Nursing/Postpartum Tuesday: Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

The way I feel about using coconut oil postpartum is the way the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding feels about Windex. It will cure what ails you. I used it both on myself and on my baby in various ways. Here’s the short list: on nipples after a nursing session instead of expensive nipple balms, on my dried out and flaking lips (drink water, nursing moms!), on cuticles, on postpartum stitches, on baby’s cradle cap, on baby’s eczema, on baby’s diaper rash, mixed with baby’s moisturizer after the bath. I’ll qualify this by saying I am not a doctor, so I can’t promise that this will work for you personally, but it’s inexpensive, and if it doesn’t work on your baby you can cook with it! Nature’s Way Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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  1. I decided within about five minutes that if I was going to dip my fingers repeatedly into the pot of coconut oil and apply it to bottoms I had better not use it for anything else (so diaper cream was totally out for hygiene reasons unless we wanted one pot for diaper cream and one pot for other applications). I did find it made a great (and if nothing else, mostly harmless) n*pple cream but was completely useless for baby’s cradle cap…but boy, did he smell delicious.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I have some Burts Bees ointment that is similarly useless for cradle cap and yet I continue to use it because it makes his head smell like a delicious honeycomb.

    • We still use Dreft for that reason. It is heavenly.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve used it for just about everything, but the funniest use at the moment is as a face moisturizer for the toddler. I have to dodge his mouth while moisturizing because he’d eat the whole container of it if I let him!

    • I went to a baby massage class and they told us to use coconut oil because, obviously, baby will chew on his own hands and feet and get whatever moisturizer you use in his mouth, so you want it to be edible. I have to admit I prefer using a regular lotion from a pump top bottle, though, because it’s so much less messy.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      We got a squirt bottle type thing — like travel size thing you’re supposed to put shampoo in? — so we could squirt the coconut oil out onto our hands before putting on a butt.

      • That works! But maybe depends on climate? In the winter, ours was solid half the time…

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Ours stayed a good like, thick cream texture. I melted it to get it in the container, but once it was in, it never got fully hard again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Random recommendation – I’ve had a plastic case from Muji for holding cards for years and realized that this might help someone else feel more organized. I use it to hold all those memberships, gift cards and reward cards and accessories (e.g. the botanic garden membership comes with separate guest passes and parking passes). It’s small and sturdy enough that I can throw it in my bag, but usually it lives in my desk. I find it so much easier to use a smaller wallet thanks to this thing – I only keep the essentials in my wallet and the rest is in here. I just looked it up online to see if they still have it, and they do and it’s $1.50! I’m going to post the link separately, but you can also search the muji website for “PP card holder” – I have the 60 pocket version.
    (I also recommend their laundry hanging things for hang drying delicates)

    • Anonymous says:
      • I did something similar with an old leather business card case: all my non essential loyalty cards and gift cards live there and my wallet is way less cluttered. I also have a larger leather (pleather?) envelope that I throw those giant bed bath & beyond coupons into and the like, and a small mesh pencil case to corral all my random little things like a tide stick and allergy meds. This makes switching bags so much easier!

    • Oh that’s a good idea. I never seem to have my membership cards when I need them.

      • I’ve put all of my membership cards on an app on my phone called StoCard. I just pull it up on the screen and have the cashier scan it from there. My keys are so much lighter now!

  3. Mommy Break says:

    I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for their comments on my post yesterday. It was immensely helpful to read everyone’s suggestions. It is nice to know that other women struggle with this issue. My husband will do nearly anything I ask but will never be the husband who on his own realizes that he should do X, Y, or Z related to cleaning and some less obvious childcare needs. But he also acknowledges that the organizational work I do takes time and stress and gives me “credit” for it. You all are right that I need to identify my own specific needs and then communicate to him how to meet those needs. I really appreciate all the input. Currently, I let it all build up and then explode which is terrible. But he also can’t know anything is wrong if I don’t tell him. Thanks to the posters who recognized that even though a husband is dense he can be a good husband, father, and person. We are at a rough patch because winter won’t end and both my husband and I have mostly hobbies that are outdoors.

    Also, Man Who Has it All, FTW! Thanks for that bit of wisdom!!!

    • mascot says:

      As a counterpoint that I remind myself of when I veer towards scorekeeping. In 11 years of marriage, I’ve never cut our grass or even learned how to turn on the lawn mower. It’s not as immediate a need as daily clean dishes, but it is still something that has to be done regularly and it is 100% my husband’s task. He does plenty of other invisible work and maintenance related to keeping our house running and I need to give him some credit for that.

      • Mama Llama says:

        This discussion reminded me of one of the mantras on the parenting podcast One Bad Mother, where they remind themselves, “I didn’t marry an a$shole.” This works for me when I get frustrated. I didn’t marry an a*shole – I married a guy who is a great father and husband and who is trying his best just like me, but sometimes falling short (just like me). (Now, if you suspect that you did, in fact, marry an as^hole, that’s a whole different discussion)

      • Mommy Break says:

        This is mostly true in our house, although I have mowed once or twice. If this perpetual winter would end, he would have more home maintenance to do ;)

        • I hadn’t ever cleared the snow from our driveway until husband was gone during one of our massive storms this winter. He had to teach me how to use the snowblower over FaceTime and I was NOT amused.

          It totally falls into typical gender roles, but I am all for husband being responsible for 100% of outdoor maintenance. I don’t even know which chemicals to put in the pool or where they are. I like to keep it that way lol.

          • avocado says:

            The absolute worst is when I have to do outdoor maintenance for some reason and my husband tries to direct exactly how I do it. Like the time when I mowed the lawn and he insisted I could not use the mower’s self-propel feature because it was dangerous and I would lose control and run over my foot or something. Especially since I later learned that he uses it himself.

