Organizing Thursday: Non-Slip Velvet Scarf Organizer

We are about to enter my favorite season: fall. One of my favorite parts of my favorite season is wearing scarves. Not scarves that are all utility, like you have to wear in the dead of winter, but fashion scarves. (OK, sometimes they can have a dual purpose of actually keeping you warm.) I can barely resist buying a great scarf, but I have a lot of problems storing them. I really dislike the scarf hangers where you have to shove the scarf through a little hole, and I don’t have great “stick-to-it-iveness” when I have to fold the scarf before putting it away. These hangers let you just drape it over the hook. I think what you trade off by not having to wrinkle it, you lose in closet space, but if you have nice scarves then it could be worth it. A pair of these scarf hangers is $6.48 at Amazon, eligible for Prime and 5% off. Non-Slip Velvet Scarf Organizer

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  1. I was thinking about yesterday’s discussion of HW in kindergarten. I agree it’s absolutely absurd but like the OP it never would occur to me to talk to just not do it. There seems to be a fine line though between determining when it’s appropriate to advocate for your child and also teaching them to listen to their teacher and follow the rules at school. For those of you that say your kids aren’t going to do the hw- how does your kid not get confused about when they have to do what the teacher says vs. when they don’t?

    • AwayEmily says:

      Great question. Following.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you talk to the teacher. You don’t just say “nope” you have a discussion about what’s going on and how you can fix it. And then you tell kid “ya gotta do what teacher says at school and what I say at home.” I also think it’s worth bringing the issue of homework for kindergarteners to the PTA and school board.

    • avocado says:

      This has always been a struggle with my 11-year-old. She is so afraid to get in trouble at school that she follows the letter of the law to a fault and misses out on opportunities to get individualized help, ask questions, etc. The key is to make the kid understand that the teacher is on board with what the kid is supposed to be doing, even if it’s different from what the rest of the class is being told. For example, if you and the teacher agree that the kid should be excused from homework, bring the kid into the room at the end of the meeting and have the teacher explain the decision directly to the child. Our elementary school had a rule that homework should take no more than ten minutes per grade each night. If the kid spent longer than that, the parent was supposed to have the child stop working and e-mail the teacher to explain what had happened and that the work would be completed the following day. I had to invoke this rule a couple of times, and reminded my kid that we were actually following the school rule by not finishing the homework.

    • I’m the one who called the teacher and she instead “assigned” reading books. I just explained that the worksheets are there if she wants to do them, but the teacher said her homework is to read together. So we’re still following what the teacher says.

      Maybe it’s harder in older grades, but my goal isn’t to have my kids blindly follow every rule (says the habitual rule-follower). I want them to think objectively and push back if rules don’t make sense. So as they get older, I’ll try to teach the concept of weighing harm vs good, and then finding an appropriate channel to fix things. This is just one anecdote I’ll use to help illustrate that.

      • I of course want my kids to learn to advocate for themselves when appropriate, but I can easily see a 10 year old deciding it doesn’t make sense (based on their judgment) to have to do math hw or read a chapter a week, especially if they are a kid who school isn’t really their thing and by starting to teach them it is ok to push back does it open the door to much? Blindly following rules is obviously contextual to some degree – like in an airport you should not push back about trying to bring through your water, during a fire drill at school you should stand quietly in line, you should not just decide that you aren’t going to participate in the spelling test – but are kids/when are kids mature enough to understand these contextual differences? Not trying to be critical, just trying to figure out how to navigate these situations and the people on this site always have such wise advice

        • Anonymous says:

          A 10-year-old is old enough to understand context. No, you never argue with the TSA unless they are doing something dangerous or illegal, and even then you let a parent handle it. If you disagree with your teacher, you talk with her outside of class hours, possibly involving a parent.

    • This is super interesting. Taking a step away from the homework question (agreed homework in K is a little much) — I was raised with it being very clear – the teacher was the boss at school, and I was not to question them, period. If they called my parents for whatever reason, my parents told me they would always take the teacher’s word (as they were the adult, person to respect, authority) over mine. I think part of it is my parents’ personalities, and also just a cultural thing on how education/teachers are thought of in the country where my parents were born and raised. I think it generally did me well, and I’d like to do the same when DS is school-age but who knows what his needs will be and how his schools will be.

      In contrast, I was shocked at DH’s family’s attitudes towards teachers/school instruction when it came nephew and younger cousins – almost like the child is always right, and their needs should be thought of, and as if the teacher was an obstacle or pain at times. (Literally, one of DH’s aunts has told me over and over “those who can’t do, teach” in reference to a younger cousin’s struggles in schools and blame given to the teachers…yikes). Generally the kids in DH’s family aren’t great with respecting authority/elders whether it’s parents, teachers, or family members so I wonder if the parents attitudes towards teachers was part of why they may behave so, and what the good balance looks like.

      • Anonymous says:

        My parents were like yours, but it could really be a struggle – there were times when my teachers WERE genuinely bad or unfair, and my parents would never take my side or believe me because obviously it had to be all my fault. It really hurt me to feel like my parents were never on my side or advocates for me.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, I think you have to take this on a case-by-case basis.

        • Anonymous says:

          Did anyone else read Nothing But The Truth by Avi? That’s always what I think of when I hear about a kid’s word vs teacher’s thing. Not all teachers are saints, but going on a war path against a teacher because of a kid’s account of something is a questionable tactic in my book.

