Maternity Monday: Olivia V-Neck Maternity Sweater

maternity sweater for work This maternity sweater for work is winning rave reviews — and purple IS the color of 2018. The neckline may feel a bit low, but you can always raise the neckline with a camisole or a demi-camisole or a substantial necklace, like pearls. The sweater also comes in black, and is $68.  Olivia V-Neck Maternity Sweater

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  1. Santa was trying to draw my almost three year old out and asked if she wanted a doll. She said yes and then told us Santa is bringing her one. She currently has a couple dolls that she loves: the corolle baby doll and a baby stella. Suggestions for another doll that’s been a hit at your house?

    She really loves taking care of them, but I doubt she’s picky! I’m not sure if a doll that’s not a baby makes sense as she might not have as much fun taking care of an “older” doll? or maybe she would since she loves to brush my hair?

    If it’s not obvious, I have a girly girl. I never played with dolls myself so this is new to me!

    • Does she have a character that she loves? Get her a stuffed version of the character. For example, Disney has a 20″ stuffed Moana doll (and used to have a corresponding Maui doll) that my kids have many adventures with.

      You could do Doc McStuffins or Princess Elena or Bubble Guppies or whatever she likes. The 20″ is a good “big” size that is fun to cuddle but also good for strollers and safaris and picnic parties. Just make sure it’s all plush since some of the character dolls have hard plastic faces that hurt when they fall off a fort.

      • She doesn’t! She doesn’t like TV (we’ve even tried). I guess Daniel Tiger. But that’s it!

        I might still go Doc McStuffins, I think the profession would appeal to her. Thanks for the ideas!

        • Anonymous says:

          This. Doc McStuffins has been a hit in our house.

          • Selfishly, I encourage the Doc McStuffins love in my house (for my son and daughter both!) The mom works and the dad either stays home or works from home. I love that the show is normalizing a mom who has an office and a dad who makes lunch and runs the errands.

      • Another good alternative if she’s into Disney is a toddler doll – they have Anna, Elsa, Sofia the First etc. They are still big and good for younger girls, but also have hair. If she likes Disney, we also really love our Disney playset dolls – they are little plastic figures of the princesses/characters, and my daughter loves to line them in/play classroom etc.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Sorry I don’t have any doll recs but I’m pregnant with a girl and omg I love that she loves to brush your hair it gave me all the warm and fuzzies

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Does she have dolls of color? FWIW, she’ll probably be ready for a non-baby doll before next Christmas; my kiddo flipped over at about 3.5 and now ignores her baby dolls.

  2. Talk to me about flying alone (~ 3 hours) with a very squirmy one year old –

    How should I entertain him? He does not care about screen time so no iPad will work to subdue him! He likes to bang on things.

    And as for logistics – Stroller? Baby carrier?

    Am I crazy to attempt this? Thanks.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      stroller if you’ll need it at your destination. It’s a pain to get through security with (since you have to take the kid out and run it through the xray) but I trust checking things at the gate more than I trust checking them at check-in, I’d hate to get to my destination without a stroller! Also if you have to go to the bathroom and are dragging your carry ons AND have a child strapped to you, that’s a recipe for disaster

    • Following as we’re going to be doing this soon enough!

      I was thinking of bringing the backpack (we use Lillebaby) for ease of carrying him and checking the stroller. Thanks to good recommendations on here, we are buying him his own seat.

      My son also loves banging and does not love being in one spot so any distracting recommendations appreciated!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      When my son was that age, i found it was easiest to put him on the plane in his (approved) car seat. Since he was “restrained”, he accepted the conditions and seemed to grasp that, just like in a car, he couldn’t wiggle out of his seat and get up and walk around etc. It was a lot harder the first time he just sat in a normal seat.
      I also got lucky a few times when he was younger and didn’t buy a separate seat, but the plane wasn’t full so the airline staff moved me and said I could put him in the carseat in the seat next to me. So if you’re willing to take a gamble, maybe that will work out?

      Sorry I don’t remember many details about what kind of car seat I had and how it strapped in etc, it was almost 8 years ago now.