  4. Betty says:

    PSA: Just got a call from the school nurse that my son had an “odd, circular type rash on his right cheek.” After about 15 seconds of panic, I realized that I put on red-ish lipstick and gave him a big kiss on his right cheek and didn’t wipe off the lipstick. So PSA to wipe of the lipstick to avoid the panicked call from the nurse.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s hilarious. They didn’t try to wipe it off before calling you?!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, this seems…kind of incredibly stupid. Although I remember asking my pediatrician at our two week appointment about a weird white spot on my baby’s eyelid, and the pediatrician reached over and wiped it off with a tissue. But at least I had the excuse of sleep deprivation!

    • avocado says:

      You have now officially made my day two mornings in a row.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you are putting these anecdotes in a family album of some sort, because this is A Week! :)

  5. TLDR: mom stuff

    This morning I got quite upset at my mom, and now I am still upset and also feel guilty for how I handled it. She had been emailing and texting about how much she misses my son so I had him FaceTime with her this morning. During the call she asked me repeatedly about some money she gave us for him like six months ago. She basically said she has “no way of knowing if it’s in the right account” and “likes [her] money to go where it is supposed to”. I have no idea where that came from and I told her (again! because I told her this back when I deposited it!) that I transferred it to “his” savings account. Then she was asking questions because it’s really just a designated savings account and not under his name officially. Then she asked if I wanted her to set up his own bank account for him. I said no. We concluded the FaceTime call, but I was really steamed. It felt like she was accusing me of embezzling money from a one year old!

    I set what I think were civil texts afterwards saying that if she doesn’t feel comfortable giving us money for him she doesn’t need to. We didn’t ask for it and we don’t need it. And that we appreciate the gift, but we are not changing how we save his money. I see that she read it (thanks, iphone) but hasn’t responded. And now I feel guilty, which I’m mad at myself for, because I think this was a valid thing to be upset about! And I think I responded in a measured fashion.

    My husband said he thought the texts were fine but maybe that’s because he could see me tearing up as we headed out the door. I feel really sad and emotional and teary about this (I’m sure in part because my post-weaning periods are still a bit of a roller coaster). I don’t even know what I’m asking for except maybe ways to stop feeling teary about this at work!

    We are supposed to drive 2.5 hours to see them this weekend which is inconvenient, as my husband has to work Saturday morning, it’s my SD’s birthday on Friday, and I’ve been traveling so I feel like everything is behind on the house. I think I feel more frustrated because I feel like I work really hard for my parents to talk to and see my kid when they don’t live locally and there’s still all these strings attached and things I’m not doing right. UGH CHILDHOOD!

    • I’m sorry. What if you call your mom tonight and say “I’m sorry I snapped this morning. I have told you the money is in the correct account, but the way I handled it was rude. We’re going to take some time this weekend to de-stress as a family and get caught up on daily life, so I’m sorry for the late notice but we won’t be able to make it. Hopefully I can avoid outbursts like that in the future. Love you and thanks for understanding.”

      Then hold firm. She doesn’t have to like your boundary, but she HAS to understand when you say you aren’t treating her kindly and you need to basically put yourself in timeout to stop doing that. (Although honestly I would likely be ruder than you described here, because that kind of questioning is NOT okay for my parents.)

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? I’m sorry I was rude, also I’m cancelling on you last minute? You think she has to understand that?

        Call your Mom. Talk to her. You both did something not great here.

        • It sounds like lsw is stressed and this visit isn’t at a great time. It certainly sounds like this won’t be a relaxing visit and she sounds overwhelmed.

          Her mom pushed (multiple times) for a before-school facetime when she is getting an in-person visit this weekend. Maybe lsw’s mornings are much more relaxed than mine, but that would be a HARD NO for me.

          I don’t think the idea of saying she needs a break this weekend is a crazy one, esp if she has a hard time setting and enforcing boundaries. Yes mom might feel like the cancellation is a punishment, but she was out of line. Yes Grandma loves and misses the grandkid, but lsw needs to put her own oxygen mask on first.

      • I would not do either of these things. I don’t think you have anything to apologize for. On the other hand, I wouldn’t cancel a visit last-minute because you’re upset about how one conversation went–she was out of line on the bank accounts, but it sounds like your mom really loves and misses her grandson, and I imagine that she’d feel like you were canceling your visit to punish her.

    • I think you response was perfect and I am really impressed you kept your cool on the FT call because I probably wouldn’t have. Your text was completely appropriate and you don’t need to feel guilty! That line of questioning is inappropriate and you responded really well (again, better than I would have!).

    • Anonanonanon says:

      It’s easy for me to say because I’m not in your shoes, but I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. It doesn’t sound like you were rude in my opinion. Her line of questioning is bizarre and I read it the same way you did ie accusing you of stealing from a one-year-old? Truly odd.

      I’m sorry this added stress to your day!

    • Mama Drama says:

      If you want to address this specific issue with your mom, you should consider asking her what she wants you to do with the money, specifically. You can give her options: Kids Savings Account (the one you have set up for him), Kid’s 529 Account (if you have one–and again, this isn’t really for the kid as the beneficiary can change…), or buy something specific for Kid. Or she can get your kid a savings bond. But she probably doesn’t realize that even a kid’s passbook account is a guardianship account and you can embezzle whatever you want at any time. Not that you would, OF COURSE. But giving her those options as “next time, if you want to give money, here’s what you can do. Or, feel free just to save it and give it to him yourself when he’s older.”