          There’s definitely a middle ground. I remember my mom confronting a teacher I felt had wronged me. [Long story, not worth telling] she even escalated to the guidance counselor & principal, but I didn’t get what I wanted. I ended up abiding by a really unfair rule, but the fact that my mom taken my concern seriously enough to try to change it was what was important to me.

      • Redux says:

        “Those who can’t do, teach” is a really common cultural aphorism, in my experience (I’m in the US). It’s so damaging, and totally contributes to the undervaluation of teachers (especially grade school teachers). I said it to myself recently when I was thinking about picking up an adjuncting role (why? why would I say that to myself? My husband is a teacher!).

        Also, I definitely feel like there has been a generational shift from parents who always sided with the teacher (when I was a kid) to parents who always side with the child (parents today). I think it tracks other parenting-related generational shifts like parents being expected to play with their children, over-scheduling of activities, and extreme pinteresting.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      The few times I’ve asked for flexibility, it’s nothing that wouldn’t be considered acceptable in a professional workplace, so I don’t feel like I’m teaching my child he doesn’t have to do what everyone else does.
      A recent example would be reading homework. Last year, they had to chart how many minutes of reading they di and turn it in on Friday. However, they only wanted it done on weeknights. My son had practice twice a week, and dinner with his birth father once a week, so that only left one evening to do reading. I talked to the teacher and asked if we could accomplish some of the “reading minutes” on the weekend, and she agreed. My child was still doing the amount of work requested, and accomplishing it by the required deadline, just on a flexible schedule.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I feel like the homework in kindergarten is really more work for the parents- our teacher has nightly homework that has to be turned in on Fridays. And she wants the pages where my child writes her name 3 times; her numbers to 10; where she draws a picture about the story we read. Plus write down the books we read each night. She loves worksheets and asks for homework but I feel like I am back in school! And I am super Type A so I love lists and tracking but this is insane and its not even been a month yet.

    • Spirograph says:

      Teachers are under so much pressure from all sides — administration, parents, students, their own desire not to spend all their evenings grading work — and trying to find a balance. I wouldn’t want to undermine my kid’s teacher because IMHO, the kid does not win if you don’t show respect for the teacher and his or her position. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have a conversation and escalate if necessary to try to find a solution, but the message to kid would be, “I’m talking to your teacher about this, but you need to follow the rules.”

      Most good teachers have put some thought into the type and amount of homework they’re assigning, and I’d want to understand that as a first step. For example, if worksheets turn into homework if the kid goofs off and doesn’t do them during the allotted class time, that’s a very different thing than being assigned true homework. If worksheets are going home as “practice this and tell me tomorrow if you have questions” but not checked for accuracy or even completeness, then it’s a cost/benefit decision. If it’s graded work and I think the amount is unreasonable/inappropriate, that’s when I’d actually push back. Maybe the “solution” ends up being a lower grade but everyone keeping their sanity. Since elementary school grades have zero real life consequences, that would be an acceptable trade-off to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that a lot of homework in K is not appropriate but it’s sort of shocking to me that people would tell a kid they can ignore a teachers rules. My parents would have killed me if I hadn’t done all assigned homework, even in kindergarten.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc says:

      I had a frank conversation with their teachers about how “good” the homework really needs to be, especially for the little ones. If it is going to actually be great especially when they are young, my husband or I would have had to sit there and do it with them and more like tell them what to do in response to everything. In my view, that defeats the point if I am just telling them what to do and they are not thinking. It also seemed nuts to me because my kids are in a public school with a majority Hispanic student body, and I know that many of their classmates’ parents don’t speak English so they can’t be doing this with them to this extent. I shared these thoughts with their teachers in a professional, non-emotional way, and also noted that both my husband and I work more than 60 hours a week. I learned that at least at my kids’ school, the teachers were not expecting perfection, just effort and some showing of development over the year. We let our kids do their own homework, ask us if they have questions, and spot check a few times a week and help them with substantive issues on the weekends when they need it. But they have become really independent about it. No problems yet, and I have kids in second-eleventh grade.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is how my parents treated homework, and how I treat it, too. The point of homework is some combination of 1. extra practice, 2. for the teachers to gauge students’ knowledge or progress 3. to teach conscientiousness. Too much parent intervention defeats all of those purposes!

  2. Anonymous says:

    DD’s first day of half-day preschool did not go well. She cried at drop off and kept saying she was scared and clung to me, which I expected. I’m told by her teacher that she did not engage at all with the other kids or the teachers the entire three hours. On the way home, she told me she was the “most nervous” kid and that she did not play anything because she was feeling nervous and she did not eat her snack, drink her water, nor use the bathroom with the other kids. She did not touch a single toy or activity (she told me this and the teacher confirmed it). She is 3.5 and she’s met her teacher a few times before and we’ve had playdates with her classmates. She usually warms up but one of us is usually there with her – I was hoping she would warm up after a few minutes but she did not. She’s always been at home with a nanny but gets plenty of socialization throughout the week and the weekends.

    I need a gut check – is this normal?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I think so. It’s normal b/c it’s a change. And some kids are all over the nervousness spectrum — some kids charge ahead in new surroundings and some just don’t. By K, kids are all used to school or schoolish things (but some kids don’t like being the new kid or when they go to larger schools in middle school or even if their first grade has different kids in it than their K class). Each day will probably be better / easier / fewer nerves than the prior day.