    • Is he still in the infant car seat? If so, bring the Snap n Go and the infant seat PLUS the carrier. Sometimes it’s easier to have the kid strapped in, and sometimes you need to wear him. It just depends.

      The storage area under the car seat in the stroller is perfect for the diaper bag + your carry on. Your personal item can be a backpack. Thus, you can have everything contained in the stroller and on your body. I went through security by myself (even tho was travelling with DH – I had pre-check and he didn’t) with this set up and it wasn’t really hard. The snap and go is easy to folder up and get through security. The most annoying part for me is how they always want to go through the bag with liquids immediately as I’m trying to wrangle baby, bags and stroller back into order.

      Get kiddo his own seat if you can afford it. It is not at all comfortable to have a child sitting on your lap for that long. Plus, it’s safer. The infant seat straps in very easily to an airplane, you use the same hooks as you do for putting it in a car without the base.

      hope that helps!

    • Can you babywear? It’s best to wear your baby as you try to get through the airport. Most security will let you keep wearing the kid and just do a quick pat down and swab your hands.

      I always rent/ buy a car seat at my destination, so no recommendation there. I use a true umbrella stroller (the $20 at Target/BBB kind) and load my carryons in there, so I’m wearing the kid and pushing my bags.

      Pack kiddo his own backpack of supplies. The SkipHop animal ones are good. Fill the front pocket with individual snacks, like a small bag of Cheerios, one of Goldfish, one of fruit snacks, a box of raisins, some squeeze pouches, etc. Stick a straw bottle in the side mesh pocket – you want them to drink with a straw (sucking motion) to help with popping ears.

      Fill the inside of the backpack with an assortment of toys. At that age, you might get some mileage out of: reusable stickers, foam stickers, water wow paint books, stuffed animals like those big eyed beanie babies, toob toys, playdough, pipecleaners with an empty parmesan cheese can, tongue depressor sticks, plastic shot glasses or condiment cups for stacking, and some new board books.

      I also do the Vtech headphones for kids and download some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Pocoyo videos on the iPad, plus the “Peekaboo Barn” app from Night & Day, and the “Peekaboo I see You” app from BabyFirst. They don’t keep the headphones on at first (you could try to practice at home maybe) but sometimes it works.

      Then just pull out one thing at a time. Try to use a lot of containers or ziploc bags so you can have them help open the box or zip the bag, plus sometimes they just want to play with the box itself.

      When it’s time for the drink cart, ask the flight attendant for an empty cup or two. Put one cube of ice in it. Most kids will play with that for a good 15 minutes.

      • I think empty parmesan cheese can with pipe cleaners just changed my life!

        All my son wants to do is put straws in and out of things.

        • If your kid likes that, popsicle sticks will fit in the top of an empty mayonnaise squeeze bottle.

          Also, get a can of playdough and use it to stick some uncooked spaghetti noodles on the table pointing up. Then thread Cheerios onto the noodles to build towers. Tons of fun.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I found stroller was a little more convenient at that age, esp when traveling alone, but I also had a baby who liked but didn’t LOVE the carrier, so YMMV depending on that.

      A couple of weeks beforehand, start gathering random stuff that you think the baby might want to play with. I’m not talking buying toys, I’m talking about literally a bag of trash that you can later throw away at your destination. Little empty jars, six hair ties hooked together, whatever. You just never know what is going to occupy them and I found it was better to be over-prepared. And of course books she hasn’t looked at for awhile.

      Oh, and CEREAL — eaten one at a time. If he normally only has Cheerios, maybe mix in some other kinds for a special treat? The freeze-dried berries from Trader Joes are also a good time-consuming airplane snack.

      Mine also wouldn’t really do screen time per se at that time, but I could occupy her for few minutes by showing her videos of herself on the phone.

      All this prob would have been easier if I’d had her in a separate seat but she traveled on my lap until she was about 16 months.

    • grey falcon says:

      You can do it. I have done, many times. Carrier is the most important, stroller if you want/need one. But carrier is small to stow, an easy place to put the munchkin, and the secret to going to the bathroom (yes, you can do it while wearing a baby). Also may enable naps. Car seat in a separate seat if you can afford/carry it is ideal, but I know it may not be feasible.