      I think “yes mom, we deposited the $ into Kiddo’s Account. Thanks again!” would have been fine. How does he even know it’s not specifically in Kid’s Name? FWIW each of my kids has their own “account” within my CapitalOne 360 account, but it’s 100% in my name. Once they’re old enough to understand the concept of money, I’ll get them their “own” account. But for now, I save and/or invest it on their behalf. And mark each deposit with who it came from and why (eg. “Grandma-Xmas”).

      • Yeah, I think I got defensive and was giving way too much information about the account and then felt cornered…all of this was of course happening while I’m pointing the phone at my son and he’s shoving a train at it and babbling. I think I could have handled it more smoothly with a “yes, we did deposit it, thanks again!” and CUT! and I will hold myself to that next time. When I get nervous or upset I respond defensively and with too much detail.

        And we do it exactly as you do – with a CapitalOne 360, marked with his name, where I put all the money he gets from anyone. I really like your suggestion of providing other options or even saving it themselves and giving it to him when he’s older.

        I appreciate everyone’s feedback. My mom has a history of being generous with strings attached and I think I have work to do on my own reactions and boundaries within that context (if that even makes sense).

    • Anonynous says:

      1) How is your mom’s memory? Is she asking if the money “went to the right place” because she can’t remember if she gave you the check?

      2) Money always comes with strings. The next time your mom offers money, ask what she wants done with it. Like, if she offers you $100 ask if she wants it spent on seasonal clothes, zoo membership, etc. If she offers you $1,000 ask if she wants it put in a CD. She may be bothering you because she wanted you to spend it and then ggive her lots of thank yous about it.

      3) Do you guys use the same bank? Money my in-laws gave us for our daughter went into a shared Money Market account that they and I have access to. I asked what they wanted done with it and they didn’t have any specific desires, so I’ve dipped into it a few times now for enrichment classes (and daycare start fees – ugh) and let them know each time.

    • Anonymous says:

      All the hugs. DH went through something like this on the weekend. He makes a big effort to facetime with his mom and she doesn’t appreciate it at all and often says random rude things (comments on his clothes or hair loss). One of the really hard things about adulting is accepting that parents are sometimes not great people. DH continues to facetime because our kids enjoy it but her behavior has caused him to refocus his energies and priorities on us and the kids.

      Maybe try something like: “Your comments about our financial managment hurt my feelings. We take the money you send for kid seriously and would never co-mingle it with our money. I’m sad that you think we would not be careful. That said, we are all really looking forward to seeing you this weekend. “

    • Was your mom a lawyer? Accounts that aren’t officially in the kids names can get murky when $hit hits the fan. I’ve seen it happen in divorces, deaths and debt collection cases. I can sort of see why someone would want the money in an account that is 100% the kids and for which you are a trustee rather than an account you just treat as an account of the kid’s but is really in your name. It doesn’t protect the kid in the same way.

      That said, this morning during FT was not the time for your mother to bring this up.

      • Another Anon says:


        Also you mentioned your SD — step-grandparents, even otherwise awesome ones, can get a little ‘fussy’ about money that they think should go to their grandkids possibly going to their step-grandkids. So it may not be about this particular transaction, but about inheritances. Not saying that she’s justified in feeling that way, but it may explain what seems to be an overreaction over a 1 year old’s access to and control over his money.

    • rosie says:

      Hugs & commiseration. It is a terrible feeling when parents accuse us of this random ish and cannot seem to give the benefit of the doubt/take you at your word for no apparent reason.

  6. ugh I have a long post in mod and I’m too sad to try to resend it, but please send me good vibes as I had a stressful issue with my mom this morning and I’m in one of those vaguely teary spots where I feel like I could leak tears at any moment.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Consider good vibes sent. Whatever the issue is, I know you will find a way through. <3

    • For fun or for food says:

      all the good vibes sent & rainbows for after the tears

    • avocado says:

      Internet hugs. Hang in there. Do something nice for yourself at lunch time–walk outside, fancy coffee, sit in your car and read.

    • I think the offending term was f a c e time! Mine got moderated for that above as well. Hugs.

  7. For fun or for food says:

    I’m hoping for some feedback to this mental block of mine. I am a real person, I promise. One of my biggest anxieties around pregnancy/baby rearing is [email protected] feeding. For this reason, when ‘gardening’ I enjoy ‘[email protected] feeding for fun.’ My anxiety is that when it comes to the for nutrition variety that I may enjoy it as I do for fun and what a p3rv3rt I would be then. Of if I don’t enjoy it for nutrition (fingers crossed) then will it no longer be fun with my partner? I figure this is a safe space so hopefully some of you have had this experience. TIA

    • you have options says:

      Absolute worst case scenario: you can formula feed! And/or pump exclusively. Or both.

      BUT I will say that at least for me, BF a baby is totally different than the gardening variety. In fact, the babies are bad at it and they bite, cause blisters, and otherwise f-up your n*pples for the first few weeks. Mine were raw, bloody, leaky, and awful for the first 2 weeks and it was excruciating.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Trust me, it is NOT the same.

    • So, I’m on Team It’s Not the Same, but at the same time, there are some women who have an unwanted “response” to nursing. I think there might have even been a prior poster here who had that issue. So while chances are very good that this will not be a problem for you, just in case, know that you aren’t alone and there are probably resources out there for how to deal with it.

      As a related PSA, something I wish I’d known about before my daughter was born was D-MER. Mine was very very mild, but at the start of nursing, I would feel profoundly sad for a few minutes. It wasn’t every time – it stopped after awhile and briefly came back when I returned to work and was pumping regularly, but nursing isn’t always the super bonding experience people want you to think it is.

      • Mama Llama says:

        Ugh, I had D-MER too, but only with pumping. I was so glad to learn that it was a real thing and not all in my head, so thanks for spreading the word.

