it is nice to have a celebration that reminds us to enjoy time together, give to others, feel happy, love everyone etc. I LOVE the holiday season as a cultural/secular celebration. I love having a pretty tree, sparkly decorations, seeing everyone dressed up at parties with candles glowing and delicious food, how easy it is to give to charity this time of year, etc.
      To be honest the only reason I even occasionally go to quaker meeting as an adult is because I too struggle with how to raise my child with moral/ethical values that lead him to respect the inherent equality and worth of every person, without a community to help. Plus I enjoy the quiet time :-P (If you’re not familiar with quaker meeting, there’s no clergy or sermon or anything, you sit there in silence for about an hour). I don’t necessarily believe in God, but I do like the idea of my son learning to sit still and listen to an inner voice of good that can guide him in the right direction.

      • Cornellian says:

        Also Quaker! Hi.

      • Interesting! I really like this approach, especially the focus on celebrating spending time together and giving. This is why I’ve long-preferred thanksgiving to Christmas, actually.

      • EB0220 says:

        +1 This is exactly what I was going to mention. Christmas originated with Winter Solstice holidays celebrated long before Christianity was a thing. So I feel zero guilt celebrating Christmas in our non-religious household. We don’t do any of the Christian trappings but we fully embrace Santa, decorations and coziness.

    • dc anon says:

      In the same boat, DH and I grew up in religious families, but are non-practicing and non-religious, kiddo is 3 and more aware of everything. Not sure how to bring up Christmas, esp bc one set of grandparents are religious and we will probably go to church on Christmas. The hard part is that Christmas is everywhere!!

    • The actual origins of Christmas are secular. It started out as celebrating the solstice long before Jesus ever came into the picture.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^This. The one time I brought up to my mother that it seemed weird we celebrated christmas without believing it was the birthday of christ, she pointed this out to me. That’s where I got the idea to tie in some of the solstice lessons to the explanation I give my own kid (above)
        I grew up in the “bible belt”, where I knew plenty of children whose families didn’t have christmas trees etc. because they were considered “pagan”, and they only focused on the religious aspect of the season.

    • avocado says:

      Santa Claus is totally secular, so if he comes to your house on Christmas Eve then the answer to “why are we taking pictures with Santa” is “So you can tell him what you would like for Christmas.” (What I would really like to know is why we have a creepy elf living at our house, but that is an entirely different question.)

      When your kid is a little older, it would probably be good to explain a little about the basics of Christianity, as well as other major religions, for cultural literacy. We aren’t Jewish, but my kid learned about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in preschool because others in our country celebrate these holidays and it’s important to understand at least a little about them. As your child gets older, a basic familiarity with the Bible as a literary text will also be helpful with high school English.

      Our family is Christian, but my husband and I have very different interpretations of what that means so we don’t spend a lot of time discussing the specifics of religious doctrine at home. We frequently talk about treating others as we’d like to be treated and about valuing the dignity of every person, in the context of discussions about what happened in our lives during the day as well as what’s in the news. We also try to expose our child to a broad variety of experiences and perspectives through volunteering, travel, and arts and cultural events, and support and encourage her whenever she shows interest in helping others.

      • Totally agree about exposure to different religions. We’ll also likely live overseas in the future, which could help with that.

      • I love this response, but just want to push back a bit on your first line. Santa *can* be totally secular, but St Nicholas was a real person and inspiration for the legend, so he can also be tied strongly to Christianity (though his real feast day is Dec 6). As for the elf, we never plan to have one because I am lazy :)

        • avocado says:

          Well, yes, St. Nicholas was a real person and can be tied strongly to Christianity, but the link between him and the modern Santa Claus is so attenuated that I have never thought of Santa as anything but secular.

    • I’m also really interested in thoughtful answers to this question, especially anyone who can weigh in on this additional factor – my parents are very conservative Christian, and I wish to be respectful but also talk with our kids about this difference.

    • We do the full out Santa/Christmas traditions, although we don’t practice religiously, and it doesn’t seem to be an issue. I’ve never really thought of Santa (or the Christmas tree, or most other traditions) as being tied up too much with the religious aspects, and my kids (2 and 4) have not questioned it – they just know that it’s Christmas, and we do those things on Christmas.

