Family Friday: Non-Skid Kids’ Socks

If you’ve bought little boy or little girl socks that have the little rubber grips on the bottom, you may have noticed that they can be kind of hit or miss online. I have to say that we’ve had nothing but good luck with Old Navy and Gap brand socks. They stay on, they’re affordable, they don’t get holes, and they hold up to machine washing. So if you’re looking for something easy to buy online, I definitely recommend these socks. Many are on sale right now, too — for example, a 6-pack of non-skid crew socks for toddler/baby (pictured) is $8. Old Navy Non-Skid Socks

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. avocado says:

    Mommy drama rant ahead. My kid just started sixth grade. At the end of the summer we decided to have her test out of a level in math and take the next course instead. This is unusual but not unheard of at her school. Her best friend’s mother has just found out and is mad at me because I didn’t tell her ahead of time that we were planning to skip our daughter ahead. Apparently BFF’s family had considered doing the same thing but decided against it. The mom is angry at me because she feels that she might have decided differently if she’d known her daughter wouldn’t be the only one. Now, two weeks into the school year, BFF’s parents are considering skipping her as well, all because of what we decided to do with our child.

    The whole thing makes me crazy. Why on earth should our family’s decision have any bearing on their family’s educational decisions? And why would this mom think she has any right to advance information on our plans for our daughter? I think part of it is the fact that the advanced math placement provides an advantage on the application for a ridiculously competitive high school both girls want to attend, and part of it is that she just wants her daughter to be the star. Up until now, I have really liked these parents, but if they are going to be this competitive I don’t know how I am going to handle it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that it’s weird that the family wanted to make education decisions for their daughter based on your daughter. But the way you “handle it” is that you act like an adult and let the girls continue their friendship without revealing your feelings towards your daughter’s friend’s parents. Kill her with kindness and take your own advice – their decisions about their daughter’s education shouldn’t affect you or your daughter. I don’t think there’s any way of knowing for sure that the other parents are doing this out of competitiveness, they may have really considered the social implications for their daughter skipping ahead and not being in the same class as your daughter (you know how tight-knit friendships between 6th grade girls can be…). I actually think this is a legitimate and common consideration for parents of kids that age.

      • Anonymous says:

        One more thing…As long as you like the girl that your daughter is friends with, you keep supporting the friendship. This is something I would just move on from.

      • Cornellian says:

        Agreed that the other parents may have considered the social implications of splitting up the girls… but it seems like they could have just asked avocado what she was thinking about advancing her daughter or not. I am not looking forward to that phase of my kid’s life…

    • mascot says:

      Unless y’all had discussed it, it doesn’t sound like either family knew what they other family was doing. I’d give the benefit of the doubt and just let this go. If the one-upping continues, I also think it’s fine to say something to the other parents about not promoting competition between the kids.

    • Knope says:

      Well I don’t think it’s crazy that they considered the fact that their daughter might have been the only one in the more advanced math class in making their decision. But it is crazy that they would expect you to have anticipated their thoughts and shared your plans with them. I think it would have come off as bragging to most parents if you volunteered the fact that your daughter was testing into a more advanced math class.

      • Anonymous says:


        This. My BFF in middle/high school was super shy, she would never do this kind of program unless she had a friend. I can see the mom wishing that she knew the plan and making a decision based in part on what your kid was doing. But it’s cray cray that she’s ‘mad’ at you for not telling her.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think it’s a little ridiculous that she’s mad at you! I’m sure part of their decision was based on the social implications (being the only person in a class who is a year younger than everyone else can be tough), but to be mad at you because you didn’t share your plans is silly. The only way I can justify her being irritated is if the topic came up and you were cagey about it. As for dealing with the parents, don’t get in the way of the girls relationship, but you can certainly take a step back from this friendship!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Maybe (ok definitely) this is passive-aggressive, but I would have turned the tables on the spot. I would have been like “Oh man, I wish we had known ya’ll were considering it too, we could have worked to get them in the class together! I wish you had let me know! what a bummer, maybe it will still work out!”
      AKA THEY didn’t tell YOU either when they were thinking about it…. so who are they to talk

      As more moving forward, it’s just that- moving forward

    • Is the mom mad at YOU or just angry about the situation in general? It’s understandable that she’s angry that her daughter could have qualified for a higher math level, but only if she had followed through and pushed the school for it. The whole situation sounds weird to me–why isn’t the school testing and advancing students across the board? Why is it a backdoor, unusual move?

      As a mom of a 6th grader myself, I would be angry that the school isn’t playing fair. Either it’s an option for kids to move up or it’s not. This test should be given to all students with qualifying math scores, not just the ones with parents to advocate for them.

      From what you described, the school moved your daughter based on privilege and parental involvement. (If you hadn’t asked, she wouldn’t have been tested or moved.) And the other mom is mad because she thought about pulling out her privilege card but decided against it. Now she’s kicking herself and scrambling to make sure her daughter keeps up.

      Honestly? This mom isn’t going to be the only one to be mad at you. Most parents are going to be ticked that you knew a super secret handshake that gave your daughter an advantage that wasn’t offered to their kids. I also wouldn’t be surprised if kids in your daughter’s class are mad at her, too, especially the kids who earn similar grades and work just as hard.

      This is a stupid example, but I’ll share it. My 6 year old is in a dance class with lots of “involved” dance moms. My 6 year old is good, but that’s because her older sister dances and she’s been exposed to it. She’s not “gifted” she’s just around it. I signed her older sister up for an acro class, and since there were only two students in the class and my 6 year old was just sitting there in the lobby with her nose pressed to the window, they bent the rules and allowed her to join her sister’s class, too. When the Dance Moms found out about this mid-way through the year, there was a lot of whispering and evil eyes thrown in my direction. How did I manage to get my kid in that class?!? Why weren’t their kids asked to join?!? I was trying to make my daughter better than their girls!!! How unfair!!!