      • Whoa, I just looked this up – so fascinating. I had a crazy sad response to nursing in the early days but I chalked it up to PPD and anxiety. Which it still likely could have been, but this is so good to know about.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was worried about this too. The biggest difference for me was the milk. Your body makes milk and that made the whole thing feel different. You feel the milk come out and it just feels different. Depending on how nursing is going, nursing can feel everything from painful to relaxing.

      I needed to keep the girls for nursing when I was in that phase. I bought a number of different sheer bras for gardening and often left that on. DH was good about respecting that. Using his hands over a sheer bra was enjoyable. We tried to embrace it as a ‘new’ thing to explore vs focusing on what we weren’t doing that we had done before. A month or so after I was done nursing, I was ready to get back to the same activities as before.

    • Agree that it did not feel the same, at all, and I actually didn’t enjoy it for gardening while I was BFing. Fortunately the enjoyment came back once I weaned, so it was definitely temporary.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not the same at all but in my experience bf ing was also very pleasurable (after the initial month or so when everything is raw and painful because baby is figuring things out). In fact, I think if I had let myself “go” there mentally it might have turned into “that” kind of pleasure, but I did not want to go there.

      Also during the periods of bf ing that was the b**bs only job…they were not to be used during gardening, which bummed me out more than my DH to be honest, because they are a big source of my pleasure. And I bf’d 3 kids for >1 year each, so I did feel like I missed out a lot, but there were other ways of having fun while gardening.

      I will also say that I don’t know that it would be awful if you did have that kind of reaction…I’m a big prude but if you read some of the books on natural birth by a famous midwife (totally blanking on her name right now!) they actually talk about the birth experience as being O-r-g — mic, which was not the case for me, but to each her own.

    • Anonymous says:

      It feels really different. I enjoy n*pple stimulation when gardening, but a properly latched baby has the n*pple way back in his/her throat, and is sucking on a much larger area of the breast, so the n*pple itself isn’t really stimulated at all. That said, we also avoided this mostly when I was nursing due to worries about milk coming out.

  8. So, over the weekend, I swear, swear, swear I saw a faint, faint, faint line on a Clear Blue pregnancy test two days in a row. Like, if you tilt it sideways, and squint, you can see the faintest pink line. I kind of allowed myself to get excited. I had leftover WondFo tests, and got one out this morning. It is absolutely negative — other than the test line, it’s white as white can be.

    This is one of the last months we’ll try for a hoped for, but angsted about 3rd child (i.e., we have two, they are healthy, we get stressed just handling the two we have, $$$$, but man, I still feel like someone’s missing). I am sad, and a little disappointed, as given my age, we’ll probably stop trying after another month or two. I should technically get my period tomorrow or Thursday, so I know I’m early. I know it’s still possible, but if I’m being honest, I don’t really feel pregnant – I feel PMSy. Both of my other two pregnancies were discernible lines at this point, and I definitely felt pregnant. I don’t have much to say other than that I guess I’m adding another random trip to the Fall line-up.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s really hard. Not sure what ‘stop trying’ means for you. But you could always just not go back to using protection and whatever happens, happens.

    • I don’t know if this will make you feel better or worse but when I had that happen it was a chemical pregnancy. I’m in fertility treatments otherwise I wouldn’t know that after my disappearing super faint line (if I tipped it the right way) I was testing with 2.1 Hcg in my blood stream which meant at least for a day, I was pregnant.

  9. I try to stay pretty chill about milestones, but I am a competitive Type A, and I could use some perspective. Preparing for my daughter’s 15-month checkup tomorrow (making sure I’ve thought of the questions I want to ask the ped, etc.) and I’m suddenly super-anxious that my daughter has a language delay. She has MAYBE three words (we think she said Dada once), and does not seem to have the level of receptive language she should. She only sometimes responds to her name, and I don’t think she knows many words. If I ask her to point to Dad or the ball or her milk, she can’t/doesn’t. This isn’t a super sudden realization, but I’m stressed about going to the ped and getting confirmation that she is, in fact, delayed.

    • We had a similar concern with my daughter at that age. The first step was a hearing test. It was a bit challenging to get a clear result with a 15 month old, but it turned out that she could hear. I would guess that your pediatrician will start there. I don’t know if that helps, but they always start by looking for fluid in the ears. It’s easy to fix (tubes) and can have a large impact on language.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I think the most likely scenario is that she’s fine and within a normal range, but let’s game out the worst case scenario. Let’s say the ped does say that it seems like she has a delay. What happens next? You get some early intervention and you help your daughter. It’s not about winning or losing or being a good or bad parent or having a child who’s ahead or behind. It’s about responding to your child’s needs as an individual and doing the best you can for her and your family. To whatever extent you can let go of that competitiveness when it comes to your child, now is the time to practice doing that. Comparison and competition will not help you or her throughout your lives. (I don’t mean this in a judgmental way – I’m competitive too, so I’ve had to give this a lot of thought when it comes to my kiddo who is advanced in some areas, and getting intervention in some areas.)

      • +1 to this. Competition is not necessary here. Early intervention is a wonderful resource and delays aren’t the end of the world.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        This is a really great point.

      • OP, I am totally you in terms of type-a competitiveness, which I try to cabin to myself and not let spill over to my kids (with varying levels of success so far). My littlest was diagnosed with a gross motor delay at 10 months. We got 2x/week physical therapy and it is THE BEST/ MOST FUN! We’ve actually just been downgraded to 2x/ month because he’s made so much progress and we are more than a little bummed about it. The therapist is so great, so encouraging, has so many fun ideas, showers our kid (and us) with love and praise, and has been so helpful. I was really really hesitant at first and now I am sold– EI is the best!