      I am concerned about how to deal with some other questions related to religion as they come up (particularly when they start asking why other people go to church regularly, etc. and we don’t – most people in their lives are regular churchgoers), though a lot of that is based on the fact that I’m not really sure of those answers myself. But I haven’t encountered any problems with respect to Christmas traditions. (FWIW, I will probably give them the standard “birth of Christ” answer if they ask – we’re not against that in any way.)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Just wanted to say that I’m glad you asked this! I’ve been struggling with this as well, since my husband and I are both non-believers/non-practicing, but I’ve been wondering how to handle this since our 2.5 year old now sees pictures of Santa and says “Christmas!”

    • EB0220 says:

      Related – is there a theory that Santa has a religious meaning? Like St Nicholas or something? I always thought of Santa as totally secular. Just curious. This is a really interesting discussion.

      • As I understand it, the character of Santa Claus is originally based on a saint (St. Nicholas – 13th century, I want to say), but he’s long since taken on a life of his own, and the bearded dude at the mall is really not similar at all, and neither the saint nor the character really have any connection to the nativity story. (Thinking through all of the movies I’ve seen involving Santa, I don’t think any of them have had much of any religious aspect, other than a vague idea of “magic.”)

        So, I agree that he’s (effectively) completely secular.

        • I thought it had something to do with the wise men (three kings?) bringing gifts to baby Jesus? Although I may have just conflated them as a kid.

          • I think that some people relate the practice of giving gifts to the wise men, so it ties together a little bit, but I don’t think that Santa himself really plays a role there.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m a practicing Episcopalian and for me it’s 100% religious. Santa is St. Nicholas and he brings presents to celebrate Jesus’s birthday. We’re clear with our kids that the reason they receive presents is because it’s Jesus’s birthday. Our kids are small so we just say that Jesus was a special baby who grew up to teach people about love and understanding and forgiveness. Santa only brings stockings and 2 smaller presents (book/puzzle/lego set), they get a larger present from us.

        We don’t do the commercialized stuff like Mall Santa pictures, Breakfast with Santa events or Elf on the Shelf. We do go to the parade in our city and attend the tree lighting ceremony. We also incorporate the idea of celebrating the winter solstice and talk about how we put up lights to celebrate the beginning of the return of the light in addition to Jesus’ birth. We also light an advent candle every Sunday during advent. Following DH’s tradition we also celebrate St. Nikolaus Day on December 6 and Three Kings Day on January 6. So it’s really a whole season of celebrations.

        There’s a lot of different ways to do Christmas/winter season. It took us a few years to figure out the right balance for our family.

      • I’m Catholic and I still think Santa could be secular even w/ the St Nicholas tie-in. The holiday is really much more than the religious origins and I don’t fault anybody who wants to celebrate JUST the secular aspects.

        That said, I wouldn’t avoid explaining the religious origins of the holiday because they’ll hear about it at school eventually, and might even ask about any outdoor crèche/nativity in your town. I would phrase it as this being a special time of year to celebrate family and thankfulness and mention Hanukah and Kwanzaa too, and just say that “our family celebrates Christmas with presents and the tree and dinner, and some other families go to church”. I think most kids would accept that.

        Even if you don’t practice religion I think it’s fine to explain the origins, because Jesus (and St Nicholas for that matter) were historical figures, whether you believe in theology or not. I think the “Jesus is a special baby” thing as stated above works.

    • Eileen says:

      We celebrate Christmas, but without religion, and without Santa. For now, we stick with it being a time of year to get together with family and give to others. We do usually get a Christmas tree because I like the smell. We bake cookies because that was always a big part of the tradition for me growing up. Our party line about Santa is usually, “In our family, we get each other gifts. In some families, Santa brings gifts too.” We’ll get into it more as he gets older (also 3 this year). Our families are both religious, so we basically use the same logic there too: “Nana and PopPop go to church. Our family doesn’t.”