      Ridiculous? Yes. But when your kid bumps up above everyone else, parents are going to wonder how it happened and get angry. Standing up and saying, “Well, I asked and pushed for it, because my kid is good and can do it,” will only make them even more angry. You pulled out your privilege card. (I pulled out a privilege card at the studio and didn’t even think about it.) When we do that, people are going to be mad. At us. At the situation. At the institution bending the rules. It’s naïve to expect that other parents won’t be ticked.

      • avocado says:

        I definitely agree that when other parents find out about a “special” situation it tends to make them mad, which is why we try not to play up the “special” things we’ve done. I also agree that it’s not fair that parents have to pursue backdoor routes to try to get what their kids need. However, I don’t have special insider knowledge, I am just a persistent advocate for my kid. In fact, I have less knowledge of the system and the ways around it than most of the other moms seem to have.

        What I can’t say out loud in real life is that my kid has legitimate special needs that are going unacknowledged and unmet. If the district would just provide appropriate services–heck, ANY services–for my daughter and other kids like her, I wouldn’t have to try to get around the system to keep her appropriately challenged and engaged in school. We aren’t trying to get her more than everyone else so she can get into Harvard. We are just trying to keep her from turning her life into an After-School Special because she is miserable in a system that is not designed for her. Nobody would fault the mother of a child with a learning disability for trying to get her kid the right services, but for some reason doing the same thing for my kid makes me a crazy pushy mom who thinks her kid is a special snowflake.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Can you frame it as “we didn’t want to say anything until it was for sure, we didn’t want her to feel embarrassed if she didn’t pass the test” or would that make things worse?

  2. avocado says:

    The girls were probably going to get split up anyway because the school is huge. They ended up with all different classes and even different lunch periods. I don’t think it’s crazy that they considered the social implications, I just don’t know why they expected me to share our plans or why the mom is acting like I am responsible for her decision. We didn’t tell anyone because we thought it would sound obnoxious and we weren’t even sure the school would let her test or that she would pass.

    • I think they sound slightly bananas for expecting that you would share your plans with them, if they never even mentioned it in passing. Could you tell her the part in your last sentence – “We didn’t tell anyone because we thought it would sound obnoxious, and I honestly didn’t want to come off as bragging. Plus, we weren’t even sure if she would be allowed to or if she would pass. Are you concerned that Mary and Emily are going to be split up this year? Or that Mary would have preferred the security of having Emily in class with her/ having a built-in study partner?” If she’s an adult…big IF…she’ll realise how insane it sounds to imply your family is responsible for their decision.

  3. socks says:

    Speaking of socks … has anyone found socks that are relatively easy for kids to put on? My 3.5 year old twins otherwise get themselves fully dressed in the morning, but socks are a constant struggle.

    • Anonymous says:

      no advice on socks but super jealous of the twins dressing themselves. My twins turn 3 in November and I can’t wait to not have to wrangle them into tshirts and pants every morning.

    • PregLawyer says:

      When did they start being able to put clothes on? My 25-month old is pretty far from being able to put on a shirt. He can’t even really push down or pull up his pants yet. Ugh.

      • socks says:

        My daughter started getting dressed on her own somewhere between 2.5 and 3 — don’t remember exactly when. My son was a few months after 3. But it took him a lot longer to become fully competent, and it involved a few sessions of letting him getting extremely frustrated, especially while he was figuring out shirts.

  4. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    I know there was a recent thread about pumping while traveling and a cooler that worked really well – does anyone remember which one it was? Thanks so much!!

    • AwayEmily says:

      Probably depends on how long you are traveling for (ie, how much room you need). I have the Sweethome’s recommendation for a lunchbox-sized cooler and it worked great. If you transport the milk in bags instead of bottles you can fit a lot in there.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Probably the PackIt.

      • Patty Mayonnaise says:

        Thanks – this was it! It looks like these have gel in them that’s freezable. Does anyone know if that’s an issue for TSA when it’s not completely frozen? Thanks again!!

        • I was the one that posted – TSA checked it at one airport (visual only, no swabbing) and at another they did nothing.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I’ve traveled with it (but also with my kid, so it’s obvious what it is). They made me open it up and waved some thing over it but didn’t open the bottles. They didn’t give me a hard time.

        • Patty Mayonnaise says:

          Thank you!!

  5. Violet says:

    To avocado (no threading on phone, please fix this, Kat!) –

    I actually think that in the context of acting competitively with a view toward the selective high school, your having kept this quiet suggests more competitive angling than this family’s reaction. No, they’re not “entitled” to the information, but if you’re used to sharing plans around the girls’ activities and such, I’d feel a bit threatened if I were the other family about how competitive you’re being!

    I say this as someone who’s been there / done that on keeping my “strategy” for getting into some highly competitive programs (high school, summer programs, top tier college) very quiet so that I wouldn’t be one of half a dozen girls in my school with the same credentials when it came to applying to (or even knowing about) these programs. It paid off, but I know people caught on at times and it alienated some folks. Tradeoffs.

    • Yeah this was my take as well – you both are interpreting this as trying to give one girl a leg up over the other one. I read that as you’re being somewhat competitive too, and are mad she’s doing the same thing.

      Let these poor girls be friends. Even if there’s only room for one girl from your school, it’s still not a zero sum game here. Please don’t turn it into a “win/lose” situation and ruin this friendship. Girls need strong allies, not more competitors.

      • “Girls need strong allies, not more competitors.”