      For entertaining: lots of little things– stickers, things to pull out of other things, etc. Perhaps a buckle toy, if your kid is into that, though I can’t remember exactly when that dexterity developed. A small set of Tegu/magnetic blocks. Stamps + washable ink. Snacks, but tiny ones (cheerios, puffs) that take a long time to eat. Definitely whatever liquid source (bottle/boob) is preferred for take off and landing. If your kid is a banger, note that pulling down the tray will be a source of endless frustration for the kid and the person in front of you unless you feel comfortable putting it up. If your kid is walking, be prepared to go up and down the aisle a lot. Unless you hit turbulence, this will be a good distraction– just smile apologetically when you get in people’s way, and it’ll be fine.

      Do check out some apps, even if he won’t watch tv. Maybe Peekaboo Barn/Fridge and the like. Apps that you interact with can be different than just watching a video at that age.

    • Clementine says:

      We did several flights with our kiddo at the same age. We didn’t buy him a seat but he also just zonked out on planes, so that was nice.

      Through the airport though, I’m a big advocate for wearing baby and using the stroller as a luggage cart. I personally would check a suitcase so I didn’t have to lug it through the airport. What we usually do is diaper bag under the stroller, carseat in the stroller (we actually bring a bungee to strap it on…) and a backpack carry on.

      Pro tips: wear slip on shoes. Taking off and putting back on my sneakers at the security gate while attempting to corral a stroller, carseat, and screaming one year old will go down as a memory I would not like to relive. Don’t wear a jacket under the carrier or they’ll make you take it off – I usually go with a cardigan and big scarf and have never had an issue.

      People will offer to help you. Say yes. It will make them feel good and you’ll be saner for it.

    • EB0220 says:

      I’ve done this many times. Best configuration I found for a one year old is: wear baby on your back in SSC. Bring rolling bag carryon and a messenger bag with a luggage strap. Gate check the rolling bag if possible, otherwise depend on the goodness of others to help you lift it up with hitting your kid’s head. The few times I’ve brought my own carseat, I found a simple strap on Amazon that worked perfectly to attach it to the rolling bag. I typically wear kiddo on my back through airport and then switch kid to the front when boarding the plane. It’s easier to sit down and get kiddo out of the carrier when she’s already in front. For entertainment, my kid LOVED the skymall magazine and could look at pictures in there for hours. We also got a lot of entertainment out of kiddo looking at family pictures/videos on my phone. We always fill the munchy mug with snacks and don’t limit the snacks at all on the plane. We also bring along our camelbak water bottle but beware that pressure changes may cause water to squirt out of the spout when you open it (ask me how I know) so unscrew the top a little and screw back on after takeoff and before popping open.When traveling alone with kids, I’m constantly amazed by the kindness of strangers. Seriously, if you feel bad about humanity just fly alone with a kid or two. I’ve had flight attendants play peek a boo, an older lady show my kids pictures of her horse farm for 20+ minutes, guys lift/retrieve my luggage. Warm fuzzies.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you need a car seat where you’re going? If so, consider getting one of those attachments that lets you use the car seat as a stroller. I had a strap that clipped to my luggage, so it actually attached the car seat to my roller suitcase and let me lug it all as one big stoller thing. It wasn’t very secure though…I had to re-adjust several times.

      If you don’t need a car seat where you’re going, I would consider checking everything (suitcase, stroller, anything else), wear baby and carry a backpack full of baby-centered things onto the airplane. Rolls of painters tape, stickers, videos of trucks/cats/animals on your phone (downloaded!), pictures of family to scroll through, stickers, band-aids, etc. And I would get a second seat if possible, preferably the window and middle so you can contain kiddo.

    • Any recommendations for baby headphones for the apps?

      • Vtech used to make great kids headphones but I think they’re discontinued. Now either the Leapfrog or the Disney ones are the closest you can find. Most kids will hate the headphones at first, so you need to practice with them at home so they understand that’s where the sound comes from.