  6. I posted on Monday about realizing our 15 mo kid had bitten a hole in the n!ppl3 of his bottle so we tossed them. He has NOT been happy about not getting milk. He can totally drink out of sippies and water bottles, but he really, really doesn’t want to drink milk out of them. We have tried the three or four sippy types we already have, and even his water bottle (the contigo one from costco), but he is not having it. I tried the doidy cup, which he has successfully used for water before, and he instantly dumped it. He likes drinking water out of our glasses, but I haven’t tried that for milk yet as it’s annoying for him to drink out of heavy and breakable glasses that need our constant assistance. I ordered some straw cups from Amazon, but despite “2 day shipping” they are not here yet.

    He seems to be getting really mad in the morning, especially when he sees us going into the fridge, and he points at the bottles we use to transport milk to daycare. But he will not drink when we try any of the devices. He has also been waking up about an hour earlier the last few days, and last night he was up in the middle of the night sobbing. Apparently my husband had difficulty putting him to bed last night and he cried for a long time (baby, not husband). I can’t tell if he’s hungry? Or just wants milk?

    After last night, I’m considering buying another bottle just for bedtime, but that feels like a step back and, as my husband said, won’t he just bite it again? Ugh! This is frustrating.

    • What about trying these since they are more like “real” cups (and not a big cost if they don’t work)?

      • Anonanonanon says:

        omg I looooved these when my son was a toddler and yes he’d drink milk out of them after turning down about $150 of other cup options. I especially loved that they were so cheap, and if I found one on the floorboard of the car/in the bottom of a bag/wherever a few days later I could just throw it out without feeling guilty. I’d also sometimes stick snacks in them for easy transport, they stack well in the cabinets, etc.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Personally, I would just tough it out. You know that you’re going to want him off bottles at some point. It sucks to see him miserable, but I would give him more yogurt/cheese, and try to give him things like avocado and peanut butter for healthy fats. Also, FWIW, months 14-16 were just really hard for us, sleep-wise. I wouldn’t necessarily equate it to not drinking milk.

      • Thanks – that is really helpful. He has been a very consistent sleeper for a long time, so it’s easy to ascribe it to the milk issue, but he’s also learning to communicate more (not quite talking, but sort of) and I remember that when he was learning to crawl and walk he was a worse sleeper, too.

        Good idea to up the healthy fats. It stinks that he has been a pickier eater at the same time, too, but at least yogurt and PB he will eat almost every time.

    • Anonymous says:

      What bottle brand were you using? Almost every major brand I can think of has a hard spout sippy top that attaches to their baby bottles. Might make the transition away from bottle easier if he is holding his old bottles, just with a different spout.

      • We were using comotomo. I tried using the boon silicone top on a bottle but he doesn’t like those tops (never did, even for water). I am not sure if they have the type of thing you’re describing, but it’s a good idea to search.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Is it possible he’s teething? Kiddo tended to destroy things with her teeth when she was teething, and that would also explain the late-night wake-ups.

      Otherwise, I always found it helpful to recite to myself, “This too shall pass.” Very few parents of 10 years olds are still fighting their kids over bottles or sippy cups. It’s tough in the moment, but it’ll be a blip in your life!

  7. I realize that what I’m writing is kind of crazy, but I just need some reassurance. I am 12.5 weeks into my first pregnancy and am starting to think what the h*ll did we do. Every time I watch a tv show and there is a teen addicted to drugs, or a pregnant teen, etc. I’m scared that is going to happen to my kid. I miscarried, it took us a long to conceive and so I am thrilled to be pregnant, but I’m so nauseous, vomiting multiple times a day, etc. Even writing that I’m miserable in this post makes me nervous that i’m jinxing it. I’m kind of a superstitious person and I’m scared that I’m going to lose the pregnancy or something will be wrong in my first trimester screening, etc. Please remind me that hating being pregnant will not actually affect the health of my baby or cause me to lose the baby.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I could have written this during either of my pregnancies :) (I’m currently 27 weeks with my second and so far so good knock on wood). I definitely have those moments of “OMG I can’t wait to not be pregnant” quickly followed by “WAIT UNIVERSE I didn’t mean literally this baby needs to still be in there”
      In terms of the “what have I done I have to raise a human now” moments, try to re-frame it as proof that you’re responsible! Like…. proof that you understand that this is a major life decision and a major responsibility and that you’re taking it seriously, which means you’ll do your best, which means there’s nothing to worry about, because at this point that’s all you can control.