        YES. A MILLION TIMES YES. Let’s raise little Rory Gilmores, not Paris Gellers. The world needs as many bright, dedicated, empowering and encouraging women as it can get.

  6. avocado says:

    We really weren’t trying to be competitive by not sharing our plans, and we would actually have had to reach out proactively to share with this family because they were out of town when we decided to have her test. Our MO has always been not to volunteer information about our educational decisions because we have made a lot of unconventional choices that could make us sound obnoxious or lead to resentment or bullying. We don’t withhold information when directly asked, but we don’t like to draw attention to things. Everyone eventually finds out anyway.

    • You’ve done nothing wrong here, and that other family is being kind of obnoxious. Like you said, they are not entitled to know about your decisions.

    • Triangle Pose says:

      Right…but can’t you see that you are presuming her intentions when you say “part of it is the fact that the advanced math placement provides an advantage on the application for a ridiculously competitive high school both girls want to attend, and part of it is that she just wants her daughter to be the star”?

      Your keeping it a secret could be read the exact same way – you want your daughter to have the advantage in getting into the high school and you want her to be the star. She probably thinks the exacty same things about you in keeping it quiet to them. I’m not saying she’s justified in being mad at your or expressing any sort of anger toward you, but I think you’re not seeing the duality of your own actions.

      Esp considering you admit that you have made “a lot of unconventional choices that could make us sound obnoxious or lead to resentment or bullying.”

      • I say this kindly but the fact that she decided not to do the test actually sounds like the opposite of competitive/wanting her daughter to be the star here. And from her perspective that’s probably exactly how your actions appear. I don’t think you owed her any heads up – maybe it would have been nice for your daughter’s sake so she could have a friend in a new class – but I would just try to smooth this over and explain that it didn’t occur to you to reach out and you’d be delighted if the girls ended up in class together after all.

        • avocado says:

          Hmm, it didn’t really occur to me that the other mom might think I was the one acting competitive. Ordinarily I would agree that not having her daughter take the test would indicate a lack of competitiveness, but these are the parents whose older daughter did skip a level in math, who have their kids tutored in two foreign languages and to get ahead in math, who appear to provide a little too much assistance with science fair projects, etc. I was actually quite surprised when I learned that the younger daughter had not tested out. When she said, “Why didn’t you tell us? We thought about having Sally skip and decided she wasn’t ready, but if we’d known Suzie was doing it then we’d have had Sally do it too” it just sounded like, “Hey, no fair, Suzie got something Sally didn’t.”

          I like your suggested approach. It is simple and honest. Thanks.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Completely agree. The optics and the outcome (though not necessarily the intent– only you know your own intent) of what you are doing line up pretty much exactly with what you are accusing them of doing. That’s why the other mom is upset. Because by keeping quiet you look like you’re hiding the lengths you will go to to give your child advantages over her child. If the other girl’s family were really trying to make their daughter a star, wouldn’t they have originally enrolled her in the math class, regardless of what you were doing?

  7. Totally agree on Old Navy socks! They’ve been my go-to for years.

    I posted this on the main site, but ON has a bunch of cute stuff in the toddler girl section. And I’m kind of in love with the color palette and want it for myself.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Yes! The mustard yellow and that dark purple-red are both so cute. I’m so happy to finally have options other than the constant pastel onslaught of the Carters girls section.

  8. Does anyone have experience with pediatric neurology referrals for milestone delays? My 9 month old is not sitting up or crawling. He is very small on the growth chart, though he is gaining slightly (started at 3 percentile for length and weight, now in the 5th for length, 20th for weight). He will put pressure on his legs, but he is not standing. We got a referral today, which I am grateful and happy for, just wondering what to expect.

    • Cornellian says:

      Following, nothing valuable to add, unfortunately. Mine is 8 and change and not getting up on hands and knees or crawling yet.

    • Have you already gotten a referral to EI for an evaluation? That would be my first step, or in parallel to trying to get an appointment. I know the developmental peds can have really long wait lists (particularly anyone who takes insurance) in many cities. But regardless of any potential underlying cause, you can get a jump start on PT. In most states, this should be completely free for both the evaluation and services, if approved, and EI is typically fast as they have a deadline of around 45 days from your call to getting the evaluation complete. They can also check for other delays while they are at it.
      Good luck!

      • Yes, we got both referrals at the same time. Thanks for your advice. Does PT usually involve activities to do at home? Or in-clinic appointments? This is not where my head should be, but I cannot imagine scheduling regular appointments given our commutes between work and daycare…

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Ages ago, a friend’s son had to do some PT to correct some sort of neck issue. I remember that she would meet up with the therapist in a nearby park (i.e., not in an office setting). I imagine that there would be a handful of appointments up front for assessment and progress updates, but that there would also be exercises that you would do at home with him, and the appointments would gradually space out.

          Good luck!

        • We did PT for torticollis, so different issue, but my understanding from working with the therapist was that their treatment plans were similar for all issues, and just tailored based on frequency/specific treatment for each diagnosis. We had an initial one hour assessment and were given exercises to do at home. We then had follow-up appointments to assess improvement, discuss concerns, and change the at-home exercises as needed. The first follow-up appointment was within 2 weeks of the initial consultation, and then they got farther apart as we progressed (so one month, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, etc.).

        • My son receives a number of services which is great, but also really time consuming. I spent hours on paperwork last weekend. At least in my area, they do try to send therapists to the home or daycare on a parent’s request. However, I will caveat that by saying physical therapists were in shorter supply so it was easier to find if you were willing to bring them to the gym. All of the evaluations were at home.
          Do you suspect a larger issue to involve a neurologist at this point? I think it can be challenging to pinpoint causes of a delay at this age. But you can certainly start the therapies which will be necessary regardless

          • Redux says:

            I don’t have any suspicions of a larger issue, no, but I don’t know that much about pediatric neurology. His fine motor skills are great and he is happy and interactive, plays peek-a-boo, responds to his name, and generally interacts appropriately with others.