    • Yep! Just explain to her that everyone is nervous in new situations. Some people are nervous by being quiet, some people are nervous by never stopping talking. But you keep doing the new thing until it doesn’t feel so nervous any more.

      Tell her that you were nervous when you first started your new job. You didn’t know where the bathroom was or if you should eat your lunch at your desk. You felt shy/ talked too much/ felt sad/ etc. But you asked your boss (kinda like a teacher) and your new coworkers (kinda like friends at school) and you kept learning. And after a couple weeks, then you knew what to do and you didn’t feel nervous any more!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Yes. Totally normal. My bet is she’ll be fine within a week.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 but don’t stress if it takes longer. 2/3 of my kids were fine in a week in a similar situation but the other one took almost three weeks to adjust. If she is going everyday the adjustment will be much quicker than if it’s just twice a week.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Yes, it’s totally normal. You should make drop off as fast as possible. Lingering makes it worse for her, and worse for other kids who see you sitting there and then get mad that their parent isn’t sitting there too.

    • octagon says:

      Yes, totally normal. The book Llama Llama Misses Mama was great for helping us work through this. Hugs, it will pass.

  3. My 2.5 year old has been super clingy lately, which I know is normal, but it seems to have reached a fever pitch of sorts. Every morning from the minute she wakes up she keeps saying “i don’t want you to go to work, why are you going to work?” I don’t want her to think of work as a negative so I haven’t said things about how I have to, etc., and try to focus on the positive like “because grown ups have jobs” or “because the people I work with need my help” or whatever. But she just keeps at it. Is there something better I could be saying to explain this to her or is this just toddler repetition at its natural and most annoying?

    • AwayEmily says:

      Clinginess seems to go in stages for us, too (mine is also 2.5). Am I right that you have a baby also? For mine, her clinginess seems to correspond with the baby learning new skills (sitting, eating).

      Maybe also some one-on-one time that you specifically name as such…ie, “let’s go and play with just the two of us for a little while” could help.

      Finally, could you take the same approach you do with other fears? ie, say “you seem sad about Mama going to work. What are some ideas we could come up with to make you feel better?”

      (I swear I’m not stalking you, I just remember some of the advice you give because it’s always very good and relevant to my life!)

      • Haha, I appreciate the context! That’s actually a good idea to ask her to brainstorm some solutions. I think it’s a combo of new baby, starting preschool, the age… It started to crop up after I was home on maternity leave because she liked being home with me and I think it’s worse this week because I took a week off around labor day and we were together for a week. Prior to my leave, she really didn’t seem to care when I went to work or went out. The baby is also very clingy, in a way she never was at his age, so I feel like some of it is just competition for resources. I probably need to be better about it, too. I just find it exhausting because between the two of them, being at work is the only time I get to be alone. Thanks!

        • AwayEmily says:

          Yup, we are dealing with the EXACT same thing. Daycare was closed for two weeks at the end of August and she got used to a lot of attention. It’s been a very tough transition back to school and only having parent-time in the morning and evening. Lots of whining, demanding to be picked up, etc. She’s also started an extraordinarily annoying habit of saying “I’m a BABY, I’m a BABY” whenever she feels like she doesn’t get enough attention (my child is not exactly subtle with her jealousy of her brother). Doesn’t help that my husband is away a couple of days a week and so my time is even more divided between the two of them then.

          I’m trying to be patient, acknowledge her feelings, and hoping it will resolve on its own once we get back into a regular routine. But it is very not fun.

          • Mine wants to be held whenever it is physically impossible for me to do it. It’s just so hard! Hang in there.

  4. I would love to see a post on different types of scarves and how to wear them. I always worry that I will look too old by wearing a scarf.

    • Someone on here (or maybe the main s ! te) recommended a book called something like “tying a scarf 33 ways” and I checked it out the library. I found it pretty helpful!

    • Hi there says:

      I really like this video:

      Looking it up for you showed me there are companion episodes, I’ll have to check them out.

    • I hope not! I’ve been wearing scarves since college! I’m always cold and they are a staple in my winter wardrobe, both at work and on the weekends. I’m not creative at all when it comes to wearing them, though.

  5. Thank you to whoever mentioned yesterday that they read books with their kid in the morning while they wake up!

    DH and I are not morning people. Kiddo (3-year-old) wakes up at the correct time to get ready for “school,” and with all the energy and enthusiasm in the world. Lately, we’ve gotten into the habit of letting him watch TV first thing in the morning because we’re too tired to say “no”–and that causes our whole morning to go off the rails because Kiddo doesn’t want to eat breakfast or get dressed or go to school because he doesn’t want to stop. This morning, I convinced Kiddo to read a book in bed with me, and afterwards, everyone rolled out of bed happy and calm. There was no fighting about breakfast or getting dressed or going to school. It was so peaceful!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      We also discovered the hard way that screen time first thing is a disaster. Reading a book is a great idea.

      • Yeah, I mean, we know TV first thing is a disaster. But we’re so darn tired first thing in the mornings, and that makes us weak. The book really helped us transition. (We’re fine once we get out of bed–well, I need coffee and a shower, but I’m fine during the day.)

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      Yes, we cut out tv in the mornings except on Saturdays after learning the hard way too. Everyone is grumpy when it is time to turn it off and it slows down the morning. Mine read and color in the mornings.

    • Yes! I found that reading to my eldest while nursing the baby helps my eldest feel like she is getting some attention in the morning, and reduces some of the morning bratiness.