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I was right where you were before my son’s 15 month check-up. He had maybe one or two discernible words at that point (“uh oh” and I think “ball”), no verbalization of mama or dada or anything like that. We told our ped our concerns and she suggested we wait and see for about a month or so before getting an evaluation, as some toddlers start speaking later than others. He gradually started saying more words closer to his 18 months and fast forward to today – he’s almost 2 and has so so many words. He can say mommy and daddy to the right person, knows his name, knows colors, can do two-three word sentences, etc. And responds to directions fairly well. All this to say that some kids just start talking later and I wouldn’t worry too much now. You can check in again at her 18 month appt. if you still have concerns then. 15 months is still young!

      • Mama Drama says:

        Not that you shouldn’t worry, but as this poster says, language development is EXPLOSIVE for some kids. Mine wasn’t “delayed” but she was definitely behind her older sister in terms of stringing together words at 18 months. And here we are, a few months later and she’s non stop talking, in sentences, all day long. I long for the days of silence! It was literally 1-2 weeks between “mama!!” “up?” “have dat?” and “mama oops a spill, get paper towel please?” She still thinks her name is our last name, though, which is hilarious. She can name all family members but when we point to her, she gives the family last name. She does respond to her own name, so who knows. Kids are weird.

        I would say that getting hearing checked is good advice. I believe the benchmark for 18 months is only 15 or so words, and those can be things like appropriate animal noises.

    • Anonymous says:

      I brought a similar issue up with our ped during our daughter’s 12 month checkup. Didn’t (still doesn’t) point, only knew mama, etc…She said she was more interested in whether she was communicating (even non-verbally). Does she look at me when she’s checking out something new? Does she make noise (even if it’s not words) to express herself? Does she make frequent eye contact? And through observation in the 10 min appointment she saw that she was doing all of those things. I would be a little concerned that your daughter isn’t responding to her name, but I think sometimes they’re so busy that they hear you but don’t want to respond. It’s almost like someone trying to talk to an adult when they’re staring at their phone.

      And I agree with everyone else – even IF you have to get your child evaluated and they need early intervention, all you’re doing is helping them.

    • Anonynous says:

      My child was home with me still at that point and she had about three words (up, that, Da) and communicated a lot by pointing. In fact she quit saying Up as soon as she had us trained to pick her up. She did have good receptive language. I was freaking out and my pediatrician sort of shrugged.

      I went back to work and enrolled my kid in daycare and now she talks up a storm. Apparently I was too accommodating. So really consider how much your kid is communicating with you and any other caregivers.

    • My son has been barely on or behind with verbal milestones from the get-go. Our ped has never been really concerned, but recently our daycare mentioned it too, so I called Early Intervention (totally free in our state). They are coming to do a home visit next week, and then an evaluation. My son is 21 months and has about a dozen words. I would be happy to talk to you more about this and what I learn from the EI process if that would be helpful! You can email me at l s w re tt e @ g m

  10. Anonanonanon says:

    Hi all! I’m six weeks post partum and I’ve missed the conversations here!
    Thank you again for all of the C-section advice you all gave me, it was helpful to know what to expect.

    Also, thanks to the conversation here, when the physical therapist at the hospital said I had pretty severe SPD I knew it was something I should follow-up with and advocate for myself to get physical therapy for. I’ve been going to physical therapy which has been so helpful, and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have taken it seriously or had the gumption to schedule/go to the appointments without reading the SPD convos that have taken place on this board.

    Now to just survive the rest of maternity leave without losing my mind….

    • Mama Llama says:

      Congratulations on your baby and good luck with your PT! I think I am in the same boat with SPD, unfortunately. My best advice for not going nuts on maternity leave is to try to get out of the house every day, even if it’s just a walk in your neighborhood.

  11. Accidentally posted this on the main site, so I’m reposting here. I’m about halfway through reading Drop the Ball. A lot of her experiences resonate with me, and it’s challenging me to think differently about how DH and I distribute the workload, even though I don’t completely agree with everything.

    That said, so many of these work/life balance books tout the benefits of having a village. As an introvert who is especially loathe to ask for help, this is really tough for me. I have friends that I connect with, but it seems like part of having a village is having a lot of friends who live in close proximity. Despite living in a really family-oriented neighbor, I don’t feel like I have that close-knit village. We’re friendly with people, but not really friends, if that makes sense. I’ll admit that this is totally a failing of mine — when the work day is done, my focus is on my immediate family and I don’t have much energy left over for cultivating other relationships. Most of my friends are people I’ve known for years. Or my siblings/family members. I have focused my social energy on these people I love and adore, but they don’t necessarily live close enough to make it feasible for me to ask them to pick up my kids from school, for example. Or they have lives and busy families of their own, and I would feel like I’m imposing if I asked for tons of favors. My standard operating procedure is “don’t ask for help unless it’s a true emergency.”

    I don’t know what I’m trying to say, other than … is this whole “village” thing somewhat of a myth? Or is it an extroverted personality thing? I totally know that I’m at fault for not having one, but I truly don’t get HOW busy working moms find the time and energy to build a village from scratch. I’m also terrible at turning acquaintances into friends, but maybe I need to put more effort into that?

    I’ll admit, part of me is sort of turned off by the idea of making friends in order to offload the household work — maybe that’s not what she’s saying, but it kind of sounded that way at times?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      So I’m an extroverted person who loves social interaction and I feel the exact same way. I think it is a myth for some people and certainly in some areas.
      We have neighbors that we’re friendly with, and I would trust to watch my child if say I had to rush my husband to the ER or something, but it would never occur to me to ask them to pick my son up from school or something. Part of it is no one on our street has kids the same age as my son, so I don’t feel like I can reciprocate the favor. Most of our neighbors work full-time, and again, I’d feel like I was “Using” those that don’t.