    • Walnut says:

      Hit the Target dollar spot for disposable toys. My favorites are window clings and stickers. For apps, download “Sneezies” for your toddler who loves to bang on things. The objective of the game is to pop bubbles.

    • Ignore the calls to board the plane early – wait until the last possible moment, and aim to be the last person on plane. Minimizes the time they are strapped into a seat and not allowed to move.

      Check everything you don’t need on the flight so you have hands free to chase the little person.

      Bring stickers and snacks that take a long time to eat (cheerios or raisons doled out one by one.)

      And bring a change of clothes for you, too. Little TK pooped all over himself and me on our first solo flight. I didn’t have a change for me. Also, fun fact, lots of planes don’t have diaper changing stations in the bathroom. Try to do diaper changes last thing before your board and then just hope for the best.

  3. NOVA Anon says:

    I’ve done this, although with a slightly older child; all trips at that age were with my husband too. That said, you can do it! I’m torn between whether to recommend a stroller or a baby carrier – maybe someone with more baby wearing experience can help there. I’m struggling to think how you’d go to the bathroom without a stroller to park baby in (my son wasn’t walking until 14 months). But absent that concern I’d say a baby carrier. Check your bag(s), and bring just a diaper bag for the plane. Make sure you have extra clothes for you AND for your son.

    For entertainment, my kid really liked tearing up tissues – not the cleanest of endeavors, so maybe be more prepared than me and bring a plastic grocery bag to catch the refuse, but it kept him occupied. Also, all the snacks – puffs, cheerios, etc. – that he can eat one at a time. Also, walking him to the back of the plane where the flight attendants hang out, if they’ll let you, can kill some time – I’ve always had kind flight attendants. Finally, one such kind flight attendant put a straw in an empty water bottle and put the cap on, and my then-one-year-old was totally fascinated by it.

    Good luck!

    • NOVA Anon says:

      sorry – supposed to be a reply for Anon. above…

    • Re: bathroom, I definitely go to the bathroom with my kid in the carrier all the time. Is that weird? Maybe once he’s bigger it won’t be as feasible but now if we’re out and about and he falls asleep I’m not about to take him out so I can pee!

      However, I have seen this ingenious little seat by Koala Care at a couple public restrooms, including a family restroom at an airport – it allows you to strap in your small toddler so you can go to the bathroom! They should have those everywhere.

      • Anonymous says:

        Um, I definitely went to the bathroom this morning with a toddler on my lap. I needed a moment in the restroom and the other option was having the kid sobbing outside the bathroom door and 7AM me just couldn’t handle that.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Definitely used the bathroom with kiddo on my lap until she was a toddler. You do what you have to do. The Koala Care seats are great! But not helpful for a pre-sitting infant, or a sleeping child in a carrier.

      • Anonymous says:

        You can definitely do this with the K’tan. I don’t think it works with a Bjorn.

  4. Is it standard practice for your babysitter to wash the dishes the kids used and generally clean up after the kids are asleep? We have a new babysitter whom we love– she is great with the kids and speaks a target language we have had trouble finding. We’ve only had her over twice but both times I was surprised that she didn’t clean up from dinner and wash the dishes in the sink. Both times we’ve had her over, the kids have been asleep for about 3 hours before we get home. I realize we have her there to watch the kids and not clean, but our other babysitters always washed the dishes and tidied up (one even folded our laundry!). When I used to babysit, I always washed the dishes, swept the floor, picked up the kids toys and did whatever chores I could after bedtime. It was actually pretty disappointing to get home at 11pm and have to put away the food from the stove and wash all the dishes. We pay her well, fwiw, and I will specifically ask her to clean up next time we have her, just curious if this seems like appropriate expectations.