      Also pregnancy is different for everyone, but I’m one of those people who haaaaaaates it.

    • Pregnancy was THE. WORST. I actually started going to therapy because I was feeling resentful of the baby, then extreme guilt about that, then wondering if I could actually make it through nine months of misery (hey! I did!), then feeling extreme guilt about that.

      I work with a physician who told me that when she had her babies, she felt better the literal instant she gave birth. I was skeptical, but since she was a doctor, I chose to hang my hat on that statement. And it worked out to be TOTALLY true for me. Suddenly, I could eat again! I didn’t feel sick all the time! I was tired, but I also could sleep better.

      Pregnancy was absolutely terrible, it never really got better (except for about three weeks in my third trimester), and I hated almost every moment of it, but now I am even thinking of having another.

      Hang in there. It can be so hard, but you are an amazing superwoman and doing the best for your babe. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Yes to your second paragraph. I honestly thought childbirth itself was less unpleasant than third trimester. At least while you’re pushing etc. there’s an end in sight!
        Having a newborn was easier to me than being super pregnant. Yes, I only slept for 1.5 hours at a time, but I was waking up more often than that due to the discomfort of pregnancy. Plus, with the baby out, I could sleep in whatever position I wanted! and it was real sleep! And someone else could pick up some of the burden!

      • avocado says:

        Second all of this. I desperately wanted my baby but hated every moment of pregnancy because I was so sick. My doctor also told me that I would feel better the instant I gave birth, and she was also right. I don’t think anything ever tasted so good as the hospital breakfast the morning after my kid was born.

        The fear that your kid will make poor life choices never really goes away. All you can do is to teach them the best you can, support and encourage their positive interests and goals, give them the opportunity to be responsible for themselves in little ways while they are young so they are prepared to handle the big responsibilities when they get older, and then let them fly.

        Being miserable while pregnant does not mean that you do not want your baby or that the universe will punish you. Hang in there.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I am generally not an anxious person, but I struggled a lot with anxiety during pregnancy – fears about miscarriage, something being wrong with the baby, etc. I mentioned it in passing to my doctor and she suggested that I see a therapist if I felt like it was unmanageable, but I elected to not see one. In hindsight, it might have been helpful for at least a few sessions and I will not hesitate to see one for future pregnancies. So, something to think about!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It’s OK to be scared, and it’s OK to rethink the decisions you’ve made in a thoughtful, introspective way. If you find yourself having impulsive or very anxious thoughts, talk to your OB and take it seriously. Pregnancy is no fun, but it doesn’t *have* to be a miserable anxiety soup.

    • 2 Cents says:

      I’m nearly 21 weeks and in the same boat as you (took us a long time, previous miscarriage). I was sick until 17 weeks (sorry), and there were definitely times that I felt like “wtf am I doing? This is horrible.” I’m feeling better overall now (down from being sick 12+ times a day to maybe once every couple of days), and baby is going strong, despite whatever I felt during the worst of the “morning” sickness. Be kind to yourself; it can be tough going with so many changes to your body happening!

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Totally normal. I needed fertility treatments to get pregnant with my first. I very much wanted that baby but I frequently had the “what the hell did we just do” thoughts. Having a kid is a huge life shift, and even if it is something you very much want, I think it is totally normal to panic at that kind of change. Almost like taking a promotion at work, you can want it, but also panic a little.

      I also HATED pregnancy. I love and want my kiddos very very much but really really hated being pregnant. Some people love it, and power to them, but for a bunch of us, it is miserable, and being able to acknowledge that you can want and love the baby, but hate every second of growing it, was a good thing for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just as your desire to become pregnant didn’t cause your body to get pregnant right away, neither can your feelings harm this baby. Feelings are just feelings, they aren’t destiny, and you would be nuts to enjoy what you are going through.