  6. KateMiddletown says:

    Holiday planning is in full swing, unfortunately, and we have lots of competing interests. Typically we host Thanksgiving for my husband’s sister+kids from OOT but we will have a 7 week old baby and I’m not loving the idea of having guests. (They stay with us.) My MIL would likely be there too, and she is happy to facilitate the entire meal, but the idea of 5 people invading my house with an almost 2mo is making me squirmy already. He was totally crestfallen when I said this last night, but he doesn’t realize the level of unshowered and unsleptness that I think I’ll be at during that point.

    Christmas we typically spend w/ my family, who is local. (After doing the presents/AM stuff at our house solo, we go over for dinner and more presents.) They’re taking my siblings on a vacation for Christmas this year, so we definitely aren’t going to see them day of. They are lobbying for our time on Thanksgiving. (Again, I don’t have to cook if we go up to their house that day and then come home that evening.)

    Is it fair to my husband’s side of the family not to see the new baby until Christmas? I’d be happy to host people at that time (3 month old is easier than 7 week old in my brain.) Am I over stressing about hosting them for Thanksgiving, especially if I don’t have to cook the meal?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why can’t they stay in a hotel? Visit not for thanksgiving? Get a local air bnb? So many options here between “five members of your family here staying overnight” and “not meeting baby until Christmas.”

      Also, you’ll have showered!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually “hosted” Thanksgiving with a 4-week-old, and it was not terrible. I did not cook a thing. All the visiting family members stayed in a B&B near my house, which was the key. Is that possible for you?

      • KateMiddletown says:

        No, they can’t swing it financially. Plus it doesn’t solve the “which family gets Christmas and which family gets Thanksgiving” problem.

        Also, is it a huge deal if they don’t meet the baby until Christmas? I feel like a 3 m/o baby is basically a newborn anyway, right?

        • Anonymous says:

          A three month old is not a newborn. Ask yourself if this would be the plan if it were your mom and your sister. I think you should try it. Tell your husband he’s in charge, hire a cleaner for the day before they arrive and after they depart, and don’t lift a finger.

          • I agree that a three month old is not a newborn, but Thanksgiving is not really that many weeks prior to Christmas. Everyone’s family is different. Personally I am not close with my sister so it wouldn’t really bother me if she did not meet my kids until they were 3 months old, but I am close with my mom, so I’d definitely want my mom to meet my kid sooner. Is there a way for them to come visit not for Thanksgiving but prior to Christmas when travel is less pricey, so they can still meet the baby but it is not around a holiday? Could just MIL come before Christmas and stay with you and then sibling comes at Christmas? There is no one size fits all approach because everyones family dynamics are different and everyone experiences the postpartum period differently. As someone with a four month old, for me having 5 people stay with me 7 weeks postpartum would have been an absolute disaster. My MIL was actually visiting them to help with my kid, but not staying with me and it was still hard for me. Depending on relationship between your families, could MIL come and stay with your parents if not affordable to stay at a hotel or airbnb?

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually don’t think hosting Thanksgiving with a 7 week old would be that hard provided you’re not cooking. Have it catered or assign other people to bring dishes.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        Am I overthinking having people stay in my house (basement)? Their expectations are super low, but I just don’t know about having all the bodies around for 3 days and nights.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes. They don’t sound like hideously awful people? You have room. It will be fine. You’ll have a two month old baby. Let them come. It really will be okay.

          • avocado says:

            If you like these people and they are helpful, if you have enough space so that everyone isn’t on top of each other all the time (basement sounds good, especially if there is a separate bathroom down there), and if you can count on your spouse/older kids or a cleaning service to help you get the house into a condition in which you feel comfortable hosting guests, I wouldn’t worry too much. By 8 weeks you will have a lot of the baby stuff figured out and won’t be leaking bodily fluids everywhere. Plus that, it’s nice to have doting relatives around who will hold the baby for you. I am possibly the world’s least relaxed person about hosting visitors, and even I could have handled visitors by 8 weeks (unless they were people I wouldn’t want to have visit at any time, baby or not).

            If you’re worried about too much togetherness, you can preplan some excursions where your husband will take the visitors and older kids out and you can make a last-minute decision about whether you and baby will go along or stay home and relax because “naptime.”

        • Anonymous says:

          They sounds like nice people. Get Grandma to come a couple days early if she can – and she can start meal prep. With her there you can shower too! It will be nice to have all those hands around (assuming they want to hold the baby etc.) and they sounds like the kind of family that will pitch in with clean up. When my little guy was born we organized for BOTH sides of the family to be in town for thanksgiving (lucky for me my mom hosted dinner at her house, we did brunch the next morning and had 6 houseguests) and it felt SO special to have our first family holiday with all these people who loved the little guy. (Of course he didn’t know… he was about 10 weeks old)

        • I don’t think you are. I think this is a know yourself situation. Everyone is different. What might be overwhelming for one person might not be for another. There is no “right” answer, particularly in the postpartum period. For me personally it would be too much. Since MIL is just one person could she stay with you and the siblings in law stay at an air bnb/hotel?