    • anne-on says:

      Yup, I’d say that was pretty standard operating procedure when I baby sat (unless the kiddos were really little and I simply didn’t have time or they didn’t nap). I usually tidied up after dinner (washed plates/stacked them in dishwasher) wiped down any surfaces, picked up any toys, and folded any kid laundry if necessary. Definitely just make it clear that you expect dinner to be cleaned up after and toys put away before you get home. If you get pushback I’d then consider if it’s worth it to hire this person again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would say folding kid laundry isn’t standard but cleaning up dinner if she fed them dinner is. That said, I would expect to provide some direction – kid dishes go it dishwasher, put leftovers in this tupperware container/throw them out, pot is handwashed/washed in dishwasher

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’d say it’s standard practice for the sitter to clean up after any activity she does with the kids, including dinner. I’d at least expect the table cleared and the dishes in the sink, if they brought out a bunch of toys that those would be put away, etc. I wouldn’t generally expect the sitter to sweep or fold laundry or anything like that.

  5. Anonanonanon says:

    So I know “nesting” is a thing in pregnancy, but this time around I’m “work nesting” more than home nesting. I’m obsessing over who can cover what when I’m out, having redundant systems in place, getting everyone trained up, drafting my out-of-office responses, etc…. and I still have 10 weeks (hopefully).

    It’s slow this week, so any suggestions on small things I can do to “work nest”? Anything you didn’t get done that you wish you had?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Depends on your field, but I wrote memos to file for various clients that provided a status update as of X date, upcoming deadlines/court dates, and the location of key documents (big memos, briefs, etc.). I started it a few weeks out and updated it as needed.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you have any professional education requirements you could knock out? My CLE reporting deadline was a few weeks after I returned from leave, so I did all my CLEs in the last few weeks in the office.

  6. I’ve been noticing that in my area (all areas?) there is a direct correlation between quality of school and $$$ of real estate. To such an extreme that we are somewhat priced out of the areas with the best schools, unless we want to buy something that’s a real fixer upper (despite being fairly well set up, financially).

    Recognizing that everyone’s preferences will be different, could folks who have been there talk me through how you thought about the sliding scale, i.e. how much to sacrifice for a TOP school? If you have involved parents, can a B+ school be okay if it gives you a better home environment? Private schools in my area are 50k a year so…assume that’s out.

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We purchased an apartment in a top school district. My apartment is smaller and less updated than we could have purchased just a few blocks in a different direction. We have to put money into it. We may outgrow it sooner rather than later. To me, it was less about the specific elementary school (although we’re zoned for a great one) and more about the overall district for middle school because our kid(s) are going to public school. I would have gladly moved to a different neighborhood that was still in the same district and had an elementary school that was a solid B+, because I wanted a greater number of solid options for middle school.

      Once we focused on the district (rather than the specific school), we were able to narrow things down like preferred location, commute time, access to specific subways, etc.

    • I can only offer the perspective as a child who went to what was considered a “mediocre” suburban school in the midwest who is married to someone who went to a “top” public school.

      On balance, looking back, I am very glad I went to the school I did and not a top public school. In particular, I think the fact that my school was very diverse, both racially and socio-economically, prepared me way more for the real world than extra field trips or science labs would have. I think this is also a reason why a disproportionate number of my high school peers are in careers involving social justice. My school had a gifted program that I was a part of, and had an honors/AP track for junior high and high school that adequately prepared me for college. We didn’t have the same variety of extracurriculars as my husband’s school did, but there were enough that everyone who was interested could find something they liked. There were a handful of people from my class who got into top schools, including myself, and every other year or so someone got into an Ivy. Most of the college-bound kids, including the top of the class, went to state school, though. I also liked that there wasn’t the pressure-cooker environment I hear about at a lot of top schools.

      There are a few things I’ve learned by talking to my husband and colleagues who attended top public schools that make me understand why some parents feel it’s superior, however. First, if your child is NOT self-motivated, I think it is easier for them to feel like they can just “get by” in a mediocre school. I think the expectations are higher for all students at top schools. Second, there are just more resources there for kids who ARE very gifted or motivated. My school wouldn’t have given me the opportunity to take part in the Intel science contest, or a model UN team, or other national competitions. Other schools do that all the time. Finally, there were more people who went to top colleges from my husband’s school. This wasn’t a priority for me, and isn’t for my child, but I know some parents are “ivy-or-bust” kind of people, so that’s something to consider as well.

      Just my 2 cents – take from it what you will.