      I hated being pregnant (was nauseous the whole time, but never threw up) and honestly spent much of my son’s first year questioning whether I made a huge mistake. It was hard but we got through it. He’s 5 now, healthy & happy, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Wow, your first line is a really, really great way of looking at it! (If you can’t will it to happen you can’t accidentally will it to un-happen). Great point!

        • OP here. Thank you everyone! and yes, i like that first line, which really is so logical. wanting to get pregnant, didnt make me pregnant, and hating puking all the time will not make my baby disappear.

    • 38 weeks pregnant with our first and I still feel this way sometimes. My pregnancy has been tough emotionally, so I’ve been seeing a therapist, and we’ve been talking a lot about the “ambivalence of motherhood”, which is a phrase I really like (basically, you’re probably not going to love being a mom all of the time and that’s completely okay). It makes me feel like my concerns and feelings are valid, and that I’m not a bad mom for worrying about what a massive change having a baby is and whether or not I’ll be a good mom.

      Also, hormones and mood swings are real. Last night, I cried watching a teenage mom deliver her baby on some trashy TLC show and then immediately spent a few minutes mourning the fact that it will be a long time before I can quietly sit and watch whatever TV I want uninterrupted ever again.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Thank you for reminding me to set that show up to record (I’m a sucker for shows about teen moms. Maybe from having my first way younger than intended? I don’t know).

  8. Anonanonanon says:

    Thank you to whoever posted on my BFing thread yesterday with the reminder that it’s OK not to BF. My experience with my first was very similar to what you wrote. It didn’t feel natural, it was the opposite of bonding time (I remember looking down and thinking “if I were a cave woman I’d just drop you on the ground and leave right now”), pumping made me feel like an animal, I didn’t just leak but SPRAYED at random, it did insane things to my hormones, and overall negatively affected my parenting experience for the weeks that I did it. I’m definitely open to trying again, but it was a good reminder that at the first sign of it affecting my bonding with my baby and my ability to be (somewhat) emotionally stable post-partum, that it’s OK to quit.
    Thank you to everyone else as well for the tips on supplies and the reminder that lactation consultants are out there. This board is always such a great resource of knowledge while remaining supportive of the different choices we all make for our children.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup – I think everyone here is very nonjudgemental about BFing. We’re here for support/tips if you want them, but if you think formula is best then that’s a great choice too!

    • avocado says:

      Sounds like you have a healthy and open-minded attitude towards all of this! I will warn you to make sure your spouse is on the same page going in. I was surprised by how important BF’ing was to my husband–I had assumed he wouldn’t care either way because he didn’t have a strong preference about anything else baby-related–and this factored into my decision to continue BF’ing when I really should have stopped.

    • Didn’t get a chance to respond yesterday but to answer your question, I think you have the bare minimum supplies you need and I wouldn’t get more since you’re on the fence about BFing.

      As far as surviving the early days if you decide you do want to do it, I don’t buy into the pressure not to introduce a bottle or formula before some arbitrary date. BFing is SO hard in those early days/weeks and you don’t want to add to that the fear that kiddo is starving because your milk hasn’t come in/baby isn’t latching/etc. Less than two days after coming home from the hospital, my kid got a bottle of pumped milk. I continued to pump and we gave him a bottle to make sure he was really getting food, plus I could go to bed in the evening and get a solid 4 hours before his first feeding. We also gave him formula when he had trouble gaining weight. I think as long as you keep trying to get them to latch and pump every time they get a bottle (either of formula or pumped milk), you can get it to work out in the long run.

      I was totally open to combo feeding, but it turned out he and I love BFing now and it’s incredibly effortless. I could have never predicted that I would ever say that after the early days! So I just wanted to say, if you WANT to try BFing, go for it, it’s not all or nothing, and don’t worry at all about giving a bottle. Fed is best!