    • I don’t feel like you need to frame this as “fair” in your mind. Besides — is it “fair” for you to have to host house guests while getting used to a new little person in your life? Think about what you really want an feel capable of, and what you might regret and go from there. “Fair” really has no part in the equation. (FWIW, my in-laws didn’t see my first until she was 5 months old because they found travelling difficult and inconvenient. It made me a little sad, but these are the choices they needed to make for their own mental health. They have since passed away, and I feel like I wish they had more time with my daughter when she was older and could remember them, not when she was a baby amoeba)

      • Blueberries says:

        +1 on it’s not about fair. It’s about what you, the person who birthed a human and may still be recovering, is comfortable with. It doesn’t do the baby any good to have a mom who is extra uncomfortable for days on top of whatever else she is going through just to make other people happy.

        My recoveries were not bad as these things go, but my little ones didn’t like to sleep in ways that also let me sleep. No way would I have hosted 5 people to sleep in my house at 7 weeks, unless it was 5 people who had a ton of experience and willingness making life easier for new moms.

    • I know Thanksgiving travel can get pricey, but I agree that maybe finding a way for them to come but not stay with you could be a good compromise. I could not handle 5 people staying with me when I had a newborn. Just the thought of it would make me super anxious and I think I would be miserable the whole time. I think this is a situation where it is ok to put your needs first, and maybe explain to DH that it has nothing to do with you not wanting to see his family. I do not know the family dynamics, but would it be an option for DH’s family to also go to your parents’ for Thanksgiving just this year due to the new baby?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Imagine everyone there and pinpoint exactly what is stressing you out.
      Is it having people around all.the.time? If so, can your husband arrange some out-of-the-house activities to keep everyone out of your hair and give you some peace and quiet?
      For me, even other people cooking would stress me out (because there’d be SO MANY PEOPLE in my kitchen, using my stuff, asking me where things are every 5 seconds, etc.). Can you guys have it catered, or agree just he turkey will be cooked and the rest will be purchased casseroles and side dishes?
      How do you feel about breastfeeding (if you’re doing that) in front of everyone? I wasn’t a fan of that, but I also resented feeling like I needed to be exiled to my room, so my husband was in charge of setting the “she needs some privacy now” boundary. It relieved a lot of my stress

      tl;dr think through specifically what situations will stress you out, and calmly talk to your husband about how to mitigate them.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        This is great, thank you. It’s definitely a combo, but breastfeeding in front of three teenagers wasn’t even on my radar, so adding that! Basically being “on” for family at my house + letting my MIL have run of my kitchen (which I dislike even on a good day for the reasons above) + dealing with the family dynamics of disappointing MY side of the family for not having Thanksgiving at their house. I’m going to talk to DH about our options – it’s so much easier to have the conversation with him when I can pinpoint the stressors. Thank y’all!

        • Anonymous says:

          I think it’s completely unfair to make this about disappointing your family. They get Christmas and to be local. Your husbands family matters too.

          • Yeah agreed. Having guests at my house at 7 weeks would have been a deal breaker for me. But still, your parents decided to take a trip during the time they normally see you. They’re pretty unfairly putting pressure on you to change your OTHER plans, and you are putting unfair pressure on your DH to accomodate. They had to know this was a natual consequence, right?

          • avocado says:

            Could your husband’s family join in on Thanksgiving at your parents’ house? In our family, it’s very common to have multiple sets of parents/in-laws together at holidays. All the kids and several of the grandkids are married, and sometimes it’s easier just to bring oodles of people together than to try to divide up the holidays. For years, my in-laws and my mom all came to our house for one holiday. My BIL and SIL have spent holidays with their kids’ in-laws before. As a bonus, taking your in-laws to your parents’ house would get you out of cooking.

          • I agree that it’s unfair for make this about disappointing your family. Their decision to leave for Christmas shouldn’t mean that your husband’s family can’t see you when they normally see you (at Thanksgiving). I don’t know all the dynamics, but they may well have independent reasons for not wanting to switch to seeing you for Christmas, besides just the age of the baby.

            I like avocado’s idea of your parents hosting everyone together, if they have the space and means to do so. It would still mean a house full of people staying with you, but your MIL wouldn’t have to take over your kitchen–or maybe she could make one dish so she feels like contributing. My in-laws have 4 kids, and they’ve taken a “more the merrier” approach to Thanksgiving, and it’s worked out well.

            Also, I live in the same area as my in-laws, who we see often. I stayed with my in-laws for a week when I was pregnant and on bed rest. I’ve adopted an expansive view of “family,” and family means (to me) that I don’t always have to be “on.” It can be hard to be vulnerable and need sh*t from people, but it brings people closer too. Sometimes (not always), having a baby and having family there is a good thing.

        • NYCer says:

          Super late reply as usual, but can you do ” Thanksgiving” with your family the weekend before? That is how we always did it when I was growing up with local families on both sides. That alleviates the stress of disappointing your family.

          To each their own, but I also don’t think having 5 family members stay with you for 3 nights when the baby is 7 weeks is a big deal (assuming you have the space, which it sounds like you do). If you lived in a two bedroom city apartment, my answer would be different, but with a basement, it seems manageable. You will definitely have showered by then! :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sleep question- my 2 year old has a two hour quiet/nap time at daycare, and on weekends her naps are 1.5 to 2 hours. We put her to bed at 7, she gets her milk at 6. Recently it’s been taking her about an hour to fall asleep, and she’s been waking up between 5-530. Time for a later bedtime? I realize between nap and 11 hours at night she’s at the high end of the recommended 9-13 hours of sleep for 2 year olds. Our ped said stay with the 7 bedtime, or even earlier, but then it seems like we are doomed for 5am wake ups forever! Or maybe we are no matter what. Thoughts? Ideas?