            It is pretty obvious that he has a delay, though. My daughter hit her gross motor milestones well earlier, and the little 6 month old at his daycare is his same size and already sitting up, so that’s a little jarring to see them next to each other when they are 3 months apart. He is pretty small weight and height wise and I do wish he’d jump up a little on that growth curve, but he was 3 weeks early and seems to be maintaining his curve at least. He has started to eat A LOT of solids, so I suspect he’ll do some growing in the next several weeks. He does put pressure on his legs and can easily do tummy time, he just prefers to roll everywhere and be at rest on his back, no matter how many times we try to get him to hang out on his belly or sit up. So, yes and no? I don’t know what there is to know.

    • Anonymous says:

      My niece was not crawling even at 12 months, they did PT (sessions at a clinic and exercises at home). Now she is a perfectly active 2.5 year old running around!

    • No experience with referrals but my kiddo didn’t crawl until 10.5 months, didn’t pull herself up until 14 months, and didn’t walk until 1 day shy of 18 months and she’s totally caught up now with gross motor skills. She was on the small side for her first 12 months and is now squarely average-to-tall. Anecdata, I know, but hopefully this is a little comfort for you.

      • Similar here. My daughter has been ahead on everything except for gross motor skills. She met her gross motor skill milestones every time at the the end of the chart where it was suggested to get help. ie, she started crawling a week before her first birthday and started walking at 17.5 months. Each time her pedi was like…if she’s not crawling by a year, we’ll get help, if she’s not walking by 18 months, we’ll get help. She was also very late on sitting up by herself. And she is completely fine now. That isn’t to say not to monitor it, but I wouldn’t think that not crawling at 9 months is any cause for concern unless there are other gross motor skills lacking. Also, I thought an occupational therapist rather than physical therapist was usually referred in situations like that, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I hope that is encouraging to you!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I’ll just chime in to add that my kid was also a late bloomer in terms of gross motor skills. Didn’t roll over until 8 months, didn’t crawl until 10/11 months, didn’t walk unassisted until 15/16 months. It’s just anecdata, and you should definitely get an assessment if you/ped are concerned, but wanted to give you some comfort.

    • Redux says:

      Thanks for all these reassurances! You really know how to comfort a mama. My ped was more concerned about not sitting up at 9 months (and less so about not crawling), and I’m happy to have some professional help if we can encourage him to develop that skill. Still, I am very grateful for the anecdata about normal development with milestone delays. You guys are so great.

      I actually wonder if some of this is just birth order related? We spent a lot of one-on-one time with my first. She was with a small nanny-share 3 days a week and home with us 4 days a week (my husband and I each worked a 4-day work week, on different days). We spent so much time just with her and worked through all sorts of activities geared toward her development. My baby totally gets the shaft as he goes to a larger daycare 5-days a week, and when we are home we are mostly doing toddler-centered things that he (happily) tags along with. When he gets frustrated on the floor we are much quicker to pick him up because we’re busily keeping a number of balls in the air. He catches naps on the go, spends more time in the car, and rarely is alone with anyone one-on-one, apart from nursing or night wake-ups. I guess I feel guilty that our lifestyle is so different and maybe that’s part of his delays.


      • Anon in NYC says:

        Something that my daughter’s daycare did was to prop my daughter up with 2 boppy’s so that she was sitting but fully supported. I don’t know if that would help or hurt in your situation, but I think it helped her be more comfortable sitting and she was sitting unsupported by around 6 months.

      • In my experience, the not weight bearing and not sitting were the areas of greater concern.
        And I have twins – one with delays, one who hit all the milestones – so it’s honestly not your fault

      • Don’t blame yourself, could be so many things – personality of the baby, low muscle tone, etc. My son had neurology and EI (PT and OT). He’s graduated from neurology and PT so now just OT through EI. He also wasn’t sitting up unsupported at 9 months, I think he finally got there at 13 months. He starting walking around 19 months.

        Now at 2 years he’s on track for gross motor, but still needs some OT help. Agree neuro is very conservative at that stage and will want to wait and see. They suggested more PT time which did the trick on the gross motor side.

        For us the PT and OT through EI came to our house, or will go to daycare. It is extra time in a busy two working parent household, but they give you lots of things to work on and also supply ideas for daycare that are easy to incorporate even with multiple kids to keep track of. It’s been 100% worth the extra time to know the limited time we have during the day with our son is spent promoting activities that will get him closer to his development milestones. Also the impact is tangible, some of the improvements we could see in a matter of days.

    • Yes going through this with my 8 month old. We kind of went the backwards route with it – referred to PT and now EI, and then were referred to neurology (and ultimately genetics). I think neurology tends to be conservative at this age. For us, they explained they could do an MRI but don’t like to that young and try to do a “wait and see” approach because they knew we were already in PT.

  9. anne-on says:

    I’m not sure whether to be happy or anxious that it’s Friday. I came back from some super intense overseas work travel to a home renovation project, school starting, my husband leaving for his own long stretch of work travel, and my son inevitably got sick (and got me sick as well). We’re both on medication and on the mend, but I am REALLY not looking forward to a weekend of solo parenting, and all of next week without my husband to boot. And with the antibiotics tea is the strongest thing I can drink…yay. I foresee A LOT of screen time over the next 7 days and begging other parents for play dates so I can have some adult conversation.