    • Everlong says:

      I wanted to chime in yesterday but didn’t get a chance. What I wanted to add was that I EBF-ed my first baby for 4 months. It was never hard in the ways that are described but it just wasn’t for me and it kept getting worse and worse. One of my happiest memories from that time was getting the blessing from the pediatrician to introduce formula at the four month checkup.

      DS2 is now approaching 3 months old. I was also open to trying again but had the same attitude as you, that the minute it didn’t work I would stop. I tried nursing within the first hour after his birth and the minute the nurse tried to coach me I clammed up and said I wanted formula.

      It was absolutely the best choice for me. I knew my heart was not in it. I’m also amazed that both kids are thriving and hitting the same milestones and how I am feeding or fed them was obviously a nonissue. I also feel MORE bonded with my second because I have the energy and space to do things with him other than nurse. I actually get to see his eyes and things because with DS1, nursing for us was not that bonding experience that’s advertised. Whatever you choose will be right as long as you are making the decision.

      Also, I had the spraying at random problem, too. It was a nightmare. I thought maybe my milk wouldn’t come in as strong this time if I didn’t nurse only because with my first I actually started leaking while I was about 6 months pregnant and that didn’t happen this time. Oh, it was awful when my milk came in with DS2! The pain was much worse from the milk than recovering from a 2nd c-section. It was also hard for me to find resources on how to deal as someone that was choosing not to BF. Recommendations: cabbage leaves, antihistamines and sage supplements. They all might be placebos but I was desperate. The cabbage leaves helped but I couldn’t keep them stocked in the fridge fast enough. I took reusable nursing pads, soaked in water, and then frozen. They felt amazing. And tight sports bras around the clock.

      • Everlong says:

        Clarification – equal bond with DS1 and DS2 but at this stage in the game, I was a little more absent with DS1 because I was so drained from nursing. I didn’t know how to do anything else.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I want to add another voice of support for whatever you decide to do. I EBFed for a month, then started supplementing with formula (100% to make my life easier, not because it was in any way “necessary”). I never pumped, formula fed at daycare, nursed the rest of the time, and switched 100% to formula at 6 months. I would do it again in a heartbeat. If nursing is awful, you have this internet stranger’s permission to quit ASAP. Or if it turns out differently this time and you want to keep going, more power to you!

  9. Book recs says:

    Does anyone have any good recommendations for books to tackle tough topics with a preschooler? I’m specifically looking for a “where babies come from” book, a “no means no/body privacy/safety” book, and a “you’re going to be a big sibling” book. The selection on Amazon in these categories is overwhelming, so if people have ones they like I’d love to hear about it. The child in question is a girl, if that matters.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Depending on how old your preschooler is, we used “It’s not the stork! A book about girls, boys, babies, bodies, families, and friends”. It also briefly covered good vs. not-good touches etc. which was helpful.
      It does use real language, so don’t use it unless you’re prepared to use the word s3x in the conversation. It’s broken into sections so you can pick and choose what you’re comfortable covering.

      We also have a “who has what, boy bodies and girl bodies” book that was nice. It focused a lot on what everyone has in common (You have a belly button and so do I! You have legs and so do I and so does the dog, but he has 4!) as well as the differences in boy bodies and girl bodies. Again, this has anatomically-correct language, so be prepared.

      I found a good “big sibling” book was “Babies don’t eat pizza”. I would say this is best for ages 4 and up. They recommend ages 3-8, but I’d wait until a bit older. I appreciated that it made being a big sibling seem very exciting, but gave realistic expectations about what having a newborn around will be like (aka the baby won’t come out immediately able to play).

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I don’t have any off the top of my head, but I’ve seen some lists on A Might Girl’s FB page about body autonomy/privacy. Their website may have something helpful

    • I have this on my to-buy list for kiddo but haven’t read it – NO Trespassing – This Is MY Body! by Pattie Fitzgerald

    • Everlong says:×2699&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI58K6gLHp1wIVi0sNCh3P9gkCEAQYAyABEgKJfPD_BwE

      DS1 was just shy of his second birthday when DS2 was born. This was extremely helpful in encouraging him to help with the baby. He loves finding diapers and helping with bath – things that are modeled in this book. It might be a little young depending on the age of yours.