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I think some kids are just early risers. Our son (almost 2.5) has consistently woken up between 5:30-6:00 on an average night pretty much since he’s had a consistent sleep/nap schedule. He’s been going to bed later recently, especially since we’ve transitioned to a toddler bed. We try to put him down by 8:30 (which is late, I know, we’re working on it), but he still doesn’t fall asleep until 9 most nights. And is then up around 5:30 :/ He sleeps for about 2 hours at naptime at daycare and usually a little longer with us on the weekends.

      It can’t hurt to try a later bedtime – I am impressed you can get her down by 7!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks! I was afraid she might just be an early bird (she is so cute and cheerful in the morning) but man 5am is so painful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Around this time, we pushed bedtime back by about 30 minutes. Kiddo wasn’t necessarily getting up early, but she took forever to fall asleep, and was very upset during that time. And there were some night wakings that were stressful. It helped a lot. You can do small increments – 10-15 minutes at a time and see if it gets better, worse, or whatever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Story of my life except my kid gets up around 4:30. I’ve tried moving his bedtime back it seems to have had no impact – at this point it’s lights out at 8 and he’s probably asleep circa 8:30/8:45. I think kids go through a sleep regression around 2.5? At least that’s what I tell myself. In any event – solidarity.

    • Claudette says:

      Have you tried the OK to Wake clock? That worked really well for our older daughter at that age and still works like a charm (she’s three and a half). Even now that she’s completely out of diapers and may have to get up to use the bathroom in the half-hour or so before the clock “turns green” at 6:30, she will almost always happily get back in bed afterward and wait until the clock turns green. :)

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 – at 5am does she need you for something? My 13mo often wakes up at 5 or 5:30, but hangs out happily in his crib with his toys. I would try to encourage this with the OK to wake. Some well-rested kids just get up early, and as long as she doesn’t need you, I think it’s totally healthy. Can you make sure she has plenty of books within reach?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahaha my 2 y/o hasn’t slept before 8:30 in her life. Our schedule is: bedtime routine starts at 7. Preschooler in bed by 7:30 (falls asleep instantly). 2 y/o gets into bed at 7:45. Three books, a song, a potty trip (she’s daytime trained), a song, usually at least one more potty trip, then bed. On a good night she bbbles herself to sleep by 8:30. Sometimes there’s fussing and screaming and banging on the wall until as late as 9:30. She’s in a bed not a crib so she can get out, but she doesn’t.

      She gets up between 6 and 7 (usually closer to 6) and naps 1-3 every day. Shorter naps do not help with bedtime.

  8. Clementine says:

    Solution for people who were wondering how to get cash to a nanny/sitter for running errands: you can apparently now get cards that link up to a Venmo account.

    They work like a MasterCard, but you can easily add exactly how much you need and track it from the Venmo app. Super easy, doesn’t require you to add someone onto a credit card or put out their own money.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      This is amazing! Thinking this could also be used for teens where you don’t want to add them to a CC just yet, too, right?

  9. Those of you with 4ish year olds – looking for a gift for a 4 year old boy that loves cars, trucks, trains, etc. What is the COOL toy nowadays? $30ish dollar range.

    • I don’t know if it’s a “cool” toy, but we have a couple of the WOW trucks (the recycling truck and the ambulance). Both my 18 month old and my 6 year old loves them – they have fun moving parts and accessories, and are super sturdy and well made. They have this motorized engine that propels the truck forward with a push, but it can be a little noisy. I love that all the accessories are a safe size and not tiny. Somone got my kid a playmobil set and it was cool, but so. many. little. pieces. (ack!) The WOW trucks might be a little at the top of the price range, but they are really high quality.

    • Anonymous says:

      If he likes wooden trains, the motorized engines (from Thomas or Brio) are really fun.

    • mascot says:

      My boy loved dress up clothes at 4. He got a fire helmet that lit up and made noise and fireman backpack that sprayed water. Those were the first things pulled out when friends came to play as well along with the doctor, knight, firefight costumes.
      Also, there’s a cheap remote control car that works for that age- the tumbling thunder or something.

    • My almost 4 year old doesn’t care about what the new cool thing is. But he does love vehicles. Matchbox and matchbox size cars seem to be his favorite, but he’d probably be happy with any vehicle: cars, trucks, monster trucks, fire trucks, diggers, etc.

      If you like the parents, don’t get something that makes noise.

  10. I’m worried I may have had post-partum depression. Baby is almost 8 months now and I feel great, and so so happy being her mom. But I remember not feeling bonded at the beginning and having intrusive thoughts/anxiety. I just watched a video from when she was super tiny and she’s looking at me and sort of cooing and my face was just really impassive – not smiling or responding to her. It is actually making me tear up thinking about the video and how I should have been more responsive to her. I don’t what I”m looking for really as I feel great now, but I am a little worried because you hear about all those studies that say postpartum depression affects babies negatively. I don’t know/didn’t know what was normal hormonal changes vs. depression.

    • Govtattymom says:

      What a caring and compassionate mom who wants the best for her baby! Any kid would be lucky to have such a mom. You have a great bond with your baby and you should celebrate that! xoxo

    • Anonymous says:

      The fact that you recognize this means you care so much. I would still check in with your PCP or OB and see about what they say, but if you’re feeling good now, that’s what matters most!