      I think some of it is luck. It seems to happen organically for people if there’s a bunch of kids in the same age bracket in the same cul-de-sac, for example.

    • I haven’t read the book but it sounds interesting from discussions on here.

      I agree with this so, so, so much. We do not have family close by. We moved to our town 18 months ago. We do have folks who I could ask to help in a true emergency, but not of this regular village stuff. I’m hoping it could occur a little more naturally as my 2.5 year old gets older and she has school and (probably only a few) neighbor friends where it makes more sense to ask a friend’s parent for a favor. Sometimes I even find it a little difficult to relate to friends who have local grandparent support. Their lives are so different.

      I kind of want to blame this on being a dual-working family. Like you said, by the time you do work and immediate home needs, there is no time left. But I am sure that is totally unfair to SAHPs who feel tied to the house and can’t even make friends at work.

    • avocado says:

      I think of the “village” a bit differently. The village is not a place where I go for help with caregiving or household responsibilities (exception: carpools, see below). My mom does not live locally, my in-laws travel a ton and are not reliable, and I wouldn’t be comfortable calling on our friends to watch our kid etc. except in a true emergency. We have an adult niece and nephew living locally but they are in the stage of life where we are helping them out and not vice versa.

      For me our village of local parent friends/acquaintances is a source of two things: crowdsourced knowledge and carpools. When I need the inside scoop on middle school course selection, recommendations for a piano teacher, or help figuring out how to get an invitation to cotillion, I go to the village. I also reach out to the village to set up long-term carpools that benefit all participating families, and I am always happy to give anyone else’s kiddo a random ride to practice or school or a meeting or a competition because that makes me comfortable asking for a ride for my kid once in a while.

      It took a decade of parenthood to truly develop our village. It wasn’t until we hit neighborhood-based public school, Girl Scouts, and a pretty intense sport that we started to build these relationships.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Yeah, much of our village is our kids’ friends’ parents. It’s not people that I made friends with originally (although we are friends now). It’s people we started trading favors with and/or spending time with because our kids were hanging out or in the same activities.

        • Anonymous says:

          This. A village is paid and unpaid, assistance big and small.

          For me, it’s the one mom I make a point of being friendly with at birthday parties/school events because she’s always on the ball with the Girl Scouts stuff and I can text her whenever if I forget what I’m supposed to be doing for the next meeting. Or the SAHD across the street who will drag our garbage bin down to the curb if I ask because DH is away or I forgot to do it. Or the mom who works part-time who I can text when I’m running late for daycare pick up to watch my kids on the daycare playground for 10 minutes when I’d miss closing time otherwise (I signed that my kids can be released to her if authorized for this reason).

          Ask for small bits of help. They add up to real help for you and they rarely burden others. I find it helpful to adopt a ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude with other parents even when our parenting styles/personalities are not a 100% match.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Ask for small bits of help.” — THIS is so key to building the village.

            Because it’s rarely an imposition on people, and then they feel like you “owe” them so they will feel more comfortable asking YOU to do something the next time they need something small. And then it’s a giving cycle.

        • mascot says:

          Our village is also kids friends parents. And I agree with all of this- “Ask for small bits of help. They add up to real help for you and they rarely burden others. I find it helpful to adopt a ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude with other parents even when our parenting styles/personalities are not a 100% match.”
          Offer small bits of help too. Is it really an inconvenience to offer to take another kid to practice? Or to take another one along to the birthday party? It’s not really and the receiving parent is usually happy to make it as easy as possible for you to do them that favor. With practice and with age, this gets a bit easier.

      • Huh, this does give me hope. I definitely have people I could call on for crowdsourcing knowledge. So far, the carpool thing hasn’t worked out, but I’m hoping that will get easier with time.

    • Carine says:

      My natural tendency and standard operating procedure are the same as yours, and we’re dual working parents with no family nearby. I did want a village, though, and not to foist off household obligations, but because I grew up with very introverted, isolated parents, and I didn’t want that for my kids. Around the time I had my first, I also started to feel pretty strongly that people are too isolated and need to connect with their communities for better health and well-being, and I wanted to model engagement at least at the neighborhood level and healthy relationships outside the home. We moved to a neighborhood that’s known for its neighborly feel and extremely engaged residents, and honestly my husband was like, “are you sure about this??” Ha! I was, and I had to work hard at it, but we now have really wonderful people in our lives who love our kids, who drop off food without being asked when someone is sick, whose kids I have over when they’ve got a crazy day and need a breather. I don’t feel bad asking for help anymore, because I know they will ask me at some point and I truly want to be there for them. It got a lot easier over time.

      I will allow that we had only one child at the time and we’re about to have our third… there’s no way I could put that initial effort in right now. I think there are seasons where your priorities have to be very limited, but I do think it’s worth making the effort when you can.

      • Sigh, I really relate to this so much. Two years ago, I was much better at doing all the things you mentioned. We’ve unfortunately had a rough run over the past 18 months with some kid-related and personal issues, which has made it harder to reach out during this time. I’ve retreated inward (or closer to the friends I had already). Now some of those neighborhood relationships feel strained and awkward. But, I’m also not sure I want to share the details about why we pulled back. It’s also notable that nobody reached out to us, either, so I don’t feel like those relationships are particularly close. Probably good for the crowdsourcing that Avocado mentioned, but not deep friendship.