      • Thanks for this very thoughtful response. I went to a pretty mediocre public school too, and from there to an Ivy, and I felt like the other students who went to fancier schools were dramatically far, far, more prepared for college than I was. I also felt like based on my upward trajectory in college that I would have performed much better had I been better prepared. So, I feel like that’s the bias I bring to the table.

        To Anon in NYC, as you may have guessed I am in NYC also, and the competitive middle school and high school admissions process seems so daunting and is enough to make me think about moving to the burbs. Like if I could afford K-12 private for two kids that would be one thing, but I can’t (seriously who are these people who can?) Good for you for thinking so far ahead without hiding under the covers.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          We may still decamp for the burbs if/when we have a second! Both me and my husband grew up in the burbs and it just seems so much easier in this respect. We definitely cannot afford private K-12 for 2 kids (and 1 would be hard enough on our budget!).

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, this happens everywhere in the US, because property taxes pay for public schools. So higher property taxes = higher housing costs and also better schools.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow! Not American and I never knew this before. Definitely helps me understand how quality between schools can vary so widely which I was always kinda confused about.

        • Yup, property taxes are a proxy for how “nice” a town and its school are. That’s so funny to think it’s not that way in other countries! But I guess it makes sense, if you have national school systems.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m in Canada. The school systems are provincial (state) but they are pretty much all funded the same way – set amount of $$ per student enrolled with minimum and maximum class sizes and extra funding if a certain percentage of ESL students. Property tax here goes to the city and funds roads/snowclearing/city parks.

            Wealthier neighbourhoods still definitely have nicer schools but that’s more because of parental involvement in fundraising. We’re in a good neighbourhood and our local elementary just added an outdoor kindergarten classroom but it was totally funded by parent run fundraisers.

      • Sarabeth says:

        This is only part of the picture. There’s often significant variation within school districts, particularly larger ones, even though the property taxes are pooled. Also, at least some states mandate equalization payments to support higher-poverty districts. In states like NY, the bigger effect is from the segregation of poorer and wealthier students in different schools (even within the same district). Poor students cost more to educate, because (on average) they have less family support at home and are also more likely to be dealing with challenges such as trauma exposure, insecure housing, food insecurity, etc.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Those top schools are highly rated because the families that use them are wealthy. Socio-economic status is very highly correlated with test scores, so schools with wealthy kids get good test scores (and therefore good ratings) regardless of what goes on inside the school walls. You should tour some of the “mediocre” options and find one that feels right to you. There are plenty of “B+” schools with excellent teaching staff, where your kid will probably thrive.

      Personally, our kids are headed somewhere that most people would probably call a “C” school, at best. It actually does very well on most metrics given its demographics (80% free/reduced lunch), but the scores are still much lower than the schools that have a wealthier population. More importantly, though, we have seen the teachers in action and like the vibe of the school. Other families whose judgment we trust send their kids there and say it’s great. In our case, we’d have to either pay a lot more money for our mortgage or have a much longer commute in order to us a “good” school. Both of those things would have a negative impact on our family life. Our school has less in the way of extras (arts education, etc), but we can pay for a lot of private dance/music/art classes with the money that we are saving by not living in the fancier school district.

      Finally, I went to a fancy private school for middle and high school. The academics were great, but it was socially challenging to be one of the poorest students at the school (even though my parents were both professionals – we were upper middle class, just not wealthy). It also left me with a very naive sense of what the world is actually like; I actually thought that I was hard done by because my parents didn’t buy me a car for my 16th birthday. I think there’s a whole other kind of education that kids get by being at more socioeconomically diverse schools, and it’s just as important.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Also – my city has great magnet schools for high school – like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, etc, except it’s a much smaller city and so entry is much less competitive. I do think that high-school preparation matters for college, in a way that elementary and middle school just don’t. If our kids don’t get into a magnet, we would maybe consider moving to the burbs for better schools at that point. But our oldest is 4, so that point is still almost a decade away. We could be living in a totally different city by that time. It doesn’t make sense to me to buy a house based on a problem that we might have 9 years from now.