    • Claudette says:

      I’m sorry you’re worried like this, and I can relate — I have anxiety sometimes, and it’s hard not to feel guilty about stuff like this. Maybe a minor solution, but why don’t you take some videos soon of you cuddling with her and paying loving attention to her, so you (and she when she’s older) can be reminded how much you loved on her when she was tiny. :)

    • It’s so hard to extrapolate from one moment in one video to how it was like the whole time. Choose to be gentle to yourself and don’t assume the worst.

      But I also wanted to say that it’s OK to be sad for yourself and the bonding that you missed. Big hugs. It doesn’t need to define you and your baby and your relationship, but it’s OK to grieve a little.

  11. AnotherAnon says:

    I toured a Montessori school this morning. Thoughts? Questions I should ask at our second meeting? My initial impressions were great. There are about 20 kids ages 19 months to 6. My son would be the youngest. I grew up home-schooled with a SAHM so care for my kid during the day is a struggle.

    • A struggle as in, I don’t know what I’m doing :)

    • Anonymous says:

      How are naps, diapers, and bottles handled? What are their adult to child ratios? How much interaction among ages?

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Are you asking about Montessori specifically or daycare/school as a first timer?

      • AnotherAnon says:

        Montessori specifically. He’s been in day care since 6 weeks. He’s 18 months now. We moved last week and his new day care isn’t cutting it, so I’m looking into other options, including Montessori.

        • Redux says:

          In my experience Montessori wanted us to potty train really early– between 12 and 18 months. My older kid potty trained when she was 2.5 so I felt uncomfortable trying to potty train a baby and had to push back on that expectation. So, maybe ask about toileting.

    • Is this just a daycare or is it a through 8th grade school? Transitioning from Montessori to regular school can be tough on kids – how do other kids manage that transition? Does the Montessori help you prepare the kid for that?

      Also, my kids’ personalities did NOT mesh with Montessori philosophy. Do some reading on what kinds of kids excel in that environment and carefully consider what you know about your kid and his potential fit.

      • AnotherAnon says:

        It’s through first grade. We move so often though I’m not sure he’d be there much longer than a year or two.

    • Montessori says:

      Just read this article. We’ve been extremely happy having our two kids in Montessori.

      • Montessori says:

        “According to a plethora of studies, including randomized controlled trials, which have the highest evidentiary power in social science, Montessori children do better at reading and math but also outperform other children on a whole host of other indicators, including social skills, self-regulation, creativity and their sense of “justice and fairness.” The effect is more pronounced with minority and lower-income children. As far as I know, no method has been shown in a study to outright erase the income achievement gap—except Montessori. And the latest developments in neuroscience are just now catching up to Dr. Montessori’s theory of the child developed a century ago and confirming it.”

      • AnotherAnon says:

        Thank you!

    • My youngest has been in Montessori since she was a baby, and my oldest went to a few different types of traditional daycare. I wrote an overview of pros/cons in my mind…which may spur thoughts/questions for you. I linked to it in my name. (Montessori is near the bottom.)

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have a tour this weekend of the hospital where I plan to deliver my first baby late November/early December. What kinds of things should I be asking?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      They do these tours all the time, so they’ll generally tell you what you need to know. I personally wanted a hospital NOT designated as WHO “baby friendly” because of how hard they push BFing. Even though I was BFing, I dind’t want to have to fight if I felt like I needed to supplement with formula or it just wasn’t working with me. Some hospitals no longer let the babies sleep in the nursery away from the mother, so that’s osmething worth asking. I ended up with a C section and a blood transfusion, which we knew was a possibility, so I wanted to know I had the option to recuperate with the baby in the nursery if needed (again, didn’t end up using it, but nice to know that decision would have been supported).
      Check out the sleeping arrangements for your support person and ask if they recommend bringing anything to help that person sleep more comfortably. You want your partner to have all the rest they can get. Also, are partner meals free or do you pay?
      They should walk through the specifcs of exactly what is allowed in terms of dropping you off when you’re in labor, how long the car can be left, where to park, where to check in, etc.
      That’s about all I can think of that might not otherwise be covered.

      • I actually agree with this. I had a nicer postpartum experience in my “non baby friendly” hospital. They took the baby to the nursery and brought her to me for feedings. Whereas at the baby friendly designated hospital they just left her in the room with me all night. I got zero sleep. Give me the hospital with a nursery every time. (I am all about BF but you need rest after giving birth!)

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. Baby friendly hospitals are the worst. They won’t give you formula even if BF-ingisn’t satsisfying your 9 lb-er and she won’t sleep more than 15 minute stretches. Ask me how I know.

      • Sadly I already know my hospital bills itself as “baby friendly.” It’s the only somewhat convenient hospital for where I live, so I’m pretty much stuck with it (not to mention I’m closing in on 30 weeks). I’m going to try to get a sense of how militant they are about the baby-friendly policies to see how on-guard I need to be. I’ve heard/read horror stories about babies not getting enough to eat because baby-friendly hospitals refuse to give formula to supplement when baby is not getting enough from BF.

        • Walnut says:

          Find out what orders your pediatrician or OB will need to give in order for you to supplement or get around the baby friendly restrictions and find out if there’s any special process for getting those on file. Will you be expected to provide your own formula if you need to supplement? (IMO, giving the baby an appropriate amount of formula is such a godsend while your milk is coming in and both you and baby need a good stretch of sleep right after delivery.)