    • Katala says:

      Oof, this sounds rough. Baby’s been sick and got me sick too (just a cold, but still) so I’ve been dragging all week and am having a love/hate anticipation for the weekend. And my husband is around and taking up the slack!

      Good luck! sounds like the perfect situation for playdates and screen time. Maybe even a babysitter or mother’s helper for a couple of hours so you can get a jump start on the week?

  10. Boston Legal Eagle says:

    The last day in the life featured a mom who had her parents watch the kids, which leads me to my question: For those of you who do or considered using parents or in-laws for childcare, would you recommend this or do the potential cons outweigh the cost-saving pros?

    We are in the position to potentially have my dad watch our toddler son a few days a week and decrease our daycare days (and thus, the cost!) to 3 days a week. We initially thought this was a brilliant idea and even proposed it to my parents but now are having second thoughts. I love my dad and he is super responsible but he and I are very similar personality-wise and he tends to bring out a lot of my own anxieties. I am afraid that if he were here more often, he would be more in our business in terms of rearranging our food, furniture, son’s toys etc. and commenting on our parenting choices. Which, I totally get, he’d be doing this for free basically, so he should be able to feel comfortable. But… it would annoy me! I don’t want to ruin our relationship by resenting him and I also don’t want to change the relationship between our son and him, and make it more of an obligatory responsibility vs. the fun grandparenting role. The other concern is finding coverage for him when he is sick, traveling or can’t make it for some other reason (he’s a 45 min drive right now). My mom is still working so not in a position to help during the week – she is usually the ones who talks him down and keeps the peace between us.

    For those who’ve been there – did you find the above concerns to be true for you? Did the cost-saving make up for this? FWIW, we can afford 5 days a week at daycare and still pay our other bills, contribute to retirement, some savings, etc. This would just allow us to save more, and possibly get our house downpayment faster.

    The other consideration is that we’d like a second child in the next few years. I think 2 would be too much for my dad, but we would then also be in a position of paying for full-time daycare for 2!

    Thanks in advance.

    • mascot says:

      Our parents are great for emergencies, school holidays, sick days, date nights, and overnights. Finding coverage for those occasions was harder for us than finding daily care so we kept the grandparent role out of the daily care category. Can your dad help out on some of the other days when you need “emergency” care?

    • I feel like there was a dedicated post about this. We were in a similar situation to you, and ultimately decided against using my in-laws. The two main reasons were

      – I needed to treat it more like a business transaction – we would have had to agree on their vacation times and how much notice for sick days and all of that. They hadn’t thought about any of that, so when I spelled out they wouldn’t be able to take a friend to a doctor appt if it was scheduled on a Thurs or Fri, or they couldn’t just leave for a long weekend without clearing it with us first, it was a little bit of a shock to them.

      – I didn’t feel like DH would be comfortable telling them no. And I didn’t think they’d handle “no” well. For instance, we wanted to stick to the daycare nap and food schedule, which means they couldn’t really do all-day trips. I don’t think they would have liked having that “restriction” on their time with grandkid. Also, I wanted them to discipline the kids if they acted up. They were still thinking about cute baby stage and couldn’t fathom the idea of time outs or limited sweets.

      When we added both of those up, it wasn’t worth the cost savings to ruin what is a really good grandparent relationship. This way, they can spoil the kids whenever they see them and still get to be “Grandpa”. They don’t have to worry about discipline or schedules or whatever, and we don’t have to worry about all the additional meddling.

      • PregLawyer says:

        I think it also really depends on your relationship with the grandparents. My mom takes my two-year old pretty much once a week on a somewhat set schedule, but we still pay for full-time daycare. She wants to travel in her retirement and we didn’t want to have to scramble to find back-up for days she was gone.

        Even though we rely on full-time daycare, we are still having a ton of issues with boundaries and decision-making. I’m actually looking into getting some sort of family counseling because it just keeps being a problem. She has now convinced herself that she is entitled to one day a week (but only when she’s not on vacation, and when it works for her), and that if we decide he needs to do something else that day she initiates a fight. So, yeah, the grandparent thing is complicated.

    • POSITA says:

      We’ve set it up so that a grandparent watches our girls for one afternoon a week. At the end of the afternoon we all have a family dinner. It’s a nice tradition and keeps the girls in a close relationship with their grandparents.

      That said, the grandparents aren’t nearly as reliable as I’d like. They know that we both have to work and don’t have backup childcare for that one afternoon a week. Nonetheless, they just let us know that they will be out of town for the next 4 of 5 scheduled afternoons. We’ll need to find childcare for each. They make a big deal out of having this afternoon time scheduled for them, but don’t seem to appreciate the problem it creates when they flake out.

    • Anon for this says:

      My parents (mostly my dad) watched both of our kids for about six months each after I returned to work. It was amazing, but I would not do it if you don’t honestly think it’s the best care option. My dad is a natural-born baby whisperer, and also both very helpful and very respectful of our family’s boundaries. I treasure the strong bond that both of our kids were able to forge with my parents during this time – especially important as we do not actually live in the same area (my parents are retired, and we rented an apartment for them to live in near us both times – as a result, this arrangement actually saved us no money). There were occasional moments of tension with my mom, mostly because they watched the kids in our house and she kept trying to rearrange things or buy stuff that I didn’t really want in our house.

      FWIW, I think the boundaries stuff was easy in our situation in part because infants don’t raise the same kind of questions around behavior, discipline, etc. For babies, we just wanted them to be loved and snuggled and played with, which is also what my parents wanted to do. Now that the kids are older, there is more tension between their desire to be the “fun grandparents” and our belief that kids need structure and limits. Those tensions are easily managed when grandparents are visiting, and our older kid has even stayed with them for a week at a time. She gets all the ice cream she wants and is otherwise wildly indulged, which is fine for a week but would not be ok in a more regular caregiving situation.