    • CPA Lady says:

      For the birds and the bees talk, I found this book at a flea market called “How Babies Are Made”. It’s from the 70s and has fun retro looking paper cut out illustrations. You can get it on Amazon.

      It starts with plants to introduce the concept of a seed being fertilized, and moves on to different types of animals and then people. If, for example, the idea of your kid seeing a paper cut out of a rooster on top of a chicken is too much, then maybe skip this one. I liked it though. Very informative and clear. You can probably g**gle around to get ideas of what the pictures are like and decide if you’re comfortable with that much information.

  10. Yesterday a firm that I used to work for (in a different city) contacted me and said they have an opening: we didn’t discuss compensation but the job is absolutely what I want to do for the next 10-20 years.
    DH and I live in a MCOL city with our 9 month old. We both have jobs that pay well, although I hate my job and am bored to death (been low-key job searching for months). We own a house in a decent neighborhood (not walkable, bad schools, but safe and we like our neighbors). New job is in a HCOL town 3 hours away, with bad traffic and good schools (very walkable, which we love). We would relocate, but DH would keep his job in our current city and commute 2 weeks per month. We would likely need to rent for a while. We just completed a second round of IUI last week. Before I found out about HCOL job, my plan was to have a baby next year and then quit (Just being honest). But now this job is on the table and I’m really tempted to take it. DH is on the fence, but open to the possibility. Advice? Things I haven’t considered? Am I being insane?

    • This is a tough one! Some other things to consider:

      If you were to stay where you are, have you thought about your school plans for your kids since you say the schools are bad?

      Fingers crossed for you that your IUI works! If that is the case, and you were to start this new job fairly soon, you’d likely be there for less than a year before you gave birth, so would you be eligible for maternity leave? I think with FLA it is based on total length of time there and it doesn’t have to be consecutive, but if it is an unpaid maternity leave how would that work for you guys financially?

      You say DH would commute 2 weeks per month – does that mean he sleeps in old town for a week, or goes back and forth each day? How do you think you might potentially manage caring for 2 kiddos if DH is commuting for 2 weeks per month? What are childcare options in the HCOL city?

      As someone who else went through fertility treatments, if your IUI does not work, have you thought about next steps? Would you alter your family planning timeline if you took this new job and how do you feel about that?

      When you said you were going to quit your current job was that to be a SAHM or just until baby gets older/until you find something new?

    • Anonymous says:

      Solo parenting for two kids for 50% of the time is no joke. Make sure both you and DH have worked through what that means. Could he get a job in HCOL city? Could you each WFH part of the week at a city somewhere in between? I wouldn’t take anything with more than a 30min commute because it would mean not seeing my kids much so the bad traffic in HCOL would be a key factor for me. Sit down with a bottle of wine and DH and list the pros and cons for each.

  11. DH just received a call from daycare that Kiddo has a fever, and DH has to pick him up. Kiddo was invited to a birthday party for one of his classmates tomorrow morning, and the mom made it clear in the invitation that only a few kids were invited. I emailed her to say that Kiddo is sick and being sent home, and we’re really sorry/disappointed but will have to miss the party. That was the right thing to do, right? Kiddo seems to be feeling OK, and we could get the fever down with meds, but I don’t want to expose the other families to whatever he has. I also didn’t want to put the other mom in an awkward position by leaving it up to her (because if it were me, I’d feel guilty saying, “Please don’t come,” even if they were sick).

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Yes, that was the right thing to do.

    • you 100% did the right thing. if your kiddo was sick enough to be sent home from daycare, kiddo should not be at a birthday party either. the other mom might be disappointed that your kid can’t come and might be frustrated with the situation, but shouldn’t hold anything against you personally as these things happen – kids get sick.

    • EB0220 says:

      Yes. Sick enough to be sent home from school = sick enough to not go to the party. We’ve been on the receiving end of this message multiple times and definitely agree it’s the right choice.

    • I’ll add that most daycares say the child should be fever free for 24 hrs before returning. So yes, you did the right thing. Your LO might be feeling better but could still be contagious.

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