        • Carine says:

          I’m really sorry to hear you’ve had a rough 18 months. It’s totally understandable that you’d circle the wagons! I offer this only because it’s the advice I’d probably need to hear: while maybe them not reaching out means there wasn’t a deep friendship, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing salvageable there. People are busy – and maybe some of those people have dealt with their own crises in the same time period, and are feeling snubbed that no one reached out to them! I try to assume that everyone is just doing their best unless I’m proven otherwise. You don’t owe anyone an elaborate explanation for anything, but maybe you could pick one or two people to contact and say, “hey! I’ve been overwhelmed with life for a while but I was thinking about you and wondered if you would like to bring the kids over for pizza night [meet at the park, whatever]”

          It’s so hard. I hope you guys are coming into a smoother spell and things will be easier on you for a while. And if you happen to be my neighbor and reach out to me soon after being off the radar for a while, I would love to come over for pizza night! :)

    • I have a large village. We live where my husband grew up, and where both of his parents grew up. Our village includes my husband’s parents, siblings, step-siblings, cousins, and cousins of cousins. We have 2-3 couples we’ve been very close friends with for over 10 years now. Now our village includes our kid’s friends’ parents.

      With all this, we still pay for most childcare and household help. Kiddo is in daycare full time, and I don’t rely on friends or family members for important babysitting. (We do sometimes ask a grandparents to babysit “one weekend night” so we can go on a date, or to take Kiddo for a few hours so we can get something done, but the timing is always flexible, and we’re willing to accept “no,” and even a last-minute “sorry, can’t make it.”)

      The village is great (amazing!) for being part of our lives and our kid’s life. They show up to celebrations. They show up during crises. They help too, but usually on their own terms unless it is an emergency. People are busy.

      On the flip side, we’re part of a lot of other people’s villages. I’ve been to more engagement parties, bridal showers, weddings, and baby showers than I can count. I’ve brought meals to a dozen new parents and sick relatives. I’ve babysat for friends and family members in a pinch. I usually love doing it because I love these people (and they’ve been there for us), but understand that it works both ways–the village keeps us busy!

      We’ve never had to start from scratch, but we’ve expanded our village by saying “yes” to things when we can. We go to birthday parties Kiddo is invited to. We respond to play-date invitations from other parents, then extend our own. We also say “yes” when other people ask us for help, and we offer to help when we hear that someone might need a carpool or a meal or something. It grows organically, and slowly (maybe one family a year), but it can be really nice.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can be an extrovert when I try, and we don’t have a village here. I have good friends, and people I could call in a true ‘grown up has to go to the ER’ emergency, but no one to call if there’s an minor daycare pick-up or drop off issue because of conflicting work or travel schedules. But I hate hate hate asking for help and have no family here. Most of my friends have just as busy lives as my H and I do, and either have small kids or very little experience with small kids. I often feel like I’m just one mild emergency from falling apart.

      No real suggestions, but I am trying to get some additional paid help that will hopefully work out for the scheduling situations where we can plan a little in advance.

    • I think part of this is maybe how you define village? Like I tend to think of very few people as my actual close friends vs acquaintances, but i know many of them think of me as a close friend. I don’t think one is right or wrong, it’s just defining words differently.

      Also, sometimes it just takes time. Left to my own devices, I would have a very small village but once you add in kids and dogs, etc., suddenly your world expands little by little. You don’t always notice it but then it’s there. E.g., we had a neighbor for 5 years I barely talked to twice, then I got a dog and we would see each other when we walked our dogs, then I had a baby and she’d stop by to check in when I was home on ML and now I had a second and she was someone I knew I could call if I went into labor in the middle of the night and needed someone to help with my oldest or the dog until family could arrive. I see other relationships form this way now. I think as your kids get older this happens more and more naturally.

  12. Looking for Denver-area travel recommendations…

    Trying to plan a trip to the Denver area with my siblings, all of our kids, and possibly our mother. This will include three couples and five kids (ages 7, 6, 4, 3, and 1). Any suggestions about nearby towns (would prefer not to drive much more than an hour outside of Denver), places to stay, stuff to do? It’s likely just a trip of about 3 days, and we’ll be arriving from 3 different time zones, so jet lag might be an issue. Leaning towards airbnb/VRBO rather than hotel.

    This will be our first time attempting a vacation with three sibling couples and kids –we used to meet up for holidays in the state where we grew up, but that is no longer working for a variety of reasons. Any tips about how to negotiate expectations, coordinate plans, etc., would be wonderful.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I would get an Airbnb in either Denver or Boulder. In Denver, I would do kid-friendly museums and activities. In Boulder I would check out easy hikes, Chautauqua park, playgrounds, picnics, and Pearl St. From Boulder you can also do an easy day trip to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park, which is great if you want to get up into the high mountains and not just the foothills around Boulder.

    • Anonymous says:

      A little further than you want and may not be your cup of tea, but my kiddos and extended family had a wonderful trip last summer to YMCA of the Rockies. The cabins book early but you could check and see if there are any for your dates.

  13. Bath question – I had a three year old toddler (boy) now who gets a bath every night as part of the bedtime routine. I’m expecting a second (also boy) in September. How to parents handle the bath time with two kids? Should I start doing bath every other day with the toddler? In the beginning, the baby and the toddler can’t really have a bath together, right? Or I have this other idea that the toddler should start taking a shower with his dad. Any advice welcome!