      • avocado says:

        +1 to all of this: “Now that the kids are older, there is more tension between their desire to be the ‘fun grandparents’ and our belief that kids need structure and limits. Those tensions are easily managed when grandparents are visiting, and our older kid has even stayed with them for a week at a time. She gets all the ice cream she wants and is otherwise wildly indulged, which is fine for a week but would not be ok in a more regular caregiving situation.”

        My mom is the primary caregiver for my sister’s children, and with them she misses out on the fun of being grandma because she is basically a third parent and has to maintain discipline and structure. With my daughter she is just grandma, so she gets to let loose and spoil her as much as she wants to.

    • Anonymous says:

      TLDR: Grandparents were caregivers for us for one year, two days a week. Each grandparent took a day- we are fortunate that all grandparents are retired, in good health, and live 10 – 45 minutes a day. It worked great.

      The long story:

      Either myself or my husband were home until kiddo was about 14 months. I am in Canada where the availability of daycare spots dramatically opens up at 18 months. Our initial plan was to have grandparents split care 2/3 days a week each until kiddo was 18 months and went to daycare. We then changed our minds, deciding this was too much because a) Both sets of grandparents like to travel, so when one set is away, the other set would be full time and b) We were concerned we may not get a daycare spot at 18 months.

      We ended up hiring a nanny 3 days a week (found a family to share with that only needed 2 days), and each grandparent set took one day a week. This ended up working really, really great. Especially when we didn’t get a daycare spot at 18 months where we wanted.

      I think 1 – 2 days a week of grandparent care is fantastic. It isn’t overwhelming for anyone. That being said, we are lucky that everyone was happy to stick to our regular routines (napping etc.). The grandparents that live out of town-ish came to us on their day, and the other set live right on the way to my husband’s work so he would actually drop kiddo off there for the day. We have a full crib set up there, blackout curtains etc. We are now in daycare full time and I am happy we did what we did for a year. Kiddo loves her grandparents so much and doesn’t bad an eye when we leave her for a night with them. As selfish as it sounds, it also gives your parents guaranteed time with kiddo a week, which leaves your weekends to spend as an immediate family unit if you would prefer.

      Only downside-ish we ever had was I would feel guilty if there wasn’t much food in the house for my parents to eat/it was a mess, but I got over that quickly.

      Even with such a great experience, I would not be comfortable with any grandparents providing full-time care for kiddo long term. I want them to enjoy their retirement!

    • Everlong says:

      My mom has watched our almost 2 year old while we work and will watch our newborn when I return to work as well. It works for us for a number of reasons, mostly boiling down to her personality and the circumstances.

      I work a strictly 40 hour a week job with conventional hours. My husband typically works 4 days a week, 10 hour days and second shift but he has weeks where he works day shift. His schedule changes constantly with little to no notice. Daycare would have been impossible for us and we wouldn’t be in the position to afford other in home care. I don’t really remember having a direct conversation, but it was always understood that my mom would be our full-time care provider.

      It’s worked out very well for us. Others mentioned that it can be hard for grandparents to adjust to not being able to do their own thing all day or help others as needed. This was not an issue for us as my mom only quit working 2 weeks before the birth of my son. She never had time to acclimate to life without such responsibility. My mom is also amazing in respecting our boundaries, sometimes to a fault, so she would never try to come in and change things. She has a tremendous amount of respect for my husband as well. Any time she has concerns about anything with my son, she approaches it carefully and compassionately. She also has been known to say that we are her responsibility and priority right now, so even last minute schedule changes that do interfere with her personal life, she takes in stride.

      Your concerns about resentment are very valid. I am careful to choose my battles and just let some things go. My son definitely gets more screen time than I would like with my mom and sometimes his diet with her just boggles my mind, but I know these are not things to lose sleep over in the long run. He has 1:1 attention and an amazing bond with his grandparents. I am OK with marginally more screen time and sugar than he’d get otherwise to have the benefits of a strong and loving relationship with his grandparents.

      Emergency care hasn’t been much of a concern. I treat it the same way I would if my child was sick. My husband or I take off work. It happens very rarely so it’s not an issue,

      As for the sacrifice on the side of grandparents not being able to be as fun and indulgent, we talked about this early on. My mom understands that she has tremendous responsibility beyond a typical grandparent as what she does has a daily impact on his life. Accordingly, he still gets spoiled but it’s budgeted appropriately, if that makes sense. They still go to the toy story and he leaves with a new toy, but it’s during a time when my husband is working more and she has more time to pass with toddler.

      A lot of it comes down to communication and personality on all fronts. It works for us, but we’re very, very lucky. If you proceed, I would address your concerns directly with your dad and get his take on it.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I haven’t tried it, but with a baby on the way and a MIL contemplating retirement, it’s something we’re starting to think about.
      For me, it would largely boil down to: Does the daycare you’re using for the other days accommodate “drop-ins”? As in, if your in-law cancelled, could you pay an increased daily rate to your daycare to use them that day so that your child is going somewhere they’re familiar with and it’s not a last minute scramble?

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Thanks for all of the insight and sharing your experiences, everyone. This was very helpful. My parents do come on the weekends often for date nights/random errands we do and my dad has been our emergency back-up care for sick days and daycare closures, which has been great as we can’t always stay home from work. I agree with those above who said that this would probably be easier if our son was younger and there weren’t additional discipline concerns that might make the caregiver role tricky. I am not sure what our daycare’s policy is on drop-ins – we’ll have to ask if we decide to pursue this further.