          • +1. Also, there is nothing stopping you from bringing your own premixed formula! We did this just in case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Visitor policy. Meal hours/menu. If there’s anything they recommend you bring or don’t bring. They’ll tell you what you need to know for the most part. I’d personally discuss anuthing related to birth with my doctor not the hospital people.

        • Super helpful and interesting. Do you think it should be a deal-breaker if not? It would be really difficult for me to switch doctors and hospitals at this point, but not impossible.

          • Walnut says:

            Probably not a deal breaker, but in my area hospitals really compete in the L&D area. Lobbying for a hemorrhage cart is a great way to get it on their radar and priority list.

      • On another note – definitely know the cafeteria/meal hours. I realize that this isn’t the most important part of the experience… but… My first was born just before breakfast so I had a breakfast tray in front of me 30 min after she was born. I was shocked after my second was born (around 7 pm) that the hospital had zero food options except crackers until the morning. Thank goodness my in-laws live really close to the hospital and brought me some food. So so hungry.

        • Omg, yes! My water broke at 5 am, I went into L&D at 6 am, and I delivered at 2 pm. But they didn’t want to transfer me to recovery until I emptied my bladder (ended up using a catheter), and that took a while, so I didn’t get transferred to recovery until like 6 or 7 pm. I had missed the dinner cart, the cafeteria had closed, and breakfast wasn’t until 7 am! WTAF? If I’d waited until 7 am, I would have gone approximately 34 total hours with no food, delivering a baby in between, with no medical reason for fasting like that.

          My parents and in-laws went out for food and brought take-out back to us. But not everyone has that option. The hospital in my area that everyone goes to now has 24 room service and a reputation for really good food.

    • octagon says:

      Verify that every person who will be treating you is in-network for your insurance.

      • This sounds great, but can you really dictate that? One of the pediatricians who treated my son was out of network, but it wasn’t like I had a choice. I don’t even think I met the guy – it was during one of his trips to the nursery.

        It’s a good idea to make sure that the OB practice is in-network but other than that you never know what you will and will not need while you are there, and who will be on call.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out the bathrooms. Is there soap? A hair dryer? How are the towels?

    • What are the options for intermittent monitoring?
      What kind of food is available, and what is allowed once you get an epidural?
      What is your policy on therapeutic sleep? (this is what my hospital called it when they take the baby to the nursery so you can sleep)
      Does the hospital provide: birthing ball, theraband or rebozo, birthing bar, any other birth props you’re interested in
      How far is the OR and the NICU? (Mine showed us exactly what would happen in the event of an emergency C, walking us through where you and baby would both go and how quickly they could have you there)

      • Anonymous says:

        “Therapeutic sleep”?!? Now you aren’t allowed to sleep except when the medical personnel deem it “therapeutic”?

        When I had my baby several years ago the nurses would take the baby to the nursery if you really begged, but then they would wake you up every couple of hours to feed the baby. And don’t even get me started on the militant lactation consultants. The way hospitals and medical professionals treat new mothers has got to be a major cause of postpartum depression.

    • rosie says:

      Do you need to pre-register (so you’re not dealing w/paperwork while in labor)?

      If you have dietary restrictions, do you need to bring your own clear liquids if that’s all you can have in labor (my hospital allowed broth but only had chicken)?

      Are linens for wherever the support person will sleep provided?

      Are pumps provided if needed or should you bring your own?

    • All of your responses have been super helpful. Made a list on my phone and feel much more prepared! Thanks!

  13. First Time Commenter says:

    Does anyone know of any good resources on abnormal uterine blood flow and preeclampsia risk? I am 12.5 weeks with my first. I had an NT screen yesterday, and while everything looked good for the baby, I was told that my blood flow to the uterus had notching (which is apparently bad?) and it puts me at higher risk for preeclampsia. They also said taking baby aspirin could help lower the risk. The OB there (not my usual OB) couldn’t give me any information about relative risk – how much does this increase my risk, how much does the aspirin bring it back down? Internet searches are mostly coming up with journal articles with contradicting information. Am I missing some other resource? Does anyone else have experience with this? (My next OB appointment isn’t for 4 weeks, though I could probably ask to come in earlier if necessary.)

    • No advice, but in terms of anecdata I was on a baby aspirin for blood clotting issues due to a hereditary disorder for most of my 2nd and 3rd trimester before I was switched to lovanox at 28 weeks and my baby girl is doing awesome (now 1 year) (and we had no preeclampsia). I do remember my OB saying that new studies are actually pro baby aspirin in other circumstances, but I don’t remember if preeclamsia was one of them.

    • I don;t know about this specifically, but I also took baby aspirin to help prevent preeclampsia because I was pregnant with twins, which also put me at a higher risk (which I ultimately developed, but not until 35 weeks and my kids were born totally healthy, though one was in the nicu for a bit because he was small, but now is totally fine). My OB’s office had a messaging system and they were extremely responsive. Can you message your OB with your questions and ask them to call you? My OB’s nurse would usually call me or respond fairly quickly

    • Another anecdata saying I took baby aspirin for a clotting disorder the entire pregnancy and it was fine.

      Definitely call your OB and ask for a nurse to call you back! I did this all the time early in my pregnancy. They are so used to it and (at least in my practice) super patient and kind. If there is something they can’t answer and it’s urgent they will absolutely get you in ASAP. If they’re not worried, my experience is you shouldn’t be either.

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