    • Everlong says:

      I solo parent more nights than not and have 2 boys. The toddler gets a bath every night, the baby gets one every other night. Typically, the baby goes down just before it’s time for toddler’s birth. Baby gets a bath while toddler is still up but he plays and entertains himself, or helps by doing things like “checking the water temperature” or fetching toys. When baby was a newborn who was not going down at 7pm every night, baby hung out in his swing just outside the bathroom during toddler’s birth. When baby is a little older, I hope to combine their bath times. He’s 7 months and we’re not ready for that yet. I’m also not sure if it will work because right now it’s good 1 on 1 time for myself and toddler.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Our second kid didn’t start taking regular baths until he was old enough to get in the tub with his sister, which was about when he turned one. We wiped him down as needed when he was tiny; after six months, he started getting a bath once a week or so when he got messy enough to require it. But I’d just let the older kid keep taking his nightly bath, and don’t worry too much about the baby. Baths are mostly optional for infants.

      • Redux says:

        This is so funny– I do the opposite! The baby gets a bath almost every night but the toddler just gets a wipe-down most nights. The baby has explosive diapers and smashes food between his fingers and in his hair and is generally just more… gross! The toddler washes her hands with soap and water, and will wipe her face with a warm washcloth. This winter the toddler got a bath maybe 2x per week, which will increase as the weather warms up and she starts playing outside again.

        I guess it goes to show that whichever seems right to you is fine!

    • Edna Mazur says:

      This might be weird, but we have three under five and will occasionally do baths (started putting them all in together about a month ago) but all my kids, even the nine month old, do showers at night with my husband. We started this when my middle kid just started climbing in the shower with us (sometimes fully clothed) at aged about one and big brother then followed. We started gradually introducing the baby to the shower when he could hold his head up and now he always wants in there and crawls around on the floor mostly until dad hands him out to me.

      So quick and easy.

    • If both you and your husband are home, split the kids and each do a bedtime routine. If you are solo parenting, stick the baby in a little seat or swing by the bathroom while you bathe the toddler. I don’t think we’ll be doing combo baths until our baby is a very proficient sitter, because my 2-yr-old is very active in the bath. Also, we cut baths back to every other night to help with dry skin issues. Baby gets bathed on an as-needed basis, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening, sometimes only on the weekend.

    • Anonymous says:

      We only have one, but at 3 he takes a shower twice a week, three times if we are really trying. Usually with his dad but sometimes by himself and I just facilitate. As a baby it was definitely not more that twice a week. We may be on the dirtier end of normal but wanted to reassure you it doesn’t have to be every single day.

  14. Firstbabytrip says:

    I have an extremely active 10 month old who is walking. She needs to be constantly entertained if she’s not napping in the car seat. My sister is graduating and we’ll have a 4 hour car ride. Should I leave the baby with grandparents (who she sees all the time and would be very happy with) or attempt our first trip with baby? If you suggesting taking the baby, how would you suggest keeping her entertained at this age in the car?

    She also screams for 10 minutes every night before bed when I put her in the crib, no matter how tired she is. Sleep has been a huge struggle for us, but she is finally sleeping from 7ish to 5:30, eat, then sleep until 6-6:30. She cannot sleep without fighting it though, so I’m nervous about how she’ll do overnight in a portable crib too in a hotel. I don’t want to resort to cosleeping or nursing to sleep or all these things that we’ve been working since 6 months to overcome.

    Any thoughts?

    • mascot says:

      Unless it is really important for your family to have baby attend because they don’t otherwise see baby often, I’d let baby stay home and have a super fun weekend with the grandparents. Travel with kids is exhausting and I found it stressful to juggle normal baby needs with places that expected quieter behavior from kids, like a graduation ceremony.

    • rosie says:

      I would give yourself permission to leave her with the grandparents unless there is a major reason why she should attend. I also think that if you end up taking her, you do what you need to do to get sleep in the hotel–1 or 2 nights should not become a new thing you’ll have to break. Plus you want to make sure you are able to get some sleep before the drive home.

    • Carine says:

      Agree with previous posters that I’d leave her home with grandparents rather than put her through a long car ride, a long graduation ceremony, and then have her nighttime routine disrupted for at least a week. Go enjoy a couple nights away!

    • Leatty says:

      It sounds like it would be a great time for her to go to grandparent camp. If you decide to take her with you, I’d recommend putting a giant basket of toys in the front seat so you can pass her a new toy to play with when she tosses or drops hers. I’d also keep some snack food (like the teething bars) and bottles ready to pass back to her. Plan to make at least one long stop (perhaps for lunch or dinner) so she can get out of the car seat, play, people watch, and hang on to you.

  15. Relating to the discussion yesterday about people feeling frustrated sometimes about husbands not helping out or carving out time for “me” time. Read the book “How to Not Hate Your Husband After Kids.” My husband and I both read it and found it helpful. It is also a pretty easy/light read and is written in an entertaining way so I definitely laughed out loud through parts of it.

  16. Weaning says:

    I’m about ready to wean my 2.5 year old. Right now we nurse at wake up and at bedtime (and have for quite a while, which is a big part of the reason I kept it up for so long). I’m really ready to phase out bedtime nursing but might keep up with wake up nursing for a while. I’m ready to go out at night without worrying about pumping, and I know she’s getting so little milk at that time that it is mainly just part of the routine more than anything.

    Anyone have any tips for this age? I’m really thinking I’ll probably just tell her that the bedtime milk is all gone. I assume there will be some tears, but who knows. I’m wondering how much I should tell her in advance. She’s been having a hard time understanding “later” recently even though she seemed to totally get it before.

    • Betty says:

      I did this with my youngest at the same age. My first step was to move the bedtime nursing session to the first thing of the night-time routine for a few days and quickly move on to stories. This seemed to help disassociate nursing with sleeping and made it a smaller part of our bedtime routine. I also had a sippy of water for her if she said she was thirsty right before bed. A few days before I cut the night time session, I told her that on Friday, night time mommy milk was going to be all done. There were a few tears (mine and hers, even though I was ready), but it was manageable. Good luck!

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