      I am leaning more towards having my dad remain as just our back-up because I don’t know how well I would be able to enforce boundaries. I respect my dad, even though I don’t agree with everything he says, and I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings because I know that he has good intentions. My husband also doesn’t feel comfortable talking to my dad about backing off from commenting on our parenting/lifestyle. I think it would create more of a business arrangement and I don’t want our relationship to turn into that.

      We’ll have to think about this some more, I’ll keep all of your experiences in mind.

  11. pumpingquestion says:

    Is it common to have imbalance in pumping output between the two sides? I’m pumping both sides (second day at office) and this am, I got 1.5 ounces one side and 3.5 ounces on the other. I’ve alternated feeding both sides I think pretty equally at night, but perhaps I fed from the side where it’s lower. Baby is going through sleeping regression, so we’re snacking like every 1.5 hours at night. Should my afternoon pump be pretty equal since I’ve pumped both sides this am?

    Also, I’m sure this varies drastically for many reasons, but I got about 5 ounces total this am. I pumped with the spectra for about 7.5 minutes. Is this normal? How much output per pump session should I try to get for a 4 month old? She usually only eats 2 to 2.5 oz from a bottle every 2 hours or so..

    • POSITA says:

      Yes, it’s normal to have different output from each side. In addition to one side producing more, your baby may have eaten more from the lower producing side at the last pump. If I’m getting weirdly different amounts at a particular pump, I will sometimes swap the flanges on my pump halfway through the pump just to be sure that the valve and apparatus are working correctly.

      My pumping volumes varied drastically depending on the time of day, how long it had been since I last nursed/pumped, how much sleep I’d gotten and how hydrated I was. Sometimes I could get more than 10 oz from a morning pump. Sometimes I would only get 1.5 oz from a 10 PM pump. Huge range. In general, morning pumps should produce more than afternoon and evening pumps because of hormone fluctuations.

      I would expect a 4 mo to be eating 4 oz from a bottle every 2-4 hours or so–2 oz seems like a tiny volume for a 4 mo for a meal.

    • lucy stone says:

      That’s a pretty good output and a normal split. My right side is consistently about 25% less than my left side. I exclusively pumped to start and it always was this way. I’m weaning from the pump now, or trying to, and I still have a big disparity.

      Try to make up what your daughter drinks while you are away. The weirdos at KellyMom say that should be no more than 1.5 oz per hour, but my baby thought that was junk and started drinking 5 oz every 3 hours pretty early on. I usually tried to pump for 15 minutes at the beginning.

      • anne-on says:

        My lacataion consultant referred to it as the ‘meal’ boob and the ‘snack’ boob. Apparently it is very common!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      So common! I regularly had a 2+ oz difference between sides at every pumping session.

    • It was normal for me to have different output between the two sides. That was especially true if I most recently fed from the lower-producing side (or fed from that side first), but IIRC, I also had one side that typically just produced more.

      As for “how much,” that varies too. You may get different amounts at different times of day. I pumped much more in the mornings than later in the day, even after nursing at night and first thing in the morning. I think the recommendation is usually to pump until empty in order to keep up demand and to make sure you’re getting the fatty milk in there. Everyone pumps at different speeds–I needed about 20 minutes to pump to empty, but that doesn’t mean you should pump for 20 minutes.

    • Katala says:

      Agree with all that different output is normal, both between sides, between times and between days. 7.5 minutes seems short to me (I need a minimum of 20 mins, which includes setting up/putting away, so probably 13-14 minutes minimum of pumping) but if you were empty at that point, that’s what matters. I’ve also heard good things about the spectra, maybe it’s faster than my PISA.

      My guy is a huge eater and would take 4-5oz every 3 hours or so. He would likely eat as much as we offered though, so he got approx 15 oz/day at daycare (3 bottles) because that was what I could reliably get from 2 pumping sessions. Now at 8 months I’m lucky to get 10 oz from 2 sessions and he’s getting a bottle or 2 of formula a day. He always drinks every drop – event the 8 oz formula bottles, and will eat 2 4oz BM bottles, and 1 4oz and 1 8oz of formula in a 9 hour stay at daycare. This seems like a lot of food but they say he eats it all!

    • Anonymous says:

      Normal to have different output. My lefty has always been an underachiever. My DD is 6 months and drinks 4oz about every 3 hours throughout the day. My supply is highest in the morning (this is pretty normal) and lower as the day goes on. I use the spectra and I only pump 7 minutes BUT I’ve always had high supply, so I get about 8oz in the morning, 5oz each during my other two pumping sessions.

    • ElisaR says:

      totally normal – that’s not even that drastic of a difference…..

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Chiming in re: normalcy — I had a mighty righty and a lazy lefty (TMI)!

    • Edna Mazur says:

      My right side, for three different babies, has always outdone my left. Usually by about double. Just to pile on the TMI train…

  12. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    Is anyone else having trouble with the Old Navy website? (I’ve also had a lot of issues with Gap & BR lately too…) This could be on my end of course!

  13. Help! We’re having my daughter’s birthday party this weekend with 20 family members, 7 of which are kids. I need ideas for feeding a crowd with realllly basic tastes in food (both kids and adults).

    I had originally planned on doing a big “Sunday dinner” type meal with meatballs and a baked potato bar. However, I’m a “do as much ahead of time as humanly possible” type of hostess, and my DH is working tomorrow. Waiting until Sunday to do all the cooking would stress me out a lot, and so would prepping a big meal tomorrow while taking care of both kids.

    Is it a total cop-out to grill burgers and hotdogs and have picnic food? It doesn’t seem very special, but mama knows her limitations.