    • I haven’t been there myself (yet). But from what I’ve seen, it seems to me that: (1) schools and school districts will change in quality over the years, sometimes dramatically; and (2) every kid is different and has different needs. So I would buy in the B+ school district and then re-evaluate down the road.

  7. Related to the question above where some people recommended Peekaboo Barn – I know it’s been asked here before, but what are good apps (especially for travel, given the season) for very young ones?

    • Peekaboo I see you by BabyFirst – this little blue guy who hides behind items. Many of the BabyFirst apps are good.

      Toddler Counting 123 (looks like a caterpillar with the numbers 123 on the icon) – touch the pictures to count them

      A simple matching game – play it yourself to make sure it’s truly simple. On Android a good one is “toddler memory light”

      Balloon Pop – touch the balloons to pop them

      As they get older (closer to 2), Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and Monkey Preschool Fix-It, although you might have to help them with some of the harder puzzles.

    • Anonymous says:

      On an iPhone you can create little videos using the “Memories” function in Photos.

  8. Talk to me about space heaters and safety?

    We have a playroom in our basement that our son and nanny spend most of their indoor time in. But the basement is considerably chillier than the rest of the house, and while it hasn’t gotten to be intolerably cold, it can’t get to a truly comfortable temp on very very cold days. I would love to have a space heater down there but I’m terrified of fires and other safety issues. There are a few spots we can put it that are out of baby’s reach, and we are willing to spend money to ensure that it has every safety feature possible (auto shut off, auto temp control, etc). I’m still nervous though. Anyone have thoughts or brand recommendations?

  9. Cornellian says:

    I have this sweater. It is very comfortable, but if you’re long torsoed/armed, the arms are a bit short. Just short enough to be awkward.

  10. Douglas Plush says:

    Santa’s supposed to be bringing my oldest a large stuffed dog but I’m having a hard time finding anywhere that sells the 32″ size from Douglas Plush. The Douglas website itself doesn’t ship to Canada. Any ideas? Struck out at Macys, Nordstrom etc.

  11. daycare gift question says:

    Our son has been in daycare a few months (he is a toddler) and loves. We mainly know his one teacher and the coordinator of the daycare. The kids sometimes have classes together, and it seems like they have a some change in the teacher lineup. I am embarrassed to say that I honestly have no idea how many teachers are truly in his class and who they are. Different people are there when we pick him up, because the “school” day ends at 4 and we pay for the extended pickup so I can go after work. This daycare doesn’t have infants. I would be happy to give gift cards but I don’t know how many to get. I was thinking of just dropping off a fruit/food basket for them to split but I know people get tired of food. Is that better than nothing? Should we just do “nothing”? I am honestly exhausted and stressed by this; it’s a busy time of year at my work and also daycare is closed from this Thursday through the New Year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask the owner or coordinator or the teacher – whoever is most senior and in-charge that you can contact and trust – for a list of names. Divide one week’s fee among however many people that is and put cash in envelopes with a thank you note or card with each person’s names on them. Give them to the owner or whoever you can and ask them to distribute them. Alternately, ask whomever is in charge for advice; it’s probably a common question.

      • Anonymous says:

        PS – If you cannot get it together before Christmas I am sure no one would be sad getting to get an unexpected gift in early January. But I would definitely do money, not food, and ideally cash and not a gift card.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a similar set up. I do gift cards for the three main classroom teachers and send muffins or chocolates for the staff room for all the teachers on another day.

  12. Daycare gifting says:

    Ask the owner/director for all the people that watch your LO so you don’t leave anyone out for the holidays.

    I’ll list out what we do for holidays but as a reference point we are in a HCOL area and daycare is our 18 month old runs about $1800/mo. This is the 3rd kid we’ve sent through daycare and is on the high end of average (but still average) for our centers.

    Main teachers (2)- $75-$100 each, cash or amazon, card from LO (scribbles)
    Floaters (3-4)- $10-15 gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts
    Other staff (lots of people switch around)- I bring breakfast (donuts/bagels) in mid December.

    Amounts vary on how long we’ve had the teacher, how much we/LO likes the teachers, budget, etc.

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