    • Blueberry says:

      Totally fine, all the kids care about is the birthday cake anyway :)

    • Or get the Italian comfort food catered – I do that at most parties!

    • mascot says:

      A tray of Chick-fil-a nuggets is always a hit, regardless of age. This is my go-to food for parties since you can warm them up at the last minute.

    • Liquid Crystal says:

      Picnic food sounds fine to me!

      • Katala says:

        +1 picnic/BBQ food is what my extended family did a lot for gatherings so now it reminds me of fun family times. Plus, kind of a send-off to summer that could become a tradition for your kiddo’s late summer bday!

    • Kid birthday parties are not the place for special food beyond exciting cake decorations (IF you want to) – what self-respecting young child is going to eat food tainted with spices or exotic ingredients? I mean, garlic in the mac and cheese could start a riot. So I endorse keeping it verrry simple.

    • Not a cop-out at all! Lighting the grill always feels special to me, no matter what we cook.

    • Grilling in the backyard is so ingrained as part of my culture that I don’t even understand this question.

    • Um I would kind of prefer it if you didnt’ give my young kids meatballs! how old are the kids? That sounds messy! Grill! I think that’s way better.

  14. Book help says:

    Book recommendations please – recipient is a 9 year old boy who just devoured the Harry Potter series (and loved it) and is quiet but into robots and sports.

    • ElisaR says:

      my nephew is about this age and is obsessed with the Captain Underpants series. I can’t speak for the quality of writing or content – but I’m also of the opinion that kids reading at all is a positive. There may be some controversy with this series…. can anybody else weigh in?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Neil Gaiman’s the graveyard book

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I say this as the parent of a seven-year-old boy. We’ve done the early harry potters but feel like he’s not ready for book 4 and beyond content-wise. He currently reads captain underpants and diary of a wimpy kid, so I would think that an older child who read ALL of the harry potter books could do Graveyard Book (sort of a “coming of age” story about a boy without parents, much like harry, not any darker than the later potter books, some supernatural elements, etc.)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Maybe Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Not robot/sports related, but a cute series.

    • Artemis Fowl Series, Percy Jackson series, or Eragon series? As an avid Harry Potter fan, I enjoyed all of these and they are age appropriate for a 9yo.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^second percy jackson

        • Spirograph says:

          Third Percy Jackson, although the writing is nowhere near as good as Harry Potter. Also

          Phantom Tollbooth
          Rumo and his Miraculous Adventures (I haven’t read it in a while and some of the reviews say it’s a little violent, but probably no worse than Harry Potter.)

          • avocado says:

            The Phantom Tollbooth is absolutely wonderful. A lot of young Harry Potter fans I know also enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

    • PregLawyer says:

      Is the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown too old for him? That was great.

      • Spirograph says:

        I just finished this series (I’m behind the times)! I think it’s probably a little too old for a 9 year old, but I’d definitely let a middle schooler tackle it.

        This is totally obscure, but I just remembered a book I loved as a kid — I Want to Go Home! by Gordon Korman. I read it approximately a bajillion times in elementary school.

        And enthusiastic yes! to everything below, especially Roald Dahl. Also, Golden Compass series? It has some dark themes (and it’s extremely anti-Church if you read between the lines) but at the level a 9-year-old would read, it’s a fun adventure story.

        Redwall series by Brian Jacques? I remember my brother really enjoying those, but never read them, myself.

        I have a lot of thoughts on children’s and YA literature. They’re still basically my favorite genre. :)

        • +1 to Redwall and Roald Dahl!
          If they can handle Golden Compass, they can probably handle The Hobbit – I remember devouring it as a straightforward adventure story when I was 9 or 10. Wait a few years, then give them Lord of the Rings.

    • What were those sports books that every library had in the 80s? I think they were all by Matt Christopher? There were a million of them with titles like “The Kid Who Played First Base” and “The Hockey Comeback Kid” or whatever. They might be a little young, but if he likes sports…

      What about other children’s classics? The Borrowers, Boxcar Children, Tom Sawyer, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Last of the Mohicans, Indian in the Cupboard, Jungle Book, Doctor Doolittle, Call of the Wild, Where the Red Fern Grows, Stuart Little, Wrinkle in Time, Little Prince, Black Beauty, The Hobbit, Phantom Tollbooth, Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty, Lion Witch and Wardrobe, etc. All of the Roald Dahl.

    • Anonymous says:

      My HP obsessed boy LOVED the first book in a new series: William Wenton and the Impossible Puzzle.

      Amz ‘s recs based on that book have similarly been hits: Blackthorn Key, Shadows of Sherwood.

  15. Book help says:

    He blew through the Diary Of a Wimpy Kid books about 2 years ago so i think he’s past that point now, reading-level wise. Same with Captain Underpants.

  16. Anonanonanon says:

    I just want to say that IT IS FRIDAY and I have checked a lot of unpleasant/procrastinated work-related tasks off my list today (everything from problem-solving efforts that required large amounts of brain power and effort, to unpleasant forms I needed to fill out). Just have to make it through my son’s baseball game tonight (and the uncomfortable interaction with my ex-husband) and I have officially survived the week!

    Thanks to everyone who gave me advice about being more straight forward with the doc re: all the vomiting the world. They said the ketones aren’t a worry because I’m gaining enough weight so to just keep doing my best with hydration and hope it passes as I get further into second trimester. I also took ya’lls’ advice and took my phenergan at night and it definitely made me feel better until about 10:30 am this morning, which allowed me to gain momentum with the previously-mentioned work tasks.

  17. Spectra pumping says:

    Just starting to pump – for those with Spectra S2, what setting do you use and for how long?

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